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  • Nephandi

    Hello everyone, I hope you're having a great day.
    Ok, so I've been working on a character which I've been roleplaying so far for like 4 years now.
    The character has been struggling for so long since she was 6-7 years old until she reached 23. I'll leave the details for later. Her life has been shit, full of bad treatment and treason. She got sick of it and I'm thinking of making her go Nephandi except idk how she's gonna cross the caul so I might need some ideas, thanks in advance <3.

  • #2
    Ideas about what?

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    • #3
      There's an important thing, Leonardo: An evil, murdering, abusive, a*holish Mage is not necessarily a Nephandus. Not even most Infernalists are necessarily Nephandi.

      They are just evil Mages. A Nephandus is like an evil Mage, squared times ten. They are the worst of the worst.
      So, there needs to be a reason for the character to actually fall for the Nephandi, after a lifetime of bad treatment and treason - I mean, she'd probably be extra suspicious of them, not less. Also, people can only voluntarily walk the cauls - no trickery, no force.

      What I'm saying is basically this: Don't fall for the way too common trope of 'Angry Mage becomes evil, thus Nephandus!'. It's way overused. Cliché, really.
      Simply becoming an evil, Magick slinging nasty Piece O' Work without any Nephandus influence can be way more creative, and is probably way more common.

      Simply consider the nastiest people you know out there, and imagine one of them suddenly having Magick in RL. Yeah. No Caul walking needed.
      Last edited by Ambrosia; 08-14-2017, 10:37 AM. Reason: Typo fixings.


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      • #4
        Indeed. Voormas, one of the evilest mages out there and the most iconic villan of Mage isn't a Nephandi.

        If you had enough with your mage faction, you can always go rogue. Fuck the Traditions/Technocracy! , I'm not standing their bullshit anymore!. Rogue mages have left their faction and function outside the system. Usually, they're supposed to be regarded as betrayers and punished, but the reality of mage's life it's that the Traditions usually haven't resources to pursue every deserter, and concentrate only in the worst ones.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
          There's an important thing, Leonardo: An evil, murdering, abusive, a*holish Mage is not necessarily a Nephandus. Not even most Infernalists are necessarily Nephandi.

          They are just evil Mages. A Nephandus is like an evil Mage, squared times ten. They are the worst of the worst.
          So, there needs to be a reason for the character to actually fall for the Nephandi, after a lifetime of bad treatment and treason - I mean, she'd probably be extra suspicious of them, not less. Also, people can only voluntarily walk the cauls - no trickery, no force.

          What I'm saying is basically this: Don't fall for the way too common trope of 'Angry Mage becomes evil, thus Nephandus!'. It's way overused. Cliché, really.
          Simply becoming an evil, Magick slinging nasty Piece O' Work without any Nephandus influence can be way more creative, and is probably way more common.

          Simply consider the nastiest people you know out there, and imagine one of them suddenly having Magick in RL. Yeah. No Caul walking needed.
          Second that.

          IMHO a non nephandic is even more a bad guy, because he could be doing good things, could be good.
          A Nephandus is somewhat impaired in this regard due to the inverted Avatar.


          So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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          • #6
            As others have said, going Nephandi is quite an extreme choice and perhaps an unnecessary one.

            If you still were interested, I think there are a few ways. But the easiest would be making contact with a Nephandi, Black Spiral Dancer, Bane, etc that would help them get to a Caul.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Leonardo View Post
              (...)
              Ok, so I've been working on a character which I've been roleplaying so far for like 4 years now. (...)
              How does she see the Nephandi - how does she perceive them as True Mages; compared to herself?

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              • #8
                I agree that Nephandus is an extreme step. Nephandi have the additional problem of attracting universal opposition. A Mage who decides they want revenge, but goes "evil" while remaining officially within their Tradition, is far more dangerous. From a political standpoint, Mages that stand to benefit from her actions might look the other way, or even side with her in some circumstances.

                Also, a PC "evil" Mage has the option of changing their mind, and thus can evolve into narratives other than vengeance/evil. A Nephandus, on the other hand, is basically stuck in "F* the world" mode.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                  (...) A Nephandus, on the other hand, is basically stuck in "F* the world" mode.
                  In how many places across Mage: the Ascension is this written?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                    In how many places across Mage: the Ascension is this written?
                    I mean...you invert your avatar, right? That's like the definition of "THIS CHARACTER IS PERMANENTLY EVIL NOW." It's kind of the core feature of being Nephandi. They're the Bad Mages. That's the function they serve from a game design perspective.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Caladriu View Post

                      I mean...you invert your avatar, right? That's like the definition of "THIS CHARACTER IS PERMANENTLY EVIL NOW." It's kind of the core feature of being Nephandi. They're the Bad Mages. That's the function they serve from a game design perspective.
                      I'm aware that it is described more or less like you wrote in one or two books of M:tA ; I was wondering in how many places across Mage: the Ascension this (and similar ones) line of thought is written.
                      Last edited by Muad'Dib; 08-24-2017, 08:04 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Muad'Dib
                        I was wondering in how many places across Mage: the Ascension this (and similar ones) line of thought is written.
                        All of it. Literally, every time the topic it's mentioned.

                        I'm not going to count, but just read every Basic, including M20, read the Book of Madness (both editions), read the Storyteller's handbook. Wherever Nephandi are mentioned evil it's assumed.

                        A better question would be in how many places across Mage: the Ascension is this line of tought contradicted. I know one potential instance: Archmaster/Oracle level intervention MAY be able to stray a Nephandi from it's evil path. That's it. If super-mages with ST fiat powers aren't involved, a fully initiated Nephandi it's permanently evil.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                          All of it. Literally, every time the topic it's mentioned.

                          I'm not going to count, but just read every Basic, including M20, read the Book of Madness (both editions), read the Storyteller's handbook. Wherever Nephandi are mentioned evil it's assumed.

                          A better question would be in how many places across Mage: the Ascension is this line of tought contradicted. I know one potential instance: Archmaster/Oracle level intervention MAY be able to stray a Nephandi from it's evil path. That's it. If super-mages with ST fiat powers aren't involved, a fully initiated Nephandi it's permanently evil.
                          Wouldn't you say that this makes the Nephandi less engaging?

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                          • #14
                            It depends. I think Nephandy are flawed, but not because they're hard to set straight.

                            I think that overplaying their edginess and their attitude of "evil for the sake of evil" it's bad, it makes them cartoonish and predictable. One can't understand how they can be so good at infiltration when everything they do it's edgelord level evil. But the same can be said of clown Marauders. It's not the evil insanity what's bad, but the way it's portrayed (both by rookie ST and the books).

                            I think that the Fallen and the Fall have their uses. They're good boogeyman. They represent a force that's so trascendental that it's horrifying in its own right. Becoming one it's like dying in a realistic setting, would Death be engaging if everyone can resurrect?. It should be something that can happen to the characters, much like being erased from Reality trough Paradox/Hubris can happen. Sadly, there isn't a lot of reason of why one would want to become a Nephandus.

                            I think it's ok for the Fallen to be very hard to rescue, milacurous even, because that reinforces the idea of The Fall as something really dire. You cannot just repent, and be done with it. Actions have consequences, some sins can't be wished away...But I don't think it should be *impossible*.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                              Sadly, there isn't a lot of reason of why one would want to become a Nephandus.
                              There is this short story on pages 81-83 of the Book of Shadows - Player's Guide which I see as describing the Nephandi as powerful, enlightened and possessing a close-knit sense of unity and familiarity between each other. I think these are good reasons to join the Nephandi.


                              I do think going back from being a Nephandus should be a step perhaps even more life-changing than becoming a Nephandus.
                              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 08-24-2017, 01:28 PM.

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