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Orpheus Group as a Conspiracy - Hunter: The Vigil - White Wolf - White Wolf Publishing

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Orpheus Group as a Conspiracy
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 9:19:50 AM(UTC)

So with Geist coming out soon, I was thinking about ghost related compacts and conspiracies. While thinking of this, I reminisced about playing Orpheus a couple years ago. Then it dawned on me that the Orpheus group would make a great hunter conspiracy with a little tweaking.



For people who arent familiar with it, Orpheus Group was a company that started out cryogenically freezing people who had some sort of incurable disease and a lot of money and wanted to "wait it out" until a cure was found. One such client was frozen for a couple years and then thawed out (all successfully) because a cure was found. Once she got better, she talked about during the time she was frozen she was able to walk around as a ghost and talk to other ghosts. The company did more research on this and found that they could replicate the phenomenon. This is when the government stepped in. Obviously seeing the intelligence applications to having pet ghosts, they funded the research of Orpheus Group until they were able to come up with a process to freeze people for months at a time and have them always become a ghost temporarily. They called these agents "Sleepers." Later they perfected a process with some drugs and kundalini yoga to have people astrally project, but still have the abilities of a ghost. These agents were called "Skimmers."



Essentially this seems perfect to me as a conspiracy. Maybe they are a shadowy arm of Project: Valkrie or perhaps they are funded by The Cheiron Group. Of course they could also just be independent.



As far as rules for player characters, I would say that first you decide if you want to be a skimmer or a sleeper. With how Ghosts are in WOD I dont think they could be agents of Orpheus since almost none of them are mentally aware enough (this is backed up in the Core book and the Geist QS).



Orpheus agents would then by up to 5 dots in Horrors and at least one dot in status. For the horrors, I would say that they are treated similar to castigation in that they mimic dread powers or you can use the rules for ghost numina. You might be saying "why not just play Lucifuge?" Orpheus agents can only use their powers when they are out of body (OOB). Similar to castigation, they will get one power/numina for each dot in Horrors. They can switch out one power for another in down time but they can have no more than 5 numina at a time. To go OOB depends on what agent the character is. If they are a sleeper, they can only do it by going through the process of being cryogenically frozen. Usually for weeks at a time. If they are a sleeper, they would have to make a Wits+Composure roll to meditate. Once they achieve 5 successes they are OOB and can travel around in twilight like a ghost. Of course the downside is that skimmers leave their body for the most part unprotected. Nothing can possess a sleepers body while it is in cryo. Even the Sleeper has to wait for the body to thaw out before being able to jump back in.



For stats while OOB, I would say that you take the average of their stats in the power, finesse and resistance rows on the character sheet to get the ghost traits of power, finesse and resistance. Figure the rest of their stats like corpus and new defense using the ghost traits section in the WOD core (page 208). To use their powers, they obviously use willpower. To help them out, they also get to risk willpower like any other Hunter.



So what do you think? I am unable to get a chance to playtest it since I have no players where I am at but I think it could work pretty well.



I am also kinda pressed for time so this is more of a quick and dirty conversion or just taking the idea of orpheus. I have been trying to do a full conversion, but I can't figure out a good way to have characters pick the shade of ghost they are. In the Orpheus Core there are 5 different types. That works well with the NWOD 5x5 model. But then they add 3 more types later (really 2 since orphan-grinders are more of an add on to an existing ghost). This might fit well with the 7 virtues and vices, but I am having trouble trying to match them up. Still, I think this could work for a one-shot campaign.



Give me your opinions and suggestions, please.

If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 9:26:13 AM(UTC)

I almost forgot one more thing. Status would work as equal parts contacts and resources (as in each dot in status is like a dot in both) with the exception that it can only be used when "on assignment" or with approval from Orpheus Group itself.

If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
DVUS
Saturday, July 11, 2009 4:09:43 PM(UTC)
I think you could have them be agents.  Skimmers and Sleepers are different than normal ghosts.  You'd just have to rule that, since they are different, they are self aware at different levels. 



Also, since they are agents, and not real ghosts, would you really want to average their Power, Finesse and Resistance traits?  I understand why one would want to do that, to make it mesh with the rules for ghosts, but they're NOT ghosts... not until they die, anyway.



And tying the shades to a vice would be interesting.



I would love to have the Orpheus Group be a conspiracy.  It would be a nice counterpoint to TF:V (which I've always corresponded to Terrel & Squib and Nextworld). 



I don't have any better ideas at the moment, just trying to open a discussion.



D

Two-Fisted Historian
Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:12:58 PM(UTC)
Cool thoughts.  I had much the same thought: for the past few months I've been running a Hunter: The Vigil game on the old Orpheus setting.  While it doesn't use Orpheus Group as a Conspiracy, it does use the cosmology, the setting, and the meta-plotline as a foundation.

Cleverest of Things
Saturday, July 11, 2009 9:20:17 PM(UTC)
I think it'd be more interesting if the initial projects (IE Sleepers) weren't as regular, predictable, or neat as they thought, and that the original Sleeper was a Sin-Eater that woke up from cryo-stasis with a Geist in tow.  After putting together the Orpheus Group, which would've been somewhat of a government funded Krewe made of of various Sin-Eaters, they later researched ways to teach normal humans how to achieve similar effects (Reverse possession, ghost sight, limited numina/manifestation/ghostly power use).  The Skimmers, then, are the Hunters.  The Orpheus Group is a Conspiracy, but one that does not hesitate in using Sin-Eaters, or even possibly Death-Mages, as allies in their quest to understand/cleanse/hunt/help the dead.  Also of note, many of the Hunters that work for the Orpheus Agency as Skimmers have made contact with Geists and Death enough to be considered as possible candidates for becoming Sineaters themselves.



Mechanically speaking, you'd design Orpheus agents as Skimmers, with Endowments similar to the standard traits of a Sineater.  Interacting and seeing twilight naturally, being able to project the soul into the underworld, being able to become non-corporeal, etc.  As their Status within the organization grows, she gains access to supernatural allies.  At one of the levels, she might gain a Sleeper (IE a Sin-Eater) as an ally, one that is loyal to Orpheus but has the fuller powers of the Bound.  Later, she might gain an ally that is a ghost, one whose sentience and cohesion is enforced by its friendship with the Hunter.  It acts as a ghostly familiar, and can serve as spy, watchdog, and confidant to the Orphean.
Anton Sugar
Saturday, July 11, 2009 10:32:18 PM(UTC)
First I think you might be giving too much with the status merit.  That is, unless you want them to have a more powerful status trait than normal.  Traditionally a conspiracy only gets access to their endowment at status 1, gets a 2 or 3 dot merit at status 3 and 3-4 dots of merits at status 5.  Normally only totaling 6-7 non-status merit points not 10.  As for their endowment I would take the Orpheus material and convert the die pools to the new system.  I would also limit power gain the same way The Order of Saint George is limited in their power, or if you were feeling you wanted to mix it up more the way VANGUARD gets theirs.  Otherwise I think it is a great idea.  I kind of would like to play Orpheus again but like the new systems.  Maybe I should play a conversion game.
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 10:38:44 PM(UTC)

"DVUS" wrote:
I think you could have them be agents.  Skimmers and Sleepers are different than normal ghosts.  You'd just have to rule that, since they are different, they are self aware at different levels. 





I am still not sure that 'ghosts as agents' could be possible. Especially since in this system, ghosts can't go very far from their anchors. It isnt the same as it was in Orpheus or Wraith. Granted I could house rule it or make certain exceptions, but even in the core WOD book it states that ghosts' morality score can only go down so depending on the work they do they wouldn't remain playable long.



"DVUS" wrote:

Also, since they are agents, and not real ghosts, would you really want to average their Power, Finesse and Resistance traits?  I understand why one would want to do that, to make it mesh with the rules for ghosts, but they're NOT ghosts... not until they die, anyway.




Yeah, after I posted that I thought that it might be better to total up all their dots in the power row for power. That would give an average character at least 6 dots in each stat (6 in power, 6 in finesse, etc) which would make them quite the power house in the twilight world. At first I thought that would be too powerful, but now I am thinking it isnt so bad especially for a skimmer who can't stay out too long.



That is another rule I forgot to post. Each hour that a skimmer is OOB, they will have to spend a willpower point to keep their body alive without them. This will also limit how they do missions and make sleepers more of a sensible choice IMHO depending on what kind of character you want to play.



Thanks for commenting on what I have written. Please, more feedback!
If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 10:58:04 PM(UTC)

"Cleverest of Things" wrote:
I think it'd be more interesting if the initial projects (IE Sleepers) weren't as regular, predictable, or neat as they thought, and that the original Sleeper was a Sin-Eater that woke up from cryo-stasis with a Geist in tow.




Eh, I could see that it would be interesting if the first person was a Geist... but she didnt have a sudden NDE, it was over the course of a couple years. What Geist would wait around that long to grab a body and get to the material plane? Since its the World of Darkness, I am pretty sure that there is no shortage of NDEs.



"Cleverest of Things" wrote:

Mechanically speaking, you'd design Orpheus agents as Skimmers, with Endowments similar to the standard traits of a Sineater.  Interacting and seeing twilight naturally, being able to project the soul into the underworld, being able to become non-corporeal, etc.  As their Status within the organization grows, she gains access to supernatural allies.  At one of the levels, she might gain a Sleeper (IE a Sin-Eater) as an ally, one that is loyal to Orpheus but has the fuller powers of the Bound. 




But sleepers wouldnt be like the bound... they would be like sentient ghosts that can move far beyond their anchor (which would be their body). And the game is Hunter the Vigil, not Geist the Sin Eaters. The main theme I would want to carry over from Orpheus is the hubris of playing with fire and not really understanding it: the Orpheus Group doesnt understand the mechanics of the dead or the Underworld. They are just a bunch of humans who learned a neat trick and are using it to turn a profit. They want to learn more, but they are plunging headlong into it without looking both ways, if you catch my drift. Would they still work with Geists? Maybe. Since Geist isnt out yet, there might still be an antagonist that hunts down those that have died and come back or else there is no reason that Geists themselves couldn't "go public." I feel that being a Geist isnt very "yay I can see the dead, lets go solve mysteries" and is more like "wow, I am not dead... now I have this spiritual roommate that I have to do things for or its the dirt nap for me." I appreciate the suggestion, but it doesnt work for me.

If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 11:17:52 PM(UTC)

"Anton Sugar" wrote:
First I think you might be giving too much with the status merit.  That is, unless you want them to have a more powerful status trait than normal.  Traditionally a conspiracy only gets access to their endowment at status 1, gets a 2 or 3 dot merit at status 3 and 3-4 dots of merits at status 5.  Normally only totaling 6-7 non-status merit points not 10.




I didnt think it was too powerful since it was situational. If an agent is in too deep, they can "call home" and ask for advice (hence the contacts part of it) and if they need cash to bribe authorities or get from one place to another they can requisition some cash from the home office (hence the resources part of it). The best thing about this is that it is all with ST approval. A player couldn't say "a take my 3 dots in resources from Orpheus and buy 4 shotguns, 2 flamethrowers and a Minivan" without the ST allowing it. I just wasn't sure how else to translate over the deep pockets of the Orpheus group. Suggestion?



"Anton Sugar" wrote:
As for their endowment I would take the Orpheus material and convert the die pools to the new system.  I would also limit power gain the same way The Order of Saint George is limited in their power, or if you were feeling you wanted to mix it up more the way VANGUARD gets theirs.




I dont have my books with me, so I am not sure how they are limited in their power gain. I thought castigation was a good model since there is so much numina out there and limiting a player to 5 possible powers isnt too bad when you think about the fact that unless they dont buy it they wont be able to materialize or speak to anyone who can't hear those in Twilight. If they aren't OOB then the only power I could see an agent having is Unseen Sense: Ghosts. Like I said, I dont have my books with me. In the Orpheus core, was "Dead Eyes" on all the time or did they have to spend a point of something (willpower or vitality) to activate it for a scene? As far as converting powers, I opted for the numina because, in keeping with the spirit of H:tV, I didn't want to add vitality as a power stat. Substituting willpower for vitality seems like the logical step, but then the character will run out of will very quickly seeing how people would burn through vitality in Orpheus. Maybe treating willpower the way health was converted to vitality in Orpheus... I dont know. Like I said, this was a quick and dirty conversion. I have tried to convert the powers to NWOD but I usually run into road blocks. So I circumvented them by just not using the powers from Orpheus. It isnt much of a stretch to make equivalent powers using numina. You could even use Second Sight as a resource for some of the powers. Though I tried to do that in the past and found characters would burn through will too quickly especially since that is also what keeps them OOB.



"Anton Sugar" wrote:
Otherwise I think it is a great idea.




Thank you. I appreciate that. I wasnt sure what the reaction would be to me posting this.



One quick note: I totally stole the term OOB from Phaedra Weldon and her Zoe Martinique books. If you like Orpheus (or just the world of darkness), give her books a read. Zoe would be kinda tough to convert to WoD but I think the books are great.
If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Nikuchan
Saturday, July 11, 2009 11:25:43 PM(UTC)

Sounds fascinating! How do you handle it once the really tough Specters start coming out? What compacts or conspiracies are you using? I would figure that the Lucifuge could use Mandate of Hell on Specters.



I have always loved using pigment in my games as a story hook, even if it is just a normal WoD game. For those who dont know, pigment is a drug that is addictive like heroin and causes users to travel outside their bodies and use numina as if they were ghosts. Most people write it off as tripping ("Whoa man, I totally was looking at my body! And I moved my bookshelf with my mind!") but it is a good gateway to find that 'there is more out there.' (Cue X-Files music)

If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Anton Sugar
Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:29:05 AM(UTC)
"Nikuchan" wrote:
I just wasn't sure how else to translate over the deep pockets of the Orpheus group. Suggestion?

I would look at Cheiron Group, AO or Ashwood Abby since they are the rich groups and compare Status' with them for the resources.  I think throwing in Unseen Sense ghost is a good idea.  It should be treated the way other groups get it where if they already bought it they could get another Unseen Sense.  

I can dig giving them a more powerful status merit anyway, since (Spoiler) if you go by the original books they all lose status and be come fugatives once you get past the core book.

I guess for the Horrors I would make their endowment rank be their... what do you call their ghost type, a shade or something? Well their ghost types power would be equal to their endowment rank and they can buy other powers as separate endowments but at x3 cost with the same buying restrictions in Orpheus and can never be higher than their main endowment.  But this is only if you are generous, I would be more restricting.
Nikuchan
Sunday, July 12, 2009 11:21:29 AM(UTC)

"Anton Sugar" wrote:
I would look at Cheiron Group, AO or Ashwood Abby since they are the rich groups and compare Status' with them for the resources.




Very true. I just wish I had my books with me. On the subject of Cheiron Group, they almost remind me of Terril and Squib what with the advanced tech and bullets that can shoot ghosts.



"Anton Sugar" wrote:
I think throwing in Unseen Sense ghost is a good idea.  It should be treated the way other groups get it where if they already bought it they could get another Unseen Sense.




I agree.



"Anton Sugar" wrote:
I can dig giving them a more powerful status merit anyway, since (Spoiler) if you go by the original books they all lose status and be come fugatives once you get past the core book.




Heh, yeah. That was awesome. And in book 2 as well.



"Anton Sugar" wrote:
I guess for the Horrors I would make their endowment rank be their... what do you call their ghost type, a shade or something? Well their ghost types power would be equal to their endowment rank and they can buy other powers as separate endowments but at x3 cost with the same buying restrictions in Orpheus and can never be higher than their main endowment.  But this is only if you are generous, I would be more restricting.




I was doing some thinking on this and for my game I wouldnt put a type of shade. I would just let my players purchase up to 5 numina at a time (as said before like castigation) and not put a label on what type of ghost they are. OWOD was very big into classifying things and making them be the final word. Is that a mermaid? Must be a Changeling (Blood Dimmed Tides). I want to make a werewolf that lives in the city. Glass walker. But I dont want him to be a yuppie. Bone Gnawer. They tried to do away with it by the time revised rolled around, but most of it stuck. Sure in Orpheus agents could learn each others' horrors so as to be almost indestinguishable, but in the long run most people kept with stereotypes. Thats one of the things I like about NWOD. Everything is wide open so the stereotypes arent as prominant. In addition this lets players be more freeform with their players. Want to possess bodies and scream at people? Done. Also I would keep the cap at 5 powers so that players dont build up an insane amount of powers. Sometimes that happens with my players.



One interesting thing I noticed is that in the Orpheus game, ghosts were the only supernaturals. There were no vampires, werewolves or mages. I feel the main reason for this is that each group of OWOD supers had
their own necromancer group. Giovanni, Silent Striders, Euthanatos,
etc that could control ghosts and neuter an Orpheus agent.They had some brief rules on psychics and mediums, but just said that they were using their Horrors (aka numina) before they had died. By porting them over as a Hunter Conspiracy, it is possible to get a fresh start and brainstorm ideas on how they will react to other supers. I think by and large they will want to study them so they could either augment their company's abilities or just to be able to give their agents knowledge on how to react. As far as how Hunter fits in as a Conspiracy, I feel they would only deal with ghosts. Either to study them, combat them, help them along, or (perhaps) recruit them much like they did before. I doubt they would actively pursue any of the other supers except for information gathering or if working for the government.



What do all of you think?

If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
DVUS
Sunday, July 12, 2009 11:37:55 AM(UTC)
You know, I like the idea of scrapping the shades and just creating the Horrors as Endowments that they can buy.  That would simplify things a lot and you wouldn't have to modify all of Orpheus to run in nWoD and H:tV.  I would still rule that, if you take this Endowment, you can't take this one... much like Orpheus has banned shades. 



I'm still not sure how to represent Vitality.  I'm playing Orpheus for the first time in a game modified to nWoD and the ST has linked Willpower to Vitality so we can exchange 1 WP for 3 Vitality.  Maybe we shouldn't scrap Vitality and add a Numina track.  It'd be rather similar to adding a Source track to a spell using Hunter...



On a side note, I introduced pigment to a Hunter game and they totally used it to do some recon on the Vampire prince to figure out how to kill him.  And they did.  It was very fun.



D

MrParaduo
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:31:33 PM(UTC)

Oh great Nikuchan, I resurrect thee from thy ancient rest to ask of thy power and wisdom!

May I borrow this? I feel inspired to expand upon it, being an Orpheus fan, myself. :3
TheKingsRaven
Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:58:23 PM(UTC)

If anyone's interested here's some rules I made for KSI 29 (think Orpheus if it was really the KGB)


Projection (проекция) (O – OOOOO)

With powerful electromagnetic fields, the Hunters of KSI 21 force open dormant neural pathways in their brains, unlocking strange psychic powers. Using large broadcasters to transmit their psychic energies across vast distances the Agents of KSI 21 travel as unseen ghosts: To spy, to sabotage, and even to kill in the name of Mother Russia.

Sidebar: Natural Psychics

What happens if a natural psychic, such as the ones described in Second Sight, was to end up among the ranks? You as the Storyteller have several options.

Projection might be incompatible with natural psychic abilities. The brutal process of opening new neural pathways would “overwrite” the psychic existing neurological advantages. If this is the case KSI 21 would probably avoid removing any natural psychic abilities; instead they would put such rare abilities to good use, or study them to see if they add new Nightmares to their arsenal.

Alternatively perhaps there is no difference at all, KSI 21's artificial psychic abilities could be indistinguishable from the real thing. Any natural psychic could use a KSI sleeper pod to amplify their natural abilities, though unless they are able to astrally project or have some other form of ESP they would have no ability to target their abilities. This will require significant effort on the Storyteller's part to ensure that natural psychics neither overshadow or are short changed in comparison to the rest of KSI 21.

It goes without saying that the Storyteller should always discuss with a player before removing their Psychic Merits, and if they are removed refund the experience.


Every agent trained in Projection is given access to a sleeper pod (спальное место). A device that uses electromagnetic technology to interface with the brain and amplify psychic ability. Each sleeper pod consists of a secure armoured pod where the agent can be kept safely in a short term induced coma, a radio transmitter to broadcast psychic energies and an electroencephalograpic rig to serve as the interface between mind and machine.

Most KSI 21 sleeper pods are mounted in specially built nondescript vans, an agent using one of these pods has a projection range of Projection * 100 feet. In key locations KSI 21 builds much larger units, the size of cellphone towers (in fact many are cellphone towers, the signals do not conflict and it makes a good cover) which have a projection range of Projection * 10 miles. Regardless of the pod used an agent can maintain a projection indefinitely, though they will require rest and somebody to take care of their body.

A projected agent exists in Twilight, just like most Ghosts. They are able to physically interact with other objects in Twilight but remain intangible and invisible to the material. While the Agent is projecting he uses Mental Attributes in place of Physical Attributes, and his Speed is increased to a species factor of ten. Gravity is of little importance to a projecting agent, like a Ghost agents can fly at will. However the most important advantage is that while an agent is projecting they may make use of Nightmares (инкуб).

A projecting agent can be hurt by anything able to cause harm in Twilight. However it rarely sticks, when the agent is knocked unconscious or even “killed” simply convert all the damage to Bashing damage. When the agent recovers he'll wake up in his body. However while the agent cannot be killed by “physical” damage to his projected body, there are magical and psychic threats that could truly kill a projecting agent. Techniques that specifically affect Ghosts will not work on a KSI 21 agent, but techniques that specifically affect Psychics will.

Technically speaking an agent's mind never leaves their body, they are receiving sensory input and projecting psychic powers across vast distances. Consequently it is rather easy to cut the connection, a Success on a Wits + Resolve roll or Reflexively spending a point of Willpower will do the job.

Sidebar: KSI 21 and the Underworld

When KSI 21 wishes to enter the Underworld they prefer to use a variant of the usual sleeper pods built upon Avernian Gates. When an agent uses one of these pods their projection emerges in the Underworld on the far side of the Gate. There is no range limitation for these pods, the Underworld is the Underworld. Without the Gatekeeper Nightmare agents cannot open Avernian Gates, but the usual methods for returning to their bodies function as normal.

Under normal circumstances a KSI 21 agent has no ability to access the Lower Reaches, no Ferryman will take them. This is just as well because projecting oneself across a River is practically suicide. It takes immense effort to do so, a Dot of Willpower, at which point the agent's brain immediately flatlines. His mind now truly resides in his projection and will gradually fade away over Resolve + Projection hours. There is still hope, slim though it might be. If the agent was to find a way back to the lands of the living and travel to their body, and if their body was properly cared for, then they can spend a second Willpower Dot to psychically jump start their brain and settle in. With the correct Nightmare an Agent could posses other people, so long as never only remain outside a living body for Resolve + Possession hours they can survive indefinitely.


Learning Nightmares

As an agent gains more experience at Projecting they flex neural muscles they never even realised they have. Given sufficient time, practice and experimentation the agent will unlock the ability to use new Nightmares. Because this can take months or even years, KSI 21 would rather use faster methods. Instead of waiting for the new neural pathways to open naturally they force the paths open with transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Mechanically speaking the agent buys a dot of Projection representing how she has grown in both experience and raw psychic power. When the agent has her next medical check the doctors will notice changes in neurological activity indicating the potential for a new Nightmare and schedule the agent for a session of transcranial magnetic stimulation. If for some reason she cannot or does not get the operation the agent may, eventually, buy the new Nightmare with 10 exp. Under no circumstances can an agent possess more Nightmares than her dots in Projection.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Dice pool: Intelligence + Medicine + Equipment; if the doctor does not have a specalty in transcranial magnetic stimulation there is a -3 penalty.

Action: Extended. It requires three times the agent's dots in Projection to unlock a new nightmare. Each roll represents one hour of monitoring the patient and making occasional adjustments.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is normally a gentle and safe procedure, however it is not normally used to rip open semi-dormant neural pathways. To unlock psychic abilities requires that the power is increased to dangerous levels. Every two rolls causes one point of Lethal damage.

Dramatic Failure: The process goes horribly wrong inflicting a point of Aggravated Damage. Until this damage is healed the agent may learn no new nightmares.

Failure: No progress is made.

Success: Progress is made towards unlocking a Nightmare. When the target Successes are reached the Nightmare is unlocked. The agent's brain will gradually adapt to it's new abilities, achieving complete conscious control when the last point of damage from (TMS) has healed.

Exceptional Success: Not only is great progress made but the next point of lethal damage is ignored.

Special: These rules are meant to be used when the agent needs to unlock a new ability in risky or rushed conditions. Under most circumstances the procedure to unlock a new Nightmare and the recovery takes place during Downtime. Essentially, if there is no reason things should be otherwise, Nightmares automatically come with dots of Projection for free.

Projection and psychic powers

The dirty little secret is that KSI 21 agents are not really very good psychics. That's why they need large amplifiers to do anything useful. However the very best agents, those with 5 Dots in Projection, can rival any other psychic.

Once an agent gets that coveted fifth dot they can use Nightmares from within the flesh, they can even Project from their bodies without mechanical aid. This requires 10 Successes on an extended Wits + Resolve roll, each roll is one turn of focusing. Without a pod an agent can Project himself up to 50 feet and can remain outside his body for the lower of Resolve + Stamina in hours.

It may well be possible for a natural psychic to use KSI projection technology; treat a natural psychic as having projection five. However without some form of ESP a psychic would have no way of targeting their abilities.
Nikuchan
Friday, August 02, 2013 8:37:52 PM(UTC)

Lol, I am called forth from the pit! I have no objections to anyone using this info, MrParaduo. All I ask is that people report back what they used, how it worked, and any suggestions to make it better.

I recently ran a game where the hunters were up against a small cult that had members who were skimmers. I used nuking where I could and borrowed what I could for certain horrors like Witch's Nimbus. The group had a lot of fun but no one was interested in making their character a skimmer.

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted this originally. Has anyone cracked open the rules for Mummy: the Curse? I know they have sentient ghosts in there. I know that if your ghost becomes self aware (i.e. Playable) that they just have the normal traits they would have if they were alive. They dont speak of converting power, finesse and resistance over to "living" stats, they just say to do it.

I appreciate your idea on the Russian sleepers, TheKingsRaven. Do you convert the player's stats when they are in twilight or do you not really bother? From the right up, it sounds like it wouldn't be so important since saying and inspiring nightmares are their only abilities.
If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
atamajakki
Friday, August 16, 2013 10:27:05 AM(UTC)

Here's hoping the Orpheus Group (or something a lot like them) is the associated Conspiracy for Geist in Monstrous Basterds.
Quote:
"Why, you’d almost think White Wolf products were designed by a bunch of precocious, pretentious, nauseatingly PC, emotionally infantile middle-class whitebread liberal self-centered egotistical creampuffs without a fucking clue about living a real life and utterly unwilling to admit blame for their own fuckups. (I won't tell if you won't.)"
Dataweaver
Saturday, August 24, 2013 2:05:54 AM(UTC)

Seconded. A Conspiracy built around some sort of Projection Endowment would be sweet.

The way I'd do it: I'd use Sleeper tubes as the mechanism for Projection, possibly with a note that the Ascending Ones may have produced an Elixir with a similar effect (Storyteller's discretion; possibly with a single-paragraph note on how to adapt Projection as an Elixir). There wouldn't be Horrors or Nightmares or whatever; instead, Projection would allow you to develop Manifestations and Numina as if you were a ghost, but usable only while projecting. I wouldn't try to convert the various Laments over; that's more structure than Hunter needs.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
AkatsukiLeader13
Saturday, August 24, 2013 3:15:21 AM(UTC)

atamajakki wrote:
Here's hoping the Orpheus Group (or something a lot like them) is the associated Conspiracy for Geist in Monstrous Basterds.


I disagree. While Orpheus and the Orpheus Group shares many similarities with hunters and Conspiracies to me I've always felt they had more to offer GtSE than HtV and if there was ever to be a Translation Guide for Geist it would be between it and Orpheus.

Of course that said, it would be quite easy to recreate the Orpheus Group, it's competitors and government counterpart within the NWoD and GtSE setting.
Dataweaver
Saturday, August 24, 2013 5:29:56 AM(UTC)

I'll certanly agree that Geist is the closest thing that the nWoD has to a counterart for Orpheus; but that's exactly why I think that doing Orpheus as a Hunter Conspiracy in the Geist-oriented chapter of Monstrous Basterds would work so well. Well, that and the fact that while it's the closest fit nWoD has, it's not a particularly good fit; IMHO, Changeling: the Lost has more in common with Changeling: the Dreaming than Geist has with Orpheus.

As I see it, there's plenty of room in the nWoD for people who have had a near-death experience and consequently can now project themselves into Twilight, without involving geists in the process. Indeed, since near-death experiences are a common requirement for the two, this would put the Orpheus Project at odds with unfettered geists. And a Hunter supplement that's dealing with how Hunter and Geist intersect (i.e., the "Eaters of the Dead" chapter of Monstrous Basterds) would be a perfect place to present a conspiracy of projectors.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
TheKingsRaven
Saturday, August 24, 2013 5:39:33 PM(UTC)

Dataweaver wrote:
There wouldn't be Horrors or Nightmares or whatever; instead, Projection would allow you to develop Manifestations and Numina as if you were a ghost, but usable only while projecting. I wouldn't try to convert the various Laments over; that's more structure than Hunter needs.


I disagree; you should customise the Endowment to fit the themes of the organisation; their fighting style, investigation style, how they relate to ghosts.
Dataweaver
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:15:48 AM(UTC)

Of course you disagree; after all, I posted something.

Given the page count limitations that Monstrous Basterds has, there probably isn't room in it to write up a whole new set of Endowments. For word-economy reasons if nothing else, it makes sense to reference existing material rather than reinventing the wheel if at all possible. And writing up a new set of "Nightmares" or "Horrors" would be reinventing the wheel, as the premise for Orpheus' Projectors is "while you're projected, you're effectively a ghost", to the point where if your body gets killed while you're projecting, you continue on as a regular ghost (you changed Lament from Skimmer or Sleeper to Spirit or Hue, but otherwise used exactly the same rules). So the bulk of their Endowment rules should be "how does Projection work?" and "which ghost-powers can I develop?" (with the latter boiling down to a list of "how many dots would this Numina be worth as a Merit?" and "which traits would a Lucid Soul roll to use this?")

As I picture it, the space saved could be used to adapt the new Numina found in Mummy: the Curse to God-Machine Chronicle standards, and possibly to add a few new ones to cover ghostly powers that have otherwise been missed.

(Minor correction to what I said before: this approach actually would port most or all of the Laments over. Hunters from Project Orpheus would be "Sleepers", Ascending Ones who use an Elixir-based version of Projection would be "Skimmers", and Lucid Souls would be "Spirits". If you think of the Elixir-based version of Projection as Pigment, then you might even be able to port over Hues without too much trouble. It's the Shades — the Banshees, Haunters, Poltergeists, Skinriders, Wisps, Phantasms, Marrows, and Orphan Grinders — that wouldn't be ported over, although you could mostly model them if you wanted to by using appropriate packages of Numina.)
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
TheKingsRaven
Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:24:48 AM(UTC)

Dataweaver wrote:
Of course you disagree; after all, I posted something.
Now, we have agreed before.

Dataweaver wrote:
Given the page count limitations that Monstrous Basterds
I didn't realise you were thinking specifically about the space requirements of MB.
Dataweaver
Sunday, August 25, 2013 10:14:35 AM(UTC)

Even without that, I like the idea of projectors working as much like ghosts as possible while projecting: the core idea of Orpheus-style projecting is that you are artificially taken to the brink of death and held there while you have a controlled out-of-body experience and wander around for a time as a ghost before returning to your body as it's revived.

As well, Orpheus' Horrors basically are what nWoD calls Numina (and, as of GMC, Manifestations) — largely because of the aforementioned equivalence of ghosts and projected souls. A Skinrider's basic Horror (Puppetry) allows him to possess people; a Haunter's basic Horror (Inhabit) lets it possess objects; a Poltergeist's basic Horror (Helter-Skelter) lets it manipulate and move objects; a Banshee's basic Horror (Wail) lets it manipulate emotions with its voice; and so on. Creating separate Horrors for nWoD projectors needlessly reinvents the wheel and undermines the theme that projectors and ghosts share a common nature.

Which is not to say that the existing set of Numina and Manifestations is adequate for representing all of Orpheus' Horrors; but it's an excellent place to start. Especially since the projector/ghost duality means that any power (beyond projecting) that a projector can develop is also a power that ought to be available to ghosts.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
TheKingsRaven
Sunday, August 25, 2013 11:38:18 AM(UTC)

Numina might be a good starting place, but it's not nessacarally the finishing place. What's the theme you want for nWoD Orpheus? Is it the Psychic KGB as per the KSI 29 concept, ghost busters for hire or something?

For example, if they help ghosts pass on or use them as a resource. There's not a Numina for either of those.


You also have to think about how they're structured. Is it like VASCU where you have a limited selection. Like Benediction where you can just get more and more of them or like Castigation? I prefer Castigation myself, everyone having a limited unique set of powers hits the becoming a monster* theme.


* for a not particularly monstrous value of monster; most Ghosts aren't that bad.

Dataweaver
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:06:47 PM(UTC)

Helping a ghost pass on shouldn't be done through the application of a power; it should be story-meat: find out what keeping the ghost from passing on, then resolve the issue. Powers can assist in this process (e.g., sensory powers that help you determine what's holding the ghost here); but they shouldn't be a solution in and of thmselves. And assisting powers could be Numina.

Using ghosts as a resource: there are already Numina that allow you to steal Essence from ghosts, and there's already a mechanism for ephemeral beings to feed on each other.

I could see limitations on how many Numina you can develop based on your effective Rank as a ghost — usually Rank 2.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
TheKingsRaven
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:39:35 PM(UTC)

Well there is that Pass On ceremony, but I was mostly referring to the lack of Numina useful for helping Ghosts Pass on in general. Not only just sensory powers but powers to help when a Ghost can't talk along the lines of Plasmic Infusion, powers to look at the past. The ability to get a Ghost out of the Underworld so that it can work on it's issues.

Same for resources, Essence isn't quite what I had in mind. I meant more along the lines of things like binding Ghosts to task long term, shoving them into bodies (if they can't do it themselves). Things that make Ghosts more useful to the conspiracy.
Dataweaver
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:42:55 PM(UTC)

Not really Orpheus' forté.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
TheKingsRaven
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:52:05 PM(UTC)

It's more the principle, whatever their forté the powers are best designed with that in mind rather than just applying something generic. Unless you have the word count devil on your back.
Dataweaver
Sunday, August 25, 2013 2:53:16 PM(UTC)

Ghosts' Numina aren't generic.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
Nikuchan
Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:24:45 PM(UTC)

Thank you, Dataweaver. This guy gets it.

Orpheus works best as a Hunter Conspiracy because they are, for the most part, normal humans who have found a gateway into something they dont really understand. Half of the chronicle from the Orpheus books was about the repercussions of intruding into the land of the dead half cocked and looking to exploit it.

I will agree that Geist is similar to Orpheus thematically as in they both involve people with an incite into death that meddle in the affairs of ghosts, but Geist has a support system and a history that goes back centuries; Orpheus is like Apple computers.

I also feel that Orpheus' horrors are best recreated through Numina/Manifestations. I tried to convert them over but then I looked through the numina and thought that it was like reinventing the wheel. I would include an ability for Orpheus group members that they can pump more essence/willpower into a numina for extra dice to simulate the ability to spend more vitality, but only to give them a leg up on just being "part-time ghosts."

As for what to do with the group as a conspiracy? You could break it down into the three camps that most other groups are broken down into:

- one group wants to study the dead and the dimension they live in. This would involve trips through avernian gates and extended trips into twilight.
- a second group is all about helping ghosts move on to the other side either peacefully or by force
- the third group would be more involved in wetwork and espionage. I know that Hunters don't get involved in human affairs that much, but it is a way to carry over one of their groups from the original material.

I think it would be awesome if they were included in Monstrous Basterds. Now that Wraith 20 has been announced, I am also hoping they are included in that. Hope springs eternal, eh?
If people were meant to run around naked they would be born that way!
Xenus Paradox
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 4:22:43 AM(UTC)
Orpheus Group?

Yeah, I've heard of 'em. Who in the biz hasn't? They're involved in so much crazy shit it's just a matter of time before a Hunter crosses their path.

Me? Ran into 'em back in '07. Tracked a bunch of vamps who were trying to infiltrate their DC headquarters. Orpheus actually took most of 'em out before we even found their nest; by the time we showed up, it was strictly a cleanup op. The last couple of 'em went down swingin', screaming something about how Orpheus had "Package Beta" or somesuch and they needed to take it back to the Moon.

Yeah, I know. Crazy bunch of kooks, right?
MrParaduo
Saturday, September 28, 2013 7:16:22 PM(UTC)

So, anyone else hear about White Wolf bringing back Wraith for nWoD? If it's true, I bet there'll be lots of stuff we'll be able to borrow and convert into the Hunter Conspiracy.
Dataweaver
Saturday, September 28, 2013 7:19:11 PM(UTC)

For nWoD? No, I hadn't heard that. I have heard that Wraith: the Oblivion will be getting a 20th Anniversary Edition, though.
Here is Wisdom: Clarity before Harmony. (Also, clarity before brevity)

The essentials for a productive discussion:
Tact: Be friendly, helpful, and cooperative.
•• Candor: Be frank and sincere.
••• Intelligence: Think before you speak.
•••• Goodwill: Reasonable people can disagree.
••••• Reception: Listen to what others are saying, not to what you think they're saying.
MrParaduo
Sunday, September 29, 2013 9:57:36 PM(UTC)

Really? Guess I misheard then... damn.
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