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Book of the Fallen and Gods & Monsters Discussion

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  • Book of the Fallen and Gods & Monsters Discussion

    Hi all!

    In case you missed it, I interviewed Satyros Phil Brucato for the Onyx Pathcast last week, and that interview is now live for listening! We discuss Book of the Fallen and Gods & Monsters quite a lot in this one:

    http://theonyxpath.com/episode-19-magick-with-a-k/

    Let us know your thoughts!


    Matthew Dawkins
    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

    ~Hapax Legomenon~

  • #2
    Im fascinated with totems on Gods and Monsters.

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    • #3
      Book of the Fallen: “don't hurt people.” Gods and Monsters: “Gods, monsters, and familiar strangers are people too; remember that before you worship, despise, or dismiss them.” I don't agree with Brucato's politics; but I'm 100% in agreement with these sentiments.


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      • #4
        An excellent interview, and very worth listening to for the whole length.
        It's especially interesting to hear about the nature of Book Of The Fallen, as well as Gods & Monsters. Book Of The Fallen particularly - the takeaway is, that the book will be a serious Black Dog style punch to the gut, in regards to the very nature of the Nephandi. From the whole atmosphere of that part of the interview, it's easy to see that the point will be driven home that, no, they are not just 'evil' Mages. They are capital E, worst-nightmare scenario beings, and if players want to merely play an antagonistic Mage, the Nephandi are not what to pick unless you want to dive down the darkest of rabbit holes humanity can even remotealy conjure up.

        The book of Gods & Monsters sounds intriguing, and I can't *wait* to get my hands on it. It sounds like it will be a very very interesting compendium on all sorts of beings from mundane to far-out-there concepts made flesh. I especially like the notion that with some tweaks, it will be usable across all gamelines. In a way it sounds more like a genral World Of Darkness book than anything particular Mage specific, which I highly approve of.


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        • #5
          Speaking of Book of the Fallen, here's a bit of the test in a new blog post.

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          • #6
            I remember back in the day when I walked into the comic book store to peruse Chronicles of the Black Labyrinth to see if I wanted to purchase it. This was when I was hot to trot to get any and all Werewolf: the Apocalypse books I could. After perusing CotBL for maybe ten minutes, I had a pit in my stomach for a good few hours and resolved to NEVER purchase that book because the stuff in there is that visceral. But then, that was what that book was supposed to do. I imagine Book of the Fallen is going to serve a similar function for Mage, but more intense.



            Complete Garou Gifts List, Fera Gifts List, Garou Totems List and other assorted OPP/White Wolf goodies

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            • #7
              My apologies if this was in the pod-cast, I haven't actually listens due to being ridiculously busy, but is there a release date for Gads & Monsters yet?

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              • #8
                Do we know if the Book of the Fallen will also address Marauders? Or is it only going to be the Nephandi?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kalinara View Post
                  Do we know if the Book of the Fallen will also address Marauders? Or is it only going to be the Nephandi?
                  From what it sounds like so far, it's not a Book of Madness v3. it's specifically about Nephandi and their ilk. It is a book about pure Evil.
                  Last edited by Ambrosia; 10-07-2018, 06:15 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!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                    From what it sounds like so far, it's not a Book of Madness v3. it's specifically about Nephandi and their ilk.
                    So essentially it will possibly be the Book of Madness v3 , in a way. Somehow I consider the Book of Madness v2 ( I haven't read the Book of Madness v1 ) to be the Nephandi book - because I think that the Nephandi section in it is much better and interesting than the other parts of the book.
                    And also because there isn't a solid and overall amount of information about the Nephandi anywhere else ; despite them being one of the three primary factions of Mages in M:tA ( Next to the Traditions and the Technocracy ) . I do hope that the Book of the Fallen will be rectify this lack of a clear, definite presentation of the Nephandi Mages and the Nephandi as a faction, and that it will provide more information about them. I think that M:tA would benefit from this in various ways, as a game and as a setting.
                    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-09-2018, 01:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                      From what it sounds like so far, it's not a Book of Madness v3. it's specifically about Nephandi and their ilk. It is a book about pure Evil.
                      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                      So essentially it will possibly be the Book of Madness v3 , in a way. Somehow I consider the Book of Madness v2 ( I haven't read the Book of Madness v1 ) to be the Nephandi book - because I think that the Nephandi section in it is much better and interesting than the other parts of the book.
                      And also because there isn't a solid and overall amount of information about the Nephandi anywhere else ; despite them being one of the three primary factions of Mages in M:tA ( Next to the Traditions and the Technocracy ) . I do hope that the Book of the Fallen will be rectify this lack of a clear, definite presentation of the Nephandi Mages and the Nephandi as a faction, and that it will provide more information about them. I think that M:tA would benefit from this in various ways, as a game and as a setting.
                      While I get where Muad'Dib is coming from, there's a certain irony in how he and Ambrosia arrived at opposite conclusions from the same data. Me, I've always considered the Book of Madness (both editions) to be the Marauders book; so if the Marauders aren't in there, I don't think of it as the third edition of Book of Madness. I'm hoping that we actually do get a Book of Madness for M20 that addresses insane mages in general (as opposed to Book of the Fallen, which looks like it might be addressing corrupt mages in general — primarily the Nephandi; but I think also infernalists). With, of course, all due deference to the current state of mental health issues: things like “what is insanity — and what isn't?” and what, specifically, makes someone a Marauder. A closer examination of Quiet would be in order for such a book, as would mages who suffer chronic Quiet but aren't Marauders.
                      Last edited by Dataweaver; 10-10-2018, 02:37 PM.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                        (...) ( as opposed to Book of the Fallen, which looks like it might be addressing corrupt makes in general — primarily the Nephandi; but I think also infernalists).
                        I'd like to see write-ups in M:tA books about radical, evil, selfish, corrupt, and/or dark Mages other the Nephandi or infernalists. Here are some of my ideas in regards to this :

                        Cackling witches, crones, and grey-bearded men who some persons would mistake for Verbenae Mages, until they would notice that these Mages would sooner ( and later, as well ) put another hex into a cauldron or a bowl, than try to seek some kind of wisdom or to delve into the nature of deep questions and answers. The state and details of their groves or their parts of a forest matters much less to them compared to making sure that no mundane human knows about it existing, and that no person is able to trespass there.

                        Ecstatic Mages who chose temporal power, and ( for example ) being impressive. Morality and complexity bores them ; but they will give careful consideration to someone who can impress them, knows a lot about being impressive, and can talk a lot about being impressive. Just don't disrespect them or mess with them, cause then they just crash into you. And if this happens, don't take it too personally ; they do it partly as a demonstration to keep their Acolytes and groupies in line. After all, those amusing bastards are probably all jealous of them, and could start plotting against them if they forget what is their place and who runs the show.

                        Former Technocrats who abandoned - or were abandoned - by the Technocracy, but managed to pull enough strings and audaciously call in enough favors so successfully that they not only kept their technocratic capabilities, but also increased their influence, expertise, and resources. Wild cards and loose cannons in regards to interactions with other Mages, when provoked, tested, or challenged they can act almost like another front on the Front Lines ; even if they have to outright throw out mundane humans out of their houses and workplaces to dig the trenches and to carry the materiel.

                        Technomancer Mages who act - or try to act - like agents or executives of cyberpunk megacorporations ; and some of them - or is it all of them ? - are in corporations, of course. For them, concepts like obligations or morality are topics to discuss for hours - they have explored and played with such ideas, until they had too little time for such a pastime, or an important event or an interesting person drew their attention.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-11-2018, 02:07 AM.

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                        • #13
                          One could make a book about all the kinds of "autarkis" mages: Not only, or even mainly, Orphans but the Roges from diferent factions and Hermits.

                          How Ascension looks in the margins from the perspective of mages both weak and strong (Not all mages that don't belong to the Factions are SOL. A Hermit could easily be an Archmage that tired of politics and burned all the bridges). Which needs to not be the "book of the low class wizard", like the Orphans book was...

                          It could focus on things like the mercenay deals Roge wizards make with the Factions (taking advatage of the fact that they don't have to obey any rule) and non-Nephandic organizations of evil wizards that are a little too edgy to be part of the Traditions (this is actually harder than it sounds, Mad Scientists are part of the Traditions after all - Traditions have no qualms having evil wizards among their ranks. Still the figure of the Roge wizard exists for a reason - htere are mages that go too far even for Traditions stadards, and they could band together).

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                          • #14

                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            (...) (Not all mages that don't belong to the Factions are SOL. A Hermit could easily be an Archmage that tired of politics and burned all the bridges). (...)
                            In fact, some Mages could have the perspective that Mages who don't belong to Traditions ( or to any Mage factions ) are at least slightly more capable on the average, as they don't spend any time on faction-related pastimes and politics. They are also well aware of the fact that they need to be self-reliant and self-concious, so they have more drive and ambition, and are more introspective, in regards to being a Mage. One could say to this that ( for example ) the Traditions aid Mages who belong to them in development of Paradigm in various ways ; but independent Mages will answer to this that at the same time, because of lack of consistency, discipline, and unity in regards to Paradigms and outlooks, the Tradition Mages don't really benefit in regards to their Paradigm development due to being members of the Traditions.

                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            (...) Which needs to not be the "book of the low class wizard", like the Orphans book was...
                            It definitely doesn't need to be. At additional consideration in regards to independent Mages being capable, knowledgable, and powerful is the cooperative and laissez faire way the Mages of the Traditions and the Nephandi Mages ( I am not sure about the Nephandi in regards to this, but it seems like it from all that I can remember. ) act and behave. Whether through being acquaintances, friends, or through cursory contact, or one or two interactions, an independent Mage can possibly learn a lot from a Tradition Mage or a Nephandus, without becoming involved with those Mage factions in any significant way. Another way to get some guidelines or learn a bit of wisdom is from Mages of the Crafts.

                            A Technomancer knowing some Virtual Adepts, Sons of the Ether, and Technocrats could cooperate and mingle with all three ; in fact, if he uses techniques and knowledge learned from all three of these groups, then they might put aside any checking or hostility towards her or him due to how unusual such a Mage would be.

                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            (...) It could focus on things like the mercenay deals Roge wizards make with the Factions (taking advantage of the fact that they don't have to obey any rule)
                            Such deals might be deeper than being about tasks or acquiring some information ; a Mage not belonging to any faction could be asked to explore some part of another Mage's Paradigm, test how a Foci functions in practice, or to do magickal research for some Spells or Rotes.

                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            (...) and non-Nephandic organizations of evil wizards that are a little too edgy to be part of the Traditions
                            There is another possibility to explore - Mages who are not evil and/or selfish enough to join the Nephandi.

                            Another group to consider and explore could be Mages that didn't had what it takes to be a Technocrat.
                            Also, Mages who lacked some personal qualities or failed in a task or a test, and got denied entry into the Traditions. Maybe for a limited amount of time, or only to a particular Tradition, or a faction within a Tradition.
                            This could be an interesting group of Mages to do a write-up about - Mages who are considered by others and by themselves to not fit into the Traditions, but who in practice - because of how specific the tests or the considerations were - got refused entry only by a specific group within the Traditions ; like a single House of the Order of Hermes or one of the factions of the Cult of Ecstasy or Virtual Adepts ( the factions of those two Traditions are very different in their goals, methods, and outlooks ) . What if another group or a single Mage from a different faction of a given Tradition arrived to talk to such a Mage, and see if she or he can join the Traditions ?
                            And the same in regards to the Technocracy and maybe also the Nephandi. Somebody who just didn't in the end grasp the basic level 1 Procedures of a Convention might be capable of being a Technocrat of one of the other four Conventions, if only it would be tested and proposed to her or him.

                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            (...) (this is actually harder than it sounds, Mad Scientists are part of the Traditions after all - Traditions have no qualms having evil wizards among their ranks. )
                            Actually, isn't the general guideline, and how it ends up in regards to this, explicately "First, don't get caught. Just don't. And you better have something impressive to demonstrate and show if a Mage or a Cabal comes knocking. And if you just must, do try to keep it in your Chantry and do ward it from Correspondence scrying. "
                            And then there are Tradition Mages who will, given the chance, at least oppose another Mage in the Traditions who is acting evil - in fact, isn't this what most ( or close to most ) Tradition Mages would do, given the right circumstances ?

                            There are eight Protocols that Mages of the Traditions have to follow ( http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Protocols ), and one of them is "Protect The Sleepers, They Are Ignorant Of What They Do"
                            Though it has to be noted that all seven of the other Protocols could supersede the one that I quoted above.
                            ---
                            Respect Those Of Greater Knowledge;
                            A Tutor's Debt Must Be Paid;
                            A Mage's Word Is His Honor, Do Not Break A Sworn Vow;
                            The Will Of An Oracle must always be obeyed;
                            Betray Not Your Cabal or Chantry;
                            Conspire Not With The Enemies Of Ascension;
                            Be Subtle In Your Arts, Lest Sleepers Know You For What You Are.
                            ---


                            Even the one that mentions ' enemies of Ascension ' or the one about subtlety - after all, sometimes mundane humans just practically get in the way ; and what if they know too much, and will talk to anyone who asks ? And if it is about a Mage's Cabal or Chantry ( or both ) , then in such a case it is two Protocols against one.
                            I think that "Respect Those of Greater Knowledge" can provide much leeway and freedom for those who rules or guidelines within the Traditions.
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-11-2018, 04:21 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I can't see an actively evil mage being part of the Council without hiding it. The Traditions have a very hard and clear set of guidelines about harming normal people, and murder of an innocent (mage or sleeper) is considered one of the worse High Crimes as the Book of Secrets explains, with serious punishments following. I would even say that going with what it's on paper, the Traditions are the organization with more sub-groups within their ranks devoted to protect people from the predations of supernatural critters. Even more than the Union.

                              The failings of the Council are more about hubris and missing the wood for the trees approach with the Ascension War. Voormas and the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy are not the common problem within the group (and they even almost expelled the whole Euthanatoi Tradition until they proven they are not like that), Getulio and people like him are.
                              Last edited by History; 10-11-2018, 10:53 AM.

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