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Can Neomah help a woman get pregnant?

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  • Can Neomah help a woman get pregnant?

    Random question that popped in my mind. They do make little creations, and can help make combinations of multiple people. But... do they create a child, or a fetus that grows in a womb? Not sure if there's a 2E/3E difference, but I thought on how in 2E (Core rulebook, no less) they added a bonus to the probability of the child exalting as a DB. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Tytalus; 03-09-2018, 02:03 PM.

  • #2
    The neomah have always been described as cobbling together an infant from gathered tissue, and giving it life in the flame that burns atop their brass nautilus towers. They don't gestate babies within the body of another.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
      Random question that popped in my mind. They do make little creations, and can help make combinations of multiple people. But... do they create a child, or a fetus that grows in a womb?
      Not typically, no. As Levi said, they build these towers with a fire burning in it, cobble together an infant out of material, and throw it in the fire.

      That said, they may well possess the capacity to impregnate a person, since they can give themselves the sex organs their partner wants… although the possibility of pregnancy occurring might not even be something the neomah considers, given that demons don't usually sexually reproduce with each other.

      Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
      they added a bonus to the probability of the child exalting as a DB. Thoughts?
      Not a fan.
      Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 03-09-2018, 12:55 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
        Random question that popped in my mind. They do make little creations, and can help make combinations of multiple people. But... do they create a child, or a fetus that grows in a womb? Not sure if there's a 2E/3E difference, but I thought on how in 2E, they added a bonus to the probability of the child exalting as a DB. Thoughts?
        I assume that they create a foetus which grows in a tower.

        I thought on how in 2E, they added a bonus to the probability of the child exalting as a DB. Thoughts?
        Definitely not. That'd cause a radical change in the culture of the Realm, as instead of sorcerers being seen as creepy weirdos it would be rather popular for Dynastic couples to have bound Neomah make their kids.

        I'm not saying everyone would do it, because Dynasts don't only care if their kid exalts. But it'd be popular.

        It also kind of detracts from the way DBs are supposed to work. I'm okay with sacred meditative rights or ancient elemental temples increasing their chance of having DB kids slightly, but not via demonology. That's an Infernal thing, not a DB thing.

        I do think they should have a higher chance of creating a Demon-blood though (who might work in all sorts of strange ways; maybe they're just a bit odd, or have strange-coloured skin, or red eyes. Or maybe they have creepy charms). Not that they always do, but sometimes, even if it's not a child made out of any of the Neomah's own flesh, just stuff from two humans.


        "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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        • #5
          Forbidden techniques and dark secrets seed good stories. They make crummy throwaway detail fodder though.

          I'm totally adding that as a dark secret for a disgraced NPC...


          Check out Momentum Exalted!

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          • #6
            Oh, with all the pressure to produce DB kids I'm sure some parents will use Neomah to get around fertility issues, or, for example, a DB sorceress might steal a DB man's hair, go off to the Threshold for a year, and return with a Neomah-made baby which she claims is her mortal husband's, to increase the possibility of DB exaltation.

            And that'd certainly be a dark secret for both parent and child.

            But it shouldn't be something so good that everyone would want to do it.


            "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              I assume that they create a foetus which grows in a tower.
              ​I suppose it depends on the angle one wants to go with in presenting Hell. A more body horror approach calls for creating a late-stage foetus, that is brought to term in the flame that burns at the tower's peak. A more mythic approach seems more fitting to have it produce the body of a newborn baby, that is merely brought to life within the fire.

              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz
              Definitely not. That'd cause a radical change in the culture of the Realm, as instead of sorcerers being seen as creepy weirdos it would be rather popular for Dynastic couples to have bound Neomah make their kids.

              I'm not saying everyone would do it, because Dynasts don't only care if their kid exalts. But it'd be popular.

              It also kind of detracts from the way DBs are supposed to work. I'm okay with sacred meditative rights or ancient elemental temples increasing their chance of having DB kids slightly, but not via demonology. That's an Infernal thing, not a DB thing.
              ​A while back, there was a discussion around the subject on RPG.Net, in which somebody proposed that even without the capacity to increase the odds, the logistics of it were more favourable than natural pregnancies, and so it was viable to use them in projects of making many Dragon Blooded. Lea suggested that neomah add an undesirable wild card element to the bloodline, and Eric thought that one should emphasize the mechanical detail of the time that a botch created the risk of making a child that was weird, that many Dynast parents would be unwilling to chance.

              ​By now, it's probably superseded by the basic manner in which Terrestrial heredity works.

              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz
              I do think they should have a higher chance of creating a Demon-blood though (who might work in all sorts of strange ways; maybe they're just a bit odd, or have strange-coloured skin, or red eyes. Or maybe they have creepy charms). Not that they always do, but sometimes, even if it's not a child made out of any of the Neomah's own flesh, just stuff from two humans.
              ​That's actually an angle that I would want to avoid, because I prefer the idea of neomah as demonstrating an aspect of Hell and demons that is weird, but ultimately benign in its own right. You include an element like risks in even the most normal breedings, and it's likely to encourage people to fall into played out monkey's paw shenanigans, and I think there's a value in subverting that with the idea that you can have a person with two human parents who can be entirely relied upon to be within human norms, even if they happen to have been made by a demon.

              ​Let it be messed up only when something is a bit off in the composition; incompatible (or at least different) donor species, more than two parents, that kind of thing. There are certainly going to be plenty of sorcerers who call one for the task of mixing human and animal tissue to make serving hybrid monsters, that doesn't need to sully them as a means of providing children to couples that can't naturally have them on their own.

              ​Plus the fact that it's the custom of neomah to collect samples from everybody that they provide service to, which is ultimately shaped into an infant on their own initiative, to be promptly abandoned.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #8
                Wizard, Vance already shot that down.

                Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
                Without getting too into the nitty-gritty of it, I don't think [using bits stolen from somone] should work.

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                • #9
                  That's slightly sad, because I had a subplot about that once.

                  But fair enough. It might lead to situations that some players are quite uncomfortable with. Anyway, my point was just that there is some use for Neomah by Dynasts, but I don't think that they should be very useful. Just a bit.


                  "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
                    they added a bonus to the probability of the child exalting as a DB. Thoughts?
                    Similar to Wizard of Oz, in my games I kept this, but the child usually has weird deformities or is otherwise innately strange and disturbing. The Immaculate Order considers such creatures to be abominations and pretty much always labels them Anathema and executes them, their parents and probably other related people. A few couples nevertheless are so desperate to have a child who Exalts that they employ a Neomah to help with that, but this is the sort of thing that often isn't worth it because it's nearly impossible to hide the child's demonic taint. There are quite a few stories in the Realm about the dangers of such a thing, and it's one of the reason why Sorcerers are generally looked down on and have a lower standing in Dragon Blooded society.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                      The Immaculate Order considers such creatures to be abominations and pretty much always labels them Anathema and executes them, their parents and probably other related people.
                      Was this before Third Edition?

                      Mind, I don't think any Edition has ever presented the Immaculate Order as having the authority to execute Dynasts for just about anything.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                      • #12
                        "Go get a Neomah" has been confirmed as the go-to solution for DB couples who are unable to reproduce together naturally (for example, if they're the same sex) in 3E.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                          Was this before Third Edition?
                          Mind, I don't think any Edition has ever presented the Immaculate Order as having the authority to execute Dynasts for just about anything.
                          As I said, this was in my own games, so we're into house-rule territory. So the Empress wasn't too keen on Dragon-Blooded using demonic powers to create unstable monster-children, so when Dragon Blooded were caught mixing their blood with that of demons the Immaculate Order had the ability to declare those children Anathema. Some more well-connected Dragon Blooded could get away with it (there's lots of rumors that a number of members of Mnemon's family were created with the assistance of Neomah) but there were still some public examples of Dynasts being declared Anathema for their congress with demons.

                          I ran it this way because I found the idea of a Dragon Blooded or Dynast family seeking out demonic assistance with getting an heir to be interesting, but at the same time I didn't want to keep coming back to, "How come Dragon Blooded don't just always get Neomah to help them have Dragon Blooded kids?" So I introduced heavily social pressures and various sanctions to keep the practice from being widespread, while still allowing it as something that could occasionally be used in games for an interesting storyplot.
                          Last edited by AnubisXy; 03-09-2018, 02:50 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I think the easiest solution to "How come Dragon Blooded don't just always get Neomah to help them have Dragon Blooded kids?" is just that it doesn't make them any more likely to get DB kids, so why bother?

                            I mean, I do think that, as Isator mentioned Eric mentioned, the very occasional strange or tainted child should exist, and they will become cautionary tales that encourage stereotypes. Partly because it's just interesting.

                            But I don't think it needs to be common, because then people would hardly ever use Neomah. I guess, essentially, what I want is that using Neomah to make kids is something sorcerers will be looked down on for, and those who engage a sorcerer's services for this will do so surreptitiously as it would be very embarrassing.

                            But not to the extent that they're going to be punished (well, officially).


                            "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                            • #15
                              Eugenics:
                              There are some great articles about Chinese eugenics here, here, here and here. Therefore, it's not hard to imagine the Dragon-Blooded (or any such culture) similarly favoring eugenics. They may even be fitting inspiration with both being the "Middle Kingdom". So the concerns are understandable.

                              This proves Neomah/Dragon-Blooded are bad for the setting!

                              Nope.


                              Culture & Religion:
                              Western cultures have cultural aversion to eugenics (due to the World Wars) and religious aversion (even pre-World Wars). Religious groups viewed eugenics as a secularizing force, since it diminishes the (already nebulous) concept of the soul in favor of biology. You can't blame people for their "sins" if they're genetically pre-designed to have those flaws. Priests view it as the irreverent "playing god". Medicine replaced "faith healing", Psychiatry replaced "exorcism", "Nature vs Nuture" unified to expel the Neshama.

                              And then there's an additional problem when religion got it wrong. If your "best and brightest" were encouraged to join a celibate clergy? Or if your religion/culture encourages inbreeding? Now your religion is responsible for dysgenic or cacogenics, ensuring those who breed the next generation are progressively worse. Religious people who like the idea of creating healthier kids might still deny eugenics because it risks (a) having to accept blame if their formerly-religious beliefs led to problems and (b) having to face moral issues in the future.

                              So since the Immaculate Order preaches that Terrestrial Exaltation is a reward for living a virtuous life - how do you think they will respond when some irreverent sorcerer promises to cheat heaven using demons?

                              Costs:
                              Finally, we're also talking about demons. And probably mayhem and murder.

                              Neomah's need flesh to build the baby - will you be amputating your hand, your leg or something else today? She's not "increasing the fertility" of a healthy couple - she's combining flesh (and if the donors are Terrestrial Exalts, you happen to have a chance to boost - maybe). If the demon fails, you lost a hand or leg but get an unexceptional child. On a botch, you got a monster.


                              Altogether now:
                              You have to be irreverent enough.
                              You have to find a demonologist.
                              You have to cut off (half-a-baby) of your own flesh.
                              You have to hope the demon succeeds.
                              You have to explain having a baby overnight.
                              You have to deal with religious family.
                              ....and not just "real life" religious - people who have magic in their veins that proves their gods are real.

                              I suspect the Realm will not have a plague of Neomah-summonings soon.
                              Last edited by Salagimsim; 03-09-2018, 04:06 PM. Reason: format, typos


                              Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                              It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                              Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
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