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What's the difference? Sin Eaters vs Mortal Psychics

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  • What's the difference? Sin Eaters vs Mortal Psychics

    Other than the power discrepancy, why play Geist: the Sin Eater over a mortals game where the ST gives everyone a few relevant Unseen Senses, Medium, and the new Invoke Spirit merit for free? Make sure the Invoked Spirit can open gateways to the underworld, of course.

    That is, what themes, mood, feel etc. are touched on by Geist that are not touched on by such a game? What unique things does it bring to the table?

  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Bleach is another good example of the Grim Reaper connection, rather than Mortal Psychics/Mediums one.

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  • Mangle77
    replied
    Originally posted by Krobeles View Post
    I've also planned to introduce a group of mindless slavering beings called The Empty, which are Ghosts who have lost all their anchors and replaced them a mindless hunger and miopic desire to sustain themselves in an effort to escape oblivion. They'll be kinda like a Geistyfied version of the Pandoran from Promethean, laying dormant only to raise as Sin-Eaters approach. Probably I'll introduce a Sin-Eater or Necromancer who uses them as a labor force and personal army at some point, but at this stage, they haven't even been introduced yet.
    I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I once again find myself reminded of the Hollows, from the anime series Bleach:http://www.mangareader.net/94/bleach.html

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  • ZealousChristian24
    replied
    Originally posted by MCN View Post
    3 - the undead. I forget the name off the top of my head, but basically? The ones that had the sample ghost-eater guy?
    Abmortals. Not quite undead, they're defined by cheating death through making others suffer in some way, from the old lady who survives by spreading the plague that would have killed her, or the bridge-jumper who made a deal with something so that he'd live so long as someone died in his place every so often.

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  • MCN
    replied
    Originally posted by Mangle77 View Post
    DV also has strong antagonists, which my group found Geist to be lacking.
    Actually, GtSE has a number of strong antagonists. The problem, IMHO, is that the book fails to go into strong detail, and fails to convey a number of things. So... Antagonists -

    1 - Reapers and Bonepickers. While they don't have to be evil, these two can very quickly devolve into Sanctified serial killers and ghost slavers. This is like the equivalent to VII and Belial's Brood, or the Pure and Bale Hounds. Sin eaters respect the boundry between life and death, and enemy Bound abuse it.

    2 - Kerberos/ death gods play an active roll in the game, sending up servants and ghosts to manipulate the world to their liking. They send up assassins to drag certain souls down to keep. Some are more evil, craving life. The Abyss from Death Vigil works as an evil keroberos.

    3 - the undead. I forget the name off the top of my head, but basically? The ones that had the sample ghost-eater guy?

    4 - Unattached Geister. They can come to the mortal world, each with their own dark motivation. They work as basically more poweful evil ghosts in 1e, since there's a limit to regular ghosts.

    There are others, but less dynamic. But lots of possibilities that really could have been fleshed out more. Really, this is the weakness of Geist. It was billed as a highly custom, barebones game line. But that left so much underdeveloped and up to individual STs to build up the skeleton frame with meat and flesh.

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  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Originally posted by Krobeles View Post
    You dont even need to implement the whole darn thing like I have. Just take the concept of a well of pure utter Oblivion resting in the deepest reaches of The Underworld and make a few Ghosts/Sin-Eaters/Mages who worship this nihilistic darkness, and you have yourself a pretty good primary antagonist.
    Actually, that's a lot like the antagonists in DV, so yeah totally works.Although they have something akin to Kereboi or Cthonians on their side as well.

    I didn't mention the antagonists myself cause I didn't really think it was a 'difference'. They are just a story element that can be used, with whatever mechanics fit. Like Krobeles suggested.

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  • Krobeles
    replied
    While I agree that Sin-Eater lack good antagonists as per the books, I dont think you cant easily grap other antagonists from other lines and retool them to fit in with Geist rather easily.
    For example, I straight up merged the old Wraith setting with Geist, giving me the chance to use the Specters and other Void affiliated creeps as antagonists from that. To that effect, I've also used Necromancers rather effectively and a group of Void worshipping mages are the kick-off to one of my games biggest story lines.
    I've also planned to have The Strix be locked up in the Underworld and the events of the game will eventually lead to their release if things continue down the path they're on at pressent.
    I also use The Posessed from Inferno and their counter parts, the Empyrean (also technically Posessed, I guess), as a sorta loose mirror of the Sin-Eaters.
    I've also planned to introduce a group of mindless slavering beings called The Empty, which are Ghosts who have lost all their anchors and replaced them a mindless hunger and miopic desire to sustain themselves in an effort to escape oblivion. They'll be kinda like a Geistyfied version of the Pandoran from Promethean, laying dormant only to raise as Sin-Eaters approach. Probably I'll introduce a Sin-Eater or Necromancer who uses them as a labor force and personal army at some point, but at this stage, they haven't even been introduced yet.

    And thats not even touching on the things I pulled straight out of the Geist book itself. I have a Kerberoi who runs an art gallery, and has comissioned a new set of paintings. Of course this gallery is one of death in all its hedious froms, and it being in the middle of Victorian times when industry and technology was becomming a greater factor in society, so the Curator has comissioned a set of works detailing horrific industrial and technology massacres. Of course he needs a mortal artist to paint these works, because reasons.
    I also took The Glorious Church of the Unified Spirit from Book of the Dead and expanded upon it. At pressent, its a Krewe led by a selfish Sin-Eater who uses it as little more than a power basis and stepping stone into victorian high society. Eventually though, the churchs fanaticism will outg grow his abillity to contain it, and they'll kick him out/kill him and the remaining members will go full on Sacrosanct.
    And then theres a ghost of that one sargent who died just short of a hundred years ago, whom one member of the group has promised to help retrieve his gun. With the ghosts Ancor within reach of the Krewes only Avernian Gate, displeasing that ghost could have nasty results for the Krewe.
    I've also pulled that one Lynch Tree (detailed in the core Geist book, I think), which one Krewe member deprived of its main food source, the ghosts of lynched black men from ages past. Without a source of nurishment, the thing has awakened from its slumber and will soon goad the nearby village into a cascade of unreasonable hatred, in an effort to regain a handfull of lynch-victims which it may feed upon.

    And then thats not even touching on the Krewe politics that I've also set up or the Abmortals that I haven't even bothered to use as of yet!

    My point is, its not that Geist doesn't have antagonists and its not even that Geist doesn't have antagonists in its own material writeup. The 'problem' is that Geist doesn't have a "big baddie" ala the Seers or Exarchs, the Pure Tribes, The True Fae or even the Centimani.
    Honestly, I dont nessesarily think the absence of a "big baddie" is actually a problem in and of itself, but if you're like me and enjoy a "main villian" then just import the concept of Oblivion/The Void from Wraith and go with that. You dont even need to implement the whole darn thing like I have. Just take the concept of a well of pure utter Oblivion resting in the deepest reaches of The Underworld and make a few Ghosts/Sin-Eaters/Mages who worship this nihilistic darkness, and you have yourself a pretty good primary antagonist.

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  • Mangle77
    replied
    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    Well, they all make a deal with the same entity (The Grim Reaper or Bernadette or Bernie as she prefers) and that entity doesn't merge with them, she exists separately from them. They all really only have one power (Manifestation) but that's more of a story conceit. They don't have some of the peripheral powers either, like seeing when someone will die (at least it hasn't come up that they have that). They also don't have a fuel source or go to the underworld (again, at least in the story, its only had so many issues, so the overall metaphysics of it are only so explored).

    Other then that and some setting differences, they could translate pretty well.
    DV also has strong antagonists, which my group found Geist to be lacking.

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  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Well, they all make a deal with the same entity (The Grim Reaper or Bernadette or Bernie as she prefers) and that entity doesn't merge with them, she exists separately from them. They all really only have one power (Manifestation) but that's more of a story conceit. They don't have some of the peripheral powers either, like seeing when someone will die (at least it hasn't come up that they have that). They also don't have a fuel source or go to the underworld (again, at least in the story, its only had so many issues, so the overall metaphysics of it are only so explored).

    Other then that and some setting differences, they could translate pretty well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zooroos
    replied
    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post

    A realization I had recently might be another point it Geist's favor for you:

    I am really not a fan of Haunting stories, I usually find them boring and not scary but I really (REALLY) like Geist and I only recently figured out why. Reading the comic Death Vigil is what finally did it for me. I don't much enjoy haunting stories, but I really enjoy Reaper stories. That's the classic monster that Geist really is based on, Grim Reapers. That revelations makes me love Geist even more now.
    Wow! I've just did a little Google search and I loved what I've read about this comic book so far. I'll definitely give it a read. BTW, what do you think are the main differences between DV reapers and Sin-eaters?

    I'm going to give Geist a second chance, reading it from the start with a fresh perspective. After all, it is a game of second chances (bad pun totally intended )

    Leave a comment:


  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Originally posted by Zooroos View Post
    One of the things that initially put me off about Sin-eaters when I first knew about them was that superficial notion of them being "mediums with the power dials in overdrive". Clearly, while Vampire, Werewolf or Mage all represent iconic "monsters" that also include minor templates in their respective settings (ghouls, wolf-blooded, proximi, etc), Geist starts in the oppossite end of the spectrum: there is this familiar "medium" minor template, but in the upper levels there's this whole new supernatural society of "dead and back alive" mediums fused with ancient ghost-things partying and reveling with ghosts with an ease and skill that could be impossible without a profound knowledge of death and the deep below.

    Personally, I'm not that excited about the way their powers are presented, but I have yet to read the whole thing, so I'll save my opinion for when I finish reading it.

    All in all, it has grown on me, especially looking over some excellent Actual Play reports being posted in the internet.
    A realization I had recently might be another point it Geist's favor for you:

    I am really not a fan of Haunting stories, I usually find them boring and not scary but I really (REALLY) like Geist and I only recently figured out why. Reading the comic Death Vigil is what finally did it for me. I don't much enjoy haunting stories, but I really enjoy Reaper stories. That's the classic monster that Geist really is based on, Grim Reapers. That revelations makes me love Geist even more now.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zooroos
    replied
    One of the things that initially put me off about Sin-eaters when I first knew about them was that superficial notion of them being "mediums with the power dials in overdrive". Clearly, while Vampire, Werewolf or Mage all represent iconic "monsters" that also include minor templates in their respective settings (ghouls, wolf-blooded, proximi, etc), Geist starts in the oppossite end of the spectrum: there is this familiar "medium" minor template, but in the upper levels there's this whole new supernatural society of "dead and back alive" mediums fused with ancient ghost-things partying and reveling with ghosts with an ease and skill that could be impossible without a profound knowledge of death and the deep below.

    Personally, I'm not that excited about the way their powers are presented, but I have yet to read the whole thing, so I'll save my opinion for when I finish reading it.

    All in all, it has grown on me, especially looking over some excellent Actual Play reports being posted in the internet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rater202
    replied
    Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
    I have read Geist yes, extensively. I'm positing the question because the question and the answer have value regardless of my personal beliefs on the subject. It's being used as a tool to zero in on Geist's themes and the unique things it has to offer. More specifically, I'm asking it in hopes of zeroing in on what different people find unique and flavorful about Geist once you get past the surface concept, because what I may find unique and different won't be the same as what you find unique and different, etc.
    A Big theme in most world or Darkness lines, weather it be big or small, is that it kind of sucks to live in the WoD or have supernatual powers. This theme is often called Supernatural angst.

    Sin-Eaters, while there are a few exceptions, and they do have a few downsides that have to be gotten used to, in general do not have Supernatural Angst.

    And in the context of how someone becomes a Sin-Eater, those downsides don't seem so bad. I mean, if it was forced on you that'd be one thing, but all sin-eaters choose to make the bargain.

    and considering that making the bargain saved their lives, most sin-eaters really have nothing to complain about.

    There are exceptions, of course, Bound who are weak willed or who have particularly insane or monstrous geists, but in general there's little to no supernatural angst.

    Relatedly, Geist has a rather celebratory theme that isn't quite shared by anything in the WoD, and in general is rather upbeat in spite of and sometimes because of the rather morbid and frightening themes it examines.

    That's not something you get, by default, in a WoD game other than geist.

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  • ErikModi
    replied
    A mortal also has no real incentive to resolve a ghost's issues and help it move on. Sure, a medium might get sick of the voices and "get rid" of ghosts to get some peace and quiet, but there isn't any real reason why they can't just ignore all the dead people around them. Bound primarily regain Plasm by resolving a ghost's issues, pushing them to find and help the dead. Of course, if they aren't spending Plasm they don't need it, so they may not be under any real obligation, but there's certainly incentive. And, just like a medium may have a strong sense of duty and obligation towards the ghosts the can see, a Bound (or her Geist) may have a similar drive.

    Much as a medium hears voices, though, she doesn't actually have a dead consciousness living within her mind. She doesn't have some other entity constantly with her, constantly pushing her to do something she may or may not want to do.

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  • nofather
    replied
    Power level.

    I think the title of your post, SoulGambit, was a rather broad interpretation of your actual question in the post.

    But the difference is, really, going to be power level. You could play a ghoul or a wolf-blooded, but you'll never have the capacity of a full member of those templates, though ghouls can get a lot of disciplines. And the mortal psychics aren't a 'lesser template' of Sin-Eaters, but at the core, dealing with ghosts is something they can do too. With some concepts from the Book of the Dead you could even have your mortal able to cross into the Underworld. But a mortal won't be working in symbiosis with the geist bound to them, or have the powerful abilities granted to them through it, like their limited form of immortality.

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