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Near Realm experiences (for storytellers and players)

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  • Near Realm experiences (for storytellers and players)

    What near realm experiences have you had?

    How did you describe your near realm and how did the characters react to the journey and the arrival?

    I currently have players in Pangea , so I'll be honest Im kinda wondering how other people present Pangea and use it , but Im really interested in the other realms and how they actually worked in yalls games.

    Im pretty sure my Ratkin group is going to use rite of the bolthole to get lost throughout the Umbra and start hopping through realms So any input is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
    What near realm experiences have you had?
    Lots. As a player, I've had characters in the Abyss, the Scar, Erebus, Pangea, the Arcadian Gateway and the Flux off the top of my head.
    As a ST, I've had PCs in a bunch of the Near Realms at some point. I think the only ones I haven't done are Atrocity Realm, Malfeas, Summer Country and Wolf Home. My favorite Realm by far is Pangea, followed by the CyberRealm, the Flux and the Arcadian Gateway. I've run characters through those 3 more than a few times.

    Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
    How did you describe your near realm and how did the characters react to the journey and the arrival?
    I can get back to this one when I have more time.

    Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
    I currently have players in Pangea , so I'll be honest Im kinda wondering how other people present Pangea and use it, but Im really interested in the other realms and how they actually worked in yalls games.
    Without getting into more detail at the moment, this place is described as fairly primal. The weather is unpredictable and intense. The predators tend to be larger and more deadly. The environment varies a lot though based on what region the characters are in. Pangea houses every biome we've ever had, and generally to a more mythic degree (imo). So trees loom far overhead. Jungles are sweltering. Canyons suffer flashfloods with little warning. Mammoths roam the hills. That sort of thing. (this is especially jarring for city characters) Have fun with it and don't feel bound at all by scientific consensus of what animals should be found where if you don't want to be. I have vegetation grow over at a very fast pace, leaving trails impossible to follow after a few hours. And even if you don't want to feature the Dragon of Pangea, you can always have it fly over where the players are on its way to do something else. The players should know that regardless of their rank or skill, they are not the apex predators in this Realm.

    Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
    Im pretty sure my Ratkin group is going to use rite of the bolthole to get lost throughout the Umbra and start hopping through realms So any input is greatly appreciated.
    Interestingly, it never occurred to me to use the Rite of the Bolthole that way. For my Ratkin characters, I generally used it as a shortcut across the physical realm and to construct a Stairway Realm for me to hide out in (that took a few weeks straight of trying before I finally got it).
    Have fun with the Realm hopping. One of the best things about STing Umbral adventures is that you can get away with more....outlandish stuff. Pangea is really fun for the unexpected creatures you can have the PCs encounter. A lot of the Realms have some interesting rules that you can play with. And don't worry if you forget about something (like the Flux' constant shapeshifting). The Realm rules are there to enhance the fun. And if you don't like any particular one, just gloss over it.



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    • #3
      I don't remember the terms for everything exactly , but when my ratkin group boltholed to pangea they have this fetish bag that allows them to store far too much shit , which consequently involved lots of military weapons they stole. They used grenades to scare away a Carnosaur that was eating. After they deterred the dino , they tried to "peek" across the gauntlet. That left me stuck on how to describe that the peeking didn't work. I had a brain fart. I also had a brain fart on if the mundane weapons would work in pangea but said fuck it to keep the game moving.

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      • #4
        They then decided to eat the carnosaurs baby while the engineer ratkin foraged for a side dish and ended up finding a potato like root that he decided to turn into a tazer (with some leftover wires and batteries from a stereo)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
          I don't remember the terms for everything exactly , but when my ratkin group boltholed to pangea they have this fetish bag that allows them to store far too much shit , which consequently involved lots of military weapons they stole. They used grenades to scare away a Carnosaur that was eating. After they deterred the dino , they tried to "peek" across the gauntlet. That left me stuck on how to describe that the peeking didn't work. I had a brain fart. I also had a brain fart on if the mundane weapons would work in pangea but said fuck it to keep the game moving.
          So yea, tech doesn't normally work in Pangea. So that evens things out a lot. And you can just have it stop working if you want, and gloss over the fact that it worked earlier. Umbral rules can be weird that way (and will be a hell of a surprise for them if they try that tactic again). And there is no Gauntlet (that I remember) so peeking just doesn't seem to work, which will be weird for them but later on they can encounter a spirit in the "material world" there, which may or may not explain things for them.

          Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
          They then decided to eat the carnosaurs baby while the engineer ratkin foraged for a side dish and ended up finding a potato like root that he decided to turn into a tazer (with some leftover wires and batteries from a stereo)
          I would rule that the tazer didn't work either. Fairly minor though.

          There are also the tribesmen of the Realm which are oddities. I seem to remember feral cannibals armed with silver weapons (thanks to banes) and snake headed river tribes. I've also used the headless giants from one of the "Rage Across" books as a rarer indigenous people. They can go toe to toe with Garou Crinos.



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          • #6
            I forgot about those headless things!!!! gracias senor!


            In the next Pangean episode the Ratpack decided to interfere with two packs of velociraptors who were posturing for territory and access to a creek. Unfortunately they started blasting everything in sight to my dismay. Ill have to tell you how I tried to curb their use of mundane tech in a minute , work calls.

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            • #7
              Pangaea is a great place to find ephemeral species that have gone extinct. I once had a short game where a bunch of Garou researchers went to Pangaea in order to trap, convert, and exhibit members of extinct dinosaur species (using a combination of techniques to transform ephemeral life into biological life). They made their own Jurassic Park in order to get venture capitalists interested in their 'cloning' process instead of alternative cloning processes done by Pentex or the Union. They were assisted by a group of Mystical Traditions and a motley of Nockers.

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              • #8
                Oh man so many places! I seem to keep on taking my different groups to Arcadia, just seemed a like a fun random place to take folks, and its always fun to have people talk to goats about crossing bridges, or stumble upon candy houses. The Aetherial realm and Planets are places I really wanted to have my groups explore more of. And I always wanted to have them explore the Mages Astral realm, like that super physics museum.

                But Wolfhome was...interesting, kind of a more primal 80's animated movie.

                Cyber Realm and Scar were good sources for getting folks into mischief without the outright, oh crap we are in Malfeas.

                Oh I had a group go to the Battleground realm to practice a battle with a Vampire Prince, Big Juicy, who gave them a tough fight.

                Along with the Planets I really would love to have done more with Pangea... that place really stirred my imagination!

                I love the Umbra, the Umbra Revised is probably in my top five whitewolf books because of the sheer awe it incited in me.

                It was too difficult for low rank shifters go to the Tribal homelands though for my group.

                I also seemed to enjoy exploring the concept of mystical dimension hopping train. So basically I expanded upon the Midnight Express and had a Spirit train that travelled through Dreams, that was actually how I started a Scion game.


                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                Pangea is a great place to find ephemeral species that have gone extinct. I once had a short game where a bunch of Garou researchers went to Pangea in order to trap, convert, and exhibit members of extinct dinosaur species (using a combination of techniques to transform ephemeral life into biological life). They made their own Jurassic Park in order to get venture capitalists interested in their 'cloning' process instead of alternative cloning processes done by Pentex or the Union. They were assisted by a group of Mystical Traditions and a motley of Nockers.
                That sounds awesome!


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  It was fairly insane. Each player had three characters: one Changeling, one Garou, and one Mage, and we rotated which group was PC and NPC each week. Players got to advise me on how I played their characters when I played them as NPCs..

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                    Pangaea is a great place to find ephemeral species that have gone extinct. I once had a short game where a bunch of Garou researchers went to Pangaea in order to trap, convert, and exhibit members of extinct dinosaur species (using a combination of techniques to transform ephemeral life into biological life). They made their own Jurassic Park in order to get venture capitalists interested in their 'cloning' process instead of alternative cloning processes done by Pentex or the Union. They were assisted by a group of Mystical Traditions and a motley of Nockers.
                    haha thats bad ass , I like taking movies and incorporating them into a game, makes being a storyteller a little easier with a full time life y'know. Man just one time I'd like to be a player....

                    ok enough whining (on my part)

                    Idpersona- so The rat pack kept using weaver shit to explore and violate pangea and Ill be honest it was bothering me and making me feel like a shit storyteller. So After they decimated the raptors , they took refuge in a nearby cave when I told them that they spotted a circular beacon of light deep in the lightless cave and the smell of greasy noodles was wafting through the "hole". Long story short , they nervously one by one investigate and go into the hole (which close behind them) and find themselves trapped in a parody of their earthly home " the chinatown subway system" only here in this " fake chinatown subway system" everything was too clean too perfect too orderly too polite. no graffiti on the train except for caveman paintings. Long story short I informed them through the game that their repetitive incessant use of weaver tools to violate and harm the inhabitants of pangea invited a cancer to grow just on the " skin " of pangea.

                    They were now trapped in this weaver cyst along with other inhabitants of pangea (that were being captured by pattern spiders taking the form of federal/spiritual border patrol, and spun into the cancer to solidify the weaver cyst more to the realm of pangea.......like spiritual super glue) The ratkin decided they needed to commit horrible destabilizing acts in the " city and subway" to shred the cancers hold on pangea....it took two game sessions for them to really panic and try to find a way out but I think they caught the hint. They started to pay more attention to the details of the game after that and all was good.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
                      Idpersona- so The rat pack kept using weaver shit to explore and violate pangea and Ill be honest it was bothering me and making me feel like a shit storyteller. So After they decimated the raptors , they took refuge in a nearby cave when I told them that they spotted a circular beacon of light deep in the lightless cave and the smell of greasy noodles was wafting through the "hole". Long story short , they nervously one by one investigate and go into the hole (which close behind them) and find themselves trapped in a parody of their earthly home " the chinatown subway system" only here in this " fake chinatown subway system" everything was too clean too perfect too orderly too polite. no graffiti on the train except for caveman paintings. Long story short I informed them through the game that their repetitive incessant use of weaver tools to violate and harm the inhabitants of pangea invited a cancer to grow just on the " skin " of pangea.

                      They were now trapped in this weaver cyst along with other inhabitants of pangea (that were being captured by pattern spiders taking the form of federal/spiritual border patrol, and spun into the cancer to solidify the weaver cyst more to the realm of pangea.......like spiritual super glue) The ratkin decided they needed to commit horrible destabilizing acts in the " city and subway" to shred the cancers hold on pangea....it took two game sessions for them to really panic and try to find a way out but I think they caught the hint. They started to pay more attention to the details of the game after that and all was good.
                      That's an interesting way to have handled it. Somewhat overcomplicated, but sounds like great fun. Seems to take inspiration (at least in my perception) from Princess Mononoke and the iron cancer in the boars.
                      That's really the point though. Being in the Umbra opens up all kinds of unorthodox shenanigans you can get away with as a ST. Have fun with it.

                      Off the Pangea topic, the CyberRealm is great for running future-tech Shadowrun/Blade Runner stories. So that opens up a whole other type of story you can write. Could be lots of fun for Ratkin characters.
                      Erebus has the whole venture into hell, seek redemption for a fallen ally/enemy story you can do.
                      Arcadia is just great fun all around (as is the Legendary Realm). I had a troupe run across an Elder (2000 year old) Malkavian that got lost and ended up "living" in the unseelie side of the Arcadian Gateway. My players ended up liking the character so much, they would go back to visit him for advice once or twice again during that Chronicle. Queen Marianna scared the hell out of them. Good times.


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                      • #12
                        Ive gotta watch that movie. I keep reading about it on this forum

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                        • #13
                          The CyberRealm is really dangerous though because many of the ephemeral inhabitants are no joke. Some of them are capable of taking on HitMarks. Of course, Ratkin are probably not going to be looking for fair fights, and it is a great place to steal WeaverTech.

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                          • #14
                            I'd really like if my p[layers took their rats to cyber realm. Im intimidated by it to be honest.

                            I also can't wrap my head around the flux realm no matter how much I read it in different books. I wouldn't even know how to present it without feeling silly.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
                              I'd really like if my p[layers took their rats to cyber realm. Im intimidated by it to be honest.

                              I also can't wrap my head around the flux realm no matter how much I read it in different books. I wouldn't even know how to present it without feeling silly.
                              For the Flux, read up on D&D's the Abyss for inspiration. It's the Chaotic Nuetral plane. Certainly not a perfect equivalent, but might be useful.

                              For the CyberRealm, think of any gritty sci-fi story and run that. Like I said, Blade Runner is good inspiration. Demolition Man could take place in uptown. Judge Dredd (the new one, not the old one) could be good for Downtown. Something like the Raid or Punisher (the second one) and good stories for Old Town.

                              I had my players fight Hit Marks (close enough anyways) in Uptown when they were discovered. I just ran them as terminators. The PCs ended up knocking it off the building, only to have it get up and begin climbing after them. Actually... Terminator 1 and 2 are more good stories to use.

                              Again, just have fun with it. Your engineer can pick up a tech Fetish or 2. Give the players enough rope to hang themselves 😁

                              Oh, you can even do Matrix style quests using the CyberRealm's access to the Computer Web. Players might want to go this route for digging up info on enemies.
                              Last edited by idpersona; 02-03-2017, 11:29 PM.


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