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Homunculi: Revenant-Equivalents for Prometheans

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  • #76
    Refinement of Ore Ideas
    • No Transmutations. Rather, so long as a homunculus isn't out of "sync" with zir labor, zie can claim a Labor-specific benefit. This benefit is (at brainstorm time) an Exceptional-on-3 to a Power attribute. Slaves gain the benefit to Strength, Sycophants to Presence, and Workaholics to Intelligence.
    • A homunculus who breaks with the Labor gains a negative Condition until such time as zie can get back into good graces with the Labor.
    • Homunculi rarely change Labors. The few who manage cannot return to an abandoned Labor, should they do it twice.
    • Labors
      • The Slave was made for physical work. He is an extra body, valued for his hands and back, and little else.
        • Pillar of Strength: The Slave achieves an exceptional success on Strength-based rolls with three or more successes.
        • Feet of Clay: If the Slave is offered payment or reward for his services, he must accept the Leveraged Condition to take it.
        • Breaking Point: Damaging or thwarting the master's desires through direct action.
      • The Sycophant serves to stroke the the ego of the master. Her flattery and fawning soothe the madness bubbling behind the master's face.
        • Silver Tongue: The Sycophant achieves an exceptional success on Presence-based rolls with three or more successes.
        • False Heart: If the Sycophant receives praise, she must either credit her master, or accept a Swooning Condition towards the character praising her.
        • Breaking Point: Telling your master something he does not want to hear.
      • The Workaholic obsesses over the minutiae. Time spent resting is time lost.
        • Mind Like A Trap: The Workaholic achieves an exceptional success on Intelligence-based rolls with three or more successes.
        • Work-Life Balance: If the Workaholic is offered an opportunity to hand off a burden, zie can only do so by accepting the Guilty Condition.
        • Breaking Point: Abandoning a task.


    LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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    • #77
      So, how does the Homunculous template look mechanically so far?
      • Azoth: 0*, 1, or N/A?
      • Pyros Capacity?
      • Pilgrimage or Integrity?
      • Refinement: none, Any Promethean, or Homunculi-only?
      • Transmutations: none, by-Alembic, piecemeal Distillations (like Alchemists), and/or Pandoran?
      • Bestowment: none, any-Promethean, or special?
      • Disquiet: none, normal (as per Azoth), or special?
      • Virtue/Vice: none, replaced, or retained?
      • Any special Conditions applied?
      Personally, I'm in favor of making the least amount of changes necessary to have it functional and distinct.
      Last edited by Vent0; 12-22-2016, 01:10 PM.


      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

      Comment


      • #78
        My take:
        · Azoth 1
        · Pyros capacity as per Azoth.
        · Pilgrimage 0
        · Refinement: none, or Homunculus-only.
        · Transmutations: none; Pandoran-like Dread Powers instead.
        · Bestowment: any Promethean.
        · Disquiet: normal
        · Virtue/Vice: Service/Torment, or Elpis/Torment

        Refinement and Virtue/Vice are synced: it we go with no Refinement, it's because we're replacing the Virtue-equivalent with Service; if we're not replacing Elpis with Service, then we're using the “Refinement” entry to define the servitude aspect of homunculus existence. My gut instinct is to go for the former.

        Pilgrimage 0: the Homunculus is not on the Pilgrimage; but neither does it interact with the world the way a mortal does. Pilgrimage 0 (one step before the first rung) captures their status the best. This is also why they don't have Promethean Refinements: the ten Refinements are the landscape of the Pilgrimage, and you don't get to start exploring then until you start the Pilgrimage. And no Refinements means no Transmutations.

        Azoth, Pyros, Bestowment, and Disquiet: this is where a homunculus is most Promethean-like; though their alchemical engines have yet to fire up. They're stuck in a ground state until they get uplifted to Promethean status. Note that without Transmutations, there's not much for a homunculus to spend Pyros on. But “not much” isn't “nothing”.


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        • #79
          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
          My take:
          · Azoth 1
          · Pyros capacity as per Azoth.
          · Pilgrimage 0
          · Refinement: none, or Homunculus-only.
          · Transmutations: none; Pandoran-like Dread Powers instead.
          · Bestowment: any Promethean.
          · Disquiet: normal
          · Virtue/Vice: Service/Torment, or Elpis/Torment

          Refinement and Virtue/Vice are synced: it we go with no Refinement, it's because we're replacing the Virtue-equivalent with Service; if we're not replacing Elpis with Service, then we're using the “Refinement” entry to define the servitude aspect of homunculus existence. My gut instinct is to go for the former.

          Pilgrimage 0: the Homunculus is not on the Pilgrimage; but neither does it interact with the world the way a mortal does. Pilgrimage 0 (one step before the first rung) captures their status the best. This is also why they don't have Promethean Refinements: the ten Refinements are the landscape of the Pilgrimage, and you don't get to start exploring then until you start the Pilgrimage. And no Refinements means no Transmutations.

          Azoth, Pyros, Bestowment, and Disquiet: this is where a homunculus is most Promethean-like; though their alchemical engines have yet to fire up. They're stuck in a ground state until they get uplifted to Promethean status. Note that without Transmutations, there's not much for a homunculus to spend Pyros on. But “not much” isn't “nothing”.
          Sorry, I missed this.

          So, would Homunculi in this model be able to become Alchemists and acquire individual Distillations, should there be a need/desire for it?

          Possessing Pyros and Servitude, it seems like Homunculi might serve as batteries for their Pyros needing creator/masters.


          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

          Comment


          • #80
            [bump] Anything more ever happen with this idea?

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Jacob View Post
              [bump] Anything more ever happen with this idea?
              Nothing concrete. I've still got a couple different takes on the concept in my notes, but never settled on anything thus far. Maybe someone else finished their take, though.


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

              Comment


              • #82
                Reviewing notes, and I'm thinking Role might/should play an important element in Homunculi. They don't pick their own - it is assigned at their creation and they are stuck in that Role. Any Milestone achievements instead grant Pyros or Willpower. To break free, they need to actually provoke the Breaking Point clause. Possibly get a single Alembic. Still ruminating on it.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                  Sorry, I missed this.
                  Likewise.

                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                  So, would Homunculi in this model be able to become Alchemists and acquire individual Distillations, should there be a need/desire for it?
                  In theory, yes.

                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                  Possessing Pyros and Servitude, it seems like Homunculi might serve as batteries for their Pyros needing creator/masters.
                  They could, yes; that's been discussed from the start.

                  Concerning a Servility Anchor vs. the “Refinement of Ore” concept: the Homunculus is not on the Pilgrimage; and Elpis strikes me as being thematically linked to the Pilgrimage: it's the hope that draws you toward the New Dawn. So Homunculi shouldn't have Elpis. But what should they have? My inclination is to replace it with a Purpose: what was the Homunculus created to do? Using my Automaton touchstone, the Purpose would be the robot's “programming”. It probably includes an element of “obey your master”, but not necessarily; and even if the master disappears for some reason, the homunculus will still be driven by its Purpose. (The Purpose can also potentially be fairly complex; Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics would be a perfectly appropriate Purpose for an Automaton.)

                  I could see the Torment Condition being associated with both the Purpose and Torment Anchors, but in opposite ways: encountering your Torment risks triggering the Torment Condition, and violating your Purpose risks triggering it. Other than that, Purpose works just like Elpis.

                  With this in mind, I'd go without a Refinement (not even a pseudo-Refinement) and without Labors or Roles. Keep It Simple.

                  So with that in mind:

                  • Azoth 1
                  • Pyros capacity as per Azoth.
                  • Pilgrimage 0
                  • Refinement: none.
                  • Transmutations: none; Pandoran-like Dread Powers instead.
                  • Bestowment: any Promethean.
                  • Disquiet: normal; but note that Azoth 1 means that it's inherently weak.
                  • Virtue/Vice: Purpose/Torment.
                  • Lifespan: special.

                  Pilgrimage 0: the Homunculus is not on the Pilgrimage; but neither does it interact with the world the way a mortal does. Pilgrimage 0 (one step before the first rung) captures their status the best. This is also why they don't have Promethean Refinements: the ten Refinements are the landscape of the Pilgrimage, and you don't get to start exploring then until you start the Pilgrimage. And no Refinements means no Transmutations. As well, whatever Dread Powers the Homunculus has were probably “installed” in it by someone else, probably his creator: the Homunculus does not have the means to spontaneously develop them. In fact, the Dread Powers are more like additional Bestowments.

                  Azoth, Pyros, Bestowment, and Disquiet: this is where a homunculus is most Promethean-like; though their alchemical engines have yet to fire up. They're stuck in a ground state until they get uplifted to Promethean status. Note that without Transmutations, there's not much for a homunculus to spend Pyros on. But “not much” isn't “nothing”.

                  Lifespan: same as a regular Promethean if the Homunculus was a unique creation; short-lived if it was mass-produced. Mass- production also makes it harder to upgrade from Homunculus to Promethean; but once Promethean status is achieved, so is a Promethean lifespan.

                  Finally, I don't consider Homunculi to be viable player characters: their role in the game is either as minions or as backstory for a former Homunculus who has started the Pilgrimage.
                  Last edited by Dataweaver; 06-23-2018, 12:37 PM.


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                  • #84
                    I was just thinking about this the other day, I would love to come back to this, and there might be a lot more to work with after the Night Horrors book comes out.

                    BTW, Bernard on Westworld is a perfect Homunculus on the Workaholic Labor.

                    Dataweaver's got a point: homunculi aren't really suited to playable characters. I'd diverge and say they aren't suited to long-term play. I think that they should be looking at the end of that arc in the time it takes a Promethean to complete three Roles. Which suggests to me that the splat could be reconstructed on a three-part narrative arc, which then could slot in a surviving Homunculus on a "regularly scheduled" Pilgrimage. There's a lot of humanity in the homunculus, and the Azothic bond could impart quite a bit more, giving them a headstart. The trick is to keep it from eclipsing other players' Pilgrimages.

                    With respect to DW's differences, NPC homunculi should probably be described in Horror/Pandoran frameworks with an alchemy flavor. What's gone before here is better suited to PC homuncul.


                    LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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                    • #85
                      would it be too ludicrous for a Homunculi to be a result of a Sublimati's Apotheosis? thought id ask.


                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                        would it be too ludicrous for a Homunculi to be a result of a Sublimati's Apotheosis? thought id ask.
                        As an interim stage to full-Promethean? If you want (I was actually considering the same).


                        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          The recent spoiler of the Petrificati from Night Horrors: the Tormented covers a lot of this territory. Of course, we also have the Clones, which, from the hints given by the book's developer, might come even closer to the Homunculi.


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                          • #88
                            Well, Night Horrors: the Tormented is out. The Petrificati do indeed come close in terms of what I envision a Homunculus looking like, albeit coming from a different angle (instead of a not-quite-Promethean whose Azoth hasn't properly ignited and is basically running on embers, a Petrificatus is a failed Promethean whose Azoth has guttered out and is basically running on embers); a clone, not so much.

                            In particular, creating a clone is rougher on a Promethean than how I've been envisioning the creation of a Homunculus: you need to maim the Promethean in the process of extracting a dot of Azoth, which is enough to give the clone a lifespan of a few years. As well, you don't “uplift” a clone to Promethean status; you use its corpse to create a new Promethean. The process is easier than using a regular human corpse; but it still includes “the person who was living in the body dies, and a new person is born”.

                            Conceptually, both Petrificati and clones share with the Homunculus the notion of “running on autopilot” and not really having any free will or agency of their own. There are ideas in both write-ups that could be adapted for the Homunculi; but the latter are still very much a distinct concept.


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