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Gotta Do This Before You Live-Essential Experiences to the Human Condition

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  • Gotta Do This Before You Live-Essential Experiences to the Human Condition

    So, yesterday I was in work, and my supervisor, my scheduler, and a floor support, and deftly avoided a bar joke. ANyways, one of them quoted Spaceballs, and the scheduler didn't get it. My Supervisor immediately went "Go home, you have the day off, go home and watch Spaceballs. You have to do it."

    We've all heard something like that, right? You gotta go to Disneyland once before you die, or you have to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You gotta get drunk, have sex, go diving-some sort of stuff like that. And you know it's interesting to think about just what people think is needed to get the fullness of the human experience. With only so much time, why are things like "ping your friend in the head with a ball at mini-golf" and "see the ocean" and things like that considered essential?

    And for Promethean, that becomes a very big question, because these are the experiences that will transform them, bring them in. Hell, we've seen block parties and twerking as milestones(okay, that last one was sort of joking, but I stand by it).

    So, Let's get the ball rolling. What are some things you've heard that you have to do, and why do you think it's more important than it seems? Even if you don't think it really is, speculate why some people do think that.


    Sean K.I.W. Steele, Onyx Path Freelancer
    Working on:Night Horrors: Enemy Action
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

  • #2
    Go back to some place you used to live (and I mean lived in, known through and through, with your own stories and secret places) after years and see how someone else is living there. Or even just how time has changed it.

    It drives home how life is change, that what was once "yours" wasn't ever just yours, how people can see the same things differently, and you probably displaced a prior resident's/owner's own claim on the space.
    Last edited by Vent0; 11-01-2016, 11:43 AM.


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

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    • #3
      I haven't heard about "going to Disneyland before you die", but I have heard "You should visit the Grand Canyon before you die". My dad personally wants to see the Pyramids under that same notion.

      There's also the common "you should see a mountain summit, or an ocean at least once in your life".

      I think the common thread is having a personal realization at our own insignificance compared to monumental wonders, natural or otherwise.

      It's also it's own pilgrimage. The imperative is the verb to go.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        So, yesterday I was in work, and my supervisor, my scheduler, and a floor support, and deftly avoided a bar joke. ANyways, one of them quoted Spaceballs, and the scheduler didn't get it. My Supervisor immediately went "Go home, you have the day off, go home and watch Spaceballs. You have to do it."

        We've all heard something like that, right? You gotta go to Disneyland once before you die, or you have to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You gotta get drunk, have sex, go diving-some sort of stuff like that. And you know it's interesting to think about just what people think is needed to get the fullness of the human experience. With only so much time, why are things like "ping your friend in the head with a ball at mini-golf" and "see the ocean" and things like that considered essential?

        And for Promethean, that becomes a very big question, because these are the experiences that will transform them, bring them in. Hell, we've seen block parties and twerking as milestones(okay, that last one was sort of joking, but I stand by it).

        So, Let's get the ball rolling. What are some things you've heard that you have to do, and why do you think it's more important than it seems? Even if you don't think it really is, speculate why some people do think that.

        You've hit upon a really interesting fact of the human condition, here: We tend to assume that our experiences are universal, when in fact they're highly personal. If we find people with the same experiences, we then have (incorrect) evidence that these experiences are crucial, when in fact they're just shared.

        To wit: I don't hate sports, but I don't really care about them (it?) either. I live in Cleveland, which is presently going bananas because we might win the World Series. Not only do I not care, I find baseball boring as hell, but a lot of the people around me find rooting for Local Sports Team (in this case the Indians) to be a really important part of their lives.


        Matthew McFarland
        Writer, developer, etc.

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        • #5
          Extending out Matt's point, I can see that being a real problem with throngmates trying to "help" each other along the path. Each Promethean could quite naturally see their Milestones as essential and so their advice to others would often be along the "Go see Spaceballs!" line. The best tutors for Prometheans would be the ones able to, like a good psychologist, tease out the essential aspects of their student to help point them in the right direction.


          Eric Christian Berg
          Onyx Path Freelancer
          Promethean: The Created Second Edition, Dark Eras Companion

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          • #6
            To wit about sportsball - I, as well, do not go bananas for baseball, and never would have said "go see a baseball game at least once before you die;" BUT: my family (myself included) went to a Red Sox game some months ago, and it was the first game my sister had ever been to. Watching a 26 year-olds-face light up like she's five again (especially when you remember what she was like when she was five) is pretty great.
            So I don't know if "a Red Sox game" is the crucial experience, here, but "find a way to bring someone back to the wonder of childhood and do so" is probably approaching it.

            Once, at a former job, I dropped a tin of cinnamon on the floor. It went everywhere, and I was immediately caught awash in the knowledge of how much wealth that would have been a thousand years ago in certain parts of the world.
            The scope of history and your experience in it strike at strange times.

            Make something beautiful and destroy something someone else made, are probably essential experiences. It can be breaking down a theater set, it doesn't have to be malevolent, but those strike me as being both broad and important.
            Last edited by Ben Quo; 11-01-2016, 05:32 PM.


            My Promethean Homebrew.

            Yes, I made it the same way as a Promethean. No, the authorities haven't found me yet.

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            • #7
              Personally, I'd like to be able to travel abroad at least once in my life. I've known a few people who've done it a few times, and so I want to have a chance to immerse myself in a different culture.

              That can translate perfectly to a Pilgrimage. Take the time to explore a new place, and appreciate how diverse things are in another part of the globe.


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              • #8
                I think it also depends on how you approach it and what purpose it serves. I can see attending a major sporting event being useful for both Aurum and Ferrum. Even if we don't really understand sports it is worthwhile to attempt to understand why so many other people are so interested and invested in them. Fascination with athleticism is a cross-cultural phenomenon that stretches back to early human history, which would seem to suggest there may be something useful there for a Promethean grappling with their own aspirations of humanity.

                For my own part I think it has something to do with watching what our defective sausage casing is capable of doing under the right circumstances, as well as acting as an exercise in community-building.
                Last edited by Caitiff Primogen; 11-02-2016, 11:55 AM.

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                • #9
                  Doing something that has a a real chance of killing you. Just straight up risking your life. Because once you survive,or don't. You will know yourself so much better. You know just exactly what is the most important thing to you

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                  • #10
                    edit:double posst
                    Last edited by Nicolas Milioni; 11-02-2016, 01:36 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                      Personally, I'd like to be able to travel abroad at least once in my life. I've known a few people who've done it a few times, and so I want to have a chance to immerse myself in a different culture.
                      Do it. If you read between the lines of the Hero's Journey, that is literally all it is: going there and back again, and not only being better for it, but also making your hometown better for it.


                      I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
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                      • #12
                        So, lemme call BS on all of this, in good fun. None of these things are essential to your humanity, or anyone else's. I'm not bashing these things, but so many people will die without ever experiencing any of these, or other things. Maybe it's disinterest, maybe it's the lack of an opportunity, but any given experience is not a given for anyone. Missing an experience, for whatever reason, is also a part of the human condition, and one that shapes a person's perspective as well. Those of us without children will have a different perspective not only on kids, but on our own childhoods as well. Prometheans likely have a similarly divergent outlook on children as well, never having had a childhood nor a parent. A shut-in is no more or less a human than a deep-wilderness camper.

                        What all of these suggestions do is try to build a bridge of understanding between the inexperienced and the advisor. In one way, the suggestion that a person "see Spaceballs" is good-natured and inclusive, about trying to in-group the advised so both can communicate within that frame of reference. In another way, it's a means of enforcing division and hierarchy. If you have not seen Spaceballs, you are incapable of full participation within the in-group, and if you reject Spaceballs, you reject the in-group.

                        This is how we come to Roles, funnily enough. On their face, each Role is a set of mores that inform that position among people. A Promethean will embark by learning the expected behavior, and will draw attention to herself (and risk backsliding) when she defies that expectation. She finally transcends the Role when she discovers how a human experiences it, or in our vernacular, when she sees Spaceballs and understands why people love it so much. She might have to watch Star Wars and Blazing Saddles first, but no one ever said that the Pilgrimage was going to be a cakewalk.


                        LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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                        • #13
                          ^yeah

                          Also something to think about for Promethean: a lot of sci-fi and fantasy (think "human racial traits in a setting with fantasy races") tends to equate "human" with "16 to 60 year old person living in the Western world who's relatively healthy and comfortable." That's certainly one category of humanity, and the majority of Promethean players, but it's a bit narrow to be making statements about the "Human Condition."

                          Li'l thought experiment: are there any humans who wouldn't complete the Pilgrimage or qualify for the New Dawn? Is there any person whom the Created would look at and say "mm, not human enough," or is any human life worth experiencing?
                          Last edited by Caladriu; 11-05-2016, 02:18 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Verge - I thought we were all posting with your points in mind, especially after Arcane Arts pointed out "it's funny what people think is essential to the human experience." It's a very personalized experience.
                            Also, tangentially - you don't get to tell people what is or is not essential to their own experience. Humanity is, after all, a matter of perspective; you can be highly specific in a recommendation and that is something that defined "your" humanity, or you can be broader and pick up a bunch of trends which - I don't think anyone would argue that "experience art" isn't essential to the human experience. I'd be worried about anyone who did believe that, especially since art is so far-reaching a word these days.

                            Caladiru - as to your thought experiment, most Promethean PCs I've seen tend to either stake out positive role-models or goals in society, but my Promethean NPCs tend to be more misguided. Idolized a clearly abusive misogynist general, since said general rescued said NPC to use as a weapon but hey better than being in the gutter, right? Another thought the best expression of humanity was being a serial-killer. He was also heavily uncomfortable to be around.

                            So to not derail the thread anymore with, essential human experiences: 100%, go on a tall building or a cliff, something with a view, find out how high up you need to go before you get vertigo. Treat this as a window into human progress; astronauts are higher still, and you can get the same experience on your back looking at the stars.


                            My Promethean Homebrew.

                            Yes, I made it the same way as a Promethean. No, the authorities haven't found me yet.

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                            • #15
                              I wasn't pissing on the parade, I was trying to widen the perspective. I'm employed in a social work-adjacent field, and everyday I encounter people who feel cheated of their humanity, their dignity, or their agency. And everyday I met people who feel like they've found these things despite their limitations. I think we can all agree that this is all subjective, that the experiences we have are essential to who we are as individuals, and I'm not saying these things mean nothing when we move to social contexts. Shared experience is key to communication, and comparable experience is vital to empathy.

                              Why I wanted to break the conversation out of "you've got to see Spaceballs" is because one of the subtexts of Promethean is the granularity of experience, and a piecemeal approach to overcoming exclusion. Prometheans are trying to divine a beach from a handful of sand, while the mortals around them clamor that it's the wrong kind of sand, or you better out that sand down, or why can't you just be happy with that sand and go away. Meanwhile, some humans will only ever get that handful of sand, or a handful of salt water, or shards of a sand dollar, while never feeling the heat of the sun, the surge of the waves, or the roar of the wind. Human experience is more than just a bucket list.

                              To me, learning and creating are some of the most vital things a person can do. Learn something. Create something. Never stop. Watch how the things you thought you knew grow deeper, more mysterious and yet more enlightening. Watch how the things you create take on a life of their own. There is nothing in this world that isn't a part of a larger force, yet everything is composed of particles and waves colliding.


                              LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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