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[nWoD] Dragon the Embers - A Storytelling Game of Divine Right

CJC

Retired User
Thread mirrored from White Wolf's General Discussion forums. I thought it might be a good idea to mention over here too, for people who don't get over to White-Wolf.com often (or at all).
Anyways, this is a fan splat for the New World of Darkness, which has achieved completion (I know, isn't that supposed to be impossible?!).
So without further blathering:

It's haunting, isn't it? That disembodied beat.
It keeps perfect time, you know.
Lub Dub-a-dub lub.

I will not lie.
I was weak. I feared death, and craved power.
...both appetites are thoroughly satiated now.

Joining this club is like going to a party with lemmings.
Don't get me wrong, it's the experience of a lifetime.
But when the night is over, everybody jumps.


We used to be a blazing inferno. We used to be so powerful.
At least, that's what everybody says.




There's no stoking the embers. There's no fuel left.
This is our final hour.


Let's go out with a bang.

The Play-test is over, and Dragon the Embers' core content is officially out of production. There will be three different versions of the PDF:

Dragon the Embers All Text Book Block [5-10-13]
(Click the link to go to the Google Drive, hover to the right of the size until a pull-down arrow appears, click it, and select Download)

The All Text Book Block contains no images. It is 200+ pages of walls of text and rules, rules, rules. It won't be fun to read, but it was the easiest version to assemble and thus the first to be available.


Dragon the Embers Illustrated Book Block

For those hobbyists who know how to bind their own books, this version contains the fully formatted and illustrated version of the fan template. The width of the spine for the cover image has been calculated with the assumption the book will be printed on 60# copy paper.
This version is not yet available.


Dragon the Embers Illustrated PDF

For those that simply want an illustrated PDF that includes the front and back cover, this version has the cover images appended on the front and end.
This version is not yet available.



Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Dragons have no place in Gothic Horror!
A: That's not a question. But if it had been phrased as a question, here is the answer: paranoia. Our dragons live separate from their hearts, and their membership as fire-breathing lizards is dependent on the integrity of that blood pump. If it is eaten by another, then the gourmet replaces the previous dragon (and if you're that dragon, tough luck for you! Your life comes to an abrupt and unexpected end). If it is destroyed, POP! Dead and gone forever.
In addition, our dragons are drawn to positions of power, and like to manipulate the 'mortals' into making their environment more pleasing. Think about it... what if your boss was secretly a fire-breathing monster, using you as a puppet in her elaborate supernatural games?

Q: Why can't my Dragon breathe lightning, cold, or poison?
A: Gepetto and Shock, the concept creators of this project, wanted to distance the dragon image from their "Dungeons and Dragons" depictions. Because of the Furnace, it was decided that the best depiction to use was the Fire-Breathing variety to keep the imagery consistent.

Q: What's to stop my Dragon from just binge-eating to get a ton of Breath?
A: Well, aside from the social stigma of being a pig in public, it draws a lot of attention and eats up quite a lot of time. It's also not financially sound to chunk out like that. A glass of gasoline is much more efficient, and quite a bit cheaper.

Q: Why would I want to play this game?
A: Because it's awesome! Actually, most people harvest Dragon for mechanics and mystery villains, but the game has some nice depth if you give it a chance. We've been rebuked before for weak themes, but I think this new version brings a good balance of mechanics and intrigue.

Q: Can I take parts of this and make my own Dragon template?
A: Of course. Since Dragon the Embers is built from the Storytelling Engine (an Onyx Path intellectual property), it is not the proprietary property of anyone. There is nothing stopping you from building on our core idea or even building a completely different Dragon template. We simply ask that you give credit to Shock and Gepetto if you use our material, and that you give your off-shoot a different subtitle to avoid confusion with our stuff.


Anticipated Questions:

Q: Why is it that the Dragon is always referred to with the female pronoun?
A: To avoid confusion when using pronouns, I've written every passage such that the player "the Dragon" is referred to in the female tense, and the target is referred to in the male tense. If you see 'she', it is referring to the dragon using the power or ability. If you see 'he', it's referring to the target of the ability, or somebody acting against the dragon.

Q: Is Dragon the Embers compatible with the God Machine Chronicle?
A: No! No no no no no no no. It takes a really long time to assemble a new edition like this, and this version has been in the works since before Mummy was announced. Since Dragon the Embers is tied around the Storytelling system much more tightly than other templates, a compatibility conversion would be quite an undertaking. It is not something I will pursue, but anyone excited about this project may spearhead a conversion if they so choose.

Q: Wait, so Dragons have Ablutions AND Edicts? Don't splats usually only get one special power?
A: Yeah, well Dragons have two. So HAH!

Q: That's not an answer!
A: Fine. Ablutions represent physical characteristics of the Dragon, while Edicts represent their power of authority. The prior is their built-in supernatural prowess, like a Werewolf's forms or a Vampire's undead flesh. It is different solely because it is more flexible, and can be advanced with experience.

Q: Why is the Mirrors appendix so random?
A: It was written with the assumption that you would have the Mirrors book on-hand. Only the sections that require rules adjustment are referenced (by header only), and only the things that need to be altered are mentioned.

Q: Why is Degree of Divinity so overpowered?
A: Read the section about Willpower adjustment for mortals. And the part about needing to pay to fend off hunger multiple times per day. And keep in mind that when you look like a monster, people come after you with torches and pitchforks.

Q: I've seen that mechanic before... You stole it from Leviathan!
A: Yes I did. TheKingsRaven and I traded several mechanics and applied our own spins to them, since the two are very closely related (and Dragon began its life as an off-shot of Leviathan, anyway).

Q: Isn't the Dreamtide essentially the Skein from Changeling?
A: Actually, I wrote the Dreamtide content solely based on the blip about the Astral Realm from Mage the Awakening's core manual, before I read Changling the Lost. The similarity and overlap is actually quite amusing, but the idea is too far ingrained into the idea of the template to shake off.

Q: Wait, so getting insulted turns their flesh to stone?
A: It's a little more complicated than that, but essentially yes.

Q: Weak!
A: That's not a question.

Q: So there are Deep Ones and Ghouls from Lovecraftian horror, but they're nothing like their classic counterparts. Why?
A: We're reinventing dragons, so why not reinvent other terrible monstrosities?



Change Log from Bailout Draft
  • Aspects are now called Ablutions, to avoid confusion with the Changing Breeds mechanic that is unrelated. Each has been carefully examined for balance and functionality.
  • Philosophies as powers are gone. Hurray! The game now has 'Edicts', a diminishing returns force of will that alters the laws of reality. Each Edict has three laws, from which one may be learned for every odd dot the Dragon owns. These laws can be used in any order.
  • Caloric points are gone. Now the effort to generate Breath is measured in Meals.
  • Fossilization and 'Shade' wounds have been added. They can be found in Chapter 3. This is a very important mechanic, and it should not be overlooked.
  • There are now functioning internal page references, and an Index!
  • Shayatin, or Chthonic Ghuls (not a typo, spelled differently to avoid confusion with Vampire Ghouls), have been added to the Dreamtide section. They're corpse-eaters, but their diet consists of suppressed memories. They are social scavengers and they share the Oroboroi's power of Edict proclamation.
  • We've got a Slang Lexicon now, thanks to PaladinDemo. Terms based on old movie monsters.
  • ...there may be more. I can't remember anymore.
 

CJC

Retired User
It has been brought to my attention that there is some difficulty with the ZIP file, and for some it will not load the PDF. As such, I have made a second upload with JUST the PDF in an effort to fix the problem. If you're having trouble with the Text-Only Book Block, try this:

Dragon the Embers Text-Only Book Block [5-10-13] (PDF)

(Follow the link, click the FILE menu, and select DOWNLOAD at the bottom of the options)
 

Vree

Registered User
Validated User
I read this in the campaign ideas thread:

PC's are summoned by a dragon that was blinded, crippled and robbed by adventurers, left for dead. The players are tasked with building the Dragons treasure back up, and eventually getting revenge on the adventurers. Player characters need to be chosen from the various Monster related supplements, so they are all goblins, duergar, orcs, drow, kenku, etc.
Didn't care much about this fansplat (I mean I respect it a lot, the work in it, but needs less D&D aftertaste and more plot & character hooks for my tastes, although I'M sure tht can be achieved by some extra rules), but this made me think how I'd implant that to the WoD...(The dragon would be the characters' NPC client.)

I think you've missed an opportunity with the Hoard there (but hey at least you have it, which is great). Rather than just basing it on wealth (Resources), a dragon's hoard should be a lot more symbolic & mystical. Eg. treasures which are either exceedingly rare (a red diamond, but also things like, the first snowflake of the year), or supernatural, or have personal value to the dragon, or someone else (someone's favorite toy as a child). I think I may leave out supernaturally empowered object (to avoid tempting the players) and focus on dragons as collectors' value for humans: old phones, stamps, etc. but exchange it with a rule where a personal or symbolic connection from a person or an idea is more important than monetary value. (Eg. a bag of money means a lot to mortals, but since there is no personal connection behind it, it is meaningless; while a silver teapot that was an inheritance and incited a quarrel which led to the death of two family members is immensely valuable).

Or something like that; it should be more than just another Merit.

In the type of adventure like above, that also would make rebuilding the hoard a challenge. A piece of clothing that is a prized remembrance from a family member, or an police badge that represents the person's troubled past, donated by one of the party members, can be a start.
A light bulb hand made by Edison himself may be possible to replace by another historical curiosity, like a transistor from the first series Bell Labs ever made.
But what if one object was a sword that spilled an innocent's blood? Circumstances of similar value are much more difficult to recreate.

(and Dragon began its life as an off-shot of Leviathan, anyway).
I didn't know that. I thought Dragon would be older.
 

CJC

Retired User
Didn't care much about this fansplat (I mean I respect it a lot, the work in it, but needs less D&D aftertaste and more plot & character hooks for my tastes, although I'M sure tht can be achieved by some extra rules), but this made me think how I'd implant that to the WoD...(The dragon would be the characters' NPC client.)
D&D aftertaste? I thought we did a good job distancing ourselves from that image. Shape-shifting immortals who yet can die forever at the drop of a pin, have parts of their flesh turn to stone when they're insulted, and gain this state by usurping each other. I dunno...

Could you be more specific? Not that anything could be done about it at this stage, but other members of the team might want to know for the purpose of other books in the line.



I think you've missed an opportunity with the Hoard there (but hey at least you have it, which is great). Rather than just basing it on wealth (Resources), a dragon's hoard should be a lot more symbolic & mystical. Eg. treasures which are either exceedingly rare (a red diamond, but also things like, the first snowflake of the year), or supernatural, or have personal value to the dragon, or someone else (someone's favorite toy as a child). I think I may leave out supernaturally empowered object (to avoid tempting the players) and focus on dragons as collectors' value for humans: old phones, stamps, etc. but exchange it with a rule where a personal or symbolic connection from a person or an idea is more important than monetary value. (Eg. a bag of money means a lot to mortals, but since there is no personal connection behind it, it is meaningless; while a silver teapot that was an inheritance and incited a quarrel which led to the death of two family members is immensely valuable).

Or something like that; it should be more than just another Merit.
Huh, I could have sworn I'd written something about the form the wealth could take. My mind must have transposed it from the section about the Attra, which (according to superstition) draws in wealth.
It was meant to be any great measure of monetary value. It could even be a pile of cocaine bricks. Being that every Embers Dragon used to be a human being, the prospect of great wealth gives them a sense of well-being that puts their mind at ease. The resulting synchronization of their Miasma interference allows them to draw energy directly from the Dreamtide. In essence, they feed off the perceived wealth of the items they sleep upon. The key is perception; most Oroboroi still think like people for the most part, and so the Resources required to build the hoard need to be monetary.

Still, your proposition is interesting. Perhaps in another book the merit could be modified to use other prerequisites in lieu of Resources. Or, in the GMC conversion it could be absorbed into the core mechanics, obliterating the merit completely.
Certainly something to ruminate on.



In the type of adventure like above, that also would make rebuilding the hoard a challenge. A piece of clothing that is a prized remembrance from a family member, or an police badge that represents the person's troubled past, donated by one of the party members, can be a start.
A light bulb hand made by Edison himself may be possible to replace by another historical curiosity, like a transistor from the first series Bell Labs ever made.
But what if one object was a sword that spilled an innocent's blood? Circumstances of similar value are much more difficult to recreate.
Well, it could still be a challenge. Older Oroboroi get attached to their belongings, especially if they've got a few death derangements under their belt. The NPC Oroboroi could enlist the players to fetch specific lost items from her hoard. Her demeanor might be even more severe if the players were responsible for the hoard's dissolution. Considering that ancient dragons might starve to death without the wealth to boost their diet, I could still see this playing out as quite an interesting campaign.



I didn't know that. I thought Dragon would be older.
Nope! Leviathan was already well underway before Gepetto and Shock started the first "Dragon: The Something or Other" thread on the World of Darkness forums. I'm unaware of the specifics that led to our splinter-splat, though.


Thank you for taking the time to look, even if the splat did not appeal to you.
 
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