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 Post subject: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:52 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
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Location: Saint Augustine, FL, U.S.A.
Comment: Court of Tarot author
Most of this material already appeared in either the Splicers Unleashed Contest Entries or else in the Unleashed 2nd Verified Account thread. I moved the information to this thread not to showcase it but just to better organize it. A revised version of the original entry, newer information related to that entry, and even more brand new information is being compiled here in this dedicated thread.

The Cult of Sooth
Created and by Scott Zaboem

“For Sooth! Question not the intentions of your goddesses. Question not the methods of your goddesses. Your calling shall be to fight your goddesses.”
– Arch-Herald Omen of the Soothsayer Cult

Among Splicers, an old philosophy is taking root. The full implications of this movement are not yet clear. Opponents of this philosophy consider it a dangerous and debilitating delusion, almost as dangerous to the Human Resistance as the Violet Wave, which appeared at the same time.

Predestination is a concept which developed from time to time in many of the religions of Old Earth, including Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Classical predestination reasons that if God is omniscient (all knowing), then God already knows every event, which will happen in the future. If God knows what will happen, then God may cause it to happen, take action to change the event, or do nothing and allow it to happen. Whatever God chooses, God is responsible for every event. Free will may be rejected as incompatible with most versions of predestination. In the age of the Splicers, this idea has been resurrected with a new relevance.

In the world of Splicers and the Machine, the omnipresent infestation of nano-machines has led many humans to develop a belief in a new predestination. These believers reject the idea of free will and instead believe that N.E.X.U.S. controls their lives and every decision they make. Even if the N.E.X.U.S. cannot tell the future, it is orchestrating events and controlling the major decision makers. In short, N.E.X.U.S. knows exactly what it is doing, and every event that happens – including the Human Resistance – is all part of a planned destiny.

This belief in artificial predestination has its pros and cons for humans.

The upside is how logical and sensible it seems. As a theory, it would explain many mysteries. For example, the inhabitants of this world do not know for certain on which world they live, Earth or some other planet. That is a funny thing to forget, but one must understand that these people have nanites inside every portion of their bodies. Their own brains are occupied enemy territory, so they should not trust their own memories.

The downside of a belief in predestination is that it may not offer an opportunity for a person to change ones own destiny. Most people find the entire idea to be hopeless and reject it outright. Admitting that one believes oneself to be a tool of N.E.X.U.S. does nothing to increase ones popularity. In some communities, it can get a person arrested on suspicion of treason. Although nihilistic on its surface, this philosophy is not all doom and gloom. Many believers in predestination find their belief comforting. They believe that all events, no matter how tragic, serve a greater purpose. Their view of reality is orderly and purposeful. Even their mistakes and failures are pieces of a grand strategy, which is too complex and far-reaching for them to comprehend.

Recently, this idea has grown and matured into a quasi-religious order. This order calls itself the Soothsayer Cult – or more properly the Cult of Sooth. Not yet a full and true religion, the Cult possesses its own beliefs, ceremonies and chain of command. Not all citizens of any Great House are members of this cult, but Soothsayers are a well-connected minority and possess tremendous influence in some.

SOOTH: (archaic noun) truth. Originally, the word was used as an adjective, which meant true and genuine.
Their guiding principle is the Sooth. The Sooth (meaning “truth”) is the idea that the goddesses of N.E.X.U.S. know exactly what they are doing. Specifically, Soothsayers believe that the goddesses found humans not to be achieving their potential, like a collection of un-carved gemstones. The goddesses took necessary action to refine and sculpt humanity. They culled the population, eliminated the weakest of the species and challenged the rest. The surviving humans became braver, more resourceful and smarter as a result of these challenges. The goddesses, however, were still not done. The goddesses gave bio-technology to the surviving humans (or else allowed them to discover it) so that the humans might be able to refine bodies and minds as they had already refined their spirits. The challenges will continue until the inevitable day when the humans demonstrate their advancement by defeating the goddesses. In this final act of self-sacrifice, the goddesses will declare their work to be complete and die. The entire point of the Sooth is to accept this vision of reality in one’s own heart.

Soothsayers are not traitors who sell out their Great House to the Machine. In fact, they are some of the bravest warriors, attacking robots and other enemies with little thought of their own safety. Soothsayers tend to act honorably, respect other humans and take pride in their efforts for the war. These are all elements of the Sooth. To struggle against the Machine is to participate and thus advance humanity. The only sin for a Soothsayer is to despair and reject the goddesses in ones heart.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:02 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 918
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Comment: Luck favors the prepared
Mate, i said it before and ill say it again

this is a great addition to the Splicerverse :ok: :ok:

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connecting the dots


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:09 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
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Comment: Court of Tarot author
Soothsayer Culture

Soothsayers are proud of their cult, so they want to be recognized as members. Soothers wear emblems of their faith at all times, such as carved bone medallions and tattoos. The particular symbols preferred by a group of Soothsayers will vary from one congregation to another. Their most common symbol is the para-arc, an icon shaped like a jagged lightning bolt framed within a parallelogram. Lightning, thunder and storms are revered because it is said that thunder is nature's way of proclaiming the Sooth for all to hear. Tattoos are also added to their Host Armors, Warmounts and other Living Bio-Armors that Soothsayers use. Soothsayers also tend to wear dark purple, loose-fitting robes with yellow trim, especially during times of reverence. The higher one’s position in the cult, the longer and larger the robe gets. They avoid any bio-enhancements, which would disrupt their abilities to speak, but they would otherwise have no objections to enhancements that make their mouths more powerful.

Soothsayers have their own terminology and speech patterns. They celebrate spoken language; they do not use efficient forms of speech like abbreviations when they can avoid it. They use longer words when feasible, like “purchase” instead of “buy.” They also have a curious habit of speaking a negative adverb after the predicate, so “do not go there” becomes “go not there.” Soothsayers always refer to N.E.X.U.S. as “the goddesses.” The cult holds all manifestations of the fractured A.I. personalities in great reverence and will not insult them. Soothsayers have even been known to shout praise to the names of Kali or Lilith when attacking robot patrols. They tend to refer to the Machine's nanite infestation as the “nano-minions.”

The Cult is a tiered society. Regular members have the title of Speaker. So, if a character named Max Power joins the cult, he gains the rank of Speaker and his honorific name becomes Speaker Max (or Speaker Power or Speaker Max Power as he prefers). Higher ranking members with the title of Herald act as counselors and battlefield chaplains. Above the Heralds are Harbingers who manage the cult. The leader of the cult holds the title of Arch-Herald. If the Cult were to triple in size, it would add more Arch-Heralds and create an even higher position, the Arch-Harbinger.

Since inheriting her title from her mentor, Arch-Herald Omen has been quietly advancing the martial strength of the Cult. Roughnecks have noticed that cultists tend to get first pick of new bio-equipment, and cultists tend to receive less punishment for losing or breaking bio-equipment. This favoritism can become a problem if the Splicer were to bring shame to the cult as the cult is predisposed to punish shame-bringers above and beyond what punishment is given by official authorities. While Omen has been in power, many of the Heralds under her command have been upgraded to various types of Splicers. There are currently a disproportionate number of Geneticists and Tormentors among the Heralds and Harbingers of the cult when compared to the rest of the Resistance military (see Rifter #50 for details about the Geneticists and Tormentor classes).

Arch-Herald Omen's most significant innovation has been the development of group ceremonies. These rituals mark conversions to the faith, acknowledge births or deaths and spiritually prepare warriors before a battle. The most important ceremony, however, is performed daily. This time is called Reverence. Different small groups of Soothsayers perform Reverence at different times of the day depending on their own schedules and responsibilities. During Reverence, small groups of Soothsayers gather to meditate or quietly to contemplate the will of the goddesses. Recorded sounds of storms, thunder and crashing waves are played during Reverence to help Soothsayers relax and accept the will of the goddesses. Reverence typically lasts only ten to fifteen minutes, but a Harbinger may call for longer or shorter periods depending on circumstances.

It is important to remember that Sooth is not a true religion according to what most people would consider a religion – at least not yet. The Cult does, however, follow practices developed in religions. Blessings from a Harbinger inspire no more or less faith than a birthday candle wish, but the blessings are still valued by Soothsayers and thankfully received. Although Reverence resembles daily prayer, Soothsayers would not call it prayer, and they rarely ask the goddesses for anything specific. Although the personas of the N.E.X.U.S. are called goddesses, Soothsayers understand that these personas are projections of programming code and not actually divine beings. It is just that the goddess are so god-like that they might as well be true goddesses.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


Last edited by Lord Z on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:11 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
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Thank you, Krispybeard the Pirate!

The CONNECTION

So what is the connection between the Soothsayer Cult and the Violet Wave?
We leave this matter up to the gamemaster to decide. Here are some possible answers.

I. The Soothsayers originated from the same Great House, which is responsible for the Violet Wave attacks. The Cult might be serving a role as an unwitting informant and saboteur. If this is the case, then the Harbinger mentioned in the previous report is a spy who has staged battles in which she fights against the Violet Wave invaders. She has completely fooled many observers, including Alexi himself, with this tactic.

II. The Cult considers the Violet Wave attackers to be a hated enemy. The Cult originated in a smaller and isolated Great House which fell early to the invasion campaign of the Violet Wave Splicers. When the Great House was destroyed, refugees carried their beliefs and customs to other havens. The expansion of the Cult is an unintentional side effect of these attacks and a warning as to how severe the Blood Feuds may become for the Resistance as a whole.

III. The Cult has no connection with the Violet Wave at all. Most high-ranking cultists, such as the traveling Harbinger, don't care if the Violet Wave wins or loses. It is all part of the plan of the goddesses. The attacks might, however, be used as a vessel of opportunity for the Cult to expand its message and demonstrate the devotion and courage of its members. Some cultists may even hope to convert the invaders themselves.

IV. The Cult is a remnant of the survivors who once were the original inhabitants of an oceanic Great House before a dark fall that silenced the Great House years ago and caused the festering house to become the Violet Wave. It is the Cult that has somehow managed to defy the Violet Wave conversion process and awakened to a new enlightenment. Instead of fighting the nanobots that course through their flesh, the Cult has spiritually accepted them, which has promoted some ideology of N.E.X.U.S. providing “favor” to the Cult via the “voices” and that the Violet Wave seeks to obtain this favor for its own conquest. This favor of voices has given mythical rise that some Sooth have learned to listen to the voices as a possible means of a telepathic breakthrough by communing with the nanobots inside of their flesh. It is the Cults persevering defiance & favor that the Violet Wave seeks to consume to prove that they are the kismet epitome of the goddesses’ planned destiny for mankind. The coincidental rise & recent events of both the Violet Wave and the Cult, project strong possibilities that the two are intertwined as a duality of the same coin.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


Last edited by Lord Z on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:12 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
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Comment: Court of Tarot author
Sooth Alignment
Soothsayers may hold any alignment in the game, and are roughly equally distributed among the alignments. The most dedicated Soothsayers, however, share a specific and unique outlook and set of morals. Other characters could be converted to the Sooth Alignment. A character might have never heard of the Soothsayers, but has developed the same ideas independently. An independent Sooth-character would find much in common with the Soothsayers should they ever discuss their place in the world.

Sooth doesn't fit any of the three normal classifications of alignments (good, evil and selfish). It could be considered either good or evil by outside observers. If a specific classification is required, Sooth might be considered selfish, somewhere between Aberrant and Unprincipled.

A Sooth character will...
1. Keep his word and avoid lies (unless directed to lie by a higher ranking Soothsayer).
2. Not kill an unarmed foe or innocent.
3. Never torture, because all life is part of the goddesses' plan and thus respected. Please note that Soothsayers prefer working with Tormentors because of their Truth Extraction ability, which is invaluable for sorting spies and saboteurs out from prospective converts.
4. Not kill for pleasure alone, but he may take great pleasure in it when he has to kill.
5. Likely to help others; but if he cannot, then oh well, that's the will of the goddesses.
6. Always work within the law.
7. Have great respect for authority.
8. Show he can effectively work within a group, but he may be arrogant and hostile towards non-Soothsayers.
9. Take dirty money, stolen or ill-gotten goods and loot. Hey, the goddesses placed this stuff in front of him, so it must be their will for him to take it!
10. Not betray a friend, probably. It is against his nature. If he is told to do it, however, he is unlikely to feel guilt.

Immortality from the Goddesses
Soothsayers do believe in a form of eternal life. Whether or not they are correct about it – or about anything for that matter – is up to the Players and Gamemasters. Their concept of immortality is dependent upon the presence of the Machine's nano-machines.

The belief states that nano-minions are not only monitoring humans from the inside. They are also recording what they observe. All experiences and knowledge gained by the human is preserved and transferred into the global network of machinery. When the human dies, the goddesses preserve this data like precious treasure. The goddesses may copy these backups and reuse the data for various functions. A human might be cloned and reawakened in a machine-constructed city years later and thousands of miles away from the place where that human died. Or, the goddesses may use a backup as an operating system in an experimental new computer or robot.

Most backups, of course, are not used for anything. Most held in reserve for the day of ascendance when the goddesses accept defeat. On that day, the backups will be released to new life. Then, humans will assume the positions vacated by the goddesses – as divine rulers of the planet.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:14 am
  

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Optional Rules!
Soothsayer Templates

A Soothsayer is not a new Occupational Character Class. Instead, it is a system of faith and practices, which are added to a character that already has an O.C.C. Speakers are the regular members of the congregations. Heralds and Harbingers are the Chaplins of the Soothsayer Cult. They counsel, advise, bless and rally the Speakers of their congregations. The proportion of clergy to laymembers varies in Great Houses depending upon the needs of the Speakers and how much freedom to organize the local authorities allow. The proportion of Heralds to Speakers ranges from 1:10 to 1:50. The proportion of Harbingers to Speakers ranges from 1:100 to 1:1000. Instead of applying these specific bonuses, many G.M. will probably rather opt for roleplaying the effects. If so, consider the descriptions below to be suggested guidelines.

Speaker Template

When a Splicer joins the Soothsayer Cult, the character gains these bonuses.
Free Living Tattoos: all Soothsayers are entitled to living tattoos for free from Soothsayer Geneticists. Because the Geneticists are performing this task an act of devotion, those Speakers who receive the tattoos should not expect the Geneticist to act like a hired artist at their command. One small tattoo might be all that the Geneticist feels like giving for free. Bio-luminescent living tattoos still require spending Bio-E.
Under the Table Privileges: Soothsayers tend to develop an us-versus-the-world mentality. As such, they can get preferential treatment from other Soothsayers. When Soothsayers are in charge of distributing resources, they frequently see to it that other Soothsayers are first in the line and receive the highest quality goods available. Speakers also gain a +5% bonus with the Bartering and Begging Skills, but these bonuses only apply when dealing with other Soothsayers. This bonus may become a penalty if the officials are hostile or mistrusting of the Soothsayer Cult.

Herald Template
When a Splicer is recognized with this honor, the character gains these bonuses:
Voice of Sooth: When speaking or performing in front of an audience of Soothsayers, the Herald gains a +10% bonus to Public Speaking, Singing, and/or Dancing. This bonus is not a measure of the Herald's talent. It is a representation of the respect that others have in the title of Herald.
Commanding Presence: The Herald gains a +5% per experience level bonus to trust or intimidate Soothsayers of Speaker rank; if the Herald already has a bonus from a high M.A. attribute, these bonuses are added together. This bonus is not a measure of the Herald's talent. It is a representation of the respect that others have in the title of Herald.
Rallying Speech: The Herald may inspire courage in other characters before a battle or other dangerous task. Both the Herald and the audience must have the Sooth Alignment for this bonus to apply. By making a successful Public Speaking skill roll, the Herald grants Speakers a temporary immunity to Horror Factors. The effect lasts until the current danger has passed or one hour, whichever is shorter. With G.M. approval, other skill rolls such as Singing, Art or Creative Writing may inspire this effect, but Public Speaking is by far the most common and most reliable form.
Free Living Tattoos: Although all Soothsayers are entitled to Living Tattoos for free from Soothsayer Geneticists, the Heralds and Harbingers tend to receive the largest and most elaborate tattoos. Bio-luminescent Living Tattoos still require spending Bio-E.
Under the Table Privileges: Soothsayers tend to develop an us-versus-the-world mentality. As such, they can preferential treatment from other Soothsayers. When Soothsayers are in charge of distributing resources, they frequently see to it that other Soothsayers are first in the line and receive the highest quality good available. Heralds also gain a +10% bonus with the Bartering and Begging Skills, but these bonuses only apply when dealing with other Soothsayers. This bonus may become a penalty if the officials are hostile or mistrusting of the Soothsayer Cult.

Harbinger Template
Prerequisites: To become a Harbinger, a Soothsayer must reach 6th experience level, have already been recognized with the rank of Herald for at least one year, and must have demonstrated a talent for influencing people (through a M.A. attribute of 13 or higher, or a Public Speaker or even Seduction Skill of 70% or higher).
When a Splicer is recognized with this honor, the character gains these bonuses:
Voice of Sooth: When speaking or performing in front of an audience of Soothsayers, the Harbinger gains a +20% bonus to Public Speaking, Singing, and/or Dancing. This bonus is not a measure of the Harbinger's talent. It is a representation of the respect that others have in the title of Harbinger.
Commanding Presence: The Harbinger gains a +5% per experience level bonus to trust or intimidate anyone; if the Harbinger already has a bonus from a high M.A. attribute, these bonuses are added together. This bonus is applied retroactively, so it a character becomes a Harbinger at 6th level, that character will still apply all six levels to calculating this bonus, which would result in a +30%. This bonus is not a measure of the Harbinger's talent. It is a representation of the respect or fear that others have in the title of Harbinger.
Rallying Speech: The Harbinger may inspire courage in other characters before a battle or other dangerous task. Both the Harbinger and the audience must have the Sooth Alignment for this bonus to apply. By making a successful Public Speaking skill roll, the Harbinger grants Speakers and Heralds a temporary immunity to Horror Factors. The effect lasts until the current danger has passed or one hour, whichever is shorter. With G.M. approval, this effect may be inspired by other skill rolls such as Singing, Art or Creative Writing, but Public Speaking is by far the most common and most reliable form.
Free Living Tattoos: Although all Soothsayers are entitled to Living Tattoos for free from Soothsayer Geneticists, the Heralds and Harbingers tend to receive the largest and most elaborate tattoos. Bio-luminescent Living Tattoos still require spending Bio-E.
Under the Table Privileges: Soothsayers tend to develop an us-versus-the-world mentality. As such, they can preferential treatment from other Soothsayers. When Soothsayers are in charge of distributing resources, they frequently see to it that other Soothsayers are first in the line and receive the highest quality good available. Harbingers also gain a +30% bonus with the Bartering, Begging and Seduction Skills, but these bonuses only apply when dealing with other Soothsayers. This bonus may become a penalty if the officials are hostile or mistrusting of the Soothsayer Cult.

For Additional information on the Sooth, the NPC Harbinger Providence the Leader of the Nomadic Inquisitors Sect and her Host Armor, please follow Lord Z's informative post below as more goodies pour forth from this brilliant Writer.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:15 am
  

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Soothsayer Bio-Enhancement: Living Tattoos
The Soothsayer Cult may claim at least one innovation completely as its own. The cult has designed a tattooing process, which could be programmed into skin on a genetic level. These Living Tattoos are infused deep in the epidermis (skin). Designs may also be implanted onto living weapons, Host Armor, Warmounts and other bio-creations.
The benefit of Living Tattoos as opposed to regular ink tattoos is regeneration. Because the mark is genetic, it will regenerate with the epidermis as the organ regrows, even if the mark was burnt or cut off. Let's say a certain Splicer was to receive two tattoos, one ink and one living, on the same arm. The Splicer loses this arm in battle. When the arm is later regenerated at the gene pool, the ink tattoo will not appear on the new arm, but the Living Tattoo will. The process developed out of a desire for Cult members to recognize other members, even while in Living Armor. The cult's Geneticists developed the process without the aid of an Engineer nor Librarian. Cultists typically prefer to be tattooed with a para-arc drawn in a dark shade of blue, red or violet.

Although incredibly simple by bio-engineering standards of the age, Living Tattoos have become surprisingly profitable. Cult approved Engineers offer their tattooing services to other Cult members for free – and to customers outside of the Cult for reasonable fees (which will vary depending on demand and artistic skill of the Geneticist). Removal of a Living Tattoo costs the same reasonable fee. The Geneticist commissioned to create a Living Tattoo will draw or write any design. It all depends on what the client wishes. There is no bio-energy cost for just the tattoo alone.

One variation of the Living Tattoo is a tattoo, which also generates bio-luminescence. Glowing tattoos glow all of the time and cannot be shut off, but the amount of light produced is negligible so that it may be easily covered for stealth. Glowing tattoos require the normal amount of bio-energy required for bio-luminescence (3 Bio-E as per Glow Cells on Page 87).

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:17 am
  

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Soothsayer NPCs
ARCH-HERALD OMEN
The current leader is Arch-Herald Omen, a 13th level Scarecrow. Omen is a confident, determined and manipulative woman. She claims that when deeply meditating, she can sometimes hear the voice of a goddess speaking to her through the nano-minions. Omen is completely willing to exploit her influence as the Arch-Herald to promote her work as a Scarecrow (and vice versa). She wears her para-arc tattoo on her face so that it passes over her left eye and wears her hair in long dreadlocks. Although she lost her right hand in combat years ago, she has never regrown it nor had it replaced. She believes that it was the will of the goddesses that her fleshy hand was taken away, and she will not contradict them. Instead, she wears a hook of polished whale bone on her arm. The gleaming white hook is complemented by several other pieces of bone jewelry she often wears. She dresses in a long hooded purple robe, which drags several feet behind her in the back. Her voice is clear and very enunciated, and she manages to make every phrase sound vaguely menacing.

_________________
Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:22 am
  

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Harbinger Providence
Illustrated by Chuck “Premier” Walton!
This is an insanely vibrant and detailed illustration by our own Premier. When I made full character stats to match the illustration, I forgot to give her an equipment list. That mistake is being corrected now.

Leader of the nomadic Inquisitor Pilgrimage

The enigmatic woman called Harbinger Providence is visiting the Great Houses. Her mission, which was given to her by Arch-Herald Omen herself, is a pilgrimage to personally check on the development of every congregation of Soothsayers in every Great House on the planet. Providence's unique talents as a warrior and preacher make her a good choice for this mission, and she has been well trained by Omen who has taught her political skills as well. She will not say from where she comes, but she leads a group of converts to guard and work for her along the way. This nomadic tribe which is called the 'Inquisitors Sect' by many, varies in size as she will pick up and send away Soothsayers periodically. She is careful never to let her group grow large enough to attract too much attention from the Machine. Her constant companions in her journey are a small team of bodyguards, all of them Tormentors with skills in espionage, wilderness guidance and medicine. Her other companion is her powerful host armor, a unqiue ocelot-centaur configuration she calls 'Soothgrowler'.

Experience: 10th Level Roughneck with a Harbinger Clerical Template.
Alignment: Sooth. (new!)
Attributes: I.Q. 13, M.E. 8, M.A. 20, P.S. 16, P.P. 13, P.E. 17, P.B. 18, Spd 28.
Hit Points: 47. S.D.C.: 81.
Other Bonuses: Charm/Impress 40%, Trust/Intimidate 100%, +20% bonus to Public Speaking-Singing-Dancing in front of an audience of other Soothsayers, Rallying Speech before other Soothsayers to temporarily eliminate Horror Factor penalties, +30% bonus when Bartering-Begging-Seduction with other Soothsayers, +5% to save vs. coma/death, +2 to save vs. poison and magic.
Appearance: Providence is an exotically beautiful woman of strong build and formidable demeanor. She seems to be from mixed ancestry, and her accent is thick yet unfamiliar. Her body is covered almost entirely from her nose to her feet in living tattoos in strange designs. These designs could be compared to Maori tribal tattoos depicting natural events or Celtic ideographic symbols or anything in-between. She wears little clothing when traveling, perhaps to better display her impressive collection of body art. During ceremonies, she covers herself with a floor-length purple robe and hood that is embroidered with golden thread.
Weight: 140 pounds (63.5 kg). Height: 5 feet, 7 inches (1.7 m). Age: 31. Sex: Female.
Disposition: She never allows anyone to doubt who is in charge – she is. Providence is a stern but at the same time charismatic leader. Having perfected her beautiful two-face, she is perfectly willing to play the role of friendly diplomat while plotting to undermine others. When she sets a goal for herself, she is driven to achieve it with no time for distractions. Her concern for the plight and liberties of her fellow-Soothsayers is very genuine, but she feels little or no empathy for anyone else.
Skill Programs: Athletics, Basic Military, Infantryman, Language Specialist and Clergy. (new!)
Combat Skills: Hand to Hand: Expert, Kick Boxing, W.P. Sword (+4 to Strike, +4 to Parry and +2 to Throw), W.P. Knife (+4 to Strike, +4 to Parry and +5 to Throw), W.P. Bio-Weapons: Light (+4 to Strike), W.P. Bio-Weapons: Heavy (+4 to Strike), W.P. Bio-Armor (+2D6 damage when brawling), W.P. Quickdraw: Bio-Energy Expulsion Vent (+1 to Initiative), W.P. Paired Weapons and W.P. Reverse Stroke (-2 to Strike).
Languages: Speak Russian 97%, Read & Write Russian 98%, Sign Language 97%, English 95%, Read & Write English 85%, Chinese 95% and Read & Write Chinese 85%.
Skills: Basic Mathematics 96%, General Athletics, Gymnastics, Outdoorsmanship, Swimming 98%, Prowl 85%, Climbing 98%/98%, Military Etiquette 98%, Running, First Aid 98%, Forced March, Bartering 66%, Bio-Comms 90%, Sing 80%, Public Speaking 75%, History 85%, Psychology 80%, Dance 75%, Seduction 47%, Operate Bio-Equipment 90%, Recognize Weapon Quality 70%, Camouflage 65%, Surveillance 75%, Land Navigation 52% and Creative Writing 50%.
Combat Bonuses (including attribute bonuses, Hand to Hand: Expert and other skills)
Attacks per Melee: 5.
Initiative: +1 (or +2 if using Quickdraw with Explosive Energy Vent).
Strike: +3.
Parry: +5.
Dodge: +4.
Roll with Impact: +5.
Disarm: +3.
Pull Punch: +6.
Damage Bonus: +4 standard damage.
Critical Damage: on a natural roll of 18-20.
Saving Throw Bonus vs. Horror Factor: +7.
Attacks (including damage bonus listed above): Backhand Strike 1D4+5, Karate Punch 1D6+5, Knee Strike 1D8+5, Kick Attack 2D4+5, Axe Kick 2D8+5, Jump Kick 4D10+5 and Body Flip/Throw 1D6+5.
Other Combat Information: 229 Bio-Energy, sense of balance 87%, work parallel bars & rings 97% and backflip 98%.

Equipment: She sticks very close to her host armor, so she does not carry much else in terms of equipment. She does, however, have leather a saddlebag with a few items inside of it. The bag itself is fur-covered and matches the hide of Soothgrowler. The saddlebag carries a slap patch, a face wrap and spare bio-comm, a water skin which holds two liters, some silver eating utensils, a cotton blanket, two changes of clothes for different climates, and a small cotton coin purse with 1000 credits in data discs and roughly 10,000 credits worth of gemstones useful in trade. She keeps a pair of small silver knives in her boots, suitable as throwing knives.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:24 am
  

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Pilgrims
NPC Bodyguards of Harbinger Providence and Soothgrowler, the Inquisators Pilgrimage.

This squad of Tormentors are highly trained and very dedicated to their mission. Their ethnicity and home language are difficult to identity – perhaps purposefully. They answer directly to Providence and allow her to do all the talking whenever possible. All are Soothsayers, some with the rank of Speaker, but a couple are higher ranking Heralds. The Speakers and Heralds are listed separately because they possess slightly different skills and abilities.

Experience: 6th Level Tormentors. Cult Rank: Speakers.
Alignment: Sooth.
Attributes: I.Q. 10, M.E. 8, M.A. 12, Splicer Strength 19, P.P. 18, P.E. 16 (fatigues at 1/4th the normal rate), P.B. 12 (from the waist-up), Spd. 10.
Personal M.D.C.: 204. Bio-Regeneration at 1D6+3 points per melee round.
Tormentor Battle Powers: The specific powers vary slightly from one Tormentor to another for variety's sake. All have Battle Attunement which is their primary tactic when suspecting trouble, surrounding the Harbinger and waiting until they identify the source the danger. Most will also have Truth Extraction, Designated Defense (+3 Parry), and Melee Expert (+1 Strike, +2 Parry & +1D6 damage with any melee weapon). The Speakers also have Perfect Aim (+2 Strike with a ranged weapon) and Weapons Mastery (the later primarily used in supporting allies).
Insanities: These also vary from one Tormentor to another, but they all suffer from two insanities each. The three most common insanities in the group are Obsession: Secrecy, Phobia: Saints and Psychosis: Persecution Complex.
Skill Programs of Note: Also varies; choose two. Either Communications & Field Medic or Guerrilla Warfare & Outdoorsman.
Skills of Note: Native Language 98%, Hand to Hand: Martial Arts, Detect Ambush 65%, Intelligence 62%, Wilderness Survival 60%, Operate Bio-Equipment 70%, Land Navigation 56%, Horsemanship 60%/40%, Prowl 40% (already includes the armor penalty to prowling), Sniper, Fencing, W.P. Shield (+2 Parry), W.P. Knife (+3 Strike, +4 Parry, +3 Strike Thrown, includes Fencing bonuses), W.P. Swords (+4 Strike, +3 Parry, +1 Strike Thrown, includes Fencing bonuses), W.P. Bio-Weapons Light (+5 Strike on an aimed shot, includes Sniper bonus) and W.P. Paired: Knives w/ Shield.

Experience: 6th Level Tormentors. Cult Rank: Heralds.
Alignment: Sooth.
Attributes: I.Q. 10, M.E. 8, M.A. 14, Splicer Strength 19, P.P. 18, P.E. 16 (fatigues at 1/4th the normal rate), P.B. 12 (from the waist-up), Spd. 10.
Personal M.D.C.: 204. Bio-Regeneration at 1D6+3 points per melee round.
Tormentor Battle Powers: The specific powers vary slightly from one Tormentor to another for variety's sake. All have Battle Attunement which is their primary tactic when suspecting trouble, surrounding the Harbinger and waiting until they identify the source the danger. Most will also have Truth Extraction, Designated Defense (+3 Parry), and Melee Expert (+1 Strike, +2 Parry & +1D6 damage with any melee weapon). The Heralds also have Mind Wipe.
Insanities: These also vary from one Tormentor to another, but they all suffer from two insanities each. The three most common insanities in the group are Obsession: Secrecy, Phobia: Saints and Psychosis: Persecution Complex.
Skill Programs of Note: Also varies; choose two. Either Communications & Field Medic or Guerrilla Warfare & Outdoorsman.
Skills of Note: Public Speaking, Native Language 98%, Hand to Hand: Martial Arts, Detect Ambush 65%, Intelligence 62%, Wilderness Survival 60%, Operate Bio-Equipment 70%, Land Navigation 56%, Horsemanship 60%/40%, Prowl 40% (already includes the armor penalty to prowling), Sniper, Fencing, W.P. Shield (+2 Parry), W.P. Knife (+3 Strike, +4 Parry, +3 Strike Thrown, includes Fencing bonuses), W.P. Swords (+4 Strike, +3 Parry, +1 Strike Thrown, includes Fencing bonuses), W.P. Bio-Weapons Light (+5 Strike on an aimed shot, includes Sniper bonus) and W.P. Paired: Knives w/ Shield.

Combat Bonuses: These are the same for both Speakers and Heralds. These bonuses include Hand to Hand training, other combat skills and P.P.
Attacks per Melee: 7.
Initiative: +1.
Strike unarmed: +4.
Strike with Light Cell Laser Rifle: +6 to aimed shots only; including W.P., Sniper & Perfect Aim bonuses (requires 3 tentacles).
Strike with Sword: +8 in hand or +9 using Melee Expert power (requires 2 tentacles).
Strike with Knife: +7 in hand or +8 using Melee Expert power (requires 2 tentacles).
Dodge: +6.
Auto-Dodge: +4 but only when using Battle Attunement (requires all 8 tentacles).
Parry unarmed: +5.
Parry with Shield: +7 in hand or +9 using Melee Expert power (requires 2 tentacles), useful with W.P. Paired Weapons.
Parry with Sword: +8 in hand or +10 using Melee Expert power (requires 2 tentacles).
Parry with Knife: +9 in hand or +11 using Melee Expert power (requires 2 tentacles).
Roll with Impact: +3.
Entangle: +6.
Pin on a natural roll of 18-20.
Critical on a natural roll of 18-20.
Brawling Attacks: Pulled Punch 2D6, Punch 1 M.D., Power Punch 1D6 M.D., Kick 1D4 M.D., Leap Kick 2D4 M.D.
Combat & Experience Note: It is interesting to note that if the PCs encounter these Tormentors more than once over a period of time, the Tormentors very well may advance to 7th level. At that point, the Tormentors will be considerably more dangerous. Among other bonuses, they will gain the Martial Artists' version of W.P. Paired Weapons at 7th level. That means they can hold ten knives (one in each hand, one in each tentacle), parry with one knife, and instantly counter-attack with the other nine. That is just an example, but theoretically any weapon combination is valid with these super-human combat experts.

Equipment: the same for both Speakers and Heralds.
Armor: Heavy Hide Armor: 130 M.D.C., Advanced Eyes, Enhanced Sight, Night Vision, and Living Tattoos.
Weapons: Light Cell Laser Rifle (range 2000'; damage: 0, 1D8x10 standard damage, 2D8 mega-damage, or 5D8 mega-damage).
Acid Edged Knives x8 (damage: 3D6 initially and 1D6 per melee round for 1D4 melee rounds).
Bone Longsword: This weapon is a piece of M.D.C. bone, carved and sharpened into a sword with a leather covered grip. It is only a standard damage weapon by itself, but it is rugged enough to withstand usage with Splicer Strength. This allows the Tormentor to inflict Splicer Strength mega-damage attacks (see brawling attacks) with the combat bonuses from Fencing, W.P. Sword and optionally also the Melee Expert power.
Bone Knives x4: These weapons are pieces of M.D.C. bone, carved and sharpened into large knives with a leather covered grip. They are only standard damage weapons by themselves, but they are rugged enough to withstand usage with Splicer Strength. This allows the Tormentor to inflict Splicer Strength mega-damage attacks (see brawling attacks) with the combat bonuses from Fencing, W.P. Knife and optionally also the Melee Expert power. These are primarily for use as tools and backup-weapons for their acid knives.
Bone Shield: This item is a piece of M.D.C. bone, carved or perhaps grown into the shape of a small round shield. It has 50 M.D.C. and is useful with the W.P. Shield skill.
Transportation: a Mega-Horse with saddle, bridle and living tattoos that match some of the tattoos on its rider. Each Mega-Horse has its own face wrap and horseshoes made of M.D.C. bone.
Other equipment: Purple silk cloak with a hood, 2 slap patches, face wrap, eye pod, bio-comm, saddlebags containing a water skin which holds five liters, a small waterproofed cotton tent, some silver eating utensils, a cotton blanket, a roll of cotton string, 50' of hemp rope, a small silver mirror, tinted goggles, spare boots and a small cotton coin purse with 1200 credits in data discs and roughly 900 credits worth of gemstones useful in trade.

Typical Squad Configurations – When the Pilgrims suspect trouble, their standard procedure is to surround the Harbinger and extend their tentacles into a Battle Attunement position. When the threat has been identified, they will draw their weapons. Half will press the attack while the other half stay with the Harbinger and use Designated Defense to intercept any attacks directed towards her. If the threat is at a range, the offensive pilgrims will use their light rifles with the Perfect Aim power. If the threat is close enough for melee combat, they will equip their use their bladed weapons instead. They can hold their sheilds and longswords in their hands, three acid knives in six tentacles (so to use their Melee Expert power), an acid knife in one tentacle for throwing, and one tentacle is left empty for entangling the opponent.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:00 pm
  

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Absolutely Brilliant and well conceived Lord Z Prime!
The more I read this over and over and the way you have organized this thread, automatically generates a chester cat smile. My brain begins to overload with ideas and curiousities.

> Can't wait to see the full write-up to Herald Providence's Host Armor, "Soothgrowler."
> Can't wait to see how the Cult expands into other Great Houses and how GM's conduct them and what Players begin to institute with Sooth characters.
> Wondering what possibilities might arise should a painted Sooth be Rifted into a Rifts: Earth scenario with the Living Tattoos and would they possibly attract/develop magical or psionic principles.
> Just imagining a wave of these Tattooed Host Armors, Biotics and Warmounts rushing across the battlefield is so tribal and yet so perfect for a Splicers clash.
> Wondering where Herald Omen and the majority of Sooth dwell and what is haven life like in a Sooth driven society.

My brewing Inquiries
> Is "Sooth" a sur name template like a cultural designation when they name all of their Host Armors & Warmounts?
> Are there any Intra-guild conflicts within the Sooth hierachy and if so, how are they conducted?
> What happens to those who defect from Sooth if any at all?
> Are their any major communications between the N.E.X.U.S. Personalities and the Heralds/Speakers besides observed battlefield cries, such as sideline bartering or N.E.X.U.S. implanting spies with a curious interest of the Sooth and how the Cult may benefit its own intricate purposes?
> Are their ANY Living Tattoos designed solely for Host Armors and Warmounts?
> How does an Engineer or a Sooth go about getting a Living Tattoo created with new abilities and does the Living Tattoo have to be approved by the Sooth leadership before being grafted and embedded?
> Is their a library of Living Tattoos or a collection within a Sooth Librarian perhaps, so that Sooth can recognize true Living Tattos from possible imposters?
> How does N.E.X.U.S. view Living Tattoos as per say, if a Soothsayer were to com within 5 miles of a Retro village? Would the Tattoos be deemed by N.E.X.U.S. as a form of biotech and threaten or wipe out the village if the sooth isn't driven off?
> Is it possible that Sooth was started/founded by a N.E.X.U.S. messiah or Renegade of the Machine, perhaps a TJ or perhaps something much older, more ancient?
> What will be revealed later of the Sooth?

- These are the things that just running across my mind and I look forward to this thread blossoming so that we can all dive into the Sooth and experience their influences.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:39 pm
  

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Premier wrote:
> Can't wait to see the full write-up to Herald Providence's Host Armor, "Soothgrowler."


Oh snap, I forgot to add that material to this thread! It's coming soon (probably within minutes).

Quote:
> Wondering what possibilities might arise should a painted Sooth be Rifted into a Rifts: Earth scenario with the Living Tattoos and would they possibly attract/develop magical or psionic principles.


If a loyal Soothsayer is exposed to all of the different ways that one may evolve in Rifts without being forced into it by tough-love goddesses, that character's faith might be sorely tested. If she were to come through it with her faith intact, than yeah, I can see them wanting that magic tattoo process very much. She might even start a denomination right there on Rifts Earth or Phase World. Getting those magic tattoos would mean finding and getting on the good side of a dragon, splugorth, or true Atlantean tattoo master -- a campaign hook in itself.

Quote:
> Wondering where Herald Omen and the majority of Sooth dwell and what is haven life like in a Sooth driven society.

I was wondering that myself. I will need to get the next Splicers sourcebook to find out!

Quote:
My brewing Inquiries
> Is "Sooth" a sur name template like a cultural designation when they name all of their Host Armors & Warmounts?


No, only because I did not think of it.

Quote:
> Are there any Intra-guild conflicts within the Sooth hierachy and if so, how are they conducted?


Due to the lack of direct communication with the Soothsayer hierarchy, and the broken state of their chain of command, the Cult i likely to experience multiple schisms. Different branches can become competing denominations. The Harbingers have not figured out a way yet of preventing these problems. If it happens, oh well, it's the will of the goddesses.

Quote:
> What happens to those who defect from Sooth if any at all?


That is for your local Harbinger to decide. Some are more resentful than others.

Quote:
> Are their any major communications between the N.E.X.U.S. Personalities and the Heralds/Speakers besides observed battlefield cries, such as sideline bartering or N.E.X.U.S. implanting spies with a curious interest of the Sooth and how the Cult may benefit its own intricate purposes?


Not yet -- the voices that Arch-Herald Omen claims to hear are the closest thing that the cult has to a red phone. Whether those voices really are the NEXUS personas or not is something I leave up to the GM. Furthermore contact between NEXUS and the cult as you are suggesting seems like a solid hook-line-sinker scenario to me.

Quote:
> Are their ANY Living Tattoos designed solely for Host Armors and Warmounts?


Since I am not a graphic designer, I purposefully steered myself away from getting too detailed about the symbols. The para-arc is the sole exception since it seemed to be that I needed at least one specific example. The rolling wave-like tattoos on Harbinger Providence make for a better sample.

Quote:
> How does an Engineer or a Sooth go about getting a Living Tattoo created with new abilities and does the Living Tattoo have to be approved by the Sooth leadership before being grafted and embedded?


It doesn't have to be approved. Living Tattoos are offered to cult members for free as they are earned. Outsiders may buy them with cold hard credits. Hey, it's another way for Geneticists to make a little on the side. The Bio-Energy cost is just 1 point; basically the Living Tattoo can be thought of as a variation of the Cosmetics option in the Host Armor section of the main book.

Do you mean Living Tattoos that have powers other than glowing? That's a good suggestion actually. The Bio-E cost would be the same as purchasing the ability directly. The only technical difference is that the altered bodymass is focused inside the marked skin rather than somewhere else. For example, a living tattoo which looks like an electric eel on the arm of a Biotic could have the bio-electric attack programmed into it for the same price as putting the bio-electric tissue anywhere else on the body.

Quote:
> Is their a library of Living Tattoos or a collection within a Sooth Librarian perhaps, so that Sooth can recognize true Living Tattos from possible imposters?


There is now. I like it.

Quote:
> How does N.E.X.U.S. view Living Tattoos as per say, if a Soothsayer were to com within 5 miles of a Retro village? Would the Tattoos be deemed by N.E.X.U.S. as a form of biotech and threaten or wipe out the village if the sooth isn't driven off?


Unless the Living Tattoo actually does something like glow, it is impossible to tell it apart from a regular ink tattoo without studying the genetics in a lab. The goddesses probably wouldn't care very much -- except maybe Lilith who would be interested in any way of telling who is who. If the goddesses were to learn that a particular tattoo is a living tattoo, then yes, they would consider that to be a sample of advanced but harmless bio-technology.

Quote:
> Is it possible that Sooth was started/founded by a N.E.X.U.S. messiah or Renegade of the Machine, perhaps a TJ or perhaps something much older, more ancient?


That is entirely possible. If the Sooth are right about the goddesses erasing collective memories from human society, then no one would know the origin of the Cult.

Quote:
> What will be revealed later of the Sooth?


I guess that depends on where the larger Purple Wave and Metal Storm storylines are headed.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:41 pm
  

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Host Armor: Soothgrowler
Appearance: The bulky host armor has four legs, two arms and a door that opens in the back of her chest for her pilot to enter or exit. It greatly resembles an ocelot, from the feline head to the speckled pattern which covers most of its furry hide. Although not the quickest or most dangerous host armor at a distance, it is quite impressive up close when she feeds her butcher's organ.
Bio-Energy Requirement: 279, most of this was provided by Providence herself, but the remaining 50 points were given to her before her pilgrimage by a Soothsayer Geneticist.
M.D.C.: Main Body 324, Arms 115 each, Hands 50 each, Legs 145 each, Feet 62 each and Head 125.
Speed: 130 mph (209 kmph).
Height: 7 feet (2.1 m).
Weight: 500 pounds (227 kg).
Operational Lifetime: 51 years.
Metabolism: Carnivore.
Physical Strength: 21 Splicer Strength.
Bio-Features & Bio-Enhancements: Multiple Pairs of Legs, Quick Clotting Blood, Enhanced Regeneration, Butcher's Organ, Resistance to Cold, Ambidextrous, Enhanced Neurological Connections, Cosmetic Alterations and the bio-weapons.
Combat Capabilities: Soothgrowler may use her bio-weapons (each use counts as one melee action/attack) or engage in hand to hand combat, or combine the two. The brawling attacks listed here already account for the Splicer Strength of the armor and the damage bonus from the pilot's W.P. Armor skill. Punch for 2D6+1D4 mega-damage, Power Punch for 2D6+2D4 M.D., Kick for 3D6 M.D. or Leap Kick for 2D6+2D4 M.D.
Bio-Weapons: six Claws (medium sized, non-retractable climbing claws, +2D6 M.D. to hand to hand attacks listed above, so for example a punch would result in 4D6+1D4 mega-damage), two Bio-Energy Expulsion Vents (one on each arm, 2D8+17 M.D., 1800 feet/549 m range, does not get the usual +3 bonus due to a modification, but may still use the W.P. Bio-Weapons Light skill for an additional +4 to strike), Saber Teeth (bite attacks for 4D8+2D6 M.D. including the damage bonus from W.P. Armor) and two Bio-Energy Blades (extend from the same two vents in the forearms, +3 to Strike and +2 to Parry, 3D12+17 M.D., may be used with W.P. Sword for an additional +4 to Strike and +4 to Parry, see The Rifter Issue #50 for full details). Since the blades are her most devastating weapons, Providence usually keeps these in reserve for when she needs a tactical surprise. Remember that W.P. Paired Weapons also may be applied to all these weapons.
Instinctual Skills: W.P. Paired Weapons, Land Navigation 70%, Track Animals 80%, Track 65%, Wilderness Survival 60% and Climb 30%.
Combat Bonuses (not including the pilot's bonuses): +1 extra attack, +5 to Initiative, +3 to Strike, +2 to Parry, +2 to Dodge, +2 to Auto-Dodge, +3 to Roll with Impact, and +1 to Pull Punch.
Combined Combat Bonuses (from host armor and pilot):
Attacks per Melee: 6.
Initiative: +6 (or +8 if using Quickdraw with Explosive Energy Vents).
Strike: +6 (or +10 for Explosive Energy Vents or Bio-Energy Blades).
Strike targets behind themselves with a backhand a.k.a. reverse stroke: +4.
Parry: +7 (or +11 for Bio-Energy Blades).
Dodge: +6 (or +2 to auto-dodge).
Roll with Impact: +8.
Disarm: +3.
Pull Punch: +7.
Critical Damage Range: on a natural roll of 18-20.
Saving Throw Bonus vs. Horror Factor: +7.
Hand to Hand Attacks: Claw 4D6+1D4 M.D., Power Punch for 2D6+2D4 M.D., Kick Attack (as a regular kick or axe kick) 3D6 M.D., Leap Kick for 2D6+2D4 M.D. and Body Flip/Throw 1D6+9 standard damage.

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:06 am
  

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have you put much thought as to the titles above Arch Harbinger if the numbers get big enough ??

i am extremely curious as to the actions of the Librarian behind Omen

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:01 am
  

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An Arch-Harbinger would be the equivalent of a pope or general. There is really no need for a higher position than that, unless the goddess get directly involved perhaps. I went with Arch-Herald as the current highest position because I preferred the way it sounded.

As for the Librarian's motives and level of involvement, I have not given that part a lot of thought yet. Any suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:23 am
  

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Hero

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Lord Z wrote:
An Arch-Harbinger would be the equivalent of a pope or general. There is really no need for a higher position than that, unless the goddess get directly involved perhaps. I went with Arch-Herald as the current highest position because I preferred the way it sounded.

As for the Librarian's motives and level of involvement, I have not given that part a lot of thought yet. Any suggestions?


for some reason Arch-Harbinger sounds fitting for the highest title, though i agree with you that Arch-Herald sounds better :) thank for that cos i could imagine seeing this group infiltrating many Houses and Retro-villages and grow in considerable size and i didnt know if there would be any title after Arch-Harbinger

Omen...a scarecrow. maybe only scarecrows can reach the highest levels. the chosen go through the conversion...to receive 'a level of understanding'

i had considered both Malevolent and Benevolent intensions

B - a Librarian or group of Librarians (maybe dozens) realized that this was the only path to unify humanity against the machine
M - another twisted Librarian like the Enlightened One (Kali master stroke) or simply a Megalo with the ultimate god complex

or a Rifts Crazy or similar technology (linked to TJs) is in the hands of a Librarian and they use their Scarecrows as the front men

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:50 pm
  

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Quote:
or a Rifts Crazy or similar technology (linked to TJs) is in the hands of a Librarian and they use their Scarecrows as the front men


Or a Crazy became the Librarian... all that madness and all that extra madness.... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:11 pm
  

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Slight001 wrote:
Quote:
or a Rifts Crazy or similar technology (linked to TJs) is in the hands of a Librarian and they use their Scarecrows as the front men


Or a Crazy became the Librarian... all that madness and all that extra madness.... :twisted:


:eek: :frazz: the voices in my head :ok: :D

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connecting the dots


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:38 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
Posts: 1638
Location: Saint Augustine, FL, U.S.A.
Comment: Court of Tarot author
Now you have me thinking about a network of Librarians and Scarecrows which reaches between Great Houses. The network could support banished or refugee scarecrows who need a drink of Elixir and a place to hide. It could offer information exchange without going through official channels. They could even have taken control of a small retro-village outside the territory of any particular house and used it as their headquarters and lab for furthetr experiments with the elixir. The concept does not fit with the cult's philosophy, but it would be fun to have this Scarecrow network anyway.

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“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:50 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
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Location: Saint Augustine, FL, U.S.A.
Comment: Court of Tarot author
Krispy and Slight, your discussion just gave me an idea. It is not developed enough yet for the 101 Adventures thread. The Engineers seem to have no control over which Saints become Engineers and which become Librarians. Sooner or later, there will be an unlucky house who gets nothing but Librarians. Without a living Engineer to breed new Saints, the house faces extinction within a generation. How would the senate react? Would it try to abduct or bribe Saints from other houses to defect? Would the entire house develop a societal martyr complex and dedicate itself to a suicidal military campaign?

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Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:18 pm
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Posts: 7083
in a being so capable of genetic engineering, i'd be very surprised if it didn't have the ability to ensure there is always a supply of engineers. imo, the organism bound to the saint cannot be influenced as to which it will become, but that doesn't mean the organism itself shouldn't be able to become whichever is needed, and if librarians are sterile (i've seen nothing to indicate that to be true, but i could have missed something) you can bet it will choose to perpetuate the species.

also, i would suspect engineers are many, many, many times more common than librarians, and that saints are actually not nearly as uncommon overall as you might think. for example, the great marsh house has 4% of it's population as saints. that's one in every 25 people. in a house with "only" 10,000 people in it, that would indicate 400 saints. in a house the size of great marsh, that's 10,000 saints. in order for a house to only have a small (under 10? under 5?) number of librarians with that high of a population of saints, there must be an exceptionally low chance of the organism turning into a librarian.

about the only time i would see the "only librarians" scenario to be a possibility is if it truly is completely 100% random and the house in question actually only has 1-2 saints left, at which point if we go by population % that means there's probably less than 100 *people* left in the house... and quite frankly, at that point i think not having engineers to make more saints is the *least* of anyone's concerns in that house.


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:32 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 918
Location: Down Under
Comment: Luck favors the prepared
Lord Z wrote:
Krispy and Slight, your discussion just gave me an idea. It is not developed enough yet for the 101 Adventures thread. The Engineers seem to have no control over which Saints become Engineers and which become Librarians. Sooner or later, there will be an unlucky house who gets nothing but Librarians. Without a living Engineer to breed new Saints, the house faces extinction within a generation. How would the senate react? Would it try to abduct or bribe Saints from other houses to defect? Would the entire house develop a societal martyr complex and dedicate itself to a suicidal military campaign?


I like the HL&S idea mate, there are some great story plots in it, but i understand Sharks point as well...if they can manipulate the alien to make Tormentors instead of your standard Saints then i dont see why they couldnt control what the alien will turn into, like gender selection

i could see you expanding the Soothsayer cult with the angle of a network of Librarians & Scarecrows

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connecting the dots


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 Post subject: Re: Soothsayer Cult
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:44 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:53 am
Posts: 1638
Location: Saint Augustine, FL, U.S.A.
Comment: Court of Tarot author
Sharkalot is right. The math just does not make sense. Thanks for the feedback, Big S.

As for a Scarecrow network mixing with the Cult, I do not see it happening. If Librarians are prone to meglomania, then they prtobably are arrogant and narcisistic in the first place. I have trouble seeing the Librarians endorsing a belief that involves humans worshipping anyone but Librarians. One oddball Librarian might be involved, but a bunch of them would not get behind the idea.

What next -- perhaps some adventure hooks specific for Soothsayer characters?

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Currently recruiting for Beyond the Supernatural games in 2019 which I am running on Discord: voice, text, and play-by-post. Here is the non-expiring server invite link: 418BQSLG

“All would be well. All would be heavenly— If the damned would only stay damned.”
-- Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, 1913


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