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Making a Mage Kinfolk PC?

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  • Making a Mage Kinfolk PC?

    Hey, so I posted this in the Werewolf subrofum, but I'm also posting it here, because I don't really know which one it properly belongs in. If I've violated a forum rule, my bad, I'm sure a Mod can come yell and me and then I'll know not to do that again. So here's the gist of it.


    I'm wondering at the viability of this and how to make it work within a group without clashing too much. This is for a Dark Ages game, if that's relevasnt, some focus on the aspects of survivalism and similar struggles, and some traditional Werewolf focuses. We were discussing a few different game ideas, one being Sorcerer's Crusade, the other being Dark Ages Werewolf. Sorcerer's Crusade was discussed first. It ended up being decided that Werewolf was preferred, and I was okay with this, although I griped a little with a comment of "And I really liked my concept too." All of this is to say that my ST responded by saying that if I could make the concept work and didn't make the gameplay unfun, he'd be willing to allow a Mage Kinfolk into his DA Werewolf game.

    I suppose I put all of the above because I didn't want to be immediately labeled as "that guy" or something, but I might still be "that guy". That's okay, but I was trying to avoid the distinction. The group presently consists of a Silver Fang Ahroun, a Shadow Lord Ragabash, a Bone Gnawer (Undecided), and a Fianna Theurge. The character would likely be someone who was Heremetic but couldn't reconcile the whole experience of their methods with his roots, making the more of an Oprhan now, so as to avoid that knee-jerk reaction I'm expecting of "But Heremetics are Kill on Sight by Garou" that might exist. I figure that being clasically educated in the Hermetic way could be justified in a wide variety of circumstances, as could becoming disollusioned with it. Really though, I just like the flavoring of the Hermetic Paradigm. Alternatively I would go for a Dreamspeaker, if this is entirely untenable. I had a concept for each in mind, but wanted to get opinions and insight from others on both the viability of this, and what ways I should proceed with it to make it work best overall, if it can be done. Thanks for any and all input.

  • #2
    when is the game set? a Bjorner or Deidre(sp) Hermetic is.. basically Verbena in modern game.

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    • #3
      The game is set in the Dark Ages, as I said. That being specifically the late 1200s to early 1300s era.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post
        The game is set in the Dark Ages, as I said. That being specifically the late 1200s to early 1300s era.

        The Dark Ages could cover quite abit of time

        I'd suggest a House Bjorner or House Misc hermetic both have room for more Garou friendly practices

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lian View Post


          The Dark Ages could cover quite abit of time
          Totally fair on the time range that could cover, which is why I added the range my ST gave me. I'll check those out. Thanks for the input

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          • #6
            What's important is: would the concept be interesting? Would it change his relationships, beliefs, personality, or add an interesting twist? Think of the character first before going "I want to play a kinfolk mage".

            If you don't think about those factors you might as well fall square into THAT GUY territory.

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            • #7
              I would advise a Dreamskpeaker. An Hermetic Mage (even Bjorner) could have a hard time dealing with Werewolves. I actually had an NPC with that kind of background. Grew up with the kinfolk, Awakened and stayed in the place, acting as a Shaman for the tribe. His paradigm and focus was the one of the tribe and he was entirely part of the groum, having the legitimacy and being faithful to the kin. Orphan in the way that he did not learnt Magick with the Traditions, though an Awakened being, who learnt the Art with the kin and was taught the by the kin. It's kind of the way things were done before the Council. Well for those traditions and cultures.
              Last edited by NicoTheDuck; 06-12-2018, 07:41 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NicoTheDuck View Post
                I would advise a Dreamskpeaker. An Hermetic Mage (even Bjorner) could have a hard time dealing with Werewolves. I actually had an NPC with that kind of background. Grew up with the kinfolk, Awakened and stayed in the place, acting as a Shaman for the tribe. His paradigm and focus was the one of the tribe and he was entirely part of the groum, having the legitimacy and being faithful to the kin. Orphan in the way that he did not learnt Magick with the Traditions, though an Awakened being, who learnt the Art with the kin and was taught the by the kin. It's kind of the way things were done before the Council. Well for those traditions and cultures.
                This is a good way of playing it. Have them be emblematic of everything good and bad about their tribe. Really play up how isolated and unusual their upbringing was.

                And remember! Werewolves horde supernaturally enhanced kinfolk, Sorcerers and Mages, and treat them like delicate heirlooms. From a Garou perspective, awakened Kinfolk are special and need to be protected. They can do a lot of good in the long run; create new Cairns, manipulate spirits in really nuanced ways that there aren't rituals for, undo damage inflicted by supernatural powers the Garou don't have defenses against...

                So they should have a pushy and protective family! Kinfolk Mages can benefit a lot from Prime and Spirit. Prime since they are surrounded by Gaia's own special forces, who can benefit immensely from Trinkets and Charms. Garou are bad enough, now imagine Garou with one-use items (philters, snacks, drinks) that give them extra health levels (Prime 2 for health levels and Prime 2 for Charms). Furthermore, Prime deals with the resonance and power of nodes, and can allow them to purify and repurpose Cairns the tribe have acquired. Spirit is pretty obvious, and would allow them to work with a theurge as a powerful assistant.
                Last edited by 11twiggins; 06-12-2018, 07:56 AM.

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                • #9
                  That's under optimal conditions, rarely are things under optimal conditions, especially when family politics are concerned. I do like to have the cultivation of Sorcerous kin be a thing, as well as Kinain. But Generally Willworkers are not welcome at Caerns, though some sources have it they will be somewhat permitted at the Bawn, just not near the Heart.


                  It is a time for great deeds!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                    That's under optimal conditions, rarely are things under optimal conditions, especially when family politics are concerned. I do like to have the cultivation of Sorcerous kin be a thing, as well as Kinain. But Generally Willworkers are not welcome at Caerns, though some sources have it they will be somewhat permitted at the Bawn, just not near the Heart.
                    Generally. But we're talking about ideal conditions, yes. Bona fide kinfolk who have been part of the garou nation since birth, and have never given reason to doubt their loyalty, whose practice is wholly Gaian and reveres everything the Garou hold sacred. These requirements will filter out most kinfolk mages, but not all. The in-universe distinction between sorcerers and mages isn't always crystal clear after all. To Garou, Mages are these insane triat-tainted humans who prey on the garou nation and poke their noses into the business, draining gaia's power. This warped vision of Mages as a whole means that some mages might fall under their radar, surely?
                    Last edited by 11twiggins; 06-12-2018, 10:30 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shawarbaaz View Post
                      What's important is: would the concept be interesting? Would it change his relationships, beliefs, personality, or add an interesting twist? Think of the character first before going "I want to play a kinfolk mage".

                      If you don't think about those factors you might as well fall square into THAT GUY territory.
                      I mean, yes, the concept is supposed to be interesting ideally. I think it is, and my GM thought it was. But part of the concept is definitely what their splat is. It's generally pretty impossible to make a character and concept without giving fair consideration to the "splat" they'll be. That is to say you can't really make a Garou without considering them as a Garou in addition to their other qualities, and the same thing comes to mind for making a kinfolk mage imo. I'll offer at least that the concept and character idea was considered before I decided I'd want them to be a Mage. The kinfolk bit was tacked on to make them fit the game in question and then the concept altered, but I don't know if that's strictly a huge problem?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post

                        I mean, yes, the concept is supposed to be interesting ideally. I think it is, and my GM thought it was. But part of the concept is definitely what their splat is. It's generally pretty impossible to make a character and concept without giving fair consideration to the "splat" they'll be. That is to say you can't really make a Garou without considering them as a Garou in addition to their other qualities, and the same thing comes to mind for making a kinfolk mage imo. I'll offer at least that the concept and character idea was considered before I decided I'd want them to be a Mage. The kinfolk bit was tacked on to make them fit the game in question and then the concept altered, but I don't know if that's strictly a huge problem?
                        There's this classical anxiety at TTRPG tables where players and STs worry about "that guy" showing up, the one who has chosen certain backstory elements purely for mechanics and not for plot or character. For example, in WTA you have the "Homi-Lupus" phenomenon; Garou who are born as wolves, but the players controlling them act like humans all the time, are more comfortable in human form, and generally don't act like lupus at all. The problem is that they've tacked "lupus" onto the sheet for extra Gnosis, and then practically ignored it.

                        The trouble is that honestly I think most people who decide to be a kinfolk mage are doing it because they like the WtA lore and Garou, and kinfolk, and think the crossover rules are cool. Same goes for fae-touched mages. I don't think people are adding these backgrounds to get an edge in a competitive sense; if you want to do that in Mage there are much better ways of doing so.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PixelPuzzler View Post

                          I mean, yes, the concept is supposed to be interesting ideally. I think it is, and my GM thought it was. But part of the concept is definitely what their splat is. It's generally pretty impossible to make a character and concept without giving fair consideration to the "splat" they'll be. That is to say you can't really make a Garou without considering them as a Garou in addition to their other qualities, and the same thing comes to mind for making a kinfolk mage imo. I'll offer at least that the concept and character idea was considered before I decided I'd want them to be a Mage. The kinfolk bit was tacked on to make them fit the game in question and then the concept altered, but I don't know if that's strictly a huge problem?
                          So, what's your concept?

                          I don't think Hermetic it's "untenable": Sure, the Order it's enemy of the Garou, but your character is family to them.

                          It all depends on story. What you need to think about it's the kind of ties (other than blood) that join your character to the Garou Nation in general, and, more importantly, to this pack in particular.
                          You need to elaborate with the group why do they trust you (probably they trust you a lot, since they allow you to join the action so to speak). You also need to think about what's going to be your character's role, of course.

                          Maybe your character betray..em...saw the light and joined the good guys.Perhaps you were kidnapped at some point (standard OoH requitting practice), and then wanted to return. Perhaps with some valuable information, like the location and defenses of a potent Hermetic "Caern"

                          Alternatively, maybe there's a truce with the local Hermetic (hey, if there has been truces with vampires...), and your character it's the perfect embassador
                          Last edited by Aleph; 06-12-2018, 04:04 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                            So, what's your concept?

                            I don't think Hermetic it's "untenable": Sure, the Order it's enemy of the Garou, but your character is family to them.

                            It all depends on story. What you need to think about it's the kind of ties (other than blood) that join your character to the Garou Nation in general, and, more importantly, to this pack in particular.
                            You need to elaborate with the group why do they trust you (probably they trust you a lot, since they allow you to join the action so to speak). You also need to think about what's going to be your character's role, of course.

                            Maybe your character betray..em...saw the light and joined the good guys.Perhaps you were kidnapped at some point (standard OoH requitting practice), and then wanted to return. Perhaps with some valuable information, like the location and defenses of a potent Hermetic "Caern"

                            Alternatively, maybe there's a truce with the local Hermetic (hey, if there has been truces with vampires...), and your character it's the perfect embassador
                            Well, I tend to disagree. Being part of the Kinfolk kind of prevent you from having a Hermetic paradigm. It's not compatible with the belief. Well... it would mean that your Mage left the Kinfolk at some point to learn about Gnosticism (largely predominant philosophy among the Hermetics at that time) or some other kind of highly philosophical mysticism. Most Hermetics (not all, but the laaaarge majority during the Dark Ages) got their teachings from the Jewish Kabbalah and other middle oriental philosophies closer to Judaism and Christianism than any other kind. So... if your Mage was really raised among the Kinfolk, there are few chances that somebody would have let him close to any book teaching how good Salomon imprisonned great spirits in bottles.

                            There are other kind of Hermeticism at that time, but they're all mostly built on the belief that Magick can be theorized and learnt like well.. a mystical-science. Kinfolk are close to Gaia. Their approach of Magick is much more visceral I would say. With the kind of education they have, it is not likely that the Order of Hermes would even think about taking a student with those origins, don't you think ?

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                            • #15
                              Verbena or some kind of shaman is more likely.

                              But it's worth remembering that most kinfolk aren't under lock and key, trapped in some kind of harem by their future mates and the tribe. In a dark ages setting, a kinfolk might be an influential trader who has their own homestead and gives a roof to warriors who are traveling through the area or recovering. It's entirely feasible that such a person could develop personal beliefs which differ from the society in which they grew up; in a catholic country, ALL Hermetics have done this by default! Even if they remain Christian, they have embraced ideals outside of the norm, and kin can do this too, even if oversight makes this less likely.

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