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1001 Wonders

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  • Bluecho
    started a topic 1001 Wonders

    1001 Wonders

    Let's fill this thread up with a bunch of Wonders. Artifacts/Inventions, Talismans/Devices, Charms/Gadgets, Periapts/Matrices, Fetishes/Superstitionist bollocks, etc.

    And for this one, I'd like everyone to not only explain why the Wonder is awesome, but why it might be not so awesome. Translation: include any Flaws such an item could have, if you care to. It gives the items personality.

    1) Mundo's Black Velvet (2 pt. Artifact):
    A pair of gloves, first seen on the hands of Mundo, The Magician (also known as Mundo the Amazing, or Mundo the Baffling) during his heyday in the 1920s and 30s. In the light, Mundo was a showman, dazzling audiences with stage magic, and a hypnotic gaze "gained from [his] travels in the Orient". In the shadows, he solved mysteries and fought evil as part of the Euthanatos, alongside a group of other Awakened adventurers. He rode the razor's edge of the Consensus, hiding acts of True Magick behind screens of stagecraft, superstition of the exotic, and regular sleight of hand. A lesson Mundo repeated to his companions - who eventually learned the wisdom, in their own ways - was the singular power of distraction.

    Nowhere is that lesson more evident than with his signature gloves, the Black Velvet set (named for the magician's favorite drink). Like his own duel identity, Mundo's gloves could not be more different. But the true power came when they acted in concert. His right hand glove (affectionately called "The Sparkling" by Mundo) was covered in sequins, so they sparkled brilliantly. His left hand glove ("The Stout"), by contrast, was black silk, which tended to blend it with the arm of his tuxedo. Working in concert, the right hand demanded the attention of onlookers, while the left hand faded from notice; the one kept the eyes busy, while the other worked some sneaky bit of work. On the stage and in a fight, the Black Velvet gloves were invaluable to Mundo over his long career. After his disappearance, the gloves surfaced here and there, letting Mages ply the trade of the sneak, right in plain sight.

    System: Forces 2 bent light in such a way that, when the Effect is activated, the sequins shine brilliantly. Mind 2, meanwhile, shifts the focus of onlookers towards the wearer's right hand, and away from the left. Each success rolled reduces the difficulty of rolls involving sleight of hand, such as Performance, Larceny, Blatancy (Storyteller's discretion), and event Melee (so long as the weapon is suitably small, and the opponent didn't expect the mage to be so armed). However, there is a hitch: Mundo was left-handed. It advantaged him, for his dominant hand to be the one who did the real stealth work, but the right-handed majority will have trouble using the gloves to their full effect. Because this Effect runs off seemingly normal principles of stagecraft, it is Coincidental.

    Flaws: In a surprisingly mundane twist, the gloves must be cleaned and maintained regularly, or the magic doesn't work. The sequins are silver, and must be polished, to prevent tarnishing. And the fabric of the Black Velvet gloves is literal velvet silk. Ergo, Dry Clean Only.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 07-22-2017, 11:00 PM.

  • Bluecho
    [Screw it. Let's go crazy.]

    66) The Paradox Gun [Special Artifact]:
    The holy grail for modern mages, of all stripes. No one knows if it even exists, let alone where it is. Only that IF it exists, it's potentially one of the most valuable Wonders around.

    What it IS is a pistol-shaped firearm, though more detailed descriptions vary from telling to telling. What IS consistent is that it has no mechanism for loading ammunition.

    The Paradox Gun's origins, if any, are shrouded in legend and hearsay. Some say it was crafted by a powerful Marauder. Others that it was a gift from the Oracles, sent to give Traditionalists an edge in the Ascension War. Still others scoff, saying it must have been bargained from the demons of hell itself, in trade for innumerable souls. Given its purported power, some would argue that such a sacrifice might truly have been worth it...

    System: The Paradox Gun does not need any bullets. Paradox is all the ammunition it needs.

    The Paradox Gun does as its name suggests, or so they say. It draws upon a mage's accumulated Paradox, firing a beam of purple light at a target. When it strikes a target - regardless of Awakening or any sort of supernatural nature, if any - it does no damage. Instead, it transfers the Paradox to that target. If the target is given enough Paradox, it triggers a backlash onto them, even if they normally do not suffer Paradox.

    Flaw: The very nature of the weapon encourages absolute Vulgarity in its wielder. And why shouldn't it? It allows a mage to enjoy all the benefits of their Magick, and weaponize the karma that comes with it. Indeed, whether it is some psychological Effect of the Artifact itself, or merely a logical byproduct of its use, prolonged use of the Paradox Gun causes the wielder to become emboldened towards its use. They will be inclined to use it as much as possible to solve their problems - even deliberately choosing Vulgar solutions where Coincidental or even non-magickal ones were perfectly valid and even preferable - and then empty their accumulated Paradox as often as they can, into whomever they please.

    Needless to say, even the rumor of this weapon's presence will galvanize virtually every Awakened faction to activity, searching for it. The Technocracy claims eminent domain on the weapon, ostensibly for the protection of the Consensus. Though of course, they labor under Paradox just as much as anyone, and would gladly employ it if given the chance. Even the Nephandi seek the Artifact, despite rumors of them having created it with fell magick. Granted, not all Nephandi are on the same page about most matters. On the other hand, inventing legends about such an item is just the sort of scheme the Fallen might employ to sow discord and betrayal in the ranks of un-Fallen mages.

    (I don't think I need to explain why such a Wonder should only be included at Storyteller's discretion. It has the potential to break any game. Use it wisely.)

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  • 11twiggins
    65) the Bag of Props.

    This bag has a wonderful Matter/Prime effect; when you reach in you can grab an object that you are imagining. However what you pull out will always be a prop (books with blank pages, guns that don't fire, phones that can't actually connect to anything), and it will always be one that could fit inside the bag.

    These objects are perfectly convincing at a distance but will fall apart under scrutiny in most circumstances. Money that looks 100% realistic on stage will appear completely fake to a cashier... if they're paying attention.

    This item does have some underhanded applications of course. Guns can be produced, along with fake keys, diamonds and similar. And of course a spoon is a spoon; the most simple of objects will work well enough, from cups to trowels.

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  • Lord Revan
    Isn't wonder costs at char creation very clear in M20?
    It says that a wonder dots are equal to the biggest sphere effect, and i has this same ammount in Arete (+1 bg cost for every +1 in Arete) and x5 this ammount in Quintessence.
    Also, it can have as much different effects as dots.

    M20 even use as example a wonder with a lvl 4 Sphere with Arete 4 and 20 Quintessence costing 8 bg points. If you want Arete 5 in this wonder the cost goes to 9.

    Warpwind you wonder uses Life 3 and Time 3 effects. So it should cost 6bg points. But it has more than 3 different efffects, so it should cost a bit more.
    The paw is this low because it has some flaws. Still a good wonder, tough.

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  • Froggo
    64) Cigar Grenade: 6pt Gadget Arete 3 Primal Energy 3

    The cigar grenade was invented by a Syndicate rep who decided to invest Currency into his cigar to see what happened. He learned that the cigar became volatile and that he could throw it at enemies, whom would be on the receiving end of a powerful explosion.


    Prime 3 allows the cigar to explode, simple as that. The cigar deals aggravated damage.

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  • Bluecho
    Fetishes are tricky, as Forged by Dragon's Fire is deliberately vague about how much they cost. The book leaves it up to the Storyteller to determine cost "according to how valuable he deems the Fetish's power to be" (FbDF p. 34), and also says "unlike other Wonders, it's rare for a Fetish to be ranked higher than 5 points". I would assume the latter refers to the fact that Fetishes only have as much power as the spirit it contains possesses (and is willing/able to lend), which often leads Fetishes to only having one or two powers.

    Suffice to say, it's for this reason that I tend not to post many Fetishes on this thread. Figuring out point costs without a solid metric is a headache I usually would rather not deal with.

    After checking M20: Book of Secrets, I see that it isn't much help in this regard, either.

    If I had to knock together a rough way of determining a Fetish's point value, I'd probably make the point value equal to the Gnosis rating of the item, adjusting up in order to adhere to the idea that a Wonder should be worth as many Background dots as it has Effects it can do. So it's at least a 5 dot Wonder (that's 5 dots, not 5 points; the point value is at least 8, and probably closer to 15 or more).

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  • Warpwind
    Hello guys, could you help estimate the cost of the tattoo fetish enhancement? Something similar is 2 background pt. Wolf Paw amulet that gives:

    Several linked Life 3 Effects allow the amulet’s
    wearer to automatically heal one health level of bashing or
    lethal damage per turn, gain the Merit: Berserker, grow sharp
    claws (damage is Strength +1, lethal), soak lethal and aggravated
    damage, and raise her physical Strength. By rolling the
    amulet’s Arete (difficulty 6) and spending one Quintessence
    point, that wearer gets one dot of Strength per success. This
    Strength lasts until the end of that scene, and features a fantastic
    surge of raw vitality (Arete 5).

    wat Would you say fair cost for the following effects? regenerate 1pt health a turn, gain Berserker, soak lethal and aggravated, gain +2 (or+3?) extra actions, distribute successes between Strength and/or Dexterity. Gnosis 8

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  • Bluecho
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    Awesome ideas here. While I don’t know enough about Ascension to contribute, would any of you mind me converting & translating the items here in the Awakening forums?
    Go ahead, if it pleases you.

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  • 21C Hermit
    Awesome ideas here. While I don’t know enough about Ascension to contribute, would any of you mind me converting & translating the items here in the Awakening forums?

    Leave a comment:

  • Bluecho
    63) 144 West Maple Dr. [6 pt. Grimoire; Arete 3, Time 2, Correspondence 3, Spirit 3]:
    A most unusual magical text, the Grimoire of 144 West Maple Dr. (known in some circles as "The Driver's Wife", for a notable recurring phrase within it) was not etched on any paper, tablet, or code, but was written on the walls of the titular L.A. residence. Its author, as best as anyone can guess, was Mikhail Stroud, a Beat writer and surrealist poet from the mid 20th century. Given the nature of the work, some speculate Stroud was a Marauder, or at least burdened with a Quiet during the work's authorship. Those familiar with the Beat Generation, however, are quick to remind that rejection of standard narrative forms and exploration of psychedelic and surrealist themes were par for the course in the movement. Moreover, a number of old Ecstasy Cultists have hazy memories of Stroud, and so the Tradition tends to claim him as their own.

    What can be gathered - from half-remembered accounts, sparse mentions in underground publications, examinations of the house, and context clues embedded in the text itself - is that the tail end of Stroud's career was marked by heated rivalries, drug abuse, drug withdrawal, and a vendetta against ghosts. Or possibly nightmare spirits, it's unclear. After a particularly ugly magical conflict with a rival - what many Virtual Adepts would describe as a proto "Meme War" - Stroud suffered a nervous breakdown. This coincided (or resulted in or from) him gaining the ire of many spirits, and Stroud retired to his home and Sanctum at 144 West Maple Drive. His house remains warded to hell, even decades later, implying he feared spiritual enemies, and possibly also spies from distant locations and from the past and future.

    Mikhail Stroud was a deeply complex, belligerent man, and one who made complex, belligerent enemies, regardless of location and temporal vantage points.

    At the height of his "house arrest", he ceased all communication with the outside world, and eventually began work on this Grimoire. His Magnum Opus. "The Driver's Wife" has no known title, for it is a novel with no easily understood beginning, middle, or end. In typical Beat fashion, what may have been a coherent narrative is cut up and rearranged, chapters and scenes distributed across the house's walls. As such, the first hurdle to comprehending the text is to be able to piece together what even happens in the narrative, and what the presumed proper order of passages is.

    The trick being, of course, that there may not be one proper order of events, but several of them. The narrative is uniformly obtuse, but could flow in cause and effect regardless of order read. Moreover, the text may, in fact, be cyclical; a narrative loop that circles back in on itself. Many mages who have studied the house think that it needs to be read many times, allowing ideas and motifs to stew in the reader's brain, until a mental numbness begins to form additional ideas from a mounting free association. Then again, others claim that one can't possibly understand the Grimoire without dropping acid. Both approaches seem to yield results, and may be necessary to derive the Grimoire's full value.

    What is NOT in question is that there's another, vital element to gaining any sort of benefit from the Grimoire. For naturally, scholars of magic have written down the text word for word, for preservation and independent study. What they've discovered, however, is that a mere transcription gives the reader no benefit. After about two decades of study and headaches, members of the Cult of Ecstasy finally figured out why.

    The format of the Grimoire - text written on the walls of a building - is itself an aspect of the experience needed to unlock Enlightenment. An entirely obvious fact in hindsight, given the narrative's frequent themes of physical space and the passage of time. The specific arrangement of the text on the walls of the specific structure were incorporated into the magic of the Grimoire, and thus need to be experienced to have the full effect. The reader must walk about the house, reading passages, feeling out the orientation of the space and allowing the pace of the text to dictate the pace of their comprehension.

    Because of this, spreading the benefits of "The Driver's Wife" have been, by its nature, a difficult task. Members of various Traditions, as well as Craft mages and Orphans, have made trips to the property over the years, as a kind of mystic pilgrimage. As the decades wear on, though, there are fears that decay or urban development will destroy the house, and therefore the text. Several attempts over the years have been made by the Technocracy to have the house torn down and repurposed. Nor can a person just open a book and read the text. For the sake of preservation, some mages have attempted construction projects, to build replicas of the house and all its writings. Three such projects have been started in Tradition properties in San Diego, Austin, and Miami. Others have attempted to make Stroud (who disappeared sometime in the 60s) into a cultural icon, and to convert his home into a cultural heritage site.

    The ones who have the most promise, however, will likely by members of a Virtual Adept + Cult of Ecstasy collaboration. Experts on VR and "cyber psychedelics", this cabal has begun a project to render a perfect 3D model recreation of Stroud's home. When accessed with VR or augmented reality, a person could explore a replica of the physical space of 144 West Maple Dr., anywhere in the world, without needing to build physical structures. They hope to dedicate a zone in the Digital Web to this project, so any netizen can dive in and experience Stroud's work as it was originally intended. If nothing else, members of the Virtual Adepts find his insights into space and time fascinating.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 07-13-2018, 01:53 AM.

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  • Bluecho
    "I'm Mary Poppins, ya'll!"
    -Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    62) Slow Fall Umbrella [2 pt. Artifact]:
    Gravity is a harsh mistress. Little wonder, then, that Mages seek to spurn her every chance they get. A common Wonder taking the form of an umbrella, the greatest number of Slow Fall Umbrellas were crafted following the theatrical run of the film Mary Poppins. Unsurprising, as Awakened are quick to ride the coat tails of new Mythic Threads, if it means grabbing a casting advantage or even dodging Paradox. Then again, being able to leaping higher and longer, and prevent deadly falls, are their own reward.

    Even some Technocrats have been known to keeping one around, though the use of the umbrella is, at best, frowned upon. The way they figure it, asking forgiveness from superiors is preferable to a fall (or, rather, the sudden stop at the end).

    System: Forces 2 manipulates gravity and wind around the mage, allowing them to jump higher, leap farther, and fall slower. Each success rolled adds ten feet (or roughly 3 meters) to horizontal jumping distance, and five feet (or 2 meters) to vertical jumps. A single success, meanwhile, cancels all fall damage, as the user descends at a sedate pace. This will prevent injury, though it may make reaching the ground take a bit of time. These Effects are Vulgar, except in high wind speeds or other situations where the user's mobility or reduced weight is masked.

    Flaw: The Slow Fall Umbrella is sensitive to windy weather. It may attempt to fly open at even weak breezes, and will be difficult to collapse again. Particularly strong gales may cause the umbrella to invert entirely, unless the Effect is activated (which, given the situation, causes its own set of problems). Moreover, as many such Artifacts were crafted in the wake of Mary Poppins, a number of them have been created to resemble hers. This includes a handle shaped like the head of a parrot, which frequently gains a habit of mouthing off to the owner.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 07-13-2018, 08:29 PM.

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  • Bluecho
    Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

    "Die Fäden des Lebens"
    Yes, thank you. I get all my incidental non-English from Google Translate, so there's bound to be nonsense.

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  • Ambrosia
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    "Die Strings des Lebens" (literally: The Strings of Life)
    "Die Fäden des Lebens"

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  • Bluecho
    "Born underground, grown inside a rocky womb
    The earth is our cradle; the mountain shall become our tomb
    Face us on the battlefield; you will meet your doom
    We do not fear what lies beneath
    We can never dig too deep"
    -Yogscast, "Diggy Diggy Hole"

    61) Earth Gouger [5 pt. Talisman; Arete 4, 5 Quintessence]:
    A sturdy, ornate steel pickaxe, its head adorned with the crest of an Umbral house of dwarf spirits. In times long past, a Magus sought a means of subverting the fortifications of the Order of Reason. To this end, he summoned the spirit of a dwarf smith, bargaining his skills to help forge a tool that would allow the mage to tunnel through earth as easily as any mole. The dwarf agreed to aid in such a worthy endeavor, provided the product of their work be ceded to the dwarf upon the mage's death.

    Naturally, while the pickaxe - called Earth Gouger - was completed to stunning perfection, the other side of the deal was not fulfilled. Upon the mage's death, the dwarf came to his side to collect. The mage's apprentice - blinded by greed and power lust - refused to give it up, and fled. Ever since, those who carry the Earth Gouger are subjects of emnity from the dwarf and his house, who ever seek to reclaim the treasure. It's sometimes thought that they had reclaimed it once, only to have it stolen and returned to the mortal realms. Woe to one who possesses the object, for the dwarves are ageless, and their wrath diminished but a little.

    System: The Earth Gouger has three functions. First, Matter 3 + Forces 3 + Prime 2 allows the user to excavate earth rapidly. Tunnels can be carved in a fraction of the time and effort it would take through normal means, as the pick digs soil better than a shovel, and cleaves stone better than any industrial drill. Forces and Prime even work to clear away the debris, causing it to pile up outside the exit, so as to not slow the pace of digging with tedious excavation. Matter 3 even seals and shapes the walls of holes and tunnels, so they do not casually collapse. This safety is not foolproof, so projects meant to last long should include erecting additional support structures. Lest an errant earthquake collapse the mine anyway.

    Second, Life 3 strengthens the wielder, allowing the Earth Gouger to more effectively be used as an emergency weapon. Each success rolled raises the user's Strength for the duration of a scene.

    Third, Spirit 1 + Matter 4 allow the user to dig down so deep, they leave the material world as they know it, and enter the realm of the dwarves. It's a deep underground realm, adjacent to the Hollow Earth. The Earth Gouger can only be used to access this specific realm. Of course, given the tool's history, traveling there could be less wise than it might have been...

    All Effects but the second are Vulgar.

    Flaws: The one who carries this pickaxe also carries the emnity of umbral dwarves. Or at least one dwarven house. Given the reputation of the Earth Gouger, other dwarf spirits may still oppose a mage who carries it, either from alliance with the aforementioned dwarf house, or because they covet the item themselves. In any case, dwarf spirits ride the waves of Paradox, in order to attack the user when they use the pickaxe too vulgarly. Lesser backlashes may find the user simply the victim of spontaneously created potholes, hole traps, or even the foundations of buildings being compromised. A result of industrious and recalcitrant dwarves making short work of the ground beneath their feet.

    Another flaw associated with the Earth Gouger is a subtle mental effect on its user. Dwarves are known for digging deeply and greedily. As an item partially of dwarven make, the Earth Gouger transfers this avaricious tendency to its wielder. Their desire for wealth and power grows, even if only slightly, and they are loath to part with the Earth Gouger especially. Perhaps this tragedy was inevitable.

    These flaws reduce the cost of the Wonder, as they are considered punitive enough to make up for its many benefits.

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  • Bluecho
    60) The Astral Window [4 pt. Trinket or Talisman]:
    As Astral Projection held a special place in Western mysticism - as a tool, danger, and method of spiritual elevation - wizards had to develop means of both working with and against it. While the founding of the Order of Hermes did much to curb rampant spying among mages in Europe (then again, so did Wards), no magician worth his salt would ever truly trust a peer not to break their oath if they Willed it so. Moreover, between foreign magi (especially masters of mental power like the Ahl-I-Batin and Akashayana) and the massasa of renegade House Tremere, even Hermetics had something to fear of individuals spying on them - or their consors - from the relative safety of the Astral Umbra.

    For this reason, Astral Windows came into use. Large mirrors made from silver and decorated with arcane symbols, capable of covering the expanse of a standard room. Their functions are simple: while objects in the material realm were reflected in the mirror's polished surface, so too were astral bodies. An individual in astral projection - whether Mage, Sorcerer, Vampire, or otherwise - appears just as readily in the mirror's reflection. Sometimes, even non-mortal or undead astral bodies - like Astral Umbrood - can appear in it, too. Many old masters kept such objects hanging in their studies, to watch for spies...or visitors.

    For indeed, while keeping hostile projectors from catching one unawares is all well and good, the Astral Window can also be used to see those who visit more amicably. Apprentices and Consors can be trained to check the mirror regularly, if their master must speak with them from abroad (and they lack the ability to see him otherwise). Other times, meetings between magi would occur with one or more Mages or competent Sorcerers appearing before the mirror to converse with bodied individuals. It's only usually necessary if the person on the material side can't sense the astral projectors, or when the projectors don't wish to strain themselves making an appearance. But in such cases, locations with an Astral Window can serve as useful hubs.

    Not all Astral Windows are employed by mages. Over the centuries, circumstance has seen many such objects fall into a variety of hands. Many Sorcerer acolytes of Hermetic magi lost touch with their masters, and ended up passing the mirrors down through family or secret society lines. Others were loaned to members of other Traditions, and never returned (or asked for back). At least one sits in the personal court of a Vampire Prince, who appears in Astral form before other vampires rather than in the flesh. (The Prince happens to be an old world Methuselah, and so doesn't trust anyone enough to make a personal appearance). Another one sits in an office of a high-ranking Technocrat, who finds the superstitionist object too useful to just get rid of. (She'll talk at length about the probable scientific explanation, if given the chance).

    System: Mind 1 + Spirit 1 is used to sense astral beings, while Forces 2 bends light to make them visible in the mirror. Most versions also use Forces 2 to create sound, so the speech of astral bodies is similarly audible to those on the material side. If an Astral Window doesn't happen to have that feature, those projecting who wish to communicate will need to employ some form of sign language, or have some method of making their thoughts known on their own. Another feature - meant for modesty - is to have the mirror automatically make the astral forms appear clothed (using Forces 2) if they don't already.

    Flaws: As a common magical item, Astral Windows often come with flaws. Some of them develop cracks, which may grow incrementally every time an astral projector appears in it (unless proper maintenance is done to undo the damage). Some instead cloud up, as if by mist or steam, when astral projectors appear, requiring the mirror to be wiped clean. Another might make astral forms appear well as the reflections of people on the material side, even if they are clothed! Still another flaw may cause a character to begin seeing strange, unfathomable entities, if they stare into the mirror for too long.

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