The Shadow Network
Forgotten Engagement Ring
NWoD Relics: FORGOTTEN ENGAGEMENT RING (•)
Born in 1728, Tommy Smith was not a nice man, but neither was he a very bad one either. That is, until he was engaged by his parents against his will to a girl from the colonies who he had never met, but whose family wealth could buy them an aristocratic heritage… through Tommy.
Bitter at dreams of a long and adventurous bachelorhood were cut short and, to ensure that he wouldn’t elope, his family put him on the first ship to Virginia. The journey was hard on him, as he had been sheltered in his refined life of luxury, and he grew ever more to resent the engagement ring on his finger and the wedding it represented.
By the time the ship made port, the long journey had made him lazier than ever, and he had picked up a gambling habit from the crew. Convincing himself that he should enjoy his last days as a free man, he put off meeting his new family in exchange for nights of gambling, brawls, and wild tumbles. Days turned into weeks and finally the family of his wife-to-be caught wind of his behavior and called off the engagement.
Disowned also by his own family for the disgrace, Tommy fell ever farther into every kind of sin and debauchery. Yet he always kept the engagement ring, as a symbol of all of the wrong he felt had been done to him.
Eventually, Tommy was killed to settle a gambling debt. His valuables were stripped from him, including the ring, and his body was dumped in the bay. From that time his engagement ring has passed from pawn-shop to pawn-shop, each new owner eventually falling into vice and losing it once more.
The Forgotten Engagement Ring is a plain golden band with the word “ADVERSITY” stamped in bold across its outer surface; etched into the ring by some past owner who desired to add adornment to its plain facade. On the inner surface is lightly etched the names of Thomas Smith and another, though the second name is illegible, crudely gouged away with a knife centuries ago.
These effects require no expenditure to activate, though the ring must be worn to function. Whenever the wearer indulges in his vice while wearing the ring, the following abilities automatically activate. If the indulgence of the vice was accompanied by a roll, then the result of that also applies for each ability. If not, the wearer rolls a reflexive Wits+Manipulation and uses that result. Additional activations before the first expire add on to the total duration.
If the wearer becomes aware of the supernatural advantages the ring bestows, he may choose to resist their activation with a reflexive Resolve+Composure each time. Any success means that the wearer gains control of the item and may consciously activate either ability at will, without needing to indulge in his vice to do so.
Social Lubrication (•)
Cost: For the duration of the item’s effect (one scene), the user willingly suffers a -1 penalty to all Physical rolls.
Dice Pool: See above
Dramatic Failure: The user suddenly appears wretched
and strange to others, and it likely draws their scorn. She suffers a -2 penalty to all Social rolls for the rest of the scene, and all others gain a +2 Social bonus on all appropriate rolls made against her.
Failure: The user gains nothing from this Power.
Success: The user gains a +1 bonus to all Social rolls for one scene. During this time, all others suffer a -1 penalty on their Social rolls made in her presence (within eyesight).
Exceptional Success: The bonus gained increases to +2, and the penalty suffered by others is now -2 dice.
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.
The item and its Power are, in some way, addictive.
The user depends dearly upon the mere presence of the item. He must have it with him at all times, or he begins to feel…shaky. Out-of-sorts. Irritable. (In short, he’s going through withdrawal.) The first 24-hour period without the object in his presence, he suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls. This penalty increases by one die per day, to a maximum of -5 by the fifth day. On the sixth day, the addiction is shaken and the penalty removed. However, if the character ever touches the item again, the process begins anew.