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  • Getting ready for a new game - thoughts appreciated!

    So I'm going to be running a new Promethean game in a few weeks, and I always appreciate the forum's thoughts and input. Admittedly, I don't have much to work with so far, so this may be updated as time goes on.

    So, I suggested I would like to run Promethean for an old friend and my fiancee - Promethean being one of those games where it's much better with smaller groups. My old friend is a practicing Jew who is also a scholar of Kabbalah, and is very familiar with the Golem of Prague myth, so he decided he's going to play the literal Golem of Prague. His name is Shamash, and he is a Tammuz created by the Rabbi Asher Berkowitz using the legacy of Rabbi Judah Loew to protect the Old Jewish Quarter in Prague from Lilith, Queen of Demons. Lilith deceives him into hurting his own people, so he runs away afraid he will hurt the Rabbi, who he views as his father. We've decided to do away with the Unfleshed Lineage, since Promethean makes it really easy to do that, and the Unfleshed kind of take away from some aspects of the Tammuz Lineage. (My friend found the idea of creating Golems out of fresh bodies from the cemetery really weird, and just wanted to be made from clay, animated by the Tetragrammaton.)

    So, I'm American, and I've never been to Europe and probably likely never will because I'm poor as shit. I've been reading lots of stuff about the Czech Republic in preparation, but some of you may actually have been to Prague and might have a better feel for it than wikipedia or Promethean 2e would give me.

    So here's some stuff I've got -

    -"Lilith" is a centuries old Sublimata, perhaps one of the first attempts at creating the Golem of Prague that failed. She has a horde of Pandorans ("Demons") at her beck and call. She's gotten kind of attached to Shamash (he is her little brother, sort of) and even though he's not technically protecting the Old Jewish Quarter anymore, she's going to fuck with him, and maybe just eat him once she's broken him.

    -The Knights Templar had a church in Prague. Today, the location of their church is replaced by a jewelry store specializing in gold jewelry. Alchemists??

    Anyone have any thoughts, or things about Prague that I should/could know that might make a better story?

  • #2
    What does your other character have in plan for her character? Hers will need to tie into that Golem's story, sooner or later.


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      One little information I read somewhere long ago was that there's an old tradition of puppet-making in Prague. Genuine ones are hard to find nowadays, but not if you know where to look.

      Could help with a story hook or two in a Promethean game


      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
      Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

      Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
        What does your other character have in plan for her character? Hers will need to tie into that Golem's story, sooner or later.
        my fiancee hasn't given me her character concept yet. She lives with me so I'm not rushing her all too much - she's also super busy. I'll update with her concept once she has it.

        as for the puppet-making - I could definitely use a sort of 'Bay of Dolls' twist with them to have creepy Pandoran puppets....

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        • #5
          Okay, so, as I'm currently running a Promethean game on the forums (that my players have been telling me they rather enjoy) here are some of my pointers in regards to general Storytelling and/or background for your game.

          1) Milestones aren't set things, they're choices. The characters define a Milestone, not the Storyteller. If you have specific Milestones in mind, make them about choices and experiences, so that there are multiple possible interpretations. There's no right way to be human, and so there's no right way to tackle a Milestone.

          2) Pandorans are deceptively powerful, even at very low levels. Because you aren't dumping any Attribute dots into Intelligence or Manipulation, and Pandorans are primarily physical threats, even a lone Rank 1 Pandoran is going to be a combat machine, so a group of them (even with a combat proficient character) could go from "challenging encounter" to a pretty likely "total party kill" with just a couple of lucky dice rolls. If Lilith the sublimatus is very old, she's going to be very high Rank (I'd look at the Lady of Chains from the 1E corebook for some ideas), which means that she'll easily be superhuman and possibly pushing into "small divinity" territory. As a Physical, Social, or Mental threat, she is going to imposing or downright dominating. What you need to consider is how she's feeding. A sublimatus, unlike regular Pandorans, can feed on humans, but how does that feeding manifest? She is very much going to have a vampire-type method of feeding unless she has a Promethean chained up somewhere.

          3) You have a Tammuz (a Golem of Prague, no less) being played by a practicing Jew and Kabbalah scholar, so you are going to need to do your homework. On the plus side, it's going to be a rich gold mine of Divine Fire goodness, and that's awesome. I would like to remind you that the Tammuz ritual has its origins in Sumerian religion and the humble harvest deity Tammuz, whose lover Inanna has a lot in common with the character Lilith eventually took on, so there's probably going to be a weird relationship there.

          4) Rather conveniently, your Tammuz is named "Shamash", I'm assuming for the central candle of the menorah. In Hebrew it translates to "helper" or "servant", but in Sumerian religion, Shamash was a solar deity, and the brother of Inanna/Ishtar (who has ties to Lilith... who is the namesake of a sublimatus and 'older sibling' to the Tammuz in your game). Shamash the god is a lawgiver and a saviour who rights wrong and brings injustice to light, and who supposedly encoded the Code of Hammurabi. Shamash was the god to call upon to relieve men from demons, and was also a god who descended to the Underworld of Irkalla at night to feed the dead who were without sacrifices for their family, and thus stuck with clay to eat and ash to drink. Shamash was also associated with monstrous scorpion-men, so there's some more Pandoran fodder for you.

          Along the lines of puppet-making, check out There Is No Place For Sadness In The Kingdom Of Cold. It's a short story so Promethean it hurts. The narrator is part of a particular family of doll makers (Promethean Lineage?) who create their children (and must kill their parents in order to do so) and hollow themselves out to make dolls that contain the power of "The Kingdom of Cold" (Athanors, especially Jovian ones) usually in the form of emotions. The aesthetic is very "ivory and ice and the austerity of death", but that can be changed. Also rather significantly, the woman who taught their ancestor their craft was named Pandora.


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          • #6
            I can't speak for much more than modern day Prague's Old Town, but that area is super touristy. You have all these medieval facades being used by Thai Massage Palours, strip clubs, restaurants, gift shops, and stranger things (the museum of sex machines, the torture museum, the communist museum). The streets around the old Jewish Cemetery are packed with street vendors, many of them selling little golem replicas and jewelry, the former of which could very easily mask a dormant Pandoran. And if you're young and hanging out near the main square then there's a good chance you're going to be get propositioned by people selling drugs. Mostly weed, in my experience, harder drugs are more likely to be sold near nightclubs and the like.

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            • #7
              Arcanist - I was a big fan of Scion once, so my first reaction to hearing the name "Shamash" was to say "wait, the Sun God?" and had to be told it was also the first candle in the Menorah. We thought it was kind of a cool little double meaning. I really appreciate your post. It gives me a lot of places to start regarding homework. Also, we're on the same page when it comes to Milestones - I really want the pilgrimage to develop organically, with as little preparation as possible. I think preparation regarding the pilgrimage can help when you've got a big throng, but with a smaller group you can just let people have at it.

              Azahul - this is an enormous help. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Promethean to me is all about little things like getting propositioned for drugs and encounters with street vendors, and this is fantastic.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                Azahul - this is an enormous help. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Promethean to me is all about little things like getting propositioned for drugs and encounters with street vendors, and this is fantastic.
                Not a problem. And don't forget the tourists. The area is touristy for a reason. Could be an interesting story beat to see how Shamash reacts to the fact that the Old Town, including locations like the cemetery, are absolutely overrun by outsiders gawping at them for big chunks of the year.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                  One little information I read somewhere long ago was that there's an old tradition of puppet-making in Prague. Genuine ones are hard to find nowadays, but not if you know where to look.

                  Could help with a story hook or two in a Promethean game
                  So Cinder, your mentioning the tradition of puppet-making inspired my fiancee to make her character. She's a Galateid created in the style of Pinocchio - the lifelong ambition of an old puppeteer who viewed his puppets as his children, and wanted to bring one to life to be his daughter. She has the body of a young girl, so I gave her the Small-Framed merit for free. I also decided to give Shamash the Giant merit for free. She's still in the process of figuring out the rest of her character at the moment, but there's a start.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                    She has the body of a young girl, so I gave her the Small-Framed merit for free. I also decided to give Shamash the Giant merit for free.
                    It's Big Daddy and Little Sister!

                    On a more serious note, this (and the Bioshock pair) has old resonance in the Little Girl & Big Guy, Pretty One & Strong One, Beauty & Beast motifs. Interesting dynamic here.


                    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post

                      So Cinder, your mentioning the tradition of puppet-making inspired my fiancee to make her character. She's a Galateid created in the style of Pinocchio - the lifelong ambition of an old puppeteer who viewed his puppets as his children, and wanted to bring one to life to be his daughter. She has the body of a young girl, so I gave her the Small-Framed merit for free. I also decided to give Shamash the Giant merit for free. She's still in the process of figuring out the rest of her character at the moment, but there's a start.
                      Glad my humble suggestion proved to be useful. Indeed an interesting dynamic.


                      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                      Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                      Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                        -"Lilith" is a centuries old Sublimata, perhaps one of the first attempts at creating the Golem of Prague that failed. She has a horde of Pandorans ("Demons") at her beck and call. She's gotten kind of attached to Shamash (he is her little brother, sort of) and even though he's not technically protecting the Old Jewish Quarter anymore, she's going to fuck with him, and maybe just eat him once she's broken him.
                        She may on the other hand take a very dim view of anyone else harming him.

                        Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                        Not a problem. And don't forget the tourists. The area is touristy for a reason. Could be an interesting story beat to see how Shamash reacts to the fact that the Old Town, including locations like the cemetery, are absolutely overrun by outsiders gawping at them for big chunks of the year.
                        A milestone could be formed around the question of whether tourism is an attack on the quarter or an act of respect.

                        Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                        So Cinder, your mentioning the tradition of puppet-making inspired my fiancee to make her character. She's a Galateid created in the style of Pinocchio - the lifelong ambition of an old puppeteer who viewed his puppets as his children, and wanted to bring one to life to be his daughter. She has the body of a young girl, so I gave her the Small-Framed merit for free. I also decided to give Shamash the Giant merit for free. She's still in the process of figuring out the rest of her character at the moment, but there's a start.
                        Cool. Puppets are used to act out stories with, so what if her Disquiet has a slightly different slant from the usual Galateid one, where people tend to think they get her - what she's like, what she wants, what she should be doing, what would make her happy - and get frustrated and angry when she "falls short" of their understanding of her.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
                          She may on the other hand take a very dim view of anyone else harming him.

                          A milestone could be formed around the question of whether tourism is an attack on the quarter or an act of respect.

                          Cool. Puppets are used to act out stories with, so what if her Disquiet has a slightly different slant from the usual Galateid one, where people tend to think they get her - what she's like, what she wants, what she should be doing, what would make her happy - and get frustrated and angry when she "falls short" of their understanding of her.
                          I like all of this. Possibly most importantly, my fiancee liked your suggestion on the Disquiet and definitely wants to go with that. Since her character looks like a child, it's unlikely that people are going to be trying to rip her apart with torches and pitchforks, but people and society do far worse to children in order to 're-educate' them when they don't behave how we want them to behave. It'll be a fun dynamic, to be sure.

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                          • #14
                            Glad I could help. Do let us know how this game progresses - it sounds a fascinating pair of characters.

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                            • #15
                              More info -

                              Fiancee's character's name is Zita. Her creator died - having spent his entire life researching the alchemy necessary to actually create her, he only actually got to spend a few years with her - leaving her all alone. It was only after her creator died that she was forced to realize how inhuman she actually was and how unwelcome she is in the world. She's on the Refinement of Stannum, because - as effectively a child in body and mind - she's really really really really pissed off. She's a street kid, and her Role is "Savage." Elpis is "Respect" and Torment is "Pity." Will be fun to see how that goes with the more gentle Shamash.

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