LEECH: The Medicaid

Expanding on the Options

Now that you've had a chance to look over what you can have, I suppose you might want to know more about what it really MEANS. Those little one-line descriptions the Backrubs and Kiss-Up Lines get up front is nice enough as far as it goes, but you want to know what it MEANS. Greedy, greedy. Well, you'll make a fine Leech, then.

The Kiss-Up Lines were first back there, so they'll go first here. They take some time, so you may just want to read the ones you actually can have. Or you may want to read up on everyone else, so when one of the other players tries to do something, you can jump in and say, "Hey, YOU can't do that! Storytiller, tell him he can't do that!" Storytillers love that sort of thing.

ANIMOSITY: Animosity concerns your basic enmity and hatred of all mankind. It sums up your repressed hopes and fears, your fundamental misanthropy, and your will to take it out on anyone who gets in your way. While Leeches who don't have this Kiss-Up Line may still be offensive animals, they're usually not as comfortable with it.

Many Leeches with this Kiss Up Line don't realize it. They think it's just their unique personality, and consider other people simple-minded creatures for taking them so literally.

Long of the Feast - While most dinner guests aren't intelligent enough to be worthy of any long discourse, it can be worth it when you can use it to overstay your welcome. Trapping some poor sod in a corner and watching them squirm, or seeing how long it takes for your Host or Hostess to finally break down and make up some story about having a 4:30am flight to catch the next day, are favorite pastimes for Leeches with this Kiss-Up Line.

The player should role Hi + Lodge (or any other set that corresponds with their beastly behavior) to determine how long they can stretch it before getting thrown out, at one hour per success. Note that only after the Leeches Animosity rating has increased is there a chance that they'll be invited back to the same place.

Call of the Child -- Your petty cruelty has grown so childish now that you may throw a serious temper tantrum, complete with screaming, crying, throwing rare and valuable breakables, and so forth. Role Urrrgh + Nervous Tics (or Ugh + Flaw, if you're really trying to break things). The sound will carry farther in the relative peace of the wilderness, so it's less effective in a big city.

1 Success: You can be heard by anyone within about a city block/half a mile
2 Successes: Anyone within 2 blocks/one mile gets an earful
3 Successes: Disturb 5 city blocks or five country miles
4 Successes: Rattle the windows half a mile away, or scare the wildlife 7 miles away
5 Successes: Everyone in a full mile, or ten miles away in less civilized climes

Street Whispers --- While the Call of the Child is an effective way of getting attention, sometimes it's better to vent your hatred of your fellow man in ways less traceable to you. With Street Whispers, the Leech has learned to simply drop a comment in the presence of, say, an orderly, without even looking at them, as if you were just muttering to yourself and didn't even realize they were there or that you were speaking aloud.

Note, however, that the intended rumour can't be too complex, or it will be too much forgotten to pass on, or too much changed before it can spread. Hence, "I can't believe Billy slept with John's wife" is good, while, "I can't believe Billy was involved with the assassination of JFK, by way of the aliens from Area 51, who transported him through time using the secret pyramids at the Bermuda Triangle and implanted little nanotech robots created by the CIA, circa 2150, that controlled his actions until their circuitry was disrupted when he fell threw the temporal wormhole... or, were they? Hmm..." As tempting as it may be to bring into people's minds the insidious worry that Billy might still be controlled by aliens, something that bulky just isn't going to go anywhere. The simple rumors, however, can be deeply implanted, so that the persist for some time, perhaps even growing stronger in the face of Billy's increasingly red-faced protestations.

The player should roll Hmmm + Intimation against an LT of 4, though the LT may vary by circumstances (e.g. Billy's the nephew of the head of the AMA {Auspice rating of 7}, so no one really wants to risk annoying him.) The chart below should suggest how fast and pervasively the rumor will spread:

1 Success: Gets around the office within a couple months
2 Successes: Includes the target's social circle in just over a month
3 Successes: Reaches their superior/wife/whatever in a few weeks
4 Successes: Complete strangers are giving them funny looks by the end of the week
5 Successes: Tomorrow's headline on a nationally syndicated newspaper

Sharing of Spites ---- Starts with inviting someone else to a bar or similar setting, to share a few drinks. The Leech will spend the time looking into their eyes and muttering, ranting, or detailing with cold logic (depending on the individual) why the world is as bad as it is. When they're done, the subject will share the Leech's general animosity towards the world at large, though they won't actually get any points in Animosity.

The trouble, of course, is in not getting too carried away yourself. Leeches using this Kiss-Up Line tend to froth at the mouth like a rabid animal, waving their arms and glaring about them. After a particularly exciting rant, the Leech must roll Oh-Ho + Subtle-Fugue to set their very good points out of their mind and keep focused on more important goals than tearing the curtains down and screaming out the window.

On the plus side, unless the subject has some special ability themselves to resist, you just roll Hmmm + Flaw to see how long their new sullen mood lasts.

1 Success: Until they sober up
2 Successes: Until the hangover goes away
3 Successes: At least a full day
4 Successes: Up to a week
5 Successes: You've truly converted a new misanthrope to the cause. Congratulations.

The Raving Greased ----- By the time a Leech has built up *this much* Animosity, they have attained an indisputable understanding of humanity and society's intrinsic flaws. Armed with this knowledge, and probably some home-made pamphlets explaining it all, the Leech can really cut loose and go wild. Note however that to use this Kiss-Up Line in public requires a Hum-a-Ditty of less than 8; if you're at 8 or higher, you have too much to lose. Too much invested in the system you despise. Don't you just HATE that?

If you're at 7 or lower, however, print out a few hundred of your pamphlets and by all means, hit the street corners! Roll your Eureka + S'truth and try to whip up a mob. You can actually make the roll even if you are at 8 or higher, but you'll have to get a bunch of successes off the bat for it to mean anything. If your roll succeeds at all, you can start a riot, according to the following chart:

1 Success: You whip up a major frenzy that does hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage, but in your crazed state, you do it in front of a friend or police officer who can identify you later as the instigator. (As in, "See ya later, instigator!")
2 Successes: They go crazy, but trample you in their hurry. You're badly battered (lose 2 Rice Cake levels) and can't move very quickly for the rest of the day.
3 Successes: It just works
4 Successes: Not only are you successful, but if you have too high a Hum-A-Ditty and were trying this anyway, with this many successes you can spend a Billfold point to hire some shady character with unsightly stubble to do it for you.
5 Successes: You not only got a shady character with unsightly stubble to do it for you, but you were so convincing he went right out and did it for free.

AUSPICE: This Kiss-Up Line entails a patron in a position to actually help you out. Exactly who and what they are is up to the Storytiller; the character generally won't know. Auspice patrons are usually quite secretive. Possibilities include higher level Leeches, other health officials, politicians, mafia dons, high-powered attorneys, etc. Exactly what they are will affect exactly what they CAN do for you; what they WILL do, and how easily you can contact them, depends on how well you Kiss Up to them.

High-End Signage - After the secret signal of sharpening five pencils, you can mail to your hidden patron a form or letter you'd like signed, and if it's fairly reasonable, they'll probably do it. It can take anywhere from one to several weeks; first it has to wend its way through the postal system. Then it gets lost on their desk. Finally they find it, look it over, and sign it. Then it gets lost on their secretary's desk. Eventually it falls into the trash bin and gets thrown out. Someone digging through the trash looking for computer passwords happens across the stamped, addressed envelope, and out of a sense of common human decency, drops it in the mail. Then it has to wend its way through the postal system again before you finally get it. When you do have it, however, waving it in front of anyone who recognizes your patron's authority lets you double your Hi or Hmmm scores for purposes of pushing them around.

Additionally, your patron may occasionally send you warnings of such dangers as upcoming budget cuts. These premonitions are usually dictated to the secretary, who only half-knows shorthand and who has a rather nasty sense of humor, so they're often confusing. However, they can still be quite handy.

By the way, don't think you'll be finding out who they are from this. Leeches usually have pretty bad handwriting, but secret patrons put them all to shame.

Oral Reception -- You still haven't seen your patron, but you can talk to them directly now. The biggest drawback to this method is that it's hard to judge their mood over the phones and voice distorters; the Storytiller should secretly roll an Oh-Ho + Derive with an LT of 3 to see if the character can guess right as to how their patron is feeling. If the roll botches, tell them something completely off and let them really mess up their request and annoy their benefactor for weeks to come.

It can still take a while to get through; first you dial in to the automated system. After about five minutes spent working your way through that, you can get to their secretary, who puts you on hold. Eventually she'll ring you through, presuming she doesn't come back to claim your patron is out at lunch, and after a few rings, they'll actually answer. Usually. Once you have them, try not to take up too much of their time, but they might be willing to talk to someone who's giving you trouble to kind of smooth matters over.

The Spirited Torch --- At this point, your patron *really* likes you. You'll know a little more about them, too...such things as their race, sex, and age, and you're better at gauging their emotions (Your LT on phone calls with them is now only 5.) Furthermore, your letters now only take a couple of days there and back, as you can send them FedUp, you're listed on the secretary's Priority list, and they FedUp them right back to you.

Additionally, since they like you so much, your benefactor will not only support your actions, but actively praise you personally. This can extend to job recommendations, sending their secretary in as a character witness at you trial, and otherwise letting people know that you're one of their favorites. Roll Hi + Sir Viva!, with the LT depending on the age and impressionability of the people you want your boss to impress for you. The number of successes impacts how strong the praise is.

Telephony ---- When you attain this stage of Auspice, your backer gives you a special cell phone. It has one button. It calls them, and that's it. You'll ring right to them, any time of day or night. If you call late at night, however, your boss is likely to be rather incoherent; the Storytiller should play this out with such responses as, "Huh? Whaa? Whazz'r you callin' 'ere for, this tim'a nigh'? Bett'r be damimp'rtant, 'sall I gottasay." As is apparent, someone just roused from bed at 3:00 am can be quite difficult to understand.

If it ISN'T important, the phone will self destruct, and your Auspice rating immediately reverts to Submarine.

Astute Protection - When a Leech has this level of Auspice, their patron has expanded their consciousness to include you. You can travel anywhere on the Earth, and they'll still know generally where you are and what's going on. If you arrange to go to the Moon, they'll probably watch it on the news.

Even if you still don't actually know who they are (and by now, you actually might), it's usually known at this point that Auspice patrons are motionless, in a state of torpitude, sustained by a silver spoon. However, their reach, through agents and technology, is extensive and powerful. Catastrophes you're not even aware of may be averted.

In game terms, whenever something's moving through the system (whatever system your patron has influence over) that might harm you, the Storytiller should roll your Auspice, with an LT depending on the secrecy of the danger. Depending on how many successes you get, your patron may avert some or all of the trouble, whether by actually stopping it or simply by diverting it to someone else.

When two people each have Astute Protection, their patrons may clash. In this instance, they'll probably sense each other's machinations and get to talking it over instead. How this turns out is entirely up to the Storytiller, but if it doesn't matter too much or you just want to use the dice for it, roll each character's Hi + Auspice to determine which is, at that moment, the more important to their respective patron. If it comes out equal, both patrons will probably withdraw and let things take their natural course. If one gets more Successes than the other, subtract the loser's Successes from the winner's and apply the remainder towards averting trouble for the winner's protege.

CELEBRITY: Some Leeches get more famous than most, attracting a circle of fans and perhaps even becoming household names. The methods for this vary. Some publish a book and do the talk show thing, some do guest appearances on Dr. Skinn: Medicine Babe or Duckie Howitzer, M.D., while others go on murder sprees.

However they do it, your Celebrity rating can be added to your Hoo-Baby in dealing with anyone who might recognize you. If someone doesn't who you'd like to, and you're so crass as to point it out, make a roll of their Oh-Ho plus your Celebrity to see if they can place you.

Furthermore, you can, at any time, spend Billfold points to attract a number of groupies, one for each Billfold spent up to a maximum of your Celebrity rating. These groupies can perform additional tasks for you, though nothing terribly complicated. Fetching coffee, standing in the way of assailants, or swooning are all good suggestions.

However, there is a limit to this effect, simply because even groupies will only take so much stress. You may gain Hoo-Baby + Celebrity up to a total rating of 10, but to go any higher than that would require buying future supplements.

DOMICILE: This one's easy. If you have this Kiss-Up Line, you have your own house. This means you can invite the boss, chicks, or other people you might want to influence over, ply them with dinner, and hopefully influence their opinions of you. Exactly how cool a house you own is, of course, determined by how much of a Kiss-Up it is for you.

Commune - It's not, strictly speaking, YOUR house. You share it with at least a dozen other people, at least half of whom are hippies. Clearing your housemates out when you have an important meeting can be difficult, because they only seem to understand simple, one-word statements. Two words, and you've exceeded their attention span.

Mass Marketize -- You live in a tract home. It obviously COST a lot of money, but it's still a fairly small house with no actual yard or privacy, and you always pull into your neighbor's driveway, because they all look exactly alike. Doing anything to make yours look different would be a breach of contract. You can't even decorate the inside the way you want. But, boy, are you paying for the privilege, and for some people, that's enough. You can, however, try to plant flowers in the windows. The number of successes determines what you get.

1 Success: Ragweed and poison oak
2 Successes: Dandelions
3 Successes: Marigolds, petunias, daisies, etc.
4 Successes: Roses, or something that just doesn't match your local climate
5 Successes: A strange and unusual plant in your window that people won't be able to help but notice

The Forge to Fully Mine --- A custom designed and built house. It may not LOOK like much more than an ordinary house, but you can have secret rooms, or sliding bookshelves, or stairways that lead to blank walls, and all the shelves are just right for your height. If you want anything really special, a Domicile + Antiquity or Domicile + Tech-Parity roll may be required, of course.

Air Conditioning ---- Your house is entirely comfort-controlled. Effective temperature control, comfortable furniture, good lighting, the works. It's just a nice place to be. So nice, in fact, that people actually want to be there. Want to be there enough that while they are there, you can get them to do things for you so that they don't have to leave just yet. Roll your Hmmm or Hi + Inertness and ask them to get you a drink while they're up, toss you the remote control, or bark like a dog.

1 Success: The subject starts to do as you request, but is so comfortable they get distracted and forget.
2 Successes: They'll do it as long as it's not too weird
3 Successes: Anything that's not actually a crime against Nature, but you'd be surprised how annoying that little restriction can get
4 Successes: You can ask anything not immediately life threatening, really, though they may get a roll to resist
5 Successes: Anything. Anything at all. Bring out the comfy chair...

Posh Mansion ----- More than thirty rooms. Gleaming white marble floors. Expensive carpets. Stained glass windows. An indoor pool. Heck, you make it up...it's your dream house. The only problem is with the servants: It takes time to get them working smoothly. In essence, once a day the Leech rolls Hmmm + Fine Dance to see that the various maids, butlers, cooks, etc. are properly choreographed. If it's a success, everything's fine; if not, a Billfold point must be spent to keep everyone in line.

ATTITUDE: This Kiss-Up Line gives a Leech great resistance to anything that might hurt their self-image. The Leech with an Attitude just walks around like they own the world, and brush off any evidence to the contrary. You can add your Attitude to any Hi or Hmmm roll that entails being a jerk to someone or passing yourself off as bigger than you are.

Attitude provides another special benefit to Leeches who possess it: they can wear sunglasses without looking like dorks. This is harder than it may sound for people in the medical profession, but if you have this Kiss-Up Line, you may roll Attitude + Hoo-Baby on first entering an area to come off as just *incredibly* cool and sexy. Exact effects are up to the Storytiller and how many successes you get. If your first attempt is a simple failure, you may roll Attitude + Whee at any time by taking *off* your sunglasses in a suave manner, but if you fail here the frames get tangled in your hair and you yank a bunch out.

However, there is a limit to this effect, simply because other people will only take so much stress. You may gain Hi + Attitude up to a total rating of 10, but to go any higher than that would require buying future supplements.

OBSEQUATE: Obsequate is in many ways the epitome of the Kiss-Up Lines. It is, in truth, your ability to kiss up. This comes so naturally within the hierarchy of the Leeches that those who have this Kiss-Up Line can continue doing it indefinitely, long past the point where a normal person would rebel and accept a fast-food job rather than have to put up with any more of their bosses crap. Often, no roll is even needed; such blatant displays of humility are enough to convince most people that you're definitely in their camp without any doubt.

If Obsequate is used against the patron of another Leech's Auspice, an opposed roll must be made (Lodge + Auspice vs. Me, Too + Obsequate). If you win, the other Leech's superior is overcome by your flattery and goes along with your request.

Be warned, however, that children often see through Obsequate, and have been known to make such rude comments as, "Mommy, why is his nose so brown?"

Bloke of Sho' Does - Your skills at Obsequating are still highly undeveloped, but you're good at building someone else's ideas up in their own mind. Once a suggestion has been made, you can come up with some explanation (no matter how frail) as to how this is simply the most brilliant idea ever. Since they probably already like the idea, this is relatively easy as long as you get moving on it quickly; if it takes too long, or if someone else points out that it's a dumb idea, everything falls apart. So long as the basic criteria are met, however, no roll needs to be made; people WANT to hear how smart they are. (Go ahead. Tell me how true that is.)

Varnish -- The fine art of the shoe-shine. Your power has now advanced to the point where even in front of a large group of witnesses, you can suddenly vanish under the table and start licking someone's shoes. Even if you're completely out in the open, it'll take most people a moment to realize where you've gone as you suddenly drop into a crouch. Most people, on witnessing such a craven display, are stunned with disbelief for a moment. Shoes aren't even the only thing it can work for; if you don't mind brushing extensively, this can be great for keeping the bathtub clean or bringing the kitchen floor to a shine.

It's also quite useful for getting behind an opponent in combat. *ahem* I'm sure you can think of many other uses on your own, but ultimately, this is a family game.

Another aspect of this power is to make people forget anything else that was going on at the time. The sight of a respected doctor suddenly dropping to his knees in obeisance tends to have that effect. Roll Hoo-Baby + Subtle-Fugue against their Oh-Ho + S'Truth (or whatever strikes the Storytiller as appropriate); if you succeed, all they'll remember is you groveling. However, you'll want to leave immediately, and most restaurants and country clubs won't want to see you again; Splortches on this roll have been known to damage Tee-Timer or Lodge ratings.

Rose Scented Feces --- This pungent ability allows you to espouse utterly heartfelt views that vary wildly according to the company you keep. A Leech with this Kiss-Up Line who had sunk so low as to go into politics could probably run convincingly on two or more tickets simultaneously. The player should roll Hmmm + Yin-Guises to see how well they've projected their supposed outlook.

1 Success: You sound like you read about the idea in a magazine or something, but don't really know what you're talking about.
2 Successes: You come across as convinced, but if you espouse more than one view in the same setting (i.e. the democratic mayor and a republican senator are at the same party, and you're trying to hit both of them up), someone will notice and remember.
3 Successes: You successfully present yourself as what you want them to think you are.
4 Successes: You're not only convinced, but convincing. Not only can you debate the points well enough to potentially bring others over to "your" side, but no one will remember later that you used to feel any other way.
5 Successes: As with four, but at the slightest hint that the person you're trying to impress actually feels differently than you thought they did, you can change your arguments without having to re-roll.

Unsought Presents ---- You're now so good at truckling that you can guess things your target might like, and just go out and get them. Whether you sign these or just leave them as a secret admirer, this is a great way to influence people's minds; they won't be able to forget about you.

If you just want to leave flowers or something, you can do that automatically. If you want to give more expensive gifts like big-screen TVs or small countries, it will probably cost Billfold points.

Karaoking the Blathering ----- This incredibly manipulative power lets you use singing to devastating effect. By rolling Hi + Muzak, you can serenade your target with songs calculated to bring up a particular emotion; treat this as though you'd given them a Pill, as your singing affects their mood for the next hour or so. Of course, this is likely to have some effect on anyone who can hear you, with your one roll applying to anyone in easy listening range.

PATIENTS: This Kiss-Up Line simply represents a regular clientele. These don't actually translate to extra Billfold points, because the steady income they generate is already factored into your cost of living. However, because you don't have to spend so much time scrambling to lure suckers in, you get more time to read the newspapers or think about the situation; hence, your Patients rating can be added to any Aha roll or any roll to project calm or a sense of responsibility.

There is a limit to this, however, because your secretary can only juggle so much stress. You may gain Aha + Patients up to a total rating of 10, but to go any higher than that would require buying future supplements. (Think there's a pattern here? Try Amber.)

PRETENSE: Something about you just comes across as incredibly glamorous. This Kiss-Up line isn't a matter of having power or influence...it's a matter of LOOKING like you have power and influence. Note that it's a great improvement over the Sure-Are-Classy Liability in that with Sure-Are-Classy, YOU just think you're superior. With Pretense, you can convince other people, too.

Aww - A Leech with the Pretense Kiss-Up Line invariably feels a condescending pity for everyone around them.

Essentially, when someone around you expresses pride in an accomplishment or goes whining about their problems, you can react with such a patronizing attitude that even if they don't see their relative insignificance, everyone else around will.

Have the player roll Hmmm + Yin-Guises as they express their `deep concern'. The other person may resist if they have anything good to roll for it. Each success up on the Leeches side reduces by one the number of people willing to listen to the whiner/gloater. What's more, this can be used over and over on successive turns until everyone's gone back to work. On a Splortch, it backfires, and they not only get pity/praise for whatever they're blathering about, but more people join in to give you dirty looks for being such a "bad sport".

Enhancement -- Using Enhancement, the Leech can make what they DO do look even better. This can mean almost anything, from gluing sequins to your clothes to retelling the story about how you accidentally spilled coffee on a would-be bank robber's clothes in a manner that makes you sound positively heroic. The big limit is that there has to be SOME genuine basis to build up, and you have to actively play it, which means it only effects the people you point it out to. The smaller limit is that after a while, the sequins fall off, or the real story gets out...there's just no way to avoid it. What's more, the people you were showing off to will tend to think a bit worse of you for it if they're around for the revelations. Roll your Hoo-Baby + S'Truth to see how long the story lasts, with each success stepping up the unit of time (hour to day to week to month to year to century to millennium to eon, if you get eight successes.)

Implysion by Artifaction --- With this power, the Leech can equip themselves with a few accoutrements that will have people making up their OWN stories about why you're so cool. This saves you from the backlash of Enhancement, since YOU can't help it if people jump to conclusions. So you have a photograph signed by the President in your office, and have been overheard starting phonecalls off with, "Hey, Billyboy! How's the Al-meister?" You never SAID you were close friends, did you?

Just set a few props up and roll Aha + either Antiquity or Tech-Parity, depending on your choice of props. Your number of successes will be added to the Oh-Ho + Holistics (or otherwise appropriate) roll that everyone else who comes around will have to make; if they succeed, they make the connection you wanted them to. If someone doesn't, you can try using Billfold points to win them over anyway.

Summit ---- At this level, you will be admired from afar. People from all around will have heard of you, and while no one will be quite sure what exactly it is that you DO, they'll know they recognize your name from somewhere, so surely it's something important? This can come into play whenever you're dealing with someone who doesn't actually know you. People who've only seen you from across the room may still count, but those close to you - friends and co-workers - know better.

When you want to use it, roll your Hi + Cheat-or-Gyp. Normally the LT is 5, but if it's not a complete stranger, it drops to 3. If you've fooled them before, it's six, but if you've ever tried and failed, it's 1. If the Sun is in Leo and the moon is waxing, it's 4 regardless of these other factors. The number of successes you get indicates just how big they think you are; with one success, they recognize the name but don't have any real associations, while with five, they're half convinced you own the company they work for. How they actually react is still subject to individual variance, i.e. Storytiller cruelty.

Surely You Jesty - This incredibly defective power is much prized by those who have it, because it's capable of deflecting almost any attempt to harm or degrade the Leech who makes good use of it.

A Leech with Surely You Jesty is almost universally respected and feared. Almost no one would even think to confront them about anything (raise two illegitimate children at no cost). If anyone DOES, you sneer down your nose at them and say bitingly, "You MUST be joking." They'll have to roll something reasonable against an LT of ten minus your Hi + Sure-Are-Classy; unless they get at least one success, they have to back down. (Or pop a Pill to get over it.) This power is yet another reason the Trematore tend to be the dominant partner in relationships.

PARTYIN': This is the ability of a Leech to transform a group of people into a mass of writhing, twisting flesh making animalistic noises. No roll needs to be made; you just set out the food, and people will show up to eat it within a couple of turns. However, if you want it to be remembered as a really GOOD party, one Billfold point must be spent for the beginning of the party (for food, streamers, music, etc.), and another at the end (for Disturbing the Peace fines, paying the bouncers, and covering the musician's bar tabs. Note: If you hired the Blues Brothers, you must spend TWO Billfold points at the end of the party.) Inviting your superiors to a good party is not only a way to ingratiate yourself, but potentially also to gather blackmail material.

Those attending such parties have a tendency to take on odd traits for the duration, such as large pupils or an uncontrollable shaking. Bloodshot eyes and a hoarse voice can persist for a couple of days after.

Stream of Red Pills - These parties, fueled by bowls filled with red pills, can be very eerie. The pills (NOT, obviously, from your personal Pill stash, and not as high quality) give the attendees a rosy glow. Not literally, no; they just feel laid back, and words like "dude" and "groovy" start cropping up in the conversation. The major drawback to these parties is that while everyone gets along like lifelong friends while it's happening, nobody remembers anything the next day.

Wife's 'Slaws -- Either your wife or your father's wife (allegedly your mother) makes the BEST gol danged cole slaw in these here parts. Add to that some mashed taters, some baked beans, a couple cows worth of meat on the grill, and your personal homebrew "ginger beer", and you've got a backyard barbecue that'll draw 'em in from miles around. These are rather laid-back parties that will present you to good advantage as a down to earth good-ol'-boy.

Hearth Mauled --- Despised and feared by those with the Domicile Kiss-Up line, Hearth Mauled Parties have cost countless millions in property damage and fines over the years. Open up the booze, crank up the music, let your hair down, and cut loose. These parties not only will rarely impress your superiors, they will frequently get you banned from entire states. However, they're the best cover Leeches know for many deeds that must be kept secret...their major advantage is that nobody remembers anything the next day.

Meadow of the Feast ---- At this level, you can throw the equivalent of a convention or a southern revival...i.e. you take over an entire area (a park, a hotel, whatever) for several days of good food and bad fun. These Parties are excellent for impressing an entire *class* of people; just pick your target audience and aim the party at them. For example, host the Democratic National Convention, or a Baptist Revival, or a Gay Pride March...the possibilities are endless, and do include an Esteemed Gathering of Medical Personnel.

List ----- To associate with such legendary folk as the mayor, police chief, or local celebrities, this power is excellent. Many Leeches with this ability have described their problems turning to mist with the influence of such august personalities. With this ability, you have a select guest List that includes only the most popular and influential people in the region, to which you can add some people who might like to think they're among the most popular and influential people in the region, and who might indeed have a fair amount of influence over you personally. Moreover, as the host, you can't be thrown out of the party, and by being there, you quietly give the impression that you belong among such people. Plus, you can refer to them by their first names for a week, though affectionate nicknames are still out.

PHARMACURGY: Note: Pharmacurgy is the most complicated of all the Kiss-Up Lines, so I was sore tempted to ignore it until I got around to putting it in a later supplement. Just thank your lucky stars it got in at all.

The mystic arts of Pharmacurgy are held close secret by the Trematore, rarely practiced by any other Leech. In truth, when another Leech writes a supposed `prescription', they're just signing their secret name and jotting down a quick code as to your symptoms; when you take this to your local Trematore pharmacurgist, he looks at it and prescribes something that'll cover over your symptoms and perpetuate the myth.

It's probably important to not that having Pharmacurgy entails not just knowing the art, but having some kind of shop of your own. Sometimes it's just a little booth at a mall, while for others it's a real corner store all to yourself. Don't sweat it too much; usually it's staffed by teenagers working for under minimum wage with an "employee discount" of +20%. (Public education is great. These kids go cross-eyed at the thought of multiplying percentiles, so they never even notice that they're actually paying more than the regular customers.) Some kind Pharmacurgists pay even less by offering "lunch" as part of the pay, to be made up of a reasonable selection of the chips, hard candies, and lip gloss offered at the counter.

Fergit-You-Alls
So secretive are the Trematore that even at the first level of Pharmacurgy, they won't teach you a blasted thing. No, first the higher-level masters of Pharmacurgy make you lay a "groundwork" for "understanding" the "deep mysteries" of the "hidden arts". This usually seems to entail things like painting their houses, waxing their cars, and drinking a twelve pack of beer in under five minutes while a group of them watches and chants "chug it". This treatment tends to make Destroyer level Pharmacurgists rather bitter as they cling to the few scraps they're thrown. All you have access to at this point are common, over-the-counter things that, really, anyone could do, though the Pharmacurgists learn to do them particularly effectively.

When a Leech first gains Pharmacurgy, they can have the inventory needed for one Fergit-You-All. Getting more can't be done just by spending experience points; you have to go down to a corner store and buy some supplies. Which is no biggie, won't even cost a Billfold point, just let your Storytiller know you're doing it, is all. It may be possible to invent others as well.

The Rinse of the Naked Shavin': The smooth-faced (or legged) Leech would do well to avoid the inevitable cuts and burns of a normal razor. Pharmacurgists have easy access to electric razors that don't require cream, and lotions to soothe the skin.

Shake the Morning's Breath: This ten minute operation must be done immediately on waking, or the moment is lost. Basically, it entails brushing your teeth, using a bit of mouthwash, and remembering not to eat onions for breakfast.

Fumigate with Kindled Fire: Even the Trematore occasionally get fed up with pests living in their homes. Those with this Fergit-You-All know combinations of incense and common kitchen spices that can be safely burned in a small bowl to create smoke that, if it won't actually kill the little scuttlers, will at least chase them off for a while. They also know to sprinkle cinnamon around against ants.

Defection of Wooden Broom: Many Leeches have an aversion to sweeping the floors, for all that Piers have that particular knack for sweeping things under the carpet. Pharmacurgists with this Fergit-You-All are beyond that, however, with a range of alternative cleaning products, ranging from dustbusters to cans of spraypaint the same color as the floor or furniture they want `cleaned'.

Revel's Crutch: Even Leeches get hangovers. This Fergit-You-All of Pharmacurgy allows you to have ready, immediately on waking, an entire pot of strong coffee, several aspirin, a pair of dark glasses, and a set of fuzzy slippers so you don't even have to listen to your own footsteps until you're ready. Unfortunately, it can do nothing about obnoxious roommates who snuck out in the middle of the night to rent the gong from the local Buddhist temple.

Baths
One must be at least a Cruiser Pharmacurgist to be licensed to sell anything not strictly over-the-counter. As the second line is added to your boat, you learn to immerse yourself in one of the four Baths; specialties that will influence what kind of shop (or booth, or little black bag) you have, and what's available there. At each subsequent line, you can expand your inventory to include another. Many other Leeches like to refer to these as "Farms", out of a subtle animosity towards the Trematore...they just get a kick out of being able to say "He bought the Farm" after a Trematore has just purchased a new Bath. The first one you picked is known as your First, the second as your Second, the third will be referred to as your Third, and finally, the Last.

When a Bath is first earned, you get a small boat for it in the tub, automatically with the first line so it can float at least a little. Additional lines can be added with experience points. Lines in your First Bath cost two apiece, while they cost three apiece in your Second and Third, and because Trematore aren't above ripping each other off a little too, trying to build your Last boat costs four experience points per line.

Each time you do anything with any of these, you have to roll your current Pill power. If you succeed, you had everything in stock and you're cool; if the roll doesn't get any successes, however, you were out and had to dip into your personal stock, losing a Pill point. Don't Splortch on this roll. If you Splortch, you pull out your own bottle of Pills but drop it just as you get the child proof cap open, spilling them everywhere and losing your entire supply.

The Paste of Mud: The earliest learnings of the Trematore, this Bath includes mud-treatments themselves as well as things that can be gotten by mucking about in the mud (herbs, etc.) It's never admitted to by any Leech, for if people knew they could just grow their own medicine, they'd never spend 500 bucks for a single treatment.

The Pure of Names: Most Trematore willingly sell the generic, less expensive brands of medications, because they're cheaper for the Leech as well as for the consumer. Some, however, specialize only in the expensive stuff, and just charge that much more to make up the difference. Only small increases in the price are possible at lower levels, but those well immersed in this Bath of Pharmacurgy can double or even treble the usual cost and still get sales. Once a day, roll the Pharmacurgists' rating in The Pure of Names; every success gives them a new Billfold point, as they pocket the extra cash bilked out of their customers.

Booze, Mint or Vine: Alcohol may not technically be medicinal anymore, but it's a pretty fine distinction, at least in the minds of many Leeches. Such add-ons to the Pharmacurgist's trade rarely have the full range a devoted liquor store would have, so some concessions must be made; beer, peppermint schnapps, and wine are the usual choices. The Leech's rating in this Bath determines just how flooded their shop is with these products:

Never Can Tell: This Bath is the most erratic; the Leech has a distributor with some problems, but who occasionally just comes through, and can potentially get things no regular medical supply service can. The difficulty of a given procurement depends on how common and how restricted it is; it's tough (LT of 1) to order up anthrax samples, but easy (LT 8) to get a shipment of antacids.

The Leech can, at any time, put in a request for goods, and expect it within the week. When it arrives, the player must roll their Never Can Tell rating to try to get the delivery to actually match up with what they ordered. Unfortunately, this is especially difficult, so count the dice that *don't* succeed rather than those that did. If they have less than five dice to roll, the difference counts as automatic failures. Only if you have Never Can Tell at Carrier and all five dice succeed will you get exactly what you wanted.

1 Failure: Frogs. You get everything you wanted, but there are also three crates of live frogs.
2 Failures: Train. You'll get your stuff eventually, but rather than the express air mail you requested, they sent it by the slowest train route they could find. Allow six to eight weeks.
3 Failures: Wind-Up Toys. Half the shipment is of little mechanical toys instead.
4 Failures: Stork. Your supplier is trying out a new delivery method, to cut down on transportation costs. Your entire shipment gets mis-routed to an expectant mother in Believe-It-Or-Not New Mexico.
5 Failures: Postal Strike. Not only do you not get it at all, but the postal workers in your area go on strike; you can't even try for any deliveries for the next month.


I expect fretting about how to spend your measly three points for Kiss-Up Lines has probably gotten you all tense. Shoulders knotted, neck sore, the whole nine yards, eh? Well, relax. The Backrubs should make it easier. You get more points for them, they're almost as cool, and if you happen to want more, Killer Bee points go a very long way with them. Of course, I'll bet you still want to actually know what they ARE, so I'll explain them. I'm nice that way.

All-Lies - You kind of skipped the ol' med school thing. Normally, this would make it rather difficult to get a job as a Leech or convince anyone other than a Trequi to call you "Doctor", but you have carefully forged documents proving you spent eight years in med school. How good they are, of course, depends on your rating.

1: `Proof' of graduating at the bottom of your class from the "Skool Uv Hard Noks".
2: Evidence that you barely made it out of someplace no one's ever heard of, but at least it sounds feasible.
3: A good showing that you graduated easily from a recognized university.
4: Top of the class, valedictorian, from a prestigious institution.
5: Not only can you claim perfect grades right back through to Kindergarten, but your criminal record is clean, too.

Con Tracts - You own huge tracts of land. Unfortunately, this just means you own land - it doesn't replace or equate to the Domicile Kiss-Up Line, though they can go well together. Note that in a real emergency, you can liquidate your holdings, but selling in such a hurry tends to mean it goes to auction, and after taxes and broker fees etc., you don't get a whole lot. In practice, you can instantly convert a line of Con Tracts and gain a number of Billfold points equal to your former level. (e.g. you have Con Tracts at Battleship. You can drop that to Submarine and immediately gain 4 Billfold points.)

1: Bought a share in the Statue of Liberty from a nice man you met on the ferry
2: Own a "rustic cabin" in the "scenic, far from civilization" wilds of "beautiful, exotic Brazil". You've never seen it. You sent an expedition once, but no one came back.
3: Own some land in the mountains that you're told would be excellent farmland if it weren't quite so...vertical
4: Happen to have a stretch of land the government is thinking of building a highway on
5: An empty lot in the middle of a prime development zone

Frame - You have a particular ability to lay your mistakes at the feet of another. Whenever you're caught doing something wrong, roll your Frame + Holistics to explain how it's actually someone else's fault. The extent to which this actually gets you off the hook, even if it succeeds, will still depend on how many successes you get and the attitude of who you're talking to about this kind of victimism.

1: "_Dungeons That Drag On_ made me do it! Honest!"
2: "I got caught in a Martian mind control ray."
3: "I'm just a victim of society."
4: "I'd never have come to such a sad state if Mom hadn't loved my sister best."
5: "Ultimately, I think you'll agree it's Saddam Hussain's fault."

Generosity - This Backrub describes what a generous Leech you are. No, really, you're kind-hearted and love the little kiddies. *ahem* I'm not twitching, am I? Okay, okay, I give up; you don't care and the snot-nosed brats aren't good for much more than making bratwurst. But that doesn't mean you can't pretend. If you donate to a charity someone cares about, they'll like you better, and big donations almost anywhere can drum up good publicity. The most important thing about it, though, is that they often give back little trinkets, and the most popular are slightly larger billfolds with your initials on them. Hence, for every point in Generosity you have, you can fit an extra bill in your Billfold, raising your maximum over ten.

1: Gave to Citizens for Rush Limburger For President
2: A regular donor to the Save the Dodo Fund
3: Donate every year to the effort to Give Some Poor Slob You'll Never Meet A Turkey Dinner
4: The local orphanage, parenting clinic, retirement home, and mass grave are all named after you
5: You've actually been seen getting your own hands dirty helping to put up housing for the poor. Not only seen, but nationally televised. This is less a stroke of luck than many people think. It's not like you were there to put up the stupid housing, is it?

Nerd - While everyone else was out drinking beer and getting laid, you were sitting alone in the library reading a book. At the time, many of your fellow med students thought it was a waste of time, but just look at you now! You have your own library card, and still haven't had sex. In addition to its use in conducting research, your Nerd level is also added to Runt rolls; whenever you want to convince someone that you're absolutely *not* a threat in any way, roll Aha + Nerd.

1: Have your own library card
2: Access to non-public libraries
3: Own the entire Encyclopedia Australianica
4: Know how to search the Internet for things *other* than porn
5: When you absolutely must, can stop and ask for directions

Insurance - What you're doing here, basically, is paying someone a bunch of money on a regular basis, so that if something goes wrong in the future, they might pay for it...if they really can't find any way out of it. Some people, and even some Leeches, find it surprising how much trouble the insurance companies go to to avoid paying out, but it makes more sense once you realize that they've already SPENT your money. Banks, at least ostensibly, actually expect to give it back eventually; insurance companies started thinking of it as theirs as soon as the check cleared.

In Leech, if something goes wrong that falls under one of the categories you're covered for, you can roll your Insurance + Jettison to foist the consequences off on your insurance carrier. The roll has an LT of 2, but if you succeed, they have to come in and take care of things for you - build a new house, replace a stolen TV, what have you. Note that the higher levels of Insurance cover you against lower levels, too.

1: Insured against UFOs and reincarnating as a lower life-form
2: Come Hell or high water, you're insured against fire and flood damage, along with most other natural disasters
3: Theft, vandalism, and other malicious acts of your fellow man, but only against property damage
4: Life insurance: The first time you die, you don't even have to roll. They bring you back to life. After the one time, however, your basic mortality will be considered a "pre-existing condition" and they won't do it again.
5: Your insurance is so good it actually covers Acts of God. 'Course, you have to prove that God actually did it, but he smites Leeches often enough that this shouldn't be too difficult.

Genter - The Leech with Genter hasn't exactly learned to seem superior to everyone else, but rather, to look and act like a genuinely nice guy. It compliments Yin-Guises well, in that Genter is a matter of having manners so well ingrained that you do them *all the time*. Other Leeches will give you funny looks, but normal people appreciate it; among non-Leeches (and other non-PC-types), add your Genter rating to all Hi rolls, and any rolls that involve making or leaving a good impression.

1: Remember to say "please" and "thank you".
2: Hold the door for people with fifty pounds of packages
3: Respect your elders, believe in "ladies first"
4: Have been known to apologize sincerely after hurting someone, even accidentally
5: Have found the fine balance between chivalry and chauvinism

Remorses - Everyone has regrets. If it's not things they've done they wish the hadn't, then it's things they haven't done they wish they had. Happily, this applies not just to complete strangers, but also to direct superiors, direct subordinates, in-laws, directors of important projects...oh, you name it. That's why we started this description off with "Everyone." We weren't exaggerating there as we so often do. The Leech with this Backrub has found a few out, but more importantly, knows how to USE them. Whenever you find out a remorse of an NPC in play, you can roll Hmmm + Remorses to use it as a lever on them, whether by hinting about how upset their wife would be if she found out, or suggesting that if you had some help on this project you'll be able to take some time off to go skiing this weekend, and sure would like some company, and, hey, weren't they just commenting the other day that they wished they could give it a try? How you find these out is up to your own ingenuity, though.

In the meantime, you start out with strong leverage on a few people according to your rating.

1: Leverage on one guy, nothing major
2: Two nothing majors, OR a kinda noteworthy
3: Three nothing majors, two kinda noteworthies, OR a pretty big
4: Four nothing majors, three kinda noteworthies, two pretty bigs, OR a V.I.P.
5: Five nothing majors, four kinda noteworthies, three pretty bigs, two V.I.P.s, AND a partridge in a pear tree.

Tee-Timers - Golf is integral to the Leech lifestyle. Everyone does it. No one knows why. Your skill at golf, however, translates more directly than anything else into status within the Leech community. Genter might impress the yokels, but a hole in one will instinctively impress even the Buboha, even though logically, they all KNOW golf is a complete waste of time and resources. Leeches of a more philosophical bent have theorized that it's a connection of understanding; just as Leeches take up as much of the time and money of their `patients' as they can, golf courses take up more space and precious water from a community than would ever be allowed for anything else so frivolous, even in times of draught. Whatever the reason, the size of your Tee-Timers boat indicates how respected you are in the Leech community, as well as how good you are at golf, and also represents a good place to go for lunch...as long as you aren't bringing any ruffians. ("Ruffians" would be anyone with more than one point less in Tee-Timers. So if you have Tee-Timers at 4 and Billy has a rating of 2, you can't bring Billy. Sharon, with her 3, is okay, and of course both of you could go with Billy...if you didn't mind being seen in such a place.) Mostly, you just get to look down your nose at other players who have lower ranks in this than you, but sometimes it'll add to social rolls, and it can be vital if you get involved with the politics of the Cashorrhea.

STATs - STAT seems to be short for "statim", which is Latin and means "immediately." I have friends in the military who assure me it's an actual acronym for something, but none who can think quite what OF, and all agree that it's likely it went into the military with the medical corps and, because no one KNEW what "stat" meant, they made an acronym up to fit. Aren't you glad Leeches aren't in the military? All you have to worry about is that this lets you do things right away. It doesn't exactly let you move faster than anyone else, or make your orders that much more commanding, but you get right off your duff and start in on it, and don't get distracted until it's done. When you need something done *NOW*, roll your Whee + STATs; any successes you get offset whatever LT modifier the OGL&M might want to give you for working too quickly.


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