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Humanity, Atrocity, and Willpower

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  • #31
    The way I see it, they have vaguely "one scene" maximum before the frenzy ends if they didn't dram-fail, so the Beast prefers solutions that can happen within a single scene. I figure the Beast will go with whatever is the most effective method of getting what it wants, that will take no more than a scene to do—in the previous example, they'd need to already know the Touchstone, or be able to Lay Open the Mind, for it to be viable.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Tomorrow's Nobody View Post

      That's a fair point.

      I'm not sure if Riding the Wave classified as "intelligent frenzy" though. It's still a frenzy, and thus not intelligent, but it's definitely less animalistic than your regular old frenzy, simply because it allow you to pick and choose your own frenzy goals, so there's definitely a bit more finesse there, but only a bit.

      Unless I'm mistaken, Rose Bailey proposed something entirely different, where the high-Humanity vampire in a "frenzy" acts bestial, but in a very intelligent and cunning way, which by definition isn't a frenzy (frenzied behavior means the exact opposite of intelligent behavior), and also isn't really what Riding the Wave is (which is definitely more intelligent than regular frenzy, but still not really intelligent). Hence I proposed that if one wants to implement a mechanic like that (which I'm not against, I actually like the idea), it should be called something different, not 'frenzy'.
      I wholly agree on the semantic point that you've brought up. An intelligent, composed or controlled frenzy is not a frenzy.

      I think I do get what's aimed for here. It's a cat playing with it's prey. It's not hungry, but it can't resist its instincts to chase after and catch the mouse. And it enjoys chasing after and catching the mouse. So it doesn kill the mouse, not yet anyway. It lets it escape. It gives it hope, only to take it away again. And again. And again.

      I think the word we're for looking might be found somewhere in the connotative cloud of the words "play" and "game".

      'Wanton' and 'wantoned' come to mind.

      'Flippancy' may sound silly, but it does carry the right import.

      'Skullduggery' is nice and visceral.

      'Sudden death' if you want it to be on the nose.


      EDIT: another way to describe that cat is of course simply as "cruel", which opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities such as: pernicious, ruinous, ruthless, callous, vicious, truculent ...
      Last edited by Howalt; 06-14-2019, 07:15 AM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post

        That's neat! Where's it from?
        Ok, I had trouble remembering my source, so it took a while to find anything (it's been several years). This podcast is the only source I have a direct memory of, but I could swear I already knew the gist of the self control stuff before I listened to the podcast. That said, even if I got the gist right, I did misremember the facts.

        Summary of podcast: An interview with philosopher of mind Patricia Churchland, who is known for being deeply involved with neuroscience. She lists four working definitions for self-control/willpower

        1. Defer gratification
        2. Maintain goal despite distraction
        3. Supress inappropriate impulses
        4. Action canceling

        She sites a paper by Trevor Robbins, where he shows that in rats, the abilities to defer gratification and to cancel action do not entirely map. This shows that they are separate capacities, using separate circuitry.

        The fact that they are separate capacities lines up with what we know about addicts and some mental illnesses. A given ADHD patient may be very good at maintaining goals despite distraction, (it can even be an ADHD symptom) but also display impulsivity. Addicts can be very good at suppressing inappropriate impulses (leading someone on so they keep buying you drinks, etc), but very bad at defering gratification.
        Last edited by DubiousRuffian; 06-18-2019, 01:39 PM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post

          It does have that element! I've also been doing indie games with a system I call Impact, which uses groups of colored dice and derives results from matches between them.
          Idk if this is relevant, but I had been working on a Merit that incorporated Atrocity Dice. The two benefits were 1) increased competence in exchange for moodiness, and 2) lucking into success at the cost of WP and penalty to resist frenzy.

          I was having trouble making (2) work mechanically. The idea was that if a vampire wants to go all the way, they can become something truly terrifying. That the beast is unnatural and warps the world in tiny, yet significant ways. It guides events in the kindred's favor through the predatory aura.

          I think the matching mechanic from your Impact system might have the right feel. I'm not sure if I want to count matched dice as successes, or maybe penalties for opponents.... But I think it's a good direction.

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