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Intense Emotional States And YOU! [System]

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  • Intense Emotional States And YOU! [System]

    Alright, I've been kinda thinking that having a unified system for how intense Emotions are might be nice to have. So I made one.

    Gaining Emotional States
    Most characters are considered to have either an Indiscernible or Noticeable emotional state, depending on what makes more sense in the fiction. A characters player may declare that they have an Obvious emotional state when appropriate; alternatively the ST may give Obvious emotional states to players in much the same way as they would give out Conditions.

    Characters experiencing any emotional state more severe than Indiscernible may, once per scene, reflexively roll Resolve + Composure; a Success reduces their emotional state by one step, and an Exceptional Success both lowers the emotional state by one step, and gains a +2 bonus on their next roll to control their emotions. A Dramatic Failure worsens their emotional state by one step.

    A failed Breaking Point roll can give an Intense emotion instead of a Condition; a Dramatic Failure on a Breaking Point roll can give an Overwhelming emotion instead of a Condition.
    0 - Indiscernible
    Included for completeness. No real mechanical effect.

    1 - Noticeable
    The character is noticeably experiencing the emotional state. If they want to hide their current emotional state or bring it under control, they have to get a Success on a Resolve + Composure roll - otherwise, their emotional state is obvious to see.

    2 - Obvious
    The character is quite obviously experiencing a strong emotion. As Noticeable, except they take a -1 penalty to all Resolve or Composure rolls to resist indulging in or revealing their emotional state; this penalty stacks with itself.

    3 - Intense
    The character is in the throes of an intense emotion. As Obvious, except the penalty increases to -2, and anyone attempting to convince them to take action in line with the emotion gets an Exceptional Success with 3 successes instead of 5.

    4 - Overwhelming
    The character has been overwhelmed by an extremely powerful emotion. As Intense, except the penalty increases to -3, and any Resolve + Composure rolls to hide or control their emotional state is automatically a Chance die. Anyone attempting to convince them to take action in line with the emotion gets a +2 bonus on their roll.
    Optional Bonuses

    Psychic Characters
    • Rolls to activate a Supernatural Merit in a way that "goes against" the emotion they are currently feeling suffer the same penalties as the Resolve + Composure roll to hide their emotions.
    • Characters experiencing an Intense emotion may take a Beat once per Chapter; doing so allows the ST to activate one of their Supernatural Merits and use it in a way in line with the emotion. This does not cost the character Willpower.
    • Characters experiencing an Overwhelming emotion may take this Beat once per Scene.

    Emotions as Willpower Source
    • Characters who are experiencing at least an Obvious emotion gain indulging in their emotion as a Vice; at the end of any scene where they indulge in this Vice, reduce their emotional state by one step.
    • For example, a character feeling Obvious Anger could storm off, come to blows, or go off to drink and sulk; they would take the Willpower, and would be experiencing Noticeable Anger the next scene.
    • Whenever a character who is experiencing at least an Intense emotion fulfils an Aspiration related to that emotion, they regain 1 Willpower. This does not reduce their emotional state.

    Resonance
    • Characters experiencing an emotion of at least Noticeable intensity are considered to have a Resonant condition keyed to that emotion.
    • If the emotion is at least Intense, Spirits that attempt to gorge themselves on that Resonance gain 1 Essence up and above the amount they would normally gain. If the emotion is Overpowering, the amount of "bonus" Essence increases to 2.
    • Ghosts in the presence of someone feeling Obvious or stronger feelings of grief related to their death may treat that emotion as an Anchor for the purposes of not suffering Essence Bleed.

    Blood Bonds
    • If everyone in play is willing, a group can replace the normal effects of Blood Bonds with an appropriate emotion, with an intensity equal to its Stage (a third-stage bond would be considered to be an Intense emotion.)
    • The effects of this enforced emotion are not reduced by Vampires, and the intensity of the emotion cannot be reduced by mundane means until the bond ends.
    • Unless the supernatural trait is capable of outright ending or intensifying a Blood Bond, any effect that changes the rating of the Blood Bond's emotion only lasts one scene.

    Alternate Supernatural Merit - Empathic Control (••• or •••••)
    This Merit functions as the Psychokinesis Merit, except it controls a particular emotion instead of an element. An emotion's Size is equal to the numerical rating of the state; Obvious Fear would have Size 2 for the purposes of this Merit. Whenever you use the "attack a victim with the force" option, the damage dealt is Bashing instead of Lethal - this represents physical stress from brief intensification of emotion. This Merit does not allow you to move an emotion; instead, you can choose redirect the focus of the emotion by spending a number of successes equal to twice the emotion's rating.

    Tweaked Merits
    Any time a Merit would allow you to learn the most intense emotion affecting a character or scene, you also learn the emotion's rating. If the emotion is rated at Intense or higher, you experience a Noticeable version of that same emotion for the rest of the scene - emotions are infectious.

    Supernaturals and Emotional Ratings
    Vampires: Most of the time, a Vampire reduces the effects of whatever emotion they are currently feeling by one step due to their deadened flesh and distance from normal human emotions. This benefit does not apply to Frenzying Kindred. In addition, any effect or system that produces the Bestial, Competitive, or Wanton conditions can instead produce an Intense emotion of the proper type; Kindred do not reduce the effects of these emotions.
    Demons: Demons automatically succeed on any rolls to hide their emotional state.
    Changelings: Changelings may only drain Glamour from characters experiencing Obvious, Intense, or Overpowering emotions.
    Prometheans: Disquiet is considered to be an emotion with a rating equal to its stage for the purposes of effects that interact with emotions. For example, Fourth-Stage Disquiet would be considered an Overpowering emotion. Characters cannot reduce this emotion through mundane means, though supernatural means can reduce Disquiet.
    Hunters: The Gentle Heart Elixir may reduce any emotion from Overpowering to Intense, not just Disquiet.
    Soulless: A character without a soul cannot increase the intensity their emotions unless helped or forced to by a supernatural ability; in addition, gaining the Enervated or Thrall conditions lowers the intensity of all of their emotions by one step.

    Ephemeral Being Influences
    5-dot Influences may create permanent emotions in a person; doing so permanently sets their "natural" rating in that emotion to Noticeable instead of Indiscernible. For example, a Spirit of Anger that created a permanent emotion of "rage" would result in a person who always feels at least a little pissed off unless they take some effort to calm themselves down.
    Last edited by amechra; 11-03-2014, 01:44 AM.


    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

  • #2
    So... yeah. This is a thing.

    I guess I should lay out my design goals for this:

    1. Bestial, Competitive, and Wanton have the same mechanical impact as an Intense emotion.
    2. Gaining and losing an emotional rating higher than Obvious is difficult to do through mundane means.
    3. Remove that one exception that the 5-dot Influence effect has with creating permanent emotions without having it be a major mechanical disruption of the character.
    4. It should be simple to apply across different splats to create mechanical coherence (To help the poor STs that want to run cross-overs out.)
    5. It should be mechanically simple. Period.
    6. It should be as non-intrusive as possible. Notice that, while you feel a given emotion, you aren't forced to react to that emotion in a given way.

    If I failed any of those, please tell me and I/we (if anyone wants to help out) can hash out a way of making it work better.

    I think the next step would be to take a look through Dread Powers and Numina to identify those that can be hacked over to this system.

    (And to everyone that would complain that this system would "tell you how to play your characters", I'm sorry that you feel that way. That's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid.

    So please, if you're going to say that this is a bad idea, please supply an explanation more specific than "because it is". After all, I am interested in learning new things.)


    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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    • #3
      My suggestion would be to simplify it down to just Indiscernible, Intense and Overwhelming. Then convert Intense and Overwhelming into Conditions which can be Resolved either when someone takes advantage of it or when you roleplay a bad decision based on strong emotions.


      “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
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      • #4
        I agree with KingRaven. While I like subsystems like this in my head, I feel like it's missing an opportunity in using the unified simplicity of the Condition system to measure these. It'd also make keeping track of it require less thought, and hooks it into the Beats system.


        I am no longer participating in the community. Please do not contact me about my previous work.

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        • #5
          I could just turn these into Conditions, but the issue I'm running into is that I don't really want it to hook into the Beats system, if that makes any sense.

          Oh, well, I could make these into Conditions; I wouldn't go for that resolution for Intense or Overwhelming, though.


          I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

          So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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          • #6
            If you don't want them to give Beats, then just have them resolve without giving beats (just include that it doesn't grant a beat on resolution to the Resolution section)

            It's really just about having these "status effect" type things all in one place for ease of book-keeping.


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            • #7
              Part of my issue is that I have some Conditions that interact with this system as well.

              But, I mean, wrapping a Condition "shell" around the different Ratings wouldn't be that hard. I'll do it when I have some time.


              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by amechra View Post
                Part of my issue is that I have some Conditions that interact with this system as well.

                But, I mean, wrapping a Condition "shell" around the different Ratings wouldn't be that hard. I'll do it when I have some time.
                Think of it like the Ephemeral Being stuff. Having Conditions that key off of one another is a thing there, too, so you don't have to worry about that being a previously unexplored idea


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                • #9
                  If I do that, I have to include branching! Mainly because I love the system as a an example of a causal diagram, thanks to the fact that you know what happens when you kick over one part of the house of cards.

                  I decided to reduce the whole thing to 3 Conditions, which are as follows:

                  Strong [Emotion]
                  Your character is currently feeling a particular strong emotion. Any time your character is taking an action where [emotion] might hinder them, you may opt to fail the roll and resolve this Condition.
                  Resolution: Your character fails their roll as given above; Your character's emotion causes them to take action in a way that hinders the group or introduces complication.
                  Beat: N/A

                  Obsessive [Emotion]
                  Your character's judgement is impaired by the strength of their [emotion]; this Condition is layered on top of the Strong [Emotion] Condition. While they possess this Condition, they take a -2 penalty to all Resolve or Composure rolls to resist indulging in or revealing their emotional state. Additionally, anyone attempting to convince them to take action in line with their [emotion] gets an Exceptional Success with 3 successes instead of 5.
                  Resolution: Resolve the underlying Strong [Emotion]; Face a Breaking Point due to [emotion].
                  Beat: Any time you would resolve Strong [Emotion] normally, you may opt to instead take a Beat and retain the Condition.

                  Inspired [Emotion]
                  Your character's actions are aided in some way by the strength of their [emotion]; this Condition is layered on top of the Strong [Emotion] Condition. Any time your character is taking an action where [emotion] might aid them, they may resolve this Condition. An exceptional success on that roll requires only three successes instead of five and you gain a point of Willpower.
                  Resolution: Resolve the underlying Strong [Emotion]; Improve a roll as given above.
                  Beat: Any time you would resolve Strong [Emotion] normally, you may opt to instead take a Beat and retain the Condition.


                  I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                  So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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                  • #10
                    And here, the whole "System" is streamlined down to a couple of Conditions. THAT is AWESOME. (And I actually read these, so hey). And it might actually see some usage in my game. Cheers!


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                    • #11
                      Yep.

                      I mean, I'll keep the system myself (because it has a lot of nuances and hooks, and I like that in a system), but it was surprisingly easy to do.

                      Also, you can replace a large number of the pre-existing conditions with the above; Spooked and Shaken are both covered by Strong Fear, for example.


                      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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