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  1. 4 points
    ... I became a published author. And I owe thanks to you guys. I knew I was a 'decent' writer but I wasn't too sure of my talent when I first came here. Years of praise and ego-polishing made me confident enough to believe that people wanted to read what I was writing. So I wrote, and contacted a small publisher and found out she loved what I wrote. May she be the first of many. In addition to inflating my head, you have taught me about stories - what makes them interesting and what makes them great. I have laughed and cried and been inspired by everyone here. Thank you guys. You're all awesome, and I won't forget you when I'm as famous as Anne Rice. (Let's hope I don't go through the weird Catholic phase!) Dawn
  2. 3 points
    If you are excited for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim make sure you check out the site themes.
  3. 2 points
    Lilly stood there, still holding Kyle on her hip still, as she watched things play out in her mind. Despite all of her nearly limitless strength, speed and invulnerability, she had to stand there... a silent, powerless witness to the death of her father... at the hands of somebody she called a friend. Lilly, who the other Irregulars has always known as so tough, steadfast and confident, dropped to her knees, clutching Kyle close as her face twisted into a silent mask of anguish. She shut her tight, so tight that she was not sure if she if light would ever reach them again, as if trying to block the image of the fear on her face of her father. All her life he had been there. He helped her fall in love with sports and athletics, instilled in Lilly his work ethic, patriotism and sense of duty. He coached her and taught her so much that has helped her, even now, or especially now, that she was a Key. She never doubted his deep, unconditional love for her. He was her mentor... her protector... her superhero. And now he was gone. And for Devin be the one to do it, to take his life and rob her of her father, and to do it so casually, made it hurt even worse. She knew he was hurt and angry, but this was a new level. She had thought that Devin would never do something like this that would hurt her so bad. Not Devin. Maybe it was the naivete of youth, but she thought that they had something special, at least on some level... that he cared for her. This though, this was cold and uncaring, taking the life of her father with unthinkable casualness. It just wasn't right. Lilly opened her tear-filled eyes and looked to Sean. "I know you will." she said, nodding as tears began to streak down her cheeks. "I need to see my mom, to tell he-" she said, as her voice cracked. Sean nodded. "Mckeller said you would. I can beam you to him and he'll get you to her." ""I want to go with Lilly." the little boy in her arms said. Lilly forced a smile as she wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. She hugged him and nodded. "Don't you worry about any thing. Remember what I said? I'll make sure you safe. You'll get to meet my mommy too. She's really nice." Kyle nodded and rested his cheek on Lilly's shoulder, closing his eyes as she held him close. "I'll leave a Vanguard with you guys, or more if you need. Either way, I'll be back. Too many are in danger." she said, trying to regain her composure, even if it were just a thin facade. She then looked to Jeane. "Sorry you had to see that." she said, even now still thinking of others. "We'll make sure your family is safe too. If you want to stay with them for now, then believe me, we understand. If you want to stay with us, then you are with us." she explained.
  4. 2 points
    Television had lied to Jeane. There was something deeply odd about a voice by-passing her ears entirely with how keyed up she was with this mysterious crusher in the area. The blonde daredevil jerked straight up at the silent conversation in her head, nearly dropping her sword in the process. Then she grimaced and tried to push a 'hello' back. She didn't quite get it right. The Irregulars got a raw stream of bubbling excitement and nervous determination interposed with stuttering, broken snatches of old scuffles, jumps, and tumbles, the younger girl gearing herself up for the fight by subconsciously reviewing every trick she knew and praying that it would be enough. <...mN iT,> came back the first actual words over the link, distorted as they were by the subsiding emotional vomit straight from Jeane's head bereft of any filter. Blushing in embarrassment, she tried again, message still Dopplering with emotional feedback. <hI. i'M jEaNe. GrEAt To MeEt YOu. yOU HAve No IDEA hoW cOOl tHis IS FoR mE. mEETING YOU thAT iS. NoT the unknown moNSTer, tHAT iS.>
  5. 2 points
    Init: 1d20+4 15 GM, without a map I should ask...how many of these dead critters can I get into a 15' cone effect without roasting some PC's too? Also, can I get more if just Delgath is in the area? That'd be okay.
  6. 2 points
    Her sprint chewed through the distance, the only sounds she could hear the beat of her music and the thundering of her heartbeat, with a grunt she launched herself from one rooftop to another. Much quicker than trying to take the streets. She'd only hit the road itself once she reached her usual drop off point by her favourite stand. She wouldn't have time to stop properly today, though. Not with the call going out like it had. Usually they were left to their own devices as far as jobs went. The master only occasionally making requests of various members, and even then, it was more the S classes, so for it to be broadcast to the entire guild at once had her heart racing in anticipation. A familiar scent had her nose twitching and a wide grin stretched over her features as she came to the final edge. Launching herself over that with a whoop of delight, she hits the ground hard, rolling to bleed off the force of the fall and coming back up in a full sprint once more, momentum barely interrupted. Her hand dives into her pocket and she slams a handful of change down on the wooden counter of a stand, snagging her usual freshly baked treat from where it rested beside it. A quickly hollered thanks, a glowing smile, and a rapidly spinning coin sitting on top of a pile of it's brothers the only evidence of her passing. The stall owner barely even acknowledging the whirlwind that had just swept through his little store, raising his own hand in farewell and shaking his head, no doubt muttering imprecations on how she'd break her neck doing that someday. Coming through the guild doors at full speed, she dodges around Luci, boots almost skating over the floor as she plops onto one of the benches, her momentum sending her sliding down the bench where she comes to rest beside Brennan with a cheerfully chirped "Afternoon" addressed to the room at large before biting into her treat with obvious pleasure. One hand rising up to pull her headphones down to rest around her neck, the muted strains of her music issuing forth.
  7. 2 points
    In almost every cast, it's more efficient to buy attributes, abilities/skills, powers, etc using Nova Points rather XP, unless you are getting considerably more XP than nova points, like three times as many or more. Many of the characters I've made tended towards having good Mega-Physical Attributes along with physical-type powers, like Armor, Body Modifications (Extra Health Levels and others), Claws, and Hypermovement. I finally made a character I've been meaning to with maxed out baseline attributes, a wide spread of Mega-Attributes and a metric ton of skills and am quite enjoying it. Neat concepts I've considered but never got around to making: -Poltergeist: Density Decrease 3-5, along with Invisibility (Enhanced Effect Extra) and some other power to affect others while Intangible, like Telekinesis, Holo, Mirage, or the like. -Mindshadow: Domination (Parasitic Possession Extra) and Telepathy (Channeling Extra) - lets the character possess someone from almost anywhere on Earth, and can even Teleport after a fashion, from jumping into a targeted mind and then stepping out of it and coalescing again.l -Using The New Flesh Fan Sourcebook, making someone with a whole hell lot of Body Modifications to make a Mermaid or a Cthulhoid horror with tentacles and spines and too many teeth and limbs. -Depending on power levels and house rules used, making someone with a Permanent, Mental-Linked Clone power to make someone who is one mind in multiple bodies. Combine with the Mindshadow concept to make a Nova who is essentially a mental virus. Aberrant isn't the best or most flexible system around, but there are any number of character ideas available, sometimes you just how to consider the powers in a different light. And welcome to the site, Red Ghost.
  8. 2 points
    Sean castigated herself for the amusement she took at the affect had on the airman. It was a delicate balancing act, modulating her smiles and expressions, the tone of her naturally melodious and captivating voice, so she came across as friendly without implying or suggesting too much. Evidently, she had gone too far this time. She couldn't just consider her own qualities, but how others would react, based on their own psychologies and experiences. Even for her, it was a formidable amount of variable to take into account. When the General arrived and revealed they had been emancipated, Sean was mildly surprised, but she understood the reasons for it. First, it at least gave them the appearance of giving them a choice in how they proceeded from here. But mostly, it made it easier for them to ask the Irregulars to kill and risk their lives while absolving their consciences. It would help the Irregulars too. A good part of the structure of the military, the chain of command, was to mitigate guilt, for the soldiers and the commanders. Without that, one or the other would balk, or burn out under the burden. While General Robinson and Lilly spoke, Sean watched the General, Colonel Pryor, and the man identified as a Navy SEAL - his body language and the way he held himself had already suggested to her that he was specials forces of some sort already - noting their reactions and expressions to what was being said. She wasn't troubled by their parents - or hers at least - not being allowed to attend their meetings and briefings. While they could provide emotional support, they simply didn't have the information or experience to make worthwhile contributions in these situations. When Captain McKellar asked them if they were in or out, Sean took a moment, a considerable moment considering the speed and depth of her thought processes to decide on her answer as she held Sara's hand, giving it a squeeze. She hadn't really considered public or military service when she had been a boy, rather being driven by enlightened self-interest. She had just wanted to do well for her, her family, and friends. She had mostly dreamed of making it big in the video game or tech industry, the next Gates, Page or Brin, or Musk, or Carmack, Meier, or Morhaime, and hopefully didn't turn into an asshole with success. The closest she had come to considering future governmental service had been a scenario in which the CIA or FBI or whatever came to her to solve a problem as a White Hat Hacker, a software wunderkind. Now, as a woman, an extraordinary and superpowered one at that, Sean had new priorities. She actually had a girlfriend that she cared a great deal for for one. For another, there was a Goddamned alien invasion coming. While she wouldn't serve the US for its own sake - it needed some much needed changes, in her opinion - she would serve if it provide her and everyone there best chance at repelling the invaders. The US and its military had colossal resources and manpower at its disposal. Even still, Sean wasn't sure it would be enough. It would need to be a concerted effort with their allies, and perhaps, even those who were not. Taking the tablet Lilly handed her, Sean glanced over this D3@tTh 0Tt3R's ultimatum and the video attachment, then snorted. She may have just provided the US Government the impetus to work more closely with its allies, by forcing the existence of QEH's and the alien threat out into the open. Surprisingly, Sean didn't feel concerned or anxious about the revelation getting out, but rather, something more like a sense of relief. She would undoubtedly be talked about the most, but at least she wouldn't have to lie anymore about who she was. "It's not just our and the aliens existences that are being used for blackmail, but the secret proclivities, antics, and actions of other politicians," Sean amended, lips curving wryly. "Never discount simple self-interest." Sean tapped the iPad against her thigh. "Assuming this person is Allison Bigby, or the person assuming her identity, at least, dealing with her may not be so simple, since it seems she can teleport and appears to have an 'enhanced' facility with computers and machines that goes beyond mere hacking. Lots of cameras in New York, and lots of people, making her hard to find without forewarning her. We can probably incapacitate or eliminate her." Sean frowned at how calmly she had just mentioned killing someone, not an alien, but a human being. But she was being a thread, potentially a devastating one, and a distraction from what really concerned Sean, the aliens. She had seen their tech, they could destroy the planet, easily, and it was the only one humanity had... For the moment. There were the portals and an awfully big galaxy. Possibly a retreat or haven could be arranged as a contingency... Sean closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep, steadying breath, then continued. "It any contingencies she's made that we have to worry about. Lots of things that you can program to go off due to any number of circumstances or events and she seems devious and smart." Sean paused and tilted her head slightly. "Actually, if she was really smart, she'd just have disappeared - from what I can see, she would be able to do it without much effort. Instead, she's backed the government into a corner from which they have no other option but to respond. And even any enemies of the US won't be a haven for her. She could sell secrets, I'm sure, but after this, they wouldn't be able to but to see her as a threat to themselves as well." Sean turned her penetrating eyes on Captain McKellar and handed him the iPad. "It's to stop people like this, strewing chaos when the actual world is literally at stake, and to figure out a way to end the alien threat, that I'll agree to join up. As long as I see this as our best way to make it happen, Captain McKellar." <Backs are against the wall, and it isn't just ours. We all have to make our own choices, but I'm not walking away from this. I can't.> Sean turned entreating eyes on Sara, hoping she would understand. Her lips quirked self-deprecatingly. <Fuck, being bullied by Chet and Courtney seems like such a minor, petty thing now.>
  9. 2 points
    Capt. Muhammad Sarr blinked groggily, trying to bring the blur in front of his face into focus. He knew that the blue and white smear was Hector but convincing his eyes to work was a struggle. Fortunately, his first attempt at speaking went better than his first attempt at seeing. “What is it, Hector?” “We have arrived, Captain.” Hector’s pleasant voice confirmed his suspicions despite his eyes unwillingness to discern for themselves. “We are on the primary approach to Tara’s orbit.” “Good.” Sarr rubbed his eyes and sat up, pleased that his abdominals and fingers were working better than his opticals. You always have the most trouble with your eyesight, he reminded himself as he held out his hands. A warm mug of coffee was placed in it, Hector’s cool, smooth fingers curling over his own until the personal robot was sure he had a secure grip. “What is the status of the Melbourne?” “The ship is in good repair. I have a list of minor services that should be made to the parts that will be used once we make planetfall.” Hector helped him out of the white cryotube, stabilizing him when he slipped on the water that had melted off the outside of the module. “Additionally, Commanders Yuan and Bellamy are waking well. I am uncertain as to Mr. Ferro’s status as his personal assistant is tending to him.” The coffee was an assault on his tongue, a symphony of heat and taste on an empty stomach. “And the third Jeeves?” “Lex is assisting Cmds Yuan and Bellamy.” His eyes were finally working and Sarr took a good look at the room he had slept in for most of the last decade. The long area held a triple row of cryobeds which stretched to the back of the room. He was in one of the men’s areas; the only woman in sight wasn’t really a woman. Sakura bent over another tube, her rosebud lips turned up in a smile as she helped Ferro sit. The engineer wasn’t entirely upright yet as he hunched forward over his knees. Sarr glanced at Hector against, taking another sip before asking, “What of our guest?” Hector’s facial matrix allowed for minimal expression but Sarr caught a definite sense of disapproval. The robot didn’t have emotions so he was merely mirroring Sarr’s own irritation. “Sleeping well, sir.” “Keep her that way.” Sarr turned and headed to change out of the shorts and t-shirt he’d slept in. He had work to do. * * * Leonardo Ferro took a cautious sip of his hot tea, pleased when it stayed down. Waking from cryosleep always left him a little nauseous. Next to him, Sakura waited patiently with fresh clothing. “Oh, I love traveling but I hate cryosleep so much.” “The hangover is better than Temporal Distortion Jumping Sickness.” Sakura spoke with a wry smile, her programming aware that he preferred a flippant remark over somber ones. Leo tsked softly. “Too true.” He smiled fondly at her as he tugged at his boxers. “Let’s get me presentable. I wouldn’t want to scandalize people by showing up in my underwear.” “It’s too bad. You do your best work when inappropriately dressed.” Despite her playful tone, his personal robot shook out his clothing, preparing it for him to wear. Leo chuckled as he traded his damp boxers for clean, unabashed about being naked in front of Sakura. “Do we have a list of repairs to do?” “Hector has provided one and I uploaded it to your PD.” The robot smiled demurely. “I look forward to working with you again, Leo. Astrophysics is dull stuff.” “Don’t let Bellamy hear you say that.” Leonardo chuckled as he stepped into his pants and reached for the slim device she held toward him. He turned it on and opened the list from Hector, scanning it quickly. Despite the distraction, he told her, “You’ll get a lecture. I’ll switch out your programming as soon as we’re planetside, okay?” The robot made a face, her faux-skin allowing for a wide range of expression. “I’m sure she’ll want your help taking readings as we descend. After all,” he laughed, affecting an accent like the UE woman, “we’ll never get a chance like this again.” His personal bot rolled her agate-brown eyes. “The other ships could take readings as well as I could. And I notice Hector and Lex didn’t have to help her.” “Lex is an older model and Bellamy didn’t want it working on her equipment. Hector’s duties to the Melbourne took priority.” Leo looked up at Sakura’s soft sound of irritation. “Saku-chan, it’s the agreement we made so you can be here.” “I’m aware. I don’t have to like it.” Sakura pouted cutely. She was silent until he pulled on his shirt. “You haven’t asked about the girl.” “I assumed she was still safely in cryo and you’d tell me otherwise.” Someone might have thought that she was chastising him but Leo had programmed her; he knew she was acting in her role as an assistant, reminding him of important events. He peered at her inquisitively. “Is this you telling me otherwise?” “No, Leo.” The fake woman smiled as she reached out and finger combed his damp hair away from his face. “There. Presentable.” “Thank god you didn’t say professional.” Leo squeezed her arm before leaving. Sakura followed, breaking away at the hallway to the astrophysics sensor array. The personal assistant made a final face as Leo waved to her and continued to the bridge. * * * Darya Bellamy checked on Valentina one more time, studying her daughter’s sleeping face. One of her biggest worries about coming here had been the children. Oskar and she had talked about it for hours before deciding to bring it up to the kids. Their reactions had been mixed but she was so proud that in the end, all three of them had seen this move as an adventure and a chance to be part of scientific discovery. With a final smile, she glanced over at Yuan and the other Jeeves. The other woman was having a harder time adjusting to the transition to wakefulness and Bellamy left to give her privacy. Moving through the halls, she went to the men’s bay, pushing open the doors despite the rules on gender segregation. “Commander Bellamy.” Hector straightened from the monitoring screens on a cryo pod, its Euro-Russo flawless. “You cannot be in here.” “Save it.” Her words came out sharp. “I am checking on my family.” Hector’s expression became mildly reproving. “They are well, I assure you.” “I will assure myself.” The scientist brushed past the robot, knowing he wouldn’t physically stop her. With all of security still in stasis or recovering from waking up, no one could stop her. Sarr or Ferro could try but the former was no doubt wrapped up in preparations for landing and the latter didn’t have the balls to deal with her. She stopped first at Oskar’s pod, smiling fondly at her sleeping husband. While glad to see he’d arrived safely, a mother’s worry propelled her to the next two tubes, peering inside them in turn. Dmitri and David slept peacefully, their frozen poses unconsciously mirroring each other. Bellamy felt something ease in her chest as she confirmed that her darling twins were safe. She’d never admit it but if forced to pick a favorite among her children, it would be the twins. Not one of them but the two of them as a unified being. In her mind, they were almost the same: brilliant and charming children who never failed to amaze her. “Commander, Captain Sarr requests your presence on the bridge. You are needed for a pre-landing meeting.” Hector sounded flustered but Bellamy knew she was projecting onto it. It was a complex, mobile computer and nothing more. Instead, she glanced at her sleeping darlings one more time. Let Sarr wait just a moment longer. Nothing he wanted mattered more than her family. * * * Yuan finished her last stretch, straightening gracefully. Waking from cryo was harder for her than others and few things helped her transition faster than yoga. It left her refreshed and warm after her cold sleep. Ready to face Tara, she pulled on her combat gear. Lex stood nearby, its face set in a vague, pleasant smile. “Do you require anything else, Commander?” It’s Standard Chinese was perfect, of course. Yuan didn’t expect anything else but the occasional mistake would make the constructs seem more human and less robotic. “Is my interpreter awake?” She couldn’t quite stop her scowl at her question; had she known that she would need to know other languages when she was in school, she would have made time for them. She’d planned on working for the PRA until retirement. The Zheng flu had altered those plans and forced her to remove her family from the stations. Tara had been the only option but her lack of foresight left her dependant on another person. “No, Commander, he is scheduled to be awakened among the secondary personnel. Captain Sarr believed that Hector and I could serve you as translators until Mr. Zu is revived. The captain is also fluent in Standard Mandarin as well.” The Lexus-model Jeeves stared at her with infinite calm. Yuan stiffened, frowning tightly. Sarr knew she didn’t trust a Jeeves and preferred her human translator. “Shall we, Commander? The captain is waiting for us.” Lex gestured toward the door, the sweep of his arm as demure as any properly-trained servant. Yuan stalked out of the room, ignoring the robot. It followed in her wake, passive and subservient. When they passed the men’s room, Lex broke off to start reviving the security team. By the time they landed, she needed to have her commandos on their feet and ready to go. She didn’t know what waited for them on the surface of the planet but she would be prepared to protect this ship and crew. * * * Sarr nodded to Yuan as she arrived on the bridge last. He’d expected that; her files indicated that she had a hard time waking up from the cryosleep. She returned his greeting with a nod of her own, ignoring the Jeeves hovering over her station. Hector stepped back when she took her seat, relinquishing full control to her. The captain turned back to the screens in front of him, reviewing each one for data about their coming landing. This would be the hard part of the immigration to Tara. Though he was far from a devout man, he still whispered a prayer to Allah as he ran his gaze over the readouts. “Commander Bellamy, what is our status for landing?” The brunette woman twisted her chair around to nod to him. “All our calibrations and vectors have been checked three times, once by me and twice by the computer. SciDiv is ready.” Her cat’s smile smile was smug and assured, and Sarr hoped that she was right in her self-assessment. He knew all these people but they hadn’t had time to truly bond as a crew. That took more than one flight together, and they’d spent this one asleep. In the back of his head, he also knew that this was temporary. They were a crew only long enough to get to the planet and do the initial set up. He suspected they would drift apart once the remaining ships arrived and the permanent government for the settlement became established. Before Sarr could ask, Ferro spoke. “My boards are green, or whatever color they should be. The ship is ready for the landing approach.” “Let’s hope it’s a landing, Mr. Ferro, and not just an approach.” Sarr covertly checked his restraints, making sure the silver straps were snug around his torso. “The Melbourne can make multiple attempts at landing but I want to do this once, if at all possible.” Reminding himself that he was stating the obvious unnecessarily - he had a better crew than that - Sarr turned to Commander Yuan. “Are you prepared to make the landing?” He had learned Chinese many years ago so she was able to speak to him directly. “We are. Lex is currently waking my initial task force. They should be ready by the time you are ready to unseal the doors.” “Very good.” He turned back to the console, noting the twenty tiny windows that monitored the few crew members who were awake. Sarr watched their soft green glows, all the vital stats hidden until he focused on them, drawing them up with a flick of his fingers. “Hector, what is the status of the Melbourne’s computers?” Hector was quiet for a second, the blue LEDs on his shoulder flashing. “The Melbourne’s internal systems are ready.” “Captain, before we go, can we see it?” Ferro’s request was not part of their procedure but after he spoke, Bellamy and Yuan looked at the captain hopefully. Sarr studied the hopeful expressions in front of him. In truth, when it was mentioned, he was just as eager as the other three, and he smiled as he tapped the controls to show a live image of the planet. It appeared on the largest screen in the room, the central bridge screen. The green and blue globe looked like old images of Earth. Sarr felt his breath catch in his throat at the sight. So far from our homeland, yet I feel right. I feel like I am in the right place. I feel like this is Home. Keeping the video feed active and on the main screen, Sarr turned back to his console. In front of him were the controls that would start their descent. Everything was ready; all that was left was to start the process. The moment seemed to require that he say something profound and Sarr had thought about it. He just hadn’t been able to come up with anything good enough. Now though, the words came. “Welcome home, everyone.” The command crew smiled at him, unified completely for one moment. Sarr cleared his throat and said, “Beginning descent.” His fingers almost paused over the controls but he refused to hesitate on the cusp of their homecoming. He was one of the new people qualified to land the Melbourne but was the only one who had run through all of the disaster sequences in the simulator. The entire bridge crew had prepared for landing but not like he had. This was his last action as captain and he wanted it done right. The computer began to relay all pertinent data for their descent, a complex and varied rainbow of information. “We are entering the thermosphere,” Bellamy reported calmly but a current of excitement ran through the room. “I am releasing the weather and communication satellites.” “Thank you, Commander.” Sarr kept his focus on his screens, trusting that his science officer could handle the launches of the various platforms they were leaving in orbit. They lowered in silence for twenty minutes, each person attending to their station. They continued smoothly through the layers of atmosphere, passing through each on schedule. Bellamy broke the silence to announce, “We’re at fourteen kilometers, and just passed into Tara’s troposphere.” A shudder ran through the ship and the captain looked at his science officer. The brunette answered his unasked question. “Minor turbulence, to be expected in the troposphere.” “Stress to the Mel is well within tolerances.” Ferro sounded bored; Sarr shot a quick look at him and saw the man was slumped in his seat, hands on the arm of his chair instead of ready on his controls. “Look sharp, Mr. Ferro.” The captain didn’t bother to hide his irritation. They couldn’t afford any problems due to a lapse in judgment on the engineer’s part. This was exactly why he’d wanted a military engineer rather than a civilian. “I am sharp, Captain.” The engineer turned to give him a quick smirk. “Trust me, the ship is fine.” Sarr spared him a single hard glare before returning to his screen. “Humor me, please. We’ll soon be to the surface and where it is more interesting.” Ferro sighed heavily but did as asked, sitting up and taking a more active interest in the screens. The captain sighed in relief and returned his full focus to their chosen landing site. It was a low, flat plain above an underground aquifer. It was a bit higher above sea level than the area around it, making it ideal for keeping an eye on their surroundings. It was close to mountains and a large inland sea and not too far from the coast. Sarr was looking forward to claiming some beachfront property and building his final home there. Just two more kilometers to home-- “Sir, we have a mass rising from the planet’s surface.” Bellamy’s voice cut through the quiet atmosphere on the bridge. “It’s organic and it’s on an intercept course to us.” “What is it?” Sarr pulled up the feed on the main screen, spotting the black dot instantly. It was growing as the Melbourne approached it. “I think it’s indigenous flora - yes, some of the flying creatures reported in the survey.” She swallowed tightly. “The reports never showed a flock of this size. Sir, I don’t think they’re going to break off.” “Abort the descent.” They were only a kilometer from the landing site; the knowledge was bitter to him. So close yet so far. Sarr knew that the spaceship could take some damage but they knew nothing about these birds. If they flew through a flock, it could do quite a bit of damage. “Coming up fifteen degrees--” “Captain, they’re altering course to follow.” The alarm in Bellamy’s voice spiked Sarr’s heart rate. He didn’t reply, merely adjusted their heading more. The computer offered several suggestions but he took one of his own, turning hard to starboard and increasing their speed. “Sir, they’re still adjusting! Impact in twenty seconds!” Cursing under his breath in his native tongue, Sarr quickly set the computer to pick a spot for emergency landing in their path. We might not need it but-- The first impacts with the flock went unnoticed but the culmulative weight of the animals began to rattle the ship. Sarr ground his teeth as he considered the sheer number of birds hitting them to have that impact. “Hull integrity is dropping!” Ferro called out from his station. Something boomed deep in the ship and the engineer cursed in Spanish. “They’ve penetrated the hull!” Sarr reversed his attempt to ascend. A hull breach meant they couldn’t escape into space again. “Where!” “B-55, it’s communications. But it’s next to the engines and they’re attacking them.” Ferro looked toward him, his brown eyes wide. “We’re going down.” “I know.” Sarr kept his voice soft and calm. Panic wouldn’t help, especially once warnings began to flare on the screen as more and more systems took damage. “We’re going to make a hard landing.” Dread filled the bridge. They’d prepared and practiced for it but had hoped and prayed to avoid that scenario. Turning to his security officer, he ordered, “Cmd. Yuan, please go down to the cryotubes that hold your security team and be ready to brief them.” “Yes, Captain.” Her voice faded at the end as she hurried out of the room. Sarr fell back on every trick he’d learned in the simulations to keep the Melbourne in the air and give her more time to prepare. With hostiles aboard, and more likely to attack once they had landed, she would need all the help he could give her. Despite his best attempts, the screens filled with the image of the new landing site. Sarr hoped it was safe enough, as it had been chosen by physics instead of his intent. That was his last thought as he pulled up the nose and they slammed into the earth of their new home.
  10. 2 points
    BASIC INFORMATION Organization: SPI Domain: Cape Town (Online at rpgpost.com) Genre: Werewolf the Forsaken Storyteller: Wing. VSS Publication: 2015/04/18 STYLE OF PLAY Physical: 4 The hunt forms an integral part of Forsaken. While some hunts can be philosophical in nature, they would prove to be the exception rather than the rule. Mental: 3 The Spirit is a psychoreactive cognitive realm. Social: 4 Werewolves are pack animals, even inter-pack disputes are more often not solved through words, threats, bribes or just knowing the right person, Spirit, werewolf, vampire or just having the right leverage. Action: 4 Words don't always cut it and werewolevs aren't your only opponents. Also, some people just won't listen. Hell, sometimes you won't listen. And that's fine. Character Development: 4 Renown is more than just a means to get new Gifts, better pools and a better Honorary Spirt Rank; it is a quasi-objective measure of character development; or how well your Cahalith can bullshit the Lunes. Darkness: 3 Hosts are monsters that will tear apart families, violent social strife grips the streets of Cape Hope, the Pure may have gone but there's no guarantee they haven't left members of their pack that even the most fastidious Blood talon would miss. Manners: 2 South Africans are fond of swearing. There are no words on the "reserved list". "See you next tuesday" is casually said, although more frequently in the Afrikaans. According to many western sensibilties this is a symptom of bad manners; I (as ST and a person) am inclined to disagree, but I could think of nowhere else to raise the matter with the players. Mystery: 3 If Forsaken isn't a little bit mysterious, it's being run wrong. Pacing: 3 Werewolves are not good at patience. Each of the above operates on a scale of 1-5 . 1 means that the element in question will rarely be present, 3 meaning it will regularly be present, and 5 meaning it will always be present. VENUE DESCRIPTION Mood: seige mentality Themes: reclaiming territory shadow courts paying inherited debts HISTORY 1990s For a hundred years, and a hundred years before, the Pure have held Cape Hope. Pacts with Eldritch Spirits and even Hosts, if you believe the rumors, helped cement their rule. A permissive attitude towards Spirits entering the gurihal[1] ensured relatively peaceful coexistence with the less powerful denizens of the hisil. The tendrils of the Ivory Claws spread into the most ostensibly incorruptible bureaucracies, the Fire Touched riled the general populace into rioutous frenzy, and no street gang was free of the influence of the Predator Kings. 2001 The turning of the milenium brought about more than just a change in the calendar. Whether through a cosmic shift or because of the ephemeral nature of the Shadow, the Eldritch Spirits backing the Pure could be found no more. The shift in power was not immediate, but it allowed a Forsaken pack lead by Thomas Ironhammer to seize a sizeable territory from one of the older Pure packs. 2002 Taking the territory was easy, holding it was less so. The large pack that Ironhammer had gathered began infighting and eventually split into two and split two smaller territories off their old territory, yielding some to the Pure. 2010 The fighting between the Pure and Forsaken packs tuns to bloody warfare and the two all but wipe each other out in glorious strife.
  11. 2 points
    BASIC INFORMATION Organization: SPI Domain: Cape Town (Online at rpgpost.com) Genre: Vampire: The Requiem VST: Malachite Drake (PM me on the forums to get ahold of me) VSS Publication: 03/31/2015 STYLE OF PLAY Physical: 3 Mental: 3 Social: 5 Action: 3 Character Development: 5 Darkness: 4 Drama: 4 Intrigue: 4 Manners: 3 Mystery: 3 Pacing: 3 Each of the above operates on a scale of 1-5 . 1 means that the element in question will rarely be present, 3 meaning it will regularly be present, and 5 meaning it will always be present. VENUE DESCRIPTION Mood: Tangled Webs Themes: Old Guard vs. Modern Kindred Intricate Schemes The Consequences of Power HISTORY Pre-colonization (Distant Past-1652) Kindred have existed in the Cape Town region long before European colonization came. The Circle of the Crone in the area claim that Cape Town was a Kindred stronghold long before Romans ever stepped foot in Africa and certainly well before the time of Longinus. This is, of course, heresy to the Lancea Sanctum, whom maintain that the Cape Town area was originally settled by a faction of outcast Kindred that were exiled to the farthest point of the Dark Continent for some unspeakable crime by one of Longinus' disciples. The Crone enjoy coming up with wild tales of what their so-called outcast forebearers could have done to have rankled the Sanctum, but most just to annoy the local priests when they're bored. The Dutch (1652-1795) Once the Dutch were firmly established in the region, the Lancea Sanctum followed in the shadows of the deeply religious colonists. They spent nearly a century converting or killing the native inhabitants of the area, targeting the isolated cults in order to weaken the hold of the pagan Kindred over the area. This war had bloody costs on both sides, though most of the direct fighting was done in the borderlands around the colony. The few Invictus that had travelled with the Sanctum were there as military support, a House and several Thorned Wreath vassals, intent on ensuring a new foothold of Invictus/Sanctum power in Africa. Some whispers still persist to this night that thier "noble" calling was an escape before exile or execution in Denmark for unspecified crimes. Rule Britannia (1795-1989) The shift from Dutch to British control of the Cape Town colony was marked also by the destruction of the original Invictus House that had settled the area. The Crone, citing cultural lineage through the original cults in the area, and Carthians alike claim credit for the Blackest Night, the one night in 1804 when every Invictus and Lancea Sanctum member within a hundred miles of the Cape Town colony was destroyed. For the next decade, European Kindred from a number of countries, most notably Holland, France, and Britain, would pour into the coastal town, attempting to reassert control. Finally, a British member of the Invictus, a Gangrel sent from London to quell the chaos, managed to do just that. She brought with her nearly a dozen progeny spawned in a careful expansion of her power over a century, and the brood hunted the night until the debt of vitae from the Blackest Night had been extracted in equal measure from the entrenched Crone and the newly prominent Carthians in the area. After over a century more of terror, the Crone retreated completely from the area and the Carthians surrendered all domains within the colony save for those areas that exclusively housed slaves or freed non-whites. The colony settled into a mostly peaceful dictatorship under the iron fist of Prince Deborah. The New World (1989-Present) Prince Deborah finally surrendered herself to the need for torpor shortly before the official end of apartheid. Many whisper that this was more to do with her refusal to adopt the modern mortal morals and ideals of equality, others simply hold that she had been active for nearly three centuries already and her blood was dangerously thick. Either way, her torpor had a number of unexpected effects on the Cape Town principality. The first was her appointment of a Ventrue Invictus, Baron Victor del Mar to the position of Prince, instead of one of her own numerous brood in the region. Del Mar was, in fact, imported from London only a few years earlier at the Prince's request. He has officially ruled Cape Town for a quarter century now, but the true heart of Kindred power immediately shifted away from the throne the moment Deborah was in the earth. The Carthians have managed to regain much lost ground in the city since Del Mar's ascension and even the Crone have made cautious appearances at both Court and other Elysiums in the decades since the Gangrel Prince's retirement. At the turn of the century, the Dragons finally made (an official) appearance in the South African tip as well, petitioning del Mar for a large domain within the city to establish an academy. Del Mar granted the request and has been a staunch supporter of the Order's efforts, creating a strong personal alliance with the newest Covenant in the Cape Town.
  12. 2 points
    "I'll catch you," Jack promised earnestly, knowing it wasn't going to be enough. His gut twisted with a sudden, vague prescience - it was going to go bad if he didn't act further. Even as the one of the conduits snapped, Jack planted his foot on the support he had had it hooked under and pushed up, while he let his foot on the tilted edge of the sundered deck slide down, using the weight of his legs to keep him on the deck while he stretched his arms and torso over the gap. Miraculously, the red-headed girl had instinctively reached out for him in her terror, and he was able to grab one of her hands in his own, his other hand getting a grip on her forearm, supporting her several dozen meters above the Taran ground. Unfortunately, she still had some forward momentum and her forehead slammed into the bridge of his nose, making him see stars, his hands tightening their grip instinctively, as her weight wrenched his arms in their sockets. "Okay, Red, little closer than I'd like, but I said I'd catch you," Jack said with his crooked grin, keeping his voice light and forcing the pain out of it as he blinked the tears from his eyes. "Now, just keep looking up - there's nothing down there we need to worry 'bout - and we'll get out of this in a nano-sec." As soon as I figure out how. Slender and not tall, he was able to support her weight readily enough for the moment, though he could feel the blood from his hand starting to make his grip on her forearm slip, and the ragged edge of the split deck was digging into his rugged leather and canvas clothing covering his waist. But while the weight of his freely hanging legs was letting him keep his balance on the edge, without having his legs or feet braced against something, he couldn't get the leverage he needed to pull her up, not without her mass pulling him over. The throbbing beginning in his shoulders wasn't helping much either. "Keep looking at me!" Jack reiterated sharply, as the girl didn't seem reassured and seemed about to look that. Complete panic wasn't going to help either of them. Jack kept feeling around with his feet, seeking something, anything, within reach to hook. If I can get some of her weight over my shoulders, shift my weight as she does, then slide back on my stomach at the right time... It might work, though we might suffered a hard tumble down the slope. Better than a fifty-sixty meter freefall. "So, this is what we're going to do." Talina screamed as he let go of her forearm just long enough to get a different grip on it - it was harder on his wrist, but would allow him to lift her higher. "First, no screaming. Not that I don't mind a woman screaming all that much, but you need to hear instructions right?" His voice was growing tighter with the strain of holding her in this precarious position. "Next, on three, I'm going to lift you as high as I can and I need you to pull up at the same time. When you're as high as we can get you, I'm going to let go of this hand." He gave their entwined fingers a squeeze. "Then you are going to reach as far as you can down my back and pull yourself. I'll boost you up as much as I can by the leg. Then we are going to slide down the deck, okay? Trust me. I got you this far, already and you haven't fallen, didn't?" The girl looked up at him, her eyes frightfully wide, her lip quivered with a barely suppressed scream, her face painfully young. Finally, after a moment that was longer than he'd wished, she gave him a tiny nod. Jack nodded back, his smile tight and fierce and encouraging. "Good. On three. One..."
  13. 2 points
    Her throat raw from screaming and crying for help, she paused to gasp for air and started coughing from the acrid smoke in the air. She still heard the sporadic popping sounds and now she could hear screams as well. Tears running down her face she was close to panicking when she heard the man call out. She looked around and finally spotted him climbing through the twisted metal and plastic. He shouted something else but all she understood was the word red. He was getting closer, and again he shouted only a few meters away now, "Just focus on me, 'kay? Don't look down, look at me. Follow what I am doing - I haven't lost someone on a climb yet." She watched as he climbed closer saw the red blood running down his arm and felt the panic rise again when she looked down at the crushed cryo tubes scattered on the ground below and saw the bodies of the colonists and then she noticed the blue things moving down there tearing at the bodies. She scurried back against the far side of the tube her heart pounding with fear, her movements causing the sway to increase. “Almost there Red!†His voice snapped her head around and momentarily quelled her panic he was much closer now almost here, almost to her. Then he stopped an held out his hand. "Now, in one movement, just like rolling out of bed, I want you reach out and grab my arm with both of your hands, okay? And I'll pull you in and get you down, safe and sound. Trust me." “No,†she shook her head violently, “those things, I'll fall, I'll fall!†she was almost screaming again fear and panic in her voice. As if in response to her anguished cry one of the last conduits parted causing the tube to slam back against the bulkhead the force throwing Talina out of the tube as the support gave way sending the whole thing crashing down toward the surface!
  14. 2 points
    The dark silence and near oblivion of Dr. Temnikova's cryosleep was suddenly pierced by an onslaught of sensations. The cool, fresh air washed over bare skin accompanied by the acrid smells of burning plastics and electronics. The unrelenting claxons of alarms, the snapping and popping of broken cables and wires and the occasional gunshot and screech pierced her ears. The bright sunlight stabbed at her eyes as she tried to open them, forcing them to recoil closed. "What the hell!?" she muttered to herself in her native Russo-Euro as she sat up, but could not shake the disorientation of her balance. She reached under her pillow and retrieved a pack of cigarettes, withdrawing one and place it between her lips while her eyes remained closed, still not entirely grasping the situation. "Damnit." she sighed in annoyed disappointment feeling the dampness of the cigarette between her lips. She wiggled her toes on the cold, metal deck plate and stood up, despite her disorientation. Immediately her butt was greeted but the unforgiving metal floor while the back of her head kissed the canopy of the opened cryotube. "Son of a bitch!" she cursed, the sound of her angry Russian exclamation piercing the noise of the room for a moment. With her hand on the back of her head she forced her eyes open. It was than that she relaxed that she was disoriented, but the deck was, in fact, pitched sharply. Dr. Temnikova looked around the chamber as her eyes adjusted, The rows of cryotubes where now a mess, strewn about like a petulant child's toys. Some lay opened, others were flickering while others were broken with the interior of their remaining canopy splattered with crimson. She could see among the tubes the occasional fluttering of azure, but disregarded it as her mind set about prioritizing her immediate needs. "Trouble never comes alone." she sighs aloud, remembering the old Russian expression as she slammed the open button to her locker behind her tube with her fist. She reached in and pulled out her bags, flailing limbs about as she tried to get dressed as quickly as she could. Finally she threw on her lab coat and wrapped stethoscope behind her neck. Despite the extra time it took to put on, figuring they would be the best way for any of the injured to recognize her as the doctor. She stood up once more on the pitched deck and took stock of her surroundings more thoroughly this time, focusing on the immediate rather than how this situation came to pass. It was then that she could hear a scream and with all the grace she could muster, she began working her way to chasm that now divided the massive chamber, searching for the source of the scream.
  15. 2 points
    His frozen dreams were of darkness, of void, of unbearable grief. Of what his life had become with the lost of his wife and daughter to the remorseless environment of space on the surface of the moon. Ten years passed in an instant, an instant of infinite length, a decade lived in the nothingness between the stars and an all consuming silence, broken only the strains of loss and the strumming of grief falling over each other. ♫ I have died everyday waiting for you ♫ ♫ But there never seems to be enough time ♫ ♫And if only I could, I'd make a deal with God ♫ Jack groaned, the instant ending with sensation and the awareness of time slamming back into him with a terrible suddenness. His skin, still cool from cryosleep, prickled with the heat of his blood once more flowing through his veins. Thoughts still sluggish with ten years of sleep, ears still ringing with the songs he had only started to learn to play in the subjective year since Alex and Sam had passed away, Jack sat up and... grunted as his head smacked into the underside of the canopy of the cryotube. ♫ Darling, don't be afraid I have loved you ♫ ♫ To do the things you want to do, Once you find them ♫ ♫ And I'd get him to swap our places ♫ Perfect! Jack pounded on the canopy with a fist, the sound resonating inside the cryotube, but the canopy didn't budge. We better be on Tara, because I'm never going into space again. No moons, no space stations, no stellar vehicles, none of it! Just give me dirt and mountains, trees and grass, wind and sunlight, and a place to call home. He twisted on his side, got his fingers under the lip of the canopy and heaved, his breath frosting in the dissipating coolness of the cryotube. The canopy held for a moment, then retracted with a hiss as the force he exerted passed a certain threshold.He spun around and sat up, head swimming with grogginess and nausea, balance completely off with the after-effects of cryosleep. His hand closed around the pendant hanging around his neck - which the techs had advised he pack away but he refused to part with - the coldness of the metal biting his skin, but steadying his head. ♫ For a thousand years ♫ ♫ I've looked around enough to know ♫ ♫ Be running up that road, Be running that hill ♫ It wasn't only his balance that was off. The deck of the Melbourne was canted to a noticeable degree. The acrid scent of burning plastic was in the air, the crackle of electrical sparks and the squeal of stressed metal was a cacophony in his ears. Panic rose inside him, the ship was damaged, but his could still breathe, atmosphere wasn't venting, to steal his breath and his life. Panic began to subside and now, Jack could make out the retorts of gunshots and the distinct sound of animal life, the trill of some bird or lizard he wasn't familiar with. There were muffled screams and curses coming from all over the hangar and beyond. Rough landing, but we're on the ground, were we're going to stay. He looked over his shoulder and saw the deck of the ship cant even more sharply, to where the vessel was split open, cracked in half like an eggshell, sunlight streaming in, mingling with the flickering luminescence from the floor lights. Jack couldn't help a wistful smile crossing his lips as sunlight - slightly more orange than he was used to - fell across his face, sunlight he wished he could have given to Alex and Sam. Then he heard the girl scream. ♫ I'll love you for a thousand more ♫ ♫ That you're the one I want to go Through time with ♫ ♫ Be running up that building, If only I could, oh... ♫ Jack heard his daughter scream. Intellectually, he knew he didn't really hear his daughter scream. She had been a moon away, and even if she had had time to scream, nobody could have heard it in the vacuum of vented atmosphere, but he heard it all the same. It wasn't his daughter screaming, but she was someone's. Looking up, Jack saw the cryotube hanging over the edge of the shattered hull, supported by a single support and several cables, sunlight flashing off a head of red hair. With a whine, one of the cables snapped, the cryotube dipped lower, and the girl's scream rose higher. Jack moved. It wasn't the rock and stone he was familiar with and enjoyed, but the Melbourne offered plenty of hand-holds to a seasoned mountaineer, other cryotubes, buckled deck plating, listing supports. His legs were stiff at first, hands and feet slipping on smooth, metallic surfaces, but adrenaline burned away the awkwardness and Jack adjusted to the synthetic climbing track. "Hold on, Red, someone's coming!" Jack shouted up at the girl over the chaos of the damaged ship. He cursed as he cut his hand on a bent piece of steel, but kept climbing with a smooth economy of motion and tactical precision of chosen hand and footholds. He kept talking, loud but trying to keep any anxiety from his voice, that might make her panic and react poorly. "Just focus on me, 'kay? Don't look down, look at me. Follow what I am doing - I haven't lost someone on a climb yet." The last was a lie, but now wasn't the time to go into details about rich folks not listening to the professional guide they had hired. Jack made it to the edge of the break, and feet braced against the uneven and canted deck, worked his way hand over hand until he was at the foot of the girl's cryotube. He slammed a foot against a support, testing how solid it was. Finding it acceptable, he hooked a foot under it, balanced his other foot on the edge of the gap in the hull and stretched a hand forward as far as he could, ignoring the broken cryotubes and broken bodies dozens of meters below - there wasn't anything he could do for them, but he could do something for the girl. She would have to reach for his hand, not far, but he couldn't risk the cryotube supporting both his and the girl's weight. "Almost there, Red," Jack assured her with a tight one-sided grin, beads of sweat on his brow. Yes, he was good at this, but there was a girl's - a young woman's - life in his hands and he had just woken up from a ten year sleep a few minutes ago. The pendant with two diamonds in it swung back and forth from the chain around his neck, flashing in the sun. "Now, in one movement, just like rolling out of bed, I want you reach out and grab my arm with both of your hands, okay? And I'll pull you in and get you down, safe and sound. Trust me." ♫... a thousand more... ♫ ♫... go Through time with... ♫ ♫... If only I could, oh... ♫
  16. 2 points
    Hiroki woke in stages. From normal sleep, he was a quick riser, getting up almost the moment his eyes opened. He had always been an active person and sleep had been something you did so you could do more stuff tomorrow. A ten-year nap had been a necessary evil to get to Tara and now that he was here, all he wanted to do was get up and do. However, he was learning that he didn’t come out of cyro easily. The tube sat open, waiting patiently for him. He rolled into an upright position – and froze. The tube next to him was open, too, but the blue parrot-thing ensured that the slow waker in that tube wouldn’t wake up again. Crimson blood dribbled down its beak as it turned its head, looking at him with a brilliant green eye. Hiroki had a healthy respect for birds after a run-in with a goose at a young age, and while this bird was not as big as a goose, it was still over half a meter tall. The oversized bill and massive claws were unsettling. They were even more off-putting knowing that his weapons were stowed in the compartment to his right but they might have been on the moon for all the good they did him. It spread dazzling wings and came at him, and Hiroki grabbed his only weapon – the wet pillow he’d slept on for a decade. The bird hit the foam with its beak and Hiroki tried to pinch it shut to trap it. It was only partially successful and the bird pulled free as its talons raked his arms. Hiroki lunged for it; he had to get hands on it to kill it. He caught a foot and the creature shrieked and battered him with its wings. On a two-foot bird, they were substantial clubs but he refused to let go. The other foot clenched around his fist but Hiroki swung the bird around and smashed it against the side of his pod. Dazed, it flapped weakly but he bounced it off the hard plastic a few more times. When it hung limply, he grabbed its head and twisted until he heard some sickening cracks. Dropping the corpse, he popped open his container and pulled out his armor and guns. The armor was standard issue; he’d had better on the force at Neo York. Of course, in Neo York, he’d been fighting against the Lunar Mafia and they’d been very well-equipped. Shaking off thoughts of the world he’d left behind, Hiroki slapped on his armor, forgoing the full uniform. No doubt that hardass Yuan would take offense but fuck it, he could hear people screaming. He grabbed his Glock and Winchester and started scanning for blue. A form dashed by a door, followed by azure streaks. Hiroki hurried over and saw a man tried to hold off three of the birds by himself. Hiroki stepped into the hallway and said, “Hold still.†When the man froze, he shot one bird on the floor, a second starting to come at him, and the third as it went after its target. The man yelped as the bird slammed into the wall by his shoulder instead of him. Seeing no more birds, Hiroki asked, “You okay?â€
  17. 2 points
    The location was exotic, but such was that of a restaurant of the first class, serving the best clientele in the midst of a dinosaur preserve. Jaime proudly removed the lids of his dishes for this exemplary pair of distinguished guests with a flourish. Outside, through a window you could see a pack of raptors scurrying a swift pace. "For sir: creme of deep-sea vault lamprey, pulled, diced and poached in blood." That was some of his best work ever, with completely non-vegetarian items. True, such plants were his greatest specialty, but skill demanding being able to put out highest worth meals no matter what the kitchen was stocked with. The coppery tang was enticing and strong. Jaime inhaled it in dramatically. Then, blinked. He realized that the patrons were blank-faced, literally. He also realized that the blood was in fact, coming from him biting down on his lower lip hard. Then he woke up, in the midst of a silent cryotube, strange animalian sounds erupting in the atmosphere of a mangled ship - and Jaime realized he really was bleeding from his lower lip. And more cuts from shards about his arms too. Shocked, he worked to free himself from the damaged cocoon - and happened to be unhappily reminded about some interesting tales about dreams and the unconscious spun to him from a fellow alumni at the University (a psychology major). Carl Jung, I hate you. Once extricated, Jaime began dabbing with his shirt sleeves at the various bleeding spots, trying to damp them down while he started to look around. It was not good - something had clearly gone wrong. Jaime quickly paced his way down the hallways, looking for the crew. A strange warble came from behind him. Jaime turned to see a trio of turquoise birds flap around the bend - then, before he could study them with interest - screeched. And charged. Already discomfited, Jaime ran. Unfortunately, they seemed set on attacking him. Jaime burst over a metal catwalk, but had to stop himself at the last minute to avoid smashing himself into the solid door. Jaime banged on it desperately but only felt the sting in his knuckles. Another warble. Almost unconsciously, Jaime grabbed at the nearest thing: a piece of metal piping, and swung blindly. The first bird pulled back, and its companions swooped in. Thus began the square dance of Jaime Lowery and his avian partners - if by dance, one meant Jaime desperately jabbing or swiping the pipe at any bird to come in close - whose fellows would swoop in turn while the others retreated. Jaime really was doing this out of desperation - bit by bit the rhythm became more against him and his limited energy. "I! WILL! SEE! ALL OF YOU! ROASTED! ON! A! SPIT!" The scream was more for his sake of holding out than any promise.
  18. 2 points
    Her cryodreams were endless corridors back on El Astraea, running and running and never knowing exactly what or who she was running from. She needed to find her family, she thought. She needed to help them, but how? The corridors finally ended in sharp explosion and then a loud crack. She slammed against a bulkhead, then woke up to shards from the cryotube cutting into her skin. She blinked in the bright sunlight, too stunned to move for several minutes. The storage room was full of empty, broken cryotubes and other extra supplies, tossed around like someone had done their best impression of treating the Melbourne as a snow globe. Past the sounds of the emergency sirens blaring into the room, Gabriela could dimly hear the report of gunfire and...something else. Something she couldn't place. She shook her head and tried to sit up. She felt the blood from her cuts run down her arms and the world spun with every inch she moved. I'm bleeding. I'm bleeding and there's sunlight. Sunlight means...what? Something important. I'm bleeding. Am I going to die? She stumbled out into the hallway and the hole in the ship followed her. Looking up she could see blue sky and it finally clicked. We're here. We're on Tara! Her whole body was shaking and now she didn't know if it was from blood loss and shock or just shock. We're here!....and someone crashed the ship. Way to go, guys in charge. She took a breath and began carefully picking her way through the dimly lit mangled rooms, hoping to run into someone helpful soon. What a first impression to make. 'Hello, new planet. We're humans and we're crashing the neighborhood. Literally.' She rounded a junction of corridors and ran into...something...hiding in the tangled ruin of pipes running along the upper half of the space. It was sort of like the birds she'd read about on El Astraea; she'd even seen a few live ones when her parents had taken her and her sister to the arboretum on the Garden levels, but none of those birds had looked this predatory. It had feathers, prettily colored in varying shades of light blue, but it's beak and feet all looked oversized and ridiculously sharp. As it spotted her and screeched in rage, she noticed that the splashes of darker blue on some of the feathers weren't coloring, but some sort of viscous liquid. The creature dove at her but fell short of reaching her; one of its wings was badly broken. It fell awkwardly to the floor, limping slowly towards her in some oddly defiant effort to attack her despite its obvious distress. The floor shifted underneath her as she watched the 'bird' and she blinked in the bright sunlight, too stunned to move for several minutes. The storage room was full of empty, broken cryotubes and other extra supplies, tossed around like someone had done their best impression of treating the Melbourne as a snow globe. Past the sounds of the emergency sirens blaring into the room, Gabriela could dimly hear the report of gunfire and...something else. Something she couldn't place. She shook her head and tried to sit up. She felt the blood from her cuts run down her arms and the world spun with every inch she moved. I'm bleeding. I'm bleeding and there's sunlight. Sunlight means...what? Something important. I'm bleeding. Am I going to die? She stood up and stepped on something sharp. "Merde," she hissed and kicked the bird away from her. The creepy little thing had snuck up on her and bit her. And a very fuck you, too, Tara, Gabriela thought uncharitably. She stumbled along a few more passageways and finally spotted one of the emergency medkits bolted to a still somewhat intact wall. She pried it down and spent a couple of minutes making sloppy bandages everywhere she'd been cut by plastiglass or unfriendly Taran native. She rested for a moment, staring down the still-empty corridors. She needed to run, she knew, but she was so tired. She needed to find her family, she thought. She needed to help them, but how? The corridors finally ended in sharp explosion and then a loud crack. She started, coming quickly to her feet and spinning around, trying to find the source of the sounds. The ship was split open above her and she could see out into the Taran sky. Tara? Have we landed? Way to go, guys in charge. She took a breath and began carefully picking her way through the dimly lit mangled hallways, hoping to run into someone helpful soon. What a first impression to make. 'Hello, new planet. We're humans and we're crashing the neighborhood. Literally.'
  19. 2 points
    State of the art machinery served its purpose, damage to systems triggers the appropriate relays, circuits opened and closed, internal and external sensors measured viability. The Tube was on internal power, but the integrity was compromised. Attempts to reconnect to external power sources failed. Query main computer: failed. Query Auxiliary computers: failed. Initiate emergency protocols: In progress. Alert Appropriate medical personnel: Failed. Asses Tube Viability: compromised, failure imminent, Asses Subject Viability: subject viable, expiration imminent due to tube failure: initiate emergency revivification process: in progress Needles slammed into the deep sleeping girls arms as multiple drugs were pumped into her body not in the calm orderly manner normal wake up procedures call for but in the crash do or die manner usedr in extreme emergencies. At the same time all the various tubes and sensors were simultaneously extracted air pressures were equalized and then the tube opened. Talina Mercer came awake as her system was shocked into consciousness by the cold blast of oxygenated air and the drugs roaring through her system. Cold and wet her body reacting violently to the effects of suddenly waking up from a years long sleep she griped the edge of the tube and pulled her self up to lean over the side as she dry heaved trying to empty the non existing contents of her stomach. Her eyes didn't want to work everything was light and shadows flashing and the noise filled her ears with a howling and screeching and funny popping sounds going off in rapid succession. She was completely disoriented from the nausea which wasn't getting better, she screwed her eyes shut and griped the lip of the tube tightly , fuck where is the doctor whats going on oh my god mommy, her sense where all screwed up she even felt like the tube was rocking back and forth which made her heave even more. Once the current wave of nausea passed she slowly opened her eyes the moving sensation was more pronounced now, then suddenly the tube gave a violent jerk and it really did move and tipped at an angle. It was still for a moment then the rocking started again, her vision began to clear an her mind couldn't comprehend what her eyes were seeing. Twisted metal, sparking wires and conduits, sunlight streaming through the shattered hull revealing the battered and broken cyro tubes littering the ground dozens of meters below her rocking tube. Across from her incomprehensibly lay the other half of the Melbourne. As the horror of what she was seeing slowly seeped into her sleep and drug addled brain she looked up and saw that the rocking motion she felt was from the sole metal support left and the conduits and wires holding her cryo tube in place keeping it from plummeting to the ground below. Suddenly the popping sounds shattered her reverie, louder and closer than before, the scene she was seeing snapped into focus and the terror came boiling up. Talina Mercer, fifteen year old reluctant colonist, began screaming.
  20. 2 points
    Possibly this is the wrong place for this discussion, but: One of the things that has damaged the club in Oz (in my opinion) is the fact a number of people in Requiem try to stick with a canon that has the cities as completely independent and isolated. Other games are similar. A major 'selling point' of the club is the national and international game. Isolated cities defeats this selling point. One improvement in Requiem2 is that there are Conclaves of cities. It seems to me that it would be beneficial to lay the groundwork now to have a Conclave of the member clubs' cities. Yes, I realise that at the moment there will only be one city anyway, but if the plan is to eventually have others why not set up for it now. Given that historically there was a strong trade route from the Cape of Good Hope to Australia this might be a way to start developing this.
  21. 2 points
    Uriel got in, but then rapped the door holding Jonna in. "Let me in the back." Halstead gave him a look, but Uriel's adamant expression cowed any opposition and Uriel took his seating there. He watched her, sedated as he ruminated on the unnecessarily irate response of the other Warden. ,, She didn't seem to understand the importance of keeping low-key, much less being able to work things out with others without running into the obvious suspension of disbelief issues. Uriel's own credibility lay in not being overtly recognized into adhering with such craziness as it was perceived. ,, Besides, she seemed to miss the wider ramifications of her own words. The Eidolon 'doing its work', if that, the perfect, orderly force of reality was behind the Simitre... that had.... concerning implications, though what and why was not clear. If it was changing Jonna.... ,, Uriel sat, legs crossed in the lotus, as he began to work on his mystic weaving. What he wanted was, as a test, a spell that could halt the change of the Eidolon, focused enough for that merely. If he could do this during the drive without any observation, and it worked... then nobody would tell the difference yet for a bit. ,, And until Mariz, at least. ,, OOC Crafting a custom spell, slightly modified version of Physical Ward. Instead of protecting against damage, it halts changes in the body, and with the Linchpin to specialize on the Eidolon to hold it back. Call it: Transformational Ward?
  22. 2 points
    "This is completely wrong." Raeth spoke as xhe looked around, the Umbra and the Eidolon were mixing in ways that xhe had never seen before, they shouldn't be interacting in this way. "Of course it's wrong, is the Simitre, or did you mean something else?" Darmi as they moved though the streets avoiding the mutants and making their way to their destination. Raeth considered her for a moment before responding, once xhe had been shaman, before becoming D'xhir, and one of the duties of the shaman had been to teach. "This isn't the best time or place to explain this, but Eidolon and Umbra are the right and left hands of creation, they are both nessary, if one existed without the other, either all existence would calcify into stasis, or entropy would destroy all. Your Simitre has way more of the Eidolon within it then I was expecting... I shall have to look into that." ,, As xhe finished talking them came upon the motel and Raeth sensed the presence of the other Warden, moving to take the lead as they entered, and then encountering the other Warden and allies. For the first time, Raeth got a full glimpse of someone infected, but not yet changed by the Simitre, and even as xhe was looking, Halstead started to flirt with xhir, no doubt because of xhirs present rather attractive female form, and xhe turned to look at him a moment, before turning xhirs gaze back to Joanna and Uriel. ,, "One who has mastered the Umbra can not be altered without allowing it, I am better protected then you are in your suit, Azmani." It no doubt would make little sense to Halstead, but the one of them who was a warden should have some degree of understanding of what xhir was saying. "Besides, you are traveling with one already infected.. " Raeth's gaze was focused on Joanna, but seemed more like xhe was looking through her then at her.. which was correct, Raeth was tracking the influence of the Umbra in the woman as xhe began to speak again. ,, Raeth met Uriels eyes as xhe made xhirs next offer. "It's risky, but I may be able to put a stop to part of the change that is flowing though her, drawing out the effects of the Umbra, which would allow the Eidolon to work without the influence of the Umbra within her body. In theory I could also put a stop to the Eidolon shifts, but that would make it even more risky, sense I would be trying to do two things at once, stopping the Umbra shifts and countering the Eidolon at the same time. It could also kill you, or accelerate the change, I've never seen the twin forces of existence work together this way." ,, Darmi spoke up at that point even as the other two Azmani were looking at Raeth like xhe was made. "I know it sounds crazy, but I've already seen her do things that are impossible, if she says she might be able to do this, she might actually be able to do it."
  23. 2 points
    "Yes. A moment please," Smax replied. A small metal boom extended vertically out of his left shoulder about ten inches. It had small lenses and emission ports in it. A combination of instruments was housed within, but Smax was most interested in the highly accurate radar and lidar systems. Quickly all incoming mutants were labeled, tagged, and their relative velocities measured. ,, If they couldn't propel themselves, then their point of origin would be a simple matter of extrapolating it from the convergence of their past courses. ,, As he performed the calculations, he diverted power from the laser of the Omniblaster to the electromagnetic accelerator. Though the recoil might require some course correction from the pilot, the impact of the rounds would slow and deflect the creatures...making full kills unnecessary. ,, He began taking shots at approaching simitre mutants until the location of their origin point flashed in his field of vision. ,, "I have coordinates."
  24. 2 points
    Here's my first stab at the island idea. *braces for impact- uh, I mean, feedback* ,, Empyrea Archipelago A small island archipelago created in the mid-Atlantic in 1876, the islands went mostly by the public for nearly a century. Rumors of a place, a second “Bermuda Triangle” began to circulate at the turn of the twentieth century, and by the mid ‘50’s it was known in the circle of the strange and superhuman as a place to go for information, sanctuary, or to meet a nemesis on neutral ground. ,, Empyrea was brought into the public eye in the aftermath of two teams of superhumans, one heroic and one villainous, decided to ignore the strict rule of neutrality imposed by the island’s ruler, Vis. Vis is believed to be a deity by the inhabitants of the island (now all natural-born inhabitants of the island) and rarely appears publically. A person at least capable of existing as a being a pure energy, Vis quickly destroyed both groups, killing all offending parties and reiterating its primary rule for those that come to Empyrea: no fighting. ,, Small infractions of the rule, generally drunken scraps where no one is hurt, are simply broken up by the Empyreans. Any scuffle that does result in injury will involve an investigation and whomever the Empyrean vareska (a mix of investigator, magistrate, and judge) determines is responsible for the violence will be sentences to a period of exile, ranging from at least one month to up to permanent exile. Premeditated violence results in either permanent exile if the injury was minor or the parties are involved are brought to the Empyrean Palace for Vis’ personal judgment. In only one case where offenders were brought to Vis were they allowed permanent exile, all others have never been seen again and are presumed dead. ,, The island chain itself was created by shifting one of the underwater peaks of the main ridgeline running through the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Vis shifted a lava vent to create an underground heating and geothermal network to power the islands and give them a lushly tropical, rainforest environment despite being well into the temperate zone. The buildings throughout the archipelago for public use are ultra-modern, taking full advantage of the resident super-brains and inventors that both visit and even immigrate to the island. There is a single commercial-grade airport on one of the larger islands, dozens of helipads, a large harbor, and designated “alternate travel” locations for people to fly, teleport, or swim to the islands. ,, Attempting to sneak onto the islands has become something of a game for the metahuman community, though so far no one has “won”; Empyrean ‘greeters’ are invariably waiting wherever the person attempts to get on the islands, even through teleportation. One attempt to use the lava flows and geothermal vents to enter the island was met by Vis itself and politely informed that another such “clever but foolish” attempt in the same vein would be seen as an attempt to invade the island. Although Vis itself has not declared the largest island as off-limits to visitors, the Empyrean natives themselves have made it quite clear that they consider the island sacred ground and do not want uninvited visitors on the island. While trespassing can’t earn the same exile as fighting does, trespassers find their time on the archipelago much less pleasant after they’ve annoyed the natives. ,, Empyrean nationals seem to be grab-bag of ethnicities from all over the world. Any skin-tone or facial features can be found, though the natives have created a unique culture that seems to have no basis on any particular culture around the world. Their belief is centered around adherence to the laws laid down by Vis, service to their god, service to their guests, and enjoying themselves along the way. ,, ,, Vis ,, ,, Empyrea Island ,, ,, Empyrea Ocean Marina ,, ,, Empyrean Grand Towers, located in the Empyrea Archipelago
  25. 2 points
    I've run a lot of games around here in my 8 years. A few ran for quite a while, a year, or two. More recently I have had games collapse in shorter time frames. Here's my observations after some successful (and less successful) efforts: Know your system - Twice I tried Scion and twice it kicked my ass and left me in a bad place as I found myself unable or unwilling to continue the game. Sometimes this is an issue of getting overwhelmed by something you aren't comfortable with, sometimes its a matter of dealing with players who either know the game better than you (and make your experience poorer for it), or who know even less than you (and require a LOT of aid). So make sure you know your system, really know it, including the trouble powers/abilities Plan for attrition - Dawn mentioned this and it bears repeating; unless you buck the curve, you will lose players. This is a non-negotiable truth. You may also gain players, you may even see an overall net gain of players, but no matter what you will lose them as well. Be ready for this, don't get a character so deep into the plot that the game will crash and burn if you lose that player. Be flexible - This goes with the above, but it also bears commentary on its own. Players will find a way to go off script/path/plan, its what they do. Know where you want to end your scene/chapter/story/game, have some ideas for the middle, and be flexible enough to adjust the game to reach the end (or be prepared to change your end). Note that this does not mean that you can just not plan for an end, having no goal to work toward isn't a good thing, as it gives you nowhere to find purchase to drive the story forward. Be ready to drive - Sometimes you will need to drive the story forward. Sometimes this is as easy as dropping plot nuggets, sometimes you have to drop a plot meteor and exposition yourself through & past a current block. Personally this is probably my biggest weakness as a GM. I either wait too long to push the story, or I simply fail to see that it needs a push. Don't be afraid to say "yes", but also know when to say "no" - Sometimes GM's say "no" to the players too much, because they are afraid things will slip out of control. Likewise, some GMs are unable to say "no" to players (maybe they are trying to no be a douchey GM and instead are going too far to the right). Either way you need to be willing to say "yes" to player requests to help keep them happy, to help move things along, and to help maintain the fun. But you also need to know when to say "no" in order to preserve your story, to prevent a vocal PC from ruining things for others, and to keep rules disputes within reason. The GM is not always right, but the GM does have final say. In addition to what all has been said to players by other people above ... My advice to players (as both a player and a GM): Have fun with the other players - That's the goal of the game, to have fun. Remember to try and make the game fun for other people, because ultimately you don't have a game without the other players. The GM is a player too - Remember that the GM is a player too, and is putting a lot of effort into the game, probably more than you are. Try to keep in mind that they want to have fun too, and try to behave in a way that will help they do so. Know when to stop pushing the GM - The GM may not always be right, but they do have the final say. Don't continue an argument just because you have a hair across your ass. Dragging out a rules/plot/character dispute during the game is only likely to ruin the fun of the other players Know your rules - this isn't as important as for a GM, but you should be prepared with the rules your character will use and you should be prepared and willing to learn the rules you don't know.
  26. 2 points
    As far as PbP games simply dying out, as they so often seem to do, I do think that having a great concept, good players, and a GM that isn’t a control-freak will all contribute to a game’s longevity. However – on this site at least – there are three GMs that I can think of who’ve had more than one PbP game that has managed to run consistently for more than a year, and a few of those games have run for two or more years. Those GMs are Dawn OOC, Justin OOC, and Mr Fox. From what I have seen, each of those games has continued to run for one reason: the GM simply hasn’t let the game die. Dawn, Justin, and Fox have all had games that’ve hit major roadblocks and stall points, and each of them has responded by simply buckling down, knuckling up, and pressing forward no matter what. Sometimes this has been met with much approval and renewed interest on the part of their players, and other times it’s been met with a collective yawn of relative disinterest and their efforts could only really be called a ‘success’ in the sense that the game hasn’t died yet. But even in this latter case, by simply pressing forward and not letting the game die, they’ve ensured that it’s still there when their players finally lose interest in whatever new shiny has been distracting them, or when whatever RL interference has been keeping them away finally lets up, or what have you. Basically, what I’m saying is that whether a PbP game dies or not seems to come down to whether the GM is willing to keep it going, no matter what. (Certainly, my own PbP games – none of which have survived terribly long – only died because I allowed RL interference to get in my way, not because I lost my players.) As far as how PbP games are run: my own personal experience has been that GMs tend to run them more as very slow-moving tabletop games rather than as very slow-moving chat-based games, but obviously your mileage may vary. Regardless, I would agree that this approach is far from ideal. Apart from the fact that it is a roleplaying game, that it may involve the same or similar rules set, and that it may involve the same or similar lineup of characters and/or players, any PbP game will have essentially nothing at all in common with either a tabletop or a chat-based game. And no, I do not mean that as a deliberate overstatement intended to make a point, I mean that PbP, TT, and chat-based games have about as much in common with each other as they do with MMORPGs. Which is to say not much – beyond a similarity in setting material and the types of people interested in playing them. Now, beyond simply keeping a PbP game alive, and as far as keeping it fun and interesting goes, I recommend the following for GMs (and some of this will be a repeat of what others here have already said): Make sure you have a strong concept before even thinking about starting a new game. A ‘neat idea’ doesn’t qualify, and if you can easily sum up your ‘strong concept’ in a single sentence then that probably doesn’t qualify either. (This is not to say that you shouldn’t be able to sum up your idea in a single sentence – it just shouldn’t be easy to – if it’s such a great idea, then you should find it difficult not to go on for pages and pages about it!) Only consider running games that you yourself would want to play in (but resist the urge to create an ‘NPC’ that you can play in your own game)! If you wouldn’t want to be a player in your game then why would you think anyone else would? Remember that the PCs are the stars of your production! They are the single most important part of your entire game! Not your story and certainly not your NPCs – but also not your players! – it is the player-characters around whom the entire game must revolve. Too many GMs (and players) forget this, and too often, and that is a shame. Know your player-characters. This plays right into the last point; your PCs are the stars of your show and should be treated as such. Give them opportunities – regularly and often – to shine (or to fail) in a big way. Praise your PCs (Icly and OOCly) when they do well, and make their failures as dramatic, engrossing, and entertaining as possible. Unashamedly play to your PCs’ strengths when it’s time for them to be the heroes (or at least to win), and only use your PCs’ weaknesses against them when it will further the story in a way that will make it more fun, dramatic, or exciting for everyone. Try to avoid rubbing a PC’s weaknesses in their face, period. (I won’t say ‘don’t do it ever’, but I’ve seen very few instances where a GM has managed to this in a way that was fun for the PC in question, and that didn’t make the GM look like a huge dick in the process.) Let your player-characters stand out! Seriously! It happens way too often that a GM (or other players) will take umbrage at a PC that seems to stand out or impress in any (good) way, or for whom certain things in-game seem to come easily. While it is important that there be conflict and struggles and difficulties and challenges in a game, if none of the stars of your game stand out then why would (or should) anyone care about your game at all? Remember: PbP games must be read; most people don’t bother reading things that they don’t find interesting; PCs that don’t stand out aren’t interesting; PbP games with no interesting characters aren’t interesting either and will not be read; PbP games that aren’t read, die. Simple as that. Reward your players (though not necessarily your PCs – the PCs might be the stars of the show, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing for them ). In an MMORPG your PC typically accrues XP as you play; in a tabletop game you typically receive it weekly, and in chat-based games it’s often the same. In PbP games, unfortunately, GMs will often withhold any sort of OOC rewards (XP or otherwise) for weeks or months at a time. This, again, goes back to the poorly thought-out decision to treat a PbP game like a slow-moving variant of a TT or chat-based game. When a player is creating their character, every new rank of a trait that they give to their PC tends to cause them to start thinking of what they want their PC to do with those ranks – it gets them thinking and planning creatively. This phenomenon does not suddenly cease once the game starts, and every award of XP gets players thinking about where and how to use it and in what ways their PCs are going to be able to use whatever new traits were just purchased with that XP. In short, it keeps players interested and involved. I recommend awards once per month, personally, but don’t hesitate to come up with periodic one-off contests or even just random excuses to pass out some rewards to your players. Also to note, it doesn’t have to be XP, either: it could be nifty gear that players are allowed to use and keep in-game. Communicate with your players. If they’re putting up lots of great posts, contributing a lot to the game, and helping you in continuing to move it forward, then give some praise for that. If a player is in some way holding up a game, however, let them know and offer help and suggestions to get them moving again (but be nice about it, of course). I do recommend, however, that most such feedback be kept to PM-threads. Whether praising or scolding a player, it’s often best to do it private and not out in the main OOC thread where everyone can see it. Don't take things personally, and don't try to resolve interpersonal conflicts with a player in-game. You will always turn out to be the one in the wrong. Try not to settle such things in an open OOC thread either, but mostly, just don't settle them in-game. As I told Dawn some time ago, and as she has already pointed out here, make sure you always give your players something to respond to. The GM must lead their players, and that includes putting up posts with ‘leading’ questions, comments, or descriptions. Nothing will stymie posting or stall out a game faster than GM-posts that leave nothing for players to respond to, participate in, or interact with. Players, too, can either contribute to or hinder continued, sustainable interest in a PbP game, and I would recommend the following for contributing to interest: This will sound almost exactly like the first point for GMs, above: Make sure you have a strong concept for your character. A ‘neat idea’ doesn’t qualify, and if you can easily sum up your ‘strong concept’ in a single sentence then that probably doesn’t qualify either. (This is not to say that you shouldn’t be able to sum up your character in a single sentence – it just shouldn’t be easy to – if your character is so awesome, then you should find it difficult not to go on for pages and pages about them!) Don’t be afraid to make your PC interesting. Too often there is a Harrison Bergeron-like tendency to want everyone to be equal and no one to stand out. Frankly, I think this comes down to a fear on other players parts that if another PC stands out, that must mean that theirs doesn’t and that that’s just not acceptable. Don’t let this fear get to you, and don’t let the fear of others stop you. If you want to play the world’s greatest swordsman, gunslinger, or short order cook, then do so, and don’t be shy or half-assed about it. On the other hand, if you want to make a perfectly normal everyman, then do so, but don’t forget to give him/her something that will keep those reading your posts interested. Regardless, make your PC amazing. Do accept help and (constructive) criticism in your efforts to do so. Don’t ever – ever – apologize once you have succeeded in doing so. Not even to your GM. Remember: it is OK for the other players to have awesome characters too! This is not a threat to you; rather it is a guarantee that the cool new game you’re a part of will be just that much more awesome. Also remember: even though the PCs are (or should be, at least) the most important element of the game you’re playing them in, your particular PC is not the only PC in the game! The GM is not the only person who should be making an effort to give the other players their moment in the sun – you should be as well. And if you don’t want to, fine, but realize that by taking this attitude you also forfeit any right to be upset if some other PC upstages yours. If I’m starting to sound like I’m contradicting myself and saying that all of the PCs should be the same, I’m not. And if you’re having a hard time picturing how an entire troop of PCs can all be awesome and all stand out, then try taking a look at what many consider to be one of the greatest ‘getting-the-team-together-for-a-mission’ movies ever: Seven Samurai. All seven main characters are awesome, all seven stand out, and all of seven of them are completely unique and have strengths (as well as weaknesses) that none of the others have. Far from hurting the story, having so many amazing and interesting main characters instead turned the film into one of the most influential movies in the history of action cinema. It is also helpful to note that all seven of the main characters in Seven Samurai were (coincidentally enough) samurai and all seven of them were primarily sword fighters and all seven of them had heavily-overlapping skill sets, and yet – somehow – managed to not step on each others toes as unique characters or otherwise suffer from violation of ‘niche protection’. Said ‘protection’ is, in my opinion, one of the single most harmful RPG traditions still extant in today’s gaming world. Barring certain exceptions that only serve to prove the rule, if your ‘Bruiser’ or ‘Brain’ or ‘Face’ (or whatever) will feel threatened if the team has another ‘Bruiser’ or ‘Face’ (or whatever) that’s one thing, and will probably only contribute to the game’s drama factor (usually a good thing), but if you would feel threatened by that all it really says is that you’re not confident in your character’s concept. If so, see point number one. While you do want your PC to be amazing in some way, you should avoid making them too amazing. If the character is a walking ‘I win’ card, then there’s no drama, no suspense, and no excitement. In short, your character will be boring. If your character is the world’s greatest swordsman, then obviously he isn’t going to be losing too many fencing duels and that’s fine, but perhaps the world’s greatest swordsman can’t get a date to save his life? Flaws can be, and frequently are, more interesting than strengths. Know the rules of the game you intend to play your PC in (or at least try very hard to). I know for some players the dice don't matter and neither do all the statistics on their PC's sheet, but you still have an obligation to know what they are and to understand them! If you plan on writing your character like they're an amazingly insightful individual with powerful reasoning and deductive abilities then their character sheet should reflect that - and you should know if it does! Failing at this leads to situations where a player finds out - mid-game - that their PC isn't capable of some, most, or even all of what they thought their PC was capable of. The typical reaction to this is frustration, which in turn is usually followed by the player losing interest in their PC and, thus, the game. While the GM should strive to only put up posts that can be easily responded to, so should you! As a player, you owe it to the GM, yourself, and your fellow players to keep the story moving forward in an efficient, productive, and (above all) entertaining way. This, by the way, is one of the reasons that interaction between players doesn’t always happen the way it would in a TT game. A thirty minute tangent in a TT game typically takes thirty minutes and isn’t a big deal. A thirty minute tangent in a PbP game can days or even weeks and does nothing to further the main story (usually, at least), which is a very big deal. I personally, tend to become annoyed with fellow players who constantly insist on holding up the story just so that they can have ‘fun’ by engaging in ‘witty banter’ or ‘a dramatic confrontation’ with other players, and then go on for pages at a time with it. Seriously, take it to a short fiction thread where it belongs. Keep things light and don't take things personally. Remember that it's just a game, and what happens to your PC is not what's happening to you. If you do have an issue with another player then it should be handled somewhere outside of the IC threads, and never, ever in an IC thread. If someone does something you feel is uncalled for (in-game or out), and you handle it by trying to have something unpleasant happen to their character in-game, all this does is make you out to be the dick, not them. Mostly though, just don't take things personally. And that's all I've got. Thanks for reading.
  27. 2 points
    Oh, and a piece of advice that I want to credit to Centimane. Always leave your posts with something clear for the PCs to reply to. The more exciting and interesting the better; it draws them in and has them fired to reply.
  28. 2 points
    It occurred to me this morning how I can conclude the Prelude thread, so we can get on the road. I'll get that done this afternoon (it shouldn't be that busy at work, and I'm pretty sure it won't take a very long post to do what I have in mind), so TONIGHT is the NIGHT, baby. Chapter One, and you can take it to the bank!
  29. 2 points
    Power Profiles #23: Sensory Powers Vitals: Published By Green Ronin • 6 pages • $0.99 • full color PDF Descriptors, Countering & Features The Sensory descriptor gets thorough treatment right out of the gate. It is broken down into sensory powers and sensory effects, which might seem the same thing but the explanation makes clear which covers which. This is followed by a fairly lengthy discussion of the two Sensory Modifiers, Perception Area, and Sense-Dependent. This is fairly useful as well as it help to distinguish the difference between the two when it might appear that they are the same. A comparative example might have been useful, but I don't think it was required. A couple of interesting features are suggested. There is also a sidebar titled, Senses and the Parrot Effect, which discusses ways for the GM to better engage players who have super senses (especially exotic ones) in ways other than simply telling them what they sense and having the players repeat it back to their comrades. I think that this is probably something that many GMs don't consider and it is a nice reminder that sense powers don't need to be relegated to "what he said". Offensive Powers There are only three powers here, but there is also another sidebar (that's two) which helps to give the section some meat. The Dazzle and Sensory Overload powers are built on well known effects, with Dazzle getting a slightly longer write-up as it discusses some options beyond the core effect. The third power is Obscure which is an effect that was suggested in the Hero's Handbook as a Concealment based effect. This effect too is Concealment based, but gets a more thorough write-up. As a player of prior editions, which had a dedicated Obscure effect, I'm not sure I am convinced but the write-up does go a long way to helping make the power understood. Luckily, however, the Powers That Be apparently expected us stodgy old people, and we have been gifted with the sidebar: Option: Obscure Effect. This sidebar effectively restores the Obscure effect to the game, with a variable per rank cost based on the senses it obscures, and an area that is based on the number of ranks purchased. Overall I think I still prefer the Obscure effect over the Concealment based method, and I am very happy to see it return. Defensive Powers Five powers are presented and for I think the first time none of them are Protection effect based. Powers like Invisibility, Danger Sense, and Sensory Shield are given discussion. Invisibility does a nice job of conferring not only the bonuses, but also the limits of the effect and I think players and GMs will find it a nice expansion on the core book's Concealment description. Movement Powers With only two powers this is the shortest section in the book, but I suspect that most will be un-surprised by this. Tracking Teleport and Pathfinder are both built off of the Senses effect. Both are given discussion enough to show not only the mechanics but also the utility of these effects. Utility Powers Three powers with nine effects and a third sidebar fill out this section. Synesthesia is a remarkably simple effect that creates a power that can radically alter the way a character perceives their senses, altering the normal input vectors and allowing the user to feel colors and taste sounds, and more. The Additional Sense "power" is really just a header that gathers seven different senses beyond the human norm and allows them room for an effect and discussion. The third, and final, sidebar for this profile is: Option: Long-Range Sensing. This sidebar acknowledges that the Remote Sensing effect may not be ideal for extreme long range sensing and provides an option to allow for sensing well beyond the planetary scale. Complications Six complications get about half a page to close out the profile. By far the most effort goes into the Weakness complication, detailing how a hero's enhanced and expanded senses can just as often be a handicap. Imagine having super sense of smell in a landfill. Or Super Hearing at a death metal concert. Closing Thoughts Sensory powers is yet another in an increasing number of must have profiles. Even the most rule savvy and jaded player or GM will likely appreciate the sidebars. Meanwhile new players will gain a great deal of insight into the various sensory effects and more experienced players may find the expanded discussion of certain effects and powers useful. There's nothing really missing here, and the content is as solid as we have generally come to expect. Rating: 100% - Truly another home run, with expanded explanations and new optional rules, this profile has a little something for everyone.
  30. 1 point
    Simply find rich people and slowly have them begin signing everything they own over to me. Implant the suggestion for something atrocious (suicide, shooting up a club, driving their car through a kid's birthday, whatevs...). One evening while I am surrounded by witnesses doing something completely legal the implanted suggestion kicks in, they go nuts, die in a blaze of gunfire an screaming children and everything they have goes to me. Rinse, repeat. Let the law try and figure out why people keep doing dumb shit and leaving all their shit to me. You can't prove mind control with an autopsy and even then, I'm sitting in court mind controlling the jury that I'm innocent anyway. And yes. If I had mind control I would be a terrible person. My moral compass would nose dive to far lower than it is now and I would use my ability for nothing but evil and destructive ends. The world would serve me and not even realize they were doing it.
  31. 1 point
    Sara sat with her arms folded beneath her breasts a bit of a scowl on her face. He afternoon with Sean had calmed her somewhat and telling her about her feelings and the other stuff,had certainly lifted a weight she hadn't realized she had been caring but as soon as they flew, undetected onto the base her dark mood had returned. She listened with her mind having reentered guild chat upon coming back into contact with the rest of the gang. When Sean came back with the coffee she took it and mouthed thanks even though she didn't want it. What she really wanted was a smoke, or a toke, but neither of those were 'allowed' and in any case neither gave that buzz that her body and mind craved and needed. Only flying did that now. Fling as fast and high as she could. Defying gravity, physics, that was the thing that thrilled her now. She noticed Abel grinning at Kia then he looked at her and his grinned straightened, the fucker was reading her mind. She blew him a mental raspberry then focused in on the conversation. <Lilly, did you have the vision? Or did Sandy? Cause if it was you maybe your the one that needs to be examined.> she tried to keep her irritation with the girl-jock out of her thought as much as possible. deep down she knew it wasn't Lilly she should be irritated with but for whatever reason It was Lilly Sara's subconcious had decided to lay blame on. Maybe it was becasue Lilly was the strongest, the most solid, the one who could take the pressure. Sara could feel the earth in Lilly.
  32. 1 point
    I think creative tactic situations (can't just go guns-out or throw a Q-Imprint baddie in there that can return any attack thrown at them back at maximum power) are a good option for this, as is moving off-planet into "galatic scale" conflicts where your novas are facing off against other rediculously powered beings or things like battle cruisers and whatnot. In my experience, exploiting any social/mental weakness in a character that takes away player agency tends to lead to bad feelings and the dissolution of the game as players hate when another PC or GM dictates their character's actions. Also, Aberrant has shit for social/mental combat rules, or defenses.
  33. 1 point
    Aberrant: Nexus to be available for download in May Look for Aberrant: Nexus only at www.rpgpost.com. Aberrant: Nexus is divided into four chapters and four appendices: Chapter One: The Aeon Continuum This is our attempt to outline the overall metaplot for all three Aeon Continuum gamelines. A partial timeline is also provided, with the missing portions having already been presented in the core books for Adventure!, Aberrant and Trinity. Both make handy references for Storytellers, who can use them as baselines (no pun intended) for the plots and timelines of their Aberrant chronicles to either stay in line with or to deviate from as they see fit. These are meant to be metaphorical launchpads for the Storyteller's imagination, not straitjackets. Chapter Two: Sojourns In Spacetime Here the focus is on time travel, crosstime travel and extrasolar space. Mechanics for changing timelines are presented, along with information on the two major figures of the Aeon Continuum and other uses for time travel. Then we take a look at the wonders and hazards of the Omniverse that lies beyond the universes of the Aeon Continuum. The potential of crosstime travel is explained, and three sample alternate universes are submitted for your gaming enjoyment. Then we shift focus to the stars and what can be found out there. Guidelines for creating and using alien civilizations are given, including systems for roleplaying First Contact scenarios. Chapter Three: Storytelling This chapter is where we arm Storytellers with the goods on how best to use the themes and conflicts presented in Aberrant: Nexus in their chronicles. Crossover mechanics for playing Aberrant characters in both the Adventure! and Trinity settings are established. Rules for playing surviving Adventure! and Aberrant characters in the later eras of the Aeon Continuum can be found here. Finally, we are also pleased to present some much-needed material on how to run the high-powered Aberrant chronicles which focus on the second generation novas (presented in Aberrant: A Breed Apart) successfully. Chapter Four: New Items Here is an array of new enhancements and quantum powers that are of use in Aberrant chronicles that involve time travel, crosstime travel and extrasolar space. A new mechanic for representing the general level of a setting's technological development is presented, allowing for new backgrounds tied to that mechanic to be created. And yes, there are a few new merits and flaws that are relevant in chronicles using Aberrant: Nexus. Appendix #1: Mega-Willpower This appendix covers the tenth and least-known of the Mega-Attributes, complete with plenty of enhancements for novas to develop. If you want to replicate the feats of unbelievable willpower exhibited by the likes of Spider-Man, Batman and Doctor Doom, this is just what you need. Appendix #2: Telluric Weirdness For those who enjoy a bit of real-world strangeness in their chronicles, here is a brief overview of Fortean phenomena and guidelines on how to use them in any of the Aeon Continuum games. Also provided is the Weirdness Magnet aberration and flaw. Appendix #3: The Discarnate Adventure! gave us a brief glimpse of what Aeon knows as "psi forms" - namely, ghosts and various other spirits. This appendix is a guide to noetic space and its native inhabitants, complete with a new psionic Aptitude that they use against both other spirits and the living. Details on how novas interact with spirits and noetic space are also outlined. Appendix #4: The Doyen Finally, this appendix is the low-down on the infamous alien manipulators seen in Trinity. Get the inside information on their ancient origins, their capabilities, their history and their civilization. Advice for Storytellers on how to use the Doyen in any of the Aeon Continuum settings is given. Also, guidelines for introducing the Human-Doyen War for both Aberrant and Trinity chronicles are laid out for the Storyteller's perusal. Preview a few pages from Aberrant: Nexus. Aberrant Nexus-Sample.pdf
  34. 1 point
    Ahhh... I thought you were referring to the Egyptian jackal (C. a. lupaster) which was colloquially termed a jackal, but turns out to be a subspecies of the Grey Wolf (C. l. lupus). Yeah... this is messy. Perhaps it is best to just detail with specific questions and not try to hammer it out! I'll think about what options I think would make sense for my character and ask you about just that.
  35. 1 point
    “Better than being one to a grown woman, or to Princess Elena, anyway.” Her words could have gotten her into trouble, but the young woman didn’t look worried. “I like Her Highness but she’s hard to serve. She’s flighty and unpredictable. I like Lord Alexander much better.” “But do you like it? Dinna ask which you like more,” the cleric said gruffly. Now the woman frowned a little. The ship dipped with a sudden wave and she casually leaned with the lurching rail, her eyes distant. “I serve with pride and to the best of my ability,” she finally said, “but I long for a day when life will be simpler. Cleaner. Maybe I can get a bit of land and start to farm.” She laughed suddenly. “Of course, I hate animals and dirt, so maybe not. What about you? What will you do when you free yourself from Corand’s bonds?”
  36. 1 point
    Alexander looks him over for a moment as if he was appraising something he didn't like, mostly doing this in the attempt to get a reaction out of Olivien .... he then finally says, "Knights are supposed to be virtuous. Gambling is a sign of greed, especially when one of noble station is taking hard earned coin from the common folk. If you desire gambling so much, you should at least gamble with those of your station." Alexander lets that sink in for a moment then continues, "I feel you don't appreciate the common folk as you should. They work hard to earn just the slightest of coin one of your station is accustomed to. With that in mind.... " He turns to the Captain then says, "Captain, do you have some duties that is required to keep the ship to your sanitary standards?"
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    She'd been asleep. She always slept well on long flights, the hum of the engines and the warmth of the airline pj's and blanket lulling her into pleasant dreams. Even the excitement of getting published hadn't been enough to keep her awake. She'd fallen asleep pretty much right after dinner was cleared away and stayed in slumber through the news reports, captain's announcements, even breakfast. In her dreams she was a little girl again, wandering with her mother in the fields outside of Kyoto which were also in California. There were plum trees and pumpkin vines and grapes and everything smelled green. Then there were little thorns and a buzzing of insects. They were crawling over her and itching; spiders followed the insects, crawling over her to eat them all up, but leaving sticky, hot webbing in their wake. Soon only the lightening bugs were left, but the spiders has stopped eating and were now just busily building her shroud. She couldn't move, could barely breath, and when she finally clawed her way back awake it was still dark and close....she clawed at the cocoon, panicking. Finally she managed to knock a crack into whatever was surrounding her. She pushed frantically until a section finally broke loose and she awkwardly crawled her way out into the First Class lounge. Blinking in the light and frowning deeply at the unfamiliar setting, she frowned as she saw the other pods and her mind tried to put too many strange things together into a coherent whole. Somewhere in the back of her senses, the fireflies were still blinking softly in and out of her awareness. "Wha..?"
  39. 1 point
    Rochelle led Jack back to her pod. It sat oddly by itself and Jack realized it had fallen from a higher level. When he looked up, he could see two more pods hanging down the same hole. Their power connectors were all that was holding them in place. One appeared to be active still, though for how long was the question, while the other one was cracked and smeared with blood. If either one had fallen, Rochelle wouldn’t have survived being crushed under them. The engineer hurried over to her pod and pulled open the personal belongings compartment, going through her things. Morgan saw the woman lean out and wave at him then down at the man who’d been watching the guidelines. Michael, looking around him, said, “Hey, I think that she’s trying to say something.” “Radio, I think.” Morgan looked at the material blocking their way. It was part of the roof that had folded down, which meant that it was heavily shielded. “Hey, I think if you come over here, your radio signal might get through better. In fact, I think there’s another security guy over there.” Kalnan came and took a look. “Excellent,” he said and moved over to the opening. Meanwhile, Gabriela, Moira, and Talina all watched the little creature. Without warning, it kicked up a rear foot and vigorously scratched its ear in what had to be the most adorable way ever. Gabriela reached out and rubbed at its ears, like she’d been taught to do to the cat. She ended up mostly scratching its head and shoulders do its size but the chirping turned into a soft coo. Jaime sorted the available food into containers twice – once because it should be done and he could, and a second time because it gave him something to do. It was nice to have something to occupy himself. Something pinched sharply on his left shoulder. Jaime grabbed at it instinctively and felt the horrible body of something small and insectoid under his fingers. His shoulder hurt and he realized it was stinging him. He gazed at the now-crushed insect, starting at the long body with four spindly legs. Almost immediately, his skin started to feel like it was hot and expanding away from his skin. It didn’t hurt necessarily yet but he had the bad feeling it was going to.
  40. 1 point
    Talina automatically took the second bar and held on to it as Jack and Henry rushed to the door and whatever was out there. She had been getting a grip until this, The Other woman the curvy redhead was saying something about hiding, and Nixie, no she's not Nixie, was moving, gesturing for Talina to follow. She did. Actions Since singing to the beast would likely get her eaten or shot by the Doctor Talina will follow Gabriela and hide.
  41. 1 point
    “Anyone willing to wield one of these in case a turkey gets past me and sec-man, Wu is it?†Hiroki had prepared for this moment; he’d known it would come. He nodded to the other man and said, “Call me Henry. And you?†He offered his hand. “Jack Spade.†The other man smiled and returned the gesture, a normal reaction in abnormal times. That established, Hiroki turned to establish a safe perimeter, only to stop at the sight of the red-headed girl. She looked lost, focused on Jack as if he were the only constant in her world. It figures that he would get the little duckling while I would find the sick girl. Of course, Jack was a handsome man; it was natural for the teen to become smitten with him. Regardless of her feelings about Jack, she needed some help. Hiroki knelt next to her and held out half a ration bar. “Eat.†She turned her blank stare to him. “Eat,†he said in his best command tone, allowing no dissent. “It will make you feel better and help with the shock.â€
  42. 1 point
    She couldn't think her mind was numb. The two women and the man kept talking but their words didn't seem to have any meaning they were just noises. The blond kept barking like a little dog she had seen in a video when she was little, and the man, Jack, he had said he would keep her safe, find her mother... "Don't worry honey its perfectly safe, it just like going to sleep" Talina's mothers voice said so softly trying to calm her daughter, soothe away her fear. "When you wake up we will be at our new home a real planet not a station.." "No!" Talina's voice had been harsh full of pent up anger. "We'll be at your new home, this is my home and i dont want to leave it, i dont want to go to some fucking planet. Your making me go! I hate you! I hate all of you!" The memory rushed through her head again like it had a hundred time since the Man, Jack, had pulled her to safety. It's all there was. With a sob she pulled free of the red haired woman and ran through the tubes and wreckage until she came to the bulkheadl were she slid to the floor sobbing her face in her hands. Blondy was barking again her mind couldn't translate it but then she heard Jack's voice cut through the barking, strong, calm, soothing. "Doc, I'll get her," he handed her the Stick,"keep watch." He came up to the distraught girl crouched down by her and spoke quietly. "Hey Red, I know it's bad right now , but we 'll be at a safety Station in a few minutes and everything's going to be fine. We'll find your Mother..." Talina looked up and his voice caught, "No we wont, I told her I hated her, hated all of them. Its the last thing I said." She was looking at him tears streaming down her face her voice hoarse from crying. "She was right there, her tube, right there next to mine." She threw her arms around around Jack and buried her face in his chest, shaking. Jack comforted the little girl for a few moment then rose and picked her up cradling her in his arms made his way back to Dr. Temnikova. The Doctor looking irritated at the delay, holds the stick out for him to take. Jack keeps walking, going past her, "Come on Doc, you've got the stick now."
  43. 1 point
    Date: December 31, 2049 Hour: 2000 Zulu Time (Also Eden Time) Location: Eden, Guardian's Complex, Paragon Division. Eidolon looked over the gathering, the last year had been an intense one, gathering the various folks that he was inviting to join the new division of the Guardians, the one he had given the name, Paragons. The name was an indication of both goal and purpose, something he had begun planning for shortly after the appearance of the first Conflagrations. His choices for his team members had been more careful then it appeared, he'd chosen not just from those who were powerful omega's, but ones with considerable potential for compassion, the difficulties in their own lives made them more likely to understand the frailties of baseline humanity. He had also spoken with Miriam, her advice had been invaluable, though, if if wasn't for the fact that omega's were rare, Puck's addition to the team might have caused some accusations of nepotism. As he entered the activation party, he let his eyes drift over the gathered team members, some were support staff of the paragons, but the main team members were quite a draw.. especially the more beautiful and charismatic of them. His self-control was considerable and powerful, and he was more resistant to such things then most, but even his eyes lingered a moment on the most beautiful of those gathered, before moving on to inspect each of his recruits in turn. He then moved to the raised dais, stepping up onto it to make his address to the gathered nova's and baselines. "Ladies and Gentlemen, and I use the term in the broadest sense, in a few hours, our charter is fully active, and we officially become the Paragons. Committed to the defense of mankind and earth from this day forward, from all threats, within and without. Look around, mingle and introduce yourselves, you will be defending and aiding each over the next few years, so getting to know your allies and team mates is a good idea."
  44. 1 point
    Personal Information Real Name: Sean Fionn Cassidy Nicknames: Finn, Cassidy Nova Name: Siren Concept: Sex-changed Siren Template: Icon Virtue: Trustworthy Vice: Lascivious Marital Status: Single Known Relatives: Kieran Cassidy (Father; History/Irish Studies/Gaelic Professor at NYU), Evelyn Cassidy (Mother; accountant and financial advisor; uses telepresence tech from home), Teagan Cassidy (Sister; 24; professional athlete), Dylan Cassidy (Brother; 16; twin to Liam), Liam Cassidy (Brother; 16; twin to Dylan) Date of Birth: October 31st, 2031 Date of Eruption: October 31st, 2049 First Public Appearance: October 31st, 2049 Citizenship: United States, Ireland, Eden Home Region: Staten Island, now Eden Occupation: Former student at NYU, now a Paragon Allegiance(s): Family, Friends, Paragons Physical Traits Gender: Female, very (now) Ethnic Background: Caucasian (Irish, Scandinavian, Slavic) Age: 18 Apparent Age: early twenties Height: 5'5'' Weight: 118 lbs Measurements: Amazing and Embarrassing! Eyes: Large, exotic, tilted eyes of Incandescent turquoise none can decide are more green or blue Hair: Vibrant, unnatural copper-red with gold highlights/streaks and an impossible sheen; hip-length Handedness: Left Appearance: Formerly a lanky boy of average looks with short brown hair, grey eyes, and glasses, Sean is now an impossibly gorgeous and sexy woman. Of average height (which is the only thing average about her), she combines aspects of many types of women into a glorious, overwhelming whole. Even straight women and gay men question their sexuality in her presence. She has the dramatic curves of a pin-up model, with a tiny, firm waist most women need a corset to match, if they even can. The finely sculpted features of her heart-shaped face, entrancing turquoise eyes, and full, perfect lips are the envy of any cover model. Her legs are surprisingly long for her modest height, and she moves with the smooth sensuality of a dancer, Latin ballroom or exotic. She possesses a glamour and sex appeal that dwarfs any movie star, porn star, or fashion model, yet retains the intoxicating cuteness and approachability of the ultimate girl-next-door. Despite looking like a fantasy woman designed by a committee of frat boys and sorority girls (which she essentially was), Sean somehow avoids coming off as trashy or slutty. Sean's beauty is only matched by her exquisite voice, a mellifluous and sultry soprano, with a natural richness and fullness that is far beyond human capacity. It makes the finest music sound dull in comparison and a simple greeting like an invitation to bed. She has a faint, exotic accent which she didn't have before, which is undefinable beyond vaguely European. Her singing is heart-achingly beautiful and her laughter one of the most arousing sounds in the world. Despite her changes, Sean's regular fashion style is basically the same: relaxed-fit jeans, running shoes, and layered shirts, though she's added baggy hoodies to deemphasize her incredible figure with limited success. The only real concession she had made is to wearing a bra. Despite their notable size, her breasts are remarkably firm and perky, but the bra really helps restrain their movement and protect their sensitive tips - her mother's clear disapproval of her strutting around town braless also encourages her to wear one. On the other hand, she has a surprisingly good fashion sense and erupted with mastery of the Manifestation technique, able to make any type of clothing she can conceive of... Known Powers: Like all Icons, Sean can travel through reflective surfaces and has peerless charm and beauty, to which she adds unmatched persuasion. She also possesses a superlative singing voice and can make auditory illusions to distract or add to her performances. Abilities/Special Skills: Formerly just a College Freshman, Sean has some academic, scientific, and engineering knowledge, and she picked up some business sense from her mother. More noticeably, Sean erupted with masterful skill in social graces and people skills, and a superb fashion sense she hasn't really started using yet. Personality: Sean is an easygoing guy girl, originally a bit shy, quiet, and self-effacing, except in the company of her tight circle of friends, but with her eruption and quantum enhanced personality and presence, that is beginning to fade. Has a self-deprecating and dry sense of humour, and is extremely loyal to her friends. As a boy, she had an easy enough time talking to girls, in a casual manner, but no clue how to flirt or read interest. Now, she finds it disturbingly too easy and natural for her and has to make she isn't conveying something she doesn't mean to. When she does get angry or frustrated, tends to bottle it inside, so she can deal with it later in a more calm and logical manner, but is finding it harder to do these days. Though she hung around the periphery of the popular and athletic kids and got along with them, she wasn't part of their clique - she is more of a nerd. Loves video games, roleplaying games, and holo-comics. Likes computers, and was considering studying architecture or engineering when she got to University, if she couldn't find a way into the video game industry. Naturally, with her eruption and change in gender, and looks, Sean is having a hard time adjusting to suddenly being a girl and a social powerhouse, always the center attention with everyone wanting to be her friend... and more, and the expectations they have of someone with the looks, voice, and innate sensuality like hers. Despite being of average female height, Sean feels quite short and is sensitive about her height - she used to be 6'2'' and her family is a tall one; her younger brothers are 6', her sister is an athletically powerful 6'5'', her mother 5'11'', and her father is 6'2''. She tends to stand as straight as she can and finds herself tempted to wear heels purely to capture some of her lost height. Though adapting to her physical changes is difficult enough, what troubles Sean the most are the mental changes she fears have happened to her. Her sex drive has increased beyond anything she had known as a teenaged boy, as well as expanded greatly - disturbingly, she is beginning to find men as attractive as women now. Her social acumen is phenomenal and she knows all about lying, inspiring, manipulating, persuading, and reading people... and seducing them too. She also knows more about shoes, clothing, and fashion than she ever imagined she would. Her emotions are more wild, harder to control, and she's acutely aware of how vulnerable she can be now among Alpha and Omega class Novas. And those are just the more noticeable mental changes she's aware of, there may be numerous more subtle shifts she isn't. Sean is worried just how much she is still herself anymore, while still trying to find her place as a Conflagration-class Nova and a Paragon. Right now, she's a boy trapped in the body of a living wet dream of a woman... But how long until she's a woman who used to be a man? Background: Kieran Cassidy, an Irishman who moved to the US to teach, was a professor of Classical History, Irish Studies, Folklore & Mythology, and Gaelic at NYU when he met his wife. Evelyn O'Shaughnessy, a Boston Native, a practicing accountant and financial advisor in a firm in the Manhattan Monolith arcology, who was seeking to learn more about her Celtic roots by attending NYU part-time. There, she met the intelligent and funny Irishman teaching her Irish Studies and Gaelic classes. Their mutual attraction was immediate, but they kept their flirtation casual and platonic until Evelyn passed her classes. Then they let their relationship blossom into intimacy, followed by marriage a year later. The Cassidy's settled on Staten Island - one of the few suburban zones left in the greater NYC Metropolitan area - in a comfortable middle-class house in Manor Heights, and spent the summer living in Ireland. Kieran continued teaching at NYU, while Evelyn worked part-time for her firm via telepresence tech, so she could raise their brood. Time passed in relative domestic bliss - after all with four children, three of them boys, and the eldest a girl who was a jock and bigger than any of her brothers, there were bound to be squabbles. Sean squabbled less than most - with his quiet demeanor and being the middle child, he was often left to his own devices, which suited him fine. Beyond his tight circle of friends who he'd known since they were all toddlers, it was often the same at school. He played with the jocks during recess but didn't join any school teams, talked with some of the more popular kids and did school projects with them but was never invited to their places for parties or just to hung out. He was just... there, the next thing to invisible. A social non-entity. Especially to the girls. That all changed one bad day, the Halloween of 2049. Sean was feeling a bit odd, but was feeling excited too. It was his birthday and Halloween as well, his favourite holiday, when he could be anyone he wanted. He was pledging Delta Phi and was going to to biggest Halloween party for Fraternities and Sororities on campus. And he had finally worked up the nerve to ask Alina Duffy - who he had known since high school - out to the Sonia Sonique concert next month. She was one of the prettiest girls at NYU - in his opinion anyway - and had always been one of the friendlier girls on campus. Alina turned him down. It was a gentle and apologetic refusal, but a refusal all the same. Though he accepted with a calm nod and a self-deprecating laugh, Sean was hurt and angry - it had taken a lot of nerve just to ask her out. Then after classes, he and his friends got together online to play some D&D. His character, the stunning Bardic Princess Lorelei Sharessune, died, thanks to extremely shitty die rolling on his part and a pair of dragons. Following that, he slipped on his Oculus Rift Headset and played through another chapter of Kushiel's Legacy - an interactive story that straddled the line between a video game and a novel, or in this case a series of three trilogies. After, he perused the the pin-ups, models, and glamour girls - Nova, Enhanced, and Natural - his browser-agent had gathered from the 'Net that day, then it was time to get ready for the NYU Halloween Bash. Sean stripped down, then slipped on the Second Skin he had rented - a full bodysuit with integrated haptic feedback mesh and voice modulator that projected a holographic costume around the wearer and aligned with his movements. Second Skins with a Greek or Roman Mythic theme were mandatory for all fraternity and sorority members attending Halloween Havoc at NYU. He input a command into his wrist-com and his costume came online. Based on his own appearance, his costume was taller, more muscular, more handsome, with shoulder length hair, dressed in a loin-cloth and a lion-skin cape. When he spoke, his voice was deeper and more resonant. Hercules. He switched off his costume and tromped downstairs from his room in the Delta Phi Frat House where the rest of his Frat Brothers were gathering... and froze. There was Derek Haumann - who along with his twin brother Erik were giving him the roughest time in the Frat - and standing beside him was Alina. Erik seemed to be going with Lisa Garcia, who Sean also knew from high school. Formerly reserved and studious, she had gotten a full body biosculpting job after graduation and now looked like an exaggerated Latina Barbie Doll of a woman and was already widely considered the biggest party girl and slut at NYU in her freshman year. Sean felt a spike of anger that Alina had turned him down to go with another Frat Brother instead. He felt a headache growing as his enthusiasm for Halloween waned. He considered ditching the party, but as part of pledging Delta Phi, all Pledges had to attend the Halloween Havoc and do as their Pledge Leaders said. So Sean went with the others to the Fat Black Pussycat, the local bar where the party was being held. When he saw the shapes of the sorority girls heading in the same direction, he perked up. There was even a known Nova attending, the College Queen, Athena 'Zenith' Zimmerman, a best selling author, award-winning performer, and superhuman athlete. She was attending NYU for her third PHD. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. With the official start of the Halloween Havoc, everyone turned on their Second Skins, and suddenly, the sorority girls were Goddesses, Amazons, Harpies, Mermaids, Nymphs, and Gorgons. The frat brothers became Gods, Mythic Heroes, Minotaurs, Centaurs, and Centurions. There were a matched pair of Sphinxes, a hydra, and more. As soon as Derek and Erik started laughing and pointing at him Sean knew there was something wrong. The haptic feedback from his suit felt different than it had when he had been wearing his Hercules guise, giving the illusion of extra weight extending from his chest, behind and head. When he saw his reflection in the mirror behind the bar, he shouted a curse, the voice modulator making it sound sweet and sultry and excruciatingly feminine. In the mirror was the semi-translucent image of a voluptuous nymph or siren of a woman, with impossible red and gold hair hanging past her waist, dressed in a skimpy, diaphanous gown. Her movements and reactions mimicked his own. Sean felt his face go red with anger and embarrassment as the laughter spread. Even Alina and Kevin - one of his best friends, who he had known since they were three and a fellow Pledge at Delta Phi - were laughing at him. When he tried turn off the Second Skin, it failed. Not only had someone hacked his suit and replaced his costume with the super sexy and female one, they had overriden the controls - Derek and Erik's smirks said it was them. Later they told him his costume was based on a composite of the girls taking up drive space on his wrist-com. And he was stuck here until closing time, when the party officially ended. He wanted to die, but instead hunted down a corner to hide and sulk in. After a time, Athena herself found him and smoothly convinced him that it would easier to get over the embarrassment if he played along with the joke - that if he was being forced to wear the guise of a sexy siren, that he play the part of one as well, just for the night. He might even have fun. All he had to do to start was ask a guy to buy him a drink... Athena was so charming and attractive, it looked so clear the way she said it. So Sean asked his friend Kevin to buy him a drink first. The Hausmanns sent him a pair of the girliest drinks the bartender could make next. And with each drink, Sean found it easier to 'flirt' for another. He had never been drunk before, but he was well on his way. He even got up on stage to sing Karaoke. His first song was terrible. His second was much better. His third had everyone in tears and his fourth had them chanting his name. Sean caught the condescension in the curve of Athena's lips and the glint in her eye and realized she hadn't meant to help him, but to see him fail and make a fool of himself. So he took a spin on the dance floor and pulled Athena's pro footballer boyfriend with, dancing so seductively and closely that he dumped Athena as soon as Sean let him go. Sean laughed! From a social non-entity, for a single night, he was the centre and life of the party. The party continued well into the morning... ... Sean woke up in a room he didn't recognize, feeling... not hungover, but extremely peculiar. He could feel a pair of hands on his chest and looking to either side, Sean blushed, seeing Alina's face on his left and Lisa's on his right. He wasn't a virgin anymore. He could remember last night with unusual clarity, but it must've been all a dream, because it just couldn't've gone that way. Then one of the hand's on his chest moved and he twitched at the incredible feeling emanating through him from a brushed nipple. With rising fear and trepidation, Sean pulled downed the blanket and stifled a panicky shout. Rising from his chest were a pair of the most magnificent breasts he had ever seen, and they were his. He could feel their substantial weight, feel the hands resting on them. He squirmed out from between the girls sharing the bed and scurried into the bathroom. In the mirror was reflected the woman he had been last night, but this time it was no holographic illusion, but entirely too real. In fact, he looked a hundred times better and sexier, and listening to his own disbelieving mutters, his voice had been enhanced to match. And he was entirely nude, with no sign of his clothes or even his Second Skin. It was the day after Halloween and the biggest trick in the world had been played on him. He needed to leave, but had no clothing, when suddenly jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, and a pair of sneakers formed around him. Not thinking about how that happened, Sean snuck out of the room and made his way home, since he couldn't bare to go back to his dorm looking like this. Thanks the the GridGuide System in the Manhattan Monolith Arcology, he only caused seven vehicle accidents... and garnered nine marriage proposals and countless cat-calls and offers for one-night stands. Which the last oddly didn't seem quite as offensive and disgusting as he expected it would. He got home and explained what happened or what he thought had happened to his parents, his younger brothers making no effort to hide that they were listening. Before they could decide what to do about Sean's eruption, he got a text from Kevin - the NYU social sites were exploding with scenes videoed at the Halloween Havoc, and it was obvious at some point during the night, Sean had erupted and his costume had become real, though the exact moment couldn't be determined. There would be no hiding Sean had erupted, as if there ever had been a chance of hiding a woman who looked like he did. Later testing would prove that he was an Omega-class Nova, an Icon. It would also show several genetic quirks that his body saw as being natural. He suffered from a severe case of Complete Androgen Insensitive Syndrome. Genetically, he was still technically male, with an XY chromosome, but he was phenotypically female, with a functional Müllerian system, though his recessed gonads were still testes instead of ovaries. He also was classified as having Aromatase Excess Syndrome, producing excessive levels of estrogens. His drastically altered biochemistry and endocrine system was also responsible for a heightened sex drive. It also made Gender Reassignment Biosculpting or Hormone Therapy a nonviable option. In fact, Sean's nova physiology seemed to strongly resist any lingering physical changes - he had cut his hip-length hair the day after he had erupted, but it grown back entirely less than twenty-four hours later. Later testing revealed hair dyes faded in hours and even his nails - though not even a quarter inch pass the tip of his fingers they felt long to someone who used to have them bit down to the quick - grew back in the same amount of time. For all intents and purposes, he was now a woman - and one hell of one - and would be for the rest of his life. It's just been two months since her eruption, and Sean and everyone around her is still learning to deal with the new her. She's only getting by with the complete support of her family, without which, Sean is sure she'd have gone to pieces that first day she woke up with an epic rack. Her father is far more protective and concerned for his new daughter's safety - she is a great deal smaller and not as strong as she used to be, and so far, doesn't seem to have any other real super powers to protect herself, beyond superlative skill with social dynamics. He tries to lighten the mood by seeing the humor in the situation, which Sean is struggling to see too. Her older sister claims to be thrilled to finally have a sister and is trying to show Sean the ropes, while looking out for her considerably smaller sister, though there was an issue when Sean stole her boyfriend. It really hadn't been Sean's fault - she had moved in with Teagan two weeks after erupting and her boyfriend had first seen Sean while she had been standing up after knocking over a glass of pop and smiling wryly at her own clumsiness. He hadn't stood a chance. Teagan has (mostly) forgiven Sean since then - her new sister is simply too sexy for her own good... or for anyone else. Sean's younger twin brothers are by turn teasing their older brother who is now shorter than them and a girl, and being fiercely protective of her, while all the time fighting their instinctual arousal and teenaged hormones at the sight of their former older brother. And her mother, well, Sean's still her child no matter what - she'll help her make her peace with what has happened to her, and accept what she decides to do about it... as long as she at least wears a bra to preserve a sliver of modesty. Three weeks after erupting, Darrik Reynolds himself came to visit Sean to offer her place on the Paragons and to help her learn how to wield her new beauty and charm. Stamping down on the vague, but alarming, attraction to a man, even one as insanely hot as Darrik Reynolds, Sean agreed. And so, for the last month, Sean - or Cassidy as most have been coming to call her - has been spending most of her time on Eden, learning what it is to be a Nova and an Icon, while studying Qi Meng with Eidolon and HELIX and others there, to develop a balance with her new life and gender, and new desires. Character Sheet Attributes Physical Strength: 2 Dexterity: 5 (Graceful) -Athletics 2 -Martial Arts 2 Stamina: 5 (Energetic) -Endurance 3 -Resistance 3 Mental Perception: 4 (Keen Ears) -Awareness 1 -Investigation 1 Intelligence: 3 -Academics 1 -Computers 1 -Engineering 1 -Linguistics 1 (Gaelic) -Science 1 Wits: 5 (Creative) -Arts 1 -Biz 1 -Meditation 5 -Rapport 5 -Weave 5 Social Appearance: 5 (Enticing) -Style 5 Manipulation: 5 (Persuasive) -Seduction 5 -Subterfuge 5 Charisma: 5 (Enthralling) -Etiquette 5 -Perform 5 (Singing, Holo) Ability/Skill Points: 53/53 Known Languages Native: English Others: Gaelic Backgrounds Ally (Teagan Cassidy) 1 Influence (famous/infamous among College kids) 1 Manifestation 5 Mentor (Paragons) 3 Resources (Paragon Stipend) 1 Background Points: 11/22 Merits & Flaws Enchanting Voice (1pt): Her voice is an incredible, mellifluous and sultry soprano, with a faint, exotic accent that captures the attention and hearts of all who hear it. Manifestation Attuned 3 (3pts): Sean has a remarkable, innate grasp of the Manifestation technique, perhaps as an adjunct to her instinctive sense of fashion and style. Photographic Memory (3pts): Oddly enough, with her eruption, Sean has found her memory sharper than ever. Her father mentioned something about Celtic Bards able to retain and recite their entire oral tradition. Sexy (1pt): The new Sean possesses an instinctual, unconscious, and overwhelming sensuality, much to her dismay Speed Reading (2pts): Perhaps with her enhanced memory, Sean can now also read and comprehend very quickly and easily. Helps dispel some thinking she is nothing more than a Nova Bimbo. Aberrant Eyes (1pt): Incandescent eyes of turquoise that few can decide are more blue or more green. Altered Biochemistry (1pt): Thanks to her natural genetic anomalies and twisted endocrine system, Sean possesses a very different biochemisty, which makes taking drugs or medical treatment a chancy thing at times. Chromatic Hair (1pt): Vibrant, unnatural copper-red with gold highlights/streaks and an impossible sheen that puts anything in a shampoo commercial to shame. Its silken length falls to her hips and grows back in less than a day if cut, much to Sean's annoyance. Distinctive Looks & Voice (1pt): With her incredible hourglass figure, melodious, magical voice, intuitive yet potent sex appeal, and luminous complexion and shimmering hair that glow almost as if under sunlight, Sean is unmistakable by any means (Forceful Personalities, p. 72) Hearthrob (Template): Not only does Sean have an innate and unmatched sex appeal, she also finds it nearly impossible to turn off, making her tone and movements and expressions far more suggestive than she usually intends. It has caused her a great deal of trouble... Low Pain Threshold (3pts): Not only is Sean's feminine flesh incredibly silky and smooth, it is also remarkably sensitive. Eerily arousing at times, it also makes her unusual susceptible to pain. Lusty (1pt): A fantasy woman made flesh, Sean has a sex drive to match, thanks to her altered hormone system. She has to fight constantly against her excessive desires. Metabolic Quirk (1pt): An irritating qurik, Sean has found out that high quality, gourmet chocolate acts much like a mix of Ecstasy and Joy Buzz (TNF, p.37) on her, a trait she shares with her sister Teagan. Never that big on sweets, Sean finds herself craving chocolate more often than she ever did before.The Halloween Tricks just keep on coming. Sex Object (1pt): Sean is way too attractive for her - or anyone else's - own good, and many people just can't help themselves around her, to Sean's disgust... and growing concern. Surreality (Template): So irresistibly fascinating, sensual, and alluring, in looks and voice, most people tend to stare (ogle) whenever Sean is around, and seem fully willing to approach her and hit on her regardless of what she is doing. Quantum: 5 Quantum Pool: 30 Temporary Taint: 0 Permanent Taint: 1 Willpower: 10 Initiative: 10 Movement Walk: 7m/turn Run: 17m/turn Sprint: 35m/turn Soak Stamina: 5B/2L Manifestation: 8B/8L Total: 13B/10L Healing Rate: x2 Health Levels Bruised Unhurt Hurt Injured Wounded Maimed Crippled Incapacitated Dead Mega-Attributes Mega-Appearance 5 [Almost Live, Awe-Inspiring, Blind Bewitchment: Auditory, Seductive Looks] Mega-Manipulation 5 [Clarity, Tactful, The Voice] Mega-Charisma 5 [bardic Gift, Natural Agitator, Screen Presence, Seductive ] Powers Glamour 3 [L2 Holo (Auditory/Visual) w/Extra Sense, Reduced Quantum Cost x2; Weaknesses: -1 Range; Strengths: Increased Duration (Maintenance)] Vain Escape 1 [L2 Transmit (Reflective Surfaces) w/Incontiguous] Siren Physiology [body Modification: Enhanced Vocal Organs] Creation Log Nova Points (25/25): Mega-Manipulation +4 (12np), Enhancement: Bardic Gift (3np), +6 Attribute points (2np), +30 Skill Points (5np), +15 Background Points (3np) Bonus Points (25/25): Merits (10bp), Flaws (+10bp), Specialization: Singing (1bp), +7 Willpower (14bp) XP Log Earned XP Submitted Character on time: +5 gxp Activation: +4 txp August: +6 gxp/+4 txp September: +6 gxp/+4 txp October: +6 gxp/+4 txp Spent XP Enhanced Vocal Organs: -4 gxp Perform Specialty (Holo): -1 gxp Holo 2 & 3: -15txp Holo Extras - Visual Sense, Reduced Quantum Cost x2: -1 txp, -14 gxp General XP (GXP) Balance: 4 gxp Template XP (TXP) Balance: 0 txp XP Total: 39 xp
  45. 1 point
    That's the problem though. If we're playing old Inspired I don't want to just make a psion or a move a nova I want my mesmerist or stalwart to still feel like a mesmerist or stalwart.
  46. 1 point
    I don't know if anyone else watched it live streaming last night. It was so awesome. The energy and anticipation in that room were palpable. I can't even imagine how good those amazing men and women felt. But let me tell you, hearing the words "MALP Telemetry" on tV and having it be for real... That was just incredible. The retirement of the shuttle program made me feel sad, but the excitement this has generated keeps me hoping. Safe exploring, Curiosity.
  47. 1 point
    Thanks, Joani. I am excited about this game, I just don't want anyone to think I am not. I'll keep 'em comin' as I am able.
  48. 1 point
    Well then, as NPH (that's Nameless Patrick Harris) on HIMYAM (How I Met Your Alien Mother) says ... "O-Suit Up!"
  49. 1 point
    Cherry intercepted George before he’d gone too far. With a smile and a wink, she asked, “Would you like to dance?” “I thought I’d make introductions, first,” George said. “Be easier with a pretty girl on your arm,” Cherry told him with a sparkle in her eye. “Besides, I’d better stake a claim before some of the other lookers around here get their claws into you.” “Uh,” George said, flushing a little as she grabbed his hand. Behind him, he could hear Neiermeier laughing about something. He wasn’t sure it was about him, but he still blushed harder. Cherry pulled him to a group of three people: a heavily muscled man, an exceptionally tall woman and a normal-looking man all talking together. “Hi, I’m Cherry and this is George,” the pretty girl bubbled. “Can we butt into your conversation and make friends?” Meanwhile, Fox grinned his vulpine smile and took Gabrielle’s hand. “I’d be honored,” he told her, moving to the cleared area for a dance. “This is a nice gesture,” he murmured to her as the music covered their soft conversation. “Good to show unity.”
  50. 1 point
    The Asari The asari, native to the planet Thessia, are often considered the most powerful and respected sentient species in the known galaxy. This is partly due to the fact the asari were the first race after the Protheans to achieve interstellar flight, and to discover and inhabit the Citadel. A mono-gender race—distinctly feminine in appearance—the asari are known for their elegance, diplomacy, and biotic talent. Their millennia-long lifespan and unique physiology—allowing them to reproduce with a partner of any gender or species—give them a conservative but convivial attitude toward other races. The asari were instrumental in proposing and founding the Citadel Council, and have been at the heart of galactic society ever since. History The asari were the first contemporary race to achieve space flight and discover the mass relays. When they found the Citadel in around 580 BCE, the asari also encountered the keepers, whose mute assistance enabled them to quickly settle on the station and learn how to operate its systems. Sixty years later, the salarians made first contact with them, and together the two species agreed to found the Council. The asari continued their exploration. In around 200 BCE, the asari made first contact with the elcor and played a key role in their ascension into the galactic community. It is known that they were charting the Gorgon system at some point in Earth's 17th century. Appearance A typical asari individual has a blue to purple complexion; the gas giant Sharblu was named after a famous asari soprano with a distinctive skin tone that resembled the planet's atmosphere. Some asari, such as their representative on the Council, have facial markings. In the place of head hair, asari possess wavy folds of sculpted skin; aside from this and their skin tone, aesthetically the asari are the closest alien species to humans. The Asari are incredibly flexible, graceful and all sentient species seem to agree that all asari are incredibly attractive. Biology Asari have a robust cellular regenerative system. While they do not heal faster than other species, asari are known to reach 1000 years of age. Although asari have one gender, they are not asexual. An asari provides two copies of her own genes to her offspring, which—regardless of the species or sex of the 'father'—is always an asari. The second set is altered in a unique process called melding, also known as the joining. During melding, an asari consciously attunes her nervous system to her partner's, sending and receiving electrical impulses directly through the skin. Effectively, the asari and her partner briefly become one unified nervous system. This unique means of reproduction is the reason asari are all talented biotics. Their evolved ability to consciously control nerve impulses is very similar to biotic training. The partner can be another asari, or an alien of any gender. However, since the asari began encountering other sentient species, non-asari mates have become preferred for the diversity they provide. This reproductive process can lead to some confusion among non-asari, who might expect offspring with "mixed" genes. However, the offspring is always 100% asari, as it does not actually take DNA from the partner, simply use it as a "map" to randomize the genes of the offspring. An asari's melding ability extends to a mental connection as well, which is described as being the true union between an asari and her partner. It allows the asari to explore her partner's genetic heritage and pass desirable traits on to any offspring. During mating, an asari and her partner share memories, thoughts, and feelings. It is also possible for an asari to meld with another for the sole purpose of transferring thoughts, without reproduction. Asari pass through three climacteric life stages, marked by biochemical and physiological changes: -The Maiden stage begins at birth and is marked by the drive to explore and experience. Most young asari are curious and restless. -The Matron stage of life begins around the age of 350, though it can be triggered earlier if the individual melds frequently. This period is marked by a desire to settle in one area and raise children. -The Matriarch stage begins around 700 years of age, or later if the individual melds rarely. Matriarchs become active in their community as sages and councilors, dispensing wisdom from centuries of experience. Their knowledge and guidance may be one reason why Matriarchs are rarely seen outside asari space. However, it should be noted that, each stage could be started whenever an asari feels that she has reached the correct level of maturity. While each stage of life is marked by strong biological tendencies, individuals do make unexpected life choices. For example, there are Maidens who stay close to home rather than explore, Matrons who would rather work than build a family, and Matriarchs who have no interest in community affairs. Culture Because of their long lifespan, asari tend to have a "long view" not common in other races. When they encounter a new species or situation, the asari are more comfortable with an extended period of passive observation and study than immediate action. They are unfazed that some of their investments or decisions may not pay off for decades or centuries. Matriarchs can seem to make incomprehensible decisions, but their insight is evident when their carefully-laid plans come to fruition. In interstellar relations, this long view manifests in the unspoken policy of centrism. The asari instinctively seek to maintain stable balances of economic, political, and military power. Traditionally, asari spread their influence through cultural domination and intellectual superiority. They invite new species of advanced development to join the galactic community, knowing that their ideals and beliefs will inevitably influence the existing culture. The asari tend toward communal, consensus attitudes among themselves too: for example, they prefer to live in shared spaces aboard starships even if there are alternatives available. Asari believe that their offspring acquire the best qualities of the "father" from the melded genes, but evidence is anecdotal. They frown upon intraspecies conception, since genetic traits and cultural insight is gained from mating outside their species, so it's considered wasteful for asari to reproduce together. The results of such unions are occasionally referred to as "purebloods", a great insult among contemporary asari. A rare genetic defect known as Ardat-Yakshi, which makes asari destroy the partner's mind during melding, occurs much more frequently among the daughters of purebloods. Because of their natural sensuality and ability to mate with any species, asari are sometimes rumored to be promiscuous. These rumors are mostly a result of misinformation (or wishful thinking). In fact, asari have to accept that if they mate outside their own species, they will almost inevitably outlive their partner (with the notable exception of the krogan, who have a similarly immense longevity). Therefore they have had to apply their philosophical "long view" to relationships as well, savoring the time they spend with their partners rather than focusing on their inevitable loss. On the Citadel, an asari and her companion are trying to decide on a souvenir to purchase, and while her friend feels a fish is too short-lived to make a good memento, the asari notes that they must "enjoy the time they have with the fish." As a result of the age difference many asari raise their daughters alone, especially if the "father" species is short-lived. Despite their partner's death, a part of them will live within their other. The asari celebrate the springtime fertility ritual Janiris, which marks the start of the New Year. During this time, they create wreathes of flowers and distribute them among their friends and loved ones. As is the case with the holidays of some other Citadel species, the celebration of Janiris has been adopted by other species that operate in Citadel Space. Ability range Str 4-12 Dex 6-15 Con 4-12 Int 4-14 Wil 5-15 Per 6-16 Although not as robust or physically powerful as humans the asari are lithe, agile and incredibly attractive. Their natural biotic ability allows them to mentally push themselves farther and harder than humans might. Free Broad skills Str: Athletics Dex: Vehicle Op Con: - Int: Knowledge Wil: Awareness Per: Culture, Interacton The Asari possess the most knowledge of alien cultures than any other species in Citadel Space. Great Looks: All Asari possess the great looks perk, despite cultural or species differences, this perk is always in effect. This perk can be negated if individuals have reason not to like the asari hero or, for whatever reason, just don't like asari in general. Natural Biotics: All asari are natural biotics. Any asari biotic hero's possess a number of biotic energy points equal to their Will x 1.5 instead of Will x 1. An asari hero may opt to purchase the 'talent' perk later in their career to reflect training in some of their own latent biotic ability.
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