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Revising Quiet

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  • Revising Quiet

    The tripartite nature of Quiet came about in the Revised Edition, when Resonance was being associated with the metaphysical Trinity: Madness was associated with Dynamic Resonance; Clarity was associated with Static Resonance; and Jhor was associated with Entropic Resonance.

    In M20, the metaphysical Trinity stuff has been split off into the concept of Synergy, and represents metaphysical energies affecting the mage; and a new set of Resonance flavors have been introduced that echo the Avatar Essences: Devotional Resonance is the sort of thing Questing Avatars tend to promote; Elemental Resonance reflects the nature of the Primordial Essence fairly well; Stabilizing Resonance pairs nicely with a Pattern Essence; and Temperamental Resonance is what you'd expect from a Dynamic Essence.

    M20 also did some work with MRev's different kinds of Quiet, renaming Jhor as Morbidity and Clarity as Denial. But it kept the tripartite nature of these types, and their overall association with what is now Synergy: Madness is associated with too much Dynamism, Denial with too much Stasis, and Morbidity with too much Entropy. But why should Quiet, of all things, echo the “external forces acting upon you” nature of Synergy? It strikes me as being much more a reflection of what can go wrong with the internal nature of Resonance. As such, I propose a revision of the types of Quiet to bring them more in line with Resonance.

    This results in four types of Quiet, not three. Madness and Denial remain, being manifestations of what can go wrong with Temperamental and Stabilizing Resonance respectively. Devotional Resonance gets a new kind of Quiet, which I'll tentatively call Fanaticism: it's already highlighted in the section on Devotional Resonance in the Book of Secrets that the ugly side of devotion is what happens when you devote yourself to a harmful ideal; and the state of Quiet known as Fanaticism represents the single-minded devotion to a cause that lets you rationalize away the harm you do in its name.

    Then there's the Primordial Essence and the Elemental Resonance. If you want to keep Morbidity in the game, this is the least bad place to put it; after all, Jhor is an Elemental Resonance. But I'm not sure that Morbidity should be kept. Instead, I'm thinking that the corresponding Quiet should represent a certain inhuman quality to the mage — a disconnect from humanity that can manifest as the callousness and cruelty of Morbidity, but isn't necessarily focused on death. Basically, I'm looking for something more broad than Morbidity that includes it as one possible manifestation but not the only one.

    Last edited by Dataweaver; 08-27-2018, 02:28 AM.

  • #2
    As an ST, I hate Quiets!
    I have put a lot of thoughts into it and I invented a lot of possible Quiets for PCs and NPCs alike to implement into my games. They all could have worked and there were a lot of opportunities were they could have been used. But I think there have been way too little explanations on how to actually play out a quiet, only some texts to how they should feel. And I hate telling my players how their characters should act (especially in Morbidity and Denial), so most Quiets I thought of were heavily influenced by the description of Madness in M20.
    Now I'm reading your post and it's like, why didn't I think of this? Obviously the Quiets shouldn't represent the Trinity but the Avatar Essences! Somehow the whole concept makes a lot more sense.

    Madness are the only Quiets I actually used where I was happy with the results.
    Denial is kind of difficult but I can work with that.
    Fanaticism is still difficult for me, as it tends to rely a lot on what the character believes and how he acts. I like the concept, though.
    As for the primordial variant, I'd suggest "Hollowness" or "Emptiness". Or at least something along the lines of that.

    The primordial Quiet would, in my mind, be a Quiet were you lose something inside of yourself. Something you probably weren't aware of but it was precious to you nonetheless. I really like the feel of that. And while I don't know how to use it (yet), I think I will give these a try when the opportunity strikes.


    • #3
      Perhaps call it Obsession? Slip deeper and deeper into their 'research' of some primal force. If it's death? That's Jhor. But maybe it's life. And rather than becoming a deranged serial killer, you step into their sanctum and find them creating all manner of bizarre crossbred creatures.


      • #4
        I think Fanaticism needs to be in there because a big theme that M20 has pushed is the danger or being to sure of your own virtue. Heck, another possible name for this particular form of Quiet would be Hubris.

        Enginseer-42 might be on to something with his Obsession suggestion. Obsession would be similar in some ways to Fanaticism/Hubris, except that it's focused on some sort of phenomenon (such as death, or life, or time travel, or spirits, etc.) rather than a cause, that being the difference between Primordial and Questing. In many ways, the Primordial Quiet would be Ascension's take on Awakening 2e's central theme: addiction to mysteries. So:

        Madness is loosely associated with Temperamental Resonances and the Dynamic Essence. It's pretty much as written.
        Denial is loosely associated with Stabilizing Resonances and the Static Essence. It complements Madness, which tends to be a sort of wish fulfillment: Madness causes you to see what you wish to see (even when it isn't there), while Denial blinds you to what you don't wish to see.
        Fanaticism is loosely associated with Devotional Resonances and the Questing Essence. It has a moral/ethical character to it, and centers around the ends justifying the means: to someone lost to Fanaticism, even the greatest atrocities can be excused in the quest for advancing your cause.
        Obsession is loosely associated with Elemental Resonances and the Primordial Essence. It features an all-consuming fascination with some aspect of Reality, taken to increasingly unhealthy extremes. Morbidity is Obsession with Death and Decay; but that's merely one thing a mage might Obsess over.



        • #5
          I'm thinking that the corresponding Quiet should represent a certain inhuman quality to the mage — a disconnect from humanity that can manifest
          Yes, that is very important. I define Quiet by "an excess of magical style that alters your perception of the world".
          For exemple, in the books, there is the Psychic Vampire flaws, which gives you bonus to destructive life magick and maluses to curative. Well, with precision, you can always damage bacteries inside of someone and heal it faster.

          But ! if the character (not the player) think it is always easier to destroy than to construct things, well .. thats a quiet starter. Maybe Psychic Vampire is a quiet.

          However, please, do not link Essence (Spiritual heritage) and Resonance. You can be in a denial quiet with a primordial avatar. This can be hard or very pleasant for your avatar by the way, if They desire that you bring the world back to the time where gods where on earth, they will have no problems about you denying the gauntlet.


          • #6
            I like the metaphysical trinity idea personally. You can divorce it from Werewolf lore and it still works.

            Denial comes from being overly static and ordered, and at its worst it turns you into a Negation Man, or reshapes your faith in your own magick into an exclusive ideal; your exact way is the only way. Denial is the quiet that buries its head in the sand, or prunes reality to fit its expectations.

            Morbidity comes from being overly entropic, from morbid fascination, from necromancy, from killing too frequently. Jhor is just one way it can be expressed; homicidal glee or fatalistic depression are others. Morbidity is the quiet that smiles with bloodstained lips, or cries into a hollowed skull.

            Madness comes from too much dynamism, and is the most common quiet, since most mages gather Paradox through vulgar effects and many vulgar effects are dynamic in some sense. Madness is the quiet that pisses on consensual reality and demands salt in its coffee.

            Most Marauders are mad, but some are in denial or deeply morbid. The mad are the most obvious (although perceptual madness can be subtle), the morbid are the most dangerous (murderous and committed to destroying the shroud if they become powerful enough), and those in denial can hide the most easily, since they will likely be sitting in an office building owned by the Union, processing data.

            Alternatively, this could just be the popular understanding of Quiet among Tradition Mages. Even if the rules codified it differently, this isn't a bad in universe explanation.


            • #7
              Oh, I'm certainly not saying that a Primordial Avatar can only have Elemental Resonance, or that you must have Stabilizing Resonance to fall into Denial. First of all, these are just tendencies: the kinds of things a Questing Avatar is likely to push for tend to promote a Devotional Resonance or Fanaticism; but ultimately, it's what the mage does that determines what Resonance and/or Quiet develops. The Avatar guides; the mage acts.