"It's a monster's ball."
Right now this is an interest check thread. I'm not sure when I'll be starting this. There's something that I'm waiting for in the background before I'll be able to get this actually started.
The premise of this game, is that there are monsters in the world today, they do organize themselves, and the PCs are a coterie of Supernaturals that have been contacted and assembled to do a series of tasks for a more powerful Supernatural creature. All, while staying out of the eyes of the mortal world.
The setting is Earth, today, or tomorrow; whenever the game starts*. So, geography, human history and human politics will be just as easy or difficult for the players themselves to know.
*: For all I know, the Zombie apocaplyse starts in the next month and we'll have to "make believe" that this all happens back in 2008 or 2007.What Kind of Monster?We're all monsters. The thing is, we're all
different kinds of monsters
A very brief rundown of the types of characters are as follows; there are six main
types of Supernatural, and three sub-types
of each type. Which yields 18 player options. Trust me, they're actually pretty easy to learn, due to the way that they are subdivided.
Choosing your specific race includes a set list of starting powers, and each player may then select a select amount of additional powers.
The benefits of doing this is that you, as players will always
know that a Nosferatu vampire is always
going to look like 'some' kind of blood-sucking creature, but -never- a Snake or Bat. Plus, of course other things, like a Nossie is able to turn their fingers into steel-hard claws, and can change into a hulking monster. So, when you see a grotesque spider-faced monster the size of a tool-shed, you have a pretty good chance of knowing what it is, as players
: Unless someone specifically asks for more info about any of the following, I'm leaving things as bare bones as possible. I don't want to wall of text more than neccessary.A Brief note on being a monster:
Monsters are awesome
, there is no disputing that. They are beyond the realm and scope of mortal ken. They can turn into mist, they can fly, bend the minds of men to madness, smash open a steel gate with their bare hands, run faster than a man with an Uzi can empty a magazine, regrow damaged tissue or limbs, and many, many
other powers supernatural.
Yet, they are also horrifically tragic
A Vampire is only as strong and powerful as a human in sunlight, and can be destroyed by running water.
A werewolf must foresake alcohol, and must live with the spectre that once a month they go completely and uncontrolably berzerk
attacking to kill friend and foe alike.
Prometheans have not a single soul that they can remotely call "brother" or "sister"; each being a unique creation.
Transhumans have completely lost their humanity by mistake, or through assault; and now live as something entirely not human. Worse still, they can never reclaim what they once lost.
Witches have turned their back on their humanity in a bid to gain both immortality and power. Damning their souls not only in the here-after, but now in the present.
Leviathans never were human; or are humans that have decided to look upon their fellow man not as kin, but as prey
. Either which makes them horrifying to humans, but also repellant to most other supernaturals that try to hold onto their humanity.
The end result is that Supernaturals are symbols of greatness. Great power, and great sorrow.
Vampires: The Blood Drinkers
Time is an abyss. Profound as a thousand nights... Centuries come and go... To be unable to grow old is terrible. Death is not the worst... There are things more horrible than death. Can you imagine... Enduring centuries... experiencing each day with the same futile things.
An eternity of regret and violence, is still an eternity
Vampirism is passed from one person to the next voluntarily on the part of the vampire passing on the trait. The vampire drinks the blood of the victim until it is gone and puts some of her own blood into the dying victim's mouth. Vampires drink the blood of the living in order to maintain their existence as the living dead night after night for as tong as the Earth continues to turn.
How you can tell someone is a vampire varies from story to story. And it is this difference between vampires which we are recognizing in this game as the primary marker of bloodlines. WoD has at times attempted to differentiate vampires on other criteria as well (such as how tightly controlled they are by other vampires or how long they can be played as characters before they go crazy), but this has not been overly successful. So we're recognizing a few common, and three variable ways to detect vampires. All vampires are the living dead, so their body temperature is below that of a living human even if they have recently eaten. Also, their blood doesn't move around their body at the behest of a pumping heart, so they have no detectable heart beat and their wounds don't bleed. Beyond that, they can be detectable by a number of means which vary by vampiric “type.” The Nosferatu are hideous, the Daeva are beautiful but have distinct animal traits, and the Ventrue don't cast reflections.
- Ventrue: The Obsessed - Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I look like Dracula. You want to know something though my mortal friend? Dracula looks like me. He's just got a shitty and out of date fashion sense, and you fools seem to imitate him like the sheep you are.
European Vampire myths, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Snakes, Euro-Trash, 'some' Anne Rice
- Daeva: The Wonderous
“It turns out that humans in general are a superstitious and cowardly lot. How marvelous.”
There are some vampires with an affinity for bats and fire. While the name for the bloodline has long ago been claimed as Daeva by those within, they are named as demons in whispered tones by mortals and supernaturals alike. The Daeva do not burn, and small bat wings protrude from their backs. Many Daeva can use magic to grow those wings or assume the form of a bat.
A Daeva's distinguishing features can often be relatively easy to hide. Wearing a backpack covers wings quite nicely. However, once discovered a Daeva's animalistic, even demonic traits are difficult to explain away as anything short of an extreme breach of the masquerade.
- Vigor (Basic Potence)
- Fire Walking (Basic Walk of Flame)
- Blood Bondage (Basic Path of Blood)
- Awe (Basic Presence)
- Patience of the Mountains (Basic Fortitude)
- Revive the Flesh (Basic Fortitude)
- Restoration (Intermediate Fortitude)
- Indomitably (Intermediate Fortitude)
Aztec Vampire Myths, Vampire Bats
- Nosferatu: The Hideous
"You may look upon my countenance in horror, but I have witnessed marvels that rival any you have heard of"
Traditional/Original Indus Valley Vampiric legends (where they were horrific blood-drinking demon-men), Lampreys, Vampire Squid, Mosquitos, Spiders, Leeches
[Note: Throw out most
if not all
"modern" vampire fiction if you even want to consider
playing one of these. Stephanie Meyers, Laurell K. Hamilton and Jessica Bird are all terrible authors when it comes to giving these creatures a portayal that is remotely accurate to historical myths and legends. So, Twilight, the "Anita Blake" and Black Dagger Brotherhood series can burn. Not for being immoral, lord no, but rather for being really bad writing about vampires. The bulk of them cheapen Vampires, and a lot of them are actually pretty mysoginistic; which is really sad, b/c they're usually written by, and for, human women.]
Lycanthropy: Ruled by Rage
Howl to the moon, and rend your foes like the sheep they are!
A man may live for forty years, and a wolf only seven. But at the end of their lives, which one knows more of the tundra?
The man and the wolf know the same.
- Get of Fenris: The Norse Reavers
The better to eat you with, my dear.
Larry Talbot, Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers
- The Nezumi: Plague on the world of Men
“Tear him up.”
- Bagtheera: The stalkers of the jungles. Steel or leafed
“You can fool everybody, but landie. Dearie me, you can't fool a cat. They seem to know who's not right.”
Cat People, The Cat and the Canary
Prometheans: Last of their Kind//The Created
Once upon a time, there was ... 'A king!' my little readers will say right away. No, children, you are wrong. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood....
"I am a race, and species, of one. When I die, my entire species dies. Yet you ask why I feel so alone?"
Prometheans are different from the other types of supernaturals because they are not born as a human only to later achieve supernatural powers, but are instead created fully formed and fully grown with their powers already intrinsic to them. A Promethean awakens for the first time already an outcast, already both more and less than a human. Prometheans are almost always rejected by humanity because regardless of how much they try, they are not humans. Every Promethean is not only the first of its kind, it is also the last of its kind, every Promethean creation event is unique and Prometheans tragically find that even other created life is intrinsically distinct from them, different from humanity in ways which likewise reveal a difference that is just as unbridgeable.
Prometheans are capable of being Extras and Luminaries just as normal humans are. In general, a mad scientist's masterwork is a Luminary Promethean (the kind that might be a player character), and a batch of killer robots is probably a bunch of Promethean Spawn. Which means that yes, those Prometheans who actually have peers don't even care because they are just background characters and mooks in their own story.
Special Note on Terminology: It is important to note that Frankenstein is the name of the creator, and not the the name of the creature. The creature's name was Adam. Similarly, in technical Greek an Android refers only to a male human analog, while a female human analog would be called a Gynoid (seriously). However it is also important to note that most of the people you talk to about this issue don't know this and don't care. Like Jello, Frankenstein is a brand name of such overwhelming market dominance that the stitched corpse creations of other mad scientists are called Frankensteins (rather than calling them gelatin desserts or reanimated homunculi or whatever). Similarly, if you use the word Gynoid in every day conversation people will assume you are talking about some sort of sexually transmitted condition. Honestly, it is better that common terminology is used rather than correct terminology in this instance.
- Stitched // Frankenstein : The Child
“My heart was fashioned to be susceptible of love and sympathy, and when wrenched by misery to vice and hatred, it did not endure the violence of the change without torture such as you cannot even imagine.”
Frankenstein, Pinocchio, Edward Scissorhands, Subject Two, Herbert West: Reanimator
- Golem: The Servitor
“Did I request thee, Maker from my clay
To mould Me man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?”
Rabbi Loew, R.U.R., Short Circuit, Talos
- Android: The Lover
“How fully functional are you?”
Androids are made of steel rather than flesh and they are coldly perfect to behold. Whether man or woman, an android is beautiful beyond what normal humans are capable of. Unfortunately, the metallic perfection of their exterior belies a digital corsity that makes interpersonal relationships unsatisfactory. The emotions of an Android, though strongly felt, are simply too extreme and simple for others to relate to. The love of an Android is as off-putting as the hatred to a normal, nuanced individual. Androids do not, on initial inspection look anything other than human. However there is something distinctly “not right” about them which will creep out any normal human who interacts with them socially for long. They are beyond autistic, their emotions are simply ones and zeros.
Androids can be made of circuitry, gears, or simply polished marble. The key is that at the end of the procedure they are crafted to look more human than a human could possibly be.
An Android has an Infernal power source and a Ritual power schedule.
- Vigor (Basic Potence)
- Feat of Strength (Basic Potence)
- Light of Ennui (Basic Descent of Entropy)
- Awe (Basic Presence)
- Patience of the Mountains (Basic Fortitude)
- Howling Winds (Basic Chasing the Storm)
- Devastation (Intermediate Potence)
- Contradiction (Intermediate Descent of Entropy)
Pygmalion, Metropolis, Weird Science, Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?
Transhumans: Point of No Return
"Some borders are not to be crossed. Some realms not to be entered. I did so anyway, and this is the result"
[No Current Write-up for Transhumans yet]
- The Reborn: Second Chances and Second Guesses
“Put your helmet on. I wouldn't want to scar your pretty face. Again.”
She, The Mummy
- Children of Aether: Experiments Gone Awry - “There are things man was not meant to know. It is interesting that we repeatedly seek to know as much about these as possible.”
Humanity’s greatest survival trait, indeed the one which has ensured our ascent to power, is a willingness to improve upon our environment – the closest environment being our own flesh and bones. The desire to gain greater abilities overwhelms all else sometimes, even personal ethics, self-preservation, and basic sanity. Man is first and foremost a tool using creature, but when he treats himself as a tool, is he still a man?
The Children of Aether are born when a Luminary is subject to the (nominally successful) experiments of scientists and practitioners of medicine to improve the human form beyond what it already has – and usually, this Luminary is both subject and creator of the experiment. They rarely have any familiarity or experience with the supernatural beforehand, and simply stumble through the veil of normality by “accident.” The transformational event bestows efficiency and power on the human form and mind that brings it beyond mortal limitations, including impressive strength and will – at the cost of sanity and self.
A Child of Ether has an Astral power source and a Ritual power schedule.Child of Ether Starting DisciplinesDesigner note:
Frankly, Dr. Jekyll's signature power is being mistaken for someone else
. And that's Obfuscation as well. Heck, appearing suddenly and appearing as an unrecognizable monster
is the Green Goblin's deal as well. Far from being optional, Obfuscation should be the Children of Aether's signature power. So I'd do it more like this:
- Core Discipline: Obfuscation -
- Hide From Notice (Basic Obfuscation)
- Mask of a Thousand Faces (Basic Obfuscation)
- Basic Disciplines -
- Second Senses (Basic Auspex)
- Nimble Feet (Basic Celerity)
- Vigor (Basic Potence)
- Revive the Flesh (Basic Fortitude)
-Advanced Disciplines -
- Touch of Shadow (Advanced Obfuscation)
- Vanish From the Mind's Eye (Advanced Obfuscation)
The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Norman Osbourne Story Inspiration:
“It's not all hocus pocus and chicanery. There's also sleight of hand and deceit. And raw sorcerous power.”
- The Baali Tradition - “You will not remember what I show you now, and yet I shall awaken memories of love... and crime... and death... ”
The 1932 Mummy, Constantine, Bible Black, Devil's Advocate, Faust
- The Verbena Tradition - “You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been. ”
The Craft, Kotetsu, Poison Ivy
- The Khaibit Tradition - “There are far worse things awaiting man than death.”
Reanimator, Flatliners, Jason and the Argonauts
Leviathans: The Ancient Fear
Down and deep / dark and dank / below our feet / below they sank
Under waves and / under ground / no light we have / no hope for sound
Beneath us still / sea and mound / remember will / with silence found
Tiamat had many monsterous progeny. Some of her children in turn had many more children, and they crawled upon the earth, and swam though the seas and rivers. Monsters that never perish naturally.
Long ago, Tiamat was a great and powerful dragon who ruled over the lands and exercised her rights of ownership with great cruelty. She demanded sacrifices from the frightened people of the soil, and she bore many monsters to expand her kingdom. The oppression of Tiamat did not forever last, for eventually a great champion of the human people arose with powerful magic from the sky to battle her. For days they fought, and ultimately it was Marduk and not Tiamat who was victorious.
But while the great Tiamat was slain, her children walked the Earth and swam the seas still. Each of her children bore children of their own. Many of these were able to pass for human and walk in the world of men, and still many more were monstrous beyond mortal comprehension. The taint in the blood of those who are heirs to the power of Tiamat gradually makes itself known. These new generations, called Leviathan, become less human in countenance and thought as they grow in age and power.
Tiamat's descendants are foul tasting as swamp mire, but they are prized as food regardless because whosoever devours the flesh of a Leviathan gains near immortality. However, the otherworldly and inhuman degeneration which happens to a natural born Leviathan happens twice as fast to those who attain their state by eating the flesh of mermaids.
- The Mi Go: The Larvae of Echidna - “There can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.”
The Hollows, Lovecraftian Mythos, Insect-infested People [Ninja Scroll, Naruto, etc.]
- The Deep Ones: Scions of Dagon
“Those horrible eyes. Unblinking and inhuman, twas like looking at fish more than a man.”
I have lived centuries to find a suitable companion. I will take you to my dark lagoon.
According to legend, Dagon was spawned when Tiamat mated with the Tigris River. He was a powerful and fish-like creature, and his progeny all carry fish traits about their being. Hailing from the oceans, a Deep One gradually becomes scaled and gilled as he ages. His eyes flatten and rarely blink, and the lure of the sea becomes harder to ignore. There are few who can stomach long departures from the coast, for in their mind they can always listen for the strange whispered yet incessant call of the ocean.
Deep Ones can breathe water as easily as air. The strange whispers they hear in their own minds can also be shared with anyone foolish enough to look a Deep One in their strangely opaque eyes. Story Inspiration:
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Deep Ones from Lovecraftian mythos, Kou Toa & Sahaugin [D&D]
- Troglodyte: Progeny of Drakaina - Flesh speaks countless stories to me. Stories I hear with my tongue and teeth.//“Thousands of years we have toiled beneath the Earth. We will not stop just because shiftless Eloi tell us we must.”
Wendigos, Ravenous, The Jeresy Devil, Cannibal Cults // Alternately: Mole People, Morlocks, The Hills Have Eyes
[Note: I prefer the Wendigo/Ravenous idea over the Mole People/Hills have eyes mutants.]
[maybe... just maybe
Note: Changelings are a 'possible' idea. They aren't even slated to be an option in the current system]Changelings
[The following can be read to give more information about what this game will be like, or ignored if you want to ask more about one of the types of monsters presented.
]The System, is down... no wait, it's up.
This is going to be a "system game". I can hear the groans already. Tut-tut, it's actually a pretty light system, and when you have someone who can throw motorcycles, and someone else who can shred a steel door with their bare hands, 'some' sort of system is probably a good idea.
Players will be expected, and be able to play, characters who are able to do things ranging from lifting and throwing
motorcycles at enemies, scaling walls with their bare hands, convincing other creatures to do things (either by being an intimidating Werewolf, a mind controlling Witch, or just being a sexy, sexy Android), and fight enemies that come from all over human ideas of what constitutes a "monster". As well as being
creatures that most humans consider "monsters".A world of darkness"No, no, not that one, that one's stupid. No, not the 'new' one either, it's stupid too. Both of those are stupid. We're using an alternate one instead. One made of 'not-stupid'. Wasn't easy to make, I'll tell you that much, but it's not stupid; which is a plus."
The system is what is called the "Alternate World of Darkness" of AWoD. So, you can throw out most of the shoddily written, and even worse designed White Wolf material out; or even better not even know it
, and be perfectly fine.
The premise behind the system being that players not only should be able to play what they feel most comfortable with (that is, you can play what you want, and not be given a hard painful shaft through the head for it), but that the game setting should not have a collective "backstory" that is summed up as "a dozen versions of the world, written by inaccurate narrators
As a result most redundant "types" of creatures are removed, but nearly every 'type' of monster from history, myth and story is a player option at least once. The upside is that yes
you can be a Snake-themed character; but no, you aren't able to choose from Were-Snake, Were-Cobra, Snake-Vampire, Snake-Wizard, Mummified Snake, Snake Golem and Something-Snake. So, World of Darkness, not "World of Snakes, and Bears, and Tiger" (oh my).
In addition, the design goals of this system was that a person can look at any part of the game, and be able to learn it very easily.
The fact that the original material is actually very badly organized and diffucult to absorb, was one of the original reasons for this project, and a lot of pains have been taken, and many things removed or reworked to make this system relatively easy to read and understand.
There are no 900-page "fluff" manuals on 'vampires'; because honestly, that's a foolish thing to impose on anyone. Let alone someone playing a game
. Oh, yeah, them's fighting words; I said a disparaging comment about what I'm doing myself. Excuse me while I go beat myself up for making fun of what I enjoy doing.
Instead of having players learn about several dozen
types of monster (that ultimately no one cares about), information for this game and setting are stripped down as much as possible. Then the remaining information is re-organized into small groups that are meant to be easy for a person to glance at, and remember roughly.
: The campaign for this game has been already written. So, I won't be scrambling to come up with the overall thread of the game's story. Also, I've always hated GMs that railroad, and have always enjoyed watching the players get into the story and change it based on their actions.
It's a series of 10 adventures, with an 11th adventure that wraps up the campaign. Each adventure is pretty independant of the previous ones, and whether the players do well or poorly will not stop the campaign. The final adventure brings the results of the previous adventures together. The details are not set in stone, and player actions will obviously change how the plot goes, but the overall game arc was written on July 1, 2009.