Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Purified and the God-Machine Spirit Rules

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I take a very different approach with influence; my assumptions and goals regarding the Purified are rather different from Kaye and Callishka (and probably many of you). I'm exploring the 'spirits of humanity' angle, so I give Purified astral-like influences and those related to /who they are/ as people: narrative archetype, beliefs, virtue/vice, derangements, dreams, lifestyle, role. I took inspiration from the character aspects in Fate (DFRPG specifically; I'm not sure if that part differs any from Fate more broadly) and turned those into influences for the Purified. I'd phrase it as they have 'influences of identity' the way spirits' are of resonances and ghosts' are of anchors.

    It's worked with their presentation and role as I wanted to portray it, but as you can guess, it ends up allowing a large handful of various influences. The Purified in my game currently has 9 different influences. [I am fortunate that the player is a bit passive and doesn't fully comprehend the scope that gives her; I actually don't think she's used any of them in session, yet. She is more of a narrative, character growth and interaction driven player.] Now, I have to say part of that is because I'm playing a very high power level game (we're around 800 xp, 1E system). Still, this was allowed because of the broad philosophy I've taken with influences.

    So it's worked out thematically for what I want to present, but obviously allows way too much power. I've had a hard time trying to scale it back while still keeping the theme I'm aiming for.

    [For a more solid understanding of my approach, said Purified character has these influences: Fortitude, Envy (her Virtue and Vice), Shaman (social role), Trickster (narrative archetype and general activity), Snarker (personality), Tomboy (attitude and lifestyle), Wolf-Blooded (which should be rolled into Tomboy...), and Hobbesian (her world view / beliefs, especially about the shadow, and kind of a derangement/fear). The ninth is Technology - but she got that through a bargain with spirits at Best Buy; my hubristic little Purified is all grown up and becoming a magath~

    So, on the one hand, these Influences are kind of narrow, and they represent different aspects of a well fleshed-out character which (with the exception of Tomboy and Wolf-Blooded, and possibly Trickery and Snarker) would be hard to condense. People are complicated; you need a handful of aspects to summarize who they are, even in a shallow manner. On the other hand, that's a lot of influences, which are a very powerful and broad supernatural ability.
    It's a difficult balance to strike.]

    PS: I feel like noting that in the next chronicle I run which will include Purified, there will be very different base assumptions and goals for the template. I'm planning to use Kaye and Callishka's rules (with a few thematic tweaks) rather than what I've developed for that game.
    Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 03-11-2015, 03:31 PM.


    Second Chance for

    A Beautiful Madness

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
      I did just notice that your Chi chart allows them to get up rank 10 spirits, and I'm curious as to what's behind that choice. Perhaps I've taken Dave B's comments on what level of power rank translates to too strictly as "Word of God", but I'd feel that trying to reach higher than rank 6 is ground for a whole new game, "Game of Immortals" (changling) or Imperial Mysteries style.
      Yes, agreed. It's way different at Chi 6+ in these mods. If people wanted to play very down-to-earth characters at a Chi that high, it would need to be modified.

      In addition, I think this is where the Mystery Cults can really shine. It would be interesting to have a game in which everyone is at MC 5, Chi 6+, and leads a cult of Purified to coordinate in response to threats and cult goals. In a game like that, the emphasis would include a lot of strategy (Suggestion: Do not start a land war in Asia!), and the power level would be so high that a lot of play would have to address issues like how to prevent power use that creates a shining beacon for Harvesters and other bad things. There are extremely high-level spirits that are now good antagonist candidates. At this level, Purified could also stand up really well in reality-bending God-Machine plot lines. So, it preserves a lot of the core of the World of Darkness, including the setting, while at the same time providing play aspects that are a bit reminiscent of the power level in Nobilis or Exalted with undertones of Fortune 500 CEO problems.

      It raises questions like: How do you teach and enrich your subordinates without growing frustrated that they're not at Int 8, Wits 7, and Resolve 6 like you? What is the balance between using Numina/Siddhi to control your Allies, Contacts, cult members, &c. and relying on more genuinely human bonding strategies? What is stopping you from calling forth an entire block of sunlight at the next big vampire meeting because someone's ghoul gave you a parking ticket? You are (mostly) a spirit god, but does this leave you happy and fulfilled? How much of your time do you spend on things you enjoy, such as swimming with seals, versus managing the shit-storm that everyone throws on your lap?

      Not to mention that if you're a Purified at that level, the chances of you knowing how to effectively use modern technology are quite low, which is hilarious in a modern setting. If Purified at Simulacrum 0 lose access to their human bodies, maintaining Simulacrum at even 2 or 3 would be really, really hard for someone who falls into this category. How do you flirt with a girl in a coffee shop without using supernatural powers? How do you interpret that text message from your 15-year-old grandmentee? How are you going to wrap your mind around modern forms of finance management?

      And, of course, Purified like this are always good as NPCs: "No, I want YOU to do that. No, I don't care if I could take care of it with a single phone call. This is about your personal development, and moreover, it cuts into my OWN skydiving time." ;D

      Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
      On a separate note, I've been using purified with a different philosophy as to their nature and influences and been having a hard time balancing it well. I've enjoyed exploring the "spirits of humanity" direction, but it ends up with way too many influences. If it's interesting to anyone, I'd appreciate help refining that.
      In the mods I did, there is one basic way to expand into new Influences from the initial two: You gorge on an enormous amount of Essence. The eating could be either other spirits or a lot of Essence from a specific resonance. This requires a lot of RP justification. (Influences are also more powerful and easier to use if you stack dots in only the initial two, and so that's a plus.) The idea of insanity brought up later on by NeoTiamat is nice. Spirits just don't like eating stuff that they are not unless it means survival. EDIT: Ah, did not see that other page. Yes, agreed. Influences are very influential.
      Last edited by quantumelody; 03-11-2015, 07:57 PM.

      Comment


      • Seraph Kitty--don't give up on your spirits of humanity angle. Before I got excited about quantummelody's brand of Purified and jumped on board to help flesh it out, my original idea was that Purified were the distilled essences of themselves as people--they were, essentially (no pun intended), more callishka than callishka, more Mary than Mary. I had the same idea that Purified were, deep down, spirits, but they were spirits of their former selves, which meant they had swapped the material/mind version for the pure spirit version. This intrigued me because it led me to think, if I were distilled to my truest, most characteristic traits, what would they be, and how would I feel if the older I got, the more I realized that I could never change--I could only become even more pure in those traits?

        Ultimately, I find the idea of being walking nymphs of rivers, regret, steel, and other concepts more fascinating than walking expressions of personalities and dreams, but not by much. I say, run with your idea. If there are too many Influences, have the players pick two or three overriding ones to put their dots in. Those Influnces are the core of their personality, the hungriest part of them, the parts that burned through realities and became Pure and eternal. The other parts of them, not being eternal, are still crucial because those parts can evolve--those are perhaps even the more HUMAN traits they possess because they are NOT tied to an essence hunger.
        Last edited by Callishka; 03-11-2015, 09:11 PM.

        Comment


        • I like that compromise a lot; it certainly holds to the intended concept, keeps a powerful stat limited, and gives a new motivation/conflict for characters to explore. I'd be hesitant to turn only a few personality aspects into influences and leave the others as sidelined, possibly fading details, but your presentation of it sells the idea well, with good highlights on the themes of trying to retain humanity while coming to terms with being an alien-minded hungering archetype. Thanks for the suggestion!


          Second Chance for

          A Beautiful Madness

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
            I'd be hesitant to turn only a few personality aspects into influences and leave the others as sidelined, possibly fading details
            What if the traits that don't become influences become... Virtue and Vice! The ritual renders eternal two or three traits (or one particularly mighty one), but there is always the human weaknesses and virtues, and these remain to give the character a personable dimension. For instance, if a Virtue: Fearless, Vice: Moody occultist happens to also be Funny and Tender, she could become a Purified who retains the same Virtue/Vice but whose Funniness and Tenderness become Influences, thereby making her a kind of minor god of warm-hearted laughter the older she gets. Her fearlessness is what impelled her to ritual suicide; her moodiness remains. On the other hand, she could acquire Influence (Fearless) 2, (Moody)1--making her a brave and stormy spirit-thing who happens to also have a sense of humor and a tender approach to some people. Or any combination thereof!
            Last edited by Callishka; 03-12-2015, 03:50 AM.

            Comment


            • Aye; I had originally turned Virtue and Vice into influences - that made some level of sense in 1E's classic 7 situation, but not necessarily a lot. They're important aspects of the personality, but then it belittles the concept of having them if the trait gets converted (or worse, replicated) to an influence. What I'm considering now is possibly allowing Virtue/Vice to give one point of Essence when they're evoked - no longer full influences, but a way for Purified to bolster their spiritual power through their own actions; a meager, but self-affirming advantage.

              After your suggestion, though, I'll totally borrow that imagery and be fine turning only a few traits into influences. Describing it as a person's "hungriest" most defining aspects becoming their spirit influences, while other important personality traits remain flexible, changeable, and ultimately more human evokes a great mood and allows for interesting internal drama.

              It lets the interesting situation of a person suddenly flipping their personality, because the things that used to be most important to them are now alien and frightening, so they try to highlight other aspects to reassure themselves of humanity. Or they become purified at an old age (or a really young one), which converts one of their cynical (/innocent) worldviews into an influence - it made complete sense for its context and age, but now that they're eternally in their mid 20s, those contexts have vanished, and they have eternally highlight an identity they no longer believe in, but need to express and draw out in others - something they learn as similar traits fade and change from new contexts and learning experience, but the influence remains: allowing a fun immortal who, despite being constantly betrayed, has to act like everyone is kind and noble; they 'learn', intellectually, that's not the case, and mentally prepare themselves to get cut down at the worst possible moment, but incapable of acting like it will.

              Ah, you have wonderful suggestions! I appreciate it the help


              Second Chance for

              A Beautiful Madness

              Comment


              • Unrelated,
                I've enjoyed chaining the Purified to spirit politics, and playing up how innate and deep that goes. I noticed that we both have the nascent purified discorporate and get flung to a random corner of the shadow, having to hike back to their body to fully complete the change. I had a lot of fun role-playing this experience for my player, introducing all kinds of threats, challenges, and moral conundrums to see what personality aspects she drew upon - and also to weave her into a tangle of obligations. I made it clear that without assistance, it was going to be a rough journey, and then I had several very different spirits 'offer' to help guide and protect her, in efforts to secure her service. She was, after all, a gaffling more likely to get eaten than ignored, but the higher-ranked spirits new how valuable an indebted purified could be.
                I present that as the normal prelude for most Purified, and assume that they come out of the ritual belonging to a choir, and literally owing their eternal life to one spirit or another. Not that they can't make it through on their own, but if someone returns without being massively indebted, that instantly earns a reputation.

                In fact, I was thinking about adding a secondary aspirations track, called "Obligations" for this very reason - and also to reflect the other bargains and business they've done since then, whether agreeing to help a ghost pass on, thanking a werewolf for letting them live, feeding rights at a locus they had to bargain for, or supernatural services they frequently sell. The unique experience (chimiage beats?) would be available to spend on merits and powers acquired in these deals, whether numina, resources, or leverage.
                With this track, you would't need to replace an Obligation once it's fulfilled - you can always choose not to make new deals - but you like the payment, right?

                Of course, the Obligations should scale with the original debt, but that could require some variability to when you can earn beats or how many they award. For example, my player accepted the help of a fading Toad incarnae (minor; rank 5), who taught her a few numen and fought off predators; in exchange for securing eternal life, it demanded she save the frog and toad species that were dying off from toxins in the environment. That could be represented by an Obligation which is forced to be replaced (the storyteller and player negotiate which deals that's necessary for), or the massive Obligation could just be worded as is and every step of significant progress awards a beat, or the completion of it gives 2 full experiences, or whatever.

                Although, particularly for the original life debt, these obligations can be acquired for benefits already received. So, I'd also recommend the optional rule of letting players go into exp debt; let them have a few free traits at the start - some extra numen, maybe the locus merit, as much as they want, at story-teller discretion - but the Obligation (and the accompanying leveraged condition) only goes away when all of it has been paid off using only chimiage experience.



                Actually, it could be an interesting additional track in general, regardless of template. It's not strictly necessary to put role-played negotiations into mechanical traits, but doing so could help speed along "role-play earned" traits ["well, technically you've earned a dot of status with these guys, but do you have the exp for it?"] - which I, and many other STs sometimes give out for free anyway, but still. And it would give players freedom and flexibility to start play in the middle of a bargain, and make more 'off screen' as they go.

                Thoughts?
                Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 03-12-2015, 11:14 AM.


                Second Chance for

                A Beautiful Madness

                Comment


                • Kaye's active Purified led my candidate through a ritual, and he ended up flung dozens of shadow miles away from his body. On his way back, he encountered the spirit of a frigid mountain lake that seemed unresponsive. He hiked on until he found himself looking at a barrage of spirit animals running toward him and away from an advancing wall of fire, ash, and lava spirits. It turned out the Yellow Stone volcano spirits and their attendant fiery friends were in eternal war with the spirits of the old ice sheet that covered Montana, and my char had stumbled into yet another reenactment of the turf war. He started running back the way he came, hitchhiked on the back of a deer-wind spirit who flung him way up, nearly back into the fire. He ended up back near the frigid lake, whose attention he couldn't get. Finally he threw a reflection of a stone into its mirror-still waters, and it woke up and allowed him into its surface on a raft of ice. The fire raged around them, then left. My char conversed with the old lake, finding that it would fall back into slumber after a period of inactivity, and it loved nothing more than to have its surface disturbed so that it could become still again. He agreed to come back every month to throw a rock in it, and after some negotiation it taught him End Disease, because this spirit also stills feverish tremblings.

                  He then hiked back toward his body, but couldn't cross the Madison River until he answered three questions about water and rivers. He answered two (and learned Call Water and Pray for Rain) but then it asked him to tell it something about water it did not itself know. He couldn't find an answer and tried crossing to its opposite bank. It nearly destroyed him twice and sent him far away from where he wanted to be. Finally he just negotiated to cross in exchange for returning every month for ten years and giving chiminage
                  Last edited by Callishka; 03-12-2015, 03:12 PM.

                  Comment


                  • I really like the idea of obligations and debts. Kaye and I incorporate that into our playing without an explicit track for it, but it's a great way to get players to consider the price of being immortal AND linked eternally to a realm of greedy, demanding beings such as spirits. I'll reply more later!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
                      Of course, the Obligations should scale with the original debt, but that could require some variability to when you can earn beats or how many they award. For example, my player accepted the help of a fading Toad incarnae (minor; rank 5), who taught her a few numen and fought off predators; in exchange for securing eternal life, it demanded she save the frog and toad species that were dying off from toxins in the environment. That could be represented by an Obligation which is forced to be replaced (the storyteller and player negotiate which deals that's necessary for), or the massive Obligation could just be worded as is and every step of significant progress awards a beat, or the completion of it gives 2 full experiences, or whatever.

                      Although, particularly for the original life debt, these obligations can be acquired for benefits already received. So, I'd also recommend the optional rule of letting players go into exp debt; let them have a few free traits at the start - some extra numen, maybe the locus merit, as much as they want, at story-teller discretion - but the Obligation (and the accompanying leveraged condition) only goes away when all of it has been paid off using only chimiage experience.

                      Actually, it could be an interesting additional track in general, regardless of template. It's not strictly necessary to put role-played negotiations into mechanical traits, but doing so could help speed along "role-play earned" traits ["well, technically you've earned a dot of status with these guys, but do you have the exp for it?"] - which I, and many other STs sometimes give out for free anyway, but still. And it would give players freedom and flexibility to start play in the middle of a bargain, and make more 'off screen' as they go.

                      Thoughts?
                      I love this idea. I think that a Leveraged Condition makes sense for being severely indebted to specific spirits or choirs, but that on a daily basis, the ways in which those Conditions play out make sense using a list of goals to satisfy whatever one is beholden to. This is really nice.

                      Comment


                      • Bit of a thread necro here - I asked the talented Mr. Gone (Chris Leland) to create some character sheets suitable for Kaye and callishka's conversion of the Purified for CofD, and he has most graciously provided:

                        http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                        http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                        http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf
                        Last edited by Xardion; 01-31-2017, 06:55 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Xardion View Post
                          Bit of a thread necro here - I asked the talented Mr. Gone (Chris Leland) to create some character sheets suitable for Kaye and callishka's conversion of the Purified for CofD, and he has most graciously provided:

                          http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                          http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                          http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf
                          Glad I could help you out! Hopefully they'll serve y'all well.


                          MrGone's Character Sheets
                          For all your WoD Character Sheet Needs
                          _________________________________
                          Buy books & pdfs from DTRPG and support my web site! Click Here
                          _________________________________

                          Comment


                          • Ohh, those look really great!


                            Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
                            Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Octavo View Post
                              Ohh, those look really great!
                              Thank you! I appreciate it!


                              MrGone's Character Sheets
                              For all your WoD Character Sheet Needs
                              _________________________________
                              Buy books & pdfs from DTRPG and support my web site! Click Here
                              _________________________________

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Xardion View Post
                                Bit of a thread necro here - I asked the talented Mr. Gone (Chris Leland) to create some character sheets suitable for Kaye and callishka's conversion of the Purified for CofD, and he has most graciously provided:

                                http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                                http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf

                                http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pd...nteractive.pdf
                                Wowwwwww! Thanks for the request, Xardion, and thanks Mr Gone for the sheets!

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X