Friday, February 26, 2016

Shadow of the Sea Lord - Pregen #6 - Eren Auma

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Eren Auma
Level: 3 / Priest / Oracle


Eren Auma has seen a great deal of the world. He's wandered its depth and breadth as a nomadic pilgrim of the old faith. An orphan after his parents perished from plague Eren was raised by the church of the god of light. When he came of age he decided to become a brother and began a long pilgrimage to the great temples of his faith.

During his travels he spent a great deal of time in dwarven lands, long enough that he picked up the language, as well as a bad habit of cursing. This was only deepened during his time serving as a apothecary onboard a merchant ship.

Eren spent time thereafter as an inquisitor minor, and his zeal and strength with theurgic magics aided him in those endeavours, but ultimately he found that the shades of grey that colored the decisions of inquisitor's did not appeal to him. Eren preferred to help people for the simple sake of helping, and his inherent sense of fairness made the difficult job of an inquisitor even more so.

Eren came to Freeport to visit the temple there, and decided to stay on as his somewhat rough ways and prior life experience make him well suited to the city and the faithful therein.

Race: Human
Age: 32 yrs
Sex: Male

Strength: 10
  • Health: 20
  • Healing Rate: 5
Agility: 10
  • Defense: 10
Intellect: 11
  • Perception: 11
Willpower: 14
  • Insanity: 0
Corruption: 0
Size: 1 (avg. build)
Appearance: plain and uninteresting
Speed: 10
Power: 2 (Rank 0: 3 per day, Rank 1: 2 per day, Rank 2: 1 per day)

Languages: Common (literate), Dwarven
Backgrounds: religious pilgrim, inquisitor, sailor, healer/apothecary, nomad

Interesting Thing: Staff that emits light in a 1 yard radius

Race & Class Abilities
  • Shared Recovery Spend an action to heal damage equal to your healing rate and choose a creature within short range who also heals damage equal to its healing rate. Usable once per full rest.
  • Prayer Spend a triggered action to grant 1 boon to a creature within short range for attack or challenge rolls. 
  • Divine Ecstasy Spend an action to enter a state of divine ecstasy for 1 minute. (SotDL pg 67)
Spell Knowledge
  • Life (Will)
    • Rank 0
      • Minor Healing (SotDL pg 133)
    • Rank 1
      • Light Healing (SotDL pg 133)
  • Theurgy (Will)
    • Rank 0
      • Create Holy Symbol (SotDL pg 144)
      • Denounce (SotDL pg 144)
    • Rank 1
      • Blessing (SotDL pg 145)
      • God Hammer (SotDL pg 145)
Wealth: Getting By
Equipment: 3 torches, dagger, staff, basic clothing, backpack, week of rations, waterskin, tinderbox, pouch w/ 2cp, 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nuts & Bolts #68 - Hacking the Cypher System - Recalls Past Lives (new Cypher System focus)

The genesis of this idea comes from the post-show chit-chat after this week's Cypher Live. I like to play around with rules, adapting things within games and between systems. This is no different with the Cypher System and something we were talking about triggered this idea in my head. The core mechanic of this focus is one we've seen already in The Strange in the form of the "Reach Beyond" ability that that game's types all gain at 2nd tier. In this case, it provides a great way to emulate a character who can recall past lives...


You live, you die, you're born again. An endless cycle of rebirth, or so some say. Some even believe that you can tap into that prior life, recall those memories, regain lost knowledge from a prior existence. You're one of those few who not only believes such things, but can actually do so. Through regular meditation and intense focus you can reach back to your prior lives and temporarily regain lost skills, abilities, and memories.

This focus gradually allows you to unlock past lives and some of the abilities that those past selves had. This focus can work for any Type, and has the potential to allow for characters with a great deal of depth or breadth by tapping in their past lives.

Connection: Choose or randomly determine one of the following:
  1. Pick one other PC. One of your past lives was a relation of theirs. 
  2. Pick one other PC. Your most recent past life was a mentor or teacher of theirs prior to your last death.
  3. Pick one other PC. You recall a past life where you knew one of their past lives. 
  4. Pick one other PC. You believe that this character is on a path of negative karma, and you want to help make sure that they do not slip backwards on their reincarnation cycle.

Minor Effect Suggestion: You gain a flash of insight into a past situation that can help you. Your next task gains an asset.

Major Effect Suggestion: You recall a past life memory in vivid detail. This memory provides a clue to the mysteries of your current situation.

Tier 1:
  • Past Life Knowledge - You can recall the specifics of a prior incarnation of your soul with great detail. Work with your GM to establish the details and lifetime of this past life. Choose one focus that this past life had. Enabler.
  • Regression (3 Intellect Points) - You focus your mind on a past life and bring to mind a skill or ability of that past version of yourself. You gain a focus ability (including abilities which grant skill training) from one of you past lives' foci (as gained through the Past Life Knowledge abilities) at your current Tier or lower, and can use the skill or ability once paying all normal costs for that ability. To use it again, you must use Regression again. Enabler.

Tier 2:
  • Trained Mind - You are trained in the techniques of meditation and focus of your mind, including any tasks involving recalling memorized information. Enabler.
  • Strong Soul - You constant meditation and focus on yourself and your past lives has granted you an exceptional reserve of inner strength. You gain +4 to your Intellect pool. Enabler.

Tier 3:
  • Improved Regression - When you use Regression to gain a focus ability you can retain that skill or ability for 1 minute during which time you may use it freely, paying the normal costs. Enabler.
  • Additional Past Life Knowledge - You have gained the knowledge of another of your past lives. As with the Tier one ability you may work with the GM to establish the details and lifetime of this past life. You may choose a focus that this life possessed and gain its skills and abilities when using Regression. Enabler.

Tier 4:
  • Specialized Mind - You are now specialized in meditation techniques, mental focus, and memory recall techniques. Enabler.
  • Regained Training - You have connected to one of your past lives strongly enough that you can recall portions of it freely, without need of concentration. You may choose one focus ability (including ability that provides skill training) from Tiers one through three from among your two past lives gained through this focus. You gain that ability as a permanent ability that you may use freely without need of using Regression. Enabler.

Tier 5:
  • Superior Regression - When you use Regression to gain a focus ability you can retain that ability for 1 hour during which time you may use it freely, paying the normal costs. Enabler.
  • Additional Past Life Knowledge - Create a third past life and choose a focus that is possessed. This life and its experiences are now available for your use with Regression. Enabler.

Tier 6:
  • Additional Past Life Knowledge - You gain a fourth past life and associated focus that you may now call upon using the Regression ability. Enabler.
  • Regained Mastery - Choose a skill or focus ability provided by your four past lives at any Tier level. You gain that ability as a permanent ability that you may use freely without need of using Regression. Enabler.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Story Seed - Tabula Rasa

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I woke up in a dark room that smelled of filth and worse. I was lying on a stained mattress that lay directly on the floor. Horizontal shafts of electric blue light stabbed into the darkness through a boarded over window. I sat up and the room spun violently, so I decided to wait that out. Once things were stable I rose and moved to the window.

I could tell I was in the slums on the west side of the city from the view. Realizing that fact brought with it another shock, I couldn't recall how I knew that. Or my name. Or who I was. I couldn't recall a damned thing before I woke up on that disgusting mattress. Behind me a door opened and sickly yellow light bloomed into the darkness. I turned and regarded the silhouette before me with trepidation. Was this a friend or a foe?

"You're awake. That's good. Maybe you can explain yourself." The figure's voice told me it was an older man. Probably a smoker. Again I couldn't understand how I knew, I just knew these things to be true. "Well?"

"I ... I don't think I can help you. I don't remember anything."

"Damn." The shadowed stepped backward into the hall. I could see now he was older, maybe in his fifties. An old model cybereye made his lined face look damaged. The dead black lens was stark contrast to the warm blue one next to it. "Come on then. I'll tell you what we were able to figure."

He led me down a hall to a cluttered room. Clearly a black doc's shop, the place was littered with old tech cybernetics, vats of organ blanks, and a great deal of other items. "Somebody spiked you," he said as we entered. "Your bio-comp is still in self repair mode, but the diagnostics were easy enough to read. You've got some high end tech in your head girl. I can only assume you were a data courier. Why else would you need a zettabyte holodrive cortex implant?"

I looked at him blankly. I had no idea why else I would need a cortex holodrive, let alone a zettabyte drive. You could download entire databases with room to spare in one of those. I frowned at the fact that I knew that, but not why I had one in my skull, or what had happened to me, or my name.

"Yeah, ok. So, I checked while you were out. It's blank; recently reformatted, and it looks like they hit you with a neural wipe, since you don't remember anything. Bright side is you can walk and talk so they opted not to format your grey matter at the same time."

Yay, I thought, taking no pleasure from that small victory. Or maybe favor. I stuffed my hands into my pockets to keep him from seeing them shake. My left hand touched something small. I withdrew it and peered at it in the flickering light. It was a chip. a centimeter square, and maybe two millimeters thick. "What's this?" I asked.

The doc came over and looked at it. "Data chip. I didn't see that when I found ya. Maybe it'll answer some questions." He looked at me, and I wondered if I should even trust this man. "You have a chip slot, or I can throw it onto the holo. Your choice."

I slotted the chip then frowned. I ejected it and put it into his holo. The chip was nearly blank. Only an address, a time, and a weird image. "An engram key, an address, and a time. Not much help."

"More than you may realize," he replied. "Without that key whoever blanked you has a zettabyte of useless data. I'd also wager that you might find help at that address and time. Probably your client pickup."

I didn't know why, but I could tell that things were going to get worse before they got better.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Last Week Today - Week of February 15 - 21, 2016

Story Seed - Trapped

Nuts & Bolts - Skyward: A Guide to the Greater Terraces

Shadow of the Sea Lord - Dettah Isan


Tonight Cypher Live hosted by +James August Walls +Ryan Chaddock and myself digs deep into the Cypher System Rulebook's new and updated rules, and how they can be adapted for other uses. But before that we've got a pair of special guests from +Monte Cook Games to discuss their upcoming Kickstarter for Worlds of the Cypher System!