Goetia: The Weird West
Name: The Weird West
Opening ETA: Somewhere around May
Seeking: Storytellers & Admins
Location: Tombstone, Arizona and the surrounding areas
When: May 1881
What: Magic (completely homebrew) + Cowboys
Who: The Hashknife Regulators
Setting: Many men and women attempt to lay claim the nearby mines for wealth, power, and property. This is all thrown in disarray when they find an ancient box. When opened a rush of energy and light floods the mines, and in turn kills the eleven men and women within. This surge of energy unleashed unseen power in the human population and is now dubbed The Harrowing. Many beasts in the world have changed: some for the better, many for the worse. What's worst is this change has established a sense of lawlessness and fear across the known world, and humanity is fighting for survival or relative normalcy once more. A few even whisper of this being the end times.
Themes: Mystery: No one actually knows what happened, or why. Magic and magical animals now permeate the world, and no one flatly knows the cause outside of Tombstone. There are theories bandied about, of course, but no one truth may be right. The worst change of comes in the form of Hexen. Alien creatures hellbent on the death and destruction of humanity, and their frightening immunity to magic.
Themes: The Black Book: The Black Book is the standing repository of all knowledge of The Harrowing, and changes found in the immediate area. It is also a metaphorically living document, and information is almost constantly being added to it. The biggest necessitates for filling out more are research, autopsy, and plain experience with the changes wrought by The Harrowing.
Themes: Circling the Wagons: Even if you're not from Tombstone, you've a vested interest in its protection. Most of the surrounding towns have turned away or murdered anyone with any measure of magical ability, and a lone magician is simply prey for Hexen. However, Tombstone provides sanctuary even if you're only paying lip service to the Regulators.
Themes: The Good: People with magic are propositioned, strong-armed, and forced into the Regulators. The Regulators are a posse and militia of sorts headed by Tombstone's former sheriff Kelly Whitman. The Regulators serve as law enforcement, and double down as the standing defense against Hexen and the changed fera of the world.
Themes: The Bad: There are some people who'd take advantage of The Harrowing, and target innocents either with magic or good, old-fashioned robbery. While the law isn't what it used to be, there are bounties up and requests for returning stolen goods or avenging deaths.
Themes: The Ugly: Hexen are the primary threat to living, let alone peace, and seem to revel in this fact. No one knows their wants, their needs, or what are their true aims. However, one thing is true: they want every human in Tombstone. Hexen are humanoid beings covered in pale white skin, coal-black overlarge bug eyes,
- Deadlands & other books/games/movies: I've been asked a few times over by people that have seen a few previews, but this isn't an adaptation of Deadlands or any other settings. I've yet to read such material, but will give it a go down the line.
- The only required book is Chronicles of Darkness, but we will be adapting some of the Mental, Physical, Social, and Fighting Merits from Hurt Locker on a case by case basis.
- XP: XP will be fairly low, but can be passively gained. Everyone starts with 1XP, passively gains XP that goes down over time, and active XP gains (the usual Beat gains) are capped at 1XP per week.
Any questions, thoughts, or opinions are welcome. I also have a preview on a few things.
Mechanically, Mana is the power battery in use on Goetia. It serves to fuel most spells, and allows the healing of minor (read: Bashing) wounds on a 1:1 basis. Mana as a trait is defined by a combination of your Presence, Strength, and Intelligence. When used only one may be spent per turn, and in turn things that require the expenditure of 2 or more mana will take longer than a usual instant action to fulfill. Characters regain 1 Mana per day, and when regaining Willpower from their Vice or Virtue may instead regain an equivalent amount of Mana.
In universe Mana is rarely called as such aside from Dr. König and a few of the extremely religious sorts. It's often called Oomph, Power, and occasionally Blessings. Spending it has a tangible feeling akin a light feeling of contentment not unlike enjoying a light snack or warm water on the skin after a hard day. When regaining this contentedness grows to something akin to consuming a large, enjoyable meal or the feeling of accomplishment after a difficult task.
Mana itself has no physical presence aside from occasional flare ups only seen in ones aura (possible by Ocularia's Soul Sight). When made manifest by itself it appears in a similar fashion to ignus fatus or the will of the wisp. A soft, disembodied light seen as a gift from on high. However, these stray bits of mana are only seen in the nests and homes of Hexen, and actually getting your hands on bits of it may prove a greater risk than necessary.
Location: Fort Huachuca (modern day Sierra Vista)
Formerly a military instiliation and fort Fort Huachuca was a place with as much of a future as Tombstone. However, The Harrowing brought chaos to the fort and burgeoning town, and now it serves as a reminder of what lawlessness brings. Aside from a few squatters Fort Huachca and Sierra Vista is home to a two dozen ro so ghosts. Ghosts are slivers of a soul left to wander the earthly plane, and denied their greater reward. Communication with such beings is nearly impossible, and every recored interaction ends in confusion or violence.
The ghosts of Fort Huachuca are languid, and treat any approaching caster as something to ignore. Mortals, however, are watched from afar with awe and precaution. Despite the casters potentially having more power over them, its the relatively mundane they fear the most.
NPC: Doctor Hans König
Dr. Hans König was formerly a by the numbers physician with a few strange predilections. Many thought the doctor was simply a blasphemer searching for a few strange things in the normal populace, but after The Harrowing it appears he may have been right on some level. The second-generation German-American is one of the foremost minds post-Harrowing despite his apparant lack of any magical aptitude and the progenitor of The Bad Book.
The good doctor is often performing some manner of experiment with any caster brave enough to volunteer or performing some manner of upkeep on the Bad Book. He enjoys the occasional autopsy of any changed beast brought to him, and as a strange love for coffee that borders on addiction. He still performs his former duties, and considers the town of Tombstome is home. As such he believes he as just as much a right to protect it as he knows how, and is often seen as the primary advocate for the small, normal populace.
Saturnagogy: the study and power of turning one’s magic upon themselves, and releasing it through their pores as a liquid or pheromones. The act itself is said to bring a heady sensation similar to drinking, but König can’t functionally prove this just yet. The spells within this classification empower Saturnagogues in a myriad of ways, and often affect the humors of others. While the liquids created are mildly poisonous to any but the creator they have certain uses when combined with alcohol.
Is this an original theme game or is it based on a system of some kind that I've never heard of?
Either way, color me interested.
Sounds like an interesting setting. I definitely give props for trying something unusual.
@Monogram Weird West is an original theme that'll be using Chronicles of Darkness (2e core book) with a heavy change to how ephemerals (sans Angels) work, where they come from, and what they do..
Alien creatures hellbent on the death and destruction of humanity, and their frightening immunity
Probably want to finish that sentence.
Saturnagogy is solid-ish but could use improvement in a few places. Saint Vitus Dance, for example: if you're into Saturnagogy you can make a target of 3 as an Extended Action basically guaranteed with Stamina 2, Athletics 1, Saturnagogy 1 alone - maybe just say it takes a round or a minute or whatever instead. But Saint Vitus' Dance has the greater issue that literally no one is ever going to activate anything that hits them for 2L per turn. Even for doubled Defense, given that you're spending an action to turn it on (unless you distill it I guess) and that you're taking probably a fourth of your health every turn it's a bad deal. I also don't like blanket doubling things but that's just me. I'd say drop it to 1L/turn and have it add your Saturnagogy to Initiative, Speed, and Defense instead of doubling those values.
Pungent Perfume seems like an obvious thing to just run forever and when things are obvious to run forever I sometimes wonder why they have stuff like activations and costs at all since you're going to do it exactly once, when you get the power, unless there's dispellation or a limit on active powers or it ties up the Mana or some other reason to ever stop using it. Does the boosted attribute affect your Mana, since that's apparently based on your Power Attributes?
Puissant Panacea is first of all not a Panacea and second of all should not be listed as Indefinite because it isn't.
Dragon Breath needs ranges.
Magical Distillation - first, you need to specify an action for consuming potions. Big difference in value if you're consuming Reflexive abilities Instantly (IE, you won't do that, but allies can still benefit) or if you're consuming Instant potions Reflexively (IE, yeah you want to do that). Second, 30 successes on an Extended Roll is brutal. Doable, but brutal. You can conceivably start from a base pool of 10 but realistically you want like 15 for insurance, every roll. Also, it needs a roll interval - hours?
Does Sanguine Frenzy really need a roll? I guess you can fail it with wound penalties, but if your base pool is 7 dice you're still probably good to go at -3. IMHO just make it diceless.
Thank you, @Dracula. RE: The things mentioned.
- The mentioned quote has been corrected. I didn't even realize I missed that in c/p.
- Saint Vitus Dance has been changed into reflexive with only a cost of 1 mana per turn (since Mana in and of itself is difficult to gain outside of daily regen), and does 2B per turn.
- Puissant Perfume is meant to be something you can possibly run forever if you so choose. The caveat is the high mana cost, chance for failure, and that all 3 Attribute buffing spells can't all be on at once (Perfected Perspicuity in Ocularia for mental attributes and Fine Fettle in Restoration for physical attributes). You are also most def right on it not needing to be extended. The mana cost is enough.
- Puissant Panacea was simply a working name, and, honestly, I've yet to come up with a better name.
- Dragon Breath's ranges are 10/30/50.
- Use of a tincture made by magical distillation is instant. 30 successes is reachable if you have Stamina 3, Athletics 3, and Saturnagogy 3. Without a specialty that's 9 dice, and your average would be 27 successes if you opted not to use Willpower. If you throw in a specialty for 10 dice that average shoots to 30 without Willpower.
This does highlight that I didn't note how things work with Paths, dots, CG, etc.
You start with three dots for Paths. One of them must go to your Defined Path, and no other path can ever be higher than your Defined Path. Your starting Spells comes from your Defining Path, the Path of your second Path dot (so if your 2nd dot is put in your Defining Path you get another Spell from there), and one from any Path of your choosing.
Dots in your Defined Path costs 4xp, and those outside of it cost 5xp. Spells don't require dots in a given Path. Spells in your Defined Path cost 2xp, and spells outside of that cost 3xp. On top of this whenever you take a dot in a Path you receive a free Spell from that Path.
Last bit of spam, next preview will likely be up Sunday.