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Unpacking the Lair

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  • Satchel
    started a topic Unpacking the Lair

    Unpacking the Lair

    Figured I'd run through the logistics of the Lair in broad list format in the name of trying to organize my readings into a more digestible whole. Hopefully I can get this presentation better-looking over time; feedback is appreciated on the matter of whether I'm missing anything major in terms of the Lair as a place.

    Unless otherwise stated, page numbers refer to the core rulebook.

    The Lair in General
    Without the addition of complicating factors like Lair Traits and Merits, the layout of a Chamber is the same as it was when you acquired it, plus any adjustments you've made to it since then.

    Barring damage like a dramatic failure on opening a Pathway, the Lair always has at least n-1 Burrows connecting n Chambers in a manner defined by the Beast.

    Primordial Pathways
    Opening a Primordial Pathway requires a Wits + Resolve roll within one of your Lair's Chambers or a place whose conceptual description matches one of your Lair's Chambers, modified by the table on page 97.

    Connecting a Chamber to an area other than its seed location costs a point of Willpower; opening a Pathway into the Lair from a substitute location applies an additional penalty based on similarity as per the list on pages 101-2, though this penalty does not apply to opening Pathways out of the Lair.

    Lair Traits
    In the presence of one of their Lair Traits, a Beast can impose any number of their other Lair Traits up to the limit set by their Lair rating. Lair Traits are not inherently all-encompassing, but represent discrete elements of the Lair which can be avoided (though they may still be widespread, depending on the Trait).

    In the seed location of one of their Chambers, a Beast may spend Satiety to impose their Lair Traits without any of them being present; they may do this in substitute locations as they could with opening Primordial Pathways by adding a point of Willpower to the cost and rolling Wits + Resolve modified by the similarity penalty in the list.

    When imposing Lair Traits, a Beast may spend a point of Willpower to extend their Environmental Immunity to imposed forms of those Lair Traits (though not to natural forms of them) to any Beast who shares a Chamber or Burrow with them.

    Entry and Egress
    People — including the Beast — who attempt to leave the area while a Primordial Pathway is open find themselves in one of the Burrows connecting the linked Chamber to another Chamber of the Beast's Lair. This is a separate space from the Chamber they left, which ejects any characters still in it into the external location when the Pathway closes; anyone still in the Burrow after that point is stuck until another Pathway is opened.

    If the Beast has offered their express consent for a character to enter their Lair with them through Hold the Door (or to come and go as they please with the investment of Satiety through Be My Guest), then they may be allowed through that Burrow into the connecting Chamber; otherwise, the character must spend Willpower and roll against the Horror to force their way through the Burrow or return to the Chamber they left from.

    A character who has been authorized to come and go from the Lair as they please through Be My Guest may make the same Wits + Resolve roll as the Beast does to open Primordial Pathways, though without the knowledge of how Pathways work or the ability to freely apply the Beast's Lair Traits they may be more limited in where and when they can take advantage of this authorization.

    A Beast who uses Skeleton Key to connect a supernatural gateway to the Primordial Dream does just that, allowing bodily entry into the Dark Dream's reflection of the material world's side of that gateway. (More esoteric thresholds like the Gate of Horn might instead open into forgotten Chambers in the Mists, but for the purposes of general use it may be safe to assume a bias in favor of places that exist in the dreamscape.)

    A Beast who uses Under the Bed to enter the Primordial Dream finds themselves in the dreamscape's version of their connection's location in the physical world (or in the Mists, in the rarer cases where the entry vector is in another world, as above).

    Beasts who leave the Lair without using a Primordial Pathway do so as a Dream Form with Power, Finesse, and Resistance ratings derived from their mundane Mental Attributes like mortals do; other physical visitors likewise take on Dream Form in this way when entering the dreamscape directly from a Lair.

    The Hive
    Every Chamber in a hive has a feature representing the Apex's influence over the Primordial Dream in the form of the Hive Trait. This Trait serves as the entry point to every Chamber in the hive for for any Beast who has it as a Lair Trait or has been granted immunity to it by the Apex; for practicality's sake, it may be wise to treat this feature as an especially variable and speedy Burrow that the Horror cannot linger in.

    Beasts who can use the Hive Trait gain the benefits of expanded feeding grounds discussed on page 100.

    Chambers which are part of a Lair take on the Hive Trait of the local Apex, with the specific exception of the Heart in cases where the Apex is not a Beast; in cases where a Lair contains Chambers from more than one region, local Chambers use their local Hive Trait and any Chambers not based in material reality (including the Heart, if applicable) use singular Hive Traits chosen by the Beast on an individual basis for each Chamber.

  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Were you planning on including anything from BPG like what it added to Environmental Immunity?
    Apart from maybe looking at the wider locale of the dreamscape, not really; my focus with this thread is pretty firmly on clarifying the narrative and mechanical aspects of the Lair as a location and the way Beasts and their cohorts interact with it. The ability to extend immunity to a Hive Trait is relevant because of its impact on characters' ability to move through the hive and is an extension of the ability to share Environmental Immunity with broodmates, but heightened resistance to knock-on effects of a Lair Trait from a different source has an at-best tenuous relation to supernatural geography as a focal subject.

    Taking a moment to address a thing or two from earlier now that I'm not typing on mobile:
    or that an entire quarter-page-long section is five pages off from where one about Pathway modifiers should be? […] The "Lair Traits" and "Accessing the Lair" rules aren't even next to each other, in fact; they're separated by "Inflicting Nightmares" and "Destroying the Lair."
    Prime examples of that structural mess rendering these things inconclusive: Hold the Door and the only possible mechanic Hold the Door could be relevant to are six pages apart, and Inflicting Nightmares isn't even located in the section to which its mechanics are relevant, which starts a full eight pages away.

    "These sections on mechanics aren't near each other" means practically nothing for this book — that is, in fact, the reason that I made this thread to begin with.

    A section titled "Chambers and Lair Traits," whose first paragraph is entirely about imposing Lair Traits and is therefore quite correctly situated in its current place on a page all about Lair Traits.
    Notwithstanding that that first paragraph expressly calls out Primordial Pathways using Chambers in locations that are similar, this is entirely correct; this can be sensibly justified by the fact that even with the assumption that the list is used for both actions, imposing Lair Traits does not use any of the modifiers specific to Primordial Pathways.

    Previous arguments have pointed to the similarity listings not being reproduced in the Chart Quick Reference that the worlds-and-Traits modifiers for Pathways can be found in as evidence that it's not meant to apply to Pathway rolls while completely ignoring that 1) it's not a chart in the first place and so has no place in the Chart Quick Reference, and 2) if that logic flew then the penalties wouldn't be meant to apply to imposing Lair Traits, either.

    There is, in short, no readily apparent reason why "Chambers and Lair Traits" would or should contain any references to opening Pathways,
    Cliff's Notes version of my prior argumentation, because it is salient to my reasoning:

    The benefit of the Gorged Condition and the Dramatic Failure result for a Pathway roll makes it plain that Pathways are supposed to bridge Chambers with locations that match them to some degree, and the Primordial Pathways section makes direct reference to the roll taking an additional penalty to use a similar location, which the Chambers and Lair Traits section refers directly back to, even if it doesn't use a page reference in either case; if that was supposed to reference the chart delineating the adjusted difficulty of opening a Pathway by external world, there would be little reason for the paragraphs immediately following that statement, which are essentially just saying what the chart says in generalities.

    The listing for Chamber similarity levels is clearly supposed to be in the game as a means of encouraging Beasts to repeat the circumstances that formed their Chambers in the same types of locations to give them more places from which they can easily access their Lairs, but Lair Traits inhabit a mechanical space where every Beast starts with a foot in the door for imposing their Lair Traits anywhere without issue or cost provided that the current environmental conditions include minor hazards like "bright," "cold," "smelly," "slippery," or "loud."

    You can make the case that the relation between the similarity listing and Pathways is supposed to be "roll to impose Lair Traits to give a bonus to offset the penalty from not being the seed location," but 1) imposing Lair Traits in this way is more expensive and less effective than daisy-chaining off of an existing Trait, and 2) it feels extremely unlikely that the intent is for Beasts using a substitute location to impose almost every Lair Trait they have (losing Satiety and Willpower in the process) on an external point they're exploiting for Pathways (which also cost Willpower to open with substitute locations) on a regular basis.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Were you planning on including anything from BPG like what it added to Environmental Immunity?

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Which makes more sense: that someone accidentally wrote "open a Pathway" instead "impose a Lair Trait" twice, or that an entire quarter-page-long section is five pages off from where one about Pathway modifiers should be? A section titled "Chambers and Lair Traits," whose first paragraph is entirely about imposing Lair Traits and is therefore quite correctly situated in its current place on a page all about Lair Traits. The "Lair Traits" and "Accessing the Lair" rules aren't even next to each other, in fact; they're separated by "Inflicting Nightmares" and "Destroying the Lair." There is, in short, no readily apparent reason why "Chambers and Lair Traits" would or should contain any references to opening Pathways, and therefore the fact that it does shows strong signs of being an error.
    Still not eager to keep repeating this argument, but if there was ever a line of argument that supported nothing and nobody, "the Beast corebook is kind of a mess, structurally" is a strong contender for the primary example.

    If this is all you're going to do in my thread I would ask you to leave it alone.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Which makes more sense: that someone accidentally wrote "open a Pathway" instead "impose a Lair Trait" twice, or that an entire quarter-page-long section is five pages off from where one about Pathway modifiers should be? A section titled "Chambers and Lair Traits," whose first paragraph is entirely about imposing Lair Traits and is therefore quite correctly situated in its current place on a page all about Lair Traits. The "Lair Traits" and "Accessing the Lair" rules aren't even next to each other, in fact; they're separated by "Inflicting Nightmares" and "Destroying the Lair." There is, in short, no readily apparent reason why "Chambers and Lair Traits" would or should contain any references to opening Pathways, and therefore the fact that it does shows strong signs of being an error.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    And last I checked most people fall pretty firmly on the side of “Examples can be wrong and literally every piece of context indicates that’s what happened here.”
    Then we move in different circles and you have a curious definition of "every piece of context."

    Again, this conversation has been had before - it's where that old fatigue I mentioned comes from and I've seen enough demonstrations of popular misconceptions on these boards that you're not going to change my understanding of the material by appealing to popularity.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    And last I checked most people fall pretty firmly on the side of “Examples can be wrong and literally every piece of context indicates that’s what happened here.”

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    The section on 101-102 isn't about opening Pathways, it's about spending Satiety to impose your Lair Traits somewhere that doesn't already have one of them.
    It is for both things, as evidenced by the fact that the running example in that section concerns opening a Pathway. This conversation has been had before.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    The section on 101-102 isn't about opening Pathways, it's about spending Satiety to impose your Lair Traits somewhere that doesn't already have one of them.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
    What's your rationale for this conclusion? I like the idea, mostly because it makes Pathways a bit more present in actual play as a result, but I'd still like to know what your reasoning is.
    Combination of old fatigue with that one discussion from ages ago on the topic, the fact that the penalty shared with imposing Lair Traits doesn't matter for imposing Lair Traits inside the Lair, and the general idea that it's more secure opening a route out of the Lair than into it; an imprecise location offers a sufficient barrier that characters obviously aren't going to try jumping for it all the time, and the penalty for similarity then serves the same purpose from the opposite direction since it's logistically improbable to open a Pathway from outside the Lair to a location you're unfamiliar with.

    (It also feeds into the way that Hunger is satisfied metaphorically in ways that may bear little to no physical resemblance to the Horror's favored activities; a solid entry point needs to be adjusted to suit the crossing in a way that your Primordial Self dreaming you back into the flesh doesn't, and while in earlier discussion I brought up the fact that the Horror wants its human half to not be dead, it also doesn't want to starve, which is much harder to manage if it can only feed through the nightmare drip that might not even happen while you're in the Lair.)

    I'm also curious about what you think of the possibility of using Soul Communion to open a Pathway using the Horror's dicepools, thereby benefiting from the increased power of a High Lair Horror while attempting to access said Lair.
    As nifty an idea as it may be, it still strikes me as out-of-keeping with both what the roll for opening a Primordial Pathway is supposed to do stylistically (link where you are to where your Horror is) and what the setting describes as the only circumstances that will cause the Horror to attempt to leave the Lair (i.e. hunger and lack of conscious oversight prompting the Power + Lair - Composure roll to inflict nightmares).

    I'm also pretty sure the Pathway roll isn't meant to substitute Dream Form Attributes for characters who aren't pre-Devouring Horrors or other ephemeral beings serving as long-term guests, although upon reflection the distinction is academic for most mortal and supernatural characters due to the Attributes the pool is made up of in the first place.

    I'd have to think on it more or get word from the writers to have more confidence in one reading or the other, but at present I lean toward Pathways as a conscious rolled mechanic being a thing that connects two locations rather than three and occurs from the end of the Beast's personal continuity that is most personlike.

    (This got rambly, as is the fate of all writing I do at 2am, but I hope that's all parseable.)

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  • lnodiv
    replied
    Bookmarked this as the most sensible overview I've seen on the topic.
    I'm curious, though:

    though this penalty does not apply to opening Pathways out of the Lair.
    What's your rationale for this conclusion? I like the idea, mostly because it makes Pathways a bit more present in actual play as a result, but I'd still like to know what your reasoning is.

    I'm also curious about what you think of the possibility of using Soul Communion to open a Pathway using the Horror's dicepools, thereby benefiting from the increased power of a High Lair Horror while attempting to access said Lair.

    Leave a comment:

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