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Speculation: Dark Shards

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  • #16
    It's a book about scenario customization alternatives. Alternative versions of Templates are something much more usable in this respect than exotic alternative scenarios. In addition most basic changes still maintains the same atmosphere and creates elements for audacious tables have given a varied.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
      All the better. If something's already there, a Shard that features them is more a shift of emphasis than a change in the splat's basic nature — which IMHO is a good thing: Dark Shards shouldn't be about rules hacks.
      No, but they don't hurt either. 😜

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      • #18
        Since it is my biggest sticking point on the list, allow me to ask then:

        How the fuck does doing Arisen style mummies in Incan or Chinese civilizations make a big enough difference to warrant a shard on it, and why would people want to play it.

        I'm not just interested in a "people said so" position, I want some actual exposure on the allure of the play space.

        EDIT: Also, on the rare off chance people forgot why this is a sticking point for me:

        Originally posted by Malcolm View Post
        "Mummy" is not a generic archetypal monster even if the same term is used in English for a variety of preserved bodies. Having Incan mummies is a thematically incoherent addition to the game for the sake of a linguistic quirk. Mummy: The Curse is not about how it's weird that English uses a word derived from a slang term for Egyptian preserved corpses for all preserved corpses.
        Last edited by ArcaneArts; 09-06-2018, 05:54 PM.


        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
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        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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        • #19
          I've mentioned this before in a media inspiration thread but since the prequel just came out it's rekindled my interest.

          In this series I'm reading, werewolves are sort of like vampires from Masquerade in that they can create their own werewolves and they all descend from one source. It seems easy enough to change Forsaken similarly. Father Wolf was the primogenitor, the Firstborn are its children, but werewolves instead of spirits, and falling down through the eons they get weaker in power the farther away they get from the source, though always maintaining some basic werewolf abilities and vulnerabilities while upping their territorial and dominant instincts and their magicness (hey immortality). Just the way I see it, it would make things a much more personal game, like for smaller groups of one to three players, simply because a pack of more than that would be really difficult to hold together. Totems and Luna would seem to be out, and you wouldn't have the divide between the Pure and Forsaken, though you would have animosity between Lineages that didn't get along due to feuds among their ancestors. Wolf-blooded would be the same with their Tells upped a bit (in the drawback and power side), spawned only from the werewolves and there's a tendency to avoid turning them into werewolves as you get mixed results.

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          • #20
            I feel like the "What if the masquerade came down" shard would be cool, but I would like to see a variant "What I'd the masquerade never went up!" The premise is everyone has always known about the supernatural and it has integrated into the world completely.
            Especially I would like to see what if the God-Machine had been a known companion to humanity the whole time. Would there be churches as big as Christianity for it?
            How would countries look to resist?
            What do Mage's, werewolves and vampire's think about it?
            Last edited by LordofIron; 09-07-2018, 10:53 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              I've mentioned this before in a media inspiration thread but since the prequel just came out it's rekindled my interest.

              In this series I'm reading, werewolves are sort of like vampires from Masquerade in that they can create their own werewolves and they all descend from one source. It seems easy enough to change Forsaken similarly. Father Wolf was the primogenitor, the Firstborn are its children, but werewolves instead of spirits, and falling down through the eons they get weaker in power the farther away they get from the source, though always maintaining some basic werewolf abilities and vulnerabilities while upping their territorial and dominant instincts and their magicness (hey immortality). Just the way I see it, it would make things a much more personal game, like for smaller groups of one to three players, simply because a pack of more than that would be really difficult to hold together. Totems and Luna would seem to be out, and you wouldn't have the divide between the Pure and Forsaken, though you would have animosity between Lineages that didn't get along due to feuds among their ancestors. Wolf-blooded would be the same with their Tells upped a bit (in the drawback and power side), spawned only from the werewolves and there's a tendency to avoid turning them into werewolves as you get mixed results.

              The choice of a lycanthropic tribe (in the sense of disease transmission) sounds more interesting to me, than all of them are like that.

              But if I have to choose I prefer the adaptation of the Covenants system, so that the Tribe is the wolf ideology and the Human Covenant about the condition and the tribes gain archetypal aspects. You are born into the tribe and choose the covenant and have a sign about when it has become.

              But I think we can have both.


              ___________________________________

              About Mummies as Latino I have an interest in representing the cultures of our people in games. But it seems there is a certain prejudice here against this type of representation, the point of the mask for example to defend the survival of the Egyptian culture and its integration into Greek, but not the survival of Aztec culture and its integration into the Spanish in Mexico (because a coherent scenario the Sabbat would have three cultural forces, the Aztec being one next to the Lasombra Christianity and the Tzimisce paganism).

              Here at pains seems to be the same, there is no mention of the Andean ritual of Mummification and treats them as just natural phenomena, although I understand that on the Andean exists little material in English, you do not have the data to Inca writing beyond quipus to contrary to the studies of Rafael Larco Hoyle. The same happens with the funeral rites described by Roel Pineda.

              Here we know that the Mummies were made up of people of the Nobility who after being sacrificed went through specific funeral rites that use sacred salt to represent the community while taking part with the Gods and being able to intermediate the end of droughts. They are associated with water powers. And their residences were sacred and terrible Huacas. The sacrifices were elevation and non-commensalism with the Gods in balance as in the Aztecs and therefore much more unusual (we also do not have the concept of many deaths and death before life, further follows the Western pattern of life followed by death in a line, though the gods are transmuted and the unborn are underground that in Inca cosmology is always mistaken for water). The Tawantinsuyans (who were not priests but were not "academics" and "philosophers" as the Old World or Meso-Americans - actually resembled teachers and sophists before Socrates changed the function of Greek thought) also proposed the thesis of that we have 5 souls in a system similar to Egypt.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post

                Here we know that the Mummies were made up of people of the Nobility who after being sacrificed went through specific funeral rites that use sacred salt to represent the community while taking part with the Gods and being able to intermediate the end of droughts. They are associated with water powers. And their residences were sacred and terrible Huacas. The sacrifices were elevation and non-commensalism with the Gods in balance as in the Aztecs and therefore much more unusual (we also do not have the concept of many deaths and death before life, further follows the Western pattern of life followed by death in a line, though the gods are transmuted and the unborn are underground that in Inca cosmology is always mistaken for water). The Tawantinsuyans (who were not priests but were not "academics" and "philosophers" as the Old World or Meso-Americans - actually resembled teachers and sophists before Socrates changed the function of Greek thought) also proposed the thesis of that we have 5 souls in a system similar to Egypt.
                Hmm. Write it out more? The current antipathy seems to be derived from people want Arisen from other cultures where the similarity is extremely shallow (see: the word Mummy is used, but being a preserved corpse is the extent of the linkage). If there are deeper similarities, please point them out.

                The Curse's mechanics and corresponding backstory still heavily favor a particular model, but it many not be as exclusive as previously thought.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post
                  But if I have to choose I prefer the adaptation of the Covenants system, so that the Tribe is the wolf ideology and the Human Covenant about the condition and the tribes gain archetypal aspects. You are born into the tribe and choose the covenant and have a sign about when it has become.
                  I'm not sure what you mean by covenants. The tribes in Forsaken are like covenants. You aren't born into tribes in Forsaken, you choose to join one because their method of dealing with being with the Uratha appeals fits your own ideas.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by nofather View Post

                    I'm not sure what you mean by covenants. The tribes in Forsaken are like covenants. You aren't born into tribes in Forsaken, you choose to join one because their method of dealing with being with the Uratha appeals fits your own ideas.
                    I know. But shifting the tribe to something that "you are born" rather than "you swear" does not lose all concept, tradition and culture. Still the same thing.

                    The "covenants" would occupy the position of the Pure and Destitute, as sects. In the case he would use the Heresies as mentalities of the devotion legends of what created them and what work the werewolves as a whole must have, again replacing the pure and destitute.

                    I like Shard because he only needs a small introductory text, five small sects texts and 5 lists with 5 gifts in each. It is the shortest material possible, you can have this fully functional Shard with 4 pages.

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                    • #25
                      Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with rules hacks; check my sig for an idea of how much I love them. But I'd rather see them in the various gamelines' Storyteller Guides, the way the Demon Storyteller's Guide included system hacks. Dark Shards shouldn't be about system hacks; it should be about alternate settings.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by LordofIron View Post
                        I feel like the "What if the masquerade came down" shard would be cool,
                        ...you mean the one that's already getting its own book?
                        • Shattered Masks: A Shard where the Masquerade comes down. What effect does this have on a world of darkness where vampires are suddenly real, and among us? PDF/PoD
                        Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post
                        About Mummies as Latino I have an interest in representing the cultures of our people in games. But it seems there is a certain prejudice here against this type of representation, the point of the mask for example to defend the survival of the Egyptian culture and its integration into Greek, but not the survival of Aztec culture and its integration into the Spanish in Mexico (because a coherent scenario the Sabbat would have three cultural forces, the Aztec being one next to the Lasombra Christianity and the Tzimisce paganism).
                        To which I'd ask:

                        Why Mummy specifically? What's wrong with using one of the other gamelines as a means to spotlight and often-overlooked region and culture to the Western world?

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                        • #27
                          Eh. As much as I disagree with Ben Linus about putting Andean mummies into Dark Shards, “why mummies, specifically, and not something else?” is easily addressed: first, it's not an either/or decision. You can do Andean mummies and something with other gamelines to spotlight South American culture. Heck, if they wanted to, Onyx Path could do something similar to old White Wolf's Years of the Lotus and the Scarab (which focused on the Far East and Egypt respectively) with every gameline contributing something to the effort. I don't think they're going to; but it's not an impossibility.

                          So that addresses the “why not focus on another gameline instead?” issue. The other issue is “Why mummy?” There are actually very few cultures in history that actively practiced mummification; and one of the things they all had in common was a belief in some sort of life after death. Despite Malcolm's rather flippant answer, that, moreso than the practice of preserving corpses itself, is what draws people to a game about those other cultures. We've already got a pseudo-Egyptian take on things with the Arisen; why not address the others?

                          Now, I'm not suggesting that OP provide a hack that reskins the Arisen as Andean or Chinese mummies. That, in my view, would be lazy and derivative. But bear in mind that the Chronicles of Darkness already have at least three distinct kinds of entities called “demons” — and I'm not talking about the wide variety of entities that could broadly be described as “demonic”; I'm talking about creatures that are directly and explicitly called “demons”. There are the Unchained rebels against the God-Machine; the Infernal demons intruding on our reality in search of Vice; and the Supernal denizens of Pandemonium who seek to run people through an iron gauntlet of temptations to see who survives and thrives. There may be more. Wicked Dead explicitly brought us vampires who aren't Kindred, after Night Stalkers had implied their existence. Skinchangers (and, more controversially, Changing Breeds) brought us other shapeshifters, including other kinds of werewolves — something that was hinted at in Spirit Stalkers. There are also several kinds of magic wielders in the Chronicles of Darkness that aren't the Awakened.

                          Ahem; sorry for that tangent. My point is that there's a rich tradition of alternatives to the main splats of what has become the Chronicles of Darkness; indeed, “There are more things in Heaven and on Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy” doesn't just apply to the rational Horatio in the Chronicles of Darkness; it applies to everyone. I don't see why you can't have alternate takes on life-after-death immortals, i.e., mummies. Heck, we already have one: the Purified, from Immortals. If the Purified get reintroduced into the Chronicles of Darkness by way of Mummy, it wouldn't hurt to have the first Arisen to leave the Middle East encounter Purified immortals spreading throughout the Far East, cementing them as the kind of immortals descended (figuratively) from a proto-Chinese culture in a vaguely similar way to how the Arisen are descended from a proto-Egyptian culture. Their power stat, after all, is “Chi”; and I've heard them described loosely as “monks and alchemists” — there's a lot about them that could be cast as having originated in China, though they have (by now) long since grown past that as the secret of Purification has spread to other cultures.

                          I could also definitely see Andean mummies being a thing. It's just that I'd want to see them be their own thing not just copycats of the Arisen.
                          Last edited by Dataweaver; 09-08-2018, 10:22 AM. Reason: Elaborated further on the Purified


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