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The Trouble with Technomancers.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
    Meaning they have access to the many many means to nullify paradox that are available with wonder creation and prime 5. Periapts/Matrices present the issue in that Vulgar or not, the paradox is going to get stuck into a bottle, then shipped off to some nullification plant in nowhere'sville kentucky or something to have the paradox wiped out using prime, before shipping the paradox bottle back to central for re-issue.
    I wonder if you can use that trapped paradox as a homing missile vs vulgar magical paradigms, changing/adding to it's resonance with Prime 5 + (other sphere describing set of conditions) to change it's target from the technomancer.

    Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
    Heavy use of Wonders simply strips away almost all instability of the use of magic in game, and instead replaces it all with a massive quintessence bill and high sphere requirements to even to get started.
    And it also doesn't take away from the fact that a mage can keep his versatility while using a wonder. Heck(with mind 5) you can make an AI to use your devices and cantrips for you as you take other actions, like say dispelling other mages sphere effects so they can't defend themselves.

    I personally like to use the technocracy as the boogyman that keeps supernaturals up at night in crossover games. Capturing and Erasing supernaturals that try to blatantly display themselves to the public, removing any evidence that could point to a supernatural origin and broadcasting massive "Public Reveals" of supernatural "Hoaxes" laced with mind magic that subtly warps the memories of any witnesses to remember things in a more "Rational" light. Stories told of massive inter-dimensional prisons for Reality Deviants who are processed into raw materials or re-purposed as sleeper agents to serve great machine of "Progress". The term I use for a sort of Pogrom 2.0: Technocratic Re-Education(enslavement) edition.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Prometheas
      I wonder if you can use that trapped paradox as a homing missile vs vulgar magical paradigms, changing/adding to it's resonance with Prime 5 + (other sphere describing set of conditions) to change it's target from the technomancer
      Nope. Don't touch the Paradox with a ten foot pole. Paradox it's unpredictable by nature (Prime 7 it's the only known way to change it's target, and that generates more Paradox that isn't treated as "redirected") and tends to fuck things for everyone. You risk breaking reality over a wide area if the Paradox inside mixes with the Paradox outside and generates a big enough backlash - that would be a mess. Also you're wasting a perfectly good Periapt.

      Originally posted by Enginseer-42
      Meaning they have access to the many many means to nullify paradox that are available with wonder creation and prime 5. Periapts/Matrices present the issue in that Vulgar or not, the paradox is going to get stuck into a bottle, then shipped off to some nullification plant in nowhere'sville kentucky or something to have the paradox wiped out using prime, before shipping the paradox bottle back to central for re-issue.
      That's not how I interpreted Periapts/Matrices...Periapts act as a secondary Paradox/Quintessence wheel that can be removed. This may give the impresion of "Paradox being sucked into it", but, unlike other Wonders that explicitly do this, nothing prevents Periapts from unleashing a Backlash before it's full (i.e: whenever you Botch while using it) just like as if was "sucked" inside a mage's wheel.

      Still, maybe this is why, in M20 BoS, Satyros decided to retcon the idea of Artifacts that absorb Paradox (including Periapts, Paradox Nullification and other sweet boosts of FbDF)...It WAS heavily exploitable.
      Last edited by Aleph; 08-14-2018, 10:48 AM.

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      • #33
        It explicitly says that it doesn't generate backlashes until full. Ofcourse then it warns about how horrible and destructive a 20+ paradox backlash would be. But that's so unlikely to happen as to be not worth mentioning.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by battlebaby View Post
          The same technology and paradigm that give the Technocracy an edge over the Traditions limit them in certain ways.
          The way I see it, the Technocracy has little to none advantage over mystic Mages - due to the fact that the Magick of Technocrat Mages is Hypertech ( And Inspired Psychology, Sociology etc. ) to mundane humans.


          Originally posted by battlebaby View Post
          Void Engineers require survival gear and spacecrafts to survive and travel in the Deep Umbra. This means a lot of resources, and any danger associated with space travel. A tradition Dreamspeaker can do the same half-naked with no problem.
          I think that another good example of this difference is the New World Order's Procedures and Effects, which often require comparatively lot of preparation time for Mind 1-3 Effects.
          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 08-15-2018, 02:32 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
            So I've alluded to the issues with the portrayal of Technomancers in fluff, as set up opposed to Traditional Mages. But frequently I've held up the most broken possible aspects of these issues, leading to a muddying of the waters of conversation.

            So I'm going to leave aside the infinite numbers of dice and such for now. And simply point to the basic and, somewhat obvious issues with Technomancers.

            Wonders are powerful. Wonders are a game changer in the ascension war, as they allow a single mage to become MANY mages. And Technomancers, in the form of Devices, have an easier time fielding these game changing wonders than mystics. Yes, Mystics have an easier time fast casting, but fast casting is borderline useless compared to using a wonder.

            And in the end, it takes the exact same spheres, arete, and investment to create a Wonderous Device that quickens laser guns, as it does to quicken a laser gun personally. The earlier stages of constructing the foundation can be constructed by unenlightened personnel. And then once that's done, those same unenlightened personnel can use the machine that the Enlightened Personnel built to infuse it with energy.

            Because in the end, the very process of wonder creation is a form of magic. A 'rote' that can be imbued into an artifact or wonder. That then, ANYONE enlightened or not can use. Even supposing a great wizard, and a great technocrat are equal. Matched. that wizard will never be able to field the same magical might as a technocrat, because rather than making a single potent artifact, the technocrat is making an ASSEMBLY LINE for potent artifacts. That can then be run by Joe Schmoe. That, after the Technocrats death, will CONTINUE to be run by Joe Schmoe in the Technocracies war for the planet.

            Even worse, you could create a 'device' that creates those same devices that quicken devices. Meaning you can INDUSTRIALIZE Technomancy, which is not only blatantly happening in the books but what this means is that, strategically speaking, the very idea of enlightened field agents is not only reckless, it's stupid. Anything an enlightened agent can do, a device can do. And a device can be given to a sleeper who can then work it.

            And how then, would the Mystical Mages compete with such a foe? Sure they have versatility on their side. But no matter how versatile they are, they're up against a wall of brute force. Sure you have a dozen sphere levels, but it isn't going to help you all that much when you're being hammered on all sides by the same basic Prime + Forces Laser Effect again and again.

            That is the fundamental issue with Technomancers. Devices allow sleepers to perform magic, and are easily obtainable. Therefor, any militarized group of Technomancers could, should, and would industrialize their device production with devices that enable sleepers to create devices. Yes, the initial designers are enlightened, but once that first production unit rolls out of the secret technocratic labs, all it requires is for the sleepers to plug the 'energy cells' into the machines. Energy cells obtained from the Syndicate, or from Technocratic Nodes.

            You should never see an enlightened agent on the front lines, and yet for story reasons, they're there.
            THIS IS FUCKING BRILLAINT!

            This explains EXACTLY why the Technocracy is wining the war!

            You know they actually say all this in the book but you have literally just given me a link that I can send my players anytime they ask how the TU got the leg up on the C9!

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Octavo View Post
              I feel like if you take apart most fiction about a scrappy bunch of freedom loving badasses fighting against an evil faceless mechanized empire, it's hard to imagine the rebellion winning.
              But a lot of those stories exist because sometimes the underfunded scrappy army with beats the organized evil empire. Mage is (partially) about hope in the face of overwhelming odds.
              I remember some American guy saying that to me when we were backpacking through Vietnam, then I turned to him and said, “hey bud, look over there at that poster celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Vietnamese victory in The American War.”

              No joke.

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              • #37
                Not that I was trying to compare America to an evil empire in my last post, but some of those Vietnamese rebels were pretty badass. I met one old dude who told me he spent five fucking years fighting out of a goddamn tunnel eatting roots and whatever else he could find around.

                Five years he spent inside a fucking tunnel most days and starving at that to boot.

                And to think these were the people that were able to cripple one of the most sophisticated war machines the world had ever seen.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Zennis View Post

                  And to think these were the people that were able to cripple one of the most sophisticated war machines the world had ever seen.
                  Crippled our war machine? Hardly. The apparatus was intact, we just didn't have the stomach for it... but psychological defeat is still defeat.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                    Crippled our war machine? Hardly. The apparatus was intact, we just didn't have the stomach for it... but psychological defeat is still defeat.
                    Ya you got me there, what I really meant was that they crippled the war machine put in place in Vietnam.

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                    • #40
                      Answering the original question, it's not that Techncrats have easier access to wonders. It's that they had vision and unity to outperform other sects and monopolize resources. Reversed situation had been presented in other fiction (CABAL RPG, The Bartimeus Trilogy, etc.). Well supplied Mystic mages can organize large scale production no less easily, even if often not in the forms easily recognizable from Technocratic paradigm. I even designed characters that concentrated on farming and wonder-smything for Ascension war.
                      For an example, Industrial Scale Alchemical Laboratories, mass awakening+consecrating of weapons and armor with large scale high magic, creation of possessed soldiers, LIfe+Prime for self replicating organisms with Charm effects, abortion clinic or slaughterhouse for infernal tass farming = demonic mercenaries, growing solders on trees or farms, training and hiring mythic creatures, etc.

                      So again, if you ask me the advantages of Technocracy had been in their unity and dedication, resource superiority came as a result. If you look closer, modern Technocratic procedures are quite wasteful, sacrificing efficiency for control and reliability.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                        Answering the original question, it's not that Techncrats have easier access to wonders. It's that they had vision and unity to outperform other sects and monopolize resources. Reversed situation had been presented in other fiction (CABAL RPG, The Bartimeus Trilogy, etc.). Well supplied Mystic mages can organize large scale production no less easily, even if often not in the forms easily recognizable from Technocratic paradigm. I even designed characters that concentrated on farming and wonder-smything for Ascension war.
                        For an example, Industrial Scale Alchemical Laboratories, mass awakening+consecrating of weapons and armor with large scale high magic, creation of possessed soldiers, LIfe+Prime for self replicating organisms with Charm effects, abortion clinic or slaughterhouse for infernal tass farming = demonic mercenaries, growing solders on trees or farms, training and hiring mythic creatures, etc.

                        So again, if you ask me the advantages of Technocracy had been in their unity and dedication, resource superiority came as a result. If you look closer, modern Technocratic procedures are quite wasteful, sacrificing efficiency for control and reliability.
                        Yeah, it gets harder for the mystic mages to stand their ground when they're busy infighting over their own knowledge, while technomancers working together to create large effects is the norm not the exception.

                        While old mages hold their cards close to their chest from each-other and their students, technocratic masters are working with each other and their students to not only provide manpower and knowledge where one alone would be lacking(Even ancient Masters typically only master 6 of the 9 spheres or end up sacrificing mastery for flexibility, All mages are aware a cabal of specialist mages is far more powerful than any one mage).

                        The traditions biggest weakness is their conflicting views, if any faction were to game control of the concensus all the others would band together simply to overthrow them. The technocratic conventions are built to work together from the ground up, and the power gained by one benefits the technocracy as a whole(now if only it wasn't full of ancient mages unwilling to move from their positions of power and who's goals mostly follow making the world the same forever to keep that power. Real-world governments are already giving us a first-hand example of what happens when a rapidly changing country is run by old, out-of-touch officials who only care about keeping power, the technocracy has been dealing with this for Decades before the real world caught up)

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