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Ex3 Thaumaturgy Rituals

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  • #16
    The trouble is that what the book calls "Thaumaturgy" in 3E doesn't really feel like what it has been presented as in the past. Most of what we, as legacy players of Exalted, think of as Thaumaturgy is now just applications of Occult, Medicine, and Lore in a mundane sense - and that can be a good thing. You know the rituals to do things "mundanely," and it looks like magic because magic is just a part of Creation. Salt to ward off ghosts, iron to ward off the Fae, a treatment of burning incense and prayer to drive off disease spirits, a harvest dance to increase its abundance and a fertility festival to enrich the planting, all magical things, all rituals that are "thaumaturgy" in the old sense, but are just part of how things work in Creation and thus mundane applications of Abilities.

    What 3E calls "Thaumaturgy" are really random 1-2 point supernatural merits that amount to unique minor tricks some random people can perform. This one guy who can break bread into more food than the original loaf, and this other who can smell spirits, and this girl who can listen to a sea shell to hear her twin brother's voice while he's at sea are all 3E thaumaturges.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Segev View Post
      The trouble is that what the book calls "Thaumaturgy" in 3E doesn't really feel like what it has been presented as in the past. Most of what we, as legacy players of Exalted, think of as Thaumaturgy is now just applications of Occult, Medicine, and Lore in a mundane sense - and that can be a good thing. You know the rituals to do things "mundanely," and it looks like magic because magic is just a part of Creation. Salt to ward off ghosts, iron to ward off the Fae, a treatment of burning incense and prayer to drive off disease spirits, a harvest dance to increase its abundance and a fertility festival to enrich the planting, all magical things, all rituals that are "thaumaturgy" in the old sense, but are just part of how things work in Creation and thus mundane applications of Abilities.

      What 3E calls "Thaumaturgy" are really random 1-2 point supernatural merits that amount to unique minor tricks some random people can perform. This one guy who can break bread into more food than the original loaf, and this other who can smell spirits, and this girl who can listen to a sea shell to hear her twin brother's voice while he's at sea are all 3E thaumaturges.
      Yea it looks like glorified mutations for now. Im going to wait for the magic book? If thats a thing? Maybe theyll elaborate on it. For now it looks like its just thier to keep the term for brand recognition.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
        Anyone know a list of 2e books that listed Thaumaturgy rituals? I have most of the books but it's been years since I've read that and I always glossed Thaumaturgy.
        I think the majority are in the core and the Codex.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by TavelGorge View Post

          Yea it looks like glorified mutations for now. Im going to wait for the magic book? If thats a thing? Maybe theyll elaborate on it. For now it looks like its just thier to keep the term for brand recognition.
          I think it's Paths of Brigid, yeah. I'm stoked for that book.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
            Some of them were maybe ok. Others were really stupid (needing Occult to breed mundane animals pretty well, anyone?)
            If I recall, weren't some of the Procedures learnable with no occult dots?


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            • #21
              After reading this thread, I realize that many of the Ex2 Thaumaturgy rituals now fall under the Occult ability. For example, my Occult 5 Twilight no longer needs to buy a ritual to be able to place a ward on someone's house. To me this is a good change.

              The next question is does a non-Exalt need to buy the Thaumaturgy Merit to cast wards and so on? Or does that merit just give a mortal access to "Miracles".

              Also, something occurred to me: Exalts can pump Essence into actions to make the action more likely to succeed. So while a Thaumaturgy ritual that imitates an an Occult/Medicine action may be useless to an Exalt, it would be extremely beneficial to a mortal. The ritual would be worth it to a mortal if increases the likelihood of the action succeeding.

              For example, Lin's patient has a life-threatening fever. If Lin was a Solar, she could use her supernatural excellence at healing to bring the fever down. However, Lin is a mortal, so channeling Essence for a better chance of success isn't an option for her. Since Lin is a Thaumaturgist, she knows a ritual to break a fever, so she is able to save her patient.


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              • #22
                For the most part, I feel like thaumaturgists are meant to be little miracles. "Tricks", sure, but they're not reproduceable by almost anyone else, and are done in ways that feel strange and occult. The value of them on a sorcerer is that they let you have magic that is less dramatic than butterflies that feels like magic. They're great for a few specific scenarios, they're great for worldbuilding. Give an NPC hermit a couple really strange habits that lead to unique powers! And make them weird but useful... like... the wanderer on the road who will tell your future for some coin. The hermit in the hills who can brew a tea which will bring clarity to a memory so strong that you feel you're reliving it. The witch in the bog who forms an effigy of you with some hair and a vial of blood mixed into clay, who says it will break if you suffer any harm, no matter how far away... the idea is just that they help a character feel more... well, magical. Even if they don't know the big dramatic miracle of sorcery.


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                • #23
                  My reading is that thaumaturgy is there for a blanket 'I know how do to something that is not normal in the setting, kinda breaks the rules, and I don't want to give to other players, is not reproducable, but is awesome.'

                  If it is something that lots of people know, it should be covered by regular skills. If it is calling on a god or spirit, it should be covered by regular skills.

                  If you can't explain it, and no one else can do it, it's thaumaturgy. Here's some of my ideas.

                  Speak to badgers. You speak any regular language, they understand. You understand their snuffles and squeaks. They are reasonably friendly (they are still badgers, though, so watch yourself).

                  Ask a question, reference a book, and get something resembling an answer.

                  Pull the ribs out of a pig fully cooked without harming the pig. Not marinated and no sauce.

                  Always be able to find sometuing that has been mundanely and legitimately lost. Not stolen, not deliberately hidden, but lost. Lost sheep? Lost tools? Lost city?

                  Touch an object and be able to see from it while touching it. Touch a tree to survey the land from the top of a tree. Touch a wall to see the other side.

                  Do something other people can do, but without the difficulty. Write on paper by speaking to it.

                  My rules: no dice tricks. It doesn't work if specifically blocked by other magic. It doesn't work of another person tried the same thing. The magic resides in you, not in an object made or procedure used. If you make a cake that helps to heal, it only works if you serve it. You can't industrualize it. If you need to make a pie, the magic stops when you make another pie. Generally make it something really impossible, but not big.

                  Edited for typos because my thumbs are fat and my phone small.
                  Last edited by Ejtaka; 01-29-2016, 04:40 PM.

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                  • #24
                    That does seem to be what it is. I just wish they hadn't called it "thaumaturgy," because it fits neither the old editions' definition nor mythic/historical definitions. They're random supernatural tricks better represented by mutation/merit.

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                    • #25
                      I guess I need to start using the term "Occultist" for mortals who dabble in magic instead of "Thaumaturge"


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Ejtaka View Post
                        Pull the ribs out of a pig fully cooked without harming the pig. Not marinated and no sauce.
                        what kind of diabolical villain are you


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ejtaka View Post
                          My reading is that thaumaturgy is there for a blanket 'I know how do to something that is not normal in the setting, kinda breaks the rules, and I don't want to give to other players, is not reproducable, but is awesome.'

                          If you can't explain it, and no one else can do it, it's thaumaturgy. Here's some of my ideas....
                          Except that thaumaturgy is something someone can learn from a person capable doing specific tricks if they will teach you and you have the capacity to learn thaumaturgy (by having the merit as a mortal, or just being an exalt with terrestrial sorcery.)


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                          • #28
                            Let me rephrase. Something you don't want every pc picking up because it is that useful, and something you don't want the pcs teaching every villager and farmer. What I don't want is super scifi games because the pcs teach super science courses.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Segev View Post
                              The trouble is that what the book calls "Thaumaturgy" in 3E doesn't really feel like what it has been presented as in the past.
                              Originally posted by Segev View Post
                              That does seem to be what it is. I just wish they hadn't called it "thaumaturgy," because it fits neither the old editions' definition nor mythic/historical definitions.
                              It's solidly on you, and not the job of the book, to dispose of notions you've carried forward from the past editions.

                              I get that that can be frustrating and difficult, but, it is what it is, and the writers have basically been saying this for months if not years before the backer release to try and get people prepared for it.

                              Originally posted by Segev View Post
                              Most of what we, as legacy players of Exalted, think of as Thaumaturgy is now just applications of Occult, Medicine, and Lore in a mundane sense - and that can be a good thing. You know the rituals to do things "mundanely," and it looks like magic because magic is just a part of Creation. Salt to ward off ghosts, iron to ward off the Fae, a treatment of burning incense and prayer to drive off disease spirits, a harvest dance to increase its abundance and a fertility festival to enrich the planting, all magical things, all rituals that are "thaumaturgy" in the old sense, but are just part of how things work in Creation and thus mundane applications of Abilities.
                              I actually love it. It makes more sense to me to gate those things behind "stuff you can basically learn" but not take it to the level of pseudo-scientific applications. Warding and the like feels very much like hedge magic, but something rooted in folk knowledge and tradition, but actually being "mundane" in nature (or rather, mundane in the world of Creation - these are not supernatural effects in-setting, they're wholly natural effects, given the way Creation works - magic and spirits are proven to exist, prayers have actual and provable impact in-setting upon spirits, etc).


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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                                It's solidly on you, and not the job of the book, to dispose of notions you've carried forward from the past editions.
                                So, if Ex3 had said that Charms were not the powers of the Exalted, but were instead things in which anybody can develop power by following certain 5-dot progressions, that wouldn't be a poor design decision, because it's the responsibility of the player to adapt to whatever the new edition calls for?

                                Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                                I get that that can be frustrating and difficult, but, it is what it is, and the writers have basically been saying this for months if not years before the backer release to try and get people prepared for it.
                                Doesn't change that it was a bad choice. "Hey, guys, Ford Motors speaking, here; we're going to be rolling out our 2020 line of trucks as 1-door vehicles with no bed, a 200-lb frame, and just a single seat for a driver with storage in the form of gift cards to U-Haul to rent trailers! Just a heads up, so you're aware." Yeah, doesn't make the decision any better just because we have 4 years to "prepare" for it.

                                Snark aside, if what they rolled out as "thaumaturgy" was not better, more cleanly, and with less word-count represented by a merit called, say, "minor miracle (o-ooo)" and thus wouldn't require the multi-page dedication to trying to justify calling it something that has a lot of baggage in Exalted, I wouldn't be complaining.

                                Heck, "Occult is used to perform thaumaturgy, the folk magic and science of creation that includes[list of things, and common difficulties]. Like melee or lore, knowledge of the occult is all that's required to make the attempt," would have gotten barely a blip of complaint, would have held to both real-world arguable definitions of the word and to expectations from prior editions, and not even been a change from the rules we've been presented, since what most people are looking for in thaumaturgy HAS been rolled into a generic use of Occult. Which is good.

                                It's just a really, really weird choice of insisting that thaumaturgy is something entirely different and unique but not really worth players' attention, in multiple pages of text, while not pointing back to the Occult skill to help those looking for what it used to be. This choice causes friction and problems where there needn't have been. And thus, I wish they'd chosen differently.


                                Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                                I actually love it. It makes more sense to me to gate those things behind "stuff you can basically learn" but not take it to the level of pseudo-scientific applications. Warding and the like feels very much like hedge magic, but something rooted in folk knowledge and tradition, but actually being "mundane" in nature (or rather, mundane in the world of Creation - these are not supernatural effects in-setting, they're wholly natural effects, given the way Creation works - magic and spirits are proven to exist, prayers have actual and provable impact in-setting upon spirits, etc).
                                Great! Glad you like it. I don't mind the mechanics. I just think the name is a bad choice, and a huge waste of word-count to justify it while muddying the issue and diminishing clarity for those coming from earlier editions and looking for something specific (i.e. that which is now just something you can do by rolling Occult).

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