Yes, I’m behind on the old production schedule this year but that means the end of the year is going to see a whole flurry of activity. So here it it my own little supplement/fanzine for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets.
Back Alleys has three new archetypes (The Chosen One, The Average Joe, and The Face). Some nasty artifacts like Grandma’s Butcher Knife and the Necromonicon Ex Dementia. Plus a host of monsters inspired by some classic horror movies.
Enjoy! You can find it right here on DrivethruRPG.
So I’m working on a little supplement/fanzine for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets. The current working title is Back Alleys. So I figured I share a little preview of one of things coming up.
Possession and Exorcism
Damage Resistant: When a Possessing Entity is inhabiting a host, it (and the host) take half damage from mundane attacks. If the entity is expelled/exorcised then it is immaterial and immune from damage from mundane attacks.
Possession: The entity may take over the body of a mortal and inhabit it. Can be resisted with a successful WILL Test.
Poltergeist: The Possessing Entity may hurl loose objects doing base damage based on its HD. A successful AGILITY Test halves the damage.
A New Gift/Ritual
Exorcism is an exhausting ritual that takes PL Hours to cast. It will expel a Possessing Entity of PL HD. The Entity may resist with a WILL Test (assume 10+HD Willpower). If the caster increases the PL above the Entity’s HD then the Entity resists as per the Powerful Enemy rule.
Right now, I’m working on three new archetypes, some magical artifacts and host of horrors to disembowel the player characters. And yes there’s something for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells but more that later.
So even more rants on New Bay City and Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. This week I want talk about Black Magic and Haywire. Both of these are standard tropes. How many times have read/heard something like vile arcane rituals? How about the characters are running away from the monster and the car doesn’t start? Both of those are examples. It’s not secret that I’m a fan of the Dresden Files and both of these things figure prominently in the books.
Now, Black Magic doesn’t need too much of tweak. There’s already plenty of Gifts that cause automatic Corruption or Sanity loss. However, (just based on my own interpretation) a few more should have that caveat. Namely, Cannibalize and Transfer Life. Of course, there may be more but that should be based on the Concept being used for the Character and for the Gift.
Now on to Haywire. Yes, this plays big into the Dresden Files. I also remember from Pacesetter Games’ Creature Feature. So I’m approaching this two ways. First, Gifted Characters that don’t have the Haywire Gift. It’s just a form backlash. Screw up a spell and trash everybody’s cell phone, laptop. or whatever high tech device happens to be around. And there’s the actual gift.
This gift disrupts the use of high tech devices within medium range for PL turns. Maybe resisted with a successful Luck check.
Pretty simple actually and I’ve got a few more random thoughts to throw out there. So this campaign might be postponed a bit. We do an alternating GM thing in our group. One GM one week, then the other the next. It works and helps reduce GM burnout. But one thing we do is avoid very similar campaigns. That’s so the players don’t get confused about what’s going on and keeps the games and genres fresh. So he’s wanting to run Scion. And folks are pretty excited about it. So this may get postponed a bit. But that doesn’t mean my ideas will. So stay tuned for more. And it just may mean I start blogging about my brainstorming for another campaign.
If you’ve been following along I’m converting/resurrecting the old New Bay City campaign for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. The first time I ran this setting it was with World of Darkness then I ran with the Dresden Files RPG. Each time I’ve made some tweaks to the universe based on the game mechanics. This time it ain’t any different.
Vampires and Werewolves are pretty much stock creatures and sometimes even player characters. One of the things that they usually have in common is that they were once regular mortal humans and then something happened. Some fight against their respective supernatural natures and others may relish or even be consumed by it. Plus each of these types has a buckets of folklore attached to them. So how I am going to throw this into Dark Streets & Darker Secrets? Corruption.
OK, I already did a rant on expanding the Gifted Class and in a way this is an expansion on that. Lets’ take a very common example and run with it. Vampires and sunlight. In most games/factions, young vampires poof if they even smell sunlight and older/ancient vampires can tolerate it. In this iteration of New Bay City, the opposite is true. That young (low level/HD) vampire has some of the strengths but those weaknesses are the result of Corruption. A Vampire has lots of hang ups that probably means that they are a bad ass and be thankful for those weaknesses. However, that extra that plays into why there is so much different lore out there. Each is sort of unique in their set of disadvantages.
This is only something that would apply to the “Blooded” types as I rambled about in The Gifted Expanded post not anything that’s purely supernatural. I may do some specific charts but I also grabbing something that seems most appropriate to the specific situation when things go horribly wrong. So here’s the lists of that I’ll be using for inspiration by type. And is no way complete and other changes/tweaks will be based on specific characters.
Vampires: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted Blood, Allergic Sunlight, Allergic Garlic, Need to be Invited, Aversion Mirrors, Smell of the Grave/Cadverous.
Werewolf/Lycanthrope: Animal Antipathy, Allergic Silver, Addiction Raw Meat, Full Moon/The Beast Within, Feral Appearance
Changeling: Allergic Cold Iron, Need to Tell the Truth, Aversion Holy, “Alien” Appearance.
Cambion: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted to Sin, Smell of Brimstone, Demonic Features.
Nephilim: Overzealous Virtue, Aversion Unholy, Angelic Features.
And that’s this week’s rant on New Bay City. Enjoy! Oh and here’s my scribbled map of New Bay City.
I continue to work on my campaign for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. One thing I want to talk about now is overall world setting and factions.
The biggest difference (IHMO) in this setting is that there aren’t any huge international conspiracies or group. Most of the supernatural factions hold or at least vie for power on a much more local level. But that doesn’t mean that such large organizations don’t exist. But generally the more territory a group tries to cover, the thinner their power is spread. So let’s talk about the big groups first in this post.
1. The Inquisition*: Yes, the Vatican knows about the supernatural and tries to keep things in check. With that being said, The Inquisition may be far reaching internationally, it’s also one of the smallest group. The group is intentionally kept small. It’s easier to maintain secrecy and security that way. While they get some legal leeway thanks to the Church, they don’t get that much. And generally to maintain some plausible deniability, members of the Inquisition are usually “excommunicated” or “defrocked”. The modern Inquisition isn’t a crazed fanatical organization. They are more about protecting the innocents than just hunting monsters because they are monsters. They know they are outnumbered. Inspiration: John Carpenter’s Vampires, Bloody Mallory.
2. The Wardens: Yes, I took the name from the Dresden Files. This is a loose network of civilian monster hunters. They generally work alone or in small teams. There is no real organization or hierarchy. Wardens are up to their own devices as far as financing their own operations. Compared to the Inquisition, the Wardens have a much deeper connection with the Supernatural world having contacts and informants to keep tabs on the happenings in the shadows. Because of this many Wardens also end up acting as diplomats or at least neutral parties between the local factions. If a Warden takes up permanent residence in a large city, they make it their territory acting as sort of sheriff, judge, jury, execution, and as said before diplomat. Inspirations: Grimm, Buffy, Supernatural, Lost Boys (The Frog Brothers).
3. The Network: Law enforcement isn’t totally ignorant of the Supernatural but they really can’t say or do anything officially. That doesn’t keep various law enforcement officials from various jurisdictions from sharing information and offering insight into what might be going on. The few members of the Network probably know the least, they do their best to keep too much mundane crimes with supernatural connections under control. Inspiration: Twin Peaks, True Detective, X-Files
And yes, there some specific local factions in New Bay City but that’s for the next post.
*It’s a fictional world, ok? It doesn’t reflect the real world.
Just what the hell is Appendix V? Well, us old grognards know Appendix N from the original DMG. Well, Appendix V is sort of like a list of inspirations but in this case the V stands for Video. So sit back and grab a gander at some of the video inspirations for New Bay City. I won’t go into each and every one but try to hit some of the possibly lesser know or at least one’s I like a lot.
I’d say the biggest influence is The Dresden Files. Unfortunately, the short lived series wasn’t that great. The fans did make a decent trailer.
But then fans also made some pretty shorts too.
And there’s the possibility of a reboot and Jim Butcher has confirmed it on reddit.
Of course, you can’t talk about the modern urban fantasy genre without mentioning Buffy. But remember it was movie before it was a TV series. Crap, vampire PeeWee Herman.
Lost Girl was great series at least for the first season. It did go a little down hill after that IHMO.
Hey remember this Marvel Movie? Yeah, Blade. It was a TV Series too.
Let’s head across the pond for a bit. First up, Bloody Mallory. A really low-budget French film.
But if you want something just plain awesome and higher up on the way cool list. There’s Nightwatch. This is a damned good Russian film. And this is one of those few cases where the movie is much better than the trailer.
Everything doesn’t have to be serious. Everybody knows Army of Darkness and Big Trouble in Litte China but how about some Lesbian Vampire Killers. Really.
And I’m not limiting it TV and Movies. There was (or maybe still is) an MMO called Secret World. I’ve never played it but the cinematic trailers rocked.
So there you go. By no means the complete list and may some of it inspire you as well.
I’m still working on a bunch of stuff for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. I wanted to play around a bit with the Gifted Class to define it a little more precisely for how it would fit into New Bay City. The class pretty much stands as it but where I’m really tweaking it is in the area of Supernatural Heritages. I’m putting them into three broad groups or dare I say sub-classes. The Gifted, The Blooded and The Cursed.
First, instead of rolling the player gets to choose and I’m doing a few little tweaks and changes to their specific boons too. So here’s the list.
Magic-User (Witch, Warlock, Sorcerer, Shaman, Wizard, etc): Same as The Witch in the Core Book. But remember player may be a bit more creative with Familiars.
Psychic: Gain the Minor Psychic ability as I blogged about before.
Nephilim: As Celestial in the Core Book.
Cambion: As Daemon in the Core Book.
Changeling: As Serpent Man from the Core Book.
Vampire: As Vampire in the Core Book.
Lycanthrope: Keen senses. Gain Positive Die to perception tests a number times per session equal to half their level/HD.
The Magic-User and Psychic run as they would straight out of the book. But the others get a few little extra setbacks and tweaks. Of course, all of this is up to the GM’s discretion. First up Powers. It needs to fit with the concept of the character. Change Body doesn’t make sense for Werewolf but Ferocity or Augmented Strength does. Some gifts should be redefined as “Self Only”. Continuing on with the previous of example, sure that Werewolf could have Augmented Strength but they couldn’t “cast” it on another character. So when a Power is redefined as Self Only, the character gains a Positive Die activate it. All other rules to using Powers apply.
Backlash and Corruption: Here’s where I think that it gets interesting. Like the Powers, Backlash and Corruption should fit the character’s theme. Werewolves get more feral, hirsute, affected by the phases of the moon, animals may start to react badly to them, silver may become a problem. And, well, Vampires will there’s a whole laundry list things a creative GM could use. There’s plenty of lore.
That’s bleeding beta of the idea. Sure there will probably be some changes before the dice hit the table.