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The Alchemy Lab: Homebrew Athanors

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  • The Alchemy Lab: Homebrew Athanors

    Here's a place where we can post any custom Athanors you may have built for your character or for funsies.

    Below are three Athanors I came up with over the past couple of days while laid up with a cold. The first two are for the Unfleshed, as I'm playing an Unfleshed in a mixed splat game currently, but the third one just naturally sprang out of the second. Let me know what you think, and definitely let me know if you plan to steal them from your own game!
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    Frog - Living Current (Unfleshed)

    In 1791, Luigi Galvani ran an electric current through the legs of a dead frog. The resultant twitching was the first forays into the relations of electricity and living tissue. This was a great leap forward in the Enlightenment; one of the first major steps away from the mysticism of alchemy and toward the rationalism of science. Prometheans, themselves amalgams of mysticism and reason, can draw power from this association.

    The Frog Athanor is built by characters who deeply love the act of restoring machines. They might have built a muscle car from scratch, or re-soldered the motherboard of an Apple II. They've also likely studied the Refinement of Quicksilver, along with the Alchemicus Transmutation school, to learn how Promethean energies can interact with matter and machines.

    Trait Affinities: Stamina; Computer or Crafts (choose one when this Athanor is first developed)

    Promethean Boon: When a mechanical and/or electrical device is damaged beyond the point of functioning (but not beyond repair), a Promethean with the Frog Athanor can touch it and channel a point of Reagent to restore it to an operational state for up to one minute. Additional Reagent can be spent to extend the runtime further. Electricity flows through shorted circuits, clockwork gears spin despite the winding mechanism being unwindable and clogged tubes open just enough to let the coolant through; the device simply works. The Reagent can fill in for fuel and even missing parts, though said parts can't be more complicated than simple machines. The Reagent infused machine will not operate on its own, though, and still requires input according to its design. For example, a car will not accelerate on its own, nor will an automatic rifle fire without someone pulling the trigger (though a smart gun turret would fire if something crossed it's line of sight). The Storyteller is the final arbiter on whether or not a device is too damaged for this boon to work, though the Created knows instantly upon touching the machine. Finally, the size category of the entire machine energized by the Reagent cannot exceed the Promethean's Azoth (it cannot be just the engine of an oil tanker, for example, but it could be the PC that monitors the engine).

    Redeemed Boon: The Redeemed is a veritable Mr. or Ms. Fix-It. They get a +2 bonus on rolls to repair mechanical and/or electrical devices and never suffer the unskilled penalty on repair rolls.

    Apple - Knowledge (Unfleshed)

    When the Serpent tempted Eve with an Apple from the Tree of Knowledge, he promised her enlightenment. And enlightenment she got--instantaneously. Despite being a cautionary tale about man's reach exceeding his grasp, the idea of gaining knowledge in such a rapid manner has always been a fantasy of academics the world over. It is only since the advent of digital data has any feasible way of doing this been realized, and even then only in the realms of science-fiction.

    But Prometheans are the stuff of science-fiction, and represent the very same sort of hubristic act as Eve taking a bite from the Apple. They thirst for knowledge just as much if not more so than their human counterparts. Knowledge is the key to their salvation, and many would face eternal damnation if it means they could be a step closer to Mortality. Those who crave information and prize knowledge above all else are often drawn to this Athanor, as are the more bookish.

    Trait Affinities: Academics, Computer, Medicine, Occult or Science (choose two when this Athanor is first developed)

    Promethean Boon: The Athanor allows the Created to read things that mortal men can't without computer assistance. They can read the data off non-book storage devices as though she were the machine designed to read them and at the speed at which it reads data. This allows her to watch VHS tapes, listen to CDs, go through old magnetic tape and even peruse hard drives at rapid speed. To accomplish this the Created must have the storage device within arms' reach and there can be nothing between their eyes and the disk, not even glass or the casing on a 3x5 floppy diskette. While audiovisual media gets instantly viewed in the Promethean's mind (which can make for some rather embarrassing and violent outbursts of laughter or tears), hard data and digital documents take longer. After reading the data, the Promethean can summarize the key points but her psyche needs time to absorb the experience and recall specifics. She is able to digest a number of pages of data equal to her Intelligence rating per minute of consciousness, and while there is no limit to the amount of data she can "backup" in her Athanor they must be digested in order of input.

    Redeemed Boon: A Redeemed character retains many of the random trivia bits they picked up through their Athanor and gains the Encyclopedic Knowledge Merit (The World of Darkness p. 109).

    Serpent - Temptation (Galatea)

    It was the Serpent who tempted Eve to bite the Apple from the Tree of Knowledge, causing the damning of mankind through original sin. As such, the Serpent has always been equivocated with temptation, corruption and the id. Those that work in fields that require them to manipulate people even take being called a snake as a compliment, as it puts their skill on par to the original tempter.

    Prometheans who are socially cunning or understand the universality of Vice build these Athanors. They likely relish in the thought that they understand social interaction well enough to analyze and exploit the spiritual weaknesses of their marks. Besides, the nobility of the Great Work allows them to get away with nearly anything to achieve their goal--right?

    Trait Affinities: Manipulation, Persuasion

    Promethean Boon: Whenever the Promethean tries to tempt someone in any way, they get +2 to any dice rolls to do so. If the Promethean so happens to tempt someone in accordance to their Vice they are even more difficult to resist and gain +3 to the temptation roll.

    Redeemed Boon: The Redeemed character remains an excellent tempter, and retains the Promethean Boon.

    Albatross - Luck (Ulgan)

    The albatross is an enormous sea bird that represent the double-edged sword that is fate. If an albatross were to follow a sailing vessel it was considered an omen of good fortune for all on board--but should someone kill the bird, they may have well dashed the ship upon the rocks and spared them all the assured drawn-out and torturous deaths.

    Prometheans who choose this Athanor understand that there is a staggering amount of things in life that are outside of their control. Regardless of whether they attribute this to spirits, a higher power, quantum mechanics or maybe just plain old luck, they've found it prudent to tap into ebb and flow of fortune. Perhaps they fancy themselves gamblers. Or, perhaps, they just want that reassurance that if anyone takes them down they'll pay for it for the rest of their life.

    Trait Affinities: Resolve, Occult

    Promethean Boon: The Promethean gains the following benefits:

    - When the Promethean spends a point of Willpower to increase a roll's dice pool, they benefit from the 9-again rule. This does not stack with any other -again bonus, such as those given by Unbreakable Will and Unholy Strength.

    - If the Promethean is ever killed by a sentient being, as their last act they can reflexively sacrifice a dot of Reagent and a dot of Willpower, which must be repurchased should the Created by revived by Azoth. Doing so curses their killer to bear the weight of their crime, and they suffer a -4 penalty on all Skill rolls. It is said it is possible to atone for this heinous act, but just how one would do it is incredibly unclear.

    Redeemed Boon: When spending a Willpower point to add to a dice roll, fortune smiles upon the Redeemed and the dice bonus increases to +5.


    I had a lot of trouble with this one. I had initially tried to come up with a strictly vengeful version to assign to Frankensteins, but after doing some research (read: looking it up on Wikipedia) I discovered the albatross two-way luck street. Balancing the boons was also quite tricky, and had me consulting the probability tables to see what is more beneficial. I'm still worried about the balance, but it was a fun exercise.

    Simulacre: An Alternative Morality Stat for Prometheans
    Homebrew Athanors