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Is India a giant missing gap in WOD?

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  • #76
    I think you are getting hung up on semantics and demanding that the rest of us subscribe to the same limited definition of "magic" that you insist on. The game of Mage doesn't do that. Its definition of "Magic" is anything that modifies reality outside of the norm, and the different groups have different takes on what that includes. In Christian traditions, exorcism and faith healing aren't 'magic', but they are still part of the Celestial Chorus's Magic (Magick, Majyck, whatever), alongside theurgy, alchemy and other 'magic' Magic(k). Herbal remedies and blacksmithing aren't 'magic', but are part of the Verbena's Magick, alongside storm summoning and shapeshifting.
    The Akashics are based around a mostly Buddhist concept of reality as we perceive it to be an illusion that can be overcome through proper training and insight. Once you see past the illusion, things like wuxia stunts become possible (even for the unAwakened; there was supposed to be a Sorcery path for that, but it never was published). Akashic Do is the way (literally) that one reaches the enlightenment to see past the illusion, eventually leading to truly world warping effects. But martial arts is only a small part of Do. Its primary purpose is to teach discipline and expand the student's ideas of her own abilities. Other Akashics get the same lessons from cooking, corporate negotiations, or motercycle maintenance, as well as things like Taoist alchemy or Shinto ritual. But for all of the Traditions, magic and Magick are means to an end, not the end in itself. They all have an ideal end goal of personal Assension. Kung fu just happens to be the gateway to Do for a lot of members, and the easiest 'hook' for new players to wrap their heads around. Mage's Sphere Magick system was designed to be as flexible as possible, because the game's idea of what a Mage can be is so flexable.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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    • #77
      I think a good way of understanding Magick is to look at the Technocracy, since they balance the mundane and fantastic better than anyone (after all, they own Consensus).

      Say you have a powerful member of the Syndicate. She and her amalgam have tracked several Traditionalists to a hotel room. She makes a phone call and twenty minutes later she owns the hotel. It's just outside what a (extremely wealthy) Sleeper could do, but makes complete sense to the Technocrat. After all, she and her Convention are just better at what they do than the average person.

      Meanwhile an Akashic Brother is using Do to feel the strands of energy around them, seeing the Technocrats that have found them. Do is how you perceive and influence the Tapestry and it's always been that way. That's how reality works. Sleepers have just been conned into thinking otherwise, like accepting a bizarre conspiracy theory. Some people think the Earth is flat. Others think Do isn't real. Same thing.

      There's little difference between the what the two mages are doing, since both are using reality as they see it. It's just that the process is easier for the Technocrat since they own Consensus.
      Last edited by ebakunin; 01-11-2019, 03:04 PM.

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      • #78
        Back to the subject of India, John Keay's book India: A History is pretty good, as is Suketu Mehta's Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found. Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children is also good, if a little odd.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #79
          Originally posted by ebakunin View Post
          (...)
          Say you have a powerful member of the Syndicate. She and her amalgam have tracked several Traditionalists to a hotel room. She makes a phone call and twenty minutes later she owns the hotel. It's just outside what a (extremely wealthy) Sleeper could do, but makes complete sense to the Technocrat. After all, she and her Convention are just better at what they do than the average person.
          (...)
          I am doubtful whether a member of the Syndicate can do this ( but I can see it happening, to an extent ) . I think if a member of the Syndicate would do this, she ( or he ) would do this in a mundane way ( and maybe it would take longer than twenty minutes...maybe a few hours ? ) , instead of it being a Magick / Enlightened Science Effect. Do you consider this to be an example of a Magick Effect that Technocrats of the Syndicate ( or Technocrats overall ) can do ? What would be the Foci in this case ?
          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-13-2019, 08:56 AM.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post


            This is my point. In Mage the kind of feats gunslingers use could absolutely be magic. The reason there is not a gunslinger tradition is the real world inspiration for such a thing is lacking. There isn't any kind of unified group, common philosophy, or any other cohesive element that could bring them together into something believable as an organization. There is also not much they are known for than shooting really well, which is too one dimensional to make an interesting group. If there was some real world equivalent of the Gunslingers from the Dark Tower series, though, they'd make a great Mage faction...
            Also, members of all the existing traditions could be magic gunslingers. You can play an Akashic Zen warrior who focuses on the One Perfect Shot instead One Perfect Stroke.
            Its just that many people, including players of other wod lines, get tripped on the definition of magick vs the definition of magic.
            Science is magick, magic is magick, everything a mage does can be magick.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post

              This connection of Martial Arts with Magic does not exist in Chinese Culture, this only exists in American films about Chinese.
              And in a very large number of Chinese movies, books, and tv shows. And Japanese and Korean etc. There is a connection in the popular consciousness between Daoism and martial arts going back centuries, and Daoist mystics have done nothing to discourage that. Their practice is a type of gongfu, which also includes martial arts, and the Wudang tradition of martial arts is firmly Daoist in origin.

              Then there’s the Buddhist tradition, which also accounts for a great deal of Chinese ideas about magic and even martial arts, and it’s hard to completely decouple it from Daoism, as the two influenced each other a great deal over centuries of coexistence and developed things in response to each other.

              So not really racist, no. It’s racist to assume all Chinese people practice martial arts, but this connection between magic and meditation and qigong and martial arts is a thing. It’s hard to find a Chinese fantasy film that doesn’t place them on the same continuum.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Black Flag View Post

                And in a very large number of Chinese movies, books, and tv shows. And Japanese and Korean etc. There is a connection in the popular consciousness between Daoism and martial arts going back centuries, and Daoist mystics have done nothing to discourage that. Their practice is a type of gongfu, which also includes martial arts, and the Wudang tradition of martial arts is firmly Daoist in origin.

                Then there’s the Buddhist tradition, which also accounts for a great deal of Chinese ideas about magic and even martial arts, and it’s hard to completely decouple it from Daoism, as the two influenced each other a great deal over centuries of coexistence and developed things in response to each other.

                So not really racist, no. It’s racist to assume all Chinese people practice martial arts, but this connection between magic and meditation and qigong and martial arts is a thing. It’s hard to find a Chinese fantasy film that doesn’t place them on the same continuum.

                This information is wrong. Both these martial arts and such films have very little relation to Taoism (any of its many meanings, from formal religion, to influence over other religions or Chinese religiosity, its alchemy and mysticism, its metaphysical or secular philosophy, old or current - including the Taoist liberalism that mixes classic Scottish liberalism with modern Taoism, or the Taoism inherent in tradition or families). They derive much more from Confucianism, in the sense of hierarchy and rigid order, order fighting against chaos (not against the extreme), austere discipline, Movie Heroi is basically treated as legalistic and totally anti-Confucian. There are elements of many Chinese philosophies and religions or their Chinese meanings in them, but in Taoism and its component of transformations, transmutations, mixtures and fragile and decentralized balance are very few.

                The very notion of the Celestial Hierarchy derives more from a mystifying sense of Confucianism (though Confucianism was purely secular) combined with Buddhism rather than Taoism, which, while believing and accepting the Celestial Hierarchy, does not care as much about it as it cares about Personal Alterity and much of its alchemy, as the search for immortality is subversion of this hierarchy.

                It bothers me every Chinese creature to be linked to the martial arts when there is much more of there. The main tradition comes from this, their Werewolves have a Magic Martial Art, their vampires as well. It's kind of like there's no mystical tradition of its own that does not have this component.

                If there was a Dark Ages China, I believe that the Fellowships should be, Messianic Voices, directed to Taoism and Buddhism (mainly Buddhism), the Celestial Hierarchy with Pillars and Fundation similar to the Order of Hermes but with extremely different History, Philosophy and Organization. And a set of Taoist Alchemy Trades without central organization with only philosophy, pillars and foundation in common (and different from all other fellowships of Magicians).

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                • #83
                  delete this post.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Black Flag View Post

                    And in a very large number of Chinese movies, books, and tv shows. And Japanese and Korean etc. There is a connection in the popular consciousness between Daoism and martial arts going back centuries, and Daoist mystics have done nothing to discourage that.
                    (...)
                    It is the first time I see ' Daoism ' used as a name in regard to this philosophy ( or religion ) . Any particular reason(s) why you use this spelling, or are Taoism and Daoism interchangeable ?

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                      It is the first time I see ' Daoism ' used as a name in regard to this philosophy ( or religion ) . Any particular reason(s) why you use this spelling, or are Taoism and Daoism interchangeable ?
                      Interchangeable. Until relatively recently, the major translation system for Mandarin Chinese to English was Wade Giles, which spelled it "Taoism." Now the most common system is Pinyin, which spells it "Daoism." Other examples: Peking vs. Beijing, Tai Chi Chuan vs Taijiquan, etc.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post


                        This information is wrong. Both these martial arts and such films have very little relation to Taoism (any of its many meanings, from formal religion, to influence over other religions or Chinese religiosity, its alchemy and mysticism, its metaphysical or secular philosophy, old or current - including the Taoist liberalism that mixes classic Scottish liberalism with modern Taoism, or the Taoism inherent in tradition or families). They derive much more from Confucianism, in the sense of hierarchy and rigid order, order fighting against chaos (not against the extreme), austere discipline, Movie Heroi is basically treated as legalistic and totally anti-Confucian. There are elements of many Chinese philosophies and religions or their Chinese meanings in them, but in Taoism and its component of transformations, transmutations, mixtures and fragile and decentralized balance are very few.

                        The very notion of the Celestial Hierarchy derives more from a mystifying sense of Confucianism (though Confucianism was purely secular) combined with Buddhism rather than Taoism, which, while believing and accepting the Celestial Hierarchy, does not care as much about it as it cares about Personal Alterity and much of its alchemy, as the search for immortality is subversion of this hierarchy.

                        It bothers me every Chinese creature to be linked to the martial arts when there is much more of there. The main tradition comes from this, their Werewolves have a Magic Martial Art, their vampires as well. It's kind of like there's no mystical tradition of its own that does not have this component.

                        If there was a Dark Ages China, I believe that the Fellowships should be, Messianic Voices, directed to Taoism and Buddhism (mainly Buddhism), the Celestial Hierarchy with Pillars and Fundation similar to the Order of Hermes but with extremely different History, Philosophy and Organization. And a set of Taoist Alchemy Trades without central organization with only philosophy, pillars and foundation in common (and different from all other fellowships of Magicians).
                        I'm sorry to say this bluntly, but you really have no idea what you're talking about. The "internal" martial arts of China are pretty much all based on Taoist principles, not Confucian ones. The yin-yang duality of Taoism is the key concept of Tai Chi. The I Ching/Book of Changes is what the martial art Baguazhang is completely based on. Xingyiquan is mainly based on the 5 elements of Taoism.

                        Shaolin and animal styles are pretty much all based on Zen Buddhism, and so are many Japanese martial arts, most notably Aikido and Kendo.

                        The film Hero is based on the emperor of the Qin Dynasty, which actually predates pretty much all Chinese martial arts by a few hundred years, save for possibly Shuai Chiao, which is a wrestling style that effectively resembles a primitive version of Judo. The Qin Dynasty was indeed Legalist and did persecute competing religious ideas like Confucianism and Taoism. However, later dynasties basically blended Legalist and Confucian concepts, and Taoism is now basically considered something to practice in one's personal life, and not as part of governance.

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                        • #87
                          I definitely wish there was more material on India, because right now I'm absolutely fascinated with South Asia. It's worth noting that the Euthanatos, Cult of Ecstasy, Ravnos, Nagah, and Bone Gnawers are all supposed to have a home in India (though it always seemed a little racist to emphasize the Bone Gnawers' connection to India tbqh).

                          One thing I do have a little bit of a problem with is that in Mage, in a couple places it's said that the Akashic Brotherhood basically avoids the region because of its conflict with the Euthanatos. This doesn't make any sense. The conflict does - Hindus basically drove Buddhism out of India because it was a challenge to the Brahminic caste system. However, the Akashics should have a presence in Tamil Nadu since many Chinese martial arts are based on yoga and martial arts from there, most notably Shaolin's connection to its parent martial art Kalaripayattu. The other thing is, the Akashic Brotherhood should obviously have a heavy presence in South Asia's predominately Buddhist countries, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Li Hai View Post

                            I'm sorry to say this bluntly, but you really have no idea what you're talking about. The "internal" martial arts of China are pretty much all based on Taoist principles, not Confucian ones. The yin-yang duality of Taoism is the key concept of Tai Chi. The I Ching/Book of Changes is what the martial art Baguazhang is completely based on. Xingyiquan is mainly based on the 5 elements of Taoism.

                            Shaolin and animal styles are pretty much all based on Zen Buddhism, and so are many Japanese martial arts, most notably Aikido and Kendo.

                            The film Hero is based on the emperor of the Qin Dynasty, which actually predates pretty much all Chinese martial arts by a few hundred years, save for possibly Shuai Chiao, which is a wrestling style that effectively resembles a primitive version of Judo. The Qin Dynasty was indeed Legalist and did persecute competing religious ideas like Confucianism and Taoism. However, later dynasties basically blended Legalist and Confucian concepts, and Taoism is now basically considered something to practice in one's personal life, and not as part of governance.
                            Li Hai I gave a study before the previous post about martial arts, a subject I do not really know, based on David A. Ross's book on the subject. Already about Taoism (and how a centralized Buddhism that inspires arts of centralized orderly discipline is not something really Taoist) I understand a little bit by way of a temple.


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                            • #89
                              About India I would like to know at least in note who are the Monarchs and Lords of there within the system of monarchies of Dark Ages Vampire in 1230.

                              Who would you think would have these functions and territories?

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Li Hai View Post

                                Interchangeable. Until relatively recently, the major translation system for Mandarin Chinese to English was Wade Giles, which spelled it "Taoism." Now the most common system is Pinyin, which spells it "Daoism." Other examples: Peking vs. Beijing, Tai Chi Chuan vs Taijiquan, etc.
                                Thank you.
                                Is there any difference between Tao and Dao in meaning ? Are they to any extent separate, discrete concepts ; or separate, discrete parts of one concept ?

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