Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Selfish Succubus

I picked up a copy of "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" last week. Instant Antagonists is a new product line from Flames Rising. Now full disclaimer here, I know Matt McElroy and I am a fan of his site and his work. IF you are a horror gamer you really can't help but be a fan really. Horror news, gaming news, interviews and now products like IA.

What is IA? Well it is actually a very cool idea. They spend a few pages to fully develop a character to use in any system. This is quite a good idea really. Most often you get character stats, but not much in the way of background or story. The IA aims to change that. So how do they do? Well I have the first one here.
Lily Sinclaire is a succubus. Not in the metaphorical sense, but a really honest-to-the-devil succubus and for whatever reason she is out of Hell and here to have a good time. In "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" we are introduced to Lily, also known as Lilis, through some fiction and a description. She is beautiful, looks and sounds exotic and has a prehensile tail. Yeah a tail. She has to cut it off every night, but otherwise it is a tail. In what might be a preview of how future Instant Antagonists might be like, we are given descriptions of how she looks, about how smart she might be. WE are also given insight to what they might be like, powerwise, through their systemless system of Mind, Body and Spirit. Things like "she thinks quickly on her feet", or "she knows a lot about ancient history". I found this to be a very effective way to describe the character. So I have an idea of what she might be like in say Tri-Stat or Unisystem, stats wise.
Multiple origins are given for her to help place her in your favorite system better. Or even as rumors about her. Despite the fact that the book is all fluff, there is no waste.
And finally there are story hooks, ways you can pull her into your game. Either as the titular antagonist or as someone the characters are likely to interact with. Though given how detailed Lily is, she likely to be elevated to the level of "Guest Star" and not "Monster of the Week". So all the plot hooks can be used one way or the other.
I think that the idea behind Instant Antagonists is a great one. Often times it is too easy to come up with stats and forget the character they are supposed to represent. Lily is the opposite. By presenting her as a character, sans stats, you are forced to think of her as a character, with background and motivations, first and not a collection of numbers.
So what would Lily look like. Mind you here is the other plus of this. I can make as powerful or as weak as I need her to be. Given this background I see Lily as a fringe player in the supernatural world. Yes she is evil, and yes she will need to be stopped sometime, but her introduction will be one of a succubus, freed from Hell making her way in the world. Like a demonic Mary Tyler Moore.
So let's build a Lily Sinclaire using Ghosts of Albion/Angel. Using the Mind-Body-Spirit guide in the book lets convert her to some stats. Her Mind says she knows a lot about ancient history, can manipulate others, has a lot of occult contacts. Ok, so To me that says a better than average Intelligence, say 3 or maybe 4, but maybe a higher Willpower and Perception. I would give her a higher level in some skills and maybe keep her Intelligence at 3. Body says she is very attractive, so Appearance 3, a good dexterity 3, but maybe only a 2 in strength. She has a high tolerance for drugs and alcohol (party girl) so a 4 in Constitution. Her Spirit supports a higher Willpower and even some obsessions or mental problems. She is a succubus, so she gets some demonic powers too. So where does that leave us? I fill in the rest with my own guesses and what I need her to do.

Name: Lily Sinclaire

Motivation: To get what she wants
Creature Type: Succubus (demon)
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Constitution 4, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Willpower 4
Life Points: 37
Drama Points: 15
Qualities and Drawbacks: Addictions (Sex 2), Adversaries (anyone that knows her true nature), Attractive 2, Contacts (Supernatural 3), Covetous (lecherous 2), Emotional Problems (Cruel 3, Arrogance 2), Hard to Kill 1, Immortal, Innate Magic, Regeneration, Resources (Well off), Secrets (3, many), Supernatural Form (1, has a tail)
Skills: Armed Mayhem 1, Art 2, Athletics 3, Crime 3, Driving/Riding 1, Engineering 1, Fisticuffs 2, Influence 4, Knowledge 5, Languages 4 (English, Latin, Sumerian, Greek), Marksmanship 0, Notice 4, Occultism 4, Physician 1, Science 1.

Name Score Damage Notes
Dodge +5 Defense action
Grapple +7 Resisted by Dodge
Punch +5 4 Bash

We can also do her up for Witch Girls Adventures using the same guidelines, though I am going to have to guess about her magic and what powers succubi have in this world.

Lily Sinclair, Succubus
Rank: 3
Body: d6 Mind: d6 Senses: d8
Will: d8 Social: d8 Magic: d6
Life Points: 12 Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 9 Zap Points: 12
Skills: Athletics +2, Basics +2, Dancing +4, Fighting +1, Hear +1, Leader +3, Look +2, Magic Etiquette +2, Mundane Etiquette +3, Mysticism +2, Mythology +4, Streetwise +3
Abilities: Beautiful, Mysterious
Heritage: Demon
Spells: Lily does not know any spells save those magics all Succubi can use.

Looking forward to more.

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