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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    An interesting development is that The Operative's Dossier now gives (optional) rules for the process of changing a Reality Zone; and it's not easy. So we now see just how impressive the feat was that the early Technocracy pulled off.
    That sounds seriously useful.

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    • #17
      The first troupe I played with wasn't very mature and neither was I. They concluded that the strategy in Mage consists of, "Kill the Technomancer, steal his Node. Get Quintessence. Rinse and repeat.". When you present the players with patrolling Black Suits out to enforce a fascist paradigm as the thing they must anticipate, thing get really simple.

      Someone in a Unity tutorial vide demonstrated how to create an active hex map for a Civilization-like game. I considered making "Node Wars" as an exercise. Shifting Reality Zones could be expressed as a Culture or Loyalty mechanic where cities flip from one empire or the other, which adds some appeal to the idea. The Mage to sleeper ratio used by one of the hosts of Mage The Podcast is 1 per five million. Using that ratio, mapping nodes of significance to cities is logical. This was only something briefly considered as a self-teaching exercise and I vastly prefer writing characters and stories with in-depth strategic concerns.


      Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
        The first troupe I played with wasn't very mature and neither was I. They concluded that the strategy in Mage consists of, "Kill the Technomancer, steal his Node. Get Quintessence. Rinse and repeat.". When you present the players with patrolling Black Suits out to enforce a fascist paradigm as the thing they must anticipate, thing get really simple.
        And this neatly sums up my problem with the surprisingly black-and-white morality I've been seeing in several of the recent M20 books, definitely including Victorian Mage: such an approach lends itself to straightforward “punch Hitler in the face” plots, but doesn't leave much room for thought-provoking storytelling.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
          And this neatly sums up my problem with the surprisingly black-and-white morality I've been seeing in several of the recent M20 books, definitely including Victorian Mage: such an approach lends itself to straightforward “punch Hitler in the face” plots, but doesn't leave much room for thought-provoking storytelling.
          With the ability to be extend their biological lifespans, body-hop or reincarnate, mages from various parts of history can continue to exist in the setting. With those setting assumptions, you can write characters from your favorite time period into the modern day. I don't understand why the Second Worlds War would be the favorite period from which to draw for most storytellers. At least, I don't relate to it.

          As a young kid, I remember walking on the bicycle path when my old neighborhood still had uncut forest to look at. An American neo-fascist group had recently made a trip to Canada, stapling their nonsense to telephone polls. I found one such leaflet that had been torn off and left on the ground. I put in the garbage.

          When we were transitioning from a resource extraction and export economy to a scientific one, we relied on the (then) 11 to 1 population ratio between nations to kickstart our universities, America Professors still making up a significant part of our post secondary institutions today. We are very much aware of the fact that small groups who picked the losing side of history still linger in the United States.

          Like teaching positions in the Humanities, fiction authorship is a convenient platform from which to raise awareness about what one regards as an important problem.


          Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post



            Like teaching positions in the Humanities, fiction authorship is a convenient platform from which to raise awareness about what one regards as an important problem.

            The issue begins when the desire of an author to make an existing game about their current pet real world problem is that it denature said game.

            Mage is about a conflict of ideals, of shades of grays, of hubris and questions of legitimity, of the nature of truth.

            Not "fight the fascists"

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Nyremne View Post


              The issue begins when the desire of an author to make an existing game about their current pet real world problem is that it denature said game.

              Mage is about a conflict of ideals, of shades of grays, of hubris and questions of legitimity, of the nature of truth.

              Not "fight the fascists"
              I quite agree. I was just reflecting on the perspective of those who emphasize such themes. The thing they are pointing to exists. We just disagree with them on the size of it. Like, I'm quite concerned about all of the methane previously trapped under Arctic Ice that wants to get loose and party, come Summer, annually. Neo-fascism falls well below Arctic Methane on my worry list.

              As for villains and antagonists in my Mage Chronicle, where they fall on the political spectrum has little to do with why they are a threat to the PCs.


              Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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              • #22
                Honestly the problem is that we've had years of growth and development for the Technocracy and MtAs as a whole. To go back to the bad old days of early 1E basically renders all the history and material that came out since the start of the line irrelevant.

                Unfortunately one of the reasons why I fear for M5 and the Technocracy is that plenty of non-OPP devs working on 5E seem to kind of want to retreat to the early days of WoD despite the fact that the lines have grown and matured. I can kind of understand wanting to strip away some of that because it could be daunting for newcomers but some of decisions and executions have been extremely questionable. Frankly it's left me extremely it's left me extremely doubtful towards any 5E project not being handled by OPP.

                And the truly frustrating thing is that there is a Mage group that would be ideally suited to be manipulating and using the Alt-Right and other similar Conspiracy Lunatics, the Nephandi. It would be a great tool to undermine the Technocracy's grip on the world while also making them think the Traditions are behind this and vice versa. A Technocrat sees the anti-Science, anti-Government and general irrationality of the Alt-Right and would likely think that their old enemies, the Traditions are behind them. Hell, with their denials about the Pandemic and vaccines, I could see the Progenitors screaming to restart to Pogrom over it. At the same time, a Tradition Mage will look at Alt-Right bigotry and crypto-Fascism as a Technocrat ploy to create authoritarian state. Both blame their old hated rivals and gear up to fight while the Nephandi laugh in the shadows.

                And that's not factoring in things like the Nephandi's general love of corrupting things and spreading pain and misery.


                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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                • #23
                  Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                  And the truly frustrating thing is that there is a Mage group that would be ideally suited to be manipulating and using the Alt-Right and other similar Conspiracy Lunatics, the Nephandi. It would be a great tool to undermine the Technocracy's grip on the world while also making them think the Traditions are behind this and vice versa. A Technocrat sees the anti-Science, anti-Government and general irrationality of the Alt-Right and would likely think that their old enemies, the Traditions are behind them.
                  It's comparable to a cult. Actually, you could class it as a political cult for the purpose of coming up with descriptive writing for your game prep. They might have a foolproof method for expansion that fits with the Nephandi's sadistic and ruinous MO. I would call this, "Frame, Recruit, Unframe.". A group of charming alt-cultists approach some socially isolated stranger and befriend them, saying nothing about their views. They invite them out for a night on the town, making sure to generate photographic evidence of their association.

                  Then, they use the internet to Frame the target as belonging to their cult. This has the effect of compounding the target's previous social isolation, as everyone they know disassociates from them. The alt-cultists let time to go by to allow the target to completely bottom out.

                  At the lowest point in the victim's life, they offer them opportunities in a growing free-thinking movement - "We have this news outlet...". They Recruit them.

                  If the victim accepts, the alt-cultists Unframe them, clearing their name so they can assist in plans for societal infiltration.

                  Add a Fallen Virtual Adept and you have a challenging and devious gang for the PCs to deal with.

                  So, there, I guess that is how I would run neo-fascists as antagonists.

                  Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                  Hell, with their denials about the Pandemic and vaccines, I could see the Progenitors screaming to restart to Pogrom over it.
                  Everyone I know is so sick of masks and lockdowns, my players included, that nobody wants to play in a setting in which we would be forced to relive it all again. In a thread a few years ago, I posed the question about how many members' troupes play in a timeline that excludes the pandemic. The general feedback indicated that most troupes exclude it.

                  Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                  At the same time, a Tradition Mage will look at Alt-Right bigotry and crypto-Fascism as a Technocrat ploy to create authoritarian state. Both blame their old hated rivals and gear up to fight while the Nephandi laugh in the shadows.

                  And that's not factoring in things like the Nephandi's general love of corrupting things and spreading pain and misery.
                  Picture this. A Fallen Virtual Adept obtains Syndicate - Media Control's internal documents, proving they suppress certain truths. The Fallen Adept then arms his alt-cultist friends with the proof. The cultists simply publish the information, taking credit for uncovering it. This puts media watchdogs in a tough position; give credit to a harmful group for unearthing evidence about systematic suppression of information or say that it is made up, letting Media Control off the hook forever.


                  Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                    As a young kid, I remember walking on the bicycle path when my old neighborhood still had uncut forest to look at. An American neo-fascist group had recently made a trip to Canada, stapling their nonsense to telephone polls. I found one such leaflet that had been torn off and left on the ground. I put in the garbage.
                    Half a dozen clows inflating their egos by cosplaying SS toy soldiers of Hitler is NOT a REAL world problem. If you think that fighting "fascism" is important, you simply think that is important to fight an imaginary boogieman.

                    There are no nazis bellow de bed.

                    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                    When we were transitioning from a resource extraction and export economy to a scientific one, we relied on the (then) 11 to 1 population ratio between nations to kickstart our universities, America Professors still making up a significant part of our post secondary institutions today. We are very much aware of the fact that small groups who picked the losing side of history still linger in the United States.

                    Like teaching positions in the Humanities, fiction authorship is a convenient platform from which to raise awareness about what one regards as an important problem.
                    Nobody should use their autority as educators to indoctrinate kids into whatever ideological blind view they have. What teachers do is an immorality.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                      Honestly the problem is that we've had years of growth and development for the Technocracy and MtAs as a whole. To go back to the bad old days of early 1E basically renders all the history and material that came out since the start of the line irrelevant.

                      Unfortunately one of the reasons why I fear for M5 and the Technocracy is that plenty of non-OPP devs working on 5E seem to kind of want to retreat to the early days of WoD despite the fact that the lines have grown and matured. I can kind of understand wanting to strip away some of that because it could be daunting for newcomers but some of decisions and executions have been extremely questionable. Frankly it's left me extremely it's left me extremely doubtful towards any 5E project not being handled by OPP.

                      And the truly frustrating thing is that there is a Mage group that would be ideally suited to be manipulating and using the Alt-Right and other similar Conspiracy Lunatics, the Nephandi. It would be a great tool to undermine the Technocracy's grip on the world while also making them think the Traditions are behind this and vice versa. A Technocrat sees the anti-Science, anti-Government and general irrationality of the Alt-Right and would likely think that their old enemies, the Traditions are behind them. Hell, with their denials about the Pandemic and vaccines, I could see the Progenitors screaming to restart to Pogrom over it. At the same time, a Tradition Mage will look at Alt-Right bigotry and crypto-Fascism as a Technocrat ploy to create authoritarian state. Both blame their old hated rivals and gear up to fight while the Nephandi laugh in the shadows.

                      And that's not factoring in things like the Nephandi's general love of corrupting things and spreading pain and misery.
                      What's crypto-fascism?

                      Anyway, the same could be said about left-wing ideologies... SEVERAL of them. The socialists are just as bigoted, just as anti-science and just as totalitarians - if not more - than the far right.

                      The "Antifas" for example are among the WORSE kinds of REAL fascists that there are in society today.

                      Be that as it may, I would rather not have any of this idiotic ideological nonsense from either side on my Mage games, thanks a lot

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                      • #26
                        Is Jack the Ripper a canonical character?


                        Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                          Is Jack the Ripper a canonical character?
                          Hinted, only.

                          IIRC Jack exists or existed in the setting, confirmed, but nothing else was ever established about "him", by design.


                          #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                          #AutismPride
                          She/her pronouns

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                            Hinted, only.

                            IIRC Jack exists or existed in the setting, confirmed, but nothing else was ever established about "him", by design.

                            Would be fun if the killer had been female all along. More fun if she were a Life Mage who is alive today.


                            Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                            • #29
                              The WoD premisse is that of a hidden conspiracy, or rather saying, instead of one there are several, and while they absolutely do no strive to achieve the same goals, they do aim at the same purpose of keeping secrecy; sure enough, there are those that would want to destroy the secrecy, while others simply have no choice. Changellings and Werewolves for example remain hidden not by choice, but because of their very "magical" nature, as do Wraiths too. In the case of Changellings, the thing they'd want more than anything would be exactly to destroy this secrecy.

                              For Vampires, they want to keep the "Mask", thus they are one of those forces striving to keep the hidden world, hidden.

                              Enters Mage. The thing about Mage is that, Mages have no interest in keeping this hidden world. On the opposite, they want to rule from up high in their Ivory Towers, like in ol'good days.

                              Thus comes the idea of the Technocracy, the "rulers of the world", who are basically a "regulatory agency" tasked with keeping this hidden world. Without the Technocracy there's no World of Darkness, we go from "Hidden Conspiracy Urban Fantasy" theme which is WoD to just simply "Urban Fantasy" like Shadowrun.

                              So, the Technocracy gets inspiration from MiB, Men in Black, who is a conspiracy to keep aliens from the knowledge of the masses.

                              But it also gets inspiration from the Illuminatis, who is a real life conspiracy from Bavaria turned into modern conspiracy theory lunacy (the bavarian Illuminatis wanted to influence bavarian politics and were gone in the 19th century, they do not control the world from the shadows), but also mixed with real world Masonry and with elements from the book 1984.

                              The MiB references are clear in the suits from the NWM. The illuminati references are clear in - for example, the "New World Order" itself, which is a direct reference to modern day conspiracy theories referring to "illuminati activity", that claims that "Globalists", ie politicians, businessmen, intellectuals and artists, seek to create a One World Government. That's the part that ties in with the 1984 book, where society is controlled by a totalitarian one party in every aspects of it, under the iron fist of the "Big Brother", which is a fiction created to control the people.

                              It is important to note that 1984 was written as a critique of the Soviet Union, and that Socialism and Fascism, by the end of the day, are pretty much the same thing with just slight differences. We need only to remember that Mussolini began his career as a public figure by being a fanatic socialist and editor of the far left italian newspaper "Avanti!" (which means "foward", so he was a "progressive" in the most strict sense of the word).

                              Now, WoD solved the problem of the "hidden world" with the Union. If you try stupid games (like summoning Cthulhu in the middle of London), the black suits will smash your head with divine fury.

                              I do have another problem thou: human history.

                              It makes sense all the wars and atrocities over history. Im a biologist, and I say: tribalism, the origin of all bigotry and prejudice, was ESSENTIAL to our pre-historic survival.

                              Evolution selected us to be tribals. And the reason is simple: a human group who were too nice with outsiders incurred the risk of having their throats sliced in their sleep by other cavemen starving to death and looking to steal their food.

                              Thus, we evolved to develop empathy towards our similars but to HATE the different.

                              Besides that fact, resources are scarce. Therefore, between the choice of letting my tribe starve to death or slaughter the neighbor tribe to take their food, every one of our ancestors had no pause in murdering their rivals.

                              Fast foward some thousands of years. Empires MADE SENSE. Having a powerful Empire was the difference between have the scarce resources you need to survive - and perhaps even a "few" luxuries along the way - and being protected from agression from your neighbors, and being squashed like a bug at the hands of outsiders.

                              That's why brits, french, russians, chinese, japanese, bantus, incans, aztecs, mauryans, persians, that's why ALL big civilizations trampled their neighbors.

                              That however do NOT make sense when you have a hidden ultra powerful magik conspiracy controlling all those civilizations from behind the curtains like puppeteers.

                              If the Technocracy (or Order of Reason) controls both Brits and French, the Napoleonic Wars were just a insanely inhuman carnage and a huge waste of resources.

                              If the Technocracy controls the prussian Kaiser, the russian Czar, the british parlament and the french congress, WW1 has NO explanation whatsoever.

                              And if the Technocracy do NOT control those, the game doesnt make sense. They control reality and how the masses think but dont control governments? Comon.

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                              • #30
                                This historical problem for the Union is due to the fact that they were designed based on conspiracy theories of the 90's. They werent created thinking on historical terms - which is why they are an idea that doesnt make sense when applied to the past.

                                The way I deal with it is to have the apex of the Order of Reason be during the age of Illuminism - and the reason for it is pretty obvious.

                                After Iluminism, in my game world, the Order of Reason controls... Well, pretty much everything. And the Traditions and any others become just a fringe nuisance, yes enemies, yes causing problems, yes fighting, but unable to cause any real harm to the Order.

                                Thus, without a real force that could truly put up a resistance against the Order of Reason's grab on reality, the Order begins to fight itself over for supremacy and control. So, basically they divide themselves by States.

                                That would also be the origin of the Nation-States, that came in the aftermath of the French Revolution - in actuallity, those would be the "Feuds" or "Empires" of the factions of the Order. And each faction believed that THEY should be the ones to unify the world under a single Empire - which is why those empires of the Order would be constantly fighting.

                                The Franco-Prussian War would be the point of reestructure of the Order, and the formal creation of the modern Technocratic Union. The several National factions of the Order joined to put an end on the conflicts and, instead of trying to devour the other factions in order to unify the world as a single Empire under one banner (the victorious banner), they would instead return to the origins of their purpose of supressing the monsters in the Shadows.

                                This more or less worked and the different national factions of the Order did indeed cooperate for several decades and there was this period of relative peace without major wars for a while, but that wouldnt last. The american Technocratic faction went to war with the spanish faction, the japanese with the russians, in China the Imperial Mages who had pledged themselves to the Technocratic cause were divided between several warlords and many other problems were bubbling. In Europe the French and Russian factions were getting increasily paranoid about the german faction outstanding progress, and the technocratic ministers of the Kaiser began to revive the old ideas of implementing a single world Empire under their guidance.

                                Thus WW1 happens. In Russia, there's a "Technocratic Civil War". Yes, that's right. In my games, the old masons were hunted from the Order of Reason, that's right, but never exterminated. They hided inside the Order. And in the early 20th century in Russia, they saw their opportunity to rise from the shadows. Sure thing, they were no longer "the Masons", but just intellectual descendants. The few Masons remaining went to the other Conventions, and over time became simply a small conspiracy inside the conspiracy.

                                They supported and spread the ideas of Karl Marx, thus creating a Marxist fringe movement inside the Technocratic Union.

                                When the revolution broke out on Russia, this group ceased control, and copied all the Conventions of the Union in their faction, but with heavy mason/marxist influence.

                                WW2 is more or less the same, german and japanese Technocrats manipulated by nefandic influencies fighting the rest of the world.

                                And the Cold War became the "Mason" Technocracy fighting against the modern version of "Empirial" Technocracy.

                                And this new Cold War 2 against China and Russia is more like the old 19th century. The old "Marxist" Technocrats lost all their ideologies and now seek only power and control, and more or less the same on the Nato side. Unlike Cold War 1 where the 2 technocratic major factions were fighting over a worldview, now they fight only for power.

                                Anyway, that's how I do in my games. It may seem that the Traditions are pushed to be a small note on history, but it actually creates awesome games, because playing a Traditionalist Mage makes you part of this world instead of being just a rebel, since you can capitalize on the cracks of the Union.

                                For example, religious freedom, first in the USA but later on over most of the democracies in the world, has been a major victory from the Traditions, an agreement with the Union in the USA that gave the american faction a lot of power by making peace with the Traditions.

                                And in my games, the war Traditions x Technocracy is a lot more about influence than extermination. As long as you dont try to break the rules, you can try to push your ideas.

                                That's also a lot easier to deal with for the Technocrats than open war.

                                And on some occasions, they even unite. For example, in my games, Putin's Russian Technocrats are now allied with the Russian Traditionalists to fight the Democratic Factions of the Tecnocracy - after decades of pogroms at the hands of the Sovietic Technos.

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