Nephilim FATE — The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Every Arcanum has a guiding Philosophy, a Core Aspect, a set of Enemies and Allies, Nephilim and Human, and a Stunt offered to members of the Arcana for membership hath its privileges.

Philosophy:“We Built the Road to Agartha. It Lies Within.”

Core Aspect: Shouit

Overview: The Hanged Man is the Arcanum of Suspension. These Nephilim cease their search for Agartha and retreat into humanity. Humanity was designed as the Nephilim’s vehicle, and only through the entire human experience can these Nephilim find Enlightenment. They sacrifice all their knowledge and power to voluntarily exist in suspension in Shouit in their human hosts.

Allies: The Magician, the Lovers, Temperance.

Enemies: The Emperor, the Hierophant, the Empress, the Sun. The Roshaniya, the Assassins and the Rosicrucians.

The Hanged Man’s Stunt (-1):  The Hanged Man is impossible to recognize in Ka-Vision, or by any other magickal detection, while in Shouit in their human hosts.

Philosophy: Unknown.

Core Aspect: Black Moon Serpent

Overview: Death is the Arcanum of the Black Moon Serpents, the Selenium, the forbidden Nephilim who have forsaken their very existence to avoid Orichulka and Incarnations. Little is known about the structure of their organization.

Allies: None

Enemies: All

Death’s Stunt (-1):  Unknown

Philosophy:“The Macrocosm is Agartha, were we all healed enough to see it.”

Core Aspect: The Doctors – Come Lay Hands

Overview: The Arcanum of Harmony believes all beings are part of the mystical living fields and, taken together, they make a complete Macrocosm. All paths are true, as everything must be part of everything else. No Philosophy is false. All are part of the Whole, and must be brought into the harmonious Whole to be realized. Once the sick are healed and all realize their true nature, the whole chain of Being will be drawn to Agartha.

Allies: Strength, Justice, Wheel, Sun, the Magician, the Lovers, the Moon.

Enemies: The Hanged Man, Death, the Devil.

Temperance’s Stunt (-1):  S’ger. Temperance Nephilim may enter a meditative state and, while concentrating on the five fields, may remove a box of Khaiba from a patient, although only one box of Khaiba may be lost per healing scene. This includes removal of Khaiba from themselves.

Philosophy: “The only real Gate is the one cowards fear to step through, and Khaiba is the key.”

Core Aspect: The Madmen

Overview: Freedom is Khaiba. The Golden Path is a Delusion and a Lie. The only way home is to embrace the power of KaIm, revel in the freedom of Khaiba, and go nuts. The material world is to be rejected and transform that rejection into a swirling mass of Chaos. Why seek out the Sun when there’s Chaotic fun to be had.

Allies: The Moon. Cultes des Goules, Thule

Enemies: Strength, the Emperor, the Chariot, the Tower, the Sun. Holy Vehm, Teutonic Knights, the Knights of Rhodes.

The Devil’s Stunt #1 (-1): Nesheni. The Devil receives one free shift during Intimidation rolls.

The Devil’s Stunt #2 (-1): ‘Ari-Kheperu. The Devil gains one free physical Aspect related to a physical part of Metamorphosis while in Khaiba. Ie: Snakes grow fangs, Angels grow wings, they erupt Elementally, they grow or shrink, or another related Aspect. It can be used as a normal Aspect. Only works while the Devil is in Khaiba.

Nephilim FATE — Strength, the Hermit, Wheel of Fortune and Justice

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Every Arcanum has a guiding Philosophy, a Core Aspect, a set of Enemies and Allies, Nephilim and Human, and a Stunt offered to members of the Arcana for membership hath its privileges.

Philosophy:“It is the red mist before your own eyes that obscures the Gates from your vision.”

Core Aspect: Discipline Over Everything

Overview: Khaiba must be destroyed.  It is a perversion.  Once the Nephilim tame their powers, the urge to lose themselves in bestiality will cease and the Path will become clear.  Once all Nephilim learn the proper discipline, the Gate will open and all will Ascend to Agartha.

Allies: Temperance, Justice, the Wheel of Fortune.  The Holy Vehm.

Enemies: The Devil, the Moon, Death.  Cultes de Goules, Thule.

Strength’s Initiate Stunt (-1): A Strength Nephilim has 1 more Khaiba track boxes than normal Nephilim with the same number of Metamorphosis.  For example,  if a Nephilim has 2 stress boxes, a full Strength has 3.  If a Nephilim has 6 stress boxes, a Strength Initiate has 7.

Philosophy: “The Gate is Narrow, Admitting One.”

Core Aspect: Solitude

Overview: The Hermit is the Arcana of isolation.  The Simulacrum is a prison and a penance, as is the larger material world.  The only way to see the path to truth is to ascend the mountain of isolation.  Once one is in perfect silence, one can study the Five Fields and find the Way to Agartha.

Allies: No Nephilim Allies.  Mithradites. and Sarmoung Brotherhood.

Enemies: The Emperor.  Templars, Black Star.

The Hermit’s Initiate Stunt (-1): Uhi.  Deprivation  A Nephilim can ignore its Simulacrum’s base needs for the duration of a scene, allowing a +1 shift in Discipline for the duration. However, the Simulacrum still has those needs and ignoring them for too long with Uhi can cause harm (physical stress track) to the body.

Philosophy: “We stand inside the Lock; if we can emerge, the Gate stands before us.”*

Core Aspect: The Conspirator’s Conspirator

Overview: The cosmos is a great Pattern, a Web in which all things connect in a magical labyrinth.  Everything is a sign of something greater, and all these things must be watched, and tracked, and recorded, and discussed.  When the signs are right, we must take action.  When signs are wrong, we must take action!  When seen from above, when the Pattern is mapped, when all connections are understood, the Gate will open and the Nephilim can return home.

Allies: Temperance, the Star, the High Priestess, the Sun, Strength, Justice.  Kabalistic Order of the Rosicross, Sarmoung Brotherhood.

Enemies: The Hanged Man, Death, the Devil. Order of the Golden Fleece, Templars.

The Wheel of Fortune’s Initiate Stunt (-1): Divination.  Allows a free shift when replacing Mystic Perception (Lore) with Alertness when attempting to divine a truth out of a random pattern.  May be used to tag an Aspect on a Scene or location on a successful roll.

Philosophy: “The way to the Gate is the straight and level way.”

Core Aspect: The Cosmic Lawyer

Overview: Justice is the Arcanum of Balance.  The Path can only be seen when all is in balance.  Those who disrupt the balance obscure the Path.  They must be removed and the Balance restored.  For every action, there must be an opposite and equal reaction.

Allies: The High Priestess, the Hierophant, Strength, the Wheel of Fortune, Temperance.  Holy Vehm.

Enemies: The Moon, the Hanged Man, the Devil, Death, the Fool, the Magician.  Templars, the Black Star, the Rosicrucians.

Justice’s Initiate Stunt (-1): The Nephilim receives a free shift on any skill involved in the law or attaining Balance in the universe.

* Or, “This MEANS something!”

Nephilim FATE – the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers and the Chariot

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Every Arcanum has a guiding Philosophy, a Core Aspect, a set of Enemies and Allies, Nephilim and Human, and a Stunt offered to members of the Arcana for membership hath its privileges.

Philosophy:“The Gate of the World can only open to the Command of the King of the World.”

Core Aspect:Command through Iron Fist

Overview:The Emperor is the Rightful King of the World, the Supreme Temporal Ruler.  By bringing the world together beneath one Throne, the threats to Nephilim can be defeated, the Arcana will take their rightful place, and they will all march in neat orderly lines to Agartha.  Until humanity returns to its role as a vassal, the Nephilim cannot govern himself.  Suborn or die.

Allies: The Empress, Chariot, Tower, High Priestess.  The Rosicrucians.

Enemies: The Hierophant, Death, the Devil, the Fool, the Lovers, the Hanged Man, the Moon, Judgment.  Templars, Illuminati, Thule, Teutonic Knights, Sisterhood of Isis, Carbonari, Prieure de Sion, Holy Vehm, Assassins, Rhodes, Black Star.

The Emperor’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) Thes.  Those of the Emperor receive an automatic +1 shift in all Presence rolls in contests against humans.  Does not work against summonings.

Philosophy: “Only the Divine can become the Divine.”

Core Aspect:Religiosity

Overview: Humanity can receive the revealed Truth the only way it can understand: religion.  When humanity once again believes the Nephilim to be Gods, perception and reality will shift and Nephilim will ascend en masse to Agartha.

Allies: High Priestess, the Sun, the Fool.  Prieure de Sion.

Enemies: The Emperor. Rhodes, Sisterhood of Isis, Teutonic Knights, Holy Vehm.

The Hierophant’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) Can generate an additional situational Aspect where the Nephilim is worshipped by humans as a God.  Aspect lasts only that Scene.

Philosophy: “Pleasure of the Flesh leads to Paradise of the Spirit”

Core Aspect:  The Hedonist

Overview: Only by throwing oneself fully into the flesh can one truly explore the physical range of sensations.  To understand carnality, physical pleasure of the past must be kept in the presence.  The Golden Path was designed around physical pleasure.  It is the Gateway to Enlightenment.

Allies: Temperance, Hanged Man, Hierophant, Moon, Judgment, the Fool.

Enemies: The Emperor, Justice. Sisterhood of Isis, Teutonics, Assassins.

The Lover’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) A’aua.  The Lovers receive a free +1 shift in any skill involved in tactile feeling, the flesh and dealing with humans in a purely physical way.  This does not include combat.

Philosophy:“Need a Key?  Build One.”

Core Aspect:The Engineers

Overview: The Arcanum of Material Triumph.  As they are imprisoned in the material, they must use the material to their advantage to make their escape to Agartha.  All material is of potential usefulness to pass through the Gate: human bodies, cybernetics, iPhones, the glorious trappings of technology.

Allies: The Ordre des Neuf Soeurs, the Illuminati, the Prieure de Sion.

Enemies: The Empress, the Emperor, the Wheel, the Hierophant, the Sun, the Hermit, the Moon, the Devil and Death.  The Templars, the Thule.

The Chariot’s Initiate Stunt: (-1)  Mechanical Empathy.  The Chariot receives a free +1 shift in dealing with any machines, known or unknown.

Nephilim FATE – the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess and the Empress

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Every Arcanum has a guiding Philosophy, a Core Aspect, a set of Enemies and Allies, Nephilim and Human, and a Stunt offered to members of the Arcana for membership hath its privileges.

The Fool Philosophy: The Arcanum of the Messiah. “Even now He is knocking at the Gate; when we open it the Way will open.”*

Core Aspect: He is Coming.

Overview: The Fool is the Arcana of a Nephilim Incarnated into a human foetus and be born to lead all, humanity and Nephilim, into a New Age.  All Nephilim must prepare themselves for the Coming of the Fool.  Almost all Nephilim accept Jesus was an Incarnation of the Fool as the Water Messiah, but Nephilim argue over other historical Names as other possible Fools.  They hope for a new Fool and pray it is not the Incarnation of the Orichalkha Fool — because that?  The End Times.

The few members of this Arcanum live to Prepare the Way for the Next Messiah.

Allies: Moon, Star and Sun.  Weakly Magician. The Prieure de Sion.

Enemies: Emperor, High Priestess, Justice, Hierophant.  Templars, the Assassins.

Fool’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) The Fool detects any Incarnation of a Nephilim into a new Simulacrum for 100 miles around him instantly.

The Magician Philosophy: “You Cannot Ascend Without Leading Others”

Core Aspect: The Modern Prometheans.

Overview: The Arcanum of Prometheus trains humans in the mysteries of Magic.  The Path to Agartha is through harnessing the Elemental Fields and Solar-Ka as one. Both Nephilim and humans, researching together, can find absolute Truth.

Allies: Sun, Chariot.  Rosicrucians.

Enemies: Tower, Justice.  Templars, Black Star.

Magician’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) Correspondences.  By understanding Correspondences between objects and magic, the Magician receives an automatic +1 shift to overcome Complexity for all spells.

The High Priestess Philosophy: “You Must Find the Key to be Shown the Gate”

Core Aspect: The Librarians.

Overview: The High Priestess believes the way to Agartha is purposefully hidden and one must amass enough (read: all of) magickal knowledge to unlock the Path.  Those looking for Enlightenment must accumulate enough knowledge to know the right questions to ask the Guardians to be allowed to pass.

Allies: Wheel of Fortune, Chariot, Empress, Emperor, Sun.  Prieure de Sion.

Enemies: Magician, Devil. Black Star, Order of the Golden Fleece, Templars.

High Priestess’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) Shemmut.  The High Priestess can astrally project and enter the Uat, or astral plane.  The Nephilim can then fly to any location without their body for the duration of 1 Scene.  Note: Shemmut may be taught to Wheel, Sun, Moon, and some worthy humans.

The Empress Philosophy: “Tools are Built to be Used; and a Craftsman Who Uses Them Well Enough Can Build Any Key She Wishes.”

Core Aspect: We Mold Humanity to Our Whims.

Overview:  The Empress believes in manipulating humanity into preparing the way for the Empress to ascend the Golden Path.  After all, Nephilim ride around in fleshy meatbag suits, why not encourage them and manipulate them into open the way to Agartha?  She wants humanity to evolve so she can evolve along with it and then one day rule.

Allies: Emperor. Prieure de Sion, Ordre de Neuf Soeurs, Carbonari.

Enemies: The Fool, the Hanged Man.  Templars, Sisterhood of Isis.

Empress’s Initiate Stunt: (-1) Sihu.  The Empress gets a free shift to all Empathy rolls when dealing with humanity, for she loves them best of all.  Sihu does not apply to Summonings.

 

*The Fool is a special Arcanum and will have his own full article later.

Nephilim FATE – Major Arcana

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

When a Nephilim took up residence in the then Amenhotep IVth in 1379BC, various competing traditions held the Nephilim together but they had no unifying vision of the Golden Path to Agartha. Amenhotep IVth left his Throne and Crown and went on a vision quest in the desert. He returned Akhenaton, the Living Spirit of the Sun’s Disc, the deliverer of the Way of Solar-Ka. Some say he attained Enlightenment and returned. Some say he was gifted visions from Nephilim from beyond.

The Nephilim, he knew, could not wander by themselves down the Golden Path. They needed a way forward. He gave the Nephilim different 22 Paths to Agartha, each embodied in an Pharoah from a time ancient by even Egypt’s standards. Bathed in the marvelous Solar-Ka Nexus of the Sun’s City, Akhet-Aton, the he inscribed the 22 paths on 22 tablets and imbued them with power. Nephilim came from all over the world to study at the Sun’s City at Akhenaton’s feet to learn the new paths and ways. The Nephilim grew in power. Soon they would all ascend to greatness and use humanity for cattle and slaves and rule the world as their own!

And then Akhenaten died and the Thebean Priests were mightily pissed off that some Nephilim jerk hijacked their entire religion. The Priests contracted out to the Black Star* to hunt down Nephilim, scatter them, burn the Sun’s City to the ground, and otherwise have tons of fun at Nephilim expense.

It’s been an awful long time since Akhenaton was around but the Major Arcana still endure. The Nephilim learned there’s nothing quite like being persecuted throughout all time to teach them to band together under common causes — and, oh look, common causes. And, more importantly, the Major Arcana give the Nephilim an anchor from one lifetime to the next. A thousand years pass and the world moves on but the Major Arcana stand.

When a Nephilim wakes from its Stasis, the first thing it does is look for signs of its Major Arcana drawn on sidewalks, hidden in graffiti, or hiding among billboards. On reading signs only it understands, it staggers around until it locates a gathering of its like kind who may give it food and shelter, access to Arcane Libraries, and a low-down of current events. The Major Arcana provide continuity for the Nephilim among a small community of like-minded creatures all bent on World Domination in the same fashion and under the same Aegis. Only 10,000 Nephilim worldwide may be awake at once under normal conditions and maybe three or four times that during a Great Awakening. These Nephilim sort themselves fairly evenly across 18 of the Major Arcana along the lines of common philosophy. A few hundred per Arcana operating world-wide at any time. The other Four Major Arcana — the Fool, the Hanged Man, Death, and the World — have special properties.

Secret Societies are a major part of a Nephilim’s existence. The following short summaries of the Major Arcana come from Ken Hite’s excellent Major Arcana sourcebook for Nephilim. Choosing a core philosophy is the final piece of Nephilim character generation.

* The Black Star will get their time, oh yes.

Nephilim FATE Magic – Non-Golem White Stone Formulae

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

The core Nephilim sourcebook doesn’t offer many White Stone non-Golem Formulae, as the practice of White Stone Alchemy is the practice of the sublimation of matter to the alchemist’s desires.  Since Alchemy is so malleable, these work as examples of what an experienced Alchemist can do.

The Sublimation of the Drinkable Gold

Element: Fire

Duration: Instant

The caster sprinkles the powder on a liquid which it immediately drinks.  It removes all boxes from mental and physical stress in return for smoke literally pouring from the caster’s ears, nose and mouth.  Others can drink the liquid, including Simalacra. Drinker must be conscious.

 

The Adamantic Sign of the Resurrection of the Rose

Element: Earth

Duration: until next Thursday

The caster pre-prepares a copper plate with alchemical symbols.  A charged plate can heal the wounds (clear all physical stress tracts) of any wound on any wounded person.  The wounded person does not need to be conscious.  Can dramatically bring people back from the very brink of death.

 

The Water of Life of the Sleepy Metal

Element: Earth

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder on the target’s clothes.  The clothing becomes impervious to all physical damage, although it does not protect against magickal damage.  Upon absorbing the glow, the clothing glows a dramatic silver because, hey, magick clothes.

 

The Ship of the Sacred Androgyny*

Element: Water

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder on a small statue and it transforms into a large, hollowed-out, metal structure that is, actually, a mobile Nephilim power-armor.  It acquires an Armor rating equal to shifts of success when mixing the powder, protects against drowning and asphyxiation, and, if the caster wishes, it can develop wheels and move over 100mph.   After the spell is completed, the Nephilim’s Simulacrum must rest for at least 10 hours.

 

The Sublimation of the Eye of Tar

Element: Air

Duration: until next Wednsday

Caster rubs its eyes with the powder and a third eye appears on its forehead.  The eye opens on the caster’s command and allows the caster to see through all matter as if it was glass up to 500m.

 

Mutations of the Hellhound

Element: Moon

Duration: until next Monday

The alchemist tosses a dose of the powder on a four-legged mammal, like a dog.  A second head sprouts from the shoulder.  This new head takes control of the animal and obeys the caster.  It looks about as terrible as one expects.  When the spell wears off, the new head dissolves away.

Animal stats are not germane to DFRPG.  For this spell, give the animal one great, two good, two fair and two average skills and set the stress tracks for the skills.  It should have the High Aspect “Hideous Two Headed Animal.”

 

The Purification of the Selene Water

Element: Moon

Duration: 1 Scene

The caster sprinkles the powder around itself.  Everything acts like it is under water — wood floats, stones sink, people suddenly must swim through thin air.  All people, objects and pets settles to their own density level.  The radius extends from the caster up to a 50m radius.  Great for birthdays!

* Originally this was one day. As the spell is written, it’s ridiculously overpowered. To try to rein it in a bit, I made the Nephilim Power Armor spell only good for 1 Scene. It should probably be adjusted downward further to have armor and speed == success shifts on originally preparing the powder.

Nephilim FATE Magic – Black Stone Alchemy Formulae

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Black Stone Alchemy.  Melanosis.  The decomposition of matter.  The Alchemist splits matter into simpler parts.

A big list of Black Stone Alchemical Formulae from Nephilim:

Name Element Duration Description
The Calcination of the Secret Fire Fire 1 hour Sets fire to any kind of inanimate matter but only the target.
The Fire Dissolver Fire Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical fire.
The Double Igneous Man Fire 1 hour Creates a burning silhouette of any one person, acquiring their skills and stress boxes.  It obeys the caster.  Immune to physical danger but dissolves in water.
The Gas of the Egg’s Concoction Air 15 minutes Destroys breathable air 100m around a point chosen by the caster.  Victims must overcome Endurance contests against caster’s shifts of success on casting or else pass out.
The Darkening of the Seven Shaded Walls Air 15 minutes Creates thick smoke 30m radius around the caster and blocks sight.  Smoke dissolves naturally.
The Air Dissolver Air Instant Cancels Sorcerous or Alchemical Air Magic
The Freezing of the Living Stone Earth 15 minutes Caster must touch a target.  Target’s feet become has heavy as stone.  Target must overcome Endurance contests against caster’s shifts of success on casting to move.
The Freezing of the G Earth 15 minutes Caster reduces gravitational pull within a 5m radius around point of casting.  The weight is 1/10th of original.
The Reduction of the Egg of Azoth Earth 15 minutes Destroys any alien body in a living organism.  May cure a disease or a poisoning.  Must be mixed and drunk in a liquid.
The Earth Dissolver Earth Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical Earth magic.
The Dissolving of the Double Salt Water Instant Allows the caster to dehydrate one person of the caster’s choice, giving that person a powerful thirst.  Target must either drink or overcome Endurance contest against ??? to avoid passing out.
The Double Reduction of Emerald Water Special Allows the caster to reduce the size of any living or non-living thing by half that already weighs 500kg.  The object must be one entire thing.  The reduction is maintained as long as the caster concentrates.
The Water Dissolver Water Instant Cancels the effect of any Sorcerous or Alchemical water spells.
The Splitting of the Red Moon Moon 15 minutes Allows the caster to drive the target mad.  Target must make a challenge of Conviction against caster’s shifts of success on casting to regain sanity.  May be used on animals.
The Transformation of the Black Claw Moon 15 minutes Casting the powder on someone’s arm causes it to grow into a monstrous paw with claws.  Acts as a Weapon: XXX for the duration.  Claw is obvious and will burst out of shirts during transformation.
The Tear of the Black Moon Moon Until next Monday Allows the caster to break the rational mind of the victim.  Her walls of intellectual association break down mixing pieces of past dreams with present thoughts.  She can resist the spell by rolling Conviction against a challenge of the caster’s shifts on casting, once per day, until succeeding.
The Moon Dissolver Moon Instant Cancels the effects of any Sorcerous or Alchemical moon spells.

WordPress CMS Additions

I fell over last night so no long lists of Alchemical Formulae to round out Alchemy until tomorrow. This is a quick purely technology post.

I looked at adding a Wiki to the site to support static pages and then I looked at the WordPress CMS (content management system) add-ons. The WordPress CMS add-ons only make WP about half a CMS but, on the face of it, it’s an okay fit for me. My matrix of these systems is:

1. Single user site — blog + plugins.
2. Multi-user, no-external user editing site — CMS + plugins. Drupal is a great choice here.
3. Crown-sourcing site — Wiki.

Since I’m a single user, single author site where I want to host a big number of static pages with comments, themes, table of contents, etc. I decided to forgo the wiki and customize my site to the hilt with WP plugins. This is frought with peril because most of the mid-tier WP plugins are garbage. Sorting the garbage plugins from the good-but-not-a-good-fit plugins from “works!” is an investment. I ended up with:

– CMS Tree Page View

This plugin allows me to build my static pages as a tree from roots down to child pages. It supports arbitrary order and a drag-and-drop interface. Highly useful for organizing a large number of static pages into individual sites within a main site.

– Custom sidebars

My favorite find so far. Allows a site owner to design several sidebars for different portions of the site. A blog has blog sidebars (categories, archives, tags), a static section has a table of contents, another static section has a different set of links, etc. The sidebars are named, seperately configured, and added in the post. Super nice.

– Exclude Pages from Navigation

WordPress wants to add all pages to drop down menus. It wants to add child menus to child menus. This looks messy, especially if the site has custom sidebars with embedded navigation. This adds a checkbox to exclude pages from navigation.

– Search Everything

Forces WordPress to index all the static pages for search engines and the search box on the site. Normally it only indexes blog posts.

– Widget Entries

Very useful for custom sidebars. It provides a place to organize, edit, and create custom text widgets with a full page editor instead of the teeny editor provided in the add widget screen.

I would love to have breadcrumb navigation added to static pages, too, but so far all the breadcrumb plugins require hacking up theme templates and I’m not certain I want to do that.

So that’s where I am with being able to put up full game conversions on my site — among other things.  I might reach a point where I need to convert to Drupal but… not quite yet.

Nephilim FATE Magic — Golems

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

It’s no good to be an Alchemist if you cannot make Golems.

Only Alchemists of the Second Circle (White Stone) can make Golems.  The Alchemy of Golems is no place for dabblers and tourists. It is crafting a form of life.  It is hard core.

Golems come in one of four forms: Simalcrons, Automatons, Constructs and Golems, from simplest to most complex.  At their most basic forms, these crude human-like creatures follow simple sentence commands and carry out orders of their creators like “clean this room” or “kill everyone who comes near me.”  Imaginative Alchemists can construct quite complex Automatons and Constructs far beyond lumbering hulks of clay.

Nephilim are, as a whole, a bit twitchy around Golem as they can see the similarities between their own Simulacra and the hand-made bodies and wonder if the distance between here and there is but a short hop.  Some of the most intense (read: crazy) Nephilim Alchemists have figured out how to fuze Summoning with Alchemy to stuff the souls of Angels into manufactured alchemical bodies to force their Summonings to obey them long beyond their contracts.  This is considered “varsity level magic.”  Or perhaps “horrifying sacrilege.”  Or just “bad.”

Alchemists claim all Golem-based magicks come from the Grimoire of Ibbur, or the Fecundation of the Soul.  The author and the date of the original is unknown, but modern Alchemists know the Hebrew translation was handed down from Rabbi Judah Loew of the Prague Golem.  One copy of the original Arabic and a few copies of crude Latin translations theoretically exist, but no one knows where; several copies of Loew’s Hebrew translation exist for enterprising souls who wish to create their own man of blood and rock.

Rumor has it the Grimoire of Ibbur contains far more than instructions for crafting Golems but the secrets are locked away behind ciphers and codes.  They say it has a map to the Philosopher’s Stone.  But no one knows, since no one has an original copy of the book.

To create a Golem:

– A character or group of characters must undertake a quest to lay hands on a copy of the translated Grimoire of Ibbur.

– Golems are surprisingly difficult to reverse engineer but, once a character has made one Golem, the character can use Scholarship at the same Complexity to begin making variations on a theme.  Ie, if the character has figured out how to make a basic Earth Golem of Iron, it’s not that far of a shot to figure out how to craft some sort of horrible Mechanized Spider Golem.

– Mastering Summoning and Alchemy to Summon an Angel into the body of a Golem is often too much for one Nephilim; two Nephilim working at it might work up something worth writing home about.  The Summoning is the same as the regular Summoning.  The Alchemist must also overcome the Summoning’s Conviction with Discipline to synthesize the Summoning into the body.  This will not make the Summoning happy, but what the hell.

– The Complexity for a Golem begins at 5.  The GM may increase the Complexity based on:

  • Modernity.  The Golem uses modern substances (steel, aluminum, plastics, carbon fiber) over ancient substances (earth, water).  
  • Complexity.  Mechanized Steampunk Spider Golems are far more difficult than Earth Golems.
  • Size.  Enormous Golems are more difficult to raise than teeny bird golems.
  • Autonomy.  The more intelligent the Golem, the more difficult to create.
  • Summoning an Intelligence requires the standard Summoning plus Discipline rolls over the Summoning’s Conviction to move it from the Pentagram into the prepared body.
– Complexity may be subdivided into multiple formulae and the Golem can be upgraded over time.  For example, the Alchemist can raise a dumb Earth Golem (Complexity: 5).  Then the Alchemist can later add an Alchemical Brain Gem to the Golem (Complexity: 4 Black Stone adaptation of another formulae) to upgrade its intelligence.  And of course, later, because it’s fun, the Golem can add guns, but the guns may be just guns.
The most advanced White Stone Alchemists sit around in coffee shops and talk about just what sort of Golems they could make with the Philosopher’s Stone.  Just think!  World spanning Golems?  Golems with Archangels?  Perhaps everliving perfect bodies for themselves…

Nephilim FATE Magic — Makin’ Alchemy Happen

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

Character Stuff

Alchemy is special because it requires an Aspect. Only Alchemy requires an Aspect; the other modes of Magic need Stunts. The Alchemy Aspect represents the character’s Athanor and Alchemical Laboratory and Alchemical trappings. Unlike Sorcery (a funny hat) and Summoning (chalk), Alchemy requires gear and specialized, one-of-a-kind gear requires an Aspect.

Alchemy also isn’t cheap from a Stunt point of view.  One either is an Alchemist or isn’t.

First Circle Black Stone -3
Second Circle White Stone -4
Third Circle Philosopher’s Stone Infinity

No one has attained the Philosopher’s Stone.  But if someone does, they claim it’s the ticket to turning lead into gold, to crafting the Elixir of Life, to living forever within a Simulacrum without needing to Reincarnate ever again, to attaining Agartha on Earth.  And if anyone has attained it, they haven’t bothered to write it down or mention it to anyone else.  The Philosopher’s Stone is the unattainable.  For now.

Alchemists may inscribe a formulae on their souls (Stunt: -1, can be taken multiple times) to have formulae pass with them through Incarnations just like Sorcerers.

Making It Work

If the Alchemist has the Formula or knows the Formula…

If the Alchemist has the Formula for the mixture, he needs his Lore equal to or greater than the Complexity of the formula.  He can find helper tomes and use Aspects to help him get to the Complexity in the form of research.  If he can get his Lore to the Complexity of the formula, it indicates the Alchemist understands the mathematics, mixture, and steps involved in the concoction.

The Alchemist must roll his Discipline to synthesize the formula.  Much like controlling power in Sorcery, the Alchemist may split this into multiple rolls until he gets the number of successes equal to Complexity + Modifiers.  Each roll takes time (roughly an hour for white stone and a day for black stone) so if a cautious Alchemist has a Complexity: 6 formula and decides to make 6 Discipline rolls, it takes about six [hours|days] to synthesize the powder in the Athanor.   But the time can flux depending on dramatic necessity.

– If the Alchemist wrote the formula, he must roll shifts up to Discipline = Complexity.

– If the Alchemist found the formula in a book, the Complexity is +1 shift due to the formula likely being wrong.

– If the formula has the same Element as the Nephilim, the Nephilim receives a free (+1) shift to his Discipline rolls.

– The Nephilim may toss in Aspects, Foci, or other bonuses to make the Discipline rolls.

Once the Alchemist has synthesized the Alchemical formula, he now has a batch.  The number of castings of the formula from a successful synthesis is 1 + Total Successful Shifts.

If the Alchemist creates the formula…

Alchemy is new and a research magic.  An Alchemist can break free of the strictures of dusty old books and pentagrams and Enochian Angel names to create all new magic.  To create a new formula:

The Alchemist works out the Complexity of the formula (1-3 for Black Stone, 4-7 for White Stone, depending on the level of weirdness and set by the GM).  Then the Alchemist must make rolls with Scholarship to get shifts up to the Complexity of the spell.  This may take a while as this involves research, experimentation, and the frying off of eyebrows.

Once the Alchemist puzzles out the new formula, he can create it with Discipline as above without taking any penalty for transcription errors. He walks off with a number of castings equal to 1 + number of total successful shifts.

A Quick Note on Alchemy

That’s it. No stuffing Ka into an Athanor and sacrificing it every time the Nephilim wishes to synthesize a powder. No sticking a Stasis in an Athanor as a demented battery. Better than single-use powders. An ability to create new formula.

From a GMing standpoint, Alchemy requires all sorts of gear and glassware and space and materials along with the Athanor. In general, the GM should assume an enterprising Nephilim can tap into their Simulacrum, prod the curled up soul within until it coughs up the directions to Target, and lay hands on whatever they need. It just gets tricky when the neighbors call the FBI because the Nephilim’s garage smells eternally of sulfur and the neighbors are convinced he’s a Jihadi Terrorist. These Things Happen.

Next up, Golems. Because what good is Alchemy without Golems?