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[Homebrew Idea] "Heritage" Merits

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  • [Homebrew Idea] "Heritage" Merits

    I'm returning from an exam (which went well, for those interested) and thus I'd say I have earned a break for today. Which means I'm gonna bring up an idea I had in mind for a while with the hope that we can discuss it a bit and I can use what we'll say here to write it down once I have more time to spare time. Or not, if it turns out nobody likes the concept.

    What I was thinking about is a series of Merits that build upon Family's heritage, tapping into your specific monstrous bloodline and growing closer the symbolical nature and narrative associations of your Family. The idea is that, by increasing your legend and Lair, you also unlock the potential to get in touch with the primordial might of your family. A degree of power that reminds of the Progenitor-Beasts that started the Beast lineages long ago and are mentioned in the Player's Guide as something that might lurk around in Mother's Land.

    Now, for the still in development, highly subjected to change crunch concepts. This "Heritage" Merits would translate into a series of advanced merits with a Lair 4+ requirement (just as Legendary Horror) and proceed as a merit cascade with several branches.

    There's a starting one that acts as gatekeeper for the others (think of it as the Status one in a Conspiracy that grants access to Endowments) which is a sort of combination between Status (Family) and Professional Training (Family's Atavisms and Birthrights) that goes from 1 to 5 dots and allows to get more Birthrights and adds some tricks to the Atavism of the Family the Beast belongs to (such as making the roll for one of it a rote action or not having to spend Satiety once in a while to use the Satiety Expenditure effect, just to throw out there some ideas). For now, I like to call it "Legacy of...", adding to it a title of the founder (founders?) of the owner's Family (like The Sunken for the Makara, The Raptor for the Ugallu and so on...)

    Other separate Merits that can be bought after the first dot of that one might improve social interactions with members of that Family (who instinctively recognize you as a big brother/sister/something), help to deal with other relatives and even provide various effects that are associated with one's Family.

    Another I had in mind would grant immunities that might be reasonably associated with the Family regardless of Lair traits. For example, a Makara would call this "Hide of the Sunken" and it will grant him immunity to cold, pressure and remove the need to breathe underwater/underground and in the vacuum of space.

    I was also considering some that might require a combination of Atavisms as requirement, but I don't exactly like that and what its implementation can bring to the table. It's there on my drawing board, but odds are I won't use it. Sounds off to me, can't exactly explain why.

    I have some other in mind, but you get the idea.

    I was also thinking that taking these Merits and becoming so mythologically big might grant some drawbacks along with the rewards, probably in the shape of Heroes and other nuisances that intrude in the Beast's life, because that's story fodder and I tend to like that as a design feature.

    Also, I mentioned this here and there, but I firmly believe that the Dark Mother is the one with an important role, she's the one whose presence should be felt and it's her shadow that should loom over the Begotten. Lots of reasons for that, but it's a topic for another day. The point that matters here is these Merits are not supposed to shift the attention from her to the Progenitor-Beasts, but rather act as a vehicle for Beasts to recognize their heritage and grow while confronting with it. And offering some nice tools, plot hooks and character details for the Storyteller and players to have fun with.

    So, thoughts? And thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Cinder; 07-09-2018, 08:10 AM.


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

    I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

    This is what I'm working on

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    I'm returning from an exam (which went well, for those interested) and thus I'd say I have earned a break for today. Which means I'm gonna bring up an idea I had in mind for a while with the hope that we can discuss it a bit and I can use what we'll say here to write it down once I have more time to spare time. Or not, if it turns out nobody likes the concept.

    What I was thinking about is a series of Merits that build upon Family's heritage, tapping into your specific monstrous bloodline and growing closer the symbolical nature and narrative associations of your Family. The idea is that, by increasing your legend and Lair, you also unlock the potential to get in touch with the primordial might of your family. A degree of power that reminds of the Progenitor-Beasts that started the Beast lineages long ago and are mentioned in the Player's Guide as something that might lurk around in Mother's Land.
    I really like the idea, and I wonder if, perhaps, as you internalize more and more of your Family's legend, there could be some kidn of vision-quest-type-thing that happens when you sleep - that is, while you're 'being' the Horror it occasionally wants to go out somewhere, following strange paths out fo the Lair thematically appropriate to the Family to journey towards... something.

    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    Now, for the still in development, highly subjected to change crunch concepts. This "Heritage" Merits would translate into a series of advanced merits with a Lair 4+ requirement (just as Legendary Horror) and proceed as a merit cascade with several branches.

    There's a starting one that acts as gatekeeper for the others (think of it as the Status one in a Conspiracy that grants access to Endowments) which is a sort of combination between Status (Family) and Professional Training (Family's Atavisms and Birthrights) that goes from 1 to 5 dots and allows to get more Birthrights and adds some tricks to the Atavism of the Family the Beast belongs to (such as making the roll for one of it a rote action or not having to spend Satiety once in a while to use the Satiety Expenditure effect, just to throw out there some ideas). For now, I like to call it "Legacy of...", adding to it a title of the founder (founders?) of the owner's Family (like The Sunken for the Makara, The Raptor for the Ugallu and so on...)
    Sounds good to me. Although I'm pretty sure that the standard epithet for the Makara is 'the Leviathans'.

    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    Other separate Merits that can be bought after the first dot of that one might improve social interactions with members of that Family (who instinctively recognize you as a big brother/sister/something), help to deal with other relatives and even provide various effects that are associated with one's Family.
    When you say 'various effects associated with one's Family', what do you mean by that? An idea I had for a possible Merit is some kind of 'call' through the Dark Dream to other members of your Family, echoing in the places between Lairs - like whalesong, but for monsters.

    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    Another I had in mind would grant immunities that might be reasonably associated with the Family regardless of Lair traits. For example, a Makara would call this "Hide of the Sunken" and it will grant him immunity to cold, pressure and remove the need to breathe underwater/underground and in the vacuum of space.
    Sounds good to me, although given the breadth of phenomena with which each family is associated it might be tricky to do all of them. Maybe the Merit - which could be fairly cheaply priced - only lets you buy immunity to one Lair Trait you don't have?

    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    I was also thinking that taking these Merits and becoming so mythologically big might grant some drawbacks along with the rewards, probably in the shape of Heroes and other nuisances that intrude in the Beast's life, because that's story fodder and I tend to like that as a design feature.
    Bonuses to Heroic Tracking? A greater chance of thematically-appropriate Dreamborn wandering into your Lair?


    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
      I really like the idea, and I wonder if, perhaps, as you internalize more and more of your Family's legend, there could be some kidn of vision-quest-type-thing that happens when you sleep - that is, while you're 'being' the Horror it occasionally wants to go out somewhere, following strange paths out fo the Lair thematically appropriate to the Family to journey towards... something.
      That's exactly the kind of story paths I was thinking about for these Merits to open!

      Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
      Sounds good to me. Although I'm pretty sure that the standard epithet for the Makara is 'the Leviathans'.
      Explained myself badly there. Lack of sleep and exam stress, sorry. What I meant is that that title is supposed to be a vague name for the Progenitor-Beast(s) themselves, to describe whose Heritage you're picking upon. The standard epithets remain, but what I was going for is: Makara = Leviathans, the first Makara = The Sunken. And same for the others, of course. Just a little cool feature to add and hint towards those creatures

      Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
      When you say 'various effects associated with one's Family', what do you mean by that? .
      Mostly small effects that are too little to be an Atavism. Though it might be tricky to make them in a way that does not make them resemble a Birthright and might end up discarding that concept. Most of the Heritage Merits I have in mind are Family-enhancing boons like the "whale song" you mention instead.

      Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
      Sounds good to me, although given the breadth of phenomena with which each family is associated it might be tricky to do all of them. Maybe the Merit - which could be fairly cheaply priced - only lets you buy immunity to one Lair Trait you don't have?
      I'll think about that. I like the idea of a "set of immunities" but if that proves to have too many pitfalls and oddities to work, that's a good alternative

      Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
      Bonuses to Heroic Tracking? A greater chance of thematically-appropriate Dreamborn wandering into your Lair?
      Those always work well.
      Last edited by Cinder; 07-09-2018, 08:58 AM.


      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

      I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

      This is what I'm working on

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        That's exactly the kind of story paths I was thinking about for these Merits to open!
        great minds think alike, yes?

        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        Explained myself badly there. Lack of sleep and exam stress, sorry. What I meant is that that title is supposed to be a vague name for the Progenitor-Beast(s) themselves, to describe whose Heritage you're picking upon. The standard epithets remain, but what I was going for is: Makara = Leviathans, the first Makara = The Sunken. And same for the others, of course. Just a little cool feature to add and hint towards those creatures
        Ah, I see. That makes sense.

        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        Mostly small effects that are too little to be an Atavism. Though it might be tricky to make them in a way that does not make them resemble a Birthright and might end up discarding that concept. Most of the Heritage Merits I have in mind are Family-enhancing boons like the "whale song" you mention instead.
        I do think that that should be there, though. Perhaps you could make things which encourage Families to stick together or play off of one another? Like... I dunno, bonuses to feeding when you're in a group with only family members? I'm cribbing from Revlid's advice for writing Yozi Charms here, but you can make powers act like they have a kind of will without doing the 'fight in a metaphorical mindscape for control' thing. Basically, make it so that the Merits of a given Family incentivise you to do things in that Family's way.

        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        I'll think about that. I like the idea of a "set of immunities" but if that proves to have too many pitfalls and oddities to work, that's a good alternative
        Perhaps one Merit, then, and you can spend Willpower or something whenever you encounter a Family-resonant phenomenon to immunize yourself to that phenomenon? So you can potentially be immune to any of them, but you probably won't be able to do it to all at the same time.

        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        Those always work well.
        Don't they just.


        Comment


        • #5
          Yay, more Homebrew.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          I'm returning from an exam (which went well, for those interested)
          Congratulations.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          What I was thinking about is a series of Merits that build upon Family's heritage, tapping into your specific monstrous bloodline and growing closer the symbolical nature and narrative associations of your Family. The idea is that, by increasing your legend and Lair, you also unlock the potential to get in touch with the primordial might of your family. A degree of power that reminds of the Progenitor-Beasts that started the Beast lineages long ago and are mentioned in the Player's Guide as something that might lurk around in Mother's Land.
          Sounds good so far.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          Now, for the still in development, highly subjected to change crunch concepts. This "Heritage" Merits would translate into a series of advanced merits with a Lair 4+ requirement (just as Legendary Horror) and proceed as a merit cascade with several branches.

          There's a starting one that acts as gatekeeper for the others (think of it as the Status one in a Conspiracy that grants access to Endowments) which is a sort of combination between Status (Family) and Professional Training (Family's Atavisms and Birthrights) that goes from 1 to 5 dots and allows to get more Birthrights and adds some tricks to the Atavism of the Family the Beast belongs to (such as making the roll for one of it a rote action or not having to spend Satiety once in a while to use the Satiety Expenditure effect, just to throw out there some ideas). For now, I like to call it "Legacy of...", adding to it a title of the founder (founders?) of the owner's Family (like The Sunken for the Makara, The Raptor for the Ugallu and so on...)
          Hmm. So, some dots grant extra Birthrights, some dots grant other things. As for ideas, Skill tricks are always useful, if potentially bland, though you might let them use Skills in "mythic" ways similar to amechra's Ultra-Light Psychic Powers - using Skills in ways that typically defy common sense/physics, like Intimidation that wounds, or using Larceny to steal someone's shadow.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          Other separate Merits that can be bought after the first dot of that one might improve social interactions with members of that Family (who instinctively recognize you as a big brother/sister/something), help to deal with other relatives and even provide various effects that are associated with one's Family.
          What about being able to apply various Kinship effects restricted to other supernaturals to the Family, like the Mother's Kiss for other Beasts of the same Family?

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          Another I had in mind would grant immunities that might be reasonably associated with the Family regardless of Lair traits. For example, a Makara would call this "Hide of the Sunken" and it will grant him immunity to cold, pressure and remove the need to breathe underwater/underground and in the vacuum of space.
          I'm iffy on the blanket immunities - Beast can already get that via Atavisms and Lair Traits, so it would be redundant in many cases. Maybe if it was a static list as an inherent part of the Legacy Of merit. Otherwise the value varies to wildly and may have diminishing returns.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          I was also considering some that might require a combination of Atavisms as requirement, but I don't exactly like that and what its implementation can bring to the table. It's there on my drawing board, but odds are I won't use it. Sounds off to me, can't exactly explain why.
          You could just save Atavism prerequisites for the follow-up merits whenever said merit relies upon the Atavism's mechanical or thematic presence as a foundation.

          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
          I was also thinking that taking these Merits and becoming so mythologically big might grant some drawbacks along with the rewards, probably in the shape of Heroes and other nuisances that intrude in the Beast's life, because that's story fodder and I tend to like that as a design feature.
          Maybe Heroes get extra empowered, like they get Atavisms of their own reflecting the mythological opponents of the Progenitor-Beasts? Or maybe the Legacy Beast is stuck with a behavioral Anathema - by following so closely in their ancestor's foot/tentacle-prints, their mind/demeanor comes to resemble theirs as well?
          Last edited by Vent0; 07-10-2018, 07:38 AM. Reason: Changed Atavism to Anathema for the Legacy Beast potential drawback.


          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry it took a while to reply. Stuff happened and robbed me of my free evening.

            Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
            I do think that that should be there, though. Perhaps you could make things which encourage Families to stick together or play off of one another? Like... I dunno, bonuses to feeding when you're in a group with only family members? I'm cribbing from Revlid's advice for writing Yozi Charms here, but you can make powers act like they have a kind of will without doing the 'fight in a metaphorical mindscape for control' thing. Basically, make it so that the Merits of a given Family incentivise you to do things in that Family's way.
            I do get what you're saying, but the tricky part would be to determine what exactly is "the Family's way". Stuff like bonus feeding when with other members of the Family, sort of a "restricted" Family Dinner are absolutely among the concepts I have in mind, though.

            Perhaps one Merit, then, and you can spend Willpower or something whenever you encounter a Family-resonant phenomenon to immunize yourself to that phenomenon? So you can potentially be immune to any of them, but you probably won't be able to do it to all at the same time.[/QUOTE]
            That's looks like a nice way to make it happen. I think I'll go this way if I keep the idea of a "immunity" Merit up. Thanks!



            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            Hmm. So, some dots grant extra Birthrights, some dots grant other things. As for ideas, Skill tricks are always useful, if potentially bland, though you might let them use Skills in "mythic" ways similar to amechra's Ultra-Light Psychic Powers - using Skills in ways that typically defy common sense/physics, like Intimidation that wounds, or using Larceny to steal someone's shadow.
            Yeah, I was considering some Skill tricks here and there, since they are indeed always helpful. Thanks for linking that amechra's thread, lots of good material in there

            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            What about being able to apply various Kinship effects restricted to other supernaturals to the Family, like the Mother's Kiss for other Beasts of the same Family?
            Souns good. It does make a Beast with those Merits look like one with a deeper connection with its heritage and Family, which is what I'm aiming for.


            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            I'm iffy on the blanket immunities - Beast can already get that via Atavisms and Lair Traits, so it would be redundant in many cases. Maybe if it was a static list as an inherent part of the Legacy Of merit. Otherwise the value varies to wildly and many have diminishing returns.
            You make a good point here. Duly noted.


            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            You could just save Atavism prerequisites for the follow-up merits whenever said merit relies upon the Atavism's mechanical or thematic presence as a foundation.
            I'll consider it. Right now I'm more on the idea of a set of Merits that have no requirements beyond Attributes, Skills and Lair, but that might a way to implement Atavisms in the picture.


            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            Maybe Heroes get extra empowered, like they get Atavisms of their own reflecting the mythological opponents of the Progenitor-Beasts? Or maybe the Legacy Beast is stuck with a behavioral Atavism - by following so closely in their ancestor's foot/tentacle-prints, their mind/demeanor comes to resemble theirs as well?
            Cool suggestions. I'm throwing those in the cauldron.


            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

            This is what I'm working on

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
              Or maybe the Legacy Beast is stuck with a behavioral Atavism - by following so closely in their ancestor's foot/tentacle-prints, their mind/demeanor comes to resemble theirs as well?
              Originally posted by Cinder View Post
              Cool suggestions. I'm throwing those in the cauldron.
              Sorry, I meant Anathema for that line (Edited above). The idea being that by taking up this historic mantle, the Beast gets saddled with a non-Hero Anathema that influences their behavior. Of course, letting them get stuck with +1 Anathema from Heroes works as a Drawback too.


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post


                Sorry, I meant Anathema for that line (Edited above). The idea being that by taking up this historic mantle, the Beast gets saddled with a non-Hero Anathema that influences their behavior. Of course, letting them get stuck with +1 Anathema from Heroes works as a Drawback too.
                No worries, I figured you were talking about those.


                Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                This is what I'm working on

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was thinking about this idea again and I realized that I'm probably gonna submit it to Onyx Path. It is self-contained enough for me to have a chance of doing something decent while remaining within the submission guidelines, it's both fluff and crunch and it's been a while since I sent my last one.

                  Since I'm not sure whether it's cool to share those submissions on the forums as well, odds are I won't post or talk about these Merits around for a long time regardless of how the submission goes. If nothing comes out of it, I'll eventually share them in their expanded form after some months. If they actually score me a job (and that's a big, wishful "If"), I'll ask what's allowed or what is not after I'm done celebrating.

                  Sorry people, but one's gotta take his chances
                  Last edited by Cinder; 07-14-2018, 12:54 PM.


                  Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                  I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                  This is what I'm working on

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                    I was thinking about this idea again and I realized that I'm probably gonna submit it to Onyx Path. It is self-contained enough for me to have a chance of doing something decent while remaining within the submission guidelines, it's both fluff and crunch and it's been a while since I sent my last one.

                    Since I'm not sure whether it's cool to share those submissions on the forums as well, odds are I won't post or talk about these Merits around for a long time regardless of how the submission goes. If nothing comes out of it, I'll eventually share them in their expanded form after some months. If they actually score me a job (and that's a big, wishful "If"), I'll ask what's allowed or what is not after I'm done celebrating.

                    Sorry people, but one's gotta take his chances
                    Good luck! I'm sure you'll do well.


                    Comment

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