Lead

Aug 24 16 8:38 PM

Tags : :

I can tell you about the time, the definite time, when I recognized the world we know as a scrim, a facade.

It did not happen during the old drug-dealing days, though gray dawns of bad joy and jags of grim hilarity it happened after that, when I got clean or at least cleaner, I mean when only you I suppose select others can see through your own facade, see the stained part.

I had begun to study photography, using analogue technology. I got good results using 19th century techniques. I found a job as assistant to a Mr. Murchison. He lived in a mansion in a place called Danforth, Massachusetts, near Greenfield. After all this happened, I read an article in the Fortean Times that said that the mansion had a room. No one knew what the room contained or what purpose it served. Of course, the article also talked about the keys.

I lived in Northampton, Massachusetts. I helped to organize his library and sell off some of his antquarian book collection. He also had a collection of keys, hundreds of them, for some reason. I got his permission to photograph them, because he took a shine to me. I don't know why he had them. I also photographed him.

Up unti I partly made my money with seling my photographs, partly with odd jobs. 

And then he vanished. I found the door locked.

A day or two later, I got the letter, addressed to me, from him. It told me to burn the photos of the keys and to the get the hell out of Massachusetts. Now. So I took him at his word and I packed that day and headed west. The photos I burned and I damn near killed myself inhaling the chemicals from the fume. I got a stand-by flight to the West Coast. I had a few friends out that way.

The portrait of Murchison I had taken of Murchison and the one in the upholstered chair he sat in, I kept. The one of the chair stayed the same. The one of him... 

It started to lose its shape, I mean, him in the picture. It started to lose its shape. The eyes to sort of shift. Crease up, get more like cuts in a paper bag. Warping, the edges curling like cigarette smoke. though not all the picture, only Murchison, not the backdrop or the chair. 

The more I stared at it, on sucessive days, the sorse it got. 

One night, the shadow came, in a bad apartment in Oakland I could use while my friend went away to Nevada for a month. I woke up and, do you know, sleep paralysis? Your body stays stuck and sometimes you see things, like a thing on your chest. Like they say can explain alien abduction accounts or incubi and succumbi from the Middle Ages. The Fortean Times even has a name for it.

Bedroom invaders.

I woke up like that, my body stuck, at around 2 a.m., all alone. And I felt something groping around. Or saw, maybe not with my flesh eyess. With sort of senses wrapping around my head. 

It moved and looked like a blurred shadow, transparent, sort of man-shaped except, its arms sort of wavered off like, multiple shadows. You could see through it. 

Something broke and I snapped myself up, racing to find the photo, not looking behind me, I wouldn't. Groping, through the dark, to locate the one photo, I snatched it up and tore to tiny pieces and flushed it down the toilet. 

When I looked back, it had gone. I told myself I had just dreamt it. Or all of that I said. 

I still live in the Bay Area now. I had a vague interest in the occult already. I thought I knew Murchsion had reason to make me burn those photos. The portrait of him that I had taken. The more I stared at it, on successive days, the worst it got. He should have told me to burn that one, too. Maybe he forgot? It got so bad looking at the portrait that I tore it up and burrnt it to ashes and burnt the ashes.

I see her as a Scholar type. FYI, I do not have the Silent Legion rules, though, unsurprisingly, I have played D&D.

Audrey Battle, Level 1 Scholar
Expertise: 2/2
HP: 2/2
AC: 8
Physical Save: 16+
Mental Save: 14+
Evasion Save: 15+
Magic Save: 12+
Luck Save: 13+

ATTRIBUTES
Strength 10 (No modifier)
Intelligence 14 (+1)
Wisdom 10 (No modifier)
Dexterity 14 (+1)
Constitution 11 (No modifier)
Charisma 13 (No modifier)

SKILLS (* Denotes a Class Skill)
Art* (Photography) 1
Culture*/CriminalCulture/US 0
History* 0
Perception 0
Persuade 0
Research* 0
Stealth 0

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Universal: Spend a point of Expertise to reroll any class skill. 
Deep Gnosis: "At 1st level, the scholar may spend an Expertise point to gain an automatic success at any skill check related to a knowledge-based skill they possess. Thus, a professor with Science-1 skill could use this ability to automatically succeed at a check to identify a particular chemical or analyze a mathematical formula. This ability does not apply to the Occult skill or other spheres of alien or magical knowledge, and it may be used only once per day."

Currentl Wealth Level: Struggling. "Struggling characters can buy Cheap goods and services, such as might cost ten dollars or less. They may be homeless or housed in shabby tenements, and can afford only the most basic goods."

Last Edited By: Foreboding Aug 30 16 10:19 AM. Edited 3 times

Quote    Reply   

#1 [url]

Aug 24 16 10:15 PM

That's great. Love the background. There's only one problem. You told me it was the "definite time" Audrey knew that the world was a "facade," but you don't describe anything actually supernatural happening. She works for eccentric, he asbconds one day, and directs her to destroy their work. It's creepy, but not supernatural. Take it a step further.

What if he -literally- vanished? As in disappeared right before her eyes?

What if instead of simply deciding to burn the photos and the portrait, a strange force -compelled- her to burn the photos and the portrait?

What if instead of receiving a letter, she heard Mr. Murchison's voice in her head, hounding her to do it and not leaving her alone until she did?

Go ahead and take it up a nothc and let me know. Otherwise great stuff, though. Moving on to mechanics...

Okay, as a Scholar, you get 4 HP at level 1. Pretty much everybody's AC is 9. You also receive the following skills due to your class (0 is good, it means you're not taking the penalty to the roll that untrained people would get. 1 is better, meaning you're adding a +1 bonus to the roll):

Research 0
History 0
Art (Photography) 0
Any One Skill

You add additional skills from your Background (a mechanical concept different from your narrative background). For you I recommend one of the following backgrounds:

1. Thief (to emphasize rough and drug-addled background)
Culture/US 0
Culture/Criminal 0
Security 0
Stealth 0

2. Laborer (to emphasize doing "odd jobs" for a while and generally being an unskilled worker)
Athletics 0
Culture/US 0
Profession/Any (choose a specific job, this is kind of a minor skill)
Any One Skill

3. Artist (to emphasize dedication to photography)
Art (Photography) 1
Culture/US
Perception 0
Any One Skill

You get to choose any one skill (or any two skills if you choose Laborer or Artist) to further flesh out your character. The skill system is pretty broad, so just let me know what you want your character to do. You can also use free skills picks to improve a skill from 0 to 1, though that's the maximum you can improve a skill at character creation.

You can also go ahead and roll your stats. It's like old school D&D, roll 3d6 for Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma, in order. We'll use http://orokos.com/roll/ for rolls. Use the campaign name "Gossamer Thread."

Last Edited By: Foreboding Aug 25 16 7:37 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

Aug 25 16 10:50 AM

Foreboding wrote:
That's great. Love the background. There's only one problem. You told me it was the "definite time" Audrey knew that the world was a "facade," but you don't describe anything actually supernatural happening. She works for eccentric, he asbconds one day, and directs her to destroy their work. It's creepy, but not supernatural. Take it a step further.

What if he -literally- vanished? As in disappeared right before her eyes?

What if instead of simply deciding to burn the photos and the portrait, a strange force -compelled- her to burn the photos and the portrait?
 

Ah, did you miss the part where the portrait of Murchison slowly changes? I could up it, though, and say that before she burnt the photo, something entered her apartment searching for the photo, until she frantically burnt the photo. (I will edit that in.)

Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Aug 25 16 10:55 AM

I will choose the Artist skills, plus Culture/Criminal and Persuasion (or Charm or whatever the game calls it) skills.

Okay, I have made the rolls.
 

Last Edited By: azuria Aug 25 16 11:30 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Aug 25 16 5:34 PM

 

azuria wrote:

Foreboding wrote:
That's great. Love the background. There's only one problem. You told me it was the "definite time" Audrey knew that the world was a "facade," but you don't describe anything actually supernatural happening. She works for eccentric, he asbconds one day, and directs her to destroy their work. It's creepy, but not supernatural. Take it a step further.

What if he -literally- vanished? As in disappeared right before her eyes?

What if instead of simply deciding to burn the photos and the portrait, a strange force -compelled- her to burn the photos and the portrait?


 

Ah, did you miss the part where the portrait of Murchison slowly changes? I could up it, though, and say that before she burnt the photo, something entered her apartment searching for the photo, until she frantically burnt the photo. (I will edit that in.)

Uh, I don't think so? Here's the relevant passage:
 I thought I knew Murchsion had reason to make me burn those photos. The portrait of him that I had taken. The more I stared at it, on successive days, the worst it got. He should have told me to burn that one, too. Maybe he forgot? It got so bad looking at the portrait that I tore it up and burrnt it to ashes and burnt the ashes. 

Nothing in there about the portrait actually changing, but I guess that's what you mean by "the worst it got." Maybe just clarify how it changed? And yeah, if you want to add a mysterious shadowy entity entering her apartmtent, and only disappearing once she burnt it, that's fantastically spooky and very much in the theme of the game.

Give me a few, and I'll have a sheet for you.

Last Edited By: Foreboding Aug 25 16 6:20 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Aug 25 16 6:23 PM

Okay, here's your sheet! So by choosing a class, you got to boost one of your two "prime" attributes to 14. Prime attributes for Scholars are Intelligence and Wisdom. I decided to raise Intelligence, since it'd bring a 7 with a -1 modifier up to a 14 with a +1 modifier and give you the most benefit. Let me know if you'd rather it be applied to Wisdom.


Audrey Battle, Level 1 Scholar
Expertise: 2/2
HP: 2/2
AC: 8
Physical Save: 16+
Mental Save: 14+
Evasion Save: 15+
Magic Save: 12+
Luck Save: 13+

ATTRIBUTES
Strength 10 (No modifier)
Intelligence 14 (+1)
Wisdom 10 (No modifier)
Dexterity 14 (+1)
Constitution 11 (No modifier)
Charisma 13 (No modifier)

SKILLS (* Denotes a Class Skill)
Art* (Photography) 1
Culture*/CriminalCulture/US 0
History* 0
Perception 0
Persuade 0
Research* 0
Stealth 0

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Universal: Spend a point of Expertise to reroll any class skill. 
Deep Gnosis: "At 1st level, the scholar may spend an Expertise point to gain an automatic success at any skill check related to a knowledge-based skill they possess. Thus, a professor with Science-1 skill could use this ability to automatically succeed at a check to identify a particular chemical or analyze a mathematical formula. This ability does not apply to the Occult skill or other spheres of alien or magical knowledge, and it may be used only once per day."

Currentl Wealth Level: Struggling. "Struggling characters can buy Cheap goods and services, such as might cost ten dollars or less. They may be homeless or housed in shabby tenements, and can afford only the most basic goods."
*******************************

Okay, next question: do you want to do a solo game or wait for more players?

Last Edited By: Foreboding Aug 30 16 10:18 AM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Aug 26 16 9:42 AM

That looks good to me. Okay, I will go and revise the bio soon. I maybe could have made some things a bit more explicit. I will post again once I have done so.

I actually would like a solo game. I had hoped for one, actually. More "cosmic horror" and also quicker. If/when more players turn up I would not mind meeting them.

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

Aug 26 16 4:10 PM

Okay, cool. You mentioned the Bay Area in your post, so we'll say your character starts in San Francisco. I can get a thread started for you tonight.

I forgot to mention: gear is very, very loose in Silent Legions. Go ahead and detail any important items your character is likely to have on herself at all times. Specific gear is generally hand-waved, but characters do have what are called "Wealth Levels" that dicatate how much they can comfortably spend before it becomes  burden.

You're assumed to be "Average" Wealth, but you have the option of starting out at "Struggling" or "Wealthy" Weatlh levels intead. "Struggling" characters have difficulty paying for basic necessities, but get a free skill pick at level 1 to represent the sort of hard-edged resourcefulness necessary to survive on such a tight budget. Wealthy characters can spend significantly more on specialized equipment and bribes for their adventures, but start with 10 Madness to represent the shock of being forced out of their coddled upbringing by supernatural menace.

Let me know if you'd strongly prefer Wealthy or Struggling. Based on your background, Struggling might be a better fit but I won't make you do it if you don't want.

As for your solo adventure...

Let's say that Audrey has been crashing on the couch of a very old childhood friend, Ana Tran. Ana is a Vietnamese-American who moved to California when you were both first starting high school. She moved before Audrey's drug habits really started, so she has only fond memories of Audrey and trusts her enough to let her stay in her apartment. Audrey has only been there a couple of weeks, and has had some opportunities come up:

- She's been invited to attend an opening for a gallery called The White Space. It's owned and operated by a young man named Isaiah North, who Audrey has met a couple of times in passing during her brief stay so far in San Francisco. Isaiah is a fellow photographer and the debut artist for this first showing; Audrey hopes The White Space is new enough and hungry enough for submissions that she might be able to display (and sell) her work there.

- Ana, who has been very gracious in letting Audrey stay with her, is a medical student. She's very excited about an upcoming symposium on cancer treatments taking place in the conference center of a nodescript hotel nearby. She's not sure if Audrey would be interested, but she invited Audrey to go with her.

-Ana's sister, Katherine Tran, is five years older and a struggling actress. She recently moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco to pursue some type of opportunity in voice acting. There's some latent animosity between Audrey and Katherine (Katherine feels it is she who should be crashing rent free on her sister's couch, even though you asked first). Ana has suggested that maybe Audrey could invite her out for drinks, either with Ana or without, in order to smooth things over. She says she would consider it a personal favor.

Which of these would Audrey do? Or, if she's interested in more than one, which would she do first?

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Aug 26 16 5:10 PM

I added the new part to the bio. I did, believe it or not, draw from personal experience of bedroom invaders, though they did not look like that. (I couldn't see them.)

As you said, Struggling fits the character, so I have chosen it. Equipment and the extra skill I can think of later. Both the first two possibilities sound equally intriguing (also intriguing OOC) but the second one may have the slight edge. She coudl take along a camera and take maybe sureptious Diane-Arbus style photos of models of tumors, etc. 

Again, will get back to you with equipment and extra skill. 

Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Aug 26 16 8:47 PM

Wow, I REALLY like the updates. Hopefully Audrey will survive long enough to find our what happened to Mr. Mutchinson.

I'll try to get your thread started tonight. I'll assume that you're going with #2, and heading to the symposium with Ana.

Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Aug 27 16 10:03 AM

I hope I get to find out what happened to him, too.

Could you list available skills for me, so I can pick one more? Apart from those already taken, I mean. 

Quote    Reply   

#11 [url]

Aug 27 16 12:46 PM

Sure. Your class skills are: Art, Computer, Culture, Engineering, History, Language, Law, Medicine, Occult, Profession, Research, Science. Class skills are cheaper to buy as you level up, so it might benefit you in a min-maxy sense to go for a non-class skill with your free pick. Non-class skills:

Athletics
Business
Combat (with specializations: Eldritch, Gunnery (super heavy duty weapons like gun installations or rocket launchers), Primitive (all thrown weapons, bows and melee weapons), Projectile (all modern firearms), Unarmed)
Gambling
Leadership
Navigation
Perception
Persuade
Religion
Security
Stealth
Survival
Tactics
Vehicle (with specializations: Air, Land, Space and Water. Would highly recommend Land, others are pretty unlikely to come up)

Calling out a few I recommend:

-Occult is very important, dealing with identifying supernatural creatures and doing anything supernatural. Occult-0 is minimum required to do any type of magic.
-Tactics is for planning assaults and leading soldiers, but also for spotting/predicting ambushes (not Perception like most games, though I'd probably let players use Perception with a higher threshold)
-Computer covers all things computer: using software programs, programming, and hacking.
-Research conducted online would still use the Research skill, however.
-Stealth covers "concealment, disguise, pickpocketing, infiltration, and other pastimes that require avoiding notice."
-Security covers "lockpicking, shorting electronic locks, decrypting codes, or tracking the patrol patterns at a guarded cult installation."

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Aug 27 16 1:02 PM

Ooh, I pick Vehicles - Space! No, but seriously... I pick Stealth for sensible reasons though my heart says Occult or Religion. (I should work out her religious background, actually. IRL I have an near-obsessive fascination for religion.)

As far as equipmen on hand:  

  • Canvas army bag 
  • Wallet (including Massachusetts ID and driver's license)
  • Black and white camera, cover and film 
  • Smartphone (including number of Narcotics Anonymous sponsor) 
  • Nicotine gum
  • Breath mints 
  • Darkroom equipment 
  • 2009 laptop (not carried with her) 
  • Notebook for jotting down ideas 
  • Diary she started updating since the Murchison business 

Last Edited By: azuria Aug 27 16 1:11 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   

#15 [url]

Aug 30 16 10:20 AM

Heh, I don't know anything about photography either, so get as specific as you want. I've also updated your character sheet with the new skill and wealth level and edited it into your first post for easy reference.

Quote    Reply   

#16 [url]

Aug 30 16 12:14 PM

Thank you. I have not gotten around to finding a character portrait but picture a rather scrawny pale-skinned woman with a shock of untidy dark hair. I have a question about the system. How do I earn XP?

Quote    Reply   

#17 [url]

Aug 30 16 7:48 PM

The book puts it as "pursuing meaningful goals," but basically you'll get a big chunk of XP whenever you complete an IC thread. Which functionally means every time you discover some supernatural secret or stop some cult or survive some sort of eldritch terror type thing.

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help