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  • ​[Dark Eras] Needed Merits

    I came to conclusion Dark Eras book need a few more Merits for historical chronicles. Now that the book will have at least something like 800+ pages, I think that one page for the new Merits is totally in order. Developers are more than oblige to steal those ideas to Dark Eras corebook.

    Merits

    Literate (•)
    Prequsition: Intelligence 2+
    Effect: Before public education system ( for example, from 1833 in England ) literacy was part of only small percent of population. Even educated people not always were able to read. This Merit marks character as able to read and write in all Languages she knows and her homeland tongue . Characters with Multilingual Merit may read or write in those languages, but need to do Intelligence+Academics rolls for this.
    Note: If Storyteller allows this Merit, he should ban Illiterate Persistence Condition in the same Dark Era.

    Noble (•••)
    Effect: Before modern notion of “every human is born equal” from the end of XIX century, almost each society had at least common man and ruling class. The second, called usually “nobility”, were connected with many benefits, obvious and not. This Merit represent those for character to have - as legal standing changed by centuries details and duties of nobles varied across societies the exact privilege are not listed. Most common are different legal standing in case of court and being judged, laws permitting to treat lesser classes with superiority or that permitting much more freedom in their activates.

    Persistence Conditions / Flaws

    Illiterate (Persistent)
    After introducing public education system ( for example, from 1833 in England ) literacy become standard for the people. Those not able to read or write have harder time to lead their life in society based more and more on ability for citizens to read documents and making their own decisions.
    Resolution: The character learn to read.
    Beat: The characters illiteracy is making problem for her life.
    Note: If Storyteller allows this Condition, he should ban Literate Merit in the same Dark Era.

    Outsider (Persistent)
    This character looks and acts counter to the main society. Depending on location or history era, this character can be from untouchable caste Dalit in India or Burakumin in Japan, gay, Jew, Muslim, hippie, punk, goth or any radical counterculture of the time. Character have -1 to -3 penalty on social rolls with others depending on target conservative worldview. Mainstream target would have -1 and ultraconservative would have -3 penalty. Character also add one more Door for each penalty point to the target’s pool in Social Manuvering.
    Possible Sources: Niche lifestyle. Ethnicity. Religion. Sexual orientation.
    Resolution: Character integrates with mainstream. She changes her act and look to be with norm or even is lifted to proper society of location and era.
    Beat: Whenever characters status leads to conflict with authorities or community.

    Slave (Persistent)
    Legally, character is property of other person. By the law, the cannot be disobedient to his "master" and his owner can make what he please with his life. Realistically, most persons fed and cared about their slaves, as they were investment, even treated as part of their families in some cases. But still, life of your character is in hands of other character.
    Resolution: Character is officially freed by his owner.
    Beat: The characters is disobeying his masters orders. Character's master makes him do things he does not want to ( probably leading to Breaking Point in character )
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-24-2017, 06:50 AM.


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  • #2
    Some good work there.


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    • #3
      I had one more Persistent Condition:

      Slave (Persistent)
      Legally, character is property of other person. By the law, the cannot be disobedient to his "master" and his owner can make what he please with his life. Realistically, most persons fed and cared about their slaves, as they were investment, even treated as part of their families in some cases. But still, life of your character is in hands of other character.
      Resolution: Character is officially freed by his owner.
      Beat: The characters is disobeying his masters orders. Character's master makes him do things he does not want to ( probably leading to Breaking Point in character )
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-08-2015, 05:28 PM.


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      • #4
        Being literate would be better served as a part of being trained in Academics.

        Nobility is better served by Status.

        Slavery works very differently from society to society. Only recently we had societies where slaves really had no rights, that was almost unknown in the old world. That said, I'm not sure this is good as a Condition, but the rule seems good enough.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          Being literate would be better served as a part of being trained in Academics.
          I do not agree - having Academics and being literate are not the same things. In Sunday schools English programs of XVII to XVIII - and the same in whole Europe - workers were taught basic facts about history, art and religion ( best reflected by the 1st dot of Academics ) but still were mostly illiterate after program. In Middle Ages it was not weird that Noble man were illiterate and needed their personal scribes - even if they were aware of most basics of Academics Skill.

          That's why, I think, literacy should not be directly tied to Academics Skill - they can work separately. And yes, being Literate in old times was a privilege. ( And that why it should be Merit ). Sanctity of Merits make sure that even old vampires, that bought that Merit in Middle Ages can refund if if they "catch up" with modern society.

          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          Nobility is better served by Status.
          WHAT Status? In Storytelling System ( nWoD rules engine ) you always have organisation the Status is based on - your company, church, police, etc. In the ways of Nobility it would be Status (Society), I think it's too broad here because Nobility is recognized even outside of their homeland - but not in the way of strict hierarchy.

          Your Duke, Marquise or just Sir are all recognized even outside of their country - I think higher levels of Nobility can work with mine and Fame Merit enough good. Add Resources to mix and you got your Barons, Counts and Marquises and any title you need to. Lines of Noble Ranks are less hard than military or church seeing as most of them are only titles.
          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-09-2015, 12:31 AM.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

            WHAT Status? In Storytelling System ( nWoD rules engine ) you always have organisation the Status is based on - your company, church, police, etc. In the ways of Nobility it would be Status (Society), I think it's too broad here because Nobility is recognized even outside of their homeland - but not in the way of strict hierarchy.

            Your Duke, Marquise or just Sir are all recognized even outside of their country - I think higher levels of Nobility can work with mine and Fame Merit enough good. Add Resources to mix and you got your Barons, Counts and Marquises and any title you need to. Lines of Noble Ranks are less hard than military or church seeing as most of them are only titles.
            Vampire: The Requiem 2E has Kindred Status (City). Which seemed really broad to me. I expect that Nobility would have something similar. Ultimately it can be used in same way: people obey you, and you can leverage your Status to block other characters' social merits.


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            • #7
              so do all vampires get the noble merit for free, as I doubt requiem for regina will be about vampire peasents :P

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              • #8
                Originally posted by herkles View Post
                so do all vampires get the noble merit for free, as I doubt requiem for regina will be about vampire peasents :P

                It's not the Dark Ages, there are thriving urban-worker and bourgeois classes in Elizabethan England.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster
                  I do not agree - having Academics and being literate are not the same things. In Sunday schools English programs of XVII to XVIII - and the same in whole Europe - workers were that basic facts about history, art and religion ( best reflected by the 1st dot of Academics ) but still were mostly illiterate after program. In Middle Ages it was not weird that Noble man were illiterate and needed their personal scribes - even if they were aware of most basics of Academics Skill.

                  That's why, I think, literacy should not be directly tied to Academics Skill - they can work separately. And yes, being Literate in old times was a privilege. ( And that why it should be Merit ). Sanctity of Merits make sure that even old vampires, that bought that Merit in Middle Ages can refund if if they "catch up" with modern society.
                  I'm aware of that, just think it shouldn't be reinforced mechanically through a Merit. Maybe an Academics roll (since some of the people with enough education could read at least a little), and/or be tied to second or third level of Academics. By the way, nobles who couldn't read usually weren't "trained" in Academics.

                  But this could work also with other Merits. In Middle Ages access to that level or higher of education was controlled by the Church, so I think Merits associated with the Church, or able to give access to a lay tutor supported by the Church, could be enough to guarantee access to literacy. A lone Merit just for that could be reserved for someone who learned without ties to the Church.

                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster
                  WHAT Status? In Storytelling System ( nWoD rules engine ) you always have organisation the Status is based on - your company, church, police, etc. In the ways of Nobility it would be Status (Society), I think it's too broad here because Nobility is recognized even outside of their homeland - but not in the way of strict hierarchy.

                  Your Duke, Marquise or just Sir are all recognized even outside of their country - I think higher levels of Nobility can work with mine and Fame Merit enough good. Add Resources to mix and you got your Barons, Counts and Marquises and any title you need to. Lines of Noble Ranks are less hard than military or church seeing as most of them are only titles.
                  Now you simply got it wrong. Heraldry is a minor thing now, but until the revolutions from the XIX century it was far more relevant, and rigid. To begin with, a noble title is directly equivalent to a military rank. It isn't now, but it WAS them. It also played a key role in medieval law, determining your rights and duties. Finally, it was key also to determine your relation with lands. Land was a major resource back them, but wasn't really your property. All land belonged to the King, and nobles had access and right over it as much as they had administrative and defensive obligations. And title was key to determine these roles.

                  A noble doesn't had to be rich. In fact, some where poor. Even Dukes and Kings could face hardships enough to become poor. But they where still Dukes and Kings, with all the social standing and rights entitled to them. Maybe Status (Heraldry) would make for it. What these titles do is to determine your position in the hierarchy of the medieval state. If you think it too broad, make every dot of Status (Heraldry) cost double. Resources and Fame are common among nobles, but not necessary, and some commoners also could achieve both, as was the case of some villeins.


                  Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante,
                  Do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo,
                  Sobre o que é o amor, sobre que eu nem sei quem sou.
                  É chato chegar a um objetivo num instante,
                  Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BigDamnHero View Post
                    Vampire: The Requiem 2E has Kindred Status (City). Which seemed really broad to me. I expect that Nobility would have something similar. Ultimately it can be used in same way: people obey you, and you can leverage your Status to block other characters' social merits.
                    Status, even in City, is very different than being the Noble - graphically speaking, Nobles should have "Status(World)" and it still be distinct in every country and in different times. I think that 3 dots Merit ( maybe even 2 dot ) like True Friend is solving this kind of problems - in past being Noble was living in the world on it self.

                    Originally posted by herkles View Post
                    so do all vampires get the noble merit for free, as I doubt requiem for regina will be about vampire peasents :P
                    Basiclly what GlamourWeaver says:
                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                    It's not the Dark Ages, there are thriving urban-worker and bourgeois classes in Elizabethan England.
                    Also, giving Merits for free is totally okey in nWoD. Mage 2ED Template gives you High Speech, Rotes ( that are practically Merits ) and Rote Specialization in Orders, even if those are Merits in game just for free.

                    If your ST wants to run an only Court drama, he should give you Noble Merit for free.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    I'm aware of that, just think it shouldn't be reinforced mechanically through a Merit. Maybe an Academics roll (since some of the people with enough education could read at least a little), and/or be tied to second or third level of Academics. By the way, nobles who couldn't read usually weren't "trained" in Academics.
                    "Usually" is crutial word - the norm was true, you learned Academics and also learn to read. BUT NOT ALWAYS. And for those "Not Always" is typical used Merits. Also, being Literate is slight boost to your social status in society at large.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    But this could work also with other Merits. In Middle Ages access to that level or higher of education was controlled by the Church, so I think Merits associated with the Church, or able to give access to a lay tutor supported by the Church, could be enough to guarantee access to literacy. A lone Merit just for that could be reserved for someone who learned without ties to the Church.
                    Now this is a slight hypocrisy of you - you write that Literacy should not be a Merit, but now you make it part of other Merit?

                    But I agree that if we make Literacy as 1 dot Merit, that Status in Church of Middle Ages - that should really work with perks like Mystery Cult Initiation - should give you Literacy Merit on first dot for free.

                    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                    Now you simply got it wrong. Heraldry is a minor thing now, but until the revolutions from the XIX century it was far more relevant, and rigid. To begin with, a noble title is directly equivalent to a military rank. It isn't now, but it WAS them. It also played a key role in medieval law, determining your rights and duties. Finally, it was key also to determine your relation with lands. Land was a major resource back them, but wasn't really your property. All land belonged to the King, and nobles had access and right over it as much as they had administrative and defensive obligations. And title was key to determine these roles.

                    A noble doesn't had to be rich. In fact, some where poor. Even Dukes and Kings could face hardships enough to become poor. But they where still Dukes and Kings, with all the social standing and rights entitled to them. Maybe Status (Heraldry) would make for it. What these titles do is to determine your position in the hierarchy of the medieval state. If you think it too broad, make every dot of Status (Heraldry) cost double. Resources and Fame are common among nobles, but not necessary, and some commoners also could achieve both, as was the case of some villeins.
                    Okay, I can agree I made too big assumptions here. But still, from what you write, Nobility should be like Status (World) in past Eras - you are higher on social ladder from every other, beside the other nobles.
                    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-09-2015, 12:55 AM.


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                    • #11
                      The more I think about Middle Ages eras and watch shows like Vikings or Last Kingdom - the more I come to conclusion that Christians should get for free a Merit Virtuous ( Faith ), because half of their decisions are only logical if you take them through the ramifications of Church dogma, really. It really looks like they normal, personal Virtue is competing with Faith on day to day basis.


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                      • #12
                        1) Christians would just pick personal Breaking Points that reflect their faith. You didn't do your religious stuff because it was self-affirming, you did it because that's what was expected of you and that's what you had been taught was right. Self-esteem and self-affirmation weren't really things that were encouraged back then.

                        2) Status would cover nobility - Status covers your ability to throw your weight around in a particular place (your home country). The reason you get more of an ear when you're off in foreign places is not because you can throw your divine right to nobility around, it's because you have stuff back home that you can give them (also, you might be their cousin.) Think of it like having Status in, say, the government - people are going to be nice to you if you're a governor, even if you don't actually have any authority over them.

                        3) You wouldn't get one dot of Academics from Sunday school - you might get Encyclopedic Knowledge (Academics); assuming, of course, that 'Sunday school' is a thing in your country, which it very well could not be. Similarly, the education a noble receives is probably closer to a dot of Expression, Politics, and Persuasion, with Encyclopedic Knowledge (Academics) and maybe a couple copies of Multilingual being tossed in there. So having a single dot of Academics probably would cover literacy as well.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by amechra View Post
                          1) Christians would just pick personal Breaking Points that reflect their faith. You didn't do your religious stuff because it was self-affirming, you did it because that's what was expected of you and that's what you had been taught was right. Self-esteem and self-affirmation weren't really things that were encouraged back then.
                          I talk here about characters like Alfred the Great - on one hand, he is Prudent, reasonable strategist ( I really think he should have Prudence as Virtue ). On the other hand, he spands half time on prayer, he tries to forgive his enemies and be "good Christian". It's much more than simply "You will not break Gods Commandments" as Breaking Point - half of his life is dedicated to Church and Faith.

                          And it's all over the Christian world - half of Last Kingdom cast is really dedicated to Faith, even if they are also dedicated to other Virtues.

                          On the side, Alfred probably would have also Vice-Ridden Merit, as he is both Prideful and Lustful - but it's more sidenote here.

                          Point is - most Christian have two Virtues, fighting over they behavior - one of them is Faith, other is their normal, personal Virtue. And omiting Breaking Points of Christianity is not enough to portray them.


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                          • #14
                            I think you may be overthinking this. Christianity is not so special as to merit that being a norm of adherents to the religion, and sources on these figures, having been mostly written by members of religious institutions in a culture of hyperbole (That is, medieval writing) really lends itself to exaggerating the virtues of its heroes. Especially their Christian virtues.

                            I figure how much truth that has is a subject for individual games, but for what it's worth, I'd err on the side of skepticism if you're trying to approach this with a critical eye towards history.


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                            • #15
                              To me Status suggest something you can change. The reality is that depending on the era and society there was very little you could change about the station of your life. If you run a game in for example feudal Europe or medieval Japan, you either are a noble or not. I think in such a time it is better done through a Nobility merit gained at character generation. Of course, if you are wealthy and powerful enough you can always fake your station, but don't let the others learn about it

                              Mind you, that is the biggest issue with all of these is that if you write a book covering a large period of time and geography you are bound to run into the huge differences between what it meant to be a slave among the Romans, feudal Europe or 19th century Caribbean, let alone the differences between a Roman noble (didn't mean much), feudal noble or noble in the Victorian age. You need a new text for each of those

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