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Alternate flavoring for humanity loss?

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  • Prometheas
    started a topic Alternate flavoring for humanity loss?

    Alternate flavoring for humanity loss?

    What are some ST's favorite ways they've tweaked the fluff of the humanity system?

    A thought I've been playing with for a while is running a game where humanity loss is less of a horrifying degeneration into predatory madness and more of a slow spiraling loss of motivation and the beauty of life.

    A lot of the consequences of low humanity always sounded like symptoms of people falling into depression(oversleeping and inability to get out of bed, Loss of enjoyment in normal activities, loss of ability to relate to other people, uncontrollable angry outbursts, cannibalism, etc. normal stuff) and that leaning on that seemed like it'd fit a lot of the Vampire aesthetic.

    It'd also change the mood of play in a way I think would best fit an elders game. One of the major challenges of immortality Vampires would essentially be racing against would be the the shear crushing weight of hopelessness as the world moves on around them. Their friends and family are long since dead, their cities and nations are ashes, the Cultures they grew up in and molded by their own hands are nothing but words in a history book somewhere, and the elders struggle to find the motivation to keep going as opposed to walking into the sun to reunite with what they've lost. They're Big, Strong vampire elders who can control entire nations from the shadows and have thousands killed without lifting a finger, they have everything they could have ever wanted as a mortal on speed-dial, and they're miserable. Now what?
    Last edited by Prometheas; 03-27-2022, 01:22 AM.

  • CajunKhan
    replied
    In a similar way.

    The difference being that there is real hope of gaining/maintaining/regaining path points, and one gains an increasing amount of inner-peace as one rises.

    Whereas it is pretty much impossible to maintain humanity, regaining lost humanity once lost is almost impossible, and if you somehow manage the miracle of going up in humanity, your misery actually increases as humanity is so inimical to the necessities of vampiric survival.

    But low levels looks pretty much the same. Someone getting those first dots basically looks like a cancer patient experiencing hints of remission just when it seemed they were about to die.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    For myself, I usually run Sabbat games, so the loss of humanity is portrayed as making vampires look like people in the final stages of terminal illnesses, or badly strung out drug-addicts. In those games, choosing humanity over a path of enlightenment is basically choosing cancer. Humanity is inimical to behaviors vampires need to survive, and is therefore impossible to maintain. So instead of gradually becoming raving loonies, vampires on humanity look like they are plainly dying. Wights are very pathetic in my games, since they are basically vampires who died and came back as more or less zombies. Player characters on Paths of Enlightenment are intended to think, "if the Sabbat hadn't saved me by teaching me a Path of Enlightenment, that would be me" and shudder.
    That's an intriguing way to run it. And I'll now be doing a lot of thinking in how to incorporate some of this in my own games. Since vampires losing humanity are supposed to look more like corpses anyway, this isn't too far from what's actually the case. But like a lot of things, small bits of flavor text can make a big difference in how players experience things and contribute to their enjoyment.

    So how do you run Sabbat vampires losing Path points, or describing them in the initial stages of their Path when they start very low and need to work their way up?

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  • CajunKhan
    replied
    I think they should include alternate ways that vampires lose humanity. Some lose it the way already described in the standard edition. Some gradually become living statues, losing none of their beauty, but eventually losing all motivation to do anything but stand there, except when hungry. Statues that feed in sudden, violent bursts, and then go right back to standing there utterly unmoving. Others lose it in the cancer-patient/meth-head manner I've described.

    I can't find the final scene of Dorian Gray in "Penny Dreadful". Pity, because it is very cool: the camera slowly pulls away from him, and he subtly looks like a beautiful but lifeless painting. It's a really subtle and well done special effect. This is the closest to the scene I've been able to find, and sums up the alternate take on humanity I think you are going for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebHjr9SpIm0
    Last edited by CajunKhan; 03-27-2022, 08:20 AM.

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  • Prometheas
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    For myself, I usually run Sabbat games, so the loss of humanity is portrayed as making vampires look like people in the final stages of terminal illnesses, or badly strung out drug-addicts. In those games, choosing humanity over a path of enlightenment is basically choosing cancer. Humanity is inimical to behaviors vampires need to survive, and is therefore impossible to maintain. So instead of gradually becoming raving loonies, vampires on humanity look like they are plainly dying. Wights are very pathetic in my games, since they are basically vampires who died and came back as more or less zombies. Player characters on Paths of Enlightenment are intended to think, "if the Sabbat hadn't saved me by teaching me a Path of Enlightenment, that would be me" and shudder.
    Holy... That is terrifying and I love the flavor.

    On the other hand, that probably makes it Much harder to convince mortals to let you embrace them as opposed to mugging them in a dark alley.

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  • CajunKhan
    replied
    I think your idea is interesting and really works for the sort of story inspired by Anne Rice. In such a story, the vampire doesn't become uglier or more bestial, but instead becomes more like a statue or living painting, like the final appearance of Dorian Gray in "Penny Dreadful".

    For myself, I usually run Sabbat games, so the loss of humanity is portrayed as making vampires look like people in the final stages of terminal illnesses, or badly strung out drug-addicts. In those games, choosing humanity over a path of enlightenment is basically choosing cancer. Humanity is inimical to behaviors vampires need to survive, and is therefore impossible to maintain. So instead of gradually becoming raving loonies, vampires on humanity look like they are plainly dying. Wights are very pathetic in my games, since they are basically vampires who died and came back as more or less zombies. Player characters on Paths of Enlightenment are intended to think, "if the Sabbat hadn't saved me by teaching me a Path of Enlightenment, that would be me" and shudder.

    Leave a comment:

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