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Since spirits in the New World of Darkness in part reflect what people think they should be, what does the rise of Moe Anthropomorphism, especially as a representation of computers, mean for them? Are there cute-girl spirits around? And doesn't that kind of make them creepier, since they're still alien predators underneath their cute looks?
That's an interesting question. It begs the question of whether moe anthropomorphism is caused by Magaths who ate a spirit of something completely different from them but then manipulated their idea back into the world and reclaimed their identity. One can imagine a BigDog spirit eating a femininity spirit and turning into this thing◊. On the other hand, maybe moe anthropomorphisation is just expanding the sphere of influence of spirits and keeping them from becoming Magaths. In that case, moe anthropomorphisation is preventing cancer!
I don't know what TV Tropes suggests about how popular it is... but it is pretty popular. It hasn't hit the mainstream deeply yet, but you can find Moe Anthropomorphic art of everything from browsers to O Ses to Big Dog to a weird barely-anthropomorphic deer in a yellow swimsuit. And Cat Girls and other Petting Zoo People are moe anthropomorphization of animals, and cats and bunnies at least have become relatively mainstream. There's even entire manga and anime about Moe Anthropomorphism. Chobits revolves around what are essentially Moe Anthropomorphized PCs, Akikan! is Moe Anthropomorphic cans, and there are probably more I'm not aware of.
The examples you gave are either Japanese (properties or art from Japan) or from people inspired by Japanese trends who made their own Moe Anthropomorphs, Kemonomimi (people with animal ears/tail, ect) included. This hardly makes them universal, and I believe the second-most above comment meant "popular" in the sense of "common outside a specific type of fan/fandom" which as we know isn't exactly the standard for gaging what is normal, common, and/or generally accepted. The only exception might be Furries, the fandom of which sprung up long before Japan was trendy; however, they are less Moe Anthropomorphs than their Eastern cousins the catgirls (puppygirls, wolf-girls, kitsune, ect).
First, you are talking about a table top roleplaying game. Popularity should be relative. Second, anthropomorphic animal girls is a common type of myth in pretty much every single animistic religion in the world. Native Americans, Greek, Celt, etc. They are in no way specific to Japan.
A serious glitch in the nWoD Matrix is the very inconstant definition of the soul. It is established that all normal humans have one. Mages most definitely have one, as it is specifically stated that Atlantean Magic (considered "true" magic, as opposed to the supernatural abilities displayed by, say, vampires, werewolves or changelings) is a product of the soul. Additionally, mage souls are said to "glimmer" or "sparkle" with power. Werewolves also seem to have a soul, but it's different - using Aura Gazing abilities, werewolf souls "glow" brightly. Vampires seem to have somewhat damaged souls, as their auras are pale and sickly. Changeling souls are quite possibly cut into bits by The Thorns, but it's not established whether this is a reversable process. It's pretty much stated outright that Prometheans don't have souls and that the aim of their quest is to gain one - their lack of a soul is also quite probably why they cause Disquiet.
So what's so inconsistent about it? Different things with varying characteristics can be classified under the same name - for example, humans and dogs are both mammals. And the sparkly/pale/shiny thing you're talking about is aura colors not anything related to souls.
Mage has a clear definition of a Soul, but Vampire doesn't define it at all. Souls (and losing them) are important to Mages because Mages can do stuff with theirs and others'. Souls are not that important to Vampires because the only thing they can do is devour the souls of other Vampires and gain power. Not so much inconsistent as a matter of the limitations that come with the territory.
Souls in Vampire are actually pretty well defined. Mythologies talks a lot about the role played by Vampire souls and torpor.
Building on that last comment, the soul is the intangible part of a person's being that possesses Willpower and is capable of Morality/Wisdom/Humanity. A living being who has had his soul removed is still able to perform the biological functions of living, but has no ability to motivate himself. A Vampire whose soul is devoured loses the thing keeping him animate, which is why when you remove a Vampire's soul, the body instantly decays.
You're a bit off. Prometheans don't have a true soul, but their Divine Fire is close enough for most purposes — the difference between it and a true soul is indeed the source of Disquiet, among other parts of being a Promethean. Changelings, according to Atlantean magic that sees or manipulates souls, do still have one... but it doesn't seem quite right. It seems flimsy, like it's not all there — among Changelings in the know about this, the general consensus is that they managed to recover some of their soul by travelling back through the Thorns, but it wasn't fully restored; it's damaged and parts of it are probably still missing. Exactly what this means is less certain.
It would be hilarious if Geniuses caused Paradox, and Mages caused Havoc. It would be even more hilarious if they didn't. Anyone wanna clarify?
Well, according to the Genius: The Transgression 1.0 PDF, metanormal beings other than Geniuses don't trigger Havoc on Wonders that they use. Presumably, this would apply to other objects or beings made with Mania. So, by extension, Mages probably don't trigger Havoc. I haven't read any of the Mage: The Awakening materials, so I don't know if the same is true regarding Geniuses and Paradox.
Genius is unofficial, it wouldn't say. Do other metanormal beings trigger Paradox? Because if they don't, Geniuses likely don't either. Except maybe Unmada. Now thenHilarity Ensues... *** So that does mean that, technically, Hunters would trigger paradox, right?
Uh, guys... Paradox isn't something you trigger. It's something that happens and is aggravated or mitigated. And since Sleepers are the only ones that make Paradox worse...
Speaking of Mages vs Geniuses. How come the Technocracy hasn't killed every single Genius yet? The very nature of Inspiration and Wonders goes against what the Technocracy is working towards.
Geniuses don't exist in the old World of Darkness, so the Technocracy wouldn't know about them. As for the Seers of the Throne, they have a mental block regarding their Genius counterpart, Lemuria. This works both ways, thankfully, since they have similar yet mutually incompatible agendas.
That's gotta be crossover campaign fuel, assuming a team of Geniuses and Mages could get along long enough to exploit their respective enemies. "No, don't try to explain it to me again, I don't care and it just gets me mad. Now let's try not to get slaughtered by the psychic cyborg squid."
Okay, in Vampire, low-humanity vampires don't provide the proper non-verbal cues, and Prometheans have a supernatural version of the Uncanny Valley response. What about people who have neurological conditions that mean they don't notice non-verbal cues — or have to consciously evaluate them — or have a diminished or nonexistent Uncanny Valley response? They exist — hell, I'm one of them — but the books don't even briefly discuss them.
Low-Humanity vampires also achieve far less lifelike results in general whenever counterfeiting humanity — they're literally backing into the very definition of the low point of the Uncanny Valley by looking more and more like a moving corpse. As for Prometheans... Disquiet is not a purely mundane phenomenon. From a narrative perspective anything with a soul or a group-soul (that is, anything that has a connection to the Astral Realms, which basically includes the whole of the natural world along with humanity) recoils at the light of the Azoth that the Promethean uses instead. Also, Disquiet isn't usually an Uncanny Valley effect — little things about the Promethean get at the person until eventually the Disquiet's gone contagious. The strong, driven Frankenstein seems to draw the higher ambition of everyone he meets into himself, leaving them petty and squabbling and eventually something not unlike the Crab Bucket kicks in to the extreme — and if Torment hits the Frankenstein (as it's increasingly likely to with the spread of Disquiet), he may well get dragged down to the same level before the typical scapegoating occurs. The cool, rational Osiran remains so, apparently at the expense of the higher thought processes of everyone around him, and eventually no one is calm and everyone is flying back and forth between emotional poles and if the Osiran gets the short end of the stick from this he's going to go from cool to cold and start to plot obsessively until someone is dealt with. Reading the books may make this clearer.
In Changeling, the fetch-spawn entering the Hedge on their 21st birthday, possibly to become True Fae. Put bluntly, this makes no sense - the fetch-spawn are basically the opposite of True Fae, being unobtrusive (compared to the increasingly-obvious changelings), destroying anything faerie with a touch, and generally being Anti-Magic by virtue of lacking a connection to the Wyrd, the very thing the True Fae and Arcadia are made entirely of. They shouldn't even be able to exist or affect anything in the Hedge or Arcadia.
Did you read the part where that's a rumor? At all? Also, note that the rumor about the blood of fetch-children being poisonous to the Fae makes just as little sense. And yet the two rumors complement each other — it would make sense for a fetch-spawn to be inimical to the Fae in some manner, sinkholes of Glamour that they are, just as it would make sense that fetch-children might have something significant happen involving the Hedge at some point in their lives, living Hedge-keys that they are. It seems to be intended as a deliberate blurring of the lines between the two rumored offspring of fetches.
What's more, it would sort of fit into the blatantly contradictory nature of the True Fae anyhow.
In Changeling: The Lost, the Clarity Meter is said to measure the Changeling's ability to walk the fine line between the two worlds of Earth and Arcadia, and degeneration comes less because of any particular morals and more because of sudden reawakenings of buried mental traumas (impassioned, impulsive crimes reminding the Changeling of the cruelly mercurial Others that enslaved them, for example) or disruptions to their delicate balance between their human and fae selves. In theory, this makes sense and is all well and good; Werewolves have similar reasons for using Harmony instead of Morality. In practice, however, the Clarity meter comes off as punishing the Changeling for using their faerie side at all. At the highest levels of Clarity, the changeling is forbidden from entering the Hedge, dreamwalking, using magic items or tokens, or even choosing to attend to faerie-related matters over attending to human-related matters (for example, brushing off a date with a human girl to go and stop a hobgoblin rampaging through the streets).
Did you happen to pay any attention to the parts where it mentions that high Clarity is just as problematic as low Clarity for different reasons? Or that fae matters are notoriously bad for sanity? Or that Clarity is basically a Sanity Meter? The Lost need stability if they're to maintain their Clarity, and faestuff is bad for that — hell, low Clarity actually benefits some rolls involving fae magic. It's a choice you make. Wyrd, like all the other supernatural power stats in Wo D, is not equivalent to "levels" á là Dungeons & Dragons; you can always spend your experience on other things. Werewolves use Harmony because they're not human. Changelings use Clarity as a gauge to keep their human side relevant. If you're spending experience on high Clarity and continuing to favor fae matters over human concerns, you really don't have room to complain.