Hell's Garden REDAMNATION

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You can't escape Hell so easily.

Hell's Garden (classic)

Rules

Resolution is roll Xd6 and compare success counts. The default success number is 4 but this may be raised or lowered by circumstances. No successes and 1/2 or more 1s rolled produces a botch. Three sixes in a row anywhere in your roll is a critical success.

Idol

A character's idol is what they wish to be or achieve. Sisyphus has the idol of getting the boulder to the top of the hill. Tantalus has the idol of eating a good meal. Lucifer has the idol of overthrowing Heaven. Idols are not (always) impossible to achieve, but are always difficult to achieve, and to keep hold of or find lasting satisfaction from.

Achieving or moving toward your idol regenerates Will.

Torment

A character's torment is what they want to avoid but are doomed to constantly confront, such as being enslaved, losing somebody precious, or being burned alive. Characters have a reduced ability to avoid or resist their torment (typically +1 difficulty on some relevant roll), but enduring it without losing their way can grant a special determination and insight into the hell they are immersed in.

Suffering your torment can generate Fate.

Fetters

A fetter is something a character's afterlife is metaphysically bound to and which forms part of their image. Each fetter increases your hit points by 1.

All fetters have one or more manifestations. These are concrete changes to appearance or behaviour. Breaking your fetter has two consequences: you suffer a penalty to actions until it is reestablished, and events will conspire to make this happen. Willpower can stave off this fate.

  • Example: Inoue has the Bloody Bokken fetter. This bloodstained wooden sword was the weapon she used to murder her cheating (old) boyfriend and she carries it with her everywhere. She wants to meet with Narumi to buy information on the whereabouts of her kidnapped (new) boyfriend Hoktuhetiel, but the shrine maiden has a no-weapons policy in the shrine. If Inoue accepts this, she feels vulnerable while she is disarmed (suffering a penalty) and if she spends too long inside it is probable that a passing riot will smash the weapon rack and hurl her sword back to her.
  • Example: Rin is normally a model Pandaemonium Academy Student. But when approaching the classroom she overhears Euthie loudly telling everyone about Rin’s secret manga stash. She expends a point of Will to cut class for that day without suffering a penalty or being dragged back in by circumstances.

If two fetters have contradictory manifestations, a character may cancel one by manifesting the other. However if left too long the penalties will apply as normal. Alternatively, they may purchase a mitigation to bend it long-term.

  • Example: Narumi has both the Shrine Maiden and Pandaemonium Academy Student fetters. She can ignore the uniform code in order to perform her shrine duties in miko costume - but if she cuts a full day of class to goof off in the shrine, she will feel uneasy and the disciplinary committee will take note.
  • Example: Aisha, delinquent leader of the Panda Academy Decents, is a Pandaemonium Academy Student, but has a mitigation that lets her wear flats, headscarf and ankle-length skirt. By contrast, the lesser gang members only dare to break the rules temporarily when hanging out with her.

Fetters may also impose boons and curses. Inoue’s bloody bokken is a powerful weapon that lets her beat her enemies to pulp, if she is carrying it. Conversely, accidentally suicidal arsonist Liya is vulnerable to fire damage due to her Burn Victim fetter, even though she can control flame through her domains.

Note that these metaphysical mechanics do not change the logic of the character's interactions with the environment and other characters. Rin can avoid penalties by expending will, but will still have to explain herself if caught by an authority figure. Characters without Burn Victim may have no special vulnerability to fire, but still take damage from it.

Stats

Power (P): Physical power and strength.
Finesse (F): Physical precision and swiftness.
Toughness (T): Resistance to pain and injury.
Sensation (S): Situational awareness, mental agility and keen senses.
Intellect (I): Mental horsepower.
Charisma (C): The ability to dominate a situation and attract attention.
Deception (D): The ability to deceive others about your nature and intentions.

Skills

Skills are binary: you are proficient or not. If you have a skill, the difficulty of relevant rolls is reduced by one. Some actions may be especially difficult if you lack a particular skill.

Academics (specify): A field of study such as mathematics, history or law. The class you pay attention in.
Athletics: Proficiency in advanced physical feats such as long-distance running, acrobatics, or contests of strength.
Craft (specify): The ability to create objects out of materials without metaphysical exertion. Includes creative arts like painting or writing.
Delinquency: Streetwise. Dealing with the underside of Hell.
Etiquette: Good manners. Dealing with the less-underside of Hell.
Lore (specify): Knowledge of some topic, such as the Fallen hierarchy, youkai, or the 666 mysteries of Pandaemonium Academy.
Martial Arts (specify): Some martial art or other. Reduces difficulty for 2 chosen moves, or 3 if a weapon is required.
Military: Strategy, tactics and logistics.
Occult: The ability to meddle with infernal objects built according to a magical paradigm.
Rule: How to dispose of human and inhuman resources.
Perform (specify): A performance art such as dance or music.
Servant: How to wash dishes, serve tea and iron clothes.
Sneak: How to conceal your presence.
Technology: The ability to meddle with infernal objects built according to a technological paradigm.

Will and Fate

Will is your reserves of determination. Characters have a permanent Will that determines the maximum they can stockpile, and is sometimes rolled to defend against some mental assaults (many use Sensibility or Intellect instead).

A point of temporary Will can be spent to:

Add a success to a roll.
Invoke a domain.
Resist a fetter.

Will can be recovered by:

Time and rest.
Moving toward your idol.
Other special circumstances.

Fate represents special insight and determination born of suffering torment without giving in. A point of Fate can be expended to reroll a roll and keep the higher result, or edit a scene or scenario in accordance with your Torment or Fetters. The maximum Fate that can be stockpiled is 3. Fate is gained by suffering one's torment, but only if a character makes meaningful efforts to avoid it or has a pressing reason to accept it. Learned helplessness is the path to scenery, not power.

Combat

Global effect: Damage rolls gain +1 success because Hell is awful.

Offensive moves include:

Strike: Roll Power or Finesse to attack, and then Power to damage.
Smash: Roll Power at +1 difficulty to attack, and then Power at -1 difficulty to damage. Finesse rolls to defend before your next turn are at +1 difficulty.
Pin: Roll Power or Finesse to attack, and then Power to impose levels of tangle.
Throw: Roll Power or Finesse to attack, and then Power to move the enemy.
A character can feint by rolling Deception against Sensibility. This increases the difficulty of the attack roll by 1 but if successful also increases the difficulty of the defence roll by 1 and can disguise the attack as a different type.

Some tools or appendages may change the relevant rolls, such as using a whip to pin with Finesse.

Defensive moves can be blocks or dodges, and include:

Nix: Roll Finesse against the attacker's roll to negate the attack.
Parry: Roll Finesse at +1 difficulty to defend. If successful, can roll Finesse at +1 difficulty to counterattack in that instant.
Counter: Offer no defence, but strike the enemy after they attack you.

If you fail to defend or opt not to, damage is soaked with Toughness on a 1:1 basis. Some attacks may have increased soak difficulties.

Conditions include:

Tangled: Being grappled, wrapped in drider webs, mired in gore, etc. Each level of tangling imposes a -1 dice penalty on actions. If dice count for an action hits zero, that action becomes impossible. This condition may also have additional effects depending on circumstances, such as needing a Power roll to move against the will of someone grabbing you. A tangle can be weakened or broken by a power or finesse roll (sometimes only one may be valid) against an opposed roll or fixed difficulty.
Dazed: Lack of mental coherence and focus. A consequence of mental attacks, trauma, and so on. Increases difficulties. Fades by itself.
Mauled: Massive structural damage. A consequence of grave injuries. Makes certain actions impossible or very difficult. Heals naturally over time, more quickly with care.

Every character has hit points equal to their toughness, +1 per fetter. Damage beyond these is applied directly to Power or Finesse ratings (depending on the attack) and causes Mauled status. If either Power or Finesse hits zero, the character is incapacitated.

Cooperation & Social Attacks

Bluff: Attack with Deception, defend with Sensation. Success lets you conceal an action (performed concurrently at +1 difficulty) as something else plausible.
Taunt: Attack with Charisma, defend with Intellect. Success goads the character to attack you, success at +1 difficulty goads them to attack a (plausible) target of your choice.
Demoralise: Demoralise is a special form of attack or defence, based on weakening the will inside a target or behind an attack. To defend with demoralise, you can roll charisma instead of dexterity or toughness when defending or soaking. To attack with demoralise, you can roll charisma contested by the target's willpower to impose +1 difficulty on their rolls until they recover (typically one round).

Social attacks can be heavily affected by stunting and character. Stunting is particularly good at fudging the scope of 'plausible'.

Cooperation is when two or more characters work together to accomplish an action. For example, tipping a vat of lava onto an enemy at the same time as another character stabs them. This is handled on a case-by-case basis but could increase or reduce difficulties, sum successes, or add bonus dice to a roll.

Domains

Domains are dominion over some aspect of infernal reality.

Every domain has a keyword and a power rating. The keyword governs the nature of the domain and the power rating its power. When a domain is invoked, the character spends a point of Will, then rolls its power rating in dice and adds its rating in automatic successes.

Domains also have a defined scope from the following lists:

Target (one free)

  • Self: yourself
  • Other: some particular other thing or person
  • Scene: larger elements of the scene (this can attack small targets, but at +1 difficulty)

Range

  • Touch: You need to touch the target (free)
  • Local: Can target within a few dozen metres (prereq Touch)
  • Distant: Can target in line of sight (prereq Local)

Duration

  • Momentary: one round or less (free)
  • Transient: one scene (prereq Momentary)
  • Persistent: long-term (prereq Persistent)

Effect (one free)

  • Damage: Break stuff (like people)
  • Repair: Fix stuff (like people)
  • Create: Create substantial things
  • Move: Move things
  • Transform: Otherwise alter things (specify)
  • Scan: Gain information about things

Some domains have special modifiers. These can increase or decrease the cost of purchasing a domain at chargen or with experience.

Modifiers

  • Coincidental (-1 cost): effects take place through coincidences over time, being less convenient but more deniable.
  • Condition (-X cost): the domain has a condition for use, such as only being usable when injured.
  • Onerous focus (-2 cost): the domain can only be used through some non-trivial process such as a magic ritual or use of technology.
  • Sympathetic (+1 cost): the domain can target things by sympathetic connection.

Special Qualities

Some characters may have special qualities like wings, fire blood, or goat legs.

  • Bad Blood (2): When injured, acid or fire or something else nasty splashes out, doing dice of attack and damage equal to damage taken.
  • Digitigrade (1): Movement speed is enhanced (+1 success and -1 difficulty on contested rolls).
  • Sense Organ (1+): Eyes that can see heat, antennae that can sense air currents, the ability to smell lust or wrath or greed.
  • Wings (3): You can fly.
  • And more! Ask the GM.

Chargen

  • NOTE: XP costs below were doubled to restrain growth rates
  • Specify Genus (demon, devil or damned).
    • Demons have an additional point that can be spent on a special quality.
    • Devils have an additional die on domain invocation rolls.
    • Damned have +2 hit points.
  • Specify Idol and Torment.
  • Characters have 25 experience points to distribute among stats (max 7), or buy skills at 2/per. These points can also be spent on special qualities.
  • Characters have the Pandaemonium Academy Student fetter automatically.
  • You also have 15 experience points to purchase domains, fetters, willpower, or additional stats, skills and qualities.
    • 1 point purchases a power level for a Domain (max 4), or two elements of scope. Coincidental reduces the point cost by 1, Onerous Focus by 2. Sympathetic increases it by 1. The minimum cost of a Domain is 1.
    • Additional fetters cost points depending on the fetter, 1 for a fetter with no particularly major effects. The cost of a fetter is affected by how onerous the manifestation is and can be further reduced by curses or increased by boons on a case by case basis. The limit for starting fetters is 3, including P.A. Student.
    • Characters have a WP max of 5 automatically. Each additional point of max costs 1 point (max 10).
    • Record starting health (Toughness + 1 per fetter)

NPCs

Fetter: Pandaemonium Academy Student

Manifestation: School Uniform
Students wear the appropriate uniform for whatever they are doing.
Boys: black jacket with spiked shoulders, studded leather harness, black trousers, jackboots.
Gym: red & black athletic shorts
Girls: black & red short-sleeved dress with corset & chest cutout, black thigh-highs, black & red high-heel boots. See regulation 4125 for permissible territory ratios.
Gym: red & black athletic leotard
Other: please see admissions desk.
Manifestation: Class Attendance
Students attend their scheduled classes.
Schedule: breakfast, morning classes, lunch, afternoon classes, free evening & club activities, curfew.

Mook Student

2 in every stat
No skills
Fetter: Pandaemonium Academy Student

Named Student

1 stat at 3, the rest at 2.
1 skill, typically Athletics, Perform, Craft or Academics.
Fetter: Pandaemonium Academy Student

Pandaemonium Academy

John Martin - Pandemonium.jpg

Sin Ontology Society

  • Sato-sensei (staff advisor)
  • Muraxi
  • Inoue
  • Simone
  • Fuuki
  • Leliuerl
  • Ajun#'rexa: female-form elder thing. Hungry for information.
  • Ks#rya: male-form elder thing. Patiently constructing identity.
  • Rayzeal: Fallen angel. Corruption in progress.

Pandaemonium Academy Student Council

President Venus Heylel: The spawn of Lucifer and queen of the student body. Wears the Superbia armband.
Vice-President Cathexis: Master of the dark flame. Popular among male-oriented students. Wears the Invidia armband.
Disciplinary Officer Takahe: Icy volcano demon noted for her loyalty to Heylel. Wears the Ira armband.
Treasurer Platephon: Devil widely hated among clubs for his miserly and manipulative disbursing of funding. Wears the Avaritia armband.
Events Officer Moer: Demon noted for her five heads, to eat, drink, breathe, talk and sleep without bottlenecking. Her dorm room is a 24/7/666 party, but not everyone who enters leaves. Wears the Gula armband.
Student Welfare Officer Xurael: A devil who has particular concern for the development of her fellow students - where Takahe prunes, Xurael cultivates. Widely feared for the fate of those she takes personal interest in. Wears the Luxuria armband.
The Councillor-Without-Portfolio: A demon who has never been seen in class or council. The name on the student rolls is a glyph of great complexity and unknown pronunciation. Wears the Acedia armband, supposedly.

Disciplinary Committee

Known colloquially as 'DisCom', this is the students internal enforcement authority. It deals with intra-student disputes over contracts, clubs and council politics. Strong, judicious or sadistic students can go far here, if they don't mind the hatred of other students and subservience to Takahe and Heylel.

Staff

The Staff of Pandaemonium Academy govern the day-to-day afterlives of the students and keep the school running. Most are minor demons and damned pressed to serve, but there are many more powerful entities present in search of asylum, career advancement or simply a captive audience for their mad teachings and investigations. The teachers and administrators ultimately answer to HEADMASTER, the almost-mechanical demonic presence that controls the school and is accountable only to the Student Council.

Enforcement

Pandaemonium Academy's equivalent of criminal law. Matters of the formal school rules - class attendance, uniform code, homework and so on - are dealt with by the staff's enforcement arm, with support from the Disciplinary Committee of students. Their fearsome black-clad stormtroopers have recently been augmented by increasing numbers of robots.

Clubs

Occult Club: The Occult Club under the devil Muzanar plumbs the secret laws of the universe and the deep history and mysteries of the school. Recently it has found itself fighting a rearguard action against new developments paving over them.
Science Club: The Science Club under ambitious damned Nozomi Mia is concerned with bringing more and more school operations under mechanisation - and so expanding its power and influence.
Fight Club: Fight Club is not a specific martial arts club, but interested in picking fights in general outside any consistent framework of rules.
Compensated Dating Club: Provides professional support and professional protection - at a price.
Roleplaying Club: Helmed by the satanist roleplayers of the 1980s, whose rituals went horribly wrong. Woe betide those shanghaied into one of their LARPs.
Sports: The predatory sports clubs of Pandaemonium ruthlessly pursue new grist for the mill of athletic achievement. Many who join willingly or can't avoid the recruiters are rapidly ground into mooks by the brutality of infernal competition, but those who can thrive and bring glory to their club and Pandaemonium Academy can recieve remarkable privileges.

Delinquents

Organisations unsanctioned by or outright opposed to the school authorities.

Good Works Alliance: Rogue doers of good deeds, ostensibly.
Panda Academy Decents: Girl gang noted for their long skirts and headscarves.

Locations

Dormitories: Normal students must take their luck with Rattling House, Jaguar House, Bat House, Razor House and Hot House. A berth in Dark House, which is almost livable, is a highly desirable prize. Some students take their chances outside the dorms, but given the things that roam the halls at night, not many do this for long.
Dark House looms.
Underschool: Behind the normal classrooms and facilities is a warren of utilities and storage tunnels. Both people and things can be stashed here, lost here, and forgotten here.
Getting away from it all.
Gardens
Detention

World

Critters

Common Demons

Gallu are burly demons with horns, fangs and red skin, and one of the classic demons that inform common mortal perceptions due to their deployment to mortal summoners as muscle. Male Gallu tend to have inhumanly impressive upper body musculature and shoulder span. Female Gallu vary depending on local paradigm and fetters - at Panda Academy they tend to cut a slimmer, athletic figure. Gallu have high Power and Toughness.
Barbatoi have goat legs, goat horns, and often goat heads or at least goatees. They are one of the other classic demons known to mortals due to their prominence in dispensing occult knowledge and drawing up infernal contracts. Barbatoi are traditionally intellectual and are often found in positions of bureaucratic authority or professional expertise. Barbatoi have high Intellect.
Baphomet (ret.), lord of Barbatoi back in the day
A modern lawyer.
Legion are porcine demons which generate hive minds in large numbers. Opinion is divided as to whether they are properly a single demon that operates in multiple bodies or a species of demon that sacrifices individual identity for corporate survival, an extreme version of the fettering bargain made by infernals all over the lower realms. Legion tend to be clumsy but tough and usually present as male.
Rozen have smooth white porcelain skin (unless decorated) and black glassy eyes. The archetypical Rozen manifests rigid flesh and articulated joints, but many cut a less overtly inhuman figure. They are notoriously vain and notoriously fragile, but can also be viciously sharp edged. Rozen tend to have high Finesse.

Locations

Dis is the second city of Hell. It is less up to date than Pandaemonium, mired in backwards forms preferred by the old demons that have retreated here, speckled with the ruins of a series of enthusiastically futuristic renewal projects. Currently the 'DIS-TOPIA ~ideal suffering~' campaign is active.
The Mountains of Madness
The Lake of Fire
Malboge Swamp: A mire of regrets.
Stellar Graveyard: A graveyard of those star-demons and lunar men shattered in the most ancient of wars. The land was lost and forgotten for eons, but has recently been revived in the wake of mortal space travel and interest in the deep cosmos.

Pandaemonium

Pandaemonium is the first city of Hell, and the seat of the parliament of Hell and the central power of the Devils. The greatest cities of man, full of mighty towers and secret warrens, are but its pale mirror.

The City of Light: Also called Nuovo Paradiso or the Crown of New Dawn. This bright and cloudy realm lies high in the sky above the centre of the city, wherein Lucifer broods eternally and lays plans in his war against the Throne. Few enter here, and fewer return.
Babel District: The Babel debacle was greeted with great mirth and schadenfreude in the lower realms, and after the fall of the Tower they swiftly reerected it in the heart of Pandaemonium. It thrusts toward the City of Light, a patchwork of ancient temple and neoclassical grandeur and modern mirror sheen, holding the elite business of the city and casting a clock-shadow over the edifices of the infernal lords and parliamentarians.
The Hollow: A district at the base of the city, a byzantine, heady remnant of the old chaos before the Fallen came and reorganised Hell. Now it is a dump of effluent, scraps and the discarded belongings of the newly damned. This broth produces many minute sub-paradigms and gimmicks, buttressed by the labour of desperate students with gate passes from the abutting Pandaemonium Academy.

Characters

Sengoku Paradise

  • Reizei Ririshii: Swordsmith. Proprietor.
  • Fujiyama Juudan: Floor manager. Ancestor of Kaneko. Big sister.
  • Fujiyama Kaneko: Head waitress. Descendant of Juudan. Prim & proper.
  • Akama: Red Oni waitress. Soulbound to Aoma, hates Aoma. Good at meat. Huge.
  • Aoma: Blue Oni waitress. Soulbound to Akama, hates Akama. Good at parallel operations. Ninja.
  • Shiude: Four-armed cyclops waitress. Glass(es?), clumsy, smart (supposedly).
  • Helena Rockefeller: Waitress. Poledances with a spear. Loud foreigner.
  • Nagano Yumi: Waitress. Good at bento. Moe.

Society for the Appreciation of Modern Visual Corruption

  • 'Keiichi': President. Handsome, desperate. Sworn to follow the Sin Ontology Society.
  • Shinma: Keiichi's girlfriend. Rozen. Likes being a doll.
  • Kuro-JK: One of Keiichi's bodyguards. Wears a black & red serafuku when on the clock.
  • Shiro-JK: One of Keiichi's bodyguards. Wears a white & blue serafuku when on the clock.