Can someone please explain the malacuso?

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Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« on: January 20, 2014, 10:25:44 PM »
So, it's in the title. Lol it's just, I completely understand what every single other character playbook does, even the operator now that I've read the forums a bit. But I am totally clueless as to how the malacuso works. I know it's the most complex character in the game, but I feel like understanding all of them is important, especially for an mc (which i am)

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Munin

  • 417
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 12:34:34 AM »
The Macaluso is an entity that shares the same consciousness across several different bodies.  It works by allowing you to have different bodies (or versions of your "self") doing different things at any particular moment.  It's a great way to get screen time, though it should be pointed out that rather than highlighting a stat, you highlight one of your selves, and any time that highlighted self makes a move you mark experience.  Each of your different selves has different stats and circumstances.  So you might have one that is Hard+2, Hot-1 that is also a member of the Operator's Crew, or one that is Hot+2 Hard-1 that works in the Angel's infirmary.  And another that wanders the wastes looking for lost tech.  Either way, they're all "you" and they all have your moves (so if you took Martyr, you'd mark experience any time any one of your selves took a blow meant for someone else).  Or if you took a move from another playbook as an advance (say spooky intense from the Savvyhead's playbook), all of your selves would get that move (and thus roll+Weird when acting under fire).

What's cool is that there's no requirement for your selves to meet to share information.  Anything that any one of them knows all of them know, more or less instantaneously because they share a psyche.  So you can be in two (or more) places at once and relay information between them.  Or not, as you choose or as it suits your (inscrutable) purposes.

One thing that is very important, however, is that you are not human.  You see things very differently, and eve the death of any one of your selves might simply be a minor inconvenience to you (especially if you've taken Sustaining Influence).  This can and should give you a very different outlook and inform your decisions accordingly.

As a character concept it's absolutely fascinating, but I think it works best if you can roll-your-own when it comes to motivations.

Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 04:12:29 PM »
thank you much for that explanation, but im confused on that very last part: what do you mean about the roll-your-own on motivations?

Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 04:39:06 PM »
Some of the playbooks have sort of inherent motivations. The Hard Holder protects their holding, the Chopper deals with his gang, the Operator takes jobs and maintains their crew. Some playbooks are best in the hands that can find their own motivation, though. The skinner, the Gunlugger, the Savvyhead all have really cool abilities but can be a bit elusive to hook into the story. So as a player, you're better off if you can find your own place in the story—find your own motivation—when you play those characters.

I think that phrase comes straight from the book in the brief character write-ups found in the character creation chapter under the Skinner's description.

Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 05:33:08 PM »
thank you! now i can let my players play whatever they want xD

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Munin

  • 417
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 05:53:18 PM »
Yeah, sorry, "roll your own" is a cigarette reference, i.e. you can either buy Marlboros in a pack, or you can buy shredded tobacco and papers and "roll your own."  It means creating something yourself rather than relying on something pre-packaged or built in.  I probably shouldn't have used that turn-of-phrase in this context because I can see how it might have implied dice or something.

Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 08:23:25 PM »
it's all good. and man these forums are helpful

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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 11:56:20 PM »
A cool read.

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Radan

  • 25
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 12:46:34 PM »
Hi,

can the malacuso be immortal? With Sustaining Influence only possible death for the malacuso is killing all the asociated bodies (even 4) at once - do I understand the rules right?

If yes, than any idea (even a just an idea) can be like main motivation for malacuso, because having endless time - enough for even the smallest or bigest wish / idea to make it real...

Also  having 3 - 4 nearly indipenndent lives means much to do just for wellbeing for each of the bodies.
     As the malauso I will be thinking like having independet parts of one "me", therefore caring for each of  them (and for all connections with each of them). Having 3 - 4 places to sleep (from just a shelter to some more "home") at once, having 3 - 4 roles (obligations) in life(s) at onnce and having 3 - 4 relatinships "webs" could be enough as motivation even for just keeping that all going well.
     What aboout if someone like one my boody (and even ME in that body - see below), but do not like another my body? How big infulence has a body to ME? In the rules, it looks like each boody has influence also at PERSONALITY level (hot / cool / sharp), as for "ME" is just weird stat ;). So schizophreny is what can be call normal for ME iin my boodies with other personalities (?). ;)
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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Munin

  • 417
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 05:59:49 PM »
The Macaluso can indeed be functionally immortal.  Your individual selves track harm like NPCs (so they are relatively fragile) but you have the added capability to separate the such that the same calamity doesn't kill all of them (you).

One of the things I find most fascinating about the Macaluso is not so much something that's specified in the playbook as something that isn't.  The Macaluso move Sustaining Influence simply says, "When anyone of your secret society dies, erase their information from your playbook and create a new person to replace them. Use the same secret society segment or an unused one."  But the intriguing part comes down to figuring out who that new person is.  Is it a brand new NPC that gets manufactured from thin air and introduced as someone from "out of town?"  Or is it an existing NPC?

Given the options available in the secret society segments (i.e., "I'm in ____'s crew/gang/cult"), I kind of think an existing NPC is certainly an implied possibility (because it might take an advance on the part of the Operator to add someone to their crew, for instance).  Further, this option is free with the owning player's permission, but even if I don't have their permission I get to do it anyway so long as I pay one of my three slots to do so.  Insidious!

What this ability to co-opt an existing NPC means is that a Macaluso with Sustaining Influence might be pretty aggressive, effectively "taking over" people's minds, replacing their personalities and robbing them of free will.  Talk about invasion of the body-snatchers!  This makes the Macaluso not only alien but downright sinister.

The coolest part is that with very little work it would make a fantastic Threat.

Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 10:38:11 PM »
ye gods! inspiration!

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Radan

  • 25
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 02:26:50 AM »
What about literally create a new person? That way the malacuso could be near the Messiah for appropriate society ;). And evil way of using that move can be also more powerfull with the NEW person(s).

And the move "NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH" shared by all 3 - 4 bodies has the effect of drop the NPC fragility in a battle. But what is more important - would that be 3 - 4 small gangs (able to atack at once, so should have at least little advance), or would that be one scale up bigger gang if joined together? As the rules looks, it should be independend small gangs - as for more gunluggers with the move. On the other hand, it (should) mean possibility to leading 3- 4 gangs at once! :)
     So joining person(s) with that move and a gang (or just more persons with that move) could have near an army effect in a battle, not?
     With the above mentioned move and "Leadership" move, than the leader will be present in 3 - 4 bodies (or leading 3 - 4 gangs or COMBINATION of before mentioned)!

With move "Pack alpha" it should mean: 1) Use the move with the gang from any of the malacuso bodies (!). How the gang will react to a leader (ALPHA at least;)) having 3 - 4 bodies?! ;) 2) Ability  to have 3 - 4 gangs at once, each for one of the bodies (see above). 3) BEING IN A GANG(s) when also HAVING a gang(s) and be able to fight like a gang in a battle (army effect - see above).
     The malasuso can run 3 - 4 holds at once like the hardholder, even with gangs (see above) and with "Wealth" move the malacuso can become rich or desperate 3 - 4 times at once because all moves is SHARED, so rolled only once (as I understand the rules).
     Headache possibilities! ;)

Because of the malacuso near immortality and the above idea(s), the malacuso can be "muscles" (*tank*), first line standing (attack / defense), spy - agent - assasin, warlord (hardholder) etc. - that all the malacuso could be more (better) than any other character.
     I like the idea of NICE malacuso - or at least trying to be nice. Because WHY THE MAELSTROM ENTITY HAVE (and WANT have) THE BODIES? Also see the brainer - who want to have sex and even some socialization etc., but have high weird stat and WEIRD MOVES.


BUT what about CHANGE THE PLAYBOOK? HOW the malacuso can become "just" the angel for example, although the malacuso is Maelstrom entity in 3 - 4 bodies? Will then be 3 - 4 angels or WHAT? By the rules, the old moves will be still available and it looks like the bodies should be still available also! But  THEN NO MORE NPC FRAGILITY?!
     Similar problem is with the brainer become the hardholder and want the painwawe generator still (or getting new). Can any other character use the painwawe generator? By the rules it can be that way(s). So also the malacuso can have it and why not 3 - 4 times and go in even suicidal battle (one body hidden for *RESPAWN*)[/i]. Horrific even for colleagues! ;)     
     The malacuso with "In-brain puppet strings" move (and even with the violation glove) or (/ AND) with "Direct-brain whisper projection" move can use it (both). But HOW? A) From 3 - 4 bodies (positions), even at once (?), even at one target at once (joined forces) like 3 - 4 times usage (at once). B) Just from one of the bodies - which seems more "by the rules", beacause of the *highlighted* effect (acting through just one body with full concentration?). But even with this less powerfull usage, the malacuso still could use the move(s) from other body (shared moves). Which goes back to A), although not fully "at once effect". C) With BOTH above mentioned moves, he malacuso can use one of the moves from one body (or more) and the other move from another body (or more). With the "at once effect" it would be an Apocalyptic chaos, not?...
     Weird, weird, weird! ;)
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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Munin

  • 417
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 11:00:51 AM »
A couple of things: first, taking NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH does not remove the fragility of your selves, it simply increases the damage output those selves can inflict.  Even having NTBFW you still track Harm normally, not like a gang, and in the case of the Macaluso it means tracking Harm like an NPC.

As for combining your gangs into an "army," I don't see any reason why not.  For the sake of convenience I might say that two small gangs makes a medium gang and two medium gangs makes a large gang.  So if you took Broad Influence and NTBFW, then yes you could conceivably operate as a large gang.  But you would still track Harm as individual NPCs, not as a gang, which still makes you pretty fragile.  But I don't really have a problem with this because you have four people who each throw out a furious amount of firepower acting in perfect concert with each other because they share a brain.  Self A doesn't need to stop what he's doing to warn Self B that someone's sneaking up on him.  If he knows it, Self B knows it as well.  Perfect communication and coordination without delay has been the Holy Grail of organized military operations since there have been organized military operations.  The Macaluso can do it inherently.  So yes, taking NTBFW is a "force multiplier."

Taking Brainer moves is interesting as well, especially because in most cases the victim need only be in your presence or able to see you.  Or in the case of the Macaluso, any of you.

As for creating NPCs out of thin air, that's certainly a possibility.  The rules don't say you can't, although the new selves typically come with existing gear and/or connections to the world already, which sort of implies otherwise. 

Like I said in my first post, I think one of the key things to think about when playing the Macaluso is your motivation.  Why are you here?  Are you simply observing humanity by going among them?  Are you trying to protect them and lift them out of their misery?  Or do you have some more nefarious purpose, perhaps trying to finish the work of the Apocalypse and wipe them out once and for all?  Are you a guardian angle or a scourging demon?

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Radan

  • 25
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 10:45:12 AM »
As I understood the rules, *count as gang* is even for the harm, not? Even if NOT (and  thenn please publish WHY NOT), then still the 1 harm should not be always as fatal as for normal NPC. The Macacuso (propper spelling by the book;)) has no reason to be afraid of pain or death of one body (even more and even at once - up to 3 - 4 ;)). If the harmed Macaluso body is hard +2 (or even +3 with character advancement), than with NTBFW the 1 harm could be not the end (just in battle!), especially if well rolled against or so.
     By the way, the under the line advancement "+ 1 to any stat" - can be taken even as the first advanncement? And anyway, when taken to for example hard - will the +1 go to all boodies? Becauuse if yes, then with NTBFW and the one mind coordination, the harm should be not so fatal.
     As you posted, dear Munin, iif twoo small gangs means medium etc, then see this: 2 macaluso NNTBFW  bodies = 2 small gangs = one medium + 2 other bodies (if havinng 4) = two medium gangs making LARGE GANG,, which is near the *army effect* with the cordination. Then the mallacuso IF HAVING A GANG(s!) (why "only" followers as advancement?) and NTBFW and leadership (!) can make even some overkill! ;). But even without the followers - what about the "Frenzy" move (and use it to MORE MOBS AT ONCE)?...:
"Frenzy: When you speak the truth to a mob, roll+weird. On a
10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 1. Spend your hold 1 for 1 to make
the mob:.
• unite and fight for you as a gang (2-harm 0-armor size
appropriate)."

But what I like even more is the possibility to use the brainer move(s) more times nearly at once at one target or to more targets independently (up to 3 - 4, but even more with  appropriate advancement). Just have enough violating gloves ;).  Or (or AND)..: Use of the "Direct-brain whisper projection" move at one target more times (nearly at once) will be REALLY GOING AGGRO!


"NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH: in battle, you count as a gang
(3-harm gang small), with armor according to the circumstances."

"To sum up: a gang works pretty much exactly like a weapon and
armor, but has its NPCs’ personalities, and they’re the ones who
suffer the harm."
"...her armor determines
how much harm she suffers. Same thing with gangs."

"If there’s a size mismatch, each step the attacker is bigger
adds +1harm, and each step the attacker is smaller knocks off
-1harm:
A guy or two hits a small gang for -1harm. A small gang hits a
guy or two for +1harm."

"1-harm: a few injuries, one or two serious, no fatalities.
...
With a strong, present leader, a gang will hold together if it
suffers up to 4-harm."


As I published before, keeping well being for 3 - 4 (and more) bodies and also the ONE mind (!) with much more complicated relationships can be enough as motivation, not? ;).
     Because the macaluso have HUMAN BODIES and at least partially human personality (or MORE PERSONALITIES?), then there is no reason to "kill all humans" or so. On the other side, the macaluso can behave nearly like that way if seeeing the other humanns more like new body shells for (any)SELF. ;) That would be (kind of) Apocalypse Vampire (evil gets even worse), not?! ;)
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Can someone please explain the malacuso?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2014, 11:57:10 PM »
On the topic of the Collective as a Gang: To be perfectly honest I see little reason why one move, not to be fucked with would ever apply to a single character more then once in the same instance. If you have three or four bodies fighting simultaneously in the same battle, I'd be inclined to say that you count as a gang. You'd not be a small gang, you'd just track harm on a 6 tick clock shared by the collective for that battle. The gang rules provide a more organic way to handle mass combat, specifically for NPCs (to which the Macaluso is most similar). If you took not to be fucked with, then it would apply once, counting you as a small gang. If the MC was particularly lenient, then it might count as a medium sized gang, although I see little reason for that.

Isolated, each body with NTBFW would have 2-3 harm before death and count as a 3 harm small gang. They'd deal one more damage and suffer one less per size category higher as normal. This wouldn't change the number of harm ticks or how severe each instance of harm is to that isolated body.

If you had the collective gather all together, you'd get to use the higher of each of the stats and have somewhat similar durability as all the other players by using the gang harm counter. Since you're still one mind, and one PC, I dont see any real reason to award the size advantage. Counting the harm as a gang provides a benefit all on its own (and risk), even if they still counted as a collection of individuals and didn't get the size bonus. Then giving them NTBFW increases the size as normal.

Remember gangs are more durable as a whole, but less durable in their parts. So while that Gunlugger might suffer 5 harm and be nearly dead limping off, he's not lost anything yet. Meanwhile 5 harm dealt to a Macaluso collective would have all but one of the forms fatally wounded or dead. This would also keep to the spirit of the fiction because it wouldn't make the Macaluso turn the Gunlugger move into something more then what it was for the Gunlugger. Instead, it would allow them to keep approximately the same power level handled differently, as per the fiction. Which is far more interesting then trying to find a shortcut to break the rules as written. As always, you're more then welcomed to handle this in anyway you and your MC agree upon. The a risk to fighting with all the Macaluso's parts inside a single battle, is that if they all die in the same fight, the MC is clearly within their rights to say that's the end of that. You're dead. So talk it over with the group and see what everyone wants to do. It's no fun having someone else's ideas of immortality shoved down your throat, especially if it doesn't flow with the fiction.

On the topic of Frenzy: I feel that this also brings the mob frenzy, as described above, in line with its uses with other classes. It should be no more effective then if any other PC would be using that mob. In keep mind that the larger of the two gangs should determine the value of harm dealt. This could alter the NTBFW to 2 harm x size gang if the frenzied mob was the larger. Also, you should keep in mind that neither the Macaluso nor the Hocus have leadership or pack alpha naturally, and without one of the abilities that mob is going to break when it starts to suffer real harm.

On the topic of Multiple Simultaneous moves: I need to reiterate the difference between four people use this move and one macaluso uses this move from any of four different sources. The move applies to the whole. If you go aggro on a person, then part or the whole goes aggro on them. You don't get to go aggro on them four different times simultaneously. If the collective together makes a move on someone, they all together do it once, or part of them do it once. This mindset should apply to every move in any playbook. So getting four violation gloves to brain-puppet someone four times at once is pretty ridiculous. If it were being done as a collective to simultaneously target three or four different npcs (and you had 3-4 rare to find violation gloves...), then that's another thing all together–but I'd still be tempted to say that its a single roll and the effects all are combined as well. So in the case of in brain puppet strings the hold would apply to the target's collectively and the suggestion had to be the same in each of their brains. So if you spent 1 hold to cause 1-harm, then it would either deal 1 harm to that single guy, or 1 harm to all of them, but in either case it would use up 1 of the possible 3 hold. For the above unlikely example, to do it simultaneously might also require an acting under fire roll. Which could determine how many are effectively targeted by the move, or if the complex attempt screwed up your chances.

On the topic of Sustaining Influence:Personally, I'd be inclined to say that there would need to be a time lapse between one part of the collective dying and the next being brought into play. So as more of the parts die, the surviving parts might actually get threatened and seek to quickly get the fuck out to spread the collective out into the masses again. That would be far more cool to me then an immortal man-meat-grinder. However, that's just my own opinion.

On the topic of +1 any stat: The +1 any stat is clearly listed below the first improvement line break. Which suggests, like all the moves listed below the line, that they can only be taken as advanced improvements. Meaning that you would not be able to take the +1 any stat as a Macaluso before you've taken five other improvements.

Keep in mind that to give a Macaluso gang armor, you'll need to pay for it for each member of the collective. So when the armor gets torn up and shredded by the bullets or other harm, it'll be surprisingly expensive to keep outfitting the Sustaining Influence reinforcements. This applies the same with all rare or hard-to-find find equipment. That's up to the MC to determine whats easy to find and what's not however.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 12:17:31 AM by Ebok »