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The Lightning Chronicle enters development- Alternate Morality Stat brainstorming

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  • The Lightning Chronicle enters development- Alternate Morality Stat brainstorming

    So, I mentioned my intention to do a rules/fluff hack of Promethean designed to remove the humanity railroading and make the game truer to the philosophy of ChroD as a whole and especially to the themes of Frankenstein. I hadn't been doing much on it because I was waiting for 2e to actually be out, because then I'd know what had to be done. So now I do, and I have a great starting point: the morality stat.

    So, the goal of The Lightning Chronicle is to remove the dominance of the Pilgrimage and becoming human. The New Dawn is similar to Golconda or Hell in DtD: it's deeply personal, it's only rumored to exist, and it could take any number of forms. It's covered in a section that describes it as something that doesn't play a role in every Promethean chronicle and might not even exist. If it does, it's best handled more through roleplaying and narrative than rolling. Each Refinement has a view on it, as listed in their section, as well as possible New Dawns that they might reach.

    The Theme is Identity, and the Mood is Horror and Wonder. As in, horror and wonder combined as a single theme, and not two separate ones. Prometheans are wondrous and horrifying, profane but miraculous. In their travels, they're likely to encounter extremes. They will see the worst abuses of science as well as its greatest wonders. They will bring out the best and the worst in humanity. And so on.

    So, let's start by brainstorming an alternate morality stat. I might want something that represents some sort of "harmony", although obviously Werewolf claimed that. Whether it's harmony with yourself or with the world in general, but I'm open to any other ideas.

  • #2
    How about "Balance"? As in, the reason Prometheans go into Torment is that their Humors are NOT Balanced.


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    • #3
      Hm, Demon, Beast, and the upcoming Deviant all do something experimental with the "morality" stat, designed to move it away from being, well, a morality stat.

      In the interest of keeping character sheets usable, how about we keep it as Pilgrimage but revamp what it does and means, so that it isn't tied to becoming human but pursuing whatever personal goal you've chosen?

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      • #4
        One time I saw someone describe a stat like 'Artifice.' I think Artifice 10 meant you were very inhuman and Artifice 1 meant you were humanlike, with the uncanny valley spread across the stat.

        I suppose Pilgrimage is the opposite, in a minor sense, but Artifice has more room to be less about learning to be human

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        • #5
          That one is also good! I speculated that "Volatility" might be Deviant's "moral stat", and that could work for Promethean too.

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          • #6
            'Identity' sounds like the perfect name of the morality stat for your homebrew Chronicle. Things that cause confusion about who or what the Created is, and their place in the world would be breaking points, and spending Experience to increase it would represent discovering or affirming their sense of self and their place in the grand scheme of the cosmos.


            “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
            "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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            • #7
              'Identity' sounds like the perfect name of the morality stat for your homebrew Chronicle. Things that cause confusion about who or what the Created is, and their place in the world would be breaking points, and spending Experience to increase it would represent discovering or affirming their sense of self and their place in the grand scheme of the cosmos.


              “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
              "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
                'Identity' sounds like the perfect name of the morality stat for your homebrew Chronicle. Things that cause confusion about who or what the Created is, and their place in the world would be breaking points, and spending Experience to increase it would represent discovering or affirming their sense of self and their place in the grand scheme of the cosmos.
                God damn it, that's BRILLIANT, and now I feel like a moron for not thinking of that. Well, we have our Morality Stat, and I really like that one.

                For the tone, I'm thinking something similar to Player's Guide to the Technocracy: "You've read the propaganda, now here's what the other side thinks."

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                • #9
                  If Identity is the theme, then loss of identity is going to one of the major risks Prometheans confront and one of the major sources of personal horror. They have to construct their identities, their selves, from scraps, and they always risk losing them. That doesn't necessarily mean being mind-controlled or falling to Torment: it can also mean being subsumed by a role or by the perceptions of others, to the point where you start to cease to be a full, complete person and start becoming an archetype, a symbol. This can happen through demonization and fear forcing you into the role of the monster (which is, of course, what happens to the Creature), but it can also happen through idealization and being forced onto a pedestal. To quote The Protomen: "They don't want a hero, they don't want to change this, they just want a martyr, a statue to raise."

                  When people get past the initial unease or revulsion induced by Disquiet, and start feeling sympathy for the Promethean, there's the risk of them failing to perceive them as a person, but as a lesson, a symbol, their inspiration porn. People have brought up the disability metaphor, and TLC doesn't push that very heavily, but this part is partially inspired by that: the way the abled have a tendency to divide the disabled into "bad lazy disableds" and "the good disableds who overcome their disablilities and aren't nuisances and inspire me." There's a major emphasis on human flaws in TLC, as a sort of reaction to the cloying sentimentality of the old version, but also in an attempt to be truer to the source material. Humans Behaving Badly is a core theme in a lot of "artificial life" fiction.

                  And of course, loss of identity and control can be a very literal threat with the possibility of literally losing control of yourself and being brainwashing by Dr. Sinister, if you're playing a more pulp-influenced chronicle.

                  In a way, I think this is an attempt to take on some of the things Beast tried and get them right. The idea of becoming comfortable with being a monster, with not being human is going to be a major part of it, but not in the smug, puny-humans-and-everyone-else way Beast did it. You don't wake up as a Promethean and think "oh, yeah, this is awesome, I'm fine", reaching that state of self-acceptance is a major part of the journey.

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                  • #10
                    I think that, starting at the top, "letting yourself be talked into doing something you don't really want to do" is an Identity 10 offense. Morality Stat 10 offenses should be small things like that. And we have to keep in mind that Identity =\= Goodness or Morality, so even though there are situations in which letting yourself be persuaded to do something you don't really want to do, it's still enough of a concession that it ever so slightly rattles the patchwork identity you've carefully tried to construct.

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                    • #11
                      Here's another thing: Identity doesn't necessarily start at the bottom and work its way up. A Promethean could actually be created with a very high Identity: they could have a purpose they're utterly dedicated to, or they might cling strongly to the identity of one of their components. A Promethean like that might start with a clearly defined Identity: but they're starting with it. Their character arc might be to defend it, or to reinforce it, or to change it. They might come to question or dislike that identity and deliberately seek a new one.

                      I'm also toying with the idea that a Promethean could really be a person back from the dead. I'm thinking that this could be handled as a merit: something like "Soul Shard", meaning that you have a bit of the soul and a bit of the consciousness of a dead person. Whether that means you are that person is the kind of knotty question the game is about exploring: imagine you got hit by a car, drifted through timeless agony and nothingness, and woke up missing massive chunks of your memory and personality, with memories and traits in your head that you didn't even have before, and you have no way of knowing which is which. You have scattered memories of five different parents, you don't know who the president is, and you simultaneously hate and love country music at the same time. But that's just if you take the merit.

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                      • #12
                        Why you keep talking about Morality (Traits)? There's nothing of the sort in ChroD.


                        I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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                        • #13
                          "Morality stat" is a nickname for stats like Humanity, Harmony, Wisdom, etc. In 2e, Morality was changed to Integrity, but plenty of people still use the term "morality stat".

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                          • #14
                            Not really. People say Integrity stats or Integrity analogs. That you keep calling it a Morality stat makes me wonder if you are aproaching the design from a flawed premise.


                            I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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                            • #15
                              No, plenty of people still call them "morality stats" out of force of habit. The fact that I haven't completely adjusted to 2e's rules and still fall into 1e terminology occasionally seems to bother you more than it should.

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