Jump to content

New Cult Concept: The Shard of Nar'sie


Recommended Posts

Some of you might be aware I was planning and working a little on a cult rework in the distant days of yore, but I ended up dropping it because cult code was just such a confusing mess that I didn't know how to write it to be less awful.  Some people told me at the time I would be better of rewriting it from the ground up.  I didn't have any idea on how to do that at the time, but my resent fiddling around with meme rounds and abstract mobs gave me an idea I want to brainstorm here.

So, let's start with what will mainly be changed for cultist before moving onto the new stuff (some of this will resemble old ideas of my last cult rework concept thread)

  • The removal of runes almost in their entirety, at least as a major mechanic.  There will be no more secret words, though it shouldn't be missed overmuch, since we haven't had to think about secret words for about a year now.  A small number of rune effects may be kept as something like runes, such as the teleport runes and wall runes, though I may rework them into something slightly different.  Painting blood on the floor will still be a thing, but it will be used where appropriate for a cult power, not as the primary means by which anything gets done.
  • Most of the rune powers will be moved to being related to several cultist 'talismans' that all cultists will use: The arcane tome, the ritual dagger, and the bloodstone.  What was previously considered to be a 'talisman' (a piece of paper inscribed with a blood rune) will be completely removed from the game.  Henceforth, the term 'talisman' will refer to these three objects.
  • All cultists start the round with a two abilities: 'Summon Tome' and 'Dark Missive'
  • Summon Tome is a channeled ability (interruptable by movement, disables) and requires about 30-60 seconds (exact time to be determined), and conjures you an Arcane Tome of your very own, at the cost of some of your vital blood.  (nearly all abilities will cost some of your blood).  This will be telegraphed to nearby people that you are doing something dodgy, like mumbling in tongues and rocking back and forth.
  • Dark Missive is identical to the old Communicate ability, and will allow you to pass messages to other cultists.  It will also be channelled, telegraphed, and interruptable, but only for about 10 seconds. It also costs blood.
  • Because of this, early cultists need to be secretive to begin their dark journey together.  They must find secluded places to send each other Dark Missives, and are encouraged to arrange to meet early on in a place where they can all summon their tomes together while they chat in person using their Cult Tongue™.
  • Once the arcane tome is summoned, they can begin doing shit.  Each Tome contains within it knowledge and guidance on being a cultist, along with a mystical storage place for a Ritual Dagger.  The dagger can only be retrieved from and stored in the tome by a cultist and it harms any non cultists who attempts to wield it against their owner, so can serve as an early game weapon for self defense in a pinch much like a weaker version of the Cult Sword.  More importantly, you can use it for Rituals
  • The most basic ritual of the Dagger is forming a bloodstone.  Any cultist can form a bloodstone out of their own blood, but doing so will always result in an uncharged bloodstone.  It is expensive and time consuming for cultists to charge bloodstones using their own blood.  There will be a way to create bloodstones from willing (or unwilling) non-cultists, and they will be created partially or fully charged.  Thus there is a valid reason to capture sacrifices instead of just trying to make everyone cultists.  Fully charged bloodstones may also be sacrificed to feed the Geometer.  More on this later.
  • Now, this part is something that needs to be clarified: A blood stone, and its charge, is the focus for most of the cultists ACTIVE abilities, such as blinding people, draining blood from people's bodies to feed the bloodstone, or making people's blood set on fire, etc.  The ritual dagger, contrarily, is used for most of the PASSIVE abilities, such as setting up cultist walls and teleport networks.  Active abilities will almost always be instant and take bloodstone charge, whereas passive abilities will be channeled and take blood and time.


Now, for the bigger change in dynamic: Cultist rounds will no longer contain only cultists.  During these rounds, there will be a second (very important) unique role known as the Shard of Nar'sie.  This person will become an invisible spirit lurking beyond the veil, unseen by all but the luckiest cultists.  At the start of a cultist round, it's ability to participate will be sharply limited.  The Shard is small and distant, and can essentially hop between any active cultist to see and hear what they see in their general vicinity.  They will have some minor abilities and ability to communicate their pleasure or displeasure with the cultists, but speaking directly to them in words is generally out of the question.  The Shard of Nar'sie is a fragment of an unfathomable cosmic being whose full existence would shatter mortal minds, after all.  You don't chat up Yog-Sothoth and ask him what the plan is, guys.  But what you do want, as a piece of the Geometer of Blood, is blood sacrifices.  Your primary goal is to facilitate the cultists success and ability to feed your Shard the life force of sentient beings.  Ideally, you work with your cultists, but you can be a fickle, flighty eldrich abomination if you want to be, allowing them to suffer at the hands of security for displeasing you.

The more bloodstone sacrifices they make to you, the stronger the Shard grow.  Eventually, it will gain the ability to affect the world around the cultists it watches over, with disruptive abilities like waves of insanity and pain, and the ability to become unbound from the cultists themselves, allowing them to move around the station and gather information, much like a ghost only without global omniscience, or being able to manifest briefly as a dangerous entity that can physically harm its surroundings.  I'll probably also give the Shard the ability to place down some kind of location-based... thing... that will let cultists temporarily view and hear the area like it's a security camera/radio combo, and this will be how it alerts them of things they need to know that are going on. The ideal goal of the Shard of Nar'sie is to gain enough power to unfold its true self into the mortal plane, thus claiming this universe for the veil, which is exactly like the normal ending of the cult round is now, except that it doesn't require you to have nine people herded awkwardly into a square for an instant round over button, but rather will be something even a single cultist could theoretically do after a lot of time and effort and would probably involve some sort of terrifyingly bluespace distorting ritual centered around a giant bloodstone pylon that the Central command will blare warnings about because they can sense it from all the way over on the Odin and what the fuck are you doing over there in the Xenobiology lab, Aurora?  Cue the countdown to the universe ending unless everyone gets there and stops it.

Anyway I'm really tired right now so I think I'll poke at this more tomorrow, presumably after I get some feedback.

Edited by Kaed
Link to comment
13 minutes ago, Kaed said:

The ritual dagger, contrarily, is used for most of the PASSIVE abilities, such as setting up cultist walls and teleport networks.  Active abilities will almost always be instant and take bloodstone charge, whereas passive abilities will be channeled and take blood and time.

Those are active abilities, you actively use them. ( Just wanted to point that out because it kept standing out )

Now its another rework idea by Kaed and this time its cult, a gamemode which has such a dual reception in the community that it sparks long and annoying conversations about the dynamic of team gamemodes and how they're the best thing for roleplay or the absolutely worst thing to experience first hand. Now from I can understand your insipiration for this rework was the long forgotten and ignored "Hand of God" gamemode where theres two sides, who have their own respective cultists and their omnipotent all powerful god they have to rely on in order to progress and to get that sweet sweet greentext.

Of course in this rework there is no opposing team aside from secruity but thats fine. Now you propose removing the runes and instead adding a new resource the bloodstone, more or less transforming the gamemode into one that was rather static in its positions beforehand and heavily relied on their teleport runes to get from one safe spot to the other to a hypermobile murder cult which has to both sacrifice people to get stuff done and obtain their blood in order to do anything as a cultist. Essentially the predictable meta will be more or less >"Capture a target, suck the target dry and then right before dying sacrifice the target to your personal blood AI". And Im not really looking forward to the blood AI thing at all, especially when it can later on just skulk around see literally everything while also being able to cast from what I can read paincrits and hallus. Its going to be the most annoying thing about this gamemode and you know it.

Another thing that was removed are constructs, which are a double edged knife in a sense. On one hand, they annoying to deal with especially due to how their classes work. You have the support class artificer which has an endless supply of soul stone and constructs in order to get your murder cult started while also being able to repair constructs, you have the hyper mobile wraith which just exists to take out the AI and thats it and then the Juggernaut which acts like a flesh wall and pretends it can kill people ( Massive spoiler but unless you're already hurt and slow as fuck this thing wont catch up to you ). It gave the cult the ability to atleast use the dead people and bring them back into the round, so far I can see little of that here and depending on the amount of sacrifices you need you're going to more or less kill out the round in the first hour depending on how fast the cult works. So you could possibly balance it by making it so that you require a small amount of bodies but then you're giving the blood AI an essential freebie and access to some annoying abilities early on. Also if you're gonna rework cult for god please rework the constructs, they're awful and seem like such a good thing to actively promote but they arent, they dont do a lot aside from counting as cultist so you can summon big bad evil nar sie

Now onto the blood AI itself, its a ghost. Thats it, its just a ghost with paincrits and hallus and the ability to place down a radio bug so you can hear stuff. I do get that you're trying to make the cult more of a mysterious force but nobody will enjoy this role and I can ensure that. Your only task will be essentially that of our already exisiting AI but without access to doors and cultist only, which is to scream out if sec is coming or not. So you can either make the role more interactive and give them a bunch of sweet abilities to play around with or keep them as it is and risk the player not paying attention to the round because they're distracted watching youtube ( At this point I would suggest making it a seperate antag check as role preference )

You're also going to encourage the most boring kind of round which is stealth murder cult, in which 2-3 people can end the round ( Depending on how the actual abilities work in the end, no idea in which tier the "Big bad evil summong crystal" lies in but I'd expect around the same amount of sucks are required as a vampire makes on round by round basis ) by grabbing a person who just wanted to enjoy their round, blood sucking them and them kicking them out of the round and in about 1 hour and thirty minutes suddenly delta alarm comes on and secruity scrambles from "Annoying murder mystery" to full on "Kill everything that has a dumb looking cape".

Just my two cents and most of the feedback is based on what you presented here, as the information regarding the abilities seems rather.. open and vague.

Link to comment

I do have to agree with some things said.

At the moment, there seems to be only a way "forward" for the "blood ai" but no way to actually combat it (Especially once it is no longer bound to the cultists vision)
This could be solved by locking the abilities the "blood ai" has to the amount of cultists that are currently using some kind of special gear, i.e. robes, ...
So it is actually possible to arrest cultists, remove whatever item it is that empowers the "blood ai" and combat it that way.

Another thing that should be considered is how other roles can be involved without it being too close to valid-hunting.
(The biggest issue with the chaplain in cult/vamp rounds is that there is rarely ever one and if there is one it is difficult for them to involve themselfs with the cult/vamp since its not established in our lore that these things can exist so they have to do a lot of work with sec so they let them get to the culties/vamps; And then they quite often provide a questionable rp quality)

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Constructs. This is where the game is lacking.

Remove the Shard's ability to manifest as an all-powerful god for brief moments, remove it's ability to stun and blind others.

Cultists have two blood pools: their personal pool, and the global pool.

The personal pool is drawn from by the blood-stone, either stored in the stone itself via sacrifice, or drawn from the host. The abilities it possesses are mostly personal spells similar to that of the vampire or wizard. This gives cultists a fighting chance as they passively restore blood and do not have to entirely rely on ganking others.

The global pool is offered to the Shard by cultists, and works identically to the vampire's current and total blood-pools. As the total rises, new abilities are unlocked, and the Shard grows in strength. The usuable pool is then used to activate the unlocked spells, which should mostly be focused on rewarding the cultists with physical items, earlier levels grant things such as robes to enhance the abilities of the cultist, swords to defend themselves with, and basic utilities by way of spells such as the wizard's "knock" spell combined with the light-shattering scream of the vampire. One of the coolest features of AI is how the lights turn off before an explosion, imagine an evil deity's very presence flickering the lights around them. Later in the round, more concrete things can be made for the cultists, and this is where the constructs come into play.

The Shard can expend blood to forge a dark, warped shell for a cultist, who then uses their bloodstone to activate it, prompting dead players to take the shell and allowing the lategame cult to command a legion of twisted horrors spawned of their unholy god's will. The cult should start weak, but eventually snowball into an unstoppable force capable of crushing even ERT.

The constructs themselves should be more generalised, focused on being the front-line of combat, and capable of crushing most foes in one-on-one combat. They should be slow, big, and tanky. They do not hunt you down, but rather are a slow, unstoppable force that marches towards you.

The endgame for cult should be simple. More and more of the constructs should be able to be built, and once the cult has enough presence and power, a hellish portal should be opened via a ritual that is confined to the holodeck. Once the portal is open, constructs are free and spawn shells constantly at it's site. The Geometer can step through, and once she does, all hope is lost. The very minds of cultist and crew alike are eaten away, forcing friend and foe against eachother, and reality crumbles to dust.


Link to comment
  • Gem locked this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...