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Soul - A Subjective/Fuel Stat for the Tremere

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  • Soul - A Subjective/Fuel Stat for the Tremere

    Heavily inspired by David's Admonitoria, and prompted by Satchel's own experimentations with the Fae Warlocks of Arcadia, I started working on some homebrew for one of my own mage games recently. It's a re-imagining of the Tremere to make them Mage/Vampire hybrids, and falls somewhere between their early existence as Breath Drinkers and their formation as a Nameless Order of definitely-not-undead Mages.

    I've actually got it in a roughly finished state, but the most important section is their replacement subjective stat: Soul. I'd like some feedback on this. It's meant to be closer to Satiety from Beast than either Humanity or Wisdom - dots can be spent to achieve powerful effects, but burning through it too fast can have grave consequences.

    Soul is reset to 5/7/10 by attaching a new Soul, either through Death Magic or pseudo-diablerie via Breath Drinking.
    So, here it is. Let me know what you think.

  • #2
    So this would be more like a seperate supernatural being, interesting but it would remove them as a mage, wouldn't it?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post
      So this would be more like a seperate supernatural being, interesting but it would remove them as a mage, wouldn't it?
      It works similarly to the Admonitoria that I linked, which are simultaneously Vampires and Changelings.

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      • #4
        Ok, so if the Tremere was in a vampire setting he would count as a vampire, in a mage setting count as a mage. Soul would be replace wis dominated in in a mage setting and humanity in a vampire setting.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post
          Ok, so if the Tremere was in a vampire setting he would count as a vampire, in a mage setting count as a mage. Soul would be replace wis dominated in in a mage setting and humanity in a vampire setting.
          No, it's simultaneously considered both a Vampire and Mage, with access to some abilities from both. This section is just about their Subjective/Fuel stat, which is Soul. It never uses Humanity or Wisdom at all. It's a crossover splat.

          If you haven't read over the link to David Hill's project, you should take a look. It explains the hybrid splat thing much better than I can.

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          • #6
            When will we see the other sections, the one about their Gnosis/Blood Potency and ArcanumDisciplines? Interesting work so far, butI would note them lacking breaking points put them outside the mechanical affects of horror within the setting, and this is a horror game thus making them suitable as unfeeling antagonists not horrified protagonists.


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
              When will we see the other sections, the one about their Gnosis/Blood Potency and ArcanumDisciplines? Interesting work so far, butI would note them lacking breaking points put them outside the mechanical affects of horror within the setting, and this is a horror game thus making them suitable as unfeeling antagonists not horrified protagonists.
              That's mostly because Satiety (which I modeled this trait after) also lacks breaking points, and this fills a similar role - it's designed to simulate their 'hunger' for souls, which is what their existence has essentially been reduced to, much like a Beast's primary concern is their own hunger. It seems appropriate.

              Satiety does have other balancing mechanics, though - namely Satiety Conditions.

              I might add breaking points back - it'd be easy enough, and it'd be one more thing that will wear down the Soul Rating besides just choosing to spend it / passage of time, which is good. The end goal is to have souls last a fair amount of time during period of inactivity, while being able to burn through them quickly when the Tremere needs to get shit done now.

              That said, the Tremere are beings that literally lack a Soul of their own, and survive by stealing those of others. I don't want Degeneration/Detachment mechanics to play a central role at all. It should be all about the Soul, and making it last as long as it can (or abusing it for power).

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              • #8
                I think this is a good start. Myself, I like seeing the Tremere inherit some of the vampirism that they sold their souls for; if I were you, I'd write my own little background for the Tremere for this, so that any future writing you do remains consistent with your idea (and are explicable from it), despite whatever changes the devs decide to have follow.

                I'd also go further to distinguish them from vampires. The Tremere are more Awakened than Kindred and, even then, they should have a more unique flavour than "Mages who are also Kindred". Instead of carte blanche applying the banes of vamps to a wizard, why not distill them down a bit? Focus on one to three banes and settle them into a lens you like.

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                • #9
                  I have read the article and understand the concept. The issue that I am having is that once you change it from Wisdom, or Humanity in the case of the vampire, you are no longer playing that type of supernatural. Wisdom governs Mages, without a wisdom they are not a Mage. If the soul stat isn't subjected to the same trials as wisdom then it can't be the same. This is my main problem with any of the hybrids. That and people tend to make them to powerful breaking the balance of the system they are in. Case in point the lack of breaking points, all of the supernatural have breaking points that is one of the game balances.

                  This is just my opinion. I could be and probably way of base with that opinion.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post
                    I have read the article and understand the concept. The issue that I am having is that once you change it from Wisdom, or Humanity in the case of the vampire, you are no longer playing that type of supernatural. Wisdom governs Mages, without a wisdom they are not a Mage. If the soul stat isn't subjected to the same trials as wisdom then it can't be the same. This is my main problem with any of the hybrids. That and people tend to make them to powerful breaking the balance of the system they are in. Case in point the lack of breaking points, all of the supernatural have breaking points that is one of the game balances.

                    This is just my opinion. I could be and probably way of base with that opinion.
                    Note: Beasts don't have Breaking Points for Satiety which Soul is explicitly modeled after (despite being a Mage-Vampire hybrid).

                    As far as the effects of Souls:
                    • How does it interact with containing Paradox, which Wisdom is used for?
                    • How does it interact with Banes and social modifiers, which Humanity is used for?
                    • I think it should have some Breaking points, even if minor ones. They could even serve to encourage proper "etiquette" among Tremere. Behavior could be a valid divisor between reckless, rapacious soul-eaters, and more conscientious immortals.
                    Last edited by Vent0; 01-19-2017, 12:16 PM.


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

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                    • #11
                      Ok I look forward to reading more.

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                      • #12
                        How I read the mechanics:
                        When you grab a new Soul it does not add to your existing score but resets your score to whatever is new Soul is.

                        Question:
                        Is that the correct reading?

                        Implications I can foresee if that is correct:
                        This creates a very short and unstable recharge cycle that is very deadly when it goes wrong, that strongly encourages waiting until the last minute to refill the soul. It'd like needing a new person's bank account in order to survive every 4-9 months assuming you do nothing fun with the money. Normal people accounts would be like mundane human, organized crime members being like Kindred, and Law Enforcement being like Mages. Even if you manage an easy way to steal those accounts, the likelihood those seeking retaliation/justice get involved is almost certain after a couple years, and definite after a couple decades. This is not like Vitae which can be seen as skimming money from an account and may go unnoticed, it leaves Soulless Husks unless you are then killing the victim. This would lead long term Tremere to be serial killers of mundane humans to avoid mystical authorities who'd notice the increase of the Soulless.

                        Request:
                        Please critique my analysis if I was correct in my reading.
                        Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 01-19-2017, 12:45 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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
                          I think this is a good start. Myself, I like seeing the Tremere inherit some of the vampirism that they sold their souls for; if I were you, I'd write my own little background for the Tremere for this, so that any future writing you do remains consistent with your idea (and are explicable from it), despite whatever changes the devs decide to have follow.

                          I'd also go further to distinguish them from vampires. The Tremere are more Awakened than Kindred and, even then, they should have a more unique flavour than "Mages who are also Kindred". Instead of carte blanche applying the banes of vamps to a wizard, why not distill them down a bit? Focus on one to three banes and settle them into a lens you like.
                          I'm still working explicitly on mechanics right now, but the intent is to provide some further distinction.
                          Here is an example of their feeding methods. Breath Drinking is meant to be the primary source of Mana, and a way for young/inexperienced Tremere to acquire souls without delving into Death.


                          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                          Note: Beasts don't have Breaking Points for Satiety which Soul is explicitly modeled after (despite being a Mage-Vampire hybrid).

                          As far as the effects of Souls:
                          • How does it interact with containing Paradox, which Wisdom is used for?
                          • How does it interact with Banes and social modifiers, which Humanity is used for?
                          • I think it should have some Breaking points, even if minor ones. They could even serve to encourage proper "etiquette" among Tremere. Behavior could be a valid divisor between reckless, rapacious soul-eaters, and more conscientious immortals.
                          Any suggestions for breaking points that would be in-theme with Tremere existence/culture?
                          I'm absolutely not opposed to having them - some based on the Abyss, which is absolutely still a thing they have to contend with, would be good, for starters. I may modify and lift some from Mage.

                          For the format of the dice roll itself, I'm considering simply rolling Soul as the Dice Pool (with modifiers). I'm thinking this would result in situations where, once the Soul has become unstable, it would start a sort of inevitable decline.

                          I am afraid of making them too soul-hungry, though.

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                          • #14
                            Hmm. Just on the implications of Soul's text, I think you should probably also dial down the advantages from both parties, as the Admonitoria did.

                            Also, Tremere should have a bit more reliable way to sever/extract souls than Mage magic or full Diablerie.

                            What happens if a Tremere steals Person A's soul, runs it down to 1, then severs it from themselves, re-grafts it back onto A, then steals it again? Or cycles between A and B?


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
                              Question:
                              Is that the correct reading?

                              This creates a very short and unstable recharge cycle that is very deadly when it goes wrong, that strongly encourages waiting until the last minute to refill the soul...
                              This would lead long term Tremere to be serial killers to avoid mystical authorities who'd notice the increase of the Soulless.
                              That's correct, and working as designed.

                              This has been through zero playtesting, so it might need to be adjusted. I don't ever want the Tremere to get too comfortable with their existence - those nights ended back in the convocation where they were outed in 1099.

                              That said, it might be overtuned to the point that it breaks verisimilitude. I'll think about this.

                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                              Hmm. Just on the implications of Soul's text, I think you should probably also dial down the advantages from both parties, as the Admonitoria did.
                              Suggestions? There are some dials that have been turned that I'm not comfortable presenting yet (the formatting is still too close to David's post, and I'd like to make it my own first). For example, Tremere have no Ruling Arcana. On the vampire side, they're unable to inflict Blood Bonds, create ghouls or new vampires. I'm considering removing their access to Physical Intensity as well.

                              One of the main issues I'm seeing right now is that there are a multitude of reasons a Mage might not want to become one of the Tremere. I'm not seeing many reasons a vampire wouldn't want to pursue it. It kind of has nothing but upsides for them. Not sure how to address that.

                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                              Also, Tremere should have a bit more reliable way to sever/extract souls than Mage magic or full Diablerie.
                              I was thinking Diablerie that functions on mortals would be fairly reliable. Do you have any suggestions?

                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                              What happens if a Tremere steals Person A's soul, runs it down to 1, then severs it from themselves, re-grafts it back onto A, then steals it again? Or cycles between A and B?
                              I will need to clarify that once any dots of Soul have been used/spent, it is no longer a fully functional Soul for any purpose other than use by the Tremere.
                              Last edited by lnodiv; 01-19-2017, 12:53 PM.

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