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[2e Legacy Homebrew] The Binding Coils of Orobouros

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  • [2e Legacy Homebrew] The Binding Coils of Orobouros

    Whelp, I have written up this Legacy after a discussion on @ROMzombie's CofD discord, with input and advice from Recusant Lied , and I feel dirty.

    These guys aren't just bad guys, they're #metoo incarnate. Fair warning, I wouldn't let a PC take this Legacy, these are for NPCs that the PCs are really going to want to kill.

    I need a bath.

    Also, the last attainment is very wordy because it introduces a lot of mechanics, and I don't really want to use the Possessed Condition rules.

    As always, advice and comments are welcome and appreciated. Even if it's just to call me a sick fuck for coming up with this.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____


    Have you ever felt alone? Isolated? Misunderstood? I know all about it, and I can help.
    The Hegemony preaches dominion over all, absolute authority over the barely aware drones milling about the world, but not intimacy or friendship with them; but members of the Binding Coils of Ouroboros realize that you can only truly exploit and rule over the masses when they trust you, love you, and can’t live without you. And then you use them to live forever.
    The genesis of the Binding Coils of Ouroboros predates the formal creation of the Hegemonic Ministry, its roots (allegedly) stretching back to ancient Egypt, originally as a Cult of Apep, sibling and foe of Ra. Historical membership in the Legacy fluctuated wildly and could be difficult to track; before being integrated into the Seers of the Throne, the Legacy was hunted to near extinction by the Diamond Order Tremere. However, due to the immortality granted by the final Attainment a few of the more powerful members avoided the purge and were able to rebuild.
    In modern nights, and under the more direct auspices of the Unity, the Binding Coils of Ouroboros have seen a resurgence, and have even spread to the Guardians of the Veil (through the espionage efforts of the Guardians against the Seers).

    Origins
    Parentage: Mastigos; Seers (Hegemony), Guardians of the Veil (extremely rarely).
    Nicknames: Nice Guys/Gals, Forked Tongues, Snakes.
    Background: Con artists, cult leaders, social predators, spies.
    Appearances: When going after a mark, Nice Guys wear clothing that lets them both blend in to a social environment and stand slightly above everyone else. When interacting with those they’ve already ensnared the Nice Guy wears clothes that subtly assert dominance.

    Doctrine
    Prerequisite: Mind 2, Space 1, Fast-Talking 1, Subterfuge 2 and one of the following at two dots or higher: Academics, Politics, Empathy, Persuasion, or Socialize.
    Initiation: Snakes “shed the first skin,” as they call joining the Legacy, by proving to another member of the Binding Coils that they are able to con, seduce, or otherwise manipulate non-Mages to their will; usually this involves manipulating a Sleeper into performing an action that causes a breaking point without using magic.
    Organization: The Forked Tongues have no real hierarchy beyond learning from and respecting those who have achieved more Attainments or survived the longest.
    Theory: The Binding Coils of Orobouros believes that the most effective prisons are ones that people willingly throw themselves into and want, need, to stay in. Fear sometimes stirs bravery; overwhelming force, defiance; and thus the Lie is shattered and another joins the ranks of the enemy, the defiant that stand against the Exarchs. But if you offer someone "love" and "acceptance" and let them know that the only price they have to pay is their free will? People will be lining up around the block to give up everything. That this often personally benefits members of the Binding Coils is happenstance, of course, everything is to serve the Unity's will.

    Magic
    Ruling Arcanum:
    Mind
    Chains: Social interaction (+1), providing Soft Leverage (+2, +3 if it causes a Breaking Point in the recipient), snake iconography (+1), living snakes (+1), VIP areas (+1).
    Oblations: Turning a person away from their traditional support groups, convincing a person to give you something of value (material or otherwise), gaining a person’s trust.


    Attainments
    First: I Feel You
    Prerequisite: Requires Initiation
    After a scene of interacting with the mark, the Forked Tongue gleans information in accordance with the spell Mental Scan; in addition the Forked Tongue can inflict the effects of the spell Isolation with Advanced Duration, with one notable difference: the mark doesn't have to spend Willpower to interact with the Forked Tongue.

    Second: You Feel Me?
    Prerequisite: Mind 2, Fast-Talking 2
    When activating the above attainment the Snake can instill an emotional response in their mark. This can open or close one door per the spell Emotional Urging with Advanced Duration, and can be used to ingratiate the Snake to their mark or make it more difficult for the mark's traditional support groups to convince them to do things.
    Second Alternate: Space 2
    When learning about their mark via the first attainment, the Nice Guy also learns specific Sympathetic Connections the mark has per the spell Correspondence with the +2 reach option (not the Iris or Keyed spell one).

    Third: I Know What You’re Going Through
    Prerequisite: Mind 3. In addition to the Fast-Talking 2 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Snake must increase either Subterfuge or the other Skill used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 3, and must attain two dots in a second skill from the list of possible requirements.
    With an Instant action and the most casual contact a Nice Guy lays bare the thoughts and history of their mark to sift through at their leisure. Apply this Attainment's potency (after accounting for Withstand) as a bonus to social rolls against the mark in addition to the ability to read memories and surface thoughts afforded by Read the Depths.
    Third Alternate: Space 3
    The closer the Forked Tongue gets to the mark, the easier it is to influence that mark with spells and the Legacy's Attainments. When the mark is someone with a Weak sympathetic Connection to the Forked Tongue reduce their effective Withstand and any Clash of Wills dicepools against all Attainments or spells used by the Forked Tongue by 1; for a Medium Connection reduce their effective Withstand by 2; for Strong, 3. This only applies to connections formed naturally, those formed directly via Supernal Magic or other supernatural means do not reduce effective Withstand; using magic to socially isolate the mark or otherwise ease the process of forming natural connections is fine, however. Other members of the Binding Coils of Ouroboros are immune to this effect.

    Fourth: Do Me a Favor?
    Prerequisite: Mind 4, Fast-Talking 4, and the other Skill requirements from the previous Attainment.
    The mark will do anything the Nice Gal asks, even if it's suicidal or goes against the mark's moral framework. After a scene of interacting with the mark, a Nice Gal can spend a Mana and give them any instructions without limitation, and the mark will act. This Attainment functions as Psychic Domination with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and the +2 reach option.
    Fourth Alternate: Space 4
    The Forked Tongue gains two, powerful effects with this Attainment. First, 8-again on any roll for whom the subject is one of the Forked Tongue's Strong Sympathetic Connections; second, any time the Forked Tongue is the subject of a spell using the Sympathetic Range Attainment or a similar supernatural effect (such as a Vampire's Blood Sorcery cast in a similar manner to sympathetic range), the Forked Tongue can roll a Clash of Wills, if successful the spell instead affects one of the Forked Tongue's Strong Sympathetic Connections.

    Fifth: Together, Forever
    Prerequisite: Mind 5, Space 3, the Merit and Skill requirements from the previous Attainment, and Mystery Cult Influence 3 or a similar merit representing control or influence over a devoted group of non-Awakened devotees.
    With this horrifying Attainment, the Snake can permanently shed their skin, becoming an unaging being of pure psyche. The Snake gains the ability to project their consciousness out of their body, using the rules for Dream Forms on page 249 of the Mage: the Awakening 2e rulebook. Unlike with the Psychic Projection spell this effect is Lasting, the Snake gets a Ban (hearing their Sympathetic Name) and a Bane (identification associated with their original body), the Snake is no longer bound to their original body, and if it dies the Snake continues to live.
    Every hour spent outside of a host body causes a point of Mana bleed, once all their Mana is lost they begin taking Lethal damage. If the Snake ever has their projected form’s health tract filled with Aggravated damage they are permanently destroyed.
    While in their projected form the Snake can take over the mind and body of any mortal (i.e. doesn’t have a Supernatural Tolerance trait) with whom they share at least a Weak Sympathetic Connection and has an effective Resolve lower than the Snake’s dots in the Mind Arcanum. Unlike with other forms of possession, the victim of this power remains fully aware (but not in control) unless the Snake puts the host’s mind to sleep (often using the fourth Attainment). The Snake uses their own Power, Finesses, Resistance, and all Mental and Social skills, but the host body’s physical attributes. Snakes can spend a point of Mana to substitute their own Physical skills for a Scene and a point of Willpower and a Mana to put the host mind back “in control” for a Scene. The Snake maintains all Mental merits, but loses access to all Social and Physical merits (Sanctity of Merits applies, and many merits, especially Social ones, may be repurchased if steps were taken to ensure the new body has the same access as the old).
    While the Snake possesses a host, that host is treated as a Mage for all purposes. The Snake’s Oneiros merges with that of the host (and the Snake can meditate into the Astral as normal, maintaining possession of the host), the Snake can scour the host’s pattern for Mana, and the host’s Attributes can even be raised above normal human limits in accordance with the Snake’s Gnosis. However, these advantages disappear when the Snake leaves for a different host (or is killed), and dots above normal human limits fade at a rate of one per day.
    Possession causes damage to the possessed person’s psyche based on the Sympathetic connection the Snake has to them. A possessed person with only a Weak Sympathetic connection to the Snake suffers a Breaking Point every week; those with a Medium Sympathetic Connection suffer a Breaking Point every month; a Strong Sympathetic allows for six months between forced Breaking Point rolls; if at Connected Sympathy then there are no Breaking Point rolls. If the host reaches Integrity 0, the Snake is ejected from the body and all Sympathetic Connections to the person are lost and their memories of knowing or being possessed by the Snake are irrecoverably destroyed.
    Because the host is still aware, the Snake can work on improving their connection and impression with the host to mitigate the frequency of Breaking Points. Like with the Third Alternate Attainment’s effects, this Attainment only cares about naturally formed Sympathetic Connections, connections formed via supernatural means (including any connection formed by use of this Attainment) do not count for the purposes of this Attainment.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 04-05-2021, 05:58 PM.


    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

  • #2
    I feel like a legacy isn't an appropriate form for this idea to take. A legacy, after all, is a player-facing progression path, and not only are these mages too pitch-black and charged to be played at any but either the boldest or the grossest tables, but the concept really doesn't transcend the banality of evil to become a unique and fantastic horror until the final attainments. A legacy writeup implies the existence of novice and intermediate snakes, who are simply mages who have been given special rules for emotional abuse.

    The fifth attainment literally makes you a lich. Lean into that and just present this as a transformation that mages who are deep enough psychic parasites on the others around them have learned to achieve through special rules. Jump past the intermediary part where you just have a mage, but who's really good at being a real life abuser. I don't think most tables really want that kind of antagonist, and those that do don't need special attainments for it.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it suffers from a lack of a Theory section. Without that, most of the attainments, oblations, and chains seem pretty innocuous.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael View Post
        I think it suffers from a lack of a Theory section. Without that, most of the attainments, oblations, and chains seem pretty innocuous.
        That's an excellent point, thank you.

        Something like:

        Theory: The Binding Coils of Orobouros believes that the most effective prisons are ones that people willingly throw themselves into and want, need, to stay in. Fear sometimes stirs bravery; overwhelming force, defiance; and thus the Lie is shattered and another joins the ranks of the enemy, the defiant that stand against the Exarchs. But if you offer someone "love" and "acceptance" and let them know that the only price they have to pay is their free will? People will be lining up around the block to give up everything. That this often personally benefits members of the Binding Coils is happenstance, of course, everything is to serve the Unity's will.


        Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology

        Comment


        • #5
          Giving it some more thought, I think the final attainment doesn't quite fit with the previous ones.

          It feels like the the first four steps are very much inline with Seer ideology, reinforcing the Lie, but not actually preying on the sleepers (at least not in a spiritual sense). But then it slips over at the last attainment into that.

          I mean, that's not a bad idea, a legacy with mostly fine (by Seer standards) attainments that has this secret kept for the very high ranking members is itself pretty interesting.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
            I feel like a legacy isn't an appropriate form for this idea to take. A legacy, after all, is a player-facing progression path, and not only are these mages too pitch-black and charged to be played at any but either the boldest or the grossest tables, but the concept really doesn't transcend the banality of evil to become a unique and fantastic horror until the final attainments. A legacy writeup implies the existence of novice and intermediate snakes, who are simply mages who have been given special rules for emotional abuse.

            The fifth attainment literally makes you a lich. Lean into that and just present this as a transformation that mages who are deep enough psychic parasites on the others around them have learned to achieve through special rules. Jump past the intermediary part where you just have a mage, but who's really good at being a real life abuser. I don't think most tables really want that kind of antagonist, and those that do don't need special attainments for it.
            I think the lich part is too much for a final attainment but there are some pretty evil legacies in MtAw. Left handed paths do exist, especially selesti legacies like the in the first edition with the time based legacy.

            Comment

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