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A more Humane Path of Paradox

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  • A more Humane Path of Paradox

    My player has decided her character will finally abandon Humanity, and we took some inspiration from the Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency series about the idea of being "a leaf in the stream of creation", or accepting one's destiny and purpose.

    For our game, we used the Path of Paradox and the way it deals with karmic and dharmic principles to create a Path that believes in Destiny, Fate and predestination, and embraces them wholesale. It is irreligious, without any reference to Eastern beliefs, although it is not agnostic.

    We also kept Humanity, or at least a more humane approach, as part of the synthesis of beliefs for the new Path. Hence we took away the more fanatical Sins of levels 7-10 of Paradox, although the Path still keeps the motive of its followers as Destiny Keepers. Interfering with another's Destiny or allowing it to be interfered with is still against the Path's beliefs, and killing is permitted or even mandatory in these cases. Someone threatening the existence of another is always viewed as interfering with that person's Destiny in this moral code.

    We used the Path of Paradox of DAV20 and the Samsara Path of Paradox from Lore of the Clans as references (our favorite versions of the Path).

    The Hierarchy of Sins
    10 - Questioning Destiny
    9 - Failure to kill someone threatening another's (or your own) Destiny

    8 - Failure to follow your Destiny
    7 - Killing
    6 - Allowing personal affairs to interfere in your Destiny
    5 - Failure to aid in another's Destiny
    4 - Embracing, except as a critical part of your Destiny
    3 - Killing, unless in self-defense (or in the defense of another)
    2 - Failure to accept you Destiny
    1 - Utter perversion or heinous acts

    Virtues: Conscience, Self-Control
    Bearing: Same as Path of Paradox

    Thoughts? Any suggestion regarding the Hierarchy of Sins? Sins that should me moved around? Is this too strict, or too permitting? Does it make sense?

  • #2
    My initial thought is that "destiny" is far to vague, ans I don't really like the hipocritical approach of its ok to mess with someone elses destiny if they are messing with anorher's destiny.

    9 and 4 are mutually exclisive ith 7, and 3 isn't on friendly terms either. 7 needs to be changed.

    Overall, without a more clear idea on destiny itself, I would say far too permitting, but Im not familiar with your show or book, so that might play into it.


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    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback! Is the vagueness in the idea of Destiny an issue for you with the concepts of karma and dharma in the Path of Paradox as well, or do you feel they are better defined there?

      Number 7 really is at odds with the rest, we'll revise. It probably needs a conditional. Maybe "Killing, unless serving Destiny's purpose", but that is certainly even more hypocritical - although that is the intended issue somewhat. Specially in the idea of singling out disruptors of destinies as ok victims, when the Path follower in the end will probably be the greatest aggressor.

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      • #4
        I'm curious why the need to abandon Humanity, but also keep several core tenants of Humanity anyway? (utter perversion/heinous acts and killing). Just seems like Humanity-lite with the ability to beat people up without feeling bad, no offense.

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        • #5
          Monalfie The character is very straightforwardly abandoning Humanity and human ways, we wanted to address this in the System with the adoption of a Path. Destiny, fate and predestination is a main issue in our game, and in the character's concepts, thus we chose Paradox, which is alredy about these somewhat. The character has studied and been initiated in the Path of Paradox, but neither the Player nor the character liked the Path as is. Some core tenets of Humanity felt really important for the character, while understanding oneself as human did not make sense anymore. We trust each other as Storyteller and Player, thus we don't really fear the problem of "The Path of What I Was Going To Do Anyway" coming up as an issue, even though we are trying to avoid it. We want to create a Path that poses challenges and gives roleplaing cues in our game.

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          • #6
            Why does the character think it's alright to kill someone threatening his own or another's destiny? Maybe it's that person's destiny to be a killer?

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            • #7
              I gotcha. I guess the issue I'm running into looking at these sins is that they don't necessarily feel like they fit the ethos of the path. So, embracing is a level one on Samsara because you're messing with someone's destiny ( or purpose, I forget) and giving them a new one. Hence why the level one, three, and seven feel out of place.

              If Destiny is what matters, that would be all that matters. Whereas if they want Humanity, they can use that. I find the idea of merging these odd. Part of going on a Path is moving to a new mindset more-so than necessarily melding the old.

              Sorry, though, not trying to be critical or muck up the thread. I'd probably just cut the aspects of Humanity to reorganize some of the sins. But you might have more thought out reasons for why some of these would matter so much as sins for the Path follower.

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              • #8
                Vendrin We considered the possibility that someone's Destiny would be to become someone else's killer, but felt that was hard to phrase in the form of a Sin. I do agree that it needs to go there somehow. Ideas?

                Monalfie You're not being too critical! That's exactly the feedback we wanted, since we are perhaps too inserted in the character's perspective to get some logical faults.

                Aside from Sin Level 1, 3 and 7, are there others that feel to humane for a Path that's supposedly about embracing the notion of how uncarig Fate might be?

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                • #9
                  The difference between two and eight seem a little vague. But otherwise no, I like it. Seems legit.

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                  • #10
                    One thing I would argue is that it is a GOOD thing that the character isn't completely on board with the path they've been taught.

                    Paths of Enlightenment are inherently DIFFERENT modes of thinking, and moving from humanity onto one is no easy task. Don't let the player get off easy by creating the "Path of Exactly How I Want It"; it should be a grueling process with many a moral crossroad. Maybe they find out humanity wasn't so bad after all. Maybe they develop a new path, eventually.

                    I would let it play out in real time. Make them start on Path lvl 1, and roleplay and XP their way up the path. Towards enlightenment.


                    Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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                    • #11
                      Honestly I don't think Paradox is the framework you want to build of off. its less a "be a leaf in the wind" and more "forge your monster into what fate requires" I'd say Path of Self Focus with its more wu wei philosophy might have a better framework to build off of..

                      http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Path_of_Self-Focus

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lian View Post
                        Honestly I don't think Paradox is the framework you want to build of off. its less a "be a leaf in the wind" and more "forge your monster into what fate requires" I'd say Path of Self Focus with its more wu wei philosophy might have a better framework to build off of..

                        http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Path_of_Self-Focus

                        That... was something I haven't considered... But it is an interesting approach! I'll talk with my player. Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Not sure if there's any point to jumping onto a new Path, if you're so attached to Humanity that you want several of its sins anyway.

                          Have you considered looking at other Paths from the Road of Humanity, described in the Dark Ages books? Perhaps, if vanilla Humanity isn't doing it for the player, but they still like it in principle, they might find a variant of Humanity more appealing.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                            Not sure if there's any point to jumping onto a new Path, if you're so attached to Humanity that you want several of its sins anyway.

                            Have you considered looking at other Paths from the Road of Humanity, described in the Dark Ages books? Perhaps, if vanilla Humanity isn't doing it for the player, but they still like it in principle, they might find a variant of Humanity more appealing.

                            That is a thought, this does sound alot more like a Road of Humanity Variant than Paradox.

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                            • #15
                              I like Paths and Roads and I like custom stuff. So I kind of like this.

                              But I think that before you start to mess around with a new hierarchy of sins and such, as has been suggested, I think that you foremost need to define exactly what Destiny is, what it means and how your Path followers know about it. Its my belief and understanding that since Destiny is the ideological foundation for this Path you need to get a good grip on that foundation before you start to build the rest of the construction.

                              As such in the Path's write up there should be this definition and information about Destiny and what it is and is not, according to the Path so the players using the Path are on the same page as the GM allowing it.

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