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Explain like I'm 12: Deviant (What we know so far)

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  • #16
    I'd never argue against death, I just prefer choice in my fictionalized world. Being impervious to death is what makes most superhero/anime stories uninteresting to me: it's risk that makes choice have weight. However, if death is immediate and inevitable, why bother staving it off? Why bother creating an attachment to a character and their life if there's only that one end in sight?

    In a Call of Cthulhu game, Nyarlathotep was being summoned through an occult ritual being projected onto a theatre screen. Bleeding out and already technically dead, my investigator pulled the pins from his stolen grenades and hurled himself into the event horizon forming on the canvas. Blood and glory rained as the portal collapsed, and Nyarlathotep was sent away- for now.

    All very pretty, but lacking in emotional investment if there's no context. I play for the space between creation and retirement, whether that's peaceful or bloody. I don't play a game to die, I play a game to live highs and lows: by both counts, by your own and other accounts, I won't be playing Deviant or recommending it to my players. What I will be doing, again, is supporting the project so I can take what I can use and leave the rest.

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    • #17
      I get what you mean, and largely agree, however! being on a timer can makes things very interesting, because the choices you make have a different weight to them.
      Also, being on a timer does not mean you know how much time you have left - could be years, decades even under the right circumstances. Probably, it's just a few months, though.
      In my experience, a few weeks of in-family time can be more than enough to get invested.
      But this all depends on the guys you play with- Kudos for keeping your troupe ' s needs, wants and character in mind!


      Send by mobile, so probably riddled with typos etc

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      • #18
        I agree, and as mentioned I can see the appeal for others who responded here and in the threads I've been reading elsewhere. I agree with the excitement, and this thread's purpose has been fulfilled by giving me a more concrete perspective both on the community's reaction and on what my own stance should be.

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        • #19
          We don't know exactly how immediate a Deviant's impending death is yet, but I would assume it's far enough off as to make revenge a reasonably attainable goal. And death is always inevitable.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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          • #20
            Death may be inevitable, but that neither means it's set in stone as a played scenario (even for Sin-Eaters) nor that the death is interesting. Deviant, as you and others put it, sets up a train while you're in a pretty box on the tracks. You don't know when it's coming, but it's coming. If I played Deviant, I'd be hunting escape, not revenge: a core concept doesn't interest me, selling that core concept doesn't help, and I'm not even sure what you're trying to add at this point.
            "Death is inevitable" is pointless as a point of argument, especially considering that most characters have the option of retiring healthy. A misstep, a sacrifice, a drifting off, those are endings that provide a narrative ending and potential death. An encroaching thing looming over you, colouring everything you do: it's boring (to me) without the necessary build of connection, and inimical to building that connection in its shadow if it's used as a focus. It's one reason Demon Covers are frequently treated as superficial by users on these forums, with an emphasis on being hunted rather than blending in - though that makes sense, considering people don't need support for many mechanical aspects of blending in.
            Last edited by Necrophear; 03-15-2017, 03:36 PM.

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            • #21
              I think it's extremely premature to be saying Deviant characters don't have the option to retire early, or that death looms over everything they do. The only reason I keep bringing up the "death is inevitable" thing is that you keep acting like that's in any way unique to Deviants. We don't know yet how imminent their deaths are, only that they eventually all die of their Scars, which apart from the "of their scars" bit is no different than anyone else.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

              My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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              • #22
                Death via Scar and/or being hunted by BADGUYORGANIZATION™ is more imminent than in Demon, Beast, or any other template, and that's why it's less appealing - again, to me, since all I've ever been saying is what this means to me in my experience and vies for practical use. The concept of being hunted is nothing new, it's the fluff (which may be helpful for dealing with veteran players, but I'm uninterested in exposing new players and characters to) that says that each Renegade gets someone automatically devoted to hunting them, specifically them out of everyone in the world - it's an odd world or negligent player where that doesn't loom over a character in their creation and actions.
                While a Deviant may get to retire, or get to finally have that revenge, or even survive that revenge - it still doesn't get to end well, because of those scars.

                The God-Machine is esoteric, sometimes allowing Demons to exist, sometimes rooting them out, but part of that antagonism is the guesswork. Heroes are flawed people, but sympathetic oftentimes and almost always fish out of water. I can even see BGO™ being the moral good-guys, seeking to repair the Renegade or protect the populace. The Renegade's fate is ineffable, though, and that promised ending is too present for me to seek enjoyment in a game that holds that as a key feature.

                Revenge and angst aren't particularly interesting concepts to me, which explains my initial disconnect when those are touted as supposed draws to the game. You and others have explained that there's other bits to this, and helped me see some of what may be to come as a gain. What more do you want?

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                • #23
                  I guess I see it somewhat as similar to the Pilgrimage in Promethean - it's an interesting story hook, and may even be very compelling or well-done on its own, but it creates a far more focused and less broad story than some of the other splats in the CofD. If every Deviant chronicle ends in one of two ways - you die, or you get revenge and then you die - you can still tell some pretty great stories with that. Tragic, happy, bittersweet...nobody's arguing that you don't have options, or that the journey doesn't matter. But it does create a defined endpoint in a way that few of the other splats do. A vampire has to feed and avoid the sunlight, but that's just upkeep; everybody has to eat and find shelter. A wolf must hunt, but the book gives plenty of examples as to how that can be interpreted to pretty much anything - you can hunt beasts, spirits...even "hunt" by winning elections or whatever.

                  I love the idea of Deviants, of humans warped into something supernatural and singular through bizarre means, and I'd like to see that idea played around with in diverse ways that don't necessarily all lead along the same path. If it does come down to that, I don't think that will make it a bad game (I love Promethean, and it does pretty much the same thing), I just think it makes it harder to integrate into the larger CofD setting. (in long-term impact; obviously, you can have Deviants running around either way)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Gellydog View Post
                    If every Deviant chronicle ends in one of two ways - you die, or you get revenge and then you die
                    What I'm getting at here is, do we actually know this is the case? I mean, there may or may not be other paths a character might take than seeking revenge, although it is clearly the sort of default goal. But lets say you do decide revenge is what your character wants, and they get it. That's pretty much a victory condition, right? That character's story has reached a satisfying conclusion, and you can now retire them and make a new character, or play a different gameline, or what have you. Does it really matter that the character will die at some point after you've stopped playing them anyway? How is that any different from playing any other not-immortal character?


                    Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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                    • #25
                      That's much clearer, thank you. You're right, then, in that we're just guessing. It's just a guess that there's anything more to it, as well. However, given the Scars and other issues the Renegade has with living among the unchanged, it's at best a bittersweet victory condition to 'win'. The ultimate conclusion is: there is no real winning. That can certainly be interesting to some, but I am not one of those. It's okay if you are.

                      I've explained my hangups with creating a character and setting under that kind of mindset, and already explained my distinctions between D:tR and other gamelines. I have issues with aspects of other gamelines too, but that's not what we're discussing here; the way they treat death is an eventuality, not a promise, and that's the distinction implicit in Deviant.

                      I'd rather have a character that I care about than a short arc with a flurry of action at the end. I want to have characters that matter on a personal level in a chronicle that spans stories and worlds, and both evidence and theoretical explanation have not shown to me that type of thing can be found in Deviant. I'd rather have a connection to a narrative character that has connections to the world, rather than a superficial toy. So yes, I will be playing other game lines, possibly even beside some Renegades in the future. I'm open to running them if that ends up being what my players want, and thanks to your comments in particular I'm interested in deconstructing the material as it's released for use in tandem with other mechanical aspects of this growing game.
                      Last edited by Necrophear; 03-15-2017, 06:47 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                        What I'm getting at here is, do we actually know this is the case? I mean, there may or may not be other paths a character might take than seeking revenge, although it is clearly the sort of default goal. But lets say you do decide revenge is what your character wants, and they get it. That's pretty much a victory condition, right? That character's story has reached a satisfying conclusion, and you can now retire them and make a new character, or play a different gameline, or what have you. Does it really matter that the character will die at some point after you've stopped playing them anyway? How is that any different from playing any other not-immortal character?
                        I guess it's just sorta personal preference? I don't ever create an RPG character with their "end" in mind, whether that's their death or "retirement" from being a PC. I don't like endings very much, no matter what form they take; the best ones are simply the characters riding off to their next adventure. So for me, the problem with New Dawn or a potential "default" ending for Deviants isn't so much in what they involve, but that they're portrayed as the mechanical end to any (and every) given character and that any character is incomplete without having dealt with it. (or dying during gameplay, I guess) It's hard-coded into the DNA of any story about those characters, in a way that's different from "vampires must feed" or "the wolf must hunt."

                        But that's just me. I understand that many roleplaying gamers do enjoy getting to write endings for their characters, play through them, and then move on to something else. Which is fine! And I don't want to imply that I think PtC (or Deviant, which we know almost nothing about yet) are "flawed" because of these things. They're simply parts of the game(s) that I'm not as comfortable with, because they require a style of storytelling that I don't find as enjoyable. And, sure, I could just ignore Promethean entirely...but there's also tons in there that I love. It's simply a matter of finding a way to pitch the parts I'm not so much about to myself.

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                        • #27
                          Yeah, that makes sense. I always like to have a resolution in mind for games that I run, be they one-shots of epic multi-year Chronicles (though schedules being what they are I've never successfully reached the resolution of the latter before the game has fallen apart for outside reasons). So having gamelines with a built-in resolution is great for me. But I do understand preferring something more open-ended. That's why it's good that CofD has multiple gamelines that can appeal to different preferences.


                          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                          My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                          • #28
                            Mhm, exactly. I'm actually sorta impressed that they're willing to try out new things, rather than just stick with a single formula. So, even if it's not exactly for me, I expect great things from Deviant!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              I have bad news for you. Literally every single person ever is destined to die.
                              Nuh-uh!

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