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  • Working on a Chronicle, Looking for Feedback.

    Typically, when I am writing up the baseline material for a new Chronicle I bounce my ideas off a few specific people. This time around those are my players, so I can't really do that with everything I am going to do.

    Here's my premise so far; The local freehold had an upswing in Christian influence, due to a repsected influential motley tending to evangelize. This was eventually co-opted by a corrupt group that came to run the freehold, and who owns a megachurch with a lot of influence in the (mortal) area. I'm thinking they may have or are trying to replace the seasonal court system with an overtly Christian one.

    While the megachurch motley is going to be the antagonists, one thing I want to do is make sure this isn't a two-dimensional 'Christianity bad' theme (which I am worried I might do accidentally). It also isn't supposed to be an attempt to evangelize via gameplay (which I am pretty sure I have covered).

    So what I am trying to figure out, a) What would a Christian changeling court or court-theme look like? and b) What guidelines can I adhere to avoid demonizing Christianity while having specifically Christian villains?

  • #2
    Megachurches tend to evoke images of a completely banal, spiritually dead flavor of Christianity, co-opting religious practice with a modern shopping mall mentality--exactly the sort of ideology Bridge Burners might push if they think the Others are using faith as a means of gaining access to our world. Linking the antagonists to a supernatural villain might help avoid coming across as anti-Christian. As well, it sounds like your freehold probably has some Christian changelings already, so maybe you could use those to demonstrate the positive aspects of the religion (charity, compassion, wine), contrasted with the megachurch's beliefs, which might encompass some of Christianity's more toxic aspects (no need to go full WBC here, but members who are kind of hypocritical about their beliefs contra practices would definitely be in-theme--"I have nothing against gay people, but the Bible does say. . ." etc).

    As for a Christian Courts, it kind of depends on the tone you're going for. The first thing that comes to my mind is using the four Evangelists and their symbols as models. The Courts of Man, Lion, Ox, and Eagle follow the principles of Reason, Courage, Sacrifice, and Revelation in their actions and bargains. Maybe also traditionally a motley made of one member of each Court is known as a Harmony, and might be favored for political or mystical works.

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    • #3
      Charitable Christians vs. Prosperity Theology sound fun


      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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      • #4
        Huh, you know, I had heard the Man, Lion, Ox, and Eagle reference earlier today and that just never connected in my head... Thanks for that.

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        • #5
          I don't know much about whatever Christian text the "Man, Lion, Ox, Eagle" metaphor is from, but would that text have any inspiration for converting the principles of Reason, Courage, Sacrifice and Revelation into emotions that Changelings of those Courts can Harvest bonus Glamour from?

          Just from the words alone at this time, I can think of one tenuous option for Reason, one good one for Revelation and two possibilities for Courage. But I can't think of any emotion-describing word or phrase that really captures the emotions that lead someone to sacrifice of themselves.

          The Court of Revelation is the easy one. Their emotion would be Awe. Unless I am misunderstanding what the principle of revelation is.

          The Court of Reason I guess could feed on Caution, but I'm not sure it could be called an emotion

          The Court of Courage could feed on its namesake, defined as the resolve to keep to a course of action that scares you. However, fluff says that Harvest weakens the emotion targeted, so that would mean their harvest makes people less courageous. That could be fine for a darker take, but you could also argue that they get extra Glamour from feeding on Doubt, thus giving people a little more resolve when they feed.

          As I said, I haven't heard of this metaphor before, so if anyone knows more about this bit of theology, feel free to either build on my start or posit a more accurate take.
          Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 08-27-2019, 03:55 PM.


          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
            I don't know much about whatever Christian text the "Man, Lion, Ox, Eagle" metaphor is from,
            Gospels.


            Resident Lore-Hound
            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              Ah. That is pretty foundational. In my defense, Jewish and not a student of theology


              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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              • #8
                This topic has become less relevant since my group decided to ditch the original idea for the chronicle since I started this thread, but I might want to develop this idea further on my own.
                Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                The Court of Revelation is the easy one. Their emotion would be Awe. Unless I am misunderstanding what the principle of revelation is.
                I'd say that's a decent interpretation. I'm a preacher, so the theology is pretty familiar to me.
                Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                The Court of Reason I guess could feed on Caution, but I'm not sure it could be called an emotion
                Reason, as it's used in Abrahamic theology, isn't exactly the same concept as we use the word in a contemporary sense. It's closer to the concept of restraint and might be better translated as 'self-control' or 'discipline' today. Specifically Reason is associated with morality, whereas today those are considered generally distinct concepts. In this game system, I am inclined to call it Composure, or Wisdom, in the sense that Mage uses the term.
                For the purposes of harvesting, I would say that you've harvested from Reason, in this sense, if you've made the target apply their Composure as a roll or as a resistance trait.
                Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                fluff says that Harvest weakens the emotion targeted, so that would mean their harvest makes people less courageous. That could be fine for a darker take, but you could also argue that they get extra Glamour from feeding on Doubt, thus giving people a little more resolve when they feed.
                Feeding from Sacrifice, as an emotion, might need more definition.

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                • #9
                  So, if this is something that still interests you, and if it's not too presumptuous of me, I ended up writing a draft of what the mechanics of the Evangelical Courts might look like, specifically their Bargain, Mantle, and Noblesse Oblige effects. I'll post them here:

                  The Court of Man

                  Bargain:
                  The Court of Reason obliges the Gentry to a measure of civility. The Fae cannot physically drag their quarry back to Arcadia without their consent first, and so must rely on all manner of insidious temptations to incite a fall from grace.

                  Mantle

                  Gain a point of Glamour whenever you turn down an opportunity to regain Willpower from your Thread.

                  • Add your Mantle rating to rolls to dissuade someone from hasty action.
                  •• Add your Mantle rating to rolls relating to research or theorization.
                  ••• Gain the Common Sense Merit. If you already possess it, you may use its benefits twice per session.
                  •••• You intuitively know whenever an action you are about to take would violate a law, go against the local community’s moral standards, or break a promise you’ve made (including Pledges).
                  ••••• Once per chapter, spend a point of Glamour to bleed stigmata, project a golden halo, or manifest any other sign of holiness of your choice. Anyone who witnesses you and whom you choose to bless may immediately resolve a Condition gained from a Breaking Point or Clarity attack.

                  Noblesse Oblige: The team’s Intelligence-based rolls gain a bonus equal to the leader’s dots in this Merit.

                  The Court of the Lion

                  Bargain: Frankly, from the outside it looks like arrogance. While the Court of Courage is in the charge, the Fae must always present themselves as a challenge, inviting those they wish to capture to some sort of competition in order to determine their fate. Naturally, the Others design challenges that play to their personal strengths, which the Golden-Hearted always strive to overcome with kingly ferocity.

                  Mantle

                  Gain a point of Glamour whenever you face down a daunting opponent or threat.

                  • Add your Mantle rating to rolls to resist intimidation.
                  •• Enemies suffer your Mantle rating as a penalty to rolls to size you up or estimate your ability.
                  ••• Once per chapter, when facing an enemy of larger size or who is better equipped than you, spend a point of Glamour to pre-empt their action. If you do this to take a Physical action, add your Mantle rating to the roll.
                  •••• Spend a point of Willpower to immediately resolve the Frightened, Shaken, or Cowed Condition.
                  ••••• Once per chapter, when someone imposes a Condition on you, you may ignore it and cause the offender to suffer the Condition instead.

                  Noblesse Oblige: The team’s Resolve-based rolls gain a bonus equal to the leader’s dots in this Merit.

                  The Court of the Ox

                  Bargain: The Court of Sacrifice demands suffering from the Gentry. If the Fae wish to claim their prize, they must martyr themselves first, whether that means cutting off one of their hands to offer as a potent Token to the freehold, or accepting their most beloved hobgoblin servant to be nailed to a cross. In addition, if another demands to be taken in their quarry's stead, the Huntsmen must oblige the offering.

                  Mantle

                  Gain a point of Glamour whenever you put the needs of your motley, freehold, or touchstone before your own.

                  • Add your Mantle rating to teamwork rolls in which you are a secondary actor.
                  •• Add your Mantle rating to rolls to resist fatigue.
                  ••• Spend a point of Willpower to add your Mantle rating to the number of rolls you can make in an extended action.
                  •••• Spend a point of Glamour to take damage that would be suffered by someone you can perceive up to (Mantle) meters away. Heal a minor point of Clarity damage if you take damage in one of your rightmost three Health boxes, and a major point of Clarity damage if the wound suffered is aggravated.
                  ••••• Wound penalties you would suffer now offer a bonus of equivalent amount to all Physical rolls, and you no longer need to roll to remain conscious when your Health track is filled with damage. Once per story, if you suffer enough damage to be killed, you come back to life three days later, with your rightmost Healthbox cleared of damage and Willpower completely exhausted. Whenever you do so, you are treated as having a Mantle rating of zero for the rest of the story.

                  Noblesse Oblige: The team’s Stamina-based rolls gain a bonus equal to the leader’s dots in this Merit.

                  The Court of the Eagle

                  Bargain: When the Court of Revelation holds power, the Others' assaults are all-or-nothing affairs. Keepers and Huntsmen are forbidden from subtlety or precision in their actions, and must always cause as much fanfare as possible in their march to Earth, showing themselves for who and what they really are to changeling and mortal alike.

                  Mantle

                  Gain a point of Glamour whenever you reveal something that shocks another person.

                  • Add your Mantle rating to rolls to create art.
                  •• Add your Mantle rating to Persuasion rolls made before a large crowd.
                  ••• Once per chapter, you may drop your Mask without spending Glamour.
                  •••• When harvesting Glamour from a mortal’s emotions, you may impose a Condition of your choice if you roll more successes than the subject’s Composure.
                  ••••• Once per story, you may ask the Storyteller to provide your character with a prophetic vision, cloaked in apocalyptic metaphor. If the future heralds prosperity, rolls you make in pursuit of your vision gain an exceptional success with three successes; if it brings ruin, regain all Willpower when your vision comes to pass.

                  Noblesse Oblige: The team’s Presence-based rolls gain a bonus equal to the leader’s dots in this Merit.

                  As you can see, I decided to make the fifth dot of each Mantle pretty potent (and hopefully the Ox one doesn't come off as blasphemous). The way it works out, you can sort of see the social structure a freehold using this model might take, with Lions acting as frontline/preemptive defense and singular, glorious champions, Oxen as rear guard and tireless workers, Angels as moral and legal support, and Eagles as a sort of wildcard as well as interfacing with the world of mortals when necessary.

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