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  • Kami Question

    Hi there. I'm interested in creating a Kami (Gaia's answer to the Fomori) but I'm not sure if a character that was something else before, like a mage or Kinfolk Hedge Witch, would keep their previous status and powers too. In other words, Is turning a character into a Kami a stack or a replacement?

  • #2
    There isn't an official ruling on such. But as there are instances of banes possessing supernaturals to create a stack situation, I don't see any reason why it would be impossible for Gaia to do the same thing.

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    • #3
      Though the text isn't always clear about it, the kami seem to differ in that, rather than being possessed, they're internally awakened to spiritual power. This can be flat-out incompatible with how some other splat spotlights work, and mages in particular seem like they would be a binary in this category.

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      • #4
        I think some creatures will work better than others. A kinfolk will probably retain gifts, since kami can learn gifts (through a certain power that emulates gifts). Hedge sorcerer can probably work too, althought I wager Gaia wouldn't choose certain kinds of sorcerers (like necromancy ones). Path of healing and herbalism are great paths for kami, thought. This is just how I like to see it, not canon, but I like to think of kami as a spirit possessing it's own body. The mortal spirit was waken while the mortal was still alive, resulting in him possessing himself and getting powers from it, that's why kami don't have autonomy, unlike the others possessed. So shapeshifters cannot become kami, since they are already living spirits (like kami).


        I Think is goes case by case. You want a vampire Kami? why not? Make it so the condition of kami was actually golconda all along and vampires didn't know. Make it so kami vampires only drink from animals once per month, lose their beast and are cleased of the wyrm. There is always a room to homebrew what you want.


        If you want a kami mage just consider kamihood a kind of ressonance and it's powers akin to do or something.





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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rucun View Post
          I think some creatures will work better than others. A kinfolk will probably retain gifts, since kami can learn gifts (through a certain power that emulates gifts). Hedge sorcerer can probably work too, althought I wager Gaia wouldn't choose certain kinds of sorcerers (like necromancy ones). Path of healing and herbalism are great paths for kami, thought. This is just how I like to see it, not canon, but I like to think of kami as a spirit possessing it's own body. The mortal spirit was waken while the mortal was still alive, resulting in him possessing himself and getting powers from it, that's why kami don't have autonomy, unlike the others possessed. So shapeshifters cannot become kami, since they are already living spirits (like kami).
          If you're going with the option below, any kind of hedge sorcerer would definitely fly. Nothing specifically against them to begin with, anyway.

          I Think is goes case by case. You want a vampire Kami? why not? Make it so the condition of kami was actually golconda all along and vampires didn't know. Make it so kami vampires only drink from animals once per month, lose their beast and are cleased of the wyrm. There is always a room to homebrew what you want.
          They probably wouldn't lose the Beast if you worked things out that way. It would just get turned into Rage.

          If you want a kami mage just consider kamihood a kind of ressonance and it's powers akin to do or something.
          No, that's one line in the sand that I won't budge on. Resonance is not sufficient to encapsulate an internal Gaian awakening (it's holistic, not just a flavor of Quint), and the entire Purple Paradigm is antithetical to everything in W:tA, so I would still make that a no-go.

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          • #6
            I think you're overstating the "internal awakening" thing. A Kami is still "possessed" just with a piece of Gaia shoved in them instead of by an individual weaker spirit.

            As for kami-mages, I don't see the issue of them having Resonance as part of the package (I mean, why wouldn't that be a giant source of Resoance?). The mage wouldn't have to rationalize their Kami powers as a form of esoterica. Kami are aware of what they are, and a kami-mage would know that they've become invest with Gaia's power for a purpose. The Purple Paradigm has nothing to do with what was said.

            The bigger problem with kami-mages is how to price that out if they're going to be a standard PC. If you used pure M20 rules to recreate a kami-mage, you certainly could with the right Backgrounds, Merits, and Flaws. But it would be expensive as hell to do so, and probably well in excess of a starting level character. And mages aren't really in the need of a boost to their power level.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

              The bigger problem with kami-mages is how to price that out if they're going to be a standard PC. If you used pure M20 rules to recreate a kami-mage, you certainly could with the right Backgrounds, Merits, and Flaws. But it would be expensive as hell to do so, and probably well in excess of a starting level character. And mages aren't really in the need of a boost to their power level.

              Well, kamis cannot surrender autonomy points to buy powers, they can only use XP. So just make being a kami a 7 pts merit that goes tegether with (5) free dots in powers (the free amount of powers to buy during character creation as a possessed) and just let the mage also buy kami powers with XP as during the chronicle. I'd wager it's harder to explain being a mage-kami metaphysical way than system wise.


              I have some more crazy ideas (By the way, Im not the thread creator) liker allowing kami-mages to buy sphere life up to 5 indepent of arete level, but it's more of a alternative idea.




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              • #8
                I'd think that a kami wouldn't awaken later.
                I'd think that a mage could become a kami, if this is compatible with his paradigm and avatar. I could also see a mage offering himself, basically using magick to turn himself kami.

                But, I would see Dreamspeakers, Celestial Chorus, Cult of Ecstasy and Verbena as the logical and perhaps only choices here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rucun View Post
                  Well, kamis cannot surrender autonomy points to buy powers, they can only use XP.
                  Well, that's also getting into Revised vs. 20th edition on character creation. W20's Kami creation rules are rather simplified compared to Rev.'s Possessed book.

                  So just make being a kami a 7 pts merit that goes tegether with (5) free dots in powers (the free amount of powers to buy during character creation as a possessed) and just let the mage also buy kami powers with XP as during the chronicle.
                  7 dots is still very cheap for what Kami get, though considering it does come bundled with a significant Flaw as well, it could be seen as higher. It's still getting a lot of stuff for the price.

                  I'd wager it's harder to explain being a mage-kami metaphysical way than system wise.
                  Considering how many mages actually explain their magic by channeling divine forces through themselves? Not really. Being a Kami (even if not specifically to Gaia) is already how a bunch of mages already see things.

                  I have some more crazy ideas (By the way, Im not the thread creator) liker allowing kami-mages to buy sphere life up to 5 indepent of arete level, but it's more of a alternative idea.
                  Again... I do not see at all the point of having a kami-mage be even more powerful than a normal mage.

                  Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                  But, I would see Dreamspeakers, Celestial Chorus, Cult of Ecstasy and Verbena as the logical and perhaps only choices here.
                  Akashayana - While most people focus on Buddhist kung-fu monks, there are plenty of factions with the Akashics that practice traditional folk religions (specifically those that fall under the Jnani umbrella). The purity necessary to become a kami is also compatible if a bit more uneasy for Jina Kannagara or the Li-Hai.

                  Chakravanti - The ritual focus groups within the various Euthanatoi factions all have this pretty easy. The Filidh's veneration of Dian Cecht puts them in the right mindset for this. The Lhaksmists are in the same boat with a different deity. The Natatapas were an originally all female sect that practiced god-bonding as a primary Practice; esp. those that focus on Shaktism. The Pomegranate Deme are a female deity focused mystery cult. The Madzimbabwe aren't as focused on the same spiritual practices, but still practice plenty of ritual purification and act as intercessors between the spirit and human world. It's important to remember that the Chakravanti highly value members of the Tradition that can bring powerful positive energy to their ranks and help balance the darkness that their more aggressive members end up plunging themselves into.

                  Society of Ether/Virtual Adepts - OK, no real specific case here, but both groups can find the balanced form of pure creativity that Gaia values in the forms of scientific or technological epiphanies rather than more direct spiritual revelation. An Etherite adventurer that travels deep into the wilderness comes back changed from an experience of profound understanding of their mission to current the natural order. A VA that finds an unformated patch of Digital Web and after soaking in the sheer awe of the possibilities starts to have a new drive with what to do with it.

                  And of course all the Crafts/Disparates.

                  The Hermetics are the only ones that seem like a hard pass for me, simply because they'd reject being subjects to any Umbrood, even the most powerful ones.

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                  • #10
                    Honestly, I'd nip being a kami-mage on principle of conflicting with the intent of both games. Its Concentual reality directed by humanity as the golden children of the universe vs Spiritual reality where humanity is a small part of a larger whole(and humanity failing to recognize this is destroying the world).

                    Individual mages may see themselves as channeling the divine, but that also necessitates that they believe that they are the true Chosen of that divinity. Arrogance is the central theme of Mage. The mage book clearly spells out that being a mage requires that one well and truly believe something, regardless of any amount of evidence or logic to the contrary, to the point that they Force their will on reality to make it true.

                    They're bunch of demigods convinced that they're the center of the universe and powerful enough force the world to work for them rather than adapt to work with the world as it is. I personally think this kind of conflicts with gaia's goal of balance, otherwise she'd have made the fera as powerful as mages to begin with.

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                    • #11
                      Again, I think things are getting pretty overstated here. If mages were so arrogant that choosing to serve powerful spiritual entities wasn't in theme for them, they wouldn't have access to the Totem Background. It's clearly not just magely arrogance to believe they can be chosen servants of divinity when... they can be. Hubris isn't whether you can achieve a state, but what you do with it.

                      On the WtA side of things, Kami are exceptionally rather beings that Gaia picks because they can serve a specific purpose she needs a unique entity to achieve. If anything, picking mages (or similarly exceptional people) of the right mindset to follow her spiritual mandate makes more sense. Gaia doesn't need millions of Kami, hence the shifters aren't all just kami-mages. But if she needs one servant for a unique task, she's going to pick the best candidate she can find... which might just be a mage.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        Again, I think things are getting pretty overstated here. If mages were so arrogant that choosing to serve powerful spiritual entities wasn't in theme for them, they wouldn't have access to the Totem Background. It's clearly not just magely arrogance to believe they can be chosen servants of divinity when... they can be. Hubris isn't whether you can achieve a state, but what you do with it.
                        That's not really what I meant. There are totally mages that would serve a powerful spirit, but what I'm getting at is that they'd view themselves as the chosen of that spirit or some kind of bridge between worlds like the Avatar in ATLA. Being a mage in the first place is enough to reinforce this even if it's not necessarily true.

                        A mages interactions with their "god" are often just their own avatars that they've reinterpreted to fit their paradigm, except when they aren't and the mage is talking to a real god(because there are no "Rules" in mage, only "Guidelines").

                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        On the WtA side of things, Kami are exceptionally rather beings that Gaia picks because they can serve a specific purpose she needs a unique entity to achieve. If anything, picking mages (or similarly exceptional people) of the right mindset to follow her spiritual mandate makes more sense. Gaia doesn't need millions of Kami, hence the shifters aren't all just kami-mages. But if she needs one servant for a unique task, she's going to pick the best candidate she can find... which might just be a mage.
                        Hm, I guess I can see that. I don't like it, but you make a good point.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
                          There are totally mages that would serve a powerful spirit, but what I'm getting at is that they'd view themselves as the chosen of that spirit or some kind of bridge between worlds like the Avatar in ATLA
                          They might, or they might not. There's nothing supporting this inherently being the case (hence me calling it an over statement). There are multiple Traditions where magic is seen as being a conduit of divine power, so it's kinda hard to imagine most mages are going to feel all that special when their entire Chantry deals in the same kind of magical style.

                          The Avatar in AtLA suddenly finding out there are a dozen other benders with the exact same powers would cause a fairly drastic reevaluation in how special they think they are.

                          Of course, a kami-mage would, very literally, be chosen by one of the most powerful spirits in the setting as her personal servant for some vital task of extreme importance. While Gaia might not really like a mage that actively sought such power, a character like Aang would be exactly the kind of mage she'd love to select for a difficult but necessary quest. It's rather hard to see how there's any thematic dissonance to this.

                          A mages interactions with their "god" are often just their own avatars that they've reinterpreted to fit their paradigm, except when they aren't and the mage is talking to a real god(because there are no "Rules" in mage, only "Guidelines").
                          Eh... there are plenty of "Rules" in Mage. If you only interact with a spiritual patron through the Avatar Background, yeah, it's probably not the "real deal" and just your projection of them. That's why there's a bucket of other rules you can use to make it clear that you want your mage to be interacting with an actual powerful spiritual entity; like as I keep banging on about, the Totem Background.

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                          • #14
                            The Consensual reality and the superiority/primacy of humanity in Mage is indeed incompatible with the Werewolf cosmology.

                            On the other hand, Mages can be and often are chosen by Umbral spirits, even the very same ones that patronize the Changing-Breeds, and these spirits can and do deliberately Awaken humans to be their servants (often winding up with Dreamspeakers or Orphan spirit-talkers). So the very existence of these types of Mages puts the lie to the Garou notion that Mages are inherently unnatural and against the wishes of Gaia. On the third limb, why aren't all kami as powerful as Mages, if they're Awakened too? Gaia needs all the help she can get!

                            Many mages are really arrogant and humanocentric (the Order of Hermes, Celestial Chorus, and Society of Ether seem like that to me, if less so than Technocrats) or consider the entire Earth and Umbra to be a worthless illusion and/or wasteland which humans should throw in the dumpster and move out ASAP (Virtual Adepts, Akashic Brotherhood, Void Engineers, and some Celestial Chorus seem to believe this).

                            But some Mages take their powers as something that carries an inherent duty to serve a higher power in THIS world, or even believe their powers are given to them as a direct result of that duty. Dreamspeakers, Euthanatos/Chakravanti, the Celestial Chorus (and Verbena?) have this attitude, although I haven't ever read about a Chorus member who worshipped anything remotely resembling Gaia. The Akashics are also like this except they probably don't believe in higher powers other than Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and wouldn't be likely to believe that a meaningless illusion like Earth could have a goddess.

                            I suppose that any of those "I serve a higher power/purpose greater than my own power" type Mages could conceivably willingly submit to Gaia's will, in a crossover setting - as long as their beliefs are compatible with Gaia's outlook on humanity and her world.


                            A Marauder turned into a Gorgon seems especially plausible. Look out!
                            Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 08:48 PM.


                            She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                            My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                            Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                            • #15
                              I've always found Mage and Werewolf to be one of the more compatible combos in terms of themes and cosmology (it doesn't hurt that they're the two major splats that actually deal with the Umbra as a much larger universe rather than a specific portion of it).

                              Yes, mages and shifters are coming at things from very different angles, but in-character conflict isn't out-of-character incompatibility. Of course playing Garou and mages together in a balanced way is an entirely different story.

                              Mages stress humanity because they are humans with powers, those just like the shifters the majority of mages think humanity is on the wrong track. Mages seeing humanity as the natural top animal on Earth, and shifters seeing them as usurpers to that claim is a source of tension, but ultimately how things got the way they are doesn't change that both mages and shifters have a huge interest in trying to guide humanity onto a better path than the one we're on.

                              Shifter history is also no stranger to arrogance and hubris.

                              The Traditions are also extremely varied internally. Most Akashayana wouldn't make good Kami candidates, but the Tradition aren't all Buddhists. Seeing the world as an illusion isn't the same as seeing it as worthless wasteland either. But at the same time, the Tradition has multiple groups of spirit oriented mages born of the Asian animist faiths that didn't feel like throwing in with the very culturally different Dreamspeakers, or trying to stick out on their own.

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