Final Fantasy VII: Old World of Darkness
First, I would like to thank my readers for taking the time on my adaptation of a classic video game. I have enjoyed the Final Fantasy series for many years, and the Final Fantasy VII game is one of my all-time favorites. This adaptation of mine is the best way I know how to honor something that has given me so much pleasure.
Now, I am starting this off by admitting that I have no legal claim to anything within the Square Enix company or the White Wolf company. I am referencing their materials to create what is labeled as a Fan Fiction. I have not received any special permissions to do so, and I am distributing this book completely free of charge. My hope is that this book encourages more interest in both companies, and that they profit greatly from such.
Because of the legalities involving Fanfiction, I am not able to republish any of their text. This means that this book is not complete, and anyone new to the Old World of Darkness system might be lost. My strong opinion will be that all readers must also read Vampire: the Masquerade. Anytime I reference the OWOD system, I will reference this book.
If you like my work, as a fan, I implore you to purchase more products from both of these companies as a sign of respect. While this book would not likely have been created without my intervention, either company has the right to erase this book's existence.
Old World of Darkness & Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy Seven is a legendary game. It was released over twenty years ago, and even today it continues to gain more and more fans. It was a wonderfully written story presented with the (at that time's) best graphics possible. I can still remember playing the game over and over in my younger years, trying to discover every thing possible while ending with the best stats. I've even beaten the Emerald Weapon without cheats, if you're familiar enough with the game to know what that means. It made a strong impression not only on myself, but also the world.
And it didn't stop there. The Final Fantasy series continued, but fans wanted more from the Seventh Series game. So, there was Dirge of Cerberus. Then, there was Crisis Core. There was even an Android phone app game called Before Crisis. In addition to the games, there was a CGI movie: Advent Children. Of course there were the figurines, plushies, jewelry, and many other merchandise, but fans still want more. As I write this, the remastered version of Final Fantasy VII is on its way, and it promises superior graphics and an even better story adaptation.
But we still want more.
That is why I'm creating this book. Role-playing Games give us a chance to live out our own storylines and fantasies in a group setting. It also allows us to fully explore the world in a more realistic and personal way. Think about it. What would it be like to walk the streets of Midgar under the Mako-powered streetlights? How does a Materia glimmer under the light of the moon? How afraid would you be when you are the only thing standing between a mutated beast and a defenseless village of innocent people? These are the experiences we fans are truly yearning for.
This is what the Role-playing Game setting can do for us. Average people sit down together, create characters, and then play in a fictional world as presented by a Storyteller. We all cherish the chance at playing Cloud, Vincent Valentine, or Zack in the video game world, but this book gives you the chance to be your own character in that same universe. How would you have dealt with AVALANCHE planning to bomb a Shinra reactor? What would you do if you found out that you were being genetically altered into a perfect soldier? Where would you go if the world's spirit was slowly dying and falling into oblivion?
You are the main character in this story.
Now, how to do this? There are many different Role-playing Game systems out there. Most people are familiar with the Dungeons and Dragons series, but there are many, many more. I chose the one that I like best: (Old) World of Darkness published by White Wolf. I'll admit that I'm biased. I've played the Old World of Darkness system for years, and I've spent a lot of money on their many books. I personally find it's darker mood and more story-focused system to be more appealing.
Yes, there is a newer World of Darkness system out there, but the new story adaptations to me seem to be lacking their original darker mood. I'm not saying the newer adaptations are inferior, but the original gaming line better supports the Final Fantasy VII universe. Most importantly, there's enough Old WOD books out there for me to pick and choose different mechanics to better fit my purposes. Crossing a major video game universe with any RPG system is a daunting task, so I feel comfortable doing so with the Old WOD where I have many different books from to pick and choose what I need.
This might not make that much sense to you. You might only be a fan of Final Fantasy VII and have absolutely no idea what a Role-playing Game is. You probably mentally envision a group of younger kids dressed up as wizards crowding around a small table and a bunch of dice. Honestly, that's an accurate interpretation. It's also an accurate interpretation of imagining those kids having a great time. Why shouldn't they? They've been given the chance to enter a world of fantasy and become anyone they want to be.
On the other hand, you might know exactly what Role-playing Games are, but Final Fantasy VII is new to you. In this case, my best advice is to play the video game first. It's not necessary to play this game, and it might even be an interesting way to be introduced to the FF7 storyline. That's ok, but be prepared for diehard fans to take a little more personal pleasure from the gameplay while making references that you're unfamiliar with. Besides, if the game is good enough to inspire this book, it might be worth your time.
Now, since this is a combination of two worlds, I want to be up front in saying that this will not be a perfect representation of FFVII. It will also not be a perfect representation of Old WOD. It will be a mixture of the two worlds, so there will be a lot differences. There might not be Cactuar running around in the desert, but at the same time there won't be such a thing as Generation for vampires. On the plus side, be prepared for fighting off hoards of zombies while riding your Chocobo. The main themes and stories will be the same. It's just the details that have been tweaked to make this whole thing work.
Thank you for being a fan, and remember to have fun.
What is Role-playing?
If this is your first time hearing this word, you're probably confused as to what it exactly means. "Role-playing" sounds a little odd, and the word itself might bring up some unusual associations. You might have heard the stereotype of a bunch of "geeks" hiding in the basement and pretending to be superheros while wearing Styrofoam hats and weapons. Honestly, that doesn't sound like a bad time to me, so let me break the word down to a more understandable level.
Imagine you're playing a video game. You put the cartridge/disc in the system, turn it on, and you're at the title screen. The first step is to create your character. Usually this only means picking out a name, but this is a more involved game. You must imagine what you want your character to look like: age, hair, height, skin, eye color, ect. You make the choices, and you have a mental image of what you're wanting to play.
Second step is to think about your character's stats. Are they strong? Fast? Smart? Do they know a lot about science? Can they drive a car? Do they have good looks, and if so, do they have the charm to match it? Do they even know how to turn on a computer?
Once you've figured that out, next is to figure out their resources. This is not something you usually deal with in video games, but its important here. You need to know things like how rich your character is, how many friends they have, if they have black market contacts, and so on and so on. How are you going to chase a "perp" if you don't even own a car or have money to pay a taxi?
The final step is figuring out a characters powers. They may not even have any to begin with. Honestly, I'd suggest this option strongly for first time players. This way you can get your bearings on the game before running in with guns blazing. To give a Final Fantasy reference, would you really experience the game if you started off with the Knights of the Round Table Materia in your inventory?
So now you have a complete character, and you're ready to play. During this whole time, the other players have been doing the same. You all have very unique characters, and hopefully they balance each other out. For example, maybe one of you can deal lots of damage while another knows a lot about medical help. If it seems like everyone made a sneaky character, and the Storyteller says you only need one, then maybe everyone should work together to make that happen.
Now that I've mentioned the Storyteller, I'll explain their purpose in all of this. So you and your fellow players are ready to play the game. You have a balanced team with compatible histories. You're ready to go. If this were a video game, you'd push "accept" and begin. For this game, you're entering the mind of one other person; the Storyteller. Think of the Storyteller as the game system. They are responsible for creating the world, the missions, the enemies, and the rewards. When your team walks down the street and has to fight off a street gang, the Storyteller is the one who creates the street and the gang. Their mind is the game, and you are playing it.
The last thing to understand is what's referred to as the System. So your teammates confront the street gang, bad words are exchanged, and there's a fight. Alright! But…how do you determine who wins? When playing a video game, if you come upon an enemy, you push some buttons on the controller and hope for the best. The "A" button is punch, the "B" button is kick, and you use the direction pad to move forward. That sounds pretty simple, but you're not playing a video game. You're playing the Storyteller's mind. So how do you express the same thing?
When you created your character, you chose things like strength, speed, stamina, and so on and so on. Then you decided what things they knew, such as how to fight or how to shoot a gun. These are called Stats, and together they determine how you attack. You figure what things are needed to make an attack, but what do you do next? How do you know if you land your hit, or even if it hurts your target? Dice. You roll dice, and their numbers determine if you succeed and how well you succeed. So if you have a strong character who wants to knock out the gang member, you look at your character's Stats and then roll the dice. If you make your goal, then you succeed. If you don't, then you miss your swing. Uh-oh! Looks like the Storyteller gets to roll in place for the gang member to hit you! How well will they do?
That's the concept of Role-playing. You make a character, and then you play the game the Storyteller has created for you. This isn't always how the creation process goes. Sometimes a Storyteller says they need specific things, and then you make characters that fit the mold. Sometimes you and a bunch of friends have a very specific combination of characters you'd all like to play, and the Storyteller has to make up a story for you all. So long as everyone feels like they get to play the characters they want and that the game the Storyteller has created is fun, then everything is good.
Remember, the point is for everyone to have fun. The Golden Rule of Storytelling is that the rules change to better fit the story. Have fun, and you'll never go wrong.
There will be a later chapter that explains all the details of the System. For now, as you read, focus more on imagining the world and your character, and you'll be fine.
1st Class = Highest level of a military branch.
2nd Class = Middle level of a military branch.
3rd Class = Entry level of a military branch.
Storyteller = The creator of a Story.
Golden Age = The present day Midgar.
Armageddon = The time period when the world almost destroyed itself.
Gil = Money currencty of Midgar.
Gnosis Sickness = A sort of radiation sickness from Gnosis exposure.
Mako = The refined energy source from Gnosis.
Mako Sickness = A potent radiation sickness from Mako exposure.
Gnosis = A radioactive substance that naturally wellsprings from Gaia.
Materia = Crystalized Gnosis or Mako that can be activated for supernatural effects.
Player = A person who plays a Story through their Character.
Story = The game a Storyteller creates that is based on FF7: OWOD.
Lifestream = The supposed life energy of the planet Gaia.
Gaia = The newer term for Earth.
Vampire = A Supernatural that feeds on the blood of the living.
Werewolf = A Supernatural that morphs into a wolf-creature.
Kami = A spirit being created from the Lifestream.
Midgar = The city made famous by the creation of Mako.
Stats = The numerical representation of a Character's abilities.
Eight Sectors = The upper city sections of Midgar.
Troops = The military branch of Midgar without supernatural abilities.
City Guard = Division of Troops for city defenses.
Infantry = Division of Troops for away missions.
SOLDIER = Genetically modified infantry to have supernatural abilities.
Turks = Military branch dedicated to investigation and secrecy.
Underground = Experimental military branch that bestows extreme supernatural abilities, such as a type of metamorphosis.
Troupe = Group of Players.
Nature = The inner personality of a Character.
Demeanor = The social part of a Character's personality.
Willpower = A Character's pool of will that can change the world to better suit them.
Attributes = Physical, Social, and Mental faculties of a Character.
Abilities = Skills, Talents, and Knowledges of a Character.
Scion = Member of Deepground.
Alarcity = Evolution that increases a Character's reflexes.
Potence = Evolution that increases a Character's Strength.
Fortitude = Evolution that increases a Character's soak pool.
Chaos Nature = A Scion's darker, spiritual personalty that can take over.
Trigger = A situation that might cause a Scion's Chaos Nature to take over their personality temporarily.
Avatar = A Scion's supernatural form that they can call upon temporarily.
Botch = A critical failure of a dice roll.
Jenova Cell Count = The concentration of the Jenova virus in a person.
Mutations = The supernatural powers that are expressed in the Avatar form.
Cybernetics = Machine parts surgically grafted to a member of the infantry.
Speciality = When a Character gains a high enough rating in a Stat that they can get a lowered difficulty on a sub-category.
Action = When a Character performs an Action on their Turn.
Reflexive Action = An Action that can be performed without consuming a Turn.
Spell = An effect created by activating a Materia.
Memory Level = The experience level of a Materia, which determines its range of Spells.
Turn = When a Character is allowed to perform an Action during Combat.
Scene = An unspecific time frame that represents a single moment in a Story.
Chapter = A single complete game session.
Story = The complete arc of a Storyteller's game.
Chronicle = A collection of connected Stories.
Downtime = Unplayed gametime by Players.
OWOD = "Old World of Darkness".
Old World of Darkness = The System this game is based on.
Metanoia = The transformation process into an Avatar by a Scion.
Freaks = Humanoids with radiation-based powers and weaknesses.
Essence = The energy source and health levels of a Kami.
Taint = The genetic/supernatural deficiency of a Freak.
Rage = The mechanical representation of strength of a Kami.
Undead = The walking dead and zombies that eat the living.
Wizards/Withces = Supernaturals with the ability to change reality around them.
History of the World
The End of the Old World
It did not start with a whisper, but with a large explosion. It was not an explosion made of gunpowder or nitroglycerin or even nuclear fission. It was of flesh.
The city of New York was turned inside out as a being of mutated, massive flesh broke through the sewers and attacked humanity on the streets. The stuff of nightmares poured out and began consuming every living being in its path. Tendrils of pale flesh wove through the windows of buildings, snatching up human beings to add to its own mass. It was absolutely horrifying, and local news stations were there to record everything.
Skyscrapers were pulled down by their foundations, and they collapsed upon thousands of unsuspecting victims. Families were separated as people were running as fast as they could from being consumed. The ground gave way to sink holes, and many individuals disappeared in the darkness, never to be seen again. About an hour after it began, the entity suddenly recoiled and became no more, leaving an entire city in a fearful state of confusion and disbelief.
But they couldn't completely disbelieve any more. Monsters were real. People had seen it. People had been eaten by it. The veil of ignorance that had protected humanity for eons was forcibly removed, and there was no going back.
The Vampires were the first to admit to their own existence. Somehow the Nightmare of New York had been connected them, and they accepted the blame. In an effort of creating peace, they even went on live news stations to introduce themselves to the world. They had always been living beside humans, but always hidden in the night. This was how they survived for so long, but they were now willing to risk it all for a new future.
Humanity was not forgiving. Our fears of monsters in the night had been proven not once, but twice. This time, the monsters were intelligent manipulators controlling the fate of the world. Vampires admitted to their eternal political games at humanity's expense, and they hoped that a more equal future between the two species was possible. Their hopes were destroyed without mercy.
While vampires were trying to create a peace treaty, another supernatural species were forced out of the dark. Werewolves began to openly attack humanity and all signs of civilization. Although they seemed to be attacking monsters that were similar in nature to the Nightmare of New York, the Werewolves also killed civilians with a terrifying ferocity. It seemed that there was no stopping these towering beasts of the moon.
Then, the world became even more terrifying. People all over started to be infected with hundreds of unknown diseases. Entire cities disappeared over night, and sometimes they came back filled with mutated monstrosities. Crowds of zombies began to roam the roads and devouring unprotected people, just as science fiction had warned us would happen.
This downward spiral of madness revealed more horrors as time went on, and humanity was fearful for its continued survival. Martial law was declared in every country, and their armies began to barricade survivors in safe places. Army bases became safe havens for the "untouched", and any intruders were exterminated without a second's thought. First World countries dissolved into territories, and communication seemed to completely disappear.
Then came the day the Moon "ate" the Sun, and all was pitch black. No matter where a person was on Earth, there was absolutely no sunlight. Night seemed to be endless, and this continued for over a week. Plantlife began to wither away, and the creatures of evil were free to rule. No one could explain this terrible phenomena, nor could they even try with technology breaking down to its bare necessities. It seemed like humanity was doomed to extinction.
Many more calamities came to pass. The Earth shook and tore at the known continents, leveling cities to the ground. Volcanoes erupted randomly from seemingly dormant mountains. Massive hurricanes flooded entire islands and sank them to the bottom of the ocean. Swarms of insects consumed the last remnants of wildlife before falling dead all at once.
During this time, humanity was not immune to the failures of its own troubled past. Nuclear reactors were damaged beyond repair and poisoned rivers and lakes. Factories started electrical fires and burned down forests. Forgotten toxic waste was released and infected people with even more diseases. Evolved strains of viruses went unchecked and decimated people by the millions. Complete annihilation seemed inevitable.
The Beginning of the New World
Then as mysteriously as it had arrived, the darkness passed. The Sun returned to the Earth, and its warm rays of light once again touched the soil. The plants began to grow, wildlife returned from their hiding places, and humanity could once again see the world. What they saw was utter devastation. The land they use to know had completely changed. Entire landscapes had fallen below sea level or risen to great heights, and countless cities once thriving with life were completely abandoned. The survivors found themselves in the aftermath of a true Apocalypse.
Not only that, the monsters that had initially revealed themselves had survived too. Vampires and Werewolves still roamed the lands, and they were starving. Other beasts with unknown names hunted in the night, and they were just as terrifying or even more so. Scientific facts and theories no longer held as much sway, and more and more reality obeyed the laws of mysticism and the occult. This is the world that survived the era known as Armageddon.
Two hundred years later, this is the world humanity now lives in.
There is no such thing as a country anymore. If a population of people have collected together and formed a city, that city is completely self governing. We have gone back to the concept of city-states. Towns, villages, and simple bands of travelers can request aid from local cities, but generally there is no such thing as law. It's very similar to the American Wild West sense of order, and might most of the time does equal right.
Not only that, but the world is not as it use to be. Science is still in existence, and in some cases much more. The annihilation of civilization forced those with secret technologies to reveal them for survival. In certain cities, the streets are still lit at night, each citizen has a personal computer, and war machines with AIs protect their makers with high powered weaponry.
Yet, in most places this is not the case. The common problems before the industrial revolution have returned and in full force. Clean water is a precious commodity, and fresh food is a close second. A common cold can be enough to kill someone, and there is no protection against severe temperatures.
Then, there are places where science no longer holds domain. In places surrounding the remnants of civilization, there crawls beasts with fearsome intelligence and instincts. Vampires rule over dark kingdoms, werewolves cull humans like cattle, demons command devoted cults, and wizards torture helpless servants. There are more dangers than the elements when straying too far from home.
Also, the world's spirit has turned in on itself. Earth is no longer referred to by that name, but it is now called Gaia. It is a spiritual name, and it better fits a planet that brings forth the spirits of ancient beasts and gives them flesh. In these times, beings randomly form into existence from the energy of the planet, which is called the Lifestream. It is spirit energy materialized, and it as beautiful as it is dangerous. In places where the Lifestream flows freely, things such as dragons, goblins, jinn, and anything else imaginable may walk forward. They are collectively known as Kami, and they can be either impossibly beautiful or hideously horrific. It is truly a time of magic.
Slow Rise of a Titan
Of the few cities that have been able to thrive in this miraculous and dangerous time, Midgar is by far the most successful. During the time of the Armageddon, Midgar was originally a secret military base located in a territory once known as California. It was completely off anyone's radar, and it remained secret even through the cataclysmic events that ended billions of lives. It became a safe haven for high ranking military and political figures, and humanity tried to continue to operate under the guidance of a decimated government.
Eventually, whatever government remained dissolved into ashes. Midgar became self-governing. It had collected and protected what were deemed to be uninfected individuals, and with the passing of the years, those in charge chose to allow the survivors and military personal to begin families. After all, humanity was in danger of extinction, and the best possible solution to save a species is to make more.
Midgar experienced its own set of troubles over the decades, but it was able to adequately defend itself. With an ample resource of munitions, it could keep itself from being overrun by the outside elements. With generators and a large supply of gasoline, it could produce electricity to keep the base running to full capacity. With state of the art computer and technology, it could retain all of humanity's vast knowledge. It had all it needed to begin a new civilization.
The leaders of the base, after accepting how isolated they were, decided to become perpetually self-sufficient. They began to construct factories, schools, and neighborhoods. They reformed the nearby wilderness into farmlands and expanded upon the base's boundaries. What was once a highly classified location of military experiments became a quickly expanding city.
Of course this process was not the easiest, and they experienced their fair share of growing pains. The remnants of the old world grew jealous, and Midgar was constantly under attack. Werewolves would perform lightning strikes and kill as many as possible. Random Kami would be attracted to the city lights and topple newly constructed buildings. Even nearby human survivors grew jealous of Midgar and stole many of its resources. These were very trying times.
The leaders of Midgar realized that in order to survive, they would have to rely on their military origins. Civilized communication and compassion had brought the world to its knees in Armageddon, and only warriors had survived the aftermath. So Midgar accepted martial law, and it's citizens would forever be under it's full control. While politicians were still elected by the popular vote to lead the future, the military would be in every element of it's citizens' lives.
Over time, Midgar started to support adjacent neighborhoods. The outside villages were very loyal to Midgar, for they owed their continuous survival to their militant patron. If there were any sort of attack or subversive infestation of a Supernatural, Midgar's forces would swiftly seek them out and destroy them. In return, the villages would continue to provide crops and raw materials as payment.
As Midgar grew, its borders became closer and closer to these villages. Eventually, Midgar and the villages became one. Not allowing themselves to be swayed by the villager's sentimentality, Midgar leaders renamed the villages and divided them into the Eight Sectors. They asserted the same level of dominance in these sectors as they did within their own walls, and the villagers were powerless to refuse. Midgar became a metropolis, and humanity once again became a dominant species upon Gaia.
Coming Into Power
From it's early beginnings, Midgar had stored all the technological information it could from the height of human civilization. It even had vaults of secret scientific discoveries that was purposefully being kept from the public. The old world had thought it best to slowly reveal such discoveries as humanity evolved. The exact reasons why are lost to time, but nevertheless, Midgar benefited.
The most immediately beneficial information was advanced industrial technology. As Midgar and its Eight Sectors grew, it's population grew exponentially. In order to keep up with its growing needs of land, it would have to continuously expand its defensive perimeter. This was a growing concern, as each time the perimeter grew, there would be weaknesses, and hostiles would take advantage of these weaknesses. There was great interest in underground construction, but geothermal anomalies kept this from being a viable option. So if construction couldn't move down, it would move up.
It was a massive feat of human ingenuity. Fifty meters above ground, Midgar was being rebuilt into a city in the sky. Large steel platforms were erected with support beams that could sustain an impossible amount of weight. Upon these platforms, grand new factories could be built. The old factories could then be deconstructed to make more room for a growing population. Since Midgar's boundaries would remain the same, it's defenses would always be strong.
There was a major flaw in this plan. The construction was possible, but the speed at which it was erected was very slow. It was projected that by the time the platforms were finished that construction of more platforms would immediately have to begin. It would become an eternal task, and the city's populace would not react too kindly. People were already working at full capacity in effort to obtain this beautiful dream, and they might revolt if they knew they'd never truly attain it.
The problem was energy. At that time, the city's major source of energy was a mixture of coal and a small source of nuclear power. There were factories that could build robots to help construction, but what would power the robots? There were already major brown outs and black outs all the time, and the city's populace were groaning from these setbacks. A new power source had to be investigated and utilized.
Thus started the Shinra dynasty. Professor Kitase Shinra was a member of Midgar's Scientific Reasearch Department until he was stripped of his security clearances for unsafe work practices. He had been researching the unusual substance known as Gnosis, which is the luminescent green liquid that permeates Gaia's surface. In all of human history, such a substance had never been seen before Armageddon, but now it could be found in abundance closely underneath the planet's surface.
Gnosis is highly toxic and unstable. Those who are exposed to it for long periods of time become weak and eventually slip into a coma. If Gnosis evaporates and touches flame, it ignites and is as destructive as gunpowder. If it is ignited while in its liquid form, it reacts as if it were nitroglycerine. If by chance it's crystalized form is ignited, it is more like a nuclear explosion.
Professor Shinra had tried to utilize the reactive properties of Gnosis by concentrating it into what he called Mako. Unfortunately his first attempts proved disastrous, and an entire building was destroyed with many bystanders being exposed to toxic levels of Gnosis. He was not imprisoned, but instead he was banished from Midgar. The exact reason for this is unknown, but many assumed it was from blackmailing the at-that-time Mayor of Midgar.
Professor Shinra was restricted to a village called Gongaga where he could continue his experiments away from harming Midgar citizens. After many years and losing a few assistants, Professor Shinra's experiments were a success. He was able to create a concentrated form of Gnosis he called Mako, and it's energy potential was unforseen. He returned to Midgar to show his discovery, but he wasn't giving it away for free.
As what he saw as repayment for his banishment, he only agreed to share the fruits of his labors for a price. Instead of Mako being intellectual property of Midgar, he would create his own company and power Midgar's machines through corporate contracts. Midgar's police force intended to arrest him for treason, but he threatened to remote detonate all his research. The benefits of Mako were too valuable, and so Midgar accepted his offer.
A Mako Reactor was constructed below the city of Midgar, and progress moved at a phenomenal pace. Without having to worry about a lack of power, factories were able to produce machinery nonstop. The platforms for the upper Eight Sectors were competed way before they were previously scheduled, and those citizens with enough funds were able to purchase homes in the apartment complexes soon to be built. It seemed that Midgar had finally entered a Golden Age.
As time went on, Professor Shinra experimented with the many benefits of Mako. Perhaps his second most lucrative enterprise was advancing weapon research and development. Crystalized Gnosis (called "Materia") was a very rare phenomenon, and it usually had supernatural properties. It seemed that each Materia resonated with a natural force, and it could be harnessed under the right conditions. Those conditions were that the Materia had to be naturally charged over years by exposure to Gnosis. However, Mako could charge the Materia instantly.
Where as before the best weapon a troop could have against a suprenatural was a gun, they can now charge up a Materia and wipe out the opposition in only a matter of seconds. Fire Materia can incinerate a Kami like paper, Flora Materia can regrow sky-touching Redwoods, and Water Materia can create walls of protection from incoming fire. Of course the application and access to such is still very limited, but its an option.
With all the funds from the Shinra Electric Power Company and its investments in Weapon R&D, Kitase Shinra became a very wealthy man. After his mysterious death, his son Nojima Shinra became President of the company. President Shinra was much more ambitious about the company's involvement with Midgar's politics, and he began a secret political campaign to control the entire city. With his inexhaustible funds and immoral tactics, he accomplished just that in a few short years. While Midgar would always be a militant city, and the people would have their elected politicians, the Shinra Electric Power Company from this point on would always be in charge.
President (Nojima) Shinra moved forward plans to reconstruct Midgar into a powerhouse for the world. Not satisfied with simply owning Midgar, he wanted to control nearby cities as well. With the help of a brilliant young architect by the name of Reeve Tuesti, Mako reactors were constructed on the top platforms. There is one reactor between every division of the Eight Sectors. This surplus of energy not only allowed the company to sell energy to other areas, but the citizens of Midgar now feel as if there is no limitation to the amount of energy they can burn. Their motorcycles have rechargeable battery engines, computers can be as small as a wristwatch, and billboards now have holographic interactive personalities.
Midgar has come a long way from the secret military base that hardly anyone knew existed to the now powerplant metropolis. President Shinra has a stranglehold on its citizens, the military is unstoppable, and the future is at everyone's fingertips. The Golden Age is truly here.
Landscape of an Empire
From afar, Midgar seems like a massive city upon a hovering plate. Some have even referred to it as a "technological pizza", considering how it is circular, has a flat base, and is divided into the Eight Sectors. This is an unflattering and unfair description, as the city's forever green Mako glow makes it absolutely beautiful at night. Its architecture is like nothing ever seen before, and first time visitors are often awestruck for hours by its sheer magnitude.
The Eight Sectors each have a Mako reactor between them, and the center of the city is dedicated to the Shinra Electric Power Company Headquarters along with its own refinery. Below this is the original Midgar city, but years of being shadowed by the upper city has not been kind. It is now referred to as the Slums, even though it is still a historical reflection of the above Eight Sectors. Each Slum Sector has a support pillar for the above Sector, and Midgar's center is where the base pillar is. This area is referred to as Sector 0, and it is a highly restricted area for obvious reasons.
For not so obvious reasons, Sector 0 is believed by the public to be where Shinra performs its immoral secret military scientific research. President Shinra has publicly denied this, as he claims all research would obviously be conducted within the Shinra Headquarters. Nevertheless, access to the secured area below ground is forbidden to all except military officers with the highest of security clearances.
Outside of the Slums is land that once was where farmland thrived. Now, the flora has begun to die off and leave behind barren soil, thus earning it the name Wasteland. There are many theories as to why this is. The most popular belief is that the radiation from the Mako reactors are killing off the nearby plantlife. The theory proposed by Shinra is that the grass is naturally dying off due to the lack of sunlight from the upper city, which is considered to be an acceptable sacrifice. Some spiritual groups believe that it is a symbol of Shinra sucking the life out of Gaia for profit, but there is currently no proof of that. As a means of controlling immigration and protecting against most Kami and Supernatural attacks, a large wall of nearly indestructable glass has been erected. Only those with specific credentials may open the gates.
The Old and the New
There is an obvious divide growing between the social classes of Midgar. Those who live on high are considered to be upper class, and they enjoy all the benefits of a technological new age. Those who live below are lower class, and they can only salvage what technology trickles down to their depths. This has led to much tension amongst the citizens of Midgar, and the only response from the government is a strong and quick incarceration for all offenders. Midgar's survival depends upon progress, or so President Shinra spends millions of Gil on making everyone believe.
The Slums have varying degrees of poverty. The closer to the Border Wall, the less presence there is from the military. Thus, the closer to the wall, the more independent the communities can be. This is not to say that these areas have more poverty. In fact, it usually means the opposite. Being near the wall means being near incoming commerce as well as less regulations by the city. Those who can balance between crime and business do quite well in these areas.
The Slums are still sectioned off by their Sectors, but there aren't as many zone restrictions. It's more of a means of mapping off where one lives rather than an association with any type of business. Some of the original structures before the Golden Age still stand, and they are in use as they gradually crumble to the ground. New construction is generally limited to thin aluminum walls and recycled materials.
The further away from the wall means more control of the government. It also means less funds from commerce, so this is where the lowest of the social class ends up. Unable to find alternative means of work, they are forced to labor in dilapidated factories without adequate safety regulations. This is where most of the revolts against Shinra begin, and this is where there are the most casualties from such rebellions.
In the center were the Central Pillar stands, this is the bridgeway between the below life and the above. Only those with clearance can easily pass, and even then they must wait for tedious inspection. The reasons for such high security measures is to keep criminals from taking advantage of the more privileged citizens of Midgar, and it is also to protect the flow of Gnosis from Gaia to the Mako Reactors above. If anything were to happen to disrupt the flow, the civilian casualties would be astronomical.
Above lies the newer, more official Eight Sectors. They have specialized factories in each Sector, which necessitates the need for easy travel through them all. To perform this, there is an intricate train system called the Midgar Mass Transit System, which is quite efficient and fast. It is considered necessary for newcomers to quickly learn its paths and schedule by heart.
However, there is no dire need for the common citizen to constantly travel outside of their Sector. Each Sector is so massive that they are self-sustaining. This leads them to developing their own identity. For example, Sector 8 is quite famous for its theatre district, specifically the Loveless Avenue. The only Sector that industrially falls behind the others is Sector 6, and that's because it is currently under massive reconstruction to replace failing support lines.
The common life of those who live on high is quite fascinating. They never lack for the finer things in life, and the most updated technology is constantly at their fingertips. Even in the time before Armageddon, there was never such advanced devices. Computer screens are now glass if not holographic, vehicles can be completely driven by AI's, and online gaming is a fully immersive environment. Personal property is becoming a thing of the past, and digital purchases are becoming more and more the new rave.
They also know nothing of suffering. Food is as available as air, and online restaurant reviews can build up or bankrupt a restaurant overnight. If someone manages to become hurt, automatic sensors go off and call in a flying ambulance to immediately care for or transport the wounded. Living space is the only limiting factor, but citizens have compensated for purchasing "data space" on a Virtual Reality-based social media.
In the center lies the Shinra Electric Power Company. No matter where one stands in Midgar, the Shinra Tower can be seen. Along with the eight Mako Reactors, the Shinra Tower has an eerie green glow that lasts all night. Many claim this to be proof of its supposed radiation leaks, but there has been no proven evidence of this. It's main floors are open to the public, but most of the building requires security clearances. Shinra has many technological secrets it keeps close to its heart, and the President will stop at nothing to keep those secrets exactly where they are.
The City's Future
As of right now, Midgar does not have any major plans for change. Not officially of course. President Shinra is continuously expanding its corporate empire by providing power to more and more nearby villages. Where Shinra goes, so does Midgar's military, and thus their symbiotic relationship causes Midgar's power to grow even more. Not every foreign city and village bows to Shinra, and they are considered to be enemies of Midgar, and Midgar does not allow an enemy to thrive.
One reoccurring issue is the constant attack by Kami and Supernaturals. Midgar is under strong protection, but even it sometimes finds its security faltering against such unusual beings. Shinra is always investigating new ways to protect its investments, and they promise the citizens of Midgar to one day completely wipe away these foreign invaders. Exactly how Shinra will do this is a secret they keep well guarded.
The Faces of Shinra
Shinra is as much as Midgar as Midgar is Shinra. At one time the city was its own ruler, but it has bought so far into the rabbit hole of Mako technology that there is no turning back. Without Shinra, the Eight Sectors would have no power, and its citizens would have to survive on their own. Since no one wants this, the Shinra Electric Power Company remains in rule. While the people are given the illusion of voting for a political president, the corporate President Shinra is the true ruler.
Professor Kitase Shinra (Deceased), Founder of Shinra
Professor Shinra was a short, thin man with long blonde hair and a full beard. He had a permanent glare, but his voice was surprisingly soft.
Professor Shinra was a very cold and calculating individual. Although his initial focus of study was business, his unprecedented comprehension of science led him down a different path. He began to work on the research team for applications of the unknown radioactive chemical labeled as Gnosis. He quickly became a front runner in the research, and he began to see his coworkers as fools.
He promised to turn Gnosis into a new energy source, and the military allowed him to run his own research lab. During his preliminary tests, an unforeseen anomaly caused a devastating chemical reaction. The entire building went down in flames, and many scientists and assistants lost their lives that day. He should have been imprisoned. Yet, he wasn't. Rumors were that he had evidence against many military leaders for some crime against humanity.
Instead, he was transferred to an off-site research facility in Gongaga. Given full control of the facility and allowed to work without restriction, Professor Shinra began his precious work. He worked very closely with Gnosis, but not too closely. That was a responsibility left to his assistants.
Yet, even he wasn't immune to the dangers of his work. After a near death experience involving a leaking pipe of Gnosis, Professor Shinra contracted Gnosis Sickness and fell into a coma. When he finally awoke, he claimed he had dreamed a solution to his formula. He immediately went to work, and he proved that he could refine Gnosis into a fuel chemical he called Mako.
He returned to Midgar with his new discovery, and the rest is history. After he built his empire, he set up his son to inherit his corporate throne. Due to his late age and lingering ailments from Gnosis Sickness, he passed on shortly thereafter.
President Nojima Shinra
President Shinra is a short, stout man with receding blond hair and a thick mustache. He only wears the best suits and smokes the most expensive cigars.
Nojima was born to his already aging father Kitase and young mother Narita. Professor Shinra had no time to spare for raising a child, and Narita was born of aristocracy. So, Nojima was raised by tutors and well-paid servants. He learned the political games of Midgar perfectly, and his schooling made him a genius at business. He never showed the interest or skill for scientific research, so he spent his young adult years earning the trust of his father's board directors.
Well…he wasn't only earning their trust. He was building up his personal file of blackmail on each member. One by one he tempted them into depraved acts, and they fell into his dominating grip. By the time his father was bedridden, he already had complete control of the company. After his father finally passed, the military came to regain control of the city. They thought they'd confront a crumbling empire, but what they encountered was a business tycoon with complete control over the Shinra Make Reactors. With no other options, Midgar accepted the rule of President Shinra.
President Shinra has continued the good work of his father, but he has taken the company to greater heights. Mako production is at an all-time high, military R&D continuously rolls out more tools of war, and nearby cities and villages are falling under the control of the Shinra Electric Power Company. Nojima has definitely earned his place in history, but he seeks more. He seeks what he has only started mumbling as "The Promised Land."
Vice-President Rufus Shinra
Rufus is a young man with short styled blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Like his father, he wears expensive suits that follow the current fashion trends.
Rufus was an unplanned child. His mother Laura was a troop hired as a personal bodyguard of President Shinra. She accompanied Nojima to all of his business meetings, public appearances, and private parties. During a night of extreme debauchery, the two spent a night together. The result was the only legitimate child of the infamous President Shinra. Nojima was incredibly embarrassed by his lack of control, but he recognized that he was the child's true father. As such, he gave Rufus all the pleasures of life possible in Midgar.
Rufus is not the scientific genius his grandfather was. He does have the business skills his father has, and he has chosen a different path towards power. While President Shinra climbed the corporate ladder one blackmail at a time, Rufus has taken a more military approach. Rufus realizes that eventually Shinra will push the people of Midgar too far. The resistance movements are gaining more members, and no amount of advertising will make them go away. He sees the military as lacking leadership, and he intends to fulfill that purpose.
President Shinra sees Rufus as a strong-headed brat that inherited too much of his mother's military mind. He continuously forces Rufus to take more company responsibilities in hopes of making a entrepreneur out of him yet. Rufus gladly takes such responsibilities along with the security clearances into the Scientific Research Department.
Reeve Tuesti, Chief Architect of Mako Reactors
Reeve has black hair, a thin goatee, and a thin physique. He dresses very formally and walks rigidly, but his voice is always slightly jovial.
Reeve showed incredible aptitude towards engineering even as a young boy. He predicted the necessary repairs that would need to be taken on Sector 6 long before any public notice was given. Not only that, he proposed a plan on how best to repair them as his school's science fair project. This earned him the attention of of President Shinra, who was quite annoyed that someone alerted the public to a major reconstruction project. However, the President recognized the pure talent that stood before him.
He personally paid for all of Reeve's college expenses , and upon graduation he employed Reeve into his Engineering Department. Not only that, he appointed Reeve at the head of the department. Many grumbled about this decision, but they all went silent when they saw the brilliance before them. Reeve immediately began work on the additional Mako Reactors to be built upon the Eight Sectors.
It was a massive project, and Reeve had extreme tunnel vision in order to complete it. He started to lose his humanity, some started to say, and he only cared about the finality of his project. Now that the Reactors are built, he is charged with the expansion of Shinra's power network as well as contributing to the Automated Defense Division of the Weapons Department. He also has been given some control over the maintenance of Sector 0's Reactor, but he has found that his clearance is not as high as it should be. Recently, he has started to act more worried about the welfare of Midgar citizens. There is no known reason for this change of heart, but some suspect Reeve knows something unique about Mako science.
Brian Heidegger, Head of Public Safety
Heidegger is a stout, slightly obese man with long hair and a bushy beard. He wears his military medals on his suits, and he shouts during normal talk.
Heidegger was never the brightest person, but he is very courageous. Some say that his courage was a mask for his idiocy, but that's only his coworkers. Heidegger in his younger years was a competitive athlete with a knack for leadership. He was the school jock, and everyone wanted to be him. When he graduated school, he quickly discovered that the only place for a strong, likeable imbecile was the military. So, he signed up and volunteered to go to the very front lines of danger.
Against all odds, he had a shinning record. Well, at least all the times when he wasn't in charge. Whenever given direct orders, Heidegger could face an entire army of Supernaturals. If he was left to his own accord, his only move was to face the enemies head on. These mission tended to fail miserably.
After a few grievous defeats, he was forced into early retirement with a big pension. The military chose not to reveal his many flops as it would reflect badly on them, so they lied about his achievements and sent him to work security for Shinra Headquarters. He was very ambitious about climbing up the corporate ladder, and his gullibility protected him from being the target of more intelligent powerplays.
By a stroke of luck, Heidegger happened into a position that let him be interviewed by President Shinra. President Shinra immediately could tell how simple Heidegger is, but he saw this as an advantage. Too many times before had military leaders gone their own way and disobeyed his orders. Heidegger would be an easy pawn to manipulate, and he would do exactly as he was told. In an unusual move, President Shinra promoted Heidegger to the Head of Public Safety.
Currently, this title only pertains to the security within the company. The military programs, such as the Turks and SOLDIER, those currently have their own Heads of Operations. However, Heidegger believes it's only a matter of time before he controls them too. Perhaps he's right.
Kia Scarlet, Head of Weapon's Development
Scarlet has a curvaceous body, blond pinned-up hair, and blue eyes. She wears slightly revealing clothing while still trying to present an atmosphere of professionalism.
It's a tough world for an independent woman to thrive in, but Scarlet has managed to do so and do so in style. The daughter of rich socialites, she was introduced early into the world of socio-political power plays. Her parents were able to afford her the best tutors, and then they followed that by putting her in the best college. Scarlet had the world at her fingertips, and she vowed she would not waste it.
Her parents had planned to marry her off to another wealthy family, but she had other ideas. Liquidating her trust fund under the guise of buying a new house for her future marital bliss, she used the money to financially attack her own family's business. Once she wrestled control over her family's estate, she kicked her own parents to the curb of the Slums. Without her family breathing down her neck, she could follower her dreams of being a career woman.
While Heidegger attained his position from luck and by being a pawn, Scarlet dealt in blackmail and long-term manipulation tactics. She earned the position of the Head of Weapons Development by discrediting her superiors' reputations, and one by one she crawled her way to the top. She targeted the Weapons Development, because she had a natural taste for destruction and a severe lack of morals. She is the perfect person for such a position.
During meetings with President Shinra, she openly despises Heidegger for his obvious idiocy. She honestly respects President Shinra, but given the chance, she'd assume control over the entire company. President Shinra knows this, and he constantly puts Scarlet and Heidegger at each others throats to keep the two busy.
Mayor Tom Domino
Domino is an older man who is bald and has a thick, pointed beard. While he has deep smile lines, his eyes are aged and sad.
While not a major player in the secret politics of Midgar, Mayor Domino does have his part. His family is one of Midgar's most elite, and he actively sought out the position of Mayor with genuine charity in his heart. He thought that once he had been elected, he would finally have enough political power to do some good. He was very wrong.
President Shinra "generously" paid for Domino's campaign without any strings attached. Or at least that's what Mayor Domino thought. Once the election was over and Mayor Domino tried to make changes, he soon found that every path was blocked by President Shinra. The two exchanged harsh words, and Mayor Domino soon found himself trapped behind a desk with nothing to do but show up for public occasions.
While Shinra owns Midgar, it would have never been possible without the contribution of a few brilliant scientists. The first Shinra was himself a professor, and he began the evolution of Midgar and its rise to fame. Shinra still relies on its scientists, and they in turn rely on Midgar's money to fund their projects.
Professor Gast Faremis (Deceased), Ex-Head of Shinra SRD
Professor Gast was a thin, tall man with short brown hair and a receding widow's peak and a mustache. His movements were very slow and calculated, and his voice was very kind.
Professor Gast was one of the prized pupils of the original Professor Shinra. While not yet born during the Gongaga years, Professor Gast when old enough pursued a scientific career in researching the connection between the appearance of Gnosis and the existence of the Kami. While he wished to work on the refining of Mako, Professor Shinra made a personal request that he instead follow a different line of work.
Whenever the military defeated a Kami, the liquid Gnosis remains were sent to Professor Gast for post-mortem examination. His studies on the beings made great leaps towards Shinra's understanding on the biological properties of Gnosis. He found that particular Kami were not simply siphoning off Gnosis from Gaia, but they were also capable of creating their own. Within these Kami's liquid remains there was a remnant of a unique virus, which Professor Gast theorized that it mutated human hosts to create the spiritual beings.
A few times the military was able to abduct a live Kami. Through inhumane interrogation methods, Professor Gast learned that a few Kami were devoted to a being called Jenova. He researched the name in the computer databases, and he theorized that Jenova was one of the original beings to live upon Gaia. According to myth, these beings of pure light were responsible for forming reality at their will, and they did so for the benefit of all living beings. Professor Gast became obsessed with these beings he called the "Ancients" and vowed to find the remains of one.
Through more inhumane interrogations and following the migratory paths of the Kami, Professor Gast theorized the location of Jenova's remains. With an excavation team protected by the military, Professor Gast found just that. He transported the remains back to Midgar and began to study it intensely. After many tests, Professor Gast realized that Jenova was not one of the fabled Ancients. In fact, he theorized that Jenova was not from Gaia at all, but an alien invader, based on it's genetic material. He passed the project down to his trusted pupil Professor Hojo, and then he continued his original search.
The exact history of what happened next is shrouded in mystery. This is mostly due to the fact that Professor Gast left Midgar in secrecy. According to the testimony of Professor Hojo, Professor Gast went mad and started to worship Jenova as a divine being rather than an infection. The military went to retrieve Professor Gast at his last known location, but his refusal ended in bloodshed. While his ending was a most unfortunate one, Midgar will never forget his contribution to science.
Professor Nachi Hojo, Head of Shinra SRD
Professor Hojo is thin, gaunt man with a hunched walk and evil, piercing eyes. His hair is black and in a ponytail, he wears thin glasses, and his clothes are always professional.
Even as a child, there were those who could sense that Professor Hojo was not like the others. He lacked a natural sense of morals, and while all the other children wished to play outside, he refused to quit his studies. He loathed the emotions expressed by others, and he thought that the only redeeming grace of humanity is intelligence.
He was an only child brought up in the upper Sectors, but his family was barely wealthy enough to pay for an low-income apartment. His mother encouraged his thirst for knowledge, and she severely chastised him when ever he showed failure. While he was in college, she caught a virus and died in a hospital without him even visiting her once. He paid for someone else to tend to her funeral services, and he graduated with honors.
He found employment quickly within the Science Research Department studying under Professor Gast. While Professor Gast was focused on his studies, he passed down all the clerical work to Professor Hojo. Professor Hojo didn't mind this, because he knew he was studying under the greatest scientist there currently was. When he was given control over the Jenova Project, he knew his time had come.
Professor Hojo pioneered the study of the Jenova virus and its military applications. With the aid of Doctor Hollander and Professor Grimoire, he was able to begin the SOLDIER program as well as pioneer it's later advanced program Deepground. Professor Shinra, after being educated on the full potential of the Jenova Project, fully funded Professor Hojo's team without question. Professor Hojo was coming into power that would soon give him complete control of the SRD.
When Professor Gast abandoned the SRD and fled Midgar, Professor Hojo used this as proof of his superior's losing mental stability. He requested from Professor Shinra to remove Professor Gast's security clearance and brand the man an enemy of the state. His wish was granted. Professor Hojo now heads the SRD without contest, and his second benefactor President Shinra has no intentions of changing anything. Professor Hojo has stepped away from the SOLDIER and even the Deepground projects, and he is completely focused upon what he calls Project S.
Doctor Sterling Hollander, Head of the Deepground Project
Doctor Hollander has graying black hair with a beard of the same color. While he does usually wear a labcoat, his clothes underneath are common street clothes (t-shirt and jeans).
Doctor Hollander is a very strong willed scientist who believes in results more than he does titles. This very fact is represented in that he never officially attained the title of Professor. Instead, he personally pursued Professor Gast's favor by showing his own studies on Mako Sickness. Impressed, Professor Gast hired Doctor Hollander and placed him under the same tutelage as Professor Hojo.
Doctor Hollander and Professor Hojo were always at odds with each other. Professor Hojo hated him due to what he perceived to be a lack of focus and true genius. Doctor Hollander hated Professor Hojo because he saw the man as a manipulative politician in doctor's clothing. Nevertheless, the two saw merit in working together. They helped develop the SOLDIER and Deepground programs, and they continued to work on their own personal projects when President Shinra took power.
Doctor Hollander's greatest weakness is pride. He loathes Professor Hojo for becoming the head of the SRD, and he is determined to prove that he is more worthy of the title. Building a foundation from the Deepground project, Doctor Hollander created his own Special Project G in response to Professor Hojo's Project S. What exactly these two projects entail are a mystery to most, but these two will inevitably clash egos in the near future.
Professor Grimoire Valentine (Deceased), Former Head of Omega Project
Professor Grimoire had a very tall, imposing stature, pale skin, and long black hair. Although he was an accomplished scientist, he always dressed as a country animal herder with leather, buckled clothing.
Another pupil of Professor Shinra's, Professor Grimoire was an established scientist even before his inclusion on the Jenova Project. He had worked closely on the investigation of the energy potential of Gnosis, but unlike Professor Shinra, he was not sent away to Gongoga. Professor Grimoire had warned Shinra about the dangerous working conditions Professor Shinra was workin in, but he was not listened to until it was too late.
Surprisingly, Professor Shinra did not hold a grudge against Professor Grimoire. In fact, he included Professor Grimoire in on his research. Professor Grimoire was not so much interested in the location of an "Ancient", but he was interested in the origins of the Kami. He personally supervised the interrogations that revealed the name Jenova. He also was able to get the names of other "divine beings", but Professor Shinra did not show much interest in them. So, Professor Grimoire began his own research.
He began to investigate the nature of Kami and started tracing their power structure. He employed the assistance of Professor Lucrecia Crescent and focused his studies on an unusual theory. He believed that all Kami were spiritual entities brought forth into existence from Gnosis. He also believed that Gnosis was a spiritual memory of the planet, and that any deceased being could be brought forth into a materialized spiritual existence. After contributing to the Deepground projects, he had enough information to begin his studies independently.
Unfortunately, his project ended in devastation. During an unorthodox experiment, his machines malfunctioned and exploded. He used his own body to protect Professor Lucrecia, and he died as a result. The project became inactive, and the research was transferred to Professor Hojo's efforts, as was Professor Lucrecia.
Professor Lucrecia Crescent (deceased), Biotechnologist on Jenova Project
Professor Lucrecia was thin with long, fashioned brown hair and brown eyes with small glasses. While she was professional, she was very warm and caring.
Another professor fortunate enough to be alive during the lifetime of Professor Shinra, Professor Lucrecia was involved in the Jenova Project in its earlier days. While she was not as innovative or as brilliant as the other professors, she had an unnatural ability to see data correlation. Without her assistance, it could be said that the SOLDIER Project would still be in its infancy. It was her work that helped trace the advancement of the Jenova virus in particular human specimens.
During her time with Professor Gimoire, she was able to assist in the tracking of Kami hierarchy. After the unfortunate death of Professor Grimoire, she then began to work closely with Professor Hojo on the Jenova Project. Specifically, she was asked to assist in the Project S. She later came down with an ailment that Professor Hojo blamed on Mako sickness, and she was hospitalized under his close supervision. Professor Hojo was unable to find a cure, and she passed on. Her work was invaluable to Shinra, and her name will go down in Midgar history.
Professor Shalua Rui, Lead Cyberneticist
Professor Shalua has long, red hair in a ponytail, blue eyes, and wears thin glasses. She wears a labcoat over a younger person's style miniskirt and business shirt.
Professor Shalua is one of the youngest scientists to be able to call themselves a Professor. She seems to have been born with an almost unnatural connection to machinery, and she has been creating remote controlled gadgets since she was in elementary school. She graduated high school five years early, and she easily skipped her way through college. After attaining her degrees, she applied to Shinra to be part of whatever study they wished of her.
Scarlet was the one to find her. Scarlet saw the military potential Professor Shalua could contribute, and so she gave Professor Shalua a lead in one of the Cybernetics Departments, which is adjacent to the Automated Defense Division ran by Reeve. Professor Shalua directed her team to study mechanical limb replacements. This was a previously dead-end project, because all mechanical limbs lacked an adequate power supply. However, she found that SOLDIERS were able to power the devices all on their own. After this discovery, she experimented with higher combat technologies that could only operate with higher levels of Mako.
She is almost solely responsible for a whole new line of cybernetic weapons, which are giving permanently disfigured SOLDIERs a new chance to continue their military career. Scarlet is very pleased with the work. Professor Shalua is not so pleased, as she is beginning to regret making weapons instead of beneficial prosthetics.
Pilot Cid Highwind, Lead Aerospace Engineer
Cid has unkempt blonde hair, blue eyes, and a scruffy face. He is always dressed in his pilot's uniform, and his voice and attitude is rough and insulting.
With the flow of Mako into the world of science, there were many who saw it as a magical solution to all their troubles. With Cid, this was very much true. Although he has earned the title of Professor, he refuses to be called anything other than by his first name and maybe have it preceded by "Pilot". Not a native to Midgar, he went to college there to chase his dream of space travel. Ever since he was a little boy, he dreamed of travelling above the face of Gaia.
He first attained his pilot's license, and then he went to college in Midgar for a degree in Aerospace Engineering. This was only very recently even seen as a degree, and it still hasn't earned the respect of other degrees. Realizing that he would never get to outer space without the funding of President Shinra, he went to him with the plans for a space rocket ship and the idea that planetary travel would soon follow.
President Shinra was thrilled at the idea of owning not only Gaia but other planets as well. Cid received his funding and began construction immediately in his hometown, which was recently renamed "Rocket Town". He is currently perfecting the construction of the rocket with his assistant Professor Hazel.
Professor Hazel Shera, Aerospace Engineer
Professor Shera is a very slender woman with hazel eyes and auburn hair. Other than her large glasses, she generally dresses and acts in a manner to not stand out at all.
Professor Shera was originally destined for the Shinra Weapons Development program under the direction of Scarlet. However, after she met Cid and saw how passionate he was about space travel, she was immediately hooked. She saw a path in life that would allow her to follow science and not simply make new weapons. She pledged her loyalty to Cid and followed him to "Rocket Town", where she assists him on perfecting the rocket "Tiny Bronco".
A military division made possible by the discoveries of Professor Gast and innovations of Professor Hojo, SOLDIERs are Troops that were exposed to a strain of the Jenova virus cells. After a slight incubation period, the Troops were able to retain Mako in their body. Some are capable of containing large amounts of Gnosis, activate Materia, and develop an unnatural resistance to damage. They are the threat Shinra uses to keep its citizens in check, and SOLDIER always delivers on their promises.
Lazard Deusericus, Director of SOLDIER
Lazard has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a thin appearance. He dresses in fashionable suits that are a bit showy, but his attitude is very controlled and calm.
A rags to riches story, Lazard grew up in the slums and climbed his way into a comfortable seat in Shinra's military branch SOLDIER. This is a sort of anomaly, as Lazard really did nothing to truly earn the position. He is not a distinguished Professor, business tycoon, or even a military person. He was able to go to college in the top Sectors on a scholarship, which how he received it is also a mystery. He is an intelligent individual, but he simply has done nothing to prove himself.
This has earned him the hatred of Heidegger, who believes SOLDIER should be within the Public Safety Department. However, President Shinra has made it clear that SOLDIER is to be separate. President Shinra was the one to appoint Lazard into the position, and he has not as of yet given a good reason as to why. Heidegger makes jokes about how President Shinra use to visit the Slums for "company", but Lazard pays no attention to such slurs.
Lazard is currently working closely with Professor Hojo and Doctor Hollander in their personal projects, although he does not truly have any idea what the purpose of either project is.
Angeal Hewely, 1st Class SOLDIER
Angeal is tall with a muscular, athletic build. His long, slicked back hair is long, and his face is clean shaven. He rarely speaks, and his voice is deep and heavy.
The highest rated troop in SOLDIER, Angeal is considered to be a treasured asset to Midgar's forces. His hometown is Banora Village, making him an outsider to Midgar. His battle victories made him a favorite amongst the city's people. He treasures his honor above all else, and he does not attack unless absolutely necessary. The majority of his targets have been Kami, but he has been known to fight both Supernaturals and human rebels.
Genesis Rhapsodos, 1st Class SOLDIER
Genesis has a thin, angular body and chin-length auburn hair. Although his dress is technically SOLDIER approved, it is still very fashionable.
The second highest rated troop in SOLDIER, Genesis is a personal favorite of Midgar. His appreciation of the arts has earned him the respect of Midgar's high class, but it hasn't earned him the favor of his department. While he is used for many high risk missions, he typically is sent to exterminate Supernaturals rather than be part of glorious attacks on Kami. He grew up in the same town as Angeal, and their childhood friendship is what keeps them from hating each other.
Sephiroth, 1st Class Soldier
Sephiroth has a tall, thin figure which is still quite muscular, and he has long, flowing white hair and a clean face. He rarely talks, but when he does, his low voice is very chilling.
The third highest rated troop in SOLDIER, Sephiroth is quickly cleaving his way to the top. He was originally designated for Midgar city protection, but he disobeyed direct orders and escaped to the front lines of a particularly dangerous mission. The mission itself would have been a complete disaster had Sephiroth not shown up and exterminated a particularly powerful Kami. Seeing Sephiroth's true potential, Lazard permitted him to stay on the front lines.
Many think that Sephiroth is indeed a better fighter than both Genesis and Angeal, but he has not yet been given the chance to prove it.
In a city as massive as Midgar, sometimes a heavy hand is more harmful than helpful. Sometimes, a steady hand and a closed mouth are the best way to shut down opposition. For such secret missions, there is cause for a specialized type of Troop. This is where the Turks come in. They are bodyguards, assassins, and investigators all in one. They are all mostly former SOLDIERs, so Shinra knows that they can be trusted.
Veld Verdot, Chief Turk
Veld has stylish brown hair and very clean cut facial hair. His facial scars betray his warrior's past, and his expressions are stone cold or sorrowful.
A seasoned veteran of war, Veld is a serious, stern commander who demands complete loyalty in his troops. He was deeply involved in the Wutai War, and he was credited to many assassinations of key rebellious figures. He has seen the many horrors of war, and his own family were destroyed in a miscalculated bombing, which he survived having lost an entire arm. It was replaced with a specialized Materia-holding cybernetic arm, which allowed him to keep his on-field position.
Legend, 1st Class Turk
Legend has short orange hair, a very lanky body, and a pointed chin to accentuate his crooked smile. He usually wears sunglasses and keeps from talking if at all possible.
A complete mystery to all, Legend is a Turk of extraordinary abilities. On the battlefield of the Wutai War, his skills were so unmatched that he earned the title "Death God of the Battlefield". His confirmed kills are astronomical, and he best kills rebelling humans. He's a bit hard to control, and he is known to completely disobey orders if its in the best interest of Shinra.
Cissnei Shuriken, 2nd Class Turk
Cissnei is short and thin, and her hair is wavy red which compliment her brown eyes. She carries herself like a normal girl, but she can switch to military stance in a heartbeat.
Originally a child orphaned by war, Cissnei was rescued by the Turks and taken back to Midgar. With them making such a strong impression on her, she actively trained to become a member in their ranks. Unlike other children, she has spent most of her life training for combat and building her strength. When she finally came of age, instead of joining SOLDIER, she was allowed to bypass that step and become a Turk immediately.
She is climbing the ranks of the Turks very quickly, and she has proven her skills to be efficient and quite deadly.
Deepground is still in its infancy. It's members are ex-SOLDIERS who were too damaged for further service. With nothing to lose, they have sacrificed their health, sanity, and spirits in order to be healed. Many have passed away from failed experiments, but there are a few who have risen above. Their powers are similar to that of the Kami, and those who know about Deepground rightfully fear them.
Restrictor, Director of Deepground
Very little is known about the Restrictor, other than that he is male and most likely is an ex-SOLDIER. His sole responsibility is to control the Deepgrounders, which he does through cruelty and brain chip implants. He is excessively cruel, and his face is constantly covered by a helmet.
Weiss the Immaculate, Alpha Team Leader
Weiss is muscular with a very solid form, and his white hair is long and spiked. He generally wears no shirt, and he has a wide smile whenever he is about to battle.
Although he is a later addition to the team, he is showing much more promise in the sense of power. He is very charismatic and draws in people without any need of supernatural swaying. His missions, as with most of the Deepground, are mostly attacks on Kami. Without help. This is almost unheard of, but Deepground is capable of doing it. Recently, Weiss is beginning to show more care for his felllow Deepgrounders, which is causing concern for the Restrictor.
With all the technological gifts that Midgar offers its citizens, rarely do those in power care to look around them. As Gnosis, the Lifestream of the planet, is siphoned and burned in reactors, the land around Midgar is becoming barren. The world is dying, and there are a few who care enough to do something about it.
Not only that, Shinra's stranglehold on Midgar is squeezing a little too tight for comfort. Occasionally, the company puts profits before people, and those people have had enough. AVALANCH is the resistance movement against Midgar, Shinra, and anyone who thrives on torturing the less fortunate.
Professor Fuhito Dark, AVALANCH Founder
Professor Fuhito has fashionably spiked, slicked back hair, popular small glasses, and a clean shaven face. He wears a business attire rather than the usual labcoat worn by professors, and he has a young, charitable appearance.
Professor Fuhito was not that well known of an individual. His curt personality and lack of ambition left him quite literally in the cold. His purpose in Shinra was to investigate any possible negative effects Mako has on the environment and people. He found that the Mako toxicity in the soil made it impossible to grow crops, and that Mako poisoning in people was increasing it's percentage each year. He wrote a full report on his findings and presented it to President Shinra.
President Shinra took one look at the report and then buried all the data. The desire for profit was too great to turn back from Mako production, and he refused to let the public find out this information. Infuriated, Professor Fuhito abandoned Midgar and sought out anyone who wished to oppose the corporate Tyrant. Eventually, this led him to Elfe and Shears. Together, they formed the AVALANCHE resistance movement and swore to take down their oppressors and enemies of Gaia.
His zealous attitude for saving the planet has led him to use to secret SOLDIER technology to create a brainwashed super soldier called RAVENS. His cold attitude towards forcing people to help him has put him at odds with his other resistance members. He also stole research from the abandoned Omega Project by the late Professor Grimoire, but he has yet to piece enough information together to make use of it.
Felicia Elfe, AVALANCHE Founder
Elfe is short and thin with short brown hair and blue eyes. Her clothes are a mixture of military and civilian, and her face is stern and angry.
Elfe is a survivor of the military mishap of bombing the city of Kalm. Her mother died in the explosions, but she managed to escape from being burned alive. The survivors were then transported to Nibelheim where Professor Hojo was given the responsibility of healing survivors. He took the opportunity to claim many of the survivors as perished, and then he secretly experimented on them with Materia and Mako. Unhappy with the results, he scheduled all his subjects for termination. Elfe again somehow managed to escape certain death, but she suffered severe amnesia.
While on his pilgrimage, Professor Fuhito found Elfe in her weakened state wandering aimlessly. He took her to the nearest medical facility in Cosmo Canyon, and there he was able to observe her unusual Mako-infused abilities. Fascinated by her state and unknown origins, he decided to "adopt" her and teach her about his views on the world. With her unusually advanced fighting skills, she has sworn to protect Professor Fahito and Gaia at all costs. She hopes that one day, she will remember her past and take vengeance on the one who harmed her.
Shears, AVALANCE Military Leader
Shears has an athletic build, messy brown hair, and a generally rough appearance. He wears plain civilian clothes that do not betray his martial nature.
During Midgar's earlier power struggles with nearby cities and villages, there were many, many innocent casualties. Shears' parents happened to be a part of those casualties, making him an orphan at an early age. Like most orphaned refugees, he was shipped off by Shinra to an underfunded orphanage in the name of mercy. He had to learn at an early age how to defend himself, or else starve like so many others like him. In his teenage years, he began to form a gang with his fellow orphans. They broke smaller laws at first, but their criminal activities grew over time. Eventually, he created a team of outlaws hellbent against Shinra.
He met Professor Fahito and Elfe after his gang attempted to kidnap them. The two were far away from Midgar's protection, and Shear's gang saw them as easy targets. After Efle made short work of his gang, Shears had a talk with the two and learned they all shared a hatred of Shinra. On that day, AVALANCHE was formed. While Professor Fuhito provides the science, and Elfe provides the muscle, Shears provides the army. He has a growing distaste for Professor Fahito's coldness, but he has a strong fondness for Elfe. It's a topic his gang likes to bring up and make fun of him for, but never to his face.
SOLDIERs, Turks, and the Deepground
"Super Soldiers" are a relatively new addition to Midgar. For most of its existence, it relied on normal humans to defend it's territory. It's greatest strength initially was its secrecy, but an increasing population soon made that impossible. There were many lost, both civilians and troops, before Midgar was able to set up adequate barriers between its new citizens and the outside forces.
The Troops are the military descendants of those whom only had guns and knives against vampires, werewolves, and Kami. They were the only thing separating humanity from annihilation and surviving one more night. They did whatever they had to, and they never questioned their orders. Showing mercy was never an option, and surrender was only allowed after death.
This being said, they are still only humans. They have the same weakness as any other person, and they are fallible. Before the introduction of SOLDIER, the Troops had to make many sacrifices to keep Midgar from being torn asunder. Some even claim that portions of the city were silently auctioned off to the strongest supernaturals, and the Troops could do nothing but accept the purchased protection. Some still believe that this is the current state of affairs.
There are two branches of Troops: Infantry and the City Guard. Infantry's responsibility is to protect Midgar from outside aggressors. City Guard protects Midgar from itself. Troops are interchangeable between these two branches, but City Guard is obviously seen as a safer job. It isn't. The Infantry is told where to point their guns. The City Guard is told than anyone can be an outlaw.
The Troops still have authority over citizens, but they are secondary to SOLDIER and higher branches. There is some resentment about this loss of power, especially to corporate "Super Soldiers", but they cannot argue with the results. Plus, they have no qualms about sending in SOLDIERs on missions that would be a death sentence to Troops. This is the exchange that they must accept.
Troops are from where SOLDIER's are recruited. It is an honor to be considered for such a position, but the reality is that Troops also distrust the transformation process. The idea of accepting a retrovirus to become a Mako-using supernatural being is considered like a betrayal of their duties. They fought their entire lives to keep humanity alive. Not to lose their own. Or so some Troops believe.
SOLDIER began with a failed mission. Professor Gast was obsessed with finding one of his fabled "Ancients", and instead found the mummified remains of the being known as Jenova. While still a miraculous find, Jenova was considered by Professor Gast to be an unworthy specimen, and her remains were handed over to other capable scientists. Had he known the true potential and dangers of what he found, he might not have let the project thrive in the shadow of Shinra.
This began when an Infantry team was able to subdue and return a Kami back to Midgar. While previously thought that any captured Kami would self-destruct, this particular Kami had enough sentience to want to live. Professor Gast was instructed by Professor Shinra to find out as much information possible by any means necessary. When basic communication attempts failed, Professor Gast was forced to resort to torture. Eventually, the Kami broke, and it began to share it's knowledge of other more powerful Kami.
Not only that, it gave secrets on the Kami's unique weaknesses. With this information, the Infantry more easily defeated and captured more Kami. The military had to design special prisons for the creatures, and the information the Kami gave detailed a pyramid of divine power. At what was thought to be at the top, the name Jenova was given. Professor Gast was convinced that this was what he thought to be an "Ancient" (a primordial being capable of spontaneous creation). After writing his report, he was granted a military-funded excavation.
Surprisingly, there was no Kami interference with the excavation. When the body was exhumed, all those present marveled at the beauty of the creature's preserved corpse. Jenova was quickly shipped back to the labs, and testing began immediately. However, Professor Gast started to notice some discrepancies in the being's energy pattern. It did not have all of the genetic markers of the other captured Kami, and thus Professor Gast determined that it was not truly an ancestor or "Ancient". Disheartened by this fact, he pushed off the examination of Jenova to his fellow Professors and continued his research.
Professor Hojo, Doctor Hollander, Professor Grimoire, and others couldn't quite comprehend why Professor Gast saw Jenova as defective or lacking. Jenova's genetic material, while dormant, still had massive potential. These scientists were able to reactivate Jenova's genetic material by combining it to human DNA with a retrovirus. The original intent was to create a half-human clone of the original Jenova. All these experiments failed.
So, they began testing on living human adults. At first the virus consumed its host as a true virus would. Upon examination of the corpses, the virus consumed the host's biochemical energy at an alarming rate while trying to achieve homeostasis. Realizing that Kami both consume and produce Gnosis, the scientists started injecting the virus along with a Mako-rich serum. The results were fascinating.
The energy provided allowed the Jenova virus to fully revitalize its own cellular structure without killing the host. The human test subjects survived, but their physiology showed no signs of mutation for better or worse. That was not until the subjects were injected with more Mako-rich serum over a long period of time. Eventually, those who did not succumb to Mako Sickenss began to show signs of unnatural strength, resilience, and reflexes. Their bodies also began to produce their own sources of Mako at a very minute amount, which perplexed all the scientists. The very notion that humans could produce the exact same concentrated Mako formula that was produced in the Shinra labs opened a new door to bioengineering.
More testing increased survival rates, and the scientists presented their findings to Professor Shinra. He was ecstatic. He saw the potential for a "Super Soldier" program that would permanently ensure the survival of Midgar, and thus ensure his own empire. With more contracts with the military, Professor Shinra officially started the SOLDIER program. Once there were enough altered Troops to form teams, they were sent out on Supernatural eradication missions.
Success after success, SOLDIER removed almost all known threats nearby Midgar. Of course this brought the attention of more hostiles, and Shinra began mass injections of the Jenova strain to produce even more SOLDIERs. By the time President Shinra came to power, SOLDIER was loved by all Midgar citizens. Riding this wave of success, President Shinra approved all funding for personal projects involving Jenova experimentation. Professor Hojo began Project S, Doctor Hollander began Project G, and Professor Gimoire began the Omega Project.
There was one catch to this, which was all of the scientists had to also contribute to an even better SOLDIER program. While Doctor Hollander was titled as head of this new Deepground Project, and Professor Hojo was head of the SRD, there was no one scientist dedicated to the progress of the program. It remained a shared project, and a single Shinra officer by the title of "Restrictor" was given the responsibility of keeping order among the test subjects.
SOLDIER was originally directed by Midgar's military but with direct restrictions set by Shinra. The reason for this was if the SOLDIERs were to become sick or insane, Shinra would be directly responsible. While this seemed like a good idea to distance themselves from Shinra, the military sealed their fate by giving such control over their troops to Shinra. As Shinra became more dominant, SOLDIER eventually became a defense department within the company.
This became completely official years later when President Shinra declared that Lazard Deusericus would be the Director of that military branch. Of course this angered Heidegger, who believed he should have been given command of the program. Yet, it was Lazard who was given the power. He surprisingly is a very good tactician, and an even better risk analyst. He never sends SOLDIER on missions doomed to fail, but honestly there are few like that.
SOLDIER is divided into three classes. All Troops that are transferred to SOLDIER start off at Third Class. This is more of a trial phase, where the SOLDIER either shows promise or is forever labeled as a basic SOLDIER. Second Class is given to those SOLDIERS who start to develop their supernatural abilities at higher levels, or they achieve a good amount of combat successes. Most SOLDIERs never rise above this class, as it takes both excellent combat history as well as highly developed supernatural abilities.
1st Class is a title given to those whom can take on entire armies of Supernaturals and come back without a scratch. They can handle covert operations and leave only whispers. When a Kami and them see each other across the battlefield, the Kami knows it has met its match. 1st Class is an unstoppable force, and they are the favorite children of SOLDIER. They are trusted with dire corporate secrets, and they are asked to perform unspeakable acts in the name of Shinra. 1st Class is to be a god among mortals, and they know it.
While the Troops are the front line, and SOLDIERs are the new weapon, the Turks are the secret service of Shinra. Keeping humanity alive in the face of obvious danger requires infantry men willing to run at the maw of death with their gun in hand. However, not all dangers are obvious, and not all are Supernatural. Sometimes, while guns are firing, a dark shadow slips through the cracks and enters where no one was looking. For missions requiring tact and restraint, the Turks are called in.
The Turks do actively recruit from the Troops and now from SOLDIER, but they look for more than a ready trigger finger or a good handle on Materia. They look for a sharp intelligence, a quick foot, and a lack of morals. The last quality is definitely more important than the others. Some missions have a certain level of distasteful elements, and those with too much humanity find themselves unable to do what must be done.
Generally, the Turks act as investigators and personal body guards of high ranking politicians and Shinra employees. They existed before SOLDIER, and before Shinra they obeyed the orders of the Mayor. Now, they take orders from Shinra's President as well as the Head of Public Safety (Heidegger), or really any high ranking employee. No one really knows when the Turks' loyalty shifted to Shinra, and those who do aren't speaking a word about it.
They are not spoken well of by many. The Troops see them as egotistical, condescending officers above the law. The SOLDIERs see them as lower-ranking pawns of the Shinra executives. Citizens see them as a scary police force with a license to kill. Honestly, all these descriptions are true, and the Turks don't care. They do what they must, when the must do it, and that's all they care about.
They rank high above Troops and just above 2nd Class SOLDIERs. 1st Class Soldiers are about of the same rank, but Turks are still considered to be better messengers for Shinra. If a Turk is giving orders, those orders are most likely not his own, especially if 1st Class is following them. On the battlefield, the Turks take charge, and they are rarely questioned.
Their security clearance is a bit in question. They are closer to Shinra executives, but that doesn't mean they have any true authority. They are kept in the dark about a lot of things, but they know what they must to get the job done. Chief Turk Veld Verdot is in command of the branch, and he seems to listen directly to President Shinra. Heidegger and Scarlet continuously give him contradictory instructions, and he chooses which ones to follow. He is caught in a dangerous political power play, and he is staying silent about his loyalties.
Lacking any true leadership, the Deepground Project is more of a shared project amongst Shinra's greatest scientists. The scientists contribute only enough data to perform their own private studies, and then they leave the test subjects to fend for themselves. Professor Hojo is technically the head of the department, but President Shinra seems to be much more invested.
Members of Deepground are all recruited from wounded SOLDIERs. Generally, they were found so damaged that their careers in SOLDIER were over. Most of the time, they were half dead and on their way to full dead had Deepground not intervened. When they are accepted, they sign away their identities and become ghosts. They were about to be ghosts for real anyway.
The exact process of what happens to the Deepground is kept very top secret. Not even the Turks really know what the process entails. If the truth of how one is created were to become public knowledge, the project would be dismantled in a heartbeat. Humans fear what they don't understand, and the Kami are almost alien. Sometimes, they are completely.
The test subjects are injected with a higher level of Jenova cells and constantly infused with Mako. They eventually fall victim to Mako Sickness and go into a coma. At this point, they are taken to a laboratory deep underneath Reactor 0. This is where the captured, tortured Kami are imprisoned. This is where the two (a SOLDIER and Kami) become one.
It is a very chaotic process, and many subjects die. Most end up insane and have to be destroyed. Some manage to pull their minds together and become a new member of Deepground. These individuals are calle Scions. This is why they are kept a secret. Their soul is patched together to a Kami, like a spiritual Monster of Frankenstein. The true limit of their powers are unknown, and even President Shinra is nervous about the whole Project.
Each Scion has a chip implanted in their skull, which makes them obey their commands without question. If they do try, their bodies are wracked with unbelievable pain until they relent or die. The Restrictor, the unofficial Director of the program, has no qualms about killing rebellious Deepground members. These beings are a new type of weapon, and the Restrictor is not about to allow them to run free.
Their missions are typically far away from Midgar, which is why the Restrictor chooses them. This is because he wants to keep the possible chaos of a rogue Deepgrounder to a minimum. Scions also tend to be mentally unstable, and the collateral damage can be high. The few who have proven themselves enough to be placed in a team are strong willed and will do anything to complete a mission.
Since the project is still in its infancy, President Shinra is always ready to pull the plug. He enjoys having such a grand weapon at his fingertips, but not if that weapon will blow up in his face. He requires constant updates on every mission, and failure or defiance are punished severely. Perhaps one day, after Deepground has proven itself, it will be as beloved as SOLDIER. Time will tell.
While the organization didn't officially exist before the combined efforts of Professor Fuhito, Elfe, and Shears, there has always been an opposing force against Shinra. There was an opposition to Midgar even before Shnra, but the hatred was never so pure until the inhumane practices of the Shinra Electric Power Company. It first began with Shinra's need to expand. Professor Shinra wanted to express the potential of Mako to the world, and thus Midgar sought out any perceived nearby dangers.
They first targeted known Supernatural territories, exterminating known enemies to humanity. Then, Professor Shinra targeted nearby towns and villages. He believed that most humans beyond Midgar were existing under the slavery to Supernaturals or even Kami. He was right in most cases, but he earned a horrible reputation for Midgar. After securing all nearby territories, Professor Shinra looked beyond and saw all opposing territories as enemies of Shinra and Midgar.
After SOLDIER proved itself on the battlefield, Professor Shinra used them to invade Wutai territory. Thus, the Wutai War began. The Wutai Army gave a good fight, but they could not oppose the unyielding forces of SOLDIER forever, even with vast Materia resources. Once Wutai fell, Shinra became a supreme power.
Wutai has covertly funded its own rebellion over the years, but it wasn't successful by any measure until the official formation of AVALANCHE. With the mind of Professor Fuhito, the combat skills of Elfe, and the resources of Shears, they have been able to finally fight back. The people have started to take notice. Anti-Shinra posters are starting to show up on the streets. Pamphlets about the disastrous effects of Mako poisoning keep appearing in people's mailboxes. Even the TV stations are being pirated with anti-Shinra messages. And the people are listening.
AVALANCHE accepts anyone into their forces. Ex-SOLDIERS, Turks, and Troops many times lose their faith in Shinra, and the rebellion is always happy to train another warrior for their cause. Of course they aren't foolish. There are many tests of loyalty one must perform before becoming a full member, but once those are done, its off to fight the good fight.
So far, Deepground has kept too tight of a grip on their Scions for one to be lost to AVALANCHE. However, there is always a first. If Professor Fuhito were to get his hands on a living piece of Deepground technology, the tides would definitely turn in their favor.
Beginning with the Player
Now that the world has been explained a little in depth, we come to the most important phase: Character Creation. Imagine the world of Midgar. You are standing in the middle of the street, watching the people walk by, and you look up to the night sky. You can see the buildings tower above you amongst the green glow of the Mako Reactors, and in the distance the Shinra Headquarters is peaking above all the rest. You are in Sector 8, a very economically wealthy area, and the stores around you all flash with neon signs and holographic people trying to sell you the latest fashions. Expensive cars speed by without a care in the world, and their high performance engines are almost deafening.
Suddenly, the sirens go off. The horn's pitch slowly rises above all other noises, and the people stop where they are and look up in terror. You do too, and you can see the distant red glow of something flying in the air. It swims through the air towards Midgar, and everyone starts to run away in terror. A few scream and point to the sky yelling, "Kami!" The red glow grows brighter, and you can now make out the red beast's form. It's a dragon-like creature with translucent skin, and it's inner fire can be seen dancing and flowing like lava.
It swoops down towards the city, and it bellows out a scream that carries with it an inferno. The magical flames scorch the streets below, and in the chaos many cars crash into one another. Miraculously, no one seems to be burned, but everyone is very panicked. The Kami has turned around and is about to make another strike against the city. A woman with a child in her arms looks at you with frantic eyes and says, "Please, help us!" Now, who are you?
Character Creation is the most important part, because its how you (the Player) become part of the story. You must ask yourself a few questions, such as what type of SOLDIER you are. Are you even a SOLDIER yet? Were you raised in the Slums, or were you fortunate enough to be born in one of the Sectors? Who were your parents? Do you have friends? Do you have money? These are the things that must be answered before the story can begin.
In fact, perhaps the Troupe (group of players) spends an entire sitting creating their Characters before the story even begins. It is important that everyone know exactly what they're playing. This isn't so much for the benefit of the storyteller, but Players will have more fun if they know who they are and what they can do. Plus, it helps prevent them playing a Character that they don't even like.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Character Concept.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Abilities.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Abilities.
These are the additions to your Character's beginnings that help flesh it out a little better. There are a few categories within this, but not all will apply to your Character. Some things will depend on if you're a Troop, SOLDIER, Turk, or a Scion.
Evolutions are the natural physical improvements that the human body develops in response to the Jenova virus. It seems that Jenova protects her own, and these are her gifts to her "children". This is the main reason why SOLDIERs are able to survive in the face of certain death. When a normal human would meet their end, a SOLDIER can shrug off the damage and keep fighting. If your Character is a normal civilian or a Troop, they will not have access to these three things; Alarcity, Fortitude, and Potence.
Alarcity is the increased ability to react swiftly and perform dexterity-based feats, such as running and jumping. Fortitude is the supernatural quality of resisting all types of damage, including types that the human body has no defence against. Potence is an increase in strength-based feats as well as an increase to damage others. Even at lower levels, these three traits can mean the difference between utter destruction and surviving for just one more round. A beginning Character with Jenova Cells starts off with three dots to put in these Evolutions.
Every character gets five dots to put into Background Traits. These give a mechanical explanation of a character's history and resources, such as what kind of Status they have in SOLDIER or how much money they have in the bank. The Character gets five dots to place in this category, but it's strongly suggested to confirm this with the Storyteller first. If the story depends on everyone being from the Slums, then it wouldn't make sense for any of the characters to be super rich.
These are the last few changes to make to the Character before its finished. After these are written down, you can spend a total of fifteen freebie points. These freebie points have their own cost chart based on what you're wanting to spend them on, which will be provided for in a little bit.
Your Character begins with a total of three Permanent Willpower. You can raise this with freebie points to a max of six at the beginning of character creation, and later it can be raised with Experience Points. Willpower is very important if your character is going to often encounter Supernaturals or become a Scion. Willpower is how a Character defends their minds against magic and the persuasions of the Chaos Nature. This will be explained later.
All but Troops and citizens have a Permanent Mako Rating. This rating limits the maximum amount of Mako a character can hold within their body. This is expressed in the Temporary Mako Rating. A character can increase this with Freebie Points, which can be a bonus for its many uses; activating Materia, powering Cybernetics, Limit Breakers, etc.
Jenova Cell Count
All SOLDIERs, Turks, and Scions start off with a Permanent Jenova Cell Count of one. As anything other than a Scion, it doesn't really mean much. The Jenova virus hasn't been given a chance to spread and thoroughly mutate the body's spirit. A Scion has in addition ten Temporary Jenova Cell Count points that are then spent on Mutations.
Mutations and Cybernetics
Mutations are an aspect of Scions within Deepground. They must be purchased with the ten Temporary JCC Points (Jenova Cell Count). They can only take form when a Scion takes their Avatar form or if they spend Mako to express a single Mutation. This will be explained later.
Cybernetics are a new division in Shinra. They specialize in replacing body parts with mechanical devices. This in itself is unique and awe inspiring, but these additions can also be weaponized. Only Turks can begin with a single Cybernetic, as they have the special funding for such.
All Characters start off with one Limit Breaker. This is a specialized form of attack that is paired off with a specific roll type, a weapon, and a maneuver. For instance, Dexterity + Melee with a Sword and a basic hit style. The Character spends a Mako point to activate it, and it gives three extra dice to add to the roll. Also, 1's do not cancel out successes for this roll, and 10's can be re-rolled for additional successes. This is a sort of "Hail Mary" attack, and it should be used sparingly.
Spark of Life
After all the mechanics of building a Character are finished, there are a few more things that will help you flesh it out in your own mind. Remember, if you can imagine your Character better, so can everyone else.
Unlike in a few other more popular games, Appearance makes a difference. If your character is attractive, why are they attractive? If they are not, then why are they considered to be unattractive? Does their high level in Strength mean that they are muscular and big? Does their high Charisma mean that they have a particularly devilish smile? Sometimes finding an image online can help, but don't rely on this. You are the Character and not the image.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Specialities.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Equipment.
This really should be figured out as you're developing your Character. However, if you haven't determined this yet, it would be best that you do so before starting the game. This generally encompasses a Character's history, but it's more so why your Character does anything. Do they wish to be be the best SOLDIER ever, just like their father? Do they want to kill the Kami that attacked their city? Do they wish to amass a small fortune and buy a new house in Sector 2? Details like these will help you not only figure out your Character but also give them reason. Or more so to the point, purpose.
Character Creation Process
-Step One: Character Concept
Choose Concept, Nature, Demeanor, Military Branch (SOLDIER, Turk, Deeprgound, AVALANCHE, None), and Team name (the name of your game's military unit). Choose Chaos Nature for Scions.
-Step Two: Select Attributes
Determine Primary (7), Secondary (5), and Tertiary (3)
Choose Physical Traits: Strength, Stamina, Dexterity
Choose Social Traits: Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance
Choose Mental Traits: Perception, Intelligence, Wits
-Step Three: Select Abilities
Determine Primary (13), Secondary (9), and Tertiary (5)
Choose Talents, Skills, and Knowledges
(None higher than 3 to begin with)
-Step Four: Select Advantages
Choose those that apply: Evolutions (3) and Backgrounds (5)
-Step Five: Finishing Touches
Choose those that apply: Willpower (3), Mako (1), Jenova Cell Count (1), Mutations and & Cybernetics.
Archetypes (Nature and Demeanor)
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Archetypes.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Natures and Demeanors, which can be exchanged for a Chaos Nature.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Sample Concepts.
AVALANCHE: A rebel against the forces of Midgar and Shinra.
Civilian: An everyday citizen in these troubling times.
Turk: Midgar's government investigators and enforcers.
SOLDIER: Shinra's army against the outside world.
Troop: A human warrior sworn to protect Midgar.
Deepground: The new infantry created with dark technology.
This is the name for the team that the Players create. This can be a nickname for only your gaming group, or it can be the name of the Characters' military unit. Typically, any military unit or even renegade force will have a name for their specific groups of officers. This doesn't have to be chosen, but remember that it does make it easier to know who your character is talking about. For example; "Ivan, Henry, Jackie, Geoffrey, and Yolanda are about to infiltrate enemy lines," compared to "The Swamp Vipers are about to infiltrate enemy lines!"
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Backgrounds, other than Materia (which will be referenced later).
Alarcity: Supernatural quickness and reflexes.
Fortitude: Unearthly toughness, even to the point of resisting fire.
Potence: Increased physical vigor and strength.
Freebie Points and Costs
Attributes: 5 per dot
Abilities: 2 per dot
Backgrounds: 1 per dot
Willpower: 3 per dot
Mako: 5 per dot
Evolutions: 7 per dot
JCC: 5 per dot
Cybernetics: 5 per dot
Limit Breaker: 5 per dot
Experience Points and Costs
New Ability: 3
Willpower: Target Rating
Ability: Target Rating x 2
Attribute: Target Rating x 4
Mako: Target Rating x 4
Evolution: Target Rating x 5
JCC: Target Rating x 7
Limit Breaker: 5
Example of Character Creation
Sheila has been asked to create a character for Becky's new Final Fantasy VII: Wold of Darkness game. She turns to the character creation outline, makes a copy of the character sheet, and begins to flesh out her character.
Step One: Concept
Sheila reads over the history of Midgar, and she particularly likes the Slums. She thinks of a character that was brought up in poverty and then fought her way into the rank of SOLDIER. This "rags to uniform" story calls out to her, and she believes she'll have lots of fun playing someone trying to escape her past. She calls this Concept: Devoted Warrior. She picks the name "Flora", as her mother was a struggling florist who only wanted the best for her daughter.
Next, she has to consider a Nature and Demeanor. Sheila sees Flora as growing up with the dream of exploring new places and cities beyond the dreary surroundings of the Slums. So, she chooses the Nature as Explorer. She also sees Flora as being very happy about her inclusion in SOLDIER, and her character would probably wish to share such enthusiasm. For Demeanor, Sheila chooses Optimist.
Step Two: Attributes
Next, Sheila must prioritize Flora's Attributes. Since Flora wanted to be a member of SOLDIER all her life, Sheila decides to make Flora's Primary Attribute to be Physical. Sheila can imagine Flora creating a makeshift exercising room with water buckets for weights. Flora is probably not the brightest person in the Slums, but Sheila does see Flora as being someone who can inspire others to the hero's call. Sheila chooses Social as the Secondary, and she picks Mental as the Tertiary.
Sheila puts three dots from her Primary selection into her Strength, because she sees Flora as a natural born fighter. She then puts three dots in Dexterity, as Sheila imagines Flora running the streets of the Slums to escape gang members. She puts the last dot in Stamina.
Sheila puts two of her Secondary dots into Charisma. Flora needs to be able to convince people others to follow her lead. While Flora doesn't need to be attractive, Sheila thinks it would be an interesting choice for Flora to be troubled by a pretty face. Sheila puts two dots in Appearance, and then the last in Manipulation.
While it might be an interesting choice to make one of her Tertiary Mental Traits a one, Sheila thinks it would probably be best to make all of them a two. This is her first game, after all. She doesn't need to make too many hurdles for herself.
Step Three: Abilities
The next step is to prioritize and select which Abilities would be best for Flora. Sheila notices that most of the Abilities she sees would be fit for her Character fall into he Skills category. So naturally, this becomes her Primary. Talents seem to contain a few of the more physical Abilities, so it becomes the Secondary. The Tertiary becomes Knowledges, which make sense.
Sheila has thirteen dots to divide among Flora's Skills. Her first choice is Melee for three dots, because Flora used whatever weapons he could find to refine her fighting skills. Two dots goes into Firearms, because what good SOLDIER can't shoot a gun? Two dots each go into Security, Stealth, and Survival from her military training. Then one dot goes into Drive, and the last one into Technology.
Talents, as the second Abilities, has nine dots to dispense. Brawl and Dodge are obvious choices for a combative Character, so they get two dots each. Since Flora could benefit from so many of these Talents, each one of the following gets one dot: Alertness, Athletics, Intimidation, Leadership, and Streetwise. It may benefit for some Freebie Points to be spent on some of these later.
Knowledges receives five dots. This is not many, so they must be chosen carefully. As Flora has a traveller's spirit, two dots in Linguistics would be a good choice. Computers are everywhere, Investigation is a good detective's tool, and it always helps to know the local ghost stories with Occult, so they each get one dot.
Step Four: Advantages
Flora is a member of SOLDIER, which means she has access to Evolutions. She has three dots to allocate among the three; Alarcity, Fortitude, and Potence. Since Flora is trying to make a name for herself by being a strong warrior, Sheila decides that two dots in Potence would be beneficial. As any fighter knows, if you can't give a hit if you can't take one, so she puts the last dot in Fortitude.
For her Limit Breaker, she decides that her main weapon would be a short sword. It's small, agile, and is very effective. It's a Dexterity + Melee roll to use it, and Sheila doesn't think Flora has much training on different attack types, so it's a basic hit style move.
For Backgrounds, Sheila has to think a little more about the history of Flora. Something like Resources or Fame wouldn't make any sense for a SOLDIER from the Slums. Yet, it would make perfect sense for Flora to have an Ally and possibly Contacts. Sheila doesn't technically have to decide who these are right now, but it's always beneficial to think things through. Flora's Ally could be an old friend from her neighborhood who is also sort of a fighter. Flora could also have a few Contacts in the seedy underbelly of the Slum's criminal world. One Ally and two Contacts equals three dots. A single dot in Status for being a SOLDIER would make sense, and the final dot could go to Materia (a stolen good from a shady history).
Step Five: Finishing Touches
This is exactly what it's described as: Finishing Touches. This is mostly decided already. Willpower starts at three dots, Mako begins at one dot, only Deepground's Scions have a recorded JCC count and Mutations, and no one begins with Cybernetics other than the Turks.
Now is time for the Freebie Points. The usual impulse is to spend as much possible on Evolutions, Mako, JCC, and Cybernetics. Yet, Sheila knows that there is more to a character than that. She spends six Freebie Points to put a second dot in Intimidation, Leadership, and Streetwise. The first two is from her experience in SOLDIER, and the third expresses what she would have picked up on as a child. Sheila imagines that Flora is a willful person, so she purchases another dot in Willpower. Not neglecting her desire for a slight boost in power, Sheila purchases one Cybernetic. She explains this by saying it was a reward on a mission well done. This costs five Freebie Points. There is only one point left, so Sheila puts it in the Status Background to represent Flora's early rising military career.
That's it for now. Sheila could go ahead and decide on an Specialities Flora might have, but she decides to choose those later in gameplay.
This is a great time for Sheila to review Flora's character sheet and history. Together with the Storyteller, Sheila can not only create a beginning for her character, they can determine how Flora enters the story. Remember, a great Character is nothing without a good story, so it is everyone's responsibility that everything comes together.
Perhaps Sheila could start practicing being Flora. She can pick up the mannerisms and speech patterns and pretend like she's meeting someone for the first time. The Storyteller could use this as the Character's Intro in front of the other Players. That way they get a chance to learn about Flora too. Remember, above all else, have fun. Begin!
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Traits
Nature and Demeanor
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Natures and Demeanors.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Backgrounds. The one unique Background specific to FF7: OWOD is Materia, which is described in the following.
You own one of the very rare and expensive forms of crystalized Gnosis or manufactured Mako called Materia. It could have been found by you on an away mission, given to you as a reward for a particularly difficult mission, or a relative could have willed to you after their passing. In any event, you now own one and can use it as your own personal supernatural weapon (assuming your Character has a Mako Rating). You practically have a physical piece of magic in your hand, and woe to those who stand in your way.
The Materia Rating represents the level of Materia you own, or the amount of a particular level of Materia you own. Remember that Materia is very, very rare, and many people will want to take it from you. For specifics on the powers, types, and experience gain on Materia, it will be explained in a later chapter.
• One Level 1 Materia
•• One Level 2 Materia; Two Level 1 Materia
••• One Level 3 Materia; Three Level 1 Materia
••••One Level 4 Materia; Four Level 1 Materia
••••• One Level 5 Materia; Five Level 1 Materia
Mako is the refined Lifestream of Gaia. It is the distillation of purified spirit, made possible by the scientists of the Shinra Electric Power Company. On its own, its a very volatile chemical. It glows an eerie green, it short circuits electrical devices upon contact, and too much of it can put a normal human into a coma.
It does have many proper uses. The most common is to power Mako-based engines and the Mako Reactors. It is an abundant and powerful energy source, and it can power the city of Midgar and then some. The known secondary use of Mako is in Shinra's SOLDIERS. Their bodies have been genetically manipulated to handle the chemical, and it even thrives on it. It gives them the ability to activate the mysterious Materia, receive and power Cybernetics, and perform a special attack which has been labeled as a Limit Breaker.
As with Willpower, Mako has a Permanent Rating and a Temporary Rating. The Permanent Rating serves as a maximum to the amount of Temporary Points that can be held by a character. If a Character reaches their maximum amount, any excess Mako will start to poison the character and eventually cause Mako Sickness.
A Character can spend one Temporary Mako Point in order to perform a Limit Breaker attack. When the Character does this, they add a total of three dice to their Attack Roll, 1's do not negate successes, and 10's can be rerolled. The effect is supposed to be very awe inspiring, as Mako burns off in a ray of green and slightly rainbow glimmers. The Player must choose which method of attack and a weapon to use this with. They can choose anything method such as Dexterity + Melee, Dexterity + Brawl, Dexterity + Firearms, etc. This can even be combined with a Cybernetics or Mutation attack.
And they can choose anything as far as a single weapon: fists, short sword, shotgun, etc. They can even choose a specialty form of attack, which there will be a list of such later. From a mechanic point of view, it might seem like "fists" as a weapon would be the most beneficial, as they cannot be lost and allow different types of martial attacks, but remember that it is Bashing Damage. This will be explained later.
The drawback of this is that a Limit Breaker can only be performed once a day safely. If the Player decides that they must use it a second time or more, each time they have to roll Stamina (ONLY) at a difficulty of 5 + the amount of times its being tried in one day past the first. So the second Limit Breaker in a day is at a difficulty 6, the third is 7, and so on. If they fail, the Character receives three levels of unsoakable Lethal Damage. If this damage puts the Character at Incapacitated or kills them, the attack happens without any Wound Penalties. The Character will fall to the ground right after.
Limit Breakers can be purchased multiple times with Experience Points, thus allowing many different types of Limit Breakers for one Character.
Spending, Gaining and Regaining Mako
Whenever a Character spends Mako, it is a Reflexive Action. This means that the character can spend the Mako for the action, and they do not have to rest or concentrate in order to do so.
Mako-infused Characters can regain their Mako in two ways. The first is the obvious choice, which is to receive it from Shinra. This can be done at an official Shinra military base. The second option is that it can be consumed in a liquid form called Ether. Consuming an Ether will replace a single lost Mako Temporary Point. The Player must declare that they are consuming the Ether and take a full turn doing so. The Character may not attack while doing this, but they can dodge.
Scions from Underground are the only ones capable of replacing Mako naturally. They regain one Temporary Mako Point per six hours of uninterrupted sleep, or they can make a Wits + Enigmas roll at difficulty 8 after four hours of meditation (not both within 24 hour period). The exact reason for this is at current a mystery to Shinra's scientists, but they are theorizing that the Scions might be able to siphon off Gnosis from Kami and turn it into Mako on their own. Testing is already on its way.
Jenova Cell Count
Jenova is a virus. That is much is certain. However, Professor Hojo and many ohters believe that it is something that can be manipulated and utilized for the benefit of Midgar. It infects SOLDIERS, mutates the host, and then becomes mostly innocuous. It is currently believed that the virus simply waits in its host, consuming a microscopic amount of Mako, and remains safe. It acts less like a virus and a symbiot in this manner.
SOLDIERs and other exposed military receive a Permanent Jenova Cell Count (JCC) of one. This doesn't even need to be recorded on the Character Sheet. It's simply understood. It matters after an individual survives the process of becoming a Scion in Underground. At that time, the Character receives a Temporary and Permanent JCC Rating. For each Permanent JCC, the Character receives ten Temporary JCC to spend upon Mutations. The list and cost of Mutations, as well as describing an Avatar, are located in a later chapter.
There is a drawback to ultimate power. In the case of the Scions, it's their minds. While many Underground test subjects died from physical illnesses, just as many died from untreatable mental illness. The alien beings that were forced to meld with human spirits are driven mad by the procedure, and they share that madness with their host. Only a strong, willful, and lucky being is capable of holding themselves together. And for how long? Deepground has not had enough time to test those limits just yet.
Within the mind of a Scion, there remains a remnant of the original Kami. This is called the Chaos Nature. In times of stress, the Chaos Nature becomes dominant and temporarily replaces the Character's Nature. This only lasts for a Scene, and then the Character returns to normal. It is sort of like having a voice in one's head that can from time to time "take the wheel".
What this means for the Player is that they have to be able to play another version of their Character. If the Character is a Nature-Defender & Demeanor-Gallant, and then if their Chaos Nature-Demon gains control, then they become a Demon-Gallant for the remainder of the scene. Think of it like playing the Hulk. No one will like you when you're angry. In this example, your elegant and refined guardian will turn into an evil, selfish demon with a taste for the better things in life.
This is a bit difficult to play, which is why I don't suggest beginning Players to play Scions. This is more of a progression of playing rather than a starter choice.
Each Chaos Nature has a Trigger. A Trigger is a certain situation that calls out to the warped Kami within. When this Trigger happens, the Scion rolls their Willpower against a roll of their JCC, both at a difficulty of 6. If the Scion wins the roll, then the Trigger is averted. If the Scion loses, then the Chaos Nature becomes dominant for a scene. The personality switch shouldn't be something that's too self-harming. Setting off a bomb in one's hands would be too extreme, but blowing up a building full of innocents to get the target might be more like it.
If a Character's Permanent JCC becomes higher than their Permanent Willpower, than this can prove problematic. For every point the JCC is higher than Willpower, the Player will roll against their Triggers at +1 Difficulty. So if the Willpower is 3, but the JCC is 5, then the Willpower is rolled at a difficulty of 8. JCC always rolls at a difficulty of 6.
If this Willpower roll is every Botched, then the Character loses one Permanent Willpower Point, which can only be bought back with Experience Points. Also, the Permanent JCC will increase by one too, thus giving the Character 10 Temporary JCC Points to spend immediately. A Botched JCC roll does nothing.
If the JCC ever becomes a total of four higher than the Character's Willpower, the Kami within gains permanent control. The Chaos Nature becomes the true Nature, and the Character becomes unplayable. In truth, the Character no longer exists. The insane Kami spirit has destroyed what was left of the human spirit. Players with a Scion should be very careful not to be drawn in by the corrupted power of Mutations.
List of Chaos Natures
For a good selection of what could be Chaos Natures, I would suggest looking into the Shadow Natures located in Wraith: the Oblivion, or even Po Natures in Kindred of the East. For this book, you can select from the same list as Natures and Demeanors. Just know that a Chaos Nature is a corruption, so whatever the Player chooses, make sure that they know it is in opposition to their normal Nature and Demeanors. If a player picks Bravo as their Chaos Nature, then the Bravo mentality is much more destructive and careless than if it were a normal Nature.
Experience Points and Costs
New Ability: 3
Willpower: Target Rating
Ability: Target Rating x 2
Attribute: Target Rating x 4
Mako: Target Rating x 4
Evolution: Target Rating x 5
JCC: Target Rating x 7
Limit Breaker: 5
The Might of Shinra
Since Professor Shinra first saw the light of distilled Gnosis, a new world of possibilities opened to Midgar. Beforehand, Gnosis had only been known as the Lifestream of Gaia; a toxic chemical that oozed up from the planet's core after Armageddon. It might as well have been nuclear runoff as far as Midgar's citizens were concerned. Then Professor Shinra returned with the technology of a new power age, and it became the most treasured element known to mankind.
Professor Hojo and his associates explored it's effects on human DNA, and from those experiments came the dawn of a new military police force: SOLDIER. The resulting altered DNA by the Jenova virus gave normal humans the power to fight the denizens of the night. Finally, mankind could make the darkness retreat in terror for a change. It is a new dawn of power, and the stars are the limit.
Mako as an energy is useful in many different ways. It can power the home electronics of Midgar, it can be stored in a vehicle fuel cell, and it can be infused in the body of a SOLDIER. The chemical itself is a green luminescent material that borders the line between air and liquid. It is extremely volatile, and it can instill Mako Sickness much faster than Gnosis sickness could ever affect the human body.
As far as a member of SOLDIER is concerned, they can absorb the chemical into their being and store it for future purposes. If they come into contact with more Mako than they can hold, then they too can become victim to Mako Sickness. Yet, the chemical doesn't simply sit in their bodies to be stored forever. It is meant to be expended, and there are a few ways in which to do so.
The first and most obvious method of expending Mako is through a Limit Breaker. A Limit Breaker is a single method of attack in which Mako can be burnt to increase the damage effect. The method can be as general as Dexterity + Brawl, or as specific as a Tackle. The list of Combat Maneuvers can be found in a later chapter, but a specific one must be chosen for each Limit Breaker the Character possesses.
To perform a Limit Breaker, the Character spends a Mako Point. This is a Reflexive Action, so the Limit Breaker can be performed immediately. This adds three additional dice to the Attack Roll, which disappear after the Character's turn is complete. Also, 1's do not cancel out successes, and 10's can be re-rolled for additional successes. During the Limit Break, the expended Mako burns off of the body of the Character. If this move is performed in daylight, the Mako refracts the light and creates a rainbow aura around the Character. If at night, the Character glows as if they are made of white-hot Mako.
As was stated in the earlier chapter, a Limit Breaker can only be performed once a day safely. Each time past the first, the Player must to roll Stamina (ONLY) at a difficulty of 5 + the amount of times its being tried in one day past the first. So the second Limit Breaker in a day is at a difficulty 6, the third is 7, and so on. If they fail, the Character receives three levels of unsoakable Lethal Damage. As was said before, if this damage places the character into an Incapacitated state or dead, the attack still happens and without any Wound Penalties.
While Evolutions do not require Mako to function, they are the direct result of the Jenova/Mako experiments. It is theorized by Professor Hojo that the Evolutions are the direct result of the Jenova Virus defending itself by improving the host's natural defenses. There does not seem to be any Mako consumption other than at a minor, discreet level. There are theories on if the Evolutions would remain if the Jenova virus could be exterminated, but all inquiries into such have been blocked by Shinra high officials.
The tendons, muscles, and nerves in a SOLDIER develop to react to stimuli at a speed not even fighter pilots can master. They begin to see others as if in slow motion compared to the astonishing blur the SOLDIER becomes. They use this ability to strike down their foes before the victims are even aware of the attack. More brutal SOLDIERs delight in the advantage this Evolution gives them against superior numbers of opponents. Others are more likely to use Alarcity to lend preternatural grace to live performances such as dance or extraordinary speed when creating sculptures or painting.
The player rolls all Dexterity-related tests normally, but then adds an automatic success for each point he has in Alarcity. Thus, the character succeeds at most Dexterity feats without needing to make a roll at all. These successes are added to any combat-based Dexterity roll, which almost promises that they will land a hit. Additionally, the Character adds their Alarcity Rating to their Initiative Rolls.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Fortitude.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Potence.
Please reference Demon Hunter: X for a full list and description of Cybernetics. If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, then there are two options.
First, each point in Cybernetics can temporarily increase a Physical Attribute, Wits, or Perception by three points per scene.
Second, Cybernetic Points can be exchanged for any weapon from the weapon's list. All benefits and drawbacks still apply, and each Mako Point refills the clip. Exchange the Cybernetics Points on an equal scale to how easily the weapon can be hidden.
Pocket-1, Jacket-2, Trenchcoat-3, None-4
Jenova Cell Count
As a Scion's JCC increases, their body becomes more and more the vessel of their Avatar. While still mortal, they have the capability to transform, even if temporarily, into a divine being of spirit and power. It is an intoxicating feeling, and Scions become addicted to their other half. This is a slippery slope, for the more the Scion becomes their Avatar, they loose more and more of themselves.
Deepground is keeping a close eye on the power level of their new test subjects. The Restrictor tends to punish those Scions who carelessly allow their other halves to materialize too often. However, Shinra scientists tend to contradict these teachings and actively encourage the Scions to lose themselves. Professor Hojo is the most common source of this interference, but no one can override him, so Deepground continues as instructed.
When a SOLDIER wakes up from their operation, they are immediately confronted by an inner tug on their sanity. Their Chaos Nature is crawling to be let out, and the Scion doesn't always know how to cope with this new desire. They feel as if they give a little bit of effort, their other self can become material and wreak vengeance upon their enemies. It takes a long time, but eventually the Scion learns to trust this instinct. As they let go, their form pushes through the material boundary; expressing itself as a pseudo-ethereal being.
There is no easy answer when the question comes as to what exactly is the Avatar and its Mutations. While there are some similarities in certain mutations, the overall form is quite different from Scion to Scion. One Scion might turn into a glowing face with tentacles, while another might be a Minotaur with razor teeth. One might be a swarm of wasp-like insects, and another might be a elf being with bark for skin.
As far as to the nature of the Avatar, this is up to debate. Some theorize that the form is based on a physical representation of the soldier's spiritual self-image. Others say that the Scion is simply a spiritual "mutation" on an already existing being. A small fraction theorizes that the soldier is fulfilling their karmic duty and taking their rightful place in the cosmos; a place that was there waiting for them from the beginning of time. Obviously, this last theory is not accepted by Shinra.
The mutations do not have to be only harmful in nature. Having ectoplasmic tentacles are a nice way not to contaminate your medical specimens. Being the prettiest girl in the room does have its qualities. Or perhaps being as small as a mouse is just what's needed to bypass that base's security systems. The Avatar form is not simply a super warrior form. Its benefits are numerous and limited by imagination.
In order to initiate the change into the Avatar form, called "Metanoia", the Scion can either spend a Temporary Mako Point, or they can make a Jenova Cellular Count roll (Difficulty 6). A failure on this roll means that the Player must wait until next turn to attempt Metanoia again. Either way, the Character cannot do anything during their turn other than Reflexive Actions and Dodge. During the process, the Character shimmers with Mako energy, and there is a slight sound as their form changes. Once Metanoia is successful, all benefits from Mutations are immediately in effect. The Avatar form can only be sustained for a scene, at the end of which the Character returns to normal.
It is up to the creativity of the Player to determine what Mutations the Avatar has. This is an opportunity for the Player to be creative, and the more creative they are, the more beneficial the Avatar form will be.
Also, combinations of mutations are beneficial and encouraged. What if you had two extra arms to hold those limited ammo pistols you carry while your normal arms carry swords? What if you're not just an intangible cloud, but one that smells like the New York sewers after St. Patrick's Day? Or how about being so large that swallowing a victim and keeping him in your belly doesn't even slow you down? The best combinations make the best weapons. Think creatively.
Mechanically speaking, the Mutations work on a point system. For every Permanent JCC point, the Scion receives ten points of Temporary JCC. The mutations listed below will have a cost value to them. Some mutations have an accumulative effect, and others are completely different depending on the points spent.
If the Scion does not want to change into their Avatar form, but instead they wish to activate only one Mutation, they can roll JCC or spend a single Mako Point. For example, the Player might wish to activate their increased physical appearance but not their wings. This reduced Metanoia does not take a turn to complete, and the Character can immediately act with the benefits of the chosen Mutation. Mutations expressed this way can last for up to 24 hours. If the Scion does this and then later goes through Metanoia, the clock is not reset on the singularly expressed Mutations. Also, their Chaos Nature does not automatically take over as when expressing the full Avatar Form. The Character must roll as if their Trigger was encountered.
All Cybernetics the Character has will still be in effect while the Avatar form is activated. The Cybernetics might not even be visible, or they might be incorporated into the form of the Avatar. Exactly how this is possible is being heavily investigated.
As was stated before, a single Permanent JCC Point gives the Character access to ten Temporary JCC Points. The Player can spend these as they wish, and they don't have to "cash out" on every point right away. They can choose later in the game to exchange them for a scenario-specific benefit, or they can simply save them for when they gain another Permanent JCC Point. However, once the Mutations are picked, there are no refunds.
Note to Players: Although there are physical descriptions of some of the Mutations, feel free to re-imagine them to your liking. For example, Poisonous Tumors might instead be seen as crystals that shatter like glass and release sparks. The current descriptions are of a negative imagining for a reason, but don't feel trapped to that theme.
Please reference Freak Legion or Possessed for a full list and description of Powers. If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, then each point of Temporary JCC can purchase an equal level of a Discipline. Anything that costs Blood Points can be exchanged for the expenditure of Mako Points.
There are two sources of Materia in Gaia: naturally crystalized Gnosis or artificially crystalized Mako. In either form, they function exactly the same way. A SOLDIER, Mako-infused human, or a Gnosis wielding being holds the spherical crystal, infuse it with Mako/Gnosis, and mentally choose exactly what effect they wish to create. The being shimmers in refracted green light, just as when using a Limit Breaker, and then the magic happens.
The exact science behind how a Materia functions is really non-existent. The effects of Materia are like magical spells conjured up my ancient wizards, and no Professor yet has made a definitive explanation as to how this is possible. However, their consequences are very real. These are perhaps the most deadly weapons available to SOLDIER, and they are a very guarded commodity.
The Character must have a Materia crystal in their possession. They can either be holding it in their hand, or there is another, more unusual option. The Materia, once infused with a single point of Mako, becomes ethereal and can be temporarily absorbed into the body of the Character. This second option does not offer any benefits other than keeping the Character from dropping it accidentally. It takes one full turn to sink into the body, and it takes another turn to later recorporialize outside of the body. The Character also slightly shimmers with green energy, making them easier to detect.
Once the Character has the Materia in hand (or in body), they can activate what is called a Spell. First, the Character spends a Mako Point. Then, they choose what level of the Materia they want to activate. Finally, the Materia activates the Spell and makes the appropriate roll at a Difficulty equal to the Spell Level +3. A Failure means that the Spell isn't cast. A Botch means the Spell goes wild and might attack the Character instead.
However, the Character is not free to choose whatever Spell whatever they wish to cast. Each Materia has what is referred to as a Memory Level, and it represents what level of Spells the Materia has access to. It seems that Materia have a life of their own, and the more they are used, the more they are capable of performing. When a Character has a Materia, the Player needs to record the amount of Experience Points their Character receives during that ownership time. So long as the Materia never left the Character's body, it receives the same amount of Experience. Once it receives enough, the Materia "levels up". The Character is immediately aware of the Materia's maturation, and they know what the Materia is capable of.
Materia is unique from the other powers available to a Character, because Materia can be separated from them. The Character can lose the Materia; it can be stolen, it can be sold, or it can be given away. Even when the Materia switches ownership, it still retains its Memory Level. So this makes Materia extremely lucrative. This is why the Materia Background is on the same level of the Resources Background. If a Character manages to get their hands on a Memory Level 5 Materia and then connect to the right buyer, they can become a very wealthy person.
Materia Experience Cost = Current Level x 5
List of Known Materia Types
Materia function as Paths involved in Thaumaturgy. Please reference Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy for a full list and description of Materia. If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, then reference to the Paths in Thaumaturgy. Any reference to the cost of a Blood Point can be exchanged for a Mako Point.
While Potions are not necessarily a weapon, they are commonly used by SOLDIER and practically anyone who can get their hands on them. Potions are the culmination of the scientific study for combining nanites and Mako energy. While they are considered a waste of technology by Professor Hojo, the usefulness of Potions necessitate their existence. They have become a stable of all away missions by SOLDIER, and every military base has a generous bounty of them.
Yet, they are not given away too freely. Each SOLDIER and Turk can officially request a certain amount of Potions for each mission, but that doesn't promise them. Shinra has become aware of the rising instances of rebels possessing Potions, and they have begun to crack down. In fact, a SOLDIER can come under a certain level of scrutiny if an empty Potion bottle's serial number is found in the hands of an AVALANCHE member.
All Potions must be ingested to take effect. The amount of time required for activation depends on the exact Potion in question. However, the act of ingesting does take a minimum of one turn on its own. Potions are kept in a on-decomposing 4oz plastic container that has a hidden serial number.
This item generically goes by the title of "Potion", but it is officially labeled as "Tonic". This item can heal a single level of non-Aggravated damage in one turn. While it's not considered too powerful of a Potion, it might mean the difference between life or death. Also, it helps close Lethal Wounds, which keeps the Character's health from deteriorating even further.
An advancement on the original Tonic, this Potion will continuously heal all non-aggravated damage at a rate of one Health Level per turn. Once all possible damage is healed, the X-Potion's effects end. This is much more closely guarded by Shinra, and the illegal sale of such is considered to be a very serious offense. The X-Potion takes a single turn for each Health Level healed.
This Potion does not heal Health Levels, but it instead replaces a single Temporary Point of spent Mako. It doesn't require nanites to activate, but instead it's mixed with a stabilizing element to remove the volatility of pure Mako. This is not as closely guarded as Tonics or X-Potions, because only those who were once SOLDIERS (or possibly those who naturally developed a Permanent Mako Trait) can utilize an Ether.
A Tonic is to an X-Potion, an Ether is to a Turbo Ether. It will completely refill all Temporary Mako Points in a Character. It is a high restricted item, and only higher ranking military are allowed free access to them. There are two reasons for this. One, a Turbo Ether is wasted on an individual with a low Permanent Mako Rating. Two, it is the product of new research on distilling Mako even further. If a Turbo Ether were analyzed by an enemy of Shinra, that entity would take a great leap on their Mako research.
This a very experimental advancement on the X-Potion. It is the only known item that can bring someone back from the brink of death. If a Character is killed by anything other than an excess of Aggravated Damage, a Phoenix Down can completely revive them. The chemical has to be forced down the Character's throat, and it must be given within three minutes of clinical death. Once this is done, the Phoenix Down will take a full round to start healing the Character. At that point, it operates very similarly to an X-Potion.
It almost goes without saying that a Phoenix Down is the most restricted Potion available to SOLDIERs. It is only given to those on a very sensitive mission or a high-ranking officer. Not even most 2nd Class SOLDIERs can get access to this valuable Potion, and they are never given more than one. Deepground's Scions have better access to Phoenix Downs, being that Shinra has invested so much in them already.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Rules.
System and Drama
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of System and Drama. For everything specific to FF7: OWOD, please read the following.
Any being that has a Permanent Mako Rating soaks damage as a Vampire can. They still heal as humans.
This syndrome has been a known phenomenon since the times of Armageddon. As the "Lifestream" of Gaia seeped out of the cracks int he ground, people have been drawn to Gnosis and killed by it. Generally speaking, being near it doesn't seem to have much of an effect, but touching it might induce madness over time or even put a person into a coma.
Whenever a human touches pure Gnosis, they must roll their Stamina at a difficulty depending on the amount and level of immersion. A single finger touch could be as low as 4, accidentally putting in both legs up to the thighs would be a 6, while jumping into a pool of Gnosis would be a 10. If the target fails their roll, they become victim to Stage 1 Gnosis Sickness. They are haunted by horrific nightmares and beautiful dreams, and both types deprive the subject of restful sleep. Every night they must roll Stamina at the original difficulty of their first roll. If they fail, they receive one level of Bashing Damage. If they succeed, their future rolls are lowered in Difficulty by 1. If Difficulty is lowered below 4, then the human is cured.
If the human botches the roll, then they fall into Stage 2 Gnosis Sickness. Instead of Bashing, the damage upgrades to Lethal Damage and the Soak Difficulty resets to 6. This is when the sickness has become more severe, and victims usually require medical assistance at this point. If they botch again, they enter Stage 3, which trades Lethal Damage into now Aggravated Damage. Stage 3 patients rarely recover, and when they reach Incapacitated (from any stage), they slip into a permanent coma. There are very few cases of anyone recovering from this state, and those who do come back with memories of past lives which are eerily accurate. Some even claimed to have spoken to the dead.
There is no known natural cure for Gnosis Sickness. The patient must recover without any assistance. Someone suffering from Gnosis Sickness can be put through the SOLDIER process, which is the only artificial way to completely cure Gnosis Sickness. This is because SOLDIERS (or Mako-imbued individuals) are immune to Gnosis Sickness at difficulties lower than 8. Even if they still receive Gnosis Sickness, they roll at -2 difficulties for Stamina Rolls.
Mako Sickness is a much more potent illness. Since the chemical is concentrated, merely inhaling its fumes is enough to contract it. The fumes must be at a certain concentration before it can be disastrous, and Shinra promises the citizens of Midgar that all their Reactors and Mako-powered motors are well under this level. Mako Sickness is mostly contracted when an accident occurs, and the fumes released are of a pre-combusted quality.
The Stamina rolls for inhaling a small sniff could be as low as 4 Difficulty, a ventilated room at a 6, and an air tight room at 10. If a human dares touch Mako in its liquid form, all the Stamina rolls are at +2 difficulty. The health degradation is the same as if it were Gnosis Sickness, and it goes through the same three Stages.
Unlike Gnosis, SOLDIERs do not have a natural immunity to it. They are as vulnerable as normal Humans, with one exception. They can temporarily carry extra Mako Points equal to their Stamina (not adding Fortitude). These points can only be spent when the SOLDIER's natural reserve is empty, and doing so causes one level of Bashing Damage (not halved). In this manner, they might avoid Mako Sickness. Anything above this limit, and they have no protection against it. They must spend these points within 24 hours, or the additional Mako Points "evaporate" and cause an equal amount of Lethal Damage.
If a normal human reaches their Incapacitated Health Level from this damage, they die. They do not enter a coma state. SOLDIERs (and Mako-infused), on the other hand, still pass into a permanent coma state. There are no known records of anyone recovering from this state. Ever.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Storytelling.
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Antagonists.
For a full list of Supernaturals, I suggest referring to Hunter: the Reckoning, which has a great summarized version of Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, and Mages.
While SOLDIER recruits from a wide range of people, they do tend to be military professionals. This makes sense, being that they are all must be successful Troops officers before they are considered for the program. Storytellers should take care to specialize their SOLDIER NPCs for appropriate settings.
1st Class SOLDIER
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3, Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Brawl 3, Computer 1, Dodge 3, Drive 3, Firearms 3, Investigation 4, Melee 2, Occult 1, Politics 2, Stealth 2
2nd Class SOLDIER
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2, Perception 4, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 4, Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Dodge 3, Drive 2, Firearms 4, Intimidation 3, Investigation 2, Medicine 1, Melee 3, Occult 1, Stealth 3, Streetwise 2
Cybernetics: 1 (Grenade Launcher)
To become a Turk, one must be cunning, swift, intelligent, and cold-hearted. They are the men and women in black, and they instill fear in the enemies of Midgar. They are sometimes accused of being judge, jury, and executioners, and they do not deny it.
1st Class Turk
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 3, Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Brawl 3, Computer 1, Dodge 3, Drive 3, Firearms 3, Investigation 4, Melee 2, Occult 1, Politics 2, Stealth 2
Cybernetics: 1 (Psi-Band Radio)
2nd Class Turk
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3, Charisma 2, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2, Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Academics 4, Brawl 3, Computer3, Dodge 3, Drive 3, Etiquette 2, Expression 2, Investigation 4, Linguistics 2, Melee 3, Occult 2, Science 3
Cybernetics: 3 (Psi-Band Radio, Taser, Kabuki Mask)
A newer division of Shinra's Public Safety Department, it is completely hidden in secrecy. Inductees are selected from the strongest of SOLDIERs and Turks, and not all of them survive the process. Those that do come through the process as powerful as gods and with fractured minds.
1st Class Scion
Attributes: (human) Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2, Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 3, Animal Ken 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 3, Crafts 2, Dodge 2, Firearms 2, Intimidation 3, Investigation 2, Leadership 1, Linguistics 1, Melee 2, Occult 1, Stealth 3, Survival 3
Cybernetics: 1 (Enhancer)
Mutations: Fangs (3 Pts), Darksight (2 Pts), Extra Speed (3 Pts),
2nd Class Scion
Attributes (human): Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4, Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3, Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
Abilities: Alertness 3, Animal Ken 3, Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Crafts 2, Dodge 2, Expression 1, Firearms 2, Intimidation 3, Investigation 2, Leadership 1, Linguistics 1, Medicine 1, Melee 3, Occult 3, Stealth 3, Survival 4
Cybernetics: 2 (Pulse Cannon, Rejuvenator)
Mutations: Demon Armor (5 Pts), Demon Weapon (5 Pts), Eyes of the Wyrm (3 Pts), 2 Extra Limbs (6 Pts), Hell's Hide-5 (5 Pts), Mega-Attribute: Strength 3 (9 Pts)
One of the sad facts of life during this era is the prevailing threat of radiation. Either from nuclear waste or from oozing Gnosis, a slow and painful death waits around every corner. Some people have been afflicted by this pollution on a genetic and spiritual level. These unfortunates labled as "Freaks" have developed powers similar to those seen in the Avatar Form of Scions. Yet, unlike the Scions, these Mutations are permanent. Also, these transformations take a toll, and Freaks are plagued with unique sicknesses called Taints.
There are lone individual Freaks roaming the world, but there are also large communities of them. The later is referred to as Breeds, and these families inherit their deformities like heirlooms. There are a few known pockets of these Freak Breeds known to Midgar, and Shinra has a special interest in capturing these beings for stuies.
Freaks are humans in all mechanics except for their Mutations and Taints. Instead of exchanging Temporary JCC for Mutations, they pay for them with drawbacks of an equal cost. Below is a list of some of the Taints the Freaks are known to suffer. They each have a Point Cost, which gives points towards purchasing their permanent Mutations.
Please reference Freak Legion or Possessed for a full list and description of Taints. If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, exchange Flaws for Powers on a one-for-one cost rate.
Please reference Werewolf: the Apocalypse for a full list and description of Spirits (which are referred to in this book as Kami). If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, then create Kami as if you are creating Scions that only exist in an Avatar Form.
As part of Shinra's Weapons Development Department, they have been making large leaps into Automated Defense Division. Before the invention of SOLDIER, these were considered to be a potential game changer in the war against Supernaturals and Avatars. Androids do not suffer the physical weaknesses of human Troops, nor do they feel emotions like fear or fury. They potentially could replace all human military forces.
Their research began with the invention of Mako. Before then, Androids did not have enough power source to perform basic functions. Without constantly being connected directly to a power source, they would become useless very quickly. Now, with rechargeable Mako batteries, Androids have become a feasible tool of war.
Even though SOLDIER has taken the complete responsibility of away missions, Androids are still used to guard High Security areas. Androids can take orders wirelessly, and they do not fear death. Also, there has been a rising concern as to the leverage the average SOLDIER has with Shinra politics. Androids are an easy solution.
Currently, Reeve Tuesti is the head of the Android Research and Development Department under the direction of Kia Scarlet. It was given to Reeve by President Shinra as a means to occupy him after completing the massive Midgar Mako Reactor project and his current and rather simple Foreign Aid Mako Reactor project. Reeve is said to spend more and more time in this department than what was expected. He is currently working on a project involving the control of Androids with radio signals broadcasted directly from the brain.
All Androids are equipped with firearms and/or melee weapons. These weapons are fused to their frames, and only by destroying their limbs can they be "disarmed". Storytellers should decide which firearms they are currently "holding". Their Mako batteries are easily rechargeable, and they do not need a charge on average of about a week at a time. Androids do have some intelligence, but only on the level of a command and response computer.
All models have an equivalent to the Cybernetics "Video Eyes" and "Psi-Band Radio" with no limitations on Mako expenditure. These devices run directly from their batteries.
Please reference multiple versions of the Guide to the Technocracy for a full list and description of Machines Antagonists. If you only have access to Vampire: the Masquerade, create Machines as normal NPCs with Weapons that cannot detach, cannot be targeted by anything that targets biology or mental manipulation, and have no Wound Penalties.
Character Details and Bestiary
Please reference Vampire: the Masquerade for a full list and description of Character Details and Bestiary.
Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 5
Willpower: 4, Health Levels: OK, OK, -1, -1, -2, -2, -5, Incapacitated
Attack: Trample or kick for six/ seven dice; bite for five (lethal) Abilities: Brawl 3, Empathy 2, Intimidation 2
Note: Unlike the other beasts listed here, the Chocobo is a man-made creature from genetic testing. Although their origins are shrouded in mystery, they can be tracked back to an isolated (now abandoned) military base that was trying to create new creatures that could survive better in this post-Armageddon world. They look like an oversized yellow Ostrich with the head of a Parrot. They are very temperamental creatures, and only seasoned animal experts know how to ride them. They are very strong, very fast, and there are those animal trainers who specialize in Chocobo breeding for races. The stats provided here are for wild Chocobos, who are very meager in comparison to their well cared-for members.
Example of Play
Here is an example rundown of gameplay. It is short and sweet, and it gives a nice window of what Final Fantasy 7: Old World of Darkness can look like. Feel free to use it in your own games, but know that you'll have to add on to make it a full story.
Step 1: Introductions
Becky has begun her campaign with her two players Sheila and Arnold, and they are very excited at the idea of playing FF7: OWOD. Both Players are playing SOLDIERs; Sheila is running Flora (from the example Character Creation), and Arnold is playing Haru. Flora, as you can remember, is originally from the Slums, and she wants to make a future for herself though SOLDIER. Haru is from a rich family in one of the higher sectors, and he joined SOLDIER because wanted to make a positive difference in the world.
Becky starts up the game describing the debriefing Flora and Haru receive before an away mission. They are to perform a basic patrol in a distant village by the name of Stonemill. There is a basic Shinra SRD lab in that location, which is testing the local area for any signs of a Gnosis wellspring. SOLDIER Headquarters doesn't believe there will be any issues, but the couple are to report any signs of Supernaturals and defend Shinra property and personnel.
Being that there is very little danger to be expected, the two are issued a truck to drive out on their own with very little supplies. They are given the code team name Bluejay. They are expected to reach the village by nightfall and return the next day. After the Characters are given ample time to gather their supplies, the two are off.
During the dive, Becky gives Sheila and Arnold to explore their characters. This is a great time for the two to test things like concepts, personalities, mannerisms, and even accents. Sheila decides Flora has a thick city accent (Bronx), and she love to talk about Midgar's professional baseball teams. Arnold decides Haru speaks very slowly in order to choose the best words, and he listens to Flora's stories as an anthropologist would. All in all, it's a good meet.
Step 2: Beginning the Mission
After a long drive and a nice conversation, the truck's GPS notifies the two that they're getting close to their destination. It's getting dark, and the sun has already started to set. Arnold thinks that they should announce their arrival, and he says Haru tries to radio to the Shinra lab. Yet, no matter how many times he calls them, there's no reply.
The road takes a sharp turn, and Team Bluejay are surprised to see a large tree down blocking their path. Since Flora, the only Character with anything in "Drive", is driving the truck, the Storyteller Becky makes Sheila roll to keep the truck from crashing. It's a Wits + Drive roll, and Flora has a total of three dice to roll. Becky doesn't state a difficulty, so it's assumed to be a difficulty of 6. Sheila rolls a 4, 6, and a 2. It's a small success, but it works. Flora swerves the truck just in time.
Team Bluejay decides to get out of the truck and look at the tree. Arnold wants to inspect it to see if the tree fell down naturally or not. Haru doesn't have anything in Survival, but he does a rating in Science. Becky decides this is enough, but that it's at a difficulty of 7. Arnold rolls Intelligence + Science, a total of 6 dice, and gets a 7, 9, 5, 1, 2, and 3. This would be two successes, but a 1 cancels out a success. With one success, Becky says Haru can see that the tree was ripped apart at the base, and it seems very unnatural. Team Bluejay is feeling very nervous at this point.
Step 3: Approaching Danger
The Characters reach the village of Stonemill, and they are perturbed. Becky describes a rural village with a few buildings, but there are no lights, no sounds, and no people. As they drive in, the truck's lights show a few bodies on the ground. Team Bluejay immediately hops out of the car to help the unmoving people. Arnold wants to use Haru's Medicine Ability to examine the body. Becky agrees with a base difficulty, and Arnold rolls Perception + Medicine, a total of four dice, and gets a 9, 4, 6, 10. Three successes!
Becky explains in detail about how all the villagers are dead and have been so for maybe a day or two. They all seem to have defensive wounds, and they have unusual bite marks on the neck. Not only that, there doesn't seem to be much blood. None, really.
It's obvious to both Sheila and Arnold that it's a Vampire attack, but that doesn't mean it's obvious to Flora and Haru. Flora is the only one with an Occult rating, and Becky asks for an Intelligence + Occult roll, a total of three dice. Since it's very obvious, Becky sets the difficulty at 5. Sheila rolls 5, 7, and 1, for a total of one success. Flora says, "Yep. It's vampires. Definitely some fang-bangers."
Step 4: Walking into the Wolf's Den
It's at this time that the two Players think it would be a good idea to inspect the area. They both realize that their Characters might have done that immediately, but since it wasn't said, nothing can be done about that now. Both roll Perception + Alertness, Flora with three dice and Horu at four, and Flora gets 2 successes compared to Haru's 1. Becky describes to Arnold that there is no movement in sight, and she tells Sheila that there isn't even the sound of animals in the background.
Sheila begins to think that there's not a single villager left alive. Flora takes out her short sword from its sheath, and Haru reaches for his heavy pistol. The village is quite small, and the only really important location in the area is the Shinra SRD lab. They go up to the lab and look at the door. Becky details the building as a very nondescript two-story lab with no windows on the bottom floor and one locked door. Arnold gets the bright idea that SOLDIER would have issued them an emergency door key, and Becky allows it. When Haru tries to open it, Becky says that the electronic lock is busted, and the door seems to be jammed.
If you remember at Flora's character creation, Sheila purchased one Cybernetic. That Cybernetic is an Enhancer, which is a replacement cybernetic limb for her right arm. She decides to spend her one Temporary Mako Point and activate it's unique ability of adding +5 to all Strength related rolls for a scene. Flora's body shimmers with green Mako energy. She lightly pushes Haru out of the way, and then she punches the door.
The difficulty is 6, and Sheila is able to roll Dexterity + Brawl , a total of 6 dice, and gets a 6, 6, 2, 8, 10, 7. She gets a total of five successes plus two from her Potence. Nice roll! However, Becky claims that the door is reinforced steel, and it has it's own Stamina of 8 and 7 Health Levels. Becky could have Sheila continuously roll until the door is broken open, but instead the two agree on it falling down in three turns. Sheila agrees to this, because it means she doesn't have to risk Flora getting a botch on a roll. Becky agrees, because she knows whatever is in the building, it's waiting on someone to come in.
Flora slams her mechanical fist into the metal door three times. It's frame bends further in each time, creating a loud sound 'boom' before it falls down. The way is clear of obstruction, and the characters are free to walk in.
Step 4: The Scene of the Crime
Flora and Haru walk in the building and look everywhere to see if anything comes their way. Sheila and Arnold make their Perception + Alertness rolls, and both fail their rolls this time. Becky explains that all the lights have been busted out, and the resulting darkness is too thick to see if anything is running around in the darkness. Team Bluejay keep their weapons ready in hand.
Arnold has the bright idea of looking around for a computer terminal. Becky could make Haru roll for it, but being as this is a science lab, there should be computers galore. Haru finds a computer and logs in with their Shinra SOLDIER ID. They're given limited access to the local networks, and Arnold requests to roll to see what he can find. It's an Intelligence + Computer roll, for a total of 6 dice, and he gets a 8, 2, 1, 8, 9, and a 6. Three total successes. Becky explains that the facility has a unique research room on the top floor, which requires top security clearance. It also shows that the room's doors have been compromised.
Being the adventurous types, and knowing that SOLDIER fortunes the brave, Team Bluejay decides to go upstairs and explore the room for themselves.
Step 5: Fight!
As they arrive at the top secret entrance, they can see that the door has been forced open, much like how Flora opened the first door. The floor is completely dark, except for a terminal at the other end of the room. Although the bottom floor lights were broken, Arnold wonders if these were just turned off. Haru instinctively flips on the light, and amazingly they turn on.
The room is completely devastated; destroyed desks, broken glass, ruined computers, and bodies everywhere. It's a bloodbath. Not only that, but turning on the lights revealed two very important items: two vampires that were previously hidden in the dark. They're dressed like poor farmers, and their faces are contorted and bearing long fangs. They were poised for a surprise attack, but their recent visibility alerts Team Bluejay to danger. It's now time for combat.
First thing's first: Initiative. All Characters involved roll one die and add their Dexterity + Wits (and + Alarcity if they have any). Sheila totals a 13, Arnold totals a 14, Vampire 1 totals an 11, and Vampire 2 rolls an 8. So the order is Arnold, Sheila, Vampire 1, and then Vampire 2. All involved Characters declare their actions in reverse.
Both Vampires have axes, and Vampire 2 is going to attack Haru. Vampire 1 is going to make the same kind of attack on Flora. Sheila and Arnold both decide to make an initial attack on the Vampires attacking them. So it's a 1-on-1 combat scenario. Remember, all NPCs, or in this case the Vampires, have their rolls performed by Becky the Storyteller.
First to roll is Arnold for Haru. Arnold decides that since Haru is not as much of a physical combat character, he would put all he has into a single shot fired at the Vampire 2. He spends a Mako Point and declares that he is going to use his Limit Breaker with his Heavy Pistol. He rolls Dexterity + Firearms + 3 (from Limit Breaker), then adds his automatic 3 successes from Alarcity. Because this is a Limit Breaker, 1's do not subtract successes, and 10's are re-rolled for additional successes. He gets a 5, 4, 7, 4, 8, 9, 7, 7, 5, and 8. 6 successes + 3 = 9 successes. 8 of those carry over for the damage roll, which is a dice pool of 5 based on the weapon's damage level. 13 total dice to roll for damage. He gets a 2, 6, 10, 8, 2, 3, 5, 1, 9, 5, 7, 3, and 6.
Vampire 2 has to Soak Roll for a total of 5 levels of Damage. Amazing! Or is it? Normally this would be an impressive amount, but Vampires have an unusual ability to soak bullets, treating them like Bashing Damage. Not only that, but after the soak roll, Bashing Damage is halved. Vampire 2 rolls 6 dice to soak (+4 from Stamina, +2 from "Invulnerability"). With a 1, 6, 5, 7, 7, and 6, Vampire 2 soaks 3 of the 5 damage, and the remainder is halved. Vampire 2 receives 1 Health Level of Damage, thus placing at "Bruised".
This is where Becky explains the scene in a more creative tone. "Haru, feeling the fear rush through his heart, raises his pistol at the hissing vampire bearing its fangs. Haru lets instinct take over, and his body burns the Mako resting in his veins. His Limit Breaker takes over, and his gun glows with green Mako light as it pierces the flesh of the Vampire. However, the creature's supernatural powers allow the bullet to flow through it's flesh and leave a clean hole in its body; a hole that does almost nothing to harm the creature."
Next in line is Sheila for Flora. With her Short Sword in her Mako-chargd cybernetic hand, she is going to attempt to cut Vampire 1. First, she must roll to see if she lands the hit. She must roll Dexterity + Melee, for a total of 7 dice. She rolls a 6, 2, 10, 4, 8, 6, and 3. This gives Flora a total of 4 successes, allowing 3 to carry over to the Damage Roll. A Short Sword (or rather, just "Sword") gives Strength + 2 for damage. So this is 3 for the carry over, 6 for normal damage, and then and additional 5 for the Mako-charged Enhancer arm, for a total of 14 dice. Sheila rolls, and she gets 10, 6, 10, 6, 3, 3, 5, 3, 8, 6, 1, 2, 7, and 2. 6 + 2 automatic successes from Potence, and this is 8 levels of Lethal Damage.
Vampire 1 has a lot to soak. Not only that, since it's Lethal Damage, it won't be halved after soak like it was for Vampire 2. Vampire 1 soaks with a total of six dice (+4 from Stamina, +2 from "Invulnerability"). It gets a 5, 10, 6, 1, 3, and 9. It soaks only 2, and this brings Vampire 2 down to "Crippled".
Becky relates the scene, "As the other vampire bares it's fangs at you, your cybernetic arm squeals as it forces its hydraulics to push harder than normal. With a powerful stroke, the sword cleaves through the second Vampire like it was butter. Blood and guts fly out of the monster's belly and splatter against the wall. The Vampire's eyes fill with fear, as it's false immortality is about to be taken away.
Now it is Vampire 1's turn. Understandably, it's very freaked out. It's one Health Level away from not being able to move, and it's already having to go against a -5 dice penalty. It could have Aborted its action and tried a Defensive Maneuver by rolling Willpower or spending a Temporary Willpower Point, but Becky is being a nice Storyteller for the Player's first mission. Vampire 1 still goes in for an attack with it's axe, which is a Dexterity + Melee roll. This normally would give Vampire 1 a total of 6 dice, but it's operating on a Health Penalty of -5. With one die, it rolls a 3. It's roll fails. Becky states, "As it deals with it's entrails spilling out of its dead body, the Vampire tries to swing with the Axe and pitifully misses Flora by a mile."
Finally, it's Vampire 2's turn. It's only Bruised, and its not yet limited by a wound penalty. It swings with all it's might to hit Haru with the axe. It's a Dexterity + Melee roll for a total of 6 dice. It rolls 9, 10, 4, 1, 10, and 7. It's three successes for a roll over of two. Now on to the Damage Roll, which is +2 from the roll over and +6 for the weapon and Strength Damage, for a total of eight dice. It gets a 9, 4, 7, 4, 6, 9, 1, and 2, for a total of three successes. Now for the Soak Roll from Haru. With Haru's Stamina and Fortitude, Arnold rolls a total of 4 dice. He gets a 10, 1, 7, and 1. He soaks nothing, earning an "Injured" status.
Becky explains the scene, "The Vampire swings the axe through the air. As it glimmers in the fluorescent lights, it cuts into the side of Haru. Blood trickles down the blade as Haru deals with an open wound." Haru now has to operate under a -1 Health Penalty, and since it's a Lethal Wound, he will need medical attention soon.
The first Round has now completed. Initiative begins again, and everyone declares their action in reverse. Vampire 2 is going to run away. Vampire 1 is going in for another axe attack. Sheila for Flora is going to let Vampire 1 go, and she is going to slice at Vampire 2 as a means to protect her Teammate. Arnold for Haru is going to delay action to Dodge the attack and then go looking for a sharp weapon.
Normally, Haru would go first. Since he is choosing to defer his action (for an eventual Dodge), his Action will wait until Vampire 2's turn. Instead, Sheila for Flora will go first. It's the same roll as before, which is Dexterity + Melee for a total of seven dice. She gets a 9, 1, 1, 5, 3, 9, and a 9. Only a single success, but it counts. No roll over Damage Dice. It's a straight Strength (4) + 2 with an additional +5 for the Enhancer arm, for a total of 11 dice. She gets a 6, 4, 8, 10, 8, 8, 3, 3, 2, 2, and 6. Six successes plus two from Potence, equaling a total 8 Lethal Damage for Vampire 2 to soak. Vampire 2 rolls it's 6 dice to soak, and it gets 6, 8, 4, 8, 3, and 1. It soaks two, putting down at "Incapacitated" and unable to move.
Becky explains, "As the other Vampire prepares for another swing, Flora comes to the aid of Haru and swings at that creature. The strike is true, and the blade moves like a lightning bolt. It meets the creature's throat and cuts away tendons and veins, forcing the Vampire's dead blood to flow down it's chest. The Vampire falls down to the ground, unable to move from it's wounds."
Haru no longer needs to Dodge, and he can still take a combat action if Arnold chooses. He decides to shoot a bullet at the creature's head. Since Vampire 2 is Immobile, it' cannot defend against such an attack. Instead of rolling for it, Becky simply gives the kill to Haru. "As Haru raises his pistol to the Vampire's head, the two share a final look. Haru pulls the trigger, and the bullet ignites from the chamber. When it impacts the creature's head, the skull explodes into a thousand tiny fragments of blood and bone on the floor. The Vampire's body shrivels and shrinks, returning to it's natural decomposed age."
The final turn is Vampire 1's, and he uses it to sprint out of there. Realizing it cannot outrun the SOLDIERs, it jumps through a window to escape. The glass shatters, and Vampire 1 falls to the ground.
Combat is over. Sheila has Flora look outside of the window to search for a body, but none can be seen. It looks like the Supernatural has escaped. Haru is Injured and needs medical treatment. By the grace of the Storyteller, Becky allows it that the two SOLDIERS would most likely have a Potion each. Arnold decides to take only one, so that Haru's status moves up to "Hurt" and that he no longer needs medical assistance to keep his wounds from bleeding. It's always a good idea to keep one Potion on hand for an emergency.
With the fighting over, Team Bluejay investigates the terminal they saw earlier at the back of the building. The terminal simply flashes the words "Observe", and a red button glows beneath it. Sheila has Flora prepare for anything, and Arnold has Haru push the button. Metal locks can be heard moving, and the door in front of them pulls back to reveal a young girl floating in a glass prison filled with diluted Mako.
The girl is no older than eighteen, and she is wearing a medical gown with tubes in her arms. Haru leans in for a closer look, and the girl's eyes open. She moves to him and bears her fangs, but she cannot break the glass. Of course this startles Haru, and Flora readies to behead the girl. However, it's soon obvious that the young vampire is a prisoner.
What will happen next? Should Team Bluejay kill the young girl vampire and be done with it? Should they contact Shinra and receive orders to retrieve the girl for further testing at Midgar? Should they open the glass container and ask the girl questions, possibly learning that Shinra forced her to become a vampire? Becky the Storyteller has set up an interesting story arc, and she is only limited by her imagination. The next step relies entirely upon Sheila and Arnold, and whatever they chose to do can cause ripple effects in their future missions.
Wherever the Characters go from here, remember that the goal is for everyone to have fun.
Yes, thank you for reading my take on a Final Fantasy VII game, created using my favorite roleplaying system the Old World of Darkness. I've had this idea of mine for a crossover for a long time, and I'm happy to have it finally complete.
Again, I'd like to point out that I do not own the rights to or have special permissions to use Final Fantasy products or White Wolf Publishing material to create this. I asked no one before I created it, because I knew it would not have been made. Since I prefer not to be sued for giving free labor towards making a free product, please do search for Final Fantasy and White Wolf products and make some purchases. If they asked who sent you, and you tell them it was me, then perhaps I'll be allowed to keep my little project alive.
If I receive enough positive feedback, I might make some sourcebooks for more gaming material. There are many topics I could give more details on, and I have many ideas I haven't even touched upon. Such as…
More Mutations & Evolutions
And many more. If I don't make more sourcebooks, feel free to write up your own material. Just be sure to make your Players happy, and you can do no wrong. Create good games, and may your stories be merry.