Bellum Maga by Kurieg
Coming Full CirceOriginal SA post
So have you ever found yourself reading Witch Girl Adventures and thinking “You know what, this could really stand to be more like the World of Darkness”? If so A: Seriously re-evaluate the decisions in your life that have brought you to this point. and B: You are, unfortunately, not alone.
Bellum Maga is brought to us by “Novus Dea Games” which I’m told is bad latin for “New Goddess”, Bellum Maga is “Female wizards of War” but I’m guessing they were aiming for “War Witches”. Novus Dea Games consists of Abigail Soto,(one of Witch Girl Adventure’s main artists), her sister Penelope, and a small army of female artists providing interior art. There’s also an editor credited but near as I can tell this book has had absolutely no proofreading beyond a spellcheck pass because there are several fairly obvious typos that can be noticed with even the most casual reading.
It has a “condemnation” section that’s completely superfluous given the entirety of the rest of the game’s context, and contains our first typo (trying to turning), it won’t be the last. And since this game is White Wolf as fuck, it has opening in-character fiction.
Coming Full Circe
My Death and Rebirth by Minerva Winters
My story starts the day I died. It’s a tad cliché I know but it’s actually true not just for me but for my sisters in the struggle to save this world.
But before we get to my story, let me tell you another one, a sad one.
Ever hear of Digahol Iowa? No you haven’t, no one has, unless your from there and if you’re from there and you’re not me you’re not reading this.
Digahol is everything you should fear about small town life. It’s a farm town and I have nothing against farmers or farming, I personally like food and I have the curves to prove it. But it’s also a very insular town, with a population of just under six-thousand, the three non-white families are treated and viewed as if their zoo exhibits and are known with upmost respect as the Nigger-Johnsons, the Gomexies and the Chinks-Chans(who last name wasn’t even Chan).
Since our ‘protagonist’ is describing herself, I might as well post the accompanying photo.
Yes, her hair is purple, to what degree it is purple varies widely depending on the artist, but we’ll be seeing a lot of her.
Like many a small town Saturday night is either football in the fall or party night for the teens at the lake. The lake is where a sad chubby little girl named Tammy Winters was raped twice, once at age fifteen and one again at age sixteen.
But don’t worry about Tammy, because according to the people of Digahol, Tammy got what she had coming.
Her family the Winters were farmers, they were struggling but not poor. Her father was a former local football star, her mother a respected lady who was always willing to help her neighbors and her five brothers, great athletes, popular and handsome. Tammy, the only daughter and the fifth to be born was different. She was short, dumpy, wore glasses, listened to nigger and devil music and was cursed with the one thing population of Diaghol could not tolerate, intelligence.
Being smart wasn’t easy for a girl in a town where the internet could be found in only two places, the school library, the local library, where cell phone service was so spotty most people just had land lines and where any technology created after the microwave oven was seen as “New Fangled”. Yes, so amidst, a town full of racist, god-fearing luddites was born a girl who would have graduated from high school at the age of thirteen if the Digahol Iowa school system had bothered creating a gifted student program. Instead she was forced to sit in class bored and berated from the ages of five to sixteen.
Now, while tammy was pretty much persona-non grata among her peers, she was loved by her family, protected by her brothers and cherished by her spinster aunt who encouraged Tammy to be Tammy.. However, being a girl, who outsiders treated like trash can warp a person and as smart as she was, the fifth child of the Winters didn’t exactly treat her family well, especially as a teenager. Hate and hormones turned her into a self destructive rebel. She slept with boys who despised, drunk to much, did drugs, screamed a lot and thought cutting herself was a worthy pastime.
Still despite being a what she was and acting out how she saw fit she knew Digahol was not for her and the day after graduating first in her class and being denied a valedictorian speech she left Diaghol swearing to never return.
Also: as the next paragraph will tell us she apparently graduated at the age of sixteen, with the rest of her class, despite the fact that we were previously told that this mysterious nexus of sexism and racism in rural iowa doesn’t have an advanced placement program and she spent two years in a downward spiral of sex, drugs, and self harm? This is ludicrously implausible.
New York City, is no place for a sixteen year old girl with a bag full of clothing, 34 dollars in her pocket, half a pack of cigarettes and no friends or family. Tammy learned several hard lessons her first year in “The Big Apple”. She learned how to beg, how to steal and how to ignore the pains of hunger that rumbled in her stomach. Roaming the streets with teenagers like herself that slept in abandoned house, ran from the police and got high sniffing glue in central park she knew her life would be a short one but still the freedom she found here was better (at least in her mind) than the one she had in Digahol.
Now, a lot of people talk about hitting rocked bottom, about that point in one’s life where you have reached your lowest point and you have to make a decision, stay there or rise above it. For tammy it was when she sold her body for food at the tender age of eighteen and was beaten and raped by three men who though twenty dollars meant that they owned her. It was two days of horror that actually motivated her, not to get out of her current situation or to return home but to end her life.
How would she do it? Steal some sleeping pills?, hang herself, slit her wrist, jump of a bridge or just walk into traffic. A stout atheist she had no delusion about a “next life”, but rather just wanted her current life to end. So Monday morning in June Tammy winters stole some sleep aids from the local drug store and consumed them all in a crack house near the docks. Two day she woke up in the psychiatric wing of a local hospital, strapped to the bed with the name Jane Doe on her charts.
Three weeks later she managed to escape from her “prison”, hell bend on finishing her life by any means, She would keep her date with the Reaper. Now before we go any further I feel the need to tell you, Yes I was Tammy, I was this pail little mousy white girl in glasses, no one gave a second look at. And hindsight being twenty-twenty I could have made some extra money Cosplaying Velma from Scooby-Doo if I wasn’t a self destructive junky. But instead I found myself sleeping on the streets, plotting my early end. The only positive thing to come out of that tragedy was that the doctors at the hospital assured me that I wasn’t pregnant, so I wouldn’t be killing me and an unborn baby.
So yeah, rock bottom, suicidal and alone when not sleeping where I could I made my way to the Central Library where like a lot of the homeless hid from the weather and police, but unlike a lot of my downtrodden brothers and sisters I also used my time there to read and on the internet. It was there I saw that fourteen year old girl was killed in for witchcraft in the suburbs of Omaha. Burned as a witch in the 21st century, in an American suburb it was unthinkable and it shocked me. Shocked me so much that it consumed my thoughts, it replaced my self hate and I like so many others started to chant on the streets “Avenge Ashley”.
During one of the protests I met a some people who helped me. They gave me food, money, pointed out some good shelters and the greatest gift of my life up to then, a book. “The Chants of Circe”. Ragged, stained, and reeking of weed and bourbon this book spoke of Circe, the witch from the Odyssey not as just an enchantress but as a goddess, seer and rebel who fought for the rights of her sisters against the brutality of a powerful Patriacracy (ed: yes, they spelled it that way) . It told the story of a girl from a fishing village who was actually a goddess it talked about how Circe found her true calling and how through her you (the reader) could do the same.
I was still an atheist. I didn’t believe in God, Santa Claus, or Superman and FYI at the time I placed them all in the same category. But still here I was with this book, my life marginally better and a mind that was once again curious and aching for knowledge. So against my better judgment and my logical mind, I prayed to Circe, I confessed my sins and my fears.
The confessions helped, having a goal sated me and while I didn’t know it reading that book was the first nail in Tammy’s coffin. Not long after that prayer, while walking in the central park I found a wallet, in it was fifteen hundred in cash and credit cards, Despite my reprieve from darkness I was still no angel and saw my ill gotten gain as a chance, so I sold the credit cards and ID. to a guy I knew for a few hundred dollars and took it and the money, got a place at a pay by the day motel, got myself cleaned up and enrolled at the community college. I of course thought the prayers were just my own personal therapy at first, they made me feel better, less alone and more focused. For me Circe was a character in a book that I… Tammy felt kinship with and talked too at night.
Then came the day that Tammy died.
I feel like I’m stroking out please send help.
She.. It… was Circe, tall perfect, voice like honey and eyes as green as the sea. She told me I was special and that she had heard my prayers. That I was being tested before being tapped for the most important mission of all. I was to be her priestess and that the world that I knew, it’s history and it’s present were a lie created by a creature she called “The Old Garden Snake”.
So if a strange exotic lady who looked equal parts, Greek, Indian and North African told you she was your goddess what would you say? What questions do you ask? I just sat there dumbfounded and slack jawed as she told me that I had to die to be reborn. that the final part of my journey towards priestess hood, the final act of commitment would be me doing what I tries to do before.
Hey Tammy, here’s a question you should ask your god, “Why did you feel the need to rape me 5 times?”
The rite was Simple, a silver knife, a bath tub, candles, a full moon and drop of Circe’s blood in the tub where I slit my wrist and bleed out hoping against hope I was right and I wasn’t dreaming the days previous events. So, about 10pm that night Tammy Winters died, and Minerva Winters was born.
Minerva was my nickname on the streets and in the clubs I would beg myself into hoping some guy would buy me a drink and get close enough for me to steal some cash out of his pocket while he thought I was giving him a hand-job. It was a name I felt kinship too, it wasn’t Tammy it was the facade of the cool, witty girl I played when I needed too, the person I wish I was.
So, yeah I died and as all of you reading this knows, when you die your life passes before your eyes, the best and worst of it plays out before you as your brain shuts down, your heart stops and you die. But instead of moving on to the next world or ceasing to be, in this case I found myself merged with the all knowing, all feeling, all loving Goddesshead, I felt its love for all of humanity, it’s fear of the Serpent, it’s ability to forgive and its lust for vengeance. I felt for the first time as If I was were I belong, were I needed to be and loved unconditionally, It’s something we all feel right as we’re tossed back into our bodies as they are renewed and rebuilt
I thought when I woke up I would be a supermodel, but you see the idea of the supermodel is a lie of the snake, physical beauty and perfection comes in all shapes and sizes. I was me, but not me, I was curvy, still needing glasses and still as pale as a Nordic ghost. My brown hair was gone replaced by naturally purple hair, my favorite color, a color t shared with my eyes. I no longer felt tired or sluggish, I felt alive, I had new lungs, new liver, new heart and a new brain sharper than ever. I was a Maga, a Demi-Goddess in the flesh and beyond all of that and the joy of a new life I felt something else…. I felt magic.
Circe was my Patroness, I was her daughter just as much as I was my mortal mother’s daughter. Her power didn’t just flow through me, it was a part of me. If I had to describe what magic feel like thing of it as if the endorphins you feel from laughter and love are always on, it’s a steady very subtle high that never ebbs and explodes when we releases it. That’s why we smile when we use magic, because for us magic is joy.
So there I was a fully armed priestess of the Goddesshead, with more power in my pinky finger than a grenade and while I expected to be given a grand and glorious mission in the name of the Circe and her sisters instead I was sent to the ass end of Texas(El Paso) to rescue what I first thought was the most morally reprehensible person I’ve ever met, my Roomate Selene.
The Goddesshead isn’t some benign deity who rewards only the justice. She knows that every army needs a sword and some times the best swords are those that like to be bloody. Selene cruz was a young woman from a dirt poor family. Her father made a living as a day laborer her mother stayed at home unable to find work due to a medical condition. Selene loved trouble and was near fearless and had a particular hate for the often brutal El Paso Police who shot and killed her cousin on a routine traffic stop.
So it came to the surprise of no one when Selene found herself on the run after spray painting “Pigs” on multiple police cruisers. That after being arrested, she was handcuffed and beaten, but instead of taking the beating Selene grabbed the gun of a careless Policeman and shot her attackers and killed four policemen before being tasered, beaten and shot herself.
Less than a year later she was on death row. The laws of humans and the will of the Goddesshead are not the same. Poverty, hopelessness and brutality had turned Selene into what she was, she was the victim of the society of and when she saw no other way out like me she had made up her mind to die. This time however she took four men with her who upon research turned out to be known for their brutal tactics and case after case of suspects dying during arrest. Thus any sympathy I had for them vanished. Further investigation revealed the men were members of the ultra right wing snake backed “truthkeeper’ organization and that “Black Viper” was in charge of training the police to deal with “borderer incursions”.
That’s the “the Old Garden Snake” works, it corrupts an organization and that organization it’s members and soon that corruption spreads. It’s on that mission I learned sometimes you have to cut out the “cancer” to save the body. I came in posing as an idealistic lawyer. A little bit of magic made the ruse believable but the serpent’s men knew I was coming or at the very least sensed me there and attack. LIke I said I was new, I was green and I had never been shot at. In the end I failed to reach Selene. The first time.
But I had a plan to save her as I was saved. But instead of being reborn in water, she would be reborn in fire. Knowing I couldn’t get in to see Selene thanks to Black Viper guards and their minions I magic the mind of the Prison doctor and sent him out to poison Selen. Well not poison so much as induce a coma, have her declared dead and as per her wishes, her body cremated. Part of the poison was a drop of my blood, flush with the power of Circe. And hopefully her blessing.
Everything worked without a hitch up until the point Selene, rose from her ashes like a phoenix and start setting everything on fire. Thankfully during the chaos I managed to rescue her and get both of us back to New York City.
And so my story started and so has yours, I hope it’s not as “exciting” as mine, I’m more at home turning slum lords into slugs than being out on the front lines battling snake men and Nazi-super soldiers., even though I seem to find myself doing that too. Thankfully I have a coven at my side as I’m sure you do too. Our war is a hard one and It’s one full of hard decisions and sacrifice. SO be careful out there and if you need any help you have my email address. Till my next time., give them hell sister!
So yes, not knowing what would happen she poisoned her charge and set her on fire, and then it all worked out okay, and then they left for New York somehow! And she doesn't understand how commas and periods interact! Don’t worry everything's fine!
Would you believe me that this is going to get worse before it gets better?
Since it’s exceptionally short, let’s squeeze in the first chapter as well.
Chapter 1: Beginnings
It opens with an in character form letter from “Minerva, High Priestess Circe” that doesn’t have many typos outside of her apparently not being the High Priestess of Circe. And the phrase “Time to woman up!”
What is Bellum Maga (No question mark)
Take the modern world, and “place it a fantasy setting” where witches battle the patriarchy for the minds and souls of earth.
Is this a Feminist Game?
The fact that this isn’t just “FUCKING YES! NEXT QUESTION” in 72 point font is a travesty.
Since most RPGs are full of male fantasies, vapid female characters and racial prejudice (“I know a lot of you are thinking that’s not true, but it is if you really look at it.”) they decided to make their own.
That’s not to say that they’re wrong, RPGs have usually been male power fantasies, the issue is that they went way too far in the other direction.
That’s not to say men and boys can’t play this game. Nor is it saying this game has any agenda other than having fun in a different kid of universe. One where the ladies are taking the lead and bringing right-wing-conservative-racist-luddite leaders and their followers to task.
That isn’t to say that the “Patriacracy” isn’t probably primarily caucasian and male. Just that there should be some outliers, just look at Fox News.
Once Upon a Time
“The world of Bellum Maga is based on two premises That History is a lie and that Fairy Tales are real.”
Right so.. a summary. In the beginning women ruled the world (as was right) because mankind still revered the earth and the Goddesshead. This universal time known as the “Pax Majestrix”(Peace of the Great Woman) came to an end 5000 years ago when Cain(yes, that cain, apparently) made a deal with a being of discord and destruction known as Rex Anguis (The Snake King). Cain freed the Snake and it engaged the Goddesshead in a stalemate battle and the power of the Maga weakened as the Goddesshead used it to try and cage the serpent which was feeding off of mankind;s “war, greed, intolerance and ignorance”.
The Maga thought they were abandoned and either killed themselves so their power could return to the Goddesshead, or went into hiding. “Man” in this time villified the Maga, turning them into the “dark sorceress, the evil queen and the deomoness.” until Maga faded into myth. But then a girl was burned at the stake in Nebraska(I’m still confused as to why) and there was a nationwide outrage of women which weakened the Serpent and empowered the Goddesshead to create more Maga.
One thing to note is that this game uses white wolf's dice system, but with d6s instead of d10s, 123 is a failure, 456 is a success. Critical hits and failures still exist, but as "all 1s" and "all 6s", meaning that it's virtually impossible to crit once you get higher amounts of dice, but it's also nearly impossible to crit fail.
Now it’s time for our second favorite part of any white-wolf-ish book (there aren’t stereotypes, sadly) the lexicon!
- Attributes: Character statistic that represent that characters most basic abilities
- Crit: When you roll all 6s on a roll .
- Difficulty: The number of rolls needed to succeed on an action.
- Flub: All 1s on a roll.
- Goddesshead: The sentient force aspect of creation that protects the earth and all things on it.
- Gamemistress: The person who runs the game, acts as referee, decides the scenario, places the NPCs and helps keep the story organized and moving forward.
- Health: How much damage you can take before you die.
- Initiative: The start of combat where characters and the Gamemistress(representing NPCs) decide who goes first by making an inactive roll (Agility+Brains).
- Maga: Women powered by the Goddesshead.
- Mana: The mystical energy of a character can be used to activate gifts and talents.
- NPC: Non-Player character: a character in the game controlled by the Gamemistress.
- PC: Player Character
- Round: hen everyone in a combat situation in game who can do something has done something is considered a round.
- The Patriarcracy: The current system of government created.
- Victim: The target of a gift, talent, or combat skill.
The chapter closes out with a chat log where women reduce men to things only fit to do their housework.
Next time: Character Creation: Take two Parts World of Darkness, one part IKRPG, add Fate to taste
Character Creation Pt. 1Original SA post
Chapter 2: Character Creation Pt. 1
The chapter opens up with.. uhh..
This artwork, which uhm... yeah.
"Maga are a diverse lot. They come in all braces, nationalities and with all manner of attitudes." Though the thought of all of the Maga being in traction fills me with a deep sense of satisfaction, I'm assuming our illustrious author means "Races". That said the only thing that really differentiates the characters in their art style is skin color, but considering the one canonically hispanic girl in the book is white as driven snow, and being reborn can apparently change your hair and skin color we really can't be sure. As opposed to the fact that being turned into a Maga can change your skin color is something that should probably be addressed properly , surprising no one, the book does not. Anyways, a Maga character consists of a few different parts
Your "class", this determines your starting suite of abilities and your base attribute distribution
Patronesses give you some minor bonuses at start and as you level up, sometimes ability discounts, soemtimes unique abilities, but considering that different Paths have Patroness restrictions this is sort of like "Race"? There are a giant pile of them though.
The Merit/Flaw system from World of Darkness.
These include not just actual knowledges like Science or Law, but things like "Battle", "Crime", and "Domestic"... no seriously.
Magic spells of some variety or the other
Not just loot you may have acquired from previous adventures, this also includes contacts, familiars, and thralls... we'll get into those last ones later.
Each class gives you 18 starting attribute points four or five "Starting Talents" and five or six "Starting Knowledges", you also get 30 "Path Points" which you use at start to buy extra knowledges, attributes, benefits, gifts, and swag. Yes, one gigantic pool, also it only costs one path point to increase any of those by one. I can already hear those people with any knowledge of how white wolf games work going "Now wait a minute" and my answer to you is yes, this is broken as hell. Though your starting attributes can't go above a three, your starting knowledges either can't go above 5 or 3 depending on what you read. You can't get gifts above your Level+2, and Swag can only go up to level 5 ever i think?
Leveling up is handled Iron Kingdoms RPG style, at certain amounts of XP you get a parcel of things. Level 2 gives you +1 to an Attribute, +3 skill points(Looks like they missed their find/replace for "Knowledges"), +2 gift levels, and +1 Mana. The major problems with this system are that you only get 4 Attribute rank ups, whereas you get 25 "skill points", also you only get a relatively anemic 17 gift levels across the 10 "Path Levels" Meaning if you want one of those rank 10 spells you had better save the fuck up. At this point I think it's fairly safe to say "This game was never playtested, these level up bonuses were never balanced, we now enter into uncharted territory, abandon all hope ye who enter here."
Our purple-haired wonder's roomate shows up again, with another black shirt with a pithy saying on it. Collect them all!
Do you like charts? Because we have charts, lots of charts.
I love how we have "Super Human", "Superhuman", and "Superhuman". As well as two levels of "Demi Goddess", and the fact that you can apparently have "Olympic Levels" of Brains, Allure, and Luck. Also: remember how I said you only get four attribute rank ups as you level? It's impossible for anyone to get above rank 9 in any attribute.
Anyways, the stats are Might, Agility, Fitness, Brains, Resolve, Allure, Resolve, and Luck.
Might is how strong you are, and how much damage you do in hand to hand combat.
Rank 4 is roughly about the spot where current human maximums are, though the longest long jump is 30 feet.
Agility's chart is bog standard run speed its used in dodging and ranged attacks but they're not on the chart and It's not really worth reproducing.
Fitness determines how much health a person has, as well as how long they can exert themselves how long they need to sleep, and how fast they heal. This is definitely one of the stronger stats in the game but I'm not sure how Ms. Soto would deal with Marathon runners.
The Intellect stat. It gives you one extra knowledge point above 1, which can allow you raise knowledges up to 5 at character creation.
Allure: "charisma and forcefulness" higher allure levels allow you to 'allure' multiple people at the same time, and increases the maximum number of thralls you can have at one time. Yup, mind control is a thing.
Resolve is "willpower" and you can "ignore a horror level" equal to half your resolve rounded down.
Do you want to cast spells? Put 5 in this stat. Seriously, every single spell uses spirit to cast, and the intensity of spells is based on how high your spirit is. It also determines how much Mana you have and how long it takes to regenerate mana. In a more sane system at least one of these would be a different thing but...well..
In any 24 hour period you have a number of bonus dice to apply to any roll equal to your luck stat.
Now it's time to go over the different classes, while we marvel at that redhead's nose.
Techno-mages, I wonder if their magic only works if they make their computers look like they were ordered from Barbie's dreamhouse catalog. Also their quote includes the phrase "Ariadnians more than any other Maga respect humans the most. Human ingenuity for them is something to immolate and advance on instead of something to laugh and look down at." 1:I hope they aren't setting computers on fire. 2: Since when are Witches not human? I thought the entire point was that you were saving humanity from the serpent? Did that change somehow?
Starting Attributes: Might 2 Agi 2 Fitness 2 Brains 3 Allure 2 Resolve 2 Spirit 3 Luck 2.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, News, Magic, Observation, Technology, and Science
Cybermancy: Ariadnian can spend a mana to control any piece of technology with a circuit board. She can also see and decode wireless signals and increase their strength or shut them down entirely.
Imbue Technology: Aradnians can enchant items with mana allowing them to cast gifts. (Including healing gifts that activate when the maga falls "uncurious") This is, however, broken, because to imbue an item you need to pay it's full mana cost+1, but after that you can recharge it for just a single mana point. I shouldn't need to point out that is broken.
Sorcery Code: Ariadnians can use electronics to perform rites instead of circles or sigils
Techno Magic: Ariadnians get 2 dice when using magic on modern devices to improve or enhance them and can spend mana to add 1 dice to any repair roll.
Oh yeah that's not racist at all . Divas specialize in mind and sense altering magic.
Starting Attributes: Might 1 Agi 2 Fitness 2 Brains 2 Allure 3 Resolve 3 Spirit 3 Luck 2.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Craft, Magic, Performance, and Persuasion
B.S. Detection: Diva know when they are being manipulated, and +2 dice to resist attempts to manipulate their thoughts or emotions.
Empath: Diva can read anyone's emotions, and know if they are telling the truth though they can resist with resolve or spirit vs the Diva's spirit or allure. She can also spend a point of mana to extend their empathy to anyone they know regardless of distance.
Magic Mastery: Divas get +2 dice to cast any spell that involve mind control or reading, or manipulate senses and they can't Flub those rolls. And they can add up to 3 dice to such casting rolls for 1 mana a die.
Muse: They can add up to 3 dice to performance rolls for 1 mana a die.
Siren Song: Diva can "sing a gift", dividing their dice amongst the people they want to affect with it but their dodge dice are halved while they're doing so (for.. a reason?)
These are the black mages, more or less.
Starting Attributes: Might 2 Agi 2 Fitness 3 Brains 2 Allure 2 Resolve 2 Spirit 3 Luck 2.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Battle, Magic, Persuasion, and Ruse
Dominate: Anyone a Domina currently has intimidated loses 2 dice to resist their gift and allure skill rolls. They can also spend a mana point to augment an intimidation roll so it acts like a gift, making said intimidation lack for 1 hour per spirit.
Defiance: Since they're Grrrrrrrrrls they get +2 dice to rolls to resist intimidation or fright mechanics.
Magic Mastery: When casting gifts that "cause pain, damage, humiliation, manipulate the mind, sense, or involve mind reading" which is an absurdly large array of abilities, the domina get +2 dice and can boost up to 3 times.
Some Pain, Some Gain: Anytime a Domina damages someone they can spend a mana point to heal one level of health. They can also regain a point of mana whenever they kill someone with a spell, and such dead people are at -2 dice to resist being summoned, controlled, or otherwise "used" by her.
The more traditional combat/protector maga.
Starting Attributes: Might 3 Agi 3 Fitness 3 Brains 2 Allure 2 Resolve 2 Spirit 2 Luck 1.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Athletics, Battle, Magic, and Survival
Amazon Fury: Furies can spend a power point to ignore minuses to rolls due to lost health as long as those rolls involve combat, no duration given for this ability however.
Arcane Athlete: Furies an spend a mana point to buff their agility, stamina, or might by 2 for 1 minute, and they can have 2 or 3 stats buffed at once.
The Call: Furies can spend a point of mana to find someone in imminent danger in a 1 mile radius, or to know if someone that they're sworn to protect is in danger.
Gladius: Furies can make a Magical melee weapon or longbow (chosen at character creation) that ignores all non-magical armor and deals +2 dice of damage for one point of Mana.
Broom Jockies (Cigar/cigarette count 3)
Starting Attributes: Might 2 Agi 3 Fitness 2 Brains 2 Allure 2 Resolve 2 Spirit 2 Luck 3.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Athletics, Battle, Drive and Magic
Boost: Harpies can spend a point of mana to double their flight speed for 2 rounds in combat and 1 hour out of combat.
Have Broom Will Travel: Harpies start with a free level 3 transport that must be either a flying broom or carpet.
Need for Speed: Harpies can spend a point of mana to either accelerate to their maximum aieral top speed or come to a dead stop, and they get +1 dodge while in flight and can cast gifts on brooms with no minuses to rolls regardless of the situation. I'm getting horrible flashbacks to vehicle mechanics and I haven't even touched the storytellers section yet.
Three Point Landing: Harpies can spend a point of mana to halve damage from any fall or crash while on their broom/carpet.
Wing and a Prayer: Harpies can spend a point of mana to repair their broom or carpet.
Sure... Flight is usually unbalancing in a game unless everyone has it or no one has it, so i'm not sure how this is going to work in a game.
The priestesses of the various facets of the Godesshead, the nominal leaders of the Maga.
Starting Attributes: Might 1 Agi 1 Fitness 2 Brains 3 Allure 2 Resolve 3 Spirit 4 Luck 2.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Magic, Observation, Persuasion, and Scholastic
Avatar of the Goddesshead: Priestesses can spend a mana point either to get a free 1 dice amp to a gift (We'll go over those later) or get +2 to Allure or Brains for 1 minutes
Coven Leader: Any ritual lead by a priestess gains one extra die and can't flub. And they gain the Commune Rite, Coven Rite, and Opening Rite for free.
Favorite Daughter: Priestesses can ignore one action a day that would normally have them lose favor.
Miracle: If a Priestess is one 6 short of a crit they can spend a point of mana to invoke their god ("Yemaya's will it!) to turn it into a crit.
Ancient Witches that have been living for hundreds of years already. (cigarette count 4)
Starting Attributes: Might 1 Agi 1 Fitness 1 Brains 3 Allure 2 Resolve 3 Spirit 4 Luck 3.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Antiquity, Magic, Ruse and Savior-Faire
Legendary Gift: The Regina chooses one gift she knows. It's cast as if her spirit attribute is one higher, cannot flub it, and regains the mana spent on it if they crit
Life Ward: The Regina ignores one dice of magic damage and two dice of normal damage, and gains an extra dice to resist death.
Riches of the Ages: Reginas start with 3 dots in Lifestyle due to dead ex-lovers, shrewd investments, and "perhaps taxing peasants".
Wisdom of the Ages: Reginas start with 5 extra knowledge points to distribute up to the maximum starting value of 5
So, Succubi aren't specifically all about Sexin people to death. But they are all about death and draining people, they also tend to make other Maga nervous. Apparently the Maga nickname for them is "Suck-Butts" and... what.
Starting Attributes: Might 3 Agi 2 Fitness 2 Brains 2 Allure 3 Resolve 2 Spirit 3 Luck 1.
Starting Knowledge: Arcane, Battle, Magic, Persuasion, and Ruse
Fly: Succubi can spend a mana point to fly for an hour out of combat at 200mph, or the length of one combat at 2x running speed.
Soul Eating: Succubi can drain someone's life force with a touch, if they aren't willing it requires a battle roll. They make a spirit+Fitness roll vs the Succubi's spirit(only spirit?) if the Succubi wins they drain 1 health, 1 mana, and the victim's spirit and fitness are lowered by one. Anyone who's drained by a Succubi are at -2 to resist her gifts and allure until they are fully restored.
Thrall: Succubi gain 3 ranks of thrall
Vampireic (Yes they spell it that way) They don't need to eat or breathe to live, but they are vulnerable to silver and holy items. They're at -2 dice to resist that damage.
Common Maga Abilities:
All Maga share a few abilities.
Divine Spark: A maga only ages 1 year for every SpiritXLevel years they have lived.
Earth Child: Maga ignore natural heat or cold, they can see through fog, don't get wet in rain, and don't slip on ice.
Maga Sense: Maga can sense any maga within 100 yards per spirit, though there are gifts that can hide from this sense.
Magic Sense: Maga can..sense magic somehow. The rules are confusing as to when and why but it involves a mana point and a spirit roll.
Gift Knowledge: All Maga gain access to the "Vex Gifts" list.
The various goddess forms that the Goddeshead takes. Each Maga is chosen by an aspect of the Goddesshead and shepherded through the ritual of rebirth by that Aspect, involving a mingling of the divine and human blood. There are limitations on Patroness selection depending on the path
Diva: Not War
Domina: Not Healing
Furie: Not Love
Succubus: Not Light
Maga unlock abilities from their patroness at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 but also impose a pledge that the Maga must follow or lose Favor(XP)
There are a LOT of patronesses and I can't copy text out of this document because each line is actually it's own PNG file. (Who the hell composed this document?) so forgive me for doing this shorthand.
Names: Bastet, "Skemet" and Freya
Of course it's fucking cats. You get a familiar, cats instintively treat you with deference, You gain two Claws of Sekmet gifts for free, can grow claws and shapeshift into a cat, the pledge is to not harm cats, and not to do anything you can force someone else to do for you.
Names: Circe, Eris, and Estsanatlehi
The Maga can sense if something has been changed by magic with a touch. All Circe's Laugh gifts cost one less Mana(min 1), they get +1 die to change things back, can resist gifts that change their form, make their gifts harder to undo, and their transmutations can be made permanent for free. Their pledge is to seek change, be change, and "Do not be afraid of no things".
Names: Yemaya, Mut, Yemoja, Yhi, and Papatuanuku
The character can touch anything and "learn an interesting fact about it" and all Yemaya's Will gifts cost 1 less mana. They get +2 dice to all rolls of creation(!), "cannot not" a roll involving any form of creativit, can spend a point of mana to create something that isn't a weapon, doesn't have moving parts, and weighs less than a pound, and can spend a point of mana to make a level 2 thrall or artifact for 1 hour. Their pledge is to Spread and inspire creativity and never hide your skill.
Names: Lilith, Yohaulticetl, Artume, Ratri, and Nott
The character can see in darkness normally and all Nights of Nix gifts cost 1 less mana, they can control their own shadow, they can increase the darkness of an area in a 30 foot radius, they can spend a mana point to attack someone's shadow instead of them(forcing them to use spirit to dodge), and they can spend a mana point to animate a shadow into a level 3 thrall. Their pledge is to Embrace darkness and keep all secrets you're asked to keep.
Names: Hela, Kore, Mictecacihuatl, The Morrigan, Izanami-no-Mikoto, and Kalma
The character can tell if death is near for someone and all Calls of Kali gifts cost 1 less mana. The character can see ghosts, the character can interact with and harm ghosts as if they were alive, they can spend a point of mana to stave off death for themselves or another for an hour, they can temporarily raise the dead for an hour with 1 mana. Their pledge is to "Accept death and do not fear it" which seems somewhat at odds with their level 4 power.
Names: Corn Woman, Airmed, Serket, Aegle, and Eir
The maga can look at someone and 'detect their health' and all Blessing of the Blue Corn Woman gifts use 1 less mana, the maga can give someone +1 dice of fitness to fight off a disease with a touch, do the same thing with poison, They can spend a point of mana to heal one health, and they can spend a point of mana to cure any disease. The pledge is to heal the land, the sick, and bring hope to the hopeless.
Names: Artemis, Sekmet, Banka-Mundi, Pinga, Skaol, and Devana
The Maga can speak to animals and All Arrows of Artemis gifts cost 1 less mana. The Maga gets +2 to investigate rolls, can't flub ranged attack rolls, can spend A mana point to track a magical being for an hour, and can spend a point of mana to transform into a local apex predator for an hour. Their pledge is to protect animals, not be wasteful, and to always be the hunter, not the hunted.
Names: Athena, Isis, Seshat, Lakshimi, Nidaba, and Saga.
The raise one skill that only uses intellect by one point and use all incant of Isis gifts at 1 less mana point. They can speak any language, read any language, can spend a mana point to gain one skill at 3 points that they didn't previously have, and can spend a point of mana to gain knowledge on anything they are touching. Their pledge is to seek and spread knowledge and fight ignorance.
Names: Ameterasu, Gnowee, Ekhi, Etain, Xihe, and Arinna
The Maga can look directly into bright lights and is immune to Bright Flashes, and All Alms of Ameterasu gifts can be cast for 1 less mana. The maga can turn their hand into a flashlight, can see in any level of light that isn't complete darkness, can spend a mana to deal +1 die of damage for a minute using pure sunlight, and can create a baseball sized mini-sun for an hour with a mana point that they can use for light or as an attack. Their pledge is "Light the way, reverse the sun." Fuck them for not going 'praise the sun' and screwing up the spelling of revere.
Names: Aphrodite, Xochiquetzal, Cliodhna, Hathor, Rati, and Oshun
The Maga gains the Stunning talent for free and all Aphrodite's Arts cost 1 less mana The Maga can detect love, gets +1 allure with someone they're attracted to(?), the character always looks perfect(that's shallow), and the Maga can spend 1 mana to assume the form of someone's true love(male or female) and enough information to pull off a meaningful deception(that's... terrifying). Their pledge is "Believe in Love, Have many Loves, Be Loved" and apparently fuck with people who are truly in love because screw them.
Names: Isis, Hecate, Coyolxauhqui, Kamrusepa, Lillith, and Oya
The character gains +1 spirit, all Lilliths Lost Lamentations cost 1 less mana, the Character regains mana as if their spirit were 1 higher than it is, the character ignores 1 point of all magic damage, the character can't flub gifts, and finally can't flub the magic skill(which is used almost exclusively for gifts) The pledge is Study your Lore and study your power.
Names: Gaia, Ashanti, Nerthus, Bhumi, Nikkal, Pachamama, and Umay
The Maga knows the weather without fail, and all mysteries of mother nature gifts use 1 less mana, they can cause a storm for up to one hour, they can move through any terrain at full speed, they can imbue a fruit with 1 point of mana that can be consumed within one hour to gain a point of mana, and they can increase or decrease the severity of a storm for an hour for one mana point but can't control what it hits. Their pledge is to avenge and protect nature.
Names: Apate, Arohirohi, and Mohini
The Maga wins all ties, and all Hecates Helpful Hexes use 1 less mana, the character's lies are -1 dice to detect, the character can't flub dodge rolls, the character can never go below 1 luck die(!!!!!) and can spend a point of mana to create an exact, fully clothed, dead duplicate of themselves. Their Pledge is to have fun, never take anything seriously, and make others laugh.
Names: Brigantia, Bellona, Durga, Wadjet, Pele, and Brigantia
The character gets +1 to detect an ambush and all Viva la Victoria gifts cost 1 less mana, the character's non magical attacks deal +1 dice of damage, the characters magical attacks deal +1 dice of damage, the character can't flub non-magical attacks, and the character can spend a point of mana to give their entire party +1 dice to hit and dodge. They.. apparently do not have a pledge.
Names: Lyssa, Nemesis, Idrani, and Sekmet
Yeah.. they say Wraith at least 3 times. I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be Wrath.
They gain the flaw Temper and is at +1 damage dice when angry, and all Bellona's Baleful Blights cost 1 less mana, and levels 2-....6 give an additional +1 damage dice while angry Except there are only 5 levels..so.. whatever. The pledge is "MAKE THEM PAY!"
Names: Hera, Atahensic, and Frigg
The Maga knows if a woman is in trouble in a 1 mile radius, and all Hera's prying eye gifts cost 1 less mana, the Maga can tell if a man has harmed a woman on sight, they know how to deliver children without fail, when attacking a man who has wronged a woman they can spend 1 mana to do 1 extra die of damage, and they can mark a man who has wronged a woman, making all women know that that man is not to be trusted until he has asked all the women who he has wronged for forgiveness. Their pledge is to Protect all women from the transgressions of men.
Cigarette count 5
The first line in the paragraph is "Knowledges are skills" then refer to them only as skills from then on.
Contested rolls have both of you roll dice, more successes win, uncontested skill rolls use the following chart and the DM's adjucation.
The names for the skill rankings are.. dumb. Since apparently you can't be an instructor until you've achieved a literally superhuman level of skill, and you aren't proficient until you've achieved peak human ability.
Antiquity Knowledge of history, this apparently also allows you to operate ancient equipment and "ask in a historical manner"
Arcane Knowledge(arcana), it can also be used with resolve to resist sanity crushing events.
Athletics Running, jumping, lifting, but not dodging.
Battle Attacking and dodging, both melee and range. This is an incredibly stupid idea
Crime Doing illegal stuff(picking locks and pockets) and dealing with criminals.
Knowledge of and dealing with situation around the home isn't as trivial as many think. Cooking(brains), Design(allure) are all part of this very complex skill.
Drive Riding animals, driving cars, flying brooms or planes.
Instinct Used to detect if someone is lying, roll initiative, and an alternative dodge stat to Battle(?)
The character can speak extra language other than his native tongue per level this skill is taken.
This skill also gives the character a chance to understand languages they do not know by comparing senate and structure of languages they know as well as body language
Law Lawyer and Police skills
Magic Used to cast all your spells. Let me repeat that every spell uses Spirit+Magic to cast , It's also used to detect magic and to make artifacts but max this stat out for the love of fuck.
Management Running a business... also apparently "Battle tactics". You can use the management roll as an action in combat to "remove a failure die from the rolls of an ally"...that's... that's not how the dice resolution system works ... okay I re-read the gamemistress chapter and apparently 1s subtract successes and 6s count as two successes, except the dice roll examples sometimes show any combination of the resolution mechanics, and the quick reference sidebars don't mention anything of the kind. Fuck.
Medicine Apparently this covers surgery(agility), general treatment(Brains), "healing the mind"(Allure), and holistic medicine(spirit)(fuck). Healing damage takes a giant pile of successes and only ever heals 1 health at a time.
News This is apparently the "bullshit up a knowledge roll for something you can't otherwise explain how you knew", so "i read it on wikipedia" turned into a skill set.
Performance Dancing, acting, juggling, singing, and also apparently gambling?
Persuasion Intimidation, seduction, and regular old persuasion here.
Ruse Lying, disguises, and hiding/sneaking.
Savior Faire Knowledge(high society)
Scholastics General knowledges but it's described as "your reading, writing, and mathematics skill" in case you need to make contested speed reading rolls?
Science ALL THE SCIENCES
Survival That snake is dead, that snake is fucking dead.
Technology Because knowing how to put a computer together means you know how to set up a network means you know how to hack a computer means you know how to put a car together.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Benefits cost path points and you can have a maximum of 5 points of benefits, flaws give back path points and you can have a maximum of 5 points of flaws.
Agile Req: agility 3+, you can't flub agility rolls and have +1 dodge dice
Athlete Req: agility, Muscle, Fitness 2+ "You work out regularly and treat your body as a temple" you treat your stats as 1 higher for all lifting, running, and endurance things.
Brilliant Soul: Req: Not Domina, Succubus, or Patroness(dark). Can give an ally +1 dice to a roll for 1 mana, have +1 dice to resist dark magic, and +1 to allure rolls as long as you're "Joyful".
Dark Soul: Req... something, though they accidentally copied the requirements from Brilliant Soul. You can spend a mana to give a foe -1 dice, +1 dice to resist light/sun magic, and +1 dice to allure while you're angry.
Elemental Blessing Pick an Element, Air, Earth, Fire, Ice, or Water. ...get a screenshot.
Famous You're famous! you get +1 to allure rols and a free level in lifestyle.
Fairy Req: Not Furie, Succubus, or Ariadnian. You were touched by the fairy part of the godhead. You can see Faeries and you can spend a point of mana to turn invisible or teleport 5 feet, you also gain a free level of art and perform.
Fast Healer You naturally heal twice as fast
Focus You can spend 1 mana to add 1 dice to a resolve roll, and never take penalties due to distractions.
Leader Req: allure 2+ and Management 2+ You can spend a point of mana to give allies within 50 feet +1 to attack or dodge rolls for a combat round.
Likeable You get +1 dice to your first allure roll as long as you're "affable".
Medium You can see ghosts and spend a point of mana to interact with them.
Natural Flight You can fly without a gift at twice your movement speed or 100mph outside of combat. and you are immune to the "Riggers" of such travels.
Night Vision Yup.
Past Life You remember your past life in the Goddesshead, you gain a free rank of Antiquitis and can spend a point of mana to gain your spirit in ranks in a skill you don't have any ranks in for one roll.
Personal Wards You ignore 1 point of damage at all times and gain a +1 dice to stabilize.
Plague You can spend a point of mana to inflict someone with a plague for an hour. Boils give -1 allure, dizziness is -1 agility, sickness is -1 fitness, stinging insects is -1 brains. They can resist with a contested spirit roll.
Polyglot You can speak all languages and gain a free rank in language.
The prophetess powers are a blessing and a curse. As a Blessing she knows when trouble is going her way and gains +1 Dice to avoid Surprises and to Dodge. The downside is the Goddesses Head sense her vision of possible the futures.
Quick Recovery You recover mana twice as fast and can use health as mana if you're at 0 mana.
Scrappy Req: Muscle 2+ battle 2+, +1 dice to attack and dodge in hand to hand and you win initiative ties. it also double Furies arcane athelete durations.
Sharp Eyes +2 to rolls to notice visual cues, you can't flub search rolls.
Smite Req: any patroness but healing ...uhh... You can spend a mana point to just deal your spirit in damage up to spiritX5 feet away. That's... better than most spells as long as you're in close range.
Stunning Req: allure+2 "YOU'RE DROP DEAD GORGEOUS EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT CONVENTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL" (sound of head smacking into desk) you get +1 to allure rolls against those attracted to your gender and you can't flub allure rolls
Succubus Supreme Req: Succubus. When you drain someone to death you can spend a mana point to either turn them into a gem (Swallow the gem to gain acess to their skills and memories for an hour) a zombie(level 1 thrall) or into a single inanimate object with no moving parts.
Wealthy 3 free levels of lifestyle and you gain +1 lifestyle at levels 5 and 10.
Well Educated You can't flub brains rolls and you rain your Scholastic and 2 other brain skills by 1.
Worshipped Req Allure 2+ and Spirit 4+ You've got a group of humans that worship you as a divine being. You gain 1 point of max mana per 2 levels of your thrall and contact ratings, you gain 1 free level of thrall or contact, and you roll a d6 every day when you wake up, on a 6 you gain an extra point of luck from their exceptionally devout prayers.
Wait, I think I'm forgetting something.
So the Goddess can pick trans-men, if she does they're forcibly de-transitioned. Can shapeshift to a manform that's stronger and fitter than a woman but you lose access to all your womenly magics. Can shapeshift your genitals. Gain magical Gaydar. And if you're a succubus you can soulfuck someone to death with your mandick.
It's even messier than that. The wording describes changing back to a fully-functional biological male, which seems to indicate she's misgendering trans women here, misusing terminology in a delightfully confusing way, erasing female-to-male trans people entirely and, my favourite, perpetuating the myth that trans people are innately untrustworthy. After all, you can never know what you'll find in their pants until you reach in... and then it's too late .
So Soto's bad at writing, and either way it's fucking terrible and dismissive.
Yeah we can be done for today.
Next time: Character Creation Part 2, Flaws, Swag, and Spells.
Character Creation Pt. 2Original SA post
Oh right, the adorable death puppy that brings me lasers.
Chapter 2: Character Creation Pt. 2
So let's get back into it.
If you are at all familiar with the Old World of Darkness you know we're heading into a dark place. I just now realized that I forgot to put the costs down for the benefits in the previous section, I also realized that I don't really care.
ADHD Fucking seriously? "This makes learning and staying alert difficult", -1 to initiative and your skills are limited to 4 instead of 5 at the start
Archaic You live in the past, sometimes literally, and can't start with science or technology skills and are at -1 dice to them permanently.
Bad Sight you have "Bad Site" and require glasses or contacts. You're at -1 to observation rolls with glasses and -2 without them. Which shows an amazing lack of knowledge of how contacts and glasses work.
Clumsy "You aren't the most graceful of ladies", you can never have an agility above 2 (Fucking 2) and are at -1 dice to their dodge. 2 in a system that scales up to 10.
Combat Freeze You can't move during the first round of combat and take -2 to all dice rolls, after that your movement speed is halved and you take -1 to all dice rolls. Why is this here? This isn't a flaw, this is "Please shelter and take care of me every time combat starts up also avoid combat cause I'm a primadonna oh wait question redacted.
Some Maga received their rebirth after they were in the prime and others like Regina have just aged be it slowly over time. of their life.
That woman isn't old, she's a fucking Flounder. She's got Deeganmouth! (also Cigarette count 6 )
Any attribute that is determined based on your Muscle, Agility, or Fitness is determined as if they were 1 lower, and unless you're a Furie those abilities are limited to a maximum of 3.
Diffidence ... That's just a fancy word for shy... "This is rare, after all being the hand of the goddesshead does wonder for ones ego. The characters 1 dice to resolve to resist skills, abilities and gifts." Also your terrible sentence structure ruined the mechanics, Good job.
Dubious People just don't like you. You're at -2 dice the first time you use allure to elicit a positive response, and a -1 deice on any following tries. Which... what? If someone I don't trust does something shady that would make me trust them less the next time, not more.
Fragile Yet another "oh god please let the game revolve around me" 'flaw'. Your fitness is limited to 2 and if you ever take more than 2 damage you take an extra dice of damage, and you lose a dice on your rolls to stabilize... Yeah if you take damage ever you're basically dead.
Iconoclast Apparently this is the "Stands out in a crowd" Flaw, because you have pastel hair or a bunch of tatoos. But that's not what Iconoclast means . Sure you stand out in a crowd but it's not really an an indictment against the current system.
Liability Apparently you have to take a flaw to allow your DM to put your friends and family in danger? "The Gamemistress decides hoe the liability is used in game" and apparently the GM does this by prostituting them?
Maiden Fffffffffff You're just too young. Your starting resolve can't go above a 2, you can't have a starting skill higher than 4, and you recieve -1 dice to allure rolls with adults over 18, and -2 to adults over 40. I guess thank god they didn't make the Patriarchy pedophilic?
Misandrist ... excuse me for a moment...
I'm better now.
The hate of males is not actually that common among Maga despite the fact that most of their foes are sexist males. The Misandrist have a true hate for the "hairier sex" and must make a successful Resolve roll not to treat them like an inferior being. If that male has dome(sic) something to earn that anger the Resolve rolls take two successes instead of one and the Misandrist will attempt to kill or worse the male if they fail the roll. Also keep in mind the Misandrist can also choose not to make the roll and jus(sic) unleash her ire on the victim with glee.
Mystic-addiction "Those with mystic-addiction tend to use magic as much as possible,, why pick something up when you can levitate it." The flaw actually has nothing to do with that, though. At half magic points or less you're at -1 dice to any roll. if you ever hit zero you're at -2 to all dice rolls as you start to go into withdrawl because apparently you can become addicted to your own reserve of stamina?
Overconfident You need to make a resolve roll to back down in combat, and take a -1 dice penalty on any roll after one you've failed.
Pacifist ... you need to make a Resolve roll to harm another sentient being, and are at -1 dice to harm one even if you succeed at that.
Plus-Sized ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDI..
There is nothing wrong with being larger than an average lady (It's all about the Bass ladies). Still being Plus-sized comes with a stigma among humans under control of the Patriacracy an(sic) also while you may be strong and Fitness you might not be as swift as you like.
Poor You don't make much money (due to the Patriacracy) so you can't purchase any levels in lifestyle, probably crash on your friends couch or are otherwise homeless, and can't spend more than 2 points on any one item of Swag. Even though Swag is used for things like familiars or things that aren't traditionally valued in money.
Prejudice "The greatest corruption of the Serpent." Most maga are free from this, because they're enlightened or some bullshit whynot. But you're at -1 Allure against people you're prejudiced and have to make a Resolve roll to aid them.
Rage In combat you lose control, and will fight without care for collateral damage. You must make a progressively more difficult Resolve roll(-1 dice each time) every round to come out of the battle rage.
Sadist Once you harm a person you must make a resolve roll at -1 dice or you have to harm them again the next round.
Slow Recovery You recover Mana as if your spirit were once point lower(ouch) you don't regenerate mana at all if your health is at half or less(Ouch!) and your maximum mana is reduced by 2(Why would you take this flaw?)
Superficial "What most Diva Pretend to Be" You're at -1 to all dice rolls if you aren't looking your best, and must make a resolve roll to do something that would ruin their look.
Just copy paste one of my earlier rants, from any book, I don't care at this point, this has killed my ability to do so.
It would probably fit anyway.
Susceptibility You're vulnerable to a substance or form of magic and your magic can't affect it, also if you're bound by the substance you can't use magic at all. Wonder womaaaannn
The character's grip on reality is tenuous at best and some would say she's as mad. The character's actions are erratic and bizarre causing her to need to make a resolve roll to follow plans or do as she's told. In times of crisis like combat or a life and death situation the character roll a single dice(d6), on a six they are totally oblivious and think something else totally unrelated is going on.
Unlucky Your luck is Zero, you can never crit. Sure
Vengeful If you are slighted and fail a resolve roll you must do everything in your power to see your target pay.
what (cig count 7)
Sometimes the rebirth goes wrong and you get Fucking Green Skin , if you don't use magic to hide it you're at -2 to allure and are treated like an outcast. This is the same point cost as having too many tattoos. Also changing your skin color is one of the free spells everyone gets it costs 1 mana and lasts for spirit-hours
Warrant You did something bad, the GM is encouraged to have this come up at least once an in-game week. PLEASE MAKE ME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OTHER CHARACTERS GAME, ALSO GIVE ME POINTS FOR DOING SO, THANK YOU.
Zealot Make a resolve roll or just kill people I don't care the faces on those dogs will haunt my nightmares .
I feel like I could just post this and say "Imagine 90 more pages of this" and not be in any way flippant or wrong. Just look at it.
A woman being turned into a statue
A man being turned into a swarm of flies
A man being turned into a pitbull
A man being turned into a bullfrog
A woman being turned into a pig except her ass is her face and her face is her ass
- Surprisingly zero cigarettes
Anyways, Magic. There are two types of Magic, Cants and Rites. Most forms of magic are Cants, and there are a lot of them, and a lot of them are the same thing except slightly different/more costly. It costs "path Points" to buy gifts, your goddess may discount it, and it takes Mana to cast a gift(at least 1 even with discounts). You can only cast one spell a round. You need to stand still to cast a gift(Unless you're a Harpy) and you can 'spend dice' from your casting pool to "amp" a gift and you can divide the dice from your spell pool between targets to Affect multiple people at a time. You're normally limited to one amp per level per spell but Regina can use an extra? Or something? I can see at least 4 different problems with everything in that sentence but I really don't want to go into too much detail beyond "the mechanics are fucked yo."
There are a bunch of different Amps that I really do not fucking care to go into detail about but probably the most important one is "Permanente" which makes a spell last forever for the low cost of 2 dice.
Yes that is a screaming face in the smoke coming out of her hand. Why do you ask?
Okay, there are twelve pages of Cants, and eight pages of Rites, I'm not going to go into detail on each and every spell, and most of the spell schools are redundant as hell. I'm going to go over the really egregious ones but not "Yet another damage spell". Also there's a fucking ton of
There's a few things that stand out.
The most damage you can deal through a spell is spiritx2
Therefore the quickest way to take someone out of the fight is an instant death spell or to turn them into something incapable of fighting
They use "Liner of Sight" a whole hell of a lot
The only things incompatible with the Permanente amp are spells that make you prettier (so I'm not going to bother with durations)
- That last one is kind of fucked up when you think about it
There are a bunch of gifts for 'helpful' things like curing poisons, growing plants, or raising the dead. I'm not going to post them here, because they're boring and not in any way fucked up.
There is a whole lot of really fucked up shit.
Black Arrow If they fail to resist you destroy their fucking soul and their body falls over dead (6 Mana)
Red Arrow 2 dice per spirit in damage and any living being struck by it and need to make a resolve roll to do anything other than scream in pain. The duration is "recovery" so apparently they have to make a resolve roll to do anything other than scream in pain until they heal up? (4 mana)
Ever-Pain The target cannot die, but they cannot heal, regenerate, or regrow lost limbs. They also become extremely sensitive to tactile stimuli and the merest touch can cause an agonizing bruise (4 mana)
Face of Mercy The targets eyes, nose, and ears vanish. Their skull and skin is altered so that there aren't even holes where they used to be. Their biology is altered so that they no longer need to eat or drink (but.. apparently, not breathe?!?) and they cannot see, hear, or smell. (2 mana)
Maim Point at a limb and if they fail to resist it just falls off, and it can never grow back except through magic. This gift can never cause enough damage to kill (3 mana)
Range: Line of Sight
Duration: Spiritx1 Day
The Damning words sends the target to a pocket dimension. This pocket dimension is a hell of the Maga on design. While in this dimension the target cannot affect the real world and are constantly tortured. When they return they lose permanently d6 Fitnessness Resolve(Sic: I think they mean Fitness and Resolve) due to the severe nature of the torture. The Characters Fitnessness and resolve can never be reduced to less than 1.
Chimera: You can turn someone into an Animal Hybrid, they gain an animal head and fur/feathers/scales/etc/whatever and up to +2 muscle/Fitness/Agility depending on the form, and they can fly/swim/whatever. (3 mana)
Circe's Laugh: You turn them into an animal that is submissive to the Maga and must make a resolve roll to harm or disobey them. (3 mana)
Song of Circe: This isn't a spell, but it's an Amp that can be applied to the previous two spells. "A transformed victim forgets their humanity and becomes a loyal pet of the Maga(1 Dice)"
I'm not making a 'lol she looks like a pig' joke here, but that is not an attractively drawn anything . What is wrong with her elbows!?
Avatar of Kali You or a willing target gets +1 Muscle, Fitness, and Agility per 2 spirit. Resist 2 dice of damage, can fly at twice their normal walk and running speed. Grows 8 arms, +2 dice to any spell that causes damage, death, or fear, immune to spells that cause instant death or fear. Can be made Permanent, and since the participant needs to be willing they literally cannot resist it, who the fuck thought this was a good idea? (cost 5 but who fucking cares)
Also: there's an entire spell school called Mrs Sadie's Sorcery . I can't quite remember but I'm reasonably certain Sadie is a character from Witch Girl Adventures.
Under the tutelage of Circe, Sadie South, a Maga born in the late 19th century who has the distinction of being one of the last "rebirths" before the new twenty-first century categorized and created new gifts in the name of the goddess of change
Cigarette count 8
Range: Line of Sight
The victim becomes either a cigar or cigarette in the hand or holder of the Maga. The person though self aware cannot move or communicate, they can ehar and feel however. As a cigarette or cigar the caster may smoke them. The Maga gains from their victim 1 mana point per health level the victim has left and is privy to the deepest thoughts of the victims and is able to gain as much insight as the Game mistress allows. If a victim is smoked they can still be turned back full and whole but suffer a permanent loss of d6 Muscle, Agility, and Fitness.
Okay, let's.. just dissect that. Apparently "Permanente" isn't some hilarious faux Spanish they just don't know how to spell "Permanent". Also people have a lot of health levels. If this spell goes off you can literally just carry around hundreds of mana points in your pocket and have encyclopedic knowledge of everything your targets know. Also: they are still aware and can feel pain as you smoke them and reduce them to ashes, and will live eternally in that state until they're turned back .
Obliterate: You reduce a target to a smouldering pile of ashes. This is a spell with a duration. It can be reversed (cost 5, the same as Cigarette)
Small: You reduce the target's size by half per spirit rank you have. His physical attributes are reduced by 1 per point of spirit (cost 3)
Cigarette Count WHY WAS I PROGRAMMED TO FEEL PAIN
Transfigure You turn a person or animal into a single inanimate object no larger than spirit x 100 pounds. This gift lasts for 1 hour per spirit unless permanent, and they are still self aware and have all five senses but cannot communicate in any way. They can be broken and destroyed in this form and returned to normal.(cost 5)
Warp: You warp and twist a victim causing "it parts" to grow, shrink, or twist at random. -2 to all dice rolls, their walk and run speed are reduced to 1/4th of maximum, and attempting to do anything causes d6 points of damage (3 mana)
Yeah... Okay.. we're done with Cants... Unfortunately there's still one Rite worth mentioning.
I've hotlinked the full sized version of that image.. just... look at it.
Time: 24 hours to make/30 minutes to smoke
The caster takes a Cigar and dips it in a combination of rum, chocolate, ground(sic?), ebony ash and the blood of a crow. They then sit the cigar in the concoction under moonlight for one night. The next morning the cigar will be ready and taste of rum and cocoa and rum.
The Maga can light and smoke the cigar while thinking of a person they wish to harm. The victim resist the cigar as if it was a Gift (Gift Dice vs Spirit), at this point while smoking the Maga can do one of the following to the regardless of distance between them.
1. Reduce the victim slowly to ash and absorb their mana points to restore the Maga's up to the maximum.
2. Summon the person drawing them through the cigar and out in a plume of smoke. The victim takes D6 damage from burning but not enough to kill them.
3. Shrink the person down to as small as 1/14th of an inch, the victim's height is halved with each puff of the cigar.
The cigar once used can be restored from the but and ash by the Rite of Restoration.
So guess what. There are no hard rules for the power of swag. There are guidelines but the actual strength or utility is left up to the Gamemistress. Also I have no idea why the spell lists are between this and the rest of character creation.
Artifact: A Magical item that helps a witch in some way that isn't casting spells. It can range from "A jacke that keeps the wearer warm no mater how cold it is and has pockets that hold twice as much as they should." or "A suit of magical power armor" or "paints that turn drawings real for a short period of time.
Contacts: Have you played a World of Darkness Game before? They're contacts. except they range up to "World leader" at the top end with "Police officer" at the low end.
Conveyance: At the low end we're talking about a car. At 5 point's it's the literal fucking TARDIS.
Familiar: At 1 point it's a regular pet. At 5 points it's a horse sized dragon.
Lifestyle: A measure of your means and wealth contrasted with your job and hahahaha yeah right have fun with that.
Place of Power: A room or area aligned to the Mage's power. Unfortunately it's kind of poorly worded and only upgrades at certain thresholds. A rank 2 place of power would be helpful since it gives +2 to all your gift dice while inside it and you can never flub, so it's a good place to do Rites I guess?
Talisman: It helps you cast spells, precisely how it does that is left up to the GM, there are examples but they're all over the damned place.
Thrall: Your servants or slaves. The problem here isn't one of context (Though having literal mindless male slaves is.. problematic) it's one of mechanics. They're just not that useful. At rank 1 they only have 10 levels to divide amongst the 8 stats, scaling up to 16 at rank 4. and 6-12 skill points. They're going to be shit in a fight unless you use spells to buff them, so I guess you could use them as your research squad maybe by hyper specializing them in brains and sciences?
Regardless, that's over now, the next chapter is the GM's guide which is mechanically dense and nonsensical accompanied by some pretty insane art. I'm not sure how much time I'll spend on it cause we're definitely going downhill from facepigass pigassface and Holy Fuck Cigarettes.
"Game-Mistress"Original SA post
Chapter 3: “Game-Mistress”
This is what the chapter opens up with. Yes, that is a riding crop in the lead witch’s hand, and her broom has a bulge on it for some reason making it look even more phallic. And there’s a Steampunk Rapunzel. What.
Anyways, the first bit that is gone over are Dice and the rolling mechanics that Bellum Maga uses. As a reminder, we're using an unholy abomination of new and old world of darkness mechanics with d6s instead of 10s. 1-3 are failures, 4-6 are successes, but 1s also subtract a success and 6s add successes. In the long run it's still a pretty standard bell curve with the number of successes averaging out to about half your dice pool, but if you're insanely lucky you could almost double it.
I can already see many many problems. Battle seems like an inordinately powerful skill and replaces instinct in almost every case. The only unique property that Instinct has to it is discerning if someone’s lying, and I’m pretty sure there’s a spell for that. Whether you use Agility or Muscle for your combat rolls is simple, if you’re throwing or firing something at someone, it’s agility. If you are hitting them with something in your hand(or your hand) it’s muscle. No finesse weapons here.
Also: The Magic Skill is used to resist spells. Meaning that any enemy that isn’t also spellcaster is working at half capacity to resist your gifts. Every Old World of Darkness player just cringed.
And they’re going to keep cringing because another terrible mechanic they carried over is the ability to split dice pools. And I’m quoting this next bit for posterity.
If you are using a gift you can split your casting dice pool to cast multiple gifts… if you can also split your initiative pool into an equal number of pools. Also you can’t split any pool down to less than two dice, so if you have a Casting pool of 20 but an initiative pool of 4 you can’t do any more than 2 actions. This is meant to be a limiting factor but the game then immediately states that you only roll initiative at the start of combat, followed in the next sentence by stating again you can split your actions but that means you go slower. The game suffers from Final Fantasy time in a really bad way. In most games, initiative is an abstraction, actions occur in order but they also occur simultaneously in the same time unit. In Bellum Maga, each action takes 3 seconds, after which point you sit around and wait patiently for everyone else to do their actions, meaning a round can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute.
Everyone apparently gets one free dodge a round, all other dodges cost dice from your Battle+Whatever pool (Which, yes. Means that you can now apparently dodge with strength), and.. Uhh..
So apparently you can split your dice pool into multiple pools if you’re doing that to dodge, and these splits don’t cost initiative, and you can then go on to also do other actions that don’t use your battle dice and we’ve officially crossed over the line from “This game is wildly unbalanced” to “The game is broken and does not function”. I’m going to need more screenshots just to get across how completely nonsensical the game gets, I’m pretty sure whatever editor Miss Soto had fell asleep or ran away in fear somewhere around the 8th ‘Torture/Maim/Kill someone by turning them into a Cigar’.
Who likes weapon tables?
The “downside” of Automatic weapons is that Armor and Fitness are allowed to reduce the damage of each individual shot, but they’re still doing more damage than anything short of a superhuman with a greatsword. Someone who knows more about guns than me will have to look through this, but Assault Rifles seem absolutely busted. Also Bows apparently have Magazines now? I would hope Soto had enough faith in her audience to understand how quivers work.
Armor is weird, armor subtracts dice from the damage pool of the attack before damage is actually rolled.
And modern military armor means that you’d need to have at least 10 dice in your damage pool before you’d have even a 50/50 chance of hurting someone. Then you roll Fitness and any successes on your Fitness roll are subtracted from the Successses on the damage roll. And the health track in this game looks like this.
You get your entire health stat in HP at every one of those levels. It just isn’t worth it. If you actually get someone down to Dying, they fall unconcious and lose 1 HP a round until they stabilize. Stabilizing requires you to get 4 successes on a Fitness Roll. A roll you’re making at -5 because you’re Dying. Or someone can use Medicine out of combat to stabilize you. Or, you know, someone could just use magic in this game about magic, 5+ hp of magical healing automatically stabilizes you.
I’ve been hit by a car going 10 MPH, I then proceeded to sit on the roof the remaining foot it took them to stop because 10MPH is not super fast in the grand scheme of things. But that’s apparently the same amount of damage you take from being cold or on fire for an entire minute.
Do you like tables? Because we’re heading deep into table country. Tables accompianied by text that just explains shit that was either explained earlier in the book or is explained better by the table. So enjoy the tables and pictures while I skip a few pages of transcription .
Apparently the threat of taking 1 dice of damage was enough to make them spend their time limited resource?
Leaping over a moving car?
Also child labor, sure, why not.
Pfft, the FBI must be terrible at using computers, hacking a smart phone only takes 3 successes
With that we delve back into the "How to DM a game" advice chapter. It's pretty standard stuff. Have a plan but be flexible, know the rules of the game(ha!), know your players and who/what they're comfortable with. Be cast, co-writer, director, and producer of the story. etc. etc.
It spends some time talking about the various types of game you can run but it's basically "Fight the man" "Fight the man" Fight the man(but sneakily)" or "Fight magic creatures that may or may not work for the man". And tones ranging from Adventure, to Comedic, to "Dark: Playing on your players fears" and I'm not sure I could actually bring myself to be afraid of anything in a game this ridiculous.
And then the DM takes this time to get political.
....Regan? I mean, I could understand maybe George W, but Regan?
Antagonists are the foes of the players characters. Or as the most antagonist think, the characters are their foes. The greatest of villains never see themselves as the bad guys and regardless who they are they should be portrayed more as people and less as mustache twirling clichés.
I give you, Abby Soto two supreme court justices into women and forcibly impregnating them in front of a burning Hobby Lobby.
What the Fuck?
Also note that despite this bulleted list of antagonists, the next chapter will actually contain the antagonists, followed by the chapter which is actually the stats for the antagonists.
Black Viper: A defense contractor that "commit atrocities for profit." They're a Serpent controlled organization that works for the Government both abroad and as private security.
Corrupt Corporation: "Corruptco! For all your evil needs."
Corporation corrupted by the Serpent act without morality, experimenting on people, polluting and worse all in the name of profit. Such corporations are not aware of their corruption despite their dark agendas.
Corrupt Government: The game is quick to point out that the Government and Police are almost universally corrupt and the only people who are duped are the populace.
Monsters: There are dragons and shit.
Rogue Maga: Because picking people solely for their ability to rebel and strength of will can't possibly go wrong oh wait.
The New Saints Church: A far right Christian evangelical church that is "anti-Science, anti-minority, anti-intellectual, and anti-environment" who see Maga as ambassadors of an evil feminist agenda.
The Serpent: You will never actually fight the serpent, just it's minions... which I thought is what we were going over here.
Favor is XP, more or less, but it's also literally the Gamemistress' favor. You're supposed to give out XP for good roleplaying, doing something spectacular, being in line with your Patroness' pledge, etc. But you're also supposed to reward, Assisting the Gamemistress, bringing food or drink for the game, creating art of your character, or posting about Bellum Maga online .
But there's another wrinkle:
Favor isn't just your XP, it's also your bennies.
Why do game designers still do this!?
Up Next: Our Planet is a Lesbian, Big Whoop.
Mystica MundiOriginal SA post
Chapter 4: Mystica Mundi
So the history and worldbuilding chapter is written in character. From the viewpoint of Minerva, Abby Soto's self insert. It's also got a higher percentage of typos and bad sentence structure than the character creation chapter so I'm going to summarize heavily so that both you and I can be done with this book as soon as possible. I'll also include enough quotes and screencaps for you to properly grasp how miserable the experience is.
It's all a lie, every story, legend, religion, you name it, one big lie created so we would forget what was and what can be again,. It's a lie so old and deep that it has spawned lies of its own. It's also why upon our rebirth we all scream and we cry.
My name is Minerva, priestess of Circe, leader of the Greenwich Coven and like you I'm a Maga. For millennia the newly reborn had to fend for themselves and hope the find more experienced sister before they accidentally did something really stupid and really destructive. Now thanks to the Internet and my friend Lin magical servers there's Magicalmavens.com, A website dedicated to our kind, our struggle and our unique brand of problems
Wrapping your head around what exactly the Goddesshead for most people is like trying to explain the Ramones music to a tone deaf yokel in just colors. The Goddesshead is by here(sic) very nature near unfathomable, but for the sake of you and your future as a Maga I will try.
So every planet with life on it has an energy field, and when life on that planet becomes sentient, so does the energy field. When the beings on that planet start to create religions, the energy field taps into that and creates the various earthly deities that the Goddesshead has as facets. Also since only females can create life most proper planets spirits are female as well.
Yes, our planet is a lesbian, big whoop, right?
So the Goddesshead created the first Maga. Their job was to guide all intelligent life on the planet on the correct path. One that benefitted all life and was the best for everyone *coughtheonewherewomenareinchargecough*. After they died their spirits returned to the Goddesshead and became the first aspects. They're still their own people, apparently "Like a large cosmic band that makes is(sic) music together but can if needed be split off and do their own thing."
So what are you? Are you a goddess? A Witch? Or a crazy woman hearing voices? The answer to that question is yes. You are all of those things and so much more.
Think of maga as our world's voice/guardian/trash lady. The Goddesshead has better things to do most of the time than appear on our planet, run things, keep things in order, and get rid of things causing trouble. So they tap us... women who for some reason have the right temperament and potential to do what needs to be done.
We're usually, artist, poets, rebels, criminals, and outsiders, a bit touched in the head and a bit enlightened. They watch us, test us and then one day, usually in our darkest hour come to us and give us a choice, serve or not. Those that do... Well you know the rest, ritual of rebirth, we die, we're reborn and we get the mojo.
Maga have existed since the dawn of humanity. At one time we ruled the world, we kept everything in balance it was a beautiful matriarchy where magic and technology peaked in harmony. Sadly that didn't last and you get one guess why? Here's a hint, it has a penis.
I'm not a misandrist, I love men, I love my man Oliver, I love talking to them, I love the things they do, I love how they look and I love fucking them. But men, but not all men, did cause the fall of our species. And those men who started it had help, and that help is the serpent.
Also: the Serpent? Is actually the Planet Soul of Mars.
But where our planet was a loving mother, it was a the worse "sports dad" ever doing its best to create the ultimate beings through trials and tribulations just hoping to one day attract the power of creation and create a godhead. Along the way his top sentient beings, what can best described as snake people destroyed themselves and left the planet a waste land. So where does a planets conscious goes when its dying? To the one next door which was Earth only our planet was occupied by a very powerful Goddesshead and protected by Maga.
So unsurprisingly, when you're ruled over by an all powerful divine ruling class who tells you how to think and act, you get jealous. Mostly the men (but apparently some women), and some of those men started worshiping the Serpent for the power it offered. They rewrote history, made women into the villains, shored up human society with Martian technology (Yuuupp) but the Maga were able to make the Serpent the enemy in most human religions.. somehow... even though most human religions with villainous serpents have a male god at the head of the pantheon. Also the church of the serpent created the concepts of competition, sports, and mysogyny.
The Rising South
Sarah Diane South (aka Sadie South) is a name you should learn and respect and if you have time, revere. She was the last maga born before the 21st century. Born in South Carolina to the South's, a rich Slave holding family she was an abolitionist at the age of 13, a teacher at the age of 16, and travelling America speaking on slave and women's rights when she was in her 20's. Things people weren't to keen on especially in America in the 1800's.
At the age of thirty Sadie would become a Maga and use that power to change the world. As medium she would visit the White House and talk to President Lincoln about the Evils of Slavery.
After his death she would to the best of her ability while dodging minions of the Society of Serpents place the world on a path towards women sufferage, immigrants rights and racial justice way into the 1920's when women inspired by the students of Sadie would rebel against social norms. Ever wonder why Maga who smoke use cigarette holders even today? It's our tribute to that time.
Sadie would for the sake of hiding her longevity vanish from "public" service for decades after those "roaring" times. Her causes had started to grow strength and the Goddesshead was starting to recover. Across the world things where(sic) starting to improve and across the world the Serpent fought back. It created world wars, threatened us with nuclear annihilation and made us paranoid of various menaces be they communism, a gay agenda, or feminism. For every step forward the enemies of a sane society pushed back. When someone spoke with logic, they spoke with anger, hate and bigotry.
Ashley Porter was a Straight A Student, very strong willed, but not very popular. Mostly because she loved exploring alternative religions, and Arguing with the school board about spending too much money on SPORTS and not enough on Art and Science. When her school's football team lost the big game, someone pointed out that she must have cast a hex on them, so "on a cold autumn evening a group of students and parents dragged her out of her home, beat her, berated her, and burned her alive. The authorities did nothing."
Like literally nothing. Police, FBI, nothing. She was painted as an "Agitator" and a Pagan so only women's groups actually cared that she died. And that wave of fury and anger empowered the Goddesshead enough to empower a new generation of Maga.
She then spends about 2 pages repeating stuff from earlier in the book or stuff that should be fucking obvious.
Though there is a funny bit showing off why Maga don't proselytise.
And saying "HELP WOMEN HURT MEN HELP WOMEN HURT MEN" for about a paragraph.
Witch groups are Covens. Gatherings are groupings of witches from multiple covens who can combine their magic to do crazy things. Like apparently teleport the entirety of New York State to a pocket realm for a week so they could fight an ancient Horror where it normally is. No one remembers it happening because SURE.
Places to go
So let's talk about important places in witch society.
The crossroad is a thing, no one knows what it is, but everyone calls it The Crossroads. You can't get there without a key, and to receive a key you need to be invited by someone with a key. Except the door apparently stays open for a few seconds after you use it so people can follow you in.
It opens up into a vast forest labyrinth that is magically confounding to anyone who isn't a Maga or being touched by a Maga. It's the home of Baba Yaga... Sure. Who is apparently actually an ancient Regina
Beyond the forest lies the Market at the foot of the Cathedral. Where you can buy anything, no matter how morally questionable. The example given are the souls of newborns. Yup, these are totally the heroes.
The Cathedral itself is a meeting place and temple and "Twice as tall as anything built by the Patriacracy". There are temples for all goddesshead aspects, and a giant fucking library containing any book written by a Maga or an uncorrupted woman... Which means there isn't any Ann Rynd because she was apparenty a rogue maga.
Beneath the Cathedral is the "Dea-Womb" which is a giant pit of blood of everyone ever killed by the Serpent. It is the blood in which all Maga are magically reborn but no one can actually touch the Dea Womb and actually being in it's presence is a great honor and I want this to just end.
Suffering Sappho Bar
It's a bar in New York that caters to Maga. There are false storefronts in most major cities that lead to it but it's Patroness doesn't like people using it as a form of quick transportation.
Ms. Sadies School for Girls
Apparently Young Maga are rare, but children of Maga are at a 15% chance to be a maga themselves. That said there are still a few young maga and Sadie has turned her family's old plantation into a boarding school for girls.
Aeaea Coffee House
A coffee house in Greenwich Village run by an Avatar of Circe herself. Minerva works here, as does her totally real boyfriend Oliver.
So yeah, despite the fact that the Maga only marketplace sells the SOULS OF ORPHAN CHILDREN apparently if you break the rules and kill too many "innocents" or use your power for your own ends you go Rogue. What is an innocent? Basically only Children, or people who live off the grid. Everyone else is corrupted by the Serpent. And if you are a rogue Maga, you are subjected to the Hubris rules.
Because being evil makes you ugly.
This is the worst fucking kind of Feminism.
Killing a Rogue Maga returns her power to the Goddesshead, but some Maga like to at least try to convince them to return to the fold.
Everything bad in the world is the result of the serpent. Yes even that. And that.
Society of the Serpent
The SOS is a modern group of the rich and powerful who are aware of the existence of the Serpent and maga. They're also the descendents of the original men who made the pact with the Serpent in the first place. Their public face is the Keepers of Truth, a benevolent semi-religious (all-male) order who want nothing more than to show men and boys how to be proper sons, fathers, and husbands according to the "Ancient Law". Of course the way to do that is to have women at your feet naked and pregnant.
Their goal is nothing less than to rule the world. They teach a litany of Survival of the fittest. Their membership is almost solely European and white. Also there's a Scientology style "Tier" System, with 16 tiers in total. 90% of their membership is at tier 5 or below, and "Maga exist" is something you learn at tier 12. "The SOS is actually a thing" is tier 10. To actually achieve Tier 10 they need to ritually bind themselves to the God Oroboros. And profess the truth that the only reason the serpent is seen as evil is because of "Women, inferior races, and pagan beliefs"
A PMC based out of Idaho that wants Peace at any cost. "Peace" in this case means "Kill all the women and minorities". All of their members are at least a low tier member of the KOT. They recruit from the military, police force, and intelligence forces with promises of higher pay and better benefits. Potential recruits must go through a gruelling 6 month training course where 50% of them drop out or are killed. After a few years of service a Black-Viper member can be called in for "enhancement" where they are injected with the venom of Oroboros and undergo a rebirth of their own. Gaining enhanced speed, strength, and shapeshifting abilities.
The New Saints Church
Yeeeahhh it's the Westboro Baptist Church except it's somehow managed to spread to London as well as the US. "Burn witch burn, kill, kill, kill". Their members are usually recruited from other Christian sects that aren't "Radical Enough". Followers aren't allowed to be baptized unless they have proven themselves through donations and work for the ministry. Men also have to be Truthkeepers in good standing. The baptism binds their sight to high ranking members of the SOS, and they can hear and see through any of the Baptised regardless of where they are in the world. Most members of the church aren't allowed to rise above rank 9, but apparently some of the gifts that members of the NSC are given allow them to undo the ritual of rebirth, and change your sexual orientation.
....Yuuuuup It's literally just Fox News, except the Rupert Murdoch stand in is a rank 15 truthkeeper who's angry that they won't make him a rank 16 so he's trying to literally destroy the middle east through media to prove his worth.
Children of Jormungander
Well specifically the Thule society that went underground after Hitler killed himself. And all the leaders are actually Tier 18 members in the SOS (Did I mention that apparently it goes up to 18 now? Even though they said 16 before?) Their main goals are to kill all the Untermensch and become the masters of the Serpent. Also they use genetic engineering to make serpent-human hybrids because that's how the Nazis work right? They work against the SOS because they want to be the ones in charge and any Truthkeepers they recruit are turned into spies.
Also they're behind the NRA.
Fuck Abby Soto.
And fuck whoever came up with Sadie South.
The only things that are left in the book are the Monster Manual that's really short and incredibly uninteresting beyond some bits of art that are dumb (Like a color shifted Octopus that's apparently a "Madness" and anyone that fails a horror roll against them loses a permanent point of resolve because that's good game design) and a sample adventure that's really poorly designed and involves the characters making Adam West Batman level leaps of logic, the only bit of it that's actually "No wait what" dumb is that the climax takes place in a brothel in an old speak easy... that's actually a giant 7 story tall metal drum anchored in the Hudson River. That's still a hidden secret despite the fact that it's accessed by an elevator that just juts out of nowhere in the water. Also if you don't kill the owner of said Brothel, and punish all of it's patrons, the GameMistress is told to remove favor from the entire group.
I'm done with this book. When it isn't being mathematically terrible, it's a textbook example of the worst kind of Faux-Feminism. Where literally all men are the enemy unless they're your fucktoy. Where it's okay to do everything the enemy does because it's your divine right to do so, and anyone who says otherwise is someone that you are compelled to murder because your Goddess rewards you for it.
So yes. Fuck you Abby Soto, Fuck you right in your punchable TERFY face.