Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Mantle - Ferals
Ferals (Supernatural Scale)
Ferals are humans whose souls have become enmeshed with — some might say infected by — a predatory spirit. They are aberrations, hybrid creatures of spirit and flesh with characteristics of both. They are the lycanthropes and werewolves of legend, the manbeasts that hunt at night or are driven to madness by the full moon. Ferals are more than mindless predators, however. Their dual nature gives some of them powers over both animals and spirits. Despite this, being a Feral is a terrible burden. Often, the victim is unable to repress her urges and emotions; a Feral is likely to reply to a slight insult with a murderous rampage. To be a Feral is to fear oneself — or to let go and become a true monster, viewing the world as a place to satisfy one’s instincts, with a complete disregard for the consequences.
Ferals have the ability to assume a bestial shape, half-animal and half-human. This shape can change instantly, becoming more or less human depending on the needs or mood of the lycanthrope. Characters facing a Feral should be struck by the fluid, dreamlike “morphing” of the creature. The most common types of Ferals include bears, coyotes, hyenas, jaguars, lions, tigers and wolves.
A typical werewolf, for example, may shift from second to second between the form of a fully animalistic wolf to that of a vaguely wolf-like human. The Feral unconsciously assume whatever shape she needs instantly. For running, she drops on all fours and turns into a regular animal; for combat, she assumes a humanoid shape and strikes with clawed limbs, or even uses a hand weapon if one is available. All clothing is destroyed in the transformation.
There are three types of Feral: Accursed, Reconciled and Born. Accursed Ferals have been “infected” with the curse of lycanthropy; they have little or no control over their curse, and usually lead short, unhappy lives before their rage consumes them. Reconciled Ferals have, through some means, gained a measure of control over their dual nature; they are more likely to survive for a few or even several years. Born Ferals are the descendants of other Ferals, whose curse is passed down through the generations. This type has a better chance of not being destroyed by the curse, as their heritage may give them some ways to control the change. No Feral is likely to lead a normal life, however.
Create your character according to a Pure Mortal mantle of your choosing and then add the conditions and stunts below, which operate at Supernatural scale (page 182).
Feral Transformation (Lasting): [ ]
If enough ambient Essence is available, the Feral transformation may be triggered involuntarily. The most dangerous times for a Feral are midnights during a full moon, the Solstices and Equinoxes, and the evenings of the four major Days of Power (Imbolc (February 2nd), Beltane
(April 30th), Lughnasadh (August 1st) and Samhain (October 31st – Halloween)). During those times, the Feral transforms into lycanthropic form unless she can make a Focus Overcome roll at +4.
Essence released by strong emotions can also cause the transformation. This Essence can come from the Feral herself, or anybody within the same Zone from the creature. Fear, anger, lust or pain causes the release of Essence. If that release is combined with a time or place of power, that might be enough to trigger the transformation, Forcing the Feral to make an Overcome roll at +4 to stay in control, per the GM.
While this condition is marked, you gain access to the benefits of this Mantle’s Core stunts and the following applies:
- Take the Mind of a Wolf aspect in addition to your other aspects
- You gain a new Approach – Bestial Rage at Great (+4) – which can be used in any action where you let the spirit that posses you take control. However, the GM will color your actions as particularly destructive and in some cases this might result in an compel.
- You gain the benefit of Scale in regards to your inordinate strength, speed and keen predatory instincts, however you suffer from Scale in regards to self-control and discipline.
This condition recovers at the morning after the last night of the full moon.
Silver Burned (sticky): [ ]
If you suffer a condition inflicted by an silver weapon, mark this condition as well. You must recover this condition before healing from any other physical injury. Begin recovery by recuperating in the Nevernever or receiving medical care from a character versed in supernatural healing. If you seek medical attention outside the Nevernever, the healer must overcome a Great (+4) to succeed at the recovery action.
Vulnerable to Spirit Magic : [ x ]
Because of their dual nature Ferals are especially vulnerable to spirit magics. This condition is always checked. Whenever facing an opponent using Spirit Magic they gain an extra level of scale against the Feral.
Ferals are extremely hard to kill even in their human form. Treat any conditions representing a physical injury as one step lower (sticky becomes fleeting, lasting becomes sticky only if your lower consequence slot is open).
Ferals can see spirits, including ghosts, nature spirits, and Elementals. They can also see through the Seemings and Glamours of the Sidhe, and can “smell” the presence of large amounts of Essence in people and places, which enables them to uncover probable Gifted characters. This ability works even while in human form; when the character senses something strange, her nostrils flare up and she involuntarily makes sniffing noises. Ferals gain a +2 to detect the true nature of supernaturals and the gifted and to see through faerie Glamours.
When a Feral attacks people, their curse may be spread. Merely being bitten by a lycanthrope is insufficient, myths and legends notwithstanding. The injuries must be life-threatening — enough to send the victim to the Threshold, a realm between life and death. At that point, the animal spirits that hover around Ferals like a metaphysical entourage may take the chance to invade the victim’s soul, and “infect” her with the curse. In game terms anyone taken out by a Feral can be cursed as per the GM.
Cloak of Shadows:
You can see perfectly in the dark and are immune to any potential effect of normal or magical darkness. Additionally, once per session, you may declare that you automatically succeed at hiding from any non-magical attempt to spot you, provided you have a nearby shadow to hide in.
Ghostbane (requires Cloak of Shadows):
You ignore the incorporeality of insubstantial creatures (e.g., ghosts, specters) and affect them as though they were physical.
Gain +2 to use Haste to defend or create an advantage.
Your physiology includes claws, spikes, razor-sharp teeth, or another feature for attacking or defending. Unarmed attacks are worth +1 shift on a successful hit and may have scale (page 182) at GM discretion.
Either much larger or much smaller than the average human, you automatically gain scale (page 182) on actions in which your size is advantageous. Opponents will, however, gain scale in situations in which they may use your size against you.
Define who is considered a part of your ‘pack’. You are inherently capable of sensing the general location and presence of your packmembers as well as having a form of psychic bond with them. Through this bond you may communicate simple, single-word concepts (run, attack, guard, distract, et cetera) that casual observation will not detect. Roll Guile to avoid detection from focused attention.
Some among the afflicted manage to gain some control over the transformation. This is often a case of the human victim’s will proving stronger than the animal spirit’s, although metaphysical help can be a big factor. The Reconciled are still dual-natured beings, and many find it difficult to resist the animalistic urges of their bestial side, but, unlike their Accursed brethren, they often can transform back and forth willingly, and can control their animal shape. Although the struggle with their inner beast is a constant element of their lives, Reconciled Ferals are more likely to avoid a violent end. Reconciled Ferals gain a +2 to resist losing control, or spontaneously transforming.
Strength of the Beast (Requires Reconciled Feral):
Some Ferals have such a strong connection to their animal soul that they can enjoy some of their strengths even while in human form. Ferals with this Stunt can use Scale for feats of strength, speed and their senses in their human form.
You can open portals between the mortal world and the wild (unaffiliated) regions of the Nevernever. Once per session, you may declare your convenient arrival in a scene via a portal.
Summon Animal Spirits:
By calling upon her totemic animal, the Feral can summon a number of “spirit fragments” to materialize and do her bidding. The Feral must be in her bestial form to summon her brethren. Once per session you can declare momentary aid from your affiliated brand of beast and choose one of the following benefits: +4 to any one action, a situation aspect with two free invokes, or automatic success on an overcome roll.
Adapted from Unisystem by: HumAnnoyd