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Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?


Count Chocula posted:

My only experience of that time period is Cannibal: The Musical. Are 'cannibalism' and 'being in love with your horse' sins?

All love between a man and a woman is virtuous. So, as long as it's not a gay horse marriage, I guess.

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Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

The Mad Ones, or simply the Mad, have neither organization nor philosophy as a whole. Each is unique. The term is just a taxonomic classification for those mages who have gone past obsession into something new, so consumed by a single idea or issue that they have lost all Wisdom. For a very long time, mages believed that each Mad One was a unique event. It's only in the last century that people have begun to realize that the Mad have similarities - they all have become so obsessed that their obsession has become a Fault in their worldview. One Mad might not believe the world is real unless they cast a single spell over and over. Another might be compelled to perform some bizarre behavior they believe is entirely normal or even compulsory, like poisoning innocents and recording what happens, or planning all things around astrology. Another may be obsessed with a Mystery such that without it they have no reason to live.

The very presence of the Mad leaks magic, whether they're casting or not. Sleepers that encounter them experience Quiescence when thinking about them, as if they were a spell. This cuts them further from the mundane world. Soon, they cannot interact with the mundane side of the Fallen World at all, as their friends and family forget them entirely. When they think about it, they may mourn this...or they may be relieved by the loss of these needless shackles from their work. Any mage can become Mad. It's quite easy. All you have to do is focus on something so much that you ignore the rest of the world and your own Wisdom. Sometimes, a cabal can enable this without meaning to, even welcome it as they see their cabal-mate gaining great insight into their obsession. The Mad rely almost entirely on any cabal they have for dealings with others. Their obsession even removes their ability to enter the Temeons, unable to venture beyond their own souls. They are extremely skilled, however, in the fields of their obsession.

Mechanically, the Mad are mages that hit Wisdom 0. Once you do that, you replace your Virtue with one of your Obsessions, now called a Fault. Your default state is pursuing it. In the field of their Fault, a Mad One is supernaturally able. Their skill rolls related to it only need three successes for an exceptional success. They might be able to use a specific Practice with any Arcanum, regardless of how many dots they have. Further, the Mad cause Quiescence by their very presence. Their own existence in the Fallen World is diffuse and disjointed. For every week in which they do not indulge their Fault, they gain one dot of Occultation. However, any time when they are not indulging their fault, either by choice of roce, their subconscious manifests magical effects known as Tulpa, which force them back towards the Fault. Sometimes, these benefit the Mad One. Sometimes they harm anyone in their way. Sometimes, they prevent any semblance of a normal-ish life.

I know I say this about everything, but this MUST be an Unknown Armies reference. It's an elegant answer to the question 'how do you play a UA Adept in nMage?'

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Kavak posted:

Do they go into any detail on the Good vs. Good wars? Is it just a mirror version of the Blood War where Lawful Good beats the poo poo out of Chaotic Good sometimes or what?

Can I see how the stat blocks are laid out? I'm having a hard time picturing them just not mentioning the attribute scores for so many creatures.

There's no info on Upper Planes wars, but the implication is that it's really a Pantheon vs Pantheon affair, rather than the LG species wanting to genocide the CG species and vice versa.

As for what the stat block looks like, it's not really cohesive in 2nd edition I GIS'd "Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition monster stats" and this is the best example:

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Why in the world does it express damage per attack as a spread rather than dice? And is there a set Hit Die for its type?

Pantheon on Pantheon makes sense- I bet/hope the Seldarine are the instigators or targets most of the time.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Kavak posted:

No, it worked just fine there. There were also plenty of examples of what happened when it was totally ignored to back it up. Some of those examples were a little silly, but the idea was sound in TOS. There were no examples as to why the "Let them all die" interpretation of TNG and later was a good idea, probably because it's basically indefensible.

Yeah. The TOS Prime Directive mostly existed to prevent proxy wars and cultural assimilation "for their own good". Saving people from exploding planets was fine, but you don't gently caress with a culture because you're Mr. Genius Futureman and you know best without a pretty drat good excuse.

Kirk violated it every couple weeks, including starting Space Vietnam once, but there were plenty of episodes (including the Space Vietnam one) where it showed Why We Have A loving Prime Directive. Essentially, it was more a guideline and a reminder that sometimes it's best to not get involved.

In TNG it was loving insane.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Covok posted:

For now, at least it appears in my quote text so at least people can read it.

Yo, thanks; I mashed your post together with FR's and it works now for archival purposes.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Kavak posted:

Why in the world does it express damage per attack as a spread rather than dice?

The xdy convention just wasn't widely adopted yet. All random numbers were expressed as ranges, rather than as the dice used to generate them.

quote:

And is there a set Hit Die for its type?

Hit Dice didn't come in different sizes for monsters.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Count Chocula posted:

I can't imagine a priority more important than defeating Death, tho if I lived in the nWoD with all its afterlives I'd probably change my tune. The easiest route seems to be just getting turned by a vampire.

Given what being turned into a vampire entails, that actually seems like a good example of "terrible priorities that society would be wise to discourage."

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Rand Brittain posted:

Given what being turned into a vampire entails, that actually seems like a good example of "terrible priorities that society would be wise to discourage."
Clearly, the proper order of things will be to mathematically determine how much blood a vampire needs to survive, and how many humans are necessary to provide that blood without causing permanent harm that would meaningfully reduce their lifespan; add a fudge factor of a few dozen percent to conceal the vampire power brokers glutting themselves account for local shortages and other problems, and Embrace up to that quantity of humans! You can probably distribute it by lottery, though I am sure, Mr. President, that we are all agreed that we here in the mineshaft are the ones who are most deserving of the gift - burden, really - of immortality.

Naturally our first priority will be to manufacture a nutritionally complete blood substitute, once we have managed to resolve the inevitable social disruptions that will come from this grand defeat of Death. And perhaps, shall we say, focus the gift of vampirism on some key figures as well? After all, surely Dr. Heinmann is more worthy of immortality than some welfare leech. Who is the real vampire in that equation, I ask you, Mein F-- Mr. President?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Tendales posted:

The xdy convention just wasn't widely adopted yet. All random numbers were expressed as ranges, rather than as the dice used to generate them.

Best expressed in the old 1e Monster Manuals for sure. Where Selkies show up in a group of 12-30 (6D4+6).

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Count Chocula posted:

I've seen all the versions of The Wicker Man. I know this won't turn out well.
You could flavor the game to any dogma, from needing to engage in Communist auto-critique to Fox News...whatever.
One of the unexplored aspects of oMage was that if belief really shapes reality, there should be a bunch of creepy Bible Belt towns where religious dogma is real.

And I like that the demons are coded as real in DITV since they give all the dilemmas teeth, instead of being things you handwave away with your personal mortality. How would a human really react if they believe that? Besides, it's only a few steps away from Pendragon or Lawful Stupid Paladins.

I recall hearing this about oMage a bit; that this model would make a lot of unpleasant things that are/were commonly accepted as the default reality.

Like an international conspiracy of psychic Jews responsible for the creation of communism, capitalism, atheism, feminism, homosexual and interracial sex. Simultaneously.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 03:42 on May 17, 2016

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Tendales posted:

Hit Dice didn't come in different sizes for monsters.

What die was it then?

Nessus posted:

Clearly, the proper order of things will be to mathematically determine how much blood a vampire needs to survive, and how many humans are necessary to provide that blood without causing permanent harm that would meaningfully reduce their lifespan; add a fudge factor of a few dozen percent to conceal the vampire power brokers glutting themselves account for local shortages and other problems, and Embrace up to that quantity of humans! You can probably distribute it by lottery, though I am sure, Mr. President, that we are all agreed that we here in the mineshaft are the ones who are most deserving of the gift - burden, really - of immortality.

Naturally our first priority will be to manufacture a nutritionally complete blood substitute, once we have managed to resolve the inevitable social disruptions that will come from this grand defeat of Death. And perhaps, shall we say, focus the gift of vampirism on some key figures as well? After all, surely Dr. Heinmann is more worthy of immortality than some welfare leech. Who is the real vampire in that equation, I ask you, Mein F-- Mr. President?

I'm just quoting this to read it again :allears: Dr. Strangeblood or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sun

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

Kavak posted:

What die was it then?

D8 for everything.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Count Chocula posted:

I can't imagine a priority more important than defeating Death, tho if I lived in the nWoD with all its afterlives I'd probably change my tune. The easiest route seems to be just getting turned by a vampire.

I wouldn't consider the prospects for the afterlife in the nWoD to be particularly numerous or appealing. Off the top of my head there are three potential cosmological worlds to end up in as a natural consequence of death. For all that the Sin-Eaters who visit it are jolly sorts, the Underworld is a supremely dismal place and arguably gets more and more oppressive the longer into eternity you descend. The cosmology of Mummy mentions starry A'aru, and unfolds to stress how the unfairness of the universe is set up to bar entry to it; it's referred to as barren and empty. The distant runner-up, which may or may not be much in the afterlife business, is literally Hell. There's a lot that eludes even the deepest scholars of supernatural lore about what happens after death in the Chronicles of Darkness, but anything that transcends theory or spiritual beliefs into qualitative experience is generally not something to be looked forward to.

As for making the people you care about immortal, not only is it hugely more of a hassle to do so without horrendous side effects than it is to make yourself immortal as a wizard, but are you going to do it for every single person you don't want to someday bury? And what do you do if you have a falling out with some of them?

It's a great way to get sidetracked from the other stuff you could be getting done as one of the Awakened. The fear of death is one of the Kings of the Lie for a reason.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Libertad! posted:

I recall hearing this about oMage a bit; that this model would make a lot of unpleasant things that are/were commonly accepted as the default reality.

Yeah, it never actually worked that way, though.

Ascension never really examined its own axioms enough to have a clear picture of how consensus reality worked, but things like "history is literally written by the winners and facts shift to confirm it" and "things you believe about other people become true" were pretty much never in the picture.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I Am Just a Box posted:



As for making the people you care about immortal, not only is it hugely more of a hassle to do so without horrendous side effects than it is to make yourself immortal as a wizard, but are you going to do it for every single person you don't want to someday bury? And what do you do if you have a falling out with some of them?

It's a great way to get sidetracked from the other stuff you could be getting done as one of the Awakened. The fear of death is one of the Kings of the Lie for a reason.

This post assumes that any of those things are worse than not existing, and that the person seeking immortality cares about anybody more than they care about themselves or not dying. Don't be a Deathist! Join the Tremere or whatever other transhuman Cabals exist! Defeat the Roko's Basilek that lives at the end of time!

Couldn't you just use Mind to edit out your ability to care about the short-lived meatsacks?
If a Mage is altruistic, shouldn't they try and cure death for all the Sleepers, or at least keep it at bay? That's a justifiable project for the Technocracy/Seers/Silver Ladders.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 04:41 on May 17, 2016

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Some 17 years after the fact, I'm still annoyed at how lovely Brave New World's gadgeteer class is.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



It takes an impressive lack of effort to make the class they made. I'm sorry you don't like power armor. We hoped you'd like power armor.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Count Chocula posted:

Couldn't you just use Mind to edit out your ability to care about the short-lived meatsacks?

You can totally do that! If you're the kind of mage who wants to, though, do you really need to go to the trouble in the first place?

Count Chocula posted:

If a Mage is altruistic, shouldn't they try and cure death for all the Sleepers, or at least keep it at bay? That's a justifiable project for the Technocracy/Seers/Silver Ladders.

If you're confusing the Seers of the Throne with the Technocracy enough to suppose they might want to do something altruistic...

Sample Seer Concepts posted:

The city stretches before me. Others of my Path would deem her a concrete jungle, but I see her as a living companion, as lonely as I am. Her lungs billow black smoke into the air, while her guts teem with thousands of residents. I raise my hands, and a dozen architects at three different firms unknowingly coordinate their efforts. The Exarchs bring order to this world, just as I bring order to this city. A skyscraper here, highway ramp there - enough to alter weather patterns, bringing storms to my lover's belly. Drop by drop, the poorest within her will wash away, their foundations crumbled and possessions destroyed. In five years, property values will be low enough for gentrification to take hold, and my true work will begin.

The Silver Ladder, though, definitely. For them it's probably more of a question of priorities as to which parts of the uplift to universal human apotheosis to pursue in which order. I love the thearchs; their ideology seamlessly combines the most benevolent and selfless mages of the Pentacle, and its greatest bastard madmen.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Hostile V posted:

It takes an impressive lack of effort to make the class they made. I'm sorry you don't like power armor. We hoped you'd like power armor.

Like, I get that super-gadgeteers are really hard to design well since so often they wind up falling into that "can do anything with the right justification/preptime" mindset that leads to them being represented by some sort of variable power array in more robust games and if there's one thing that's up there with multiple actions on the "almost inevitably a complete loving disaster" scale in RPG design it's variable power arrays.

Except! Except they do go ahead and make a multi-powered class in the form of the loving Bargainer who in addition to sticking out like a sort thumb conceptually is also tied in to some incredibly stupid metaplot that I don't want to get into/spoil, so clearly the idea occurred to them (and it was a bad idea). And even without the Bargainer, the fact remains that by virtue of the way that BNW decided to handle superpowers, that is to say in literally the most restrictive and one-note fashion I've ever seen in a superhero-inspired RPG, there was never really any hope for a gadgeteer to begin with in a game where you can have either laser eyes or flight or be kinda agile but certainly not more than one of those things. Hey, so who are you? Oh I'm the lady who flies. Have you met my friend, the guy with death rays for fists? Over here is Resilient Joe and that guy there is Gun-Man, whose superpower is shooting people with guns.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



We made another Afterthought, this one sure to go down in our own memories (because these things started to blur together way back before we had hit 100+ episodes) as the one with the Rush Limbaugh opening. It's a brief defense of the noble shitfarmer and a bunch of questions on Afterthought 32 - Hiro Protagonist (note, there is no Neal Stephenson stuff).

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Kai Tave posted:

Like, I get that super-gadgeteers are really hard to design well since so often they wind up falling into that "can do anything with the right justification/preptime" mindset that leads to them being represented by some sort of variable power array in more robust games and if there's one thing that's up there with multiple actions on the "almost inevitably a complete loving disaster" scale in RPG design it's variable power arrays.

Except! Except they do go ahead and make a multi-powered class in the form of the loving Bargainer who in addition to sticking out like a sort thumb conceptually is also tied in to some incredibly stupid metaplot that I don't want to get into/spoil, so clearly the idea occurred to them (and it was a bad idea). And even without the Bargainer, the fact remains that by virtue of the way that BNW decided to handle superpowers, that is to say in literally the most restrictive and one-note fashion I've ever seen in a superhero-inspired RPG, there was never really any hope for a gadgeteer to begin with in a game where you can have either laser eyes or flight or be kinda agile but certainly not more than one of those things. Hey, so who are you? Oh I'm the lady who flies. Have you met my friend, the guy with death rays for fists? Over here is Resilient Joe and that guy there is Gun-Man, whose superpower is shooting people with guns.
The thing that supremely blows is that you can never advance your powers for most people. Captain Energy Blasts can increase his shooting skill to shoot better but he literally can never upgrade his armor, there are no rules for advancing powers beyond one specific Delta type later. They took the worst possible choice by never letting you advance your powers outside of becoming an Alpha and that's impossible because there are no rules for that (to my knowledge so far).

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I Am Just a Box posted:

You can totally do that! If you're the kind of mage who wants to, though, do you really need to go to the trouble in the first place?


If you're confusing the Seers of the Throne with the Technocracy enough to suppose they might want to do something altruistic...


The Silver Ladder, though, definitely. For them it's probably more of a question of priorities as to which parts of the uplift to universal human apotheosis to pursue in which order. I love the thearchs; their ideology seamlessly combines the most benevolent and selfless mages of the Pentacle, and its greatest bastard madmen.

Can a PC do all the awesome Urbanomancer tricks in that passage without it ending up with gentrification? Could you play a good guy Futurist/flaneur/city lover?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The way to do gadget powers is to have a steadily growing pool of points that you can assign to your various gadgets. So Iron Man can put all of his points into the suit (except for the part in the third movie when he makes a bunch of low power gadgets really quickly) and Batman can have his grapple gun, his smoke pellets, etc.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Count Chocula posted:

I know I say this about everything, but this MUST be an Unknown Armies reference. It's an elegant answer to the question 'how do you play a UA Adept in nMage?'

Nah, the Mad are nMage's evolution of the Marauders from cMage. They make terrible player characters (can't interact with most npcs, are trapped doing the same thing over and over again) but interesting antagonists.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

Games like Exalted or even traditional D and D require you to adopt pretty alien moral viewpoints that I would argue are much more repugnant than DITV's patriarchal Mormon analogy, but DITV is just close enough to our real lived experiences to be uncomfortable. Its hard to hate someone like a traditional Gygaxian murderhobo since you've never met someone like that but it's all too easy to hate Jerry Falwell: the Game.

wiegieman posted:

Thinking about it some more, DiTV becomes less objectionable if you play it as a more "magic is real and your Dogs are superheroes" way. If your characters really can sweep bullets and bolts of fire launched by villainous sorcerers out of the air with their many-colored coats, then the strict laws of their society are more of a Glorantha style ritual to defend the community against outside forces. They still suck, but you can see why they're there, as opposed to a more realistic setting in which you're basically the white guy Sharia police.

These are both closer to how I always thought of "Dogs", the group makes it real through its rites, but it is not really real because otherwise why does the East still function? How do any people function at all, the Faith is clearly not winning, so why are you all so afraid?

Of course after that I get shunned/thrown out of the community for sinning.

In reality I always imagined it as the demons are implications rather than real, let me check the book first though:

Yeah it says that God will talk to you at certain points as a steward. The question on wether the thing you are speaking to is god or not is something that should be dealt with in group. The idea that the prophets may not actually be talking with God and actually just be committed frauds who want more brides should be something I'd love to bring up in game. And again it doesn't actually mention in my version that demons are even real. They are none corporeal in the example provided:

quote:

Brother Eleazer is having an affair with his neighbor’s
daughter, Sister Alise. a) The demons’ attacks are
specifically sexual: inspiring lust, souring marital
relations. b) The demons’ attacks have to do with, y’know,
fertility: blighting crops or herds, making women barren
or too fecund. c) The demons’ attacks are all about
relationships: inspiring hate within families and between
friends, inspiring distrust between spouses. d) The
demons’ attacks might be anything.

The fact is that the demons may not be real. Saying "the devil made me do it" might be true or it might be a group hallucination or a part of an act of repentance.

quote:

2b Demonic Attacks: The church meeting house
burned down. Brother Benjamin’s uncle was badly burned
in the fire. He’s healing but pissed off.

You could put on a bowler hat and basically go "I think this was more caused by the fact that you chucklefucks were keeping hay in the roof and happened to put it up there during a hot summer". Demons needn't factor in to it.

Josef bugman fucked around with this message at 10:25 on May 17, 2016

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Hostile V posted:




This is not actually Scrapper art. They don't get art. This is just from the chapter.


faaaaaaaaaast
I'm torn on the art in Brave New World. On the one hand, most of the characters look like crap. On the other hand, if there were a bunch of people with super powers running around, that's probably how most of them would dress without some powerful organization designing costumes made of space-age fabric for them.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Dogs in the Vineyard: Between Towns

Reflection
After leaving town, think back to it. Did you do good? Did you leave the town better than when you found it?

What did you learn about yourself? What changed about you? Who do you like more than you did before? Who do you like less? What is your character struggling with now? Also, how did the game go? When was the action sharp, and when did it bog down? How is the experience of the game?

After you talk about this, pick one of the gains from the same list as in the Fallout rules - you're a little bit of a better Dog than you were before. In addition, choose one:
  • Add any two dice to your unassigned Relationship Dice pool.
  • Add 2d4 plus any one die to your unassigned Relationship Dice pool.
  • Rewrite your coat's description to reflect things that have happened to it.
  • Choose again from the Fallout upgrade list.

Direction
Where to go from here? You could go to the next town in your assigned route, or you could go back to an old town. You could return to the Dogs' Temple. You could go home, or somewhere else, abandoning your service.

GMing Between Towns
This is where you start to write the next town. Think back to the thematics of what happened in the previous town - what were the characters about? What judgments did they make? Where were lines drawn? Which sins got judged the most harshly?

Your new job is to take the judgment of the characters and push it a little further. If a character judged that "every sinner deserves another chance", your next town should ask "even this one?" Whatever positions they settled on, challenge them. And don't have an answer in mind when you do.

Next: Making NPCs.

Mover
Jun 30, 2008

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


So, why is adding another paragraph of description to your coat on the same tier of rewards as adding relationship dice or additional fallout rewards?

I feel like we've seen the option to describe your coat a little more as a mechanical benefit that costs resources to pursue more than once, but I missed the part that makes it worth it despite the opportunity cost.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Mage: the Awakening, 2nd Edition

Mysteries are everywhere, and seeking them strengthens your Gnosis. Mages know the world is full of contradictions and flaws in the Lie, rogue elements from other worlds - not just the Supernal and the Abyss, but stranger places yet, which do not fit the established order of things. You can find strange things to pursue anywhere, and mages love high strangeness events.



There are many special places in the world. First are Sancta. Sancta reflect the Paths of their owners, and mages theorize that they tie your soul to the Supernal. They provide a safe place for magical research. Mages that prefer to wander may not have personal sancta, but they still use communal facilities, often provided by their Order or an ally. Because communal sancta are less tailored to you, they are less effective and comfortable, however, and experienced mages almost always have at least a personal ritual space. Sancta include:
  • Athanaea and Lorehouses, communal sancta of the Mysterium and Free Council respectively. Access to an Athenaeum depends on your level of initiation, but the Free Council allow any member in good standing to ue a Lorehouse.
  • Consilium and Caucus Sancta, maintained for when a Consilium's officials need to cast spells or provide space for important visitors, while Caucuses maintain theirs for their members to use. Both tend to double as meeting grounds.
  • Personal Sancta tend to be small, modest affairs, highly tailored to their owners.
  • Seer Nexuses are communal Sancta for the Seers, meant to fulfill specific needs. Seer selfishness means they tend to be spartan and small, as no one wants to give up too much of their personal resources on upkeep for them. The most common Nexuses are meant for communication and transport Space magic.

Mechanically, Sancta use the Safe Place and Sanctum merits. Some may also provide other Merits, such as Library, though users will need permission from the owner, of course. Characters must have the Sanctum merit or requisition it through their Order to make use of its benefits.



Hallows are the strongest channels of Supernal power in the Fallen World, places of symbolic importance. They trigger a mage's mystical senses, and their strength and place on ley lines can be examined by Prime. Even without ley lines, however, they are special. Things are more real around a Hallow, more memorable. They always seem to happen near unique features or places that are the epitome of their environment. Mages harvest Mana from Hallows by performing Oblations there or harvesting tass, Mana that fills a material form. Tass manifests differently based on a Hallow's physical and symbolic nature, as unharvested Mana merges with the area. It might be water from a sacred spring or stones from a mountain summit. When people change the environment, tass does not conform quickly. Cap the spring, and the water pools around the concrete. It takes time and, generally, reawakening from a long dormancy to change the form of a Hallow's tass.

Mechanically, the Hallow merit gives reliable access to a Hallow and its Mana. Powerful Hallows - 3+ dots - almost always intersect with ley lines, and Prime spells can connect the ley lines to any Hallow, to imbue it with a specific resonance. Many Hallows are, thus, also Nodes.

Ley lines and Nodes are the ripples of imperfections in the world. They take on the Resonance of emotion in their area. The web of ley lines join, and where they meet, Nodes form. Each ley line harnesses a specific Resonance, and Nodes are where multiple lines converge, providing access to multple Resonances. Many Nodes also coexist with potent Hallows, which is why many believe ley lines are cracks in the Lie. Their Resonance subtly affects the area around them - on a Fury line, the murder rate goes up, say. Resonance also generates Essence for spirits to feed on.

Mechanically, spells cast at a ley line can harvest its Resonance, and when a ley line intersects with a Hallow, any tass shares the Resonance. Resonance typically has a keyword - an image, emotion or theme, like Subterranean or Fury or Icthyoid. When you spend Mana from this tass on a spell that matches the Resonance in manifestation or effect, like Icthyoid mana to grow gills, it fills your Nimbus and gives you a +1 Yantra bonus. Further, Prime spells can move ley lines, create them or alter their Resonance. Some Spirit spells can also manipulate Resonance. Third, Nodes are places charged with power related to a gross Arcanum connected to their Resonance traits. Each point of tass from a Hallow with a Node carries only one Resonance type, but it can generate multiple types, which can be distinguished via Prime or Spirit Unveiling spells. Lastly, a Node gives the following benefits within an area of about 100 yards per ley line contributing to the Node to anyone who uses the Sacred Geometry spell or an appropriate Unveiling spell to examine its energies linked to the appropriate Arcanum.
  • Forces: By properly aligning a stationary piece of technology requiring heat or electricity to work, you may power it with the Node.
  • Life: You may harness the Node to bring any plant within it to any point in its life cycle that would take no more than a year to reach. This requires a full day to complete and a Crafts or Survival roll.
  • Matter: Unless totally destroyed, inanimate objects built in alignment with local Resonance heal 1 Structure damage per day, and environmental conditions wear down Structure at half the usual rate. Sleepers cannot detect this process.
  • Space: If you examine the area magically, you gain a +2 bonus to any task requiring significant movement through local space, such as driving, running or some athletic feats.
  • Time: If you examine the area magically, you get a +2 bonus to Initiative.

Verges are places where the Supernal manifests itself, barely diluted. Mages adore them and fight to control them for the power they give. Supernal phenomena can manifest freely in a Verge without fear. They manifest physically only in the heart of the Verge, but are usually hidden in Twilight along the periphery. Space might warp at a Verge's heart, making it invisible to anyone outside. Thus, ancient ruins and strange beasts are hidden within their Verges. They can manifest spontaneously or in response to supernatural events, and can be temporary or permanent. Stable verges often develop other traits, creating Hallows or ley lines or even Irises to Emanations connected to their ruling Supernal Realm. A sanctum can be used to create an artificial verge, a Demesne, by extendign the Supernal connection of a soul stone. This works much like a natural verge, save that Supernal phenomena do not spontaneously manifest on the material plane.



Mechanically, a verge gives a +2 Yantra bonus to spells using its Ruling Arcana. Further, as long as a spell that uses this bonus does not leave the verge, it cannot risk Paradox unless a Sleeper is present at some point in its duration. Spells cast in natural verges do not cause Dissonance, but those cast in Demesnes do. Sleepers suffer Quiescence as usual. Demesnes use the same system, but are confined to a sanctum. Natural verges spontaneously manifest weird poo poo, Demesnes do not. Demesnes can be used to travel to the Astral, natural verges cannot, as the soul stone provides the power to do so. A verge or Demesne's Yantra bonuses are still limitedb by symbolism, as usual - a Stygian verge full of metal but with no aspects of Death can't help bind ghosts. Typically, you should set up your Demesne with tools representing spells you plan to cast. Both a verge and a Demesne will give a +2 bonus to summoning Supernal beings from the realm they are tied to.

Next time: Irises

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Once I get done with the MC, I want to review the dumbest FR supplement I ever read. It's not unbalanced or incredibly :stonk: (just a little :stonk:), but more of a "Why the hell does this exist as a paid product?" It's Elminster's Ecologies

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




SirPhoebos posted:

Once I get done with the MC, I want to review the dumbest FR supplement I ever read. It's not unbalanced or incredibly :stonk: (just a little :stonk:), but more of a "Why the hell does this exist as a paid product?" It's Elminster's Ecologies

At least it has a pretty cover.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Mage: the Awakening, 2nd Edition

An Iris, essentially, is a portal, a gate to another world. These passages come in many forms, but they are called 'irises' because of the blurry line between travel and perception, and possibly as a hint to look before you leap. Many Irises require a special action or object to work. They occur spontaneously or in response to powerful events. Spells can create them, but most such spells need five dots. Archmages, of course, can open them to wherever they like. Irises to various realms have specialized names, but most mages are happy to leave those to the cosmology nerds and just call them Irises to <insert place here>.

Passing through an Iris on Earth's side drops you in the connected realm as long as you use the Iris' key. Irises formed by things other than spells tend to have Keys related to their formation. The following forms of Iris have been catalogued:

  • Aberrances: Irises to the Abyss. They're very rare, opened by massive Paradoxes, strong Abyssal verges or certain Scelestus rituals. Go through, and you don't come back unless you're a Scelestus or a hollow shell being ridden by something horrible.
  • Avernian Gates: Irises to the Underworld. They manifest in tombs, caves and other places associated with death or passage underground. Mages can opent hem with spells, and you can find a natural gate in just about any cemetary or graveyard, as well as most Stygian Verges.
  • Distortions: Irises to other places on Earth, or pocket dimensions. They are made by Space magic, but can also occur naturally.
  • Shadowed Doors: Irises to Shadow. They can be made by spells, and also manifest near ley line nexuses or anywhere with especially active spirits, particularly if they are fed by Essence from human action.
  • Scars: Irises to the Lower Depths. No one knows how to make one, because they happen when reality fails. Color fades near them, emotions degenerate into ugly urges. People who go in never come back. Entities sometimes whisper through a Scar, begging to be raised.
  • Soul Eyes: Irises to Wendings. A Wending is an archmage's manifested soul, and these are exceptionally rare. All known Soul Eyes lead to abandoned Wendings, but most retain complex Keys and powerful defenses. Wendings that do not allow physical journeys place visitors in a trance, much like Astral Synesi.
  • Synesi: Irises to the Astral. They allow direct access to the Astral, but you don't physically enter them. Rather, you enter a trance and, instead of entering a personal dream, immediately arrive at the Iris' destination in dream form.
  • Thurae: Irises to a Supernal Emanation Realm. No one knows how to make them. They manifest, rarely, at the heart of Supernal Verges. Attempts to summon Supernal beings through a Thura get +2.
  • Enigmatic Gates: Irises to weird poo poo. One type is known to go inside the Gauntlet rather than through it, compressing you so the world outside looks immense and distorted. Another goes to an airless landscape with stars that are wrong. These things could go loving anywhere.

Certain ruins exist from the Time Before. But wait, you say, the Exarch unmade the Time Before and removed it from time! That is correct. However, when the Lie unmade the Time Before, it wasn't very thorough. Gods fell, temples collapsed, but the ruins scattered through history. However, there is always something out of place about these ruins, a memory of the age without the Lie. The beings that are within them are often the Bound, ancient god-monsters of the Time Before. Mages claim that in that time, these Supernal beings rampaged through the world - minotaurs, gorgons and other myths are distorted reflections of them, maybe. Mages killed some, tamed others, imprisoned those they could not kill. When the Exarchs came, they hurled these beasts to Earth.

The so-called Atlantean temples may or may not be religious structures, but most mages revere them. No one knows what the people of the Time Before worshiped, if anything, but mages have many theories about the symbols in these ruins and the visions found in some far corners of the Temenos. Both sources are unreliable, as they never seem to come from the same 'Atlantis' as each other, ever. Some believe there was never a true Awakened City beyond the Supernal ideal that cast shadows across Fallen history. Thus, they hold, these temples are Greek, Indian and other structures twisted by their true origin in an unmade time. Others believe there have been many Atlantises along various timelines, all smashed together into the Lie. Many of these ruins contain Bound which seem intentionally imprisoned within, but they are not always found together. Both interest mages due to their ties to the Time Before. They often have weird enchantments, potent artifacts and wonders, but also traps. The Bound remember the lost age, resent but obey their binding spells and offer service and secret lore to any that can free them.

At first glance, Atlantean temples appear to belong to one or more ancient cultures, but there is always something off about them - anachronistic features, strange stylistic elements, wooden elements that have no known species or radiocarbon date, parts made of 'adamas' - materials that cannot be affected by Matter. Contemporary mages don't know why, and cannot reproduce adamas. Examination often leads to bizarre or inconclusive results. The Bound are treated as Supernal entities. Weaker ones are often guardians, while stronger ones are prisoners or exiles. They often live in temple complexes even if not imprisoned - it gives them a safe place to hide and lore to bargain with. They hunger for Mana. Each loses one Mana per day, and once all of it is gone, they must return to the prison where they fell to Earth and sleep. When a mage or other Mana source draws near, they awaken and try to devour the Mana...by destroying the source. A few Bound can eat Sleepers to gain Mana equivalent to what a mage would get for scouring themselves to death. Most, however, can only feed on mages, tass and magical items. Awakened grave Mana as per total scouring, plus any Mana they had on hand, plus one per Gnosis dot. Thus, they are attractive food...but they can often bargain by channeling Mana into the Bound. While the Bound can only take Mana by destruction, they can receive it more peacefully.

So, those worlds you can reach by Iris, what are they? The Lower Depths are places that, by rights, shouldn't exist, but do. They are the worms crawling under the rotting log of Earth, countless realms that each lack even the energy to contain themselves as one reality. They are to the Fallen World as the Fallen World is to the Supernal, and thus they are a Lie of the Lie. Some mages believe that the petty symbols of the human mind take on great importance in the Depths, much as Supernal signs do here. Each Lower Depth is unable to support some critical piece of existence - it's either gone or distorted into something hostile. Sometimes this is an Arcanum - a Depth without Death is choked with imperishable flesh and plant matter. Others lack less defined principles, like shape, identity or righteousness. Some mages claim Hell lies among them, due to the inhabitants - the akathartoi, or 'unclean ones,' resemble demons of Abrahamic legend, feeding on human depravity. Mages have catalogued a lot of Lower Depths, but only by interrogating the akathartoi and examining them. No reliable source records any mage going into a Lower Depth and returning, but it's possible to summon things out. These things find it very hard to manifest, however. They must satisfy signature hungers, and even in doing so find it hard to become material.

Mechanically, you aren't going there and coming back short of archmastery. The Depth have a basic hostility to existence that destroys most - just try to exist without, say, solidity. It is theoretically possible to make a spell to reinforce against this sort of thing, but no one's ever actually done it.

The Underworld resembles many Sleeper myths - it is a place of ghosts that can't find peace. Mages know that ghosts are not souls, but rather reflections made by passions that persist after the soul is gone to...wherever souls go. Some believe that ghosts are a part of the soul, and others that they are the personality and self. Therefore, they should be laid to rest and honored. As for the soul...well, the Moros claim that once, souls went to Stygia for purification and rebirth, but none can say if this happens now or ever was true to begin with. Some ghosts travel to the Autochthonous Depths, strange caves and passages that lead to secret mazes where the dead and strange monsters that were never alive, native to the Underworld, lair. This maze eventually gives way to great vaults, sunless valleys and huge tunnels, until you reach, at last, the rivers of the dead. Each river has a unique supernatural property, and often they are patrolled by powerful ghosts or cthonians (as the natives are called). The Lower Mysteries of the Underworld have many such rivers, distinct from the Deep Dominions, which are ruled by powerful lords, called Kerberoi. Each is a realm unto itself, made of unique legend and laws, though not always those that match mythology. These Old Laws restrict natives and visitors alike. They might make speech impossible or turn all sustenance to ash. There is one rule that applies only to the living, however: they aren't welcome. While some ghosts and cthonians tolerate the living if they offer some benefit, most beings of the Underworld are indifferent at best and violent at worst.

Mechanically...well, the Death Arcanum can handle most things in the Underworld. While in the Underworld, any Death spells get a -2 to all Paradox rolls. The Underworld also has a strange effect on the living. Their Virtues and Vices are reversed - so Vice provides a full Willpower refresh and Virtue gives only 1 Willpower. Cthonians obey the same rules as ghosts, but have no Anchors nor an Integrity stat, and they can be any Size or appearance. They usually are gross and unsettling, mixing human, insectile and maggoty traits.



Next time: Shadow and the Astral

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

SirPhoebos posted:

Once I get done with the MC, I want to review the dumbest FR supplement I ever read. It's not unbalanced or incredibly :stonk: (just a little :stonk:), but more of a "Why the hell does this exist as a paid product?" It's Elminster's Ecologies

Wow, I thought that was a compilation of the old Ecology of... articles from Dragon. Glad I was too poor to buy it when it was in print!

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Bieeardo posted:

Wow, I thought that was a compilation of the old Ecology of... articles from Dragon. Glad I was too poor to buy it when it was in print!

So did I. I used to really enjoy those articles, they spoke to my inner :goonsay: I'm not sure if I want to look up what this is actually about, or if I should just sit tight and enjoy the show.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



Dragon had a lot of fun article series, really. Sure, chances are you would never need to know the exact behaviors and environment of Ettercaps, but it was a fun read and they always gave you an interesting NPC and character option with each one. Then you had the different faith articles, the Demonomicon of Iggwilv... lot of good reads there.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Dogs in the Vineyard: Creating NPCs

Like PCs, NPCs have Acuity, Body, Heart and Will in d6's, then Traits and Relationships and Belongings rated with various dice. However, you don't make them the same way!

Proto-NPCs
Rather than making NPCs one by one with intention, you make batches of six NPC skeletons, then flesh them out as needed. To start a batch, roll 6d10, then consult:



Your six rolls will give you statlines for six NPCs. Now, give each one four traits, by rolling 4d8:



Record the values, but don't put what the traits are for. Next, there are similar tables for relatinoships (2d10), and 'Free Dice' (3d6). Free Dice give them some extra various dice you can assign wherever you want during play. In the end, it looks something like this:



When a character comes into conflict, that's the only time you'll need stats for them. So, once one of your NPCs gets into a conflict, scan the list of proto-NPC blocks and pick one to assign to them. Name his Relationships now if it makes sense to do so, and name Traits now or when you need them. If you need to, you can shove Free Dice into things as you go. So, once it's done, it'll look like this:



Groups
DitV's handling of mass NPCs is clever. The group is one NPC, but with +2d6 to its stats for each extra person in the group. Then, the individual people in the group - or the notable ones, if it's a large group - is a Trait. List people by their role within the group, so it's easier to know when to use them to Raise or See. So:



Possessed People
To be possessed, you must be a willing, knowing heretic or a sinner within a false priesthood. Give the NPC a number of dice in a Relationship with a demon, then give them a number of Manifestations equal to the number of dice - subtle visible changes in the body, like long teeth or red eyes (remember, kids, the existence of demons is supposed to be ambiguous). Finally, choose a number of Powers equal to the number of dice:
  • Cunning: Apply the demonic relationship dice to every social conflict.
  • Ferocity: Apply the demonic relationship dice to every physical conflict.
  • Preservation: Take one fewer Fallout Dice when taking a blow.
  • Viciousness: Inflict fallout damage one die size higher than usual, still maxing out at d10s.
The drawback is that a Dog in conflict with the possessed can See or Raise using ceremony.

Sorcerers
A sorcerer gets, on top of all their normal relationship dice, a four-die relationship with a demon. You pick the dice size. A sorcerer can:
  • Call on demons to add the current Demonic Influence to any side of any conflict as though it were a trait.
  • Become possessed at will.
  • Perform rituals to possess his followers.
A Dog can use ceremony against a sorcerer, just like against a possessed person.

Demons
Demons don't get statblocks. They only influence conflicts via Demonic Influence dice, as described before.

Next: GMing.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Bieeardo posted:

Wow, I thought that was a compilation of the old Ecology of... articles from Dragon. Glad I was too poor to buy it when it was in print!
Same. I was always baffled by the fact that it was a boxed product, because a collection of largely-fluff discussions about stuff in the Monster Manual seems like the absolute last thing that you'd need to ship in a box. I looked it up, and the box contained...seven 32-page books. That's it. No cards or counters or maps or stand-ups or props, just something that could have as easily been put in a 240-page book.

TSR was a deeply weird company.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Well, I imagine somebody thought of a seven- book Ecology series and realized the only way to make sure sales didn't drop off partway through was to bundle the whole set.

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Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, I imagine somebody thought of a seven- book Ecology series and realized the only way to make sure sales didn't drop off partway through was to bundle the whole set.

And they couldn't just make it one big book?

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