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  • Ramnesis
    started a topic Notable Changes in Wraith 20th

    Notable Changes in Wraith 20th

    I'm only a small way into the book so far, but there are two things that have caught my eye so far:

    The Tempest referenced in the time before the First Maelstrom surprised me. What existed before the 3rd Great Maelstrom has been the topic of more than one thread on this forum so this change answers a question or two and raises a few more.

    I was not expecting Wr20 to change the formulation of Stygian Steel. That change is... well it keeps getting bigger the more I think about it. It changes how much of the substance Spectres are likely to have (the ones that fly the Tempest winds are not the most organizationally gifted, shall we say). It removes one of the major ethical components of the substance (although teams of thralls mining oblivion touched stone from the veinous stair aren't exactly a moral good). It even implies there are other substances waiting to be discovered. Big change there.


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Qoorl View Post
    Really late to the party but couldn’t some of the Underworlds buildings also be made from relic material? A historic land mark burns down... that place either appears fully formed in the underworld... or the pieces of it do.

    They almost certainly are. Destroyed buildings with enough emotional resonance to leave a strong relic are rare, though, and most of them need significant reinforcement to deal with potential maelstroms. They'll probably look similar to what they did in life, but with significant additions.

    Also, this is head cannon but I tend to assume the Hierarchy likes to grab the good buildings for building up Stygia.

    Leave a comment:


  • Qoorl
    replied
    Really late to the party but couldn’t some of the Underworlds buildings also be made from relic material? A historic land mark burns down... that place either appears fully formed in the underworld... or the pieces of it do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Can't you just say Grandmother is the source of only some of the beings claiming the title of Neverborn, and that some of the known Neverborn are not derived from her? Kinda best of a compromise?


    Also I really like the Storyteller Vault prop book the Analects of the 3rd Garden, even better then a lot of the canon prop books. It says The Absolute was everything and that which was not the Absolute was Yaldaboath, basically Oblivion and Naught. Yaldaboath made Emanations which were lesser creations that dwelt in the Abyss. The Absolute let their be Lighted their ass and the light smote like 14 of them into the Endless sea, while 7 hid in the Labyrinthe that existed before the Light and were basically reincarnated into the Highest Order of Elohim by the Absolute, basically Saboath (Yhwh) who created Eden and the other Gardens mentioned in the Revelations of the Dark Mother. And Lilith was created from True Earth and one of the Souls from the Endless Sea (a Neverborn) was breathed into Lilith to give her life.

    Leave a comment:


  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
    Pretty much that, yeah. But Grandmother wasn't just a stand in for Oblivion, she was a completely different side of it. Either the only true Neverborn, or Oblivion as an alien creator. That creative, transformative side of her was a fundamental part of the Orpheus story. The sidebar keeps the reason for her name and... that's about it. Everything else was left out, so if you didn't already know it...

    Not that I was expecting more for her. From the moment it was announced that the Orpheus chapter would be pre-6GM I knew they were going to have to sideline her. Grandmother simply does not fit the normal themes of Wraith. But she was one of my favorite things in Orpheus and I'm sad to see such a threadbare description.
    But there's two things to consider here. 1. Wraith explicitly has Neverborn, so Orpheus contradicted that by stating only she was the true Neverborn. In a Wraith game, Wraith lore was always going to win. 2. Those things can still be possible. They aren't contradicted, per se, they're just not mentioned. And that's probably how it should be without adding spoilers for Orpheus.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primal Flame
    replied
    Ramnesis adambeyoncelowe Thank you guys. I always liked the Neverborn. I hope they receive a nice treatment, both content and word-count wise.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Pretty much that, yeah. But Grandmother wasn't just a stand in for Oblivion, she was a completely different side of it. Either the only true Neverborn, or Oblivion as an alien creator. That creative, transformative side of her was a fundamental part of the Orpheus story. The sidebar keeps the reason for her name and... that's about it. Everything else was left out, so if you didn't already know it...

    Not that I was expecting more for her. From the moment it was announced that the Orpheus chapter would be pre-6GM I knew they were going to have to sideline her. Grandmother simply does not fit the normal themes of Wraith. But she was one of my favorite things in Orpheus and I'm sad to see such a threadbare description.

    Leave a comment:


  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Primal Flame View Post

    I'm waiting for the final DTRPG book. What is said exactly about grandmother?
    Just that she's a myth, and may be the Well of the Void, or maybe something else. To be honest, she's exactly the same--she just gets a tiny word count. Remember that the setting assumes these are the early days of Orpheus.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primal Flame
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

    Grandmother lost a lot of what made her interesting. Well maybe not lost, it's just not mentioned. I suppose it is still possible she's a force of creation, transformation, and strange birth, it just doesn't come through in her sidebar and it doesn't really fit with Wraith.
    I'm waiting for the final DTRPG book. What is said exactly about grandmother?

    Leave a comment:


  • Callishka
    replied
    The Legions are about as important as they always have been. They're still the eight divisions of the Hierarchy, they're still headed by Deathlords who vie against one another, and they still serve as communities and institutions for those who died under roughly similar circumstances.

    I used to dismiss the Legions until I re-read the Book of Legions, and now I really like them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herbert_West
    replied
    How significant are Legions made out to be i Wr20? I always found them to stick out of the setting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by Callishka View Post

    Perhaps, but another feature of the Tempest, beyond its shifting and uncertain geography, is that the more wraiths believe in a certain location, the more stable its location. Psychology = terrain; emotion = geography. Hence, if a company establishes a mining operation, that very establishment may "anchor" the deposit where it is expected to be found by all those who found it there to begin with. That's the principle behind byways themselves, as well as the locations of outposts and steadings. This doesn't disprove anything you said, but I think we shouldn't use the uncertain spatial dimensions of the Tempest to prevent our games from having any kind of semi-stable location
    Oh, yeah, I'm not trying to throw that out. I'm just skeptical that these special clouds occur in big enough concentrations to form a cloud bank, or even that it's possible to anchor one if they do. Establishing a base or a road is a matter of building something up against the storm, usually with some stable memory as a base. But reinforcing the storm itself? It's not impossible, I suppose, but it seems improbable if not outright suicidal to do on an industrial scale.

    Leave a comment:


  • Callishka
    replied
    Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
    I suspect you and I have different views on what the Tempest is like. The storm shifts around too much for any permanent operation. A crew that finds a cloud and fills its tanks will be lucky if that cloud still exists by the time they get back.
    Perhaps, but another feature of the Tempest, beyond its shifting and uncertain geography, is that the more wraiths believe in a certain location, the more stable its location. Psychology = terrain; emotion = geography. Hence, if a company establishes a mining operation, that very establishment may "anchor" the deposit where it is expected to be found by all those who found it there to begin with. That's the principle behind byways themselves, as well as the locations of outposts and steadings. This doesn't disprove anything you said, but I think we shouldn't use the uncertain spatial dimensions of the Tempest to prevent our games from having any kind of semi-stable location

    Leave a comment:


  • Ramnesis
    replied
    Originally posted by tungee View Post
    2.) Whether they know where the clouds are specifically in the isn't really the point. Real world mining would be a good example of how such a process would go. No one just "knows" where a gold deposit is. Eventually someone finds one and holds it long enough to establish a claim and business. Then the mining begins. They don't just sit on their asses at that point and mine that first deposit, they send out scouts, survey teams, question any local inhabitants they can find, experiment with other new techniques, etc in their constant drive to find a new source when the current one dries up, which they inevitably do.
    I suspect you and I have different views on what the Tempest is like. The storm shifts around too much for any permanent operation. A crew that finds a cloud and fills its tanks will be lucky if that cloud still exists by the time they get back. There may or may not be regions with more of a chance of the precious cloud material, but every journey out would be a scouting mission. Going out in artifact ships to hunt the great white whale cloud would be the systemic way. That or keeping a team of ships ready to swarm one when it comes nearby.

    Notably, though, you need both the dense clouds and the labyrinth scrapings to make Stygian Steel. Few Necropoli have the position or the resources to get one, let alone both, nor are they likely to have many proficient in working the material. They are all dependent on what Stygia can put together. No matter how I look at it, the infrastructure for soulsteel is much better developed than the infrastructure for Stygian steel.

    Each soul saved is a new potential customer for Stygian Steel products ("Remember folks, Stygian Steel is the only all 100% Underworld-eco friendly material that -definitely- was never smarter than you!") The fact that it doesn't moan, bleed, or have creepy faces in the final product is also kind of nice.
    Or grist for the mills of Oblivion. Remember that the party line is that Oblivion gets stronger with every soul it claims so every drone and weak wraith soulforged is a soul the void can't claim. While I don't think that is 100% accurate, I do think most wraiths in the empire believe it is. While some ghosts and organizations may be working to supplant soulsteel with stygia, they are the distinct minority.

    . Yeah, no one is walking around with millions of oboli, but I've never had a character that didn't have a small handful of them. That just seems like something they threw in so they could legitimately claim, "No, see this sentence says they're semi-rare" and then proceed to write the book as if oboli are used in most transactions. If they truly were rare then all the god damn prices wouldn't be in oboli, they'd be in the most commonly used currency. If they are rare then they'd be more like works of art, commodities that have value, but currencies aren't based on the value of paintings. It's the other way around, and the "rare oboli" theory should work like that (1 oboli = 10 Pathos, in this case Pathos is the most commonly used currency due to Usury)
    It's definitely new to Wr20, but it's not just one line. There are numerous bits that imply that Oboli are rarer, more valuable, and more of a status symbol than they were in previous editions.

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  • tungee
    replied
    A couple things:

    1.) I've never said that soulforging was gone or reduced in the setting, just that the changes they made to soulforging and stygian steel seem like backwards. There's just nothing that leads me to believe there is more soulsteel than stygian steel, and thus most things should be made of stygian steel (this also completely solves the problem that there simply aren't enough souls to make everything they seem to have made. At -least- since the discovery of Stygian steel anyway (since we don't know when that was exactly).

    2.) Whether they know where the clouds are specifically in the isn't really the point. Real world mining would be a good example of how such a process would go. No one just "knows" where a gold deposit is. Eventually someone finds one and holds it long enough to establish a claim and business. Then the mining begins. They don't just sit on their asses at that point and mine that first deposit, they send out scouts, survey teams, question any local inhabitants they can find, experiment with other new techniques, etc in their constant drive to find a new source when the current one dries up, which they inevitably do. Considering nearly everything the Restless do is based on mostly modified mortal ideas, I would posit that Stygian Steel miners would work along similar principles. the point is that they'd develop a systematic way of finding new loads. Obviously it's WAY more risky and dangerous, no one is saying otherwise, but we already know for fact that's not actually stopping anyone (after all, its one of the main sources of materials). It's still probably considerably less dangerous then Diving the Labyrinth for a living, and it has an actual solid payoff.
    They -MUST- have some technique by now. It wouldn't be a major commodity if sources only willy-nilly showed up. If Stygian steel is literally only found by some bumbling idiot getting lucky, you wouldn't be able to build anything on that. Who knows when the next source could come up? Might as well flip a coin to decide to check every Tempest cloud bank or not. Sure, there are single, individual miners who might find small sources of the Steel, but there are also real life people who pick up scrap and resell it but we're not basing our industry on them. NOR is that scrap actually serving an additional purpose by saving lives (presumably every girder build from Stygian Steel is one girder that didn't need a soul. I'm sure the Hierarchy would just decide it needs more buildings though.)
    Imagine in the real world if houses were made from people. Then one day, someone finds out that there is some crap in the ocean that serves the same purpose, but without killing anyone. You don't think there would be a flood of opportunists, governments, businesses, scientists, and everyone else trying to capitalize on it? Oh, so occasionally rampaging monsters come, try to kill you, rape your mind, steal your goods, and leave? You think that would actually stop people? Welcome to being a farmer in the 1950s Soviet Union, or any number of periods of China, Rome, Africa, North America, Australia... you get the idea, when some groups of assholes comes around calling themselves your government and does exactly those things to you. Oh, the source isn't permanent, dries up, and is hard to find. Sounds a lot like oil to me (which incidentally -is- made from once living creatures, fossil fuels baby) There's other, economic, reasons as well. Each soul saved is a new potential customer for Stygian Steel products ("Remember folks, Stygian Steel is the only all 100% Underworld-eco friendly material that -definitely- was never smarter than you!") The fact that it doesn't moan, bleed, or have creepy faces in the final product is also kind of nice.

    3.) There are many forms of currency in the Underworld. The Usurers are a big part of it, or their Arcanos anyway. It might even pre-date soulforging. It's not really clear. Soulforging can be traced back to a specific point, Nudhri's release from the Labyrinth, but the other Arcanos aren't so well defined (but we do know at least some of them pre-date soulforging). Considering its very intimate connection to the Passions of the Restless, I would guess Usury is one of the earliest Arcanos (it's possible this is said somewhere). Unlike many Arcanos all you really need for usury is yourself.
    If oboli are actually pretty rare, and not every Wraith has access to them, then other problems arise. For one, aside from that one little sentence, I've never been given the impression that oboli are particularly rare. Yeah, no one is walking around with millions of oboli, but I've never had a character that didn't have a small handful of them. That just seems like something they threw in so they could legitimately claim, "No, see this sentence says they're semi-rare" and then proceed to write the book as if oboli are used in most transactions. If they truly were rare then all the god damn prices wouldn't be in oboli, they'd be in the most commonly used currency. If they are rare then they'd be more like works of art, commodities that have value, but currencies aren't based on the value of paintings. It's the other way around, and the "rare oboli" theory should work like that (1 oboli = 10 Pathos, in this case Pathos is the most commonly used currency due to Usury)

    Leave a comment:

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