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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaijin View Post
Werewolf themed questionFor storytelling purposes, ... for gameplay... it is supposed to be a curse.
Werewolf Themed CampaignsYou could run a game where the goal was to find a cure, and every few days around the full moon the players would need to manage the curse. The first season or two of Penny Dreadful did a pretty good job with the topic, I thought.
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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Strangemund
Which do you like better? Werewolves that are only able to transform during a full moon? Or werewolves that are able to transform all the time? And why?
This is a good question. In the game with my kids, they want to transform any time and all the time! And they never get tired of it. I get it... if you're a werewolf, you want to be a werewolf.

But, personally, I think it's more fun for it to be a rare and special event. I've never RP'ed it before, but I think only transforming during the full moon would be fun. You'd need to track the cycles of the moon, lest you lose track, and make your plans around it. And when the transformation does happen, it becomes a major event for your character; they'll probably lose control and do some things they regret later. And besides - it's just more werewolfy to only transform on the full moon, right?

What do you think, @Strangemund?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2023, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by O2CXt3 View Post
This is a good question....

But, personally, I think it's more fun for it to be a rare and special event. I've never RP'ed it before, but I think only transforming during the full moon would be fun. ...
In Hoffmann, we have an agent on the team that picked up this condition. She has been 'training' with another team member, an urban witch of sorts to get better control of herself. The 'learning to balance the wolf with the agent' has been an very interesting part of this act!
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Old Oct 25th, 2023, 01:40 AM
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Strangemund's Responses!Gaijin: I am with you on the transformation being costly! Maybe it is the body horror lover in me but my favorite transformation sequences for werewolves are ones that are painful. It puts a physical cost on top of the emotional turmoil that is losing yourself in something truly unrecognizable from humanity.

ghostwalking and savolyen: I do love stories that play with lycanthropy like that! The race against the clock. The uncertainity of finding a curse. All topped off with relying on someone you care about to help you through something so terrifying is just a story device that I never tire from consuming. Especially when players throw their all into the tragedy of it.

Q2CXt3: Oooh gosh. What DO I like. I suppose it's a cop-out to say both but it's both. But! But. With the cavaet that being a werewolf needs to have a balancing aspect. The chance to lose control. To lose parts of your humanity. Make it a curse. Make it a tough decision to transform to save everyone because it could mean that a part of you will die when you do.

World of Darkness is my current favorite way of handling werewolves who transform all the time. There's a stat called Rage that they must roll to try and stay in control once they transform. It does not steer away from how brutal and terrifying werewolves are-- they are monsters for monsters! So to have a pack-mate lose control and attack your loved ones, those who can't endure their might, its just as scary as fighting the many horrors that they face Especially when they lose control when you are already so tired and weak.

I can't say things sometimes don't go sideways with a mechanic like that but it's definitely made encounters feel tense when the GM says, "Now roll your Rage stat."

Question for Everyone!As we get closer to my favorite holiday, I come forward with a new question for everyone!

What is your favorite type of undead and why? Examples include skeletons, zombies, liches, vampires , etc.
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Old Oct 25th, 2023, 02:43 AM
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Favorite UndeadHmmm...

I dislike skeletons because without something like muscles to justify their movement, it's hard to imagine them lurking in the real world.

Otherwise, a lot of undead monsters are defined by what they've lost. Ghosts have lost their body, zombies have lost their mind, while something like a vampire could be said to have lost its soul. Then there is some hunger added to justify their continued existence.

I suppose I struggle with what "undeath" really means. Perhaps what it boils down to is being suspended in a state of endless, desperate deprivation.

So, my favorite type of undead is the ghost trapped in an endless loop of its own worst moment. It might be able to acknowledge a passerby for a moment or two, but is inevitably drawn back into its own self-imposed torment. Exotic, dramatic, tragic, and cuts directly to psychological horror, the ocean to which all horror streams must flow.

Bonus QuestionHave you watched the movie Mother, with Jennifer Lawrence?

Last edited by Gaijin; Oct 25th, 2023 at 03:08 AM.
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Old Oct 25th, 2023, 03:07 AM
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Going off on a tangent, because I can and I feel like it.A true "monster", to me, isn't necessarily a creature. It can be, sure, but when you think about how often the term 'monster' is applied to things beyond traditional 'a creature', it becomes harder to define. Acts can be monstrous. Things that are really big can be described as 'monstrous in size'. People that do horrible things can be monsters. Monsters can be tangible, or they can be imagined. And sometimes, you might even have a monster inside of you.

But then again, aren't these also just points of view? Why can't the beholder be an astute scholar who likes to tell jokes? Why can't a red dragon, famed for its vanity and cruelty, just be depressed and board of the world and want everyone to just leave it alone? Aren't those traits that make people 'human'?

And if so, at what point does a monster stop being a monster? When it stops being a threat? Should we simply define a monster as anything that isn't human? Dwarves and elves are described in folklore as 'supernatural beings', which definitely aren't human, so why don't we call them monsters? It can't be just because they can walk, talk and look similar humans, otherwise a Changeling wouldn't be considered a monster either. Orcs, ogres, and goblins all have human-like traits, and yet they're widely considered monsters. Or is 'monster' an intent rather than a descriptor inherent to certain non-human creatures?

To me, its the latter. And when you think of it like that, whole new possibilities in terms of 'encounters' arise. If you want to present a 'true' monster, you have to appeal to the individual's perception of fear. You have a show them something that 'can't be real'. Otherwise, all you're really presenting is a challenge, which I don't feel is the same thing.

When I create an encounter that I want to truly invoke the term 'monster', I always start with the scene. Use it to conjure a feeling of foreboding, but make it specific to the PC. Prey upon something that bothers their character, encourage your players to really play up how they feel about the environment you're presenting them, and conjure that sense of adrenaline. What IS around the next corner? What is the worst possible thing that they can imagine lurking in the darkness? And when the object of the encounter does reveal itself, intensify those feelings. Build on the sensations that you've already sewn by making it something that takes all of those fears and turns them into a reality, and then make it worse.

And if you make them say something along the lines of "...oh ****...", you've done your job, because that's a real monster. At least in my opinion.

UndeadI like undead, but only if they have intelligence/personality. In almost all of my games, undead creatures always have some semblance of one, the other, or both. Skeletons might not speak, but they have some telling demeanors and body language, and zombies, though not terribly intelligent, always have some lingering sensations and memories that influence what they do.

But my favorite undead is and will always be a vampire, just because they have such an diverse and rich culture. They can be dark and broody, or austere and Victorian, or spooky and gruesome. Pretty much every folklore has some variation of a vampire that is always slightly different, and in the modern day, they've further evolved with the advent of new media and ideas. Other undead just don't have that, and I find that rather disappointing.

RecommendationInterestingly enough, for all you anime fans out there (or even anyone with an interest in monsters that wouldn't mind sitting through an anime about them), I highly recommend taking a gander at Interview with a Monster Girl. Suspy title aside, its actually a really interesting take on some classic monsters in [modern] society, and the idea that there is a certain amount of science in terms of their biology and how their abilities. Its also just a really funny, cozy little show and great for the holiday season.
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Last edited by briar; Oct 25th, 2023 at 03:43 AM.
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Old Nov 1st, 2023, 06:20 AM
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A little late to the party, but I'll toss some cents in (sense, on the other hand...). As far as undead go, I'm more a fan of the mummy archetype. It always implies a society to be explored and a certain respect for who the creature was in life. And, since it doesn't imply a predator-prey or parasitical relationship with the living, it's easier to have them be directly functional on a societal scale. If the noble's a vampire, they have to hide it because otherwise they risk being put down because everyone's afraid they'll find a straw in them. A mummy just has to warn people not to touch them.

On the topic of monsters in general, I think the most important thing is how their existence shapes the world itself. A red dragon in a region is supposed to be a big deal. Second is the monster's story. Not necessarily a detailed backstory, but why is it here at this moment. Final is how much it knows it can do. Intellectually or instinctually. Everything else about it, I answer by going back to these three things. As far as their place in a game, I'm of the school of thought they just need to not interfere with the setting and give a chance for players to flex their creativity a little. Random encounters don't need to be a bad thing.

And, as far as local banditry is concerned, I have no current plans. I'd have to figure out how to disguise it first, as a new paint job is the minimum courtesy to offer. Anything less is unprofessional.
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