Author Topic: Your Darkest Self  (Read 10620 times)

mcdaldno

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Your Darkest Self
« on: July 27, 2010, 06:37:18 AM »
So, I scrapped the Style+Type way of generating characters. Everyone picks their skin (Mortal, Vampire, Witch, etc) and that's that.

Skins have: descriptors, stats, special moves, a sex move, and a darkest self.
While you select your descriptors, stats & moves (just like in AW), each skin has exactly one sex move and one darkest self.

Here's what the Darkest Self is - it's a dark and awful thing that you can become. Not just a monstrous teenager, but a true monster. The worst possible fate for your kind.

While you are your Darkest Self, you are locked into a set of instincts and impulses. To do otherwise is Acting Under Fire.

There's an escape clause: something that gets you back into normal mode. Maybe it's hurting a loved one, sacrificing strings, isolating yourself, going too far, confronting your past, etc, etc. Something that brings you face-to-face with what you want least.

For example, when a Werewolf is its Darkest Self, maybe it can only interact with others if it Seizes By Force or Threatens (Goes Aggro). Like all Darkest Selves, you can Act Under Fire to try to momentarily bypass this rule. To escape your Darkest Self, you must isolate yourself until the sun rises once again.

Here's why I thought of this, and why I merged style+class:
The Mortal's sex move is to trigger their partner's Darkest Self. OMG, right?!

Questions:

1. Does this sound fun?
2. Is this too prescriptive?
3. Does this emulate the whole "you thought I was a monster before, but now I'm a REAL monster!" plot point that seems to rear its head in this genre?
4. What are some possible Darkest Selves for different Skins?

mcdaldno

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 06:41:55 AM »
I'll answer 4 with a very rough brainstorm.

Werewolf - As mentioned in my OP.

Mortal - You cannot disagree with, question or halt a monster. To do so requires that you Act Under Fire. To escape your Darkest Self, you must confess the darkness to other mortals, and seek their sanctuary.

Vampire - Whenever you are intimate with someone, physically or emotionally, they suffer 1 Harm, because you do something horrific to them. Protecting them from you requires that you Act Under Fire. To escape your Darkest Self, you must put your life in another's hands.

lumpley

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 05:09:55 PM »
OMG that's the stuff.

-Vincent

tonydowler

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 05:23:26 PM »
Really nice. I think you nailed the werewolf, and that vampire sounds pretty awesome too.

Maybe a ghost type character's darkest self is a lone observer who can watch anything unfold, but can't interfere or make their wishes known.

What if a mutant's darkest self is a cyclone of power that can only destroy things.

How about a character whose darkest self can only manipulate: like the skinner, who keeps giving people hold that makes them want to do stuff for you, but completely removes the possibility of authentica intimacy?

mcdaldno

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 05:30:29 PM »
Ghost: At your darkest self, you are completely invisible and completely mute. To be noticed requires that you must Act Under Fire. To escape your darkest self, you must revisit something painful from your past.

lumpley

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 06:43:47 PM »
I want the opposite for ghosts! I want a ghost to become able only to express and re-express its past trauma. Able only to lash out, and always lashing out at something that's not even happening anymore.

He's a kid who died under sordid and traumatic circumstances, right? It was the 20s and his girlfriend's father forced her to marry a richer, older man, so he hanged himself, for instance, something like that? Now whenever you get close to him, he becomes able only to relive that experience, casting you in whichever role makes most sense to his trapped psyche and lashing out at you accordingly.

I love it when ghosts lash out, is why. It's scary, ghosts can do some scary shit.

-Vincent

fnord3125

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 06:50:34 PM »
That sounds awesome Vincent (and gives me some food for thought for my hack as well) but in your view, how would this version of the ghost escape his darkest self?  By realizing that the world has changed?

lumpley

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2010, 07:06:52 PM »
Hm. I think the opposite, maybe? They need to resolve that stuff, come to some conclusion they weren't able to in life.

Or, well, that's what they need in order to disappear forever and go onto their final rest, which is not the same as being a boyfriend. What do they need in order to go back to being a boyfriend? Reassurance?

-Vincent

mcdaldno

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2010, 07:24:12 PM »
I want the opposite for ghosts! I want a ghost to become able only to express and re-express its past trauma. Able only to lash out, and always lashing out at something that's not even happening anymore.

[...]

-Vincent

Yeah, this is hot hot hot. But...

The reason I went the invisible+mute avenue is because then ghosts are all about non-existence, and isolation, and being not there.

I worry that making their Darkest Self all about being trapped in a rage... well, it makes them very similar to a Werewolf or a Mutant. I mean, it theoretically does, because nothing's locked in yet. But you see my concern, right?

What about if the Ghost has the invisible+mute Darkest Self, but has a move like:

Haunted
When you begin play, note the circumstances of your death, including up to two people responsible for that death. During play, you can get caught up in the past, and cast someone into one of those two roles, superimposing all your fears and hatreds onto them. When you do, carry +1forward when you carry out your vengeance upon them.

lumpley

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2010, 07:44:38 PM »
Oh! Cool, yeah. I'm for it.

-Vincent

Neon Fox

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 11:20:41 PM »
The Witch Darkest Self is: playful cruelty.  Humiliating people because it's funny.  Controlling people because you can.  Playing with memories, setting up no-win situations, just because it's entertaining to watch the victim twitch.  To get out of it, pass on an opportunity to do this sort of thing when it would actually get you a tangible benefit (in addition to amusement).

The Fae Darkest Self is: You slip closer to your "faerie" self.  Even a casual commitment bites like a formal oath if you try to break it.  You develop odd compulsions and common things can harm you.  It's tough to understand why mortals get so riled up over some things.  To escape it, take a scene reaffirming your connection to mortals and roll+(some stat representing mortality) .  On a 10, you're good.  On a 7-9, you escape your Darkest Self at the cost of 1-harm.  On a miss, you take the harm but it doesn't help.

These are just first drafts, but I had the ideas.

John Harper

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2010, 11:53:02 PM »
I'm licking the screen.

mwaaruhyuumuyah

mcdaldno

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2010, 11:53:13 PM »
Hey Neon Fox,

Thanks! These are both good directions to meander in.

I'm concerned that the Witch can escape her Darkest Self too easily. It's not a Darkest Self if you can undo it whenever you want to - it's just a bad mood. So... needs teeth.

With the Fae, I like it! "Even a casual commitment bites like a formal oath if you try to break it." I want to take that farther, and make it more severe.

Fae Darkest Self: Everything you say is a promise. Everything you hear is a promise. If a promise is broken, justice must be wrought in blood. To let a promise slide counts as Acting Under Fire. To escape your Darkest Self, [?]

fnord3125

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 12:07:37 AM »
Comment that may or may not be relevant: the darkest selves feel kind of like more restrictive Keys from tSoY.

mcdaldno

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Re: Your Darkest Self
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2010, 12:15:00 AM »
Comment that may or may not be relevant: the darkest selves feel kind of like more restrictive Keys from tSoY.

Hm.
That's interesting. When I was reading Neon Fox's post, I immediately thought that they were too Key-like, but brimming with awesome otherwise.

Darkest Selves give you no experience. You don't get to them on purpose - though you do smile a secret smile when someone else shoves you into your Darkest Self.

Darkest Selves are about dealing with new situations and consequences, sure, but they're also about permission. You were trying to balance monster and fragile teenager before. Darkest Self says, "Fuck it. You're a monster, now. Full blown. You are terrible and hideous. Play it to the hilt."

It gives you a reset button, but it's a reset button that should *hurt*