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Pijavica and Protean: Discipline Alterations

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  • Pijavica and Protean: Discipline Alterations

    Hey all, Korogra here! After reading A Thousand Years Of Night and taking an even greater interest in the Pijavica, my mind kept coming back to the fact that they had Protean as their signature Discipline and a thought occurred to me: Protean had to function differently for the Pijavica than it did for the Gangrel in order to more effectively reflect the nature of their particular brand of the Curse, and I'm not talking about them just having creepy blood-worm themed Devotions. Sure at its core their Protean would operate under the same principle; being shape changing powers that give the Beast a more material expression of Itself, but that's wherein the differences would rapidly become apparent. Much like how the Akhem-Urtu possessing unique versions of existing Utterance powers in Mummy; Protean when used by the Pijavica carries with it abilities unique to their clan. Now what would these abilities be? I'm not entirely sure, but I am already starting to get a vague mental picture. I do think that the Discipline's five levels would still more or less function similarly to how they do when the Gangrel or other vampires use Protean, but at the same time they do not.. perhaps they have the same powers for each level, but instead of a focus on animals and how the Beast emulates them, perhaps it deals with blood and flesh-warping? Now I'm not sure how this would work and will probably build a homebrewed version of Protean for the Pijavica, but I would love help and input from you guys! If you could give your own theories and ideas of how this would work, I would immensely appreciate it. I'm sure that we could all come up with something really cool! As always, I look forward to seeing what you guys think on this conundrum! Thanks and have a wonderful day!

  • #2
    It has been said by others on this forum that the pijavica are a VtR expy of the tzimisce so maybe something similar to fleashcraft but more goopy


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    • #3
      I personally think all clans should have slightly tweaked aesthetics for their discipline use, so it's very easy for me to imagine that the aesthetic of Protean when used by Pijavica would be more like The Thing than an animal.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by The young man in the cafe View Post
        It has been said by others on this forum that the pijavica are a VtR expy of the tzimisce so maybe something similar to fleashcraft but more goopy
        Yeah, I've made that connection and I think that it would be pretty cool to partially meld the flesh and bone manipulation of Viccissitude with the free flowing shape changing of Protean to reflect the metamorphic nature of the Pijavica

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        • #5
          Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
          I personally think all clans should have slightly tweaked aesthetics for their discipline use, so it's very easy for me to imagine that the aesthetic of Protean when used by Pijavica would be more like The Thing than an animal.
          I agree, the potential is limitless. While I'm not a fan of the Thing as a franchise, that does give me an idea for Devotions relying on Protean/Animalism

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          • #6
            Well, maybe the Gangrel just have a more limited vision. Claws and fur, burrowing and fangs. The ingredients of a mammal, usually. On the periphery, reptiles and fish. These are all from Chordates, mostly Vertebrates. In the rarest cases, arthropods, which still keeps you in Bilatera.

            But, there is a great big world of other animals out there: Molluscs, Annelids, Flatworms, Nematodes, Cnidarians, Sponges, and Comb Jellies. Among this group, the Pijavica life-cycle and body plans are actually fairly mundane.

            That's just in Animalia, and the outer bounds of Animalia has become a slightly fuzzier concept lately than it used to be.

            Choanoflagellates are kissing cousins of animals, and, though unicellular, some form colonial systems, like very, very early animals.

            Further afield, fungi (mushrooms, yeasts, and molds) are not plants, but are more their whole own thing. Like animals, they are heterotrophs (eating outside material) and share the material chitin with insects. They lack motility, though some spores move with flagella, in a manner similar to animal sperm, rather than like protists. Molecular Biology pretty much now says they have several traits in common with animals, and are definitely closer to animals than plants. (This, though, is a bit like saying Mercury is closer to Venus than Mars. It's largely true, but it's still not close.)

            So, just widen the palette Protean uses, and you've got the Pijavica explained.

            The bigger question might be: why don't Gangrel ever seem to use animal traits from a wider group?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post

              The bigger question might be: why don't Gangrel ever seem to use animal traits from a wider group?
              Probably has to do with how vampires supernaturally resonate/sympathize with predators.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                Well, maybe the Gangrel just have a more limited vision. Claws and fur, burrowing and fangs. The ingredients of a mammal, usually. On the periphery, reptiles and fish. These are all from Chordates, mostly Vertebrates. In the rarest cases, arthropods, which still keeps you in Bilatera.

                But, there is a great big world of other animals out there: Molluscs, Annelids, Flatworms, Nematodes, Cnidarians, Sponges, and Comb Jellies. Among this group, the Pijavica life-cycle and body plans are actually fairly mundane.

                That's just in Animalia, and the outer bounds of Animalia has become a slightly fuzzier concept lately than it used to be.

                Choanoflagellates are kissing cousins of animals, and, though unicellular, some form colonial systems, like very, very early animals.

                Further afield, fungi (mushrooms, yeasts, and molds) are not plants, but are more their whole own thing. Like animals, they are heterotrophs (eating outside material) and share the material chitin with insects. They lack motility, though some spores move with flagella, in a manner similar to animal sperm, rather than like protists. Molecular Biology pretty much now says they have several traits in common with animals, and are definitely closer to animals than plants. (This, though, is a bit like saying Mercury is closer to Venus than Mars. It's largely true, but it's still not close.)

                So, just widen the palette Protean uses, and you've got the Pijavica explained.

                The bigger question might be: why don't Gangrel ever seem to use animal traits from a wider group?
                Like the previous post stated. Protean does have a supernatural connection to predatory animals, and the mechanics limit what sort of creatures can be imitated. Still, such things like fungi and other microorganisms would be cool for the Pijavica

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                • #9
                  This would be an interesting avenue for a Bloodline to explore. I have some ideas about Pijavica bloodlines and, say, insects, but I'm borrowing a computer right now and cannot expand my ideas properly.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SpectacularTentacular View Post
                    This would be an interesting avenue for a Bloodline to explore. I have some ideas about Pijavica bloodlines and, say, insects, but I'm borrowing a computer right now and cannot expand my ideas properly.
                    When you have the time, I would love to hear it. Just today I thought of a particularly deliciously Tzimisce esque devotion that essentially recreates The Corruption from Dead Space. I'll post it after my shift tonight

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                    • #11
                      Well, other than something like a poison ability or maybe a variation of spider webbing, what abilities can you put down that aren't already covered by reflavoring Protean? Lets say that one of the Pijavica uses prtean to make extra arms and a bloody hand-knife. How is that different from the mechanics of Prehensile Tail and Claw?

                      Here's the thing. Its pretty trivial to reflavor Protean features into something other than the classic bat, wolf and reptile. So, going by just rough mechanics, what kind of feature is lacking? Protean 3 is admittedly trickier to do, since that requires basically creating new forms each time from the ground up (which is a pain in the arse for anything not on the errata animal list), but what about anything else?

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                      • #12
                        Even if you come up with powers that aren't reflavourings of Protean, they could easily fit in as Clan-only Devotions or even Merits...


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MCN View Post
                          Well, other than something like a poison ability or maybe a variation of spider webbing, what abilities can you put down that aren't already covered by reflavoring Protean? Lets say that one of the Pijavica uses prtean to make extra arms and a bloody hand-knife. How is that different from the mechanics of Prehensile Tail and Claw?

                          Here's the thing. Its pretty trivial to reflavor Protean features into something other than the classic bat, wolf and reptile. So, going by just rough mechanics, what kind of feature is lacking? Protean 3 is admittedly trickier to do, since that requires basically creating new forms each time from the ground up (which is a pain in the arse for anything not on the errata animal list), but what about anything else?
                          Any of the following abilities would need to be written up with game mechanics in mind and might not be possible, anyway, but are worth consideration:

                          Lacking a skeleton might allow squeezing through extremely small openings and would make you virtually impossible to tie up or handcuff. It also ma give the option of enveloping another creature completely.

                          Carnivorous sponges (which sound like a bad horror movie concept, but exist on the continental shelf off Antarctica) hunt by producing a very sticky substance which traps prey on their surface and then absorb nutrients at their leisure. This sticky stuff is strong enough to hold prey in very cold salt water. If used on dry land, it would make it virtually impossible for prey to escape.

                          Coral and some molluscs are able to create hard, stone-like structures around their bodies. A vampire who is expecting to enter torpor could create such a shell before merging with the earth, making for a very durable haven.

                          Jellyfish and flatworms often have no heart, using a system distantly similar to peristalsis to push nutrients through their bodies. Some animals have no circulatory system at all; blood (if they have clearly differentiated blood, many just use sea water) just diffuses through their body. How would you stake a vampire with this set-up?

                          Brains are another optional organ, common among vertebrates, but not especially vital among other animals. Some have a bundle of nerves that kind of resemble a brain, some just don't, and contract out all their nerve activity to individual body parts. This is why octopus tentacles keep moving and reacting to touch after removal. If a vampire had this feature, would beheading matter?

                          If you want to start a shouting match at a dinner party full of biologists, take on firm stand on whether there are any animals that do not feel pain. It is... contentious, to say the least. But, for story purposes, it could allow to you argue for using Protean to remove the concept of wound penalties.

                          If you want some ideas for some immunities to different types of damage, the list is pretty long, just check out the wikipedia article on extremophiles. Picrophilus has an optimal growth pH of .2, approaching the acidity of battery acid. Strain 121 (which arguably would not eligible since it's not quite an animal... it is an Archaean, but...) can reproduce at 121centigrade. Yep, that's well above the boiling point of water. It lives at very high pressure, so the sea water is still liquid at that temperature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile

                          Are you looking for a user of Protean who can be put into a light-proof box, with a supply of blood, and survive the rigors of space, unshielded, while being shot to Mars? Teach him about Tardigrades. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                            Coral and some molluscs are able to create hard, stone-like structures around their bodies. A vampire who is expecting to enter torpor could create such a shell before merging with the earth, making for a very durable haven.
                            I have a similar thing already written as a Protean/Resilience devotion.

                            Mummify
                            (Protean •, Resilience ••)

                            By spending a Vitae the vampire may become a dried up husk of herself. This husk is as immobile and unperceptive as the Unmarked Grave and confers the same advantages, including the possibility to switch Protean aspects. Additionally, her mummified skin gains general armor rating equal to her Resilience dots.
                            This devotion costs 2 Experiences to learn.
                            Last edited by Tessie; 07-24-2017, 01:54 AM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                              Any of the following abilities would need to be written up with game mechanics in mind and might not be possible, anyway, but are worth consideration:
                              Hmm... seems to be mostly overlapping with already existing things. Or already redundant with innate aspects of vampirehood. Easily doable already, save the Extreme Environment bit near the end.

                              Lacking a skeleton might allow squeezing through extremely small openings and would make you virtually impossible to tie up or handcuff. It also ma give the option of enveloping another creature completely.
                              Rubbery Flesh already lets you squeeze through small openings. Enveloping a creature entirely could, depending on what you do with it, be reproduced by the mist form (killing from inside out) or barbed hands (grappling power), or another, depending on what "enveloping" goes for.

                              Carnivorous sponges (which sound like a bad horror movie concept, but exist on the continental shelf off Antarctica) hunt by producing a very sticky substance which traps prey on their surface and then absorb nutrients at their leisure. This sticky stuff is strong enough to hold prey in very cold salt water. If used on dry land, it would make it virtually impossible for prey to escape.
                              Another grappling bonus, ala reflavored Barbed Hands.

                              Coral and some molluscs are able to create hard, stone-like structures around their bodies. A vampire who is expecting to enter torpor could create such a shell before merging with the earth, making for a very durable haven.
                              There's already an entire discipline that fucntions as vampire-armor, and a devotion for super-torpor protection.

                              Jellyfish and flatworms often have no heart, using a system distantly similar to peristalsis to push nutrients through their bodies. Some animals have no circulatory system at all; blood (if they have clearly differentiated blood, many just use sea water) just diffuses through their body. How would you stake a vampire with this set-up?
                              There are already several anti-staking abilities in the game. Should protean be able to reproduce an ability that's in another power? We don't want protean to become the everything-power, after all. You could argue for scent glands for a social bonus, but that's stepping on Majesty's territory.

                              And, even if you allow it? There are drawbacks to not having a heart, as per the Scale.

                              Brains are another optional organ, common among vertebrates, but not especially vital among other animals. Some have a bundle of nerves that kind of resemble a brain, some just don't, and contract out all their nerve activity to individual body parts. This is why octopus tentacles keep moving and reacting to touch after removal. If a vampire had this feature, would beheading matter?
                              Does beheading matter now? At best, that's a kind of killing blow situation where massive amounts of damage are bleeding over lethal into agg (thus torpor). There's nothing to suggest that a vampire with its head cut off is any different than any other kind of massive-damage situation.

                              You're suggesting a "counter" to something that doesn't exist in the rules in the first place.

                              If you want to start a shouting match at a dinner party full of biologists, take on firm stand on whether there are any animals that do not feel pain. It is... contentious, to say the least. But, for story purposes, it could allow to you argue for using Protean to remove the concept of wound penalties.
                              That's a natural ability of vampires - there's a reason frenzy shuts that off in the first place, and vampires experience it when not frenzying. Rewiring the nervous system won't change that.

                              Also, suggesting that wound penalties are entirely associated with pain is a bit of a misnomer. The penalties exist for a number of reasons beyond pain.

                              If you want some ideas for some immunities to different types of damage, the list is pretty long, just check out the wikipedia article on extremophiles. Picrophilus has an optimal growth pH of .2, approaching the acidity of battery acid. Strain 121 (which arguably would not eligible since it's not quite an animal... it is an Archaean, but...) can reproduce at 121centigrade. Yep, that's well above the boiling point of water. It lives at very high pressure, so the sea water is still liquid at that temperature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile
                              Sure, you could go with the anti-Extreme Environment route, but that rarely comes up in a vampire game in the first place. And its entirely possible to do so with existing animals. So, not really something I'd put under "unusual protean forms."

                              Are you looking for a user of Protean who can be put into a light-proof box, with a supply of blood, and survive the rigors of space, unshielded, while being shot to Mars? Teach him about Tardigrades. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade
                              Umm.... who says you even need protean to begin with? Exposure to a vacuum deals with water vapor forming and expanding in the body. Vitae, by its very nature, won't do that; it lies under a vampires control all the time to the point it can't leak out of the body under any pressure, gravitational, suction, whatever. There's no need of air either, and even the vacuum of space isnt' strong enough to pull non-moisturized flesh apart.

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