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NecroMech®

Dark Fantasy Roleplaying in a Post-WWII Alternate History Setting

Although characters can have a mix of psychic Talents that offer offensive, defensive, and utility abilities the Reaper class is particularly adept when it comes to physical combat.

Cobra Strike → Ravage → Blade Storm

Readiness → Trick Shot → Deadeye

Obsidian Fist → Catastrophe → Executioner

Adrenaline Rush → Vertical Climb → Unfettered Movement

Lighten Object → Def Digits → Fetch

Mind Razor → Farsight → Sharpen Senses

Dodge → Temporal Acceleration → Shield of Steel

Sense Danger → Anticipation → Indomitability

Harmonic Control → Leech Regeneration → Fight On

The key attributes of a Reaper are Dexterity and Perception and they are characterized through Talents that build on inherent awareness of body and mind to boost speed, power, and focus in the ultimate expression of martial expertise. Despite combat evolution during the war to a more mechanized, anonymous, kill-at-a-distance, style of mass destruction today’s need harkens back to a time of more personal one-on-one methods to deal with one’s enemies.

However, looks can be deceiving when lethality is beautifully packaged!

Razor_p1

Mary Lewis (aka Razor) – Reaper

A gorgeous burlesque performer with a unique balloon pop routine involving various blades rather than pins which you have performed at the Alchimie Noir nightclub, owned by Madame “G”. You have all the traits of a femme fatale, able to get what you want, when you want it, without thought of anyone else. Able to play “vulnerable” but nothing could be farther from the truth. Woe betide anyone who thinks you are easy prey, this kitty has sharp claws.

StraightRazor

Straight Razor Weapon Damage Profile

Straight Razor (Unconventional Weapons Skill)

You are able to effectively use a straight razor as potentially lethal weapon, especially as its small size and ease of concealment can often give you the drop on an opponent.

Dual-Wield (Fighting Style Skill)

With this skill you can use handheld melee weapons, such as knife or sword, equally well in either hand, or both. This allows you a Success chance, based on your (Proficiency+10)x2, to make a single extra off-hand (weapon) strike in the same round; this extra strike is rolled normally. Requires a minimum Dexterity of 8.

Cobra Strike (Tier 1) accelerates a single melee attack to strike swift and true. Often hitting your target before they have time to react your potent attack does severe damage.

Concentration: Passive. Becomes Subconscious at Rank 4

Life Energy cost: 10 per use.

Effect: +1 per Rank to Physical Initiative Roll. Additional d10 damage.

Adrenaline Rush (Tier 1) allows you to make amazing horizontal leaps especially if given a running start or to cross short distances in what seems the blink of and eye.

Concentration: Passive

Life Energy cost: 10 per round.

Effect: Increase maximum movement speed by 10% per Rank per round (non-cumulative). Increase maximum horizontal jump distance by 20% per Rank. This does not apply to a standing jump.

Sense Danger (Tier 1) gives you a sixth sense allowing you to perceive imminent threats.

Concentration: Active, Interruptible. Becomes Passive at Rank 4

Life Energy cost: 5 per minute.

Effect: While active you cannot be surprised.

Harmonic Control (Tier 1) harnesses your own Life Energy to heal minor wounds. If concentration can be maintained this allows you to ignore minor wounds, as they can be continually healed during combat. Consequently, Mind Razor (Active Talents are considered Passive) is a must have Talent!

Concentration: Active, Interruptible

Life Energy cost: Variable.

Effect: At Rank 1 heals 2 Health Points for each Life Energy point expended per round. At Rank 4 heals 3 Health points per Life Energy point. At Rank 7 heals 5 Health points per Life Energy point.

The Tradecraft skill of Seduction

Using your wily ways to lead whoever you please into giving away secrets, doing the unthinkable, betraying someone, or simply for fun and entertainment, is intoxicating. Why work for something when you can have someone else do it for you. Especially if there is a chance you could break a nail or ruin a suit. Amazing how the glimpse of a stocking top can grab the attention or offering a silk handkerchief to wipe away the tears breaks through all the barriers. The right look (up to a possible 25% additional bonus), the right time, the right words, are the only ins you need.
Charisma (Bonus) 7 (+5%), 8 (+10%), 9 (+20%), 10 (+30%)

And it is arguably the Shadow Weaver who is the best equipped in terms of their psychic Talents to make seduction truly their own.

PenelopeLake

Penelope Lake – Shadow Weaver (Rank 7)

Whether it be directly through their ability to alter appearance to suit.

Alter Self → Misperception → Invisibility

Alter Self (Tier 1) provides you with the ability to change minor physical characteristics such as eye color, hair color, facial wrinkles, fingernail length and shape, etc. for a period that can last for hours or even days. It should be noted that unnatural changes such as red eyes or taloned nails although permissible only last for minutes.

Concentration: Subconscious
Life Energy cost: 5 per hour; at Rank 1 you can change your appearance for 10 hours if no other Life Energy is expended. Add 1 hour per rank so at Rank 4 the effect can last two days and by Rank 10 over a week.
Effect: Allows you to change your appearance. “Unnatural” changes result in 1 hour becoming 1 minute when calculating duration.

Misperception (Tier 2) alters how others see you by forcing the desired image directly into their mind. The scope of what can be achieved is only confined by what the target(s) find believable; the greater the imagination the greater latitude. This ability does not change your actual physical characteristics and so allowing a target to touch you could negate their belief in what they are seeing. If the target leaves your presence and returns after some time has elapsed, then unless the ability is used again they will see you as you truly are. Also, if the mind of the target is protected by, for example, Bastion of Thought then the ability will have no effect.

Concentration: Passive. Becomes Subconscious at Rank 7
Life Energy cost: 5 per minute; at Rank 4 the effect lasts 13 minutes. Add 2 minutes per rank so at Rank 7 you can hold the appearance for almost two hours. In addition, at Rank 7 you can affect two targets, and at Rank 10 three.
Effect: Completely alter how you look within “believable” constraints. For, example, if the target believes in the devil you could appear so but not to an atheist. If you adopt an appearance that the target(s) find particularly attractive, then your effective Charisma is +2. The image is the same for all targets. The image persists in the mind of the target for 1 minute per Rank after they have left your presence. If they return within that time the image continues to hold until the duration is exhausted.

Or through more insidious mind manipulation!

Inquisition → Mind Probe → Memory Wipe

Inquisition (Tier 1) allows you to know when someone is lying unless their mind is protected in some way, such as through Bastion of Thought. However, you will become aware of any such protection IF your Intellect is greater than that of the target.

Concentration: Intense. Becomes Active at Rank 4. Becomes Passive at Rank 7
Life Energy cost: 10 per use.
Effect: For 1 minute per Rank you will be aware, barring other mental protections, when anyone within direct (i.e. not via telephone) ear shot is lying.

Mind Probe (Tier 2) makes your target’s short-term memories and knowledge accessible without them being aware of the mental intrusion. Longer-term memory can be accessed through careful questioning that brings what you seek to the forefront of the mind. If your target’s mind is protected, for example through Bastion of Thought, they are entitled to try and rebuff your intrusion, but the result is not guaranteed. They will, however, become aware of attempt.

Concentration: Intense. Becomes Active at Rank 7
Life Energy cost: 25 per use.
Effect: At Rank 1 you are able to (re)view the last 5 minutes of your targets memories for significant information. This increases by 5 minutes per Rank so by Rank 10 you can scan back as far as 50 minutes. For every Rank difference between you and your target, in their favor, they gain 20% change to rebuff the intrusion and become aware that it has been attempted. If you are successful, then the target never realizes what has happened.

Memory Wipe (Tier 3) eliminates recent memories from your target’s mind. As with Mind Probe if your target’s mind is protected, for example through Bastion of Thought, they are entitled to try and rebuff the erasure, but the result is not certain. They will, however, become aware of attempt. If a wipe is successful then the target may become disorientated and question “how did I get here”, “what was I doing”, “I’ve never met you before have I”, depending on circumstance. They do not, however, consciously know they have any lost memories.

Concentration: Intense
Life Energy cost: 30 per use.
Effect: You can effectively delete, up to, 1 minute per Rank of your targets memories.
The period you can go back is limited to 12 hours in the past. For every Rank difference between you and your target, in their favor, they gain 20% change to rebuff the intrusion and become aware that it has been attempted. If you are successful, then the target never realizes what has happened.

Gemstone Capacitors can put the massive electrical power of a submarine, or the intense heat output from an industrial furnace, in the palm of the hand. Add to this the ability to create complex remote-controlled robotic devices and the possibilities are incredible. By 1950 we are still at the genesis of a (Dieselpunk) technology revolution… the race is on to recruit appropriately Talented Meta Engineers and to secure carbonado wherever it may be found. But just what are the “nuts and bolts” of what Meta Engineers can do?

 

Gemstone Capacitor → Psytomaton → Enhanced Psytomaton

Gemstone Capacitor (Tier 1) takes a round cut carbonado (“black diamond”), the toughest form of diamond, and manipulates its molecular structure to support the storage of various forms of Energy. The newly created Gemstone Capacitor is unattuned and can be simply considered a “battery” that can be charged by Energize. It is in this form that it finds use as a power source for various non-Psytomaton devices, such as the UV-A Pulse Rifle.

UVPulseRifle

The once controversial extraterrestrial origin theory for the formation of carbonado is given credence with the discovery of its abundance Otherside.

Concentration: Intense, Interruptible
Life Energy cost: Rank maximum, i.e. 50 at Rank 1, 100 at Rank 10.
Effect: Time required 2 hours per Rank. Creates an unattuned Gemstone Capacitor with a maximum energy storage level based on gem size and Rank.

Rank     Carat Wt.     Size (mm)     Energy Max.     Equivalence
1            1                    6.5                  10                        Car Battery
2            2                    7.5                  20                        Truck Battery
3            3                    9.4                  50
4            6                    11.9               100
5            10                  13.6               150
6            15                 16.1                300
7            25                 17.7                600                      Submarine Battery Bank
8            40                 19.1                1250
9            60                 20.5                2500
10          100               30.3                5000

Psytomaton (Tier 2) allows you to create an automaton, that uses no more than 12 cubic inches of material parts and is powered and controlled through a single embedded Gemstone Capacitor. This personally attuned machine is limited to its own physical capabilities. Although the most common Psytomaton is stand-alone this is not necessarily the case, instead becoming a personal attachment, such as an artificial hand.

PsytomotonHand
The size limitation is a factor of how far your thoughts can be pushed out from the controlling Gemstone Capacitor.

Concentration: Active
Life Energy cost: 40 to attune the Gemstone Capacitor to your own mind + 50 per day of construction.
Effect: Construction time, cost, power usage, etc. as determined by the GM. Operation is dependent on Control Link and Extra Sensory Link.

Enhanced Psytomaton (Tier 3) allows the construction of larger and potentially more complex automaton by allowing multiple Gemstone Capacitors to be daisy-chained. So, with 2 Gemstone Capacitors 24 cubic inches of material parts can be used, and with 3 Gemstone Capacitors 36 cubic inches of material parts can be used. Again, this personally attuned machine is limited to its own physical capabilities.

Tracks

Concentration: Active
Life Energy cost: 30 to attune each Gemstone Capacitor to your own mind; limit 2 at Rank 7 and 3 at Rank 10 + 40 per day of construction.
Effect: Construction time, cost, power usage, etc. as determined by the GM. Operation is dependent on Control Link and Extra Sensory Link.

 

Energize → Control Link → Extra Sensory Link

Energize (Tier 1) absorbs energy from another source and then channels that energy into a Gemstone Capacitor for storage, with the Meta Engineer acting as a psychically-protected conduit. This means that grabbing a high-voltage cable, or being engulfed in flame, is possible for as long as the Meta Engineer is holding the Gemstone Capacitor AND it can hold the energy flooding into it. Disaster could result if the energy is too much for the Gemstone Capacitor to store. This energy reservoir can be used later at will. Either in a Psytomaton if the Gemstone Capacitor is attuned or in some other device if not. In the special case of Life Energy, drawn from the Meta Engineers own, there is no need for inclusion in a “device” it simply needs to be touching the skin to tap the contained energy and regain lost Life Energy. Consequently, the gemstone is usually fashioned into jewelry or weapon hilt, handle, or strap. However, the Gemstone Capacitor is attuned to the Meta Engineer during the process and hence only useable by that same Meta Engineer. Other forms of energy storage, however, such as electricity do need some method of engineered access. An area of continual government and commercial research.

Concentration: Intense
Life Energy cost: Life Energy Energize – total available. Other Energy Energize – 1 for 1, i.e. 1 Life Energy protects against the transfer of 1 point of some other form of energy.
Effect: Energy storage limited by Gemstone Capacitor Energy Max.

Control Link (Tier 2) allows you to extend your mind out and connect with the Gemstone Capacitor in a Psytomaton to “see and hear” through it and remote control its physical operation. Essential, for example, to effectively deploy a Spy Bug for illicit surveillance.

Concentration: Active, Interruptible. Becomes Passive at Rank 4.
Life Energy cost: 20 to establish link + (20 – Rank) per hour to use.
Effect: Psytomaton remote operation at a range of 1 mile per Rank.

Extra Sensory Link (Tier 3) allows you to form a complete psychic link with a Gemstone Capacitor such that with concentration you can now use your Talents as if you were there.

Concentration: Passive (Special), Interruptible
Life Energy cost: 30 to establish link + (20 – Rank) per hour to use.
Effect: Psytomaton remote Talent use at a range of 1 mile per Rank. Although Passive the Meta Engineer cannot use other Talents except through the linked Psytomaton.

RemotePilot

In August 2017 I made the annual pilgrimage to GenCon. I had spent weeks looking for an artist who could capture the emotional essence, horror, and in some cases contrasting beauty, of my Othersiders. Not your usual monster manual fare. While walking artists’ row both my wife, Ginette, and I suddenly stopped. Looked at each other and said “that’s it!” We were standing in front of Doug Hoppes’ booth. Over the next few months a true collaboration blossomed resulting in some amazing artwork. The first of Hel, Angel of Death:

Framed

Hel, Angel of Death

With no human language of her own, only telepathic communication, Hel takes “her” name from the thoughts stripped from the mind of the first human being she encounters. In this case a German soldier who sees in her the literary personification of the bringer of death and ruler of the underworld. But not only her name. Knowledge of the world. Although characterized more by her curved horns, sharp teeth, pale waxy skin, jet-black eyes, and pulsing black veins, Hel still has a distinctly, even attractive, female form. Standing at almost 7 ft. she is encased feet-to-neck in black chitinous armor except for her back which is specifically cut to allow for the bone rings set there. She is attended by 6 Supplicants attached via collars and bone chains to the rings in her back. The collars are internally spiked so that the Supplicants have weeping sores to match the wounds caused by the rings that are embedded into Hel’s back at the other end of the chains. These wretched creatures are examples of what can be wrought when flesh and bone become a canvas for a sadistic, twisted, inhuman mind. Using telekinetic abilities her supplicants are levitated and arrayed behind her in such a way as to be reminiscent of wings. Supplicants are miserable, shriveled, creatures that constantly writhe in apparent agony, providing Hel with a disposable source of additional Necrotic Energy. Once exhausted Hel simply makes a replacement.

The second of Hel’s Harvesters:

ActionArt

Harvesters

Harvesters have pale waxy grey-green skin, yellow eyes, razor-sharp pointed teeth, and a sensual, curvaceous, feminine body. With otherwise delicate features, they have neither ears or hair, and exhibit varying degrees of visible pulsing black veins that spread out from a central point at the nape of the neck, up over the head and face, down the arms and torso, eventually covering the entire body. The vein patterns are unique to each individual. Although their hands have dexterous fingers tipped with short, sharp, black claws Harvesters prefer the use of manufactured weapons. In addition, they wear elaborate chitinous armor, including ornately carved half face masks directly pinned to the back or sides of their heads. Observation of their coordinated efforts suggests behavior somewhat analogous with bees. Harvesters share physical commonality with their “Queen”, Hel. Horrific beauty incarnate. Created as adults not born, the same black oily fluid from the vats they emerge from oozing through their veins in a unique pattern that is indicative of their level of psychic ability; the greater the patterning the greater the talent and with it a higher hierarchical standing. Hel representing the pinnacle of this power.

Dieselpunk is at the core of NecroMech, reflected both in both character and world styling as well as technology development. In early 1950, despite almost 5 years since Meta Engineering became possible, technology advances are still in their infancy due to reliance on two rare commodities. Meta Engineers who using their Talents of Gemstone Capacitor → Psytomaton → Enhanced Psytomaton and Energize → Control Link → Extra Sensory Link are able to construct the fantastic. And polished carbonado (“black diamond”) that once made into a Gemstone Capacitor acts as “heart, brain, and eyes,” providing the power for weapons such as the UV Pulse Rifle and Jacob Electric Bolt Gun, enhanced vehicle performance through Metaboost™, or even the interactive control of a Remote Psytomaton Pilot.

Organizations search out Meta Engineers for recruitment to further their agendas, both voluntary and involuntary. At the public forefront are Meta Engineering Technology Associates or M.E.T.A. run by Brian and Brianna Murphy:

Brian

Brian Murphy

Brianna

Brianna Murphy

Fortune seekers venture Otherside seeking carbonado, whose once controversial extraterrestrial origin theory is given credence with the discovery of its abundance there.

Over the coming months we will be exploring all avenues of Meta Engineering possibility. From planes, trains and automobiles to weapons, tradecraft equipment, and even consumer luxuries. As well as the stories behind their development and materials sourcing.

AdventurerAged+Frame

Geared out for the Otherside!

For Special Agents there is even the opportunity to include all things Meta Engineering as part of their in-game back story!

At the core of the philosophy behind NecroMech is the continued addition AND availability of content. To reflect this our Kickstarter updates will focus on what will be included in version 2.0.0. that only our backers will see with release at the conclusion of the campaign.

I decided to start with Gordon Ashton, since this is a character who I see as my own personal alter-ego and a character I would play given the opportunity in one of your adventures.

GordonAshton

Gordon’s background paints the picture of a man with a profound motivation to “Kill Germans”, the opportunity to do so, and the will and tenacity to see the job done.

Gordon loses both his parents, his father a soldier and his mother a nurse working on the front line, to WWI. At age 13 he finds himself at the John Benn orphanage on Bower Street in Stepney, London. Harboring an intense hatred for the Germans Gordon enlists in the army as soon as he reaches his 16th birthday, becoming Private Ashton – 1st Infantry Division, stationed in Aldershot. As part of the British Expeditionary Force, now Sergeant Ashton, is sent to France in September 1939. While being driven back through Belgium and north-western France, for eventual evacuation from Dunkirk in May 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, Gordon earns the reputation of a relentless fighter giving no ground to the Germans unless steeped in their blood. Gordon transfers to the No. 7 Commando in August 1940 and is sent to the Middle East as part of Layforce; fighting side-by-side with Robert Hannay during the Layforce attack on Bardia in April 1941. After agreeing to keep in touch after the war they go their separate ways with Gordon taking part in the battle of Crete, assisting in the evacuation of the Allied forces. However, he is temporarily taken prisoner before killing his 4 German soldier escort and making good his escape. In March 1945, now part of 1st Commando Brigade (after his own commando group is disbanded). Gordon is again captured during Operation Plunder as he crosses the river Rhine at Wessel. This time he is unable to escape after being captured and is taken initially to Stalag 6F in Bocholt only 25km away. However, with the allies pressing forward he and the other POWs are moved east. Unfortunately for Gordon, he is included in a small group identified as particularly “tough and resilient” and sent to Wewelsburg (120 miles away) as test subjects for Dr. Kruckel in his “stitching project”.

What happens next explores how this singular focus together with the impact of his grafts play out in terms of the moral choices he makes and will make. Moral ambiguity is a constant theme throughout NecroMech.

“The tests begin again. The ache in my mouth seems to pulse with anticipation. But I now have control. I will not kill anymore.”

“I remember the first time. Waking with the memory of the torment. Touching my teeth. Not my teeth. Something else.”

“I bang on my cell door. It opens. Escape…”

“Is it the third? No the fourth. Another Nazi lying at my feet. Throat torn out. His blood. But so much more. The memory of another man screaming as the blood pours from his very skin, pulled by some unseen force to shower me in red. My pain is gone. I need more! Wait. What am I thinking!”

“I run on. She comes out of nowhere. We crash to the floor. I sense the very life flowing through her. How? Her proximity fills me a profound, aching, need? What is this feeling? I grab her exposed arm, she screams, the relief, another scream… I must STOP!”

Dieselpunk style is a major component of the NecroMech game world. So for characters with a Tooth Graft from Othersider UX-170 (“Vampire”) that need to hide their deformity, one they are eagerly willing to endure to gain Necrovasculation, Rupture, and Hateful Harvest, a mask is in order. Perhaps something like this that the (cos)player could also wear to the game table!

NecroMechMask

Courtesy of http://www.dieselpunk.ro/