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Non-traditional pagan Dreamspeaker question

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  • Non-traditional pagan Dreamspeaker question

    Greetings. Kha'vadi (Dreamspeakers) are often tribal men, medicine men, shamans, and other things associated with stripped-down and basic animistic religions. A Native American shaman or a Haitian Bokor represent a stereotypical dreamspeaker, as opposed to a devotee of Thor.

    I'm planning on making a Dreamspeaker that either practice the Old Norse Religion or Ancient Egyptian paganism. How could I play them consistently with the Dreamspeaker tradition? While there were sorcerers in Nordic paganism and Ancient Egypt that dealt with spirits and invoked the powers of the Gods, they certainly weren't doing so while burning sage in a turtle shell. \

    For example, could I possibly have my Dreamspeaker invoke "powers of the gods" and call down a lightning strike with a prime/forces effect if they're Nordic, or summon the powers of the desert spirits/sun god Ra (sand, mini-dust storms, extreme heat, etc) with some other spheres? What's the best way to go about all of this?

    In fact, is dreamspeaker even the right tradition for this kind of character?
    Last edited by KingJohn; 05-25-2019, 01:16 AM.

  • #2
    Old Norse religion sounds more like Verbena or one of the Crafts, while I'd run Ancient Egyptian magic as a member of the Order of Hermes (Thoth via Hermes Trismegistus was the basis of Hermeticism, and the cult of Isis was likewise influential in that). I think Dreamspeakers represent a much more primitive/primal interaction with religion than even the traditional pagan myths. But whatever you think fits your character. It's really about what paradigm you are comfortable with.

    The only game of Mage I played was in a chronicle where everyone was a Dreamspeaker. But for the most part, everyone played a non-traditional Dreamspeaker. My character was a Jungian psychologist who interpreted everything in archetypes. He was a powerful dreamer, and it was during his sleep that he interacted with the spirits. I concentrated in Mind and maxed out the Dream background. Someone else played an eccentric/mentally ill millionaire who lived on the streets like a hobo after a nervous breakdown who concentrated on prime and spoke in cryptic nonsense. I thought one of his inspirations might have been King Kuranes in Lovecraft's Dreamlands cycle. Another PC was ethnic Chinese who was in communion with "the Dragon" who visited him in dreams, and he utilized Forces as he channeled that particular spirit to produce fung fu awesomeness. It was a very interesting game, as each of us was in contact with the spirit world, but in a very different way as we were guided by the same Mentor, who was a traditional Dreamspeaker, but one who was very experienced and wasn't confused by our strange interactions with it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KingJohn View Post
      I'm planning on making a Dreamspeaker that either practice the Old Norse Religion or Ancient Egyptian paganism. How could I play them consistently with the Dreamspeaker tradition? While there were sorcerers in Nordic paganism and Ancient Egypt that dealt with spirits and invoked the powers of the Gods, they certainly weren't doing so while burning sage in a turtle shell.
      Neither do urban shamans or technoshamans, and yet they can be Dreamspeakers too. The Tradition is much more expansive than the stereotype alone.

      Does the character have a fundamentally animistic view of the world? Do they see themselves as an intermediary between the physical and spirit realms? Do they, or the spirits, think the Dreamspeakers would be a good (or necessary) match?


      Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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      • #4
        Dead Magic II has a few sections that might be useful. A seiĆ°r practitioner is probably the easiest way to do things.

        The difficult part is that the Traditions are a mix of mystic practices and political affiliations. In universe the Dreamspeakers were organized in a fairly racist way that just lumped hundreds of different practices together because they weren't organized enough, or European enough, to petition for more accurate placement and recognition on the Council.

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        • #5
          Out of universe there are no Dreamspeaker practices based on traditional Western European beliefs because of Changeling. Cause the European equivalent to nature spirits are fairies. And in the real world there used to be folk magic practices that used the fae like shamans utilize spirits. So maybe you could do something with the light elves and dark elves of Norse myth?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Malkavian87 View Post
            Out of universe there are no Dreamspeaker practices based on traditional Western European beliefs because of Changeling. Cause the European equivalent to nature spirits are fairies. And in the real world there used to be folk magic practices that used the fae like shamans utilize spirits. So maybe you could do something with the light elves and dark elves of Norse myth?
            Dead magic 2 would beg to differ, it has a section on eastern European shamanism. If I recall it's very power animal based with masks and the like.

            Back to op's question, yeah you can. The revised edition tradition book has a few sample characters that are very non pagan in their approach to the spirit world.

            If you really want to go out there for being a Norse shaman take a look at the get of fenrus take on theurges.
            Last edited by Dwight; 05-25-2019, 06:23 AM. Reason: To address op's question


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dwight View Post

              Dead magic 2 would beg to differ, it has a section on eastern European shamanism. If I recall it's very power animal based with masks and the like.

              Back to op's question, yeah you can. The revised edition tradition book has a few sample characters that are very non pagan in their approach to the spirit world.

              If you really want to go out there for being a Norse shaman take a look at the get of fenrus take on theurges.
              This. There are a number of European animist traditions going back to the ancient world, including aspects of Celtic, Germanic, Greek, Roman, Finno-Urgic, and Slavic cultures. Also certain (usually heretical) Christian beliefs involving angels and demons, Jungian psychology's universal archetypes of the collective unconscious, and modern ideas of "quantum animism" in physics. Plus in the WoD, the existence of spiritual representations of things like computers, plastics, or even concepts like Credit or Law are a thing, complete with entire factions of the Dreamspeakers devoted to interacting with them.


              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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              • #8
                Would a gypsy fortune teller that believes in new age spiritualism and represents the Roma version of one be a dreamspeaker?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingJohn View Post
                  Would a gypsy fortune teller that believes in new age spiritualism and represents the Roma version of one be a dreamspeaker?
                  Sure, entropy sphere is a thing.


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                  • #10
                    Joining in with the others. The big thing about Dreamspeakers is that there is no big thing beyond communion with spirits. They are the least organized formal tradition by far. In the LARP, this was reflected by them having a lower starting capacity for Mentors and Libraries (no more than 2 each at best) because they aren't organized and can't leverage the networks that other orders and even most Crafts can.

                    the trick is to focus on the spirits or equivalents. The rest will follow imo.

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                    • #11
                      For Norse you just have to have him believe in their Cosmology. Remember 13th Warrior they had the crone, she was very Verbena but she could easily also be a Dreamspeaker. Spirits of the Land and elemental beings existed in their Cosmology so they would view some spirits in that sense. There are also invisible spirits of Fate like Norns and Disir, and Valkyries were essentially Psychopomps. Have the mage believe in Runes, bloods sacrifice and the cosmology. Being a Dreamspeaker is all about the Role you play more then the Dressing. And you can use Egyptian Trappings too. I'm thinking instead of being a Lector Priest the mage could be more a street level exorcist. The mage could help the dead stuck in Neterkhertet, Feed the wicked to Ammit, judge the souls of the lost. And use traditional spells along the way. Not quite a Priest but a kinda like a exorcist who uses spells, and he communes with the natural order like Ma'at. Death themes work really well with an Egyptian Cosmology, and everyone kind of used spells as sort of reality hacks.


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                      • #12
                        Oh and one thing I like if you want to make it more New Age Conspiracy is to use the Term Odic Forces for things like resonance and Quintessence. Its named after Odin but its not married to the cosmology, but I always thought it was a cool idea for a mage to measure the Od of a person. Also they used it in Berserk.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KingJohn View Post
                          Would a gypsy fortune teller that believes in new age spiritualism and represents the Roma version of one be a dreamspeaker?
                          Sure. Traditional Roma mysticism/folk beliefs tend to involve protection against malevolent (usually spiritual and/or supernatural) influences, healing, cursing one's enemies, and divination*, and those that practice such arts and join the Traditions tend to gravitate to the Dreamspeakers. Not just because they work with aspects of the spiritual world, but also because a big part of the Dreamspeakers' focus is on acting as teachers, protectors, and cultural preservers of their chosen people (which may or may not be the ethnic group one was born to; it could be a subculture, geographic location, or other thing). New Age beliefs would be equally valid, though some more traditional Dreamspeakers might turn their nose up at it (much in the way an arch-traditionalist Hermetic might snub technomancers in the Order). But there is an entire faction, the Ghost Wheel Society, made up of Dreamspeakers who find such modern ideas equally valid and worthy of exploration.

                          *Fortune telling is kind of a grey area, as there are varied opinions about whether or not Roma practice it among themselves or only for outsiders (and some claims that they don't really believe in it at all). Drabardi is the term I've heard used for Roma diviners/seers (at least female ones), but I've no idea how widespread the usage is/was among different groups.

                          I'd probably suggest some mix of Spirit, Time, Entropy, and Mind for such a character as a starting Sphere spread. (2/2/2 or 2/2/1/1)
                          Last edited by No One of Consequence; 05-26-2019, 12:14 AM.


                          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                            Oh and one thing I like if you want to make it more New Age Conspiracy is to use the Term Odic Forces for things like resonance and Quintessence. Its named after Odin but its not married to the cosmology, but I always thought it was a cool idea for a mage to measure the Od of a person. Also they used it in Berserk.
                            Weirdest thing I came across when researching Norse magic practices for Mage 20 years ago: Runic yoga. It's a real thing developed by German occultist Fredrick Marby (who called it runic gymnastics) in the early 20th century as part of the general trend of ethic nationalism, cultural revival mysticism, and physical fitness at the time. Marby is kind of interesting as he was one of the few people in that field who wasn't a raving anti-Semite, and spent WW2 in a German prison camp after being singled out by the SS's head runic researcher/mystic for censure and being an unauthorized occultist.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                            • #15
                              Ohh interesting I never heard of that, that is an interesting modern occultist take.


                              It is a time for great deeds!

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