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A small Geist hack: Death Bling

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  • A small Geist hack: Death Bling

    This is an idea I've been toying around with for a game of Geist.

    So, you're back from your little trip to the Great Below and now you've got a ghost in your head that's always clamoring on with "Oh, let me burn that bastard real good right there," and "I'm gonna wrap you up in sorrow now so nothing can hurt you, alright?" Of course, they can't do it without you--not without your permission, and especially not without your Keys. Death, door, you, key, you've heard it how many times now from every d-bag who's ever seriously used the word "Orphic" or what-have-you. But what are these Keys? Who's ever heard of a door that can be unlocked with a bunch of different keys anyway?

    You don't own them, you know. We've gotten to, like, third base with Death, but you gotta actually be given the Key before you can go all the way.

    You want to know where our New Best Friends get their spooky powers? Call up those lockpicks or switchblade or porcelain doll of yours. You'll see where they come from.

    In this hack, Sin-Eaters do not possess Keys. They are not etched into the Bound's metaphysics, and are not something you can purchase with Experience Points. Instead, unlocking Manifestations requires the proper Momento. It's part of the reason why there are so few legends about people with spooky ghost-powers, but so many about cursed and haunted objects.

    A Sin-Eater always has two Keys available to him or her, of course: those of the Keystone. If the Burning Woman's torch is attuned to Pyre-Flame and Passion, then to unlock a Manifestation with one of those Keys, you just need to let your Geist put that torch into your hand.

    The easiest way to get more Keys is to find and dedicate Charms. First you need some momento that resonates with the right aspect of Death, obviously. Then you just need to dedicate it in a Ceremony. Bam, it's yours. As long as you own it, and it's in, let's say, arm's reach, abouts, you can unlock Manifestations with its Key.

    Ownership is the operative word here, of course. Eventually someone's going to come around and decide, hey, I want the Primeval Key, so I'm just gonna relieve you of that shark tooth necklace when you're not looking, okay? Cool.

    (In this hack, it must also be stated that Mementos--Keystones included--do not grant bonuses to unlocking Manifestations with their Key, unless you happen to have multiple attuned to the same Key on hand. Shark tooth necklace, plus eagle talon, plus mounted wolf's head equals +2 Primeval, if that's all you're working with.)

    Why this hack? Because, to me, Manifestations have also felt like they should be disassociative. Sin-Eaters have a very shamanic feel about them, and I am of the opinion that the game could work well with a reinforced theme of your powers not fully being of your own. You let your Geist manifest its Rage or Curse, and you have choices in how it manifests, but it's not you doing it. You're not a wizard, you're an intermediary. Also also, it's to give more bite to why going into a Flesh Fair oddments a-jangle nets you so much respect with your fellow Bound: grave goods are power.

  • #2
    This is a really cool idea, actually.


    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
    Feminine pronouns, please.

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    • #3
      Hmm, yes, I was hesitant to just say "Yeah, from me too, this is a cool idea," seemed like a rather empty post, but now I've had a thought.

      This is quite similar to the "casting rotes through items" hack from the mage chroniclers guide, now I want to peruse the mage chroniclers guide for hacks that could be adapted for sin-eaters. Sin-eaters as psychics? Sin-eaters as faustian sorcerers?

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      • #4
        This is an excellent idea that lends a lot to the theme, mythology, and visuals of Geist. Thanks for sharing!

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        • #5
          *maniacle french laughter* This, Senor/Madam espritdecalmar, is a truly terrific idea!

          And another idea; the possesion of these sorts of Mementos, along with physical age and Psyche and Synergy levels, could also be used as a means of judging who's most likely to be the leader of the local Bound in a region; the more/better Mementos a Sin-Eater possesses, the older they are, the more potent the connection a Bound and their Geist is and the more 'in-tune' the two are with each other, the more likely they are to be in charge, or at least higher up in the ranks.

          Of course, the order in which the value of these four factors are placed from most to least, varies somewhat from region to region.

          Also just thought of this while typing, but this homebrew/hack could easily be used to integrate homebrew keys such as the Memorial Key into a campaign post-session-zero/one using it with far more ease than the base version.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by TerrorCooper View Post
            *maniacle french laughter* This, Senor/Madam espritdecalmar, is a truly terrific idea!

            And another idea; the possesion of these sorts of Mementos, along with physical age and Psyche and Synergy levels, could also be used as a means of judging who's most likely to be the leader of the local Bound in a region; the more/better Mementos a Sin-Eater possesses, the older they are, the more potent the connection a Bound and their Geist is and the more 'in-tune' the two are with each other, the more likely they are to be in charge, or at least higher up in the ranks.

            Of course, the order in which the value of these four factors are placed from most to least, varies somewhat from region to region.

            Also just thought of this while typing, but this homebrew/hack could easily be used to integrate homebrew keys such as the Memorial Key into a campaign post-session-zero/one using it with far more ease than the base version.
            Do me a favor and don't revive any more threads over a year without posting.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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