by Matthew Hickey aka. Nightshade
Description of the Setting:
"And the lamb opened the seventh seal and silence covered the skies" - Enigma, Voice and the Serpent
"May you live in interesting times." - old Chinese curse
Revelations. The ending of the world is one of the basic themes of most faiths and belief systems in the world. Everyone at one time or another has that moment of fear that they might be alive to witness it. For some, the thought is overwhealming and they go mad. For others, they fear their own fear, and prepare for the moment. For others still, the thought drives them to excesses of hedonism. But for a very, very few, the thought is accepted completely and without external action. These ones wait for the end, and are not driven into shock of this knowledge, because somehow, deep within them, they knew it all along.
Revelations, the chronicle, took form shortly after I and another person bought the first alpha copy of Vampire: the Masquerade. The apocalyptic nature of the vampire's Gehenna fired our imaginations. We met shortly thereafter and became fast friends. At that time Revelations didn't have a name, but the desire to create a chronicle that would span all the Storyteller systems and shake the foundations of the Gothic-Punk world, while teaching something to the other players, was well entrenched in our minds.
We tried various means of accomplishing the horror we sought through various, lesser means. We created one-shot chronicles, using the ST's guidelines for generating ourselves as characters and going through long, frightening Preludes. But this didn't work. It wasn't _big_ enough. We weren't that scared. But with the publishing (and purchase) of Werewolf, Mage and Wraith, the web-like network of the Chronicle took form. A world-spanning chronicle detailing the calm before Gehenna/Apocalypse and then plunging into the chaos and violence with which the end would come- it couldn't get bigger.
It was about this time that I got Net access and began to talk to others about this chronicle, using its working title "Gehenna's Gate". Through various 'Net personas, people were introduced to some of the larger-scale players, the Celestine/Unsidhe Nightshade, the slick Ananasi Spinner, the rough idiosyncratic Salubri warrior Sierra, and the dark, brooding Harbinger. From time to time I post using one alias or another, depending on what identity would best suit the moment.
I posted a few of the characters, and a brief introduction a while back, over the summer. But because of the new school year, and the true beginning of the chronicle with the first real story, "Dramatis Personae", I've chosen to repost the old characters, add the new ones, and log the stories as they take place.
Today, I've chosen to post the introduction to the Chronicle, the house rules and a current listing of all the characters I have stats for. I'll also try to post one or two of the characters themselves, so you can get a good look at what they are like.
I hope you enjoy this, almost as much as I have putting it together.
"Mother of God, lady of Mercy, what have I become?" - Sullivan Dane (Revelations)
"Revelations is about the end, the end of everything, of Good and Evil, of Life and Death, of everything we, the supernatural know, and that you, the mortal, the children of Seth, the Sleepers, subconciously fear." - Nightshade speaking to Victoria
Revelations. The kindred call it Gehenna. The Changing kind call it Apocalypse. The Dead know it as the coming of the Sixth Maelstrom. But one and all, it means a great, violent death of everything. Most brush off the thought, calling it religious hysteria, a ploy by 'those in the know' to keep others cowed, and afraid. But as the decade, century, and millenia draw to a close, so does life as we know it.
The world of Revelations is more Gothic, more spiritual than true Gothic-Punk. Sure, there still are anarchs, Renegades, rebels who thrive on disintegration of authority. Trash, Industrial Punk, and Grunge are still heard booming from gang hideouts, bars ,and teenage hangouts, but underneath it all, there is a spiritual side. The Church is as hypocratic and ignored as it is today (this ignorance, however, keeps various sects within the Church, such as the society of Leopold out of both sight and mind), the media pander to the rising paranoia and religious fundamentalism in North America. There is poverty in every city, from the largest to the smallest. The economy is bad, even though they tell us things are getting better. There is discontent mixed with apathy in the air. People are unsettled, but their energies are most often devoted to convincing themselves that nothing can be done. The Lost Generation bristle at the monnikers placed on them by the sold-out, burnt-out generation that spawned them. The world, under a thin veneer of propaganda, and beneficial superficialities, is a moment away from throwing in the towel.
The Harbinger (vampire) Sasha (vampire) Kathryn (vampire) Rachael (mage) Joel/William (vampire) Anastasia (Shadow Lord) Teorn Cobain (vampire) Nightshade (Unsidhe) Sullivan Dane (hunter) Amanda Ophelia Walker (changeling) Martin/Martius (Eternal) "Death" (Eternal) Spinner (Ananasi) Xia (Immortal) Sierra (vampire) Gulphora (Demon) Michael (Angel) Tamille Obertus (revenant) Jhessyka (Angel) Zodiac (vampire) Victoria (mortal)
There are a few rules that are different in Revelations. Some of these are optional rules taken from the books, some from the Net (a heartfelt thanks there) and some are ideas of our own.
Dice and numbers:
No difficulty can go above 10. An 11 or higher becomes a 10, requires no additional success, no penalty, nothing.
Except for Brawl fighting styles, specialization lowers the difficulty of related rolls by one, and in the case of Knowledges, allows certain other bonuses (ie. Kindred Lore 4+ allows one to look at the Book of Nod; Sabbat Lore 1+, certain passages of the Players Guide to the Sabbat, etc).
Specialization only begins with level 4 and higher.
Fortitude gives extra dice to soak mundane damage, it does not give automatic successes.
The roll is Perception+Firearms for most shots, Dexterity+Firearms for more agile shots (shooting from the hip for example).
Merits and Flaws:
Some merits and flaws have changed point values to reflect a more realistic chance that the average person would have them. Baby Face, and Eat Food are now 2 points each. Iron Will is 4 points. Being Unbondable and a member of the Tremere is reason to be paranoid. Etc.
There also some new merits and flaws.
Knack (2 pt aptitude) and Genius (3 pt same) act as the Knack virtue from Ars Magica (ie. a bonus of -2 or -3 difficulty to certain actions respectively).
Gift of Magic (4-5 point Aptitude/Supernatural): similar to Knack, this merit allows the character to buy levels of Thaumaturgy (including Paths) as if she were a Tremere. For the Tremere, this allows the character to buy Paths during character generation, and have a -2 difficulty to Magic rolls. This merit is often taken by Mages and Hedge wizards who become embraced.
Drink (1 point Physical merit. Ananasi only): this works like the merit "Eat Food" but is limited to only liquids. The Ananasi can derive sustenance from a liquid by making a Gnosis roll with a difficulty equal to level of artificiality in the drink (the ammount of Weaver taint). Natural water is 9, most milk is between 8-7 (homogenized 8, skim or 2% milk 7), alcohol is 6, as is most soft drinks. Note: if the liquid is Wyrm tainted, the difficulty is +1.
Supernatural Companion (3pt. Supernatural): this takes the place of the various Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage Companion merits, while expanding the field to include Eternals, Immortals, other Werecreatures, Fomori/Kami, Numina-enhanced humans, etc. It doesn't replace the Eternal background Supernatural Allies, nor does it include umbral spirits of any kind, including Wraiths (these last two are covered by Familiar Spirit background, and the Spirit Mentor/Guardian Angel merits).
Diabolist (3pt. Kindred Ties): the character has committed diablerie recently enough for suspicion to be still angled at the character and for the "black veins" aura-taint to be still visible to those with Auspex 2.
Extremely Pale Skin (1pt Physical): the vampire's skin is extremely pale, most caucasians are porceline white (think Anne Rice), and most Asian and African kindred have a golden tinge. Native American vampires have a rust colour. +2 difficulty to Masquerade checks.
Ananasi and Blood:
As Ananasi gain Rank and Renown, they learn how to compress the blood inside them, as well as how to use more of its power per turn. For each rank above one, the Werespiders gain 2 points to their maximum blood pool and may use a maximum of their Rank in number of Blood points per turn (example: a rank 3 'spider has a blood pool of 14 and can use 3 point per turn) . These blood points can be used to gain more actions and to speed shape-shifting (like Rage) and it can also be used in all the same ways as a vampire.
Vampire: (now) Brujah, Caitiff, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue, Ravnos, Giovanni, Assamite, Lasombra and Tzimisce anti-tribu (later on) any clan except Settite/Serpent of Light, Daughter of Cacophony, Samedi, Gargoyle, Iscariot, Turing, Kasyid, Ahrimanes.
Werewolf: any tribe but Red Talons and Black Spiral Dancers (but renegade Spirals, and Spiral lost cubs are okay), Bastet, Nuishwa, Corax, Gurrahl, Ananasi, Hengokai (werefox)
Mage: any Tradition, Trenchcoaters, Dancers, any renegade member of the Technocracy (particularly Void Engineers), Orphans
Wraith: yes, but not Spectres
Mortals: mundane mortal, ghoul (including all revenants), kinfolk, alcolyte, numina- enhanced mortal (includes witch hunters and all sects of the Church), government agents, Knights Templar (as NPCs only) etc.
Changelings, Umbrood, and Spirits aren't allowed as PCs, yet. (We're waiting for Changeling to come out.)
The Shadow, The Crow, Blood of Heroes, Alien (the trilogy), Flesh and Blood, Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola's), Frankenstein (same), Flatliners, Highlander, Terminator (first one only), Akira, Vampire Hunter D, Hellraiser (I and II only), Exorcist, Prince of Darkness, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Natural Born Killers, Evil Dead, Resevoir Dogs, Heathers, and Wild Palms
X Files, Babylon 5, Highlander, War of the Worlds, Friday's Curse/Friday the 13th: the Series, and Bubblegum Crisis/Bubblegum Crash
Steven King, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, _The Fifth Millenium_ Series, _The Mists of Avalon_, the _Coldfire_ trilogy, Vertigo comic line, and _Only Begotten Daughter_
Siouxie and the Banshees, Concrete Blond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Enya, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, Loreena McKennitt, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Shakespeare's Sister, Black Earth, Billy Idol, Frontline Assembly, and soundtracks from The Crow, Judgement Night, Akira, Bubblegum Crisis/Bubblegum Crash, Cat People, Alien/Aliens, and Highlander
Special Thanks to: