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  • Let's Read Half Damned

    Because that book looks cool enough, and I waited for it long enough, and I always wanted to make such a thread :P

    Table of Content

    Dhampirs, Revenants and Ghouls. No surprises in here. Seems to be much more in depth than what I expected- which is always a good thing.

    Introduction

    Good opening. Making a quick yet strong impression of who the "half damned" are and their place in the setting. Nice.

    Strange that they start with dhampirs as the first chapter and ghouls as the last. I assume they wanted to put the "cool and new" at the front. Still, strange.

    Ohh I do like the all "children who were never meant to be born, and as such become tuned to fate" thing which goes for dhampirs. Cool. Really cool.

    Themes of family and rebellion.. so being a dhampir is being an eternal teenager? :P

    Again the Omen thing. Really gives a "Child of Misfortune" feeling. I like it.

    Revenants- again, an whole isolation and outcast themes. I must say, the Revenant really do feel like a "Wicked Dead", even though they didn't showed up in that book. Good thing they were added in 2e.

    Being a revenant seems to be a sad, sad existence, even more than I imagined. It feels like the book did really managed to give a solid reason for why revenants need a supplement instead of being "just" a sidebar about a weird phenomena/antagonist.

    Finally- ghouls. I wonder if the phanariots would get an honorary mention in here (not likely, but one can hope!).

    Selfish servants who are bound to their regnant? Sounds like a good description of what a "ghoul" is.

    And for a word from our sponsors (inspirational media!)-

    So each lesser template gets its own media? Makes sense.

    For Dhampirs:

    Vampire Hunter D- always saw the AMV, never saw the anime. Maybe I should.

    Blade, for obvious reasons.

    Angel? cool.

    For Revenants:

    never heard of any of those. Oh well.

    For Ghouls:

    Dracula. Colour me surprise *sarcasm*

    Other CofD:

    Ghouls- like, duh?

    Wicked Dead- one of my favorites.

    We are going for commercials- Fiction

    A strong, black woman fucks with a two dimensional villain. Its kinda cool and easy to read, and kinda cement the dhampir condition- but it is kinda too on the nose. Still, there is only so much you can do in an opening fiction, right?

    Well, I need to go to eat. Chapter 1 would, obviously, come next.


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  • #2
    Chapter I- Dhampirs

    Now the real fun can begin.

    A GoT quote. Cool.

    A passage for justifying the dhampir's place in the setting.

    I must say I'm not sure about all of this "vampire demonization", but as this is all presented from the dhampiric PoV I can accept it.

    So the act of making a dhampir is a selfish one. Well, its not like it is the natural mean of reproduction for the undead :P

    "where the Embrace is sometimes forbidden, making a dhampir rarely is"- of course, because who would have thought you would be stupid enough for that?

    wait.. so Success on the Attachment role means you can say "fuck the child, throw it to the genesis lab"? Yikes.

    I wonder if a "mortal and a vampire" still means what it meant in Wicked Dead. You know, the poor mortal guy who got a dhampir in his belly.

    I can accept that Embraced pregnant women have a chance to birth a vampire- but how exactly the curse vector move from a father to the womb of a future mother? I assume it works more or less through the other ways the Beast "embody" itself in others, but still, a bit complicated process.

    Random thought- what would happen if a strix ridden vampire would try to make a dhampir? The strix do have Curac, after all.

    So the presented rituals work only when biology agrees with sorcery. Ha. In my table, those rituals would be the "safe" options, which the ones from Wicked Dead as the more.. drastic ones.

    So the Covenants generally accept the existence of dhampirs? They have their reasons, I assume. Oh, here are their reasons-

    Carthians- there is a strength in numbers. You are a number.

    Circle of the Crone- Behold the miracle of unholy birth!

    (be careful of the scary midwives)

    Invictus- You are not a part of the All Night Society. You are its property.

    Half Blood Director- because "Prince" was taken (still, cool plot hook).

    Lancea et Sanctum- Dark Jesus Reborn, the holy scourge of God!

    (I must say it is like 180 degrees away from their view in Wicked Dead- and from what it is said in the Testament of Longinus. I assume that the Church of the Damned would have its own reasoning for why they do not butcher dhampirs as they were commanded).

    Ordo Dracul- what a beautiful subject of research...

    Well, the Covenants seems to mostly embrace the concept of half breed children- but society is one thing. What about their own family? Let's check!

    So occult genesis is still genesis?

    Daeva- sit there and be beautiful, my little puppet.

    Gangrel- Survive or die is the all law.

    Mekhet- Let's play a game..

    Nosferatu- Give mommy a kiss, she loves you

    Ventrue- I told you 100 times- Dinner comes after you finish playing Mozart's Violin Concerto. You always miss the last note. I don't care that your fingers are bleeding! Now, hurry up. The food is getting cold.

    Oooooh, a Crossover section. I like that.

    Werewolves- That which was never meant to be has to be culled- unless they proof they are meant to be.

    Mages- What a nice Mystery to solve!

    Changeling- You need a place to hide. I know where.

    Demons- You are wrong.

    What? No Beasts? In a Crossover section made for a splat which has the theme of Family? What a missed opportunity.


    Well, that's a time to take a break. I'll continue from here next time.
    Last edited by LostLight; 12-02-2017, 07:43 AM.


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    • #3
      Dhampir- Part 2!

      So the childhood of a dhampir is messed up. Who would have thought?

      I must say that there seems to be a lot in common between the Lucifuge and dhampirs. I wonder if Hunter 2e would refer to it.

      Seriously- couldn't they just say whether dhampirs can or can not make more of their kind through regular breeding? I would say no, and that they "simply" gain certain supernatural merits instead of a dhampir template, but still it is not something that sounds like it would be a mystery in setting. I'm sure at least one Dragon has done such an experiment.

      I assume Masquerade doesn't have a monopoly over the Chess metaphor, but it still kinda made me feel more M than R.

      I don't know, up until now it feels like the way vampires have been portrayed in this book is really different from how they were seen in 2e- a lot more dead and monstrous, that is. Again, I assume that it is because dhampirs experience things different from the Kindred, but in 2e they felt so much more.. alive, and I kinda miss that in that section.

      "does he think he loves it"- yet another example of the lack of passion I miss so much.

      Yeah, yeah, having a dhampir is a bad idea... too much word count about why a vampire who makes dhampirs is an idiot, I think.

      general feeling until now is that the text has spend too much about saying why being a dhampir sucks. I want it to focus more about why being dhampir is awesome instead.

      "guardian devil". That's cool.

      Will we get something more substantial about all the "purpose" thingy, or is it just a RP thing?

      Haven't we already covered how vampires feels toward their children?

      Haven't we already covered how dhampirs act in the All Night Society in the same section?

      Really, up until now I personally don't really enjoy that section. I hope the next would be better.

      wait- so are there many dhampirs who work as hunters or aren't? It looks like each passage claims it to be otherwise...

      So dhampirs are the horror stories vampires tell each other when they go for camping in the mountains? Now, that's cool!

      I must say that considering the many hunter references, I'm surprised that Hunter didn't showed up in the Crossover section.

      The Boogeymen sound really cool. Now we are back on the track. I wonder if they could be styled as a compact/conspiracy

      So dhampirs can't make of their own kind. Then why did they kept it a mystery earlier? Anyway, the last section was much better written than the previous one, IMO.

      Well, that's not much, but I have homework in Quantum Mechanics to do, so I'll stop here before I'll start reviewing the Character Creation part. As this post was kinda more harsh than I usually make, feel free to disagree with everything I said :P


      My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

      On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
      I now blog in here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LostLight View Post
        "where the Embrace is sometimes forbidden, making a dhampir rarely is"- of course, because who would have thought you would be stupid enough for that?
        I would also suspect most vampires don't even think having children is possible. You don't generally need a law against the impossible.

        wait.. so Success on the Attachment role means you can say "fuck the child, throw it to the genesis lab"? Yikes.
        That makes sense. The roll is about whether an unwanted attachement forms despite the dhampir being made for some other purpose.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Dhampir- Part 2!

          So the childhood of a dhampir is messed up. Who would have thought?

          I must say that there seems to be a lot in common between the Lucifuge and dhampirs. I wonder if Hunter 2e would refer to it.

          Seriously- couldn't they just say whether dhampirs can or can not make more of their kind through regular breeding? I would say no, and that they "simply" gain certain supernatural merits instead of a dhampir template, but still it is not something that sounds like it would be a mystery in setting. I'm sure at least one Dragon has done such an experiment.

          I assume Masquerade doesn't have a monopoly over the Chess metaphor, but it still kinda made me feel more M than R.

          I don't know, up until now it feels like the way vampires have been portrayed in this book is really different from how they were seen in 2e- a lot more dead and monstrous, that is. Again, I assume that it is because dhampirs experience things different from the Kindred, but in 2e they felt so much more.. alive, and I kinda miss that in that section.

          "does he think he loves it"- yet another example of the lack of passion I miss so much.

          Yeah, yeah, having a dhampir is a bad idea... too much word count about why a vampire who makes dhampirs is an idiot, I think.

          general feeling until now is that the text has spend too much about saying why being a dhampir sucks. I want it to focus more about why being dhampir is awesome instead.

          "guardian devil". That's cool.

          Will we get something more substantial about all the "purpose" thingy, or is it just a RP thing?

          Haven't we already covered how vampires feels toward their children?

          Haven't we already covered how dhampirs act in the All Night Society in the same section?

          Really, up until now I personally don't really enjoy that section. I hope the next would be better.

          wait- so are there many dhampirs who work as hunters or aren't? It looks like each passage claims it to be otherwise...

          So dhampirs are the horror stories vampires tell each other when they go for camping in the mountains? Now, that's cool!

          I must say that considering the many hunter references, I'm surprised that Hunter didn't showed up in the Crossover section.

          The Boogeymen sound really cool. Now we are back on the track. I wonder if they could be styled as a compact/conspiracy

          So dhampirs can't make of their own kind. Then why did they kept it a mystery earlier? Anyway, the last section was much better written than the previous one, IMO.

          Well, that's not much, but I have homework in Quantum Mechanics to do, so I'll stop here before I'll start reviewing the Character Creation part. As this post was kinda more harsh than I usually make, feel free to disagree with everything I said :P
          I point out that with the Cruac the Dampyr's can in fact make more of their kind.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Omegaphallic View Post

            I point out that with the Cruac the Dampyr's can in fact make more of their kind.
            I think even the rar Dhampyr capable of learning Cruac, the circle would be hesitant about teaching that kind of ritual to.

            Would it even work for them, or a ghoul, even if they were taught it?

            oh curious?

            which works better Dhampyrs own fortune telling abilitys? or The Pool of Forbidden Truths?


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Omegaphallic View Post

              I point out that with the Cruac the Dampyr's can in fact make more of their kind.
              Cruac solves everything! Oh. And for weird body horror? I'm sure there's a Cruac for making your dhampir daddy-momma into a real momma before you put something gestating inside them with your ritual of fecundity. Or not, if they're Schwarzenegger.

              LostLight, you're not wrong: the Dhampir section especially from chapter 2 onward is, to be blunt, a mess. It's less than coherent, raises questions without answering them, and often provides contradictory information with itself or its themes. I would toss it back for a full, thoughtful edit and re-write, personally. Not sure if that will result from the errata thread but I hope so!

              Dhampirs also seem to incorporate more Masquerade themes than VtR, which is a weird and unpleasant off-note. It's not as bad as their portrayal in Wicked Dead, however.

              Look forward to the rest of your walk through the book.

              --Khanwulf

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                Dhampirs also seem to incorporate more Masquerade themes than VtR, which is a weird and unpleasant off-note.
                I kind of get this vibe from the entire book.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  I kind of get this vibe from the entire book.
                  Maybe. I think it's either a confusion on the part of the writers, or perhaps signals getting crossed when approaching the subject matter. Consider: all three sub-splats are mixed up with vampires in a way that creates widely disparate power dynamics. That is, in other words, the entire focus of Masquerade: that the Undead Man is keeping you down and you'll never, ever be respected because you're like, a kid, ya'know--so burn it all down!

                  Tiresome '90s retread.

                  I'm going to bite my tongue and let LostLight continue his Let's Read without dumping my opinions in a huge, steaming pile. Suffice to say I'll be particularly interested in his take.

                  --Khanwulf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    curious? what 'Lesser Rewards"' Can a kindred offer a revenant working for them? before actualy offering to uplift them?


                    Beyond the obvious of $$$$

                    Which you can only offer if your affluent yourself.

                    Discipline instruction is another not sure how kindred will feel about you teaching your clans signature discipline to a Revenant

                    another thing?

                    would it be that unlikely, for a ventrue to offer a Revenant who seemed a worthy kindred, but not a worth ventrue, a letter of reference to a appropiate sire?


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                      curious? what 'Lesser Rewards"' Can a kindred offer a revenant working for them? before actualy offering to uplift them?


                      Beyond the obvious of $$$$

                      Which you can only offer if your affluent yourself.

                      Discipline instruction is another not sure how kindred will feel about you teaching your clans signature discipline to a Revenant

                      another thing?

                      would it be that unlikely, for a ventrue to offer a Revenant who seemed a worthy kindred, but not a worth ventrue, a letter of reference to a appropiate sire?

                      Considering that most revenants (and, for that matter most kindred) wouldn't even know that uplifting is a thing unless told... I would suppose what kindred could offer would be the usual:

                      * Security/stability: a place to stay, a place to hunt/feed and attempt a semblance of human life. Considering revenant existence starts with "OMG monster" and resumes there every night? Stability is a VERY welcome offer!

                      * Consistent blood supply: helping them arrange a herd that will be present when they wake is essential. That could mean animals, or blood dolls. The feeding thing is a huge time-sink and any help with that would be MOST attractive.

                      * Money, sure. It can't buy you happiness, but it can buy out the pet store....

                      * Discipline instruction would be pretty far down the list.

                      * Uplifting (even the knowledge of uplifting) would be last. This would include introductions. Keep in mind that choosing to uplift is similar to choosing to embrace: costly in Humanity and favors to the Prince. That said, if the Prince is cool with the rev being around at all--putting extra feeding pressure on the city and generally acting like a Gangrel on bad behavior, then the Prince is probably going to look favorably on one of his vassals "fixing" the problem in a non-violent manner. Favors in, favors out.

                      By the time the Rev is uplifted, he owes everything to virtually everyone.

                      --Khanwulf

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                      • #12
                        So how is this book? Is it useful for someone who does not use revenants and dhampir? Will it make me willing to use them? Is it set in "woe is me" and "vampire bad because bad" tone? How messy are the rules?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Orzhov View Post
                          Is it useful for someone who does not use revenants and dhampir?
                          A third of the book is dedicated to ghouls, but unless you want to expand on the ghoul appendix in the core book it's not really useful.

                          Will it make me willing to use them?
                          Maybe. The part about dhampirs brings mostly new stuff, but it's also the messiest of the three parts.

                          Is it set in "woe is me" and "vampire bad because bad" tone?
                          Yes. It'd be fine if it was one of several perspectives presented, but that's not the case here.

                          How messy are the rules?
                          Not much at all. I think it's the best part of the book. And if we're lucky they might actually fix up some of the messier rules and not just focus on grammar/spelling when doing the final edit.
                          Side note: I'm not personally a fan of the floaty Themes for dhampirs, but that's a matter of opinion.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke

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                          • #14
                            Dhampir 3- Character Creation

                            Tam da da dam!

                            yeah yeah, dhampirs are trapped between two sides like any child of a monster. Let's get to the good stuff.

                            wait, you explicitly say that Hunter works well with dhampirs, but do not talk about them at all at the Crossover section? Again, missed opportunity.

                            Again that "created for a reason" thing. I hope it would be backed mechanically. I must say, that when you consider the fact that from one side they were made for a reason, and from the other they have never meant to be, what you get is that by simply giving birth to a vampire you say "SCREW YOU" to all gods, all nature and fate itself. The Ordo Dracul should have explored that angle, IMO.

                            I must say that all of that emphasis about fate and vampires reminds me of Kindred of the East's version of dhamps. I'll have to check it.

                            I like how Destiny is presented- but does it meant to be the purpose behind the dhamp's birth, something assigned to them by some other higher power or something else? When I examined the strix in my blog, I related their version of Fate (or Doom) with the fate that people's heart and desires bring upon the world- or the product of your own inner darkness and to where does it lead you. Perhaps the dhamp's "fate" is also more of that style (that is, their own passion which twist reality to bring upon it their own doom).

                            Omen Sensitivity and Thief of Fate. Makes sense.

                            needless repetition.

                            So the Beast does embody itself in its children. Nice.

                            So dhampirs have Unseen Senses- Vampires? Why wasn't it mentioned before? Did I missed it?

                            Wait- it is a general Unseen Sense and they can specifically recognize vamps? Does it also work on Wicked Dead?

                            While I like crossover notes, it feels a bit like too many crossover notes.

                            So Doom made a comeback! Yay! It also makes me think that the way I read their "fate" is, more or less, correct.

                            Oh, here is the Unseen Sense section.

                            So dhampirs want Vitae like vamps, can't take it from humans but only from vamps, and if they don't get it they... what? Will be very angry? I hope that the effects of not drinking Vitae would show up later, or I would ignore it.

                            I've thought we are over that "vampires are emotionally dead" thing. It kinda feels like the writer haven't read 2e Core, which is kinda sad...

                            Blood Sympathy for dhampires makes sense.

                            I do like the Insomnia section, but it feels like they should have mentioned that dhamps suffer from a sleep deprivation Condition constantly.

                            well, it's already late in here and I'm right before a very big section, so I'll continue next time.


                            My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                            On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
                            I now blog in here

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                            • #15
                              While RichT wants the errata thread to remain, well, errata. I hope we can cobble together a coherent list of ... um ... editorial oversights... yeah--and submit that.

                              I'm making my own notes....

                              --Khanwulf

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