Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Work for Guild apprentices.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
    Yeah, I myself never truly got how the Guilds are supposed to operate, and how Legion and Guild membership overlaps.

    I ran with the sanctioned Guilds being out and about and sort of an advisory/for hire role for the Legions, while the other Guilds were crime syndicates.

    But even with that, Guild/Legion is the most puzzling part of Stygian politics.
    Its sort of a "wink wink, nod nod" situation. Centuries ago, the Guilds attempted a coup against Charon . . . and failed. So he outlawed them, declaring them Renegades, to be replaced with government-approved groups. Loyal practitioners would train Legionnaires in the finer points of the different (legal) Arcanoi, and these new Legion practitioners would use their new skills on behalf of the Hierarchy. In essence, Charon tried to outlaw private business, and nationalize the Arcanoi economy.

    It didn't work. There just weren't enough of the new Legion practitioners, and they didn't have time to get good. A six-week boot camp in an Arcanos simply couldn't compare to the decades/centuries of training the Guild members had. So there were immediate shortages of skilled soulforgers, pardoners, and other vital trades.

    Further, the Guilds had always been very secretive about their membership - many members came through the Breaking untouched. And with their superior skills and equipment, they were able to set up a thriving black market. One that even many "loyal" Hierarchs routinely turned to.

    So Charon had a problem. The Legions couldn't meet the market demand, but the Guilds could (and actively were). But he couldn't just pardon the Guild members . . . And yet Stygia might well fall without their skills.

    The compromise was sort of a licensure system, coupled with de facto amnesty. "Reformed" Guild members were allowed to openly practice their skills again, as long as they endorsed the party line - that the Guilds were disbanded. In exchange, the Hierarchs would ignore any "innocent gatherings" that these "ex"-Guild members decided to attend.

    So in the modern day, the Guilds officially don't exist. And newly Reaped wraiths aren't told about them. But any Hierarchy wraith with an interest in history, and a taste for politics or conspiracy theories, will probably quickly notice that the wraiths with advanced Arcanoi talents spend a lot of time at "private parties" . . .



    Edit: In other words, (almost) all Guild members are also Hierarchs, and thus belong to a Legion. At the same time, they're a member of an illegal union slash secret society slash professional trade organization slash crime syndicate, one that has its own agenda and resources. Not every skilled Arcanoi practitioner belongs to one . . .but the better the practitioner, the better the odds. And the better you get, the more likely an invitation will be extended to you.
    Last edited by One Vorlon; 03-11-2016, 04:49 AM.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Ajax View Post

      Isn't "at it's height" and "the decline started" always pretty much the same thing with empires for some reason?
      Nice.

      Originally posted by Ajax View Post
      I don't see why the Hierarchy wouldn't work with non-Hierarchy organizations where it was feasible and useful to do so, perhaps even some that would be considered Renegades or Heretics. (Especially since it's entirely possible that, to some, not being a member of the Legions = being a Renegade). It is an interesting idea to play with that something like an Iron Kingdom is not only a defiance of Oblivion but might be an inevitable part of the process of entropy a well. After all, every major culture seems to end up in something like this place... Is it really raging against the final dying of the light? Or might it just be something akin to that last tortured breath a drowning victims take even though its water and its going to bring about the inevitable end....
      I can't remember where I heard it first asked, but how many of Charon's edicts were his own and how many belonged to his Shadow? The insidiousness of Oblivion is that it gets into everything and taints it to the point that sometimes you have to ask: 'is it really worth fighting anymore?'


      Originally posted by Ajax View Post
      The Dictum is like any law. It can be a really useful thing to handle a very serious problem. The essence is even partially altruistic.
      And a lot of that is true, but the Dictum Mortuum is a terrible way to approach the problem. As a blanket law it has no recognition that there are good and bad times to interact with the dead. Sure, you don't attract unwanted attention to haunts, but you also can't defend them when said attention shows up anyways. Sure, shedding Fetters should happen with time, but defending the line means we need this wraith right here and now, and not in a harrowing because he couldn't save his sister.

      I can understand the merit of a hardline law in a society where the Judge could be Jeckyl or Hyde depending on the day, and the Underworld is a horrible place that defies proper management no matter how you go about it. The Dictum Mortuum is just an extreme example of a bad attempt. Like trying to patch a hole in a ship with a statue, the solution doesn't actually fit the problem.

      Originally posted by Ajax View Post
      And, like any law, it can be applied in ways that, while true to the intent and spirit, end up violating them as well. Not to mention selective application as a power play. Which obviously happens. A LOT. The Dictum is a kludge the Hierarchy uses to try to enforce compliance in whatever fashion they can use it.
      I think you've hit the biggest reason it's still around. It's pretty much all kludge at this point.

      Originally posted by Ajax View Post
      I'm sure that if you have the high level marks of a forbidden Arcanoi, you get looked askance at and are probably assumed to be trouble. Perhaps even arrested for it outright If you have the marks of one of the "useful" Arcanoi whose Guilds are effectively part of the Legions now, other wraiths probably just think you're a powerful person who might or might not have some connection with the more salacious side of the history of the users of same, but since we're talking the probability of being trained by someone who was trained by someone back a few more iteration to being trained by someone back when the Guilds were a thing, why would the default assumption be that such a wraith was a part of the defunct ancient society?
      Because many of the Guildmembers from the Breaking are still around. The Legions simply weren't talented enough to take over and so compromises had to be made.


      Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by One Vorlon View Post
        It didn't work. There just weren't enough of the new Legion practitioners, and they didn't have time to get good. A six-week boot camp in an Arcanos simply couldn't compare to the decades/centuries of training the Guild members had. So there were immediate shortages of skilled soulforgers, pardoners, and other vital trades.
        That seems likely true from a story perspective. But it's kind of weird that Arcanoi are supposed to be fairly rare skills that you almost certainly need to be taught by someone else (though in the actual game I don't think that's required)... and they're dirt cheap in terms of Experience. x3? That's less expensive than an Attribute. Vampire Disciplines are partly innate expressions of your Clan's blood, and they cost 2/3 more. Does anyone else find this weird? I mean Arcanoi do have a relatively high up-front cost. I'm not sure if you have to buy the basic ability separately from the first dot, and if you did then that would be 11 XP. 7 is still high compared to a multiplier of 3. But after that... It seems like metagamey characters would just get the first dot in five Arcanoi at character creation, which presumably includes the basic ability.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Ajax View Post
          . . . I don't see why the Hierarchy wouldn't work with non-Hierarchy organizations where it was feasible and useful to do so . . .
          They do - particularly in the Shadowlands during a Maelstrom (enemy of my enemy, after all). Other Hierarchs hire the local Renegades as mercenaries, or even just cheap muscle

          I'm sure that if you have the high level marks of a forbidden Arcanoi, you get looked askance at and are probably assumed to be trouble. Perhaps even arrested for it outright If you have the marks of one of the "useful" Arcanoi . .
          Don't forget the fashion trends in Stygia Its currently de rigeur to dress in soulsteel masks and loose, flowing robes . . . which "coincidentally" will hide almost any Arcanoi marks. The mottled skin from Embody, the odd muscling up from Outrage . . .

          But, of course, that's pure coincidence, right?

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

            And a lot of that is true, but the Dictum Mortuum is a terrible way to approach the problem. As a blanket law it has no recognition that there are good and bad times to interact with the dead. Sure, you don't attract unwanted attention to haunts, but you also can't defend them when said attention shows up anyways. Sure, shedding Fetters should happen with time, but defending the line means we need this wraith right here and now, and not in a harrowing because he couldn't save his sister.

            I can understand the merit of a hardline law in a society where the Judge could be Jeckyl or Hyde depending on the day, and the Underworld is a horrible place that defies proper management no matter how you go about it. The Dictum Mortuum is just an extreme example of a bad attempt. Like trying to patch a hole in a ship with a statue, the solution doesn't actually fit the problem.

            I think you've hit the biggest reason it's still around. It's pretty much all kludge at this point.
            It seems like a terrible way to approach the problem to us and the "average joe/josephine" wraith in the Shadowlands (Fetters and modern or close to modern sensibilities), but to the gaunts of many necropoli and to pretty much ALL the Domems of Stygia don't share those sensibilities at all. Draconian laws aren't just the norm they're pretty much the only game in town ("An eye for an eye" from the Bible goes back to killing an appropriate number of relatives in the builder's family if a house collapses and kills some of the inhabitants in Hammurabi and this goes up to concepts like killing both the rapist and the victim of rape in later Byztantine times). And there was little thought given to our concepts of "fairness", and fuck-all to mercy (even the Solomanic "even-handedness" involved cutting an infant in half). And, important note, by and large, those societies did not fall apart due to the harshness of their laws. Stygian leadership wouldn't think twice about having laws like the Dictum. It's not just old hat, it's pretty much the only way they see laws. And the fact that the Dictum is levied in ways that seem haphazard and contradictory, fraught with politics and ignored in the breech doesn't matter at ALL to them. As far as they are concerned it's still working and working in exactly the way laws are supposed to work. And they aren't wrong either. The mere existence of the Dictum Mortuum defines the nature of the relationship between the dead and the living in the way Stygia wants it. It's working exactly the way it's intended to, whether some whiny Enfants complain about it or that it is often broken with impunity from time to time. I

            Comment


            • #21
              I've often treated finding a Guild member like finding a drug dealer. Everyone knows someone who can score some weed or who might deal in not-exactly-legit goods, if you need them. Some people probably know a person who can do worse things too. This is in real life. In Wraith, I imagine it's similar. It goes on, but people know not to talk about it. And if you go looking for it, it's not too hard to find. But the authorities have their hands full and have bigger problems than someone giving some weed to their neighbour. But if that person suddenly gets too big for their boots, or complaints start coming in, then it becomes a problem...

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                It seems like a terrible way to approach the problem to us and the "average joe/josephine" wraith in the Shadowlands (Fetters and modern or close to modern sensibilities), but to the gaunts of many necropoli and to pretty much ALL the Domems of Stygia don't share those sensibilities at all. Draconian laws aren't just the norm they're pretty much the only game in town ("An eye for an eye" from the Bible goes back to killing an appropriate number of relatives in the builder's family if a house collapses and kills some of the inhabitants in Hammurabi and this goes up to concepts like killing both the rapist and the victim of rape in later Byztantine times). And there was little thought given to our concepts of "fairness", and fuck-all to mercy (even the Solomanic "even-handedness" involved cutting an infant in half). And, important note, by and large, those societies did not fall apart due to the harshness of their laws. Stygian leadership wouldn't think twice about having laws like the Dictum. It's not just old hat, it's pretty much the only way they see laws. And the fact that the Dictum is levied in ways that seem haphazard and contradictory, fraught with politics and ignored in the breech doesn't matter at ALL to them. As far as they are concerned it's still working and working in exactly the way laws are supposed to work. And they aren't wrong either. The mere existence of the Dictum Mortuum defines the nature of the relationship between the dead and the living in the way Stygia wants it. It's working exactly the way it's intended to, whether some whiny Enfants complain about it or that it is often broken with impunity from time to time. I
                You're not wrong. And that divide is exactly what I'm talking about. The lawmakers in Stygia have a completely different outlook than the wraiths in the Shadowlands and the two are so far divorced that what seems like perfect reason to one side looks like madness to another.

                And I think that's one of two points of the Dictum: to highlight that divide. From everything we've heard the Dictuum is so hardline that it cannot be enforced as written and have Wraith society continue to function. It actively hinders most Shadowlands Wraiths from continuing to exist. What little ability there is to override the Dictum is completely in the hands of beings that can't even go into the Shadowlands without help, let along cross the Shroud. It is the product of a completely different era, being perpetuated by wraiths of an even more different era.

                It's other purpose is to provide the tension between wraithly existence and wraithly society, and to underscore the strange and mad things required to survive, from protecting audio cassettes, to frightening the living, to lobotomizing and smelting your fellow souls to use as tools.

                Thanks for bringing up the age issue, btw. It's yet another thing that highlights the divide and it's something I often forget to play up on. In many ways Stygia should be one of the most alien places imaginable.


                Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

                  You're not wrong. And that divide is exactly what I'm talking about. The lawmakers in Stygia have a completely different outlook than the wraiths in the Shadowlands and the two are so far divorced that what seems like perfect reason to one side looks like madness to another.

                  And I think that's one of two points of the Dictum: to highlight that divide. From everything we've heard the Dictuum is so hardline that it cannot be enforced as written and have Wraith society continue to function. It actively hinders most Shadowlands Wraiths from continuing to exist. What little ability there is to override the Dictum is completely in the hands of beings that can't even go into the Shadowlands without help, let along cross the Shroud. It is the product of a completely different era, being perpetuated by wraiths of an even more different era.

                  It's other purpose is to provide the tension between wraithly existence and wraithly society, and to underscore the strange and mad things required to survive, from protecting audio cassettes, to frightening the living, to lobotomizing and smelting your fellow souls to use as tools.

                  Thanks for bringing up the age issue, btw. It's yet another thing that highlights the divide and it's something I often forget to play up on. In many ways Stygia should be one of the most alien places imaginable.
                  Over-riding the Dictum does not rely on the tyrants of distant Stygia. Like modern policing and criminal justice, it mostly resides in the hands of the Legionnaire who sees the numerous minor violation and chooses which to pursue and which not to pursue. It lies in the hands of the hands of their officers who who decide the "on the ground policies" in how they implement the directives of their superiors and it relies on how the Anacreons and other higher-ups administer said implementation and articulate with Stygia. See above for some examples of the Legions allowing for "sanctioned" violation in pursuit of their various necropolis-specific objectives.... and some of those are going to be fine with rStygia, resource-hungry/production-light (particularly in the fundamentals). Just so long as it's kept on the down-low with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge. I'm sure if an Imperial Censor (or whatever) shows up, everyone snaps to the grid and there's definitely some "rounding up of the usual suspects" and show trials, but, even then, there's probably going to be a lot MORE, "Cool it for awhile guys" on all of the above levels. (I admit I am coming at this from the perspective a former prosecutor, so I feel like I know all about black letter law and what REALLY ends up happening).

                  So, yeah, tension, but it's not like the Dictum is a law of nature in the Shadowlands. It's an artifact of society, with all the various permutations thereof.

                  YW, and not only alien, but really really uncomfortable to even BE in if you aren't "ready".

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                    Over-riding the Dictum does not rely on the tyrants of distant Stygia. Like modern policing and criminal justice, it mostly resides in the hands of the Legionnaire who sees the numerous minor violation and chooses which to pursue and which not to pursue. It lies in the hands of the hands of their officers who who decide the "on the ground policies" in how they implement the directives of their superiors and it relies on how the Anacreons and other higher-ups administer said implementation and articulate with Stygia. See above for some examples of the Legions allowing for "sanctioned" violation in pursuit of their various necropolis-specific objectives.... and some of those are going to be fine with rStygia, resource-hungry/production-light (particularly in the fundamentals). Just so long as it's kept on the down-low with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge. I'm sure if an Imperial Censor (or whatever) shows up, everyone snaps to the grid and there's definitely some "rounding up of the usual suspects" and show trials, but, even then, there's probably going to be a lot MORE, "Cool it for awhile guys" on all of the above levels. (I admit I am coming at this from the perspective a former prosecutor, so I feel like I know all about black letter law and what REALLY ends up happening).
                    At this point I'm pretty sure we are on the same page, especially after hearing you are a former prosecutor. What you described is pretty much exactly how I envision the Dictum working out on the ground. On paper only the Deathlords and their close servants can lift the Dictum, in practice limited resources and conflicting demands open up room for discretion. If it looks like I am overstating the situation it is because I will always spin Wraith as darker and more Kafkaesque than life because Shadows ruin it for everyone.

                    YW, and not only alien, but really really uncomfortable to even BE in if you aren't "ready".
                    QFT



                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                      I will always spin Wraith as darker and more Kafkaesque than life because Shadows ruin it for everyone.


                      And by "ruin it for everyone", if you mean, "make it as fun as barrel of monkeys on crack beating each other with typewriters and accidentally inventing opera.... very very very angry monkeys", then, sure!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                        And by "ruin it for everyone", if you mean, "make it as fun as barrel of monkeys on crack beating each other with typewriters and accidentally inventing opera.... very very very angry monkeys", then, sure!
                        That's what I mean. If you wake up from Catharsis with a QWERTY stamped on your head, the local Anacreon's broken mask in your pocket, and the ghost of Puccini hunting for your head, you should count yourself lucky it wasn't worse.


                        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X