The Undesirables: Baron Albertus Beechworth IV

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Image copyright JEShields

Baron Albertus Beechworth IV arrived in London six months ago from Australia to raise capital for expanding the prosperous mining town bearing his name. At least that’s what the socialites and high flyers of London were led to believe for Albertus is nothing more than a con artist. The Baron, as he prefers to be called, lives day to day, lie to lie, driven to bigger and bolder cons by the blood of his infernal ancestors.

The big con fell apart while trying to offload a batch of so-called meteor alloys to an undercover Winnifred. If her ability to reform the lump of metal into cuffs around his hands hadn’t already scared him senseless the fact she described him of smelling faintly of brimstone would have. He’d heard the tales repeatedly as a child, of an ancestor who’d made a deal they couldn’t keep and been possessed by the devil in return. Stories meant to scare children with an inclination to lie to their parents. Now here was this woman who could smell the corruption of his lineage. Perhaps it was a sign to change, to make the biggest con of his life… convincing himself that he could somehow manage to redeem his soul.

Approaches

Disciplines

Forceful d4

Mystic arts d4

Sneaky d6

Covert ops d8

Quick d10

Social engineering d10

Careful d6

Combat & tactics d6

Clever d8

R&D d4

Flashy d8

Faith: 3

Concept: Charming descendant of demons
Trouble: Eternally damned by the sins of my ancestors
Discipline 1: Why lie when you can be creative with the truth
Discipline 2: Debauched darling of high society
Discipline 3: Connoisseur of the five-finger discount

Stunt 1: Because snake oil doesn’t sell itself I gain +2 when I flashily create advantages based on lies, half-truths and pseudo-science gibberish.
Stunt 2: Because demonic essence flows through my veins I roll d8s instead of d6s when rolling demon dice (the DM adds d6s to their pool as normal)
Stunt 3: Because all the best cons require careful planning once per session I may create an aspect with 2 free invocations by describing how I arranged it via a brief flashback

Vulnerability: –

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The Undesirables: Winnifred Peakes

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Image copyright JEShields

Nobody asks to be a werewolf, least of all a promising initiate of an ancient magical order. Life tends not to ask though, which is how Winnifred Peakes found herself barricaded into the Chancer’s Hand saloon during a siege that lasted close to a week. Night after night the werewolves breached the barricades, taking with them the townspeople a few at a time. Amongst them was her tutor, the senior Allomancer assigned to begin her training.

Winnifred was critically wounded on the penultimate night of the siege but made a miraculous recovery thanks to the werevirus now cursing through her system. Since the siege she has kept the virus (mostly) in check through magical talent and sheer force of will but it has left its mark, with each wound healing over in vicious scars that take weeks to fully fade.

Leaving the West behind her she travelled to London in search of her Order only to be cast out by the elders who were meant to train her. Without the means to return home it wasn’t long before she crossed paths with the Brotherhood. While the Chapter report listed her only as an independent talent Mina pieced together the data and recruited her into the Undesirables in return for occasional access to the Brotherhoods mystical archives. Winnifred may have forsaken by her Order but all that means is she’ll have to teach herself.

Approaches

Disciplines

Forceful d10

Mystic arts d6

Sneaky d8

Covert ops d8

Quick d8

Social engineering d4

Careful d4

Combat & tactics d10

Clever d6

R&D d4

Flashy d6

Faith: 4

Concept: Werewolf of the Wild West
Trouble: Branded with the scars of my past
Discipline 1: Forsaken initiate of the Iridium Order
Discipline 2: Survivor of the Chancer’s Hand siege
Discipline 3: Barroom brawler with a bite

Stunt 1: Because I am cursed by the werevirus I may clear one minor condition per turn by spending a demon die
Stunt 2: Because I can smell danger I get +2 to quickly overcome traps and ambushes
Stunt 3: Because I ain’t from around these parts once per session I may effortlessly distract an unsuspecting individual by playing into the stereotypes associated with the Wild West

Vulnerability: Because my pain only makes the beast stronger if I take a moderate or severe condition I must make a Forceful + Mystic arts roll (difficulty 10) to prevent myself from releasing the animal inside. If I fail I clear all my conditions, treat everybody as an enemy and must fight until an opportunity to escape presents itself.

The Undesirables: Mr Clink

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Image copyright JEShield

The shadows came for Joseph when he was only a child, one of the many children at the workhouse that hadn’t been expected to last the winter. Instead of taking his soul to the other side the darkness lay almost dormant, carrying him through one winter after another. As he grew so did the shadow, intertwining with his soul little by little until they were one and the same. Light and dark became something else, something that could only exist in the transition between the two.

That was where Mina found the man who had taken the name of Mr Clink, in the bustling shadows of London, trying to find a semblance of balance. Living on the edge has shown him the truths of Victorian society, of uncontrolled greed and morals forgotten at the drop of a hat. He fights it in the only way he knows how, with darkness and unrestrained violence. His soul is already damned, so maybe the ends will justify the means.

Approaches Disciplines
Forceful d8 Mystic arts d4
Sneaky d10 Covert ops d4
Quick d6 Social engineering d6
Careful d8 Combat & tactics d8
Clever d4 R&D d4
Flashy d6 Fringe: Shadowbound 10

Faith: 3

Concept: Shadowbound drifter
Trouble: Slowly succumbing to the darkness within
Discipline 1: Raised by the streets
Discipline 2: The ends justify the means
Discipline 3: They can’t fight what they don’t see coming

Stunt 1: Because my shadow has hands too I gain +2 when I forcefully create advantages by grappling with foes in close combat
Stunt 2: Because there are doorways in the darkness I can step between any two shadows I can see once per scene for the cost of 1 demon die
Stunt 3: Because I choose not to hold back my anger once per scene if I create the aspect “Wide open to attack” against myself I gain +4 to forcefully attack in close combat.

Vulnerability: –

Introducing: The Undesirables

I’ve got a few Demon Hunters projects in the early stages of production right now. One is planning a game for my own stag weekend, which will kick off by getting my old group back together for a one-shot of Demon Hunters. The adventure I’m planning is actually part of a bigger mission, Rocket Demons of Antiquity. Ultimately the finished product will take place over two time frames, modern and the Victorian eras. For the latter, I intend to include a set of pre-generated characters, led by none other than Mina Harker from Bram Stokers Dracula. Her draft text is presented below:

 

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Image copyright JEShields

 

Mina Harker, leader of the Undesirables

After their encounter with Dracula, the Harkers were brought into the Brotherhood by Abraham Van Helsing. They had already seen too much for any other option. While Johnathon rapidly progressed within the organisation Mina was side-lined thanks to the inherent sexism of the era and unspoken fears that she had been forever tainted by Dracula. Relegated to the archives she took it upon herself to form a team comprised of those who the Brotherhood considered incompatible with modern Victorian morals. Supernaturals, infernals, undesirables.

So long as they retain a spark of good within their souls Mina will work with them. Using insights gleaned from mission reports, historical records and the Brotherhood’s ability to tap into telegraph/telephone networks worldwide Mina directs this group of outcasts, operating outside and around Brotherhood channels and limitations. Her intellect and position within the Brotherhood ensures that her team are able to get to and deal with incidents that fall outside the remit of all but the highest Chapters.

Approaches Disciplines
Forceful d6 Mystic arts d4
Sneaky d8 Covert ops d10
Quick d4 Social engineering d6
Careful d8 Combat & tactics d4
Clever d10 R&D d8
Flashy d6

Faith: 3

Concept: Ostracised mastermind archivist
Trouble: Forced to prove myself over and over
Discipline 1: Operating under the Brotherhood’s radar
Discipline 2: No detail too small
Discipline 3: Just a woman!?! I’ll show you, you $@&hole!

Stunt 1: Because I just need to collate the evidence I get +2 when I cleverly overcome or create advantages by piecing together existing clues
Stunt 2: Because I must be free to act despite the expectations of society once per session I may flawlessly fashion or obtain a disguise that will let me act freely in my current location (The disguise may be male or female but not of a specific individual)
Stunt 3: Because I will not fall under their control I get +2 when I forcefully overcome supernatural attempts to influence me

Vulnerability: –

Conditions: 3 mild, 2 moderate, 1 severe

Mission Planning: Rockets and demons and succubi (oh my)

Happy Anniversary, the second episode from Demon Hunters: Slice of Life was released to Kickstarter backers this weekend and as with the first episode I have pledged to release an adventure starter inspired by the episode (you can find the first one here). I don’t want to drop any spoilers for the episode but suffice to say that it has already provided the seed of an idea centred around something I haven’t tried before: a hostage situation. The format will be the same as for Missionary Opposition, 3-4 pages with a combination of background, locations and NPCs. In place of the magical tome for the first mission I’m going to introduce something shamelessly stolen from The Sprawl – a mission clock with a twist, as well as being affected by the actions of the PCs it will serve as a timer for the mission. I’m still only fleshing out the details but my aim is for it to work akin to the GMs Demon Dice pool but restricted to a single roll to set the difficulty of the final skill challenge. In addition to adding dice over the course of the mission as a countdown character actions at crucial points will increase or decrease the pool, even if the reasons why aren’t immediately obvious to the players.

Alongside this adventure starter I have a second adventure in the works. This one is at a much earlier stage but will be getting a partial playtest when I GM it at my own stag party in a few weeks. Set, at least partially, during the Victorian era it will focus on a non-Brotherhood team. A team of outsiders, of outcasts. Of undesirables battling steampunk Rocket Demons.

Because why not?

Demon Hunters: Missionary Opposition

It’s here! Well actually it’s here, at drivethruRPG and it’s free to download!

Missionary Opposition is an Adventure Starter for Dead Gentlemen’s Demon Hunters: A Comedy of Terrors. It was inspired by the first episode of Demon Hunters: Slice of Life and is the first in a series that I’ll be releasing for the game. Going forward each will be based upon an episode of the series and will provide adventure inspiration in a condensed 3-4 page format. In the vein of Dungeon World’s adventure starters these are not fully fledged adventures but serve as building blocks. Within each you will find:

The Briefing – The background to the mission, an opening teaser and the core Mission Sinistra to guide your planning.

Locations – Important locales with suggested aspects, intel, threats and events. How they link together is left for the group to determine during play.

DMCs – The individuals and monsters central to the events detailed in the briefing. The aim is to detail the primary antagonist, a supernatural threat or mob and a normal who has been unwittingly caught up in events.

As always please do share, repost and reblog to spread the word that this is out there.

Review: DnDice Copper Bone metal dice

DSC01206aWhen it comes to dice you get what you pay for, which is why high quality metal dice sets are expensive. I’ve been interested in buying a metal set for a while. The Easy Roller sets come highly recommended but once you factor in exchange rates and international shipping (US->UK) they just become prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately the UK is not without its own retailers of metal dice and so I recently decided to acquire one of their Metallic Dragon sets in a Copper Bone finish from DnDice. They come in at £25 (with free postage in the UK!) and are cast in zinc with an electroplated tarnished copper finish. The product speaks for itself – the dice are beautiful (not sure the same can be said of my photography) and well worth the money.

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I went for the bone finish for the improved readability, which is apparent all the way from the d20 down to the d4 and nicely complements the solid feel of the dice. There is no way that you’ll mistake these for a cheap plastic set. While the d4 is relatively light (and very sharp!) the larger dice all have a nice weight to them and there’s that solid thunk you’d expect from a proper metal set. Fortunately the case, which includes a custom cut foam insert to hold the dice, also functions well as a miniature rolling tray so no need to worry about denting your gaming table. If you require something a little larger they also sell rolling mats and trays at reasonable prices.

My only issue with the set is really one of individual preference – that it comes with 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d% and 1d20. Personally I’ve only ever played in a single campaign it has been necessary to make percentile rolls and that can be accomplished by rolling a d10 twice. So for me the d% is superfluous and will mostly just get used as a second d10. Given that I’d have rather seen either a second d6 or second d20 in the set, as I’d use them more often. I understand though that the d% die is part of a standard set of dice and so can’t really fault DnDice for including it. While they don’t currently offer them I hope that in future it will be possible to order individual dice (and extra storage tins) to build a custom set though I can fully see myself buying a complete second set at some point. I just wish I could afford enough for some of the dice pool games I play.DSC01224b