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  • Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post

    There are five founding members of the Disparate Alliance, the Batini, the Bata'a, the Ngoma, the Hollow Ones and the Solificati. Everyone else joined afterwards.

    I wasn't referring to the Solificati for potential groups to fill the vacant seat, I was referring to them not being a playable option while the rest of the other Alliance Founders are playable in VAM. In fact, they and the Templars are the only M20 Crafts not in VAM.

    The Sisters of Hippolyta are in VAM, in the Wardens of a World of Magick section of the Craft Chapter.
    Children of Knowledge history portrays this as being one of their big blank spaces in their history including others knowledge of them. They may straight up not have any current practitioners, some later Orphans picking up the identity from past members paradigmatic theorem writings. Most Western alchemists are going to be Hermetics, with the mind bending experimenters also overlapping with the ecstatics.


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    • Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

      Children of Knowledge history portrays this as being one of their big blank spaces in their history including others knowledge of them. They may straight up not have any current practitioners, some later Orphans picking up the identity from past members paradigmatic theorem writings. Most Western alchemists are going to be Hermetics, with the mind bending experimenters also overlapping with the ecstatics.
      Actually their original write-up in the Book of Crafts talks about how while they did go into decline following the Great Betrayal and them leaving the Traditions, becoming the Children of Knowledge, the Industrial Revolution, this era saw them beginning their return. The guilt over the Great Betrayal has not just past but members were realizing that there was more to Heylel's actions, a purpose to it. A notion that would lead to their theory of the Tenth Sphere, Unity.

      M20 doesn't actually contradict that. It talks about how they were around, that while many thought then gone like you suggested, the reality was that they had just gone underground until the 1950s. Which too lines up with the Book of Crafts.

      And admittedly that is the only reason I can think of for not including them, that they are keeping a low profile. But at the same time we're in the middle of their transition phase between the old Solificati of Sorcerer's Crusade to the modern Solificati/Children of Knowledge. Throw in Alchemy's last gasp, the rise of Chemistry and modern recreational drugs, and we have an interesting time for them.

      It's a bit of a shame to exclude them.


      Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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      • Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
        Likely because there are several important variables for the future surrounding the Order that Traditions and Crafts don't have. Namely how successful the Reforms will be and what will be the status of it's future defectors. For the Traditions there's really only who's going to fill the missing Matter Seat and Correspondence Seat should the Batini leave, assuming the SoE and VA aren't available.
        Well TBH, even the OoR FFs that we do have don't have very well written "variables" to explain their courses of actions.

        -The FF for "the OoR and Union split and exist as separate entities" only explains the Grand Faculty and League of Constructors being opposed to each, but gives no context on why the other Blocs/Convention goes to one faction over the other.

        -There's these weird asides about WWI that aren't given any additional context. In "the OoR and Union splits" they mention that their bickering makes WWI worse and possibly start earlier. And in "the Union is super united" they talk about how "improvements to communication and travel" could have helped stop WWI from happening...but gives no further explanation how that works.

        At least it didn't quite go all the way and suggest "if the Union was this united they could have stopped Archduke Ferdinand from being assassinated!"

        -Nvm that we technically already have a bit explaining how the Kopa Loei could take the Seat of Matter (it being badly written aside).

        And even then...I don't think it would eat up that much wordcount.

        Originally posted by History View Post
        Actually it says that at first it took longer for the increasingly more complex iterations, but ultimately the "engine began generating and completing iterations faster than Al-Sharif was able to count". So by the end it was going faster and faster.
        It still shouldn't have taken a long time to process each iteration at all period. It should have been getting faster period, not get slower at first and THEN speed up.

        -------------------------------------------------------------------
        Anyways, done with Crafts chapter.

        -The Hollow Ones write up is bizarre...because this has very little resemblance to the modern day Hollow Ones.

        Retcons for why they're called "Hollow Ones" aside (like seriously, even the M20 core write-up implies them being formed out of the "Lost Generation"...a movement post-WWI, almost TWO DECADES after the Victorian era ended!) the write-up describes a group of working class and low-middle class peoples (which would ironically mean they'd get along with the Brotherhood of Mechanicians) split between Marxists and Theosophists. Which...yeah that's actually a really cool idea to have, essentially, a "privileged ally" Craft. They WANT to help marginalized folks, but they have a hard time seeing past their own inherent biases. But...I do not see the modern day Hollow Ones in this Craft at all.

        The weirdest thing is how much the write-up just...chooses not to say anything about the Romanticism or Gothic movements, two literature movements that were integral foundations to the whole Craft. It *hints* at Romanticism when it mentions how "hollow" they felt at the humdrumness brought about by living in the Industrial Revolution and wanted something more. But it just...doesn't want to put its foot down and actually call it Romanticism. And I...really can't think of any reason why the write-up wouldn't mention that.

        No mention at all of Gothic literature is incredibly weird since...the Victorian era produced some of the most influential Gothic writers of the time. The works of Charles Dickens. Mary Shelley and "Frankenstein"...and Edgar Allen freakin' Poe. So it's weird that this is glossed over in the Hollow One write-ups.

        Naturally the write-up does not say anything about how the Victorian Hollow Ones transitioned into the modern day incarnation.

        -The Sisters and Bata'a write-ups I do like how it acknowledges that bigotry and prejudice within progressive movements is a Thing that happens, and that it's an issue that they have to confront. That I can definitely dig on getting into the messy and complicated nuances of progressive movements. Way more then I can buy the idea of VM-Dreamspeakers being...unanimous and united at combating colonialism and don't see an issue with a bunch of them being of completely different races or cultures.

        -I mean, we have the Comanche Puha right there, as a Native American Craft, that specifically refused to join the DSs.

        -...yeah I can accept the Wulong being a victim of their own arrogance and not initially taking the intrusion of Western empires into China seriously, lol.

        -Conversely, while I'm glad "Jidai" (terrible name) is there...still annoyed we don't really have an officially written up mystical Japanese Craft.
        Last edited by tasti man LH; 03-19-2021, 04:16 AM.

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        • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
          Well TBH, even the OoR FFs that we do have don't have very well written "variables" to explain their courses of actions.

          -The FF for "the OoR and Union split and exist as separate entities" only explains the Grand Faculty and League of Constructors being opposed to each, but gives no context on why the other Blocs/Convention goes to one faction over the other.

          -There's these weird asides about WWI that aren't given any additional context. In "the OoR and Union splits" they mention that their bickering makes WWI worse and possibly start earlier. And in "the Union is super united" they talk about how "improvements to communication and travel" could have helped stop WWI from happening...but gives no further explanation how that works.

          At least it didn't quite go all the way and suggest "if the Union was this united they could have stopped Archduke Ferdinand from being assassinated!"
          Those are side boxes, they're not meant to be a detailed explanation on how these things turn out, especially when we're dealing with potential alternate timelines that themselves will depend on the individual table playing. They left that stuff vague because they that with alternate timelines and histories, most Players and Storytellers are going to want to craft them on their own.

          As for the other Conventions in the divided Union outcome, they put the other rival factions against each other. Everyone who knows the Technocracy knows that the NWO and Syndicate have been rivals. Even in VM there's signs of that future rivalry. In a timeline where things got worse for the Order, it's not hard to see it emerge earlier. By that same token, while the Seekers and CM are close if we're dealing with a worse timeline it's not hard imagine that the growing divides in the other Conventions/Blocs would affect them.

          After all in the Rev Ed CBs, there's plenty of talk of a Technocratic Civil War born out of the NWO/Syn rivalry and which Conventions would side with who if it happened.

          -The Hollow Ones write up is bizarre...because this has very little resemblance to the modern day Hollow Ones.

          Retcons for why they're called "Hollow Ones" aside (like seriously, even the M20 core write-up implies them being formed out of the "Lost Generation"...a movement post-WWI, almost TWO DECADES after the Victorian era ended!) the write-up describes a group of working class and low-middle class peoples (which would ironically mean they'd get along with the Brotherhood of Mechanicians) split between Marxists and Theosophists. Which...yeah that's actually a really cool idea to have, essentially, a "privileged ally" Craft. They WANT to help marginalized folks, but they have a hard time seeing past their own inherent biases. But...I do not see the modern day Hollow Ones in this Craft at all.

          The weirdest thing is how much the write-up just...chooses not to say anything about the Romanticism or Gothic movements, two literature movements that were integral foundations to the whole Craft. It *hints* at Romanticism when it mentions how "hollow" they felt at the humdrumness brought about by living in the Industrial Revolution and wanted something more. But it just...doesn't want to put its foot down and actually call it Romanticism. And I...really can't think of any reason why the write-up wouldn't mention that.
          Honestly the idea that modern Hollow Ones are wrong about their origins doesn't affect me. They've always been a disorganized, mercurial Craft, ever changing with the times. Same with them being different in their beliefs from their modern kin. We're dealing with an era of dramatic change, for Sleepers and Awakened alike. A number of Awakened groups are not going to be the same at the end of the age as they were at the start.

          No mention at all of Gothic literature is incredibly weird since...the Victorian era produced some of the most influential Gothic writers of the time. The works of Charles Dickens. Mary Shelley and "Frankenstein"...and Edgar Allen freakin' Poe. So it's weird that this is glossed over in the Hollow One write-ups.

          Naturally the write-up does not say anything about how the Victorian Hollow Ones transitioned into the modern day incarnation.
          While I do somewhat agree with you on these points, I also think that it's because those are in line with the modern Hollow Ones we know and they're trying to flesh other factions of the era that we wouldn't really know about.
          Last edited by AkatsukiLeader13; 03-19-2021, 05:16 PM.


          Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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          • Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post


            Honestly the idea that modern Hollow Ones are wrong about their origins doesn't affect.
            ok, but why? What does making these groups the “Hollow Ones” instead of keeping that name an Elliot reference and having Victorian era original groups add?


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            • Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

              ok, but why? What does making these groups the “Hollow Ones” instead of keeping that name an Elliot reference and having Victorian era original groups add?
              Well for starters it's purely personal for me as like I said, the modern Hollow Ones being mistaken about their origins doesn't affect me. Again, they're a disorganized, mercurial Craft, changing with the times.

              Second, the Victorian Hollow Ones still fill a lot of the same niches as their modern counterparts. Bored, jaded, dissatisfied or nihilistic people, DIY Occultists, Counter Culture, etc. Even the reframing of Hollow One name to refer to the dissatisfaction and emptiness felt by lower class people in this changing, industrializing world is in keeping with themes of the modern Craft, at least for me anyway.

              Yeah, they did strangely downplay the Gothic and Romantic ideas born of the era that would go on to influence them but the stuff they did focus on are other things that also would be completely up the Hollow Ones alley and are consistent things across the Victorian Age.

              Plus it gives Hollow One players a bit more to work with by adding things like the occult societies of the age and Worker and Socialist aspects to them.


              Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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              • Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                Those are side boxes, they're not meant to be a detailed explanation on how these things turn out, especially when we're dealing with potential alternate timelines that themselves will depend on the individual table playing. They left that stuff vague because they that with alternate timelines and histories, most Players and Storytellers are going to want to craft them on their own.
                ...except some of them DO give out detailed information.

                The FF that talks about Etherites staying with the Union lists out the steps that lead to the series of events that leads to the Kopa Loei taking the Seat of Matter. The actual content of the writing isn't very good, but in terms of structure and wordcount that can be realistically devoted to a sidebar leaves me inclined to think they could have gone into more detail and still be concise.

                As is, we're left with a half-written FF that's not really that useful on its own.
                As for the other Conventions in the divided Union outcome, they put the other rival factions against each other. Everyone who knows the Technocracy knows that the NWO and Syndicate have been rivals. Even in VM there's signs of that future rivalry. In a timeline where things got worse for the Order, it's not hard to see it emerge earlier. By that same token, while the Seekers and CM are close if we're dealing with a worse timeline it's not hard imagine that the growing divides in the other Conventions/Blocs would affect them.

                After all in the Rev Ed CBs, there's plenty of talk of a Technocratic Civil War born out of the NWO/Syn rivalry and which Conventions would side with who if it happened.
                Where are you getting that from? Because within the VM text itself, I'm not getting that.

                So far I've found: Lightkeepers getting annoyed at the Invisible Exchequers for taking credit of the US transcontinental railroad...then them having begrudging respect for the IE on how they handle finances. And we also have the Syndicate described as being happy to employ Skeleton Keys on debt collection and thief-catching. If anything, of the Conventions/Blocs they do have an issue with includes: LKs thinking the CM and EE is wasting time and money on frivolous projects, or the SKs pissing off the BoM and EEs for their involvement in worker strike busts.

                I at least broadly understand Grand Faculty vs League of Constructors being disagreeing on Theory vs Application. But Syndicate vs IT/NWO? Not seeing it here. And while I'll concede that going back to the text, that it does have context on CMs siding with the Syndicate: that due to IT/NWO not taking their ventures seriously but Syndicate does...but that through line is not referenced in the sidebar itself. I had to play detective just to find that connection. And frankly, your book is not laid out well if you need to flip back and forth between pages because the information and context is not where it should be.

                Even then...that's bad form to expect incoming players and STs picking up this book, especially if they're brand new to Mage, to just...know the context delivered in past books.

                Honestly the idea that modern Hollow Ones are wrong about their origins doesn't affect me. They've always been a disorganized, mercurial Craft, ever changing with the times. Same with them being different in their beliefs from their modern kin. We're dealing with an era of dramatic change, for Sleepers and Awakened alike. A number of Awakened groups are not going to be the same at the end of the age as they were at the start.

                While I do somewhat agree with you on these points, I also think that it's because those are in line with the modern Hollow Ones we know and they're trying to flesh other factions of the era that we wouldn't really know about.
                I don't buy that, simply because the writing of the Hollow Ones write-up isn't really explicit that it's an in-character, unreliable narrator. And again, their write-up making no reference to how they transition into their modern day form doesn't help this. I do appreciate VM fleshing out other factions...but I do not prefer them muddying the waters with past factions in a way that I honestly don't think anyone really asked for.

                If this was Changeling I'd be more accepting of it via "the Mists did it!", but it's not.

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                • Anyways more Stretch goals.

                  $90k: Art budget increase

                  $95k: ...more VTT tokens and assets.

                  Ok is there some wider context that I'm missing? Is VTT really that hugely popular right now to justify having Stretch Goals this late into the campaign for? Especially with Mage/WoD, with my read being that they're the games that are...not exactly my first choice when it comes to tactical combat simulation, at least on par with D&D?

                  Because...speaking for myself, I don't ever see myself using VTT at all with Mage/WoD.

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                  • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                    Ok is there some wider context that I'm missing? Is VTT really that hugely popular right now to justify having Stretch Goals this late into the campaign for? Especially with Mage/WoD, with my read being that they're the games that are...not exactly my first choice when it comes to tactical combat simulation, at least on par with D&D?
                    WoD was the 7th most popular setting/rules set on Roll20 in quarter 4 of 2020, and the 9th largest for growth, according to the stats Roll20 released. So suggest that VTT is popular and growing.

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                    • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                      Ok is there some wider context that I'm missing? Is VTT really that hugely popular right now to justify having Stretch Goals this late into the campaign for? Especially with Mage/WoD, with my read being that they're the games that are...not exactly my first choice when it comes to tactical combat simulation, at least on par with D&D?

                      Because...speaking for myself, I don't ever see myself using VTT at all with Mage/WoD.
                      Nearly all gaming people have done in the past year has been virtual, so it's a good idea for us to support that play style.

                      It might not be your thing in particular, and that's fine, but it would be foolish of us not to be aware of the general trend.


                      Ian A. A. Watson
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                      • I just really hope we’re getting more Mage group info woven into the Gazateer chapter, because as it stands, House Tharsis for example is spoken of in terms of being significant to the plot of the era and we know literally nothing about them (or very very little if you have the Revised Order of Hermes book).


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                        • Originally posted by IanWatson View Post

                          Nearly all gaming people have done in the past year has been virtual, so it's a good idea for us to support that play style.

                          It might not be your thing in particular, and that's fine, but it would be foolish of us not to be aware of the general trend.
                          But will it still be a thing when the book comes out in what 2 years?

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                          • Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post

                            But will it still be a thing when the book comes out in what 2 years?
                            I highly presume that not a small amount of people actually found new groups and friends online over the last year or so - not just connecting to their RL friends.
                            So yeah, I personally think the overall amount of online RP happening will have increased.
                            But I might be biased. I've been RPing online since the early 2000's


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                            • Finished reading Chapter 5 and considering this and some things I've skimmed from reading ahead...

                              I get the distinct impression that at some point, VM WAS intended to be a standalone corebook comparable to DAV20. But then the decision was made to turn it into just a historical setting book...but they didn't remove all the artifacts of being a standalone corebook all the way.

                              It's one thing to break down how the various Traits like Abilities and Backgrounds operate differently in this time period (which, yeah I'm fine with that). But to go as far as...explaining how to make a character concept? Or a deep dive in the Spark of Life section? That seems unnecessary with a book that's supposed to be just a historical era supplement. And of the stuff in the Character Concept and Spark of Life devotes way too much wordcount to explaining it in its most basic sense: either retreading how M20 core explains it, or as something that players and STs could have deduced themselves, and too little wordcount to explain how the Character Concept or Spark of Life would be different in Victorian era versus modern day M20. It'd be one thing if this was a standalone corebook and be understandable if the expectation was to only run a VM chronicle using just this book...but it isn't.

                              Another glaring element being that it even does structure a character creation process, step by step, and yet with the Attributes and Abilities steps, just points you towards M20 core.

                              And in general I am disappointed that there isn't anything in the way of brand new Abilities, Backgrounds, Merits, or Flaws.

                              (no, no I do not count the "Well-Rounded" Merit, because all that does is provide an alternative to the regular "Well-Skilled Craftsmen" rule)

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                              • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post

                                The Zulu mechanists are all well and good; but the interesting thing about the Awalaye and Wamukamwami is that they were technomancers, too; and not in reaction to the Order the way the Zulu mechanists were. One of them was described as knowing secrets about the Ether that the Electrodyne Engineers didn't know, and that being a be sufficient reason why the EEs were pissed that the Void Seekers attacked them. Central Africans, technomancers, and technomancers in their own right rather than as a response to the Union. I really don't see why they weren't given a write-up of their own.
                                Sources on the Awalaye and Wamukamwami?


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