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Faster than you can shoot, he will sit your ass down in that wheelchair, permanently...
Attributes: The Grotesque Libertine is the living embodiment of the undeserving cripple and the self-loathing that is garnered by the revulsion and refusal of society. Unlike the Outsider, the Grotesque Libertine is there to make people accept who he is regardless of his own physical disfigurement and perhaps people will readmit the Grotesque to civilised human society. The Outsider gets his place from being in conflict with the roles within society, the Grotesque Libertine attempts to make society see that a working mind is of better value to society than merely looking pretty.
The Grotesque Libertine is also not a version of the Healer. They may overlap in some areas, but the Grotesque Libertine doesn’t need to be healed of his physical imperfection, he needs to stand up with it and make people accept him.
It is debated that the Grotesque Libertine ascended to the Invisible Clergy when the old Hermit was booted out as cities enveloped lone communities of the handicapped forcing people to be confronted with the mirror of what they are without the make-up.
The Grotesque Libertine is a yardstick determining how far society is willing to utilise a person and skills regardless of physical deformity.
The Grotesque Libertine has always been a fringe archetype, creeping within the shadows of sexual decadence to get a leg up. He was a player in the bizarre sex circus of Caligula and in the decadent courts of Louis the Sun King until the peasants sliced everyone’s neck off.
The Grotesque Libertine is ultimately there to force the three primal instincts of food, shelter and sex and tame them in those around him. Often the Grotesque will have to make the first move by first getting people to pity him and then work on rubbing away the pity so people can accept him for what he is.
Unfortunately the unrequited desire for normalcy twists those same three basic instincts of food, shelter and sex and twists them into a warped braid gilded with debauchery, decadence and décor. The Grotesque Libertine sometimes becomes a sham as he becomes a novelty item when a desensitised society uses the Grotesque Libertine as a consumer item for personal pleasure and experimentation thrills.
As they increase in power certain Grotesque Libertines start to display an ugly side that exceeds any perceptive discomfort observers might feel. Although they continue to channel, they become warped and monstrous, extorting pleasure and power from people too scared to risk the Grotesque Libertine’s wrath.
But there are those that make the Grotesque Libertine a champion for those that are shunned normalcy.
Taboo: The Grotesque Libertine must have some visible disfigurement, whether amputation, severe burn-scars, birth defect or deformity as a skill no less than 20% and no lower than half his Grotesque Libertine skill. If the Grotesque Libertine ever hides or smoothes away his deformity in any way he breaks taboo with the archetype. Certain channels allow the Grotesque Libertine to gently violate this restriction.
Masks: The brilliant Otto Sump from Judge Dredd comics, The Cenobites from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser franchise, Ennis and Dillon’s Jesus de Sade from Preacher. The Hunchback of Notre Dame would be the good version of this archetype and the Baron Harkonnen is a powerful negative version.
Suspected Avatars in History: The Elephant Man, John Merrick, is perhaps the most famous suspected Avatar although his cloistered life probably stunted his avatarhood. The corpulent and wheezy Marquis de Sade is another strong contender.
Special: The Grotesque Libertine’s deformity skill is worth –20 and can be broken up in four 5-part penalties that can must be attributed to certain stat-governed skills. The skills suffer shift penalties, only certain skills suffer the penalties. Body, Speed, and Soul stat-governed skills can be penalised. So can Wounds.
01% – 50%:
People that show fake sincerity while bitching nasty about the Grotesque Libertine get nasty surprises, as do people who project selfish pity. These demeaning influences are twisted around in the minds and mouths of those that try to use them.
All social rolls made against the Grotesque Libertine are flip-flopped to their worst result, unless the relevant skill is above the avatar’s Grotesque Libertine skill.
This works even if the Grotesque Libertine is not present.
51% – 70%
The Grotesque Libertine is given power when he immerses himself in the social order.
The Grotesque Libertine gains a bonus when accepted in social groups (parties, soirees, celebrations, etc.) of more than fifty people. He gains +30% to a chosen governing Stat’s skills while at the party (capped by the Grotesque Libertine’s . The Stat can be chosen at whim and then the bonus applied. The Stat increase works until the party ends. This effect can raise the skills above their Stat limit. It can also be used to increase wounds.
71% – 90%
The Grotesque Libertine can throw off his physical ugliness to someone else for one day. The target gets the Grotesque Libertine’s imperfection skill. The Grotesque Libertine is without his deformity for one day.
The Grotesque Libertine cannot use this more than once per week or violate taboo. This is supposed to teach the victim to walk in the Grotesque Libertine’s shoes.
Although this is a violation of taboo, it allows the Grotesque Libertine to experience the world from the other side – to drift unseen and see the world without it gawking back at him and make him value his personal fight. Certain insiders see this as a little reprieve, a breather when the Grotesque Libertine can walk unnoticed, a nod of acknowledgement from the archetype.
The Grotesque Libertine can take another’s deformity onto himself once week. The other person is left without a deformity permanently. An amputee gets his arm back while the avatar loses his.
The Grotesque Libertine can throw off these stockpiled deformities onto someone else within line-of-sight. This is also a permanent transfer.
If the imperfection is disease-based, the actual disease is made inert until it is thrust onto someone else.
The Grotesque Libertine must always be left with one incurable disfigurement. If he ever throws off this last physical imperfection and doesn’t get another one within twenty-four hours, he immediately loses his contact with the archetype until he gets another disfigurement of equal value.
What you hear: The rough-and-tumble Chilean Gonzalvez Milo is the current Godwalker. He works with an avatar of the Pilgrim. They work in dirt-poor barrios – taking on the injuries left by inhuman cruelty and giving those very injuries to the people that find it easiest to dish them out.
As the Godwalker of the Grotesque Libertine turn any of his Wounds suffered into a disfigurement of equal value and toss it around in sociological warfare.
More than a few targets of Milo’s wrath have been left as drooling vegetables when he gave them a limb amputation to the psyche.
carsten | profile | Feb 02, 04 | 2:15 am
It was Louis the 14th - the Sun King - who was beheaded by unwashed French peasants.
carsten | profile | Feb 02, 04 | 6:03 am
well... at the end of the day, this one seems it'd do better as a School than an Archetype.
Menzoa | profile | Feb 13, 04 | 12:22 am
Well, it started as a school, but it just didn't work. It gelled as an Avatar, though.
It doesn't quite seem together enough for a seat on the IC. I don't see how the powers are coherent reflections of a concept or theme. They seem more a collection of effect that, while neat, don't really need to be wrapped in a archetype.
Menzoa | profile | Mar 02, 04 | 8:39 am
Too reiterate my previous comment: it didn't work as an adept, it worked as an archetype.
I figured out my issue with this one. I think it's that the idea of the "court gimp" is very well covered by the Outsider (Statosphere, pg 68-69). The difference being that instead of race, religion, etc. it's a disability or disease. It incorporates the fear and sexuality aspects and even has a channel that gives their condition to others.
Menzoa | profile | Mar 02, 04 | 11:29 am