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  • Heroic Fansplat Community Collab

    As suggested in threads like this one and this one, there is a desire for a fan splat that deals with matters such as heroism and altruism in a way that Princess: the Hopeful doesn't. Here are some key points that I've rescued from the threads:

    1) The splat must be a major supernatural template.
    2) It must not attempt to define good or virtue, but instead give the players and Storytellers the tools they need to define it themselves, and then support diverse playstyles and notions with both mechanics and fluff.
    3) It must allow for the mystery and ambiguousness that exists in the Chronicles of Darkness to continue existing.
    4) It must provide an adequate amount of personal horror to the character. Other forms of horror are welcome if they are appropriate to the setting and themes of the splat.
    5) It must, whenever possible, avoid treading the core themes of other gamelines.

    To kickstart the conversation, I'll throw in a post I made that I think is relevant:

    Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
    Something crucial is that the one thing that solves both sides of the issue is a splat that specifically tasks the character with doing good, but leaves it up to them to determine what is good.

    That is the key difference between this theoretical splat and all others. All other splats have other concerns first. Can they do good? Absolutely. However, doing good is not actually the main, core theme of the any of the current splats. Even Hunter is more about "what are you going to do about the supernatural?" over "what do you think is good?" (obligatory disclaimer: Hunter is great, I love Hunter, I don't want it to change, etc.). Geist is "what are you going to do with your second chance?", Changeling is "how are you going to find your way back home?", and so on. While all those games have absolutely every potential for heroism and altruism, there isn't a major splat where such a thing is the core foundation upon which everything else is built. There isn't a splat that asks you to craft your own version of good and then asks you to try and uphold it, throwing you challenges and difficult choices, bittersweet-gray outcomes, and all that interesting stuff.
    And here are some ideas to get the thread started:

    Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
    Personally, my own take on Angels would be something similar to the TV show "Wonderfalls." You're an angel that knew nothing but mindless obedience to some inscrutable higher power (the God-Machine, The Messengers, the Holy Light, Allah, whatever you want to run in your own game). However, unlike Demon: The Descent, you didn't gain free will on your own. You were granted free will by the divine design of the [Higher Power]. And unlike Demon, you aren't running from the [Higher Power], or involved in an espionage game. You are simply allowed to do whatever you want. Of course, you have... urges. Angelic urges. Depending on what type of angel you are, you find comfort doing certain things. Smiting the wicked, enlightening mortals, guiding them like chess pieces, protecting them, and so on. Only this time, you don't have a purpose. You have to come up with your own.

    Unfortunately, that's not all. Not every day, but somewhat frequently, you receive certain... omens. Perhaps it's a talking object. Perhaps it's a strange symbol in a wall that only you can see. Perhaps your neighbour's eyes suddenly roll back and she speaks in tongues, and the message you decipher is cryptic and ominous. What do you do about the messages, which later make sense in retrospect and hint at some sort of grander plan?

    The main difference between this take of Angel and Demon: The Descent is that free will in Demon (to my knowledge, haven't actually read the book) is taken as a given. You got it, now you have to protect it at all costs. However, in Angel, your free will comes into question. Are you really a freed Angel, or are you the next stage in the [Higher Power]'s plans? Are your actions your own, or are you being manipulated into doing exactly what someone else wants? And what if the puppeteer pulling your strings isn't your old [Higher Power], but another power who "poached" you from it? And even worse: what if your [Higher Power] never existed at all, your memories of obedience are false, and you're just a supernatural oddity, trying to convince yourself that there's purpose and meaning in what you do, pretending that the insane things you see and hear make sense?

    I think that this idea of Angel has plenty of room for heroism and doing good, but doesn't shy away from personal/existencial horror and other themes appropriate to the Chronicles of Darkness.
    Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
    One of the ideas I thought was interesting to explore in my hypothetical take on the Angel fansplat was the idea that there was no [Higher Power], that the Angels had unconsciously fabricated years and years of false memories, and that they were actually tulpas or tulpa-like creatures created by humanity's latent power and belief.

    For example, an Angel might remember saving a woman's life, and when he goes to investigate her, he discovers that she wrote a mildly popular book about being saved by an angel. As he continues to fact-check his memories, the angel realises that in all cases, the people he interacted with are all firmly convinced that they witnessed an angel, which eventually causes him to doubt his own "realness." Is he an actual angel, or belief made flesh? It would tie in very well with the existential horror of not being sure whether you have free will or not, and whether the actions you're taking based on the mysterious omens you receive are actually "fighting" Fate or just doing what you were supposed to do all along.

    For a less existential-type of horror, you could do a Paladin fansplat that's more about tapping into the notions of good in the Temenos and deriving power from them. The personal horror in that game would come from the consequences of your actions. Much like Beast characters are compelled to satisfy their Hungers, Paladins would be compelled by the powers they are endowed with, to do good (whatever the player defines as good during character creation), but the decisions they have to make are difficult and the outcomes are gray and uncertain. One key feature of Paladin would be a complete inability to foresee the future or divine causality, not even if a Mage casts a spell on their behalf. The entire point of a Paladin would be to make difficult choices and hope for the best, and then trying to fix whatever you broke in the process.
    One last thing: I would highly appreciate it if people who thought that these ideas do not belong in the CofD, or can be already done with another splat, would abstain from bogging down the conversation with such arguments. We've already had them in other threads. Please, try to keep the discussion constructive and productive. Thanks!


    My homebrew hub.

  • #2
    So, I'm guessing that they'd probably be some kind of Goetia, Supernal, or Spirit? Since those two tend to deal with embodied concepts.

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    • #3
      Well, it depends on what the community wants to go for. The Angel idea is very "high concept", so to speak. You're an entity that may or may not be an actual angel, or you may be nothing but a collective figment of humanity's imagination. The Paladin idea is more down to earth and mired in the idea of being a normal mortal that is empowered by some of the concepts found in the Temenos, much like Beast. The Paladin would be an empowered mortal, while the Angel would be either a materialised Ephemeral Entity (so they don't use the Ephemeral Entity rules any more) or something closer to a Horror in nature: an anomaly that doesn't fit current classifications.


      My homebrew hub.

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      • #4
        Part of me thinks that the easiest way to do "Good Guy Supernatural" would be to make a virtue version of the Possessed from Inferno. Where you were damaged and broken, and in that time of immense need a sliver of virtue crawled in. It helped, it helped a lot, and now that your back on your feet it pushes you to do virtuous acts. It pushes you to be a hero, and gives you the power to do so... but virtue =! good. And it is actually a parasite inside your soul pushing you towards actions that feed it... and it wants to feed as much as possible regardless of your life or relationships.


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        • #5
          I think the first thing that needs to be done is define the purpose clearly. What do you mean by: heroism and altruism? And are those the only two Themes of the splat? Not the capitilization, I'm referring to the Themes listed at the beginning of each core book. Next is to identify the Mood. These two points are the some of the most important for not stepping on the toes of other game lines. And clearly defining the goals and terminology used for them are the best way to avoid misunderstandings.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
            Part of me thinks that the easiest way to do "Good Guy Supernatural" would be to make a virtue version of the Possessed from Inferno. Where you were damaged and broken, and in that time of immense need a sliver of virtue crawled in. It helped, it helped a lot, and now that your back on your feet it pushes you to do virtuous acts. It pushes you to be a hero, and gives you the power to do so... but virtue =! good. And it is actually a parasite inside your soul pushing you towards actions that feed it... and it wants to feed as much as possible regardless of your life or relationships.
            I like this idea, but IMO the problem with ideas such as the Possessed, the Claimed and the like, is that it gets into difficulties when it comes to character agency. The player retains full agency, of course, but if the character has something that is taking control or supernaturally changing who they are, it can be a difficult game to play. I'm sure some people will be all for it, but agency is a thing that needs to be handled extremely delicately in a horror game. Removing too much of it turns a genuinely tense situation into helpless apathy.

            EDIT:

            Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
            I think the first thing that needs to be done is define the purpose clearly. What do you mean by: heroism and altruism? And are those the only two Themes of the splat? Not the capitilization, I'm referring to the Themes listed at the beginning of each core book. Next is to identify the Mood. These two points are the some of the most important for not stepping on the toes of other game lines. And clearly defining the goals and terminology used for them are the best way to avoid misunderstandings.
            I think that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. I think first, I'd like to hear what people want, in an environment where people won't be telling them "you can already play that with X or Y gameline", so that we can actually focus on an idea that hasn't been done yet. We're still at the concept stage.


            My homebrew hub.

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            • #7
              May I ask what you mean by " a fan splat that deals with matters such as heroism and altruism in a way that Princess: the Hopeful doesn't."?

              Because Princess is pretty damn altruistic, and covers a fairly broad range of good guy concepts from "Selfless Best Friend", to "Paladin of Righteousness".


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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
                I like this idea, but IMO the problem with ideas such as the Possessed, the Claimed and the like, is that it gets into difficulties when it comes to character agency. The player retains full agency, of course, but if the character has something that is taking control or supernaturally changing who they are, it can be a difficult game to play. I'm sure some people will be all for it, but agency is a thing that needs to be handled extremely delicately in a horror game. Removing too much of it turns a genuinely tense situation into helpless apathy.

                I think that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. I think first, I'd like to hear what people want, in an environment where people won't be telling them "you can already play that with X or Y gameline", so that we can actually focus on an idea that hasn't been done yet. We're still at the concept stage.
                Why not a mix of Tupla and that "Paladin" idea of yours? Created in a sudden surge of a particular idea or emotion (Which may involve having you closely tied to the individual that sparked this surge, almost a kind of "guardian angel"), and sustained by the residual emotions and ideas of humanity along those same lines. To prevent from falling apart back into the nebulous cloud of thought that is the Temenos you have to take actions to "reinforce" your emotion or ideal. However, reinforcing your emotion or idea may not be always "good" even if you'd conventionally think they are. Happiness could take the form of making people genuinely happy, or take the form of drugging people up so that they feel happy. All the same two you, but totally different contexts.

                At least, that's how I think it could work.


                Originally posted by PenDragon View Post
                May I ask what you mean by " a fan splat that deals with matters such as heroism and altruism in a way that Princess: the Hopeful doesn't."?

                Because Princess is pretty damn altruistic, and covers a fairly broad range of good guy concepts from "Selfless Best Friend", to "Paladin of Righteousness".
                It could be as simple as getting away from all the "Magic Girl" baggage, as that doesn't stroke everyone the right way.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post

                  I like this idea, but IMO the problem with ideas such as the Possessed, the Claimed and the like, is that it gets into difficulties when it comes to character agency. The player retains full agency, of course, but if the character has something that is taking control or supernaturally changing who they are, it can be a difficult game to play. I'm sure some people will be all for it, but agency is a thing that needs to be handled extremely delicately in a horror game. Removing too much of it turns a genuinely tense situation into helpless apathy.
                  Well, the possessed in inferno weren't diminished in agency as far as I can remember when I had one as a player.... but I was thinking the "Supernatural pushing you to virtue" would most likely be tied into something like the supernatural tolerance advantage or the integrity advantage of the supernatural or maybe just conditions. You need to keep the players agency, and make it manageable.

                  edit :
                  Hmm... Supernatural tolerance would imply you're sacrificing your normal life to become better and give it more of a foothold in reality. Integrity would mean it's something that you slowly descend into... or that it is a non-standard integrity system that represents something more like satiety. And conditions would make it more like an addiction or urge that you have to resolve every now and then or it escalates.
                  Last edited by milo v3; 02-04-2016, 08:34 PM.


                  Genius templates: Super Science Mini-Template for Demon: the Descent

                  Oracle the Endbringers: Time-Manipulator Fan-Splat

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post
                    It could be as simple as getting away from all the "Magic Girl" baggage, as that doesn't stroke everyone the right way.
                    If that is the case it's just a matter of semantics. There is very little mechanically in Princess that demands your character be a magical girl. You could easily reskin them as 'Paragons' and make their transformations less flashy (exactly like American Superheroes) and most of the thematic problems are removed.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post


                      I think that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. I think first, I'd like to hear what people want, in an environment where people won't be telling them "you can already play that with X or Y gameline", so that we can actually focus on an idea that hasn't been done yet. We're still at the concept stage.
                      Sorry, I guess thats what I meant, not you, ShadowKnight, but you the hypothetical person who wants this splat. Those are the questions that should be answered to saitsfy a 'what do you want' query.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PenDragon View Post
                        May I ask what you mean by " a fan splat that deals with matters such as heroism and altruism in a way that Princess: the Hopeful doesn't."?

                        Because Princess is pretty damn altruistic, and covers a fairly broad range of good guy concepts from "Selfless Best Friend", to "Paladin of Righteousness".
                        I have a lot of respect for Princess: the Hopeful and I really don't want to tread the same ground or step on its metaphorical toes.

                        However, there is room for a more isolated type of hero, one that doesn't have the guidance found in the Dreamlands, or the wisdom found in their more experienced peers or the Queens. There's room for a hero that doesn't have a clear-cut enemy to fight. Antagonists, sure, but not something they can know is unequivocally evil. It's not about the concepts, it's about handling different themes than Princess, and default to other setting assumptions.

                        Originally posted by ReshyShira View Post
                        Why not a mix of Tupla and that "Paladin" idea of yours? Created in a sudden surge of a particular idea or emotion (Which may involve having you closely tied to the individual that sparked this surge, almost a kind of "guardian angel"), and sustained by the residual emotions and ideas of humanity along those same lines. To prevent from falling apart back into the nebulous cloud of thought that is the Temenos you have to take actions to "reinforce" your emotion or ideal. However, reinforcing your emotion or idea may not be always "good" even if you'd conventionally think they are. Happiness could take the form of making people genuinely happy, or take the form of drugging people up so that they feel happy. All the same two you, but totally different contexts.

                        At least, that's how I think it could work.
                        I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this, because it's an interesting take. It could have potential.

                        Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                        Well, the possessed in inferno weren't diminished in agency as far as I can remember when I had one as a player.... but I was thinking the "Supernatural pushing you to virtue" would most likely be tied into something like the supernatural tolerance advantage or the integrity advantage of the supernatural or maybe just conditions. You need to keep the players agency, and make it manageable.
                        The Possessed literally had a mechanic where they could lose control of their character for extended periods. It could be resisted, but the mechanic was there nonetheless. That's what worries me. And the Claimed are even worse, because they involve the actual metaphysical destruction of the person that used to be.

                        Other than that, I do like the idea.

                        Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
                        Sorry, I guess thats what I meant, not you, ShadowKnight, but you the hypothetical person who wants this splat. Those are the questions that should be answered to saitsfy a 'what do you want' query.
                        Fair enough! Those are excellent questions, thanks for adding some tangible conversation kickstarters.


                        My homebrew hub.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
                          I have a lot of respect for Princess: the Hopeful and I really don't want to tread the same ground or step on its metaphorical toes.

                          However, there is room for a more isolated type of hero, one that doesn't have the guidance found in the Dreamlands, or the wisdom found in their more experienced peers or the Queens. There's room for a hero that doesn't have a clear-cut enemy to fight. Antagonists, sure, but not something they can know is unequivocally evil. It's not about the concepts, it's about handling different themes than Princess, and default to other setting assumptions.
                          You're gonna have to help me out here, because between Princess and Hunter I'm not seeing where that ground is untread. I'm not saying it isn't, merely that I don't see it.

                          Perhaps it would help if you gave some examples from literature, comics, games or television?


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PenDragon View Post
                            You're gonna have to help me out here, because between Princess and Hunter I'm not seeing where that ground is untread. I'm not saying it isn't, merely that I don't see it.

                            Perhaps it would help if you gave some examples from literature, comics, games or television?
                            I actually did, in the OP.

                            Take two TV shows from last decade, Wonderfalls and Tru Calling. They both have more similarities than appear at a glance. In both TV shows, the protagonist is confronted with supernatural events that attempt to guide her in certain ways. The source of the supernatural events has an intelligent design that uses the protagonist as an instrument to achieve its mysterious goals. In both shows, the protagonists wrestle with the idea of Fate and free will, not knowing if they're subverting Fate or making sure that what is meant to be comes to happen. At times, they both wonder if they have any choice at all.

                            However, a key aspect of both shows is that the actions of the protagonists save lives and help people, even (or especially) at their detriment. Both protagonists are compelled by supernatural forces to let their love interests go (or die, in Tru's case) for their own good, or for the good of other people. The supernatural forces that guide the protagonists do not actually care about their emotional, psychological or physical well being. This, plus the underlying mystery behind the supernatural forces, is what makes it a worthy inclusion in the CofD. The protagonists suffer in order to help people and save lives. Only a select few know what they do, never the people they help. They have to shoulder their burden mostly alone. The supernatural forces refuse to explain themselves. Tru Calling is grittier than Wonderfalls, but I feel both can fit into the mood and tone of the CofD. Wonderfalls would be a lighter, "earn your happy ending" type of chronicle, whereas Tru Calling would be a darker, "bittersweet ending at best" type of chronicle.

                            Both shows capture the idea that helping people and saving lives needn't be divorced from horror and mystery. You can be a supernatural creature, empowered by holy light, and still be frightened because the voices won't stop asking you to murder the man next door. It doesn't matter if the man next door is a Slasher that has yet to claim his first victim, and murdering him will save lives in the future. It's still a horrendous, frightening thing. And the personal drama, too. You finally meet the perfect guy, and the omens are telling you to push him away, to let him go. The one source of comfort and solace you had, and you have to force yourself to break his heart. And the worst part? It really is for his own good. That's the kicker. You can see that the voices were ultimately right. You've done the right thing. He is better off without you. He can heal, he can be happy.

                            That's the CofD in a nutshell. You put yourself through emotional barbed wire, tearing your soul apart for the sake of others, but what about you? Does someone care about you? Bring you comfort when you feel overwhelmed and lost? When you are digging a grave for the abomination you had to kill? Can you subsist on the cold comfort of watching others live and be happy thanks to your actions? And if so, for how long? How long until you just don't have any more to give? Do you think the supernatural omens will care? They won't. Once you're a hollow shell, useless to them, they will discard you and find someone else. You will get nothing for your sacrifice.

                            Save, perhaps, the rare, invaluable relationships you've managed to hold on to. The ones that came back after you pushed them away. The ones that may pick up the pieces of your soul and tape it back together. Let us hope that it is enough.

                            Does that help?


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                            • #15
                              Re-Posting this here... Since People seemed to like the Idea. I'll Add too it when i Think of Theme Etc.


                              Forgotten Virtues: Lightbringers.

                              "The World is Dark and Monsters hide in the shadows, You have been given the power to drag the these Monsters Kicking and Screaming into the Light.
                              You are a Saviour, Your Light Guiding others into the daylight, Giving them hope, Blinding them to their own Flaws.
                              Beware though, your light is strong but it can blind you to the true Path. Divinities Mantle is not to be taken Lightly."

                              Morality/Integrity= Responsibility
                              Vice/Virtue= Divinity/Drive
                              Power Stat= Radiance
                              X-Splat= Mantles
                              Y-Splat= Mandates
                              Powers= Symbols


                              Additionally, If you want it to fit the overall World of Darkness as handled in most of the gamelines, It SHOULDN'T define what good is overall, just what people Expect of those who are Embodiments of Light and Order/Justice/Hope/Divinity/Heroism, as Mystery is a large part of the Setting normally. Also Shouldn't explain WHAT is empowering them, just how and with what frequency/expressions.

                              Edit: Thought of a Theme for this particular idea... Discuss.

                              Theme: Responsibilities Mantle.
                              Being the Walking embodiment of Light and Righteousness is something not to be taken Lightly, Hope is Fragile, Justice is Blind, Order is Strict. None of these are easy paths to take and will never be rewarding for those that walk them, Yet the drive to push forward and give others Hope is just too strong, The Light Wishes to Embrace All. The Light Wishes to give Hope, To Bring Order and give those without Justice a chance at it.
                              Light has always been associated with Goodness and Order. Light isn't Good, It isn't always Just the the flip of a Coin or a Bad day can Turn Justice into Wrath, Hope Into Despair, Light should never be used in Anger for that leads to a Need to push YOUR Mandate upon others, DICTATE to them what THEY MUST Do. Light needs to be balanced with Temperance or it becomes Unwavering Righteousness and that can blind you to the Truth of the Matters at hand.
                              Last edited by RickmanUK; 02-05-2016, 06:50 AM.


                              Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

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