Author Topic: Skin Deep  (Read 19584 times)

fnord3125

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 11:40:14 PM »
It's clearly a metaphor for getting pregnant, yeah?
I don't think it is.  Alien chestbursters might be a metaphor for pregnancy.  But a "queen" creature that controls hordes of smaller critters and can order them to do her awful bidding?  How is that a metaphor for pregnancy?  There's a difference between monsters that implant/impregnate things with their spawn and monsters that control/breed hordes of spawn.

MaxwellSmart

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2010, 12:03:41 AM »
Hi. If you allow me I'll add some suggestions and comments:

1- I don't really love your definition of Ghost as demon, angel, and so on. It does not seem to fit what you'd usually call a ghost. Otherwolder sounds cool, maybe it includes people that come from another plane of existence (Heaven, Hell, the Faery World...)

2- Revenant: a kid who died or was killed but he left something unfinished, so he came back from the other side and dug his way up the grave to avenge the dead of his girlfriend or family or whatever (think like the teen Crow).

3- I am also not a big fan of the alien, it seems to break the world too much.

4- Homunculus: I don't know what do you mean by that one, but it sounds to me like some sort of puppet or automaton or empty shell with no soul, so he cannot love. Seems like totally anti-genre, but maybe it's possible to pull it off like the Tin-man or Data, trying to understand feelings or to discover the meaning of love.

5- The Harry Potter-ish style of Wizard? Or is it covered by the witch? Or I'm going totally off-genre here?

6- Ghoul: how would that one work? Maybe it's some kind of cannibalistic feral kid who lives in the wilderness?

7- The costumed superhero does not fit the genre, but maybe something like in Heroes? There were some elements of teen drama in the series, like the cheerleader hero and her boyfriend, and the Mexican siblings. They could be like kids who are born with psychic powers and the government seeks them to experiment with them, so they must remain in the dark and they are drawn to each other for protection. I would avoid the word mutants, which points directly to X-men in my mind, with all the wrong kinds of associations. An example would be the girlfriend of Hellboy in the movies, who has this pyrokinetic powers but she must always restrain herself or elsewhere she will blow the place up (until she finally accepts that she is different and starts to learn how to control it).


mcdaldno

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2010, 12:06:10 AM »
Fair enough. Hive Queen is out. I might try to slide something like The Infected in at some point, but we'll see.

Let's talk about what the Skins we like do!

Fae make promises and create beauty, and when betrayed they gain terrible power. Keep a fae happy, keep yourself safe. Keeping a fae happy naturally includes handing them your power, so the relationship gets more and more imbalanced until you're willing you escape it, no matter the consequences.

Ghosts channel their past traumas into deadly weapons. Their existence depends on them constantly having unfinished business. When they are their Darkest Selves, they are invisible. They have a messy co-dependency with their past.

Mortals have only one card, and it's the victim card. Fortunately, they know how to play it in a million ways. Being a Mortal is all about meeting your needs through sacrifice - letting others have their way with you, and leveraging that in order to get what you want.

Werewolves are all about walking as close to the fire as possible, trying not to get burned. Werewolves have hungers, which are physical things they want, bad. They get a bonus to trying to seize them. At their Darkest Selves, they must attempt to kill or maim everything that stands in the way of their hungers.

Infernal are all about walking as close to the fire as possible, too. Except, they aren't playing with rage, they're playing with debt. Infernals can go into debt in a bad way, debts owed to the devil, or the stars, or the demon living inside their heads. Whatever. At their Darkest Selves, they aren't themselves. They're someone else, coming to demand repayment.

mcdaldno

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2010, 12:10:50 AM »
2- Revenant: a kid who died or was killed but he left something unfinished, so he came back from the other side and dug his way up the grave to avenge the dead of his girlfriend or family or whatever (think like the teen Crow).

Hey Maxwell,

This is exactly what the Ghost is all about, in my mind: unfinished business, a tormented past, wanting to leave it all behind but also drawing its power from it.

So this thing you're calling Revenant, it's already in the game, and I am calling it Ghost.

5- The Harry Potter-ish style of Wizard? Or is it covered by the witch? Or I'm going totally off-genre here?

Hm. I think that Harry Potter is kind of one-foot-in-genre. If you wanted to play a character from Harry Potter, I'd pass you the Mortal and the Witch, and ask you which you preferred.

3- I am also not a big fan of the alien, it seems to break the world too much.

Yep. It's out.

Fae, Ghost and Infernal are all going to offer a touch of the otherworldly, though. How do you feel about that? Good balance? Too "non-earth"-y?

fnord3125

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2010, 12:17:59 AM »
Man, I think all five of those rock.  I think.  I still feel kind of iffy about a character who's whole gig is being the victim.  But I guess you'll find out how well it works or doesn't when you actually play the game.

Got a question for you about the mortal: do you think the game is going to NEED a PC to play a mortal, or will it fly just fine if the only mortals are NPCs?

I'm also not sure I'm feeling the ghost going super-invisible and unnoticeable in it's darkest self.  But... it could work.  If the ghost is struggling to stay relevant after passing from the world, being completely unable to be noticed would certainly be a pain.  But it also seems like it would just cut the player off from the action rather than, like many of the other darkest selves, forcing the player to REALLY engage in ways he may or may not like.

Shreyas

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2010, 12:44:21 AM »
Personally, I think that the human characters in this genre are the most interesting and diverse crowd of all. You have your victims, but you also get lots of other interesting sorts; early Buffy (before it got all gonzo) is full of, basically, just vampires and humans that have to deal with vampires, all handling it in different ways.

mcdaldno

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2010, 12:54:51 AM »
Man, I think all five of those rock.  I think.  I still feel kind of iffy about a character who's whole gig is being the victim.  But I guess you'll find out how well it works or doesn't when you actually play the game.

Got a question for you about the mortal: do you think the game is going to NEED a PC to play a mortal, or will it fly just fine if the only mortals are NPCs?

With the mortal: trust me. I know what I'm doing here.

When you are The Mortal, you draw fire. You are the go-to victim. You have moves that draw others towards that big red target that you are.

Why is that awesome? Because now you've got them right where you want them. Granted, it's a fucked up place to want them. But you've got 'em, now. What next?

The Mortal has a lot of potential. You always have the opportunity to be one step ahead of the other person. Just, the first step is getting hurt. Always.


I'm also not sure I'm feeling the ghost going super-invisible and unnoticeable in it's darkest self.  But... it could work.  If the ghost is struggling to stay relevant after passing from the world, being completely unable to be noticed would certainly be a pain.  But it also seems like it would just cut the player off from the action rather than, like many of the other darkest selves, forcing the player to REALLY engage in ways he may or may not like.

See, that's just it. What does a ghost fear most? What is the scariest possible thing for a ghost?

To stop existing.

I think that you're right, though, the Ghost needs some shit to do while at their Darkest. I think that there needs to be some mechanical prompt to seek & to sacrifice. Maybe? Thoughts?

Personally, I think that the human characters in this genre are the most interesting and diverse crowd of all. You have your victims, but you also get lots of other interesting sorts; early Buffy (before it got all gonzo) is full of, basically, just vampires and humans that have to deal with vampires, all handling it in different ways.

Hey Shreyas,

Cool.

I was originally toying with the idea of having a Mortal (victim extraordinaire) and Chosen (destined for greatness, heir to a powerful lineage, the slayer, etc). Mortal being Bella, Chosen being Buffy.

The Chosen would be all about expectation management, probably? Or about borrowing trust from others?

What do you think?
Right direction?

MaxwellSmart

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2010, 01:02:03 AM »
Joe: great, I completely agree with your comments and think your descriptions of the skins are great and inspiring.

Since you ask, I have mixed feelings about the otherworlders...

(Disclaimer: I'm just tossing ideas here blindly.)

1- The Angel/Demon/Infernal kind: one problem is they come from the gawd and you are messing with religious stuff here, which might be touchy for some. Also they are immortal, unkillable spiritual beings with powers beyond our comprehension, so yeah. Still using them has some appeal, and I can see some ways in which we could pull them off:

a) Fallen angel/Outcast demon: maybe a young or lesser angel or demon who messed up and "lose his wings" (losing most of his powers) and was thrown, wounded, to the mortal world to fix things or to redeem himself.

b) Incubi and Succubi: if we have demons we totally must have those! Their whole point is sexual shenanigans.

c) I will never admit liking the TV series "Charmed", but I've seen a couple of episodes and they have this sort of angels they call "White Lights" who are like healers and guides, and they have demons and all. They manage to pull it off somehow. Any thoughts on those?

d) Your description of the infernals would work. If I understand correctly, they seem to me to be mortals who made a pact with the devil and gained some power or something they wanted, but in exchange they became damned and must keep repaying him forever?


2- Fae : your description of the fae is really interesting, but I still don't quite "see" them. Do they have pointy ears? Are they shapeshifting? What are they doing here? Maybe they are like mischievous foolish playful beings, whose motivations we cannot understand, like leprechauns or pixies?


Also now when looking at what I wrote above, it seems like most of the themes I can figure out for this otherworlders are rather adult themes, slightly off the genre. Maybe some of them would be great as antagonists or as mentors/guides/oracles, people who understand much more of the world or are beyond or ahead of the characters. They could represent the "cool adult" archetype (i.e.: normal adults are represented by the vanilla mortals, a gray mass in the background who don't understand us, but there are a few cool adults who understand us and can teach us things that we actually want to know and who are great to be around).

One problem I have right now when thinking about this stuff is I cannot recall any of this kind of characters from the teen drama media, so maybe if we could refer to some example material we could figure them out?


MaxwellSmart

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2010, 01:14:50 AM »
More ideas:

Regarding the Mortals: How about another kind of mortal who is a Hunter? He either comes from a family of hunters, or his family was all slayed by a vampire/werewolf/whatever and he wants to kill them all as revenge. Of course, eventually he will fall in love with a character of the kind he is hunting.

Regarding the Darkest Ghost: Instead of fading away, maybe his soul starts to depart his body and he starts behaving like a mindless zombie or a robot. I think this character could appeal a lot to the goth kids and the "the Crow" fans, so we should try to think of some way they'd like to angst.

mcdaldno

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2010, 01:25:57 AM »
1- The Angel/Demon/Infernal kind: one problem is they come from the gawd and you are messing with religious stuff here, which might be touchy for some. Also they are immortal, unkillable spiritual beings with powers beyond our comprehension, so yeah. Still using them has some appeal, and I can see some ways in which we could pull them off:

a) Fallen angel/Outcast demon: maybe a young or lesser angel or demon who messed up and "lose his wings" (losing most of his powers) and was thrown, wounded, to the mortal world to fix things or to redeem himself.

Thanks, Maxwell!

I am totally cool with messing with religious stuff. Teenage monsters engaging in dangerous sexual behavior is already touchy territory.

I don't see Infernals as being immortal, unkillable beings. Just like the other Skins, you can stab them until they die.

I am imagining Infernals could be demons themselves, mortals who've dealt with the devil, cultists paying tribute to Cthulhu, or fallen angels.

Fallen angels & outcast demons trying to reprove themselves to their all-powerful masters is a PERFECT background for an Infernal.

fnord3125

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2010, 01:35:19 AM »
Hey, I do trust (mostly) what you say about the Mortal.  You didn't touch on the other part of my question though: if the Mortal is such a kickass victim and is drawing everyone's fire, is it problematic if none of the players chooses the Mortal playbook?

Maybe it isn't at all, but it sounds like the presence or absence of a Mortal PC would change the feel of the game a LOT.

MaxwellSmart

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 01:50:03 AM »
Thanks, Maxwell!

No problem! I'm having a lot of fun tossing ideas around.

By the way, on my last comment about the Ghost I was thinking more of a reventant/the Crow style of ghost, but if we are talking about the incorporeal kind (Casper), I change my suggestion to: he cannot stand the presence of the living and he becomes mad and wants to push everyone away, so he starts behaving like in Poltergeist: breaking shit up, throwing knives at people, and so on.

Antisinecurist

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 02:19:27 AM »
Maybe when the Ghost pulls away from the world, he can still affect it, but only in vague, violent, lashing-out type ways.

FigureFour

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 01:30:51 PM »
Maybe when the Ghost pulls away from the world, he can still affect it, but only in vague, violent, lashing-out type ways.
Yeah. That sounds about right.
I've seen plenty of characters be invisible in games and still have stuff to do. If the Darkest Ghost is invisible (and inaudible?) and all they can do is violent poltergeistey stuff (and still needs to be noticed/appreciated) that's pretty cool.

Also, are you suggesting that the Mortal's "victim behaviour" means they're holding more Strings than anyone else? That seems pretty in genre to me, the mortal being the focus of attention for all the other major character and using that as leverage.

mcdaldno

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Re: Skin Deep
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 02:20:55 PM »
Also, are you suggesting that the Mortal's "victim behaviour" means they're holding more Strings than anyone else? That seems pretty in genre to me, the mortal being the focus of attention for all the other major character and using that as leverage.

I don't want it to be so cut-and-dried that The Mortal just straight up has a lot of Strings on everyone.

Rather, I want The Mortal to have lots of Strings if she plays her cards right and treats herself as something to be fought over and won. I want the Fae to have lots of Strings if  he demands promises and holds people to them.