Season 192, 22nd of Kannazuki, Morning !6hhoXOrnIY 2014/12/14 (Sun) 19:03 No. 183576 ▼
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There is an all-powerful curse that has affected many people throughout all history. It says: "May you live in interesting times."
Unfortunately, you happen to reside in Bhavaagra, a holy realm notorious for its conspicuous purity and lack of all things cursed. Hermits and saints who have finally reached enlightenment are rewarded with the right to live here until the end of Time, listening to music, fishing and playing go, never bothering with the need to
do work, and always able to eat the highest quality food. But it's not as exciting as people down there believe. They fail to realize that when you have everything a good person could ever want, all that is left is nothing. Excitement escapes Heaven like landlords evade taxes.
Mind, you're not saying it is a bad place to live, not at all. Those who have reached Nirvana don't find any problem with it, you suppose, specially since they worked and prayed their arses off to leave their corporeal forms behind, and their worldly desires with them. After all, the temptations of the flesh are pretty sparse
without the flesh. But for the second generation of celestials onward--you included--fishing and picnics get repetitive after a few centuries. Sadly, enlightenment isn't an hereditary trait, so you still have to cope with needs like hunger, sleep, socialization and worst of all, boredom.
Truth is, the way of enlightenment is like half a mile of broken glass, and most of you don't feel the reward is worth the sacrifices when you already have what you need at hand's reach. Hence why you look for other... less conventional and painful ways to feel fulfilled in your uneventful lives. By far the most popular sport among celestials is "marriage fishing"; when you descend to earth and purposely "forget" your shawl, so that you are "forced" to marry whoever is unfortunate enough to pick it up and spend the rest of that poor sod's life "stranded" down there.
How that tradition came to be in the first place is a mystery lost to history, but you personally take care to stay clear of any activity with too many suspicious quotation marks. Moreover, humans are starting to catch on to this practice; lately they just go and sell the shawls for a hefty amount of coin, instead of keeping them as tradition dictates. Thus not only they ruin the "husbando-fisher's" plan, they also inadvertently bring a heap of administrative troubles on her sorry head when she returns to the Dragon Palace empty-handed. And God forgive she who finds herself trapped in Heaven's bureaucracy, because His lawyers sure as hell won't.
On the other hand you have the residents of Arupyadhatu, the formless realm; celestials that have abandoned their bodies but are still subject to the desires of the mind. Their favorite activity is briefly possessing a random person and spout some absurd thing, and revel in the confusion afterwards. None the wiser, humans try to pass it off as a "brain fart", and go on without ever knowing the real reason why they suddenly said "titty sprinkles" in the middle of the streets.
And then there was that one girl who straight up wrecked a Shinto shrine for shits and giggles, and promptly got her peachy arse whooped by the resident miko and other youkai. It goes to show that there are hardly any excesses of the most crazed sociopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a bored celestial who is just seeking a little excitement.
That's why you can't help but feel extremely annoyed at your peers whenever they see you studying magic grimoires or Outsider magazines, and give you admonishing looks for it. You think it's quite hypocritical of them to criticize your choice of hobbies, saying you're delving into dangerous knowledge and yabba dabba dabba. Apparently too much magic could wrap time and space around itself, and that doesn't sit well with people who had grown used to things like effects following things like causes. Which happens to be true in some extreme cases, yes, but at least you don't go around ruining someone else's day for mindless fun! Magic never hurt anyone by itself; it's the magician casting the wrong spell at the wrong time. And you like to think yourself as the careful kind of practitioner in that respect.
Because you haven't reached Nirvana yet (nor you will ever in the foreseeable future), you still are obligated to do "community service" for the Dragon Palace if you want to keep your own spot in Heaven. And since a self-taught magician in a place of faith has the same prospects of long-term employment as a pogo stick tester in a minefield, you had to get a job not really suited to your skills. The construction business has been booming recently following the demand for vacancy, but it just didn't click with you, so you took the second best available: messaging.
As an envoy of the Dragon Palace, you are sometimes granted permission to descend to the worldly realm and deliver your package to your destination; mostly objects of religious nature to lone hermits and small shrines. When your schedule permits it, you like to take detours around the base of the Youkai Mountain and look for Outsider books or scraps of electronics to collect -- often picking fights with the local kappa over them.
It wouldn't be half as bad if it was only that, but in reality most of your time is spent doing paperwork for hours. For every delivery there's at least three different files to be delivered, if you're lucky. All just to keep Heaven's bureaucracy working; a machine of complexity and redundancy so great, not even the most advanced Outsider robot could hope to match. The sheer ennui of this seemingly never-ending task almost makes the aforementioned way of enlightenment look appealing in comparison.
That's why when you heard your door knocking, you almost let out a squeal of joy. You were at a point where any distraction, as tiny as it was, would be welcome with open arms.
"Er, uh, is this Shizuka's office?" A girly, meek voice asked.
"It is. Come on in," you answer, putting on your serious facade.
"T-then please excuse me..."
The door opens to reveal a slender woman of short stature and lavender hair, dressed in the same secretary uniform you and everybody else in your department has, and carrying a clipboard to further reinforce the imagery. Her shyness and insecurity tell you she's recently been assigned to her post, probably as an intern doing the running and carrying stuff around the rooms (someone has to message the messengers, right?). She has a unique stride: it looks as though her body was being dragged forward and her legs have to flail around underneath it, landing wherever they could find room. It wasn't so much a walk as a collapse, indefinitely postponed.
Poor girl is clearly experiencing the aftermath of her first all-nighter; the first of many to come if she pursued her line of work. But you refrain from pointing that out; you'll not be the one who cracks the bleak future to her. You find it kind of cute how admirably hard she tries to hide her fatigue, and it also reminds you of your first days in this job.
"Take a seat, please," you offer with a wave of your hand.
"Eh? Ah! Uh, thanks..." She hurriedly shifts towards the chair you pointed, and somehow manages to retain enough composure to not let herself fall on it.
"So, what is it?"
"Er, Nagae has summoned you to her office," she explains. "She, um, has an assignment for you."
"An assignment?" Your spirits practically fume up out of your nose at the prospect of escaping paperwork. "But wait, if it's only a delivery, she could've just send a notice in my box. No need to send another person to tell me. Not that I mind, of course!" You add when you see the poor girl shrink in her seat. "I was just wondering. It's not the normal procedure, that's all."
"Well, she said it was a, um, how did she say it? A 'special' delivery? So she needed to tell you the details personally or something."
'Special delivery', you repeat mentally. If that wasn't a bad omen then you don't know what it is. Still, if the order comes from the boss, you don't really have much of a choice here. Besides, whatever takes you as far as possible from the mountain of papers on your desk...
"Alright, I'll be going--"
You were just about to stand up when the little secretary shrieks, freezing you in your place.
"I-i mean, please wait," she mutters, red as beet. "There's another matter needing to be taken care of..."
You let out a breath and slowly sit back down your own chair. Looks you won't be getting out of here so easily, Shizuka.
"We've recently had an archive replacement, and we have to redo our employee's files in accordance to the new form, so..."
The girl takes out a paper from her clipboard and places it on the table for you to see. It is indeed the same old paper you had to fill when you first applied here, where all your personal data and measurements are written. Then she presents you a newer paper, very similar to the old, except completely blank.
"If you see an error in the old paper, you may correct it," she explains.
"Shouldn't I have to retake the G.O.A.T. to check the numbers?"
"Technically yes... but I supposed you must be a busy woman with little time for tests. I guess nobody will notice one or two extra points...?"
'Oh, if you only knew how picky they are with numbers', you sigh mentally. That's a lesson she'll have to learn by herself. Still, you do believe the G.O.A.T. is a waste of time, more so if Nagae is currently waiting for you. You glance over your sheet, checking if your scores are correct...
S.P.E.C.I.A.L.: Allot 40 points, each attribute between 1 and 10
[b]1 - Strength: A measure of your raw physical strength. Increases base physical damage and Carry Weight. Having a high Strength allows you to wield many heavy weapons without suffering an accuracy or attack speed penalty. Recommended for Melee weapons users.
8 - Perception: How well you use your five senses, and also pertains to a "sixth sense". Having a high Perception will allow you to see hidden traps and enemies from further away, and also makes you start earlier in each combat turn. Recommended for Explosives and Energy Weapons users, and also for Lockpick and Survival.
1 - Endurance: Your health and overall physical fitness. Increases Maximum Hit Points, most Resistances (Radiation, Poison, Fire, Cold) and the number of cybernetic implants you can install on your body. Recommended for fighters that prefer Unarmed attacks, and for Survival.
9 - Charisma: Your overall attractiveness and likeability. The more points you have in this stat, the more companions you can recruit to your group. Recommended for those who prefer to talk their way out of situations with Barter and Speech.
8 - Intelligence: Your basic intellect, curiosity in the world and adeptness at critical thinking. Increases base magic damage and Skill Points per level up. Having a high Intelligence allows you to use advanced magic tomes and catalysts to their full potential. Recommended for those who like to focus on less-combative skills like Medicine, Repair and Science, and also for Magic users. Less than 4 in this stat affects your language skills negatively.
5 - Agility: A measure of your quickness and dexterity. Increases your maximum Action Points, which allows you to perform more actions per turn, and your Armor Class, which increases your chances to evade or negate incoming damage. Recommended for Guns users and those who like to Sneak around.
8 - Luck: How often good things happen to you by chance, or by the will of the gods. Increases your chances of scoring Critical Hits, finding more items and winning in gambling games. This stat affects all skills slightly, but it's specially recommended to practitioners of any Faith.
Skills: Select 3 skills to Tag. Tagged skills receive a bonus +15 points
(Skills are derived from the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats. Remember that if you change them, the starting skill points will change as well)
26 (25,5) - Energy Weapons [PER, AGI] The Energy Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses Small Energy Cells, Micro Fusion Cells, EC packs or Flamer Fuel as ammunition.
27 - Explosives [PER] The Explosives skill determines the ease of disarming any hostile mines and the effectiveness of any explosive weapon (all grenades and mines, missile launchers, Fat Man, etc.)
23 (22,5) - Guns [AGI, PER] The Guns skill determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses conventional ammunition (.22 LR, .357 Magnum, 5mm, 10mm, 5.56mm, .308, .45-70 Gov't, arrows, bolts, etc.)
21 - Sneak [AGI] The higher your Sneak skill, the easier it is for you to remain undetected, steal an item and pick someone's pocket. Successfully attacking while undetected grants an automatic Critical Hit.
27 - Lockpick [PER] The Lockpick skill is used to open locked doors and containers. More complicated locks require a higher Lockpick skill to be picked successfully.
13 - Melee Weapons [STR, END] The Melee Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any melee weapon, from the simplest lead pipe all the way up to the high-tech Super Sledge, going through sharp swords and throwing spears.
13 - Unarmed [END, STR] The Unarmed skill is used for fighting without weapons, or for using knuckle weapons like brass knuckles and Power Fists. With a high skill, you can perform special techniques with any Unarmed weapon.
27 - Medicine [INT] The Medicine skill represents your knowledge of the human (and youkai) body. It determines how many Hit Points you'll replenish upon using a Stimpak, and the effectiveness of Rad-X and Radaway.
27 - Repair [INT, PER] The Repair skill allows you to maintain any weapons and apparel. In addition, it allows you to create items and Guns ammunition at reloading benches.
27 - Science [INT] The Science skill represents your combined scientific knowledge and is primarily used to hack restricted computer terminals. It's also used for conversion and recycling of Energy Weapon ammunition at workbenches. Some crafting recipes also require Science.
43 (42,5) - Magic [INT, CHA] The Magic skill represents your effectiveness at controlling or forecasting natural forces by manipulating the ambient energy through thaumaturgy. It also allows you to place charms on people and animals to affect their perception and thought.
28 (27,5) - Faith [LCK, CHA] The Faith skill represents your attunement with gods, demons and other spiritual beings. It determines the strength of the miracles you can perform by channeling deities in your seals, weapons or your own body.
44 - Speech [CHA] The Speech skill governs how much you can influence people through dialogue, and gain access to information they might otherwise not want to share.
29 (28,5) - Barter [CHA, INT] The Barter skill affects the prices you get when buying and selling stuff from merchants. It's also used to negotiate better quest rewards or occasionally as a bribe-like alternative to Speech.
32 (31,5) - Survival [END, PER] The Survival skill increases the Hit Points you replenish when consuming food, drinks and potions. In addition, it allows you to create consumable item at campfires, boiling pots and stoves. A high Survival skill also helps you identify your enemies' tactics and predict their next actions.
(Tagged skills are in italic)
Traits: Pick up to 2 traits
Built to Destroy: The flame(r) that burns twice as bright burns half as long. You have +5% chances of scoring critical hits chance, at the cost of all your weapons' condition decaying 20% faster.
Fast Shot: You fire faster than most people, at the cost of accuracy and safety. You spend -1 Action Point every time you use a Gun or an Energy Weapon, at the expense of being 10% less accurate with them, and increasing your chances of a Critical Failure.
[X]Trigger Discipline: Taking your time when using weapons makes your shots more accurate and safe for you. You are 10% more accurate with Guns and Energy Weapons, and have less chances of Critical Failures, but you spend +1 Action Point every time you use one.
Good Natured: You focused more in "constructive" skills back in your training at the Dragon Palace. You earn +5 points to your Speech, Medicine, Repair, Science and Barter skills, but lose -5 to Energy Weapons, Explosives, Guns, Melee Weapons and Unarmed.
Loose Trigger: When faced with a conundrum, your finger twitches faster than your tongue. You earn +5 points to your Guns, Energy Weapons, Explosives and Magic skills, but lose -5 to Speech, Medicine, Science and Barter.
Danmaku Fighter: You favor the ancient Spell Card Rules over more conventional forms of combat. You earn +5 points to your Magic, Faith, Unarmed and Melee skills, but lose -5 to Guns, Energy Weapons, Sneak and Explosives.
Heavenly Preacher: You are devoted to the old way of Enlightenment in lieu of pagan magic and science. You earn +5 points to your Faith, Speech and Barter skills, but lose -5 to Magic, Science and Repair.
Bruiser: A little slower, but a little bigger. You may not hit as often, but they will feel it when you do! You do +20% damage with Melee and Unarmed attacks, but you spend +2 Action Points with them.
Kamikaze: By not paying attention to any threats, you can act a lot faster in a turn. You gain +5 Sequence, but you start with 0 Armor Class.
Small Hitbox: Your tiny internal magic focus makes you harder to hit, but your magical and divine power are weaker as a result. You gain a natural +3 Armor Class against Magic and Faith attacks, but your own Magic and Faith attacks do -10% damage.
Hot Blooded: Pain makes you really angry, but also less aware of your surroundings. When your health drops to a 50% of your maximum health, you deal +20% damage with all your attacks, but you also lose -3 Armor Class and -10% Accuracy.
[x]Skilled: You spent more time improving your skills than your peers, but as a result you're less experienced. You gain +5 points to every skill, but you will earn -20% experience from all sources.
Wild Wasteland: Gensokyo is a land full of bizarre things, but you don't to let common sense hold you back! You will find more "wacky" stuff and random encounters, at the expense of your adventures becoming significantly less serious.
Jinxed: You were born under an unlucky constellation. Terrible things often happen near you. In combat, everybody has increased chances of Critical Failures happening, including you. Having a high Luck somewhat mitigates this effect on you.
So this is it, the rewrite I promised. This is the second last chance you have to change your character's stats, after this, you won't be able to modify them anymore. Also, for a modification to be accepted, it has to be voted by a majority (i.e., more than half the voters), so you must reach an agreement (or hop in the bandwagon, it's the same). Calculating stats is a very tiresome process, one I don't wish to dabble on for too long.