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RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by Claive on March 24, 2017, 11:01:58 AM »
The five questions
5. Crossover Adventure : Who did you work with in your greatest adventure so far? What happened in the adventure? You should pick another player character as your associate and incorporate them into the adventure.

His best friend Mark is a middle aged man who was subjected to the Infernal School Bus (like the Magic School Bus teaching children the dark arts).

I love his answers to the questions and his motivations.

But all of that got overshadowed by the Infernal School Bus. Is that in this thread somewhere? I want to steal and use it. It's just so versatile of an idea.

Nope, it is an idea fresh from my brain.  I haven't fleshed it out any further than you see here.  Feel free to adapt it to your needs.

I love the idea of the kid going "oh not another field trip" getting stuck next to a lake of fire having to recite an incantation to stay alive and finally getting back to earth ten or twenty years later to find that Ragnarok has taken place.

Or alternately mix it with the old idea that the devil teaches sorcerers in a class where the slowest student of every class looses their soul, so a child is sacrificed on every "field trip".

For some reason I like my base raiders grounded, gritty and dark :-)
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by clockworkjoe on March 24, 2017, 02:48:36 AM »
Keep in mind the Underground is a non-human organization and humans are usually viewed with suspicion, until they prove themselves. There are several factions that want to kill or enslave humanity and virtually every magical creature is afraid of being enslaved by human wizards or destroyed so their body parts can be used as magical power sources. That being said, obviously heroic magical Underground members would want to recruit heroic human magic users, but Crpytomancer could easily gain a lot of enemies in the Underground.

Also, the feds will try to shut OpenSorcery down ASAP, so it will have to be a darknet site.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by Teapot on March 24, 2017, 02:29:48 AM »
The five questions
5. Crossover Adventure : Who did you work with in your greatest adventure so far? What happened in the adventure? You should pick another player character as your associate and incorporate them into the adventure.

His best friend Mark is a middle aged man who was subjected to the Infernal School Bus (like the Magic School Bus teaching children the dark arts).

I love his answers to the questions and his motivations.

But all of that got overshadowed by the Infernal School Bus. Is that in this thread somewhere? I want to steal and use it. It's just so versatile of an idea.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by fearjunkie on March 21, 2017, 06:25:42 PM »
Came up with an NPC concept I enjoyed too much to not share.

Alias: Cryptomancer (seldom used since the creation of OpenSorcery)
(Medium Power character)
Name: John Zamora

Before Ragnarok, John was a hacker for a cause. The cause tended to change from week to week, but he wanted to fight against corruption and speak truth to power- even if that meant leaking a few secrets to the press. However, it was after Ragnarok that he dipped his toes into the waters of magic. During a sleepless night, he was browsing torrent sites when he came across an intriguing PDF scan of an ancient grimoire. On a whim, he downloaded the file and read it, finding himself fascinated by the text. He began binge-reading all he could find on the subject of magic, scouring countless deep web sites for what base raider groups called 'the real deal'. However, it was the early days of base raiding, and there wasn't much to read. Wanting more, he decided to take up base raiding on his own. Though he barely got out alive of his first job, he managed to get a couple tomes out of a sorceror's sanctum. But instead of just keeping the books for himself, he made scans of them and uploaded them so others could read it. This generated a lot of good will towards John, which gave him an idea. He called up a few of his hacker colleagues, got a server up and running, and established OpenSorcery. Originally intended to just be a database of digitized spellbooks and grimoires, it expanded to include a forum for self-taught sorcerors and professional practitioners to discuss working with magic, and even a resources site for raiders seeking help with magically-inclined bases.

It was then that John decided to stop base raiding and manage OpenSorcery full time. He put out what's now referred to as the 'OpenSorcery Manifesto': a short text document outlining OpenSorcery's mission: to teach everyone willing and able how to utilize magic and become empowered through the mystical arts. As John put it, with the superheroes gone, it was up to the civilians to protect the world from danger, and the best way to do that was to promote what he called 'arcane literacy'. The Manifesto's release was quickly noticed by the Underground and became quite a divisive subject: some thought John was an altruist, some thought he was just doing it for attention, and some thought he was just being foolish. However, nobody could deny that OpenSorcery had become something big, and they invited John to join them. Finding himself thrust into the spotlight and unsure, John asked the members of OpenSorcery if they were willing to work with the Underground. Though some hesitated, citing concerns about their privacy and possible censorship of OpenSorcery content, most viewed collaboration as the best way to fulfill the plan laid out in the Manifesto. So, John accepted the invitation and relocated to The Underground, making connections with some of the movers and shakers there. Now, he contracts out to other base raiders, requesting the retrieval of spellbooks and other bits of magical knowledge so he may archive it for everyone else to see.

Magic User: eBook of Thoth
Background: Hacktivist
Conviction: Promote Arcane Literacy
Obsession: Arcane Knowledge Wants To Be Free
Aspect: Founder of OpenSorcery
Conviction: There's So Much Work To Be Done
Aspect: Always Question Authority
Complication: Mystics Hate Him! Technocrats Hate Him Too!

Great (+4): Computers
Good (+3): Computer Integrated Ritual Array (S),
Fair (+2): Wizrd App (E), Resolve,
Average: Empathy, Investigation

Unique and Strange Skills[/b]

Computer Integrated Ritual Array
Power Tier: Superhuman (-2 refresh)
Craft, Dismantle, Examine, Information, Repair, Research
Major Delay
Room-Sized (As per Vintage Villainy)
Cost: 2 Skill points (6 trappings, -2 for Ritual, -2 for Major Delay, -3 for Room Sized)

A sprawling, tangled mess of occult paraphernalia and modified computers fills the workroom. The Computer Integrated Ritual Array (or CIRA for short) is proof of John's theory that arcane principles and computer programming have tangible parallels. Though it's essentially permanently located in John's basement (and taking up almost the entirety of said basement), it proves invaluable in John's work and functions like any ritual magic set up.

Wizrd App
Power Tier: Extraordinary (-1 Refresh)
Variable X 3
Minor Focus: Modified smartphone
Cost: 9 Skill points (Variable X3, -2 for Spell, -1 for Minor Focus)

Having been too slow on the draw with a spell more than a few times, John developed a program he could load into a phone that uses non-Euclidean geometric calculations and various ancient mathematical systems to do the brunt of the work for him, allowing him to cast spells with a single tap.

OpenSorcery Network
Power Tier: Extraordinary (-1 Refresh)
Esteem, Influence, Networking
Minor Complication: Mystics Hate Him! Technocrats Hate Him Too!
Conviction: There's So Much Work To Be Done
Cost: 1 Skill point (3 trappings, -1 for Minor Complication, -2 for Conviction)

As founder of OpenSorcery, John has amassed influenced within the Underground, perhaps even being on speaking terms with Iconoclast and Beatrice. As a result, he's able of calling favors in from OpenSorcery members, who are more than happy to help. However, not everyone approves of John's philosophy towards how the arcane arts are to be used. Veteran Mystics in particular strongly dislike John's work. They find his mixing of technology and magic obscene, and view his mission of giving the secrets of magic to the masses as a threat to their plans. The Technocrats despise John even more, as they find his willingness to 'corrupt' technology with something as chaotic as magic as the work of a dangerous fool.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by clockworkjoe on March 21, 2017, 12:43:21 AM »
I like that Quantum Kid is fairly down to earth as Base Raiders PCs goes - just a kid hooked up with some super drugs. Good idea for a power too.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by Claive on March 20, 2017, 01:53:06 PM »
Alias: The Quantum Kid #7
Name: Nat Adams

Super Genius: Nootropics are the new children’s vitamins
Background: Middle school A- student
Conviction: Continue my education.
Aspect: I have read ALL of the classics
Aspect: Wrote a New York Times best seller in a few hours
Aspect: I planned for something like this…
Complication [Major]: Boredom a mortal mind cannot comprehend
Complication [Major]: Just a touch of sociopathy

Skills: (20/20)
Great (+4): 
Good (+3):
Fair (+2):
Average (+1): Deceit, Malleable Mind (E)

Unique and Strange Skills:
Malleable Mind
Power Tier: Extraordinary (-1 refresh)
Notice, Security (2-1-0)
Information, Examine, Research (3-2-0)
Languages (1-0-0)
Insight, Conversation, Networking, Wealth, Willpower (5-5-0)
Transport (1-0-0)
Initiative [Mental] (2-0-0)
Complication [Major]: Just a touch of sociopathy
Complication [Major]: Boredom a mortal mind cannot comprehend
Cost: 18 skill points (14 trappings, 8 connections, 0 extras, -4  drawback)
Description: Your mind has been subjected to several rounds of experimental and illegal Nootropic drugs.  You learn things very quickly and are adept at finding information you need but tend not to retain too much of what you learn.  You can learn a language in a few minutes.   It takes you about 30 minutes and an internet connection to make a few grand on the stock market. 
   You are very perceptive and good at puzzles (including “solving” locks and avoiding cameras).
Sadly your increased intelligence and social skills have left a void between you and the rest of humanity.  You are very lonely and bored and have a hard time not looking at other human beings as lesser beings.

The five questions
1. Life Before Ragnarok: Who were you before all the heroes and villains disappeared?

-I was a fairly normal yet bright 12 year old.

2. Origin Story: How did you gain superpowers? Most base raiders choose to gain powers, although some were born with them. Very few raiders get their powers accidentally these days. Did you buy yours off the black market or did you find them on your own?

My father had a PHD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry but in this economy he was lucky to have a job as a pharmacist in the Axiom corporation.  He discovered after ragnarok that the executives had ordered a series of experimental (and expensive) nootropic medications for their children.  He managed to covertly steal enough of the drugs to give this same treatment to his child.

3. Joining the Movement: Raiding bases is incredibly dangerous and highly illegal. Why do you put your life on the line? What drives you to risk everything and venture into abandoned trap-laden hideouts built by inhumanly powerful beings?

Boredom and access to works of art and literature published by minds on par with or superior to his own.  He seeks access to a meaningful education.

4. Darkest Moment: What is your worst failure? Did it cost lives? Who did you let down? What are the consequences of that moment?

When he realized that his parents’ motivations and logic seemed childish and what that meant for their relationship.

5. Crossover Adventure : Who did you work with in your greatest adventure so far? What happened in the adventure? You should pick another player character as your associate and incorporate them into the adventure.

His best friend Mark is a middle aged man who was subjected to the Infernal School Bus (like the Magic School Bus teaching children the dark arts).
RPGs / Re: Game Fodder / Story Fodder
« Last post by CADmonkey on March 20, 2017, 07:50:10 AM »

General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« Last post by CADmonkey on March 19, 2017, 05:11:24 PM »
Sarah Hyndman's Why Fonts Matter, a book about fonts directed at the general public rather than graphic designers.  Hyndman looks at peoples' emotional responses to fonts, using the language of feeling, taste, texture, sound, etc. to describe fonts.  It's an accessible book for "font consumers" to think about how they interact with the fonts that typically surround them every day; and for graphic designers, a useful exercise in walking in the shoes of the general public.

Oh, and I've got a bit of a font anecdote:  Hyndman talked about the fonts on consumer products a lot, and their role in conveying the product's identity and invoking feelings in consumers.  In the late seventies, Canada's biggest grocery store chain decided to create a line of low-price, generic, "non-brand" products in response to consumer complaints about rising food prices.  The brand was called "no name" and featured very simple packaging that went against the consumer product design trends of the time: plain yellow packages with black, lowercase lettering for the product name.  And the font? Helvetica, of course.  Within a decade of it's launch, no name became the most popular brand of groceries and household products in Canada.  The line was recently re-launched with a return to the original packaging style in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and I realized while I was reading Hyndman's book that a lot of the products in my kitchen are no name brand.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by clockworkjoe on March 18, 2017, 02:45:21 AM »
I dig it - I hadn't thought of Saber tools/weapons being left in kaiju stomachs so I will try to work that in Gate 9.
RPGs / Re: BaseRaiders
« Last post by Teapot on March 17, 2017, 03:01:33 AM »
Here are my mechanics and intro notes on the Sabers. I have a few comments in brackets I had tossed in to keep things straight in my head. They also serve to the semi "campaign" I'm working on surrounding the Sabers or at least their sweet loots. I'd like to talk to people/check format/structure ideas with people on that if anyone's interested.

So yeah, this is more mechanics and meta than history.

General notes: The talismans turn the wearer into an Elemental Saber, cherry blossoms flutter about and the wearer is dressed like a Japanese schoolgirl, their hair grows out and generally changes into some unnatural color. The weapon talismans can transform separately but it's rare. The transformation generally calls the weapon to hand. Less known is the transformation effects the wearer's mind, the Willpower trapping (at Superhuman) keeps them on task but the talismans were not really designed to keep people stable and healthy beyond the hunt and the kill.

These may be in the hands of the black market, collectors, and obsessive fans, it's likely that the Japanese government has a couple as well. Note that the weapon talismans are bonded to the saber talismans.

Bonding with one isn't too hard, it just needs to touch your blood and it's attuned to you. Most of the talismans had a theme, sometimes it might make some kind of sense with the element and sometimes not. The talisman of saber Iron might be focused on physical strength and come with an ax but it could just as well sprout wings (of iron) and a spear.

Activating the talismans is easy, you just have to think about wanting it and it'll go off. As the sabers figured out, you don't have to shout anything nor pose – most people don't know that though.

On building a talisman:
-They start at the Superhuman level, while a base raider could upgrade them, only the radioactive ones might start higher.
-They tend to be under 20 points and focused on a few skills or a specific ability. In general a new Saber appeared to fill a gap in the team and was created with a singular focus in mind.
-They come with the flaw “Traumatic (-1)” which means that if the Saber had to resist composure stress while transformed when they revert they must pass an appropriate stress test without the willpower trapping from the talisman. [Cosplay note: Yuriko's stats don't have this because I took too long figuring out how to model it. She might have just gotten over a lot of it or it should be added to her, GM choice.]
-Each focus has the drawbacks of focus, transformation and conviction. The transformation drawback changes the user's outlook, generally for the worse. Most of these match the roles they were built to fill so things like “Selfless Defender” or “Cruel Efficiency.”
-While the talismans transform the users into magical girls in Japanese schoolgirl outfits, this could be changed through all sorts of ritual, the themes of the element will still stand out however the user looks.
-So far none of the man-made elements have been seen [The Japanese government has kind of figured out how to do these, they show up in that campaign I'm writing.]
-Any talisman connected to a radioactive element will be more powerful and dangerous. These ones come with convictions and transformations that are always recklessly destructive.
-The information trapping does cover information about the Sabers, their rules, duties, enemies and bases. However this information is generally reactive when it's needed and hard to call up in the wild.
-The talismans could also come with the drawback aspect “Targeted by the Darkness” which would draw fledgling and greater spirits are drawn to hunt and be hunted by them.
-All appear to be handcrafted and of high quality, none have marks on them.
-The Sabers were getting older, and thus the newer ones were recruited from older children.
Bangles of the Bismuth Archer

The bracelet is simple leather with small metal studs, it has many places for charms to be hooked on around the outside edge. One such charm is a small Daikyu (Japanese longbow). This was the talisman of Saber Bismuth, a strategist and short time member of the Elemental Sabers.

Supporting Saber
16 skill points, superhuman -2 refresh
Security (1) x1 Notice (1) Notice +unusual: see magic (2), Languages (1), Examine (1) x1 Information+Unusual (1) x1 Research+unusual (Learn about enemies) (2), Willpower (1) x1 Inspire (1) x1 Conversation+Unusual (teammates can always hear her) (1) x2  Insight (1) (20)
Transformation (Minor -1) replace one aspect with “Determined Backup”
Conviction (Minor -1) “I must help them first.”
Traumatic -1
Focus (Minor-1)
Description: When activated the bangle changes the wearer into a magical girl in a rainbow sailor suit. Able to maintain awareness, root out evil sorcery and help with immediate answers. Saber Bismuth isn't a frontline fighter and knows instinctively how to best support those who are.

Bismuth Bow of Destiny
3 skill points, superhuman -2 refresh
Shoot+unusual+range(2), (5)
Focus (Minor-1)
Delay (Minor-1) transformation
Description: The Bow of Destiny is a traditional Japanese longbow made from Bismuth crystals that fires glowing rainbow arrows of crystal shards.

[Saber Bismuth, she was Antimony's friend, as much as anyone could be. Then she was ripped apart by a possessed zebra. That event caused Antimony to flee the team.]

Quicksilver Earrings
These earrings are long silvery and blade shaped. They allow the wearer to assume the mantle of Saber Mercury, violent blur of justice and love.

Striker Saber
14 skill points, superhuman -2 refresh
Initiative [physical] (2), Physical Force (1) x1 leap (1) x1 Move+unusual+range 1 (3) Dodge+unusual [land in a different zone] (3) x2 stealth (1), Willpower (1) x2 Menace (1), Information (20)
Focus (Minor-1)
Transformation (Minor-1) Replaces one aspect with “Magical Killer”
Conviction (Major-2): I'm unstoppable, you're meat
Description: Saber Mercury is fast, you don't see her move until she's behind someone and attacking. She's afraid of nothing and regrets even less.

Mercy Blades
2 skill points, superhuman -2 refresh
Strike+unusual+spray+range (4)
Focus (1)
Delay (1) transformation
Description: When the wearer turns into Saber Mercury the earrings run down their neck and shoulders, and become a pair of two foot blades attached to the forearms. Saber Mercury is fast enough that when striking with the blades the user can move one zone to strike a target.

[She was the new leader and highly unstable. When Yuriko fled, she's pretty sure that if she hadn't left the country Mercury would have killed her. Seeing the talisman may be enough to trigger Yuriko's PTSD.]

Not counting the seven Sabers off with Ragnarok or Antimony, there are at least 70 talismans not in use. In theory the Sabers kept the talismans of the fallen at their headquarters but in practice most didn't get reclaimed and sentimentality was never high within their ranks.

While each talisman is a unique power source, they are also cursed in both mind altering magic and being just a bit uncool.

Finding one in a base is common but odd outside of Japan. Finding them in the hands of dealers is more likely. Finding them in public places is also possible, many of the talismans go unactivated and unnoticed among other handcrafts.

Ways In

If Antimony came across any, she might begin to look for candidates to take up her crusade. This scenario has her waffling between overprotective den mother and unhinged drill sergeant, sending her new recruits off to test against bases and spirits alike. Getting help from her or Cosplay would be possible but she'll expect them to answer to her. In her identity as Yuriko she'd seek out people who seem more balanced and likely to survive the emotional dangers of being a Saber and Base Raider, as Antimony she'll look for people with an aptitude for power and war as well as connections into The Underground to try and tie her crusade into the greater superhuman community.

Fans looking for talismans should be able to find them. Between searching auction sites on the dark web and lucky finds in the wild it would be possible for a fan or even small group of them to get their hands on enough to start their own chapter of the Sabers. In this case Antimony would show up likely more cautiously but similarly want to test them.

Also tracking Dweller activity might get a patient raider close to a talisman, while the Dwellers seem to be strongest on the west coast and slowly spreading East there may be unusual activity in places that don't confirm to the pattern of their spreading. These may be spirits drawn to latent or active talismans.

And there is the Molecat, if it was a single entity it may have been slurped up by the Ragnarok object. If it was the representation of a force it may have been weakened but remain on Earth. If it's on Earth, it may be hiding from Antimony or seeking to use her.

Or it may be a “new” identity and soon rise to empower new heroes. Finding it could be done in this case through investigation or mystical means. Then it's just a matter of talking it into empowering people, likely through making deals and impressing it with idealism and ability.

Edit: And there could totally be some in the Kaiju Graveyard, more than one Saber likely wound up as a Kaiju snack.

Second add: Not every Saber died fighting evil, a few retired, some even didn't get hunted down by Saber Mercury. Finding these people or their next of kin might let raiders talk or scrounge their way into a few talismans.
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