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Mantling Ephmeral entities

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  • Mantling Ephmeral entities

    I'm looking for some rules-crafting advice for a game I'm running.

    EDIT: to clarify, I'm specifically looking for how to handle goetia and how things change as the rank of the ghost or goetia changes.

    One of the players has expressed interest in using Mind and Death to be partially possessed by goetia and/or ghosts in order to take on their traits. Not quite Voodoo style because the character mostly keeps control rather than just being the "horse". Things like wearing the ghost of a scientist in order to buff his Science score or be able to get past the lab security system. Or wearing the goetia of "The Avenging Warrior" into battle.

    My thoughts for Rank 1 ghosts were something like
    -Increase dots in a skill or attribute by potency up to the ghost's original mortal value,
    -subject can use the Numina of the ghost but must pay the essence cost with mana,
    -subject is affected by Ban, Bane, and Urge of the ghost

    -with 1 reach become disguised as the dead guy,
    -with another reach and mana get Rote Action rules for impersonating the dead guy and using his skills,
    -2 reach to force the ghost to pay the essence cost of the numina
    -with 1 reach ignore a ban or bane, but the ghost is hurt each time the subject is in violation of such and gets a resist roll to end the possession

    Meanwhile I'm stumped for goetia and particularly for higher ranked ghosts and goetia
    Last edited by Lareath; 11-16-2018, 01:06 AM.

  • #2
    So, unless the entity already has Possession as a Manifestation, the ability to make one Possess someone else is a 4 dot effect. At which point, why not just use Familiar?

    Just straight up Possession is pretty potent by the way, even if you don’t get to use the Numina and Influences, ephemeral entities can get pretty big dice pools for their actions.

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    • #3
      I think it's probably best to figure out how you're going to fluff and achieve this 'Ghost Mantle' before figuring out its effects.
      Relying on Death alone, rather than adding Mind or so forth to allow the transfer of skills (etc), you're probably going to want to rely on some kind of custom manifestation.

      The creation of such manifestations would either be Death 4 for Patterning if you're creating them from scratch, or perhaps Death 3 if the target is already the Ghost's anchor, in which case you can rely on Perfecting.

      For an Anchor, you'd need Potency 2 in order to get to Open, and then 'Mantled'. For a non-anchor you'd need Potency 3 for Anchor, Open, and then 'Mantled'.

      In terms of effects, you've got a decent list there.
      Use of Ghost's skills, using Rank instead of dot levels, use of Ghost's Numina using the Ghost's own Essence and dice pools, perhaps with appearing like the Ghost as standard, but with spooky ectoplasm.
      Then add reach for realistic ghost-appearance, ignoring banes/bans, etc, and perhaps drawing on memories.

      Don't parcel out the effects based on the Rank of the Ghost, give all the same benefits regardless of the Rank. Just those of higher Rank have more to offer.
      Also it should probably be Withstood by Resolve/Rank based on whether one or more of the living/Ghost subjects is unhappy.

      This means that Ghosts of Rank 3, will probably need Potency 6 in order to be 'Mantled', given the Potency requirement and their Withstand.

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      • #4
        this reminds me of Persona games.

        I would recommend using merits for this and model granting them off the logics used for granting merits by other spells.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
          So, unless the entity already has Possession as a Manifestation, the ability to make one Possess someone else is a 4 dot effect. At which point, why not just use Familiar?

          Just straight up Possession is pretty potent by the way, even if you don’t get to use the Numina and Influences, ephemeral entities can get pretty big dice pools for their actions.
          Because that's not what the player wants to do. They don't want familiars, they want to self modify by temporarily equipping ghosts and goetia.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
            this reminds me of Persona games.

            I would recommend using merits for this and model granting them off the logics used for granting merits by other spells.
            This is interesting, could you give me a bit more insight into how you'd envision this working?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lareath View Post
              Because that's not what the player wants to do. They don't want familiars, they want to self modify by temporarily equipping ghosts and goetia.
              And this is not a system or metaphysic that works by treating ephemeral entities as equipment.

              The thing you're describing — particularly for the vast majority of ghosts and the less fantastical variety of goetia — is just having a solid reference point for the symbolic legwork of mimicking a particular entity through Yantras. This isn't something you're going to be able to manage with a single Arcanum without homebrewing a new Manifestation.


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                And this is not a system or metaphysic that works by treating ephemeral entities as equipment.

                The thing you're describing — particularly for the vast majority of ghosts and the less fantastical variety of goetia — is just having a solid reference point for the symbolic legwork of mimicking a particular entity through Yantras. This isn't something you're going to be able to manage with a single Arcanum without homebrewing a new Manifestation.
                Yes, homebrewing a new Manifestation is in fact exactly what I am asking for help with. I am NOT looking for "do something else entirely", because that's not what the player is asking for and it's definitely something the character is definitely capable of pulling off.

                What I AM looking for help with is figuring out the mechanics of doing this with goetia and ghosts, and how Rank would influence things

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                • #9
                  Right, but the thing is a Familiar is a self-modification. You are literally grafting them to your soul. You also get all the benefits you're looking for as far as I can tell. Cosmetically, if you want to then wear your ghost familiar like a coat, nothing is stopping you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                    Right, but the thing is a Familiar is a self-modification. You are literally grafting them to your soul. You also get all the benefits you're looking for as far as I can tell.
                    Having a Familiar grants literally none of the effects that has been suggested by Lareath. It's a self modification in that you get an extension of yourself in your Familiar (especially shared senses and in practice an increased Mana pool) but both thematically and mechanically it's very different from an internal modification of the self.
                    Last edited by Tessie; 11-16-2018, 12:07 PM.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                      Having a Familiar grants literally none of the effects that has been suggested by Lareath. It's a self modification in that you get an extension of yourself in your Familiar (especially shared senses and in practice an increased Mana pool) but both thematically and mechanically it's very different from an internal modification of the self.
                      Familiar gives you access to the Influences and Numina, the Strengthen Influence can be used to boost your dice pools up to Rank. Okay, the Mage isn't affected by the Ban, Bane or or Urge of the ghost, but the Familiar certainly is. True, you don't get to disguise yourself as the dead guy, or get rote action on your dice pools with Familiar, and/or the ability to ignore a Ban/Bane. I would make those things that Familiar doesn't grant the focus of the spell then.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                        Familiar gives you access to the Influences and Numina, the Strengthen Influence can be used to boost your dice pools up to Rank. Okay, the Mage isn't affected by the Ban, Bane or or Urge of the ghost, but the Familiar certainly is. True, you don't get to disguise yourself as the dead guy, or get rote action on your dice pools with Familiar, and/or the ability to ignore a Ban/Bane. I would make those things that Familiar doesn't grant the focus of the spell then.
                        It only gives you access in that you have a cooperative entity you can ask to use its Influences and Numina on your behalf. You don't have any ability to use them yourself which is what was suggested.


                        Bloodline: The Stygians
                        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                        Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                          It only gives you access in that you have a cooperative entity you can ask to use its Influences and Numina on your behalf. You don't have any ability to use them yourself which is what was suggested.
                          You can also enslave an entity to do it for you, I fail to see how the distinction between you doing it and the entity doing it is meaningful if it gets done to accomplish your own agenda. Especially since this is a power you can’t use on your own anyway.
                          Last edited by Mrmdubois; 11-16-2018, 01:38 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

                            You can also enslave an entity to do it for you, I fail to see how the distinction between you doing it and the entity doing it is meaningful if it gets done to accomplish your own agenda. Especially since this is a power you can’t use on your own anyway.
                            The key difference is that it's not what the player asked for. Among other things, the player was very interested in roleplaying the way that his personality would change as he swapped out his skillset.
                            Last edited by Lareath; 11-16-2018, 03:15 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lareath View Post
                              The key difference is that it's not what the player asked for. Among other things, the player was very interested in roleplaying the way that his personality would change as he swapped out his skillset.
                              Which is fine. Like I said, I’d focus on making the spell do the things that Familiar can’t that the player wants rather than over-complicating one spell.

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