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Leviathan: The Cult Chronicles

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  • Originally posted by Jimborg View Post
    Killerclown brings up a good point: what are the extent of the activities you can perform while your Leviathan is Dead But Dreaming?
    Not that much. You're limited to channels/adaptations that explicitly state they work when you're dead and channels/adaptations that explicitly state they work while you're dreaming. Your cult can use Rituals like normal.

    Though on the other hand, that list does let you possess a Beloved to use as an avatar. So a dead leviathan could make a very atypical charachter for a mortals+ level game.

    Originally posted by Jimborg View Post
    Are they still subject to the same Tranquility requirements for human contact as before? Does psychic interaction count as human contact? Can you use Ichor to go to a lower Depth, so as to gain access to your powers and gain better control of your Cult?
    Yes to all three. However psychic interaction that works on targets within a certain distance of you won't work, because your mind is somewhere beyond this mortal plain and thus out of range (unless you're currently possessing an avatar). You have to use things like Contact List.

    Originally posted by Jimborg View Post
    Heck, you could probably do most of a campaign around just bringing yourself back from death, though it'd be more "Sim Cult" than your standard WoD game.
    Sim Cult is pretty much the intent. The ability to survive death is mostly there to be a last chance to claw your way back to life. You could play an entire story of "Sim Cult" if you like, and there's potential with using a dead Ophion as a nearly unkillable reoccurring antagonist who appears as the puppetmaster behind a new cult every a few sessions after you exterminated the last cult.

    However the intent is that you use this state to plan your cult's heist on the Cheiron Group laboratory storing your body and then order them to supply you with Ichor so you can regenerate. My hope is that the many limitations of being dead will add to the fun of organising your own rescue; but I'm not really worried if the novelty wears off after a while.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 03-03-2017, 07:03 AM.

    “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
    My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
    Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers


    • Beast

      Of all the creatures of the World of Darkness, only the Begotten claim a shared descent of Tiamat with Earth’s Most Wicked. Many of the Children would be thrilled upon discovering the Tribe, viewing them as something akin to a long lost sibling: both feed on the minds of men. Both of their predations inevitably create Heroes (or Ahabs, in the case of Leviathans). The Makara even share the Leviathan's aquatic inclinations, leading to speculation that the former were the predecessors of the later (or vice-versa, in the view of the Leviathans concerned).

      Upon closer inspection however, The actions of Leviathans tend to confuse and mystify The Children: while they can appreciate the value of cultists as a convenient food supply, they are unsure what role Beloved are supposed to play in the Primordial Dream. What’s more, Beloved cannot be used as pathways to the Primordial Dream: trapped in the Leviathan’s psychic orbit, Beloved are cut off from the Astral plane, and are thus unable to be used as a gateway to the Primordial Dream with the Under The Bed ability.

      This first impression is not reciprocated by the Tribe. They view the Begotten as, for lack of a better word, posers.

      Beasts seem wholly unconcerned with seeking evidence of their much vaunted lineage lineage. For all they complain about Heroes not understanding their place in the Primordial Dream, Beasts themselves seem to have relatively little interest in the quest for self identity that consumes the Tribe.

      While there’s no way for Leviathans to conclusively disprove claims of shared lineage (especially given the similarities above), Beasts claim that every supernatural is descended from Tiamat. As followers of the School of the Sand point out, any theory you can’t disprove is no theory at all. Not to mention that the souls of Beasts reek of humanity, regardless of whatever twisted forms their Souls take. Just because you look like a squid and act like an asshole doesn't make you a proper monster.

      It would be remiss to mention that the Tribe’s animosity towards the Begotten at least partially stems from jealousy. Lacking the Wake, a well fed Beast can live among humanity in ways that the Tribe can only dream of.

      Sidebar: Nightmares in the Deep

      Though it seems like a Beast’s Nightmares are exactly the sort of thing a Leviathan’s Ocean Minds defense would apply to, Leviathans are just as vulnerable to a Beast’s Nightmares as any other creature in the World of Darkness. It is only when the effects of a Beast’s Nightmares attempt to directly influence their mind, soul, or emotions that Ocean Minds is tripped. For example “Behold my True Form” inflicts lethal damage, and affects the Leviathan’s body, not their mind. By contrast “Run Away” or “You Must Obey” directly attempt to directly influence the Leviathan’s behavior and therefore trigger Ocean Minds.

      Similarly, while most of a Beast’s kinship powers treat a Leviathan as a fellow Child of the Dark Mother, using Thicker than Water provokes a Leviathan’s Ocean Minds defense and a clash of wills, as the power attempts to influence how the Leviathan feels towards the Begotten.

      Non-Euclidean Labyrinths

      To an aspiring Lovecraftian demigod, a Beast’s lair may seem to be the perfect spot to hide and plot your next move.

      The unfortunate truth is a Begotten’s lair is among the last places a Leviathan wants to be, especially if they are trying to keep a low profile.

      Remember: a Beast’s lair is located within the Primordial Dream, part of the collective human consciousness. The same mechanism that lets the Beast’s soul hunt in the local mindscape can also carry echoes of the Leviathan’s Wake, creating Beloved and Ahabs in unexpected places, who are sure to cause the Leviathan trouble later.

      On the other hand, Beasts create new chambers in the Lair through breaking points, and few tools are as useful in that regard as a Leviathan’s Wake. In a pinch, the extra defense a new Chamber provides may be worth the risk to a Beast and/or Leviathan under siege.

      Feeding Frenzy

      Beasts are able to use Family Dinner to sympathetically feed from Leviathans as they regain Ichor. Specifically, Beasts can regain Satiety through observing a Levithan making a Havoc or Dominance check, most instances of a successful Fervor check, and certain Channels that grant Ichor through the use of predatory means. As a rule of thumb, if it restores Ichor and requires the Leviathan to act in a physically predatory fashion, it restores Satiety.

      Some Beasts have also reported feeling especially full after a given ‘hunting session’ with a Leviathan, receiving unexplained additional Satiety. Only those with intimate familiarity of the Leviathan psyche realize this Satiety comes from a Leviathan’s mind feeding on itself. For whenever the chains of Eunoia or Phronesis slip, the sociopathic deity and the savage beast feast on an increasingly unstable human psyche, restoring both Ichor and Satiety in the process.

      This can result in rapid Satiety gains that can force a Beast’s Soul into dormancy if they aren’t careful. For example, say that a Beast is observing a Reef Leviathan who is set on destroying a rival. During the battle, the Leviathan get’s particularly cross and decides to consume their rival, body and soul. This would potentially provoke two instances of regaining Ichor from degeneration (a Phronesis check for eating it’s body, and a Enuoia check for eating its soul.) and regaining Ichor from eating it’s soul, providing an opportunity to gain three Satiety from the same act.

      The Beast, however, will only be aware that a potential to regain Satiety exists, and not the exact amount. If, this would force a Beast above 10 Satiety, their Soul is forced to disgorge the excess horror, forcing them to spend one Willpower per Satiety they wish to disgorge (the Hunger Management merit can reduce the amount of Satiety you have to deal with). This excess horror spreads nightmares, similar to when a Beast’s Soul is Ravenous. Such nightmares often serve as a clue or omen to all nearby that something great and terrible has happened.

      Sidebar: “You tricked me!”

      Invoking the “Feeding Frenzy” rules above uses the themes of Leviathan: The Tempest to subvert the themes of Beast: The Primordial. To a Beast, the other inhabitants of the World of Darkness are one big extended family, and the use of the Family Dinner ability emphasizes that connection, and makes it easier to establish Kinship.

      To an unprepared Beast, trying to draw Satiety off of a Feeding Frenzy may subvert this perspective: Beast do indeed gain the bonus to establish Kinship with a Leviathan, but only after getting a first hand introduction to the amount of physical and psychic trauma they inflict on themselves and others, to the point of possibly causing them to become sick with Satiety. As such, a ST should consult with Beast PCs before implementing this rule.
      Last edited by Jimborg; 03-26-2017, 01:24 PM.


      • Looks good. A couple of things I'd point out:

        For some Leviathans the idea that beasts are descended from Tiamat is not only wrong but out right blasphemous and a good way for a Beast to screw up a "first contact". The School of the Moon would be particularly likely to react negatively but it's not unique to them.

        One of the core thematic contrasts between Leviathan and Beast is the idea of family. Beast, at least to some extent, treats family as people who you like and who you support; a view that's hard coded in mechanics that let Beasts give other supernatural a power boost or have higher first impressions.

        For Leviathan family resembles classical deities like the twelve Olympians. A cesspool of bitter feuds, self-destructive envy, petty bickering, one-upmanship, and other assorted behaviours that makes you wonder if this is the realm of the gods or a badly behaved high school.

        Due to the way apexes work; a Leviathan's wake is practically an automatic apex button. There's probably some story potential in that.

        I've heard it said that the Dark Mother existed for as long as living creatures were able to feel fear or hunger. If that theory is true, and if the theory that Tiamat was literally the first living being in existence is true, then that would make the Dark Mother Tiamat's hunger & fear. Obviously this isn't intentional. I didn't set out to write about another game's mythos, it's just the logical conclusion of combining two theories written in isolation.

        Transformed Leviathans can physically touch astral entities. That includes the Horror. If a Beast uses Monster from the Deep to grapple a Leviathan, then the Leviathan can see and strike at the kraken's tentacles. There's no mechanical advantage for this, but there's some neat role play potential.

        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
        Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers