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  • #46
    Yeah, that's why I said 5-6 practices, being 3 of them HR,Alchemy and Dominion and the others the ones the character will really use. That makes no sense. Mage is a very limitless game, limiting a char this way seems wrong to me.
    He would definitely have Esoterica, probably with (body control).

    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    You're embroiled in meaningless terminology that doersn't help to get the "spirit" of the mage. Those words you're using: Will, Practice, Energy...mean nothing without a context. It's better to not use "code words" to define a mage's "aspect" unless it's needed to clarify, instead use words as your mage would.

    For instance: you talk about "Machines". What kind of machines, how do they look and why/how your mage believes they work?. Just saying "I'm going to use machines" doesn't help to imagine what you're going to do at all (as machines it's a rather ample category).

    You need to similarly describe each element of the Focus. A mystical Foucs describes a Reality ruled by magic and the supernatural, where every action it's magical, a scientific Focus described a reality with paranormal phenomena that can be known trough reason and theory, a Mystic Scientist sits somewhere in the middle...this can't be easily escaped

    To give you an example of how your Focus application it's "broader than you think": Your Paradigm almost certainly will influence what your character thinks about science. While the main function of the Paradigm it's to explain why magick works, more often than not it's a huge declaration about the universe as a whole ... and that will include science. If Everything is Chaos, then lowercase science (as part of everything) it's fundamentally wrong in some very core aspects (namely, thinking that there's such thing as universal laws to be discovered)

    This cosmovision it's all very important to see where your mage fits...just saying Will it's not enough to convince anyone here because while it IS important for the Hermetics, you have lots of pages *qualifying* what "Will" means for them. Where you're now, Will and "psychic powers" sounds like they're the one and the same for your char...that's not very Hermetic.
    Ok, I could describe it even more. And I disagree about the meaningless terminology (they are used often in the books), but I'll try to do it without them.

    Indeed, there are like 3 instruments that I chose that were not very well described and could be enhanced to fit better an Hermetic paradigm. I don't want, though, to change any of the focus (paradigm/prcatices/instrument), nor add religion to it.

    Paradigm: "Everything is Chaos", "Consciousness is the one true reality", "Might is rigth".

    After awakening through intense study from esoteric sources, he began to understand that the universe is more than the physical matter/energy we know today. It is greatly influenced by the conscioussness of all living beings. Part of the meaning of life itself is to give a meaning to the universe and change it, mold it with the power of life very own conscioussness. This means that your belief is capacble of molding reality and that the ones with a stronger mind/belief is going to be in the upper tier of the world.

    Practices: "Chaos Magick", "Martial Arts", "Psionics"

    He discovered that the universe and all that's inside it is made of a special kind of arcane energy (Quintesence) that can be interacted in a metaphysical level. This energy seems to be everywhere and everything is made (or comes from) it. The practices he has is just a way to direct/influence this energy in the manner that the result that he wants happen.Just like a painter wanting to change what's in his frame uses a brush, so the mage uses his practice to alter the world as he so desires.
    Chaos Magick is the Art of shaping reality according to the mage's belief. It is about raising and directing that energy in any way the mage believe that works.
    Being violent,determined and a enthusiast of the body, Martial Arts and bodybuilding were always part of his life. In this way it is natural for him to change his state of mind (Psionics) to tap into that energy.

    Instruments: Energy,Gestures, Meditation, Eye Contact, Weapons, Books/Scrolls/Periodics, Devices/Machines

    Energy: This is the core of the character focus. Pratically everything he does is involving energy, that are the brush swabed by his Awakened conscioussness. It will be present in almost all his effects.

    Gestures/Meditation: Those are deeply connected to his Martial Arts training and Psionics development, they are a way of directing the energy with the power of his body and Awakened mind. Effects like conjuring electric arcs (Gestures) or improving his body features (Meditation) are made this way.

    Eye Contact: With intensive training and experimentation he learned how to "see" different patterns in that energy, be in living beings or not. Sensing effects, like scaning a body for deseases are done this way.

    Weapons: In the midle of combat, his mind and body become one with his weapons. He handle his weapons in a natural way, as if being guided to his targets. Combat effects are done this way.

    Books/Scrolls/Periodics: Knowledge is power and books is all about knowledge. He likes to study both sleeper science and magickal theory. Magickal theory is how magick behaves, how Paradox and Quintessence works, what and how Consensus works, etc. By studying or simply reading a book or scroll, being it a engineering book or a arcane tome, he can achieve the state of mind necessary to change Reality. All kinds of effects can be achieved through this technique, you only need the right book/periodic to direct your conscioussness into that way. Often used to conjure powerful rituals that demand more time to cast. (This is the instrument I had the less ideas and would love to see more examples or ideas to use it.).

    Devices/Machines: One of his first instruments used to tap the energy. At first he used simple yet efficient devices like coils, receivers, modulators to raise and diret the energy the way he wanted. With time, he understood that he was affecting the machines output by himself and they were mere instruments to help him in this. He began using more rudimentary devices, involving crystals coupled with wires in their interior to gather the energy. He began using them less and less to the point that eventually he stopped using them altogether (dropped instrument). It is important to note that this was an initial stage, he didn't relied on them for long and they was very, very rudimentar and simple. He didn't quite understood yet the mysteries of the energy and was trying to use science and technology to get a result. When he realised the mystical aspect that that energy had, he stopped trying to explain it that way. I'd say that all kind of effects could be done this way, it is just a matter of using the right device in the right way. After dropping this instrument, he might use them more like a totem of his Awakened Will than a device per se.

    So, I guess this is explained enough. I would love to see your opinions about it and am willing to makes changes. But I wouldn't like to change the focus list.

    Now, why would the Order of Hermes be intersted on him?
    He is an aggressive, determined mage. He probably awoke by himself and began his mage life as an Orphan, later joining the Order. He share the Order's foundations and some beliefs, he is definitely a Traditional and is bold, cocky, power/knowledge-hungry House Flambeau would be the place for him. He has heavy knowledge of the forces of nature and is very fond of electricity (and vulgar magick). He would be seen as a very great weapon in the war against Technocracy, even that he doesn't completely fit the Order stereotype.

    And why would the Etherites want him?
    He is an engineer and has a scientifical mind. He is always seeking knowledge and is very dedicated. That is enough for them to have him there, even that only to learn more with him. Many would see him as a farse, or even a joke because of his beliefs. Calling himself a mage and believeing that everything the Tradition do is magick do not help his case. While he might fit this Tradition, that's not the feel I want to this char...
    Last edited by Lord Revan; 11-26-2019, 10:21 PM.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
      I'd say he would learn Hermetic history, laws, rules and possibly some magickal concepts like getting a Word. But go into full training? Aboslutely not. He doesn't even can train like an new apprentice since he's already awakened and goetia/theurgia is sleeper sorcery. The max they can do is try to mold his already stablished belief into their own, which doesn't mean teaching new practices, but trying to put some of their beliefs into the char's ones. Now, I don't know what would be the result of that..
      An Initiate (a full mage of the Order) doesn't receive training - they've graduated. Apprentices do, and the Order has a strict and rigorous curriculum for them. It's true you can't make a Mage "go backwards", but the extended summary of apprenticeship in their original Tradbook presumes Awakened apprentices go through the same steps - they undergo the same training, in rigid order, as anyone else, but are presumably achieving their magical effects through dynamic magic instead of static. M20 again refers to this strict order, and it's reiterated in their RevTradbook - I can't see any evidence to think it's no longer canonical. An Awakened apprentice might be awarded Practicus status ahead of the curve, but I see no reason to think the Order - with its ancient curriculum and emphasis on doing things the right way - would rush someone's training just because they're talented. (Quite possibly the opposite - it's doubly important to make sure a talented student doesn't get rushed into a role they're not ready for.)

      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
      No they do not.
      The Code of Hermes is in their Tradbook. The relevant section is on page 45. Fifth Degree initiates are on the list, and are passed up by the demands of their senior mages. They are responsible for the apprentice, so if they debut an ill-trained lout whose training shames the Order, they themselves will presumably face the punishment.

      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
      By your logic, my mage could just learn all they have to teach and throw it all away and continue to use magick as he knows it.
      Sure, he could be an apostate who renounces all he learned - but at that point, why was the character ever a Hermetic?

      I feel you're being inflexible on the idea that Practices are distinct things that you use or don't use. A Hermetic Tytalan wrestler whose Practices are Martial Arts, Dominion, and Yoga is still a participant in the Order's educational system and philosophy. His Focus as a whole would reflect its heavy focus on occult rules and arcane correspondences. He'd have a more ritualistic or alchemical approach to physical exercise than, say, an Akashic or Syndicate wrestler.

      Do you agree that a Dreamspeaker whose Paradigm is Might is Right and who uses Martial Arts and Dominion as their Focus is not the same as a Hermetic with the same Paradigm and Practices? Even if, say, their Instruments are identical? What if we replace the Dreamspeaker with an Akashic? Why is this the case, if these are all mystics? Is the only difference really just "one of them says Will and the other one says Do"?

      Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
      What if the Order thinks the mage is using Will as they do? Why are you saying that those "Wills" are different? Just because of different practices and the lack of High Ritual training? Will is not realted to any of them. What is the difference between the Order Will and the Will stated many times in M20?
      The Order believes Will is focused, deliberate, energetic, personal, and forceful, the product of pursuing your Word and self-realization through Hermetic cultivation. You use Will not to seek the favor of deities or harness occult forces but to command them. It requires "resolve" to enforce its "dictates." It's something their training strives to "build" - a lifelong project of finding out exactly who you are. That's why I don't think a raw recruit's claim to Will would be taken seriously - Hermetic Will is something you discover through Hermetic study.

      This doesn't have anything to do with High Ritual or with any particular Practice (though this is why Dominion is one of their core Practices.) Rather, this is what M20 would call the Orders' "preferred Focus". The Order's egocentric small-p paradigms and practices lead them to egocentric Paradigms and Practices. "My Will be Done" and not "Thy Will Be Done".

      Compare this to the unfocused, haphazard, contemplative, impersonal, or receptive Will-working of any number of Traditions, Crafts, and Conventions. If the Hermetics are right about what Will is, every other mage is somehow using magick without using Will. The Order of Hermes realized correctly that the true source of magick is within, but this doesn't mean their paradigm (or preferred Focus, in M20) is the objectively correct one - it understands the "inside" and "outside" in Hermetic terms, and it has accumulated some preconceptions on what the correct way to do magick is - and therefore, what Will is. You've mentioned a lack of familiarity with the other Traditions - that's a shame! Having a more complete picture would help bring these distinctions into focus.

      Thanks for the long-form exploration of your character. I'll take a look at it and let you know if I come up with anything I think would be helpful.
      Last edited by Five Eyes; 11-27-2019, 06:01 AM.


      I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
        So, I guess this is explained enough. I would love to see your opinions about it and am willing to makes changes. But I wouldn't like to change the focus list.
        I suppose my first instinct is to wonder what Chaos magic is doing on the list of Practices - it doesn't seem to be reflected in any of the chosen Instruments, and I don't see any of the signatures of the Practice in the character's methods. Much of Chaos Magic is symbol-driven, using ad hoc systems of occult symbolism or archetypical forms to focus the mind on a desired outcome - but I'm not sure why we'd have a character who rejects symbolic approaches adopt a Practice where you're expected to use tons of them. Is there some Instrument the character uses where they fixate on or meditate towards a desired outcome to bring it about, law of attraction style? Or do they meditate on mental exemplars to embody them? Another branch of chaos magic is socially performative, but I'd expect to see that paired with another Practice (most often dominion or Ars Cupid), and it doesn't seem like this guy's style to use social abstractions...

        It still feels odd for the character to resist proposing a scientific theory of what the energy is and how he interacts with it - we're to understand he's extremely intellectually curious and not prone to superstition or symbolism, yet the most important energy in his life - one which governs the entire universe, and which he can register on mechanical instruments for measurement - is not subjected to scientific scrutiny, but is instead accepted as numinous and otherworldly?

        The Books/Scrolls Instrument runs into something I've always been skeptical of when it shows up at my table - an extremely broadly applicable instrument with a very abstract, Purple mechanism. How does this Instrument interact with the energy to bring about some change? The character's other instruments are immediately practical means of directing and measuring the energy, this one is the only case where they seem to deal in abstractions.

        Beyond those hiccups, I think you've got a fairly normal psionic Orphan. He doesn't really have the scientific curiosity typical of an Etherite, given his shrug-and-move-on approach to metaphysics. This is someone very bright and dedicated who I suspect the Order of Hermes would love to get a chance to train, but Hermetics don't really have anything to offer the character as presented - if he doesn't buy into their philosophy or adopt any of their common Practices, the lack of overlap in instruments means their occult knowledge is all basically bunk to him, right? He's got no reason to give a shit what the Fifth Pentacle of Seven Moons does or how some long-dead Bonisagus describes Quintessence in Platonic terms, and he's not going to adopt ritualized chaos magick like harmonizing with thought-form deities or meditating on/towards symbolic representations of his personal problems.


        I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post

          An Initiate (a full mage of the Order) doesn't receive training - they've graduated. Apprentices do, and the Order has a strict and rigorous curriculum for them. It's true you can't make a Mage "go backwards", but the extended summary of apprenticeship in their original Tradbook presumes Awakened apprentices go through the same steps - they undergo the same training, in rigid order, as anyone else, but are presumably achieving their magical effects through dynamic magic instead of static. M20 again refers to this strict order, and it's reiterated in their RevTradbook - I can't see any evidence to think it's no longer canonical. An Awakened apprentice might be awarded Practicus status ahead of the curve, but I see no reason to think the Order - with its ancient curriculum and emphasis on doing things the right way - would rush someone's training just because they're talented. (Quite possibly the opposite - it's doubly important to make sure a talented student doesn't get rushed into a role they're not ready for.)
          We are not talking about a talented student. It's a fully Awakened mage. He is not going to learn goetia and theurgy anymore (it's not possible nor needed).
          The books have no words on already Awakened mage entering the Order. I'm pretty sure he might get some training in linguistics, history of the Order and the Code of Hermes, as well as getting a Word and True Name. But I don't believe he would go through all the training as if were a sleeper.
          Imagine a Chorister with Arete 4, and several Shperes with 3-4 dots that joins the Order for whatever reason. They might teach the basics as I posted, but they would not put a rank 5(2 dots in a Sphere) to train a guy like that. Hell, it would be an insult to try to teach such a powerful mage anything related to magick.

          Another point is that there are only 3 Hermetic schools. Certainly not all new Hermetic (Sleeper or not) have the chance of going to one. So, the training might be made directly from another Hermetic, which means his own practices, if a little different frombthe Order standard, will influence the apprentice.
          I think we have discussed that enough and we'll have to agree to disagree. Unless you bring concret evidence that even a fully grown ass Master that join the Order has to pass everything a Sleeper pass, I think we're have to stay with our personal opinions.

          Sure, he could be an apostate who renounces all he learned - but at that point, why was the character ever a Hermetic?
          Because those practices are the only thing I don't like too much in the Order. They are so much more than this.

          Do you agree that a Dreamspeaker whose Paradigm is Might is Right and who uses Martial Arts and Dominion as their Focus is not the same as a Hermetic with the same Paradigm and Practices? Even if, say, their Instruments are identical? What if we replace the Dreamspeaker with an Akashic? Why is this the case, if these are all mystics? Is the only difference really just "one of them says Will and the other one says Do"?
          Absolutely not. In fact, every mage is different and believe in different things, even that they share the exact same focus.
          While they might have different beliefs they would cast spells pretty similarly, though.
          If their practices and instruments are the same, then they use the same techniques to cast spells even thst for different reasons (if they hsve different paradigms).
          Now, if they share all 3 (paradigm/practices /instruments) then only their personal take on them will differentiate, which includes their Traditions.
          So, for your example, if the Akashic and Hermetic shared all their focus, the Hermetic would use Martial Arts to reach a state of focus that let's him direct his True Will more efficiently, while the Akashic uses Martial Arts to elevate his spirit and transcend the material world to change Reality, for example.
          Externally they are doing the same things.
          All mages focus are different and that's why you might have an Hermetic that do notbuse symbols or religion. Rev trad book have examples of Hermetics that do not care for those details, like the Neighbour Friend and thst Livia girl, who were actually a Children of Knowledge and joined the Order (probably without going through sleeper training lvl).

          The Order believes Will is focused, deliberate, energetic, personal, and forceful, the product of pursuing your Word and self-realization through Hermetic cultivation. You use Will not to seek the favor of deities or harness occult forces but to command them. It requires "resolve" to enforce its "dictates." It's something their training strives to "build" - a lifelong project of finding out exactly who you are. That's why I don't think a raw recruit's claim to Will would be taken seriously - Hermetic Will is something you discover through Hermetic study.

          This doesn't have anything to do with High Ritual or with any particular Practice (though this is why Dominion is one of their core Practices.) Rather, this is what M20 would call the Orders' "preferred Focus". The Order's egocentric small-p paradigms and practices lead them to egocentric Paradigms and Practices. "My Will be Done" and not "Thy Will Be Done".

          Compare this to the unfocused, haphazard, contemplative, impersonal, or receptive Will-working of any number of Traditions, Crafts, and Conventions. If the Hermetics are right about what Will is, every other mage is somehow using magick without using Will. The Order of Hermes realized correctly that the true source of magick is within, but this doesn't mean their paradigm (or preferred Focus, in M20) is the objectively correct one - it understands the "inside" and "outside" in Hermetic terms, and it has accumulated some preconceptions on what the correct way to do magick is - and therefore, what Will is. You've mentioned a lack of familiarity with the other Traditions - that's a shame! Having a more complete picture would help bring these distinctions into focus.

          Thanks for the long-form exploration of your character. I'll take a look at it and let you know if I come up with anything I think would be helpful.
          I always saw Hermetic Will and any other mage Will as the same concept. The difference is thst tje Hermetics believe and state that they indeed are using their powerful Will, while other Traditions, while do cast magick using that same Will, do not acknowledge that. Is that the difference you're talking about? It is thr same Awakened Will but not acknowledge.
          Anyway, my mage definitely acknowledge thebuse of Will and do use it just as an Hermetic. Now, if your argument is that you somehow need to be trained by an Hermetic to use it this way, I'd love to know where did you get that.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post

            I suppose my first instinct is to wonder what Chaos magic is doing on the list of Practices - it doesn't seem to be reflected in any of the chosen Instruments, and I don't see any of the signatures of the Practice in the character's methods. Much of Chaos Magic is symbol-driven, using ad hoc systems of occult symbolism or archetypical forms to focus the mind on a desired outcome - but I'm not sure why we'd have a character who rejects symbolic approaches adopt a Practice where you're expected to use tons of them.
            Well, Chaos Magick is not symbolic, it is belief driven, so you might use symbolism or not. It include energy raising and directing and can accommodate almost any belief.
            So, it has energy, it has power in belief and is open enough. That's why I got it. Also, it is the glue that link the paradigm ro the instruments. The fact that consciousness (belief) afect reality using energy. Together with the other practices I think it fits.
            What you mean by not in any instrument and how would you change that?

            Is there some Instrument the character uses where they fixate on or meditate towards a desired outcome to bring it about, law of attraction style? Or do they meditate on mental exemplars to embody them?
            Law of atraction (As above, so bellow) is something I would see in this char. Meditation can be used with visualization that way, also the external instruments might work this way too (books, machines,weapons). Using them to fixate his mind and use visualization to the desired effect. This might work.

            It still feels odd for the character to resist proposing a scientific theory of what the energy is and how he interacts with it - we're to understand he's extremely intellectually curious and not prone to superstition or symbolism, yet the most important energy in his life - one which governs the entire universe, and which he can register on mechanical instruments for measurement - is not subjected to scientific scrutiny, but is instead accepted as numinous and otherworldly?
            He do not resist. He just can't develop a scientific theory or equations to describe it. He also didn't measured it, his devices only could gather and direct it. He then decided to just study magick behavior instead of trying to mathematically map it. He treat it as apart from sleeper science because he believe science can't explain it properly.

            The Books/Scrolls Instrument runs into something I've always been skeptical of when it shows up at my table - an extremely broadly applicable instrument with a very abstract, Purple mechanism. How does this Instrument interact with the energy to bring about some change? The character's other instruments are immediately practical means of directing and measuring the energy, this one is the only case where they seem to deal in abstractions.
            Indeed. Books is nore about Chaos Magick that works on a diferent Consciousness state snd belief.
            What would you suggest?

            - if he doesn't buy into their philosophy or adopt any of their common Practices, the lack of overlap in instruments means their occult knowledge is all basically bunk to him, right? He's got no reason to give a shit what the Fifth Pentacle of Seven Moons does or how some long-dead Bonisagus describes Quintessence in Platonic terms, and he's not going to adopt ritualized chaos magick like harmonizing with thought-form deities or meditating on/towards symbolic representations of his personal problems.
            I think you are being too specific. Not all Hermetics give this importance to symbolisms. Rev trad book has some examples. He share others beliefs, including the desire to learn the working of magick.
            I'd see him as a flashy Flambeau using his deep knowledge of science and electricity in his vulgar spells..

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            • #51
              Fair enough.

              As to your proposed Chorister convert - the Order has not, historically, been particularly hesitant to insult mages from other Traditions. Remember, "What mage in any rival Tradition, of whatever skill, can boast the comprehensive knowledge of our least Adept?" Do you think the Order believes a Dreamspeaker or Technocrat, "of whatever skill", knows the first thing about how magick actually works? If a Chorister has been using inadequate magic - little better than the theurgia taught to apprentices - their entire life, don't you need to start from the basics before you can teach them how to do it right?

              Why is your example for "non-traditional" Hermetic approaches someone trained in another Tradition altogether and grandfathered in (and even then, she's still an Alchemist!)?
              Why is your example for non-symbolic, non-religious mages a guy who explicitly finds Hermetic ritualism comforting and compatible with his Catholic upbringing?
              These seem like odd choices?

              I hold Hermetic Will to be a subset of the Will exercised by all other mages. Compare their criteria for Will to that exercised by other mages - and remember, their criticism isn't that other mages refuse to acknowledge their own Will as the source of power. They say other mages are ill-trained, slavish blunderers - that they're technically, academically, and spiritually backwards. That they beg and plead and surrender their wills to forces outside of themselves. How can servility be Willful? And if it is Willful - then why would the Hermetics, who exult Will above all, sneer at it? If it works, it must be true Will, and yet the Order thinks otherwise. If they had a genuine understanding of what true Will was, why would they denigrate powerful mages (who must necessarily exercise potent Will)? Why would they look down their nose at someone whose Will is provably more true and potent than that of most Hermetics?

              Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
              Well, Chaos Magick is not symbolic, it is belief driven, so you might use symbolism or not. It include energy raising and directing and can accommodate almost any belief. So, it has energy, it has power in belief and is open enough. That's why I got it. Also, it is the glue that link the paradigm ro the instruments. The fact that consciousness (belief) afect realityusing energy. Together with the other practices I think it fits.
              I really do mean "uses symbols". Austin Spare, the generally accepted grandfather of chaos magick, used sigils and writing as his Instruments. He did not believe in some system of occult symbolic logic or arcane correspondences (as a high ritualist might), but instead the sigils were improvisational and ad-hoc. In a Chaos magick sense, they were a way of portraying "whatever it is I want to do, right now", in such a way as to help Spare focus his mind upon his objective. They were what helped him communicate his desire to the energies he thought would achieve it. Other chaos magicians such as Morrison come up with a "representation for the task" and focus upon that using mental energy, ranging from basic associations ("this picture represents the me I want to be" for a Life effect to change their shape) to elaborate fictional myths or pantheons ("this story recreates my struggle against my addiction" for a Mind effect to alleviate a drug habit, for example.) Socially-performative chaos magic tends, again, to posit causation and similarity between the desired effect and the actions of the mage ("by transgressing this social boundary, I remove the shackles clouding my perception" for a Spirit effect to see some other Realm or a Time effect to see the future.)

              While chaos magick is about the power of belief, it is most generally achieved by postulating some relationship as a scaffold for the mental energy to work with. The unusual trait of the Practice is the willingness to make up new scaffolds to suit an occasion and to scrap the scaffolding when it's over, and the insistence that no scaffold is in and of itself permanently powerful. The entry for Thought-Forms in M20 (pg 598) gets into this a bit, and the wiki page on chaos magic (or just Spare) isn't too bad as a start. (Spare himself seems to have thought getting fixated on a rigid occult system made your magic weaker, in fact. This is why M20's entry on the Practice talks about ditching instruments if they become "too confining")

              This is what I mean about feeling like it's absent - I don't see any of the Practice's most common expressions. Do you have some other version of the practice in mind? I'm mostly a surface observer, so if there's some other expression of the philosophy you're using as inspiration, let me know.Raising and directing energy can be done Psionically (meditation, sheer willpower) or through Martial Arts (qi gong), so it just seems like a spare Practice for no good reason.

              My partner (who's better-read on Spare and chaos magic than I am) suggested automatic writing as part of the books Instrument - rather than reading a book about the subject the character wants to change, imagine them doing a lengthy free-association session where they write all the scientific and esoteric facts and factors surrounding what it is they want to achieve - for a Forces effect to control the weather, as much meteorological data as they can muster, and the time of day, and the wind direction, etc. etc. Rather than taking someone else's word for it, the character creates as clear a picture as possible (in his own words) for his mind to fixate on, so as to minimize the necessary energy to achieve the task - a very engineer-esque approach, and one which emphasizes the character's interest in scholarship and broad study. The more he knows about something, the easier it becomes to create a clear picture to work with.
              Last edited by Five Eyes; 11-28-2019, 05:29 AM.


              I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post
                Fair enough.

                As to your proposed Chorister convert - the Order has not, historically, been particularly hesitant to insult mages from other Traditions. Remember, "What mage in any rival Tradition, of whatever skill, can boast the comprehensive knowledge of our least Adept?" Do you think the Order believes a Dreamspeaker or Technocrat, "of whatever skill", knows the first thing about how magick actually works? If a Chorister has been using inadequate magic - little better than the theurgia taught to apprentices - their entire life, don't you need to start from the basics before you can teach them how to do it right?
                Yes, the Order is very full of themselves, which I like. I believe that, and we're on the realm of opinions here, that it depends on the particular mage that is going to affiliate the Order. If he's going to the Order it's because he has at least some of their traits/beliefs. A Chorister that has absolutely nothing in common to the Order would probably not be accepted.
                Now, if he shares some beliefs (maybe angels and demons) and traits (determined,studious) he is going to need just some lessons. The more important thing is how he approach magick. The Chorister would have to lose the begging prayers style and adopt a more passive behavior. The mindset is more important than the instruments.
                So, to answer your question, the ammount of training will depend on the ammount of similarity to the Order that the mage has.
                Nevertheless no Awakened mage would go full training as if a sleeper. If the mage shares 0 traits/belief with the Order he would need to go from the basics (still no goetia nor theurgia though), but would probably bot be accepted.
                This is not the case of this char, that share all the Hermetic mindset and sone instruments. So, I can only deduce that he would receive lessons of the topic I already posted.

                [/quote]
                Why is your example for "non-traditional" Hermetic approaches someone trained in another Tradition altogether and grandfathered in (and even then, she's still an Alchemist!)?
                Why is your example for non-symbolic, non-religious mages a guy who explicitly finds Hermetic ritualism comforting and compatible with his Catholic upbringing?
                These seem like odd choices?[/quote]

                They are examples that the Order is not that rigid about focus. Livia cam from another Tradition and had a more scientific view of her magick, she is more into chemistry than alchemy. She underst the "old art of spiritual transformation" as "science of consciousness altering substances". Just like my mage could see the use of the fifth pentacle of seven moons as nothing more than energy working, psionic effect.
                My point here is that the Order is not that rigid and every Hermetic in it has their own beliefs, which may even be scientific.
                I hold Hermetic Will to be a subset of the Will exercised by all other mages. Compare their criteria for Will to that exercised by other mages - and remember, their criticism isn't that other mages refuse to acknowledge their own Will as the source of power. They say other mages are ill-trained, slavish blunderers - that they're technically, academically, and spiritually backwards. That they beg and plead and surrender their wills to forces outside of themselves. How can servility be Willful? And if it is Willful - then why would the Hermetics, who exult Will above all, sneer at it? If it works, it must be true Will, and yet the Order thinks otherwise. If they had a genuine understanding of what true Will was, why would they denigrate powerful mages (who must necessarily exercise potent Will)? Why would they look down their nose at someone whose Will is provably more true and potent than that of most Hermetics?
                I see. You are right that other Traditions work in a different way and that affect how they use Will.
                However those characteristics (focused, energetic, forceful,etc) are not exclusive to Hermetics. While in general they do have them and other Trads don't, this doesn't means that particular mages cannot have it.
                This is one more reason why my mage would join the Order. They would see that his use of Will is pretty much the same as theirs.

                While chaos magick is about the power of belief, it is most generally achieved by postulating some relationship as a scaffold for the mental energy to work with. The unusual trait of the Practice is the willingness to make up new scaffolds to suit an occasion and to scrap the scaffolding when it's over, and the insistence that no scaffold is in and of itself permanently powerful. The entry for Thought-Forms in M20 (pg 598) gets into this a bit, and the wiki page on chaos magic (or just Spare) isn't too bad as a start. (Spare himself seems to have thought getting fixated on a rigid occult system made your magic weaker, in fact. This is why M20's entry on the Practice talks about ditching instruments if they become "too confining")

                This is what I mean about feeling like it's absent - I don't see any of the Practice's most common expressions. Do you have some other version of the practice in mind? I'm mostly a surface observer, so if there's some other expression of the philosophy you're using as inspiration, let me know.Raising and directing energy can be done Psionically (meditation, sheer willpower) or through Martial Arts (qi gong), so it just seems like a spare Practice for no good reason.
                I know a little about RL Chaos Magick and I see it as "use what fits" as long as you believe it. Not necessarily ditching instruments. So, if it's not a known classic usage of magick it could fit Chaos Magick.
                I added it because I likr Chaos Magick principles, it is very practical and my char do have this practical touch. Also it is related to power in belief instead of in instruments, which also fits. I see that I'm using it more because of his paradigm than his instruments.
                I understand your point, though, and would like suggestions on how to add it to the instruments as listed.

                My partner (who's better-read on Spare and chaos magic than I am) suggested automatic writing as part of the books Instrument - rather than reading a book about the subject the character wants to change, imagine them doing a lengthy free-association session where they write all the scientific and esoteric facts and factors surrounding what it is they want to achieve - for a Forces effect to control the weather, as much meteorological data as they can muster, and the time of day, and the wind direction, etc. etc. Rather than taking someone else's word for it, the character creates as clear a picture as possible (in his own words) for his mind to fixate on, so as to minimize the necessary energy to achieve the task - a very engineer-esque approach, and one which emphasizes the character's interest in scholarship and broad study. The more he knows about something, the easier it becomes to create a clear picture to work with.
                What you mean by automatic writing?

                I loved the idea! I was thinking in adding study as part of Books/Scrolls/Periodics instruments and your explanation fitted perfectly.

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                • #53
                  I sometimes have trouble following all the details of this discussion (my contribution was basically “You should think about how often he hooks up”), but I’m really impressed by how much you guys know about the metaphysical aspects of the game. Not being snarky; 100% sincere.

                  Lord Revan good luck with your character. Let me know how your first game goes.


                  It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done... Sidney Carton’s last line before he goes to the guillotine to save Lucie

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                  • #54
                    I think the reason they mentioned automatic writing specifically was because Spare intended his sigils - the writings he used to focus his desire - to touch his unconscious, rather than conscious mind (He thought the conscious mind couldn't achieve magic, basically.) So the equivalent practice with writing out a text would want to do so with a "stream-of-consciousness" approach, as if the character was freely associating between the various facts they know and ideas they have about a subject, instead of trying to create a rigid, orderly summary of their findings. The goal, after all, isn't to create a document for other people to read, but rather a comprehensive and detailed summary of what the desired spell/effect means to the character themselves. Imagine the difference between writing a detailed description of lightning versus trying to create a document that expresses the idea of Lightning so clearly it lets a mage control Forces.

                    Not sure about other ways to link the Chaos practice without changing the list of Instruments (although I guess the proposed idea would swap out Books in favor of Writing). Maybe some of the Devices the character used during their transitional period (from between when they realized the energy could be directed by humans and the point where they ditched the Instrument) could be tied to it? Metronomes or white noise generators to help with entering a meditative state? I think the issue would be making it clear that the character doesn't use devices to do stuff but rather to help him focus on the stuff his Consciousness is doing.


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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post
                      I think the reason they mentioned automatic writing specifically was because Spare intended his sigils - the writings he used to focus his desire - to touch his unconscious, rather than conscious mind (He thought the conscious mind couldn't achieve magic, basically.) So the equivalent practice with writing out a text would want to do so with a "stream-of-consciousness" approach, as if the character was freely associating between the various facts they know and ideas they have about a subject, instead of trying to create a rigid, orderly summary of their findings. The goal, after all, isn't to create a document for other people to read, but rather a comprehensive and detailed summary of what the desired spell/effect means to the character themselves. Imagine the difference between writing a detailed description of lightning versus trying to create a document that expresses the idea of Lightning so clearly it lets a mage control Forces.
                      They are quite similar. You mean someting more like a sketch notebook with ideas/equations instead of writing an academic book? I prefer to keep books instead writing and add this "study" as part of the instrument.

                      Not sure about other ways to link the Chaos practice without changing the list of Instruments (although I guess the proposed idea would swap out Books in favor of Writing). Maybe some of the Devices the character used during their transitional period (from between when they realized the energy could be directed by humans and the point where they ditched the Instrument) could be tied to it? Metronomes or white noise generators to help with entering a meditative state? I think the issue would be making it clear that the character doesn't use devices to do stuff but rather to help him focus on the stuff his Consciousness is doing.
                      I see. Could an Etherite (or even technocrat) use Chaos Magick? how would that be?

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                      • #56
                        I'm just going to put a massive disclaimer upfront that despite my years and years of fascination with Ascension, I have no actual experience with playing it whatsoever. I have, however, wanted to combine Science with mystic paradigms before. (I keep coming back to the idea of using computer programs to run simulations of complex rituals, in particular.)

                        Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                        I see. Could an Etherite (or even technocrat) use Chaos Magick? how would that be?
                        An Etherite take on Chaos Magic may have potential in one staple of the Mad Scientist archetype, lab accidents that create amazing results but can't be exactly duplicated. The scientist knocks over a piece of lab equipment, uses the wrong chemical solution, or else something breaks in a surprisingly convenient way. It could also manifest as a 'What if I do this?' attitude where the mage ignores various safety protocols in favor is jumping into unplanned experiments on a whim and seeing what happens.

                        The Technocratic Union... frowns upon doing either of those things. Especially since consistent, repeatable results are a central part of their version of science. That doesn't entirely rule out some form of it, however.


                        Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Seraph du Salomon, Voice on the concordance. Unsubtle man reluctantly participating in the business of Magi. Awakening 2E homebrew http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...=1569864567692

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Gryphon's Feather View Post
                          An Etherite take on Chaos Magic may have potential in one staple of the Mad Scientist archetype, lab accidents that create amazing results but can't be exactly duplicated. The scientist knocks over a piece of lab equipment, uses the wrong chemical solution, or else something breaks in a surprisingly convenient way. It could also manifest as a 'What if I do this?' attitude where the mage ignores various safety protocols in favor is jumping into unplanned experiments on a whim and seeing what happens.
                          That's howeverrrrr not quite what Chaos Magick *is* though. Chaos Magick is not just randomness or accidents, despite the probably misleading name.

                          Chaos Magick is, in a way, the magical equivalent of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kun Do - in one way how it just lets you pick 'whatever works for you' in your magical pursuits, but also in another way where it does not stick to any tradition or fixed 'rules' - for Chaotes, the goal and result are what's important.
                          Ironically Chaos Magick is very Purple Paradigm in the way that "Nothing is true, everything is allowed" and the notion of there being no objective truths but only one's belief are literally cornerstones of the practice. But in a fit of turning itself inside-out, several practices of Chaos Magick (usually involving Sigils) actually work by firmly implanting one's intent and will into a sigil - and then doing everything they can to actually forget what the sigil was about in the first place, in order to let the unoccupied mind do its will.

                          Chaos Magick is also very self-paradoxial in the way that the goal is more important than how to get there. Some writings of Chaos Magick advice one, for example, in order to perform a certain belief's ritual as a tool, to *actually* acquire that belief over time. Then perform the rituals interent with it to reach your goal. And then to abandon that belief again for another. If that sounds weird to you, welcome to chaos magick.
                          Other famous writers regarding the practice recommend letting go of any previous beliefs altogether, seeing any established dogma - religion and science - as a hindrance. One might jump in to say "That's so Etherite" but..no, it isn't, as Etherites actually work on establishing their own fixed dogma and theories - something that runs contrary to most Chaos Magick. We don't even need to mention Technocrats.

                          So yeah, welcome to chaos magick. It's paradoxial-in-itself, it is very purple paradigm while advising to dive head-deep into paradigms you want to use as tools, while also advising to just come up with things of your own, and sometimes writers actually contradict each other while also acknowledging each other. Io Chaos.
                          Last edited by Ambrosia; 12-02-2019, 07:03 PM.


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                          • #58
                            Ahh. Sorry for the misunderstanding, then. I'll back out of this conversation for now. (And maybe check out books from a more recent edition.)
                            Last edited by Gryphon's Feather; 12-01-2019, 08:11 PM.


                            Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Seraph du Salomon, Voice on the concordance. Unsubtle man reluctantly participating in the business of Magi. Awakening 2E homebrew http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...=1569864567692

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Lord Revan View Post
                              Could an Etherite (or even technocrat) use Chaos Magick? how would that be?
                              I think it's certainly possible for a technomancer, most often paired with a belief in psychic phenomenon (most obviously, the Psionics Practice.) A technomantic approach could accept the terms used by chaos magicians - there is some form of mental energy which ritual action can tap into - or adopt some of their methods (audio playback, repetitive mantras), as chaos magicians tend to express these in stripped-down or pseudo-scientific terms. Magical approaches based on archetypes would, I think, be less common, except for mages who have dots in Spirit.

                              The Union would take a dim view on the Practice, but it can be reconciled with Tychoidean cosmology fairly well. We might also imagine a Syndicate character who, all things considered, believes in luck, and (being a technocrat), explores the most "practical" and "rational" ritual approach to try and control luck. These would both be ideological outliers, and it's the sort of thing which would keep them from getting promoted - or, in a more severe case, they'd be Conditioned until they renounced their "superstitious" approach. Still, it's in the limits of what you'd expect for a Technocrat PC, as they tend to be more "out there" than the average.


                              I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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                              • #60
                                Ambrosia excellent description of the practice!
                                Note how it is kinda opposite to the classical Hermetic HR user (full of fixed meanings and rigid rules) stereotype, and yet it is in their used practices list.

                                Five Eyes, I can see that this is a very open practice, that almost anyone could use or adapt to their paradigm.
                                Like Ambrosia said, it is completely related to the belief in beliefs (Nothing is true, everything is permitted) and I see that it fits nicely in the char paradigm.

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