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Failed Refinements

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  • #16
    So riffing off this from the V for Vendetta thread:
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    What I see in story is that V could work as Promethean - probably Extempore - with interesting take on making humans themselves more human on his Pilgrimage.
    ... Might a failed Refinement hold that a Promethean must make a great mark upon the world, the way humans have. Either shaping human society in some way, or perhaps the human environment. One great work to prepare for another. It's a big ask for a single human, let alone a single being learning to be. And is likely to go disastrously wrong. But it is what demiurges, qashmal, firestorms, and humans do - a Promethean might find the idea of doing the same compelling.

    Maybe Platinum? Very valuable metal that's also a catalyst. Mesmerism seems a logical Transmutation, but I'm not sure what the other should be.


    • #17
      Maybe Disquietism?

      Mesmerism and Disquietism are the two Transmutations that are the most likely to drive a human to action. Platinum Followers could be both the angel and the devil on your shoulders, nudging your emotions and redirecting your spite, surfing on positive or negative tides of emotions alike to promulgate their worldview. Also, that would make them pretty powerless in most other situations: they couldn't hide like an Aurum, transmute themselves, or enhance their perceptions. All they could rely on is their silver tongue.

      That would also play with the V for Vendetta reference, as turmoil, rebellion, and the concern of V for those branded "Undesirables" all fit inside the idea I made himself of Disquiet.


      • #18
        Makes sense.


        • #19
          What about Stibium, the Refinement of Kohl and Words? The guiding principle of this Refinement would be understanding humanity through narrative -- books, plays, movies, whatever medium you want. Its obvious failure mode would be a Promethean (Poet? Librarian? Critic?) who dives so deep into fiction they become isolated from actual humanity. Which could just be socially isolated (Netflix binging taken to an extreme) or divorced from reality (It works in the movies, it should work in real life!).


          • #20
            Staying too long in a Role is a failure state on the Pilgrimmage. But humans stay in roles for long periods all the time. And their philosophies praise it, even - "finding your place in the world" and all that. So a failed Refinement might revolve around finding a niche and endlessly trying to perfect it in the hopes that mortality will follow when they get it right. Forgetting that humans are starting from a very different place.

            A grisly failure state that Prometheans with Spare Parts might have is a quest for just the right parts. Keep changing your body up until you hit the sweet combination, and mortality will come.

            A Promethean might believe that mortality cannot be taken or found, only given. A human - or small group of them - must love the Promethean enough to, in a sense, share their soul with them. A variant on this idea might be that any strong relationship will do, even deadly hatred.

            A failed analogue of Phosphor might overexaggerate its fightly nature, pursuing experience after experience without staying still to learn anything from it - do everything that humans do, and you'll become human in the end.

            Or a Promethean might believe the key is the life of person from whose body they were made - immerse yourself in that light and it will give you mortality - indeed, perhaps some believe they really are that person reborn. Prometheans made from multiple people might have a variant where they live each life in turn. (Like the Spare Parts idea, this won't work for all Lineages, but not all failed Refinements need be available to all Prometheans).


            • #21
              Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
              If I remember correctly, salt was considered the most inert form of matter. That could be the "refinement" that essentially gives up on the Pilgrimmage and tries to make the best of being a Promethean, without hope for anything more.

              That's basically getting stuck in Plumbum.

              edit: and based on your choice of Transmutations for them, I see you're thinking in the same direction. Salt under this thinking would be a failure offshoot of Plumbum, the way Pneuma is off of Aurum.
              Last edited by glamourweaver; 02-13-2018, 02:48 AM.

              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow


              • #22
                Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                edit: and based on your choice of Transmutations for them, I see you're thinking in the same direction. Salt under this thinking would be a failure offshoot of Plumbum, the way Pneuma is off of Aurum.
                Pretty much yeah. It seems like tying to make a "complex extension" of one of the basic Refinements would be a relatively common source of failure.

                My post prior to yours suggested a Promethean with Spare Parts swapping out bits of their body in the hopes of getting just the right combination to facilitate mortality, which could be considered a failed Ferrum.