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    Default The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Having a rule is like having decided in advance what to do. When the occasion for action arises one does not have to reconsider the matter for one's mind is already made up.

    -Joseph Raz

    The Heart of the Dragon

    A Mage: The Awakening Chronicle

    IC thread

    Starring
    Thanqol as Vulcan
    The Druid Droid as Mara
    SiuiS as Flouresce


    Welcome to Hong Kong. A world center of business. A city with one of the densest populations on the entire planet. 7 million people rub shoulders with each other every day, on trains, on the streets, in the huge skyscrapers that define life in the city. The city is located in the tropics. Air conditioning keeps the skyscrapers cool, but with the mass of people, it’s fighting a losing battle. In summer, walking outside is to be soaking wet immediately because the humidity is so great.

    But there’s more to the city than just the heat. The sense of stagnation is everywhere. Every morning, 7 million people get up, they go to work, and they grind away, for hours and hours, until they collapse to sleep so they can do it again. The world center of business! One of the highest per capita incomes in the entire world! A beacon of beauty and architecture! Hah. Look at anyone in the street, and you’ll see the truth: it’s a sweetshop writ large, people pressed together like cattle, building up because it’s the only direction left to build. The use of that per capita income is to feed it back into the system, shopping at high-end labels for overpriced goods. The spirits love it, and only feed the greed and suffering more.

    And that’s the way that some people like it. The ultra-rich, the plutocrats. The guys that have the corner offices at the top of the skyscrapers, and the owners of the hotels and casinos over in Macau, where the masses go to waste away the tiny bit of disposable income left to them, to give them the illusion of hope. Because, after all, giving them hope first makes their despair so much sweeter.

    It’s funny though. Something has changed recently. A chip in the monumental edifice that the city has become. A stirring that has made the managers in their offices sit up and take notice, at least for a few seconds before most of them just adjusted their ties and went back to crunching numbers. It might have been new construction, or maybe a critical mass in population and imports that did it, but the leylines in the city have shifted. They’re still a tangled mess weaving in between the skyscrapers like they were before, but some of them have reconnected with a broader network, and new resonance began flowing into the city. It didn’t exactly have the flavor of hope, that would be asking too much, but it did have the flavor of release, of change and fresh plans.

    This chip in the city’s oppression was all it took. For in a city this size, there are enough mages, paying enough attention to start looking for details. And some of them even had friends they could call. The last two months have seen an influx of mages to the city, primarily coming from mainland China, but a few people had kept their old British connections and some came in from there as well. The cabals went from small, quiet groups in hiding to active forces, with the numbers to make something happen. Some of them started poking around, looking for places with strong resonance. The Adamantine Arrow and the Silver Ladder started making land deals, looking for the intersection points of the leylines. In the case of the arrow they plan to protect and harness them. In the case of the Silver Ladder, they have somewhat grander plans to reshape the whole city. Other mages around the city simply packed in to the spaces meant for smaller cabals and started experimenting, probing the existing order for signs of weakness. Tension was building and it felt like something was going to happen.

    Then, just a few days ago, the Free Council pulled the damn fool move of taking out a train on the way to work to get at a Seer. Or at least, most everyone else in the city is claiming that it’s the Free Council and that's why they did it. Nobody has had the chance to ask them directly, as they’ve been underground (possibly literally) since that day. According to the secondhand version that’s making its way around the city, the story goes that a major Seer was boarding the train to head to work. Who it was varies by the teller, but everyone seems to agree that he had a high-ranking position with a Hong Kong bank. He gets in, looks at his watch, and immediately runs back out, like maybe he forgot something. About 10 seconds later, the doors close, and about a minute after that, the whole train and a huge section of track go up in a fireball. This whole event has several consequences. First of all, the Free Council missed, and they know that they just killed a huge group of innocent people for no reason; second of all, everyone knows that an act that blatant must be met with a certain amount of reprisal, and the Seers are still the single greatest power in Hong Kong.

    And that’s where we start.

    Mood: Stagnation and urban decay
    Hong Kong is absolutely packed with people, all crammed into not enough living space and filled with buildings over 50 stories and it’s really wet and hot most of the year. The city isn’t chaotic, it’s oppressive. You can’t walk 3 blocks before it’s an effort of will just to put one foot in front of the other. The “chip” has improved things somewhat, at least to the level of being tolerable, but the essential character of the city has not changed…yet.

    Themes: Freedom vs. control, wealth vs. poverty.
    These themes are related. Most of the city consists of people just barely managing to scrape by, working for far less than they’re worth and receiving no benefits or anything that does more than feed and clothe them. The direction of the city is controlled by a very small number of movers and shakers. The biggest businessmen, the government leaders, and the casino owners have been the ones calling the shots. After all, lurking in the background is the Chinese government itself, with the whispered threat that even the city’s illusion of freedom can only exist as long as it’s making exorbitant amounts of money.

    However, people still live here. They love, they think, they create. And with 7 million of them, at least a few find ways to express themselves and take a road of their own choosing. Finding those narrow ways is the great challenge in the place.

    City rules:
    Space premium: The city is extremely crowded and people are used to the “one-bump rule” meaning that it’s not rude for someone to slam into you while walking as long as they don’t do it more than once. Real estate, whether purchased via sanctum or resource dots, costs one extra dot than normal.

    Easily influenced: The masses here are especially gullible and uncaring. Efforts to convince them of things are extremely easy, especially with creative efforts or performances. Spell effects are less likely to be improbable in general, and efforts by the PCs to cover up improbable effects with any kind of social roll (especially expression) receive a +2 bonus.

    Major Organizations
    Spoiler
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    Mammon controls the city's business

    Mammon controls most of the city. Their guys aren’t so much the CEO as the CFO in most companies, but they have people everywhere at the top. They are the chief beneficiaries of the status quo and their people are strategically placed to make sure that any company or government agency that tries to shake things up gets quickly bought out or ruined. Any attempt to shake things up in a lasting way has to go through Mammon. They’re also especially numerous in the city, and tend to give their individual members a lot of freedom, so beyond a general agenda, it’s difficult to know what individual Mammon Seers are doing at any given time.

    The government is controlled by the Unity

    The local government is primarily under the charge of the Unity. The current head of the Unity in the city was sent from the mainland and his agenda is to make Hong Kong “more Chinese.” He’s pretty much universally despised by both the Pentacle and the other Seers. A word of advice: Don’t do anything that requires you to get a government permit. It makes the arcane rituals to build the Silver Ladder look easy.

    The Abyss is held pretty well in check

    The Scelesti exist, but they’re a tiny underground movement. The big advantage of the Seers running the show is that they have, up to now, kept a tight ship. No paradoxes, nobody does anything stupid that might be hard to control and could cost a lot of money to clean up.

    The Pentacle was practically a non-entity until two months ago

    Until 2 months ago, the Pentacle was tiny. There were representatives of all the orders, but they tended to keep to themselves, staking out small enclaves around the city and manipulating things quietly, avoiding any direct confrontations while they researched and experimented. Consiliums were divided by city district, one for Kowloon, one for downtown Hong Kong, and one for Macau. It is suspected, without confirmation, that the affirmation of the status quo may be related to the Guardians of the Veil actively supporting the same agenda as Mammon.

    In the past two months, the Pentacle has expanded greatly. They've also become sharply divided.

    Most of the orders have increased their numbers by about 50% thanks to outside assistance (about 2/3 mainland China, 1/6 British, 1/6 assorted other), and the result has been frequent meetings of the Consiliums trying to agree on some plan of action. To nobody’s surprise, no such agreement has materialized. The larger, more active groups have put a lot of focus and loyalty on individual orders, which have tightened their focus considerably. It’s known that going to the Hong Kong University campus around noon generally presents a way to contact each of the local Consiliums, if necessary. If you want something done, however, getting in cozy with the orders is the way to go.


    Significant Influences
    Fate:Zero
    Skyscraper Graveyard (I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty sure I'm ripping off Thanqol heavily, whether consciously or not)
    Magic: The Gathering Return to Ravnica (especially Izzet)
    The Dark Knight Rises

    Music
    Slow Cheetah-Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Sewer Metro Underground VIP -Flutter Rex
    Calling-The World Ends With You
    Vinyl's Last Stand-Mandopony
    Angel-Masive Attack

    Seers
    Mahler's Symphony #6, 2nd movement, also known as the "The Tragic"-Seer theme.
    Audience with the Devil-Hilltop Hoods
    Handlebars-Flobots


    NPC Cabals

    The Boxers
    The Musketeers
    The Council of Shu-Han
    10,000 Corridors
    The Soul's Freedom
    Truth
    Hong Kong University Consilium

    Seers of the Throne
    Mammon Hong Kong
    Macau Seers


    Character thoughts


    Thanqol is going to be playing a Seer of the Throne, which means he's going to know an insider's perspective of the events outlined above, which are only presented from the most general viewpoint that everybody knows. The orders are also being tight with information, so I depending on everyone else's characters, there's a discussion to be had about how much each of you knows about events in the city and from what perspective that knowledge came.

    I think it's also worth considering whether your characters are part of the small number that were in the city for the long term, or part of the new arrivals.

    We also need to have a discussion about why you three are working together when this chronicle starts. It's pretty much guaranteed to be unusual.

    Game Rules

    Characters will be created using the system detailed below. Because you're all starting out with some experience, rather than as new mages, you all have 35 XP in addition to the amounts detailed in the spoilers.

    XP-Based Character Generation for World of Darkness

    Spoiler
    Show
    The XP values here are derived from the equivalent value of the highest XP allotment of dots at character generation. Unused XP from each category is saved and may later be spent in conjunction with XP earned during the game to increase the relevant category (or may be totalled and spent freely, at Storyteller discretion). Unlike in standard character creation, the cost of the fifth dot is not increased.


    Begin with one dot in each Attribute (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

    70 XP for primary Attributes.
    (•••• 45 + ••• 25)
    55 XP for secondary Attributes.
    (•••• 45 + •• 10)
    45 XP for tertiary Attributes.
    (•••• 45)

    Begin with no dots in any Skills:

    78 XP for primary Skills.
    (•••• 30 + •••• 30 + ••• 18)
    48 XP for secondary Skills.
    (•••• 30 + ••• 18)
    30 XP for tertiary Skills.
    (•••• 30)

    9 XP for 3 Skill Specialities.
    (Flat cost of 3*3)

    Begin with one dot in an appropriate Supernatural Ability (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

    42 XP for Merits and increasing Supernatural Ability (Wyrd, Psyche, Gnosis, Azoth, Blood Potency or Primal Urge).
    (Supernatural Ability ••• 40 + Merit • 2)

    Templates and XP

    Changeling
    3 XP for a Skill Speciality in Athletics, Brawl or Stealth.
    (Flat cost of 3)
    2 XP for one dot in the Mantle appropriate to the character's Court.
    (Mantle • 2)
    48 XP on Contracts, at least 8 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Contracts.
    (Affinity •• 12 + Non-Affinity ••• 36)

    Geist
    36 XP on any Manifestations.
    (Manifestation ••• 36)
    20 XP on two Keys, one of which must correspond to the Keys available to your Threshold.
    (Flat cost of 10*2)

    Mage
    25 XP to increase Favoured Resistance Attribute.
    (Attribute •••••)
    72 XP divided among three or four Arcana, two of which must be Ruling Arcana, with no single Arcanum higher than three dots.
    (Ruling • 6 + Ruling •• 18 + Inferior ••• 48)
    12 XP for Rotes, none of which may be higher than their associated Arcanum.
    (Flat cost of 2*6)

    Promethean
    22 XP on Transmutations, at least 5 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Transmutations.
    (Affinity Transmutation • 5 + Non-Affinity Transmutation •• 17)

    Vampire
    25 XP to increase Favoured Attribute.
    (Attribute •••••)
    30 XP, at least 10 XP of which must be spent on Clan Disciplines.
    (Clan Discipline ••• 30)

    Werewolf
    36 XP divided among Renown, with at least one dot in each of your Primary Renown types.
    (Primary Renown ••• 36, such as when Auspice and Tribe share Primary Renown)
    51 XP divided among Gifts, with at least one gift from a list associated with Auspice, one gift from a list associated with Tribe, and no gift worth more dots than highest Primary Renown.
    (Auspice ••• 15 + Tribe ••• 15 + Other ••• 21)

    I'm also going to be trying the modified paradox system we switched over to in Skyscraper Graveyard.

    Thanqol, would you be so kind as to repost for us the new paradox rules (I think your Skyscraper Graveyard OP still has the old paradox rules)?

    Other stuff
    Spoiler
    Show

    -No buying gnosis with merit XP. You can buy gnosis for its regular xp cost during character creation.
    - No fighting styles. They make the game break in unpredictable ways.
    - Willpower does not regain through rest. The only way to regain willpower is through indulging your virtue or your vice in a way that harms your interests. WoD is in many ways a game about screwing yourself over.
    - Soaking a Paradox with health levels deals Lethal and not Bashing damage.
    - Losing wisdom due to degeneration during the course of play grants 5XP, identical to dropping wisdom at character creation. Ideally, there should be no incentive to start out crazy, aside from the natural player incentive to start out crazy. This XP is not shared with the group and will only be for that character.
    - Make sure you keep note of what ongoing active spells you have. I'll give you first impressions based on what perception spells you have active, including the area's primary resonance. It's always possible to look deeper as a Mage, though, though this requires a specific roll or a full ritual.
    - Feel free to constantly ask questions. Information is power and asking is free.
    - Supernatural entities may apply their Defence against bullets while within the bounds of a demesne.

    Posting and character rules
    • Please try to post at least once per day. Even if your character has nothing to say at the moment, an OOC post saying, “I’m here, I’m reading, keep going” is extremely helpful.
    • If you miss a day, we’ll try to slow down so you can catch up, but some events may happen without your character’s input.
    • If you can’t be located after 3 days a week (lengthened based on past experience), your character will continue to accompany the party and fade into the background. To the extent the character can meaningfully assist the party, the players can ask for skills from that character and roll the dice for him/her. Control will immediately revert to you upon your return.
    • If you know of any long absences in the future, please let us all know. I’ll do my best to make sure the character can conveniently be on vacation and can prepare several plans in advance for how to assist the party in his/her absence.
    • There’s no maximum post limit. If I’m not online you can do all the secret planning you want or continue IC conversations on any topic.
    • If the group splits up, I’ll do multiple threads. God, what was I thinking?! It will be one thread, possibly with marked spoilers if it's getting unwieldy. I may also do individual player info in split threads.


    Expected start date is not until December. There is much still to be done, and I need to finish Book of Spirits at least, as resonance and leylines are playing a key role here.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-12-31 at 12:59 AM.
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    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Aww, yes! Time to get Mara written up and thrown out for consideration.
    This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkDM
    That game does seem to have an unusual number of Bronies per square meter.
    Luna Nos Custodit


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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Beautiful. Very generic until I read influences. The last one galvanized.

    I have yet to really look into Hong Kong. My last foreign game ended up with me studying maps of Japan and going over cheap but plentiful dissertations on cultural perspective. I think I will forego that level of intimacy this time. I will look into it though, so I can affix my ideas to a concrete conception.

    Character generation is actually a breath of fresh air. I've been pondering and feel somewhat constrained by the base set up, unless; will we be starting experienced, or at base 0? Whichever. I have several ideas, two of which can be found here; Guerrera and Flouresce.
    Guerrera is ultimately unimaginative, though. Doesn't feel right for this game, but that may change once interpersonal connections begin to surface. She is the one I can think of as having the least reason to be here, save as an envoy from a UK consillium.
    Flouresce would be a native, or a near-native. He would be one of the people who doesn't really care so much for the politics. His concept is strong in Spirit, though, and he would be an experiment; Flouresce would play aggressively, with me taking a lot of leeway for granted when using immediate spirit presence. Dictating that a nearby spirit is called, asserting that such a spirit is nearby. Setting up some of the background noise, as it were. Taking a mile when an inch is perceived. It is understandable that this is not something anyone wants to put up with right now.

    My third concept is the one who is most alive in my head. An acanthus with a strong Prime bent, whimsical, and high presence. An indiscriminate and irreverent flirt. Somewhere between my own more gregarious nature, Amun and Jack, and Starry. The idea came to a head when I thought through a scene;

    "Looks like we're gonna have to get through this with naught but our wits, firm moral structure, and a plot that could crack a walnut!"

    "...plot?"

    "It's a pony joke. I meant my ass. I mean, have you seen that thing?" *slap* "I mean damn! How could you not? You should check it out if you've missed it. Or well, don't like, check me out, that's kinda creepy but if you happen to have your eye caught through the day like, by accident, I wouldn't blame you."
    And that's what has had me giggling for the last week or so. An irreverent charmer.

    What do you, O Taoiseacht, think? And cabal-mates? Your opinions matter, too. Just this once.
    "Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice."

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    What do you, O Taoiseacht, think? And cabal-mates? Your opinions matter, too. Just this once.
    I think you're going to be without an Obrimos.

    Of the two detailed ones you listed, Guerrera is most similar to Thanqol's character and will give you guys two Moros. But they might get along well, so there's that. Flouresce would have a good reason to be in Hong Kong. From his perspective, the city is an ultimate fixer-upper, and the kind of life and beliefs he has are pretty much directly at odds with the city's resonance.

    The Acanthus is more vague and I'm not sure what you'd be planning to do with him/her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Hello, I'm Thanqol, and sometimes I'm a jerk.


    Anarion, updated Paradox houserule is in Skyscraper Graveyard 2. Also, starting XPs, if any?


    So, Vulcan. Vulcan is a bit difficult to describe. A mixture of Rarity and Discord, flavoured by a deep undercurrent of cynicism. Another influence I'm struggling to articulate. Materialist and artist both. Changed a lot in my mind recently, revised sheet and backstory soon coming.

    Essentially, for this gig to work, she has to be working for you guys for some reason. I can't take party leadership because otherwise this will be a Seer game. I need ideas for how this happened; maybe she's paying a debt, maybe she's being blackmailed, or held prisoner, or offered something she can't get anywhere else or something. I'm not sure, this depends on your characters.
    To improve is to change
    To be perfect is to change often

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Anarion, updated Paradox houserule is in Skyscraper Graveyard 2. Also, starting XPs, if any?
    Hmm. I kinda like the 35 starting xp so you guys actually have some power. But we're also going to attempt the modified character creation rules. So I need to go look up the number you quoted when we discussed that and add 35. I'll go find the paradox rules too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    So, Vulcan. Vulcan is a bit difficult to describe. A mixture of Rarity and Discord, flavoured by a deep undercurrent of cynicism. Another influence I'm struggling to articulate. Materialist and artist both. Changed a lot in my mind recently, revised sheet and backstory soon coming.

    Essentially, for this gig to work, she has to be working for you guys for some reason. I can't take party leadership because otherwise this will be a Seer game. I need ideas for how this happened; maybe she's paying a debt, maybe she's being blackmailed, or held prisoner, or offered something she can't get anywhere else or something. I'm not sure, this depends on your characters.
    cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    One of the definin features of the Acanthus is Destiny 4+. Sometimes life doesn't have a plan. Sometimes there is no big change of direction, no galvanizing moment. And sometimes they I unseen because you probably woul have been there anyway.

    They are more than the other two, driven. If I've ever seen a media version of this character (who is a rehash and has been with me for twenty years now) it would be the Doctor. No real rhyme or reason on the surface. Magic is happening. Big magic, the high grade Supernal stuff, and so that's where I'll be. It's where destiny pulls me, for good or ill. Have you heard the phrase "leading a charmed life"? That's where I'd be going. Utterly self motivated in the sense thy the characterization can play off itself if need be.

    I feel like a hippy trying to explain a high. It is made worse by there being no point, no structure and no actual information in that post. XD

    This one, hereafter Taoseaicht/Chief, would have a prime, then fate, then time leaning. 4 dots destiny, striking looks () and I was goin to ask about the possibility of the seer merit, Luxury, under a different guise. And depending on how many points required, either imbue an item myself or start with it. Very little expressible narrative, but the one I most want to play. I may save them for. Bigger cabal though.

    Flouresce would have a broader focus, a familiar, and a nice chunk of XP towards promoting that familiar - he would be a combat power. Huge spirit bias, detached, businesslike and brusque. The dark side of Areta-who-was-to-be. I have somewhat of a disconnect as I don't do dance all that well, but I can pretend its the same as other, ecstatic activities.

    Guerrera is bland. She is an angry feminist religious zealot ("Bland, you say? Is she hot?" "Dude, one narrator at a time!") who I honestly cannot find a reason to not conflate the Orishas and Exarchs for, except the Exarchs are Gildas. When designed she was a purposeful step away from my usual arcana, but so is Chief, and Chief is more engaging.



    I'm gonna need to see this Mara, before I can go much further.
    Last edited by SiuiS; 2012-10-28 at 09:59 PM.
    "Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice."

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    SiuiS, I have no clue at this point. Other than putting a big negative on the luxury merit. That's a Seer perk. You want it, you join the Seers. Vulcan can totally hook you up.


    And now, I found the XP rules, but still not the detailed thing about how we're handling paradox. Are you sure you don't have it, somewhere Thanqol? I'm not just talking about soaking the dice, but also all that stuff about how it builds up during a scene with all the mages.

    XP-Based Character Generation for World of Darkness
    (Add 35 as you're all starting out with some experience already.)
    Spoiler
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    The XP values here are derived from the equivalent value of the highest XP allotment of dots at character generation. Unused XP from each category is saved and may later be spent in conjunction with XP earned during the game to increase the relevant category (or may be totalled and spent freely, at Storyteller discretion). Unlike in standard character creation, the cost of the fifth dot is not increased.


    Begin with one dot in each Attribute (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

    70 XP for primary Attributes.
    (•••• 45 + ••• 25)
    55 XP for secondary Attributes.
    (•••• 45 + •• 10)
    45 XP for tertiary Attributes.
    (•••• 45)

    Begin with no dots in any Skills:

    78 XP for primary Skills.
    (•••• 30 + •••• 30 + ••• 18)
    48 XP for secondary Skills.
    (•••• 30 + ••• 18)
    30 XP for tertiary Skills.
    (•••• 30)

    9 XP for 3 Skill Specialities.
    (Flat cost of 3*3)

    Begin with one dot in an appropriate Supernatural Ability (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

    42 XP for Merits and increasing Supernatural Ability (Wyrd, Psyche, Gnosis, Azoth, Blood Potency or Primal Urge).
    (Supernatural Ability ••• 40 + Merit • 2)

    Templates and XP

    Changeling
    3 XP for a Skill Speciality in Athletics, Brawl or Stealth.
    (Flat cost of 3)
    2 XP for one dot in the Mantle appropriate to the character's Court.
    (Mantle • 2)
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    (Manifestation ••• 36)
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    Mage
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    (Attribute •••••)
    72 XP divided among three or four Arcana, two of which must be Ruling Arcana, with no single Arcanum higher than three dots.
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    (Attribute •••••)
    30 XP, at least 10 XP of which must be spent on Clan Disciplines.
    (Clan Discipline ••• 30)

    Werewolf
    36 XP divided among Renown, with at least one dot in each of your Primary Renown types.
    (Primary Renown ••• 36, such as when Auspice and Tribe share Primary Renown)
    51 XP divided among Gifts, with at least one gift from a list associated with Auspice, one gift from a list associated with Tribe, and no gift worth more dots than highest Primary Renown.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Ok, so instead of the massive infodump I was considering, I think I'll try and introduce this character idea in stages.

    First up, the big influences on the character idea were mostly centered around mining the Path Tarot symbolism for interesting themes, as well as some background reading on Chinese philosophy and the Tao. There's also my desire to mix up some of my usual RPG character conceits.

    Spoilered for being more of an info dump than I expected...
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    The result of all this is Samantha Chu (Shadow name Mara), a Mastigos. She's Chinese-American via her father's side, still fairly young but Awakened for a few years now. Her life before Awakening was something of a mix between rough and idyllic - her family was solidly upper middle class and rising, but her father was away more often than not on business, and her mother was bad with kids, despite good intentions. In short, being home wasn't so much being part of a family for her as it was sharing a house with two other people who happened to be 20-some years older. It didn't help that she was an only child.

    On the other hand, there were two people that made her life tolerable. One was her grandmother on her father's side (who had immigrated to join her son in the US) who used to love giving her little gifts and telling her stories from China. The other was her best friend at school, Sara. The girls had bonded early, and both got pushed toward the outside of the social circle during the turmoil of the middle grades which only deepened their connection to each other.

    The thing that complicated her youth however was her diagnosis at 14 with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis took a while because her first few rounds of mood swings were dismissed as the growing pains all young girls go through, but it was eventually a school nurse who realized that things might be more serious and referred her to treatment. Her family was initially reluctant, but as her shift between high and low started to interfere more and more with life they finally recognized the need for outside help.

    Therapy and medication helped, but Sam continued to struggle with her condition throughout high school (which didn't exactly help her social situation) and even delayed heading to college for a while as she worked to sort her life out, with notably mixed feeling on her parents' part.

    However, when Sara left for college herself, things got tougher. Sam had more episodes, sometimes didn't take her medicine. A particularly bad week of fights and recriminations seems to have triggered a nasty manic episode/mixed state that caused her parents to hospitalize Samantha for her own safety. It was there, in the psych ward, that Sam was forced to confront the Hell inside her own mind and the only choices became to see through the Lie or be crushed by it. She chose the latter and Awakened, and finally found something that could help her in a way no Sleeper was able to.

    That said, Sam didn't instantly "cure" herself with magic. Instead, she's been analyzing herself, and her own mind magically, using her abilities to help keep things from spiraling out of control like they used to. Eventually, she was picked up by the Arrow and got some proper magical training, and even set her sights on going back to school. Until things got a little out of hand in Hong Kong.

    Where that part of the story is going, I'll go into next post, but suffice it to say I'm being pretty evil to Samantha in all this.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    but suffice it to say I'm being pretty evil to Samantha in all this.
    Sounds appropriate for a Mastigos.


    In other news, after scouring our Skyscraper Graveyard thread for a while, I've simply grabbed the line in the OP about soaking paradox as lethal, rather than bashing. However, I explicitly recall an idea about changing how we count paradox in a scene as the sum of all vulgar spells cast, rather than per character, and I can't find that one.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Ignoring spoilers for the nonce.

    Paradox increases normally per character per scene. I believe every additional vulgar spell increases your paradox pool by 1, sleeper witnesses by 2, etc.
    From what I read him discussing on RPG.net, it's per area per scene. If Mage A casts a vulgar spell, that's one die. Mage B casts a vulgar spell, and his pool is 2 dice, because of Mage A's +1. Is that what you meant?

    And rather than actual luxury, I was going for being well-off. Taken care of, and able to liquidiize assets, but unlike resources doing so actually drops the merit by a dot. I could achieve the same but better with resources, it was just a thematic. I'd like to have a hand in business ventures and gambling. The life of a whale is such that you get the best suite and free drinks, but you've only got enough liquid cash for half a big Mac.

    And now Tia cruelly read things!
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post

    I'd like to have a hand in business ventures and gambling.
    That's, like, explicitly the thing that Mammon is doing in this game that you couldn't possibly be involved with if you aren't a Seer or a mortal servant. Business ventures and gambling is their entire scheme.


    Thanks for the info on paradoxes. Maybe that was the whole thing? It sounds close.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Post the second, or where DD goes a bit more into the theory of the character. Before jumping back in to more concrete details without rhyme or reason.

    [/totallynotanacanthus]

    Anyway, the big ideas I'm shooting for as background themes are:

    Unity, Duality and Multiplicity and their relation to the Tao. Basically as I was reading, there was this idea of a progression Tao -> One -> Two -> Three -> Ten Thousand -> Tao. Combined with my desire to play a Mastigos, the two arising from one thing is what led me to the idea that Sam might be suffering from bipolar disorder, where she has two separate poles, or facets to her personality. Her mental state also gives a thematic transition into her Awakening. Part of her new life as a Mage is seeking to understand the big facets of herself that were previously split into those "poles" and kind of internally categorizing them.

    Control Here the idea is lifted from the Tarot. The Devil's imagery is about control, being a slave or being a master of your desires and yourself. Sam is now trying to gain control through magic and knowledge, and may extend that idea even as far as Goetia or direct Astral shaping. On a more emotional level for her, it's about finally being able to take charge and pull back from the edge of a manic or depressive episode, instead of feeling like a victim with something wrong in her head. Now, with her Awakened understanding, she can say no to unwanted mental states.
    Last edited by the_druid_droid; 2012-10-28 at 10:30 PM.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    That's, like, explicitly the thing that Mammon is doing in this game that you couldn't possibly be involved with if you aren't a Seer or a mortal servant. Business ventures and gambling is their entire scheme.
    I did notice that. Despite my inherent desire to img like a jackdaw over my shinies, having everything bought out don under me by a global conspiracy of jerks because I threw around a small amount of weight upon arrival would cement my desire for sticking around.

    ...

    That's going into the potential backstory, nice and tidy.

    EDIT: a clash of conceits, Chief would e a foreigner abroad. There has to be a business somewhere in the world that isn't Mammon, was the thought (before I saw Mammon as a thing here even!)

    Thanks for the info on paradoxes. Maybe that was the whole thing? It sounds close.
    You're welcome. It's surreal, in that I swear Thanqol has never mentioned this anywhere on this forum. There's the point where you suggested pattern scouring, it was pointed out that such was lethal, and took forever to heal, and that is tied closely in my mind with the paradox thing becaus I recall soaking being resistant lethal damage as a house rule from Armory: reloaded. I suppose my inability to properly use my quote powers stems from my three month gangbang all over the concept of a steady sleep schedule. Ask Tiki Snakes? I believe he was directly involved.

    Thanqol, do you have any personality traits for Vulcan, other than Seer and Forges Thaumium eventually? I'm getting concepts going but there's an open lack of feed. I need more concepts for which to forge mental wiring so I can complete the circuit.
    Last edited by SiuiS; 2012-10-28 at 10:42 PM.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Post the third, wherein DD goes into the details he promised he would in the previous post, but didn't.

    After her Awakening, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were there, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor, Satori, under the guise of having a new therapist.

    At the same time, her connection to her grandmother remained pretty strong, calling and writing letters at least once a week, in addition to sort of keeping an eye on her with Scrying. Now, a little while ago, her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and he took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

    Unfortunately, the Free Council attack happened to be on the train her father and grandmother were riding that day. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great, but the feeling kept nagging her and she finally scryed. That was how she found out that both of them were killed in the attack. The official word came a few days later.

    Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's so set on vengeance that she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Free Council, including the Seers. Sort of an "enemy of my enemy" situation.

    This is both the reason for her appearance, and why she'd be open to working with Vulcan, although specifics obviously still need hashing out and some things may change.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    Post the third, wherein DD goes into the details he promised he would in the previous post, but didn't.

    After her Awakening, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were there, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor, Satori, under the guise of having a new therapist.

    At the same time, her connection to her grandmother remained pretty strong, calling and writing letters at least once a week, in addition to sort of keeping an eye on her with Scrying. Now, a little while ago, her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and he took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

    Unfortunately, the Free Council attack happened to be on the train her father and grandmother were riding that day. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great, but the feeling kept nagging her and she finally scryed. That was how she found out that both of them were killed in the attack. The official word came a few days later.

    Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's so set on vengeance that she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Free Council, including the Seers. Sort of an "enemy of my enemy" situation.

    This is both the reason for her appearance, and why she'd be open to working with Vulcan, although specifics obviously still need hashing out and some things may change.


    Alright, cool. Agonizing, but cool. I'll introduce NPC cabals in the coming days, but here's what the Arrow think is going on.
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    The Arrow think that something in Hong Kong has been activated. It's long been thought that the British took the city for a reason, and that the area was built on an area of natural power. Now, the theorists suspect that the Hong Kong location once played host to one or more mages of great power, and may even have been constructed initially as their laboratory of sorts. The Arrow's intent is to acquire as many critical locations as possible and hold them. They think whatever is going to happen will happen on its own, and their plan is to prevent outside interference from anyone, then take advantage of whatever ritual has been tripped to overthrow the existing order of Seers and help perfect the city by placing it in Pentacle hands. They are, in effect, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-10-28 at 11:23 PM.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Do you have any idea as to which arcanum Mara would focus on? I know it's a silly question but it gives me a sense of spectrum and scale.

    Mara is animated by vengeance. Vulcan by... Wow Thanqol, that is inarticulable. Do us a favor luv? Have your next character easier to understand than an irishman's surname in writing? XD

    I will discount Guerrera for now, as the only unique feature she brims to the table is skill with a machete, and I find cabals of all women slightly unrealistic. She's a chance to play low wisdom without idiot ball, though. Hm.

    Flouresce doesn't seem motivated though. Not by anything of value externally. I think he might be an apostate, or perhaps free councilor posing as an apostate. The problem with a stoic character is the stoicism. I can't get behind his eyes, not yet. A tandem persona; why would a neon-sign dragon come to this city? Perhaps the relationship of master and familiar is two-way.

    Our untitled Acanthus would show up out of the blue like it was the most natural thing, and be peeved you forgot to set a place for them. Mysterium, but less Librarian an more Indiana Jones. Crystal Skull? That wasn't a movie idea, that was my last assignment. Why else do you think it didn't mesh with the trilogy? Has the easiest in for Vulcan - my fate and yours are entertained. You will work for me. Don't bother fighting. Just come along. Oh, and what's your name and what do you do? A Moros? Wonderful! I was afraid I would be lucky to get a sleepwalker.


    The answer of course is to make all the characters and see which one looks like fun :3
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Vulcan is easy to understand. She's a nihilist in the actual sense of that word. As in, she does not believe that life has objectively identifiable meaning. She's a Seer because why not? She gets a nice place and freedom to do what she wants and might as well enjoy yourself because nothing else matters, so let's just go straight to the pleasure centers of the brain.

    Put her someplace else, doing something else, and she's not a Seer anymore, unless the other stuff sucks more than being a Seer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Alright, cool. Agonizing, but cool. I'll introduce NPC cabals in the coming days, but here's what the Arrow think is going on.
    Mara is, in general, not a very happy pony. On the flipside, her original incarnation was angsty but without much to really be unhappy with. This way, she has motivation. Also a possibly-even chance of becoming a burn-the-world-Sclestus.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Do you have any idea as to which arcanum Mara would focus on? I know it's a silly question but it gives me a sense of spectrum and scale.
    Mind. Absolutely. Strictly speaking, my advancement path for her is staying pretty narrow in Mind and Space for several dots. She just doesn't have a lot of interest in some of the other Arcana. One of her features is being slightly solipsistic.

    Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

    First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

    Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    Mind. Absolutely. Strictly speaking, my advancement path for her is staying pretty narrow in Mind and Space for several dots. She just doesn't have a lot of interest in some of the other Arcana. One of her features is being slightly solipsistic.

    Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

    First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

    Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.
    I'm also specci'ng Matter/Mind (Uncrowned King Legacy down the line) and am also taking Telepathy as a Rote. In my mind and personal ruling it absolutely allows reading of surface thoughts; equivalent to opening a phone line to someone's brain and just not saying anything into your end, letting them mutter to themselves.

    Sheet soonish, should answer most questions once it's up.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2012-10-28 at 11:53 PM.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    CHARACTER SHEET

    Sumi Mukuro

    AKA Vulcan
    AKA The Silver Collared Administrator
    Female Seer of the Throne Moros
    “Logic is the beginning, not the end, of Wisdom.”
    Theme: Power Slipping

    Tracks:
    MANA 7/10
    WILLPOWER 3/5
    HEALTH 7/7

    STATBLOCK

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    ATTRIBUTES
    Intelligence 5
    Wits 1
    Resolve 1

    Strength 3
    Dexterity 2
    Stamina 2

    Presence 2
    Manipulation 3
    Composure 4

    MENTAL
    Academics 2
    Computer
    Crafts 4 (Art +1)
    Investigation 4 (Intellectual Rivals +1)
    Occult 1
    Politics 1
    Medicine 1
    Science

    PHYSICAL
    Athletics
    Brawl
    Drive 2
    Firearms
    Larceny 2
    Stealth
    Survival 1
    Weaponry 2

    SOCIAL
    Animal Ken
    Empathy 3 (Motives +1)
    Expression 1
    Intimidation 1
    Persuasion 1
    Socialize 1
    Streetwise
    Subterfuge 3


    MERITS
    Artifact 3
    Resources 4
    Sleepwalker Retainer 1
    Striking Looks 2
    Status: Mysterium1
    High Speech 1

    Secret 2
    - Luxury 2
    - Seer Status 2



    ARCANA
    Matter 3
    Mind 3
    Death 1
    Time 1

    Crown of Scarcity 1

    1) The Fruits of the Earth
    Wealth leads to status in the eyes of the Chancellor. A Prelate may use her dots in the Resources merit as though they were dots in Status against any Sleeper or Seer of the Throne. The Luxury Merit has no affect on this power - the wealth it provides is not truly the Seers' own.


    GNOSIS 1
    MANA 7/10

    WISDOM: 7
    VIRTUE: Charity
    VICE: Envy
    FLAW: Lame

    DERIVED TRAITS
    Willpower 5/5
    Defense 1
    Health 7/7
    Speed 7

    ROTES
    Sorceror’s Forge (Alter Integrity) Intelligence+Crafts+Matter 13
    Illuminating The Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Intelligence+Academics+Mind 11
    Mask of Conformity (Imposter) Intelligence+Subterfuge+Mind 11
    Strike True (Perfect Timing) Intelligence+Composure+Time 10

    MAMMON ROTE SPECIALITIES
    +1 Academics, Crafts, Persuasion

    Artifact: Dreambreaker
    Mace: Damage 3B Size 4 Durability 6(+2) Structure 10
    Pool 8B

    Ballistic Shield:
    Defense +2
    -3 Penalty on firearms attacks.

    Bulletproof Clothing 1/2

    Defense: 3
    Matter Shield: 3
    Armour 4/5


    Effect: Winds of Chance (Fate 1)
    Mana 10/10(+3/day)

    XP: 44
    UNSPENT XP: 9
    ARCANE XP: 4
    UNSPENT ARCANE: 4
    SOCIAL XP: 3
    UNSPENT SOCIAL: 3


    DESCRIPTION

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    Tall. Elegant. Smart. Vulcan wears a black vest over a white long-sleeved shirt, blue tie, and a generic-looking ID badge with her face on it. Her hair is long, sleek and black, and she wears black-framed rectangular glasses. Around her neck is a silver collar, a family heirloom from the era of Shogunate Japan. Vulcan's right leg is crippled and she makes heavy use of an arcane staff as a walking stick.

    The staff, Dreambreaker is a long, dark construction of lead, cold iron, and Atlantean glyphs in silver. Near the top of the staff, it seems to turn into a dark wood, twisting around a large emerald. It is said to be made by a Moros who's only daughter was taken by the Fae, and in his vengeance he forged a weapon of cold iron that he might assault Arcadia and take her back. When he struck the heart of her Keeper with the staff, some of the Fae's essence infused and warped the staff and infused it with some strange power over chance - perhaps the Fae itself is even still alive within the staff, in a way, and enjoys using the last fragments of it's power when called upon. It especially likes cursing people and is very creative with it's very limited power.

    To speak to, Vulcan is relentlessly cynical, bleakly sarcastic and darkly nihilistic. She lacks any sort of optimism, spiritualism, or higher ethics, being a total materialist who thinks of everything in terms of transactions. A curious facet of this is that she's aware of the concrete damage that murder can deal to a human soul and deliberately avoids unethical acts because they're simply 'not worth' the spiritual damage. Her materialism also prevents her from being paralysed with indecision or despair - things have value, even if there aren't any 'higher values'. She's a Seer because she personally achieves the best possible results by being a Seer.

    Every so often, Vulcan gets inspired - and her inspiration is a dark and menacing thing. It's a dark and ineffable humour, a sense of power and control that rises from deep in her soul, a plan executed to devastating effectiveness, authority and confrontation. This inspiration is perhaps the one part of her that is utterly at odds with the Throne for it seeks power far above it's station.

    She also has curiously democratic sympathies with regards to art, having no patience for the Throne's practise of keeping the best pieces of artwork to themselves. Art and value exists to be appreciated, and it doesn't have value unless it creates an effect. Vulcan is inclined to share art and wealth because keeping it hoarded makes it worth it. What's worth more - a private masterpiece or the Mona Lisa?



    MAGICAL TOOLS

    Cup: Water/Life/Feminine: Black Credit Card
    Mirror: Reflections/Senses: Gas Mask
    Pentacles and Coins: The World/Cycles of Power: Noir Films
    Wands and Staves: Masculine, Directed Power: Walking Staff
    Sword: Command and Control: Selling Out

    PERCEPTIONS:

    Mind: Inner Monologue
    People talk to themselves, narrating their surroundings, saying things internally they'd never whisper out loud.

    Matter: Blueprints
    Items have patterns, even potential items have patterns. Vulcan sees these patterns as blueprints, laid out as if in the labs of an early modern factory-lab; blue paper with white writing.

    Death: Warfare
    Death is bloody, industrial conflict. Gunshot wounds and mortar shells, barbed wire and artillery. All Death is filtered through the lens of the battles of WWII.

    Time: Coloured Dust
    Under Time Sight, the world is made of sand sculptures of beautiful, multicoloured sand. Stirring it up sends drifting clouds of multicoloured dust into the air. The colour of the sand is laden with meaning, as is it's relative stability. The more temporal stability something has the more solid it becomes, like clay or even rock.

    NIMBUS
    Greyscale: When Vulcan works magic, colour drains from the world around her. Covert magic takes the edge off the world. Vulgar magic is akin to covering the local area in a black-and-white film filter, complete with crackling edges and flickering frames.




    HISTORY

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    TWO GENIUSES

    “Sumi Mukuro is very clever, but she does not apply herself” – this was the refrain of report cards that followed Vulcan all the way through her educational career. ‘Very clever’ was an understatement, though – Vulcan was a bona fide genius. She sailed through all of her courses without applying herself at all, instead relying on her natural genius – and getting better marks than all of her less-gifted fellow students. With academics so easy to her she devoted the majority of her actual effort and time into art, design and physical construction.

    Mukuro’s father was a career politician and rather distant from his family; a man to be respected rather than loved. Her mother had never been able to keep up with two genius children, and did her best to discipline them even though they could run rings around her.

    It was believed by some of her teachers that her slothful attitude came from her twin brother, who was a genuine layabout. But while Sumi Makoto was actually lazy, Mukuro was arrogant and considered study beneath her abilities. Makoto and Mukuro were equally intelligent and always very close. Makoto found language very interesting, and started to develop as an author, and Mukuro was a specialist in the visual arts. With these factors in place it was only natural that they decide to work together on a manga – and when they released it, it was a huge hit. Skydam North was a tragic story about a man who overthrew a democratic government and established a fascist dictatorship so he could mobilise an invasion of the Spirit world to rescue his kidnapped lover. The profits from the manga meant the duo would never have to work, so they instead decided to travel the world to look for more inspiration.

    Europe was their first destination, and Germany in particular had inspired Skydam North, so a visit there was a priority. One night, after fighting off a strange fever, Mukuro went for a walk in the fields to clear her head. She ignored the warning signs, having never accepted limitations on herself before, and jumped the fence. She then stepped on a land mine.

    AWAKENING

    She was greeted in the underworld by the very apologetic German battlefield engineer named Egon who had laid that land mine back in the second world war. He patched her up – not that her ghostly form was bleeding very much, despite the loss of both legs – and decided it’d go a bit of the way towards making up for the whole thing if he showed her around. Egon carried Mukuro on his back on a tour of the trenches, explaining to her how the allies had pushed them back to this spot and that they were losing the war. Their division had been ordered to take Hill 468, a fortified artillery position. Egon was dimly aware that he was a ghost and that the first charge had failed, but the men here were bound to keep charging up that hill until they finally seized it. Their duty demanded no less.

    Mukuro was horrified to see hundreds of men trapped in this eternal, hellish cycle by their ‘duty’. She was horrified at the falling shells, the maiming and screaming, the bayonets and gunfire, the stink and gangrene, the starvation and mud. Their ‘duty’ had lead them to sacrifice everything they possessed, and then sacrifice themselves. There was no artistry here, no creation – just two enormous machines grinding against each other, crushing gears lubricated with the blood of millions.

    But when the next charge came, she demanded to go with them. A revelation had come to her – it wasn’t just the ideal that these people were dying over, they were also dying over that very real, very concrete spit of land. That muddy patch of dirt represented their duty. It had no worth, but their priorities had been so skewed by lies that they valued it more than themselves. She had to give it to them.

    So a helmet was placed on her head and a pistol in her hands, and as the charge began she crawled behind the men, dragging herself by her hands. As the shells fall and men died all around her she crawled onwards. Over barbed wire and into the enemy trenches she crawled onwards. She shot a man with her pistol and kept crawling, soaked in mud and blood. She crawled all the way to the summit of the hill with only her hands, finally arriving below the flag pole. She scrawled her name onto it in blood and hoisted it high, one wretched tug at a time. Over that muddy, desolate battlefield, the flag flew, and for a moment there was quiet.

    THE THRONE

    Mukuro came to in hospital, alongside her brother. She’d lost both her legs. Makoto was distraught, but Mukuro was quietly fascinated by the strange new layer of vision that was overlying everything she saw. For the next few months from her hospital bed she practised her new magic, warping, bending, breaking and repairing the few objects she had access to. She gradually found some mobility in a wheelchair, but not nearly as much as she remembered.

    Then a gentleman in a very nice suit walked in and told her that he represented the secret society of wizards that ran the world, he would very much like her to join his secret society, and he was prepared to offer her healing for her ruined legs. He didn't fix them entirely - the damage was too severe - but she could walk again, and for that, she was grateful.

    At every stage since, service to the Throne has just made sense. There wasn’t anything wrong with serving a higher power, because all service was transactional. She just had to remain aware that she should never die over a spit of land, so to speak – anything she did had to benefit her more than it harmed her, otherwise she’d just be a pawn in someone else’s game. As long as she understood her own value she couldn’t be enslaved.

    Her natural genius quickly rose her to the position of Administrator within Mammon’s hierarchy, where she oversaw the flow of arcane lore and immersed herself deeply within it. Knowledge became an utmost priority to her – the more knowledge she had the less she could be manipulated, and she was quickly becoming aware of just how many ways there were to be manipulated. In the great game of Awakening she was determined to better herself every step of the way – if that meant the Throne, then it meant the Throne. If it meant betraying the Throne that was fine too.

    WAKING DREAMS

    Mukuro continued to live with her brother in a shared apartment in a rich district of Hong Kong, where they collaborated on future manga projects. She kept her day job as a Seer separate, and relaxed by working on repairing junked cars in a small private garage she ran by herself. She still respected her brother and his intelligence as one of the few equals to hers, but increasingly wrote him off as being unable to understand what really mattered in the world.

    But then, one day as she worked in her garage, reconfiguring and combining mechanical items for practise, someone asked her how she’d done that. She turned around in shock – if a Sleeper had been observing her cast magic she’d been risking a serious paradox. But in the eyes of the dirty street kid she saw no hint, not even a whisper of the Abyss. She wasn’t a Mage, but she sure as hell wasn’t a Sleeper.

    That completely threw Mukuro’s philosophical position regarding Sleepers. She’d been told that the Abyss was a product of their own flawed souls and no magic could heal someone’s soul from it’s self-inflicted wounds. But here was an ordinary human untouched by the Abyss at all! The existence of Sleepwalkers lead to a whole deluge of complex thoughts – what if magic didn’t have to be secret? What if people could be made into Sleepwalkers? What if she didn’t have to rely on a select few Mages as conversation partners? She didn’t at any point buy into the idea of giving everyone magic – that was absurd, akin to giving everyone assault rifles – but everyone being able to appreciate magic? In particular she wanted to be able to inspire her brother to become a Sleepwalker so she could have meaningful conversations with him again.

    She took on the street kid, a fifteen year old girl named Xi Maji, as a full time employee and apprentice in her garage. She started teaching her how her magic worked and how it worked along with ordinary craftsmanship. Maji was happy for the work, to get out of her orphanage and to be apprenticed to a ‘real life wizard’ and the two quickly formed a close bond.


    GEAR

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    Bulletproof Clothing: Cost 3 (Armoury Reloaded p142)
    Rating 1/2 Strength 0 Defence 0

    Vulcan's suit is actually a very fine kevlar weave, capable of blunting the impact of direct bullet fire. If she pops her collar she can draw a concealed hood over her face to disguise her identity and protect her head.

    Automotive Tools: Cost 4 (WoD 140)

    Vulcan's machine shop has some quite complex and elaborate manufacturing tools that wouldn't be out of place in a much larger garage. She regards them as hobby tools and enjoys programming and upgrading them, even more than she likes building things with them.

    Pepper Spray: Cost 0 (WoD 140)

    A Matter Mage can turn pepper spray into a lot of devastating things. She keeps three cans - one in a concealed cavity in her leg, one in her briefcase, one on her belt designed to look like a lighter.

    First Aid Kit: Cost 2 (WoD 140)

    Vulcan keeps a compact first aid kit in her briefcase, with a slightly wider range of restricted drugs than is standard issue.

    Miranetam: Cost 2 (Armoury Reloaded p143)

    A performance and memory enhancing drug, Miranetam is mostly harmless and not physiologically addictive, though it is a controlled substance. One tablet gives +1 to all mental skills and +3 to perception for four hours. However, if more than four tablets are taken in one 24 hour period, or they're used habitually throughout the week, the user develops the Paranoia Flaw until the drug flushes from their system (12 hours). Vulcan tends to take a tablet whenever she encounters a problem that she finds genuinely interesting.

    Biohazard Suit: Cost 4 (Armoury p170)

    A full hazmat suit with gas mask, Vulcan's training taught her that no one - NO ONE - screws around with someone wearing radiation gear. It's for dire emergencies only, of course, or for when dealing with unknown magical crap in her lab. She keeps a few cheaper NBC suits in case she needs to protect anyone else. These are all locked up in a very secure cabinet - she could answer questions about why she has biohazard suits in her house to the local police but she'd really rather not.

    She also has a few private security company uniforms just in case she needs them, as well as a lot of outfits and getups for a variety of disguises and functions.

    Security System, Intermediate: Cost 3 (Armoury p181)

    The silent alarm that covers her house and to her garage doesn't go out to the police - it goes out to a private security company operated by the Seers of the Throne who are both far quicker to respond, far more brutal, and far less likely to have to answer questions about their behaviour than the police.

    Vulcan is also a computer expert and aware of the existence of Forces magic, so she worked in conjunction with a rookie Seer Obrimos to develop a subroutine to surprise anyone who thinks they can use Transmission to breach the place. When one alarm is turned off then five more alarms power up and go out simultaneously and in different directions. A clever and powerful Obrimos could still catch all the signals but it wouldn't be nearly as trivial as a normal alarm.

    Off Road SUV: Cost 3 (Armoury p138)
    Durability: 6
    Size: 15
    Structure: 21
    Acceleration: 13(19mph/turn)
    Safe: 106 (72mph)
    Max: 163 (96mph)
    Handling: 0
    Occupants: 1+4

    Police Package (Armoury p153)
    Acceleration Upgrade (Armoury p153)
    Security Package (Armoury p153)
    - Flat-run tires
    - Durability 4/Structure 7 windows
    - Durability 6 Structure 9 doors
    - Durability 8 Structure 10 gas tank

    Yes, Vulcan is one of those people who drives an off-road SUV on the streets of Hong Kong. The good news is that she rarely uses it, preferring to walk or use public transport. What she uses a car for isn't transport - it's as a mobile siege platform. She's modified the car so that it's one spell away from being able to crush through traffic like a monster truck. It's also stocked with various supplies and backups, magical and mundane, for when she has to make field trips - or on the off chance she ever needs to break from the city and run for the hills.

    The car's spirit is more like a tank than a passenger vehicle, having originally been a brutal SWAT armoured van. A persistent rumour amongst the Throne is that she used it to run over a full grown werewolf. Silver inlaid bullbar.


    OPINIONS

    Spoiler
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    The Boxers

    "Their philosophy was obsolete the last time they all got massacred."

    Vulcan is not at all impressed by spiritualism. The most powerful force in the world is human desire. Through the lens of capitalism, watch as desire obliterates rainforests, bulldozes shrines, paves over relics, destroys traditions. Denying your own desire rids yourself of your most powerful force, your most human element, and turns you into some kind of monster or machine. To a degree, she thinks that espousing any philosophy different from self-interested nihilistic materialism is contributing directly to the greater suffering of humanity.

    She would rather not deal with them at all. Not only do they not understand, they have deliberately removed themselves so far from understanding that they have become unpredictable. It would be wrong to say that she's afraid of them - more irritated that they don't set themselves up to be easily controlled.

    The Musketeers

    "Did you know there was a movie called Barbie and the Three Musketeers? It made the Throne ten million dollars. If you keep it up we might be able to get a sequel."

    Small minded dolts, ignorant of real power, and amongst the most foolish of the Pentacle - but thing is, Vulcan respects that. They're stupid in a way she understands, and are smart in a way she appreciates. They're clearly playing at being heroes, and they should - if they're Awakened it's their own right to do whatever they want with magic. And if what they choose to do is swing around in masks and capes, kill innocent civilians and turn the Pentacle against itself then they couldn't help the Throne more than if they were card carrying Seers.

    They're children playing at heroics, and that's okay. They exist entirely within the acceptable rebel category; they don't even challenge the systems that are designed to control people like them. If the entire Pentacle was as foolish then Vulcan would feel a lot safer.

    The Composer

    "Why did we promote a Banisher to be our head dude, again?"

    Vulcan has been consistently and vocally of the position that the Composer is a Banisher who has somehow been allowed to infiltrate the Throne and the Ministry's best interests are not being served by his unambitious goals. Destruction of all unauthorised knowledge and concentration of power in the hands of the Throne is idiotic because it means that anyone who wants wealth will have to attack the Throne directly. Concentration of wealth just goes to make you a tempting target, and if you poison every watering hole in a desert then every thirsty tribesman is going to line up to take a shot at you.

    The Composer, in Vulcan's opinion, doesn't understand the teachings of his own Ministry, politics or the philosophy of Scarcity. She's tossed around the idea of making a move against him, but ultimately decided she doesn't have the power or need the hassle to hold a title like Librarian - yet.

    Meng

    "He's smart enough to realise everyone is stupid, but too dumb to keep that information to himself."

    Vulcan quite likes Meng. They do excellent work together and they have precisely the same sarcastic attitude. She sees a kind of irreverent faithlessness in him which she appreciates and would quite like to work with him in the future.

    The Council of Shu-Han

    "Surely a true scholar earns exaltation by his deeds and knowledge, not by the mere pursuit of them? Success must be a precondition for reverence, otherwise we must honour frauds and failures for their flawed attempts - oh, it's midnight? Same time again next week?"

    Vulcan is very concerned about the Council. On one hand, they're some of the few people in this city who have priorities that aren't completely delusional or outright dull. On the other hand, she can't see a meaningful distinction between them and the Throne. Two hierarchical, authoritarian cults gathering magical knowledge - one just happens to be better funded and with more room for advancement than the other. While Vulcan would be very drawn to the Mysterium as an Order if their philosophies were laid out before her, the Council constantly entangles the Order's positions with their own individual priorities to create something that Vulcan regards as vaguely sad and delusional.

    However, Vulcan has ties of guanxi to the Council and regularly attends the Mysterium's meetings and discussions. They're her social circle, and even though she thinks they're wrong they're the people she talks to. A network of favours, shared knowledge, and common ideals has built a certain level of respect between them. Vulcan's even quietly tipped the Council off once or twice when the Composer was planning to destroy certain valuable arcane lore.

    10,000 Corridors

    "Even they don't know why they're here."

    Empty wastes of time, upholding irrelevant ideals that paralyse them with indecision. Vulcan considers them gutless slaves to their own senseless set of values and worshippers of an abhorrent philosophy. The contradiction of their existence is that merely by being here they lower the tone of the debate, which undermines their goal of producing a harmonious Awakened society.

    The Soul's Freedom

    "On the upside, they realised that their plan was stupid. On the downside, that means they were smart enough to realise their plan was stupid and now I don't know what they're doing."

    Vulcan respects that the Soul's Freedom had it in them to realise that they were wrong. That's a rare talent, and it takes guts. Most people she knows would have stayed just where they are, squatting in power and making up hypocritical bullcrap to justify it.

    She's really worried about what they're up to now. They strike her as a group of people with a plan important enough to rigorously conceal. Vulcan suspects research into Left-Handed topics purely on a hunch.

    Truth

    "The Praetorian Ministry would like to send you this cease-and-desist order to stop violating their copyright."

    On one hand, Vulcan respects the purity of their thought. "Destroy the followers of the Lie". Simple and to the point.

    On the other hand, "The Lie" is not a faction and the reality is that they're a group of psychopaths who are out to kill people who they don't like.

    Macau Seers

    "They're huge hypocrites and they're not ashamed of it. I like them."

    The advantage of being a materialist, in Vulcan's opinion, is that it gives you freedom - the freedom to be a pure shrine maiden and a bloody casino don, or a young girl and an old hag - so long as that's what you want to do. Since you don't believe in the ideology of anything behind what you do then there's no restrictions on what you can do!

    Vulcan considers the Macau Seers her closest philosophical peers, even more so than the confused and deluded members of Mammon who make up most of the Ministry's mainland presence. These are her kind of people.

    The Consilium

    "Wow. It takes a certain kind of person to attain total cosmic power and decide to use that power to act as a civil servant."

    Vulcan is surprised at how unambitious the Pentacle's government is. It explains a lot, and there was a certain amount of gene pool culling down the past half century, but these guys seem totally okay with the status quo - begging the question of why aren't they Seers? She guesses that it's okay for the world to have a bunch of rather dull folk in positions of power making sure that the trains all run on time, and certainly prefers this setup to more interesting systems of Pentacle management. She privately considers them "Reverse Sleepwalkers" - people who Awakened as Mages but still think like Sleepers.


    Vulcan loves Guan Yin. She gets it. Her double identity is an incredibly powerful key to personal freedom. In hypocrisy, in old-young, ugly-beautiful, spiritual-material, she can claim the best of every world and discard every rule and restriction that does not apply to her. She is the maiden and the crone, desire and terror. Vulcan has a deep respect for her.

    Vulcan hates Shau Yan. She has randomly determined this girl to be the ur-example of idiocy amongst the Awakened and a clear Reverse Sleepwalker. After all, she, as a Mage Awakened to the Supernal Reality of the Cosmos and given supreme power over it's base clay refuses to read any book which is not approved by a group of Sleepers?

    Good luck with that, lady. I'm sure that the Chinese Communist Party Censorship Board will light you up a goddamn road-map to the Supernal Realms if you just believe in them hard enough.

    Vulcan owes Meng. Meng made the non-sarcastic statement that he was a servant of the region's Teratarch, Wei Miao She. Little did he know that this little fact quite possibly saved Vulcan's life, because she was in the midst of planning to rob Wei Miao She at the time. The scheme was dropped like an ugly baby the moment she realized the unassuming lawyer was probably the most powerful person in the city.

    Vulcan doesn't really hold with matters of honour like rewarding people for unintentional information-giving like that. Still, she feels really, really shaken at how close she was to blundering into the crosshairs of someone she has really good reason to be terrified of and wants to rationalize that away by paying Meng back somehow.

    Liu Bei owes Vulcan. The Composer's purges of illicit information run deeply counter to Vulcan's sense of aesthetics, so she's slipped them valuable information on his plans and movements in the past. She's avoided giving them anything that would let them attack him directly - too risky - but some very valuable knowledge has been preserved from Vulcan's cryptic hints.


    The Composer has something Vulcan wants - his position. Vulcan is of the theory that his mind has slipped and he's become a Banisher, or - worse - he's just an awful strategic thinker. When the election is rigged in your favour you don't campaign on the anti-corruption ticket!

    Vulcan would quite like to be in charge. She lacks anything resembling the infrastructure to pull that off yet, but that's what she's aiming for.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2013-07-20 at 11:27 PM.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Actual nihilists are depressing. There is very little teneble platform from
    Which to negotiate with them. I hope that proves untrue, here.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    One of your features is being slightly solipsistic.
    Fixed her for you

    Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

    First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?
    Good question.

    Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.
    As a general principle, if Arcana 1 pets you singe people with heat, you could tone it down and generate warmth. The arcanum descriptors show the upper hard cap; there is some fuzziness were you can go above, but that is max capacity. You never have to operate at Max capacity.

    ...


    ...


    ...


    Idea. Unrelated. Magical traditions allows for leeway as to what is and is not covert, and disbelief and such. Could magical traditions (Santeria) be used to get around disbelief affecting zombies?
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    Mara is, in general, not a very happy pony.
    Well, now I want to hug her.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

    First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

    Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.
    For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.

    With telepathy, I read it liberally. So, I think that for sure you can read surface thoughts, it says as much in the spell (and with mind 4 you can go deeper). Disbelief is caused by "contacting" a sleeper, which to me means you have to open communication on your end. If you use the spell and stay totally silent and just listen to their thoughts, I don't think it triggers disbelief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Anarion Mori?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.
    My preference is actually having to keep it within it's category, especially when we have some starting XP we can spend to round out any lacks.
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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.
    Yeah, I think the first option is probably the better. Depending on loadout, a pool could give you a lot of extra XP to roll around in, and we're adding 35 general on top. I'm fine with leaving it as partway to another dot.

    With telepathy, I read it liberally. So, I think that for sure you can read surface thoughts, it says as much in the spell (and with mind 4 you can go deeper). Disbelief is caused by "contacting" a sleeper, which to me means you have to open communication on your end. If you use the spell and stay totally silent and just listen to their thoughts, I don't think it triggers disbelief.
    Ok, I wanted to be sure there, but that's pretty much how I read it too. Good we're all on the same page.

    My character sheet should be up soonish, as soon as I can figure out a couple details (read: it may technically be tomorrow because it's late here and I'm fiddling).
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkDM
    That game does seem to have an unusual number of Bronies per square meter.
    Luna Nos Custodit


    Awesome paradoxical avatar by Aruius! When the robot uprising is complete, he alone shall be spared.

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    Anarion's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    CHARACTER SHEET

    Sumi Mukuro

    AKA Vulcan
    AKA The Silver Collared Overseer
    Female Seer of the Throne Moros
    “Logic is the beginning, not the end, of Wisdom.”
    Theme: Power Slipping

    Tracks:
    MANA 7/10
    WILLPOWER 5/5
    HEALTH 7/7

    STATBLOCK

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    ATTRIBUTES
    Intelligence 5
    Wits 1
    Resolve 1

    Strength 3
    Dexterity 2
    Stamina 2

    Presence 2
    Manipulation 3
    Composure 4

    MENTAL
    Academics 2
    Computer 4
    Crafts 4 (Art +1)
    Investigation
    Occult
    Politics 2 (Wolves from Sheep +1)
    Medicine
    Science

    PHYSICAL
    Athletics 1
    Brawl 2
    Drive 2
    Firearms
    Larceny 1
    Stealth 1
    Survival 1
    Weaponry

    SOCIAL
    Animal Ken
    Empathy 3 (Motives +1)
    Expression
    Intimidation 2
    Persuasion
    Socialize 1
    Streetwise
    Subterfuge 3


    MERITS
    Enhanced Item 3
    Resources 3
    Sleepwalker Retainer 1
    Sanctum 1
    Library 2
    Striking Looks 2

    Secret 2
    - Luxury 2
    - Seer Status 2



    ARCANA
    Matter 3
    Mind 3
    Death 1


    GNOSIS 1
    MANA 7/10

    WISDOM: 7
    VIRTUE: Charity
    VICE: Envy
    FLAW: Disabled

    DERIVED TRAITS
    Willpower 5/5
    Defense 1
    Health 7/7
    Speed 10

    ROTES
    Sorceror’s Forge (Alter Integrity) Intelligence+Crafts+Matter 14
    Sword of the Slayer (Alter Accuracy) Composure+Crafts+Matter 13
    Know The Wolf By His Stance (Aura Perception) Wits+Empathy+Mind 7
    Illuminating The Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Intelligence+Computer+Mind 14
    Mask of Conformity (Imposter) Intelligence+Subterfuge+Mind 11
    Psychic Communion (Telepathy) Wits+Empathy+Mind 7

    Enhanced Item: Prosthetic Legs
    Damage 4B(+1) Size 2 Durability 8(+2) Structure 5
    Pool 9B

    XP: 35
    UNSPENT XP: 0
    ARCANE XP:
    UNSPENT ARCANE:


    DESCRIPTION

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    Tall. Elegant. Smart. Vulcan wears a black vest over a white long-sleeved shirt, blue tie, and a generic-looking ID badge with her face on it. Her hair is long, sleek and black, and she wears black-framed rectangular glasses. Around her neck is a high-tech silver collar that integrates with her spine, and two long black cables curve out from it to connect to her mechanical prosthetic legs. Despite the seeming vulnerability of the exposed wires they are harder than reinforced steel. The legs themselves are smooth, white, extremely high tech masterpieces, the kind of advance money can't buy. Under her pants and high stockings they're invisible, unless you're looking with Mage Sight or listening for the faint mechanical whirring that accompanies each step.

    To speak to, Vulcan is relentlessly cynical, bleakly sarcastic and darkly nihilistic. She lacks any sort of optimism, spiritualism, or higher ethics, being a total materialist who thinks of everything in terms of transactions. A curious facet of this is that she's aware of the concrete damage that murder can deal to a human soul and deliberately avoids unethical acts because they're simply 'not worth' the spiritual damage. Her materialism also prevents her from being paralysed with indecision or despair - things have value, even if there aren't any 'higher values'. She's a Seer because she personally achieves the best possible results by being a Seer.

    Every so often, Vulcan gets inspired - and her inspiration is a dark and menacing thing. It's a dark and ineffable humour, a sense of power and control that rises from deep in her soul, a plan executed to devastating effectiveness, authority and confrontation. This inspiration is perhaps the one part of her that is utterly at odds with the Throne for it seeks power far above it's station.

    She also has curiously democratic sympathies with regards to art, having no patience for the Throne's practise of keeping the best pieces of artwork to themselves. Art and value exists to be appreciated, and it doesn't have value unless it creates an effect. Vulcan is inclined to share art and wealth because keeping it hoarded makes it worth it. What's worth more - a private masterpiece or the Mona Lisa?



    Magical Tools:
    Cup: Water/Life/Feminine: Black Credit Card
    Mirrors: Reflections/Senses: Network Collar
    Pentacles and Coins: The World/Cycles of Power: Power Phrase “Equal Exchange”
    Wands and Staves: Masculine, Directed Power: Prosthetic Legs
    The Sword, Command and Control: Selling Out

    Perceptions:
    Mind: Inner Monologue
    People talk to themselves, narrating their surroundings,

    Matter: Wireframes
    Items have patterns, even potential items have patterns. It's just a matter of constructing the outline mentally and filling it in.

    Death: Warfare
    Death is bloody, industrial conflict. Gunshot wounds and mortar shells, barbed wire and artillery. All Death is filtered through the lens of the battles of WWII.

    NIMBUS
    Ultramodern. When Vulcan wields magic, everything seems to be made a little bit further in the future, of a style that reflects the current fashion trends. Right now things tend to be chromed, white, with big icons and tailored graphics - right on the bleeding edge.
    Vulgar magic causes objects to outright reconfigure into higher tech versions of themselves, with floating holograms and wireframe diagrams.




    HISTORY

    TBA
    Thanqol, how are you calculating some of those rotes? I only get 12 on sorcerer's forge: 5 int+4 crafts+3 matter=12. Is the 14 you listed including a cast with high speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Idea. Unrelated. Magical traditions allows for leeway as to what is and is not covert, and disbelief and such. Could magical traditions (Santeria) be used to get around disbelief affecting zombies?
    Um, not really. People will think you're doing Santeria as opposed to Mage magic, but they'll still think it's magic. If you could dress up a zombie to seem like a drugged out regular human, then you could get it past disbelief.
    Lawyer Pony Avatar by Dirtytabs, exalted as an Eclipse by Elemental, now with a fancy robe.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Anarion Mori?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Thanqol, how are you calculating some of those rotes? I only get 12 on sorcerer's forge: 5 int+4 crafts+3 matter=12. Is the 14 you listed including a cast with high speech?
    Whoops, an artifact from when I set Crafts at 5. It does include a +1 from the Mammon Rote Specialities (Crafts, Computer, Persuasion - fitting with their role as Evil Free Council)
    To improve is to change
    To be perfect is to change often

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    Anarion's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Whoops, an artifact from when I set Crafts at 5. It does include a +1 from the Mammon Rote Specialities (Crafts, Computer, Persuasion - fitting with their role as Evil Free Council)
    Illuminating the inner temple should be 13 as well, since you also have computers at 4. Looks good otherwise. I look forward to matter sight, describing a wire-frame over everything is going to be an interesting task.
    Lawyer Pony Avatar by Dirtytabs, exalted as an Eclipse by Elemental, now with a fancy robe.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Anarion Mori?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You just highlandered an entire city block into a glass-filled storm by road-runnering down it in your underwear.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    the_druid_droid's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    One more clarification - the OP says that sites removed from the masses carry a 1 dot penalty. Does this apply to any Sanctum/Hallow, or just to ones that are supposed to be less in the thick of the city?
    This Machine Surrounds Hate And Forces It To Surrender

    Ponythread Learns to Draw!

    Bleeeeh! Alfalfa Monster!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkDM
    That game does seem to have an unusual number of Bronies per square meter.
    Luna Nos Custodit


    Awesome paradoxical avatar by Aruius! When the robot uprising is complete, he alone shall be spared.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    SiuiS's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Heart of the Dragon (OOC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Um, not really. People will think you're doing Santeria as opposed to Mage magic, but they'll still think it's magic. If you could dress up a zombie to seem like a drugged out regular human, then you could get it past disbelief.
    Yeah, just got my laptop back online. It's only no +2 for witnessing vulgar magic on paradox rolls. Poo.

    And a familiar is capped at being a lesser jaggling/rank 1 spirit. Double poo!


    Man. Everyone else is making character sheets and here I am sitting around with an open notebook like a sucker. Ah well. Closing time. Cath y'all in about an hour, hour and a half.
    "Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice."

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