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  • Art and text inbound. First is the Predator/Beast.





    And here's the write-up for the Sentinel and Warden.
    VASCU Case Study: “Andrew Miller”
    From the files of VASCU Agent Kyle Wells

    “The Westwood serial murders were originally attributed to one James Howell, a college student who lived in the same dormitory as one Andrew Miller, the true culprit. Miller and Howell, despite having different majors, shared numerous core classes and often attended the same social gatherings, though not together. During Howell’s time at Westwood, Miller had become obsessive over Howell and his actions, reaching the point of wounding himself in order to receive scars that mirrored Howell’s own. This behavior culminated in a string of deaths involving Howell’s previous sexual encounters, including those who rejected Howell’s advances.

    “Because of his involvement with the victims, Howell was taken in for holding and questioning. His disappearance aggravated Miller’s condition, leading to a sudden killing spree; two of the victims during that time were investigators directly involved in Howell’s capture. VASCU intervened, broadcasting and releasing false information about Howell’s release to mislead Miller before transferring Howell to a different facility outside of the state. Upon realizing that Howell was not coming back to Westwood, Miller continued his rampage for a period of time before becoming dormant and disappearing from the college.

    “Howell has since returned to his studies under a pseudonym as well as surveillance by VASCU. Miller’s whereabouts are currently unknown and investigation into his time at Westwood revealed that Miller’s identity was a fabrication; his actual identity remains unknown. VASCU agents are advised to continue monitoring Howell as well as Westwood; Miller may become active once again if the right trigger comes along.

    “Side Note: Please refrain from speculating on the nature of Howell and Miller’s relationship. Despite the nature of this case, there is not a shred of concrete evidence that suggests that Miller viewed his relationship with Howell as anything beyond a strong bond; this sort of conjecture can end up creating a bias when it comes to profiling Miller and gauging his next target. Furthermore, we are working on a serious case where innocent people have died; we are not turning this into some sort of deranged rom-com featuring a guy and his crazed stalker.”



    VASCU Case Study: “Your Darling”
    From an interview with urban folklorist Noel Harding

    “You keep travelling up the road and you start hitting mountain. Just keep driving up and you’ll eventually hit this empty spot that overlooks the town. It’s a good view; surprised by how many lights are in this little city. If it was still the 80’s, it’d have some cheesy-ass name like ‘Hickey Hill’ or some other kind of bull like that. Right now, no one really has a name for it; they just know that it’s there and that it’s a nice spot.

    “But there’s some weird shit that happens there when you turn on the radio after 10PM and get the in-between channels. Most of the time, you’ll just be hitting static or a garbled Spanish broadcast, nothing too interesting. However, there’s a sweet spot where you’ll start hearing this woman reading off the lyrics to love songs. She’d start out by dedicating the song to someone, referring to herself as their ‘Darling’, before busting out some iconic song. Sometimes you’ll catch her speaking out the words to ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’; sometimes you’ll be listening to her rendition of ‘Like a Virgin’. Some people say that they heard ‘La Vie en Rose’, albeit in a hokey French accent. I know I remember hearing ‘Emotions’ once and almost shat myself laughing when she hit the high note. Sounded like a lawnmower on helium.

    “Here’s where it goes from entertainingly weird to ‘fuck-no’ weird. Turns out that everyone she had dedicated her song to had some sort of tragedy about a week before her broadcast. Sometimes, it was something kinda innocuous like a grandparent passing away or a pet needing to be put down. Other times, it was something really messed up like a child getting kidnapped or a car accident or something. A lot of the locals who actually made a habit of listening into her were trying to convince themselves that it was a coincidence but there was a pattern to these. She would give a longer introduction before she started and ended it with this weird laugh.

    “Hold on, I think I have a recording on me…”


    ‘Um...hello again, everyone. Gee, it’s still really weird being on the mic in front of everybody like this. Hope you guys aren’t getting tired of me yet! Heh. Umm, yeah. Anyway, this time my show is dedicated to Claire Reeds. Claire, if you’re listening-if you’re listening in, just remember me. I will always be your darling. I’ll always be here to support you. I’ll be here to watch over you. I’ll be here to make sure that things will get better for you. Claire, this one is for you. Heh heh.’


    So I had an idea for the Slasher section, specifically Talents; dual Ripper Undertakings. Effectively, a Ripper can forgo ever becoming a Scourge and instead develop a second Ripper Undertaking. They take on both the Talent and Frailty of the second Undertaking. They are then entirely locked out of their Scourge for both of the Ripper Undertakings. It's a small thing but it could help round out some of the extra Slasher Talents. Also considering adding some additional exclusive Talents for the core Rippers, like with the Legend's Dread, the Mask's Ignorance of the Flesh, and the Mutant's Mutation.
    Last edited by Reaper Verse; 11-27-2017, 11:04 PM.

    Comment


    • I can see it working. A lot of the more famous slashers in movies do have the traits of other types of slashers as described in the book and the various fan ideas. Like how a Chameleon and a Genius share a certain innate talent for knowing exactly how people will act. Anyone opposed or have anything to add?

      Comment


      • Text-based update.


        Tried my hand at working some Talents. These two are basically entry-level. Divergent Evolution gives a mechanical basis for creating dual-class Rippers at the expense of being unable to become a Scourge. Monstrous is basically the Legend's Dread and Mutant's Mutation but generic. Working on replacements for those.


        Ripper Only Talent - Divergent Evolution
        As nice as it is to think that Slashers have a set pattern to their killings, it’s almost never the case. An Avenger learns deception to lead their mark into a false sense of security. A Freak maps out their victim’s habits to figure out the best way to manipulate them. A Charmer enjoys the sheer rush of being able to struggle with a target willing to fight. A Slasher with this Talent is able to use the Talent of another Ripper Undertaking. The Slasher may also gain dots of Nightmare as if they were a Scourge.

        Ripper Only Frailty - Genetic Drift
        Slashers that develop their killing style are growing wide rather than tall; they focus on variation rather than specialization. A Slasher with this Frailty cannot develop a Scourge Undertaking. Additionally, the Slasher gains the Frailty that matches the Talent gained from Divergent Evolution.



        Talent - Monstrous
        Sometimes a Slasher is just a monster in a human’s skin. A Slasher with this Talent may have three dots worth of Dread Powers, split across however they like. This Talent may be taken multiple times.

        Frailty - Inhuman
        Slashers leave a little bit of what humanity remains whenever they delve into the darkness. A Slasher with this Frailty develops a Ban or Bane. This Frailty must be taken for each instance of the Monstrous Talent.



        Legends are able to make a Signature Disfigurement on their victims. Basically, these Legends have a very specific way of attacking their victims to the point where their tale revolves around the way in which they kill. As a trade-off, their story has been passed around so many times that it's trivial to find at least SOMETHING about them; their story is A Closed Book.


        Legend Only Talent - Signature Disfigurement
        You can always tell when someone has become a victim of a Legend; whether it’s a gruesome smiley face carved into their head or a stretched out smile from ear to ear, the mark of the Legend is as clear as day. When the Legend attacks the victim that awakened them and invoked their wrath, they may inflict a personal Tilt as if they had targeted a specific body part without having to reduce their dice pool (e.g. the Legend can inflict the Blinded Tilt without taking a -5 to their attack).
        These wounds are more than just a little flourish to establish the Legend’s MO; they are a death mark that singles the victims out for the Legend’s final blow. Not only does the Legend know the location of a marked victim, the Legend may perform a Killing Blow on any victim with a Tilt as inflicted by the Signature Disfigurement as long as both the victim and Legend are alone in an area.

        Legend Only Frailty - A Closed Book
        How many times has the grisly tale of the Legend been shared around a campfire? How many through schoolground gossip? How many since the advent of the internet? No matter how old, how deeply buried a Legend’s story has been hidden, it will eventually be brought back out into the open. When Investigating the Legend, Clues cannot have the Incomplete or Tainted Tag; every shred of evidence against the Legend can be used to prove something about their motive. Furthermore, Uncovering the Truth converts every Clue gathered into a Bane that can be used against the Legend: a Clue hinting at an abusive family life turns a simple flyswatter into a symbol of the Legend’s violent mother; a Clue that reveals a surviving victim turns their visage into a powerful ward against the Legend.



        Psychos, despite being completely nuts, still retain a bit of their charm and can bring people into their Dance of Death. These Psychos can lure their victims into an obsessive state where all they want is to either gain the Psycho's twisted approval or take the Psycho down in a spectacular fashion. However, it takes Two to Tango, so the Psycho begins to lose it if they don't have an audience.


        Psycho Only Talent - The Dance of Death
        The dark charm that lingers on every poisonous word that comes out of the Psycho’s lips is like a sweet, addictive ambrosia. It’s the enticing lure that the Psycho uses to bring their victims into their twisted game of wits and knives. The Psycho can force their marks to partake in their Dance of Death, implanting an obsession within them to please, confront, or defeat the Psycho. Mocking letters, breaking speeches, or even a sickeningly taunting smile from the Psycho can inflict a variant of the Obsessed Condition, referred to as the Dance of Death, with the obsession being to interact with the Psycho in a manner that befits their relationship with the Slasher. In addition to the Condition’s normal effects, falling into the Dance of Death prevents successes on an 8 or 9 on actions that do not revolve around actively pursuing the Psycho.
        The Dance of Death automatically affects victims of the Psycho’s Disarming Talent and Deadly Distraction Talent. Psychos can also attempt to lure the object of their Obsessed Frailty into the Dance of Death by succeeding a roll of Presence + Manipulation, contested by the victim’s Resolve + Composure. If done in this manner, their targets are only affected by the normal Obsessed Condition. Both the Dance of Death and Obsessed Condition as inflicted by this Talent can be shed if the victim loses the effect of the Disarming Talent or has ignored the Psycho for a number of months equal to the number of dots in the Psycho’s Nightmare trait.

        Psycho Only Frailty - Two to Tango
        If there is anything that a Psycho retains that could remotely be described as human, it’s their desire for attention. Someone needs to bear witness to these acts the Psycho commits with such zeal and devotion. Someone needs to know the meaning to the Psycho’s madness and mayhem. When a Psycho is robbed of attention, they revert into the base components that make them the pathological killer that they are. When removed from human interaction or placed in prolonged isolation, the Psycho drops their facade and devolves into a raving lunatic, ranting about the wrongs they have endured or monologuing about the good that their purgings have done for the world. Anyone who witnesses this outburst (by eavesdropping, watching a video, etc.) is rendered immune to the Psycho’s Disarming Talent if they weren’t before. Furthermore, witnesses are able to recognize and ignore a Psycho’s first attempt to create a Deadly Distraction or lure them into a Dance of Death.
        Once a Psycho is able to interact with any human after their isolation, they latch onto any sort of notoriety they can get. The first person that they are able to see becomes the object of the Psycho’s Obsessed Frailty if they do not already have a target.



        Basically a quick text update to show what I'm planning in terms of expanding this section. Next update will hopefully be the Stranger/Transcendent and the Minder/Collector (probably gonna drop the Master).

        Comment


        • Your Darling would make a good Legend, but I'm don't think it works as a Warden. It lacks the strong fixation on a single beloved which is the foundation of the Undertaking. I have an idea forming, about an orphan with a serious medical condition who's normal dislike of needles has been exaggerate into evil Devient-style medical experiments by one of the janitors who rescued/abducted her and fled the hospital. But thus far it's not working when I try to write it down. I'll let it simmer and see if anything comes out of it.


          “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
          My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
          Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

          Comment


          • Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
            Your Darling would make a good Legend, but I'm don't think it works as a Warden. It lacks the strong fixation on a single beloved which is the foundation of the Undertaking. I have an idea forming, about an orphan with a serious medical condition who's normal dislike of needles has been exaggerate into evil Devient-style medical experiments by one of the janitors who rescued/abducted her and fled the hospital. But thus far it's not working when I try to write it down. I'll let it simmer and see if anything comes out of it.

            No problem. Your Darling was mainly me writing myself into a corner; considering that her schtick would have been "I dedicate my broadcast to this person who just suffered a recent loss that I may or may not have contributed to", I created a plot hole where it would be kinda obvious that she would eventually be caught if she just kept dedicating her broadcast to that one person. Was gonna hand-wave it with a "Wandering Eye" Talent but I'm gonna try to stick to the core of what Wardens are.

            Trying to think of a way to exemplify the Warden's sort of love-turtling. All I can really think of is either having the Warden's beloved become complicit to the Warden's activities, becoming completely blind to the Warden's actions and seeing them as an actual individual and doing everything in their own power to protect the Warden.

            As for Alphas, I think an interesting unique Talent for them would be the ability to prevent others from partaking in their Vices, effectively under the threat of ousting them for the terrible person that they are or exaggerating their negative traits to such a degree that it would effectively ostracize them from the Alpha's social hierarchy. Just running through some ideas.

            Comment


            • What if "your beloved" dedicated her music to someone everyone thinks is already dead? Somebody vanishes, and anyone who starts snooping around ends up dead.

              Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
              As for Alphas, I think an interesting unique Talent for them would be the ability to prevent others from partaking in their Vices, effectively under the threat of ousting them for the terrible person that they are or exaggerating their negative traits to such a degree that it would effectively ostracize them from the Alpha's social hierarchy. Just running through some ideas.
              I think that could fall under their existing Talent and social rolls.



              “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
              My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
              Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

              Comment


              • Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
                What if "your beloved" dedicated her music to someone everyone thinks is already dead? Somebody vanishes, and anyone who starts snooping around ends up dead.

                That could work. So what would be happening is 1) Your Darling has in some way captured/imprisoned her beloved, 2) uses her broadcasts as a way to express her love, and 3) kills anyone who tries to snoop under the assumption that the snoopers are trying to tear her and her beloved apart?

                Comment


                • Precisely!


                  “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                  My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                  Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                  Comment


                  • Alrighty. I'll get to revising her then.

                    Still trying to work around the Harpy/Alpha unique and I began thinking about Anthony Fremont from It's a Good Life. Because he has reality-warping abilities, particularly the ability to banish people into the "cornfield", he has effectively held an entire town captive to his whims and doesn't really give half a damn if his whims destroy the town, considering that he summons snowfall during crop season. Maybe the Alpha's ability is just their sheer audacity, being able to get away with terrible crimes out in the open with no one under their influence raising an objection, even when it gets someone in the hierarchy killed. Or their power could be a sense of conformity, converting everyone else's Vices and Virtues to the Alpha's own. More thoughts being thrown out.

                    Comment


                    • I feel like the conformity angle is a better angle to work with. Being able to act so openly might work for small or isolated regions, but What happens when outsiders arrive and talk about the weird town they came to where practically everyone bowed in abject worship to some random nobody? Eventually someone will start asking questions about such a town and such a person. If Harpy and Alpha are all about setting up and preserving a social order, it helps to have a social order people are forced to conform to.

                      Comment


                      • I thought they were about preserving an existing social order where they benefited, but weren't at the tippy top of it. Like, the student body president (non-anime style) and popular girl instead of the Headmaster.


                        A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

                        Comment


                        • I compare them to Tomie a lot because of her MO. Tomie uses her beauty, and in one story her position as the school's Morality Club leader, to get her way by conscripting other students and sometimes adults into doing her will for her. The main thing is that Harpies, in their write-up, are paranoid about being in situations where their authority is challenged whereas Alphas are essentially the core to a living social structure and don't have to worry.

                          Actually, now I kinda feel like an Alpha could have something like conditional immortality. Alphas have integrated themselves into their social structure so well that they effectively live on even after death as long as the social structure exists and the followers are willing to maintain it. Like, an Alpha can still be killed and they're incredibly squishy. However, those who have become Addicted to the Alpha can effectively resurrect the Alpha though memories, emulation, or straight-up black magick.

                          Comment


                          • Ding dong. Art and text delivery!

                            First up is the Stranger and Transcendent. Happy with how unsettling I find the Stranger but not too content with the Transcendent. Need to make it more...extra.




                            EDIT: And here's the Minder and Collector. The Masters are getting the cut.




                            END EDIT


                            Some text for the Slashers. For Mutants, their hideousness works in favor for them; people just can't look away from how freakish they are. This gives the Mutants an advantage as their victims are too busy watching the Freakshow. However, they know when Closing Time is coming and are compelled to retreat whenever that time comes.

                            Mutant Only Talent - Freakshow
                            No matter the Mutant’s inhuman growths or atrophied limbs, there’s just something that inspires a dark voyeurism in those who witness the Mutant’s visage. The Mutant inflicts the Shaken Condition whenever anyone sees the Mutant in person or sees possible evidence of the Mutant’s existence (such as an eyeball through a hole, claw marks against a wall, etc.) If the Mutant sees them in return, they also receive the Notoriety Condition in regards to the Mutant.
                            Once the Mutant begins to reap their victims, this voyeurism goes into overdrive. When a Mutant attacks someone successfully, those with the Shaken Condition who can see the act gain the Insensate Tilt, aside from the victim of the attack. Additionally, those with the Notoriety Condition also gain the Sick Tilt at moderate; knowing that the Mutant has taken a shine to them leaves an utterly vile taste in their mouth and a knot in their stomach. Both the Shaken and Notoriety Conditions can be shed if the witnesses escape from the Mutant’s view along with their normal resolution.

                            Mutant Only Frailty - Closing Time
                            There’s a time and a place where Mutants are allowed to interact with the world; they know the call for home and they know that they will be punished if they do not heed its call. Mutants with this Frailty have a Trigger, usually something auditory or visual like a specific church’s bell ringing or the sun peering up from the horizon. When this Trigger activates, Mutants are compelled to drop what they are doing and return to their dwellings until the next time that they can freely explore the world (usually, this is after a period of rest, the next sunrise, or if they are attacked, to the Storyteller’s discretion). The Closing Time Frailty also removes the Shaken and Notoriety Condition from the Mutant’s victims until the next time the Mutant becomes active.
                            If the Mutant is in combat when this Trigger occurs, they can roll Resolve + Nightmare to attempt to resist and continue their assault. If they do, the Mutant cannot inflict the Insensate Tilt with the Freakshow Talent for that scene. Furthermore, each turn that they ignore the Trigger, they must roll Resolve + Nightmare - each turn after the first to continue resisting.



                            And for Alphas, the system that they have integrated themselves is now even more of a part of them. The system can run itself, but ultimately it serves to benefit the Alpha. In all, the Alphas Are the State. The downside of all this power is that it is doomed to go all belly-up sooner or later. Alphas are cursed to fall, as did Ozymandias, King of Kings.

                            Alpha Only Talent - I Am The State
                            Alphas haven’t just usurped an integral position in their social structure; Alphas are now the structure itself. As long as the system exists and there are people willing to become involved in the system, the Alpha will continue to live long after they are killed. It may be through impersonation, it may be through sheer denial of the Alpha’s death; it could even be a case of good ol’ black magick and human sacrifice. Whatever the case, an Alpha with this Talent will be able to resurrect themselves after a period of time equal to six weeks - the Alpha’s Nightmare.
                            During this time before the Alpha returns, the Alpha is still able to exert their will over their system despite their nonexistence. The Alpha may continue to use the Queen of the Cacophony and the Personification of the Tribe Talents as if they were still alive. Rumors are developed spontaneously and grow like cancer while the need for the Alpha’s approval is replaced with a desire to honor the Alpha’s memory and character. Furthermore, those within the system are aware of the Alpha’s death but not the conditions of said death, inspiring suspicion towards those who are on the outside or openly oppose the system. Rolls made by members of the system towards investigating the Alpha’s death or those who may have been involved in their death gain the 9-again quality.
                            In this state, the Alpha cannot kill nor can they command others to kill in her wake. The Alpha can encourage hostile behavior with their Talents but this behavior cannot escalate into wanton violence or murder.

                            Alpha Only Frailty - Ozymandias, King of Kings
                            Despite an Alpha’s best efforts, time will ravage even the greatest of accomplishments; in time, the Alpha’s system will collapse and there shall be nothing left but ruins for the Slasher. Dissenters grow restless, the system begins to rot, and the Alpha will inevitably die. For each dot of Nightmare, the Alpha’s system provides the equivalent level of dots in Allies for anyone who works against the system; often these Allies are members very low on the social rung or are victims of harassment by the Alpha’s ministrations.
                            The isolated nature of the system becomes more pronounced as the lines are defined. The tightly-knit colony of the Alpha’s system works against itself, detaching itself from the outside world. Anyone who is a part of the system, including the Alpha, takes a -2 penalty on Social rolls made against anyone who is outside of the system or is working against the system. For the Alpha, this penalty stacks with the Tied to the System Frailty.
                            Finally, the Alpha, despite their nature, will befall the same fate as the great leaders of the ancient times. Whenever an Alpha is resurrected by the I Am the State Talent, they reduce their Nightmare by one dot. When an Alpha dies at 0 Nightmare, they die for good as the system they once owned is released from their control.

                            Note: This Talent has a special set of rules if the Alpha also takes the Back for the Sequel Talent. As below:
                            • I Am the State’s resurrection and Ozymandias, King of King’s Nightmare reduction takes priority over Back for the Sequel; when an Alpha dies, they go through I Am the State’s process of resurrection, losing a dot of Nightmare when the come back to life.
                            • If an Alpha is killed with their Bane from Wearing Out the Franchise, they escape their permanent death by going through I Am the State’s resurrection process.
                            • When an Alpha is at 0 Nightmare, they may resurrect via Back for the Sequel at 0 Nightmare until they gain at least 1 dot of Nightmare. After that, they go back through I Am the State.
                            • If an Alpha is killed with their Bane from Wearing Out the Franchise AND is at 0 Nightmare, they experience a permanent death.




                            And with that I am officially done with the core art pieces for the Slasher section. Barring the transitionary art pages, the only thing I would work on for that section would be accessory pieces (which would be just a single art asset like a clipped axe, masks, etc.), so now I can keep working on the splash arts for the Compacts and Conspiracies.
                            Last edited by Reaper Verse; 12-08-2017, 01:35 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Alright. I formatted the Undertakings and the pages take up 42 pages in the book. Pretty solid amount. Insofar, I have gotten about 102 pages in the entire document but this is the first section that is effectively complete.




                              This is the link to the PDF of the Undertakings, including a page introducing the section.




                              So now what? Right now, I want to finish writing up the Talents to completely round out the Slasher section before moving back to the Compacts and creating splash arts for those. The Slasher section itself is probably 1/3 of Chapter 4: Tools and Tricks so getting the Talents done will chunk out a good amount of progress.

                              Comment


                              • It's looking amazing. It's so good to see my writing presented this well.


                                “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                                My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                                Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                                Comment

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