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Doubt Megathread
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echoVanguard
Knight-Baron


Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:18 pm    Post subject: Doubt Megathread Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This is a master consolidation thread for Doubt stuff.

Original / Inspirational Content
Original Thread
Villains
Mechanics
Protagonists
Herrings
Initial Light Ruleset Playtest
Game Design Flowchart


Current Rules and Content
Premise, Resolution Mechanics, and Characters
Other Realms
Paradox
Equipment
Humanity, Contacts, and the Irrationals
Combat
Flow Powers

echo


Last edited by echoVanguard on Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:26 pm; edited 6 times in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Michael was pretty sure he had magic powers, and he was glad he was being shot at.
One could never be certain about that sort of thing, magic did not and does not deal in certainties. Magic might tilt the odds and deliver the best possible unknowns, but it will never do anything measurable. Finding a coin on the ground is the simplest spell, but the strongest magic in the world can't move a penny if you're looking at it. The warding spells Michael had put into his jacket would protect him from things he couldn't see, like the bullets that were flying around him; but they would be useless against an attack he could see, like if the security guard put the gun down and started punching him. At least, that is what they would do if they worked, if Michael actually had magic powers. Michael was pretty sure that he did.
All in all, Michael could not blame the guard for freaking out. He was the only living person in the room and the other person looked like they'd been torn to pieces by a savage monster. They had of course, but there wasn't a lot of evidence remaining. Michael suspected that even if he had a chance to explain that as creatures of magic, the night terrors cease to exist the moment they are seen, that the guard probably wouldn't believe him.
Michael threw his lantern at the guard as bullets whizzed past him, and he barreled into and past the man into the hallway. He'd need a new light source whose batteries couldn't happen to fail, but those could always be found. Or purchased, if it came to that. Once out of the apartment, he ran to the stairs and into the night. The police would be called of course, probably were already being called, but Michael was already mumbling an enchantment meant to make him get lost. Magic was usually good at making things get lost, and Michael thought this enchantment would probably work. Even if it didn't, it was rainy and dark and he'd probably get away anyhow.
Getting away was unfortunately necessary for the moment, but it wasn't going to get him any closer to solving the lost dog issue. Someone had sent a night terror to murder his contact for the case, which meant the case was important to somebody. Important confirmation, because earlier he hadn't been certain that picking the lost dog flier off the bus station wall was the right thing to do. It had felt important at the time, but the magic never made it clear when you were doing your divination right and when you were just sticking pins into random lost dog notices like a crazy person. It couldn't.
Sirens blared in the night, but their cry was muffled by rain and distance. A short walk to the State Street Subway station and Michael was nearly home free. He didn't have a ticket, but a quick incantation and some garbage rummaging turned up a discarded three hour pass with 23 minutes left on it. That let him through the turnstiles and he was on his way to the flat he was crashing in without further things to worry about. At least, without things to worry about other than the vast conspiracy arrayed against him.
Back when he was a child, Michael had read in a zine that if one were to recognize, even for a moment, the sheer extent of the vast conspiracy arrayed against themselves, that the experience should be called a “phildickian” experience. As Michael sat in the lumbering train he had two thoughts. The first was that when he was young there were zines. Kids today got their enthusiastic rantings from their phones somehow. Michael's phone didn't share the deep end of the internet with him – or any end of the internet for that matter – because it was a cheap cash-for-minutes phone that only had a hundred games of Sudoku in it. The second line of thought was that since his erasure, Michael had had a lot of phildickian experiences.
Michael used to work as a sales associate for a phone company. Nothing fancy, but he did have to wear a tie every day even when he was just working phones. When he got erased, that all changed. The erasure was very thorough. First his wallet went missing, then the people at work pretended not to know him, then security threw him out like a trespassing crazy person. It was humiliating and incomprehensible. Someone stole his car and the police refused to acknowledge that his license plate even existed. His landlord changed the locks, his girlfriend stopped calling, and everywhere he went he found that no one even admitted that evidence of his life existed. It was a trying time.
Over the course of seven days, Michael had gone from a completely unimportant customer service worker to homeless non-person. If he hadn't run into Candice, he never would have figured out all this magic stuff. Finding her might have been his first lucky break since his erasure, but it was probably Candice's magic powers that found him. Michael was pretty sure Candice had magic powers. As he got off the train and headed for the flat he was crashing in, he evoked her name three times.
When Michael opened the door, he tossed his keys inside and then reached over to turn the lights on. It was always easier to divine the location of keys when you honestly had no idea where they might be. As the living room became illuminated, it became apparent that Candice was sitting on the couch, that she had been sitting on the couch in the dark for some interminable amount of time. Even though Michael had every reason to expect her presence after his evocation, it still surprised him. “Gyeeargh!” he said, or something to that effect.
The room was clean, cleaner than Michael had kept his living room when he'd been recognized by society as being someone who existed and could own things. Against the white walls and cream colored couch, Candice stood out like a wine stain. Her dirty maroon jacket and wet red hair a stark contrast to the sterile palette of off-whites that were indigenous to the apartment. “I broke in to get out of the rain,” she said. “Whose place is this?”
It took a moment for Michael to regain his composure. Evocation of someone's name was so effective that even people who didn't have magic had noticed its effects, but it was still jarring to watch it happen. Like watching a horror movie: you know the knife wielding maniac is going to jump out of the closet, but you still jump in your skin a bit when he does. “Supposedly it belongs to Johnathan Liu, but it's Registry.” Candice nodded. “I've been sleeping here for a few days. It's probably good for a few more before the cops think they've been called.”
The Registry is a set of material evidence that collectively indicates the existence of quite a number of people who do not materially exist themselves. Their bills get paid, they hold jobs, they have drivers licenses and apparently lived in residences. Registry identities exist on paper from their issued birth certificates through school, criminal, health, and employment records, and finally to a certificate of death. No one knows how long the Registry has been in existence, the historical records being specifically unreliable on that point. And if anyone knew what they wanted, Michael and Candice weren't among them. That the flat was Registry owned meant that there was no chance that the owner would ever come home as he existed only on paper, but it would not be long before a police complaint about their presence appeared in a file somewhere.
Candice got up and walked to the kitchen, the wet patch she left on the couch the first traces of real human presence the couch had ever felt. There was food in the refrigerator, and even receipts to justify its presence were one to bother rooting through the paper recycle, though whether it had somehow tunneled from a grocery store to the flat or been created out of whole cloth was an open question. Magic could not answer questions like that, could not even function if watched closely enough for the question to be answered, so neither person wasted too much time pondering its origins. Food in a Registry residence was generally fairly weird, as if chosen at random from the shelves of a grocery store rather than with any menu in mind. After giving it some thought Candice settled for a pasta sauce and pickle relish sandwich. When it was almost ready to eat, she asked Michael what he'd been doing.
So he told her. He told her how he had attempted to use divination to find answers to his problems and how it had delivered to him the lost dog notice from the notice board at the bus station. He told her how he had gone to the dog owner's apartment looking for answers and how a power failure and a scream had led him to kicking in the door. He told her of how he had gotten his lantern lit just in time to illuminate the night terror for the fraction of a second it took for it to wink out of existence. He admitted that he had been too late to help the man in the apartment, how he had already been torn to pieces. Finally, he spoke of how the security guard had arrived just as the lights flicked back to life to see Michael standing over the bloody scraps of a man and made the unfortunate conclusion that Michael should be fired upon. “I had to leave my lantern with the guard, so for once I'm glad my fingerprints aren't on file anywhere.”
Candice pondered and took a bite of her sandwich, her nose scrunched up – this was not the greatest relish and pasta sauce sandwich she'd had. Michael poured himself a bowl of raisin bran and egg nog. As he began munching, Candice began probing “So obviously that lost dog notice was important, what's your next move?”
The first thing that came out of Michael's mouth sounded like “Murfruhfufuh.” and he held up his hand while swallowing. “Sorry. I don't... I don't think there is a next move. I think I failed.” he let out a heavy sigh. “I should have saved that guy before the night terror got him, but I didn't. Now I've got nothing. I can't even go back there. The place will be crawling with cops and some of them will be taking orders from The Agency. By the time I can even get in there, it will be like nothing ever happened. The trail is cold.” Michael looked dejectedly at his extremely thick cereal and took another bite.
The two ate in silence for a bit, and Candice was next to speak. “Maybe...” she left that hanging for long enough to be uncomfortable, there are a lot of things that can come after “Maybe.” When Michael invited her to continue, she asked “Do you still have the lost dog notice? All that's been crossed out is an address and a human. There's still a dog, right?”
“Yes... yes I suppose there is.” Michael reached into one of his pockets, and withdrew a wet and crumpled piece of paper, and Candice leaned over his shoulder so they could look at it together. It felt nice having Candice so physically close, but there was little chance of it being more than that. The notice was somewhat worse for wear, having survived its adventures in a soaked jacket only with injury. It had been made on a computer, with a photo of a dazed looking pug under the prominent words “LOST DOG.” If the smaller font text under the picture were to be believed, the dog answered to “Toby,” there was a fifty dollar reward, and one should bring him to “David” at the specified address. Michael pointed to the text, “I assume the night terror's victim was David.”
Candice started at that revelation, brushing briefly against Michael's back while doing so. “You assume? So you don't actually know who that guy was, right? David could still be out there.” After a bit of thinking she added a bit more dubiously “...And there's a fifty dollar reward. That might be important too.”
“How?”
“I don't know. But now that we know this paper is important, anything on it could be a clue. Now... let's go find Toby.”
“Let's go find Toby... tomorrow.” Candice agreed, and after a coinflip, Candice slept in the bed and Michael got the couch.
The next morning, Michael made a breakfast food that was not unlike French toast out of eggnog and bread, and after a couple of showers, the two of them headed off to check local dog shelters. The rain had passed, but there were puddles aplenty and Candice's large black boots were putting in good work keeping her striped tights dry. But the first stop had to be to find the shelters themselves, and it was getting harder and harder to find some yellow pages. Michael found a couple dollars in the gutter and then checked a directory at an internet cafe to determine that there were six such shelters in the area. “Do you think that the `Cat Adoption Center' would have dogs?”
Candice thought about it, and allowed as how it possibly did but that the Humane Society and Animal Care and Control were more likely and should be the first places to try. Candice and Michael both found bus passes good for the day, and hopped aboard a #49 bus. They had to make their way to the back to get a seat together, but it seemed to be worth it.
The bus trundled on and the electronic voice that called out the stops was basically incomprehensible, but completely losing track of how many stops had passed was as good a way to get out at precisely the right stop as any. “So, what did it look like?” Candice asked.
Michael was confused. “What did what look like?”
“The night terror, silly! What did the night terror look like? I know you only seen it for a moment, but you must've seen it good for it to pop.” Since night terrors vanish the instant even one person gets a look at them, there was considerable debate in the magical community as to what they actually looked like.
Michael had of course only gotten a split second view of it illuminated in the darkness by a handheld lantern. Its jaws had been less than an arm's length from his face when he got the light into position, and it had winked out immediately after. “Well, I mostly saw its mouth. It had big teeth. Like rat teeth maybe, but more of them. More than a rat. There were claws too, but they were in my peripheral vision and I didn't have time to count how many claws or even how many arms it had.”
“So... like a rabbit then?” Candice suggested. “A big, man killing rabbit?”
Michael was confused again. “I'm sorry, I don't follow. I don't think it was like rabbit claws. More like badger claws or scissor hands. Something you could dig with. Or cut a man into pieces I suppose.”
“It's just that rats are rodents and they have two front teeth. Lagomorphs have the same kind of jaw, but they have four front teeth. So something that was like a rat but had more teeth would be like a rabbit. It would be a lagomorph rather than a rodent.”
Michael looked at her for a while. “That's actually really interesting, and if you weren't trying to normalize my nightmares, I think I'd be having a lot more fun with this conversation. You killed a night terror once, right? What did yours look like?”
Candice leaned back in the fantastically uncomfortable chair. “I saw it from the back, I don't think it even knew I was there. In the instant before it stopped being, I think it was scaly. And it went up and down,” she made a waving motion with her arm to demonstrate. “Like it had camel humps or the whole thing was like a snake all bunched up. Then it was gone, of course. I never seen its teeth.”
Michael said “Anyway, we should probably get out at the next stop.”
Candice pushed the stop request and they started making their way to the door. The bus stopped and the electronic voices said “Wurmfle and forful semdud” or something to that effect. Michael and Candice got out and the Animal Control was across the street.
Michael had no problem at all looking like he'd just had a very stressful couple of days, and so his claim to be “David” who was looking for his pug named Toby was taken at face value. The two were allowed to see the dogs, but it was clear that none of them was Toby. As it happened, they had to repeat the process at two more animal shelters before an earnest looking pug turned up that looked plausibly Tobyish. An experimental shout of “Toby!” caused the dog to bounce up and run around in circles, so the tentative diagnosis that this was indeed Toby seemed reasonable. All in all, it cost forty three dollars to get Toby out of the dock. Fortunately, Candice kept an indeterminate wad of small bills that she used in numeromantic techniques to keep at roughly equivalently indeterminate size.
As they walked out with their new dog, the question naturally came up of “What now?” and both Candice and Michael were forced to admit to being somewhat fuzzy on that point. Toby seemed entirely happy to plod along on his little pug legs with the perpetually earnest and somewhat worried facial expression natural to the pug breed.
Michael stopped, and leaned down to look Toby in the face. “We think you might be important, Toby. How are you important?” Toby noticed that attention was being paid to him and wiggled. Then he started bouncing slightly and licked the air. Michael chuckled. “Well, you don't look very important. Looks like I did fail after all.”
Candice put her hands in her pockets and gazed at the cloudy sky. “Maybe....” Michael looked up at her and waited. There are a lot of things that can come after “Maybe.” She looked back at the dog. “...Maybe we're over thinking things. Maybe you just need some companionship in your life. Maybe you just need a dog.”
Michael couldn't help notice that Candice hadn't volunteered herself as a source of companionship, but there was no purpose served in calling attention to it. “Well, I guess this dog needs me. His real owner got eaten by a night terror.” Toby tilted his head and made googly eyes.
“Assume!” Candice pulled her hand out of her pocket to point accusingly at Michael. “We assume, for the moment, that the man who got disassembled by the night terror was David. But it's still possible that was some other dude and David is still out there. Toby could still be important on that axis. Presumably David will recognize his own dog if he's still alive.” She scratched her head while pondering the unconquerable legion of possibilities. “In any case, we've been at this for a long time and we haven't done lunch. There's a Zacatacos nearby, right?”
It was true that it had been long enough since he had eaten that Michael would have been hungry even if he hadn't been marching all over town on a breakfast of French nog toast. “Sure, I just need to find like five bucks.” They started walking and shortly thereafter a five dollar bill blew by them along the ground. Michael ran after it and after a few stomps, he had it trapped. It was filthy and crumpled, but it was legal tender and could be exchanged for tacos.
Lacking any special dog food, it was decided that Toby would also get a taco. Toby was not allowed into the taquería, so Michael and Toby had to sit outside near the door while Candice went in to collect their orders. While they were waiting, a black haired young woman paused to say hello to Toby and even smiled at Michael when she asked what Toby's name was. Then she asked Toby if he was a good boy, and Toby seemed to believe that he was. It had been... a while... since a young woman had smiled and talked to him on the street. Maybe a dog was good for finding companionship after all.
Shortly thereafter, Candice emerged with the tacos, and the black haired woman looked at her and and appeared to become embarrassed. She gave a little “I'm backing off” motion with her hands and slinked away. Michael looked quizzically at Candice and asked “What was that about? Do you know her?”
“Nah. She just thinks I'm you're girlfriend.” Candice grinned and ground her fist playfully into Michael's shoulder. “Anyway, I got your tacos.”
Toby was extremely happy to be included in the set of people who got a taco. He wiggled and licked to demonstrate his happiness. Michael was pretty happy too. He had been aware that he was hungry, but not fully cognizant of how hungry he was until he started eating. He found that he couldn't even talk until he had finished. To do so would have involved spending more time with a partially empty belly, which now seemed intolerable.
When he had finished, he tossed the wrapper in the garbage and shrugged. “So this is it, right? I'm pretty much at a dead end. I have no way to find David, and I'm still assuming that he's dead. `Fifty dollars' might be important in the near future, but it sure isn't actionable now. I did what I could at the address, and that's all the clues I got. I can't do another divination like that until Saturday, so I'm stuck.”
“Maybe...”
Michael sighed. “Yes?”
“We don't dare go into that building again, right?”
“Right. It'll be crawling with Agency guards. They'll have weapons that go right through our enchantments. Slow weapons.” Michael shuddered.
Candice looked at the paint store across the street. “What if we don't go into the building?” Michael was certainly intrigued. Not going into the building was definitely high on his list of priorities. “Let's break into the trunk of a car that plausibly has some binoculars in the back, and look in on David's room from across the street.”
Michael noted that there was a relative blind spot just around the corner – a place where cars parked in front of the plain brick wall of the side of a building. “It's on the fourth floor, we won't be able to see much from across the street.”
“We will if we break into the building across the street.” Candice smiled, knowing that she had played a trump card. Michael knew that too, and went over to break into the trunk of a car to steal someone's binoculars. He was pretty sure it would work, because he was pretty sure he had magic powers.
He got the binoculars. Not that that proved anything, but it was indicative. “Alright, let's head to the Red Line. Let's see what the cleanup crew in David's apartment is up to.”
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Red_Rob
Prince


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd read a short story collection in this setting.
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Simplified Tome Armor. Tome item system and expanded Wish Economy rules.

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, the book would probably have a lot of fluff pieces.

echo
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echoVanguard
Knight-Baron


Joined: 01 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Some things I'm thinking about for the rules: (link)

1. I'm not happy with advancement in the skill system. At all. The current system has a tremendously huge breakpoint between unspecialized and specialized, which works out really well at creation, but gives you no room to grow - additional rerolls beyond the first really slow stuff down. I want to do something like GURPS or SWD6 where you are ok at everything by default but can specialize in extremely specific things for an escalating cost. Perhaps picking up additional Flow powers is very cheap, whereas skill specializations cost exponential amounts per number of skills known in that category?

2. Traits seem to be pretty bland, and don't seem to be evenly applicable - the player with Ruthless trait has roleplayed it religiously and gotten a lot of mileage out of it, while the player with the Short trait has literally forgotten it exists.

3. Assisting needs to solve the "me too!" problem.

4. Flow specializations need to have multiple dimensions - right now, they just have a Keyword, unknown to the player. However, after re-reading some of Frank's text, I think they also need a secondary specialization that's known to the player (probably along a different taxonomy) as well as a methodology for execution - a strange behavior you have to engage in to make your overt powers work. For example, Frank's fiction could be about two Incantation method Doubters, while other methodologies could be Gestures, Numbers, Sympathy, Pictures, and so on. The idea is that there should be different avenues for characters to use to engage their powers, and some of these should be really method-acty and some should not (so that players of both stripes can feel comfortable playing their characters). Players should know and care about the various Arcana/Disciplines, and be able to collect character options that pertain to them, and be able to make informed decisions about how to spend their Flow (WITHOUT ever being completely certain it will work or understanding the mechanisms by which they operate).

Moved GDF into this post...

Showing my work on the Game Design Flowchart.

Name the PCs:
individual players are Doubters, and a group of doubters is called a Clave (short for Enclave).

Six Person Party:
Jim, a Conspiracy Theorist, is the leader of a Clave, and uses his skills as a hacker to find information about emergent threats (and a Desert Eagle to back up his team in the field against mundane opponents). When faced with supernatural threats, he calls in Alyssa, the team's Awakened battlemage who specializes in Conjuration, and Francissa, a Chosen Ancestor specialist who wields a silver sword that can chop ghosts in half, and lays down cover fire to provide tactical advantages. When Jim's hacking skills aren't able to uncover the necessary clues, Marissa the Gifted psychic stops reading self-help books long enough to read the patterns in the stars for guidance. When the team runs up against a bureaucracy or human agents they don't want to harm, Patrick the Fated is able to charm his way past them with ease. Owen the Outsider rounds out the team as a jack-of-all-trades who happens to be pretty good at hotwiring cars to get them from point to point.

Three Person Party:
As above, except that Jim can pull double-duty by putting more points into Dark Past to unlock slick spy skills that let him hotwire cars and talk circles around cops and bureaucrats. Alyssa can sink a few points into Divination to pick up the slack on the magickal information gathering side, while Francissa picks up more of the team's investigative aspects using crystal lenses that let her find minuscule clues at crime scenes.

Outline an Adventure:
Jim uncovers a darknet blog post about someone seeing a man dressed in all white killing bums downtown. Alyssa, Marissa, and Francissa go Between to do research in a library and discover that their foe might be a member of Hosoi Apollonia, while Jim, Owen, and Patrick gather intelligence in the slums about where the murders might have occurred. Arriving at the scene of another death, they engage the light-mage in combat, but only manage to injure him enough to drive him off, discovering that he has a phylactery. Marissa takes the entire group Beyond from the safety of a locked van while a spirit summoned by Francissa guards their unconscious bodies, and the team experiences an otherworldly traversal of strange crystal spheres before receiving an image of a marble sphere in a safe-deposit box. They break into the bank, but the mage ambushes them, and they smash the orb during the resultant battle and drop the mage before hacking his head off with a fire axe. The news runs a quick five-minute segment on a bunch of crazy homeless people breaking into a bank after hours and killing an innocent banker who was working late with an axe.

Write out a Campaign:
Patrick gets news through his contacts in the banking world that someone is buying up the entire world's supply of a rare herb grown only in Tibet. The group uncovers a large plot by the Reptoids to poison Bermuda's water supply with the herb, which causes hallucinogenic terrors and will destabilize the travel industry long enough for the Reptoids to divert several planes full of passengers to the Meat Farms. The party must thwart the shipments of the herbs or their introduction into the water supply if they can, and if not, must take extreme measures to prevent those planes from being diverted.

Choose a Base System:
I'm writing my own for this one, as I wanted something unique. The resolution mechanics and system functions have been moved to the relevant posts.

Do the Math
Ongoing, obviously.

echo


Last edited by echoVanguard on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Doubt
I'm not sure which is worse...that I might be crazy, or that I might not be.

Doubt is a tabletop role-playing game system and setting in which the player characters can control reality and are tasked with protecting humanity from monsters and villains that can protect themselves from discovery. Themes for the game include psychological horror, loneliness, and of course self-doubt. Characters, known as Doubters, have various mystical powers that alter reality itself, but these powers also alter the perceptions of normal people (known as Sleepers) as well as removing all evidence of their use after reality has been rewritten. As a result, people who are not members of the party do not remember their usage.

Likewise, the villains operate in ways that make it impossible for the PCs to provide hard evidence to other people - making the mysteries, by definition, exclude "going to the cops" as a valid tactic. So the PCs have experiences that make them doubt their own sanity when they use their abilities, and if they tell anyone else about the things they are fighting, other people will doubt their sanity too. To complicate matters further, Doubters uncontrollably drift through probability into nearby alternate worlds, leaving behind their identities and acquaintances; only the bonds of friendship and altruism anchor them to timelines that still resemble the life they lost.

Flow
You think of time as if it were a straight line, like a road or a train track, with the past at one end and the future at the other. The metaphor is seductive, but it's highly misleading. The world was flat until we discovered it was round.

The progression from cause to effect is always unbroken, but it is also fluid. As conscious creatures move from moment to moment along their personal timelines, their progress through the infinite nodes of probability is dictated by two factors: chance and choice. Choice is obvious, but chance is more nebulous, the outcome of an infinite number of factors both unknown and unknowable...that is, to the Sleepers. When a conscious creature manipulates probability or navigates between timelines, the resulting state of disturbed probabilistic entanglement is known as Flow.

In reality, there are several methods to manipulate quantum states that function for those who have been exposed to events of manipulated Flow. Like a chain reaction, the alteration of Flow knocks those who investigate it off of their static paths through probability. The deeper one digs into the mystery, the greater their knowledge and understanding of Flow becomes...and the farther they drift from the "normal" world of the Sleepers.

Though the exact nature of reality is a source of continuous and intense debate amongst Doubters, the most commonly-accepted viewpoint is that the phenomenon of Flow is rooted in the theoretical concept of the First Fundamental of Probablity - the force which determines truly random outcomes for a given subjective existence. Sleepers have no ability to perceive or affect this force; to them, reality is a blind stumble forward from event to event, with no chance to view alternative outcomes or predict what will occur. A common metaphor amongst Doubters is that Sleepers are like horses wearing blinders walking across lanes of traffic - proceeding blissfully forward until something unseen hits them from an invisible direction and scatters them, modern-art like, across the pavement. Doubters, on the other hand, have had their blinders "knocked askew" - they can glimpse events occuring off to either side, allowing them to predict or manipulate the outcomes of their choices. However, this added perception comes at the cost of losing one's straight and narrow path through the howling chaos of potential realities. As Doubters engage with circumstances of Manipulated flow, they find their own fates veering further and further into the wildlands of probability. Their powers grow, granting them the ability to manipulate the world around them with ever greater degrees of control, but so to do their circumstances become ever more perilous. Without some degree of attachment to the normal world, they will quickly lose their way, never to return.

As Doubters accumulate flow powers, their Flow Rating increases. A higher Flow Rating grants characters access to more advanced Flow powers and gives them a greater advantage in opposed contents of Flow manipulation, but also increases the likelihood of events from the wildlands of probability affecting the character with increasing frequency (analagous to being higher-level in a D&D game - characters have more power, but also run into more dangerous threats much more frequently).

To calculate a character's Flow Rating, sum the total Spin costs of all powers they possess, and check against the table as follows:

Total SpinFlow Rating
1-101
11-202
21-303
31-404
41+5

For the purposes of experiencing events, all members of a clave have a flow rating equal to the highest flow rating of any other member of the clave who is present. For example, if three members of a clave have flow ratings of 1, 4, and 2, all members are considered to have a flow rating of 4 for the purposes of determining which events they experience when all three of them are together. If the Doubter with FR4 departs, the two remaining members will only experience events of FR2 or lower until he or she returns.

Resolution Mechanics
Do you know how to use that thing?" "Of course! The pointy end goes into the other man!

When determining whether a character's action succeeds or fails, the result is determined by rolling dice as appropriate for the situation. Usually, this takes the form of a character applying one of their skills, in which they have a rating from 0 to 7 (or higher).

Success or Failure
Roll the indicated number of dice for your skill. If the result of the die is 5 or better, it is a success. In low-stress situations where failure is not harmful, you may choose to automatically roll a number of hits equal to listed amount in the Automatic Hits column.

Skill RankRank NameDice RolledAutomatic Hits
0Unskilled2d60
1Practiced3d61
2Trained4d61
3Skilled5d62
4Adept6d62
5Talented7d62
6Specialist8d63
7Expert9d63
8Virtuoso*10d63
9Master**11d64
10Grand Master***12d64

* Requires purchase of the Skill Virtuoso trait
** Requires purchase of the Skill Mastery trait
*** Requires purchase of the Skill Supremacy trait


Difficulty# hitsDescription
Easy1Doable by anyone. Throw a baseball at a target; perform a basic data search; detect a basic lie.
Normal2Doable by anyone, but rarely. Remove a virus from a computer; hit a home run; fool a salesman.
Challenging3Absolutely requires training. Write a simple query; Shoot an easy target under pressure; run a straightforward con.
Difficult4Only skilled persons may apply. Write a computer program; hit a target at long range; perform a basic medical procedure.
Extreme5Perhaps 1 in 20 persons can even attempt. Write mathematical software; snipe a target on the run; run a complex con.
Very Extreme6Unlikely even for eminent experts -- Luck plays a large role. Hack a major corporation's servers; perform extremely difficult surgery.
Unbelievable7Stretches the bounds of credibility. Hit a tiny target at a large distance with a blind shot; bluff your way into a political meeting.
Unreal8+Observers doubt their own senses. Leap a car across the gap between two buildings on the 20th floor; track a polar bear in a snowstorm; lift a truck.


Bonuses and Penalties
Some circumstances, equipment, or flow powers can grant characters bonuses to their rolls, while others can impose penalties. A bonus is denoted by a plus-sign in front of a number, and indicates that the character's roll automatically scores that many successes in addition to whatever the dice roll. So, for example, a character who receives a +2 bonus to an attack roll automatically scores 2 successes on that roll, plus however many successes they roll using their skill dice. Conversely, a penalty, denoted by a minus-sign in front of a number, subtracts from the total successes of a roll. Thus, a character suffering a -2 penalty on a Computer Use roll would subtract 2 successes from whatever they rolled (to a minimum of 0). Bonuses and penalties overlap, but do not stack with each other - only the most extreme value applies. For example, a character with a +2 bonus from one source and a +4 bonus from another source has a total bonus of +4, not +6. Likewise, a character suffering a -2 penalty from one source and a -3 penalty from another only has a -3 penalty, not a -5. Lastly, a character suffering a -2 penalty and benefitting from a +3 bonus from another source has a total bonus of +1 and no penalty (the bonuses and penalties cancel each other out).

In addition to normal bonuses and penalties, two other forms of roll adjustments exist: boosts and caps. A boost, denoted by the specific notation of <number>/X, indicates that the affected roll can score up to the number of successes indicated or the total number of successes rolled, whichever is higher. For example, a boost of 4/X indicates that if the resulting roll is lower than 4 successes, it should be treated as if it had rolled 4 successes; however, if the resulting roll is higher than 4 successes, that number of successes should be used instead (in other words, the number of successes are not added together with the boost, as they would be with a normal bonus). Conversely, a cap, denoted by the specific notation of X/<number>, sets a maximum on the number of successes a roll can score. For example, a cap of X/3 indicates that the affected roll may score up to 3 successes, but no more than 3 successes, and any successes above that number should be disregarded.

When boosts/caps and bonuses/penalties interact, the bonus or penalty is applied first, and the boost or cap is resolved based on the final total. For example, a character who rolls 3 hits while benefiting from a bonus of +2 and boost of 5/X has a final result of five, not seven (max(3+2, 5) = 5).

Skills
I'm the best at what I do."

Characters have a rating in each skill, which determines how many dice they roll when attempting to use that skill (using the table above). Additionally, each Skill Category (except Professions) has a Defense Rating, calculated as 1+ the average of the Automatic Hits value of all skills in a category [rounded up]. This counts skills in which the character has no points, so characters are advised to have at least a few points in all skills within a category. When characters take actions against one another, the acting character rolls their skill with a task difficulty equal to the opposing character's defense rating in the appropriate skill category. For example, a character with Stealth skill 4 attempting to sneak past another character with an Infiltration defense of 3 rolls 6d6, getting 2 hits. Since the character attempting to Stealth needed a total of 3 hits to succeed, the defending character notices him and his Stealth attempt is unsuccessful. When making an action that affects multiple targets (such as attempting to sneak past multiple defenders with Stealth), each action succeeds or fails individually - for example, if the original character had tried to sneak past three characters with Infiltration defenses of 1, 2, and 3, the third defender would be aware of the character's presence, but the first two would not.

Physical Skills
Physical skills represent physical actions you take with your body. Most attacks use physical skills, with most ranged attacks using Dexterity and most melee attacks using Strength.

Skill NameDescription
AgilityRunning, jumping, and moving around under your own power - includes acrobatic attacks with any weapon or unarmed
Dexterityfencing, sharpshooting and other highly precise forms of combat, also most exceptional driving
StrengthLifting heavy things, powerful punches, heavy bladed or artillery weapons, and brute-force grappling - bashing down doors too


Infiltration Skills
Infiltration skills are usually used to enter or traverse a restricted area or sneak up on a target. If you attack a target while they are unaware of you, you receive a +2 bonus on your attack roll.

Skill NameDescription
BlendThe ability to become lost in a crowd or present the impression you are authorized to be in a restricted area
DisguiseThe ability to alter one's appearance, usually using tools or materials
StealthThe ability to remain unseen using terrain and lines of sight


Social Skills
Social skills are used to interact with other characters, usually as part of investigative efforts.

Skill NameDescription
EloquenceGive a speech, write well, and tell convincing lies
InsightDetect lies, sense moods, and guess motivations
MagnetismCharm, intimidate, and create trust or fear


Profession Skills
Profession skills are used to accomplish investigative tasks, as well as most day-to-day actions that don't fit into the general mold of other skill types. Note that this category has no defense rating - skills are opposed by the opponent's rating in the exact skill / 2, rounded up.

Skill NameDescription
Computer UseProgramming, hacking, and repairing computer hardware
ResearchSearching in person or online, correlating documents, finding patterns
Inductive ReconstructionUsing clues to determine what happened in an area, provided sufficient evidence is present - can also be used to follow tracks
ProfilingKnowing facts or information about notable events of the past, the ability to predict what people may do and guess patterns in their behavior
Applied ScienceChemistry, metallurgy, engineering, and jury-rigging
MedicineHealing hurts, detecting and curing poisons and diseases
CriminalLockpicking, safecracking, forging, and identity theft
LegerdemainPalming, concealing, or pickpocketing items - also playing musical instruments!


Traits
"It's not about what you know. It's about who you are."

Traits are character attributes which give a small bonus to skills in some circumstances, usually a permanent boost that requires no action to activate.

Sample TraitsCost
Danger Sense (always use full dodge vs instantaneous attacks)5 XP
Fast Reflexes (+1 to Initiative)5 XP
CQC Training (+1 melee defense)5 XP
Flawless Detection (+1 to Infiltration defense)5 XP
Weapon Familiarity (-1 to Heat score)3 XP
Multilingual (speak an additional language)1 XP
Martial Arts (+1 to melee offense when unarmed)2 XP
Ambidexterity (wield 2 weapons simultaneously, attack separate targets with same action or gain +1 dmg vs single target)5 XP


Traditions
One of us! One of us!

Every Doubter belongs to a Tradition - a sort of generalized template for how they access and control their ability to manipulate Flow. Each Tradition has a Power Source (their personal perception of how their ability to control Flow functions) and one or more Power Trees. To learn a Flow power, the character must have a Flow Rating equal to the Power's Rank rating (see Flow Rating, below) as well as a number of points invested in the Power's Tree equal to or greater than the Power's Depth rating. Additionally, most powers have multiple levels of investment, unlocking additional abilities with each level purchased (usually denoted as a roman numeral of I, II or III after the power's name).

It is worth noting that characters do not choose their tradition -- it chooses them. A character may immediately display an affinity for the spells of an Awakened or the psychic powers of a Gifted, or they may spend some time as an Outsider before abruptly discovering the dark past of a Conspiracy Theorist or the uncanny will of a Fated. In every case, however, the character's ability manifests itself spontaneously and innately (according to the desire of the player, not an in-character decision by the character). Once a character has selected a tradition other than Outsider, that decision cannot be changed.

Outsiders
Special powers? Me? Uhh, okay sure pal, whatever you say. I'm just..backing...slowly...away now. You have fun with that.

Power Source: Unusual Luck

Outsiders are the Doubters who do not believe that there is anything special about them or that their abilities are anything other than a fortunate run of good luck they've been having lately. It is quite common for Doubters of this archetype to "mature" into other archetypes after being convinced of the veracity of Flow powers.

Suggested Starting Powers: Miraculous Luck, Lucky Shot

Power Trees:
None. Outsiders may only select powers from the Generic Powers list.

Enemy Factions:
None

This archetype is good for players who haven't decided on a direction for their character yet, or who enjoy playing the skeptic. Examples: Sean Harrison from the playtest. Scully from X-Files.

The Awakened
Some call them the Black Arts. Some call them Thaumaturgy, or mysticism. I call them survival.

Power Source: Magic

The Awakened use magic to manipulate flow, chanting incantations in ancient languages and drawing careful mystic diagrams in chalk, ink, or blood. Uses Frank's Arcana types (Innumeromancy, Entropomancy, Evocation, and Divination).

Suggested Starting Powers: Kinetic Projectile, Deflection Charm

Power Trees:
Conjuration - the ability to create or produce effects or objects. Mystic walls of force, a pack of cigarettes, or a blade of white-hot flame.
Evocation - "naming" magic. Serendipitous events, such as calling others to have them appear when needed or binding the will of others.
Divination - finding lost objects. Discovering clues or valuable resources.

Enemy Faction: The Lost Ones
Subgroups:
The Order of the Black Cassock - entropy-themed evil mages who always wear a black cloth around their necks (a tie, a scarf, and so on). Often wear sunglasses, mainly just run around murdering people for no reason.
The High Ones of Osiris - religious nutball wizards from ancient egypt who are also actual dessicated corpses. Sleepers perceive them as ordinary people. Have a long-term, complex goal involving sacrifices of innocents to awaken their long-slumbering god.
Hosoi Apollonia - extropy-themed mages who wield white-hot fire and dress in all white. They are focused on ethnic and judgmental cleansing, and murder people for any reason, however slight.

This archetype is good for people who want a broad suite of general powers, or people who like feeling that they have secret knowledge or a great responsibility to safeguard enormous power. Examples: The stuff from Frank's fluff. Most of the magic stuff from Hellboy. Mumbling homeless people. The Winchesters (serious episodes). The Marquis from Neverwhere.

The Chosen
Most have forgotten the old ways, the old promises. I remember, and uphold the terms of the old bargains.

Power Source: Pacts

The Chosen are people who make pacts with spirits, sprites, and hidden folk who may or may not actually be real. They have a more shamanistic feel, with in-combat effects driven by "blessings" or "favors" they secure ahead of time and their investigation-type effects driven by "bargains" and "pacts" they make while wandering around muttering and cooing at things other people can't see. They can also receive "artifacts" from those they make pacts with, usually magical items that appear fancy but mundane.

Suggested Starting Powers: Shadow Whispers, Compact of Safety

Power Trees:
Spirits - animistic spirits, like trees and air and stuff. Elemental-themed.
Fairies - the hidden creatures of the land. Some nice, some not.
Ancestors - You see dead people. Sometimes they give you cool stuff to stab people with.

Enemy Faction: Night Terrors
Subgroups:
Devourers - Actual Monsters, red of tooth and claw. Maul and eat people. Appear to Sleepers as either wild animals or cannibal killers.
Samhain - evil fairies. They eat children, carve scary words on your door, and generally drive down property values. Sleepers see them as whatever clothes they wear, like Black Isz in The Maxx.
Haunts - less-sociable dead people. their touch can cause heart attacks and they can possess others and make them kill. Invisible to Sleepers.

This archetype is good for people who like to feel prepared for encounters and situations before they happen, and for people who enjoy having a more cooperative dynamic with the supernatural world. Examples: Nutty old grandmothers in Ireland. The Winchesters (less serious episodes). The cultists in the Wicker Man.

The Gifted
I know I probably seem silly to you. But that's because your energy is so clouded. If you concentrate on pouring all your negative thoughts into the crystal, you'll become clear, and can glimpse the higher plane.

Power Source: Psychic Channeling

The Gifted focus on the powers of the mind and the spirit to cleanse their wavelengths of thought and perceive the beautiful truths hidden from the mundanes. They use crystals and jewelry imbued with positive thoughts and starlight to protect themselves from harm and unhappy thoughts, and can speak with the dead to find clues and discover new plot hooks.

Suggested Starting Powers: Aura of Peace, Lifesight

Power Trees:
Clarity - powers based on perception. Sense and manipulate auras, speak with ghosts, object reading.
Stars - commune with peaceful intelligences from distant stars. learn cosmic truths that let you perceive hidden patterns and number sequences.
Awakening - self-actualization powers that refine your inner beauty and talent. Charm others, play the lute entrancingly, win at checkers.

Enemy Faction: The Ethereals
Subgroups:
The Metatron - hallucinatory entities that talk people into doing bad shit. Have some sort of long-term goal to corrupt humanity.
Dybbuks - dead spirits who aren't quite as personable as haunts. Want to possess people or drive them to commit suicide.
Poltergeists - dead spirits who aren't quite as personable as dybbuks, which is really saying something. Move objects around, suck children into televisions.

This archetype is good for people who want to focus on a a more positively-themed play experience, or people who enjoy the idea of speaking to dead people. Examples: Hippy-dippy new-agers. The Ancient Aliens guy. That one weird aunt with all the crystal jewelry.

Conspiracy Theorists
Yeah, I bet it looks crazy to you. Because you've drunk the flouridated water. Your mind is so poisoned by the lies in the hidden radio waves, so addled by the chemtrails, that you can't see what's right in front of you! WAKE UP AMERICA!

Power Source: Hyper Perception

Conspiracy Theorists utilize the power of technology and fringe science to use the tools of the Conspiracy against its masters. Their ability to recognize patterns in websites, newspaper articles, and innocent-seeming coincidences of numbers and behaviors allow them to locate clues and find hidden caches of equipment, up to and including military ordnance and even alien technology.

Suggested Starting Powers: Hawkeye, Secret Hunter

Power Trees:
Dark Past - you are secretly Jason Bourne. Uncover repressed memories (may or may not be real) that unlock deadly training, black market contacts, and improbable combat awareness.
Warp Fields - aliens experimented on you. shatter nearby objects with high-frequency sounds from implants in your teeth, taste radar waves to sense hidden cameras, and go into a trance to assemble alien ray guns out of tinfoil and toothpaste tubes.
Disillusion - by your own bootstraps, you have unlocked ultimate power. Teach yourself skills in minutes that others take years to master by skipping the brainwashing injected by the liberal media. See hidden patterns with the skills of numerology and invent your own dangerous devices with the secret lost writings of Nikola Tesla you found on a secret hard drive in the desert.

Enemy Faction: The Conspiracy
Subgroups:
The Agency/Reptoids - Men in black. Really into flouridated water. Like to record things and secretly wipe memories. Controlled by shape-shifting lizard guys who hold all public offices above the local level. Out to control America and convert our children into food. Also Grays are probably involved somehow.
The Black Hand - The First of Iaolox can't exist in reality anymore, but that doesn't stop them from infecting others with hideous viruses that turn their nervous systems into chains of spiders and tentacles. Want to sabotage research into esoteric subjects to open the borders between realms so they can feast on tasty humans.
The Ancient Masters - Those who wish to control and block access to the secrets of Agartha. Up to some sinister plan normals can't even comprehend, but ultimately all about making sure nobody else can have access to bootstraps.

This archetype is good for the more confrontational or boot-strappy player who wants to feel self-sufficient, or for players who know a lot about technology or real-world minutiae. Examples: Time Cube Guy. Right-wing nuts. Jason Bourne. Root from Person of Interest. Anyone with paranoid schizophrenia.

The Fated
Of course you can't do what I do. You're not special. The universe looks out for me, you see. I just have to follow the plan, and everything I need will fall right....into....place.

Power Source: Uncanny Certainty

The Fated are usually the most normal-seeming type of Doubter, often appearing quite reasonable and down-to-earth at first glance. Before long, however, they can be found calmly eating raw meat and drinking blood to "absorb its power" and striding purposefully directly into the path of an oncoming train, certain that Fate will rescue them and provide their next clue.

Suggested Starting Powers: Unstoppable, Focus Destiny

Power Trees:
Invincibility - You are not only hard to kill, but hard to stop or even slow down. Gain resistances and immunities to various conditions, and delay negative effects by spending Flow points.
Kismet - Everything just seems to work out for you. Dodge shrapnel with uncanny precision so that it hits your foes instead. Guess passwords and combinations on safes by running your hand across the inputs nonchalantly. Find needful items nearby conveniently, up to and including wallets full of cash.
Prosperity - No identity? No problem. Gain access to large amounts of wealth via insider trading scams, swiss bank accounts, and criminal enterprises.

Enemy Faction: The Unseen
Subgroups:
The Registry - Jenkins in 4A never seems to be home, but his rent's always paid on time. And someone has to own stock in all those polluting companies.
Distant Voices - You can hear them on the radio or over the phone, but there's nobody there. THEN WHO WAS PHONE?! Manipulate stock markets, call in SWAT attempts on innocents, and generally try super hard to make things awful for everyone.
The Videodrome - You see them on TV, but they don't exist in real life. Make weird YouTube videos that drive kids to stab their friends. Big fans of Candle Cove.

This archetype is good for players who want to appear "cool" and in control, or players who don't want to do a lot of preparation before the game. Examples: Psychopaths. Patrick Bates. Any mundane horror movie villain, really.

Character Creation and Advancement
I always carry a pad of pre-rolled ninjas wherever I go, just in case a game breaks out.

New characters are created with 25 XP and 2 Spin to spend on skill points and traits. Putting points into a skill costs a number of XP equal to the skill's new rating (so raising a skill from 0 to 1 costs 1 point, raising a skill from 1 to 2 costs 2 points, and raising a skill from 0 to 2 costs 3 points [1+2]). Traits can be acquired at a cost of 5 XP per trait. Flow Powers can be purchased for 1 Spin each (upgrading a power costs an additional 1 Spin for each upgrade level). Some templates will be available at release to allow players to pick from background/tradition combinations with pre-set skill and trait setups as well as pre-picked power progressions.

During play, characters may increase their skills, purchase traits, and purchase or upgrade Flow Powers at the end of each scenario for the same cost as during character creation. A typical scenario will reward 2-3 XP and 1-2 Spin.

echo


Last edited by echoVanguard on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:30 pm; edited 36 times in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As far as rules go, I've tried a number of things to do the thing I'd think would be really neat: to make it be unclear to the player if the characters really have magic powers or not. If you tell a story in Doubt, or you made a TV program based on it, it would be unclear to the audience whether the characters had real powers or were simply running around taking risks that happened to pay off often enough for them to not die. Indeed, many of the things they do and coincidences that work in their favor wouldn't be out of place in any kind of single author fiction, and the fact that the characters are self aware that this is strange could be seen as merely a bit of 4th wallism in otherwise ordinary detective and action fare. In an RPG, the audience is the players, so it would be desirable if they were presented with similar lack of certainty.

Unfortunately, in an RPG the audience is also the author, which means that the conventions of storytelling and the world cannot be meaningfully hidden from the players without fucking everything up. I mean, yes you could do a convention game type deal where the players didn't know how the system worked and they had dummy items on their character sheets that did nothing but the character believed in them so the player would go ahead and try things useful and futile in alternation and never really know which was which. But that's actually bullshit. It's not sustainable. It's a gimmick that can only be used for one person doing all the work and the other players not knowing what's going on. It might be cool to do that for a convention event, but it's the event and not the game itself.

Anyway, having been freed from the desire to make a really innovative core mechanic, there is then precious little reason to make the game run on an engine that isn't provedly effective. Dicepools, flat RNGs, and simple curved rolls all have their place and can be used in such circumstances. Especially dicepools and curved rolls, as to be honest d20 and d% have a pretty bad track record in modern setting gaming systems. So going for a 3d6 core system isn't a bad idea at all.

That being said, I don't much care for the sample ruleset posted a few posts back. If you're going to have the difference between a strong guy and a weak guy be only 2 points on 3d6, you might as well dump the stats altogether. There's no particular excuse for having Unarmed Combat be a different skill specialization from Grappling. That kind of granularity just makes "combat focused characters" flush massive amounts of skill points down the drain for nothing and then makes everyone a boring spam bot in combat anyway.

-Frank
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Omegonthesane
Duke


Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 1923

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
That being said, I don't much care for the sample ruleset posted a few posts back. If you're going to have the difference between a strong guy and a weak guy be only 2 points on 3d6, you might as well dump the stats altogether. There's no particular excuse for having Unarmed Combat be a different skill specialization from Grappling. That kind of granularity just makes "combat focused characters" flush massive amounts of skill points down the drain for nothing and then makes everyone a boring spam bot in combat anyway.

-Frank

If you want to support the idea that Mr Strong is better at tasks X, Y, Z, and Q based on his Strongness rather than on his actual skill, having a Strength stat baked into the system seems like less work than having, I dunno, a level-up perk that gives you +3 to a set of skill rolls that happen to be the ones that you'd attach Strength to.

Also, +2 on 3d6 is more than half an entire standard deviation, so it's probably the lowest that mods can go and still be meaningful. Which doesn't really support it being the highest stat mod of all unless it's the only stat mod of all.
_________________
FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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echoVanguard
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Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:


That being said, I don't much care for the sample ruleset posted a few posts back. If you're going to have the difference between a strong guy and a weak guy be only 2 points on 3d6, you might as well dump the stats altogether.


Yeah, I came to the same conclusion. Right now I'm leaning towards the idea of removing stats completely and streamlining the physical skill category down to:

Physical: [Any skill in this category can be used for combat]
Athletics (running, jumping, and moving around under your own power - includes acrobatic attacks with any weapon or unarmed)
Muscle (lifting heavy things, powerful punches, heavy bladed weapons, and brute-force grappling - bashing down doors too)
Precision (fencing, sharpshooting and other highly precise forms of combat, also most exceptional driving)
Deception (stealth, feints, dirty fighting, and disguise)

Now, the rules have other things wrong with them (like the fact that specialization is a huge quantum jump and scales like shit), but this might at least be a small step towards them sucking less.

echo


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Omegonthesane
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Joined: 26 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In lieu of endless rerolls, sinking more points into a skill could give you a +2 or +3 per arbitrary unit of advancement (or pile of arbitrary units of advancement if, as implied in your earlier plans, you're going with faster than linear cost progression for higher skill levels). So you get, at most, the original roll; a skill reroll; a Luck reroll; and maybe a Flow reroll, depending on whether we want there to be any "get an appropriate reroll" Flow powers.
_________________
FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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RobbyPants
Prince


Joined: 06 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

Unfortunately, in an RPG the audience is also the author, which means that the conventions of storytelling and the world cannot be meaningfully hidden from the players without fucking everything up.

What about a system where there was a chance that things wouldn't work, but you didn't know until you actually used the ability? So, you'd use your anti-bullet charm, but you wouldn't know if it paid off until two hours later when people started shooting at you. Bonus points if MC is making the relevant rolls.

Now, if it has a chance to work each time (with no obvious drawback), the obvious winning play is to always use it. The catch would be that it has to provide a big enough bonus when it does work, so that it would make a real difference.

I'd say normally, the MC (and not the players) would want to know what charms actually work and what ones don't. With this setup, hidden dice rolls could help keep that knowledge hidden from the character. If a charm seems to "not work" a lot of the time, but it seems to "work" occasionally, they might chalk that up to just getting lucky and only rely on that charm if they're really desperate. Add to this MC setting up the chances for each charm to work on a campaign-by-campaign basis, so the players would be in the dark.

You could then have a system where the player understands the basics of how all their charms work, but they don't know how often they work. So, if they go into a dangerous situation, will their charm really redirect bullets?


FrankTrollman wrote:

Especially dicepools and curved rolls, as to be honest d20 and d% have a pretty bad track record in modern setting gaming systems. So going for a 3d6 core system isn't a bad idea at all.
Are you basing this just on examples of bad games, or is there something specific about a modern setting that doesn't work well with flat-RNGs?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Robby wrote:
Are you basing this just on examples of bad games, or is there something specific about a modern setting that doesn't work well with flat-RNGs?


Modern society has distinct tiers of ability that exist side by side. There are feats of strength I can do, and there are feats of strength I can do with a bulldozer and those aren't remotely the same. I can perform minor surgeries that most people can't, but there's no way I could perform a lung transplant. I can use a hex editor and mod video games, but I can't write a 3d physics engine. And so on and so forth.

In a flat RNG, the distance between someone who can potentially do something and someone who can usually do something is very large. In order to have all the tiers of potential you want to have, the difference in bonuses have to likewise be huge. And when the differences in bonuses are very large compared to the entire size of the RNG, the RNG itself is pretty much a formality.

Or to put it another way, in Call of Cthulhu, Star Spawn have strength checks that succeed 150% of the time, and while that breaks the game mechanics right open, that's still absurdly low.

-Frank
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Between and Beyond
When seen from afar, a sphere appears simply to be a circle; it is only when new perspective is gained that its true nature becomes more apparent. The world that you see is not all of the world that there is -- to say nothing of the worlds beyond this one.

In addition to control over probability, Doubters are capable of experiencing altered states of consciousness which allow them to perceive different realities in addition to or instead of what most would consider "ordinary reality". The methodology and specifics of these states differ for each archetype, but can be most poignantly divided into two categories: states Between, and states Beyond.

Between
As Rose walked along the corridors of the school, things began to change around her. The paint peeled away and turned black, revealing rusted steel beneath, and lights dimmed and flickered as large, hideous insects began to pour out of the walls.

Doubters experiencing Between states see an alternate reality overlapping with their default reality, usually by distorting it or altering it in some way. Observed or experienced phenomena may be wholly real, wholly alternate, or some mixture of the two. For example, an Awakened who experiences a Between state while exploring a library may see it transformed into an ancient aumbrie, with eldritch ghosts or creaking liches perusing its shelves, while a Conspiracy Theorist would see a secret hidden government base, its walls lined with the pulsing glow-panels of alien technology and patrolled by Men In Black and Alien Clones. Some or all of these figures may represent or obscure ordinary library patrons, while others may be entirely spectral, only existing in the alternate reality.

By investigating objects or speaking to others while Between, Doubters can uncover highly obscure or even impossibly well-guarded information, but doing so is extremely hazardous; Sleepers, being unable to grasp the full context of the Doubter's actions, will merely see someone behaving extremely oddly towards ordinary objects and having animated conversations with thin air.

Beyond
They do not come here to dream. They come here to be woken up. Who are you to say otherwise, sir?

In contrast to Between states, which overlap the Doubter's reality, Beyond states completely replace it. A Doubter experiencing a Beyond state appears to external observers to be completely disconnected from reality, usually in a deeply disturbing way. The Doubter's sensory inputs and self-image are completely redirected, producing an out-of-body experience where the Doubter experiences and interacts with bizarre environments and creatures, while his or her physical body remains behind.

Some states induce a catatonic paralysis or even coma in the Doubter's body, while others cause raving fits or violent outbursts. To external observers, the Doubter appears to be experiencing severe physical distress, often causing Doubters who have returned from a jaunt Beyond to find themselves incarcerated, hospitalized, or committed.

Conceptual Realms
"Am I a butterfly dreaming I'm a man, or a man dreaming I'm a butterfly?"

Though the experiences of going Between and Beyond are unique to each individual Doubter to some degree, common themes in the experiences reported by those who dared to record their jaunts have revealed a set of similarities between the environments visited by Doubters, sufficiently analogous to each other as to suggest a concrete series of alternate worlds or dimensions. Each realm has its own methods for being accessed, and Doubters who invest appropriately in multiple power trees may be capable of visiting more than one type of realm. Whether the realms have factual, matter-based existence or are merely shared methods of perceiving abnormal stimuli is unknown.

Though the entities which populate conceptual realms generally cannot affect the bodies of those who travel to such realms unless they enter the normal world themselves, interactions with such beings are far from harmless. All damage dealt to a Doubter by a conceptual entity is Stun damage, but standard rules for Stun damage conversion still apply. In addition, Doubters experiencing Beyond states do not become incapacitated upon taking 10 points of Stun damage (as would normally occur), and are thus much more likely to receive Lethal damage as a result of overflow from Stun damage.
  • the Emerald Mists of Thule - said to be the realm of potentiality, this shifting and foggy plane hides witches and sirens who tempt the unwary with promises of lore or love.
  • the Endless Aumbrie - a limitless, twisting library filled with innumerable tomes of lore, this realm is said to overlap with the normal world in places where knowledge is kept. Liches, mummies, and other undead sages tend its limitless shelves, willing to share their insights...for a price. Intruders who cause trouble or bargain poorly may find themselves assailed by the spells of these long-dead keepers.
  • the Isle of Avalon - in the shining waters of this peaceful, idyllic realm, one can glimpse moments in the past, present, or any one of an innumerable array of futures. Mysterious, regal figures tend the realm idly, answering all questions in impenetrable riddles, while ancient dragons and giants roam to imperil the unwary.
  • Gaia - a vast and endless wilderness, Gaia is the earth as unspoiled by the encroachments of man. Basements and subway stations become caverns, streets become forests, and the upper floors of buildings become castles of clouds and air. Dryads tend to innumerable trees, and Naiads and Nymphs ride the waves and winds. Speak to the earth here, and it may answer...or merely entomb you.
  • Tir Na Nog - the misty mushroom-festooned halls of the castles of the faerie kings and queens, Tir Na Nog swells with dancing faerie courtiers, riddling boggarts, and imperious elder fae. The clever and the bold may find their questions answered here, while the foolish may be trapped in dreamless slumber for a long mortal lifetime or simply be fed to the black hungering claws of the forest.
  • the Blackstone Halls - Endless dark hallways creep past shadowed tombs, where whispering voices and ancient revenants lurk. If you can claim kin or kith to these draugr, they may heed or even aid you, but those who trespass without the blood-right are forfeit to the terrors of the grave.
  • the Ethereal Plane - light and colors suffuse every surface, as if the world had become a Thomas Kinkade painting. The Ethereal Plane seems to thrum with emotion, and transparent muses wander and linger in the wake of mortals. Asked politely, they may reveal their tales of watching and inspiring others, perhaps providing some clues to events that might otherwise seem inscrutable to even omnipresent observers (particularly those depending more on motive than on factual events). Asked impolitely, they may introduce you to the storied battle-rages of the valkyries.
  • the Astral Plane - The celestial vaults of the stars, inhabited by beneviolent alien light-angels. The Astral Plane appears to be a vast, star-filled expanse of light and nebulae, where travelers can coast along the edges of interstellar gas clouds or dance across constellations. Weighty intelligences ponder the deep questions of the cosmos at the heart of galactic cores, while wyrms of the uttercold flow sinuously through the darkness, devouring those who attract them with negative thoughts.
  • the Utopian Slumberlands of Shangri-La - aeons ago, a group of enlightened monks discovered the secret of traversing conceptual space. Rather than travel to and from other realms, however, these transcendent souls instead joined their minds together to create a new realm, a perfectly-realized world of harmonious, utopian dreams. Populated by the spirits of those who have likewise achieved such nirvana, Shangri-La is utterly peaceful and holds no danger of its own. However, visitors who lack a state of perfect enlightenment risk bringing their own negative thoughts into the realm, which then take the form of horrible clawed monsters known as Anan and corrupt the perfect beauty of the dream.
  • Underspace - Beneath the false reality viewed by ordinary sheeple lies the Underspace; the 'real world' as it really appears without the comforting brainwashing of the alien mind control satellites. Advertisements simply appear to blare 'OBEY' and 'CONSUME' when viewed in this state, and many ordinary humans are revealed as secret plants of the Agency. Special - this realm can only be experienced via Between states.
  • the Singularity - a twisted realm where the mind-states of digitized long-dead future humans are inferred into the past by conjectural magics. Distant-future superintelligences torment simulations of those who failed to contribute to their eventual creation in tortuous silicon expanses, spanning gray skies of n-dimensional space. The simulations can provide details about nearly any event, past or future, but spidery security drones patrol the electronic pathways for intruders to capture and add to the prisoners' ranks. Special - this realm can only be experienced via Beyond states.
  • Iaolox - A sort of Lovecraftian outer space, fractally overlaid with itself and all other locations. A shifting, crystalline realm of darkness and strange sensations, Iaolox is home to all manner of horrible tentacled beings possessed of disquieting biology and unsettling spatial distribution. One of the most hostile conceptual realms to the uninitiated, merely attempting to move about in Iaolox can be hazardous as space folds itself in unpredictable and contradictory fashions. The muttering vast minds which inhabit this realm possess shocking insights into the nature of reality, but those who listen may never recover.
  • Agartha - a shared dream-realm of human thought, Agartha resembles a great sphere of colossal diameter, filled with an amber light and full of many twisting, branching tunnels which form intricately detailed patterns and circuits within the great space. Initially discovered by Tibetan monks, Agartha was originally thought to be a hollow realm within the earth, filled by the roots of the world-tree; over many years, enlightened members of the Disillusioned have determined it to in fact be a tremendous mapping of an archetypal human brain, where all standard modes and patterns of human thought are given form and structure. Great doorways within the branching tunnels lead to dream-spaces of common oneiric patterns, allowing travelers to brave the fevered imaginings of groups or even specific targets in order to extract or insert information.
  • Yinjian - A shadowy realm of gloom and suffering, Yinjian spans limitless landscapes of all types, filled to the brim with anguished sinners. Most closely associated with cross-cultural concepts of Hell, Yinjian is home to monstrous demons who seek to torment and rend both intruders and those who suffer here endlessly. Contains elements of Silent Hill, Dante's Nine Hells, and the Gloom/Twilight from Night Watch.
  • Kamadhatu - The classical buddhist realm of desire, peopled with devas, rakshasa, and other supernatural beings which represent urges and obligations. Travelers to this realm find themselves inundated in sumptuous fabrics and plied with delightful foods and company, but the smirking servitors and lords of seemingly infinite palaces conceal many agendas, from trapping the unwary to consuming their essences. Travelers with strong self-control and great skill at interaction may wrest some few secrets from them, but danger is always just out of sight behind the veiling silks.
  • Galt's Gulch - A harsh and uncompromising realm which holds the souls of those who have reached true economic enlightenment. Those who obtain holistic understanding of the true nature of value and assets vanish into this realm, never again forced to sully themselves with the material world; however, visitors must be on the lookout for aggressive adjustments to their net worth by clear-eyed entrepreneurs looking to redefine their wealth perspectives.
Many realms contain sub-realms which divide their experiences into strata of various types. For example, Kamadhatu contains sub-realms of the Deva, the Asura, the Perta, and the Naraka (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desire_realm), while Yinjian contains the Eighteen Courts of Hell and the capital city of Yundun (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diyu - the Courts and Levels are conflated).

Imbrications
"It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright."

Normally, the process of going Between is an intensely personal one, with each Doubter experiencing a unique and self-initiated state imperceptible to others. However, some areas of the world where Irrationals congregate in sufficient numbers stretch the fabric of spacetime sufficiently thin that entire claves can experience a shared Between state while in the area. Such an area, called an Imbrication, appears identically (or at least sufficiently identical for the purposes of description) to all Doubters within a clave with a Flow Rating equal to or greater than the Imbrication's rating (thus, a clave of Rating 3 Doubters will not perceive an Rating 5 Imbrication, but would perceive a Rating 2 Imbrication). Note that Imbrications make it possible for Doubters to experience Between states not normally possible for their tradition (such as an Awakened Doubter experiencing an Underspace Between State). An Imbrication will fade once the number of Irrationals decreases below the critical threshold, either due to the Irrationals dispersing or (more commonly) being destroyed by Doubters.

echo


Last edited by echoVanguard on Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:53 pm; edited 19 times in total
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Paradox
It is inevitable -- indeed, axiomatic -- that my truth cannot be your truth, and vice versa. Comparison, collaboration, even compromise are possible, certainly; but in the end, only one truth is the ultimate truth."

Flow powers typically alter probability in one of two ways: either increasing or decreasing the probability of an imminent outcome, or retroactively arranging circumstances such that a desired outcome occurs in one's current time-frame. While the former circumstances are mostly safe, the latter are intrinsically hazardous, particularly when a Doubter causes a Flow state that contradicts with another person's known history of events. So long as neither the Doubter nor the possessor of such knowledge interact in such a way that the contradiction becomes known to either of them, equilibrium is maintained; but if one or the other becomes aware of a discrepancy, a discontinuity will occur, which must be resolved in one of a small number of ways.

Rewriting
If the person aware of the discontinuity is a Sleeper, the usual path of least resistance is for the Sleeper's memories to be altered. As a result, the Sleeper forgets (or ceases to previously have been aware of) the circumstances which resulted in the discontinuity, and only the Doubter's version of events remains extant in anyone's memory. Inspection of physical evidence at this point will always support the Doubter's version of events, and any claims to the contrary will always prove to be unverifiable.

Shuffling
When two Doubters have conflicting memories of an event, however, the force of their opposing Flow states cause a disruption of memory between the two Doubters, one which generally encompasses all Doubters within either actor's sphere of influence (in other words, the party). All affected Doubters experience a significant gap of lost time, during which an explanation which sufficed to invalidate any discontinuities was presumably discovered and verified. Prior circumstances of one or more Doubters may also have changed during this lost time, and any conflicting memories Doubters may have of states that contradict the current state of events are assumed to be unreliable, unverifiable, and generally inconsequential.

Some Doubters have asserted that these phenomenae constitute travel to an alternate reality, while others claim that past events are actively altered, and still others claim that only memories of past events are altered. It is generally agreed upon that the difference is academic to most Doubters, however, and even more academic to most Sleepers.

echo
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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Equipment
Hey man, you can never have enough."

Characters may carry a variety of types of equipment, typically consisting of four categories: personal effects, drugs, weapons, and armor. Each item has a Rarity rating (how difficult it is to acquire and how much trouble you can get into if caught with it) and a Heat rating (how much negative attention it draws to you).

Heat
Man, what the heck you doin' with a gun in space?"

When people see a homeless guy mumbling to himself, they move to the other side of the street. When they see a homeless guy wearing a bulletproof vest and clutching two shotguns, a pistol, and a ninja sword, they call the police. Any item which would be cause for alarm to a bystander has a Heat rating, which has a chance to draw negative attention from those Doubters would very much like to avoid -- usually law enforcement or social services, but sometimes even up to and including actual military. Heat ratings apply even when concealed (as the Doubter will be more nervous due to the item's presence), but some abilities grant characters additional options to manage their Heat, such as being able to ignore Heat below a certain threshold or having certain items have lower Heat than normal (to a minimum of 0, for things like Signature Weapons).

Rarity
You ever seen one of these before, son?"

Items have a Rarity which determines how difficult they are to acquire and a default Heat rating based on the rarity. If an item has no Heat rating specified, use the default Heat rating for its rarity. If an item has both a Heat and a Rarity specified, the Heat rating listed supersedes the default from the Rarity rating.

RarityDescriptionDefault Heat Rating
StandardAnyone can purchase items of this type freely.0
RestrictedSpecial dispensation, such as a license or prescription, is required to purchase items of this type, and attempting to purchase them without such dispensation is a Difficulty 3 task.2
ProhibitedPossession of these items is always illegal under any circumstances for private citizens. Attempting to purchase them is a Difficulty 6 task.4
Top SecretItems of this type are never available for purchase and getting caught with them has consequences best left to the imagination.(varies)


Trace
Every two or three days I change weapons, just in case I have to leave something sticking in, on, or around a body. I don't want the item to have been on my person long enough for a witch to trace it back to me."

Weapons that are used in an act of violence create a sort of Flow signature that can be traced by Irrationals or other Flow users. As a result, Doubters tend not to carry weapons around for terribly long after they've been used. However, some Flow powers grant the ability to have a "Signature Weapon" which is resistant or immune to flow signature tracing.

Weapons
My god, what could cause a wound like this?"

Most weapons are used in a fairly straightforward fashion, and are divided into two categories: Melee weapons and Ranged Weapons. Improvised weapons function similarly to standard weapons, except that they suffer a -1 Accuracy penalty. Melee weapons may only be used when in the same zone as the target.

Melee WeaponsDescriptionAccuracyDamageHeatRarity
Small WeaponsPunch, kick, pocket knife, handheld rock or toaster.+01d40Standard
Medium WeaponsLarger knives, baseball bats and clubs, most improvised weapons.+11d61Standard
Large WeaponsSwords, axes, shovels, and the like. Very dangerous, and usually requires two hands to wield.+11d82Standard


Ranged WeaponsDescriptionAccuracyDamage# ShotsReload TypeHeatRarity
Thrown WeaponsThrown knives, axes, and large rocks.0 base, -2 per intervening zone1d61None1Standard
Light PistolsSmaller pistols, easily concealed and less accurate at range.+2, -2 per intervening zone1d661 action2Restricted
Heavy PistolsLarger pistols, with greater stopping power and better accuracy at range.+2, -1 per intervening zone1d86-121 action3Restricted
Rifle, HuntingA long-range rifle, unwieldy up close but excellent at longer ranges.0, -1 per 2 intervening zones1d1231 action3Restricted
Rifle, SniperA military-grade rifle, with extremely high damage and extremely long range. Very illegal.-2 within 1 zone, +2 for all zones within 1 mile after the first2d811 action4Prohibited
ShotgunAn extremely damaging weapon capable of inflicting grievous harm up close, but much less effective at long distances.+4, -4 per intervening zone3d6, -1d6 per intervening zone42 actions3Restricted


Armor
Let me get this straight...you have armored pants!?"

Armor functions as one would expect, reducing the amount of damage dealt by attacks. However, most armor also carries a defense penalty due to restricting one's movement, although this cannot reduce the wearer's defense below 0. Note that the damage reduction value is an aggregate; armor that covers only a small part of the wearer's body may have a lower total damage reduction value than a larger distribution of material with identical protection.

Armor ItemDescriptionDamage ReductionDefense PenaltyHeatRarity
Leather JacketStylish and effective.1None0Standard
RagamoffynMakeshift armor created by wearing extra layers of clothes stuffed with phone books and magazines. Surprisingly effective, but very inelegant and conspicuous.2-21Standard
Bulletproof VestEasily concealed under clothing.3-12Restricted
Plate Mail ArmorYou might possibly not be arrested at a Renaissance Faire.6-24Standard
Combat/Riot GearHighly protective, but outrageously conspicuous.8-24Prohibited


Drugs
Oh man...I am so high right now....I have no idea what's going on."

Most drugs offer a boost in performance in one skill or behavior at the cost of penalties in another area. Some drugs can also deal damage to the user.

Drug NameEffect and DurationSide EffectsRarity
OTC PainkillersReduce damage taken by 1 and reduce all damage tracks by 1. More than a single dose within 8 hours is not effective.-1 to Infiltration Defense for 1 hour after ingestion.Standard
Prescription PainkillersReduce damage taken by 2 and reduce all damage tracks by 2. More than a single dose within 8 hours is not effective.-2 to Infiltration and Social Defenses for 1 hour after ingestion.Restricted
HeroinReduce damage taken by 3 and reduce all damage tracks by 3. More than a single dose within 8 hours is not effective.-3 to Infiltration and Social Defenses for 1 hour after ingestion.Prohibited
AlcoholReduce lethal damage track by 1 at the cost of 1 point of stun damage. Effective for up to 3 doses per 24-hour period.-1 to all Defenses for 1 hour after ingestion.Standard
NicotineIncrease Infiltration and Social defenses by 1 and gain 1/X on all Profession skills that you have at least 2 ranks in for the next 15 minutes. Effective for up to 12 doses per 24-hour period.-1 to all Social skills for 15 minutes after intake.Standard
Cocaine+1 to Initiative and gain 1/X on all Profession skills that you have at least 2 ranks in for the next hour. More than 4 doses within 24 hours are not effective.1 point of stun and lethal damage and -1 to all Infiltration rolls for the next hour.Prohibited

echo


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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Humanity, Contacts, and the Irrationals
Hell is other people."

Humanity and Lost Ones
Consider the way “moral man” is veiled behind moral formulas and concepts of decency — the way our actions are benevolently concealed by the concepts of duty, virtue, sense of community, honorableness, self-denial. I am not suggesting that all this is meant to mask human malice and villainy, the wild animal in us; my idea is, on the contrary, that it is precisely as tame animals that we are a shameful sight and in need of the moral disguise."

The problem of Flow also has an additional dimension - the characters' Humanity values. The Doubters of a Clave often find themselves working to protect Sleepers from the dangers of the realms beyond not solely out of altruism, but in desperation to maintain a connection to the normal world and the normal lives they once possessed. A Doubter who harms an innocent deliberately, either directly or by choosing not to protect them, immediately loses 1 point of Humanity, and characters who lose all Humanity become Lost Ones, solipsistic and self-centered egotists who can reshape their worlds freely, wandering disconnectedly in and out of others' realities with no care or regard for those around them. After all, if there are millions of versions of that guy on the subway in the multiverse, what does it matter if you make this one's head explode?

Doubters quickly discover that the bond which connects them is more than a matter of comfort -- it is a matter of survival, the last tenuous link to familiarity and sanity in a howling storm of implacable alienation. Solving the next mystery before the small town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania gets wiped off the map is not only probably a nice thing to do, but also a critical imperative for the members of the clave. Even escape provides no relief, for Doubters who attempt to sequester themselves from human contact, even as a group, find their Humanity slowly leeched from them by the isolation. At best, the Clave may emerge into a world they do not recognize; at worst, they may emerge no longer recognizing themselves.

Doubters begin play with a Humanity score of 6 (some traits may lower this starting amount). Whenever the question of whether a Doubter has changed universes arises, every Doubter in the Clave must make a skill roll using their Humanity score against a difficulty equal to the Clave's Flow Rating. Failure by any member indicates that the Clave has changed universes, losing access to all possessions not kept on their persons and all acquaintances who are not formal Contacts (see Contacts, below). Whenever a Doubter changes universes, all the members of the Doubter's Clave and all their Contacts are dragged with them into the new universe -- a phenomenon known as Entanglement. Doubters who have a Humanity score of less than 3 and do not lose any Humanity points during a scenario gain 1 point of Humanity at the end of that scenario.

Contacts
It's not who you are, it's who you know."

As Doubters work to safeguard the Sleepers, they inevitably find themselves interacting with tenacious and resourceful minds beyond their Clave -- Sleepers who are just curious and cognizant enough to be friends, acquaintances, or useful allies in the Clave's efforts and remember them between meetings...for a time. However, the more a Clave works with a contact, the greater the danger of that contact being draw into the world of manipulated Flow and becoming lost in the swirl of probable worlds. Anytime a Doubter interacts with a Sleeper at a personal level (in other words, as an individual rather than an object), the Doubter has the option to gain the Sleeper as a contact. In game terms, Contacts have three statistics: Bond, Pull, and Skew, each of which is represented as a number from 1 to 6.

Bond represents the contact's attachment to the Doubter with whom they associate (or to the Clave as a whole, if the contact associates with the entire Clave). For example, a contact with a Bond of 1 might view the Doubter as a persistent nuisance, while a contact with a Bond of 6 might view the Doubter as a trusted friend. Pull represents the contact's ability to affect events in the outside world -- a generalized abstraction of their total amount of authority and efficacy in accomplishing their objectives. A contact with a Pull of 1, such as a street drunk or a grocery bagger, is unlikely to be able to accomplish goals reliably, while a contact with a pull of 6, such as a police chief or CEO of a major corporation, is capable of impressive feats. Skew represents the contact's progress towards probabilistic entanglement. Any time the contact becomes involved in, witnesses, or investigates phenomena involving manipulated Flow, their Skew has a chance to increase at the end of the scenario (see below). If a contact's Skew exceeds the Flow Rating of the Clave, the contact becomes a Doubter and is lost to the Clave, never to be seen again.

A contact will undertake a task for the Doubter if the task's difficulty is less than or equal to the lower of the contact's Bond rating. The contact then makes a skill roll (using its Pull rating as the skill value) to determine if the undertaking is successful. At the end of each scenario where a Contact was involved, Bond and Pull may increase or decrease based on the outcome of the events. If a contact's Bond decreases below 1, that contact refuses to have anything further to do with the Doubter or Clave and ceases to be available as a contact. Additionally, if the contact was exposed to manipulated Flow, Skew will always increase -- however, if the Contact was completely shielded from all abnormal events, Skew will not increase. Contacts may also be purchased at character creation for an amount of XP equal to the sum of their Bond and Pull (so a contact with 3 Bond and 4 Pull would cost 7 XP). Purchased contacts always begin with a Skew of 1.


The Irrationals
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"

Characters with low Flow Ratings tend to encounter strange and unpleasant challenges: weird conspiracies, homicidal psychopaths, and hostile Flow users. These challenges are dangerous and even deadly, but they pale in comparison to the threats encountered by characters with high Flow Ratings: the Irrationals. These nightmarish creatures hail from distant realms of insanity, where the laws of physics and reality are unrecognizably different than those we generally consider to be "normal". Their forms and types are legion, ranging from physical manifestations of creatures from various conceptual realms (see Between and Beyond, above) to impossible forms of alien biology that bear no resemblance to anything even the most feverish ravings of mortal madmen can describe.

In addition to often being powerful physical creatures of daunting size capable of controlling terrifying Flow powers, many Irrationals also possess strong resistance or even outright immunity to most normal weapons, as well as being extremely difficult to kill or destroy. Irrationals of Flow Rating 3 or higher do not die or become incapacitated from normal damage, regardless of how full their damage tracks become (though they can still be Dazed and will usually retreat from sources of continuous damage). Fortunately, every Irrational with this trait has a unique way of being defeated, imprisoned, or destroyed, and this weakness is Entangled with it as it moves between universes and timelines. References to the creature and its abilities and weaknesses will retroactively appear in obscure sources of knowledge and lore whenever it enters a new universe, and resourceful Doubters who investigate an Irrational plaguging them can discover and target such weaknesses...at least in theory. Rumors exist of Irrationals so powerful that they can never be destroyed, only driven off or imprisoned.

echo


Last edited by echoVanguard on Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:11 am; edited 11 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Combat
"You gonna do somethin', or just stand there and bleed?"

Initiative: Characters roll 1d20 and act in descending order (some powers grant bonuses to this roll). The battlefield is split up into Zones, with moving between zones costing an action (moving within the same zone is free).

Actions in Combat: Characters may make one Combat Action per turn (usually making a single attack or moving 1 zone). Additionally, characters may make up to three Quick Actions per turn (usually speaking a sentence or using a Flow Power that augments another action type). Under some circumstances, a character may take a special type of action when it isn't their turn, called a Reaction (usually a counterattack or special defense action of some kind). A list of common actions is as follows:
  • Speak - a character may take a Quick Action to speak up to 1 sentence of reasonable length (taking less than 5 seconds to utter in its entirety).
  • Reposition - characters may take a Quick Action to change their position within their current zone (usually to take cover or stand up from prone). Note that a character cannot Relocate and Reposition in the same turn.
  • Attack - a character may make one attack against a target within range using a weapon on their person as a Combat Action (see Attacking and Defending, below).
  • Relocate - a character may move 1 zone as a Combat Action. Note that a character cannot Relocate and Reposition in the same turn.
  • Feint - a character may Feint against an opponent in the same zone by making a Stealth or Intimidate roll as a Combat Action against the target's Infiltration or Social defense, as appropriate. If the feint is successful, the target is offensively or defensively Distracted for one round (see below). The attacker chooses whether to impose offensive or defensive distraction.
  • Suppressing Fire - a character may lay down Suppressing Fire against all targets within an adjacent zone using a multi-shot ranged weapon by making a Dexterity roll against a fixed difficulty rating (1 + number of targets to be suppressed) as a Combat Action. This expends all shots in the weapon's capacity. If the attempt is successful, all affected targets are offensively or defensively Distracted for 1 round (attacker's choice). The same penalty must be applied to all targets.
  • Called Shot - characters may attempt to target vital areas with a Called Shot as a Combat Action, which reduces the total number of successes on an attack roll by 2 (to a minimum of 0, causing a miss) but causes the attack to deal critical damage if successful (roll damage twice and add the results together).
  • Grapple - characters may attempt to grapple another character as a Combat Action by making a Strength Maneuver Roll against the target (see Maneuver Roll, below) . If the attack is succesful, the target is grappled, taking a -1 penalty on all attack rolls and must succeed at a Strength roll to move, with a difficulty class equal to 1 + the combined Size Classes of all grappling targets - its own Size Class. Characters who begin their turn grappling an opponent may renew the grapple as a Quick Action.
  • Rush - characters may attempt to knock another character down as a Combat Action by making a Strength or Agility Maneuver Roll against the target. If the attack is successful, the attack deals no damage, but the defender must make a Knockdown Roll (see Knockdown, below).
  • Disarm - characters may attempt to wrest or knock away an item held by another character as a Combat Action by making a Strength, Dexterity, or Agility Maneuver Roll against the target. If the attack is successful, the attack deals no damage, but the defender loses possession of an item they were holding. If the attacker successfully performed this action bare-handed, they may elect to automatically gain possession of the item if desired.
  • Full Defense - characters may take a Combat Action to increase their Physical Defense by 2 for 1 round. Characters who are damaged while performing a Full Defense action gain a +1 bonus to the resulting Knockdown roll.
Attacking and Defending: Attacks are the attacker's Attack roll with that weapon (roll appropriate Physical skill + Weapon Accuracy, if any) against the target's Defense rating. If the attack is an instantaneous attack, Defense is entirely range-based (some powers can modify this) as follows:
if the attacker is in the same zone, the defender's full Defense bonus applies (as they can block or dodge the limb aiming the weapon and not the projectile). Otherwise, the Defense value is equal to 2 x the number of zones the projectile must cross. If the attack is a melee or non-instantaneous ranged weapon (such as a thrown knife), use the character's Physical Defense instead. If the attack hits, the weapon deals its specified damage (see Equipment). Damage dice which roll their maximum values are criticals (roll twice and add the results together). Bonus successes on the attack roll increase the damage dealt by the attack, up to a maximum of the weapon's standard damage dice. Some weapons have additional rules which modify their behaviors in certain situations (for example, shotguns grant bonus accuracy within the same zone, but deal less damage per intervening zone).

Maneuver Roll: a Maneuver Roll is a special roll used to perform common forms of combat actions, such as a Grapple, a Rush, or a Disarm (see above). A Maneuver roll uses a specified skill against either the target's Physical defense rating or a fixed difficulty rating equal to 1 + the target's Size Class - the attacker's Size Class, whichever is lower. Some traits or powers may grant bonuses or penalties on Maneuver Rolls of various types.

Knockdown: a character who is hit by an attack that deals at least 1 point of damage of any type after adjusting for Size Classes and all other factors (such as Damage Reduction or Damage Immunity) must make a Knockdown roll. This is a Strength or Agility roll with a difficulty equal to the total number of points of damage of all types dealt by the attack - if the roll is successful, nothing happens, but if the roll is unsuccessful, the defender is knocked prone (see Prone, below).

Damage Reduction - Defenders with damage reduction (usually from armor) reduce the total amount of damage taken from an attack by the specified number. Unless otherwise specified, damage reduction converts lethal damage to stun damage, and negates stun damage entirely. Damage reduction can reduce the damage of an attack to 0 (but not below), and characters who reduce all lethal damage from an attack to stun damage due to Damage Reduction must still make a Knockdown roll (see Knockdown, above).

Damage, Incapacitation, and Death: Damage is tracked cumulatively, with seperate tracks for stun and lethal damage. These separate damage amounts are known as Damage Tracks, and usually have a capacity of 10 (though some creatures may have larger damage tracks -- see Toughness below). Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is applied to the track, and when a track's total damage is equal to or greater than its capacity, that track is said to be Full. Healing reduces the number of points of damage recorded in a track, to a minimum of 0. Characters heal 4 points of stun damage every hour (1 every 15 minutes), and 1 point of lethal damage every day. A character who has a full damage track of other type is incapacitated (see Incapacitation, below) until they no longer have any full damage tracks. Additionally, a character with a full lethal damage track is dying (takes 1 point of additional damage every minute until they receive medical attention). A character with a full Stun track converts any further stun damage into lethal damage, including overflow - in other words, a character with 8/10 stun damage who takes 3 additional points of stun damage converts one point into lethal damage. A character who has taken more than twice the number of points of lethal damage than their track size is killed outright. For example, a character with a Lethal damage track of 10 dies if they take 20 or more points of lethal damage.

Size Classes: If the attacker and defender are of different size classes, the attacker's damage is doubled for each size class that they are greater than the defender or halved for each size class that it is less than the defender (round down). This also applies to objects, such as vehicles, and to weapons (weapons are generally sized to the wielder, although there are some exceptions such as heavy artillery). Example: a person (size class 3) attacks a small house (size class 5) with a baseball bat. Damage from any attacks by the bat will be reduced to one-quarter and then rounded down - though the attacker might be able to break a few windows or tear up a doorframe, overall damage to the structure will be minimal.

Size ClassFalling DamageTypical Size Range
100 to 0.1 meters in diameter; apple-sized or smaller, such as a mouse or insect
210.1 to 1 meter in diameter; cat, dog, other small animal
31d61-2 meters in diameter. Generally human-sized objects.
42d63-5 meters in diameter. Car or large truck, elephant, and so on.
53d65-10 meters in diameter. Small houses and similar structures; large boats or small aircraft.
64d610-25 meters in diameter. Large houses or small office buildings. Yachts and moderately-sized aircraft.
75d625-50 meters in diamater. Large buildings and aircraft.
+1+1d6x2 previous radius in meters

Falling Damage: An object has a Minimum Fall Distance equal to (10 - its Size Class or 1, whichever is greater). An object which falls its Minimum Fall Distance in meters deals the listed number of points of damage for its size class to itself and anything it strikes (modified by relative size classes as normal). This damage is cumulative with itself (falling 3x Minimum Fall Distance deals 3x falling damage), to a maximum of 10x.

Cover: Characters can take cover against incoming attacks from a specific zone as part of a Reposition action, gaining a +2 bonus to Physical defense from other zones where line of sight to the cover is obstructed, but suffering a -1 penalty to attack rolls against targets in those zones. Cover must cover at least half the character's body to provide any benefit. A character may only take cover against one zone at a time. For example, a character in Zone A may take cover against attackers in Zone B, but not against attackers in Zone C (unless there is no path from Zone C to Zone A that does not pass through Zone B). Characters may change which zone they are covering from as part of a Reposition action.

echo


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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Conditions
"Does this look infected to you?"

Affliction: Creatures with the Afflicted condition take damage in an ongoing fashion. Typically, an affliction's number of points of damage inflicted and interval of infliction are specified as [damage]/[rate]. For example, an 2/minute affliction deals 2 points of damage per minute. Unless otherwise specified, all damage dealt by an affliction is lethal damage and is not subject to damage reduction from armor.

Blindness: Creatures who are Blind cannot target other creatures unless they are in the same zone, and suffer a -2 penalty to their Physical rolls, Physical defenses, and Infiltration defenses.

Confusion: Creatures who are Confused are not fully in control of their actions, and usually cannot tell friend from foe. A confused creature rolls 1d6 and consults the following table each round unless otherwise specified:

Die ResultAction TakenDescription
1NothingThe creature takes no action whatsoever, but its defenses are not affected.
2Attack BlindlyThe creature attacks a random target in its zone; if no suitable targets are available, the creature does nothing.
3RampageThe creature attacks a random target within its line of sight, and continues attacking that target until it successfully lands an attack (do not make further rolls on this table during the Rampage period).
4Flee BlindlyThe creature attempts to leave the area by any means necessary, disregarding all hazards and dangers in the process. The creature chooses its destination zone completely randomly each turn.
5FleeThe creature attempts to leave the area by the most expedient means possible, but behaves sensibly in choosing its routes and means of escape. If there are no routes or means of escape the creature considers sensible, it does nothing.
6Act NormallyThe creature acts normally, determining its action in the standard fashion as if it were not confused, for 1 round.

If a confused creature is attacked, it will immediately attack the creature which attacked it on its turn (acting as if it had rolled a Rampage against that creature).

Deafness: Creatures who are Deaf cannot understand speech or hear sounds of any kind, and suffer a -2 penalty to their Infiltration defenses.

Death: Creatures who are Dead can take no actions and are usually dead forever. Dead creatures cannot be restored to life by normal means.

Distraction: Creatures who are Distracted are undergoing some form of physical or mental disruption of their efforts. Distraction can be either defensive or offensive; Offensive distraction applies a -1 penalty to all of the affected creature's rolls, while Defensive distraction applies a -1 penalty to all of the affected creature's defenses.

Grappling: Creatures who are Grappled must make additional checks to move and have some of their combat options limited (see Grappling, above).

Immortality: Creatures with the Immortal condition are unable to die from any normal means (though they can still be incapacitated). If an immortal creature's head is severed, the head remains alive; if the creature's entire body is destroyed, the creature continues to exist in an unbodied state and can be restored to physical form if given a new body (or it reconstitutes its body). Every type of immortality carries with it an Entangled Weakness (see above).

Incapacitation: Creatures who are Incapacitated are unaware of their surroundings and can take no actions. Typically, a character becomes incapacitated when one of their damage tracks becomes full, and ceases to be incapacitated when they no longer have any full damage tracks.

Inveteracy: Creatures with the Inveterate condition cannot be incapacitated by any normal means (though they may be able to die if they are not also immortal). Unlike immortality, Inveteracy does not always have an Entangled Weakness - however, a creature which is both Immortal and Inveterate will always be vulnerable to some form of attack.

Invisibility: Creatures who are Invisible cannot be seen with normal vision. Other creatures are treated as blind when taking actions against the invisible creature.

Prone: Creatures who are Prone (in other words, lying on the ground) suffer a -1 penalty to Physical defense against attacks within the same zone but gain a +1 bonus to Physical Defense against attacks from other zones.

Recuperation: Creatures who have the Recuperation ability clear damage from their Stun tracks faster than normal. Typically, recuperation's number of points of damage healed and interval of healing are specified as [damage]/[rate]. For example, a 5/minute recuperation ability would clear 5 points of damage per minute from the creature's Stun track.

Regeneration: Regeneration works identically to recuperation, except that the Lethal track is affected instead of the Stun track.

Toughness: Creatures who are Tough can take additional points of damage before being incapacitated or killed (in other words, the maximum size of their damage tracks increases). If only a single number is specified for a Toughness modifier, the modifier applies to both Stun and Lethal tracks. If the modifier specifies two numbers separated by a slash (such as 6/3), the first number applies to the creature's Stun track while the second number applies to the creature's Lethal track. As with all modifiers, only the largest modifier applies to each track.

echo


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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Flow Powers
Note - this is mostly just a place to keep notes for myself at the moment. Stuff will later be fleshed out to display power costs/details/action types/prerequisites/whatever.

Gaining and Expending Flow Points
Whenever a character is exposed to manipulated Flow from a force outside the Clave, they gain 1 Flow point, up to a maximum of 5 x Flow Rating, as shown on the table below:

Flow RatingMaximum Flow Points
15
210
315
420
525

Unlike damage tracks, Flow Points are not restored by resting or waiting; characters must be exposed to Flow-entangled situations or be affected by hostile Flow powers to gain additional Flow Points. The amount of manipulated Flow characters come into contact with also affects the amount of Spin gained at the end of the scenario (see Character Advancement, above).

Flow Power Categories
Each Flow Power has one primary category which determines its function at the most basic level. Some powers may have secondary categories to disguise or streamline their functions, but the primary category defines the power's foremost purpose.
  • Ex Post Facto (changing events as they occur)
  • Quod Erot Demonstratum (posited knowledge of past/current events)
  • Res Ipsa Loquitur (evident quantum collapse of past events)
  • Consensus Ad Idem (changing the memories of others but not physical evidence)
  • Sine Qua Non (actively modifying the past)

Flow Methodologies
Each Flow Power has one or more actions that must be taken to activate the power. These actions, called Methodologies, can range from a mumbled series of words or the posession of a physical object to specific types of unnatural thought or even innate abilities activated purely by intrinsic use. Any methodology can be used by any tradition, at least theoretically, but in practice each tradition has certain types of methodologies that are more commonly used by its flow powers. For example, members of the Awakened use Incantations, Gestures, and Engravings heavily, but use Implants or Mentations rarely, if at all. Conspiracy Theorists, on the other hand, use these methodologies much more widely.
  • Incantation - a set of spoken, chanted, or sung phrases, producing an effect seperate from or in addition to the normal consequences of speech.
  • Engraving - a carved or graven set of symbols on an object or creature which have an effect beyond that of the symbols themselves.
  • Gesture - a particular type of motion using the body or limbs which has significance above and beyond the motion itself.
  • Pact - a supernaturally binding agreement, contract, or other method of expressing terms for the delivery of one or more services, usually of a supernatural nature.
  • Pattern - an emergent or imposed pattern identifying, controlling, or describing aspects of something not normally perceptible without knowledge of the pattern.
  • Mentation - a special type of thought, memory trigger, or other form of mental action beyond the scope of normal thought.
  • Aptitude - an innate special ability not activated by any external methodology which is self-apparent when the ability is used.
  • Equipment - a particular and unique item which either performs the power itself or is necessary for the power to occur in tandem with some other effect or condition.
  • Implant - similar to equipment, but embedded within the user's body, usually subdermally. This can be either living or nonliving matter.

Languages of Power
Many Flow methodologies make use of special languages not common in the mundane world. Some powers require the words of the language in question to be spoken or written, while others use them to induce modes of thought not natural to normal language use. Gaining access to a Language of Power is not done by means of a skill or trait, but rather is intrinsic to the selection of associated Flow powers - for example, an Awakened character who selects a power with Methodology: Incantation (Enochian) learns the necessary Enochian words required to enact the power.
  • Enochian - this ancient tongue is most often used by members of the Awakened, both in spoken incantations and in runic carvings. Said to be the foundational language of reality, its constructs have the power to alter matter, space, and time, but often require interspersal with other ancient languages such as Latin, Egyptian, and Sanskrit in order to create the proper conduit between intent and effect.
  • Theban Witching Letters - an astrologically-inspired cipher, runes and inscriptions using this swirling, looping script are intensely responsive to emotion and desire. When properly infused, the runes can affect the emotions of readers and even affect the flows of probability to produce desired outcomes. Commonly used by members of the Chosen who wish to channel the desires of their Ancestors, as well as by those of the Gifted who feel kinship with distant Stars.
  • Elder Futhark Runes - an ancient runic alphabet said to hold sway with the old creatures of the land, these runes are primarily used by members of the Chosen who traffic with either Spirits or Faeries to make pacts and engravings. Though not commonly capable of altering reality on their own, the runes channel the energies of powerful supernatural beings with great efficiency.
  • The Black Cipher - a more recent invention, the Black Cipher is a constructed language primarily composed of components of highly-organized linguistic structures such as Esperanto, Lojban, and Interlingua. Its primary use is as a shibboleth for members of secretive international societies such as assassins' guilds, arms trading organizations, and black-ops hacker groups. Code written using the Black Cipher is capable of accessing hidden backdoors in nearly all non-proprietary software and hardware implementations, and speaking it aloud almost always authorizes the speaker as a person of importance and power in secret societies. It is commonly employed both by knowledgeable members of the Fated and by Conspiracy Theorists who invest heavily in the Dark Path.
  • the Language of Xith-Iabaoth - a clicking, croaking tongue difficult to pronounce by humans, this tortuous construct forms the foundation of all human languages, seeded amongst the primitive anthropoids by horrible aliens in the distant past. From its angular, twisting alphabets and grammars, all ancient and modern languages can be derived, rendering it highly useful as a universal Rosetta Stone for those who can fathom its stygian logic; however, this list is usually limited only to those particular Conspiracy Theorists who have had the misfortune to be exposed to modulated Warp Fields.
  • Agarthan - an esoteric language which can be derived independently from neural patterns common to all human thought, Agarthan appears and reappears throughout human history as it is discovered and rediscovered by various groups from fringe anthropologists to Tibetan monks. When spoken with the proper flowing, musical inflections or written using the spidery runes that describe its structure organically, it can function as a sort of neuro-linguistic override to language-using humans, forcing them to obey some commands or fail to perceive properly-inscribed objects without their knowledge. In addition, if spoken or inscribed without the imperative tenses, it can be automatically understood by any listener or reader regardless of their native tongue. Commonly found in use by members of the Gifted who follow the paths of Clarity or Awakening, as well as by Conspiracy Theorists sufficiently Disillusioned to personally reverse-engineer human linguistics and thought.

Acquiring and Upgrading Flow Powers
A character can purchase a new Flow Power at a cost of 1 Spin (or the power's specified cost, if it has one), provided that the character meets all of the following prerequisites:
  • The character is allowed to select powers from the Power Tree in question (usually based on the character's Tradition),
  • The character's Flow Rating is equal to or greater than the power's Tier, and
  • The character meets any additional prerequisites specified in the power's description.
A power may be upgraded by spending 1 Spin, up to a maximum of 3. Higher-tier powers often have a prerequisite of a minimum number of points invested in that path (for example, a Tier 3 Disllusion power may require at least 6 points invested in other Disillusion powers to purchase).

Tier 1 Powers
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Tier 2 Powers
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Tier 3 Powers
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Tier 4 Powers
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Tier 5 Powers
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echo


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echoVanguard
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Some quick updates: Strange Rating has been renamed to Flow Rating (to avoid being too similar to Monte Cook's The Strange RPG, which has already resembles Doubt a little too closely for comfort), and the nightmarish creatures from distant realms of probability are now collectively known as The Irrationals.

echo
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Neurosis
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Doubt Megathread Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

echoVanguard wrote:
This is a master consolidation thread for Doubt stuff.

Original Thread
Villains
Mechanics
Protagonists
Herrings

Playtest (new, contains updated rules/design stuff)

echo


Because I've been having a rough time of it lately, pretend that this post isn't a year and a month too late and really really lazy.

WTF is Doubt?
_________________
My name is Devon. I freelanced for Catalyst game labs from 2011-2016. I got fired for making this the fourth post in this thread. I totally deserved it, but watch out. It could happen to you.

Secret's out: I own End Transmission and we make kickass games.

Trank Frollman wrote:
One of the reasons we can say insightful things about stuff is that we don't have to pretend to be nice to people. By embracing active aggression, we eliminate much of the passive aggression that so paralyzes things on other gaming forums.

hogarth wrote:
As the good book saith, let he who is without boners cast the first stone.

TiaC wrote:
I'm not quite sure why this is an argument. (Except that Kaelik is in it, that's a good reason.)


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Omegonthesane
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Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 1923

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How about I just quote the first paragraph of the original thread:
Frank Trollman wrote:

Doubt is a proposed game system and setting in which the player characters can subtly control reality and are tasked with protecting humanity from monsters and villains that can protect themselves from discovery. Themes for the game include psychological horror, loneliness, and of course Self Doubt. Which is where the name of the game comes from.

Characters have various mystical powers that alter reality itself, but these powers are subtle and limited enough that the player characters themselves can never actually see incontrovertible proof that their powers actually exist. And once they've been used, reality is rewritten and no one else remembers it having ever been any other way. So some of the characters may well go through the whole story without ever actually believing that they have anything but a run of weird luck while they are out solving the mystery.

Meanwhile, while the PCs have magic powers that are limited to doing things that they personally have good reason to doubt the reality of, the villains operate in ways that make it impossible for the PCs to provide hard evidence to other people - making the mysteries definitionally exclude "going to the cops" as a valid tactic. So the PCs have experiences that make them doubt their own sanity when they use their abilities, and if they tell anyone else about the things they are fighting, other people will doubt their sanity too.

_________________
FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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Neurosis
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What does Doubt do that After Sunset doesn't do?

What does Doubt do well that After Sunset does poorly?

Is the basic answer that "in-Doubt, players are people"? Can't be that, people can't "subtly control reality".

Is the answer that "Doubt" is "not-Mage" with a dash of "not-Hunter" whereas After Sunset is "not-WoD"?

I guess my confusion comes from the fact that the latter seems conceptually to contain the former.

Does Doubt use the same system as After Sunset and can they cross over, or are they two distinct, standalone questions?

Thanks,
- Devon

* After Sunset might actually be called After Sundown? Sorry. Pain meds. As in not enough of them. My arm hurts.
_________________
My name is Devon. I freelanced for Catalyst game labs from 2011-2016. I got fired for making this the fourth post in this thread. I totally deserved it, but watch out. It could happen to you.

Secret's out: I own End Transmission and we make kickass games.

Trank Frollman wrote:
One of the reasons we can say insightful things about stuff is that we don't have to pretend to be nice to people. By embracing active aggression, we eliminate much of the passive aggression that so paralyzes things on other gaming forums.

hogarth wrote:
As the good book saith, let he who is without boners cast the first stone.

TiaC wrote:
I'm not quite sure why this is an argument. (Except that Kaelik is in it, that's a good reason.)
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Kaelik
ArchDemon of Rage


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1) Sundown
2) Doubt is about always kind of wondering if you are fucking crazy, and there is no magic, or if there is magic, hence doubt. So anything with people who totally just whip out the obvious direct magic on command like flying is not really a good place to be.
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"DSMatticus" wrote:
Kaelik gonna kaelik. Whatcha gonna do?
That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.
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Neurosis
Duke


Joined: 02 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Doubt sounds exactly like my current Delta Green campaign, just with different rules.

Does it have san-loss or san-loss equivalent or even *squee* multiple sanity meters like the hot mess that is Unknown Armies?
_________________
My name is Devon. I freelanced for Catalyst game labs from 2011-2016. I got fired for making this the fourth post in this thread. I totally deserved it, but watch out. It could happen to you.

Secret's out: I own End Transmission and we make kickass games.

Trank Frollman wrote:
One of the reasons we can say insightful things about stuff is that we don't have to pretend to be nice to people. By embracing active aggression, we eliminate much of the passive aggression that so paralyzes things on other gaming forums.

hogarth wrote:
As the good book saith, let he who is without boners cast the first stone.

TiaC wrote:
I'm not quite sure why this is an argument. (Except that Kaelik is in it, that's a good reason.)
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