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  • Learning True Names

    Hi folks! I've got a question and it was suggested I crosspost here to get the advice of you Mummies and Fallen who know about True Name magic. We've got it in Vampire too, but there aren't any mechanics for learning True Names. Can you explain how your systems deal with learning, changing and so forth? I am looking at the feasibility of importing mechanics.
    Last edited by g3taso; 08-31-2017, 01:18 PM.

  • #2
    Well, Demon people seems to be asleep, and I don't even know if Mummy people exists, so:

    In Mummy it's said that the ren, or true name, provides power and comprehension over something, functionally this means that you can use your Nomenclature powers over something only if you know it's name. Fluff wise, it also means that the name it's higly informative about that stuff (you could be able to discover a lot from someone by studying her TM)

    Everything has a true name, but some names are easier to discover than others and many things have common names:

    Originally posted by Mummy Revised
    The classification of ren often varies with the subject's spiritual strenght. A simple chunk of stone uses the same true name as nearly any other block of similar material:every granite boulder can be described with the same ren, for instance. Note that true names do not necessarily correspond directly to specific elements. Rather they function in therms of the methapysical importance of an item. Therefore, "granite" probably describes several types and grades of granite, but "iron"and "steel" would be separate true names. Similarly, different types of animals have ren for their species. Individual humans and thinking creatures have a unique ren of varying complexity.
    From this I take that common things have common names, but things that are more important or significative, like a famous work of art, may have their own names. Also, a creature's name it's more complex and hard to discover the more "spiritual strenght" it possesses.

    A common person possesses a short ren, one that can be discerned by unlocking the person's whole given name and applying the complexities of ren to it through a few descriptive words of power. A unique, powerful being, such as a brillant individual or a supernatural creature, has a highly complex and unique ren that describes her explicitly. Learning such a true name requires the chore of gathering detailed information about the subject and translating that knowledge into the true words that can form the ren
    So, how you discover a true name?. In some cases it may be just learning the name of the person and embellishing it with esoteric wording. In others it may need prolonged research about the being's life and characteristics. In the case of supernatural creatures it's also stated that the name it's modified by the supernatural context, a vampire's true name reflects the fact that the individual it's a bloodsucking fiend.

    Of course, another way to discover true names it's asking other users of true name magic, who have already discovered plethora of names. Esoteric books written by these magic users may contain a lot of names.

    In the case of a unique personal name, the scribe may have no way to test the name exept by using it. The Storyteller should adjudicate the usefulness of names that a character garners through book-learning and deduction. Research rolls (most often Intelligence + Occult or Enigmas) can be helpful here
    ...
    Many supernatural names change over time (as do some human names) as experience causes the individual to change. keeping up with the change requires study
    How do you change a name? Well, it seems that the name reflects the individual, thus, the easiest (non magical) way would be a world shatering experience that deeply changes the person.

    Originally posted by Learning True Names
    To learn a true name, the mummy needs only to study with an appropriate instructor. The Storyteller might award knowledge of a ren as part of a story or simply charge three experience points for each aditional name. Remember that learning a true name isn't a simple matter of hearing a name once. it's a matter of breaking down the name into component words, learning the meaning of each, learning their correct enunciation and pacing, and then putting them back together into the whole ren. Often doing so means comprehending the innermost nature of an item or an animal. For instance, a mummy can't learn the ren for "armor" unlessshe also learns how to make armor. She can't learn the ren for "hawk" unless she studies the hawk and understand its true nature.
    Discovering a true name from books or study proves considerably more difficult. A book's guides to pronunciation are often less exacting than a living instructor, so the mummy must practice, experiment and compare the word to the materials she already knows. The following chart provides a benchmark for various categories
    True Name Category Requisite
    simple animal (dung beetle, cobra) Animal Ken 2+
    simple element (sand, granite) Science 2+
    complex animal (ape, cat) Animal Ken 4+
    complex element (steel, diamond) Science 4+
    simple hand weapon (club, iron mace) Melee 2+ and material requisites
    simple projectile weapon (bow, sling) Athletics 2+ and material requisites
    complex hand weapon (steel khopesh, obsidian knife) Melee 4+ and material requisites
    complex projectile weapon (pistol, crossbow) Firearms 2+ and material requisites
    personal name Subterfuge 2+
    simple supernatural name (a ghoul, a minor spirit) Occult 2+ and personal name requisites
    complex supernatural name (a vampire, a mummy) Occult 4+ and personal name requisites
    It's also worth mentioning that some powers of Nomenclature allow to affect names: The most common it's Cloud the Name, that does minor random changes to the unique and personal true name of someone, causing the subject to slightly shift in personality and fortune, and forcing all the mages who leaned the true name of the subject to relearn it if they want to affect the subject.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aleph View Post
      Well, Demon people seems to be asleep, and I don't even know if Mummy people exists, so:

      In Mummy it's said that the ren, or true name, provides power and comprehension over something, functionally this means that you can use your Nomenclature powers over something only if you know it's name. Fluff wise, it also means that the name it's higly informative about that stuff (you could be able to discover a lot from someone by studying her TM)

      Everything has a true name, but some names are easier to discover than others and many things have common names:


      From this I take that common things have common names, but things that are more important or significative, like a famous work of art, may have their own names. Also, a creature's name it's more complex and hard to discover the more "spiritual strenght" it possesses.



      So, how you discover a true name?. In some cases it may be just learning the name of the person and embellishing it with esoteric wording. In others it may need prolonged research about the being's life and characteristics. In the case of supernatural creatures it's also stated that the name it's modified by the supernatural context, a vampire's true name reflects the fact that the individual it's a bloodsucking fiend.

      Of course, another way to discover true names it's asking other users of true name magic, who have already discovered plethora of names. Esoteric books written by these magic users may contain a lot of names.



      How do you change a name? Well, it seems that the name reflects the individual, thus, the easiest (non magical) way would be a world shatering experience that deeply changes the person.



      It's also worth mentioning that some powers of Nomenclature allow to affect names: The most common it's Cloud the Name, that does minor random changes to the unique and personal true name of someone, causing the subject to slightly shift in personality and fortune, and forcing all the mages who leaned the true name of the subject to relearn it if they want to affect the subject.


      I AM NOT ASLEEP, IM RESTING IN MY TOMB OF EVIL! ...watching netflix

      Basically yeah, you explained it. though i also use the True Name rule's in Mage the Ascension as well


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