Loosely, and probably incorrectly, that translates to ‘Black Kabbalist’. They’re one of the Hunter groups detailed in the back of Actual Fucking Monsters. The main book doesn’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but the idea is that this order of Kabbalists and their supporters came about during WWII to deal with supernatural threats to the Jewish people that existed alongside the very human monsters we’re all familiar with.
Some inspiration was taken from 2000ADs ‘Fiends of the Eastern Front’, particularly ‘Stalingrad’, the more modern story illustrated by the brilliant Colin MacNeil.
In the modern age the Schachr Mequbbãl are a black-operations group buried deep within MOSSAD, hunting down Nazi Monsters (many of which were immortal) and new supernatural threats that abound both within and without Israel.
The practice of Kabbalah is forbidden, and said to curse one in the eyes of god, but these select few are willing to make that personal sacrifice for the sake of their people.
I’m not one for ‘sensitivity reading’, this is fiction, but it does occur to me that I know quite a few Israelis and Jews who will be far more familiar with Jewish folklore than I am. Everyone knows about the golem, but I’d like to include some other things. Anyone got anything cool to add as a ‘kickassery reader’?
NB: Biker culture is quite different in the UK than in the US. If you are wearing the patches of a ‘rival’ club in the USA, you will more than likely get a right shoeing. In the UK… eh, not so much. Still, while you can view my ‘cut’ as a parody, I see it as a homage and as a show of respect to MCs around the world. Even so, I tried looking for a local club to get permission from, and there aren’t any, other than a little band of recreational weekend warriors. Be careful about wearing cuts or patches wherever you are, and keep the local culture in mind.
One of the things I miss about the RPG subculture is the no-fucks-given, middle-finger-extended way in which it used to embrace the childish ‘satanic’ accusations. This was done through the embracing of heavy metal and other subcultures, including that of biker clubs (MCs).
It’s not necessarily the music that I miss. Bolt-Thrower were never really any good, but going into a Games Workshop to find yourself surrounded by metalheads and bikers made you feel at home. Contrary to appearance, they were also, always, the sweetest most welcoming guys in the world. Of course, the corporate culture changes at Citadel/Games Workshop around 1990 and they stopped selling RPGs and gave the metalheads the heave-ho to project a more family-friendly appearance. More’s the pity.
Gaming, like headbanging and like joining an MC, used to have a bit of an air of danger to it even though it was nerdy as fuck. Without that culture, I’d never have found my style. I’d never have found my tribe. I’d never have seen Slayer live (and that’s a kill-or-cure life experience let me tell you). I would not have continued into goth, industrial and many of the other significant influences in my life.
I wanted to pay my respects to the lost tribe of gamers. I wanted to ground my current identity in my past. Not for nostalgia, but out of respect and as a constant personal reminder.
I first hit on the idea of making a ‘Gaming Club’ cut way back in the day, when I was a mere sprog and when AD&D was in its dying gasps. I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have the Internet back then, though I did have a heavily patched blue denim jacket – as many metal fans did.
I was reminded of that idea when I finally deigned to catch up on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which would have been around 2015, or so I guess. Still, I didn’t have the spare cash or the time to put into the project. Short of a few web-searches for custom patches, it didn’t amount to anything (plus I was preoccupied with Gamergate and related issues).
Most recently, two crucial things made my idle idea come to fruition. Firstly I played (and enjoyed) Days Gone and even in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse the biker culture, brotherhood and the symbolism of the ‘cut’ were a big deal in that game. Again, it reminded me of the old idea. I also had started buying cheap stuff from wish.com to add production value to my videos and my gaming. Suddenly, I could get an affordable black denim vest. I had the motivation, and it was easy to do. A quick search around Etsy and I found a place that did custom patches for a reasonable price.
Then it all came together.
It does put a smile on my face to don my ‘GC’ cut. Hopefully, it also conveys to others the sense of pride and place I have in the gaming community and its history.
The original ‘Rollin’ 20s, Lake Geneva Originals’ shirt was too complicated to turn into patches, but you can get it HERE.
There is a miscellaneous pack of Rob Necronomicon’s art up for sale now at Post-Mort.com, and Drivethrurpg (just search for Postmortem Studios).
This art is available for you to use in your personal or professional projects, subject to the attached license. Rob’s art is especially great if you’re looking for a dark, contemporary, highly graphical feel.
A comic book that seeks to answer the eternal question, ‘What is a role-playing game?’ This format should make it less intimidating and more approachable whether you’re a long-time gamer trying toexplain your hobby, or someone wondering if they should get into it.
As I note in the video, if you want to play The Boys as an RPG, then Aberrant is probably your best option. You should only really need the core book, but the Player’s Guide isn’t a bad idea either. Aberrant isn’t a perfect system by any stretch, but the nature of The Boys helps prevent some of the problems, and Storyteller is a reasonably familiar system to a lot of people.
If you want to make a character, here’s a quick and dirty guide:
Concept: Don’t make a ‘superhero’, make a person. Make a character based on who they were before they got any powers, and then apply those powers. Your concept should, therefore, be something more like ‘Retail Worker’ than ‘Warrior Poet’, though you can reinvent yourself later.
Nature: Again, choose a core personality trait as a normal person, without regard to status as a hero. Everyone in The Boys is flawed, broken, corrupt or abused in some way.
Damage: Every The Boys character needs a reason to hate Superheros. For Butcher it’s the death of his wife. For Wee Hughie its the death of his girlfriend. For Mother’s Milk its the death of his father and the horrendous effects of Compound V on his mother and brother. For The Female its her past status as an ‘experimental animal’. Frenchie is so insane and fucked up, nobody really knows. Damage should act like a second ‘Nature’ in play – giving The Boys motivation and a little edge against Supes.
Attributes, Abilities & Backgrounds: At this stage, just put things in as though you’re making a normal person. Don’t customise or think of your ‘Hero Hunter’ side until later.
Quantum: Call it ‘Mutation’ or something instead, but it can otherwise work in much the same way.
Bonus Points: This is where you can start thinking of your character more in terms of their role in The Boys (or a similar clandestine group). Use your Bonus Points to give you some basic competency in combat and investigation, and to raise your Quantum.
Becoming Super: All superheroes, including The Boys, trace their origins to Compound V – a material created by Nazi scientists and experimented with by all sides during the war. Variations of the drug exist, including a street version, and all mutate your DNA. The Boys are either relatively stable ‘natural’ examples, or people selected and injected with billion-dollar pure versions. Mutations and strange physical traits are more likely to manifest from experimental versions of Compound V (used by Vought-Amercan to create marketable supes) or from ‘street’ versions such as the cocaine-V cocktail known as ‘blue’. Latent abilities tend to manifest during times of stress, horror, excitement etc.
Powers: Characters who form part of The Boys (or similar teams) should limit themselves, at least to start with, to physical Mega-Attributes. The only scaling we really have to compare to is Butcher’s comment to Hughie that Compound V makes you 10-15 times stronger – at least in terms of the pure version. That doesn’t fit neatly into Aberrant’s categories, but Aberrant does seem to better fit that strength as we see it in the comics.
All characters should start with at least Mega Strength 1 and Mega Stamina 1.
Mega Dexterity is another good option and Frenchie appears to exhibit Mega Perception at times – though this may be an affectation related to his madness.
Suggested Enhancements for Mega Strength would include – Crush and Lifter. From the Player’s Guide, Irresistable Force and Precision and Thrower.
Suggested Enhancements for Mega Dexterity would include – Accuracy, Enhanced Movement, Physical Prodigy and Rapid Strike. From the Player’s Guide, Perfect Balance.
Suggested Enhancements for Mega-Stamina would include – Durability, Hardbody and Resiliency. From the Player’s Guide, Health, Immovable Object and Tireless.
Most characters in The Boys won’t have other powers, this would be an exception rather than the rule. Some powers are more acceptable though, and shouldn’t necessarily be quibbled with.
These might include: Armour, Boost, Invulnerability and extras like Impervious, Armour Piercing (applied to Mega Strength) and so on.
Gadgeteering is also possible in this setting (as Tek-Knight shows) but isn’t tied to powers and can’t do anything truly outlandish. GM discretion is going to be very necessary there.
Suggested Starting Power Suite
Mega Strength 2 (6 points)
Mega Stamina 2 (6 points, 12 total)
Mega Strength Enhancement: Crush (3 points, 15 total)
Mega Stamina Enhancement: Durability (3 points, 18 total)
Mega Stamina Enhancement: Hardbody (3 points, 21 total)
3 additional dots in Attributes (1 point, 22 total)
There’s a whole bunch of stuff on sale, including many of my titles, so why not CHECK IT OUT!
Machinations of the Space Princess is a very svelte $7.19. A great deal for endless ‘old skool’ space adventure. It’s a complete game in one bundle, with a somewhat innovative and completely open ‘species builder’, as well as an expanded skill system derived from Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
Agents of SWING is a fab $5.62. That ain’t even five bob guv’nor. Maybe it’s an evil plot by some machiavellian superfiend? If so, I’m sure you put an end to it!
If super-powered, interdimensional, corporate heroics are more your speed, you can join the fight to protect Earth from parallel incursions.