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  • #46
    Ironhands are basically tech-savvy Malfeans, from the sound of it. The type that'd work for Pentex's aerodefense, PMC, firearm and military tech subsidiaries.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
      Ironhands are basically tech-savvy Malfeans, from the sound of it. The type that'd work for Pentex's aerodefense, PMC, firearm and military tech subsidiaries.
      Without the “we worship the Wyrm” bit.


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      • #48
        Originally posted by Leliel View Post
        Nice. I especially like the Ironhands, they fill a niche that the Big Evil Three just...don't.

        Any Nephandic paradigms? I liked that section in M20, pointing out how Qlippothic magick is fundamentally a dark spin on more normal views - Gods and Monsters is a view that leads to misanthropy, sure, but it also states that mages have agency to make it better, for my favorite example. Any on that?
        Paradigms
        The Paradigms associated with the Practice of Maleficia are very appropriate to the Nephandi. In addition, you get:

        All power comes from sin
        Barbarism is the truest state of man
        Cosmic horror is the only truth
        Everyone's against me, so whatever I do is justified
        Evil is necessary, and so I am evil
        Existence is unknowable, irrational, and sublime
        Forbidden wisdom is the truest source of power
        I am all
        I'm a predator, and the world is my prey
        Indulgence is nature's only law
        Only the strongest deserve to survive
        People are shit
        Rebellion is the road to Transcendence
        We are stormtroopers of the abyss

        Practices
        Every Nephandus incorporates Maleficia into their Practice, whatever other elements are there. Especially among the barabbi, just about any Practice can be found here; but unless they're acting as moles, they go for the most malevolent interpretation of their Practice as possible.

        Abyssalism
        The Black Mass
        Demonism
        Feralism
        Goetia
        Infernal Sciences
        Vamamarga

        Instruments
        Start with the Instruments associated with Maleficia and whatever other Practices are incorporated into the Focus. There's also:

        Atrocity
        Perversion
        Mutilation
        Torment
        Trolling and Cyberbullying
        Violation
        Last edited by Dataweaver; 11-15-2019, 03:25 PM.


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        • #49
          When this hits retail I'll be interested in seeing what distinguishes Malefica, the Black Mass, Demonism, and Goetia from each other.

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          • #50
            I tend to view Maleficia as more of a placeholder: a general “doing magic by doing evil” Practice, whereas the ones in Book of the Fallen tend to be more specialized. Frankly, I'd be inclined to scrap it as a standalone Practice and instead treat it as something that has to be combined with some other Practice. Or maybe treat it as a Paradigm, which flavors the way the mage utilizes whatever her Practice happens to be in the most obscene and malicious way possible.

            The Black Mass, while commonly identified with Catholicism, actually predates it. It features deliberate, profane, and often sexual inversions of the dominant culture's sacred rituals. In short, it's not so much about being malicious, per se, as it is about trashing what people revere and perverting what people hold to be pure.

            Demonism is centered around the notion of the Infernal Pact — though in the case of an Awakened mage, it tends to be more metaphorical and centered on the mage himself being a demonic power that lesser beings (such as mortals) bargain with. He also bargains with actual demons, but tends to do so outside the framework of Infernal Pacts and as more of an ally than a supplicant.

            Goetia is similar to Demonism, but it's less about bargaining with demons than it is with controlling them. It's also described as a disreputable variation on High Ritual. It's included here not because it's inherently malicious, but because it's a good way to Fall.
            Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-19-2020, 11:16 PM.


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            • #51
              So I'm reading through it now, and now I'm wondering: How'd you play, or give Merits to, a character whose previous incarnation went into the Caul and didn't become a Nephandus?

              Which is to say, dead, but with an Avatar that, while badly traumatized, is still an actual angel on your shoulder as opposed to a perpetual abuser of a Widderslante?

              I say because I always like playing characters who come off as more sinister than they actually are, and when dealing directly with them, it turns out they don't have the heart to even pretend to be a jerk on a personal level. Aloof and perhaps trying too hard to be cool, but generally likable and polite once someone talks to them. The idea is that the mage I'm thinking of has very little trust to spare for anybody, but has a great deal of compassion for anyone who's in a bad circumstance. Yes, he suspects they'll try and screw him over, because it's what he considers, but it's not their fault, they're generally hungry or desperate, and he suspects that most of the time, people only fuck over others who they suspect are trying to fuck over them (he grows snide with people he sees have an immensely broad or convenient definition of "trying to fuck me over", part of why he hates Nephandi). So while he's definitely got a Qliphoth-shaped paradigm, and rolls his eyes at people who think its unhealthy to shackle his style to such a confrontational and defiant worldview, he's of the opinion that the ultimate goal is to get God to accept Her darker half and acknowledge that it was wrong to ignore Lucifer's concerns, selfish and proud as they may have been. Which is probably why his current identity probably can never be corrupted by a Caul, and why his previous identity decided death was preferable; he sees what the Fallen are, and he laughs at them, because they are pathetic. "Oh please, sure, you're definitely going to become Leviathan, the First Animal, by being a whiny sadistic wanker frozen at fourteen. You are completely like the primal nature you claim to be, not at all scared of your own conscience. I am in awe of you."
              Last edited by Leliel; 01-20-2020, 11:48 AM.


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              • #52
                I'd say that would be an excellent backstory for the Shattered Avatar Merit (and likely the Flashbacks Flaw as well).

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                  I'd say that would be an excellent backstory for the Shattered Avatar Merit (and likely the Flashbacks Flaw as well).

                  Nice!

                  Also, holy shit, I just realized Final Fantasy 7's omnibus is actually (and hilariously, given how much of a Seinfeld Is Unfunny reputation it has) good inspiration for the two sides of the widderslainte experience. Sephiroth is one who decided to stop fighting the darker impulses from his Avatar, while Cloud is someone who's stumbled in fighting his, but ultimately brings it to heel. (Even more pertinently, Sephiroth is Cloud's corrupt Avatar; the final swordfight with him is even explicitly him trying to assume control over Cloud as a last-ditch attempt at victory).

                  Hell, Jenova's kind of the ideal Nephandic patron, ambiguously both a true extraterrestrial and a spiritual parasite who acts like one, one who appears largely as powerful spawn - and ultimately a much less narratively important or direct threat than her "high priest", who more wants to do the Consumption of Leviathan right than serve her.
                  Last edited by Leliel; 01-21-2020, 07:58 PM.


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