World:Gotham's Finest/Character Creation/Conscience

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Morality is replaced by Conscience. Conscience measures attitude toward other people. It is notable more in its absence than its presence. The hierarchy of sins against Conscience is as follows:

Morality - Sin

  • 10: Violating precepts of ingrained belief, without harming others.* (Roll five dice.)
  • 9: Telling lies, spreading hurtful rumors,breaking promises. (Roll five dice.)
  • 8: Stealing from a business or a home(burglary) with no confrontation or threat. (Roll four dice.)
  • 7: Causing injury to another person in self-defense, or in defense of another person. Intentional mass property damage (arson, etc.). Stealing under threat of force (mugging).(Roll four dice.)
  • 6: Causing injury to another person on moral, religious, or nationalistic grounds. (Roll three dice.)
  • 5: Causing deliberate injury to another person out of hatred or anger. Killing in self-defense (whether impassioned or premeditated).(Roll three dice.)
  • 4: Causing deliberate injury for pleasure. (Roll three dice.)
  • 3: Killing for ideals or out of moral belief (“honor” killings). (Roll two dice.)
  • 2: Torture of another human being (including rape). Impassioned killing out of anger or hatred. Premeditated murder for greed or other opportunism. (Roll two dice.)
  • 1: Premeditated murder for pleasure. (Roll two dice.)

The character takes an action that his belief system considers wrong, but that doesn’t actually harm anyone. Orthodox Jews and Muslims don’t eat pork, for instance, and a character of either of these faiths who places a great deal of credence in his dogma (hence the high level of Conscience) would risk degeneration for doing so. Note, though, that the character has to be aware that he is violating his beliefs, since the underlying conflict is one of conscience. A devout Muslim who ate a hot dog he was convinced was beef, rather than pork, wouldn’t risk degeneration. By the same token, even if the hot dog was beef, but the Muslim was later told by a credible source it was pork, the player should probably roll for Conscience loss.

The Conscience chart, you’ll notice, splits a number of hairs along the blade of intent. If the character kills a man because that man is threatening his child, that’s higher on the chart (and thus grants the player more dice) than if the character killed the guy for his shoes. This system of Morality has more to do with the character’s subjective outlook and less to do with some objective standard of Morality (and as such, the Storyteller should feel free to alter it as necessary for the chronicle).

Degeneration works the same way for Conscience as it does for Morality.

Failed Degeneration: The character loses a dot of Conscience, barely noticing what he did or why it might be considered wrong. The player can choose to roll to see if the character gains a derangement, or can spend a point of Willpower to negate that roll. In that case, the character simply doesn’t care about what he did, and probably doesn’t worry about getting caught (either because he has a plan in place, or because he’s apathetic about that, too).

Successful Degeneration: The character realizes that he has just done something in serious violation to his usual code of ethics, but decides either that it was acceptable because of extenuating circumstances or that it was not acceptable and he must make amends. If the character takes the latter route, he must make amends sometime during the story (note that the offended party doesn’t have to offer forgiveness or accept an apology, the offender just has to make the attempt). If the character does this, the player gains an extra point of experience at the end of the story. If not, the character is assumed to have come to terms with the act (or at least grown numb to it).