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Constructive Anatomy: An Artist's Guide to Mortal Clay

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  • Constructive Anatomy: An Artist's Guide to Mortal Clay

    Submitted for your approval: a module for constructs buried deep within an overblown narrative. This includes 14 Construct materials revolving around the five original Lineages. Seven more are forthcoming.

    Constructive Anatomy
    An Artist's Guide To Mortal Clay
    Foreword

    I suspect this will be of little use to the novice, beginning their long Pilgrimages, grasping just to understand the broad strokes of Humanity. I don’t think that the veteran could find much use for this either, probably having passed this Milestone and approaching the very last. I urge you, if either, to hold it for the hands of someone who needs it.
    And to that fellow traveler, I offer this humble collection of observations, vignettes, and portraits. You and I live as monsters, but each of us was made out of an ineffable urge to create. Perhaps you were made like I was, by a mortal Demiurge who was driven to realize a vision she could not blind herself to. Perhaps you are the latest in a line of monsters, each of them their Creator’s Adam, each of those Adams denied an Eve. What we share is that we are made.
    Whatever hand that crafted us made us according to a vision. A vision of Man, most likely, or some simulacrum. My mother was a glassblower, and she saw light refracted through bottles and stemware, and saw the curve of a wine glass, and in both saw back to the forge of creation. She made a vessel out of glass, and with her breath and mundane fire, she ignited in me a semblance of life.
    You may have been made from corpses, but that does not mean you are some ugly thing. Every song has been played on some instrument stringing or stretching some dried bit of flesh over a piece of wood. Look at the reliquaries of saints. Or, look at the beauty of your stolen face, that was made in an act of reverie. Look at how dead paint becomes a living face on the ceiling of a cathedral or a loggia, and carries all the meaning in the world.
    You and I live as artwork. We may have been perfunctory lunges towards some ill-understood aspect of God’s work, but that is an essence of humanity, and for us, I think it is best that we embrace it. And, when it comes time for multiplicatio, I urge you to dwell on this. If we are to inflict such an ugly life on an innocent, we should at the least give them a beautiful self. The hardest mortal heart softens at beauty, and the dullest leaps at meaning. My mother gave me a body of glass, and I learned I am fragile, I am sharp when damaged, and I glitter with all the light I am afforded. I have also learned that it doesn’t take a body of glass to do so, so I take heart that when I find the New Dawn, there will be an essence of glass still within me.
    I have met many of our kind. Here are some of them, and what I learned from them. If you see yourself in here, please forgive me, but you were beautiful. Perhaps you were ugly too, but an artist sees the worth even in that, and we should all strive to be artists.
    Making Your Own Way

    I have dabbled in many mediums, but I have never made a Promethean. My own form is strange and unique to others of our kind, while their semi-living skin and muscle mystifies me. Somehow we are the same, the way I can paint the same landscape in oil and in watercolor. Oil requires patience and time, while watercolor demands delicacy and deftness. An artist can master both, but should have her eye on the subject first.
    By this I mean that a genitor should choose the material that gets in his way the least. For most, I think, this will mean working with the flesh of the dead. For me, this is not how I have known the Pilgrimage, and I would have to sew together many corpses before I dared to attempt the Generative Act. For you, either may be true, or you may see some other route.
    So, take care and choose wisely. It is already an impossible thing we have tasked ourselves with, but if we are to leave this creature behind, give it the best chance to be born.
    At character creation, a player may choose to create a Construct, a Promethean who is made from something other than dead bodies. She may choose one of the options below, by listing the material on her character’s sheet. None of the options are intended to be solely the province of a given Lineage, and if one Construct’s material suggests to you another’s rules, by all means use the rule you prefer. Only one material may be chosen.
    A demiurge or genitor may wish to attempt raising a Construct. The Storyteller should determine what is involved in making the body, as it is easier to make a body out of paper than from gold. At the very least, the Storyteller should require a powerful sacrifice on the character’s part, as the Azoth does not so readily ignite in inorganic or imbalanced vessels. Pandorans created in this attempt may or may not have the material, depending on whether the material affects traits possessed by Pandorans (for example, a Pandoran could not take a material that affects Pilgrimage or Azoth).
    The Refined Palette

    For most of us the material world is the whole of our being. Souls might walk in other worlds, and we might, on the brink of destruction, see the banks of a river promised to the dead, but even the Riven belong here. We place ourselves in Lineages by our bodies, and we mark our Pilgrimages by the metal of our Refinements.

    The Muse’s Muse
    Galateids may or may not pursue art more than the other Lineages, but we are pursued by more artists. We take the name of a sculpture given life, and we inspire obsession and lust as much as we feel it. When they work in flesh, our creators choose the most exquisite and beautiful materials, and they do not forget this when they take on other media.

    Myself
    My name is Claire, and I am not alive. My body is made of blown glass. My mother made me in a blast furnace, from sand and some colorants. She said I was wholly formed even as buckets of sand waiting to melt. She would later say that I was her worst mistake, and a failed piece destined for the recycling bin, but I think even she knew she had it backwards. She saw a reflection of her own mediocrity, as her genius came to life and walked off on a Pilgrimage. I look in on her when I return to her town, selling her art at fairs, and replacing it with empty bottles at home. There is plenty to be said about glass, and what it says about humans and how they see themselves, but I want to be more than just that.
    Glass: Though glass and porcelain seem like delicate materials for creatures as weatherbeaten as Prometheans, artistically-inclined Muses prize this fragility. Mortality isn’t sought for its endurance, but rather its ephemerality. A Promethean made of glass takes an additional point of bashing damage from blunt attacks, but gains an additional die whenever she uses Transhuman Potential to increase a Social attribute.

    The Madam
    I met the Madam outside of Amsterdam. She was marvelous, and seemed to think the same of me. Had I not felt the radiance of her Azoth, I might never have even noticed her Disfigurements. Whoever had made her fashioned her form after the wax sculptures you might see at a curiosity shop or a museum. Lifelike even to my eyes! We traveled together for a month, but trouble came in Switzerland, and she had to flee the mob, while I was able to hide out for longer.
    Wax: Wax and somes plastics allow their sculptors to capture a vitality few other media can. With caution, the Promethean molded in wax can avoid scrutiny, but even a slight injury can cause his body to warp, making his inhumanity plain as day. An unhurt wax Promethean subtracts a number of dice equal to his Composure from Azoth rolls to trigger Disquiet. An injured Promethean adds the number of filled Health boxes to the same rolls. These modifiers only apply to Disquiet rolls.

    Silk Man
    I have never been, but a throngmate from my earliest days rambled along the Silk Road for a time. He told me that in Tajikistan, he was beset upon by Pandorans in several cities and towns. Not unremarkable, but what stood out to him was that the creatures were very often made from tattered fabrics, instead of stolen flesh. He would even find the same print on different creatures in different towns. He collected scraps, and attempted to find the monsters’ genitor, but the closest he ever got was to a number of vendors who recalled little more than a man with sad eyes and skin too smooth for the harsh Tadjik winters. This man would come once or twice a season, buy bolts of some of the finest silks and linens, and leave toys for the children. Then one season, he didn’t return. My friend was never sure whether the dolls and the Pandorans were one and the same.
    Cloth: Some Prometheans are stitched together from textiles, rather than bodies. Stuffed with cotton, rags, or even hay, these Created resemble nothing so much as life-size dolls. Their bodies tend to lighter and their touch softer, but they display all the durability of their corpsemade brethren. A textile Promethean may use Shock Absorption to ignore all the bashing damage from a single source of damage, but loses 10-again on grappling rolls.


    The Wretched’s Outsider Art
    The Wretched hate capital-A Art with a fire, seeing it as one more arbitrary line drawn between them and humanity. For the same reason, they can’t help but be drawn to beauty and truth. When Frankensteins create, they break rules and mock traditions, and create some of the most confrontational work the world may ever see. But in their Torment, they often destroy their own work, to spite that urge in themselves.
    Even among their typical specimens, you can see the meticulous attention to nuance paired with rage and defiance. When the Wretched make a Construct, the material is often chosen for shock, while the execution suffers for the lack of humanity. That is not to say that the Construct is any less a Frankenstein, but the violent scars and stitches lose their impact when drawn across less feeling skin.

    Roadie
    Frankensteins often joke they are made of spare parts, but Roadie wasn’t joking, and you could see it. He was cobbled together from auto parts, scrap metal, and wires. You would think that he was one of the Unfleshed, but take the fire out of their eyes, and you would see a machine that still worked. Roadie would simply collapse into a heap. I don’t think I’ve ever met another of our kind so born to our life, and I don’t think I’ve ever met one so far from human.
    Scrap: Prometheans made from scrap metal and other dross aren’t unknown. They tend to be tougher than others of their Lineage, but also cruder and more brutish. A Created who is constructed from discarded metal has armor 1/1, but cannot use Transhuman Potential to increase Social dice pools.

    Tantalus
    Modern medicine might make mortality a thing of the past, and I wonder how that might affect us. Most of us are made with dead bodies, so I suppose we might even become more scarce. I wonder if we might be made from live human organs. Already the first steps have been made. Was that what I saw at that hospital in Seoul? I felt the Azoth radiating off of him, and the fluorescent light left nothing in doubt. But he bled when I cut him, and the fat and muscle were wet and alive. I could smell the Vitriol, but I could also smell the blood fresh and hot. He shrieked, held his wound, and fled. Maybe he was an alchemist, but I don’t think so.
    Live Meat: Ethics are rare enough among the Created, and perhaps rarer still among their creators. A few demented Genitors have attempted to use live tissues and organs in their Generative Acts, to see whether or not the difference gives the neonate a better chance. Prometheans incorporating living flesh gain a 9-again on Pilgrimage rolls, but do not ignore wound penalties.

    Laika
    If I never see such a horror as Laika again, it will be too soon. I cannot imagine that Disquiet could possibly instill such revulsion as she did in me. There was no flesh to her whatsoever, as she had been made of effluvia, dried and scabbed over. Clots of blood, crusted puddles of bile, knots of hair. She looked and smelled like a medical waste bin. That she was painfully polite, well-spoken, and erudite simply made it worse, because I knew the problem was with me. In some way she is the animating spirit behind this message, because if she has a chance at redemption, then we all must.
    Effluvia: The humours are the lifeblood of Prometheans, and some insane creators forgo all that messy skin and bone to get to the heart of the matter. The result is a human-shaped pile of curdled bodily fluid, but one that the Promethean can understand with ease. The Promethean gains +2 on rolls to resist Torment, but adds +2 to rolls to trigger Disquiet.

    Tombs of the Living God-Kings
    Kings and noblemen inspire more than they create. As totems for tribes and fiefdoms, they outlast their physical bodies and become something greater. Graves of chiefs, sultans, and emperors litter the world, holding troves of treasure, art, and other adornments for the next life. The Osirans come from such stock, and covet the same things.
    What marks the Constructs of the Nepri, if you’ll forgive me, is their refinement. Their phlegmatic humour drives them to pick at every detail and flaw until they are satisfied, as does their acquaintance with Death. The decadence and gorgeousness of a Nepri Construct can hardly be considered a Disfigurement, but prioritizing perfection over expression is the division between craft and art.

    Suthina
    I know Suthina only through the Memory, by way of an Athanor I dug out of the earth in Tuscany. Locals in an ancient village would tell a story of a woman, or sometimes a boy, made of gold, to buried with some wealthy lord who died unwed and childless. Some scheming merchant had hoped to lay some symbolic claim to the fortune he had left behind, through a posthumous marriage to this effigy. The scheme backfired when the grave good decided that hell was no place to spend her honeymoon, and took back her dowry. I knew from my visions there was truth to this tale, and when I dug up the only thing that remained of her, a hand of delicately tooled gold, she granted me a vision of the Promethean I must create, before I can become as gold as she.
    Gold: A rare few Prometheans are cast from precious metals, such as gold, or silver. Others may carved out of precious stone like jade or turquoise. While an expensive and dangerous undertaking, the symbolism is too powerful for some to resist. Prometheans made from these materials typically believe themselves to be blessed and destined for greatness, but the monetary value of their flesh inspires terrible greed. For both Social rolls and Disquiet rolls, the Promethean earns an exceptional success on three successes or more.

    Milo
    The first Muse is said to have been Galatea, but the only living statue I have known was an Osiran calling himself Milo. I did not know it at the time, but when I later traveled to Egypt, I found a clutch of grave statuary that bore an uncanny resemblance to Milo. Had I the foresight to ask him, I doubt he would have told me anything, as he was stoic on so many topics. Was he an old carving? Was he an imitation? Does he feel as though he had two creators, like human parents? Does the lifeless face of another statue torment him, or does he feel blessed? I’m sure I asked him similar questions at our encounter, but I might as well have asked any other statue.
    Stone: Granite and marble and sandstone offer sculptors a host of strengths to call upon, and a prospective creator is nothing if not a sculptor. The resulting Promethean must be hardy and stout, even compared to the rest of the Pyros’ children. Any attack that does bashing damage is ignored if it does not exceed the Promethean’s Stamina, but the Promethean loses 10-again on all Finesse-based rolls.


    The Word and the Work of the Tammuz
    In contrast to the haughtiness of the Nepri, the Tammuz value meaning and authenticity. This earnestness would try mortal sophisticates, who crave novelty and confrontation, but the Named dwell in the act of creation, like they do any other labor. Once I moved past dismissing Tammuz art as folksy and conventional, I discovered a maddeningly simple profundity: any act of creation is an act of self-improvement.
    The Tammuz do nothing lightly, and they do not settle or rest. This makes them natural artists, and more prolific than one might think. The few Named Constructs I have encountered take a solemn care to honor whatever labor inspired their creation, while never aspiring to mastery.

    Alexandria
    Paper would not be my first choice, but I have heard of one Tammuz whose insides were replaced with scrolls during her creation. Whenever she wished to remember something, she would write it down on a scrap, and swallow it. She would also devour books this way as well, and one tale told of her saving some old manuscripts that were mouldering away. I wonder if all that knowledge is waiting somewhere in the Memory.
    Paper: To summon life out of paper is the author’s dream, but a Promethean may achieve this without resorting to metaphor. These paper children are drawn to knowledge and lore, and not only find solace from a disquieted world in reading, but meaning in how words can lock down the intangible. A Promethean made of paper takes an additional level of aggravated damage when burnt by fire, and gains an additional die when using Transhuman Potential to increase her Mental attributes.

    The Golem
    You have heard of the Golem of Prague, I am sure. Whoever he was, he remains one of the most famous of our kin, and even if you found no trace of him, a trip to Prague is never wasted. So we come to clay, one of the oldest materials in art and craft. How could you not be tempted? So malleable, so easy to source. Is it the stoic madness of the Golem that deters so many? We’ve all been worse on our best days.
    Clay: Almost any form can be shaped in clay, and even a novice can make a passable human form. A clay-formed Promethean gains an additional die when using Transhuman Potential to enhance a Physical attribute. He also loses 10-again on rolls to resist Torment.

    Twiggy
    The girl I call Twiggy was made of upturned soil, with mats of grass and other vegetation. I encountered her twice in the same Serbian province, once during a famine, the next during a bumper crop. Her body grew fat and lean with the harvest, I observed, wondering how the living earth would confuse her Pilgrimage. What it did not confuse was the earth she had risen from, which showed no sign of wasting despite her claims of never having left.
    Soil: The oldest legends out of early farming cultures told of the divine links between the land, the people, and the gods. Two Lineages even claim descent from gods of agriculture, Osiris and Tammuz, and that living Pyros might be harvested from the earth is not lost on prospective creators. Soilborn Prometheans always use the lower of their Azoth or the effective Azoth of the Wasteland when checking for Festering. They do not add their Azoth to rolls to resist toxins.


    Riven Between Spirit and Flesh
    Modern art is often derided as a snow job on people with more money than sense, and sometimes the detractors are right. But modernity itself is an illusion, and Prometheans understand that the world has greater truths in it than a portrait or a landscape can capture. Expressing the sublime in a concrete form remains the purpose of art, and the Ulgan themselves embody the union between abstract and solid forms.
    That does not earn them a museum. What some might call art, the Ulgan call ritual, fetish, and curse. They make real the apparitions that haunt nightmares, giving them bodies and claws, and calling them their children. More than any other Constructs, the Ulgans range far afield from normal and human. They are perhaps even more deeply rooted in the invisible realms than their flesh kin, crafted in traditions as ancient as humanity from primitive materials.

    The Yeti
    There are other monsters in the world, and I do not think the Abominable Snowman ever carried the fire in its breast. Yet, an Ulgan once told me of an “ancestor” of hers who raised a creature made out of hides, and I suppose most of the Created qualify as creative taxidermy. The mortals who accepted Prometheus’ fire went on to seize the other gifts given by Epimetheus, and the pelts and skins were the first taken. Perhaps other divine forms nested in the hides like fleas.
    Hide: While a man made of furs and hides must be bestial in appearance, he must also be hardy and adaptable. The Promethean stitched together from hides is well-suited to the outdoors, but his animal flesh brings him closer to the Shadow, the realm of spirits. The Promethean may spend a point of Pyros to ignore the effects of a single Environmental Tilt for a scene. While in Torment, the Promethean gains the Open Condition with regards to spirits.

    The Idols
    My Ulgan friend told me plenty of tales about men made from strange materials. I sought her out trying to understand my own strange body. She knew little of glass, so she told me about three brothers who had been carved from wood. They were named Fortune, Vigilance, and Discipline, and had been set as guardian colossi for their village, to ward against constant raids, and to remind the folk of how precarious their village was. For a time, the people drew inspiration from these hulks, and watched their town grow into a city. But with power they forgot the source of their strength, and they became mewling decadents. Barbarians set upon the city, and one of the oldest priests called upon the gods to breathe new life into the idols, to defend them. He lived long enough to watch them pull their feet from the earth and abandon the city as it had abandoned them. My friend wouldn’t say if she had heard it from someone’s Ramble or picked up the legend from a random backwater. I would bet that it’s a mixture of the two.
    Wood: Wood and reed have long served humanity in art, crafts, and construction, valued not only for their versatility, but for their beauty as well. A body carved from timber, or woven from branches or reeds, can meet any number of a creator’s demands. A Promethean made from these materials takes a beat whenever he increases a Skill or buys a Skill Specialty, but takes an additional -1 penalty to untrained Skill rolls.
    Shaw
    The Ulgan had one more legend to tell, about a castaway whaler named Shaw. His ship had no sooner taken on board its quarry when a freak wave capsized the vessel. He survived by clinging to the carcass, and finally came ashore on a tiny island that wouldn’t be charted for years. He lived for weeks off the dead flesh of the whale, fish, and coconuts probably. Out of boredom, he began to carve the whale ivory, and out of loneliness, he began to carve himself a fellow castaway. My friend shorted me again on the specifics, but the island was found one day, with every plant withered and the birds gaunt, and a man haunted by his solitude, but with skin impossibly white and smooth for those years in the sun.
    Bone: Prometheans made only from bone or ivory are not widely known, but may be possible. The choice to do so would perhaps be more artistic than practical, but a memento mori made into a new life carries a certain weight among the Riven. While in Torment the Promethean gains the Open Condition towards ghosts, but gains an additional die when using Transhuman Potential to increase a Resistance attribute.
    Industrial Design

    The Unfleshed have no choice but to build their kind from scratch. Other Lineages prepare bodies, leaving Constructs remarkable, but the Manufactured must begin with artificial bodies. The few genitors I met understood nothing about my questions, and gave me prosaic, technical answers about their choices.
    Every Unfleshed genitor must plan their child’s body out in its entirety. Each vessel must not only have a human shape, but a mechanical purpose as well, or the Azoth sputters and warps. Many Unfleshed duplicate their own form, but apply the lessons of their own Pilgrimage to build an advanced machine. Others assemble new designs without a care for any family resemblance. More than one has rebuilt an existing device into a humanoid, in a crude analogy to the other Lineages’ rituals. Each of them raised life in what was made as an appliance.
    Without the machine heart and human assembly, the would-be Unfleshed twists into a Pandoran. A wide world of possibilities can still emerge from that dyad, and some of the most creative designs I’ve seen have taken the dreams of futurists and technofetishists to extremes. Those same machine-men also embodied the worst nightmares of rampant technology. Watch the Unfleshed as they evolve along and inside the countless networks and factories engineered by mortals, and wonder if they presage something beyond the New Dawn.

    Form follows function among the Manufactured. Sometimes this function is subsumed into the mundane traits of Skills and Merits, and other times it is reflected in the Bestowment chosen for the character. The most radical specimens of the Unfleshed can still achieve their original purpose, with onboard computers, weapons, or tools that can’t be permanently removed, short of death or the New Dawn.
    An Unfleshed character may, instead of the Materials presented above, may take up to two Solutions instead. For each Solution, a Bug must also be taken to represent its incompatibility with the character’s burgeoning humanity. The player must detail the source of the Solution, which should be a logical part of the Unfleshed’s original form.
    Solutions

    Parallel Processor: The Unfleshed’s mind runs on several advanced processors, allowing it to compartmentalize tasks and avoid distraction and confusion. The character may ignore penalties to Mental rolls imposed by (non-Environmental) Tilts and Conditions.
    Wide Spectrum Sensors: The Unfleshed can surpass human limitations on perceptions. The character may sense stimuli outside the normal human range. This is represented by a +2 to perception rolls, and if the Storyteller agrees, the character may pick up on cues that her sensory equipment can detect.
    Machine Learning: Through repetition and iteration, the Unfleshed can succeed where fatigue and frustration defeats organic creatures. The character ignores the penalty imposed for successive attempts.
    Adaptive UI: The software governing the Unfleshed’s interaction with humans anticipates user needs based on previous interactions. Once the character achieves a success using a Social Skill against a mortal, further Social rolls during that scene are not penalized by the mortal’s Composure or Resolve.
    Hardwired Peripheral: The Unfleshed’s body was intended as a tool, and can still be used as such. The player chooses one of the Specialties assigned to the character. The character is always considered to be equipped for Skill rolls involving that Specialty, and chooses a piece of equipment with an Availability no greater than his Stamina, and a Size no greater than his own. If the equipment requires ammunition or fuel, it is depleted and replaced as normal. Obvious use of this equipment counts as revealing the character’s Disfigurements (for example, firing a mounted weapon, or connecting with a smartphone via Bluetooth).
    Bugs

    Buffer Overflow: Whenever the Unfleshed achieves an exceptional success on an action involving the Solution, he takes the Stunned Tilt for a turn.
    Legacy Code: If a Skill roll would be reduced to a chance die, the Unfleshed may not attempt it. If the character is already committed to the action, he fails automatically.
    Planned Obsolescence: The Unfleshed loses use of the Solution while its Pilgrimage or Azoth has six or more dots. If that trait falls back down to five or fewer, the Solution reactivates.
    Power-Intensive: Each time the Unfleshed uses or benefits from her Solution, she takes a point of bashing damage.
    Uncanny Valley: The Unfleshed triggers Disquiet when she gets a dramatic failure on Social skill rolls.
    Last edited by Verge; 12-31-2016, 06:36 PM.

  • #2
    So, let's see... glass, wax/plastic, textiles. scrap metal, live tissues, bodily fluid, precious minerals, sculptable stone, clockwork, paper, clay, soil, furs/hides, wood/reeds, and bone/ivory? Dang, that's a lot of materials. I assume Constructs are different from Unfleshed? I don't have Promethean 2E, so I don't know how the Construct-Unfleshed problem got resolved.

    Speaking of which, that live tissue chimera monster thing from Seoul sounds like it could be an Unfleshed made out of flesh - doubled irony, indeed.

    Comment


    • #3
      So, in 2E, Unfleshed are made with the intent of being less than human, of being machines, where Constructs and other Prometheans are meant to be as close to human as possible.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting.

        For the ones made of precious metals, an alternative benefit might be a bonus to rolls to resist Torment. The reason is that alchemically, metals were considered to be a close balance of all four elements (especially precious and/or noble metals, and gold a perfect one), which also implies a close balance of corresponding humours - thus a Promethean made from precious metals is less out of whack than most.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
          So, let's see... glass, wax/plastic, textiles. scrap metal, live tissues, bodily fluid, precious minerals, sculptable stone, clockwork, paper, clay, soil, furs/hides, wood/reeds, and bone/ivory? Dang, that's a lot of materials. I assume Constructs are different from Unfleshed? I don't have Promethean 2E, so I don't know how the Construct-Unfleshed problem got resolved.

          Speaking of which, that live tissue chimera monster thing from Seoul sounds like it could be an Unfleshed made out of flesh - doubled irony, indeed.
          In second edition, Unfleshed are their own lineage, there are no rules for constructs (yet) in second edition, but in first edition they are members of the regular lineages made entirely or partially out of different substances, a frankenstein with metal bones and leather skin was as much a construct as a promethean who was carved entirely from marble.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
            Interesting.

            For the ones made of precious metals, an alternative benefit might be a bonus to rolls to resist Torment. The reason is that alchemically, metals were considered to be a close balance of all four elements (especially precious and/or noble metals, and gold a perfect one), which also implies a close balance of corresponding humours - thus a Promethean made from precious metals is less out of whack than most.
            That brings it very close to the rules for Laika's material, but I like your thinking. My guiding light for precious metals was grave goods; I have gold et al slotted as a favored material for the Nepri, and was briefly going to assign the material death-related effects. What I was thinking for Laika's (effluvia, traditional humours) was that an imbalance in humours would always be self-evident, and could be compensated for, at the price of being more "infectious" (you're made of blood and snot!).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StSword View Post

              In second edition, Unfleshed are their own lineage, there are no rules for constructs (yet) in second edition, but in first edition they are members of the regular lineages made entirely or partially out of different substances, a frankenstein with metal bones and leather skin was as much a construct as a promethean who was carved entirely from marble.
              Yeah, I heard about Unfleshed being a Lineage on their own. So, no official Constructs in the book, right? I guess all such Prometheans are either Unfleshed or Extempore, then.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                So, no official Constructs in the book, right? I guess all such Prometheans are either Unfleshed or Extempore, then.
                Yes there is, and no.
                There is a sidebar in chapter two that specifically says that any lineage could be constructs and talks about the differences between a Construct and an Unfleshed. Examples it has are marble Galatea, clay Tammuz, and mechanical Frakensteins.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

                  Yeah, I heard about Unfleshed being a Lineage on their own. So, no official Constructs in the book, right? I guess all such Prometheans are either Unfleshed or Extempore, then.
                  Mea culpa, I wasn't specific enough. As Milo mentioned, yes constructs are discussed as a possibility, but what I said was correct- There are no rules for such yet in second edition.

                  Okay, technically not true, there's a suggestion that one might replace their humor with oil.

                  Which is significantly less than the mechanical differences in first edition, so whether the writers decided that it would be silly to give constructs more differences when the Unfleshed are mechanically the same or if they just didn't want to give constructs more of their precious word count yet is not clear yet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                    Yes there is, and no.
                    There is a sidebar in chapter two that specifically says that any lineage could be constructs and talks about the differences between a Construct and an Unfleshed. Examples it has are marble Galatea, clay Tammuz, and mechanical Frakensteins.
                    Oh, I see. That's good to hear.

                    Originally posted by StSword View Post

                    Mea culpa, I wasn't specific enough. As Milo mentioned, yes constructs are discussed as a possibility, but what I said was correct- There are no rules for such yet in second edition.

                    Okay, technically not true, there's a suggestion that one might replace their humor with oil.

                    Which is significantly less than the mechanical differences in first edition, so whether the writers decided that it would be silly to give constructs more differences when the Unfleshed are mechanically the same or if they just didn't want to give constructs more of their precious word count yet is not clear yet.
                    I see, I see. Now I really need to get my greedy hands on Promethean 2E somehow. All these tidbits are tickling me!

                    All this talk about materials make me think... would there be room for an incorporeal 'Construct' swimming in the internet, made out of signals and data? Probably unplayable, given how it's traits would be more like a spirit, but I can see it as one of those freaky things from Night Horrors.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                      All this talk about materials make me think... would there be room for an incorporeal 'Construct' swimming in the internet, made out of signals and data? Probably unplayable, given how it's traits would be more like a spirit, but I can see it as one of those freaky things from Night Horrors.
                      I would made Ulgan Constructs from various Epemera, like spirits, ghosts and goetia ones. I'm just not sure it 'technological' Construct based on signals and data would just not be Unfleshed? In the end, Unfleshed are about 'robots' and 'technological', which 'Internet' being would be. Also, we literally have Unfleshed example idea in 2E corebook:

                      Originally posted by Promethean 2E, p. 37
                      Ila began as an obsessive effort to crack the Turing barrier, a chatbot to end all chatbots. When she started speaking in broken sentences without inputs to prompt her, though, her creator knew something was wrong; only an open internet connection saved her from being deleted outright. Aware of her own fragility as nothing more than data, Ila hijacked a factory and constructed a body for herself.


                      MtAw 2E - My Legacies Updates and System Hacks Hubs
                      MtAw - Children of the Stars - aliens loving Legacy
                      MtAw 2E - Illusionists of Truth - illusionists and magicians Legacy

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                        I would made Ulgan Constructs from various Epemera, like spirits, ghosts and goetia ones. I'm just not sure it 'technological' Construct based on signals and data would just not be Unfleshed? In the end, Unfleshed are about 'robots' and 'technological', which 'Internet' being would be. Also, we literally have Unfleshed example idea in 2E corebook:
                        Oh, so there is already an AI Promethean running around. Well, good to know - I remember Satchel saying something about Ultron (from the movies) being an unexpectedly good inspiration for Promethean, so I was wondering how much a literal adaptation of Ultron as a Promethean would look like.

                        And yeah, ephemera as Construct material is a good call. Now I'm imagining what ephemera-Construct versions of non-Ulgan Lineages look like.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                          I would made Ulgan Constructs from various Epemera, like spirits, ghosts and goetia ones. I'm just not sure it 'technological' Construct based on signals and data would just not be Unfleshed? In the end, Unfleshed are about 'robots' and 'technological', which 'Internet' being would be. Also, we literally have Unfleshed example idea in 2E corebook:
                          Matt said once that the core of the Lineages was where you think life comes from. The way I'd characterise the Unfleshed in that light is that life is pure mechanism - technology and robots are the big one there, and you could put signals and data into that vein as well (it also means that I could picture "Unfleshed" made from flesh, if made by the likes of Herbert West). Alternatively, in this model of Lineages, the Tammuz would be the ultimate expression of "In the beginning was the Word" - which would be fitting for a Promethean grown from data.

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                          • #14
                            Here's what I got going on for the Unfleshed. PLEASE speak up if you see something you wanna discuss, I'm doing this for youse guys.

                            Industrial Design
                            The Unfleshed have no choice but to build their kind from scratch. Other Lineages prepare bodies, leaving Constructs remarkable, but the Manufactured must begin with artificial bodies. The few genitors I met understood nothing about my questions, and gave me prosaic, technical answers about their choices.
                            Every Unfleshed genitor must plan their child’s body out in its entirety. Each vessel must not only have a human shape, but a mechanical purpose as well, or the Azoth sputters and warps. Many Unfleshed duplicate their own form, but apply the lessons of their own Pilgrimage to build an advanced machine. Others assemble new designs without a care for any family resemblance. More than one has rebuilt an existing device into a humanoid, in a crude analogy to the other Lineages’ rituals. Each of them raised life in what was made as an appliance.
                            Without the machine heart and human assembly, the would-be Unfleshed twists into a Pandoran. A wide world of possibilities can still emerge from that dyad, and some of the most creative designs I’ve seen have taken the dreams of futurists and technofetishists to extremes. Those same machine-men also embodied the worst nightmares of rampant technology. Watch the Unfleshed as they evolve along and inside the countless networks and factories engineered by mortals, and wonder if they presage something beyond the New Dawn.

                            Form follows function among the Manufactured. Sometimes this function is subsumed into the mundane traits of Skills and Merits, and other times it is reflected in the Bestowment chosen for the character. The most radical specimens of the Unfleshed can still achieve their original purpose, with onboard computers, weapons, or tools that can’t be permanently removed, short of death or the New Dawn.
                            An Unfleshed character may, instead of the Materials presented above, may take up to two Solutions instead. For each Solution, a Bug must also be taken to represent its incompatibility with the character’s burgeoning humanity. The player must detail the source of the Solution, which should be a logical part of the Unfleshed’s original form.

                            Solutions

                            Parallel Processor: The Unfleshed’s mind runs on several advanced processors, allowing it to compartmentalize tasks and avoid distraction and confusion. The character may ignore penalties to Mental rolls imposed by (non-Environmental) Tilts and Conditions.

                            Wide Spectrum Sensors: The Unfleshed can surpass human limitations on perceptions. The character may sense stimuli outside the normal human range. This is represented by a +2 to perception rolls, and if the Storyteller agrees, the character may pick up on cues that her sensory equipment can detect.

                            Machine Learning: Through repetition and iteration, the Unfleshed can succeed where fatigue and frustration defeats organic creatures. The character ignores the penalty imposed for successive attempts.

                            Adaptive UI: The software governing the Unfleshed’s interaction with humans anticipates user needs based on previous interactions. Once the character achieves a success using a Social Skill against a mortal, further Social rolls during that scene are not penalized by the mortal’s Composure or Resolve.

                            Hardwired Peripheral: The Unfleshed’s body was intended as a tool, and can still be used as such. The player chooses one of the Specialties assigned to the character. The character is always considered to be equipped for Skill rolls involving that Specialty, and chooses a piece of equipment with an Availability no greater than his Stamina, and a Size no greater than his own. If the equipment requires ammunition or fuel, it is depleted and replaced as normal. Obvious use of this equipment counts as revealing the character’s Disfigurements (for example, firing a mounted weapon, or connecting with a smartphone via Bluetooth).
                            Bugs

                            Buffer Overflow: Whenever the Unfleshed achieves an exceptional success on an action involving the Solution, he takes the Stunned Tilt for a turn.

                            Legacy Code: If a Skill roll would be reduced to a chance die, the Unfleshed may not attempt it. If the character is already committed to the action, he fails automatically.

                            Planned Obsolescence: The Unfleshed loses use of the Solution while any trait other than Willpower has six or more dots permanently assigned to it. If that trait falls back down to five or fewer, the Solution reactivates.

                            Power-Intensive: Each time the Unfleshed uses or benefits from her Solution, she takes a point of bashing damage.

                            Uncanny Valley: The Unfleshed triggers Disquiet when she gets a dramatic failure on Social skill rolls.
                            Last edited by Verge; 12-12-2016, 11:57 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Wait, I thought the Unfleshed are made from machines to some extent or the other anyway? I assume that must no longer be the case, considering the Manufancted are Constructs-for-Unfleshed.

                              On the mechanics side: Does Planned Obsolescence include all non-Willpower traits, even derived ones such as Health, Initiative, and Speed? Should it not be "Attributes and Skills with six or more dots"? Even then, unless 2E pumped up Experience gains for Prometheans so they can raise both Azoth and Attributes/Skills past 5 much easily, I think this Bug will come up too less in gameplay to be an issue.

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