Armageddon by Tasoth
WitchcraftOriginal SA post
So, since it looks like I'll start reviewing Armageddon tomorrow, I want to take a post to kind of set it up. And mostly because I'm an unrepentant Eden Studios fanboy.
Armageddon is set in near future of the Witchcraft setting (check it out, it's free. . And that's what this post will be about.
Witchcraft itself is a modern Occult/Horror game. Players get the option to play Mundanes or Gifted, and if you either have Mystery Codex or Abomination Codex, supernaturals. Mundanes are just normal (albeit heroic) humans while Gifted are those with magic powers. The magic systems in the corebook are Evocations, Seer powers, Necromancy and Miracles, which I'll go into more details in the book. These breakdown into Covenants, which are groups of people that have a shared philosophy, and in the initial book, a specific spell system. What's neat is each system is completely different mechanically from the others.
Evocations are similar to Mage magic in that you buy the base evocation and you can do what you want as long as you can pump the Essence into it. They differ in that there is no pips, so you can drop a fireball on a city if you spend enough time doing a big ritual and gathering Essence. The Covenants linked to evocations are the Wicce and the Rosicrucians. One sees magic is a gift and they should use it to take care of the world, the other sees it as just another tool to use for self advancement.
If you have Pulp Zombies for AFMbE, you have the rules for Seer powers under Mentalism. Seer powers are pretty much psychic abilities and just work when you want them to. There's more, but I'll cover that in the review. The seer Covenant is The Cabal of Psyche and they're hunted by The Combine, and we'll get to them.
Necromancy is not the standard D&D 'I defile these corpses' type of magic. It's more in line with ancient necromancy in which the medium works with the dead to get things done. The Covenant here is The Twilight Order.
Miracles are used by the Inspired, and The Sentinels are the associated Covenant. It's all faith-based, but not Abrahamic religion based. Anyone with strong faith in some form of divinity can call down miracles. This is also the metaphysical system included in AFMbE, but their inclusion in a deadworld is completely up to the GM.
Threats in Witchcraft range from the typical ghosts, vampires, things that go bump in the night to The Relentless Dead, The Combine and Mad Gods. Relentless Dead are undead WMDs, nigh unkillable and able to comeback from pretty much anything. The Combine is named after the organization from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and they are a human conspiracy that is up to no good and quite skilled at keeping people out of their business. Mad Gods are creatures of god-like power from outside our reality, which is based off the Kabbalist Tree of Knowledge. We are in Malkuth, the Creator is in Kether, the sephira between contain everything from Fae, the Dead, Gods and Angels. In Armageddon, The Combine and Mad Gods are pretty much important plot wise.
Have some of my crappy art.
This above? That's is a potential Armageddon PC group. It contains an Atlantean, a Seraphim, a Templar and a Pariah, the last two which aren't in the core book. And while this is playable, it'd be so unfun because the power-level on the Seraphim is ridiculously high. But you could use it if everyone is running the right template.
So why Armageddon? Well, because reading the C-Tech reviews just made me think 'C.J. Carella did existential doom against Lovecraftian horrors better.' Setting wise, mankind starts off boned but isn't in it too deep. There's no half-dozen Outer God/Great Old One cults that are hacking away at an impotent and corrupt government. And while The Army of Revelations is busy kicking the shit out of everyone, there's enough going against them that players can pull out a win.
There's also the play level. Want to play a group of low power magicians and humans chasing down Church of Revelations fifth column in the free territories? Can do. Want to replicate the Maquis and Polish Resistance of WW2 of evading Soul Police during the day and fucking shit up at night in the conquered territories? Completely possible. Want mid-tier Nephilim, Avatars, Kerubim and Gifted to fight for Central and South America in an Alliance bid to push the AoR off its doorstep? Done. Plan on launching Operation ABRAHAMMER and leading Seraphim, Inheritors and Magicians of world shatter power on an assault of the Middle East and be the stone that breaks three continents worth of AoR troops against your resistance? Shit, easy. So yeah, you can scale campaign level on this thing and run horror or action games.
Also, if the thread is interested, I will supply a few drawings per review since I'm not going to scan images from the book. I know I'm not R.K. Post and the other such artists that Eden Studios got to do art for the book, but I am willing to break up the walls of text.
Let's do this for Freedom, Mom's Apple Pie and reality's continued existence!Original SA post
I'm in the final proof reading of the review and I have to upload the drawings I did, but Armageddon review part the first is inbound. I didn't make it through all of Chapter two, but I'll cover what I left out in the next segment.
Armageddon: The End Times review part 1.
Let's do this for Freedom, Mom's Apple Pie and reality's continued existence!
Opening fiction is about a group our narrator is apart of sneaking up the beach in occupied France and setting up a laser designator to guide a cruise missile strike against a sub manufacturing site for the Church of Revelations. Henry, the narrator, used to be a tanker until an AoR tank turned his Challenger 2 into a flaming wreck, he crawled out a charred mess and walked out of a the hospital a week later perfectly fine. A psychic in his team feels a group of mooks charging their position in the night and Henry climbs down to face him. We find out that his mum wasn't exactly faithful with his dad and Henry hulks the fuck out, showing that he is the offspring of a War god and exactly what that entails. Think Space Marine.
We get an intro, that sets up the setting. Leviathan is an Outsider that the Creator hurled out of reality at the beginning of time and he's back for vengeance. He's leading an all out war against reality across the sephiroth and using converts both human and metaphysical. His goal is to get enough converts to his faith that he can fully manifest, at which point reality is boned. And he's doing it through forced conversion through Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. But it's not easy, as the United Nations and Resistance groups face off against him even where the power of the Church of Revelations is strongest, and games set in Armageddon are about the fight to stop the end of the world.
I did this because Little Fears got to me. So, here's a monster saving children. I fucked up a bit on it.
So, the world is currently at war. All of Europe, the Middle East, South America and parts of Asia are currently under control of the Church of Revelations. They're lead by the Apostle (called Dark Apostle by those not hoodwinked by him) and they have some pretty fine military technology. He's also capable of gross feats of magical ability and CoR members who have given most of themselves to Leviathan are becoming monsters. The Dark Apostle executed the Pope on live TV with a pistol to drive the point home that the world is fucked. Nukes were ineffective because they never went off and no one knows if this is because someone fucked with them with magic or the Creator itself stopped it. The supernatural happens, ghost, vampires, sorcerers and angels all are experienced.
The supernatural has existed since time immemorial and has always been a giant power struggle. And throughout history, there have been events of great physical and spiritual conflict called Reckonings. There have been a few big ones, and this is the biggest. The lead up to it saw the number of Gifted increase as well as a rapid growth in the number of supernaturals that even mundanes couldn't ignore. Even turns out the period around WW1 and WW2 was a massive war fought by human sorcerers against a massive threat to reality. Precedents.
Pretty much every religion got it right. There was one supreme Creator entity, but there have been gods, faeries, angels, saints and holy men that are legit for any belief system. Reality is structured like a tree and there are ten sephira (eleven if you count the space in-between). They're all different, and some people believe that our Tree of Knowledge is just one of many all connected at Kether (the top and potentially where the Creator dwells). The book covers five of the more important sephira.
Binah is the sephira of knowledge. It is a state of energy and extremes, the home of elementals and angels. It is not particularly friendly to humans.
Geburah is the sephira of severity and abode of the dead. There's a dark reflection of our world present, and various afterlifes. Lucifer and the devils are stuck here, and as a twist, he either purifies souls of their sins or makes them into monsters. Death also dwells here, and everything is terrified of it.
Kether is where the Creator is said to dwell, but the angels haven't ever been able to find it. When a human is done living, they go here and their souls are never seen again. One of my favorite fan theories is that humans that make it here are drafted into the Creator's army and they launch invasions into neighboring realities.
Netzach is a mythic realm and home of the various world pantheons. Aesir, Olympians, members of the Jade Court, Atzlan, you name it, it's here. Everything is huge and potent here and, like Binah, not a place humans thrive in.
Yesod is the sephira of the moon and home to mythic races: fae, dryads, centaurs, etc. Pushed out by humans, old gods and the angels, they used to live on earth and remember what we did to them. They are also crossing over into Malkuth (our sephira) in large numbers now that the war is underway.
Humans aren't unique snow flakes. The universe has countless worlds, the universe has had countless precursors to humans. They've all just gone wrong somehow and we're the latest in the grand experiment. We all have a Divine Spark that lets us work magic and miracles, the greatest amongst us are able to check angels. We also evolve, so over time, we will improve, change and become something more grand. This has lead to various responses from higher powers, from love, to hate to outright attempts of controlling the human race. But it should be noted, with time all of the higher beings have come to resemble humans more and more.
The Gods and Angels are descendants of the Sephyr, living tools used by the Creator to make reality. The Sephyr split into the Seraphim and Titans. The Seraphim came to embody the spirit and worked for the Creator while the Titans reflected components of reality. At some point, the Creator disappeared, the angels warred amongst themselves, Leviathan try to break through and got squashed by The Flood and the angels went looking for the Creator. When they came back, they kick the Titans out of Malkuth and have operated how they think their master would have them.
Immortals have always been around and have no link to angels and old gods aside from animosity. They've been various banes and conspiracies through history and what they're up to during the war is up in the air. One of the groups counted amongst the True Immortals are the Atlanteans, and we'll get to them later.
Mad Gods are from outside Creation, are anathema to its existence and do not get along with anything, from entities originating in the sephiroth to other Mad Gods. From demons, to angels and the dragons and gods in between, they all share the rule that you don't traffic with the Mad Gods. Which is impressive, since the demons are intent on bringing down Creation in flames and the we know next to nothing about dragons other than they are compared to angels and don't deal with Mad Gods. We also get another short info drop about Leviathan. He is the first Mad God to attempt to get into reality, was expelled by the Creator, was worshiped by Ultima Thule and the Nazis reawakened its interest in reality. Neat.
The Church of Revelations is both successful cult and potent war machine. They front magic, advanced technology and fanatic loyalty in their pursuit of world domination. As a religion, it's got components of both Abrahamic and Buddhist philosophy only with a focus on hurtful self-gratification and obeying the rigid hierarchy that they set up. Leviathan always answers prayers and those who don't convert are hunted down and killed. For, you see, when the only humans left are those who belong to the Church, Leviathan will manifest and destroy reality.
Leviathan is content to let vampires behave as the monsters they are and not punish them. Not surprisingly, there are a large number of vampires in service to Leviathan.
Believers are those that belong to the Church. Leviathan talks to them, makes them offers of what they want. The offers are always tainted, and the listener knows this, but they still take it. Once they accept, they're more or less Leviathan's and the gifts start rolling in, often at the expense of others. They also gain a mark on their hand or head that is described as looking disquietingly similar to the international symbol for hurricanes. This opens up latent magic abilities in those who haven't acquired them yet. Believers are fanatically and will do anything in service to the Church.
HISTORY! Turns out, the 00s feature a financial crisis that smacks the world economy in Armageddon. Turn of the century also marks a shit ton of supernatural events happening, from unexplained deaths to recorded supernatural phenomenon. Up to this point, no one really believed magic was real, and then all this shit started happening, so hate crimes broke out against supposed mystics and religious minorities through out Europe and the US. The governments of the world also noticed that most of the people doing this were born starting around the 80s, and were putting plans in motion. The major Covenants from Witchcraft put an end to it all but making contact, in secret, and offering aid for concessions. So shit got started.
It only snowballs, as organized white supremacist execution squads start stalking the US and release a tape of their manifesto. The economy is in the shitter, minorities are being executed for being minorities and now magic and monsters are loose in the world. Cities exploded into riots. Thousands die, and the cities respond by walling off the ghettos, trapping the poor and minorities in them. An extreme Republican party and well-to-do politicos fought hard and held up the laws that let them do this until the US was at war, and no one batted an eye.
Ya' know, the more I read the setting, the more prophetic it seems.
In twenty oh eight, one million people die in Munich, Germany and only one man is left alive. This former soldier, Johann Goering, proclaims this as a sign of the end times and those who wish to survive must come to believe in 'The True God'. A year later, Berlin tried to take Goering into custody. The CoR resisted and The Apostle showed his gifts from Leviathan to the world. Within six months, Germany was under control of the Church, by 2010, France and Britain were mobilizing for war and Russia tried to but was beset with internal conflicts. In April of two oh one one, Army of Revelations stealth bombers struck the US and Britain, sinking US air craft carriers and doing more damage to an already economically crippled US. German armored divisions and infantry that seemed to manifest from nowhere cripple NATO forces throughout Europe. Less than a week later, France attempted a nuclear option and the devices failed to go off. This was true with every nuclear device in the world.
Six months from the initial bombing day, France fell to the Church. Within two, Spain, Poland and Italy. Rome erupted as the AoR marched on it as host of angels called Ten Thousand descending from Binah.
They were decimated by the technology and arcane power of the Church on live TV. Catholics watched as the Apostle executed the Pope.
But all was not lost. As the Army of Revelations turned towards the sea to invade Britain and Scandinavia, vast storms erupted over the seas.
Odin and the Aesir threw down the gauntlet.
Turkey, Vietnam and Argentina willfully join the Church and open up new fronts. Greece becomes a battleground as the Olympians take to the fields of battle to meet their foe. The world reels as realization that their enemy is more entrenched and possesses a greater reach sinks in. For the first time in two centuries, America has an enemy on its doorstep and capable of bringing it to its knees.
The advance is checked at Texas. Massive devastation ensues across the southwest. Mexico ceases to exist as a cohesive country.
The time is 2017. South America and Europe belong to the enemy. Asia, the Middle East and America are under threat. The enemy is well armed, backed by eldritch horrors and will die before stopping their mad plan.
What will you do to save existence?
Odin is my co-pilot.
The NowOriginal SA post
As we left off last time, it was a general overview that lead to the 'Now' of Armageddon. We're going to start with an info dump on what is happening at the start of play.
We get some estimates of CoR control. Europe and South America are completely under CoR control, with the Middle East roughly divided in half and a third of Asia under their boot. Everyone is trying to rearm and redeploy while keeping the other side in check.
Info dump on the United States . Leading up to the start of the game, the US Armed Forces have had to deal with rearmament without a base of infrastructure, threats ranging form CoR and supernatural horrors and religious fanatics trying to secede in the face of the end times. The president leading into the 2011 AoR bombing raids stepped down and the current president since then has been a former marine and the first female president. She has held the union together, takes a hardline stance with secessionists and terrorist and uses magic assets to their fullest. Life continues on in the nation, with most people carrying on their daily lives with just a wee bit more spirituality. Unless you're poor. Then you are stuck in the ghettos setup by the security act and are locked in with supernatural monsters. So fuck the poor. Also, apparently areas of the midwest are home to roving gangs of bandits. Fuck the midwest as well. On on interesting note, the Native Americans have largely been divorced from the larger affairs in the United States. Sure, they still send troops, but they are staying on the rez and quiet. Oh, and Native American sites of magic power are growing stronger. The Native Americans are going to fuck you. The US military is swelling as weapons are being produced and volunteers (Yes, there is no draft. Yet.) are enlisting everyday. There is also an independent command unifying soldiers with supernaturals of all ilk.
In the Americas, US Marines, Venezuelan and Brazilian armed forces are the only thing keeping a chunk of Brazil free of the CoR. Native Americans in the jungles of the Amazon are waging their own war with mystic force and spirits of the jungle. Also, the Quebecois are being dick bags and their secessionist movement has been co-opted by the CoR. Dicks.
An Avatar of Hou Yi attempts to stop the pursuit of a Shaitan.
In Asia, CoR control stretches from India to parts of China and no modern army exists on the continent. The CoR has also crippled or destroyed many of the governing bodies outright as the war started. But it's cool, as damn near everyone is resisting the Church. Guerillas are active everywhere and are getting support from the free nations. Traditional secret societies raise hell throughout occupied china, as well as mystic ones like the Storm Dragons, who use supernatural kung-fu to beat monsters to death.
Now I want to see Feng Shui used for this.
In Europe, only the UK, Northern Europe and bits of Russia remain free, and only thanks to the gods of the Norse, Ireland, and Britain. The fey are also flooding into the forests of Europe to take up the fight, and that means there might just be dragons in The Black Forest. Resistance movements are also prevalent in Europe as they are in Asia, but face more of a challenge as they are literally in the Dark Apostle's backyard.
When the AoR came thundering out of Turkey, took Iraq and Syria, it was a coalition of Persians, Muslims, Jews and Christians that held the line and stopped them where they are. And to top it off, an army of angels dropped out of Heaven and started fighting alongside everyone. This has resulted, not surprisingly, in everyone putting aside their differences in belief because the angels don't pick sides and fight for everyone. Well, most people put them aside.
And the chapter finishes out with what Armageddon is about and how you can play either a heroic character or a selfish anti-hero.
Chapter fiction! A kerubim (we'll get to them eventually) is reborn into the world amid after-the-Battle-of-Paris Paris. It's still bombed out and broken 6 years after it all went down. He meets up with his contact and they go join up with the rest of their cell. It's a pair of mundanes, a Seer and a Fallen Seraphim. Strange bedfellows indeed.
Now it's time for Chargen, mother fuckers! So, Unisystem chargen is a point buy system with attributes, skills, qualities and drawbacks. Drawbacks obviously give you points back for buying more stuff. There are eight components to characters. They are:
Qualities and Drawbacks
Concept is completely narrativist. There are no mechanical benefits from it, but it helps to define who your character is, history, what they are like. The book lists several example concepts and suggests you should make your own. Each concept has a short paragraph about what they are, defining questions to help flesh out your character, suggested qualities and drawbacks and suggest professions your character could be coming from or still involved with. Here's one from the book.
Someone has wronged you and now you seek revenge. Your tormentors could have been individuals, or might have been an organization. In the latter case, you may be seeking vengeance against all individuals in the group. Whatever was done to you (or a loved one) was so terrible that you are obsessed with the thought of paying them back.
Defining Questions: Who wronged you? Was it an individual or group? What did they do to you? Why did they do it? Do you know why or do you even care? How did the injury or insult affect your life? How are you going to get your revenge? How does getting revenge affect your life?
Qualities and Drawbacks: You tend to have an obsession with the target of your revenge. You tend to make enemies of those you are targeting, those allied with them and the authority. (Adversary drawback)
Professions: You may come from any walk of life. Stereotypically, you're a former soldier, police officer or someone with combat training. You might have previously been mild mannered with a normal job, but the heinousness of the crimes against you have pushed you through a transformation.
You too, can reenact Old Boy with a supernatural death machine or Gifted with cosmic power.
Next is Character Type . This supplies the points you'll need to buy attributes, skills, qualities and drawbacks and is broken down into four categories: Pre-heroic , which is for characters that were relatively normal until right before the game began, Heroic , which are the character types that appear in Witchcraft and are based around 80 points, Legendary , which are the characters that are starting to set foot into the big leagues and are based on about 100+ points and the final category is Mythic , which represents the heavy hitters and lesser true gods/top tiered seraphim.
The third step in the process is Association . These give you a blurb on what they represent, common qualities and drawbacks, common skills, metaphysics, special abilities and common professions. Your choices at this point are:
This is the alliance of the old covenants of Witchcraft with the mundanes of the world.
Heavenly Host: The angels that have saddled up and come to malkuth.
Infernal Legion: The demons and their servants straight from the Pit in Geburah. They're fighting for reality, too.
Lodge of the Undying: Atlanteans, immortal lesser supernaturals and Gifted who have managed to arrest their aging. They're a wildcard in the war as they really aren't united in whether to punch Leviathan and the Church in the face or not.
Lone Wolves: Solitaires from Witchcraft, unaffiliated from White Wolf games. They do their own shit, and it may or may not synergize with the war effort.
Pantheons: The titans, their get and avatars. This is where you'd find Zeus, Odin and such.
Watchers: Serpahim and Titans that slipped away from their respective sides along time ago and came to Earth to help mankind climb back up to where they were before the angels nuked the Earth the first time Leviathan showed up. Both the Pantheons and Heavenly Host have a hard-on for taking them out.
Next is attributes. They range from 1 to 6 in mortals, with six being olympic or better style traits and two being average human. Supernaturals can have higher stats. The stats are:
Determines hand to hand damage, carrying capacity, physical condition and health.
Dexterity: Coordination, agility and grace. This is a biggy as throwing and shooting rely on this stat.
Constitution: Health, disease and fatigue resistance. Used in determining fatigue points and health.
Intelligence: The ability to learn, integrate data and find connections. This isn't a level of education (that's skills), but how fast your mind works.
Perception: The five senses and how fast an individual picks up on things. Important for Gifted, detectives and people that rely on reading details.
Willpower: Force of will, the ability to resist tempation and important for Gifted as it is a primary attribute for casting.
Attributes are used to determine secondary attributes, which are Life Points, Endurance Points, Speed and Essence. Since they're printed up in Witchcraft and that is a free PDF, I'll post the formulas. The slash denotes either-or, depending on race.
LP= (Str+Con)x4/5 + race bonus.
EP= (Str+Con+Wil)x3/5 + race bonus.
Speed=(Con+Dex)x2 for mph; Con+Dex for yards per second.
Essence= Sum of all primary attributes + racial bonus.
Next is Qualities and Drawbacks . They have a cost/reward for taking them and some have a mechanical effect, some are narrative. There are mundane Q&Ds and supernatural. Supernatural qualities are important because all the races in the game are bought as qualities. It also is where you buy the ability to perform magic, essence channeling and being the next leg in human advancement.
An Inheritor of War runs afoul of a horde of Arisen.
Next is skills . There is a crap ton of them, and skills can be used with the various attributes to do different things. A skill with intelligence may mean you're using it for info, while with dexterity you're attempting to use it. Which I think is a great concept. Basic skills cost one point per level up to level five, then five points per level after. Specialty skills, which are things that require specific training, are two per level til five, five from then on. You can also buy a focus, which gets you a +2 bonus in a narrow portion of the field, such as Occult (Symbology). So that's skills.
Next is metaphysics . As an aside, each race in Armageddon and Witchcraft get their own pool of unique supernatural abilities. Anywho, the metaphysics listed are:
You work miracles and, depending on how strong your faith is, use prayer as a weapon against your enemies or to aid allies.
Magical Invocations: These are your spells. They're kind of like Mage's spheres, but don't have ranks in it. You buy one, you can cast stronger spells based on how much essence you dump into it.
Necromancy: Not your standard D&D and fantasy fare. Mediums in Armageddon/Witchcraft actually work alongside spirits of the dead and can manifest ectoplasm to interact with them.
Primal Powers: This is what Gods and those linked to them use. Requires an Aspect that the God/Avatar represents.
The Sight: Psychic abilities. Have an art and a strength, which reflect ability and outright strength of the effect.
Supernatural Attributes: Some of the things that go bump in the night or descend from heaven as wheels of fire can spend metaphysics points to boost their attributes.
Spirit Patrons: Make a bargain with an entity, gain powers as long as you uphold your end of the deal. This was introduced in Abomination Codex to help reflect the introduction of a Voodoo based Covenant.
Theophanies: Not only do angels get to throw around celestial fire and dick with probability, they get metaphysics that up their powers even more.
After that is possesions , which is standard fare of 'What do you have?' To finish the chapter and the character, you just need a name, an appearance and any little character traits that might stand out in the narrative. After that are ten Archetypes , which are effectively pregenerated characters that are there for use as an example, used on the go or modified by the players. Most Unisystem games contain 'em and I think they're neat.
The Soul Police are always watching.
So, dudes and dudettes, this is your objective for the next update: Come up with a character that covers seven of steps discussed. It will be a heroic character, specifically a Gifted since I want to explain the magic system in depth, at least for the Inspired/Medium/Gifted/Seer aspect. If you want, I'll take two more of the Legendary and Mythic tier with whatever choice the thread wants to see.
Also, a list of races: Kerubim/Qliphonim, Lesser/Common.Greater Seraphim, Nephilim, Avatar, Incarnate, Inheritor and True Immortal.
ChargenOriginal SA post
If a Bliss Stage inspired system is really being made, I would love to help with it, especially a relationship system.
I also can't help but love SLA Industries' setting, even though it is so nineties it hurts. Same with the art.
This post is chargen! Woooo!
Since no one gave any suggestions, I figured I'd do a detailed chargen of all the character types at the heroic tier. These are the same character types available in Witchcraft, so I'm not too terrible worried about covering them.
The first character is going to be based off the Seeker of Knowledge concept. He is someone who feels a strong sense of family and community ties, and is trying to learn as much as he can about the Church members to combat him. Because I like being pretentious, lets make him a first generation American born Indonesian. His older brother and younger sister both joined the marines once they could, but he went to college to get an education and came back to help his family. Given he's a minority, that most likely means he or his family are in one of the walled off ghettos. This guy is going to be a Kolchak type character.
Since he is a mundane, he is an 80 point build. He gets 25 points for attributes, 20 for qualities (10 more in drawbacks) and 35 in skills. Before we spend points, we get to pick an Association. I felt Lone Wolf would have been appropriate, but the special it grants is of no use. Given the next two characters are going to be a part of the Watchers, let's make him a member. Since he is mundane, he gets a +2 to resist any power that controls his mind.
So attribute buying has come up. Attribute points are a 1 for 1 cost until you go over five, then it is 3 per level. Seeing as how the character concept is more of a detective than a monster puncher, I'm going to drop 6 of the 25 points into Strength, Constitution and Dexterity, giving each 2 points. As for mental traits, dropping 4 each into Perception, Intelligence and Willpower gives us someone who is way above the norm in means of noticing things, analytical ability and straight up resisting mental strain, magic and temptation. So far, that's 18 points. For seven points, let's bump his str, per and int up by one and his con and dex by two.
So far, this is the character.
Concept: Seeker of Knowledge Type: Mundane Str 3 per 5 Dex 4 Int 5 Con 4 Wil 4
Concept: Seeker of Knowledge Type: Mundane Str 3 per 5 Dex 4 Int 5 Con 4 Wil 4 LP: 38 EP: 38 Speed: 16/8 Essence: 25
Concept: Seeker of Knowledge Type: Mundane Str 3 per 5 Dex 4 Int 5 Con 4 Wil 4 LP: 53 EP: 38 Speed: 16/8 Essence: 25 Qualities -Charisma 3 -Contact (Police) 3 -Contact (Street gang) 3 -Fast Reaction Time -Hard to Kill 5 -Photographic Memory -Situational Awareness -Nerves of Steel -Acute Sense (Sight) Drawbacks -Minority -Honorable 2 -Reckless
Concept: Seeker of Knowledge Type: Mundane Str 3 per 5 Dex 4 Int 5 Con 4 Wil 4 LP: 53 EP: 38 Speed: 16/8 Essence: 25 Qualities -Charisma 3 -Contact (Police) 3 -Contact (Street gang) 3 -Fast Reaction Time -Hard to Kill 5 -Photographic Memory -Situational Awareness -Nerves of Steel -Acute Sense (Sight) Drawbacks -Minority -Honorable 2 -Reckless Skills -Brawling 3 -Dodge 3 -Firearm (Handgun) 3 -Notice 3 -Questioning 3 -Research/Investigation 3 -Science (Chemistry) 4 -Smooth Talking 3 -Streetwise 3 -Surveillance 3
This is the finished character.
Name: Tony Suhurto Concept: Seeker of Knowledge Type: Mundane Association: The Watchers (+2 to resisting mental effects) Str 3 per 5 Dex 4 Int 5 Con 4 Wil 4 LP: 53 EP: 38 Speed: 16/8 Essence: 25 Qualities -Charisma 3 -Contact (Police) 3 -Contact (Street gang) 3 -Fast Reaction Time -Hard to Kill 5 -Photographic Memory -Situational Awareness -Nerves of Steel -Acute Sense (Sight) Drawbacks -Minority -Honorable 2 -Reckless Skills -Brawling 3 -Dodge 3 -Firearm (Handgun) 3 -Notice 3 -Questioning 3 -Research/Investigation 3 -Science (Chemistry) 4 -Smooth Talking 3 -Streetwise 3 -Surveillance 3 Gear: -.45 pistol D8x4 7-10 1/1 -Class 1 Armor D6+7 4/2 -Camera -Notepad and pencil -Forensics gear
I'm still willing to go through the other two character types if it is wanted, up to you lot.
Character 2Original SA post
Alright, time for char two.
We're going to make a Lesser Supernatural this time. They get 15 points for attributes, 15 for qualities (10 from drawbacks), 25 points for skills and 25 points for metaphysics. Let's begin.
Our Supernatural is based on the Warrior concept. She kicks ass, takes names and thrives in the fires of battle. She may be relatively normal in between sessions of bloodshed, but her life is only complete with a weapon in hand and enemies in front of her. She's also a Watcher, so that means she is out to elevate humanity back to something impressive.
Now, when you drift outside of a bog standard human, the stat maxes change and most supernaturals get a stat bonus, which is in a table format in the attribute section of chargen. For kerubim, all physical stats have a max of 9 and mental six. Strength and Constitution get a +3, Dexterity a +2 and Perception and Willpower a +1. Breaking up the fifteen points, this is what our character looks like.
Concept: Warrior Type: Lesser Supernatural Association: The Watchers Str 5 per 4 Dex 5 Int 3 Con 5 Wil 4
Concept: Warrior Type: Lesser Supernatural Association: The Watchers Str 5 per 4 Dex 5 Int 3 Con 5 Wil 4 LP: 100 EP: 100 Speed: 20/10 Essence: 65
So here she is so far.
Concept: Warrior Type: Lesser Supernatural Association: The Watchers Str 5 per 4 Dex 5 Int 3 Con 5 Wil 4 LP: 100 EP: 100 Speed: 20/10 Essence: 65 Qualities -Kerubim Drawbacks -Minority -Adversary (Anders) -Cruel -Humorless -Zealot -Secret (Warrior Angel)
Concept: Warrior Type: Lesser Supernatural Association: The Watchers Str 5 per 4 Dex 5 Int 3 Con 5 Wil 4 LP: 100 EP: 100 Speed: 20/10 Essence: 65 Qualities -Kerubim Drawbacks -Minority -Adversary (Anders) -Cruel -Humorless -Zealot -Secret (Warrior Angel) Skills Acrobatics 2 Driving (Cars) 2 Escapism 2 Guns (Assault Rifle) 2 Hand Weapon (Spear) 2 Humanities (History) 2 Intimidation 2 Martial Arts 2 Notice 2 Tracking 2
And with that, we get to possessions and finishing her out. I figure a spear, assault rifle and car. No price listed for assault rifles, so that's a bust, but 300 for the spear, electric cars cost the same as they do today apparently. So spear, beat up electric car and a run down apartment somewhere in the walled ghetto that Tony haunts. Right.
Name: Emily Concept: Warrior Type: Lesser Supernatural Association: The Watchers Str 5 per 4 Dex 5 Int 3 Con 5 Wil 4 LP: 100 EP: 100 Speed: 20/10 Essence: 65 Qualities -Kerubim Drawbacks -Minority -Adversary (Anders) -Cruel -Humorless -Zealot -Secret (Warrior Angel) Metaphysics -Battler -Concealer -Theophany 4 Gear: -Spear -Car -Apartment
Now let's factor in her Battler Theophany.
After a round of concentration and expenditure of eight essence, her dex goes up to 7, her spear to 5, meaning she starts with a base level of success of 13 before adding the die roll. Of note here is that every success level above 13-14 adds one to the die of damage before multiplying it. Her strength also goes up to eight, meaning that on a roll of five when determining when she hits nets an 18, +2 damage to the die roll. Her damage die roll is now (d6+2 )x 8+1, giving a range of 27 to 72. On average, she'll be able to one shot most mundanes on a roll of three, be able to take down low level supernaturals in one shot on a extremely good roll, on 2-3 hits on average.
Combat in Unisystem Classic is not something you get in to on a whim and is definitely slanted towards monsters in melee combat.
Characters, The FinalOriginal SA post
Last character from the Heroic tier before we move on. We've covered Lesser Supernatural and Mundane, so this entry is for The Gifted.
First step: concept. This character is going to be based off the Forsaken concept. She's an individual society wants nothing to do with and lives on the fringe. Contact between her and the normal people tend to be hostile exchanged because of what she is. This means she's most likely living on the streets and destitute.
Character type is Gifted. They are built with 15 points of attributes, 10 points of qualities (10 in drawbacks), 25 for skills and 30 for metaphysics. We also have to eat the point cost of the supernatural quality Gift off the bat. It's five points, so in truth, we have 25 points for metaphysics. So far, Lesser Supernatural has more points for Qualities and the same (after purchase of Gift) 25 for metaphysics. Mundanes start with 10 more points for attributes over both, have 10/5 more quality points than gifted/lesser supernaturals, and 10 more points for skills over both the other character types.
As before, she's a member of The Watchers, and this nets her a free level of a metaphysical ability when we get to it. Looking ahead to the metaphysics chapter, there is no one attribute that really stands out as being important for what I have in mind. Lets throw four points into Perception, three in Willpower and drop two into the four other stats. That's all the points for attributes spent, and gives us this:
Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3
Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3 LP: 26 EP: 26 Essence: 15 Speed: 8 mph/4 yrd/s
Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3 LP: 35 EP: 26 Essence: 37 Speed: 8 mph/4 yrd/s Qualities: Artistic Talent (Painting) Essence Channeling 3 Good Luck Hard to Skill 3 Increased Essence Pool 2 Natural Toughness Situational Awareness Drawbacks: Covetous (Greed) 1 Recurring Nightmares Resources -4
Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3 LP: 35 EP: 26 Essence: 37 Speed: 8 mph/4 yrd/s Qualities: Artistic Talent (Painting) Essence Channeling 3 Good Luck Hard to Skill 3 Increased Essence Pool 2 Natural Toughness Situational Awareness Drawbacks: Covetous (Greed) 1 Recurring Nightmares Resources -4 Skills: Acting 3 Cheating 3 Dodge 1 Fine Arts 2 Gambling 3 Occult Knowledge 2 Seduction 3 Smooth Talking 3
Death Lordship - Manipulating the essence of ghosts. This can be used to strengthen them or shred them.
Death Mastery - You can dick with life and death, and can destroy living things with your abilities.
Death Speech -Summoning and communicating with the dead.
Death Vessel - Letting ghosts use your body temporarily.
Off the bat, we're taking five levels of Death Vessel for fifteen points. She can: have a spirit inhabit her body for a short time and answer questions, do the above but be cognizant of what the spirit is doing with her body, tap the the spirit inhabiting her body's memories and skills, let another person allow a spirit into their body temporarily, and what I was gunning for, split the Intelligence and Willpower of an inhabiting spirit between the medium's physical attributes, potentially increasing them over the human limit as well as gaining temporary LPs and EPs out of the deal. That brings us to twenty one points spent. Lets buy two more levels of Essence Channeling. We also get a free level in a metaphysics ability of our choice, so lets take the first level of Death Lordship, which lets her banish spirits of the dead and even other spirits with a penalty.
Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3 LP: 35 EP: 26 Essence: 37 Speed: 8 mph/4 yrd/s Qualities: Artistic Talent (Painting) Essence Channeling 5 Good Luck Hard to Skill 3 Increased Essence Pool 2 Natural Toughness Situational Awareness Drawbacks: Covetous (Greed) 1 Recurring Nightmares Resources -4 Skills: Acting 3 Cheating 3 Dodge 1 Fine Arts 2 Gambling 3 Occult Knowledge 2 Seduction 3 Smooth Talking 3 Metaphysics: Necromancy 3 Death Vessel 5 Death Lordship 1
Name: Delphi Hausman Concept: Forsaken Type: Gifted Association: The Watchers Attributes: Str 2 Per 4 Dex 2 Int 2 Con 2 Wil 3 LP: 35 EP: 26 Essence: 37 Speed: 8 mph/4 yrd/s Qualities: Artistic Talent (Painting) Essence Channeling 5 Good Luck Hard to Skill 3 Increased Essence Pool 2 Natural Toughness Situational Awareness Drawbacks: Covetous (Greed) 1 Recurring Nightmares Resources -4 Skills: Acting 3 Cheating 3 Dodge 1 Fine Arts 2 Gambling 3 Occult Knowledge 2 Seduction 3 Smooth Talking 3 Metaphysics: Necromancy 3 Death Vessel 5 Death Lordship 1 Gear: Clothes Pack Sleeping Bag First Aid Kit
He Made an ApeOriginal SA post
I think what gets me about Chi-Chian is it tries to force being weird. I think this is where it goes wrong. You should just let weirdness unfold instead of trying to jam shit in until it fits.
”The everpresent ring announcer” posted:
From the African Highlands to the streets of Mexico City, he has become a symbol of deliverance. The villainous whisper his name in fear and the meek sing his praise. He is the bane of the criminals and horrors across the world. Hailing for parts unknown, he is...
Heaven's justice delivered!
Name: Justice Mask Concept: Champion Type: Supernatural Association: Str 13(+8) Per 5 Con 8(+3) Int 5 Dex 7(+2) Wil 5 LP: 109 EP: 83 Essence: 88 Speed: 30 mph/ 15 yrd/s (on all fours)/ 15 mph/7.5 yrd/s (on two legs) Qualities Face Giant Gift Good Luck 4 [s]Human[/s] Gorilla Suplex Machine Hard to Kill 4 Heat Channeling 7 High Flyer Hoss Increased Essence Pool 9 Jump 5 Natural Gorilla Nerves of Steel Drawbacks Adversary (Army of Revelations) 6 Honorable 3 Negative Buoyancy Obsessed (Drive the monsters into the mat!) Partial Biped Resources (Miserable) Skills Acrobatics 5 Acting 1 Brawling 5 Climbing 2 First Aid 3 Instruction 2 Martial Arts 5 Myth and Legend (Aztec Demon Busting) 3 Survival (desert) 2 Weight Lifting 2 Drop Kick 5 d4 x 15 Pile Driver 5 d6 x 14 Power Bomb 5 d4 x 14 Northern Lights Suplex 5 d4 x 14 Frog Splash 5 d4 x 14 Clothesline 5 d4 x 14 DDT 5 d6 x 14 450 Splash 5 d4 x 14
1.) Feng Shui. I <3 Jammers.
2.) My love for Luchadors
3.) I drew that at work. How could I seriously not share that?
What I used to make this:
So this is a legendary tier supernatural and an example of what you can do with the Unisystem. Is it balanced? Most likely not, as Terra Primate character types cap out at heroic. This is decidedly not a heroic character type. Same applies for Zombie Smackdown. Enough of that, let's have some notes on our Gorilla Luchador here.
-He can broad jump 50 feet plus whatever is added from his rolls.
-He can dead lift 1.5 tons. I'm not shitting you. He's going to suplex a Shaitan.
-His damage is calculated as so: Rank of move he is using (or martial arts if not using a known move) + 2 for suplexes/slams/aerial maneuvers + dex +1d10. That means before the die roll, he has a 14. This means he has a free point of damage added the die before multiplication. So that meands (dn+1) x 14. Oh yeah, he gets an effective +1 when determining strength based damage. For one of those d4 maneuvers, that is a range of 24-90 before dice roll. Unless it's an aerial maneuver, then you had five points on to it for 29-95. You assume an average roll of 5 for your 1d10, that means you have a success level at 19. That's (d4+4) instead of (d4+1). Soooo, 90-112 damage, +5 on an aerial maneuver (95-117). But he has some unique maneuvers, and the range is different for those. Assume a 5 on 1d10, the missile drop kick deals 80-125, the DDT/Piledriver deals 70-140 lps. He can pretty much splatter any heroic tier character. Before using Heat maneuvers, that let him do such thing as chaining multiple moves without suffering a penalty. This mother fucker could double suplex into a piledriver on some of the baddest things the DM can throw at you and reliably turn them into a wet smear on the pavement.
So yeah, busted but amazing.
P.S. The reason I did this is to show that you could use various products (espeically the AFMbE sourcebooks) to run different genres of games with one corebook. Also, I did not proofread this.
The RulesOriginal SA post
As a measure, in the time it took me to finish this, I have:
-Finished the DRYH hack I started when Kult was reviewed.
-Written 20+ pages of a D&D demake.
-Moved my brother into his house.
-Baked 1250 scones in under twenty four hours.
-Sold fifty the following day.
-And a slew of other stuff.
So here is what I've been putting off.
While long overdue, it's time for...
Armageddon: The End Times review part I've forgotten. The Rules.
Opening fluff! It's about a tank commander in South America. We get first mention of the Holy Fist, which are the fuck off huge tanks the Churchies roll around in. Turns out, a M1A2 is more than capable of putting a round through one, although they tend not to explode. Also, AoR assaults often get accompanying air cover from Lovecraftian horrors. But it's cool, miniguns shred the shit out of them. Eventually, the allied forces get overrun and they fall back to a secondary point. Wooo!
I'm not going to post everything from the text, but I'll cover the mechanics and lingo unleashed in this chapter and the first new word is Chronicler ! Just what Armageddon chooses to call the DM. Also, next section is advice that you don't need to roll for everything and gives a break down of things you should just let happen: talking (unless the character is being muted), everyday actions that anyone can do, and traveling. And advice that dice should only be thrown when the outcome is in question.
Dice! You only need four types: ten sided (most important), eight, six and four, and how they are denoted (d#). Ten sided are used in Task/Test determination and damage dealing, and you can substitute 2d6-2 is you need to. The other three are used for damage determination. Simple! More advice that you should avoid rolling for everything and watch for players who fall into that habit. And the book flat out states that you can and should fudge rolls if the roll does more harm than good. There are two side bars on these two pages: one that gives advice how to use just d10s and use of the damage listed in parentheses on the weapons table and the second deals with using cards or storytelling to play as optional rules. I always thought this part was neat.
Alright, so all challenges in Unisystem are resolved by rolling d10 with anything nine or higher being a success. There are two types of events where you roll: Tasks and Tests. Tasks are d10+attribute+skill and any modifiers. Tests come in Simple and Difficult. Simple Tests are d10+2xAttribute where as difficult is just d10+Attribute. The example we're given for the difference between these two is lifting something with your whole body and lifting something with one hand. I presume that one handed one is hauling it over your head or with it being of a considerable weight.
Determining what attribute to use in a given instance breaks down pretty much how you expect it. No surprises here. Unskilled Tasks eat a penalty of a minimum -2 and can never get over a decent result on a roll, and really complex skills (surgery and the ilk) face -6 and up or outright failure if you don't have the training. Resisted Rolls follow the same as basic Tests or Tasks only if both parties fail, no one gets anything done.
Best of Friends, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah defense line- Fall 2016
These dice are exploding. On a roll of ten, roll again, subtract five. If at five or below, you add nothing to the roll. If you roll another ten, you add five and roll again. This goes on as long as you roll tens. If you roll a one, you pretty much do the exact same thing only with 1-4 getting you a -5 through -1 and above five a 1 on the roll. So, as you can see, you can do spectacular things with a little bit of good or bad luck.
Back to back tables, one small, one large. The small one is the modifiers table. The large one is the outcome table. Here are the modifiers.
No roll required.
+5 or more to the roll.
+3 to +4 to the roll.
+1 to +2 on the roll.
This is where most combat rolls fall. No modifier.
-1 to -2 on the roll.
-3 to -5 on the roll.
-6 to -9 to the roll.
-10 or worse.
Now for the list on success levels. Of note, after the first level, you decrease time needed to complete something by 10%, 25% and then half for the first three levels above adequate, and add a +1 to social rolls with the character you succeeded against when you are in similar circumstances with them. That +1 increases with each level above Decent. Damage does this too, with a Very Good success adding one to damage before multipliers are applied. Each success level after Very Good increases that bonus by one. So here they are.
You did a thing! Base level of success
You did above average. Social bonus to future rolls is +1, decrease time to do something complex by 10%.
Congrats, you've done something noticeable.
15-16 Very Good:
Uh, better than the above. Notable as this is where extra damage on attacks starts to roll in, and higher point based characters are regularly going to hit around here on low rolls.
Needed to save your grades in high school while using a time traveling phone booth to collect famous historical figures. Not really, but I'm running out of things to say.
Uh, well, this is extraordinary. If you've been keeping track, all complex tasks are done in half their time, social bonus for future rolls against characters in a similar situation are at +5 and damage is at +3 damage before multipliers.
24+ Mind Boggling:
Every three above twenty three is a success level and social/damage bonuses go up by one per level.
Encumbrance! Back on page 59, it gives a table full of formulas for determining how much you can lift with what strength attribute value. Various percentages of weight carried over half your max start tacking on penalties to movement tests/tasks and start docking stamina when you get heavily encumbered. Glazing over this.
Fear! Boom. You don't want to be a mundane facing something horrifying as you have to pass a difficult willpower test against whatever target your GM gives you. That's just the willpower stat plus a d10. Supernatural and Gifted just need a simple willpower test and their green. Failing it means you panic and freeze up or cheese it out of there. There is also a table you can roll on to see what the character specifically does. You lose Essence when scared, and that comes up a little bit later, but dropping below zero essence from fear gets you a free mental drawback because you've just been scarred. The fear portion ends with some info on how to use the fear table.
Time is pretty much what you experience in real life. No scenes, arcs or what have you, it's all done in minutes, hours, days. Except combat, which is 1-5 second turns. Game time is also fluid, so more time will lapse for your characters than you. Nothing new here.
Combat happens in turns, as stated above, and a character can do one combat action during a turn. Combat is supposed to go fast and the GM is told to ditch any steps of it that cause it to bog down. They also get all descriptive responsibility during combat, which I don't agree with. The steps are Intentions , Initiative , Performance , Damage , Repeat and End . Intention is pretty much going around the group and finding out what everyone wants to do this round. Initiative is either GM determined (and things can do down simultaneously) or determined with dex+1d10. Resolving is done by rolling the appropriate stat+skill+d10 for the action performed. Multiple actions add a cumulative -2 for each action after the first, unless you're slugging it out in melee, then you get to attack and defend once without any penalty. Suggestion to limit multiple actions to 3 for high end characters as they can eat these penalties easily and still succeed. Defender wins a tie in melee, some optional rules for crunchier combat and how to resolve improvised weapons.
Ranged combat is a bit of the same and a bit different. You get two choices when being shot at: hold your ground and return fire or hit the deck, which is a Dodge task. This eats your action for the turn. If you've acted the turn already, you can't dodge. So stay out of ranged combat unless you can shoot first. Scads of additional rules, such as a table of modifiers, penalties for multiple shots based on the type of gun your firing, shotguns, cinematic combat rule options, thrown weapons and rules for calling shots. Getting shot at also calls for a simple Willpower test. Failure means you don't act this round because you just froze up. I reiterate, don't get into a shoot out in Classic Unisystem unless you can get the drop on your targets.
Damage is next and explains why damage is done in the dN x Y method. It also goes on to give rules on various poisons, toxins, disease and other ways of taking damage. Objects have a Damage Capacity , Armor Value and a Barrier Value . Damage Capacity is effectively how much HP the object has before it is completely ruined while Armor Value is the amount of damage the object soaks before anything left over is subtracted from Damage Capacity. Barrier Value is how much damage the item absorbs before any other damage carries over to what is hiding on the other side.
With the entrance of magic into open view, those individuals willing to work for powerful spirits have access to terrifying abilities.
When you hit 0 Life Points, you're laid out and barely functioning, suffering a penalty equal to how far below zero you are. At -10 LP, you have to pass a survival test using Con and Wil with a -1 for every -10 over -10 LPs you are. Different races have a different value at which that survival test kicks in (-300 for True Immortals. I don't know if this is a typo. And it is not. Holy shit.) You need stabilized after the first test or keep rolling survival tests every couple minutes with a cumulative -1 penalty. Gotta pass a test to see if you stay conscious too. You can wake up whenever the appropriate pool that hit zero goes back to zero. Rules for LP and Endurance recovery on your own or with medical aid. If you are human, get medical aid, otherwise you're going to bounce back fast. As in 'within minutes' fast.
Rules for Endurance point and Essence loss and the effects they have. Low EPs give you a penalty, dropping beneath zero makes you roll to see if you have fallen unconscious or not. Essence loss hits you with a penalty, but at a much lower number of Essence loss than Endurance, and if you drop far enough below zero, you will die.
There are rules for vehicle combat, if you want to use them and the book flat out says they're going to be cinematic. But there are a crap ton of attributes for vehicles and their weapons as well as rules for different situations.
So, experience is doled out at the end of session based on just being there, how well you role-played, advancing story while in character, heroic role-playing (i.e. doing the opposite of what the situation would call for in character) and for showing ingenuity. Huge list for the costs of improving the various components of a character and a limit for attribute increase. Human's can only pump an attribute up one point after chargen, True Immortals three and Supernaturals to their racial limit. So, play supernaturals.
And that's it. God this took too long. Also, I can go into more detail on anything people are interested in.
ToolsOriginal SA post
Been putting this thing off for a while. Alright, so here comes the
Armageddon Review: This poster is a huge Tool.
Or the section on tools. Not super exciting, so finding the energy to read it was a bit tough.
Opening fiction! Set in Saudi Arabia, it's a short blurb from an American officer's viewpoint. He's astounded that Israelis, Muslims and Christians are fighting together as a cohesive and ass kicking unit when they were at each others' throats just ten years earlier. Enter Israeli officer who says its because the Jews have been to the same rodeo that the Church is running once before (hint: it was the holocaust) and everyone else is getting a taste. Also, everyone stomped the radical elements out of their societies when shit hit the fan in the Middle East and realized they all believed in the same God. And then angels soar overhead bearing flaming swords and heading for the battle in the distance.
Goblin Hussars are thing you could do with a clever GM or a Book of Yesod. Since there is no Book of Yesod, pray for a clever GM.
The introduction is a breakdown of the mechanical bits items possess. They have a description, a range which is a measure of yards/meters that a weapon is considered at point-blank/close/medium/long/extreme range, damage which is how hard they hit, cap which is ammo capacity and given as a range, encumbrance value which measures weight and bulk as a Imperial/Metric and cost .
Weapon types! Melee weapons are more common in the End Times because angels, gods and superhuman types go nuts with them. They use dex and the appropriate fighting skill. A pair of rules state that any melee weapon being used two handed counts as str+1 for damage calculations and any stabbing or slashing damage that makes it through armor is doubled. This last one is going to pop back up and is another reason why a shoot out in the Unisystem is nasty business.
Ranged weapons are not statted for realistic detail and if you don't like that, Mr.Carella says you can fill it in to be more exact. Some rules for different bullet types, and two of three types double or triple damage that make it through armor while the third halves any armor value between it and the target.
Explosives are interesting. They're more abstract than in real life and come with three range bands: ground zero, general effect and maximum range. Ground zero is where you catch the full concussive effect and fragments, general effect is where you are more likely to be injured by shrapnel and maximum range is the point where the ability to cause casualties rapidly drops off. Of note is that standard armor only counts half its value at ground zero of an explosion. Rockets and missiles do not have the range bands and instead divide armor value by a set number before doing damage.
Armor has an armor value, which is a number/die with a multiplier and value added to it. It's rolled whenever you take a hit and subtracted from damage. There is also an encumbrance value just like weapons, and wearing two different kinds of armor is actually not really that beneficial.
That's kind of it for the rules. There are a bunch of descriptions for items through out and I'm going to cherry pick the more interesting/unique ones for the setting.
: Just because it's goony as fuck. Does as much as a bastard sword for half the encumbrance value. Costs two and a half times as much though.
: Does as much as the katana but has ten times the EV. Only reason to use this is for flavor.
: Not only does it get future sights that let it fire around corners, but it gets wicked awesome AP ammo.
: I hate to reference something from another setting, but it works really well. Ever hear of how a bolter from 40k operates? Yeah, pretty much that. Gets the benefits of AP ammo
normal ammo damage doubling. So if your GM tosses you one of these, prepare to run into a huge mass of nasty in the near future.
US Combat Armor/AoR Battledress
: To further the 40k references, this is stormtrooper armor. Armored body suit, heavy armor over arms and legs, environmental seal and super durable. I figure the AoR looks more malevolent, probably has skulls all over it.
Holy Fist Heavy Tank
: The AoR's mainline tank. Double turreted with enough armor and weaponry to engage and survive against anything short of a mythic level character. Also only present in limited numbers.
Probably not the best way to fight the forces of Leviathan, but it probably happens way too often.
And that's it for equipment. Super boring chapter but the next should make up for that as we get into Associations and fluff.
Associations for You and MeOriginal SA post
Hellas would be good for portraying it if you know the Vedic myths appropriately. The entire chargen system is designed to end with you creating a character in the vein of Perseus, Achilles or other Greek heroes at the start of their myth cycles. A big chunk of the character chapter is just tables and tables to rule on or choose from to build your character's backstory. Plus it is set in the future, so you can have your table's myth span the planets.
I'm just going to edit this in here.
No excuses, mostly laziness is responsible for the lateness of this post.
Armageddon the End Times: Associations for you and me. Part 1
This is going to be one big info bomb as most of the mechanics for the various factions was taken care of back in chargen. So put on your comfy pants, it's story time!
Opening fiction! Some Churchies attempt to strong arm the narrator into giving up his arms smuggling operation in Thailand to them. The drugs, women and arms he smuggles is more valuable than the price they're offering, so he gets them off guard and then hulks out, revealing he is actually a fallen angel and opens the floodgates of a beatdown. Shit dies, monsters lament and the story ends with the narrator setting out to find who set him up.
Brief blurb about how you either fight against or for the Mad Gods as neutrality just gets you merced. It also lays out that these are just the six biggest associations in the world at the time of the game. There are others in the Witchcraft supplements that I can go over later if there is any interest.
A mundane soldier, a Seer and a Canadian werebear. Why is the werebear Canadian? It just strikes me as the logical place for one to come from.
The biggest organization for the good guys, it is a melting pot of everything in the setting and its sole purpose is to put boots to Church of Revelation asses. Founded by the Archangel Michele when she started linking up with groups that wanted to save the world. Odin then found out, thought it was the bee's knees and joined in with the Aesir in tow. To round out the the 'Wow' factor, a powerful human ghost joined.
He claims to be Ben Franklin.
The Alliance currently knows the most about what is happening in the occupied territories (concentration camps, inhuman metamorphosis, the works), Leviathan and the Church. Their primary goal is to keep Big L from making it into reality. They do this by supporting the free countries, resistance movements, info gathering, ass beatings and recruitment.
The Alliance itself isn't really a monolithic organization, more like something you join while working with your original group. They have a large volume of links to both mundane and metaphysical information and they use this to maximum effect. People who work for the Alliance and no one else get shipped around the world as part of team. They operate as cells with very little knowledge of anything outside their group, thus minimizing danger if they get comprised or taken down.
The war has changed it, though, creating logistic problems as its size grows as well as allowing individuals within it to try and gain personal power. Which is a problem given the whole reality ending entity trying to break in bit that is going on. Many of the agents in the field are also becoming callous and apathetic when it comes to taking action, leading to people getting caught in the cross fire. This is a bad thing for many reasons.
The section on Allies and Enemies is huge. It literally contains every Covenant released for Witchcraft plus the Associations from the book. I'll nail some highlights.
The original big bad from Witchcraft, it is every conspiracy theory rolled into one and stripped of anything overly magical. The rise of the Church of Revelations destroyed it, but a few remnants exist and they're helping in the fight against Armageddon.
The group of magicians that see magic as a tool for personal growth and advancement. They helped the Alliance initially, but once they found out they were working with the Infernal Legion, they threw up the double birds and bailed.
A kerubim warrior and a seraphim.
They are what it says on the tin: the combined forces of the angels of Binah. They're also in a bit of a predicament as they were created to serve but their creator and master up and disappeared a long time ago.
The angels themselves are what the Sephyr became once humanity popped up. The Sephyr were entities created around the start of existence and were pretty damned Lovecraftian from the sound of it. When mankind showed up on the scene, the Sephyr changed and became the Serpahim and the Titans (we'll get to them).
The first big event involving them was when the Atlanteans turned to worshipping Leviathan. This resulted in Lucifer hulking out, nuking the planet with a flood and then leading a purge against anything of substance built by humans. This all lead to Lucifer going on a power trip, calling for the extermination of mankind and claiming to speak with the Metatron, thus sparking the heavenly war when the loyal angels found out the Creator was gone before Lucifer pulled his shit. This meant his actions weren't on behalf of the Creator and resulted in the rebel angels being cast out, a group of shell-shocked angels fleeing to Earth and the majority of the other angels setting out to find the Creator.
After a long while spent searching and finding bupkiss, the seraphim came back and found the Old Gods had subjugated humanity. All hell broke lose, the angels took down the Old Gods and the Archangel Gabriel decided what the gods were doing was the right course of action in regards to humanity and kept up the subjugation of mankind in secret. This lead to the formation of the Combine way back in the when and eventually mankind developing technology that would unleash the horrors of what science without morals can do. The Archangel Michel found out about this, gave Gab the double birds in disgust and fled heaven with a legion of kerubim and seraphim in tow.
The angels themselves are supposed to be the caretakers of creation and mankind. As their history shows, both of the Archangels that lead them have fumbled this horribly. But still, they see what mankind is destined to become and try to make sure they don't destroy themselves in the process. They're also completely lost as they haven't had contact with the Creator since the Flood and they have no clue why or what will become of them because of this.
As an organization, the Heavenly Host consisted of roughly 100,000 kerubim and seraphim before the war started, with many of them being in mystic hibernation. The Heavenly Host is also organized along military lines and their purpose is three-fold: gather information, help humans and curb stomp dangerous supernatural predators and humans. Since the war, they've permanently lost ten thousand angels and mobility amongst the ranks has opened up. The seven ranks are:
: Effectively mystic automatons. They lack free will.
: Former humans that somehow attained angelhood. Lowest rung of the true angels.
: In charge of the kerubim, they only answer to Greater Seraphim and the Council of Four.
: Those angels that descended from the Sephyr.
: The heavy hitters and commanders among the seraphim.
: Greater seraphim that are more like the Sephyr than others. Lose their power when they descend to Earth.
Council of Four
: The four Archangels in charge of this all. In truth, Gabriel runs the show.
As for the archangels, we have:
: The cunning leader of the Heavenly Host. Identifies as male and Lucifer says he is the one that came up with ideas behind The Flood and extermination of mankind.
: The angel of fire and retribution and with a temper to match. It was his plan and his action that loosed ten thousand angels over Rome.
: Hangs out with kerubim and focuses on making the world better and battling its ills.
: She is personally responsible for Lucifer and the rebels being cast out and the formation of the alliance once she discovered what Gabriel had done.
: The angel of wisdom and Gabriel's choice to replace Michele because she was quiet and withdrawn. Since being brought into the Council of Four, she challenges Gabriel's decisions.
: Angel of death and keeps to himself. He can go toe-to-toe with either Gabe or Lucifer if he wanted.
: Angel of lightning that strode across the sky, trading lightning bolts with Zeus, Thor and their like during the Celestial War. :blackmetal101:
From top to bottom: A fallen seraphim, a qliphonim, and a fiend.
The Infernal Legion
Those angels that sided with Lucifer or developed a murderboner for humanity. For this, they were banished to the sephira of the dead, Geburah, and banned from harming humans. They're quite fine with this as they find it easy to give humanity the rope and let them hang themselves with it. Interestingly enough, many of them see themselves still filling a just role as the agents that weed out the evil in the human populace and drag it screaming into the Pit of Abaddon. They, like the angels, got caught unawares by Leviathan's war. Unlike the angels, they're relatively safe in the Pit and, while fighting to save creation, they're getting ready to assault humanity should Team Creation pull out a win.
As the myths tell, Lucifer's downfall was his arrogance. It led him to smash all the Elder Kingdoms when a few started worshiping Leviathan and then to set himself up as the lord of Heaven. So he got kicked to Geburah where he continued his fight until a cease fire was called. In exchange for settling his ass down, the Heavenly Host would let him and his devils walk Earth in small numbers and punish those who had earned retribution. Being devils, they corrupted the pact and started putting it to use in their plans for vengeance.
The Infernal Legion is out to cause humanity's fall, either by setting them up and letting them take the fall or bringing their deeds to light of a higher authority. No one is safe from their temptations and even those who resist at first are often made to fall. Most of them are putting plans into play in anticipation for their rematch with the Heavenly Host, but you can find just about any motivation and goal you can think of among the Legion.
The Infernal Legion's organization mirrors the Heavenly Host's, only full of the damned.
: Are the bottom rung. They're big, dumb and mean.
: The damned who are given a chance to serve instead of suffering. Huge assholes.
: If the qliphonim are assholes, these guys are planets comprised of assholes. Many of the best manipulators in hell are elder qliphonim.
: Those angels that backed Lucifer. Tend to be powered by negative emotions and wear alien forms.
: Skilled fallen that hold positions of importance and power.
: Fallen archangels. There are actually more archangels in the Pit than in Binah.
: The fallen version of the Council of Four, only with more than four. They run shit because Lucifer lets them and only because of that.
: The big man. Runs everything in the Pit of Abaddon and no one really knows much about his motivations currently.
As for how they work alongside the other groups engaged in the war, the Legion and Alliance work well together, which has chased away some groups that would have joined. They really don't get along with the Host or the Exiles, but are more willing to dick over the Exiles because they lack the power the Host does. The Lodge of the Undying hate them with a passion unrivaled because of Lucifer's destruction of Atlantis. They are capable of working alongside the Pantheons, but there is animosity present.
That's the first half of the Assocations, I'll cover the Lodge of the Undying, the Pantheons and the Exiles in the next update as this one is growing long.
The End Times Factions Part DeuxOriginal SA post Armageddon: The End Times Factions Part Deux
Last update we covered the Alliance, Heavenly Host and Infernal Legion. In this part, we'll cover the Lodge of the Undying, the Pantheons and the Watchers.
The Lodge of the Undying
A vampyre, a mage and an Immortal. As you can probably tell, I had issues coming up with the composition for this image.
The Lodge is a loose confederation of Immortals scattered across the world. It's purpose is to share information about their past, cover each others' activities, make sure no Immortal is ever without aid and generally be good to one another. If you've noticed, every instance of Immortals has been capitalized. That's because...
They're Atlanteans! We'll get into more depth later in the supernatural section, but these are the guys that brought down the Flood waaaay back before human history by getting caught up with Leviathan. The Lodge itself isn't that old, being founded in the 18th century by a world traveling Immortal who had come across several others of his ilk and thought that it'd be a good idea if they worked together, shared their knowledge and brought humanity back up to the level the Atlanteans were at before Lucifer dropped a catastrophic deluge on them all. After the founding, they kept their heads down (although they are a playable covenant in Witchcraft) up until the war broke out.
As a group, they try and dig up any information or artifacts having to do with Atlantis. They've mostly found nothing except for a conspiracy to cover up the evidence by destroying all of it. Two guesses as to who would have been behind that. The Lodge is comprised of around 30 college spread across the world. Each one is a combination safe house and batcave for Immortals and is headed by a Dean. Deans are selected by the twelve original founding Immortals. As for composition of the faction, it's mostly Immortals with human support staff and the odd magician, seer or supernatural that have proven themselves to the organization.
Preceding and during the war, the number of humans born with an Atlantean soul (and thus making them Immortals) has increased sharply, bolstering the numbers of Immortals at large in the world. They're still few in numbers and loosely organized, but many fight the Church of Revelations in whatever means they can, either by joining up and kicking anti-creation ass as soldiers, building super science equipment to aid allies or other means. They really don't have a say in the matter as the Church has a kill on sight order for any Immortals they dig up. Old wounds from when Atlantis and Ultima Thule threw down.
An Avatar of Monkey, an Incarnate of Black Metal and an Inheritor of Space. I like to imagine that the Incarnate's name is Finnvarga and that it actually means something in a foreign language.
Literally Gods. Not Creator level, but Zeus, Odin and the ilk. They're in the fight as individual groups and they have everything to lose as a victory for Leviathan means they're going to be undone.
The Sephyr, the progenitors of the Angels, are also responsible for the Titans. They're the Sephyr that came close to Earth and took on aspects of the physical world. And when the Angels flooded the world, the Titans stuck around to help humanity get back on their feet. But it wasn't free and they became the masters of mankind, demanding worship and commanding nations. It was a cush gig until the Angels came back and kicked their asses back to Netzach, where they've been ever since. Well, that is until the war began.
As for how they act, the Gods are haughty and aloof, seeing mankind as a favored pet. Albeit, one that has nuclear weapons and is heading back towards what Atlantis was capable of (hint: coldcocking Titans for fun). Expect your standard myth supported behavior to come from them. And then there are two pages with short info bombs about the Norse, Olympian, Aztec/Mayan and Egyptian pantheons.
The organization of the individual Pantheons tends to follow how they are in myths. At the top are the Sky Gods and Earth Mothers followed by Elder Gods, who are the ones that are well known in myths. Beneath them are the Incarnates, lesser gods who really haven't earned much fame. At the bottom are Inheritors, which are demigods, Avatars, the melding of divine essence with a mortal soul, and human followers. The human followers can also be from Netzach, which tends to mean they're packing the Gift and other supernatural powers at the cost of being clueless about the modern world.
Since the war began, the Gods have been manifesting in the world more often. This is mainly to do because of the Magic Generation and the increase of magic in the world. They're also surprised that Ragnarok involves Leviathan and not a conflict between two other groups from inside the sephiroth. Regardless, they all knew it was coming and took steps to ensure they had hosts of divine soldiers ready, many in the form of offspring. So game on.
As for how they work with others, the Alliance is almost an extension of the Aesir and vice-versa. They hate the Angels with a passion for putting mankind under the yoke and don't trust the demons because, well, they're God damned demons. They also work pretty well with the Immortals and the Watchers.
An Exile seraphim and a nephilim. Yes, the ability to reattach lost limbs as a nephilim is mechanically supported.
So, way back in the day of Noah, there were angels kicking about on Earth. They came down and shared some awesome knowledge with the lot of us back then and, after spending so long with us, fell in love with mortals and started families with humans. The Nephilim were one of the main reasons God wrecked the world with the flood. This biblical story is pretty much the origin of the Watchers. They are angels that came to earth, helped humans, fell in love and started having children. These children may be some of greatest weapons to be used in the war and we'll get to the Nephilim in the supernaturals section.
The Watchers were formed by the Archangels Shemizael, Azrael and the titan Prometheus shortly after the Flood and Lucifer's imprisonment. Their reason for existence was to help mankind recover some of its lost glory and because the Watchers were in love with the humans either physically or because of their ability to constantly create new things. The angelic response from this was pretty severe and those that survived it went directly into hiding. There they stayed until the war broke out, helping humanity from the shadows and hunting down supernatural threats before they could get out of hand.
The Watchers are out to protect humanity just like the Heavenly Host is, but they choose to do so from beside humanity, often under assumed identities. They've worked alongside most conspiracies and secret societies or against them if they were attempting to do harm to humanity as a whole. Individual members have built up significant financial and political clout in pursuit of their goals, although they hide the fact that they are angels to prevent mankind from just giving up on doing anything and letting the Watchers take care of everything.
The Watcher organization is comprised of Exiled seraphim, nephilim, humans and some titans with position within the organization being based on ability and experience. As one climbs through the ranks, more independence and decision making ability is granted to you. The highest ranks are either centuries old or the original founders.
The Watchers dropped the ball in regards to not stopping the Church's rise and are now more than likely to break their secrecy in order to take on the enemy. They are also in the process of combining with the Alliance, which is going to give the Alliance some impressive firepower. They've also been on the look out for nephilim since most of them are related directly to the Watchers. The same up surge in magic that gave rise to the increased numbers of Gifted and Supernaturals also resulted in the dormant nephilim genes activating. There are thousands of nephilim in the world now and most of them have no clue what they are.
As has already been stated, the Alliance and the Watchers get along extremely well. The Exiles' relationship with their angelic brethren isn't all that great. They don't trust the Host as they murdered many Exiles when they first formed and the Legion are demons. The Lodge and the Watchers face some friction based around how the Watchers view Atlantis and what happened before the Flood. And the Pantheons are on a case by case basis as some Gods have tried to help and many have turned humans into serfs.
And with that, after such a long time, the Factions are finished. Yaaaay! Next up is the Metaphysics chapter. I will go into detail in the core four metaphysical abilities from Witchcraft and cover the additional ones loosely.