Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do Mages think of themselves as Mages?

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

  • Do Mages think of themselves as Mages?

    This is something that always bothered / confused me about the setting, so I was hoping people with more experience with the game could help me out.

    Do Mages think of themselves as Mages, and it makes me struggle with the setting regardless of the answer. The Traditions know of each other, and can work together. Which means they can continuously see other people with powers of their own, utilizing them in a completely different way. Do they all believe the others power source exists? A Virtual Adept can see someone calling on their God and getting aid, as well as someone using spell books, wands and magic words. Even if he's confident the world is just a Matrix style simulation he can hack, surely he can't write all of these Divine miracles and Spells off as "hacking without keyboard". And what about the other two? He's obviously hacking reality.

    And surely things like Resonance, something which if I remember correctly (it's been awhile since I've read the book) every Mage leaves behind when casting spells, and Paradox would get them to understand they're more similar than they think. And then there's the mere existence of The Traditions and the Technocracy hunting them all, that should tip them off.

    The Mage setting fascinated me, but this part of it always gets to me, and has always been hard for me to wrap my head around

  • #2
    A Mage with a particular "hard" paradigm is less likely to interact with mages of different paradigms. Honestly the VA probably has the easiest time of the three there. Different coding in the Real world produces different results its just a matter of saying something like that. The Hermetic would make a similar claim about the symbols and theories of the VA(and there are even Hermetics who cross the line and mix the two)

    As for the third, God is infinite. That there are those who might misuse his gifts is abundant.

    Comment


    • #3
      It highly depends on the Tradition, and the Mage in question, when it comes to literally considering themself 'Mages'.

      For example, the Order Of Hermes - those guys definitely consider themselves *the* Mages.The quintessenital Mages, so to speak, heh. The Verbena most certainly consider themselves 'Witches' - and those that do not at least consider themselves Priests and Pristesses to some old gods. The Dreamspeakers - at least most of them - definitely consider themselves Shamans and Spirittalkers.

      However as for the rest of them? It really depends on the character in question. I highly doubt there are many Etherites out there that would use the term 'Mage' when speaking of themselves, aside of a few exotic ones that literally go for a sort of arcane technomagickal science in their own mind. Virtual Adepts? Nah, I can't imagine any of them considering themselves "Mages". They simply cracked the 'code' to reality. The term 'Wizard' among them is probably more used along the lines of one being a 'computer wizard'. Which in their case is pretty much, ironically, spot on.

      The Choristers probably don't have a single 'Mage' among themselves, and the Cultists of Ecstasy also probably rarely use the term among themselves - even if changing your surroundings by changing your mind and perceptions is a pretty good definition of Magic itself. The Akashics are probably quite like the choristers, with none of them considering the term 'Mage' being appropriate for any of them.

      At least that's my take - I am sure there are some obscure small groups with really special practices among all of them that break the mold. And typing this, I can already think of one example for the Choristers - a Voudun Witch is literally an example character in one of their Traditionbooks. Still, that one - like the Dreamspeakers or Verbena - would rather consider themself a Priest or Shaman, not a 'Mage'.


      The exception to all of this being characters that grow to the understanding that they indeed are all mages, but that's not a given for every character. Especially those that grow very firm in their paradigm with increased enlightenment, instead of more open minded.
      Last edited by Ambrosia; 06-10-2018, 07:16 PM.


      cWoD Dice Probability Chart ||| cWoD Dice Statistics Calculator ||| cWoD Alternative Armor System
      cWoD Alternative Damage Roll System ||| My explanation of cWoD Damage Levels ||| 'Intersting' Strength Attribute Stuff
      EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF!

      Comment


      • #4
        It really depends on the mage. Guide to the Traditions goes into this a little bit but the gist of it is that individual mages may live on a sliding scale of close-minded to open-minded, and flexible to strict.

        One mage may see their reality as a steadfast and think that other forms of magic are just round about ways of what they are doing. A Chorister will see the Verbena as talking to gods who are simply symbols for The One, or a VA who is still being aided by The One, but refuses to acknowledge it.
        Another mage may see and understand that other mages have found different ways to exploit the same systems. A VA who thinks that the world is programmable and only requires the right code may see the Hermetics speaking Enochian or the Choristers speaking in Latin to have found a different kind of coding language to get their effects out, but consider this code to be really clunky with a poorly thought out syntax that they have since moved on from. There is no "Big guy in the sky", just the universe responding to your commands.
        However, other mages may accept that "that's just their way of doing magic". A Verbena may accept that blood is a powerful source of magic, that the Chorus find equal power in their holy water, and the Hermetics in their staves and symbols, but it's just not something they really understand, so they stick to what they know.
        Yet another mage may instead try to learn all the techniques that other mages have invoked. An Etherite who studies paranormal phenomenon may want to learn more about how a Dreamspeaker communes with the spirits, perhaps so they can better understand how to adapt their own techniques to better begin such spectral conversations.

        Mages are people but amplified in every respect. That includes the rationalisation, the stubborn unwillingness to see things from outside their own understanding, a sense of curiosity, and even the wish to categorise people into "right" and "wrong". Cognitive dissonance may be quite rampant in the mage community, especially in really conservative ranks of the traditions who consider themselves in some way superior to others due to their command on reality.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          The key thing is that a mage per the rules, regardless of group, knows they can do things most other people can't due to their will and practices. Some of those mages will call it science, some will call it faith, but every mage bends reality to their will by focus and effort.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think we are getting into a level of semantics, I think the vast majority of Traditions would have groups who consider their actions "magic" I mean that's why they joined the Traditions. Now they might redefine magic as "properly placting the spirits" "using the secret language of God" or "Enlightened perception" the Etherites and VA just use "Science" as another redefining of "magic" but "magic" and its practice is probably the Lingua Franca for the Traditions. They may know for "Real" its X but when they want to talk to someone across Tradition lines and possibly within your Tradition they might call it magic(some traditions are more scattered than others). VA and Etherites who can't deal with their shit being called "technomagic" probably don't hang out with other Traditions much.

            Comment


            • #7
              It's pretty sure they do not always think of themselves as Mages. However, they do recognize that the other Mages (as a generic term here) are Awakened. As for why they can work together, the purpose of the Traditions is to fight to save Imagination, Magick and Wonder. They might not always agree on the methods used by one or the other, probably thinking that their methods are the best and the most efficient, but they do recognize the abilities of the others (well, most of the time...). The Technocracy is different in that regard. It supports homogeneity while Traditions support differencies. In modern times, it often explains why the Technocracy has the upper hand and why the Traditions are losing the Ascension War (and even that can be argued). They might lack consistency, but they flourish in diversity. Traditions tend to preserve local culture, hence the differencies between them going to the point of calling themselves different names, while the Technocracy fights for the Hegemony. Even them consider the others Awakened btw. Enlightened beings you know.
              Last edited by NicoTheDuck; 06-11-2018, 04:00 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NicoTheDuck View Post
                It's pretty sure they do not always think of themselves as Mages..
                I think we get into semantics there. Tradition members who regularly interact outside their Tradition or even subfaction probably use the the word mage because its easy and true enough for simple communication, same with spheres. They aren't perfectly accurate but translation is a bitch having a go between does work. They probably acknowledge what they do falls under the broad spectrum of "Magic" they may think they are the only ones doing it right and the others have a debase understanding of such(or call it Science in their head and feel the same) but they generally have some ways of communicating cross paradigm, for many they've had centuries to do this and even for the VA they've had at least two generations of doing so.

                Now the Disparates.. they should have this issue. They should be the ones who don't acknowledge anyone else

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post

                  I think we get into semantics there. Tradition members who regularly interact outside their Tradition or even subfaction probably use the the word mage because its easy and true enough for simple communication, same with spheres. They aren't perfectly accurate but translation is a bitch having a go between does work. They probably acknowledge what they do falls under the broad spectrum of "Magic" they may think they are the only ones doing it right and the others have a debase understanding of such(or call it Science in their head and feel the same) but they generally have some ways of communicating cross paradigm, for many they've had centuries to do this and even for the VA they've had at least two generations of doing so.

                  Now the Disparates.. they should have this issue. They should be the ones who don't acknowledge anyone else
                  That is true. And it backs up what I say. Traditions cultivate diversity whereas the Technocracy fights for homogeneity. Proof that they're winning that fight, this topic is about why the f*** do all Tradition Mages not call themselves the same way? ^^

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My VA, observing mystical practices: This is esoteric coding. It's just unwieldy in a more enlightened age... a lot of these mystics are very powerful, and I'm glad to have them as allies, but they lack the connectivity which we know.

                    Observing religious practices: I can't pretend that I'm not curious about *where* the universal code came from. They're pulling on strings in the code that they don't really understand, but at least they've got some ideas on where those strings came from.

                    On the term "Mage": Well... if it pisses off the Union, I'm game.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                      It highly depends on the Tradition, and the Mage in question, when it comes to literally considering themself 'Mages'.

                      For example, the Order Of Hermes - those guys definitely consider themselves *the* Mages.The quintessenital Mages, so to speak, heh. The Verbena most certainly consider themselves 'Witches' - and those that do not at least consider themselves Priests and Pristesses to some old gods. The Dreamspeakers - at least most of them - definitely consider themselves Shamans and Spirittalkers.

                      However as for the rest of them? It really depends on the character in question. I highly doubt there are many Etherites out there that would use the term 'Mage' when speaking of themselves, aside of a few exotic ones that literally go for a sort of arcane technomagickal science in their own mind. Virtual Adepts? Nah, I can't imagine any of them considering themselves "Mages". They simply cracked the 'code' to reality. The term 'Wizard' among them is probably more used along the lines of one being a 'computer wizard'. Which in their case is pretty much, ironically, spot on.

                      The Choristers probably don't have a single 'Mage' among themselves, and the Cultists of Ecstasy also probably rarely use the term among themselves - even if changing your surroundings by changing your mind and perceptions is a pretty good definition of Magic itself. The Akashics are probably quite like the choristers, with none of them considering the term 'Mage' being appropriate for any of them.

                      At least that's my take - I am sure there are some obscure small groups with really special practices among all of them that break the mold. And typing this, I can already think of one example for the Choristers - a Voudun Witch is literally an example character in one of their Traditionbooks. Still, that one - like the Dreamspeakers or Verbena - would rather consider themself a Priest or Shaman, not a 'Mage'.


                      The exception to all of this being characters that grow to the understanding that they indeed are all mages, but that's not a given for every character. Especially those that grow very firm in their paradigm with increased enlightenment, instead of more open minded.
                      Fully agreed. I imagine a character could explain it by saying that it's the right word, but in the wrong language. It holds all the right content in terms of definition, but all of the wrong content in terms of context and implications.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                        It really depends on the mage. Guide to the Traditions goes into this a little bit but the gist of it is that individual mages may live on a sliding scale of close-minded to open-minded, and flexible to strict.

                        One mage may see their reality as a steadfast and think that other forms of magic are just round about ways of what they are doing. A Chorister will see the Verbena as talking to gods who are simply symbols for The One, or a VA who is still being aided by The One, but refuses to acknowledge it.
                        Another mage may see and understand that other mages have found different ways to exploit the same systems. A VA who thinks that the world is programmable and only requires the right code may see the Hermetics speaking Enochian or the Choristers speaking in Latin to have found a different kind of coding language to get their effects out, but consider this code to be really clunky with a poorly thought out syntax that they have since moved on from. There is no "Big guy in the sky", just the universe responding to your commands.
                        However, other mages may accept that "that's just their way of doing magic". A Verbena may accept that blood is a powerful source of magic, that the Chorus find equal power in their holy water, and the Hermetics in their staves and symbols, but it's just not something they really understand, so they stick to what they know.
                        Yet another mage may instead try to learn all the techniques that other mages have invoked. An Etherite who studies paranormal phenomenon may want to learn more about how a Dreamspeaker communes with the spirits, perhaps so they can better understand how to adapt their own techniques to better begin such spectral conversations.

                        Mages are people but amplified in every respect. That includes the rationalisation, the stubborn unwillingness to see things from outside their own understanding, a sense of curiosity, and even the wish to categorise people into "right" and "wrong". Cognitive dissonance may be quite rampant in the mage community, especially in really conservative ranks of the traditions who consider themselves in some way superior to others due to their command on reality.
                        This is important, because any Traditions mage will observe others using abilities which are similar to theirs in outcome, and even exceed theirs in power. A VA who uses universal code to teleport and ward could observe someone doing the same with germanic runes, and if that other mage has higher Arete they might be shocked at their efficacy.

                        So a standard refrain in the Traditions is "You're doing the thing that I'm doing, however you're doing it in a way which is abstracted from the true nature of reality; you're more powerful than me because you're very good at using that work-around of course."

                        In some paradigms of course, a mage makes no claims about the way magic works in general. They have their own method, say ancestor worship and traditional necromantic rituals, and that's something that they can use. But even their folklore acknowledges that there are powers outside of those they understand. To them, the arts of other mages are just something entirely different, manifesting in a similar way. This will be more common among the Disparate Crafts, who have traditional views which often don't exclude the idea of other cultures having their own arts (even if those arts are inferior of course!).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would add something else, but it might be more controversial.

                          I tend to think that Traditions Mages have also in common that they all aspire to a spiritual elevation, technomancers included. Reality 2.0 promoted by the VA for example suggests that you can download the mind to another level of consciousness. It is another way to transhumanism, opposed to the philosophy of Iteration X that wants to achieve the same goal, but with transformations of the body and not the mind. It's only an example. What I mean is that often, Traditions also share a spiritual idea of the Ascension.

                          But as I said, this is much more controversial.
                          Last edited by NicoTheDuck; 06-11-2018, 06:00 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Traditions actively promote a shared philosophy that the Book of Secrets calls “we are all gods in disguise”: in a nutshell, it's the notion that all of the Awakened are doing the same thing, and that the differences in how they do it are ultimately unimportant. This is the glue that holds the Traditions together and facilitates cooperation and teamwork among them. In that regard, while the Akashayana or Etherite might scoff at being called a “mage”, per se, they'll generally accept that what the Verbena or Hermetic does is in some abstract way the same as what they do. So on that sense, the Traditions do indeed all think of themselves as Mages.

                            This philosophy is rare outside of the Traditions: for the most part, the only Disparates that give it credence used to be associated with the Traditions (the Ahl-i-Batin, who arguably invented the philosophy; and the Hollow Ones, who arguably took it to its logical extreme). But the other Disparates are largely defined by their rejection of this notion: while they accept that other kinds of magick than theirs exist in the world, they generally don't see it all as different varieties of a common core. This is gradually changing, in no small part due to their infiltration of the Traditions; but for now, the Disparates are, well, disparate.

                            And then there's the Technocracy, to which this philosophy is anathema.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dataweaver Book of Secrets also goes into detail with one of the most "meta" Paradigms. We're Turning the Keys to Reality. It allows for all magick, really. Runes, singing, electronic pulses; all of them can ward against ghosts if manipulated correctly because of fundamental natural parts of reality which can be used to shape it. Discovering the "keys" hidden in our world is an important part of the paradigm, and can lend itself to an eclectic style gathered from lots of practices.

                              Similar, but quite distinct, from the We Are All Gods idea.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X