Civil War

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Civil War

Postby admin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:39 pm

Wild-West New World of Darkness in the spirit of Deadlands, set in a time period before the formation of the Free Council. It's a time of espionage, exploration, Cowboys and Indians, Confederates and Union forces doing battle. Mormons and Prodestants pepper the countryside, trains deal with bandits and robbers -- and the evils that lurk in the world are plentiful.

Wendigos, spirits, ghosts, the undead. Werewolves and vampires prey on mortals and do so without repricussion in some cases; the wild west is just more Wild than the mortals know.

The game will revolve around the civil war through the lense of the supernatural world. (I like playing Mage, so that's what I'll be doing, but really any kind of supernatural thing or even mortal is welcome.) Confederate and Union forces become an additional layer of loyalties a character has in addition to their supernatural Factions -- Seers on the Union side come into conflict with Seers on the Confederate side. Apostates and even Diamond mages find themselves making strange new allies and enemies in a game of mystical espionage, all the while dealing with creepiness and baddies that the Wild West has to offer. God knows what kinds of enemies and allies spirits, werewolves, vampires or fae might make.

We're using a ton of the 2nd edition rules. This means GMC update is in full swing, and then some. Those rules will be quantified here as we move along. Since Mage is the game I'm playing, those are the rules I'm putting here first.

Legacies and Attainments: Attainments come at Gnosis 1, 3, and 5. Universal spells/abilites (Mage Sight, Mage Armor, Sympathetic Casting, Hanging Spells, etc) are universal attainments unlocked at the correct dots of the correct Arcana. They work otherwise as described in our other Mage games.

Arcana: Internal Staggering of arcana is being removed. Life can effect all living things regardless of what dots of Life you have access to. Instead, the Dots are merely access to the thirteen Practices. Therefore Matter can effect all forms of matter even at the first dot, and Forces can effect all forces as well. You still need to spend a point of Mana to cast a spell from a non-Primary arcana. For reference, the thirteen practices are:

One Dot -- Initiate -- Compelling
These are small-time manipulations of the domain of the Arcana in question. They are almost always very subtle, and within the realm of possibility. Fate might be able to force a coin flip, Forces might be able to play a soft sound or subtly alter the color of light, Matter may be able to unlock a padlock or purify water. These spells may grant dice bonuses to a single action. For each success rolled on the spell, you gain +1 dice to the specified action.

One Dot -- Initiate -- Unveiling
Unveiling spells reveal that which is hidden. They are a direct counter to the practice of Veiling. Unveiling spells give information to the Mage through various senses -- sight being the most common. If your spell can see radio waves or hear the words being transmitted within them, it's an Unveiling spell.

One Dot -- Initiate -- Knowing
Knowing spells grant you information. Life 1 can diagnose any medical issue, Death 1 can tell you how something died. These effects literally MAtrix-style implant knowledge into your head.

Two Dots -- Apprentice -- Ruling
Ruling spells are the more advanced school of Compelling spells. As a rule of thumb, Ruling spells do not alter what is there, but command and control the properties of things already present. They do not <i>change</i> the properties of their target, but they can more grossly dictate what occurs in regards to their subject. Shadows and water may be commanded to take certain shapes with Death or Matter, for instance -- and with Life, life forms may be forced to take certain actions that are entirely within their biological nature, such as to shit or sleep.

At this level of mastery, a mage's spells can add their Arcana to a specific kind of roll (typically, a singular skill) if they create a longer-lasting circumstance. For instance, a Death spell to manipulate the Shadows might be an on-going effect that adds the caster's Death dots to their Intimidation rolls.

Two Dots -- Apprentice -- Shielding
Shielding spells lock patterns in place to prevent magical tampering. Your body can be granted resistance to shapeshifting, your aura can be shielded against all magic with Prime, your mind can be shielded against mental powers with Mind. As a general rule of thumb, shielding spells reduce the dice pools of powers they protect against by an amount equal to the mage's dots in the Arcana used to create the effect. Therefore, a Mage with a Spell SHield gives a penalty equal to his dots in Prime to all incoming spell pools.

Two Dots -- Apprentice -- Veiling
Veiling spells decieve and deflect. Veiling spells can give false feedback to magical analysis of all kinds -- for instance, falsifying one's resonance, or magical fingerprints, to keep one's identity a secret. Veling spells can obfuscate the truth, make things invisible or change their appearance (note, Veiling spells only change the information and appearance of things -- it's just an illusion, for actually shifting things, you'd need a Weaving spell, below.)

Three Dots -- Disciple -- Weaving
Weaving spells are the most common kinds of spells. Weaving spells are where you are able to begin altering the pattern of a thing. While you can change the properties or design of a subject with a Weaving spell, you cannot change it's NATURE. A dog must still be a dog when the spell is over, but it might be a different breed of dog, or a blue dog, or a dog with three heads...

Three Dots -- Disciple -- Fraying
Fraying spells are spells that decay, damage, or otherwise harm their target. Not to be confused with Weaving things into a less-desirable state, Fraying spells literally rot away the integrity of a pattern. At this level, damage spells can only do Bashing (or Lethal, at the cost of one Reach.) These spells do one point of damage/decay/whatever per point of Potency the spell has. Fraying may only degrade one attribute or skill at a time.

Three Dots -- Disciple -- Perfecting
Perfecting spells are a specific kind of Weaving spell. They heal a pattern's integrity, or bolster it against Fraying. Many mages argue that Perfecting is just the flip side of the Fraying coin, but it remains one of the widely accepted quirks of Atlantean Magical Theory that this is an independant practice. Perfecting spells may increase Attributes the way that Ruling spells increase skills. Each attribute beyond the first costs an additional point of Reach.

Four Dots -- Adept -- Patterning
Patterning spells are most frequently used in combination with multiple Arcana. This kind of spell fundamentally alters the pattern of a thing: A LIfe + Matter spell might turn a dog into water. Life Patterning might turn a person into a toad, or a plant into an animal or insect of some kind.

Four Dots -- Adept -- Unraveling
Unraveling is an advanced form of Fraying. They begin at Lethal damage, may degrade multiple attributes without expending any Reach, and do Aggrivated damage if the mage spends a point of Reach and one point of Mana.

Five Dots -- Master -- Making
Making spells conjure something from nothing. They invariably cost mana.

Five Dots -- Master -- Unmaking
Unmaking spells erase things from existence entirely. They can be used to deal Aggrivated damage. They cost a point of mana.

Spell Factors
"Basic Success" means "Free."
Potency: Each point past the first (which is Basic Success) is -2 dice.

Size: Use D&D target sizes for measure. Each category beyond Large is -2 Dice. This Factor applies to shapeshifting things to new sizes, or to affecting the body of a thing, or affecting the entirety of a large object with a spell.

Non-Advanced Duration:
One Turn/Scene: Basic Success
Two Turns/Scenes: -2
Four Turns/Scenes: -4
Eight Turns/Scenes: -6
Sixteen Turns/Scenes: -8
And so on.

Advanced Duration:
One Day: Basic Success
One Week: -2
Two Weeks: -4
One Month: -6
Permanent: -8

One Target: Basic Success
Two Targets: -2
Four Targets: -4
Eight Targets: -6
Sixteen Targets: -8
And so on.

AOE Radius: Targeted spells treat AOE table as "Advanced Targets."
One Yard Radius / 5 cu. Yards: Basic Success
2-yard Radius / 10 cu. Yards: -2
4-yard Radius / 20 cu. Yards: -4
8-yard Radius / 40 cu. Yards: -6
16-yard Radius / 80 cu. Yards: -8
And so on.

Advanced AOE Radius: Targeted spells may not be upgraded to Advanced AOE.
One Yard Radius / 5 Cu. Yards: Basic Success
4-yard Radius / 20 Cu. Yards: -2
16-yard Radius / 80 Cu. Yards: -4
64-Yard Radius / 320 Cu. Yards: -6
256-Yard Radius / 1280 Cu. Yards: -8
And so on.

Spellcasting Dice: All spells have a dice pool of Gnosis + Arcana. You determine what Spell Factors you want your spell to have before the spell is cast, and take Dice penalties for those. The spell's Primary Spell Factor may be increased using dice pool decreases as normal, but exra Spell Factor alterations require the expenditure of one Reach per Factor (see below to learn about Reach.) Spell success comes in two formats: You succeeded (you gained at least one success on your roll), you failed (you garnered zero successes on your roll) or you exceptionally succeeded (you gained five or more successes on your roll.) The number of successes you roll might flavor your narrative, but all systemic effects of a spell are determined before the spell is cast. For more information, see Spell Factors, below.

Kinds of Spells: Rotes are spells that you can cast out of a book. They're following a specific recipe, with an exacting process that must be replicated every time you cast the spell. You can actually cast rotes you don't know out of scrolls, books or some other external source, but doing so must be done at ritual speed. Either way, Rotes grant the spellcaster the Rote Action bonus on their casting roll. In addition, if the Spellcaster uses the correct Mudra as a Yantra for the spellcasting (see Yantras, below), they may add their dots in the rote's suggested Skill to the rote's dice pool. In addition, when a mage casts a Rote, he is considered to be a Master for the purposes of determining his Reach (see below.)

Improvised spells are just that: Normal, every day creative thaumaturgy.

Praxis are spells that are very strongly resonant with your character. You pick one Praxis spell per dot of Gnosis you possess. Praxis spells treat all Yantras as dedicated casting tools (this means you suffer greatly reduced risks of Paradoxes on Praxis spells. See Paradox rules later on.)

Yantras: Yantras are elements of a spellcast. They are symbols, often coming in the form of tools, actions, concepts, places, environment archetypes and other things which symbolically resonate with the mage. They are a lot like the Foci of old mage. Just any old Yantra will not do, it must be something the Mage has listed on their sheet as a Yantra for their spellcasting. Each Yantra, in addition, has a conceptual purpose -- a yantra for secrets and hiding things probably can't help you with a healing spell. Yantras do not need to be dedicated, though; "churches" can be a Yantra for appropriate spells if appropriate to the Mage.

A Yantra adds +1 dice to your spellcast. Each Yantra beyond the first one you use in your spellcast adds one turn (or Ritual Casting Time increment) to the casting time of the spell. You are limited in the number of Yantras you may use in a spellcast by your Gnosis score:

Gnosis 1/2: two Yantras
Gnosis 3/4: three Yantras
Gnosis 5/6: four Yantras
Gnosis 7/8: five Yantras
Gnosis 9/10: six Yantras

In addition to your list of personally flavored Yantras, all mages have access to the following Special Yantras:

high speech -- denies the mage their reflexive Yantra, but adds two dice to a spellcast. High Speech cannot be masked or hidden, it is always obvious and blatant. It is, however, universally appropriate to all spells as a Yantra.

Mudras -- these are encoded into Rotes. Use of the rote's specific Mudras (hand motions) adds the rote's specific Skill to the spellcast.

Runes -- Must be hand-made (no mass producing them.) They add two dice rather than one, but if the runes are disturbed the spell ends.

Sympathetic Ties -- Sympathetically linked objects (a piece of the target, the target's True Name, etc) are required for sympathetic casting. Each one is otherwise a normal Yantra.

Sacraments -- Sacraments are things symbolic of the spellcast that are destroyed during the casting. These are normally one dice each, but if the Mage had to go through effort to find a specific or significant spell component, they get +2. If the item ALSO comes from a realm other than the physical world, it grants a +3 bonus.

Blood Sacrifice -- Using a blood sacrifice as a Yantra gives dice equal to the Mana it would have given otherwise. The mage must land the killing blow himself, and he gains as many dice as the victim had Health Levels. Obviously this Yantra cannot be used at instant casting speeds.

Reach: Reach is a measure of how comfortably your Mage can cast a spell without risking Paradox. The more skilled your Mage is, the more Reach he has and the less likely he is to incurr Paradoxes from casting his spells quickly or for more complicated effects. For every dot you have beyond the nescessary dots to cast a spell, you gain one extra reach. Therefore a mage casting a Life 2 spell, when he has life 3, will have two Reach (one, plus one for the extra dot in Life.)

Reach may be spent to increase Spell Factors, including factors other than the spell's Primary Spell Factor.
Reach may be spent to cast an auto-hit spell at Sensory range (by default, the mage must cast on himself or at Touch Range unless he 'throws' his spell with a Dex + Athletics - Defense - Range penalties roll, which takes an additional action and may only be done on targets within line of sight.)
Reach may be spent to cast a spell at Instant speed rather than the default Ritual speed.
Reach may be spent to access Extended/Advanced Spell Factors.
A point of Reach and a point of Mana may be spent in order to incorperate your Universal Attainments into your spells (Sympathetic range, hanging spells, conditional durations.)
Reach may be spent to access any feature of a spell that the 1st edition nWoD Mage book describes with a "With +1 dots, the mage may _______".

You can spend more Reach than you have on any spell you like. However, each Reach beyond your normal limit incurs +1 Paradox Dice to the Paradox Dice Pool. For more information, see below.

Paradox pools are three-parts: Overspending Reach (explained in Reach), Sleeper Witnesses, and a bonus amount of Dox based on your Gnosis. Whenever the character threatens a Paradox (whether because they are casting a Sympathetic spell, they have sleeper witnesses or have over-spent their Reach) they must calculate the total Dox Dice they need to roll.

Sleeper witnesses increase the Dox dice pool by 1. A small group of witnesses makes the Dox pool 9-again. A large group of people makes the Dox pool 8-again. A massive crowd of sleeper witnesses gives the Dox pool the Rote Action quality.

Each point of Reach overspent becomes one additional Paradox Die.

Each previous Paradox Roll the mage has had to make in this scene adds one Paradox Die to his current roll.

Finally, before any reductions to the dice pool are applied, the Mage has a starting amount of Paradox added to his spell to begin with based on his Gnosis:

1-2: +1
3-4: +2
5-6: +3
7-8: +4
9-10: +5

The use of a Dedicated Tool Yantra reduce the Paradox Dice pool by 2. You may spend Mana 1-for-1 to reduce paradox dice. Paradox Dice pools may never be lowered beyond 1 die (they cannot become a Chance Die.)

Whenever a Mage is about to roll a Paradox Dice pool, he is aware that the Abyss has noticed him. He then has a conscious decision to make: Either contain the Paradox, or release it. Releasing a Paradox is a breaking point for all mages.

If he chooses to contain a Paradox, he rolls his Wisdom score. Each success on this roll allows him to absorb one point of Paradox as a point of resistant bashing damage. Any Paradox that he does not absorb becomes a Paradox Flaw, as determined by the player/ST dependant on the Arcana of the spell. Each time a Paradox flaw causes problems for a mage, they gain an Arcane Beat.

If the mage choses to release a Paradox, each success of Paradox becomes a free point of Reach. This point of Reach may be spent on spell factors the mage did not intend to have spent anything on. These points of Reach may also cancel out points of Reach that the mage has willingly spent. This can result in spells targeting extra unintended targets or targeting the mage rather than his targets, creating unexpectedly short or long spells -- or worse, spells that are far more or less potent than desired. In addition, each point of Reach from Paradox may instead cause some magical mishap to occur; reality warps and bends and behaves unexpectedly as a Paradox takes place.

Paradox Dice never drop below 1. Paradox Dice pools may not be reduced to a Chance Die.

Spell Control: A mage may maintain a number of spells equal to his Gnosis without releasing them. Beyond that, every spell he casts costs an additional point of Reach for reach spell over his Gnosis he goes.

Willpower: A character may claim a point of Willpower whenever they take an action that drives the story or a scene which embodies their Vice. They may refill all spent willpower when they embody their Virtue in some way that drives the story or scene. They may gain a point of Willpower whenever they fulfill a significant goal or obtain a significant victory. Characters do not gain Willpower for a night's rest.

Beats and XP
Three Beats = one XP (can only be spent on non-magical stats). Three Arcane Beats = one Arcane XP (can only be spent on magical stats.)

A mage earns an Arcane Beat under the following conditions:
  • A Paradox Flaw hinders them or gets in the way of the story.
  • A magical condition drives the scene forward at some point.
  • The characters encounter a strange, new magical phenominon.
  • A Paradox is released and manifests in the world.
  • The character solves a supernatural mystery that they knew about before the scene began.

A mage earns a Mundane Beat under the following conditions:
  • Logs for the scene are posted to the forums.
  • The character fulfills some goal they had before the start of the scene.
  • A Condition or other mechanic instructs the players to gain a beat.
  • The mage voulentarily converts a failure to a botch in a way that drives the scene.
  • A character exceptionally succeeds on a roll in a way that drives the scene.

XP Costs:
1: Rote or Merit (per dot)
1: Specialty
2: Skill
2: Wisdom (per dot)
2: Recover spent Willpower (per dot)
3: Ruling arcana
4: Common arcana
5: Inferior Arcana
4: Attribute
5: Gnosis
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Plot Threads

Postby admin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:39 pm

Dodge City Blues
The city of Dodge is a neutral force in the War. It's got railroads going through all kinds of places, and it sees all kinds of traffic with all kinds of loyalties and agendas. This makes it a hell of a place. Both the Confederacy and the Union are of the belief that Dodge is so central that it has a lot of strategic value. But a frontal assault serves nobody any real purpose -- so each faction is making much more subtle attempts to claim the city.

No, this isn't sunnydale, either, goddamnit
Something about Dodge keeps attracting the attention of critters and vermin that ain't supposed to be. It's happening with more frequency. What's worse, all these monsters keep terrorizin' the lower classes o' folk, hitting poor houses and murderin' the kinda people ain't nobody gonna miss. Seems a bit organized.

The Mad Inventor
Dr. Cox is a strange man, for sure. He's got all these mad-crazy designs he calls Science, and maybe the common folk accept that as an explanation, but those with an eye for Magic know better. The problem is that Cox is mortal, ain't done nothin' wrong... but his inventions are kinda creepy. Clockwork men, steam-driven devices that do the impossible. He's set himself up quite nice and cozy with money from his inventions so far, and just keeps gettin' wierder as time goes by, like he's slowly losin' his mind...
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Postby admin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:40 pm

Blackwater Clan
These mofo's ain't up to no good. They're composed mostly of mortal thugs and Thaumaturgists in service to some dark entity. Maybe a demon or a spirit, we don't know. What we do know is that if you need mooks, badguys, these boys are more than usable. They specialize at infiltrating other societies by converting members of armies, werewolf packs, mage cabals, you name it -- and you can never quite kill them all off. Hail Hydra and all that nonsense.

George Goodman
Mr. Goodman is the owner of the Goodman Ranch. He and the Sherrif don't like each other much. Goodman is a fat, gluttonous jerk who cares about money, food and women. He's a hell of a businessman, well aware of how to push people's buttons and use their desires against themselves. He's made a lot of enemies but he's also made a lot of friends. He's not stupid. He's not violent -- himself -- but that doesn't stop him from being unafraid of the darkness the world can offer him.

After all, if it exists, Goodman can profit from it somehow.

The Sherrif
Old Man Horton is a rough-and-tumble guy, the type who enjoys hands-on Justice. If he thinks you're trouble, he and his deputees will give you two strikes before they start kickin' you out. And they will come for you, physically, like a gang, and throw your ass over the town's borders. They see you around again, they start takin' prisoners.

Really though, Sherrif Horton ain't a bad guy. He's just lost so many innocent people that he's startin' to reconsider this whole "Three strikes" thing. Truth be told he can't abandon that rule, though -- 'cause the first day he zero-strikes a Confederate or Union soldier, that's the day people start talkin' that Dodge City's finally taken a side.

Sherrif knows a lot more than he lets on when it comes to the Supernatural. His deputees seem to be in the dark, and Sherrif plays mighty dumb. But he knows the world ain't what it seems.

The Deputees
There's a bunch of 'em. Takes more than two people to run a city. Off 'em if you like. Or take one in as your very own PC. They're there to protect and serve the mortals of Dodge City, and they try their hardest to do just that.

Dr. Cox
The Mad Scientist himself. He suffers a little from hallucinations and the occasional bout of Aphasia, and he's usually very much lost in the blueprints for one of his doomed Grand Designs. But as of late, his crazy ideas have been less and less doomed. He's lost himself in his work more and more. Most people who want to see Dr. Cox need to see his gorgeous little assistant, Moxie, instead.

Moxie is a ghoul. Not Dr. Cox's, but her actual employer does enjoy the ability to keep an eye on the newly lucrative Mad Scientist, whoever he is... Moxie has two skill sets: A cunning mind and sex appeal. She uses them both to deadly effect.

Moxie's True Employer
A mysterious man who never shows his face, and instead works through pawns of all kinds.

Muggles: The Union
Suppose these will never get used because every PC and their mother refuses to have a political affiliation, but if they ever do get used these guys are here. They range from civilian loyalists to soldiers to generals to spies. There are Union Saloons throughout the town where you can find them for certain.

Muggles: The Confederacy
Suppose these will never get used because every PC and their mother refuses to have a political affiliation, but if they ever do get used these guys are here. They range from civilian loyalists to soldiers to generals to spies. There are Confederate Saloons throughout the town where you can find them for certain.
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Postby admin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:41 pm

The Jail
This is where Horton keeps folks who act up. Usually they're thrown in the cell for a night, maybe a few days, before bein' let go -- that's when they get their strikes.

Boot Hill
Boot Hill is a saloon that shows no loyalty to one side of the War or the other. It's the most popular joint in town for all folks, particularly spies, saloon girls, cowpokes lookin' for saloon girls, and supernatural folk looking to hear the right bits of gossip -- or share them.

The Train Station
Dodge City sees a lot of folks comin' and goin'. This is how they get and go. Makes it prime feedin' ground for critters who like that sorta thing, as well as prime ground for the various supernaturally aware folks to hunt critters.

The Frozen Hallow
Not far outside of town the PC's have discovered a 5-point Hallow that is frozen in time from the days of Pangea. What strange properties it might have, nobody knows. It's warded, though, as to prevent it from attracting undue attention. Seems to have worked... so far.

Goodman Ranch
Goodman's Ranch is where a lot of locals get their work as ranch-hands, cowboys, and even on occasion hired guns meant to protect things they ain't told nothin' about.
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Re: Civil War

Postby admin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:41 pm

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Postby admin » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:30 pm

1) Sleepy Hallow
Darla and Corben locate a powerful Hallow that seems to be frozen in time. Darla wards it so nobody but her can physically find it. The two then set off for Dodge.

Locations added: The Hallow
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