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About MoonRightRomantic

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  1. I disagree. I wouldn’t be interested in a faithful translation of the French version. I read a let’s read on rpgnet and the immortals come across as huge jerks. I prefer the English mailing list’s take on the immortals as human beings with past lives rather than body-stealing parasites.
  2. Yes. That is bizarre. You would think they would update it before releasing the BRP SRD. The current SRD is adapted from the BGB 4e. It doesn't include any revisions made since 2007.
  3. I thought Legend, OpenQuest, GORE, etc already had OGL magic systems?
  4. Is there going to be BRP 5th edition that will include innovations from Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and other rules released since the publication of BRP 4th edition?
  5. I’m currently trying to adapt the past life rules from Nephilim to generic BRP, using Enlightened Magic as a basis. I’m wondering if anyone else already did so or if there is already a past life mechanic scattered among the many d100-compatible books. The simplest method would be to simply generate a whole character for each past life, but I’d like to simplify that so that it isn’t unwieldy in play. I’d like to include additional sub-mechanics like measuring how well the PC recalls the past life, any legacy of the past life that survives to the present (basically like the perks/flaws/traits or similar mechanics in other systems), and the capacity to develop occult traits that don’t degrade between incarnations. It’s a precursor to a full-blown adaptation and revision of Nephilim to modern BRP I’m planning, but I figured the past lives concept could easily be adapted for generic usage.
  6. I've been hanging around the nephilim mailing list, and Shannon Patrick recently uploaded "Ex Oculis" (ExO), an abandoned attempt from ~2010 to try writing a new edition of the game. I've been working through some homebrew ideas for a new edition myself, based on the Enlightened Magic supplement for general BRP. I did plan on taking ideas from ExO, tho. I'd just call the result "Nephilim: Ex Oculis" since I'm not really doing all that much new with it besides general revisions and additions. The biggest change compared to Chaosium's first edition is that the immortals would be written as reincarnating human beings rather than spirits that possess human beings. In terms of lore there would be plenty who undergo radical personality shifts after their awakening, but the PCs would be awakened humans so that players would have an easier time connecting with them. I find it bizarre that gamers would have a problem with playing possessing spirits but not murderous vampires, but whatever. I wouldn't intimidate players with the full secret history starting out, but allow them to discover it during play and leave it more ambiguous and subject to GM whims rather than laying it out as gospel. For example, I'd basically keep Chaosium's secret history from the Gamemaster's Companion the same aside from dividing the ka'im (elemental spirits) and nephilim (awakened humans) into two different species to smooth over the transition; other GMs might decide to rewrite it entirely. A key distinction from other urban fantasy games is the past lives. Unlike certain other games were you have a metaplot that's essentially irrelevant unless you invest in it like a comic book fan, the immortal PCs may have personally taken part in historical events during past lives that can be recalled during play if so desired. Perhaps your character's past life included an architect who designed Göbekli Tepe, a Loa who funded the Haitian Revolution, a Catholic missionary who tried to stop the conquistadors from butchering the Aztecs and Mayans, a founding father of the United States who opposed British rule, a member of the Bolsheviks who sought a better life for your family, or a Slavic vampire lord who fought nazis intruding on your domain by summoning monsters from the Cthulhu mythos. I would include the selenim (mentioned but never published in the Chaosium supplements) and ar-ka'im (from the French 3rd edition) as character options from the onset. The selenim are a mix of succubus and medium who inspired myths of vampires, lycanthropes, and zombies. The ar-ka'im are able to potentially use all eight elements, but their magic reserves are more unstable. The secret history and nephilim are already changed dramatically from the French version, so I would not write them faithfully to the French version but introduce my own twists. For example, the selenim in the French version could not reincarnate due to writer fiat, but my setting would allow them to a la the Blue Blood novels by Melissa de la Cruz. Likewise, I would allow options for nephilim to have eternal youth or mortals to have limited elemental powers (c.f. the Fraternitas Saturni cultivating Saturnian Ka within themselves in Secret Societies). In terms of mechanics revisions, I would adapt the magic points mechanic so that characters would have a reserve of magic points for each of their elemental POW/Ka-Element characteristics. The mechanics for recovering and spending magic points would be more detailed, including consequences for overcharging. I was inspired after reading the French version (where the ar-ka'im's instability was related to overcharge) and the magic point rules in RQ6. ExO introduced a new sanity system based on the madness meters in Unknown Armies, which I liked and wanted to adapt too. This would replace and revise the previous "degeneration" mechanics from Nephilim. There are five madness meters (identity/self, isolation, unnatural, helpless, violence) which are associated with the five elements, and a fifth madness meter just for the immortals associated with their dominant ka. Concepts like khaiba, narcosis, and shouit would be translated into psychological (and possibly magical) disorders. What do you guys think?
  7. The rulebook mentioned eight elements, not six or seven. Sun/Solar, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Moon/Lunar, Black Moon/Lunar, and Black Sun/Saturnian/Orichalka. Alien Ka is such a fascinating concept given Nephilim’s cosmology. In the French, the “shen” (Chinese nephilim, called “xian-ren” on the English mailing list) purified their Air Ka and Lunar Ka to create Wood Ka and Metal Ka (or Qi). Nephilim’s pentacle is identical to the Wu Xing pentacle except for that rename (Air=Wood, Lunar=Metal). IIRC from the archives of the old 90s mailing list discussions, you guys were considering that non-Western nephilim would have different elements (the French version had vaguely similar ideas in its Exiles supplement, like the historical Ghost Dance disabling orichalka in North America). Nowadays, I personally find that unnecessary (and like a lot of 90s RPG material concerning foreign cultures, often extremely ignorant and unintentionally offensive) since Nephilim’s default cosmology already owes plenty to taoist alchemy and other non-Western occultism.
  8. Yep. Even today, what makes Nephilim stand out from World of Darkness is that the protagonists aren’t a*holes trying to conquer the world so they can enslave and/or eat humanity. The secret societies, the villains, are the ones trying to conquer the world and performing mass human sacrifice. That should be obvious from the fact that in the secret history of Nephilim the very mortal secret societies were responsible for the Holocaust. As for the second point, I think that making the game more accessible (e.g. starting as a normal person awakening to the occult underworld, recalling past lives during play, etc) would necessarily require changing the nephilim to awakened humans rather than elemental spirits stealing human bodies. The KaIm can still exist in the lore as the creators of humanity and ancestors of the nephilim, and it makes sense to me that their experiments yielded fruit in the form of humans awakening as nephilim. This would also fit into the multiple modern meanings of the Hebrew world nephilim. It means “fallen ones”, either from grace (fallen angels) or in battle (demigod heroes). The former would be KaIm, the later awakened elemental humans. At least that is what I think. I have been brainstorming a lot on trying to integrate nephilim, selenim, and ar-kaim (and various other weird options like the cruxim and the 666) into the setting as awakened humans, as well as various other cosmological concerns. The original French game was, like a lot of 90s games, really haphazard and messy in its rules and setting. The scanned translation of Selenim, for example, is full of rambling tangents and weird ideas unsupported by concrete rules. For example, one paragraph speculates that Saurians live on Saturn and sent the Orichalka meteor in vengeance for their dead kin. The English adaptation was so much cleaner and concise, even reviews by French gamers applaud it.
  9. Highlander seems to have been a major inspiration for a lot of the urban fantasy roleplaying games of the 1990s. A lot of them were dismissed as knock-offs of White Wolf, but that is unfair. Incoming rant! I for one dislike White Wolf's virtual monopoly on the urban fantasy roleplaying game market for the last thirty-odd years. Whenever people tell me to play a White Wolf game or make reference to their games as some kind of game industry standard (as if no other games exist and White Wolf doesn't liberally steal all their ideas from elsewhere), I get peeved. Most of the reason I am interested in Nephilim is because it isn't White Wolf: even thirty-odd years after its first publication, it's a breath of fresh air in the stagnant American market. Fair enough. As I said, the English fandom had the opposite problem. There seemed to be a general dislike of the nephilim for 1) being body-stealing parasites, and 2) overwhelming new players with massive backstory and complicated character creation.
  10. I’m surprised I only discovered it recently, but apparently the French third edition introduced the idea of “natural” nephilim who are essentially awakened humans. More specifically, the ar-kaïm and “natural” selenim. In prior editions it was mentioned that new nephilim could be born from Nexuses (carried over in English adaptation), but this was later retconned: all nephilim were former KaIm that were imprisoned in stases (in the French stasis was a prison made by secret societies, not nephilim) and incarnated in human bodies. The ar-kaïm were humans awakened with elemental powers but they lacked past lives; one supplement referred to them as “astrological nephilim” (as their character concept was based on zodiac signs). The selenim were mostly former nephilim, but some were spontaneously born from humans like ar-kaïm. They lacked past lives too. What I find odd is that this concept of awakened humans was never carried over to the nephilim proper. I wonder how these concepts could be worked into Ex Oculus. I asked the groups.io list about ExOc and am waiting on a response.
  11. The English adaptation was not a faithful translation. It made a bunch of changes to the lore and replaced core mechanics in supplements. About a decade ago some of the freelancers and other Nephilim fans from the mailing list drafted plans for a new edition tentatively named Ex Oculus. In this setting, the nephilim were changed to reincarnating human souls with elemental powers. It paid lip-service to the prior edition by claiming there was evidence to the contrary without ever showing any and letting PCs choose their own POV. The English adaptation’s awakened human concept appears loosely in the French third edition as the character type Ar-Kaïm. They are awakened humans with elemental powers, but no past lives or ancient identity. They deal primarily with mundane concerns over occult. I would really like to see the English adaptation get a chance to explore its nascent ideas. Concepts like selenim, xian-ren, shamanism, revised summoning, and so forth never got explored in the new lore and rules context. I have no idea how ar-kaïm would be handled therein. With the yahoo group shuttering, the English mailing list archives are being deleted forever and the few people who posted recently have moved to a new list on groups.io opened by Shannon Patrick. Sadly the cost to easy import the yahoo archives is too high ($200 last I checked) so it never sent out a message to the whole member list. Until December this is your last chance to archive anything.
  12. I agree that a BRP Rules Companion would be useful. Things like potency vs severity for diseases/poisons, percentile characteristics, and other innovations from BRP products released since 4th edition. Not only that, but I would love it if forgotten rules from old supplements could be referenced and revised as well, like Nephilim's potency mechanics (expanded from disease/poison to apply libraries and other things) and changing Appearance to Charisma, or RuneQuest's various spirits that could do things like storing power points, healing, causing madness or disease, etc. At least if equivalents don't already exist, do they? The BRP catalogue is extensive and difficult for me to parse.
  13. So the summoning system never received a revision like the sorcery and alchemy systems did. Sorcery was revised in the Liber Ka sourcebook. Alchemy was revised in the unpublished Slaying the Dragon sourcebook. Both systems were revised and reprinted in Enlightened Magic for BRP. The closest we have to a revision of summoning is the third circle spell "Summoning" on page 54 of Enlightened Magic. Could that be expanded into a whole enlightened summoning skill with three circles? Here are a couple extracts from the old mailing list: While I think some suggestions may be needlessly complex, the overall idea is that summoning invocations would be performed as rituals to call and bind an entity into service, or compel an entity that already exists in proximity (e.g. exorcising demons, calming an elemental creature, binding a nephilim/homunculus into oaths of servitude). In general summoning would be more powerful than sorcery, although the risks would likewise be higher. What do you think?
  14. Version 1.0.0


    Original description: "Here are the Alchemy formulas from the rulebook, revised for the system presented in Slaying the Dragon. I'm attaching them to this email as a word document. If anyone has criticisms, feel free to reply." Originally uploaded as attachment to yahoo group 30 Nov, 2011
  15. Yes, Shannon Patrick from the nephilim mailing list. I have been thinking about possible alternatives. Removing the ka roll, and by extension the sacrifice mechanic, has a ripple effect on how casting works because mortal sorcerers rely on the sacrifice mechanic to cast spells. That may not be a bad thing, since the ka roll/sacrifice felt like a needless tax and the elixir holding multiple magic point pools was completely different from nephilim casting anyway. In the Ex Oculus rules, at least the 2010 draft I have, somebody apparently noticed this disparity since in those rules the nephilim track their five ka separately rather than deriving them with math from dominant ka. Since we are talking about selenim too: they spend ka from their ka pool (distinct from their ka core) by default without a sacrifice ritual in a manner similar to the spending of ch'awe. Incidentally, ch'awe was only added in the English adaptation. The saturnian spells in Secret Societies are perhaps the most complex: they require spending ch'awe, a skill roll, a ka roll, a sacrifice of elixir, and a sacrifice of awakened orichalka. The awakened orichalka is sacrificed by spilling the elixir's blood on the metal lump. Both the French and English versions were more complicated than they needed to be and seemed to enjoy inventing new subsystems in every book. I would prefer a universal guideline over these. I think a simpler universal system would be if, I don't know, characters had a magic point pool for each type of ka they had and spent points from that to cast spells instead of ch'awe. If they didn't have the relevant point pool, then they couldn't cast the spell unless they drew it from someone or something else like a sacrificial victim, an elixir, or lump of awakened orichalka. The sacrifice ritual would cost more but provide additional benefit, similar to the various overexertion or action point rules in many RPGs. But that's just one idea. EDIT: Perhaps the sacrifice ritual allows a nephilim to draw from the ka of another nephilim? For example, elemental affinity of a spell relies on who provides the ka; two nephilim could synergise their abilities by having one provide the occult training and another provide the elemental affinity. The secret societies perverted this into a form of involuntary human sacrifice. Definitely. I saw plenty of useful ideas in Ex Oculus (e.g. concealing the backstory about saurians, kaim, atlantis, lilith, etc rather than overwhelming players with it at the start) and various homebrew (e.g. distinguish ka types by evolving/elemental/residual). At the same time, I would prefer to avoid turning it into a clone of Mage: The Awakening or something. With the revisions to alchemy and sorcery from Liber Ka and unpublished Slaying the Dragon (ultimately revised and reprinted in Enlightened Magic), I thought that necromancy and so forth could be represented as black moon spells under those occult skills in the same way as saturnian spells. Since only selenim have black moon, only they could use these spells (but conversely they couldn't use other elements). They didn't necessarily need an entirely new set of skills that essentially do the same thing as the nephilim skills except only for black moon spells. For example, The King in Yellow makes sense as an enchanted work of Black Moon White Stone Alchemy. I didn't mean it in the sense of them casting other elemental magic, just consolidating the eight elements into a unified system. Elixirs are horrifying because their creation generally involves mass murder, and it doesn't make sense that the selenim would gleefully slaughter nephilim to create them. Indeed? What direction would that be? What I personally liked about the selenim lore was its heavy inspiration from Necroscope. The selenim were uniquely able to speak with the dead and build a rapport with them, largely distinct from their history with the nephilim and secret societies. The "ghouls" are essentially just a retread of Dracula's depiction of Renfield as Dracula's servant and vampirism as a gradual infection. GURPS Blood Types has an entry on half-vampires that encompasses several beings in folklore and fiction. What little I could piece together of the selenim from the English books and mailing list archives was definitely uninformed. They were mentioned as inventing sarcophagi as a precursor to stasis object (in the French this never happened, stasis was invented by the secret societies to imprison nephilim), spending periods of time in hibernation (in the French, this wasn't feasible due to entropy; they weren't VtM vampires), and at least their cultists in the Cultes des Goules believed they need human sacrifices and practiced cannibalism (in the French, they were emotional vampires). And the 2nd and 3rd editions introduced a variety of new things like nephilim/selenim hybrids, new selenim being spontaneously born from the spirits of dreamers, and the arkaim who had black moon-ka but didn't suffer from entropy.
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