Reviews and Ramblings
MIDDENARDE - PART 7 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 6 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 5 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 4 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
View All Articles
GM Startup Guide by PurpleXVI - 06/10/09
View All Articles
DORF FORT ELLPEE by CAPSLOCKGUY - 10/19/08
View All Articles
In Dark Alleys
The word Secrets has started to lose all meaning to me
FATAL & Friends Repost: In Dark Alleys, Part 14
07:33pm EST - 1/01/2016
Alright, still a bit before Wraeththu, I think I've got about 80 or so pages of IDA remaining, and they're going to be all
the juicy fluff stuff. Before I'm done with that, I'm going to get my scanned hooked up and then you can all partake in Wraeththu with me.
Secrets of the Professionals
These were the servants of The Man who killed all the noble freedom-fighting rapists and such. It starts with the bombshell that Powers From Beyond are responsible for the fact that we're not idiots chilling in the trees any longer, they're responsible for Scientific Rationalism, the rise of nations and Monotheism.
Smart leaders realized that is was what they were doing, not who they were, that gained them favor of the powers-from-beyond and so they kept doing it, even passed it down to their successors. The kings of Israel had favor of the powers-that-be because they practiced monotheism and discouraged homosexuality. This favor allowed the Jews to triumph over many superior forces. Yet after the death of Christ, Christianity emerged as a proselytizing monotheism capable of converting the Roman empire from paganism. Favor of the powers-from-beyond quickly transferred to the Christians.
Yet Christianity was born in a time where many cultures were coming together to share their beliefs: Greek philosophy, tribal mysticism, pagan occultism, even ideas from Buddhism found their way into Israel. Gnosticism (see p.152) developed as a variant of Christianity, yet the tenants of Gnosticism were dangerously close to the truth. Gnosticism was a threat to the powers-that-be and its enemies were given special favor by the powers-from-beyond in order to eliminate it.
Honestly if anything really pisses me off about shit like this and Psi-Watch it's how they steal all these genuine issues/historical things and turn them into BIG BADS FROM OTHER DIMENSIONS ARE CAUSING IT! Hence basically raping all of the nuance out of them. And how all the people they don't like are SECRET SERVANTS OF THE BIG BADS.
A sidebar informs us that all Western witches were bullshit. Even in YE OLDE TIMES it had no power because I guess the West has always been TOO LOGICAL. All the witches who had "power" were really just crazy people with poison that they used to kill neighbours, husbands and livestock.
Back to the Professionals, seems that the Inquisition were the first of these guys. So they've basically been mondo assholes since inception. How are they supposed to work as PC's again when their entire job description is "kill what the other PC's are"? Templars, Assassins and Islamic empires were also superpowered by EVIL POWERS FROM BEYOND. The Renaissance? Caused by the EVIL POWERS FROM BEYOND favouring merchants instead of churches, I guess Capitalists are also an extension of Cthulhu.
Written language? Western medicine? ALL EVIL!
So these guys are the Order of the Protector and to ADVANCE IN THE RANKS they at some point tell you to kill someone you know
is completely innocent, just because they say so. Apparently they're testing to see if you're retarded, and you only get to progress if you are. "By the twenty-fifth degree the Professional must be willing to kill children or torture innocent people." What is the fucking sense in only allowing amoral sociopaths to progress? Why would you give more powers to the sort of people who'd feel no moral twinge at using them against you
? This is fucking stupid.
Fifth Degree: Many small cults pop up which ‘accidentally’ gain supernatural powers. These cults should be wiped out quickly, if they don’t destroy themselves first. One group believes they worship a ‘red sun.’ They seek out astronomical charts and have the power to start fires.
Sixth Degree: Certain strong emotions can shatter reality. Places, objects and people associated with shatters can have dangerous powers to warp reality. Christian martyrs, repressed Victorian young woman and anonymous homosexual sex in public places were the source of many shatters.
OH NO, A CULT THAT'S MASTERED MATCHES. And secondly, how the fuck is this supposedly "enlightened" asshole managing to stereotype and degrade homosexuals more than the people who think they should all be burned at the stake? Because yes, anonymous gay hookups in bathrooms are such a huge thing
. And straight people are totally not prone to it because they're being manipulated by the Cthulhus into believing the nuclear family is a great idea!
Professionals get all of two NPC's! The first is Lawrence, a forgettable Professional that will kill you with guns. The second is Wallace, one of the people who CONTROL THE WORLD.
He hates poor people, sexual “deviants” and smart-ass progressives.
Besides gaining power, his other pleasure in life is having sex with children.
In a given day he might ‘fix problems’ by financing a military coup, manipulating markets to cause an economic depression in certain countries and paying the mafia to assassinate a public figure.
When he slips past his security to have sex with children his only protection is his personal assistant, who has a ballistic vest and automatic pistol.
I guess that pretty well hammers home that this guy is an Ultimate Badguy. Also apparently he hates himself. Also I like how the methods of the Guys That Rule Everything is apparently just to make the world miserable. Because, I mean, totally, stability and normality would be harmful for everyone! It's not like some of these supernaturals are directly triggered by seeking extremist religion(Cannibals) or being despondent and drugged-up(Lost, Faustians)! And those things never happen when times are bad! This is stupid.
Secrets of the Scribblers
As we already know, Scribblers keep in contact by believing any fucking thing they see written on a wall. Why they haven't all died because a Professional wrote a recipe for nerve poison annotated with: "TRY THIS TO ACHIEVE ENLIGHTENMENT," I don't know. Especially as they're all Philosophy students, essentially, and hence would probably not know a recipe for nerve gas if they saw one written down. But hey, this is IDA, the Evil Powers of Evil are terminally retarded and just wash away the graffiti instead.
There are also only 500 Scribblers world-wide, yet apparently they're all concentrated enough that they can pass each other these physical messages. One guy with a camera near a painted-up wall and the Professionals could get the identities of 99% of them. This. Is. Stupid.
Metaphysics- Although the techniques Scribblers use to gain supernatural abilities can be traced back to Gnosticism, Greek mysteries, occultism, psychotherapy, surrealism and even rituals stolen from the Templars, all rely on the Scribbler’s disbelief in the physical world as their source of power.
So I guess if you like surrealist art enough you become a WORD WIZARD????
Scribblers disdain the world of external phenomena which they believe keeps them from the truth.
I fucking know, right? Fuck empirical data! I'm just going to believe
my way to the truth! Because Plato gave us so many scientific advances!
An example of a library book ruined after Scribblers have had their filthy hands near it
Their NPC is an old, disillusioned dude who did experiments to confirm that reality was a lie
. But wait, wouldn't that entail empirical data? Wouldn't that entail humouring the real world for long enough to do experiments? Isn't this... GAH! Fuck internal consistency, I guess! He's also a terrorist who uses his magical powers to attack the FBI, police and schools. Great guy! He also hates the world so much that he basically Nihilistic Rages everything around him into destruction unless he tries to control it.
Secrets of the Survivors
Yadda yadda, not much new here except we're told that the "storks" are actually ghost birds, not actual birds. At least that makes the setting make a bit more sense. We also get stats for Reapers, who are dumb as fucking rocks. Literally an Intellect stat of 0. But thankfully, as we know from the stat chapter, INL doesn't actually determine how cleverly you can act.
Reapers look kinda neat
Do not die of old age, and their memory is limitless.
Reapers are about as intelligent as a cat, yet they have instinctual knowledge of various things that are dangerous to human life. They thus excel at problem solving where the problem is how to alter the environment to kill a person. They are emotionless and fearless. They do not communicate. They only do the job they were created to do.
Reapers are beings created and manufactured by the powers-from-beyond to do a specific job. They are the smartest and toughest of the beings manufactured for use in this reality. They are the main line of defense between humans and immortality.
The Survivor NPC is a guy who got told of a MAGICAL CAVE by MAGICAL INDIANS and went there and the Reapers chasing him got vaporized by the creepy cave. Since all it took to get this done was basically to interview every mystic weirdo in sight and since the Reapers were apparently dumb enough to follow him in there and get disintegrated, it's really a wonder that there are any Survivors not
free of their Reapers. Also he's lived for so long that he's now an asshole because apparently living for a long time makes you bored, and when you're really bored you become evil.
He often forces his lovers to join him on dangerous adventures (robbing convenience stores, driving up to gang members and calling them ‘putos,’ driving the wrong way on the freeway) which he does simply to enjoy his dates’ fear.
Also note that he's staggeringly rich and important. So, how the fuck does he get away with doing ALL THIS HIGHLY PUBLIC SHIT, AND BEING A VERY VISIBLE FIGURE, and not getting tracked down by the Professionals? They were apparently canny enough to hunt down Scribblers when they were just writing anonymous notes in a fucking library book, but they can't find and incinerate this asshole? Also despite being born in 1820 he has somehow not spent his time learning anything beyond how to be a really good wrestler and how to snap people's necks. Interestingly enough he uses the hilarious "breaking necks is fucking simple"-loophole to be monstrous at it.
He does sort of make a decent enemy, though. He's not hanging out in alternate dimensions and he's brutal enough with Flesh Control and similar to make for a murderous boss battle. Plus he's a giant asshole so the PC's would have a reason to end up fighting him. On the other hand he pretty much stays out of all supernatural business, so the PC's would really have no fucking reason
to fight him unless they want to wring the location of REAPER KILLER CAVE out of him.
Secrets of the Wonderlanders
In Brief- Victorian Children’s book authors discovered how to travel into the subconscious of kids by linking the subconsciouses to a vibrant fantasy world, learned to become immortal by living in those subconsciouses.
It wasn’t until 1910 that the children’s books authors used techniques recently developed by Freud for probing the subconscious mind to determine that the playworlds were manifestations of the children’s subconsciouses. Using an admixture of spiritualism, occultism and Freudian techniques the authors discovered ways to send their consciousness into the playlands of their children.
An ailing elderly member was in a Playland when her physical body died, but she soon contacted the other members to tell them she was still alive in the playland. The group devised a scheme for their own immortality. They would each escape death by hiding in the playlands of their children, then convince those children to do the same.
You know, I hate to say it, but so far this is pretty much some of the sort-of coolest stuff in this book, once we get to the details of the Wonderlanders. Hell, you could base an entire game about Lost and Wonderlanders diving into Playlands to kick these guys in the junk, because they're basically brainwashing the poor kids whose Playlands they're in. The whole thing's layered sort of like bubbles, if a mind dies, then the Playland it's created dies as well. But if the owner dies while in a Playland, the mind keeps going, essentially, I presume, making that Playland "self-sustaining" as long as no one charges in and fucks it up.
Humans have incredible power over reality. They can make things ‘exist’ simply by believing hard enough. The requisite belief is emotional and not intellectual. Humans have to feel the truth of a thing, which is a power which dawns with the birth of imagination and slips away quickly as a young person becomes more indoctrinated into the rules of “real” and “not real.” The ability to imagine things real peaks at around 4 or 5 years.
OH, YES, WE ARE INDOCTRINATING CHILDREN, TOO. TAKING AWAY THEIR MAGIC BY TEACHING THEM ABOUT THE REAL WORLD. Fucking IDA, is there any part of the modern, adult life you don't loathe with a passion? But yeah that's it, a creepy cult of old brainwashers are using children's minds as hideouts to be immortal in by basically programming them to believe in these things and nurturing these beliefs as they grow up.
The Wonderlander NPC is a "spider at the center of the web,"-type, living within Playlands within Playlands within Playlands, etc. until she's tucked away deep enough that no one who doesn't know she exists will ever find out. Her only real goal is to keep her "empire" existing and expanding, and if anyone ever threatens or pisses off "her children," or might get in the way of them developing proper Playlands, she basically wanders into their brains and shreds their Psychodynamics, making them them insane or braindead.
She's made herself a Playland mansion where she spends her time puttering around in the garden like a nice old grandmother, and she forces "her children" to resume their child forms and personas when visiting her, otherwise she beats them to within an inch of death. She's a right old cunt. But all in all, she could kind of work as a game villain, assuming the PC's have ways of keeping her from just murdering their minds in passing.
Anyway, that's it for all of the Secret Life secrets. Beyond this is now the setting fluff, creatures/enemies and at least one pre-made adventure, by the looks of it. Thankfully we'll soon be done with this pile of shit.