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Undead Menses and shapeshifting

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
    "Undead Seed" seems like the obvious choice here.
    And is well suited to stand in the fertility/virility cult based theme. In my thinking it may be better to change the prerequisite from simple gender identity which has no mechanics to membership (even one dot) in a Mystery Cult Initiation that has the types of beliefs implied by the merit which also fits the role the Vampire would play. I mean if I was going to Homebrew it to tap into occult belief and practices based on Gender Roles and/or Identity (though arguable use of the merit would be use of the Role, I mean it is an occult ritual where you are playing a part thus a Role). Plenty of historic cults of virility and fertility both so, while one cult may elevate femaleness, maleness, or both and thus that cult only have access to the portion they have in their doctrine, both versions are equally valid in the Chronicles of Darkness. (Renaming and re-flavoring merits is even listed in the book, and this seems like an obvious example where this can be applied). Plus I like encouraging Mystery Cult Initiation because it makes a part of the setting the players are invested in that is pretty flavorful.

    Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
    Ritual Bleeder was proposed as a name for a hypothetical equivalent, gender-neutral Merit that produces the blood "in the usual, vein-cutting way" so that you can preserve your sensibilities regarding genital fluids.
    True, true, but adding context adds flavor to the merit, though it need not be the gender based context listed in this thread or in the book to be interesting. I would keep it occult/cult flavored, due to this being the Circle of Crone, perhaps tie it to another trope often with associated fringe/archaic religious practices. Thoughts that comes to mind are ritual sacrifices (possibly in the form of deadly ceremonial feeding), or working in certain configuration of cabals and covens.
    Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 01-05-2017, 04:51 PM.


    “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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    • #47
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Your discomfort with ordinary bodily functions that involve genitals is duly noted.
      There's really no reason to be condescending here. This is a perfectly normal hangup (there's a reason "Tolerance for Biology" is a merit rather than default) and "blood from a penis" is not "ordinary bodily functions" besides.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Maina View Post
        There's really no reason to be condescending here. This is a perfectly normal hangup (there's a reason "Tolerance for Biology" is a merit rather than default) and "blood from a penis" is not "ordinary bodily functions" besides.
        That's fair, I apologize for my bad attitude.


        Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Maina View Post

          There's really no reason to be condescending here. This is a perfectly normal hangup (there's a reason "Tolerance for Biology" is a merit rather than default) and "blood from a penis" is not "ordinary bodily functions" besides.
          Indeed. I am not really squeamish about biological fluids (it would be a significant problem with working in my chosen field, if not an immediate one given my specialization) but copious blood coming out from a penis is almost always a sign of serious trauma or disease, much more so than cutting a finger or a wrist, which can easily be a trivial wound if done the right way or having the kind of healing factor vampires have. My medical training keeps screaming in my head that a bleeding penis is not 'ordinary bodily functions' when I face the issue.
          Last edited by Irioth; 01-06-2017, 12:42 PM.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

            That's fair, I apologize for my bad attitude.
            No offense was taken.

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            • #51
              To be clear, I was referring to ordinary mensturation when I said "normal bodily functions." Undead Menses is not ordinary menstruation, it's just symbolic of menstruation. That's why it doesn't matter if the ritualist using it has anatomy that is naturally capable of menstruation or not, only if they are metaphysically aligned with the symbolism of the menstrual cycle and feminine creative power. If the reality of blood coming out of genital orifices that it isn't supposed to come out of makes you uncomfortable (understandably so - it is meant as body horror), there's nothing wrong with altering the narrative a bit to say that the special ritual blood produced by the Merit is bled from the wrist instead of the genitals. That would negatively impact the symbolic association with menstruation, but that may or may not be a problem for you. Particularly if you want characters who's gender incorporates a generous portion of masculinity to be able to use the Merit as well, it seems like divorcing the "I produce special ritual blood" Merit from menstrual symbolism and making it accessible to everyone kind of kills two birds with one stone for you.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

              My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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              • #52
                Come to think of it, it would actually be mythically resonant for trans-women with Undead Menses to castrate themselves as part of the action necessary to draw out the blood.

                Take 1L from lopping off an unnecessary body part, regrow it by tomorrow evening. Simples!


                I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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                • #53
                  I've never really looked over the merit (I typically play male characters), but I figured it lent more towards a feminine slant because from what I gather the Circle of the Crone was presented as more of a feminine thing in second edition; this slant was reinforced by the Circle being called the Mother's Army, the Mother-Daughter Bond merit, and of course the Undead Menses merit.

                  Likewise I've always looked at the Lancea et Sanctum with a more masculine slant; this slant was reinforced by the mentions of Monks and how the Lancea et Sanctum typically reminds me of the Catholic Church in second edition.

                  I also look at it from a more societal aspect; pagan cults would be more focused on femininity because the Church at large would focus more on masculinity. I imagined that the Circle of the Crone and the Lancea et Sanctum would hold similar practices. This is seen in the sorceries of the covenants; Cruac evokes a primal feel (women were often attributed to being more emotionally invested) with how blood is sacrficed upon an altar, and Theban Sorcery evokes a much more judgmental feeling (men were often attributed to being better leaders and judges of character) with how the Dark Miracles are performed.

                  Honestly I'm fine with Undead Menses being just for women, but I can understand that some people would prefer something that would celebrate their masculinity.

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                  • #54
                    I have to say, this thread is hysterical when run through the gender-swapping bookmarklet I picked up a while ago.


                    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

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                    • #55
                      Ok so with our 20/20 hind sight I'm inclined to believe that the merit in question may have been better named something like "ritual blood offering" and made usable with any blood sorcerery (bleeding from the wounds of Christ giving bonuses to Theban Sorcery is very in theme).

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                        Ok so with our 20/20 hind sight I'm inclined to believe that the merit in question may have been better named something like "ritual blood offering" and made usable with any blood sorcerery (bleeding from the wounds of Christ giving bonuses to Theban Sorcery is very in theme).
                        Except Stigmata is a vastly different thing that has its own Merit. Biblically, the menstrual cycle is seen as unclean to extreme degrees. You need monthly animal sacrifice just to cleanse yourself of your sin, but everything you've touched in that period is unclean, any man who has seen it is also unclean and in that circumstance, 'both shall be cut off from other people.'

                        Cruac views it as an empowering and natural thing.

                        It wouldn't make sense for menstrual blood to be used for Lancea et Sanctum rituals unless the ritualist was a blasphemer.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                          Ok so with our 20/20 hind sight I'm inclined to believe that the merit in question may have been better named something like "ritual blood offering" and made usable with any blood sorcerery (bleeding from the wounds of Christ giving bonuses to Theban Sorcery is very in theme).
                          I disagree. The Merit as-written encourages body-positivivity, giving a positive connotation to an undeservedly stigmatized aspect of human biology. It encourages trans representation by giving transfeminine characters access to a Merit on the basis of being feminine. It generates discussion of gender. And it does all of it in a way that is highly thematically appropriate for the Circle of the Crone. There's certainly nothing wrong with generalizing the Merit in your home game, and I encourage folks to do so if they want a similar power to be accessible to male characters or to disassociate the power from mensturation. But as a default I think its specificity is to its great advantage.


                          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                          My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                            I disagree. The Merit as-written encourages body-positivivity, giving a positive connotation to an undeservedly stigmatized aspect of human biology. It encourages trans representation by giving transfeminine characters access to a Merit on the basis of being feminine. It generates discussion of gender. And it does all of it in a way that is highly thematically appropriate for the Circle of the Crone. There's certainly nothing wrong with generalizing the Merit in your home game, and I encourage folks to do so if they want a similar power to be accessible to male characters or to disassociate the power from mensturation. But as a default I think its specificity is to its great advantage.
                            As a trans gal, I think it's rad as hell and the suggested change woild be a great loss.


                            Just call me Lex.

                            Female pronouns for me, please.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                              As a trans gal, I think it's rad as hell and the suggested change woild be a great loss.
                              Same here.


                              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                              My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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