Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Morality/Trauma Discussion

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    Bal

    Number of posts : 102
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Bal on Fri 15 Jan 2010 - 16:54

    Eliel wrote:My most frustrating moment in any KC game was being told by a guide that since pre-marital sex or smoking pot were questionable acts they would require trauma tests for a typical character. It shifted the moral spectrum out of the realm of "doing harm to others" into having to role-play out a belief system I disagreed with.

    Bwuh?

    Boggle.

    My sympathies.
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    Molior

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Molior on Tue 19 Jan 2010 - 23:15

    So, if I am understanding this correctly, it is just as difficult to resist the Trauma from witnessing a Prohibited Act as it is to do it.

    Even if the whole remainder of the Morality system stays the same, I would like that changed. Maybe it could be 1 Difficulty lower for witnessing rather than doing?
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    Eliel

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Eliel on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 1:24

    In my mind witnessing shouldn't be aligned trauma. I get how witnessing an act so awful that you yourself wouldn't do it is traumatizing (noting my already stated issues with trauma/morality in general), but I've never understood how it could make you more evil, especially if forced to watch.

    I suspect this is a side effect of one system trying to be two things, both a system of morality as well as a system of how jaded someone is.


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    Eliel

    He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself". -Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 8:46

    *Is* it supposed to be a test for Aligned Trauma when you witness an Act beyond your Morality?
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    Eliel

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Eliel on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 11:45

    Is* it supposed to be a test for Aligned Trauma when you witness an Act beyond your Morality?

    I don't know. You tell me. From what the BRB says in the section titled "Aligned Trauma", aligned Trauma can only be inflicted by techniques, only occurs at severe or higher, and causes no symptoms. The BRB also contradicts these points in other places.


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    Eliel

    He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself". -Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 11:48

    I don't think that witnessing a Prohibited Act would draw an Aligned Trauma if you failed the test.

    I should think this would be one of those situations where the only way it would be Aligned would be if you took *further* Trauma from the use of a Technique, which would *then* alter the Alignment.

    That's my understanding of how it works.
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    Molior

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Molior on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 14:31

    Ok.

    Oh, and Jill, just thought I'd make sure - doing evil things gives you Immoral Trauma now, yes? Rather than Unaligned Trauma?
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Friedrich on Wed 20 Jan 2010 - 23:59

    My reading of Aligned trauma is that it happens do to techniques (page 147, as Dave mentioned) but *also* anytime Morality is involved (page 149-150). As such, either Prohibited Acts taken *or* witnessed should both produce aligned trauma if the trauma taken is severe or mortal, in my understanding.

    Mark, yes, doing evil things gives you Immoral Trauma if you take a *severe or mortal wound* in doing such.
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Friedrich on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 0:12

    I personally think that there is a bit of a disconnect in the rules.

    Under "Degree of Separation" (page 152) it says that hearing about something done to a friend can be a situation where a player can choose to take a test for trauma at a Low or Medium difficulty. Yet Witnessing an act done to someone else is a guaranteed trauma (page 152) and doing a prohibited thing requires a test.

    I find it ludicrous that witnessing something is more damaging than choosing to do something. I think that witnessing an act should be a test as well.

    I'm not sure that I agree with Dave about jadedness being a factor, but I do think that an argument can be made that desensitization has a place in discussions about morality. Being forced to witness things over and over has the potential, in time, change your views and reactions to said acts.
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Friedrich on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 0:15

    Oh, and Dave, can you tell me where it says that aligned trauma is asymptomatic? When I read the section on "Aligned Trauma" I read that the alignment only has an affect when a breakdown occurs. No where do I see it saying that alignment negates the symptom normally associated with severe trauma. Alignment is an added component and not a replacement as I read it.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Eliel on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 10:26

    can you tell me where it says that aligned trauma is asymptomatic?
    p. 147 Aligned Trauma

    "The only game effect that Aligned Trauma has is when a character suffers a Breakdown."

    I'm not sure that I agree with Dave about jadedness being a factor, but I do think that an argument can be made that desensitization has a place in discussions about morality.
    I knew jadeness was the wrong word but couldn't think of the word desensitized at the time. I kept going back to the morality scale being more about how "hardened" someone was and I didn't want to use a specific mechanic term to describe my point. So essentially what I was trying to say is that the way the "Morality" acts are set up is less a system of morality and more a system for how desensitized to violence a character is. For most people there is an overlap between these two things but they are not the same. I know I would be far more comfortable with the system if it didn't say all acts of violence are immoral no matter what and instead stated that all acts of violence make you more desensitized to violence. (i.e. Calling the use of violence to stop a rape or murder or genocide immoral is at best highly debatable. Saying that it makes one more desensitized to violence however is not a stretch.)

    @ Jill: If there are not overall changes to the morality system, I think Breakthroughs should be optional (and if they already are, more clearly stated) when someone has gets mortal trauma and has sufficient aligned trauma. I can provide my reasoning for this suggestion but in case you agree with me already, I'll cut down on post size for now.


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    Eliel

    He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself". -Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Friedrich on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 10:41

    Eliel wrote:
    can you tell me where it says that aligned trauma is asymptomatic?
    p. 147 Aligned Trauma

    "The only game effect that Aligned Trauma has is when a character suffers a Breakdown."

    I still think that this refers only to the descriptor of it being aligned, as that seems to be what the "Aligned Trauma" section deals with. Under "Symptoms" on page 158 it says that "When Aligned Trauma is given, the Symptom is marked as Moral or Immoral to provide distinction. This doesn't have an affect on the Symptom itself but shows where the root comes from."

    Perhaps that part needs to be moved from the Symptoms section to the Aligned Trauma section.
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    Bal

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Bal on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 11:19

    You know what I think would make a lot of sense(though would require even more playtesting for Trent)? Well, I think most people would agree that some of the main problems when discussing Trauma is that it refers both to PTSD-style mental fatigue, and to a White Wolf style of moral degredation. And that in many ways, these two are fairly different, though there is a large amount of overlap.

    And here we are, conveniently, with two trauma tracks already(which seem to be seperate only because of the conciet of the archtype system - currently they're pretty much identical). Why not rename Emotional Trauma to Moral Trauma, keep the Mind-based trauma as Psychological Trauma. Have you take Psych trauma from standard mental fatigue and desensitization trauma. Have you take Moral trauma from "I've done a bad, bad thing" type trauma. It neatly eliminates the whole Aligned trauma thing by making it a matter now what type of trauma you take in a slot, but instead just what track it is marked off on.

    Obviously, it'd be a fairly major change, but considering how broken trauma seems, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Techniques would have to be reworked, but, honestly...here's the thing with Infected Technique trauma...it really doesn't act like Trauma. Calling it trauma is confusing. Why not instead of saying "Enslave causes Infected Emotional Trauma, when a Breakdown is reached you're permenantly enslaved"(which sounds simple, but interacts with a bunch of very complex systems), "Uses of Enslave linger behind - once a person has been Enslaved a number of times equal to their Reactive Soul, they are permenantly Enslaved. During Secular Actions, you can do a 'Shake off technique' action(resembles Rehabilitate) to reduce this running tally."

    I'm normally all for reducing the number of systems in a game instead of increasing them. But, really, Trauma covers like 4 different types of game mechanics currently. It might be far more robust if that functionality were broken apart(Psychological Trauma, Moral Trauma, and Technique Applications) - they could all similar types of mechanics(for instance, Rehabilitate Secular Actions might read "Can be used to reduce Psych Trauma, Moral Trauma, or to remove Technique Applications" instead of having separate types of actions for each), but wouldn't necessarily bump into each other.

    Anyway, this may just be a momentary brain spaz, but it seems the direction things want to be pulled in...
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 12:12

    Wade - That sounds like an interesting idea. I shall suggest it.

    Dave wrote:If there are not overall changes to the morality system, I think
    Breakthroughs should be optional (and if they already are, more clearly
    stated) when someone has gets mortal trauma and has sufficient aligned
    trauma. I can provide my reasoning for this suggestion but in case you
    agree with me already, I'll cut down on post size for now.

    Breakthroughs *are* optional. When you take your Mortal Traumatic Wound, you can choose to either have a Breakdown (and therefore have a relatively unplayable character until someone heals you), or you can choose to have a Breakthrough.

    This has already been clarified in subsequent edits, which I'm hoping to be able to show you soon (without any rules changes).
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    Corral

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Corral on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 12:47

    Since I'm a large part of the reason why this discussion got started, I should probably chime in again and say that 1) a lot of the things that have been recently mentioned also bug me and 2) I think both Wade and Jonathan have suggested very workable solutions that would probably make me much happier with the system. Admittedly, Jonathan's posts confused me but it sounds like it's going in the right direction.

    If we had, as Wade suggests, a track for "stuff you did that is slowly changing you" (which I suppose would be the same track for Immoral as for Moral aligned trauma, such that doing an Act of Grace might actually cancel out doing Bad Things - well, that would probably have to be thought about) and "stuff that you've seen / thought about / heard about / et cetera that is traumatizing you" (and I like the idea of those going in Emotional/Psychological) and then something else entirely for "things that people are doing to you", that would make me VERY happy. I wouldn't be opposed to several things causing marks in more than one track at once, either.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 12:53

    Laura, what is it that bugs you? The idea that your character would change in ways you had not anticipated when you made her, as a result of Trauma?

    I just don't see (and didn't see, when I had this discussion with Johnathan) the problem with a character changing.
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    Bal

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Bal on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 14:02

    cenobyte wrote:Laura, what is it that bugs you? The idea that your character would change in ways you had not anticipated when you made her, as a result of Trauma?

    I just don't see (and didn't see, when I had this discussion with Johnathan) the problem with a character changing.

    I think that is a strawman arguement. It isn't characters changing that folks have issues with, but instead characters changing illogically.

    To take an extreme example - if witnessing acts outside your morality causes you aligned trauma, most concentration camp survivors would likely be Irredeemable by the time they were rescued by the allies. I do not think that is a sensible outcome.
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    Bal

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Bal on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 14:02

    Also, indirect Godwin ftw.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 14:29

    It isn't characters changing that folks have issues with, but instead characters changing illogically.

    Mmm. Okay. THAT makes more sense.

    My feeling on the matter is that *witnessing* Acts beyond your Morality should be a test (in some cases) for Unaligned Trauma. But again, this is something that I think should be open for discussion between player & Storyguide; if *I* think it's beyond the Morality of a Hardened character to watch a murder, and you don't think it should be, based on your character's background, etc., we should have a discussion about it.
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    Corral

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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Corral on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 15:32

    "if *I* think it's beyond the Morality of a Hardened character to watch
    a murder, and you don't think it should be, based on your character's
    background, etc., we should have a discussion about it."

    Which is fair.

    I really don't think it's "The idea that [a] character would change in ways [ I] had not anticipated", as there are plenty of examples of me letting that happen in the past, usually completely without prodding from the rules. This discussion, however, has made me realize that I'm not 100% certain about my own feelings here: the thing that I was originally arguing about has not actually directly been addressed here (a character who does something and then actually becomes less likely to do it again). However, there are/were a lot of things about the trauma system that bother me, and I was trying to restrict myself to one of them because you wanted our "one thing".

    Anyway, if the trauma system is improved in some of the ways described, I will be much happier. And if you as a storyteller are willing to entertain the possibility that a certain character might not react as the system says in all circumstances, then that's even better - I might still think that the system forces too much on you, but I'll probably always think that. I am a proponent of systems that let you make your own choices and allow the character to change based on your own gut feelings.

    I think Wade sums it up pretty well with the "changing in illogical ways" thing though.
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by Friedrich on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 20:28

    cenobyte wrote:Laura, what is it that bugs you? The idea that your character would change in ways you had not anticipated when you made her, as a result of Trauma?

    I just don't see (and didn't see, when I had this discussion with Johnathan) the problem with a character changing.

    I partially disagree with Wade's use of the term illogical. We don't live in a vacuum and those around us change who we are. Now imagine if people had superpowers to deliberately do so, or that you were in a versatilely traumatic lifestyle -- which I think Fallen are. Change will happen, even if it is just a symptom or two. Presumable the change is happening over months and there is a gradual build-up and a progression of personality, which is not illogical although might be a direction that you didn't originally expect.

    Where I do agree with illogical is that it seems as though some changes are proceeding at a rate that is too rapid and does not allow for the progression to be explored. When multiple changes happen in quick succession it takes on an aspect of forced ludicrous rather than interesting character development.

    I also think that it is important that symptoms chosen be appropriate not only to the situation but also to the character. There are some symptoms that don't make sense for certain characters no matter what the stimulus was that caused the severe trauma. That is another way in which I would agree with illogical as an adjective. Being forced to play a symptom that violates character concept is detrimental to the integrity of the character and the enjoyment of the player.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Morality/Trauma Discussion

    Post by cenobyte on Thu 21 Jan 2010 - 22:10

    With the exception of Hollow Death and some Technique-caused Trauma, the choice of which Symptom to take is up to the player. This may not have been an implicit or explicit question in your post, Alan, but I do want to make it clear.

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