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My Geist GMC updates

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  • My Geist GMC updates

    Just some quick rules to make Bound compatible with the GMC rules system.

    I started with Synergy, since I felt it to be the most pressing need for conversion. Using the Humanity rules spoiled for Blood and Smoke, this is what I came up with. I welcome feedback and constructive criticism.

    Breaking Points

    Synergy 10 (Five Dice)
    Opening an Avernian Gate
    Entering the Underworld
    Refusing to communicate with a ghost

    Synergy 9 (Five Dice)
    Using Plasm from a Death Mask
    Violating an Old Law
    Using a ghost's Ban against it

    Syngery 8 (Four Dice)
    Closing an Avernian Gate
    Refusing to help a ghost
    Using a ghost's Bane against it
    Arguing with your Geist

    Synergy 7 (Four Dice)
    Destroying a Charm or Fetter
    Abjuring a ghost's Anchor condition
    Interfering with a ghost's attempts to Influence or communicate

    Synergy 6 (Three Dice)
    Destroying a ghost
    Destroying an Avernian Gate

    Synergy 5 (Three Dice)
    Destroying a Vanitas
    Reviving a dead person
    Exorcising a ghost's Open condition
    Refusing your Geist

    Synergy 4 (Two Dice)
    Destroying a Memorabilia
    Destroying a Deathmask
    Accidental murder or manslaughter

    Synergy 3 (Two Dice)
    Destroying a Keystone
    Destroying a Geist

    Synergy 2 (One Die)
    Serial Murder

    Synergy 1 (Zero Dice)
    Mass Murder
    Attempting Suicide
    Attempting to destroy your own Geist

    Ties bind a Geist and Bound together in the Bargain, reinforcing Synergy. Individual circumstance may drive the two apart, but Ties keep them together. . . most of the time.

    Ties are things the Geist and Bound have in common, the things that initially drew the Geist to offer this dying mortal the Bargain. They are the points of commonality that form the foundation of their relationship.

    Unlike a vampire's Touchstones, Ties are less people, places, and things, and more concepts, though a person, place, or thing representing a Tie is perfectly feasible. For instance, A Geist and Bound who were both murdered may fixate on solving their murders and bringing the criminal to justice, while a Geist who left children behind may bond to a dying mortal with kids, fixating on taking care of the children.

    As with Touchstones, a Tie provides a +2 bonus to Discord rolls. Multiple Ties increase the bonus to +3. Ties are different from Touchstones, however, In that they are more difficult to lose, but can be resolved. A Bound who is murdered doesn't suddenly "lose" the drive to find her killer, but can actually resolve that Tie and bring her killer to justice.

    Resolving a Tie provides a Geist with a unique opportunity. Should a Geist resolve the Tie to her satisfaction -- seeing her murderer sentenced to prison, for instance -- then she has two options. If she remains unfulfilled, she can set a new "goal" for her and her Geist, replacing the old Tie with a new one -- such as finding her Geist's murderer. Or, she can sit back, and let the feeling of accomplishment bind her and her Geist closer together. If she elects not to replace the old Tie with a new one, she gains a Resolved Tie. Resolved Ties are nor written on the character sheet at any Synergy level. Instead, they are always active, can never be lost, and provide a constant +1 bonus Discord rolls. A Bound can only have one Resolved Tie, but she may have one other Tie as well. In this case, the bonus to Discord rolls is +2, instead of +3 for having two regular Ties.

    Like Touchstones, Ties are attached to dots of Synergy. The first Tie is attached to Synergy 6. If the Bound's Synergy drops below six, the Tie become unattached, and no longer provides its bonus. The Bound may spend a dot of willpower to re-attach the Tie to a lower Synergy dot, or may leave it unattached and improve her Synergy back to 6 or higher, at which point the Tie reattaches to Synergy 6 automatically. This reflects the increasing dissonance between Bound and Geist interfering with their mutual goals, and their decision to either let the common goal stand in the face of their separation, or re-unite themselves to continue their journey.

    When a Bound acts in a way that reinforces the Tie, she regains a point of Willpower. If this action places her in jeopardy, she regains all her spent Willpower.

    Example Ties
    Whatever the reason, you died because you didn't have it. There have always been haves and have-nots, and you and your Geist were both among the terminal have-nots. Whatever you didn't have, be it food, water, air, weapons, or even medical insurance, you're never going to go without again. You'll acquire whatever you need to survive, by whatever means necessary, and your Geist will help you.
    You didn't want to die. What would your kids do without you? You couldn't leave them alone. You couldn't miss the rest of their lives. You Geist understands. She wasn't able to look after her children when she passed on. Now she'll help you protect yours.
    You were lucky. You got a second chance. Thousands of people a day die, and they don't get to come back. So you do what you can to give everyone a fighting chance. Everyone deserves to live. . . for a time.
    You were murdered. The Geist knows what that's like: she was murdered, too. Together, the two of you seek to bring your killer to justice. And maybe look into that other murder that happened eighty years ago. . .
    It was no one's fault but your own. You understood that as you lay dying. You brought this on yourself. Every choice you made in life led you here, lying on the ground, dying. The Bargain gave you a second chance, but it's not enough to merely avoid the mistakes you made in the past. You have to fix what you fucked up first time around.
    You were killed by something you didn't understand. An animal, the whims of nature, random violence, whatever. Just as confused as you are, your Geist gives the tools you need to understand what happened to you, and maybe keep the same thing from happening to others.

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  • #2
    Compulsions (Looking for a better word.)
    Geists are more than just ghosts. Some of their Achors have been replaced with concepts, like spirits. As a result, Geists do things. Not because they want, not because they like to, but because they have to. Under normal circumstances, a Bound can keep her Geist's more. . . anti-social tendencies in check. But as Synergy drops, it can get more and more difficult to keep the Geist's behavior confined to the Bound's own psyche. Sometimes, the behavior gets out.
    When a Bound loses Synergy, she may take a Compulsion and a Beat. Doing so means she never has to roll against that particular Breaking Point again, however, each Compulsion applies a -1 modifier to further Discord rolls. A Bound may only have three Compulsions.
    Compulsions are closely linked to a Geist's Archetype. As such, the Compulsions tend to escalate withing a sphere of influence, rather than branching out into new archetypes (though rare Geists who do embody more than one concept may do so). A Geist of vengeance, for example, will push her Bound to ever-increasing extremes in the cause of punishing wrongdoing, rather than making her give her money to the homeless. This is reflecting by selecting multiple closely-related Compulsions, or the same Compulsion more than once, increasing the stakes of fulfilling the Compulsion. For instance, a single Vengeance Compulsion may be satisfied by seeing the wrongdoer arrested. Two Vengeance Compulsions may require taking an active role in bringing the target down. Three Vengeance Compulsions may only be satiated with the wrongdoer's death at the Bound's hands. Storytellers and players should work together to determine the exact limitations and drives of each Compulsion for the purposes of their stories. Examples are listed below, but you should be encouraged to make up your own, tailoring them to your conception of your Geist and its relationship with your Bound. Compulsions generally require a character to perform an action, which may be risky or socially unacceptable. At the Storyteller's discretion, a Bound may earn Beats as Compulsions force her into dangerous situations, or regain Willpower as the Geist's purpose is reaffirmed.
    A Compulsion can be resisted for a scene by spending a Willpower point. Each compulsion triggered in a scene must be resisted seperately.
    Charity: Your Geist follows the Golden Rule to a fault. When you see someone in need, and you have the means to help them, you must do so.
    Fire: Your Geist is tied to the primal element of fire, and will not allow you to extinguish any burning flame.
    Vengeance: Your Geist is a spirit of vengeance. Anyone you perceive as having wronged you or someone else and getting away with it must be punished.

    Some quick conversions for Unfettered for the new Ephemeral Beings rules.

    Unfettered Geists make a few changes to take advantage of the God-Machine Chronicle Ephemeral Beings rules.

    Rank: Geists are all a minimum of Rank 3. Only truly exceptional Geists transcend to Rank 6 and beyond.
    Integrity: Unlike ghosts, Geists no longer have Integrity scores. Nor do they possess Synergy, unless Bound to a mortal. Unfettered Geists have no relevant score relating to morality or integrity.
    Virtue and Vice: Like ghosts, Geists do possess a Virtue and a Vice. Geists, however, may "reverse" their Virtue and Vice Willpower gains as ghosts do, or use them "straight" as mortals do. The choice is intimately connected to the Geist's overall outlook on death.
    Keys: Unfettered Geists possess a single Key at Rank 3. At Rank 5, they may have a second Key. The Key represents the Geist's focus, and can influence the use of Manifestations and Numina. Each Key also has two skills associated with it. Actions that fall under Skills influenced by a Geist's Key use the standard Attribute + Rank dice pool, plus three.
    Inhuman Body: An Unfettered Geist's size can range from 4 to 7 on average, though they can grow larger at Rank 6 and 7.
    Psyche: An Unfettered Geist has Rank instead of Psyche.
    Not Quite Ghosts, Not Quite Spirits: Owing to their hybrid nature, powers that specifically affect either ghosts or spirits may target a Geist, but at a -2 penalty.

    Keys and Influence, Manifestation, and Numina
    Unfettered Geists have Keys, which can be used to unlock Influence, Manifestation, and Numina in the same ways a Bound can unlock her Manifestations. Owing to the different sets of abilities Unfettered Geists have over the Bound, some differences apply.

    First, when a Key matches an Influence, Manifestation, or Numina, the Geist gets a +2 bonus to their roll to active said power. For instance, if attempting an Open Influence in a location with a significant fire, the Pyre-Flame key will add two dice to that roll. The Cold Wind Key would add its bonus to an icy, chilling Blast Numina.

    Second, a Geist may alter the effect of an Influence, Manifestation, or Numina to match the effect of a Key it possesses. No bonus dice are granted for this, but the effect changes based on the Key. A Geist's Blast can change to a gout of fire with the Pyre-Flame Key or a crushing emotional weight with the Passion Key.

    My table decided to pick three Affinity Manifestations, which cost 3 Experiences per dot. Other Manifestations cost 4 Experiences per dot. Keys cost 6 Experiences per dot.

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    • #3
      Looks good, man. Have you had to do any major tweaks to the Manifestations themselves?

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      • #4
        No, I'm not getting into that. For one thing, I think the Manifestations are perfectly serviceable as they are, and don't need the kind of overhaul Disciplines got. For another, were such work to be done, I feel it better to leave it in the hands of the paid White Wolf staff.

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        • #5
          The way you've described them, Ties sound like they could be related to Thresholds. Not carved like Old Laws style, but more in the way Demons reasons for Falling are associated with Incarnations. I can see Aquisition being used by the Prey and the Silent, but it's a strech (not impossible) for the Torn and (less so) the Stricken, let alone the Forgotten.

          Not a critism, just an observation.

          Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


          • #6
            That's more or less what I intended. I figure that Ties, by their nature, are somewhat bound either to the circumstances of a Bound's death or why they want or need a second chance at life, so they are closely linked with Threshold, in that both embody the most important concepts of a Bound: How and Why they died. While you certainly could "play against type" and pick Ties completely unrelated to your Threshold, some of them just don't make much sense (Murderer, for example, doesn't relate at all unless you murdered, which somewhat narrows the Thresholds you belong to.)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
              No, I'm not getting into that. For one thing, I think the Manifestations are perfectly serviceable as they are, and don't need the kind of overhaul Disciplines got. For another, were such work to be done, I feel it better to leave it in the hands of the paid White Wolf staff.
              It's your tweak, but we once tried a house rule where Armour worked pretty much how it works in GMC (this was a couple years ago). Normally it's fine, but it did make Bound hella powerful and hard to take down, since their Shrouds give one point of Armour when they activate them. That said, you might not mind that.

              Just a thought.

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              • #8
                Yeah, but Bound are pretty squishy normally, so I don't mind them getting some protection with Shrouds, especially since I tend to run a more action-oriented Chronicle. Nothing like "there must be one combat per session" or anything like that, but there are problems that do need to be solved with bullets. That having been said, I'll take a look at Shrouds, and probably reference the unofficial Mage Armor GMC conversion for inspiration.

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                • #9
                  That's quite interesting that you think that, in the games I've played Bound have been among the tougher of the supernaturals due to their ability to reduce all incoming damage to bashing, and that only at the end of the scene (ignoring it until then).

                  Just an intriguing contrast.

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                  • #10
                    True, but that costs Plasm, which has thus far been in rather short supply. Compared to Vampires who only EVER take bashing, and Prometheans, the Bound is the second-squishiest member of my crossover (after the Mage, and the Vampire with one Stamina.)

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                    • #11
                      Vampires only take bashing from gunshot wounds and (I think) some environmental stuff. I don't know about B&S, but Requiem explicitly states that they still take lethal from knives and cutting situations (for some reason).

                      But yeah, if plasm is in short supply that really does limit the amount of awesomeness the characters can pull off. But then, that's true of most templates one way or another: to their detriment, in my opinion.

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                      • #12
                        Mundane attacks that don't involve heavy trauma only do Bashing to vampires in Blood and Smoke. If smacked with something Size 10 or higher it can also do lethal (like being run over by an 18-wheeler, building falling on them etc).

                        It's been mentioned on the forums that something like a shotgun blast point blank to the head could conceivably deal Lethal given the amount of trauma it inflicts in regards to the amount of tissue loss. It'd seem that removing large chunks of the body/ overwhelming bodily damage can potentially do that, but cutting/stabbing/being shot trauma isn't going to do much beyond Bashing and potentially inflicting a temporary Tilt or Condition. Being stabbed through the stomach with a Claymore or taking a stray bullet to the eye or brain is all Bashing without severe body mass loss.

                        See for a bit more discussion by Rose.

                        It should be noted that Spirits and Ghosts and similar ephemeral entities also benefit from the same damage downgrade; they don't generally rely on functioning organs and biological processes either as per GMC.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, vampires in Blood and Smoke got upgraded from only taking Bashing from gunshots, to only taking Bashing from just about everything, which makes the fact that Protean claws now deal lethal, instead of aggravated, but even to vampires a much bigger deal than it seems at first blush.

                          And the sparseness of Plasm may be due to the fact that I'm running a crossover game, so have had less emphasis thus far on specifically dealing with ghosts, which is something which the Bound player can really only participate in (and the Bound character is still somewhat in denial over the whole supernatural calling thing, even though she's been metaphorically chucked into the deep end wearing a lead wetsuit), so she's not as actively pursuing her Sin-Eating calling as she probably could.

                          My Geist GMC Updates
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                          • #14
                            Instead of Compulsions, why not Bans? Geists are technically part Spirit. Maybe the binding with humans lets them ignore their bans, but losing synergy forces the Geist to adhere to them.


                            • #15
                              Geists are not necessarily part spirit post-GMC, just a particular kind of high-ranking ghost. But on the other hand, ghosts in the GMC have bans and banes, so the point holds.