🎨 Creative [Chuubo's] Monster Mash!

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
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You've welcome. It was basically the 90s-est thing I could imagine.

(An early draft of Leroy just had an old rusty crocodile as his thing, but that was (a) too depressing, and (b) conflicted with an upcoming character. And actually, "too depressing" also conflicted a bit with upcoming characters!)
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Well, I'm not going to lie, you might not entirely be a fan of...

The Rebel
Jasmine or Jasper Apocynum

Role In the Band: Lead Guitar, Lyrics
Other Hobbies: Blogging, Activism
Age: 15
Favorite Style: Punk Rock
Transformation: Brass Octopus

Step 1: Who Are You?

Salute! Apocynum!

You’re the person who’s seen the truth, that’s who you are. A true seer, surrounded by the unsuspecting masses. Some time ago, you came to realize through a convoluted series of events that aren’t worth recounting here that all of reality is an illusion, a convenient lie that hides the True Thing beneath the world. The Sun’s death nearly tore the shroud away, but instead it just drowned the Truth beneath the waves of the Outside.

Not cool, Outside.

Some people say that you’re basically a Rider, because of how you think that most of reality isn’t real and also because you have Rider eyes. They don’t get it! Reality, unreality, it’s just two different ways to disguise the truth. The Sun worked with the Headmaster to promote the Grand Lie, until they had a falling-out - or maybe they faked Her death? It’s hard to say, for sure.

The important thing is that if people just found their way to the True Thing, they wouldn’t suffer any more. Suffering is what happens when you try to live in an illusion. Nothing quite makes sense, and people can feel this deep down, and that’s why they feel pain, and hurt each other. No one benefits from the Lie, but so many people are convinced that they do. They cling to their illusions, and they hurt each other, and they hurt you. But when the Truth is revealed, no one is going to hurt anymore.

You know it in the gaping wound that was once your heart, before the Lie tore you to shreds and you found your way through the pain to freedom.

Is that right?
  • Yep, that’s it.
  • Almost. You’re actually a boy named Jasper Apocynum. No relation to the daughter of the Sun.
  • Almost exactly backwards. You were a Rider who, through a series of unlikely coincidences, saw the True Thing in existence that other Riders want to deny, and defected to Creation to purify it. Everything is a small reflection of the True Thing, not a mask concealing it.
  • You’re more of an alchemist, really. The Truth can be found be constantly refining and manipulating reality until only the core remains.
  • ... something else?

Step 2: Why Do You Want To Be An Idol?

Because no one can see.

There is a truth to the world, and everyone is so busy with their own concerns and their own affairs and their own pains that they would rather cling to the lie. But if you join an idol band, you can work hints about the True Thing into your music. You can perform and get a stage, and use that to broadcast the truth out to people who are still sleepwalking. You can fight giant monsters and stop them from adding even more lies to the lies that already exist.

It’s pretty much a fool-proof plan. People like people who are famous. If you’re famous, people will like you, and then they’ll finally listen to you. Nothing can go wrong!

Step 3: What Stands In Your Way?

… you, mostly.

As long as we’re discussing truth, you are a mess. You don’t have a family any more - you realized that your bonds to them were an illusion and then they forgot that you existed. You have a collection of minions in your Apocalypse Club, but you don’t really have friends, because everyone either understands your Truth and views you as a prophet, or thinks that you’re a weirdo and avoids you. You had a lot of things that you used to like, but ever since you realized that they’re all illusions that hold the world in pain, it’s like, what even is the point?

You’ve having a hard time being happy about anything anymore. And in your darker moments, you wonder if the True Thing is actually worth striving for. If you free everyone’s hearts to join you… will they be unhappy too?

Is unhappiness the only True Thing?

That’s a depressing thought. But you can’t quite escape it.

Step 4: Who Do You Care For?

Everyone. Everyone is important to you. But there are a few people in your life that matter more than most. At the start of the game, you have the following Connections:
  • The Apocalypse Club (2). Your school club are the only people who understand you.
  • The Has-Been (2). You think he might understand the lie that is the world.

Step 5: How Do You Spend Your Time?

You’ve got a lot on your plate, enough that you don’t take much time for simple pleasures any more. Pick 3-4 things off the following list. When you’re really at a loss for what to do next, just pick one off the list and get started! Are you…
  • ...sitting on a bench with a pile of discarded song lyrics next to you, writing furiously?
  • ...hanging out with the Apocalypse Club, discussing philosophy and the end of existence?
  • ...trying to hand out leaflets or put up posters about the Truth Behind The Lie?
  • ...fighting some would-be hero who thinks you’re a threat to existence?
  • ...just kind of practicing your guitar and picking up some spare change?
  • ...trying to explain to a cafe owner or waiter why capitalism is a Lie and thus you should be able to eat for free?
  • ...sitting on a bench, staring blankly at the sky, lost in thought?
  • ...working on club paperwork?
  • ...recruiting for the Apocalypse Club?
  • ...accidentally getting stuck organizing something you don’t really care about?
  • ...doing something else?

Step 6: What’s Next?

Your life is a mess, and so is the world. You’ve got a lot to worry about. One thing that you worry about is the pervasiveness of the Lie, and the way that the world seems to feed into it. You’re always looking to explain seemingly random coincidence and happenstance as part of a grand conspiracy to keep the masses quiet.

You’ve also got Riders to deal with. Some dingus from the Bleak Academy is always after you to “accept your destiny” and “realize that Truth exists beyond existence” and on and on and on. You really would like them to just leave you alone, but what if they’re right?

For now, you’re mostly working on actually integrating the band into your life. You’re getting to know your bandmates, getting them to know you, and using your club as background workers. It’s simple stuff, but you think it really matters.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
And now, for our Rebel's playbook.

Jasmine Apocynum, The Rebel
Arcs:
Child of the Ash 2, Impresario 1
Emotion XP: Awww

Skills:
  • Incite 3 - You have a knack for riling people up, either for your goals or against you.
  • Changeling 2 - Since reality is an illusion, you can sort of change your shape.
  • Getaways 2 - You’re pretty good at escaping afterwards.
  • Investigate 1 - You’re alright at looking into things.
Perks:
  • Bond: I Can Hear People’s Wishing Hearts (2). You have a gift for hearing the songs that people sing in their souls. This is tied to your Child of the Ash Arc.
  • Affliction: I See Falsehood as Blight (Special). As long as you have 1+ points in the Sickness Issue, your Rider eyes don’t let you see the comfortable illusions that others see. This is sometimes helpful, and sometimes horrifying. It’s also generally imprecise; you don’t know what is false, only that falsehood is hanging over someone or something. This Affliction is tied to your Sickness.
  • Connection: The Has-Been (2)
  • Connection: The Apocalypse Club (2).
Miraculous Powers: The Rebel
Spoiler: Show
You are a searcher of primal truth, a seeker of wisdom and hope. Your Element is the Song of the Heart, which everyone sings, and your Mood is Truthfulness. However, this search has worn you down. As long as you are an Impresario, you have the miraculous power, Sickly.

See The Truth (Imperial):Over the course of several minutes, you can inject truth into the world. People say what they mean, hidden objects become more obvious, and everything gets clear. This is… not always good. Often it means that people tell you what they really think of you right after you try to tell them about the True Thing. But it does mean that you create the Region Property, “Things become more and more truthful.”

By spending 1 MP, you can instead focus truth on a single person. Over the next several minutes, that person recognizes the truth in something that is happening, which may affect them strongly, in the right situation, or only weakly if it is opposed to their nature. This effect fades at the end of the scene, unless you spend your time between scenes maintaining the effect in the same location.

Invoking “See The Truth” instantly costs you 4 MP.

A Moment Of Clarity (Imperial): Once per book, you may spend 2 MP to invoke the ultimate power of Truth. This serves as a Wish, that Truth would be used to resolve a situation that you find yourself in. The HG has broad discretion as to what exactly that means, but it will always work!

You can use this power a second or future time in a book, but it strains. Doing so costs you 4 MP and inflicts a Deadly Wound on you, which you cannot heal this Book.

Wrapped in the Lie (Imperial): Sometimes, it’s just too hard to keep going. Sometimes, you would rather be liked than to be right. In these times, you put on a pair of sunglasses to hide your Rider eyes and let yourself be what the Lie wants you to be. This inverts your Mood from Truth to Conformity, and changes the wording of “See The Truth” to create the Region Property, “Things Conform More And More To Expectation.” It also affects your Moment of Clarity.

The Truth-Seeker (Imperial): Over the course of several minutes, you can take all of your yearning and pain and use it to explode into a giant brass octopus whose limbs are studded with hooks to pull out hearts. In this form, you cannot be denied, and can rampage through the world. You can generally get Edge for the sorts of actions that giant heart-harvesting robot octopuses are capable of doing.

You can also turn into a kaiju instantly, but this normally costs 4 MP. In the middle of a campaign-appropriate ritual, this can happen free of cost.

Mortal Form: Between chapters, you can turn back into a normal human. You just sort of force all of the hooks back into your own heart, tearing it to pieces once again, and let the lie of your skin settle over you. This is slow, and painful, and it’s not an Imperial miracle so people can mess it up if they really want to.

You can speed up your return, but not easily. Switching back over the course of a few hours costs you 1 MP. Doing it over several minutes costs 2 MP. Doing it instantly requires 4 MP, or the end of a ritual you took advantage of to transform in the first place.

Truth and Lies: It is a constant effort for your octopus to be truly Real, and you can force the issue or let it slide. Once or twice per scene, you can change yourself to ignore up to Obstacle 2 worth of difficulties due to being too real or not real enough for the current situation - you can become more real than anything else, thereby protecting yourself from being harmed by less real things, or you can become less real, making it easier for people and things to change you or apply their preconceptions to your nature. Using this power more than twice per scene costs 1 MP. Spending 2 MP lets you do it as often as you like, and spending 4 MP lets you start the scene already changing size.

Heart-Song Shield (Cthonic, Imperial): When your kaiju form is wounded, you can choose to develop a defensive feature in place of a wound. This takes the form of singing the heart-song of the person who wants to hurt you, and then changing it so that they don’t anymore. This takes a Wound slot as usual, but replaces the usual wound effects with a wish that protects you against the sort of attack that caused this wound.

Elemental Connection (Cthonic): When you interact with spirits or people who are strongly in tune with the wishing heart, you can take this action to commune with them, gaining a +1 Tool bonus on social or Connection actions with them, and 2 Edge against competing actions by outside parties. The being you commune with also gets these benefits against you.

Let’s Coordinate! For all that you have trouble making long-term progress, you’re great at short-term organization! This takes the form of a Level 2 Bond that helps you organize and coordinate things, and gives you penalties for overcommitting or getting stuck organizing things you don’t actually like.

Demesne: You own a strange old manor in Bluebell Park, which is probably not so much real as a thing you dreamed up out of the Lie to replace your lost home. You have a Connection 3 to your manor, which you can use to manipulate the timing of events there, control its weather, know what is happening in and around it, and define minor facts about it that aren’t already known.

Impart The Truth (XP Action, Bleak): By connecting to the True Thing beyond the world, you can strip the lies from someone’s eyes to give them a new idea. Invoke this power, even if you aren’t near them, and you can make something become both sensible and practical to them, and also a natural thing to do. You also sustain an Intention 4 on their behalf to do that thing. They can oppose this with their own Intentions, but it still feels right.

This is an XP Action that also costs you 1 MP when you use it.

The Apocalypse Club: You have a club of students and locals who appreciate your truth, or at least think it’s funny. They’re also turning into Heart Attack’s fan club. They include some Fortitude Rats and shrine kids, so you kind of have access to rat skills and shrine magic, but mostly they’re just… a club! Generally, you can form Intentions to have them do things, and maybe get +1 Edge. If they do things on their own, they won’t get past Intention 3.

C’Mere: When you really need to, you can bend the fabric of the Lie enough to recognize that people are connected by their hearts, not by distance, and simply declare that someone you care about is going to show up! This can apply to anyone you have a Connection to, or to any number of your minions (or alternately, local fans who sort of resemble your minions.)

You can use this power repeatedly, but it costs you. Using it more than once per Book costs 4 MP per additional use.

Quest Miracles
Spoiler: Show
Most of your quest miracles connect you to the wishing hearts of all people as they seek the True Thing. These are generally Lurid any-time quests, in which you switch between “Annoyingly Intrusive” and “Genially Supportive” of the people you’re trying to help!

You can use your dreams to connect to their wishing hearts, learning facts about what people want and truly hope for. You can instead fortify their hearts against the Outside, heal spiritual wounds and pain, and strengthen someone’s heart to seek their dreams. These are all Major miracles.

You also have the ability to do simple, hard work to physically re-shape someone’s heart. This is usually a Pastoral quest to work with someone in a simple, honest way, during which time you physically mess with their heart until they’re empowered. This can give them a Superior Skill (2) related to their hopes and dreams.

You can also empower one of your minions, releasing a wishing power that gives them miraculous powers. This usually lets them go off and follow their dreams once you release the miracle, and then you need a new minion. You can, in theory, really get to know something through a 45-XP Pastoral quest, turning them into one of your Treasures and developing a Connection to them, and letting you then start unleashing the magic in their heart.
 

Maxen M

Somewhere off to the side
Validated User
I was thinking about this thread, and watching Michael Jackson's smooth criminal video, and I realised, he's pretty much using his mood power all the time; when it's set one way, everyone is coordinated and in motion and even fights seem cooperative and in sync, and when it's set the other way, everything is still and silent and full of conflict. And basically, that's Soun right? Almost, anyway. (The indomitable application is basically perfect too)
 

Jeremy Kopczynski

Registered User
Validated User
You know I really like that the heart of Heart Attack's fan club is going to be made up of people interested in the end of the world. It just screams appropriate for some reason. Especially with all the contrasting styles the band possesses.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
And now for a surprise twist! Due to some writing issues, the role of The Roadie has been re-assigned to Akkoro Kawaguchi, the Octopus Singer. In her place, the Roadie has been replaced by...

The Kaiju Hunter
Esoterica or Pauciliquent Kovac

Role In the Band: Backup Vocals
Other Hobbies: Parkour, Classic Movies
Age: 3
Favorite Style: Gospel
Transformation: Ninja Clan

Step 1: Who Are You?

You are one of the greatest aspiring hunters of the Kovac clan, a monster hunter and explorer who has already achieved some pretty cool things. You’ve been on three expeditions to the Far Roofs, you’ve studied the ways of the ninja, and you’ve fought a kaiju one-on-one and beaten it!

You’re kind of a big deal with your fellow rats.

Now, it is true that a lot of them are… dubious, about some of your claims. “You can’t be a ninja, Teri,” they say (Teri is what people really close to you call you.) “Ninjas aren’t real. You’re just a very skilled and stealthy rat.” Shows what they know. You have real ninja training, from such real ninja movies as “Master Ninja”, “The Three Ninjas”, and “Ninja Scroll”. Human movies are neat!

Honestly, you’re kind of into human stuff. Almost all rats are, but you are known as a real human world buff. When you’re not out hunting monsters, you’re usually catching a classic movie or taking part in some human activities. That’s how you met Rinley, actually, which is also where this story begins. You’re such a huge human buff that you’ve learned how to use your ninja magic to turn into a human ninja with a whole clan of shadow-ninjas around you.

Is that right?

  • Got it in one.
  • Mostly, except that my name is Pauciloquent, and people call me “Paw”.
  • Close, but I hunt monsters and also studied the ways of the pirates!
  • Close, but I hunt monsters and also studied the ways of the vampire!*
  • ... something else?
* - You probably don’t want to pick this one if anyone else in the game is already a vampire, like Rinley for example.

Step 2: Why Do You Want To Be An Idol?

Well, two reasons, mainly. The first reason is that you’re kind of fascinated by the whole concept of idols and idol movements, so you’d love to take part! Rinley’s pretty cool, even if you keep the whole ‘liking cats’ thing in mind, and this seems like a real chance to act like a real human and be on stage and awesome.

The second reason is that this band is going to be doing things with kaiju. You’ve kind of dedicated your life to protecting Town by hunting supernatural monstrosities like kaiju, and you want to make sure that Heart Attack doesn’t accidentally do something ridiculous like let a bunch of them into the harbour to take a nap and unmake existence as we know it. If there’s a way to resettle kaiju somewhere else without killing them, or cut through their terrible powers and access some kind of inner passion, well, that’s fine. You can handle that. You just aren’t too sure about making peace with them.

You are aware that most of your bandmates seem to be able to turn into kaiju, themselves. That’s… that’s gonna need some paying attention to. But you think probably it’ll be fine, probably.

Step 3: What Stands In Your Way?

The main thing is that idol bands are a really human thing, and you are a rat. The secondary thing is that you have a lot of monster hunting to do, and that’s going to cut into your band time.

But let’s be completely honest, here. You don’t anticipate anything really standing in your way. You’re a cool kaiju hunter slash ninja slash backup vocalist who’s going to do some amazing things, and your band is going to be there with you doing amazing things, and why would anything in particular go wrong?

You are very confident in your capabilities. Some people would say that you are too confident, and what’s going to stand in your way are all of the little problems that you’re going to overlook or brush off until they become really big problems, which will slowly encroach upon your life from all sides until one day you wake up and realize that you are entirely, utterly overwhelmed and everything around you is a massive disaster and your life is on the verge of a complete, nuke-it-from-orbit meltdown with no clear path to salvation.

Those people are just naysayers! Ignore them!

Step 4: Who Do You Care For?

You are a caring person, but also a bit isolated. Still, you have the following connections:

  • The Fortitude Rats (2). You are part of your community.
  • The Octopus Singer (2). They’re a lot like you - an often overlooked but important person!

Step 5: How Do You Spend Your Time?

You spend your time in a lot of different ways, actually! But there are a few things that are particularly common. Look at the list below, and pick 3-4 items from it. When you’re not sure how to get things started, you can pick one of those things and just hop right into the action! Day to day, are you…

  • ...coming out of a movie theatre, having seen the latest show?
  • ...stalking another PC from the rooftops, just to stay in practice?
  • ...methodically documenting the last monster you defeated in your scrapbook?
  • ...quietly watching a street performer or musician?
  • ...doing some intense ninja* training?
  • ...subtly practicing your harmonies while you stroll along?
  • ...sitting cross-legged in a tree, assembling a schedule?
  • ...walking around as a human, experiencing some human thing for the first time?
  • ...laying out preparations for a new monster hunt?
  • ...helping some human out with their chores or troubles?
  • ...something else?
* - insert secret training of choice here

Step 6: What’s Next?

Your life is very focused most of the time, but there are changes on the horizon. A lot of the time, you’re just kind of observing humans, and the good that they are capable. Truly, that is what it should mean to be a human!

At the same time, there are your duties as a monster hunter. You’ve got a lot of monsters to hunt! It’s a hard road, but there are a lot of people, both human and rat, depending on you, so you’re going to keep up on your duties and try not to let them mess with your life.

Honestly, though, you’re mostly just excited. You want to learn everything about the world of idols and bands and music. It’s going to be exciting! And the fact that you have some tricks to integrate it into your ninja existence is even better! (You are training your shadow-clones to be more backup dancers and singers, even.)
 
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