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Minor Template: Hellspawn

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  • Minor Template: Hellspawn

    The Seventh Generation:
    One might not expect that the realms of science and those of myth and religion might merge, given how the two do not play well together. God and the Devil stay in their corner. Gravity and DNA remain in the opposite corner. They meet only as pugilists in the middle, theology vs. theory.

    The Chronicles of Darkness depict a world home to humans with an Infernal pedigree. Sometime in the past, be it on the streets of Victorian London or just outside the fallen Garden of Eden, someone coupled with a monster, a demon of potent diabolical heritage. Such a creature took its pleasure from a mortal man or woman (though certainly some cruel mortal summoners bound the beasts and stole the pleasure all for themselves). From the seed of some bloated archduke or the womb of some seducer named Ashmodai or Lamashtu (or even from the spirit-made-flesh of Lucifer himself) is born a stubborn bloodline, a hellish family tree whose twisted branches refuse to die and will forever yield strange and stunted fruit.

    These bloodlines exist, demonic families who may or may not know what secret monster lurks within the blueprint codons of RNA and DNA. Every child born of such a family does not manifest the traits inherent to the demonic legacy — no, one might say this gene is recessive, while another might say it simply hides and waits for the proper vessel.


    The Becoming:
    Some call this process the Revelation, the Epiphany, the Damnation — but most think of it simply as “the Becoming". Like fingerprints, every Hellspawn's Becoming is different, and can happen at any point in their lives.

    For some, it manifests at one's 23rd birthday. For others, it may happen at the outset of puberty or during some tragic event during one’s childhood — the loss of a pet, the death of a mother, a terrible car crash. Whatever the circumstances, it is important to note that it rarely causes direct harm to the Hellspawn. It may not be openly beneficial, but it’s
    more a case of the world going askew, where the character’s hellish heritage is demonstrated in some troubling way.

    One individual finds her dreams turn awful, offering a ceaseless nighttime parade of debaucheries and brutalities, many of which manifest days later — proof of nocturnal foresight, a gift of the blood. Another pushes back at a bully or a carjacker and what’s left is a corpse burned blistering red by cold fire. A third finds himself tended to by a pair of imps, or a carpet of swollen horseflies, or a succubus to call his own.

    All these scenarios lead to the same conclusion. The infernal seed within the blood of these halflings finally awakens, and triggers a change that is irreversible. Their Infernal Aspect becomes expressed, forever marking him as one of the Seventh Generation.


    Conviction:
    As with all minor templates, Hellspawn apply their full Conviction as a bonus when contesting or resisting supernatural powers. They also use it for determining how many demonic gifts he can safely develop.


    Gifts of the Diabolique:
    The Children of the Seventh Generation do not have pre-established abilities shared between them. Each is unique, born of a singular bloodline stirred from the depths of Hell. And each is therefore a Horror in his own right in the World of Darkness. This fact is reflected not only by the Dread Powers deeply rooted within their blood, but also the Infernal Aspects they manifest as expressions of their heritage. With such an infernal arsenal at their disposal, it is hardly surprising that they inspire fear among lesser mortals, and even other creatures of darkness.

    Power corrupts, however, especially those with the blood of demons. As a Hellspawn develops a greater communion with his dark legacy, he becomes both more and less than the human being he once was. Virtue is pushed aside in favor of Vice, and he finds the Integrity of his soul withering away the more he gives into his darker impulses. This only grows worse with time, as the Hellspawn grows to outlive most of the people of his past life.

    Many who experience this quickly become jaded to Humanity. They acknowledge their infernal ancestry, embracing it with all the carnage and debauchery typically expected from any demon. A few, however, struggle against such temptations. These individuals take the harder road, and work to hone their curse in order to combat the evils that birthed them. Such defiant or repentant Hellspawn often meet an untimely end, but they are nonetheless among the greatest threats that a demon can encounter.


    Infernal Aspects (• to •••••)
    Effect: Through the blood of their infernal ancestors, Hellspawn call upon the same powers of darkness that have been invoked in the past to plague Mankind. Many embrace these gifts to malicious ends, consorting with demons and promoting sin. Others choose to use them to make the world safe for humanity, even as they struggle to avoid having their souls ensnared by the toxic lure of such unholy blessings.

    A Child of the Seventh Generation gains the first dot in Infernal Aspects for free once he realizes his true nature, in the process developing both a Castigation and a Dread Power reflecting his ancestry. He can purchase additional dots with Experience, with each dot granting him a number of benefits.

    First, each subsequent dot in the Merit grants the Hellspawn a free Castigation. These reflect the supernatural changes made to the character as his body becomes more attuned to his nfernal blood. With time and effort, additional powers can be manifested, though doing so has its own risks.

    Second, the Hellspawn develops a number of Dread Powers, up to a maximum equal to half his dots in Infernal Aspects (rounded up). These are more potent abilities which further hint at the nature of the character's demonic ancestor, and are often consistent over generations of his family tree. This has allowed organizations like L'Enfantes Diabolique and the Lucifuge to track down and keep tabs on others of infernal descent, so that they may be recruited... or killed.

    Third, a Hellspawn holds some standing among the legions of Hell which is commensurate to his dots in Infernal Aspects. He is treated as having an Infernal Rank equal to half his rating in the Merit, rounded up.

    Finally, the Child of the Seventh Generation enjoys heightened longevity. The first dot doubles the character's average lifespan, with subsequent levels multiplying it. The strongest among the Hellspawn who have survived countless battles tend to live up to a thousand years. Perhaps longer, if one considers the Lucifuge.

    Drawback: A Hellspawn's lineage distances him further from the person he once was, even as it chips away at the human aspect of his soul. He takes a penalty equal to half his dots in Infernal Aspects (rounded up) on all Integrity breaking point rolls.

    Furthermore, he finds it more fulfilling to indulge in his darker impulses, while acts that appeal to his better qualities lessen in their worth. When the Hellspawn would regain Willpower from Virtue, he only receives a number of points equal to the lower of his Resolve or Composure in a single chapter.

    Conversely, he regains Willpower based on how he fulfills his Vice. If he indulges it instinctively in a scene, he regains a single point as usual. However, if he consciously chooses to follow his Vice in a scene where doing so would be costly, he restores all of his Willpower points.

    A Hellspawn can ignore an opportunity to satisfy his Vice, but must roll his Resolve + Composure roll at a penalty based on the circumstances of the scene. A Failure causes him to lose a Willpower point. A Dramatic Failure is worse, forcing him to make a Breaking Point roll at an additional -2 penalty. This reflects the discord between the character and his Infernal nature.


    Castigations:
    A Child of the Seventh Generation gains one of these demonic gifts for each dot of Infernal Aspects she possesses. She can also purchase more at the cost of 1 Experience per Castigation.

    However, there are dangers to a Hellspawn communing with her Infernal Aspects, as well as using them too frequently. Whenever she rolls a Dramatic Failure or an Exceptional Successs in a particular Castigation, she suffers an Integrity breaking point due to the massive surge of infernal power filling her veins.

    Additionally, she can only develop safely a number of Castigations equal to her dots in Conviction + Infernal Aspects. If she chooses to go past this limit, she can suffer a number of the following drawbacks for each excess Castigation.

    • She takes a persistent Mental Condition.
    • She suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls made to resist a given Mental Condition, up to a maximum of -3.
    • She suffers a -1 penalty to all Integrity breaking point rolls, up to a maximum of -5.
    • She suffers a -1 penalty to all Social Skills with mortals except Intimidate, up to a maximum of -5.
    • She regains one less point of Willpower from her Virtue, down to a minimum of 0.
    • She loses one permanent Health dot, down to a minimum equal to her Stamina.

    At Storyteller discretion, a Hellspawn may be able to 'purge' herself of her Castigations. This requires her to perform an Extended meditation roll, during which she can remove (or replace) a single Castigation for every (11 - Integrity) successes. She can never reduce her Castigations below her dots in Infernal Aspects, and takes a point of resistant lethal damage on every failed roll. Each Castigation removed refunds her 1 Experience.


    Dread Powers:
    While more potent than Castigations in their effects, Dread Powers are permanent expressions of their demonic blood that alienate the Hellspawn from their mortal families. Some are passive effects which wreak havoc on their surroundings or wither away the sanity of nearby individuals unless they spend Willpower to dampen them for a scene. Others require them to focus on their invocation, with each use making them teeter on the edge of damnation.

    A Child of the Seventh Generation can suppress the effects of a passive Dread Power, or invoke an active one a number of times equal to his Conviction in a chapter without ill effect. All instances beyond that are treated as Integrity breaking point rolls. When applying the drawback of Infernal Aspects to the roll, use the Merit's full rating.


    ==========
    Rule Hack: Strain
    If you choose to make use of Strain mechanics, add the following adjustments to the Hellspawn template.

    • The Hellspawn may gain a permanent Strain point per excess Castigation, up to a maximum of five points.
    • The Hellspawn gains a Strain point for each use of a Dread Power in excess of his Conviction in a scene. (This may be in addition to or in lieu of the default breaking point)
    • The Hellspawn may take a Strain point in place of lethal damage while he is attempting to remove/replace a Castigation.
    • The Hellspawn takes Strain points whenever he chooses not to pay Willpower points to invoke a Castigation, Dread Power, or Supernatural Merit on a 1-to-1 ratio.
    • The Hellspawn suffers an additional penalty to all Integrity breaking point rolls equal to half his Strain points (rounded down).
    ==========


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    As you can all see, this is a 2E Conversion of Inferno's Children of the Seventh Generation, and a rule hack that converts hunters of the Lucifuge and the Otodo (and their renegade counterparts) into a minor template which uses the Hurt Locker format. Expect the main post to include House Rules for Castigations/Seitotuken in the future. As always, critique is appreciated.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

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    • #3
      I'm curious, where would one find these "Conviction" and "Strain" rules you mention?

      Comment


      • #4
        I find your insistence that Religion and Science are enemies, and never shall the twain mix, adorably parochial; then again, I guess your Happentrack never discovered mythic science.

        I mean, you guys can't even space travel through emulation of planetary bodies yet! And don't get me started on your non-archetypal power sources - what happened to the good ol' fashion "A hero is nearby so your washing machine goes ding"?


        More seriously, I want to see the Strain rules before I make further comments - I think this is Conviction from Mirrors, right? I can't be assed to find the rules for it without a page number, though.


        I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

        So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
          I'm curious, where would one find these "Conviction" and "Strain" rules you mention?
          My rules for Conviction (which I need to revisit) are found in my Homebrew Hub. And they were inspired by both the Conviction fluff in Mirrors, and a version of it used in an NWoD campaign called Waking the Dead.

          Strain is derived from the Insanity meter of the Forbidden Lore system (also from Mirrors) and some of the drawbacks I used for going past the soft limit on Castigations were taken from Falco's take on it. Will probably put up a thread/doc on them when I have time.
          Last edited by Deionscribe; 03-16-2016, 06:14 PM.


          "My Homebrew Hub"
          Age of Azar
          The Kingdom of Yamatai

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by amechra View Post
            I find your insistence that Religion and Science are enemies, and never shall the twain mix, adorably parochial; then again, I guess your Happentrack never discovered mythic science.

            I mean, you guys can't even space travel through emulation of planetary bodies yet! And don't get me started on your non-archetypal power sources - what happened to the good ol' fashion "A hero is nearby so your washing machine goes ding"?


            More seriously, I want to see the Strain rules before I make further comments - I think this is Conviction from Mirrors, right? I can't be assed to find the rules for it without a page number, though.
            I should probably add that parts of the description were ported from both Inferno and C&C, and that I will likely revisit it again for polishing.

            But yes, Conviction is from Mirrors. My take on it can be found in my homebrew hub, and I'm planning on revisiting it, again, to see what points could use improvement.

            The mechanics on Strain are basically a reskin of Forbidden Lore's Insanity, in which which I plan on weaving in a modification to the 2E Mage Spoilers' Strained Condition. I don't have a post on them yet, but I do have notes I shared with Arcanist on a private thread.


            "My Homebrew Hub"
            Age of Azar
            The Kingdom of Yamatai

            Comment

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