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ThePhilosopher
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PostSubject: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:36 pm

Discuss

Spoiler:
 


Last edited by Childe of Malkav on Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : set the text in spoiler to keep the page width of the forum intact)
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:07 pm

Let me tell you I find it damn convincing.

The fact that Grout was too old to leave bones upon death slipped my attention until now.

One thing I find inconsistent is leaving his wife behind. If she was there at all that is. Has anyone used Auspex on the glass jar she is in? Because I don't think Grout would leave her. He was obsessed with her. Unless he got as jaded as any other Elder, that is.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:10 pm

Okay, at least in one point, I can agree with the author. I also always had doubts about Grout really being the corpse on the bed. There is only one small problem with this: judging by the dialog in front of Hallowbrook hotel, Ming seems to think she killed Grout. But that's nothing a good dose of Dementation couldn't arrange.
The timing of the fire also is too bloody convenient. But if youi read Bach's journal at the society, he mentiones a fight with Grouts ghouls/test subjects, whatever they actually are a few nights before they found the mansion. So the hunters probably were guided as well to take care of the evidence, after someone had seen the remains on the bed.

The emails coming from Grout, if he really survived the assassination attempt, it is possible but he certainly is not the only possible candidate for sending them.
I'm still in favor of Jack being the sender. His crudeness most probably is an act to hide his manipulations, and seem more trustworthy to the player. And if he really was a pirate in his living days, he certainly was a captain, not just some mast climber or gunner. So he was an educated man, and probably "worked" in the carribean, 16th or 17th century. And educated at that time means understanding chess.

-geek 

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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:52 pm

Feral wrote:

One thing I find inconsistent is leaving his wife behind. If she was there at all that is. Has anyone used Auspex on the glass jar she is in? Because I don't think Grout would leave her. He was obsessed with her. Unless he got as jaded as any other Elder, that is.

I've used Auspex too, and no aura. The only ideas I can come up with are that she died of some disease, which involved going into a coma/going catatonic. This IS back within the 1800's, it's not that up to date on medicine. Grout, going crazy thanks to a Malkavian Embrace, would probably be deluded enough to believe that she's still alive.

The reason I say she's already dead from the get-go is not only because of the Lunancy, but also because Grout, completely innocuous to the ways of the kindred world (minus the drinking blood part, which he knows for sure), would not know how to embrace someone.

And, well, on the topic of Elders, some of them could still be...decent. It can't be said that they may still have a human mindset, but that they can be polite, feed without killing, etc. A good case would be Beckett, probably the ONLY elder in Bloodlines that doesn't muse on killing you.

This also ties in well with Grout, actually. A literal application of "Love Makes You Crazy". In fact, I have a theory.

I believe that Grout's wife is dead from the get go. One possibility is some disease which causes catatonia before death. My other possibility is that she became Grout's first meal. Grout, being irrevocably insane would believe she is still alive, "just sleeping". Probably believing she was embraced too, he would seal her up in that jar, probably containing formeldehyde as Grout notes that they are dead, and formeldehyde stops the decaying process. Keeping her with him through the ages, this theory could account for his wife being at the house and his notes on her.

My final noting is this: He isn't insane in that he allows his test subjects getting killed or treating them as cannon fodder. That sort of treatment existed in insane asylums in doctors over many years. The reason he existed so long, the reason he hasn't given in to the beast due to the inhumane treatment of his subjects, the reason he was able to hide from the Jyhad for so many years was because of his love for his wife.

Love indeed made Grout crazy.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:30 pm

If Grout believes his wife is still alive, he certainly won't leave her behind. And I agree that the treatment of his "testsubjects" doesn't have too much effect on his humanity or even excite his beast. It's quite normal behaviour for someone who considers lobotomy as a valid cure for insanity.
What do you think, was his siring intended or accidental?

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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:13 pm

Childe of Malkav wrote:
If Grout believes his wife is still alive, he certainly won't leave her behind. And I agree that the treatment of his "testsubjects" doesn't have too much effect on his humanity or even excite his beast. It's quite normal behaviour for someone who considers lobotomy as a valid cure for insanity.
What do you think, was his siring intended or accidental?

-geek 

If you mean by him being sired, Malkavians embrace anyone because perception of reality differs for all. And with him being a psychiatrist/orderlie/doctor in an asylum only increased his chances.

But if you mean the opposite, that why his wife was sired...

I can't understand how he would know how to embrace. It could be from some remembrance of how it worked before he completely blacked out. Or it could be from madness, though I believe finding the method to it would be harder and less believable.

Another theory I have was that he's 15th Generation. Still helps in how he would keep his humanity, why the siring to his wife (should he have done it) failed, and why he could survive Ming, despite being so low (Dementation can be used on anyone with equal effectiveness regardless of generation, right?). Though I feel that a 15th Gen Elder would be...nonexistent. And the lack of power would be heavily jarring, considering 15th gen.

And on the topic of Grout leaving Caecilia, he probably thought about that as well. Maybe said jar is also made of a hard material. Definitely harder than glass, considering the volume of the jar and that it cannot be pierced by weapons or bullets. Hopefully strong enough to protect against fire.
He did also mention he "took procautions to protect [his] beloved wife". So there's that too.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:13 pm

Actually, although Jack was a pirate, according to Los Angeles By Night he was not a captain... though maybe he could've been if he wasn't so shifty. He doesn't strike me as the sort to have actually played chess, ever, but he's certainly smart--and part of being smart, if you're going to leave secret messages, is not using imagery and wording that will make it blatantly obvious that you wrote them. So while it doesn't seem "in character" for him... that could very well be the point.

On the other hand, the player gets plenty of chances to see and talk to Jack throughout the course of the game, so you kind of have to wonder why he'd need to send the player cryptic messages when he could just as easily talk to them face to face. scratch  You'd expect that someone who leaves anonymous messages is someone who is afraid of being associated with what they have to say, but Jack isn't really the "afraid" type, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot in those emails that he isn't (or wouldn't be) reluctant to say in person.

I kind of have a hard time swallowing the idea that Grout isn't dead, though. I'll have to pay better attention next time I get to talk to Ming-Xiao about that, and see what exactly she says... if she really says in no uncertain terms that she killed Grout. Ming-Xiao can be fooled by Obfuscate, so perhaps she's vulnerable to Dementation too...
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:17 pm

SaulottheGentle wrote:

Another theory I have was that he's 15th Generation. Still helps in how he would keep his humanity, why the siring to his wife (should he have done it) failed, and why he could survive Ming, despite being so low (Dementation can be used on anyone with equal effectiveness regardless of generation, right?). Though I feel that a 15th Gen Elder would be...nonexistent. And the lack of power would be heavily jarring, considering 15th gen.

Impossible. Grout comments on hearing voices, that is, the voices of Malkavian madness network, and since they start sometime after he creates a connection with Kindred society, it cannot be affirmed he had it before he was embraced. Besides, a 15th would more likely be hunted instead of offered the position of Primogen.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:59 pm

SaulottheGentle wrote:


Another theory I have was that he's 15th Generation. Still helps in how he would keep his humanity, why the siring to his wife (should he have done it) failed, and why he could survive Ming, despite being so low (Dementation can be used on anyone with equal effectiveness regardless of generation, right?). Though I feel that a 15th Gen Elder would be...nonexistent. And the lack of power would be heavily jarring, considering 15th gen.

No. Dementation is warped Dominate. You could only do those of equal or higher Generation. Presence works on everyone.
And that too confirms Grout had to be of fairly low Generation.

As for his Embrace: Malkavians could sire for some very specific, even long term, goal. Equally well, for no reason whatsoever. One would have to ask his Sire. If said sire remembers doing so, that is.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:45 pm

If we want to ask Grouts sire something, we have to gather round a table, hold hands, and go Omm. Listen to the tapes: she was locked in the "roaming pen" by the orderlies.
That's why I put up the question intentional or accidental siring in the first place. Did she sire Grout, and was then locked up, or did she just kill him in her struggles or a frenzy, while Grout at about the same time got some of her vitae in his system?

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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Childe of Malkav wrote:
If we want to ask Grouts sire something, we have to gather round a table, hold hands, and go Omm. Listen to the tapes: she was locked in the "roaming pen" by the orderlies.
That's why I put up the question intentional or accidental siring in the first place. Did she sire Grout, and was then locked up, or did she just kill him in her struggles or a frenzy, while Grout at about the same time got some of her vitae in his system?

-geek 

Well, Malkavians are wild cards. Not to mention that Asylums attracted them like flies to honey. I don't think it can be elaborated upon due to the lack of information and the spontaneousness(?) of the Malkavians.

And ok, ok. Grout isn't high gen. Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:55 pm

I'll probably get accussed of being a party pooper, but here's my opinion on what the good folks at Troika intended to be the case.

1) Grout is dead and yes, that's his skeleton there. The reason why it's not just a pile of ash is simply because the developers failed to think it through.

The hypothesis that Grout faked his death and all that other stuff is nice and all, but falls flat because he would never leave his wife behind in a burning mansion. I believe that whoever came up with it all had too much time and was overthinking it and seeing things that aren't there.

No, Grout didn't leave a trail of gramophones for you to find through his mansion. The developers just wanted to give you his backstory. No, Grout didn't let his subject free. The developers just wanted to give you something to fight. And then they threw in some puzzle solving for good measure because it's fun to do.

2) The taxi driver was intended to be Caine. The real Caine would never involved in the whole mess becasue he'd be too busy not giving a fuck, but Troika didn't know that and they didn't have Claudia to tell them how wrong they were.

Which by extention would make Caine the taxi driver the best candidates for sending you the e-mails simply because nobody else fits better.


All that said, the "Grout is alive" hypothesis is still the best effort I've seen to reconcile events in the game with the World of Darkness lore.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:37 pm

So we just paw off all the inconsistencies because Troika had no idea? Reasonable... I am afraid.

The fact that nobody has thought about it so far shows how much in-lore we think, too.
That gives a pause.

Sad. Even if by some weird oh sh*t this is real stuff I get Embraced, it turns out it would be predictable and boring, because I read all (OK, almost) of the books...
*depressed wolf is depressed*
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:30 pm

After stupid exams i gotta retake... I'll give you my 2 euro cents.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:37 pm

Feral wrote:
*depressed wolf is depressed*

Aww, poor guy.

*pats Feral on the head*
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:08 pm

Dragatus wrote:
Feral wrote:
*depressed wolf is depressed*

Aww, poor guy.

*pats Feral on the head*

*nuzzles and licks Dragatus' hand*
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:47 pm

Dragatus wrote:
I'll probably get accussed of being a party pooper, but here's my opinion on what the good folks at Troika intended to be the case.

1) Grout is dead and yes, that's his skeleton there. The reason why it's not just a pile of ash is simply because the developers failed to think it through.

The hypothesis that Grout faked his death and all that other stuff is nice and all, but falls flat because he would never leave his wife behind in a burning mansion. I believe that whoever came up with it all had too much time and was overthinking it and seeing things that aren't there.

No, Grout didn't leave a trail of gramophones for you to find through his mansion. The developers just wanted to give you his backstory. No, Grout didn't let his subject free. The developers just wanted to give you something to fight. And then they threw in some puzzle solving for good measure because it's fun to do.

All that said, the "Grout is alive" hypothesis is still the best effort I've seen to reconcile events in the game with the World of Darkness lore.

While I do feel like your hypothesis has agreeable things, there is a contradiction to your first contradiction.

Let's look at Clan Malkavian in general. All are insane, but like Erasmus stated, all to different degrees and types. Therette is split-personality due to molestation and isolation. PC Malks are like fishmalks, but they truly don't understand what they say and "feel" like they must say it. In my own theory, Grout cared only for Caecilia, and followed through his scientific assumptions to test on how to cure her, regarding vampirism as curable and filled with filthy politics.

All in all, the Malkavians are a truly brilliant clan, each so fascinating and playing the insanity as a tragedy, as it should be played. Therette unable to understand the truth and trying to kill "herself" over it, Grout believing in scientific method to a point where, and I must note in my theory, he believes his wife isn't dead and that vampirism isn't curable. And even the PC Malk, who continuously hears voices that say things s/he doesn't understand and frightening visions each night, on top of the fact that they now have vampirism and all the things it entails (need for blood, beast, killer politics, etc.). They're all so brilliant that they can't simply be as they are on the surface (which is basically WoD in general).

And now let's look at the game. It does look great, doesn't it? The atmosphere, the backstabbing, how you (or your PC, depending on play style) interact with their eyes newly opened to the dark world.

However, the game switches from possible political standing and social merits to a house of carnage and bloodshed, about when the warrens level begins.

One thing that must be noted is that the more passionate the people working into the game are, the better it turns out. Were they given more time to finish, rather than the allotted time by Activison, they probably would've made the ending and the levels onward much more awesome/memorable. However, they lacked that, which is why the changes were so abrupt in style.

What I'm trying to say is that Grout was probably intentionally put there so that he could do all of the theorized things, they can't put something in just for nothing.

What's more is that you mention the popular fan theory of Caine being there. What if, as food for thought, if Troika put Caine there to throw off the players, make him in all of his Mary-Sue glory to show up for the lulz and generation raising?

Even better, what if "Caine" is really Grout obfuscated? Let's look at some ideas:

1: Like Feral said, Grout would have to be a fairly low gen elder to Dementate/Dominate Ming, throwing her off his trail.

2: Now let's think of one of Malkav's disciplines, Obfuscate. Like Feral theorized, Grout could be of low generation, even lower than 8th, allowing him access to higher levels of disciplines. Conceal (http://reference.l2fury.com/index.php?title=Conceal) or Mask of Janus (http://reference.l2fury.com/index.php?title=Mask_of_Janus) can be used to make whatever he's using as a double look like him. And even if the subject used isn't alive and dementated/dominated into a coma, a human corpse is still human.

3: On the topic of disciplines of the character in the Vanilla game. Without anyone to teach him/her anything on them, they're quite different than the tabletop game. Even Dominate 3, called "Suicide", which is explicitly against Dominate rules in canon.

Now on the topic of how bloodlines are made. From what I understand, and as such may be wrong. Most were created by either help from magic (Lamia, Ahrimanes, Nagaraja, Tremere), or through differed origins (Old Clan Tzimizce, the caste systems in Assamite and Salubri clans).

However, and this struck me as odd, but let's take into consideration the concept of clans, bloodlines and antitribu. Most clans only embraces those best fitting their ideals, like Toreadors embracing artists, Nosferatu embracing outcasts, etc. The antitribu are much like the clans, but take note of this. The Malkavians, Salubri and Toreadors, fitting best being the three clans whose founders were embraced as seers (Auspex). The Malkavians usually have one derangement, the Salubri feed on willing subjects, and Toreadors are bound by beauty. However, their antitribu are much different from their main clans. So different that it was able to change their weaknesses, to having two derangements/cannot avoid frenzy, must feed on unwilling subjects and bound to physical/psychological harm.

As to how this fits in with learning new things that aren't even conceptualized (Even present in Final Nights mod through Thanatopsis and Obeah, they dont have Necrosis, Enervation or Wrath of Heaven), they simply thought in a different way enough for it to effect their entire state of being. It can even be conceptualized that this caused Valeren to split from Healer and Warrior into Obeah and Valeren. That it allowed Malkavians to learn Dominate en masse when threatened with extinction for Dementation.

TL; DR, the player without any mentors and through some subtle dementation via Obfuscated Grout was able to learn and even create new levels of disciplines that would normally take decades, even centuries to create.

This is even further elaborated when playing as a Gangrel and talking to Beckett on it.
"I am a Gangrel, like you."
"Clans have little to do with personality, you're thinking of cults."

*Gasps for air* I am really sorry for the huge wall of, nope, the essay I handed in, but I wanted to be completely exact on all parts considered. And I also must apologize if I got anything wrong or misconceptualized something, and if there were anything that offended which is completely unintended.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:53 am

I generally got to agree with drag here. Grout never mentioned chess either so there's no reason why he could be the friend.

I've got a few theories on who is the friend (Strauss or the Lord mostly).

I do believe grout is dead and the tapes are mostly for the ambiance (and to make the player doubt of Camarilla kindred since the preferred endings are either Anarch or Independent).
I think the skeleton error is because if it was just a pile of ashes we probably wouldn't have understood that the guy was dead. The stake is just to prove he was kindred.

Grout's madness is a over scientification of things (he wants to solve the problem with a pure scientific perspective). I'll get to that once I've finished my exam.

Disciplines evolution and teaching : ugh. I'll classify how the disciplines work as a way to have game meganics and systems. They had to make "arrangements" with canon WOD for the history (since in 2004, the world has already ended in canon WOD :p), so why not the denomination and use of powers ?




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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:57 am

Oh and about dementation ? It didn't exist. Then the authors needed a bad ass lul discipline because they needed moaaaar speshul. Then they said all Malks had it until they were locked so they could join the Camarilla, and talked about some contamination from antitribu to give it back to regular Malks.

It's because of how the game was created, and its linear evolution, that they affected the "in game history".

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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:15 am

SaulottheGentle wrote:
Great Wall of China of text

Sorry, I tried to read it all, but couldn't make it further than a few paragraphs (lack of time). Can you just tell me in short what was the contradiction to my contradiction?
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:00 pm

Dragatus wrote:
SaulottheGentle wrote:
Great Wall of China of text

Sorry, I tried to read it all, but couldn't make it further than a few paragraphs (lack of time). Can you just tell me in short what was the contradiction to my contradiction?


The game was so well made and pretty much became a slaughterfest from the Warrens forwards. Then I noted on how brilliantly done the Malkavians were done, using Therette's story and speculation of Grout and PC Malks, and by which I mean they aren't fishmalks. And I said that with all the extreme detail of the cosmopolitan aspects of the World of Darkness being acted out before the Warrens, that all the imagery in Grout's mansion cannot simply be coincidence. I also said something about an Obfuscated Grout acting as Caine.

And I love how you described my entire entry. XD


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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:04 pm

Gehenna (the novel) supports the idea that the taxi driver IS Caine, and it also has a pretty nifty explanation... although I'm not sure if it's okay for me to explain it here since it's a big fat spoiler. I can say that it also does not contradict the idea that "Caine" is actually Grout, which makes it even more interesting... regarding the latter idea, there's something of a rumor on the White Wolf Wiki's VTMB page that says "Caine" is a Malkavian, which is also interesting and not contradictory.

Judging by Grout's tapes, he seems kind of ignorant about Kindred society... because he disbelieves the more incredible parts. So if he planted the skeleton, I can easily see him not realizing that HIS skeleton shouldn't look like that--eg. that he would turn into ash because of his age--he would only know for certain what he had seen happen to other (and odds are, much younger!) vampires.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:10 pm

I think as well that Troika had an idea, and did it all for atmosphere. Or if you want a wild theory, Ming planted the grammophones to support her story if things went wrong Wink
I don't know about Grout's surviving (leaving behind his wife he devoted a century to); each Malkavian is a bit different in his madness and doctor G., in his recordings, talks little of future. Nevertheless there is a Malkavian who displayed vast knack for clairvoyance Wink
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:13 pm

SaulottheGentle wrote:

The game was so well made and pretty much became a slaughterfest from the Warrens forwards. Then I noted on how brilliantly done the Malkavians were done, using Therette's story and speculation of Grout and PC Malks, and by which I mean they aren't fishmalks. And I said that with all the extreme detail of the cosmopolitan aspects of the World of Darkness being acted out before the Warrens, that all the imagery in Grout's mansion cannot simply be coincidence. I also said something about an Obfuscated Grout acting as Caine.

And I love how you described my entire entry. XD

So basically you're saying that if the game had been properly finished we would've been able to more clearly see that Grout is the friend?

Ettinarius wrote:
Gehenna (the novel) supports the idea that the taxi driver IS Caine, and it also has a pretty nifty explanation... although I'm not sure if it's okay for me to explain it here since it's a big fat spoiler.

Put it in spoiler tags, problem solved.
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PostSubject: Re: I bring news from the internet!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:18 pm

Claudia... Have you perchance noticed that Grouts floors are chessboards? And in 19th century an educated man had to know how to do three things: converse intelligently, play an instrument and play chess.
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