Reply To: A Quick Rundown on the Chronicles of Darkness

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#132
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So those are the canonical gamelines. Here’s two of the more popular non-canon gamelines, that I personally would want to see in the game.

The Inspired (Genius: the Transgression)

Mad Scientists, with more of an emphasis on the “Mad” than the “Science”. Maybe they’re angry at the world for not recognizing their brilliance, maybe they are wracked with guilt and trying frantically to undo a mistake, or maybe they just think their olioscope is sending them secret messages from the pan-dimensional lizard people. Their dissociation from reality is so great, that it warps the world around them, allowing them to create fantastical “Wonders” that defy all known scientific principles.

At least until a real scientist starts poking around to see how it works; then one of three things happen:

The most likely result is that reality realizes that it made a goof, and tries to correct itself, often with catastrophic results (mostly involving mutations, AIs suddenly becoming malevolent, explosions…that sort of thing).

The second most likely outcome is that the scientist is wrapped up in the Geniuses insanity bubble and becomes “Beholden” to the Geinus’ worldview, losing all ambition or creative thought in the process, making him the Igor to the Geinus’s Dr. Frankenstein (ignore the fact that the guy in the original movie was named “Fritz” for a second).

The third, and possibly most tragic outcome, is that the witness has his own break from reality, and becomes a Genius himself.

A Genius’ life is hard. Not only does their madness make it difficult to communicate with non-geniuses, but their warped perspective makes it impossible for them to do actual science anymore, so they’re often struggling to stay afloat financially. Worse yet, as their sanity decays, they often end up warping the world around them to conform to their un-scientific worldview. They can also travel to realms called “Bardos”, which are based on ideas and principles that humans no longer believe, but this is often just as depressing since Bardos are always flawed, slowly decaying realms that should have held fantastic possibility.

There are two main factions of the Inspired; the Invisible College, and the Lemurians. The Invisible College is basically a support group/mailing list, who try to keep each other grounded even while they investigate their own pseudoscientific principles. The Lemurians, on the other hand, are a bunch of cackling lunatics who think themselves the Illuminati. They think the world is broken, and only their enlightened super-science can fix it despite the fact that every time they try they only make things worse. It would be laughable, except that they are dangerously well-funded, and full of unhinged Geniuses.

Curiously, the Lemurians and the Seers of the Throne have no idea that the other group even exists. This is probably for the best, and the Invisible College and Free Council sometimes work together to keep it that way.

Nobles (Princess: the Hopeful)

These are Magical Girls akin to Sailor Moon. Yes I’m being serious, stop laughing.
Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom, ruled by benevolent queens who fought against a force known as The All Consuming Darkness. But as these stories often go, the queens grew haughty, giving the Darkness a chance to secure it’s final victory.

The Queens were imprisoned in the Dreamlands. Two escaped, but not unchanged; the Queen of Storms gave up her body to become a being of Pure Rage, while the Queen of Tears saved the city of Alhambra by shunting it into the very center of the darkness.

But humans never stopped dreaming. And because of this, the five remaining queens were able to send their light to the waking world, to find noble souls who resonated with them. These souls become Nobles, magical Princesses and Princes with the ability to transform into a magical alter-ego that fights the forces of darkness.

If you’ve ever seen any magical girl show ever, they can do all the stuff you’d expect one to be able to do. Elemental magic, the power of friendship, lasers, unrealistically elaborate martial arts… it’s all there. Better yet, their magic doesn’t cause Paradox, and in fact their “Transformation” makes it hard for people to remember their secret identities (though people do tend to freak out when they see their magic).

There is a catch, however. Nobles are supernaturally empathetic; being near someone in pain causes them pain as well. And the world of Chronicles of Darkness being what it is, there’s always someone nearby who is suffering. It’s impossible for them to solve every problem in the world, especially if doing so involves punching way above their weight class. And when a Noble is fully consumed by shadows… the result isn’t pretty.

As to how they’re related to mages, there’s two situations where a Mage might run into a Noble. First, you act like an utter bastard that hurts everyone around you for no good reason. Assuming the Guardians of the Veil don’t get to you first, you might end up being visited by a teenage girl in a frilly dress who will politely ask you to stop. You’ll laugh at the spectacle for being ridiculous, and she’ll kick your butt when you refuse. Failing that, there is a group called the Embassy of the Arcane, who consider themselves “ambassadors” to Magekind, working together with Mages towards shared goals.