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Homebrew: The Genius Supernatural Merit Template (And a new Exploit: Fill Position)

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  • Homebrew: The Genius Supernatural Merit Template (And a new Exploit: Fill Position)

    Made interested by ArcaneArts' Dissecting Transgression-Arcane Reviews Genius, and Dusksage's A critical look at Genius: the Transgression, inspired by Milo v3's Geniuses and Gramarie, and finally pushed by Hurt Locker, I asked myself "What could a Genius's role be in the Demon: the Descent setting, and how could the mechanics look?"

    So I came to the idea of an armorer (for lack of a better word), an expert at building gadgets that was fought over by both sides of the conflict. I boiled down as many of Genius' aspects as I could, and then formatted them into a sort of Hurt Locker style. I'm not completely happy with it (I'm still torn over how a Genius should expand their repertoire of things they can build, or even if they should, for example) but tomorrow I'm getting my Switch set up so I figure it's probably now or never.

    And if Genius isn't your thing, I ended up homebrewing a new Exploit - Fill Position, meant to be the Automata analogy. Credit to the makers of Genius: the Transgression, Demon: the Descent, and everyone whose posts I've pinched for ideas.

    Comments welcome, and thanks for reading. Link here:
    Last edited by mp122984; 03-14-2017, 02:55 AM.

  • #2
    This is excellent! Here are my suggestions:

    1) Explain what Geniuses can do that Demons and Angels can't do themselves. Do they have to pay with Experiences for every Gadget they make? That's not very efficient. Do their Ciphers somehow allow them to build and modify Gadgets in unique ways?

    2) Explain how Geniuses acquire new Embeds, Exploits and Demonic Form abilities to turn into Gadgets.

    3) A Merit that lets you acquire another favored Incarnation so you can learn its Embeds. This Merit can be purchased multiple times.

    4) The Form And Function Merit shouldn't be tied to Incarnations. For example, Blade Hand is a Modification, and it's useful for Destroyers, but you listed the favored Form ability of Destroyers as Process.

    5) A Merit that increases your Primum, capping at 5. Make it so they can hold and spend more Aether at each dot than Demons.

    6) The ability to create Lambdas should be covered by a Merit that is distinct from Form And Function. Also, it should let you create second and third tier Lambdas at higher dot ratings. Prerequisites might include a higher Primum, as mentioned in suggestion number 5.

    7) Make the Aether Gathering dice pool be Intelligence + Resolve.

    8) Include descriptions of how the misuse of a Genius' Gadget can lead to it mutating into a Cryptid. This Cryptid hungers for Aether as usual, but keeps mutating over time and may become a Genius itself.

    9) Make it clear that Illuminated and Unmada are not the same. The latter are still human, and their Unmada Field is not willingly activated. Said Field also warps the word to conform to their ideas, which could be represented by the generation of compatible Infrastructures and the attraction of servile Cryptids. While the Illuminated are inhuman, they still possess Virtues, Vices and Aspirations, often alien and dangerous ones.

    10) Give Geniuses the Aetheric Resonance power or something like it as inherent feature of the template, to mimic their original power of Detecting Wondrous Things.

    11) Give Geniuses the ability to spend Aether to power, dismantle, enhance and understand technology, as well as boosting Mental Attributes, like in the original.

    12) Make it so that Larvae can be non-biological, as long as the harvesting required a Breaking Point roll.

    13) Allow Geniuses to explore Splinter Timelines, Hells of the Unchained and other strange realms as an inherent feature of the template, to mimic the exploration of Bardos in the original.

    14) Offer more ways to complete the Cipher and acquire those Conditions. Perhaps completing Aspirations related to understanding the supernatural and spreading one's Divine Inspiration through the world?
    Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-18-2017, 12:45 PM.

    Let Him Speak.


    • #3
      Thank you for your comments. I'm a bit laid low at the moment and later I'll be on my Switch, so the actual changes will be sometime in the future. For now, let me answer these one-by-one.

      1) Admittedly lot of it is subtle (added functionality in Exploits, Kitbasher, Larvae Harvester). I didn't highlight "Geniuses can do this thing that Demons can't" as much as I maybe should have. As for having to not pay experiences, I just realized I can use Bound Aether the way Genius used Bound Mania. I'll work that in. As for Ciphers, I can do at least gadgets based off Interlocks. That's a good idea.

      2) That's admittedly a fluff thing. I didn't do much fluff in part to see how few words I could use, but I could definitely think about how to add that in.

      3) I was considering that. In the current version, a Genius gets another Invocation to favor when they get a Merit with the Gadgetry Tag. It's listed in "The First Axioms" but I might move it to Divine Inspiration or make it a new Merit as you said.

      4) I eyeballed the categorization, and I admit I wasn't 100% happy with it either. I think I know how to fix it now, which I'll do so later.

      5) The former I can definitely do (or maybe just straight allowing purchase of additional Primum). The latter is kind of fiddly, but I think I can work that.

      6) A fair criticism. I'll look into making it its own Merit. Thank you.

      7) I like that. Thank you.

      8) I'm not sure about a Cryptid Gadget becoming a Genius, but a Gadget becoming a Cryptid is certainly doable. I'll look into working it out.

      9) Hmm. To be honest, I don't even use Unmada so maybe "Unmada field" is a bad phrase to use in this instance. Everything else is interesting and I'll look into it.

      10) Good idea.

      11) Also a good idea.

      12) I had this originally, but took it out to save words and focus on the unnaturalness. I'll put it back in.

      13) I had this big thing about Bardos as basically the God-Machine's Boltholes that could be found with a Multiversal Antenna, but I took it out because it wasn't directly part of the Template. I'll see about putting it back.

      14) Interesting. Integrating the Thesis mechanic will be tough, but I'll definitely look into it.

      Again, your feedback is greatly appreciated.


      • #4
        So, have you made any progress? I'm stil very much interested in this.

        EDIT: Wait, I just checked the Google Doc. I'll offer feedback on the changes later.
        Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-18-2017, 12:26 PM.

        Let Him Speak.


        • #5
          I did not realize this thing was made. It has my curiosity as well.

          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.