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Old 02-02-2020, 01:07 PM   #81
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Sort of like Jim Butcher's Winter Court, fighting an eternal war to defend the Outer Gates of reality.
I stole it from gnosticism, but yeah, now that I think about it. It matches up well.


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Well, Teddy Smith's backstory already includes childhood friends who'd joined the Rhodesian Army with him (and some of whom also followed him into the French Foreign Legion when Rhodesia was no more) and who were with him as fellow members of the security team on the 1995 expedition. They didn't come back and while Teddy believes they are irrevocably gone... that doesn't mean he won't see their faces again.
That's messed up. I love it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:07 PM   #82
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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I stole it from gnosticism, but yeah, now that I think about it. It matches up well.
I don't do anything to encourage players to think about it (and none of my players are students of religions in general or Gnosticism specifically), but there are rather a lot of references to angels around Kessler.

Some of the cover companies the PCs are paid by include IYR Inc. (International Yachting and Racing), ISHIM Ltd. and Sentinel Risk Managment LLC; they live on the yacht Penemue and have their custom gunsmithing done at Azazel Arms & Gunsmithing LLC, where there is a premium line of non-metallic shotgun ammunition marketed as Malakhim Ammo.

However, considered soberly, J.R. Kessler is hardly an angelic figure. At best, he is a rakish, buccaneering amoral adventurer, at worst, he could be viewed as a violent, dark, acquisitive, ruthless, manipulative, even Satanic character...

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That's messed up. I love it.
My main concern now with He Who Hungers in the Deep is preventing Teddy Smith from just racing ahead of his allies and forcing a premature combat which would end in the death of either one, the fragment of the Outsider or that of the PC.

Fortunately, Teddy isn't Overconfident and his player should know that he'd have a better than even chance of death if he presses ahead without aid.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:56 PM   #83
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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My main concern now with He Who Hungers in the Deep is preventing Teddy Kessler from just racing ahead of his allies and forcing a premature combat
Teddy Kessler? Teddy Smith?
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:14 PM   #84
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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Teddy Kessler? Teddy Smith?
Yeah, my mistake.

Old man Kessler, the PCs' Patron, is aboard the Penemue, nowhere near the exciting action.

To clarify further, the PCs to whom I meant to refer is Teddy Smith, of course.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:34 PM   #85
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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I don't do anything to encourage players to think about it (and none of my players are students of religions in general or Gnosticism specifically), but there are rather a lot of references to angels around Kessler.
I take special pride when I put little niggly bits of lore into a background like that. Warms my cold dead heart.

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Some of the cover companies the PCs are paid by include IYR Inc. (International Yachting and Racing), ISHIM Ltd. and Sentinel Risk Managment LLC; they live on the yacht Penemue and have their custom gunsmithing done at Azazel Arms & Gunsmithing LLC, where there is a premium line of non-metallic shotgun ammunition marketed as Malakhim Ammo.
Love it. All of it.

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However, considered soberly, J.R. Kessler is hardly an angelic figure. At best, he is a rakish, buccaneering amoral adventurer, at worst, he could be viewed as a violent, dark, acquisitive, ruthless, manipulative, even Satanic character...
I assume you mean Teddy here?


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My main concern now with He Who Hungers in the Deep is preventing Teddy Smith from just racing ahead of his allies and forcing a premature combat which would end in the death of either one, the fragment of the Outsider or that of the PC.
They are that even as far as power goes?

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Fortunately, Teddy isn't Overconfident and his player should know that he'd have a better than even chance of death if he presses ahead without aid.
Interesting.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:16 PM   #86
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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I assume you mean Teddy here?
Totally my mistake and very confusing for anyone reading.

Posting while making nachos with my brother at a loud Super Bowl party leads to errors like this.

J.R. Kessler is the PCs' Patron, a centenarian Texan billionaire whose life story reads like tall tales and modern mythology; alleged Prohibition rum-runner, Galveston Free State gunsel, Hemingway-esque adventurer, WWII veteran of the French Foreign Legion, proprietor of a Havana casino, Houston oilman, African mining magnate, anti-Castro, pro-Cuban, rumoured connections with everyone from the Mafia to the CIA, African warlords, mercenaries and all kinds of organized crime. Kessler lives aboard the superyacht Penemue and employs the PCs, as well as dozens of others, to defend humanity from supernatural threats.

Teddy Smith (PC) is a Rhodesian, former Selous Scout and 2e REP paratrooper of the French Foreign Legion, whom Kessler recruited on a memorable night in Mali in 1986 and who was lost at sea in 1995, part of an expedition organized by Kessler to investigate a mysterious island that appeared north of Puerto Rico. Came back for unexplained reasons in 2018, apparently lived among the Nommo and made an Enemy of someone or something to whom the Nommo referred to as He Who Hungers in the Deep.

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They are that even as far as power goes?
He Who Hungers in the Deep is far more powerful than Teddy Smith (PC) [who is roughly around the power level of a Dresden Files main cast character about mid-arc, i.e 1,000 points].

But what is present on Earth is a mere tendril of He Who Hungers, possessing a body which has been twisted into a far more lethal form, but is still mostly just flesh and blood. And the tendril no longer has a connection to whatever Outer Realm it is native to and must use thaumatological energies it finds on comparatively magic-poor Earth to sustain itself. It has fed on a few deaths, but until He Who Hungers has eaten more souls, he has little energy available to be anything more than a physical threat.

So, yeah, Teddy Smith (PC) absolutely could kill the physical body through which He Who Hungers inhabits Earth. As they both have have bipedal forms adapted by magic to be Amphibious in GURPS terms, the watery field on which they could meet isn't even an overwhelming disadvantage for Teddy Smith (PC).

However, while Teddy is essentially a human-shaped creature with gills and webbed feet, He Who Hungers is transforming into a lethal, sharklike creature, all jaws, teeth and spiky tentacles. Their Swim Move might be in a similar ballpark, at least until He Who Hungers can devour enough energy to divest himself entirely of those aspects of human anatomy useless in the water, but Teddy Smith (PC) has a knife, while He Who Hungers has twisted his possessed vessel into a form composed mostly of deadly weapons.

If the water didn't make guns useless beyond a few feet (and even then, incapable of cycling for more than one shot), Teddy might have a better chance. If, in fact, Teddy can follow the Outsider until He Who Hungers has to step ashore (to reach sources of magic, victims or both), Teddy can hopefully vector his allies onto his position and they can bring some real firepower to bear.

But underwater? The odds are heavily in the favor of the primeval hunter vs. the tool user who can't use any of his best tools.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:50 PM   #87
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Default Re: Background for the Island

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Totally my mistake and very confusing for anyone reading.
No worries!


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He Who Hungers in the Deep is far more powerful than Teddy Smith (PC) [who is roughly around the power level of a Dresden Files main cast character about mid-arc, i.e 1,000 points].
So probably around 1600 points or so. That's a good range for a nasty piece of work like something from Outside.

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But what is present on Earth is a mere tendril of He Who Hungers, possessing a body which has been twisted into a far more lethal form, but is still mostly just flesh and blood. And the tendril no longer has a connection to whatever Outer Realm it is native to and must use thaumatological energies it finds on comparatively magic-poor Earth to sustain itself. It has fed on a few deaths, but until He Who Hungers has eaten more souls, he has little energy available to be anything more than a physical threat.
How's that work exactly?

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So, yeah, Teddy Smith (PC) absolutely could kill the physical body through which He Who Hungers inhabits Earth. As they both have have bipedal forms adapted by magic to be Amphibious in GURPS terms, the watery field on which they could meet isn't even an overwhelming disadvantage for Teddy Smith (PC).

However, while Teddy is essentially a human-shaped creature with gills and webbed feet, He Who Hungers is transforming into a lethal, sharklike creature, all jaws, teeth and spiky tentacles. Their Swim Move might be in a similar ballpark, at least until He Who Hungers can devour enough energy to divest himself entirely of those aspects of human anatomy useless in the water, but Teddy Smith (PC) has a knife, while He Who Hungers has twisted his possessed vessel into a form composed mostly of deadly weapons.
So getting it ashore is the key. interesting. And the Outsider likely understands that even if he is forced ashore somehow.

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If the water didn't make guns useless beyond a few feet (and even then, incapable of cycling for more than one shot), Teddy might have a better chance. If, in fact, Teddy can follow the Outsider until He Who Hungers has to step ashore (to reach sources of magic, victims or both), Teddy can hopefully vector his allies onto his position and they can bring some real firepower to bear.
That's what I'd do. Get He Who Hungers to come ashore and then use lots of fire. Lots of fire.

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But underwater? The odds are heavily in the favor of the primeval hunter vs. the tool user who can't use any of his best tools.
An ugly situation for sure.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:47 AM   #88
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J.R. Kessler is the PCs' Patron, a centenarian Texan billionaire whose life story reads like tall tales and modern mythology; alleged Prohibition rum-runner, Galveston Free State gunsel,
Gunsel? Sam Spade wasn't calling Wilmer a mercenary, he was calling him a catamite.

Apparently the editor of Black Mask refused to allow indecent words or references to be published in his magazine, so Dashiel Hammett had to sneak a few things past the profanity filter. Shaw struck out a reference to "the gooseberry lay", but let "gunsel" pass because he assumed that it meant "gunman" or "mercenary" or something like that. It's pretty clear in the movie that John Huston, Humphrey Bogart, Elisha Cook, and Thomas Richards knew exactly what Spade was saying.

I can't help feeling that this is similar in a way to Lovecraft using "rugose" and "squamous" as though they meant something scary or disgusting.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:19 AM   #89
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Gunsel? Sam Spade wasn't calling Wilmer a mercenary, he was calling him a catamite.

Apparently the editor of Black Mask refused to allow indecent words or references to be published in his magazine, so Dashiel Hammett had to sneak a few things past the profanity filter. Shaw struck out a reference to "the gooseberry lay", but let "gunsel" pass because he assumed that it meant "gunman" or "mercenary" or something like that. It's pretty clear in the movie that John Huston, Humphrey Bogart, Elisha Cook, and Thomas Richards knew exactly what Spade was saying.

I can't help feeling that this is similar in a way to Lovecraft using "rugose" and "squamous" as though they meant something scary or disgusting.
At the height of the Prohibition Era 'Free State of Galveston', J.R. Kessler was a precocious boy in his early teens who allegedly hung around older bootleggers and hoodlums. As far as can be determined, any suggestion that Kessler was at that time a member or associate of the Maceo organization is a latter-day invention by authors and journalists romanticizing a home town hero (in the original Greek sense of the term).

More prosaically, Kessler seems to have been a kid who hung around the Maceos' barbershop and athletic clubs, maybe doing chores and odd jobs. And at the time, any rumours about him were more likely connected to alleged unnatural relationships with older men taking place in the steam room than his prowess with firearms (which he was unlikely to have carried at the time, anyhow).

In any case, Kessler speaks about Sam and Rosario Maceo quite fondly and at least affects great familiarity with them and their affairs, but in this regard he is not unlike thousands of Galveston islanders (at their height, the brothers employed 2,500 people in Galveston). Unusually, however, Kessler seems to know (or pretend to know) quite a bit about their personal lives, including Sam's less well-known first wife, Jessica McBride and her family.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:48 PM   #90
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Splendid! To rise from rent-boy, or at least puer delicatus, billionaire is quite the career.
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