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How to explain technocrats not knowing , some of their effects are obviously magical?

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  • How to explain technocrats not knowing , some of their effects are obviously magical?

    I'm talking about the fact that their "laser gun" through which they channel forces 3 prime 2 laser bolts only works for them for some reason. And when a citizen uses it doesn't work.
    It's one thing to say that they are the only ones enlightened enough to do some super scientific complicates processes.. a laser gun , on the other side, only requires you to press a button.

    Up until now i've just handwaved the issue. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Disregarding rules somewhat; I'd give the Technos special gear. That way, they do have a special laser gun that'll work for anyone, just they can do more complicated stuff with it.


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    • #3
      ... Technocrats know the effects aren't natural. The only ones who aren't in the loop are the unenlightened. If you can cast spells, you know full well you're mucking about with reality. The difference is one of philosophy and approach to that reality muckery.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mark View Post
        I'm talking about the fact that their "laser gun" through which they channel forces 3 prime 2 laser bolts only works for them for some reason. And when a citizen uses it doesn't work.
        It's one thing to say that they are the only ones enlightened enough to do some super scientific complicates processes.. a laser gun , on the other side, only requires you to press a button.

        Up until now i've just handwaved the issue. Any thoughts?
        Technocrats believe that they perform "enlightened procedures". They know that there is a difference between awakened/enlightened people (Mages, essentially) and the masses. They know that there are things Black Suits can do that Extraordinary Citizens can't. They just explain it in ways that defy mysticism, occultism and "magical" legacies.

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        • #5
          I think to answer your question, Technocrats don't believe in "magic". They always have a way of rationalizing what they're doing as science, and their method of rationalizing is ultimately their paradigm.

          The laser gun you're referring to might just require a complex set of mechanisms to use, which other people just "don't really get". Imagine that old radio that somehow only works for you, when you move the antenna juuuust right. Realistically, yes, some rando could potentially get it to work, but in game, they just won't.

          To Michael's point, it's on you/your GM to rationalize why you can use it and others can't. Usually saying "it's a complex piece of machinery that you really need to understand to operate correctly" is the go-to.

          Not that I'm an expert, but that's the way I understand it.

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          • #6
            And even if the laser gun is actually simple to *use*, the Technocrats are aware that said laser gun

            1) Would cause Paradox when seen
            2) Paradox is caused by the Consensus (Heck, the Consensus was the Union's discovery)
            3) Even if not a paradox-causing gadget, still is essentially 'flying under the radar' of the consensus until it becomes a mundane everyday item
            4) The Consensus is formed by sleepers

            Thus it would make sense for the laser gun, even if simple to use, not to work in the hands of a sleeper.
            Really, the Union *knows* its devices are special. They *know* about the Consensus and its mechanics.
            They simply consider "Magic" an uncontrolled, chaotic use of their Enlightened Principles, misguided through a lens of superstition and absurdity.
            They don't consider their enlightened principles to be magic - they consider everybody who uses 'magic' as abusing enlightened principles.
            They know all the things that the Traditions and others can do - they simply understand the cause and effect differently.

            EDIT:
            And to add, to them the reason why an awakened mind can shoot fireballs from their hands, is because that mind is deranged, twisted, misguided, unhinged and way off the road of actual Enlightened Science.
            So, in a way, yes...Technocrats *do* believe they *could* shoot fireballs out of their hands.... if they'd turn into Enlightened Loonies.
            They do not believe a *sane* awakened/enlightened mind can do it. That is the key to unraveling the seeming paradox (pun not intended) of a Technocrat not believing they can do what Traditionalist Mages can do, while knowing they are in the same kind of awakened state.
            Last edited by Ambrosia; 04-05-2019, 07:04 PM.


            cWoD Dice Probability Chart ||| cWoD Dice Statistics Calculator ||| cWoD Alternative Armor System
            cWoD Alternative Damage Roll System ||| My explanation of cWoD Damage Levels ||| 'Interesting' Strength Attribute Stuff
            EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mark View Post
              I'm talking about the fact that their "laser gun" through which they channel forces 3 prime 2 laser bolts only works for them for some reason. And when a citizen uses it doesn't work.
              It's one thing to say that they are the only ones enlightened enough to do some super scientific complicates processes.. a laser gun , on the other side, only requires you to press a button.

              Up until now i've just handwaved the issue. Any thoughts?

              I feel like everyone who makes this claim has NEEDS to work in Technical support for SIMPLE Things. "How do I turn on my Computer" is Something I have been asked repeatedly. "I forgot how to save files" is another one I've gotten recently. Or spending 20 minutes trying to walk someone through something that I started with "activate the program that looks like a globe" when they apparently were completely incapable of activating a program.

              So yeah is you present Laser guns as Less complex than a cellphone maybe its hard to do. IF you present them as having a certain amount of proprietary setup and cultural infrastructure that Every Technocrat sees as simple and the get upset that "Sleepers" just can't see the obviously simple interface.. or the Technocracy you know.. doesn't make the interface blindlingly "Simple" for outsiders because every idiot sleeper SHOULDN'T be using a laser gun. I am strongly doubting the Technocracy believes in Laser Gun Rights.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mark View Post
                I'm talking about the fact that their "laser gun" through which they channel forces 3 prime 2 laser bolts only works for them for some reason. And when a citizen uses it doesn't work.
                It's one thing to say that they are the only ones enlightened enough to do some super scientific complicates processes.. a laser gun , on the other side, only requires you to press a button.

                Up until now i've just handwaved the issue. Any thoughts?
                Let me put a different spin on the question: let’s say that you’re working with a rules hack where the Technocracy’s Enlightened Science isn’t just Awakened Magick reskinned, but has known and quantifiable differences. We already have a bit of this in the rule that Technocrats don’t get to surpass their Instruments ever and the rule that they don’t have to expend Willpower or additional personal Quintessence in the creation of Devices or Principiae if using Technocratic facilities to construct them; but what if you’re willing to bend the rules further? What would you do to make Enlightened Science perform as advertised, in particular on the matter of non-Enlightened personnel picking up an Instrument and attempting to use it? Would you ban Instruments and say that they can only work Enlightened Science through technological Wonders? Would you institute a house rule that a Sleeper can use Technocratic Instruments the way a Technocrat can? Would you impose a restriction that Instruments represent some sort of improvization (e.g., “McGuyvering”) or access to hidden features in common utilities while Devices suffer no such restriction and can (theoretically) be used by anyone? Would you impose a formalized “Learned Procedures” system that requires practitioners of Enlightened Science to study and learn individual Procedures before they can perform them?

                I am contemplating just such a rules hack, and am looking for suggestions on what would work and what wouldn’t; in particular, I’m looking for advice on dealing with the “if you’re Enlightened, you can do this; if you’re not, you can’t” dichotomy: when is it appropriate, and when isn’t it appropriate? When it isn’t appropriate, how do you address it?
                Last edited by Dataweaver; 04-05-2019, 11:35 PM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
                  ... Technocrats know the effects aren't natural. The only ones who aren't in the loop are the unenlightened. If you can cast spells, you know full well you're mucking about with reality. The difference is one of philosophy and approach to that reality muckery.
                  Nope. More than 90% of Awakened technocrats do not know this

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mark View Post
                    Nope. More than 90% of Awakened technocrats do not know this
                    Er. Wrong, they know they are mucking about with reality. They *know* they are Enlightened.
                    It was the Technocratic Union that even came up in-game with the term "Consensus" for the push of sleepers on reality, *not* the Traditions.

                    I think what you are referring to is 90% of the Technocrats not literally thinking that what they do is actually 'Magic', but I refer to my post up higher in regards to that.


                    cWoD Dice Probability Chart ||| cWoD Dice Statistics Calculator ||| cWoD Alternative Armor System
                    cWoD Alternative Damage Roll System ||| My explanation of cWoD Damage Levels ||| 'Interesting' Strength Attribute Stuff
                    EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF! ||| How Technocrats don't think they are Mages

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                      Er. Wrong, they know they are mucking about with reality. They *know* they are Enlightened.
                      It was the Technocratic Union that even came up in-game with the term "Consensus" for the push of sleepers on reality, *not* the Traditions.

                      I think what you are referring to is 90% of the Technocrats not literally thinking that what they do is actually 'Magic', but I refer to my post up higher in regards to that.
                      The technocrats book explicitly says that they do not know they are altering reality. Other books back this up

                      Edit: i do find it illogical, but it is still canon

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                      • #12
                        Part of interpreting Mage is keeping in mind that the writers aren't always on the same page. Don't hold too fast to canon if that canon is interfering with your understanding or enjoyment of the game. Look for alternate interpretations that work better.


                        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mark View Post
                          The technocrats book explicitly says that they do not know they are altering reality. Other books back this up

                          Edit: i do find it illogical, but it is still canon
                          That's true. Because 90% of Technocrats aren't mages. The Enlightened portion of the Technocracy is not the majority of the organization.

                          Anyone enlightened enough to use procedures knows what they're doing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                            And even if the laser gun is actually simple to *use*, the Technocrats are aware that said laser gun

                            1) Would cause Paradox when seen
                            2) Paradox is caused by the Consensus (Heck, the Consensus was the Union's discovery)
                            3) Even if not a paradox-causing gadget, still is essentially 'flying under the radar' of the consensus until it becomes a mundane everyday item
                            4) The Consensus is formed by sleepers

                            Thus it would make sense for the laser gun, even if simple to use, not to work in the hands of a sleeper.
                            Really, the Union *knows* its devices are special. They *know* about the Consensus and its mechanics.
                            They simply consider "Magic" an uncontrolled, chaotic use of their Enlightened Principles, misguided through a lens of superstition and absurdity.
                            They don't consider their enlightened principles to be magic - they consider everybody who uses 'magic' as abusing enlightened principles.
                            They know all the things that the Traditions and others can do - they simply understand the cause and effect differently.

                            EDIT:
                            And to add, to them the reason why an awakened mind can shoot fireballs from their hands, is because that mind is deranged, twisted, misguided, unhinged and way off the road of actual Enlightened Science.
                            So, in a way, yes...Technocrats *do* believe they *could* shoot fireballs out of their hands.... if they'd turn into Enlightened Loonies.
                            They do not believe a *sane* awakened/enlightened mind can do it. That is the key to unraveling the seeming paradox (pun not intended) of a Technocrat not believing they can do what Traditionalist Mages can do, while knowing they are in the same kind of awakened state.
                            I liked your theory, but does the books say that? That they think you must be crazy to be able to shoot fireballs?

                            That's another thing i always wondered, how the technocrats explain mages casting spells just with their hands/voices/wands and why they don't tey to learn that, since it seems a lot more easier and independent.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mark View Post
                              The technocrats book explicitly says that they do not know they are altering reality. Other books back this up

                              Edit: i do find it illogical, but it is still canon
                              The Union, at its heart, believes that reality needs a homogenous singular vision driving it forward, represented by the Timetable. A particularly philosophical White Suit might even, in a comfortable and intimate setting, admit that Technology is simply the convenient option since it has won out and is in control of mainstream reality. What matters is that you pick a single option, create conformity, and stick with it. If we were calling eachother with engraved mirrors and teleporting to work with special candles, there would be a Hermetic equivalent to the Technocracy trying to rewrite Reality to exclude other interpretations.

                              Your average Black Suit might not fully appreciate this of course. Whether a Technocrat believes they are obeying the rules of reality, or setting the rules of reality, can actually depend. Regardless, they are certain that their way is RIGHT and that other ways are deviant.

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