Thursday, January 3, 2008

Terrible as the Dawn - Appearance Knack

One of the players in my campaign is a Scion of Hel. She'd taken Epic Appearance at character creation, choosing for it to represent beauty. Now she's ascended to Demigodhood, and wants to have the same sort of mixed beauty as her mommy. So, she asked me to write up a Knack to match.
Terrible as the Dawn - Appearance Knack for Scion
Your dichotomous appearance renders you a living bisociation. Like Hel, Galadriel, or Dr Jeckyll, you can be riveting or horrific as you please. You are capable of transforming between the two as fits your whims. The default assumption is that you are beautiful or ugly, whichever you chose when you first took Epic Appearance. However, you also have another self-image that is superficially the opposite. The main benefit of this is that you can now freely take Epic Appearance knacks of both the beautiful or ugly varieties.

You must detail the other (previously hidden) appearance at the time you take this knack. Eye and skin color can change slightly, proportions and posture can alter, etc. However, it does not grant any other powers, and so your other form must still be human (unless you have some Boon that grants other options). The two versions of you are still thematically linked - average mortals wouldn’t recognize you, but legendary creatures and trained investigators could identify both versions as being the same. Should it ever come down to a die roll, being transformed gives you +1 autosuccess at attempts to avoid recognition vs those who’ve only seen your other form.

You may transform into your other self at any time, by expending a Willpower. Doing so is a Speed:5 diceless action. Should you be transforming to your horrific form, you may activate another monstrous Appearance knack simultaneous to this power. However, beauty-related Appearance knacks cannot be used during the same ticks in which you transform.


r_b_bergstrom said...

Feedback would be appreciated. Here's some questions I have on this knack...

1) Is the +1 autosuccess and willpower attack needed? I wanted the knack to do something itself, so it wasn't just a gateway to having both Beauty and Ugly knacks. The player in question would be happy with just "I'm both ugly and beautiful, just like my mom", but I think it needs something to make the knack appealing to a wider audience. I'm not sure the minor powers I gave it are necessarily the best possible choice/implementation.

2) Should this be a starter-level knack, or should it have a PreRequisite? My Eyes Are Up Here also features a transformation, so could be either a PreReq, or be seen as an argument to make this lack a PreReq.

r_b_bergstrom said...

In case anyone didn't catch the reference, "Terrible as the Dawn" is something said in the Galadriel's Mirror scene of Fellowship of the Ring.

"In place of a Dark Lord, you shall have a Queen. Beautiful and horrifying. Terrible as the Dawn. Treacherous as the Sea." etc.

r_b_bergstrom said...

After some thought (and some feedback on the forums) I've decided to edit this. I did-away with the Willpower attack, but kept the disguise aspect.

I also tightened up the verbiage, and made it clear you can activate this and other horrific knacks simultaneously.

Lastly, I added a Galadriel jpeg to make the reference obvious.