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  • Question about Touchstones

    I didn't see this in the FAQ and this has always been the most hotly debated argument I've had when running B&S/VtR2e.

    When a vampire loses their touchstone, it's a huge big hubbabaloo. "Lacrimosa" plays dramatically while the vampire laments their tragic existence and they vanish away never to be seen from again.

    ...that's only if the touchstone 'dies' or is broken or lost, right? Not if they get detached? That's how I've always assumed, but I've had people suggest that basically losing a single humanity is enough to make a Ventrue want to flee from their existence forever.

  • #2
    The allusion is that you could re-attach yourself to a still living touchstone. The same isn't likely when your mom dies of an OD.

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    • #3
      That really depends on the chronicle style. Some STs play up the dramatic elements of touchstones dying or getting destroyed. Some STs and PCs use touchstones as the victim of the week or magical bullets to shoot rivals. In the latter instances they're really nothing more than expendable resources so I fail to see how it's appropriately dramatic to cry over losing them. Especially when they can be cheaply and easily replaced.

      And no, detachment isn't the same dramatically. The detachment can occur because the touchstone person moves overseas on deployment or business or the vampire "detaches" because they failed their check after burning down a hospital and they aren't interested in hanging out at the local bar any more, not because their touchstone was killed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
        That really depends on the chronicle style. Some STs play up the dramatic elements of touchstones dying or getting destroyed. Some STs and PCs use touchstones as the victim of the week or magical bullets to shoot rivals. In the latter instances they're really nothing more than expendable resources so I fail to see how it's appropriately dramatic to cry over losing them. Especially when they can be cheaply and easily replaced.
        Well there are rules that make it so you have to go into torpor or waste away into torpor (or find a new touchstone) if you lose your touchstone, so that makes it difficult to use touchstones as victim of the week unless the ST is particularly interested in losing the Kindred or forcing them to dump all of their experience into touchstones. (Though I suppose with sanctity of merits, if you lose a touchstone, you could always just...get a new one right away. Which seems kind of like cheating?)

        Do STs usually ignore that rule?

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        • #5
          If the player doesn't waste their merit points and/or subsequent experience points on touchstones to boost detachment rolls then they aren't subject to the penalties of losing touchstones. (You can't lose something you never had.)
          Touchstones really aren't "supposed" to be used by STs to railroad players into confrontations with other NPCs. Yet that's something I've seen happen in games and even been subjected to on more than one occasion.

          When your character's human touchstone gets raped and murdered by an NPC antagonist, it is not cheating to turn around and say the stuffed teddy bear they gave you or their now orphaned child or younger sibling is the replacement touchstone for that character any more than the ST was cheating when he just violated your character's touchstone in the first place.

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          • #6
            Detached is different from losing a Touchstone. When you lose the dot of Humanity associated with a Touchstone, you detach from it; nothing happens other than losing the detachment roll bonus. You might also feel a bit guilty, or if you're a Ventrue, like a bigger jerk than you usually are because you're a Ventrue. When you lose a Touchstone (your mum dies, you smash your brother's pocket watch, the old mill done burnt down) all the bad stuff happens.

            Edit: To clarify, detaching from a Touchstone doesn't have to be undramatic, it just doesn't bear as much mechanical weight as losing it. My character recently got a bane that means he can never keep his silver cross on his person ever again. It's not destroyed, and he's kept it, but he's very much detached from it, and that gnaws at him.
            Last edited by Yossarian; 03-09-2017, 02:30 PM.



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            • #7
              Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
              If the player doesn't waste their merit points and/or subsequent experience points on touchstones to boost detachment rolls then they aren't subject to the penalties of losing touchstones. (You can't lose something you never had.)
              Incorrect. Starting characters have one Touchstone by default, so if a PC loses that Touchstone and has not spent any Merit dots or experiences on Touchstones, they will have to find a new Touchstone (paying the necessary experience cost) within one in-game month or gain the Languid Condition.

              Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
              Touchstones really aren't "supposed" to be used by STs to railroad players into confrontations with other NPCs. Yet that's something I've seen happen in games and even been subjected to on more than one occasion.
              Citation needed?

              Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
              When your character's human touchstone gets raped and murdered by an NPC antagonist, it is not cheating to turn around and say the stuffed teddy bear they gave you or their now orphaned child or younger sibling is the replacement touchstone for that character any more than the ST was cheating when he just violated your character's touchstone in the first place.
              Sounds like you have an awfully antagonistic player/ST dynamic. Ideally players and STs should be on the same page about what is or is not appropriate to take as a Touchstone, and what situations it is or is not appropriate for Touchstones to be put into.

              Anyway, to answer RomulusGloriosus' question, the Languid Condition only happens when the last Touchstone dies or is otherwise permanently lost, not when they are detached.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                Well there are rules that make it so you have to go into torpor or waste away into torpor (or find a new touchstone) if you lose your touchstone, so that makes it difficult to use touchstones as victim of the week unless the ST is particularly interested in losing the Kindred or forcing them to dump all of their experience into touchstones. (Though I suppose with sanctity of merits, if you lose a touchstone, you could always just...get a new one right away. Which seems kind of like cheating?)
                Sanctity of Merits doesn't remove the requirement that Merit gains be justified in the narrative. So, it is possible to use Sanctity of Merits to get a new dot of the Touchstones Merit in exchange for the dot just lost, but I would still require the player to spend the in-game month finding and forming a bond with that new Touchstone.

                Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
                Do STs usually ignore that rule?
                I don't know what Tsusasi does, but no, in my experience STs don't normally ignore that rule.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                  Anyway, to answer RomulusGloriosus' question, the Languid Condition only happens when the last Touchstone dies or is otherwise permanently lost, not when they are detached.
                  Thank you Charlaquin - you're always a big help!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
                    I didn't see this in the FAQ and this has always been the most hotly debated argument I've had when running B&S/VtR2e.

                    When a vampire loses their touchstone, it's a huge big hubbabaloo. "Lacrimosa" plays dramatically while the vampire laments their tragic existence and they vanish away never to be seen from again.

                    ...that's only if the touchstone 'dies' or is broken or lost, right? Not if they get detached? That's how I've always assumed, but I've had people suggest that basically losing a single humanity is enough to make a Ventrue want to flee from their existence forever.
                    Right, detached is different from actually gone.


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