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How do you rationalize all splats lore together?

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  • How do you rationalize all splats lore together?

    So the Werewolves have Father Wolf, the Demons have the God-Machine, the Beasts have the Dark Mother, the Changelings have the Gentry and Arcadia, the Mages have their Atlantean towers... How do you make sense of all of this if crossover chronicles?
    I can only think of 2 possibilities:

    1) It all exist. There is a God-Machine, there is a Father Wolf, there is a Dark Mother. Somehow each one of them doesn't contradict the other. God-Machine creates angels and demons while the Gentry kidnaps humans that becomes changelings and the Beasts get their soul devoured. It is a world of both technognosis, fae magic, primordial dreams, magical awakening, blood curses and spiritual shapeshifting. However the big splat "gods" are all focused on their respective splat and they don't interfere with each other, unless the Storyteller wants to.

    2) It all exist, but each splat is giving their version of the story, just like the tale of the blind people describing the elephant. They have their own subjective interpretation but there is only one objective truth. Maybe one splat is right and the others are wrong. Maybe they are all children of the Dark Mother. Maybe they are all a mad creation of the God-Machine. Maybe they are all strange things that scaped the unlimited imagination of Arcadia... Maybe the objective truth is none of the above and the Storyteller makes his/her own answer.

    Anyway, I am just curious, have you ever created a great metaplot explanation for the CoD universe? Feel free to share it here.

  • #2
    I don't see how concerns of contradiction come up, perfectly honest.

    In game, a lot of the big picture stuff isn't important down on the street level, and it's also correspondingly not hard to argue that much of reality is a result of the interweaving of powers and forces that describe reality. I don't see it as logical, per se, to say that none of them interfere with each other, but many of the major powers have limitations on how they can interact directly with each other, and where their conflicts meet, the result is usually the world.

    And, of course, the most important aspect is that the single unifying factor of existence in the Chronicles world is mystery. In the end, there is no one grand answer, only the weave of infinite conspiracy, and the patterns that minds seek that resemble conspiracy.

    EDIT: at my table, the general rule leans more towards infinite answers against no answers. Watch which worlds you walk in.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 08-26-2018, 03:41 PM.


    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
    Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pluvinarch View Post
      So the Werewolves have Father Wolf, the Demons have the God-Machine, the Beasts have the Dark Mother, the Changelings have the Gentry and Arcadia, the Mages have their Atlantean towers... How do you make sense of all of this if crossover chronicles?
      I can only think of 2 possibilities:

      1) It all exist. There is a God-Machine, there is a Father Wolf, there is a Dark Mother. Somehow each one of them doesn't contradict the other. God-Machine creates angels and demons while the Gentry kidnaps humans that becomes changelings and the Beasts get their soul devoured. It is a world of both technognosis, fae magic, primordial dreams, magical awakening, blood curses and spiritual shapeshifting. However the big splat "gods" are all focused on their respective splat and they don't interfere with each other, unless the Storyteller wants to.

      ....

      Anyway, I am just curious, have you ever created a great metaplot explanation for the CoD universe? Feel free to share it here.
      How are there more than one star in the sky, and more planets besides. How have there been so many civilizations throughout history. It's a big universe, even when you just focus on one planet.

      I think a lot of people overestimate the presence of these things, though. I know people have a tendency to try to have population ratios, so that there's like, one demon for every such and such people, but that's nonsense. And even if there was a large population of one gameline in an area, it doesn't mean they would ever encounter another gameline, especially since everyone has a 'lay low' operation procedure and many have operations that simply don't have a presence in this world. A vampire would never know when a werewolf stalks through the Hisil, just like a mummy can past by a gate to a freehold and not know there's 60 changelings having a party inside.

      That said, there's some important things to remember. It's not metaplot, for one. Father Wolf isn't ordering werewolves places to fight the God-Machine. Father Wolf did exist, he just died thousands of years ago in a place the vast majority of humans and supernaturals don't even know existed. The God-Machine exists, it just doesn't impact most people, and when it does, doesn't do it openly. The Gentry occasionally lure or kidnap someone from our world but then take them to a magical faerie land most will never reach, let alone know about, and replaces them with a duplicate. When these things cross one another, they do so for the purpose of your plot. If your pack of werewolves gets entangled in the work of the God Machine's angels, it's because you wanted a game where the pack deals with the God-Machine. If you don't, it never happens at all, the same way watching Riverdale doesn't delve into the politics of China but China still exists within their setting, its politics just have no bearing or presence on the story.

      Don't act like characters have the setting books and you're fine.
      Last edited by nofather; 08-26-2018, 04:13 PM.

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      • #4
        Easy: you "The Blind Men and an Elephant" it.

        That their cosmologies and perception of it is only part of the truth. They all have a piece of things, but not the whole picture.

        ...and as stated above, the other splats are as interconnected as you want them and if you bother to include them. If they never come up in your game, they might as well not be there.

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        • #5
          I've always been partial to TBMaaE. It's the height of hubris to think you have all the answers. Paradoxically it's the ignorant that think they have everything figured out, and the educated who can accurately size up what they know and what they don't know. The educated come to the conclusion the former is utterly dwarfed by the latter.

          Another thing that I think might be relevant is how in all the gamelines, there is so much freaking drama going on in the (un)lives of your protagonists. There's keeping the vast majority of the population from finding out about you and your kind so they don't break out the torches and pitchforks (or high-power searchlights and flamethowers), whatever political infighting is going on in the faction you belong to, rival factions set on making your life hell, inmical factions set on utterly annihilating you and everything you hold dear, antagonists tailor-made to kill whatever you are, in addition to your own struggles to balance whatever supernatural hungers, compulsions and drives you have with something resembling a normal life. I'm not exactly a psychology major, but that all sounds like a bit much to deal with as is, without going out and borrowing someone else's equally numerous problems. If your world is that complicated, well you might miss stuff that's a bit off in ways that don't signal an immediate threat to you and yours.

          Or maybe you wouldn't. I don't know. Part of my head-canon anyway.
          Last edited by KageMCS; 08-27-2018, 12:28 AM.

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          • #6
            The same way I handle contradictions between religions or other legends. I don't expect them to line up. Remember, what the lore says is not objectively true but subjectively true and more often than not a belief.

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            • #7
              I do think there are very few direct contradictions.. after all, there is almost nothing stopping the GM from merely being some powerful force that does 'wierd' stuff, while the Gentry also happen to do their own thing, totally unrelated to one another. In fact, Most Gamelines metaphysics have built in ways to not be noticed by mortals, which double as ways to not be noticed by most other major Gamelines, outside of strange chance encounters.

              I suppose Mage, with its huge metaphysical set-up, can step on some toes, but even Mages don't think they know everything, hence mysteries.(and when they do think they know everything, thats arguably part of their hubris.) I also suppose Beasts directly interfere, with their ideas of a origin of Kinmanship and a dark mother, but even in these cases, I usually find it interesting to either A. Hammer out such contradictions to come up with potential synergies between game-lines, or B. leave it up in the air as a question mark, since its unlikely to ever come up in the game, and can lead to interesting confusions.
              Last edited by TranshumanMarina; 09-18-2018, 06:50 PM.

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              • #8
                I prefer to read any references to the Dark Mother as non-literal. Maybe such an entity exists (even likely considering how much CofD includes spiritual representations of objects and even concepts as discrete entities) but she would not literally be the mother of all monsters. She's the conceptual mother of all monsters, adopting them and counting them among her own from the moment of the monsters' creation, but not literal creator of any kind of monster except possibly Beasts.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                • #9
                  Yes, when it comes to lore it's easy to take everything about an in-world as absolute canon, when for the most part the books are written from their perspective and depicts more what they say and believe.

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                  • #10
                    Unlike the Exarchs, Luna, Father Wolf, the God-Machine, etc, the Dark Mother has, to my knowledge, no verified presence.
                    The Exarchs exist in one form or another because we have Mystery Commands and Ochemata backing their presence up. Luna sends Lunes as messengers. Father Wolf was mythological until the Sundered World explicitly told us he was running around the world, hunting Pangaeans. The God-Machine acts through angels and all demons have memories of the God-Machine from before they fell.
                    The Dark Mother doesn't have such presence. She's a mythological being in a setting where such beings generally have a very palpable effect on the world, both for the characters in it but also shown in mechanical effects.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                      Unlike the Exarchs, Luna, Father Wolf, the God-Machine, etc, the Dark Mother has, to my knowledge, no verified presence.
                      The Exarchs exist in one form or another because we have Mystery Commands and Ochemata backing their presence up. Luna sends Lunes as messengers. Father Wolf was mythological until the Sundered World explicitly told us he was running around the world, hunting Pangaeans. The God-Machine acts through angels and all demons have memories of the God-Machine from before they fell.
                      The Dark Mother doesn't have such presence. She's a mythological being in a setting where such beings generally have a very palpable effect on the world, both for the characters in it but also shown in mechanical effects.
                      I mean, Obcasus Rites, Communion, and Guidance don't come from nowhere. The Dark Mother's "absence" is more important for how close she should be rather than actual indicator of absence. Her active presence is still very much there-there's a reason Beasts have no doubt that Mama is watching.

                      EDIT: Also all the fiction where she directly gets involved with Beasts more than, say, Luna does, and also notably her furious response to the Erased.

                      'Nuther EDIT: Also probably the entire reason World Goetia travel from The Mother's Land to the Primordial Dream and self-incubate into Horrors to begin with.
                      Last edited by ArcaneArts; 09-18-2018, 11:34 PM.


                      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                      Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                      Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                        The Dark Mother doesn't have such presence. She's a mythological being in a setting where such beings generally have a very palpable effect on the world, both for the characters in it but also shown in mechanical effects.
                        She's what Beasts attribute Guidance and the Ecstatic Wind to and is at least active enough to warrant a chapter fiction in all of the corebook's interstitials.

                        She is one of the most palpable mythological beings in the setting, mechanically backed and otherwise, being what she is as an astral archetype lairing at the threshold of the world-soul.

                        You're welcome to try and claim "is a name attached to two psychic phenomena and countless terrifying cryptid manifestations" doesn't count somehow, but that strikes me as disingenuous when "name of the Shadow's moon that Lunes claim to work for" and "unseen tyrants pulling strings at the core of symbolism that back Seers with visions and Supernal enforcers" are fair game for saying an entity definitely exists.


                        Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                        Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                        • #13
                          The Dark Mother is an Astral entity. It doesn't matter if she's not the literal progenitor of all supernatural creatures (spoiler: she isn't) - she's the universal idea of Fear.


                          Dave Brookshaw, freelance writer and Developer

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                          • #14
                            And she's way more of an actual being than the God-Machine, which is the summation of all Command and Control Infrastruture - the God Machine isn't a single being that sits apart from its plans, it's a system.


                            Dave Brookshaw, freelance writer and Developer

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                            • #15
                              To my knowledge. I haven't read the fictions or BPG. Regardless, thanks for confirming my preferred view of her (and the GM as a system).


                              Bloodline: The Stygians
                              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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