• Off The Beaten Path 4: Basilica of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Spain


    While Spain and Portugal remained relatively free from the horrors of the Great War, like Italy and Rome, they suffered heavily through the Purge.  The Zaragoza province, an early stronghold of the Church was one of the last to fall after the signing of the United Liberties Pact. Strangling land trade between Bilbao and Barcelona, the Church was able to cut off recourses to other major cities through control of Zaragoza.

     

    During the dark days of the Purge, the Church of the Reclaimer held the ancient Basilica of the Pillar as their seat of power. From here, they scourged the population of the Zaragoza province often arranging public stoning for those guilty of biblical crime. Victims of Church law were bound to stone posts outside the Basilica, their bodies left to rot as examples.

     

    Historians estimate over a thousand men and women were stoned at the Basilica of the Pillar. The High Priest Will, the Just, was said to be especially mindful of harlots, sluts and whores. There are multiple stories of pregnant women, killed for the crime of fornication.  Why the High Priest over Zaragoza province targeted these women specifically remains a mystery as Will, the Just, was killed in the bombing of the C51 train to Madrid carrying the fleeing oligarch and several of his high-ranking followers.

     

    For years after the Purge, the Basilica of the Pillar remained closed to the public as various government agencies combed the building and sister structures for information.  Today, the Basilica has returned to Catholic control. No longer active as a place of worship, the Basilica has been converted to a museum of religious artifacts that survived the Purge in Spain.

     

     

    The Haunting of the Basilica of the Pillar

     

    Those with supernatural sensitivities may feel a feminine energy flowing through the Basilica, resonating most powerfully around the old alter. Through the years, there have been many reports of penitents witnessing the ghostly figure of a woman in blue and white lighting votive candles. While the stories are common around the first weeks of January, and February, the phenomena appear to become strong through the months of August and September.

     

    During the months of August and September, the fabric between Realms also seems to waver. There is a strong attunement to the Slumber. Any Character with Realm Sense will be able to feel this immediately through the grounds of the Basilica. The resonance appears strongest at the altar and votive tables.

     

    GMs may lower the Difficulty to activate any Slumber Boon or use of the Enter the Dream Flow Focus. During these times passing between the Slumber and Walking World may be easier for entities such as Broken Dreams.

     

    While a shallow point between the Waking World and the High Heavens, the Watchtower does not claim any outright dominion over the Basilica. This does not mean they are not aware of the strange nature of the Basilica. However, they remain conspicuously absent from all politics around the venerable site. The Watchtower does however keep multiple observation teams in and around Zaragoza. Why they maintain such a low profile concerning the Basilica is unknown.



  • The Lucid Effect 4: The Trucker

    The Lucid Effect presents a new Lucid, first with only mundane abilities that encapsulate their former lives, and a possible incarnation with supernatural talents building off their previous skills.

    The Basic Template spends only basic Character Points and 5 Lucid Points.
    The Lucid Template fills out the character presenting a near complete New Lucid.

    While cities maintain hydroponic farms, and any number of factories, plants, and any number of construction crews, no city is fully independent. Every day cargo comes in and goes out across the world, by plane, train, and of course by the “big-rig” truck. Local, interstate, even international commerce relies on women and men willing to haul material for hours, or days on end.

    Enduring long hours of solitude the Trucker must remain focused and aware of their surroundings. It is not just a sedentary complacency as it’s easy to tune out and loose track of the endless miles of roadway. Often overlooked by society in general freight drivers often exist in the margins. Stopping only in secluded areas away from the general populace on the road, and rarely given any real time to mingle with the real world they live between worlds.

    The livelihood of the Trucker is dependent on how fast they can move cargo. Violating speed limits only saves so much time, its easy to turn to powerful stimulants to keep a driver awake for days on end. Often, the remote truck stops offer a host of illicit substances and access to other vices, along with more commonplace services such as a laundrette and small sleeping coffins.

    Our Trucker is someone from this half glimpsed subculture. We know that they will need to be strong and have impressive endurance to deal wit the constant loading and unloading of their cargo, as well as maintain the long hours on the road. We add the Concentration skill for the mental focus required. Maintenance, to keep the rig on moving and Perception to avoid accidents. Area Knowledge Highways means never wasting time with maps and we round things out with a handful of skills one may pick up living in the shadow of society.

     

    History 9 Fortune 5
    Career: Truck Driver 6 Bargain Finder 4
    BG: Corp Burb Kid 4 Gambling 4
    Strength 5 Wisdom 5
    Brutal Fighting 4 AK: Highways 4
    Heavy Melee 4
    Lifting 4
    Dexterity 4 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 3 Firearms 2
    Vehicle 6 Lock Picking 2
    Maintenance: Vehicle 3
    Constitution 8 Mental 8
    Fasting 7 Concentration 7
    Sense 5 Expression 5
    Perception 4
    Scrounging 4
    Boons Value
    Dirty Fighter Major

     

    Where we go from here? To continue to explore the idea of this missed society, our Trucker dreams of something better, of a belonging and purpose. For this we turn to the Slumber.  With only an idea, or ideal, it may be difficult to decide where to go for powers. Fortunately, the Slumber is all about new possibilities. To take the idea of indecision, and questioning a step further  instead of boosting the Truckers raw Strength, Constitution, or Mental we look at Abilities  Foci, and  Boons  that augment these. Conversely,  we want to cultivate the dreaming nature of our Trucker, and for that we highlight one of the Slumber’s core Foci: Enter The Dream Flow.

     

    History 12 Fortune 5
    Career: Truck Driver 6 Bargain Finder 4
    BG: Corp Burb Kid 4 Gambling 4
    Lucid 12
    Enter The Dream Flow 12
    Fabric of Dreams 12
    Strength 5 Wisdom 5
    Brutal Fighting 4 AK: Highways 4
    Heavy Melee 4
    Lifting 4
    Dexterity 4 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 3 Firearms 2
    Vehicle 6 Lock Picking 2
    Maintenance: Vehicle 3
    Constitution 8 Mental 8
    Fasting 7 Concentration 7
    (S) Road Trips 4
    Sense 5 Expression 5
    Perception 4
    Scrounging 4
    Boons Value
    Dirty Fighter Major
    Future Past Major
    Seer Major
    Interpretation Major
    Dreams Made Real: Road Trips Typical
    Fantastic: Road Trips Typical
    Shrug It Off Major
    Slumbering Fortitude Typical
    Slumbering Awareness Typical
    Slumbering Dragon Major
    Slumbering Might Typical

     

    By selecting Boons which blend in with the Trucker’s curiosity, we create a character capable of so much, and yet they may not even realize it. In fact, the Trucker’s gifts may have developed over years without them ever realizing they had really changed.  Few Lucid have this luxury, and having this illusion taken from them can make for an interesting opening story.

    Enter the Dream Flow (Slumber): Although not a true Gateway, Slumbering Lucids seem to be able to enter the Dream Realm with far more ease than others. In these minor crossings or dives, the character is bombarded with the memories and emotions of all those sleeping. The character may take a turn to make an Advanced (25) Enter the Dream Flow roll to retain a fraction of this knowledge after waking. On a successful roll, the player chooses 1 Skill (even
    one they do not already possess), which they may then use their Enter the Dream Flow Focus as a supporting characteristic for on the next turn.

    Fabric of Dreams (Slumber): Fortune smiles on the dreamer, making the luck of a Slumbering Lucid quite legendary. What is real and what is illusion meld together to form a single truth around the Slumbering Lucid. This Focus may be used as a supporting characteristic for any Fortune tree roll.

     

    If someone told you, you have the keys to the universe, all you need do is imagine them. Would you believe them?

    Slumbering Awareness
    (Sense/Slumber – Typical)
    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 3 (F)
    The character taps into the Slumber, drawing out supernatural senses. They may use their Fabric of Dreams (F) as a supporting characteristic for any Sense Tree roll.

    Slumbering Fortitude
    (Constitution/Slumber – Typical)
    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 3 (F)
    The character taps into the Slumber, supernaturally enhancing their constitution. They may use their Fabric of Dreams (F) as a supporting characteristic for any Constitution Tree roll.

    Slumbering Might
    (Strength/Slumber – Typical)
    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 3 (F)
    The Lucid taps into the Slumber, drawing out their full strength. They may use their Fabric of Dreams (F) as a supporting characteristic for any Strength Tree roll.

    Slumbering Dragon
    (Fortune/Slumber – Major)
    Requirements: Enter the Dream Flow 12 (F), Seven other Supernatural OR Slumber Boons
    The Lucid’s ability to manipulate the Slumber grants them fearsome abilities in combat. They may declare all dice for a single combat roll as 6’s after rolling. When using this Boon, the character is obviously bending reality to achieve their goals, such as moving faster than a bullet or leaping into the air from a prone position, only to land a devastating attack on a nearby foe.

    All we need now is a reason to rise to the challenge.



  • Off The Beaten Path 3: The Northern Stelae Park, Axum, Ethiopia

     

    Northern Ethiopia is home to the semi-autonomous city-state of Axum. It is a city of conquerors and the conquered. Once a seat of power for the Kingdom of Aksum, this progenitor nation predates Christianity by a century or more. With the advent of the Purge these are only a few of the details lost to the modern world.

     

    Central to present day Axum is the Northern Stelae Park, a holy site and presumed graveyard marked by ancient stone markers rising eight to twenty-four meters in height. These Stelae or gravestones are presumed to be markers for kings and warlords of a forgotten kingdom. Recovered documentation indicate that both the Obelisk, the tallest of the still standing Stelae, and King Ezana’s Stele were moved to Italy at one point. Records as to how, why, and when the Stelae were recovered are unclear.

     

    Each of the Stelae within the park are ornately carved, almost as if they were small buildings with false doors and windows.  The carvings are intricately detailed, possessing markings, which can no longer be translated accurately.

     

    Open to the public, the park is often visited by new age and mystic types, attempting to reconnect with older spiritualities or spirits themselves. This effort is not entirely without merit. Anyone visiting the site possessing the Realm Sense Focus can feel Grave resonance. This resonance is noticeably stronger than an average graveyard. Those with Ghost Sight may pick up faint wisps or trails through the park, along with the sensation of danger, or immanent battle.  These sensations are strongest at the Obelisk of Axum.

     

    Characters attempting to use the Spirit Travel Ability within the Stelae Park do not need to roll to Slip The Body as long as they posses a single level or more in Spirit Travel.

     

    Things Best Left In The Past

    Both Spirit Callers and the Church of Unua take a heightened interest in the Stelae Park. The Spirit Callers see the park as a link to the Grave while the Unuans believe Axum may have been either Eden or a recreation of it. While the city lacks other resonance sites, the carvings on the Stelae are enough to indicate a clear link to the unified city.

     

    Both Baronies have been locked in a three-way stalemate over control of Axum with the Keepers. While the Keepers do acknowledge the park’s historical value they fear it is a sleeping Gate to the Grave. That alone is reason enough to have the entire site wiped clean and the Stelae destroyed.

     

    Between the lines of war are the Qdus Arbanya, a small coven of native Lucids that work to undermine all three Baronies though bureaucratic movements circumventing plots to take legal control or alter the area in any way. The Qdus Arbanya takes exceptional precautions to avoid intervening directly working through proxy companies and special interest groups. Their operatives are not above manipulating new age tourists into taking action on their behalf without ever revealing who they really are, or what their goals may be. With the presence of the Callers, Unuans, and Keepers the Qdus Arbanya have become adept at playing one off the other and keeping suspicions high and pointed at other Baronies.

     

    Players finding their way to Axum could easily be drawn into this four-sided conflict.



  • The Lucid Effect 3: The Fun Runner

    Keeping with cinematic tradition, we move to another underappreciated member of society, the Fun Runner.   Lacking the strength of people in more physical jobs, the fun runner keeps in shape and remains healthy trough long jobs and the occasional marathon. Professionally, the Fun Runner has several skills that would allow them to work in education, possibly as a substitute teacher, coach, or in the science department of a middle school. Given their focus of running, they may still be in school, a high school track star, or kid getting by and trying to avoid the worst of the city.

     

    Template: Fun Runner

     

    History 9 Fortune 5
    Career: Athlete 6 Intuition 4
    Education 4 Combat Reflexes 4
    Lucid 9
    Focus 9
    Strength 5 Wisdom 4
    Climbing 4 Domestic 2
    Sport: Rowing 4 Herbalism 2
    Study: Track Sports 3
    Dexterity 5 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 4 Biology 2
    Sport: Track 4 Maintenance: Gym Gear 3
    Medical 2
    Constitution 5 Mental 5
    Fasting 4 Concentration 4
    Movement: Running 4 Never Back Down 4
    Battery 4
    (F) Realm tap 4
    Sense 5 Expression 5
    (Converted 12 CP) (Converted 12 CP)

     

     

    Our basic Fun Runner is not overwhelmingly physically, in fact they are rather average.  It is their skills and training that set them apart allowing the Fun Runner to evade and out run most people.  The Fun Runner has Sport: Rowing, to represent multiple areas of sports proficiency, this may be swapped for any other strength-based sport, such as American style Football, or Rugby, alternatively many schools offer wrestling programs allowing our sports focused character to pick Brutal Fighting.  The Fun Runner also picks up Battery and Realm Tap before knowing what Realm they will use to represent the wellspring of stamina long distance runners show. Intuition and Combat reflexes add to the concept of someone constantly on the move and thinking. They may not know the best answer but they can follow their gut instincts. Herbalism, Biology, Medicine and Maintenance: Gym Gear are supporting skills for the Fun Runner giving them an understanding of all natural supplants, dieting, how to deal with sports injury, and how to keep one’s equipment working on a budget.

     

    For the Fun Runner Package we selected the Slumber as the character’s Realm. Slumber represents a degree of wish fulfillment and escapism that seem in line with the precepts of the Fun Runner. To highlight this, the Fun Runner selects Fabric of Dreams as their main Lucid Focus, but also includes Dreams Made Real to provide a cinematic edge with its power to emulate other skills. The Fun Runner also adjusts the Dexterity, Constitution, and Fortune Trees to highlight the characters’ focus and pick up the Quick Ability.

     

    Lucid Template:

     

    History 9 Fortune 6
    Career: Athlete 6 Intuition 4
    Education 4
    Lucid 9 Combat Reflexes 4
    (F) Fabric of Dreams 9
    (F) Enter The Dream Flow 6
    Strength 5 Wisdom 4
    Climbing 4 Domestic 2
    Sport: Rowing 4 Herbalism 2
    Study: Track Sports 3
    Dexterity 6 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 4 Biology 2
    Sport: Track 4 Maintenance: Gym Gear 3
    (S) Quick 6 Medical 2
    Constitution 6 Mental 5
    Fasting 4 Concentration 4
    Movement: Running 6
    (S) Distance Running 2
    Battery 6 Never Back Down 4
    (F) Realm tap 6
    Sense 5 Expression 5
    (Converted 12 CP) (Converted 12 CP)

     

    Lucid Boons Value
    Inner Reserve Major
    Quick Step Major
    Slumbering Fortitude Typical
    Slumbering Speed Typical
    Untouchable Major
    Dreams Made Real: Running Typical
    Fantastic: Running Typical
    Awareness Typical
    Intuitive Defense Typical

     

    Unspent Experience: 11

     

    The Fun Runners Boons now focus on movement, perseverance, and a dose of luck. While not a focused combatant, the Slumbering Speed and Untouchable Boons allow the Fun Runner to use their speed to great effect if the need arose. Inner Reserve and Intuitive Defenses help to pull the Runner out of the worst situations.

     

    Inner Reserve (Fortune/Supernatural – Major)

    Requirements: Fortune 6 (Attribute)

    Under certain conditions, some people may draw on a reserve of inner strength they didn’t even know they had. When the character’s life is on the line (at 10 or lower Health), when they are greatly overwhelmed (rolling against a target greater than three times their base value for the roll), or when someone they care about greatly is in danger (GM discretion), they may call on this untapped potential. When one of these conditions is met, they may double the total value of their next roll. For Attack rolls double the Damage inflicted as well.

     

    Quick Step (Dexterity/Mundane – Variable)

    Requirements: Dexterity 4 (Attribute), Constitution 4 (Attribute), Movement 4 (Skill)

    Overall athletic skill and discipline have honed the character’s body to move quicker than many others. Increase the character’s Base Movement:

    – Major Boon: 5 additional Meters

     

    Slumbering Fortitude (Constitution/Slumber – Typical)

    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 3 (Lucid Focus)

    The character taps into the Slumber, supernaturally enhancing their constitution.

     

    Slumbering Speed (Dexterity/Slumber – Typical)

    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 3 (Lucid Focus)

    The character taps into the Slumber, drawing out amazing dexterity.

     

    Untouchable (Dexterity/Slumber – Major)

    Requirements: Dexterity 6 (Attribute), Quick 6 (Skill), Enter the Dream Flow 6 (Lucid Focus)

    Dipping into the Slumbering Realm for a split second, the character almost instantly shifts position on the battlefield.

     

    Dreams Made Real: (Various) (Fortune/Slumber – Typical)

    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 6 (Lucid Focus), 3 other Slumber Boons

    Focusing their mind, the Slumbering Lucid is able to exceed the limits of the waking world.

     

    Fantastic: (Various) (Fortune/Slumber – Typical)

    Requirements: Fabric of Dreams 9 (Lucid Focus), Dreams Made Real: (Various) (Boon)

    With the will and vision of the Slumbering world, the Lucid transcends the limits of the flesh.

     

    Awareness (Fortune/Supernatural – Typical)

    Requirements: Sense 4 (Attribute), Intuition 4 (Skill)

    There are some who are attuned to sensations and perceptions beyond the comprehension of others. Some can just sense things that even trained and seasoned warriors miss, and are seldom surprised by anything. When making a Perception roll, the character may roll twice using Intuition as a Free Supporting Characteristic, and taking the better of the two results.

     

    Intuitive Defense (Fortune/Slumber, Verdant – Typical)

    Requirements: None.

    The character may use their Intuition as a supporting characteristic for defense rolls.

    While it might not seem like it, the Fun Runner is well on their way to reaching one of the world’s most common dreams, the ability to fly. The character still requires two additional Boons before they may slip free of the earthly tethers. With the 11 remaining experience, and a Drawback or two, a player can bring easily bring that down to one.   If Flight is not an immediate goal though, the character may look at increasing their Intuition, Battery and Realm Tap, increasing their defense and providing additional energy to draw on for the costly Untouchable Boon. For a more combat focused character, consider swapping Rowing for Brutal Fighting and using experience to meet the requirements for Slumbering Strike, a signature Slumber Boon.

     

    Slumbering Strike (Strength/Slumber – Major) (Martial Arts)

    Requirements: Strength 6 (Attribute), Enter the Dream Flow 6 (Lucid Focus), Any Combat Skill or Ability 6

    The Slumbering Lucid attacks not only the physical, but also the idealized dream self. When using this Boon, an ethereal second self can be seen moving just out of step with the character.

     

    Adding Slumbering Strike grants the character a knockout blow and just enough Experience left after meeting the requirements for a Minor Potent Advantage.



  • On Top Of The World

    Just a quick post to share one of our Kickstarter Backers showing off their Fractured Kingdom Tee.

     

    Congratulations on reaching the top!

     



  • Off The Beaten Path 2: Asdament South West Manufacturing Hub, Teotihuacan

    To: BoardList@ Asdament.gov.asda

    CC: <Redacted>

    Subject: — Internal Only — Corporate Manufacturing Site Southwest

    All southwest manufacturing hub <Redacted> remain internal only.

    The southwest manufacturing hub <Redacted> supports 65,400 indigene workers all housed within the facility. Citizen-Employees earn debt for maturation and delivery costs as well as productivity drain on parental units. Year four Citizen-Employees being their education regimen, education, and training debts subsided by ASA developmental incentives.   Citizen-Employees receive incentive to educate as desired, up to but not limited to doctorate level development, noting cost adjustments for non-primary educational services. The expectation of Citizen-Employees is to work until repayment of maturation, infant and educational costs as well as any additional housing, food or incremental costs incurred.

    The southwest hub continues to operate at sub-peak levels. Noted performance detractors include, but are not limited to, equipment malfunction, fatigue, illness, and insurgency. Recommended mitigation strategy:

    1.  Current generation students are incentivized to maintenance positions by increasing education costs of non-repair training.
    2. Increased methamphetamine levels are being integrated into first meal routines. Food debts incurred by Citizen-Employees adjusted accordingly.
    3. Upgrades to Citizen-Employee housing offered.  Housing debts adjusted.
    4. Current generation students are incentivized to security positions by increasing education costs of non-security training.

    <Signature Redacted>

     

    The Peoples History of Teotihuacan

    The Great War saw upraising in countries across the world. In the former country of Mexico, drug cartels overturned the national and local governments. The cartels created small kingdoms for themselves before the Juarez Massacre in 2130, and the libration, or annexation, of Mexico in 2133. During this period of cartel rule, murder and wholesale slaughter of villages became a common occurrence. Mexico City, a war zone of competing drug lords saw daily death tolls in the double and triple digits. For protection, many innocent people fled to Teotihuacan ruins looting the few remaining corporate controlled markets outside of the tourist site.

    The old city built to hold thousands retained structures for millennia, the pyramids alone large enough to house scores of survivors. Ransacking the commercial box stores the retail giants that encircled the ruins refugees collected whatever they could to survive an indefinite conflict. In 2134 nearly a year after the liberation of Mexico surveyors found a thriving community within the now rebuilt city. While most of the city was without power, supplies harvested provided basic services. Layers of solar arrays were staggered along the old temples to the Sun and Moon Gods to generate power for the town’s water purifiers and essential functions. Teotihuacan having no radio, satellite, or other media services had been unaware of the death of Felipo Soto, a dictator that had risen to power and unified the cartels.

    In the aftermath of the Teotihuacan discovery, and the integration of the Mexican states into the new ASA, Asdament International, the world’s fourth largest retailer and a major partner in Reclaimer Embargo brought a class action lawsuit against the peoples of Teotihuacan for the willful destruction of private property and, theft, and vandalism.   The city was bankrupted in under six weeks and the land purchased by Asdament. That was the beginning of the southwest hub, and the legend the Feathered Serpent’s return.

     

    The Cohuatl

    While the salves of the Asdament state know the name of the Cohuatl, it is a closely guarded secret within the community. Eighty years ago, they were a small Coven of Lucids that helped to protect fleeing refugees. They had no interest in politics and were content to survive below the radar in the turbulent times. As the people of Teotihuacan were stripped of their rights through a series of corrupt rulings this began to change.

    Originally, there were only three. Today there are maybe two hundred or more, not including a support network of sympathizers.  Few are actually Lucid. The majority are mundane freedom fighters born into the legalized slavery of Teotihuacan. The Cohuatl gather information leaking what they can, when they can to the public. However, they fear the public is unaware, or worse unsympathetic. Sadly, those inside the Teotihuacan hub have virtually no knowledge of the outside word anymore beyond stories from the oldest members of the community.

    It seems that while there are still some Lucid among the ranks of the Cohuatl Asdament maintains interests beyond the mundane as well. The old Sun God temple has been locked down for decades. Here prisoners are transported and simply disappear. The Cohuatl believe there is one touched by Itzcoliuhqui, god of darkness.

     

    Adventure Seeds

    Teotihuacan is off the map, in a legal sense. The complex does exist on paper, as a historical footnote, and in rumors about slaver companies in the ASA. Although, technically what Asdament does to their employees is legal, by the loosest definitions of the law. Players may be exploring Teotihuacan from the outside, or from within as members of the Cohuatl.

    The Aztec ruins were built to last and contained temples to both the sun and moon. GMs may choose to ramp up the supernatural forces at play with intermediate bridges to both the Slumber and Dark from various points within the compound. Asdament may be a front for a larger coven or Barony.