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what is so special about life?

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  • what is so special about life?

    a lot of books say that the shards of the pure ones ,that is, the ascended host emanating from the future (aka avatars) merged with early humans thus magick etc.. well why? in theory the avatars would be better served by merging with higher beings. for instance i presume some did so with djinn. yet if a mage discorporates in the umbra his avatar flies away.

  • #2
    Obviously because the fairy tales of the superstionists speaking about avatars is nonsense. The enlightened know that true genius comes from within.

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    • #3
      Or because Humans are a lot easier to manipulate than the Djinn are.


      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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      • #4
        Or because humans express their will with a variety unprecedented by anything else.


        We're humans. Mage is about us. Will you question this base presumption? We can do that, but without comparable entities we're just working with conjecture anyway and everything is slave to this uniqueness.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Synapse View Post
          Or because humans express their will with a variety unprecedented by anything else.


          We're humans. Mage is about us. Will you question this base presumption? We can do that, but without comparable entities we're just working with conjecture anyway and everything is slave to this uniqueness.
          Yeah...any game or story is invariably slave to the Anthropic Principle. There's no reason to believe that shards of the Pure Ones wouldn't rather merge with the stars in the heavens. But stories about the stars themselves wouldn't be very interesting to a human audience or player base, unless the stars in question were assigned so many human qualities - made so anthropomorphic - as to cease being "Stars" as we understand them. They would essentially BE humans. Just, you know, more glowey.

          Mage: The Ascension is, principally and specifically, about humans and their beliefs. Making it about another species - even a surrogate species - wouldn't have the same impact as examining the beliefs and Real World contexts of humans that live in that Real World (or a close approximation thereof). A conflict between the tenets of Hermetic versus Akashic thought is only consistent and meaningful in a world where these exact intellectual and spiritual movements took place in history, and affected people's thoughts.

          There is certainly a story to be told about Djinn or Spirits or Stars gaining Avatars and reshaping Reality. That's just not the story Mage: The Ascension wanted to tell. It wanted to tell the story about humans in (a reasonable approximation of) our world gaining Avatars and reshaping Reality according to their beliefs. And it wanted that because it would be the story most relevant to the predominantly human audience and player base.

          If Djinn or Elemental Spirits or the Stars in heaven have a problem with this arrangement, they are free to create their own version of Mage: The Ascension, that stars members of their races, caters to their own perspective, deals with their themes, and speaks to their own species' condition.


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          • #6
            What Synapse and Bluecho said.
            Mage is *supposed* to be about humans. Everyday, normal humans that suddenly gain the power to change the world - theirs and others'. And the highs and pitfalls, the moral questions and the passion that can come with that. It's about a most fragile and asleep species in the World Of Darkness being also the strongest, through sheer will.
            The more beings are introduced that actually can, literally, awaken to True Magick, the more that theme gets diluted.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
              What Synapse and Bluecho said.
              Mage is *supposed* to be about humans. Everyday, normal humans that suddenly gain the power to change the world - theirs and others'. And the highs and pitfalls, the moral questions and the passion that can come with that. It's about a most fragile and asleep species in the World Of Darkness being also the strongest, through sheer will.
              The more beings are introduced that actually can, literally, awaken to True Magick, the more that theme gets diluted.
              well obviously this is true from the perspective of the writers. im not questioning why this is not djinn the ascension. but rather the perspective of the pure ones

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              • #8
                Other entities are described as beyond humans, and usually more individually powerful than humans, especially deeper into the umbra, which would be great if such avatars sought to merge to empower them.

                Which harkens back to my post. Based on how the game is, such answers will inevitably boil down to humanity's qualities and flaws, to whatever is ascribed to them and to no one else. To escape this you must escape one of the premises of the game (and really one of the premises of human thought that is yet purely hypothetical, no matter how much we know that to be coincidence rather than possibility)

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                • #9
                  So.... take your pick. My guess was our range of volition. Humans are particularly described as able to step above and beyond our basal natures and develop every thinkable Will. Even cosmic intelligences described in the game are more bound to their nature and in that sense more limited than humans.

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                  • #10
                    While a number of the books talk of the Avatar as being something separate from the soul, others talk about it being part of, if not the whole, soul. It's entirely possible that humans are special because they are remnants of the Pure Ones.


                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                    • #11
                      Depending on how Consensual it's your reality it may be that there was no *before* humans gaining Avatars, as human belief basically it's why everything exists. If there was a *before* humans, it' was produced just so humans can appear in the stage. In this scenario Avatars didn't "choose" other beings because there are no other beings without humans. And if Gods and others seem so powerful it's because we humans transfer power to them...

                      On the other hand, you could say that humans were created at the image of God, they were given the spark of Creation taken from God it'self from the Elohim, and thus they're very special-If something can defy the divine order, it's humans, and that's a very Mage thing to do. You could traduce this to Mage easily, just change God for The One and Demos to Purre Ones.

                      On the other hand, it's said that the Pure shatered into more than just Avatars, they also shatered forming the Spheres and a few potent spirits like Gaia, so it's not true that humans are the only ones who shape reality, it just happens that the shards that humans go work like Avatars and the others work differently.

                      On the other hand, it's entirely possible that humans are special because they are remnants of the Pure Ones, as Ramnesis says.

                      And so and so...mage states that humans are a very special snowflake that can change reality. Is this necessary to tell a story?, absolutely not, just read Werewolf. This is just how Mage uses to tell a story, but in no way it's limited to it: See how quickly this "limitation" it's removed when Threat Null appears in scene-When had they problems doing anything? They're supposed to capture the Artifact starships that supposedly only mages can pilot...they are very different from the powerless lost souls we're presented in Infinite Tapestry.

                      Also, Infinite Tapestry it's never stated that the Avatar "flies away", what's stated it's that it's unknown what happens to the avatar, if it flies away or if it's subsumed in the entity.

                      Avatars are misterious like that.
                      Last edited by Aleph; 09-18-2017, 10:31 AM.

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                      • #12
                        But, given all of the points above, mark's point still stands... Djinn qua djinn are supposed to be the equal of humanity in pretty much every regard (divinely created and appropriately endowed with the benefits of said creation such as free will, etc.) just of a different essential substrate.

                        So, IF (capitalization intentional) you take that premise as written (and it could be skewed all over the place to make djinn into Firstborn Fae or spirits or whatever) then djinn could easily share the same status as humans with regard to being mages, etc. (in which case things get really weird/interesting.... Are there djiin vampire analogues? Though they don't have the same Caine and Abel story, they do have those issues with Iblis.... djinn-weres? Where do djinn go when they die?)

                        So, whatever the Pure Ones are/were, if they were ever anything (since they seem like the kind of overarching "explains everything" but still doesn't really make sense in any terms comprehensible any particular Sect or Faction of mages), maybe they are in djinn too? Who knows? Maybe all the all-powerful djinn from various myths and legends ARE the djinn mage-analogues and there are tons of djinn-schmoes out there that just don't make it into the stories so much .

                        Personally, the djinn seem to bend more towards the Firstborn Fae side of things with hellacious Unleashing abilities.

                        And the Pure Ones are 1st Ed. holdovers that should end up in the bin with the monolithic Technocracy with the dissolving MiBs (where those were the ONLY MiBs, not just mooks to fill out a mission), or, if it MUST stay around, some Platonist Hermetic's attempt to create a unified theory of the origin and purpose of magic that's really more of a mental exercise than it is any practical description of anything that actually happened or is currently an issue.

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                        • #13
                          I think the basic answer is that the game's setting had to bow to the fact that it's a game. In the setting, interesting things happen to humans because that's necessary for the game itself to be successful.

                          You can certainly come up with an answer to cover for this in-setting, but it will be just that - a band-aid to cover the issue up, rather than a true answer. So the truth of the band-aid doesn't matter, merely how well it fits.

                          Personally, I'd say that humans were chosen by the Pure Ones for the same reason Lucifer and the other Elohim fell in love with them when they were created. Humans are "created in the image of God" however you choose to define that, wrought from a greater template and heir to a greater potential power and perspective than any other entity in the World of Darkness.

                          "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals."

                          But that's merely the answer I find most interesting and that fits decently well with other elements of the WoD.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Synapse View Post
                            So.... take your pick. My guess was our range of volition. Humans are particularly described as able to step above and beyond our basal natures and develop every thinkable Will. Even cosmic intelligences described in the game are more bound to their nature and in that sense more limited than humans.
                            this does sound similar to the reason why reincarnation as a human is overall the "best" in buddhism and hinduism(and ironically has a parallel with exalted)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                              Depending on how Consensual it's your reality it may be that there was no *before* humans gaining Avatars, as human belief basically it's why everything exists. If there was a *before* humans, it' was produced just so humans can appear in the stage. In this scenario Avatars didn't "choose" other beings because there are no other beings without humans. And if Gods and others seem so powerful it's because we humans transfer power to them...

                              On the other hand, you could say that humans were created at the image of God, they were given the spark of Creation taken from God it'self from the Elohim, and thus they're very special-If something can defy the divine order, it's humans, and that's a very Mage thing to do. You could traduce this to Mage easily, just change God for The One and Demos to Purre Ones.

                              On the other hand, it's said that the Pure shatered into more than just Avatars, they also shatered forming the Spheres and a few potent spirits like Gaia, so it's not true that humans are the only ones who shape reality, it just happens that the shards that humans go work like Avatars and the others work differently.

                              On the other hand, it's entirely possible that humans are special because they are remnants of the Pure Ones, as Ramnesis says.

                              And so and so...mage states that humans are a very special snowflake that can change reality. Is this necessary to tell a story?, absolutely not, just read Werewolf. This is just how Mage uses to tell a story, but in no way it's limited to it: See how quickly this "limitation" it's removed when Threat Null appears in scene-When had they problems doing anything? They're supposed to capture the Artifact starships that supposedly only mages can pilot...they are very different from the powerless lost souls we're presented in Infinite Tapestry.

                              Also, Infinite Tapestry it's never stated that the Avatar "flies away", what's stated it's that it's unknown what happens to the avatar, if it flies away or if it's subsumed in the entity.

                              Avatars are misterious like that.

                              where does it say that the one became spirits/celestines like gaia? i thought these "angelic" beings where supposed to be emanations or something like that.djinn can't become vampires because they are not physical. though with spirit 5 and life 5 you could and a vampire you could "try" i guess. though i suspect it's more complicated
                              as for humans being avatars..this doesn't make much sense TBH. for instance in TOJ it's mentioned that "body and spirit(meaning avatar) alone will fail)

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