The Crinoverse 3 (Ultima Thule)

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Crinos »

Demonicuss Krinn wrote:I wonder if the Jammers know about Prime-8 yet. You'd figure something that makes superpowered primates would be something that gets Battlechimp Potemkin's attention, for good ("These goons made up new ways to make cyber-apes? Something to add to our gear!") or bad ("How dare this Doctor Simian make mind-controlled ape-soldiers!"). Plus, I'll have to double-check Gorilla Warfare, but I'm sure there's already a Orangu-Tank in play there.

EDIT: Will make a series of two (was going to be three, but a search revealed Crinos already covered Geist: the Sin-Eaters) posts later dealing with a certain theme.
Well, remember Simian didn't really make these guys, he just tricked a bunch of other inventors into making them for him. And bear in mind the majority of the Prime 8 Creators are villains (The only good ones are Reinhardt, Winry, and Mecharilla.)

As for there being more than one Orangu-tank, there are like fifteen supers names Valkyrie, and so many Sentinel teams that I had to come up with the franchise idea to explain them all. So I think we can handle to Orangutan piloted tanks.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Libra »

...

Have I mention before that I love the kitchen sink of crazy-awesome that a superhero universe represents?

For I've just been given another reason to point to in explanation of why I really, really do. :mrgreen:
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I've seen The Exorcist about a hundred and sixty-seven times

Post by Demonicuss Krinn »

Hellbound and Screwtapes - A Dark Path towards a Better Angel

What makes a supervillain a supervillain? What sort of crossed mental wires make one go out to be a baddie?

Take this example - you wake up one day and find out you can create and engineer a jet engine that runs on water. Will you patent it, make some Sea-Planes (or whatever spiffy title you can think up) and become rich enough to spend your days idly chatting on superhero RPG forums - or will you use it to build your very own WALKING ENGINE OF DEVASTATION?

Or, you wake up and find you have a scorpion's tail. Are you going to knock over a few banks with your new appendage? Or will you call Mayo Hospital, say "Y'all ain't going to believe this!", and get a tail-ectomy?

So, what makes one a supervillain? Megalomania, a deep seated grudge against all humanity, a burning desire to prove one's superiority, a need to conquer and rule the world?

Perhaps, I mean, this is the Crinosverse, and many a villain has that as his/her/it's reasons.

But what if, maybe, one becomes a villain because the devil drives them to it?

Literally?

Let's talk about good people possessed by bad demons - the Hellbound.

These poor souls find themselves with an unwelcome neighbor in their heads, a demon. Call 'em Screwtapes. How the Screwtapes get there differs, could be a family curse of sorts, could be they touched the wrong sparkly thing, could just be plain bad luck. Whatever the case, they got a demon in them. Now that demon wants bad, nasty things to happen, chaos, mass bloodshed, rape and pillage, that sort of crap. Odds are, that person the demon is inside of doesn't want that to happen. So they bicker and argue, and stresses both of them out. But say that demon can be appeased differently, by say...putting on a silly costume, building a superlaser (or stealing one) and vowing to carve your name into the moon? Instead of performing Evil, doing Eeeevil? That might get the demon off your back for a while.

So they become comic book supervillians.

It's like walking on a tightrope, the more evil (comic booky or not) they get, the more power the demon gives them - but the more power the demon gives, the more it can influence and control the Hellbound. And if the demon gets the upper hand, if it can gain dominance and control for a certain point...it can try to literally drag the victim to Hell. And the other case is true, if the Hellbound can stay relatively good, and keep control on herself and the Screwtape, she can try to self-exorcise the thing back to Hell - but that ultimately involves fighting the demon, one on one. Without her hell-given powers. Succeed, and you revert to being a plain-old non-powered moral being - but one with no demon in your body. Fail, and you'll die.

Oh, and because life isn't fair, sometimes people get Imbued by angels instead. Yeah, you might be stuck with a Hitchhiker from Hell, and that annoying bastard from down the street ends up with an Angel in His Head and decides to become a superhero. Bundled with heavenly powers, a need and desire to do good and help his/her fellow man - and a drive to seek and destroy any demon that creeps from the Pit. Including the Screwtape inside you. Which means, to get to it, it has to beat you.

Good luck sucker!

*

So yeah, when the RPG Better Angels by Greg Stoltze comes out, buy it.

Up next, I was going to talk about Geist: the Sin-Eaters, but Crinos already beat me to the punch back in Thread Two. So, something else, as I involke my favorite setting. 'Till then, some musical accompaniment.
Last edited by Demonicuss Krinn on Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Libra »

Hmmm ... an interesting idea! :D
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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Crinos »

I recall reading that rpg synopsis when it was in kickstarter form, and I really liked the idea.

In the crinoverse, the Hellbound are basically Mr. Hoppy's most massive, complex and convoluted plan. He specifically chooses people who are going to be four color silver age villains to appease the demons in their head as opposed to people like Janus or Blood Wing, mainly because he wants to give super heroes something fun to do. Of course, his concept of "fun" involved condemning innocent people to demonic possession and enforced villainy.

So basically Hoppy is screwing over innocent people, he's screwing over the heroes who need to fight these guys, and he's even screwing over his own demonic minions by trapping them in this fruitless situation. Its literally a no win situation for anyone.

And Hoppy finds it hilarious.

And the best part? No one but him gets the joke. Not even the people who are possessed who decide to become cartoony villains to appease their demons are aware that they are doing what Hoppy wants them to do. And that just makes it even funnier to Hoppy.

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More on Better Angels

Post by Demonicuss Krinn »

Did you kick for Better Angels, Crinos? If you did, you'd have access to an early draft of the book, rules, fluff and all.

Some more info about those hellishly and heavenly imbued - sometimes the hosts just plain suck.

The Hellbound are good people = bad monster inside 'em.

The Heavenly Imbued (the book doesn't really have a nifty name for 'em) are good people = good thing inside them.

So what happens when, say a bad person gets a good thing inside them?

Yeah, the book mentions cases where the angel is imbuing, for all purposes, a jerk. Here's what happens - when the human host violates the Angelic Laws when invoking heavenly power, the bond weakens. If the bond is broken, the angel dies. Maybe. It could just be ejected and goes back to heaven, but hey, you're the asshole who just made an angel leave the world. You should feel bad (and if you were a normal, decent human being, you'd feel horrible. Demons, on the other hand, are flippin' ecstatic. Hellbound feel a complicated mix of horror and guilty thrill.)

And now, an example:

* Gorillawrench (no relation to the Jammers) - originally Sylvia Hogarth, an anthropologist who got imbued when the Amazonian tribe she was examining offered her some "sacred snuff" for lack of a better word. When the tribe got ambushed and slaughtered by a rival tribe (payed by narcotraffickers looking to raze their land and make a secret drug running highway), Sylvia found herself transformed into an angelic form, kicked baddie butt until the goons surrendered and the angel inside her made her honor the vow. But Sylvia knew this invading, murderous tribe would never respect or honor the vow, or any vow. So, when she was leading them away, and the angel inside her grew dormant, Sylvia started gunning them down.

Sylvia currently is trying to keep the connection between her and the angel as long as possible, by doing the ethnically shady stuff herself and only bringing up the angel when it's clear-cut, good 'n evil stuff. But she's getting really frayed as she tries to balance pragmatism (and no powers) with power (and back-breaking idealism). So far, she's kept the majority of her misbehavior hidden from her angel, but the strict rules she has to play by while Imbued have opened her up to utilizing sucker-punches, arson and intimidation when she's not heavenly charged. She's expanded her portfolio of targets from drug runners and murderers to lumber barons, polluters, and corrupt government officials.

Oh yeah, she's called Gorillawrench because she wears a gorilla costume, because being a glowing figure of resplendent glory draws too much attention. Please feel free to ignore the fact gorillas aren't native to the Amazon.

Other non-lengthy examples are EverLove, who'll set couples up like Cupid, whether they really belong together or not, and Mr. Dignity, and whoa onto you if you dare display bad manners and poor grammar!

I'll cut this short, rather than make one really long post. There's only one group left in Better Angels before I talk about Those Who Are Dragged Forth From the Earth, and they're the nastiest of the bunch.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Crinos »

Sadly. I did not kickstart because I am bereft of money most of the time. But I will try and buy the book when it comes out.

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Even More on Better Angels

Post by Demonicuss Krinn »

We talked about good people with bad spirits, good people with good spirits, bad people with good spirits, now there's one more group. To quote Greg, they're:
Greg Stoltze wrote:...the nadir, the ne plus ultra, the abyssal depths of depravity: the indefatigable viciousness and the power of a spirit coupled to the free will and savvy of a modern mortal.
Bad people who get along with their demon like peas and carrots. They end up being more powerful than general Hellbound (who have their powers split between demon/human control). Most times, they don't need to use their infernal powers. They are the opposite of the flashy and flamboyant Hellbinders (such as a PC would be). They are the diabolical tempter, the climatic villain, the frustrating, slippery, pure evil bastards who always manage to wriggle their way out.

Odds are Mr. Hoppy didn't allow for these boys. Perhaps these demons are freelancing, or following different orders.

For an example of one of these prize-winners:

* The Honorable Jane Attenborough: Most people think demons would go into politics, right? Probably blend right in, go insert your own political jokes here, I guess. Funny thing, most people think demons would gun for the Executive and Legislative branches, it seems no one would figure a devil would become a judge.

Perhaps it's all the bibles they have to swear on that's a road block.

Judge Jane Attenborough gets around that by using a specially printed fake bible. One of a few, with a few subtle misprints and changed words - like moving the "Nots" around those various "Shalls" - "Thou shall covet", "Thou shall not respect the Sabbath", etc. The "swearing book" wasn't her idea, it was originally created by a detail-oriented demon, and stolen by Jane after she threw him in the path of a monk from the Holy See who was rescued from an illegal pit-fighting ring as a child and now fights crime as ...BROTHER VENGEANCE!

(Crinos, I just gave you a NPC. You're welcome.)

Anyway, Jane sits in court and listens to cases and excludes evidence and runs things by the book, only committing procedural errors if necessary. Various scumbags in her jurisdiction (go Google Map Horry County, South Carolina) end up being promised a mistrial or not-guilty in exchange for "favors to be named later" by a mysterious fellow named Priapus Ambrosia. Priapus is a colorful character in the South Carolina underworld, known for body odor, outrageous suits, an equally outrageous name, and for making people sign contracts in blood. Oh, and getting people off the hook. He's very well known for that.

Priapus is, in case you haven't guessed, Jane using her hellish powers to disguise herself. While many of her deals end with sold souls, she also has her clients do gun-running, race-baiting, hate crimes, and general larceny - as long as they're not in Horry County. She's busy enough as is.

The other examples are Chae Jin Sook, a young girl who proclaims she's the next coming of Jesus, and has thousands of followers - along with 958 who signed their souls to her. The third one...he's in kinda dark territory. Don't feel that comfortable discussing him here.

EDIT: Since I got the go-ahead to talk about all the NPCs in Better Angels, and since there's not that many, I'll talk about that third guy. Again, the NPC can make others uncomfortable.

Steve Stiles: The description starts with asking why is this man alive. Well, because of reasons. He's alive because, when he got a rare cancer, he got treated by having radioactive material implanted inside him. He's alive because his demon is magically protecting him from the radiation. And he's alive because everyone he's sexually abused have been so befuddled by his mind-twisting looks or his impenetrable disguises that they can’t bring themselves to tell anybody or to stop him themselves.

Any scumbag can ruin a year (if not much more) with a savage rape or confusing molestation. It takes a demonic scumbag to make the violation a central part of your identity afterwards. And it takes an atomic demonic scumbag to infect a good 37% of his victims with radiation sickness.
Incidentally, in addition to being a monster of absolute evil, Steve works as an economic development consultant. He travels all over the world, most often to the poor parts.

*

So, that's Better Angels in a nutshell. Again, I suggest and recommend you all buy it when it comes out.

Up next, the third part of "I Got Something Spiritual Inside Me!"
Last edited by Demonicuss Krinn on Thu May 16, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Libra »

I make no promises - I have PLENTY of distractions to deal with, thanks to a 'SHINY NEW TOYS!' mindset, but I shall do my best to give it a good looking-into. :D
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Dying's Easy, It's Comin' Back That's Hard

Post by Demonicuss Krinn »

Some listening material while you read the intro. The Intro meshes with the subject of this post, and the song I dig.

So, we talked about the Hellbound prior, those people with spirits inside them. Crinos already talked about Geist: the Sin-Eaters, people who came back from death with a spirit inside of them. Now, let's talk about another group of people who - that's right, have spirits inside them. People who died.

But sometimes they come back.

Image


The Harrowed - Like Bats Outta Hell

Yeah, for those who know me, odds are you were wondering when and if I was going to bring the Harrowed into play. I mean, most Deadlands material (fluff and powers) could be easily covered with existing MnM powers and tropes (or not used because in a supernatural spaghetti western, some stuff won't fly in a goofy superpowered setting like the Crinosverse). Mad Scientists? Gizmos can cover their infernal devices, plus MnM gizmos come with the bonus of probably not blowing up in your face (or you going nuts thinking up stuff). The Blessed, along with Shamans and Voodoo Workers? Again, they get their powers from some otherworldly source, easily transferred into MnM. Only things I could think of to port over were the Hucksters and now the Harrowed.

So what's the difference between the Harrowed, the Geists, and the Hellbound? Well, for starters, Harrowed are undead, Geists are resurrected humans (they were dead, but came back to life), and Hellbound are alive, but possessed. For more, let's take a look at the Harrowed, see how they tick.

Image

D.O.A.

In a dictionary, harrowed is an term that means "to be dragged from the earth". Which fits the Harrowed nicely, for they were torn from the earth they were buried in. Harrowed can be considered "zombies with delusions of grandeur", brought back by a manitou (yep, the same sort of nasty spirit the Hucksters battle for their powers). Manitou are nasty bastards, eager and willing to inflict pain, suffering, and fear upon the world, but being spirits, they can't interact with our world unless they get a body (or if they can physically pass into our world, but the few times that happened are prime "OH SHID" affairs. Check out the ruins of Gomorrah, California for hints on what happens when a big league manitou stomped through our world incarnate). And the easiest way for them to get a body is to possess the dead.

Most cases, Dead Body + Manitou = a Walkin' Dead, which may seem like your stereotypical zombie at first glance. Don't get fooled, walkin' dead can be devious and clever. Don't think "Night of the Living Dead", think "Return of the Living Dead". They can make plans. They can use tools and weapons. And they love eatin' brains. And the worst thing is, if the walkin' dead gets put down, the manitou can just find another corpse.

But sometimes the manitou wants more. It wants a more permanent vessel, so it can use it's more potent abilities. And for that, it needs a human soul. But it doesn't go reanimating any Tom, Dick, and Harold around, oh no. It wants someone tough, seasoned, what you'd might called "badass". Or "hero".

And that's how the Harrowed find themselves ripped from the realms of the dead (which the manitou refer to as The Hunting Grounds), stuck in their dead body, and got a nasty new voice in their heads.

Image

Dead Man's Hand

Coming back from the grave gives a Harrowed a passel of strange abilities and problems. Since I'm lazy, I'll just link back to this, where I talked about the pluses and minuses. I'll bring up three things;

* Harrowed Powers - when the manitou starts to flex it's muscles, the Harrowed gain powers. Most of 'em are death themed, or matched to the deader's physical, mental, or emotional strengths and weaknesses. I gave some examples on the link.

* Coup Powers - There are big, nasty supernatural monsters in the world. When they die, they release their powers and energy. Most humans can't catch this energy, but the Harrowed, standing as they are between the realms of living and dead, material world and the realm of spirits, can tap into this death energy, and claim a portion of the monster's power. They call it "Claiming Coup", after the Native American practice of claiming a victory on a foe in battle. However, sometimes this dark gift comes with a taint of it's own. Again, examples in the link.

And then there's the nastiest part of a Harrowed existence - Dominion. The manitou wants control, to sit in the deader's rotting driver's seat. Each night, it forces the harrowed through it's own personal nightmare, in an attempt to grind down it's will and make it easier to take over. This mental battle is called Dominion, and as the manitou gains it, it can be easier to take over. If it gains too much, it can try to take over, permanently.

Harrowed in the Crinosverse

I admit, I thought the Harrowed shouldn't be included in the Crinosverse. They really don't make superhero material. I figured they'd manly lurk the Occult Underground, staying hidden from superpowered authorities, trying to keep control on their Dominion and help out in small, spooky ways. The really big reason I was doubting adding them?

The Harrowed don't know it, but they're scouts. For an invasion. Dark interdimensional forces are looking at the Crinosverse with envious, hungry eyes. The manitou inside the Harrowed are like little radio beacons, sending what they see and hear back to these dark masters. And soon, they'll start their next step.

What makes a dead human more likely to get Harrowed? Like I said, if they were, in other words, heroes. So what happens when you sneak some manitou into a world full of superheroes?

Guess what happens if a superhero dies?

Scared yet?

There Will Be A Reckoning...

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Arthur Eld »

It's worth pointing out that the Crinoverse can accommodate pretty much any genre of work, and some pretty dark stuff.

It is probably only a matter of time before someone decides to run a Hunks & Heartbreakers campaign. :mrgreen:

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Crinos »

I will mention that one Harrowed that existed in the Los Dios area is Cobra Bite Kent *Thunderclap-Whinny*, a Harrowed who battled against one of the predecessors of Shifter in old west times. During a time travel adventure, A member of the Los Dios Police department (the mystic Lucky) teleported Kent to the center of the Earth. He has since dug himself up out of the ground and is a current member of the Los Dios underground and a foe to Shifter and the Los Dios Sentinels.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Crinos »

Arthur Eld wrote:It's worth pointing out that the Crinoverse can accommodate pretty much any genre of work, and some pretty dark stuff.

It is probably only a matter of time before someone decides to run a Hunks & Heartbreakers campaign. :mrgreen:
Yeah, I try and avoid the really dark stuff, but you can play anything in the crinoverse. Heck, I bought the d20 version of Deadlands as source material for the afformentioned wild west time travel adventure.

Also, what is Hunks & Heartbreakers?

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Demonicuss Krinn »

Crinos wrote:Also, what is Hunks & Heartbreakers?
Google dredged this up. Guess HnH is a non-existent supplement to play romance comics, or include romantic relationships in your superhero games, with stand-ins for Archie and the Gang statted up.

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Re: The Crinoverse 3 (365 Supers part 5)

Post by Arthur Eld »

Yeah, it's basically an in-joke mentioned in a few M&M products. Like any idea that just seems odd on the surface, I imagine it is perfectly workable in the Crinoverse with a bit of work.

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