The Shadow Network
NWoD Relics: JUNKY’S BLESSING
Nobody really knows where it started, but that’s the nature of the ragged black hoodie known colloquially as Junky’s Blessing. Word on the street says that the first one to wear the hoodie was a teenager from the projects whose father was a Voodoo practitioner. They say that he inherited his papa’s addictions, but also some of his power, and used that to make a deal that his addictions would always be satisfied. From the pockets of his hoodie, he always had the money to make a deal, and when he pulled his hood up, nobody even remembered who it was they had dealt with… when the money vanished, so did he.
Eventually, he was just forgotten, vanishing from the lives of everyone he knew. When he died a year later of a severe overdose, his hoodie ended up in a dumpster where it was found by an enterprising homeless girl. It didn’t take long for her to realize what blessings the hoodie conferred and, being smarter than its previous owner, soon made a small fortune buying objects legitimately before quickly pawning them off before they broke down. This too made enemies, and she found herself spending more and more time with her shoulder’s hunched and the hood up, obscuring her from the world until she was truly forgotten.
The hoodie has passed from owner to owner over the years, but by its very nature, little to nothing is known about each. It’s possible, with an extensive Wits+Investigation check to discover clues that link rumored owners and appearances of the hoodie to a string of suicides and tragic accidents. However, names, occupations, and histories are all conspicuously missing; though this is not so strange as the owners have always been the dregs and outcastes of society with few real records anyway.
A faded black one-size-fits-all hoodie, with ragged sleeves and a zipper that is prone to breaking. On the back, the logo of an obscure punk-rock band in white and red can barely be made out, having almost entirely peeled away. Additional pockets have been sewn onto the inside, though several are torn; ripped by shaking hands coming down off a fix, or never sewn on properly in the first place.
Lastly, the hoodie is almost always filthy, its inhabitants rarely caring about appearances or hygiene. Extensive cleaning might reveal suspicious bloodstains on the sleeves from past suicides, or wearers that used their anonymity for less savory purposes.
An object with this Power is always worn upon the
person – a locket filled with diaphanous strands of a spider’s web, a pair of boots pulled off a dead hermit, or a sewing needle stuck just under the skin. Upon activation, the object makes its wielder utterly forgettable at that very instant. He does not fade from view, but he might as well. Even in mid-conversation, the other person will just… forget that she was talking to the character, and wander off, slightly confused. Video cameras catch footage of him, but those viewing and reviewing that footage fail to notice the character, even if the character is doing something obvious, such as stealing food right off a grocery store’s shelves.
Of course, being so forgettable is not without reper- cussions. Being socially invisible is valuable for a while… until the time comes to turn the Power off. (See below for more information.)
Dice Pool: Wits + Stealth
Dramatic Failure: The character draws the ire of
those around him. Any individuals within eyesight of him suddenly notice him and act angry toward him for reasons they cannot grasp. This doesn’t guarantee violence, but if he cannot defuse the situation or at least move away from it, it may lead to that.
Failure: The character fails to become socially invisible.
Success: The character vanishes not from sight, but from the minds of everybody. They forget he was present and most fail to look for him. Only those with supernatural senses are allowed an attempt to pierce this social illusion (the Unseen Sense Merit, a vampire’s Auspex, Mage Sight, or a werewolf’s senses, for instance).
The character does not inadvertently reveal him- self, as the world accounts for his presence but not his appearance – crowds move subconsciously out of his way, automatic doors still open when he steps on their sensor plates, even animals fail to notice him most of the time (though like werewolves they are allowed a Wits + Survival roll to detect him through their bestial senses). For the most part, actions the character takes go by unnoticed, as well. He can steal items smaller than his own Size. He can talk all he wants. Only a few things jostle the world’s memory enough to once again include him. If he steals something larger than his Size, like a car, people notice. If he brings violence against another, people notice. Truly loud noises (firing a gun in the air, shattering glass) bring him back to the world. However, this is only temporary. He is noticeable for four turns. Once those turns are up again, he fades from view once more (unless he continues to make overt gestures or actively turns off this Power).
The problem is that turning off the Power is more difficult than turning it on. The character must make another roll to turn the Power off: Wits + Presence. For every ten minutes the character spends “invisible,” that roll is penalized by a
1 dice penalty (to a maximum of -5 dice after 50 minutes). A dramatic failure on the Wits + Presence roll means the character cannot attempt to return to memory again for another eight hours. An ex ceptional success means that he gains a +1 bonus to the next time he attempts to turn off the object’s Power.
After one day of being invisible, the world starts forgetting details about the character, too. These are small details, but valuable (and, as true with most curses, it’s never the bad things the world forgets, only the good things). A loved one might remember an argument, but forget the apology. A bank’s computer might forget all the money in the character’s checking account. A beloved pet might forget his master, and growl the next time he walks in the door.
After one week of being invisible, the character himself starts to forget his own details. He might forget what country club he belongs to, or his pet’s name, or even his own middle name.
After one day, the character also suffers from what amounts to the opposite of Eidetic Memory: he suffers a -2 penalty on any Mental roll used to recall a detail or piece of information.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, for each day spent invisible, the character may forget more and more of himself, and the details lost become more severe. He may forget how to tie his own shoes, his phone number, where he lives, even his whole name. After about a week, full amnesia takes hold.
Even after returning to the world’s memory by turning this Power off, the details remain lost until the character re-learns them. They do not simply reappear in his head. To relearn his child’s middle name, for instance, he must ask the child or see it written on a piece of paper to “jog” his memory.
Exceptional Success: As above, but the character gains a bit more control over his own condition. The Wits + Presence roll made to eventually return to the world gains a +2 bonus.
Fool’s Gold (•)
Is the love of
money the root of all evil, as the saying goes? Does an object with this Power – which produces money out of nothing, withdrawn from the ether and made from fly wings and strips of dried skin – help a character release himself from a love of money, or only bind himself to it further? Perhaps it doesn’t matter.
An object empowered with Fool’s Gold doesn’t appear to manufacture money out of thin air. It requires some physical action – reaching into a cursed wallet, dipping into the pockets of a pair of “lucky jeans,” peeling off bills from a gilded money clip once owned by a notoriously merciless gangster — to “create” the cash. (Though, one such object was said to be a simple credit card, gray and nearly featureless.)
Of course, the money that the relic manufactures isn’t real. It initially appears as such: it passes all tests of authenticity, or if drawn from a credit card, the process completes without a hitch. But the money has a time limit. Eventually, the bills break down, turning into random use- less debris: dried leaves, clotting blood, dead ants. So too with credit card receipts (and, moreover, when the money breaks down the credit card companies notice the “error” and alert the merchant).
More notable is the fact that any objects purchased with this money break down, too. Over time they de- grade – some are given over to a swiftly-deepening rust, while food-stuffs grow fungus or machines start to fail with some regularity. If one purchases services with any or all of this fake money, the results of those services start to break down. A room cleaned by a maid turns swiftly again to filth and chaos. Services rendered by a prostitute fail to be remem- bered as giving any pleasure, and can only be recalled as a depressing failure.
Food purchased and consumed gives the eater a stom- achache when its time is up, providing no nourishment and leaving them both hungry and nauseated.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Resolve + Larceny Action: Instant
Dramatic Failure: The character, when attempt-
ing to grab for the money or credit/debit card, feels a sharp prick on his finger as if poked by a needle. One point of bashing damage is caused as one of his fingers bleed. Curiously, while the damage is minimal, the blood caused from this little wound is profuse, leaking blood like a much larger wound for a longer period of time (remainder of the scene).
Failure: The money fails to manifest.
Success: Successes on the roll equal the number of Resource points the character can draw in “fake money” for this instance. This is used to gauge what kind of item or service a character can buy (if he wants to buy the Nightvision Goggles from p. 140 of the World of Dark- ness Rulebook, he needs two successes to do so because the item’s listed Cost is two dots of Resources). This is a one-time expenditure. This money is only available in the turn after the Power is made active. The character can use the Power again and again during a day, but each use requires an increasing amount of Willpower points (+1 per use, so using it three times in a row requires 1 Willpower for the first, 2 for the second, and 3 for the third) to do so. The cost “resets” upon sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first (by “resetting” the cost reverts to 1 Willpower point).
As noted, the Power has a time limit, however. This time limit is equal to the character’s Composure in hours. At the end of this time, both the money paid and the objects or services break down in some fashion. The money, as noted, falls apart on the merchant’s end. The character, however, suffers differently.
Once the time limit is up, any items purchased break down at a rate of 1 Structure per turn. It turns to rust, dust, or just a jumble of pieces.
If the character purchased some kind of service, however, the service reverts at the end of the time limit almost like it never happened. Pleasure gained is forgotten. A washed car grows oddly filthy again by a sudden dust storm or muddy rain. Pruned hedges gnarl up and show swift growth.
If any character eats food purchased by this Power, that character suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls until eight hours of sleep is gained. This is negated if the character possessed the Iron Stomach Merit – the food still causes a stomachache, but the Merit allows the character to ignore it. Others who consume food or services purchased with this money suffer similarly.
No matter what the character purchased, upon the fading of objects or services a character tends to feel suddenly unfulfilled and empty. The character gains the Depression derangement (mild) for the rest of the chapter (game session). If the character already possesses this at mild, he takes on the Melancholia (severe) version.
Exceptional Success: As with a success, except the character gains an extra hour of use out of the object or the service provided.