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Path of Harmony: original, Sins of Blood, or V20?

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  • Path of Harmony: original, Sins of Blood, or V20?

    All this talk about Sabbat and whatnot got me thinking about this. Until Revised came out, this was my favorite Path. Then it was Caine. After Sins of Blood, I was really digging it again.

    V20 simplified it by just swapping Conscience for Conviction with Feral Heart. I like simplicity, but I really think that Harmony is different enough it deserves its own write-up. Thoughts?

  • #2
    The Path of Harmony pleases me for aesthetic reasons. It lends itself to a different kind of character concept from what the Path of the Feral Heart does, justifying the existence of both as separate things. It's verbal and clinical where the Feral Heart is intuitive, approaching from a place of reason where Feral Heart approaches from feeling. It's easily the most Libra of the paths, and I'm a Libra in real life.

    The problem I have is with the "drawn from Native American spirituality" trope. This is pure Chakotay, an embarrassing example of white 1990's New Agers co-opting and erasing actual indigenous peoples in order to make themselves feel more magical. I don't know whether rejecting the soft racism of the Path of Harmony's fictional history was the reason why Revised Edition jettisoned the path out into space, but it would have been reason enough. I'd retcon that history if allowing the path as a Storyteller now.
    Last edited by Reasor; 10-25-2020, 03:06 PM.

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    • #3
      Imo harmony is terrible for a sabbat character, several of the sins are automatically broken by run of the mill sabbat activities


      You've been playing around the magic that is black
      But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reasor View Post
        The problem I have is with the "drawn from Native American spirituality" trope. This is pure Chakotay, an embarrassing example of white 1990's New Agers co-opting and erasing actual indigenous peoples in order to make themselves feel more magical. I don't know whether rejecting the soft racism of the Path of Harmony's fictional history was the reason why Revised Edition jettisoned the path out into space, but it would have been reason enough. I'd retcon that history if allowing the path as a Storyteller now.
        Don't you have the textual history backwards? The original writeup of the Path of Harmony in The Players Guide to the Sabbat doesn't mention Native American spirituality at all. Although text states that the path was developed in the late 1700s in the New World colonies, the description of its influences is pretty WASP:

        Originally posted by The Players Guide to the Sabbat, p. 95
        The Path of Harmony synthesized the various philosophies of the Romantics, including American ideals and transcendentalism. It put as much emphasis on emotion and divine Providence as it did on the natural law established by God.
        It's the Revised book Sins of the Blood that ties the Path of Harmony to Native American beliefs.

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        • #5
          You're probably right, I don't have a lot of the older texts in my collection anymore.

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          • #6
            Dwight hit on it. I was re-reading (is that a word?) the original Path, and it was already talking about in decline due to constant Jyhad, members were the most selective of any Path follower... In other words, the writing was on the wall for what happened in Revised.

            In fact, when you look at Feral Heart, you still can't become a paragon and regularly participate in Sabbat activities. This might be and interesting route to explore for V5: some Sabbat leaving because while they don't pretend to be human, they can't reconcile their spirituality with the direction the Sect is going.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dwight View Post
              Imo harmony is terrible for a sabbat character, several of the sins are automatically broken by run of the mill sabbat activities
              Or it's very good for a Sabbat character.

              A lot of good roleplaying if you find the Sabbat is moving away from being tolerant to dissenting beliefs and more to wild animalistic violence.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                Or it's very good for a Sabbat character.

                A lot of good roleplaying if you find the Sabbat is moving away from being tolerant to dissenting beliefs and more to wild animalistic violence.
                Going to go with a nah on that chief, rating 4 means no blood feast for you, level one means your really picky about the fire dance and 5/6 means no sieges....

                Got a tzimisce packmate who makes war ghouls? Lol nope buddy
                Got a Priest on Path of Caine? Lol have fun buddy...
                Last edited by Dwight; 10-26-2020, 11:55 AM.


                You've been playing around the magic that is black
                But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dwight View Post

                  Going to go with a nah on that chief, rating 4 means no blood feast for you, level one means your really picky about the fire dance and 5/6 means no sieges....

                  Got a tzimisce packmate who makes war ghouls? Lol nope buddy
                  Got a Priest on Path of Caine? Lol have fun buddy...
                  I think it's notable that if your Paths never cause you problems with your fellow Sabbat, you've done them wrong.

                  What value is a Path that doesn't cause you any distress or hold back your actions?


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                    I think it's notable that if your Paths never cause you problems with your fellow Sabbat, you've done them wrong.

                    What value is a Path that doesn't cause you any distress or hold back your actions?
                    Nothing says fun to me like the whole group having to gatekeep each other because dots on a sheet.....


                    You've been playing around the magic that is black
                    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dwight View Post

                      Going to go with a nah on that chief, rating 4 means no blood feast for you, level one means your really picky about the fire dance and 5/6 means no sieges....

                      Got a tzimisce packmate who makes war ghouls? Lol nope buddy
                      Got a Priest on Path of Caine? Lol have fun buddy...
                      These are only problems with the Revised Edition Hierarchy of Sins, not the original. Besides, the Paths of Enlightenment are supposed to be fiercely individualistic. They're primarily concerned with the follower's own actions, while gatekeeping others is of lesser importance. Note how even in the (in my opinion inferior) Revised hierarchy, "grossly upsetting the natural world" is a level 1 sin and "allowing gross disruption of the natural world" is a level 5 sin.

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                      • #12
                        So what about Aura Modifier? I get menace because predator, but if you're going with Ethics and Hierarchy of Sins based on the new write up, the Balance one that Self Focus has seems more appropriate.

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                        • #13
                          I think Path of Harmony and Sabbat Loyalists are good fits. And if you have issue with that, challenge me to monomacy.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                            I think it's notable that if your Paths never cause you problems with your fellow Sabbat, you've done them wrong.

                            What value is a Path that doesn't cause you any distress or hold back your actions?
                            Theirs a difference between a path that makes actually being in the Sabbat impossible, and the resident Noddit and Lilian arguing constantly about origin myths, or the Power and the inner Voice adherent thinking the templar wannabe on Honourable Accord is a schmuck.

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                            • #15
                              If plain old Humanity does not make it impossible to be in the Sabbat -- this is the Revised stance, after all -- then how is the Path of Harmony somehow an even worse fit? It seems to me like the Revised version of Harmony has muddied the waters significantly, if this is what people take away from it. The original writeup for the Path of Harmony made it clear that although its followers were some of the most "humane" members of the Sabbat, they had zero compunctions with behavior that would make any vampire with Humanity experience a significant crisis. What was the number one sin, the entire basis for the original path? "Refusing to kill when it is important for your survival." Doesn't matter if it's your mortal parents or the family's pet dog, if it's down to you or them, they gotta go.

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