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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Help me brainstorm a Humanity.  (Read 2660 times)
angelfromanotherpin
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Posts: 132


« on: April 29, 2007, 03:33:40 PM »

I'm looking to start a new Sorcerer game, and I'm looking to really sink my teeth into Humanity.  I want a Humanity which will get checks and gain rolls all the time, that will be rolled as an Attribute a lot, and that comes with really visceral implications.  I just can't think of one. 

Of course, to function frequently as an Attribute, it will have to be deeply tied to the setting.  I picture a dark fairy-tale world, like Pan's Labyrinth (but instead of fascist Spain, set in the harsh Germany of Verhoeven's Flesh & Blood), the original Blood Omen's world of Nosgoth, and my faded memories of The War Hound and the World's Pain. 

I'm strongly drawn towards something that is challenged by killing - any killing (of humans).  I love the idea of Demons as reflections of relationships with the dead, like in Ron's modern necromancy, or Dictionary of Mu, or the Fullmetal Alchemist anime (not the manga). 

So, I see a harsh dark age coexisting and colliding with a fairy world which is also the underworld.  Faeries are not the dead, but rather the attachments the dead have to the world, the unfinished business and dissatisfactions.

That's all I've got.
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"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2007, 08:52:45 PM »

Well, the obvious one to me is standing as a good Christian member of the congregation, if you want monotheism at all in your setting. Like, children get a Humanity score when they are baptised, while those left without a baptism use the inhumanity rules from &Sword. The trick is, the definition is two-fold:

Catholic Soul
Represents how close the character is to losing his immortal soul and being cast out of the flock by church authorities. The priesthood has full power over everybody's Soul as shepherds of their congregation: each priest is further beheld to their superiors, with the supreme bishop (Pope, or whatever you'd like in a fantasy version) being the only one who is directly beheld to (and in communication with) God.
Humanity checks:
- Church discipline, especially public humiliation. Starts with reprimands and goes through the stocks all the way to excommunication and banishment.
- Any of the Deadly Sins, be ye Christian at all or not. So a pagan doesn't have to worry about checks imbued by crazy clerics (except Pope, who has dominion over all Earth, but probably won't even know about your existing), but he'll probably gather more checks from the sins along the way.
Humanity gains:
- Tithing and otherwise colluding with the church in governing the Christian society. Specifically, gaining high honors from the church or progressing in the clergy.
- Altruistic behavior beyond the expectations and requirements engendered by your societal status. As clergy is expected to be supremely altruistic, pretty much the only way for a priest to get this one is to be like Francis of Assisi, being so altruistic and idealistic as to be an embarrasment and nuisance for the rest of the church.

That would be pretty bland and obvious otherwise, but those concretized social ties make it for me; I imagine that clerical characters and pagans would play pretty big roles in this kind of a game, being that one can imbue humanity checks and the other can ignore those imbuements. At least the Humanity mechanics would see constant use here.

But really, what you should do is discuss this with your players. They know.
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angelfromanotherpin
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Posts: 132


« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2007, 09:40:56 PM »

I absolutely am going to discuss it with the players, but I want to be able to bring more to the discussion.

What I really need is a way to have the Humanity definition really integrated into the setting, to facilitate use as an Attribute.  Or, more accurately, a number of ways that it could be done, so I have some examples to work with.

Having thought about it for a while, if Demons are clinging to the world, then Humanity is your ability to let go, to forgive.  Call it Mercy.  That's easy.  Killing is against Mercy, so that fits too.

The question becomes, how does that quality become something that could be expected to be rolled not in gain or loss situations multiple times per session?  The way that comes to mind is to establish a quality of the setting that makes it important.  I have this idea that the daylight world and the underworld are strangely jumbled, and that it is all too easy to pass from one to the other, and that Humanity is the score to be used in that circumstance.  I'm just not sure how that ties to, for instance, Mercy.  A different angle may be needed to make use of that definition.

I've got a lot of percolating going on... I'm going to sleep on it.
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-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2007, 11:00:52 AM »

It might help to know why you want to spot light humanity in this way (i.e. more directly than standard).

Is there some particular effect you're hoping to achieve?  Knowing what that is could help find the solution.
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angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 132


« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 07:16:33 PM »

It might help to know why you want to spot light humanity in this way (i.e. more directly than standard).

Is there some particular effect you're hoping to achieve?  Knowing what that is could help find the solution.

Humanity is the meat of the game, and my previous Sorcerer runs have been a bit on the lean side.  This time, I want to make absolutely sure it gets served front and center, rare and bloody, early and often.  A lot of that is in the playing, to be sure, but playing it is easier if it's present for everyone at the table.
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-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2007, 08:52:37 PM »

Another idea... I'm just riffing these from your setting tidbits and the necessity for a Humanity that is perceived very concretely in the fiction...

Sensuality
Represents the vitality and life-force of the character. A high Humanity character might be attractive and sexual, while a low Humanity one is perhaps old, tired, cynical, sardonic and most of all, philosophical, putting stock to ideas and dogma instead of people. Sensuality/Humanity could be rolled as a social stat in a wide variety of situations, sometimes against the character himself.
Humanity checks: Undermining or corrupting the sociality and sensuality of yourself or others. Might be political activity, celibacy or simple selfishness.
Humanity gains: Broadening your social horizons, daring things you did not dare before. Living instead of being, in short.

Hmm... that'd fit some kind of a anime game, now that I think of it. Probably something comedic.
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