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What would happen if the cause touchstone was resolved first?

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  • What would happen if the cause touchstone was resolved first?

    Given the state of the Underworld it would say something sinister about a Bound if this happened. Catabasis is the only way this wouldn't raise questions about their basic morality.

    If Catharsis and its associated powers are available for those who resolve the other touchstones, what about other combinations?

    Let's say the Burden touchstone was left unresolved. Maybe the Geist could fuse with the Underworld instead. The Bound could then be some kind of Cthonic avatar instead, focusing epic Haunts with the aesthetic of the apocalypse.

    And if the Remembrance touchstone was left? Perhaps the Bound did the fusing instead. The Liminal Aura could make life and death one country. A walking gate that is never closed.

    And if all touchstones are resolved? The Bargain is fulfilled and the Bound abruptly dies. Passing on is more a quirk of the the Catharsis end game.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Excess View Post
    Given the state of the Underworld it would say something sinister about a Bound if this happened. Catabasis is the only way this wouldn't raise questions about their basic morality.
    "Resolv[ing] the issue at the core of a Touchstone […] tied to your desire to enact change against the Underworld" can pretty much only be done through Catabasis.

    It's there to complicate heightened deathly power more and drive that volatility towards your krewe's endgame — tangentially, Catabasis can greatly benefit from a character who's undergone Catharsis.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      "Resolv[ing] the issue at the core of a Touchstone […] tied to your desire to enact change against the Underworld" can pretty much only be done through Catabasis.

      It's there to complicate heightened deathly power more and drive that volatility towards your krewe's endgame — tangentially, Catabasis can greatly benefit from a character who's undergone Catharsis.
      My point is I believe it is possible for someone to look at the Underworld and decide that they are ok with that atrocity. That could be a "resolution" for the touchstone. Not much of one.

      Anything else?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Excess View Post

        My point is I believe it is possible for someone to look at the Underworld and decide that they are ok with that atrocity. That could be a "resolution" for the touchstone. Not much of one.

        Anything else?
        2e geist kind of treats all geists the same way compared to 1e geist where a lot of different goals exist with the geist. That is no matter what the goals of the geist is for some reason they now want to pass on compared to 1e where they wanted more power from the bond.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Excess View Post
          My point is I believe it is possible for someone to look at the Underworld and decide that they are ok with that atrocity. That could be a "resolution" for the touchstone. Not much of one.
          Not one. You might as well say that the character can just "decide" they're okay with their Burden going unaddressed. You don't get to Synergy 6 for free and the strain it puts on your other activities means you don't pursue that level of power without a reason.

          Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
          2e geist kind of treats all geists the same way compared to 1e geist where a lot of different goals exist with the geist. That is no matter what the goals of the geist is for some reason they now want to pass on compared to 1e where they wanted more power from the bond.
          They're ghosts. They either turned themselves into monsters for a reason or had it inflicted on them by being tangled up in the formation of an Avernian Gate. The Remembrance is a consolidation of the baggage that's keeping them around and getting them to get over it through catharsis or persuasion means they can move on. That's not being motivated to pass on, that's existing for a motivation and being able to stop when it's satisfied.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
            They're ghosts. They either turned themselves into monsters for a reason or had it inflicted on them by being tangled up in the formation of an Avernian Gate. The Remembrance is a consolidation of the baggage that's keeping them around and getting them to get over it through catharsis or persuasion means they can move on. That's not being motivated to pass on, that's existing for a motivation and being able to stop when it's satisfied.
            It's a little more than that geists have been heavily modified from 1e. Especially compared to what used to be an issue for geists and sin eaters compared to what used to fly. The reasons for certain actions like ectophagia were also different. It's not bad but I do find it inadaquate as a method for roleplaying a geist as anything but a remorseful being who wants the sin-eater to help other ghosts.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              Not one. You might as well say that the character can just "decide" they're okay with their Burden going unaddressed. You don't get to Synergy 6 for free and the strain it puts on your other activities means you don't pursue that level of power without a reason.
              Seems we have a different understanding of touchstones and anchors. I assumed that the core of it all is emotional. If correct, resolution comes only when you let go, not when you "solve" the problem. What if you wanted vengeance on someone for killing you, but it turned out there was a misunderstanding and you forgave them? It would be pretty weird if you still had to kill or ruin them. The way the core book talks about the Vengeful Burden implies to me that simply crushing their killers may not satisfy them, that maybe they will go on ending wrongdoer after wrongdoer until they undergo a personal maturity that finally relinquishes their Burden. In any case action helps with closure, yet is not the same thing as closure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Excess View Post
                Seems we have a different understanding of touchstones and anchors. I assumed that the core of it all is emotional. If correct, resolution comes only when you let go, not when you "solve" the problem. What if you wanted vengeance on someone for killing you, but it turned out there was a misunderstanding and you forgave them? It would be pretty weird if you still had to kill or ruin them. The way the core book talks about the Vengeful Burden implies to me that simply crushing their killers may not satisfy them, that maybe they will go on ending wrongdoer after wrongdoer until they undergo a personal maturity that finally relinquishes their Burden. In any case action helps with closure, yet is not the same thing as closure.
                And in either case closure is more than mere arbitrary decision, which is why these things are the basis for chronicle-length character-defining narratives. You "resolve the issue at the heart of" your Burden Touchstone by fulfilling your Burden Aspiration. You resolve the issue at the heart of your Remembrance Touchstone by reaching a dramatically satisfying conclusion to the linked list of Remembrance scenes that you've gotten to the end of. It stands to reason that the issue at the heart of your Cause Touchstone is similarly substantial.

                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                It's not bad but I do find it inadaquate as a method for roleplaying a geist as anything but a remorseful being who wants the sin-eater to help other ghosts.
                Synergy has nothing to do with helping other ghosts. The geist is a human ghost that has had its social interfaces so fucked up that it mostly only understands fear and pain, and ectophagia risks the agreement you made with it because you're proving that you don't have a problem eating things like your geist — moreso with eating actual geists, thanks to the way the loss from ectophagia is calculated. You are imperiling the trust of a being that has been rendered somewhat animalistic by the identity-warping force of death that binds it to you.

                Your geist wants its Remembrance dealt with. Its Vice and crisis point triggers may supply a ready distraction from that goal in majorly petty ways, but nothing about Synergy actually stops a geist who has extended the Bargain to an individual (rather than Claim a body or otherwise retain full autonomy over itself) from having an agenda that tends to be built on that foundation.


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                • #9
                  Honestly, Geist 2e is written with the base assumption that you're playing one of the good guys. A Sin-Eater, as it were. It's an extension of the fact that Geist is also supposed to be the most optimistic and hopeful of all the CofD games.
                  I think it's a bit of a shame that you can't make a Geist that is actuallly a bad guy, one who's power hungry and actually wants to commit Ectophagia or drink from the Rivers to gain powers. After all, the benefits go directly to the Geist, and the Bound simply gains access to them as part of the Bargain.
                  I'd personally prefer rules for handling a wider spectrum of characters (villain protagonists can be immensely enjoyable) but that's simply just outside the vision the devs had for the game when writing the 2e core book, so it's not supported by the rules. It's the same reason why the rules doesn't support Deviants who actually manages to escape the Web of Pain and settle down in a calm and quiet environment; it's simply not the kind of story the game is supposed to tell.
                  (I also think the amount of Synergy lost is overly punishing, to the point where I kinda wonder why they bothered including the possibilities in the first place, but that's a different matter.)

                  With some luck we might have variant rules in a supplement at some point. Probably in a Night Horrors book. It'd make perfect sense for at least some Geists to try to convince their host Ectophagia is a good idea rather than every Geist universally loathing the concept. Like a reverse Tyranny (which incidentally was cut from the core book because it was considered an antagonist only kind of deal); the Geist attempting to steer the Bound rather than the Bound enforcing their will on the Geist.
                  Last edited by Tessie; 03-24-2021, 08:53 PM.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Satchel View Post

                    Your geist wants its Remembrance dealt with. Its Vice and crisis point triggers may supply a ready distraction from that goal in majorly petty ways, but nothing about Synergy actually stops a geist who has extended the Bargain to an individual (rather than Claim a body or otherwise retain full autonomy over itself) from having an agenda that tends to be built on that foundation.
                    I could go on a tangent but what Tessie said was what I mean. Though I personally think a scumbag geist working in perfect conjunction with a scumbag Bound should be described with synergy rather than tyranny. A lot of geists preform ectophagia and drink from rivers to become geists, for them to suddenly have a problem with that is kind of just nonsensical.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                      Though I personally think a scumbag geist working in perfect conjunction with a scumbag Bound should be described with synergy rather than tyranny.
                      It is. You can be a massive scumbag without emulating the Underworld itself or committing self-mutilation of the sort that first locked you off from ever being able to have a normal conversation with a human being again. The relationship between a couple of scumbags who are just using each other is modeled by the lowest ratings on the Relationship chart, but it's modeled nonetheless.

                      A lot of geists preform ectophagia and drink from rivers to become geists, for them to suddenly have a problem with that is kind of just nonsensical.
                      Geists get better Traits to roll against the breaking points from ectophagia, but they still roll breaking points for eating human ghosts. Geists who weren't made from necromancers or Avernian Gate formation drank from the Rivers for a reason and losing Integrity actively increases the damage that process applies even before normal exposure to the waters deals major damage.

                      Most ghosts have some sense of self-preservation for the same reason that most ghosts can't just give up their Anchors at the drop of a hat. Most geists who see fit to rely on another person to be their agent in the living world are not going to be super comfortable with permanently destroying a ghost for the same reasons most mortals are not super comfortable with murder.


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                      • #12
                        It's modeled terribly. That's my point.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                          Geists who weren't made from necromancers or Avernian Gate formation drank from the Rivers for a reason and losing Integrity actively increases the damage that process applies even before normal exposure to the waters deals major damage.
                          Don't forget Doppelgänger who committed Ectophagia on their double in order to become a Geist. (Still the absolutely weirdest way to become a Geist: Do something unrelated to the Underworld that makes you absorb more of yourself, and transform into an Underworld-tainted being that forgets most of who you were.)

                          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                          Most ghosts have some sense of self-preservation for the same reason that most ghosts can't just give up their Anchors at the drop of a hat. Most geists who see fit to rely on another person to be their agent in the living world are not going to be super comfortable with permanently destroying a ghost for the same reasons most mortals are not super comfortable with murder.
                          Yet some mortals do become murderers. You make an excellent point for why it's a rare occurrence, but the book makes it seem as a universal truth. As I've described above, the game assumes relatively heroic protagonists, which is totally fine, but these are the same systems the Storyteller has to apply to NPCs as well. This includes both Bound of the antagonistic Krewe Archetypes as well as free agents; most of whom also wouldn't be completely fine with it, but the reaction should naturally fall somewhere on a spectrum and not according to the exact same standards the book implies is shared by all Geists.
                          Not to mention that the option is completely open for the PCs, allowing you to play characters who are open to such an idea, but disallowing their resident avatars of death from being open to the same idea. The half of the character that transitioned directly from life to corporeal undeath (that's essentially just life with extra powers and baggage) can be portrayed very freely, but the half of the character that has experienced the nature of death and had their entire being (personality and all) heavily twisted and transformed by otherworldly forces is automatically assumed to have specific limits they would not cross (even though most Geists must've crossed one of those limits in order to become a Geist in the first place), results in a very palpable dissonance.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                            I think it's a bit of a shame that you can't make a Geist that is actuallly a bad guy, one who's power hungry and actually wants to commit Ectophagia or drink from the Rivers to gain powers. After all, the benefits go directly to the Geist, and the Bound simply gains access to them as part of the Bargain..
                            I feel like this disappointment misses the fact that Geists of this inclination are more likely to develop the Possess and Claim Manifestations rather than the Bargain Manifestation.

                            Geists who Bargain are increasingly likely to realize that, in being the sort of person willing to drink from a river of scorpions for power, they're likely no longer the best judges of how to use that power to obtain what they want in the way they would want to. At a minimum, these Geists are people who realize, on some level, they need a partner to lean on and connect to for remembering their humanity, and the more potentially self-reflective might actively realize they need someone they can cede that power to. This is one of the reasons why Tyranny is so god fucking awful.

                            But yeah, if you're a Geist who's all about power and fuck anyone who gets in the way, why bother with a partnership when you can just take what you want?

                            Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                            It's modeled terribly. That's my point.
                            I can't get the image of trying to use a bulldozer blade to cut cake out of my head as a response to this.
                            Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-25-2021, 04:10 PM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              I feel like this disappointment misses the fact that Geists of this inclination are more likely to develop the Possess and Claim Manifestations rather than the Bargain Manifestation.

                              Geists who Bargain are increasingly likely to realize that, in being the sort of person willing to drink from a river of scorpions for power, they're likely no longer the best judges of how to use that power to obtain what they want in the way they would want to. At a minimum, these Geists are people who realize, on some level, they need a partner to lean on and connect to for remembering their humanity, and the more potentially self-reflective might actively realize they need someone they can cede that power to. This is one of the reasons why Tyranny is so god fucking awful.
                              A human can do things that a geist can't. They can learn new haunts and can gain powers a geist couldn't within the same timeframe. They also don't have to worry about a bound dying as quickly as someone they possessed. The geist is so tied together with the sin-eater, he also doesn't really have a presence in the world but that can hide the geist from any enemies they made. They don't need humanity from the bond. What humanity would they get if they revived someone who had integrity 3 or lower? But more than that they just need someone who can help them preform a task they couldn't do alone.
                              Last edited by Epimetheus; 03-25-2021, 06:47 PM.

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