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  1. Deep within the bowels of Malifaux city, there lie a great many secrets to be kept and claimed. Incomprehensible edicts spread oily tendrils of control by the grasping hands of faceless men… pray good citizen, that the hand grasps not the knife that seeks your back What’s up, it’s that weird guy that posts homebrew because apparently writing rules text is fun to him. Tonight on “oh god sunspotter’s made another thread, what’s this one about?” I wanted to address a concept that’s always struck me as interesting, the idea of the Secret Societies of malifaux, more specifically, the weird goings on just out of sight in places that people really shouldn’t be. Their purpose? Who knows most of the time, but in this thread, I'll be defining a few The Inaugural goings on in the shadows today will be; The Church of Moons A cold wasteland of hostile architecture, far beyond the gaze of the ram lies the realm where peace dies screaming in agony. No God gazes upon this place where Daemons roost as crows, madness creeping in like the halting chill of winter’s breath. No man lives here. There is life, but no man lives here. Somewhere though, off in the distance, across a plaza bereft of any movement… ochre light spills onto the damp cobblestones from an open door, the faint smell of Sage-grass and Cardamom carried on the dying breeze. Could it be a mirage? It only becomes clearer as one draws close, the smell becoming heavier and heavier, before the building’s frontage is even reached all but clergymen would be holding their breaths, a thin haze of pallid blue smoke contrasting the irreverent glow of torchlight All but a yard from the threshold, and the doors are flung open, a blast of cloying haze blowing out into the night air. Greeting the world, two crimson robed figures glide with barely a single sound to accompany them, only cloth scraping along rock and mortar. The inside is laid bare, spread for all to see. It is the church of madmen, past the Narthex of dreary sandstone fonts lay benches curved inward like the ribs of some fell beast. Within them lay the kin of the doormen, fraternizing in the clouds flowing forth from countless censers, Sharpening blades of great size to a mirror finish. Further down the aisle the realization comes crashing in, beneath the earthy tones of Cinnamon Bark and Juniper branch lay the unmistakable twinge of copper and viscera. The altar holds behind it a great pool, as carnage-red as the resident’s robes. The windows catch the moon and cast their glow feverishly upon the altar where neatly folded cloth lays. It is white, pristine as fallen snow. The chatter ceases, seats shift from rapt attention. From where it was impossible to tell, but a chant began. It was alien, in a tongue unknown to mortal ears, but so clear was the compulsion, the moon gazed down as eyes, witnessing the ritual. First made bare as a newborn, then swaddled in cloth, the braziers roared thanks in eldritch voices as the initiate waded impossibly deep into the pool, joined by a thing that simply rose from its depths, vision blurring as the smoke grew so thick it seemed like the whole city was ablaze in holy fire! A soaking hand drew the hood and veil, pressing down like the weight of a boulder with such sudden ferocity, there was no chance to take a good breath before plunging in face first, there was no breath to hold, a sharp inhalation of terror bringing in only the fluid Yet death never came. Within the pool, a mirror lay before a shining gem, their presence only known as eyes snapped open in panic. Without error, the moons show bright as in the night sky itself Rising up, robes dripping, the pool was as clear as water. The cloth however, had been dyed as red as the blood of fresh-killed game. Without the mute of the pool, the chant could be heard, clearer than ever Come unto them, oh blessed moons, with holy light, reveal their path, with sacred haze, and pious blood O come, O come, Be born again, O come Come and be baptized The Church of Moons Centered In what seems to be a cathedral in the quarantine zone, the church of moons preaches nightly to a congregation the holiness of the blood of man. It is rare to see someone go to more than one service before undergoing the church’s ritual of baptism emerging changed, knowing of unwritten scripture and unspoken gospel, and having reverence for the moons, which makes the blood boil The church protects a wide area around the church known as Mondblick to its residents, many of the monsters of the night seeming to avoid its borders. These borders are defined only by chains of iron hanging cencers, making a false wall of smoke. Some say the scent deters the beasts, but for those that have entered, it’s the blades of the parish that assure they pose no threat. Come dawn, anything foolish enough to even approach the borders of Mondblick is hauled dead or dying into the plaza, and tossed unceremoniously unto a raging pyre that smells of the church’s signature incense, rather than the burning charnel one would expect. It is said that just before the sun rises, a drop of sanctified blood is placed at the center of the plaza to start each bonfire. Until noon comes and the sun begins to show its descent, feverish prayers are chanted that the moons may come again and bring deliverance Life in mondblick is actually quite preferential for many residents versus living in the slums, the only difference being on a monthly rotation, each adult member of one of the 30 small “wards” of the area tithe a chalice full of blood to the church, which is used to fill the pools and fonts of the cathedral. Children are instead allowed to give a ceremonial three drops of blood as tithe, their blood considered second only to that of the high clergy in its holiness, and is kept secreted away in the vaults for when it is truly needed. The Wards While there are 30 wards, there are 4 that are of vital importance to the chuch The First ward is that of the chuch itself, this is where most all clergy members that live in mondblick reside, and where all outside clergy members are counted as living when it comes their turn to tithe. The Ninth ward was founded around a set of furnaces, these are where the sacred weapons wielded by church members are made by an insular group of clergy and non, headed by the Vicar-In-Arms The Fifteenth ward is where the ashes of slain beasts are taken, and mixed with the ward’s fountain, which is fed into the gardens where the incense plants are grown. This concoction causes the plants to grow at truly impossible speeds, replenishing fully within the hour of a proper watering, even after nearly being stripped bare The Twenty-second is one of the most crucial wards to mondblick’s existence and further expansion, a wide entrance to the malifaux sewers heavily guarded. This relatively well patrolled path is considered part of the district itself, only a few points of divergence making the path under the river relatively secure. The majority is a straight shot, thanks to a corrugated metal bridge between the sluice gates below either bank. The path’s other mouth lets out into the little kingdom, the merchants there infinitely more willing to trade in such large quantity without question than most would be, the haul then brought back by cart to the second district where it’s sold in the markets of the plaza. As for what is traded of value, the church’s incense is said to have a narcotic quality when wetted with blood and smoked, for what reason the church cares not, only that their purifying influence may spread, and one day lead a convert to them, even if inadvertently. Joining the Church The ritual only occurs at night, and commonly only one convert is allowed to join per night. Rare exceptions may be made however, as the number of robes on the altar occasionally increase, the compatriots of willing converts offered entry apropos their appearance. It is often thought unwise to willingly allow a robe to go unworn Once a member, The church has Five commandments for it’s clergy, each with it’s own important caveat 1: the clergy must tithe one pint of holy blood when the bell tolls over the first district This may not always be possible due to travel, but if it is planned, the clergy member will be given special gold-plated bottles to keep their tithes stored until they can be properly given along with their first fresh donation 2: the clergy must attend mass once every cycle of each moon Once again, this may be impossible due to travel, at which point pucks of specially blessed ritual incense will be supplied to the member. Once they return, it is often suggested they attend mass nightly until the next end of cycle. Clergy ranking high enough to hold mass themselves are technically exempt from this rule as long as they perform all the proper rituals. 3: the clergy is forbidden from meeting monstrous flesh with unsanctified steel, unless under great duress This commandment doesn’t explicitly forbid the use of firearms, but highly discourages them implicitly, as holy bullets are difficult, time consuming, and overall painful to make, not to mention needing to be made in addition to the holy weapon they’re fired from. The Vicar-at-Arms will ask a Tablespoon of blood be given for each bullet requested, suggested to be that of the Clergy making the request, though the blood of someone truly close to the requester may work just as well. The exemption to the rule is also not as broad as it would seem, as assuming the clergy’s other holy weapons are disarmed or broken, a holy dagger is supplied to each church member, which must be used until breaking. 4: the clergy shall uphold the holiness of the blood of man This one is somewhat self-explanatory, clergy members must do all that they can to prevent living humans from succumbing to things like poison or plague, kill those spreading it intentionally, and make an example of the slaying of Nephilim and any other creature that feeds on humans or their blood. 5: The clergy shall bleed forevermore This one isn’t optional. A small wound can always be found somewhere on the body of a clergy member. It’s easily kept bandaged to prevent the blood from rubbing onto clothing, but it won’t leave, a sign of the completion of baptism into the church Advanced Pursuit: Church of Moons Clergy Requirements -The Clergyman must have a Heavy Melee skill of 2 or higher -The Clergyman cannot have a negative might -The Clergyman must always carry a soulstone of lade rating 2 or higher -The Clergyman must be baptized into the church Steps 1 The Sanguine Followers 2 Blades of the Parish 3 Dedicated Evangel 4 The Hammer of Faith 5 The Lunar Choir The Sanguine Followers: Upon the successful completion of baptism, the fated may choose to speak in tongues. When speaking like this, they can only be understood by other clergy. The fated is now bound by the five commandments of the Church of Moons, and must follow them to the best of their ability. Upon the completion of the baptism, the fated is cured of all diseases and addictions, and they cannot form again. In addition, the fated may petition the Vicar at arms to reforge any custom weapons or ammunition in reference to church doctrine, with prices listed below. Blades of the Parish: The fated has grown enough In faith that they are trusted to wield a Censer Blade (profile below). These are complex blades with an internal cavity and special flutes that when active, leave a trail of the purifying smoke used heavily by the church of moons. Past the original one gifted, the fated must petition the vicar at arms for subsequent replacements, which will lead to questions unless some fragment of the broken blade is presented Dedicated Evangel: Upon proving themselves to the church through some act, the fated has gained the trust of the clergy, to the point where they have been elevated to the high clergy themselves. The fated may hold mass in accordance with the second commandment, and due to the veneration of their blood, pricing of petitions to the vicar at arms are halved if it is their blood supplied. Upon elevation, the fated also learns the true strength of the blood of man. if allowed to take a direct transfusion from another human, the fated and transfusee rapidly heal, at the rate one wound per minute. During this period, the tranfusee can understand tongues. In addition, if the fated is killed in action, the soulstone may be returned to the cathedral, and if the moons are willing, the fated may be born anew, though they may have to live with… certain changes. The Hammer of Faith So proven has the fated become to the church that they are trusted with one of the most holy weapons of church, A Hammer of Litanies (profile below) Hammers of Litanies are specially attuned to sacred blood, and will burn those of insufficiently holy blood. The blood of allies may be purified through transfusion, though they will not be able to wield the hammer properly without getting burned, simply retrieve and carry the weapon. Hammers of litanies may also act as shrines for any Church of Moons Ritual. The Lunar Choir The fated’s life and has become Inexorably Intertwined with the life of the church, and both sides are better for it. The fated gains immunity to the poison condition, and if that immunity is removed, the fated may take a wound at any time to purge the condition. The fated may also join one of the three Choirs of the church: The Choir of Arms: The cost of the fated’s petitions is again reduced by half, and if the Vicar-at-arms retires, the fated may be given the full secrets of forging holy weapons The Choir of Blades: Bladed blessed weapons wielded by the fated gain to attacks against non-humans, and the fated heals 1 wound every time a moderate or severe critical is dealt to an opponent The Choir of Hammers Blunt blessed weapons wield by the fated gain to attacks against non-humans, in addition, the whenever the fated is wounded during the dramatic time, they may push all enemies 3 yards away. Prices Holy Reforging (Small weapon) - ½ pint of blood Holy Reforging (Large weapon)- 1 pint of blood Holy Reforging (Ranged weapon) 1 ½ pints of blood Holy Arrows- 1 pint for 1 billet (50 arrowheads) Holy Bullets- 1 tablespoon for 1 bullet Censer Blade- 3 pints of blood Hammer of Litanies- 1 gallon of blood Weapons Cencer Blade A gently curved blade with fluted openings dotted along the back, leading back to an ornate brass box just in front of the handle. Even deactivated, this blade still stinks of incense Weapon Type: Heavy Melee (Slashing) Rg: 3 / Res: Df / the target suffers 3/4/7 damage, this weapon gains :+ fate to the damage flip. If filled (1 cone lasts one hour), all undead, spirits, gremlins, and Nephilim within 2 yards must take a TN 11 resilience test whenever they take an action or the action fails. The fated and everything within 2 has soft cover Hammer of Litanies A heavy hammer head wrapped in vellum scrawled with bright red script, indiscernible to most, but when struck, they are screamed out by the hammer itself Weapon type: Heavy Melee (Smashing) Special: The fated must have might 3 or greater to wield this weapon Rg: 3 / Res: Df/ the target suffers 4/5/6 damage, and is slowed. Litany of Awe: The target is paralyzed instead of slowed Litany of Pain: The target suffers a moderate critical effect instead of becoming slowed Litany of Fates: The target discards a card instead of being slowed, and you may draw a card Litany of Force: The target is pushed back 5 yards instead of being slowed. If they are stopped before the full distance, they are still slowed
  2. This has been mentioned before but I never saw it answered, so here goes. One of my players wants to follow the Demolitionist advanced pursuit, but it looks like her 3 ranks in Explosives already let her craft most of the stuff she can make with the first talent. Does anyone have an official word on tweaking this? Personally, I think the description of the talent holds the answer. It says that the Fated learns to make explosives out of common household items. What if the talent allowed you to craft explosives without having to pay the cost, as long as there are sufficient resources nearby? This could be ludicrously powerful though, so maybe it can only be used a number of times equal to your rank in Explosives per session, or equal to the number of Demolitionist talents you have? Along these lines, it’s been said before that explosives are waay too expensive. We’re talking about one-use items which, if thrown, could miss. I would think it should be something like 0.25-0.5 scrip for a flaming bottle, 1-3 scrip for dynamite, and maybe 5-8 for a demo charge? The simple fact that they cause blast damage means they’re also a danger to other Fated, so they can’t be used all the time. What do y’all think of these tweaks?
  3. A while back, I ran a campaign for a group of players that were part of the Arcanists with a focus on treasure hunting and finding Grimoires and Artifacts. For their campaign, I made a Grimoire-centric Advanced Pursuit focusing on the resources of the Arcanists and the M&SU. The Pursuit sadly wasn't able to be play tested too much, so criticism is welcome. Curator: The title of Curator is given to the Arcanists who oversee the Grimoire Vault. These historians and researchers have devoted their career to the discovery, recovery, and mastery of Grimoires and Artifacts. Requirements: In order to become a Curator, they must first be a member of the M&SU and show a profiency with magic. This included paying monthly dues and having a magical theory other than the Tharlarian Doctrine or The Whisper. Once they have proven themselves as a trusted operative of the Arcanists, the potential Curator must make a substantial donation to the historical research of the M&SU. This usually involves donating a Grimoire or Grimoires totalling 6 or more Magia. The Curator gains a step in the Advanced Pursuit each time the donate a rare Grimoire, Artifact, or Soulstone to the Vault. Talents: Vault Historian - The Curator is given special access to the Grimoire Vault of the Arcanists. The Curator is immediately given a Grimoire containing two Magia and two Immuto of their choice. With the help of a fellow Arcanist, they may swap out the Grimoire for one with the same amount of Magia and Immunto. A Curator may also request to borrow a Grimoire of stronger power with a Bureaucracy check (TN 12 +2 for every addition Magia or Immunto beyond 2.) If they receive a Margin of Success, the requested Grimoire has an additional special effect determined by the Fatemaster. If they lose a Grimoire gained from this Talent, they may only use it again after donating an equal Grimoire. Antiquarian - The Curator gains the following Tactical Action: (1) Quick Attune: The Curator discards a card and can attune to any Grimoire in their possession for the rest of combat or for 10 minutes of narrative time. They may use History instead of the Attributes for a number of time based on the number of the discarded card. (Once for 1-5, twice for 6-10, and four times for 11-13.) The Curator can still only be attuned to one Grimoire at a time. If they have the Traditional Method Magical Theory, this action costs (0) but still lasts for the same duration. Artifact Studies - The Curator gets to any flips to identify, locate, or discover knowledge about a Grimoire or Artifact. In addition they gain an artifact of their choice, or via random Flip. - Bizarre Talisman: While carrying this medallion, you may use History in place of Evade when determining your Defense. - Wretched Totem: While carrying this effigy, you may use History in place of Toughness when determining your Wounds. - Abandoned Scripture: While carrying this testament, you may use History in place of your Centering when Determining your Willpower. - Eerie Facade: While carrying this cameo, you may use History in place of your Notice when determining your Initiative. Occult Affinity - When the Curator uses the Quick Attune Tactical Action, they add the suit of the discarded card to the spells they cast from the attuned Grimoire. Dual Attunement - The Curator may attune to two Grimoires at a time. Any bonuses and penalties from one Grimoire affect the other. (Ex, a locked Immunto is locked for spells cast from either Grimoire. If such requirements prevent spells from being cast, such as multiple locked Elemental Immunto, it means that the Grimoires are in conflict with one another. Grimoires aren't exactly keen on sharing a caster.) Each Grimoire must be attuned separately, but can either be attuned properly or by using the Quick Attune Tactical Action.
  4. Definite WIP at this point, really just kicking around ideas; basing it on the Steamfitter advanced pursuit approach: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v7o4Rw3e2VRkmONxw921P4tpPGLTA7F1gYPuBe_Z7W0/edit Feedback/suggestions are welcome.
  5. Question about the Shapeshifter requirements. They state that the character must be able to cast the Shapeshift Magia as a Spell or Manifested Power. After step 1 of the advanced pursuit they gain the Shapechange talent, which sounds the same just better, longer duration, no test required. Is there any benefit to having Shapeshift as a requirement except for story purposes?
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