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Contagion Chronicles: Awakening the Beast

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  • Contagion Chronicles: Awakening the Beast

    So: it's been pointed out that as of Chronicles of Darkness, the ban on “Abomination”-like characters has been lifted. It's still discouraged, but not forbidden. So I've been thinking:

    The troupe finds itself investigating a Beast's Lair. They get to its Heart, and find a small door leading out of the Lair and onto a Path. Following the Path eventually leads them into and through the Mother's Land, right up to the shores of a great black ocean, where it abruptly breaks.

    The Beast in question is both a Beast and a Mage, and the troupe has discovered and walked his Path through the Astral Realms to the Citadels of the Aeons.

    What could you do with this?



  • #2
    The ban on nonhumans Awakening isn't because of any fault in the prospective mage - Awakening is an externally-enabled state. The Watchtowers do not accept monsters, and they have the deciding (and only) vote.

    That doesn't then prevent a mage from fucking themselves up in a rare and unusual way, but it would look more like the Tremere than having both sets of powers cleanly.


    Dave Brookshaw, freelance writer and Developer

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    • #3
      I know the Astral doesn't do landscapes as we're used to them, but would it be possible for a Mage's Golden Road to go through the Primordial Dream? Perhaps creating (accidentally or deliberately) a Burrow between a Lair and the Golden Road leading to very interesting results for both Awakened and Begotten as their respective soul stuff intermingle in a unique way.
      Last edited by Tessie; 03-11-2018, 04:03 PM.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
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      • #4
        “Look more like the Tremere,” huh? So, neither an Awakened Beast nor a Begotten mage, but a Supernal Child or Primordial mage?

        A mage who dived sideways from the Omphalos and into the Dark Dream, who then found a Horror and bound it with himself sounds like a fit.

        EDIT: Alternatively, a Beast who incorporated a Verge or two into his Lair. Maybe even an Emanation. I imagine something like the Haruspex from Acrozatarim’s Twelve Days threads in Werewolf; a being who can’t help but see the underlying symbols of reality, brutally bare and direct in their truth.
        Last edited by 21C Hermit; 03-11-2018, 07:09 PM.


        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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        • #5
          Or perhaps a Larval Horror found and gestated in a Chamber that was made from a Supernal (or Abyssal *yikes*) Verge, thus suffusing it's Horror with the essence and nature not wholly unlike that of the Bound? A being who has access to the Arcana of said Verge and MUST feed on both fear and Mana?

          Either way, frik'n fantastic Mystery for either gameline. I support wholesale.
          Last edited by Dusksage; 03-20-2018, 01:57 PM. Reason: Spellcheck

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          • #6
            A mage who, in Addition to his magesight, had the Skeleton key, would have a lot more Chances to cause trouble...

            For some reason, I had this idea of a Larval Horror trying to Devour an awakening, too-bright soul, instead ending up a taint on the very same. As a result, the guy retains some supernal truth but also embodies a fear. However, it's not a human, but an Awakened fear: the Nightmares of Falling Asleep, Nightmares of Hubris, Nightmares of the Abyss or some such.
            And it needs to prey on Awakened.

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            • #7
              The Most Dangerous Prey indeed


              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wormwood View Post
                For some reason, I had this idea of a Larval Horror trying to Devour an awakening, too-bright soul, instead ending up a taint on the very same. As a result, the guy retains some supernal truth but also embodies a fear. However, it's not a human, but an Awakened fear: the Nightmares of Falling Asleep, Nightmares of Hubris, Nightmares of the Abyss or some such.
                And it needs to prey on Awakened.
                Sounds a bit like Timori. Hmm......


                MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                • #9
                  Consider: the Awakening would-be mage knows something of what to expect -- maybe she's a Sleepwalker or a Proximus. She knows enough to expect to see one of the Watchtowers, and to inscribe her name thereon.

                  This looks more like a cave than a tower, but it's covered in glyphs and runes and markings of all sorts, so it's probably the right place? She can't scratch the dark stone, and the only thing she has to write with is her blood -- but eventually she adds her name to the confusion of writing. Pledges herself to the cave and whatever Truth it stands for.

                  Then she hears, in the back of her head: You want the Truth, dear? Fear is an excellent teacher.

                  And this mystery play isn't ending yet. There is something coming out of the cave.

                  This isn't how I usually find my children, but if you're offering....

                  It actually seems like a question. Is this part of the test. "I...I am."

                  Excellent. Now, come to Mother.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mad_Maudlin View Post
                    Consider: the Awakening would-be mage knows something of what to expect -- maybe she's a Sleepwalker or a Proximus. She knows enough to expect to see one of the Watchtowers, and to inscribe her name thereon.

                    This looks more like a cave than a tower, but it's covered in glyphs and runes and markings of all sorts, so it's probably the right place? She can't scratch the dark stone, and the only thing she has to write with is her blood -- but eventually she adds her name to the confusion of writing. Pledges herself to the cave and whatever Truth it stands for.

                    Then she hears, in the back of her head: You want the Truth, dear? Fear is an excellent teacher.

                    And this mystery play isn't ending yet. There is something coming out of the cave.

                    This isn't how I usually find my children, but if you're offering....

                    It actually seems like a question. Is this part of the test. "I...I am."

                    Excellent. Now, come to Mother.
                    Well given what we learned about the Mother's Cave in the BPG, that's just perfect. Maybe it would produce something like this...

                    Crones

                    Sometimes a Proximus expects to undergo the Awakening but is instead transported in their dreams to the Cave and are Devoured. Often, this produces a regular Beast as the Proximi's new connection to the Astral overrides their delicate link to the Supernal. For reasons unknown to Beasts or Mages, some Proximi can use the Mother's Land like a Watchtower, birthing a Crone. These Crones are still Begotten and Sleepwalkers, but they are slightly more Awakened than other Proximi and far more dangerous.

                    Treat Crones as Beasts, except for the following:

                    Atavisms and Blessings: Crones do not gain Atavisms like most Beasts. Instead, Crones purchase Blessings like Proximi except that they may purchase any Blessing of three dots or lower from their Dynasty's Arcana, not just those from their Dynasty's list. Additionally, all Crones may purchase Blessings from the Life Arcana and gain the Body Control Blessing for free. If the Crone's Dynasty grants access to Life Blessings, the Crone may receive Blessings from one additional Gross Arcanum, chosen when the Crone is Devoured. If the Crone's Dynasty grants access to Mind Blessings, the Crone may receive Blessings from one alternate subtle arcanum selected when the Crone is Devoured. The Crone loses access to any Mind Blessings he knows and may never learn new ones. The Sanctity of Merits applies, converting Blessings into experiences that may be used to purchase Nightmares.

                    Mana Capacity: Crones have a Mana pool, just like mages and proximi. Crones at Satiety of 0 have a maximum Mana capacity of 20. For every point the Crone's Satiety increase, his maximum Mana capacity decreases by one, until it reaches 11 points at satiety 9. If a Crone satiety's reaches 10, his mana pool drops to 5 points of mana. Crones can regain Mana in the same manner as other Proximi of their dynasty If the Crone's Mana pool ever becomes smaller than the amount of Mana they have stored, they immediately lose the excess mana. When a Crone is Ravenous, he may spend five Mana per turn. When a Crone is Starving, he may spend four Mana per turn. When he is Sated, he may spend three Mana per turn, and when Gorged he may spend two Mana per turn. Finally, when a Crone is Slumbering, he is restricted to spending one Mana per turn and may have to spend Mana over multiple turns to cast spells.

                    Limited Casting: Crones do not have Gnosis or Arcana ratings. They use their Lair as a casting dice pool, penalized by spell factors. Crones may not use Yantras. Use Lair in place of Gnosis to determine the Crone's ritual casting time.

                    Reach and Paradox: Crones gain one risk-free Reach on every Blessing, and gain one die of Paradox risk for every extra Reach. Crones may contain or release Paradox as a Mage would. Obvious Blessings with Sleeper witness provoke Paradox Risk, trigger Quiescence, and are subject to Dissonance in the same way as Awakened spells. It also allows Heros to track the Blessing's witnesses and/or the location of the Paradox.

                    Nightmares and Mind Blessings: Crones have access to Nightmares just like any other Beast. This primal access to the Primordial Dream gives Crones insights into the fears of others, but it also prevents Crones from using subtler mental magic. Crones may never learn Blessings from the Mind Arcana.
                    Last edited by Second Chances; 03-21-2018, 11:25 PM.


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                    CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                    • #11
                      [muffled Silver Ladder screaming in the distance]

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                      • #12
                        Of course, that's not the only way to create a spellcasting monster...



                        Wyrms

                        Crones are not the only unique type of Beast that can be birthed when a Proximus undergoes the Devouring. Wyrms are the magical dragons and giant sorcerers of the Begotten, creatures with raw physical might and domineering magical skill. While they lack other Beast's subtle Nightmares, they make up for it by combining Supernal magic with the Atavisms of the Horror.

                        Treat Wyrms as Beasts, except for the following:

                        Nightmares and Blessings: Wyrms do not gain Nightmares like most Beasts. Instead, Wyrms purchase Blessings like Proximi except that they may purchase any Blessing of three dots or lower from their Dynasty's Arcana, not just those from their Dynasty's list. Additionally, all Wyrms may purchase Blessings from the Mind Arcana and gain the Emotional Urging Blessing for free. If the Wyrm's Dynasty grants access to Mind Blessings, the Wyrm may receive Blessings from one additional Subtle Arcanum, chosen when the Wyrm is Devoured.

                        Mana Capacity: Wyrms have a Mana pool, just like mages and proximi. Wyrms at Satiety 0 have a maximum Mana capacity of 2. For every point the Wyrm's Satiety increase, her maximum Mana capacity increases by 2, until it reaches 20 points at Satiety 9. Wyrms can regain Mana in the same manner as other Proximi of their dynasty. If the Wyrm's Mana pool ever becomes smaller than the amount of Mana they have stored, they immediately lose the excess mana. When a Wyrm is Ravenous, she may spend one Mana per turn. When a Wyrm is Starving, she may spend two Mana per turn. When she is Sated, she may spend three Mana per turn, and when Gorged she may spend four Mana per turn. If a Wyrm is Slumbering, she loses the ability to use her Blessings as her Horror sleeps, but she does not lose any Mana in her pool.

                        Limited Casting: Wyrms do not have Gnosis or Arcana ratings. They use their Lair as a casting dice pool, penalized by spell factors. Wyrms may not use Yantras. Use Lair in place of Gnosis to determine the Wyrm's ritual casting time.

                        Reach and Paradox: Wyrms gain one risk-free Reach on every Blessing, and gain one die of Paradox risk for every extra Reach. Wyrms may contain or release Paradox as a Mage would. Obvious Blessings with Sleeper witness provoke Paradox Risk, trigger Quiescence, and are subject to Dissonance in the same way as Awakened spells. It also allows Heros to track the Blessing's witnesses and/or the location of the Paradox.

                        Atavisms: Wyrms have access to Atavisms just like any other Beast.


                        Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Mummy 2e; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                        • #13
                          So Wyrms and Crones act somewhat as "Gross" and "Subtle" toward each other? That's cool


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