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Reworking Touchstones

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  • #31
    I'd like to have different paths as well.
    I'd like to have non-human touchstones - (non npc touchstones as well - avoid glut of npcs and allow more space for organically designed npcs where they make sense and are needed)
    Differences between sects approach to morality would be cool as well. I like to think Camarilla tries to pretend at humanity, sabbat tries to pretend at being monsters, and I dunno about the anarchs. Pretend at being rebels?

    One idea I had was touchstones are an anarch specific thing, developed as an alternative to paths. The disadvantage of them would be they're a lot less effective (ie, without the more concrete path to clutch tightly to the touchstone based anarchs are more addicted to blood - a camarilla vamp can go to hunger 0 without having to kill, but has to follow his path). If I implemented this I'd probably make the paths either more constricting, or make it cost more when you alter your path rating. (It's more of a traumatic experience, takes some time to recover from) - the advantage of touchstones is they're a lot more fluid (can just have a handful of people you keep an eye on once or twice a month and vaguely match up to Stuff You Care about, no need to have an entire set of codes you need to adher to and can't pick yourself, just a few personal handmade principles).

    Heavy Arms if you don't want them to connect to Convictions would you connect them to anything else? I guess if you didn't go with the above idea you could explicitly connect them to a path instead (ie, touchstone are v5 paths).So you have path of humanity touchstones, path of the feral heart touchstones, path of honor touchstones etcetera.

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    • #32
      Yes, I'd connect them directly to Path. Especially since you could have Touchstones work slightly differently per Path to help replace the functions of Virtues.

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      • #33
        V5 Long Road Out of Hell is a very fun way the fans made to have those inhuman Touchstones. I practically use it as they are, with a few changes. And to be honest, to do a Sabbat Tenets you just have to get the Street Code one (example in the corebook) and change the last one. Tenets for me ain't an absolute judgment, it's something more the players and Storyteller think should be considered Stain worthy in their game, be it a social/cultural convention or something that should not be made lightly. You can even consider your Pack/Coterie a Touchstone and it makes sense if you so wish, the texts might seem to limit it, but the mechanics are ripe for the changing of Mortals to anything you damn well please, and with the Long Road pdf you have a nice basis. When V5 came saying it wanted to be a game of Personal Horror, it did it, because the Convictions, the Touchstones, the Tenets, they are all personal, the game's "morals" (lets call it) are totally based on what the players and GM personally want (to call horror).

        Even then, I'm excited just as anyone is for the V5 Sabbat book coming up, and want to see how they do the whole Path of Enlightenment thing (which until now I've always loved the idea, but never saw it be well used in-game, it really just seemed to be "I don't want consequences" or "I don't want to care for Humanity", which bogs down the idea of the game, what I suppose some people want, because they want a Vampire setting and powers but without the ideological e humane struggles, and that's okay, but I'm the guy who wants those thing in the game, so I prefer to have something I can use or ignore than just nothin'.

        I'm working also in a system where you have to visit or at least care for one Touchstone each week (sending someone to look for him/her, sending a message or using some stalking works) and interacting with it can recuperate Willpower, give bonuses in something the Touchstone is good, and even remove one Stain after some peep talk. Just to make Touchstones more alive and apparent in the game. Cuz that's something I really didn't dig in the game, you have no obligation to ever see the Touchstone, you can have a lady that lives in the countryside that you saw once on the TV and (un)live for hundreds of years without seeing her, which is good because you are ignorant to anything it suffers so no Stains, and be all fine and dandy according to the rules as written. The Storyteller kinda has to do all the job of keeping the Touchstones relevant and real, and bar players from creating ones that never will come out in the story, otherwise they are just a name on the border of some paper. The Conviction will kinda live on without need for the Touchstone. But sometimes it feels forced to take someone (that might be from the other side of the city or country) and airdrop them in the story.


        Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

        -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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        • #34
          i think the main reason that touchstones got limited to only humans in V5 is because that was the best way they could come up with on how to translate paths was by limiting what touchstones you could take (so humanity take human touchstones, path of bones takes corpses, etc.) i don't think it's a great system (or even a good one) but that's the story with V5 in general for me.

          a homebrew idea I've been wanting to try out (more of a vague outline then anything concrete really) is to replace chronicle tenets with path tenets and have touchstones be anything so long as it serves a purpose towards your chosen path (weter that be the easing of guilt, creating opportunities for self improvement, or perhaps something to study for the more scholarly oriented paths)

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          • #35
            Originally posted by archderd View Post
            i think the main reason that touchstones got limited to only humans in V5 is because that was the best way they could come up with on how to translate paths was by limiting what touchstones you could take (so humanity take human touchstones, path of bones takes corpses, etc.) i don't think it's a great system (or even a good one) but that's the story with V5 in general for me.

            a homebrew idea I've been wanting to try out (more of a vague outline then anything concrete really) is to replace chronicle tenets with path tenets and have touchstones be anything so long as it serves a purpose towards your chosen path (weter that be the easing of guilt, creating opportunities for self improvement, or perhaps something to study for the more scholarly oriented paths)
            I think the reason they limited touchstones to humans, and indeed created touchstones to begin with, was two-fold: one is, they wanted to create the flavor inherent to so much vampire fiction where a human is central to the vampire's journey. Mina in some Dracula movies, Natalie in Forever Knight, Bella in Twilight, etc. Where there is a vampire protagonist, there is usually a human, usually female, who helps him get in touch with his humanity.

            The other is that they just like the sort of angsty systems you see in Wraith: the Oblivion. They very much want Vampire to be a Wraith-like game, not the game it usually is, which is politics, detective work, and fighting. So they keep trying to make us play Vampire as Wraith-style game by hook or by crook. And we sigh and homebrew our way out of it and go right back to political scheming, detective-working, and waging war.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

              I think the reason they limited touchstones to humans, and indeed created touchstones to begin with, was two-fold: one is, they wanted to create the flavor inherent to so much vampire fiction where a human is central to the vampire's journey. Mina in some Dracula movies, Natalie in Forever Knight, Bella in Twilight, etc. Where there is a vampire protagonist, there is usually a human, usually female, who helps him get in touch with his humanity.

              The other is that they just like the sort of angsty systems you see in Wraith: the Oblivion. They very much want Vampire to be a Wraith-like game, not the game it usually is, which is politics, detective work, and fighting. So they keep trying to make us play Vampire as Wraith-style game by hook or by crook. And we sigh and homebrew our way out of it and go right back to political scheming, detective-working, and waging war.
              i was more so referring to the adjustment from requiem's touchstone system besides they already introduced non-human touchstones in CotBG (in the harbinger's loresheet there's a merit that let's you take a corpse as a touchstone) and i'm gonna predict now that they're going to introduce more in the upcoming sabbath book as V5's version of paths.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by archderd View Post
                replace chronicle tenets with path tenets and have touchstones be anything so long as it serves a purpose towards your chosen path
                ¿what would be the difference between chronicle tenets and path tenets?.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                  ¿what would be the difference between chronicle tenets and path tenets?.
                  path tenets would be chosen by the individual player and be tailored to the character rather then the chronicle.
                  and as i said this is more of a general outline more so then a finished idea

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                  • #39
                    Also, I keep seeing a lot of people talk about Humanity being 'moral' in V5. It's not, it's more about being Human. You can have entirely negative relationships with your Touchstones, entirely twisted and immoral individuals as Touchstones, and immoral Convictions, as long as it ties to something that reminds you that You Are Not The Beast. It's pretty obvious if you look at everything as a whole, such as that there's no default sins or Stain-giving actions that aren't tied to Doing Vampire Shit.

                    Unlike Revised, where default humanity had, y'know, theft as a sin against Humanity. V5's descriptors of Humanity aren't great to describe what the actual Humanity system represents in V5.

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                    • #40
                      I've always thought that any Path(and humanity is a path in this context) must provide an answer to the two inhumanly passionate urges vampires feel: the urge to glut yourself heedless of all consequences when hungry, and the urge to smash anything that angers you even a little. Being inhumanly intense urges, they gradually erode the vampire's mind until there is nothing left but those urges.

                      Each Path solves this in its own way:

                      Humanity-I will not glut myself when hungry or destroy anything that makes me even slightly angry because that would harm other people which is evil.

                      Feral Heart-I will not glut myself when hungry or destroy anything that angers me even slightly because that would be self-destructive, and intelligent, aware predators do not engage in self-destructive behaviors. Be a wolf, not a maniac.

                      Honorable Accord-I will not glut myself when hungry or destroy anything that angers me even slightly because such self-destructive behaviors would make it impossible to honor my sacred oaths, either by my directly violating them, or indirectly by drawing hunter attention to those I have sworn loyalty to.

                      Any belief system that doesn't have an answer to those two urges is useless.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by elmerg View Post
                        Also, I keep seeing a lot of people talk about Humanity being 'moral' in V5. It's not, it's more about being Human. You can have entirely negative relationships with your Touchstones, entirely twisted and immoral individuals as Touchstones, and immoral Convictions, as long as it ties to something that reminds you that You Are Not The Beast. It's pretty obvious if you look at everything as a whole, such as that there's no default sins or Stain-giving actions that aren't tied to Doing Vampire Shit.
                        Blame V5 fluff, that talks about morals and suggests positive relationships.

                        If we go to that, "default sins" themselves are quite awkward. Nothing in the whole chapter suggests them, they're just slapped on your face as rules with no explanation - and they may be another obstacle to port some Paths into V5.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by elmerg View Post
                          Also, I keep seeing a lot of people talk about Humanity being 'moral' in V5. It's not, it's more about being Human. You can have entirely negative relationships with your Touchstones, entirely twisted and immoral individuals as Touchstones, and immoral Convictions, as long as it ties to something that reminds you that You Are Not The Beast. It's pretty obvious if you look at everything as a whole, such as that there's no default sins or Stain-giving actions that aren't tied to Doing Vampire Shit.

                          Unlike Revised, where default humanity had, y'know, theft as a sin against Humanity. V5's descriptors of Humanity aren't great to describe what the actual Humanity system represents in V5.
                          I disagree.

                          Dominate 5, terminal decree, is vampire mind control stuff no matter how you look at it.

                          BUT

                          It can or can not give the PC stains. It will depend of the order. More evil = more stains.

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                          • #43
                            I think it's fair to say that this is one of the places where V5 struggles as it tries to mesh traditional concepts from VtM with new designs (in this case largely from VtR 2e). Some sections of the book are written to the idea that Humanity is about being "human." Some parts are about it enforcing a vague idea of ethical/moral behavior. Some parts are about making it flexible to multiple options. These parts didn't talk to each other as well as they should.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                              Blame V5 fluff, that talks about morals and suggests positive relationships.

                              If we go to that, "default sins" themselves are quite awkward. Nothing in the whole chapter suggests them, they're just slapped on your face as rules with no explanation - and they may be another obstacle to port some Paths into V5.

                              Oh, I do blame that fluff. I feel like they were going with a vision more close to the old Humanity system early on, then changed gears -- but forgot to edit the text. Same goes with the 'automatic stains' list, which are all tied to 'doing stuff that reinforces the vampiric nature'. As much as I love V5, there are some areas where they needed a second editing pass.



                              Originally posted by blailton View Post

                              I disagree.

                              Dominate 5, terminal decree, is vampire mind control stuff no matter how you look at it.

                              BUT

                              It can or can not give the PC stains. It will depend of the order. More evil = more stains.
                              By 'vampire stuff' I more mean things that reinforce the vampiric nature of the character, All of the auto-stain stuff aren't specifically evil actions. Just mind controlling someone isn't inherently vampiric (in the greater scope of the WoD, as well as humans -- you can mindwhammy someone pretty hard with the right techniques, indoctrination, etc.)

                              But all the default stains are things that reinforce your vampiric nature -- Embracing, ghouling, etc.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by elmerg View Post


                                Oh, I do blame that fluff. I feel like they were going with a vision more close to the old Humanity system early on, then changed gears -- but forgot to edit the text. Same goes with the 'automatic stains' list, which are all tied to 'doing stuff that reinforces the vampiric nature'. As much as I love V5, there are some areas where they needed a second editing pass.





                                By 'vampire stuff' I more mean things that reinforce the vampiric nature of the character, All of the auto-stain stuff aren't specifically evil actions. Just mind controlling someone isn't inherently vampiric (in the greater scope of the WoD, as well as humans -- you can mindwhammy someone pretty hard with the right techniques, indoctrination, etc.)

                                But all the default stains are things that reinforce your vampiric nature -- Embracing, ghouling, etc.
                                Using this logic, you should can mind control someone to commit suicide without gaining stains, too, bc this is not inherently vampiric. ¬¬

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