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How do I play an Abyss mystic?

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  • How do I play an Abyss mystic?

    My character was already an initiate in the Cult of Shalim, and now that everything is destroyed I want to go full scholar. I'm not entirely sure on how do I go about it, one thing I'm looking forward to is the baptism in-shadows of the Shalimite that is going to drastically change the PC. I'm going to take the flaw "Empty". I couldn't find much about the Children of the Abyss, or a concise stereotype of an Abyss Mystic, Did you ever played an abyss mystic? do you have any tips to improve any aspect? Help me brain storm a decent character. Thanks.

  • #2
    I've never played a full blown Abyss mystic but I've played lasombra with high obtenerbration. The Abyss is soul destroyingly horrible while being incredibly alien and can potentially warp you in a number of ways. I'd recommend looking into stuff like coc cultists as a framework.
    The biggest tip I can give is Abyss mystics are simular to path of bones members, spiritual but also horribly warped.
    Last edited by Ragged Robin; 06-13-2022, 04:24 AM.

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    • #3
      It seems to me an Abyss Mystic is a ... mystic of the Abyss. So what does that mean? It means you are a scholar of the Abyss (or Oblivion or whatever you define it as), a philosopher of non-existence, and an occultist of the powers that can be obtained by the Abyss or the possible entities that dwell there. A person who seriously contemplates non-existence as a metaphysical force in the World of Darkness.

      There are various ways that could be played out. But this is not something that "regular" people or vampires do. Your character is likely an odd duck. You don't think like other people. A person attracted to this is either someone desperate for power, a scholar becoming too intrigued by his work that he is losing perspective, or someone of a naturally depressed, unfeeling, or morbid disposition.

      I can see several ways I might portray an NPC who is an Abyss Mystic. It might be as a cold, detached scholar. It might be as a strange, power obsessed occultist interested only in power. It might be as a resigned philosopher who sees existence as meaningless. Given time, I might think up some more.

      I would recommend deciding 1) what your character is drawn to this area of study, and 2) how your character intends to study the workings of the Abyss. Once you know that, I think you'll be able to figure out your approach, and then everything else is just applying flavor text.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
        It seems to me an Abyss Mystic is a ... mystic of the Abyss. So what does that mean? It means you are a scholar of the Abyss (or Oblivion or whatever you define it as), a philosopher of non-existence, and an occultist of the powers that can be obtained by the Abyss or the possible entities that dwell there. A person who seriously contemplates non-existence as a metaphysical force in the World of Darkness.

        There are various ways that could be played out. But this is not something that "regular" people or vampires do. Your character is likely an odd duck. You don't think like other people. A person attracted to this is either someone desperate for power, a scholar becoming too intrigued by his work that he is losing perspective, or someone of a naturally depressed, unfeeling, or morbid disposition.

        I can see several ways I might portray an NPC who is an Abyss Mystic. It might be as a cold, detached scholar. It might be as a strange, power obsessed occultist interested only in power. It might be as a resigned philosopher who sees existence as meaningless. Given time, I might think up some more.

        I would recommend deciding 1) what your character is drawn to this area of study, and 2) how your character intends to study the workings of the Abyss. Once you know that, I think you'll be able to figure out your approach, and then everything else is just applying flavor text.
        Since he was already part of the Cult of Shalim, I was planning on going as more of a religious approach to it. the second question is a really interesting thing to think about. I'm trying to use V5 with no homebrew, so I have to get creative and using the ceremony "Name of the father" as a way to study the effects of the abyss on ones soul seems my best answer to question 2. Maybe go a sort of a priest may be fun, although it can turn out a bit... toxic.

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        • #5
          I played an Abyss Mystic on the Road of the Abyss for over a decade IRL and actually really enjoyed the philosophy of it, given my own personal occult studies in real life. Below are some of the things my character explored:

          - The Abyss is a sort of anti-world, similar to the Sitra Ahra or Qliphoth of the Qabbalah, and it is just as conscious and aware as this world. The difference between the two worlds is that where the Sephira (this world) are generative, the Abyss is negating and hungry.
          - The vampire (not necessarily ALL vampires; this is only referencing the Abyss Mystic in question) is a conduit to this world of negation that exists in this world, and in a way exists in both worlds. Its purpose is to consume the generative force within this world (this is obviously an atavistic idea; the Path of Night touches on this, but overlays Christian morality onto it)
          - As a conduit to the Abyss, that which is "fit for pruning" is something that is wholly within the vampire's interpretation. One vampire may feed indiscriminately leaving trails of bodies; others might feed from and kill only those they see as "abyss touched" (that is, murderers or other humans who negate life); still others may act as a sort of shepherd, on the basis that a being which consumes the generative force should serve to see to its growth, as the Abyss would kill itself, were this generative force snuffed out; another may feed from and kill only the holiest of beings, as these are the most generative expressions. None of these are wrong and none of these are right, but it is a topic any Abyss Mystic must address.
          - Where other humans are generative forces, other vampires are not. If they are all conduits, then an Abyss Mystic could make a case to work with them to further their own goals, or to consume them as well if it could strengthen the Abyss Mystic, on the grounds that it strengthens this particular conduit. Yes, Path of the Abyss sanctions Diablerie.
          - Abyss Mysticism is the end result of strengthening this connection to the Abyss. Many of the rituals involve making the Abyss conscious in this world, or in bringing consciousness within the Abyss to this world, and should be roleplayed as such: they are trophies and testaments of personal power, not of parlor tricks and toys.

          I think that's about all I got for now.

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