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Old 08-27-2021, 12:49 AM   #811
Inky
 
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Remember that the person who used the body before death is a different character from the vampire that rises from the grave. The once-living character may also appear as a ghost or similar spirit.
I won't start discussing this at length in a thread that's about the whole Five Earths setting, unless you want to (especially since there's already been a discussion about that elsewhere in these forums, if you're interested: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...33#post2364233 ), but I don't think that that is how it's supposed to work in BtVS. I think they are, in fact, supposed to be the same people. I'd been reading a lot of The Glass Scientists and other Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde variations, so maybe I tumbled to the idea of "the same person, as they would be if they were minus a few important bits" quicker than some people did? Not sure though.

That doesn't prove that it's like that in Five Earths, though, since these aren't those but a magical imitation of them. In fact, if the thoughtforms responsible were basing their efforts on what the majority of viewers thought it was, or what the first viewer they met thought it was, rather than what the writers thought, then from the discussion I've seen on the Internet the Five Earths version probably would go the way you described.

As for crosses, you're right that as seen in the series they'd be a rubbish weapon if it was just about damage. The thing that matters is that the vampires also have a Phobia of them (or maybe it'd work out better mechanically as a Dread with a self-control roll added; the Phobia rules don't seem to have much to say about what you do when what you're trying to do is have your character approach the object, which is nearly always what you want to know with BtVS vampires and crosses).

"The Master" helpfully spells this out in the "nightmares" episode in Series 1, for the benefit of a new vampire:
(pointing at a large cross)
"This symbol, these two planks of wood, it confounds me. Suffuses me with mortal dread."
(puts his hand on the cross)
"But fear can be mastered."
(is smouldering slightly)
"As can pain. Learn the lesson."

Older vampires buying off some of their vulnerabilities/weaknesses compared to fledglings sounds about right. As well as the above, we've seen recurring vampire characters (mainly Angel and Spike) taking all sorts of liberties, dashing across somewhere in daylight and getting away with it, and mooks going up in a fireball within seconds. That could be just plot armour, but equally it would work to say it wasn't.

I'd say yes on the Per. There was a newly turned vampire in Series 1 that bragged about it, and in Series 7 they used Spike as a bloodhound to smell out a trail of blood that a demon had left, and later on Angel said he could smell Spike on Buffy's clothes. (Do they actually have Night Vision, apart from that?)
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Old 08-27-2021, 06:33 PM   #812
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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I won't start discussing this at length in a thread that's about the whole Five Earths setting, unless you want to (especially since there's already been a discussion about that elsewhere in these forums, if you're interested: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...33#post2364233 ), but I don't think that that is how it's supposed to work in BtVS. I think they are, in fact, supposed to be the same people. I'd been reading a lot of The Glass Scientists and other Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde variations, so maybe I tumbled to the idea of "the same person, as they would be if they were minus a few important bits" quicker than some people did? Not sure though.
No, the show makes it pretty clear on multiple occasions that they are separate beings that share memories:
"You're not looking at your friend, you're looking at the thing that killed him."
- Giles in the pilot.

Angel (Liam) and Angelus are not the same person, even if Angel remembers and feels guilty about Angelus's crimes. You are your soul, not your flesh (Yoda was right).


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Originally Posted by Inky View Post
Older vampires buying off some of their vulnerabilities/weaknesses compared to fledglings sounds about right. As well as the above, we've seen recurring vampire characters (mainly Angel and Spike) taking all sorts of liberties, dashing across somewhere in daylight and getting away with it, and mooks going up in a fireball within seconds. That could be just plot armour, but equally it would work to say it wasn't.
Yeah, the more powerful a demon gets, the more it can remove or shield its weaknesses, in general.


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Originally Posted by Inky View Post
I'd say yes on the Per. There was a newly turned vampire in Series 1 that bragged about it, and in Series 7 they used Spike as a bloodhound to smell out a trail of blood that a demon had left, and later on Angel said he could smell Spike on Buffy's clothes.
Maybe Discriminatory Smell, also. Either way, the question now becomes how good the bonus should be. 'I can hear the worms in the earth,' if taken literally, would mean that no-one could sneak up on them and they'd be far better at eavesdropping than they seem to be, so that might be the vampire being dramatic. Probably better to err on the side of plausibility, so high Per, but not 'able to literally hear worms moving underground' high.


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(Do they actually have Night Vision, apart from that?)
Maybe. Hard to tell, since being a visual medium (but not one where a 'Night Vision Goggles PoV' would have made sense), they didn't have people really in the dark that much. We can treat that as artistic license for some scenes, though.
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:30 AM   #813
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

I always took that as being Giles's information was off (as was not infrequently the case) and they found out different later. And some of the plot threads would make more sense if it wasn't. But it's your game.

Would be funny if they didn't have Night Vision! But might also get in the way of gameplay. As for hearing worms, exaggerating in the interests of being all dramatic would definitely not be surprising from a BtVS vampire!
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:43 PM   #814
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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I always took that as being Giles's information was off (as was not infrequently the case) and they found out different later. And some of the plot threads would make more sense if it wasn't.
I don't recall them ever finding out otherwise, nor any plot threads that would make more sense with the vampire still being the same character as the late human, but my memory isn't perfect, and it was two TV shows with many writers who might not all agree on things.

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But it's your game.
Thank you. Still haven't been able to run a game in this setting, and not sure right now that I could.

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Would be funny if they didn't have Night Vision! But might also get in the way of gameplay. As for hearing worms, exaggerating in the interests of being all dramatic would definitely not be surprising from a BtVS vampire!
Yeah, very fitting indeed. Maybe I should include a quirk or Compulsive Behavior related to being overly dramatic or melodramatic? How should it be phrased, though?

EDIT: The reason I'm thinking that Compulsive Behavior might be a good fit is that while I'm blanking on specific examples, I kind of think that vampires in BtVS have gone melodramatic at times that it was detrimental to them more often than a quirk would require. Again, imperfect memory, what do others reading this think?
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Old 08-29-2021, 02:00 AM   #815
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

Well, the vampires themselves, who ought to know if anyone would, generally talk as if they take it for granted that they are the same people. Angel's explanation, when he finally does explain what he is, is definitely a surprise to Giles.
To be fair, one exception that I can think of is worm boy, who outright said he wasn't him, although you could still read that as a "Hulk not Banner! Banner weak!" moment.
But mostly they refer to their past selves as "me". And the other vampires generally seem to address Angel as if he's their old pal gone lamentably soft in the head.
But regarding plot threads that don't make sense unless they are the same people, I was thinking particularly of Spike's storyline, especially in series 7. If the idea was supposed to be
Spoiler:  
that just doesn't make any emotional sense, and the BtVS writers usually bothered about things making some emotional sense even when they didn't make any other kind of sense!

You have a point about the writers not necessarily being consistent, though. Actually, I wonder whether they started by assuming "the vampires are demons that just happen to look like the same people" and then changed their minds later on.
The film that came before the series, from what I've heard, was basically a subverted horror film where the monsters end up running from the cheerleader, and screaming demon hordes might be all you'd need for that, it doesn't go on long enough to need to know any more about them than that.
And in the pilot, which is also a lot like that, Giles says what you quoted and worm boy backs him up.
The stuff that points the other way all happens later, once Angel appears and the vampires start having more in the way of speaking parts, and even more after Spike starts working with them in series 4, he being the first "standard" vampire they've been on those terms with.

Hard to be sure about it, anyway, given that nearly everyone in BtVS isn't a terribly reliable witness.

Regarding the melodrama thing, I don't remember specific examples either, so I'll leave that to other people.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:54 PM   #816
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

OK. Is 'Per+5, Discriminatory Smell, and no Night Vision' reasonably consistent with what we see?
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Old 08-29-2021, 08:06 PM   #817
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

I'd say so.

(Whether they're the same people or not what you said about the mental advantages and disadvantages sounds like it could work, though I'd have put Callous in too.)
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Old 08-29-2021, 08:14 PM   #818
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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I'd say so.

(Whether they're the same people or not what you said about the mental advantages and disadvantages sounds like it could work, though I'd have put Callous in too.)
Callous makes sense, yes. Thinking about Sadism, but not sure: it could fit, but it could also just be a trait shared by a few vampires that got a lot of screentime.
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Old 11-01-2021, 04:36 PM   #819
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Another military essay:

Ssoranthhuul (Ice Warrior) Clan and National Forces

(Note that the Ssoranthhu are not an exact match for the Ice Warrior race in Doctor Who canon, though they have many strong similarities.)

The armed forces of the various Ice Warrior clans of Mars are somewhat variable, even in name, though the rank structure is at least broadly similar, to avoid creating confusion when two or more clans work together, whether simply allied or as part of the Armed Forces of the Ssoranthhuul Culture. What follows is a typical structure for the largest clans, including the Korsshethh and the Ssrax (though both do modify it somewhat, as noted below).

Ranks

Insignia are generally invisible to human eyes, being part of their armour's Identify Friend or Foe transponders, and marked on helmets and collars as specific glyphs, visible in the near infrared.

The names given are approximate translations from Ssoranthhut.

Ice Lords:
OF-9 Clan Chieftain
OF-8 Senior Subchieftain
OF-7 Junior Subchieftain
OF-6 Legion Officer

OF-5 Regimental Officer
OF-4 Battalion Officer

OF-3 Senior Company Officer
OF-2 Junior Company Officer
OF-1 Platoon Officer

OF(D) Acting Officer

Ice Warriors:
OR-9 Regimental Adjutant
OR-8 Battalion Adjutant
OR-7 Company Adjutant
OR-6 Platoon Adjutant

OR-5 Senior Section Leader
OR-4 Junior Section Leader
OR-3 Volley Leader
OR-2 Experienced Warrior
OR-1 Warrior

A 'Volley' is a unit of 3 to 6 personnel, roughly equivalent to a fireteam. The word refers to a unit of slingers or archers in ancient Ssoranthhuul armies, though historical volleys were often closer to a platoon or company in size.

Some clans will grant special ranks to outsiders, even non-Ssoranthhu, who are trusted to lead some or all on their forces in battle. One of the highest such ranks translates as Battle King or Battle Queen, and is approximately equal to the Clan Chieftain (in some cases, arguably superior).

The Korsshethh Muster replace Experienced Warrior with Blooded Warrior, and have three Subchieftain ranks (Greater Subchieftain, Subchieftain, and Lesser Subchieftain), the lowest replacing Legion Officer at OF-6. They split Platoon officer into Senior and Junior ranks, both OF-1.

The War Gathering of the Ssrax (or S'rax, depending on the translator) replace the lowest two enlisted ranks with Rifle and Proven Rifle (or sometimes other names, like Messenger and Proven Messenger for the Ssrax Regiment of Signals), and have only a single Subchieftain rank, moving Legion Officer to OF-7, and adding Brigade Officer at OF-6 (which is to say that they use the word we translate as 'Legion' to refer to a larger formation than most other large clans do, as well as having fewer military subchieftains).

Smaller clans will reduce the number of Officer ranks below Clan Chieftain (and if sufficiently small, remove some of the Adjutant and Section Leader ranks). The smallest clan forces - such as the Grand Army of Clan Nissth (a former Great Power nearing the end of several Martian centuries of decline), or the Vusshh Battle-Flock (a rising former Merchant House known for short-range fightercraft, recently independent from, and still allied with, Clan S'Onathh) - have the Clan Chieftain and Subchieftain (in that context 'Subchieftain' would usually mean 'the heir or his/her most likely regent') as the only true Officer ranks, both being OF-1, due to having only a single platoon or equivalent, and occasionally some form of military vehicle or vehicles (the Vusshh Battle-Flock is mostly pilots and aircrew for a mixed squadron, and would be larger if they used warriors as technical staff, or much smaller if the allowed only officers to be pilots). Any smaller/weaker group would be absorbed into a larger clan, or at best, not be recognized as a full clan, save under especially odd circumstances.

The equivalent of Boy Scouts, Girl Guides/Scouts, JROTC, et cetra often use a version of their clan's force's ranking system (generally dropping NCO ranks above OR-5, and reserving Officer ranks above OF-5 for adult Scout Leaders/Drill Instructors), with a prefix that translates approximately as 'apprentice'. The higher one's rank as a 'Scout/Guide' (enlisted or officer), the greater the chance of joining the clan's force with a rank of OR-2 or OR-3 for Scout Enlisted, or OF-2 for Scout Officers.

The Armed Forces of the Ssoranthhuul Culture use mostly the same enlisted ranks as above, but somewhat different officer ranks, as shown below:

Supreme Lord (Commander-in-Chief, Head of State of the Ssoranthhuul Culture)

OF-11 Lord Grand Marshal
OF-10 Lord Marshal

OF-9 Army Lord
OF-8 Corps Lord
OF-7 Legion Lord
OF-6 Brigade Lord

OF-5 Regiment Lord
OF-4 Battalion Lord

OF-3 Senior Company Lord
OF-2 Junior Company Lord
OF-1 Platoon Lord

OF(D) Cadet Lord

Clan forces are legally forbidden to use Lord (well, the gender-neutral word we translate as 'Lord') for their officers, save when acting as part of the Armed Forces of the Ssoranthhuul Culture. In conversation, 'Lord' is often left off of Lord Marshal and Lord Grand Marshal, most likely because neither rank is used by clan forces.

Significant military titles outside of normal rankings include Commander and Sub-Commander (the CO and XO of a specific installation, large vehicle, task force, et cetra; Sub-Commander may also be applied to an officer on separate station, but still under the command of a Commander) and War Lord (usage varies widely, but is most commonly applied to an enlisted/NCO warrior breveted to an officer rank, or a clan officer breveted to an important Lord rank and post in the AFotSC).

'Warrior' and 'Experienced Warrior' are often replaced by unit specialties in the AFotSC, such as Highlander/Experienced Highlander, Gunner/Experienced Gunner, and so forth, as in many British Empire/Commonwealth armies on the Earths. 'Volley Leader' and the 'Adjutant' ranks are sometimes replaced, as well.


http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2..._delegates.jpg
Ice Lord (foreground) and Ice Warrior (background). If he were expecting combat, the Ice Lord would be fully armoured, as seen below.

http://images.amcnetworks.com/bbcame...26886766_n.png
Lord Grand Marshal Skaldak, in ground-combat armour, with three-fingered gauntlets, rather than the standard claws. Such equipment generally requires surgery to replace the Ice Warrior's natural manipulators (a pair of wide, flat, opposed digits, resembling claws) with cybernetic and/or bioengineered hands, or implanting a neural interface system, and placing the 'hands' in front of the user's own grippers.

In all cases, the armour can deploy a section to cover the mouth and jaw, fully sealing the armour from most hostile environments.


Thoughts?
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Old 11-08-2021, 05:22 PM   #820
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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I always took that as being Giles's information was off (as was not infrequently the case) and they found out different later. And some of the plot threads would make more sense if it wasn't. But it's your game.

SNIP
Giles' information is correct.

When the demon possesses the host, it kills the body and the human soul passes on to whatever afterlife it's supposed to have earned. That parasite demon then reanimates the corpse and uses it.

However, as we saw when Angel went to Pylea, the parasite demon is, natively, barely sentient. However, it can (and does) access the memories in the brain of the host, and enjoys perfect recall.

Essentially, the personality formerly housed in the dead brain imprints on the bestial parasite demon, and it starts to act like a twisted, evil version of the human the demon killed.

Only if the human soul that inhabited the body, previously, gets ripped from the afterlife and rammed back into the body (or another human soul gets shoved in there, instead...), and wins a contest of will against the demon, does the person fully regain his or her human emotions and sensibilities.

However, the body is still a reanimated, dead thing, so the human must engage in vampirism, just to remain "alive" and in control. Starvation or other weakness or trauma may permit the vampirism parasite to regain control.

This explains the arc of Angel's existence.

-While still alive, Liam O'Connor engaged in the sort of ethically reprehensible behaviors not uncommon to spoiled, rich young men of the gentry -- even to the point of sexual assault and sexual coercion of women, as well as the more common sorts of violence toward (and general mistreatment of) others.

-Liam is seduced by Darla, who "sires" a new vampire to use Liam's tall, strong and handsome body. Liam's soul departs and his body fails, which is the definition of death, in that setting.

-The parasitic vampire demon then reanimates the body, and acquires all of Liam's memories. His already reprehensible personality traits get dialed up to "11," which is incredibly problematic since it turns out that Liam engaged in most of his misdeeds because he was a tremendously brilliant young man, bored out of his skull and bitterly resentful of the constraints of his class and social position, with which he had little patience. As such, the vampire, "Angelus," is not merely a sadistic being, but one of the most dangerously intelligent monsters in history.

-Angelus engages in a reign of terror, until he encounters a young gypsy woman with the power of foresight. Knowing how this works, Angelus drives her mad with horror before he "sires" her. Her tortured soul gains release, but the vampire Drusilla not only gains access to the body's abilities as a seer, the horror-induced madness makes her into a twisted work of art.

-Angelus continues to act as the, "Scourge of Europe," earning recognition and appreciation from other powerful demons, until he kidnaps and murders a second beautifu Gypsy girl. The death of this, "daughter of Kalderash," enraged the Gypsies and, knowing how the demon acquired its sadistic traits, the Kalderash mages rip Liam's soul out of its afterlife, and reinsert it into its old corpse still possessed by the vampiric demon. Liam must constantly must fight for control against the demon, while enduring shattering guilt -- because the demonic possession of the brain rewired it for perfect recall.

-The gypsies didn't just want to cripple and punish Angelus, they also wanted to torment Liam, because his failure as a human being is what made the vampire into such a nightmare horror.

-Later, after more than a century of guilt and self-loathing, Liam regained enough of his humanity, adopted the name, "Angel," and allowed himself to love again. Then, the curse triggered and threw Liam's soul out again, so the freed Angelus would subject those Liam loved to abject horror.

That gypsy curse was a nasty, twisted bit of black magic; the darkest necromancy. While Liam was hardly an "innocent soul," the punishment exceeded the crimes, if for no other reason than it brought horror to people who really were innocent, just to punish Liam who loved them.
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