Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

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Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:02 pm

Sometime after the world drowned I found myself on one of the boats that go to Town.

I didn’t know yet that the world had fallen.

Being and nothingness were swallowed, both of them, by the tidal wave of the Outside, but I hadn’t noticed yet, because I’d been living in one of the places that got covered by it, and so I’d stopped existing in any kind of defined way for a little while.

Then one of the exploring boats found Suzhou, where I’d been living. It made Suzhou exist again, more or less. It stopped being a wild, chaotic delirium and became a place again . . . more or less.

I don’t think I was fully real again yet when I boarded.

I didn’t wake up, not all the way, until the boat crested the horizon of Big Lake and I saw the dockside settlement of Fortitude for the first time. Then it was like my heart woke up, and everything that had been black and white became color, and the textures of the world came back, and sound had richness and deepness once again.

It wasn’t because I’d been unreal, exactly.

It was part of it, I think, but only part of it. It was because . . . it was because as soon as I saw Fortitude I understood that work would be rewarded; that things had a beautiful simplicity; and that I had a home.

I guess that if you’re reading this then you are real. As I write this, you are mildly notional, of course. You can’t possibly be as real as the wood of the buildings, the depth of the air, the sounds of fish being sliced open and the smell of marlin cooking on a limestone slab. You’re part of the diffuse potential of “you could be reading this.”

But by the time you actually see this I guess you must be someone real. You must be a real, physical person, in one of the reclaimed regions, and maybe not even knowing that the world was lost. You might not even realize that you’ve been cheated, that there could be —

That there was more.

So come. Come to a little place called Town, in the middle of nowhere, circled by its reborn sun. Come, at least in play, and maybe in person if you can stand giving up some of the modern luxuries, and feel what it’s like to really live.

There is so much to experience here. You could live.

Chuubo's tells the story of what happens after the curtain comes down on the Creation/Multiverse depicted in the Nobilis rpgs. The bright happy end of the world.

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:58 pm

And let’s start by imagining you as a pretty ordinary kind of person.
Just an ordinary kid, living on an ordinary street. If you’re usually
older than a kid, well, bear with me. Get younger? Or at least
imagine yourself a little younger than you actually are. Just an
ordinary kid, in a kind of modern part of a kind of rustic Town.
You get ordinary grades. You do ordinarily well at sports. You
like to sit out on the sidewalk of your street and eat ice cream
or play jacks or talk to your friends or pet the neighborhood cat.
You’re named something bland like, I don’t know. If you’re a boy,
maybe Chuubo or something? If you’re a girl, how about Shokyou,

You’re normal and you have no trouble fitting in.
You’re ordinary and you like it that way.
But just because you’re not very strong, and you’re not very
smart, and you’re not very fast, and you’re not even very charismatic,
and you are, in fact, pretty much all-around ordinary in
every sort of way, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go down to the
vacant house at the end of your cul-de-sac and go in and close the
door and unroll your plans and get out your saw and hammer and
nails and wood and build a Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine that
grants wishes.

Because, obviously, in fact, you can.

You did.

It’s right there.

Well, it works. It grants wishes. One wish per person. But it didn't work in that you still have to be the one using it, and the wishes don't always work out. You think selfish wishes are more likely to go bad, but you don't quite understand it. You were actually worried, for a bit, because you used the Engine for yourself and wished to meet a friend who would understand you and wouldn't need your help all the time, and then you met your Best Friend, and that seems like it might have been a selfish wish? But nothing bad happened with them, so maybe you don't get the Engine so well after all. You kind of worry about it sometimes, but maybe it just does what it's supposed to, and you don't need to understand that so much.

You also have dreams where you turn into a giant snake, but you know that it won't help.

Name: Chuubo/Shokyou

Kindness 1: You know how to be kind.
Domestic Tasks 1: You like to help out around the house.
Fearlessness 1. You’re aware that being brave is always best.
Hobbies 0: You are notoriously ordinary at all the hobbies you try out.
Ordinary Shine 1: This is your social skill, its good at letting you make miraculous and strange this seem ordinary or get ignored.
Play Fighting 0: You love to play with your dad or other kids but you aren't particularly strong or large, so you usually only win when they let you.
Schoolwork 1. You’re familiar with this “studying” and “homework” phenomenon
(Superior) Snake-Person 1: You possess a venomous bite, freely dislocatable and relocatable limbs, a good sense of smell, and control over your prehensile scarf.
(Unique) Wish-Granting Engineering 2: You can build devices that can change the fragile or fragmentary pseudoreality of Town. You don't really understand why they work, however. Treat as a form of Deviant Science!

Arc: Knight; you are essentially a Science Hero in training.

Bond: “I automatically use my “outside voice” when talking about Science!” 1
Bond: You never admit to dreaming about being a Giant Snake 1
Affliction: Chuubo can't neglect his Wish Granting engine.

Connection: Your best friend 2

Basic Quest: Tinkering with his Wish Granting engine.
Emotional XP: Aww!

Academics Skill: Average
Sports Skill: Ordinary
Favorite Foods: Seaweed crackers, pickled vegetables, stinky cheeses
Blood Type: O
Animal: Serpent
Age: 12
An Interesting Fact About You: You have a Miraculous Wish Granting engine that can produce 1 MP/week.
Last edited by mrlost on Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by jimmy corrigan » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:38 pm

Cool. :wink:

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:20 pm

Once there was darkness, a tabula rasa across which drifted stars in uncertain constellations. The intelligences that lived in that expanse of potentiality observed those stars with a dreamy languor, the same way we would now watch clouds and point out clouds that resemble this or that without actually becoming it. They basked in unrealised possibility.

Then came Cneph, the first Deceiver, who spoke to the stars of the unwoven expanse and caused them to repent of their mayfly existences and surrender themselves to his hands and will. He forged of them a wall of blue fire, and in creating a divide between what was and what was not brought the vulgarity of objective existence into being. The World Ash that grew within his Weirding Wall became a compass point, a cardinal direction, around which all potentiality must revolve as a reference point.

The beings of the primal darkness cried out in betrayal and horror at what had happened: their contemplations of potentiality had been ruined, for possibility had been diluted, diverted into streams of is and is-not. Their transcendent state of moksha had been defiled.

In order to preserve the memory of those amorphous constellations, the beings devoured that memory. In doing so they learned how to unmake in a cosmic act of digestion: in consuming, they removed all differentiation, extruding raw potential from finished absolutes. They became the Excrucians, and the stars-that-were fall forever in their eyes.

Only that was untold eons ago, when the crippled Earth was not yet ended.

You’re not human. You’re not a native. You were sent here, from Outside by your Excrucian masters to deceive and spy on the inhabitants of Town with tact permission from the Principle, Lord Entropy II. Your eyes are fields of night-black space punctuated by the occasional falling stars, from your head protrudes oily black filiments that some might mistake for hair at a distance. Your glassy translucent skin is clothed in a "I ❤️ Town" t-shirt, and a black school uniform with red piping to declare your inhumanity to the other students.

Name: Edony Feast

Archery and Swordplay 1: You have been taught how to use an abhorrent blade and a worldsbreaker bow. The mundane versions are no doubt available in School athletic clubs.
Changeling 1: this is your magical blending in/filtration skill (see below)
Cooking 1: You approach the task like organic chemistry.
Eavesdropping 3: You have no trouble hearing the natives, and you always hear when people in School speak your name.
Schoolwork 1: You are above average at completing homework.
Socialize 0: You aren't very good at understanding people.
Superior Physical Control 2: You’re better than any human, but the best gymnasts, runners, and fighters out there might be able to almost keep up with you and edge out a victory by sheer experience.

Bond: I am burned by the touch of a friend 2
Affliction: I hear when others speak my name 1

Basic Quest: Spying on the School
Emotional XP: Creepy

“Changeling: a Magical Skill

This is another of the Excrucians’ magical Skills. It gives you the power to seem human even though you are not.
To slip in and live among the families of the Walking Fields, or somewhere else.
To take those eyes of night and falling stars and make them green, or blue, or brown.
Known magical techniques include:
[Obstacle 1] Conceal your eyes behind an appearance of normalcy.
[Obstacle 1] Fit in with the local humans; conceal the behavioral signs of foreignness
[Obstacle 1] Conceal scars
[Obstacle 2] Conceal and partially suppress wounds and sickness
[Obstacle 2] Mimic a particular individual’s appearance and mannerisms
[Obstacle 2] Fit seamlessly into a family, so that they forget you were not theirs
[Obstacle 3] Poison someone with a shard of dream, driving them into a psychotic break and filling their eyes with night and falling stars.
Many of these effects become quasi-permanent with regular use—the changeling doesn’t have to sustain the magic, but in theory might find the effects fading and have to renew them later on.”

“Academics Skill: Above Average
Sports Skill: Archery and Swordplay
Favorite Foods: Holy texts, blood, communion wine
Blood Type: N/A, you bleed star dust.
Animal: Mantis
Age: 16 billion

An Interesting Fact About You: You have eaten your entire host family.

Excerpt From: Jenna Katerin Moran. “The Chuubo's Halloween Special.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.
Last edited by mrlost on Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:31 pm

“You’re a mysterious bishounen. You’ve always been a mysterious bishounen. You used to wear a domino mask when rescuing people in the fields at age 8. By age 12 you were surrounded by fangirls and minions. Now you’re widely known as the greatest super-idol at the School—maybe even in the whole Village!
You’re cool and laid back. You don’t want to be a hero, really. You don’t want to make waves. You’d be happy just sleeping, and playing with your dog, and having some fun, but…
The world won’t leave you alone.
People are always getting into trouble. They’re always needing your help. You want to sleep, like, for just another 5, 10 minutes maybe? But they need you now. Or someone wants to fight you or kill you or beat you in sports now.
So eventually you just kind of gave in. You said: fine, I’ll live the awesome life. I’ll be dazzling.”

“That’s why you’re the top delinquent on Principle Entropy's hit list. That’s why all the school’s gangsters and roustabouts call you “big brother,” turning to you when they can’t rely on anyone else. That’s why you’re always having to bother yourself and steal things, or fight people, or host massive parties, or save the world. You don’t even mind it any more. But as fun as it gets, or as awful as it gets, you can’t make yourself care:
You’d rather look at the clouds.”

Name: Hiro Idol

Empathy 3. You’re great at reading people, not that you want to be.
Delinquent 2. You’re good at sneaking, fighting, and other delinquent stuff.
Student 1. You’re familiar with academics, sports, and student life.
Snazzy Clothing 1. You know your way around a clothing store.

Bond: Heart Reader, your ability to sense truth 2
Affliction: “Mysterious Bishounen,” granting you the power to attract butterflies when resting on the grass, sparkle, keep clean when wading through the sewers, and in general be cooler-than-life in a passive, romanticized way.

Connection 1: You are close to your dog, White River.

basic quest: Be Excellent, dude
Emotional XP: Faith/Confidence. When people say "Hiro can handle it!" is when you get XP

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Name: Sober Sable, Vampire Ace Athlete

Cheerful Nice Guy 1: This is your social skill.
Horrible Judge of Character -1: You tend to see the best in people, monsters, and cosmic horrors from Outside.
MVP 2: You are the top footballer, dodgeballer, and blernsball player at the School.
Superior Physical Control 3: You can pour tea safely while on the back of a bucking horse.
Superior Vitality 1: This gives you a small supernatural edge, but not an awesome one.
Vampire 2: Are you a half-vampire? A young vampire? Unusually alive? Your fangs are very small. If you plan to turn someone else into a vampire, have medical assistance on hand, since there’s a very high risk that you’ll just kill them. You can survive starvation, asphyxiation, and drowning, but you need mortal food and air to function. You also need a bit of blood or negative energy now and then to keep your powers active. You give off “this is a dangerous human” vibes and can smell blood from a long way away. Your senses are generally keen and your night vision is excellent.

Bond: You're just so darn sweet, that it borders on embarrassing 2
Affliction: your natural way of moving freaks people out. It is terrifying.

Basic Quest: Making Friends
Emotional XP: Fist-Pump/Salute, “if you’re bombastic, larger-than-life, and dramatic”
Last edited by mrlost on Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:17 pm

“The Meaning of a Skill

Part of the reason that we know that Cooking Skill can’t psychically blow up the world is that the Skill has a plain, common-sense meaning.

Not every Skill does.

And even a Skill like Cooking has a meaning that evolves over time—if two cooks have this Skill, one may master the perfect sandwich while another focuses on fancy high-tech foods. Their Skills might both be called “Cooking,” and they each might be able to learn to do the other’s tricks in short order, but the Skills themselves are not the same.

So let’s talk about how Skills differentiate and define themselves during play.

Consider a ninja faced with a blackboard and a complex system of linear equations on it. The ninja throws down a smoke bomb, vanishes; when the smoke clears, a solution is written on the board.
Ninjutsu, to solve a system of linear equations. Can such a thing be done?
As noted, the HG is under no real obligation to allow it. It’s obvious that the ninja can write something on the board during the smoky interval, at least with an Intention 2+, but whether it’s correct or[…]”

Excerpt From: Jenna Katerin Moran. “Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine.” Eos Press, 2013-11-26T05:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

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Re: Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine One Shot

Post by mrlost » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:05 pm

Name: Mao Neko, anthropomorphic cat person

Cat-Speaker 4: You can communicate verbally or telepathically with nearby cats. It’s not a very profound mind-to-mind connection but it is there. Cat-Speaker also functions as a generic Skill at doing cat-like stuff—hunting, fishing, athletics, hanging out in high places, appealing to human sensibilities without giving in to their customs, seeing in the dark, sneaking around, and so forth. It gives its full bonus Edge when you’re talking to cats, in any circumstance where talking to cats can possibly give you that much Edge—a tense contest to convey information quickly to a cat is the Platonic ideal case, although a battle in a battlefield with cat-activatable turrets in the background is pretty close—and it gives some fraction of that Edge for cat-like activities.
Cooking 2
Vancian Spellcasting 2: You can "memorize" and cast rote patterns of mystical energy called spells

Bond: Easily Distracted Dyslexic 2
Affliction: by the way, there are spells that it is plausible for me to know, and ways I can plausibly learn more later on
Accessory Perk: Vancian Spellbook

For full-on Dying Earth-style magic, access to spells is a Perk—specifically, an Accessory Perk. Once you have access to a spell, actually memorizing or casting it uses the mundane actions system. Obviously, if you’re a magician and you’re in a game where you don’t start with Perks, you’ve just suffered a disaster that cost you your spells. What is your tale of woe?

If you’re looking for magicians with dozens of standardized spells …

You probably want a magical Skill, because magic like that is supposed to be “difficult.” Ideally it’s tuned to the kinds of thing that that sort of magician actually does … but a quick and dirty Skill for casters with a spell library has techniques something like this:

[Obstacle 0] Detect and analyze magic
[Obstacle 1] Cast one of your favorite spells, while fresh
[Obstacle 1] Cast a spell you probably have, or are known to have, that’s perfect for this situation
[Obstacle 2] Cast one of your favorite spells, while running low on mana/energy
[Obstacle 2] Cast a spell you probably have, or are known to have
[Obstacle 3] Cast a spell it’s surprising but plausible for you to possess

This approach relies on the idea that before a spell can become one of your favorites, it has to get in the door by being plausible for or likely-had by someone of your skill level and magical school. If you’re basically making up your own magic from scratch, and it’s not a common part of the setting, then a Skill like this is usually paired with an Affliction or Reality Syndrome or some other miraculous ability that says “by the way, there are spells that it is plausible for me to know, and ways I can plausibly learn more later on.”

Basic Quest: Avoid Homework
Emotional XP: Headdesk

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