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Jackals [Zombie mini template]

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  • Jackals [Zombie mini template]

    They were given many names through the ages- they were known as ghuls in the deserts of Arabia and preta in the jungles of India, jikininki in the islands of Japan and wendigo in the great plains of North America. Nowadays, they are usually known as zombies- even though they dislike that name, as it immediately makes one think about shambling corpses which search to eat human brains, something they (usually) don't do. They, especially during modern times, they prefer to use a much more "neutral" name of themselves, something which doesn't put other people on an immediate alarm and try to blow their head with a gun.

    They call themselves Jackals.

    Jackals are more of a phenomena than an actual breed, something which happens when the dead, well, don't stay dead. The change is usually immediate- the victim is hit by a car but somehow survive the harsh accident. A murderer stab their victims a number of times, with each stab should be fatal- but my a miracle, the victim lives. A fatal illness has brought the patient to seemingly death- only for them to somehow come back to life, leaving no sign of their sickness behind. Any examination of their vital signs would show that nothing is wrong, and that, somehow, a person who should have died has managed to cheat death.

    Or perhaps, Death was the one to cheat.

    The main difference between Jackals and the other undead creatures is that, on the surface, they are not dead- their bodies function just as normal on the surface, and even a shallow occult examination would not show any signs of death either. On the other hand, unlike Sin Eaters and Abmortals, they are not truly alive either- the facade of life is just a mask, that's all. The body keeps functioning, but not because it is alive- but because something keeps it moving, some power keeps constantly pumping the heart and sending electricity through the nerves and operate all the systems, but they aren't alive- they are just a well maintained corpse which can sleep, drink, do drugs, fuck and eat.

    And it should eat. Eating is the most important thing.

    Some time after their death, the new Jackal would start feel what they call the Craving. A need unlike any other they have known before, similar to the one vampires feel when they need blood- only so much more. Unlike a thirst for blood, the Craving is a degenerating effect- it consumes both the mind and the body of the Jackal in order to gain sustenance from it. The Craving is similar to being stuck 3 miles under water with no oxygen, or running for ten hours without drinking water. The thing is, that the Jackals are creatures of death, and that they need death in order to survive- and the fresher the better. And there is only one way to gain that death.

    From eating the dead- and if there aren't enough dead bodies around, there is nothing to stop them from making a few more.

    Mechanics

    Jackals are treated as a micro template based around the Sarcophagus merit. Every Jackal starts with one dot of Sarcophagus for free, and it grants the following benefits and drawbacks-

    Sarcophagus (0-00000)
    prerequisites: mortal, character creation only

    Sarcophagus- the flesh eating stone, the preserver of the face of the dead while they are devoured by death. Sarcophagus represents how well the dead body of the Jackal looks alive. Having even only one Sarcophagus dot gives the Jackal three automatic benefits- first, no mundane examination would reveal that the Jackal's body is in fact dead. Second, the Jackal does not suffer from wound penalties, as their body is actually a corpse. Finally, the Jackal may now consume any amount of meat without suffering from a negative consequences- something which is important, considering the Craving.

    In addition to those immediate benefits, Sarcophagus has a number of benefits based around its actual rating. First, it is used as a Supernatural Tolerance trait, with a rating equal to that of the merit. The effect is even stronger when used to block attempts to discern the Jackal's true nature- any effect which tries to discover whether the Jackal is not a regular human suffers from -1 modifier per dot in Sarcophagus. That modifier turns into -3 in case the effect tries to check if the Jackal is alive or dead. This includes both active effects and passive effects, such as Unseen Senses, Mage Sight or the feelings of Kinship a Beast may feel toward them. They do not age, however, which is something may draw more attention than the Jackals wish it have.

    In an addition, Sarcophagus allows the Jackal to gain access to the forces of death itself, called Necrosis. Each Jackal has a Necrosis pool equal to [Sarcophagus]. Regaining Necrosis requires the Jackal to feast upon the dead, with 20 pounds of flesh being translated into 1 Necrosis. Feeding upon a living being, however, refill the whole Necrosis pool- but the Jackal has to devour most (if not all) of the person. The victim must die in the process, or else there is no death to feed upon. That is, of course, a Breaking Point with a [Composure - 6] modifier (feasting upon the dead, however, is not a Breaking Point. Murdering someone and only then eating them is, of course, but as long as the devouring takes place only after the act and not while preforming it, the Jackal does not suffer from the modifier- but they also don't regain the Necrosis).

    Jackals may spend Necrosis in a number of ways- first, for healing. Each point of Necrosis may heal one point of Lethal Damage. Another use for Necrosis is enhancing the Jackal's body or abilities, which works just as if the Jackal spent a Willpower point to a three die bonus or +2 for Resistance trait. Finally, the Jackal may spend Necrosis in order to activate their own set of powers, known as Tachrichim. Jackals may spend one Necrosis per turn.

    While there are benefits for being a Jackal (like, still functioning after death), there is one big Drawback to such existence- the Craving.

    The Craving

    The Craving is the need the Jackals has for death- the greater the Craving, the more desperate the need. Unlike Sarcophagus, the Craving is not an independent trait, but a quality based around the Integrity trait. The higher the Jackal's Integrity, the weaker the Craving- but maintaining such a mental strength in the world of monsters and horror is easier said than done, not to mention that if the Craving goes unfulfilled, it would quickly devour the Jackal's mind.

    The Craving of the Jackal dictates how much time can pass without the Jackal feeding upon death. With Integrity of 8-10, the Jackal can survive for an whole month without eating the dead. At Integrity 7-6, however, the time periods drastically shorten to once per week. 5-4 force the Jackal to feast once every 3 days, 3-2 once every day and Integrity of 1 means the Jackal has to eat once every hour. Each time the Jackal does not fulfill their their Craving, they automatically suffer from a Breaking Point. In a case of a failure, the Jackal gain an extension for their Craving equal to their new Integrity score. If they succeed, they have 1 hour to feast before suffering from another Breaking Point, this time with a -1 modifier. That modifier is stacked. Once a Jackal hits Integrity of 1 and suffer from a Breaking Point, their mind completely shatters and they become mindless corpses- they technically turn into a part of the Horde, and are drawn into each other in order to create a swarm of living dead (something which disturbs the Jackals, as they lack such sense while maintaining their conscious).

    Well Maintained Corpses

    While they may look, feel and act alive, the truth is that the Jackals are simply walking corpses which forgot to stay dead- and everyone knows, when you die the soul moves on, even if the body keeps on moving. All Jackals suffer from a modified version of the Soulless Condition, which increase their chances for Integrity lose. Trying to remove that Condition (for example, by stuffing a soul into them using Awakened magic) would require a Clash of Wills from the side of the Jackal, and would end with the Jackal's death if successful.

    The difference between the the regular Soulless Condition and the one the Jackals suffer from is as the follows-

    - Jackals are not more susceptible for being possessed any more than any other person

    - fulfilling a Vice is still a Breaking Point, but it is penalized by their Sarcophagus instead of by automatic 5. In an addition, they do not treat seeing the supernatural as a Breaking Point (if it wasn't obvious), and they enjoy +2 modifier for violence based Breaking Point (excluding eating people alive).

    - as an outcome of their non stable psych, once per Chapter, if less than an hour per [Composure] has passed since the Breaking Point, the Jackal may participate in a "therapy talk" in which they must expose themselves and their feelings about the subject before another individual. The act must be one which makes the Jackal vulnerable before the other person. If they manage to do so, they gain another re roll for their Breaking Point with a -1 modifier (in addition to the original modifier). The ST has the permission to approve to deny such a re roll depends on their judgement of the situation, the nature of the Breaking Point and the way the player roll play their "confession".

    Powers and Banes

    The Jackals usually refer to their powers as Tachrichim- the shrouds used in Jewish burial to hide the faces of the dead. Like those funereal items, the powers of the Jackals hang upon their dead body, shreds of death which enhance their corpse and allow them inhuman abilities.

    For each new dot in Sarcophagus, the Jackal gains a new Tachrich. Jackals may develop more Tachrichim above their normal limit by buying them as Merits, but each such new power also force a single Bane. Activating a Tachrich requires a single Necrosis and lasts for a Scene, during which the Jackal's supernatural nature is revealed to all- skin changes colour, the body turns stiff and white-blue, eyes become pitch black or pure white. Those changes are equivalent to a Catastrophic glitch, even though they lack the mechanical aesthetics and replace it with a macabre one.

    The list of possible Tachrichim is as the follows-

    Autonomous Parts- the Jackal may separate a part of their own body and allow it to move on its own. That power may be bought a number of times (up to five) at which the Jackal may have a similar number of independent organs in the same time (even though it rise the Necrosis cost by 1 per such organ). Each time the Jackal separates a new organ, they suffer from a point of Lethal Damage, which may not be healed as long as the organ is detached from their body. Destroying the organ would force the Jackal to heal the damage through Necrosis spending, and stealing a similar organ from another corpse to act as replacement.

    Dancing Plague- that dread power allows the Jackal to force another soul to the ranks of the living dead, existing to serve its maker. The Tachrich is rated 1-4, with each dot allowing the Jackal to more easily influence a dead corpse. At 1 dot, the Jackal needs to personally kill the target. At 2 dots, they need to bite them. At 3 dots, they need them to be killed by any other Jackal. At 4 points, they just need to see the dead body in question. The revived body rises as a member of the Horde, and serves the Jackal for a scene before it dies once more. The rise in rating increase the Necrosis cost needed to activate the power.

    Death's Voice- the Jackals all host Death inside their body, and they can release its scream to banish life from the world. Any living being which directly hear the scream roll for [Resolve]+[Composure] against the Jackal's [Sarcophagus]+[Manipulation]. If the Jackal wins, they suffer from the Shaken Condition, and lose a Willpower point.

    Shadow Cloaking- the Jackals can call upon their own death to hide themselves from the occult abilities of their enemies. They gain a +1 modifier to resist any supernatural ability, such as Disciplines, Gifts, etc.

    ​Pack Instinct- Jackals are social beings, and some Scavengers have learned how to utilize those bonds of death even further. That power is rated 1-4, with every dot the Necrosis cost rise by 1. When activating this power, the Jackal may establish a telepathic bond with any other Jackal in a distance of 10 miles, with the number of simultaneous bonds being equal to the power's rating.

    Upon Deathly Winds- the Jackal may call upon Death to carry them through the night. This power is rated 1-5, with increase in the rating rising the cost as normal. For each dot in this power, the Jackal gains a +1 to their Speed.

    Mortal Coil- one of the only powers to not have a Necrosis cost, this ability allows the Jackal to enhance their control over this own corpse. That power is rated 1-3, with each point increasing the Jackal's natural healing- one dot allows them to heal Lethal Damage as if it was Bashing, 2 dots heals Aggravated as if it was Lethal and 3 dots allows them to regenerate lost organ in a month.

    Sense of Life and Death- the Jackals are tuned to the vibrations of the primordial forces, and can feel the disturbance in the grand tapestry of life, death and rebirth. The character gains a single Unseen Sense toward any sub phenomena which is described under those forces (such as corpses, murderers, vampires, pregnant women, etc)

    Strength of the Dead- a dead body does not know limitation, and the power of corpses could break bones and bend irons. That Tachrich is rated 1-5, with each dot granting the Jackal a +2 modifier to a certain form of attack roll, through which they can channel the powers of Death in order to become a dread killing machine. The possible attacks are Bite, Tackle, Crushing Grip and Haymaker. While under the effect of that power, those attacks also deal Lethal damage.

    Deader than Dead- by embracing death into their body, certain Jackals have become as resilient as the corpse they are. This is a passive power, and as such does not require a Necrosis cost. Each time the character buys that power, they gain a new Health level.

    Example Banes

    Unholy- the powers of Life burn the Jackal's flesh stronger than they should. They must spend a Willpower point in order to be in the presence of an holy object for a Scene/ entering an holy ground, and may be Abjured as if they were spirits.

    Brittle- while Death has brought the Jackal into a semblance of life, for some reason it does not reinforce the dead body as it should. Any attack against the Jackal deals double damage.

    Decomposing- the touch of the grave have never left the Jackal, and it keeps eating them from the inside. Every day, the Jackal suffer from one level of Bashing Damage, which must use Necrosis in order to heal (even if they were to take the Mortal Coil Tachrich).

    Hollowing Craving- the hunger of the dead is stronger than it should. The duration in which the Jackal would need to feed in order to satisfy their Craving is half of the usual amount.

    Vulnerability- the dead body of the Jackal has developed a certain allergy toward a certain substance. It burns their corpse, and revealing their unnatural nature to all. That Bane may be chosen a number of times, with each time being focused around a certain substance or phenomena (fire, salt, grave dirt, etc). Each time the Jackal comes in contact with the substance, they suffer one point of Aggravated Damage, and have their Glitch activated for the rest of the Scene.

    Society of Grave Robbers

    Jackals are scavengers by their nature, and as such they are competitive over resources. After all, there is only a limited number of dead corpses available, and having too many Jackals in the same place may quickly turn into a Horde getting out of control. Thankfully, the mysterious phenomena which creates new Jackals does not seem to be that common, and so there is no such danger. In fact, just like many scavengers, the Jackals are social creatures- it is much easier to maintain free access to a graveyard as a group than as a lone person, or smuggle cadavers from one place to another. Such society also gives comfort for the Jackals themselves- for as rare creatures, there aren't well understood by many of the other supernatural denizens of the world. Jackals search after more members of their kind, share information and create a community meant to both help them to feed, teach newcomers how to deal with the Craving and stand against threats both mundane and supernatural.

    One of things that the Jackals has discovered using their information network (one which has greatly expanded using social media- Telegram has showed itself especially useful for them, even though some resourceful Jackals has created apps of their own, such as Corpse4U) was that as long as the corpse is dead, the Craving is satisfied with their mind more or less whole- which includes feeding upon zombies, vampires, revenants and even other Jackals (something which isn't really encouraged, for obvious reasons). However, such diet does not satisfy the Craving like "clean meat", forcing them to make their next meal in half of the regular time. That also does not make them welcomed among other undead, especially among vampires who see them as potential Masquerade breach and Wicked Dead (even though the principles behind their existence are radically different). Mummy flesh, however, has no nourishment for the Jackals- in fact, they react to it as if they were humans, as if there is literally no Death in it.

    As one may expect, the most hotly debated subject among the Jackals is the reason for their existence (even though they also have much more philosophical conversations, such as about the nature of life and death and how they know it is moral to eat someone's corpse, or even killing someone for food- and that without mentioning the support groups, for mental health is something important for them). While some of them believe their origin to be somewhat like that of vampires, and themselves being no more than a variant of the Curse, those who have more interest in the occult world (or which has eaten a vampire or two in their life) has discovered that whatever Vitae is, it is no what that powers them up (they commonly say that it is "so sweet that it almost makes you vomit"). Because of that, the most common claim is that there is some force or entity which is responsible for the Jackal's existence- something which needs death to pay for death.

    The theories about the exact nature of that force are, of course, quite wild-, including stories about fallen angels, pagan gods, ancient curses, mythological bloodlines, some divinity which mindlessly tries to fix "death" and up to even claiming that their existence is purely a natural phenomena, something which just happens when there is enough Necrosis in one place which revives the dead. However, most prefer to believe they are all messengers of Death, created in a complicated cosmic game which it plays against the force of Life. Jackals exist as Death's soldiers in that game, the so called "Black Side". Regular humans fight for Life, or the "White Side". Each time Death gains a victory against Life, it may gain a new soldier of the board in the form of a new Jackal. That may mean that, just as Death can convert Life's soldiers into Jackals, perhaps Life can convert Black Pawns back to the White Side, and make them human again- or, at least, truly alive. Whatever the truth of the case may be, or even if Life and Death do actually exist as personified entities, there are many Jackals who claim to have met someone who joined the White Side, giving hope to the rest.. or despair. After all, just about half of those rumors say that Life in not kinder than Death, and that its Pawns make the Jackal existence look like a sweet deal in comparison.

    Also, an interesting fact is that while the Jackal's body is dead, the Necrosis which powers it seems to be enough to reproduce- as long as the other mate is completely human and alive, Life and Death seems to mix together into creating an offspring. Most of the time, the outcome is purely a regular mortal touched by Death, perhaps with a few quirks- and many of those end up as Sin Eaters as they die. The are rumors, however, that sometimes the offspring is... different, especially if the human parent dies before or while the child is delivered. The exact stories are not consistent- but the outcome is never ends good for the Jackal parent which is left to take care of the baby.
    Last edited by LostLight; 10-06-2017, 07:08 AM.


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  • #2
    this is pretty cool, i like it, i dont know how well it would work, my grasp of mechanics isnt good enough for me to give it a fair appraisal but its cool, just to be clear they must feed on dead human meat, not just dead flesh, otherwise its just a matter of spending a lot of money in the meat section of the supermarket.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ahather View Post
      this is pretty cool, i like it, i dont know how well it would work, my grasp of mechanics isnt good enough for me to give it a fair appraisal but its cool, just to be clear they must feed on dead human meat, not just dead flesh, otherwise its just a matter of spending a lot of money in the meat section of the supermarket.
      yeah yeah- dead human meat. I mean, their ability to consume meat is unlimited no matter the source (mummies excluded), but only human flesh satisfy the Craving.

      Anyway, glad you like them!


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      • #4
        They're a lot like ghouls, to a point. I don't know if you're a big reader but you should check out Brian McNaughton's Throne of Bones. It's about a species of ghouls. Their issue is that they gain memories from the dead they eat. It was a really interesting book.

        Love your work, by the way.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nofather View Post
          They're a lot like ghouls, to a point. I don't know if you're a big reader but you should check out Brian McNaughton's Throne of Bones. It's about a species of ghouls. Their issue is that they gain memories from the dead they eat. It was a really interesting book.

          Love your work, by the way.
          yeah, ghouls were a major inspiration for this piece- as they are a growing troupe of monsters in the horror genre (such as Tokyo Ghoul). However, there were more sources of inspiration, including movies were zombies were not necessary "brain dead" (at least, not at first), one of the GMC scenarios (you can see the reference in there if you are careful) and the most (if not only) well known CWoD fan made gameline, Zombie: the Coil (the name "Jackals" was used for zombies which eat the dead in there, even though the execution is kinda different). Actually, I planned on calling those guys Ghuls originally, but with Vampire monopolizing both "ghouls" for the vampire minor template and "ghuls" for a Wicked Dead clan, I felt that using the same word under a different spelling would make them feel redundant (hence why I took some time to explain the difference between jackals and vampires).

          As for the book- I haven't read it, but I don't think I'll be able to. The truth is that I'm kinda sensitive for this kind of material, and it would probably give me a nightmare or two :P Actually, one of the reasons I focused on jackals as "eaters of the dead" was just in order for me to be able to sleep in night. I mean, yeah, it also makes them playable, but some gruesome writer could have just decided that eating people is not a Breaking Point- but I also think it gives them character, making them into something different than "a vampire, only one that needs to chew their food". I actually like those guys, and I am happy with how they came up.

          Also, I'm happy to hear you love my writings. I invest a lot of time and emotion in adding new material to the CofD's setting, and as I do it for free getting a positive feedback means a lot to me- so thanks! :P


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          • #6
            I wouldn't really say the soulless condition makes it "more likely" to suffer breaking points though. More like "inevitable to the point where Jackals will be unplayable in like 2 sessions tops".

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            • #7
              I will be the voice of opposition, then:

              1. You refer to the Craving as the Carving several times - you might want to fix that. Additionally, you should split out the "eating meat and the benefits thereof" and the Craving into their own sections for easier reference, rather than having Imagine as the monster it is at the moment.

              2. Imagine might not be the best name for the merit, given that "imagine" (which is pronounced differently and which has an entirely different meaning and part of speech, I may add) is already an English word. You can just plain refer to it as Death Mask, you know -unless you can read Latin, it's going to be more evocative if you pick words you don't have to explain.

              3. Don't give them Dread Powers - they aren't designed for PCs. Heck, a lot of them aren't really appropriate for "zombies" as a template (given their generic nature). If I were you (and I am not), I would go for something simpler - scrap Necrosis entirely, and have them require meat to heal themselves and to stave off the craving. Zombies don't really lend themselves to "active powers", really - passive powers, like "really tough" and "learns stuff by eating brains" fit more.

              4. Is making their Supernatural Tolerance trait a merit really the best idea? The closest thing existing merit to that is the Supernatural Resistance merit that Psychic Vampires can take, which is much more restricted, and which doesn't add to their pool size.

              5. How common are these guys? If they're common, why haven't people noticed? If they're uncommon, why do they have a society with established beliefs (other than "hey, it's a Chronicles of Darkness thing")?

              6. What's your reasoning for letting them have kids that aren't automatically Jackals? Also... why do they have an elevated chance to become Sin Eaters and not Jackals?


              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                I wouldn't really say the soulless condition makes it "more likely" to suffer breaking points though. More like "inevitable to the point where Jackals will be unplayable in like 2 sessions tops".
                Not particularly true.

                It's not particularly hard to stay topped up with Willpower without indulging in your vice - just pick a relatively broad Virtue and make sure to hit it regularly.

                I do question the decision to make the Breaking Point scale off of Composure rather than just giving them some minor bonus for the Breaking Point caused by killing people. Does that mean that they suffer two Breaking Points?


                I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  I wouldn't really say the soulless condition makes it "more likely" to suffer breaking points though. More like "inevitable to the point where Jackals will be unplayable in like 2 sessions tops".
                  amm yeah, I forgot they were some more nasty side effects for being Soulless. In that case, let's say that Jackals suffer from the modified Soulless Condition as the follows-

                  - Jackals are not more susceptible for being possessed any more than any other person

                  - while having their Virtue and Vice as reversed, they still regain Willpower from rest and surrender as if they were mortals

                  - fulfilling a Vice is still a Breaking Point, but it is penalized by their Imagine instead of by automatic 5. In an addition, they do not treat seeing the supernatural as a Breaking Point (if it wasn't obvious), and they enjoy +2 modifier for violence based Breaking Point (excluding eating people alive).

                  - as an outcome of their non stable psych, once per Chapter, if less than an hour per [Composure] has passed since the Breaking Point, the Jackal may participate in a "therapy talk" in which they must expose themselves and their feelings about the subject before another individual. The act must be one which makes the Jackal vulnerable before the other person. If they manage to do so, they gain another re roll for their Breaking Point with a -1 modifier (in addition to the original modifier). The ST has the permission to approve to deny such a re roll depends on their judgement of the situation, the nature of the Breaking Point and the way the player roll play their "confession".

                  Sounds better?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by amechra View Post
                    I will be the voice of opposition, then:
                    no problem! I can handle criticism.

                    1. You refer to the Craving as the Carving several times - you might want to fix that. Additionally, you should split out the "eating meat and the benefits thereof" and the Craving into their own sections for easier reference, rather than having Imagine as the monster it is at the moment.
                    but what would a LostLight homebrew be like without some hilariously nonsensical grammar and spelling errors? :P (I'll fix that I promise!)

                    2. Imagine might not be the best name for the merit, given that "imagine" (which is pronounced differently and which has an entirely different meaning and part of speech, I may add) is already an English word. You can just plain refer to it as Death Mask, you know -unless you can read Latin, it's going to be more evocative if you pick words you don't have to explain.
                    yeah, I was aware of that, and I did had some second thought about the name- but I kinda hoped that people would read it as if it was the Latin word (hence why I took the wordcount to mention the origin of the word). I thought about Death Mask, but it instantly made me think about Geist, and Mask alone belongs to Changeling. Seriously, I searched the whole internet and haven't found any other cool word for a Death Mask, so suggestions would be welcomed.

                    3. Don't give them Dread Powers - they aren't designed for PCs. Heck, a lot of them aren't really appropriate for "zombies" as a template (given their generic nature). If I were you (and I am not), I would go for something simpler - scrap Necrosis entirely, and have them require meat to heal themselves and to stave off the craving. Zombies don't really lend themselves to "active powers", really - passive powers, like "really tough" and "learns stuff by eating brains" fit more.
                    the truth is that while I do want to give me creations a unique set of powers, there is just some mental block that stops me from doing so. I happens all the time, and the fact that I don't have a lot of free time helps this. Hence why I'm going with the "backdoor" path and using things like Dread Powers and their like (which are sometimes used in Hunter's conspiracies, such as the Faithful of Shulpae- but I am a big Hunter fan). I do like them having Necrosis (which is also a reference to some other CofD material, for those who didn't noticed) and a special set of powers, be them actual abilities or supernatural merits, but that's just my style. They are also not only Zombies, but also ghouls, hungry ghosts and all other kind of cannibalistic scavengers from folklore, so some active powers may be justified- but again, I am currently unable to write any powers, be them active or passive. I do like the example passives you gave, however.

                    4. Is making their Supernatural Tolerance trait a merit really the best idea? The closest thing existing merit to that is the Supernatural Resistance merit that Psychic Vampires can take, which is much more restricted, and which doesn't add to their pool size.
                    yeah, I'm not a fan of that design- I prefer that if a "micro template" has a defining merit, it should be counted as the Supernatural Resistance merit, but it is not that difficult to simply rule otherwise for them. As for the enlarged Necrosis pool, I remember I had a reason for giving them an increased Fuel stat, but I can't remember it right now. I think I wanted to restrict their healing ability, but eventually dropped it. I'll review the piece, and if it is an artifact I'll remove it.

                    5. How common are these guys? If they're common, why haven't people noticed? If they're uncommon, why do they have a society with established beliefs (other than "hey, it's a Chronicles of Darkness thing")?
                    Less than vampires, more than Immortals. They are not the most common of the supernatural critters of the world, but they are also not the rarest. The fact is that people do notice them from time to time, especially in earlier eras (hence stories about ghouls and similar hungry ghosts). The Jackals are a social breed (as it helps them to maintain Integrity and get food) and as it was mentioned, the internet really helped for their efforts.

                    6. What's your reasoning for letting them have kids that aren't automatically Jackals? Also... why do they have an elevated chance to become Sin Eaters and not Jackals?
                    design wise? Because Jackals need to die in order to become what they are (as being dead is really important part of their existence), and that they don't age once they turn Jackals. You want to have a monster baby which eats its way out of the womb and starts devouring people? No? I didn't think so :P

                    More seriously, yeah, the fact that they need to die is an integral part of their existence, and not to mention that the other parent is alive- the only reason the child is born is because Life is able to act in the process. The reason that in death they are more likely to become Sin Eaters instead of Jackals is that, by canon Sin Eaters are created when someone "touched by Death" dies and is offered a Bargain by a Geist, which is the case for them. Jackals, however, were not marked by Death before they died- they were regular people who got killed, but somehow kept walking (in my head canon, Jackals are created when they die in a place or by a person which generate a lot of Necrosis around them, so someone who got murdered by a serial killer or who died in a place were there are many traffic accidents have high chances to become Jackals- but I decided to keep it a mystery and allow the ST to make their own reasons for how and when Death can cheat Life and steal one of its "pawns".


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amechra View Post

                      I do question the decision to make the Breaking Point scale off of Composure rather than just giving them some minor bonus for the Breaking Point caused by killing people. Does that mean that they suffer two Breaking Points?
                      No, it is only a single Breaking Point. The modifier replace the one regular one used for killing people. The reason is, that while they still have a human mind, they are still the soldiers of Death and they still recognize other humans as potential prey. That means that they can handle things which humans find abhorrent, and reinforce that they are not humans anymore. Jackals with a stable emotional state can withstand eating other people, for they can accept the conflicted emotions they have in them- seeing humanity as food from one side, and as a kin from the other. The less stable ones, well, you know what they say- if you can't handle the heat, don't cook humans in the kitchen.


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                      • #12
                        Synonyms of Mask: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/mask

                        And I'll second the "you can buy Dread Powers for 3xp is a bit much".


                        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                          thanks for the suggestions- but I search less for an alternative for Mask as much as I want a word which is used specifically in the context of Death Masks/Portraits/any way people preserved the image of their dead. I tried my best searching the internet for it, but my google-fu has failed me..


                          My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                          On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                            thanks for the suggestions- but I search less for an alternative for Mask as much as I want a word which is used specifically in the context of Death Masks/Portraits/any way people preserved the image of their dead. I tried my best searching the internet for it, but my google-fu has failed me..
                            Shroud? Effigy? ...Bust?


                            Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                            Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                              Shroud? Effigy? ...Bust?
                              Bernie. There's a ten character limit.


                              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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