Hey everyone. Shini gave me the go-ahead to try my hand at running an RP thread game storymajig of my own here, so here's the thread for all the OOC crap that goes into doing things like that!
The Rundown Seers is a modern-day urban fantasy setting, and our campaign will focus on a group of previously unconnected people whose lives are suddenly interrupted by their discovery of some very special abilities and a shared destiny granted to them by the secret circumstances of their births. While it will take some time for the player characters to come to a full understanding of what exactly they are, they will be brought together before that by the convergence of two warring conspiracies who know better than they do what they are and the threat they represent.
That's all I'm going to give for the moment, a fuller explanation of the nature of the characters and of their opposition will be provided after the introduction of the game plays out, to inform your first decision about how to develop your character's abilities. In lieu of details, have some general notes that might help in deciding interest:
Thematically speaking, this story exists somewhere around the intersection of Highlander, Buffy, Heroes, and Supernatural.
The supernatural elements are religiously-themed and there's overall a particularly anti-theistic bent to the story (just noting that now, in case anyone's uncomfortable RPing with either element).
Characters will have unique super-powers, but they will be subtle in effect at the start; it will be a very long time before any PCs can perform full-scale reality-mocking "comic book" feats, but the long-term potential is there. My next post will outline a template to help you plan your power's progression.
I'm structuring the story more or less like a TV show: think 13-episode cable drama. One major arc will unfold over the course of the season, minor arcs over 3-4 episodes...maybe with a one-off holiday episode thrown into the mix.
Given that Seers is meant to inhabit more or less the real world, I'm considering making a point of peppering this thing with clues and puzzles that will make Google Search, Maps & Street View legitimately useful investigative and planning tools for players and characters to decide their next move.
How long stuff takes will be dependent on posting speed and how characters choose to deal with various things, but I'm going to aim for 2-4 weeks per episode.
If this sounds like something you'd be into, pipe up in this thread to let me know you're in - the intention is to have all the characters be new to the secrets of the world they exist in, so you won't actually need much more information than is provided in this section to dive in when the game begins. My next post will outline character creation and how to design your character's unique personal power, as well as explain the simple systems I'm planning to use for combat scenes and ability development.
Oh, that sounds like a cool concept. I'm in too! One question I had though is what direction of urban fantasy are you going? Is it going to be "yeah magic/weird creatures/etc. exist and are part of society", or is it the occult underground style where it's all a big secret?
Definitely the latter. As far as characters are concerned when the game begins, they live in the Real World. The supernatural and weird is entirely the realm of fiction, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theory. General awareness of and belief in occult/weird subjects mirrors what exists in our real world, and is just about as accurate/applicable there as it is here.
Sorry for the delay in getting up the meaty mechanics post, most of my opportunities to fiddle with it have been via phone, which gets unwieldly and slow. Should have it up later tonight.
Character Creation Creating a character for this campaign is super simple and mostly free-form, as this group of characters is totally new to the secrets of this setting: just make a person who might reasonably exist in the world today. Your characters can come from any background or walk of life that interests you - just bear in mind that as of my first response to your introductions in the Prologue, their old lives will be over. It's entirely up to you what that will mean to your character. For convenience's sake, if you're planning to bring the international flavor, the character should know English for one reason or another. That's about the only requirement and even that I might be flexible on.
Power Creation While you don't have to commit to yours until after the Prologue, start giving some thought to a unique "power" you would like your character to have. This ability can be nearly anything you can think of, as long as you can fit its progression from "subtle knack" to "holy shit" into the 5-rank framework outlined below. See the "Blah Blah Blah" version for more details, and the examples that follow for, uh. Examples.
Powers should be a reflection of the character's personality, a manifestation of and metaphor for something they feel, fear, want, or need, something that's been inside them all their life without being expressed. This can be considered a recommendation rather than a requirement, however, if you've already got something you really like in mind that doesn't fit that.
Note: Go for something other than regeneration, heightened senses, or simple improved physical attributes such as speed or strength. Paths to advance abilities of those natures will be available to all characters through the 3 innate powers all characters will have, in addition to their personal gift.
Power Progression: TL;DR
Rank I - Very subtle effect. Unreliable and/or uncontrollable.
Rank II - Control and/or reliability achieved. Slight increase in magnitude.
Rank III - Increase in magnitude, range, and/or duration (as applicable). Begin transition from interesting knack to improbable power.
Rank IV - Increase in magnitude, range, and/or duration (as applicable). Acquire first Instant Technique.
Rank V - Maximized shit realness. Acquire first Sustained Technique.
Power Progression: Blah Blah Blah
This basic template governs all powers, both unique and innate. Keep in mind that you're choosing a single power and Ranks just describe the growth of that single power, as opposed to a CoH-style powerset (though the Techniques you can acquire starting at Rank IV can expand your abilities into powerset territory).
Rank I - All powers are Rank I when acquired. Rank I powers are either unreliable or uncontrollable, taking effect at random or in reaction to circumstances the character can't control, such as emotional state or heart rate. They are also quite subtle at this level, minor effects that seem more like lucky flukes than anything the character has control over.
Rank II - Rank II represents the character's developing awareness of and control over a given power. Upgrading a power to Rank II slightly increases the magnitude of its effects, and removes most involuntary or deleterious effects (you may keep some if you choose as an RP choice, but the power will no longer be a vehicle for my whims to fuck with you).
Rank III - Rank III is the level where a power stops being seen as just an uncanny knack or "some weird thing that happens around that guy". This is when an ability begins to cross the line into superpower and starts to let the character do things that are a little (not outrageously) impossible. Rank III sees another increase in magnitude as well as, where applicable, range and duration of effects.
Rank IV - In addition to a further increase in power to the base ability's magnitude, range, and/or duration as applicable, when you attain Rank IV in a power you can add a unique trick to your arsenal. This is a specialized use of the ability that breaks its usual rules, and may violate the laws of physics or anatomy. Rank IV tricks, or Techniques, are generally instantaneous or of short duration, and expend a fixed cost in Essence each time they are used.
Rank V - Shit gets real. Your power's basic ability is at its peak performance, enabling truly superhuman feats as a matter of course, and you can add your first Sustained Technique to your arsenal. Sustained Techniques burn through your reserves of Essence while you use them, enabling amazing displays of power.
As it turns out, this is a terrible power to use for a quick example because there's a lot of approaches you can take to turning this into a power in Seers, two players could tackle this in completely different ways. So instead of covering all the bases, I'll just go over one way of fitting it to the progression.
Rank I - This character's primary use for their power is going to be to toughen them up in combat, so the base ability the power chain is going to focus on is: the character is more resilient and flexible than she was before. At measly Rank I, they can still be cut, stabbed, and shot, but they absorb most punches, kicks, and can fall a story or two without injury. As a downside, we'll go with uncontrollable: the character is extremely clumsy due to accidentally over-extending themself with their new flexibility, and having a grip that sometimes just goes a bit rubbery.
Rank II - Now that the character recognizes they have this ability, they can take control of it - they've relearned how to walk, basically. Magnitude increase translates into more extreme impact absorption and flexibility.
Rank III - ELBOWS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY. This is where the character stops being merely limber and starts being bendy. Damage resistance is at the point where if the character is on the ball, they can take most slashing blade strikes without letting their skin be broken. Bullets are still trouble, but the character is flexible beyond human limits, though mostly within human reason.
Rank IV - Every bullet that hits is cushioned as if by a bulletproof vest (so still a painful impact likely to bruise badly, but they no longer break the skin). The body may take a stabbing without the skin even breaking. Flexibility, elasticity, goes beyond the joints now, the character's bones are getting bendy. As an Instant Technique, I'll take "Stretch", and have the ability to spend banked Essence to actually stretch my character's limbs a few feet beyond their normal reach for a second.
Rank V - Bullets bounce without bruising. Wrestling my character is a TERRIBLE idea. For my Sustained Technique, I'll plan on "Constrictor", in which my character elongates to wrap their foes in their own body and squeeeeze, hurting and immobilizing them as long as I have the Essence to burn to sustain it.
Example: Weather Control
Rank I - The weather gradually changes to reflect the character's mood in a one-block radius.
Rank II - With focus, the character can cause the weather to change. It still takes several minutes (20 or so) to become noticable, but affects a larger area (approx. four square blocks).
Rank III - The character's influence on the weather is more noticeable, as the changes in the immediate area settle in around 5 minutes.
Rank IV - Stronger winds, colder rain, and altered conditions set in within two minutes. Possible Instant Techniques: Lightning Bolt, Aimed Gust, Hailstone.
Rank V - The character commands the weather, clearing skies or summoning violent storms in seconds. Possible Sustained Technique: Blizzard, Tornado, Monsoon.
Essence Essence serves as both experience points and, later, power fuel. The largest portions will be acquired in combat with certain enemies and be evenly distributed among the group members present for those kills, with those who set up and execute the final blow receiving a small bonus. I will probably also dish out single bonus points for various things here and there, but bonuses will always be very small amounts, not as significant to character progress as that gained from kills.
Essence will have some minor uses that it can be burned on at any time, but will mainly be used for power improvement early on. Powers can only be upgraded in the downtime between episodes; any unspent portion will be considered banked and available for use on any minor expenses available in the next episode. Further power ranks & techniques can not be bought until the episode concludes.
Scene Types I imagine that scenes will generally break down into one of three types: Investigative, in which you're dealing with the setting and NPCs in order to advance the story; Character Interaction, wherein I'll mostly fuck off while you guys bounce ideas off and get to know each other; and Action scenes, where things blow up and people die.
I mainly spell this out because action scenes utilize a mechanic that isn't used in the others. You'll know when an action scene begins because I'll declare it at the end of the post that leads into it.
Feat Points A simple mechanic to keep things grounded and encourage careful, inventive application of powers in action scenes. Only in effect in declared action scenes, until they conclude, Feat Points limit how many times you you can use any power in the course of each action scene; they recharge at the conclusion of the action scene. Any time you describe an action in one of these scenes that utilizes one (or more, in combination) of your powers, I'll deduct one of your FPs. Once you're out of FP in a scene, you'll have to rely on your wits and basic human abilities to carry you through the rest.
Each character starts with 1 FP. Another is granted when any power first reaches Rank 3, and a third when your first Rank 5 is achieved. I may provide a way to buy more with Essence if it turns out to feel too limiting in the Rank IIs.
ANYWAY, that's about all the stuff you should know diving in - I'm flying by the seat of my pants here and trying to write these notes with only a small portion visible at a time, so all feedback, suggestions, or requests for clarification or help figuring out how to fit a power into the template are welcome here in the thread or by PM or IM. Most of this stuff is pending playtest and will probably be revised or adapted as any bothersome suckiness is exposed.
When you're ready, this: Suggested Character Template: Name: Age: Nationality: Hometown: Where they live before everything goes to shit.
Physical Description: What they look like.
Background: Brief overview of what they do, who they are, and how they've come to be where they are in life.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: No guarantee I'll find a special use for this but note a couple anyway.
Unique Power: Name it and flesh out a breakdown of how you see it progressing. Rank I - Drawback - Rank II - Rank III - Rank IV - Instant Technique - Rank V - Sustained Technique -
Last edited by AlwaysAPrice on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just edited the following into the Powers section, an important point I failed to come back and highlight after getting the progression & example stuff down:
Powers should be a reflection of the character's personality, a manifestation of and metaphor for something they feel, fear, want, or need, something that's been inside them all their life without being expressed. This can be considered a recommendation rather than a requirement, however, if you've already got something you really like in mind that doesn't fit in that way.
. | First | Second | Third | Fourth | Rank II | 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | +5 per Episode Rank III| 25 | 50 | 75 | 100 | Rank IV | 50 | 100 | 150 | 200 | Rank V | 100 | 200 | 300 | 400 |
Here's a table outlining the cost in Essence of improving your powers. Totally not set in stone yet, but to give you an idea of how it'll work, there it is. "First, Second, etc." refers to the order you choose to improve your powers in. So, if the first power you increase to Rank II is your Unique, it will always be the easiest to upgrade further. The next power will use the Second column, the third you invest Essence in will be Third, and the last will be the hardest to improve.
Additionally, the longer you wait to develop basic control (R-II) over one of your powers, the harder it will be to do so later. Every episode a power spends at Rank I means it will cost an additional 5 Essence to achieve Rank II.
I'm planning for Season 1 to be worth somewhere in the 150 - 200 Essence range - enough that if you're willing to put up with the drawbacks of all your other Rank Is, you can probably or nearly master one ability by the finale, or take a more balanced approach and settle for a Rank III or two along with control over all your downsides.
Physical Description: Short and fairly slender. Chin length brown hair with a streak of boldly colored dye in the front, and sky blue eyes. Wears lots of studded bracelets, chokers, that sort of junk, indicating she likely thinks of herself as being fairly hard. Overall, sort of an outdated punk style.
Background: Youngest of four kids and the only girl, Rachel still manages to be the toughest of her family (Though at this point they're really just wishing she'd grow the hell up). Rachel has yet to hold a steady job, despite graduating NOVA with a degree in business communication somehow. She thinks of herself as something of a prize fighter, having been in quite a few street fights at the clubs and bars and being fairly good at it, though her success is mostly determination and very little to do with real skill or even endurance. In truth, she can barely take a punch.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: Thuggery, Muggery, Skullduggery. General ne'er-do-wellitude, and brawl style fighting. Also, business communications.
Elastic Melee Rank I - Rachel is more flexible than she was before! She can still be cut, stabbed, and shot, but absorbs most punches, kicks, and can fall a story or two without injury. Drawback - Clumsy: Being unused to being more flexible than an iron rod, Rachel has become more than a little clumsy about handling the distribution of her weight and the way she moves. She can easily overextend herself with her newfound flexibility and has a grip that sometimes just goes a bit rubbery. Rank II - Magnitude increase translates into more extreme impact absorption and flexibility. Rank III - This is where Rachel stops being merely limber and starts being bendy. Damage resistance is at the point where if the character is on the ball, she can take most slashing blade strikes without letting her skin be broken. Bullets are still trouble, but Rachel is flexible beyond human limits, though mostly within human reason. Rank IV - Every bullet that hits is cushioned as if by a bulletproof vest (so still a painful impact likely to bruise badly, but they no longer break the skin). The body may take a stabbing without the skin even breaking. Flexibility, elasticity, goes beyond the joints now, Rachel's bones are getting bendy. Instant Technique – stretch- Rachel can stretch her body beyond it's normal proportions for a moment. Rank V – Bullets (and other things) bounce right off! Or Rachel bounces off of them. Movements have become extremely graceful, quick, and fluid. Sustained Technique – Constrict- Rachel wraps up her opponent, hurting, immobilizing, and likely embarrassing them.
Name: Sara Vincayd Age: 24 Nationality: Serbian-American Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Physical Description: A pale woman of moderate height, with long black hair typically kept up in either a knot or at least gathered into a loose ponytail. Her body type would be best described as athletic, even though its readily apparent that she does not engage in regular physical activity. A pair of black-framed glasses perches on her nose.
Background: The daughter of a first generation Serbian mother and what can only be described as a serial father, who exited the scene shortly after she was conceived. Since a young age she has been pushed to excel in her studies, while not neglecting further rounding under the watchful eye of her mother. Valedictorian of her high school, first seat cellist on her college orchestra, and graduating summa cum laude in Journalism, yet still struggling to find a steady job in her hometown. Sara presently blogs, typically about music and theater, from her mother’s apartment where she finds herself alternatingly doted over and prodded to make more of her life.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: Investigative journalism, music theory, cellist, Language: Serbian (Spoken and written)
Severance Rank I – Constant physical contact will gradually cause an object to fray or separate. Drawback - Destructive – Sara’s clothes wear out faster than normal, as does anything she handles with regularity. She cannot be trusted with delicate things and even durable goods break down quickly with frequent use. Rank II – Increased control over her ability. Objects break down more quickly or slower with proper focus. Rank III - Things visibly break down upon maintained physical contact. Degradation can occur slowly with close proximity but no physical contact. Rank IV – Field of influence moderately increased to general proximity. Instant Technique – Razor’s Edge – Sara hands become inhumanly sharp, slicing through a wide variety of items with a single swing. Rank V – Items in general proximity can be visibly worn down. Sustained Technique – Dance of Blades – Several feet around Sara become a dangerous field of flickering energy capable of shearing through a wide variety of items.
Last edited by Croceum on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Name: Samantha Bove Age: 31 Nationality: Canadian Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia
Physical Description: Average build and average height. Thrice dyed and bleached hair with dark brown roots (currently with hints of candy red, blonde, and auburn), a slight olive complexion, and a clothing style best described as hipster-ish, though not intentionally so. A now-ironic floral wedding band is tattooed on her left ring finger. An ivy tattoo of a similar style creeps up her spine and then across her shoulder blades, where they end in a floral burst placed in such a way that most sleeved shirts will hide it. A dagger that appears to pierce the skin is tattooed over her heart.
Background: The only child of overprotective parents who were less concerned with her happiness than with her success. Despite this, she managed to convince them to pursue her own interests in university, which did not worked well for her, as she switched majors several times. Eventually, Samantha was cut off financially by her parents, forcing her to take time off in order to save money. During this time, she met someone she liked, fell in love, and married all within a year. The marriage quickly took a turn for the worse, upon discovering her husband's illegal activities. Fortunately she managed to get out of it better than she had gone in. Since then, she has tried to remain content with an unsatisfying career.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: Samantha possesses a smattering of knowledge in art, art history, women's studies, linguistics, philosophy, and sociology. Years of working in customer assistance has made her quite adept at handling people, at least on a short term basis. Thanks to her ex-husband, she is also capable of laundering money.
Rank I - Small objects Samantha has physical contact with may be made to disappear, and reappear later. Only two or three may be held at a time, depending on the size of the object.
Drawback - Samantha is often unaware when she has made an object disappear, particularly if her attention is divided. The ability to withdraw an object from hammerspace is also dependent upon remembering it's there.
Rank II - 'The space' is able to hold the equivalent of a small backpack.
Rank III - 'The space' is able to hold the equivalent of a car trunk.
Rank IV - 'The space' is able to hold the equivalent of the bed of a large pickup truck.
Instant Technique - Objects within her line of sight may instantly be added to 'the space' without physical contact.
Rank V - 'The space' no longer has size limitations. Pushing or pulling is no longer necessary when physical contact is made.
Sustained Technique - Samantha can hammerspace people, or other living beings. While hammerspaced, time for the person is essentially frozen.
Name: Daniel Cruz Age: 25 Nationality: American Hometown: Missoula, Montana
Physical Description: Daniel is about average height, maybe 5'11" or so, with naturally dark skin paled by lack of exposure to the sun. He has black hair that could probably use a haircut, and facial hair that could stand to be shaved a bit more often. He wears rimless glasses on a flexible wire frame. He's pretty skinny, and probably undernourished. He tends to wear cheap suit clothes, or a well-worn sport coat with jeans and a button-up shirt.
Background: Daniel is a graduate student at the University of Montana, and is studying for a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology. He was born in New Mexico, and has two loving parents that send him fifty dollars for Christmas every year.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: Daniel (almost) has a Master's degree in Anthropology. He's focused mainly on folklore and religion. Daniel is also bilingual, able to speak English and Spanish.
Polyglot Rank I - Daniel has no problem deciphering obscure, usually "incomprehensible" dialects of English or Spanish. He can occasionally understand a word or two of a language he doesn't speak, even when given no context clues. Drawback - Glossolalia: Daniel is occasionally taken by bouts of aphasia, unable to speak in coherent sentences. (here's a good example of what he sounds like when this happens) Rank II - With concentration, Daniel can translate other languages to ones he's fluent in at about the level of word-for-word accuracy of Google Translate. Rank III - Daniel can fluently speak any language closely related to English or Spanish, like French, Portuguese, or German. With language he isn't fluent in, he has slightly better grasp on grammatical rules, able to work out more meaning than just literal word translations. Rank IV - Daniel can fluently speak any Romance or Germanic language, i.e. Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, etc. In languages he isn't fluent in, idioms and and metaphors are perfectly understandable. Daniel can also solve any cipher based on languages that he is fluent in, reading it as though it weren't encrypted. Instant Technique - Word Of Power: By speaking a single word of an ancient, powerful language, Daniel can cause a similar effect to a sonic boom, shattering glass, blowing out eardrums, and setting off car alarms in a wide radius. Rank V - Daniel can fluently speak any human language. He can detect changes in emotion through shifts in body language. Sustained Technique - Universal Speech: With concentration, Daniel can communicate with animals and computers.
Like how this batch of characters is shaping up! Currently we're on track to begin this weekend as planned, Saturday or Sunday I'll start the IC thread over on the Other RP board. Your first posts, if you want to start drafting them in advance, will be independent introductions to your character, just a short scene excerpted from their day-to-day life. This can be a glimpse of their home life, work life, social life, whatever you'd like to use to show us a glimpse of the character in their natural element before I go and rip them out of it.
Wednesday, October 2nd, will be the hard cut-off date for getting your character profile posted here and your intro done. That's when I'll follow up with my response to the intros and this gets underway in earnest. Anyone not on board by that point can still submit a character in this thread, but will have to wait an episode or two for me to set up their entry into the story.
Sorry for the late reply on this; squeaking in just under the deadline, I know.
Name: James Holloway Age: 27 Nationality: American Hometown: Portland, OR
Physical Description: 5'11", not especially well-toned, with short blond hair, brown eyes, and a pair of silver-framed glasses. Usually dresses in button-ups that could stand to be better ironed and slacks or jeans, and is rarely found without his book bag over one shoulder.
Background: He's worked as a librarian at a branch of the Multnomah County Library for the last 2 years, after earning a Masters in Library Science from Oregon State.
Useful Skills, Knowledges: He's quite skilled at research, and has an amateur-level interest and background in any number of topics; he most heavily leans towards linguistics and biology, but he's got a few drabs of random knowledge from just about any field. And after a one-credit elective course in his undergrad, he's got a very, very basic level of skill in Advanced Driving Techniques (though he's never had need or opportunity to put it into practice).
Unique Power: The Written Word
(This powerset is admittedly mostly drawn from Bibliomancy from UA) Rank I - Random facts from nearby nonfiction books dribble into his head of he spends any significant amount of time around them. (Oddly enough, fictional books don't do anything at all, even historical fiction or "based on true events"-type books.) Drawback - This can sometimes be irritating if it's a field he has no interest in at all, and if he's around too many for too long, it could distract him from normal research; like a real-life wiki crawl. Rank II - He can draw on facts more rapidly, pulling knowledge from a book or collection of books as easily as making a search online; even more so, perhaps. Rank III - His access to information grows stronger; not only can he treat any book in his personal possession as though it were an extension of his mind, able to act as though he's perfectly memorized their contents so long as he has them under his personal control (they don't need to be held, but they must at least be nearby, and they can't be used by others; in his bag is suitable enough). Further, he has a natural feel for physical information, able to sense nearby collections and their general topics, a tug on his mind that lets him know what buildings or rooms about him contain any significant storehouses of knowledge and on what; with practice, he can even use this to learn at a glance what a person's expertise is, what they hold the most raw knowledge on. (Raw knowledge only, not applied skills; he couldn't necessarily tell if a person was a carpenter or a boxer even with this, though the fields they best know about could certainly hint at it.) Rank IV - At this point, he's stepped beyond merely absorbing facts and into applying them, his mind correlating the data about and around him and giving him a form of sixth sense for what is to come next in the narrative of his life. This manifests as a very short-term precognition, giving him a sense of if the next few seconds hold good or bad tidings. Largely subconscious but for brief glances and images, in practice it's little more than a danger-sense, taking a quick look over at the next page. Instant Technique - Call upon all existing information on a single person, collating it into a single blank book filled as though written in James' own handwriting, well-organized and even indexed to some degree. The resulting book is always comprehensive, though the print may need to be smaller for subjects that have led longer or especially full lives. Possible other instant techniques include the ability to speak a fact and instantly know if it's true and to what degree, or briefly overwhelming a person by giving them a short-term burst of the information taps that James has grown. Rank V - People are literally an open book to him, and when he tries, he can hear the narrative about them describing their inner-most thoughts and feelings, see the aspects of their nature written upon them clear as day. This can extend even to objects if he truly concentrates (though only the most important have narration of their own), and now and then he can even hear what he can only describe as the words of the narrator itself, a quiet murmur in the back of his mind. Sustained Technique - He can inflict a single target with total aphasia so long as he can sustain the power. Possible other sustained techniques might include obscuring the fact of his existence from reality itself (allowing him to temporarily become nonexistent to all memory and sensation, for example), rewriting his own narrative to briefly give himself or someone else a new talent or background until the universe notices his revisions and corrects them, or slipping into the realm behind realms and reading upon the Writings themselves.
Given that Seers follows a TV-inspired model, I'll give out a bonus point of Essence to everyone who shares their ideal casting pick for their character. Not required, and there's no time limit if you haven't got anyone in mind right away, you'll just get the point whenever you do come up with it. I'll keep this post updated with any NPCs I make casting decisions for as well.
Congratulations, you avoided burial at sea! Episode 1 is concluded, and while I haven't finished writing up your options for how to spend it yet, here's your rewards from the first ep.
Essence Absorbed: All Characters: +8
Bonus Essence! Daniel: +1 for Casting Call. James: +1 for Undisclosed Reason*, +1 for Style. All Idran's posts up until the action scene contained an acrostic related to James' state of mind. Srsly, go look. Rachel: +1 for Hands-On Kill. Missed out on a second for not delivering on her cock punching promises. Sara: +1 for Casting Call, +1 for Hands-On Kill
Hay guys, I'm back. Episode 2 will kick off in a week, and while I'm getting my notes in order for that, you guys have a decision to make: how to spend that first dose of Essence! You only have enough Essence to enhance one of your four Seer Powers to Rank II (at a cost of 5 Essence). To help you decide which, I've written up details of the three Innates, their drawbacks, and their potential below. Consider carefully, then reply to this thread with your choice of The Sight, Immortality, Enhancement, or your Unique.
Also, if you've got any questions or feedback you want to offer on Episode 1, please feel free, like I've said I'm new to running things like this and pretty much everything's still experimental. I'll have another post up soon with some clarification on Action Scenes/Feat Points based on conversations I had with several of you while it was going on, but if there's anything else you wanted to check with me on, now's an ideal time.
And now that I can stop being quite so vague (though I will be leaving several further details out, to be revealed in the course of RP), it's time to delve into more detail about just what your characters will soon learn they are, and what it means they are capable of.
The Angelborn Angels walk among us in human guise, but not to serve as benevolent guardians or divine messengers. Some owe their allegiance to what humans have termed Heaven, others owe theirs to Hell, but none act in the interest of humanity. To them, we are merely the battlefield, a chessboard on which our nations, corporations, and religions are but pawns in a cosmic game contested for millennia. To wage their battles in our world, however, they must invest their Angelic Essence in a human host that has been prepared to receive them.
In human bodies they are limited by human senses, as blind to their enemies as we are to all their kind. Once they have found a human vessel, they are bound to that flesh until released by its death, be it by another's hand or merely the eventual fail of the flesh itself. As such, they typically lead "normal" human lives to keep their presence and manipulations hidden from the unseen agents of the enemy. A common part of this charade is to take a human mate, and even start a human family, and on rare occasion it transpires that an angel of Heaven and an angel of Hell enter such a union with each other.
Seers are the rarest breed of Angelborn, the human offspring of Angels, specifically the product of the unwitting union between the Celestial and Infernal. They cannot die, and their blood can anchor angels within their human hosts, making not just the host but the Angel itself mortal.
Seers are born to slay angels.
Innate Powers The Sight The defining talent of all Seers. The Sight is the ability of a Seer's senses to pierce the illusions of the Angelic Deceit, perceive Angels in their human bodies and otherwise recognize the stain of their interference.
Rank I - All five senses are sharpened. Senses that were impaired in life have slightly improved; senses that were lost entirely remain lost. The Seer will perceive Angels in all their glory and terror any time they are within range of the Seer's senses. Drawback - The Seer has no control over the Sight when it is first awakened; they cannot turn it off. Beholding an Angel becomes an extremely painful experience, overwhelming the senses with information, a trait which usually forces the Seer to either try to shield their assaulted senses, flee, or destroy the source of the painful stimuli. It is next to impossible for them not to reveal themselves by their reaction. Similarly, they have no control over the normal heightening of their senses, a usually slight amplification that has a tendency to spike randomly in magnitude and sensitivity, and have very little ability to filter the increase in information when their senses are at peak sensitivity. One common side effect of this is bizarre obsessions with a single common sensory element that they fixate on everywhere no matter in how small a proportion it actually exists ("WHY DOES EVERYTHING SMELL LIKE APPLES"), as a way of distracting from everything else they sense. This combination of excruciating Angelic exposure and erratic sensitivity to mundane input makes long-time Rank I Sighted the Malkavians of the Seers setting, driven mad by their senses and the impossible sight of the Angelic.
Rank II - Developing control over the Sight gives a Seer the much-desired ability to turn it off entirely, suppressing the divine side of their gift to limit themselves to only their enhanced human senses. They are generally able to tune out the irrelevant or distant things their senses detect to focus on what they need to pay attention to. Activating or suppressing the full range of the Sight in an Action Scene requires the expenditure of a Feat Point.
Rank III - As a Seer's grasp of the Sight increases, so does the range of angelic phenomena it can reveal. With the Sight active, a character can recognize Seers and other Angelborn. A preference for one of the five senses has usually arisen by this point, and that sense is noticeably stronger than the other four. With concentration the favored sense's limits of range and sensitivity can be moderately extended for a short time by the use of a Feat Point.
Rank IV - At this level of Sight, a Seer can detect the traces of Essence left in objects and places by its use or expulsion whenever their Sight is active. All senses slightly surpass human potential, and the Seer may either push their favored sense even further through concentration, or choose a second sense to apply a lesser, Rank III strength boost to in addition to their first favored. Example Instant Techniques - Direction to Target Type (i.e. Angels, Humans, Murderers, Arcades, Wet T-Shirt Contests, etc.; one type per Tech.), Identify Ingredients, Momentary Spectrum Sense (i.e. Thermal, Electromagnetic, Radio, Ultraviolet, etc.; one spectrum per Tech.), Sonar Ping
Rank V - A Seer with complete mastery of The Sight no longer needs to suppress it, they can filter the secrets it bombards them with as easily as they process all the other data their senses reveal about the world around them, and it can remain always on without needing to expend Feat Points on activation or suppression. All five senses are capable of superhuman detection with concentration, equivalent to the favored sense at Rank III, but their favored sense(s) from previous ranks will always be the most powerful as the ones they are most in tune with experiencing the world through. Example Sustained Techniques - Track Target Type (as Direction Instant, prolonged) (note that tracking of humans and animals can already be accomplished through normal application of Rank V senses), Track Source of Essence, Bullet Time, Sustained Spectrum Sense (as Instant, prolonged), Continuous Sonar
Immortality A Seer cannot truly die. Their consciousness, soul, life force, however they quantify their identity and memory, is inextricably bound to their flesh by the fusion of opposing Essences in them. They are immortal, but like all their other gifts it takes time and Essence to extend this ability to mean unkillable.
Rank I - The Seer is normally susceptible to injury and illness, and requires a normal amount of time to heal from any wound or ailment that does not kill them. The only real benefit at this Rank is that, within a few days of death, the Seer's innate shard of Essence will mend their fatal injuries and return them to life. However, this process may be accelerated greatly in certain circumstances. Drawback - As indicated, recovering from death normally takes days for an inexperienced Seer. In game terms, this means if a Seer is killed in the course of an episode, they will not resurrect until the start of the next episode. Also, at Rank I a Seer's return to life can be prevented quite easily, as the process will not complete unless conditions actually allow life functions to resume - airways are unobstructed, oxygen is available, vital organs are not impaired, etc.
Rank II - As a Seer develops their understanding of their immortal nature, general health is greatly improved. They are resistant, though not at all immune, to the effects of most illnesses and toxins; symptoms and effects are noticably weaker than in a normal human. Diseases run their course in half the time, toxins are half as effective, though extreme toxicity may still be fatal. Rank II does not eliminate Immortality's Drawback.
Rank III - General health is as optimal as the Seer's lifestyle allows. Disease and toxins are reduced again in potency and while they may still significantly impair a Seer, only the most extreme varieties or colossal overdoses can kill a Rank III Immortal. Healing processes are doubled in efficiency, so that wounds are healed in half the time it would take a normal human. Rank III partially eliminates Immortality's Drawback; they will awaken in spite of ongoing impediments to life, but if they can not relieve the condition they will simply die again a moment later. Beginning at this rank a slain Seer can expend a Feat Point to resurrect in the same episode in which they died.
Rank IV - Even the deadliest diseases and toxins have little lasting potency against the Seer's system. Injured flesh heals fully in hours, though broken bones should be set to ensure they heal properly. Only the most extreme climates cause them any significant discomfort. A Rank IV Immortal can still be killed, but with difficulty similar to killing an anchored Angel -- anything that doesn't kill them outright just pisses them off. Also, at this level a Seer will retain sensory awareness in death. Example Instant Techniques - Heal Wound, Ignore Pain, Remove Scarring
Rank V - Total immunity to infectious disease and toxins. Heals injury at a visible rate without scarring. All injury heals in moments, including skeletal fractures, spinal injury, and damage to vital organs, even the brain. Can endure any climate on the surface of the Earth without discomfort. At Rank V Immortality, the power's drawback is finally removed by virtue of the fact that even if mortally wounded, a Seer of this rank will not just return from death but never actually die. Example Sustained Techniques - Regenerate Limb or Organ, Pain Immunity, Increased Regeneration, Walk on Lava
Enhancement "Enhancement" is a catch-all term for the improvements to basic human physical ability experienced by a Seer.
Rank I - Seers, once Awakened, are innately stronger, faster, and more agile than they were before their first death. However, this enhancement is at first so slight, manifesting obviously only when Feats are performed, that it is more likely to be chalked up to the daring that often follows the realization of one's immortality. Drawback - There is no particular drawback to remaining Rank I Enhanced.
Rank II - The Seer's physical skills are, across the board, well above that of the average person. Their athleticism is about on par with any dedicated athlete of similar build to their own, though natural balance and stamina are greatly improved.
Rank III - At this point a Seer's physical prowess begins to verge on the superhuman. A Rank III Enhanced Seer is capable of physical feats on a par with any Olympic medalist. They are at the peak of human potential. If it's something the human body is proven to be capable of, the Seer can do it, with a measure of the appropriate knowledge/training/practice at any rate (a Seer who's never used a bow before can not pick one up and shoot with the precision of a master archer their first time, but they will have the needed arm strength, steadiness, and muscle memory to make learning much easier).
Rank IV - The Seer's abilities begin to outstrip human potential, and through Techniques they can push their bodies even further. Example Instant Techniques - Burst of Strength, Burst of Speed, Burst of Reflexes, Trick Shot
Rank V - Truly superhuman. Untiring, twice the strength and speed of any human, impeccable balance and prescient reflexes. Example Sustained Techniques - Hyperkinesthesia, Super Strength, Super Speed, Unbreakable Grip
This episode's bonus Essence is a bit of character background homework. As the explanation of the nature of Seers should make clear, your characters' parentage is of some importance. So, write up a paragraph or two about each of your character's parents and send it to me here via PM. You don't need to decide which serves Heaven and which serves Hell, or how they further their side's agenda, or why and when they became hosts, all that'll be up to me.
Particulars I do want to know: Their names, professions, personalities, religions, some general history; whether they're still alive and, if not, the believed circumstances of their death; how they met and why they're a couple, if they still are; whether your character is their biological offspring, adopted, or the result of a fling or different relationship; and if your characters have siblings then how many, of what ages, and whether they are biological, adopted, half-sibs or affair-spawn.
This is an extra credit exercise because I don't intend to do anything major involving any of your character's families until midseason, and if more information hasn't come out naturally by then I'm fine with making it up for you. Also, what you come up with may be subject to my revision if needed to make it fit how Angels werk, but I'll worry about that.
Okay, Episode 2 is underway and your power purchases are locked in. Here's where you all stand power-wise. The "1st" is to keep track of the order you're upgrading powers in, as that determines the costs of future upgrades (see the table earlier in the thread for exact values). Your first power upgraded will always be the easiest to enhance.
Daniel Polyglot: Rank I The Sight: Rank II - 1st Immortality: Rank I Enhancement: Rank I Essence: 4
James Written Word: Rank I The Sight: Rank I Immortality: Rank II - 1st Enhancement: Rank I Essence: 5
Rachel Elastic Melee: Rank I The Sight: Rank I Immortality: Rank I Enhancement: Rank II - 1st Essence: 4
Samantha Hammerspace: Rank I The Sight: Rank I Immortality: Rank II - 1st Enhancement: Rank I Essence: 3
Sara Severance: Rank II - 1st The Sight: Rank I Immortality: Rank I Enhancement: Rank I Essence: 5