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Extraordinary Citizens: Where are they?

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  • #16
    I think Panopticon Quest on Sufficient Velocity, though unofficial, summarizes common Technocratic foci pretty well and how they interact with their use of Devices:

    • Personal Skill: Personal skill is probably the most common Technocracy focus, used by all Conventions. By being given extremely advanced training using cutting-edge teaching techniques to develop natural talent and ability, a Technocrat can accomplish feats most people think are impossible. Although "personal skill" is associated with the New World Order and Syndicate, every Convention makes use of it in some way, shape, or form. Shock Corps commandos aren't cyborgs-they're cyborgs with subjective decades of combat experience due to VR training. Genengineers aren't just people with high end lab equipment, they're people who have learned bioengineering from the best scholars on the planet whose work and brilliance is decades ahead of anything the masses have. "Personal skill" covers things like "hyperpsych," "hypereconomics," and so on.
    • Equipment: The second most common Technocracy focus is equipment. This takes different forms dependent on what Convention you're talking about. The NWO and Syndicate tend towards more understated equipment-technothriller, cyberpunk, and spy novel-while the Progenitors and Iteration X tend to be outright space-opera style sci-fi or comic book superscience and some of the most extreme stuff the Void Engineers have are things straight out of high-power, large-scale science fiction. Oftentimes, equipment can be Devices in their own right, although sometimes they're foci. Sure, anyone can use a plasma cannon, but few people realize that if you disable all the safeties for the weapon and use the core eject function, you can turn your basic cyborg plasma cannon into a single shot tactical nuke. Fewer people know how to disable the safeties and vent the core without blowing themselves up. "Disabling safety features" and "using custom firmware" are common explanations for why someone with sufficient knowledge of Enlightened Science can do much more with such devices than someone with only a basic understanding of the principles.
    • Augmentations: Largely a Iteration X and Progenitor thing (although all augmented personnel in every Convention can make use of it), augmentations are a powerful focus as well. Someone with the right augmentations and experience making use of them can do some pretty impressive things. Even a basic prosthetic arm can cause some pretty significant damage if you disable its safeties and punch someone with it on full power, while Iteration X cybersoldiers often equip various systems which can be used to improvise effects. A basic implant biomonitor for lifesign and medical monitoring is common-but if properly jailbroken, you can use it to force stress hormone overproduction to gain hysterical strength, or deliberately damp biological responses to keep yourself calm and collected in a deadly situation, block out pain, or more. Progenitors do similar things with implanted adaptive organs or spliced alien genetic code.
    EDIT: CB: Progenitors also has examples of Technocratic casting in the opening fiction - the protagonist breaks open a retroviral cyst he'd embedded in himself earlier to alter his senses and temporarily grow chitin to protect himself against gunfire.
    Last edited by Czernobog; 10-17-2018, 03:21 PM.

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    • #17
      It would be neat to have a cyborg and Psychic division of Ex Citizens.


      But how does the whole mass production of Wonders work? Is it archmastery? What is the limits?

      And what is stopping the techies from using their secret trillion dollar infrastructure from creating a population a secret billion techy educated eugenics babies on a secret country on Mars, the material side of Mars that is. Besides disagreement, but for one it would heavily tip the consensus to their favor. I know they did stuff like that with horizon realms populated by things like experiments and asteroid miners. Techies have insane secret trillion dollar equipment that is t even on the radar in mundane economics, as in it was steel fabricated from prime or converted from mundane resources using enlightened science and thus trillions of dollars of infrastructure and Equipment not taken from normal economics.


      It is a time for great deeds!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
        But how does the whole mass production of Wonders work? Is it archmastery? What is the limits?
        I don't recall it being detailed, but I would imagine the Syndicate puts in the Primal Utility to get the production lines running.

        And what is stopping the techies from using their secret trillion dollar infrastructure from creating a population a secret billion techy educated eugenics babies on a secret country on Mars, the material side of Mars that is. Besides disagreement, but for one it would heavily tip the consensus to their favor. I know they did stuff like that with horizon realms populated by things like experiments and asteroid miners. Techies have insane secret trillion dollar equipment that is t even on the radar in mundane economics, as in it was steel fabricated from prime or converted from mundane resources using enlightened science and thus trillions of dollars of infrastructure and Equipment not taken from normal economics.
        Building colonies in Conventional Space would run the risk of exposing the existence of the Technocracy - plus they would have to deal with interstellar radiation, different gravity from Earth, vacuum and atmospheres unbreathable to humans (and terraforming Mars or Venus - while I guess it was in the works, would definitely expose the Technocracy if done in the 90s, and be a lot of effort to boot). So they set up their space colonies in subdimensions (read: Horizon Realms) where there was no risk of exposure and they could just set the base environment to Earth Normal with ease. It's not as if some strange dimensional anomaly could spring up and leave them all isolated long enough for the people there to undergo Void Adaptation, right? Right?

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        • #19
          Okay. Hmm what do you think is the estimated secret population of the Technocracy in total counting the Horizon Realms?


          It is a time for great deeds!

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          • #20
            Having dealt with people who can't turn on a computer the "i don't understand how nanobots wouldn't work for everyone" is... not really something I can wrap my head around. Nanobots don't work for you because you aren't trained in using Nanobots. They are a highly complex machine that require significant training to do anything really interesting with. Enlightenment and Sphere rating represent this along with you know having it as relatively dedicated instrament(you can't get Nanobots at the fucking walmart) so they are quite possibly unique being highly cutting edge devices that are still in the experimental stage that are not ready for mass use yet.

            Now if an Enlightened agent wishes to learn to use nanobots then they can study to add a new instrament to their knowledge or learn the appropriate sphere.


            Now why an extrordinary citizen can't use those Nanobots? He's not trained for it. Its just that simple. Nanobots aren't a friggen microwave or a smartphone. I know I couldn't just go in and "press a few buttons" and run MRI. It takes time and study and perhaps aptitude.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Lian View Post
              Having dealt with people who can't turn on a computer the "i don't understand how nanobots wouldn't work for everyone" is... not really something I can wrap my head around. Nanobots don't work for you because you aren't trained in using Nanobots. They are a highly complex machine that require significant training to do anything really interesting with. Enlightenment and Sphere rating represent this along with you know having it as relatively dedicated instrament(you can't get Nanobots at the fucking walmart) so they are quite possibly unique being highly cutting edge devices that are still in the experimental stage that are not ready for mass use yet.

              Now if an Enlightened agent wishes to learn to use nanobots then they can study to add a new instrament to their knowledge or learn the appropriate sphere.


              Now why an extrordinary citizen can't use those Nanobots? He's not trained for it. Its just that simple. Nanobots aren't a friggen microwave or a smartphone. I know I couldn't just go in and "press a few buttons" and run MRI. It takes time and study and perhaps aptitude.
              That is not what we are arguing, what we are Arguing is it seems Nanobots are wonders in themselves as they require super science to even exist, or at the very least billion dollar normal science.


              It is a time for great deeds!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

                That is not what we are arguing, what we are Arguing is it seems Nanobots are wonders in themselves as they require super science to even exist, or at the very least billion dollar normal science.
                Which basically says the Technocracy is worse at magic than the Traditions. Since a Choruster might have as a instrament "a feather of an angel" and that sure as hell is not 'replicatable outside supernatural conditions"

                When the cycle should be Unique Focus->Dedicated Focus->Wonder->Mundane Tech.

                Lets not use Nanobots.. Lets use Smartphones.


                Bob the Technocrat in the 70s invents a smartphone. IT works for him. its a unique instrament.

                Bob impresses his fellow Technocrats. Smartphones get on the plan so they start being mass produced but for enlightened personel.

                This continues to impress so they are then put into greater production thus moving into the Wonder category.

                Eventually enough people are convinced this is a thing it moves from Wonder to Mundane tech. This is actually the most important thing that is completely not covered in game and worth arguing over.

                That is to say Unique and Dedicated Instraments come first in the process. As they are proven to work Wonders are constructed. And eventually civilian applications.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post
                  When the cycle should be Unique Focus->Dedicated Focus->Wonder->Mundane Tech.

                  Lets not use Nanobots.. Lets use Smartphones.

                  Bob the Technocrat in the 70s invents a smartphone. IT works for him. its a unique instrament.
                  Bob impresses his fellow Technocrats. Smartphones get on the plan so they start being mass produced but for enlightened personel.
                  That is to say Unique and Dedicated Instraments come first in the process. As they are proven to work Wonders are constructed. And eventually civilian applications.
                  Mmmh. This is quite a good point!
                  I think a counterargument can be made however: Technocrats - heck, Technomancers in general - evolve their gadgets, even the unique ones. While the feather of an angel stays an Unique Instrument because of its, well, its very nature, it also probably has the disadvantage that it should not be tampered with too much. And if he ever loses it, he *needs to find another Angel* to get a feather from. Good luck.

                  Unique technomancer foci can be iterated (heh) and improved on. They are in a way more dynamic than mythic Unique Instruments. A sweet irony.

                  Bob used his unique smartphone in the 70s? By the time of mass production, this very same Unique Focus has evolved into either the same kind of technology, just even MORE advanced (his Smartphone now rivaling a Top 100 Supercomputer) or having changed size and shape ( It's now a tiny implant controllable by mental impulses and comes with an unique AI that he himself has developed.)

                  And Bob simply did this by becoming better at Magic, on his own. He did not need to find an Angel or the like, and if he ever loses his Unique Instrument, it might set him back a while - just like the Traditionalist - but he can simply build a new, identical one. He simply needs lot of *time* in his cozy lab/sanctum. No need to search for another angel.

                  So I am not sure the 'This makes Technocrats worse at Magic' argument is quite valid in retrospect.

                  EDIT:
                  And the more I think about this, the more I am amused.
                  Technomancers have to be so dynamic about their magic! The very fact that a lot of the technology gets pushed to the masses over time means their magic constantly evolves, changes and refines due to that cycle.
                  The Hermetic can sit in his dusty library after hundreds of years, with his Angel Feather, and go "This is my power!", while the traditionalist Gardener Of The Tree can go "This is how the rite was done hundreds of years ago, and this is how we still honor the Gods! It must not be changed!" - and all the while, the technomancers constantly do new things and improve upon old ones due to the very nature of technology being pushed to the rest of the world.

                  It makes the whole "Technology is so static!!! Mythic magic is dynamism!!!" spiel very very...ironic.
                  Last edited by Ambrosia; 10-18-2018, 02:23 AM.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                    It would be neat to have a cyborg and Psychic division of Ex Citizens.
                    I'd like to have it explained, described, and explored starting from what - as far as I am aware - is the very basis. That is - the Extraordinary Citizens of the Technocracy are the persons who are, in regards to who they are and their capabilities, roughly equivalent - or at least comparable - to who Sorcerors are in regard to mystic Mages. Thus I would very much like it to be described and explored what are the capabilities and skills of Extraordinary Citizens - to put it simply - in direct comparison to Technocrat Mages.
                    Are Extraordinary Citizens of the Progenitors capable of carrying out a wide variety of biology and biochemistry effects - healing, tiredness, putting to sleep, senses alteration etc. directly based, or at least similar to, Progenitor Procedures and Treatments ; are they more than lab and data anlalysis assistants to the Progenitor Technocrats ?
                    Do Extraordinary Citizens of the New World Order have such advanced capabilities of analysis of psychology and sociology, and of manipulating of other persons, that they can act as direct aid, or sometimes act in stead, to NWO Technocrats ?
                    Do most Extraordinary Citizens of the Iteration-X specialize in effects that are based on the Convention's Inspired Science and technology in regard to Matter and Forces kinds of Magick ? ( The two most common Spheres in the Iteration-X , as far as I am aware of in regard to this. )
                    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-18-2018, 04:45 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Well it also seems of all the Mages, the Technocracy seemed to spend the most time finding and collecting psychics. Though I bet mediums and such got nabbed frequently by euthanatoi and dreamspeakers, and maybe Akashics cultivated psychic meditation.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                        Well it also seems of all the Mages, the Technocracy seemed to spend the most time finding and collecting psychics. Though I bet mediums and such got nabbed frequently by euthanatoi and dreamspeakers, and maybe Akashics cultivated psychic meditation.
                        I think that persons having psychic abilities and capabilities, and skills, outlook(s) , and/or view points related to this, would get taken in and/or recruited also by the the Order of Hermes, the Society of the Ether, and the Cult of Ecstasy Traditions ; specifically because of those persons having this particular characteristic ( psychic abilities ) and qualities related to it.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-18-2018, 10:14 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Lian
                          Which basically says the Technocracy is worse at magic than the Traditions. Since a Choruster might have as a instrament "a feather of an angel" and that sure as hell is not 'replicatable outside supernatural conditions"
                          There's a difference between using magick to get something and using magick to produce something. Usually the latter it's a Trinket. The Nanobot example does assume that the Technocracy built them

                          Still I would argue that the feather of an angel could be a Wonder because you can't usually bring stuff from the Umbra without using magick to make it material (which would make it a Trinket). The only possible exception would be to take it from a matrialized angel - but that's assuming materialized spirit body parts don't dissapear when the spirit de-materializes (which seems to be the case)
                          Last edited by Aleph; 10-18-2018, 09:54 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                            Okay. Hmm what do you think is the estimated secret population of the Technocracy in total counting the Horizon Realms?
                            We don't know, because we never got a lengthy write-up on the Technocratic colonies because at that time they were assumed to be a pure antagonist faction and thus the Horizon Realms described were bases used to fight the Ascension War.What we do know is:

                            1. Some colonies were test-beds for utopian societies.
                            2. The average Social Conditioning score of somebody raised in the colonies was 7.
                            3. Colonists who managed to evacuate still find Earth confusing more than a decade after the Dimensional Anomaly.

                            And that's about it for what the "civilian" colonies were like.

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                            • #29
                              Interesting! Still sounds viable to win the consensus by out breeding the rest of the humans! Till something goes wrong...


                              I wonder what the Techy Control Archmages traded their souls for? Knowledge?


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                                I'd like to have it explained, described, and explored starting from what - as far as I am aware - is the very basis. That is - the Extraordinary Citizens of the Technocracy are the persons who are, in regards to who they are and their capabilities, roughly equivalent - or at least comparable - to who Sorcerors are in regard to mystic Mages. Thus I would very much like it to be described and explored what are the capabilities and skills of Extraordinary Citizens - to put it simply - in direct comparison to Technocrat Mages.
                                Are Extraordinary Citizens of the Progenitors capable of carrying out a wide variety of biology and biochemistry effects - healing, tiredness, putting to sleep, senses alteration etc. directly based, or at least similar to, Progenitor Procedures and Treatments ; are they more than lab and data anlalysis assistants to the Progenitor Technocrats ?
                                Do Extraordinary Citizens of the New World Order have such advanced capabilities of analysis of psychology and sociology, and of manipulating of other persons, that they can act as direct aid, or sometimes act in stead, to NWO Technocrats ?
                                Do most Extraordinary Citizens of the Iteration-X specialize in effects that are based on the Convention's Inspired Science and technology in regard to Matter and Forces kinds of Magick ? ( The two most common Spheres in the Iteration-X , as far as I am aware of in regard to this. )
                                Extraordinary Citizens are a concept first introduced in MRev, where they were conceptualized as the Technocratic equivalent of Sorcerers — up to and including having what had previously been called Hedge Magic Paths. It was just that they worked their Paths through Technocratic paradigms and foci. Sorcerer Revised put an emphasis on technological counterparts to the Paths of Alchemy and Enchantment as the mainstay of what Extraordinary Citizens dealt with; but it wasn't exclusively so: for instance, NWO Extraordinary Citizens would frequently have dots in the Path of Fascination; Extraordinary Citizens of the Syndicate would sometimes pursue the Path of Fortune; Progenitors would pursue the Path of Healing; and so on. It wasn't fully thought out (e.g., while “technosorcerer” variants of Alchemy, Enchantment, and Fortune were presented, Fascination as written still depended on Occult and Healing depended on Intuition more than Medicine), but the essentials were there.

                                M20 changed that, presenting Extraordinary Citizens as something a bit closer to what Mage: the Awakening calls Sleepwalkers: mortals who have bought into the Technocratic Focus enough that they don't count as Witnesses even when exposed to Vulgar hypertech, and thus can utilize Devices and Gadgets (as those are the Wonders that have their own Enlightenment ratings and so can be wielded by non-Enlightened agents). Basically, the M20 versions are statted up like regular humans, but with Backgrounds like Requisition, Wonder, and sometimes even Enhancement, and enough alignment with the Technocratic Focus that they could use said Backgrounds to their fullest effect; whatever supernatural powers they have access to comes from the gear they're equipped with.

                                My own take leans more to the latter, but supplemented by something kinda sorta like the former: a limited ability to learn and practice individual Procedures through a Technocratic Focus. They lack the in-depth enlightenment needed to innovate, and are limited to doing things by-the-book, so to speak; but they're an illustration of just how far a Sleeper can go under the Technocratic Focus: their whole point to me is that Enlightened Science is much more accessible to the non-Enlightened than Tradition Magick is to the non-Awakened; and the Extraordinary Citizens are those non-Enlightened personnel who have the most access to Enlightened Science, be that through gear or through rote memorization and practice of select Procedures.


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