Cult- New(ish) Background:

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Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:25 am

So, demons and cults go together like peas and carrots. The original material presented in the system tactfully avoids Cults, because it's really intended to be played as a Faustian chronicle, and they focus on much more efficient Pacts than worship from mortals in the traditional sense. However, cults serve a variety of key functions in a D:tF chronicle, and it's really a shame that they were exempt from the primary material.

However.

The Earthbound book supplies us with a Cult background (... largely because Earthbound can't create Pacts with mortals in the same way, but hey...). We're going to be using the backbone of the Earthbound Cult for the flavor and listed talents of Cults, but there are a few exceptions. 1- characters can't START with Cults. It's hard to develop a cult, and it's harder to move them. Most of the PCs in game are transplants from other areas or relatively new possessions. As such, justifying a Cult on a new character is difficult (and I'm just going to say no anyway, so that's the rule). 2- Like any other background, these cost XP and have to be developed through strategic play in lits, downtimes, and scenes. 3- Like any other mortal background, you can seek aid/support from other characters (PC and NPC alike). 4- Cults aren't always subtle. Sometimes they are, but if you choose to develop a cult, you will need to tell me how they are hiding (if at all). A kinky sex sorta cult, Eyes Wide Shut style, will be great for some things, not so great for others. 5- The mechanics of the cult will be listed below and will function similarly to how Herd affect feeding in Vampire; Cults will affect Reaping checks. 6- Cults don't give Faith on their own (as they do for Earthbound); PC cults won't be as powerful, nor will PCs have access to the Worship background (which augments existing Cults).

Phew. Below is Cults as presented for Earthbound. Ignore the mechanics, which are included for propriety. The mechanical effects for PC Fallen is: You add a die to your Reaping checks equal to your Cult rating.

CULT
There is power in worship, power both mundane and mystical. Every Earthbound strives to amass a thriving cult of worshippers, and each actively seeks new members and believers for two reasons. First, dedicated worshippers provide the Earthbound with a horde of agents who are able to perform the tasks that it cannot while trapped inside its reliquary. Secondly, the size of the Earthbound’s cult determines how often its disciples can meet and perform their black masses. You gain Faith only when your worshippers perform a worship ritual, and such a ritual normally occurs on one of the specific days that is unholy to your cult. See the Worship Background (p. 77) to determine how much Faith you gain with each ritual.
Fallen characters who become Earthbound may purchase this Background with experience points as normal, but the Storyteller should require that any
increase be justified by active recruitment efforts during play. Characters must actively work to increase their cults before additional dots can be purchased in this Background.

X You have no worshippers, or perhaps just a handful of dedicated thralls. You have no source of Faith to draw upon, and you risk falling into stasis.
• You have a small cult — perhaps three or four priests and a few dozen worshippers. The group is able to perform a ritual in your service only once a month.
•• Your cult is not large, but it is of a manageable and controllable size — perhaps 10 priests and 20 or 30 followers. The cult is able to perform rituals in your honor twice a month.
••• Your cult is large and probably has branches in several different cities, with more than 100 members. The cult is large enough so that a ritual is performed in your name once a week.
•••• Your cult is huge, with tentacles of control in several different countries. Several hundred mortals obey your every whim. A ritual is performed for you twice a week.
••••• Your followers are everywhere, and temples to your unholy power are hidden in almost every nation. More than 1,000 mortals live and die for your name, and black rituals are performed for your glory almost every day. Not a day goes by without your worshippers performing rituals, and you gain Faith thus once per day.


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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:51 pm

Could you please elaborate on the mechanical benefit(s) of having points in Cult?  Perhaps provide an example?

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Devils Advocate on Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:53 pm

Nom nom nom faith cookies nom

(And now I will let the adults actually explain)
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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:13 pm

I'm unsure how I can be more specific...

Below is Cults as presented for Earthbound. Ignore the mechanics, which are included for propriety. The mechanical effects for PC Fallen is: You add a die to your Reaping checks equal to your Cult rating.

Reaping faith is covered on page 251 of my PDF (hopefully that translates to the actual book). When Reaping, you gain bonus dice to your Cult in the same way that vampires gain bonus dice to their feeding checks from Herd.

It's a contested WP check. You get bonus dice.


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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:24 pm

Are you talking about ravaging faith, perhaps?  P251 in the physical book talks about font of faith and then ravaging faith.  

I'm not sure I understand how a cult would help with reaping, though I do understand how it could help with ravaging, theoretically, hence why I'm asking for the clarification.  

Reaping is covered on page 249 of the physical book, and I see the mechanics with the contested WP check you're referring to.  

If you do mean reaping and not ravaging, can you help me understand how that works narratively?  Is the belief of my cult somehow making me more scary/awe-inspiring/believable to the mortal I'm trying to reap from, essentially?

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:28 pm


I mean reaping.

Ravaging doesn't get you faith.

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:30 pm

OK.  Can you clarify how it functions narratively, then, please?   In other words, how is the cult making me better at reaping?  As in, how would I roleplay that?

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:38 pm


Not every character maxed out their willpower Razz

Much like Herd has random folk that you can feed from (somehow 60 people making a significant statistical difference in a city measured in the hundreds of thousands), Cult is people that are vulnerable to your influence by being already seeded with your doctrine.

That's what it does.

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:59 pm

Maybe I'm missing what you're trying to say here, but it sounds like you're saying that the bigger my cult is, the more likely I am to find someone in my cult to reap from when I go looking for a victim.  So is this WP contest effectively including the Hunting mechanic from Vampire as well, then?

Or am I only getting the bonus WP dice when I'm reaping from someone I pick out who is specifically in my cult?

Forgive my ignorance here, but I played vampire like 15 years ago and maybe 5 times.  I'm not super up to speed exactly how Herd influences feeding mechanically, and the internet isn't being super helpful.

This is why I'm asking for an example of how it would play out.  

If Rex has a cult and picks a random person off the street to reap, is he getting the bonus dice for his WP roll?  And if yes, is it because there's a decent chance the guy is part of Rex's cult if it's a decent sized cult?

Basically, I'm not understanding how having a cult gives me more ability to reap faith from random Joe Schmoe who has nothing to do with the cult.  Unless that WP roll is sort of including the probability that Joe Schmoe is actually a cultist.

But if that's the case, if I reap from an NPC who most definitely ISN'T in my cult, do I not get the bonus dice, then?

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:04 pm


I'm going to advise that you not pursue this background, my friend.

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by Rex Mercer on Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:20 pm

OK... let me try this a different way.

If I have Cult 2, would I add 2 dice to all of my reaping checks regardless of who the target of said reaping is?

That's really all I need to know.  If you can answer that directly, I'll have no further questions here.

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Re: Cult- New(ish) Background:

Post by MagicRob on Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:21 pm

Yes, precisely.

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