Archive for September, 2011

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Exalted: Modern – Headlines, Week Six

September 28, 2011

All fictional (we hope…).

Extraterrestrial Craft Appears over Mexico City

At 7:09 CST on September 30th, 2011, a craft of extraterrestrial origin descended from the sky over southern Mexico, making a long approach toward Mexico City, where it stopped over the Polanco Towers.  The vessel itself is oblong, roughly two hundred and fifty yards long, and smooth, of an almost organic composition.  Though it took no hostile action, citizens panicked, and local authorities began an evacuation of the most populous urban center in the Western hemisphere.  Thus far, the death toll has reached sixty people, and more are expected to perish in the chaos.  Reports of a message transmitted from the vessel remain unconfirmed.  Citizens are urged to remain calm and comply with law enforcement officials to ensure a smooth and safe evacuation.

The above vessel was seen today hovering over Mexico City.

Scientists Posit Theories on Origins of Alien Vessel

Top NASA administrators have released a detailed but incomplete report on the probable nature of the extraterrestrial vessel currently hovering over Mexico City.  Spectroanalysis of the craft’s composite suggests it is a living being, propelled by thermal emissions and genetically designed to withstand the rigors of space travel.  Analysis of the vessel’s entry trajectory suggests it came from somewhere within the Crab Nebula, an area previously believed to contain no habitable planets.  Though no direct contact has yet been made with the alien visitors, scientists warn the populace that they may not conform to human standards.

U.S. Military Moves into Mexico

The presence of an extraterrestrial vessel over Mexico City has prompted a military response from the United States.  At the request of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, U.S. troops have advanced into Mexico, forming a military blockade around the capital city.  Troops are assisting local law enforcement with a chaotic evacuation, but their primary interest is preparing a defense against any possible hostile action from the aliens.  This action has drawn criticism from many world leaders, who fear such a response will provoke the very hostility they hope to avoid.  U.S. military leaders, however, stand unanimous in their support of the move.

Electromagnetic Disturbances Sweep the Globe

Following the arrival of the extraterrestrial craft over Mexico City, electronics across the world suffered massive disturbances, often leading to complete failures, sometimes irreparable.  At least three airplanes have been reported to have crashed, while at least two more remain unaccounted for.  The FAA has grounded all other flights indefinitely.  Casualties have been reported from major metropolitan offices, hospitals, and law enforcement institutions, as electronics from radios to elevators to life support machines flickered and died.  The President has declared a state of emergency for the entire United States, while the disturbances are accounted for and repaired.  Citizens are advised to stay inside their homes and remain calm.

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Two Unrelated Charms

September 22, 2011

The following are Charms that have come up over the course of several weeks’ worth of discussions.  One is an Infernal Charm (Ebon Dragon flavored, of course), and the other is a Lunar Charm.  Huge thanks to Segev from the White Wolf forums for feedback on the former, and thanks to Plague of Hats for feedback on both.  Enjoy!

Unquestionable Guilt of the Scapegoat
Cost: 6m; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Illusion, Shaping
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: Loom-Snarling Deception

When the Ebon Dragon needs a scapegoat, he does not go looking for one; he makes one. To do so, the Fiend must accuse a victim he can see of some action while activating this Charm. While the action need not be a crime, it usually is. This Charm applies the effect of Loom-Snarling Deception to that individual, creating a false identity that perfectly fits the accusation. This includes all the usual effects of Loom-Snarling Deception (and can include the benefit from Eldritch Secrets Mastery if the Fiend knows that Charm as well). The accusation need not be explicit; an implicit suggestion that “You might want to return this coin dropped by Ol’ Blind Jake,” is just as effective at creating the persona of Ol’ Blind Jake as blatant allegations.

At Essence 4+, he may disguise the target as a specific individual with whom the warlock is familiar (often the warlock himself). The Illusion effect of this Charm applies to anyone viewing the disguised individual exactly as if the target had used Loom-Snarling Deception, save that the warlock is never fooled by his own lies.

Lying to Myself Technique
Cost: 3m; Mins: Manipulation 4, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Mirror Sight Dismay

Sometimes, getting away with a lie can be difficult. The Stewards have found ways around that. This Charm may be used in response to any attempt to determine the veracity of a Lunar’s lie or deliberate half-truth. The Lunar’s player rolls (Manipulation + Presence) against his own Dodge MDV. The Lunar cannot in any way voluntarily lower her resistance to this effect, though she does not need to go out of her way to enhance her MDV. Should the Lunar beat her own MDV, for an instant, she whole-heartedly believes the lie she tells, enough to fool magic that determines deliberate obfuscations. Magic that determines the factual veracity of a claim can still see through this, but the Lunar need not reapply this Charm to that lie again for the remainder of the scene. Different lies still require additional applications of this Charm.

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Taniwha, the God of Realm Shipwrecks in the West

September 16, 2011

As an Ally for a potential upcoming game, I’ve developed a new god, which might be of some assistance to any games out there in need of a little more variety among the Celestial Bureaucracy.  Enjoy!

Taniwha, the God of Realm Shipwrecks in the West

God of the Third Rank

There is a god of everything, much to the dismay of the Realm, and that includes those of their ships that fail to reach their destinations.  Whether consumed by storms, beset by pirates, or victims of some stranger fate, Realms ships sink, and when they do, they become the domain of Taniwha. 

Taniwha reports to the God of Realm Ships in the West as well as the God of Shipwrecks in the West, who in turn report to the gods of Realm Ships and Shipwrecks in general.  Thanks to the Immaculate Order, Taniwha receives very few assignments to sink Realm ships, and thanks to their skillful construction, he rarely encounters them on their own.  However, Realm ships do sink from time to time, and so he maintains his small domain with an eye toward advancement.

Taniwha is a clever and cunning god, willing to push the boundaries of his power to hold certain individuals in his debt.  It is his practice to find Realm ships that are beginning to sink and offer to help the captain by delaying the sinking and thus helping the evacuation, but he is not above threatening to sink a Realm ship if the circumstances are right.  He knows that if he threatens the wrong Dynast, the Immaculate Order will hunt him down, but he also knows that he is difficult to reach and a pain in the ass to remove.  He flirts with destruction, counting on his meagre authority and worth to keep him alive.  Little does he know that the Empress was protecting him solely because she felt he wasn’t worth the resources to track down.  With the Empress gone, he is one misstep away from meeting a Wyld Hunt.

Taniwha appears as a tall, humanoid figure, slender and graceful.  His face is featureless save for two large, glassy eyes and a lipless slit for a mouth, ringed with a fine, full moustache and neatly trimmed beard.  He dresses in the finest Western fashion, specifically plucking treasures from the wrecks of Realm ships to flaunt about.  He carries no weapon, no trinkets, save for a rolled atlas in a finely jeweled case at his hip. 

Recently, Taniwha attempted to extort a newly Exalted Eclipse, and has found himself bound for a rollicking journey around the West.  While he feigns annoyance, he secretly hopes to parlay his new ally into leverage in Yu-Shan.  Nominally, Taniwha is as annoyed by inter-Sidereal politics as any god, but in truth, his sympathies lie with the Gold Faction, and he hopes that, when the Solars take Yu-Shan over once more, he can curry favor with them by helping his new Eclipse friend.

Taniwha, God of Realm Shipwrecks in the West (God of the Third Rank)

Motivation: Expand his own political and personal power to become a God of the Fourth Rank.

Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5; Charisma 4, Manipulation 6, Appearance 5; Perception 4, Intelligence 5, Wits 4

Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 5, Temperance 2, Valor 3

Abilities: Awareness 4, Bureaucracy 5, Integrity 3, Investigation 3, Linguistics (Native: Old Realm; Other: High Realm, Pelagothorpe Dialects, Seatongue) 3, Lore 4, Martial Arts 2, Occult 4, Presence 5, Resistance 3, Sail 5 (Realm Ships +3), Socialize 4

Backgrounds: Allies 3 , Artifact 4 (The Ever-Shifting Atlas, see below), Backing 2 (Bureau of Humanity), Contacts 3 (Bureau of Nature, Bureau of Destiny, the Gold Faction), Cult 2, Salary 3, Sanctum 2

Charms:

Affinity (Element) Control (6m) – Manipulate up to (Essence) “barrels” of water.  Can use only the elemental hazard version of this Charm, and only when creating or enhancing a hazard that includes a Realm ship in the West.

Bane Weapon (5m) – Ignore soak and Hardness of Realm ships in the West.

Calculated Order of Immediate Action (10m, 1W) – Create or destroy a sinking or sunken Realm vessel in the West.  Creating a sunken Realm vessel does not produce any goods or sailors, and destroying a sunken vessel does not undo the sinking so much as remove all evidence from the ocean floor. 

Domain Manipulation Scenario (6m or 12m, 1W) – Naturally speed or slow the process of a sinking Realm ship in the West, or generally and temporarily speed or slow the process of all sinking Realm ships in the West.

Essence Plethora (x3) – Increases Essence pool by 30 motes

Hurry Home (5m) – can teleport to any sinking or sunken Realm ship or his sanctum in Yu-Shan.

Intrusion-Sensing Method (5m, 1W) – Commit motes to roll (Perception + Awareness) with (Compassion) automatic successes to notice any Realm ships beginning to sink in the West as though he were present.

Landscape Travel (4m) – Swim at double normal walking speed.

Malediction (5m) – Inflict one-die penalty to all target’s Sail rolls to pilot or save a Realm ship in the West.

Materialize (60m)

Measure the Wind (1m) – Sense the Essence score of all living creatures within (Willpower) yards, recognize what type of being each is, and potentially locate hidden beings.

Principle of Motion (5m, 1W) – can store up to 8 actions and can withdraw up to 5 actions at once.

Reserve of Will (x2) – Provides two additional temporary Willpower

Sense Domain (5m, 1W) – Make an Awareness roll pertinent to sinking or sunken Realm ships in the West or priests’ senses, adding (Compassion) automatic successes.

Weather Control (10m) – Create or dismiss storms at sea.

Excellencies – Awareness (First), Bureaucracy (First), Presence (First), Sail (Divine Subordination, First, Third)

Join Battle: 8

Attacks:

Clinch – Speed 6, Accuracy 7, Damage 4B, Parry DV -, Rate 1, Tags C, N, P

Kick – Speed 5, Accuracy 7, Damage 7B, Parry DV 3, Rate 2, Tags N

Punch – Speed 5, Accuracy 8, Damage 4B, Parry DV 5, Rate 3, Tags N

Soak: 15B/13L/10A (Celestial Armor, +10B/+10L, -1 Mobility)

Health Levels: -0/-1×6/-2×5/-4/Incap

Dodge DV: 4                                         Willpower: 8 (10)

Essence: 4                                             Essence Pool: 110

Other Notes: Taniwha’s panoply consists of the Ever-Shifting Atlas, his Artifact.  For the attunement of four motes, Taniwha (or any attuned user) can see the location of any Realm ship in the West pinpointed by one of Taniwha’s Charms.  In essence, his awareness automatically updates the Atlas.  Furthermore, an attuned user can apply any of his Sail or Spirit Charms to any vessel listed on the Atlas as though he were present, at a five mote discount to boot (minimum one mote).

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Exalted: Modern – Headlines, Week Five

September 15, 2011

As before, all fictional.

Mexico Grants Independent Protectorate Status to Itzlan Nation

Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced early this morning that several years of negotiations have resulted in several municipalities in southern Mexico being granted independent protectorate status and, essentially, becoming their own nation.  The contiguous municipalities of Escárcega, Calakmul, and Candelaria in the Mexican state of Campeche have all been ceded to the indigenous Itzlan people, descendants of the Mayan civilization.  Their representative, who declined to be named, indicated that it was only through the cooperation of the Mexican government that this historic independence could have been achieved. 

Deadly Epidemic Rampages through India, Kills Hundreds

Devanand Konwar, the Governor of the state of Bihar in northeastern India, declared a state of emergency Saturday as the death toll from the latest contagion reached more than three hundred.  The region has been victim of several diseases in the last several months, but the most recent has by far been the most devastating.  Relief workers are being kept out of the quarantine area, with conditions inside reported as hellish at best.  Symptoms appear similar to those of the plague, though deadlier.  At this time, no cure or treatment has been effective at slowing or stopping the disease, and, when asked about the possibility of saving the region, aid workers were not optimistic.

Seattle Space Needle Damaged in Presumed Terrorist Attack

A series of explosions rocked downtown Seattle this morning, damaging the iconic Space Needle landmark and scattering debris over a sixteen block radius.  Emergency responders reported nine fatalities and twenty-seven injured, many of those in critical condition.  Witnesses reported seeing an individual dressed in what appeared to be a Halloween costume tossing an as-yet-unidentified explosive at the support beams of the Space Needle, triggering a series of damaging explosions.  No organizations have come forward to claim responsibility for the attack, and the attacker remains at large.

Japanese Emperor Overthrown in Military Coup

Emperor Akihito was killed during fighting in Tokyo, Japan earlier this evening, as a rebel military group calling itself the Sons of the Rising Sun fought their way through the city.  Civilian resistance was markedly nonexistent, though military forces did engage the Sons in a number of skirmishes, leaving fifteen dead and more than six times that number injured, mostly among the Japanese military forces.  The leader of this group, calling himself Tokugawa Ieyasu reborn, named himself God-Emperor of all Japan and swore to restore the glory of his nation.  Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda remains among the missing.