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Conjurer: Calling Forth the Darkness (fansplat, brainstorming, discussion)

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  • Conjurer: Calling Forth the Darkness (fansplat, brainstorming, discussion)

    so, here is one of my Weekly Projects- Conjurer (temporary name)

    So, I must admit that my favorite Exalted splat is, actually, a fanmade splat- the Nocturnals, and because one could draw parallels between the Exalted types to the supernatural creatures of WoD, I've always had an urge to do a tribute to Nocturnals by making a " WoD parallel" to them.

    I've also found myself very interested in the Abyss from Mage. I don't really know why, but for some reason I found that part of the setting fascinating. A space of no place which holds nothing and everything is the kind of things which gives my a chill in my spine, so I've also always felt an urge to make the Abyss playable, one way or another.

    Finally, I'm also a fan of the Manga/ Anime Pandora Hearts. I must say that the fact that Yuki Kajiura (wow, I spell her name right!) composed the music was one of the things which drew me, but I've also found the plot itself compelling and I have a kind of fetich to anything which is connected to Alice in Wonderland, so I've also thought about a way to adapt them to WoD without simply doing "copy paste":

    And from the mix of those, came Conjurer.

    The basic idea for Conjurer is that time is broken. People live their everyday life when suddenly they feel.. strange. Like they have been in that place before. Like they have just met that person. Like they knew what is going to happen- but forgot. They feel.. nostalgic, even thought it is the first time they things has happened in that way. Usually, people think about it as Deja vu and carry on- but some people know the truth, that time is no longer flowing as it should have, and that the reason is because someone, somewhere, has broken it.

    Everything has started in the Abyss. No one really knows what is that realm, but they do know one thing- that it is a place which distorts time, space and reality itself. The Abyss is a realm of madness, where one could shape everything and nothing by his will. It is the absolute freedom- and its influence on reality is the one that mixes up both time and memories, truth and illusion.

    But things weren't always like that. Once, the Abyss was in control, and time moved like a clock. But now, the clock is broken and times moves strangely- and those who could harness the power of the Abyss could control time too. At least, that's what the legend says. Until this day, no one has achieved mastery upon the Abyss.

    But people did learned how to use its powers. They learned how to call fourth things from the endless possibilities. They learned how to bind themselves to one of the creatures of the Abyss- which they named as Toys- in order to open a channel to the Great Beyond. They learned how to shape their Toys in order to manipulate reality itself. They learned how to feel the way the broken time has moved, and to track down the life which they have never had, in order to make their wishes come true.

    There are only two problems- the first is that being so close to the Abyss tend to.. drive people crazy. The ability to sense time kinda freaks out most people, and starting to remember things which have never been is really bad for your mental health. The second thing is that being so close to the Abyss also drains the soul- the Abyss is hungry, and the one who bound a Toy to his own soul must feed it with the lives of others- but if they won't make it in time, their inner clock will ring midnight and the Abyss would claim their soul. Yet, there is another way.

    Some people know how to bind Toys is a safer way, one which won't harm the soul and endanger the Conjurer. Those organizations, which are named as Houses, see themselves as the rightful rulers of the Abyss and its endless possibilities. Having a monopoly over the safe way to bind Toys gives them a great advantage upon others who wish to do the same, but with the power come secrets- for each of the Houses seek after its own agenda and has its own wishes to fulfill with the powers of the Abyss. Even that the Houses act like they work together, they plan against each other constantly, trying to back-stab each other and seize the Abyss for themselves.

    And there are also the Guardians. Those who protected the Abyss is the past. No one speak on them, no one admit that they are still alive- and those who know that they exist do anything in order to destroy them once and for all, for the Guardians have their own plan for the Abyss- and it isn't pretty.

    And between the outlaws, the schemes of the Houses, the Guardians, mad sorcerers, the threat of wild Toys, the broken shards of time and your flickering sanity, there is a voice in the darkness, a voice which whispers to you in the middle of the night. It asks help, for time is broken and it shouldn't be this way. It has a wish it has to fulfill, and it needs you to grant it- and if you'll do, it promise you the greatest thing in the world: the power to change one thing in the past.

    And this temptation may be the greatest danger a Conjurer may face against



    (well, that was longer than expected)

    so, here are few things I don't want to hear-

    But Mage Said- I know what Mage says on the Abyss. Really, I do. So if I'm doing something differently here, it is on purpose. Let's assume that for Conjurer, Mages don't know everything, ok?

    But Pandora Hearts Said- I'm reading the Manga, so see what I've said on Mage.

    5 is a Magical Number- there is a reasonable chance that I won't go with the 5X5 paradigm. Heck, there is even a chance there will by only one splat (Houses). There are already exceptions to the 5X5 paradigm, so this may be another one of them.

    This Should be a Geist's Hack- Yeah, I know that in Geist you bond with another creature and get magical powers- but I'm going to do things (or try to do them) differently, so if things start to look too much like Geist let me know- just don't rule the idea right away just because Geist already has the bonding thing.

    This Should be a Lesser Template- Maybe, but I don't want to make a lesser template. I want a major one. Sue me.

    I Think it Sucks- I mean, yeah, you can say that you don't like the idea, but at least say what you don't like. Threadcraping for threadcraping's sake is something I would like to avoid.

    Again, this is a weekly project, so I'll bring new material to here once per week- unless other people would join the project, which is a thing I would love to see.

    So- after establishing that.. comments please?


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  • #2
    This is very interesting, I too loved the Nocturnal Exalted, and I am a fan of using other dimensions outside of the gameline that spawned them. If the Shadow can be something for more then just Werewolf why not the Abyss?

    What kind of powers are you thinking? I was thinking of another new splat that would involve time anomalies, working title Eschaton: The Refuge, and the time things here reminded me somewhat.


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    • #3
      Well, most of their abilities would be focused around their personal Toy- which is an abyssal entity bound to their soul. They have an advanced "magic system" which allows them to call things from the Abyss (in a similar way to what Nocturnals do). While they don't manipulate time usually, they do have a few tricks to "play with it", which are usually an advanced side effects of expose to the Abyss. You may say that the time manipulation is part of the setting, not the characters


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      • #4
        I like it and I hope you can make this into a pdf or something

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        • #5
          I hope so too- but it is really too early to talk about pdf. First it needs to be playable, right? :P


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          • #6
            So here are some thoughts about Conjurer:

            The Time Which Wasn't: Once, there was a clock, and it ticked perfectly. Tick. Tick. Tick. The clock always showed what the time was, and everyone where happy. Because of that, the clock was a very important one- for without it, no one would know what the time was. For that reason, the clock was hidden, in the depth of a dark place which no one ever saw. And there, it was ticking- tick, tick, tick, and everyone knew peace. Yet, because the clock was so precise, people have wanted to use it for their own gain. After all, if someone where to change the time in the clock, everyone would believe the the time was what it wasn't, and things won't happen when they should have. Everyone will always be late, or perhaps it will always be tea time. Nothing will change, and Everything will not be the same.

            For that reason, the Guardians came. They protected the clock from any harm, making sure that no one would touch it. They were chosen by the clock itself, for the clock knew it needed protection. As long as the Guardians protected the clock and everyone knew what the time was, the world was like a wonderland- a perfect paradise, where everyone knew what and when they should do what they had to do. It was an harmony, even when that harmony dictated that someone would have to lose his head without reason. After all, the clock was ticking, and it meant that things happened when they should had. Tick, tick, tick.

            Yet, the Guardians needed help. Too many people has wanted to use the clock, to stop it from ticking. In order to help them, they rose four great Houses of nobility, and they gave them the Keys to the Playground. They taught them how to play with Toys, and how to appease the Monarchy of Four. However, they didn't gave them access to the clock, for they knew how fickle is an human heart, and how easily could a weak mind be corrupted by the darkness which they couldn't understand. Thanks to their actions, the clock kept ticking, and there was peace in the world- tick, tick, tick.

            But the Guardians have been busy with protecting the clock and staying away from mankind in their perfect wonderland, that they forgot that they also were humans. They also had a fickle heart and a weak mind. And the head of the Guardians has invited all of the nobility of the four Houses to a dance one night- and than has started to murder them all. However, the clock still foreseen that, and so it kept ticking- tick, tick, tick. But this time, the ticking wasn't has strong as always, for the clock has foreseen what should have happened next.

            The Houses didn't fell, for the Guardians didn't gave enough respect to them, seeing them as lesser beings. But the Houses has learned many secrets while under the guidance of the Guardians, and they called the powers of the Monarchy of Four to their help. And during that chaos and war, the clock kept ticking- but no one has watched it anymore. Everyone where too busy in their own problems. And while that time, a little girl came to the wonderland. She chased down the clock, for she wished to change her past. She followed its ticking- tick, tick, tick- and those who lived there helped there to chase it, for it wasn't their job to protect the clock. And eventually, the little girl found the clock and did the one thing she shouldn't do- she tried to change the hour.

            But she didn't knew how.

            And so, she broke it.

            And with it, she broke time itself.

            The Houses won the war only to discover they have lost. The Guardians who survived escaped, but they had nowhere to go. Paradise was lost. Wonderland has vanished. Now, there was nothing but darkness, doted with golden light- the shards of time. The Houses has followed that golden light, escaping the mad wonderland back to the world of reality, and discovered that the world has changed. No longer their realm was high and mighty. No longer their realm was. This was another time, another place. The world has changed, turning into what the little girl has wished it to be. Without the Guardians, Toys has started to run wild, and cultist called the powers of the Abyss, selling their soul to the darkness beyond the world. Shards of the past which never was kept spinning through the world, bringing chaos and madness. Seeing what happened because of the Guardians, the Houses decided to protect the world from the darkness and took the duty of the fallen Guardians upon themselves, for they still had the Keys to the Abyss. And since that day, they keep protecting the world from any other attempt to change time and space.

            Only that this is a lie. This time never happened. This world never was. But those who remember that time find power- and through that power, they could still hear the broken clock ticking. Tick. Tick. Tick.

            Becoming a Conjurer: Many vampires don't choose to become monsters of the night. The First Change comes without an invitation. You don't have many choices when you Awaken. Turning into a Conjurer- well, that's different. This is a conscious act, for one must choose to allow a being from a different dimension to sleep within their soul. And yet, it seems like those who become Conjurers have been destined to do so- like it has already happened before. The Toys seem to recognize their future Conjurers, and are unwilling to bind themselves to anyone else. There are people who could never find a Toy and become Conjurers, while others find their destined Toy right away. Most, however, need to take their time and learn under the Houses until the Houses find which Toy is the "right one". Once the Toy is found, it binds itself to a physical item which is called as a Key. In order for a Conjurer to use their powers, they must have a physical connection with they Key. Losing the Key or having it destroyed, however, doesn't make one human again. The binding into a Toy makes the Conjurer.. different. He start to remember the Time Which Wasn't, and so even if he lose his Key he could just make a new one after a while, conjuring the same Toy.

            This is, however, not the only way to bind a Toy. Some people want to use the powers of the Abyss for their own gain. Others try to bind a Toy which isn't belong to them. Few don't even understand what they are doing- just that they wish for something so hard that they desire lures the Toys from their hideout. Those people bind the Toys directly to their soul, lacking the Keys which are guarded by the Houses. Those rouge Conjurers are called Outlaws, and each and every one of them has sold his soul to the Abyss- and after doing so, there is no way back.

            However, one question is left unanswered- how does a Conjurer find about the Houses? How does the Houses discover a future Conjurer? The answer is pretty simple. It is because one turn into a Conjurer even before doing so. Time is broken, after all. The past is our future.


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            • #7
              Theme: the Theme of Conjurer is Deja- vu. Things seem to happen again and again in the same way. You almost knw what is going to happen- but you just can't remember. That person out there? You already met him. You killed him, twice. Only that it is the first time you've ever seen him. But from the way he looks at you, he seem to remember you as well. And he also knows what is going to happen. You walk in the street when you suddenly see your wife- only that you are not married yet. You are going to sacrifice her and your children in order to feed your Toy. You still go and talk with her, and you go together to launch. She is going to order a soup. But you don't know that yet, although it has already happened.
              A lesser theme is about freedom and fate. If everything is already decided, you can either fight your destiny or say "screw it" and do what ever you want, knowing that eventually things will turn out as they were supposed to be. However, conjurers are different from most people in that they CAN fight they fate. After all, time is broken, and this time you can make things different, right?.. Right?...

              Mood: The mood of Conjurer is Surrealism. Things are just plain weird. You have memories from a past which never happened and you know a future which will never happen. You have a mad being inside of your soul which is, somehow, a perfect match of you even thought it was made thousands of years before you were born. The Houses also hide many secrets which seem so illogical that most people would just lose their mind in an attempt to understand them. Everything you know about reality is false, and everything is possible. And this is even before you walk through the Doors into the Abyss itself- a reality which doesn't real, making into into a paradox. The world is mad, and so is you.

              X-Splat: Houses- each Conjurer belongs to an House, which is the organization which gave him his Toy. There are 4 Houses, and each is blessed by one of the Monarchy of Four- four powerful Toys which guard the Abyss. Each House gives a number of benefits. First, there are powers which only certain Houses have access to, thanks to their Monarch. Second, each House gives free skill specialties. Third, each House grants a certain access to resources which the other houses lack. While the Houses seem to work together, they actually fight each other and attempt to steal the secrets of the other houses. Each House is symbolized by a color and a beast.

              Y-Splat:??? (maybe none)

              Power State: Nostalgia- each Conjurer makes a connection with the Time Which Wasn't in order to achieve his powers. The closer you are to that time, the more you feel... nostalgic. You start to remember things which never happened, and your life looks like a Deja-vu. The higher is your Nostalgia, your connection to the Abyss is stronger and you can remember things more clearly. There are stories about Conjurers who maxed their Nostalgia and experienced what is called as "the Remembrance". No one knows if those stories are true, and the Houses deny it officially while trying to achieve that state by themselves.

              Energy State: Shards- time is broken, and its shards are found anywhere. While they are invisible to most people, the Conjurers can see them. They attract those shards by their very existence, gathering them in their souls and feed with them their Toy. Shards could be gathered in number of ways. First is by finding a Memoryscape, which is a place which contains the memory from the time which wasn't The second is by simply being inside the Abyss, which requires a Door to do so. The third was is by experiencing Deja- vu and remembering the Time Which Wasn't. Destroying other Toys and Keys is also a possibility, and so does by gaining a "blessing" from the Head of your House. There is also another way, but it isn't recommended. By feeding an human to your Toy, you can get a fill you Shards pool- but doing so too many times will break your Key, making you into an Outlaw

              Karma State: Identity- In a reality where time is broken and reality is illogical, you live a thousand lives in the same time and, if it's not enough, you have an hungry Toy inside your soul- it is only normal to become mentally unstable. In order to survive in that mad world, one must cling to his Identity like air to breath. Those who lose their grip in their identity start act.. weird. Less like humans, and more like Toys. They become obsessive about certain things, like a script they must follow, and talk about things only they remember. They start to act like one of their alternative identities from the Time Which Wasn't or listen to their Toy too much. Many of those who lose their Identity become Outlaws, but others go to the Abyss and don't return. Those Conjurers turn into the very Toys they once bound.

              Power: Functions- Functions are they way one could use his Toy. Some Functions are aggressive, while others are more subtle- like teleportation and tracking. In order to use Functions, the Toy must be Manifested and the Conjurer must be able to touch his Key. For that reason, most Conjurers prefer not to use their powers in front of regular people, unless they can hide the Toy- or that they are about to feed those people to the Toy. There are three types of Functions- Physical, which are part of the Toy and could be used only once the Toy manifest physically, Subtle, which could be used while the Toy is manifested in the Twilight, and House Specific, which could be either Subtle or Physical but are open only to a certain members of an House.

              Sorcery: Fluctuations- Unlike Functions, this power is more fluid and free. Fluctuations allows the Conjurer to summons things from false realities and the Abyss itself. Once summoned, people will treat those things like they were a normal part of reality. Those powers, however, are extremely dangerous and unstable, and a conjurer may easily lose control over them if he lacks his will. There are 4 types of Fluctuations, and each is held by one of the Houses. Some claim that the Guardians also have their own type, or even access to all of them, but no one is even sure that the Guardians still exist. Outlaws can't use Fluctuations.


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              "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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              • #8
                Lexicon and Antagonists

                Abyss, The: the primal void and the origin of all Toys. Some claim that it was once a golden paradise. Others, like the Houses, treat it as a weapon factory. Most see it is a black void. Those with enough Nostalgia think about is as a broken music box. Anyway, the Abyss is the realm of all possibilities which aren't. The Abyss touch everything in the world, and so could be effected (and effect) the world through sympathy. For example, each Conjurer is sympathetically connected to a certain toy. Some sorcerers use that sympathy in order to effect the Abyss without binding a Toy.

                Scraps: Any creature of the Abyss which is not a Toy. Unlike Toys, they don't need a Conjurer in order to enter the world and are usually simply a collection of unrelated, mad phenomena. Conjurers see them as either failed Toys, broken Toys or Toys to be, and some try to experiment with them in order to create artificial Toys. For now, without success.

                Toys: Creatures from the Abyss which are sympathetically connected to a certain person, which is fated to become their Conjurer. They can't survive outside of the Abyss without either a Memoryscape or a Conjurer.

                Wild Toys: special Toys which doesn't need a Conjurer. They are highly intelligent and usually are made from former Conjurers and humans. They are extremely powerful and are close to the Toymaker herself. Each of them has a shard of memory from the Time Which Wasn't.

                Game Factories: the name of the great entities which sleep in the Abyss. They are used by the Toymaker in order to create lesser Toys in mass product. Many of the Toys created by the Game Factories lack sympathy to Conjurers, and seek to bind with an Outlaw.

                Toymaker: The girl who broke the clock in an attempt to change the past. She rules the Abyss and use it to make toys. The Houses seek after her in order to take control over the Abyss.

                Time Which Wasn't: the name for any timeline which could have been, but is not. Originally meant only the time before time broke, but now is referenced to any possible past and future.

                Memoryscape: places which generate shards. They are actually parts from alternative timelines which contain the memories of people inside of them. Conjurers can extract power from them, but they may endanger their sanity by doing so, for it force them to see the alternative timelines. Each is belong to a certain Conjurer, which could reclaim it and gain power from doing so- at the lost of his identity.

                Guardians, The: the original guardians who protected the Abyss, the Clock and Time itself. For some unknown reason they tried to kill all of the members of the Houses as some sort of a sacrifice to the Abyss, but failed when Time broke. Most believe they are dead. No one told it to them.

                Outlaws: Conjurers who bound a Toy without a Key. They must feed the Toy with humans in order to avoid being swallowed by the Abyss. It is said that if one would feed a Toy with enough humans, he could change one thing in the past. As far as the Houses know, no one has ever achieved that act, for the number of people one must sacrifice is horribly high.

                Watchers of the Void: people who learn how to manipulate the Abyss without binding a Toy. They are either hunted down by the Houses or used by them by keeping a close watch. Their powers are usually weak and delicate and relay on sympathy between the Abyss and the world, but they have one advantage over the Conjurers- they can stop a Key from calling a Toy, denying most of the Conjurer's powers.

                Sorcerers: also called as "mages". They either claim that the Abyss is the enemy of the world or that they worship it. The Conjurers try to avoid them- only that they seem to bring the Abyss to anywhere they go to.


                well, that's it for today.. thoughts?


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                • #9
                  Awesome. I like it. Anything I could do to help?

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                  • #10
                    well- yeah, of course! You can post any idea or suggestion you have either fluff or mechanics. Feel free to say anything! (also, do you have an idea for another splat for them other than Houses? I have no idea..?)


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                    • #11
                      What do the houses represent?

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                      • #12
                        Well.. at first glance, Houses would look like the social splat, being major organizations with a political power. However, they are the X splat- one can't choose to which House he'll join, and you can't leave it and switch to another because your Key works by tuning into the House's Monarch (a great Wild Toy which serve the House). Each House grants a single type of Fluctuation and allows access to number of specific House Functions, and each House has a job one does very well- one is specialize in assassinations, another is an House of scholars and sages, the third is specialize in politics and the last is the House of artists and storytellers. Those traits are imprinted in the Toys of each House and in their Functions. In a way, you have always been part of the House, you have just waited to officially join.

                        This is why I'm kinda blank with the Y splat, for the Houses seem to cover both of the X and Y.. what do you think?


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                        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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                        • #13
                          Seems so... hmm... what if the y splat was something akin to how the conjurer internalizes the abyss. General avenues of how one copes. One leads double lives holding the real and alternat as far apart as possible. Another seeks a blending. Yet another rejects the real entirely. That sort of thing.

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                          • #14
                            Hey gent I just found this home brew called traveling the happening which sounds similar to yours hope this gives you ideas

                            https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...eTAZ8GfAw/edit
                            Last edited by reaperfrost8; 12-21-2013, 11:52 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Othikent View Post
                              Seems so... hmm... what if the y splat was something akin to how the conjurer internalizes the abyss. General avenues of how one copes. One leads double lives holding the real and alternat as far apart as possible. Another seeks a blending. Yet another rejects the real entirely. That sort of thing.
                              amm... so something in the style of Archetypes and Agendas? sounds legit :P

                              which benefit one should get from his approach to the Abyss?


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