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  1. Two things traveled faster than light among the Sable Krewe: rumors and fear. The first because they were fun and second because the Tesla Cabal was terrifying and omnipresent outside of the bounds of the city. So when a full Circle of Technicians showed up on the outskirts of New Orleans, it took less than an hour for word to spread even to those currently out and about in the Upper. Calls were being made to come to the Under for safety and to try and figure out who did what that had the Cabal sniffing around. As Nym zipped her way around the Upper to gather people up, several members of the Krewe received "special invitation". Jack LaMontagine was 26 minutes into an hour long massage with Ruby Staddler, a regular client that swore by his "magic hands" for her relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Even if nobody got just how true that was, it was still nice to be appreciated. From behind him he heard Madelaine's voice call out, "Jack, please come here." Sheer shock at hearing the mage's voice in the Upper propelled him away from Ruby with a murmured, "Just a moment, Ms. Staddler," and through the doorway of his office. On the other side wasn't the small waiting area that should have been there. Instead, he found himself standing in center of the Under's amphitheater and greeted by the triumvirate that effectively ran the Under: Madelaine, the resident mage of note; Puck, who's superpower seemed to be seducing anyone with a sex drive, and Captain Nola, the spirit of New Orleans. Hundreds of members of the Krewe were already inside the amphitheater, with more streaming in to add to the chorus of whispers. The air was thick with fear and confusion; notable members of the community were directing people to sit quietly, make room for others, and wait for the meeting to start. He could hear the word "Technician" repeated over and over in the whispers. Elsewhere, Belle Fontenot was spending a lazy early-summer day in her shop. Which is to say it was annoyingly hot, the fan was only so much help, and air conditioning was for the rich and weak. Of which Belle was neither. Little Nym bounced into the shop looking sweaty and hyper. "Close up, you gotsa meeting to go to! You know where! Gotta run!" The short forever-preteen had turned on heel to bounce out as quickly as she'd come in when a young white man - almost stereotypically light-haired and blue-eyed - burst in just in front of her. He stumbled to the side, clutching a hand that looked withered and burned at the same time. Blood smeared down his face and smudged his tattered button-down shirt and jeans. He leaned against the wall next to the door, breathing heavily and clearly in a great deal of pain. "Help, please help me. I need sanctuary!" Belle's mind reeled the moment he'd stepped in: chaotic images flashed across her second sight of faces, intricate spellwork, and strange mechanical cogs. She could smell steam and thick, acrid smoke along with the harsh copper tang of blood that wasn't quite right. Low whispered chanting, metalic squeals, the hiss of steam through pipes, and winding through the entire cacophony the screams of souls - something she'd never actually heard before but knew exactly what it was the moment the "sound" hit her and knew with that same iron certainty that it would fuel nightmares for the rest of her life - assailed her. And stamped over the whole ghastly mess was the eldritch stamp of the Tesla Cabal. Standing in front of her, begging for help, was a Tesla Technician.
  2. The Under Captain Nola, the spirit of the city, has never explained what or even where the Under actually is. No one’s sure if she just doesn’t know or if explaining the mysterious place would somehow unmake it - or if she just likes watching people squirm while they try to figure it out. Any of three are just as likely as the others, and in the end it doesn’t really matter. The Under both parts magical city and safe haven for the supernaturals of New Orleans to gather away from the omnipresent eye of the Tesla Cabal. The main entrance is aboard the Spirit of New Orleans, the river boat that Nola captains. The boat is publicly billed as a fun “haunted boat” experience and spends nearly all it’s time moored off a dock in the French Quarter. The door that leads down into the lower decks of the boat is marked “Staff Only” - and ensorceled so that only supernatural beings can actually open it into the Cabin District of the Under. There have been a few interesting accidents of people that didn’t know they were supernaturals getting a real big, real quick, introduction to the Sable Krewe that way, but for the most part it has worked just fine. The boat in its entirety is spelled to be uninteresting to Cabal members. The more powerful mages can likely overcome it, but then they have Nola to deal with. After the last standoff ended with Hurricane Katrina and the people of New Orleans still refusing to abandon their city and heritage, the Cabal has walked more softly around it’s dealings with the area. The Under has numerous districts - so called because they’re sections of the Under that move together when the Under decides to rearrange itself. Here are some well-known districts, feel free to add new ones during gameplay. Please send me any details you want for the new district and I'll update it here. Sunbright has a warm and bright orb floating over it that replicates sunlight. Long arguments are had about where the orb came from. Despite the warmth and plant-growing properties of the orb, it isn’t true sunlight. Bed-and-breakfasts popped up in the district as it became a popular vampire vacation spot and tourist attraction. Crystal Bridges always has water flowing through it - the Under sports several waterways that haven't really been named because they move and generally lack distinct features to determine which one is where now - with literal crystal bridges growing over the banks. The Tower district is a mage stronghold where they once tried to build a tower tall enough to find out if there was an actual ceiling to the Under. Something happened and there's different claims about exactly what. There's a large marble tower broken off and scorched at the top of what's left. All the towers left in the district are required to be shorter than that - in fact, it became a requirement of all buildings in the Under. No one tries to reach whatever's at the top of the Under anymore. The Broken Tower is the sole province of Madelaine, a known and powerful mage of the city. Snowgarden is a district that is always cold. Sometimes it snows and no one can figure out how or why. In the center of the district there is a garden that grows supernatural plants that are all winter or cold related. It’s beautiful, but staying in the garden too long can lead to frostbite or death. There are guards that clear the garden out every hour or so. Thornbrush is the goblin market in the Under. It makes changelings somewhat nervous, as true Thorns can be found growing there, but the district otherwise acts just like the others - growing and shrinking as needed and moving about with about the same regularity as the others. There are Hedgegates in Thornbrush and in fact those are the only entrances that seem to exit to a different place out of Thornbrush (as opposed to an entrance/exit on Earth). The Cabin district is the district directly around the entrance from the Spirit of New Orleans; it feels like the dock city New Orleans started as. Buildings are made of shiplap and dark tar, the lighting is torches, gas lamps, and paper lanterns. The air always smells of spices, alcohol, and seawater, and the best cajun food and drinks come from here. Even the actual city Above has a hard time competing. The Night Flower district is so named not for plants but for the business of the most famous of residents: Puck. He runs a combination of night club, bar, brothel, burlesque show, and pretty much any other flavor of sensual, seductive, mind-altering experience people would like to have. The complex is called the Gardens. He’d long referred to his employees as the ‘Guild of Night Flowers’ and many of the rooms in the building complex are named after specific flowers - often actually after the working names of those that serviced the rooms. Puck himself is an integral part of both New Orleans and the Under’s survival and growth. He runs a network of people across the world that help supernatural refugees get from one place to another, set up new identities, and even find final haven in New Orleans. He also fairly regularly puts out calls for orphaned children in need of new families. If players need some ‘in’ to the Under, Puck is there to provide. The specific bar/dance club area that most people socialize in is called the Butterfly Garden.
  3. The Simple System Aspects represent a character’s overall being and broad aptitudes. They fall into three arenas: Mental, Social, Physical. Mental covers how they think and their skill at puzzling through life in general. Social covers how well they interact with others and how they go about it. Physical represents the person’s bodily control and fitness. For each Disadvantage you take you gain two Advantages to spend on defining your character’s positive Aspects. Skills follow the same rules as Aspects (for each Disadvantage skill you take, you can take two Advantage skills, all must be spent within skills), but these represent competencies the character has acquired through training. While there is overlap with Aspects, skills should be more focused and not have descriptors like “athletic” or “brainy” but instead like “cross-country running” or “computer programming”. Skills can be broad or narrow, but their Disadvantaged skill must match in the widest breadth of the two skill Advantages bought with it. Basically, try to keep it balanced and not game the mechanics. Some things in life aren’t covered by Aspects or Skills. Things like Wealth, Family Connections, Allies, Professional Backing, are all important parts of certain characters. They fall under the Perks category and work just like Aspects and Skills. If your game has superpowers or other supernatural components, just place them in a fourth category (usually titled Powers) that follows the same rules as above. Easy peasy. Rolling the Dice: Check your descriptors for ones that seem appropriate to the scene. Roll 1d6 + 1d6 for each Descriptor that applies. For each Advantage applied, remove the lowest result. For each Disadvantage applied, remove the highest result. You’ll be left with 1d6 at the end; match the number to the chart below and let that guide your character’s actions for the scene. Bollix! Not only did you fail, things got worse in some other major way. Have fun with it! Well, that didn’t help. . . You failed. What’s that? You failed, but doing so has some small side benefit for the character. Drat! You succeed, but doing so causes some complication or setback in the scene. Phew! You succeed. Excellent! You succeed and gain some other major benefit for the character. Combat Style - This can be “martial arts” or “assassin” or “drunken teen” or even “fat kid slappy”. Just a description of how your character fights. It doesn’t give Dis/Ad, just is a guide for writing. That’s it. This isn’t a combat simulator system, just a guideline for characters and too keep PCs from being perfect at everything or having no interesting flaws to write with. Also, when rolling does come into the picture, it should be for a thematic event, not a blow-by-blow rolling. For small, quick combats, roll once. For larger or longer scenes, roll three times: first act, second act, final act. As with any system, the ST has the right to adjust descriptors to suit their story or to disallow anything they think might break the game. A note on powers and other highly unlikely things for people to be able to do without training: if you’re not a werewolf, your character can’t shapeshift like a werewolf. Likewise, if you’re not a trained surgeon, heart surgery isn’t something you should be rolling for. This system is to introduce a bit of random chance to a written narrative, not simulate all of life perfectly. Don’t make a roll for something your character flat-out can’t do and be willing to give an “untrained” Disadvantage on stuff that’s specialized enough and they don’t know. Example: Little Nim Aspects: 8/4, that's the 2:1 ratio you're looking for Mental 4/1 Advantages: Quick Witted, Observant, Devious, Eidetic Memory Disadvantages: Distractable Social 2/2 Advantages: Adorable, Looks Innocent Disadvantages: Look Like a Little Kid, Too Curious For Your Own Good Physical 2/1 Advantages: Swift, Nimble Disadvantages: Small Skills: 6/3 Advantages: Acrobatics, Pickpocket, Lock Picking, Eavesdropping, Linguistics, Manipulation Disadvantages: Uncouth, Luddite, Lying Perks: 2/1 Advantages: Everybody's Little Sister, Entrenched in the Sable Krewe Disadvantages: Never a Mover or Shaker Powers: 2/1 Advantages: Zip (Superspeed), Unaging Disadvantages: Never Grow Up
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