Saturday, November 16, 2013

Codex Psychosia - Awake

In accord with the prophesy dreamed,
Amid the warring factions and minds,
At Worldstar's point they gather.

They are fewer this time, than last.
Some lost, one fallen, one dreaming.
Relics they bring, from neverplaces.

Angel now fallen and cast out of Iyant,
The Shield of Oceans fused to his arm,
Stands where Ra dies an old man.

The Arbutan Staff begins the helix' bend,
At polar north where dragons hunt,
Where the gate to Noctus is unlocked.

By portent or design, irony or humour,
The cursed Corpus Occuli stands at East,
Borne by nightmare crossed with flesh.

The jewels of life taken from death's shore,
Closes the helix, completing the cycle,
By the hand of faery, may they return.

Doomed to fail, as all things are by fate,
For at the center one who is awake speaks,
And he has died unable to speak the words.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Codex Psychosia - Corpus Occuli

Dead eyes, the Corpus Occuli.

Like many places otherwhere,
Few struggle against many.
At the Worldstar's jagged point,
Where power shatters land.
Unlight stirs He Who Slumbers
Under where reality is torn.

The Awakened, as yet to be,
Venture to man's foul wounding,
And the second seal of John's writ
Shall be broken without thunder.
He Who Slumbers wakes enraged,
Uriel, incomplete and wrathful.

Before the storm of divine fury
One shall fall, and his kin avenge.
Divine form, now lifeless and dead,
Shall be folded inwards, first wings,
Then legs, arms, and lastly his head.
The shard, so sealed, seen as an eye,
Shall complete the means to waken.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Codex Psychosia - Visitation

Late one evening, as I sipped from a warm cup sitting in my evening chair,
A scratch, or knocking.  Like branches and claws upon my back door.
Long crimson drapes guarded the glass, from all observation,
So I listened to the sound, sceptical of its origins and purpose.
The sounds did not abate, but moved outside in my yard.  Circling.
At each window in turn, and louder each time, wild and persistent.
My cup had grown cold, and still I sat and listened.
I imagined what kind of aberrant beast it could be, species of terror.

At the back door, a second time, it stopped and I waited...
Silence hung in the air like a heavy damp cloth, and I waited.
In complete silence I stood, and crossed my sitting room to the door,
The curtain pulled aside ever so slightly, I gazed outside holding my breath.
 The landing outside held no great dragon, but a terrifying chimarae.
A creature of the size of a hound, with a crimson coat of shining fur.
Like a hare, with great ears and rear legs, and shining black eyes,
Great horns, like twisted oak branches, grew from its head.

It regarded me indifferently, devouring a portion of my wicker chair,
Torn pieces of it were scattered across the balcony, the remnants.
As I watched, it took notice of me and slowly got onto all fours.
One large foot rapped the patio once, and the glass door shattered.
I leaped back, falling onto my chair and spilling my table and drink,
The creature entered the room in a flash of red to stand in front of me.
Cold intelligence gleamed in his eyes, as he assessed my startled self.
Then he greeted me, using the dead tongue of the Annukai.

He called me a scribe and lauded me for my previous works of fiction,
Appraising my bookshelves, stacks of manuscript and curiosities.
He bid me to take comfort, and to take up the pen and paper of my trade,
To drink my hot tea and sit back in my chair and listen to his tales.
His manner was that of a nobleman of bygone era, filled with wisdom,
So I did as he bid, and wrote for him, of the things the hare said.
He asked to be called Zoloft, and I gave him my name in return,
And he began his story, with the end of a world greater than mine.
He came from Yzederrodex, once the greatest of all cities, home of a god.
The capital of the First, of a scale and grandeur impossible to record.
The One God resided here and it was the centre of the Dominions,
The shining twin of Ra'lygh thought to be immortal and impervious.
But the clock of Armageddon struck noon for the great city,
And a son was to return to the father and bring death and annihilation.

He told of this world, next in turn for that terrible clock, of our end.
He spoke of beauty like the glorious, and hidden, Shield of Oceans,
Origins of terrible fetishes like the Corpus Occulli, the zombie's eye,
Of the shaded paths to Anhkor, and the sunken city of Dagon.
Each of the clock's symbols I wrote into the growing tome, each ending.
Mapped the sacred design of the nexus grid and sites of the ancients,
From Khufu's Tomb to the lost cities, I wrote what the hare told me.
Into the early morning he spoke of myth, artifice and the gods who watch.
And as pages were filled, and the story passed from Aramaic to Greek,
Into Sylvan, Draconic, Atalantean, and those I do not have name for,
I felt my self slip away like pages in a breeze and I start to worry.
Each page wrote itself faster, each tale more intriguing than the last.
Less I could remember, my memory slipping into the void faster,
The Codex forms hundreds of pages, each a slice of the scribe who writes,
Each a maddened mystery, the Rapture, the secrets of the apocalypse.
He tells the scribe of the fall of the Great Veil, when magic returns
The scribe shudders as the hare describes the rupture of society.

The scribe wrote of the Great War, and of the long death of Earth.
He soothed his nerves with words of the rebirth of the Fifth, of survival.
But the scribe was not disturbed, nor agitated, by the hare's tales,
Not a single piece of self was left and the dream began to fade to grey.
The Codex Psychosia was upon the scribe's desk, bathed in the light of Ra.
And the scribe sat unable to think, or to do, or to be, clear as glass.
The tome would travel with fate, or it could be consigned to flame,
It is Pandora's shadow, knows of Lilith's Kiss, and steals life.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Read All the Things #6 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Number six is about a little book called; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.  An interesting read to say the least (so I will say some more!)

Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where many have fled to Mars and other colonies, a bounty hunter sets out on his first hunt.  Bounty hunters are police agents who track illegal androids.  These are near-human, biological and smarter, androids defecting their servitude to humans.  They only lack the ability to breed, live long or have empathy.  There are also 'specials', radiated humans who lack the IQ to emigrate.

The story calls into question some very intriguing, and frightening, concepts.  Since the only way to test a live person is to test their empathy, what if a human fails?  Do the sentient 'andys' have rights or are they less valuable than the nearly extinct animals who are held sacred by the survivors?  Would you pass an empathy test?

This book receives 9 strips of bacon, with feta fondue.

This book fits into the World of Damnation easily.  Simulants who 'go rogue' would be hunted by police funded bounty hunters. It is also an interesting look at life outside the Cities, in the dust-ridden ruins occupied by specials...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pain and Suffering

An invisible, serrated shard of glass piercing the flesh.  Mind numbing agony which emanates through the body.  That incessant ache which permeates everything and clouds the senses.

I find that pain isn't represented very well, or at all most times.  For instance, if someone were to suffer from a blow from a truck the pain would be debilitating.  Even if said person were to then be magically healed, the pain might continue to linger unless directly addressed.  A victim suffering from damage should be suffering penalties, and the greater the damage...

For every ten points a victim suffers damage to their wound pool, in a single attack, the victim gains one Pain.  Pain is healed with rest (like pools and other modifiers).  Every point of Pain gives -1 to all rolls (except during lunacy rolls add Pain).  All undead and golems are immune to pain.

Threshold (Sage Lore - Stm)
Add the Threshold modifier to Pain, a victim can never receive a positive modifier this way.  (Eg: A victim with 2 Pain and Threshold +4 would have no negative or positive penalty due to Pain.)
When a victim's Pain penalty equals their Stm, they go into shock.  When in shock, a victim is limited to one check or move and may not use mana or prayer pool.

Using Power and Pain
Soothing Touch (Water, Healing) - DoS removes Pain from target.
Transference (Telepathy, War, Air, Summoning) - DoS removes Pain from target which the caster receives.  (War could then be used to make a pool to hit, transferring the Pain to the target.)

Skills and Pain
The skill torture should be noted, due to being able to give things pain points (equal to the DoS).  The intended target should be immobilized to use this as a check and no damage is done.  Torture could also be stacked with a damage roll, which would double the amount of Pain received from the attack.

Aid can be used to reduce pain, temporarily.  An aid check will negate Pain at one per DoS, which will go down at one every round.

A non-lethal called shot could also be used to double the Pain from an attack.

Tormentor (Priest Source)
A person might chose to specialize in producing and spreading pain to harness the dark energies it produces.  A tormentor does this by hurting themselves and others and then using it as a weapon against their foes.

Starting Level: +1 Threshold, 1 knowledge point, 3 weapon uses.
Level Advancement: +1 Threshold, 2 weapon uses.

Using Pool:  A tormentor can use an amount of prayer equal to the amount of Pain near them, including themselves, up to five times their Threshold modifier.
-Scathe: Pool to hit, attack DoS equals Pain received by target.
-Transfer: Threshold DoS equals amount of Pain to be transferred from one target to another willing target.
-Override: Caster may ignore one Pain modifier for each 5 prayer used.
-Incite: Pool to hit, attack DoS adds to an immediate lunacy roll.
-Agonize: Target loses an amount of wounds equal to Threshold DoS, to a maximum of their Pain.

Other Sources and Pain
Any source which gives a modifier to MS would instead gain a modifier to Threshold.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Soul Streamer

Soul Streamer (Priest Source)

There is a persistent cycle of life and death, an ebb and flow, an energy that is constant and immense. Soul Streamers have learned to tap in to this energy and use their bodies as a conduit with which to alter the flow. Every person is different, thus every soul streamer will have learned different uses for this power. There is a chorus, created in the stream, by the multitudes of ending and beginning lives; because of this, soul streamers slowly lose their minds... their individuality slowed stripped away.

Starting Level: 3 knowledge points, d10+Chr prayer, +1 Madness.

Level Advancement: +2 knowledge points, +d10 prayer, +1 Madness.

Disciplines: The victim must choose three Disciplines: lunacy, resist, healing, scry, undeath or dominance.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Codex Psychosia - Heretic's Requiem

The sand of old Aegypt smells of spice and gold.
Above, the stars dance the same dance with the moon.
I see a river of people, a city's flood, refugees.
Camels, oxen, tuskers, horses and many others.
Each burdened with all they can carry,
Carving a new path through dust and rock.
To Thebes!  To the Old Gods! They shout.

The Pharaoh is dead, long live the Pharaoh!
With blade, and star, and child they came.
To the house of Aten they brought death,
The judgement of the glorious hand of Horus.
Great AmonRa and dark Shemzu concurred.
The Heretic-King flayed bare with wrath.

But the deluge grasped me like the jaws of Set
And carried me further to the Great City.
Scarabs and locusts made of brass,
Each with insides of spinning brass gears,
The Swarm of Ra, shepherding the throng.
To dust, his soul is devoured by brass claws.
The Heretic's name and spirit obliterated.

Let them hear the names Ta brought here.
Favoured of Ra, Jesyble lost to flame.
Mosa-nalendi, the graceful star,
Banished, cursed, damned, Ickthuas.
Bezis, the lost swan of the Nile,
Grog'Nak D'More Goliathi Kai'Kee.
And Mateuw from the shore of Quiddity.

To Thebes! To the Old Gods! We shout.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Read All The Things #5 - Cowbow Ninja Viking

One can likely tell from the title that this book is fun.  Our protagonist, the cowboy ninja viking, has a very severe case of multiple personalities.  Our 'hero' faces many challenges being a triplet, and the subject of military experimentation to create a better warrior.  He reunites with some other triplets, his ex, some antagonists and some allies.  This graphic novel is packed with crazy...

Cowboy Ninja Viking gets 8 strips of bacon on the scale.

Which brings us to the triplet subrace.  DNA and Interzone would likely experiment in this type of field, likely at the cost of the subject's sanity.

Triplet (Subrace) - World of Damnation

-The victim's warrior, mage and priest sources are not restricted by level type.  A triplet can choose a warrior, mage or priest source instead of the level type.  The victim's cyber source is unaffected.  (The victim may have three warrior sources for example.)

Restricted - Human only.

Madness - +2 madness points.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Codex Psychosia - Rubies of Vitae

To set them well, to right old ways,
To seek the well, to bring new ways.

Rubies fall from knuckles
Flayed with holy gold.

The noblewoman's path leads
From the soiled bilge waters
Pooling at her bedsheets
Poisoning her blossoms.

Rubies flayed from knuckles
Fall from holy gold.

The Eye of Ra has never seen
The path of crushed bone,
Which lead to Anubis' garden
Where grow nothing but stone.

Rubies fall from knuckles
Flayed by holy gold.

A setting, a chalice, defaced
By unrelenting Mahees
With unliving chaperones
Here meets the Neverplace.

Rubies flayed from knuckles
Fall from holy gold.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Magus Guard

Magus Guard

Magus Guard are mages that have spent years studying the principles of combat. They are not warriors, but mages who have sacrificed arcane studies for martial ones. Because of this the practical application of the skills they study are beyond their grasp, and therefore they cannot apply more than the basics of any martial art in combat. They manipulate the arcane energies around them to increase their combat prowess or decrease that of their opponents to compensate for this shortcoming. Unlike Warlocks/Battle Magi, the Magus Guard are usually among those leading the charge in to combat. They are the adrenaline junkies/berserkers of the mages. Typically the best of the Magus Guard are used by the largest mage schools. Often they are left to protect the secrets hidden within their libraries or as assassins; their abilities making them equal to any normal warrior in battle.

Using Mana:
Used to augment/hinder combat abilities or weapon stats
    Modifier to Hit (+1/1)
    Increase unsoakable (+1*/2)
    Additional parry (1 parry/2)

Must choose a weapon specialization at creation from any specified Standard Weapon Use
    For an additional +5 XP at level up, new weapon specializations can be learned, victim must have the relevant Standard Weapon Use.

Banned from cybernetics, master, sensei and martial arts.
Max pool expenditure is based off applicable the specified standard weapon use of the weapon being used, this weapon use counts as a sage lore.
Adapted by Brin Shadius.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tsukino Con 2013

 Yeah, that's right, I went to an anime convention.  This year I only went for the Sunday due to real-life restrictions but it was completely worth it.  Other than the bag of swag from the vendors, it was mainly about well-dressed people.
 I did manage to sit in on two really good rpg panels.  The first was focused on GM tactics and equally informative as it was funny.  There were some really good ideas that came up, like adjusting things in the room to give the players associative senses.  Lighting and music are the easy ones, but bringing smells into the game can be a very powerful SL tool.  There was also some talk about "what to do about players" which always brings specific players to mind.
 The second panel was about inprov skills meeting the rpg world.  Improv actors are natural-born role-players and have some skills that gamers don't think of.  The "yes, and" game is the best example.  If a character decides to derail the plot, as a character you take it up and add something of your own.  Now there are two of you doing stuff, and more openings.  If you are the SL, you can take this new direction and use it to enforce the plot.  (Oh, you guys are going home instead of stopping the orc horde?  Fine, you see your town, burned down by an orc horde!)
 Next year I am planning for the three-day-tour....
Until next round.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

GottaCon 2013 - In The City

 GottaCon has come and gone, and it was a good one.  This year I brought some nWo along with me, a storyline I named In The City, and registered three spots.  Part I was at 9am Saturday (Morning Coffee), and Part II was at midnight until 9am (Day Jobs).  Things started well enough, and like any classic nWo game, it grew into a monster.  Luckily, I am a professional monster-handler.

Morning Coffee had 7-8 players, only two of them new to the game.  Once the celestial monkey threw a table at them things went along their natural course. There was epic fails and backstabbing.  The two new guys were awesome, easily fitting into their victim's roles and learning to use power.

Day Jobs started with 16 players, we were short premade victims and had to make some on the fly.  Everyone was tired, throats were sore and the energy drinks had stopped working.  In true nWo form, we pressed onward.  Our new players slid into their new roles heavily and security guards died.  At 4am the second slot began, many of the new players left (which I fully understand) and we picked up another new player.  By 8am they had found the genetics library.
Overall I will call it a success, but only with thanks to the crew who kept it alive.  There were a few things I learned this year:

-Pre-written intros are awesome! (but at a Con each intro needs a setting description as the new players in the later session didn't really know where they were)

-Make more starter victims.  Lots of them.

-PLAYERS HAVE TO SIGN UP!!!  otherwise you will might not get a seat (I will never run that big of a game myself again. Ever.)

-Bring the Atlas and Grimiore.  Pictures say a thousand words, your throat will thank you.

And yes, I do plan on having nWo at next year's GottaCon, I will continue In The City, possibly with a second SL at my side.....
Until next round.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Read All The Things 4 - The Jesus Incident


Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom tell the story of Ship and its Shipmen.  Ship has only one demand: that the Shipmen learn how to WorShip.

Perhaps I'm going a bit fast, lets start at the beginning.  A voidship, Earthling, is built on the moon and loaded with clones and launched to find a habitable planet and colonize.  Earthling is a supercomputer, and after centuries of traversing the void and finding no compatible planets, becomes sentient with the aid of the scientist-crew.  Eventually it begins to think it is a god.  Earthling becomes Ship, an omnipotent technological being.

Ship travels for aeons, rescuing humans from Earth (or possibly Earths) and finds Pandora.  Pandora is a planet mostly covered by man-eating monsters, water and sentient kelp.  Ship wakes up one of the scientists from its apotheosis and informs him that Ship will terminate the human race unless they learn how to WorShip.  That is when human nature takes over and the story begins.

The Jesus Incident is an awesome novel.  It is cerebral and intriguing with a fair share of violence and high-tech.  One the scale, this book receives nine strips of bacon and a small cheese platter.

There are a couple of campain ideas in there, like colonization or a revolt within one.  The megalomania of an artificial intelligence can be based upon Ship, in transit or colonizing, and would make a most challenging opponent.  Also, the cloning practices (and results) of Lab One are interesting (starting level mutation points with an equal amount of flaws).  The 'kelp is too vast for rules or guidelines, but the hybrids would get a few bonuses (knowledge points, telepathy and telekinesis, negative Stm).

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Read All The Things #3 - Armada

RATT#3 is about Robots!  Transformers: Armada has a ton of robots, big ones and little ones, and they all transform (of course).  The omnibus contains issues 1-18, with storylines by Chris Sarracini and Simon Furman and some awe-inspiring artists.  Armada is not from the standard/G-1 universe, and the bot-designs are more modern and dynamic with a slight manga feel.  For all its differences, Armada still feels like a solid and complete setting.

The first storyline is about the minicons, small transformers the size of people (but they live on Cybertron).  Megatron figures out how to weaponize the little guys and begins to build a collection.  The obvious intent is to destroy the Autobots and rule the galaxy, he is Megatron after all.

Then Galvatron shows up, with his sweeps, straight out of another universe with Unicron on his heels.  Seems the big planetbot is galaxy jumping, eating all the Earths and Cybertrons.  Then we get to watch Megatron fight Galvatron.  Epic.

Armada has robots, lots of smashing, great storyline, and amazing art in full-colour.  On the Bacon Scale, Armada receives 7 generous strips of bacon.

Until next round...