Tag Archives: As Above

MCS Files – 22 (Pluto)

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The last Manifestation Control type to be stabilized, MCS-22 is all about control. MCS-22 operatives are surrounded by the Void, a one-person field of magic immunity, at all times. They cannot be targeted or influenced by spells, even magical effects of Rogue Reactions, unless they pass this Void onto someone else. They can do this with a touch, as long as the target stays within their normal spell range.

Unbelievable amounts of time and money were devoted to MCU-22 research in order to quickly force a stabilization. Many MCS-22 operatives were lab-rats during this time, and many more are not completely stable; the process has yet to be perfected. As a result, a secret society formed of rebel Pluto operatives, Hellgate, banded together out of common resentment. Resentment or not, the ability to explore Rogue Reactions and endure attacks from MC-capable civilians makes Pluto ops useful.

Although the Pluto type has a somewhat limited parameter list, Pluto spells are uniquely skilled at attacking the minds and wills of targets, with spells like this one:

Stygian Grasp (14)
Manifest 24
Polymorph Phobia (2)
Wound Sacrifice 2
Touch Range

MCS-22 is a type set apart, more in tune with the metaphysics of a changing world than the other types, and further removed from the government that created it. If you want to have the upper hand in a magic-driven campaign, or delve into a world of treason and secret societies, MCS-22 may be the type for you!


MCS Files – 30 (Jupiter)

Remember to check out the City Limits Kickstarter and to check us out on twitter at @TeamCabalGames for more updates!

Some people love it when a plan comes together. To them, a good game session is all about meeting a challenge with planning, preparation, and teamwork, making the best possible use of everyone’s skills. To that end, we made the MCS-30 (Jupiter) type, master magical strategists who specialize in planning and teamwork.

Lt. Greg is a disaster relief specialist and one-woman strategy committee.

Here’s how it works; unlike most spells, MCS-30 spells have long duration not limited by your Will. Instead, the spell is broken when your plan fails or succeeds. You choose parameters and decide on roles for your targets, and they get the parameter boosts as long as they follow your directions. It’s an excellent type to pair with a melee combatant, since all the casting takes place long before the encounter. Here’s a sample!

Infiltration Plan 15
Manifest 25
Cat – Disrupt Communications (Int +3)
Dustin – Reconnaissance (Polymorph Flying)
Kersten – Smash Front Door Open (Polymorph Regeneration)

So here’s the plan. Cat is going to tap into their communications network and disable it, so we’re giving her an Intelligence boost (she needs one). Dustin is going to watch from above and keep everyone appraised of any approaching units, so we’re giving him wings. Kersten is going to, when she gets the OK from the others, bomb the front door, so we’re giving her regeneration to deal with the fallout. If all goes according to plan, this spell will last until we’re all inside.

Let’s say things go wrong, though. If Cat is discovered, and has to fight instead of doing her work on the comm lines, then the whole spell unravels. Dustin will fall out of the sky if he’s airborne, and Kersten had better not set that bomb. So, for Jupiter more than for any other type, it’s important to plan ahead. There are lots of abilities that help, and if you can gather the team back together you can cast a new spell-plan, so all’s not lost yet! If you can think on your feet, MCS-30 is a devastating addition to an already strong team!

MCS Files – 12 (Mars)

Perhaps the most magic-focused type in City Limits, the MCS-12 boasts a parameter list full of damaging and dangerous effects, the most of any magic skill. Although they have fewer support options than the Gidim Nanshe or the Jupiter-type we’ll see later, they’re fearsome combat casters. Built for players who love to push it to the limit and take chances, MCS-12 is built with a crippling catch – they must cast at touch range. Every MCS-12 spell is channeled through the hands and cast via direct contact with the target.

There’s a second catch. When any other caster in the game is attacked while casting a spell, they must roll Focus (against 10 + the damage dealt), or else the spell fails. With an MCS-12 caster, however, a failed Focus trial means the spell explodes violently out of the caster’s hands, targeting both the original target and the caster themselves.

The entire spell parameter list for MCS-12 is aggressive, which makes this catch a bit of a problem. The upside is, even if they’re attacked while casting, they can still take out their enemies, putting them right at home in melee. Attacking a Mars operative won’t help you much!

Impotent Rage (9)
Manifest 19
Add Frenzy
Strength -2

If you’re always in the thick of things, or you live to take chances, MCS-12 might be for you. If not, we’ve still got five more classes to show you, so stay tuned!

Remember to check out the City Limits Kickstarter and to check us out on twitter at @TeamCabalGames for more updates!

MCS Files – 12 (Saturn)

MCS-12 designated operatives can be extremely difficult to deal with. They’re zealots, whose newfound power varies depending on the ideology of their targets. They’re able to crush their opponents and reward their allies so long as they keep their own crusade in mind. In a military organization, they are valuable only so long as their crusades can be known and used; their ideology does not bend to orders or rank.

Every session, an MCS-12 operative chooses one of the Codes on their list to be designated the Crusade Code. For the rest of the session, their spells are based on the difference between their Code and the target’s.

For example, Pvt. Chen operates on the 2-point Code “Will Uphold Law”. Let’s look at one of his spells:

Divine Bolt (8)
Manifest 18
3 (X) Damage

Notice the X value? That’s the spell’s Crusade Code, and it depends on the target. (Once per round, Pvt. Chen can just ask the GM what the Crusade Code would be against a certain opponent.)

If he were to cast Divine Bolt on me, Cat, he would find that I only have a 1-point “Will Uphold Law” code. I won’t risk being hurt for it! So here, the difference between our codes is only 1, and the spell deals +3 damage to me. The same would happen if he found a target who would rather die than jaywalk.

If he were to cast it on Shawn, who doesn’t have the Code at all, the Crusade Category would be 2, for 6 damage. If he found someone who had once believed in the law, but who had blacked the code out by failing to follow it, the Crusade Category would be 3, for 9 damage – a blacked-out code is worse than none at all.

The key to successfully playing MCS-12 is carefully choosing your Crusade Code, making sure to live up to your character’s standards. If you give yourself a frivolous 3-point Code, you had better be willing to risk your life for it! Strategize by watching opponents carefully outside of combat; by identifying their moral weakness, you can use it against them!

Remember to check out the City Limits Kickstarter and to check us out on twitter at @TeamCabalGames for more updates!

MCS Files – 03 (Mercury)

When we first started work on the classes for City Limits, we took a quick poll of the gamers we knew, asking them to tell us their favorite game moment. The goal was to build classes that encourage and facilitate these moments. A lot of my friends told me about times they’d been one step ahead, and the dramatic moment when they finally revealed they had been prepared all along. These stories were the inspiration for MCS-03 “Mercury”.
Mercury-designated operatives, as I mentioned in the first As Above post, are oracles. Once per session, they can ask the GM a single yes or no question and get an honest answer in response.
Their real power, though, lies in the traps they set. An MCS-03 spell is cast well before it goes off, usually taking about an hour of careful planning and thought. When casting the spell, the operative also chooses the circumstances that will set it off; the action, the time, etc. The more circumstances are chosen, the more powerful the spell can be, but it will only happen if every condition is fulfilled.
For example, let’s say Capt. Eastmann’s player is preparing for a mission. Here’s a standard spell she casts, as a sniper, just in case.

Watchword (7)
Manifest 17
(If someone approaches my blind)
(If that person is not part of my unit)
Signal Flare
Add Bind
Add Fear 5
6 damage

She writes this spell down on an index card, writes the difficulty and mana cost on the back, and places it face-down in front of her. If, at the end of the session, no one has approached her, then she discards it and regains the mana next time she sleeps. If someone outside her unit does approach her blind, however, she turns over the card and presents it to the GM, and the spell goes off. The intruder is damaged and inflicted with both an inability to move and, if that fails, an unwillingness to come within 5 meters. Signal Flare is a unique parameter to MCS-03 – it immediately alerts the caster when the spell goes off. Now even if she’s deep in focus, only looking through her scope, she’ll still know if any threats approach.
Let’s say she suspects a member of her unit might try and warn the targets of her raid. She could cast a spell that looked like this:

Betrayer (5)
Manifest 15
(If someone makes contact with the target)
(If that person is Elliot)
Signal Flare

The card may never be turned face-up, but if it happens, she can show she expected this to happen, and the spell will go off, briefly trapping her ally in a state of suspended animation. If the traitor was really Anna all along, nothing will happen; the conditions need to be met exactly.
MCS-03 is made for people who love planning in advance, and the dramatic moment when they get to show their hand. Not you? Stay tuned to the MCS files (and the Book of Daemons) for the rest of the stories we’ll help you tell! Up next, the Gidim Enki, where an orange with a face drawn on it is an indispensable piece of equipment!

Remember to check out the City Limits Kickstarter and to check us out on twitter at @TeamCabalGames for more updates!

As Above – Government Testing And You!

Remember to check out the City Limits Kickstarter and to check us out on twitter at @TeamCabalGames for more updates!

Welcome to the first of my posts about the world of City Limits! Today, we’re diving right into book one, As Above. As Above is a supernatural thriller, taking place among government and military agents struggling to regain control of a world their governments turned upside down.

According to official records, the shift happened as a result of chemical testing. A synthetic drug which turned out, in a landmark study, to actually grant supernatural abilities to some users, became a whole new frontier in chemical engineering. Just as the first subject was successfully freed from the drug’s debilitating side effects, it leaked somehow into the water table.

The results were catastrophic. Large areas of the world became Rogue Reactions, dangerously unpredictable terrain where there had once been city streets, and civilians gained access to the Manifestation Control ability, albeit in its unstable form.

So far, scientists have identified over 32 different reactions to the Manifestation Control Reagent, only the five most common of which can be stabilized. Each is identified with a number, and the stable types with a codename and the designation “S”. After an operative is designated with a stable type, they are quarantined for the long process of stabilization, which includes a cocktail of drugs and intense mental and physical training.

Cpt. Claire Eastmann, MC-SWAT, NYPD, Designated MCS-03

MCS-03, the “Mercury” type, was the first to be stabilized. Operatives show some limited prophetic ability, making them excellent strategic assets. They can also cast spells, although they must be set in advance and are only activated upon the fulfillment of the operative’s prophecy. An operative who can make intelligent use of MCS-03 can completely turn the tide of an engagement, or cement an already-certain victory.

MCU-09, on the other hand, has yet to be stabilized or named, but operatives seem able to project their nightmarish hallucinations to others, and some governments have made it a high priority.

Any questions? We’ve prepared a handy pamphlet for you, but anything else can be answered by your superior officer.