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  • Ambrosia
    started a topic Book Of The Fallen - Discussion

    Book Of The Fallen - Discussion

    M20 Book of the Fallen – Backer PDF going out this week.
    Prepare for impact in 3..2..

  • Leliel
    replied
    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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  • Matt the Bruins fan
    replied
    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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  • Leliel
    replied
    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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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    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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  • Matt the Bruins fan
    replied
    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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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    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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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    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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  • Logothétēs
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leliel
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
    Yeah, the Mammonites, the Ironhands and the Heralds of the Basilisk (any relation to Roko's basilisk, by any chance?) sound like they can't be anything but relatively modern.
    Roko's Basilisk is specifically cited as where the name of the faction comes from. As for the age of the other two:

    Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
    @Aleph: Quite right, I forgot that one group is old!
    As for the Mammonites, of note is that if you are reading the text Aleph posted....you might get a feeling, and it's correct. When doing a Werewolf crossover (and even possibly if not), yes, yes they have ties with Pentex. Lots of them. Pentex and the Mammonites are best buds.
    The Ironhands have arguably been around since the Renaissance. If the Mammonites are old, so are the Ironhands.

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  • Ambrosia
    replied
    @Aleph: Quite right, I forgot that one group is old!
    As for the Mammonites, of note is that if you are reading the text Aleph posted....you might get a feeling, and it's correct. When doing a Werewolf crossover (and even possibly if not), yes, yes they have ties with Pentex. Lots of them. Pentex and the Mammonites are best buds.

    Leave a comment:


  • Logothétēs
    replied
    Yeah, the Mammonites, the Ironhands and the Heralds of the Basilisk (any relation to Roko's basilisk, by any chance?) sound like they can't be anything but relatively modern.

    Was any light shed on the less elaborated 'traditional' Nephandi factions like the K'llashaa, and Malfeans?

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    As the spoilers point out, Ambrosia isn't quite right: not all of these factions are new; a couple of them have been around for centuries, and one has arguably been around since the time of the Sorcerer's Crusade.
    Well, judiging by your spoilers, I guess that depends on your definition of new. Other than, perhaps, the party horses (that could have been arround since forever, idk) all of them sounded fairly new to me. "The Renaissance" was yesterday compared with the babilonic (or older) origins claimed by some of the three "most known" factions. The Infernalists are arguably the younger of the three(christian outlook), and where here centuries before the Sorcerers Crusade. It kinda makes sense to talk about them as "newer-age" factions from their pov.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by Nyremne View Post

    Could you give a bit more info on these five for us poor non backers?
    Baphies (Goatkids): Dancers of the Beast. Their name derived from Baphomet. The dark side of festival culture, these guys tend to be underestimated by everyone — even by other Nephandi — because they're seen as party animals. And while they are party animals, the kinds of parties they tend to encourage ultimately lead to molestation, rape, slavery, and even human sacrifice — and their victims generally don't know what's happening until it's too late. Part of how they remain hidden is that nobody takes them seriously; the other part is that when the bad things start happening, the Infernalists tend to catch the blame for it.


    Exies (Obliviates): Devotees of Extinction. Their name is a play on Extinction-Level Events (ELEs), something which the mages of this sect actively work toward bringing about. These guys tend to use Hypertech to hack computer systems, stir political unrest, cultivate bioweapons and plagues, alter regional climates, trigger natural and unnatural disasters, and generally try to being about as much physical devastation as possible. There are a few Theo-Obliviates in their ranks who prefer a more mystical or religious approach to the End of Days; but for the part, this is a technomantic faction.


    Heralds of Basilisk (Basks): Tricksters of the Wired World. A dark spin on various Information-age techies, these guys are basically trying to bring about a Nephandic version of Iteration X's Computer. They're basically “the digital age gone wrong”.


    Ironhands: Crafters of Oblivion. While the aforementioned Exies focus primarily on sowing destruction, the Ironhands are more focused on the technology that brings about destruction. Where the Etherites include a faction of Mad Scientists, this faction is more along the lines of Evil Scientists: their inventions sometimes deal with fringe theories, but the main push is on the harm they can do. This is not a new faction; it's been doing its thing possibly as long ago as the Renaissance.


    Mammonites: the Cruelty of Gold. This faction has been around since the early 1700s. They make their wealth off of human trafficking, child sex trade, hard-core narcotics and pornography, arms sales and private armies, fossil fuels and dirty nuclear power, waste-disposal dumps and forced labor, retail sales and fast-food jobs for long hours and poverty wages, diamond mines and chocolate plantations, and so on. Where the Syndicate may engage in such practices out of indifference or as a means to an end, the Mammonites seek to foster such things as an end to itself: “I'm rich, and can do whatever I want; and to prove that, let me show you just how much human suffering I can get away with causing.” To them, money is the means, and the suffering they cause is the goal.


    As the spoilers point out, Ambrosia isn't quite right: not all of these factions are new; a couple of them have been around for centuries, and one has arguably been around since the time of the Sorcerer's Crusade.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 11-14-2019, 12:50 PM.

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