As we continue to discover the Heroes of the Hidden this week, we examine a Pathfinder-driven modern world where ancient bloodlines and practitioners of secret magics protect an unsuspecting world from dangers crossing in from many other realms. This is less horror and more urban fantasy, though, as various societies hidden from the average human interact in strange and interesting ways.
Bloodlines & Black Magic is called an “O7 Game,” and this is what they have to say about that –
Occult 7 – shortened to O7 throughout this book – is a variant rules system based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Like much of the core of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, O7 is a game of enigmatic heroes who rise up against terrible dangers and overcome powerful, diabolical and earth-shattering foes. However, instead of using Pathfinder’s usual 20 levels of character progression, O7 uses only the first seven levels. This keeps characters in the “sweet spot” of adventuring. They are tough enough to take on the darkness but are still manageable. Adapted from the Epic 6 rules variant, O7 is designed specifically for Bloodlines & Black Magic and is intended to work with the classes presented in both Pathfinder Occult Adventures and the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide, both of which are suggested for this setting.
The Worlds You Don’t Know
Hamlet had the right of it when he said, “There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
The scope of human knowledge and endeavor is woefully limited, compared to the incalculable vastness of the cosmos as it truly is. Worlds – metaphysically speaking – lay atop, beneath, beside, and even within the warp and weave of the one that people take for granted as the truest, and perhaps only, face of reality. These many worlds abut and overlap one another, and, for the most part, those within any given plane of existence only perceive and interact with their own immediate environment. The average spirit in the infernal realm knows as little about what’s taking place in an Addis Ababa apartment as the people living in that apartment know about that’s spirit’s goings-on.
The difference, of course, is that those existing firmly beyond the borders of mundanity are generally aware of the reality of the other worlds, and capable of interacting with the denizens of those places – though whether they can do so safely is another matter, entirely. The day-to-day world is a dangerous enough place, in many cases, and these realms beyond are even more so. It’s rare for entities originating in other planes of existence to visit the mundane world for what most humans would consider being benevolent purposes.
In truth, there are seven “worlds” that exist within reality, at least as we know it. These worlds are the mundane, the secret worlds, the invisible world, the ethereal plane, the astral plane, the celestial plane, and the infernal plane.
Seven Secrets of Bloodlines & Black Magic.
1. Magic is real. For most of the world, magic is one of two things: a series of well-crafted illusions designed to entertain, or the unsubstantiated believe in loosely connected, human-driven events. While most people give magic little more than lip (or card) service, the truth is quite simple; magic exists.
2. There are global elites. Both the occult and conspiracy communities have long pointed to a nameless, global, ruling elite who they believe is holding them back. While most rational humans wave off such conjecture, the truth is stranger still – there are global elites and they have a vested interest in keeping the masses dumb, fat, and divided.
3. Monsters walk the night. Parents, the world over, tuck their children in with the same reassurances over and over. They open closet doors, look under beds, and click on night-lights to hold back the darkness, all of them repeating the same refrain; there are no monsters, go back to sleep. Those parents, like so much of the world, are wrong.
4. The Power is in the Blood. Beyond the glass towers and exotic retreats of the global elite, a stranger group of people – many of who occupy thrones in the Invisible – play an even more delicate game with the world; these blooded humans, collected into bloodlines families, are the secret lineages of those who truly rule. Although some have waxed in influence, many of these bloodline families still exercise considerable power in the mundane – making kings from fools, changing national borders, and even reorganizing societies to suit their own, personal agendas.
5. We are Legion. Made famous in the New Testament, the Goëtic Spirits have long been at odds with the Archons, taking on forms from a wide array of cultures and myths. Some of the spirits could easily be traditionally considered demons or devils, although they are clearly in the minority. The Goëtic Spirits comprise a much larger, more diverse group than those commonly identified by the various monotheistic faiths.
6. The Veil is real. Occultists, conspirators, refugees, activists, veterans, protesters, magicians, gamers, and weirdos – all of them have their own ideas of what is really going on in the world. Some of them actually have a clue, too. But the truth is, while some of those wild ideas might actually hold a little water, most of them are little more than hyped-up conjecture riding shotgun with a bunch of speculation. Which is exactly what the Archons want. The truth should make you sound crazy. Why? Because that’s how the Veil works…
7. The Archons have a mission. Most people have no idea who or what the Archons are, much less what sort of mission they might have. The truth is, whatever the Archons are trying to do, it’s a slow march toward completion and keeping humanity in the dark is a big part of that mission. The few magicians who have discovered them know little about them, although a single word does keep reoccurring in plenty of conversations – stability. What that word means to them, however, is still a mystery for most.
Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
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