Tager & Friends

posted by Ettin Original SA post

<Mikan> does anybody else think Ettin protests too much about Ctech and he's actually one of the authors

Ancient Enemies: Tager & Friends

As usual this is an introductory post to cover the first chapter.

Ancient Enemies posted:

This is Ancient Enemies , the core resource book for the Shadow War. In these pages, you will find a detailed exploration of the Eldritch Society, that mysterious secret society that fights against the threats that threaten to destroy the New Earth Government from within. You'll also discover a wealth of information about Tagers, including new Character options and types. Find out what it's really like to join in symbiosis with something from beyond time and space. Go even further to indulge your symbiont and metamorphose, becoming a brand new kind of monster.

Then you'll have a chance to go behind the scenes and discover the forbidden world of the Children of Chaos and the Chrysalis Corporation. Learn how they work and go in-depth about their horrible shapeshifting minions, the Dhohanoids. If you'd like to play on the wrong side of the fence, you'll have the chance to explore Chrysalis Corporation characters more personally, even to the point of taking on Dhohanoids as Characters.

Welcome to Ancient Enemies . The Shadow War beckons...

There's a list of setting terms here, but I'll be explaining them later anyway, so I'm skipping it. After that, it's time for the chapter list again! Here's what you can expect:

Ancient Enemies posted:

Chapter One: Welcome is what you are reading right now. It's meant to help ease you into the vision for this setting expansion
and give you a reference for what this book contains.

Chapter Two: Scions of the Forgotten provides an in-depth look at the mysterious Eldritch Society. It contains all aspects of the organization, including how Tagers come to be, what it is like being a Tager, how the Society functions, and where regular people fit in.

Chapter Three: Eldritch Acolytes provides a variety of new character options for Eldritch Society characters, including new Qualities and new professions. It also includes new rules for customizing Tager manifestations, as well as the rules for metamorphosis.

Chapter Four: Minions of an Endless Chaos details the Chrysalis Corporation, as well as other aspects of the greater Children of Chaos. It explores how the cult works, what it is like to be a Dhohanoid, and the threat the cult is to the world.

Chapter Five: Children of the Chrysalis introduces new rules for designing and playing Chrysalis Corporation Characters, including new Dhohanoids, rules for Dhohanoid Characters, new magic and technology, and full guidelines for Storyguides.

Chapter Six: Appendices includes the index.

Next up it lists some Source Material. Two sources! Guyver's the first, and let me tell you: If Tagers and Dhohanoids didn't really remind you of Guyvers and Zoanoids yet, you are going to notice pretty quick. The second is Wikipedia and Google Maps. They said this in Mortal Remains and I'm still not totally sure they looked up anywhere that wasn't America, but we'll see!

Okay, next up we have the traditional sidebar:

Ancient Enemies posted:

If You Downloaded This Book
So if you're one of the people who has downloaded this book illegally off the internet, let's talk. We want to stay in business. We don't get to stay in business if you don't buy our products but you use them anyway. In more personal terms, if you like CthulhuTech , please go out and buy the books, because if you don't we go out of business or we kill the line because sales suck and boom – no more CthulhuTech . You lose, we lose, everybody loses. Everybody loves something for nothing, but this sort of thing comes with a price whether it's money or not.

Doesn't sound like a loss to me, etc.

Oh, and finally:

Ancient Enemies posted:

A Note About Metaplot
Some people love it, some people hate it. Regardless, there is a overarching plot that is a part of CthulhuTech . That doesn't mean you have to use it.

There are parts of this book that will refer to events in 2086, which are detailed in the Damnation View . If you are a fan of the metaplot, then all is well. If you're not or you don't want to use the particular material to which this book refers, then ignore it. Just layer the information here onto the baseline game from the Core Book and you are good to go. There's not so much that you won't be able to easily strip it out.

As always, you bought the book. It's your game. Play it however you'd like.

This was in Unveiled Threats too, but I skimmed it there because it wasn't funny. I'm not sure why I included it here, actually. This definitely isn't going to get hilarious later.

Next time: Tagers!

Scions of the Forgotten

posted by Ettin Original SA post

Sounds like you need a palate cleanser.

Ancient Enemies: That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie

So, Ancient Enemies. Last time we covered the intro and the usual boilerplate stuff, so let's go ahead and check out the next chapter.

Chapter Two: Scions of the Forgotten starts with a fluff story about an Eldritch Society lorekeeper getting stalked by a Dhohanoid. It does not go well for the Dhohanoid. This part of the book that doesn't suck, at least.

The rest of this chapter is a 34-page rundown of how the Society works. Like many "setting" books, those pages are mostly text. I'm going to assume anyone who's curious to know all the details will just get the damn book, and cut it down to the cliff notes and the silly bits.

History: A few decades ago, five years after the Children of Chaos took over Chrysalis Corp, their T99 Division found an ancient ruined city in the Arctic with "a gigantic monolith inscribed with a writing never before seen on this world". They transcribed everything on the monolith, then blew the ruin up because of fucking course they did. The book spends two paragraphs describing the Corporation fucking this up:

I hope this is plot-relevant later and not something that could have just not been posted:

The T99 Division’s first step was to figure out a way to translate this dead and alien language. For three months, the best and most talented linguists the Chrysalis Corporation had to offer spent all their waking hours pouring over every occult language known to humanity, hoping to get some sort of a foothold on the script. Finally, they had it and the pieces began to fall into place. Over the coming months, they translated every piece of the monolith.

The problem was, none of it made any sort of sense.

After several months of grinding away at the problem, someone finally suggested the obvious. Their cipher was wrong. It was time to start over. Another half year passed while the researchers worked to avoid the traps they’d already fallen into, but finally a real cipher was discovered.
The translations were named the Ta'ge Fragments after the supposed author. They had a secret history of the world, new rituals, and legends about a group of gods called the Forgotten Ones who weren't mentioned anywhere else before. It also went over the Old Ones, and something about the way they were portrayed made even the Dhohanoid scientists reading it question what Chrysalis was up to. Eventually twelve of them were somehow able to recover their humanity long enough to team up, steal the Fragments , wipe Chrysalis' data so hard they smashed hard drives, and cheese it. The three that made it out alive went to ground in Seattle and secretly recruited people to help them finish researching the Fragments. After someone said they were basically a secret society at this point, some chuckefuck decided they needed a name and the Eldritch Society was born.

Then the Founders talked about what to do about Chrysalis. They already knew the government was corrupt enough to be giving the Corporation sad handjobs (accurate), so coming out to the NEG sounded like suicide. Eventually they discovered the Rite of Sacred Union hidden in the Fragments , which joined a person in symbiosis with an eldritch being without compromising their humanity. They managed to rustle up six volunteers. Three died horribly and one ritual just straight-up vanished, but the remaining two became the first Tagers. After a few more attempts, they worked out that the survivors were people with "both an iron will to live combined with a desire to master the extra-dimensional entity that joined with him" and worked out a training program which upped the survival rate. By 2067, they had enough Tagers to wage war against the Chrysalis Corporation.

Then this, one of the rare parts of CthulhuTech that kind of rules:


Their children off to battle, the Founders stopped to take stock. They had done what they set out to do. They had kept the power of the Ta’ge Fragments from the Chrysalis Corporation. They had formed a formidable resistance to the cult’s predations. All of it would exist long after they were gone. The time had come, as they knew it would. The Founders were each Dhohanoids and it would only be a matter of time before the pull of the Old Ones drew them back. They had already begun to feel it and the dreams were coming more and more frequently. If they wanted their precious Eldritch Society to survive, the Founders would have to go. To be truly safe, they would need to die.

Two of the three Founders decided to be metal as fuck and go through an assisted ritual suicide. The third, Marcus St. Xavier, decided to "find his death in nature" and wandered off into the Arctic to see if the isolation would help him "resist the call of the Old Ones" for longer. I'm sorry to whoever on the CthulhuTech staff created Marcus, but "find his death in nature" is code for "I am too much of a shitty baby to go through an extremely metal alien seppuku." Marcus is a shitty baby. The book says that nobody knows what happened to him after that to leave his return a possibility, but I hope he doesn't.

Two pages down!

Founders: The next page talks about the Founders some more and how they've become legends to the Eldritch Society. The first one, Adriana Diotrephes was their top translator. Like Marcus, her name sounds like a refugee from a Gundam fanfic. She was a hyper-intelligent Ciraqen, which means she could teleport. This "became key in both her survival and in the removal of the Ta’ge Fragments when she rebelled," but I kind of feel like if your mission had a 1/4 survival rate and at least one of your members can teleport you fucked up. Maybe it's just me. I wasn't there. I won't judge.

The second guy is Shen Meng Rui. I am just going to post this because it's kinda fucked:


Then there was Shen Meng Rui, who had started out at the Chrysalis Corporation as a project manager. However, his natural attention-deficit disorder, while it helped make him a highly efficient project manager, had also made him a jack of all trades. He was, among other things, an archaeologist, a theologian, a linguist, and an occultist. It was no surprise that the Children of Chaos had their eyes on him within a few months of starting at the company.

Shen was always looking for the new challenge. He did his best work under pressure, against odds at which others would blanch. All the Chrysalis Corporation had to do was keep presenting him with greater and more exciting challenges. By the time he was exposed to the cult within, Shen was ready to be elevated to a whole new level. Undergoing the Rite, he became a Vrykol, which only exacerbated his ADD tendencies.

You're not a jack of all trades, Shen, those skills describe half the people working dig sites in the Levant. Also, ADHD is a learning disability. Being scattered or having multiple interests is not the same thing. I don't expect designers to read the DSM before they write characters, but you could have Wikipedia'd that shit.

Marcus St. Xavier was a sorcerer and Thog-Manna and a shitty baby. The names of the other rebels have been forgotten, but the Society are still trying to find their names. I feel like this is something one of the Founders would have known, though? I mean, they worked together. It's not like these three dipshits staged a dramatic revolt and then went "oh, by the way, my name is Marcus St. Xavier and rainbows make me cry" on the train to Chicago.

There are more hints that Marcus could be back one day, and apparently some Tagers hope Adriana and Shen will come back even though there are Tagers alive today who helped them die. I hope they all stay dead.

The Shadow War: The Tager-Dhohanoid slapfight. The War is still secret because the Tagers don't trust law enforcement - the government usually reacts to Tager sightings with monster-hunters in powered armour - but some Tagers are working on it. It's rough, because not only are the Chrysalis Corporation careful to cover their tracks ( allegedly ), but they still have plenty of politicians in their pocket. Some in the Eldritch Society are spreading information on the internet and financing "documentaries and other forms of legitimate media" to discredit the Corporation, but it hasn't done much so far. All told, even though they've set the Corporation back years, the Tagers are losing the Shadow War.

(There's also a part about how Eldritch Society double-agents who work at Chrysalis - they're usually para-psychics or Outsider Tainted, because nobody asks why you're not undergoing the Rite of Transfiguration if you're a telekinetic with a monster dick, and they usually bail in 6 months-2 years - but this part is inserted in the middle of the above section so it's a little jarring.)

A few pages in and I am already falling asleep. Next time: Skimming this chapter even harder , probably.