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Geniuses and Gramarie

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  • Geniuses and Gramarie

    Two versions of geniuses. One which is a quick to use advanced stigmatic, the other is sort of a Mage/stigmatic hybrid inspired by David Hill's changeling/vampire hybrids.
    Genius (Quick Version)






    All stigmatics suffer from seeing strange visions and gears that others cannot, but some see more than others. Geniuses are stigmatics who’s eldritch visions inspire them to create horrible machines that work on physics that they were never taught. Despite what some may think, geniuses aren't named after their intelligence, many are actually quite dumb, but instead are named after the roman concept of the genius. In the religion of ancient Rome genius is name for the innate divinity that is within everything, and it is said that the rare stigmata of these God-Machine corrupted people allows them to interact with that innate divinity.

    Genius Character Creation
    Creating a genius character progresses in much the same way as creating a mortal character (described in the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook), which a few changes. Steps One through Four, Seven, and Eight remain unchanged.

    Step Five: Apply Genius Template
    • Genius characters begin play with the Unseen Sense (God-Machine) Merit for free. Characters who become geniuses during play gain the Merit at no cost. Additionally, like demons, geniuses can see the gears and structures of the God-Machine unveiled.
    • Every stigmatic character suffers visions, much like those from the Omen Sensitivity merit, and while these are completely beyond the genius’s control, they do inspire him rather than terrify. Once per chapter, the Storyteller may spontaneously subject a genius character to one such vision, in which case the character gains the Stunned tilt for a single turn and the Inspired Condition in regards to the vision.
    • Genius characters gain a single glitch (a major brand or tell) that cannot be cured, removed, or changed by any means, although it may be suppressed for a scene with a Willpower point. This trait is called stigmata.
    • Genius characters begin play with two Embeds of their choice, and may also spend 1 Experience during play to purchase new Embeds or an Exploits (to gain an Exploit they must have a storyteller approved embed as prerequisite). The genius cannot use these Embeds and Exploits in anyway, except that the genius can install them into objects to create Gadgets as if they were a Demon. Most geniuses require a demon ally or direct access to infrastructure to provide the necessary aether, which can lead many geniuses to never actually create the wonders that dance in their mind.
    • Genius characters count as if they possessed Primium 1 for the purpose of creating gadgets and determining the effects of their embeds and exploits.
    Step Six: Merits
    Genius characters have access to Supernatural Merits, at the Storyteller’s discretion. In addition, players can spend Merit dots on the following demon-blooded merits as if they were fractals; ambient aether (this does not allow them to charge embeds), aether pool and infrastructure proficiency. Finally, a genius still counts as a stigmatic for the purpose of prerequisites.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Genius (Mage/Stigmatic)





    Normally when a mortal comes in contact with infrastructure of the God-Machine; they become corrupted by its occult matrix, infused with glitches, and forever see the divine machinations that lie just behind human perception. But sometimes something greater occurs, if for example a sleeper on the brink of awakening came in contact with infrastructure that constructs an angel. If such a miraculous event arises, the occult information doesn't just leave a stigmata upon the victim, instead because of their soul was so open and vulnerable, the infrastructure floods into their soul showing them the occult designs and systems of the God-Machine. They awakened in this moment, but they were not truly Wise.

    The resultant being was able to see both infrastructure and the most base layers of the supernal. They could follow the designs in their minds to construct odd devices that ran off the only fuel that was within their grasp, mana born from within such as experiencing revelations and putting themselves into their work in a way that could be described as an occult combination of sacrifice and dedication to their work. They were still driven by obsession and possessed Wisdom like true Wise, but they never reached a watchtower and thus cannot ever form spells and when one grows Mad aether flows from his soul and cause glitches in the world around him. These glitches attract attention of both angels who desire a functioning world and demons hungry for the power that radiates from them.

    Paths
    Mages awake to one of five supernal paths, as detailed in Mage: the Awakening. While all geniuses awakened, they awoke to see the occult physics of the God-Machine rather than the gnostic truth of the Supernal. Essentially, Geniuses don’t have a Path. Thus they don’t consider any arcana ruling or inferior. While mages have no true path, they were in the early stages of awakening when their stigmata struck, leaving the genius with their minds more open to possibilities of a supernal realm than the average sleepwalker. The path they would have awakened to if not for the infrastructure defines certain advantages available to them. So when making a Genius character, determine to which Path his soul is open to. Certain Merits require specific Path Attunement to purchase.

    Incarnations
    Despite not being fallen angels, Geniuses do possess Incarnations as described in Demon: the Descent. The incarnation of a genius is determined by the the angel that was subsumed by the geniuses’ awakening, which sets the geniuses’ favoured embeds.

    Genius Rules
    The following rules modify the normal rules for Chronicles of Darkness​ characters.

    Merits
    Genius characters counts as stigmatics for the purpose of prerequisites, though cannot take supernatural merits. In addition, players can spend Merit dots on the following demon-blooded merits as if they were fractals; ambient aether (this does not allow them to charge embeds), aether pool and infrastructure proficiency. Finally, there are some merits available only to geniuses.

    Resistance Attribute
    Like one of the wise, awakening leads to the Genius becoming more resilient. The Genius gains an additional dot in a resistance attribute as described in
    Mage: the Awakening.

    Opened Eyes
    Geniuses have gazed upon the gears of the God-Machine while their minds were beginning to upon to the supernal. As a result they can see the gears of the God-Machine as well as a Demon could and gain the benefits of Peripheral Mage Sight as described in Mage: the Awakening. In addition the Genius gains visions that are a mixture between God-Machine’s eldritch code, impossible designs and invisible machinations, and the Supernal’s absolute truth, raw intensity, and intangible knowledge. These visions function identically to the Omen Sensitivity merit except that the Storyteller has control over when such a vision occurs rather than the player.

    Gnosis
    The souls of Geniuses have been awakened to the truth of the world (even if that truth is different to that of the Wise). Geniuses possess Gnosis in a manner similar to that of Mages, except it is limited by the fact the genius never reached a supernal realm. The gnosis of a Genius only determines the maximum attributes of the Genius, the number of obsessions the Genius possesses, acts as a supernatural tolerance, and determines how much mana a Genius can store within themselves and how much mana they can process within a single turn. Finally, individuals attempting to investigate or track down a genius takes a penalty to such rolls equal to half the Geniuses’ gnosis.

    Mana
    Geniuses never reached the supernal but their minds are open enough to be able to grasp mana that rises from themselves to fuel their occult matrixes. This functions identically to mana from Mage: the Awakening except that for the following:
    Geniuses can only mana through a limited number of methods:
    • Scouring: Geniuses primarily gain mana through Scouring their pattern unconsciously as they work, each hour that they perform work on their occult designs, study, meditate, or pray they can scour their pattern for mana as if they were one of the Wise. Note that while the player has control over whether the scouring occurs, the genius themselves do not possess control over it, only even know it’s happening in that they can feel themselves become immensely worn out.
    • Revelation: Geniuses can gain mana through Revelation, when a genius acts in accordance with their obsession their minds can release mana (see Obsessions in Mage: the Awakening).
    • Sacrifice: Geniuses can gain mana through Blood Sacrifice, except for this to function the killing must be incorporated into the installation of a gadget and it’s mana must be used immediately or it is wasted. This otherwise functions as a Mage obtaining mana through blood sacrifice.
    • Tass: Geniuses can gain mana through Tass, except they do not access it’s mana through spells or consuming the tass, instead they must incorporate the tass into the installation of a gadget and the nature of the tass must make sense for the nature of installation you are using. Mana gained through this way must be spent immediately or it is wasted.
    Once a genius has obtained mana, they can spend it in the following ways:
    • Breakthroughs & Discoveries: Attempting to use a breakthrough or discovery requires expenditure of mana. Discoveries only use up a single point of mana, while Breakthroughs require the genius to spend three points of mana.
    • Gadgets: When installing gadgets or maintaining a gadget such a form gadget, the genius must expend mana. How much mana is required depends on the type of gadget and what is being installed.
    • Merits: Some merits associated with geniuses require expenditure of mana to gain their benefits.
    • Pattern Restoration: This is identical to the Pattern Restoration action of a Mage.
    Obsessions
    Geniuses are often driven to extreme acts because of the knowledge trapped within their souls. This functions identically to the obsessions of Mage: the Awakening.

    Arcane Experience
    Geniuses can gain arcane beats as if they were mages except they cannot gain arcane beats from legacies as they cannot be part of a legacy. Arcane Experience can only be spent towards purchasing Embeds, Exploits, Gnosis, and Wisdom.

    Wisdom
    Much like one of the Wise, geniuses must be careful in how they use their gifts and devices as lack of control and hubris can lead to their stigmata bleeding out from their souls into the world. Because of this, geniuses use Wisdom from Mage: the Awakening instead of integrity. The wisdom of a genius is slightly different to that of the wise though;
    • Instead of the Rampant condition, failure and dramatic failure can lead to the Surveilled condition.
    • Instead of spells being part of acts of hubris, hubris takes account of using breakthroughs, discoveries, or gadgets in hubristic ways.
    • Geniuses cannot cause paradox, but compromise can be an act of hubris if it results in affecting the lives of others.
    • Cannot inure spells as the genius lacks.
    • When geniuses spend one or more points of mana, they release angelic drass as if they were an angel with a rank equal to 5 - half wisdom score (rounded down).
    Stigmata
    The soul of a genius is corrupted, causing them to gain a single minor glitch and gain a number of additional glitches as if they were a demon with a primium score equal to their gnosis. What form these glitches take depends on their current wisdom, with higher wisdom allowing the genius to better contain the eldritch energies. Enlightened geniuses have their glitches manifest as tells, understanding geniuses have half their glitches appear as brands (rounded up) with the rest as tells, falling geniuses have half of their glitches manifest as emanations (rounded up) with the rest as brands, and mad geniuses have all their glitches appear as emanations.

    Embeds
    The soul of a genius is filled with esoteric designs, formulae, and rites which describe the backdoors that are seeded throughout reality. Geniuses start with four embed “designs”, two of which must be associated with the geniuses’ incarnation. Geniuses can purchase embeds of associated with their incarnation with experience as if they were a demon, but the genius requires a demon or genius who knows the desired embed to teach them in it’s use if they want to purchase embeds their incarnation isn't associated with. Geniuses cannot use embeds in the way demons can, instead they are limited to being able to install embeds into gadgets. The only exception are a geniuses’ discoveries, specific embeds that the genius has full comprehension of as part of their magnum opus.

    Exploits
    Geniuses cannot start with exploits, but can purchase them with experience as if they were demons. Like embeds, a genius cannot use them outside of gadget installation unless the exploit is part of that geniuses’ magnum opus in the form of a breakthrough.

    Gadgets
    Geniuses can create gadgets through installation of embeds and exploits in a manner that is identical to that of demons except for the following:
    • Whenever primum would be required, the geniuses’ gnosis is used instead.
    • Mana is spent instead of aether (though aether still flows from the gadget as it’s being installed as a byproduct of having the mana infused into the object and then processed by the occult matrix).
    • The attribute used in the installation’s dicepool has to be associated with the embed(s)/exploit(s), unless it’s from the genius’s incarnation or is a form gadget in which case it can use any attribute that the genius feels is appropriately thematic.
    • The skill used in the installation’s dicepool is dependant on how the gadget is being created. Gadgets being crafted use either Craft or Science (whichever the genius prefers). Gadgets being created through ritual use Occult. Gadgets created as artworks use Expression. Software gadgets use Computer. Gadgets that interact with individuals biology or are a drug use Medicine or Occult.
    • Cannot create gadgets from pact documents.
    Astral
    Geniuses can enter their dreams through meditation in the same manner as a mage can. A genius cannot access the astral through a demesne or hallow, but if their Oneiros is entered the visitor will note that it’s goetia have angelic and mechanical aspects to their appearances.

    Compromise
    Despite lacking cover geniuses can still risk compromise, attracting the attention of the god-machine with their gadgets, breakthroughs and discoveries (but you cannot risk compromise as a result of acting out of character or being investigated as you have no cover to pick apart). Geniuses act is if they had 10 cover for the purpose of determining the modifier to the dicepool. A geniuses’ comprise rolls do not cause Cover loss, glitches, beats, or the blown condition.

    Magnum Opus
    Where the unchained have a cipher, geniuses have their magnum opus. Magum Opus is identical to Cipher from Demon: the Descent except that keys are called discoveries, interlocks are called breakthroughs, and that it serves as the only way for geniuses to use embeds and exploits.
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    Genius Merits


    Aethereal Sight (**)
    Prerequisites: Genius, open to the Obrimos path
    Effect: Select either Forces or Prime. You gain the ability to use the active mage sight of the selected arcana for a scene, by spending a single point of mana.

    Arcadian Sight (**)
    Prerequisites: Genius, open to the Acanthus path
    Effect: Select either Fate or Time. You gain the ability to use the active mage sight of the selected arcana for a scene, by spending a single point of mana.

    Internal Mechanisms (***)
    Prerequisites: Genius
    Effect: You can take components out from your soul and use it to create powerful gadgets. This allows you to create form gadgets as if you were a demon with three Modifications, two Technologies, one Propulsion, and one Process that are selected when you take this merit. Form gadgets created by a genius cannot be grafted onto demons.

    Pandemonium Sight (**)
    Prerequisites: Genius, open to the Mastigos path
    Effect: Select either Mind or Space. You gain the ability to use the active mage sight of the selected arcana for a scene, by spending a single point of mana.

    Stygian Sight (**)
    Prerequisites: Genius, open to the Moros path
    Effect: Select either Death or Matter. You gain the ability to use the active mage sight of the selected arcana for a scene, by spending a single point of mana.

    Wild Sight (**)
    Prerequisites: Genius, open to the Thyrsus path
    Effect: Select either Life or Spirit. You gain the ability to use the active mage sight of the selected arcana for a scene, by spending a single point of mana.
    Last edited by milo v3; 08-06-2017, 01:19 AM.

  • #2
    Nice work. Simple and elegant. Can they create full-fledged Cryptids if they have the Hellhounds Exploit? What do they do if they want to make Demonic Form Gadgets? I assume they can't build Precision-Engineered or Lambda Gadgets, at least not at character generation. Could there be Merits for that? Can they have the other Stigmatic Merits?

    I'm unsure if the Experience cost makes sense. Why do they acquire Embeds and Exploits more easily than Demons themselves? I know their only use for them is building Gadgets, but it still sounds strange.
    Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-31-2016, 09:57 PM.


    "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
      Nice work. Simple and elegant. Can they create full-fledged Cryptids if they have the Hellhounds Exploit? What do they do if they want to make Demonic Form Gadgets? I assume they can't build Precision-Engineered or Lambda Gadgets, at least not at character generation. Could there be Merits for that? Can they have the other Stigmatic Merits?
      Cryptids
      If they create a Hellhound gadget then yes. Though, like with all gadgets, it would require it being a limited version of the original exploit.
      Demonic Form Gadgets
      They cannot, since they don't have the parts.
      Precision-Engineered
      As far as I'm aware, precision-engineered is less a type of gadget and more a method... ish. You should be able to make precision-engineered gadgets, along with being able to make implants, software gadgets, knock-offs, etc.
      Lambda
      I'm on the fence with whether to have Lambda's since, it'd be really cool mad-science wise but I don't want to take away from Demons themes of them being the best at warping and screwing around with GM's code to a ridiculous degree.
      Stigmatic Merits
      Oh forgot that, I'll edit that in.

      I'm unsure if the Experience cost makes sense. Why do they acquire Embeds and Exploits more easily than Demons themselves? I know their only use for them is building Gadgets, but it still sounds strange.
      They only get about 1/5th of the use of an Embed or Exploit, so half price seems reasonable enough to me.

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      • #4
        Have you considered how demonblooded and genius might or might not be compatible?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StSword View Post
          Have you considered how demonblooded and genius might or might not be compatible?
          Demonblooded cannot become stigmatic as far as I can tell.

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          • #6
            No, all demonblooded are stigmatic.

            Well, except for latents, but then their demonblood activates they become stigmatic.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StSword View Post
              No, all demonblooded are stigmatic.

              Well, except for latents, but then their demonblood activates they become stigmatic.
              Yeah.... so they can't become stigmatic again.

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              • #8
                And what prevents a demonblooded from being a genius instead of a regular stigmatic?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StSword View Post
                  And what prevents a demonblooded from being a genius instead of a regular stigmatic?
                  Lack of visions, that fact that they have true embeds already, that demonblooded are more connected to occult matrixes than these guys already are so they already passed them, the fact that having them overlap doesn't really help any themes, there's no reason a fractal can't make a gadget already.

                  Demonblooded are stigmatic+, but these guys are stigmatic+ in a different way. I don't really see any reason to have demonblooded be able to become these guys.

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                  • #10
                    Cool idea with a simple-but-elegant implementation. I'm looking forward to trolling my players with mad scientists

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice, extremely light-weight use of the existing material. I like it (even as I still want a Full Genius 2ED).

                      So... they are still Stigmatic. Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde or Bruce Banner/Hulk as a Stigmatic!Genius with Cryptid Form?

                      So, just to spell out the costs, a Stigmatic!Genius picks up an Embed/Exploit with 1XP, then creates a Gadget costing them 1 Willpower Dot (which they can buy back for 1XP)? This takes 1 Aether (sold separately) (unless it is a One-Shot?), and is an extended action rolling Intelligence + Crafts and requiring Structure Success (*2 for Exploiting), with each roll taking 15 minutes (or 1 hour for Exploiting).

                      EDIT: Provided a Stigmatic!Genius knows the Embed in question already, they could create a One-Shot Embedded Gadget for no cost (if its Structure is less than their Intelligence + Crafts) in 10/mins a roll, target Structure.
                      With a pool of 6 dice (which is modest for such a character), they could Install an Embed like Authorized into a blank index card (assuming Structure of 1), in 10 minutes (assuming a net of 2 Success for the 6 dice), though only usable once.
                      Sound about right?

                      Additionally, would importing the "Kitbashing" concept from Genius have merit (as a Merit)? Something like reducing the Installation time to per Turn (for Embeds) or per Minute (for Exploits), at some cost, plus being unable to make the Gadget permanent with Willpower (meaning it fades at the end of the Scene).

                      EDIT: Cost might be 1 Willpower point? Or 1 per roll?


                      Does making more than 1 in 24 hours cause a Glitch?

                      Does the Stigmatic!Genius count as Primum 1 for any calculations?

                      Can the Stigmatic!Genius incorporate their Supernatural Merits into Gadgets? As Embeds or Exploits?

                      I'm guessing they heavily trade in Stockpiles for Aether reserves, yes?
                      Last edited by Vent0; 06-01-2016, 03:19 PM. Reason: Broke out questions into another section.


                      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                      • #12
                        Would it be unbalanced to convert the generator merit from Genius for this? It's just a static thing that other genii might try and steal. Requirement might be a pact with a demon, fluff might be it IS a demon to a degree. Appearance could be a generator of standard design or a bagdahd battery you have to connect too to get a flow of Aether when you build.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                          Additionally, would importing the "Kitbashing" concept from Genius have merit (as a Merit)? Something like reducing the Installation time to per Turn (for Embeds) or per Minute (for Exploits), at some cost, plus being unable to make the Gadget permanent with Willpower (meaning it fades at the end of the Scene).
                          I think macgyver'ing stuff is already a merit in Demon.... Storytellers guide I think... Memories abit fuzzy on the subject.

                          Does making more than 1 in 24 hours cause a Glitch?
                          I don't think so, though it would attract of angels, demons and cryptids to your location.

                          Does the Stigmatic!Genius count as Primum 1 for any calculations?
                          Nah, Primum 0.

                          Can the Stigmatic!Genius incorporate their Supernatural Merits into Gadgets? As Embeds or Exploits?
                          No, though go for it if you can convince your storyteller.

                          I'm guessing they heavily trade in Stockpiles for Aether reserves, yes?
                          They would definitely want a supply.

                          Originally posted by Freederp92 View Post
                          Would it be unbalanced to convert the generator merit from Genius for this? It's just a static thing that other genii might try and steal. Requirement might be a pact with a demon, fluff might be it IS a demon to a degree. Appearance could be a generator of standard design or a bagdahd battery you have to connect too to get a flow of Aether when you build.
                          Not sure since I haven't seen that merit. Does it just create [fuel stat]?

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                          • #14
                            Yes but only so much fuel depending on investing in merit dots. If I remember right it was a heavy investment but worth it in the long run.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                              I think macgyver'ing stuff is already a merit in Demon.... Storytellers guide I think... Memories abit fuzzy on the subject.
                              I think that just manipulates normal stuff, not Gadgets. In Gadget creation, it says you need to pay a Willpower Dot or else the Installation fades at the end of the scene. Problem is, Gadget creation normally takes too long to be scene relevant. If the creation time were reduced, though (such as through an optional Merit or inherent option), it would naturally tie into this rule.

                              Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                              Nah, Primum 0.
                              The problem with that is that many Exploits use straight Primum (granted, mostly Dramatic Failure and Exceptional Success, but a few use it in the normal Success) in their effects. Primum 0 means they'd have no effect, rather than just a small one.

                              Added this, as well.

                              Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                              No, though go for it if you can convince your storyteller.
                              So... maybe?

                              Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                              Not sure since I haven't seen that merit. Does it just create [fuel stat]?
                              Yeah. Much like Suborned Infrastructure, it basically generates a periodic (daily?) supply of Mania.
                              Last edited by Vent0; 06-07-2016, 01:58 PM.


                              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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