I was wandering if any of you guys out there have been burning emotional attributes for your characters and stories. If so, would you share some of them?
What have been working what hasn’t?
For example, I burned Bitter for a character of mine. I used the MaBu chapter following all the steps. Everything was legit on paper but when I started to play with it…it wasn’t great.
The main issue was the very nature of it, it ended up not being cool to roleplay and the story arc it created was just…Bitter. That experience was great because I learned a lot about that attribute and how it influence the story AND the player’s experience.
Whats your story?
(Note - I’ve only played with the official Emotional Attributes).
Giving an Emotional Attribute to a character makes that characters story about that attribute. It may not be the up-front story, but the big picture stuff will totally be influenced and directed by it. It’s also why BWG Orcs losing Hatred when they swear themselves to the Void is so huge - they stop being Orcs in a very real way.
On occasion, I try to rewrite the handling on Need and Despair to make that part of Under a Serpent Sun work. It never works. One of these years though I’ll get it, though I have this sneaking feeling that when I get it working it’ll be based on Mouse Guard Nature.
Which stock did you choose for your character?
As another poster recently stated in a different thread (will edit with link if I can find it), the official emotional attributes are basically about how the characters aren’t able to settle in the world; they are inherently unsatisfied with the conditions of their world, and this propels them forward - either to change it, or to leave it.
Because of this, altering the emotional attributes of the official stock will have drastic consequences on their nature and motivation. It can absolutely be done, and “Bitter” actually sounds really cool in theory, as you’ve said - but unless you burned it to play to the “unsettled” nature of a PC, it is perhaps bound to fall flat, as has been your experience. I’m just theorizing here, I haven’t actually played/burned any non-standard emotional attributes myself.
I’ve toyed with the prospect of an emotional attribute, but because the process is particularly tricky and the aspect of play requiring alot of refinement, I sorta opted out of it.
One Emotional Attribute I’d like to design is Pride. It sounds nice and sharp, and I suspect it can be made into a neat emotional attribute. But then, each of the 7 deadly sins makes for a nice candidate (provided there is a good cause).
Most emotional attributes are negative, but a few can be positive too. Honor, Faith, and (arguably) Void (Compared to the seething rage of Hatred) seem positive more than negative.
…I wonder if an emotional attribute would be a good pairing with a Skeksis type creature. Hubris perhaps? Hmm…
Then again, Corruption fits them rather well.
I also wanted to try making a Serenity attribute, but Faith covers most good representations of the serene, save “high on the mountain top great martial arts master” types. But again, not seeing a major need for it…its not really evocative enough and can be represented in other ways (Traits).
I burned up the Force for my SW hack. Figuring out the Light and Dark side mechanics was the hardest part, of course. I think I ended having each be a trait. Or maybe it was modeled after Honor and Shame mechanic? Hrm…
Void Embrace seems a bit like Dark Buddhism…
One emotional attribute I thought about burning was Secrecy for Eberron-style Gnomes - like the Great Wolves’ Ancestral Taint it would be the root of a few skills that granted some illusion and divination skills, and it could be FoRKed with information-based skills, but it would also have effects similar to Greed in that the Gnomes would be compelled to try to find out others’ secrets and to safely guard their own. B10 Secrecy would result in the Gnome becoming a mere wraith - too afraid of its secrets being discovered to ever interact with anybody. In general, I think my version of Gnomes would get Secrecy, Gifted for free, some open-ended craft and information skills, lifepaths somewhere between Dwarvern and Human, a Prestidigitation effect, Diminutive Stature (with a low Power cap but high Agility and Speed caps), and a version of Oathsworn to represent their ties to their kin and the dedication to guarding the secrets of the Gnomes.