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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Reralae
Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Magic System Foundation


The magic system I am going to be using is quite clearly different than the one in the Witchcraft book. Please note that it isn't final by any means, as I may find things that are either over or under powered, and I'll try to adjust them accordingly. As it is, I've tried to be as balanced as possible, so hopefully if anything needs to be changed, it'll only be minor things, which shouldn't be game-trembling, life-altering, plot-twisting changes...

Anyway, here's an outline of the basics.

Elemental Powers

Elemental Powers, like Seer Powers, are bought with both a Strength and an Art. However, added onto this, is the Base for the element; this determines how adept you are at wielding that element, and holds restrictions. This Base effectively replaces the Gift quality, and unlike the Gift quality, is bought in levels.

Elemental Base - this is the supernatural quality that defines your limits within an element. There are two types of Bases: Primary, meaning that the element listed is the character's primary element, and Secondary, meaning that the element is not the character's primary. The differences between the two are as follows:

Maximum Base Strength Level - For the Primary Element, this value is equal to the Elemental Base x 2. For Secondary Elements, this is equal to the Elemental Base, without a multiplying factor.

Maximum Number of Powers - For the Primary Element, there is no limit to the number of powers you can use within it. For the Secondary Elements, the maximum number of powers that fall under that element that a character can have is equal to the Elemental Base.

Elemental Base is bought with 1 point per level until level 5, and costs 3 points afterwards. In order to get a Secondary Element, a character MUST have at least level 5 in the Base for their Primary Element. A character can have as many Secondary Elements as they wish and can afford.

Special: Hex-Elemental Nature - This costs 13 points, and effectively provides a Level 5 Base in a Primary Element, and a Level 1 Base for each of the other Elements. Furthermore, the character's essence pool is increased by 10, and their Shield power is also multi-elemental, meaning that it is very effective against all elements. Finally, all powers are bought as though they fall under the character's Primary Element. However, as the costs for this are very high, it's unlikely that such a character will have many powers that are higher than Strength 1. It costs 5 further points to increase all the Secondary Element Bases by 1 level each, as normal.

Strength - This is how 'strong' a power is, or more accurately, how large of an effect it has for whatever it is used for. The cost for increasing Strength varies depending on whether it is for a power falling under a Primary or Secondary Element. For Primary Elements, Strength is bought at a rate of 1 level per 2 points invested, and 4 points afterwards. For Secondary Elements, Strength is bought at a rate of 1 level per 3 points invested until level 5, and 5 points afterwards, as normal for Seer Strengths. Strength can also be augmented in combat by using Essence; by channelling 2 Essence into a power, a character may temporarily (for the use of that power at that time only) increase a power's Strength by 1 level. This can be done to as high as their Essence Channelling limit will allow.

Art - This is how well a person knows how to wield their power. This can be instinctive or it could be conscious effort. Regardless, it is possible for a person to have a Strength score in a power and an Art of 0 in the same power; this simply means they do not know how to use that power. Like Strength, Art is bought at various degrees. For Primary Element Arts, it is bought for 1 point per level until level 5, and 3 points afterwards. For Secondary Element Arts, it is bought at a rate of 1 level per 2 point until level 5, and 4 points afterwards. A high result with an Art usually provides a circumstance bonus to either the effect or to the Strength's level.

Costs of Casting - This is where my system considerably deviates from the Seer Powers it is based on. There are considerable costs associated with casting powers, usually in Essence, and also in Endurance. Unless stated otherwise, in casting, for each level of Strength wielded, except for the levels of Strength resulting as a bonus due to a high Art, there is a cost of 1 Essence. This is in addition to the costs from Essence Channelling.

Therefore, to cast a Base Strength 2 power Augmented to Strength 5 via Essence Channelling, there is an associated cost of 11 Essence: 5 for the Strength of the Base and Augment, and an additional 6 as needed by the Essence Channelling.

Furthermore, unless stated otherwise, there is also a cost of 1 point of Endurance for every 5 Essence, rounded down.

To continue the example from above, there would be an additional cost of 2 Endurance for the 11 Essence used.

Campaign Option: Essence and Mundanes - Just because a character is Mundane doesn't mean they can't use Essence, at least in this campaign setting. In this setting, even Mundane characters have a bit of Essence Channelling, and are able to use that, even if they don't exactly know what they're doing. In game terms, such a character may focus on a Task, combat related or otherwise, in order to use Essence to increase the chances of success. This translates to a +1 bonus to the roll per 2 Essence used, limited naturally by their Essence Channelling maximum.

Shields

A shield is, as the name suggests, a counter force designed to withstand against an aggressive one. Unlike the Invocation style Shields, these elemental shields are used instinctively as a reaction, unless stated otherwise.

When determining the results of an attack against a shield, the two characters make opposed Strength checks for their relevant power; higher success levels in the Art gives a bonus to these checks.

If the shield's wielder wins, the attack is nullified, but if the attacker wins, the attack is done as normal. In the case of a tie, the attack is diverted rather than blocked. Roll a d4; for a 1, the attack is diverted sharply to the right of the shielder; for a 2, the attack is diverted slightly to the right of the shielder; for a 3, the attack is diverted slightly to the left of the shielder; for a 4, the attack is diverted sharply to the left of the shielder. Consider the relative positions of all other people in the combat in order to determine who may be hit (who may bring up a shield in response).

Regardless if the attack is successful or not, the shielder takes 1 point of Essence and Endurance damage for every 5 points of Life Point damage they either blocked or received. In the case of a deflection, the amount of essence and endurance damage is halved.

Unless stated otherwise, shields can only defend against physical attack; attacks against the mind such as via Elemental Light or Darkness's Affect the Psyche require a different protection.

In the case of a shield being used against a mundane attack, the Shield's Strength is pitted against the Mundane's relevant combat Skill. However, it should be noted that the magical nature of the shield means that it is very effective against Mundane attack. The exception to this is Elemental Light and Darkness, which do not have truly physical Shields.

Elemental Powers as Rituals

Elemental powers, unlike Seer powers, can also be drawn upon in ritual format. In order to do this, a character must have ranks in Occult Knowledge and Rituals (Elemental).

Occult Knowledge - Occult Knowledge is effectively the base Strength of any ritual power wielded by the character. Furthermore, Occult Knowledge provides a character access to a number of Elements other than their own equal to their level in Occult Knowledge. It is assumed that a character has access to any Element that they have levels in (Base specifically), and so they are unnecessary to buy with Occult Knowledge.

Rituals (Elemental) - Rituals (Elemental) as the skill is effectively the base Art of any ritual power wielded by the character.

Strength Augmentation - A Ritual's strength can be augmented as normal, which costs a further 5 points of essence per level of augment. Unlike normal powers, as this is spent over a period of time rather than instantaneously, this is NOT limited by the characters Essence Channelling. However, the character's Essence Channelling does determine how much more time the ritual takes.

Be warned however; there is a chance of backlash caused by wielding a Ritual far beyond a character's own Strength. The safety limit for a Ritual's Strength is determined by the character's level in Occult Knowledge added to their Willpower. Past the safety limit, the chance for backlash increases as follows:

Level(s) Higher than Safety% chance of backlash
110% Chance
220% Chance
340% Chance
480% Chance
5+100% Chance


In the case there is more than one character in the casting of the ritual, the safety limit is defined as the highest Occult Knowledge level added to the highest Willpower score.

Using a Ritual - The steps to use a ritual are outlined as follows:

  1. Setting up the Circle - This step is the quickest step, as it is more aesthetic and psychological in effect than anything else. This takes 1 minute per level of the Strength desired.
  2. Focusing the Power - This step is the longest step. The character focuses on the elements within them, and draws it out to use. This takes 5 minutes per level of the Strength desired.
  3. Unleashing the Power - This step is the actual casting. Now having the power almost literally at their fingertips, the character weaves it into the desired effect. This takes 2 minutes per level of the Strength desired.
  4. Cleaning Up - This step is optional, but it effectively cleanses the area to remove any trace that a ritual was done there, including the magic circle, ambient, residual energy resulting from the output, or even residual emotions ingrained within the immediate surroundings. This takes 2 minutes per level of the Strength desired.


Altogether, a Ritual takes 10 minutes per level of the Strength wielded. Added onto this (in the Focus step) is the number of minutes it takes for the character to draw upon the extra essence to augment the spell.

Differences Between Rituals and Non-Ritual Powers - The only notable difference between wielding a power in this manner and wielding a power from within is that by using a mental focus, the character is able to cast spells from remote locations, so they don't necessarily have to be near the target area. The range of the power is equal to the character's Willpower multiplied by the level of Strength in metres or yards. Apart from that, the other difference is that there is no real limit to how much a power can be augmented.

There is also a difference in the cost of casting, as noted below.

Cost of Rituals - Unlike normal Elemental Powers, Elemental Rituals have different costs associated with them. Their base cost is 2 Essence per level of the base Strength. This does not include the Augment, for the excess cost for the Ritual is included in the Augment's cost.

For example, the casting of a Strength 2 Augmented to Strength 5 Power would have a cost of 29 Essence (4 for the 2 base, 25 extra for the augment).

In addition, like Elemental Powers, there is an Endurance cost as well. However, this is much reduced, to 1 point per 10 Essence used, rounded normally.

To continue the example above there would be an additional cost of 3 Endurance (29 rounded up to 30).

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:13:04.
Edited on 2009-09-15 at 01:49:16 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Character 6


Unfilled

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:11:56.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Character 5


Unfilled

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:11:43.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Sibby's Character


Coming Soon!

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:11:30.
Edited on 2009-09-05 at 18:06:07 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Nimu's Character: Iara del Rìo


Name: Iara del Rìo
Player: Nimu
Association: MSPD (free 4 skill points to put into Guns or Martial Arts)
Concept: Faery Manipulator

Life Points: 22
Endurance Points: 29
Speed: 8
Essence Pool: 69
Channelling level: 5

Primary Attributes:
Strength: 1
Dexterity: 2
Constitution: 2
Intelligence: 3
Perception: 3
Willpower: 5

Qualities:
Age level 1
Attractive level 3
Old Soul level 1
Essence Channelling effective level 5
Increased Essence Pool effective level 5

Drawbacks:
Adversary (Anhanga) level 2
Cruel level 1
Limited Power (Regeneration)
-Cannot heal damage caused by iron weapons
Minority level 1
Obsession level 1
Recurring Nightmares level 1
Secret Identity level 2

Skills:
Dodge level 2
Herbal Medicine level 1
History level 2
Language (English) level 3
Martial Arts effective level 2
Myth and Legend level 1
Notice level 3
Occult Knowledge level 2
-Elemental Darkness
-Elemental Stone
Questioning level 2
Research level 1
Rituals (Elemental) level 1
Seduction effective level 5
Singing effective level 4
Smooth Talking effective level 5
Swimming level 1
Trance level 1

Powers:
Elemental Light (Primary) (5)

Alter Emotions
-Strength level 1
-Art level 2

Clairvoyance
-Strength level 1
-Art level 1

Illusion (Visual)
-Strength level 1
-Art level 2

Shield
-Strength level 1
-Art level 1

Solar Flare
-Strength level 1
-Art level 1

Unrestrained Sight
-Strength level 1
-Art level 1

Elemental Water (Secondary) (3)

Regeneration
-Strength level 3
=She ages at 1/3 the normal rate
-Art level 1

Background and Description:

Iara: n, Old Tupi; Lady of the Lake

Legend tells of the Iara, the water queen, the immortal temptress of the Amazon. There is none more lovely than the Iara, none more beautiful. Beware the beautiful Iara, those that enter her embrace never return.



Tres Fronteras, Departamento del Amazonas, Colombia: circa 2043

A beautiful woman appearing to be in her early to mid twenties was found along the Colombian border of the Tres Fronteras region of the Amazon Rainforest. Nearly a tabula rasa, the woman had no memories and was taken by the fishermen who found her to their village just outside of the city Leticia. The village children were fascinated by this woman and constantly asked her if she had come from the encante. They called her Iara del Rìo after the legendary faery of the Amazon, the name stuck.

Feeling comfortable among the fisherfolk Iara decided to stay with them until her memories returned. It was not long after that the dreams began. In her slumber the Amazon, both rain forest and river called to her and visions of a hidden world danced in her mind. With these mysterious dreams, however, came the nightmares too terrible to remember from which she awoke with a sweat. Slowly flashes memories came back, but even so they were faded and barely there like flashes of a dream. Although she remained all but ignorant of her past some awareness of who she was, or who she had been came to her.

Iara was no mortal woman, of that much she was certain. Those few faded memories that returned were of an immortal life in the encante of the Amazon, a life she barely remembered but knew was hers. It was those memories and that knowledge that opened her eyes to the supernatural world. Her eyes could perceive the flowing patterns of essence and Iara found that she could manipulate them as well. Yet with this came the knowledge that she had once been capable of so much more, that she had once been so much more. A growing obsession took hold of her and she began to hunt the Amazon for some key to unlock her lost memories and power.

Day after day Iara would traverse the Amazonian landscape searching the area where she had been found for something. Seeing Iara in the grip of obsession the villagers began to fear her and some warned of what might be awakened by disturbing the rainforest. She ignored them. So the days passed into weeks and the weeks passed into months.

On a day when the rains poured heavily Iara, as always searched the Amazon. When the rains grew heavier she turned to return to the village only to be stopped by a man's mocking voice. She turned to see a large man standing before her smiling cruelly. His form rippled with waves of darkness and suddenly she stood facing her own mirror image. Iara's eyes widened as recognition hit her. Before her stood Anhanga, the devil. Anhanga's form shifted once again to that of a large man and he stepped forward with an unwavering smile that never touched his eyes. He had come to kill her.

Clarity came as the Amazonian devil moved towards her. The ever present swirling patterns of essence coalesced before her eyes and Iara saw. In that instant a clear vision of the past flashed in her mind. It had been she in the days of old who had manipulated the forgotten Tupi heroes, guiding them to strip Anhanga of his power and end his reign over the Amazon. Anhanga had regained his power and those heroes were long dead, Iara was not and she was not so great as she once had been.

Seeing her death in the devil's eyes something snapped in Iara. Guided by instinct she struck out sending a flare of pure light into Anhanga's being. Caught of guard by her sudden attack he stood stunned by the undulating light patterns that flashed in his eyes. Iara turned and ran. Anhanga's voice rang through the jungle, taunting her and promising to find her wherever she ran.

Iara left the Amazon on that day, she fled Colombia and made the long journey from South America through Central America and Mexico into the United States and finally Canada. Nearly a year passed before Iara reached Canada and the hard journey had marked her. Many had sought to exploit her seeing nothing more than a beautiful helpless woman in her. It had mostly been men who had tried to take advantage, "offering" Iara a ride in exchange for nocturnal companionship. Were it not for her ability to bend thoughts, feelings, and perceptions to her will she would likely have never made it to Canada. Instead she left in her wake a trail of men who would think twice before trying to take advantage of a woman again.

Once in Canada Iara settled in the city of Makironto and with her knowledge of Amazon botanicals found work in a holistic health food store. With her flight over she had time to once again seek to unlock her memories and Iara returned to the task with unmatched zeal. She scoured libraries and bookstores, both mundane and occult, in search of some clue that might awaken her memories or help restore her lost power. All the while she kept the truth of what she was hidden from all, ruthlessly ensuring her secrecy.

Sadly Iara failed to notice that another in her apartment building had the Gift. The other witch noticed her though, and seeking to stay free of the MSPD herself pointed the hunters in the direction of Iara. Eventually Iara became aware of this and took ends to discover the woman's identity, but rather than confront her she simply waited. The woman had herself been far from innocent, but even still Iara would have been content to leave her to her own practices had she not stepped where she did not belong. When an agent of the MSPD came to the building it was Iara that met him and pointed him in the direction of the other woman. She even offered to help the hunter subdue her. It wasn't long before the treacherous witch was "dealt" with.

Impressed with her the MSPD agent, Harold, recounted what had transpired to his superiors at the agency. Not a week passed before he was knocking at her doorstep again, this time with a job offer. Seeing in this the means to further her own ends Iara readily accepted.

Iara has been with the MSPD for some time now and has taken a particular focus on hunting down men who use the Craft to prey on women. Preferring manipulation to direct confrontation Iara will spend weeks toying with their minds and eventually driving them to insanity. Incapacitate before the take out, it is a cruel but highly effective strategy. In secret she has continued to seek out a key to unlock her forgotten memories and wholly regain her being, she still has not found what she seeks. The truth of her nature is still held secret.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:11:18.
Edited on 2009-09-15 at 00:28:11 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Merideth's Character: Michael Davin


Name: Michael Davin
Association: MSPD
Concept: Renegade/Daredevil

Life Points: 61
Endurance Points: 44
Speed: 18
Essence Pool: 35
Channelling level: 2

Primary Attributes
Strength: 5
Dexterity: 5
Constitution: 4
Intelligence: 3
Perception: 4
Willpower: 4

Qualities:
Attractiveness 3
Charisma 3
Contacts level 2
Fast Reaction Time 2
Hard to Kill level 5
Nerves of Steel 3
Situational Awareness 2
Essence Channelling effective level 2
Increased Essence Pool effective level 2

Drawbacks:
Addiction (Smoking/hints of marijuana) 2
Showoff 2
Status (once-criminal) 1

Skills:
Brawling level 3
Cheating level 3
Dodge level 3
Drive (Motorcycle) level 3
Gambling level 3
Guns (handguns) effective level 4
Haggling effective level 6
Hand Weapon (Switchblade) level 4
Intimidation level 3
Lock Picking (Mechanical) level 3
Mechanic level 3
Running (Sprinting) level 3
Smooth Talking effective level 6
Streetwise level 3
Weight Lifting level 3


Combat Style: He got pretty good at gun’s while training for the force. He prefers small hand guns, weapons that are easily hidden in his jacket. But once the bullets are gone or the gun is not useful he has a switch blade he’s pretty handy with as well.

Residence: He lives in the Sky High District by himself. But his parents reside in the Forested Garden area. If he isn’t working on Sunday he drags himself to their home for dinner each week.

Characteristics: He lives on the dangerous side of life, a real thrill seeker, which is why he chose this line of work. He picked up smoking in high school, and occasionally substitutes a tobacco cigarette for a joint on weekends. He’s good looking too… in a bad boy leather jacket on a motorcycle kind of way, they might get Johnny Depp to play him in a movie. His background going in and out of Juvie rehab’s is something he doesn’t really like to talk about much. People would know about it but would have likely learned better then to make any nasty comments about it, because he might be inclined to throw a fist at someone if they did. It does make him more sympathetic to any kids like him that he has to pick up though, and his fellow officers might have noticed him pulling some kid on the brink of getting into major trouble and talking to them, likely telling his story and trying to put them back on the right track.

Skills: Back in his youthful days he acquired a slew of useful skills, like how to pick locks and jump start cars. He’s pretty observant too, when not on pot that is, and can pick out things like surveillance camera’s without even thinking. Diplomacy is one of his high points, one of those people who can talk to anyone and have them trusting him pretty quick. I also imagine he is pretty good on his feet, high dexterity. Not easily frightened. But when it comes to more technological or book smart stuff he isn’t so good. He runs more on gut instinct and street smarts.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:11:06.
Edited on 2009-09-17 at 16:36:30 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Ginafae's Character: Marie Duplessis


Name: Marie Duplessis
Player: Ginafae
Association: MSPD (free 4 skill points to put into Guns or Martial Arts)
Concept: -

Life Points: 26
Endurance Points: 32
Speed: 12
Essence Pool: 78
Channelling level: 5

Primary Attributes:
Strength: 2
Dexterity: 4
Constitution: 2
Intelligence: 4
Perception: 4
Willpower: 5

Qualities:
Artistic Talent (Dancing)
Attractiveness level 2
Contacts level 2
Nerves of Steel
Old Soul level 1
Photographic Memory
Essence Channelling effective level 5
Increased Essence Pool effective level 5

Drawbacks:
Addiction (Smoking) level 1
Fear of Rejection level 1
Status level 1

Skills:
Acrobatics level 3
Acting level 1
Beautician effective level 3
Dancing (lap/pole dancing) effective level 6
Humanities (Literature) level 1
Language (English) level 3
Lock Picking level 1
Martial Arts effective level 2
Notice level 1
Pick Pockets level 1
Seduction effective level 6
Smooth Talking effective level 4
Streetwise level 4
Writing (Academic) level 1

Powers: Unawakened
Elemental Darkness (Primary) (2)

Affect Emotions
-Strength 1
-Art 0

Eclipse
-Strength 2
-Art 1

Shadowjump
-Strength 3
-Art 0

Whisper
-Strength 1
-Art 0

Background

There’s nothing special about Marie’s story. It is one found all over the streets of Makironto. She was born in La Tuque, Quebec, as the only child of a once-loving family; torn apart as all work disappeared and was replaced by the comfort of a swift high. Her father left and her mother did so too, in her own way. Her will and mind were bent wholly on obtaining the next fix. And she barely noticed when Marie, at the age of sixteen, packed her belongings and followed her father out the door.

She ended up in Makironto. But for a girl of sixteen, with only a passing love of French and English literature as a hobby, there was little for her in the big city. Except of course her youthful beauty. She can’t even remember what led her to it: a leering aside from someone owed money? Or maybe a quick glimpse at the crumpled notes earned by the women walking Makironto’s streets by night? Either way, within months of entering the city she found herself clad in fishnets, a thin, figure-hugging skirt, and with a trembling cigarette at her lips.

There was nothing glamorous about the work. It was terrifying. In itself it was, more often than not, unpleasant, brutal and violent. But then came the psychos preying on women no one would miss; the beat cops wanting to get ‘serviced’ for free; and the other women keen to protect their turf. Marie knows that, if she had stuck at it, she would have ended up lying in a pool of blood, rotting away, forgotten…or maybe worse.

Luckily, she didn’t. She was picked up off the streets one day, not by a client but a greasy, overweight man, unimaginatively named Fat Tony. Despite appearances he ran a lapdancing bar – or a ‘gentlemen’s establishment’ as the hoarding above the entrance constantly reminded its patrons – and Marie, with her dark, sultry looks, fitted his requirements. It was the best break Marie had had in her life up to that point. The work was safe – the heavyset bouncers made sure of that. She could make more in a day than she had previously made in a week, and there was a strict ‘no touch’ policy in the bar – except for Tony’s elite clients.

That was the catch. Tony ran a legitimate operation for show, and a more clandestine service beyond prying eyes. That was not all: Tony’s select clients had eclectic tastes. After some months of dancing at the bar, it was hard for Marie not to notice the women that suddenly went missing. They would receive a tap on a shoulder, receive a quiet word, slip away to perform at a private function, and never be seen again.

“You’ve got to have noticed it,” a client confided one day, as Marie led her to a private booth. “Not just the drugs, the violence, but other things…the missing girls for instance. Do you want to end up like that, Marie? Do you?”

It didn’t register straight away that they knew her real name. It turns out they knew more than that. They came, in their ones or twos, always wanting her for a private booth, and always with the woman – Susan – in attendance. Except they didn’t want a dance; just a quiet chat. At first she thought of it as easy money, and then, after they revealed just who they were with, that they were crazy. And after that, Marie left lapdancing behind and joined the MSPD.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:10:57.
Edited on 2009-09-06 at 23:25:27 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Key Information


None as of yet

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:10:17.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: MSPD NPCs, and related information


This is a list of some of the more predominant NPCs that the characters would know:

In the MSPD:

-Susan Raiheart - Part Time Secretary
Susan works at the MSPD HQ 3 days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She has a carefree nature, and is often in good spirits. She can be notably clumsy at times, and is a bit absent minded; she tends to forget information she doesn't have written down and available for reference. It is likely this latter point that landed her the position in the first place. In terms of Essence, she can be felt as having a decent output, however, she shows no signs of having any powers, and it could just be an indication of an artistic quality. Sometimes she pops up on radio chat during a mission, despite her sister's attempts to block her out.

-Sarah Raiheart - Full-time Technical Support
Sarah works at the MSPD 7 days a week. However, unless there's an actual mission in progress, this isn't so bad as it sounds, as she's primarily just in standby. Unlike her sister, Sarah has a photographic memory, and knows quite a few things, such as how to build a working circuit board from scratch. Besides providing radio and computer backup on missions, she also looks after the equipment available for people to use. She's the type of person who's almost always multi-tasking, whether it is cracking open a classified archive of the CIA while teasing her sister, or even making a cup of tea and talking to herself through a complicated formula. She walks around easily enough, but if one looks carefully, it's easy to tell that her legs aren't biological, but are likely prosthetics. She frequently listens to music through her mp3 player. However, strangely enough, even if a person were to sit beside her, they wouldn't hear any music drifting through her headphones. The main reason is because she doesn't listen to loud music. Essence-wise, she's nearly a mirror image of her sister, yet, her aura is far stronger, but still she shows no signs of powers.

-Harold Wielant - Hunter
Harold is frequently at the office, and if he's not at his computer, he's usually at the firearms hall practising. However, he doesn't practise thoroughly; it's just more of a habit for him, as one can see by his glazed eyes as he lazily shoots the paper targets. He's listed as having powers, but he never uses them except in a Shield, which is quite apparently Dark based. His essence, however, wreathes around him in a near-visible sheath of energy if he doesn't consciously hide it. It is an immense aura (even larger than Janelle's, for Merideth and Eol's reference), which is the primary reason why he nearly always has it consciously concealed. He's somewhat distant, but not a loner; despite keeping to himself, he tries to look out for his teammates, and the way he does this is by keeping his distance so he can watch over them easier. He is actually quite gentle in nature, if a bit quiet.

-Mr. Kurosawa - Chief/Sub-director
Mr. Kurosawa, or just simply 'Chief', is the guy in charge of organizing and prioritizing the team and hunts. He is also in charge of hiring and finding possible new teammates. In other words, he's the guy that gives your characters their paychecks. Despite his position, he's a fairly easy-going guy. In terms of Essence, his is average for a mundane human, so his lack of powers is readily apparent.

-"A" - Director/Overseer
"A", as he is known by, is a mysterious figure. Occasionally he helps out during meetings to point out suspicious figures that need looking into, but usually he just stays silent. Besides the fact that he works for the SIA, not much else is known about him. Essence-wise, he does not seem to have any powers.

Related, but not in the MSPD

-Tharia - Seer
Tharia is not directly involved with the MSPD; she is quite simply a fortune teller that charges a fair rate per "viewing". Her estate lies in the Forested Garden, but it is much more a home than a place that boasts the presence of a seer. However, her gift is quite real, and she is occasionally referred to by the MSPD for aid on a specific case. She often holds a professional, detached air around her, likely to keep her personal feelings from interfering with what she sees. However, when visited on a social basis rather than a business one, she is a kindly woman, if sometimes seeming a bit sad at times.
A note to players: Tharia is available for readings not for or associated with the MSPD, but in those instances, since her fee isn't paid for by the MSPD, it will have to come out of the character's own pocket.

Other information of note:
Since the characters are all hunters, they aren't required to be at the office every workday. In truth, their hours are rather flexible, unless there is a mission with a high priority scheduled, in which case the characters are usually required to come into the office. Characters are always required, however, to at least try to attend the weekly meeting (Mondays) where information is exchanged and hunts (if there are any) are scheduled.

As part of the MSPD, all characters are allowed to use some requisitioned equipment during missions. These are usually just the basics. Radio headsets, and guns if requested. However, MSPD members also all have special cell phones, which they are requested to try to keep on their person, and ensure no one else has access to. Besides the typical cell phone functions, these ones also are capable of projecting a holographic display upon the character's irises, which allows for the receiving of various pieces of information, usually sent by Sarah, which may include three-dimensional blueprints of a facility, or lists of people with matching photo-id.

Also of note is, despite the character's involvement in the MSPD, they are not bound to 'living in the office'; the characters can explore/investigate on their own initiative, which is actually suggested by MSPD protocol, which is for the hunters to follow their own intuitions, since planning and organization only work so well on paper or computer.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:09:44.
Edited on 2009-09-06 at 20:54:32 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Overview of the Elements


Air
==============
Air is the element of communication. Besides the obvious basic wind manipulation, it is also capable of manipulating and creating sound waves.
  • Alter Winds
    Summary: This is the basic power to create wind where there is none or to manipulate wind to be faster/slower
  • Clairaudience
    Summary: This power allows the user to hear things at a distance, or to hear minute sounds more accurately
  • Create/Purify Air
    Fairly obvious as to what this one can do...
  • Illusion (Auditory)
    Summary: This creates the illusion of sound. Varying degrees of sound will require more Essence.
  • Lightning Blast
    Summary: As the name implies, this is an electrical surge that is rather powerful, but also has considerable backlash as a result of its use.
  • Shield
    More effective (1.5 x Strength) against: Fire and Water
    Normal strength against: Stone
    Not very effective (0.5 x Strength) against: Light and Darkness
  • Wind Slash
    Summary: The primary offensive combat technique; it has no visual component, and at higher levels are as effective as gunshots




Fire
===========
Fire is the element of "power". That is to say, it is the element from which many things have been derived, from a source of heat at a camp in the wilderness to the energy of combustion fuelling a jet plane. Yet, ultimately, power gone rampant causes only destruction, as evidenced by forest fires. The power of Fire is limited in its use outside of battle, but in battle, it is among the most aggressive of the elements.
  • Create Fire
    Pretty apparent as to what this does...
  • Fire Pillar
    Summary: This power is also called 'Volcano', for it appears to be an inferno that ignites at the target's feet. At higher levels, it could completely consume a person.
  • Fire Spear
    Summary: The basic fire attack... as the name implies, a bolt of fire is launched through the air to impact a target.
  • Flame Wheel
    Summary: A more advanced fire attack. This one creates a ring of fire (possibly around the user) to strike multiple targets.
  • Meteor Storm
    Summary: This power is aimed to strike multiple targets, but they don't necessarily have to be that close to each other. It is most effective when needed to strike multiple small opponents (such as a swarm).
  • Shield
    Most effective against Darkness
    Not very effective against Air
    Normal Strength against others
  • Temperature Control
    Summary: Despite it's simple name, this provides many applications. The addition or removal of heat, especially at a quick rate, can cause solid objects to crack or shatter, can provide protection against temperature extremes, and likely has other applications.




Stone
=======
Stone is the hardiest element. It has immense defencive capabilities, as well as considerable application outside of combat. By altering the magnetic properties of objects, the power of Stone even offers limited telekinesis.
  • Alter Stone/Metal
    Summary: This alters the properties of a stone or metal, namely altering things such as transparency, hardness, magnetic nature, and shininess.
  • Earth Spike
    Summary: A basic offensive technique that causes the earth to extend, angled and pointed upward like a stalagmite
  • Earth Tremor
    Summary: This ability can cause earthquakes, but usually it is just used in a fashion to either dislodge objects or the footing of an opponent.
  • Memory in Stone
    Summary: While Unrestrained Sight of the Light allows for visions across time, Memory in Stone allows a Stone user to glimpse into the past, and only the past. As a result, visions are usually much clearer, but as said, these are in the past, and although they can be acted upon, normally the things that were done cannot be undone.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: All other elements
    However, that being said, to be this effective an earthen shield has to be consciously prepared during one's Turn, which means the player forgoes any other actions for that Turn. There are other penalties as well, but I will elaborate on them another time.
    As a shield made in the normal fashion, it is only of normal Strength against all other elements.
  • Stone Watchers
    Summary: This technique allows the placement of a "watching marker", which allows a character to have a limited connection to the place they are watching. It is similar to clairvoyance, but only in the way of tremorsense (D&D reference).
  • Telekinesis
    Summary: As it's named, but only with wooden, stone, or metal objects.




Water
==========
Water is the element of wisdom, reflection, and ultimately, of life itself. Its primary application is healing, but there are other things it is capable of being used for.
  • Create/Purify Water
  • Healing
    Summary: As the name implies, but there are two variations of this ability. The first variation is the standard kind, which heals a person by using up the energy of the person using the power. However, the second variation isn't so altruistic, since while it does heal another person, and it is easier and more effective than the standard version, it is more accurately described as a Life Transfer. As a result, if one heals a terminal illness with Life Transfer, a different individual, usually a willing donor, dies as a result of it.
  • Ice Storm
    Summary: Javelins of ice rain down or through the air at the opponent.
  • Manipulate Water/Weather
    Summary: This is only basic weather manipulation, in particular, the causing or stopping of clouds, rain, hail, snow, and mist or fog. Alternately, this power can also speed up or slow down a current (even such as that in a water pipe), among other fundamental things, such as causing water to change state (from ice to liquid or gas).
  • Regeneration
    Summary: Essentially self-healing over time, just as the name implies. However, beyond the basics, a high level of regeneration also slows down the rate at which one ages.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Fire, Light (Solar Flare only), Darkness (Reaping Shadow only)
    Not very effective against: Air
  • Watery Blade
    Summary: In liquid form, water is used akin to a bladed whip, but instead of a hand weapon skill, the user uses their Art in this Craft. The Strength determines the amount of damage done.




Darkness
==============
Sometimes mistaken for an 'evil' element, this force on its own is neither good nor evil, which is dependant on how and who it is used by. Regardless, this force encompasses darkness, or the absence of light. As such, it can be used to dim light, but can also be used to calm people, warp between one dark place and another, and even comprehend the hidden thoughts of individuals.
  • Affect the Psyche (Calm)
    Summary: Darkness is usually calming in nature, as it within darkness that sleep is possible, and so this power is more often used to calm rampant emotions. However, all other uses are possible.
  • Eclipse
    Summary: Darkens a specific area. At extremely high levels, it could even block out the sun momentarily.
  • Fragmentation
    Summary: This allows a person to segment their personality, and allow the segments to enter and control another form, usually a doll. Uses of this power vary considerably from person to person, but usually it is just a means to dismiss unwanted aspects of a person's personality, so that they won't interfere in daily life.
  • Reaping Darkness
    Summary: A very dangerous technique. At higher levels, this technique draws upon the darkness inside of a person, and threatens to drown them within it, mentally hurting and possibly even killing them. Of course, that is the extreme; lower levels of this technique only fatigue or otherwise slow down an individual.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Light
    Not very effective against: All other elements
  • Shadowjump
    Summary: Allows the passage from one shadow or dark place to another. The distance between them is limited by the Strength of this power.
  • Whisper
    Summary: Allows the user to hear 'whispers' of thought of the people surrounding them. Concentration on a specific individual allows for more coherent and greater perception of that individual.




Light
=============
Like Darkness, Light on its own is neither good nor evil. However, unlike Darkness, Light has a far larger (or more noticeable) impact on people it affects, especially because sight is the primary sense for most creatures. It can cause mood shifts, create mirages or illusions, and even allow the individual to see things that they would otherwise not be able to, including the possible future.
  • Alter Emotions (Provoke)
    Summary: Similar Alter Emotions (Calm) of the Darkness's abilities, but different in that light primarily spurs action or reaction from people, and as such, is more commonly used in that manner.
  • Clairvoyance
    Summary: As the name implies, this power allows a person to see what is happening at the same time, but at another location.
  • Illusion (Visual)
    Somewhat self-explanatory. Any sort of visual illusion can be made, so long as it only affects what one sees.
  • Imbue Vessel
    Summary: An object is charged with a certain amount of essence, which can be either drawn upon at a later time, or unleashed almost like a grenade. There are a few effects, but the source remains the same: the essence from the person who imbued the object with power. This essence is restored normally, but a person may only imbue so many objects with so much essence at one time as limited by their Craft's Strength.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Darkness
    Not very effective against: All other elements
  • Solar Flare
    Summary: Essentially Light's version of Reaping Shadow. It uses the caster's Essence in order to spark the Essence of the target. While this power's damage is Essence based, the ignition and burning of Essence within an individual is capable of physically harming them.
  • Unrestrained Sight
    Summary: Unrestrained Sight allows an individual to see things that had happened, and even some that may happen. Essentially, these are visions that are brought on either through concentration, or, at times, seemingly for no reason at all.




One word about Shields: Unlike the standard Shield Invocation in the Witchcraft Core Book, these shields are made as an instinctive reaction to attack. Although they are generally very effective, Shielding will drain an individual both physically and mentally, especially if used multiple times in succession. In the case of Shielding against another person's Power, the Shield and Power are opposed against each other in strength; the one who has higher strength, and/or is lucky will win that contest. In the case of Shielding against a mundane weapon, be it a knife or a gun, the Shield's Strength is pitted against the attacker's relevant Skill.

One more note... it is possible for a character to have more than one element... they simply have a primary element, and either a secondary element (with limited power), or use Rituals (will elaborate on later if necessary) to draw upon an element other than their own.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:09:03.
Edited on 2009-09-22 at 03:54:25 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Makironto Information


Makironto is a very large city, hypothetically located somewhere between Toronto and Ottawa, and the replacement of Ottawa as the capital of Canada. It is made up of numerous, diverse districts. Most notable of these are:

-"The Inferno" district, more accurately and commonly referred to as the Manufacturing Core. Large factories clutter the expanse of this area, but in between the factories are nothing more than well-worn streets; very few people live in this area, despite the number of workers there are. Most of the factories produce computer hardware, although there is an old, abandoned foundry towards the outskirts of the city. The name of this district is derived from a rather large fire that had caused the foundry to be shut down and abandoned, records of which indicate it to have been caused by a fault of the main furnace.

-"The Rat Labyrinth" district, a complex of back alleys and run down buildings so distinct from the city that it could arguably be its own town within the city. As expected, this is a very shady district, with most of the people living here lying low for some reason or another... usually because they're either being hunted, or they are of criminal nature. The people that reside in this district are usually distrustful of 'outsiders', defined as people who do not live there. As such, no player characters may start in or commute from this district.

-"The Forested Garden" district, a residential district with a rather predominant garden centre in the middle of it, named the Majestic Rose. This district's name is derived from the notably large number of trees and other plants decorating the streets, sidewalks, and even the sides of buildings. The overall effect gives the district a very natural feel, and, as expected, because of the large amount of work put into maintaining the district, rent for even an apartment in this district is rather expensive; the majority of player characters would not live here. It is also noted as a tourist attraction, as well as a romantic getaway.

-"The Old City" district is another residential district, however, this one is much more old fashioned. It is located in what could arguably be the suburbs of the city, and is quite notably different than the rest of the city. Houses here are usually single houses, complete with their own yards. Duplexes and apartments are practically non-existent here. Like the Forested Garden district, this district's housing value is higher than other places in the city, but it's not as expensive as the Forested Garden. One of the more predominant features of this district, besides being a bit old fashioned, is a facility that looks like a two-floor school on the outside, but is actually an orphanage and daycare. This building doesn't have an official name, but is usually simply called the Widow's Orphanage, as the current director is a kindly, middle aged woman who inherited the facility from her mother. Another is the Meadowfield Elementary, a school with almost strangely high standings in the city, despite it being relatively plain and simple compared to some of the other schools in the city. It is actually slightly famed for its lack of electronic hardware, despite it being in Makironto. Apart from the computers that the teachers use to input grades, there are very few other technological enhancements. For instance, the school still uses overheads coupled with a screen, rather than a projector linked to computers to display notes, or simply uses the chalkboards that still remain in almost every classroom. Certain political figures often suggest the modernization of this district, but majority votes in city hall always end up with more people preferring to leave the Old City as it is.

-"The City Core" district is, as the name would suggest, a mixed district near the centre of the city, where there are large scale business skyscrapers, apartments, large scale malls, and many other facilities. Notable facilities include:
-Westview General Hospital, one of the best ones in the city
-The MSPD Headquarters (the character's place of work)
-Makironto's Historical Museum
-Makironto City Hall
There is also a clock tower located in this district. It is visibly older than any other structure in the city, despite restoration attempts having been made now and then. Although it does tell the time fairly accurately, its tolls upon the hour are generally unheard amidst the city bustle of cars, buses and trains, to the point where very few people even notice either the sound or the building. It is scheduled for demolition, but the demolition date has been extended over several months, so whether or not it will be destroyed remains in question, as it may be just too inconvenient to stop traffic in the surrounding area just to demolish the otherwise stable building.

-"The Sky High" district, located just to the side of the City Core, is a residential district, consisting of apartment buildings that extend as high as some of the Core's skyscrapers. The majority of these were developed or renovated as a project to experiment with vertical housing, a notion that quickly was expanded on as the experiment became successful. Each floor of one of these apartment buildings has eight 'houses' in it, one in each corner, separated by halls and elevators. The floor-plan is relatively simple; each 'house' is essentially an apartment room expanded to be larger and more like an actual house, usually consisting of two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, and a living room or study. However, along the outer wall of the building, which is made up almost entirely of strong glass panes and windows, each 'house' would have a small garden, giving it a slightly more natural feel, if the attendants chose to grow one. Understandably, there are restrictions on the types of plants that can be grown. For instance, no trees are allowed. Besides the extensive housing, there is little else to note in this district.

Other places of note that don't fall in a specific district are:
-the Cemetery of Twilight, a very peaceful and serene site near the outskirts of the city
-Nithrapaw General Hospital, which is Westview's rival in its capacity and standards
-Makironto Zoo

Besides being separated into districts, Makironto is physically divided in two by the Astral River, a river that flows down the centre of it. Numerous bridges connect both halves, but the busiest and widest bridge is unquestionably the Stellar Gate Bridge, which connects the two sides of the City Core district. The primary mode of transportation around the city is usually by car, bus, or magnet train (these trains run on tracks suspended above the ground so as to not interrupt traffic).

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:08:40.
Edited on 2009-09-04 at 21:22:34 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: Game thread and Q&A


Are up, but I don't expect the game itself to start just yet... they're simply up because I had an inspiration for the opening post of the game.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:08:07.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A
Subject: Aria of the Thirteen Q&A


It seems to be getting to that time where the recruitment thread is no longer needed, and there are more questions that need answering anyway, so I thought I'd just start this thread.

Character List and EXP (Used/Total)
Ginafae's Character: Marie Duplessis EXP: 0/1
Merideth's Character: Michael Davin EXP: 0/1
Nimu's Character: Iara del Rìo EXP: 0/1
Sibelius's Character: ____ EXP: 0/0

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:06:40.
Edited on 2009-09-30 at 16:25:51 by Reralae

Topic: Auguries of Destruction - The Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: Auguries of Destruction: The Aria of the Thirteen


Unknown year, BC

WHAM

The woman garbed in a white robe, now stained with blood, slammed into the mud-brick wall. She was vaguely surprised that the wall didn't break with the force, but she had far bigger concerns.

"Bear not your anger on me!" She screeched, "You asked what I see, and I told you what I saw!"

"It will NOT do, Atropos!" the man, garbed in similar attire bellowed, "I will NOT fall to some woman, no matter what her destiny may be!"

"Then go and find out for yourself! Waste not your energy on me!" Atropos replied indignantly.

"I will, and after I kill her, I'll kill you for mocking me!" The man returned.

The man stormed out of her house without a second thought, almost literally flying out the broken, front door. Atropos staggered to her feet, clutching her side, where she was hit hardest by the man's Craft. Already she heard the footsteps of her sisters. The youngest came into the room first.

"Sister, what happened?" She asked urgently, her eyes widening upon seeing that Atropos was hurt.

"Nothing to be worried about, Clotho." Atropos sighed, practically falling upon the wooden chair next to her, "Those that run opposite the direction of fate usually find themselves following it anyway..." She looked towards the broken door, "... you say you would kill me... but I doubt we will meet again."

As Atropos slumped into the darkness of unconsciousness, and as she felt her sisters tending to her injury, her mind's eye drifted out, searching for the woman of which she had spoke.

~~~

Elsewhere, a woman was simply washing her clothing by a stream. Her thoughts were elsewhere than her chores, however. She kept thinking to what her mother had told her about what the Fates had said, when she was still yet in the womb.

"This unborn child shall have a heart of fire." Lachesis had said, "It will awaken on the day of her birth. Teach her the purpose of fire, so that she may learn to use her heart in the best way."

Yet, she didn't have anything resembling what the fortune teller had said. Only the red robes she wore now, perhaps, but she didn't have anything special. No foresight, no abilities like those of the Gods.

Then she remembered. It was her birthday. She couldn't help but wonder if that was the reason why her mother had gone to the market...

A fierce gust of wind suddenly swept her aside like a leaf, slamming her with force into a nearby tree. She cried out, as she heard something land with a thud not far from her.

"A woman in red by the snake's edge, with a fiery heart inside. You wished to know how you will fall... and you will fall by her." Atropos hazily thought in her mind, as she continued to watch everything unfold.

"So, you're supposed to be the one who's going to kill me? What a joke." The man laughed, before pushing the air with his mind, hurling a javelin of wind at the woman.

There was no thought about dodging, no thought at all, besides the realization that she was under attack. Fear threatened to hold her still, but something inside of her sparked, and the woman, named Phoenix, pushed out with her mind.

The impact between Air and Fire caused a chime to reverberate through the air, as the javelin of wind struck the outward burst of fire. However, although it was blocked slightly, it wasn't blocked well enough, and so it pierced through the barrier and slashed Phoenix on her arm.

Unused to the pain, she nearly crumpled to the ground, but just managed to stay standing.

"What was that?!" The man asked, recoiling slightly. He had not expected this. "Well then, try this!"

The man launched another javelin of wind at her. Yet, in her fatigued state, Phoenix's eyes weren't focused, so they caught movement; she could vaguely see the rippling of the air as it flew at her. Instinctively, she pushed outward at it, the point of the javelin.

There was another chime that reverberated in the air, but this time, the javelin of wind was deflected, and smashed into a tree to the side of Phoenix.

"I can see it." Phoenix murmured.

"What was that?" The man asked, incredulous.

"I can see your Element of Air." Phoenix replied, her tone weary, yet now resolved. She pushed outward again with her mind, feeling the spark before it ignited, and a surge of fire flew through the air at the man.

The man successfully blocked it, if barely, forcing the winds to spiral in front of him and just managing to keep it away from him. He growled, but launched more bursts in retaliation, all of which Phoenix blocked.

"I see, this is my Craft. This is the power derived from the Elements lying dormant in my body." Phoenix continued, speaking aloud since she was too weary to just think it.

Her eyes narrowed, and she focused. This time, the ignition came not from mid-air, but this time, below and just in front of the man. He cried out in shock, but it was already too late. The fire intensified, growing larger than him, engulfing him. He yelled out in anguish and shock, before he just disappeared, totally destroyed by the flames, which died out after him.

Exhausted, Phoenix slumped against the tree trunk and slid to the ground, unconscious. Atropos knew, however, that she would survive. Her heart was ignited, and very little would be able to quench it.





3:00 PM. Tharia's House, Forested District, Makironto. Sunday July 24th, 2045.

Tharia opened her eyes, dismissing the vision -no, the memory- with the sight of what was in front of her. She wasn't sure if she liked these visions, flickering memories of lives long since past, but nevertheless, they were a part of her, and always would be. She heard the doorbell ring, and quickly left her study to answer the door.

"Well, this is a surprise. I don't see you very often, Harold." She said warmly, recognizing the blond haired man wearing his usual dark trench coat. "This isn't a business call, I assume?"

Harold shook his head, "No... I just wanted to ask if I could borrow that book..."

Tharia smiled, "You always return it in peak condition, so I don't have an issue about it. Let me get it."

A quick trip to and from the study later, and she handed Harold a leather-bound book, which looked more like a journal than anything else.

"Thank you." Harold said, before leaving the way he came. Out of the corner of his eye, he made sure that Tharia had closed the door, and presumably locked it. It wasn't that big of a deal, especially in this district since it was among the most crime-free sections of the city, but nevertheless... no point in taking unnecessary risks.

4:30 PM. Harold's Apartment.

A quick train ride later, and Harold was at his own apartment, in the Sky High district. He didn't bother to sit down, instead stopping and standing in the middle of his bare living room.

He opened the book, spending several hours reading the beginning of it, which consisted mainly only of philosophical ramblings regarding nature. He stopped momentarily to have dinner, but resumed reading afterwards. Eventually, he came to the section he was most interested in, the chapters regarding the elements, and their powers.

"The wind lies all around us. We can feel it, but we cannot see it. We breathe it, yet we do not comprehend it. It is because we do not comprehend it that we cannot control it; once it is understood, then it can be wielded. Just as this is true of the wind, it is true of all the forces." Harold read silently.

In his mind's eye, something came into view. He shook his head. He didn't want to see; he just wanted to read the journal. He forced the scene out of his mind, and continued.

"I have been developing my skill in the wielding of air. The easiest and quickest use discovered is as an attack; it is instinctive, a reaction, an emotion."

Harold held out his right hand, reading from the book in his left. He could feel the air below his outstretched hand; even unasked, he could feel it begin to bend to his will... that was how developed his power actually was... that is, if he could remember it.

"This power, the wielding of air to inflict a physical wound not unlike a sword's slash, I will call it Garu. Draw the air below the hand, draw it into the form of a blade. It will cut like a blade, so it is best to shape it as such."

Harold didn't have to focus to feel the immaterial hilt just hovering below his right hand. Yet, with it also came a temptation... the temptation to hurl it, just to see the impact... to see something break from the force of his mind... Harold shook his head. No, that would not do. One must not lose themself to their own power, even if it is beyond the natural. However, the feeling was soon forgotten, as the vision returned, clearer and stronger. Harold nearly dropped the book in his hand, but quickly grabbed it with both hands. Unaided, the book, despite being disturbed, flipped back to the page he had left off.

Harold shook his head, but the vision, no, the memory, persisted. He saw the book in front of him, on a wooden desk. Two hands carefully worked, the slender fingers of the left hand writing the words he had just read with a long feather quill. Naturally, they were not his hands... they were the hands of someone he was, in a previous life. A previous life... as a woman.

Just as quickly as the vision came, it vanished from his sight. Harold closed the book, and wiped his forehead, already damp with a few beads of sweat. He carefully set the book upon his fake fireplace's mantle, before sitting in an armchair. It was difficult for him to read that journal. Despite the fact that it was the key to his powers, the only key to his powers, the memories that assaulted him were too different, too distracting, for him to read everything.

He could feel more memories on the border of his consciousness, but he didn't want to see them right then. It was strange. He seemed to be the only one who had experienced reincarnation as both men and women. Likewise, he was the only one, at least that he had discovered, even with the occasional aid of Sarah and the databases around the world, who could draw upon all six of the elements without the need of a ritual. Yet, his abilities were severely limited... the key being the journal in his hands... yet the memories conflicted with his own thoughts. Reincarnated as a man, he couldn't easily access things or memories from previous lives as a woman, and likewise the opposite was also true for him.

Harold sighed. He could only do so much at one time. It was late, he knew the book wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, and he knew that there was the weekly MSPD meeting tomorrow, so he began his evening routine. As he lay in bed, waiting for sleep to come, his mind wandered. He wondered what his teammates had been doing that day, and what was in store for him tomorrow.

(This post is just to give a bit of background information, even if irrelevant, to help define the setting, and serves as a good opening for this thread.

For an opening post, just consider what your character would be doing on a day 'off', as well as their entrance to the MSPD office building in the morning, and greeting each other, if you wish.)

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 21:02:24.
Edited on 2009-09-24 at 16:21:52 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: MSPD info, NPCs and Requisitioned Gear


With regards to technology available, most of it is just advancements on what we have now. Advancements in medicine and agriculture have provided more stability in that aspect, while technological advancements are being limited. Partly by the lack of inventors in this developed age, since many ideas are now already done, but mainly because the advancements that could be done are under government projects, and freelancing development is looked down upon and restricted by both red tape and development costs.

This is a list of some of the more predominant NPCs that the characters would know:

In the MSPD:

-Susan Raiheart - Part Time Secretary
Susan works at the MSPD HQ 3 days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She has a carefree nature, and is often in good spirits. She can be notably clumsy at times, and is a bit absent minded; she tends to forget information she doesn't have written down and available for reference. It is likely this latter point that landed her the position in the first place. In terms of Essence, she can be felt as having a decent output, however, she shows no signs of having any powers, and it could just be an indication of an artistic quality. Sometimes she pops up on radio chat during a mission, despite her sister's attempts to block her out.

-Sarah Raiheart - Full-time Technical Support
Sarah works at the MSPD 7 days a week. However, unless there's an actual mission in progress, this isn't so bad as it sounds, as she's primarily just in standby. Unlike her sister, Sarah has a photographic memory, and knows quite a few things, such as how to build a working circuit board from scratch. Besides providing radio and computer backup on missions, she also looks after the equipment available for people to use. She's the type of person who's almost always multi-tasking, whether it is cracking open a classified archive of the CIA while teasing her sister, or even making a cup of tea and talking to herself through a complicated formula. She also frequently listens to music through her mp3 player. However, strangely enough, even if a person were to sit beside her, they wouldn't hear any music drifting through her headphones. The main reason is because she doesn't listen to loud music. Essence-wise, she's a mirror image of her sister, with a decent output, but no signs of powers.

-Harold Wielant - Hunter
Harold is frequently at the office, and if he's not at his computer, he's usually at the firearms hall practising. However, he doesn't practise thoroughly; it's just more of a habit for him, as one can see by his glazed eyes as he lazily shoots the paper targets. He's listed as having powers, but he never uses them except in a Shield, which is quite apparently Dark based. His essence, however, wreathes around him in a near-visible sheath of energy if he doesn't consciously hide it. It is an immense aura (more so than Janelle's, for Merideth and Eol's reference), which is the primary reason why he nearly always has it consciously concealed. He's somewhat distant, but not a loner; despite keeping to himself, he tries to look out for his teammates, and the way he does this is by keeping his distance so he can watch over them easier. He is actually quite gentle in nature, if a bit quiet.

-Mr. Kurosawa - Chief/Sub-director
Mr. Kurosawa, or just simply 'Chief', is the guy in charge of organizing and prioritizing the team and hunts. He is also in charge of hiring and finding possible new teammates. In other words, he's the guy that gives your characters their paychecks. Despite his position, he's a fairly easy-going guy. In terms of Essence, his is average for a mundane human, so his lack of powers is readily apparent.

-"A" - Director/Overseer
"A", as he is known by, is a mysterious figure. Occasionally he helps out during meetings to point out suspicious figures that need looking into, but usually he just stays silent. Besides the fact that he works for the SIA, not much else is known about him. Essence-wise, he does not seem to have any powers.

Related, but not in the MSPD

-Tharia - Seer
Tharia is not directly involved with the MSPD; she is quite simply a fortune teller that charges a fair rate per "viewing". Her estate lies in the Forested Garden, but it is much more a home than a place that boasts the presence of a seer. However, her gift is quite real, and she is occasionally referred to by the MSPD for aid on a specific case. She often holds a professional, detached air around her, likely to keep her personal feelings from interfering with what she sees. However, when visited on a social basis rather than a business one, she is a kindly woman, if sometimes seeming a bit sad at times.
A note to players: Tharia is available for readings not for or associated with the MSPD, but in those instances, since her fee isn't paid for by the MSPD, it will have to come out of the character's own pocket.

Other information of note:
Since the characters are all hunters, they aren't required to be at the office every workday. In truth, their hours are rather flexible, unless there is a mission with a high priority scheduled, in which case the characters are usually required to come into the office. Characters are always required, however, to at least try to attend the weekly meeting (Mondays) where information is exchanged and hunts (if there are any) are scheduled.

As part of the MSPD, all characters are allowed to use some requisitioned equipment during missions. These are usually just the basics. Radio headsets, and guns if requested. However, MSPD members also all have special cell phones, which they are requested to try to keep on their person, and ensure no one else has access to. Besides the typical cell phone functions, these ones also are capable of projecting a holographic display upon the character's irises, which allows for the receiving of various pieces of information, usually sent by Sarah, which may include three-dimensional blueprints of a facility, or lists of people with matching photo-id.

Also of note is, despite the character's involvement in the MSPD, they are not bound to 'living in the office'; the characters can explore/investigate on their own initiative, which is actually suggested by MSPD protocol, which is for the hunters to follow their own intuitions, since planning and organization only work so well on paper or computer.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 17:45:36.
Edited on 2009-09-05 at 03:55:48 by Reralae

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: Regarding History


To make it simple, I've decided that the history of this world will be roughly similar to our own; this allows for players to reference past events more easily, and doesn't truly detract from the game world. As well, it makes sense that the 'official' records of history are essentially identical... that would be censor and government cover-up activity at work.

Furthermore, I've decided to keep the names of other countries and such the same. I don't expect the game to change location from Makironto, so leaving everything else the same is probably the easiest thing to do. It's far better than having to keep returning to a reference page each time someone wants to reference this world's replacement of 'New York' for instance.

The only considerable difference I can think of offhand to geometry is that Makironto basically replaces Ottawa as Canada's capital.

By extension, because the history remains roughly the same, religions in this world, if it matters for your character, are also going to be about the same. They will certainly have the same names at least, which, again, just makes them easier to reference.

That being said, this world's history diverges past about the year 2000. This is the turning point, where, with the increase in worldwide population, now more supernatural abilities have begun to surface.... more than can be concealed by the governments and religious orders.

This also means we don't have to deal with the added complication of possible mundane 'terrorists', and although ones with supernatural capabilities aren't out of the question, they're not very likely, as most people in this age with supernatural capabilities are going to try to lie low. Well, as low as they intend anyway.

I believe that's everything regarding history/religion...

Once again, if there's any questions, just ask

Hmm, I just realized I didn't say what year this takes place in...

Just going by a randomish number, I'm going to say this takes place in the year 2045.

Posted on 2009-09-04 at 16:12:21.
Edited on 2009-09-04 at 16:21:59 by Reralae

Topic: Stare into the Night Q&A
Subject: Posting hmm...?


Might that include posts to other things that may be able to continue now?

Wink wink, nudge nudge... the clock beckons...

Okay, that's enough prodding from me today...

Posted on 2009-09-03 at 20:26:57.

Topic: Stare into the Night Q&A
Subject: That's fine


I just thought I'd check, but that's about what I imagined

One 'nightmarish' post up for Janelle... perhaps giving a bit of an insight as to the strange workings of her mind... or maybe just proof that she's crazy, but hey, isn't everyone?

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 19:27:44.

Topic: Witchcraft: Stare into the Night
Subject: Tick tock tick tock... 3:17AM


Janelle was running. She sprinted as fast as she could, the cold stone floor hurting her bare feet with how hard she was going, but she wouldn't-couldn't stop. She slammed yet another door open, and as quickly shut it as she ran past. The stone walls just watched her pass apathetically, offering no aid at all... not even offering to stop the echo... that horrible, mechanical sound...

Tick... Tock... Tick... Tock...

"Go away! Leave me alone!" Janelle screamed.

Yet, no matter how much she ran, it seemed to get louder.

"You can run all you want, but that doesn't change anything." It was the mocking tone of a child... THAT child... "Time is everywhere, and delivers all equally to their end. You can't plug your ears and cover your eyes, because no one can escape time."

The clock then chimed, a bell tone that was clear, yet malicious and foreboding, bringing with it doom.

Suddenly, Janelle felt her body seize up, as though something had enveloped her. She couldn't move.

All Janelle felt was herself falling... and something hard hit her on the head...


Janelle screamed.

She opened her eyes, and immediately found herself to be upside down, with her head on the floor. She was panting heavily. A quick check revealed her to be practically cocooned in her blankets, while she had fallen onto the floor.

"Well," Janelle gasped, "That's the last time I make my bed before falling asleep..."

There was an urgent knock at her apartment door.

"Miss! Are you alright?!" It was one of the janitors who had heard her.

"Yes!" Janelle called back, "I'm fine! Sorry about that!"

The janitor didn't sound impressed, "Alright, if you're sure then."

"Yes, I'm sure." Janelle replied, wriggling her way out of the tight blankets.

She heard the janitor walk away, and quickly checked her digital alarm clock. 3:18 AM

Having memorized the times to watch out for, Janelle immediately recognized it.

"When the clock hands unite, whether it is day or night, expect the unexpected or you'll be in for a fright." She recited softly to herself.

But why? There was none of THOSE clocks in her apartment. She had seen to that.

Wait... was it?

Janelle practically ran over to her desk, and turned on the lamp.

There it was, the last sketch she drew before going to bed at 2:15. She was up that late because she had been watching a movie that had come on television at 11. It was drawing of a little girl holding up a pocket watch. Naturally, that clock was of the analog style.

In an instant, Janelle was tearing the page to shreds. Why didn't she erase that picture?! She should have known better! She was quite tired then, but still! She should've known better!

Janelle sighed. Now that she had vented her anger, she was exhausted. She glanced around her, where little pieces of paper lay on the floor. She'd have to pick those up later that day, but right now... she needed sleep. Janelle just let herself fall onto her bed, not even bothering to re-organize her covers first.

Yet, even as she fell asleep, she forgot to turn the desk lamp off.

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 19:22:29.

Topic: Stare into the Night Q&A
Subject: I'd say..


It's fine where it is; I'd say that the direction it's going in is certainly a bit... horrific... in a fun way

Let's see... if it's only a few months... I'd say that's probably enough time for both Mr. Drunk and Smoke to have heard the entirety of the poem behind her weird delusions, but here's a question... would they have 'awoken' Janelle to the dormant power inside of her, or left it as is, so she's still unknowing that they know? Although she has the ability, she's definitely very reluctant to accept that part of her...

It's also kind of assumed, but I guess I'll clarify that Janelle, for apparent (if not logical) reasons, really distrusts/is paranoid of analog clocks...

Thankfully, there's far more digital ones than analog ones, but it's still something to play with

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 17:49:13.
Edited on 2009-09-02 at 17:52:50 by Reralae

Topic: The One Word Game
Subject: Crystal?


Crystalline Heart.

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 04:33:51.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: Regarding Elements


Since it might be unclear as to what the elements are capable of, or where their speciality lies, I'm going to provide a tentative list of the basic powers for each element.

Air
==============
Air is the element of communication. Besides the obvious basic wind manipulation, it is also capable of manipulating and creating sound waves.
  • Alter Winds
    Summary: This is the basic power to create wind where there is none or to manipulate wind to be faster/slower
  • Clairaudience
    Summary: This power allows the user to hear things at a distance, or to hear minute sounds more accurately
  • Create/Purify Air
    Fairly obvious as to what this one can do...
  • Illusion (Auditory)
    Summary: This creates the illusion of sound. Varying degrees of sound will require more Essence.
  • Shield
    More effective (1.5 x Strength) against: Fire and Water
    Normal strength against: Stone
    Not very effective (0.5 x Strength) against: Light and Darkness
  • Wind Slash
    Summary: The primary offensive combat technique; it has no visual component, and at higher levels are as effective as gunshots




Fire
===========
Fire is the element of "power". That is to say, it is the element from which many things have been derived, from a source of heat at a camp in the wilderness to the energy of combustion fuelling a jet plane. Yet, ultimately, power gone rampant causes only destruction, as evidenced by forest fires. The power of Fire is limited in its use outside of battle, but in battle, it is among the most aggressive of the elements.
  • Create Fire
    Pretty apparent as to what this does...
  • Fire Spear
    Summary: The basic fire attack... as the name implies, a bolt of fire is launched through the air to impact a target.
  • Flame Wheel
    Summary: A more advanced fire attack. This one creates a ring of fire (possibly around the user) to strike multiple targets.
  • Rain of Fire
    Summary: This power is aimed to strike multiple targets, but they don't necessarily have to be that close to each other. It is most effective when needed to strike multiple small opponents (such as a swarm).
  • Shield
    Most effective against Darkness
    Not very effective against Air
    Normal Strength against others
  • Temperature Control
    Summary: Despite it's simple name, this provides many applications. The addition or removal of heat, especially at a quick rate, can cause solid objects to crack or shatter, can provide protection against temperature extremes, and likely has other applications.




Stone
=======
Stone is the hardiest element. It has immense defencive capabilities, as well as considerable application outside of combat. By altering the magnetic properties of objects, the power of Stone even offers limited telekinesis.
  • Alter Stone/Metal
    Summary: This alters the properties of a stone or metal, namely altering things such as transparency, hardness, magnetic nature, and shininess.
  • Earth Spike
    Summary: A basic offensive technique that causes the earth to extend, angled and pointed upward like a stalagmite
  • Earth Tremor
    Summary: This ability can cause earthquakes, but usually it is just used in a fashion to either dislodge objects or the footing of an opponent.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: All other elements
    However, that being said, to be this effective an earthen shield has to be consciously prepared during one's Turn, which means the player forgoes any other actions for that Turn. There are other penalties as well, but I will elaborate on them another time.
    As a shield made in the normal fashion, it is only of normal Strength against all other elements.
  • Stone Watchers
    Summary: This technique allows the placement of a "watching marker", which allows a character to have a limited connection to the place they are watching. It is similar to clairvoyance, but only in the way of tremorsense (D&D reference).
  • Telekinesis
    Summary: As it's named, but only with wooden, stone, or metal objects.




Water
==========
Water is the element of wisdom, reflection, and ultimately, of life itself. Its primary application is healing, but there are other things it is capable of being used for.
  • Create/Purify Water
  • Healing
    Summary: As the name implies, but there are two variations of this ability. The first variation is the standard kind, which heals a person by using up the energy of the person using the power. However, the second variation isn't so altruistic, since while it does heal another person, and it is easier and more effective than the standard version, it is more accurately described as a Life Transfer. As a result, if one heals a terminal illness with Life Transfer, a different individual, usually a willing donor, dies as a result of it.
  • Manipulate Water/Weather
    Summary: This is only basic weather manipulation, in particular, the causing or stopping of clouds, rain, hail, snow, and mist or fog. Alternately, this power can also speed up or slow down a current (even such as that in a water pipe), among other fundamental things, such as causing water to change state (from ice to liquid or gas).
  • Regeneration
    Summary: Essentially self-healing over time, just as the name implies. However, beyond the basics, a high level of regeneration also slows down the rate at which one ages.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Fire, Light (Solar Flare only), Darkness (Reaping Shadow only)
    Not very effective against: Air
  • Watery Blade
    Summary: The name is a bit of a misnomer, for this is not limited to just water in liquid state; flying javelins of ice are not out of the question as a form that this technique takes. However, regardless of the water's form, the basic technique remains the same. In liquid form, water is used akin to a bladed whip, while in solid form it is more often simply launched at range.




Darkness
==============
Sometimes mistaken for an 'evil' element, this force on its own is neither good nor evil, which is dependant on how and who it is used by. Regardless, this force encompasses darkness, or the absence of light. As such, it can be used to dim light, but can also be used to calm people, warp between one dark place and another, and even comprehend the hidden thoughts of individuals.
  • Affect the Psyche (Calm)
    Summary: Darkness is usually calming in nature, as it within darkness that sleep is possible, and so this power is more often used to calm rampant emotions. However, all other uses are possible.
  • Eclipse
    Summary: Darkens a specific area. At extremely high levels, it could even block out the sun momentarily.
  • Reaping Darkness
    Summary: A very dangerous technique. At higher levels, this technique draws upon the darkness inside of a person, and threatens to drown them within it, mentally hurting and possibly even killing them. Of course, that is the extreme; lower levels of this technique only fatigue or otherwise slow down an individual.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Light
    Not very effective against: All other elements
  • Shadowjump
    Summary: Allows the passage from one shadow or dark place to another. The distance between them is limited by the Strength of this power.
  • Whisper
    Summary: Allows the user to hear 'whispers' of thought of the people surrounding them. Concentration on a specific individual allows for more coherent and greater perception of that individual.




Light
=============
Like Darkness, Light on its own is neither good nor evil. However, unlike Darkness, Light has a far larger (or more noticeable) impact on people it affects, especially because sight is the primary sense for most creatures. It can cause mood shifts, create mirages or illusions, and even allow the individual to see things that they would otherwise not be able to, including the possible future.
  • Alter Emotions (Provoke)
    Summary: Similar Alter Emotions (Calm) of the Darkness's abilities, but different in that light primarily spurs action or reaction from people, and as such, is more commonly used in that manner.
  • Clairvoyance
    Summary: As the name implies, this power allows a person to see what is happening at the same time, but at another location.
  • Illusion (Visual)
    Somewhat self-explanatory. Any sort of visual illusion can be made, so long as it only affects what one sees.
  • Shield
    Most effective against: Darkness
    Not very effective against: All other elements
  • Solar Flare
    Summary: Essentially the Light's opposite version of Reaping Shadow, this technique at higher levels can cause seizures in other people resulting from flickering mind-blowing patterns of light emitted in their eyes. At lower levels, this is more used to simply stun or temporarily blind an opponent.
  • Unrestrained Sight
    Summary: Unrestrained Sight allows an individual to see things that had happened, and even some that may happen. Essentially, these are visions that are brought on either through concentration, or, at times, seemingly for no reason at all.




One word about Shields: Unlike the standard Shield Invocation in the Witchcraft Core Book, these shields are made as an instinctive reaction to attack. Although they are generally very effective, Shielding will drain an individual both physically and mentally, especially if used multiple times in succession. In the case of Shielding against another person's Power, the Shield and Power are opposed against each other in strength; the one who has higher strength, and/or is lucky will win that contest. In the case of Shielding against a mundane weapon, be it a knife or a gun, the Shield's Strength is pitted against the attacker's relevant Skill.

Anyway, I hope this provides a better idea of what the nature of the Elements are like in my campaign's setting.

Oh! One more note... it is possible for a character to have more than one element... they simply have a primary element, and either a secondary element (with limited power), or use Rituals (will elaborate on later if necessary) to draw upon an element other than their own.

For instance, Nimu, I'm thinking that your character will have her primary element be Light, while she has a Secondary Element of Water, which provides her with some supernatural longevity via Regeneration.

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 04:29:35.
Edited on 2009-09-02 at 04:40:55 by Reralae

Topic: Stare into the Night Q&A
Subject: Oooh...


Why wasn't I informed about this development?

Ah well, I'll definitely be lurking at any rate, if it's too late for Janelle to pop up out of the blue (or the black somewhere... this IS a horror-style if I saw that correctly )

Or... a character idea just popped into my mind...

It's interesting where inspirations can show up out of nowhere...

Buuut... I'm getting off track again...

Then again, I'm not sure what else to add now...

Well, later!

Reralae

Posted on 2009-09-02 at 00:29:57.

Topic: Dawn of Defiance: The Traitor's Gambit
Subject: Safer? I wouldn't be so sure...


Karra didn't say anything for a moment, but her ears were drooped slightly, before she finally said aloud, "It may be against the Imperials, and it may be dangerous, but for me, taking a chartered space flight could easily be just as if not more dangerous... that is, if any of them will accept me in the first place. Prejudice seems to be very rampant these days... and I seem to always have to watch myself and my back... which is why I carry a gun. Even if I'm not the best shot, it's usually enough to make most aggressive racists leave me alone..."

Karra shook her head. There she was, getting off track again, so she quickly walked over to Ara, "I'll help you with him... but... this may be a strange question, but... um, how exactly do we see to his body?"

(Sidenote: I kind of see a Cathar's tendency to roll 'r's as more of a sort of purr-like sound, which would only happen if the person was either happy or trying to be comforting, which is why Karra doesn't roll any 'r's in her dialogue this time.)

Posted on 2009-08-28 at 19:41:32.

Topic: Aria of the Thirteen
Subject: Old and new alike...


Merideth, it's wonderful to see you again! Please pass on to me a character concept when you're ready; there's no real rush at this point, as I expect the game will not begin for a while yet.

Sibelius, your guess is right; for the most part, I will make everyone's character... it just makes it easier that way for me, since then I can really know what everyone can do.

Vesper, if it's not too much trouble, could you perhaps email the Mystery Codex to me? I might be able to use it, or some concepts or ideas from it, for this game.

Crowe, I'm afraid I don't know you, so I'll also have to ask for a writing sample at a later point prior to game start, after you have an idea for your character, of course.

Everyone, please send your character concepts to me when you can. I don't mind if it takes a while, as I'd prefer detail and quality over speed right now, and I still have a few things yet to do regarding the setting anyway, like making a rough map of the city.

Posted on 2009-08-28 at 19:06:35.

 


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