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Inspired by pedant.
It started with your kid sister. Or maybe your best friend. Or your dog. Or maybe just your car. Somebody or something you cared about a lot was put out of commission by some crack-snorting, gun-toting prick, and the police couldn't or wouldn't do a thing.
Maybe they were spread too thin. Maybe they just didn't care, or maybe they were in on it. No matter how you slice it, there wasn't any justice. At least not until you got loaded for bear -- or maybe just loaded -- and went out to make some justice for yourself.
You settled some scores and bashed some heads. That should have been the end of it, but a few nights or weeks later, you went out and did it again. And again after that. Drug dealer here, pimp there, embezzler over on the other side of town. It became a routine, then a habit. Then an addiction.
Now it's much, much more.
You're in that grey zone between right and wrong, good and bad. You bend and break the laws of Congress and the laws of Physics in pursuit of justice, if you can call it that. The police and the feds can't figure you out and it makes them nervous. The criminal element is high strung in your town, never knowing when you'll show up. Dukes in the Underground either laugh at you or fear you, and what they fear they try to destroy. You have enemies on all sides of the game and your M.O. and/or nickname gets plastered on the tabloids in classic sensationalist journalism.
But it's all worth it. You're doing it for all the other people out there with kid sisters. Or best friends. Or dogs. Or cars.
Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.
Vigilantomancy Blast Style: Vigilantomancy has no blast. Arguably, it doesn't need one.
Symbolic Tension: Vigilantomancers uphold the law by breaking it. Grabbing incriminating evidence while trespassing, taking out pushers with unliscensed firearms, killing a serial rapist without trial by jury.
Generate a Minor Charge: Get a low level criminal element off of the streets. By off of the streets, this can mean "in jail" or "in a morgue", depending on personal inclination. A low level criminal would be anyone who has committed a felony but hasn't been apprehended; most misdemeanor crimes don't carry the same kind of meaning. So no charging up by busting jaywalkers. As always, using a spell to help catch somebody means you can't get a charge off of that capture.
Generate a Significant Charge: Take out a much bigger criminal fish. A classic drug kingpin, who sits at the center of a web of narcotics smuggling and distribution like some kind of spider, would be worth a significant charge. A corrupt policeman high in the department structure would also be worth a significant charge. If he's in a group making key decisions, he's significant; flunkies of him are still worth minors. This can also include people who work on their own but have gained a hell of a reputation, like hired assassins, fanatical bombers, et cetera. Serial killers are a special case, though. Sometimes they send police clues and information, either showing off their intelligence or secretly wanting to be caught. Regardless of the case, if a criminal is actively helping you catch him in any way, he's only worth a minor charge.
Generate a Major Charge: Take out a criminal with national or global notoriety. Osama bin Laden, if he's still alive, would be worth a major charge. The Unabomber from years ago might also have been worth a major, as would have been Tim McVeigh for his part in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Taboo: The Vigilantomancer must never act with sanctioned authority. He can't become a deputy, have a badge, be backed up by any sort of official power structure. He also can't accept any sort of award or even reward for his cleaning up the streets (this takes out mercenary work, but it doesn't preclude looting the people you just beat up). This can sometimes make things tricky if the Vigilantomancer is well liked or respected by the community and police department. If one officer looks the other way when the Punk is operating, that's okay. If it's police department policy to stay off of his back, though, that's a charge buster. Of course, if the Vigilantomancer is breaking as many laws as he's upholding, this will rarely be a problem, but magick can twist things around. (Napoleon of Notting Hill might do it.)
Random Magick Domain: Vigilantomancy covers two seperate fields where they overlap. The first is crime, law, and justice, the second is personal ability. You could become more lethal with a gun in a shootout, but it wouldn't work as well if you were out hunting with your pal Billy Bob.
Special Restriction: If for any reason you cast a spell outside of a situation where you are pursuing or fighting a criminal, take a 10% negative shift to your magick skill for that spell's roll. The skill itself remains unchanged for things like rituals.
Charging Tips: In a bad city with good skills and weapons, it might be possible to get several minor charges a night by going after muggers and pimps. In smaller cities and towns, the pickings are slimmer, but you can get a minor charge every week or two by going after vandals and theives, typically. No matter where you are, sig charges will be less common and take more effort to acquire. Once every month or two sounds appropriate.
Minor Formula Spells
Cost: 1 Minor Charge
When this spell is cast, all Notice checks are made with a 20% positive shift. Useful for noticing things like footprints in the dark, or inconsistencies in cigarette ash. You don't have the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, but at least you have his keen eye for detail. Lasts for an hour.
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
This spell makes your skill with handguns, rifles, and other firearms a bit better, to the tune of a 20% positive shift, for three rounds. If you don't use a gun and don't even know how, you gain a firearms skill at 20% for the same amount of time. Hey, it's better than nothing.
Cover My Tracks
Cost: 3 Minor Charges
This is a very useful spell that can keep a Punk out of major trouble with the police. Any attempts to find evidence connecting the Vigilantomancer to a particular crime fails. All those fancy tests they run on the CSI TV shows? Inconclusive. Chemicals mix weird, DNA decays too quickly, fibers change consistency, paint changes hue, firearm ballistics don't match. Any investigative attempt to find who was responsible for a certain crime has a flat 50% chance of failing. In essence, this is a lot like having a Lock on the Door of the Law, except it works on a specific event instead of over a time frame, and requires magick charges instead of blood.
Don't Mess With Me
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
This spell makes the Punk more intimidating. When interrogating a suspect or shaking somebody down for information, as examples, the Vigilantomancer gains a 30% positive shift to his Intimidate skill from this spell. If he doesn't have one already, he gains it at 30%.
Cost: 1 Minor Charge
Almost but not quite a healing spell, Second Wind lets an injured Vigilantomancer get back on his feet. If the spell is successful, he gains back the sum of the dice in Wound Points. If the number of wound points gained back is equal or greater than the number of lost wound points, the Punk is short one point; that can only be healed through rest. The spell also only works once on a certain injury. In other words, this spell is like Instant First Aid.
Significant Formula Spells
Cost: 1 Significant Charge
A very handy spell, this works a lot like the Urbanomancer spell My Turf. Once a Punk has selected his patrol route, he can sense any criminal activity in that area. A minor charge added to the spell when it's cast can let it detect magick as well, but the spell cannot be any more discerning than that. It lasts a month, but will end before that time if the Vigilantomancer doesn't physically patrol the area at least once every other day.
Just a Graze
Cost: 1 Significant Charge
This is like Second Wind, but works only on gunshots. Any successful firearm attack by an opponent can be turned into a graze; the Vigilantomancer is down just one Wound Point from blood loss, surprise, cauterization, et cetera, instead of sporting a huge, gaping hole in his chest. This is similar to the Entropomancer spell Luck of the Damned, but must be cast ahead of time, preferably as soon as the enemy pulls a gun.
Here Comes the Cavalry
Cost: 2 Significant Charges
When the Vigilantomancer casts this spell, the local law enforcement will head towards his position. They get called out for something not directly related to the Vigilantomancer's current situation but is coincidentally nearby. Once they get close enough they may be diverted if something gets their attention; fire will sometimes do that, gunshots always will. Note that this does not obligate the police to help the Vigilantomancer and does not protect him from the legal consequences of his actions (but see next spell).
Cost: 3 Significant Charges
Useful if the Vigilantomancer gets caught and is in trouble for the more violent or dangerous part of his work. When cast, any investigation or prosecution of the Punk will start running into tangles of a legal or beaurocratic nature (didn't get read Maranda rights, somebody faked evidence, procedure violated, possible bigotry on the side of the law enforcement, and so on). Much like the first channel of the Dark Stalker, it won't help if you're found standing over the corpse of the person you just pointblanked, but if there's the slightest fragment of reasonable doubt, this spell will cause that doubt to be fruitful and multiply into every part of your case.
He's a Maniac!
Cost: 4 Significant Charges
If the fighting is not going good for the Vigilantomancer, there's always this spell. When cast, the Punk gets the effects of Second Wind (recovery of wound points), Just a Graze (protection from a single gunshot) and a souped up version of Don't Mess With Me: The Punk no appears so dangerous and threatening that any who attempt to attack him must make a Rank-4 Self Check ("That guy could crush my head like a beer can. What the hell was I thinking?!").
Major Charge Effects
Gain a Permanent improvement to the Intimidate skill. Permanently gain the ability to flip-flop Struggle or Firearms rolls even if they aren't your obsession skill. Instantly know the motive, method, and perpetrator of a particular crime, no matter who, where, or how long ago. Survive an otherwise fatal or debilitating injury with nothing worse than a few cool looking scars.
Wow, actually this doesn't seem to bad, I might even use it. It would be a nice competition for the Executioner as well.
This is pretty damn cool. I think this is what superheroes would look like in UA.
mooshified | profile | Aug 24, 05 | 4:52 pm
Would Ken Lay be worth a major?
Michael Keenan | profile | Apr 09, 08 | 10:09 pm