Carnival RPG Systems
Beings of Belief
This story, you aren't human. Arguably, you're the monsters. As such things will be quite different. Humans are weaker than you, and unless they are heavily armed or in great numbers, you don't need to roll to act upon them. Individual humans can be harmed or killed with little effort, and can do little harm to you. This will not be a story filled with Kill Scenes.
When true danger arises in a Director-run scene, you CAN die, but death for you is rarely permanent. Gods and monsters that are killed rise again within 24 hours by either spending 8GP or lowering a stat by one level. There are ways in-game to recover these lost stats, and if Slasher has shown us anything it's that GP isn't scarce. Do keep in mind that if a stat drops below Poor, the character dies. Getting killed a lot can be a problem.
Gods and monsters don't get sick, don't contract or carry/spread diseases, and do not age. The weaker they get, yes, they start to wither and decay, but it's not the same.
Powers will be handled as Perks. There are two basic types - Minor Powers (10P) and Major Powers (40P). We'll use Thor as an example.
A strong, healthy version of Thor would have Major Power: Lightning. This would allow him to call down lighting from the sky and throw it at his enemies. This is a serious power, and therefore it costs a lot. There will be a GP cost and an activation roll to determine success, but the power itself is very strong.
A weaker, burning-out version of Thor would have Minor Power: Lightning. With this, he can only channel and direct existing lightning in a storm, not create it from thin air. There is still a GP cost and activation roll, but it's far more limited in scope and use.
To sum up, a Major Power can simply be called forth from nothing. Fire, lightning, storms, instantaneous healing, etc. A Minor Power alters existing sources of fire, lightning, intensifies an existing storm or speeds natural healing. A Major Power costs 5GP to activate, while a Minor Power only costs 3GP. Both require a roll tied to a base stat to use. The Director will tell you which stat a power uses at character creation.
Using Powers during show RP is free and does not require a roll. Do what you do for the mortal crowds that come to see you! Casual RP is the same. Anything outside of performing or casual RP, however, costs and requires a roll.
Lastly, using powers in front of the masses can have consequences. Performing a miraculous trick on stage is one thing. Doing it in the street is another. Unwanted attention, fearful, angry mobs - these are only a few concerns to think about when using a power.
The real danger you're trying to avoid is being completely forgotten. There will be certain places, things and threats that can cause your character to start to forget what and who they really are. Should they forget completely, they're unmnade. That's permanent. Likewise, a god or monster who dies while suffering from forgetting cannot rise again. When you encounter something IC that can do this to you, it triggers a Freak-Out check. You should respond accordingly IC, as these things are terrifying to your kind.
Perks and Quirks
This story you may have 60pts of Perks, paid for by taking Quirks. Gods get one Power (Minor) for free, and monsters get Shapeshift (Human) free to blend in.
10 Point Perks
Re-roll 1 die. Once per Scene. You must select which die you wish to reroll.
You can influence and alter existing things. Make fire spread, make a storm worse, make a wound heal faster, tweak luck, see glimpses of the past and future, etc. 3GP per use. Requires a Stat Check of associated stat (Director assigns it). If the roll fails, no GP is spent. Casual daily RP does not require expenditure.
You can take on other guises at will, changing age, ethnicity and gender. You can rearrange Brawn, Finesse and Spirit to fit the new guise. 2GP per use, includes changing back. Casual daily RP does not require expenditure.
Can add an additional +1 die. Once per Scene.
You can take on animal forms at will. In an animal form you can rearrange Brawn, Finesse and Spirit to fit the animal. 2GP per use, includes changing back. Casual daily RP does not require expenditure.
20 Point Perks
Use before a Freak-Out Check to automatically succeed once per Scene for 3GP.
Use a Positive quality in a tagential (other) Stat Check once per Scene.
30 Point Perks
Double SP gain on a Stat Check that has a Matched Set. Once per scene for 3GP.
You have a mortal or animal that is tightly bound to you, connected beyond the level of a normal believer. They take the place of one of your three SRs, and can have up to 30pts of Perks for 30pts of Quirks to balance them. Cannot be taken with Cult.
If put in negatives, roll 1d6. On a 4-6, stay at 1 SP and continue. Once per scene for 3GP (if successful).
40 Point Perks
You can create and manipulate forces, elements or materials with will alone. Create fire, throw lightning, forge steel from thin air, heal wounds instantly, create and ruin luck, weave new futures, and so on. 5GP per use. Requires a Stat Check of associated stat (Director assigns it). If the roll fails, no GP is spent. Results are determined by the Director in the interest of balance and story. Casual daily RP does not require expenditure.
You don't have SRs, you have a small cult of worshippers that are part of the carnival. You can tap them for up to 15GP per Chapter and die once per Chapter for free. Further deaths per Chapter must be paid in GP or by lowering a stat.
10 Point Quirks
You don't know your own strength, and often damage things or hurt others when you aren't careful. You may big and lumbering as well, awkward when nothing is the right size for you.
Something rare can cause you harm, or even kill you. Silver, gold, cold iron, holy water, etc.
You're a product of a bygone era and can't fully adjust to the modern world. Your speech is odd, or your style of dress is quaint, and you have problems with technology - you can't drive a car, etc.
Something about your god or monster nature carries over in every guise you have. A vestigial tail, one-eyed, fangs, clawed hands, etc. While this is useful as a performer, it makes you stand out in a crowd as a freak.
You're inhumanly beautiful, and stick out no matter how hard you try to fit in or look normal. Mortals become obsessed with you.
Even in your human guise(s), you radiate a feral, bestial nature. Mortals are instinctively afraid of you and will not trust you.
20 Point Quirks
You eat... non-typical things. Blood or people, glass, dirt, etc. This can make it hard to blend in among mortals as anything else makes you violently ill.
Anyone you touch gives you visions of their death, or the death of loved ones. This is NOT a good or enjoyable thing as you experience it as if it were your own. The effects of this quirk happens every single time you touch anyone. Requires a Spirit Check, no GP or re-rolls, to avoid going into shock and panic.
- 1. Is it finger touch or any contact between naked skin? Does it have to be a touch initiated by the PC with Psychopomp? Does touching clothes trigger it off or does it have to be skin?
- Skin contact of any kind.
- 2. Can the vision change? If I touch someone and see through their eyes that their husband kills them, can I tell our vengeance/justice goddesses who will then kill the husband before it happens and therefore invalidates the vision? Is it a concrete Fate or something that suits the conditions at the time of the touch?
- It changes every time. The future isn't static, and everyone dies. It's not a power and not meant to be used as such.
- 3. What happens when you touch another of the PCs? Do I see their death?
- See above.
- 4. What happens when I touch myself?
- No. It doesn't happen from self-contact.
- 5. Who provides the visions? If I touch another PC, can I pose any vision I wish since it could be different the next time I touch them? The point of the quirk is to have a nasty vision that is distressing and debilitating - should there therefore be no details at all? Or unremembered details to prevent it being used as a power?
- Since it's of no story consequence, you can make it up, let them make one up, or just refuse to say IC.
You're unlucky. Cursed. Bad to be around. Once per scene, you can be given a -1 on any roll. Or it might be given to someone else. (Director picks)
You're a creature of belief, and a slave to it. There are plenty of old wives tales about things that bring bad luck, and you won't do any of them. Ignoring your superstitions requires a Spirit Check, no GP or re-rolls allowed.
Something common can cause you harm, or even kill you. Sunlight, fire, garlic, crosses, etc.
30 Point Quirks
You can only be out and active at night. You can be awake at any time, but are sluggish and confined to your tent or trailer unless you possess an SR.
Everyone you see is dead. You see their decaying, rotting corpses, not their current body or self. You do NOT see ghosts or talk to the dead, that's a power. This just sucks.
You can only be out and active during the day. You can be awake at any time, but are sluggish and confined to your tent or trailer unless you possess an SR.
Supporting Roles will once again serve a slightly different purpose in this story. Each is a mortal that works for the carnival, but more importantly, they're true believers in your gods and monsters. This makes them valuable in new ways.
First, each can give up to 3GP to your Archetype per Chapter, which is important because your powers cost GP and you won't be getting nearly as much in RP as you did in Slasher. A Chapter is a set amount of time on the carnival circuit, generally 2-3 RL weeks, but IC time may vary. One Chapter may cover a single stop on the circuit - an important IC week in Iowa - and another may jump through IC months at a time chasing down a lead. You'll keep track of the GP they have on their wikis. Edits leave trails, so cheating would be easy to spot, and I trust you guys anyway.
Second, you can possess them, using their body and talents (stats and qualities) in place of your own, except Brains. This allows them to go off and handle business for you, or take risks you'd rather not take. If they die while you're possessing them, they're dead and you return to your own body, so keep that in mind. Possession costs 1GP, but like shapeshifting and using powers need not be paid for as a part of casual, daily RP. Plot/story scenes require expenditure.
Third, you can choose to have one die in your place if you're killed IC. Instead of burning GP or lowering a stat by a level, you can take their life essence to rise again.
You get three SRs this story. Use them wisely!
Your SRs or cult are your main source of GP this story. I want gaining GP to be hard and using Powers to be taxing. It's not an easy life as a dying god or monster. That said, there are still +kudos, and I will give 1GP for ONE performance scene per Chapter that you RP as your character, and 1GP for up to THREE performance scenes per Chapter you RP as a mortal carnival-goer. This will hopefully encourage you to RP squishies for each other to play with and chew on, letting you get into your god/monster's inhumanity. Non-performers (rousties, etc.) get credit for RPing setup, repair, teardown, etc., or whatever job they do.
You will also get GP for certain Directed scenes, as usual.