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  • Extraordinary Citizens: Where are they?

    I feel one of the big advantages the Technocracy should have is Extraordinary Citizens, but in truth the books downplay them. The Traditions May keep a lot of Acolytes, and sorcerers but they aren’t expected to do the big show projects. But the Technocracy is more geared towards useful yet disposable Extradinary Citizens, Constructs, Clones, and Victors. We should have a lot of their heroes not actually Enlightened Scientists but just Either Extraordinary Citizens that can use Devices, like James Bond and James Rhodes(Warmachine), as well as those who can repair, and engineer things (those with technology based Sorcery). I mean it makes sense if most Technocrats have lab and desk jobs! They can have their Master Chiefs leading their Terminators against the Reality Deviants.

    But they seem to ignore them after they are introduced. It’s fine I get you want to play those Techies who are enlightened scientist James Bonds but it seems Strike Force Zero type agents are what we should be getting worldwide rather then just in Asia...


    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    I think that's a matter of the game being about Mages. I Mean ghouls and kinfolk easily outnumber thier big book and they at best get a side book for them.

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    • #3
      Yeah I see what your getting at. Just think we would benefit from at least a chapter dedicated to Strike Force Zero style Extraordinary Citizens, if not a whole book. Ghouls get a ton of mentions and paragraphs all over the place... though we could use more on Animal Ghouls and Revanents.


      It is a time for great deeds!

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      • #4
        Ascension's Right Hand came out in 95 well before the Technocracy got a big write up in Guide to the Technocracy in 99. I think a big section on Extraordinary Citizens would be super and would help move lower level Technocrats being "goons" of some sort.

        This reminds me of the idea that Malcolm Shepperd wrote up that the Technocracy and the Traditions had roughly equal numbers of Awakened members but the Technocracy's ability to harness unawakened support is what has allowed them to so thoroughly expand their sphere of influence. I'd also be super curious to see how things like Extraordinary Citizens and metaplot item (downplayed now) of Nephandic corruption of the Technocracy interacted.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
          I feel one of the big advantages the Technocracy should have is Extraordinary Citizens, but in truth the books downplay them. (...)
          Of course M:tA books don't have a lot of information about Extraordinary Citizens of the Technocracy. The Traditions - or depending how you look at it and interpret the material, mystic Mages - were the focus of the vast majority of the material that was written and published for Mage: the Ascension. This isn't the only issue in regard to the Technocracy getting a deserving, consistent, and satisfactory portrayal and exploration in M:tA .


          Another issue, and what I think is a major problem, is that what is written about the Technocracy is often written in such a way that the descriptions are incomplete, and the amount of ideas and information given is insufficient.For example it is not explained how each of the Conventions achieve Effects from each of the Spheres that a Mage knowing those Spheres can and should, at least to an extent, have within her or his capabilities.

          Life Magick used by the New World Order and the Syndicate Conventions is not discussed - do they borrow treatments, pills, and injections from the Progenitors ; or do Technocrats of the NWO and the Syndicate develop their own Life Inspired Science based on either what the Progenitors share with them ; or do some of them - or most of them - rely solely on some capabilities of the NWO and the Syndicate Conventions in regard to do this ?
          I understand if a Technocrat has to contact and arrange it with Progenitors in regard to Life 4-5 Effects, but it does seem sensible and appropriate that Technocrats other than Progenitors would be able to carry out Life 1-3 Effect to at least a large extent on their own.

          Correspondence Magick used by the Mages of the Technocracy is not explored at all as per each of the Conventions, except recently Correspondence: Data in regard to the New World Order. What Correspondence methods, Foci, and capabilities do the Progenitors have ? This is not described at all.
          How do the New World Order and the Syndicate Conventions differ in regard to their planning-, insight-, and manipulation- based Correspondence capabilities ? The difference is not explained at all ; and this is a very important consideration and questions due to the Paradigms and methods of the two Conventions differing very much in some parts, and also due to the Correspondence capabilities of Technocrats of those two Conventions seeming - and possibly being - very similar ( assuming an NWO Technocrat uses the planning and insight Correspondence variant, rather than using Correspondence: Data ) .
          How does the "find and acquire information about a person in a technological, organization, or government system(s) " capability of Technocracy work as a Foci ? It is not explained if it is based on technocratic technology set up and planted within technology of organizations ; or if it is using technological capabilities of the Technocracy from outside a given organization or technological system to acquire the information.

          There is a huge ( in my opinion ) problem in regard to the Entropy kind of Magick and Technocrats. How they achieve Entropy 2-4, which does give capability of substantial manipulation of events and persons, within technocratic Foci ? Do they have machines that can do Alter Probability of Entropy 2 ? None are described. Can Technocrats of the New World Order Convention carry out an Affect Predictable Patterns of Entropy 3 - which is problematic for me to consider when taking into account that the New World Order Convention has psychological manipulation as their primary that they to a large extent almost solely rely on. I can imagine a Technocrat of the NWO carrying out such a Procedure through careful manipulation, highly complex theories and hypotheses, and meticulous planning ; but such examples of Technocrats' Effects are not given and not discussed to the extent that I think they need to be and should be discussed and explained.

          Do Progenitors achieve the same extent of possible Effects that the Iteration-X has in regard to Matter Magick ? Or is it just creating substances that can be ingested ? The latter seems to be the case ; but doesn't that make it seem like the whole of Technocracy would be reliant on the Iteration-X - as the Void Engineers are the ones on the outskirts of the Technocracy, and the New World Order and the Syndicate Conventions both lack Matter Magick capabilities, from what I can ascertain.

          The technological Foci of the Technocracy are - among others - biology and matter alteration through energy projection, nanomachines, Inspired Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, creating and manipulating waves, and generating particle fields. There aren't clear descriptions of which of those possible methods and Foci are used for which Spheres, and which Sphere Effects, by each of the Conventions. Also, I think that the complexity and intricacy of ( for example ) psychological manipulation, superlative planning, uncanny insight, and advanced thinking techniques is not explored and developed and discussed seriously enough.

          I think that Extraordinary Citizens not being described in details is one of the lesser problems in regard to the portrayal and description of the Technocracy in M:tA. I do think it is a serious one though ; one that definitely should be corrected to make M:tA a better game and a better setting.
          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-18-2018, 04:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Well said. I too am particularly confused about if a NWO agent uses the same Life Sphere as a Progenitor, as in the same science, or do they use something else like a more general science? Maybe Technocrats should have had a more narrow scope, like they suffer greater for specializing.


            It is a time for great deeds!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
              Maybe Technocrats should have had a more narrow scope, like they suffer greater for specializing.
              What exactly do you mean by " more narrow scope " and by " suffer greater for specializing" ? Do you think that Technocrats in general ( or some Technocrats ? ) should have an overall lesser variety of Magick Effects that they can carry out ? ( I think that in such a case those Technocrats would have a greater variety of Effects within the more narrow scope of what they would be able to do as part of their Magick. ) Or do you mean that they shouldn't be capable of some Magick Effects that are outlined and described in M:tA as being part of standard/common capabilities of a Mage who has knowledge of a given Sphere at a particular level ?
              Or do you mean something else than what I wrote above ?
              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-16-2018, 05:08 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                What exactly do you mean by " more narrow scope " and by " suffer greater for specializing" ? Do you think that Technocrats in general ( or some Technocrats ? ) should have an overall lesser variety of Magick Effects that they can carry out ? ( I think that in such a case those Technocrats would have a greater variety of Effects within the more narrow scope of what they would be able to do as part of their Magick. ) Or do you mean that they shouldn't be capable of some Magick Effects that are outlined and described in M:tA as being part of standard/common capabilities of a Mage who has knowledge of a given Sphere at a particular level ?
                Or do you mean something else than what I wrote above ?
                I’m thinking maybe concentrate on an easier time learning their schtik magic and a pick a few spheres they have a harder time learning as they need either general science or a another conventions science for.

                Maybe we need some emphasis on general techy science styles, which is what I guess guns are for.


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eldagusto
                  Well said. I too am particularly confused about if a NWO agent uses the same Life Sphere as a Progenitor, as in the same science, or do they use something else like a more general science?
                  Given that the Technocracy shares a single paradigm (or a closely interlocking set of paradigms) I believe there might well be things like cross-Convention training programs. Say an NWO agent shows an interest in or affinity for Enlightened life sciences, he or she would study for a while with the Progenitors for how to adjust his/her mirrorshades to detect lifesigns or sequence genetic codes in the field (Life 1) or further on, how to properly use medical nanobots/wonderdrugs on his or her own physiology (Life 2).
                  Last edited by Czernobog; 10-16-2018, 06:59 PM.

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                  • #10
                    There certainly are things like cross-Convention training programs. And the Technocracy it's supposed to share a Focus (As per the lema of "One World, One Truth, One Reality").

                    Still, specialization it's common because the Technocracy believes in teamwork and the division of work (and also because the Conventions like to keep secrets, and that's harder to do if everyone knows how your stuff works). You don't ask a surgeon to craft a rocket launcher. In the same vein, Progenitors aren't required to learn all the techie skills of Iteration X and most won't because there's little reward in doing so (albeit there's a place for such cross-trained scientists. They're needed for joint projects, like the HitMark program).
                    Last edited by Aleph; 10-16-2018, 03:45 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I feel like their should be more Devices (as in wonders with their own arete pool) for the Technocracy, and even more Gadgets, as in wonders without their own arete. Like sometimes they act like most agents don’t use wonders, when clearly they would if the only force they need is a plasma launcher and a mirror shade scan.

                      And still a bit confusing on normal tech for them that isn’t wonders. Like I remember in the Judgement novel a Technocrat had probes come out of his wheel chair for some magic effects. But that was the spell and the probes were just his focus. But we don’t really have advanced probe technology so these were what just high tech probes that weren’t magical?

                      And I’m puzzled on how they can treat say a gadget plasma launcher as science. So normal people can’t get it to project energy even if it’s a simple trigger mechanism, but if it was a device they could? Meanwhile a techy could sometimes use normal shotguns for special blasts but only if they apply reasoning of what they mixed chemicals just right or they are applying certain physics in their angles?


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                        I feel like their should be more Devices (as in wonders with their own arete pool) for the Technocracy, and even more Gadgets, as in wonders without their own arete. Like sometimes they act like most agents don’t use wonders, when clearly they would if the only force they need is a plasma launcher and a mirror shade scan.
                        Well, that's a defect of Mage narrative. To treat an amalgam of agents like a cabal of Tradition mages. Technocracy fluff, especially modern fluff, treats agents as pluky heros that go to the danger and cast spells on the fly like a Traditionalist would.

                        However, Technocracy does have mass production of wonders. They have facilities you can use to craft Devices w/o expending permanent Willpower and a Background that allows you to ask for anything you need (Disbursements). So the extended use of Wonders it's heavily implied, even if it isn't shown that often in their fluff

                        And still a bit confusing on normal tech for them that isn’t wonders. Like I remember in the Judgement novel a Technocrat had probes come out of his wheel chair for some magic effects. But that was the spell and the probes were just his focus. But we don’t really have advanced probe technology so these were what just high tech probes that weren’t magical?
                        I'm a bit annoyed by those too.

                        Another case it's Iteration X agents who use "nanobots" as focus. Yet these nanobots aren't treated as a Wonder, they don't do anythng by themselves.

                        Wonders can be used as focus, just like any item. I don't have problem with that. In fact, I could see mages using magick to craft a trinket that does nothing but to serve as a very specializeed focus (like a uniquely well crafted cristal to focus psychic powers). But Sci-Fy stuff that you use as focus it's still Sci-Fy. That it takes magick to crate these shouldn't be glossed over, but the books don't want to classify them like that because they don't do anything by themselves (I imagine they don't want you to "pay" for them).

                        And I’m puzzled on how they can treat say a gadget plasma launcher as science. So normal people can’t get it to project energy even if it’s a simple trigger mechanism, but if it was a device they could?
                        That's the RAW indeed, but you could narrate that non-Devices don't have simple trigger mechanisms.

                        Meanwhile a techy could sometimes use normal shotguns for special blasts but only if they apply reasoning of what they mixed chemicals just right or they are applying certain physics in their angles?
                        Technocrats fully endorse the idea that geniuses can do extraordinary stuff.

                        Technocrats are fully aware that they aren't sleepers. Their don't believe in science, they believe in Science!...enligthened science...Which it's to say that they believe that science it's wrong because normal scientists are fools spoon-fed by a secret conspiration (them) that knows how the universe trully works and doesn't want to disclose the full truth just yet.

                        Technocrats aren't science friendly. They're the spooks that give mundane people misterious aparathuses that do amazing stuff nobody can explain, whose agents can do stuff that defy human understanding. Technocrats believe they created science, and not the other way arround (regardless if this is true, it's what they think - hence why ItX insist they were the ones who invented fire).
                        Last edited by Aleph; 10-16-2018, 05:00 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                          I’m thinking maybe concentrate on an easier time learning their schtik magic and a pick a few spheres they have a harder time learning as they need either general science or a another conventions science for.
                          I think it could be that Technocrats would pick Spheres ( or a single Sphere ) with which they have bonuses to learning Effects, and Spheres with which they would have some kind of disadvantage in regard to learning Effects. This would be on an one-for-two basis ; so for each Sphere that a Technocrat would have advantages in regard to research and learning, a Technocrat would have two Spheres in regard to which she or he would be at a disadvantage in regard to research and learning. The bonuses and disadvantage could be related to, for example, experience costs, cooperation with other persons, or the amount of time needed.
                          Mystic Mages and Technomancer Mages can abandon Foci being needed for casting their Effects, so I think it is more or less sensible and fair for Technocrat Mages to get this ( or something similar ) .
                          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-17-2018, 06:28 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aleph
                            There certainly are things like cross-Convention training programs. And the Technocracy it's supposed to share a Focus (As per the lema of "One World, One Truth, One Reality").

                            Still, specialization it's common because the Technocracy believes in teamwork and the division of work (and also because the Conventions like to keep secrets, and that's harder to do if everyone knows how your stuff works). You don't ask a surgeon to craft a rocket launcher.
                            Yeah, which is why cross-Convention Amalgams are a thing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                              Yeah I see what your getting at. Just think we would benefit from at least a chapter dedicated to Strike Force Zero style Extraordinary Citizens, if not a whole book. Ghouls get a ton of mentions and paragraphs all over the place... though we could use more on Animal Ghouls and Revanents.
                              We are about to get Gods, Monsters, and Familiar Strangers which will cover most consors. Then there's the upcoming Technocracy Reloaded which may well cover the greater role that Extraordinary Citizens play in the Union — though I don't expect to see anything involving the use of Hedge Paths any time soon; expect TR's Extraordinary Citizens to be exclusively of the “Sleepers who can use Devices” variety.

                              That said, I have a house rule about Rotes that's designed specifically to allow Extraordinary Citizens and inexperienced Technocrats to learn a bag of tricks without having to have as many (or, for the simpler Rotes, any) dots in Enlightenment or Spheres. I don't limit it to the Technocracy; but much like their ability to mass-produce Wonders without Willpower expenditures, this is something I see the Union being especially good at. It's the benefit they get in exchange for never being able to surpass their Instruments.

                              (And yes, the use of Instruments instead of Wonders is indeed a game system thing that exists for playability reasons, not because it necessarily makes sense: without it, you might as well just restrict field agents to Extraordinary Citizens with appropriate Devices, and restrict Enlightened personnel to Primal Utility and Wonder Spheres. Which would certainly be a way to differentiate the Technocracy from everyone else.)


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