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  • My 1.5E Geist Updates

    Greeting All,

    I drafted my ideas on how I would update Geist to be more in line with Second Edition, and I thought I would share with the community to get feedback. Here is the link. Comments in the document or here on the thread are both welcome.

    These updates focus for the most part on expanding the role of the Geist and updating Synergy. Like many people, I wanted to see the Geist given more focus and more of bite, but my preference is to keep the tone of Synergy as one of partnership and a relationship between the host and Geist. This draft touches on a lot of different areas, but I mostly focused on using social Conditions for expanding on the relationship and conflict between the two.

    Some of this was inspired by ideas from other people on the forums, incorporated into my own ideas an perspective. So I want to thank everyone else whose worked on various update ideas themselves - there's a lot of good work out there. I hope you like what I've come up with.

    ​~Seraph Kitty


    Second Chance for

    A Beautiful Madness

  • #2
    My first thought is that it's very wordy.
    Here's how I was handling it, if you wanna take a look. Instead of handling it like Beast, I went more for Vampire.

    Comment


    • #3
      Aye, I tend to be rather wordy; it's a bit of a flaw.
      You've got a lot of good work in your write-up. I had seen your earlier Synergy draft, and I've been reading other peoples' update ideas.
      My own ideas about how to expand on the geist had been percolating for a couple of years - and this write-up is finally pulling them together and jotting them down. I have to clean it up and refine it a bit, but one of the motivations here was that I haven't seen anyone else approach it quite the way I would prefer, and I wanted to see what everyone thought.


      Second Chance for

      A Beautiful Madness

      Comment


      • #4
        I like what I've seen so far, although out of the two I think that Aspel's version is a little better at capturing Geist's themes. That said, I really like your Synergy mechanics Seraph Kitty.


        Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post
          Aye, I tend to be rather wordy; it's a bit of a flaw.
          Can't really fault you there, I'd also need to join that self-help group, if there was one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Aspel I'm really loving your hacks for Synergy, Virtue and Vice analogues, and the different Thresholds. I'm curious, does the Threshold Resonance give you a way to gain Plasm, or is it a dice bonus to given actions?

            How were you thinking of handling Keys? My interpretation was that they represented the Geist's Influences, and Manifestations are a way to alter and refine what the Influences can do.


            My Homebrew Hub

            Comment


            • #7
              Arcanist You get Plasm back any time you risk life and limb. Your Threshold just lets you add Psyche to the roll. Although according to my notes, I never actually defined what the Knocking On Death's Door roll should be in the first place. But considering it's based on Oblation rolls from Mage, it'd be the same thing.
              Keys are rated 1 to 5, and each have a theme. On their own, they don't really do much, though they sort of function like Renown. I'll admit I'm taking a lot from Werewolf.
              Your primary Key--that is, the one your Geist gives you--is used for generic Clash of Wills.
              Manifestations are all flat abilities. When you add a Key to the Manifestation, you make an Unlock.
              Unlocks are special versions of the Manifestation that invoke the Key. You can only have one Unlock from any Manifestation. You can use the same Key twice, though.

              Essentially, it's a little similar to Princess: The Hopeful's system, and a little similar to Werewolf's.
              It's a lot of work, though. Here's the Manifestation I've done the most work on; you can see how unfinished it is:
              The Boneyard The Boneyard allows you to extend your senses outward equal to ten feet per dot of Wits, plus the Key used. Once the Boneyard is activated a Sin-eater has a vague sense of everything around them. By concentrating, she can clairvoyantly sense anything within the radius of the boneyard, but her body goes into a trance, which is treated as the Immobilized Tilt. A sin-eater can leave the trance, and move around, but doing so means suffering the Blinded Tilt instead as her perception is split. Being attacked while in a trance ends the Boneyard immediately.
              While the Boneyard is active, a Sin-eater can use any Manifestations using the same Key as the one that unlocked the Boneyard. Any Manifestations that would give a benefit to the Sin-eater herself--other than the Caul or Rage, which are too personal--can be channeled onto her allies instead. A number of people can benefit at no additional cost equal to the Key rating, and beyond that it takes an additional point of plasm, unless they’re part of her bonded krewe. If a character doesn’t want to have the effect applied to them, roll the Manifestation’s Attribute, the Key’s Skill, and the dots of Key versus Resolve, Stamina, or Composure plus Psyche as appropriate.
              A sin-eater does not have to be in the center of the Boneyard. If multiple Sin-eaters fight over a Boneyard, a Clash of Wills is triggered, and the winner gains control of it. A sin-eater can unlock the Boneyard Manifestation with any Key (or no Key), but each Key grants a special ability that can only be used by learning it’s unlock. Many of the effects of the boneyard can be positive or negative, and the sin-eater can pick and choose who feels which effects. She can even change her mind while the boneyard is still active.
              Gremlin’s Playground (Industrial Boneyard)

              With this Unlock, a Sin-eater can hinder opponents using manmade devices while making even her clumsiest friends competent in their use.
              Cost: 3 plasm
              Dice Pool: Wits + Crafts + Industrial versus Resolve + Psyche (each target rolls separately)
              Action: Instant
              Roll Results
              Only those intended to suffer the penalty need to roll to resist.
              Dramatic Failure: The Unlock works backwards, and the plasm is twisted; the positive aspects affect everyone else, while the negative aspects affect those the Sin-eater wanted to enhance.
              Failure: The Plasm is spent and the turn is wasted, but nothing happens.
              Success: Anyone the Sin-eater wishes finds their equipment turning on them. Anyone using equipment in the area deals a point of bashing damage to themselves, as well as to the object itself, bypassing durability.
              For others, the effect is reversed, and even the worst equipment is easier to use, granting the Inspired Condition when using any sort of equipment.
              Exceptional Success: Equipment degrades faster, with the damage to user and tool being equal to the dots of Industrial Key. In addition, the Sin-eater’s allies gain a bonus to equipment roll equal to the Industrial dots.
              Calming Static (Passion Boneyard)

              While expanding her senses, the sin-eater controlling the Passion Boneyard can communicate with others, touching onto their senses and sharing a bit of her awareness.
              Cost: 3 plasm
              Action: Instant
              Effect: Anyone within the boneyard feels a sense of static invading their senses that comes in two forms. The first, for those who’ve gained the sin-eater’s ire, is an irritating buzz and the whispering of the sin-eater at their mind. Anyone under the effect suffers a -2 penalty on all rolls, and loses a point of willpower every five turns minutes the sin-eater’s Passion dots.
              For those the sin-eater wishes to aid, they can hear her voice in their head, guiding them with her enhanced senses. The Sin-eater can aid any mundane roll through teamwork by rolling Wits+Empathy+Passion. Anyone under the effects of the boneyard can hear the sin-eater’s voice in their mind and have their thought shared with anyone else. The effect is weak, and easy to tune down, preventing even surface level thoughts and emotions from being shared with a successful Resolve + Composure roll.
              Mystery Spot (Phantasmal Boneyard)

              Named for the tourist traps that take advantage of optical illusions, the Phantasmal Boneyard allows the Sin-eater to manipulate the senses of those inside of it.
              Cost: 3 plasm
              Action: Instant
              Effect: Reality starts to distort, and perceptions shift and change. The sin-eater can obfuscate things within the Boneyard. There’s no limit to how many things can be effected, but each must be smaller than her Psyche plus twice her Key dots. The object or person becomes occluded, and anyone who might notice it needs to roll Wits + Composure penalized by the Phantasmal dots. Success means the character knows what they’re seeing is unreal, but the visions still persist, causing a penalty equal to the Sin-eaters Key dots on all actions. Other phantasmal objects can be created, such as weapons, walls, doors, or even windows.
              Particularly clever Bound may create double-backs and twists, bending the reality around their victims so that they feel they’re walking in a straight hallway while they go in circles. The haunted interact with these objects as if they were real if they fail to notice the trick. Like a mime, they bang at unreal walls.
              People can also be obfuscated or altered with this Unlock of the Boneyard. With this power of the Phantasmal Key, the effects are always subtle, never overt. Everything looks natural, and real. A phantasmal gun fires and makes a loud bang and has a muzzle flash that looks like a burst of light, instead of a laser beam.
              If the haunted is hit with a bullet from a phantasmal gun, they take damage along the phantom health track, the same as a sin-eater bulwarking their damage, though it never rolls over. While those under the effect of the Boneyard may think it’s real, the pain goes away when they’re no longer in the scene.
              (Primeval Boneyard)

              somethingsomethingsomething
              Cost:
              Action:
              Effect:
              (Stigmata Boneyard)

              somethingsomethingsomething
              Cost:
              Action:
              Effect:
              (Stillness Boneyard)

              somethingsomethingsomething
              Cost:
              Action:
              Effect:
              Crash the Gates (Stygian Boneyard)

              The area of the Stygian Boneyard’s effect becomes an Avernian Verge.
              Cost: 5 plasm
              Action: Instant
              Effect: Anywhere in the Boneyard the sin-eater wishes gains the Underworld Gateway Condition, with portals and pathways leading into the Underworld. While an area is under the effect of Crash the Gates, it becomes coterminous with the Upper Reaches, taking on all of that area’s properties. If instead the Sin-eater is using the power in the Underworld, the Gate goes the other way, and the area no longer suffers any of the effects of the Underworld’s natural laws. Twilight becomes a thing, and a gateway to the living world is created. Doing so suffers a penalty equal to the number of Rivers deep the character is.
              The sin-eater has no control over what ghosts show up or come through the Gateway, but ending the Unlock sends back any wayward shades, unless they’re able to beat the Sin-eater in a Clash of Wills.
              Honestly, I think starting with Boneyard is a bit difficult, since a lot of the things I'd want to do with Boneyard are actually things that better fit under Marionette.
              I feel bad that I seem to have taken over this thread...
              Last edited by Aspel; 06-14-2016, 03:01 AM.

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              • #8
                Not sure I understand what you mean about Unlocks. Do you mean if I unlock the Pyre-Flame Shroud, I can't have any other Shrouds?
                Also, not keen on the notion of being able to destroy/drive away the geist to prevent resurrection, part of the appeal (to me at least) of playing a Sin-Eater is how freakin hard they are to keep dead. What the game could do with is a clear definition for more... "complete" manners of death for a sin-eater. The book never specifies how resurrection works if the sin-eater is decapitated or incinerated or otherwise maimed. My group decided that if the sin-eater's body is too badly damaged to just "wake up" from death, the body fades into the local Underworld, requiring them to find their way back out.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by inkpenavenger View Post
                  The book never specifies how resurrection works if the sin-eater is decapitated or incinerated or otherwise maimed. My group decided that if the sin-eater's body is too badly damaged to just "wake up" from death, the body fades into the local Underworld, requiring them to find their way back out.
                  Your group was not alone in this, this is also how I ran resurrection in my Silent Hill themed Innocents Geist game set in Alaska. (Yes, it was awesome and my players loved it)
                  Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 06-30-2016, 07:30 PM.


                  “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                  "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It was pretty great when the local vampire Prince offered a prize to a bunch of supernatural bounty hunters to capture or kill my Sin-Eater hunter character ($50M for me dead, or $100M alive. He didn't actually know I wasn't human anymore and wanted to Embrace me so he could torture me forever. And yes, the plot was ripped off directly from Batman: Arkham Origins). Well, one of them, a werewolf, managed to do it. It was a really close fight. If I'd managed one more point of damage before he chewed my head off, he'd have been too hurt to survive changing out of Gauru form. He took my head to the Prince, who ecstatically called up his whole inner circle to come celebrate my demise the following evening. He put my head on the mantelpiece of his fireplace in his penthouse before going to sleep for the day. Imagine the help's surprise come sunrise when it disappeared (into the Underworld), and how they had to spend all day afraid of how the Prince would react when he woke up to find his trophy gone.

                    Yes, that chronicle was pretty bonkers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by inkpenavenger View Post
                      It was pretty great when the local vampire Prince offered a prize to a bunch of supernatural bounty hunters to capture or kill my Sin-Eater hunter character ($50M for me dead, or $100M alive. He didn't actually know I wasn't human anymore and wanted to Embrace me so he could torture me forever. And yes, the plot was ripped off directly from Batman: Arkham Origins). Well, one of them, a werewolf, managed to do it. It was a really close fight. If I'd managed one more point of damage before he chewed my head off, he'd have been too hurt to survive changing out of Gauru form. He took my head to the Prince, who ecstatically called up his whole inner circle to come celebrate my demise the following evening. He put my head on the mantelpiece of his fireplace in his penthouse before going to sleep for the day. Imagine the help's surprise come sunrise when it disappeared (into the Underworld), and how they had to spend all day afraid of how the Prince would react when he woke up to find his trophy gone.

                      Yes, that chronicle was pretty bonkers.
                      Man, if you had access to the Stigmatic Key, and the right Manifestations, you could have used the blood from your (formerly) severed head to really wreak some mischief on the Prince's household.


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

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                      • #12
                        Oh I wreaked some mischief alright. Another of the bounty hunters (a demon-blooded) who came off worse for wear in his initial confrontation with me wound up helping me infiltrate the Prince's victory party. See, I used the Pyre-Flame Oracle to vacate my body, leaving it appearing dead. So the bounty hunter took in my "corpse" to collect the reward. The Prince was super glad at the chance to save face with all the big-wigs showing up having already been told that I'd been dealt with (I was a serious thorn in the Prince's side, but that's a whole other story too). So the Prince's buddies are all gathered, they bring in my body and lay it at his feet, still all decked out in my gear so they knew it was me. Then I used a Fetter I had (with the machine-control Numen) to seize control of the building's unified security system. Door locks, power, alarms, fire suppression, traps, everything was controlled from a central system: one big machine (the ST allowed me to do this while still projecting from my body). So I locked everyone in, killed the lights then manifested the Pyre-Flame Boneyard. As everyone started to panic, I went back into my body, sprung up, and shot an arrow through the Prince's heart. All the other vampires froze. I got up, leisurely lifted the Prince up by the hair, and took out my knife. I told them to spread the word: this was MY city now. All vampires had 24 hours to get out. After that, they were mine. Then I took off the Prince's head, opened the doors and turned on the lights so they could flee.

                        Like I said: bonkers.

                        EDIT: Forgot the decapitation. Lol!
                        Last edited by inkpenavenger; 07-01-2016, 03:50 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, I love your updates Aspel (for the most part)

                          Wake and Epitath rather than virtue and vice looks great. I'm not sure you meant it to explicitly replace those but I think I will play it that way for simplicity sake.

                          Touchstones - This is the part I am not fond of, but it doesn't look like the new rules actually hinge on it. I'll come back to this later with my own thoughts...

                          Passion - I like the concept, but the execution seems a bit lacking. It still feels too human. A Geist in my mind isn't the remains of a person (like a ghost is) - they're the ideal that a ghost has evolved from. An abused mother doesn't become a super abused mother - she becomes the symbol of emotional abuse. Plus, aspirations seem to be the weakest change the GM introduced . I'd suggest instead a condition I'm calling Resonant that a SE gets for interacting with a Geists passion and provides certain bonuses and penalties to types of roles based on what that passion is and MAY grant a beat if the SE resolves whatever caused that resonance (rather than just leaving the scene.) This might also trigger a discord roll if you resolve it in a way that the Geist deems as 'disrespectful' to its passion.

                          Key - err... seems like an unnecassary and pointless buff. I mean, whatever floats your boat but I see no benefit to it from a storyteller perspective.

                          Keystone - some players specifically like having oversize keystones but I like the idea of putting it in stone that these can always be used as weapons. Rules for using them as guns seem cool but also lop sided. I'll keep this as an optional rule for future games.

                          Synergy - I like the changes, but specifically Fervor seems like it could be done better. It doesn't seem appropriate for the Geist to take control of the body outside of Synergy 0. I much prefer the idea of an irrational Geist planting hallucinations in the bounds head as either a punishment or to try and manipulate them towards the Geists Passion. A condition or two seem like the best way to do this.

                          I also think Synergy as written leaves a problem or two - For one, how to handle synergy loss due to death. Do you continue removing two from max synergy and it only becomes a problem after the third death? (the other problem is simply "What is a Tableaux" ) This brings me to my major suggestion - anchors

                          Rather than Touchstones, Sin Eaters have Anchors. An anchor can be anything - a person, place or thing (including a momento) that holds deep meaning to the Sin Eater (Bound or Geist.) Although Sin Eater's with high psyche may keep an anchor (or multiple) on their person in order to harness it (see psyche) - most Sin Eaters create and hide several anchors in order to cement their bond with their Geist in case of death. If a Sin Eater is killed, one of their anchors is severed - often irreparably - in order to revive the Sin Eater. Should a Sin eater with no other anchor's die, he is revived, but his keystone is lost to the underworld and he becomes one of the wretched. Since anchor's are objects with deep meaning to either the bound or the Geist, losing one often results in a degeneration role. If the Sin Eater dies, he immediatly loses one anchor and rolls the number of remaining anchors - gaining a derangement on a failure. This also means that, with the support of other Sin Eaters, one of the Wretched could theoretically be brought back - if he doesn't die first.

                          Every SE starts with one anchor that represents an important connection they had in life - perhaps a friend or family member that was important to them, or the object of a hobby that helped define who they were. There are two ways of creating new anchors - the first (and most dangerous) is by simply converting a memento - this requires only for the player to spend the necessary experience and time attuning to the memento - this might entail a crafts roll to customize a jacket to your liking, or simply using a memento over an extended period of time and becoming emotionally attached to it.) These types of anchors are most dangerous as they're magnets to ghosts and SE's alike - and close inspection by another Sin Eater will easily reveal the object as an Anchor of another Sin Eater that can both be used against them and destroyed to weaken them. The other - and generally safer - method is simply to cultivate emotional connections with people, places or things that hold meaning for the character. This method is typically safer for the SE because these types of anchors do not have to be attuned to death and therefore can be hidden in plain sight. It's important to note that anchor's used to revive a dead Sin Eater do not have to be in the SE's vicinity.

                          I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this. Even if you don't like them, I'd like your feedback in case I decide to finish this write up and use them myself.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like that - death leads to destruction of Anchors. It's a bit more recoverable than permanent Synergy loss, but still has impact. You might even have the requisite death to balance the scales involve the lost Anchor somehow (an Anchored-car is involved in a hit & run or attempted theft, and Anchored building has a fire-escape fall on someone and kill them, an Anchored person has someone close to them, or even they themselves, die, etc.).


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Elements from both sets of updates combined would make for a really excellent upgrade, though. I really hope they do eventually make a Geist 2e. A friend of mine was talking to some of the OP staff at GenCon last year, and they told him that it is in the pipeline, just not officially on the timetable. Fingers crossed.

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