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[Ex3, PEACH] The Silent Heralds

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  • [Ex3, PEACH] The Silent Heralds

    Lajhar, the Silent Heralds

    The constant clangor of the Demon City may keep the Silent Wind at bay, but sometimes delivering a message above the clamor is desired. For this reason the Lajhar were created.

    A silent herald resembles a hairless, gray-skinned tree sloth with no mouth; standing, it is four to five feet tall, with long arms ending in long clawed fingers. Despite the claws' fearsome appearance, these are suited for climbing, not combat. They can walk on the ground, albeit slowly, but prefer clinging to high places to make their proclamations.

    Lacking mouths to speak, Lajhar communicate by a sort of telepathy intrinsic to their kind; they may "speak" in this fashion to any number of creatures it can see, or cast broadly out to all creatures within its range. These thoughts are generally recognizable as coming from some other source; though it lacks a "voice," few would mistake a silent herald's message for a thought of their own. A Lajhar can send its messages even while dematerialized.

    Some residents of the Demon City view silent heralds as an annoyance. Though some of their thoughts are important decrees from citizens or the Unquestionable, or warn of the onset of a more dangerous Yozi, many Lajhar take bribes to speak a given message or promote a demon's products or services, and many more find pleasure in spreading gossip.

    No means of shutting a Lajhar out of one's mind has been discovered yet, as their thoughts cut right through louder noises or stopped ears; however, an occultist in Great Forks has made theories about the use of tin to block out the Lajhar's intrusive thoughts.

    The creator of the Lajhar is the Tree Who Climbs. Every Lajhar who ventures beyond her branches is blessed by her so that it may return safely. A blessed Lajhar need only call on its mother to receive protection from blade, bow, fire, and poison.

    Sorcerers seldom call Lajhar across the Endless Desert in the Age of Sorrows; it is an obscure demon, but some find use as immaterial sentries.


    Lajhar, the Silent Heralds

    Essence:
    3; Willpower: 8; Essence pool: 80 motes; Join Battle: 6 dice
    Health Levels: -0/-1x4/-2x4/-4/Incap.
    Actions:
    Climb: 9 dice; Bargain: 8 dice; Rumor-mongering: 11 dice; Inspire: 7 dice; Instill: 8 dice; Intimidate: 8 dice; Persuade: 8 dice; Read Intentions: 8 dice; Resist poison: 10 dice; Senses: 6 dice; Stealth: 8 dice; Swim: 8 dice;
    Appearance 3 (Hideous), Resolve 3, Guile 5

    Combat
    Attack (Claws): 6 dice (Damage 10L); can only attack every other round.
    Attack (Grapple): 4 dice (2 dice to control); can only attack every other round.

    Combat Movement: 6 dice (9 climbing, 8 swimming, see Sloth Movement, below)
    Evasion: 2; Parry 3
    Soak/Hardness: 8/0 (See Mother-Tree's Aegis, below)

    Merits

    Sloth Movement: The Lajhar uses its Stamina instead of its Strength or Dexterity on rolls to climb or swim, but treats all other forms of movement as difficult terrain. A silent herald may only attack every other round in combat.

    Telepathy: The Lajhar can cast its thoughts out into the heads of others; it can freely send a single message out to any creatures it can see. It also has the option to send to all within long range; even creatures the Lajhar is unaware of will be made to hear the silent herald's thought. A Lajhar can also spend a mote of Essence to send a thought to one person it cannot see, as long as the Lajhar is familiar with the recipient and within a mile of her.

    Offensive Charms

    Foul the Mind's Waters (15m, 1wp; Simple; Instantaneous; Essence 3): The Lajhar concentrates its most toxic whispers into a potent weapon, which exudes from its body like an invisible cloud. The Lajhar must be materialized to use this Charm. Enemies out to medium range are exposed to a nauseating psychic poison with the following traits:
    Fetid Psyche Miasma
    Damage/Interval: 3i/round (B in Crash)
    Duration: 5 rounds
    Penalty: -4
    Vector: Proximity
    Special: Resisted with Wits+Integrity instead of Stamina+Resistance.


    Defensive Charms

    Mother-Tree's Aegis (15m, 1wp; Reflexive; Decisive-only; One scene; Essence 3): The Lajhar invokes the name of its mother, drawing on her potent protection. For the rest of the scene, any damage the silent herald takes from a bashing or lethal decisive attack is reduced to a single die. This protection is equally applicable to environmental hazards and poison. Moreover, the Lajhar cannot fall or be dislodged from a surface it climbs, even by an attack that kills it.

    Miscellaneous Charms

    Materialize (40m; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): Claws manifest, gripping at something; a second later, the Lajhar follows.

    Measure the Wind (5m; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Lajhar can discern the nature of any being who asks it to deliver a message.
    (Thanks to Isator Levi, GenericMaleNPC01, Chronos12, and others for occasional feedback and references when I was away from books.)
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-02-2018, 10:11 AM.

  • #2
    heh, gotta wear that tinfoil hat.

    One thing I'll note: Long range may not be actually that far if you assume the thing first climbs up a couple range bands to a 'high place' before making a proclamation. On the ground that'd only be about short range if you're assuming that range bands are 3 dimensional, which I do (if all combat is on the ground it doesn't matter but if you've got aerial combattants or combat is happening under water then the distance you are vertically from an opponent is just as important as horizontally). Being able to make the proclamation to everyone you can see suggests a lot further than long range if you've got a good vantage point, though it also indicates that they're actually easy to block out: just avoid being in sight of one.


    Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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    • #3
      ...I can think of lots and lots of uses for this as a sorcerer. Lots and lots.


      I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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      • #4
        Sending one to “haunt” an opponent with unearthly moans or screams might be more feasible than summoning a ghost to do it for some sorcerers.


        ....

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        • #5
          Their perfect telepathic voice projection could be easily abused by players. I’d make it an attack like roll (linguiplus charisma) against resolve. Allowing a victim to spend a willpower to ignore them for a day and can permenantly shut them out after 3 attempts. Making repeated attempts by more than one just a single willpower to permenantly shut them all out.


          Craft rewrite.
          Twitter Handle: at maudova

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Maudova View Post
            Their perfect telepathic voice projection could be easily abused by players.
            In what way? Other than being less limited by distance, and your inability to just stop up your ears, it still follows all the regular rules for social influence. How is it abusable?

            Also, why Linguistics for the roll? Did you see the Lajhar as being particularly literate, or skilled at penmanship?
            Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 11-27-2018, 05:21 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
              Sending one to “haunt” an opponent with unearthly moans or screams might be more feasible than summoning a ghost to do it for some sorcerers.
              That would probably need to have the thing settled in or around the person's home, and with some circumstances that would prevent them from leaving; the sloth imagery and outright statement of them being slow moving doesn't seem conductive to a harassment campaign that would follow them around.

              Originally posted by Maudova View Post
              Their perfect telepathic voice projection could be easily abused by players. I’d make it an attack like roll (linguiplus charisma) against resolve. Allowing a victim to spend a willpower to ignore them for a day and can permenantly shut them out after 3 attempts. Making repeated attempts by more than one just a single willpower to permenantly shut them all out.
              That seems like it goes right in the other direction of making it far too easy to render them impotent. It kind of undercuts the image of them being a nuisance in the Demon City that its inhabitants can't really deal with. As something called by a summoner, I think the low movement speed makes for a decent part of handling them all on its own.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                In what way? Other than being less limited by distance, and your inability to just stop up your ears, it still follows all the regular rules for social influence. How is it abusable?

                Also, why Linguistics for the roll? Did you see the Lajhar as being particularly literate, or skilled at penmanship?
                Re: Why Ligusitics? They are delivering a message through non-personal means. Vs say manipulating them in a social gathering of through established social hierarchies (socialize), dazzling them with an emotionally packed, complex array of colors, gestures, movement, or poetry (performance), and definitely not through their personal power, convincing tone, and (presence). They are delivering it though a very impersonal sort of, I’m having a thought, sort of way. It’s kind of like when you read a book but haven’t given a haracter or sender a “voice” in your head, like reading an advertisement. It’s a blanket thought that’s clearly not your own.

                How is it abused? Set one up in town, long range is set by the target being barely perceivable visually, which can be close to a mile on a flat plane. This would hit everyone in an enemy camp, town, or fortress because its not actually based on line of site. How I would use this, get a trip of them together to “sing” terrible demon songs all day and night to prevent anyone from sleeping, suffering deprivation, and not being able to regain willpower. Since they can do this while
                Immaterial, they can just cling to something stupid and “haunt” a caravan on the move by staying someplace out of sight but stuck to something as it moves.


                Craft rewrite.
                Twitter Handle: at maudova

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Maudova View Post

                  Re: Why Ligusitics? They are delivering a message through non-personal means. Vs say manipulating them in a social gathering of through established social hierarchies (socialize), dazzling them with an emotionally packed, complex array of colors, gestures, movement, or poetry (performance), and definitely not through their personal power, convincing tone, and (presence). They are delivering it though a very impersonal sort of, I’m having a thought, sort of way. It’s kind of like when you read a book but haven’t given a haracter or sender a “voice” in your head, like reading an advertisement. It’s a blanket thought that’s clearly not your own.
                  I want to say that if it's a being's default method of communicating, it should just use any of the pools as appropriate, but I'd need to look back over which Solar Charms cover things like sign language.

                  I also want to say that if these things are made as quick characters, you can just give them a basic dice pool, and it doesn't matter what Abilities they're theoretically using in them, if any.

                  Originally posted by Maudova
                  How is it abused? Set one up in town, long range is set by the target being barely perceivable visually, which can be close to a mile on a flat plane. This would hit everyone in an enemy camp, town, or fortress because its not actually based on line of site. How I would use this, get a trip of them together to “sing” terrible demon songs all day and night to prevent anyone from sleeping, suffering deprivation, and not being able to regain willpower. Since they can do this while
                  Immaterial, they can just cling to something stupid and “haunt” a caravan on the move by staying someplace out of sight but stuck to something as it moves.
                  The Willpower recovery thing is one that I would agree needs a reference, but otherwise this seems no more abusive than setting a group of blood apes to kill a bunch of people.

                  Really, considering the description of their communication arising as a voiceless thought that occurs in your head that you can intuitively recognise as alien, I question whether it's really accurate to read it as something that can have controlled tone or volume for the sake of singing or shouting at people, or otherwise preventing them from falling asleep.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                  • #10
                    Updated the original post with QC stats.

                    Originally posted by Maudova View Post
                    Re: Why Ligusitics? They are delivering a message through non-personal means.
                    I seriously can't think of a means of message delivery more personal than implanting my thoughts or emotions directly into someone else's head in a fashion that bypasses distance and barriers. Heck, look at fiction that features psychic characters; are characters who get unwanted psychic contact from telepaths just annoyed, or is the emotional response rather more extreme?

                    Originally posted by Maudova View Post
                    How I would use this, get a trip of them together to “sing” terrible demon songs all day and night to prevent anyone from sleeping, suffering deprivation, and not being able to regain willpower.
                    When people are tired enough, they'll sleep. I've slept at concerts and action movies and sporting events; hell, I've slept when people were talking to me, when I was tired enough.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      Lajhar, the Silent Heralds

                      Essence:
                      3; Willpower: 8; Essence pool: 80 motes; Join Battle: 6 dice
                      Health Levels: -0/-1x4/-2x4/-4/Incap.
                      Actions:
                      Climb: 9 dice; Negotiate: 8 dice; Gossip: 11 dice; Rouse emotion: 7 dice; Foster ideas: 8 dice; Menace: 8 dice; Wheedle: 8 dice; Resist poison: 10 dice; Senses: 6 dice; Stealth: 8 dice; Swim: 8 dice;
                      Appearance 3 (Hideous), Resolve 3, Guile 5
                      I think you've broken out their communication abilities a bit too much. For instance, gossip sound like a subset of fostering ideas. In the case of gossip, you'd be creating rumours about an individual but it's still a kind of idea you're trying to foster. I'd do it closer along the lines of what you actually described them as doing. Like: Proclamations: 8 dice, Rumor Mongering: 10 dice, Intimidate: 8 Dice. Proclamations could cover rousing emotions, fostering ideas, warning of Yozi and passing info on from higher level demons etc. Rumor Mongering could include both spreading rumors and attempting to get info on other people aka wheedling. Intimidate is simply the terminology that other QC use. To me, having fewer, more general QC stats makes it easier to use an NPC.


                      Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                        For instance, gossip sound like a subset of fostering ideas.
                        I ran through the list of social actions and used a thesaurus to vary things up a bit; "Inspire" is a system term, yes, but it has a lot less to say about how the critter is going to try and use it.

                        (Plus, I as a player keep getting Instill and Inspire mixed up at the table.)

                        But I will switch "gossip" for "rumor mongering," thanks.
                        Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 11-28-2018, 04:25 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Would rumour mongering function mechanically as Instil actions of a particular type, that the Lahjar has with a higher pool because they're better at it than the regular type?


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the main issue is that it can climb a spire somewhere and just hang out up there immaterial yelling in people’s brains and barring a few specific effects, there’s next to nothing anyone can do about it. I think it might be better if it had to materialize to do that, so that it’s not an infallible effect. If you feel that makes it too weak, give it some camouflage or armor or something so it can contest attempts to stop it without just no selling them.


                            ....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              Would rumour mongering function mechanically as Instil actions of a particular type, that the Lahjar has with a higher pool because they're better at it than the regular type?
                              Yes.

                              Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                              I think the main issue is that it can climb a spire somewhere and just hang out up there immaterial yelling in people’s brains and barring a few specific effects, there’s next to nothing anyone can do about it.
                              They can leave. They can ask their local god - the one that spends most of its time dematerialized anyway - to do something. They can convince it to just go away; its Resolve is only 3, after all.

                              But since so many of you seem to feel it's a problem, maybe you can shut it out for as long as it stays dematerialized once you spend a Willpower to resist it - would that fix it, in your opinion?

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