The Shadow Network
NWoD Relics: BALDY’S BADGE (••••)
Sergeant Jacob Baldwin, known as “Baldy” on the force, was an angry bully from as far back as anyone could remember. He was implicated in several vicious beatings as a high schooler, but nobody ever seemed able to make anything stick. When he joined the police academy, it was at the urging of a friend who encouraged him to “put all that energy to good use.”
Unfortunately, Baldy’s version of a good use was very different than what might have been desired. He was cruel and venal, but became utterly convinced of the rightness of his methods, asserting that a rough hand was required to clean up a rough town. As time went on he began to use his badge as a shield against self-doubt. In his mind, he was in the right, and if any of his actions seemed excessive or unnecessary, that was only because those that judged them so didn’t have the balls to stand where he stood and face what he faced.
When eventually even the undermanned force could no longer ignore his brutalities, Jacob Baldwin was stripped of his badge. Further, seeing an easy scapegoat, the department used the opportunity to frame him for several ill-concealed corruptions and scandals that he, in truth, was innocent of perpetrating.While the official story is that he suffered a psychotic break as a result, his official case file enumerates a list of psychological ills that are too numerous to be caused by a single breakdown, and too severe to have been concealed beforehand.
In the years since, those who are given the badge seem always to turn out bad in some way; though it has always been assumed that they were simply corrupt to begin with, and none have asked whether it was the badge that caused them to become so. It seems as though all of the corruption of the police department has become inextricably bound into this unassuming insignia.
As for Jacob Baldwin, he’s still alive, though going on seventy. Deemed a “danger to himself and others”, he has spent the last thirty years in a local asylum under heavy medication.
Baldy’s Badge appears to be a normal brass police badge; unremarkable except for a severe patina of oxidation on back that makes it seem as though the metal is almost entirely corroded away. Firm polishing reveals this to be an apparent illusion however, as the badge seems as thick as it was when it was new. Within weeks though, the green oxidation has returned as deep as ever.
Both effects are always active, so long as the badge is worn and cannot be turned off or on.
Bulwark of Sanity (••)
The World of Darkness is not a safe or sane place, and
characters often find that it’s just too much to bear. An item possessing this ability gives a character a bit of resistance against already-possessed derangements. It allows the character to hold off from giving in to those deleterious mental effects, such as avoiding the grief-struck drag of Depression or the panicked unease brought on by Anxiety. (Derangements are found on pp. 96-100 of the World of Darkness Rulebook.)
There is one drawback to this Power, however: it requires the user keep the item on his person at all times, or its benefit fails. Worse, when a character doesn’t have the object with him, he suffers a
3 to all rolls made to resist the effects of his derange ment. He comes to rely on it, almost like an addiction.
Examples of objects that might include this Power include a rosary made of pearls, a family member’s picture in a locket, or a small antique music box which plays a soothing tune.
Cost: No cost is necessary to resist the effects of de- rangements. If the possessing character fails a roll to resist a derangement, the roll doesn’t actually fail but is instead considered a complete success.
Dice Pool: None Action: Instant
Reward Temptation (••)
Cost: The user pays no direct cost, but that doesn’t mean the object doesn’t extract some kind of price from its keeper. While active, the user cannot regain Willpower points through acts in accordance with his Virtue. Also, while active, rolls to resist degeneration are made at
1 dice as the user’s heart grows callused to sin and evil. tion. It doesn’t matter if the character actually loses a dot of Morality, only that his action requires the roll. (Worth noting, however, is that once active, the character cannot prematurely end this Power. It continues unabated to the end of its duration.)
Dice Pool: See above
Dramatic Failure: The user’s past sins, both real and
imagined, suddenly swarm him. They flood his mind in a staccato burst. The user now suffers one of the following mild derangements for the next 24 hours: Depression, Fixation, Inferiority Complex, or Phobia, as seems most appropriate for the situation.
Failure: The user fails to accept the temptation of the object.
Success: For a number of days equal to successes gained on the activation roll, the user regains Willpower dice more easily through the expression of Vice. First, he regains those points normally in a scene when his actions reflect his Vice. Second, he can regain all his lost Willpower at the end of a chapter (game session) by having acted in accordance with his Vice (not Virtue). Finally, the character is also rewarded whenever he commits any act that demands a degeneration roll. Performing such acts feel good, and even better, they feel right. The character gains 1 experience point upon performing such an act of potential degenera
Exceptional Success: As above, except the character can gain 2 experience points if performing an action that warrants a degeneration roll.