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Author Topic: ALPTRAUM  (Read 6099 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2017, 12:52:02 AM »

Steerpike

That said, if you think it's a really bad idea, I can ditch it.
I don't think it's a really bad idea, but I also don't think it's a great idea. Here are my thoughts:

Steerpike

I could see subduing certain sorts of foes as being important - for example, there might be foes where conventional weapons are of extremely limited utility, but if you force a vial of holy water down their throat, or chain them up and wait for sunrise, you could defeat them.
This is a good point, but the combat mechanics of Fate are pretty abstract and forcing a vial of holy water down the monster's throat could be glossed as an "attack," too. I mean, if you think that doing that should use a different skill than hitting the monster with a sword, that's definitely possibility, but Athletics or Physique seem like they may work well enough, too. Those skills can't normally be used to attack, but Fate is all about these kinds of little tweaks to the mechanics to suit the narrative. Anything that seems too powerful or broad can just be made to cost a fate point.

Steerpike

I could also see grappling with certain types of foes, as being important: werewolves and zombie/revenant hordes both come to mind, for example.
Grappling could use the Physique skill, which is kind of underutilized. The SRD page for Physique even includes a Stunt to support grappling with Physique.

Steerpike

I'm imagining being captured as a distinct possibility as the result of being Taken Out, as opposed to being killed, meaning that characters might very well have to fight bare-handed if their weapons are confiscated. While I don't want to radically weaken characters, it seems to me that splitting fighting skills could contribute to mitigating Fate's "Paradox of Horror" a little bit - without weapons, characters not trained in Brawl are going to feel much more vulnerable, and thus more likely to try and use stealth and evasion until they get their weapons back.
I think you might be thinking of things a bit too much in terms of D&D. Fate is not really big on equipment, and the default assumption of Fate is that characters have the tools needed to be able to be competent at the things they are good at. If that's not the case, then what that really means is that there's probably a "Deprived of their weapons" aspect hanging over them, and you can then compel that aspect to have them suffer all kinds of trouble due to not having their weapons. Enemies can invoke it, too, to reduce the strength of any attacks. If we're giving weapons mechanical significance, then the characters will lose the extra damage, too. So I think they're already going to feel more vulnerable.
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« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2017, 01:16:52 AM »

OK, good points about Physique, and about just using Aspects. I had been taking the "this is not an attack skill" pretty seriously but maybe the ways skills work is a little looser in practice than I'd been imagining.

EDIT: Alright, posted up a skills list. I may still tweak it but I think it looks pretty good overall. In case it's unclear, Sanity is used to defend against Provoke.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 01:43:47 AM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2017, 02:12:28 PM »

Steerpike

maybe the ways skills work is a little looser in practice than I'd been imagining.
Kinda? I mean, you're right that it can't usually be used as an attack skill, but Fate is pretty focused on making whatever happens mechanically suit the purposes of the narrative. The tone of this article is a little Fate-fanboyish but I think the points made are quite good: http://ramblingsofjacobanddelos.com/2013/07/09/the-3-rules-of-fate-and-how-they-make-the-game-awesome/
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« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2017, 03:49:38 PM »

Thanks for the link. It actually touches on something I've been squinting at a bit in the rules. When a character takes a consequence rather than stress, does the GM generally tell them what the consequence is, or does the player think one up? Is there a protocol here or is this something different groups do differently?

I've been thinking a bit more about equipment; in general I think I'm going to skip weapon/armour ratings unless people really want them. I don't see armour being a big deal in the setting, and consequently different weapons gradations don't seem especially important.

However, I do think I'm going to create some Extras for special nightmare-hunting gear - things like holy water, silver bolts/bullets, blessed weapons, powerful charms, etc. which a Jäger would have access to, but not in infinite abundance.
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« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2017, 05:00:35 PM »

Steerpike

When a character takes a consequence rather than stress, does the GM generally tell them what the consequence is, or does the player think one up? Is there a protocol here or is this something different groups do differently?
Like most things in Fate, it tends to be collaborative. A lot of times, the nature of the attack that caused the stress necessitating the consequence suggests something fairly immediately, and it's just a question of coming up with a punchy name for it. Fairly often in my games, both the player and GM will throw one out there, and one of the two is obviously better, and that settles it. Since consequences of a given severity level are all mechanically identical anyway, as long the consequence isn't named something totally stupid that makes it nearly impossible to compel or invoke against the player, it's not really a huge deal, or at least it hasn't been in games that I've played or run.
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« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2017, 05:25:18 PM »

Okay, that clarifies things somewhat.

Maybe it's because of how my head works, but it feels like the specificity of a consequence matters quite a bit... like if we're picking between the Severe Consequences of Shattered Tibia and Missing Fingers, for example, isn't that going to really affect the kind of compels the GM can throw at the character later in the scenario? Like the character with the broken leg is going to get chased by something horrible later, I could see that enemy invoking the broken leg but not the missing fingers... or if character with the missing fingers is desperately trying to pick a lock to get inside a cabin, their consequence could be compelled in a way that the broken leg couldn't. Is this not correct?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 05:40:20 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2017, 05:39:22 PM »

Well, you're correct that the exact nature of a consequence matters regarding what sort of compels can be associated with it, but that's true of any aspect, so I don't really think it's a unique situation with consequences. I mean, ultimately, I feel like that's kind of an odd set of circumstances you're asking about. These are distinct injuries, and I feel like a lot of the time the source of the injury is going to suggest the consequence. If a gigantic ogre has just bashed a character with a club, a Shattered Tibia consequence is probably going to make more sense, while a character desperately trying to avoid being mauled by a werewolf might end up with Missing Fingers instead. There are of course lots of other possibilities too, but if the GM has a spicy compel in mind for a certain specific sort of consequence that generally fits an injury that a player has just suffered, then that probably should be the consequence that gets applied.
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« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2017, 06:00:14 PM »

Fair enough, I'm mostly just fretting to try and stretch some mental muscles that D&D doesn't use  laugh.
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2017, 05:26:32 PM »

Some characters that are likely to see play...

Lis Pfarme


The daring, auburn-haired, red-cloaked Jägeryn who now goes by Lis Pfarme was once known, in another life, as Elisabet Mordstein the Younger, heiress-apparent to the vampiric dynasty of Bluthausen. She grew up in luxury and depravity, wanting for nothing... but never safe. It was the sort of place where one was either predator or prey. Though she studied cartomancy as well as cultivated her talents for dueling with all types of blades, it was all simply for her own defense, as she had no interest in perpetuating vampiric politics or vampiric horrors. As a young teenager, it was to be her destiny to take the blood-pact, her first slaughter and exsanguination of a human, a ritual that would fully awaken her vampiric nature and bind her soul to darkness. She refused, feigning illness, feigning a need for further study, doing everything she could to delay the inevitable until the moment of reckoning came-- she stabbed her "mother" with a rapier and fled Bluthausen. She made her way north to Lupény, where she took up with the Crimson Cowl Jägerbund. She was already skilled with a sword and had a great deal of knowledge regarding vampiric lore. In addition, although Lis quite obviously lacks the fearsome supernatural power and blood-magic of a true vampir, that is not to say that she is devoid of any arcane ability. Through the patterns inherent in her well-worn, enchanted deck of tarock cards, she can manipulate the broader patterns of the Waking Dream, at least in small ways. All this made her something of a rising star... at least until the Crimson Cowl found out what she truly was. By then, her loyalty was firmly established, and Jägers are the type not to ask too many questions, especially given that Lis is still very much more human than monster. She is still mortal, able to walk about in daylight without distress, and quite enjoys garlic, albeit atop meat far too rare for most people's liking. Nonetheless, even with some in the organization advocating on her behalf, the nature of her birth was simply too big of a controversy for her career to bear. A compromise was reached in which the Crimson Cowl did not forbid her from wearing the regalia that she had earned, but it was agreed by all involved that some distance between Lis and the organization proper was likely the best thing for everyone. That said, she still quietly performs missions on their behalf. With her new companions, she is now the leader that she could never have been in the Bluthausen court or within the Crimson Cowl. She is the head of a team of outcasts like her, all running away from something or other, some darkness that still gnaws at their souls. In this land of living nightmares, they often have only each other.

High Concept: Vampiric scion turned notorious Jägeryn
Trouble: Finding her own way
- Duelist extraordinaire
- Does not abide chauvinists and fools
- Stay out of her way!

Wits +3
Athletics +2, Fight +2, Influence +2, Occultism +2, Shoot +2
Faith +1, Observe +1, Physique +1, Provoke +1, Sanity +1, Survival +1, Wealth +1

Stress: 3 physical, 3 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Cartomancy [2 refresh] - As long as she has her tarock cards, Lis can subtly alter the Waking Dream; she gets +2 to Occultism to create advantages or overcome obstacles when doing so.
Dark Reputation - Lis gets +2 to Provoke to intimidate someone who has heard about her and her deeds.
Vampiric Lore - Lis gets +2 to Occultism when recalling facts about the vampir and their society.


Alidze Döwonn


Alidze is one of the Dźaur, a tribe of exotic-looking once-nomads who came over the Grenzgebirge however many centuries ago and now dwell in Schreckenburg as an underclass, always on the periphery and in the underbelly. Many reside in the Grimmwald, beyond civilization both figuratively and literally, and many of them there have some measure of the blood of the fairy folk within them. Alidze is likely no exception, as her eyes are an odd pale orange hue and her hair platinum, but she knows nothing of the origins of the eldritch element to her heritage-- or even much about her real family. Truthfully, she may be of Dźaur blood, but she despises them as much as the most ardently racist pure-blooded Schreckenburger, for, when she was but a girl, it was decreed she was to be sacrificed to some dark thing, and left in the Grimmwald to meet her fate. She was rescued from what would surely be a horrifying untimely demise by a team of Jägers and brought to Wurmhaven, where she got a very rapid and very... diverse... education in the ways of the world. In truth, none of it was worse than living in the Grimmwald. In Wurmhaven, Alidze grew into a nubile young woman and became a mountebank and a courtesan, developing a louche sort of sophistication that ensured her a life of tawdry luxury. At various times during this period of her life, she made contact with Lis Pfarme, Nikolet Lanztäl, and Katja; she did not know it at the time, but these contacts would prove invaluable later on. During this time, she also met an old witch who taught her a few cantrips, which came to her quite readily due to her fey blood. Although the full extent of the glamours of the fairy folk were beyond her, she mastered the conjuration of ephemeral illusions in the smoke of the schwarzblume cigarettes she was fond of smoking. She also found that people who saw these illusions, whether consciously or not, tended to believe what she said, which only enhanced her already considerable natural talent for charm and manipulation. On the other hand, it wasn't as though there wasn't already enough fear and mistrust of the Dźaur, and the idea that she was some sort of hex-weaver to rival Old Mother Frost herself sometimes came up at inopportune times. People believing in the extent of her power had the curious effect of enhancing it even further, but it was power that she herself often had trouble grasping, as it was ultimately rooted in a tangled lore made of half-true folk rumors about the Dźaur. As if she didn't have enough trouble in her life already, her growing fame (or infamy) caused her to catch the attention of Count Otto von Toten, a decadent and cruel Blood-Prince (and nominal ally of the House of Mordstein) who ruled over the nearby area. He wished to have the lovely Alidze to himself, and sent his minions to capture her. They brought her to his manor, where he was intent on forcing her to his bedchamber-- and, depending on how he felt about her later on, making her either his next thrall-wife or his next meal. She managed to escape a grim fate once again by quick thinking and a bit of magic... but she knew that she now had a powerful enemy. Her only options were to run forever or become the hunter, and she was tired of running. For better or worse, she was now a Jägeryn.

High Concept: Louche and libertine manipulatrix
Trouble: Her past won't stay in the past
- Legs that won't quit
- Adept at escaping a bad situation... and getting into a worse one
- Win with charm, not force

Deceive +3, Influence +3
Athletics +2, Observe +2, Sanity +2, Wits +2
Faith +1, Occultism +1, Physique +1, Provoke +1, Ride +1, Stealth +1

Stress: 3 physical, 3 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Sex Appeal - Alidze gets +2 to Influence when speaking seductively with someone who is attracted to her.
Smoke Glamours [2 refresh] - As long as she has her schwarzblume cigarettes, Alidze can conjure minor illusions in the smoke; she gets +2 to Deceive to create advantages or overcome obstacles when doing so.
Smoke Overload - Once per conflict, as long as she has her schwarzblume cigarettes, Alidze can conjure a huge blast of smoky fire. This attack is Occult-based with a +2 bonus.


Katja "Krieg" Kalisch


The fiery, tomboyish mercenary known most commonly by her nom de guerre of "Katja Krieg" hails from the once-fertile farmlands surrounding the village of Mülldorf. Or, rather, she did, back when there still was a Mülldorf. She grew up in a house full of brothers, and she learned how to hunt and fight instead of how to cook and weave. Perhaps in a less dark time, this might have caused consternation to Katja's mother... so it is perhaps in some way fortunate that Katja lives during this dark time, instead, as she might never have survived, otherwise. The Blood-Princes wanted Mülldorf, and, in a crushing coordinated attack, the Houses of Mordstein, Von Toten, and Leid managed to put aside their petty disputes and gather a truly massive army of thralls and walking dead, as well as an elite force of vampiric neonates yearning for conquest and blood. The people of the town fought bravely, but it was ultimately a hopeless battle, and all of the townspeople either died or fled. Many more would have died were it not for the timely intervention of the Crimson Cowl; among that force was, of course, Lis Pfarme herself, whose prowess and poise particularly impressed Katja. With nowhere to go and little to do except fight (and little else she wanted to do, anyway) Katja decided to become a Jägeryn herself. The Crimson Cowl would not take her, for she was too undisciplined, too unorthodox, and too rural. She instead made her way to Wurmhaven, working for various small-time criminals (including one Alidze Döwonn) and smaller-time vigilantes, until she found a group she fit in with quite well. She became a member of the Disciples of Madness, a fearsome Jägerbund known for their garish bright orange and yellow tunics, relentlessly aggressive berserker tactics, and strong contempt for authority. In the twisted reality of the Waking Dream, truly and completely believing oneself to be capable of superhuman feats means that one just might actually be, and it is this thinking that is at the core of the Disciples' battle-frenzy-- and a somewhat simplistic mind like Katja's seemed to attach to this self-delusion-made-truth quite readily. Then, as now, this mad world was a ripe place for mercenaries, and it was here that Katja made a name for herself. Quite literally, as it was here that she earned her nom de guerre, "Katja Krieg." The Disciples do not have a strict command structure, so it was perfectly possible for Katja to remain a member in good standing as well as pursue other opportunities with other Jägerbunds at the same time. As such, when she saw a chance to work with Lis Pfarme once again, she took it. Katja now fights with her sisters in arms for a future with the bucolic life she was never quite able to have.

High Concept: Talented (but slightly unglued) mercenary
Trouble: Often misses the subtler points
- Petite but deceptively powerful
- Problems with anger management
- Looks up to her sisters in arms

Athletics +4, Fight +4
Physique +3, Shoot +3
Provoke +2, Wits +2
Ride +1, Survival +1

Stress: 4 physical, 2 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Disciple of Madness - When overcoming an obstacle with Athletics or Physique, Katja can add a +2 bonus. Doing so gives her one delusion point, which the GM can then spend against her to make the Waking Dream unravel around her.
Loud and Proud - When socializing with a sufficiently rough and tough crowd, Katja can use Provoke instead of Influence.
Ready for Action - Katja gets +2 to Wits for the purpose of determining her initiative.
Wall of Death - When attacking with the Fight skill, Katja can make two +2 attacks against different enemies, instead of one +4 attack.


Nikolet Lanztäl


Modern psychiatry might have a more precise and apt description of Nikolet's demeanor, but it would certainly be glossed by her contemporaries as cheerfully demented. Eccentric, a brilliant scholar of all forms of arcane philosophy, prone to irreverent (and irrelevant) flights of fancy, and almost utterly unrestrained by what would be perfectly rational fears, she frequently roamed the halls of Schädelbrück University in the black garb of a doctor, including, from time to time, the beaked mask, garb she retains to this day. Her light blonde hair has a permanent shock of brilliant cyan that is always cool to the touch, the result of some arcane experiment gone wrong. Her field of study is known as "Rational Sorcery," an attempt to reconcile the nature of the Waking Dream with the teachings of natural philosophy. It is a very new discipline, popular among the young and brash, but dismissed as unmitigated quackery by many elder arcanologists. It was during her time doing research on some bizarre matter or other in some of the seedier quarters that she first met (and, most likely, slept with) a certain charming courtesan by the name of Alidze Döwonn. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nikolet was not known as the sort of person who had particularly deep ethics, and she frequently did research and experiments on behalf of the Blood-Princes, or whomever else brought her an interesting problem. With the interesting problems came enough coin to make it worth her while, giving her a comfortable living. Her contact with the Blood-Princes also gained her the opportunity to befriend the "daughter" of the Blood-Countess, then known as Elisabet Mordstein the Younger. For some years, everything went along quite well... at least, that is, until Countess Elisabet Mordstein (the Elder) brought Nikolet a project so sinister, so unconscionable, it shook even her. To this day, she will not say what exactly it was, but it necessitated her rapid departure from the University, doggedly pursued by the agents of the vindictive Blood-Countess. She was aided in her escape by an old friend, the Countess's erstwhile scion and now-Jägeryn, Lis Pfarme. Nikolet has embraced her newfound status and associations as a Jägeryn; her arcane studies have now taken a decidedly martial bent. She now spends much of her time mixing various bizarre alchemical formulae and firing them from a custom-made gilded hand-cannon to a wide variety of impressive and destructive effects. That's not to say she has burned all of her bridges entirely-- many of her former colleagues at the University are still as aloof and concerned only with their own work as she once was, meaning that while they would quite likely do nothing to come to her aid should Countess Elisabet decide to exact revenge, they would also just as likely make no effort to report her should she turn up. As such, Nikolet does not hesitate to call upon her old friends and associates, but only when she has made assurances for her own safety, and she never lingers on campus for more than a few days. Her true friends are now the other Jägers with whom she has cast her lot.

High Concept: Cheerfully demented arcanologist
Trouble: Dangerously curious
- Top student at the University
- Prone to intellectual flights of fancy
- Relatively unconcerned with scientific ethics

Occultism +4
Faith +3, Sanity +3
Athletics +2, Crafts +2, Wits +2
Influence +1, Medicine +1, Observe +1, Wealth +1

Stress: 2 physical, 4 mental

Refresh: 2/6
Stunts:
Avalanche of Jargon - Nikolet can use Occultism in place of Deceive as long as the lies are about esoteric topics and at least partially factual.
Rational Sorcery [2 refresh] - Nikolet can perform various actions with Occultism. These are raw, physical manifestations of arcane power, and are never subtle, so should generally be used for attacks, creating advantages in combat, overcoming physical obstacles, or the like. She need not use her full Occult value, and may not always want to; whatever power she calls up, she must roll it vs. her Sanity. Failure results in her sorcery going awry, resulting in stress or environmental damage equal to the degree of failure, although the action itself still happens.
Risky Sorcery - Nikolet can treat her Occultism as higher than it is when performing Rational Sorcery, but she must take mental stress equal to the amount of increase. She also still has to control the power with a roll against her Sanity.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 01:02:08 AM by sparkletwist » Logged


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« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2017, 08:12:29 PM »

Outstanding characters, sparkletwist. Puts my character idea to shame.
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« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2017, 10:26:51 PM »

They're great characters, but your idea is really good too Rhamnousia!
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« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2017, 11:08:36 PM »

Thank you both. laugh
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« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2017, 05:48:12 AM »

Katja ist Krieg
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all hail the reapers of hope

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« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2017, 03:06:24 PM »

Posted up a bunch of stuff, including some stunts, special equipment extras, and a few monsters. I'll be adding to these sections.

For Special Equipment, rather than fiddling around with costs and then giving people extra skill points or aspect slots for gear (or making all special gear into stunts or something) I've just said that a starting character should pick 3 pieces of Special Equipment. This seems pretty reasonable and intuitive to me, but let me know how this approach feels, because it's probably the least "Fate-y" addition I'd be making, though, honestly, most of the special gear just basically uses the weapons and armour rating system. I may develop some more rules around how protecting spaces/thresholds with holy symbols works...
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 03:59:41 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2017, 05:13:46 PM »

Steerpike

This seems pretty reasonable and intuitive to me, but let me know how this approach feels, because it's probably the least "Fate-y" addition I'd be making, though, honestly, most of the special gear just basically uses the weapons and armour rating system. I may develop some more rules around how protecting spaces/thresholds with holy symbols works...
The idea of protecting spaces seems similar to Dresden Fate's idea of a block. Blocks were taken out of Fate Core (a decision I don't entirely agree with) but the basic idea is that you require an appropriate skill check to move into the zone or across the threshold, using whatever relevant value as the opposition. For example, a character with a Faith of 3 warding an area with a holy symbol means that any monster who wants to approach has to beat a 3 on whatever skill check they have to roll.

The biggest question I have is the idea of some of them being limited-use. In my opinion, this is probably the most "un-Fate-like" feature you've added, because Fate seems to me to tend towards gear that is just considered part of the character, or an aspect or stunt, or whatever. Any limits are rooted in the metagame, like "once per session" or "once per scene" rather than being a certain amount of physical items. In previous Fate games I've had luck with more concrete item limits but only for tactical variety within a specific scene-- a gun having 3 shots and then needing an action to reload, for example, but I never kept track of bullets beyond that. That's not to say more persistent item limits can't work, but it does make me wonder how resupply would work, what happens if someone who didn't 'select' the equipment tries to get one, or whatever, and I also wonder if it might be a little too much bookkeeping for the sort of game Fate seems like it is trying to be.

Oh, and, my last question, I assume that these are special things and "normal" weapons and armor are more there for fluff's sake and don't have a rating of any sort?
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