Saturday, June 23, 2018

Burn My Dread and Break In, Break Out To the Truth

Persona. Awesome video game series. It involves kids who do traumatic things to summon that trauma out of their heads to fight demons, and it's awesome. How is that not OSR-ified already? Or you can use this class to do Jojo's Bizarre Adventure stands, or like any other thing where someone summons a Fuck Off Monster out of themselves. Because honestly, that shit is dope.

Hit Dice and To-Hit: As Cleric
Saving Throws and Experience: As Wizard
Proficiencies: As Rogue

 Awakening: A Persona User's power comes from the ability to turn their ego and inner strength into physical form. Choose a monster with HD equal to no more than your level+1; your Persona may have any appearance you wish, usually one symbolic of your ego identity in some way, but otherwise its appearance and stats are defined by this monster-form. Every time you level up, you may evolve your Persona into a different monster, completely replacing it. A GM may also decide that you've experienced enough character growth in a single adventure that you may change the form of your Persona; however, these are the only times you may change your Persona's nature, and the HD cap always applies.

Evoking: Personas do not have a persistent physical presence like a familiar; they are indeed merely a facet of your mind, and have no agency or reality beyond that. To make use of his power, a Persona User requires some sort of physical totem that they can use to manifest their Persona, such as shooting themselves with a fake gun, putting on a mask, fondling a favorite childhood toy, or some other symbolic item and gesture. Without your Evoker totem, you cannot summon your Persona. Summoning a Persona is a full-round action, and it manifests within 10 feet of you. It can explore farther away than this, but your Persona must remain within your sphere of perception. If you can't see, hear, or otherwise notice it with your own senses, it will vanish. This range is considered a 360' sphere, so simply walking behind its master doesn't negate it; knowing where it is is fine.

Your Persona is an extension of yourself, and shares your initiative and actions. While your Persona can move with you, having your Persona take actions requires using your own action to command it to do so. This command is telepathic.

Damage taken by a Persona is suffered by its master as psychological trauma; any damage your Persona takes also inflicts half its amount in non-lethal damage to the character. If a Persona is reduced to 0 HP, its manifestation is destroyed and the Persona User is dazed and can take no actions for one round. After this, they can conjure their Persona at full HP, but their own trauma remains.

If your Persona need make any Saving Throws, they are keyed to your Wisdom if they weren't already.

A Persona is considered a psionic construct, if you use those rules in your game. Thus, a Persona User should optionally be considered a Wild Talent and should roll psionic points and abilities appropriately.

Strength of Heart: Your Persona is more than just your inner strength; it's also the self your ego puts forward to protect itself. Whatever damage reductions, immunities, spell resistances, fast healings, and the like your Persona has are shared by your actual body.

I Am The Shadow, the True Self: Persona Users are ones who gain power through looking at their innermost selves, and accepting them with no comforting lies. They roll with Advantage to all saving throws involving illusions, mind control, enchantment, possession, and the like, since they're not exactly alone in their own mind. If they critically succeed on this saving throw, their Persona can make a free attack at any mental intruder.

However, if they critically fail (meaning both dice come up as 1), their Persona goes berserk and becomes a Shadow, evoking itself independently of its master, and wearing their form as if they were a product of a Mirror of Opposition. The Shadow psychologically torments its former master by airing out their innermost thoughts in ways they can't cope with; the Shadow knows exactly how to break you, as it is the part of you that you have repressed. The Shadow is capable of freely switching between monstrous and human forms, its monster form symbolically evocative of whatever angst the User is vulnerable to, and has appropriate abilities, the HD cap temporarily raised to twice the Persona User's level.

In addition to being unable to Evoke a Persona during this nightmare, the Persona User also suffers a -2 to all mental ability checks due to the stress. Defeating the Shadow restores the Persona User to normal, and gives him a chance to reshape his Persona.

 On the bright side, whatever effect they were saving against is negated and replaced by the berserk Shadow. Sorry, Mindflayers, too distracted by my own mind calling me a bitch-ass in front of my friends to care about your brainwashing.

Bonds of People are the True Power: At Name Level, you no longer require an Evoker in order to summon your Persona; mere mental effort is enough; nor do you suffer the dazing, or need to concentrate for an entire round. In addition, you begin attracting 1d6 level 1 Persona Users who will call you Senpai (and one of them is absolutely the Chosen One for some big dumb anime plot to save the world) If you receive four or more apprentices in this way, one of them is guaranteed to be something that isn't a standard human or demihuman, like a dog, robot, space alien, or benevolent Shadow.

Additionally, you are now officially recognized by a shadow government and are financed as an official school club. Your classmates might be a bit intimidated by the new Extracurricular Execution Squad that walks around with red armbands and realistic-looking guns, but listen, don't even worry about it.

OR, if you prefer a less shitpost-y Domain Play entry, you instead gain access to an extradimensional realm in your trances and dreams which resembles a really posh parlor or some other symbolic resting place that evokes imagery of your personal quest or narrative arc. Only you have access to this place, and you gain the service of multiple non-human beings that offer their services as scholars, informants, and so forth, if you can pay them properly. In addition, you are now able to switch the form of your Persona every time you go to sleep.

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