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[V5] Questions about Humanity

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  • [V5] Questions about Humanity

    Hi all,

    I'm a long time lurker, haven't posted in many years. Overall, I really like the changes of V5, but I'm trying to reconcile the changes to Humanity. Rules as written, it seems to be that you gain stains and therefore only lose Humanity based on the chronicle tenets as well as the list of additional, somewhat arbitrary things on page 240: blood bonding, Embracing, and various problematic things happening with your touchstones. On top of that, it looks like you lose a point of Humanity automatically if you commit diablerie(page 235) which is pretty consistent with Humanity in previous editions.

    I've been watching LA by Night, trying to get caught up, and in the episode I just watched one of the characters committed diablerie and didn't lose Humanity or gain any stains because he didn't violate any chronicle tenets or convictions. Is this a thing? Do the tenets/convictions trump the stuff that seem to give stains/Humanity loss no matter what? I'm hesitant for Diablerie to ever not cause Humanity loss, as that seems more akin to a Path of Enlightenment, but I like the idea of some of the other stuff not causing automatic stains. I think it's awkward that a vampire could conceivably become a wight because they created a ghoul while at Humanity 1 and at the same time that vampire could conceivably commit mass rape, torture, and murder and not lose Humanity if it's not against the chronicle tenets.

  • #2
    Originally posted by PopeVlad View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm a long time lurker, haven't posted in many years. Overall, I really like the changes of V5, but I'm trying to reconcile the changes to Humanity. Rules as written, it seems to be that you gain stains and therefore only lose Humanity based on the chronicle tenets as well as the list of additional, somewhat arbitrary things on page 240: blood bonding, Embracing, and various problematic things happening with your touchstones. On top of that, it looks like you lose a point of Humanity automatically if you commit diablerie(page 235) which is pretty consistent with Humanity in previous editions.

    I've been watching LA by Night, trying to get caught up, and in the episode I just watched one of the characters committed diablerie and didn't lose Humanity or gain any stains because he didn't violate any chronicle tenets or convictions. Is this a thing? Do the tenets/convictions trump the stuff that seem to give stains/Humanity loss no matter what? I'm hesitant for Diablerie to ever not cause Humanity loss, as that seems more akin to a Path of Enlightenment, but I like the idea of some of the other stuff not causing automatic stains. I think it's awkward that a vampire could conceivably become a wight because they created a ghoul while at Humanity 1 and at the same time that vampire could conceivably commit mass rape, torture, and murder and not lose Humanity if it's not against the chronicle tenets.
    1. I think Jason Carl has said that Jasper did, in fact, lose a point of Humanity but we don't see their sheets so he didn't feel the need to point it out.

    2. The LA by Night rules have a loose use of them for dramatic effect.

    3. Chronicle Tenets are meant as an Out of Universe thing to ask, "What kind of chronicle do you want to run." If you want to run a John Woo Action Flick where the bodies are piled up by the dozen of Deadpool with FangsTM then you might want a tenet of, "Do not kill innocents." In which case killing normal people doesn't matter.

    If you want a weepy low violence campaign then you might want a Chronicle Tenet of, "Do not harm the Living."

    If you want a Sabbat game, "Do not betray the Sabbat."

    Humanity no longer means the Road of Humanity, it means, "How far am I from my Beast."
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-30-2020, 01:29 AM.


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PopeVlad View Post
      Do the tenets/convictions trump the stuff that seem to give stains/Humanity loss no matter what?
      Specific Rules always trump General Rules. Otherwise why would you need to write the very specific "You lose a point of Humanity if you commit Diablerie" rule in the first place if it never comes up?

      The ST might simply have forgotten that bit about Diablerie

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        1. I think Jason Carl has said that Jasper did, in fact, lose a point of Humanity but we don't see their sheets so he didn't feel the need to point it out.

        2. The LA by Night rules have a loose use of them for dramatic effect.

        3. Chronicle Tenets are meant as an Out of Universe thing to ask, "What kind of chronicle do you want to run." If you want to run a John Woo Action Flick where the bodies are piled up by the dozen of Deadpool with FangsTM then you might want a tenet of, "Do not kill innocents." In which case killing normal people doesn't matter.

        If you want a weepy low violence campaign then you might want a Chronicle Tenet of, "Do not harm the Living."

        If you want a Sabbat game, "Do not betray the Sabbat."

        Humanity no longer means the Road of Humanity, it means, "How far am I from my Beast."

        Thanks for the response. I'm mainly asking how mutable this other stuff is typically meant to be, though. It says, regardless of what chronicle tenets you use, that you get a stain for blood bonding a mortal, 2 stains for Embracing a mortal, 1 stain for a touchstone being damaged, 2 stains for a touchstone being damaged for your actions, 2 stains for a touchstone destroyed, and 3 stains for a touchstone destroyed by your actions. Then in the Diablerie section it says "the diablerist loses 1 point of Humanity." These don't seem at all to be tied to chronicle tenets. In the episode I watched, season 3 episode 1, he specifically noted that Jasper didn't lose any Humanity because he didn't violate any tenets or convictions. I was kind of floored by that, since Humanity has never worked that way, it's always been an automatic loss and still is, RAW.

        I'm mainly wondering though if having chronicle tenets trump the automatic stains is something that most people do, or if it's done is it considered a house rule. Again, you can have your John Woo action flick or Deadpool or whatever but then if you're going by what the rules actually say it looks like you're stopping to give stains for making a ghoul. Which I think makes sense generally for higher generation vampires but gets really awkward when we're thinking about someone close to wassail or that's been a vampire for centuries.

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        • #5
          a) Yes you can always house rule anything. Rule 0 is and always has been "You have the right to throw out ANY rule that you don't like, and that will make your game more fun".

          b) All these examples you gave indeed sound like they always apply regardless of chronicle tenets. But again see a)

          c) ST are human beings too. We don't know every rule, especially obscure ones or those used rarely, by heart. ST make mistakes. Sometimes we catch them, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we open the next session with "Oops, sorry, turns out that..."

          d) If you're a humanity 1 or 2 vampire, and get a stain for blood bonding someone? So what? You now have 7 or 8 dice to roll and need just a single success to not lose humanity for it. If you're at humanity 7, you only get 2 dice for it. So that's actually build into the system.

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          • #6
            I suspect they may be "always cases" because they're specifically actions tied to the Beast and being a vampire versus the generalities of your existence.

            Also, Stains are a LOT easier to deal with than Humanity rolls.


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PopeVlad View Post


              Thanks for the response. I'm mainly asking how mutable this other stuff is typically meant to be, though. It says, regardless of what chronicle tenets you use, that you get a stain for blood bonding a mortal, 2 stains for Embracing a mortal, 1 stain for a touchstone being damaged, 2 stains for a touchstone being damaged for your actions, 2 stains for a touchstone destroyed, and 3 stains for a touchstone destroyed by your actions. Then in the Diablerie section it says "the diablerist loses 1 point of Humanity." These don't seem at all to be tied to chronicle tenets. In the episode I watched, season 3 episode 1, he specifically noted that Jasper didn't lose any Humanity because he didn't violate any tenets or convictions. I was kind of floored by that, since Humanity has never worked that way, it's always been an automatic loss and still is, RAW.

              I'm mainly wondering though if having chronicle tenets trump the automatic stains is something that most people do, or if it's done is it considered a house rule. Again, you can have your John Woo action flick or Deadpool or whatever but then if you're going by what the rules actually say it looks like you're stopping to give stains for making a ghoul. Which I think makes sense generally for higher generation vampires but gets really awkward when we're thinking about someone close to wassail or that's been a vampire for centuries.

              The thing with Humanity in V5 is that it's not about how 'moral' you are, it's about how much you are Not The Beast. So the automatic stains are built around things that feed the Beast and affirm your Vampirism, and disconnect you from being and fully acting like a Human. It's a change that's obvious once you look at everything as a whole, but gets lost because the Humanity chart is a buffed-up copy/paste from prior editions. It's also exampled in other, monstrous acts such as using Brutal Feed to drain a human like a Capri-Sun or Cauldron of Blood to flash-boil a human to death. You can certainly attempt to use Tenets and Convictions to mitigate those Stains, but that feels disingenuous to the game design of trying to maintain humanity. I personally wouldn't do it, but it's ultimately ST discretion.

              As someone else said, specific rules trump general rules. So diablerie, as a specific rule with 'lose Humanity automatically and possibly more with the diablerie rolls' overrides the humanity loss that comes from Stains. And as far as anything done with them on LA by Night, or generally any Rules As Written accuracy in LA by Night, chuck it out the window. Jason uses way too much homebrew, ignores rules for the sake of the show and story (as it's an advertisement and a show, before it's a way to learn the rules), and he uses a lot of homebrew. It's not a good litmus test for learning the RAW at all.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PopeVlad View Post


                Thanks for the response. I'm mainly asking how mutable this other stuff is typically meant to be, though. It says, regardless of what chronicle tenets you use, that you get a stain for blood bonding a mortal, 2 stains for Embracing a mortal, 1 stain for a touchstone being damaged, 2 stains for a touchstone being damaged for your actions, 2 stains for a touchstone destroyed, and 3 stains for a touchstone destroyed by your actions. Then in the Diablerie section it says "the diablerist loses 1 point of Humanity." These don't seem at all to be tied to chronicle tenets. In the episode I watched, season 3 episode 1, he specifically noted that Jasper didn't lose any Humanity because he didn't violate any tenets or convictions. I was kind of floored by that, since Humanity has never worked that way, it's always been an automatic loss and still is, RAW.

                I'm mainly wondering though if having chronicle tenets trump the automatic stains is something that most people do, or if it's done is it considered a house rule. Again, you can have your John Woo action flick or Deadpool or whatever but then if you're going by what the rules actually say it looks like you're stopping to give stains for making a ghoul. Which I think makes sense generally for higher generation vampires but gets really awkward when we're thinking about someone close to wassail or that's been a vampire for centuries.
                Your knowledge of the rules is correct.

                The humanity of a cainite has to do with what is right and wrong, so diablerie automatically loses a point of humanity, because we human beings consider it wrong to eat someone's soul. The humanity rule clearly says that at the end of the session roll your lost humanity points to see if your stains will make your character lose a humanity dot, and the book cleary says if you succeed in the test, you do not lose humanity and to represent that in the game, your character feels guilt.

                I think the developers fumbled a little bit in that part, because it makes vampires of low humanity more often feel guilty than high humanity ones... Yeah not buying that. A vampire with humanity 8 creates a ghoul, embrance, or whatever and receive 1 or 2 stains. She pretty prob. will auto loses her humanity at the end of the session, and in fluffy will feel no guilt.
                But a vampire with humanity 1 or 2 prob. will WAY more often feels guilty (because he have way more dice to roll) for doing evil shit like creating ghoul, embrancing, killing, sucking someone dry, etc. because he will have 9 or 8 dice to roll to maintain humanity.

                I think it's quite strange to have a vampire with low humanity doing horrible things and feeling guilty, worst than that, feeling guilty more often than vampires on high humanity... and having the mechanics of the system pushing that roleplay aproach to the player, don't get why give mechanical mathematical bonus probability to the degenerate shitheads. Its the contrary! The more shit you do you grow a thick skin to it and stop feeling guilty or bothering.
                Last edited by blailton; 10-30-2020, 01:49 PM.

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                • #9
                  where does the beast go when you get diablerized,
                  maybe it gets sucked by the diablerist along with the soul


                  -

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                  • #10
                    Actually, the write up says they feel guilt, shame, or regret if they succeed. A high Humanity vampire feels guilty when they succeed the Remorse roll. At the middle spectrum of Humanity, they feel shame at whatever it is they've done. By the time they hit low end, it's a simple regret. No more guilt (way past that human emotion), no more shame (could care less about thinking I'm a bad vampire, I know I am), just simple regret (a Beast I am, lest a Beast I become).

                    I like the new Humanity rules in all ways except one; seems practically impossible to regain once you lose it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PJ123 View Post
                      Actually, the write up says they feel guilt, shame, or regret if they succeed. A high Humanity vampire feels guilty when they succeed the Remorse roll. At the middle spectrum of Humanity, they feel shame at whatever it is they've done. By the time they hit low end, it's a simple regret. No more guilt (way past that human emotion), no more shame (could care less about thinking I'm a bad vampire, I know I am), just simple regret (a Beast I am, lest a Beast I become).

                      I like the new Humanity rules in all ways except one; seems practically impossible to regain once you lose it.
                      Still not buying it...
                      A high humanity cainite have less % to feel regret (or shame) for boiling the blood of a human being than a low humanity vampire? Yeah, nah.

                      To me knowing it actually make things worse, as feel regret is waaay more decorous and powerfull (behavior speking) than feel guilty. Guilty from shit done to others come from emotional empath, a feeling that come and go easily and don't make impact on your behavior long term; as any AA can tell you, you can feel guilty for something and keep doing it anyway. The term "guilty pleasure" exist for a reason.

                      While regret from shit done to others come from cognitive empath, and its a feeling that actually can change someone in short AND long term. Everythig is reversed here or am I crazy? O.o

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blailton View Post
                        Still not buying it...
                        A high humanity cainite have less % to feel regret (or shame) for boiling the blood of a human being than a low humanity vampire? Yeah, nah.

                        To me knowing it actually make things worse, as feel regret is waaay more decorous and powerfull (behavior speking) than feel guilty. Guilty from shit done to others come from emotional empath, a feeling that come and go easily and don't make impact on your behavior long term; as any AA can tell you, you can feel guilty for something and keep doing it anyway. The term "guilty pleasure" exist for a reason.

                        While regret from shit done to others come from cognitive empath, and its a feeling that actually can change someone in short AND long term. Everythig is reversed here or am I crazy? O.o

                        This actually doesn't bother me too much, since it's been the way the system has always worked. If you succeeded, it meant you felt bad. I've realized that I think I only have a problem with two parts: Embracing someone and ghouling someone. On the surface, they're fairly bad deeds, but as I was saying before you could definitely have your tenets done in such a way that mass murder wouldn't make your character flinch, Humanity wise. There are definitely examples in the lore where ghouling someone isn't a bad thing(Helena and Prias comes to mind as an immediate example) and many examples of people saving someone by Embracing them. In the latter, it's heavy handed to say letting someone die is always worse than making them a vampire. And I think it's especially worse when all the other bad deeds(rape, murder, torture, etc) are more open-endedly tied to the chronicle tenets.

                        So I really think the most fair thing is to jettison Embracing and ghouling being automatic stains when nothing else is. Having degeneration exclusively tied to your convictions and touchstones means that Humanity is completely tailored to your character and chronicle, which I think is a really cool thing and helps a lot with emphasizing themes. Then you have diablerie as the one big bad sin that transcends them all with a future lore sheet to maybe mitigate it a bit when the Sabbat book finally comes out in 10 years, coinciding nicely with the release of Bloodlines 2. That also helps out with the whole regret/guilt deal, because it's stuff that your character would actually feel bad about as opposed to general morality that seems to be less sensible for inhuman vampires.

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