Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[Left-Handed Legacy] Face Stealers

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Left-Handed Legacy] Face Stealers

    Hi everyone!
    After hanging on a while, i decided to share my homebrew left-handed Legacy: the Face Stealers!
    I'm not a native english speaker, so i'm afraid that my text are full of typos, false cognates and some gramatical errors. I apologize in advance for that, and i'd be glad and grateful for your corrections, inputs, thoughts and suggestions!
    ______________
    Face Stealers (Left-Handed)
    Origin
    Parentage: Mastigos; Guardians of the Veil, Seers of the Throne

    Doctrine
    Prerequisites: Life 2; Medicine 2, Subterfuge 2, and another Skill at 2 or higher form the following: Politics, Stealth or Weaponry.

    Initiation: Duplicants look for ruthless mages with natural talents for Legacy practices – which makes both Guardians and Seers excellent candidates. However, only a Duplicant who has created a Tome of Faces enjoys the benefits of full membership in the ranks of the Face Stealers.
    When a full member finds a candidate that he believes has potential for recruitment, the Duplicant begins the selection process. This process consists of giving clues to the candidate to find a copy of the Tome of Faces – usually one created by the Duplicant himself, but not necessarily. If the candidate finds the tome and decides to study it instead of destroying it or taking it to his Order superiors, the future mentor will come forward to help him perform the Ritual of Destitution (see below). If the candidate successfully performs the Ritual, he is initiated into the Legacy.
    If the candidate tries to get rid of the tome, either by destroying it or taking it to his Order, this same potential instructor must do his best to recover it. Duplicants keep their secrets very well, and their members are expected to do their best to destroy those who lose their Tomes of Faces.

    Organization: Face Stealers do not have a central organization. The ambition and ruthlessness of its members is the driving force for them to do what they do: infiltrate mystical societies, worldly or even Awakened, through the murder of a target to assume their identity. Due to the nature of their infiltration practices in mystical societies, Face Stealers would benefit, in theory, from the help of other members. However, in practical terms, the presence of other Duplicants is more of a hindrance than a help. Therefore, duplicates usually act in pairs: a student and a tutor.
    In this arrangement, the student works for his tutor until he acquires the third attainment of the legacy. From then on, he must create his copy of the Tome of Faces to become a full member. Although a full member is under no obligation to find a disciple, his peers expect as much from him to dedicate himself to the task, but not to the point of recruiting an incompetent or inadequate candidate.

    Theory: The main oblation of the Face Stealers – the Ritual of Destitution – is the main reason why Duplicants are branded as Left-Hand. In this ritual, a duplicate carefully tears off their victim's face while still alive, then sacrifices them to harvest Mana. This Mana is all channeled to the removed face to transform it into a mask with macabre properties. This mask is called a Stolen Face.
    The Face Stealers use Stolen Faces to impersonate their victims - the Destitutes, as the Legacy members call them - for their own greedy reasons.


    Magic
    Ruling Arcana: Life

    Yantras: wearing a mask during a ritual spell (+1, or +2 if it is a Stolen Face); a successful Subterfuge check to impersonate a Destitute (+2); wield a surgical implement that has been used in a successful Ritual of Destitution (+1, or +2 if it is a ritual spell); use a Destitute's personal item as a Yantra (+1, or +2 if the item was a Dedicated Tool).

    Oblation: perform the Ritual of Destitution.

    The Ritual of Destitution
    To perform the ritual, the Duplicant must incapacitate their victims to start removing their face. It is very important to remove the victim's face while they are still alive, regardless of whether they are conscious during the process or not. The removal process is an extended Dexterity + Medicine roll with a target number of successes equal to the victim's Integrity rate (or equivalent trait). Each test represents ten minutes of procedure, and automatically inflicts one point of lethal damage on the victim on success and two points of lethal damage on failure. The first failure does not cancel the ritual: the Duplicant can keep trying with a -2 dice penalty, but a new failure is treated as a dramatic failure. A dramatic failure at any time causes the entire ritual to fail with no chance of recovery.

    After removing the victim's face, the Duplicant must sacrifice the victim to harvest Mana. For the ritual to be considered a success, the Duplicant has to collect all the Mana produced by the sacrifice, without wasting even a single point. Finally, the Duplicant places the removed face over his own and releases all Mana from his pool. This Mana is absorbed by the "mask", transforming it into a Stolen Face.
    A successful ritual grants an Arcane Beat for every five Mana released by the Duplicant (round down) during this process.

    Attainments
    First: Steal Face
    Prerequisite: Initiation
    The very first Legacy's attainment allows a Duplicant to create a Stolen Face during a Ritual of Destitution (see above). A Stolen Face has Durability 1, Size 2 and Structure 2.
    It is important to note that, despite being an abhorrent practice, performing the Ritual of Destitution is not considered an Act of Hubris for a member of this Legacy.
    Optional: Mind 1
    A Duplicant initiated in the Mind Arcanum is able to emulate “Perfect Recall” as an instant action. In addition, the masks created by the character keep the memories of their victims: while using a Stolen Face, the Duplicant can use this ability to recover memories from the Destitute instead of his own.

    Second: A Friendly Face
    Prerequisite: Life 2; Medicine or Subterfuge 3
    While wearing it as a mask, a Stolen Face merges with the Duplicant's face, changing his appearance to perfectly match the Destitute's (the victim from whom the mask was created). This effect emulates the “Mutable Mask” spell, except that its active while the Duplicant is wearing the mask, and it only duplictes the Destitute's appearance.
    Optional: Mind 2
    While wearing the Stolen Face as a mask, the Duplicant is able to replicate the “Alter Mental Pattern” spell as an instant action, gaining a bonus to Subterfuge rolls equal to the character's dots in Mind to emulate the Destitute's persona.

    Third: Tome of Faces
    Prerequisite: Life 3; Medicine 3 and Subterfuge 3
    The Duplicant is able to create a Tome of Faces – a daimonomikon that teaches the secrets of the Ritual of Destitution, the central practice of this Legacy. To create a tome, the character must perform the Ritual of Destitution and sacrifice at least three Stolen Faces. At the conclusion of the ritual, the sacrificed masks are merged into this bizarre tome.
    A Tome of Faces contains the secrets of Legacy initiation and the first attainment. The Duplicant can include additional attainemnts at the cost of two masks in addition to the basic sacrifice – ie, five masks to teach the first two attainments, seven for the first three, and so on. Obviously, the Duplicant needs to know the attainments he wants to include in the tome.
    The masks created by the Duplicant now are more convincing, starting to emulate the effects of the Life spell “Many Faces” while wearing the mask. The Duplicant can perform a scene long ritual when putting on the mask to reallocate an amount of dots in his Physical Attributes equal to his dots in Life.
    Optional: Mind 3
    During the scene long ritual described previously, the Duplicant can also tap into the Destitute's memories to reallocate up to his dots in Mind in Mental and/or Social Skills within the same category (for instance, the Duplicant could reallocate dots from Academics to Occult, but not to Empathy).

    Fourth: Restore the Visage
    Prerequisite: Life 4; Medicine 4 and Subterfuge 4
    As an instant action, the character replicates the effect of the "Knit" spell with Potency equal to his dots in Life, and with the option to heal lethal wounds at the cost of 1 Mana. In addition, Restore the Visage allows him to repair damaged or destroyed masks, but not those merged to create a Tome of Faces.
    Optional: Mind 4
    Restore the Visage has an additional effect when used by an Adept of the Mind Arcanum: in addition to the normal effect, the character also receives the benefits of the "Clear Thoughts" spells, removing up to two Conditions and restoring a willpower point.

    Fifth: Faceless Minion
    Prerequisite: Life 5 and Mind 5; Medicine 5 and Subterfuge 5
    This attainment is a powerful tool for a Duplicant's domination plans. In a bizarre ritual, the Duplicant is able to create a Faceless Minion out of a Stolen Face. After a scene long ritual, the Duplicant spends 1 Mana to create an identical copy of a Destitute One from its Stolen Face, as the effect of the “Create Life” spell with indefinite duration, and with the conjunctional effect of Mind 5. Although not Awakened, the Faceless Minion is able to use the effects of A Friendly Face, Restore the Visage, and also gains the benefits of “Mental Shield”, with the Duplicant's Arcana ratings. The Duplicant is unable to wear the mask while the Minion is alive, but he can destroy his Minion with an instant action while it is in his presence.
    The Faceless Minion acts according to the Duplicant's will: consider it a 5 dot Retainer that has the same Aspirations, Virtue and Vice as his creator.
    Last edited by Redzone; 05-26-2021, 11:56 PM.


    "Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human"

  • #2
    Out of curiosity, what is the Ritual of Destitution? It doesn't look like a spell; is it something that any mage who thinks of doing such things can simply do (like, say, human sacrifice for Mana)?


    MtAw Homebrew:
    Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
    New 2E Legacies, expanded

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
      Out of curiosity, what is the Ritual of Destitution? It doesn't look like a spell; is it something that any mage who thinks of doing such things can simply do (like, say, human sacrifice for Mana)?
      I'll edit the main post to clarify this.
      The Ritual of Destitution is an (abhorrent) oblation, that can be performed by any mage that knows about its existence (ie, anyone who had read a Tome of Faces, the Legacy's daimonomikon created by the third attainment).


      "Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human"

      Comment


      • #4
        Oooh, freaky. Recently I love little outliers in the Supernal like that.


        MtAw Homebrew:
        Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
        New 2E Legacies, expanded

        Comment


        • #5
          The Ritual of Destitution
          To perform the ritual, the Duplicant must incapacitate their victims to start removing their face. It is very important to remove the victim's face while they are still alive, regardless of whether they are conscious during the process or not. The removal process is an extended Dexterity + Medicine roll with a target number of seven successes. Each test represents ten minutes of procedure, and automatically inflicts one point of lethal damage on the victim on success and two points of lethal damage on failure. The first failure does not cancel the ritual: the Duplicant can keep trying with a -2 dice penalty, but a new failure is treated as a dramatic failure. A dramatic failure at any time causes the entire ritual to fail with no chance of recovery.

          After removing the victim's face, the Duplicant must sacrifice the victim to harvest Mana. For the ritual to be considered a success, the Duplicant has to collect all the Mana produced by the sacrifice, without wasting even a single point. Finally, the Duplicant places the removed face over his own and releases all Mana from his pool. This Mana is absorbed by the "mask", transforming it into a Stolen Face.
          A successful ritual grants an Arcane Beat for every five Mana released by the Duplicant (round down) during this process.
          Is there a particular reason you went with 7 successes? It might be interesting to base it on a trait of the victim, such as maximum or current Willpower or Integrity.

          Oblation: create a mundane disguise; pretend to be another person; fool an acquaintance of a Destitute while impersonating it.
          I thought the Ritual of Destitution was their Oblation?

          Attainments
          First: Steal Face
          Prerequisite: Initiation
          The very first Legacy's attainment allows a Duplicant to create a Stolen Face during a Ritual of Destitution (see above).
          While wearing it as a mask, a Stolen Face merges with the Duplicant's face, changing his appearance to perfectly match the Destitute's (the victim from whom the mask was created). This effect emulates the “Mutable Mask” spell, except that its active while the Duplicant is wearing the mask, and it only duplictes the Destitute's appearance. A Stolen Face has Durability 1, Size 2 and Structure 2.
          It is important to note that, despite being an abhorrent practice, performing the Ritual of Destitution is not considered an Act of Hubris for a member of this Legacy.
          Mutable Mask is a Life Veiling spell and is not appropriate for the first Attainment, being able to perform the Ritual of Destitution is probably enough for the first Attainment considering the second can be purchased at the same time.


          Second: A Friendly Face
          Prerequisite: Life 2; Medicine or Subterfuge 3
          Despite the appearance of the Destitute, the Duplicant gains the benefit of the Striking Looks Merit at 1 dot and a +2 bonus to Perception checks while using a Stolen Face. With Life 4, the Duplicant enjoys the benefit of the Striking Looks Merit at 2 dots, and a +3 bonus to Perception checks instead.
          This benefit honestly doesn't make any sense to me, I'd just put Mutable Mask here. Heck, gaining Striking Looks regardless of the stolen appearance is likely to give the game away.

          Optional: Mind 2
          The Duplicant is able to replicate the “Alter Mental Pattern” spell as an instant action. This effect lasts for one turn (or two with Mind 4), or indefinitely while the Duplicant is using the Stolen Face.
          I think it'd make more sense to just tie it completely to the Stolen Face.

          Also, secondary factors are 1 + Arcana/2, not Arcana/2, so it'd last for 2 turns or 3 at Mind 4.

          Optional: Mind 3
          As an instant action, the Duplicant can spend 1 Mana to activate “Incognito Presence” on himself with advanced Duration. In addition, while wearing a Stolen Face, the character is under the effect of a “Mental Shield” spell.
          Alter Mental Pattern and Mental Shield have a lot of overlap, I'd just choose one to be the 2nd Alternate (Alter Mental Pattern seems more on-theme).

          You're basically mashing two Attainments into one, here, and should probably avoid that.

          Fourth: Restore the Visage
          Prerequisite: Life 4; Medicine 4 and Subterfuge 4
          After a scene long ritual, the character replicates the effect of the "Mend" spell on itself, with Potency equal to his dots in Life, and with the option to heal aggravated wounds at the cost of 1 Mana. In addition, Restore the Visage allows him to repair damaged or destroyed masks, but not those merged to create a Tome of Faces.


          Optional: Mind 4
          Restore the Visage has an additional effect when used by an Adept of the Mind Arcanum: in addition to the normal effect, the character also receives the benefits of the "Clear Thoughts" spells, removing up to two Conditions and restoring a willpower point.
          This one seems out of place with the others. For the Mind effect either Enhance Skill or Gain Skill would make sense, augmenting or gaining a skill possessed by the Stolen Face up to 1 + Mind/2 dots.

          Not sure what to do with the Life Attainment, though. But in addition to not fitting the theme it's also really weak; the effects of Mend are Lasting (no benefit to spell control) and it requires a scene long ritual (can't be used in combat where being "free from the lie" in case of sleepers and not needing to roll would be beneficial). You're better off casting this as a spell 100% of the time.


          proin's Legacy hub

          Comment


          • #6

            Thank you for your thoughts!
            I'll try to answer your in order:
            1) Honestly, i just came up with "7 successes" as a reasonable number, but you're right: probably should tie the number of successes required to Integrity/Wisdom.
            2) About the First Attainment: you're right, Mutable Mask is beyond the usual effect for a legacy's first attainment, but here is my rationale: you imbue the Stolen Face with the spell effect, but only to assume one specific looking, so i thought it was okay.
            3) About the Striking Looks: the rationale is +1 (or +2) to relevant social rolls, but i was just too lazy to elaborate. Maybe a +1 (+2 with Life 4) bonus on social rolls with acquaintances of the Destitute? on a second thought, just "Mutable Mask" here.
            4) About the Alter Mental Pattern: my intention was exactly to tie it to the Stolen Face, and your numbers are correct, i'll edit it later.
            5) About the third attainment optional effect: so, maybe just Incognito Presence maybe? what do you think?
            6) The fourth attainment is odd at best, and totally underwhelming. i'll give it some thought and edit it later, but it will probably work in the lines of Gain Skill/Enhance Skill as you suggested.


            "Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Redzone View Post
              Thank you for your thoughts!
              I'll try to answer your in order:
              1) Honestly, i just came up with "7 successes" as a reasonable number, but you're right: probably should tie the number of successes required to Integrity/Wisdom.
              2) About the First Attainment: you're right, Mutable Mask is beyond the usual effect for a legacy's first attainment, but here is my rationale: you imbue the Stolen Face with the spell effect, but only to assume one specific looking, so i thought it was okay.
              3) About the Striking Looks: the rationale is +1 (or +2) to relevant social rolls, but i was just too lazy to elaborate. Maybe a +1 (+2 with Life 4) bonus on social rolls with acquaintances of the Destitute? on a second thought, just "Mutable Mask" here.
              4) About the Alter Mental Pattern: my intention was exactly to tie it to the Stolen Face, and your numbers are correct, i'll edit it later.
              5) About the third attainment optional effect: so, maybe just Incognito Presence maybe? what do you think?
              6) The fourth attainment is odd at best, and totally underwhelming. i'll give it some thought and edit it later, but it will probably work in the lines of Gain Skill/Enhance Skill as you suggested.
              2) Imbuing would be an even higher level, since it's Patterning.
              3) Striking Looks' bonus is based on the look, not a general bonus to all social rolls. Many Faces is where you can reasonably grant physical merits (such as Striking Looks or Giant/Small-Frame).
              5) Yeah, Incognito Presence would work, though something to access the memories and personality of the Destitute might be better.


              proin's Legacy hub

              Comment

              Working...
              X