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Homunculi: Revenant-Equivalents for Prometheans

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  • Homunculi: Revenant-Equivalents for Prometheans

    Inspired by Dataweaver's thread about things that were dropped heading into 2E, including clones, I decided to write this up. I'm not entirely sure how good any of this material is, so I could really use some feedback. Some of the mechanics might not, strictly, fit Promethean fluff, but I tried to adhere to it as best I could.

    Homunculi

    It is a miraculous thing, creating life, but all living things do it on a fairly regular basis in order to propagate the species. The creation of life from inanimate of dead matter, on the other hand, abiogenesis, is something far more rare- something only the Divine Fire is capable of achieving with its life-giving flames.

    Generally, Demiurges are far more likely to create a Promethean than an Alchemist, but either way, the two types of mortals meddling with the fires of creation aren’t quite so different as you would first suspect. When an Alchemist creates a Promethean, they use their Magnitude as the cap for the base dice pool, much as Azoth serves as the cap for a Promethean. A Demiurge is considered to have a Magnitude equal to the number of years they have been attempting to create life and is always considered to have a full Pyros pool to spend on creating a Promethean.

    In addition, there are several ways to improve your chances of creating a Promethean. The Obsession Condition grants the 9-again quality to the roll, while the Madness Condition applies its potential penalty as a bonus to the roll. Having the notes of a known Demiurge grants the rote action quality to the roll.

    However, without the purity and overwhelming concentrated Pyros present in Azoth, it is a rare thing for a mortal Demiurge or Alchemist to produce a true Promethean. It takes an Exceptional Success on the Creation roll to make a true Promethean (as per a success for a Promethean’s Creation roll), while a regular success on the roll produces the hollowed out servile husks known as Homunculi.

    New Firestorm Aspect: Life-Giving
    • Firestorms burn their way through built-up Pyros in an environment, burning away Flux in the process. This, occasionally, produces unexpected side effects in the form of Homunculi, or even Extempore Prometheans. Roll the Firestorm’s Strength as a Creation dice pool. Apply a -1 penalty to the roll for every Pandoran, active or dormant, in the Firestorm’s range, and a -1 for every unspent Vitriol point in the Firestorm’s range. On a success, it creates a Homunculus. On an Exceptional Success, it creates an Extempore. There needn’t be a corpse in the area- it could be that the Created being tears its way, fully formed, from the earth, steps out of a dream, coalesces from the ash, or potentially anything else.
      • On a Failure or Dramatic Failure (leading to Pandoran creation) consider the number of points of Pyros spent equal to double the Firestorm’s Strength. Much like Homunculi and Extempore, these Pandorans do not need to rip themselves from a dead body, but could step out of nightmares, clump together from debris, or congeal from rains of blood.
    Rules

    A Homunculus is designed exactly like any normal Promethean character, with some significant differences. They still possess a Lineage, as suitable for their generative rite, and thus a Bestowment. They do not, however, possess Elpis, Torment, Azoth, or Refinement, or Pilgrimage. Like a mortal, they possess Virtue, Vice, and Integrity instead, with one significant difference. A Homunculus begins play with the Soulless Condition. They don’t have Azoth to burn with a soul will be, and they are not yet on the Pilgrimage. They are aimless creatures, looking for direction and purpose.

    Lineages
    • Igors (Wretched)
    • Graces (Galateids)
    • Shabti (Osirian)
    • Gala (Tammuz)
    • Karshit (Ulgan)
    • Automatons (Unfleshed)
    Advantages
    • Pyros: A Homunculus possesses a number of points of Pyros equal to their Stamina, and may only spend one point of Pyros per turn.
      • Transhuman Potential: As the Promethean ability
      • Shock Absorption: As the Promethean ability
    • Replenishing Pyros: A Homunculus doesn’t possess Azoth, and thus doesn’t gain Pyros from the rising of the sun, from interacting with humans, or from exposure to thunderstorms or electricity. They do, however, regain Pyros from sleeping near their Lineage’s element.
    • Superlative Endurance & Durability: As the Promethean ability
    • Unaging: As per the Promethean ability. If a Homunculus gets the opportunity to spark the flames of Azoth in the place where their soul should be, then their lifespan resets as though they had Returned.
    Drawbacks
    • Disfigurements: Without Azoth, a Homunculus’ unique disfigurements are constantly visible. This can cause… issues for them. Mechanically, other’s impressions during Social Maneuvering are one worse than they normally would be, and they lose the 10-again quality to Social rolls.
    What About the Rest?
    • Without Azoth, the Homunculus cannot benefit from Electroshock Therapy, the Constitution of the Created, or make the Journey to the River. However, they’re also free of the curses of Disquiet, Torment, and Wastelands.
    First Steps

    Without Azoth to shore up their sense of self, and without the Pilgrimage to drive them forwards, most Homunculi are doomed to a lifetime never leaving their creators or whatever Alchemist happens upon them, possibly because those are the only people mostly unaffected or undisturbed by their unsettling company. Some wander aimlessly, getting by on what little alchemy they can manage. Most try and find purpose. Some find it in servitude, either to a master or to a cause. A rare few find the Created (Homunculi are generally far more common than true Prometheans) and attempt to step on the Pilgrimage themselves.

    There are several methods by which a Homunculus can elevate themselves into a Promethean; the easiest is for another Promethean to perform the generative rite on the Homunculus, if it is successful, the flame of Azoth is ignited. A Homunculus could walk into a Life-Giving Firestorm, which is the only means of elevation for Extempore Homunculi, and come out a Promethean.

    While it is not, strictly speaking, the best path forwards, some Homunculi seek to master their own state and become Alchemists. It costs Five Experiences to purchase a dot of Magnitude, and individual Distillations can be purchased for an Experience apiece. If they ever become a true Promethean, Magnitude becomes Azoth, and Experiences spent on Distillations are refunded on Merits, Skills, or Attributes.


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  • #2
    My take is that homunculi aren't going to last long enough to either ignite the Azoth or gain Magnitude. Also, assuming they come into being with even less drive and sense of self than Prometheans, there's no sense of loss if they do become thralls. They just sorta waste away into non-people. And that's fine for antagonistic cannon fodder, but I don't think it's what you're aiming for. So maybe drop Soulless and represent that lack some other way?

    Revenants are interesting because their half-state is dangerous to everyone. They retain their identity, but their thin blood leaves them hungry, and their constant hunger represents a huge liability for the Masquerade and the All-Night Society. Homunculi don't really represent any point of interest to Prometheans, at least as presented here, which is what you would want from them. So how could we fix this?

    We don't want them to occupy the same niche as Pandorans, who usually represent a failed creation. But, that doesn't mean they can't be a useful guide. Both Pandorans and historical descriptions of homunculi are small humanoid creatures. Homunculi tend to be much more compliant and less feral, though maybe as vindictive sometimes. That suggests maybe they could be some sort of sublimatus-like, stunted half-men, but not necessarily in the throes of Flux. Maybe they're caught in a perfect balance of Pyros and Flux, half-alive, but unable to fully ignite the Azoth or descend into Mockery.

    If so, I'd see to it that they had a Torment. They aren't human, after all, but warped little servitors. And being servile, and traditionally lab assistants, instead of Elpis or Virtue, they can only gain Willpower by earning the praise or damnation of their creator. Any attention is good attention, after all. They dream of better things for themselves, and love or hate their masters as appropriate, but running away is like cutting off an arm. Should they be too abused (or too cherished), they lash out, engaging in sabotage and gaslighting and what not, and probably inspire further attention.

    As for most of their abilities, I think you're largely on the right track. I would build in some form of dissolution mechanic, not unlike vampiric waking requirements. A Pyros lost every morning to keep it alive, maybe falling to Pandoran-like Dormancy on an empty reservoir. Makes both escape and overwork a bad idea. I think that they should be unable to use Distillations that require Azothic Memory, or any that requires a trait they don't have, and probably couldn't legitimately claim any complex Refinement's Transmutations at that. However, Dread Powers don't seem too unlikely.

    Those are my ideas.


    LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Verge View Post
      Those are my ideas.
      And those are awesome ideas, thanks for the feedback. I get what you're saying about what Revenants add to Vampire, which is distinctly not what they're doing right now. I really like the idea of them being something not-quite Promethean, but that isn't quite a Mockery either. They're brimming with Flux, but there isn't enough Azoth present in their alchemical makeup to do more than just barely balance it. So, in light of that take, here's a few ideas for changes:
      • Homunculi have a Torment, and treat their relationship with their creator/master as an Elpis- ergo, they can only gain Willpower by indulging their Torment, or by maintaining ties with their creator/master.
      • Homunculi are considered to be Integrity 1, with all of the drawbacks that comes with. However, as they don't have a soul, they can't Abjure, Ward, or Exorcise Ephemeral Beings. Whenever they would suffer a Breaking Point, if they fail they suffer the Tormented Condition instead. If they suffer a Dramatic Failure, they gain Tormented as a Persistent Condition.
      • Like Pandorans, they must spend a point of Pyros per day to remain active. They still only hold their Stamina in Pyros. Perhaps they treat their 'Element', like the Extempore, as being in the presence of a being with Azoth or Magnitude? Adding another incentive for a Homunculus to stick around Prometheans or Alchemists, no matter how bad the situation.
      • If they run out of Pyros, they suffer a point of resistant Lethal damage per day to harvest the necessary alchemical reagents to keep functioning. If a Homunculus dies from this damage, or is killed, roll for Pandoran generation with their creator's Magnitude/Azoth or their killer's Mangitude/Azoth, whichever is higher.
      • Homunculi can only use Distillations from the Basic Refinements if they choose the path of the Alchemist. Alchemists can use Complex Refinement Distillations because those aspects of humanity are intrinsic to them, but without Azoth Homunculi cannot even attempt to ape them. Homunculi also cannot use Distillations that involve manipulating Azothic Memory or "their" Disquiet, as they have no Azoth, and they don't inflict Disquiet. They can purchase Pandoran Dread Powers, however.
      What do you think?


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      • #4
        Very interesting. I definitely think you should keep the possibility of them becoming true Prometheans- I've always thought it would be cool if Pandorans could complete a Pilgrimage to become Prometheans.

        Would there be a way to represent them being less humanoid than Prometheans? With automatons in particular I could imagine some mad scientist having scuttling spiderbot servants.

        EDIT: D'oh, Pandoran DPs would probably be enough for that, didn't see that.

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        • #5
          Looking a lot more interesting as a character type.

          I'm still leery of the Advantages package. Integrity is peculiar to mortals, and while it's appropriately low here, it still feels out of place. The homunculus has to abandon it to start the Pilgrimage, yet it represents the Pilgrimage's culmination. Likewise, the Pilgrimage is not available to the homunculus, but represents the best option for longevity, freedom, and transformation. Pilgrimage reminds the player that this thing is not a human and has no soul. SO: Maybe they start with a single dot of Pilgrimage, but are stymied forever at one dot, as they are also incapable of producing Vitriol via Refinements and Milestones.

          That brings me to Azoth and Magnitude. I do think there's room for Azoth 0 rules, but don't think it matters all that much. The lack of a complete ruleset for alchemy puts me off on making it available to homunculi, but that's a matter of personal taste. In-setting, alchemical know-how makes the homunculus a threat to its creator, a rival for Pyros, and a valuable source of Pyros as well. Which is good, really, so keep it.

          I keep thinking they should have a form of Disquiet, disfigured or not. They need to be at least as alienated from humanity as Prometheans, though perhaps not so severely. Maybe theirs escalates and dissipates in a matter of days or even hours. They don't have Roles they can hide in, after all. This could put mortal-sourced Pyros back on the table, since it could be a more immediate risk, and creates tension with the creator's relationship.

          An idea just occurred to me: what if the bond between the homunculus and its creator is where the Azoth is trapped? As in, what if the Generative Act performed poorly creates an enduring conduit of Pyros, and the means of uplifting the homunculus is to sever the connection? It's not enough to kill the creator, but rather steal the fire he's keeping for himself? What if homunculi do actually generate Pyros at sunrise like Prometheans, but the master lays claim to it?


          LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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          • #6
            Ditch Integrity entirely: until the Homunculus becomes a Promethean, it has nothing of the sort. In this view of things, homunculi exist to serve as slaves to alchemists first and foremost, and secondarily to muddy the waters concerning Prometheans: it's easy to conflate Prometheans and homunculi. The fact that Prometheans can upgrade robotic homunculi to self-willed Prometheans just further confused the issue.

            It should also be easier to upgrade a homunculus to a Promethean than to perform the Generative Act on inanimate matter (corpses included): most of the work is already done, and all that's needed is a suitable “jump-start”.

            Also: let Demiurges create Prometheans on regular successes; homunculi should be unique to Alchemist creators. As you say, demiurges have an easier time creating Prometheans than alchemists do. OTOH, demiurges tend to be much more reliant on desperation than alchemists are: their ”cap” may be zero, requiring them to depend entirely on the desperation bonus to have any dice pool.

            Converting a homunculus to a Promethean is harder the more inhuman the Homunculus is: apply a penalty to the Generative Act equivalent based on any Dread Powers the Homunculus has, and allow an exceptional success to remove one or more Dread Powers, rendering the new Promethean more human-like.


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            • #7
              Good point about Integrity vs. Pilgrimage. So Homunculi would be stuck at a single dot of Pilgrimage and be unable to raise it? They'd still have the "If you're at Pilgrimage 1 and fail a Breaking Point roll you fall into Torment" thing as a rule, which would make sense. I agree that Demiurges should just make Prometheans, full-stop, and I find the idea of them relying on the "desperation bonus" in order to succeed. Even your average Demiurge, with Integrity 7, will have a dice pool of three and likely the 9-again quality on the roll.

              Perhaps Homunculus Disquiet is visceral and immediate, sort of like Pandoran Disquiet? Obviously the Pandoran Disquiet Conditions aren't suitable, and Promethean Disquiet probably isn't either, but perhaps Conditions like Spooked, Shaken, Guilty, Obsession, and Watched would be suitable? If anyone has a better idea, that would be great.

              Dataweaver any suggestions on what is needed to 'kickstart' a Homunculus' Azoth? I like the idea that they apply the dot ratings of Pandoran Dread Powers they have as a penalty to the roll. Should those dots then apply as a bonus for the 'produce Pandorans when killed' roll? Also- I'm assuming easy conflation between Homunculi and Prometheans is a good thing? That's the impression I'm getting from your comments, but I'm not entirely sure.

              Verge I really like the idea of the Azoth being trapped in the bond between creator and creation, firstly because it means that Alchemists have even more incentive to make Homunculi and keep them around- more than just a durable, likely reasonably loyal, servant a Homunculus becomes a source of power to the Alchemist. The more Homunculi the Alchemist creates, the greater their stores of Pyros, which don't count against their regular limitations because it is, technically, 'stolen' Pyros. How would you go about stealing the Azoth though?


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              • #8
                The business about dismembering the body and then reassembling it? That's already been done when the homunculus was created. Likewise with the immersion of the body in its element, though I can see a case for requiring that part of the generation act to be repeated when upgrading to Promethean. I also think you need a matching set: just as a Galeteid can't create a Frankenstein, it also can't upgrade any homunculus other than a Grace; and you need a Wretched to upgrade an Igor.

                What's left is to impart the Humour and to make the roll. That works the same as with the Generative Act, but with a bonus since the body is already animated; all the Divine Fire has to do is to impart sapience and free will.

                And yes, from a story perspective, I think making it easy to conflate homunculi and Prometheans is a good thing.


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                • #9
                  Dataweaver okay, I get what you're getting at here- obviously a Homunculus wouldn't need to be taken apart and put back together- it's already alive, just missing Azoth. The matching set would also make perfect sense (I thought that was implied in the material I wrote, but evidently that was just something I had in my head as opposed to something I had written down.), so yes, Wretched can uplift Igors but nobody else can, and Extempore Homunclui would need a Life-Giving Firestorm. Would giving the Generative Act roll the rote action quality when performed on a Homunculus be too much of a bonus to the roll, or would that be in line with what would be useable?

                  What do you think about killed Homunculi or those who fall apart due to Pyros deprivation producing Pandorans? They're a Generative Act held in stasis, not quite falling to Flux, not quite ascending to Azoth, but if they die Azoth falls out of the equation and they're given over entirely to Flux- or would that be too much of a hassle if Homunculus antagonists or mooks ever come up?


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                  • #10
                    I wouldn't bother with killing a homunculus as a means of creating Pandorans. Pyros deprivation is something I'll have to think about; my gut instinct is that Homunculi are different enough from Pandorans that even if they can be driven into a Dormancy-like state, they're not going to be famished when they're awakened. There may be a danger of going Pandoran in extreme cases; but it should take more than just running out of Pyros. Part of it is that I tend to envision Homunculi self-generating just enough Pyros to remain active in normal circumstances (i.e., no net daily gain or loss), with a Dormancy-like state awaiting them if they overexert themselves in some way.

                    But then, my touchstone for these things is the Automaton: what would make an Unfleshed Homunculus resemble an ordinary robot? Not the self-aware kind; that's what Unfleshed Prometheans are for. Rather, the zombie-like creations that operate strictly according to their programming, require basic maintenance to remain active, and shut down if denied said maintenance. Homunculi should be considered in connection with their owners, almost as extensions of the owner, and the maintenance routine serves the dual purpose of emphasizing the Homunculus' dependence on its owner and keeping the owner from going overboard with creating a veritable army of homunculi: after a certain point, the effort of maintaining them all become prohibitive.


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                    • #11
                      Azoth trapped in the bond: Let's define the benefit in hard terms first. An alchemist with a homunculus gains one Pyros each day at sunrise. He doesn't necessarily understand that it comes from his pet, but sees his success as a breakthrough that gives him insight into how to wield the Pyros. He just thinks he has a more efficient method or whatever. Since it's stolen from his homunculus, it doesn't count toward his normal limit, either. The trade-off is that he is limited by his Magnitude: he may only have one homunculus per dot. Attempts to create more than he can sustain fail automatically. Furthermore, he starts suffering from the toxic qualities of the Azoth: each homunculus under his command (and therefore each point of Azoth) causes him to suffer a 1- penalty to both Empathy rolls and Breaking Points.

                      So, how does a rogue homunculus take what's rightfully hers? Killing the master doesn't work, at least not without some...preparation. If the master simply dies, the homunculus loses its chance. It continues its normal dissolution, and has only its Torment to sustain its Willpower, while the Azoth ebbs back into the ether. Homunculi understand this instinctively. A few known methods of reclamation are rumored.
                      • Emancipation: The master willingly and knowingly relinquishes the homunculus from his service. Banishment does not suffice, and neither does escape. The alchemist must decide to give the homunculus its freedom and any further claim to its alchemical blessings. Few alchemists can be convinced of this.
                      • Surpassing: The homunculus achieves a higher Magnitude than its master. Upon gaining a dot of Magnitude exceeding that of its creator, the homunculus can claim the Pyros generated daily. Furthermore, inklings of Azothic Memory begin to appear, and the homunculus gains a fleeting sense of its potential to be a Promethean. It understands that its advantage allows it an opportunity to break free. To do so, it must commit an action that not only hurts its creator's interests, but also forces a Breaking Point for either of them. If the creator suffers a Breaking Point, the bond is broken on a dramatic failure. If the homunculus suffers a Breaking Point, the bond is severed on a success.
                      • Stealing Fire: The homunculus performs a lacuna-like act on its creator. The lacuna is not readily understood by homunculi or even alchemists, who must rely on their own arts to extract Vitriol. However, once a homunculus witnesses the lacuna in the wild (committed by a Promethean or a Pandoran), it instinctively knows how to use it against creatures containing Vitriol. This is not enough to free a rebellious homunculus, but one who tastes the Vitriol directly from a Promethean knows exactly what it is missing and who has it. It may then attempt the lacuna on its master, as though it were already a Promethean, but instead of Vitriol, it tears loose the Azoth itself.
                      • Uplift: A Promethean can raise a homunculus up, and doing so is often considered a multiplicatio Milestone. Doing so is incredibly dangerous, as the Promethean must perform the Generative Act on the homunculus, while it is living. The Promethean requires no permission, but even with a willing subject, the attempt is a Breaking Point, as all known creation rituals are intended for use on cadavers. Furthermore, if the subject and the Promethean do not share a dominant humour, the attempt ritual automatically fails (or creates an Extempore, at the Storyteller's discretion).
                      Breaking the Bond: No matter the method of separation, both the homunculus and its master suffer greatly. At the moment of separation, any Pyros stored on the alchemist's person explodes, inflicting 1 lethal fire damage for each point lost. A Semnai Firestorm erupts, centered on the homunculus, as the ember of Azoth flares into its intended vessel. The homunculus gains the complete Promethean template at Azoth 1, assumes an appropriate Lineage and basic Refinement, chooses an Elpis, and immediately falls into Torment.This event also triggers Wastelands and Disquiet normally, and the sudden Azothic Radiance awakens any local Pandorans.

                      Sometimes, if a Promethean was involved, some or all of the trapped Azoth may remain with the alchemist. Without the homunculus' balancing influence, the alchemist is likely to be consumed, if not by the Azoth, then by hungry Pandorans. In effect, the alchemist gains a dot of Azoth, and an internal pool of Pyros. He generates one point of Pyros per day and in thunderstorms. Should he be foolish enough to attempt Electroshock Therapy, he will take damage normally, though he will gain Pyros as though he were a normal Promethean. He may use any Distillation he knows, using the Pyros in his body. He takes aggravated damage from fire while he has Pyros in him, and each such level he takes costs him a point of Pyros. He causes Disquiet and Wastelands. At the end of a scene in which he uses a Promethean ability, gains Pyros, or inflicts Disquiet or a Wasteland, or would enter Torment, he suffers a Breaking Point. If he loses his last point of Integrity, his ill-gotten Azoth immolates him completely. He may rid himself of Azoth by creating another homunculus or Promethean, or by sparking a Dirae Firestorm.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                        Snipped for brevity
                        Duly noted on the killing of Homunculi leading to Pandorans. I think the Dormancy-like state is an interesting idea, especially since it gives you the chance to do Roger from BPRD as a character, and that's generally not a bad thing. (Roger and his whole plotline is amazing Promthean inspiration, actually.) I'm also not too sure about the "no loss or net gain" in terms of Pyros on a day-to-day basis, since the Divine Fire does its 'constantly burning' thing. The only example I can think of that doesn't immediately keep smouldering until it burns out are Wastelands, and even then that's because they're a really slow burn.

                        Secondly, your mention of the Automaton as your baseline, and my mention of Roger above, reminds me that I was thinking of just a little more agency for these characters as a viable style of play. It occurs to me that one way to model this is that, because of how likely it is that Homunculi will experience Torment, and how due to the lack of an Elpis they don't have an easy way out of it, that most Homunculi will be dominated by their humour, so Automatons appear to be nothing but complex machines- compulsively obedient and seemingly devoid of complex personality, occasionally spiralling into violent malfunctions. The Gala are overwhelmed by Black Bile and obsessively take to whatever task their master assigns, held to them outside of Torment by a fierce and stubborn loyalty, appearing to be little more than silent slaves when language fails them. Karshit become raving ecstatics, half-formed oracles constantly spouting prophecy to whoever will hear them, seemingly uninterested in anything but the spirit worlds and their own pain and purity. Shabti remain attached to their master, but they are ruthless, scheming servants who are only to be trusted when they can use their orders as a pawn in a complex chess game they're playing with the one who rules them. Graces are prone to becoming little more than obsessive concubines that hardly need to be ordered- they're so obsessed with receiving affection from their masters that they'll throw themselves into whatever they think their master wants, proactively serving their needs before they are even asked to do so. Igors are prone to violent, self-destructive fits, leaving themselves in the ruins of whatever they love, but their master's there. Their master will always be there.

                        ... Wow. Homunculi-Alchemist relationships are way, way more messed up and abusive than I'd even considered when I started writing this. It would be pretty darn difficult for a Homunculus to claw their way out of Torment once they sink down into it.

                        Originally posted by Verge View Post
                        Snipped for brevity
                        Okay, all of that is awesome, and will definitely be incorporated into this in one way or another. I love that an Alchemist has a hard limit of their Magnitude in terms of how many Homunculi they can sustain (I imagine, if we're making playable Alchemists) that there would be Merits that could off-set or alter that limit, however. I like the idea of the penalty to Empathy and Breaking Point rolls, but I'm wondering if it would be better served by having the Alchemist constantly under the effect of Disquiet towards the Homunculus, even if Homunculi don't normally cause the normal Promethean-style Disquiet. I also love all the ways a Homunculus could conceivably be released from their Alchemist master- they all make perfect sense and some almost feel Changeling-esque in the 'reclamation of identity' style. That theme of reclamation, or even just claiming an identity or their own body, is a pretty strong theme in Promethean as well, especially in stuff like Alice and Niccolai's Rambles.

                        I also like the idea of the Alchemist being stuck with the Azoth that rightfully should belong to the Homunculus if the Azothic flame is ignited in the Homunculus in some other way. I'm not sure I like how severely the Breaking Points will hit them afterwards (I do agree that they would suffer Breaking Points if they would enter Torment suitable to the ruling humour of their Homunculus) especially seeing as, without the other benefits of the Created state, namely their constitution, electroshock therapy, the Journey to the River, etc. Disquiet, Pandorans, the bane of Fire, and Wasteland are plenty punishing to something as comparatively squishy as an Alchemist. I disagree that damage from fire should drain a point of Pyros, but I do think that, should the Alchemist ever trigger a Firestorm (which could now be a Semniae as well as Dirae, thanks to Azoth) they roll as though they had a Power Trait equal to Magnitude + Azoth.

                        Thematically, I think it fits. Okay, so you've managed to steal some of the Divine Fire for yourself, you've done it, good job, now you've got to deal with all the downsides of it, and you cannot get rid of it. That being said, I do think an Alchemist should be able to purge a dot of Azoth by making a 'Homunculus' but by channeling that dot of Azoth it becomes a Promethean- literally passing off the torch, as it were. So Alchemists who create life that goes on to become a Promethean independently become uber-Alchemists. They've claimed the Divine Fire for themselves, and that's a problem. Probably should be some kind of Persistent Condition per dot of Azoth you're hanging onto.

                        Question- what happens if a Homunculus dies before it has the opportunity to claim the Azoth? Would the Azoth transfer to the Alchemist, having nowhere else to go except through that opened channel for the Divine Fire?
                        Last edited by Arcanist; 10-21-2016, 09:55 AM.


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                        • #13
                          Accidental Double-Post. Ignore.


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                          • #14
                            Imma respond real fast before I head out to work, just to get down some percolating ideas. First, Azoth in a mortal isn't like Azoth in a Promethean. Mortals don't have humors to balance, they have souls, which have now just gotten set on fire. This is the price they pay for stealing the fire, for playing God, and keeping slaves. Hell, this is what they wanted. They've now set off a reaction they cannot control, one of pure inspiration (maybe a regular Inspired Condition popping up?).

                            In theory, this is what could happen to an alchemist whose homunculus is slain. Should it die of dissolution, the Azoth gutters as well, but murder or accident severs the bond too quickly. But, a cunning or desperate alchemist sees the advantage in that.

                            Still considering Disquiet.


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                            • #15
                              Revenants, in the context of Vampire, have a very specific story purpose. I don't quite understand the purpose of homoculi from a story perspective. What do they do? What do they represent? Otherwise, we'll just end up with the Proximus problem.

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