Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Magical Girls and Mage: the Ascension?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Weirdboyz View Post
    Yeah, I don't why a typical Magical Girl's paradigm of friendship is magic couldn't work. If wish magic done by children can work than anything is fair game. I mean, I suppose the Hemetic or Dreamspeaker who spends hours doing extremely complicated rituals and gathering rare materials to create a fireball is going to be annoyed when a 13 year old just screams about friendship for a minute to do the same effect, but I don't there's anything in Mage: The Ascension states that a needs to be complicated to work. So as long as its internally consistent anything goes, right?
    There's also the fact that while a magical girl's philosophy - their Paradigm - might not be overly complicated on paper, that doesn't mean it and their Practice aren't possessed of some depth. Really, up until now, we've been painting with a broad brush and avoiding nuance, for the sake of argument. But a magical girl's Focus probably IS plenty nuanced, at least to her.

    It's all well and good to SAY a magical girl believes in the power of love, hope, and friendship. It's another entirely to flesh out what that actually means, both in the abstract and in practice/Practice. If a magical girl believes she can derive power from her bonds with other people, what does she believe the mechanisms for that process are? How does she define what "bonds" or "friends" are? What do those definitions say about the wider context of existence? Why are Hope, Love, and Friendship ideals with true metaphysical weight, and how can the bonds formed from them be cultivated and tapped?

    Once you can answer these questions, what seems like pure Wishcraft on the surface may seem like a deep, internally consistent system. Personally, I reject Wishcraft as a viable Practice, but more because it lends itself less to being a metaphysical lever that a mage can use to move Reality. A Focus - the intersection of Paradigm, Practice, and Instruments - must be stable enough to justify to its adherent why it should work. This is why parody religions like the Flying Spaghetti Monster are discouraged from being the basis of a Focus in M20; a person truly has to believe, sincerely, that it is or could be true, and that it can be used to effect real change.

    That said, this doesn't mean that wishing something to happen couldn't be used. It just means the mage must have some reason, even a simple one, for why they should expect their wish to come true. A child mage (like, less than 10, which is probably below the age range for a magical girl/boy) could justify their art by wishing upon a star, one or more gods, or to some kind of fairy godmother (or, for that matter, the jolly old elf that is Santa Claus). How likely it is for that mage to continue believing this as they grow older depends on the mage, the events in their life, and how they adapt and/or update their belief system to new information. Setting aside that the mage will likely believe they were doing something right if they got Magickal results, the shifting tides of belief can lead to making an existing system more nuanced in response to time and life experience, just as easily as it could mean the abandonment of old beliefs in favor of stronger ones.

    Whatever the case, a Focus requires an internally consistent explanation for why the character's Arts work. Which leads to the character, to one degree or another, forming an internally consistent set of rules for how their Arts work, and what they need to do to accomplish different magickal objectives. Even a mage who uses a form of wishcraft must still justify to themselves why they can't just wish for a peaceful, equal, and post-scarcity utopia. They must figure out why certain wishes are harder to have granted, and what they need to do to bridge the gap.

    Returning (finally) to the magical girls, the same idea applies. Deriving power from their emotions and the bonds they share with others must be more involved than just wanting it to happen. Their requisite minimum of 7 Instruments must be used for something. Calling an attack or giving a speech about friendship and positivity might be justified as the character psyching themselves up, and getting the vital emotions flowing, either in themselves or in their target. That's just Words used as an Instrument, but it fits into the magical girl's conception of why such cheesy, melodramatic stuff could be used to alter Reality.

    The bonds of friendship, meanwhile, may need to be cultivated by the mage actively, by spending time with their friends and sharing experiences. Meaning that, while the Hermetic might scoff at the magical girl not needing to spend many hours chanting in a circle and studying ancient tomes, the magical girl's Paradigmatic "Upkeep" may be heavily involved in being actively social. What looks like goofing off or wasting time could, for the mage, be serious magickal business. The act of juggling friends (and perhaps romantic interests) in order to forge, maintain, and strengthen bonds. Those bonds, then, being used either as a means of generating magickal might, or else providing a base upon which magick can be performed. One magical girl might see their bonds in the same way a Magic: The Gathering player might see Land cards; as resources that regularly produce energy that can be "tapped" to fuel Effects. Another magical girl might see their bonds as being symbolically represented by invisible red threads connecting them, and which can be weaved together into the skein of a multitude of magickal workings.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 01-14-2018, 07:25 PM.


    Comment


    • #32
      Hmm...if you are talking about 'Social Bonds as Magical Might', a good resource might be Pesona 3/4/5 video games where your character literally does that. You make a bond and strengthen it and you can derive more power from it, in the form of stronger Persona's.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Furoan View Post
        Hmm...if you are talking about 'Social Bonds as Magical Might', a good resource might be Pesona 3/4/5 video games where your character literally does that. You make a bond and strengthen it and you can derive more power from it, in the form of stronger Persona's.
        The Persona games are, in fact, one of if not THE properties that inspired this line of thinking, yes. Very astute that you caught that. I see you are also a person of culture. *Wink*


        Comment


        • #34
          The Mage: The Ascension 20th book even makes a reference to the Persona games in the list of Crafts that might join the Disparate Alliance. The Mirainohmen, I think their called.

          Comment


          • #35
            Another thing that sort-of inspired it was recent musings I had about DnD's Warlock class, and how its Pact magic was based on a contract between a mortal and some powerful supernatural entity. And how I - with further thoughts derived from the Wyrd-backed Promises in Changeling: The Lost - came up with a reading of such Pacts as being things that use the deeply personal nature of Contract Magic to make possible together what neither party could accomplish on their own. Not just through each upholding their ends of the bargain, but because the agreement itself facilitated new capabilities in its parties.

            For magical girls hypothetically rendered in Mage, the friends themselves don't so much provide a source of energy to fuel magick, so much as the interaction between the mage and her friends are engines for producing the energy. Or else the connections provide raw metaphysical material for the creation of magick, like the aforementioned red threads weaved into a skein. In either case, the friends themselves are not where the magick comes from, but the space between that friend and the mage, and how it can be leveraged to alter Reality.


            To expand, allow me to define one hypothetical magical girl's Paradigm. And it hinges, for our purposes, on Emotion.

            Emotion, for this magical girl, is the motive force behind magick. Will may be the knife that cuts Reality into different shapes (if I may borrow a poetic motif from Kill Six Billion Demons). And Intellect may be able to tell the mage where, how, and why to cut with that knife. But it is Emotion that provides the force behind the blow. It motivates the mage's knife arm, by telling them why they should bother acting. Logic as filtered with Emotion becomes Reason, whereas Emotionless Logic is academic, inert, and pointless. To the magical girl, it's just obvious that one must feel, and feel deeply, before magick can be done. It provides the force behind the knife that cuts Reality (though, obviously, a magical girl would probably figure out a less bloody metaphor).

            So for this magical girl, all Instruments are used for the purpose of generating, focusing, and actualizing Emotion. Using it to lift the level of Will towards the mage's desired outcome. A dramatically spoken name for the magical girl's Effect is meant to put her feelings behind the working, and fuel her intent. So, too, does her bright and colorful costume, regal magic wand, gaudy accessories, and general theatricality. To her, being a hero of justice requires her to ACT like a hero of justice, no matter how bombastic or silly it might look. The sincerity behind her words and actions allow her to put weight behind her magick. If she doesn't FEEL the burning need for justice, justice may not be something she can achieve magickally.

            Same with the bonds she forges with friends and loved ones. Spending time with them generates an emotional charge, which can be bent towards magickal effects later on. Different relationships bring out different emotions, and thus are of different value from a Practice standpoint. Even a rival or enemy could provide an exploitable emotional bond, as it generates feelings a more amenable relationship couldn't. Romantic love has a different texture to Platonic love, and so also lends itself to different magick. Even the breaking of bonds - the severing of relationships - leaves behind frayed threads replete with strong, though not always pleasant, emotions.


            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
              Another thing that sort-of inspired it was recent musings I had about DnD's Warlock class, and how its Pact magic was based on a contract between a mortal and some powerful supernatural entity. And how I - with further thoughts derived from the Wyrd-backed Promises in Changeling: The Lost - came up with a reading of such Pacts as being things that use the deeply personal nature of Contract Magic to make possible together what neither party could accomplish on their own. Not just through each upholding their ends of the bargain, but because the agreement itself facilitated new capabilities in its parties.

              For magical girls hypothetically rendered in Mage, the friends themselves don't so much provide a source of energy to fuel magick, so much as the interaction between the mage and her friends are engines for producing the energy. Or else the connections provide raw metaphysical material for the creation of magick, like the aforementioned red threads weaved into a skein. In either case, the friends themselves are not where the magick comes from, but the space between that friend and the mage, and how it can be leveraged to alter Reality.


              To expand, allow me to define one hypothetical magical girl's Paradigm. And it hinges, for our purposes, on Emotion.

              Emotion, for this magical girl, is the motive force behind magick. Will may be the knife that cuts Reality into different shapes (if I may borrow a poetic motif from Kill Six Billion Demons). And Intellect may be able to tell the mage where, how, and why to cut with that knife. But it is Emotion that provides the force behind the blow. It motivates the mage's knife arm, by telling them why they should bother acting. Logic as filtered with Emotion becomes Reason, whereas Emotionless Logic is academic, inert, and pointless. To the magical girl, it's just obvious that one must feel, and feel deeply, before magick can be done. It provides the force behind the knife that cuts Reality (though, obviously, a magical girl would probably figure out a less bloody metaphor).

              So for this magical girl, all Instruments are used for the purpose of generating, focusing, and actualizing Emotion. Using it to lift the level of Will towards the mage's desired outcome. A dramatically spoken name for the magical girl's Effect is meant to put her feelings behind the working, and fuel her intent. So, too, does her bright and colorful costume, regal magic wand, gaudy accessories, and general theatricality. To her, being a hero of justice requires her to ACT like a hero of justice, no matter how bombastic or silly it might look. The sincerity behind her words and actions allow her to put weight behind her magick. If she doesn't FEEL the burning need for justice, justice may not be something she can achieve magickally.

              Same with the bonds she forges with friends and loved ones. Spending time with them generates an emotional charge, which can be bent towards magickal effects later on. Different relationships bring out different emotions, and thus are of different value from a Practice standpoint. Even a rival or enemy could provide an exploitable emotional bond, as it generates feelings a more amenable relationship couldn't. Romantic love has a different texture to Platonic love, and so also lends itself to different magick. Even the breaking of bonds - the severing of relationships - leaves behind frayed threads replete with strong, though not always pleasant, emotions.
              Well done, Bluecho! A very informative and useful analysis.

              Comment


              • #37
                To expand on my previous point, our hypothetical magical girl might have a unique opinion of other kinds of mages. If magick, to her, is merely the generation and directing of Emotions, it makes even other mystical praxis perfectly explicable.

                A Hermetic's solitary practice is focused almost exclusively on self-generating emotions. Rituals and theatricality that helps the Hermetic stir up and focus their feelings. They hold themselves to such high standards as a self-imposed challenge, which can yield a greater degree of catharsis when all the elements of their high ritual fall perfectly into place. That sophisticated feeling of satisfaction known only to the patient, like when dominoes fall or a scheme goes "Just as planned". To the magical girl, it can make the Hermetic seem potent indeed, if they can master themselves and their emotions to such a degree.

                But to that same magical girl, the Hermetic might also seem dangerously unfettered, with only self-imposed restrictions tying them down. Such a heavily involved praxis also breeds monomania and isolation, which prevents the Hermetic from forming important ties with others. They miss out on a wealth of emotional force that could be had from other people. (Akashics who deliberately sever attachments also suffer this problem.)

                This lack of bonds with their fellow men also has the practical side effect of leaving them vulnerable to the perils of isolation. Say what you want about the magical girl and her friendship-focused Arts, at least she's socialized. It's arguable that a magical girl - under this model, at least - is far MORE sane, on average, than a mage from another, less sociable group.


                On the flipside, a magical girl might easily understand the adherent of Faith, Shamanism, and even Mediumship and God-Bonding. They, like the magical girl, form deep and emotional bonds with others. Their "friends and loved ones" just happen to be gods or spirits. But a Chorister's breathless, devotional love is as valid an Emotion to draw strength from, when compared to platonic or romantic love. Same with the animist, who develops a persistent, respectful relationship with their spiritual partners. Even the Medium or God-Bonder can be said to generate emotions, by allowing other beings to effectively meld with them for a time, and let the collision of different personalities naturally foster deep experiences.

                There's a reason many magical girls take on Familiars. Spiritual beings in material forms, with whom the mage shares a soul-deep bond.

                A problem the magical girl might see in the miracle worker or the animist is that their bonds are fundamentally different than those shared with one's friends and peers. There is a power disparity between a worshiper and her god, which colors their relationship and the feelings that arise from it. So, too, is a shaman's relationship to a spirit different than that of a human to a fellow human. The gulf between man and spirit affects the emotional current between them; a shaman may find himself keeping his spirit allies at arm's length, for instance. A Medium has the opposite problem, blurring the lines between self and spiritual guest, in a way that makes certain emotions possible, but which disallows others. Much of the texture and nuance of human relationships come from reconciling each other through the disconnect of being the same in nature but separate.

                While these relationships (and the emotions that arise from them) are perfectly valid, a magical girl might see the above practitioners as going too all-in on certain kinds of bonds while neglecting others. A shaman who only talks to spirits while ignoring humans is going to miss out on many currents of emotional complexity, that can only be achieved when two humans are friends with one another.
                Last edited by Bluecho; 01-14-2018, 08:44 PM.


                Comment


                • #38
                  I rather like that view Bluecho. I kind of see in some ways a mix between Prime(and in some ways verging into something that might be seen as akin to Primal Utility) to let this hypothetical Magical Girl literally invest themselves in their relationships with friends/rivals/romantic interests.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Prisma Illya is well a problematic series about loli stuff.. but its also a part of the Greater Fate universe and while not a 1 for 1 approximation has alot of interesting takes on concepts that do exist in the WOD. GENERALLY speaking in the Fate Series most of the action happens in what M20 would call "Reality Zones" so one would have less of an issue with Paradox(this is particularly true in Prisma Illya) there's also generally no witnesses which is another big advantage.

                    So a magical girl who generally acts normal but travels to the umbra to fight demons(or various breaks in reality through out town) wouldn't be far fetched in my mind. It might even more readily justify the tropes as she goes around investigating using minor magics to learn what should be done in the physical world and then goes into the other realms as a full magical girl!

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Still disagreeing. I see how the magical girl paradigm is defined. But it does not solve the initial problem. Let's see it from a different point of view. Who would believe in her Magick? That's the point of the Ascension of war! It could not work because it is no-one's paradigm.

                      As it is stated in the rule book, You can make a valid mage believing in Mickey Mouse but it would not work because it has no place in the Consensus. Nobody believes in the Almighty Mickey Mouse and such a Mage would have no powers. The importance of what Sleepers believe in is at the core of the game. The whole concept of Reality Zones is linked to it. Even in a Japanese Convention full with Cosplayers, nobody would accept the Magical girl as real. I'm pretty sure of it.

                      That is what I tried to explained when I said that magical girls have no ties to any belief. Magick still works because there are people who believe in it. That's not the case for magical girls.

                      They come from the assimilation of the occidental Witch legends by the Japanese in the early 50's. The usual wand became a scepter in the early 60's and they develop their own symbols in the 70's. It's pop culture and so far from the original witches that nobody really believes in their existence. They are part of no legend nor even local mysticism.

                      I admit that a Marauder would be a valid character though.

                      Still not convinced an actual sane Mage (if that exists...) would be an option.

                      Of course you can throw away the Ascension War and do whatever you want with the game, themes and moods. Golden rule would allow it but I have the opinion that you would lose the heart of Mage :The Ascension.
                      Last edited by NicoTheDuck; 01-15-2018, 04:21 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by NicoTheDuck View Post
                        Still disagreeing. I see how the magical girl paradigm is defined. But it does not solve the initial problem. Let's see it from a different point of view. Who would believe in her Magick? That's the point of the Ascension of war! It could not work because it is no-one's paradigm.

                        As it is stated in the rule book, You can make a valid mage believing in Mickey Mouse but it would not work because it has no place in the Consensus. Nobody believes in the Almighty Mickey Mouse and such a Mage would have no powers. The importance of what Sleepers believe in is at the core of the game. The whole concept of Reality Zones is linked to it. Even in a Japanese Convention full with Cosplayers, nobody would accept the Magical girl as real. I'm pretty sure of it.

                        That is what I tried to explained when I said that magical girls have no ties to any belief. Magick still works because there are people who believe in it. That's not the case for magical girls.

                        They come from the assimilation of the occidental Witch legends by the Japanese in the early 50's. The usual wand became a scepter in the early 60's and they develop their own symbols in the 70's. It's pop culture and so far from the original witches that nobody really believes in their existence. They are part of no legend nor even local mysticism.

                        I admit that a Marauder would be a valid character though.

                        Still not convinced an actual sane Mage (if that exists...) would be an option.

                        Of course you can throw away the Ascension War and do whatever you want with the game, themes and moods. Golden rule would allow it but I have the opinion that you would lose the heart of Mage :The Ascension.
                        Basically everything you're saying applies to the Hollow Ones, and not to a not extremely lesser extent to the Etherites and the Virtual adepts.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          There are a lot of Orphans that left to their own devices that basically cobbled something together that worked, and while some of those certainly drew on mysticism, not all of them did. I see no reason that a teenager girl who awakened couldn't arrive at the conclusion that she was a Magical Girl to explain why she can do these amazing things.

                          Mage 20 argues that the reason that a belief that Mickey Mouse is god isn't workable is because beliefs in it by the mage tend to be rather shallow, and snap under pressure. However if there was somebody who sincerely believed in Disney Magic, that paradigm would be no less valid than anything else ...if much harder to sell on a wide scale.

                          There are a lot of Mages out there who are not part of the Traditions or the Technocracy, and who are not really trying to sell their band of Magic as the One True Way. Admittedly selling the existence of Magical Girls to the Sleepers would be fairly difficult but there are certainly ways you could sell it.

                          Really the question is, what would you say at the key concepts of a Magical Girl? As we said before there are variety of kinds. Bluecho's Magical Girl's idea above probably has the hypothetical magical girl much less trying to convince the world that Sailor InsertnameHere is a thing, and much more trying to set up community centres. The Magical Girl thing is the RESULT of her belief in the Power of Friendship, and so her view on increasing that vision to the world would be trying to bring more and more people together.

                          Really I see no reason that the Magical Girl is any more insane than the person who believes that his god has empowered him to be a Modern Paladin. Perhaps the Paladin has much more of a background with his god, but really there's no reason that a Magical Girl couldn't believe that she operates on behalf of this or that Spirit/God either.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Not true.

                            Science is definitely the dominating paradigm. It is a belief since at least the XVIth century. Mathematicians and physicians develop their practice since the antiquity.

                            The origins of both Traditions can be found on the Wiki or the Tradition books. They go back to early ages. But there are definitely people who believe in their Magick.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              What are you talking about? I didn't say people don't believe in Science, or their Paradigm. I just said that some people don't use mysticism as the basis for the Paradigm they cobble together without the tutoring of a Traditions or Technocracy mentor. I'm talking about the Orphan who Awakens and has no mentor, so cobbles together something that works for him. It might not draw on ancient mysticism, religion or even the paradigm of the Technocracy but it works for him.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Furoan View Post
                                What are you talking about? I didn't say people don't believe in Science, or their Paradigm. I just said that some people don't use mysticism as the basis for the Paradigm they cobble together without the tutoring of a Traditions or Technocracy mentor. I'm talking about the Orphan who Awakens and has no mentor, so cobbles together something that works for him. It might not draw on ancient mysticism, religion or even the paradigm of the Technocracy but it works for him.
                                Ah OK, I did not understand.

                                Orphans often die you know? Cause they do not know what they're doing. Anyway, that's not because they are not taught and guided towards a Tradition that their belief is not based on actual existing beliefs. Being an Orphan do not mean whatever the f*** I want cause I found no place in any group. It is Still based on local culture, dominant paradigm or personal understanding of such paradigm. Orphans are still people raised in a specific culture.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X