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Mystery of Živa [House Rule Revision]

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  • Mystery of Živa [House Rule Revision]

    (I'm guessing they removed the "Ž" grapheme due to font limitations rather than artistic vision so I'll still use it here.)

    As stated elsewhere I have some opinions about the Mystery of Živa. Rather than going through everything again I'll just say that I think Živa is cool, interesting, and a huge mess. That's why I decided to rewrite some of the parts.
    I've switched around almost all Coil dots (as well as a certain Scale) as well as changed at least something on everything, but everything is still based on the original in some way. Hence why I've tried to refer to Secrets of the Covenants as far as possible as to not reproduce a significant part of the book, but in hindsight it might make the whole thing quite annoying to read. I'm sorry about that.


    Coil of Živa

    Denying the Bane •
    As per the Coil with the same name, except for the following:
    The effects only applies to acquired Banes, Clan Banes, and Bloodline Banes. The Coil can only bring up the effective Humanity to a maximum of 10, which does not automatically provide immunity to any Banes. Certain Banes will still lose all of their effect if they used the inverse of Humanity, while others are unaffected because they do not directly use Humanity in their rules. Banes that would lower the effective Humanity for the purpose of other Banes retain their full effect, meaning that Mekhets with the Tenebrous Curse still have an effective maximum of Humanity 9 for their acquired Banes.
    (I'm not sure whether or not this Coil should apply to when a Clan Bane is activated. It would certainly help Mekhets that otherwise caps earlier than other Clans.)

    Embracing the Banes ••
    For each dot in this Coil the Dragon is able to take a Bane in addition to the three normally available. Additionally, the Dragon is also capable of switching around their acquired Banes by spending a point of Willpower when they lose or gain Humanity, taking a new Bane in place of the old. It still protects the Dragon against the same breaking point.

    [name] ••• (I don't think Enliven the Anima works as a name anymore due to the main benefit being passive)
    The Dragon now achieves an Exceptional Success on three or more successes on detachment rolls. Additionally, she may spend a point of Willpower to remove Bestial, Competitive, or Wanton if she gained that Condition as a result of a detachment roll. Doing so does not award a beat.

    Buttress the Soul ••••
    When facing a breaking point the Dragon may now choose to spend one point of Willpower in order to gain +3 dice on the resulting detachment roll. As per usual, this can only be done once per detachment roll.

    Siphon the Soul •••••
    As per the Scale with the same name, except for the following:
    To follow the rules for diablerie, the victim suffers Final Death rather than just Torpor as their Health track is filled with aggravated damage during the process. It's still possible to also perform a normal diablerie, if it is done without interruption. Only one Tainted Condition is bestowed per victim, even if performing both this Coil and the regular diablerie.
    (Alternatively, the Dragon may only gain a point of Humanity should the victim's Humanity be rated higher than the Dragon's. I'm not sure which I prefer.)


    Sample Scales of Živa

    Bleed the Sin
    Prerequisite Coil: Buttress the Soul (Note the changed dot rating)
    Procedure: The Dragon bleeds a subject of all their current blood or Vitae. For mortal characters, this generally requires ample blood transfusions to survive. The drained liquid is then disposed of in a way that destroys the life energy Kindred may feed on alongside the sins of the subject.
    Outcome: The result can vary wildly depending on the nature of the subject. Those with Humanity, Integrity, Memory and Wisdom receive a one Experience discount the next time the subjects increases that Trait. Subjects with Harmony receives a -3 modifier to the next detachment check that would bring them closer towards Flesh. The next time a subject with Clarity would heal severe Clarity damage, they heal one additional point. Subjects with Cover, Pilgrimage, Satiety, and Synergy, as well as subjects lacking a Trait equivalent to Integrity or suffering the Soulless Condition does not enjoy any benefit from this Scale. Likewise, suffering a breaking point or equivalent will cancel the effects unless they achieve an Exceptional Success. Repeated applications of this Scale does not stack its effects. At the Storyteller's discretion the Experience discount does not stack with other Experience cost modifiers, especially if they would bring the cost down to zero.
    Note that Memory is subject to change should they be developed differently in their respective second editions. Loyalty and Conviction from Deviant isn't included in the text due to that game not being released yet. They might not even be dot rated for all I know.

    Shedding the Beast's Skin
    Prerequisite Coil: Siphon the Soul (Alternatively, this may be a Scale or even the final Coil dot in an updated Mystery of Flesh)
    Procedure & Outcome: As per the Coil with the same name, except for the following:
    The procedure may be carried out on any Kindred subject, should he follow the Dragon's instructions. Shedding the skin is a literal process, with the subject's skin being torn off his body over the course of thirty minutes (assistants can bring the time down to a minimum of ten minutes). The cost for the transformation is one point of Willpower and Vitae equal to the subject's Size to heal the lost skin, or the subject would risk bleeding out upon the procedure's completion. The full cost is paid by the subject. Due to the Mystery's heretical status and this Scale's terrifying outcome, it is not yet known whether a Kindred in animal form can be subject to this Scale, and how it would affect the result.


    As always, any criticism is appreciated. Especially on the various comments in the text.

    Patch notes: Changed some parts of Bleeding the Sin.
    Synergy doesn't get a discount now that I've read the manuscript.
    Harmony has changed to provide a penalty to rolls that would bring you closer to Flesh since I believe it's more thematic to the Mystery. They become more human, regardless of whether that's a good thing or not.
    I also added that repeated applications doesn't stack, and that breaking point equivalents will disrupt the effect since otherwise the effect would be indefinite until you resolve it by gaining the benefit.
    I should also note that I personally don't like conditional XP modifiers. If I were to include this Mystery in a game I would (if an ST) not include this Scale, or (if a player) suggest to my group that we shouldn't use it. I just redesigned it because it was part of the original version and I at least wanted to fix that it could vary between having no effect at all to making Humanity/Integrity completely free. I also wanted to expand on other traits beyond those two, if anyone else would like to use this.
    Last edited by Tessie; 08-10-2018, 06:04 AM.


    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

  • #2
    I wanted this ever since the preview! I thinik it improves things a lot allows a kindred to seek out the Wiseman to daywalk go on a date, visit the amusement park.


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    • #3
      Seems fine, I wouldn't object to playing with these rules and Shed works as a scale of Siphon.

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      • #4
        I think this is a huge improvement on the hot mess known as Živa.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
          Seems fine, I wouldn't object to playing with these rules and Shed works as a scale of Siphon.
          I was actually looking through some old SotC threads for additional criticisms of the original in case there were something I'd missed. Switching Siphon/Shed was a common request before the final version of the book, but, alas, it was not to be because the final edit is generally only to correct spelling, grammatical errors and faulty typography.

          Another voiced opinion was about the extremely unbalanced Bleed the Sin that would make Integrity stat purchases for free. I put a fixed discount on it and, since I don't have to worry about word count, I added different effects for different Integrity equivalents. I do want to note that the current Clarity model didn't exist by then but both Harmony and Satiety should've been known by then, and neither has an XP cost. I also think there's no way Cover should receive an XP discount from that Scale. I don't think Pilgrimage should either, but someone more experienced with PTC might disagree with me and hopefully explain why they disagree with me.


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
            I don't think Pilgrimage should either, but someone more experienced with PTC might disagree with me and hopefully explain why they disagree with me.
            Pilgrimage can only be raised at specific points by spending a specific type of experience that you're actively discouraged from holding onto — alternatives are finite and/or drawback-intensive, while Pilgrimage is easier to lose the higher your rating.

            This is to say nothing of how "Experience" does not necessarily translate to "any type of Experience, including the kinds that only exist for the sake of raising the Integrity analogues of a splat" — it feels entirely in keeping with the way Ziva works that applied vampirism enables a subject to more easily firm up their human self-image without having any effect on a primordial monster's spiritual balancing act or the mystic shell keeping a reality-warping knowledge-broker's transcendent ego contained.


            Resident Sanguinary Analyst
            Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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