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Dex Davican's Deathlord

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  • #16
    (thrusts microphone in Dex's face)

    Do you have any intention of writing up the other Deathlords, sir? Is there any truth to the rumors that you're working on an original Deathlord? Finally, can you please repost the guidelines to DL format writeups you once posted here?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
      Except, for whatever reason, the Abyssal book implies that she's not a former Lunar, rather than staying silent on the topic. It's a little annoying. "She regularly shapeshifts, hunts, has complexes about motherhood and evolution, and pursues primarily biological and nonstandard means of annihilation, but, you know, Solars or whatever. Don't feel pressured to include Lunars in your game in any way, ST's."

      Which is why I cheerfully ignore that section that says the Deathlord focused on shapeshifting, hunting, evolution, etc is a Solar and totally not a bug fuck insane Lunar Ghost[1].


      [1]My headcanon is that her thing with Shoat of the Mire is a twisted attempt not to create a perfect Abyssal killing machine(although that would be a nice side benefit) but an attempt to recreate/replace the daughter she lost in the Usurpation, who Exalted as a Dawn Caste baring the mated Shard to the Dowager's own Lunar Exaltation and who probably died futility trying to protect her mother from all of the Dragonblooded trying to burninate her, further exhasperating her fixation on Shoat and her Exaltation(which, of course, is the Dowager's daughter's Exaltation[2] transformed into an Abyssal),

      [2] Unless it isn't.



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      • #18
        Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
        (thrusts microphone in Dex's face)

        Do you have any intention of writing up the other Deathlords, sir? Is there any truth to the rumors that you're working on an original Deathlord? Finally, can you please repost the guidelines to DL format writeups you once posted here?
        1) I do, though it's been a while since I've designed stuff for 2E, so I'm a little out of practice. First priority is on finishing editing of my portfolio, which has been incredibly slow-going.

        2) Yes. My game heavily features such a Deathlord, and I intend to write him up. But my game has been hiatus for a couple years now, so it hasn't been exactly pressing. His title is Harbinger of Lost Hope, and it's been heavily implied in-game that he was once a Sidereal. In retrospect, the name is a little too on-the-nose, but I hadn't played more than one session of Exalted at the time that I invented him.

        (I assume these "rumors" are a joke, though if people do happen to whisper about what wonders I might conceive of, I'm okay with that.)

        3) Sure.

        Deathlord Template

        Anima Effect: Give the Deathlord a Solar or Solar-tier anima. Feel free to make one up.

        Motivation: Something that implicitly or explicitly supports the Void.

        Intimacies: Ideally at least one from living days.

        Fetters: Neverborn 5, any others that are appropriate.

        Attributes: Make some up in the 6-8 range. If Essence 8, one non-physical Attribute should be 9. If Essence 9 or 10, one non-physical Attribute should be 10. After you've arranged the Attributes, add 3 or 4 to all Physical Attributes.

        Abilities: Choose one Attribute to be rated 9 (if Essence 8) or 10 (if Essence 9 or 10). List Abilities alphabetically according to next-highest rating (e.g. one at 10, three at 9, 6 at 8). Include flavorful Specialties. All unimportant Abilities are rated 6.

        Backgrounds:
        Whispers = Essence rating
        Allies 1-3 x _____ (Deathknights)
        Use Wealth instead of Resources--in fact, use DotFA Backgrounds when possible.

        List important Artifacts/Manses
        Probably some Savant.
        Probably at least one custom-made Artifact that provides an important and terrifying power not provided by their Charms.

        Virtues (Passions): These work like for ghosts.

        Willpower: Probably 10.

        Essence: 8-10
        Mote pools: As described in MoEP: Abyssals

        Deathlord Innate Powers:
        Celestial Circle Sorcery
        Command the Dead: 5m in Creation, 0 in Shadowland or Underworld, works for Scene, Reflexive, Action-only.
        Echo of Former Glory: The Deathlord Combos as a Celestial Exalt while in the Underworld or in a Shadowland. In Creation, he must pay one temporary Willpower per action in which he wishes to Combo.
        Eyes of Oblivion: 2m, Reflexive, Action-only, mortals die, Heroic mortals can roll Essence to retain Dying HL. If used in Underworld or Shadowland, the ghost must serve for 1k days.
        Feed on the Dead: 0m, Reflexive, nearby ghost loses 1 permanent Essence, Bodhisattva gains 3m.
        Labyrinth Circle Necromancy
        Mutable Form: 10m, 1wp, Misc Action.

        Panoply Charms of the Deathlord: The Deathlord has 10 normally, usually with thematic names. Some Deathlords might have 9 or 11, if they're weird. Examples follow, sometimes with boilerplate text.

        The Excellency(required): This Charm functions as the First, Second and Third Excellencies for all actions intended to support DEATHLORD'S Motivation, to follow any commands of the Neverborn, or to PERFORM SPECIFIC THEMATIC ACTION. DEATHLORD uses the dice cap for Spirits for this Charm. If he channels willpower on the roll, all extra dice or successes from Charms are doubled. This Charm functions as an innate power in the Underworld, a Combo-OK Charm in shadowlands, and cannot be used at all in Creation.
        Improved Form (optional): This Charm improves the use of the Mutable Form power, or provides a unique form. Similar Charms could exist to improve other innate Deathlord powers.
        Void Circle Necromancy (optional): Permanent. Like all Deathlords that possess a similar Panoply Charm, DEATHLORD has access to Void Circle Necromancy, and may learn and create new spells appropriate to his themes, which include THEMES. Such spells include: SPELLS. Several Deathlords have access to versions of this Charm--DEATHLORD has the unique advantage of (an innate power that improves the Deathlord's use of or access to Necromancy).
        Willpower Enhancement (required): Permanent. This Charm grants DEATHLORD a bonus pool of WP that can only be spent in order to support his Motivation, to PERFORM ONE OR TWO THEMATIC ACTIONS, or to fuel Necromancy. This bonus pool's maximum is equal to his permanent Essence. DEATHLORD regains one WP per scene in which he REWARDING ACTION, and one WP after any action in which he personally killed one or more living characters (NOTE: if Deathlord is particularly combat-savvy, consider making this "living heroic characters" instead). He may not naturally regain WP in any other fashion save for cult worship--channeling Virtues no longer performs this service. As an additional, permanent effect, DEATHLORD is incapable of possessing any Motivation that does not serve Oblivion or the Neverborn.

        Unkillability (required): Permanent. As a defense, DEATHLORD cannot be permanently slain except by WEAKNESS. If killed in any fashion other than the methods outlined above, DEATHLORD loses one permanent Willpower (or two if killed with a spirit-killing Charm) and reforms at the Mouth of the Void over the course of a year--if this would bring him to 0 permanent WP, he instead requires a century to reform with 1 permanent WP. As a stop-gap effect to his final dissolution, no single physical attack may deal more levels of damage to him than would be required to take him to his next level of wound penalty.

        Addendum 1: If appropriate to the Deathlord's weakness, his defensive Charms all cost double when used against his weakness.
        Addendum 2: If the Deathlord's other defenses are weak, this Charm may also provide temporary or permanent immunity to certain other effects. Example: He may spend one wp to perfectly resist the effects of (three keywords you choose when designing him--Shaping is generally a good choice).

        Perfect Defense (required): This should make for a good boss fight, and its Flaw should probably support some of the insane or terrifying behavior of the Deathlord. This is too unique to provide much guidance for--consider the Bishop's Flaw, which caused him to become obsessed with proving opponents wrong/destroying their Intimacies. Unless the Deathlord has a different social PD, this PD should probably pull double duty for social and physical alike. This should cost at least 15m, and there should be tick- and/or action-long options.

        The Chain (required): Permanent. This Charm provides little in the way of direct benefits for DEATHLORD--it is the leash that binds him irrevocably to the will of his Neverborn master/mistress. Every Deathlord has a unique version of this Charm which provides several permanent effects. DEATHLORD's are as follows: First, it allows him (rather, forces him) to exceed the normal cap on the Whispers Background, granting him automatic dots in it equal to his Essence. Second, it binds DEATHLORD to the Underworld--every minute that he spends in Creation deals him a level of unsoakable Aggravated damage, which cannot be defended against by DEATHLORD's own Charms (except for the insulative effects of SPECIFIC, SITUATIONAL CHARM) or be healed by any means until he returns to the Underworld or to a Shadowland. Third, if he is permanently destroyed, [some unique side-effect of the Deathlord's destruction occurs, and the Deathlord himself is annihilated forever due to his ties to the Void. Side-effects shouldn't make PC's regret having won, but can be used as story seeds.]


        Other Charms: Assuming you use all of the above Charms, you have three slots remaining. These are wild-cards, but should be on par with Solar or Abyssal Charms one or two dots lower than the Deathlord's Essence rating. They can be actual Solar or Abyssal Charms. They can be permanent or normally usable. Generally, Deathlords should have strong incentives not to walk across Creation and conquer or destroy it personally. Appropriate powers include, but are not limited to: internal or insight-based powers; subtle powers that are most effective when used long-term; horrifying social magic; blatant powers that make them vulnerable; and mass powers better suited to affecting armies than fighting PC's.

        Arcanoi: Many, including some DEATHLORD has created himself. He particularly favors APPROPRIATE ARCANOI GROUPS, and has high-Essence Arcanoi in each art. He ignores the minimum Virtue requirements for all Arcanoi.

        Martial Arts: 2-6. Can include SMA, though this is rare, and probably doesn't exceed the Form.

        Corpus Levels: Take normal HL, add a number of Solar Ox-Bodies that feel appropriate to you (probably 2-5 in most cases). Multiply final result by 5 (e.g. -0x1 -> -0x5).


        ‚ÄčIn case it's not clear, deviating from the template is encouraged--I think fully half of my Deathlords had 11 Panoply Charms, and the Princess had a slightly nonstandard Excellency. Also, if the balance point of the Deathlord template doesn't work for you, change it: make it harder for them to Combo, or reduce their massive resources. If you want your Deathlords to be defeated via duel, rather than via Circle gang-up, remove their shared damage-limiting power. I don't really recommend changing their weaknesses, for the most part, since those weaknesses are generally designed to interact with their powers in an interesting fashion.

        I'd be glad to answer any other questions, too.

        (Wow, this text box is glitchy as hell, isn't it?)


        Hey, check out my first original RPG, Post-Mortem, here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/307131/PostMortem

        Or read my Exalted novella The Silence of Our Ancestors here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...looded-Novella

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Nervaqus987 View Post


          Which is why I cheerfully ignore that section that says the Deathlord focused on shapeshifting, hunting, evolution, etc is a Solar and totally not a bug fuck insane Lunar Ghost[1].


          [1]My headcanon is that her thing with Shoat of the Mire is a twisted attempt not to create a perfect Abyssal killing machine(although that would be a nice side benefit) but an attempt to recreate/replace the daughter she lost in the Usurpation, who Exalted as a Dawn Caste baring the mated Shard to the Dowager's own Lunar Exaltation and who probably died futility trying to protect her mother from all of the Dragonblooded trying to burninate her, further exhasperating her fixation on Shoat and her Exaltation(which, of course, is the Dowager's daughter's Exaltation[2] transformed into an Abyssal),

          [2] Unless it isn't.
          Nice. You've clearly given her some thought.


          Hey, check out my first original RPG, Post-Mortem, here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/307131/PostMortem

          Or read my Exalted novella The Silence of Our Ancestors here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...looded-Novella

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
            Nice. You've clearly given her some thought.
            Yeah, a while ago I was slatted to be playing Shoat in a game and ended up doing a lot of thinking on her and the Dowager, what their relationship was like and the why's behind it. Unfortunately, something came up IRL for the ST and the game never even took off. But I kept thinking on her and my headcanon continued to form.

            She's not just Necromantic Undead Granny Goodness. She's Necromantic Undead Granny Goodness/Precia Testarossa.

            She's utterly focused on what she feels is bringing her dead daughter back to life. She's set up her orphanage system to help her ween through potentials to find those most like her dead daughter. The ones that survive, but aren't chosen are released to have their own children, one of whom may come close), and the ones that are chosen are given personal attention by the Dowager. The one that she thinks is closest to her daughter get's the Exaltation and becomes Shoat of the Mire, and the rest are either killed or released, depending on the Dowager's mood.

            After she picks the latest Shoat, the Dowager tries to force her to be exactly like her daughter. Or rather, like the idealized image of her daughter that the Dowager has. That usually goes about as well as can be expected and the current Shoat(if she doesn't run away) usually dies when she fails to live up to the Dowager's expectations. Or displays a quirk that her daughter didn't have. Or doesn't have a quirk her daughter had. Or does something with the wrong hand.

            The Dowager is a bit of a perfectionist and really hates it when something goes wrong.


            In a way, she's also like the Eye and Seven Despairs. Out of all of the other Deathlords, they're the ones most focused on the personal scale, the Dowager with Shoat and her orphanage and the Eye with his former circle and their reincarnations. They both only really care about other things in as much as it relates to themselves and their focus. And they both turn up something horrifically deadly almost on accident. The only difference is that the Dowager successfully released the Contagion and killed 9/10 of everything, whereas the Eye has misplaced his zombie plague(and other assorted Doomsday devices[1]).

            I also see them both as part of the faction of Deathlords that, while still semi-actively trying to destroy the world, would still jump all over a method of being free of the Neverborn if they happened across one, but they don't actively look for a way out.


            [1] I always picture the Eye as being like Professor Farnsworth and having just a wall full of doomsday devices[2] somewhere in the Cold House.
            [2] Most of which he's forgotten what they're actually supposed to do.



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            • #21
              Yep! her writeup has her pondering if the well of udr could free her from the neverborn but they just laugh at that idea.

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              • #22
                "You want one of my apocalypse plans?

                I suppose I could give up one of them and still be feared ..."

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