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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    "It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay, and ought to go into chancery, and be sold."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: second series (1844), p. 173.


    Skyscraper Graveyard

    A chronicle of Mage: The Awakening

    OOC Thread 1
    OOC Thread 2: Jealousy and Ambition
    OOC Thread 3: A Sword On His Back
    OOC Thread 4: Lack Of Data

    IC Thread 1: Renaissance City
    IC Thread 2: Simple Choices
    IC Thread 3: THIS IS YOUR GOD

    Notes and Schedules

    STARRING:

    Anarion as Tessen
    The Druid Droid as Turing
    Deadly as Amun Ra
    Tiki Snakes as Jack of Hearts
    Lix Lorn as Insightful Jade

    Soundtrack:
    Sunspots
    Silvertown
    The Sole Regret
    Reign (At The Top Of The World)
    Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
    To The Beginning
    Mindlock
    Labyrinth

    NPC Cabals:
    The Arsenal of Democracy
    The Quiet
    Speakeasy Society
    General Malcom's Irregulars
    The T-Street Crew
    The Old Secret

    Seer Dossiers:
    Cyprus, the Golden Gloved Archon
    The Ieiunium Ministry

    Game Rules:

    Now uses the God Machine Chronicles ruleset

    Spoiler
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    If Detroit has one thing in abundance, it's space. The group receives a free two dots of Sanctum Space and one dot of Sanctum Security. The fifth dot of either does not cost the usual double for merit points. A space five Sanctum nets you an entire abandoned skyscraper or hotel.

    - 35 starting XP. You are not chumps.
    - 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.
    - 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.
    - The potency of non-scaling spells is equal to the number of dots in the primary arcanum of the spell used to cast it. You have Prime 4? Your Prime mage armour and mage sight have a potency of 4. You're out of combat? You can activate them without rolling.


    Posting and character rules (Stole'd from Anarion in the cycle of theft)
    • 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, 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. I may also do individual player info

    Forces 5 houserules
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2013-10-28 at 11:55 PM.
    You can lead a horse to water
    and you can lead a horse into water
    and you can swim around with the horse
    and have fun

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I've had this impression about Amun from the beginning, and it's actually been a bit of a thing for the party in general. This is the problem with non-psycho-punk compliance; it makes it a bit hard for me to appropriately phrase or articulate challenges or story curves because your mechanics are suggesting a bunch of different directions that I should be going in.

    In general, putting a lot of dots in something is a signal to me as a GM that 'this is the type of problem that I want to be able to resolve'. Amun's a hard case because I'm not sure if I'm meant to be playing to his proud Silver Ladder bow-to-no-man side, to his anonymous-and-forgettable hobo side, or his homeless-architectural-genius side. After careful consideration I made the decision to pitch a plot hook that played to the Silver Ladder bit, which you took up - but by it's nature it wiped a couple of dots off your sheet and is likely to forcefully change more of your character sheet the longer you stay with it.

    Turing's a similar problem. Do I play to his computer genius side, or his murderous policeman side? He's built to be a researcher but everything about him suggests Guardian Killer. I've been pitching stories towards the Guardian Killer side, especially given how little interest Turing showed towards the Assault Rifle plotline which was my test-the-waters to see if his interest in computing was legitimate. Turned out it wasn't so I de-prioritised that style of plot hook.

    This is part of why I've been pressing Lix so hard for character details before I get this ball rolling. Everything before Errant's walk-out was a big psychological test of you guys and your characters to help me calibrate plot hooks and work out dissonance on your sheet. I do this as a matter of course when running roleplaying games because I'm accustomed to the fact that not everyone is as clear and vocal about what they want out of stories as me.

    It's also why Tea Party has been such a rousing success from my perspective. The characters there are all psycho-punk compliant. Perhaps it's something in the simplified visual design of ponies but everyone there made really excellent and distinctive characters who could be communicated in very simple, effective ways.
    There's a thing missing here. Well, several, but the big one is Narrative Tension. Put bluntly, the given storyline of a game precludes easy use of part of a well-rounded character. This game started by running to a church ahead of the evil FBI and getting to a prophet to figure out his message. It went immediately into delivering and decoding that message. That sets the tone, and if someone wanted to, say, show case their making of Faberge eggs, that's not going to happen now.

    I know it's absurd, I mean, you even just flat out said "here is a week of free time, be yourselves", but that still falls under that tension. It gives the impression that this free time needs to be bypassed efficiently so everyone can get back to the 'real' game. So you won't have Amun doing architectural studies, because there's never enough time when the camera is 'on', it can only be glossed over during down-time, the lack of screen-time makes it feel to the player that there's not enough there to elaborate on and improve, and then you've got a feedback loop. So without forcing it, and I mean forcing it in a way that is dis congruous, not just politely coughing until you get floor time, you won't get someone wandering the city just poking the map for Supernal symbolism. You won't get someone climbing abandoned and rarely used buildings for the mystic vantage points. You won't get someone tinkering with engine specifics of their ghost-powered car. You won't get painting being built up into a motley-supporting career.

    Play by post does not allow "down time" in the way that stable game does, even moreso in WoD where the nature of 'scenes' means there's just "important to camera" and "not important to camera".

    I think the clearest way to communicate this is how you handled it in Perfect Arrow: "four dice is good, so don't feel bad about having four dice. That said, you only get 2 skills up to 4; one is your favorite hobby/passion, the other is your dedicated job". Otherwise, the nature of XP in the old system lent itself to temporarily shallow, broad and well-rounded characters; a cop would be good at just about half the social skills, all the physical and a third of the mental, instead of just athletics, intimidation, firearms, and investigation like one would do in GMC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    An awful lot of magethought can be done by way of busting out Wikipedia and looking for symbolism.
    My goodness, is it! I may have accidentally spun an entire early chronicle out of the New York flatiron building. Google is magic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfate View Post
    Devils! Stop binding SiuiS' pony!

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    There's a thing missing here. Well, several, but the big one is Narrative Tension. Put bluntly, the given storyline of a game precludes easy use of part of a well-rounded character. This game started by running to a church ahead of the evil FBI and getting to a prophet to figure out his message. It went immediately into delivering and decoding that message. That sets the tone, and if someone wanted to, say, show case their making of Faberge eggs, that's not going to happen now.
    Either the story has a main plot or it doesn't.

    If it does, character arcs are secondary things which mean that the character arcs have to be carefully balanced and prioritised so that only the most important ones take place in the limited time and pacing available.

    If it doesn't, character arcs are the primary things and have to be developed/deep/complex enough to drive a story by themselves.


    Given how complex and novel this system is and how well this team of characters work together, a main plot is essential for binding the narrative together and driving it forwards. Something like Gathering of Mists, in comparison, deals with much simpler powers in a much simpler location with characters who can barely work together - it's totally fine with slipping over into the no-main-plot category.

    This story, though, needs that external pressure.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2013-09-16 at 09:02 AM.
    You can lead a horse to water
    and you can lead a horse into water
    and you can swim around with the horse
    and have fun

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Uh, SiuiS, literally the first thing I did when we got free time was google a map of Detroit, pick a spot and have Tessen go wander around looking for the supernal. That's how the whole Belle Isle thing started.
    Soul Tracer avatar by Thanqol.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes
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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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Alina White

    To do list
    Spoiler
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    1. Get crown ("mercy sits more regally as a crown upon a king than it does upon his subjects

    2. Analyze mansion wards/break in

    3. Analyze notebook

    4. Get some goddamn clue on Flect

    5. Bring down Detroit school system

    6. See nuclear power

    7. Broadcast Izumi's BEST INTERVIEW EVER


    Conditions tracking
    Spoiler
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    Starstruck
    Effect: Izumi social successes become exceptional successes
    Resolves when Tessen sees Izumi fail or does something really significant for her.


    GMC Character Sheet
    Spoiler
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    Alina White
    Shadow Name: Tessen (鉄線) (Means both steel wire, and a type of Chinese flower)

    Concept: A young girl who believes in the potential of every human being, and will give her all to help them realize it.
    Quote: I don’t know why I was chosen, but I’m something greater now. It…it would be wrong not to help people wake up.
    Path: Obrimos
    Order: Silver Ladder
    Songs: "Believe in Myself"
    Jewel-"Hands"

    Virtue: Justice Vice: Sloth
    Aspirations: Destroy the corrupt school system (long-term), Gain a new insight to help Cyprus fix herself, Obtain a new source of publicity for her radio station

    Obsessions: Learn about how to control awakening, Learn what motivates a spirit, Witness the making or unmaking of forces.

    Active Spells
    Prime vision
    Spirit vision

    Total Experiences
    36
    4 beats, 1 political beat

    Attributes
    Physical: strength +/ dexterity +++/ stamina +++
    Mental: intelligence ++++/wits ++/ resolve +++
    Social: presence +/ manipulation ++/ composure +++

    Skills
    Academics ++ (Western Literature)
    Computer ++
    Crafts +
    Investigation +++
    Medicine
    Occult ++++ (Magic)
    Politics
    Science

    Athletics +++
    Brawl
    Drive +
    Firearms +
    Larceny
    Stealth ++
    Survival
    Weaponry

    Animal Ken
    Empathy ++
    Expression ++ (Imitation)
    Intimidation
    Persuasion +
    Socialize
    Streetwise +
    Subterfuge

    Merits:
    Artifact ++++
    Fated pocketbook: This is about a half-size book of blank pages, small enough to fit into a purse or large pants pocket. Whenever the user writes information about a person or thing into the pocketbook (this could be anything from jotting down a phone number to a diary entry) it imparts to the writer at least one theme or connection to other people or things related to the subject of the writing. More paper can be added to it without ruining the magic.
    Spell: interconnections (fate 1), contingent activated on writing. Add hoc +1 for no chance of failure and no limitation to types of connections, but added limitation to only one connection at storyteller discretion. Total mana: 11. Regenerates 4 mana per day.

    Striking looks ++

    Sanctum ++ (contributed towards joint skyscraper sanctum).

    High Speech +

    Abyssal Fractures +

    Status (Silver Ladder) +++

    Resources ++

    Advantages
    Defense: 5
    Health: 8
    Initiative: 6
    Size: 5
    Speed: 9
    Willpower: 4/6

    Damage: [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

    Flaw
    Abyss-marked: +1 success required for supernal summoning, +1 die to all paradox rolls, -2 penalty to hide from abyssal creatures.

    Wizard Traits
    Gnosis: 3
    Wisdom: 8
    Arcana: forces 4, prime 3, time 2, spirit 1
    Mana: 9/13
    Artifact mana: 8/11

    Rotes
    Read Matrices (Forces 1): Wits+Occult+Forces 10 dice
    Control Heat (Forces 2): Intelligence+Occult+Forces 12 dice
    Transmission (Forces 2): Manipulation+Expression+Forces+1 (Silver Ladder rote specialty) 9 dice
    Dispel Magic (Prime 1): Intelligence+Occult+Prime vs. Spell potency 9 dice
    Perfect Timing (Time 1): Intelligence+Composure+Time 9 dice
    Postcognition (Time 2): Intelligence+Investigation+Time 9 dice Second Sight (Spirit 1): Intelligence+Occult+Spirit 9 dice

    Magical Tools (descriptions stolen from Thanqol in the continuous cycle of thievery)
    Cup (Creative power): Combination pen/laser pointer pen side. Tends to play with it around her fingers, which she started doing the first day she ever had to teach. Related to nerves about whether she could actually impart knowledge to anyone.
    Sword (Directed Power): Lecturing/scolding. Since teaching, being in the position of directly telling someone what to do or what not to do is Alina's most effective way of asserting her will against others.
    Staff (Authority/General Power): Hair ornaments (specific ornament varies each day). Tends to reach up and touch them for reassurance. Goes back to receiving a first one as a little girl, which is totally a thing I will write about at some point that isn’t right now.
    Mirror (Reflections/echoes): An actual mirror, pink, from a small makeup kit. Will take it out and look at it when in use.
    Coin (Cycles of power): Small golden watch. Always stares intently at the time if using in casting. Received as a gift from her parents when she left for college.

    Phoenix's Rebirth: A gold necklace with a pendant showing a red-gold phoenix arising from a pile of ashes, a sunburst at its back. Worn outside her blouse or sweater. +1 max mana

    Assorted possessions of note: Pistol, Taser, latest model 2015 iPhone, low quality radio transmitter, cheap computer, toolkit (in skyscraper). Assorted leftover electrical wire, tape, cleaning supplies, matches.


    Description
    Spoiler
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    Alina is a Caucasian girl of mixed Irish and Germanic descent. She's Protestant by birth, but was basically Deist until her awakening (she used to love the idea of God as a clockmaker). Now she's agnostic.

    Alina has long red hair that falls below her shoulders, which she usually wears loose, but might put in a ponytail if she expects a lot of physical exertion. It's a striking features and the thing most people remember her by. She always, always wears a hair ornament. It can vary exactly what it is, and she actually has a collection of many of them, which she switches out each day. She tends to reach up and touch them when she's nervous. She also has green eyes and a roundish face with just a hint of faint freckles. She tends to turn away a bit when she smiles and blushes easily.

    Alina is quite short, barely topping 5 feet tall, and has always had a slim figure and been in pretty good shape. She runs for exercise and eats a great deal more than most people would expect of a petite, 5-foot tall girl, though considering she weighs barely 100 lbs, nobody is quite sure where all that food goes.

    Her clothing is a mix of dressy and casual. In college she mostly wore denim jeans and colorful blouses, often in blues and purples to make her hair stand out more. As a teacher she tried to dress more nicely and switched between pants suits and blouse+skirt combinations in more subdued colors such as white, grey, and black. Since awakening, she's found that she really likes bright purples, bright reds, and gold.

    Nimbus: When Alina casts a vulgar spell, she and everything around her acquires a soft glow, like the rays of dawn falling upon a hilltop. With more powerful magic, there is also birdsong and any objects near her start to look sturdier and cleaner. If Alina's nimbus is subtly uncloaked, it makes her look especially hale and brings a ruddy color to her face. When being uncloaked during a vice, this healthiness comes across as looking holier-than-thou, while uncloaking during a virtue looks supernaturally beautiful

    Mage sight: Tessen's forces sight is sorta like the x-ray visor in Metroid Prime. Google it if you've never played that game. Basically can see through things. Flows of energy appear as moving particles that obviously stand out against the background. Her eyes probably glow a bit blue when this is happening.

    Tessens' prime sight is visual and tactile. She actually sees and feels threads of existence and, when manipulating them, will almost literally weave or unravel them (think Wheel of Time Aes Sedai if you've read that).


    Background
    Spoiler
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    Early History
    Alina was born in Michigan, from one of the more distant Detroit suburbs. Her Dad, Burke White, managed a local clothing store and her Mom, Marta was an old-fashioned stay-at-home type. They weren't massively wealthy, but Alina never found herself wanting and her parents had a lot of time and attention to devote to her. She does have a younger sister, named Jennifer White, but her parents decided to space out their kids and her younger sister is only 14 now and just starting high school out in the suburbs.

    Marta's side of the family actually descend from Austria. Alina's grandmother, Klara Engel, left the country during World War II prior to the German Anschlauss. She met Alina's grandfather, Ryan Rogers, in New York while he was on leave from the navy, and they ended up settling in Michigan after the war ended, where Ryan worked as a mechanic and soon moved to the suburbs to raise his kids in a 1950s idyllic setting. The White side of the family was in America longer. One of Alina's great-grandparents had been a banker, but lost his fortune in the 1929 crash and jumped out of a 45 story window, leaving his wife and 3 sons to fend for themselves. One of Alina's great uncles died in the war, the other one has a family out in Arizona somewhere that never comes to visit, and her grandpa, Harold White, settled in Detroit and started working in sales, which passed down to his son, Burke.

    Alina attended University of Michigan where she majored in English literature. She also took on a fair amount of debt, and, because she cared about doing some good with her education and wanted her debt forgiven, she joined the Teach for America program that sends young college grads to teach in inner city public schools. And they sent her to Detroit because she's almost local and they thought she might do okay there.

    Awakening
    The Detroit schools were bad. Alina doesn't like to talk about them much, but after awakening, she knows that they were being controlled by the Scelesti. She taught a high school English class, but the lessons were so scattered and broken, it jumped from Shakespeare to teaching them their ABCs. And every day it seemed like they were a little more listless, a little more broken, a little more gray. Being in that system slowly beat the life out of you, until it was all you could do to get up in the morning, put on your clothes, and show up just long enough to remember how miserable and pointless life was.

    Maybe that's why, when she found out a student of hers was mixing molotav cocktails in his garage, she didn't report him. And maybe that's why, when she was driving home, and she saw a fire at the apartment building where he lived, she decided to get out of the car and go help.

    She had never done anything like that before. Most of her was screaming to call 911, to wait for the proper authorities, to get back in the car and drive away. But there was a small part, an insistent little voice that said "you have to go in there, you can make a difference. That's why you're here, right?" So, that's why she walked into hell even though her whole being just wanted to curl up and cry and close her eyes until the bad things went away.

    Once she took a step through the threshold, everything was different. This was no regular fire, this was dragon fire. And there was the dragon. Over 30 feet tall, and perched amidst the wreckage of the building. Wicked black claws and red eyes seething with hatred, while it lazily flapped its wings to fan the flames. She tried to keep to the side of the building. Fires blazed in several spots and she thought maybe in the glare it wouldn't notice her. She could find anyone left inside and get them out. Quiet as a mouse. Yeah, that was good enough to get her to the stairs. Only they weren't stairs, it was a cave with an ascending ramp twisting back in on itself, and there was the corpse of the last knight who had tried this route, burnt and blackened, his shield nothing but a lump of slag.

    She kept climbing, and tried to call out if anyone was still alive. It came out more like Is, is anyone still there? And she rounded a corner and was on a higher floor. Or, no it was a pinnacle of rock and the dragon was about to lie down atop its treasure pile, surrounded by its flames. But when she came out, some embers slipped and fell from the edge, and they landed. They clacked. And that hateful red eye opened up wide and looked right at her. A neck craned, wings beat and she couldn't move, she couldn't think, she couldn't do anything. It opened its mouth to breath a gout of flame and she turned her head and put up her hand up next to her hair to shield herself, where she felt the hair clip that she'd put on that morning.

    That was funny, she was wearing a snowflake, in the middle of hell.

    And then she wasn't in hell anymore. She wasn't sure where she was because there was still fire. And lightning playing across the sky. But it was her fire, it moved with her and guided her. Straight ahead to a golden watchtower, a shining beacon in the darkness. That was the easiest walk she ever took in her life. Because for a few moments she was filled with absolute certainty. She was going to be okay, she had done the right thing, and should always would do the right thing. She walked up to that tower and there was a space on the wall pulsing with a warm glow, just waiting for her to inscribe her name. She wrote it in her most precise and delicate cursive, a beautiful, careful script. And then she was back in the building, and there was no dragon, but there was a gout of flame from a falling timber. Only, she waved her hand and it didn't come towards her, and it wasn't all that hot.

    She was still careful. She climbed up the steps and cleared out a path so she could get back easily. And when she found the student, and his younger brother, and their next door neighbors still alive, she escorted them out that safe path, crawling to stay below the smoke until they got back down, and walking out of the building. She noticed, idly, that the fire department still hadn't arrived, but given the state of the city, she wasn't sure whether that meant much time had passed or not.

    One thing she did know, as she got in her car and drove home to her little apartment: She wouldn't be going back to that gray waste they called a school.

    Post-Awakening

    Following her awakening, Alina sought out other mages. She wasn't sure exactly where to go, but she gave herself to the magic and let it guide her steps. She ended up at the Speakeasy Society, where a mellow jazz saxophone was playing. She walked in the door, and was immediatley confronted by a raving lunatic who seemed to be talking about exorcisms and the "spooky phantoms" (his words) that were all around her. Alina was relieved when a huge black woman reached out and pulled the lunatic away. This relief was short-lived when the huge black woman followed up by lifting Alina bodily into the air by the back of her sweater and demanding to know what the hell she thought she was doing just barging in like that. Alina's answer consisted mostly of squeaks, but she managed to get out that she had let fate and time guide her and that she was supposed to be here at this moment, for some reason.

    The black woman looked her over, dropped her and turned to let the Saxophone set finish with the words "You're an Obrimos. Next time, you damn well tell fate and time to go **** themselves. Now get into the back room and we'll get started."

    The next couple months were mostly a blur. To pretty much everyone's surprise, the tiny girl turned out to have a real talent with forces, manipulating heat, light, and sound, and even picking up the rudiments of controlling the weather and transforming one type of force into another. The best compliment she got was when Tyler Durden had to actually dodge out of the way when she realized Alina was building up a real thunderbolt. "Damn girl, if you'd shot that faster than a drunk hobo, you might have actually hurt something."

    In addition to something of a whirlwind tour of the local consilium over that period, Alina also met two other mages who were recently awakened. Somehow, the three of them knew that they had a special sympathetic connection. They also came to realize that the phoenix, as a symbol of rebirth enhanced their mana if they wore its image. Since then Alina sold her car and her old public-school issue gun and chipped in the money to help buy space in an old skyscraper in order to establish a sanctum for her new cabal.


    Relationships with other mages in Detroit
    Spoiler
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    1. The Arsenal of Democracy

    Alina generally dislikes this organization. She thinks that ignoring the problems in your own background to deal with some distant issue is pretty stupid and actually irresponsible. On top of that, making weapons for a major Sleeper war that isn't even happening when the backyard problem is the Scelesti just seems really stupid. As a result she despises Hiroshi. On the other hand, she really likes Firebee, who is one of the only legitimately smart people she's met here, and is a sorely needed companion since Alina's been out of college.

    2. The Quiet

    These are people that Alina can get behind. First, they're relatively forgiving of her teensy, tinsy bit of abyssal taint, which lets her relax a bit more around them. On top of that, they're actually doing something about abyssal manifestations and that's the kind of work Alina can get behind. Edelachtbare kind of intimidates Alina, but she has a deep respect and admiration for Errant, who she sees as sort of an older, sicker version of her ideal self.

    3. The Speakeasy Society

    The Speakeasy Society is a weird one for Alina. She joined The Silver Ladder because she wants to do her best to raise up everyone to enlightenment, and be there to help them even when they’re resisting it themselves. And she likes the idea of building up a new Detroit, restoring a few neighborhoods and working outwards. That’s doing good that she understands and can appreciate. On the other hand, every member of this organization drives her nuts. Johnny is the most reasonable, but he never does anything. Mirror Man just drives her crazy. And every time she sees Tyler she’s about ready to wet herself. On the other hand, she does think that Tyler is actually capable of accomplishing things and, despite her desire to avoid Tyler at all costs, she believes that these people will support her own goals to help the city.

    4. General Malcom's Irregulars

    Alina knows that the police are in the hands of the seers, so she’s not too upset that Malcom’s Irregulars are wanted men. However, she doesn’t like their methods at all. They’re breaking into people’s homes, doing what they want and attacking whoever they please. That’s not how you help people, and even if you do good, you can ruin it by making everyone hate you. She won’t confront them about it, but in her heart she thinks they’re working against the awakening of the masses. Of the membership, she has a little more respect Captain Rushaw, who seems like a legitimately good guy, and has a distaste for Corporal Hunter, who she thinks is just in it for the violence.

    5. The T-street Crew

    These guys are everything that’s wrong with trying to solve problems through violence. The Jerusalem Man deserves some respect because at least he managed to avoid hurting civilians. But how much longer is that one going to last? More likely that they'll just go off the deep end soon, and the rest of the mages will have to clean up the mess. These guys have power when it’s needed, but Alina would rather steer far clear of them if she can.

    6. The Old Secret

    Alina isn’t sure what to make of these people. She gets the sense that Luminoth knows more than she’s letting on, and Alina respects that maybe there’s a reason to keep that info back right now. And at least Luminoth is willing to listen, that’s worth something. The other two just don’t care about anyone though, and they don’t deserve any respect.

    Specific People
    Hates: Hilltop. Here’s the thing. Detroit has a lot of punks, gangs, idiots and so forth. They’ve got guns, they’ve got money, and they can’t all be saved, not even the ones that have awakened. But here, here’s someone with real talent, a gift from the realms supernal. And what does she do? She makes art so she can watch it decay and fall to ruin. That’s…that’s just unforgivable! Alina met her early on when Tyler Durden was giving Alina a tour of the city. Tyler laughed when a piece of the building fell apart, obliterating a beautiful white lily. And Hilltop laughed right with her. Alina stood there and cried silently, trying to keep the other two from noticing. Since then, Alina has tried to use a camera to preserve as many of the murals as she’s been able to find. And Hilltop has cussed her out twice for being a damn Obrimos always trying to make the ephemeral into her own damn order. Alina doesn’t care, but she is looking to buy a backup camera.

    Loves: Errant. She’s so weak, but so powerful. And she’s doing good in a way that Alina can relate to. Not that Alina wants to end up that sick or anything, but being able to talk to a group that way, even in such a quiet voice, that would be something. If Alina could do that, could convince people to follow her like Errant, she could make a real difference. She could help wake up the sleepers, and stop the Scelesti, and make Detroit into something greater. For now, Alina can only help as much as she can.

    Owes
    : Tyler Durden. As one of the few Silver Ladders in the city, and basically the only competent one, Tyler did actually show Alina around the city and introduce her to a lot of the other mages, as well as help with her training. Surprisingly, avoiding being smashed with a giant hammer is a good motivation for improving control over kinetic forces. Alina still wants to curl up into a ball and cry whenever Tyler comes calling for her, but if Tyler asks for something, Alina will do it.

    Is owed by: Firebee. This was kind of a weird one, but when they met, the two of them really hit it off. Alina didn’t know much programming or anything, but she was actually capable of talking to Firebee as something close to an intellectual equal, and Firebee was interested in Alina’s knowledge of English literature because it was something so foreign to her regular work in tech and magic. Firebee was particularly interested in how the emotional impact of writing might let her use her mind magic to get into people’s heads, and when Alina offered to give Firebee her copy of Ernest Hemmingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” Firebee was really touched. As long as the request isn’t too unreasonable, Firebee would be happy to repay the favor.

    Has something Alina wants: Luminoth, and it’s information. Alina’s secondary discipline is time magic, and she thinks that if she could just get enough info to make a proper sympathetic connection, she could figure out what happened to this city. And figuring out what happened is the first step to healing it. Find the cause, and apply the proper forces to correct it, that’s the best way to solve a problem. But the woman is so cagey, and her cronies are insufferable. Alina is starting to get impatient with “next time” and “best not to talk about that.”


    Aspirations, Obsessions and Breaking Points
    Spoiler
    Show
    Aspirations
    1. Gain a new insight to help Cyprus fix herself
    2. Obtain a new source of publicity for her radio station
    3. Brighten a stranger's day

    Obsessions
    1. Find Flect
    2. Analyze the magic defense on the mansion
    3. Learn how to measure supernal mercy.


    Breaking Points
    1. What is the worst thing your character has ever done?
    A: Walking out on the schoolchildren that Tessen left behind. She was losing her mind, but some part of her still feels like she abandoned people that she could have been helping. Now that she has power, abandoning someone else in need when she really thinks she could help would be traumatic for Tessen.


    2. What is the worst thing your character can imagine herself doing?
    A: Killing. It would be a dark turn indeed, but ever since almost bringing down the roof in that church, Tessen can at least consider that she would kill someone out of desperation.

    3. What is the worst thing your character can imagine someone else doing?
    A: A tie between mass murder and mass brainwashing. Tessen's not sure whether it's worse to simply kill off a bunch of people and take away their potential, or to brainwash a large number of people and force them to endure lives of misery never knowing what they could have been.

    4. What most scares you about magic?
    A: The joy of it. Tessen has caused a paradox and, in her heart of hearts, it's the happiest and most fulfilled she's ever felt in her life. She's deeply afraid of what it could feel like to go there again.

    5. What would you do to achieve your goals?
    A: Severely injure others. Tessen can only imagine herself killing in desperation, but as evidenced by the flashbang, she's starting to realize that creating a risk of serious bodily harm isn't something she's above doing, at least right now.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2013-12-03 at 09:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Jack of Hearts
    Theme: Under Pressure. Alt

    Bonus Theme for the current chapter - Bring Me The Disco King


    Spoiler: Keeping Track
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    Health
    [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    Mana
    [+][+][+][+][+][+][+][+][+][-][-]
    Willpower
    [+][-][-][-][-]
    Active Spells
    Sense Consciousness, Temporal Dodge



    Spoiler: Stats
    Show
    Shadow Name - Jack of Hearts
    Name - David Jones
    Virtue - Hope
    Vice - Lust

    Acanthus / Free Council
    (Aiming for House of Ariadne Legacy) Probably not aiming for Ariadne anymore.

    Attributes
    Intelligence 2 +-
    Wits 4 ++++
    Resolve 2 ++

    Strength 1 +
    Dexterity 3 +++
    Stamina 2 ++

    Presence 3 +++
    Manipulation 3 +++
    Composure 3 ++o

    Skills

    Academics 1 +
    Computers 1 -
    Investigation 4 ++++
    Occult 2 ++

    Athletics 2 ( Parkour) ++
    Drive 1 -
    Firearms 1 +
    Survival 1 (Urban Exploration) +

    Empathy 4 ++++
    Expression 3 (Ambient Music) +++
    Pursuasion 2 ++
    Socialize 1 +
    Streetwise 1 +

    Merits
    Resources 4 ++++
    Hallow 3*+++
    Direction Sense +
    High Speech 1 o
    Dream ++
    Status (Free Council) -

    Advantages
    Defense: 5
    Health: 7
    Initiative: 6
    Size: 5
    Speed: 9
    Willpower: 1/5

    Wizard Traits
    Gnosis: 2 +-
    WisdomIntegrity: 7
    Starting mana: 7/11

    Arcana
    Time ++-
    Fate +-
    Space +++
    Mind -

    Rotes

    Omnivision (Space 1): Wits+Composure+Space 9 Dice +
    Finder (Space 1): Intelligence+Investigation+Space 9 Dice +
    Spacial Map (Space 1): Intelligence+Occult+Space 7 Dice +
    Scrying (Space 2): Intelligence+Investigation+Space 9 Dice ++
    Portal (Space 3): Presence+Investigation+Space 10 Dice ---

    Temporal Eddies (Time 1): Wits+Investigation+Time 10 Dice +
    Augury (Time 2): Intelligence+Occult+Time 6 Dice --
    Postcognition (Time 2): Intelligence+Investigation+Time 8 Dice --

    Platonic Mechanism (Fate 2): Intelligence+Occult+Fate 6 Dice --

    Aura Perception (Mind 1): Wits + Empathy + Mind 9 dice -
    Sense Consciousness (Mind 1): Wits + Empathy + Mind 9 dice -
    Third Eye (Mind 1): Wits + Empathy + Mind 9 dice -

    Magical Tools

    Sword (Directed Power) - Smartphone (Negating Distances, Finding, Capturing)
    Worn but carefully maintained, Jack's phone has as many layers of symbolism for him as it does features. It allows him to ignore distances, allows him to seek out things and allows him to record impromptue performances as he roams abandoned skyscrapers or abandoned tunnels, capturing sights and sounds alike.

    Cup (Creative power) - Bamboo Ocarina (Freedom, Creation, Improvisation)
    A simple little pocket sized musical instrument, made from Bamboo. Lightweight and easy to stash about his person, the instrument symbolises the freedom to create whereever he finds himself.

    Staff (Authority/General Power) - Tailored Suit (Opening Doors, Success, Protection)
    Tailored and sharp, but made of stretchable modern materials to give decent freedom of movement. Often replaced, due to heavy and disrespectful wear.

    Coin (Cycles of power) -Silver Pheonix Ring (Beginnings, Escape, Second Chances)
    Made of sterling-silver and set with agates, this stylised Pheonix ring is worn on the ring-finger of the right hand, and represents the cycle of personal reinvention to Jack's mind, as well as signifying his escape to a new life.

    Mirror (Reflections/echoes) - Wedding Ring pendant (The Past, Endings, Fate)
    A simple golden wedding band, tied on a piece of leather cord and worn under his clothes, next to his skin and away from prying eyes. Holds a lot of personal meaning, signifying the weight of past decisions and things that had to end, as well as hidden things and shameful secrets.



    Spoiler: Description
    Show
    Jack of Hearts is of average height, with roughly slicked back short blonde hair and a faint tan, perhaps from time spent outside. He seems in shape, though more lithe more than anything. He moves comfortably and with some grace, his mannerisms relaxed and inoffensive. His eyes are grey. He smiles quickly and genuinely. He seems earnest in his endeavors and wears his emotions openly for the most part. He maintains a positive outlook and is generally open and polite with everyone he meets, regardless of their response.

    Jack wears suits almost regardless of the task or the weather, favouring tailored suits in modern materials for their flexibility and breathability. He does wear them with a shirt and tie most of the time but even then still manages to look vaguely dischevelled all too often. He wears a silver ring shaped like a bird of some sort and rarely goes anywhere without a musical instrument, usually a small wooden Ocarina or similar instruments such as the Chinese Xun. He also carries a Ruger Mk2 Pistol (And his concealed pistol licence), though it's rarely if ever been used.

    Nimbus: When Jack casts a Vulgar spell, background noise fades away, the wind stirs around him and leaves rustle bringing the distant scent of flowers. With more powerful magic, colours seem richer and surrounding objects appear momentarily ancient and wreathed in plantlife. If his nimbus is subtly uncloaked his voice cuts easily through background noise and faint scented breezes seem to waft by. When uncloaked during a Vice, his voice seems more intimate and the scents are strong and sweet. Uncloaking during a Vitue however brings the scent of fresh rain and spring blossoms.

    Mage Sight (Temporal Eddies): Imagine the air around you. As the temperature changes and shifts it creates currents and eddies in the air, distorting light as it passes through it. It might seem to hover in doorways, or ripple across the surface of an object. Only it's not air, it's time stuff, clustering around objects and places where it is pulled thin or thickly accumulating.
    Well it's nothing like that at all.

    Mage Sight (Third eye): Largely non-visual perception. It functions like an extra layer of sound that doesn't overlap with actual sound. Powerful mind magic, esp or other such effects leave ripples, fragments of thought and feeling that brush against Jack's mind. Other Resonances viewed or perceived with this type of mage sight often come overlaid with fleeting fragments of psychic noise and emotional debris that give a sense of the reasoning involved at the time.




    Spoiler: History
    Show

    Early History
    Jack grew up in the United Kingdom. He doesn't have a very strong regional accent, but it's hard to tell if that's just because he went to a good school or is down to something else. What is clear is that he lived in London for a while, before it all changed. Charming, confident and creative, the young man had no trouble finding a girl in the bustle of old London. He was young and seemed to have the world at his feet and she was swept away in the dance of it all. Soon enough they married, made to settle down and start a life together, but time can be cruel and it wasn't meant to last.

    She came from a good family, wealthy members of the establishment and leading lights in the City. With help from her father, she was encouraged to establish a company of her own. Whilst she dove head-first into the world of business, Jack occupied himself with easier fare, tinkering around with music and art. Still, he was there for her when she was done for the day, but in time it began to strain their relationship.

    As the business grew, it only got worse. Desperate to inspire some kind of work ethic in her apparently feckless husband, she roped him into her world, gave him a slice of the company and installed him on the board. It all seemed to be going so well, he took to it with the same gently exasperating ease with which he seemed to do everything, proving not just competant but even useful. It was great, a whole new start, that is until she caught him partying with an athletic young man from Human Resources.

    Awakening

    She hadn't even had the decency to throw his stuff out on the street, so the setting sun found our man Jack weeping like a baby as he walked the streets of London with nothing to his name but the suit on his back. He wandered aimlessly, pushing through crowds of strangers with unkind faces, letting the city guide his footsteps. The street-lights slowly spread out but he only noticed when stumbling with exhaustion and the wearyness of having ran out of tears he found himself in an old industrial corner of the City. Large, empty looking buildings with red bricks walls darkened to black with a century or more of pollution and filth surrounded him, the rough concrete of the work-yard cracked and split from age and disuse, thick bundles of unpleasant looking weeds forcing their way out from every fracture.

    Desolate and feeling drained, he resigned himself to a night under the stars. Despite himself, Jack soon drifted off into sleep, propped up in a dark corner. Fitful, shapeless dreams plagued him, so it was almost with relief that he was woken by the noisey arrival of a small crowd of strangers. Homeless people, or junkies perhaps, they soon had a trash-fire going casting sickly orange light on their faces. Ugly, crude looking faces, brutish and unkind. They squabbled violently and releaved themselves freely against a wall. Two of them slumped down near the fire and began rutting like animals in the darkness.

    A fight broke out, and a knife flashed in the firelight. Best to leave them to it, Jack thought to himself queasily and he slunk away, further into the abandoned industrial lot. He caught a can with his foot, the noise unpleasantly loud in the night and turned his head to see if he had disturbed the strangers. A dozen points of light, hanging suspended in the darkness greeted him, on the edges of the fire's light, looking like all the world like the eyes of cats and all of them pointed in his direction.

    Trusting his instincts he fled heedlessly into the night. It wasn't long before he tripped, landing painfully and tearing suit and skin alike on rough slate chippings. Fumbling in his pockets for a source of light he was rewarded with his phone. The light of the screen was feeble, but enough to show a pair of Train-tracks, rusted and thick with weeds. Not knowing what he hoped to find at the end, certain only that he wanted distance between him and those eyes in the dark, he pulled himself up and shuffled hastily in the direction they offered.

    By the time Jack realised that the tracks led into a tunnel he had apparently already been travelling down it for some time. Casting about with the pale light from his Smartphone he couldn't see any sign of an entrance. He let the phone go dark, put a hand to the cold, grimey wall of the tunnel and shuffled onwards as best he could. The tunnel gave way to smooth white tiles, faded to a dull grey by age and neglect, and a sign wreathed in dead vines. It looked like an old Tube Station, forgotten and dead. He considered brushing aside the debris and the plantlife that obscured the station's name, but the tomblike stillness unnerved him and he left it behind, undisturbed.

    Light began to flood back into the tunnel. The Tube opened up and above him an open section showing the sky for the next twenty feet or so. Birdsong accompanied the sudden smell of flowers and the walls were covered in Vines. The thought of following the tracks back into that dark and grimy place seemed suddenly horrifying. The thick, root-like vines seemed strong and old however so he climbed, despite his cold and aching limbs. Soon London lay sprawled about him, bathed in a wonderful light.

    This London was older, brickwork crumbling and glass broken and all buried in a thick layer of plants. He could feel something drawing him on, calling to him and there it was, the Shard towering over London. A glittering blade of crystal at the heart of the garden with a single tree bursting from one side of it's peak. The streets were filled with undergrowth, foliage rustling as he passed and revealing those same hateful, inhuman eyes he had fled from the night before. He walked through their midst, fighting the urge to run lest he invite pursuit.

    The grand crystal spire drew close, it's vast archway glittering before him, the doors vast, ivory white and enlaid with the most fantastical scenes of debauchery and excess. He pushed gingerly and they opened as if weightless.The sudden change in light took him by suprise as he entered. The floor was polished marble and across the cool expanse of the lobby, a smart looking lady in official looking clothes smiled at him brightly from a long desk made of the same material.

    "Good Morning. Sign here, please?"

    She pushed a large, leather-bound book across the desk and placed a single silver pen on the open page. He paused, grasping the pen as if it might turn into a snake and scrawled his signiture in the blank space provided.

    "If you'd like to follow me, sir. They've been expecting you."

    Post-Awakening
    Learning about the Lie of reality and the Fallen World in a deserted carriage of the Eurostar was not how Jack had planned to spend the day. His gaggle of mismatched new aquantances talked over each other, eager to explain the accepted version of events whilst appearing to be the wittier and more irreverant of the group. He was already on the outskirts of Paris in a slightly cramped hire-car before they actually thought to explain why they had left London in such a hurry.

    Rumours of Seers planning to intercept a sleepwalker whose awakening had been expected for some time apparently. He never did find out if it was the Seers of the Throne or a member of the Cabal that found him that day set up the device, but someone blew up two floors of the Shard building mere moments after they left it.

    Jack spent those early months living as a guest in the Mysterium Headquarters in Berlin, a gift from the Cabal having gained them safe haven. Not speaking the Language at all, he capitolised on the Berlin Mysterium's arrangement with the local Free Council and gained largely unrestricted access to their Lorehouse, where he then spent most of his free time. Working through proxies and a cheap lawyer and backed up with some sympathy manipulation magic to smooth the deal he managed to exchange a quickie divorce for his wife agreeing to buy him out of her company at full share-price. Laundering the money through the magical economy of Berlin, the money was re-invested in a much safer business and all remaining ties to his old life carefully excised.

    They returned to London a few months later when it was deemed safe. The Lorehouses of the Free Council of London were, in comparison to those in Berlin, much less open and inviting but with the aid of the Cabal who had adopted him he mananged to ingratiate himself with the Free Council and gain access to several of them. He kept out of the Cabal's plans and their capers as much as he could, prefering to spend his time in those Lorehouses he had gained access to in the Greater London region or exploring the city itself, seeing it with new eyes. Left largely to himself, he studied voraciously but with little real direction.

    The quiet had to end eventually, however. He was alone in their sanctum with only his Mentor for company when news reached them that the Mysterium Headquarters in Berlin had been attacked, apparently by Seers. Fears that they had been sold out by one of their own were seemingly confirmed when the sanctum itself was targeted. Unable to trust former allies and unwilling to endanger them by trying to regroup, the two decided that the only way was to flee the country altogether just like when they ran to Berlin, but this time they would go their seperate ways and would likely never be returning.

    His mentor implied he would hide himself in some exotic corner of the world, starting over in a strange new city, but he didn't inquire further. For Jack, the choice of what hole to bolt for was informed by his new outlook. He had failed in his past life, acted like a complete jerk. If he was to have a second chance, he would live better this time. What use being given such power and opportunity if not to make a difference? He would find a broken city somewhere and bury himself in it. Either he would help in some small way to make that city a better place or he would die trying but at least he would do so as a better man than he had been.

    Reading through the articles google threw up on Detroit however almost made him change his mind.



    Spoiler: Mage Politics
    Show
    The Arsenal of Democracy
    Professional, dedicated and unapologetic about their intentions, Jack has a lot of respect for the Arsenal. He disagrees with the majority of their conclusions, but finds in general that they got on well enough once they twigged that he wasn't just trying to secure their firepower for his own ends.

    The Quiet
    Jack isn't entirely sure he understands what's going on with Errant and Edelachtbare. He can at least stand behind their goal of doing what they can to deal with the Abyss in Detroit. He's made it clear to Errant that he's willing to help her with this if needed. Edelachtbare, he mostly stays away from, but he tries not to take offence when the bear of a man lashes out in his direction, it is after all merely his way.

    Speakeasy Society
    Jack could sit and listen to Johnny Saxaphone play all night and often does if given half a chance. He admires their goals and the slow, steady progress they are making in helping out their neighborhoods.

    General Malcom's Irregulars
    Like with the Armory, Jack finds it hard to believe that the Irregulars can solve Detroit's problems with bullets. You can't shoot urban decay, or kill an Idea by stabbing it in the night. They're well intentioned people though, standing up for their own and looking out for each other and there's Truth in that. Besides, if you can look past the slight hint of madness they're nice enough folks.

    The T-Street Crew

    Not everyone's favourite neighbors. Jack has made some small efforts to insure he's on passingly good terms with the T-Street Crew. They are, first and foremost, a product of Detroit itself. It's easy to condem, but the Jerusalem man seems to understand power and the realities of the street in ways that many of the other Cabals do not. Everyone knows he has plans for the city, and Jack for one suspects that at this point, that can only be a good thing. Besides, once you get past their reputation, there are a couple of real great people in the T-Street Crew.

    The Old Secret

    It's hard to see what they are for, mostly. They seem nice enough to Jack as people, but their involvements in the City's affairs have a practiced apathy to them. Jack is polite and respectful with them, and they cause him no trouble.

    Hates Corporal Hunter. Not with a burning passion exactly, but he always gave Jack the impression of someone playing at war. It's not so much what he does that rankles as the glee that goes with it.

    Loves Hilltop. Her overall goals may remain a mystery, but Jack gets a very strong sense that on some level she understands. Her choice of canvas transforms her artworks from static objects to living things, changing and decaying with the object they are created on, finite and real in a way that art on canvas tries not to be. There is Truth in that, Jack thinks. He finds the way that others dismiss it as morbid slightly sad.

    Owes
    Chanic for hooking him up with a totally sweet, mint condition third generation Pontiac Firebird Trans Am convertable and not laughing too loud when he spent ten minutes sat in it making wooshing noises.

    Is Owed by Captain Rushaw on account of helping the Captain out with a caper that involved recovering a certain Artifact and during which Jack was shot at repeatedly.

    Errant Has something Jack wants. He's not what you'd call jealous by nature, but it's hard not to wonder what he could accomplish with the kind of powerful natural authority that she commands so effortlessly, despite her often quite fragile appearance. Money, Power, Secrets? All well and good, but her way of getting the attention of an entire room full of disparate, arguing mages without even having to raise her voice is awe inspiring, to Jack's mind.


    Spoiler: GMC Bits
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    Beats
    Arcane (?) Regular(0) Political (1)
    XP
    Arcane (0) Regular (1) Political (0)


    Spoiler: Aspirations and Obsessions
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    Aspirations
    Long Term - Halt Detroit's Decline. (Decided to pitch it slightly less end-of-game than fix detroit entirely. That's still a goal, but one step at a time?)
    Make (at least kind of) friendly contact with a citizen of Magical Detroit (That is to say, non-mage).
    Clear out the Ground Floor in preparation for building the recording studios.


    Obsessions
    (Slot Open)
    Failed Geomancy of the Island.
    The Pheonix and the Fall of Detroit.



    Spoiler: Breaking Points;
    Show

    What is the worst thing Jack has ever done?
    Cheat on his wife.
    What is the worst thing Jack can imagine himself doing?
    Let someone die.
    What is the worst thing Jack can imagine someone else doing?
    Use/deal with the Abyss for petty goals.
    What scares Jack about Magic?
    The way it causes people to look at Sleepers as somehow less than those with access to it.
    What would Jack do to achieve his goals?
    Betray people who have put their trust in him.
    Last edited by Tiki Snakes; 2013-12-21 at 10:24 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Hey, Thanqol, should we maybe update our Mage politics stuff? I'm looking at my list and it's feeling horribly outdated. Tessen's feelings about Errant and Luminoth have changed, she doesn't really have any obligation from Firebee, we've never interacted with Hilltop at all. The only one I'd keep is Tyler Durden, and even then she hasn't done much more than give Tessen the time of day and a pat on the back.
    Soul Tracer avatar by Thanqol.

    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.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Hey, Thanqol, should we maybe update our Mage politics stuff? I'm looking at my list and it's feeling horribly outdated. Tessen's feelings about Errant and Luminoth have changed, she doesn't really have any obligation from Firebee, we've never interacted with Hilltop at all. The only one I'd keep is Tyler Durden, and even then she hasn't done much more than give Tessen the time of day and a pat on the back.
    Not really necessary, that all came under the banner of psychological testing and predictive planning. Now I've got a pretty good idea of what you guys think I don't need it as much.
    You can lead a horse to water
    and you can lead a horse into water
    and you can swim around with the horse
    and have fun

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    I'm keeping the section almost entirely for archival purposes at this point.
    ...My instinct is to hoard stuff.

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Not really necessary, that all came under the banner of psychological testing and predictive planning. Now I've got a pretty good idea of what you guys think I don't need it as much.
    Cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    I'm keeping the section almost entirely for archival purposes at this point.
    ...My instinct is to hoard stuff.
    You need a squirrel mask.
    Soul Tracer avatar by Thanqol.

    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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Amun-Ra

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    Mana [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    Health [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    Willpower [x][x][ ][ ][ ][ ]
    Destiny [x][x][ ][ ][ ][ ]

    XP 36/38 (3 merits, 6 rotes, 8 skills, 6 rArcana, 8 cArcana, 5 gnosis)

    Beats 10 regular, 1 arcane, 1 political

    Active Spells
    Fate Armor


    Stats
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    Name Amun Ahmed (born Amina Ahmed)
    Shadow Name Amun-Ra

    Quote "Make of yourself whatever you will"
    Path Acanthus
    Order Silver Ladder

    Virtue Fortitude Vice Pride

    WIZARD TRAITS
    Gnosis +-
    Integrity 7
    Arcana Fate ++- Time +- Prime +++- Mind -
    Mana 7/11

    ATTRIBUTES
    Intelligence ++
    Wits +++
    Resolve +++

    Strength ++
    Dexterity +
    Stamina +++

    Presence +++
    Manipulation ++
    Composure ++o

    SKILLS
    Academics
    Computer +
    Crafts
    Investigation ++
    Medicine
    Occult ++++
    Politics
    Science ++++ (structural engineering)

    Athletics
    Brawl -
    Drive
    Firearms --
    Larceny
    Stealth +
    Survival +++
    Weaponry

    Animal Ken ++ (cats)
    Empathy
    Expression*
    Intimidation ++
    Persuasion*
    Socialize
    Streetwise +++ (rumors)
    Subterfuge* -

    MERITS
    High Speech o
    Encyclopedic Knowledge ++
    Eidetic Memory ++
    Destiny +++ (Bane: beware of dog-headed [hearted?] thieves)
    Resources +
    Hallow ++
    Contacts - (Journalists)
    Status -
    Fame -

    ROTES
    Ley Lines +++
    Counterspell Prime ++
    Analyze Enchanted Item +
    Supernal Vision -

    Interconnections -
    Shifting the Odds --

    Momentary Flux -

    Third Eye -

    ADVANTAGES
    Defense 1
    Health 8
    Initiative 4
    Size 5
    Speed 8
    Willpower 6

    MAGICAL TOOLS
    Cup (Creative power) A tarot card of the Fool, representing the free, unrestricted power of the creative mind to challenge and break with orthodoxy and conformity. When he's not constantly holding the card, it usually sticks out of one of his front pockets.

    Sword (Directed Power) A one dollar Australian coin showing a ram's head, found on the street once, probably dropped by a tourist. The ram's head was a symbol often associated with Amun-Ra, the Egyptian god, and naturally brings to mind a direct force. The thought that the coin was given this design to commemorate the Australian sheep industry - and the obvious analogy between sheep and Sleepers - only serves to fuel Amun's righteous anger whenever he needs a little boost.

    Staff (Authority/General Power) An old hawk's feather. Amun usually wears it behind his ear or otherwise stuck in his hair. It reminds him of his Awakening vision, as well as his father. A power who would keep you down, but now vanquished and behind you.

    Mirror (Reflections/echoes) A small transparent four-sided die, like a pyramid. Amun likes to turn it around and around to look at it from every angle, or toss it to see what number it shows.

    Coin (Cycles of power) A little old book fit for a pocket, containing tables and mathematical identities related to the trigonometric functions, representing the beauty and power of triangles and the relation to periodic, rhythmic phenomena. It is the only possession Amun has kept from his old school days and was one of the first "forbidden" books he owned. He still frequently pulls it out to ponder its pages, even though he could no doubt recite it from memory, in his sleep or even while drunk off his ass.

    PHOENIX
    A key chain with a small metal phoenix figure dangles from a pocket. +1 max mana.

    OTHER KNOWN POSSESSIONS
    Sawn off pumpgun, normally in suitcase, illegal


    Integrity, Aspirations and Obsessions
    Spoiler
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    BREAKING POINTS
    What is the worst thing Amun has ever done?
    Not standing up to his father when he beat Amun's siblings or mother. This makes me realize that I never really thought about what Amun did or didn't do to help the family he left behind, and how he feels about those choices. I can't imagine he did nothing at all, but I'm sure there may be lingering doubts in his mind whether he did enough.

    What is the worst thing Amun can imagine himself doing?
    Intentionally killing someone. I think he's always been aware that killing someone to protect others, not just in self-defense, is something he would do if things ever got bad enough.

    What is the worst thing Amun can imagine someone else doing?
    Forcing or coercing others to perform henious acts against their will.

    What scares Amun about Magic?
    How subtle it can be. The things it can do right in front of your nose without you even noticing, or even what you may be doing without even realizing it.

    What would Amun do to achieve his goals?
    Severely injure non-Sleepers. I don't think he's as comfortable hurting Sleepers as he might be a Mage. After all, a Mage has options WAY outside the options of Sleepers, such as being a Life mage or knowing where to find one.

    ASPIRATIONS
    1 (long term)
    Construct, or at least make some progress towards his giant magical pyramid, and the transformation of Detroit. This is no doubt very long term, and also sort of vague, but it's definitely an aspiration.

    2
    Prove that they can handle things and make a difference. This isn't about showing Malcom specifically, although Malcom was the one who brought it up so to speak. I think Amun really wants to show that they're not useless. The chaos and failure surrounding Slade is something he's definitely not proud of, and he definitely don't want to be seen doing a repeat of it.

    3
    Still thinking about this one.

    OBSESSIONS
    1
    The unfinished plans for the island. Amun suspects that it could be a vital step towards the first aspiration above.

    2
    Luminoth's secrets, probably related to the Awakening of Sleepers and helping Cyprus. I'm not quite sure how that all fits together, and probably Amun doesn't either, so to his mind it all comes back to Luminoth and what she knows.

    3
    Who's pulling the strings? The guy with the camera seems the biggest lead on that, but the obsession isn't specifically about him. Amun has a mildly paranoid streak, perhaps, and a very real need to feel that he's in complete control of his own life and choices.



    Description
    Spoiler
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    Asked to describe Amun, most people would say "Who?" or perhaps "Oh, that weird Egyptian hobo, yeah, I've ... seen him around" in a somewhat dismissive voice. Amun blends in by cultivating an impeccable aura of hobo weirdness, which makes him virtually invisible to the human eye.

    Amun is a big man. Tall, wide and imposing. A lot of this apparent size comes from enough layers of clothes to dress a small village. This is one thing people are almost certain to mention about him, if prodded, that he always dresses as if it's the next ice age even in the middle of the summer.

    Another thing that lends to his apparent size is his big, wild mane of unkempt black hair, generally agreed to be enough for a medium-sized pride of lions. Despite this, Amun is always clean shaven - in truth he never has to shave, but most people assume otherwise. Amun gives the impression that he could grow a full beard overnight.

    Amun's clothes are riddled with pockets stuffed with random things he has collected over the years. Everything from dice, cards, scraps of paper, small stones, pencils, pieces of wood, wire, coins and dried fish, to mention but a few. Even his hair occasionally sports small ornaments. He also carries around a large, worn suitcase. No one truly knows the extent of Amun's "treasures", perhaps not even himself.

    Amun is generally easygoing and a good listener. He is fond of a good joke or a friendly game of chance, or just a good chat about this and that. When he or others are threatened, however, he is not slow to act or speak his mind.

    Amun believes in everyone's right to be what they want to be, to seek their own fortune, to defy their fate and to transcend this world. In his view this world is a prison, and everything and everyone in it are living a lie. The highest goal is to transcend the ultimate lie, the last of many, and achieve true freedom. He's proud and driven in his own pursuit of this vision.

    He is often seen in the company of wild cats, who he treats with great fondness and respect. In his views cats should be free and not kept as pets, but he'll gladly talk to any and all cats around the city. Dogs, however, had better bugger off.

    Because of an old operation, Amun's voice is low and somwhat labored. He speaks with a mild accent, but usually has no trouble making himself understood.

    MAGE SIGHTS
    Prime: The most difficult for Amun to describe. It's like a sea of interconnected ideas and intuitions, an ocean of truths. Amun calls it the Sea of Eureka.

    Fate: When focusing on fate and destiny, the various lines and possibilities stand out like whispered promises, oaths or intentions and desires to Amun. Everything has aspirations, some of them voice it more clearly than others.

    Time: A dry sensation, Amun likes to compare it to blowing desert sands whittling away at everything. Following the strength of the wind and the heat allows him to distinquish things. Amun likes to philosophize that if only all these winds could be directed to blow down the right things, rather than everything ... great things could be achieved.


    Background
    Spoiler
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    Early History
    Amina Ahmed grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, fourth child out of five of a wealthy business man and his wife. Amina went to a private school where she excelled, often demonstrating a remarkable memory. Despite her achievements, Amina was not happy, protesting at the path she was expected to take as a girl in a strictly orthodox world. Amina studied voraciously on her own, favoring topics she was not taught because she was a girl, such as science and math. This brought ire from her teachers and family who wanted her to do as she was told. Yet Amina persisted in her own pursuit.

    Amina became fascinated by the history of the ancients and the math and science behind the construction of the pyramids and other great structures of the world. She frequently had vivid and recurring dreams of pyramids and high places, often with a surreal and disturbing element that nevertheless pushed her on.

    From an early age, Amina knew that things were "not right". Her tomboy manners and interests caused further rifts between her and her family, until at the age of 15 when she began dressing as a boy in public and calling herself Amun. It was a radical step, but one she had felt was right for a long time. She had been dressing like this in secret for a while, it was time to stop living a lie. She knew it would not go down well with her family, but she stood firm. In the end her father threw her out of the family and declared that she was not his daughter.

    Amina had become Amun.

    Amun was forced to live on the street or staying briefly with the few sympathetic friends he could find. It was a hard life, but for the first time Amun felt a sense of freedom. Eventually, with the help of his older brother, Amun was able to study structural engineering at the Alexandria University under a false name and identity.

    After two years of studying, Amun fell ill with what was first thought to be an infection of the windpipe and airways. He was admitted to a public hospital where his condition continued to worsen. After a few days he was placed on mechanical ventilation and scheduled for operation. His father declared that this was God's punishment and refused to visit or offer support.

    Awakening
    Amun found himself watching and contemplating his own body as it lay on the bed in the small hospital room. As the seconds, minutes, hours ... days went by without change, Amun began to notice. The body on the bed looked like a corpse, then the bed was a stone slab, when he looked around the walls were also stone, there were pictures, strange dancing figures with animal heads or animal bodies. There were no windows.

    The body looked like a corpse. It was wrapped in white. Even if it breathed and dreamed and lived, it was trapped and sleeping.

    There were no windows, but his eyes could see. There were no windows, but there was a light. It came from high above, from two small holes like a pair of yellow eyes.

    Amun let his eyes wander along the walls and drawings as he read the symbols and signs. What he had taken to be people with animal heads, or animals with people heads, he began to realize where rather stages in a transformation. This one was not a man with an eagle's head, but a man taking on the form of an eagle. This one was not a lion with a man's head, but a lion transforming into a man.

    If he had wings Amun could reach the holes above. Dry old wrappings began to crumble and turn to dust. The corpse burst open as wings unfolded. The moth hovered over the remains of its former life for a moment, before ascending along the thin beam of light from above.

    Amun emerged into the light outside. The world was beneath him, and above a great sun baked the stone of the pyramid. Amun turned his gaze up, along the great face of stones to the brilliant tip of solid gold in distant heights. The moth rose on the waves of heat towards its destiny.

    A screech split the still air and talons flashed like steel in the sun. Certain doom descended in one swift and fateful attack. The moth flapped its wings just once before the claws closed around it. One flap in the winds of fate became a storm. There had never been any moth, Amun's destiny was not to die before the top and if it was he would damn well change it. This he knew with perfect certainty. The hawk's eyes had played a cruel trick on it as it found no moth but an angry tomcat with a vice grip on its neck.

    The cat landed on the face of the pyramid, claws hanging on to the rough cracks of the stone as it licked its bloody chops. With slow but grim determination the cat dragged itself up the pyramid.

    Amun reached the golden top of the pyramid and gazed out over the endless world beneath ... the world he had left behind, a world of lies and prisons. The cat turned its eyes upwards instead. After all, the tip of the pyramid was only the top of this world, it was only a step on the ladder.

    Amun narrowed his eyes at the heavens above, and his name formed on his lips, taking the form of an oath.

    It was a name, and a promise, and in this place it would be remembered.

    Post-Awakening
    Amun woke in the hospital. The breathing machine had been turned off and he had been moved to a new room. Bandages around his neck suggested that he had been operated. Amun looked around the small, quiet room and his eyes fell upon a small card on the nightstand next to the bed, emblazoned with a strange symbol resembling a ladder. Amun reached out and picked it up, turning it over between his fingers.

    Amun left the hospital a few days later. The address on the card turned out to be the small, local office of an American news agency reporting from the region. Amun was offered a job and training as an assistant, his job to wander the streets and gather rumors and information from all around the city.

    Amun was eventually initiated into the Silver Ladder, and took his shadow name. Thus Amun became Amun-Ra.

    During his time at the agency, Amun became fascinated by the relaxed and tolerant way of the American journalists compared to the strict background in which he had been raised. After a year at the agency he decided to leave everything he knew behind and find his destiny across the sea.

    Amun set out for America, where he wandered between cities for several years before finally reaching Detroit. Here he has stayed since, working towards his goal of harnessing the latent powers present in the fallen city.


    Relationship with other mages in Detroit
    Spoiler
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    The Arsenal of Democracy
    Amun has very little concern for global or even regional politics and concerns, but is willing to grudgingly agree that some people have to deal with that too and he'd rather have it not be him. For this reason he is, at the best of times, neutral towards the Arsenal. They do their job, he does his. They don't bother him, he doesn't bother them.

    The Quiet
    They perform an important job and do real good work. On the other hand Amun can't help but wonder about Edelachtbare and what the Mysterium censors are keeping from everyone. The man is kinda like looking into one of those silly mirrors, a distorted, twisted view of Amun himself. Amun is not sure whether to laugh or hide when faced with the other man.

    The Speakeasy Society
    Amun agrees with a lot of what the Society does and stands for. Local change effected over time, building outwards and upwards. He's not so sure about the group's leadership, however.

    General Malcom's Irregulars
    Amun sympathizes a great deal with the Mysterium and its objective of securing any and all magical lore and artifacts. Knowledge is power, after all. For this reason he is also sympathetic to Malcom's group. Their crazy antics also appeal to his fondness for pissing on expectations and norms. Still, Amun is not sure that their heavy-handed approach will not backfire catastrophically one day, dragging others with them.

    The T-Streat Crew
    Amun knows trouble when he sees it, and stays absolutely clear of the Crew when at all possible. As if their murderous, thuggish ways weren't enough to convince anyone that they are nothing but bad news, Amun never liked their obsession with honor and reputation either.

    The Old Secret
    This kind of apathy and deliberate unhelpfulness just pisses off Amun. They're clearly up to something, and Amun is generally convinced that this "something" is "no good".

    Specific People
    Hates Kurosawa. While Luminoth is frustrating and really gets on Amun's nerves, Kurosawa represents everything Amun loathes about the Crew, everything he sees as a problem with the city and everything he despises about people who take themselves and their honor way too seriously. Not to mention the rampant materialism.

    Loves Captain Rushaw. Amun's fondness for trivia and details is one he finds reflected in the Captain. The two have often shared random bits of information and anecdotes.

    Owes Closer. Amun has on more than one occasion bought or received items - mostly apparent junk - that he sought from Closer. Amun isn't sure how far he can trust Closer or the items yet. The fact that Amun can't stand Closer and the other members of the Old Secret doesn't help on his feelings on the matter.

    Is Owed by Hilltop. Amun doesn't want anything to do with the Crew if he can avoid it, yet Hilltop's art always fascinated him and the two occasionally bump into each other on their own personal quests around the city. Over time Amun has been able to help her with random, isolated bits and pieces, little things, but it adds up. While Amun is not quick to press the issue because of the Crew, he suspects it's a good thing to have this little trump card.

    Has something Amun wants Luminoth, for similar reasons as Tessen. Luminoth clearly knows something and is up to something, and Amun suspects it could be critical to his own research and objectives. Her deliberate unwillingness to offer anything in the way of help or information drives Amun crazy.
    Last edited by Deadly; 2013-12-23 at 07:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Fedora View Post
    Deadly, a delightfully daring drawer and drafter of dissertations. Defying the dictations of our disparate denizens, Deadly decides his direction with a dirth of dependence on the decisions of despotic desperados. Deadly detests dismissive derision, and will debate any dude or dame that dares to detest discussion.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    It's also why Tea Party has been such a rousing success from my perspective. The characters there are all psycho-punk compliant. Perhaps it's something in the simplified visual design of ponies but everyone there made really excellent and distinctive characters who could be communicated in very simple, effective ways.
    With Blue I was trying to remember and follow a lesson I had recently had about successful characters. I mentioned it in a mail to you, about how characters should be shamefully unashamed of what they are, hard to explain but it's probably a very similar idea to your psycho-punk concept.

    I didn't really have this idea or experience when I made Amun. I can still learn to apply it better, I don't think Blue is without flaws, but it's been a valuable lesson. If nothing else, I can take Amun as a lesson too, of what not to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    An awful lot of magethought can be done by way of busting out Wikipedia and looking for symbolism.
    A lot of storytelling thought in general. Just yesterday I was looking at the history of ancient music. Apparently the Egyptians credited their god Thoth with the creation of music, which Osiris then used to civilize the world. I found that fascinating, for reasons.

    So I followed the link to the article on Thoth and found this unrelated note:

    This mythology also credits him with the creation of the 365 day calendar. Originally, according to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during these days, unable to bear children. Thoth gambled with the Moon for 1/72nd of its light (360/72 = 5), or 5 days, and won. During these 5 days, Nut gave birth to Kheru-ur (Horus the Elder, Face of Heaven), Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys.
    And I thought of our Thanksgiving party. I have no idea what relevance it might possibly have. Possibly none, but I thought I'd mention it.


    Also, today I found/was reminded of Fisheye Placebo. I remember seeing random pictures of it, but it's apparently an actual thing now. Only a few chapters yet, but it's looking interesting so far. Free Council? Looks like Free Council.

    The girl Alex in chapter 0 is adorable, definitely my fav so far, and she reminds me of Tessen. Dunno, maybe it's the manipulative cuteness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Fedora View Post
    Deadly, a delightfully daring drawer and drafter of dissertations. Defying the dictations of our disparate denizens, Deadly decides his direction with a dirth of dependence on the decisions of despotic desperados. Deadly detests dismissive derision, and will debate any dude or dame that dares to detest discussion.

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    You know, I also think that the use of ponies almost forces a psycho punk design style. If you're playing a pony, there's a picture of the thing that you're most good at imprinted on your butt for everyone to see.

    Edit: Plus, cutie marks make organizing society so much easier. Oh, hey, let's put the guys with leadership cutie marks in charge, the ones with administrative cutie marks in all the desk jobs, and the ones with judge and lawyer cutie marks in the legal system.

    Figuring out who those people should be in the real world is REALLY HARD.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2013-09-16 at 06:10 PM.
    Soul Tracer avatar by Thanqol.

    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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    You say that like any of Trees major psychological touching-points have something to do with her Cutie Mark/Special Talent.

    Which is to say, I can tell you still haven't dared read the thread.

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Turing

    AKA Matthew (Matt) Sharpe
    Male Guardian of the Veil Moros Mage
    “I came back from the dead. What have you done recently?”

    TRACKING

    Spoiler
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    HEALTH
    [/][][][][][][][]

    MANA
    [+][+][+][+][+][-][-][-][-][-][-][-]

    WILLPOWER
    [+][+][+][-][-]

    ACTIVE SPELLS

    CURRENT XP: 16.4 (or 17.3?)
    Arcane XP: 0.1
    POLITICAL XP: 0.1


    STATS

    Spoiler
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    ATTRIBUTES
    Intelligence 4
    Wits 2
    Resolve 2

    Strength 3
    Dexterity 1
    Stamina 3

    Presence 3
    Manipulation 1
    Composure 3


    MENTAL
    Academics 2
    Computer 4 (AI + 1, Networks + 1)
    Crafts 2
    Investigation 1
    Occult 1
    Politics
    Medicine
    Science 2 (Physics + 1)

    PHYSICAL
    Athletics 2
    Brawl 3
    Drive 1
    Firearms 1
    Larceny
    Stealth
    Survival
    Weaponry 1

    SOCIAL
    Animal Ken
    Empathy
    Expression
    Intimidation 2
    Persuasion
    Socialize 1
    Streetwise 1
    Subterfuge

    MERITS
    Bound Ghost 2
    Eidetic Memory 2
    Sanctum 2 (communal)
    Library 2 (Mythology of the Americas, Physics)
    Resources 1
    High Speech 1
    Status (Guardians) 1

    ARCANA
    Death 3
    Matter 2
    Forces 1
    Life 1
    Prime 1

    GNOSIS 3
    MANA/PER TURN 13/3

    WISDOM: 6
    VIRTUE: Fortitude
    VICE: Gluttony
    DERANGEMENT: Depression (mild)

    DERIVED TRAITS
    Defense 1 (3?)
    Initiative 4
    Speed 9

    MAGICAL TOOLS
    Cup Pocket-sized periodic table
    Sword Silver-tipped cane
    Staff Glasses
    Mirror Charon’s obol
    Coin Tie pin

    PHOENIX
    A stylized ascending phoenix is embroidered on all his vests in black thread, just below the collar at the back of the neck.

    ROTES
    Death 2: Decay
    Duration: Lasting
    Aspect: Vulgar
    Cost: None
    Pool: Stamina+Intimidation+Death 8

    Matter 2: Transmute Water
    Duration: Prolonged
    Aspect: Vulgar
    Cost: None
    Pool: Intelligence+Science+Matter 8

    Death 1: Dark Matter
    Duration: Prolonged
    Aspect: Covert
    Cost: None
    Pool: Intelligence+Science+Matter 8

    Matter 1: Detect Substance
    Duration: Concentration
    Aspect: Covert
    Cost: None
    Pool: Wits+Composure+Matter 7


    GMC INFO

    Spoiler
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    ASPIRATIONS
    1. Establish a role in the new Consilium
    2. Deal with the vampires, either by getting them to move or killing them
    3. Reclaim a part of Detroit (literal or metaphysical) from Scelesti/Sleepers/neglect/etc.

    OBSESSIONS
    1. Learn more about the Queen of Detroit and connections to Surya
    2. Experience Death Patterning
    3. Find out more about Muriel and ghosts in general

    QUESTIONS
    1. The worst thing Turing has done was shirking the chance to shoot Slade with Overlord's gun. He believes it would have saved the man's family, caused Slade less trauma, prevented Tessen's Paradox, and kept him from having to lie to his cabal.
    2. The worst thing Turing can imagine doing is willfuly taking a Sleeper's soul
    3. The worst thing Turing can imagine someone doing is human sacrifice in service of the Abyss
    4. What scares Turing about magic is what he saw in those Sleeper's eyes after the bank robbery; the way it calls out to the Abyss through otherwise innocent human beings
    5. Turing is willing to kill those he judges to pose a significant threat to his cabal, Consilium, or Sleepers he considers to be under his care


    DESCRIPTION

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    Matt is one of the increasingly rare individuals who have reached middle age and aren’t afraid to show it. Although his hair has gone gray and is beginning to recede a bit, he keeps it short and neatly trimmed, and is always clean-shaven. He often wears a pair of silver reading glasses as well, although it isn’t clear if he actually needs them or not.

    Despite his age, Matt is clearly in good shape, and his muscular features combine with iron-gray hair to project a forceful and dangerous presence when the need arises. However, if danger isn’t imminent, he behaves as another man altogether, laughing and joking with those around him while indulging his favorite addictions - cigarettes and coffee - usually augmented by a healthy dose of Bailey’s.

    His wardrobe is almost entirely uniform, invariably consisting of spit-polished black shoes, black silk dress slacks, and a close-fitting black vest buttoned over a wide black tie, and set off with a white tie pin in the shape of a flower. The only article of clothing that ever seems to change are his shirts, which vary through an enormous array of pastels onward to bright primary and secondary colors. This uniform is nearly always accompanied by a black and silver cane which he uses just as much to punctuate his sentences as to help him walk.

    When magic comes into play and his Numina becomes visible, Matt’s features seem to take on a stretched and pallid appearance, and his green eyes flare into corpse-lights. Those who pay close enough attention can see twisting humanoid shapes continually in motion behind him; one of them always wears a top hat and sunglasses.


    HISTORY

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    EARLY HISTORY

    Matthew was born just in time to see the dawn of the consumer side of the computing revolution begin to trickle in. The earliest iterations of video games, PCs and the internet all left their mark, and being somewhat technically inclined, Matt turned that interest into a profession.

    He studied computer science at school, with a minor in the physical sciences, and eventually wrote his dissertation on AI and robotics. He was hired by a company that focused on applied computing solutions for industry, being one of the major players for a time in supplying the Detroit car manufacturers with robotic assembly equipment, workflow analysis and integrated software packages. When times started to get really tough for their clients, Matt decided to take the severance package they offered for voluntary retirement, and transitioned into a new job teaching university CS courses at Michigan State, although he tendered his resignation shortly after his Awakening.

    As far as his personal life goes, Matt dated a few times, but he was never married, and if asked about it, would simply say that he was always too busy to make a relationship work. Unfortunately, that sentiment seems to have bled over into his family life as well. Matt and his brother John haven’t been on good terms in years, owing in part to a bitter disagreement over how to take care of their aging mother after their father’s death. The compromise left her in a nursing home in Florida.

    AWAKENING

    Some people have mid-life crises. Matthew Sharpe had an Awakening.

    At the time, he was in Miami for a conference, and he took to wandering around the city during his scarce free time, fascinated by the existence of so many semi-autonomous subcultures within the city proper. At the time, he was deeply interested in voodoo traditions, and found himself wandering around the Haitian neighborhoods, despite being a little afraid of getting mugged.

    At some point, distracted by scenery, he collided with a street vendor, who made a fuss until he finally bought something, hoping to prevent an escalation of the scene. The food was good, but he had barely gotten a few blocks when he started to feel sick. Later he was never sure if he had been the victim of magic, poison or terrible luck, but when he started to spit up blood, he knew something was wrong. Fortunately, terror only had a chance to grow on him for a few minutes before his vision went black.

    When he came to, no one was around except a black man wearing sunglasses with a tux and top hat. A part of him suspected who that man might be, and it was answered by a gleaming smile which said both that the man knew what Matt was thinking, and that he was entirely correct.

    After their silent preliminaries, the grinning Baron led Matt to an ancient cemetery, preserved within the city limits. He gave Matt a shovel and showed him where to dig, and when he finally uncovered a wooden coffin at the bottom of his hole, the Baron lifted the lid and ushered him inside.

    The lid closed, and Matt lay in the darkness for ages, until his vision started to swim and he wanted to rub his eyes, but couldn’t work out how to move his arms around in the tiny space to accomplish it. At last, the darkness seemed to dissolve, and he found himself staring out at a familiar skyline.

    The city was Detroit as it had once been, back in his father’s day. Everything was gleaming, and he could hear the noise of a thousand factories pumping out machines while ten thousand foundries supplied them with material. Matt realized then that Detroit was his city; it had given birth to him, provided his family with food, even given him a way to pay the bills once he’d come of age. He felt like part of it all, and in the darkness of his tomb, Matt was happy that he belonged to the city.

    As he watched the scenes of Detroit before him, he expected to see his own life flash before his eyes; the final, if cliche, stroke before death fully claimed him. Instead, the city began to change, and he saw it as it had become - a filthy, decay-ridden shell of a thing - and something in him rebelled.

    It wasn’t right that Detroit was like this. Every half-dead face he saw wandering the streets only drove that point home further, until his soul was screaming in indignation! His city shouldn’t end like this - it wouldn’t end like this!... But in the middle of his rage, a voice asked him what he would do about it all, and Matt remembered that he was dead.

    “Well, what are you going to do about that?”

    That was his choice then. Stay there, in the ground, and rest in a life complete, or get back up and fight for something worthwhile. Something that was so deeply ingrained as to be a part of his own soul.

    It took hours, but at the end of it, Matt stood, breathing raggedly by a rough hole in a decrepit Miami churchyard. The starlight reflected off a skinny black man’s sunglasses, and then the man spit into his hand and held it out toward Matt, grinning like a madman. When Matt imitated the gesture and shook Baron Samedi’s hand a high, hilarious laugh rose from the loa’s throat, and the next thing he could remember was waking up in a hospital bed.

    There was a girl in the room with him, young and awe-struck and eerily like the street vendor from before. She ran over to his bed and pressed something into his hands before whispering “You met him?!” and running off.

    When he opened his hands, Matt found a pin in the shape of a white rose.

    POST-AWAKENING

    Matt’s Awakening gave him a mission - see Detroit brought back to life, whatever that takes and whatever that means. As a result, he left behind the few connections he had and headed into the city, using the remainder of his generous consulting pension/severance to support himself. His approach has been a generalist one so far, trying to figure out all the things wrong with the city and how to move them in a different direction. Sometimes that meant fighting Manifestations and sometimes it meant doing little things to help people so they didn’t have to rely on the corrupt Seer or Scelesti networks to try and get aid.

    Very early on, he got in over his head while fighting the Abyss, but he was pulled out of the fire by a fortunate intervention from the Quiet. Although they don’t necessarily trust him any more than other Pentacle mages, they did hand him off to a few Guardians that served as his first contacts with the organization and gave him a bit of training to help him survive the city’s horrors. He still looks up to that cabal and is in the process of passing the veils for full admittance into the Guardians himself.

    It was also through Errant that Matt first met Alina. At first, he thought she might have been a former student of his, but he couldn’t recognize her face. While chatting together, they discovered a similar vision for the city that linked them in purpose, and they’ve stayed in contact ever since. Recently, they’ve decided to join together as part of a cabal to further that vision.

    Matt first met his other cabal-mate, Amun-Ra, through another mutual acquaintance, General Malcom. The man was a fascinating mix of mad, affable and dynamic, and Matt wished his own brother could understand him as well as Amun seemed to during their discussions. When the time came to form a cabal, it was a logical choice to team up with Amun who also shared a transformative vision for the city that meant so much to him.


    MAGE SIGHT

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    Death: Pretty straightforward; the world goes to shades of black and white, while ghosts appear something like whitish holograms. The weight of death typically appears as a dark vapor surrounding a subject, which may actually condense and drip if concentrated enough.

    Forces: Forces phenomena appear limned in different colors. Generally, electricity is blue-white, fire is red, kinetic energy and abstract force is kind of purplish.

    Life: Living things he's concentrating on are highlighted with a golden glow. Life in the more abstract sense appears similarly colored but appears more as ley lines or energy patterns to him.

    Matter: Turing basically has relevant chemical and/or physical data on whatever he's looking at beamed into his head, generally summarized as if it came out of some sort of scientific apparatus.


    MAGE POLITICS

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    The Arsenal: Mostly, Matt finds them frustrating. They’re unwilling to divert resources to help Detroit specifically, but if they won’t do it, that just means he’ll have to try and take up the slack. Overall, he’d probably just prefer to leave them to their own devices, unless they actively begin to harm the city in the name of a ‘greater good’.

    The Quiet: They got him out of a sticky situation and helped him further his own goals, if only indirectly. That, coupled with their commitment to persevere in helping Detroit in the way they seem most suited to has led him to a deep respect for this organization and its leadership. A part of him even aspires to be associated with them eventually, although he’d prefer to have a broader role in Detroit’s recovery than just targeting Manifestations.

    The Speakeasy Society: For Matt, they’re something of a cipher. He doesn’t really understand where they’re coming from or have much connection to them ideologically. On the practical side, he’d prefer not to run into Tyler Durden without backup, although he finds her brand of crazy kind of amusing at arm’s length. As long as they’re trying to build up the city, he’ll settle for staying out of their way. As someone who regularly speaks with ghosts however, he does have a fairly strong contempt for Mirror Man, whether he’s genuine or a faker (which might be the worse of the two possibilities).

    General Malcom’s Irregulars: Their leader seems off-kilter at best, waving a smile and a shotgun like a giant middle finger at all the corruption and decay in the city. The Baron would love him for that, and Matt can’t help but have a soft spot for them as well.

    The T-Street Crew: Thugs with magic, plain and simple. He’ll tolerate their presence under protest until they kill a civilian or innocent sleeper, and then he’ll do everything in his power to put them in place with the rest of the dregs of Detroit that are being cleaned up.

    The Old Secret: Hatred. They could potentially do more than any other group in the city right now to put Detroit back on the proper path, but they refuse. They aren’t overtly violent and the Hierarch being part of the group presents a problem for openly acting against them, but he hates them and their delay tactics as part of the problem keeping the city back. If he finds enough leverage, he would love to get them out of power and even out of the city.

    SPECIFICS

    Hates: Luminoth. She’s the antithesis of everything he wants for the city and tries to be. She only offers inaction, delay and excuses in place of planning and execution, and there’s a possibility she’s doing all this on purpose. Incompetence he might be able to forgive, but deliberate foot-dragging and malice turns his stomach.

    Loves: General Malcom. He reminds Matt of Baron Samedi sometimes, and everything that put him on the path he’s currently following. He likes to show up when he gets the chance and have a beer with the General while they discuss anything the older man feels like. For his own part, Matt looks up to the man as a role model in terms of how he faces danger and inspires others.

    Owes: Errant. Directly responsible for helping to get him out of some serious Abyss-based trouble, and even giving him a little direction for his own efforts. He would likely obey any order she directed to him.

    Is Owed By: Captain Rushaw. Thanks to his occasional association with the Irregulars, Matt happened to be around when the Arrows came calling to cause trouble for Rushaw. It’s hard to say exactly, but him standing his ground by the captain probably kept things from getting ugly that time, and Rushaw feels that one good turn deserves another.

    Has Something Matt Wants: Husing Hiroshi. Although he knows the chances are probably next to nil, Hiroshi’s resources could do a lot of good for Detroit, both in terms of cash and material. If he could somehow convince the man that local interests were equally valid, Hiroshi would make an extremely valuable ally and Matt knows it.
    Last edited by the_druid_droid; 2014-05-01 at 01:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    You say that like any of Trees major psychological touching-points have something to do with her Cutie Mark/Special Talent.

    Which is to say, I can tell you still haven't dared read the thread.
    Tiki, I started reading the thread thanks to this comment. I just want you to know one thing. If I had been in that game. I'd have shot you. Then I'd have shot your corpse just to be safe.
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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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Tiki, I started reading the thread thanks to this comment. I just want you to know one thing. If I had been in that game. I'd have shot you. Then I'd have shot your corpse just to be safe.
    Suddenly curious on your take on Lavender/Luna. She's so much fun to play, and I find my loyalties between personalities divided...
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    DD, your unicorn is stronger, prettier, and higher-ranking than mine, and her secret lab has a better name than mine. THERE SHALL BE NO QUARTER.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by the_druid_droid View Post
    Suddenly curious on your take on Lavender/Luna. She's so much fun to play, and I find my loyalties between personalities divided...
    I'm only 5 pages in at the moment and I haven't read anything in OOC, so from what I've seen you're playing the nicest, most magnanimous character in the group, with a nice bit of fish out of water going.
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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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I'm only 5 pages in at the moment and I haven't read anything in OOC, so from what I've seen you're playing the nicest, most magnanimous character in the group, with a nice bit of fish out of water going.
    Ah, let me know when you're caught up. Lavender is sort of late in coming out, but absolutely my favorite to write for.
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    DD, your unicorn is stronger, prettier, and higher-ranking than mine, and her secret lab has a better name than mine. THERE SHALL BE NO QUARTER.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Either the story has a main plot or it doesn't.

    If it does, character arcs are secondary things which mean that the character arcs have to be carefully balanced and prioritised so that only the most important ones take place in the limited time and pacing available.

    If it doesn't, character arcs are the primary things and have to be developed/deep/complex enough to drive a story by themselves.


    Given how complex and novel this system is and how well this team of characters work together, a main plot is essential for binding the narrative together and driving it forwards. Something like Gathering of Mists, in comparison, deals with much simpler powers in a much simpler location with characters who can barely work together - it's totally fine with slipping over into the no-main-plot category.

    This story, though, needs that external pressure.
    Oh, I'm not criticizing you by any stretch, and you're right. I'm just pointing out what these games look like from the other side. Especially since I don't think anyone in this game actually had any idea what they were getting into. It's the noncommunicated expectations and social mores that got in the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Uh, SiuiS, literally the first thing I did when we got free time was google a map of Detroit, pick a spot and have Tessen go wander around looking for the supernal. That's how the whole Belle Isle thing started.
    Which of your skills is that? You've got four dots of Occult, but your specialty is magic, and from conversations we've had I don't think you knew how explicitly Geomancy was based on occult, or even how it functions by Mage. You've only got investigation 2, but that can be place investigations, library research, scanning radio channels... It's a non-lead.

    Which is my point. You're Obrimos. "I do a thing, and if something stops me I look closely at it before leaving footprints on it's face" is what you do. You've made that part of her personality. For those whose personality is not "make my stuff important", that is a much less intuitive thing to do, especially coming from tabletop where stuff like D&D teaches people their RP framework. Couple this with your experience on the other side, watching players not do enough of the Go Out And Accomplish Stuff end, and you're no longer really one of the newbies. We even had this conversation before, wherein I expressed interest in the differing needs of timescale and character presentation~

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Tiki, I started reading the thread thanks to this comment. I just want you to know one thing. If I had been in that game. I'd have shot you. Then I'd have shot your corpse just to be safe.
    And this is the comment that will make me actually start reading the threads. What is it? A tea party for the apocalypse?


    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfate View Post
    Devils! Stop binding SiuiS' pony!

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Which of your skills is that? You've got four dots of Occult, but your specialty is magic, and from conversations we've had I don't think you knew how explicitly Geomancy was based on occult, or even how it functions by Mage. You've only got investigation 2, but that can be place investigations, library research, scanning radio channels... It's a non-lead.

    Which is my point. You're Obrimos. "I do a thing, and if something stops me I look closely at it before leaving footprints on it's face" is what you do. You've made that part of her personality. For those whose personality is not "make my stuff important", that is a much less intuitive thing to do, especially coming from tabletop where stuff like D&D teaches people their RP framework. Couple this with your experience on the other side, watching players not do enough of the Go Out And Accomplish Stuff end, and you're no longer really one of the newbies. We even had this conversation before, wherein I expressed interest in the differing needs of timescale and character presentation~
    I can't really deny this, though I think Obrimos is naturally part of my personality and I just went and did Obrimos things even before I understood that I was doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    And this is the comment that will make me actually start reading the threads. What is it? A tea party for the apocalypse?

    A Tea Party for the Post-Apocalypse
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    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Anarion Mori?
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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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I can't really deny this, though I think Obrimos is naturally part of my personality and I just went and did Obrimos things even before I understood that I was doing so.
    Obrimos is best pony.
    You can lead a horse to water
    and you can lead a horse into water
    and you can swim around with the horse
    and have fun

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Obrimos is best pony.
    I do not disagree.

    Oh! More weight on the Thyrsus scale. After stopping moving iron, even while healing, I missed the weight, the shift in balance, the sense of struggle. I enjoy the feel of rebar on my shoulder even as I cry out at its causing me pain. And while being so scabbed over I can't move my arms enough to take off a T-shirt sucks, the feelings of healing, and pain, and muscles shifting and bones aching was enjoyable and informative.

    I hear that's not exactly normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I can't really deny this, though I think Obrimos is naturally part of my personality and I just went and did Obrimos things even before I understood that I was doing so.
    I do believe it is. I find people gravitate toward a little bit of self-insertion with their first Mage. Possibly with their first WoD character in general.

    Interesting. I saw this in the Forum Help section; The line break after the url tag prevents me from being able to click the link. This should fix it.

    And thank you! Post, rather important part, that.


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    Devils! Stop binding SiuiS' pony!

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Obrimos is best pony.
    Truth.

    Oh, and DD, I completely lost it at
    "Weren't most of them polar bears, though?"
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    Anarion's right on the money here.
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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: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Tiki, I started reading the thread thanks to this comment. I just want you to know one thing. If I had been in that game. I'd have shot you. Then I'd have shot your corpse just to be safe.
    Heh.
    Well, unless you mean the moment she entered the cave, then the fact you were there would likely have changed many things, including Trees read on the situation.

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Truth.

    Oh, and DD, I completely lost it at
    "Weren't most of them polar bears, though?"
    Hee. Lavender may be Best Personality, but Luna certainly has fun moments.
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    DD, your unicorn is stronger, prettier, and higher-ranking than mine, and her secret lab has a better name than mine. THERE SHALL BE NO QUARTER.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    [If you're using contacts, what are you after here? The top-down story is going to be that this kid isn't even on the radar yet]
    The idea is to find out if anyone is on this story, and if so, hopefully learn what they have so far. If she's not on the radar yet, far as Amun can tell with his contacts, then I suppose that's all he's getting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I'm only 5 pages in at the moment and I haven't read anything in OOC, so from what I've seen you're playing the nicest, most magnanimous character in the group, with a nice bit of fish out of water going.
    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    And this is the comment that will make me actually start reading the threads. What is it? A tea party for the apocalypse?
    Ah, lurker-point-of-views!

    I always worry that people who come in later and read these threads will notice all my mistakes and flawed roleplaying. Blue is developing in interesting directions, though, now that we've gotten a little bit in.

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    Deadly, a delightfully daring drawer and drafter of dissertations. Defying the dictations of our disparate denizens, Deadly decides his direction with a dirth of dependence on the decisions of despotic desperados. Deadly detests dismissive derision, and will debate any dude or dame that dares to detest discussion.

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    So, Jack's got a close sympathetic connection with his unicorn-mask, right? Say, one that's good enough for scrying later?
    Last edited by Anarion; 2013-09-17 at 09:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    So, Jack's got a close sympathetic connection with his unicorn-mask, right? Say, one that's good enough for scrying later?
    If not, that sympathy can be strengthened. The ritual to do so would probably involve slow dancing in a scene enacted in horse masks, so it would at least be interesting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Winterfate View Post
    Devils! Stop binding SiuiS' pony!

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    Default Re: Skyscraper Graveyard V: Gradually, then Suddenly

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    If not, that sympathy can be strengthened. The ritual to do so would probably involve slow dancing in a scene enacted in horse masks, so it would at least be interesting.
    SiuiS, oh SiuiS, please stop giving the romantic lunatic ideas.
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