Posts Tagged ‘Homebrew’

So I just picked up a copy of City of Mists from DriveThruRPG at the recommendation of Obskures over in Twitter.

Having had a chance to read over it, I realized that it was actually near-perfect for a Persona RPG. This is probably the laziest way to run a Persona game ever given that there was no need to come up with extra mechanics, just slot in your favorite powers and run!

Check out the crew and setting details and a sample persona user below!

Crew Type: The Gang

You’re more than just investigation partners: you’re friends. Whether you are high-school friends, university chums, elderly home roommates, or just hanging out together, you’ve known each other for a while and possibly even helped each other go through your awakenings. It seems whenever you hang out together, strange things start happening around you, things that are connected to your own personal questions. Can you help those around you restore the peace while solving the mysteries of your own Mythoi? You may not have fancy headquarters, a great deal of resources, or the slightest clue what you are doing, but hey – you have each other!

Series focus: the relationships within the crew Characters: students, teachers, or other City residents who are friends, classmates, roommates, or family members

Possible cases: investigating bizarre incidents within your social circle (e.g., school, apartment block) that at first seem insignificant, tackling others within your social circle who use their Mythos powers immorally or against you, discovering that one or all of you are of special interest to some big players in the City – and dealing with it


Your story is a noir-inspired detective story set nowadays. All the challenges of the world as you know it are included: an overcrowded city, growing social alienation to the point of mass psychosis, unchecked consumerism. The ghost dimension of the Internet is superimposed on all aspects of life (although it may not be a focus of your series). People live in an almost impenetrable bubble of distraction, giving the Mist a whole new interpretation.

Sample Persona User

Ulala Serizawa (and her Persona: Callisto)
Mythos:  Callisto
Logos: Traumatized and Angry Working Girl

Mythos Themes: Bastion, Expression
Logos Themes: Defining Event, Training

BASTION: “Broken but Unbowed”
Power Tags: Impressive Resilience, Interposed Block, Hunker Down
Weakness Tags: “I can’t protect them all!”

EXPRESSION: “Heart of Stone”
Power Tags: Stone Projectiles, Affects Concrete, Concrete Barrier
Weakness Tags: Severe Colateral Damage

Power Tags: Filled with Rage, Horoscopes, Roommate: Maya
Weakness Tags: Emotional Scarring

TRAINING: “The Sweet Science”
Power Tags: Boxing, Mean Right Hook, Boxing Gloves
Weakness Tags: Exposed after Right Hook


As far as cabals go, the Suicide Pact is an odd, insular bunch.  The three mages that compose the cabal are close as kin, even if they had only known each other over the internet a few years ago.  An old, washed-out salaryman, an angry construction worker and a bastard army brat had nothing in common except for a singular goal:  to die in a most poignant fashion, to leave this sad and broken world in a way that echoes their emptiness inside.

The plan was perfect, the combined suicide note were carefully written and rewritten for clarity.  Their clothes were selected to look best in the newpapers.  They opted to go for charcoal burning: painless, stainless and effortless.  All they’d have to do is lie down, take deep breaths, and go to sleep.

At least, that was the plan.

Most of the other mages in Tokyo contest their stories, but the Suicide Pact claim that it was at this moment that all three of them found themselves in Stygia.  While lost in the realm of the dead, the three stumbled about, coming to one singular conclusion: Death was not what they really wanted.

And so they worked their way towards a great tower that rose above the gloom, helping each other as each succumbed to their weaknesses, finding true camaraderie here in the land of shades.  They could not explain it, but they were certain that this was the way out.

The Suicide Pact remained together even after they awoke, choking and gasping, running out of the room to breathe fresh air.  They had learned something, become something more.  It was a strange, but powerful transformation, and all three of them shared a bond that was forged beyond the Fallen World.


The Suicide Pact is a Free Council Cabal composed of Rei Hiramatsu, a sixteen year old Japanese-American Army Brat who never knew her real father, Yuji Ogata, a Construction Worker whose drinking habit caused his wife and child to leave him, and Ryunoske Yamadera, a retired Salaryman who gave all his years to a company who sacked him for being “redundant.”

All three of them are Free Council Mages, with no real interest in getting involved in the “politics” of the Consilium.  Instead, the Suicide Pact has set up a Suicide Prevention and Grief Counseling Hotline, using their magics to help people discover the truths that they died to learn.  Having a few friendly ghosts as allies to serve as an additional information gathering network doesn’t hurt either.

This doesn’t mean that it’s always easy however, as the Suicide Pact has also taken to the field to stop a Gaki or two that’s been terrorizing neighborhoods and even a serial rapist once.



The Suicide Pact was an exploration of the theme of Hope in light of the Moros.  It’s easy to make a dour, emo Moros, but entirely different to take themes of Death and merge those with Hope and Friendship.  This Cabal makes for a good ally for Cabals of any alignment, as the Suicide Pact hold their mission to preserve life as more important than politics.  This isn’t to say that the Cabal is a pushover either.  The Cabal has garnered a massive following of grateful mortals and allied ghosts, and should any of the Suicide Pact be pushed into a corner, the assailant had better be prepared to be mobbed from all sides.

That's Tifa, as far as I'm concerned.

“When I wear this, I am a God, a Concept, an Ideal. Forget yourself, and become Nothing and Everything at once.”

To transcend the limits of your humanity by becoming a symbol is the very focus of the Avatar Legacy.  Using principles of Zen married into the subcultures of Cosplay and the Internet, this recently born Legacy of Warlocks aspires towards enlightenment by shedding their Ego, paring away at the self until one can finally reach the point where one is ready to understand the universal Truth.

To allow the Avatars to overcome the self, they select symbols to transform into.  Some take up the mannerisms, speech and costumes of beloved anime and manga characters, as well as those from live-action tokusatsu shows, while others resort to the anonymity of the internet, hiding behind handles and made-up personas, breathing life into imaginary identities, making them real.  More moderate members take on various “Common” roles, manifesting as the kindly taxi driver, the greeting lady in a shopping mall, or a security guard in the subway.  These “roles” are no less valid, and many Avatars bask in the inherent anonymity of a stereotype.

The Avatars have also taken to harnessing the very symbols that they represent to encourage ideas, memes and concepts that sway the youth towards chosen opinions on issues such as ecological awareness, politics and other causes deemed worthy.  This power to swing opinion is a double-edged sword, as the Avatars have also been known to fall victim to their own pride and self-righteousness, using their own symbols to further hate or discrimination as well.

Parent Path: Mastigos or Free Council
Dolls, Pretenders
Suggested Oblations: Zazen Meditation, making a costume, cross-dressing, successfully passing yourself as someone else in public (usually a celebrity)
Concepts: Professional Cosplay performer, Anonymous Internet Symbol of Justice, Good Samaritan


1st Attainment: Knowing the Symbol
Prerequisites: Gnosis 3, Mind 2, Empathy 3

The Avatar’s first step into losing the self, is to embody the universal appeal of their Symbol.  As long as the Avatar is portraying someone else, they gain the benefits of a Mind 2 “First Impressions” spell at all times, with successes equal to the Avatar’s dots in Mind.

2nd Attainment: Wearing the Symbol
Prerequisites: Gnosis 5, Mind 3

At this stage of an Avatar’s path to enlightenment, the Avatar learns to manifest his Symbol by will alone.  The Avatar gains the inherent ability to benefit from the Mind 3 “Impostor” spell, with the Avatar rolling his Manipulation+Expression or Subterfuge, and gaining automatic successes equal to his dots in the Mind Arcana.

3rd Attainment: Becoming the Symbol
Prerequisites: Gnosis 7, Mind 4

The Avatar’s transformation is nigh complete at this stage.  As long as the Avatar is “in-character” with a given role, the mage may benefit from the Mind 4 “Skill Mastery” spell, gaining temporary dots in a chosen skill equal to his Mind Arcana.  These may push a skill to a Maximum of 7 dots, and these skill dots may also be distributed among multiple Skills.  The only limitation is that these skills must coincide with the “Stereotype” of the role being taken.  An Avatar who has taken the persona of an Accountant, for example, may not use Becoming the Symbol to gain dots in Firearms.



The Avatars Legacy was born out of looking at the Cosplay community and trying to see what kind of Spiritual / Philosophical concept could be applied to it as mages.  The Free Council strives to find Magic in the modern world, and this one came naturally to me.

For the Japan nMage game, I was looking at using the various zoku, or subcultures as a basis for many Free Council Cabals, as they fit the Free Council’s almost frenzied dash to innovate, create and push the boundaries of the now to find new and greater secrets hidden in the world as is.

As requested, here’s a follow up on my homebrew with a sample conversion of a Persona:


Power: 2
Finesse: 3
Resistance: 3

Influence: The Fool


  • Blast (“Agi”) As per the Blast Numina, with special effect of using Fire to do damage.
  • Drain – (“Tarunda”) As per the Drain Numen, enabling Orpheus to steal Essence of Willpower from a being.
  • Regenerate – (“Cadenza”) Orpheus can regenerate damage.

Essence: 10
Initiative: 6
Speed: 10
Defense: 3
Shared with User
Health Levels: Shared with User

Orpheus is the Protagonist’s initial Persona in the Persona 3 videogame.  In order to call on him, it was necessary for the Protagonist to use an Evoker Pistol and shoot himself in the head with it.  The Evoker doesn’t actually do damage, through the visual effect of actually using it is pretty disturbing.


In Greek mythology, Orpheus was the son of Thracian king Oeagrus and the muse Calliope (some versions have Orpheus’ father as the god Apollo). Apollo, fond of Orpheus, gave him a small golden lyre, which he quickly mastered. Taught verses later to sing by his mother, Orpheus was so skilled at making music that he was called “Master of Strings” and “Father of Songs”, capable of such music that even rocks and animals would be compelled to dance.

Upon the death of his wife Eurydice, Orpheus was so distraught that his mournful singing brought nymphs and gods to tears. Traveling to the underworld, he used his music to soften the hearts of Hades and Persephone, who allowed him to bring his wife back to the upper world on the condition that he walk in front and not look back until they had both arrived on the surface. In his anxiety, Orpheus looked back, and saw his wife vanish, this time forever.

At the time of his death, Orpheus had become an apostate, spurning all gods save for Apollo, whom he thanked for his golden lyre. For this he was ripped apart by Dionysian Maenads, only his head and lyre remaining. His head floated down the Hebrus, continuing to sing sad songs until it was buried on the island of Lesbos, while his lyre was carried to the sky by the muses and placed among the stars.

[Homebrew] Persona nWoD Conversion

Posted: May 15, 2009 by pointyman2000 in World of Darkness


If anything, Persona is one of those videogame series that has truly had an influence on my GMing style.  As such, I’ve made it sort of a hobby for me to convert the game into as many gaming systems as I can.  While it won’t be a perfect fit, I’m pretty sure that nWoD would make for a remarkably good conversion for Persona.


Vanilla nWoD.  Build characters as normal starting characters, with zero additional experience, and the free Merit: Persona User (**), which would then enable them to see, analyze and summon Persona.  Game-wise, this merit may be tied to a focus of some sort, such as the Evoker Pistols of Persona 3, or the Glasses of Persona 4, depending on what suits the campaign more.


As for the Personas themselves, they should be built as Spirits, though with a few changes:

  • Personas start at Rank 1
  • 8 Attribute Dots to Distribute among Power, Finesse and Resistance Attributes (Max. 5)
  • All Personas have an Influence over their respective Tarot Arcana
  • All Personas start with 3 Numina powers
  • Starting/Maximum Essence 10
  • All Personas do not have a Corpus score, instead using their User’s Health Levels

Bound to the Persona User, May not stray beyond Line of Sight of the User

May not use Possession-Type Powers
May use Mage Rotes as Numina (with GM permission)

As per the standard Persona rules, only those with the Persona User Merit can see Personas.  Persona are capable of affecting the physical world without having to Materialize.  Damage done to a Persona translates to the User completely.  Also all monsters in a Persona campaign can only be hurt by Persona Users.  Furthermore a Persona may act separately from it’s User, effectively behaving as a second character, for as long as they remain within line of sight of each other.