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Compact: Yuri's Group

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  • Compact: Yuri's Group

    When I posted the original outline, I had a group tentatively called "The Cult". I wrote a bit for them, but wasn't in love. I didn't have enough to really separate them conceptually from The Faithful of Shulpae. However, I wanted a group to address some of the philosophical divide between beasts and humans, and what the human side of "teaching through fear" is. I had a couple of requests for similar. So, here's Yuri's Group, a Compact that rose out of victims' support groups.

    Compact: Yuri’s Group

    “She said that life is not what you alone make it. That it’s the touch of everyone and every experience you have. We don’t prevent scars; we stop people from being cut.”
    On the surface, the Yuri Kochiyama Group (or “Yuri’s Group” as they call themselves) is a group of pacifists who run support groups, and only grudgingly hunt monsters. At least, that’s the common perception. It’s inaccurate, and only addresses the group in an idealistic sense. They got their name from an anti-war activist, because at first, many of their support group attendees came home shocked from Iraq War. But they quickly found that they had other charges.
    The group was born in the early 1990s as a handful of Los Angeles support group organisers in began noticing patterns in survivors’ stories, suspicious discrepancies, and odd supernatural elements which occurred time after time. Monsters. Specifically, a monster. This serpent king occurred in enough stories, acting the same way, that it simply couldn’t be coincidence. It didn’t match up with any specific pop culture event. And the organizers curiously picked at the stories, trying to suss out not just commonalities, but if any truth was to be had.
    And there was.
    This serpent king existed; it was a man living in the sewers, stalking and terrorizing people. The police laughed it off, even with pictures. A group of the organizers even followed him into the sewer, but each time, he’d vanish. Research stumbled upon research, and the group made headway when they finally saw him in his true form. They saw the monster, and in a moment of raw courage, they killed the beast.
    They’ve since organized and expanded into other regions, putting representatives in many support groups all over the US and a few other places. They look for signs of monsters, and they do what they can to stop them. Their group solidified, however, as they began capturing the monsters. They questioned the monsters, and found that many of these beasts believed they were teaching through pain, fear, and tribulation. While the group acknowledges that agenda, they wholeheartedly reject it. Yes, a person can find strength from pain. But the results of the pain are still very real. You may find strength in losing an arm in war. That’s more than made up for when you no longer have a hand to use, or when you wake up in tears because of the trauma. People can learn without pain. No man, no beast has the right to “teach” without a student’s consent.
    Almost every member of Yuri’s Group fights with a cell of other hunters, providing expertise in identifying and supporting victims. Only rarely do cells exist only of Yuri’s Group members.
    The Enemy
    Primarily, Yuri’s Group fights beasts. This is far from exclusive, however. Any monster which creates enough survivors will attract their attention eventually. Blood-addicted vampire ghouls, shellshocked werewolf victims, and former possession victims all draw attention. Unlike many other hunters, Yuri’s Group very rarely deals with monsters that exclusively kill their victims. They will if confronted, but as they primarily hunt through support groups, no survivors means no support group attendance.
    The group views these monsters as victimizers, and victimizers of the worse caliber. They have massive power differentials with their victims, and often completely rob agency in their assaults. Some members will try to rehabilitate and reform monsters, but unfortunately that’s almost never practical. Immediate victims needs must come first, and these kinds of monsters simply cannot be helped with the immediacy necessary.
    Hunters
    You were a social worker. Hell, you still are after a fashion. You hunt with your peers, you take down monsters, but your first and most important priority is the needs of victims. You allocate resources to establish safe houses, and you keep close tabs on your charges to make sure they’re attending meetings. The hardest part of your job is dealing with the people that ask to join the Group, those that want to take up the Vigil. You’ve seen some shit, and you wouldn’t wish that on anyone. You can’t let them down easily. The best you can hope for is easing them in respectfully.
    You’re an active member of the neighborhood watch. You got into this when your sister was hospitalized for what turned out to be blood addiction to a vampiric master. You attend meetings and escort survivors home, all the while keeping your neighborhood watch group simultaneously aware of threats but ignorant of their supernatural nature.
    You were a pastor, but your church just didn’t have the answers for the problems your charges were facing. You held support meetings every Tuesday and Thursday, and every meeting got worse and worse. People came to you with stories scarier than the ones in the Old Testament, and these stories weren’t allegory. Your superiors fed you platitudes about praying Satan away, but there was only so much praying you were willing to do while these people withered away into nothingness. You had to do something, so you chose to fight.
    Support Groups
    Rehabilitators do everything in their power to rehabilitate monsters. This is of course not always possible. But they stick by two major philosophies. First, monsters will set good examples for one another if they prove successful in rehabilitation. Second, that monsters will request help if they see help there. Again, these are ideals. But at least one major support group exists in Los Angeles for monsters attempting to reject their natures.
    Dark Angels are hunters and defenders first and foremost. They patrol, escorting survivors to look for repeat offenders. When they find these offenders, they make short work of them. These members specialize in urban warfare tactics and espionage, often setting themselves up as victims in order to attack monsters at their weakest points.
    Doctors focus primarily on the actual act of rehabilitation, helping victims come to terms with what has happened to them, repairing any potential damage, and to move on with their lives. While they’ll participate in the hunt, their greatest priority is with the victims themselves, diminishing damage and providing comfort wherever possible. When they do hunt, however, they’re utterly ruthless. They carry with them the memories of countless tear-filled confessions, and people begging for death. Of anyone in Yuri’s Group, they’re the least capable of forgetting the hurt these monsters cause.
    Status
    Yuri’s Group members can gain the following benefits:
    • Basic membership offers connections. It gives Contacts • and Allies • in local support groups.
    ••• Established members act as hubs for survivors. They have small groups of supporters who will fight to protect them. Divide three dots among Retainers and Staff Merits reflecting these characters.
    ••••• The most established members have an eye for the right time, and the right place to prevent another victim. When on the hunt, they always arrive on the scene while survivors still remain, and remain currently unhurt. If saved, these survivors become one-dot Retainers, Allies, Contacts, or Staff Merits.
    Stereotypes
    Cheiron Group: The worst. They could learn methods of solving greater problems with their research, but in the end, they only care about the bottom line.
    The Merrick Institute: These kids… They could be amazing, if they’d just take some time to understand what’s been done to them, instead of just lashing out.
    Null Mysteriis: No, really the worst. They believe in “hard science”, but eschew “soft sciences”. Which is to say, they care about data, not people.


    David A Hill Jr
    Freelance Writer
    Independent Game Designer

  • #2
    Oh, and here's a Tactic they specialise in.
    I Need A Hero
    Prerequisites: (all participants) Dexterity 2, Athletics 2 (primary actor) Presence 3, Persuasion 1
    Requires: 3
    Primary Dice Pool: Presence + Persuasion
    Secondary Dice Pools: Dexterity + Athletics
    Description: Sometimes, a beast is just too much for a cell, and it has to resort to more drastic measures. Fortunately, knowledgeable hunters know that beasts can sometimes draw heroes if they cut loose. Unfortunately, cutting loose usually proves fatal for hunters. However, with this Tactic, the cell knowingly goads the beast to attack with overwhelming force. The cell plays it defensively, diverting, distracting, dodging, and otherwise staying relatively safe while the beast escalates.
    Successful rolls protect the actors from the beast's Dread Powers. During this time, the characters cannot attack; they simply devote themselves to fully avoiding devastation. If the primary actor succeeds, not only does she avoid the monster's Dread Power, the beast attracts (or possibly creates) a hero.
    Usually, the cell either continues to distract the beast in pursuit, or flees if possible. The hero takes a reasonable but short amount of time to arrive. If in a densely populated area, this might be a few turns. In rural areas, it might be as much as an hour. Regardless, the cell must do something in the mean time, and usually that means avoiding the beast at all costs. Once the hero is on the scene, the two clash and it gives an easy escape for remaining cell members.
    Organizations: Yuri’s Group specializes in this Tactic. Their intimate awareness of survivors and victims puts them in an ideal position to (grudgingly) turn the tables on victimizers. Minutemen use this Tactic, but for reverse purpose; they use it to attract heroes who they can slay. Lucifuge receive training in this Tactic, as they better understand the fundamental relationship between monsters and heroes than most hunters.



    David A Hill Jr
    Freelance Writer
    Independent Game Designer

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    • #3
      Do they generally view Heroes as victims in need of help?

      Any relationship of note with their fellow West-coast clinic-Compact: the Talbot Group?


      Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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      • #4
        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
        Do they generally view Heroes as victims in need of help?

        Any relationship of note with their fellow West-coast clinic-Compact: the Talbot Group?
        I don't actually think they've really run into any Heroes. At least, not that they know of. So they're probably not that familiar with the phenomenon. (Which is to say, while I TOTALLY see how survivors could turn into Heroes in their watch, I think that relationship would take way more word count than I get with these splats. I might deal with that in the "The Response" chapter).

        As far as Talbot Group goes... I need to re-read them first. I'm not sure; I'm weird with referencing other books unless there's a really easy, self-contained way to.


        David A Hill Jr
        Freelance Writer
        Independent Game Designer

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        • #5
          These guys are great, too. I've been wanting to see a compact that operated through support groups, although I'd expected it to be a changeling one. This actually works really well as Beast compact, and I'm glad to see a group that actually knows about the teaching aspect of Beasts, but is still able to go after them. Although it's a pity that the Cult won't make it in, I think this group more than makes up for that loss. Thank you for sharing this with us.

          Edit: If they haven't run into any Heroes, how does their Tactic work for them?


          Jason Ross Inczauskis, Freelance Writer
          Projects: Dark Eras 2, Mummy: The Curse 2e, Pirates of Pugmire, TC In Media Res, DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action, C20 Anthology of Dreams
          Masculine pronouns preferred.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
            These guys are great, too. I've been wanting to see a compact that operated through support groups, although I'd expected it to be a changeling one. This actually works really well as Beast compact, and I'm glad to see a group that actually knows about the teaching aspect of Beasts, but is still able to go after them. Although it's a pity that the Cult won't make it in, I think this group more than makes up for that loss. Thank you for sharing this with us.

            Edit: If they haven't run into any Heroes, how does their Tactic work for them?
            Oh, duh. I'll clarify.


            David A Hill Jr
            Freelance Writer
            Independent Game Designer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
              I've been wanting to see a compact that operated through support groups, although I'd expected it to be a changeling one.
              I wrote the Searchlight which is in the fan-book pdf "Dream Catchers" if you're interested. They're a network of support-groups for people with disappeared loved ones.


              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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              • #8
                This write-up has a relatable human element that makes it better than the Cult in every way. I love it. The existence of Rehabilitators paints them as people who try to understand the supernatural as opposed to just drawing hard lines. The little mention of veterans trading one battleground for another makes it even better.

                On the other hand, with the Merrick Institute (another goodie), we have two groups of victims reclaiming their lives. I wouldn't want to be forced to choose between the two, but I think there are other niches to fill.

                Also, I think there is still potential in the Cult. As an ideological opposite of Yuri's Group, they could treat Beasts' purpose seriously - more so than the Beasts, and would use all means at their disposal to push Beasts to live up to their duty - whatever it may be.


                ~

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                  Also, I think there is still potential in the Cult. As an ideological opposite of Yuri's Group, they could treat Beasts' purpose seriously - more so than the Beasts, and would use all means at their disposal to push Beasts to live up to their duty - whatever it may be.
                  I could see the place for them, too. I could probably work with them, but I wasn't in love with what I had, so I shifted.

                  A lot of it's art-based. For this piece, we can only do three splats. And I am definitely doing the anti-Hero (ha, ha) Compact for the third.

                  That said, I do have an up-and-coming Compact mentioned in a sidebar elsewhere.


                  David A Hill Jr
                  Freelance Writer
                  Independent Game Designer

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                  • #10
                    I love it. Expect a full read-through later today

                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                    I wrote the Searchlight which is in the fan-book pdf "Dream Catchers" if you're interested. They're a network of support-groups for people with disappeared loved ones.
                    Fortunately for Dream Catchers, Searchlight is a completely different concept with no conflicts over niche. Searchlight are armed and violent, looking to rescue their family from monsters by force, rather than focusing on post-rescue therepy.

                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                    Do they generally view Heroes as victims in need of help?
                    It certainly would be an interesting and unique take on Heroes. As councillors they'd probably look at Beast/Heroes through the theoretical lenses of the cycle of abuse. But theory and practice diverge because Beasts can create Heroes but Heroes can't create Beasts.

                    Then you've got the conflict between Heroes-as-victims who come with moral obligations to help them heal. Heroes-as-victimisers who must be prevented from hurting civilians who's only crime was standing too close to a Beast. And of course Beasts-as-victimisers who are easiest to stop with a Hero's help.

                    MachineIV said it right when he said this would take a fair amount of wordcount, and given that I'm interested in hunting Beasts, not hunting Heroes, I wouldn't object if that wordcount was used on Beasts instead.

                    Originally posted by MachineIV View Post
                    As far as Talbot Group goes... I need to re-read them first. I'm not sure; I'm weird with referencing other books unless there's a really easy, self-contained way to.
                    The obvious easy self-contained way to reference the Talbot Group would be to include them in the Stereotype, given the similarities I think it's a fitting addition. Something like "they believe in spiritual possession, exorcism, and other mumbo jumbo. I wouldn't trust them with my patients but I've seen too much not to consider the possibility that they're right".


                    “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

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                    • #11
                      FYI, from The Response:
                      "We deal with survivors. Sometimes, survivors become… something else. Other hunters call them “heroes”. We don’t like that term. They grow obsessed. Extremist. It’s an awful situation when it happens, because there’s very little we can do. But, we provide them the same — if more intense — support. Sometimes we help them see reason, and to heal. Sometimes. Not often.
                      Okay. So, that’s bullshit. We know about heroes. We deal with them more than we’d like to admit. We try to reserve the term for the worst cases, the irredeemable cases. Our dirty little secret is, sometimes we have to use them as weapons. Sometimes beasts are just too much to handle, and we can’t afford to lose a cell. So, we have a little trick. We’ve found that when beasts flare up and go for broke, it sends up a supernatural beacon that calls a hero. So, we goad beasts into flipping out and attacking hardcore. That’s saved our asses more times than we can count. In fact, we’d probably not be the organization we are tonight if it weren’t for that trick.
                      Are we comfortable using survivors as weapons? No. But this is giving clean needles to junkies. Without our trick, heroes would still attack. We’re just speeding up the inevitable. And with us there, sometimes we can minimize damages. Sometimes, this means the hero lives when she might otherwise not. Usually, we just run when the hero comes knocking."


                      David A Hill Jr
                      Freelance Writer
                      Independent Game Designer

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                      • #12
                        What I love most is how the group challenges the ideas of nature and nurture here, and how they'll win as much as they'll fail. For every Beast who are trying to create some meaning and gain for their victims as opposed to just crushing their spirits, and that is legitimately the best they can offer with their nature, there's a Sanctified Vampire who can be converted to a better way of thinking.

                        Sometimes, they'll lose-you just can't beat nature. But sometimes, they can, and then something marvelous happens-they win.


                        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.

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                        • #13
                          Also, as it relates to the Talbot Group, there is a danger of this being too similar to them, but of the two, I think this one actually delivers on a more focused, human empathy thing that actually rings possible, where as the Talbot Group, while it has a wider knowledge of things, also operates on faulty logic that means they'll lose more than they win.


                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do have misgivings about the Tactic, however. The only situation when a Hero would turn up within a few turns is when they are on site already. One could say the tactic works on cinematic logic, but with each use of the tactic the suspension of disbelief frays further. The Tactic also assumes the Hero goes in guns blazing without checking the battlefield, which cheapens them as characters. The Tactic can work long-term, but as written... the Hunters would have to deliberately arrange for a Hero to be nearby.


                            ~

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                            • #15
                              Alternatively it might be possible for Heroes to arrive through the Primordial Dream which will justify a quick arrival. It also says it might create a Hero which should help justify 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

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