• Tag Archives Slumber
  • 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 No longer active as a place of worship, the Basilica has been converted to a museum of religious artifacts that survived the Purge in Spain.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.



  • 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.



  • Tainted Souls 4: The Slumber

    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.

    While those marked by the Dark, Grave, or even the Verdant often see their gifts as a curse those blessed by the Slumber have had their dreams made manifest. There are Lucid that see these Dreamers as weak willed, or shallow. This may be true for some. However, the Slumber allows mortals to transcend physical limitations, even perform acts best left to comic book characters. They can become beacons of hope in another otherwise bleak landscape. For these reasons the Slumber are often the most restrained of the Lucid.

    How else do you shake a man’s hand, when you can just as easily crush their skull with only a fraction of additional effort?

    The core book describes the Slumbering Lucid as either wild or unrestrained. This may just as easily pass from hair and clothing to deeper aspects of their appearance. Imagine the Slumbering Lucid who’s face seemed to constantly be shifting or moved in a way to make them seem less like a person and more like a machine?

    As discussed in previous articles tying the Manifestation to the nature of one’s powers can also be an excellent tool for Character development. There have been many stories about Seers who’s gifts come at some price. How about a Slumbering Lucid with Stacked Senses that chronically and constantly gets which sense they perceive something with wrong.

    Smells like you’re watching WFCX.

    Tastes like w should turn left.

    These idiosyncrasies can add a great deal of flavor to a Character. Don’t be afraid to explore the shear odd molestation one has in their dreams. Although, GMs should be weary of the character that whenever he makes an announcement in public finds himself pant-less. (That is more the purview of the Dark anyway.)



  • 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 4: The Delusional Rocker

    Enough trudging though dark alleys. Time to stand in the light, the limelight. The divide between rich and poor is vast and the methods of overcoming that gap seem to be evaporating daily. While the have nots may lack basic educations and health services something they will always have access to is entertainment and music still remains a powerful source of inspiration for millions.

    With the constant bombardment of media musicians rise and fall in the blinking of an eye. However, no matter where they are in their career there is always a place for them. Most musicians though are just like everyone else, struggling to get by, playing bars and nightclubs that cater to their subgenre of music. Here is where we find our Rocker.

    As entertainers there are some essential Characteristics that allow them to perform: Perception, Area Knowledge: Their Music Scene, Street Smarts, Distraction, Maintenance: Musical Equipment, Fashion, Wit: Stage Performance, Area of Influence, First Impressions and most importantly Art: Singing or Instrument of Choice. Depending on the style of the musician and their personality other Characteristics a Rocker might want include: Contact: Their Agent, Battery, Drug Resistance, and Disguise.

    These core skills give the Rocker what they need for a unique look and the training or talent to perform but also the knowledge of where to perform and at least some recognition for their talents. Like other Unconventional Combatants these skills don’t lend themselves to dealing with the harshness of the Unseen World that a Lucid must survive in. Our Rocker is driven though seeking to perfect their craft and put on the best show. For those reasons we select the Slumber as their Realm. We begin the Rocker’s Lucid Boons in a rather self centered fashion picking up the Specialty: Audience Moods for Perception and adding the following Boons:

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

    Inner Force – Slumber
    The Slumbering Lucid is capable of pushing on beyond exhaustion. When using this boon, the character’s body glows with the forces of the Slumber.

    Slumbering Awareness – Slumber
    The character taps into the Slumber, drawing out supernatural senses.

    Dreams Made Real: Audience Moods – Sluber
    Focusing their mind, the Slumbering Lucid is able to exceed the limits of the waking world.

    Fantastic: Audience Moods – Slumber
    With the will and vision of the Slumbering world, the character transcends the limits of the flesh.

    These Boons allow the Rocker to keep going and push themselves harder in a concert, give them a better ear for music and gauge audience reactions so that they may adjust quickly. This also opens up several other Boon choices for the Rocker. Obsessed with their music why not let them see the sounds?

    Stacked Senses – Slumber
    Some Slumbering Lucids exhibit the ability to overlay their senses, seeing something they smell or hear, tasting something they can see.

    Yes while there are any number of uses for Stacked Senses for the Rocker it is the ultimate sensory trip as they perform. We follow that up with the following:

    Recreate Experience – Slumber
    With little effort, the character may recreate the sight, smell, taste, sound, or sensation of something they have experienced, sharing it with others.

    Fundamental to music is storytelling and the Rocker can now recreate their experiences for others. But why stop at just their own experiences?

    Dream Reader – Slumber
    Dipping into the minds of others, the Slumbering Lucid can pluck dreams from their subconscious.
    The character may experience a subject’s dream by touching them.

    What does this mean for our sensation junkie? So far their abilities have been solely focused on a personal level? Why not share their experiences with the world? Isn’t that the point of it all?

    Craft Image – Slumber
    The Slumbering Lucid is able to create a static illusion.

    Animate Image – Slumber
    The Lucid’s illusions incorporate all of the senses and now move according to their master’s will.

    Living Image – Slumber
    From dream to reality, illusions crafted by the Slumbering Lucid are capable of convincing even the most stoic of skeptics. These images are so convincing that those interacting with it may damage their psyches.

    These final three Boons allow the Rocker to share their visions with the world, for better or worse. This might mean the greatest stage show of their lives or an illusory grenade while running from the Keepers.

    To increase the Rockers physical abilities consider adding Slumbering Might and Slumbering Speed. Why can’t our Delusional Rock Star see themselves as an embodiment of physical perfection?

    Out next Unconventional Combatant examines one of the last people a PC wants to see: The Doctor.