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  • Golconda Subplot

    As I have some higher humanity NPCs in my campaign I’ve decided to come up with a subplot.

    If a player attempts to reach this state one of the NPCs will assist them. Alternatively if they aren’t interested but are allies somehow with one of the NPCs, that npc will ask for help. The NPC has already done the legwork to figure out the ritual to find possibly achieve it. But they'll need a spiritual mentor for it to work.

    Through a variable style ritual aka Suspire (mutual prayer, sweat lodge, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, etc) that suits the attempted philosophy they both will enter a spiritual white room. This only works if they have willpower 10, still have their beast(if taken by animalism 5), maxed virtues, and humanity will be debatable (read more to see why). The helper will be a spectral viewer that only the person sees or hears.

    The person attempting to reach Golconda will see themselves in the distance. Near them will be a table with 3 objects(it'll be vague or ghost-like until they ask what they are).
    The mirror version of them is the beast. The beast walks quickly up to them with purpose and willful intent as it's eyes glow red, with claws growing. What they choose determines one of the five outcomes.

    (1) They can grab a stake (or other preferred weapon) off the first table and slay the beast. A difficult fight should occur (since it is their mirror its basically a 50/50 chance).
    (1a) By winning they have defeated the beast. They are awarded with their humanity. Their humanity is restored to them. They can never again be cursed. They live as an immortal who doesn't age, but are still susceptible to mortal deaths (disease, poison, damage, etc).
    (1b) If they fail the fight, the beast attempts to devour their soul. They choose to kill themselves rather then allow the beast to devour them. As a result they keep their soul, but lose their life. Their physical body disintegrates. They have failed the Suspire.

    (2) They can grab a chain (or something equivalent) and attempt to contain the beast. The beast attempts to break free in order to kill them.
    (2a) If they win this challenge the beast is permanently contained. They no longer are capable of frenzy or rotschrek. They lose 1 blood per week rather then per day. Sunlight damage becomes bashing and is halved before soak. They need not sleep at night. If they choose not to they spend a blood. All attempts to diablerize you automatically become a botch.
    (2b) If they fail this challenge they beast instead contains them and laughs at their torment. They enter wassail and scream off into the night as a mad beast that needs to be put down.

    (3) They run away. They fail the Suspire and can never again attempt again. This nagging feeling will drive them insane slowly over millenia. They gain a derangement.

    (4) They grab an olive branch (or equivalent) from the third table. The beast merges with them. They reconcile with their nature. Their (discipline levels)/(max blood pool)/(BP per turn) are not capped by generation.

    If the player is attempting Golconda then these are obviously the rewards in of themselves. If instead they help an NPC reach it, the NPC will retire, or die, and then bequeath their domain, retainers, herd, and resources to the player.

    My questions for the group:
    How can i make this more thematic?
    How can i revise this mechanically to make this an epic challenge. I'm considering own humanity vs own willpower rolls(the beast always has a 10).

    disclaimer: I don't like traits higher then 5, so i don't use those. in case you were wondering.

  • #2
    I would personally treat the chain as a fail condition. There are only two ways out. Humanity or acceptance, Any other choice is the wrong choice. So I'd give a couple other thematic options but ultimately acceptance or rejection are the only true methods where others are false and ultimate failures.

    Comment


    • #3
      Firstly (And this is probably controversial) Don't make success or failure based on the whims of fate and dice. The actions chosen should determine success ad failure; like with a Wraith's Harrowing (and you might want to cross post for advice there!)

      Secondly, I want to 100% disagree with Lian, but not just for shits and giggles; here's the reason.

      Humanity is about being more human than human, suppressing and surpassing the baser instincts and no longer being selfish or harming others; in order to even be in a position to try for golconda, you can't harm anyone anymore, even accidentally. You can't be selfish or even think selfish thoughts.

      You have to beat the beast without braking any of the tenants of humanity, including injuring another. If a character thinks of Violence as an answer, they have failed.
      Subduing someone, or chaining them is a reasonable option, so is running away.

      I would push the tenants of Humanity further for Golconda; Allowing someone to come to harm when it is in your power to stop it. Give that theme for the challenge.

      So, the beast breaks out, it can attack them or passers by. A Humanity 10 character can technically let a best/monster attack others, it's better than getting involved and accidentally hurting someone (including the monster) *Unless the character is thinking of it selfishly, to save their road at the cost of other's lives)

      You want the character to surpass that level of humanity for a higher state - make them find a way of saving the others without causing harm to anyone including the Beast as another person.

      Comment


      • #4
        @Lian
        Yeah. I thought that at first. But I wanted to split the bonuses of Golconda. Maybe revert back and give all bonuses for acceptance? Just imagined sun resistance and extended blood usage should be a different reward.

        Originally the chain would just have the beast chained temporarily then it breaks free and eats the character and they go into wassail.

        Comment


        • #5
          @Illithid
          Good point. The violence perspective breaks the tenants.
          Maybe I juxtapose the chains effects and the weapons effects. The obvious outcome is what the characters expect. If I switch it up on them that’s a better twist.

          Comment


          • #6
            A lot of vampire players may go the stake, but it's still a violent action. (Unless you want to look at the metaphysical action of harming the beast as targeting yourself/sacrificing yourself to prevent further harm which is technically a high humanity option too.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Plot twist killing the beast with the stake kills you becuase without the beast there is no curse animating your dead body so you just become a mortal before having your "last suspire".


              Hunger pool

              Comment


              • #8
                Devoloping this further

                I would make the "CHAINS ENDING" classic golconda providing sun-walking abilities and a disminished need to feed with the twist that by chaining the beast you just made yourself a thin blood free from the antediluvians and the jyhad becuase containing the beast is equal to containing your own power source.However you can fall from this state if you don´t follow your moral tenets or choose to free the beast to reclaim your own powers in post of your agenda and this is why the incomunu teaches his member to not intervine.

                Now this is just my opinion but the ACEPTANCE ENDING should not be attaininable on the path of humanity becuase the beast is pure instinct and desire but and at level 10 of humanity you are doing the opposite of accepting the beast you are deniying it along all your selfish desires to become a Budha like being so this ending should only be avalible if you are following a path of enlighment.

                True Golconda (Humanity 10) is to grab the stake and go for NIRVANA ENDING and the CHAINS ENDING (humanity 9-8) is not only the beast getting chained but also you getting trapped by your desires into your undead body and it is becuase this isnt true golconda that you can fall from it in the same way that can fall from the ACEPTANCE ENDING if you stop following the tenets of your path.


                Hunger pool

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                  Firstly (And this is probably controversial) Don't make success or failure based on the whims of fate and dice. The actions chosen should determine success ad failure; like with a Wraith's Harrowing (and you might want to cross post for advice there!)

                  Secondly, I want to 100% disagree with Lian, but not just for shits and giggles; here's the reason.

                  Humanity is about being more human than human, suppressing and surpassing the baser instincts and no longer being selfish or harming others; in order to even be in a position to try for golconda, you can't harm anyone anymore, even accidentally. You can't be selfish or even think selfish thoughts.

                  You have to beat the beast without braking any of the tenants of humanity, including injuring another. If a character thinks of Violence as an answer, they have failed.
                  Subduing someone, or chaining them is a reasonable option, so is running away.
                  I don't think supressing the beast is a failed state, but I don't think you have more than "Become human" "Transcend". One can tie oneself completely to humanity and "fail' because of God's mercy.... or you can make the jump. Go beyond your Path and Find true enlightenment. This means for humanity to accept the Beast for other paths.. it is different. They have to make a jump move beyond the path to become whole become a Buddha.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So conditions shift if you’re on a path...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My personal take on Golconda is that you have to find the perfection of the theme of the path/road to reach Golconda, but obviously most people have different views in it all because it's never been specified.
                      *Edit, so yes, when trying to find Golconda on a Path, you are looking to surpass the tenants of that path. - Tzimesce's modern evolution into the Viscisitude discipline, creature under New York or as described in the Gehenna Book would all be Golconda on Road of Metamorphosis

                      I'm also currently of the mindset that you can only find Golconda on a ROAD. The pinnacle of a Path may let you realize how to covert it to a Road at low levels (with Aura modifiers etc)

                      ** I believe that Paths are a cheaper stripped down way of handling the beast that are easier to learn and maintain without the support system of Roads (like priests of the roads) brought about out of necessity with the high embrace rates during and after the first Anarch revolt. Perfected by Velya and Lugoj (or the Tzimesce Eldest, depending on your timing and sub-plots) with Vykos adding the final touch when he/she/it (yet again, depending on the time) realized that burying your embraces, forcing them to dig to freedom and recognizing their monstrosity, makes it easier for them to transition to paths from humanity.
                      Last edited by Illithid; 01-24-2019, 06:37 PM. Reason: Added Edit above

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
                        As I have some higher humanity NPCs in my campaign I’ve decided to come up with a subplot.

                        If a player attempts to reach this state one of the NPCs will assist them. Alternatively if they aren’t interested but are allies somehow with one of the NPCs, that npc will ask for help. The NPC has already done the legwork to figure out the ritual to find possibly achieve it. But they'll need a spiritual mentor for it to work.

                        Through a variable style ritual aka Suspire (mutual prayer, sweat lodge, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, etc) that suits the attempted philosophy they both will enter a spiritual white room. This only works if they have willpower 10, still have their beast(if taken by animalism 5), maxed virtues, and humanity will be debatable (read more to see why). The helper will be a spectral viewer that only the person sees or hears.

                        The person attempting to reach Golconda will see themselves in the distance. Near them will be a table with 3 objects(it'll be vague or ghost-like until they ask what they are).
                        The mirror version of them is the beast. The beast walks quickly up to them with purpose and willful intent as it's eyes glow red, with claws growing. What they choose determines one of the five outcomes.

                        (...)
                        I very often like it greatly when in fictions a character ( or a group ) gets some kind of characterful benefit from achieving a great success in regard to an ideal or philosophy.
                        I like how you divided up the different benefits depending on the choice.

                        Would reaching an exalted state of being be similar for Paths of Enlightenment ( or for Roads ) , and would it also be called Golconda ? I am thinking that each of the Paths of Enlightenment should have different set of 2-4 choices and outcomes. I have thought about one for Vampires on the Path of Lilith

                        Items on a tree, or on a bush, in this white ( or dark ) spiritual area, or room :

                        A barbed whip - The Vampire takes the barbed whip and lashes repeatedly with it at the Beast, which is rendered hapless and subservient under it's strikes even as it starts to hiss with pleasure between cries of pain. Indeed, there is power and wisdom in pain. This is Supremacy.

                        A plant seed – The Vampire takes the seed, which flashes with all the colours that are and can be. She ( or he ) realizes that she needs help in nurturing it. She notices that the Beast is amazed by the myriad colours of the seed and how they shift. The Beast seems humble and willing to cooperate - maybe for the first time, maybe not. The Beast holds it's hand outstretched. Although she has her doubts, the Vampire still gives the seed to it. The Beast eats the seed, enjoying the bitter taste. Seeing the sense in nurturing a garden, the Beast bows before the Vampire. This is Acceptance.

                        A branch with many thorns - The Vampire grasps the branch, and as the thorns pierce her skin, her senses become intense beyond limits. To have an outlet for the experience, she pierces through one of her hands with the whole branch. As the thorns grow rapidly and become sharper, she cries out in pain before an ecstasy and bliss settles over her, and then she continues to tremble in silence. The Beast watches, and knows that it can not at all surpass or equal the Vampire in pain, nor in endurance, nor in understanding. The Beast looks lost and ashamed for a moment, and then it kneels before the Vampire. This is Mastery.

                        There is no chance for failure ; I think that at this point it should be just a choice, or turning away from it with the option to choose later. A Vampire who has gone so far should be safe from a major or total failure. I always thought that the idea of failing Golconda's Suspire, with major consequences, was a strange and wrong.

                        I will think and post later what benefits each of the choices for the Bahari Vampires gives.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-25-2019, 08:09 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
                          So conditions shift if you’re on a path...

                          A number of paths/Roads are functionally "Be a good vampire" which I'm going to say are Dead ends. They work to keep the beast at bay but that's it. Golconda I see as "seeing the Road beyond the Road" internalizing a Greater Truth than just merely following the Road. There's also following the Road to its natural ends.

                          I wonder though what do people think of someone who climbed up multiple roads then jumped to another trying to find "real" truth?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                            I will think and post later what benefits each of the choices for the Bahari Vampires gives.
                            If I had to do it similarly to how it is assigned in the opening post, it would be :

                            Supremacy – one Blood Point per week , instead of one per night, is necessary for the Vampire.
                            Acceptance – Her ( or his ) maximum Attributes ( not Disciplines or other Traits ) increase to nine.
                            Mastery – the Vampire no longer has her ( now former ) Clan Weakness.
                            All three make it so that the Vampire cannot Frenzy, unless she enters the state of her own choice.

                            But I dislike such a division of benefits, a lot, because the “No limits to maximum Attributes and Disciplines” ( or similar ) benefit is clearly the best benefit for any Vampires who are not of a low Generation ; and it is not useful at all for Vampires of 4th and lower Generations.

                            As such, I thought about this :

                            All of the three choices and outcomes result in the Vampire ganing all of these benefits : Maximum Attributes and Disciplines and increased to nine ; one Blood Point per week is necessary, instead of one per night ; cannot Frenzy, unless she enters the state of her own choice ; can suppress her Clan Weakness by spending a Willpower Dot, the duration of this is based on how well she rolls on a Willpower roll, at most it is several nights.
                            The Vampire's Attributes are increase by one based on what she chose and what happened :
                            Supremacy – all Social Attributes increase by one
                            Acceptance – all Physical Attributes increase by one
                            Mastery – all Mental Attributes increase by one

                            Additionally, a Vampire on the Path of Lilith who reaches an Exalted state of being can make her body function similarly to the living. This is done without any expenditure of Blood Points or Willpower, and without need for any tests, and without any time limitations. The Vampire's Aura does not necessarily change to any considerable extent because of this, but it can happen.
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-26-2019, 04:43 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
                              As I have some higher humanity NPCs in my campaign I’ve decided to come up with a subplot.

                              If a player attempts to reach this state one of the NPCs will assist them. Alternatively if they aren’t interested but are allies somehow with one of the NPCs, that npc will ask for help. The NPC has already done the legwork to figure out the ritual to find possibly achieve it. But they'll need a spiritual mentor for it to work.

                              Through a variable style ritual aka Suspire (mutual prayer, sweat lodge, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, etc) that suits the attempted philosophy they both will enter a spiritual white room. This only works if they have willpower 10, still have their beast(if taken by animalism 5), maxed virtues, and humanity will be debatable (read more to see why). The helper will be a spectral viewer that only the person sees or hears.

                              The person attempting to reach Golconda will see themselves in the distance. Near them will be a table with 3 objects(it'll be vague or ghost-like until they ask what they are).
                              The mirror version of them is the beast. The beast walks quickly up to them with purpose and willful intent as it's eyes glow red, with claws growing. What they choose determines one of the five outcomes.
                              (...)
                              How long the Vampire has to choose ? I assume it is around five to twenty minutes. I think it should be longer, around forty five minutes.
                              Can the helper character influence what happens in any way, or contact the character during this ?
                              Does the Vampire get any idea or inkling about what will result from each of the choices ? I assume that no, unless she ( or he ) is particularly insightful, or makes some effort to consider and realize it.

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