For the most part, your rebels in Voidheart Symphony are people who brushed up against the castle in their day-to-day lives, seen its impact on the city, and decided to take up arms against it. The Inhuman comes to the group from an altogether different route – they were created by the castle, whether they’re a minion who went rogue or an ordinary human transformed by its taint. Can the other rebels trust them? And how will they form a new identity for themselves, away from their progenitor?
The void doesn’t understand you, and hates you for it. I’m not sure I get you either, but I love every second.
The Inhuman stands apart from the city, and from the castle. They use their castle-granted abilities to fight back against it, breaking down its hierarchies and channeling the hunger of the void to consume its agents. But their inhuman nature sets them apart from the mortal world. They have trouble blending in with humanity, getting the resources they need to survive, or form strong relationships with new people.
Inspirations: Aegis in Persona 3, Tobias in Animorphs, Teddy in Persona 4.
The Inhuman and the Crew
It’s quite likely that the crew are the most formative people in the Inhuman’s life. They might be the ones teaching them how to be a person, or the people responsible for the Inhuman’s creation in the first place. But what’s the particular dynamic your Inhuman seeks out?
Creatures of the castle draw on the primal darkness of the human psyche. As the Moon, you’re a creature of chaos and illusion, nightmares and obsession. You’re the crew’s route into the impossible landscapes of the subconscious, and one of them is particularly obsessed with you for reasons they can’t quite explain. When you hang out, there’s no mechanical effects, but you have free rein to paint the scene in whatever dreamlike, hallucinatory colours you desire. In the city, you can consult your dreams for guidance, but it’s a coinflip – on a heads you learn something important and get a bonus dealing with it, but on a tails it’s distressing. You might choose to get fleeting disadvantage for the next day, but isn’t it more fun to pick ‘realise something uncomfortable about yourself’? And in the castle, you cut loose with wild and chaotic transformations, sprouting wings, tentacles, armour plates and more. The greater your bond with the crew, the more you’ll be able to twist your body to aid them.
Pick the Moon if: You want your mundane shell to house a primal nightmare of chaos and illusion.
Maybe what you used to be isn’t as interesting as what you might become. As the Star, you’re a creature of untapped potential, and one of the other rebels is helping you find out what that is. You’re a fount of creative energy – when you hang out with someone, you can show them what you’re working on and give them insight into their other relationships. In the city, you can always find an unexpected path. Ask the Architect for insight, and they’ll let you know where would be useful to go next. And finally, in the castle, you can awaken that potential – gaining temporary access to a Castle Move from a playbook no-one else is using.
Pick the Star if: You want to be a bright point of light promising to become something entirely new.
It’s perhaps a cliche that the Death card represents transformation instead of mortality – though if you pick this arcanum, it might represent both. You used to be one thing, and now you’re something else. That could mean you’re a ghost, or an AI housed in a new robot body, or a pet who got too close to the castle and gained a human mind. One of the rebels knew you before all that went down, and you’ll need to reckon with how that affects your relationship. Do they support how you are now? Do you wish you could return to the previous state? When you hang out with another rebel, your questions about their regrets and worries pierce to the heart of them. They can lie, but both of you will know if they do. In the city, you can push people to see how they’re stuck in harmful patterns. The more in tune you are with this spirit of transformation, the better that’ll go for each of you. And in the castle, you can cut out part of another rebel to save their mundane life from their castle-based injuries, or push back the encroaching void.
Pick Death if: You want to transform other’s lives, just as you’ve been transformed.
Moves and Powers
The Inhuman, more than any other playbook, gains strange powers as the Shadow floods into them. Here’s what that lets them do.
Simple and powerful, Unnatural Form lets you showcase your inhuman body’s strengths – and avoid harm in the bargain. Castle Guide is similarly effective – so long as you’re with them, the group’s attempts to travel the castle always bring them closer to their goal and you spot hidden details about the landscape. Soul Bond lets you become another character’s familiar, tapping into one of their moves and letting you always be there to help them. And finally, Child of Lilith is niche but very cool – when you have an opportunity to destroy one of the more potent minions of the castle, you can instead stay your hand and forge a lasting Covenant with them. Note that unlike other ‘recruit a minion’ abilities, this doesn’t earn you shrouds, and can form a lasting partnership with other castle denizens.
You’re already strange – how do you get stranger as the Shadow pours into you? Well, My True Form is a pretty direct route to that, letting you tap into the castle to grow new limbs and organs as your heart desires. Apparition’s Blade is the offensive counterpart, letting you shroud your weapons in the void’s hunger to slice through defences, reach across incredible distances, or whatever extra tag you prefer.
And then there’s the utility powers. With Ghost Eater you can take on the powers of minions you defeat, or sacrifice the consumed minion to hold the castle’s corruption at bay. And with Psychopomp you can use the castle-shard as a gate to far stranger places. Visit the inner landscape of someone’s psyche, the place where dead things go, or even the source of the castle – perfect for a final confrontation.
For your shadow look, you have the opportunity to truly define what your ideal self looks like. Is it more human than your form in the city, or less? Does it reflect your origins, or where you want to end up?
The Mundane World
More that the other playbooks, the Inhuman has a significant choice to make in the mundane world – how, exactly, they blend in with humanity. Are they a Pretender, trying to convince those around them they’re absolutely ordinary? Are they an Interloper living on the fringes of society, doing what they can to use supernatural powers to help humanity? Or are they a Lurker who doesn’t even try to be a normal human, instead presenting as an animal, a haunting spirit, or a fearsome monster? Whichever you choose, you’ll get advantage on checks against one clock and disadvantage on another, as you’re not quite present in society in the same way as other rebels.
The Inhuman has a unique perspective on the castle, and a key role in the crew. They can do things no-one else can, and bring their friends along for the ride. Humanity’s so crucial to Voidheart Symphony – finding the joy and beauty in everyday life, and the Inhuman gives you a great vehicle to explore that. You get to throw yourself into society from a fresh perspective, and truly work out who you want to be.
And looking at the society from a fresh perspective is something our last playbook is well familiar with. Tune in next time to hear more about the keenly perceptive Watcher!