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  • Dr. Strange

    I just saw the movie and love it. Some similarities with our beloved Mage game. Whie watching it I wondered what Tradition the group would be more similar too and I couldn`t choose between Akashics and Hermetics.

    For one side, te akashic behave like monks just like they do, and focus in martial arts and drawing their power from the cosmic.

    On the other hand they had some touch of hermetics with all those precise hand gestures, their hierarchy and the dealing with umbral entities, between other things.

    What you think?

    Please, avoid spoilers to people who hand`t seen it yet or at least use spoiler warnings

  • #2
    I'd learn Hermetic via House Hong Lei since they're explicitly a blend of high ritual Hermetic and Chinese style, that include martial arts training as part of their House methods. Not going to have the potency of Do, but Dr. Strange tends to focus a lot more on magically enhanced fighting, rather than a super-fighting style that doesn't rely on magical boosts.

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    • #3
      Given that Dr. Strange as a character was created as a syncretism between Western and Eastern style magick, this confusion is not surprising.


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      • #4
        Which doesn't mean we can't try to fit it into mage.

        His paradigm, practices and instruments, for example. Which would they be?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
          Which doesn't mean we can't try to fit it into mage.

          His paradigm, practices and instruments, for example. Which would they be?

          I would say Order of Hermes. Not only the paradigm, practices and instruments but the Library, tutor-student dynamic, apprenticeship levels ;-)

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          • #6
            Paradigm: probably World of Gods & Monsters. The comic version of Dr. Strange has met plenty of both, and plenty that counted as both.

            Practice: High Ritual Magick, Martial Arts, and Yoga.

            Instruments: Language, Gestures, Martial Arts, Fashion, Meditation, Invocations, Books, possibly Thought Forms. Add to it various amulets and other individual magical tokens of a miscellaneous character.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
              Paradigm: probably World of Gods & Monsters. The comic version of Dr. Strange has met plenty of both, and plenty that counted as both.

              Practice: High Ritual Magick, Martial Arts, and Yoga.

              Instruments: Language, Gestures, Martial Arts, Fashion, Meditation, Invocations, Books, possibly Thought Forms. Add to it various amulets and other individual magical tokens of a miscellaneous character.
              Nice. Incantations aren't an instrument, i think. And i believe fashion wouldn't fit very well. They clothes have no effect in their magick.

              Also they seem to rely only in gestures, like 90% of the time. And what bout energy?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post

                Nice. Incantations aren't an instrument, i think. And i believe fashion wouldn't fit very well. They clothes have no effect in their magick.

                Also they seem to rely only in gestures, like 90% of the time. And what bout energy?
                Well first, incanting something falls under Language (and Voice). Second, I didn't say Incantations, I said Invocations, which M20 bundles under the same heading as Prayers (Prayers and Invocations). It means to invoke a higher power, even if it isn't strictly speaking a prayer. And Dr. Strange does a lot of name-checking of powerful interdimensional beings in his magic. Or at least he does in the comics.

                Fashion counts, because he has at least one major article of clothing that most depictions of him rely upon: his Cape of Levitation. That's not just an accessory he's sporting. He uses that to float and fly. Moreover, it's a Wonder, allowing him to do so while saving his own mental strength (that's canon for the comics, him using the Cape to conserve his own magical resources).

                Energy-As-Instrument is a different thing than Energy-As-Effect. He shoots beams of magic a lot, yes, but those are either Forces or Prime Effects. Using Energy as an Instrument would require him to do energy-work, and I can't say if he does. I don't have time right now to explain or look it up, so bear that in mind.


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                • #9
                  I would probably group it as one of the cross Tradition organizations where Hermetics, Akashics, and possibly Chakravanti work together and after a long time have blended their magical styles. Short of that though I would say Hermetics that have no problem adding forgoing some of the usual OoH rhetoric and learning other mystic styles to add to their own knowledge.
                  Last edited by stanlemon; 11-16-2016, 01:37 PM.

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                  • #10
                    The first Ascension character I ever tried to make was a deliberate Dr. Strange ripoff. I went with the Dual Tradition merit, taking Hermetic and Akashic.

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                    • #11
                      Bluecho, I see. Still wouldn't include fshion as his clothes aren't part of the casting.
                      About the energy, i thought in those electric arcs when casting spells, but they may be jut a consequence of casting, a fluff, and not an instrument... I don't know

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                        Bluecho, I see. Still wouldn't include fshion as his clothes aren't part of the casting.
                        About the energy, i thought in those electric arcs when casting spells, but they may be jut a consequence of casting, a fluff, and not an instrument... I don't know
                        Fashion-As-Instrument requires a bit of work to get one's head around how it can be used magically, this is true. It works best for passive abilities, and various sorts of Buffs. Wearing a certain costume isn't quite appropriate for throwing a fireball. It's not for everyone, though there is something to be said about a Mage's look tugging on the Mythic Threads of their tradition.

                        And yes, Dr. Strange's lightning bolts and such are the results of magick, not the Paradigmatic cause.


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                        • #13
                          Im referring to the lights and arcs that appear when they cast spells in the movie. Not the lightning bolt or fireball per se.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                            Im referring to the lights and arcs that appear when they cast spells in the movie. Not the lightning bolt or fireball per se.
                            Oh those! My mistake. Yes, the purely for effect lights. Mechanically, you could replicate that effect by adding conjuctional Forces to whatever Effect you happen to be casting at the time, so it "looks cooler". Such special effects, though, are not in and of themselves Instruments.

                            Personally, I don't really like magic to have gratuitous lights, on top of the spell's purpose. It's very high fantasy, a mode I've soured on as of late. I like my magic to be invisible, outside of whatever function I happen to want accomplished. It makes magick seem more mysterious, and more grounded. "Realistic" sounds like a laughable goal in the face of mysticism, but I like feeling as though the only difference between what a Sleeper mystic does and an Awakened one is that the Mage's Arts obviously work, and even then almost in spite of itself.

                            Again, a personal preference. My tastes in fantasy a different than the Hollywood sort.


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                            • #15
                              I should clarify that making a Mage character's magic more subtle is not just my preference, but the assumed mode that Mage: The Ascension runs with. The World of Darkness is meant to be like our world, but with more fantastic elements creeping just below the surface. A major theme of MtAs is that of needing to hide one's magick within layers of obfuscation and coincidence. It's the sort of game where the modern, urban wizard sits in the corner of a bar, making arcane gestures under the table and whispering incantations under his breath. And then the world changes, yet all witnesses are left wondering if anything magical happened at all.

                              Even if the wizard goes Full Gandalf, wearing a robe and waving around a staff carved with runes and topped with a ruby, that guy should look for all intents and purposes like a crazy person...until fire erupts from their staff. No lightshows, no fanfare. Magic just happens, and people are left wondering if they can trust their senses (or their reality). It adds weight to the act of enforcing one's will on the world; magic itself is magical, and has no easily identifiable signs.


                              ...Although, there is something to be said about the effects of Resonance on a Mage's arts. One could argue that, as their Resonance (or Synergy) gets more potent, they could start manifesting the lights, sounds, and esoteric designs in the air when the Mage casts magic. It would need to be Resonance at 4 or 5, but it could happen. It's not impossible.


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