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  • Supernatural faction devoted to good?

    Will Onyx Path ever release a system that has a supernatural faction that has the goal of trying to make the world a better place, despite everything pretty much being stacked against them? I kind of would like to see a supernatural faction that is at least at it's core trying to do the right thing, rather than all the current ones who are at best self-serving or outright evil. Something to act in a juxtaposition to the myriad evil and morally ambiguous factions for those who want it.


    EDIT: I believe this post and this post explain best what I am getting at.
    Last edited by ReshyShira; 12-15-2015, 04:55 PM.

  • #2
    See: Hunter groups? The Silver Ladder? The Guardians of the Veil? The Free Council? The Werewolf Tribes?

    They may not always be nice on an individual scale, but their goals tend to be "Make the world a better place by our definition" which, like for groups in the real world, can sometimes carry a nasty caveats.

    There's just no group that doesn't allow for some ambiguity because that ambiguity is important for making these groups dynamic.

    I suppose Null Mysteriis in Hunter and Network Zero are the closest, since they're just trying to understand things about the world.


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    • #3
      Honestly, I'd argue that vampires and mummies are the only ones who don't try to make the world a better place. And, in the latter case, they THINK they are making the world better, but are being used/misguided.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
        See: Hunter groups? The Silver Ladder? The Guardians of the Veil? The Free Council? The Werewolf Tribes?

        They may not always be nice on an individual scale, but their goals tend to be "Make the world a better place by our definition" which, like for groups in the real world, can sometimes carry a nasty caveats.

        There's just no group that doesn't allow for some ambiguity because that ambiguity is important for making these groups dynamic.

        I suppose Null Mysteriis in Hunter and Network Zero are the closest, since they're just trying to understand things about the world.
        I'm well aware of those groups, believe me. But I'm more talking along the lines of personification of good (or the closest thing to it that WoD gets), since we have things like Beast the Primordial which is basically all about the bad things personified, so what about the good things? I understand there's slightly less terrible sub-factions of each supernatural faction, but in general there's nothing really good as the default position (and even the 'good' ones are often looked down upon). Most factions are basically various flavors of vile with the slightest sprinkling of 'good' factions here and there, but there's really only one or two factions in each group while the rest are entirely self-serving. Why not a supernatural faction that's the opposite, various flavors of good with a slight sprinkling of evil and self-serving?


        Originally posted by MCN View Post
        Honestly, I'd argue that vampires and mummies are the only ones who don't try to make the world a better place. And, in the latter case, they THINK they are making the world better, but are being used/misguided.
        This is why I don't play either of those games, there's nothing redeeming about them. Same goes for Beast the Primordial.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post

          I'm well aware of those groups, believe me. But I'm more talking along the lines of personification of good (or the closest thing to it that WoD gets), since we have things like Beast the Primordial which is basically all about the bad things personified, so what about the good things?
          That's a gross oversimplification of Beast. Regardless of your feelings on the game itself, surely you can see that? Literally nothing fits into the dichotomy of "Good versus Bad" in Chronicles of Darkness. The God-Machine has saved the world numerous times over. It also kills people at particular intervals in time to make the bug-eyed lion man who saved the world. Is it bad for having done so? Is it good just because it saved the world? It's pretty easy to recognize that this is a question which doesn't really have a straightforward answer when you're dealing with things that defy normative understanding.

          Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post
          I understand there's slightly less terrible sub-factions of each supernatural faction, but in general there's nothing really good as the default position (and even the 'good' ones are often looked down upon). Most factions are basically various flavors of vile with the slightest sprinkling of 'good' factions here and there, but there's really only one or two factions in each group while the rest are entirely self-serving. Why not a supernatural faction that's the opposite, various flavors of good with a slight sprinkling of evil and self-serving?
          This is still a gross oversimplification, nevermind that an actual reading of a number of the Diamond Orders lends itself to a much more nuanced and sleeper-friendly perspective than you're giving them credit for. (The Mysterium is not nice, and just is not set up to be nice to Sleepers, I will give you that!) The other thing to keep in mind is that the books are written to support a range of portrayals. Just as calling all Beasts irredeemably evil is a very very reductionist reading, it's also one that's not true, because YOU and your Storyteller determine where in the range a specific group fits. So yes, one Caucus of Silver Ladder might be assholes who helped Nazi mages escape persecution during WWII. Another might be an awesome group of caring individuals who run their Cryptopoly through groups dedicated to helping the poor and homeless, trying to give them enlightenement and better opportunities for themselves. Both of these can exist in the setting as its explicit that they run that range. All that's required of you is to decide that, in this particular game you're playing in, the latter Silver Ladder are present, not the former.

          Also, seriously, what do Null Mysteriis do that's actually bad? The worst they can be is conceptually crippled by a disbelief in the supernatural. Network Zero is only bad if you don't like the idea of posting proof of monsters to the internet (interesting note: That footage COULD theoretically cause Integrity checks in your average viewer, so maybe they aren't actually that great for doing so...)

          Is there ANYTHING actually objectionable about the Habibti Ma trying to save people from cults and mummies? The Maiden's Blood Sisterhood protecting the denizens of college campuses from supernatural predation?

          There's a bunch of groups which definitely skew more towards good than not, but like I said before, they're written to allow a range of behavior because people exhibit a range of behavior and that allows for greater depth in the concept.

          Besides, good people don't have to be perfect anyway.
          Last edited by Leetsepeak; 12-12-2015, 12:40 PM.


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          • #6
            I think most of the Changeling Courts are unequivocally good factions. They are still capable of doing terrible things, of course, and the emotions they can harvest Glamour from can sometimes be fairly negative, but they're hopeful, positive groups as a whole. Changelings help each other (most of the time), they work together to manage their own traumas and get a life back, and some ways for them to gather Glamour are absolutely saintly and safe compared to some other means of gathering fuel stats. Pledges to protect and shape dreams, Pledges of service, all those good things. I like Changelings as a whole, but I also think they are possibly the most hopeful of the different splats.

            On the other hand, it's hard to say that Aztoh is anything but good. It's the prima materia of the human soul, from a Promethean point of view, and the Principle is for some reason totally in love with humans. I've seen official qashmallim given Numina that can kill, that can twist minds, that can implant delusions, etc. but I've never seen one that completely controls another being except for the 'control Pandorans' one. Also, apart from the lilithi, the grand majority of their powers are of a positive miraculous bent. Rain, healing, resurrection, empowerment, the bestowing of conviction (admittedly, that's probably used in conjunction with a delusion, but still), all sorts of good things. Is it the Principle's fault that people, animals, even the land itself can be poisoned by its presence? Probably not. Besides, it loves humans so much- how could it possibly ever stop trying to make contact?


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

              That's a gross oversimplification of Beast. Regardless of your feelings on the game itself, surely you can see that? Literally nothing fits into the dichotomy of "Good versus Bad" in Chronicles of Darkness. The God-Machine has saved the world numerous times over. It also kills people at particular intervals in time to make the bug-eyed lion man who saved the world. Is it bad for having done so? Is it good just because it saved the world? It's pretty easy to recognize that this is a question which doesn't really have a straightforward answer when you're dealing with things that defy normative understanding.



              This is still a gross oversimplification, nevermind that an actual reading of a number of the Diamond Orders lends itself to a much more nuanced and sleeper-friendly perspective than you're giving them credit for. (The Mysterium is not nice, and just is not set up to be nice to Sleepers, I will give you that!) The other thing to keep in mind is that the books are written to support a range of portrayals. Just as calling all Beasts irredeemably evil is a very very reductionist reading, it's also one that's not true, because YOU and your Storyteller determine where in the range a specific group fits. So yes, one Caucus of Silver Ladder might be assholes who helped Nazi mages escape persecution during WWII. Another might be an awesome group of caring individuals who run their Cryptopoly through groups dedicated to helping the poor and homeless, trying to give them enlightenement and better opportunities for themselves. Both of these can exist in the setting as its explicit that they run that range. All that's required of you is to decide that, in this particular game you're playing in, the latter Silver Ladder are present, not the former.

              Also, seriously, what do Null Mysteriis do that's actually bad? The worst they can be is conceptually crippled by a disbelief in the supernatural. Network Zero is only bad if you don't like the idea of posting proof of monsters to the internet (interesting note: That footage COULD theoretically cause Integrity checks in your average viewer, so maybe they aren't actually that great for doing so...)

              Is there ANYTHING actually objectionable about the Habibti Ma trying to save people from cults and mummies? The Maiden's Blood Sisterhood protecting the denizens of college campuses from supernatural predation?

              There's a bunch of groups which definitely skew more towards good than not, but like I said before, they're written to allow a range of behavior because people exhibit a range of behavior and that allows for greater depth in the concept.

              Besides, good people don't have to be perfect anyway.

              Uh, somehow I think you managed to read my post wrong. I wasn't saying that Null Mysteriis, The Silver Ladder, Werewolves, etc. were bad groups. I don't know how you managed to parse it that way. I said I do like them (And often use them), but they're a scant few groups in an ocean of self-serving bullshit. Which is fine in the context of most organizations, as most of them don't have much reason to be responsible in the first place. I am noting however that there is no supernatural faction that overall, when you take into consideration all the sub-factions, that are trying to do good. Whatever good may be. The point I'm trying to make is while it shows a range of behaviors that range is skewed mostly towards "what the fuck is wrong with you" range of morality. Beast tends to run this even more so, where the critters involved are not just predisposed towards acting awfully, but must do it or die. Essentially leaving to them being little better than rabid animals. Also the writing in it is chock full of awful.

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              • #8
                Though it's a fansplat, Princess the Hopeful is this way. Magical Girls in the WoD (mostly) devoted to making the world a better place. :3

                http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...-Eighth-Thread


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                • #9
                  What would be the difference between this and hunter?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post
                    But I'm more talking along the lines of personification of good (or the closest thing to it that WoD gets), since we have things like Beast the Primordial which is basically all about the bad things personified, so what about the good things?
                    1) No such thing as "personification of good." We would have to define good first, and that's impossible in a world with so many conflicting ideas of what is Good. What one person thinks is commendable, another thinks is horrific. Too subjective. 2) The World/Chronicles of Darkness is based on playing a monster in an urban horror setting. If you want to play a holy hero with black and white leanings instead of shades of grey, then you're looking at the wrong genre. We play these games to play a monster, not the hero. The closest you're going to find is Hunter: the Vigil.

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                    • #11
                      Princesses put more focus on bettering everything and redeemability rather than "kill it it's inhuman or hurting people". It's abit over simplifying and the other people on the forum (or the corebooks) could answer much better than I can, but that's the general gist of Princess.

                      Ofc, that's not to say that there's no bad princesses (as close to bad as they can get). The Court of Tears drains the world of hope or will do compromises (degeneration for Princesses) to protect those they love, The Court of Storms kill the Darkness with no regard to collateral to the point they're basically suicidal warriors and the Court of Mirrors are either useless jerks or insane jerks who go more insane when they can't live up to their very high standards depending on the corebook being used. Either way most Mirrors are Narcissists ofc.
                      Last edited by SaulottheGentle; 12-12-2015, 02:39 PM.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MCN View Post
                        1) No such thing as "personification of good." We would have to define good first, and that's impossible in a world with so many conflicting ideas of what is Good. What one person thinks is commendable, another thinks is horrific. Too subjective.
                        This, basically. "Good" is a very subjective concept, and I would argue that only a very, very few factions in WoD are outright, intentionally "evil" in their efforts. (As in, actually trying to be bad or make things worse, from their perspective.) Even the worst, most bastardly vampire, hunter, Pure werewolf or Scelestus mage is generally just acting purely out of self-interest.

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                        • #13
                          I get where Reshy is coming from. One of the big reasons I stopped playing WoD for long periods of time (started in the late nineties with oWoD, then took a break because it got too grimdark, came back for nWoD, then took a break because it got too grimdark, now I'm back to see where things are going) was because people were a bit too into the grimdark, to the point where I was getting a severe case of darkness-induced apathy at the thought of playing/STing a WoD game.

                          I personally think that people are misunderstanding Reshy's points to a big degree (quibbling about the definition of "good" doesn't strike me as the point of the thread, just saying).

                          It's not about "well there are a smattering of organisations here and there that are actually trying to do positive things in the world." It's about "could we maybe get a game line called Angel: The Sacrifice or Paladin: The Hallowed or Wraith: The Redemption (where you play a ghost that wants to come back and set right what once went wrong, with antagonists being the ghosts that give up and just go murderous)?"

                          The CofD setting is about exploring a dark world and the supernatural things within. It's not about playing the monster (otherwise the Hunter line wouldn't exist, and pure mortal games wouldn't happen). It's about getting to interact with the world from all angles, from the monster to the bystander to the victim to the person that fights the monster.

                          I for one would greatly welcome a line where the default theme is to attempt to make the world a better place, by whatever agreed-upon definition is determined in the book (ideally that would be something that appealed to people). I think there's plenty of room in the CofD for this sort of thing. Honestly, nobody's attacking the right for grimdark to exist. More options is usually a good thing.


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                          • #14
                            It's not necessarily about playing the monster, but there is moral ambiguity to all the games, and that's sort of the point.

                            If you have a game that clearly defines good and only does good, where's the options? Where's the deviation? And what's the difference between that and a very direct game of hunter?
                            Last edited by nofather; 12-12-2015, 04:17 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Nothing really says that that game-line's definition of good is the only one to exist, just like Mage's definition of how reality works doesn't need to be true outside its game-line.

                              Also, as for the game-line itself, Hunter doesn't seem to have a problem with being a game about fighting the hostile things in the world.


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