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Paths and the Sabbat in 5e

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  • #91
    The problem with touchstones does appear if you chose to roleplay a reasonably old caïnite (300 years old at least). You are ancient, a bastard who survived when most of the vampire you knew are mostly dust. You've been involved in Camarilla politics for decades and it's mostly your sole interest. Frankly, I don't see such a PC having much link to humanity, only as a mean to an end to counteract the beast.
    Humans are at that point little more than puppets that can be manipulated, drank and sometimes sacrified to your ends.
    Touchstones would be the end of such a vampire in a century or so. hell, how could a vampire who stooped to 3 points of humanity not devolve in a matter of days... I know it's possible with the old rules, but with touchstones, such an attitude and ambivalence toward mortals will get you straight to wassail. And I just describe most of the examples of ancillae in the Cam... not even elders, which in the new setting will be something interesting to play ^^ (if it's even possible, we'll see)
    For my part, I've already preordered the books, because I did like to run the alpha playtest. But the only thing that truly angered my group was the treatment of Humanity, and for those I know who read the alpha rules, that was "la pierre d'achoppement", the boulder in the way of a smooth thing.
    We'll see and I hope they will change that aspect...

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post
      I believe now is the time to complain. If White Wolf is thinking about using these bad rules, a reclamation can now lead to some revision and they will get better, if they are not they will not miss anything. After launching they will not review defective parts and systems and we will have to deal with this for a long time.
      I'm pretty sure they've gottent that exact feedback. Nothing you're stating is news, and we've been engaging the team with feedback since GenCon with concerns about the touchstone mechanics. And if *I* can come up with ways to use the touchstone system to portray Inhuman Elders and Sabbat in five minutes, I'm quite sure the team that has been working on this as their *main source of income* have found a way to angle it properly.

      Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post
      We should have started to complain earlier.
      We did. So, I'm asking again, cool yer jets. At this point, you're screaming into the void.
      I'm pretty sure what we're going to be complaining about in V5 is going to be all other sorts of things.


      __________________________________________________
      Preaching the enlightened gospels of Gaming Anarchy

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      • #93
        I don't know, insisting people calm down in what seems like a pretty reasonable discussion seems pretty unnecessary.
        And the idea that maybe stuff will change wildly seems some pretty strong optimism. Being a World of Warcraft fan for the life of the game has taught me companies can be very good at self-sabotaging their source of income.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Darthpalpy View Post
          The problem with touchstones does appear if you chose to roleplay a reasonably old caïnite (300 years old at least).
          From my understanding said kindred does require a connection to a human (V5 alpha) or humanity (V4 and previous).
          Having one or several touchstones might be a better explanation how the bastard managed to be a bastard than the previous system.

          With the previous system a 300+ old kindred couldn't dispose of, torture, kill humans at will.
          At least not as long as they want to have a humanity above 3 or 2.
          With the system proposed in the alpha 300+ old kindred can dispose of and kill humans at will.
          They just have to care about three humans that they don't want/can kill at ease.

          Narratively it does work quite well with the vampire chronicles. In which the older vampires did look out for and acquired some connection to humanity. Though they apparently could use fledling/young vampires for it.

          Humans are at that point little more than puppets that can be manipulated
          I actually consider it a nice twist in the V5 Alpha that an elder (generally an inhumane) kindred gets worse at manipulating humans.

          Comment


          • #95
            Teylen

            The main problem I have with Touchstones (and there are several) arises with vampires... elder or not... who, as part of their character concept, are more introverted.

            It's common, especially in American culture, to believe that the only way to be a healthy, sane, whole person is to engage with others. This rests on the assumption that everyone feels under-stimulated, bored, or lonely when alone. For roughly a third of people, this is not the case. For introverts, quiet time alone isn't what tires them. It's what rejuvenates them! Writing a new song, browsing through random wikipedia pages, or tinkering in a home workshop is, for them, as restorative as dropping by a friend's party, watching the big game at a sports bar, or attending a family dinner is for extroverts.

            The emotional distress that some extroverts feel when they find themselves alone, abandoned, or ignored carries real emotional pain, yes. But, introverts feel the same degree of emotional turmoil when forced into a social situation in which they are overwhelmed by ten different discussions, loud music, and a roiling crowd. So, when real tragedy strikes and when real moral quandaries arise, extroverts seek out the counsel, support, and comfort of others, while introverts need time to retreat, ponder their situation, and invest time in charting the way forward. If either personality type tries to use the wrong tools for them it will only make matters worse.

            The Touchstone system is (perhaps not so) subtly built on the assumption that the only valid way to function... indeed the only way to be sane, moral, and humane... is to be connected to others.

            Now, few people are pure extroverts or pure introverts, but that's sort of my point. If we are going to have the Touchstones system at all, I want the freedom to build a character whose Touchstones include people, yes, but also places where they can retreat to ponder existence (like the local library in their hometown?), items they value as a reminder of their values (like a well-worn family bible?), and activities that give them a sense of achievement (like creating art or music?).

            The current system creates a situation where you can lose Humanity because your best friend leaves town to take a great job in the exotic locale they've always dreamed about, but not lose Humanity when your house burns down, with years of memories and keepsakes turned to ash. I just want the system to be broad enough to tell the stories of many, many different kinds of people.

            Not just the people who need people.

            Comment


            • #96
              Nosimplehiway
              I don't see the touchstone system as a system to model a personality, morality or a society or a statement abot in which situations or conditions a characters thrives. The latter is something rather described with nature and demenear or vice and virtue. I see it rather as a connection to humanity for a creature that due to its state of being isn't human. I don't see how a place or an abstract concept would achieve that.

              In regards of the presentation, in the playtest as well as within requiem you don't have to be around your touchstones.
              The alpha playtest does proposition that two characters are actually cut-off their touchstone for quite a while.

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                Teylen

                The main problem I have with Touchstones (and there are several) arises with vampires... elder or not... who, as part of their character concept, are more introverted.

                It's common, especially in American culture, to believe that the only way to be a healthy, sane, whole person is to engage with others. This rests on the assumption that everyone feels under-stimulated, bored, or lonely when alone. For roughly a third of people, this is not the case. For introverts, quiet time alone isn't what tires them. It's what rejuvenates them! Writing a new song, browsing through random wikipedia pages, or tinkering in a home workshop is, for them, as restorative as dropping by a friend's party, watching the big game at a sports bar, or attending a family dinner is for extroverts.

                The emotional distress that some extroverts feel when they find themselves alone, abandoned, or ignored carries real emotional pain, yes. But, introverts feel the same degree of emotional turmoil when forced into a social situation in which they are overwhelmed by ten different discussions, loud music, and a roiling crowd. So, when real tragedy strikes and when real moral quandaries arise, extroverts seek out the counsel, support, and comfort of others, while introverts need time to retreat, ponder their situation, and invest time in charting the way forward. If either personality type tries to use the wrong tools for them it will only make matters worse.

                The Touchstone system is (perhaps not so) subtly built on the assumption that the only valid way to function... indeed the only way to be sane, moral, and humane... is to be connected to others.

                Now, few people are pure extroverts or pure introverts, but that's sort of my point. If we are going to have the Touchstones system at all, I want the freedom to build a character whose Touchstones include people, yes, but also places where they can retreat to ponder existence (like the local library in their hometown?), items they value as a reminder of their values (like a well-worn family bible?), and activities that give them a sense of achievement (like creating art or music?).

                The current system creates a situation where you can lose Humanity because your best friend leaves town to take a great job in the exotic locale they've always dreamed about, but not lose Humanity when your house burns down, with years of memories and keepsakes turned to ash. I just want the system to be broad enough to tell the stories of many, many different kinds of people.

                Not just the people who need people.
                Seconded. Half of my favorite concepts aren't even functional if keeping genuine human ties was a prerequisite for maintaining Humanity. My Humanity 7 OC Tzimisce Scholar and Humanity 8(!) Gangrel Punk Survivalist characters (I miss that game) would be basically unplayable, just because they don't have any mortals on their contacts list.

                Touchstones were a major reason I avoided playing Requiem Second Edition. It'd be pretty lame to have to avoid my very favorite tabletop game, VtM, because it did the same thing. If V5 keeps on in this direction, I might have to pull back from the entire property, at least until it's been fixed. Until then, there's previous editions and 20th Anniversary stuff. That'll have to be enough.


                "It's in your eyes. Something in your eyes. Check them out in the mirror and tell me if I'm wrong." - Stephen King, Danse Macabre

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Teylen View Post
                  Nosimplehiway
                  I see it rather as a connection to humanity for a creature that due to its state of being isn't human. I don't see how a place or an abstract concept would achieve that.
                  "Humanity measures how close you are to your human life, to specific people that draw you toward life and light, and to human concerns generally."
                  "Each vampire begins with three Touchstones: living humans who represent what you used to value in life."
                  I don't see how an object or place couldn't serve these functions where a human does. Heck, it even says someone can be a touchstone because they guard or protect something you value (a doorman for your building, someone who lives in your old house, the person who cleans your gravesite). The humans themselves, on that note, are only important because of what they represent (a connection or ideal, like a baseball player or priest of your faith). If these people matter because they represent or guard something of importance, seems like cutting out the middle man makes more sense. Because really, it is those ideals or places (and what they mean) that is tying the person to being human.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                    Teylen

                    The main problem I have with Touchstones (and there are several) arises with vampires... elder or not... who, as part of their character concept, are more introverted.

                    It's common, especially in American culture, to believe that the only way to be a healthy, sane, whole person is to engage with others. This rests on the assumption that everyone feels under-stimulated, bored, or lonely when alone. For roughly a third of people, this is not the case. For introverts, quiet time alone isn't what tires them. It's what rejuvenates them! Writing a new song, browsing through random wikipedia pages, or tinkering in a home workshop is, for them, as restorative as dropping by a friend's party, watching the big game at a sports bar, or attending a family dinner is for extroverts.

                    The emotional distress that some extroverts feel when they find themselves alone, abandoned, or ignored carries real emotional pain, yes. But, introverts feel the same degree of emotional turmoil when forced into a social situation in which they are overwhelmed by ten different discussions, loud music, and a roiling crowd. So, when real tragedy strikes and when real moral quandaries arise, extroverts seek out the counsel, support, and comfort of others, while introverts need time to retreat, ponder their situation, and invest time in charting the way forward. If either personality type tries to use the wrong tools for them it will only make matters worse.

                    The Touchstone system is (perhaps not so) subtly built on the assumption that the only valid way to function... indeed the only way to be sane, moral, and humane... is to be connected to others.

                    Now, few people are pure extroverts or pure introverts, but that's sort of my point. If we are going to have the Touchstones system at all, I want the freedom to build a character whose Touchstones include people, yes, but also places where they can retreat to ponder existence (like the local library in their hometown?), items they value as a reminder of their values (like a well-worn family bible?), and activities that give them a sense of achievement (like creating art or music?).

                    The current system creates a situation where you can lose Humanity because your best friend leaves town to take a great job in the exotic locale they've always dreamed about, but not lose Humanity when your house burns down, with years of memories and keepsakes turned to ash. I just want the system to be broad enough to tell the stories of many, many different kinds of people.

                    Not just the people who need people.
                    I didn't think about it like that, until now, but honestly, well said.

                    That's realy the problem with the whole Touchstone-Humanity concept and I had the same problem with requiem 2e back then. It makes introvert or straight up antisocial and not-keeping-humans-in-high-regard vampires unplayable, or at least strongly discouraged. It stresses playing one kind of vampires and telling a specific kind of stories. I could resign for that, in the case of Requiem, but Masquerade already has tons of material, including signature characters, whole sects and so on, to whom, connection to specific mortals is just not an important thing. Attitude toward mortals, or really, toward anyone and generally, keeping up with the values presented by mortal society (like, killing each other is bad) is, however, could be.

                    You can mock the "badass loner" archetype, but it is a thinga and not even the most important thing. I just don't like the concept on the whole, that for keeping your Humanity, your soul, your personality and not succumbing to the Beast, you have to have human relations. How it should work with the method of a lots of the clans, who are stressing, in the upbringing of their childe, the severing of connectons with your former, human life? The whole thing is just going agaisinst too much of the established setting.

                    So, this version of Humanity was okay in Requiem, but Requiem (2e) is a game with different premises and take on vampires.


                    If nothing worked, then let's think!

                    Comment


                    • Even in modern media. A lot of the tv-shows and movies like the whole connection with humans aspect, because they want to protray a much more consummable,much more mainstream-audeince friendly, much more "domesticated" picture of vampires. True Blood, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Being Human. It's not a bad thing, it's a viable approach and understandable. It's much more relatable and, well, humane, if vampires are acting like human, eating food, walking in daylight.

                      But take more "serious" works. For example (as I say frequently, I love the film), Only Lovers Left Alive. If anything, the characters' touchstones in that movie is their books, their place of living, the music they're making and each other and some fellow vampires. They're literally calling ordinary humans "zombies", for f's sake.


                      If nothing worked, then let's think!

                      Comment


                      • Beyond the fact that the paths were not merely alternative moralities but social structures that refer to alliances and prohibitions. Removing them sounds like removing entire clans from the scenario.

                        If this review of humanity comes. I'm going to press for editors to adopt this just as initial morality and eventually a vampire will join a trail (being old humanity one of them) in some supplement.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                          Even in modern media. A lot of the tv-shows and movies like the whole connection with humans aspect, because they want to protray a much more consummable,much more mainstream-audeince friendly, much more "domesticated" picture of vampires. True Blood, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Being Human. It's not a bad thing, it's a viable approach and understandable. It's much more relatable and, well, humane, if vampires are acting like human, eating food, walking in daylight.

                          But take more "serious" works. For example (as I say frequently, I love the film), Only Lovers Left Alive. If anything, the characters' touchstones in that movie is their books, their place of living, the music they're making and each other and some fellow vampires. They're literally calling ordinary humans "zombies", for f's sake.
                          "I love Only Lovers Left Alive"
                          I think it meshes with my idea of humane vampires - try not to kill. Tell someone off for killing for feeding while understanding the fact that the hunger is so massive. It's a great way to express higher and low humanity in 1-4th edition.
                          Even touchstones don't work for them because, while the main character is hesitant to leave what he's built up, he does so for survival without it impacting his "humanity" just the emotional fall out of leaving something loved behind.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                            "I love Only Lovers Left Alive"
                            I think it meshes with my idea of humane vampires - try not to kill. Tell someone off for killing for feeding while understanding the fact that the hunger is so massive. It's a great way to express higher and low humanity in 1-4th edition.
                            Even touchstones don't work for them because, while the main character is hesitant to leave what he's built up, he does so for survival without it impacting his "humanity" just the emotional fall out of leaving something loved behind.
                            Yeah. I'd argue, even the manager/delivery boy wasn't really a touchstone for Adam... just a convenience.

                            Honestly, it was the most Masquerade-ish film I've ever seen. The two main characters are just Autarkis Torreador ancillae (say hello to Auspex as touch!), with a respectably high level of Humanity, who are trying to lay low, leave out of the Jyhad and doing their own thing. The little sister might have been an Anarch from the West Coast who fucked up some shit and had to run.

                            In short, humans as Touchstones as the base for the Humanity system is stressing the idea of vampires trying to remain human by connecting to humans. That is a viable take on the matter, but it's not the only one and Masquerade always made others possible and featured extensively in the setting and fluff and rules. I believe it should remain that way, because that kind of diversity in possible stories and playstyles is a strength of Masquerade.


                            If nothing worked, then let's think!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                              I don't see how an object or place couldn't serve these functions where a human does. Heck, it even says someone can be a touchstone because they guard or protect something you value (a doorman for your building, someone who lives in your old house, the person who cleans your gravesite).
                              I would argue that if you do remove the literal human part of the equation the character in question would clearly be on a path.
                              Though I don't see characters who view and value humans as (much as) zombies on humanity, let alone on high humanity. The claim occurs to me rather as an idolization of sociopathy.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Teylen View Post
                                I would argue that if you do remove the literal human part of the equation the character in question would clearly be on a path.
                                Why would you argue that? Again, the text makes a few things abundantly clear.
                                - Humanity is about how close your are to human concerns.
                                - Touchstones matter because they represent what the Kindred valued in life.
                                The rule that a Touchstone must be human seems exceedingly arbitrary given these reasons. More-so when some of the humans only matter in-so-far as their connection to a place or object. What is valued in life, human concerns? Very much can relate to objects and places. The idea that Igor the Gravetender getting fired might cause you to lose Humanity, but the actual tombstone weathering away wouldn't? That seems backwards based on the very principles laid out.

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