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[Vampire/Sorcerer] Go for the premise!

Started by 5niper9, August 31, 2007, 07:33:41 PM

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I just remembered a Vampire:Dark Ages game in which I participated exactly 5 months ago.
I had little experience with indie games and ran Dogs on a Con. We finished around 3 o'clock (in the night) and my need for sleep wasn't that big, so I joined the next best game.

My character was the only one in the round with Humanity. I think it was also pretty high - around 8 or so.
He wanted to spread knowledge to the people for he thought that knowledge is power.
To hold it short, everybody came to the castle expecting to serve an old vampire to take a step up the ladder.
We should rest there for a day and he told us where to drink.
So I let my character go there and since the count was an old, f*****-up vampire I was not surprised as the GM described humans hanging from the ceiling.

And the humanity-machine inside my mind get rumbling. Since it wasn't something nice to see for my character, I though about the options:
1) Not react on this, which "should" cause a humanity check.
2) react on this in one of this ways:

  • a) go to the count and say: "I don't like how you treat humans! Change it." Count:"I will not! What do you want to do against it?" "Well, nothing Count Could-kill-me-in-less-than-one-round
  • b) kill the human fodder out of mercy and go away (pretty fast)
a) would let my character look wimpy, what I don't like and b) seemed like an escalation taken too early, so I did nothing.
The GM gave me the look, but as he could see to what this would lead, he didn't let me check humanity.

On with the show:
The Count wanted us to "free" another female vampire (I'll call her princess) who was kept prisoner by another vampire.
[Adventure-mode on] Seek barn, get in barn, slay the monster and get the princess. [Adventure-mode off]
Then we brought her back to the count.
On the first day on the castle after bringing her back, my vampire wakes up because he heard steps on the hallway. So I describe him getting the dagger and confronting whatever was there. It was the princess.
And she started talking. Why we would have captured her and brought her back to this tyrann? That she is the child of another vampire who wanted to protect her before this evil count, that her master would be in the cellar and I (my character) should help her and him.

And the humanity machine gets rumbling again, but this time with a better effect.
Because now it makes more sense to act against the count.
Also this situation and my decision towards it would say something about my character, without breaking his integrity.

To end the story:
My character helped her and her master to break free an to escape with them. The other player character were going after my character next dusk, but since the real dawn was breaking, we called it a night.

So what is the point?
I was thinking about Sorcerer and it's premise. Let's say you are nearer to the premise, when lots of humanity rolls are made.
In the lack of actual play experience (I gm'ed all sorcerer games so far) I have to use this acutal play report as a backup.

How are humanity rolls facilitated in Sorcerer?

1) As in this example through decisions made to situations in the SIS. Which seems to be very near to the concept of Bangs.
Especcially the second time when the machine got rumbling.

2) Through pressure contrary to a goal of the character so that the characters have to summon more demons to reach their goals.

Am I missing something? Or am I absolutely off the path?



One of the things I both like and dislike about Vampire, in all its incarnations, is the way you can easily slip in and out of addressing Premise.  And I;ve got a rant all stored up about how I don't like the way Humanity works in Vampire, but I'll skip it since you probably know what I'm going to say already.

I think you're pretty much right on with your understanding of Sorcerer, but with some very important caveats.  First and most importantly, there's no fixed definition of Humanity in Sorcerer.  Humanity for vampires might mean "being true to yourself", or it might mean, "avoiding cruelty despite being a fangy predator of the night," or it might mean something different.  If everybody in the game doesn't have a shared understanding of this, the system won't work. 

Second, I think Humanity rolls are triggered by things you yourself do. So either agreeing or refusing to help the captive might trigger a roll -- but just walking on by a bunch of tethered humans (in a setting where vampires routinely do this kind of thing, and where hospitality is sacred, and a man's home really IS his castle) probably wouldn't. 

Have you tried playing Vampire with an eye to specifically addressing Premise?  It can be wicked good fun.  It's probably best to either adapt the Sorcerer Humanity rules, or largely disregard them, as the official Humanity rules will just get in the way. 
I believe in peace and science.