Witch Girls Adventures: Magical Minutia #5: Mortals: Seekers of Truth by Adnachiel
Baby’s First World of DarknessOriginal SA post
Part 1: Baby’s First World of Darkness
What about the humans? That’s a question we get a lot when it comes to the world of Witch Girls. Well in most cases humans are utterly oblivious to the magical goings on. In fact most cannot even comprehend the magic around them even if they see it.
The Human mind is a fragile thing and if something doesn't fit a person’s worldview they tend to make it fit even if it means mentally changing what happen. “That wasn’t a girl on a broom, that was a strange looking cloud” and “She didn’t shoot fire from her hands, it was just a magic trick”. Are just a few ways humans deny reality to keep themselves from realizing they reality they live in is one they have little control of.
In other words human’s at sub conscious level don’t want to believe.
But a few do believe. They either by circumstance or some other means discovered that things are not what they seem. They believe in a world bigger and stranger than most can imagine and seek to learn more about it.
Supernatural, X-Files, Kolchek: The Nightstalker, Torchwood, Fringe and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It’s been done before and what your reading here is our version of that. It’s our way of showing our world from a different point of view.
Magical Minutia #5: Mortals: Seekers of Truth
And just like a WoD book, it starts off not with a comic, but with a written story, complete with crazed rambling thoughts written in the margins.
This intro, and nearly all of the in-character margin notes spread throughout the book, are written by Grady Barns (not his real name), a victim and believer of the “Witchspiracy”. Like every other ignorant small town dweller in this setting and Minerva Winters from Bellum Maga, he is from Digahol, Iowa. He found out about the magical world at 16 when his father went missing, leaving only a pick-up truck full of personal effects and a key on the side of a country road. After “6 months two months”, he was declared dead, Grady’s mom got a drinking and drug problem, and Grady inherited the key. The key opened up a safe full of notes, including one similar to this one, and pictures providing evidence of a hidden magical world.
The Key they found was to a safe in his study, a safe I knew nothing about. Upon opening it I found multiple note books, folders pictures and papers. On the very top was a letter that said “If’ you’re reading this I’m either Dead or Worse...”.
Yeah, I felt a chill up my spine too.
The Note, or rather , The Rant filled Essay was more than just a letter to me and my mom saying how sorry he was wasn’t around and how much he loved and missed us. It was a letter that according to him revealed the greatest truth of all.
Magic was Real…
Yeah Magic, Spell casting, lighting tossing, poof you’re an iguana kind of magic and that kind of magic .
At first I thought it was some kind of sick joke, my dad when not being aloof had a kind of dry humor. I could see him plotting to freak us out after his death, but there was something about the seriousness of the letter. Something both precise and manic in his writing that made me think otherwise, that made me not share it with my mother.
His father’s notes spurred Grady to start his own research into the supernatural. Over the course of a summer, he learned the witch hunter version of the story of Lilith. In their version, Lilith is a demonic-looking alien who came to Earth and brought magic with her. And things have sucked ever since.
Tens of Thousands of years ago a creature came to Earth. No one knew were she came for, but that did say she had horns like a ram, purple skin and that with here came magic. Lilith would eventually die, but not before giving birth to four children.
The Children would be the startOif a magical master race that have ruled the world in secret since the dawn of civilization. A Master race known by many names;
The MagA DOMINA
THE SISTERHOOD OF SECRETS
And the Witchspiracy
The Witchspiracy used magic to control humanity, manipulate us and toy with us. To them were are no better than mice in a maze who’s rules can be changed with a thought.
Considering the comic book multiverse stuff that’s now part of the canon, this version might be the more accurate one.
He also learned about the other races of otherkin. According to witch researchers and hunters, the other otherkin are small potatoes and are essentially slaves to the witches because they fear their power.
Grady didn’t believe what he read completely, so he roped his friends Paul (a stereotypical nerd) and Gator (because he’s from Florida and liked to fight) into helping him get some hard physical proof. Using his dad’s “alpha wave reader”, they got a positive reading from a quiet, bookish girl at their school named Christine Morris. (Magical beings can register on a scale of 0 to 13. Most start at 2. Witches start at 6 because of course they do.) They stalked her for a while and took multiple readings, eventually getting one from her mother, who registered slightly higher than her. Being dumb teenagers, they decided to kidnap Christine to get a confession out of her. (Even in the book where the humans are the heroes, they’re still dumb assholes.) They drugged her with his mom’s sleeping pills, dragged her to an abandoned church, and tied her up. They dumped her bookbag, discovering a bunch of witch paraphernalia and learning that it was a Bag of Holding. That was proof enough for Grady. (Paul brings up a “British Sci-fi Doctor show”, and Gator thinks about using it to steal from Not!Walmart. Aim high, brother.) When she came to and they tried to interview her, she called for her mom.
Her mom, in the most detailed and terrifying way Harris can muster, appeared, put Paul into a coma and turned Gator into a rat.
There are Fates far worse than death….. Far , Far worse.
First she pointed at pAul,, His body went limp and he fell to the ground. I could see he was breathing but nothing more. Gator Started to beg, He said it wasn’t his fault,. I felt a chill go up my spine,, he was going tell her about me, my dad and everything else.
But before he could finish I watched as his body collapsed in on his self and sizzled and shrank till all that was left was a scared mange covered rat.
I felt my leg give, I knew I would be next, unless I ran and after what seemed like an eternity I came to me feet and ran,,, I haven’t stopped running since.
The margin notes imply that Grady later disconnected Paul’s life support when the doctors weren’t looking because he was stuck in a I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream situation, and that either Christine and Christine’s mom or some other witch killed Grady’s mom as revenge.
The end of the note tells the reader where the rest of Grady's research is and begs them to just burn it all and forget about it. But if they don’t, he tells them his rules for researching and hunting witches.
Trust no one
Use Iron, the purer the better to bind them
Never use your real name.
Never underestimate them
And Write a note like mine as soon as you can.
See you on the other side
Macdonald Hartman left a note for Grady at the end, saying that he’s using “Tesla’s machine" to contact him. Apparently, he hasn’t just kept all of the knowledge of the magical world to himself and his buddies and is actively helping magical researchers and hunters. Him and Grady haven’t spoken to each other in three months and he urges Grady to shake off whatever mood he’s in and call him. If he’s dead, then he tells him to enjoy the vacation and that he’s working on a machine with the Phantom Breakers to contact him anyway.
Once again, there is no credits section in this book. DriveThruRPG just lists everything as “Various”. But the book is similar to how the others are written and illustrated. So I’m just assuming it’s the usual suspects of Harris on writing and Soto on art.
Up next: Character creation
Callings and BeliefOriginal SA post
Part 2: Callings and Belief
The character creation chapter begins with an explanation that the book is for making and playing “mortals”, not “mundanes”. The difference is that “mortals” aren’t ignorant Alteration fodder and try to figure out all of the weird shit that goes on around them due to circumstances stemming from either their birth, training, or happenstance.
they know there is more to the world and have traded a mundane life for one that will likely lead them to places they wish they never seen, Knowledge they wish they never knew and short violently ending lives…. If they are lucky.
The book also emphasizes that playing a mortal is not about having a power fantasy like playing a witch is, but about surviving.
Part of playing a Mortal is being the underdog and a star really willing to push themselves should consider that more than anything, because in the case of Mortals its not about power, it’s a bout survival.
Instead of Cliques, mortal characters have Callings. A character’s Calling, along with determining all of their starting stats, indicates how they generally get things done.
Believers want to show everyone that magic is real and the world is more dangerous than they think. They know it’s going to be hard, but they’re up for it. Yes, the write-up is incredibly generic sounding and could apply to any of the other Callings.
Along with a two D4 and three D6 spread that they can assign however they want, every Calling gets a D6+1 to one of their attributes. In the Believer’s case, it’s Magic. They get 20 mundane and 10 magical points to allocate towards their skills, and 2 ranks of a new attribute called Belief. For bonuses, they get a free rank in two of either Mythology, Cryptozoology, or Mysticism. Each Calling also gets to choose from one of four Specialties to choose from, which work pretty much the same way as Niches. The specialties that Believers can choose from are Family (+2 magic skill points, +1 Resist Magic), Piety (+2 Resist Magic, +2 to rolls against “evil” and “wicked” magic), Trauma (+1 to Focus and +2 to Plucky), and Weirdness Magnet (can make a Hard Senses roll to determine if something or someone has a supernatural element to them).
Charmers use their looks and social skills to get what they want. They get a D6+1 to their Social, 15 mundane and 5 magical skill points, 1 Belief, and get a free rank of Charm and Fib. For specialties, they can choose from Beautiful (+1 Social to rolls against people the character is romantically interested in (and -1 to whoever is rolling against them), Cool (+1 Social to rolls when making a first impression and +1 to rolls to remain calm), Empathy (can make a Hard Senses roll to determine if someone is telling the truth), and Humor (can make a Hard Charm roll to calm someone else).
Jocks deal with problems by either beating the shit out of them or outrunning them. Not all of them are dumb, but they’re not necessarily focusing on being smart either way. They get a D6+1 to their Body; 20 mundane and 3 magical skill points; 1 Belief; a free rank in Athletics and a free rank in either Fighting, Hide, or Sports. For specialties, they have Fast (+1 Reflex, +1 rolls to running and jumping, and they run twice as fast and jump twice as far), Scrappy (+2 Fighting, +1 Reflex for dodging rolls), Strong (+2 melee and hand-to-hand damage and +1 to rolls when lifting, pulling, and throwing), and Tough (+2 Life and ignores a point of damage).
Nerds are nerds. Nerds are smart. That’s pretty much it. Mind D6+1; 20 mundane and 3 magical skill points; 1 Belief; and a free rank in two of either Build/Repair, Computers, or Science. For specialties, they have Bookworm (bonus gained from books are doubled and they can read one page very 5 seconds, this is a shitty specialty), Geek (+2 to Pop Culture, +1 to rolls involving beings related to pop culture in some way), Hacker (+2 Computer, +5 Allowance to spend on computer equipment), and Investigator (+2 Basics, +2 to rolls for solving puzzles and riddles).
Roughnecks are low lifes: thugs and hoodlums that see laws as suggestions and don’t mind committing crimes if it will help them accomplish a goal. Will D6+1; 20 mundane and 5 magical skill points; 1 Belief; free rank of Urchin and two of either Hide, Scare, or Streetwise. Their specialties are Fraud (+2 Acting with the ability to perfectly imitate voices by succeeding on an Easy Mind or Acting roll), Thug (+1 Life, +1 Scare), Rebel (+2 to rolls when defying authority or inspiring people to defy authority), and Thief (+1 Hide, +1 Urchin).
So yeah, if you ever play this, pick Believer. They get more skill points than everyone else for some reason and their buffs make them less likely to not get one-shot by a witch.
The other important factor in making a mortal character is their age. Like the optional age rules in the core, they give stat bonuses and minuses.
Kids: 10 to 13 years old. +1 Magic, -1 Body and Will, +2 Belief, -1 Wealth.
Teens: 14 to 18 years old. +5 mundane skill points, +2 magical skill points, +1 Belief.
Adult: 19 to 59 years old. +1 Will, +10 mundane skill points, +4 magical skill points, +1 Wealth.
Elder: 60 years old and over. +2 Will, -1 Body and Senses, +15 mundane skill points, +5 magical skill points, -1 Belief.
So, Belief. What is it and what does it do? Well, it’s basically a power stat that lets mortals use their zap points, which represents their “inner magic”. This is awakened in them by an Epiphany: the event that first exposed them to the supernatural world. Belief goes from 1 to 10 and each rank gives a specific bonus.
Increasing your Belief costs 10 + the level you’re going up to voodollars. The book also suggests that directors give out free ranks (limit of once per episode) for surviving events that strengthen their belief.
Belief factors into the consequences of Freak Out rolls. These are rolls that happen whenever a character encounters some new supernatural horror. These are Will or Plucky + Belief rolls and can have different difficulties.
If someone fails the roll, they can choose to lose a rank of Belief by denying what they saw was real. It is possible to go down to Belief 0 this way. If they don’t, they get to roll on the “dreaded freak out table”. You roll a D10 and consult this chart.
Other characters can also try talking down a person having a freak out with a Hard Social or Psychology (a new skill) roll. They can only attempt this once.
If a character rolls a 1 during any freak out roll, they gain a “crack point”. 5 crack points gets them an Idiosyncrasy, which are basically Derangements. The character rolls a D12 and gains the idiosyncrasy listed on this chart.
Each idiosyncrasy comes with certain penalties.
Absent-Minded: +2 voodollars to all skill and ability costs.
Anxiety: -1 to Initiative rolls, -1 to Will vs Social rolls.
Coward: -1 to all combat rolls, must roll an Easy Will roll to not run from fights.
Depression: -1 Magic, -1 to rolls that require motivation.
Mumbler: -1 Social, them and everyone within 10 feet of them has -1 to rolls to detect surprises.
Outspoken: The character is always talking to themselves. -1 Social, must make a Hard Will roll to lie.
Paranoia: -1 Social, cannot participate in group rolls.
Phobia: -1 to all rolls involving their fear, which the director determines, and they have to make a freak out roll when confronting it.
Queasy: -2 to Life and the character pukes when they get stressed.
PTSD: Once a day, the character makes a Hard Will roll. If they fail it, they have an episode and get an idiosyncrasy from the chart for the rest of the day. This also has to happen when they confront something that triggers their PTSD.
Rage: Must make a Hard Will roll not to attack someone who pisses them off and to not fight to the death during combat.
Shaky: -1 to rolls that require their hands and any objects in their hands are dropped if they roll a 1 on a D4.
A lot of these rules remind me of the “character shits their pants if they get a dramatic failure” house rule I read once.
Unlike mundanes, mortals can spend their zap points to augment rolls, ignore damage, and stabilize themselves and others. Along with adding up to 3 points to a roll and ignoring up to 3 points of damage, mortals can spend a zap to negate a rolled 1 and instantly stabilize themselves. (Keep in mind witches and otherkin need to spend 5 to do that.) For 2 points, they can stabilize someone else, can add up to 3 points of damage, add up to 3 to their Resist Magic, and use an ability at one rank higher. For 3, they can completely negate non-lethal spells and ignore all points of damage they take from an attack except one.
Oh, and you can use it to pull deus ex machinas out of your ass, if this blurb is any indication.
Grady Barns posted:
I once jumped from an Airplane without a parachute after it was all but destroyed by a Dragon. There I was falling through the air, nothing but air between mean and solid Earth.
Suddenly I hit an updraft that not only slowed me but moved me so I hit the Dragon’s wing as it came by to hit the plane again, slowing me down and angling me so I hit a some pine trees and landed in a lake. I broke a few bones but I lived.
Yeah it was a Miracle, but for us, Miracles are real.
Next: More character creation stuff.
Skills and TraitsOriginal SA post
Part 3: Skills and Traits
Up next in the character creation chapter is a rundown of the new skills that all types of characters have access to. Because this game needed more skills. Like witch characters, mortals get 3 free points in Basics. They can use any mundane skill from the other books, but can only put their magical points in Cryptozoology, Focus, Herbalism, Leyology, and Mysticism.
For new skills, we've got:
Demolitions: A Mind skill; deals with the building and handling of explosive devices, as well as how to acquire them.
In WGA, explosives are divided into four different types.
Accelerant: Used more to start and keep fires running than to blow shit up.
C4: The “safest” type of explosive, but also the hardest to get a hold off. You specifically need points in Streetwise to get it.
Dynamite: Fairly stable (assuming it’s not left to sit out for too long) and can be detonated via an electrical current or the traditional burning wick. Also hard to get a hold off, but doesn’t mention needing the Streetwise skill.
Nitro Glycerin: Can be made in small batches with a Very Hard Science roll. That’s it.
If the character wants to play it safe when handling explosives, they can make whatever roll they’re doing at one less difficulty rank at the cost of having to take twice as long to do whatever they’re doing. You can also do the opposite if you want to do something faster. The former is helpful since the book points out that failing a Demolitions roll usually ends in things exploding. You also get a free reroll of any Demolitions roll if you have at least one rank in either Science or Build/Repair.
Navigation: A Mind skill; lets you navigate by any means whether it be using Google Maps or the positions of the sun and stars. This is usually an Easy roll, unless it's a roll to decrease the travel time by 25%, then it’s a Hard roll. Having three or more points in Survival gets you a +1 to wilderness navigational rolls.
Pilot: Body; the Flying skill for mortals. Only applies to aircraft.
Psychology: Social, resisted with Will or Resolve; lets you talk down a character who is in the middle of a Freak Out as well as learn about a person’s history, M.O., and motivations.
Resolve: Will; represents training in resisting various coercion tactics (i.e. interrogations, torture, and so on) and is used in place of a Will roll. Lets you spend a zap to use this to resist a Mentalism or Illusion spell instead of your Resist Magic stat.
Religion: Mind; lets you understand various beliefs and belief systems. One of the examples it gives is “understanding the push and pull of the forces of Light vs Shadow and Order vs Chaos”.
Grady Barns posted:
Is there something out there controlling the universe, is there an absolute good or evil?
Those answers are above my “Pay Grade.”. what I do know is Death isn’t the end, There is a lot of evil in our world and I’ve seen a place… a place of absolute Darkness beyond our world. So maybe that’s where Evil comes from.
As for Light… I’ve heard only rumors.
I paid for a whole book, but got a bunch of edges.
Time for Traits. Traits work the same way for mortals as they do for otherkin, and they can have any talents from the other books that don’t deal with magic or the magical world, as well as the Legacy and Medative heritages. (Otherkin, however, can take any of the traits from this book.) To replace all of the off-limits heritages, mortals get their own list of Origins… which are still called heritages in the book and work the same way.
For new Talents, we have…
Actor +2 to disguise attempts, can alter their voice and body language at will. Just be careful not to forget who you are, which is a risk for those who have this talent according to its blurb.
Avenger: +1 to rolls when righting wrongs against themselves or their friends, real or imagined.
Brash: +1 Initiative, +1 to rolls when they are the first to act on something or arrive at a scene.
Diligent: “Time to create an item drops by one.” As determined by the difficulty chart for the Build/Repair skill in Respelled.
Guardian: +1 Armor, +1 to rolls when protecting people, places, or things.
Bering Hardcore means knowing you’re the under dog and still fighting back. Hard Core Characters excel at beating the odds and fighting against the status quo. Hardcore Characters tend follow their own nonnonsense in your face rules and won’t change for anyone.
Can still take normal actions if they hit 0 to -10 life for D6 minutes. That is pretty hardcore.
Knowledgeable: Can add a +3 to a non-Body skill roll they don’t have points in once a day.
Logical: A free rank of Investigate, +1 to Freak Out rolls.
Mellow: -1 Crack point per day, +21 (???!!!) to rolls when calming volatile social situations.
Pious: Can use a bonus they have that normally costs zap for free once per day.
Resourceful The character can Macgyver up items. -1 to all created item costs, can ignore a component that they need to make a specific item.
Thug: +2 to rolls to break things and Hand-to-Hand damage.
Before the section on the new heritages, Grady points out that Mystery Inc. exist in Witch Girls World and he thinks they’re all cray-cray.
Grady Barns posted:
No really, you are and you need to embrace that. No one can be sane or /stay sane doing what we do. It’s impossible.
Want proof? I knew these kids.. Don’t know if their still alive or not. They were really good at solving mysterious, traveled around in a van, dealt with mostly with Ghosts and zombies.
Any way they had this g0odnatured , big happy mutt and they all swore he could talk….
Yeah, like I said… Nuts.
You hunt and study magical beings for a living, and yet you have a hard time believing in a (fairly mundane) creature that a starting witch character can buy for themselves? They probably picked him up from some magical person. Maybe they ran into some magical animal hoarder witch and took him off her hands.
Ace: A free rank of Pilot and Navigation; +1 Reflex when flying; +2 to recognize, analyze, and repair aircraft; and everyone riding in the plane take half damage from crashes. Requires 3 ranks of Pilot to take.
Cipher: "There is just something about [the Cipher] that makes them nearly invisible." -2 to rolls to “find, identify, or even find” them; people have to make a Hard Mind roll to remember them; +1 Reflex to dodge; -2 to Casting rolls for Divination spells against them; and 2 ranks of Hide.
Conspiracy Theorist: +1 Belief; a free rank of Investigate and Computers; can ignore a Freak Out by ranting about a conspiracy theory once per game; and +1 to rolls related to their pet theory, which is decided on when they take this heritage.
Daredevil: +1 Armor; +2 to rolls when risking their lives or fighting someone stronger than them; +2 to rolls to resist fear and fear-causing abilities; can spend 5 zap to ignore all damage from an attack or situation.
Detective: +2 to rolls to solve puzzles; +1 Senses; +1 to look for and disarm traps; can make an Easy Senses or Investigate roll to determine if someone is lying.
Enchanted: Probably the most interesting and notable new heritage, Enchanteds are the unfortunate children of witches that didn’t get the bulk of their mother’s magical genes and the half mundane children of otherkin. Any children that a pair of enchanteds have will also be enchanteds. Enchanteds were first mentioned in Pirates of Buccaneer Hill, which told you to go read the Moon Shadow Circle book, which never came out, for more info, and are mentioned without explaination in 13 Magazine. Well, now they’ve got a write-up.
Ironically most of magical society are enchanted even though in that society they are in most cases second class citizens.
This heritage works the same way as the Half-Otherkin one from the core works: every otherkin type gets their own set of bonuses. Every type lives slightly longer than most humans (usually reaching 100) and are unaffected by spells designed to hide things from mortals, including avoidance charms. They have the same physical traits as their witch counterparts.
Fae: Along with the ability to change their form for an hour for a zap, they get +1 Reflex and 3 free skill ranks to place in Craft (which no longer exists, so presumably Build/Repair), Instrument, and/or Singing.
Immortal: +1 Body and Armor and 3 skill ranks that they can place in any Body skill, with a limit of 2 in any skill. Interestingly, they don’t have the “Hard Will roll to lie” disadvantage half-immortal witches or their fast healing abilities.
Shapeshifter: +1 Senses, a claw attack that does 2 damage, +2 Athletics "and one free rank and tracking." They don’t have the weakness to silver.
Vampire: +1 to all rolls that happen at night, +2 Stealth, +1 Athletics, and they ignore a point of damage.
Witch: The most common type of enchanted. Witch blooded enchanteds are almost always physically attractive and have “vibrantly” colored eyes. +1 Magic; can spend a zap to sense witches and other witch blooded up to 10 feet away; a free rank in Enchantment, Potions, or Alchemy and the ability to put points in that chosen skill when they level up; can use magical items made for witches; and can spend a zap to levitate objects and perform a telekinetic push attack. (Up to 50 pounds and does 5 points of damage, respectively.)
Gadgeteer: Start with 5 free equipment points to spend on devices, time needed to build and repair items are halved, can spend a zap to instantly know how something works, and can spend a “power point” to add a +2 to “jury rig” rolls or make a jury-rigged device work again. Requires 3 ranks of Build/Repair.
Martial Artist: The Martial Artist heritage from Respelled. So that’s three heritages mortals can take. Though this version adds a +5 to dodge and the ability to instantly get back up after being knocked down, and the bonus to Fighting is dropped to a +1. Requires 3 ranks of Fighting to take.
Ninja: Martial Artists, but more special because they use magic.
The Ninja are not what you think. They are in fact a trained branch of martial artist who have embraced the supernatural.
Can make a Hard Stealth roll to hide in plain sight, can spend a zap to either double their running speed or jumping distance or only take half damage from falls, and can give a target a -2 to their rolls for the remainder of a scene (if they fail a Hard Body) instead of an attack doing damage. Hitting a target twice with this move will knock them out for D4 minutes. Requires Athletics 2, Acrobatics 2, Fighting 2, and Hide 2.
Powerful Item 10 free Wealth points, on top of the character’s starting pool, to build the magical trinket. The item, whatever it is, has 20 HP, 11 Resist Magic, and 5 points of armor. It restores its HP at a rate of 5 points per day. The item gives its owner +1 to an attribute of their choice, 3 points of armor, and +2 to rolls to stabilize themselves if they’re dying.
Powerful Pet: While mortals can purchase magical pets, this character’s is more powerful than most. The character starts the game with a 10 point magical pet that has +1 to an attribute, +2 Life, and +2 zap. The pet and its owner get +5 to rolls to find each other and can communicate telepathically. Finally, all magical bonuses for the pet and owner are doubled if they’re within 20 feet of each other.
Psychic: A free rank in Psionics, +1 Will, can spend a zap to communicate telepathically with up to 6 people up to 100 miles away, and can spend up to 3 zap to give themselves a +1 bonus to resist mind controlling or invading abilities.
Stunt Driver: An unknown amount of free ranks in Drive and Navigation, +1 Reflex when driving, the +2 to analyze, recognize, and repair aircraft copy/pasted, and everyone in the car takes half damage from crashes. Requires Driving 2.
Superhero: Be a Phoenix Jones style vigilante (or Batman if you’ve got the points for it). -2 to rolls to discover their identity, can make a Resolve roll to restore a life point once a turn in combat, starts the game with a costume made of light armor that gives 5 armor points, and anyone who fails a Scare roll against the character is at a -2 to all of their rolls against them. Requires Athletics 2, Fighting 2, and Resolve 2, and cannot have the Wicked talent.
Starting mortal characters can have up to 4 positive knacks (along with a matching amount of negative ones). New positive knacks include:
Animal Lover: +2 to Social rolls with normal animals.
Big: +1 to Lifting and Breaking rolls and can lift twice as much weight. Must be a teen or older to take.
Double Jointed: +2 to rolls to escape binds.
Hawkeye: +1 to sight-based Senses rolls.
Healthy: +2 to resist diseases.
Intuitive: +1 to resist surprise attacks.
Palmer: +1 to take things the size of their hand. Anyone looking for the item has a -1 to their rolls.
Quick: Normal movement speed is doubled.
Resistant: +2 to resist poisons.
Mortals can also take the Big Bank, Book Worm, Fast Healer, and Energizer knacks from Respelled.
For negative knacks, we have:
Loud: -2 to Surprise or Hide rolls.
Lame: Walking and running speed is halved.
Normal: -2 Zap due to their partial inability to “grasp the strange”.
Sickly: -1 to resist diseases.
Weak: -2 to Life and are physically smaller than most characters. Big people can be weak too, but okay.
Unbalanced: -1 to Freak Out rolls.
Unlucky in Love: “The character romantically attracts the worst possible person for them.” …So, I guess they occasionally derail the game to angst over their shitty abusive SO? Or just so Harris has an excuse to post this blurb.
Grady Barns posted:
The spawn of Lilith are rarely ugly.
I heard a big-brain explain it by saying, the look good so we’ll accept them as being better than us so they can rule us.
I’m saying that to say this… Be careful. If someone looks to good to be true they probably are and could be the creature that ends you.
They can also have the Attitude, Bad Luck, Chubby, Ditz, Fragile, Four Eyes, Naive, "Shirt", Shallow, and Willowy knacks.
Up next: Training and Abilities
Training and AbilitiesOriginal SA post
Part 4: Training and Abilities
Alright, where was I?
In place of magic types, mortals can buy ranks in various training regimens and/or innate special abilities. (The book specifies what’s what. The only real difference between the two is fluff.) Starting characters get 5 free ranks to spend where they want and have the option of buying up to 3 extra ranks at creation at a cost of 15 + the next level number of voodollars. (Ranks in specific types of training have to be bought in order, natch.) The same cost applies when they’re buying ranks outside of creation. Starting characters can have only up to 3 ranks in a training/ability, free ranks included. They can also use the starting training ranks to raise an attribute 1 for 1 or buy skill ranks at a rate of 5 skill ranks for 1 rank of training/abilities.
The book also points out that yes, you can give these things to otherkin characters, but you run the risk of making them overpowered. You know, if you didn't manage to do that with the stuff in the core book.
I'm sure there are Directors and Stars out thee who would love to some of the things here to Otherkin Characters.
Yes an Immortal with Advanced Martial Arts is a no brainer, But such characters ca be over powered and you should be really careful and make sure that fit in your Adventures.
You could probably do better with stuff from the other books. These lists kind of suck.
Training/Abilities follow the same MTR, referred to as ATR (Ability Type Rank) when dealing with mortals, charts as Magic Types when determining how specific powers work at specific ranks. The only exception is Range.
the only change for mortals is range as it becomes a less a matter of line of sight and more about numbers.
The book also points out that the ATR mechanic will also be used in every Drama Dice game Channel M publishes from here on out.
Every type of training/ability except “Skeptic” has requirements. Protip: Give yourself Fighting 3 and/or Mysticism 3 and you’ll open yourself up to a good chunk of the stuff on this list. The blurbs for each also have a section for specific drawbacks. But most don’t have any.
Also, don’t tell anyone you can do this stuff.
Grady Barns posted:
Some of you reading this may only be part vampire or part witch. . You may even be psychic, Guess what? Keep that kind of thing to yourself.
And that mindset is probably part of the reason why you're dead, Grady.
Adrenal Surge: Hulk out and gain various physical advantages either whenever you want during combat or by succeeding on an Easy Will roll outside of combat. Half Immortals, Vampires, and Shapeshifters with a D8 or higher Body only. Makes you eat a lot and act roid-ragey as a drawback.
- Rank 1: Immunity to fear-causing abilities and magic, heal 2 HP after combat.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to raise the Body attribute by 1. (Max 2.)
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to gain +2 Life per ATR in this ability for a minute.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to get +1 (per ATR) to Strength rolls, +1 hand-to-hand damage, and lift 500 pounds.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to get +1 Reflex, +1 to running based rolls, and +40 feet combat walking and running speed per ATR.
Spending over 6 zap in an hour using this ability makes you unable to use it for D6 hours and gives you -2 Reflex and -2 to Body rolls.
Advanced Martial Arts: Self-explanatory. Can’t have this and Adrenal Surge on the same character for whatever reason. Fighting 6 or the Martial Artist heritage required.
- Rank 1: +1 hand-to-hand damage, +10 feet when jumping, +20 feet running speed.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to be Goku and do a Chi Strike, which does +2 hand-to-hand damage per ATR.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to do a Perfect Strike, a hand-to-hand… add-on, I guess, that lets you ignore all of a target’s natural armor and half of their artificial armor.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to remove all diseases and poisons from your body and heal 2 Life.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to gain another combat action, at a max of 2.
Archaist: The character is a master of one type of melee weapon, which is picked when they take this type of training. The blurb mentions that being a LARPer is training enough to have this. Requires Fighting 3.
- Rank 1: +1 damage, parrying and blocking do half their normal damage to the weapon.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to +1 per ATR damage.
- Rank 3: Spend a zap to block all incoming normal attacks.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to get a second attack that does half damage on the same target in the same action.
- Rank 5: Spend 3 zap to turn a single attack into an area one that does full damage to every enemy in range.
- Rank 1: +1 damage; can reload as a free action.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to "fire an into a crowded arrow to hit a desired target with zero chance of hitting anything"
- Rank 3: Doubled arrow range.
- Rank 4: +1 per ATR damage to arrow attacks.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to hit a target from around a corner or barrier at half damage.
- Rank 1: Can now put skill ranks in Alchemy, Enchantment, Potions, Leyology, and Naming. Also gives you a free rank to put in any of them.
- Rank 2: Can disable spells using a Magic + ATR roll. The move costs twice the cost of the spell and takes D6 minutes to complete.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to double the height and damage of their levitation ability.
- Rank 4: Spend 3 zap to give someone within range a +2 or -2 penalty to their next roll.
- Rank 5: Lets the character use their life points as zap points if they run out.
Genius: D8 Mind and up only.
- Rank 1: +2 Basic and a +1 to a Mind skill of the character’s choice.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to read a hundred pages of text in a minute.
- Rank 3: +1 per ATR to all Mind and Senses rolls to recall a situation with photographic memory.
- Rank 4: Spend 3 zap to add “=+1” per ATR to a Body roll.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to give another character a +1 per ATR to any Body, Mind, or Senses skill roll.
- Rank 1: +1 damage and can draw and reload as a free action.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to get +1 Initiative when using a pistol. This ability is called “skin the smoke wagon”.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to replace the damage on an attack with a -2 penalty to all rolls for D6 rounds of combat.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to ignore 1 point per ATR of armor.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to do +1 per ATR damage.
- Rank 1: +5 Wealth to buy computer equipment; time needed to complete Computer related action is halved.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to find someone using cameras with a Hard roll.
- Rank 3: Spend a zap to get a +1 per ATR bonus to skill rolls when breaking into other computers.
- Rank 4: Spend a zap to instantly take control of a computer controlled device connected to the Internet.
- Rank 5 The character can make a Computer roll to block or disable Cybermancy spells. They also have to spend the same amount of zap as the spell.
- Rank 1: Spend 2 zap to either stabilize a character or give them a +1 to fight off a disease.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to heal 1 per ATR Life points.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to get +1 per ATR to rolls to resist poisons.
- Rank 4: The rank 3 power, except with diseases.
- Rank 5: Spend 4 zap to remove a Crack and give the target a +2 to resist Freak-Outs.
- Rank 1: A free rank of Build/Repair and Computer.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to use the Science skill as the Potions skill.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to use Science in place of “Immolate the Animate” skill, which doesn't exist in any of the required books listed near the start.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to use Build/Repair to make Enchantment rolls.
- Rank 5: Spend 3 zap to remove 1 per ATR Wealth to the cost of equipment.
- Rank 1: +1 to rolls and damage when dealing with ghosts.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap per minute to sense ghosts within 20 feet of the character.
- Rank 3: Spend a zap a minute to see ghosts.
- Rank 4: Spend a zap to touch and damage ghosts. (So is the damage part of the Rank 1 power just useless until you get this?)
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to do +1 per ATR points of damage to ghosts.
- Rank 1: +1 Survival, +1 Tracking, +1 to Tracking rolls when tracking monsters.
- Rank 2: Spend a zap to add your ATR to your Cryptozoology rolls.
- Rank 3: Spend a zap to communicate with monsters via body language, roars, and so on. Because for some reason, you need to use magic to do that instead of figuring it out through research.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to get +1 x ATR damage to monsters.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to get +1 x ATR to Reflex for dodging monsters.
- Rank 1: Spend a zap to detect other people’s emotions.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to get +1 x ATR to resist mind and emotion altering abilities.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to read a target’s thoughts.
- Rank 4: Spend 3 zap to create a mind shield.
- Rank 5: Spend 3 zap to give someone a -2 to their rolls for D4 minutes and lose their next action.
- Rank 1: +2 zap; +1 to Freak Out rolls.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to remove a crack point or give a +2 to Freak Out rolls to a person.
- Rank 3: Spend 3 zap to add +1 per ATR to resist spells and other magical abilities.
- Rank 4: Spend 4 zap to let someone else have the previous bonus.
- Rank 5: Spend 3 zap per minute to give a -2 zap penalty to all non-mundanes in range.
- Rank 1: +1 Hide, Survival, and Tracking.
- Rank 2: +1 per ATR to recognize shapeshifters.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to get +1 per ATR to resist shapeshifter powers.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to get +1 per ATR damage to shapeshifters.
- Rank 5: +1 to Reflex when one of the enemies in a combat scene is a shapeshifter.
- Rank 1: +1 Athletics, Hide, and Investigation.
- Rank 2: +1 per ATR to recognize vampires.
- Rank 3: Spend 2 zap to it’s just the Skinner power set except with vampires. Moving on.
- Rank 1: Gains full walk speed when climbing, and doesn’t gain penalties to movement speed or Reflex when climbing surfaces.
- Rank 2: Spend 2 zap to get +1 per ATR to all Urchin rolls.
- Rank 3: Spend a zap to instantly know if a character is carrying something of worth.
- Rank 4: Spend 2 zap to gain +1 per ATR to Reflex when the character is cornered or chased to avoid… being hit.
- Rank 5: Spend 2 zap to gain +1 per ATR to resist all Senses and spell rolls.
Witch Hunter: Mysticism 3 required. They also get a Wanted knack because the WWC keeps a log of every single active witch hunter. So there’s another thing they can do, but can’t/won’t track down criminals or kids that need to be put in schools. The ability list is the Slayer one with “vampires” replaced with “witches”.
This section ends with a smaller, black and white version of some art that was also used in Bellum Maga. Specifically, the picture of the perfect progressive girl from the shitty stupid podunk town that got burned to death because her school lost a football game.
Next: Equipment rules.