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[2e Legacy Update] Orphans of Proteus

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  • [2e Legacy Update] Orphans of Proteus

    This is my take on an update to the Orphans of Proteus Legacy. I tried to keep as much of the flavor from the 1e version as possible, hence the Matter optional Attainments, I also added the Forces optional because I felt they went with the theme.

    I felt comfortable with the last two Attainments having two optional Arcana because the stacking is limited, for the fourth Attainment the Shifter is still limited by their Life dots for how many changes they can use, and for the fifth Attainment they can only assume one other form, anyway.

    The first two optional being Spirit also feels "in theme" since Spirits are a form of "other life" and this is a very Thyrsus Legacy.

    I treat Advanced Duration with primary factor Duration as "indefinite" because it lasts for so long and can be freely renewed, it is unlikely there will ever be a situation where the Mage doesn't have a scene of time for an entire week or month to reactivate.

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    Orphans of Proteus

    Parentage: Thyrsus
    Nickname: Shifters
    Background: It is generally assumed that Orphans come almost exclusively from beyond the fringes of civilization — rural areas, remote wildernesses or underdeveloped nations — and this is often the case. As such places dwindle and disappear, however, more inheritors of the Proteus Legacy can be found in cities and suburbs, taking on the forms of domesticated animals, cultivated plants and manufactured objects. Of these, some may be descendants of tribal cultures that knew and respected the power of the Orphans, while others have rejected modern culture and attempt to reconstruct and/or reclaim earlier values that they consider to be safer, healthier and (so to speak) more humane.
    Appearance: The more time an Orphan spends using her attainments — whether they provide animal, vegetable or mineral features — the more likely she is to physically resemble that form in some way. Common features include excessive hairiness, a forward-slumping posture, enlarged teeth and nails, overdeveloped ears or nose, iridescent eyes, dermatological conditions that cause the skin to resemble the bark of a tree, or an angular craggy profile like the face of a cliff. In general, all scratches, scars, rashes, infections and other outwardly visible ailments that might mark the mage while in animal form remain visible in an analogous place on his human form, (although these features tend to fade over time if the Orphan avoids frequent use of his attainments).

    Prerequisites: Life 2, Animal Ken 2, and one of the following skills at 2 dots or higher: Survival, Stealth, Investigation, Brawl, or Athletics.
    Initiation: Study an animal or plant by living with them for an extended period; study natural shapeshifters to learn more about them.
    Organization: All Orphans are Thyrsus, Awakened to the Watchtower of the Primal Wild. While they are often initiated into one order or another (although some are apostates), they tend to spurn the traditional politics and schemes of Awakened society, retreating to the wilderness as soon as they adopt this Legacy. Most Orphans tend to be either solitary hermits or isolated, clannish groups, so they have little in the way of overall social organization. Affinity groups may spontaneously form along the lines of preferred habitats, species, phylum or kingdom. Regional groups tend to form around places like virgin wilderness, wildlife refuges or well-conceived parks as protection, or as a response against urban expansion, dumping sites and other ecological crime scenes. Communication is generally conducted through non-human media, with speech expressed in the languages of animals, and with “written” messages formed by anomalous plant growth or geological formations. Orphans tend to claim certain territories, which brings them into conflict with other supernatural beings that might want such territories for their own purposes. Some Orphans are nomadic, following the migratory patterns of birds or herd animals, or the hunting habits of certain predators.
    Theory: To understand oneself, one must understand all forms of Life (and beyond), and the only way to truly understand someone or something is to walk a mile in their shoes.

    Ruling Arcanum: Life
    Yantras: Being within their own marked territory (+2), emulating a chosen animal (+1), assuming a form or feature of what they want to affect (+1)
    Oblations: A sacred hunt; the ritual acting out of an animal’s behavior; the ceremonial offering of food to animals; the ritual arrangement of rocks and stones in a certain area; sacred gardening.


    First: Animal Acuity
    Prerequisite: Initiation
    The first step in thinking like an animal is sensing like an animal. By means of this attainment the Shifter gains the ability to better perceive their surroundings, gaining a bonus to perception rolls equal to half their Life dots plus one (rounded down). Further, if the Shifter takes a Scent specialization in either Survival or Investigation they can track by scent like a hound or similar animal. This attainment functions like the spell Heightened Senses with reach spent on Advanced Duration.
    Optional: Spirit 1
    All “life” other than humans and certain supernatural beings have a reflection in the Spirit world. A Shifter with Spirit 1 is able to perceive and communicate with these spirits. This functions as the spell Exorcist’s Eye with reach spent on Advanced Duration.

    Second: Beast Tongue
    Prerequisite: Life 2, Animal Ken 3
    Communication is the key to understanding, and this attainment grants the Shifter the ability to always speak the language of beasts. This attainment replicates the spell Speak With Beasts with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and speaking with any kind of animal.
    Optional: Spirit 2
    The Shifter’s continuing attunement to their more primal nature grants them the ability to physically interact with spirits in Twilight. This attainment functions as the spell Gossamer Touch with reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    Third: Mercurial Form
    Prerequisite: Life 3. In addition to the Animal Ken 3 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Shifter must increase the other skill used to meet the requirements for the Legacy to 3, or must attain two dots in a second skill from the list of possible requirements.
    At this level the Shifter begins to experience what it is like to live in another’s skin. While they cannot take on the characteristics of animals or plants at this level, they can know what it is like to live in a body of a different sex, shape (though limited to bodies of the same physical age between size 4 and 6), level of physical fitness, general physical capability (e.g. correcting vision or inducing vision problems), or skin color; in addition they can redistribute up to their Life dots in physical attribute dots, though they cannot go below one dot in a physical attribute or above their Gnosis derived maximum. Changing size grants or removes the effects of the Small Framed or Giant merits as appropriate. Effecting this change requires an hour of meditation, but is permanent until reassigned. This attainment emulates the effects of Many Faces with reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    Fourth: Protean Emergence
    Prerequisite: Life 4, Animal Ken 4 and the other Skill requirements of the previous Attainment.
    The Shifter’s primordial attunement is almost complete. With but a few seconds of thought the Shifter is able to grant themself a number of animal traits equal to their dots in Life for a scene. These traits can include a mongoose’s poison resistance, a bear’s claws, a plant’s photosynthesis, a gecko’s climbing ability, or any other trait found in living beings. A non-exhaustive list of options can be found on page 151 of the Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition core book. This spell emulates Transform Life with reach assigned to Instant Casting and Advanced Duration.
    Optional: Matter 3
    The Shifter adds to the list of traits they can grant themself the properties of things that fall under the purview of Matter. Steel skin (3/2 armor), near immunity to pressure, diamond claws (+2L weapon bonus), or anything else they can come up with.
    Optional: Forces 3
    The Shifter adds to the list of traits they can grant themself the properties of things that fall under the purview of Forces. The ability to burn, freeze, or shock with a touch, magnetic feet, or high frequency vibration are all within the abilities of this optional Attainment.

    Fifth: Protean Mastery
    Prerequisite: Life 5. In addition to the Animal Ken 4 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Shifter must increase the other Skill she used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 4, or must attain three dots in a second Skill from the list of possible requirements, or two dots in a third Skill from the list.
    At this point the Shifter’s form is unbound, with an instant action they can change into any lifeform they choose from a bacteria to a dolphin, and can remain in that form for as long as they choose. This spell emulates the effects of Shapechanging with reach assigned to Instant Casting and Advanced Duration.
    Optional: Matter 4
    The Shifter can change into inanimate objects and viruses.
    Optional: Forces 4
    The Shifter can change into energy such as fire, electricity, or sound.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 07-21-2021, 01:10 PM.

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