Birth of an Imbued

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you could kill for it? That you would die for it? A regret from the past that you would give anything to fix? Something you can’t imagine your life would be complete without? Have you ever wished that you were just a little better? Smarter? Stronger? That you held the lever which would let you move the world? That you could reach out and claim the impossible dream?

What would you give, to wield the impossible? Fantasies are easy, everyone has those. Power comes to those who sacrifice to have it.

Which leads to the next question: What possible loss makes up for such a gain? What exchange makes this fair? Your life? Life is fleeting, bought and sold for simple material goods. Everyone has life, rendered cheap by the ease at which it’s given and taken. Life is not enough.

Let’s take it a step further, shall we? Instead of the mayfly-flicker of life, would you surrender your very soul? Immortality rejected, eternity offered up as a sacrifice on the altar of fleeting desires?

A steeper price, yes, but is it really that great? The human mind can’t begin to grasp a human lifetime, let alone infinity itself. And besides, one hardly feels attachment to something they haven’t earned and indeed can’t even prove they possess. A soul is not enough.

Self? Hardly. If your ‘self’ was that valuable to you, you would have rejected this offer already.

The dream? Now we’re talking. The very thing you want so very badly is the price you must pay. The certainty that even if one day you get everything you thought you wanted, you will look back on this moment and forever regret saying ‘yes’. A law, as inevitable as time itself.

Why? Maybe the gift is tainted and cursed, a Monkey’s Paw, the machinations of a personal evil spirit, some cruel sense of fate and irony, or perhaps an internal self destructive part of your own subconscious given the power to act against you. There are so many possible answers to that question and none of them change the outcome. There’s only one question that matters.

Will you pay the Price?

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Now, the procedural generation is pretty straightforward and done in steps. I have a series of ten sided dice that I use for percentile rolls. Spoiler alert: I am a total geek.

Race/Sex/Age/Name/Identity/Features

Unless given a good reason otherwise, I roll these and I roll them first and generally in this order. (Exceptions for, say, Los Fieles and Lightbringer… I’m fairly certain the odds of finding black members of a white power group are low…) There’s a weighting in the mechanics… I always reroll either race or identity (whichever’s lower) and take the higher result.

There are plenty of sources out there listing x% demographics of given cities/states/countries/etc. and I use those.

http://names.mongabay.com/data/1000.html
http://www.behindthename.com/top/lists/united-states/1996

These are just a couple of several sources for common names and their percentages.
Rolling age is complicated. 4d10 added together. Any 10s? Roll again, add that to total. Any 1s? Roll again, subtract that from total.

I will also, sometimes, change some of these rolls based on circumstance. Muwth, for example, got an age boost after she was rolled for precognition AND longevity.

Personality Archetypes:

First… Sane People Do Not Say Yes! Imbued dice are weighted by rolling two dice. I actually do roll these for other, normal people.

Extremes (1 and 10) are worth 2 points. Highs (2 and 9) worth 1. All others are various stage of moderate and have no direct impact. middle instead of the extremes. Average rolls should be about .6 per category… drop the one that seems least important after the fact (you keep the 5 of 6 most extreme) and add up the numbers the number. Should average 6. Then divide in half and round up- that’s the number of powers (three) that the average Imbued should see.

1- Security.

1< Extremely insecure, passive, afraid of taking action
10< Other side of spectrum… overconfident, arrogant…

Insecure people tend to express defensive powers and abilities geared to defending the possessor. See both Zach and Anima.

2- Preparation

1< Fly by the seat, reactionary
10< Obsessed with planning

Reactionary powers (Zach) tend to be rapid-fire effects that are reliably spammable. Planning powers tend to be suited for before-engagement prepwork and preemptive response. Gadgeteers tend to be less spontaneous. Muwth got a 10 on this one. Zach a 2 if I recall. Kitten rolled both a 1 and 10- thus elaborate plots that she forgets about later, and the weird obsession with destiny.

3- Reliance

1< “Please help me”
10< “Leave me alone.”

The character’s subconscious emotional need for the support of others. Low rolls tend toward flashy, attention-drawing powers. High rolls tend for evasive or stealth powers.

4- Blame

1< “My fault.”
10< “Their fault.”

High blame, a belief the world is wrong, powers tend to be blatantly offensive in nature. Low blame tends toward powers that put the user in harm’s way. Can almost be considered a “sadistic to masochistic” spectrum for powers.

5- Responsibility

1< “They should.”
10< “I will.”

Seems related to blame… but in many ways the opposite. Zach took a high responsibility role, not willing to let others do for him. It wasn’t too extreme, so he overcame that aspect of his personality. Ferne, the opposite, seeking to work through others.

6- Passion

A bit of a misnomer… it could be changed to “intensity”, maybe, but that’d be wrong to. At least I know what I mean. Protective/creation powers on the low side, destructive powers on the high. Zach and Anima were low spectrum. Kitten high spectrum.

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The powers themselves:

I then roll a few “power seeds” based on the above rolls. Lots of high or low numbers, lots of power rolls and high level features. In short- the more borked in the head that you are, the more power you get. It takes extreme rolls to get Anima or Kitten’s power scale.

I tend to create the “community” first, rolling up the pool of powers and features, then imagining what they’re doing to shape the world. Also, some of the characters here are older than the current rolling system I’m using… Anima was created with a much older variant- as I recall, no “passion” or “prep” charts when her character was imagined.

Kitten’s one of the newest. I noticed she shared a couple feature’s with Zach’s powerset… that’s where I came to the conclusion that was the cause of his powerset and started this train down its path.

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The game. Let us play!

I’m feeling Indianapolis today. Why? Because I’ll need to fill that area out before writing Ariana’s book.

Race/Sex/Age/Name/Identity

92/odd/1+7+8+9+2-3/286 and 293/23 (and 44)

A 24 year old. Odd roll means female (waits for SJW nut to call me bias for this). In ’93, the 289th is Tasha… last name Bates.

I wonder how many “clever” kids made “Psycho” jokes during her childhood? Anyway, low roll (23 and 44) on identity, so she’s well in the hetero camp there… 0 on the Kinsey scale, no notable alternate lifestyle tendencies at all really.

Race a 92 is high, so she’ll be unusual here… her demographics (thank you wiki).

Indianapolis is 69.09% white… 25.5 black (total at 94.5)… making her of African ancestry. Alright, not as unusual as I was expecting. Then again, we are in the monochrome section. Only 2.4% away from being Native American… heh, I’ll just say she has a native great grandparent or something, a story told by her family because everyone in the midwest says they have a native x-ancestor somewhere- trust me, it’s like a law… pure fluff that might never make it into the text…

1- Security.

2,2- Quite insecure. Shy. Defensive power. +2

2- Preparation

9, 1- Two extremes… I’ll come back to you… reactionary is stronger, so maybe she tries to use power in “organized” way, but it’s not good for it? +3

3- Reliance

8, 3- This girl just doesn’t get normal rolls, does she? Not as extreme as others, so I’ll say she has a tendency to be closed off (see security), but can be quite warm and accepting when she’s warmed up. A fairly normal “shy girl” layout. This is what passes for her mid-scale and won’t influence powers. +0

4- Blame

2 and 2 again. People are going to start thinking I made these rolls up. She’s someone who puts the world on her shoulders. She may hate herself a little. Masochistic power angle. +2

5- Responsibility

7, 2- argh!… Okay, so she blames others for problems pretty heavily overall. I’m starting to see an activist personality, here. One that prefers working behind the scenes. +1

6- Passion

2 and 10. Jeebus. Destructive power. +3

And I thought Anima rolled woobie-of-the-year. This girl’s life is hell, and she has the raw power to show for it. A total of 7 of 12 are high. 2 of 12 are extreme. Only 3 of twelve rolls came up from 3-8. With an average of 3 and a max of 20, she’s sitting at 11.

…. See you six rolls from now…

Recovery (mental boost)

Enhanced Abilities

Environmental adaptation

Animation (summon creatures)

Possession (Oh jeebus)

Power Manipulation

Okay, so one powerset huh… with possession, animation and power altering ability… yeah, okay, this girl’s a nightmare. I’m imagining her as a strange form of “Gifter” that merges with others, sharing and amplifying their powers on a number of levels. While in this state, they lose consciousness.

Now in possession of their shared powersets and abilities, is hers to control for the battle. It would be so much more terrifying if a different person had the power, since she doesn’t exploit the “body snatch” aspects at all.

Instead, she goes into battle for others, so they don’t have to.

She’s far more durable than any human, and even most superhumans… with her in possession of their powers and knowledge… yeah, it hurts, but she’s a strong girl, she can take it…

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15 thoughts on “Birth of an Imbued

  1. This constitutes a “while we wait for me to get to the next story” bonus section. Because I’m like that. Now you know the care that goes into every character I make.

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  2. You say that to get powers you have to give up your dream, but it seems in the story that the people who we saw get powers all got it after the dream was already lost, so it seems less like you choosing to give up the dream and more you lost it here’s superpowers as a consolation prize.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That doesn’t address the point though. They didn’t really give up the dream to get their powers. It’s more like they lost a dream and then get the option to make a completely different trade off for powers.

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        1. Humans are allowed to have more than one dream, you know. Alex even checked to see if there was a “bring Ferne back” option… and he should thank his lucky stars there wasn’t…

          Also, it isn’t “you give up a dream”… it’s “You can have your dream… but you’ll regret it.” And, yes, Prices can totally be retroactive… and many are natural consequences of receiving their powers. Zach’s being outed, for example, was all but inevitable after his surge.

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  3. I get what Cass is saying though. Its not quite as tightly cause/effect as one might expect at first. For example, Kitten didnt necessarily give up her conscience/morality. I would envision something like her wanting to get revenge for the torture of family members, but being to squeamish and weak until she made her pact and paid her price. And it *might* have gone that way, right? But she could also have been a total little *^%#! before hand that gave up something unrelated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there has to be room for ambiguity in case I screw up later.

      What’s not ambiguous: Powers do not alter personality. That’s fanon contamination from a different series. All personalities are a result of their own individual demons… powers just tend to go to those who are ALREADY messed up in the brain pan.

      Don’t worry, you’ll learn more about Kitten soon enough.

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  4. Pingback: Interlewds | Price
  5. Uh…Is it just me or does Tasha’s power set look a lot like what Alex got ? Also I hope you’ll keep her around for the story, has rather good potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex got straight up possession.

      Tasha got power-mimicry. And, yeah, she’s sticking around. In Triplicate has awkward attempts at a hetero relationship. Unspoken can have awkward attempts at a lesbian relationship.

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  6. …I am a an idiot who just failed at reading comprehension, she takes the power and knowledge and adds it to hers pulling a temporary Rogue on them, as opposed to entering their bodies, enhancing and “wearing” them. Dunno how I could make that mistake, guess I must be tired or something.

    And good to know she’s sticking around and that she seems to have become a rather signifiant character in Arianna’s story to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

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