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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 179 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Memory and Humanity  (Read 2962 times)
Benjamin
Member

Posts: 9


« on: December 10, 2003, 08:51:00 AM »

Forgive if this thought has been bandied about before, but what do you think about Memory as Humanity?  I mean, what if the starting players took their starting humanity score (pre-initial demon) and for each point wrote up something from their character's past that was important to them; this could be a broad area (childhood), a focused topic (revenge -- why and on whom?), or maybe even a specific memory (the time you saw the dead rise...).  

I don't know how others feel about this, but I think the visceral emptiness from losing a memory might be interesting.  Something intrigues me about the type of playing that might result from a character's individuality being burned out until just that last bit remained (I keep imagining a character remembering revenge after forgetting his own name).  Of course, I'd also like to see Humanity fluctuate, and to have the characters suddenly remember what's important to them.  And, if you played it this way, what would a character remember if his Humanity was raised above the original score?

(For the mechanical aspect of it, I think there's plenty of ways to do a Humanity/Memory loss -- from player choice, to a player-set hierarchy of loss, to chronological loss, to GM choice, to randomized loss.  I wonder how it would be if the GM chose/rolled the loss, and it only became apparent to the player when the character tried to access/use that memory and found -- nothing.)

The inspirations for this were Memento (just a smidge), and Silverberg's "How It Was When the Past Went Away."

Yours,
Ben B
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xiombarg
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Posts: 1183


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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2003, 10:25:08 AM »

Ben, I seem to be linking this very old thread a lot as of late.

At the end of the thread, Ron and I throw around ideas regarding Memory as Humanity. In this case, memory of the Real World.

Also, you might want to check out Gaiman's Books of Magic. There's one storyline involving a future version of Tim where he trades his memories to a demon to get power. That storyline, especially, is very much Sorcerer fodder, for in trading his memory for what he wants, he starts to forget exactly what he wanted in the first place, which causes him to crave more power to "fix" the vague problems he has...
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Fabrice G.
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Posts: 206


« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2003, 12:21:07 PM »

Hi Ben,

I really like the idea. I even thought about it sometimes ago... and only came out with a badly half-baked idea.

If Humanity is true Memory, then demons could be false memories you made up to gain some ability. The problem is that it would mostly be parasites handing out some Cover and abilities going along that Cover ; with some object/possessor/passer representing the alteration of how you "saw" each item ("sure, that 'Bob' allways' been a weird vigilente kind of guy", "I remember the strange winno in that dark back alley", ...). The fun with possessor/object/passer is that you project the false memories in the real world... like your head isn't strong enough to keep them inside.

Well, it needs work, but hey...

Fabrice
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xiombarg
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2003, 12:25:32 PM »

Quote from: Fabrice G.
with some object/possessor/passer representing the alteration of how you "saw" each item ("sure, that 'Bob' allways' been a weird vigilente kind of guy", "I remember the strange winno in that dark back alley", ...).

And, to keep up the pop-culture references, that sounds an awful lot like The Maxx, which is also excellent Sorcerer fodder in its own way...
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love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2003, 01:12:51 PM »

Holy Mackerel, Fabrice, have you ever read the scenario called "Jail Break" from the Unknown Armies suplement called "One-Shots"? I suddenly now see it as a Sorcerer scenario. It's so much a Sorcerer scenario that I don't know how I could have missed it before.

Mike
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Fabrice G.
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Posts: 206


« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2003, 08:28:52 PM »

Quote from: Xiombarg
that sounds an awful lot like The Maxx


Well, I never actually read it nor saw the animated version, but I've thought about it a lot since it was mentioned by Ron in this thread.
I guess it shows that it's on my mind...

Quote from: Mike
..., have you ever read the scenario called "Jail Break" from the Unknown Armies suplement called "One-Shots"?


Nope, not yet, even if I've only heard good things about it. Was your realisation linked to what the Humanity as Memory definition ? Could you explain why or how it's such a Sorcerer scenario ?

Take care,

Fabrice

Edit : Now that I've checcked out my notes about it, I really was going with Humanity as Identity, but having Memory as a strong sub-componant of the indentity. After all, persuade yourself that you're a killer, it might really well change the way you look at yourself !
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Benjamin
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2003, 09:50:35 PM »

Argh.  Lost post.  Try to remember it.

Xiombarg, I like Exile, and although I knew you had the subject "(long)" referring to your post, I kept thinking about it in relation to the characters' exile.  I especially like the note about conflicting reports about Reality; it reminds me of the Philip K. Dick story "Faith of our Fathers" -- although, to add a note of humor, I don't remember that story very well at all.

Fabrice, I like the note about demons being false memories (called up, is how I read it, by one's desires) that one cannot contain ... or perhaps wanted to unleash.  (It reminds me of the questions that really hit home for me about Possessor's and the complicity of those Possessed in Sorcerer's Soul.)

But I was really curious to know if you thought it was interesting/viable to directly link specific memories with a character's humanity score.  
The reason I didn't go into demons or sorcery in a setting with this humanity definition is because lots of demons that we've seen seem to attack one's memories (or that could be because I'm thinking of memory here in a broad sense, as a site for one's desires and identity).

Hey, just had a thought (well, I *just* had it the first time I wrote this post), and I'm not sure I like it.  What if te player made up a list of ten memories and gave them to the GM -- except only as many the character's Humanity would be true.  The rest wouldn't necessarily be completely (and possibly dangerously) false but might not be completely accurate.  (Ever have a talk with your parents about how things were, but you remember it a little or completely differently?  That's sort of what I'm talking about -- although who's to say that your parents are right and you're wrong?)  
The GM would keep track of the Humanity and make tweaks and corrections to the memories of the character accordingly.  Two problems I see with this idea are that it really increases the amount of numbers-keeping and rolling for the GM; and it might include an element of riddle into the game (between player and GM) that might be distracting.  And there's a chance that a character's *real* memories may not really match up with the player's concept of the character.  Yes, the three problems I see are...
On the other hand, I like the idea of a GM taking a player aside after the session and saying, "Your character's mom never locked him in the closet," and the player not really being sure how real it is.  Hmmm...  Actually I'm not sure I like this part either.  The four problems are ... ...

Yours,
Ben B
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Fabrice G.
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2003, 02:00:21 PM »

Hi ben,

Quote from: you
I was really curious to know if you thought it was interesting/viable to directly link specific memories with a character's humanity score.


Hum... I dunno. I think it could be interesting, but some big questions arise :

1- what happen when you gain Humanity ? New insight about your past ? The character realize that one of his "Main Memories" (one of those 10) was a fake and then now discover the truth about it ? I'm really not shure about how it should be going.

2- you nailled it right between the eyes :

Quote
The GM would keep track of the Humanity and make tweaks and corrections to the memories of the character accordingly.

and
Quote
Actually I'm not sure I like this part either.


Well, neither do I.

I just discussed about it with one of my friend who played in two of my Sorcerer's game, and who's thinking about GMing it. Should Humanity be kept secret from the players ? From my POV, as I look at Humanity as a dramatic signal, definitely no. I think that by taking it away from the player, you remove one very powerfull and efficient tool of narativism that is : let the player be the scenarist of his own character' story.

I really think about this want as an old sim habit trying to gain acces in a narativist environement. It shure can be fun and a valid mode of play, but I really feel it robs Sorcerer much of its juice.

That said, that's only one of the possible implementations of your idea to link specific memories to the Humanity. The way that could work for me is if you let the player decide what memory is finally false or true when his character gain and loose some Humanity. That way, he won't feel de-protagonized and it keep the surprise for myself and for the other players.

Hum... yep, I like that !


Fabrice
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jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2003, 03:21:24 PM »

Hmm.  And, hmm, again.

I'm trying to figure out how to backwards engineer memories as used in Le Mon Mouri to work in Sorcerer.  I'm thinking along the lines of the Sorcerer using his or her memories to assist with any rituals.  So, during character generation when the players are creating their initial demon they would also need to describe what memories were sacrificed or warped to affect the binding.  It would also be interesting if the demons' needs were somehow tied to these memories.      

I like warped memories rather than the lack of memory.  I'm thinking that humanity checks and loss of humanity would be tied to the continued warping of a memory or greater emphasis to the disconnect between the warped memory and actual history.   Humanity gain could be the unwarping of the memory or the reduced hold of that memory on the Sorcerer.

Julie
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Fabrice G.
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2003, 02:13:25 AM »

Hi Julie,

I like... , no, I love your idea.

And the demon can easily be linked to the appropriate memories. It can become a stange and/or scary figure or object in all of those warped memories, coloring them more and more with his Desire ; yet, the demon his "born" from that stock of momeories (so to speak). That way, the line between the demon and the memories blurs a little.

There's a weird David Lynch's feeling (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive anyone ?) about this that I like a lot !


Thanks,

Fabrice
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2003, 10:51:39 AM »

Quote from: Fabrice G.
Nope, not yet, even if I've only heard good things about it. Was your realisation linked to what the Humanity as Memory definition ? Could you explain why or how it's such a Sorcerer scenario ?

Spoiler Alert!

Well, one of the characters is a, I think the term is, Mechanomancer. His house is full of devices that he's created to do household chores, a guard dog, a daughter, and other things....too horrific to mention. I won't spoil it all. The point is that in order to make these things he has to give up memories. In fact the whole scenario revolves around something rather important that he's forgotten.

Anyhow, the point is that the devices are his demons, big time, and Humanity is Memory all right.

I'd point out that in this case, the players are left in the dark to great effect. The problem is that you can do this precisely because it's a one-shot scenario. In fact, it's quite simulationist in the most tasty way imaginable. A set piece. If you want the full power of the game Sorcerer, then you can't play it that way, I don't think.

But thematically it's precisely what you're talking about. And there might be something there to learn that'll help with you're current game.

Mike
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Fabrice G.
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2003, 03:56:48 AM »

Hi Mike,

I think I'll try to look at this scenario, as I see how the situation can be easily used in a Sorcerer.

I also think that you can't play such ascenario that requires that the players are left not knowing a lot of thing. The point would be to steal some elements from it that can be of great use in a Sorcerer context, mainly the situation, the back story, the color and the moral problem that it suppose. Specially if it matches the Memory definition of Humanity.


Thanks,

Fabrice
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