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  • Originally posted by haren View Post
    I actually liked it, but didn't have any strong advice or comments. If I don't mention anything, I just feel like I don't have anything to add to the discussion. Sorry!
    No worries! Thanks, regardless.


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    • Originally posted by MrParaduo View Post
      No good?
      Standard caveat for advice from previous editions applies, but: The description and mechanics* of how the Contract works sounds more like a magic spell than a piece of pactwork bargained for by changeling. The Pale Court bargained with Death Itself; what empowers the Umbral Flame, and how is it reflected in this Royal Contract?

      * Relatedly: There is no listed interval for the extended action invoking the Contract uses and its duration is broadly athematic relative to how lost most Contracts tend to last; I can think of little reason this Contract couldn't just use an instant action that takes a couple of minutes to initiate and last until the sun next crosses the horizon.

      On a less particular note, I'm seeing a lot of unnecessary use of "said [subject]," which also shouldn't be hyphenated; that's legal language that's supposed to reference something you've already named or mentioned, and most of the preceding applications could be replaced with "those [subjects]" or "such [subjects]" without losing anything substantial.


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      • Originally posted by Satchel View Post
        Standard caveat for advice from previous editions applies, but: The description and mechanics* of how the Contract works sounds more like a magic spell than a piece of pactwork bargained for by changeling. The Pale Court bargained with Death Itself; what empowers the Umbral Flame, and how is it reflected in this Royal Contract?

        * Relatedly: There is no listed interval for the extended action invoking the Contract uses and its duration is broadly athematic relative to how lost most Contracts tend to last; I can think of little reason this Contract couldn't just use an instant action that takes a couple of minutes to initiate and last until the sun next crosses the horizon.

        On a less particular note, I'm seeing a lot of unnecessary use of "said [subject]," which also shouldn't be hyphenated; that's legal language that's supposed to reference something you've already named or mentioned, and most of the preceding applications could be replaced with "those [subjects]" or "such [subjects]" without losing anything substantial.
        Here's what I've written so far regarding the Infernal Court, fluff-wise:

        Infernal
        The Umbral Flame, the Court of Damnation, the Court of Vice
        X

        Vice
        Vice is a drug, a temptation that bites and itches beneath the skin. It is both desire and impulse, yet can be enacted upon with calculative precision. It is both primal in nature, and deceptive in its control. Countless excuses and rationales are made every day as people indulge. Many courtiers were just such people, or wished that they could have been. The fear of shame, ridicule, or societal retribution can stay many from following their heart’s desire. And the Gentry were all too happy to take advantage. The promise of glory, sex, revenge, anything that a mortal found vibrancy through, these became the tools that damned them to slavery within Arcadia.

        For the Infernal Court, who saw how the Thorns took their souls once already, there was but one choice. A deal would be made with a force that rivaled the Gentry’s subversive power. And so, they stepped into the Inferno, and made their Bargain with Hell. They chose Vice for its power over not just mortals, but the True Fae. For what else was Arcadia but a realm of self-indulgence at another’s expense? Not that the Courtiers of the Umbral Flame are Satanists or demon worshipers. They see their condition as damnation, their durance branded upon their very souls upon escaping their monstrous Keepers. Rather than hide or cower in despair, they see the True Fae for what they really are: parasites; fiends who hunger for the taste of Glamour, or so they say. Each human is a feast, each emotion a flavor, and the more complex a creature, the more detailed and unique their Glamour.

        How then, does one kill a vice addict’s want for more? Starve them. That is what the Infernal Court says. By removing the vibrancy of temptation, by making it passé, it deadens the Glamour, and the appeal of Arcadia’s deceptive paradise. For this season, if nothing else, the Infernal Court indulges in the passion of Vice, reveling with one another in shared damnation whilst finding safety and succor against the Other’s siren call. Why go back when you can enjoy the pleasures of life without losing your freedom? Not all Vice is pleasant, but the catharsis one feels when acting on one’s wrath, or the satisfaction of seeing a rival brought down a peg, these are what feed the Umbral Flame. There are, of course, limits to what the Court will tolerate. They may pretend to be kidnappers and rapists, but this is a trap through which courtiers might lure its enemies into. Demons punish the wicked after all, do they not? The criminal underworld soon becomes a mystery cult, where the Inferno, ideally, directs and sabotages to keep safe the local Freehold, keeping chaos in check while adding a smokescreen to changeling activities. This, of course, isn’t foolproof. Sometimes the Court becomes too indulgent, bringing the attention of other supernatural beings that haunt the shadows. This, most of all, is why the other courts are needed. Too much of anything can be fatal, and every drunkard needs that sober friend of theirs to keep them from going under.

        Malevolence
        By the its nature, courtiers of the Damnation walk a slippery slope. Being surrounded by the unsavory elements of society, one can grow numb to the fears of consequence, or even their own passions. When that happens, the risk of losing sight of what’s truly important brings many changelings to become heartless, cruel, even to the point of causing misery for its own sake. Malevolence within the court ushers the threat of treachery and sabotage. For this reason, the Infernal court watches its own for signs of loyalist agendas, knowing full well that the next privateer they meet may be someone within their own ranks. Such traitors are quietly removed. The other courts have enough reason to be wary of them as it is. When impossible to avoid, the court makes a show of the traitor. This is not just to prove their loyalty, but also to remind their own just how many levels of damnation there can be.


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        • Btw, does the reigning Court universally affect the local Hedge?


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          • Originally posted by MrParaduo View Post
            Btw, does the reigning Court universally affect the local Hedge?
            In 2e, so far nothing has been referenced saying it would.

            Most I can think of is perhaps different hobgoblins being attracted to different courts, but that's about it.

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            • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
              In 2e, so far nothing has been referenced saying it would.

              Most I can think of is perhaps different hobgoblins being attracted to different courts, but that's about it.
              There is the matter of trods and their maintenance to think about, as well as other more social sources of magical decoration, but yeah, there's not much automatic Court-based Hedge-shaping outside the presence of individual characters presented in 2e thusfar.


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              • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                In 2e, so far nothing has been referenced saying it would.

                Most I can think of is perhaps different hobgoblins being attracted to different courts, but that's about it.
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                There is the matter of trods and their maintenance to think about, as well as other more social sources of magical decoration, but yeah, there's not much automatic Court-based Hedge-shaping outside the presence of individual characters presented in 2e thusfar.
                Hmm... wonder if I should make that another element of the reigning Court. Rather than just being in charge of the wards, they also subtly influence the surrounding Hedge. It's not necessarily safer for courtiers, but it might cause certain goblin fruit, hob goblins, or even trods to pop up.


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                • Originally posted by MrParaduo View Post



                  Hmm... wonder if I should make that another element of the reigning Court. Rather than just being in charge of the wards, they also subtly influence the surrounding Hedge. It's not necessarily safer for courtiers, but it might cause certain goblin fruit, hob goblins, or even trods to pop up.
                  To have that kind of effect on the Hedge, I'd imagine that it would have to be with a freehold and its courts that's...very very old.

                  Where the ideals of the courts and the type of Glamour the courtiers try to invoke would have enough time to color the Hedge itself. Since your courts are based on the Divine Comedy, and that's a work that dates to the 14th century, I'd think you're good there.

                  I'm doing a similar thing with my courts in that the Hedge near Toontown is actually a Toon Hedge...although in this case, it's not so much because of how long the freehold's been there, but because of the True Fae themselves. That in order to make toon changelings, it involved them forging brand new Contracts of Pencil, Paint, and Ink. Which would mean converting their corners of Arcadia to look like a cartoon, and some of that would naturally leak into the Hedge surrounding Toon Arcadia.

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                  • Hokay, here's the latest draft for Heaven. Haven't come up with a good intro yet, but we'll see what happens.

                    Empyreal

                    .
                    The Alabaster Throne, the Court of Heaven, the Court of Zeal .
                    Zealot? Of course I’m a zealot. Do you think I’d be here protecting you if I didn’t believe in what I was doing? If I’m going to die helping your dumb ass, I might as well give it everything I've got!

                    .
                    Blood fell in rivulets from wounds brought on by the Huntsmen, yet not once did she waver. Though she was not its quarry, she kept the Marquis of Baleful Omens from passing by with nothing but her bare hands. To see the verderer fume and castigate her, to know she defied the Others by sparing another. She couldn’t help but grin.
                    .
                    Zeal
                    Zeal is dedicated passion. An enthusiasm to follow through no matter the odds. Whether portrayed as a paladin devoted to her code of chivalry, or a stubborn, literal goat who refuses to move an inch. Even the mercurial True Fae understand this, even as their whims are driven more by ego and insanity than anything else.
                    When the Empyreal Court made its Bargain with the Heavens, they chose the element of Zeal to act as shield and sword against the Gentry, for no matter how far the firmament’s light, it shines long after the death of stars, inspiring kith and kin to stand up against the evils of this world and the next. Though few believe the founders made this bargain with the divine, this does not stop some from taking pride in the possibility. Whether it was God himself, a cosmic clock, or a mere echo of some higher truth made sapient, the Empyreal Court’s patron continues to bless its children with the powers of the firmament.
                    The other courts may see them as judgmental vigilantes at best, but who could blame them? When one thinks of zeal, they’re more likely than not to picture religious zealots persecuting without restraint, murderers too conceited to see their own hypocrisy. Some in the Empyreal Court are as such, but like all emotions, zeal is neutral. Neither good nor evil until acted upon. One can be just as zealous at offering kindness to the unfortunate as they are at dispensing retribution for some off-handed slight.
                    Harvesting zeal is never a mild affair. No matter how humble the source, it is a sharp and vivid feeling, with truly potent sources having an almost metallic, burning aftertaste. Places of religious worship are common hunting grounds, but so are activist centers, political rallies, and military bases. Tournaments and stadiums are also prime locals, as the pride of sports fans brings a dedication few can deny.

                    Fanaticism
                    Zeal is not about half-measures. The common misconception that all courtiers are bridge-burning extremists has been around since the court’s inception. Unfortunately, it is not entirely wrong. More than any other, the Court of Zeal has lost members to fanatic zealotry, with some going mad in their pursuit of loyalist infiltrators. Ideally, such witch hunts are quickly curbed to prevent outright hysteria within the freehold. Past catastrophes have made it clear that even the reigning monarch is vulnerable to such insanity. For this reason, perhaps, the Empyreal Court often has the fewest members, if only to keep better tabs on their fellows. When their numbers are big enough, the court is most likely to form freehold-wide help groups, to better ground themselves and watch over each other. When an Empyreal goes bad, however, the court takes it upon themselves to bring them in.

                    Changing of the Guard
                    --High
                    When found the weakest, the Court of Heaven shines brightest. Sometimes literally. Potent goblin fruits become easier to find and harvest in the Hedge. The Thorns themselves are no less dangerous, but even at night, all seems well illuminated, making it difficult for enemies to catch their prey unawares. Indeed, though the Bargain made with Heaven ensures freeholders are safe from being slain by the Fae, this can, at times, make it even more dangerous to be alone. Loyalists, privateers, and Huntsmen alike will focus on singular targets, ambush tactics, and other elaborate traps that don’t involve killing. Thus, community building and the formation of motleys become important activities when Heaven is ascendant.
                    --Low
                    To ensure the wards are kept active, the Empyreal Court will often choose to safeguard events, or begin scavenger hunts into the Hedge for anything necessary for important rites. Dedicated to a fault, they can generally be relied upon to craft, mend, or procure most things that money (and favors) can’t buy, such as goblin fruit or material found in the Hedge. Often, they will try spurring its own towards shoring up their defenses, creating and maintaining court-neutral safehouses both in the surrounding territory as well as the Hedge. They will also encourage raids on hostile forces, but only if they have the numbers to spare.

                    Give and Take
                    While the Empyreal Court is ascendant, their Bargain with Heaven compels the Gentry and their minions to not kill their victims. The power of zeal demands they make good on their attempts at capturing their errant slaves, forcing them to nonlethal ends, even against those that aren’t their prey. Without the fear of death, the freehold is given even more reason to fight with fervor, as the enemy is overwhelmed by them.
                    The rites and ceremonies enacted by the Court of Zeal are not limited to Abrahamic practices or even religion. In truth, courtiers encourage challenging their fellows with tests of resolve and skill. One such challenge is Penitent’s Week. Not necessarily held on a specific date, Penitent’s Week is one of the few times in which the Empyreal Court will parlay with the Infernal Court to work on. Chosen by lottery, request, or as a test of character, a single member of the Alabaster Throne is forced to endure an hour and seven days’ worth of temptation from one-to-seven Infernal Courtiers. Naturally, an Oath is sworn to protect all involved from reprisal or cheating. A prize is offered to the court that wins, though often the one Infernal Courtier who succeeds in tempting the Penitent gets the spoils unless otherwise noted. This often leads to infighting between the courtiers involved. A contest within a contest. In some freeholds, the Penitent is fae-touched or mortal, chosen by the Pale Court, and the courtier must act as their counselor against temptation.

                    Mantle Effects:
                    As brilliant as the stars, the mantle of Heaven is both glorious and striking. A changeling’s hair may take on a feathered element, while their eyes grow stark in color. Gold, white, as well various blues and yellows make up the heraldry. The scent of ozone and even a metallic tang in the air follow some courtiers, along with the sound of inaudible hymns, psalms, or even sounds that inspire thoughts of the astronomy and space.

                    Mantle
                    Your character gains a Glamour point whenever he overcomes doubt or fear when pursuing their aspirations.
                    • Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to encourage or rouse someone to action.
                    •• Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to locate threats to the freehold.
                    ••• When your character is outnumbered in a fight, gain bonus dice equal to her Mantle dots to defense and attack rolls.
                    •••• Automatically succeed on attempts to chase after someone through mundane obstacles or impediments. The target must be physically present and perceivable.
                    ••••• By spending 2 Glamour, your character may bestow the Steadfast or Inspired Condition on up to five willing targets for the remainder of the scene.

                    Courtiers: A gargoyle with incandescent eyes that hunts Oathbreakers at every turn. A hooded agitator whose tongue is made of fire. A robed Chatelain who inspires order through Confucian rhetoric. An oneiromancer bodhisattva who converts weeping hob goblins into his disciples. A wizened smith whose beauteous works harmonize form and function. A hooded, ever-weeping vagabond who wanders the local shantytown, quietly healing the homeless with a tearful embrace.

                    Crown – Liturgy of the Firmament
                    The Crown bathes the changeling in starlit alabaster, forming pauldrons of exemplary detail. By spending 2 Glamour, the king’s mundane attacks for the scene are treated as though they were a Bane for the purposes of damage. This effect only works on targets that have said-mechanics, such as fae, ghosts, or spirits. The king may do this a number of times per Chronicle equal to his Mantle.
                    .
                    Originally posted by MrParaduo View Post
                    Empyreal Court Legends:
                    • When the freehold Sister Mara came from was burnt to the ground, she blamed herself for it all. A former courtier of Summer, she let her anger and lust for revenge distract her, some saying from protecting the King, or from holding the last line of defense. Whatever the truth, she took it to heart, and sought answers, a way to atone in the eyes of her peers as well as herself.
                    Throughout the Hedge, she wandered, protecting the freehold’s survivors from a distance, yet try as she did, anguish always came when she felt the fires of war in her belly, a reminder of everyone she had failed. It soon became too much, yet before she dared a suicide march on Arcadia, she howled to the Heavens… and the Heavens answered. The fires of her passion tempered her spirit into one of zealous dedication. So was born the Empyreal Court.

                    • Don’t let anyone tell you we’re all warriors and soldiers. Our founder wasn’t. She was a healer. Abandoned even before her Keeper snatched her up, the founder’s devotion to her freehold family was second to none. She never raised a weapon in her life, but would constantly use herself as a shield when there was nothing else for it.
                    But the Gentry saw how she had become the heart of her freehold, how everyone, human, changeling, even hob goblin adored her, and they grew jealous. They sought not merely to kill her, but tarnish her memory, despoil her good name till she was reviled and loathed. Yet every time they tried, the founder sacrificed of herself to make things right. Even if it cost her limbs, teeth, beauty, or her very name. And so, on her deathbed, it is said, the Heavens wept, and offered a Bargain to both her and those closest to her. Zeal would become their avenging sword, but with honor and mercy as their shield.

                    • There is a greater game at work here, don’t you see? Arcadia was but one realm of many, each seeking to claim the souls of the living! The founders knew this when envoys of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory came before them. The devil offered power to destroy the Gentry at their core, whilst Death offered the peace of the grave. When the founders asked what Heaven offered, the angel shook her head, saying they need nothing save the strength in their own hearts and the will to stand together as one to defeat their enemy.
                    Humbled, the founders sided with Heaven as their kin chose each their own path. With a smile, the angel opened the heavens above, and blessed them with the Zeal of starlight, vowing that so long as they held true to her words, the Empyrean would watch over them, forever and always.
                    .
                    Contracts of the Empyrean
                    .
                    Contracts related to zeal, the firmament, and heavenly archetypes. In addition to what’s listed below, the Empyreal Court gains access to the following Summer Contracts: Helios’ Light (Common), High Summer’s Zeal (Common), Vigilance of Ares (Common), Solstice Revelation (Royal), Helios’ Judgement (Royal).

                    Soul’s Testament (Common)
                    The changeling learns the target’s greatest ambitions and can direct it as she sees fit.
                    Cost: 1 Glamour
                    Dice Pool: Wits + Expression + Mantle vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
                    Action: Contested
                    Duration: Instant
                    Roll Results
                    Dramatic Failure: The changeling believes the target’s aspiration is something it’s not, chosen by the Storyteller or target’s player.
                    Failure: The Contract fails.
                    Success: The changeling learns the target’s most impassioned aspiration, and any Conditions or Tilts connected to it. This aspiration can even be one the target is unaware of. The changeling may replace this aspiration with one of her choice. The target’s passion for the original aspiration, along with any Conditions or Tilts it engendered, turns towards the new one for the scene.
                    Exceptional Success: The changeling gleans the details of her target’s aspiration, such as its origins and what’s holding them back from accomplishing it. She may coax them into acting upon it without a roll, so long as the target doesn’t believe it suicidal.
                    Loophole: The changeling has told the target one of her own aspirations.

                    Luna’s Diadem (Common)
                    The changeling forms a crown from moonlight to shield her from insanity. Such a gift is only temporary, and when the magic ends, she must face the tides of lunacy.
                    Cost: 1 Glamour
                    Action: Instant
                    Effects: From now till the next sunrise, when the changeling would suffer an attack against Clarity or a breaking point, she stores it within the diadem instead. Upon the Contract’s end, the changeling rolls the most severe breaking point, minus her Mantle. If she would have suffered multiple breaking points, she instead converts these to temporary Clarity Conditions appropriate to what caused them. This Contract cannot be cast again until said-Conditions are resolved.
                    Loophole: The changeling basks in natural moonlight.

                    Comet of Asteria (Royal)
                    With eyes filled with cosmic light, the changeling travels vast distances in the blink of an eye, ready to aid those in need of her.
                    Cost: 1 Glamour +1 Willpower
                    Action: Instant
                    Effects: The changeling first anoints someone physically present, in whatever fashion makes clear that she will come to the person’s aid when called upon. If the target suffers at least 1 lethal, or calls the changeling by whatever name they know her by, the changeling immediately senses it, and may choose to teleport to their charge’s side. This only works if the two are on the same plane of existence, be it on Earth, the Hedge, etc. The changeling has no knowledge of the target’s predicament, or where they are, only that they need her. Once the Contract is used, it must be recast.
                    Loophole: The target is a child, or someone the changeling has sworn to protect.

                    Lay on Hands (Royal)
                    The changeling calls upon the vigor of life to heal all wounds. Such power cannot be used on wounds brought by iron unless the target is mortal, nor does it work if damage was dealt by the changeling’s own hand.
                    Cost: 3 Glamour + 1 Willpower
                    Dice Pool: None
                    Action: Instant
                    Duration: Instant
                    Effects: The target converts all damage they are suffering to bashing as their body is stabilized. Any Conditions or Tilts caused by mundane toxins or poisons are also removed.
                    Loophole: The target was an innocent bystander.

                    Music of the Spheres (Royal)
                    The changeling beseeches the firmament in pursuit of her quest, giving praise to the heavens that they might becalm the sky or bring about drastic change. This Contract must be cast beneath open sky.
                    Cost: 2 Glamour
                    Action: Instant
                    Effects: The changeling chooses either to remove all environmental Tilts related to meteorological phenomena for the remainder of the scene, or create one. This can include the localized illusion of an eclipse, a different time of day, or even shifting the current phase of the moon. She is immune to the effects of said-Tilt for its duration, but may draw unwanted attention if the weather is beyond the norm for the area.
                    Loophole: The changeling is wearing attire appropriate for the weather she means to call upon.
                    Last edited by MrParaduo; 01-14-2018, 01:06 PM.


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                    • Still a lot to do with my freehold, but I've at least got a court mostly complete. First, how the Toon Courts pass power:

                      The Toontown court passes on ruling power every three months in a very different way then other freeholds: a film contest.

                      Using the camera brought back by the founders of Toontown, the courts not in power must make a film. In the last week of the three month period, these courts get together to present their films to the current ruling court. The ruling court's monarch and their motley (or whoever else is in the highest positions of power and authority if the monarch isn't a part of motley) vote and decide which film is better. Whoever wins becomes the ruling court for the next 3 months.

                      ----------------------------------------
                      Toon Court of Laughter


                      To the Laughing Court, nothing soothes the soul then a good laugh.

                      They’re the comedians of Toontown they’re all about embodying the funnier side of cartoons. The near-fatal slapstick, tricking and fooling the selfish people who deserve it, and casual disregard of physics (moreso aided with the power of the Wyrd granted from Contracts) all in the name of a good joke.

                      Don’t assume that the Looney Toons are just jokesters that can’t take seriously. If anything they take their craft VERY seriously. Like any of the Lost, their durances with their Keeper deeply traumatized them. The person they once were before being taken to Arcadia would never come back. The best way they can deal with the pain is laugh at it. By bringing some comedy and laughs into their lives, they could numb the pain of their experience. They’ll even make jokes about their own Durances (at least what they can remember), since they know with the right delivery, they can seem fucking hilarious. However, they made it a point NOT to joke about their other Toons’ experience Arcadia, unless if they have their express permission to do so. All the more if it means they can bring some of that laughter and joy to their fellow Lost from the other Courts. If they can’t bring themselves joy, maybe they could at least bring it to some of their fellows.

                      Being that the Laughing Courtiers are about jokes and pranks that target a person’s flaws, they are very good at finding out. Whether it’s acting in diplomacy and knowing exactly which buttons to press (or not to press) to get what they wanted, or to give the other party exactly what they want. So it’s not uncommon for them to be the social frontman on important deals or situations. This usually means that they’re able to suss out a Huntsman or other servant of the Gentry that tries to infiltrate the freehold in stealth.

                      This also means that hobgoblins hate dealing with them: the courtiers of Laughter always seem to find a way to make sure they inevitably come out on top in deals, with the hobgoblin being left with scraps and string while the courtier is hopping away, whistling a quirky tune as their pockets are a little bit bulkier and heavier than when they first came in. Needless to say, visits to the local goblin markets are a bit of a risk: not just for the hobgoblins there, but for the other members of the Laughing courtiers’ motley in that they might be getting drawn into whatever mess their fellow might have caused.

                      Bargain: If the Gentry and their servants want to attack the freehold, they must be able to get a member of the freehold to laugh. Specifically, via a prank on that member of the freehold. A prank that has to expose and utterly humiliate the target in such a way that the freehold will talk about it for years to come.

                      Regain a point of Glamour when someone laughs as a result of a good joke or funny scenario.

                      Mantle effects: Colors seem more saturated and vivid, almost garishly so. Sounds are made louder, piercingly so: snapping the fingers can sound like a gunshot. High mantle courtiers can have grammatical symbols and more abstract images whenever they express high emotions.

                      • Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to make someone laugh.
                      •• Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to learn about someone’s personal flaws and shortcomings.
                      ••• Once per story, you may transfer any amount of Goblin Debt up to your Mantle rating to another character.
                      •••• Once per chapter, you may reroll a mundane roll that uses a Finesse Attribute and choose which result to keep.
                      ••••• Once per chapter, you may spend 1 point of Glamour to reduce a target’s dice roll to a chance die.
                      Last edited by tasti man LH; 01-05-2018, 03:06 AM.

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                      • Infernal

                        The Umbral Flame, the Court of Damnation, the Court of Vice
                        Spare me the lecture, I’ve heard it before. You do things your way, I’ll do things mine. Just remember we’re all sinners here, yet we’re still on the same side.
                        .
                        The Huntsman approached his quarry, flanked by baying hounds. There, alone in an empty plaza, the runaway satyr sat on a bench. Just as the changeling predicted, his Keeper’s ego left the verderer exposed. Five seconds of monologuing was all it would take. A specially made sniper round, forged of brass from an antique candelabra, and laced with poison straight from the Hedge. He gave the signal with his phone, and watched the blood spray across the tarmac.
                        .
                        Vice
                        Vice is a drug, a temptation that bites and itches beneath the skin. It is both desire and impulse, yet can be enacted upon with calculative precision. It is both primal in nature, and deceptive in its control. Countless excuses and rationales are made every day as people indulge. Many courtiers were just such people, or wished that they could have been. The fear of shame, ridicule, or societal retribution can stay many from following their heart’s desire. And the Gentry were all too happy to take advantage. The promise of glory, sex, revenge, anything that a mortal found vibrancy through, these became the tools that damned them to slavery within Arcadia.
                        For the Infernal Court, who saw how the Thorns took their souls once already, there was but one choice. A deal would be made with a force that rivaled the Gentry’s subversive power. And so, they stepped into the Inferno, and made their Bargain with Hell. They chose Vice for its power over not just mortals, but the True Fae. For what else was Arcadia but a realm of self-indulgence at another’s expense? Not that the Courtiers of the Umbral Flame are Satanists or demon worshipers. They see their condition as damnation, their durance branded upon their very souls upon escaping their monstrous Keepers. Rather than hide or cower in despair, they see the True Fae for what they really are: parasites; fiends who hunger for the taste of Glamour, or so they say. Each human is a feast, each emotion a flavor, and the more complex a creature, the more detailed and unique their Glamour.
                        How then, does one kill a vice addict’s want for more? Starve them. That is what the Infernal Court says. By removing the vibrancy of temptation, by making it passé, it deadens the Glamour, and the appeal of Arcadia’s deceptive paradise. For this reason, if nothing else, the Infernal Court indulges in the passion of Vice, reveling with one another in shared damnation whilst finding safety and succor against the Others’ siren call. Why go back when you can enjoy the pleasures of life without losing your freedom? Not all Vice is pleasant, but the catharsis one feels when acting on one’s wrath, or the satisfaction of seeing a rival brought down a peg, these are what feed the Umbral Flame. There are, of course, limits to what the Court will tolerate. They may pretend to be kidnappers and rapists, but this is a trap through which courtiers might lure its enemies into. Demons punish the wicked after all, do they not? The criminal underworld soon becomes a mystery cult, where the Inferno, ideally, directs and sabotages to keep safe the local Freehold, keeping chaos in check while adding a smokescreen to changeling activities. This, of course, isn’t foolproof. Sometimes the Court becomes too indulgent, bringing the attention of other supernatural beings that haunt the shadows. This, most of all, is why the other courts are needed. Too much of anything can be fatal, and every drunkard needs that sober friend of theirs to keep them from going under.
                        Malevolence
                        By their nature, courtiers of Damnation walk a slippery slope. Being surrounded by the unsavory elements of society, one can grow numb to the fears of consequence, or even their own passions. When that happens, the risk of losing sight of what’s truly important brings many changelings to become heartless, cruel, even to the point of causing misery for its own sake. Malevolence within the court ushers the threat of treachery and sabotage. For this reason, the Infernal court watches its own for signs of loyalist agendas, knowing full well that the next privateer they meet may be someone within their own ranks. Such traitors are quietly removed. The other courts have enough reason to be wary of them as it is. When impossible to avoid, the court makes a show of the traitor. This is not just to prove their loyalty, but also to remind their own just how many levels of damnation there can be.

                        Changing of the Guard
                        --High
                        When Hell is overshadowed, and thus Crowned, the Hedge becomes a much darker place. Pockets of dark indulgence become like jewels in a crown of blackened thorns. The sky grows heavy with clouds, while the ground cracks with the glowing red of magma. Back on Earth, the Infernal Court begins encouraging freeholders to set up traps for their Keepers, ones that heavily involve whatever vice the Fae indulged in most of all. Some courtiers will even offer to help assemble or brainstorm ideal locations, knowing that the wards will bait the Others like moths to a flame.
                        --Low
                        When the wards of another Court are needed to safeguard the freehold, the Umbral Flame makes use of connects to gather what mundane resources are needed. The Court is hesitant to give up tokens, hollows, and the like as forays into the Hedge are limited to Goblin Markets, where they have an advantage in deal making. Not that they’re restricted to them. Infernal Hollows can be quite heavily defended. They’re just not as dedicated as the other courts.

                        Give and Take
                        Hell’s Bargain demands that the Gentry and their servants must indulge in their vice at every opportunity until satisfied. This law cannot be cheated by simply saying one is satisfied. No, even if they were being attacked by Freeholders, the glutton could not stop eating unless he intended to eat his assailants, their clothes, the building, etc. This makes the Gentry especially vulnerable, for what amount of anything can truly satisfy such a creature? The Infernal Court, already well versed in the ways of vice, take advantage by placing layer upon layer of temptation around the Freehold, making it easy to spot a traitor as they drown themselves in their own debauchery. Even with the more violent threats, such as those indulged by the wrathful and vindictive, there comes a predictability to them, like the steps in a dance. Ones that can be taught, feigned, and murderously exploited.
                        To maintain such wards, the Infernal Court manipulates mortal society, bringing indulgence and revelry while also taking control of elements already present. By taking the reins of power, the Court manipulates the criminal underworld, sometimes subtly other times not so much. Ideally, the more dangerous forms of crime are kept away from innocent and Freehold alike, the Infernal Court force feeding the snake its tail. This process is given many names, depending on local culture: the Malebolge, the Crucible, the House of 10,000 Hells, what matters is that the Court has eyes and ears on local vice, and can use them to safeguard fellow Lost against the more mundane evils of life. It also grants access to considerable resources, especially when the Wild Hunt is ever watching.
                        Another major activity proscribed by the Court is Walpurgis Night – A night of revelry lasting between April 30th to May 1st. During this time, courtiers make effigies of that which they fear most, and toss them into a ceremonial bonfire, after which they're expected to drink, fuck, and be marry. Not exclusively in that order. Even non-court members are welcome, being given masks to disguise themselves for a night of consequence free celebration.

                        Mantle Effects: Infernal courtiers find their mantle adds a darker edge to their kith and seeming. Sometimes literally. Colors such as black, red, and brass are commonplace, as are ‘marks of the witch’ such as an off-colored brand or supernumerary nipple. Onlookers may feel or otherwise sense subtle hints of their own Vice within the changeling’s mantle, such as the stench of brimstone for wrath, or an exaggeration of form for lust.

                        Mantle
                        Your characters gain a Glamour point whenever he enacts his vice and successfully furthers a goal.
                        • Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane rolls to tempt or trick someone into acting on their vice.
                        •• Gain bonus dice equal to your character’s Mantle dots to mundane actions that encourage or bring about over-indulgence.
                        ••• Reduce the Glamour cost of Contracts by one when using them to subvert a True Fae or something from Arcadia.
                        •••• Regain an additional Willpower point whenever you would regain one from acting on your Thread.
                        ••••• Once per story, reduce your character’s Goblin Debt by their Mantle rating. If this would put you in the negative, you may store the remainder (max five) for future use.

                        Courtiers: A horned pit fighter that keeps tabs on local gangs while smoking goblin cigars. A succubus who plays double agent and assassin against privateers. An elemental biker who shreds the highway from dusk till dawn with anyone willing to challenge him to a race. A blue-skinned oni who bargains with scum, only to have them break their end of the deal and suffer the consequences. A goat headed beast who stockpiles archaic tokens behind riddles and apocrypha.

                        Crown: Scourge of Perdition
                        The Crown appears as both ebon horns and brass filigree growing upon the monarch’s brow, whilst shadows culminate and flicker like flames in his presence. Once per session, the King may reflexively suffer a number of Lethal damage equal to his Mantle to gain plus 2 Glamour per damage. This can exceed the maximum for stored Glamour, but any excess it lost after the end of the session.
                        .
                        Contracts of the Inferno


                        In addition to the Contracts listed below, the Infernal Court gains access to the following Contracts of Spring: Dreams of the Earth (Common), Wyrd-Faced Stranger (Common), and Pandora’s Gift (Royal). They also gain access to the following Summer Court Contracts: Child of the Hearth (Common), Fiery Tongue (Royal).

                        Shadowed Whispers (Common)
                        The changeling perceives the target’s vice, and can manipulate it to his own ends.
                        Cost: 1 Glamour
                        Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy + Mantle vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
                        Action: Contested
                        Duration: Instant
                        Roll Results
                        Dramatic Failure: The changeling becomes so distracted by Vice he suffers a two-die penalty on the next (Mantle) roll he makes.
                        Failure: The Contract fails.
                        Success: The changeling instinctively knows the target’s Vice, and any Conditions or Tilts connected to it. The target may be in denial or completely unaware of it. The changeling may replace the subject of the target’s Vice with one of his choice. The target’s passion for said-vice, along with any Conditions or Tilts it engendered, turns toward the new subject for the scene.
                        Exceptional Success: The changeling catches a sense of the details regarding his target’s Vice, such as its origins and what obstacles keep them from acting on it.
                        Loophole: The changeling is standing in their target’s shadow.

                        Reveler’s Blessing (Common)
                        The changeling gives praise to his patron vice, beseeching it to shelter him from all consequence whilst in pursuit of its many delights. Vice, in turn, compels its child to make good on his intentions.
                        Cost: 1 Glamour
                        Dice Pool: None
                        Action: Instant
                        Effects: On casting, the changeling chooses an indulgent activity to partake in for the remainder of the scene. Whilst actively pursuing said-activity, the Contract prevents the changeling from suffering negative Tilts or Conditions that would come from doing so, such as overdosing on a drug, broken bones during sex, or wherever the Storyteller approves. Pain is only mitigated as far as personal pleasure allows. This only prevents damage if in line with the activity, or isn’t a frailty of the changeling’s.
                        Loophole: The Contract is used to entertain someone else’s Vice.

                        Devil’s Puppetry (Royal)
                        The changeling projects her spirit into the target’s body, taking full control of it for the remainder of the scene. This Contract only works on willing targets, or those who broke a pledge with the changeling, be it an Oathbreaker or a mortal they bargained with. The target must be alive, and physically present. Though this has no effect on Huntsmen or the Gentry, the Contract can be used on certain denizens of the Hedge where the Storyteller allows. The changeling does not gain access to the host’s memories, non-physical skills, or supernatural abilities save for kith blessings. The changeling may only use their own Contracts, and only if the target has Glamour.
                        Cost: 2 Glamour +1 Willpower
                        Dice Pool: Manipulation + Subterfuge + Mantle vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance
                        Action: Contested
                        Duration: A scene or until dismissed
                        Roll Results
                        Dramatic Failure: The target becomes a taboo for the changeling until an hour and a day passes.
                        Failure: The Contract fails.
                        Success: The changeling successfully possesses the target for the remainder of the scene. He may choose to whether to render the host oblivious of what their body is doing, being consigned to a dreamless sleep that does not form a Bastion. If not, the host remains self-aware, but can speak telepathically with the changeling. This latter option, however, grants the host a reflexive Composure + Supernatural Tolerance check vs. Mantle to eject the changeling if forced to do something that would result in a breaking point or death.
                        Exceptional Success: The changeling may choose to have their body fade into the host’s body, which reappears in the nearest available space upon the Contract’s conclusion, or the host’s demise.
                        Loophole: The target must have signed something for the changeling within the scene.

                        Malus Loci (Royal)
                        The changeling inscribes her blood upon an object, infusing it with glamour as she lays an ancient curse upon the land. To all save she, the use of magic becomes an ordeal as painful as the Thorns.
                        Cost: 3 Glamour
                        Dice Pool: Stamina + Occult + Mantle
                        Action: Instant
                        Duration: Till sunrise
                        Roll Results
                        Dramatic Failure: The changeling’s own Glamour becomes tainted by her malice. For every point of Glamour she would expend, she suffers 1 Bashing damage. This lasts until the next sunrise.
                        Failure: The Contract fails.
                        Success: Using an object no larger than Size 5, the changeling causes all attempts at spending or harvesting Glamour to wreck agony, equal to 1 Bashing per point of Glamour. This affects all save the changeling within an area of (Mantle x 20) yards/meters of the object. However, if the object is destroyed prior to the Contract’s ending, the effects terminate, and the caster suffers the Contract’s Dramatic Failure.
                        Exceptional Success: The changeling may incite Bedlam for free while within range of the object.
                        Loophole: The changeling lays the curse upon a shrine she built for using the Contract.

                        Hellfire (Royal)
                        The changeling calls upon the umbral fires of Hell to consume his enemies. To enact this Contract, the changeling must already have suffered at least 1 Lethal point of damage.
                        Cost: 1 Glamour
                        Dice Pool: None
                        Action: Instant
                        Effects: The changeling spits blood onto the floor, igniting it as it becomes the center of a smokeless conflagration that grows until an area out to (Mantle x 20) yards/meters suffers the Inferno Tilt. The changeling himself is immune to the effects. Alternatively, the changeling can revoke said-immunity to render even fireproof material susceptible, at which point the fire turns black as night. Cruel laughter and agonized wails echo throughout the scene while the contract is in effect.
                        Loophole: The Contract is cast between midnight and 3 AM.
                        Last edited by MrParaduo; 01-17-2018, 02:43 PM.


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                        • Wanted to write some legends for each of the Courts. Here's the first three for Purgation. Gonna try and write a fourth one if inspiration hits me. Lemme know what you think!

                          Pale Court Legends:
                          • They say the founders were once Season Court freeholders, the sole survivors of one that got ravaged by the Wild Hunt. Seeking to make their own, the founders went in separate groups in search of Patrons. It was an Autumn Courtier, see, who sought Death, the source of all fear. Alongside a Winter Courtier, his only friend, he travelled the Hedge till they came upon a river between the Thorns and the Underworld. And as sure as iron, the Reaper himself stood manning a ferry by the shore.
                          Beseeching the hooded figure, the two spoke of their journey, and why they had come. But no mere trinkets would sway Death, as the Reaper demanded a sacrifice. Without hesitation, the Winter Courtier took her own life. Her friend screamed in horror and anguish, even as the Reaper bowed his head. So it was that through Sorrow, Fear gave way to Regret, and the Pale Court came to be.

                          • No one knows who came first, Death or the Gentry, but when they crossed paths, the Others struck a deal to ensure their immortality. The catch, however, was that Death was promised their lives eventually, and he would not be denied his prize forever. But Death was no fool. He knew that the Gentry would not be satisfied with eternal life, even as they slew each other in the name of power. Constantly, they raided his halls and stole of changeling souls they had enslaved in life.
                          Knowing the end of all stories, Death knew a changeling would come, seeking to bargain just as others had with the heavens above and the infernal below. When the first Pale Queen summoned forth the spirits of the dead, Death did not keep them, and instead let them guide her to his kingdom beneath the mountains. Impressed by both her strength and pragmatism, Death agreed to her terms.

                          • Old Slick Nick was none too keen on dying. Not when the injustices of his Keeper were still to be righted. Carrying nothing but a heavy sack slung over his back, he climbed the treacherous mountainside where Death was said to dwell. And indeed he did, in a house made of bone mortar and petrified wood. Greeted by the grim specter, Nick challenged Death to a game. Of this, Death was well learned, for Nick weren’t the first to try. Yet none were the games of any real skill, but of chance and guile. From his bag, Ol’ Nick offered cards, dice, craps, and even a dreidel! And laughter flowed from that house all through the night, it did!
                          So entertained was Death that he failed to see how Nick moved closer to that grim old specter. Each time he won or lost, he moved just an inch near and behind him. So entertained was Death by his witty repartee and showmanship, he failed to notice when Nick threw his now empty sack over him! Swearing to let Death go only after he swore a bargain of patronage, Nick sealed the deal and sealed his fate.


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                          • Moar legends! This time for the Empyreal Court. Lemme know if anything comes out too pretentious, though. Don't wanna sound off-putting.

                            Empyreal Court Legends:
                            • When the freehold Sister Mara came from was burnt to the ground, she blamed herself for it all. A former courtier of Summer, she let her anger and lust for revenge distract her, some saying from protecting the King, or from holding the last line of defense. Whatever the truth, she took it to heart, and sought answers, a way to atone in the eyes of her peers as well as herself.
                            Throughout the Hedge, she wandered, protecting the freehold’s survivors from a distance, yet try as she did, anguish always came when she felt the fires of war in her belly, a reminder of everyone she had failed. It soon became too much, yet before she dared a suicide march on Arcadia, she howled to the Heavens… and the Heavens answered. The fires of her passion tempered her spirit into one of zealous dedication. So was born the Empyreal Court.

                            • Don’t let anyone tell you we’re all warriors and soldiers. Our founder wasn’t. She was a healer. Abandoned even before her Keeper snatched her up, the founder’s devotion to her freehold family was second to none. She never raised a weapon in her life, but would constantly use herself as a shield when there was nothing else for it.
                            But the Gentry saw how she had become the heart of her freehold, how everyone, human, changeling, even hob goblin adored her, and they grew jealous. They sought not merely to kill her, but tarnish her memory, despoil her good name till she was reviled and loathed. Yet every time they tried, the founder sacrificed of herself to make things right. Even if it cost her limbs, teeth, beauty, or her very name. And so, on her deathbed, it is said, the Heavens wept, and offered a Bargain to both her and those closest to her. Zeal would become their avenging sword, but with honor and mercy as their shield.

                            • There is a greater game at work here, don’t you see? Arcadia was but one realm of many, each seeking to claim the souls of the living! The founders knew this when envoys of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory came before them. The devil offered power to destroy the Gentry at their core, whilst Death offered the peace of the grave. When the founders asked what Heaven offered, the angel shook her head, saying they need nothing save the strength in their own hearts and the will to stand together as one to defeat their enemy.
                            Humbled, the founders sided with Heaven as their kin chose each their own path. With a smile, the angel opened the heavens above, and blessed them with the Zeal of starlight, vowing that so long as they held true to her words, the Empyrean would watch over them, forever and always.
                            Last edited by MrParaduo; 01-08-2018, 12:18 PM.


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                            • Alright, last three. The third one here, I'll admit, was inspired by d&d's Lord Soth. Lemme know if it needs more work.

                              Infernal Court Legends:
                              • Faustian Bargain? Aye, it was. But not for the reasons you’d think. The founder was a hopeless romantic, a Spring Courtier who fawned over a courtier of Summer. When their freehold got trashed, he asked them to runaway together, and start things over. They chastised him, refusing to leave the survivors unprotected. Shamefaced, the founder saw the truth of it, and vowed to find a Patron greater than even the True Fae. And he succeeded.
                              With the aid of an Autumn witch, he called forth the Inferno, its avatar great and terrible. It saw the founder’s failings, mocked and chided his desires as both vice and sin. But the founder was a silvered-tongue devil himself, and spoke the terms of a Bargain. They say he still wanders this world, the Bargain written on his skin and soul.

                              • Outsiders might see us as demons, call us demons, hell, we might even encourage it. But we ain’t. Not really. We dress and act the part because the Devil hates his own. The Gentry cheated him, you see. Betrayed him to make their own kingdoms in Arcadia. When he saw the first changeling, however, he saw an opportunity.
                              Ever the schemer, the dark one forged a Bargain with the Lost, taught them the secrets of Glamour, and how the Others craved it. In exchange for bringing ruin and misery unto the True Fae, the Devil would offer his boon, preferring their souls over those of tattered, broken changelings. And what better way to mock the Fae then by dressing up as they once did, and reminding them of what they actually are?

                              • Don’t listen to those tales where the Inferno just gave us its blessing. It was cunning that won the founder his due. Beyond a hell mouth, Gabe Riddlepaw challenged the Dark Below for the right to its power, claiming himself a master of his own sins. The unholy conflagration heard his challenge and sent forth Goetic horrors to break the would-be Solomon. Visions of all his misdeeds came alive and tormented the guy. Illusions so real they could leave wounds upon body and mind.
                              No one knows how long Gabe suffered in that hellhole, for just like Arcadia, time bends and shifts. His jailors never let him die, even after unspeakable torture. Yet, as demons pantomimed his moments of folly, his greatest errors, and even enacted new ones where all he knew and loved was bled away, less and less came from him. The demons knew he was not dead, nor driven mad, yet nothing they did compelled him to respond. He did not beg for death, nor did he reject their barbs, agreeing that he did indeed deserve it. He simply ceased to care. Infuriated, the Inferno expunged him with broken bones and tattered flesh... yet all the same he was victorious, for Hell hath no sting if you accept its punishment.
                              Last edited by MrParaduo; 01-14-2018, 01:01 PM.


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                              • Btw, also added the thread to the Index of Fan Made Changeling Material.


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