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  • #16
    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
    And as for Path of Metamorphosis, certain parts (arguably two sins) really indicate this is about Fleshcrafting and Vicissitude.
    Sin 3 - Failure to experiment, even at risk to oneself.
    Sin 2 - Neglecting to alter one's own body.
    My issue is that I'm aware some Old Clan Tzimisce still seek the idea of metamorphosis. That their abstaining from Vicissitude is not merely about the presence of the Eldest, but supposedly this concept of 'a perfect brush makes a poor artist.' So sin two seems quite out of the question as Kindred have an extremely hard time making any serious alteration without the discipline. And perhaps I'm missing an obvious thought, but I'm not immediately sure of what sort of experimentation could (or should) be pursued by a more spiritual take of metamorphosis. So I'd greatly appreciate any input on possible alternatives or different takes on these sins in the context of a Spiritual Path of Metamorphosis.
    I really haven't thought this through as I have never concerned myself a lot with that but to me it looks like an oversight as in the Dracul were not taken into consideration in regards to the Path of Metamorphosis.

    Sin 2 definitely seems geared towards Vicissitude which is "weird" enough in itself to me because it seems to exclude from the path anyone (including Tzimisce) who doesn't practice one specific disciplin. Except maybe if that person seeks out the help of another Vampire who actually is a fleshcrafter.

    As for Sin 3 and a more metaphysical take on Sin 2 one could try to go with.... Well I COULD imagine something but its also very specific in a different way.
    There is another RPG I'm into, Eclipse Phase, which is a SciFi RPG with a Transhuman background where you can digitize and upload your Ego. There are people called psychosurgeons who can modify an uploaded Ego to change it, changing the person in the process. You don't usually perform psychosurgery on yourself though that might be possible in one way or another.
    ANYWAYS, what I'm trying to say is: I COULD see a Dracul/OCT try something similar with their skills in Auspex and Dominate. That would also be quite specific of course since it would probably require rather high levels in both disciplins as well as in the corresponding skills. For example, you probably need at least Auspex 2 and relatively high levels of the corresponding attribute+skill pair to be able to make a meaningfull analysis of someones psych that way.

    It's not as if I've thought this all the way through of course, just a thought that crossed my mind.
    Last edited by Hexer; 01-19-2017, 09:52 AM.

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    • #17
      Wasn't somewhere mentioned that the Harmonics fled from the Sabbatt and joined the Camarilla at some point?

      Path of Self-Focus is imo also a Path that could work in the Camarilla, but imo it sould have Self Control and not Instinct as virtue (otherwise it is unplayable since frenzying is a level 2 Sin).

      But it often depends on the version of the Path you use, for some like Harmony and Scorched Heart have quite different hierarchies of sins in different books and some are more playable than others.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Aahz View Post
        Wasn't somewhere mentioned that the Harmonics fled from the Sabbatt and joined the Camarilla at some point?

        Path of Self-Focus is imo also a Path that could work in the Camarilla, but imo it sould have Self Control and not Instinct as virtue (otherwise it is unplayable since frenzying is a level 2 Sin).

        But it often depends on the version of the Path you use, for some like Harmony and Scorched Heart have quite different hierarchies of sins in different books and some are more playable than others.
        I'm pretty sure there was something about that, though I can't quite recall the book. From my understanding V20 changed it so Harmonists don't even have a separate list of sins and just adjust their virtue, which seems less desirable and misses the mark for them. I believe Self-Focus was updated in Guide to the TMR as well, and had a list of sins I had trouble jiving with. But I'd have to look again.

        And as you say, it does depend. Scorched Heart from Guide to the TMR looked more clear on various sins. The minor wording between editions on lower sins seems very different as far as 'feeling emotion', 'feeling strong emotion', or 'making decisions based on emotion' sort of stuff.

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        • #19
          I am toying with a Koldunic Sorcery Way of Flesh that could allow Old Clan Tzimisce to follow the Path of Metamorphosis. I have decided that it will mimic the effects of the old Sorcerer: Hedge Wizard's Handbook Path of Shapeshifting. Since the effects are personal and permanent until reversed, I think that it would be a fitting conversion (the bonus to Social Dice Pool would also be useful).

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          • #20
            In my oppinion the Drakon is a good example of an old Clan Tzimisce being able to use the Path of Metamorphosis spiritually just look at the Trinity in Bycantine and his role in it.
            He persued Metamorphosis by changing the world, shaping relations, culture and politics while changing himself by ever collecting knowledge, occult power and learning to transcend himself beyond. He founded the Obertus order to collect and keep knowledge and tried to bring about what the Brujah tried in carthage while he was in gay love with Michael from Toreador.

            In addition he tried or better did master koldunic sorcery as spiritual ascension and finally even transform his body into that of a Dragon when he fought Triglav and literally reshaped the carpathian mountains which also should count as transformation.

            Also you might alter your body with magical runes as tattoos or carve symbols in it or well get piercings or other modifications. I would not see sin 2 as attached to the body but any part of the self.

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            • #21
              Would someone be able to answer a couple Path of Bones questions?
              -What is the difference between the level one and two sins? 'Actively preventing a death' and 'Needlessly preventing a death' respectively. I'm struggling, unless I'm missing something obvious, when one would needlessly prevent a death, but not do so actively. The two sins seem rather redundant?

              -Sin five, refusing to kill when an opportunity presents itself. What do you define 'an opportunity' as? When you could do it and reasonably get away with it (socially) or when you could do it without dying yourself?

              -Sin seven, there might be an obvious rules answer. When would one be considered hungry for the purpose of 'postponing to feed when hungry'?

              -Sin nine, failing to study an occurrence of death. What would you constitute appropriate 'study'? And what creatures does it qualify for - just humans, all living things, all sentient beings?

              And one that occurred to me for Honorable Accord

              -Sin five, failing to protect your allies. Is this failing to TRY or just failing outright? RAW it looks like failing period. But it seems harsh if there are situations where you would have no chance of success.
              Last edited by Monalfie; 02-27-2017, 01:35 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                -Sin seven, there might be an obvious rules answer. When would one be considered hungry for the purpose of 'postponing to feed when hungry'?
                According to the Rules for Hunting a Vampire is hungry when his Blood pool is lower than 7 minus Self-Control or Instincts.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Aahz View Post
                  According to the Rules for Hunting a Vampire is hungry when his Blood pool is lower than 7 minus Self-Control or Instincts.
                  I feel like that's good, but it should increase as you reduce Generation. So when you're at 70% (round to the nearest point) - Self-Control or Instinct, you're hungry. So someone with a blood pool of ???... will be hungry for a LONG TIME. Run.

                  It would mean a noteworthy downside to those huge blood pools. You can spend 8 BP per turn, sure, but at the same time if you do that you'll get very hungry and you'll go into Frenzy. It makes keeping topped up on blood something Vampires have to worry about.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Would someone be able to answer a couple Path of Bones questions?
                    -What is the difference between the level one and two sins? 'Actively preventing a death' and 'Needlessly preventing a death' respectively. I'm struggling, unless I'm missing something obvious, when one would needlessly prevent a death, but not do so actively. The two sins seem rather redundant?

                    -Sin five, refusing to kill when an opportunity presents itself. What do you define 'an opportunity' as? When you could do it and reasonably get away with it (socially) or when you could do it without dying yourself?

                    -Sin seven, there might be an obvious rules answer. When would one be considered hungry for the purpose of 'postponing to feed when hungry'?

                    -Sin nine, failing to study an occurrence of death. What would you constitute appropriate 'study'? And what creatures does it qualify for - just humans, all living things, all sentient beings?

                    And one that occurred to me for Honorable Accord

                    -Sin five, failing to protect your allies. Is this failing to TRY or just failing outright? RAW it looks like failing period. But it seems harsh if there are situations where you would have no chance of success.
                    -Sin 1, 2: The difference is one is about intent the other is about action. So if a Path of Bones follower prevents the death of someone without a need to they could have to make 2 degeneration rolls. One for actively preventing the death and a second for not having a need to. The difference could also be used to alter the difficulty the degeneration roll (having a need to prevent the death would lead to a lower difficulty). The most likely candidates for those deaths the Bones follower would need to prevent are those such as allies, contacts, retainers basically those who are logically useful and necessary for the Bones followers activities.

                    -Sin 5: I've always interpreted this for when the killing could be reasonably gotten away with and studied. Remember the Path espouses logic and study not rash action.

                    -Sin 7: As mentioned above mechanically hungry is a Blood Pool lower than 7 minus Self-Control/Instincts rating V20 pg 260 to be specific.

                    -Sin 9: Minimally the Bones follower should take the time to make a Perception + Medicine roll to determine the cause of death and study the wounds/symptoms. I generally consider an occurrence of death to be a sentient creature's death (mortal, ghoul, werewolf, etc) my reasoning is best defined by two lines on V20 pg 318
                    The most ardent followers of this Path espouse “giving oneself over to the comprehension of life’s inevitable end.” Vampires who follow this Path seek the knowledge of precisely what death is: Is it simply the end of life? The transition of the soul to what lies after life? Is it the end of the soul’s desire to exist?
                    These Kindred are not necessarily cruel — they merely value comprehension more than human life.
                    those both seem to imply sentient beings.

                    -Honorable Accord Sin 5: I see it as failing outright. Whether or not the follower tried should modify the difficulty of the degeneration roll.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                      Honourable Accord can end up being a Nice Guy Who Eats People's Souls... Diablerie is part and package of the path; you can easily justify it as a means to empower yourself, to give yourself greater ability to protect your comrades and fulfill your vows. Your ST should make you take The Traditions as a vow implicitly, so you have some limitations.
                      I actually like this aspect of the path. It's a reminder that despite the walker of the path keeping their word, they're still a monster that has abandoned their humanity, same as anyone else on a path. I think it would clock in as a rating 10 sin, for breaking the precepts of your group, though.

                      Someone on the path of honorable accord can be a horrible butcher as long as they have a reason to be one. Path really should have conviction instead of conscience, there's very little about normal human morals in there. I prefer Road of Kings, personally.
                      Last edited by Zanos; 02-27-2017, 08:56 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Orkar View Post
                        In my oppinion the Drakon is a good example of an old Clan Tzimisce being able to use the Path of Metamorphosis spiritually just look at the Trinity in Bycantine and his role in it.
                        He persued Metamorphosis by changing the world, shaping relations, culture and politics while changing himself by ever collecting knowledge, occult power and learning to transcend himself beyond. He founded the Obertus order to collect and keep knowledge and tried to bring about what the Brujah tried in carthage while he was in gay love with Michael from Toreador.

                        In addition he tried or better did master koldunic sorcery as spiritual ascension and finally even transform his body into that of a Dragon when he fought Triglav and literally reshaped the carpathian mountains which also should count as transformation.

                        Also you might alter your body with magical runes as tattoos or carve symbols in it or well get piercings or other modifications. I would not see sin 2 as attached to the body but any part of the self.
                        ^This. Metamorphosis really should be a little more broad when it comes to the Sin in question. Something more like "failing to change oneself". To not change is to remain static. Stagnant. As such, a follower of this Path should always be aiming to improve or remake themselves, whether that be physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, or in the sense of identity. Such an interpretation dramatically opens up the possible character concepts.

                        One Metamorphosist might be a scholar, seeking knowledge (both mundane and occult) in order to change his fundamental understanding of the world. A while back, I talked about an order of Kindred scholars I came up with, who work to preserve texts and lore by memorizing them. Becoming an unliving vessel for knowledge - a walking, talking Codex - would certainly meet the requirements for changing oneself.

                        Another might be an "experiential" Metamorphosist, seeking out new experiences and growing with them. They might try to develop the ability to eat and enjoy mortal food, so that they always have new sources of tastes to experience, and to take the measure of vastly different styles of cooking. They might seek to form relationships with people - mortal, undead, whatever - and see where they can push those relationships. That might mean turning a casual friendship into a romantic one, or building up a powerful bond only to purposefully break it. All to see how these emotions make them feel, and learn from them. They might seek out battle with a thousand different supernatural and mundane opponents, in order to know what it feels like to injure them, and be injured by them.

                        There are Metamorphosists who take a physical, bodily approach to their Path, yet never touch Vicissitude (after all, a Path should really never be proprietary to just one Clan). Body work of all kinds exists for a follower seeking a visceral kind of enlightenment. Tattooing, piercing, scarification, self-mutilation. Even something as seemingly non-evasive as make-up could count. And because the vampire is undead, they can push these acts farther than a mortal ever could. Running limbs and torsos through with long needles, removing whole swaths of skin, scrubbing themselves with bleach, carving entire treatises into their flesh. All of which they get to repeat again the next night, because their body reverts to "normal" when they wake.

                        An Identity Metamorphosist considers their persona to be malleable, and use whatever tools and abilities on hand to effect a change in identity. Vicissitude is an obvious method of changing one's appearance, but even the illusion of it brought with Obfuscate can be effective, so long as the vampire sticks to the role they play. One without either Discipline can employ mundane disguise tools and clothing, as well as a grasp of acting, to make of themselves a wholly different person. If they get into the act well enough, it may even stop being an act. All of which can be discarded if the Metamorphosist becomes bored, or thinks they've grown too comfortable in one role. Constant reinvention is the key to throwing off the Caine-given curse of stasis.
                        Last edited by Bluecho; 02-28-2017, 03:38 AM.


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                        • #27
                          I was trying to look into Roads more, but I don't own many Dark Ages books currently. Is there any reason why someone in the modern age (1980's) couldn't use a road instead of a path explicitly? As in, are they gone period or just generally phased out by paths?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                            I was trying to look into Roads more, but I don't own many Dark Ages books currently. Is there any reason why someone in the modern age (1980's) couldn't use a road instead of a path explicitly? As in, are they gone period or just generally phased out by paths?
                            Roads were societies, clubs almost. They had Ashen Priests. They were a huge deal. The Anarch revolt broke the Roads and left fractured Paths, shadows of the Roads. If you found a surviving Priest you could be inducted, yes, but it's exceptionally rare. One of my modern nights PCs is on the Path of Chivalry, a variant of the Road of Kings, and was inducted by a Koldunic Methesulah of the Old Clan. The downside is that during the induction she mind-controlled him to the point of being able to completely control him at will, not that he knew that going in. Never trust the NPC who you know for a fact has Elder Dominate to carve away your Humanity levels to make Path conversion easier might be the lesson here.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                              I was trying to look into Roads more, but I don't own many Dark Ages books currently. Is there any reason why someone in the modern age (1980's) couldn't use a road instead of a path explicitly? As in, are they gone period or just generally phased out by paths?
                              Short answer: Mechanically no reason they work the same, basically up to ST discretion.

                              Long answer: The Roads collapsed due to a number of different factors. The Roads functioned on a combination of Mentor/Student relationships along with Ashen Priests and Paragons (followers of a Road with rating 8+) leading the way to greater enlightenment. First the Inquisition began hunting and many elders threw the younger Cainites to die to buy themselves time or throw off the Inquisitions scent. Combined with Cainites following less humane Roads being more likely to use that method as well as be easier to ferret out likely led to higher attrition among their numbers than among the more human seeming Roads.

                              This disposable mindset combined with the general ill treatment of those younger Cainites led to the Anarch Revolt. This further shattered the bonds that held the Roads and Cainite society in general. Hardestadt and the founders of the Camarilla deciding that Masquerading among humans was the best chance for survival likely left elders who joined them to form a cohesive front against the Anarchs with little recourse to attempt to continue the instruction. When the Anarch Revolt drew to a close the societal structures that held and continued the Road system had collapsed. The larger non humanity Roads that remained were maintained by a particular clan moreso than the previous societal framework Assamites (Blood), Giovanni (Bones), Ravnos (Paradox), Setites (Typhon), and Tzimisce (Metamorphosis) with none of those clans having a presence of note in the Camarilla. Within the Camarilla proper the only likely remaining source of non Humanity Cainites would likely be the Gangrel followers of the Beast and they would keep to themselves and see little need to go out teaching/proselytizing that way instead wishing to mostly be left alone.

                              With the Camarilla falling in behind Humanity and the Sabbat still going through its growing pains leaves few Cainites willing to risk the ire of one of those groups attempting to teach a Road. The Sabbat for its part decided that the Roads were another tool of the elders and instead sought to create their own inhuman ways to manage the Beast. Heading to the so called Black Monastery the Sabbat took the basics of the Roads and altered them into the new Paths of Enlightenment which bear some resemblance to the old Roads but were in general more focused on being inhuman than many of the Roads had been. Here are my thoughts from what Roads the Paths derived.
                              • Path of Blood: Derived from the Road of Blood though altered (in the case of the Assamites under the Tremere blood curse) as it was maintained by the Assamites.
                              • Path of Bones / Path of Death and the Soul: Derived from the Road of Bones having been altered by the Giovanni (Bones) and the Tzimisce (Death and the Soul).
                              • Path of Caine: Growing out of the personal enlightenment ideas of the Renaissance its focus on internal respect and diablerizing unworthy vampires implies some connection to the Road of Blood and/or the Road of Paradox.
                              • Path of Cathari: Likely grew out of some combination of the variants of the Road of Sin (especially Pleasure) with its focus on indulgence and belief in an evil creator.
                              • Path of Entelechy: Derived from the Road of Humanity likely an attempt to reconcile Humanity with the lack of emotions of the True Brujah.
                              • Path of Evil Revelations: Derived from the Road of Sin especially Devil and Screams variants.
                              • Path of the Feral Heart: Essentially the Road of the Beast maintained by the Gangrel and other bestial Cainites.
                              • Path of Honorable Accord: Derived from the Road of Kings, specifically the Chivalry variant.
                              • Path of Lilith: Derived from the Road of Lilith the somewhat secret cult long having gotten used to hiding and seeking new students.
                              • Path of Metamorphosis: Derived and maintained by the Tzimisce.
                              • Path of Night: Seems like an attempt to bring together the Road of the Abyss and Road of Heaven followers among the Lasombra by painting the vampire's place in God's plan as damned creatures of the night..
                              • Path of Paradox: Derived from the Roads of Paradox maintained by the Ravnos.
                              • Path of Power and the Inner Voice: Derived from the Road of Kings.
                              • Path of the Scorched Heart: Likely derived from the Road of Bones given its focus on removing emotion and basing decisions on logic and reason.
                              • Path of Self-Focus: Grew out of the mortal philosophies of Asia especially Taoist and Zen Buddhism one of the few perhaps only Path that does not seem to have a heavy influence from one of the Roads.
                              • Sharia El-Sama: Derived from the Road of Heaven Path of the Prophet variant maintained by the Ashirra.
                              • Path of Typhon: Derived from the Road of Set maintained by the Followers of Set.
                              So with that societal breakdown and restructuring how would a young vampire become a follower of one of the old Roads? The best answer is through a vampire mentor having been awakened from torpor who predates the collapse of the Roads. This mentor could be the character's sire or it could be a staked or torpid body they find and awakened (the instruction in the Road being one of the rewards for assisting the vampire). The difficulties would depend on both what Sect/Clan the character comes from and what Road in question it is they follow. A Camarilla follower learning the Road of Kings will attract less attention than one learning the Road of Sin. In the same manner a Sabbat vampire learning the Road of Heaven is likely to have a harder time than one learning the Road of Bones. The vampire might have to carefully hide the changes to their personality or they might engage in philosophical debate with those of similar mindsets arguing the various points of difference.

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                              • #30
                                One question I have that might help you pick a Path or Road: what is this character's concept?

                                Honorable Accord sublimates the Beast beneath rules and social obligations, defining the non-Beast part of you by your relations with others. Oh, and a heavy dose of reaction formation. So, the character becomes dependent on some social structure, but what social structure in vampire society can you trust to guide you altruistically? (Also, this one has always felt more Old Clan to me...)

                                Scorched Heart feels at first glance like an intellectualizing reaction to the stress of the Beast, but often is simply avoidance and denial. The problem is the Beast is still lurking under the bedframe of your psyche, no matter how convincingly you pull the covers over your face and whisper, "I can't see you, so you're not there!" On the upside, interactions with strangers and acquaintances can remain civil, unlike many Paths. Though, the most intimate relationship your character can ever have is "colleague". Plus, it's a lot, lot harder to role-play a powder-keg holding a flaming match that he claims is a not lit, than you may think it is.

                                Metamorphosis looks all spooooky, kewl and alien at first glance, but really, it's just the same old adolescent acting out. "Oh, my origins are sooo mundane! I am so much more interesting/ talented/ enlightened/ powerful than all the muggles! I will be different from all those sheeple when I finally really rebel and blow this crappy town. That'll prove that I'm a unique individual, just like all the millions of other rebels out there." Newsflash: vampires have a Beast, but there's a person inside, too. Why spend all your time just cutting yourself to let the pain out? And how does getting a conversion disorder signal enlightenment? (Besides, Metamorphosis is fine for NPCs, but lousy for PCs in a group. Just like the Loner nature, and for the same reason.)

                                Harmony has some serious problems for a Camarilla setting, especially for a Tzimisce. You could wind up playing an extra from 30 Days of Night. Not a big hit at Elysium.

                                So, these Paths are all vastly different from one another. They're all interesting philosophies to have kicking around a campaign world. But, what base character concept leads you to have these be the finalists? They all seem so different, it's hard to imagine there's one solid concept behind them all.

                                Try coming up with an interesting character concept *first*, then figure out which one best fits the personality.

                                Is your character a highly disciplined soldier who is way too concerned what others think about him? Honorable Accord.

                                Has your character spent decades abusing drugs and/or academic bull sessions to distance himself from his inner pain and torment, probably becoming an insufferable a-hole in the process? Scorched Heart.

                                Was your character severely abused, first by others, then by himself, so he is desperately trying to be something -anything- other than what he is just so the pain can finally go away? Hello, Mr. Metamorphosist!

                                Does your character genuinely find these human being things he keeps meeting so incomprehensible that it's easier to just maintain a simple fight/flight heuristic than to admit that not only is he certain no one has ever liked him, but he's pretty much okay with that? Welcome to "Harmony".

                                Step One: Create a really compelling concept you would find fun to play. Don't let it be defined by any game mechanic, but by a sense of who the character is as a person. It's fine to think about the character's strong points and demographics. The most compelling characters, though, are defined by their flaws. That sense of broken-ness is especially important for a Path follower. Remember, Captain Ahab is just a Ranger, level 9, with an aquatic environment and cetaceans as his preferred enemy, if he doesn't have an obsession with a certain white whale.

                                Step Two: The rest will write itself.

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