The Shadow Network
NWoD Relics: PENITENT’S CROSS
The Penitent’s Cross is centuries old and tracking its true history is a near impossibility, as it has been moved countless times. It has always been at the forefront of catholic expansion, traveling to the Middle East with crusading monks, and carried to the New World by zealous missionaries. It has never stayed in once place for long, as its simple, even ugly design means that parishes often replace it as their fortunes improve.
Ironically, it’s most permanent location in recent years have been in the storehouses of secular individuals, who prize it for the long and storied history told in the etchings and damage it has collected over the years.
A large cross of dark, heavy wood, roughly four-feet high and set with fittings that allow it to be easily hung from a wall or ceiling. Upon inspection, small holes are visible across it, indicating that it was once ravaged by termites. Its surface is covered in fragments of Catholic text from dozens of languages; while its dark wood has acquired an odd, mottled appearance, bleached by sun and darkened by the stains of long years in mildewed neglect. Despite this, it as an undeniable majesty to it, giving the impression of an old hermit – bent, but unbroken by its trials.
Any within the radius of the cross’ protective effect suffer the Inferiority Complex derangement for so long as they remain within; whether or not they gain its benefit. Affected individuals are struck by a sense of awe, and a feeling of insignificance next to a higher power.
Battery of Will (•••)
An object possessing this Power can “store” Willpower points
beyond a user’s capacity, thus creating a battery of sorts from which Willpower can be drawn in a time of need.
Cost: 2 Willpower per 1 Willpower stored
Dice Pool: No roll necessary. Once per day, the charac- ter can spend two Willpower points to store one Willpower point in the object. Up to five Willpower posts (net cost will be 10 Willpower) can be stored in this way.
A character can withdraw these stored-up points at any time. He cannot draw more points in a scene than his Resolve score, however.
Bolster Territory (• to •••••) Whether trapped in a house assailed by the lumber- ing undead or walking the block held under the sway of your gang’s influence, it’s important to mark one’s domain and keep it safe, even if only temporarily. A character with a relic empowered with Bolster Territory can give himself a bit of an edge when within the range of this item. He simply sets it down and, upon activation, gains a number of minor bonuses that, when added together, make him more effective at protecting himself and his
chosen domain. (See below for these bonuses.)
Relics with Bolster Territory might indicate protection in some way, be it a simple ‘No Trespassing’ sign hung askew on a chain-link fence or a defunct gun emplacement that now provides a different kind of defense. Some are simply favored objects: a beloved jukebox, a street sign from one’s hometown, a collection of fingers stolen from defeated enemies.
The higher number of dots a relic has in this Power, the larger the radius of its protective benefit. Each dot is equal to a ten yard radius. Thus, one-dot is about a room, while five dots protects a much larger space, equivalent to a large house or part of a city block.
The object cannot move during the Power’s acti- vation. If it moves by more than an inch, the relic loses “touch” with the territory and user it bolsters, and it must be reactivated to provide the benefit.
Cost: The device must be rubbed down in the blood of the user. This blood must come from a lethal wound. This Power demands that at least one point of lethal damage be taken in letting that blood. (However, the user needn’t necessarily do this to himself – if he’s already in the middle of a fracas and finds that his enemy has opened a slice under his ribs, he can use that blood in service to the relic.)
Dice Pool: Wits + Survival
Action: Instant (requires the smearing of blood on object)
Dramatic Failure: The territory rejects the user. While within the object’s radius of power, the subject suffers from a halved Speed and Defense (round up).
Failure: The relic fails to bolster the territory or the user.
Success: Within the object’s radius of power, the user gains a number of benefits. He gains a +2 to his Defense, +3 to his Initiative modifier, and +4 to Speed. He is the only one who receives this Power unless he incurs an additional lethal level of damage per individual protected. He must mark that person’s forehead with his own blood caused from that lethal wound. Unlike the initial cost paid, this additional wound can be paid at any point during the scene, but the wound must be caused by the user’s own hand. Wounds incurred from attackers will not work for this extra cost, and he must harm himself to protect others. This ability lasts for the remainder of the scene and only within the radius of the Power.
Exceptional Success: As above, except the user’s clothing – no matter how sturdy or flimsy it might be – pro- vides a 1/1 armor bonus for the duration of the Power.
Derangement (-•• or- •••)
Use of the ob- ject is damning to the character’s men- tal state, cursing her with a temporary de- rangement. Usually, the derangement is mild, and lasts either for the next day or until she gets eight hours of sleep. Severe derangements might be the result of more potent relics, or as an escalation of an existing mild one. Note that a derangement should be somehow tied to the item’s effects: a relic that fills its user with power might confer Narcissism or Megalomania. An object that allows a user to see little details at a crime scene might cause a kind of Fixation or Vocalization. A horrid power might incur a Phobia or an Avoidance derangement. Derangements are found on pp. 96-100 in the World of Darkness Rulebook.
Mild derangement curses are two-dot, whereas severe derangements caused by a curse are worth three dots.
Inferiority Complex (mild): Whenever your character is subjected to a stressful situation in which the re- sult of a single choice or dice roll can determine success or failure, she might be overcome with such self-doubt that she threatens the outcome. She might need to tell a convincing lie to get out of a dangerous situation or cut a wire to disable a bomb. Roll your character’s Resolve + Composure for her to remain composed.
Effect: If your roll fails, the weight of the momentous choice is too much for your character and she is flustered, doubting her ability to choose correctly or to perform adequately. Once in this state, any rolls made for the remainder of the scene — in- cluding the momentous act itself — suffer a -1 penalty. In addition, a Willpower point cannot be spent on the singular roll that inspires her bout of inferiority.