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Setting Material- the Old Ones

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  • Setting Material- the Old Ones

    So, I once worked on an idea of mine to revise the Changing Breeds (check my sig for details), but eventually I came to the conclusion it was too much for me to do alone. However, I did liked the idea for the "line antagonist" I thought about- the "Old Ones" from the one line in the book. So, I've decided to write down my idea to those guys as a general setting material. Here is what I have for now- hope you'll like it.

    The Old Ones are dead.

    They were the first shifters (if not the first supernaturals) to walk on the face of Earth. The firstborn children of Nature, they lived long before the naked monkey who called itself "man" was even in the horizon. Instead, they shifted between the different breeds who walked in the old world, becoming the best predators of that age. No one was equal to their cunning, and the devoured whole species as a proof of their superiority. It was a primal time back than, when the world was hot and countless exotic breeds were spawned from Nature's mad imagination. They surely were the chosen ones, the most beloved and beautiful creations who were destined to rule the world

    But the world changed, and they didn't.

    No one knows what exactly happened, but no longer it was the same. So sure that it was only a phase, the great monsters kept trying to maintain their former life style- but they forgot Nature's greatest lesson. Evolve or Die. Those who changed were no longer the same, becoming smaller and weaker compared to their former glory. Those who didn't went extincted. It wasn't the last time for it to happen, and many breeds had died through the ages, and each such extinct feral was also added to the vast category of the Old Ones.They died. Their time was up. Their flesh rot and turned into dust.

    But their bones are still out there.

    Those bones, which many believe to be regular fossils, are sometimes found the the farthest wastelands, buried beneath tones of earth and dirt. Even when they are exposed to the fresh air and warm sunlight, they don't react. They are nothing more than bones who turned into solid stone. Yet, sometimes, something.... happens. Maybe it is Nature's last gift to her fallen children, offering them a second chance. Maybe it is some mystical event which connects between the past and the present, making one into the other. Perhaps it is simply some residual energy which is still found in the bones, wild magic from ages past. What ever the reason is, sometimes the bones awake- and the world change around them.

    The earth is the first to change. An Old One who once lived in a jungle may make plants start growing faster, and trees become as tall as giants. One who came from the ice age makes the winter linger, and snow starts falling even in the middle of the summer. The bones of a marine specimen fills the water with salt and turn the streets into rivers. The next level is about the animals- they become more and more primitive, resembling their ancient ancestors. Dogs remember what it is to be wolves. Cats discover their inner lions.

    And than, man change.

    It happens slowly, so slow that even the ones to suffer than change may doesn't notice it. They start having dreams about an older world, one without law in which every desire was to be fulfilled. They hear whispers which promise power, to grant every wish and to loose their vulnerable flesh in exchange for more resilient body. They feel urges which were suppressed by years of civilization- the urge to eat, to breed, to live life to their fullest. Those who succumb to those feelings find themselves standing in front of the dead bones, and act out of pure instinct.

    They eat them.

    Once the bones are absorbed into the living body, they start shaping their host- they still keep its form, but they grant him a new, better form- the one they had before. The power surge through their vines, as they finally gain a beating heart. After years of being no more than dust, the breed is alive again, and its primal feelings force their new host to try and recreate the fallen race. Their presence still transform the world, forcing everything to become more and more atavistic as the creations of civilization breaks down and turn to rust, while they use their new bodies to regain their former glory and become the great hunters they once were.

    And the other supernatural aren't protected from them. In fact, some (especially those who change their shape) are even more vonrable to the whispers of the sleeping giants who wish to wake up once more. Once they awake, nothing but death can put them to sleep once more, and only the destruction of the bones would return the world to how it is suppose to be. Yet, for every bone they destroy, hundreds more lie in the depth of earth. Nature has changed her face many times through the ages, and many breeds didn't changed fast enough to keep up with the mad dance of Nature.

    Evolve or Die- that is the rule. If you wish to survive, you must adapt yourself to the changing world...

    Or make it change to suit you.

    what do you think?


    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Wait for the Forsaken 2ed, we will return to the project itself then. But I think that with Gator we have some strong basis for the new Species Creation rules.

    As to the Old Ones themselves - they are look intriguing to me, so I have some questions for you on them.

    1. How they are diffrent from Idigam of Werewolf? They both are ancient, shapeshifting monstrosities wanting to control other shapeshifters.

    2. They should use Ephemera Beings rules of 2ed Storytelling System, yes?

    3. What kind of special powers would they have? For example, Idigam can change shapes instantly and True Fae can create dreams and reality.

    4. What kind of threats to shapeshifters society Old Ones generate?

    5. Have you got some example of Old Ones written? If not, what mythological beings could be best inspirations?


    My stuff for Scion 2E, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ in CoD games

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
      Wait for the Forsaken 2ed, we will return to the project itself then. But I think that with Gator we have some strong basis for the new Species Creation rules.

      As to the Old Ones themselves - they are look intriguing to me, so I have some questions for you on them.

      1. How they are diffrent from Idigam of Werewolf? They both are ancient, shapeshifting monstrosities wanting to control other shapeshifters.
      there are a number of differences- first, the Old Ones aren't spirits. They are (or were) physical beings who eat, sleep, lust, hunger and so on. Second, they are extinct- it is simply that they are so protean that they can even defy that boundary. Third, unlike the idigams who are naturally shapeless, the Old Ones have a shape- that of a giant dinosaur or a terrible mammoth. Finally, unlike the Moon Banished, they are not terrible, god like beings- they were shapeshifters, and they still are. And time a Breed goes extinct, there is a chance their bones would awaken in the form of an Old One. They don't care much about manipulating the shapeshifters as for returning to life, and if it means making the world hostile to anyone who isn't them, so be it.

      Also, note that when I say "want" or "care", it isn't accurate- they don't plan to return to life. While they are dead, they don't think at all- they are truly dead. They awaken mostly by pure chance or the manipulations of others. They act out of pure instinct when they first awaken, and even when they "return to life", it is not the conscious of the original- but the memories of the Old Ones who slowly corrupt the mind of their host,

      2. They should use Ephemera Beings rules of 2ed Storytelling System, yes?
      No. They are physical, fleshy beings. Most of them don't no, don't care or both about the Shadow and its inhabitants. They do have Rank, however, but in the same way that Pandorans have one.


      3. What kind of special powers would they have? For example, Idigam can change shapes instantly and True Fae can create dreams and reality.
      While each has its own defining traits (which describe their Nahual and the form to which they change their "host"), they have some common powers. First, the ability to return to life from their own bones by possessing someone (else, they would just stay dead). Second, the ability to terraform their environment- in order to awake, they must first return the world as it once been. The higher the Rank of the Old One, their terraforming covers more turf. They can't control that ability- it is an insticnt, so they don't choose the scale or way the world would chance (similar to the Wasteland, only that it also transform the people and beasts inside it, and it doesn't make the world "dead" by default). Finally, while in their Bone form, they can project their memories into the minds and dreams of those who surround them, until they'll lure one to unite with them.

      Note that all of those powers come to effect only BEFORE they awake. Once they do, they are a regular Feral- maybe with some powerful tricks in its sleeve, bu they don't have anything extraordinary in them (well, unless you call a magical T rex who can turn into a pterodactyle before it return to a human skin "extraordinary". O, yes- the most ancient Old Ones (all of those who predate humanity) usually have at least two Nahuals. Enjoy)


      4. What kind of threats to shapeshifters society Old Ones generate?
      They are what the Ferals see when they look in the mirror. They know their destiny if they'll allow themselves to go extinct and won't adapt to the new world. It also lures them by offering them a way to preserve their exsitence and memory- they won't be forgotten. This is mostly alluring for Breeds who are on the verge of extinction. Also, the terraforming abilities of the Old Ones interact strangely with the shifter's natural changing ability, which could make them go mad or lure them toward the bones more then the usually. Finally, they offer great power to those Ferals who decide to sacrifice a part of their personality in exchange for letting the Old One to live inside of them- they are the faustian devils of the Changing Breeds, only that they care nothing about the soul- it is th body they seek for.


      5. Have you got some example of Old Ones written? If not, what mythological beings could be best inspirations?
      I don't have any write up for an Old One. Dragons could be seen as some form of inspiration (I've taken some inspiration from the Dragon Overlord from Dragonlance), although the Jurassic Park could be a better inspiration. They are dinos, mamoths and many other creatures who went extinct. To find an inspiration for them, you should look less in mythology and more in paleontology


      My Homebrew Signature

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

      I now blog in here

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      • #4
        This looks really cool!

        So, once a human goes KFC on some Old One fossil, who is in control of that fun new body? Is it a full hostile takeover? Is it something more like a Sin-Eater situation, where the most the Old One can do is cajole and whinge? Does the human sometimes experience lost time or what-have-you? Strange cravings? You mention Faust; what does Mister Two-Legs get out of the deal? Just a hot new bod? Or something more. . . well probably not esoteric, considering the fleshy nature of the Old Ones, but what sort of person does this in the first place, would you say?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post
          This looks really cool!

          So, once a human goes KFC on some Old One fossil, who is in control of that fun new body? Is it a full hostile takeover? Is it something more like a Sin-Eater situation, where the most the Old One can do is cajole and whinge? Does the human sometimes experience lost time or what-have-you? Strange cravings? You mention Faust; what does Mister Two-Legs get out of the deal? Just a hot new bod? Or something more. . . well probably not esoteric, considering the fleshy nature of the Old Ones, but what sort of person does this in the first place, would you say?
          thanks, and those are some good questions! Here are the answers:

          1) it is closer to the Bargain of the Sin Eaters, yet not exactly the same. The mind of the Old One is question is not exactly present in the bones- only some of its memories, which are the source for all of the mayhem. However, is it not to say that the host is in full control- after all, those memories also shape his mind, making it more like the Old One was. In the end, you get a new Old One with the mentality of the owner of the bones.

          2) the human is question suffer from a lot of changes- both physical and mental. Human, after all, weren't the original body of the Old One- they are the shifters who came long before the naked monkey learned to walk on two. The hosts become more primal, and act more like the Old One they turn into.

          3) you may say that the human in question just gets a new shiny body- but can you really call the ability to grew as tall as a building and fly above a city as the lord of the skies as "just a body"? Plus, the Old Ones have some weird Aspects, which grant the host supernatural powers, and they may even use some ancient Beast Magic (reminder to myself- rewriting Beast Magic). They are, after all, Ferals- but they are strange enough to scare the shit out of any shifter. Plus, the life when the world was young were a lot more harsh- and so the Nahual of the Old Ones are a lot more powerful then most of the other Breeds who still walk the face of earth.

          4) also- about who would do this.. well, probably someone who feels weak. Plus, the ability of the Old Ones to mind-fuck people in order to make them absorb their bones makes sure they'll find a new host :P
          Last edited by LostLight; 01-10-2015, 02:39 PM.


          My Homebrew Signature

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

          I now blog in here

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            first, the Old Ones aren't spirits. They are (or were) physical beings who eat, sleep, lust, hunger and so on.
            But they do not have body now - they are “Bones” only... Or maybe a “spirit” Inhabiting them? Until they found correct host.

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Second, they are extinct- it is simply that they are so protean that they can even defy that boundary.
            WHEN the Species become Old One? Just after last member dies?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Third, unlike the idigams who are naturally shapeless, the Old Ones have a shape- that of a giant dinosaur or a terrible mammoth.
            They are only limited to real extincted animals? No fantastic beast like Unicorns, Dragons, etc?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Finally, unlike the Moon Banished, they are not terrible, god like beings- they were shapeshifters, and they still are. And time a Breed goes extinct, there is a chance their bones would awaken in the form of an Old One. They don't care much about manipulating the shapeshifters as for returning to life, and if it means making the world hostile to anyone who isn't them, so be it.
            Wait, what? When BREED is extinct? So when all all Cold Kings are dead only then triseratops are becoming Old Ones? I thought the Old Ones are ANIMALS extinct, not the ferals ( as the understand ) Species. Old Ones are not “extinct animal spirits”, only “extinct shapeshifters familes”?

            Also, the Species to be extinct is the literal animal - or Nahual? For example thriceratops become Old Ones when the last living animal of this kind is dead? Or when last shapeshifter with triceratops Nahual is dead? And what bones becomes Old Ones - animals or shapeshifters?

            Also, what were first Nahuals shapeshifters - because surely humans would not have connection necessarily to join triceratops soul until XVIII-XIX century, They could become were-Cave Bears, but I would not see them were-T-Rexs, as humanity would not have spiritual connection for those.

            UNLESS there is secret repatalian humanoid race that continued legacy of dinosaurs with they souls - and somehow interbreed with humans, passing the original T-Rex souls across ages...


            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            No. They are physical, fleshy beings. Most of them don't no, don't care or both about the Shadow and its inhabitants. They do have Rank, however, but in the same way that Pandorans have one.
            To use Ephmeral Rules they do not need to be connected to Shadow. Ghost and Angels are not, and still they use. Even new fae and hobgoblin rules for Changeling 2ed will use all the Ephemeral Rules, even if they will be “in the flesh”. I would not be shocked if the same would be used for Pandorans in Promethean 2ed. For now, I would wait and see how will be Spirit-Ridden be mechanically solved in Werewolf 2ed. They are both about merging “spiritual-thing” with new body.

            Also, next question - does not Old Ones blending in to new host works more or less like possession? I do not think most humans or ferals would like to become more and more as ancient nightmare with alien instincts... Old Ones “memories” sound to me a lot like Ephemeral Entity in this right, especially as you want to give them Rank.

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            First, the ability to return to life from their own bones by possessing someone (else, they would just stay dead).
            So they posses Ferals - but what about humans? You said they take control also on other shapechangrs - what about Uratha werewolves? Thyrsus mages? Even vampires with Protean?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Finally, while in their Bone form, they can project their memories into the minds and dreams of those who surround them, until they'll lure one to unite with them.
            Once again - to me this indicate that Old Ones Nahual is a very much like many other Ephemeral Entities in this remark. Maybe, in Bone form, they are they own kind of Ephemera?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Note that all of those powers come to effect only BEFORE they awake. Once they do, they are a regular Feral- maybe with some powerful tricks in its sleeve, bu they don't have anything extraordinary in them
            What about hosts that were not humans? What about when you were Feral,with modern Nahual, and then become Old Ones one? They merge? Old One take total control on the host?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            (well, unless you call a magical T rex who can turn into a pterodactyle before it return to a human skin "extraordinary". O, yes- the most ancient Old Ones (all of those who predate humanity) usually have at least two Nahuals. Enjoy)
            But HOW? Bones are from only one animal... And AT LEAST two? Should not just dinosaur-blooded be typical Old Ones, with more weirder as the most powerfull ones?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            They are what the Ferals see when they look in the mirror. They know their destiny if they'll allow themselves to go extinct and won't adapt to the new world. It also lures them by offering them a way to preserve their existence and memory- they won't be forgotten. This is mostly alluring for Breeds who are on the verge of extinction. Also, the terraforming abilities of the Old Ones interact strangely with the shifter's natural changing ability, which could make them go mad or lure them toward the bones more then the usually. Finally, they offer great power to those Ferals who decide to sacrifice a part of their personality in exchange for letting the Old One to live inside of them- they are the faustian devils of the Changing Breeds, only that they care nothing about the soul- it is th body they seek for.
            Once again - are you sue this is about BREEDS, not the SPECIES? Because I could see Sabretooth Tiger becoming rather young Old One, but Bastet Breed is far from being extinct now... Also, how the Feral share his body with Old One, exactly?

            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            I don't have any write up for an Old One. Dragons could be seen as some form of inspiration (I've taken some inspiration from the Dragon Overlord from Dragonlance), although the Jurassic Park could be a better inspiration. They are dinos, mamoths and many other creatures who went extinct. To find an inspiration for them, you should look less in mythology and more in paleontology
            I could see European Dragons as the two Nuhails combined in one shifter ( TRex and Pterodactyl ), but in first write-up you mentioned mythological beings like Nidhogg. Have other like those that can be suited to this?

            I also vaguely recall something like Giant Sand reptile changing large area of middlands in to desert. I’am recalling proper?


            My stuff for Scion 2E, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
            LGBT+ in CoD games

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