Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Homebrew Variations and Scars

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #76
    This is my first draft of a Form meant to represent Deviants who are empowered by something outside themselves. It's meant to cover a diverse set of characters, such as EVA pilots, Samus Aran, and Cait Sith. I still need to think about how it affects Conspiracy surveillance. The general idea is that the Remade has a level of protection and disconnect from both physical danger as well as Scars, but in return their Variations aren't always available to them, and if they're ever caught in a situation where they don't have access to their shell, things could get grim fast.

    Externalized (Form)

    The Remade’s Divergence is intrinsically tied to an outside source (called a “shell”), such as a suit of power armor that he wears, a vat-grown body into which she projects her consciousness, a robotic puppet they command from a central HQ, or so on.

    When not connected to their shell, the Remade does not possess any of their starting Variations or Scars, though all other aspects of the Deviant template (Conviction/Loyalty, Acclimation, Instability, etc) still apply. Persistent Scars still affect the shell (when applicable) even while it is offline.

    Connecting to the shell requires five minutes of activity (five turns in action scenes), and a roll determined at character creation, composed either of Attribute + Attribute + Acclimation, or Attribute + Skill + Acclimation.

    Roll Results

    Success: The Remade connects with the shell without a hitch, and has immediate access to all Variations (and entangled Scars).

    Exceptional Success: The Deviant’s connection goes particularly smoothly, healing a minor Instability in the process.

    Failure: The Deviant has trouble connecting to the shell. He can either try again after five more minutes, or suffer a minor Instability to force the connection immediately.

    Dramatic Failure: Something goes terribly wrong with the connection. The Broken immediately suffers a medium Instability.

    The shell shares the same Skills, as well as Mental and Social Attributes as the Deviant. The player may rearrange Physical Attribute dots for the shell at character creation, if they so choose. Physical Merit dots can also be rearranged. Mechanical or otherwise inorganic shells possess Structure instead of Health, as well as Durability equal to half Acclimation (rounded up). However, they do not heal naturally and so require occasional repairs. Inorganic shells cannot take Scars that slow or inhibit natural healing. Biological shells possess Health and heal at the same rate as Baselines (unless a Variation or Scar alters this). If the shell is destroyed, the Remade immediately suffers a major Instability. If the Deviant is physically present inside the shell at the time of destruction, he suffers a point of lethal damage, otherwise, he loses a point of Willpower. A destroyed shell can be made functional again with an extended action of an appropriate dice pool, requiring successes equal to the total Magnitude of Variations the shell possesses. Add the Deviant’s Acclimation to the total number of rolls that can be made if he is the one performing the repairs.

    When the Deviant gains new Scars from Instability, the player chooses whether the Scar affects the Remade, the shell, or both. Any new Variations entangled with this Scar go to the same.
    Last edited by espritdecalmar; 08-14-2020, 01:16 AM.

    Comment


    • #77
      My idea for a new Merit. Just a rough idea.
      Evolved Form (oooo to ooooo)
      Prerequisite: Acclimationooo
      Effect: The Remade’s form has mutated or has been altered in time to gain the advantage of a third Adaptation beyond the two that a Deviant gets from their Clade and not counting Stubborn Resolve. This Adaptation can NOT be used to reset a Variation or Adaptation but can be used to get any other version. At five dots, the Remade CAN get Adaptation that does reset a Variation or Adaptation.

      Comment


      • #78
        I understand that most deviants have to deal with Conspiracies, but what stops an External deviant from just storing his shell somewhere safe and just living life with loyalty touchstones? It seems like it would be much more plausible than for any other deviant to attempt, since the External may not have any Scars and even a chance to gain anonymity because of it

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
          I understand that most deviants have to deal with Conspiracies, but what stops an External deviant from just storing his shell somewhere safe and just living life with loyalty touchstones? It seems like it would be much more plausible than for any other deviant to attempt, since the External may not have any Scars and even a chance to gain anonymity because of it
          Same thing as if you get all your Variations Inhuman Digestion'd away: You still have Stability et al to deal with.


          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
            Same thing as if you get all your Variations Inhuman Digestion'd away: You still have Stability et al to deal with.
            Oh, perhaps I dont remember it as I used to. But wouldn't it be much easier to maintain stability among loyalty touchstones without having to worry about Scars?

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
              I understand that most deviants have to deal with Conspiracies, but what stops an External deviant from just storing his shell somewhere safe and just living life with loyalty touchstones? It seems like it would be much more plausible than for any other deviant to attempt, since the External may not have any Scars and even a chance to gain anonymity because of it
              So there's what Satchel mentioned, as well that most Deviants will start play with at least one Conviction Touchstone, which incentivizes action. There's also the matter of whatever Conspiracy that made the Deviant, and so might still be looking for the Remade. Even if they only want the shell back (and this is something I need to put explicitly in the rules for the Form, probably), it's still spiritually linked to that specific character, so they can't just jam someone else in there until the first Deviant is dealt with (and as with a selkie's pelt, getting access to an Externalized's shell gives the holder a great deal of leverage).

              That said, I haven't considered every contingency yet, so I might still need to tinker around with a few things.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                Same thing as if you get all your Variations Inhuman Digestion'd away: You still have Stability et al to deal with.
                If you live life with Loyalty Touchstones you probably have more Loyalty than Conviction, in which case no automatic Instability gain and automatic Instability healing. And if you no longer have any Variations or Scars you've also eliminated Instability gain from Dramatic Failures. The only other source I can think of is from Faltering rolls, but if you manage to not engage with the Web of Pain you're unlikely to have your devotion torn between Touchstones or otherwise inadvertently putting your Loyalty Touchstones in danger.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post

                  So there's what Satchel mentioned, as well that most Deviants will start play with at least one Conviction Touchstone, which incentivizes action. There's also the matter of whatever Conspiracy that made the Deviant, and so might still be looking for the Remade. Even if they only want the shell back (and this is something I need to put explicitly in the rules for the Form, probably), it's still spiritually linked to that specific character, so they can't just jam someone else in there until the first Deviant is dealt with (and as with a selkie's pelt, getting access to an Externalized's shell gives the holder a great deal of leverage).

                  That said, I haven't considered every contingency yet, so I might still need to tinker around with a few things.
                  The only issue I'm seeing here is that it seems, to me at least, easy enough for an External to rid his conviction touchstones and become a Guardian, while also avoiding the Web due to their distinct lack of Scars. While this, theoretically, could be done by other deviants, it seems uniquely suited for Externals to accomplish

                  But I still love the idea, I would love to see how you address whatever issues pop up with it

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Inner Power, Revised (Coactive Variation; ●● to ●●●●●)
                    Subtle
                    Discrete, Reflexive, Toggled
                    The Deviant can access an esoteric source of power, beyond those usually available to the Remade. This might be the occult power of blood, stolen celestial fire, words of power from a prehuman language, or any other energy or fuel.
                    The Broken can hold points of Inner Power equal to Scar Power. She can spend these to activate Adaptations and to pay the cost of Controlled Scars, as well as the innate costs of certain Merits and Variations (such as Fast-Talking or Storm-Caller), but not to enhance her actions or to negate damage, Instability, or Willpower loss from Persistent Scars and outside forces.
                    When the Deviant goes an entire chapter without using her Inner Power, she regains a single point, up to her maximum. Otherwise, Inner Power is only replenished at the start of a new story.
                    At Magnitude ●●, choose one:
                    • Blood: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of a level of bashing damage, or two points in place of a level of lethal damage.
                    • Mind: Two points of Inner Power can be spent in place of a point of Willpower.
                    At Magnitude ●●●, choose one:
                    • Balance: The Deviant can use both Magnitude ●● options.
                    • Flesh: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of a level of bashing or lethal damage, or two points in place of one level of aggravated damage.
                    • Heart: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of one minor Instability, or two points in place of one medium Instability.
                    • Will: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of a point of Willpower.
                    At Magnitude ●●●●, choose one:
                    • Versatility: Choose two Magnitude ●●● options.
                    • Life: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of a level of damage of any severity.
                    • Soul: One point of Inner Power can be spent in place of one minor or medium Instability, or two points in place of one major Instability.
                    At Magnitude ●●●●●, the Deviant enjoys all lower-Magnitude effects.

                    Deviations
                    • Depth (+1 Magnitude): Once per story, the Deviant can fully replenish her pool of Inner Power by accepting a medium Instability. This cost can't be paid for with Inner Power.
                    • Font (+1 Magnitude): The Deviant can spend points of Inner Power on behalf of a willing character within 10 yards/meters of her.
                    • Might (+1 Magnitude): The Deviant can spend a point of Inner Power in place of Willpower to enhance a roll to activate or Direct one of her other Variations, or to contest a supernatural power targeting her. This Deviation can’t modify the Magnitude ● effect of Inner Power.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                      The only issue I'm seeing here is that it seems, to me at least, easy enough for an External to rid his conviction touchstones and become a Guardian, while also avoiding the Web due to their distinct lack of Scars. While this, theoretically, could be done by other deviants, it seems uniquely suited for Externals to accomplish

                      But I still love the idea, I would love to see how you address whatever issues pop up with it
                      So I wanted to come up with the cheesiest possible build a player might make with this Form to see what exactly is exploitable and whether or not that's a problem.

                      Let's take an Externalized Self-Made Endomorph who assigns all their starting Touchstones to Loyalty. On top of that, they take Lifeline 4 for two additional Loyalty Touchstones (and a Loyalty Rating of 7). All their starting Variations & Scars are both Subtle and Magnitude 1. They also spend five Merit dots on a dot of Acclimation. The character stashes their shell in a safe place a state over and then hangs out with their Loyalty Touchstones. Because they're a Guardian, they don't have to worry about automatically gaining Instability, and because they don't have any Overt Variations or Scars, Conspiracy surveillance rolls are heavily penalized.

                      The first thing that comes to my mind as a potential Storyteller in this scenario is wondering whether the player is even interested in playing the game. But maybe this is the kind of story they want to explore. So, you've got someone who's fiercely devoted to a group of people (maybe a few places as well) but whose only relevant superpower is Stubborn Resolve. At that point I would probably focus on the everyday, non-Web of Pain problems their Touchstones face and the Deviant's supernatural drive to solve them. For a one-on-one game, this would be a little unusual, but still feasibly workable and potentially interesting. Maybe as a Storyteller I'd slowly ramp up the stakes and threat level of problems their Touchstones face, to see where the player finally decides that they need their Variations if they want to keep their current life up (Shinji seeing Rei on the hospital gurney), all while still making Conspiracy surveillance rolls every chapter (even a chance die has a one-in-ten probability of success).

                      If there are multiple players, things get more complicated. The rest of the cohort would probably get annoyed if there's one member who refuses to help them with their own problems, so there'd be some peer pressure (both in-game and out) for the Externalized to actually engage with the setting. Actually, an interesting setup could be the above Deviant who assigns all their Loyalty Touchstones to their cohort-mates, but only interacts with them through their shell, hiding out in a Safe Place-invested secret base somewhere (eg, Reeve).

                      That's all to say I think the Form's mechanics incentivizing a refusal to engage with the setting could be mitigated by including some rules for how it interacts with Conspiracy surveillance rolls. I think a Conspiracy that makes a shell (especially a mechanical one) probably includes some sort of tracking device. Maybe I could add something about the shell itself acting as a sort of stand-alone Overt Variation, or that the Deviant has to make the shell one of their Loyalty Touchstones, or that the player has to assign at least a certain amount of Scar Magnitude to their own body. Those are my thoughts for now. I'll ponder this more while I'm at work today.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        espritdecalmar: I quite like Externalized (easy mecha pilot rules at last!), but I'm unsure about the decision to use Soul Shocked as the cost of a lost Shell. For one, it doesn't appear in the Deviant book, nor in CofD core, so I have no idea what it does or where to look for it.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post

                          So I wanted to come up with the cheesiest possible build a player might make with this Form to see what exactly is exploitable and whether or not that's a problem.

                          Let's take an Externalized Self-Made Endomorph who assigns all their starting Touchstones to Loyalty. On top of that, they take Lifeline 4 for two additional Loyalty Touchstones (and a Loyalty Rating of 7). All their starting Variations & Scars are both Subtle and Magnitude 1. They also spend five Merit dots on a dot of Acclimation. The character stashes their shell in a safe place a state over and then hangs out with their Loyalty Touchstones. Because they're a Guardian, they don't have to worry about automatically gaining Instability, and because they don't have any Overt Variations or Scars, Conspiracy surveillance rolls are heavily penalized.

                          The first thing that comes to my mind as a potential Storyteller in this scenario is wondering whether the player is even interested in playing the game. But maybe this is the kind of story they want to explore. So, you've got someone who's fiercely devoted to a group of people (maybe a few places as well) but whose only relevant superpower is Stubborn Resolve. At that point I would probably focus on the everyday, non-Web of Pain problems their Touchstones face and the Deviant's supernatural drive to solve them. For a one-on-one game, this would be a little unusual, but still feasibly workable and potentially interesting. Maybe as a Storyteller I'd slowly ramp up the stakes and threat level of problems their Touchstones face, to see where the player finally decides that they need their Variations if they want to keep their current life up (Shinji seeing Rei on the hospital gurney), all while still making Conspiracy surveillance rolls every chapter (even a chance die has a one-in-ten probability of success).

                          If there are multiple players, things get more complicated. The rest of the cohort would probably get annoyed if there's one member who refuses to help them with their own problems, so there'd be some peer pressure (both in-game and out) for the Externalized to actually engage with the setting. Actually, an interesting setup could be the above Deviant who assigns all their Loyalty Touchstones to their cohort-mates, but only interacts with them through their shell, hiding out in a Safe Place-invested secret base somewhere (eg, Reeve).

                          That's all to say I think the Form's mechanics incentivizing a refusal to engage with the setting could be mitigated by including some rules for how it interacts with Conspiracy surveillance rolls. I think a Conspiracy that makes a shell (especially a mechanical one) probably includes some sort of tracking device. Maybe I could add something about the shell itself acting as a sort of stand-alone Overt Variation, or that the Deviant has to make the shell one of their Loyalty Touchstones, or that the player has to assign at least a certain amount of Scar Magnitude to their own body. Those are my thoughts for now. I'll ponder this more while I'm at work today.
                          A lot of what you have here is very good. I do prefer minimal mechanical aspects to bolster narrative ones, and this stuff gets that done. Perhaps my mistake here is that I assume a storyteller would have to do more preparation for this character than others (not necessarily a bad thing)

                          Also, just wondering. What do you see a Genotypal Mutant External looking like?

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by The MG View Post
                            espritdecalmar: I quite like Externalized (easy mecha pilot rules at last!), but I'm unsure about the decision to use Soul Shocked as the cost of a lost Shell. For one, it doesn't appear in the Deviant book, nor in CofD core, so I have no idea what it does or where to look for it.
                            Oh, I completely glossed that over. I guess I just assumed it was. I have this faint inkling of Eric Z mentioning rules for Deviants with Soul Shocked somewhere. . . though maybe not. To be honest I probably lean on that Condition a bit too much in my own homebrew. I'll brainstorm an alternative.

                            Primordial newcomer: First thing that comes to my mind is an infant born with a strange, viscous caul-like organ, which the Mutant can instinctively direct and which produces a number of enzymatic effects. The Deviant's synapses actually extend into a different vibratory frequency of reality, and anyone with the appropriate supernatural vision can detect the thin, spectral filaments that connect the caul to the Genotypal, even at great distance. The concentration required to control the caul's movements requires constant concentration on the Deviant's part, though, leaving the rest of their body vulnerable.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post
                              Oh, I completely glossed that over. I guess I just assumed it was. I have this faint inkling of Eric Z mentioning rules for Deviants with Soul Shocked somewhere. . . though maybe not. To be honest I probably lean on that Condition a bit too much in my own homebrew. I'll brainstorm an alternative.
                              The Astral Projection and Body Snatcher Variations inflict a minor Instability under similar conditions, but I suspect that's a little more lenient than what you intended.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post

                                Oh, I completely glossed that over. I guess I just assumed it was. I have this faint inkling of Eric Z mentioning rules for Deviants with Soul Shocked somewhere. . . though maybe not. To be honest I probably lean on that Condition a bit too much in my own homebrew. I'll brainstorm an alternative.
                                Soul Shocked isn't in Deviant, because Deviants can't get Soul Shocked (due to their broken souls). For the most part, if a Deviant would "die in a dream" (having an astral projection destroyed or something similarly non-physical), the result is a minor Instability. If they would "die in real life" (such as by teleporting or phasing into a solid object), that's a medium Instability, instead.


                                Onyx Path Freelancer and Fantasy Author

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X