This is something I’ve been thinking about a while, and this thread, while not directly related, prompted me to post something up.
What are some typical Vaylen beliefs people are using out there? I’m trying to figure out what actual play supports.
Canon-wise, we have only the graphic novels and the rulebook to guide us. In the graphic novels, the Vaylen seem either to be moustache-twirling villains (what are their actual motivations in either book other than “take over a human world”?) or sensualists (although I have my doubts as to whether Rhiannon is actually getting off on the experiences of her host or if she’s seducing whatshisface with the description).
Okay, so not much there to work with.
The rulebook implies things that are important to the Vaylen are:
[li]Feeling human (Pinocchio)[/li][li]Playacting out human life[/li][li]Honoring the clan[/li][li]Taking over planets[/ul]Again, not so much there when it comes to building out actual in-play Vaylen Beliefs.[/li]
My intuition is that the first couple are where the real juice is – Vaylens who want to experience certain human things just because they want to, and doing stuff humans do because they want to be human.
The Pinocchio beliefs are fairly easy. You end up with beliefs like “I will feel the joy of falling in love,” “I want to experience fear,” “Sadness is the sweetest fruit” and all that, as well as the attendant to-do items attached. I’m having trouble hooking those into the global conquest thing, but more on that in a bit.
The second – playacting out human life – is tricky for me to think through. The Human setting lifepaths suggest the Vaylen play at being human in big, melodramatic ways, like children playing out soap opera characters. But this is all getting very meta for me: Real people experience melodramas because of mutually incompatible agendas/passions, kids play at melodrama because it’s fun. It all sounds very much like RPG theory when you come down to it.
Are the Vaylen one big race of roleplayers? Or wannabes most likely, since the console (host) cost is apparently very high.
The third one seems like theme and variation on loyalty to family. You can rationalize just about anything as long as it “honors the clan.” Which is kind of weak to me.
And the fourth, taking over worlds, is definitely a good to-do item but the drive seem to do more with raw expansionism and survival than it does with any innate desire for any given world. If a human wanted to take over the world it might be because he felt he’d be a better leader, or because it was his destiny, or because he was told to do so by God, or whatever.
I guess, after all this, what’s missing is a sense of Vaylen ideology. If they extract most of their identity from their host(s), do they also pick up their hosts’ ideologies? If so, how does Vaylen society maintain any sort of self-actualization?
I’ve rambled on too long around a simple question: What are good guidelines for building actionable Vaylen beliefs that make the characters both complex and threatening?