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Detachment and Touchstones

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  • Detachment and Touchstones

    Hi all, I'm looking for some advice and clarification on detachment and touchstones.
    As an example I'll take the situation that happened in my game last night.

    One player has a pretty new Venture PC who still has humanity 7. His touchstone (at humanity 7 since he is a Ventrue) is an old friend and trusted employee partner in his small business (in fact, the same touchstone is also his True Friend merit, I'm not sure if that is a mistake or not).
    An issue with feeding lead to injuring someone for blood and he made a detachment check, which was failed.
    At this point he opted to take a beat to turn the failure into a dramatic failure, losing a point of humanity, and gaining the Jaded condition.
    By losing the humanity 7 dot, he no longer has any attached touchstones.

    The section on page 88 about losing your last touchstone uses the touchstone dying as an example. Does having an extant friend but losing the humanity dot with the attached touchstone effectively mean the same thing? In roleplaying terms, how should this affect the relationship with that touchstone?

    Assuming that having no attached touchstones is the same as losing your last touchstone, the player now has the choice to lose a point of humanity immediately (dropping the Ventrue's humanity to 5), and to either spend a month looking for a new touchstone, or take the Languid condition immediately.

    Assuming the Ventrue is looking for another Touchstone, he needs to take the touchstone merit to attach one.
    Dot 0 adds a touchstone at humanity 6, although this is 7 for Ventrue. If I shuffle up the other dots also, that means that the dot 1 Touchstone will be attached to humanity 6, but since he has already dropped to humanity 5 for having no thouchstones, I assume we'd attach it at the humanity level the PC is currently at.

    Can the Ventrue re-acquire his True Friend as a touchstone at a lower humanity, or will he need to raise his humanity back to 7 to reattach that specific NPC?
    If he did re-add that NPC at level 5, if he raised his humanity to 7 what would happen to that attachment?

    Any advice or clarification about touchstones and detachment.

  • #2
    Having no attached Touchstone is not the same thing as having no Touchstone at all. The fact that Touchstones are not exceptions to the effects of reduced Humanity but still have incentives for a vampire to spend time around them may be relevant advice for roleplaying the relationship.


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

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    • #3
      Losing a touchstone and detaching a touchstone are different things. Should the Ventrue fall to Humanity 6 as a result of a breaking point, the touchstone becomes detached, but it is still there as a touchstone. The vampire is simply no longer able to draw upon that connection for bonus dice to resist breaking points, until he should increase his Humanity to 7, reattaching the touchstone. He does not need to replace the touchstone or risk becoming Languid. To entirely lose the touchstone, something would have to happen to shatter his ability to depend on that relationship as a human focus. If the trusted partner dies, that would generally do it. A dramatic falling out between the two of them might also do the job, but it would take a serious break of faith to do so. A damaged friendship doesn't cease to be a friendship.

      I think of Touchstones in terms of characters having "slots" for them. A character without the Touchstone Merit has one "slot" at Humanity 6, or Humanity 7 for Ventrue. If it should be vacated by entirely losing the touchstone, then by building an appropriate relationship and through the required Humanity gain, you slot the new touchstone in where the old one was. Taking the Touchstone Merit adds more "slots" for additional touchstones past the first, which come filled with the appropriate relationships they represent – but lose the represented touchstone and you lose the Merit dot and once-occupied "slot" along with it (with the normal refund from the Sanctity of Merits).

      I don't see any problem with a Touchstone being a True Friend.
      Last edited by Stupid Loserman; 08-10-2018, 08:51 AM.

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      • #4
        I looked through the FAQ but couldn't find anything about the difference between a non-attached touchstone, and an attached touchstone.
        Is it that an attached touchstone gives +2 to detachment rolls, a non-attached but living touchstone means no modifier and no living touchstones is -2?
        Attached or not, as long as the touchstones alive and remains in contact with the kindred then they do.not get the Languid condition, right?

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        • #5
          That's the case. I believe you can also still recover Willpower from defending your relationship with a non-attached living touchstone, but I'm not 100% on that.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MonkeyBloke View Post
            I looked through the FAQ but couldn't find anything about the difference between a non-attached touchstone, and an attached touchstone.
            It's in there:
            Originally posted by FAQ
            Page 108 of Blood and Smoke suggests a detachment modifier of -2 for no attached Touchstones. Page 88 suggests the same modifier for no Touchstones at all. Which is correct?
            Page 88 is correct. The word “attached” on page 108 is a typo.


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

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            • #7
              That's helped me out a lot, thanks all.

              One quick point, if someone is at humanity 4 with a non-attached touchstone, and buys a dot in the touchstone merit, which should attach at 5 (giving no real benefit), would you allow them to attach the touchstone at humanity 4 so they get an attached touchstone, or keep it at 5? (and assuming there is roleplaying to back up the merit)

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              • #8
                Keep it at five. The further away you grow from humanity, the more connections to the living you need to ground yourself.

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                • #9
                  I think you’re supposed to attach touchstones purchased with the merit in descending order on the Humanity scale where there is not a touchstone assigned, not at their current Humanity rating or at whatever rating they choose, otherwise the Ventrue can simply sidestep their xp tax clan bane by not purchasing five dots of the merit until their Humanity drops to 5 and/or all the players can simply purchase 1 dot of the merit and attach it at Humanity 1, that way they’ll always have an attached touchstone until the very end. They never really have to face the fact that their increasingly violent and sociopathic behavior alienates them from the human race while touchstones are supposed to be an in-your-face reminder of that.
                  Last edited by tsusasi; 08-11-2018, 12:04 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
                    Keep it at five. The further away you grow from humanity, the more connections to the living you need to ground yourself.
                    Worth remembering that detached Touchstones do still ground a vampire — the continued existence of the relationship continues to serve as a means of avoiding the call to torpor, recovering Willpower, and resolving the Tempted and Jaded Conditions, it just doesn't provide a bonus to detachment rolls in more concrete terms than keeping you out of the -2 penalty for not having them at all.


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

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