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Nurad, Thaumaturgy, and Third Edition

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  • Nurad, Thaumaturgy, and Third Edition

    I was just reading CoCD: Autochthonia and I got to the chapter on Nurad. Up to that point, only a few bits about Estasian Militat bioenhancements didn't convert well to 3rd Ed., but Nurad has a lot of its background tied to thaumaturgy, including recreating rice from a single grain and creating ironfruit. With thaumaturgy changed from something that everyone can learn to do to something only a few in a thousand can do and not something that can be researched, that seems like a major problem to converting the setting.

    Any ideas how to bridge this setting element?



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  • #2
    I've been running a campaign that revolves around Nuradi characters exploring Creation, so I've put some thought into this, and my solution was simply that Nurad still did a bunch of that stuff, thaumaturgy just wasn't involved. A lot of it can be explained by using the mundane Abilities, simply backed up by the advanced technology of Autochthonia. When a mortal technician is working in a biogenesis laboratory that's a municipal charm made of green jade, she can do more things than the same person working with primitive clay beakers and an iron cauldron in some run-down tower in Creation. And the more impressive stuff is adequately explained by sorcerous workings. Mortals can be sorcerers, after all, and the Sodalities in particular, I feel, all have their own secret techniques to initiate those who have the right gifts and aptitude into the power of sorcery.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
      I've been running a campaign that revolves around Nuradi characters exploring Creation, so I've put some thought into this, and my solution was simply that Nurad still did a bunch of that stuff, thaumaturgy just wasn't involved. A lot of it can be explained by using the mundane Abilities, simply backed up by the advanced technology of Autochthonia. When a mortal technician is working in a biogenesis laboratory that's a municipal charm made of green jade, she can do more things than the same person working with primitive clay beakers and an iron cauldron in some run-down tower in Creation. And the more impressive stuff is adequately explained by sorcerous workings. Mortals can be sorcerers, after all, and the Sodalities in particular, I feel, all have their own secret techniques to initiate those who have the right gifts and aptitude into the power of sorcery.
      I agree with your analysis.


      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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      • #4
        Was Genesis Arts even a reference to thaumaturgy in the first place?


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        Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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        • #5
          Minor sorcerous workings with lots of assistants would definitely be an alternative in portraying those too i'd imagine.

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          • #6
            Remember that one cult of thaumaturgic necromancers who achieved a false immortality by moving their lower souls into their soulgems, or something?

            They unwittingly made liches of themselves like Puella Magical Girls, and their secret society hadn't lasted long enough for the consequences to become apparent.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
              Was Genesis Arts even a reference to thaumaturgy in the first place?
              There was a bunch of references to more than just Craft (Genesis), like cybernetic prosthetics, that were accomplished via thaumaturgy.



              Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
              Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
              Masters of the Industrial Elements
              Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
              ​From The Crucible: Crafting As A Struggle

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                I was just reading CoCD: Autochthonia and I got to the chapter on Nurad. Up to that point, only a few bits about Estasian Militat bioenhancements didn't convert well to 3rd Ed., but Nurad has a lot of its background tied to thaumaturgy, including recreating rice from a single grain and creating ironfruit. With thaumaturgy changed from something that everyone can learn to do to something only a few in a thousand can do and not something that can be researched, that seems like a major problem to converting the setting.

                Any ideas how to bridge this setting element?
                Unique prodigies in Nurad, use of some municple Charms that the cities had whicha llowed htem to allow Soldates something akin to sorcerous workings without being sorcerers, and simply something that looks like actual Earth cloning via some form of technobable. None of it need to be categorically what we consider the same thing as other stuff. It's only a problem if you consider thaumaturgy like, a natural category of stuff basically.

                Hell, ironfruit being thaumaturgy in 2e is actually to me it just mission-creep. Seriously, standard long term breeding practices in an exotic environment do fine. We got edible corn without it being magic afterall.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blaque View Post

                  Unique prodigies in Nurad, use of some municple Charms that the cities had whicha llowed htem to allow Soldates something akin to sorcerous workings without being sorcerers, and simply something that looks like actual Earth cloning via some form of technobable. None of it need to be categorically what we consider the same thing as other stuff. It's only a problem if you consider thaumaturgy like, a natural category of stuff basically.

                  Hell, ironfruit being thaumaturgy in 2e is actually to me it just mission-creep. Seriously, standard long term breeding practices in an exotic environment do fine. We got edible corn without it being magic afterall.
                  What’s mission-creep?


                  “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                    What’s mission-creep?
                    The slow expansion of an operation beyond its initial mission statement. In this case, expanding thaumaturgy rules to model steampunk science.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you. That actually sounds kinda cool.


                      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                        Thank you. That actually sounds kinda cool.

                        The problem with the way it was done in 2e was that thaumaturgy ended up eating up a lot of the territories of other Abilities. Thaumaturgy was tied to your Occult Ability, which meant that if you wanted to make soap, create a bandage that stopped bleeding automatically, or breed an animal with unusually good traits, all of which were examples of thaumaturgic rituals, you had to have dots in Occult. I much prefer the approach I suggested above, which is that Abilities already include the capacity to do various impressive things within their purviews, given the right tools and knowledge.


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                        • #13
                          I honestly don't really like the idea of straight up sorcery as the method of achieving these things in Autochthonia, because the image of the personalities involved doesn't really fit.

                          I still don't quite but the idea that Nurad's presented achievements were portrayed as a result of thaumaturgy, but in the end that doesn't really matter. The question is whether those things were there because they were naturally emergent from thaumaturgy, or if thaumaturgy was used as the convenient gameplay mechanism for how these particular qualities of the big gaslamp fantasy world were achieved.

                          I feel as though the setting as a whole is always one that has carried the implications that at the higher levels of functioning, quite a bit of the everyday wonders end up accessible to normal people in creation and use. Precisely how that works gets to be a bit of an open question because it's not relevant to the time period played in, and it gets to be a mystery of the First Age. Nurad could get a similar benefit when all of this is supposed to be stuff that happened a long time ago, they took a big hit for, and have hard turned away from.

                          Besides, regular Creation still has some forms of folk magic, some of which are apparently going to get some description in Across the Eight Directions.

                          And like, with the correct Craft you can mix guano and red jade together to make firedust. I think there can be something similar for that in the world where the tools and knowledge might be more sophisticated and accessible.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                            Any ideas how to bridge this setting element?
                            Mostly depends on how different you think Autochthonia is from Creation beyond the aesthetics.

                            It's pretty viable to treat that world as a giant industrial-looking cave inhabited by spirits that resemble robots and other forms of artificial intelligence, in which case most of the technology that's not provided by Alchemical municipal charms is a result of successfully requesting the aid of the AI spirits or tapping into whatever underlying systems they're part of. In some ways that represents a fairly realistic take on technology because very few people with expertise in a particular field could recreate their tools from scratch if they found themselves on another world without them.


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                            • #15
                              See, this is something that I overlooked. I remember that the Solar Terrestrial Circle Sorcery Initiation charm also lets you learn any Thaumaturgy you come.
                              I have been running that as "any Sorcerer can learn Thaumaturgy", which I now know is wrong.


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