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[Minor Template] The Cuckoos

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  • amechra
    started a topic [Minor Template] The Cuckoos

    [Minor Template] The Cuckoos


    The Cuckoos
    Some people simply don't have a family. This is a sad and terrible thing.

    Whether through being disowned or orphaned or perpetually unemployed, some people simply don't have a place where they can fit in and belong. They shuffle through life, alone and yearning for a place to stay. This is not about them.

    This is about the parasites that use them as camouflage.

    Oh, they look human - their nature assures that. They might have been human at some point, too. But now they aren't.

    They still feel completely, psychotically alone. The kind of loneliness that can only be filled by destroying the person filling it. The poisonous, filthy need spilling from their tongues and eyes and fingers infects and destroys families and happy lives.

    Have you counted your children recently?


    Cuckoo Syndrome (Supernatural; ••••)
    Prerequisites: Mortal only. Must not be in any long-term, fulfilling relationships. Integrity 4 or lower.
    Effect: You're a cuckoo - a parasite. And you're lonely. You gain access to Brood Parasitism, and gain a +2 bonus on all Breaking Points regarding people who aren't in your adoptive "family". Finally, you take a Beat whenever you see a group of people have a good time in a way that implicitly or explicitly excludes you.
    Special: Upon taking this merit, you gain a Major Glitch - rather than being mechanical in nature, the Glitch just needs to mark you as out of place. Strange eyes, forked tongues, and weird hair are common, though acting like a stranger or carrying a strange pall around with you are not unheard of. You do not lose this Glitch if you somehow lose the Merit.

    Brood Parasitism

    You can't really call yourself a cuckoo if you can't hide yourself in someone else's nest and kick their eggs out. This "magic" lets you do just that - with a little ritual, and some wanting, you can infiltrate the holes in human relationships to tear them apart.

    None of the relationships generated by this magic are real - just because everyone in the house believes that you're their Auntie doesn't make it true. As such, you still take a Beat when you take part in group activities with your "family", and they don't remove the Cuckoo Syndrome merit. You don't fit.

    Worse, you're invested in trying to - take the Embarrassing Secret ("I don't belong here") Condition. If you exchange it for the Notorious condition, the effects of Brood Parasitism end with regards to that "family".

    You gain access to the following tricks; unless otherwise stated, they last until you suffer a Breaking Point, or until the end of the Chapter, whichever comes first:

    Hiding Who I Am: A cuckoo can hide in plain sight - by reflexively spending one Willpower, you may hide your Glitches semi-indefinitely. Anyone who meets you rationalizes away your peculiarities; in effect, people assume that you just got a dye-job or that you just have a quirky habit. This protection does not extend to anyone who has an appropriate Unseen Sense, who is under the effects of mind-altering substances, or anyone who has seen that particular Glitch while this defense isn't in play.

    Healthy As A Horse: You don't want people to leave you - see? Your cold wasn't that bad after all! You may reflexively spend one Willpower to downplay the external symptoms of injuries, diseases, and curses in the same way that you can downplay your Glitches. This only acts as a cover up - you could reduce the outward signs of a severe case of pneumonia to a light cough, but you'd still suffer all the penalties and drawbacks.
    You may empower Healthy As A Horse by defining an Aspiration related to hiding the damage or convincing someone else that the problem isn't as bad as they think - if you complete that Aspiration and then activate Healthy As A Horse at the same time, you gain the normal benefits and reduce any penalties by two.

    Walking In Your Shoes: Copying someone else is easy. At least, it's easier than being yourself. Whenever you complete an Aspiration related to learning about or getting close to another character, you may spend one Willpower at the same time to gain the Obsession Condition with regards to "being" that character. Rolls you make to directly impersonate that character improve the benefit from your Obsession to 8-again, and allows you to treat parts of your identity (such as gender or race) where you differ from your Obsession as Glitches for the purposes of Hiding Who I Am. You may only be obsessed with one person in this way at any one time; picking a new person to mimic ends the old Obsession without resolving it.

    I'm Your Uncle Ernie: Whenever you complete an Aspiration related to learning about or getting close to a member of a cleanly defined group, you may simultaneously spend one Willpower to incorporate yourself into that group. You gain the Connected condition with regards to that group, as well as a Major Glitch that marks you as part of the group in question - this can be everything from coming up as genetically related to other members of your "family" or receiving a gender or race change. More importantly, other members of the group may take a Beat when confronted with evidence that you aren't a natural part of the group by dismissing it offhand.
    For the purposes of this trick, you have no control over where you fall in the group unless you are impersonating a member of the group with Walking In Your Shoes. If there isn't "room" in a group, and you're not impersonating a specific member (such as attempting to insert yourself into a romantic relationship that isn't an open one), this trick automatically fails. Additionally, members of the group that can see through Hiding Who I Am aren't considered part of the group for the purposes of I'm Your Uncle Ernie.

    Kicking You Out Of The Nest: Whenever you complete a long-term Aspiration related to excluding or digging up dirt on a member of a group you've joined, you may spend one Willpower to "reveal" that they're an imposter. They suffer a Major Glitch that clearly indicates that they're an outsider, and they gain the Notorious condition due to being "imposters". Unlike other tricks, only the Glitch fades when the normal duration ends - the Condition may only be resolved once you yourself are revealed as an imposter.
    If you "reveal" that someone you are obsessing over due to Walking In Your Shoes is a fake, the benefits of Walking In Your Shoes and I'm Your Uncle Ernie last until you are revealed as an imposter.


    Starting Cuckoos begin with Integrity 4 and gain the Cuckoo Syndrome merit for free.

    Stigmatic Cuckoos may hide their Stigmata with Hiding Who I Am.



  • Raistlin
    replied
    Yeah, because fae abductions are not enough paranoia fuel.

    Leave a comment:


  • Master Aquatosic
    replied
    Can this condition be fixed with the power of true love for the Cuckoo's real self?

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
    Integrity is also a rough measure of sanity. These people are not exactly sane...
    Exactly.

    Also, on a creepy note... I remembered where the name "Uncle Ernie" came from.

    Leave a comment:


  • ZealousChristian24
    replied
    Integrity is also a rough measure of sanity. These people are not exactly sane...

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    But in this case, the one with low Integrity isn't the diseased, but the disease itself...

    Leave a comment:


  • ReshyShira
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    Maybe we could have a really fun game just with those minor templates!

    But in the case of the Cuckoos, I don't think they need such a low Integrity. Why that?
    Integrity is how healthy your soul is, basically. Lower integrity makes it easier for something to squeeze inside.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Maybe we could have a really fun game just with those minor templates!

    But in the case of the Cuckoos, I don't think they need such a low Integrity. Why that?

    Leave a comment:


  • Walksforever
    replied
    All these minor templates are nicely done ... i am already thinking of ways to possibly slip them into The City.

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    That explains it - I rarely, if ever, actually read any of the non-mechanical parts of tabletop books. They just don't grab my interest in any reasonably enduring way.

    I do vaguely remember seeing them in the Edo spoiler, though. These guys aren't really related to them in any way (in fact, they can't even be legitimate members!)

    Leave a comment:


  • LostLight
    replied
    Originally posted by amechra View Post

    Yep. Except less "delusion" and more "the world ain't working right".

    I also fail to see why someone had to bring up the Japanese term for the lesser Cuckoo? It lacks context, and confuses me.
    The Hototogisu is a Japanese organization which features up in all of the Tokyo setting presentations in 2E. They had at least 2 incarnations. Their Edo Era version were hunters who could steal the powers of other monsters. Their modern version is actually one of the biggest occult powers in Tokyo with certain plans which make shake the whole city if not beyond it. Each time they were founded, it seems it was done by the same person (or at least, someone with the same name and agenda). The Cockoo symbolism was used a number of times both in their writeup and by posts made by developers and writers (up to the point I think that when someone asked who their leader was, David posted the opening paragraph in your post in a coded form). I simply believed you were aware to their existence.

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post
    So they're walking talking Capgras/Fredonia delusions?
    Yep. Except less "delusion" and more "the world ain't working right".

    I also fail to see why someone had to bring up the Japanese term for the lesser Cuckoo? It lacks context, and confuses me.

    Leave a comment:


  • LostLight
    replied
    I have only one word for this- Hototogisu :P

    (come on! someone had to!)

    Leave a comment:


  • ReshyShira
    replied
    So they're walking talking Capgras/Fredonia delusions?

    Leave a comment:


  • amechra
    replied
    Fun fact: When I was really young, my father travelled a lot for business.

    There were times where I was strangely paranoid that he'd be replaced when he was gone, and that no-one would even notice.

    Yes.

    Count your children, folks.

    Leave a comment:

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