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Presenting a Unified Council

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  • Presenting a Unified Council

    Alright, so, for plot reasons, in a game I'm planning, I need the ruling body of the Traditions in the post-Avatar Storm world (presumably but not necessarily a reformed Council of Nine or some similar group) to have a coherent, cross-Tradition agenda and the ability to communicate with and organize other Traditionalists in some way. Obviously not with the level of oversight or coherence as the Technocracy, but I need them to be an actual organization and not just a bunch of mostly unrelated cabals with mostly unrelated business.

    Is there any way to integrate this dynamic into the Post-Avatar Storm metaplot organically?


    Shameless Technocratic shill.

  • #2
    Sure. Local groups will most likely form all kinds of co-operative things based on specific agendas.

    My last game was set in London, and I decided that there was a trans-tradition partnership between the Hermetics, Choristers, and the Euthanatos calling themselves the London Tribunal. In my history, they were set up in the aftermath of the storm as a way of sorting and controlling a nephandic crisis running rampant in the city, and soon became a local authority for mages within London to settle lesser disputes which went beyond the scope of any one Tradition.

    Originally it was just the Hermetics of House Quaesitor, and the Choristers within the Anglican faith how started it, but after they picked up momentum as an authority, members of the Euthanatos weighed in and imposed their involvement in order to ascertain that all traditions were treated fairly, and that justice was truly being served. By present day (2016), They had reached a kind of equilibrium in which all three traditions had specific roles.

    The Hermetics served as the keepers of law, ensuring that the will of the long defunct council of nine was still being adhered to, and would be the primary group tasked with gathering evidence of unlawful behaviour.
    The Chorus served as judges of morality, to hear the defences of the accused and consider whether their actions were justified regardless of the letter of the law. They were tasked with understanding the character of the accused, and delving into their history so as to better understand their motivations.
    The Euthanatos served as arbiters of justice. Their interest was primarily in the actions of the accused and their impact on the world, as well as consider the most suitable form of punishment based on this and the findings of the other two traditions. In the days before Euthanatos involvement, this was primarily done by consensus between the Hermetics and the Chorus, which naturally lead to lesser punishments being levied out to politically important figures, and harsher ones to those that felt more alien to either group, such as the Verbena and the Euthanatos themselves.

    The system is not perfect, but it is efficient. There is no jurry system, by rather a representative from each tradition takes their respective place at the seat of Law, Morality, or Justice. Tribunal hearings were large affairs where the three seats would present evidence to one another as well as the audience and question the accused for further explanation. Members of the audience were three to chime in and say their piece, perhaps asking questions or adding to the debate in order to help sway the opinion of the seats. After the hearing is finished, the three seats would discuss their findings together and with other aids from the traditions until the final decisions was reached.
    While the audience and aids may have some influence over the verdict, it was ultimately, it was the decisions of these three mages alone that determined the fate of the accused.

    I hope that gives you some ideas as to what you can make up for you game.


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

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    • #3
      What's wrong with the New Horizon Council?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
        What's wrong with the New Horizon Council?

        I dunno', what's wrong with me for forgetting a key part of the setting that fulfills exactly the role I need. :P

        Seriously though, thanks for humoring my stupidity.


        Shameless Technocratic shill.

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        • #5
          New Horizon Council would work well and since you want unified Traditions, have the representatives of each Tradition generally work well with each other.

          I kinda view the Traditions in groups like in the Traditions Gathered compilations from Mage's 2e days:

          1. alternative scientists are the Order of Hermes, Sons of Ether and Virtual Adepts. These are all groups who heavily use logic and will to control the world and the latter 2 use technology.

          2. sensualists--the Cult of Ecstasy, Dreamspeakers, Verbena. It's about how your senses interact with the world.

          3. religious base--Akashic Brotherhood, Celestial Chorus, Euthanatos. These groups believe in a big reality with certain fundamental ideals driving it. Their powers come from their devotion to their ideals.

          Your good peacemakers are probably going to be in the Order of Hermes, for keeping the logic-oriented groups which can also be pretty snarky in line and someone in the religious base group of Traditions Gathered 3 who promotes a more ecumenical approach.

          In my mage campaign set in Portland Oregon, the New Horizon Council is weak, but mainly that's by replacing Lee Ann Milner and having a more stereotypical Ecstatic in the position. That's because in my game, the big-picture Traditions aren't that important because I have one player with a Templar and another player who is an Order of Hermes washout with a Diabolic Mentor. The goal of the leader of the Portland chantry, a Hermetic, is to build a City of Pymander in Portland. So, I will need united Traditions, but that assumes the players care enough to make the game go that far.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by baakyocalder View Post
            New Horizon Council would work well and since you want unified Traditions, have the representatives of each Tradition generally work well with each other.

            I kinda view the Traditions in groups like in the Traditions Gathered compilations from Mage's 2e days:

            1. alternative scientists are the Order of Hermes, Sons of Ether and Virtual Adepts. These are all groups who heavily use logic and will to control the world and the latter 2 use technology.

            2. sensualists--the Cult of Ecstasy, Dreamspeakers, Verbena. It's about how your senses interact with the world.

            3. religious base--Akashic Brotherhood, Celestial Chorus, Euthanatos. These groups believe in a big reality with certain fundamental ideals driving it. Their powers come from their devotion to their ideals.

            Your good peacemakers are probably going to be in the Order of Hermes, for keeping the logic-oriented groups which can also be pretty snarky in line and someone in the religious base group of Traditions Gathered 3 who promotes a more ecumenical approach.

            In my mage campaign set in Portland Oregon, the New Horizon Council is weak, but mainly that's by replacing Lee Ann Milner and having a more stereotypical Ecstatic in the position. That's because in my game, the big-picture Traditions aren't that important because I have one player with a Templar and another player who is an Order of Hermes washout with a Diabolic Mentor. The goal of the leader of the Portland chantry, a Hermetic, is to build a City of Pymander in Portland. So, I will need united Traditions, but that assumes the players care enough to make the game go that far.
            Aren't there are a lot of Dreamspeakers who would fall under number 3? Maybe even most of them? When I think of "religion based mage" Dreamspeaker is the 2nd tradition I think of after the Chours.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alucard View Post
              Aren't there are a lot of Dreamspeakers who would fall under number 3? Maybe even most of them? When I think of "religion based mage" Dreamspeaker is the 2nd tradition I think of after the Chours.

              I think it's meant to describe the biggest groups of religions represented by these three traditions.

              Celestial Chorus for the Abrahamic religions
              Akashic Brotherhood for Buddhism
              Euthanatos for Hinduism

              By all accounts these three branches make up the largest religions from around the world. whereas shamanism is much more fringe, something that has less world wide influence and is much more locally cultivated.

              Shintoism, for example, is exclusively practised in Japan. The beliefs of the religion are entirely Japan centred, so much so that their creation story is specifically about how the islands of Japan were formed, with no mention of any world outside of Japan.

              The Dreamspeakers are therefore not united by a common religious mythology like the other three traditions, but rather by a shared communication with the spirits. They may disagree on the prominance of spirits, or the method by which spirits aid the world, or even whether certain spirits should be contacted at all, but they all share that link with the spirit world.

              Also, the canon at least according to verbena ancestry, that the Verbena, Ecstatics, and the Dream Speakers as descendants of the the wyck,


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

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              • #8
                New Horizon Council, remember? Names have changed, as have philosophies:

                • The Kha'vadi, Sahajiya, and Verbenae have indeed formed a close-knit alliance based on activist “tribes”. Not speculation; it's in the book.

                • The Order of Hermes, Mercurial Elite, and Society of Ether aren't in any sort of alliance, but do cover a spectrum of more “sciencey” magicks.

                • That leaves the Akashayana, Celestial Chorus, and Chakravanti.


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                • #9
                  I am never going to get used to these names


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

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                  • #10
                    Nah; once M5e comes out and they become the standard, you'll adapt.

                    IMHO, here's how I personally rank them in terms of “ease of getting used to”:

                    1. Celestial Chorus, Order of Hermes: unchanged.
                    2. Verbenae: virtually unchanged.
                    3. Akashayana, Society of Ether: similar.
                    4. Chakravanti, Kha'vadi, Mercurial Elite, Sahajiya: different.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Nah; once M5e comes out and they become the standard, you'll adapt.

                      IMHO, here's how I personally rank them in terms of “ease of getting used to”:

                      1. Celestial Chorus, Order of Hermes: unchanged.
                      2. Verbenae: virtually unchanged.
                      3. Akashayana, Society of Ether: similar.
                      4. Chakravanti, Kha'vadi, Mercurial Elite, Sahajiya: different.

                      For my part, with the exception of the Etherites, whose new name is nicely evocative and pulp-ish, and the Verbenae, whose name is basically the same anyway, I just tend to go with their original names.

                      Akashayana and Kha'vadi are both words that are straight up made up. They're no more culturally "authentic" than the original names.

                      Chakravanti and Sahajiya are authentic, but tie their respective Traditions too closely to a specific culture, whereas before their names conveyed the idea that they were a cross-cultural collaboration of disparate practices with similar ideologies.

                      And the Mercurial Elite is just a ridiculous name that, if anything, sounds more dated and hokey than the original.


                      Shameless Technocratic shill.

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                      • #12
                        I keep getting the Sahajya and the Kha'vadi mixed up. Also, without reference I have little hope on spelling them.


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

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                        • #13
                          My scheme was based on the Traditions Gathered books. Dreamspeakers could easily be seen as more ritualistic than shamanistic, but it's not like they have a common religious base.

                          I don't care much for the new names--Society of Ether is an upgrade for being less patriarchical and still seeming appropriate for the Victorian area. Mercurial Elite isn't as annoying to me, but that's because I always found the Virtual Adepts a little pretentious and the name captures their emphasis on being elite. To get a truly unified group of Traditions, you still have to find a way to get everyone to agree on some things and agree to disagree on other things.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Nilbog View Post


                            For my part, with the exception of the Etherites, whose new name is nicely evocative and pulp-ish, and the Verbenae, whose name is basically the same anyway, I just tend to go with their original names.

                            Akashayana and Kha'vadi are both words that are straight up made up. They're no more culturally "authentic" than the original names.

                            Akashayana is a new word but its composed of culturally authentic concepts I mean if you can accept Euthanatos as a word well...

                            Chakravanti and Sahajiya are authentic, but tie their respective Traditions too closely to a specific culture, whereas before their names conveyed the idea that they were a cross-cultural collaboration of disparate practices with similar ideologies.
                            The Chakrvanti is the Tradition's origional name. Its the name the joined the council with. Euthanatos is something Westerners pushed when they gained power in the Tradition.

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                            • #15
                              As well, “Euthanatos” derives from the Greek word for “death” — and a big part of the rebranding of the Chakravanti on the New Horizon Council is that the Tradition has moved away from its “death mages” reputation. Instead, their focus is on the Wheel of Fate — the “Chakra” in “Chakravanti”. It's still a cross-cultural collaboration; but now it's named for the cycle of fate instead of being named for death.


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