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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in [GURPS] Cabal: Grand Masters' Strike Force's LiveJournal:

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Friday, January 26th, 2007
6:20 pm
Campaign is Dead
At some time in the future, I may try another Cabal campaign but this one is dead.
Wednesday, September 27th, 2006
7:38 pm
Final Cabal Session for the Year
Session #4: Saturday, 28 October 2006: If everyone shows up, we will finally role-play the initiation ceremony and first mission; if not, we will probably be travelling to Yetzirah, the Astral Realm to recover Mr. Thomas GODEK. Hopefully, you will not have to visit the "Polished Citadel," home to the yithoghu. For those of you paying attention, I posted an incomplete yithoghu species template much further downstream.

As this will be very close to Halloween, I will turning up the knob on the horror aspects to 11. Bring an extra pair of underwear if you are the squeamish sort ;-)

Unfortunately, I will be travelling over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; so, this will be the last Cabal session for 2006!
Friday, May 26th, 2006
5:54 am
Home sweet home
I've been thinking about where Alessandro lives. Just where does a Cabalist assassin live? I've settled on Chicago as a base. He's from there and has area knowledge. He's got a high rise apartment, preferably the penthouse. There needs to be a rather obscure corner somewhere. From there he can launch magic carpets and such.

there's a question. When flying, how does one keep the muggles from seeing you? I assume one must be invisible. Does the Cabal have an enforcement group? What if a mage flies about or sits a magic carpet in broad daylight and gets on the evening news?


I'd also like him to have a hideaway apartment in Rome, near the Vatican. Dangerous, yes, but fun.
5:43 am
Allies, contacts
Here's Alessandro's allies and contacts. There are only a few. I assumed some things so this may be wrong.


Enio Fantozi, Vatican Library

4 points (21 skill), quite rarely x ½, somewhat reliable x1 = 8 points

Allies: I’m assuming these two are about 75 % of Alessandro’ total points and so a base of 3 points


Narcisa Leondaris

3 points (18 skill), quite rarely, usually reliable x2 = 12 points


Rabiah – Seeress of Alexandria

3 points (15 skill, as she is much younger) quite rarely, usually reliable x2 = 12 points

Contact Group (not yet, as they’d be too expensive but it's where Rabiah lives and works)

Khepri Biblotech: This group specializes in finding/acquiring books for patrons. One must be a member to enjoy their services. They maintain an expansive compound in Alexandria, Egypt. The group works in both the mundane and magical.
Thursday, May 18th, 2006
12:11 pm
Alessandro Questionnaire
This may answer some questions for you. If this is not what you are looking for, I'll try again.



John Dee
Assassin Knight of St. Leo

After a number of successful hits on vampires perpetrated by the Lodge of St. Leo, the Cabal discovered Alessandro. It was decided he would be more useful as a tool than a dead enemy.

The Cabal approached Alessandro and showed him certain truths of the universe, things he’d gleaned briefly and suspected from his studies. The promise of “true knowledge” brought him over from the Church, which was shown to be a more limiting sponsor.


• Crusader: You Dare and Will for the Cabal! You advance the cause of the Cabal with cold steel and hot blood. You know that your cause is right.
• .
Lodge of the Four Pillars

Became master of that lodge


Tungl Sjötrungnis ("Gnawer of the Moon")(see previous post by Mike)

Moncreiffe Fergus – Hermetic Mage of the Outer Hebrides (Harris to be precise). His Decans are Enchantment and Knowledge. He is an expert broadswordsman and makes a living writing books and articles for various publications ranging from National Geographic to the RPG Company Steve Jackson Games. He is cantankerous to those who do not know him or are tourists on his island, but warm (if not gruff) to his friends and fellow Cabalists. He is a pub crawler and is fond of hearty ale and home made scotch as well (and holds a controlling interest in a rather well off distillery).


Rabiah – Seeress of Alexandria. Decans are Knowledge and Communication/Empathy. A young slip of a girl barely out of her teens, she is quite adept at reading omens. Her advantages include Oracle, but her disadvantages include Voices. She is Egyptian by birth and ethnicity and dwells in a sprawling library complex run by a lay group set up by the Cabal. This group poses as purveyors of rare books, which they do, for both the mundane book collector and the Cabalist in search of that rare tome of knowledge (see contact groups for Alessandro to make a connection).

Narcisa Leondario – A Necromancer from Italy. She dwells in the catacombs beneath Naples, but owns and operates a high class hotel/spa aboveground that caters to the rich and famous. The spa is known for its “healing waters”. A relative latecomer to the Cabal, she is in her mid forties. Definitely creepy in nature, she is obsessed with immortality and is actively pursuing the Liche spell. She has a group of followers who revere her as a Cult priestess.

More knowledge of the Divine with aspirations of acquiring Words of Power.

See previous answer. John Dee can supply such perhaps.
8:28 am
Go for May 27
I'm a go for May 27th. Looking forward to it. Cool Fae character, by the way.
Thursday, May 11th, 2006
2:08 pm
The Prodigal Fae Returns for the First Time
Whew. Sorry, I've seemed to be silent up to now, but I finally have a bit of time to post. Plus I'd been having trouble for a while posting--between the DoS attacks and my not being able to figure out how to post. Now, as I write this, it's telling me "my e-mail address has not been validated, and it won't let me post. Their e-mail kept getting into my ISP's spam filters. Let's see if I validate while keeping all this text and without going insane. If you're reading this, I must have succeeded.

Anyhow...my character concept is really starting to gel, I think. Cabal Fae (and indeed their whole realm) are "in between" the solid realm of Earth and the ethereal realm of...uh...whatever-the-heck-it's-called. My guy has spent a lot of time on Earth, so is more "solid" than your average Fae, which is probably what makes him the perfect field-agent for the Cabal. This concept can help explain some of the shuffling I did with the "classic" racial template For instance, in the current version I didn't take the Insubstantiality advantage, or the Impermanent limitation on the magic, and I swapped Impulseiveness for Short Attention Span--he's a bit "flighty," like most Fae, but not necessarily as *dangerously* so, which makes him a decent operative.

A few questions/comments:

* I based the racial template off a mish-mash of several faerie-like beings from Fantasy, Cabal Ultraterrestrials, and folklore. I believe it's quite interesting and workable. Some of the traits I had turned out to be quite similar to some in your Troll and Serpent, so rather than be uncertain about the points, I often used your version instead of mine, figuring I can't get more "official" than what's in a GM-created character.

* One of the more interesting things that rings true in folklore is that illusions are real to Faeries--they can wear and consume them, for instance. This is (in GURPS Fantasy) a 0-point racial trait, and I agree. I wanted to clarify some of my thoughts on it. The liabilities match (or even slightly exceed) the benefits, because it means *anyone's* illusions are real to the character. Sure, I can cross illusory bridges, climb illusory ropes, and eat illusory food when nobody else can, but I couldn't pick a lock with illusory lockpicks (the illusion isn't real to the *door*), or shoot anyone with an illusory gun (I'd feel the recoil, but they wouldn't feel the bullets). On the other hand, others' illusory wolves could devour me, their illusory walls block me (so do my own!), their illusory bullets hurt me, and their illusory fires burn me.

* You didn't seem to have a definitive ruling on how to represent limited or aspected magic, since Magery's gone bye-bye. Here's what I did--I put the limitation (specifically, Terminal Condition, -20%, from Powers) on Magical Talent. It's a close enough analog to Magery, I think (e.g., there's a 10% decrease in spell-learning time), to justify it. Would that be an acceptable compromise?

* I seem to recall an earlier post mentioning we get three "favored" decans, and you didn't know my third. Looking it over, I think it's gotta be Mind Control. Faes are always getting people mystically drunk, forgetful, confused, altering their emotions and perceptions (esp. of time), etc. So I think it'd be: Body Control, Mind Control, Illusions. I might skimp on the Illusion spells a bit, since I bought the Illusions advantage directly--I think illusions are too innate to a Faerie to have to muck about with such things as components, rituals, and spell rolls. :)

* Okay, so Karma replaces Luck *and* Serendipity. So how does a guy represent that he's *more* lucky than the average bear and/or has limited control over probability? I.e., are extra Karma points purchasable with CPs (maybe even a regenerating pool of them, perhaps?), and if so, how much? Note I ask out of curiousity; I'm not wedded to the concept. Powers mentions a few of these type of advantages with the Wishing limitation (you can affect others but not yourself), and even goes on to say that its appropriate for blessings/curses such as faeries have. I probably won't have the points for it, but I'd enjoy knowing your thoughts on the matter.

* What the heck does the Hermetic Magic skill *do*? I noticed your Serpent-guy had it at a high level. Is it a prereq for casting spells?

* Character sheet to follow reasonably soon.

Current Mood: rushed
Tuesday, May 9th, 2006
7:20 am
and that, boyos, is why you post your dude
man, i thought i had alessandro down pat! i sat for hours with skills and figured in defaults and such. then i forgot to put some stuff in the "final" cut and then i assumed (stupid) that some of the advantages mike suggested were in the freebie category.

the result? a way overpowered alessandro. the other result? an easily fixed alessandro. so post away!
Sunday, May 7th, 2006
4:30 pm
Alessandro de Archangelis
Here's Alessandro, sans spells. That's next

Attribute Score Points
ST 13 30
DX 14 80
IQ 13 60
HT 14 40
Will 13 15
Per 13 15

Cultural Familiarities
English (Native/Native)
Arabic (Accented/Accented) 4
Latin (Native/Native) 6
Italian (Accented/Accented) 4
Enochian (Accented/Accented) 4
Skill Attribute Diff Points Level
AK: Home IQ E 0
Hidden Lore: Cabal IQ A 0
Hidden Lore: 4 Realms IQ A 0

Survival Home Environ Per A 0
Survival Woodland A 1 13
Survival Desert A 1 13
Survival Jungle A 1 13
Survivial Swamp A 1 13
Survival Mountain A 1 13

Stealth Dex A 8 16

Stealth: 8 pts specialties
Shadowing (default Stealth-4) Dex A 0 12

Shortsword Dex A 8 16
Shortsword: 8 pts techniques

Broadsword (SS-4) 0 12
Saber (SS-4) Dex 0 12

Skiing Ht H 1 12
Garrotte (Dex-4) Dex E 1 14
Hiking (Ht-5) 0 9
Karate Dex H 12 16
Karate: 12 pts techniques

Knife Dex E 4 16

Knife: 4 pts techniques
Knife Fast Draw Dex E 1 14
Explosives (IQ-5)
Aerobatics Dex H 4 14

Aerobatics: 4 pts specialties
Acrobatics Dex H 4 14

Acrobatics: 4 pts specialties
Armory (IQ-5) 0 8
Streetwise IQ A 1 12
Observation Per A 1 12
Climbing (DX-5) Dex A 0 9
Parachuting (DX-4) Dex E 0 10
Camoflage (Survvival-2) IQ E 0 11
Swimming (Ht-4) Ht E 0 10
Scrounge (Per-4) Per E 0 9
Politics Cabal IQ A 1 12
Ritual Magic IQ VH 8 13
Thaumaturgy IQ VH 4 12
Body Sense (Aero-3) Dex H 0 11
Piloting Contragravity Dex A 2 14
Piloting: 2 pts techniques
Occultism: Demonology IQ A 1 12
Occultism: Spirits IQ A 1 12
Occultism: Thaumatology IQ A 1 12
Occultism: Vampires IQ A 1 12
Occultism: Angels IQ A 1 12
Exorcism Will H 1 11
Law Catholicism IQ H 1 11
Meditation Will H 1 11
Mental Strength Will E 1 13
Religious Ritual IQ H 1 11
Theology IQ H 1 11
Driving: Auto 1 13
Driving specialty: defensive driving

5 Ally (Ultor: 150%; Quite rarely, 6-)
5 Ally (Ultor: 150%; Quite rarely, 6-)
10 Claim to Hospitality (Cabal)
8 Patron (Cabal; Quite rarely, 6-;
Minimal intervention)
10 Patron (Sponsor; Fairly often, 9-;
Minimal intervention)
25 Rank (Cabalistic) 5: Practitioner

10 Wealth, Comfortable

35 "People" Package …..
22 Accute Mana Sense
20 Unusual Background Esoteric Lang
5 Magic Resistance +1 (Improved 150%)
2 True Name Semi Public
15 Combat Reflexes
25 Extra Attack +1
2 Fearlessnes +1
15 Fit, Very
4 Hard to Kill
4 Hard to Subjugate
10 High Pain Threshold
15 Peripheral Vision
15 Rapid Healing, Very
5 Abidexterity
15 True Faith

-5 Code of Honor (Cabalistic)
-1 Dependent (Passer: 75%; Quite rarely, 6-)
-1 Dependent (Passer: 75%; Quite rarely, 6-)
-2 Duty (Cabal; Quite rarely, 6-)
-15 Duty (Sponsor; Quite often, 12-;
Extremely hazardous)
0 Fanaticism, Extreme (Will bonus?)
Saturday, May 6th, 2006
6:57 pm
Bryan was correct. Serendipity would cover a knife being where you needed it to be. So, to answer his question: Serendipity is replaced by Karma! Use Karma if you want something serendipitous to occur.
4:19 pm
Pre-Session and Session #1
It was my intent to have a little pre-session during our regularly scheduled World-Walkers' campaign session; but, with Ryan unable to attend, I think we should take care of the bulk of it here, on this community. So, post your characters and we can work on completing them. I am not just talking about getting your points to balance but also completing your questionnaire including designing your ultors and passers, your "people," etc.

Session #1
Session #1 is scheduled for Saturday, 27 May 2006 at 4pm at my apartment. Please respond to this thread to let everyone know whether you can attend.
Thursday, May 4th, 2006
5:59 pm
Learning Hermetic Magery
Ryan had a question regarding where the characters learn hermetic magic in the Black Schools thread. I responded here to raise the visibility .....

Typically, you would be recruited by a lodge and advance through Initiatus (Rank 1) and Novitius (Rank 2) while in the lodge. Some of the lodges are affiliated with Grand Masters. Many of the lodges are their own power bases. Your next step is to take over the lodge where you have trained to date or to go off and found your own, new lodge. This would make Adeptus (Rank 3) and the highest rank in the Outer Circle. This involves much on the job training and some interaction with the Middle Circle. Recruitment into the Middle Circle only comes after proving your worth and passing a true-death ritual test. You are now Theoricus (Rank 4). This is where you are truly exposed to the vital lore and information of the Cabal. Once you have mastered the basic knowledge, you are ready to be a useful tool for an Inner Circle member. Once your sponsor has selected his/her gift, you become Practicans (Rank 5). Upon delivery of the gift, you become Philosophus (Rank 6). Your sponsor does not have to be and is usually not a Grand Master. You are special -- a Grand Master has taken special interest in you and is actively working to promote you.

So, your teachers are initially your lodge master and then some Inner Circle member who has taken an interest in you -- probably because you might be useful in some way. In your cases, the Inner Circle member is a Grand Master. Additionally, a constant presence throughout your rise in power is your ultors. If you have a good relationship with your ultors, they can be good teachers/allies.

The Black Schools
If you have an apptitude with theoritical hermetic magic, you might be recruited into a Black School. This typically occurs at Adeptus (Rank 3) or Novitius (Rank 2). It is possible to be recruited at Initiatus (Rank 1). At a Middle Circle rank, you might attend seminars or even graduate level classes. You might guest lecture or even teach at a Black School at a higher rank -- typically Philosophus (Rank 6). Some Masters (Rank 7 -- Inner Circle) make a Black School their research center.
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
7:06 pm
where is everyone else?
since this community was set up it's been mike and i primarily and sometimes alan. c'mon, nosy guys wanna know all about your characters. post away!
Monday, May 1st, 2006
5:57 pm
Alessandro's Ranger Training
The following webpage might be useful:


I think the templates are idealized and overkill but this is a cinematic game!
Sunday, April 30th, 2006
8:10 pm
The Black Schools
The Grand Master Garravin founded the first magical academy in Salerno, Italy in 860 A.D. to bring the Cabal out of the Dark Ages. Garravin founded succeeding Scholomances ("Black Schools"), as they came to be known as, in Salamanca, Krakow, Edinburgh, and in the Carpathians above Lake Hermannstadt (modern Sibiu) in Transylvania. At present the surviving Scholomances are in Sibiu, Romania and Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition, a Black School was founded by American cabalists within Von Nettesheim College on Isle LaMotte on Lake Champlain in modern day Vermont in 1695 in response to the witch trials and the Academy of Alexandria was refounded in Cairo, Egypt in 1804.

Von Nettesheim tends to attract the more daring, even reckless, students. Edinburgh has a more buttoned-down old-school atmosphere. Sibiu remains a prime campus for psionics and for nonhuman supernatural study. Cairo is a top theoretical and historical center.

If you want to have attended a Black School, you should probably take some form of Reputation. Let's discuss it.
11:51 am
very interesting and fanciful site
oh, i think we're going to have fun. mike can use this site to start all sorts of adventures......

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
9:58 pm
oh, gods but this takes time
so i'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, my computer file open and the book. scroll, scroll, scroll, delete, page flip etc. this takes too much time.

i'm going back to the paper and pen method. maybe then i won't spend hours on the scroll function.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006
10:41 am
skills and points
Okay, so what's the general rule for points? I always, and I mean always, find myself with too many. I've created Alessandro with a good background (Ranger/Martial Artist/Priest/Assassin/Mage). That means he needs lots of skills. The problem is that I'm now over 300. By my memory (which is swisscheezed) I think that makes him really old. So, what's the limit?

Oh, and I haven't even looked at spells yet. That's this afternoon.
Friday, April 21st, 2006
5:19 pm
Spells Without Prerequisites
I am shamelessly stealing this from a Pyramid article entitled "Mini-Character Lenses for GURPS" by Eric B. Smith. As Eric says, these are very useful for a spell, like Planar Summons, which requires "at least one spell from each of 10 different colleges."

Isrö (Air): Seek Air, Purify Air.
Bianakith (Body Control): Climbing, Debility, Itch, Touch.
Naôth (Communication and Empathy): Sense Foes, Sense Life.
Ieropaêl (Earth): Seek Earth.
Kumeatêl (Enchantment): One-Decan Powerstone.
Eneuth (Fire): Ignite Fire, Seek Fire.
Atrax (Food): Seek Food, Test Food.
Sphandôr (Knowledge): Tell Time.
Phoubêl (Light and Darkness): Light.
Arôtosael (Making and Breaking): Inspired Creation.
Ruax (Mind Control): Dull Hearing, Dull Taste and Smell, Dull Vision, Keen Hearing, Keen Taste and Smell, Keen Vision.
Anatreth (Movement): Haste.
Harpax (Plant): Seek Plant.
Agchoniôn (Sound): Keen Hearing, Sound.
Ouare (Technology): See Radiation, Seek Fuel, Seek Machine/TL, Seek Plastic, Seek Power/TL, Test Fuel/TL.
Saphathoraél (Water): Seek Water.
Friday, April 7th, 2006
1:02 am
Spheres of Influence
One of my favorite things about GURPS is the Influence Skills and the collection of Advantages I have taken to calling "Special Connections." You can see that I think they go a long way in helping to create a fun character to role-play by the fact that I put a "People Package" in the points you have to spend in the creation of your Cabalist.

Well, after reading through "The Burning Wheel" and its' abstract mechanism called "Circles of Influence," I thought a level of abstraction to GURPS might be a fun addition.

This is really speculative. I am not even sure it will work. I am using the community to work my way through the rule. Please feel free to throw in your $0.02.

Influence Skills (B359): Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Intimidation, Propaganda, Psychology, Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal, or Streetwise.

Reaction Rolls (B494-495):
Reaction Modifiers:
Advantages: Appearance, Charisma, Fashion Sense, Pitiable, Status, and Voice.
Skills: A successful roll against a situationally appropriate skill (e.g., Administration when dealing with bureaucrats, Carousing when dealing with party-goers, ...).
Racial or National Biases: Disadvantages: Social Stigma or Intolerance.
Appropriate Behavior

Special Connections: Allies, Ally Groups, Claim to Hospitality, Clerical Investment, Contacts, Contact Groups, Favors, Legal Enforcement Powers, Legal Immunity, Patrons, Rank, Reputation, Security Clearance, Social Regard, Status, Tenure, and Wealth.

Each character has a Spheres rating. The rating is modified by the special connections, reaction modifiers, and/or skills of the character as appropriate.

Testing the Spheres:

Detecting the Spheres: determine if someone else is attempting to gather information about you!
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