• Tag Archives Fear
  • Nothing Wasted Bonus: Modern Fears

    While browsing the internet sometimes you find something so strange you cannot ignore it. When I saw this image I could not get it out of my head. This may be due to the deformed laughing nature of it, but I may have already said too much…

     
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    With that, what came next was unavoidable.

     

    Modern Fears (Intelligence/Dark – Major)

    Requires: Maintenance: Any 12 (S), Nightmare Sense (B)

    The pace of new technologies accelerates as man claws their way back from the dark ages of the Purge.  The lack of education the average person receives leaves them incapable of understanding even the basic principles of how some of these modern machines work. This allows fear to take root, and that gives the Dark power over these technologies. Infecting a machine, computer, or other piece of technology the Dark Lucid twists its shape and function into a nightmarish mockery, channeling the collective fear through the device.  This terrifying image chills those witnessing its change, and ultimately leaves the device a melted husk, destroyed.
    The Character Rolls as with Nightmare Sense versus a target equal to the target object’s PV + 10.

    On a Successful roll the object bubbles forth as a horrid gateway to the Dark. Those within range witnessing this change must make a Mental Tree Roll (using Iron Will or other appropriate supporting Characteristics) equal to the Character’s Intelligence + Intimidation + Iron Will.

     

    Those who fail this Roll suffer a penalty to all rolls equal to the Character’s Intelligence + Iron Will. This effect lasts for 1 Turn for each 4 Levels of the Character’s Maintenance Skill.

     

    Note: The device targeted stops functioning only at the end of the effect. While terrifying someone may still attempt to use the impacted device. If the Character using the device is not already affected by the fear, they must immediately roll again, increasing the Difficulty by 10.

    Activation Time: 1 Action, Range: Lucid (Ab) in Meters, Cost: 30 Energy + 10 Health

     

    Design Notes

    When creating this Boon there were a few things I wanted to accomplish, first it needed to emulate the image, but should have a larger scope.Although, a Boon to destroy cellphones works well for the Dark, I mean, that cuts off lines of communications, it felt to narrow. Instead this was expanded to technology in general, this gave the Boon more functionality but kept it in line with Technophobia.

    While both Craft Nightmare and Modern Fears would place a Fear Penalty on targets within range the new Boon needed to feel different. For that it was back to the source image. The cell phone was clearly destroyed, so that became part of the Boon.  Finally, the time the Boon would last was designed to again separate the two Boons. The duration was set based on the Maintenance Skill, while Craft Nightmare could be sustained for much longer.  Lastly, to prevent the Boon from becoming too powerful, and to add a bit of ick, the object affected would continue to function through the duration, but ultimately be destroyed.

    To determine the requirements we looked at what was already included in the core book, here we found Craft Nightmare, this Boon provided a general framework for the mechanics of the Boon. Modern Fears was not intended to be as powerful as Craft Nightmare so while it maintained the same Boon Requirement, Nightmare Sense, Maintenance 12 was added to differentiate between the two.

    Lastly, the Energy Cost was also based on Craft Nightmare. Craft Nightmare has a Cost of 10 energy per Turn. A Character with the base requirements would create a Fear Effect lasting for 3 Turns, 30 Energy if this was Craft Nightmare. However, Modern Fears also destroys the object affected. Instead of just increasing the Energy cost, a Health Cost was added, this keeps the raw Energy cost from scaling too high allows the Dark Character to use the Boon several times, but keeps the cost meaningful. Adding a Health cost to a Boon that destroys is also  Thematically fitting with the Dark.



  • The Lucid Effect 1: The Kindergarten Teacher

    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.

    As we kick off our second character creation series, we start with the Kindergarten Teacher. While we may not think about it very often teachers, especially for younger students develop skills they might not even realize they have. Skills such as tracking down lost children, debate for those parental disagreements, and even basic first aid.

    Basic Template

    Kindergarten Teacher

     

    History 9 Fortune 8
    Career: Teacher 6 Intuition 7
    Education 4
    Lucid 9
    Focus (Based on Realm) 9
    Strength 5 Wisdom 4
    Climbing 4 Animal Handling 2
    Lift 4 Domestic 2
    Study: Children’s Education 3
    Dexterity 5 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 4 Computers 2
    Sport: Kickball 4 Logic & Math 3
    Medical 2
    Constitution 8 Mental 8
    Running 7 Concentration 7
    Sense 5 Expression 4
    Perception 4 Art: Finger-paints 2
    Tracking 4 Debate 2
    Etiquette 3

     

    While hardly an expert in any field, the Kindergarten Teacher has a wide range of skills to draw on. In a pinch, teach can substitute their lack of an Unarmed Fighting Skill for Sport: Kickball and their time hunting down children in parks and playgrounds have left them adept at tracking. As a Lucid, this opens up multiple possibilities. Knowledge being a key element to the character our teacher will be taking a turn towards dark wish fulfillment. Playing on their already good perception and intuition our teacher acquires new senses and secrets not shared on the playgrounds.

     

    Lucid Template

    History 9 Fortune 9
    Career: Teacher 6 Intuition 7
    Education 4 Reading 9
    Lucid 9
    (F) Secrets of the Night 9
    Strength 5 Wisdom 4
    Climbing 4 Animal Handling 2
    Lift 4 Domestic 2
    Study: Children’s Education 3
    Dexterity 5 Intelligence 4
    Dodge 4 Computers 2
    Sport: Kickball 4 Logic & Math 3
    Medical 2
    Constitution 8 Mental 8
    Running 7 Concentration 7
    Sense 9 Expression 6
    Perception 4 Art: Finger-paints 2
    Tracking 4 Debate 2
    ESP 9 Etiquette 3
    Influence 6
    Lucid Boons Value
    Blessing Major
    Passive Reader Major
    Secret of Pain Major
    Secret of Suffering Major
    Empathy Typical
    Thought Reader Major

    Unspent Experience: 9

     

    Adding the Secrets of the Night, ESP, Reading, and Influence Abilities the teacher knows things those around him can’t understand, sees what’s going on, can predict what may happen, and guide others in the direction they see best. The Boons selected continue on this theme of knowledge, understanding and secrets.

     

    Blessing (Fortune/Supernatural – Major)
    Requirements: Reading 4 (Ability)
    Looking into the subject’s future, the fortune reader may implant a Blessing.

    Passive Reader (Mental/Supernatural – Major)
    Requirements: Lucid 6 (Ability)
    The strength of the character’s natural Telepathic talent is overwhelming and constantly active, picking up the thoughts and feelings of those around them.

    Secret of Pain (Wisdom/Dark – Major)
    Requirements: Secrets of the Night 6 (Lucid Focus)
    The Dark Lucid has learned techniques to cripple their foes with a touch of their fingers, radiating with Dark force.

    Secret of Suffering (Wisdom/Dark – Major)
    Requirements: Secrets of the Night 9 (Lucid Focus), Secret of Pain (Boon)
    Pain is merely the beginning. The character’s Dark abilities linger on, further tormenting victims of the Secret of Pain Boon.

    Empathy (Sense/Dark – Typical)
    Requirements: ESP 1 (Ability)
    The Empath may pick up on the emotional states of those around them.

    Thought Reader (Sense/Dark – Major)
    Requirements: ESP 3 (Ability), Secrets of the Night 3 (Lucid Focus), Empathy (Boon)
    As the character’s knowledge expands, they learn to do more than sense basic emotions. Now, the Dark Lucid can actually delve into the subject’s mind, reading the thoughts of any target within sight.

    These Boons allow the Teacher access to the minds of his students, as they never imagined and tools for discipline none would believe. While one wouldn’t call many teachers the front line type, players wishing to toughen up the teach may consider increasing the character’s Dexterity to 6 and picking up Quick 6 a key ability of the Dark and adding additional survivability. Alternatively, they may chose to focus more on the powers of the mind expanding on Thought Reader shifting towards Fear, or Mind Control, both tools of the Dark.



  • Tainted Souls 2: The Dark

    Tainted Souls explores the unspoken costs of Lucidity. The physical or mental changes brought on by becoming Lucid and how that may impact their lives and the people around them.

    This week’s Tainted Souls begins with the Dark. The Core Book has the following to say about Dark Lucid’s Manifestations:

    Manifestation: Of those Tainted by the Realms it is often The Dark Ones who are most skilled at hiding themselves. The Dark Taint almost always manifests as emotional swings, fits of rage and/or silence.

    There are any number of psychological disorders fitting for Dark Lucid. To pair a few Boons with Manifestations some ideas might include a Lucid with Shadow Form afraid of sunlight or bright places (Heliophobia or Photophobia), or if they had Black Tendrils a fear of being touched (Haphephobia). Alternately, the inverse might be true a character with Shadow Form takes damage from being exposed to sunlight while made of shadow, but, the Lucid may fear their own powers keeping themselves surrounded by light if at all possible and avoiding dark places if at all possible (Achluophobia).

    Dark Lucid are not simply limited to psychological disorders though. Many of the classic vampire limitations make excellent Dark manifestations. Some examples may include no reflection in mirrors, especially if they possess a vulnerability to silver, or a fear of their own reflection, an animated shadow that moves on its own accord revealing the Lucid’s intent, or even distorted or monstrous features when under stress or emotional.

    The Dark is a place of monsters and secrets. Manifestations from this Realm often are revealing of who the Lucid truly is or the nature of their powers. When choosing your character’s Manifestation consider how it reflects their nature.

    GMs should also take this into consideration when approving a Manifestation. Because of the nature of Dark Manifestations some players may be inclined to select Manifestations that either look cool or psychological drawbacks that may never come into play. In these instances consider how a “cool looking” Manifestation may play out in the real world. While ink blot eyes may sound great and look awesome normal people are not going want to get near that person or write them off as an exhibitionist using special contacts.

    Ultimately, like with all Lucid Manifestations the Dark should create new role-playing challenges but not shut them off from the world and add a layer of possibilities to the character. Always remember, when stepping into the Dark there is a reason people once feared the night.



  • Tainted Souls 1: Manifestation

    Tainted Souls explores the unspoken costs of Lucidity. The physical or mental changes brought on by becoming Lucid and how that may impact their lives and the people around them.

    When a mundane becomes Lucid they open themselves to supernatural forces beyond their control. These forces change and alter every Lucid at a fundamental level. Some show outward physical changes, others acquire strange personality quirks. No matter how hard they try and hide these changes though, if one knows what to look for they can sport those tainted by the Realms.

    In this first installment of Tainted Souls we will look at the Manifestations themselves, what every Lucid experiences. How this change can impact character concept or personality and adds Role Playing potential. Subsequent articles will explore the individual Realms.

    While Manifestations may not seems life altering its important to consider that these are physical or mental changes that simply weren’t there before. One way to look at these Manifestations is as if the character had experienced a terrible accident. On day they are a normal functioning person, then comes their Elucidation now the character fears being touched, their skin is molting, they can no longer sit still, or have developed catlike eyes.

    Physical or psychological the character’s Manifestation can be extremely traumatic. Players should keep this in mind during play. Fractured Kingdom rewards character development and exploring one’s Manifestation can be an excellent tool for finding your voice in game.

    For GMs Manifestations can also be used to impact stories. Don’t forget they are there, if you need to keep a small sheet of your PC’s Manifestations for quick reference when meeting new NPCs. Remind characters they aren’t quite human anymore no matter how hard they may try and hide that fact. For GMs that wish to tie the Manifestation more directly to a character’s link to the Realms consider the following optional Role:

    Tainted Powers: Once per Session the GM may invoke a penalty on an appropriate roll based on a Character’s Manifestation. The penalty assessed is equal to the Character’s Lucid Ability. These rolls generally involve social interactions but may be used as complications in time sensitive situations. Players may invoke a Manifestation roll as well. Pass or fail the Character regains 5 Energy as their Realm’s energies flow through them.

    Ultimately, the Manifestation is another tool in the Player’s and GM’s arsenal for evoking cinematic gaming. It should be invoked when dramatically fitting but should not overwhelm the Player or cripple the character.



  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 1: The Psychiatrist

    Not all Character concepts are in the trenches fighters. The Unconventional Combatant will look at character concepts that don’t necessarily lend themselves to battle and how the world of Fractured Kingdom allows them to both excel and thrive in a high action setting.

    To begin this series we’re going to start with a role that’s often overlooked as being too unconventional in many role -playing settings but in a world of conspiracy and hidden secrets can be a vital part of any Lucid Coven: The Psychiatrist.

    At the heart of the Psychiatrist role is an ability to bring to light feelings, fears or memories that a subject may not have been aware they had. Because we want to keep the Character’s Supernatural abilites closely as tied to this idea as possible we’ll be looking at the Dark Realm. Before we get into powers lets look at what the skill set of a Psychiatrist may look like.

    Ironically, the series begins with a Skill not listed in the core rules. However, it’s no effort to add a Psychology skill to the Intelligence Tree. Other key skills for a Psychiatrist may include: Law, Logic & Math, Medical, Debate, Etiquette, Subterfuge, Intuition, and Perception. Most of these skills come from either the Intelligence Tree or Expression Tree. Five of them being Science Skills (The importance of this will become apparent later.) These skills should give you a rounded view of the Psychiatrist’s strengths, namely analytical conversation. Now lets take a look at some Boons purely based on these Skills.

    Distracting Speaker: (Various) – Mundane
    Not everyone is a fighter. Some people have to talk their way out of tricky situations.
    The character may use their Fast Talk, Subterfuge, or other appropriate skill as a supporting characteristic for Defense.

    Awareness – Supranational
    There are some who are attuned to sensations and perceptions beyond the scope or comprehension of most people. Some can just sense things which even trained and seasoned warriors miss. Those who are Aware are seldom surprised by anything.

    Opening – Supernatural
    Calculating the best time to strike, the character is able to throw their foes off guard.

    Based purely on the core skills of the Psychiatrist the Character gains bonuses in battle based purely on their ability to quickly evaluate what’s going on and their speaking skills. Additionally, because the Character is heavily invested in Science Skills another solid choice for them is:

    Combat Analyst – Mundane
    While the character may not be much of a fighter, that doesn’t mean they don’t understand what’s going on. The character is able to pick up on patterns and adapt accordingly.
    Using Combat Analyst: The character gains a bonus equal to the number of Science Skills and Specialties they possess to Initiative.

    Lastly, while we focus on skills on Dark Boon comes quickly to the top of the list:

    Pluck the Secret – Dark
    Dark Lucids have a disturbing ability to not only know when others are lying to them but also to be able to rip the truth from them. When using this boon, the character’s face becomes distorted and nightmarish.

    How much time could be saved on the couch if every shrink knew when you weren’t being totally honest? This leads us to the path we’re going to take for our Psychiatrist, reading thoughts and fears. To do this we’ll need to add an additional Trait:

    ESP – Dark, Grave, Slumber
    Short for Extra Sensory Perception, also known as Second Sight, this trait encompasses many forms of paranormal perception which only a select few may possess. There are many different forms of ESP, though few ever develop more than one or two abilities.

    ESP opens up multiple Boon options for a Dark Character from Aura Sight to Remote Viewing. However to stick with out theme we begin with the following:

    Empathy – Dark
    The Empath may pick up on the emotional states of those around them.
    Using Empathy: The character may use their ESP Trait as a supporting characteristic for:
    1) Etiquette, Intimidation, Debate, and Animal Handling under any circumstances,
    2) Street Smarts when dealing with people, and
    3) Intuition when dealing with people.

    This Boon give the Psychiatrist multiple bonuses in their field of expertise and starts them on a very interesting path.

    Thought Reader – Dark
    As the character’s knowledge expands, they learn more than to sense the basic emotions of a victim. The Dark Lucid can actually delve into the subject’s mind, reading their thoughts.

    Nightmare Sense – Dark
    The Lucid’s telepathic abilities are a gift from the Dark Realm, a tool to unlock knowledge of the hidden places of the mind. In no other ability is this clearer than their uncanny skill at learning the fears of others.

    Both of these Boons build from the Psychiatrist concept but for the Dark Lucid it doesn’t end there. Following this chain of Boons Nightmare Sense opens up the following additional Boons:

    Craft Nightmare – Dark
    The Lucid’s knowledge of fear and terror are unsurpassed. Aided by their link to the Dark Realm, the Lucid is able to project horrifying images, striking terror into those around them.

    Manifest Nightmare – Dark
    The powers of the Dark are at the character’s disposal. No longer merely creating images to frighten their foes, the Lucid is able to pull the stuff of nightmares into the Unbound World. These beasts take on a life of their own, serving their summoner before the Dark Realm calls them back.

    Yes, out Psychologist has gone from being able to survive in a punch up due to their ability to assess the situation to plucking their assailants worst fears from their minds and bringing them to life. It may be cruel, but the Dark makes no moral judgement.

    To round out our Psychiatrists abilities other solid Boon Choices include Telepathy and Hive mind allowing quick mental communication between Coven Members and Passive Reader allowing them to scan the surface thoughts of everyone around them providing a defensive bonus.

    Next time we’ll pen an article on the Inspirational Writer.