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[House Rules] A Brighter New Dawn

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  • RomulusGloriosus
    started a topic [House Rules] A Brighter New Dawn

    [House Rules] A Brighter New Dawn

    So I absolutely adore Promethean 2e and plan to run it for a long time.

    I don't think the New Dawn rules as written are 'bad' but I feel like they're not quite...'good' enough? Maybe it's because I tie the ten Refinements to the ten sefirot of the Kabbalah and view the advancement through the Refinements as being an incredibly mystical and divine experience, but I think the New Dawn as written is really only an incredible achievement in that it is the production of a Human Soul, which (at least from Mage's perspective) shouldn't even really be possible. When put that way, it's really incredible.

    But what if you want it to be a little, I don't know, "stronger"? Here's a suggestion. Take it or leave it (or add to it, if you'd like.)

    Complete 4-5 Refinements: The New Dawn transforms you into a real human being. You have achieved the impossible and created a Human Soul. The memories of your Promethean life are wiped away and you are left a blank slate, able to move on. Your pilgrimage is complete.

    Complete 6-9 Refinements: The New Dawn transforms you into a real human being. The fire of your refined Azoth permits you a choice - remember the trials you underwent, or forge a new life.

    If you choose to remember: You keep all of the alembics that you calcified during your pilgrimage, and they are now charged with willpower instead of pyros, and use Resolve/Composure/Stamina in place of Azoth.
    If you choose to forget: Convert your dots in Azoth into merit dots in order to flesh out your "new life." Add an additional dot for every Refinement over 6 that you completed.

    Complete 10 Refinements: Having completed the Tree of Life, you are now More Human Than Human. If this is a crossover game, you'll probably Awaken. If not, you're still a pretty amazing Alchemist. You remember everything, and you are able to forge for yourself a new life through the power of your Perfectly Refined Azoth.

    Result: Keep all of your alembics that you calcified during your pilgrimage, which are now charged with willpower instead of pyros, and use Resolve/Composure/Stamina in place of Azoth. Also convert your dots in Azoth into merit dots in order to flesh out your new life. Add 4 additional dots as well for the 10 Refinements you completed.

    I can see why some players/STs might not want to use these rules, but I feel that they encourage 'longer' pilgrimages, and reward you for calcifying your alembics and passing through all ten Refinements during your pilgrimage instead of hurrying straight to the New Dawn.

  • MCN
    replied
    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
    I'd like to take a step back at this moment and wonder if we've maybe gone off topic a little discussing Mage in the Promethean forum.
    Then what do you want to talk about? As near as I can tell, putting aside the mage/alchemist thing, what exactly are you asking for other than more merits / Transmutations? I've never actually heard of a post-New Dawn game, so... sure?
    Last edited by MCN; 02-19-2017, 10:58 AM.

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  • milo v3
    replied
    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post

    I like this because I am awfully fond of Sleepwalkers and everything to do with them, but I'm not sure I agree. Mostly because being a Sleepwalker is implied to be an inherently 'incomplete' state. They are not Awake, they still Asleep, they are just sleeping fitfully.
    That view only comes from the Wise's biased perspective though. "Sleepwalkers" are humans who can see the true nature of the world (not necessarily the Truth behind the true nature of the world though but you don't need to see atoms with the naked eye to see the world truly), they just cannot force the world to follow patterns from a completely separate alien reality because... that's a pretty non-human thing to do. Mages on the otherhand had their souls warped and filled with otherworldly radiance, but only enough radiance to make them an incomplete "new" being on the road to leaving their humanity completely and just becoming symbols, and their souls are so incomplete that they end up obsessing about the truth behind reality like some conspiracy theorist. "Awakened" are the incomplete ones, not the "Sleepwalkers".

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  • RomulusGloriosus
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    FWIW, Dave Brookshaw has stated before that Sleepwalkers, not Mages, are the natural state of humanity. Free of the Lie, but not Addicted to Mysteries.
    I like this because I am awfully fond of Sleepwalkers and everything to do with them, but I'm not sure I agree. Mostly because being a Sleepwalker is implied to be an inherently 'incomplete' state. They are not Awake, they still Asleep, they are just sleeping fitfully. Their bodies are up and moving around, but they do not know what they are doing. I personally believe that, contrary to Mage's general conceit, a vast plurality of humanity are some form of Sleepwalker, but enough of humanity are Sleepers that 'the masquerade enforces itself.' Yes, you may see some shit, and everybody on your internet forum has seen some shit, and everybody you've ever dated admits to having seen some shit, but the majority insists there's no such thing as shit, so you just go on with your life. The final step to truly leaving behind the Lie is Awakening, and until you Awaken, you're not REALLY free of the Exarchs' control. That's just my take, though, and the Developer certainly has a bigger say over me.

    I'd like to take a step back at this moment and wonder if we've maybe gone off topic a little discussing Mage in the Promethean forum. I just included that little blurb in my house rules just to show that a fully Refined Redeemed would be 'a complete human,' which in my eyes is usually a Mage, should Mages even exist in your setting, but that is just my interpretation. I would be completely down with a 10 Refinement Redeemed being an Alchemy-using Sleepwalker. (I would assume that to be the default in a setting where Mages don't exist, or if you just don't like the idea of turning your game into an Awakening game.)

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Note that Persistent Conditions are ChroD's replacement for and generalization of nWoD's Flaws: they expand by not being phrased in an inherently negative tone and by explicitly including resolution mechanics.

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  • Malus
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Officially, yeah. It's an area where I disagree with the official ruling (if you can have mages with an antagonistic relationship with the supernatural — Banishers — then why can't you have Sleepers with Supernatural Merits?); but that is the official ruling.
    Sounds like a good persistent condition to impart (in lieu of actual Flaws).

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Officially, yeah. It's an area where I disagree with the official ruling (if you can have mages with an antagonistic relationship with the supernatural — Banishers — then why can't you have Sleepers with Supernatural Merits?); but that is the official ruling.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    FWIW, Dave Brookshaw has stated before that Sleepwalkers, not Mages, are the natural state of humanity. Free of the Lie, but not Addicted to Mysteries.

    Which means human + any Supernatural Merit would automatically apply.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    FWIW, Dave Brookshaw has stated before that Sleepwalkers, not Mages, are the natural state of humanity. Free of the Lie, but not Addicted to Mysteries.

    Leave a comment:


  • RomulusGloriosus
    replied
    Originally posted by MCN View Post
    Nitpick. Mages, while human, are still monsters. They're not "more human than human." Their Gnosis and Obsessesions push them away from humanity. Their Attainments push them away from humanity. If we're bringing up the human v. transhuman thing, then I'm going to say that whereas Promethean is the humanist game, Mage is the transhumanist game, pushing the world into something beyond human.

    Human+ is better represented with psychic abilities than pushing you towards mage-dom, I think.
    I mean, I disagree? The premise behind Mage is that you are free from the gnostic curse placed upon you by evil oppressive gods and are now free to seek oneness with Divinity, expressed through various symbols. Obsessions and gnosis don't push them away from humanity, it pushes them away from Lies and towards Truth.

    I don't consider myself transhuman in the least, but I do consider myself spiritual, and I've never seen anything particularly monstrous about Mages except for the Mad, Liches, et al.
    Last edited by RomulusGloriosus; 02-18-2017, 03:07 PM. Reason: EDIT: once again I should clarify that I mean no disrespect in my post and I can see the argument, I just disagree.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Yeah, mages are eerily similar to the Insatiate alchemists in their utter determination and obsession. More like Human Ex, rather than Human Plus.

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  • MCN
    replied
    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
    S
    Complete 10 Refinements: Having completed the Tree of Life, you are now More Human Than Human. If this is a crossover game, you'll probably Awaken. If not, you're still a pretty amazing Alchemist. You remember everything, and you are able to forge for yourself a new life through the power of your Perfectly Refined Azoth.
    Nitpick. Mages, while human, are still monsters. They're not "more human than human." Their Gnosis and Obsessesions push them away from humanity. Their Attainments push them away from humanity. If we're bringing up the human v. transhuman thing, then I'm going to say that whereas Promethean is the humanist game, Mage is the transhumanist game, pushing the world into something beyond human.

    Human+ is better represented with psychic abilities than pushing you towards mage-dom, I think.

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  • RomulusGloriosus
    replied
    Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
    One option worth considering is not limiting the Merit dots to the Social. Yes, they represent the place you've made in the world, but the Pilgrimmage isn't just about that, but also the kind of person you've become. So you could also allow Physical and Mental Merits that parallel the live you lived, Refinements you followed, and Alembics you calcified - the only ones that wouldn't be available are Supernatural ones - a redeemed might learn them later, as any mortal can, but this isn't the process to grant them. In this case, how about 1 dot per Refinement - and permitting Merits normally only available at character generation - if the character chooses to forget their Promethean life in favour of the human one.
    I agree with you completely and that's why I specifically did not put 'social merits' in the OP. By converting your Azoth into merit dots to flesh out your new life, you are given a real, physical choice to create the person you want to be. That includes suddenly having Encyclopedic Knowledge (from all of the years you spent reading Spider Man comics) or Iron Stamina (from all of your years working out, represented by your mastery of the Refinement of Iron) in addition to having Allies, Resources, or a True Friend.

    If I seem too generous with my rules, understand that I view a Redeemed to be Not An Acceptable Starting Character Concept, but rather a character type that can only exist if one actually completes an entire Promethean chronicle. It's a major reward for 'beating the game' so to speak. And if you don't intend to keep playing your specific character after the chronicle is completed, having the ability to convert your Azoth dots (in addition to Sanctity of Merits on your Promethean only merits, and the Refinements above 6) into merits allows you to create a more fully fleshed out epilogue for your character based on all of the Refining you did.

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    One option worth considering is not limiting the Merit dots to the Social. Yes, they represent the place you've made in the world, but the Pilgrimmage isn't just about that, but also the kind of person you've become. So you could also allow Physical and Mental Merits that parallel the live you lived, Refinements you followed, and Alembics you calcified - the only ones that wouldn't be available are Supernatural ones - a redeemed might learn them later, as any mortal can, but this isn't the process to grant them. In this case, how about 1 dot per Refinement - and permitting Merits normally only available at character generation - if the character chooses to forget their Promethean life in favour of the human one.

    If they choose to remember their Promethean life, strip 4 dots from that award in exchange for a varying level of retained supernatural benefit: at 4-5 Refinements, an Unseen Sense for Divine Fire related beings and phenomena; at 6-7, 1 dot of Supernatural Tolerance; at 8-9, an Alembic so long as it was calcified during their Pilgrimmage; at 10, a second Alembic from the same Transmutation (no need for it to have been calcified).

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
    I like the idea of a Qashmal being invoked should someone attempt to pry a redeemed from their It's a Wonderful Life epilogue. I guess part of my hesitation to the assumption that "you get to live a normal life" isn't necessarily that I view a normal life as "boring" but that there really is no such thing as a normal life, especially in the world of CofD.

    One of the Refinements, after all, involves learning about the various supernaturals and the way they interact with humanity, and another involves studying alchemy and Azoth. I feel like, UNLESS you have a guardian angel assuring your peace, your life as a Redeemed will never be "normal."
    It's worth noting that the default assumption in ChroD is that any given mortal has encountered the supernatural, but chooses to avoid bringing it up; it's why one of the Breaking Point questions is “what have you forgotten?” Given the nature of the “naturalized Redeemed”, I think it makes sense for them to be an ironic exception to this: that is, while they technically have encountered the supernatural and forgotten about it, it shouldn't be treated as a Breaking Point for them: they're not haunted by it, suppressing memories out of fear. And there ought to be some sort of mechanism, such as a “don't notice me” not-an-aura that causes supernatural to pick on someone else instead, or a fate-like effect that tends to prevent supernaturals from crossing their paths, to guardian angels who actively discourage the Darkness from staining their lives.

    Go with the more subtle solutions first, and save qashmal interventions for a last resort; but ultimately, all of this boils down to “the Redeemed gets to forge a new life, free from supernatural interference” — which is why this option isn't really player character materiel: the whole point of a ChroD protagonist is that he or she is interacting with the supernatural. These various options I've outlined are really only there to serve as Storyteller tools in case other players decide not to honor the Redeemed player's wishes and the matter can't be resolved out of game — by far the preferred way of resolving the issue.

    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
    As for handing out Alembics, I would only permit characters to keep the Alembics they calcified - in other words, spent their very hard earned vitriol on. I wouldn't be handing out anything, they'd just get to keep what they already made.
    As I've said since you posted this, my solution to this would be to allow a Redeemed who practices Pyros Alchemy to benefit from the fact that he calcified certain Alembics as a Promethean; but I feel that flat-out granting full access to all calcified Alembics is a bridge too far; especially as a “six Refinements” reward. I'm leery of granting one calcified Alembic at ten Refinements, which is why I prefer the “enhanced alchemist” approach.

    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
    I guess I feel like the New Dawn should be a big deal. Yes, creating a normal human life IS a big deal, but the more refinements you do, the "better" of a human life you should have. But that's just me and I totally respect anyone who doesn't like that.
    Oh, I agree. The only bone of contention is in what “better” means. One reason I'd prefer something like 1e's Redeemed Boons as a way of making a “naturalized mortal” better over just tossing around more Merits is that “better” doesn't necessarily translate as “more capable” (which Merits tend to represent). For the “naturalized mortal” Redeemed, it tends to translate as “happier” or “more content”. 1e's Redeemed Boons were “these are things about humanity that I admire and want to have when I finish the Pilgrimage”, which conceptually at least fits happy/content better than freebie Merits do.

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