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Paths and the Sabbat in 5e

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  • Let's take a look at Requiem 2. Touchstones there don't have to be your BFF. They can be incidental humans that you meet during your nightly routine. The newspaper seller where you've bought newspapers each night for three years, the bus driver that sometimes chats with you, or the old cat lady that's always up when you are. You don't even have to figure prominently in their lives; they just have to remind you what it means to be human.

    If I had to pick three touchstones that remind me of humanity, it would be the nice woman at the butcher's account with who I am bantering each time I see her. The barister at the café where I am buying me breakfast each morning. He actually genuinely smiles. But also my godchild who I see growing up into a talented woman. These are not my BFFs, not even the people I spent most of my time with. But they remind me of kindness, growth, and small things that make me happy.

    This can work for any Kindred, and any Cainite. No human is a complete monster, and no vampire is either. If you live your unlife without any meeting any human at all, I am curious how a vampire is going to do this inside their natural habitate: cities! You will run across some humans eventually that you don't kill on sight.

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    • The objective seems to me to reduce the political game and to say to fight to protect some mortal is to increase personal horror, which is not true. Vampiric paranoiac politics was a byproduct of personal horror and how the beast acted to generate mistrust and corruption about their relationships, feelings and ideals, which led the spiral to use ever more obscure means and to create such a political environment. oppressive and hateful relationships so toxic to be maintained by kindred rather than simply solve problems, cultivate them carefully.

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      • 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.
        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.
        Though that's already leaning toward the interpretation of humanity as connection to humans. They had very deep relationships with each other and with other vampires, they clearly weren't sociopaths. They've just distanced themselves from humans after several hundreds (maybe more) years of unlife, but they weren't inhuman or monstrous. You could do that with the old Humanity, while maintaning a high value, but not with the Touchstones system.

        The point of Humanity as morality, instead of connection to humans, is keeping human values as guidelines and restrictions against the Beast. The Paths are keeping inhuman values (from the viewpoint of humans) as such.


        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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        • Originally posted by Murder-of-Crows View Post
          Let's take a look at Requiem 2. Touchstones there don't have to be your BFF. They can be incidental humans that you meet during your nightly routine. The newspaper seller where you've bought newspapers each night for three years, the bus driver that sometimes chats with you, or the old cat lady that's always up when you are. You don't even have to figure prominently in their lives; they just have to remind you what it means to be human.

          If I had to pick three touchstones that remind me of humanity, it would be the nice woman at the butcher's account with who I am bantering each time I see her. The barister at the café where I am buying me breakfast each morning. He actually genuinely smiles. But also my godchild who I see growing up into a talented woman. These are not my BFFs, not even the people I spent most of my time with. But they remind me of kindness, growth, and small things that make me happy.

          This can work for any Kindred, and any Cainite. No human is a complete monster, and no vampire is either. If you live your unlife without any meeting any human at all, I am curious how a vampire is going to do this inside their natural habitate: cities! You will run across some humans eventually that you don't kill on sight.
          Yeah, and that's why I say Touchstones could be an, in fact, nice addition as a background, or merit. I just disagree with the premise of this take on Humanity as a baseline.

          As I said above, that's the Being Human/Vampire Diaries kind of humanity. You are more human, because you connect with humans. That's, again a viable approach, but it doesn't fi a lot of characters, from VtM and other source material too. That Humanity is keeping yourself adhering to humane morals, instead of becoming an inhuman monster is also a viable take.


          If nothing worked, then let's think!

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          • Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post
            The objective seems to me to reduce the political game and to say to fight to protect some mortal is to increase personal horror, which is not true. Vampiric paranoiac politics was a byproduct of personal horror and how the beast acted to generate mistrust and corruption about their relationships, feelings and ideals, which led the spiral to use ever more obscure means and to create such a political environment. oppressive and hateful relationships so toxic to be maintained by kindred rather than simply solve problems, cultivate them carefully.
            As I see it, the Touchstones system, since Requiem 2e was designed to drive home the point that you became a monster and you are no longer a part of society, but you're trying to, because that keeps you sane. So, yeah, it is designed to increase "personal" horror as in, existential horror and feeling of otherness and ostracism. And in Requiem 2e, it works. I just don't particularly like it, because it stresses one kind of stories and not really support (or even actively hinders) others.

            And really, it goes against just too many things in VtM's fluff. How many clans' first thing to do after Embrace is severing all ties with the childe's old life? What about how vmpires call humans? Kine. Cattle.

            Yes, Touchstones could have a part, because it's good if the game has ample tools to handle the wanting-to-be-human and part of humanity vampires kinda stories, but it shouldn't be the baseline, IMO. VtM has a much wider focus than that and for good.


            If nothing worked, then let's think!

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            • Why should we better the lives of mortals?
              Do they not hound me and strike at me at every turn? I owe them nothing but ashes and spite and would not stoop to help them even if we all became safer for it!
              Dixit Hardestadt, leader of the Camarilla at the Convention of Thorns, and with a beautiful 2 in Humanity ^^ .
              Connection to mortals just appears, in this case alone, more than failing...

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