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  • Materials about communism/socialism in Mage: The Ascension scenario

    Hi, folks. Well, does anyone know if in the materials of Mage The Ascension there is any mention of socialist experiences or communism of the last century and the relationship of these historical events with Traditions and/or Technocracy? I don't know if there is this type of material or mention in the Mage books, but if there is, please let me know.

    Thanks.

  • Aleph
    replied
    monteparnas : Oh, well, yeah. I agree with all of that. I misunderstood.

    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    most of it is elaboration to try and get across how I view the issue, in order to avoid further misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions. The main point that I was making is that EFs aren't the nuclear option that you make them out to be.
    But to make that point you need to adress why *I* called them the nuclear option. Otherwise we're talking about different things, and you're just playing with the words to make my statement something that it very clearly wasn't when taken in it's context.

    I made very clear in previous posts what the context was (The whole "Divine Mandate" thing), and it shouldn't be necessary to repeat. Generalizing: If X is Vulgar and that won't change by belief, it's exactly the problem that makes me call it the "Nuclear Option".

    Why?: Because this is a game about "belief changing reality", that uses this basic priciple to generate a whole fantasy setting where mythical creatures and magical paces could have been commonplace in the past ... but now you have something that ain't going to change using that logic.

    See how that effectively inverts the meaning from what you highlighted?
    Um, no?. I don't see it. Or rather, I see it as the other side of the same coin that I called "the nuclear option" (and a side that isn't particularly relevant)

    "Mages aren't limited by Earthly Foundations any more than they are limited by any other aspect of a Reality Zone. Something that's Coincidental because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Coincidental as something that's Coincidental for other reasons.Mages have no ability to directly alter a Reality Zone anyway. That is, there is no magick that a mage can perform that will change whether something is Coincidental or Vulgar. That is solely the purview of the Consensus, and possibly Marauders."

    How is this a real disagreement?

    Mages work with the Consensus because there are no way of altering RZ, and altering RZ it's the way of making something Vulgar or Coincident. Making something Coincidental because of an EF it's as much of a Nuclear Option as the other way arround. It's something that's going to be Coincident pretty much forever (In a game where Mages figthing for the Consensus to change this kind of thing it's one of the most basic premises)

    Everything you've said just confirms my belief. The parts I higligthed in the other post just happened to be relevant to my point about the "Divine Right", because obviously that one isn't going to be "Coincident because an EF"

    Correct. EFs are the most compelling evidence that they aren't the same thing
    Curiously, I've interpreted this the opposite way:

    If you draw a map sepparating it in zones to represent each country, the places that belong to no country would be delineated too - effectively making them zones of "no man's land". We could say that before countries existed, there was only one big "zone" (the land). We can't say that the countries "created" the land (and it doesn't "vanish" when a country takes over) BUT - still - that doesn't mean zones aren't being drawn by looking at the countries, that what's significative here - as far as zonification goes - are the countries, and the rest it's the "empty" space

    Precisely because the only zone that doesn't have a local Consensus it's one of "baseline reality", I think zones are formed by the local consensus. It's, never said better: The exception that confirms the rule.

    Or, rahter, that's how I've interpreted things.

    I could easily get behind your theory, however...because it could be the way things are, and it does explain a lot of other unrelated things that have nothing to do with this post nor with my previous point

    But I'm peeved: I'm left with the impression that this whole "ackshually" situation doesn't come from anything the book "ackshually" clearly states, and I've missed, that can be easily quoted - but rather because I'm using terminology in a way that doesn't conform to your own overaching interpretation about the truth of the universe (as valid as it may be).

    I'm backing out from this argument because it's an offtopic on top of a (closer) offtopic. We shouldn't be defining these overaching themes here, and I'm unconvinced it's relevant for the topic. If you clarified something for someone, congrats!
    Last edited by Aleph; 09-04-2021, 10:19 AM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Of course, all that changes if and when you discover the 10th sphere of Telos. (Half joking. That final scenario for MRev that featured Telos only made sense because Magick developed a sense of judgment and started rewarding and punishing people accordingly. Short of something like that, Magick is amoral.)

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
    DataweaverI think that monteparnas point was that between some of this being the interference of supernatural creatures and some of this being outruled by EF, Kings weren't really capable of influencing this sort of "divine providence" in mage universe (or at least not because of the Consensus).
    Actually my point was that it didn't mattered in the long run. I do think the Consensus could make a king be able to affect the weather. Or, to be precise with the belief in question, that the Consensus would bring all sorts of good fortune for the land of a king with a Divine Right.

    But the fine details of it run into other actor all the time. The Consensus makes the King bring good fortune, but it doesn't keep people and entities from doing other things. Was the long winter a sign of the king's failure or the tampering of a sorcerer? What about a king that do not have the Divine Mandate, but is a good enough ruler to guide his land through harsh times, or even attract the hidden help of supernatural friends? How do we even define that the king does have such a Mandate?

    The many variables involved make the issue of little relevance. With the exception of things like some Celtic tribes where "King" is just how the Romans translated the position of the "Goddess Husband", that didn't had actual leadership responsibilities, the Divine Mandate supernatural weigh, if present, was never enough to change a thing. Its use as political tool far surpassed in power any real magic.

    On the sin aspect, the thing is that sin is actually a judgement. It is possible that human belief creates the spirit that will pass that judgement, but the spirit isn't the Consensus itself, even because spirits need far less combined thought than the Consensus to form. So the greater weigh of the Divine Mandate, the idea that going against the rightful king (that doesn't need to be righteous) is a sin, cannot be sustained by the Consensus itself.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    At this point it seems like you disagree with the wording used, but not with any of the actual consequences. Is my post so obtuse that it can't be understood what I'm talking about?
    the differences in our views like in those sections of what I said that you specifically did not bold. Stripping them out completely changes the character of the statement.
    Mages aren't limited by Earthly Foundations any more than they are limited by any other aspect of a Reality Zone. Something that's Vulgar because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Vulgar as something that's Vulgar for other reasons. Something that's Coincidental because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Coincidental as something that's Coincidental for other reasons. Only the Consensus is limited by Earthly Foundations. Mages suffer indirectly in that they're not able to manipulate the Consensus into changing the Vulgarity of the Effect; but that's only indirect. Mages have no ability to directly alter a Reality Zone anyway. That is, there is no magick that a mage can perform that will change whether something is Coincidental or Vulgar. That is solely the purview of the Consensus, and possibly Marauders.
    See how that effectively inverts the meaning from what you highlighted?

    I don't disagree with the idea that EF affects Vulgarity indirectly (albeit in a very firm fashion) instead of directly, altrough I'm not certain this is the case either.
    it isn't vulgarity that EF affects. It's the consensus ability to modify vulgarity that EF restricts.

    It seems that you're taking RZ as more than just the "local Consensus" formed by the beliefs of the local people (you're using RZ and Consensus as if they weren't the same thing on some level),
    Correct. EFs are the most compelling evidence that they aren't the same thing; but the notion that the Consensus influences RZ but does not create them neatly resolves a number of existential issues about Mage's metaphysics, such as what the world is like when there's no one around to witness it. Victorian Mage says that when a Territory is depopulated, it gradually reverts to the Earthly Foundations — though I don't entirely are with that, either; see below. The pay that I do agree with is that the Territory doesn't disappear when it's depopulated; there's a baseline reality that exists even without the Consensus around to shape it.

    and EF as something other than those things that are Vulgar or Coincident regardless of what the Consensus says.
    Not anymore; that's what I've changed my mind about. My new position is that there's a baseline reality that includes EFs, but extends beyond them, which exists whether the Consensus is there or not. This, IMHO, is what the above section in Victorian Mage is referring to when it mentions Earthly Foundations. And it's also what the first part of the Technocratic Reality section in M20 is referring to when it says that the Technocracy's vision is rooted in the laws of physics and thus has the Coincidental edge. It's stuff that can be altered to an extent by the Consensus, but reverts to form once the Consensus is removed.

    It's like you're pointing towards a theory that needs to be fleshed out: But I don't see how any of that relates to anything I said
    most of it is elaboration to try and get across how I view the issue, in order to avoid further misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions. The main point that I was making is that EFs aren't the nuclear option that you make them out to be.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Mages aren't limited by Earthly Foundations any more than they are limited by any other aspect of a Reality Zone. Something that's Vulgar because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Vulgar as something that's Vulgar for other reasons. Something that's Coincidental because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Coincidental as something that's Coincidental for other reasons. Only the Consensus is limited by Earthly Foundations. Mages suffer indirectly in that they're not able to manipulate the Consensus into changing the Vulgarity of the Effect; but that's only indirect. Mages have no ability to directly alter a Reality Zone anyway. That is, there is no magick that a mage can perform that will change whether something is Coincidental or Vulgar. That is solely the purview of the Consensus, and possibly Marauders. .
    Precisely because the Consensus/RZ can't change this, and there aren't other ways of Vulgarity changing, saying that something it's against the EF implies that something it's going to be Vulgar (at least on Earth). I think that would be the most direct interpretation, or I'm wrong?

    Altering the weather with divine magick CAN be Vulgar (can't it?). We're talking about explicitly supernatural power, I don't think it would be controvertial if it can be Vulgar. Assuming that's the case, then the only thing that could make it "become Coincident" (maybe commonplace, even) would be the Consensus altering the RZ. And you can alter the Consensus (not with magick - but that's besides the point), the Consensus has been altered a lot of times.

    If EF it's against "Divine Right", then that option doesn't exist. Consequence: It would be forever Vulgar, precisely because of that you're saying. That's why I call it the nuclear option, and why I say it makes X practically impossible.

    At this point it seems like you disagree with the wording used, but not with any of the actual consequences. Is my post so obtuse that it can't be understood what I'm talking about?

    Can't we agree at least in that every "effect" I was hinting towards to in the post you were directly answering to it's made practically impossible by involving the EF in the way I interpreted them as being involved (the effect being a violation of them)?. If not, can you give an example of how the concrete things I speak in the post would be possible in the long therm with the EF against?

    What I'm suggesting is that we don't look at it as EFs “making something vulgar”. The Reality Zone does that. All that the EF status does is to prevent the Consensus from changing the Reality Zone.
    I don't disagree with the idea that EF affects Vulgarity indirectly (albeit in a very firm fashion) instead of directly, altrough I'm not certain this is the case either.

    It seems that you're taking RZ as more than just the "local Consensus" formed by the beliefs of the local people (you're using RZ and Consensus as if they weren't the same thing on some level), and EF as something other than those things that are Vulgar or Coincident regardless of what the Consensus says. It's like you're pointing towards a theory that needs to be fleshed out: But I don't see how any of that relates to anything I said
    Last edited by Aleph; 09-03-2021, 02:28 PM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Still you know "making things Vulgar" does make things more difficult. Literally. It also makes things to be practically impossible, if not theorically so - you can't keep casting Vulgar magick for long periods of time w/o the world reacting. The whole point of the Ascencion War it's that Paradox matters, and EF matter to Paradox
    What I'm suggesting is that we don't look at it as EFs “making something vulgar”. The Reality Zone does that. All that the EF status does is to prevent the Consensus from changing the Reality Zone.

    Mages aren't limited by Earthly Foundations any more than they are limited by any other aspect of a Reality Zone. Something that's Vulgar because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Vulgar as something that's Vulgar for other reasons. Something that's Coincidental because of an Earthly Foundation is exactly as Coincidental as something that's Coincidental for other reasons. Only the Consensus is limited by Earthly Foundations. Mages suffer indirectly in that they're not able to manipulate the Consensus into changing the Vulgarity of the Effect; but that's only indirect. Mages have no ability to directly alter a Reality Zone anyway. That is, there is no magick that a mage can perform that will change whether something is Coincidental or Vulgar. That is solely the purview of the Consensus, and possibly Marauders.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 09-03-2021, 01:05 PM.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Dataweaver : Sorry. I shouldn't have worded it like that. It's a bad habit of going out tangents and assuming things that I need to change.

    Still you know "making things Vulgar" does make things more difficult. Literally. It also makes things to be practically impossible, if not theorically so - you can't keep casting Vulgar magick for long periods of time w/o the world reacting. The whole point of the Ascencion War it's that Paradox matters, and EF matter to Paradox

    Now, the rules only cover true magick, but lore-wise the Consensus goes beyond that, it has has been behind a lot more than just Paradox. or at least that's what the largets mage factions seriously believe, Technocracy first among these. Because of these hipotetical effects of the Consensus that go beyod the RAW, but are assumed to be at least a canon posibility, "altering what the consensus can do to reality zones" can be quite heavy.

    Ultimately, the point it's if something clearly supernatural for our understanding (like kings altering the weather) could exist in the past as a natural thing. Or at least as something mages can do consistently and repeatedly.

    I think that monteparnas point was that between some of this being the interference of supernatural creatures and some of this being outruled by EF, Kings weren't really capable of influencing this sort of "divine providence" in mage universe (or at least not because of the Consensus).

    I thik that's not necessarily the case: EF don't need to be against kings doing these things, and the Consensus can and does influence what (some) supernatural creatures can do I think that "kings altering the weather" may be something the EF aren't necessarily against, even if that's not the way things usually work. And thus it's something that the Consensus could "edit" .

    What the Consensus can't do it's make a king to be "good" by art of magick. I don't think this necessarily means morality has to be an EF:

    *If moral it's relative to the culture (like greek used to say "murder of men" as the greatest praise), altering what the Consensus thinks about morals would imply altering the morality. The Consensus can't alter the morality because it never get's the chance - it's already changed the moment people agrees X it's pure evil, no need of further magick (maybe this is the one thing that consensus actually does alter in our real world?).

    *If moral it's objective (sacrificing people it's bad regardless of what the Aztecs believed), then it would need to be an EF - or even more, a Constant. If magick simply cannot make an evil action "to be good" (because, say, God judges mankind regardless of what mankind thinks. Or for another equaly or more unmovable reason) then magick just wouldn't be able to do anything about it (as much or more than with the Curse of Caine or the Triad)
    Last edited by Aleph; 09-03-2021, 12:12 PM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    To be clear, I have backed off somewhat from what you refer to as my worldview. My last post was not about saying that Earthly foundations are great and wonderful; it was solely pointing out a technical point, that they don't actually make things impossible. They don't even make things difficult; reality zones do that. The only thing they limit is what the consensus can do to reality zones. And while M20 only talks about them in terms of keeping some things vulgar despite the consensus, it almost certainly cuts both ways: there are sure to be some things that are coincidental regardless of what the Consensus says.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 09-03-2021, 10:36 AM.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Do they, though? They never make anything impossible — or even harder, for that matter. This is where I think we need to be careful not to conflate EFs with Cosmological Constants: the former are merely things that stubbornly maintain the same Vulgarity regardless of what the Consensus says; the latter are things that can't be done by Magick, except perhaps by archmasters. They were introduced into MRev as a “no, you can't use Magick to break the Curse of Cain or to run rampant over the Triat”. They're the nuclear option, not the “making water run uphill is Vulgar no matter what people think”.
    If "good kings can bring good or bad weather, disease, quantities and behavior of animals" it's as agains't the EF as “making water run uphill", then kings wouldn't be granted such power by the Consensus, and mages can't consistently enforce it w/o blowing up with Paradox.

    I would say that disregarding the legitimacy of kings because "earth" it's against it, it's a nuclear option even if it woulnd't be completely impossible to do because it would never flow naturally.

    The big problem I have with your worldview about the Technocracy it's that it makes a world of magick and wonder (as defined by the Traditions) impossible w/o sustained and painfull effort that's doomed to fail eventually. While a technocratical world can flow much more naturally, as the world itself isn't against it.

    Yes, I would say they're a nuclear option. Just not the biggest nuke on the arsenal.
    Last edited by Aleph; 09-03-2021, 09:40 AM.

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  • Accelerator
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
    My standard policy is that the Consensus either cannot change moral issues (or at least, there's no way of knowing if it does or not). It can adjust the tangible results of behaviors, though, which can give apparent legitimacy or illegitimacy to something.
    Personal headcanon is that Consensus is silent on moral issues. But it's ready to kill you if you step out of line of the area's own beliefs (If you are teenagers and have sex in summer camp, you're going to die).

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    This is the key point, IMHO — and a rather ironic one, at that.

    For what it's worth, if we define EFs as “things that the Consensus can't change”, then morality and will are EFs.
    Well, that I would 100% agree with, as much as the Consensus itslef would be an EF.

    Morality and will do change, many would argue that morality it's inherently consensual. Something society creates. I think that debate goes beyond our limited scope, but I would want to at least entertain the posibility.

    BUT *The Consensus* it's a "supernatural force" that warps reality, not social relativity.

    The Consensus can't change the consensus, but the consensus can and does change the Consensus? If we can agree that makes it an EF, then EF it is.

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  • Ramnesis
    replied
    My standard policy is that the Consensus either cannot change moral issues (or at least, there's no way of knowing if it does or not). It can adjust the tangible results of behaviors, though, which can give apparent legitimacy or illegitimacy to something.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    However, morality and will aren't really influenced by the Consensus (perhaps because they are an integral part of the Consensus itself). Having the "Divine Right" very much in place, doesn't make a soberan wise, nor good. It never made Mages wise, nor good, and typically they had a much deeper investments in "the divine", and other supernatural matters
    This is the key point, IMHO — and a rather ironic one, at that.

    For what it's worth, if we define EFs as “things that the Consensus can't change”, then morality and will are EFs.

    EF are the nuclear option: They erase posibility from Mage
    Do they, though? They never make anything impossible — or even harder, for that matter. This is where I think we need to be careful not to conflate EFs with Cosmological Constants: the former are merely things that stubbornly maintain the same Vulgarity regardless of what the Consensus says; the latter are things that can't be done by Magick, except perhaps by archmasters. They were introduced into MRev as a “no, you can't use Magick to break the Curse of Cain or to run rampant over the Triat”. They're the nuclear option, not the “making water run uphill is Vulgar no matter what people think”.

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  • Accelerator
    replied
    *points upwards*

    I will never say that 'divine right of kings' can ever be moral or just. But in this case:

    rightful ruler will be blessed by god(s) and an usurper without such divine right won't, or can even be cursed. People sometimes attributed good or bad weather, disease, quantities and behavior of animals, to the standing of their community with god, and the Divine King was a part of this.

    It wasn't a simple, straightforward concept, either, or uniformly applicable throughout the land, but the Church increased the role to establish that such kings being blessed by god, then it was a sin to disobey.
    I mean, a Mind Rote can use the 'I am the rightful king!' as a context for a mental influence roll. Just like how the NWO can use the power of the police and the state to compel obedience by brandishing a police badge. Technically speaking a King who is blessed by god and is legitimate, *can* bring good weather, lower disease, and make life better for everyone. Basically Life, Entropy, and Correspondence procedures backed by the fact that in the consensus of the middle ages it wouldn't be strange or vulgar for such things to occur.

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