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Golconda and conflicting themes.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    I don't think he is.

    Humanity objectively has a "Hierarchy of Sins", but IRL sins don't have an objective hierarchy and there's no objective proof that being a good person grants you anything. Humanity isn't humanity, as far as anyone can tell. Thus why should Humanity be the One True Way when there's no reflection of that in reality? Good art reflects reality. Author fiat doesn't. In DAV, all Roads are equal, and it's great. In modern nights, one is above the rest? Really? What even is humanity? Is it actually how good you are, or is it the effort of your ego to stave of the Beast? If it's the former, why do we have 1-5 dice of conscience to let us off?
    I'm obviously not being clear enough, so I apologise. I wasn't trying to say Humanity is objectively right because of anything IRL (and I'm happy to leave IRL religion out of it). Far from it, in fact. That's why I kept saying (or trying to say) that RL examples are irrelevant for the game. (I did undermine this by then trying to tie my tangent back into the game, but that was a throwaway comment, really, rather than the thesis of what I had been trying to articulate until that point.)

    What I intended to say, if it's not clear, is that Humanity appears to have an objective nature in the game's canon (because of how it was presented in the Book of Nod), and in the game's rules (because of the specific rules for achieving Golconda, which require Humanity), and that we don't need to appeal to real or assumed examples from reality for that to be so, because it's fiction. But also, I don't think you lose the game by not following Humanity.

    In the BoN, Golconda is expressly offered as an olive branch by the World of Darkness' God analogue, via an archangel, and the implication in that book and in the core rulebook's treatment of Golconda, is that the path to this redemption is Humanity (there is some ambiguity about whether other Paths can achieve the same, I admit that).

    For that reason, I was trying to say that Humanity appears to be the 'authorised' path back into (the World of Darkness') God's good graces. So from a lore point of view, Humanity seems to be the route that's suggested. From a mechanical point of view, it also seems to be the primary/only route that's possible.

    I do prefer the DA approach to Roads, for sure. And I do like the idea of other forms of vampiric enlightenment that don't need or require the approval of the World of Darkness' God. I have said this a few times now, but it maybe got lost in other things.

    That doesn't, in my view, make Humanity the One True Way. Or rather, it only makes it the One True Way to get back into the good books of the metaphorical God of One True Ways (the God of the Book of Nod, and perhaps Revelations of the Dark Mother, who seems very much 'my way or the highway '). But the game isn't actually about attaining Golconda, which is a rare and difficult thing, and so it's not a One True Way to play the game either.

    And that sort of seems fitting to the setting -- the game's Yahweh is a dick, and getting his favour should be ridiculously demanding and not usually something you want to do.

    At the same time, I think there's loads of mileage in becoming something else via the other Paths, whether that's Azhi Dahaka turning you into the Tzimisce Antediluvian; the Lilin version of Golconda turning you into an avatar of the Queen of the Night (or maybe an Apostate?); or the epitome of the Path of the Beast making you the ultimate predator, perhaps. Mechanically, such outcomes may even be mostly the same as Golconda, though I would tailor them to each Path.

    All those things are probably even better, in my view, than Golconda, because they are you leaning into what you are, not trying to please some deity who doesn't really care about you. And as always, this is all just IMO and YMMV. You can play it how you like and I'm not trying to convince people they're playing the game wrong.

    Hopefully, this time, I've been a bit clearer. If not, I will politely shut up and we can move on. 😁
    Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 05-21-2022, 07:12 AM.

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