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  • #46
    Say, Nyrufa, remember how you said in the Beast forums how you didn't understand what was the controversy with Beast?

    That controversy was due to people perceiving Beast a game about playing sadistic abusers and justifying it.

    Now, was that assessment entirely wrong? Well, it has some grounds in truth. And that's why it's so insidious- it is a shallow reading that focuses on the most edgy bits instead of the deeper Whys and Hows in the game, and forms a first impression of the game that is detrimental to understanding the game in its entirety. It's a vicious cycle where people never look past the surface because all they looked at was the surface.

    That is exactly what's happening with this re-open debate. And why everyone, including me, is obssessed on 'correcting' you. Not that we have any chance or right to change your preferences, but still.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Cinder View Post

      It all relates to the fact 80 years of pop-cultural osmosis kinda deprived the Cthulhu Mythos of the sense of mind-melting revelations that are at the core of the Cosmic Horror genre.

      The idea of cosmic horror isn't about highly advanced beings that mind blast us the second we see them. It's the idea that these creatures are so far beyond our comprehension that there is absolutely nothing we can do to fight them. Once you give their victims some capacity to rebel against their machinations, no matter how small, you take away the spirit of the Lovecraft mythos. That's why Call of Cthulhu doesn't really work from an action stand point. If you can load up a rifle and start blowing away Deep Ones and Shuggoths, then they stop being scary. They're not ancient, cosmic horrors, they're just a bunch of ugly aliens who need to be driven off the planet. There's a reason why so many people in the Lovecraft stories end up in a mental institution; and not, say, the armed forces.
      Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-10-2017, 06:04 PM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


        The idea of cosmic horror isn't about highly advanced beings that mind blast us the second we see them. It's the idea that these creatures are so far beyond our comprehension that there is absolutely nothing we can do to fight them. Once you give their victims some capacity to rebel against their machinations, no matter how small, you take away the spirit of the Lovecraft mythos. That's why Call of Cthulhu doesn't really work from an action stand point. If you can load up a rifle and start blowing away Deep Ones and Shuggoths, then they stop being scary. They're not ancient, cosmic horrors, they're just a bunch of ugly aliens who need to be driven off the planet. There's a reason why so many people in the Lovecraft stories end up in a mental institution; and not, say, the armed forced.
        Well, would you consider crashing a boat into one as fighting back a little bit?

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        • #49
          Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
          Say, Nyrufa, remember how you said in the Beast forums how you didn't understand what was the controversy with Beast?

          That controversy was due to people perceiving Beast a game about playing sadistic abusers and justifying it.

          Now, was that assessment entirely wrong? Well, it has some grounds in truth. And that's why it's so insidious- it is a shallow reading that focuses on the most edgy bits instead of the deeper Whys and Hows in the game, and forms a first impression of the game that is detrimental to understanding the game in its entirety. It's a vicious cycle where people never look past the surface because all they looked at was the surface.

          That is exactly what's happening with this re-open debate. And why everyone, including me, is obssessed on 'correcting' you. Not that we have any chance or right to change your preferences, but still.
          I recently had an epiphany in regards to how the God Machine's technology can be similar to my brand of magic.


          Radio Signals = Incantations

          Circuitry = Leylines

          Infrastructure = Glyphs , Runes, Wards


          Probably some other comparisons, but they've slipped my mind now. Anyways, the point is that I can see from a scientific stand point how the GM can be interpreted as magical. However, I personally do not accept it as such.



          I am not trying to disuade people from using the God Machine if that is what they want to do. It's their game, go for it. I am explaining why I personally choose not to do so. I have not and never will consider magic to be technological in nature. I consider it to be its own, independent force with capabilities that defy scientific understanding. For me, casting a fireball is not a mage increasing the friction in the air to ignite a spark in the environment. It is the mage conjuring flames out of nothing and manipulating it through their force of will. It doesn't need fuel to burn, but rather it burns because the mage wants it to burn.

          That is my stance on magic.


          Originally posted by Lord Jub-Jub View Post

          Well, would you consider crashing a boat into one as fighting back a little bit?

          Depends on how the creature reacts. If you draw blood and make it yell in pain? Then yeah, that would be fighting back.

          If the creature just tanks the vehicle without batting an eye in your direction, then no.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


            The idea of cosmic horror isn't about highly advanced beings that mind blast us the second we see them. It's the idea that these creatures are so far beyond our comprehension that there is absolutely nothing we can do to fight them. Once you give their victims some capacity to rebel against their machinations, no matter how small, you take away the spirit of the Lovecraft mythos. That's why Call of Cthulhu doesn't really work from an action stand point. If you can load up a rifle and start blowing away Deep Ones and Shuggoths, then they stop being scary. They're not ancient, cosmic horrors, they're just a bunch of ugly aliens who need to be driven off the planet. There's a reason why so many people in the Lovecraft stories end up in a mental institution; and not, say, the armed forced.
            Remember when I said there are departure points? Here you go. Demons can fight the Angels (who says they can defeat the God-Machine though?) and in Bloodborne you cut Great Old Ones down. Not a big deal, as I already explained.

            Science and "eldritch abominations from the stygian depths beyond the walls of the safe haven we call sanity" can coexist. It's the scale that matters. The Mythos are scientific. Utterly, unequivocally scientific. If the many examples in the story themselves are not enough (like summoning Nyarlathotep with advanced mathematics or the Great Race that exchanges minds through a combination of machinery and telepathy, to cite a couple) they are scientific by Lovecraft's own admission. There are countless letters where he states he wrote them to be that way. Lovecraft himself states that highly-advanced beings and gods behind our comprehension are the same thing in his works. I could go scavenge for quotes but I already write about Lovecraft enough for my college thesis.

            Fighting back? Plenty of people fight back. The notion you can't it's more memetic than factual.Curwen dies. Wilbur and his brother are kicked in their tentacled butt and defeated. At the end of the icy Kadath, Nyarlathotep loses. It's all about the scale and the fact that when you start to realize the nightmarish reality of the whole picture you have good chances to lose your mind because in the end you, those you care about and your life don't matter.

            In Demon though? You get Angels that hurl galaxies at each other and yet you still have the chance to carve your own Hell. Cosmic Horror with shades of hope. Variations of the recipe that have a truly good reason to be.
            Last edited by Cinder; 04-10-2017, 06:01 PM.


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            • #51
              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

              I recently had an epiphany in regards to how the God Machine's technology can be similar to my brand of magic.


              Radio Signals = Incantations

              Circuitry = Leylines

              Infrastructure = Glyphs , Runes, Wards


              Probably some other comparisons, but they've slipped my mind now. Anyways, the point is that I can see from a scientific stand point how the GM can be interpreted as magical.
              Precisely.

              However, I personally do not accept it as such.

              I am not trying to disuade people from using the God Machine if that is what they want to do. It's their game, go for it. I am explaining why I personally choose not to do so. I have not and never will consider magic to be technological in nature. I consider it to be its own, independent force with capabilities that defy scientific understanding. For me, casting a fireball is not a mage increasing the friction in the air to ignite a spark in the environment. It is the mage conjuring flames out of nothing and manipulating it through their force of will. It doesn't need fuel to burn, but rather it burns because the mage wants it to burn.

              That is my stance on magic.
              And we finally reached some sort of agreement, it seems. I have a feeling that you love Changeling and Beast

              (Ironically enough, Mage itself has its brand of magic analyzable and measurable. Under a strict restriction that it has to be a non-Sleeper doing the science. Hell, there's even someone who Ascended by studying how particles collide, but observing all that with Mage Sight)

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                I recently had an epiphany in regards to how the God Machine's technology can be similar to my brand of magic.


                Radio Signals = Incantations

                Circuitry = Leylines

                Infrastructure = Glyphs , Runes, Wards


                Probably some other comparisons, but they've slipped my mind now. Anyways, the point is that I can see from a scientific stand point how the GM can be interpreted as magical. However, I personally do not accept it as such.
                Also remember that the GM doesn't just operate through technology, it does things like get cults to do rituals and perform sacrifices in the right spot on the right days.

                Sure there might be a device which has the circuits (which are made from the planetary metals) arranged to be an array of occult diagrams which when turned on will construct an angel to hunt down the demons which have been corrupting the local government with pacts and tempting them to sin, but that machine is likely to be powered by a cult three blocks away called the Order of Astaroth, who have to perform the rite of fourteen hearts where fourteen dedicated cultists make small cuts on their foreheads while the rest of the priests recite the tale of Saint Jeremiah from their sacred text. And then once it has been successful and a new glorious angel is conjured, the next day the statue of astaroth begins to bleed aether from his own forehead.

                Now, you don't like the tech side, but it's easy to remove, not just from GMC but Demon the Descent itself. The only tech aspects in it are really the Demon Form abilities (nearly all of which also give a description of how it would look for a traditional abrahamic demon/angel so just only use the non-tech descriptions), and that exploit gadgets look sci-fi (which even in my own games, I change to look infernal rather than sci-fi).

                The God-Machine is a machine not because it's technological, but because of it operates. It is a massive confusing apparatus, each part of which has it's own purpose and it tries to get those parts to achieve their purpose by getting them to work together. It is the "God works in mysterious ways", doing hundreds of little actions in the background to achieve a set output.

                In addition, the God-Machine has technological aspects for three reasons.
                First so that it can be omnipresent and omniscient, without the game immediately breaking. Technology is everywhere, it tracks your life, everything you do is noted by the system. The only way to escape it would be to leave places with technology all together, but remember that technology is not just wires, cameras, and hard drives. Paper is a technology. Stone carvings are a technology. To escape technology is possible, but still difficult enough for the GM to remain effectively omnipresent.

                The second reason is so that it is alien. So that it isn't "God". By being technological, it has a sense of the other it is something that doesn't match the myths of man. It is grander than man's understanding of deities or the universe. The God-Machine is a demiurge, it may be maintaining gravity, giving people holy missions, and controlling armies of angels, but it is not the true creator. Admittedly, this aspect is sometimes disliked.

                Finally, it is technological because if a deity does exist, than it's creations and actions aren't magic. They are physics. If the stars were made by deities, those stars aren't magic, they are part of the natural state of the world because the deities have willed it so. If gravity exists because of deities, then they aren't doing a spell to keep it there, gravity would exist because the deities say it should exist.
                Last edited by milo v3; 04-10-2017, 06:48 PM.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

                  Precisely.



                  And we finally reached some sort of agreement, it seems. I have a feeling that you love Changeling and Beast

                  At this moment, Changeling: the Lost is probably my favorite of the Chronicles of Darkness lines; and I don't even own the book, yet!


                  Ironically, Changeling: the Dreaming is probably my least favorite of the World of Darkness lines, because the entire setting is downright depressing. Good job, White Wolf, your made a game I can empathize with!
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-10-2017, 06:43 PM.

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                  • #54
                    Nyrufa how about making it explode into green mist?

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                      I am not trying to disuade people from using the God Machine if that is what they want to do. It's their game, go for it. I am explaining why I personally choose not to do so. I have not and never will consider magic to be technological in nature. I consider it to be its own, independent force with capabilities that defy scientific understanding. For me, casting a fireball is not a mage increasing the friction in the air to ignite a spark in the environment. It is the mage conjuring flames out of nothing and manipulating it through their force of will. It doesn't need fuel to burn, but rather it burns because the mage wants it to burn.

                      That is my stance on magic.
                      This seems like a statement you should make to your fellow players.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                        I am not trying to disuade people from using the God Machine if that is what they want to do. It's their game, go for it. I am explaining why I personally choose not to do so. I have not and never will consider magic to be technological in nature. I consider it to be its own, independent force with capabilities that defy scientific understanding. For me, casting a fireball is not a mage increasing the friction in the air to ignite a spark in the environment. It is the mage conjuring flames out of nothing and manipulating it through their force of will. It doesn't need fuel to burn, but rather it burns because the mage wants it to burn.

                        That is my stance on magic.
                        Of course, if that mage recasts and studies their Fireball, seeking to quantify how hot it gets, and/or how they can improve their casting by understanding the details, that is still science again. And if they apply that knowledge, we are back to technology...


                        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                          Of course, if that mage recasts and studies their Fireball, seeking to quantify how hot it gets, and/or how they can improve their casting by understanding the details, that is still science again. And if they apply that knowledge, we are back to technology...
                          This. If something can provably be done in violation of the laws of physics (like, for example, creating fire with no catalyst that burns with no fuel), a good scientist doesnt state dumbfounded and protest "but that's against the rules!" A good scientist asks "how was my understanding of the laws of physics wrong?" If fuelless fire can be made by repeatable processes, it doesn't matter if those processes fit within the current understanding of science, science will adapt to account for this new possibility. Because science isn't a system of rules, it's a process of explaining how things work.


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                          • #58
                            Perhaps a better corollary for Clarke's Third Law would be "any sufficiently understood magic is indistinguishable from technology."


                            Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                            My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                              Of course, if that mage recasts and studies their Fireball, seeking to quantify how hot it gets, and/or how they can improve their casting by understanding the details, that is still science again. And if they apply that knowledge, we are back to technology...


                              No, because again; the fire isn't operating under the boundaries of scientific observation. The fire is behaving in the fashion that it does simply because the mage in question wants the fire to do so. They will the fire to burn hotter, so it burns hotter, they will the fire to burn without fuel, so it burns without fuel, they will it to hold a specific shape or consistency, est. It's impossible to quantify, because it's only limitations are those of the mage's own imagination and personal training.

                              They could use science and technology in order to simulate the spell, but it would not be the same thing as actually using magic.


                              Take Dungeons and Dragons, for example. The spell "Burning Hands" allows the mage to expel a cone of flames from their hands. Now I could, in theory, strap a portable flame thrower to my wrists and shoot fire in that way. But I'm not casting Burning Hands, I'm using a machine to simulate the casting of Burning Hands.
                              Last edited by Nyrufa; 04-10-2017, 09:25 PM.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                                No, because again; the fire isn't operating under the boundaries of scientific observation. The fire is behaving in the fashion that it does simply because the mage in question wants the fire to do so. They will the fire to burn hotter, so it burns hotter, they will the fire to burn without fuel, so it burns without fuel, they will it to hold a specific shape or consistency, est. It's impossible to quantify, because it's only limitations are those of the mage's own imagination and personal training.
                                What you're describing is science. The mage is aware of what it takes to make the fire, and they use their will and Supernal symbology to bring it about instead of flint and steel.

                                The only way you're getting away from science in mage is if you work solely with Abyssal magic.

                                Supernal magic has rules, those rules are science, gained through experimentation and observation.

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