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Witnesses 1.5

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  • Vent0
    started a topic Witnesses 1.5

    Witnesses 1.5

    The current (1E) status of Witnesses is somewhat... lackluster (I find). For 3 Merit dots, they are immune to Sybaris, gain Unseen Sense (Deathless/Lifeless), and the drawback of obsession over Mummies.

    So, in light of the various 2E versions of similar Mortal+ merits/minor templates, how can we improve Witness? Considering what they have already, I can see a few parallels:
    • Sleepwalkers - Both are merits that grant immunity from the deleterious auras of their respective splats. Sleepwalker also serves as a springboard/prerequisite for more merits.
    • Stigmatics - Both have immunity to something (Concealment Infrastructure vs Sybaris) and a sixth sense regarding their subject matter. Both also have a drawback (Stigmata/Glitches vs Obsession). Stigmatics also get a bonus Supernatural Merit.
    • Wolf-Blooded - Both are immune to their Splat's mind-wrecking auras (Lunacy vs Sybaris). Wolf-Blooded also get a Tell, which is a Drawback with corresponding Boon.
    Easiest to model is Stigmatics - No real change to the core Merit, just give them an existing Supernatural Merit to represent their ties to the occult. Done. Slightly more work is Sleepwalker - there is still no change to the base Merit, but adding new Merits that key off it (like maybe Guild Training, where they can spend XP to use a Guild Relic without triggering the Curse) will take some creation. Hardest, but (I think) the most fitting would be Wolf-Blooded - the Tell structure seems like it could also suit the nature of Sekhem's "Power for a Price". In this case, Witnesses would become almost like living (minor) Relics, with their own Curse (and corresponding Boon).

    Thoughts? Suggestions (for any of the models)?

  • Konradleijon
    replied
    Oh I would kind of like it if it isn’t explained by the rite of return Fate works in mysterious ways
    Last edited by Konradleijon; 08-30-2018, 11:57 AM.

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  • willywonka
    replied
    What if Witnesses (and their descendants) were a potential repository of Memory through the ages that an Arisen didn't want to lose?

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  • SpoonR
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    There is a theory among mummies that witness were people important to them in past lives (spouses, concubines, etc.) reincarnated. It's a throwaway line that isn't really elaborated on, though.
    I was curious and pulled up my rulebook. The above theory is specifically that the important people were bound with necromancy to reincarnate. Another Witness theory is "souls strong enough that could be they turned into mummies if you did the ritual to them". Also says some utterances & affinities can create Witness - this gives one explanation for the name - they witnessed a Mummy doing powerful stuff.

    In regards to forbidden knowledge & new Witness abilities. May I suggest immunity to one category of relic curses? The "less or no curse for relics associated with your Guild" thing. And it depends on the Witness's soul so they could have different immunity than their Mum. I like the idea of a Witness retainer being able to read a cursed text that the mummy can't (cause not a scribe, ya know)

    Otherwise, I think the most interesting, and semi-literal, use for a Witness is as a memory repository. Since they don't necessarily interact with judges and don't have Sekhem or a ritual burning memories away, when they reincarnate they keep memories from previous lives. So the witness helps the mummy remember more easily. Good for Apotheosis but might make the Judges grumpy.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

    That’s where I’d start, although that way they become too close to Wolf-Blooded I think.

    ... Which wouldn’t be too out of place if we also treat Witnesses as living Vessels of a sort.

    But with Witnessed-the-Judges direction, I want to tap into the theme of forbidden knowledge and mind-shaking revelation. But this overlaps with Stigmatic, and... (brain fritzes out) (I’ll have to sleep on this! And reread Mummy books if I get the chance)
    Well, they might not inherently have a Curse to start with. Those might develop via "deals" or event with the Judges/Occult forces. Choosing to wrap themselves in the chains of power and all.

    Of course... if a Witness counts as a living Vessel... can they be drained for The Call, or to extend a Descent, or "returned" to the Judges? Or turned into a Talisman (or is that basically what a Sadikh is)?

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  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
    Witnesses could be Vampires, Werewolves, Mages or other major templates. Since you canonly have one Power stat...heck, it would also mean no Witness ghosts.
    Doesn't the new power stat just supplant the old? So you could easily have Witnesses become Vampires or Ghosts. They'd lose their Witness abilities, sure, but they'd still have been a Witness and I can't say I've ever seen the attraction in template stacking.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    So, inherent trait (Sybaris immunity) that they can parley into Boon/Curses? Tentative idea: They can get up to 5 Curses (w/Boon) like Tells, with the number serving as a virtual Sekhem stat?
    That’s where I’d start, although that way they become too close to Wolf-Blooded I think.

    ... Which wouldn’t be too out of place if we also treat Witnesses as living Vessels of a sort.

    But with Witnessed-the-Judges direction, I want to tap into the theme of forbidden knowledge and mind-shaking revelation. But this overlaps with Stigmatic, and... (brain fritzes out) (I’ll have to sleep on this! And reread Mummy books if I get the chance)

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

    That was what I thought. At first.

    Now... well, they're called Witnesses, so what did they witness? The glory and terror of Irem, and what lies beyond Sybaris, yes. But now I think; maybe what they Witnessed is the Law of the Judges, with the Nameless Empire and its legacy "merely" its greatest manifestation?

    Thematically, they'd be similar to Primordial Cultists from Beast; a human cult worshiping a higher power that the Arisen are intermediaries to. Mechanically, they'd develop curses/boons related to which Judge they Witnesses.

    (Aside: I always thought Witness was an odd term for them, that might have better fitting for Demon's Stigmatics, since they "witnessed" the God-Machine, but c'est la vie. Addendum - yeah I know Mummy came before Demon.)

    So, inherent trait (Sybaris immunity) that they can parley into Boon/Curses? Tentative idea: They can get up to 5 Curses (w/Boon) like Tells, with the number serving as a virtual Sekhem stat?

    Leave a comment:


  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    In that Reborn automatically are Witnesses?
    That was what I thought. At first.

    Now... well, they're called Witnesses, so what did they witness? The glory and terror of Irem, and what lies beyond Sybaris, yes. But now I think; maybe what they Witnessed is the Law of the Judges, with the Nameless Empire and its legacy "merely" its greatest manifestation?

    Thematically, they'd be similar to Primordial Cultists from Beast; a human cult worshiping a higher power that the Arisen are intermediaries to. Mechanically, they'd develop curses/boons related to which Judge they Witnesses.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
    Witnesses could be Vampires, Werewolves, Mages or other major templates. Since you canonly have one Power stat...heck, it would also mean no Witness ghosts.
    Supernaturals are already immune to Sybaris, as are Ghosts. So they don't need to be Witnesses.

    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    I’m not that familiar with Mummy, but is past lives/ reincarnation that big of an element for Witnesses? That way sounds too much of an overlap with the Reborn.
    There is a theory among mummies that witness were people important to them in past lives (spouses, concubines, etc.) reincarnated. It's a throwaway line that isn't really elaborated on, though.

    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

    Then maybe Reborn could be to Witnesses what Demon-Blooded are to Stigmatics, in a way.
    In that Reborn automatically are Witnesses?

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by FallenEco View Post

    Honestly? No it is not. Hence why some people up thread suggested combining them. Witnesses are primarily defined by two factors; immunity to Sybaris and an obsession with mummies/Irem.
    Not a lot going on there.

    Of course why some people are Witnesses is a mystery; one theory is that they are Reborn.
    Then maybe Reborn could be to Witnesses what Demon-Blooded are to Stigmatics, in a way.

    Leave a comment:


  • FallenEco
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    I’m not that familiar with Mummy, but is past lives/ reincarnation that big of an element for Witnesses? That way sounds too much of an overlap with the Reborn.
    Honestly? No it is not. Hence why some people up thread suggested combining them. Witnesses are primarily defined by two factors; immunity to Sybaris and an obsession with mummies/Irem.
    Not a lot going on there.

    Of course why some people are Witnesses is a mystery; one theory is that they are Reborn.

    Leave a comment:


  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    I’m not that familiar with Mummy, but is past lives/ reincarnation that big of an element for Witnesses? That way sounds too much of an overlap with the Reborn.

    Leave a comment:


  • FallenEco
    replied
    Witnesses could be Vampires, Werewolves, Mages or other major templates. Since you canonly have one Power stat...heck, it would also mean no Witness ghosts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    How does a power stat cut off potential?

    Leave a comment:

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