Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MoonRightRomantic

Nephilim clone?

Recommended Posts

I've never written a retro-clone before, so how would I go about creating a Nephilim clone using GORE as the base? I'd introduce the new core attributes of Education (EDU), Family Relationship (FAM), and Social Status (SOC), and the use of Potentials for things other than poison. I'd be using the revised rules from Liber Ka, Chronicle of the Awakenings, and Slaying the Dragon (available on the Nephilim Ascendant Yahoo! Group), plus advanced past life generation, more historically-based summoning rules, converting the original spells into the new magic system, a new system for income, and a new system for contacts (credits to Liam Routt, Ramos-Tavener, and Josh).

What kind of changes would I have to make to things like fluff and terminology?

Edited by MoonRightRomantic
updated link due to yahoo groups closure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I presume you're tempted to do this because the 3rd edition is no longer BRP-ish, right? Are there specific GORE bits you need that aren't in the MRQ1 SRD? If not, you might consider going with the original (it's downloadable HERE and HERE and HERE), or you could try D100II, or even Legend.

However, you will have to be very careful not to use any copyrighted material or intellectual property in your work. You can re-imagine rules algorithms, but you cannot port over original copyrighted ideas. Certainly you can't officially call it a "Nephilim clone". Your best bet is to go back to the original source material, and then check your writing against the published RPG to ensure that you're not infringing.

On the other hand, you might simply want to create a conversion document to let you use the Nephilim books with BRP rules? What exactly are you planning to create, just the rulebook or also a setting and adventures? Is it for publication or just your own use?

The Dragonsfoot Forums are a good place to get your head around the dos and don'ts of retro-cloning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not getting the reasoning for converting them to Gore... is Gore that different from BRP? Is it just wanting to put the Nephilim rules up for free? I'm confused...

If I were going to make up new material for Nephilim and put it on a blog or somesuch I'd just keep it as BRP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to convert just the rules to GORE in a format that I could then make available for free on the internet.

I would not consider this as absolutely impossible, but at least as extremely

difficult, because the Nephilim rules use a very specific terminology. Just try

to imagine the rules without all of the obvious Nephilim terms like "Ka" or "Si-

mulacrum", because the use of any such rather unique terms could be seen

as a theft of intellectual property. If you want to stay on the legally safe si-

de, the best you could get is a set of rules which is remotely similar to Nephi-

lim, but not a real conversion which is a recognizable Nephilim clone - in the

case of Nephilim the rules terminology and the game's "fluff" are too closely

intertwined to separate them without a loss of content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those terms are not unique. Ka is an Egyptian word whose meaning has varied across time (depending on context it can mean "soul" or "guardian angel"), and Simulacrum is a word referring to any artificially constructed object. Even the names of the summoned creatures are taken directly from The Magician's Companion, a common resource for occultists.

Every term in the game either comes from playing with the English, Latin, and Hebrew dictionaries or from well-known occult terminology. Even the phrase "occult science" predates the game by nearly a century. When it says "occult roleplaying" on the cover, it isn't just a marketing gimmick: any roleplaying game based on the occult can be accused of "stealing" from Nephilim... like Mage: The Awakening, which was written by some of the same writers a decade afterward, and it shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those terms are not unique.

I am not aware of any other roleplaying game which uses the same terms with

the same meaning in the same combination.

Of course the words themselves have a historical background and were not in-

vented for Nephilim. But the way they are used is quite typical for Nephilim. You

could perhaps compare this to Mickey Mouse. The name Mickey, the word Mou-

se and a cartoon drawing of a mouse are not unique - but try to convince Dis-

ney that this means that the combination is not their intellectual property.

So, if you really want to try it, you should either get a permission from whoever

has the Nephilim copyright, or be aware that you take a considerable risk if you

do it without such a permission.

Edited by rust

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Nephilim, some people dont, too esoteric but since I am weird, lol.We ported Nephilim into a modern CoC game. Since I dont play mythos heavy it worked, we changed things a wee bit. We still had the elements, but the PCs were actually Nephilim that awoke in their human incarnations and had to manage the world. Had to accept some changes, a couple PCs actually began the "change" to evolve physically into their Nephilim as the rules suggest. However, we also changed words and concepts into more modern occultish ideas etc, and this was prompted by the players, not me. If you dont know the system well, might be a chore, really. Also, the background world wasnt the same as the game it altered quite a bit. More generic, less angst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw the title "Nephilim Clone" I immediately thought it would reference Chaosium's BRP supplement "Enlightened Magic". This item essentially takes the magic from Nephilim in a form that allows it to be incorporated into any BRP game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2016 at 7:10 AM, Darius West said:

This item [Enlightened Magic] essentially takes the magic from Nephilim in a form that allows it to be incorporated into any BRP game.

Yes and no.  Yes, it originates from Chaosium's Nephilim, but is a broad revision of the sorcery system.  Similar, but different. 

So, yeah, essentially.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
This is one of those moments when you realise that the whole point of posting to the Internet is either to think out loud or draw attention to yourself. Mea culpa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I haven't responded, I've been busy lately. Yes, Enlightened Magic is the latest version of the sorcery and alchemy mechanics. It does have key divergences from Nephilim though, like characters not tracking multiple POW characteristics and not rolling twice to cast spells. There's no skills for summoning, either, since that never received a revision. (The most summoning got was additional spells for manipulating elemental creatures that spontaneously arose from plexus and nexus; ironically, this is very similar in concept to the selenim's conjuration skill from the French third edition.)

The "ex oculus" drafts I got from Shannon almost a decade ago still tracks multiple KA characteristics and requires rolling twice to cast spells (which also determine the mechanics for elixirs). The EM rules do make me wonder whether Nephilim could stand to be simplified. Are there simpler ways to represent the same thing? We also need to take into account the mechanics from other supplements, like the saturnian spells and solar-ka techniques in Secret Societies, the planned Selenim rules, and the Ar-KaIm from the French third edition.

Based on Ian's old preview notes from his long dead prodigy pages site (which I helpfully archived), the tenebrae, necromancy, and black summoning would be introduced as their own skills. However, this is incongruous with the saturnian spells in Secret Societies using the standard nephilim occult techniques of sorcery, summoning, and alchemy. Why can't the black moon spells rely on the nephilim's occult techniques as saturnian spells do? How would these skills manifest differently for the selenim?

The French Selenim and Black Book rules also included mechanics for things like orichalcum addiction and nephilim or muggles being "infected" with black moon-ka, which are very loosely similar in concept to the cultivation of saturnian-ka in Secret Societies. Does black moon infection allow one to cast black moon spells without being selenim? Could selenim or the undead (living or dead humans infected with black moon-ka) cultivate saturnian-ka within themselves? What exactly is the difference between the selenim and the undead?

So many questions that have never been answered.

Edited by MoonRightRomantic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

Sorry I haven't responded, I've been busy lately.

Ha!  No worries.  I accidentally resuscitated an 8-year-old thread by responding to a 3-year-old post.  Any follow-up within a calendar year is positively prompt.

7 hours ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

The "ex oculus" drafts I got from Shannon almost a decade ago...

To be clear, you're referring to Shannon Patrick, right?  Not Shannon Appelcline.

7 hours ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

...still tracks multiple KA characteristics and requires rolling twice to cast spells (which also determine the mechanics for elixirs). The EM rules do make me wonder whether Nephilim could stand to be simplified. Are there simpler ways to represent the same thing?

Ugh, multiple rolls to achieve a single goal.  This sort of thing has been the bane of roleplaying for ages.  As a "mini-game," it only works if interspersed among a narrative.  HeroQuest, which is explicitly narrative, has its extended contests and even those were re-jiggered and simplified from the original to the 2nd edition.  Taking a page, generally, from HQ, if the drama lies within the process of racking up those situational bonuses individually, go for an extended contest (or something very much like it); if the drama lies only in the eventual result, go with a simple one-roll contest and a broad description.

7 hours ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

Based on Ian's [that's me] old preview notes from his long dead prodigy pages site (which I helpfully archived) [egads], the tenebrae, necromancy, and black summoning would be introduced as their own skills. However, this is incongruous with the saturnian spells in Secret Societies using the standard nephilim occult techniques of sorcery, summoning, and alchemy. Why can't the black moon spells rely on the nephilim's occult techniques as saturnian spells do?

Here, you're seeing the exposed surface of the less-than-unified approach to adapting Nephilim to the English language.  Under early editorship (c.1994-95-ish), there was only the translation notes from the core rules, so you have some from-scratch and hog-wild ideas seeing print, like Saturnian magic, Black Fire-Ka, and Templars with 30-round clips of Orichalka bullets as standard issue.  Later developments (under different editors, c.96-98-ish) had the benefit of reference to more translation and popular opinion, and still free reign to deviate as wished or needed.  It's fair to say that any future reboot would benefit greatly from its own, unified, and unique approach to re-envisioning the Nephilim cosmology and interpretation of the occult sciences.

Regarding my approach to the Selenim magics, tenebrae was, in fact, going to track closely to Ka-vision (though Ka-vision was certainly up for revamping) and Black Summoning was going to generally cleave to the the existing summoning rules, though drawing on a different stable of entities.  Necromancy pretty much needed to be its own, new thing, and the Imago was another matter entirely.  Why no Black Moon Alchemy or Black Moon Sorcery?  Limited imagination, I'm afraid -- I wasn't looking past the translation, and maybe I should've.  The Selenim had so much else going for them, and besides, they could always still cast traditional multi-Ka magics using elixirs.

8 hours ago, MoonRightRomantic said:

The French Selenim and Black Book rules also included mechanics for things like orichalcum addiction and nephilim or muggles being "infected" with black moon-ka... [snip]

So many questions that have never been answered.

Yeah, we weren't sure where we were going to go with that one.  The concept was very close the the "ghouls" of Vampire: the Masquerade, and no one was eager to re-tread that ground.  Early (and essentially uninformed) opinion was largely dismissive of the Selenim as a manqué of WoD vampires already.  I really loved the concept of them as Nephilim who sacrificed their spiritual nature to save the rest of their kind, and was eager to take it in that direction.  Today, I'd be inclined to take it in yet another direction still.

So many questions, indeed.

!i!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

To be clear, you're referring to Shannon Patrick, right?  Not Shannon Appelcline.

Yes, Shannon Patrick from the nephilim mailing list.

 

16 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Ugh, multiple rolls to achieve a single goal.  This sort of thing has been the bane of roleplaying for ages.  As a "mini-game," it only works if interspersed among a narrative.  HeroQuest, which is explicitly narrative, has its extended contests and even those were re-jiggered and simplified from the original to the 2nd edition.  Taking a page, generally, from HQ, if the drama lies within the process of racking up those situational bonuses individually, go for an extended contest (or something very much like it); if the drama lies only in the eventual result, go with a simple one-roll contest and a broad description.

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.

 

16 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Here, you're seeing the exposed surface of the less-than-unified approach to adapting Nephilim to the English language.  Under early editorship (c.1994-95-ish), there was only the translation notes from the core rules, so you have some from-scratch and hog-wild ideas seeing print, like Saturnian magic, Black Fire-Ka, and Templars with 30-round clips of Orichalka bullets as standard issue.  Later developments (under different editors, c.96-98-ish) had the benefit of reference to more translation and popular opinion, and still free reign to deviate as wished or needed.  It's fair to say that any future reboot would benefit greatly from its own, unified, and unique approach to re-envisioning the Nephilim cosmology and interpretation of the occult sciences.

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.

 

16 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Regarding my approach to the Selenim magics, tenebrae was, in fact, going to track closely to Ka-vision (though Ka-vision was certainly up for revamping) and Black Summoning was going to generally cleave to the the existing summoning rules, though drawing on a different stable of entities.  Necromancy pretty much needed to be its own, new thing, and the Imago was another matter entirely.  Why no Black Moon Alchemy or Black Moon Sorcery?  Limited imagination, I'm afraid -- I wasn't looking past the translation, and maybe I should've.  The Selenim had so much else going for them, and besides, they could always still cast traditional multi-Ka magics using elixirs.

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. 

 

16 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Yeah, we weren't sure where we were going to go with that one.  The concept was very close the the "ghouls" of Vampire: the Masquerade, and no one was eager to re-tread that ground.  Early (and essentially uninformed) opinion was largely dismissive of the Selenim as a manqué of WoD vampires already.  I really loved the concept of them as Nephilim who sacrificed their spiritual nature to save the rest of their kind, and was eager to take it in that direction.  Today, I'd be inclined to take it in yet another direction still.

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.

Edited by MoonRightRomantic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...