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  • Verbena factions

    The Essence-based nature of the Verbena factions bugs me: it feels too… artificial. This is in contrast to, well, virtually every other Tradition's factions, which feel more like groups with purpose or representatives of the cultures from which the Tradition draws its inspiration.

    So: as a thought experiment, how would you redo the Verbena factions to feel less artificial and more organic?



  • #2
    There are some good cultural groups mentioned in the Guide to the Traditions.


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    • #3
      I'd probably go with particular Pagan factions(Celt, Norse, Slavic, Classical?, Modern?) or methodology(Wise person, priest of the woods, Shapeshifter, Bard..) or maybe some unclear mix of the two...

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      • #4
        “The Verbena Tradition arose from diverse cultures, united in the common cause of survival in the face of the growing power of the Order of Reason and its crusade against pagan folk in Europe. Later additions to the Tradition joined for much the same reason: survival in the face of the growing power of the Technocracy and the goals it supported.

        Despite (or perhaps because of) their diversity, the Verbena did not divide among cultural lines. Instead, the major factions of the Tradition are divided by their views on the Verbena’s proper role — and by extension the proper role of all mages — in the scheme of things. This four-fold division corresponds to many such divisions noted by followers of the Old Ways: the four directions, four winds, four elements, four seasons and so forth. Modern mages tied them to the four recognized aspects or essences of their Avatars.”-rev. Trad. Book

        Most geographical factions would likely be part of the gardeners, and not factions so much as cabals, usually no bigger than 12 members. Unlike many of the other traditions, the verbena have no internal hierarchy or governance. They just do their thing and let other verbena do theirs. Larger factions only really spring up in response to a threat, after which they soon dissolve.

        If you wanted to name every potential branch on the tree, you’d have thousands of factions, and most would ascribe to philosophies pertaining to one of the four essences anyway. It’s just a more useful system of taxonomy than to mention every cabal as a new faction.

        If it makes you feel better, you can instead ascribe them four factions as one of the four elements.

        Gardeners- Earth
        Twisters- Water
        Seekers- Air
        Weavers- fire


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

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        • #5
          Right. I post a thread asking for a different take on the Verbena than how they're presented in the published material, and your response is “use them the way they're presented in the published material.” You see how that's not helpful, I hope.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
            Right. I post a thread asking for a different take on the Verbena than how they're presented in the published material, and your response is “use them the way they're presented in the published material.” You see how that's not helpful, I hope.
            You say it bugs you because you think it's superficial and not based on the cultures. This is why I think that isn't really an issue, and I don't understand why you think it's superficial.


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

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            • #7
              Yes, but I've already read that section of the book. I didn't find it compelling. For one thing, the Verbena are not unique in being high-diversity/low-structure: the Etherites, for instance, don't really have much in the way of internal structure either.

              So again: how might you go about reworking the factions in a form other than the four official factions?
              Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-24-2018, 11:30 AM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                Yes, but I've already read that section of the book. I didn't find it compelling. So again: how might you go about reworking the factions in a form other than the four official factions?
                I'm not sure that I would, to be honest. I think that the tradition is so fragmented that dividing by cultural changes would get very bitty rather quickly.
                Broadly speaking you could say Celtic verbena, nordic verbena, French verbena, Italian verbena...etc
                but even then you could divide them by the spirits they worship. The Green Man, Wodin/Odin, The Goddess, the Horned God, The Norns...
                You could also separate them by practice, High ritual, seasonal experience, spirit world soujorns, herbal medicine, tarot, ancient runes, story telling...
                But then you can then seperate them by mission. Find the Wyck, Remove the Gauntlet, Destroy all technology, Protect the Fae and Naturae...

                There are no two cabals that are completely alike, in goals, beliefs, practices, mission, or outlook. Verbena rarely work together across cabals unless pushed to by circumstance. They mostly keep to themselves and look after their own, so the idea of organised factions like the houses of the Hermetics, or the schools of practice of the Euthanatos don't apply so readily to them.


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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                  The Essence-based nature of the Verbena factions bugs me: it feels too… artificial. This is in contrast to, well, virtually every other Tradition's factions, which feel more like groups with purpose or representatives of the cultures from which the Tradition draws its inspiration.
                  You could get rid of the set-dressing and just have the factions as basic political positions within the tradition.

                  Traditionalists
                  Fundamentalists/reformers (for want of a better term)
                  Innovators
                  Everyone else

                  Something closer to the Cult, the Chorus or the Dreamspeakers.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                    There are no two cabals that are completely alike, in goals, beliefs, practices, mission, or outlook. Verbena rarely work together across cabals unless pushed to by circumstance. They mostly keep to themselves and look after their own, so the idea of organised factions like the houses of the Hermetics, or the schools of practice of the Euthanatos don't apply so readily to them.
                    The Verbenae are not unique in that regard.
                    Many of the Traditions have a highly diverse membership and very little organizational structure.

                    And “there are no two cabals that are completely alike” is true even of the Order of Hermes, the group with the strongest reputation for structuring everything.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      The Verbenae are not unique in that regard.
                      Many of the Traditions have a highly diverse membership and very little organizational structure.

                      And “there are no two cabals that are completely alike” is true even of the Order of Hermes, the group with the strongest reputation for structuring everything.
                      But unlike the verbena, they have houses and rigid hierarchy tradition wide. The Verbena are much more secular in nature. They have no central authority.


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

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                      • #12
                        Neither do the VAs, or the Dreamspeakers. And while the Etherites have an ethics council, they don't have Houses or rigid hierarchy.
                        Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-24-2018, 12:47 PM.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                          Neither do the VAs, or the Dreamspeakers. And while the Etherites have an ethics council, they don't have Houses or rigid hierarchy.
                          The Dreamspeakers were just what the Hermetics called anyone who did "hoodoo voodoo style spirit magic". It included native Americans, Australian aborigines, A huge variety of African shamans, and anyone else. It makes the most sense for their factions to be more based on geograpy as their ways are typically tied to the culture they were brought up within.

                          VA's are much newer, they've only been around for a couple of decades at most, barely a century if you're including their technocractic years. Their factions are born out of different schools of thought regarding how to apply the code to life, and which code can be hacked. This makes sense because of their relative newness.

                          Etherites are scientists first and formost, and while they may bicker about what counts as "REAL" science, they all agree that discovery, be it adventure based or lab based, is the mother of invention. In many ways, their central authority is, like real scientists in academia, the literature. Paradigmia being the big one that every Etherite hopes to get their name in. Getting published is everything in their society. Sure you can go all mad scientist, cut yourself off and just do what works for you, but good luck getting recognition from other etherites, other than as a story between drinks.


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

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                          • #14
                            How about factions of the Verbenae based on pairings of Mage Essences? Makes the factions much more inclusive, as well.
                            Dynamic---Pattern
                            Pattern---Questing
                            Primordial---Questing
                            Dynamic---Primordial


                            There would be no factions for Pattern---Primordial and Dynamic---Questing Essence pairings. By some they are regarded as opposites compared to the other pairings.
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-24-2018, 06:12 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                              The Essence-based nature of the Verbena factions bugs me: it feels too… artificial. This is in contrast to, well, virtually every other Tradition's factions, which feel more like groups with purpose or representatives of the cultures from which the Tradition draws its inspiration.

                              So: as a thought experiment, how would you redo the Verbena factions to feel less artificial and more organic?
                              I'd probably use this article for inspiration: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/aidanke...-pagan-groups/


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