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  • Rock113
    started a topic Orphan Archmage ?

    Orphan Archmage ?

    So , have you thought about this kind of thing ?

    I'd better set him as a "pure" Orphan (haven't joint ANY mage Organization before , but MUST associate with Supernaturals)and usually on Earth because of my GM demand ... (But you can give my any possibility ! )

    Of course the Canon resource I recall first is 《Masters of the Art》, 《Horizon the Stronghold of Hope 》and 《Orphans Survival Guide》.

    Share your ideas ... Your Characters , thoughts and settings ?

    I just know in most conditions he will face much harder challenges than organized mages . He could solve problems all by himself , and must make much fewer mistakes . And his lust for power may become a legend legend . He may have more difficulty obfuscating himself if he usually be on Earth ...
    Last edited by Rock113; 01-14-2019, 07:06 AM.

  • PhillyCuriosity
    replied
    Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
    This sounds contrived. Wouldn't each Archmage ( or group of Archmages ) usually clean up her ( or his ) own mistakes and problems ?
    Not if they don't realize the mess or the effects of what they do. For any level of knowledge, I feel there's going to be a familiarization period where one gets used to the sixth dot. I feel it's somewhat analogous to not realizing one is making an etiquette mistake or one gaining access to a new tool and not totally understanding how it can break other things if used improperly.

    There's also the problem of externalities. A Kopa Loei archmage of forces decides to prevent the loss of their island from climate change by raising it consequences to others be damned.

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  • Muad'Dib
    replied
    Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
    The justification given in the book is that archmages could wind up spending a lot of time and resources cleaning up the messes of other archmages (...)
    This sounds contrived. Wouldn't each Archmage ( or group of Archmages ) usually clean up her ( or his ) own mistakes and problems ?
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-12-2019, 06:04 AM.

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  • PhillyCuriosity
    replied
    Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post

    I think this would not not apply to most Archmages – somebody who is one of the exceptionally special and rare persons who can become an Archmage would be treated with at least some amount of respect and consideration. On the other hand, some Archmages could see their approach as the only one valid, or be thinking that a particular kind, Paradigm, or style of Magick can only have so many Archmages. But all in all, I think it is more likely that an Archmage, in most situations, would be positively inclined towards a person with distinct chances and potential for becoming an Archmage. Though this positive attitude might be only to an extent.
    The justification given in the book is that archmages could wind up spending a lot of time and resources cleaning up the messes of other archmages so availability of the sixth dot requires the acceptance from at least something more powerful than a master. A powerful spirit mentor could get around this or maybe a particularly blessed avatar, but it makes sense that to answer the question "why isn't reality over run with nigh omnipotent power mad mages" is "because other nigh omnipotent mages keep them in check".

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  • Muad'Dib
    replied
    Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
    If one follows Masters of the Art, one of the hard parts of gaining archmage status is that they need the support of other archmages. I feel that could harder for an orphan who may be untrusted or viewed as a pawn by everyone.
    I think this would not not apply to most Archmages – somebody who is one of the exceptionally special and rare persons who can become an Archmage would be treated with at least some amount of respect and consideration. On the other hand, some Archmages could see their approach as the only one valid, or be thinking that a particular kind, Paradigm, or style of Magick can only have so many Archmages. But all in all, I think it is more likely that an Archmage, in most situations, would be positively inclined towards a person with distinct chances and potential for becoming an Archmage. Though this positive attitude might be only to an extent.

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  • TheVarulfen
    replied
    Originally posted by Maris Streck View Post

    The Mary Sue aspect is not given by the Avatar strengthening by itself. We have three archspheres, a Gnosis rating at 10, spirit gifts, demon lore, and whatever that pseudo-rage trait is supposed to be. I'd say it's on par with Samuel Height... and Height was created as a joke. =p

    No offense meant, of course. I'm merely evaluating the character.

    I totally understand where you're coming from and I probably would never have imagined letting someone play a character like this, ever.
    The short summary I wrote about the character was of course not complete. It would take a whole book to explain what extactly happened when and why and most importantly, how the character struggled with each of these steps. She twisted and perverted nearly every aspect of herself to become a being so ridiculously powerful for the sake of essentially replacing a part of the werewolfes Triat.
    There's a good reason I didn't go into detail in my first post. And there is a good reason why all of the books ever said: "It's not possible to become a Werewolf-Mage/Vampire-Changeling/whatever the hell you want to mix together!" This is the reason why. That being said, the entire chronicle felt so grand and epic, I just had no problem with adding yet another layer of power, and with that, consequences.
    Also, Samuel Height would be nothing but a little bitch compared to this crossover-madness juggernaut.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Yeah, you're quite right about that.

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  • Maris Streck
    replied
    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    While Avatar strengthening isn't unheard off (ehem...Heyel...ehem) I would rather say that this Orphan already had an insanely potent Avatar. And not because having your avatar empowered makes you a Mary Sue - no - but rather because having an insanely potent Avatar it's yet another *excuse* to become extraordinarily good at magick (and, lets face it, you need all the excuses you can get).]
    The Mary Sue aspect is not given by the Avatar strengthening by itself. We have three archspheres, a Gnosis rating at 10, spirit gifts, demon lore, and whatever that pseudo-rage trait is supposed to be. I'd say it's on par with Samuel Height... and Height was created as a joke. =p

    No offense meant, of course. I'm merely evaluating the character.
    Last edited by Maris Streck; 01-16-2019, 03:15 PM.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Lian
    I would also argue Paradigms are not written in stone, if 3 Orphans have similar Paradigms and form a cabal and start sharing ideas this is a protoCraft.
    Would you say the same for a Hermetic and a Chorister that had a similar Paradigm, share ideas, and form a Multi-Tradition cabal?.

    I think that forming a Craft requires a certain willingness to pass your knowledge outside established factions. Merely sharing ideas between friends (which, I think, should be common practice within the Traditions) isn't quite enough, albeit it could be a beginning of such a transition (if, say, the Hermetic and the Chorister chose to go solo and spread their ideas they could form a Craft. But if they *just* chose to go solo I would call them a Roge cabal rather than a Craft).

    I would also argue that an Orphan can be accepted within a Tradition cabal w/o actually joining any Tradition. Much like Hollowers in spite of not being accepted as a real Tradition would often form cabals with traditionalists w/o loosing their Paradigm or affiliation. How would you call a Traditionalist without Tradition?

    Originally posted by TheVarulfen View Post
    Feats she could do (or has done) with her Arch-Spheres:

    1) Purify someone who is "of the Wyrm"
    In my game, someone who has given himself to the Wyrm (like a BSD) could not be purified by Prime and Entropy alone, even if used on Level 5 each. Every aspect of them has been tainted and corrupted. Knowing this, the player decided her Character would use Entropy 6 to be able to recognize the connection between the individual and the meta-pattern and sever all the little threads connecting them via Entropy 5.
    This was a huge ritual, basically working with the difficulty for Entropy 6 all the way through. (Though I don't use the rules presented in MotA. In this game the difficulty just rises as it would with normal sphere levels.) The little "Wyrm-threads" connecting the individual to the Wyrm were also a hint at the Asura-Wyrm the Bastet believe in. After the ritual was complete, several Banes and Fomori tried to retaliate by storming the ritual site, because the Wyrm won't give up their victims easily.

    2) Communicate with the entirety of the "Spectre Network" in Wraith/Orpheus
    I went with the Orpheus lore in my game - well, mostly. Since Grandmother was not able to understand individual life (as they are a being of a hive mind) the PC tried to communicate with the entire hive at once. With Mind 6 this feat was achievable since she could take a look at the entire hive-mind and see it as if it was a single individual.

    3) Ignore Mind-Shields
    Another mage tried to shield his mind via Mind 3. He used a ritual to rack up lots of successes, so he would be safe when scheming against the feared Mind-Archmage who was the PC. When she however found out about a plan against her, the PC tried to read the mages mind and failed. She then used Mind 6 to rather reach into the Meta-Pattern of thoughts connected to the plans against her, effectively using this as a backdoor into the scheming mages mind. He couldn't protect himself against that.


    As you can see, we took several liberties with the setting and the rules. Our rules for Arch-Spheres and their powers are defined by the existence of Meta-Patterns as described above, which also limits the reach and powers of the basic Level 1 to 5 Spheres. As the PC is insanely powerful even with only Lvl 6 Spheres, I have limited the maximum rating for her to Lvl 7. To raise a Sphere to Lvl 8 she would have to become an Exemplar, Lvl 9 would be reserved for an Exemplar-Oracle. There is no Lvl 10 to any sphere and only the Arch-Exemplars could ever dream of reaching such a power.
    Interestingly, with a bit of creativity, the powers we defined for the Arch-Spheres, though following the same progression as the basic Spheres only on meta-patterns, match very well with the powers presented in MotA, though our system is much more free than a few interesting but never really useful powers.
    Those are some very neat examples of how to make alternate rules for Arch-spheres.

    I also dislike the way Arch-spheres are written, and altrough I wouldn't do stuff exactly this way (and probably allow less impressive feats at lvl 6), I think that to play with the concept of Meta-Pattern it's, indeed, the way to go.

    I'm also a sucker for having Sokrates as an Exemplar teacher...I think I'm adding that to my headcanon :P

    I'm with Maris in that having more than one Archsphere in this character from the very beginning could be overkill, but not to allow even more lateral uses of Arch-effects it's a sin in my book because Spheres are ALL about lateral uses. Archspheres aren't Spheres if they are left as mere boosts.

    While Avatar strengthening isn't unheard off (ehem...Heyel...ehem) I would rather say that this Orphan already had an insanely potent Avatar. And not because having your avatar empowered makes you a Mary Sue - no - but rather because having an insanely potent Avatar it's yet another *excuse* to become extraordinarily good at magick (and, lets face it, you need all the excuses you can get).
    A powerful, perhaps even Manifest, Avatar can count as a source of knowledge all by itself. As the book says: pushing the mage kicking & screaming towards greatness. After all, life it's unfair and some mages really ARE the Chosen One (whether they like it or not).

    Other Backgrounds of note could be:
    Mentor (already mentioned by several users), Destiny (to great power), Dream (as a knowledge fountain that can't be taken by your enemies), Past Lives (You are the reincarnation of an Archmage. Perhaps one that was betrayed by the Traditions to the Technocracy or viceversa for some reason, and now all your beings tell you to walk the path to power solo), Allies (You don't have a Faction watching your back, thus you really want friends).

    While Defects in general won't help, they form character. In particular, a mage of such power probably has Enemies. Also, an old Enemy could have motivated the mage to push against his limits early on. After all, someone said that one judges a man for his enemies
    Last edited by Aleph; 01-16-2019, 10:40 AM.

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  • Maris Streck
    replied
    Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
    I'd better set him as a "pure" Orphan (haven't joint ANY mage Organization before , but MUST associate with Supernaturals)and usually on Earth because of my GM demand ... (But you can give my any possibility ! )
    Archmastery of more than one Sphere is unheard of. Voormas, Porthos, Al-Aswad are all archmages with Arete 7-9 and still they don't have more than one Sphere at archmastery (okay, Al-Aswad has actually more than one in the Descent scenario but at that point he's supposed to be undefeatable by any existing force on Earth). Even Dante never showed up more than Correspondence at archmastery level (no stats were ever made for him though).

    This is because pursuing archspheres is a lifetime task, especially if you're an Orphan. IIRC the time required to learn a Sphere at level 5 is between 2 and 10 years (depending on the number of resouces availlable to the mage: 2 years is assuming Mentor and Library at 5, you can see why I'm saying that Orphans are going to have an hard time...), level 6 is probably going to take twice as much.

    So, whatever kind of Archmage you are just stick with one archsphere, the one your character feels more affinity with.


    The main enemies for an Archmage are the Paradox (obviously), that would gladly eject him from reality if he only gave it a chance, and his own hubris. You're powerful, you can do anything, make it your flaw.


    Originally posted by TheVarulfen View Post
    So, she's a player character who started out an Orphan after being held as a slave by an ex-NWO Agent who "rescued" her from a rogue laboratory.
    I'm not going to quote more than this, but just assume I'm quoting everything you wrote when I say: this character is the definition of Mary Sue and I'd suggest Rock113 to take it as an example of what you should NOT do when building an archmage. Avatar strengthening, multiple archspheres, custom MacGuffin ratings and bending the rules to allow even more lateral uses of effects is exactly what I would advise against in a campaign.
    Last edited by Maris Streck; 01-16-2019, 09:25 AM.

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  • TheVarulfen
    replied
    Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
    So , what Background and Abilities does this guy have ?

    Please tell me more details...
    So, she's a player character who started out an Orphan after being held as a slave by an ex-NWO Agent who "rescued" her from a rogue laboratory.
    Her magic has been influenced by a lot of esoteric stuff she researched online, mostly the practices of witchcraft and yoga combined.
    Over the course of the game, she came to know a few other mages who were also Orphans, but went more into the chaos magic direction. Then we introduced werewolfes and the PC could really relate to their world view, already sensing the corruption surrounding her herself.
    Her magic specialized in Mind and Entropy from the start, awakening in the Mind sphere and learning Entropy second. She then build on that, while meeting a rather old Verbena witch, who tought her how to use the Life sphere and finding out about most other spheres by herself. Only in Time she never got very far.

    The game's theme is the slow, never ending corruption of the world or as a Shadow Lord NPC described it: "We all were looking forward to the day of the big battle against the Wyrm. We thought we all would die, most probably, but the least we could do was to try. That day never came. Instead, everything just keeps crumbling."

    Starting out as a pretty low key player character, we introduced many story driven elements and possibilities to raise her backgrounds and other essential ratings. For example, she met a being in the Umbra that seemed to know everything but kept asking annoying questions. This being she later identified as Sokrates, an Arch-Exemplar of Mind (being the first to reach the status of Exemplar in the sphere of Mind).
    This NPC was interested in her from the start and would become a Mentor not only in Archmagic (of Mind, obviously) but would also help her strengthen her Avatar, so her mind and her sould would be strong enough to wield such power.

    This happened not until we had played decades of years, ingame. Additionally, some more Tradition members became interested in the PC. She would never really join a Tradition but always make some friends when helping out with her unconventional methods. So after a time she had a cadre of powerful friends who could teach her all kinds of stuff, a godlike spirit mentor and the interest of werewolfes, werespiders and some changelings.

    The game being a clusterf*ck of splats already, I had the idea of also introducing Demons as interesting antagonists. That's when things really went wild.
    Being presented with Demons and learning about their ability to consume another (an ability spirits have in my game, too), made the character design spells that work similarly, enabling her to eat spirits and demons and possibly even human souls if she really wanted to. These increases in power would also raise some of her stats, mostly Abilities that would make sense (like gaining Survival from consuming a nature spirit - though she would never do that).

    This being said, a lot of the characters might and power are a result of heavy crossover and the benefit of playing a chronicle with only one player (though different player characters). Non of this would (or should) happen in a game with more players as the power gaps this could create are immense. For example: This PC currently plans to devour the Wyrm to create a new one that's balanced and able to do it's task properly. And I honestly think she got some chances to do this.


    For pure stats and stuff:

    Arete 8
    Willpower 8
    Avatar 5
    Magic: Forces 3, Entropy 6, Correspondence 3, Life 3, Matter 3, Mind 6, Prime 4, Spirit 6, Time 2
    She has build up a "Gnosis" rating of 10 that enables her to use Demon Lores and some spirit powers (Gifts) and she also got a supernatural "Desire" (working somewhat like Rage, but the mechanics are a bit more "free").

    Feats she could do (or has done) with her Arch-Spheres:

    1) Purify someone who is "of the Wyrm"
    In my game, someone who has given himself to the Wyrm (like a BSD) could not be purified by Prime and Entropy alone, even if used on Level 5 each. Every aspect of them has been tainted and corrupted. Knowing this, the player decided her Character would use Entropy 6 to be able to recognize the connection between the individual and the meta-pattern and sever all the little threads connecting them via Entropy 5.
    This was a huge ritual, basically working with the difficulty for Entropy 6 all the way through. (Though I don't use the rules presented in MotA. In this game the difficulty just rises as it would with normal sphere levels.) The little "Wyrm-threads" connecting the individual to the Wyrm were also a hint at the Asura-Wyrm the Bastet believe in. After the ritual was complete, several Banes and Fomori tried to retaliate by storming the ritual site, because the Wyrm won't give up their victims easily.

    2) Communicate with the entirety of the "Spectre Network" in Wraith/Orpheus
    I went with the Orpheus lore in my game - well, mostly. Since Grandmother was not able to understand individual life (as they are a being of a hive mind) the PC tried to communicate with the entire hive at once. With Mind 6 this feat was achievable since she could take a look at the entire hive-mind and see it as if it was a single individual.

    3) Ignore Mind-Shields
    Another mage tried to shield his mind via Mind 3. He used a ritual to rack up lots of successes, so he would be safe when scheming against the feared Mind-Archmage who was the PC. When she however found out about a plan against her, the PC tried to read the mages mind and failed. She then used Mind 6 to rather reach into the Meta-Pattern of thoughts connected to the plans against her, effectively using this as a backdoor into the scheming mages mind. He couldn't protect himself against that.



    As you can see, we took several liberties with the setting and the rules. Our rules for Arch-Spheres and their powers are defined by the existence of Meta-Patterns as described above, which also limits the reach and powers of the basic Level 1 to 5 Spheres. As the PC is insanely powerful even with only Lvl 6 Spheres, I have limited the maximum rating for her to Lvl 7. To raise a Sphere to Lvl 8 she would have to become an Exemplar, Lvl 9 would be reserved for an Exemplar-Oracle. There is no Lvl 10 to any sphere and only the Arch-Exemplars could ever dream of reaching such a power.
    Interestingly, with a bit of creativity, the powers we defined for the Arch-Spheres, though following the same progression as the basic Spheres only on meta-patterns, match very well with the powers presented in MotA, though our system is much more free than a few interesting but never really useful powers.

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  • Lian
    replied
    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    Not all Solitaries are Orphans and not all Orphans are Solitaries.

    I think the overlap it's statistical rather than axiomatic: Orphans are self-taught mages that aren't part of a Faction. Having that in mind, it's entirely possible for several Orphans with Paradigms that they learnt on their own to band together for convenience, which would make an Orphan cabal. Such Orphans wouldn't be Solitaries. But, of course, mages are rare and thus nearby awakenings and Orphans banding together are rare.

    Also an experienced Orphan could start initiating people into his Paradigm, thus forming a new Craft and becoming a member of said Craft in the process.

    A Solitaire can be a part of a cabal you can have a solitaire cabal. I would also argue Paradigms are not written in stone, if 3 Orphans have similar Paradigms and form a cabal and start sharing ideas this is a protoCraft.


    Getting back to the OP is it possible for an Archmage to be "A political"? yes. IS it possible for them to be completely self taught with no interactions with any other group? Highly Unlikely.
    Last edited by Lian; 01-15-2019, 04:44 PM.

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  • PhillyCuriosity
    replied
    With those definitions, I feel an orphan archmage could pop up but would need a powerful patron who was interested in seeing the mage reach that level or in cases where one's paradigm has a translation mechanism like Marauders. Maybe an esoteric spirit taps and umbra explorer whose knowledge and powers are great but restricted in domain.

    If one follows Masters of the Art, one of the hard parts of gaining archmage status is that they need the support of other archmages. I feel that could harder for an orphan who may be untrusted or viewed as a pawn by everyone. Support of some very potent umbrood seems like it could stem that.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Not all Solitaries are Orphans and not all Orphans are Solitaries.

    I think the overlap it's statistical rather than axiomatic: Orphans are self-taught mages that aren't part of a Faction. Having that in mind, it's entirely possible for several Orphans with Paradigms that they learnt on their own to band together for convenience, which would make an Orphan cabal. Such Orphans wouldn't be Solitaries. But, of course, mages are rare and thus nearby awakenings and Orphans banding together are rare.

    Also an experienced Orphan could start initiating people into his Paradigm, thus forming a new Craft and becoming a member of said Craft in the process.
    Last edited by Aleph; 01-15-2019, 11:14 AM.

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  • Lian
    replied
    I think there's alot of overlap between Orphans and Solitaires but not all Solitaires are orphans. Someone who say quits the Order of Hermes is a Solitaire. Someone who awakens outside a Tradition/Craft/etc is an Orphan. An orphan gets "Adopted" its no long an orphan. But Said orphan can always go "Fuck you I'm out" and become a Solitaire.

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