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Empyrean: the Redemption [Collaborative fansplat]

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  • Empyrean: the Redemption [Collaborative fansplat]

    Empyrean: The Redemption
    You were lost once, deluded and self-defeating. You were an incomplete soul grasping at shallow meaning and fighting to hold onto an empty life in an uncaring world. One day, you finally realized the fight wasn’t worth it anymore--you let go of the delusion that you weren’t broken, that the world wasn’t broken, and gazed into the dark emptiness that was your existence--only to find something staring back at you.

    It was a Celestial; a fallen god lying broken and crippled in the gulf outside reality, but burning with desire. In this moment of Epiphany, the crippled divinity offered you redemption, not just for yourself but the world. You accepted, and merged with the divine. You are now one of the Reborn--a god reinvented into the World of Darkness, come bearing the light of heaven and to right the wrongs of the past.

    With power comes responsibility, though, and it weighs upon you like the sky upon Atlas’ back. You are a flame in a world of cardboard, separated by orders of magnitude from those around you. Your love is a divine blessing, your wrath the scourge of thousands. When your kind fight, it is others who suffer. Can you bear to be exalted above humanity, even as you know that you are more flawed than any of them?

    Empyrean is a game of redemption, where two broken souls become one, where beings both human and divine strive to heal the world they helped create. It is a game where players take on the role of one of the Reborn--composite beings, composed of a human whose soul was damaged enough to permit a Celestial, something higher yet exiled and broken, to take up residence within them and merge into something new. Born again, the Human soul and Celestial essence support one another, becoming something greater than the sum of their parts. When they open their eyes after this Epiphany, each half sees the world as it never has before.

    However, the Empyrean are far from all-powerful and further from all-knowing. To human minds, the reality of the Celestial is just as incomprehensible as the mundane world is to that numinous being. It takes time, insight and effort to understand but the most basic rudiments of these dissonant actualities and to settle into a comfortable partnership.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In The Beginning…
    When the world was young, all was bright. The mundane and the spiritual were in balance, the realm of free will and the realm of dreams and destiny sang together in perfect harmony. The dark and violent primordial spirits of what came before were dormant, and the cosmos itself seemed to vibrate with potential as the hallowed custodians--the Celestials--protected and guided the World of Light.

    And then the world shattered and fell into darkness.

    At least that’s as clear as any Empyrean can recall events of the distant past. Beyond that, most of the Reborn can catch imperfect snapshots at best, flashes of feelings and images completely alien to human minds, haunting dreams of nonsensical events, and on occasion...memories. Memories of god-like beings, un-relatable to human minds filtered and squeezed through the cultural bias, symbols, and understanding of human experience. It’s barely anything, but it IS something. The one thing which all Empyrean know, bone-deep, is that the Fall was somehow their fault. They know, with inexplicable certainty, that every flaw in the world, everything ugly and wrong can be laid at their feet. Driven by guilt, the Reborn set out to undo the mistakes of the past, and claim Redemption--not just for themselves, but for the world itself.

    An impossible task perhaps...especially with the knowledge that when the world is pushed one way, it’s almost guaranteed to push back even harder, but as far as the Reborn can see, they have one final chance.

    Power Stat: Communion
    The degree to which the Celestial and human halves of the Empyrean comprehend and understand one another and, through this understanding, comprehension of how to apply supernatural power to reality as humans understand it. As the Reborn’s influence grows, so to will their ability to commune with their Celestial. This goes both ways, though, and should their influence wane, so too does their Communion.

    Fuel Stat: Od
    Orgone, the Odic force, the undifferentiated elan vital which permeates all creation. More specifically, it is the fundamental force-of-progress in the universe which drives all action, and most especially inspired or meaningful action. To the Reborn, Od is life itself. Without it, the power of the Celestial starts to burn them out from within, aging their bodies and lessening their power.

    Od can be harvested from sources in the world known as ‘Pillars’. However, these are rare in the extreme and it is far more common for the Reborn to gain their sustenance from the most easily-accessed sources: people. Od which is reflective of the Empyrean’s own personal philosophies and those of his Creed is the most ‘palatable’, while unsuited or opposed Od is unpleasant at best and can do more harm than good. These tendencies only become more prominent as an Empyrean grows in Communion.

    Morality Stat:Onus
    Meaning approximately ‘obligation’, Onus is the degree to which an Empyrean’s worldview aligns with that of humanity. At high levels, the Empyrean is almost human in outlook, while as Onus falls they become less and less able to view humans as something worthy of equal regard. At Onus 0, an Empyrean devolves into a Daemon, a being with all of its supernatural power intact but utterly incapable of empathising with mortals, or viewing them as nothing more than toys or playthings.

    Virtue/Vice: Etharzi and Vonpho
    Etharzi – The ‘peace’ form, tied to the Empyrean’s virtue

    Vonpho– The ‘wrath’ form, tied to the Reborn’s vice

    Both Etharzi and Vonpho have a corresponding Archetype. Examples of such Archetypes include:
    • The Mother
    • The Judge
    • The Monster
    • The Trickster
    • The Sage
    • The Magician
    • The Maker
    • The Rebel
    • The Solar Regent
    • The Lunar Sovereign
    X-Splat: Aspect
    Every Empyrean’s Od is unique, yet they are also pulled in a specific ‘direction’ or common theme of the universe which shapes the Reborn’s outlook and countenance:
    • The Ananael are gods of the same breed as Zeus, Yu Di, Re and Thoth - they are the gods who sit atop the heavens and preside over the world beneath. Some are kings crowned with lightning or solar light and others are sages who hold the secret knowledge of engineering, writing or fire, but all are mighty and regal figures.
    • At their most basic, the Malpirgi embody conflict. They are Mars, Huitzilopochtli, the angel Michael, Guan Yu and Thor. They are divine generals and holy warriors, but their remit is not limited solely to war. They also command rebellion, revolution and social debates and conflicts.
    • If the Ananael bear secret knowledge unto humanity, the Ors keep it to themselves. They are the guardians of the darkness and the deep places, the afterworlds and the realms of mind and soul. They are Hecate, who stands three-faced at the crossroads as the goddess of witchcraft and they are Hades, who commands the dead in his realm beneath the earth.
    • Of all the Aspects, the Chaosgoare perhaps the most primal. They are the gods of nature, the elements and the animal in man. Tiamat and Apsu, both primordial deities of salt and freshwater, are Chaosgo, as is Inanna, the great goddess of love and fertility and both Aphrodite and Poseidon.
    • Tricksters, wanderers and messengers, the Insiaare the troublemakers of the gods. Like Hermes they travel on swift and sure feet between many places, like Coyote they are clever and cunning and like Loki, on occasion their tricks go too far.
    Y-Splat:Creed
    In their quest to reconcile their human and divine selves the Empyrean draw upon the religious philosophies of the world to form a baseline from which they may work towards a brighter tomorrow. They can be divided into six distinct groups:
    • The Elder Gods, the Creed which draws from the oldest of religions that revered strength above all else, and concerns itself with those Empyrean who understand that their primary failing had been one of weakness, and now seek to reclaim their birthright.
    • The Watchers, who associate themselves with more monotheistic thought, believing that their primary failing in the past was of a moral or ethical nature, and thus look to spread compassion and good works in the world.
    • The Fallen Devas, who draw their closest parallels to eastern religions, and view their own incompetence at their role as their original sin, and now seek to bring harmony to themselves and those around them.
    • The Defiled Shrine, who are most sympathetic towards the animistic religions of the world and see their fall as the result of imposing separation between nature and civilization, between the mundane and divine, and now work to undo the delusion.
    • The Descended Masters, who are most comparable to New Age religions, believe their primary sin was refusing to adapt (or allow change) in the evolving world, and thus seek to reinvent themselves in the modern day.
    • The Outer Gods, who embody doomsday cults, and constitute all those Empyrean who believe that the world is too broken to be healed, and thus they must first cleanse it in order to build a new one.
    Powers: Spheres and Materialisations
    Aspects of reality over which an Empyrean holds power, Spheres are passively expressed as Authority – an honorary Spirit Rank with regards to spirits related to the Sphere – and can be actively used as Revelations or Designs. Revelations are brief but spectacular miracles of direct divine ability - the throwing of thunderbolts and the inspiration of artists - while Designs are subtle, far-reaching and pervasive effects which influence souls, society and reality to the Empyrean's desire. Both are unique to each Empyrean. Even if two demigods command the same Spheres, their Designs and Revelations may be vastly different to one another.

    Finally, Empyrean have access to three Materialisationsbeyond their Cordziz -- their mortal form. These three manifestations are reflections of their divine nature, and are collectively known as the Peripsol. The first two - the Etharzi and the Vonpho - reflect her Archetypes, and are tied to the virtue and vice of the Empyrean in question. Furthermore, the Etharzi is better suited to the enactment of Designs and the Vonpho specialising in Revelations.

    The third Materialisation, the Iada or ‘Highest’, is different. It combines the abilities of both other Materialisations with an ability to shrug off all harm but that backed by significant supernatural power and an alien, godlike perspective in which humankind are little better than ants. Using this Materialisation has a price, though, as it knocks the balance between human and divine out of sync and sets back the mutual understanding of Communion by exposing the human mind to too strange a viewpoint too soon. It is possible to retain this balance, but it takes supreme understanding and force of will, and often an extended period contemplating the Heavens.

    Antagonists

    It’s no secret amongst the Reborn that some of their biggest problems come from other Empyrean. They still suffer human failings as deeply or more so than mortals and disagreements between the Creeds are common enough. Disputes over territory, resources, followers or anything else that could be fought over flare up with regularity, not to mention personal conflicts and vendettas. These also arise much more frequently than any of the Reborn would like to admit; gods can be petty, vindictive, and jealous after all. And, when the Empyrean come to blows, many can suffer for it - many a legend can tell you what happens to lesser creatures when the gods march to war.

    Unfortunately, as the Reborn push the world around them in one direction, they often find the world pushes back. The more direct and forward the Empyrean is in their works, the more more likely the the opposition to their ideas will grow--and often that opposition becomes something more than abstract, they become Egregore. Potent thoughtforms which spread like mental diseases, Egregoreevict souls from their bodies, consume them and use them to grow ever stronger, entwining like vines around a community until they rule it entirely. By their very nature, the Egregore are antagonistic to changes wrought by Empyrean or, indeed, to any changes at all. They are creatures of stagnation and a rotten sort of order - the kind that makes it impossible to not become a dirty cop, that forces you to step on the heads of others to reach ever-higher and then, when you’re at the top, makes it impossible to change things so that others won’t have to. Although Egregore are themselves entirely immaterial, they are capable of the wilful creation of Tulpa to serve their ends in the physical world, as well as subtly directing their pawns to act in their stead.

    Some Empyrean don’t blame the fall of the world, or themselves, on mistakes made in a past they barely remember. Some lay the blame squarely on the denizens of the world itself. Others care very little what happened in the past, and simply see a world beyond hope. The Outer Gods are those of the Reborn who have looked upon this World of Darkness, this world of living nightmares and monsters hiding in plain sight, and judged it too broken to be fixed. Empyrean of the other Creeds may refer to them as ‘Horrors’, but the Outer Gods simply refer to themselves as ‘necessary’. The world must be cleansed; the creatures that walk and crawl upon its skin, swim in its seas and fly in its skies must be purged, so that a better world free of corruption may be built. While few in the Creed have solid ideas as to what world must come next, ALL of them agree that extinction comes first. Drawing their power from destruction and desecration on a massive scale, the Outer Gods are unfortunately renowned for being able to amass devastating power fairly quickly, but also losing it quite easily. As can be surmised, cooperation between the Horrors and the other Creeds is rare to say the very least, although they may occasionally band together against a threat which may corrupt the world even further.

    For all the bickering and occasional outright violence the Creeds direct towards one another, virtually all of them stand united when Daemonsare in town. When an Empyrean completely loses their sense of Onus--when their sense of self-awareness, of responsibility and duty drop to nothing--a mad god, a Daemon, is born. Where even the most jaded of Empyrean will view mortal creatures as slightly above insects, a Daemon sees only toys...playthings for its amusement. The world is not something to be saved, destroyed or healed anymore, but rather a simply playground to be used and then discarded when it is no longer amusing. Even more troubling is the number of Egregore which seem to arise and follow in their wake. When push comes to shove, even the Outer Godswill sometimes unite with the other Creeds when it comes to stopping the insanity of a Daemon. Those Daemons that survive the hatred of their former fellows, though, are often mighty indeed, and some are willing to deal with Empyrean on a level at least approaching equals to combat threats which might violate the sanctity of their ‘playground’.

    For all that the Reborn and the other supernatural denizens of the world of darkness hold great power, none can match mortals for numbers. Mortal organisations can be as great a stumbling block as any rival god or monster. The spiritual ‘weight’ created from the confederation of hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of souls creates an inertia that renders large organisations and their members resistant to the Designs of Empyrean. This protection is far from perfect and applies only when an individual is acting as a part of that organisation, but it is more than enough to make trouble for the Reborn. Government inspectors will not be turned aside by subtle workings of fate, nor will corporations simply step aside to allow the Empyrean to take the corner office. This does not even include those organisations that deliberately hunt the Empyrean, whether to study them, to destroy them or to exploit them. More than a few impressionable Reborn have been taken in by offers of cooperation, only to find themselves in a gilded prison.

    Realms

    Above and beyond the World of Darkness are the Heavens. Vistas of meaning built upon the soul of existence itself, the Heavens are a mean reflection of the once-home of an Empyrean’s Celestial self - and even this reflection rejects and scours them.

    If the Heavens are that which is above the world, the Voidis that which is below it. The Void is everything offcast from the world, a corpse-reflection of reality. It is the shadow cast by being, a negative impression of what exists, and it hungers to become real. Even fallen from its former state, though, reality is tightly-woven and the Void cannot reach through. It is patient. It can wait.

    Every religion begins with the creation of the world. From primordial unity comes separation. Sanctuaries are the latterday imitations of this first act, infinitely smaller in scope but no less miraculous for it. The creation of a Sanctuary requires three things: a place of power for the Empyrean doing the creating and a Pillar to anchor their creation. The former can be almost any location over which the Empyrean holds undisputed dominion. A CEO could build his Sanctuary atop his corporate headquarters, while a small town priest might do so in his church. The Pillar need not be at the same location, but it must at least be nearby. Once created, a Sanctuary is an outward reflection of the creator’s worldview. One of the Elder Gods might manifest a modernised Mount Olympus, while the Sanctuary of a Totem could appear as a primaeval forest populated by beasts that haven’t existed for millennia.


    Weird Stuff

    Tulpa are creatures akin to Goetia--thoughtforms born from minds. However, Tulpa are different to goetia in that they are creatures of the physical and ephemeral worlds, as opposed to the Astral. Egregore have the capacity to birth Tulpa naturally and often do so for the sake of emissaries, minions and workers of their will in the physical world. However, it is possible for humans to create them as well, both intentionally and unintentionally. Tulpa can arise from simple legends as mere automatons acting out their tales, but can also be created as animalistic familiars by human sorcerers or even as fully intelligent people in their own right. They are always puppets of outside forces, though, slaves by nature to their creators, their masters or their legends. They can manifest many powers, from telekinesis to terrifying auras to blasts of energy and exist in material or immaterial states, although they are always one or the other.

    Where the energies of Od gather and coalesce, Pillarsare created. Pillars can take many forms, from ancient and twisted trees to manmade monuments to even the ruins of such. They become confluxes of fate, karmic gravity wells that draw events into orbit about them. Many become spots where loves or hates are consummated, whether through kisses or murder. Others are taken as holy sites by cults or even full-fledged religions, people equating the intangible feeling of meaning that these sites possess to some kind of divine provenance. They’re not wrong to do so. To the Empyrean, Pillars are valuable, for not only do they allow the fortunate to gain glimpses into past, future and present, but they can also be used to more easily scale the Heavens.

    Baetylus are crystallisations of legend, magical weapons and items incarnated into the modern world. Most are delivered into the world through the hands of some craftsman - a steelworker who, after a series of inspirational dreams, takes up hammer and anvil and forges a blade which shimmers in the dark - but a few are potent enough that they can appear on their own, just as the Sword in the Stone once did. Baetylus are archetypal implements, rather than reflections of specific mythological or legendary items. The thunder-club, for example, is not only Mjolnir, but also the twin bludgeons of the Phoenician god Melqart and the drumsticks which Raijin uses to beat the sky to call the thunder. Just as Baetylus are weapons of the gods, they are also weapons against the gods. Even the least of them are powerful talismans against supernatural power and can penetrate many defenses that Empyrean and their enemies alike can raise. Baetylus can also be internalized by an Empyrean as an Astra, an extension of themselves. Such an act requires that the Baetylus and Empyrean’s nature align and is a significant investment of effort, time and Od, but the rewards are often considered worth it.

    The Undefiled Celestials are beings alien to the world as we humans know it. They exist as part of reality, outside it, above, beyond and within it all at once. They are platonic forms and theirs are the hands that move the planets in their orbits - or so many Empyrean believe, at least. Whether or not they interfere in earthly events depends on whom you ask, but many Empyrean believe that the Unfallen send messages in dreams and omens to their fallen kin. Just as many believe that any messages from the Undefiled are not to be trusted and regard them as jailors who would wish nothing more than to keep the Reborn imprisoned as they are now.

    The power of the Reborn is far from reliable in how it manifests in their descendents, but Demigodsare common enough among bloodlines mingled with the divine that they are a recognised phenomenon in their own right. Unlike their parents, demigods are not composite beings. They are creatures of physicality and Od both, but they exist with a singular form and soul, as opposed to a dualist merging. On one hand, this means that demigods suffer little of the existential crises of their parents. On the other, they cannot become ‘greater than the sum of their parts’, as full Empyrean can. Regardless, demigods are certainly not entities to be trifled with, having the ability to transcend human limitations with their Arete and even to harness some specific Revelations of their parents’ Spheres.

    Companions, lovers, prophets, foils, betrayers: Enkiduare all of these. Sometimes called Spear-Carriers or Companions, the Enkidu are individuals whom an Empyrean has invested with divine power, giving over their Astra, the very symbol of their power and self into the hands of another. Naturally, doing this takes an extraordinary amount of trust, trust that is sometimes misplaced, but if an Empyrean is willing to accept the risk they take and the price they pay, the result can be more than worth it. Enkidu can summon Astra at will and can channel Designs and Revelations through them. Furthermore, although Enkidu lack the ability to enter Iada, they can take on the Etharzi and Vonpho of their partner, although their appearances almost always differ. The risk of creating an Enkidu comes with the fact that they are effectively an extension of the Celestial self of the Empyrean, and one of the pair wielding miraculous power against the other is nigh-impossible. In this way, no matter their power, Enkidu and Empyrean are reduced to something almost human when they battle, although the repercussions of their rivalries can impact surrounding mortals without impediment.
    Last edited by ajf115; 04-15-2018, 05:48 AM.



  • #2
    Comments, thoughts, questions and ideas are all more than welcome from anyone who wants to post them.


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    • #3
      Oh boy, oh boy! I thought this was over. Color me surprised and excited!

      How is Communion going to work? Will it be like Sekhem (i.e. it increases or decreases depending on how well you do your job, rather than bought with Experiences)?

      What are the most common Breaking Points for Onus? Does it work differently based on your Creed, Etharzi and Vonpho? How does one increase it? Can Daemons be brought back to Onus 1? What are the benefits of high Onus? Does low Onus come with any advantages? If so, I think there should be Breaking Points upward and downward, like for the Harmony in Werewolf.

      How are the Baetylus represented mechanically? Some kind of super Relics?


      "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

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      • #4
        Is now a good time to write up that corporation antagonist I pitched to you months before?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
          Oh boy, oh boy! I thought this was over. Color me surprised and excited!

          How is Communion going to work? Will it be like Sekhem (i.e. it increases or decreases depending on how well you do your job, rather than bought with Experiences)?

          What are the most common Breaking Points for Onus? Does it work differently based on your Creed, Etharzi and Vonpho? How does one increase it? Can Daemons be brought back to Onus 1? What are the benefits of high Onus? Does low Onus come with any advantages? If so, I think there should be Breaking Points upward and downward, like for the Harmony in Werewolf.

          How are the Baetylus represented mechanically? Some kind of super Relics?
          Whoa nelly. That's a lot of questions. I'll do my best to answer them:

          Communion is going to be a fairly traditional power splat, but in order to buy a higher score with Experience (or to reclaim a higher score after entering Iada) you need to have some kind of in-game revelation or moment of epiphany or enlightenment in which the human and Celestial parts of the Empyrean come closer together, closer to the completion of their merger. That said, you don't have to spend Experience to reclaim a score, only to raise it higher than you've gone before. You have to remember that the Reborn are effectively still in the middle of completing their merging with the Celestial. Communion is a measure of how close you are to completion.

          Common breaking points for Onus include the abuse or reckless use of divine power, especially Revelations, treating people as means to an end as opposed to people, arrogance (at high Onus), needless death, harm or damage to others' property and so on. Custom breaking points are added based on Creed and Etharzi and Vonpho archetypes and a few are made a looser. For example, an Elder God isn't so bothered about the use of their powers but have breaking points related to the loss of power - it makes them angry and less inclined to think of others as they lash out at the world. Onus is generally increased by, well, doing the opposite. Using your powers for the sake of others, community-building and so on. You can actually do stuff like build cults in the name of increasing your Onus, provided that those cults are, at worst, a symbiotic relationship in which you get servants and they get divine protection. We're not entirely sure on the benefits of Onus, but it is definitely going to be a one-way thing ala Wisdom or Integrity.

          As for Daemons? Bringing them back up the Onus scale is difficult to say the least. They are literally incapable of seeing anything which doesn't have supernatural - preferably divine - power to match their own as anything but playthings, and even in relation to beings which can match them they rarely listen. Think of Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works and you have a basic idea of how much they hold themselves above others. You might be able to help them by doing something like using a Mind/Prime* 5 Unraveling spell to erase their memory of being a Daemon, but even that would be dicey.

          Finally, on the Baetylus, we've not really talked that much about mechanics for them. I like the idea of having them be almost living, if not sentient as we would understand them, but they're definitely going to have some kind of inherent Rank-equivalent which determines general power and potency, possibly even with pseudo-Attributes dependent upon Rank to be spread among qualities of the thing - protection of the user, damage, discreet magical effects and so on.

          *The Prime would be for messing with the Celestial part of the mind.

          Originally posted by Killerclown View Post
          Is now a good time to write up that corporation antagonist I pitched to you months before?
          Eh... If you can re-jig it to suit the current model of the game, then yes. You'll need to work out exactly how your organisation works with Empyrean. Do they have some way of triangulating Rebirths and then try and recruit the new Empyrean as quickly as possible? Do they have some kind of Baetylus that allows them to steal or appropriate Spheres? Do they have Demigod breeding programs?


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          • #6
            Oh, and before anyone asks, yes, you could fairly easily make Ghost Rider as an Empyrean.


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            • #7
              And while I'm here, another important note: Mortals who are closely connected to an Empyrean - as high priests, lovers, family members and so on, including Demigods - can take Astra as a Merit, starting with allowing them bonuses on certain actions related to the Astra but later advancing to full manifestation and wielding of outright supernatural powers. Only demigods can take more than one Astra, though, and even they can only take Astra from one Empyrean.


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              • #8
                May I ask how the flipping, flying frack the Masquerade can survive with these guys around?

                I love them, but that's the first thing that comes to mind with any new powerful fansplat


                A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                  May I ask how the flipping, flying frack the Masquerade can survive with these guys around?

                  I love them, but that's the first thing that comes to mind with any new powerful fansplat
                  Well, we're working on that...but in the long run, the more direct interference an Empyrean exercises essentially creates more "pushback" against against them. First figuratively with the rise of counter ideas, and then by the creation of Egregore.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                    May I ask how the flipping, flying frack the Masquerade can survive with these guys around?

                    I love them, but that's the first thing that comes to mind with any new powerful fansplat
                    To back up hellovg Revelations are universally small-scale - lightning-bolt smiting is about the biggest they get, although they've got a lot of supernatural oomph behind them - and Designs are entirely coincidental. They can be easily explained away via good luck, weather patterns, some incident bringing out previously quiet grievances and so on. It's only the ur-miracles of the Iada which are large and obvious enough to really get noticed, and Empyrean really don't like using the Iada. As for why they don't run the world: there's very, very few of them - a dozen in a largish city is an average population - Revelations are shitty at any kind of long-term effect or mind-control - Celestial powers don't do so well at affecting souls directly and souls protect minds against them, although emotions are easier to manipulate and Designs' subtle, continuous nudges work better - and organisations as big as governments are really, really difficult to affect with Designs.
                    Last edited by ajf115; 09-17-2017, 02:33 PM.


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                    • #11
                      Cool.

                      So, are these guys connected to the Empyrean plane mentioned in the Inferno book? In an canonical, non-ST-decided way?

                      Also, I'm not entirely sure I get the powers. Designs are subtle powers and Revelations are overt powers, I think, but are Astra something like Magic-invested tools, some sort of symbol that shows up around when you use your powers (like a Nimbus) or Something that needs to be around to help bring out your powers or make them easier to use (like a yantra)?
                      Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 09-17-2017, 02:40 PM.


                      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                        Cool.

                        So, are these guys connected to the Empyrean plane mentioned in the Inferno book? In an canonical, non-ST-decided way?

                        Also, I'm not entirely sure I get the powers. Designs are subtle powers and Revelations are overt powers, I think, but are Astra something like Magic-invested tools, some sort of symbol that shows up around when you use your powers (like a Nimbus) or Something that needs to be around to help bring out your powers or make them easier to use (like a yantra)?
                        They're not connected to the Empyrean plane canonically. If anything, the Heavens are more similar to the Supernal World. Whether or not they are the Supernal World is a matter of interpretation, but then again the Heavens are themselves a matter of perception. They're states, not places.

                        As for the powers:

                        Revelations are personal, immediate, spectacular and simple miracles. They're convincing a corporate exec to sign over his shares for a dollar by making him believe that doing so will make the world better, they're flinging lightning bolts and protecting your followers from the smoke and heat of their burning church.

                        Designs are like blessings or curses placed upon individuals and the world. You state a desired result, invest the power - this locks up a number of Od points so that you can't access them while the Design remains active, kind of like how Wonders in Genius: the Transgression work in relation to Mania - and then sit back and watch the fireworks. A mythological example of a Design is the winds that kept the Greek fleet at anchor until they sacrificed Iphigenia in The Iliad. The 'goal' is keeping the Greek fleet in port, which is then filtered though the Sphere used - Sky, Winds, Storms or something similar.

                        Astra are different things depending on how and when you use them. If you're in a Cordziz Materialization, you're an Enkidu or you've made the sacrifice to manifest them permanently, they're magical artifacts not unlike Baetylus. They have inherent abilities of their own which you can invoke and they act similarly to Yantra for Revelations or Designs - each Astra only works for one - that match the Astra's nature (control of others for a holy symbol, summoning thunder and lightning for a Mjolnir expy etc). However, unless they're physically manifested, no-one else can use them. If you're in human form, they only act like Yantra. If you're a human they start out as something like magical specialties and end up as something almost akin to a rote spell, depending on how high a rating you have in the merit, although a phantasmal image of the Astra always appears when their powers are invoked.


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                        • #13
                          I'm quite interested on where the Terminology comes from. One part of me can't help but wonder if some of the terms are Babylonian, the part of me that remembers Demigod sees that some of the terms are Latin and Greek. But the part of me that is a huge Bayonetta fan thinks it sees some Enochian. Teloah, Etharzi and Ors stand out in particular.

                          I'm also interested on the relationship between the human and divine halves of the Empyreans. Is it possible for the Divine and Mortal halves to communicate with one another, some what like how let's say how Yami Yugi and Yugi do in the anime Yugioh? Or is it like indirect messages and what not?

                          I love how Designs and Revelations seem to be worked out as of yet as well as Authority. How will Spheres be divided? Will they be similar to how Domains were in Demigod?

                          And finally, the obligatory question of will there be Google docs to view progress and whatnot?


                          Currently Doing: Siren the Drowning (Fansplat Ressurection) http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...e-resurrection

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
                            Whoa nelly. That's a lot of questions. I'll do my best to answer them:

                            Communion is going to be a fairly traditional power splat, but in order to buy a higher score with Experience (or to reclaim a higher score after entering Iada) you need to have some kind of in-game revelation or moment of epiphany or enlightenment in which the human and Celestial parts of the Empyrean come closer together, closer to the completion of their merger. That said, you don't have to spend Experience to reclaim a score, only to raise it higher than you've gone before. You have to remember that the Reborn are effectively still in the middle of completing their merging with the Celestial. Communion is a measure of how close you are to completion.

                            Common breaking points for Onus include the abuse or reckless use of divine power, especially Revelations, treating people as means to an end as opposed to people, arrogance (at high Onus), needless death, harm or damage to others' property and so on. Custom breaking points are added based on Creed and Etharzi and Vonpho archetypes and a few are made a looser. For example, an Elder God isn't so bothered about the use of their powers but have breaking points related to the loss of power - it makes them angry and less inclined to think of others as they lash out at the world. Onus is generally increased by, well, doing the opposite. Using your powers for the sake of others, community-building and so on. You can actually do stuff like build cults in the name of increasing your Onus, provided that those cults are, at worst, a symbiotic relationship in which you get servants and they get divine protection. We're not entirely sure on the benefits of Onus, but it is definitely going to be a one-way thing ala Wisdom or Integrity.

                            As for Daemons? Bringing them back up the Onus scale is difficult to say the least. They are literally incapable of seeing anything which doesn't have supernatural - preferably divine - power to match their own as anything but playthings, and even in relation to beings which can match them they rarely listen. Think of Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works and you have a basic idea of how much they hold themselves above others. You might be able to help them by doing something like using a Mind/Prime* 5 Unraveling spell to erase their memory of being a Daemon, but even that would be dicey.

                            Finally, on the Baetylus, we've not really talked that much about mechanics for them. I like the idea of having them be almost living, if not sentient as we would understand them, but they're definitely going to have some kind of inherent Rank-equivalent which determines general power and potency, possibly even with pseudo-Attributes dependent upon Rank to be spread among qualities of the thing - protection of the user, damage, discreet magical effects and so on.

                            *The Prime would be for messing with the Celestial part of the mind.


                            Eh... If you can re-jig it to suit the current model of the game, then yes. You'll need to work out exactly how your organisation works with Empyrean. Do they have some way of triangulating Rebirths and then try and recruit the new Empyrean as quickly as possible? Do they have some kind of Baetylus that allows them to steal or appropriate Spheres? Do they have Demigod breeding programs?
                            ​So far I have this idea. They still want mankind to become like the Empyreans, as to make Earth, in their view, a utopia. Of course, they would want to recruit Empyreans into their corporation. The problem facing me right now is, how to recruit Empyreans without them being pissed or decapitating a scientist.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SaulottheGentle View Post
                              I'm quite interested on where the Terminology comes from. One part of me can't help but wonder if some of the terms are Babylonian, the part of me that remembers Demigod sees that some of the terms are Latin and Greek. But the part of me that is a huge Bayonetta fan thinks it sees some Enochian. Teloah, Etharzi and Ors stand out in particular.

                              I'm also interested on the relationship between the human and divine halves of the Empyreans. Is it possible for the Divine and Mortal halves to communicate with one another, some what like how let's say how Yami Yugi and Yugi do in the anime Yugioh? Or is it like indirect messages and what not?

                              I love how Designs and Revelations seem to be worked out as of yet as well as Authority. How will Spheres be divided? Will they be similar to how Domains were in Demigod?

                              And finally, the obligatory question of will there be Google docs to view progress and whatnot?
                              There's some Babylonian in there, along with some Greek, Latin, Enochian, and a little Hindi for good measure. We were going for a mix of languages to convey the sense of an amalgamation.

                              After the Epiphany--the moment the human soul and divine essence merge--they become one united, if somewhat unbalanced, being. The two halves of an Empyrean are in constant direct contact with each other, although communicating thoughts, ideas, and feelings between what was once a normal human and an extra-dimensional entity from beyond time and space can be difficult. This lack of understanding, in part, is why a Reborn's memories of the distant past are often so vague, dreamlike, and often metaphorical in nature. It's a kind of play between a person and their superego if the superego stretched beyond human experience; they're the same 'being' but finding compromise is hard.

                              Glad you like the powers so far! Still working out the mechanics of Spheres, although you will be able to find multiple similarities to Domains.

                              Google docs will be available eventually, once more of the body of the work has been fleshed out beyond outlines.

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