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Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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quote:

Challenging people to make a difference in their world? What, as opposed to, I don't know, any game ever? Going out to kill the tyrant king is making a difference in the world - so is stopping Cthulhu from waking.

I guess I'm going to be the one defending MtA - not the actual writing, not that terrible intro fiction, not much of the actual specifics - but the concept of the game and things like this. D&D is utterly disconnected from the real world, except for the most tenuous connections. MtA, though, deals with real-world philosophies and debates - which might be why the flame war gets so heated, since 'Tradition vs Technocracy' is just a geek-friendly version of arguments that have raged at least since the Romantics opposed the Englightenment. We're probably too old for it, but reading it as a kid and being exposed to the idea that all religions could actually be one base truth, or maybe the government and technology are bad, maaaannn, or even just getting into specific magical and philosphical ideas could give people the kind of Awakening that usually happens with The Matrix or The Invisibles or the Illuminatus! Trilogy.

Admittedly, those kind of awakenings generally make people insufferable, but you can't deny that Mage has a whole bunch of weird, crunchy ideas at its core (even if its mostly Chaos/Pop Magick).

As for being stuck in the 90s, check out the recent movie Lucy. It's basically one long Mage's Acsension.

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Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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It's all just different flavored of power fantasy. It's just that oWoD was power fantasy for non-traditional nerds - hippies (Werewolf), theatre geeks (Vampire), stoner philosophers and chaos magick/Discordian types (Mage), and whoever Changeling was for (but I still get the metaphors around it).

In D&D and Phoneix Command and their ilk you can do good by being good at math. Mage lets those of us who are better at abstract concepts and symbolism to get in on the fun.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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Hipster Occultist posted:

You still kinda can, but you're still rolling Gnosis + Arcana so good luck rolling enough successes to pull off that kind of insta-kill damage.

In Ascension however, feel free to transmute air into cyanide gas or w/e the gently caress you want. Hell, with prime 2 you can conjure objects out of nothing. Unlimited C4 anyone?

If your character knows about physics and thinks about magic in terms of mundane physics, though. That kind of engineering based solution doesn't fit my paradigm or that of 99% of the Traditions. It sounds like Technocratic logic...

Isn't C4 a compound of different objects? I'd argue that 'C4' is just a Technocrat explanation for Forces 4.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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Could you use the rules of Awakening and the setting of Ascension? I want to play/be a Hipster Occultist.

That really is the best username for this thread.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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Hipster Occultist posted:

You'll have to sign your name at the Hot Topic Watchtower first.

Hot Topic is for goths, not hipsters, unless everything's changed since I was a gothy teenager. Your name is just a great premise for a character and it could go in several different directions. Though since old style Hermetic magic is all about knowing things before everyone else and using old old techniques, so that fits the old definition - but I'm thinking more of an Unknown Armies type thing. Knowledge of bands and odd bars as the Secret Knowledge of the modern world. I think I played this guy.

quote:

This cycle creates things out of apparent nothingness – from the initial conception of an idea, to its form, to the perception of its form, to the decay of that form so that the idea, its materials, and its essence can return to the first point of the cycle and begin all over again in some new state. Each step of that cycle involves a series of Spheres. From original conception in the energy field of Prime, an effect gets focused through consciousness in the Mind and attains substance through the Spirit. Given form in Patterns of Forces, Life, or Matter, the substance interacts with other Patterns through Correspondence and Time. Finally, it breaks down through Entropy, its elements dispersed back to the Prime to start all over again. If there is a Tenth Sphere, it probably governs the entire process, like a circle that encloses this cycle, keeping it
all whole and functioning.

Reminds me of Promethea and it's explanation of the Hermetic mindset. Is there a Sephirot diagram that explains this? And I should probably stop defending this book, but in a game all about metaphysics, knowing the basic metaphysical flow of the game works for me.

I wish the book would straight up ADMIT it's about playing Chaos Magicians, who use whatever works - whether it's invoking God, Cthulhu, or Superman - to make magickal effects. And those Chaos Magicians are opposed by the static, unchaning Technocracy. It brings the whole thing closer to The Invisibles, which must have been it's main inspiration, and has a party of a Matrix superspy, a Mayan sorceress, a voodoo DJ, and a bunch of other familiar Mage characters. It would also bind the metaphysics of the setting closer to the mechanics.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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LatwPIAT posted:

By my reading, M20 is full-on Purple Paradigm all the way through. As long as you believe you can accomplish anything, it's actually just belief-powered willpower, and everyone are really doing Chaos Magick. And, thematically appropriate for Chaos Magick and not very appropriate for anything else, the game seems to be rather lenient about letting people change their beliefs to suit the casting of magic - like the Kung Fu, acid-dropping Virtual Adepts, who can draw upon three different beliefs about how magick works because it's really just chaos magick in disguise.

I have no idea why I'm choosing this hill to die on, but I maintain that kung fu, acid-dropping Virtual Adepts are completly in paradigm, since acid culture has been part of computer culture since the very start to last week's weird story about Silicon Valley pros microdosing with LSD to improve productivity and just general terrible Burning Man culture. Or the Noisebridge 'hacker house' thread in YOSPOS that I lost, full of weird anarchist biohacker techies. That kind of thing would make a great game.

Mage is shaped by Belief, right? So as a non-techie, I choose to belive that techie-mages are living a Hackers/cyberpunk life when they're not building weird machines at Burning Man, and I think that's totally valid. I also think in the 'real world' people mix and match beliefs - Catholics into New Age stuff, or the kind of people who post a million different flavors of weird meme on Facebook.

Does M20 address the fact that by the setting of the game, Christian Fundamentalist areas should operate under weird Biblical physics?

I almost typed "I'm not sure if you grok Mage's vibe".

FMguru posted:

The vibe I always got from C:tD and it's most obnoxious adherents was that it was meant for self-consciously quirky, creative, commit-random-acts-of-beauty (shading into actual mental illness) types who fail out of art school with $50,000 of undischargable student debt. The exaltation of childhood innocence and the notion that adulthood is the death of one's true self gives it its creepy pedo undercurrent.

I know enough of those people (art students, not pedos) that I can sympathize with the old Changeling to an extant. Again, they're on very obnoxious Facebook pages.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 01:18 on Jan 7, 2016

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

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quote:

Real-world tragedies is not something you should be appropriating for your game. When you say that all these horrible things, like the Mason family murders, and the loving Holocaust, may have happened because of magick, it sanitises the tragedies by claiming they're supernatural in nature. Genocide and mass killings become the stuff of fantasy, which is disrespectful to the victims.

I'll agree with the Holocaust, but the Manson murders have so much weirdness and cult interest and coincidence bound up with them that including them in a game about the end of the 60s and Altamont and all that seems like it could be interesting, if handled well. There's an idea Stephen King loves (and maybe nWoD does too?) that too much tragedy deforms a place and makes it somehow supernatural. He talks about it in Danse Macabre.

Somebody sent somebody I know a link to a 13gb file of magickal texts - where would that fit into Brucato's schema?

quote:

Maybe not today, but...

That... seems a bit of a stretch to say 'this guy is wrong, science will know EVERYTHING soon!'

quote:

We're then introduced to Sanctuaries and Chantries, which are places mages hang around. For some reason, all the descriptions are of soup kitchens and dance clubs and other places that have a lot of traffic, which seems at odds with the whole part where witnesses make your magick harder to cast and you probably want to stay secret from the Technocracy kill-bots; having lots of people walk in an out of your Sanctuary is probably not the best way to stay hidden, really...

Hide in plain site. In a crowded dance club or a weird party, any 'magic' will get passed off by observers as special effects or drugs. Hell look at some of the insane poo poo people put up with in Noisebridge.

Count Chocula
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theironjef posted:

Disrepectful, yes. Also, the length of time in these "magic in the real world" games between when players start talking about the spell system and when someone drags Hitler or some serial killer into it is usually measured in seconds. It's so common that a UA Clicheomancer wouldn't even get a minor charge out of it.

I was not happy when Fly to Heaven was sprung on me by my Unknown Armies GM. Even though it was written pre-9/11, the game took place way after it.

I don't want to say 'you can't use any real-life atrocity in your horror game', though, mostly because I enjoy things like American Horror Story. New Orleans especially made good use of that. I think the key for me is that it should be REAL LIFE ATROCITY leads to SUPERNATURAL CONSEQUENCES, not the other way around. So Charles Manson wasn't a demon, but what he did messed with reality so much that if you bought his copy of the Beatles' records that inspired him that was recently up for auction you can use it for messed up Unknown Armies magick. On a totally unrelated note, there was just a massive auction of Margaret Thatcher artifacts...

I think that is needed to tie things into 'real world' history, especially when it comes to modern horror or urban fantasy games.

quote:

There's also the Old Roads or Paths of the Wyck, which are hard-to-find roads that go places.

Paths of the Wick should be the name of the thread.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 22:37 on Jan 7, 2016

Count Chocula
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PurpleXVI posted:

I think that part of the issue with going HITLER WAS A VAMPIRE, 9/11 WAS WIZARDS(because fireballs can melt steel beams) or BHOPAL WAS CAUSED BY THE ILLUMINATI or whatever is that it kind of cheapens the whole thing, turns it into some big, simple atrocity caused by a big, simple evil that needs punching in the snout. Which disguises the lessons that actually need learning from those sorts of events, if anything it's scarier that relatively ordinary people and their human mistakes/motivations can drive them to these extraordinary atrocities. If a dragon did it, it's a lot less spooky and requires far less introspection(and has a much simpler solution).

Oh yeah, I agree with you 100%. Maybe it's best to deal with them like ghost stories - BAD THINGS HAPPENED and now there are SUPERNATURAL CONSEQUENCES. I mean I first learned about Bhopal because of a an X-Files episode about a tiny man who hid inside other people and killed them as revenge for Bhopal, but you can do that same sort of thing much more sensatively. Even if it's just basic 'if you want to go to the underworld, you'll need to do it at a cemetary, and if you're in a city where a famous murder happened you should start at the crime scene'. Like nMage is set in New England, an area I know well, and when I read that I start thinking things like 'when I lived there there were always Civil War graves in odd places, that's probably a plot hook'.

I think tying in the real world is what makes settings like oMage and Vampire and UA 'sticker'.

Speaking of Vampire, I'd be interested in the supplement that nVampire put out right after Katrina to update the setting.

Count Chocula
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I just realized you could probably use Changeling to play Beasts of the Southern Wild. Or would that be Werewolf, for Beasts of the Southern Wyld?

Count Chocula
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There's also this weird thing where the Order of Reason were responsible for the Inquisition and other religious horrors, while religious fanatics so dedicated they forced their view of reality on the world were embattled underdogs and worked easily with the other Traditions? And there were good Mad Scientists and bad Normal Scientists?

I liked the Void Engineers book.

They should have made the Technocracy just another Tradition. They and the Celestial Choir would have an outsized influence in mortal affairs, but that could be countered by arguing that members of EVERY Tradition had some mortal influence, like Cult of Ectasy rockstars:

Count Chocula
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Cythereal posted:

Yet the fact that not everyone's a mage suggests to me that not everyone can use a paradigm, making them dependent on someone else's. I don't know much about Mage, though, so they probably did address this at some point.

Everyone already follows a paradigm, it's just that mages can use their enlightened wills to make their paradigm dominant. I gotta say, a lot of the anti-Tradition stuff - which I've only seen on this forum, not from people actually playing Mage - seems to come from people who are happy with the way things are. In real life I'm 100% down with science and calling out my Luddite hippie anti-science friends, but I don't see why that needs to extend to fiction. In Mage, I actually could operate in the world according to my weird mishmash of dream logic, transhumanism, chaos magick and drug logic. And my hippie friends really could heal themselves with chakras and odd herbs, and my nice Catholic friend can heal people by praying, and the bro-science guy can awaken his warrior chi, and Edward Snowden Assange can tap into the universal unconciousness through super-computers and masks.
It's total bullshit, but it's a role playing game - they all are. Why does Mage get so much more blowback than UA, which says you can do magic by self-harm, or Vampire, which takes Marx's line about 'vampire capital' literally, or a zillion other games that have premises that are problematic if taken too far? Hell if you wanted to you could claim the whole 'the world is ruled by a secret conspiracy of supernatural elites' is just reifying anti-Semetic propaganda, but nobody does.

TL;DR: Mage is a game where all the stupid poo poo people believe is right, and it's fun to pretend.

I do think having separate Traditions is dumb, though, since every Mage is gonna be syncretic to some degree. Is a Jerry Lee Lewis Holy Roller a Choirister or a Cult of Ectasy?

Count Chocula
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On a lighter note, I played in a Mage game where the 'Spray on Skin' Rote went from Vulgar to Coincidental since real spray-on skin was invented after the game's Rote list was written up.

Count Chocula
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Rand Brittain posted:

The thing is that Brucato doesn't actually think any of those details matter, I find. All paradigms are the same; both sides are equally culpable even if one has vast power and the other is fighting to survive; the only thing that matters is seeking enlightenment somewhere in your own navel. Actually looking into the merits or hard details of any particular group is anathema to his approach.

And I maintain that that is a valid premise for a game. The players know that's how magic works so they can pick and choose what their character does. My Cathartic/voudoun Mage cast magic with his cross and his guitar, and the tension between the different parts of his paradigm was a big part of his character. ANYTHING can be magic if you believe in it enough, and 'art is magic' is a pretty obvious statement to a ton of people.

That said, yoga and hypertech sounds like a running gag, and it is silly so many of the Traditions and Crafts use them. I don't get why he didn't just get rid of the Traditions, have everyone default to being an Orphan, and then use the Crafts as like Prestige Classss that gave you a small bonus with the limitation that it restricts your foci- so most Christian Mages could dabble in yoga or whatever, but a Knights Templar couldn't (but they might get a discount on True Faith or something).

quote:

Red Thorn Dedicants, Lilith-worshippers who apparently make the Verbena and CoX look tame, making me wonder why anyone would ever want to be around them

They throw the best parties.

Would anyone mind if I made a FATAL & FRIENDS Tumblr to post all this cool art? I'll link to the index of write-ups. The trendy 20 somethings there will eat it up.

Count Chocula
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They didn't even bother to change the names of the Khans, though IIIRC they weren't part of the New Vegas Mafia.

Mr. Maltose posted:

All the Madlands gods are actually characters from Winnie The Pooh. Bax Powu Kag isn't actually a moose. He's a Donkey.

This is probably the best feature of the Madlands.


They're black they're brown they're up their down
They're in they're out they're all about
They're far they're near they're gone they're here
They're quick and slick and insincere
Beware Beware Be a very wary bear

A Heffalump or Woozle is very confusel
The Heffalump or woosel is very sly
- sly - sly - sly
They come in ones and twoosels
but if they so choosels
before your eyes you'll see them multiply
- ply - ply - ply

They're extra-ordinary so better be wary
Because they come in every shape and size
- size - size - size

If honey is what you covet you'll find that they love it
Because they guzzle up the thing you prize

They're green they're blue they're pink they're white
They're round they're square they're a terrible sight
They tie themselves in horrible knots
They come in stripes or polka-dots

Beware Beware Be a very wary bear

(musical interlude)

They're extra-ordinary so better be wary
Because they come in every shape and size
- size - size - size

If honey's what you covet you'll find that they love it
Because they guzzle up the things you prize

They're black they're brown they're up their down
They're in they're out they're all about
They're far they're near they're gone they're here
They're quick and slick and insincere
Beware Beware Beware Beware Beware ....

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 08:46 on Jan 10, 2016

Count Chocula
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Doresh posted:

So White Wolf likes to give the same thing multiple names so they might use the alternate names for something else later?


If I ever get around my Silent Legions review, I will make sure to create an Eldritch horror mythos based around Winnie the Pooh.

Alan Moore makes Winnie the Pooh creepy by making him and the other British funny animals Doctor Moreau's experiments.

Count Chocula
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theironjef posted:

That guy was Poul Anderson, I believe. In the 1953 story "Three Hearts and Three Lions."

Which is also where Moorcock got Law & Chaos from, apparently.

Count Chocula
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Lucifer is so 70s TV I can hear the Night Rider, Hulk and Supertrain theme songs. Just a lonely AI truck, wandering the highways with its crew of scrappy survivors.

Tranquility is a Doctor Who Base Under Siege story waiting to happen.

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They should just remove the Nephandi. They need a healthy dose of 'You Did It'.

MonsieurChoc posted:

It's funny how the group of Nephandis who serve the Wyrm are called the Malfeans, while there are actual creatures of pure oblivion in the setting called Malfeans (from Wraith). They're also more frightening than the Wyrm by a wide margin.

When I first read Mage 2E so many years ago, I found the Nephandi really scary: they literally inverted their own souls in the search for total oblivion. And yet none of the various expanded takes on them over the years ever came close to being as evocative as their original two paragraph description. Sometimes more is less, I guess.

http://mindlessones.com/2011/01/25/rogues-review-3-bane/

quote:

can just imagine Bane in his cell, crouched in the lotus position, his hands forming obscene mudras in front of a black, upside down Tree of Life, with Malkuth at the top and Kether at the bottom, chanting the terrible reverse mantras of the damned. Or rehearsing the dreadful scarlet killing katas taught to him by his unholy guardian demon, the dreadful bat-creature that has plagued him from childhood and inspired his terrible mission to destroy Bruce Wayne.

quote:

The key thing to know here is that there exists a model of spiritual enlightenment in which enlightenment is a horrifying and bleak thing. The adjective I'm going to use for this sort of enlightenment - Qlippothic - is important. Basically, it suggests that there is a form of enlightenment that can be found by encountering and contemplating the darkest parts of humanity. The Qlippoth refer to the hollowed out, vacant, and rotted shells of spiritual concepts. And the whole radical idea of Kenneth Grant is that there's not actually a difference between those, which are basically the horrible nightmares within humanity, and actual enlightenment.

I mention this because it's basically 100% necessary to understanding the Cybermen. I'm not saying that Kit Pedler was chillaxing in the Typhonic order with Kenneth Grant (though that would be awesome), but the ideas are clearly similar. Certainly it's worth noting that Pedler's original conception of the Cybermen was as a race of "star monks." Here it is instructive to look at the origin of the Cybermen, as completely and utterly screwed up as it may be. Mondas and Earth are twin planets - the one an inversion of the other. The Cybermen tell us that they and Mondas "drifted away on a journey," making a sweeping arm motion as they do, and that they went to the edge of space, then returned. In the course of that journey, their bodies wore out and they steadily replaced themselves with spare parts, removing human weaknesses in the process.

http://www.eruditorumpress.com/blog/a-chrysalis-case-after-its-spread-its-wings-the-tenth-planet/

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 10:46 on Jan 11, 2016

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Nessus posted:

In honor of this detailed inspection of White Wolf properties I have prepared a handy guide to World of Darkness game lines.



That can't be right. Mage is Stoner Philosophy: The Game.

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Traveller posted:

I'm not gonna front, I'd play this. :allears: Pulp horror supers against Nazis!

So dark and edgy that Batman: Brave & the Bold did a Creature Commandos episode. I'd play it too.

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Is there a Hellboy RPG? If not, why not?

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quote:

In his final entry, Primoris speculates that the so-called “super-science” employed by other members of the Society and their enemies is not what it seems. He believes that inventors are building machines that only work because of the user’s connection to telluric energy, and will not function in the hands of a non-Inspired (conveniently explaining away why no one invents supertech and gets rich). He reflects on Marie Curie’s experiments with radioactivity and wonders if her work could be combined with his research into telluric energy.

So it runs on Mage/Genius rules?

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Doresh posted:

Though I feel the writing has become a bit more "moist" in the supplement. Even if I'm imagining things, Caudwell's backstory can still be summarized as "Like Neo, expect he ran into a Looney Toons trap and decided to create the X-Men"

I thought he was gonna be Niles Calder, founder of the Doom Patrol.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 23:15 on Jan 12, 2016

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I always saw Marauders as the natural endpoint of the Awakened, and of my general life philosophy. I like to see the world in mythic/supernatural terms overlaid on the real world, even though I know that's all bullshit - but it's adapting a stance or POV that makes things more interesting. Mages used their Awakened Wills to impose their view of reality on the world, but they still make some concessions to the Consensus. Marauders are the truly Awakened, who actually get to live in their own reality 24/7 (or however time works in their bubble). In my preferred version of Ascension, EVERYONE becomes a 'Marauder', able to live in their own subjective reality.

Edit: this, basically:

occamsnailfile posted:

I tend to agree with this interpretation. Quiet being a magical version of insanity works, and being a Mage really really lends itself to dangerous solipsism. Nothing and nobody exist except as pawns in my game! See how my powers let me validate my awful ideas!. In some ways it sounds like Marauder Quiet is what happens when a mage loses empathy entirely--who cares if Paradox strikes down the innocent? They don't matter. They aren't real. Mage doesn't really have a morality track like Humanity or whatever IIRC? But as much as I hate that mechanic generally it does read a bit like a character who has fallen below 2 on the little boxes.



I guess Google Glass is the Technocracy version of the same idea.

I really want to play Hoodoo Blues - I found some weird Vampire bloodline that was into crocodiles and swamps and wanted to make a Nick Cave style Southern Gothic game out of them.

Is In Nominae the RPG that's like the old show GvsE, just wisecracking Angels and Devils?

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 05:50 on Jan 14, 2016

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Grnegsnspm posted:

It was also our Second Episode of System Mastery. Which we only did because I was super interested to see what the hell you would do in a Buffy RPG.

Slay vampires?
Buffy's the show that made research look fun.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 07:13 on Jan 15, 2016

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quote:

Legend: You can channel the essence of a legend of pop-culture icon. This lets you, once per story, roll [Legend] to get Quintessence back. The difficulty of this roll is based on how well-known the legend is. The more dots you have, the less obscure the legend is, so having few dots in Legend makes it pretty useless... though 1 dot gives you access to pop-culture icons like Grumpy Cat. On the legend side of things, for 1 dot you can channel the legend of Abou Hassan. For 2 dots, you can channel a significant pop-culture figure like Janis Joplin (...who?), while 3 dots lets you channel Batman and Elvis. At 4 dots you can channel a major legend like Geronimo (...uh, who?) or Red Riding Hood, while 5 dots are "A universally popular legend" like Cinderella or King Arthur. Does anyone else think this is a bit patronizing and culturally provincial? This Abou Hassan guy, who apparently has a million restaurants named after him is a 1-dot Legend, while obscure figures from US history like Geronimo are 4-dot Legends and western fairy tales and literary canon like Cinderella and King Arthur are 5 dots. Frankly, Batman is probably more well-known than Cinderella.

I always liked this background (I think my voodoo blues guy picked Robert Johnson, obvious as that is) but it sounds like it deserves to be its own game, not buried in the Backgrounds section. You could build an entire game out of the concept of channeling pop culture and mythic icons. Scion kinda does it, and Unknown Armies builds a large chunk of the game out of Avatars, but this is more like that game's Iconomancy. I just want a whole game where one guy channels Elvis' charisma, the combat monster as Bruce Lee's Totem, and it's all funded by the King Creosote channeler. And you could use artifacts touched by that person's life or related to them to get more power.

Oh and Janis Joplin: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7uG2gYE5KOs

It's probably pretty disrespectful, but I imagine a Geronimo!!!!! totem going around Leroy Jenkinsing everywhere, yelling GERONIMO!!! and comstantky looking for planes to jump out of.

I dunno if you can get annoyed at RPGs for referencing things you don't know - it could be a good jumping-off point to learn about things like The Comte De St Germain and glaive-guissarmes, and popular 60s singers.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 08:21 on Jan 15, 2016

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Kurieg posted:

I think the issue is that Brucato is letting his prejudices show again. Geronimo is an Apache folk hero who resisted both the Mexicans and the Americans, of course he's more important than Elvis and Batman. But putting him on the same level as Red Riding Hood just seems... wrong somehow. Why are fictional characters even *on* that list?

I don't know if Brucato is an actual practitioner of Chaos Magick or if it's just a thread joke, but Grant Morrison's PopMagick essay talks about using fictional characters as totems because they still represent real personality traits you want to invoke. So if I'm trying to be determined and fearless I invoke that aspect of Batman, and if I'm lost in Time and Space I invoke Doctor Who. Conversely, if using 'real people' than what you invoke is the popular perception of them. David Bowie wasn't an astronaut, but I'd let you tap into him to help you pilot a spaceship.

I don't know why this stuff confuses people? Maybe it's because I grew up on weird music writing like Greil Marcus that assigned mythic traits to 'real' people. I just think it's one of the coolest aspects of the setting, and needs it's own game.

On a less wanky note, I'd love to strip out the vampires from Nigh's Black Agents and use it to play Ronin. Every bit of the write-up reminds me of that movie.

Maybe that Mage character Jinx's rollerskates are a reference to the awesome Janis Joplin song about roller skates. I'm gotta admit that's the sort of character I'd always make, complete with a bit of Brawl and Streetwise to represent 'living on the streets' and a cobbled together Paradigm of things I liked. I realize now how problematic that is, but you can't accuse M20 of not knowing its audience.

And Risk would just be an Entropomancer from Unknown Armies? Get power by doing dangerous things?

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 09:33 on Jan 16, 2016

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quote:

ctory. He creates and destroys, he is full of life and hope, but he is out of control and insane. His servants embody primal creative forces, and while they may now be casual and disorganized, they remain creators of beauty and servants of Heaven. Eli is a Mercurian, and a few decades ago, he abandoned his Heavenly realm, stripped himself of most his memories and disappeared into the mass of humanity. He's rarely seen and even his most faithful followers fear for what he might have become. He no longer seems to care about protection his Word, which to be fair barely needs it. Even the other Archangels haven o real idea what he's doing.

He's Destruction from Sandman, which I appreciate. In Nomine sounds cool if you want to play Supernatural/Preacher style ambiguous 90s angels.

And if I wanted to be REALLY pretentious about M20, I could claim that the slow discarding of Paradigm mirrors you/your character's understanding that all religions and traditions are one, man, just different glosses on the same universal understanding. D&D and its ilk has the unexamined assumption that it's players know and care about math. Mage panders to those of us who instead studied comparative religion, which I appreciate.

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Fossilized Rappy posted:

There's actually a pretty decent book on the subject called Mysterious Celtic Mythology in American Folklore. A lot of it's focused specifically on Appalachia, and it's not quite thorough enough that I'd buy it full price, but I'd still give it a look if you ever find it at your local library or somewhere.

I usually like my angels in the terrifying fire snakes and eye-laden wheels flavors, but I do also like the idea of an archangel who manifests looking like someone's kindly grandpa.

Have you seen Wings of Desire? Peter Falk is an archangel.

I'll stop mounting pedantic defenses of Mage, but I do think that in a medium that panders to people's fantasies there's nothing wrong with a game that panders to my type of stoner philosophy, and it might introduce some people to new ideas.

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Who does the art for In Nomine? It's cool.

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Simian_Prime posted:

I actually like the coloring. It's evocative of four-color comics, which works because the game is reminiscent of a DC/Vertigo setting.

Yeah same, it makes me want to play it.

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unseenlibrarian posted:

I remember when Awakening first came out there were a metric shitton of Ascension fans complaining because it was turning all magic into Hermetics! When it actually got around to addressing something like OMage paradigms, the presentation was something along the lines of "All these groups have a bit of lost knowledge because of the big magical diaspora back in the day, so they probably have something to teach us!"

As opposed to the M20 approach, where there's a lot of different magicians with different belief systems but they're all fooling themselves and it's really just chaos magic you guys.

Wait, which one was supposed to be the more respectful and diverse approach again?

But the whole presentation of nMage is Hermetic- all the Atlantis stuff. The attraction of oMage IS the Chaos Magick stuff and the idea that you can create a Mage who does magic out of almost anything- so one player is playing Feng Shui, somebody else is playing Unknown Armies, there's a D&D Cleric and a Wizard and a Hoodoo Blues Voudoun and the rules let them all interact on something like an even playing field. Plus the freeform magic system is amazing, and allows for tons of creativity.

There is a bunch of oh so edgy 90s stuff like The Invisibles baked into it, but so what? It's still fun to play a game where 8 people can weaponize philosophy on the metaphysical plane. Add in some 60s Discordism too. Play it as semi-freeform, where everybody has their own agendas and the ST adjudicates, and it's great. My character went on a Seeking and it really was like a good old-school adventure game.

Different strokes and all that, and I get why people wouldn't like oMage, but it's still a great game that has an appeal that nMage doesn't.
I also never heard the 'the Technocracy are the good guys' until I joined SA, though the Guide to the Technocracy does make a case for them.

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MJ12 posted:

When you're classifying "if your immediate superior in the hierarchy says someone is suspicious you treat them as suspicious" as 'brainwashing' literally 99.99% of employees are going to count as having had mandatory loyalty brainwashing.


You could classify most employee 'onboarding' and orientation and 'culture' programs as Technocracy style brainwashing, yes! Especially if you haven't been exposed to it before, you're in a 90s Microserfs/No Logo/culturejamming mindset, or you've ever listened to a corporate loyalty presentation.

That's the best/worst thing about Mage - it teases out everybody's biases and leads to fractal levels of arguments. Maybe we should quarantine this to another thread so it doesn't destroy the Tapestry of FATAL & Friends?

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Rand Brittain posted:

Honestly, I don't think the books ever really talk about what the Traditions want other than "freedom from being cyborg murdered" because that's such a far-off, nebulous future that there's no point. People just read intentions onto them to match their bias. (And okay, there's probably at least one book that states that the Tradtions are totally planning to turn the entire world into Generic Fantasy Europe, because of course there is.)

Really, this is the one thing that Ascension always completely failed at in every iteration--these arguments are never fun. If you're playing Nobilis, navel-gazing and arguing about what is or isn't Treachery is all part of the fun; doing the same thing with your paradigm in Ascension is a gateway to endless misery.

The Traditions want a world where we can all follow our own Paradigm. Currently, I need to believe in modern medicine and science because they objectively work. Scientists and doctors are right, my hippie friends are wrong. Which is great if you're good at math and science and medicine! But Mage lets you imagine a world where I really can heal injuries by listening to my favorite song and enter other realms by doing the right drugs! Where all the fun, interesting stuff that I KNOW is bullshit IRL gets to actually be true, at least for the length of a game session.

Does it have problems? Yeah, I wouldn't want to live in a world where fundamentalist religious types could enforce their wills on reality. But for me, personally, the world of Mage sounds more fun than Ars Magica's academic politics (though I love reading Ars Magica) or indeed most other settings.

But its cool - it's a personal thing. It's just that almost every bug somebody points out is a feature to somebody else. In fact, I know a bunch of hippie gamers who might run Mage well.

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Terrible Opinions posted:

It doesn't explicitly say that, but they're still based on appeals to Romanticism, and just like real life Romanticism leaves many implicit problems floating around unaddressed. Either the Traditions have a solution to the god-king problem that they aren't telling the class or they don't think the wizard god-king s a problem.

As I guy who got way into Byron's Manfred in college, 'you can play a Romantic wizard-king' is not a knock against Mage. And presumably after Ascension, you get running water based on whatever paradigm holds sway in your personal reality bubble. I see it a bit like Instrumtality in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Maybe you ask the water spirits for help, while I quote Joyce's riverrun and turn the words into a bubbling torrent. It's fantasy, just like pretending that being good at math means you can throw a fireball and beat up dragons. The whole Romantic vs Modernist thing just gives it a nice engine of tension/paradox and ensures that these debates will never end. They also tie into things that are a big part of people's personal identifies. If you see Modernity as something you grudgingly buy into because it works (but you wish it didn't) you'll have a different view of the Technocracy than somebody who gets math and logic.

I guess I blame Facebook. Mage is less appealing when people are posting mystical David Avocado Wolfe quotes.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 04:20 on Jan 18, 2016

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Alien Rope Burn posted:

Also bear in mind Mage-under-Brucato, at least, has a lot of attacks on modernism as an engine that grinds souls under its boot and reduces you to "Liquid In, Liquid Out". It's not hard to take that as the party line for the Traditions, because if not them, who else? But Mage: the Ascension as a line is fantastically inconsistent and you can read it to support whatever preconceived notions you have, of course.

That's also what 75% of the Internet I read says (replace 'modernity' with 'late period capitalism', I guess), so it makes sense. Can you play a Situationist Mage, detourning the Society of the Spectacle? Or a Technocracy idealogue who jacks off to The Futurist Manifesto? I guess the fact that you can play Mage as 'LF: The Game' is why so many people love and hate it.

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Alien Rope Burn posted:

The important thing that Mage has taught me is that gently caress beliefs, gently caress paradigms, what mages are really fighting over is which clothes will be fashionable in Nirvana when the non-denominational rapture happens.

Will it be henna tattoos or laser goggles? It's time to make a stand!


Well, a lot of early Exalted was pretty much supposed to be a trage- wait, no, I'm not going to discuss Exalted. It's a trap.

He mentioned Witch House, so if M20 came out now I bet it'd be Vaporwave and A E S T H E T I C S. What styles people will wear in the posthuman future is a totally valid thing to fight over - see Moorcock's Dancer's At The End of Time series.

Chuubo sounded great. I love R. Borgstrom's writing style.

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If Hunter reads like a Supernatural RPG for the first few seasons, In Nomine is what you use to run the Castiel/Crowley seasons (though they're just Azriphlie and Crowley from Good Omens).

Review whichever supplement has the most Bowie inspiration - I'm guessing they just ripped off Neil Gaiman and based Lucifer on him.

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Kurieg posted:

Not really, Fields is just obsessed with sex, particularly sex acts that might be normally seen as transgressional or taboo, combined with specifically Japanese exceptionalism. He's also ridiculously infantile and loves putting corprophilia and menses into his book for reasons.

Brucato sees sex as a gateway into the realm of "Magiiiiiccccccckkkkkkjjjssskksss" and a return to a time when love was free and we all danced with the earth mother and faeries existed etc etc etc.

There are zillions of people like Brucato, often art students with 'Pixie' in their names or just general neo-hippies. Fields is something... different, and I haven't really encountered anyone like him in the wild.

quote:

They can be brutal, blindly obedient and support unpleasant organizations. However, all of them love God and are ultimately selfless, self-sacrificing and benevolent.

This one sentence sounds like it can justify so much horrible Fundamentalist evil.

I've been avoiding saying this, but now that everything is being backed up to a public, external site, is it still cool to quote large chunks of books that are still for sale?

PurpleXVI posted:

That was Otherverse: America, by Chris Field. This was also part of the setting where the universe is ruled by a parsecs-long space penis, and that being able to understand cocks is a prerequisite for sentience. None of this is hyperbole or made up.

Chris Field was also the guy who wrote Black Tokyo. He's a bad person.

It did remind me of Clive Barker's Imajica. Phallic imagery is everywhere in geek culture, at least Fields is honest about it.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 23:37 on Jan 19, 2016

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