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View Full Version : DM Help Help me with the logistics of living an immortal life!



WarKitty
2017-10-11, 02:37 AM
So I have an NPC immortal who has a ritual that returns him to young adulthood when performed. This ritual can be performed at any point, but he usually waits until he's approaching old age to do so. It's important to him that he retains both his family name and access to the money he's acquired over, at this point, about 200 years. This is, however, becoming increasingly hard to do in the modern world (current-day united states). The preferred strategy is to be your own heir, but that can be hard, especially as he needs to be a "natural" heir.

- He's under the impression that he's ethical, so killing someone to take their place, or imprisoning them long-term, is not an option. Shunting them off somewhere is, especially as he has the money to provide.

- He's a good magician, but his abilities in mind control are very limited. It's possible to control the mind of one person for a period of time, but this cannot be extended indefinitely once he no longer has access to them. Using psychic powers to fool a large number of people is out of the question.

- False memories might be possible but would generally only cover a short time (24h or less) and have to be implanted fairly immediately.

- Standard modern methods of appearance change are of course on the table, but magical ones generally aren't, unless they make a permanent physical change.

- Remember this guy has a lot of money. He will almost never kill a witness though if he can help it. He can and will pay his way around.

- He comes from a well-off family, and people are aware of that. He has a lot of political influence and generally tries to insinuate himself into public life, although usually not by seeking office himself.

- Because of his name and fortune, he can expect irregularities will be scrutinized by others hoping to inherit.

- Other than the ritual, he functions as a normal biological human. This includes normal reproductive ability for a male of the age he is currently living at.

Mordaedil
2017-10-11, 03:08 AM
Alright, so the down-side is that you are going to have to get someone to go along with your scheme here and it's probably going to have to be the one to play your significant other. You will probably only get her to go along with this by offering her the same immortality at some point down the line.

Next, you're going to have to announce that you are expecting while she goes under cover for 9 months and then you have to announce your child will be attending an undisclosed boarding school for his own protection.

You now need to make wax dolls of yourself and your significant other. These will be your bodies after you both "die" of natural causes. Space them out or "die" in a staged car accident. Cremate the bodies and bury the urns on private property.

After some time passes, you and your significant other "meet again" and marry over again, on your anniversary. You announce it as the romantic idea that you decided to do it on your parents anniversary as a symbolic gesture.

This will last you this century until population becomes tracked digitally.

Mechalich
2017-10-11, 03:25 AM
It helps a lot to do this outside of the United States. He's only doing this every 50-60 years, so that's only once or twice in the modern era - if he has to do this now, his last reset was probably in the 1950s.

If he carefully liquidates most of his assets (around 90% or so) over a period of a few years, all the money can be placed into secure accounts in offshore and intensely private banks in the name of the fictitious heir. You should also establish the heir to be as existing by paying someone to doctor photos and create a paper trail and set of social media records for the person who doesn't exist. Then you just fake a death in a plane crash or boating accident in some place suitably far from the cameras (Indonesia's good for boating mishaps) and then emerge as the natural heir subsequently. So long as we are talking about large but not ridiculous sums of money - tens of millions not hundreds of millions or billions, then this sort of thing shouldn't raise too many eyebrows (hundreds of wealthy oligarchs place this kind of cash in foreign accounts in the names of family members every year).

Reset is going to kill personal political influence most likely, but if this guy is smart he does all his lobbying through a powerful foundation, so that way a lot of the gains can transfer easily to new leadership.

Shiki-pon
2017-10-11, 04:09 AM
If he's a user of magic of some sort, could he make a homunculus or other biological (or seemingly biological) construct made to grow pretty much identical to himself as his "heir"? Then when he goes through with the ritual, he just gets rid of the construct and takes its place. Don't know if getting rid of homunculi and the sort counts as killing people though...

WarKitty
2017-10-11, 04:37 AM
The difficulty here is that it really does have to take place in the U.S., he absolutely has to reside there. Also the ritual likely isn't going to work for someone else - it's tied to his personal powers in a way that, even if someone else performed it, it would have no effect on them.

So the trouble is going to be to generate the natural heir. Keep in mind he has lots of other relatives who likely want a piece of the pie, and can afford good lawyers. So having legal documents for this heir is likely crucial, and forgeries won't work well. Their lawyers will need to be able to go to the relevant department of vital statistics and find a birth certificate filed there - they won't accept copies from someone else. Similarly they need to appear to be a biological descendant. Probably need to be able to fool DNA tests as needed.

A homunculus might be possible, but it would be very difficult and represent an almost constant power drain. The magic system is custom (and a bit handwavey, since the players don't really get to use most of it), but it's much more of a scrabble for carefully hoarded power and using a lot of that power to keep yourself safe from nastier beasts.

A foundation is likely, especially if you can arrange for a job for the "new" heir. The name itself carries a local cachet as well.

Anymage
2017-10-11, 06:01 AM
For some reason this is making me think of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, although the immortality in that series isn't really relevant and would be nigh-impossible to pull off in a game setting.

My big question is, what sort of relationships do magic users have with other magic users? Specifically, how much value is there to cooperation? If you don't have to worry about other mages either pulling a Highlander on you or else the two of you being much more likely to stand out to the bigger occult nasties, an intelligent system of tradeoffs could easily be the smartest bet. Two people each taking turns discovering "a fresh new talent" who happened to be the others' new incarnation would attract less scrutiny and be easier to forge. And while you couldn't keep all your wealth, that leg up could be just enough to ensure comfort without building up the super visibility that comes along with super wealth.

Even if cooperating with another mage isn't workable for whatever reason, a 200 year old could easily realize that after a certain point, money is more likely to bring problems than it is more comfort and influence. Telling a confederate everything and paying them off to play along comes with certain risks - there's nothing stopping them from reneging after you're legally dead, after all - but aiming to be well situated instead of keeping the bulk of your money might still ne the best path.

WarKitty
2017-10-11, 07:12 AM
For some reason this is making me think of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, although the immortality in that series isn't really relevant and would be nigh-impossible to pull off in a game setting.

My big question is, what sort of relationships do magic users have with other magic users? Specifically, how much value is there to cooperation? If you don't have to worry about other mages either pulling a Highlander on you or else the two of you being much more likely to stand out to the bigger occult nasties, an intelligent system of tradeoffs could easily be the smartest bet. Two people each taking turns discovering "a fresh new talent" who happened to be the others' new incarnation would attract less scrutiny and be easier to forge. And while you couldn't keep all your wealth, that leg up could be just enough to ensure comfort without building up the super visibility that comes along with super wealth.

Even if cooperating with another mage isn't workable for whatever reason, a 200 year old could easily realize that after a certain point, money is more likely to bring problems than it is more comfort and influence. Telling a confederate everything and paying them off to play along comes with certain risks - there's nothing stopping them from reneging after you're legally dead, after all - but aiming to be well situated instead of keeping the bulk of your money might still ne the best path.

Human magic users of this sort of power that are even remotely classifiable as sane are extremely, extremely, extremely rare, to the point where he might not even know of another one, and if he does they probably aren't even on the same continent. Non-human or demi-human magic users hiding in the shadows are much more common, and they don't like human ones (plus his immortality is kind of related to killing them off).

He also has immortality for the sake of a goal - being able to guide future monster hunters - not just immortality for the sake of immortality. So he doesn't just need enough money to be comfortable, he needs enough money to be a big player in the local political scene. He wants to be able to do things like endow schools and such. He also needs, specifically, to hang on to being a natural biological heir to the family name. That's the part that makes it so difficult. He needs a specific identity as a member of a specific family line, not just an identity he can operate under.

I think the money is going to be the easier part though, once the identity is established. In the modern world, there are a lot of places you can put money, and a rich guy keeping most of his money in offshore bank accounts isn't really going to be very suspicious. Swiss bank accounts are a classic, although I believe Andorra is growing in popularity. Either way, in this day and age, finding somewhere that will hold your money and not ask too many questions is easy.

Mark Hall
2017-10-11, 09:24 AM
For the past couple hundred years or so, his best option for maintaining an anonymous source of wealth is a small, private corporation, which we'll call The Millenium Trust. It is privately held, he is the only shareholder, and he passes control of this to his "heir" when the time comes. Sometimes, the Millenium Trust sells itself to someone else, becoming the Eternity Foundation or something, which is still the same thing, just under a new name. It might occasionally split, with one branch buying the assets of the other after a while.

Corporations are allowed to be eternal in ways people cannot. It looks weird if a person doesn't die after 100 years; for corporations, it looks distinguished.

WarKitty
2017-10-11, 09:41 AM
For the past couple hundred years or so, his best option for maintaining an anonymous source of wealth is a small, private corporation, which we'll call The Millenium Trust. It is privately held, he is the only shareholder, and he passes control of this to his "heir" when the time comes. Sometimes, the Millenium Trust sells itself to someone else, becoming the Eternity Foundation or something, which is still the same thing, just under a new name. It might occasionally split, with one branch buying the assets of the other after a while.

Corporations are allowed to be eternal in ways people cannot. It looks weird if a person doesn't die after 100 years; for corporations, it looks distinguished.

I think the family name part is going to be the difficulty, not the money. The money will follow, but it's very important that he be recognized as his own natural son, or at the very least retain his original family name. And that name is quite prominent in local area politics.

Mark Hall
2017-10-11, 10:07 AM
I think the family name part is going to be the difficulty, not the money. The money will follow, but it's very important that he be recognized as his own natural son, or at the very least retain his original family name. And that name is quite prominent in local area politics.

Have a lot of illegitimate children, so that any given individual isn't unreasonably his natural son. Make a habit of sending your children abroad to various schools, so there's big chunks where people might not know them. It means diluting the fortune with each pass (because you have to share some out to other illegitimate children), but it also means that you can appear, mostly grown, with a plausible backstory.

Hellpyre
2017-10-11, 10:15 AM
Just as a question, why does he need to be considered as his own natural-born son? What would the problem be with being considered an adopted child?

Anonymouswizard
2017-10-11, 10:44 AM
Just as a question, why does he need to be considered as his own natural-born son? What would the problem be with being considered an adopted child?

In the short term looks might be an issue that can be solved by 'natural-born son'.

The first question is who exactly does he have to fool? Fooling everybody, fooling just the government, and fooling just the local populace have different outcomes.

A possibility is to be open with the government, get their help in falsifying records, and come to some sort of arrangement. A corporation with it's offices in the country that turns large profits also means the government gets money in taxes. Just relocate every half century or so after the ritual.

If you only have to fool the government, then you don't need to worry about fooling those who'll see you any day. I cannot give any help beyond that.

If you need to fool everyone, then you probably want an elaborate scheme.

Slipperychicken
2017-10-11, 03:37 PM
If he doesn't need to keep his immortality secret, why not just get together legal and scientific experts to confirm that that his de-aging ceremony is legally okay? Then he can just keep living forever without any problems.

He could also just re-do his ritual every few years so there's never much change to his appearance. Sure it might seem suspicious after a while, but with care he could document his unaging appearance properly. He could even go on a diet or something and attribute his unaging appearance to that, or just accept the fame of being a wonder of human biology.

WarKitty
2017-10-11, 06:27 PM
Ok, the rules here:

- Bloodline is very important here, which is why being a natural-born son is important.

- The immortality needs to be kept secret from everybody, or at least from everybody who doesn't already strongly believe in magic (which amounts to almost everybody)

- His project means he has to stay living most of the time in roughly the same area. Relocating to a different area isn't an option. This is also why a natural-born son is important.

Slipperychicken
2017-10-11, 07:02 PM
He could find a "lookalike" newborn, get its birth registered as his own son, send that baby off someplace it's unlikely to cause trouble (ideally where it will be registered for real and raised normally), then pretend to be raising the child in total secrecy, homeschooled, anti-vax, everything to justify the fact that no-one has ever seen the kid. Make it abundantly clear that this imaginary mistreated child is the sole rightful heir. Then once the fictional child has hit the right age, daddy fakes his own disappearance and emerges from the woodwork as his own son. Then he goes and jumps through any bureaucracy he might find convenient (such as driver's license, degrees, etc), and goes on living much as he did before, with most eccentricities explained by being a homeschooled hick raised by a crazy neglectful billionaire.

Of course, if it's possible to get the birth registered without the use of an actual infant, or just bribe someone to make it happen, that would simplify things considerably. Living out in the sticks, or at least pretending to keep his child there, would also help.

WarKitty
2017-10-11, 07:05 PM
Two issues here:

One, he does need to live in a fairly urban area, and he needs to be involved in community life. This also means he needs to not look too crazy. I imagine that would be easier solved by foreign schooling though - after all, if he's rich, sending the child to a fancy european boarding school is fine.

Two, it might be easier if he could figure out a way to fake a natural death rather than an accident. He has to keep repeating this, and people notice things.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-11, 07:43 PM
You said that he's under the impression that he's not evil. Not that he ISN'T. So...If he's training future monster hunters, passing down necessary information for the survival of the species as well as taking care of the widows/widowers/orphans created by the profession...What's a few accidents, really? Those people are on the monster's side, if they will threaten his ability to guide humanity into a bright new future of not being snack food for monsters.

Also, he could pretend to have a nasty genetic disease/disposition to a certain disease. If he looks like he's weak, others won't assume he's a monster hunter and he'll lull his enemies into a false sense of security. It'd explain a few accidents as well.

And find ways to avoid the limelight. Don't get fancy houses, drive reasonable cars, wear jeans, and don't ever get involved in politics.

Maybe obtain an inner circle of very loyal people? Someone to forge birth certificates, a doctor, a false child, and a false mid-wife could go very far. If he targets those who have survived monster attacks, they might be rather sympathetic to their cause. Use that mind magic not to control, but to ensure loyalty of the followers.

Anymage
2017-10-11, 08:26 PM
Knowing that he's a monster hunter who happens to be a mage as opposed to a mage primarily makes me want to ask the same thing I asked before with a different spin. Does he have clued in monster hunter allies? Having help who are clued in and aware is massively easier than trying to do it all on his own.

And while this may have some slight inconveniences, has he invested in having normal children? On the one hand, mundane children can distract from important hunting duties and provide a weak point for your enemies to attack. On the other hand, clued in blood relatives can be a massive benefit once they've grown up. Just remember how well the draketooth clan did defending their gate, until they ran afoul of a stray bit of epic badness. Being able to become his own grandson should be an easier ruse to pull off, since there's an established adult person to help guide the process along. Plus, ruthless child masterminds can be chilling.

(As a bonus point for the grandson plan, one angle I like to play up with in modern fantasy is how quickly the world is changing. Long lived supernaturals might well have to scramble for a suboptimal plan, simply because the mortal world has changed so much over a few short generations.)

Mechalich
2017-10-11, 09:07 PM
- His project means he has to stay living most of the time in roughly the same area. Relocating to a different area isn't an option. This is also why a natural-born son is important.

As long as he can travel briefly, he can still take advantage of the more porous record systems of other nations besides the US. The modern elite are very global oriented, and they spend time briefly in lots of different places going to stuff like Davos and so forth. This character has access to mental compulsion, so he can sow a history of having a girl in every port and illegitimate children attending foreign schools. Then you just pick one as the identity you respawn into and move back to the US (if you're rich, you can just buy into the country using an investment visa).


Two, it might be easier if he could figure out a way to fake a natural death rather than an accident. He has to keep repeating this, and people notice things

He could make it public that his bloodline has some sort of nasty heritable adult-onset disease. There are several options, early-onset Alzheimers might be a good one actually, since it helps to explain seemingly erratic behavior and withdrawal from public life immediately prior to reset. Also allows you to hire an easily bribed foreign doctor as a personal physician for the purpose of faking your own death, it's much easier to keep secrets when the person who knows where the bodies are (not) buried moves back to rural India after the funeral.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-11, 09:15 PM
Thinking about this, I have some more ideas:

Firstly, if he's a known monster hunter, could the monsters take care of his relatives for him? I am assuming that while his facade is good, it's not good enough and some have figured it out. This might reduce the likelihood of relatives poking around if they have become monster food.

Secondly, does he have access to magic to reduce fertility rates? I mean, it's still not ethical, but it's far better then letting monsters run amok, right? So just reduce the number of problematic relatives. (And if they are the type to make a fuss about inheritance, maybe they aren't such great people to begin with.)

Depending on the character's age, a good ol' fire could have wrecked a lot of records. I am not really sure when records got online or into more secure databases, but fires could be blamed on all sorts of things. Why would the local bigwig do that? Especially if a monster got into local politics...Two birds, one fire!

And what if he decided to take care of a son he made when he (and the woman) had when they were teenagers? In that case, the child is only given information of their birth parents once they hit 18, which might explain a tearful reunion kept in private due to the shame of knocking someone up. (No judgement if you have done this or a product of this, but this guy doesn't seem like he values tolerance over monster butt kicking).

Hellpyre
2017-10-11, 09:32 PM
So it looks like the best bet is to father a child and shuffle some memories around to get the child into the adoptive system without paperwork being filed so that he can take his own place later.

WarKitty
2017-10-12, 12:40 AM
You said that he's under the impression that he's not evil. Not that he ISN'T. So...If he's training future monster hunters, passing down necessary information for the survival of the species as well as taking care of the widows/widowers/orphans created by the profession...What's a few accidents, really? Those people are on the monster's side, if they will threaten his ability to guide humanity into a bright new future of not being snack food for monsters.

You have the ethos of world of darkness down here pretty well. "Not evil" usually means "at least I'm better than that guy." This being world of darkness, that may not be a high standard.


Also, he could pretend to have a nasty genetic disease/disposition to a certain disease. If he looks like he's weak, others won't assume he's a monster hunter and he'll lull his enemies into a false sense of security. It'd explain a few accidents as well.

Hmm, that's a nice idea.


And find ways to avoid the limelight. Don't get fancy houses, drive reasonable cars, wear jeans, and don't ever get involved in politics.

Well, the politics is part of it, but he can do the rest.


Maybe obtain an inner circle of very loyal people? Someone to forge birth certificates, a doctor, a false child, and a false mid-wife could go very far. If he targets those who have survived monster attacks, they might be rather sympathetic to their cause. Use that mind magic not to control, but to ensure loyalty of the followers.


Knowing that he's a monster hunter who happens to be a mage as opposed to a mage primarily makes me want to ask the same thing I asked before with a different spin. Does he have clued in monster hunter allies? Having help who are clued in and aware is massively easier than trying to do it all on his own.

It's probably a fairly small circle, but yes. Actually that might be a good plot point - the circle is getting too small, so the PC's are being brought in.


And while this may have some slight inconveniences, has he invested in having normal children? On the one hand, mundane children can distract from important hunting duties and provide a weak point for your enemies to attack. On the other hand, clued in blood relatives can be a massive benefit once they've grown up. Just remember how well the draketooth clan did defending their gate, until they ran afoul of a stray bit of epic badness. Being able to become his own grandson should be an easier ruse to pull off, since there's an established adult person to help guide the process along. Plus, ruthless child masterminds can be chilling.

(As a bonus point for the grandson plan, one angle I like to play up with in modern fantasy is how quickly the world is changing. Long lived supernaturals might well have to scramble for a suboptimal plan, simply because the mortal world has changed so much over a few short generations.)

That actually fits in very well with established story bits. The PC's are all either his by-blows or descendants of them. He can't impersonate any of them (not only are they illegitimate, they're all girls),


As long as he can travel briefly, he can still take advantage of the more porous record systems of other nations besides the US. The modern elite are very global oriented, and they spend time briefly in lots of different places going to stuff like Davos and so forth. This character has access to mental compulsion, so he can sow a history of having a girl in every port and illegitimate children attending foreign schools. Then you just pick one as the identity you respawn into and move back to the US (if you're rich, you can just buy into the country using an investment visa).


So it looks like the best bet is to father a child and shuffle some memories around to get the child into the adoptive system without paperwork being filed so that he can take his own place later.

That would work well, especially if he could find a foreign-born (but ethnically similar) cooperative woman as the mother. Maybe a european graduate student? She gives birth in the U.S., but along with her child moves back to her home country. Upon arrival in the home country the infant is given a new identity and raised there to hopefully live a normal, quiet life. Meanwhile educational records are faked for the new life. Heck, if he wants to give a few extra years, he could get some real ones by going to college somewhere, might not be a bad idea. "Resurface" in London, there's a nice little business school there, get a degree.

I'm also assuming he could at least guarantee the child is a boy. There's lots of ways to do that. Sex-selective IVF combined with a little bit of magic (to help ensure implantation and survival) would be the easiest.

Red Fel
2017-10-12, 08:56 AM
I see two issues here. First, identity, and second, assets.

1. Identity. If you create another "you," you'd better be able to document his existence while you're still alive, or else eyebrows will be raised.

Step one is the birth. Find a woman about to give birth. Ideally, an undocumented immigrant - no documents makes it hard for her to be traced, and hard for her to challenge your actions. I'm going to assume you're quite wealthy - pay to have her removed to another country, one where the laws are looser about birth registry. In the alternative, as has been mentioned, simply find a woman in another country, that works too. Disappear with her for the duration of the birth. Set her up for life there - nice home, small fortune. One payoff like this every 50 years or so is manageable, and makes it highly unlikely that she'll be back to become an issue. Register the birth of her child in that country. Register yourself as the father, and your "self" as the child - pay someone off to register the real child, if you like. Return afterwards to the States, and admit that you were involved in a sudden, whirlwind romance, but that your bride decided to "go home," and that she will be raising the child for now. Be a bit heartbroken, but admit that it's for the best.

Bam. You now have the birth documents to prove the legal existence of your "heir," an explanation for his absence, and nobody around to contradict your story. The real child will grow up in that other country, comfortable and out of your hair, and you can move forward with phase 2.

2. Assets. At no point will you and your "heir" ever be in the same place at the same time. That will make it hard to prove that "he" is your heir. You can't exactly go around showing people pictures of young "you," which means that when the new "you" shows up seeking to reacquire your fortune and inheritance, people will be skeptical. Know what assuages skepticism? Money. But how can young "you" acquire old "you's" money before an inheritance changes hands? Oh, if only there was a place known for banks that don't ask questions.

Before you "die," you establish a Swiss bank account, and deposit substantial funds. Enough for old "you" to survive off the grid for a year or so, and young "you" for a few years after that. Since you have young "you's" documentation, you make him a joint account holder. Then, old "you" tells his friends and loved ones that he is ready to retire to a chateau in another country - say, France, or something - and wishes to reunite with his son.

Now, this is important. During the years that young "you" has been away, you'll have been building a credit history for young "you." Make online purchases. Have them sent somewhere - say, a second home in Europe or something - to demonstrate that young "you" exists. Next, and here is the tricky part, as old "you," file the paperwork to get young "you" a passport. Note that there is a window here - you can only do it after you make the transfer, because you need photographs of young "you," but you have to do it in such a way that raises no suspicion.

Passport in hand, young "you" can proceed to make withdrawals on your Swiss account, live things up in Europe for a few months, then come back to the States, with ample documentation and proof of your identity. Tell them all about reuniting with your "father," about how he wanted you to follow in his footsteps, etc. You have access to your Swiss account, so you can appear independently wealthy, which will be enough to silence most critics.

Wait a few years, then observe to people that you've stopped hearing from him. Take another trip abroad, to wherever old "you" said he was retiring. Find an unidentified corpse in a morgue, they're not that rare, and identify it as old "you." It might not hurt to bring your wallet, if you catch my drift. Be sure to acquire a copy of the certificate of death. Return to the States, mournful, and reveal your "father's" tragic passing. File the certificate lawfully, and the execution of the will of old "you" will follow.

Obviously, old "you" will have drafted a will after having a son, leaving everything to the son.

There might be some investigation. But everything will be above-board. Your "father" will have confirmed your existence while he was alive, there's ample documentation to prove you exist. And the certificate of death, filed well after your return to the States, proves that his death was real and recent. No documents were forged; they're all completely real, and withstand any scrutiny. There are no questions that need be asked, no lingering curiosity. You will inherit your "father's" wealth, and come full circle.

And by the time you repeat the process, fifty years from now, nobody will even remember.

zlefin
2017-10-12, 10:48 AM
Quite a few ways have been covered in various fictions over the years, but I don't remember them well.
My only real note is that I think it's better to hvae the old you retire to an undisclosed location; that would be easier to fake and less suspicious than death I think.

Perch
2017-10-12, 02:14 PM
"It's important to him that he retains both his family name and access to the money he's acquired over, at this point, about 200 years."

How the heck he was able to live in modern society this long without anyone finding it suspicious?

It's impossible for an immortal being to live under the same family name in modern society without rising any eyebrows.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-12, 02:17 PM
Probably because modern society hasn't been around that long, so he only has a few iterations to worry about. Since it isn't exactly impossible for children to be the spitting image of a relative, it could be possible to mask it for a few generations.

Oddly, I think he'd be really good at dressing himself. There has to be a few tricks for the modern man to disguise himself and look like a completely different person. Hair dye might solve a few issues.

Segev
2017-10-12, 02:30 PM
As ever, Red Fel has an excellent scheme for you. I suggest using it as ONE of at least two, if not three or four, methods, so that you can't have nosey, suspicious individuals look at your "father" and discover that how HE learned of his heritage is remarkably similar to the unusual way you did.
I see two issues here. First, identity, and second, assets.

1. Identity. If you create another "you," you'd better be able to document his existence while you're still alive, or else eyebrows will be raised.

Step one is the birth. Find a woman about to give birth. Ideally, an undocumented immigrant - no documents makes it hard for her to be traced, and hard for her to challenge your actions. I'm going to assume you're quite wealthy - pay to have her removed to another country, one where the laws are looser about birth registry. In the alternative, as has been mentioned, simply find a woman in another country, that works too. Disappear with her for the duration of the birth. Set her up for life there - nice home, small fortune. One payoff like this every 50 years or so is manageable, and makes it highly unlikely that she'll be back to become an issue. Register the birth of her child in that country. Register yourself as the father, and your "self" as the child - pay someone off to register the real child, if you like. Return afterwards to the States, and admit that you were involved in a sudden, whirlwind romance, but that your bride decided to "go home," and that she will be raising the child for now. Be a bit heartbroken, but admit that it's for the best.

Bam. You now have the birth documents to prove the legal existence of your "heir," an explanation for his absence, and nobody around to contradict your story. The real child will grow up in that other country, comfortable and out of your hair, and you can move forward with phase 2.

2. Assets. At no point will you and your "heir" ever be in the same place at the same time. That will make it hard to prove that "he" is your heir. You can't exactly go around showing people pictures of young "you," which means that when the new "you" shows up seeking to reacquire your fortune and inheritance, people will be skeptical. Know what assuages skepticism? Money. But how can young "you" acquire old "you's" money before an inheritance changes hands? Oh, if only there was a place known for banks that don't ask questions.

Before you "die," you establish a Swiss bank account, and deposit substantial funds. Enough for old "you" to survive off the grid for a year or so, and young "you" for a few years after that. Since you have young "you's" documentation, you make him a joint account holder. Then, old "you" tells his friends and loved ones that he is ready to retire to a chateau in another country - say, France, or something - and wishes to reunite with his son.

Now, this is important. During the years that young "you" has been away, you'll have been building a credit history for young "you." Make online purchases. Have them sent somewhere - say, a second home in Europe or something - to demonstrate that young "you" exists. Next, and here is the tricky part, as old "you," file the paperwork to get young "you" a passport. Note that there is a window here - you can only do it after you make the transfer, because you need photographs of young "you," but you have to do it in such a way that raises no suspicion.

Passport in hand, young "you" can proceed to make withdrawals on your Swiss account, live things up in Europe for a few months, then come back to the States, with ample documentation and proof of your identity. Tell them all about reuniting with your "father," about how he wanted you to follow in his footsteps, etc. You have access to your Swiss account, so you can appear independently wealthy, which will be enough to silence most critics.

Wait a few years, then observe to people that you've stopped hearing from him. Take another trip abroad, to wherever old "you" said he was retiring. Find an unidentified corpse in a morgue, they're not that rare, and identify it as old "you." It might not hurt to bring your wallet, if you catch my drift. Be sure to acquire a copy of the certificate of death. Return to the States, mournful, and reveal your "father's" tragic passing. File the certificate lawfully, and the execution of the will of old "you" will follow.

Obviously, old "you" will have drafted a will after having a son, leaving everything to the son.

There might be some investigation. But everything will be above-board. Your "father" will have confirmed your existence while he was alive, there's ample documentation to prove you exist. And the certificate of death, filed well after your return to the States, proves that his death was real and recent. No documents were forged; they're all completely real, and withstand any scrutiny. There are no questions that need be asked, no lingering curiosity. You will inherit your "father's" wealth, and come full circle.

And by the time you repeat the process, fifty years from now, nobody will even remember.

I will posit a second approach: raising your own "son."

Depending on the magics available, you can either pull a "secret identity" or you can create a false stand-in. If this were D&D, I'd suggest going with a series of simulacrums. Find some 25 people of varying ages who look sufficiently like you that you can claim their photos as past images of you. Then create a simulacrum of each. Tutor the ones that are old enough to talk in the history you're building for your next incarnation, and have them change schools every year and go on month long vacations between school years. Appear sporadically at events with you. In case it's not obvious, every year after a lengthy time away from the public eye, you swap out which simulacrum is your child.

Now, you and your child appear in public, and your child has a life of his own, with paperwork, etc. Because they're simulacra, they have no actual minds of their own but do a perfect impression of doing so. They can be stored in a nice cellar somewhere without growing bored or needing maintenance beyond (perhaps) regular cleaning, until they're needed again for your next cycle through.

Aside from the replication of some part of Red Fel's suggestions for forging birth documents, you won't have to even bribe anybody for semi-legal paperwork; the paperwork for the fictitious offspring is legit, except for its basis in the one fraudulent set that establishes his birth. Even your school records are real, complete with friends who remember you. (You'll want to be sure to get those memories as time gets closer to faking your death, so you "remember" his old friends. You can feign the fog of ages for a lot of early stuff, but failure to remember the clique he hung out with a year ago might be an issue.)


Edit to add: I have a character who is an immortal stuck at 12 years of apparent age who cycles himself through the foster system. Every 2-3 years, he makes sure that during a transfer to a new foster family his records get "updated" to reset his age to 11 or so, so on paper he's always between an old-looking 11 and a young-looking 14. He heavily relies on the fecklessness of CPS and their records-keeping to manage this.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-12, 02:37 PM
Another thought occurs to me: Obfuscation. If there are some fishy coincidences with the ol' family tree, the best way to hide them might not to be to keep them a secret. People love a good family drama, especially when it involves money. Ghost write as many trashy, half-true, half-accurate books of the story of the family as possible. Anyone doing research is going to be inundated with facts that'll be a snarl to untangle due to the books all referencing each other and records that were destroyed. Bonus points if anyone looking into this history often comes across as a looney!

Someone from the inner circle could even make a museum with obvious fakes in it about the 'sordid' history of the family, including their reported demon summoning, that time a member of the family was raised by Bigfoot, their ties to the Illuminati, the scandalous affair with Elvis, and the member of the family who claimed to be psychic but died in an airplane crash.

Segev
2017-10-12, 02:42 PM
Oh, and don't underestimate the utility of disguise. After youthenizing yourself, keep an "old you" disguise kit handy. Go out as "old you" and also have "young you" (now real-you) participate in the world.

If you're using my simulacrum suggestion, make one of yourself as an old man, too, to keep around as "Father" for a while after your ritual.

WarKitty
2017-10-12, 06:11 PM
This is WoD second-sight based type magic, not D&D magic. You can pretty much presume anything even approaching the level of simalcrum is entirely beyond the reach of a mortal mage. The true fey can do that, but unless you want to make a bargain with one of them (spoiler: that's a terrible idea), you can't.

Xuc Xac
2017-10-12, 07:37 PM
Most of these suggested schemes are unnecessarily complicated and involve too many people. You don't need a real baby to live a full life somewhere just to have an ID that you can steal later. That real baby or its mother can come back and try to get more money or tell your secrets or cause any of a number of problems. You don't need a baby. You just need a birth certificate.

If you're born in a hospital, the doctor or nurse who delivers the baby signs the "certificate of live birth" saying that they saw the baby born alive and then it's filed with the county clerk's office. If you're born at home with a midwife, the parents and/or the midwife fill out the form and sign it. If you're born at home and there is no certified midwife in attendance, then the form can be signed by whichever third party is there to witness it. The mother or father can fill in the biographical information and someone else can sign as a witness. If a woman gives birth in the restroom at a McDonald's restaurant, she can fill out the form and have the assistant manager on duty at McD's sign the form as the "person in charge of the premises". You don't need a doctor to sign it, but if a doctor was present then the doctor has to sign it. If there's no doctor, a nurse or certified midwife can do it. If no nurse, then a parent or uncertified midwife (i.e. just some person who was there to say "Push!") can do it.

In a large metropolitan county that has to process dozens or hundreds of these forms a day, nobody is going to follow up and check to see if there is a real baby because there's no market for counterfeit new birth certificates. An adult who wants an American birth certificate for themselves wouldn't want a new one. They would want one from around the year they were actually born. A real newborn baby could get an American birth certificate by just being brought to the doctor by the parents who say "Junior was born at home. Can you check his health and help us file his birth certificate?" Nobody files a fake birth certificate and then waits 25 years to get a copy from the clerk's office. You can get a social security card for the kid by providing the birth certificate and a parent's SSN.

You just say that a woman you had a fling with showed up very pregnant and stayed with you for a few weeks, then unexpectedly delivered the baby in your house before running away in the night. File a missing persons report on the mother who will never be found because she isn't real and the name she gave you "might not even be her real name" but you're "definitely the boy's father" because he has your nose and eyes, etc. Put a birth announcement in the paper, buy a month's worth of baby formula and flush it down the toilet but keep the receipts. Then start transferring a large sum of money to a Swiss account every month and say it's the fee for the nanny in Europe who's raising the kid for you because you don't really know anything about raising kids and you weren't prepared for fatherhood. Then after 5 years, send a big payment to another Swiss account every three months and say it's the tuition for your son's very private and exclusive boarding school. It's a top secret thing because it's for the kids of very wealthy people who have a lot of enemies. It's just one more thing your accountant has to track on your tax returns each year. Set up a trust fund to take care of your son when he's old enough.

When you're ready to make the switch, take a trip to Europe, hang out for a while then, travel around the world on a fancy vacation. Use your "son's" new debit card to buy souvenirs and meals. At some point, contact whoever runs your office while you're away and say "I've really been bonding with my son. I wish I hadn't wasted so much time working and not being a part of his life. He seems like a clever, good-hearted lad. If he seems up to it, I'd like him to come back to work with me at the foundation." Then come back after several months of catching up and father son bonding. "Yep, that's a great kid. I should have spent more time with him when he was growing up. He's going to finish up a program he's doing over there and he'll be moving back here with me next year."

There are all kinds of ways to make the switch. Go out for a father-son fishing trip to celebrate the son's new job at his father's foundation, but tragically suffer a boating accident that sinks the boat and only the son makes it back to shore. The son goes to work like dad wanted but asks to hold off on executing the will in case dad is found. He's already got a trust fund from his dad so he doesn't really need to inherit anything. Or, son comes to work and dad goes away on a trip and just never comes back. He mysteriously disappeared. Son keeps working and hoping dad will pop up. Eventually, dad is declared legally dead after being missing so long.

The son goes on working and living his life. He doesn't really miss the father he never knew, but he does have positive feelings for him and his legacy after their long father-son bonding time in Europe. Unfortunately, the lack of parental guidance in his formative years just leads to a pattern of similar neglect in his own relationships. It wouldn't be at all surprising if the son ended up being just as detached from his own children when they happen to be born and get sent away to the same boarding school...

dps
2017-10-12, 08:39 PM
There are people out there desperate to have children who can't, for one reason or another. Father a son, secretly sell it to one of those couples, and then announce that you're going to raise the child out of the public spotlight, homeschool it and all that. To help maintain the charade, have some other children that you do homeschool and keep out of the limelight.

Time it right, and you can do the reset when it's time for your "son" to go off to college, or whenever else you want the "heir" to become known to the public.

Segev
2017-10-12, 11:07 PM
This is WoD second-sight based type magic, not D&D magic. You can pretty much presume anything even approaching the level of simalcrum is entirely beyond the reach of a mortal mage. The true fey can do that, but unless you want to make a bargain with one of them (spoiler: that's a terrible idea), you can't.

Well, you did say he was an immortal mage. :smallwink:

More seriously, then, I'd go with illusions or just plain, ordinary disguise.

If you're okay with fathering bastards, have a real family (wife, kids, the works) and a few by-blows. WHen you're ready to reset, "discover" a new by-blow, do the reset, and use makeup and disguise to maintain old-you for a while contemporaneously with young-you.

Given you can do limited mind control of single people, getting a birth certificate at the appropriate time should be easy. Convince them they really delivered that baby. Then let it disappear.

WarKitty
2017-10-13, 12:09 AM
Well, you did say he was an immortal mage. :smallwink:

Fair enough. He's immortal in the sense that he's found a ritual that will let him restore youth, but mortal in the sense that he's not some kind of vampire or fey or other critter, or even some sort of awakened mage (I'm ignoring that splat) or something. The general principle here is that power isn't cheap, and it doesn't replenish for you like it might for something else. You have to go out and perform a complex ritual or kill something for power or something. So non-magical solutions are to be preferred.

Grim Portent
2017-10-13, 05:50 AM
Easiest thing might actually be to get a new birth certificate for each new identity by buying from organized crime.

Depending on where you are it'd be easy enough to say you had a fling in France, the UK, Germany or the US twenty years ago and your illegitimate child has gotten in touch after the death of his mother and wants to meet. Clandestinely purchase a fake birth certificate and other proper papers from a crime ring in the appopriate country and make a small show of going on a holiday retreat to a remote place to meet your son and bond. Repeat a few times, keep things secretive for a little while, make some flashy purchases of the sort a deadbeat dad would to try and reconcile with their 20 or so year old son, like sports cars with tinted windows.

After a while you change your will, officially induct your illegitimate offspring into the family and then fake your death, with your 'son' publically revealing himself afterwards at your funeral, changing his legal name to your last name and stepping into your shoes more or less to live the life you wanted him to live. Apply for citizenship based on kinship in your country of residence and away you go.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-13, 01:17 PM
Grim Portent has a good idea, but you could also just have the guy have a family in a country with a corrupt government. Obviously, the kid wants to stay in their native country with their mother until the death of the father, and the father could just be sending money over which might disguise payment to a crime ring.

If the guy picks a country that isn't France/Germany/UK, he could also excuse mastery in a language that many people wouldn't know, which is a nice bonus. Sometimes having an extra language on help is helpful.

Segev
2017-10-13, 01:34 PM
Could just move around a lot, and make sure you cycle through social circles in such a fashion that it's believable to meet somebody who looks much older and say, "Oh, my father told me so much about you!"

Forge (or pay to have forged) new documents every few years, or just dispense with them and throw money at the problem. As long as you don't draw attention to yourself in a very public way, few should care enough to investigate. With frequent moving about and having periodic families where you name kids after yourself (yes, this will cost you money from time to time), the muddle of poor documentation and limited long-term acquaintances will make it hard to determine which "Anne Cien B. Ying" is the one they're talking about vs. investigating vs. who was born 50 years ago vs. who was in that other castle 80 years ago.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-13, 01:39 PM
I think she wants the character to be active in a small community for the sake of the game. However, the idea of a rich man vacationing isn't bad. He's supposed to be wealthy, and that's a nice quiet display of it. He also needs to go on monster hunts periodically, and that can cover up for those.

An interest in hunting/fishing could be used to cover a few accidents, as well as explain a butt-load of guns and his own personal range. Shooting a few endangered animals is likely to drive away some people of a social circle and if that doesn't work, show up to their events in your fishing gear.

Segev
2017-10-13, 01:44 PM
Yeah, if "The Ying Estate" has been in the Ying family for generations, but the family comes and goes, "Uncle Ying" would become "the young Master Ying, all grown up," etc. down the line.

Actually having a family with legitimate heirs who stay in the house, with first "grandpa," then "cousin," then "uncle," then "grandpa" again visiting for a few months at a time every couple of years would work out fairly well. For the storytelling purpose, the events of the story take place while he's in town.

Anymage
2017-10-13, 02:12 PM
Kitty can correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the character in question has long-term plans in the town. Taking a week or two off to do something important might be feasable. Ignoring the main project for a couple of months is right out.

Also, considering that this is a monster hunter in the WoD, the monsters they're hunting will be things that look like humans and make some level of effort to appear human to the outside world. Having a new character appear out of nowhere, who the old character named as a major beneficiary in his will right before disappearing in a mysterious accident, is just asking for constant police scrutiny as well as the expected scandal. Police who tend to frown on hunting things that they think of as human, and who will quickly become an annoyance in even many benign occult matters.

Ever since the answers started going from "throw magic at the problem" to "throw money at the problem" (both of which say some interesting things about the people who frequent this board), the basic theme has been the same. Meanwhile, WoD games go out of their way to have your allies and position in society as defined game elements. Many times, the proper answer is to network and build some strong friendships so you can throw connections at the problem.

Grim Portent
2017-10-13, 04:49 PM
Another option to make things more convincing for some schemes, less savoury than any other mentioned so far, would be to take advantage of someone desperate. Say an illegal immigrant or similar. Preferably homeless and maybe mentally unstable in a non-dangerous way. If they can't speak the local language well all the better.

If you can acquire one as a 'mistress' it gives you a possible explanation for a direct child even if none was ever actually conceived, and once you get the woman out of the picture, possibly by reporting them to immigration services, paying them to live elsewhere, having them committed to an asylum or just kicking them out on their ear, no one's going to be able to get reliable verifiable testimony out of them. It essentially silences one possible complication, that of the fake mother of the new you.


One thing to consider though is that assuming the youth ritual is only done every 40-50 years, about when the immortal is in his 60s or 70s again, then he's not had to do many runs in what could really be called a modern world. His first time or two he might not have needed a real explanation and all it would take to falsify a new identity would be mind controlling one doctor once or twice a year to fake medical records. Modern paper records and electronic data trails are far more comprehensive than anything that existed even thirty years ago, which could be a plot point. The PCs might need to help him try to fake a new identity as it's getting beyond what he can reasonably do on his own to pull it off, or at least to a standard his enemies can't figure out if they're tech savvy at all with a simple google check for the 'heir.'

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-13, 04:56 PM
Kitty can correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the character in question has long-term plans in the town. Taking a week or two off to do something important might be feasable. Ignoring the main project for a couple of months is right out.

The beauty of hunting trips is a lack of witnesses to confirm that you were or were not there.

I'd avoid the immigrant woman business...All moral concerns aside, if you have mortal people wanting to drag out some dirt on you, having a woman who hardly speaks English being concerned and/or frightened of you might backfire, depending on region and decade. Probably don't want the police to get an excuse for a warrant.

Grim Portent
2017-10-13, 05:31 PM
The beauty of hunting trips is a lack of witnesses to confirm that you were or were not there.

I'd avoid the immigrant woman business...All moral concerns aside, if you have mortal people wanting to drag out some dirt on you, having a woman who hardly speaks English being concerned and/or frightened of you might backfire, depending on region and decade. Probably don't want the police to get an excuse for a warrant.

Dunno if having her be terrified would be necessary. Hire her to be in a live-in-maid for a few years, let rumours circulate for a while, spread a few yourself, then send her away. Seducing her or pressuring her into things and having an actual child is unnecessary if you don't need an actual baby at any point, you just need a plausible woman you can wave around as a mother who isn't around anymore and who your neighbours can't really look into two decades later.

The thing about all the schemes we've proposed that lack an actual woman involved have no way to deal with questions about who actually gave birth to the child in case anyone asks because there's no evidence of the mother existing and you can only fake so much paperwork, and the problem with ones that do have an actual woman involved is that the only thing keeping her quiet is money and being far away. I'm basically throwing in disadvantaged and disenfrachised as ways to keep them from being a legitimate concern.

There's still issues of getting paper trails for where your 'child' has been in the meantime, schools have records and issue qualifications, servants pretending to care for a child need paid off constantly and so on. Getting a birth certificate and social security number are just tiny parts of it unless you manage to avoid more than basic scrutiny.

I would probably actually play up that the secrecy scheme has basically reached it's in universe limitations and is going to collapse on either this run or the next one as it gets harder to hide things and easier for enemies to find things. It's now a mad rush to finish what's been planned for so long before every supernatural threat who can use Google starts to notice growing flaws in the disguise.

Hell even a school kid doing a project on the family that's been am important part of the community for 200 years is going to be a threat if they notice that the past 5 generations have all been orphaned shortly after becoming public knowledge and all look identical. Photographs in newpaper articles about local events will include someone active in the community going back decades at least, and finding one of the 2nd or 3rd passes through the ritual is quite feasible if the town has good records. No normal person will think much of it, but if a fey or werewolf or something hears about the crazy coincidence this kid noticed they'll poke their nose in it.

Dragovon
2017-10-16, 03:36 PM
So if I was going to do this, I'd want to minimize any issues. First off, you could use an illusion to create a mother. Keep her around for a bit (or a simulacrum). You could then have a pregnancy. You could certainly hire a midwife. Alter her memories a bit to remember a birth. Register the new kid with the government thanks to midwife doing paperwork.(Simulacrum, homunculus, illusion, yourself altered by magic and maybe a simulacrum/illusion of yourself at this point to hang around as you're "growing up"...though you could step in at any point...merely needing to adjust the simulacrum/illusion. Poly any object works well for this) Meanwhile, you could have the kid go to school. Meet people, grow up. Lots of people know him. Ultimately as long as you register the birth and pay the taxes...and if you have busy bodies around have the kid in school and tended to. Biggest risk is if something happens to simulacrum. Personally I'd get my hands on a dead body. Poly any object to make it the kid (or yourself when you're ready to die). Gentle repose to keep it from decaying. Best if you own a family mausoleum to have a good place to store it. Contingency to have it instantly replace kid if it were to die (and become a puddle of water). Maybe another contingency to dry up the puddle.

WarKitty
2017-10-16, 06:24 PM
So if I was going to do this, I'd want to minimize any issues. First off, you could use an illusion to create a mother. Keep her around for a bit (or a simulacrum). You could then have a pregnancy. You could certainly hire a midwife. Alter her memories a bit to remember a birth. Register the new kid with the government thanks to midwife doing paperwork.(Simulacrum, homunculus, illusion, yourself altered by magic and maybe a simulacrum/illusion of yourself at this point to hang around as you're "growing up"...though you could step in at any point...merely needing to adjust the simulacrum/illusion. Poly any object works well for this) Meanwhile, you could have the kid go to school. Meet people, grow up. Lots of people know him. Ultimately as long as you register the birth and pay the taxes...and if you have busy bodies around have the kid in school and tended to. Biggest risk is if something happens to simulacrum. Personally I'd get my hands on a dead body. Poly any object to make it the kid (or yourself when you're ready to die). Gentle repose to keep it from decaying. Best if you own a family mausoleum to have a good place to store it. Contingency to have it instantly replace kid if it were to die (and become a puddle of water). Maybe another contingency to dry up the puddle.

This is all far, far beyond setting-available magic. We're in WoD, not D&D.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-16, 10:34 PM
Dunno if having her be terrified would be necessary. Hire her to be in a live-in-maid for a few years, let rumours circulate for a while, spread a few yourself, then send her away.

I think I misinterpreted things. For some reason, I thought you meant a mail order bride you'd have to keep out of things. Through the thought occurs to me, how often are his loved ones under attack by monsters? I assume that someone out there is maintaining the masquerade if this is WoD. Does he have any contacts for help?

Also, what if this ability to be reborn isn't his plan...But his curse? I could see a young monster hunter getting slapped with a form of immortality just to watch their loved ones die over and over and become the hunted themselves...

WarKitty
2017-10-16, 11:23 PM
I think I misinterpreted things. For some reason, I thought you meant a mail order bride you'd have to keep out of things. Through the thought occurs to me, how often are his loved ones under attack by monsters? I assume that someone out there is maintaining the masquerade if this is WoD. Does he have any contacts for help?

Also, what if this ability to be reborn isn't his plan...But his curse? I could see a young monster hunter getting slapped with a form of immortality just to watch their loved ones die over and over and become the hunted themselves...

The ability to be reborn is the plan, in part because I'm ultimately leading up to offering the same immortality to the PCs. After testing them to make sure they're suitable, of course. This is WoD, so as you noted "he thinks he's ethical" and "he's ethical" are not equivalent.

He will have contacts, probably a small group of mortal hunters. A lot of monsters probably want him very dead, so yes you can assume killing loved ones is a thing. In fact it's part of the background for the current story, someone's been killing off descendants, which resulted in the PCs' families being killed off, and they're on the list.

Mutazoia
2017-10-17, 12:43 AM
I don't think all of this has to be as elaborate as people are making it. After all, people have kids all the time, even very wealthy people, and they don't go around showing them off willy nilly. Most people wouldn't have known Baron Trump existed, until Trump got elected and his whole family got dragged into the spot light.

Probably the easiest way to set up your "legacy" is to own a hospital. You then have access to the ability to create birth certificates and apply for SSNs, pretty much at will. Just remember to start paying taxes on the "son" when the time comes. Schooling? Claim private tutors. Another good thing about owning a hospital is the morgue....a handy place to pick up a dead John Doe when you need a corpse to stand in for the old man version of you. After living long enough, you can become your own private plastic surgeon to make the alterations in appearance, if you are too paranoid about trusting some one else to do it. Mean while the "son" is off being a billionaire playboy...jet setting around the world, so it's not too much of a stretch if nobody sees him around at all. As technology progresses, it will become increasingly easier to fake video of the "son"... Think Freejack, that horrible movie where the boss pretends to be video calling from around the world, when in actuality his brain has been transferred into the computer and he's just "greenscreening" him self.

The only real drawback to your immortal's process that I can see is that every "son" is going to look exactly like his "dad", unless the rejuvenation process allows for a change in physical appearance a well.

Segev
2017-10-17, 02:27 PM
The only real drawback to your immortal's process that I can see is that every "son" is going to look exactly like his "dad", unless the rejuvenation process allows for a change in physical appearance a well.

Years will blur memories, so those who say "your dad looked just like that when he was your age" will not be saying "and it's suspicious." Heck, there's a meme about Keanu Reeves that compares him to an old portrait of some minor noble from the Renaissance, and jokingly suggests he's an immortal and that's the same person. Given that, you can easily get away with looking just like your grandfather and father. Play up the meme, even. Nobody seriously thinks Keanu Reeves is a secret immortal IRL.

Mutazoia
2017-10-18, 12:20 AM
Years will blur memories, so those who say "your dad looked just like that when he was your age" will not be saying "and it's suspicious." Heck, there's a meme about Keanu Reeves that compares him to an old portrait of some minor noble from the Renaissance, and jokingly suggests he's an immortal and that's the same person. Given that, you can easily get away with looking just like your grandfather and father. Play up the meme, even. Nobody seriously thinks Keanu Reeves is a secret immortal IRL.

Yes, but as photography, digital or otherwise, becomes more and more commonplace, it will be harder and harder to explain why every male member of your family looks exactly the same as every other male member of your family, going back hundreds of years. Sure, nobody believes that Keanu Reeves is a secret immortal, mostly because immortals don't exist IRL, but also because that minor noble from the Renaissance is in no way related to Reeves at all. But if you look EXACTLY like your dad, and your grandfather, and your great grandfather, and your great great grandfather, and your great great great grandfather (ad infinitum), you are going to have a nearly impossible time explaining THAT away.

WarKitty
2017-10-18, 12:34 AM
The hospital thing is a really good idea, thanks.

I'm also assuming...illusions aren't really a big thing, but using magic to, say, enhance healing, is. So as the modern age gets more and more in swing, a little healing magic could go a long way towards reducing scarring from mundane surgery. Bonus points if the rejuvenation ritual undoes all that - so each time he rejuvenates, he resets back to his natural features and can get different alterations done. Combine that with being very careful with regular changes (colored contacts, very careful hairdye, and so forth), and you should be able to get someone who doesn't look exactly the same.

Segev
2017-10-18, 11:07 AM
Yes, but as photography, digital or otherwise, becomes more and more commonplace, it will be harder and harder to explain why every male member of your family looks exactly the same as every other male member of your family, going back hundreds of years. Sure, nobody believes that Keanu Reeves is a secret immortal, mostly because immortals don't exist IRL, but also because that minor noble from the Renaissance is in no way related to Reeves at all. But if you look EXACTLY like your dad, and your grandfather, and your great grandfather, and your great great grandfather, and your great great great grandfather (ad infinitum), you are going to have a nearly impossible time explaining THAT away.

My understanding of WarKitty's scenario is that this immortal only needs to fool a populace who believes that immortality doesn't exist in their real life, either.

And last names can change. Preserving your wealth across generations doesn't have to have it be your blood heir every time. Heck, names of historical and not-all-that-historical-but-long-ago figures can get distorted.

"How odd, you and your dad look a lot like Lord Notrelated, who lived in Europe a hundred years ago." "Hm, yes, quite odd. Let's not examine the history any more deeply than that, as I'm sure Notrelated was totally his name and not some obfuscation that arose over time through purely innocent means."

Mark Hall
2017-10-18, 11:25 AM
Yes, but as photography, digital or otherwise, becomes more and more commonplace, it will be harder and harder to explain why every male member of your family looks exactly the same as every other male member of your family, going back hundreds of years. Sure, nobody believes that Keanu Reeves is a secret immortal, mostly because immortals don't exist IRL, but also because that minor noble from the Renaissance is in no way related to Reeves at all. But if you look EXACTLY like your dad, and your grandfather, and your great grandfather, and your great great grandfather, and your great great great grandfather (ad infinitum), you are going to have a nearly impossible time explaining THAT away.

Not necessarily. My wife's family throws clones... all of the women look similar enough to be mistaken for each other, and similar to their mothers and grandmothers. Come to think of, it, 3 out of the 4 girls in my ex-wife's family look and sound the same, too.

What is is with me and clones?

Leewei
2017-10-18, 12:54 PM
Bruce Wayne gets all the camera time. Nobody cares about Alfred.

Run the dynasty for your heirs from behind the scenes as a fairly anonymous legal advisor. Retain power of attorney for your holdings by willing your alter-ego into this position prior to faking your death.

WarKitty
2017-10-18, 06:37 PM
My understanding of WarKitty's scenario is that this immortal only needs to fool a populace who believes that immortality doesn't exist in their real life, either.

That is correct yes - the majority of the population doesn't believe immortality exists in real life. So you do have that going for you.

Honest Tiefling
2017-10-18, 06:38 PM
If the PCs can gain use of this ritual...Why hasn't he had any of his relatives benefit from it? Does he really hate every single person he's related to that much? Surely someone over the centuries meets his criteria and can help him pull off the scam.

Anymage
2017-10-18, 07:09 PM
If the PCs can gain use of this ritual...Why hasn't he had any of his relatives benefit from it? Does he really hate every single person he's related to that much? Surely someone over the centuries meets his criteria and can help him pull off the scam.

Because filling your mojo batteries requires hunting down and killing a lot of monsters. While one apprentice might be a possible ally (with the magician understanding that the apprentice most likely won't get good enough to pull off the rejuvenation ritual before they die to either a monster's machinations or simple old age), there's a lot against it. The biggest one being the same logic that limits monsters in the WoD. Too many things that prey on humans will quickly start to become noticeable, and draw down retribution. Too many things that prey on monsters will have a similar effect.

This question also pops up in a lot of dark fantasy. (Often, but not always, tying in with vampires somehow.) You can let someone live a relatively happy, normal, but ultimately mortal life, or you can open them up to a new reality where they're a hunted, hated thing. Mage may not be nice enough to leave his descendants out of the picture when he wants something from them. But not ripping the veil from their eyes seems very much like the WoD version of nice.

WarKitty
2017-10-18, 07:21 PM
Because filling your mojo batteries requires hunting down and killing a lot of monsters. While one apprentice might be a possible ally (with the magician understanding that the apprentice most likely won't get good enough to pull off the rejuvenation ritual before they die to either a monster's machinations or simple old age), there's a lot against it. The biggest one being the same logic that limits monsters in the WoD. Too many things that prey on humans will quickly start to become noticeable, and draw down retribution. Too many things that prey on monsters will have a similar effect.

This question also pops up in a lot of dark fantasy. (Often, but not always, tying in with vampires somehow.) You can let someone live a relatively happy, normal, but ultimately mortal life, or you can open them up to a new reality where they're a hunted, hated thing. Mage may not be nice enough to leave his descendants out of the picture when he wants something from them. But not ripping the veil from their eyes seems very much like the WoD version of nice.

There's also that, as per Blood Bathers (which is where this ritual is from), most people literally can't make the ritual work. It's not exactly specified what it takes, but it requires a certain sort of focus and willpower that your average mortal simply lacks. If the individual lacks the prerequisites, if they're lucky it just won't work. If they're unlucky, they may die instantly, or come back as some sort of mindless monster that has to be put down.

Mutazoia
2017-10-19, 01:01 AM
Not necessarily. My wife's family throws clones... all of the women look similar enough to be mistaken for each other, and similar to their mothers and grandmothers. Come to think of, it, 3 out of the 4 girls in my ex-wife's family look and sound the same, too.

What is is with me and clones?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d-aWMQuoS4