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If your Prince orders you to kill a ghoul, do you roll for..

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Anonymous
August 19, 2005 10:31:56 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

If a ghoul is out on the street, minding its own business, and you
decide to snipe it in the head, I think we all agree that you have to
roll Humanity loss.

If you're breaking into a Sabbat stronghold and you need to kill a
guard in order to pursue the vitally important mission, I doubt most
Storytellers would make you check for Humanity loss. (I could be
wrong.)

But what if your Prince orders you to kill a ghoul who is (e.g.)
endangering the Danse Macabre? You have the option of disobeying,
possibly being punished or killed. Do you have to risk your neck and
bend over backwards to avoid killing combat-capable folks in the
violence business?

What about if your Prince orders you to kill an innocent for no good
reason, just because the Prince is a sadist? What if the Prince
threatens you with death if you disobey?
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 9:08:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Rip Rock wrote:

> If a ghoul is out on the street, minding its own business, and you
> decide to snipe it in the head, I think we all agree that you have to
> roll Humanity loss.

Yes.

> If you're breaking into a Sabbat stronghold and you need to kill a
> guard in order to pursue the vitally important mission, I doubt most
> Storytellers would make you check for Humanity loss. (I could be
> wrong.)

No, that's wrong. You need to check for Humanity loss, because you just
killed a dude. Situational ethics aren't.

> But what if your Prince orders you to kill a ghoul who is (e.g.)
> endangering the Danse Macabre? You have the option of disobeying,
> possibly being punished or killed. Do you have to risk your neck and
> bend over backwards to avoid killing combat-capable folks in the
> violence business?

If you're in the violence business, be prepared to lose humanity.
Violence is inhumane.

> What about if your Prince orders you to kill an innocent for no good
> reason, just because the Prince is a sadist? What if the Prince
> threatens you with death if you disobey?

You're in what's called a "moral dilemma."
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 20, 2005 12:53:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Rip Rock wrote:
> If a ghoul is out on the street, minding its own business, and you
> decide to snipe it in the head, I think we all agree that you have to
> roll Humanity loss.
>
> If you're breaking into a Sabbat stronghold and you need to kill a
> guard in order to pursue the vitally important mission, I doubt most
> Storytellers would make you check for Humanity loss. (I could be
> wrong.)
>
> But what if your Prince orders you to kill a ghoul who is (e.g.)
> endangering the Danse Macabre? You have the option of disobeying,
> possibly being punished or killed. Do you have to risk your neck and
> bend over backwards to avoid killing combat-capable folks in the
> violence business?

No, that just gives you Paradox!^~
Seriously, one of the complaints I recall hearing about OWoD crossover
was that vampires got penalized for doing things that werewolves and
magi could do with impunity...Now magi seem to be in the same boat, but
werewolves can still get away with murder.
>
> What about if your Prince orders you to kill an innocent for no good
> reason, just because the Prince is a sadist? What if the Prince
> threatens you with death if you disobey?

Such behavior will encourage mass loss of Humanity amoung the Prince's
court and increasing derangements, which will lead to him being deposed
either by Beast-driven crazed vampires or, more likely, "conscientious"
elders who are interested in preserving the Masq--er, Danse Macabre
from his lunacy...

Dex
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Anonymous
August 20, 2005 8:13:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Hand-of-Omega wrote:

> No, that just gives you Paradox!^~
> Seriously, one of the complaints I recall hearing about OWoD crossover
> was that vampires got penalized for doing things that werewolves and
> magi could do with impunity...Now magi seem to be in the same boat, but
> werewolves can still get away with murder.

Well, sorta. Werewolves are okay with justified killing, unlike vampires
and mages, but justified killing isn't the same as indiscriminate slaughter.

> Such behavior will encourage mass loss of Humanity amoung the Prince's
> court and increasing derangements, which will lead to him being deposed
> either by Beast-driven crazed vampires or, more likely, "conscientious"
> elders who are interested in preserving the Masq--er, Danse Macabre
> from his lunacy...

Dude, it's still called the Masquerade.

And, yeah, crazy sadist Princes don't stay Princes for long.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 20, 2005 12:43:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
> > No, that just gives you Paradox!^~
> > Seriously, one of the complaints I recall hearing about OWoD crossover
> > was that vampires got penalized for doing things that werewolves and
> > magi could do with impunity...Now magi seem to be in the same boat, but
> > werewolves can still get away with murder.
>
> Well, sorta. Werewolves are okay with justified killing, unlike vampires
> and mages, but justified killing isn't the same as indiscriminate slaughter.

In my original example, I would say that killing a Sabbat guard is not
indiscriminate slaughter ... it's neat, controlled slaughter that poses
no risk to noncombatants. Off the cuff, I would say it's closer to
manslaughter than murder ... but I wouldn't press the point.

So everyone's comments have made me look back at the core book, p.91,
with the ten-level chart. Manslaughter is 4, heinous acts of mass
murder are 1.

So if vampires go around spreading plague, I would call that callous
crime, more like serial killing than plain premeditated murder. I
would like to call it 3 or 2, but some Storytellers might call it 6 or
5. If the plague were particularly awful, like herpes of AIDS, I might
call it "heinous," a level-1 offense. (And they have a Bloodline that
specializes in spreading disease ... it's not like the question will
never arise...)

Wait a minute: what about messing with someone's mind using Dominate?
That strikes me as a level 4, possibly worse. Dominate is to ethical
persuasion what rape is to ethical seduction.

*Sigh* I just don't understand why they can't list the
Morality-offense levels of the Disciplines in the Discipline rules.
Even some guidelines would be helpful.

I think the Requiem rules say that most vampires stabilize around 4
Humanity. I think as a player I'll end up around 2 with most vampire
characters.
Anonymous
August 20, 2005 11:22:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
> > No, that just gives you Paradox!^~
> > Seriously, one of the complaints I recall hearing about OWoD crossover
> > was that vampires got penalized for doing things that werewolves and
> > magi could do with impunity...Now magi seem to be in the same boat, but
> > werewolves can still get away with murder.
>
> Well, sorta. Werewolves are okay with justified killing, unlike vampires
> and mages, but justified killing isn't the same as indiscriminate slaughter.
>
Hm, guess we shouldn't jump the gun without actually *seeing* Harmony's
scale. Or have we?

> > Such behavior will encourage mass loss of Humanity amoung the Prince's
> > court and increasing derangements, which will lead to him being deposed
> > either by Beast-driven crazed vampires or, more likely, "conscientious"
> > elders who are interested in preserving the Masq--er, Danse Macabre
> > from his lunacy...
>
> Dude, it's still called the Masquerade.
>
> And, yeah, crazy sadist Princes don't stay Princes for long.
>
Heh. Reminds me of this LARP I briefly played with where the
"Caligula-style" Prince openly declared a Blood Hunt on the cities
Lupines...who all just chuckled quietly and sharpened their claws...^^

As one of the few Mages there, I just kept my head down and got ready
to stock up on fresh Tass...^_~

Dex
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 3:09:20 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
> > Hm, guess we shouldn't jump the gun without actually *seeing* Harmony's
> > scale. Or have we?
>
> Of course we have. Werewolf: The Forsaken has been out for months.
>
Oh, for--[slaps forehead]

Of course, I meant *Wisdom*...-_-

> Vampire Humanity has the same Hierarchy of Sins as mortal Morality.
>
> Werewolf Harmony's Hierarchy of Sins is as follows:
>
> 10: Not shapeshifting for more than three days.
> 9: Not obtaining your own food; carrying a silver weapon.
> 8: Disrespect to a spirit or elder Uratha.
> 7: Spending too much time alone; significantly violating a tribal vow.
> 6: Mating with another Uratha; slaying a human or wolf needlessly.
> 5: Slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle.
> 4: Revealing the existence of werewolves to a human; using a silver
> weapon against another werewolf.
> 3: Torturing enemies/prey; murdering a werewolf.
> 2: Hunting humans or wolves for food.
> 1: Betraying a pack; hunting werewolves for food.
>
So, the Tribes (is there a collective word for the "Uratha Nation"?)
and the Pure don't use klaives against each other?

> Mage Wisdom uses the same Hierarchy of Sins as human Morality, with the
> following sins /added/ at the appropriate levels:
>
I would think their's would be closest to human Morality...

> 10: Using magic to do something that you could do as well without it.
> 9: Magically coercing another so that he acts against his free will

This includes emotional impulses?

> 8: Magically coercing another so he violates his moral code.
> 7: Cursing someone
> 6: Forcibly binding an unwilling sentient or spirit.
> 5: Magically transforming a person into a lesser being against his will.
> 4: Using magic to harm someone. Stealing someone's mana. Creating a soul
> stone.

Why is making a soul stone wrong? Assuming it's your own soul?

> 3: Forcing someone into the Shadow, or causing someone to be possessed.
> 2: Intentionally preventing an Awakening. Using magic to commit murder.
> 1: Stealing a soul.

So, no version of Gilgul this time?
>
> In general, nobody can get away with indiscriminate killing, although
> werewolves can get away with indiscriminant maiming as long as it's not
> torture.
>
So it's ok to use magic to, say, spy on women undressing or to alter
another's mind and memories?o_o

How closely do you think you'll hew to the Morality mechanic, if you
get around to storytelling?

Say, do we know what the Mage merits will be?

Dex
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 4:18:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
> > Hm, guess we shouldn't jump the gun without actually *seeing* Harmony's
> > scale. Or have we?
>
> Of course we have. Werewolf: The Forsaken has been out for months.
>
> Vampire Humanity has the same Hierarchy of Sins as mortal Morality.
>
> Werewolf Harmony's Hierarchy of Sins is as follows:
>
> 10: Not shapeshifting for more than three days.
> 9: Not obtaining your own food; carrying a silver weapon.
> 8: Disrespect to a spirit or elder Uratha.
> 7: Spending too much time alone; significantly violating a tribal vow.
> 6: Mating with another Uratha; slaying a human or wolf needlessly.
> 5: Slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle.
> 4: Revealing the existence of werewolves to a human; using a silver
> weapon against another werewolf.
> 3: Torturing enemies/prey; murdering a werewolf.
> 2: Hunting humans or wolves for food.
> 1: Betraying a pack; hunting werewolves for food.
>
> Some of those require explanation. "Slaying a human or wolf needlessly"
> is probably the fuzziest one on the list. What counts as "needless?"
> Generally speaking, if there's a solution that does not involve killing
> a human, and a solution that does involve killing a human, then the
> solution that involves killing a human is a Harmony 6 sin.

Okay, so let's be generous and assume ghouls count as humans. If you
drop down to 5 Harmony as a werewolf, you can kill ghouls (e.g. those
guarding Sabbat warehouses) as callously as you like.

Even at 7 Harmony, it seems like werewolves can kill vampires as much
as they like, under any circumstances they like. Werewolves only have
to protect humans, werewolves and wolves. However, vampire
restrictions seem to apply to the crime, not the target. Vampires who
murder any sentient -- even werewolves, pixies, etc. -- would seem to
be regarded as sinners.


>
> Mage Wisdom uses the same Hierarchy of Sins as human Morality, with the
> following sins /added/ at the appropriate levels:
>
> 10: Using magic to do something that you could do as well without it.
> 9: Magically coercing another so that he acts against his free will
> 8: Magically coercing another so he violates his moral code.
> 7: Cursing someone
> 6: Forcibly binding an unwilling sentient or spirit.

Hmm. In the sample adventure for Mage, the players have to deal with a
Sloth spirit as their first challenge. I don't recall seeing anything
about Humanity checks. The Sloth spirit doesn't particularly consent
to be bound, so the rules look inconsistent to me.



>
> In general, nobody can get away with indiscriminate killing, although
> werewolves can get away with indiscriminant maiming as long as it's not
> torture.

"Indiscriminate" is another fuzzy term. Werewolves are effectively
fighting a "just war" all the time, and so they can get away with
murder, literally and figuratively.
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 9:36:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Hand-of-Omega wrote:

> Hm, guess we shouldn't jump the gun without actually *seeing* Harmony's
> scale. Or have we?

Of course we have. Werewolf: The Forsaken has been out for months.

Vampire Humanity has the same Hierarchy of Sins as mortal Morality.

Werewolf Harmony's Hierarchy of Sins is as follows:

10: Not shapeshifting for more than three days.
9: Not obtaining your own food; carrying a silver weapon.
8: Disrespect to a spirit or elder Uratha.
7: Spending too much time alone; significantly violating a tribal vow.
6: Mating with another Uratha; slaying a human or wolf needlessly.
5: Slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle.
4: Revealing the existence of werewolves to a human; using a silver
weapon against another werewolf.
3: Torturing enemies/prey; murdering a werewolf.
2: Hunting humans or wolves for food.
1: Betraying a pack; hunting werewolves for food.

Some of those require explanation. "Slaying a human or wolf needlessly"
is probably the fuzziest one on the list. What counts as "needless?"
Generally speaking, if there's a solution that does not involve killing
a human, and a solution that does involve killing a human, then the
solution that involves killing a human is a Harmony 6 sin. It should
also be noted that "murdering a werewolf" includes striking a finishing
blow on a werewolf you've incapacitated (and who is no doubt
regenerating as you decide whether to strike the finishing blow or not),
and "slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle" is /rare/, since to
qualify for that you have to take them from up and moving about to "all
health filled with aggravated damage" in one blow.

Mage Wisdom uses the same Hierarchy of Sins as human Morality, with the
following sins /added/ at the appropriate levels:

10: Using magic to do something that you could do as well without it.
9: Magically coercing another so that he acts against his free will
8: Magically coercing another so he violates his moral code.
7: Cursing someone
6: Forcibly binding an unwilling sentient or spirit.
5: Magically transforming a person into a lesser being against his will.
4: Using magic to harm someone. Stealing someone's mana. Creating a soul
stone.
3: Forcing someone into the Shadow, or causing someone to be possessed.
2: Intentionally preventing an Awakening. Using magic to commit murder.
1: Stealing a soul.

In general, nobody can get away with indiscriminate killing, although
werewolves can get away with indiscriminant maiming as long as it's not
torture.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 11:14:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Hand-of-Omega wrote:

> Of course, I meant *Wisdom*...-_-

Heh.

> So, the Tribes (is there a collective word for the "Uratha Nation"?)
> and the Pure don't use klaives against each other?

The Pure apparently can't touch or be near silver at all; at the very
least, they're never seen touching or using it.

"Klaive" now just means "fetish melee weapon," and no, they don't make
them out of silver.

Both Gift powers that grant the ability to do aggravated damage are
noted as being Harmony 4 sins when used against werewolves. One of them,
which converts werewolf claws to silver, is noted as being a Harmony 9
sin to use at all (plus the Harmony 4 sin to use it against werewolves,
which is, in fact, its only practical use).

> I would think their's would be closest to human Morality...

It's essentially Morality with stuff you can do with magic taken into
account, apparently.

> This includes emotional impulses?

Right now, I'd say no. Magically generated emotional impulses are no
worse than mundane persuasion methods, although it could be a Harmony 8
sin if the impulse compels the victim to violate his moral code.

But I don't have the book, so I don't know. The section on Wisdom could
very well explain that particular sin in a completely different manner
than what I'm assuming.

> Why is making a soul stone wrong? Assuming it's your own soul?

Remember this doesn't actually measure "right" or "wrong." It measures
behavior conductive or unconductive to mental and emotional stability.
Making a soulstone is unWise, for whatever reason.

We know that if a person loses his soul, he begins to lose a dot of
Morality trait (or Humanity or Harmony or Wisdom or whatever) per day.
Once he's run out of Morality, he begins to lose Willpower dots. Once
he's lost all his Willpower, he's a spineless, babbling insane-o with no
identity to speak of (and mages believe that some, or perhaps many, of
the homeless insane are in fact victims of soul theft). It could be that
a degeneration check is used to measure the fraction of this effect that
occurs when a mage removes a portion of his own soul to forge a
soulstone -- maybe it's not "wrong," just "dangerous."

(Someone who has his soul returned to him begins to regenerate Willpower
and then Morality at the same rate he lost it, until he's reached the
point where he was when he lost his soul.)

> So, no version of Gilgul this time?

See above. Note that Death magic can remove a soul, and mages without
souls are unable to perform magic.

We don't know if souls can be destroyed or not. Not yet, anyway.

> So it's ok to use magic to, say, spy on women undressing or to alter
> another's mind and memories?o_o

Minor Selfish Acts, Morality 9 sin and therefore Wisdom 9 sin.

Altering memories almost certainly falls under "harming another with
magic" if it's harmful, or else "removing free will" if it's non-harmful
but involuntary, although the book may explain it differently.

> How closely do you think you'll hew to the Morality mechanic, if you
> get around to storytelling?

It'd depend on what sort of game I'm running, but when it comes to that
sort of thing I tend to be something of a hardliner.

> Say, do we know what the Mage merits will be?

IIRC, there's Familiar (three dots or four dots -- the former gives you
a pet spirit that's immaterial, while the latter gives you the same, but
physically manifested), Occultation (like Arcane, except instead of
being a vaguely described phenomenon, it involves cutting yourself off
from the world in order to sympathetically make your magic more
difficult to detect), Sanctum (your place), Library (don't know the
mechanics behind it, but it's got Sanctum as a prerequisite), Hallow
(the new Nodes, and again has Sanctum as a prerequisite), and maybe one
or two more.

See this thread on the WW forums for much more spoilage, from a dude who
actually has the book in question:

http://forums.white-wolf.com/viewtopic.php?t=22267&star...
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 12:21:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>> > Say, do we know what the Mage merits will be?
>
> IIRC, there's Familiar (three dots or four dots -- the former gives you
> a pet spirit that's immaterial, while the latter gives you the same, but
> physically manifested), Occultation (like Arcane, except instead of
> being a vaguely described phenomenon, it involves cutting yourself off
> from the world in order to sympathetically make your magic more
> difficult to detect), Sanctum (your place), Library (don't know the
> mechanics behind it, but it's got Sanctum as a prerequisite), Hallow
> (the new Nodes, and again has Sanctum as a prerequisite), and maybe one
> or two more.
>
So, if you have a Hallow, it has to be a Sanctum as well? Hm...

I saw the complete list of new merits, more than for any other game.
Now I'm really feeling the loss of Bonus Points. Are they gonna up the
amount of Merit Points for this game?

> See this thread on the WW forums for much more spoilage, from a dude who
> actually has the book in question:
>
> http://forums.white-wolf.com/viewtopic.php?t=22267&star...
> --
>
Cool, thanks! I'll have some questions of my own when I finally finish
reading that whole thing!^__~

Dex
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 9:41:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

x-no-archive: yes

The biggest problem I've ever had with the whole Humanity system (and that
includes all other paths from the older products, Harmony, Wisdom and
Morality in the newer editions) is that it's trying to impose a set of
'hard-and-fast' rules on something that is completely subjective. It's all
well and good saying that somebody should check for Humanity loss for
killing somebody but that isn't always applicable. What do I mean? Well,
here's an example...



Jonas, a vampire of high Humanity (9), finds himself facing a dilemma. The
Prince of the city has told him that Milo, a mage, has almost completed his
Infernal Machine. The Prince knows that if the machine is turned on, all
vampires will suddenly turn into lawnchairs, and so sends Jonas to stop the
mage. When he finally gets to Milo's sanctum, he finds Milo just about to
drop the last piece into the machine. Ten 'sacrificial victims' are
connected to the machine and Jonas has a choice: kill the mage (thereby
stopping him completing the machine AND saving ten lives) or act according
to his Humanity (thereby allowing all the victims to die AND getting himself
turned into a lawnchair for his pains).



Under the rules, the ST would be within her rights to call for a Humanity
check before Jonas has even declared his actions, and then again after
declaration if appropriate. If Jonas attacks the mage and kills him (which
is a possible outcome even if he declares that he's pulling his blow) then
from what I remember the Humanity loss would be automatic (correct me if I'm
wrong; it is a long time since I played any ST game), despite the fact that
there are ten living souls and a few vamps who haven't died thanks to his
actions. There's even a chance that Jonas will lose Humanity simply because
he's committed a violent act. The simple fact of the matter is, the rules do
not allow for motivation.

A better system (IMO) is to first query the player's motives. In the example
I give, if Jonas attacks the mage out of fear for the victims, then his
actions have been led by a (very humane) desire to save lives. The fact that
he's had to commit a violent act doesn't even register in his subconscious
because ultimately he's saving lives; his own and the victims. If, on the
other hand, he simply attacks the mage out of animosity (ie: just because
he's a mage, or just because he's been told to) then Humanity loss should be
automatic. It's up to the ST to decide whether or not Humanity should be
lost based on her own moral compass, Jonas' (believed) motives and his
previous conduct. Of course, this does mean that you'd better hope that your
ST has a reasonable ability to put her own morality aside in order to
understand your own arguments (just never forget that the ST's word is law
and if she says you lose it, you lose it - you can argue about it outside
the game). This then also allows for the ST to raise Humanity for 'humane'
motives that are played in-character.

I use a similar system to the one I describe above in a fantasy game I run,
and so far I've only had one case where a player has disagreed with my
decision (the system I use grades the character's morality on a sliding
scale, with low numbers indicating a slide towards darkness, high numbers
for characters who *think* like goody-two-shoes) and then only because they
misunderstood why I had made the call. The other advantage is that the
players, who are aware of the way the system works, tend to think more
carefully about their characters' actions and motivations. This leads to
some really cool character development, with each player finding their own
level on the scale and generally hovering around it. There was one player
who went from being as good as good can be to being the most dark-hearted
bar-steward imaginable overnight, but that's a story for another time...

When I did ST Vampire, I quickly changed the Humanity system to something
similar to the one I'm using at the moment. Characters still lost points in
their respective paths, but I can honestly say that not one of the players
ever complained at losing (or gaining) points in their Humanity, etc, even
when it led to two players having to retire their characters because they
had succumbed to the Beast.

At the end of the day, it's horses for courses. How you deal with Humanity
and it's cousins in your game is up to you. As long as the players know the
score, there shouldn't be any problems.

Cheers

Evelake
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 9:41:34 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Evelake wrote:
> x-no-archive: yes

This "header" appeared in your message body instead of in its headers.
Be sure to configure your newsreader to add it as a true header -- if
you're just typing it into the start of your article, it probably won't
work.

> The biggest problem I've ever had with the whole Humanity system (and
> that includes all other paths from the older products, Harmony, Wisdom
> and Morality in the newer editions) is that it's trying to impose a
> set of 'hard-and-fast' rules on something that is completely
> subjective.

First, a little clarification: I suspect that you mean "situational"
rather than "subjective" here. While some philosophies do insist that
morality varies according to the actor (subjectivity), that view isn't
very popular, and in fact is regarded by most modern philosophies as
morally bankrupt. What's more common is the claim that morality is
objective but situational; for example, killing is not universally wrong
because some killings are justified. Based on your example, it sounds
like you're talking about moral principles that allow for special
circumstances, rather than subjective morality.

With that out of the way, I believe that the whole point of the NWOD
moral system is that it's neither subjective nor very situational. While
players and characters may have different ideas of what's moral, the
world itself has "One True Morality" that does /not/ allow for special
circumstances. In other words, while your character may believe that
killing the mage is justified and therefore moral, according to the
"natural law" of the NWOD, it's not.

Also note that the NWOD moral system reflects more than just morality;
it's also supposed to model the psychological effects of questionable
acts. People often feel self-destructive remorse after killing a man,
even if the act was justifiable. In other words, while you may have firm
convictions that you did the right thing, there's a good chance that
your psyche will rebel anyway. According to the NWOD rules, this is
especially important for vampires, who must avoid even the appearance of
immorality or risk becoming less human and more beastlike.

This is a common feature of games with moral systems: While your
personal beliefs may not match the game's moral principles, the game
rules are absolutely true /within the game world./ Likewise, your PC may
have different moral principles from those of the game world -- indeed,
a PC may be "evil" in a game /because/ he believes that innocent lives
are worthless. The idea here is to model a particular fantasy world,
which may have universal moral principles different from our own world.

There are pitfalls in that approach. The most common problem is that the
game's moral philosophy is close enough to real-world beliefs that
players want to apply their own beliefs to the game. Your article is a
good example of this; you believe that a particular moral principle is
true, and so you wonder why the game doesn't seem to allow for it. The
answer here is that the game's moral system is a bit different from your
own, so what's justified to you may not be to the game system. Another
common problem is when a player tries to judge his own moral system
against the game's -- according to the game rules, one of the player's
beliefs would be "evil"; the game seems to judge the player himself
unfavorably! The thing to remember here is that the game isn't trying to
judge player beliefs, but only to model a particular (fantasy) moral
system.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 10:08:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> schrieb:
> Evelake wrote:
>> x-no-archive: yes
>
> This "header" appeared in your message body instead of in its headers.
> Be sure to configure your newsreader to add it as a true header -- if
> you're just typing it into the start of your article, it probably won't
> work.

It works. You can put it in the header or in the first line of a
message.
http://groups.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7...

--
Thomas Weinbrenner
August 25, 2005 11:12:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

"Evelake" <avdp04@dsl.pipex.net> wrote in message
news:D YmdnQ__rKwmaZDeRVnyvg@pipex.net...
> x-no-archive: yes
>
[big snip]
There is of course one major flaw in a situational vs. objective morality
system such as you suggested: The Humanity 10 Child Serial Killer.

If the ST can indeed fully set aside his own morality (not likely, but
still) and judge a character's actions completely based on what their
actions are motivated by within their personal moral context, then
inevitably there will be someone out there performing classically
immoral/evil acts who, due to the strength and purity of their belief in
what they are doing being "right", will have a incongruously high Morality
score.

Posit: I believe the soul to be eternal & will carry on to a final judgment
upon death. I believe that we are born into the world free of any and all
sin, in a state of pure innocence. I believe that as we live in this world
of sin, our pure souls are corrupted by it, and the longer we exist here,
the more likely that corruption will send us to hell upon death. Thus, I
believe that despite the brief moments of fear and pain I cause killing
their moral coil, the young children I kill are truly being saved from an
eternity of greater pain and torment, for I free their souls far before the
corrupting influence of the world can taint them, keeping them pure to
travel on to heaven.

Thus we have the Humanity 10 child serial killer. He feels guilty about the
pain he causes, but within the context of his belief that he is truly
performing good works, he is easily able to "justify" the actual killing in
such a way that it is not only not evil, but in actuality, an act which
anyone would perform if they only understood the "truth" of the world around
them.

Now mind you, this is not necessarily a bad thing, if the morality system in
the game has nothing to do with traditional ethics & morality, but rather is
simply a measure of a character's personal moral character *within their own
system of beliefs*-a moral "willpower" if you will. It's strange and would
require every character to write out a moral code for themselves, but it
would work. The only thing is that it requires a bit free thinking in order
to accept that the "evil overlord" can have as much "moral character" as the
"holy paladin" trying to stop him, simply of an entirely different nature.

Most game systems with a morality system in them tend to use "traditional"
morality as a baseline and an absolute judgment of it in order to keep
things... neat, for lack of a better word. Do "bad" and you become "bad", do
"good" and you become "good", as dictated by the universal constants the
game system determines is "good" and "bad".

The other reason most game systems use traditional objective morality is to
prevent players going on Sociopathic slaughter-fests with their characters
with impunity. Your example of the high Humanity vampire trying to stop the
mage is an excellent example; he has to *struggle* with his decisions, and
taking the easy way out (just kill the guy) might cause him harm (Humanity
loss), whereas trying the harder rout (holding back his full abilities, thus
reducing the chance of defeating the mage/trying to talk him out of it and
risking him still pulling the switch anyway) will keep him morally pure, but
has other ways to hurt him in the end. Obviously a group of low Humanity
vampires would just go; "hose down the sacrifices with our machine guns,
there, machine sabotaged. Now, let's deal with this mage." See how much
"easier" that was?
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 11:14:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote in message
news:slrndgrvqg.foh.bradd+news@szonye.com...
> Evelake wrote:
> > x-no-archive: yes
>
> This "header" appeared in your message body instead of in its headers.
> Be sure to configure your newsreader to add it as a true header -- if
> you're just typing it into the start of your article, it probably won't
> work.

Thanks Bradd - I've not had any problems so far but I'll check out your
suggestion - how stupid will I feel if I've put my 'header' in the wrong
place?

>
> > The biggest problem I've ever had with the whole Humanity system (and
> > that includes all other paths from the older products, Harmony, Wisdom
> > and Morality in the newer editions) is that it's trying to impose a
> > set of 'hard-and-fast' rules on something that is completely
> > subjective.
>
> First, a little clarification: I suspect that you mean "situational"
> rather than "subjective" here. While some philosophies do insist that
> morality varies according to the actor (subjectivity), that view isn't
> very popular, and in fact is regarded by most modern philosophies as
> morally bankrupt. What's more common is the claim that morality is
> objective but situational; for example, killing is not universally wrong
> because some killings are justified. Based on your example, it sounds
> like you're talking about moral principles that allow for special
> circumstances, rather than subjective morality.

I did mean situational, yeah. I just couldn't make my mind work at that
point. Thanks again.

>
> With that out of the way, I believe that the whole point of the NWOD
> moral system is that it's neither subjective nor very situational. While
> players and characters may have different ideas of what's moral, the
> world itself has "One True Morality" that does /not/ allow for special
> circumstances. In other words, while your character may believe that
> killing the mage is justified and therefore moral, according to the
> "natural law" of the NWOD, it's not.
>
> Also note that the NWOD moral system reflects more than just morality;
> it's also supposed to model the psychological effects of questionable
> acts. People often feel self-destructive remorse after killing a man,
> even if the act was justifiable. In other words, while you may have firm
> convictions that you did the right thing, there's a good chance that
> your psyche will rebel anyway. According to the NWOD rules, this is
> especially important for vampires, who must avoid even the appearance of
> immorality or risk becoming less human and more beastlike.

Having played Mage a lot, I can see the sense here. WW have always tried to
present the world as being 'structured', with the majority of player
characters having some sort of control over that 'structure' (such as a
mage's ability to alter the very fabric of reality). To take that one step
further and apply a 'global' morality to the WoD does make sense. Even more
so with the supernatural entities being there 'at the sufferance of reality'
as it were.

>
> This is a common feature of games with moral systems: While your
> personal beliefs may not match the game's moral principles, the game
> rules are absolutely true /within the game world./ Likewise, your PC may
> have different moral principles from those of the game world -- indeed,
> a PC may be "evil" in a game /because/ he believes that innocent lives
> are worthless. The idea here is to model a particular fantasy world,
> which may have universal moral principles different from our own world.
>
> There are pitfalls in that approach. The most common problem is that the
> game's moral philosophy is close enough to real-world beliefs that
> players want to apply their own beliefs to the game. Your article is a
> good example of this; you believe that a particular moral principle is
> true, and so you wonder why the game doesn't seem to allow for it.

I hear what you're saying, but I think I need to clarify my own post a
little. The reason I adopted the system I currently use was exactly because
of what you've just described - my own moral code is different to everybody
else's. Because of that understanding, I needed a mechanic that gave the
players a chance to explain their actions according to their own moral code.
Because it's situational, and because the character's descent into darkness
(or climb to glory - had that happen once) is entirely self-fuelled, it's
next to impossible for me to say "You killed a paragon of virtue, so now you
need to lose morality" - instead, the player gets a chance to explain their
character's moral code. Because it's discussed in an open forum (at the end
of each session) the other players also get a chance to offer their own
opinion and consequently the whole group has a say in whether a character
should lose or gain moral ground based on their motives and actions, and by
extension, help to shape the moral compass for the entire game. The hardest
part, believe it or not, is deciding whether or not the motive is in-keeping
with the way the player has portrayed their character.

> The
> answer here is that the game's moral system is a bit different from your
> own, so what's justified to you may not be to the game system. Another
> common problem is when a player tries to judge his own moral system
> against the game's -- according to the game rules, one of the player's
> beliefs would be "evil"; the game seems to judge the player himself
> unfavorably! The thing to remember here is that the game isn't trying to
> judge player beliefs, but only to model a particular (fantasy) moral
> system.

Thanks again Bradd. I'll be honest and admit that I'd not considered it from
that angle. Now that you've explained it, it does make sense, but my
preference is still towards a situational system. I'm due to join a new ST
game soon (which is how I ended up here - need to catch up on what I've
missed) but at least now you've given me another way to think of the
Humanity system. I'll be sure to let the ST know who to thank for me NOT
trying to change game mechanics. ;-)

Regards

Evelake
Anonymous
August 26, 2005 12:14:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Thomas Weinbrenner <thomas@thomas-weinbrenner.de> wrote:
> Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> schrieb:
>> Evelake wrote:
>>> x-no-archive: yes
>>
>> This "header" appeared in your message body instead of in its headers.
>> Be sure to configure your newsreader to add it as a true header -- if
>> you're just typing it into the start of your article, it probably won't
>> work.
>
> It works. You can put it in the header or in the first line of a
> message.
> http://groups.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7...

Ah, I didn't know that. I think it's a bit neater to actually put it in
the headers -- that way, it doesn't distract human readers -- but so
long as it works there's no major problem.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 26, 2005 12:58:33 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> With that out of the way, I believe that the whole point of the NWOD
>> moral system is that it's neither subjective nor very situational.
>> While players and characters may have different ideas of what's
>> moral, the world itself has "One True Morality" that does /not/ allow
>> for special circumstances .... Also note that the NWOD moral system
>> reflects more than just morality; it's also supposed to model the
>> psychological effects of questionable acts ....

Evelake wrote:
> [To] apply a 'global' morality to the WoD does make sense. Even more
> so with the supernatural entities being there 'at the sufferance of
> reality' as it were.

Yes, I think that's the idea. Also, as Stephen notes, an absolute moral
system also reinforces setting values like personal tragedy and horror:
Circumstances may drive your character to perform acts that require
psychological and moral sacrifices for the greater good. To put it
another way, while the setting does encourage the kind of "lesser of two
evils" behavior common in situational ethics, it /punishes/ characters
for it regardless. That's a bit unfair, but that's part of the tragedy.

> ... I needed a mechanic that gave the players a chance to explain
> their actions according to their own moral code.

While that's kind to players, it can lead to a truly subjective moral
code, causing the problems described by other posters. Also, while it
might seem more fair, I don't think fairness was one of the design goals
of the NWOD moral system, as explained above.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 26, 2005 4:01:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

"Kellendros" <cox911@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:4KoPe.80016$Ph4.2515942@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...

x-no-archive: yes
> >
> [big snip]
> There is of course one major flaw in a situational vs. objective morality
> system such as you suggested: The Humanity 10 Child Serial Killer.
>
> If the ST can indeed fully set aside his own morality (not likely, but
> still) and judge a character's actions completely based on what their
> actions are motivated by within their personal moral context, then
> inevitably there will be someone out there performing classically
> immoral/evil acts who, due to the strength and purity of their belief in
> what they are doing being "right", will have a incongruously high Morality
> score.

Firstly, to quote from my reply to Bradd...

"...The reason I adopted the system I currently use was exactly because
of what you've just described - my own moral code is different to everybody
else's. Because of that understanding, I needed a mechanic that gave the
players a chance to explain their actions according to their own moral code.
Because it's situational, and because the character's descent into darkness
(or climb to glory - had that happen once) is entirely self-fuelled, it's
next to impossible for me to say "You killed a paragon of virtue, so now you
need to lose morality" - instead, the player gets a chance to explain their
character's moral code. Because it's discussed in an open forum (at the end
of each session) the other players also get a chance to offer their own
opinion and consequently the whole group has a say in whether a character
should lose or gain moral ground based on their motives and actions, and by
extension, help to shape the moral compass for the entire game. The hardest
part, believe it or not, is deciding whether or not the motive is in-keeping
with the way the player has portrayed their character..."

>
> Posit: I believe the soul to be eternal & will carry on to a final
judgment
> upon death. I believe that we are born into the world free of any and all
> sin, in a state of pure innocence. I believe that as we live in this world
> of sin, our pure souls are corrupted by it, and the longer we exist here,
> the more likely that corruption will send us to hell upon death. Thus, I
> believe that despite the brief moments of fear and pain I cause killing
> their moral coil, the young children I kill are truly being saved from an
> eternity of greater pain and torment, for I free their souls far before
the
> corrupting influence of the world can taint them, keeping them pure to
> travel on to heaven.
>
> Thus we have the Humanity 10 child serial killer. He feels guilty about
the
> pain he causes, but within the context of his belief that he is truly
> performing good works, he is easily able to "justify" the actual killing
in
> such a way that it is not only not evil, but in actuality, an act which
> anyone would perform if they only understood the "truth" of the world
around
> them.

And now, onto the rest... I don't know about NWoD yet, because I haven't
played it, but in the older versions of Vampire, they did introduce
alternative Paths, of which Humanity was just one. The way that the paths
worked meant that the Humanity 10 Child Serial Killer you discussed would
have followed one of the alternate paths, one in keeping with the character.
From the way you describe it, it almost sounds like the character would fit
the Path of Damnation, though again I will ask for correction on this if I'm
wrong.

As I said above, the act as well as the motive determines when a roll is
made. The fact that your example feels guilt suggests that he is performing
an act he is uncomfortable with or knows to be wrong. This will ultimately
lead to a corruption of his soul and therefore (in game terms) a loss of
Humanity. It all boils down to the old question of right and wrong, but how
do you determine what is or isn't right? How do you define right? It's a
topic that's probably going to be raging for years. Is it right to kill? It
depends on the circumstances. For example, how do you react if a loved one
tells you they have a terminal illness that will lead to a long, drawn out
death, and then they ask for your help for a painless end? If you say no,
you have to live with the pain and guilt of watching them die slowly; if you
say yes, do you feel guilt for ending their suffering?

To be honest, I've never had to deal with a player who's wanted to go for
anything like the Humanity 10 Killer example you give, but it is an
interesting one to think about. The whole moral debate will reign for many,
many years to come.

>
> Now mind you, this is not necessarily a bad thing, if the morality system
in
> the game has nothing to do with traditional ethics & morality, but rather
is
> simply a measure of a character's personal moral character *within their
own
> system of beliefs*-a moral "willpower" if you will. It's strange and would
> require every character to write out a moral code for themselves, but it
> would work. The only thing is that it requires a bit free thinking in
order
> to accept that the "evil overlord" can have as much "moral character" as
the
> "holy paladin" trying to stop him, simply of an entirely different nature.
>
> Most game systems with a morality system in them tend to use "traditional"
> morality as a baseline and an absolute judgment of it in order to keep
> things... neat, for lack of a better word. Do "bad" and you become "bad",
do
> "good" and you become "good", as dictated by the universal constants the
> game system determines is "good" and "bad".
>
> The other reason most game systems use traditional objective morality is
to
> prevent players going on Sociopathic slaughter-fests with their characters
> with impunity. Your example of the high Humanity vampire trying to stop
the
> mage is an excellent example; he has to *struggle* with his decisions, and
> taking the easy way out (just kill the guy) might cause him harm (Humanity
> loss), whereas trying the harder rout (holding back his full abilities,
thus
> reducing the chance of defeating the mage/trying to talk him out of it and
> risking him still pulling the switch anyway) will keep him morally pure,
but
> has other ways to hurt him in the end. Obviously a group of low Humanity
> vampires would just go; "hose down the sacrifices with our machine guns,
> there, machine sabotaged. Now, let's deal with this mage." See how much
> "easier" that was?

Hmm, you know, the system you describe for individual moral ethics for each
character does have merits, but not from a moral standpoint. Maybe a
combination of systems, with a framework for the world's moral compass
(thereby offering guidelines for what is a 'dark' act and what is a 'light'
act), but also a 'moral integrity' attribute for the characters themselves,
to signify how in-line with the world's moral compass they are. I think I
need to think about this...

Thanks Kellendros. You've given me some ideas to play with.

>
>
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 8:58:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Rip Rock wrote:
> If a ghoul is out on the street, minding its own business, and you
> decide to snipe it in the head, I think we all agree that you have to
> roll Humanity loss.

Yup. In fact, such murder-for-the-hell-of-it could probably warrant
losing more than one Humanity point, since casual slaughter is pretty
low on the (oWoD) hierarchy of sins.

> If you're breaking into a Sabbat stronghold and you need to kill a
> guard in order to pursue the vitally important mission, I doubt most
> Storytellers would make you check for Humanity loss. (I could be
> wrong.)

Wrong. It's not AS heinous a humanity violation, but you're still going
to roll for a loss. Murder is implicitly inhumane.

> But what if your Prince orders you to kill a ghoul who is (e.g.)
> endangering the Danse Macabre? You have the option of disobeying,
> possibly being punished or killed. Do you have to risk your neck and
> bend over backwards to avoid killing combat-capable folks in the
> violence business?

Yup. That's why /Vampire/ is a horror game. You are an unclean thing
that must violate humans and steal their blood to survive. That, coupled
with the notoriously not nice vampire society, makes a slide into
monstrous depravity virtually inevitable.
Of course, if you want to violate, kill, and eat people (not
necessarily in that order) without the worries of becoming a feral,
mindless predator, I highly recommend /Exalted: The Abyssals./ Twice the
slaughter, half the angst. ("And now with no Humanity to worry about!")

> What about if your Prince orders you to kill an innocent for no good
> reason, just because the Prince is a sadist? What if the Prince
> threatens you with death if you disobey?

Tough noogies. A beast you are lest a beast you wankety wankety wank.
--
[The address listed is a spam trap. To reply, take off every zig.]
Richard Clayton
"During wars laws are silent." -- Cicero
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 8:58:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
>> No, that just gives you Paradox!^~
>> Seriously, one of the complaints I recall hearing about OWoD crossover
>> was that vampires got penalized for doing things that werewolves and
>> magi could do with impunity...Now magi seem to be in the same boat, but
>> werewolves can still get away with murder.
>
> Well, sorta. Werewolves are okay with justified killing, unlike vampires
> and mages, but justified killing isn't the same as indiscriminate
> slaughter.

Buwhuh? Magi now get 'dox for wanton slaughter? Why?

>> Such behavior will encourage mass loss of Humanity amoung the Prince's
>> court and increasing derangements, which will lead to him being deposed
>> either by Beast-driven crazed vampires or, more likely, "conscientious"
>> elders who are interested in preserving the Masq--er, Danse Macabre
>> from his lunacy...
>
> Dude, it's still called the Masquerade.
>
> And, yeah, crazy sadist Princes don't stay Princes for long.

Hee hee! You make it sound like a challenge. I suspect that crazy
sadist vampire Princes can "hold office" for a good while, just as the
occasional crazy sadist ruler does in real life.
--
[The address listed is a spam trap. To reply, take off every zig.]
Richard Clayton
"During wars laws are silent." -- Cicero
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 8:58:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Hand-of-Omega wrote:
> Heh. Reminds me of this LARP I briefly played with where the
> "Caligula-style" Prince openly declared a Blood Hunt on the cities
> Lupines...who all just chuckled quietly and sharpened their claws...^^

"Oh good. This is so much easier when the fomori come right to us."
--
[The address listed is a spam trap. To reply, take off every zig.]
Richard Clayton
"During wars laws are silent." -- Cicero
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 8:58:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Hand-of-Omega wrote:
>
>> Hm, guess we shouldn't jump the gun without actually *seeing* Harmony's
>> scale. Or have we?
>
>
> Of course we have. Werewolf: The Forsaken has been out for months.
>
> Vampire Humanity has the same Hierarchy of Sins as mortal Morality.
>
> Werewolf Harmony's Hierarchy of Sins is as follows:
>
> 10: Not shapeshifting for more than three days.
> 9: Not obtaining your own food; carrying a silver weapon.
> 8: Disrespect to a spirit or elder Uratha.
> 7: Spending too much time alone; significantly violating a tribal vow.
> 6: Mating with another Uratha; slaying a human or wolf needlessly.
> 5: Slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle.
> 4: Revealing the existence of werewolves to a human; using a silver
> weapon against another werewolf.
> 3: Torturing enemies/prey; murdering a werewolf.
> 2: Hunting humans or wolves for food.
> 1: Betraying a pack; hunting werewolves for food.
>
> Some of those require explanation. "Slaying a human or wolf needlessly"
> is probably the fuzziest one on the list. What counts as "needless?"
> Generally speaking, if there's a solution that does not involve killing
> a human, and a solution that does involve killing a human, then the
> solution that involves killing a human is a Harmony 6 sin. It should
> also be noted that "murdering a werewolf" includes striking a finishing
> blow on a werewolf you've incapacitated (and who is no doubt
> regenerating as you decide whether to strike the finishing blow or not),
> and "slaying a werewolf in the heat of battle" is /rare/, since to
> qualify for that you have to take them from up and moving about to "all
> health filled with aggravated damage" in one blow.
>
> Mage Wisdom uses the same Hierarchy of Sins as human Morality, with the
> following sins /added/ at the appropriate levels:
>
> 10: Using magic to do something that you could do as well without it.
> 9: Magically coercing another so that he acts against his free will
> 8: Magically coercing another so he violates his moral code.
> 7: Cursing someone
> 6: Forcibly binding an unwilling sentient or spirit.
> 5: Magically transforming a person into a lesser being against his will.
> 4: Using magic to harm someone. Stealing someone's mana. Creating a soul
> stone.
> 3: Forcing someone into the Shadow, or causing someone to be possessed.
> 2: Intentionally preventing an Awakening. Using magic to commit murder.
> 1: Stealing a soul.
>
> In general, nobody can get away with indiscriminate killing, although
> werewolves can get away with indiscriminant maiming as long as it's not
> torture.

Oddly enough, this rather turns me off to nWoD. Being a supernatural
monster should involve the freedom to actually BE A MONSTER. Have the
developers stated their rationale for these design choices?
Speaking of stealing souls, BTW, I have been playing the heck out of
Morrowind for the last two weeks. I am amused at the fact that *every*
enchanted item you make requires a stolen soul. (Although my character
is a nice guy, so I am making magic toys out of Bone Lords and
Atronachs, not out of named NPCs. Next time around, though...
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!)

--
[The address listed is a spam trap. To reply, take off every zig.]
Richard Clayton
"During wars laws are silent." -- Cicero
Anonymous
August 27, 2005 1:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls <stephenls@shaw.ca> wrote:
> The systems also seem deliberately set up to provide mechanical benefits
> to tempt characters into acting in ways that result in degeneration
> checks. Werewolves, for instance, can only regain Essence by taking it
> from a locus, looking at their Auspice moon (and then only one point per
> night), or... eating humans or wolves. And they can go through Essence
> like candy if they're doing a lot of fighting and need to regenerate a
> bunch of lethal damage. Mages, likewise, can summon up and wrestle with
> Goetic demons spawned from their own subconscious to attain temporal
> power, or chip off bits of their own souls to create soulstones which
> they can turn into Demesnes where all magic is covert.

That's great! I don't get to run WOD games as much as I'd like, but I
use this same idea in my D&D games. While I try to avoid forcing players
into choosing the lesser of two evils, I will happily point out
opportunities where the "wrong" choice is just so much easier!
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 31, 2005 8:21:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> With that out of the way, I believe that the whole point of the NWOD
> moral system is that it's neither subjective nor very situational. While
> players and characters may have different ideas of what's moral, the
> world itself has "One True Morality" that does /not/ allow for special
> circumstances. In other words, while your character may believe that
> killing the mage is justified and therefore moral, according to the
> "natural law" of the NWOD, it's not.

The "One True Morality" also fails to cover a broad range of traumatic
and criminal situations, e.g. brainwashing...

....and the game system gives brainwashing powers to vampire
player-characters.

That's not moral ambiguity. That's a hole big enough to drive a truck
through, probably left in the rules because the developers couldn't
agree on how to address the problem and assigned it lower priority than
other elements.

On numerous occasions, I've witnessed guys who have played in more than
one Vampire game per week complaining to the Storyteller because the
other Storyteller lets them get away with X.

This is not just a problem for grognards who push the envelope -- it's
a problem for people with many gaming acquaintances. Sometimes
envelope-pushing arises from large numbers of people, not from isolated
minimaxers.
Anonymous
August 31, 2005 9:58:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

> Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> With that out of the way, I believe that the whole point of the NWOD
>> moral system is that it's neither subjective nor very situational. While
>> players and characters may have different ideas of what's moral, the
>> world itself has "One True Morality" that does /not/ allow for special
>> circumstances. In other words, while your character may believe that
>> killing the mage is justified and therefore moral, according to the
>> "natural law" of the NWOD, it's not.

Rip Rock wrote:
> The "One True Morality" also fails to cover a broad range of traumatic
> and criminal situations, e.g. brainwashing... ...and the game system
> gives brainwashing powers to vampire player-characters.

How does it fail to cover it? When you do something nasty, there's a
chance that you'll suffer psychologically from it. How does brainwashing
even come into it, you kook?
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 8:09:41 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
>> Why is making a soul stone wrong? Assuming it's your own soul?
>
> Remember this doesn't actually measure "right" or "wrong." It measures
> behavior conductive or unconductive to mental and emotional stability.
> Making a soulstone is unWise, for whatever reason.

I think... I think I am starting to Get It. Humanity (in the /Vampire:
The Masquerade/ sense) was never really about right or wrong, anyway; it
was about your, well, *humanity*. A Humanity 4 vampire who merrily
slaughters only convicted murderers and rapists is just as inhuman as
any other Humanity 4 vampire. It's not about right or wrong, it's about
how much of you is still a man and how much is... Something Else.
In that light, Wisdom makes sense. Magic-users, like vampires, are at
least partly Something Else. Gratuitous use of your own power is a
turning away from human nature. Low Wisdom archmagi aren't necessarily
eeeeevil, but they are likely to be profoundly /different/.
--
[The address listed is a spam trap. To reply, take off every zig.]
Richard Clayton
"During wars laws are silent." -- Cicero
Anonymous
September 17, 2005 3:15:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Doug wrote:
> OK. This is the first time I've written to the group; so, I hope that I can
> help out.
Yeesh that was a good first post! Welcome to agww :) 
--
Picks-at-Flies
Fly another day.
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!