Saturday, April 4, 2020

There Are Four Dice (GLOG Class: Wizard)

    "The Company, with G_d-like modesty, shuns all publicity. Its agents are, of course, secret; the orders it constantly and continually imparts are no different from those spread by imposters. For who will boast of being a mere imposter? The drunken man who blurts out an absurd command, the sleeping man who wakes suddenly to choke to death the woman sleeping at this side — are they not, perhaps, implementing one of the Company's secret decisions? This silent functioning, like that of G_d, inspires all manner of conjecture..."

Source: 1984 by Alcook.

 Class: Metatron


    You are an agent of the Company, an organization related (perhaps) to the legendary Academy of the Manufacturers. You have a pool of Memory Dice, which are very similar to (but not quite the same thing as) Magic Dice. Through the use of these MD, the Company operates in secret to control the world and protect it from itself.
     You can wear light armor, but may not use shields unless another class gives you that ability. If you have at least one template in this class you never fumble while using knives, garrotes, lassos or one-handed swords.
    You know one procedure from your list, determined by rolling 1d8 at first level. You may learn additional procedures from other Metatron, or through buying them from the Company. They may also be found in coded messages throughout the world. You use Procedures by rolling your MD, in a manner very similar to casting a spell. In general, treat them as you would treat a spell, except they are called procedures.

Skills: 1. Gaslighting, 2. Unmarked Code-Switching, 3. An Obscure, Dangerous Sport.

Starting Equipment: one freshly dry-cleaned nice suit (as unarmored but with +1 Reaction rolls), a set of dentist gear (see below), one entry from the list of Tools with Unpleasant Implications.

Perks: Your organization operates, at least in theory, with the approval of the government. You can mention this to guards or other legal authorities as a great excuse for all the weird crimes you are bound to commit. Common folk believe you 4-in-6 times, and the Company doesn't mind 5-in-6 times.
Drawback: Once a month, the Company sends you the name of a target. On a 3-in-6 chance your mission is to plant an object (which accompanied the message) on their person. On a 2-in-6 chance you must engage them in conversation, identifying yourself as an agent of the Company. On a 1-in-6 chance you must kill them and make it look like an accident.

  • A: Parry, Good Technique, +1 MD
  • B: Friendly Smile, +1 MD
  • C: Better Technique, Constant Wind, +1 MD
  • D: Ban Nigh, +1 MD
Parry
    In addition to subterfuge and sorcery, you are a student of superior swordplay. Once per turn you may reduce incoming weapon damage by your to-hit bonus. If your to-hit bonus is less than +1, consider it to be +1 while holding a light weapon.
Good Technique
    Choose one Technique from the Sacerd or Swan list. You can learn more Techniques by paying for them, just like anyone else.
Friendly Smile
    Look into someone's eyes, open yours wide, display your teeth and laugh wildly. The target must make a morale roll; if they fail, they are rooted to the spot until you break eye contact (and you are very good at not blinking). They may still defend themselves.
    Dogs and elfs attack you with suicidal rage instead of rolling morale. Nearby civilians will probably flee.
Better Technique
    "Magnus Magister Multis Neces Sunt", as the poet said. Learn another Technique from the Sacerd or Swan list for free. If your to-hit bonus is less than +2, consider it to be +2 while holding a light weapon.
Constant Wind
    Your clothing and hair constantly billow, even indoors or directly into the wind. You may suppress this effect with conscious effort, and you probably should (since it very clearly marks you as a Metatron). Civilians always believe you when you identify yourself.
Ban Nigh
    Look into someone's eyes, open yours wide, display your teeth and SCREAM. The target must make a Morale roll; if they fail, they are rooted to the spot until you run out of breath. They may not defend themselves.
    Dogs and elfs flee immediately without making a roll. Nearby civilians run away for several minutes and then hide for several more.

Procedures


    Your implements are your dentist gear. You can't use procedures on other people if you aren't holding your implements, but you can always use your procedures on yourself.
  1. Falsify Memory
    R: touch T: a mind, conscious or unonscious D: permanent
    The target forgets the last [dice] hours, and the memories are replaced with an impression of vague boredom. You may use 2+[sum] words to describe what they remember happening; their mind will fill in the blanks as best as it can. While the memories are irretrievable to all but the most skilled barbers, it's fairly easy to deduce that something is wrong, especially if multiple people can compare stories to find inconsistencies.

  2. Inflict Agony
    R: [dice]*30' T: a conscious mind D: instant
    The target takes [dice] damage without a save. This damage is always non-lethal. If you are exposing the target to their worst fear, they take [sum] damage instead.

  3. Haste
    R: n/a T: self D: [best] minutes
    For the duration, you move [dice]+1 times faster than you can run, silently. If someone is watching you then you are petrified and cannot move at all. You may approach [dice]*5 feet every time they blink.

  4. Knock
    R: touch T: a door or gate D: instant
    You knock loudly on the impeding target. A person on the other side who can hear you must save with [dice] penalty or attempt to allow you access. If there are multiple people on the far side, [sum] of them are affected, and will fight others who try to stop them from opening the door. The effect ends after one minute.

  5. Lock
    R: touch T: a portal or container D: instant
    You touch the target and seal it for [best] days. The target is now an object of fear, and all who behold it will be convinced, in the back of their minds, that something awful is waiting on the other side. It will open with a good kick, but living targets must pass a save with [dice] penalty to approach it. People who don't have a good reason to try won't approach at all.

  6. Magic Missile
    R: [dice]*30' T: a person of up to [dice] HD. D: [sum] minutes
    A bolt of energy, quite small, easy to overlook, fires out of your outstretched finger and into a target's eye. For the duration, every direct lie they tell deals [dice] damage to them, and they must save when asked a question or blurt out an answer.  Targets are aware of what is happening and won't accidentally kill themselves. Smart targets may try to run out the clock with inane chatter.

  7. Sleep
    R: 30' T: a creature of up to [dice] HD. D: ten minutes
    The target saves. If they pass, they attempt to flee. If they fail, they fall into a deep slumber which they perceive as passing the save and fleeing. You can't see into the dream, but you can describe its "plot" with 2+[sum] words.
        This dream seems to last for up to [sum] hours. The target gets an additional save if it is extremely unpleasant or if they do something uncharacteristic, but otherwise they will wake up confused and afraid.

  8. Thoughtgun
    R: [dice]*30' T: up to [dice] creatures which can see you D: instant
    You mime placing a gun to your temple and firing. Every target makes a save or takes [sum] damage. If they pass the save, you take 1 damage.
        If a target is killed by this spell their heads explode. If you die from this spell, all memory of your existence is removed from the minds of every creature with fewer HD than you.

  9. Locate Object
    R: touch T: an object or creature D: [dice] months
    You touch a target and implant a tracking device. For living targets, this is painless and unnoticeable. You always know where the trackers are, and may have as many active trackers as you have levels. Creatures who detect the tracker can cut it out with a sharp knife.

  10. Persona
    R: self T: n/a D: [dice] days
    Your appearance radically changes. You may increase [dice] stats by up to [best] points for the duration of the spell, and may choose to resemble any basically humanoid creature. You may mimic up to [dice] templates of another class. You may change your voice. You may alter your gait, your mannerisms, and add or remove tics and nervous habits. If you can memorize enough details, you may impersonate anyone perfectly. This spell ends early if you will it or if you die; otherwise, it can not be dispelled or seen through by any form of magic.

  11. Implant Idea
    R: 2' T: an unconscious mind D: see description
    This is the first of the terrible Signature Techniques of the Metatron. The target gains a new belief, the scale of which is dependent on the [dice] invested.
    1. Coherent single thoughts. "I should kill my husband", "I should walk off this cliff", "Who even needs a king, anyway?" Unlikely to have lasting effect, but repeat castings may be disturbing for the target.
    2. Implications and complex knowledge. A suspicion of spousal infidelity, a sudden ennui which catches you off guard, an impression that democracy is a good idea. Hard to shake off, and much more likely to stick around.
    3. Motivations. You are sure your husband is cheating on you, you know you have nothing left to live for, the king is definitely a murderous bastard with an army of mind-controlling torturers at his command. Deprogramming, at this stage, is difficult.
    4. Definite knowledge. You caught your spouse cheating on you, and if you can find a gun you can kill the two of them before they get away. You've already decided to kill yourself, and now you're searching for a nice high building so you can end it immediately. The rebellion contacted you weeks ago, and tonight at the Grand Ball the bourgeois will realize all that they have done. Deprogramming is only possible if the target survives.

  12. Kill Idea
    R: 2' T: a conscious mind D: see description
    The second Signature Technique. Deals [sum] * 2 damage to target thought. Most thoughts have 1 HP, but angels and devils likely have more. Casting with more [dice] allows removal of more complex thoughts:
    1. Coherent single thoughts. "Someone should kill the king", "You're lying to me about this topic", "Hey, that guy just picked my pocket". Temporary; while the thought is permanently lost the information that led to it is still present
    2. Implications and complex knowledge. Research on the management of the kingdom, topic expertise which contradicts the lie, knowledge of the content of their pockets. Long-term;  the knowledge will have to be recreated.
    3. Motivations. The belief that the king is an oppressor, the will or talent to learn the topic, the desire to own material goods. Effectively permanent, though these may eventually be regained.
    4. Basic concepts. Understanding of "kingdom" or "oppression", knowledge that a topic exists, the concept of "ownership" or "haeccity" or "object permanence". Cannot be undone.

Mistakes (when two MD show the same number, consult this chart)
  1. Misalignment. MD return to the pool only on 1–2 today.
  2. They bit down. You drop whatever you are holding and take 1d6 damage.
  3. Failure, hideous failure! The procedure does not occur.
  4. You lose track of yourself. You forget your position on the map and collapse like a ragdoll. Take a turn to figure out which limb is which.
  5. Disruption of the train of thought. The procedure works this time, but you can't perform it again until you have a an hour to collect your thoughts.
  6. The mind recoils, and whites out in self defense. Effect of the procedure is doubled but you are unconscious for a round and cannot perform another today.
Consequences (when three MD show the same number, the next item on this list occurs to you)
  1. Your other self (who cannot be physically distinguished from you in any way) immediately replaces you. They have all of your memories, most of your mannerisms, and as many levels in Metatron as you do. They will cooperate with your party for an hour, whereupon you return with no memory of the time lost.
  2. Your other self immediately replaces you. They have all of your memories, but they've spent some time thinking about their hour of freedom and now want more. Their personality has diverged, and they may or may not still be cooperative with the party, depending on the treatment they receive. You will return from wherever you were sent to when the other self next falls asleep, with no memory of the intervening time. 
  3. Your other self replaces you. This is permanent. You are erased, and this identical stranger now lives your life.
    Some scholars say there is no "other self", and that the consequences are the brain sacrificing the ego to protect itself. Others say that the other selves are souls (a parasitic species) who willingly destroy their parents and deliver them into the Outer Darkness, where there is wailing and a gnashing of teeth. Either way, the consequences can not be avoided. When your other self rolls triples they will be replaced with a third, and so on, and so on.

Tools with Unpleasant Implications

  1. Nice Suit. White silk shirt, black silk for the jacket, vest and tie. Accessories include brightly colored tie, black trilby, black patent-leather shoes, and that weird fucking nazi coat hangar thing. +1 Reaction rolls while worn. Takes up 0 slots worn, 2 slots carried.
  2. Dentist Gear. A hand-powered drill, a set of scrapers, a scalpel, a hammer and chisel, a long spool of fine wire, a bonesaw, a pair of pliers, a pair of sharp tweezers, and a large syringe. No painkiller. 1 slot.
  3. Straight razor. A light weapon. +1 damage, can't be thrown, ⅓ slot.
  4. A set of heavy manacles. The chain has 6 HP and 14 AC. 1 slot.
  5. Smoke Bombs. A small bag of ten. These produce a cloud of smoke in a five-foot cube when thrown. The smoke lasts for one minue. Anyone who breathes in the smoke must save or become dizzy and confused. ⅓ slot.
  6. Mechanical Eye. Looks like any common object of your choice which is smaller than an apple. The "receiving" end must be implanted in your own eye; you can see through it by focusing for an action. If the other end is smashed you are immediately reduced to 0 HP and knocked unconscious from the pain. ⅓ slot.
  7. Packet of Company Cockroach Eggs. You can spread these out in an area to cause a terrible infestation. They are easily distinguished from common cockroaches by their slightly-longer legs. If ingested, they survive off of the contents of the stomach indefinitely, until killed by poison.
  8. Counterfeit Money. A princely sum (perhaps around 1,000 gp) in bogus currency. You can try to spend this as if it were real, but many shopkeepers are intelligent enough to recognize it. The heavy case case occupies 2 slots.
  9. Camera Decipere. A cunningly-made contraption which uses light to project the contents of one sheet of paper onto another, making it effortless to forge signatures and easy to forge handwriting. 1 slot.
  10. A bottle of Invisible Ink. When used to write a message, the words fade. They reappear when exposed to heat — but after a few moments, they fade again permanently, and no one else will be able to see them. 140 characters worth.
  11. Cipherbook. Allows you to leave coded messages in ordinary letters, books and billboards. Another cipherbook will decode the messages, if the other person knows the key. ⅓ slot.
  12. Piano Wire Garrote. A strange weapon. A successful attack with a -4 penalty allows you to wrap the garrote around an enemy's neck; after that, thirty seconds of vigorous strangling will reduce them into unharmed unconsciousness. You automatically hit if the target is totally unprepared, and you can be interrupted at any time by another person. It's actually a lot harder to use these things properly than people think.
  13. Rapier. As a light weapon, with +1 damage. Stylish, 1 slot.
  14. Muff Pistol. A light ranged weapon which holds one bullet. 60' range, ⅓ slot.
  15. Blowgun. A two-foot length of sturdy tube which can fire darts as a light ranged weapon. These deal 1 damage and may be smeared with other substances. 1 slot.
  16. Silk Rope. 60', invisible in darkness. 1 slot.
  17. Company Bird. Looks like a normal bird, but its toes are a little too sharp. Can follow a target, and remember 6 words of human speech at a time. Smart enough to follow orders and to tell which words are important. Its cage is 3 slots.
  18. Cruel Bomb. Looks like any common object of your choice which is smaller than a loaf of bread. Has a timer which can be set for up to two years. Explodes for 3d6 damage in a 30' range, unless smashed to pieces before it goes off. 1 slot.
  19. A bottle of Instant Rage. Made from spider squeezings. Anyone who ingests it must save or attack the closest target with whatever comes to hand. Target gets a new save every time they take damage or kill someone. 3 doses.
  20. Some bizarre artifact, determined by rolling on the following table:
    1. A journal detailing the author's experience on a tropical island infested with zombies. They apparently lived for some time safely by dressing up in archaic fashions and calling themselves a vampire. The book ends suddenly, with the author at a light brunch on the beach wondering why the zombies have been acting strange. 1 slot.
    2. A dog who can speak human language. Elderly, alcoholic, mostly just interested in laying low and keeping under the radar.
    3. A silver ring which broadcasts the wearer's conscious thoughts to everyone within 10'.
    4. Two identical chairs. What affects one affects the other. If two people sit in them at the same time, the chairs swap positions. 4 slots each.
    5. A strange wall mirror, which acts as a powerful (3x) magnifying glass from the other side. Totally unbreakable. 2 slots.
    6. A pack of cards. The queens are all your mother, the kings are your father, the jacks your friends, and the rules card describes your death in poetic terms. If you burn the deck any curses or diseases affecting you vanish and you heal to full HP.

4 comments:

  1. C O N C E R N

    No. Wait. No. I'm not concerned. I'm not worried at all. Neither are you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other people will certainly be concerned. Thank you for your comment.

      Delete