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(Em)Body Politics

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  • (Em)Body Politics

    So, inspired from this post, I was wondering: What are the limits on Embody? Can a character Materialize with different, or even non, gendered traits? I would say yes, focusing on the keyword "idealized," but what of some more ....egregious examples? Like a Garou Kinfolk who always desired to be a Werewolf, could they Embody as a Crinos-form? Again, I would say yes, though I would not allow any bonuses - no shape-shifting, keep the same Attribute scores, et cetera. And is it a "super-idealized" form, or is it more reflective of the characters current mood?

    Let's keep it respectful (not that we usually don't).

    Cheers!


    If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
    'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

  • #2
    Originally posted by nothing View Post
    So, inspired from http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/the-classic-world-of-darkness/vampire-the-masquerade/930758-what-s-the-blood-pool-on-the-other-monsters-in-cwod?p=933226#post933226"]this post[/URL], I was wondering: What are the limits on Embody? Can a character Materialize with different, or even non, gendered traits? I would say yes, focusing on the keyword "idealized," but what of some more ....egregious examples? Like a Garou Kinfolk who always desired to be a Werewolf, could they Embody as a Crinos-form? Again, I would say yes, though I would not allow any bonuses - no shape-shifting, keep the same Attribute scores, et cetera. And is it a "super-idealized" form, or is it more reflective of the characters current mood?

    Let's keep it respectful (not that we usually don't).

    Cheers!
    I think the intention is that a wraith appears approximately like they did in life. Perhaps with some deathmarks and Arcanos markings. But with some appropriate Moliation beforehand, I don't see why not.

    I guess the real question is: does Embody alone allow a wraith to manipulate his appearance? That I'm not so sure about. I think they can appear as they are, or as they were in life, but anything too far from that requires Moliate, as transformation is that Arcanos' domain. Otherwise, the implication would be that, regardless of Arcanoi, a wraith just has to focus on looking different and poof! As the existence of Moliate itself implies otherwise, I'd say a wraith can't just imagine herself as a werewolf.
    Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 07-18-2016, 04:21 AM.

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    • #3
      I interpret and use Embody as the wraithly version of a mage “stepping sideways.” Using Embody, a wraith forces his Corpus across the Shroud and into the Skinlands. He isn’t creating a functional biological body, just making his plasmic form exist in the material world. I treat all excretions – whether blood, skin, hair, sweat, even semen, - like other plasmic substances; they dissipate quickly after they leave the wraith’s body because they’re not actually real. They’re memories of blood, skin, hair, etc.

      In the tangent discussion that spawned this post, I would not allow Embodied wraiths to get pregnant or allow them to impregnate. There’s simply nothing there to work with. There’s no engine underneath the hood.

      Finally, I’ve always taken “ideal” to mean “no deathmarks or Corpus-sculpted oddities,” allowing the wraith to appear much as they did when alive.


      This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
      (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
      ").

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      • #4
        The way I always took the fourth and fifth levels of Embody is that 4 allows you to manifest, move about, interact with the living world, but you're quite "dead" overall. In fact, you'll appear very much dead to those that see you. I had a wraith named Barbara, a lady that died back in the 80s in a car accident. Smashed her head pretty bad and then the car went off the bridge, landing in the water. Drowned while unconscious, despite her brother's best attempts to rescue her. Embody is one of the first Arcanoi she sets herself out to learn. Once she reached level 4, she'd pop up from time to time to converse with her bro (knowing full well that if she got busted doing that, she'd be in some deep shit. She mitigated that by also learning Castigate, making herself useful enough that some people would often look the other way so long as she did her job. The point is though, I played up the whole "Jacob Marley" aspect. Level 4 is great! You can walk around, talk, do a lot of the old thing you once did. Problem for her was she always appeared as a dripping wet, icky, pale, gushing head wound victim with spooky eyes. Needless to say her brother soiled himself the first time he saw her again!

        Level 5, by contrast, should allow you to come extremely close to that realization of life. You should be able to taste things, to appear near perfectly normal and alive as you were, this "idealized" version of yourself. You still aren't alive and the mental strain is quite costly, but for a short little while you are more or less alive, but it's a sort of so close yet so far type of situation. Generally you're only going to be doing this for a few special people for a few precious hours, if that. It was touching seeing her playing baseball with her brother again after so many years though, checking up on him and his family from time to time, sometimes even showing up for quick visits as "creepy aunt Barbara" to give her nephews and niece some helpful advice about life or tell them scary stories about monsters from a place called the Labyrinth, encouraging them to live life to the fullest and never take it for granted.

        Despite being able to accomplish all of this, Puppetry should always serve as a major temptation. It's cheap and easy to skinride some mortal for a little while to truly experience real life sensations. Literally one dot and you're in. It takes total mastery of Embody to get that, and unfortunately it takes a lot of effort to make it last any reasonable length of time. Come on, just one dot and you get all the sensations and from literally anybody. Full life, including the ability to father or mother children through the mortal you're piloting. Just a few more dots and you can hijack any skinbag you want. Just pick somebody that's sleeping. They won't notice! *wink*

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        • #5
          Well, there are different versions of Embody, as there are alternative arts for each and every Arcanoi, which may be learned under the normal rules for alternate versions of Arcanoi. While they never published a version of Animal Embody, I think I would allow it as an alternative art of Embody that someone could develop after they learn the primary form of Embody. Thematically, it would explain more than a few legends of animal ghosts (though I do like having animal ghosts around, so I change the Low Umbra around in my games to allow for a more diversified environment). And Embody specifically forms a lifelike body at level 4 and 5, though the level 4 body is slightly cooler than the level 5 body may be more attractive than the level 5 body because of idealization.

          Oh, and Embody is actually cheaper and easier than Puppetry when used with a Consort. Yes, the Embodied wraith can only be heard and seen by their Consort, but they have a physical body that can touch, lift, punch, etc. When you use Embody 5 with a Consort, the difficulty is Shroud-3, it costs one Willpower, and it lasts for one hour per success (and it can be extended for one hour per success on a difficulty 4 roll for the cost of no Pathos and no Willpower). Puppetry 5 may last for longer, but it is much more difficult (difficulty equal to Shroud) and much more expensive (5 Pathos, 2 point of Willpower, and a (target's Willpower) points of temporary Angst). The comparison with Embody 4 and Puppetry 4 is much the same (and so one down the line).

          I think one of the odd effects of Embody is that a Wraith that takes a material form cannot be attacked from the Shadowlands because they are in the Skinlands (they are as difficult to target as any other inhabitant of the Skinlands). Therefore, if you often have trouble with the authorities, Embody is one of the better defenses because you can literally get out of their reach. Of course, they can try to wait you out, but if you happen to know of a cemetery where Specters hang out...well, they will probably find themselves distracted when they follow you there.
          Last edited by Aya Tari; 07-23-2016, 09:36 AM.

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