DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore

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aesdana
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DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore

Post by aesdana » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:55 am

I said elsewhere on this forum that I've recently converted my 2nd level Labyrinth Lord team to 1st level DCC to go through the Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore. As you may know, ASE features many crazy and corrupted wizards (in fact, they rule the land) and DCC came as a natural D&D (quasi-)clone.

I have a flavor question which may or may not have rules consequences I didn't foresee as I did not play much with DCC (just 3 sessions as a DM).

First, read this spoiler to understand how magc works in ASE :
In ASE, the orbital gods prevent extradimensional beings from coming to Earth. They give access to the nanites which permeate the planet for some happy few called clerics. Unfortunately, some (called wizards) found an unauthorized access to the same nanites, making magic on their own.
For my ASE & DCC game I could have decided to keep patrons as in DCC, that is, extradimensional beings taking benefit from the existence of humans having non divine access to magic.

But I went another road : I said patrons are an idiosyncratic insanity, warping mind and body alike, that wizards develop from messing too much with magic.

As such, no two wizards have the same patron but all are mad from power and magic and strangely corrupted.

IMO, this peculiar magical insanity behaves exactly as an external and unpredictable being (a patron) and I see not pitfalls with my take on patrons : it compels the wizard to do strange things s/he would rather not do if s/he had the choice but it gives them strange new powers.

But I'm not sure : will it have consequences on the game or will it be exactly the same ?

What do you think ?

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:50 pm

So the Patron is just a 'voice in their head'?

THAT IS GENIUS!

I don't see what the complications would be, in general. Everything works the way it works, it just isn't what it appears to be...

The only wrinkle is casting Patron Bond on another character might be out the window. Or else it's a conduit to a shared delusion...
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aesdana
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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by aesdana » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:20 am

GnomeBoy wrote:So the Patron is just a 'voice in their head'?

THAT IS GENIUS!
:lol: Thanks !
GnomeBoy wrote:The only wrinkle is casting Patron Bond on another character might be out the window. Or else it's a conduit to a shared delusion...
I will look at the spell more closely, good idea.

BTW, more as a 'voice in their aid', I see it as the cost their sanity and body has to pay to attune themselves directly or more closely to magic or, better, as the cost to get better magic where 'better magic' is the power you get when you give free reins to the magical part of your self.

So, there would be no patron bond spell but rather an 'embrace magic wholeheartedly and definetely' ritual (or an 'improve your magical power' ritual) which would strenghten your magical self and your tie to magic, give you more power and drive you more quickly, as well, to corruption.

When the player finds the spell, s/he just to choose a path (by giving her/him the choice between different patron corruption and spells).

You could then 'exorcise' your 'patron' bond but not chose a new patron (or why not ? if the stars & the wizard have changed).

Thanks for your feedback which help me precise things ! :D

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by Ddogwood » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:39 pm

I really like the idea of patrons being a form of insanity. Another possibility is that patrons could be AIs that are buried underground, located on mountaintops, or are stuck in other sub-orbital locations. This means that they can do many of the same things as the orbital gods, but their reduced communication range means that their connections are less reliable and their powers are less extensive. A ground-based AI has to bounce its communications off of an orbital god to influence something that is very far away from itself, or otherwise hack into the communications systems of the gods.

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by Stretch » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:36 am

Really like this idea of insanity and patrons. I recently picked up ASE as part of putting together a pulpy sci-fi setting. One idea I took from this was altering my clerics.

As I am doing a society that is so far advanced it is magic - much like Numenera -- I wanted my classes to reflect more of a technological bent.

What I have thought to do is to have my clerics go through an ordeal as part of their final initiation as a priest that alters them in some way.

So for Acheleose, my moon god, they have a nanite worm that winds through their brain altering it to be able to receive transmissions and power from their God. As my moon god has only one central orbish eye, when this process is over, the worm bonds with the body causing a central eye to appear right between their other two eyes. It is normally undetectable but for when they pray, cast, or their God or his emissary wants to speak with them, acting as their own mini God-eye.

Ahriman, my death god, has his priests left hand dipped in a solution that strips the flesh to the bone and turns it black. They are then dipped in another solution full of two different types of nanites, one restructures the muscles and tissues as it swirls across the hand, the other strips that same muscle and tissue back. This is a continual process that identifies others to whom they serve.

This is all really cosmetic, for the most part, but it adds flavor and gives me the ability to do a few other things in game.

1) When they are in communication with their God, they are the only ones who see and hear them. This allows me to have a small sect of non-believers. Those who think that there are no true Gods only the delusional madness of people who have brought that state on themselves.

2) The common people fear the priests as much as they do wizards. They still allow the building of temples and they still worship. But the worship is more derived from a line in Mieville's Kraken, "The gods don't owe us anything. That's not why we worship. We worship because they're gods. This is their universe, not ours. What they choose they choose and it's not ours to know why."

3) Doing this, I don't use traditional holy symbols. The third eye of a priest, the left hand black, etc acts as their holy symbols. So rumors abound about how closely connected the faithful are to their Gods. That their Gods are in contact with the chosen. Killing a priest might start a war if Ahriman is looking at that specific moment. It means the higher they rise in rank the less they are targeted. Or at least the more money it will cost for an assassin to take that contract.

4) Since every priest hood is different but all go through an ordeal this allows other funnel opportunities. If a player loses a character and decides they would like to make a priest of Acheleose then I can involve the whole group in it. The worm, as it re-writes the genetic code, it puts the candidate through hallucinations. This typically lasts thirty-days and not all live through the process. (the same applies to all the other gods, just different circumstances surrounding their trials.) There are two options for this. One would be to have the whole group roll up potential recruits to the religion and then run them through a themed-funnel for that God. The survivors that are not going to be run by a player can then populate the local temple. This gives the players a better connection to that temple. The other option would be to run alternate versions of their main characters. For a moon god like Acheleose, who is invoked in divination, this could be prophetic. The new priest would have a connection to the already established party in that his God has shown him who he must seek out. And for characters whose alternate selves do not make it....maybe that is foreshadowing of things to come. Is the priest supposed to stop this action? Or make sure it happens?

Anyway, a few ideas that I came up with from the same source material. Really like ASE a lot.
-Stretch
If you survive a crucible you grow the stronger for it. - Arrow.

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by aesdana » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:50 am

Ddogwood wrote:I really like the idea of patrons being a form of insanity. Another possibility is that patrons could be AIs that are buried underground, located on mountaintops, or are stuck in other sub-orbital locations. This means that they can do many of the same things as the orbital gods, but their reduced communication range means that their connections are less reliable and their powers are less extensive. A ground-based AI has to bounce its communications off of an orbital god to influence something that is very far away from itself, or otherwise hack into the communications systems of the gods.
Very ASE-like idea !

Love it and I will try to use it !

Thanks :D !
Last edited by aesdana on Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by aesdana » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:01 am

Stretch has very interesting thing to say about ASE wrote:Anyway, a few ideas that I came up with from the same source material. Really like ASE a lot.
Thank you for your feedback : I appreciate it and find it very interesting.

My current clerics worship Ktulu, god of the sea and ancient things and BlackHole, god of the arms race (Ktulu is NOT Cthulhu) and your ideas wil help me !

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by Golgothmog » Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:16 am

This idea of Patrons being manifestations of the individual Magic User's psyche... insanity or not... reminds me of a book I recently read by Stephen King's son - NOS4A2... where various characters have access to 'powers' that involve some sort of item/device/vehicle that is not inherently magical but serves as a focus for their 'inscape'... the landscape of their imagination which their powers allow them to realize. The use of each power also enacts a price which affects each user differently.
A fun and gruesome book that does a good job of capturing this sort of magic user.

My own homebrew has Patrons that were orbital AIs but became flesh and were driven a bit insane in the process... interesting how all these ideas flow in and out of one another.

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by aesdana » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:06 am

Golgothmog wrote:This idea of Patrons being manifestations of the individual Magic User's psyche... insanity or not... reminds me of a book I recently read by Stephen King's son - NOS4A2... where various characters have access to 'powers' that involve some sort of item/device/vehicle that is not inherently magical but serves as a focus for their 'inscape'... the landscape of their imagination which their powers allow them to realize. The use of each power also enacts a price which affects each user differently.
A fun and gruesome book that does a good job of capturing this sort of magic user.

My own homebrew has Patrons that were orbital AIs but became flesh and were driven a bit insane in the process... interesting how all these ideas flow in and out of one another.
Very good idea !

Patrons as rogue AIs : that makes a real conflict in the skies !

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by cjoepar » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:23 pm

This is a nice perspective.

If you like the idea of goofing with people's sanity, you may enjoy my alternative corruption tables that I shared here:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 73&t=44637

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Re: DCC & Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmor

Post by aesdana » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:26 pm

cjoepar wrote:This is a nice perspective.

If you like the idea of goofing with people's sanity, you may enjoy my alternative corruption tables that I shared here:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 73&t=44637
It's a very good idea : thanks for the link and your work ! :wink:

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