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A Matchless built from vampires?

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  • #16
    Well, that's where we keep running into the whole Everyone-Is-Frankenstein-Even-When-Not-Frankenstein-Lineage problem. I've toyed with lots of solutions over time, but never had one that I really liked, and 2e really didn't step away from it, though thankfully the whole "five elements" stick was dropped. I admit to some small sadness about the loss of the radiation Lineage, which I kind of actually liked.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by MCN View Post
      Well, that's where we keep running into the whole Everyone-Is-Frankenstein-Even-When-Not-Frankenstein-Lineage problem. I've toyed with lots of solutions over time, but never had one that I really liked, and 2e really didn't step away from it, though thankfully the whole "five elements" stick was dropped. I admit to some small sadness about the loss of the radiation Lineage, which I kind of actually liked.
      It took me a good long while to realize that the Five Elements thing was dropped, even after reading through the whole book. Go figure. I liked the Five Elements. I just hated that there were the Five Elements, but somehow lightning applied to everyone still because Everyone-is-Frankenstein-even-when-not-Frankenstein....

      I was never a big fan of the Radiation Lineage myself, even though I knew they were a fan favorite. That being said, unless Matt's said otherwise, I don't think they're gone, just not in the core. They weren't in the 1e core either, so they may show up again in a Dark Era or some other supplement in the future. Nothing stopping anyone from fan-splatting them in the mean time.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
        ...because the Tammuz can't really be made from clay I GUESS (???) I thought it was really weird.
        Which is even weirder consider Tammuz can be made of clay, or stone, or ice, or books, etc.

        I'm not really sure what the point of the Tammuz Are now.
        They're workers/labourers. Unfleshed are tools. Think of the differences between a sweatshop and an assembly line.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
          They're workers/labourers. Unfleshed are tools. Think of the differences between a sweatshop and an assembly line.
          That analogy breaks down when you consider that laborers are treated like disposable tools, and all Prometheans are called the Created for a reason - they're all made objects trying to be real people. The whole point of the original Tammuz story was to show that she/he/zie isn't just a tool or a mindless slave, but a craftsperson worthy of equal rights and human dignity, and not treated as a disposable thing.

          Both are tools / slave labor, just as Pinnochio was a "real boy" and a children's toy at the same time. And its not just a matter of degrees, since you can run things such that one Unfleshed's story is about being a worker and the Tammuz is the tool and that's not a change to the game at all.

          And here's the thing. The Tammuz have been rewritten. I'm not kidding - their 2e incarnation is actually actively different from its 1e counterpart that I feel like I couldn't play my old 1e Tammuz as a 2e Tammuz. They had their entire raison d'etre stolen to the point that the writers basically remade the Tammuz from what they were into a completely different story. They're now the dead lovers of Lilith and Innana, which is odd, considering that was originally just a Vampire myth that grew in its own pace. They have an entire "life of the word" thing going on now that was not present in 1e either. Tammuz are different creatures now because Unfleshed really has taken over the old golem story.

          Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
          It took me a good long while to realize that the Five Elements thing was dropped, even after reading through the whole book.
          To be fair, there are hints of it in the book, so its not entirely dropped, but it has been grossly reduced.

          I was never a big fan of the Radiation Lineage myself, even though I knew they were a fan favorite. That being said, unless Matt's said otherwise, I don't think they're gone, just not in the core. They weren't in the 1e core either, so they may show up again in a Dark Era or some other supplement in the future. Nothing stopping anyone from fan-splatting them in the mean time.
          They're "not gone" in the same way that the Bale Hounds and Belial's Brood aren't gone, just given no mention, no ideas, no room to fit that other critters have been given all their toys and story niches. Technically, yes, I can run a radiation lineage story, but the way 2e is written its increasingly less relevant. And, if I'm being fair even to myself, I even realize that we could easily make a radiation Extemporare, because that's basically what their original concept was - spontaneous children of the atomic bomb. I just liked them getting more face time, and I have shiny, newer tools to make use of here as well.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MCN View Post
            That analogy breaks down when you consider that laborers are treated like disposable tools, and all Prometheans are called the Created for a reason - they're all made objects trying to be real people.
            Laborers are people you try to treat as disposable tools, but you still know they're people. You're purposefully hiring people. But that arm on the assembly line isn't a person, it is literally just a metal and plastic mechanism which was designed to do what an assembly arm does. Nothing more.

            To make a tammazu, you need the intent of creating a person, while with unfleshed there was never the intent for that tool to come to life.

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            • #21
              Ehhh, I still say you're drawing arbitrary lines at this point that I don't think apply outside your own table. Sounds like a semantics argument to me.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by MCN View Post
                Ehhh, I still say you're drawing arbitrary lines at this point that I don't think apply outside your own table. Sounds like a semantics argument to me.
                No, there is a sidebar in chapter two which talks about what makes something an unfleshed. With the primary determinator being whether the created is intended to actually be a human or not, all tammuz were meant to be humans, even if some are made of clay.

                That sidebar does also increase the Prague weirdness by saying that the golem of Prague can be a Tammuz or Unfleshed, rather than giving the definite answer of saying it's an Unfleshed like later chapters do.

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                • #23
                  Uncertainty like this is why I feel like each lineage could stand to get a little more refinement. VtR kinda spoiled me; the five vampire clans work so well (in my opinion) as five different archetypes of what a vampire is or should be while leaving plenty of room to customize that I wish I had that everywhere else. I do think that the rules as written leave plenty of room to house-rule without having to contradict anything. The idea of constructs is brought up, if glossed over fairly quickly. I don't see why couldn't just make that the default instead of an exception. My personal interpretations are as follows:

                  Frankenstein (the Wretched)
                  WHY: To see if you can. To try and bring back a dead loved one. To spit in God's eye and watch Him blink. For SCIENCE!
                  HOW: By combining pieces of two or more human corpses, then harnessing the power of lightning to reanimate the now-whole body. "The human body is simply a machine made of flesh, bone and viscera. A dead human body is just an inert machine that can be stripped for parts. Put the parts together correctly, and all you need to do to get everything running again is the right spark."

                  Galatea (the Muses)
                  WHY: To create the perfect lover. To make something more perfect than anything found in nature. To see your own beauty reflected in another. To have the precious child you know you deserve, but could never create normally. To love, and be loved.
                  HOW: By crafting a beautiful human likeness out of attractive or valuable materials, then letting your love and passion pass into the form through the kiss of life. "Human beings are so...flawed. So base. So cheap. But a person sculpted only from the finest marble, carved from the rarest mahogany or cast with the purest gold ... they will be as precious and beautiful as the thing they're made from. They will be worthy of my love."

                  Osiris (the Nepri)
                  WHY: To cheat death itself. To discover what lies on the other side. To create a new god for an old world. To know what it's like to be a god.
                  HOW: A whole body must be cut apart, symbolically scattered, then reassembled with a single part missing (in honor of Osiris); finally, it is anointed in oil. "We all walk in the path of those who came before; children mimic their parents, and we emulate the gods. Isis returned her brother-husband to life after he had been scattered, a godly work, and the world remembers. We need only to retrace her steps, and the echos of that moment will be heard again."

                  Tammuz (the Named)
                  WHY: To create something stronger than oneself. To build the perfect servant: untiring, immortal and indestructible. To witness the power of The Word in action.
                  HOW: A rough human form is constructed out of tough, natural materials such as clay, stone and earth; then, the being is inscribed with a word, phrase or sigil, bringing it to life. "Words have power. It is through language that human beings transcend the lesser beasts and express their will upon the world, shaping it beyond what rude Mother Nature ever envisioned. With the right words, you can change anyone's mind. With the right words, you can change the universe."

                  Ulgan (the Riven)
                  WHY: To give form to the formless. To bridge the boundaries between spirit and flesh. To find the ragged edges of the soul, and push.
                  HOW: A body is infused with essence until it becomes irresistible to the spirits, which swarm the corpse and devour the essence, leaving behind ectoplasm that will coalesce in the void and eventually bring it to life. "Every individual is a sum of two halves: the flesh and the spirit. Remove the flesh and you get a ghost, an echo. Remove the spirit and you get a corpse. Ah, but ghosts and spirits have been known to posses the living, to steal new flesh for their own. What if we just reverse the process?"

                  Unfleshed (the Manufactured)
                  WHY: To create something in our own (mental) image. To test the bounds of human intellect by creating that which could surpass it. By accident. Whoops!
                  HOW: A complex system of gears and sprockets, turning in time to the wonder of reality. A billion lines of coding etched into the virtual soul of an artificial intelligence. A mechanical man, made to keep the city streets safe, whose decision-making process received just a little too much stimuli. "Cogito ergo sum; I think, therefore I am. The true mirror of humanity lies in that which thinks the same way, whether that mind is formed by electricity running through silicon or the tiniest of gears click-clicking together in a clockwork head."

                  Extempore (the Matchless)
                  WHY: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
                  HOW: "Things just happen, what the hell."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                    No, there is a sidebar in chapter two which talks about what makes something an unfleshed. With the primary determinator being whether the created is intended to actually be a human or not, all tammuz were meant to be humans, even if some are made of clay.
                    I am aware of the sidebar. I feel it reinforces my view, however, and undermines yours. So, take that as you will.

                    Originally posted by Gellydog View Post
                    Uncertainty like this is why I feel like each lineage could stand to get a little more refinement. VtR kinda spoiled me; the five vampire clans work so well (in my opinion) as five different archetypes of what a vampire is or should be while leaving plenty of room to customize that I wish I had that everywhere else. I do think that the rules as written leave plenty of room to house-rule without having to contradict anything. The idea of constructs is brought up, if glossed over fairly quickly. I don't see why couldn't just make that the default instead of an exception. My personal interpretations are as follows:
                    I like, but I think there's a bit of overlap with Frankenstein on Unfleshed and on Nepri. "Bring back loved one" can go on either Lineage as you ahve, and For Science! can fit either Frankenstein or Unfleshed. Perhaps just eliminate Frankenstein all together, and leave the rest as is, and let the game as a whole be Frankenstein-y?

                    I would actually suggest a bit of something different for Ulgan as well. The Ulgan are the Wickermen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicker_man - ritual sacrifice victims set aflame, or torn apart, whatever. They were put back together to become Promethean, but originally they're just effigies. You're tying too much of the Ulgan into the spirit, and you can have ulgan that have nothing to do with the spirit world. Unless you force them to take that one bestowment instead of the Dex-one. Heck, even if they have ephemeral flesh, they can have stuff to do with ghosts instead.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by MCN View Post
                      Perhaps just eliminate Frankenstein all together, and leave the rest as is, and let the game as a whole be Frankenstein-y?
                      If the Black Death section of Dark Eras 2 introduces the Prophets, I will probably replace the Frankenstein with the Prophets in the modern day for that exact reason.

                      I love Gellydog's interpretations, especially the Extempore.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Gellydog View Post
                        Frankenstein (the Wretched)
                        WHY: To see if you can. To try and bring back a dead loved one. To spit in God's eye and watch Him blink. For SCIENCE!
                        HOW: By combining pieces of two or more human corpses, then harnessing the power of lightning to reanimate the now-whole body. "The human body is simply a machine made of flesh, bone and viscera. A dead human body is just an inert machine that can be stripped for parts. Put the parts together correctly, and all you need to do to get everything running again is the right spark."
                        Interestingly, the textual evidence in the novel is that the Creature was not made from body parts - the scale thing first as foremost - the Creature was around eight feet tall, because it made it easier for Frankenstein to assemble him, but you can't just resize most body parts for that, or combine them into larger versions. There's also the bit where Frankenstein said he couldn't restore life where it had been before, only create it anew (though that could also mean he couldn't bring back the dead, only create a new person). I would advocate moving "bring back a dead loved one" to Osirians - since that's literally the motive in their origin myth - and replace it with something like "create a new order of life."

                        Galatea (the Muses)
                        WHY: To create the perfect lover. To make something more perfect than anything found in nature. To see your own beauty reflected in another. To have the precious child you know you deserve, but could never create normally. To love, and be loved.
                        HOW: By crafting a beautiful human likeness out of attractive or valuable materials, then letting your love and passion pass into the form through the kiss of life. "Human beings are so...flawed. So base. So cheap. But a person sculpted only from the finest marble, carved from the rarest mahogany or cast with the purest gold ... they will be as precious and beautiful as the thing they're made from. They will be worthy of my love."
                        Sounds good. Multiple materials might be a thing. Choice woods are a spendid material for forming the body, but nothing less than a jewel or precious metal will for the eyes.

                        Tammuz (the Named)
                        WHY: To create something stronger than oneself. To build the perfect servant: untiring, immortal and indestructible. To witness the power of The Word in action.
                        HOW: A rough human form is constructed out of tough, natural materials such as clay, stone and earth; then, the being is inscribed with a word, phrase or sigil, bringing it to life. "Words have power. It is through language that human beings transcend the lesser beasts and express their will upon the world, shaping it beyond what rude Mother Nature ever envisioned. With the right words, you can change anyone's mind. With the right words, you can change the universe."
                        The maker of a Tammuz might view it through the lens God as much as nature, but not in the spitting in his eye of a Frankenstein, or the becoming of an Oririan, but devotion - you are worthy, and God as rewarded you with the truest of miracles, the gift to breathe life itself into clay.

                        Extempore (the Matchless)
                        WHY: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
                        HOW: "Things just happen, what the hell."
                        Along with, "What did you just do?" and "Don't use that, you don't know where it's been!"

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                        • #27
                          I really like those interpretations of the lineages. I would put the Zeka (which totally still exist shush) as being based on the need to redeem yourself, to create something to make up for what you've destroyed and to have a child/creation who can avoid your mistakes.
                          Maybe bodies found in other horrifying acts of war and destruction could also be used to make a Zeka, if the desire to make something good out of something horrific is there.

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                          • #28
                            An alternate perspective on the Zeka; it means prisoners, doesn't it? Maybe they're created with the intent to punish someone.

                            Which gives something to think about the end of the Promethean condition being called Redemption...

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                            • #29
                              Lets not get into that. There's a lot of things in Promethean that hint around the is-she-or-is-she-not-at-fault-for-Wastelands-Disquiet bits, and discussing those only end in tears.

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                              • #30
                                Yeah, it'd be particularly grim even by Promethean standards; how can one Redeem oneself of sins one did not commit? Do you embrace the life of your "donor" and champion for his soul? Or do you promise the world to become a different person, separating your life from that of your "donor?" Or do you rage against the world for persecuting you, as the Titans rage under Tartarus at the Olympians?

                                With quandries like these, no wonder so many Zeka go "Ah, screw it" and go Centimani.

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