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  • Originally posted by Leliel View Post
    I'm interested in how, apparently, slashers have no souls. They are, in a sense, more inhuman than Beasts, who have a replacement for their souls.

    That is...intriguing.
    What I find interesting isn't the Beast vs. Slasher comparison; it's the Deviant vs. Slasher comparison, and the Soulless Condition vs. Slashers. Slashers have no souls; but they're not Soulless in the sense that the namesake Condition describes. But they're not people with broken souls, either; that would be the Deviants. If anything, they're more akin to the Tremere Liches from Mage, who have replaced their souls with a Hollow. I would say that, metaphysically, a Slasher's Undertaking serves a similar function to a Tremere's Hollow, in that it compensates for the lack of an actual soul to an extent but requires the indulgence of a fundamentally destructive activity (the theft and consumption of souls for the Tremere; murder for the Slasher).

    That said, I was a little surprised that the book made it that black and white. My inclination would have been to say that the first tier of Slashers (Rippers, if I recall correctly) still have (severely warped) souls; and that if there are Slashers who don't have souls, they'd be among the second-stage Slashers.


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    • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
      What I find interesting isn't the Beast vs. Slasher comparison; it's the Deviant vs. Slasher comparison, and the Soulless Condition vs. Slashers. Slashers have no souls; but they're not Soulless in the sense that the namesake Condition describes. But they're not people with broken souls, either; that would be the Deviants. If anything, they're more akin to the Tremere Liches from Mage, who have replaced their souls with a Hollow. I would say that, metaphysically, a Slasher's Undertaking serves a similar function to a Tremere's Hollow, in that it compensates for the lack of an actual soul to an extent but requires the indulgence of a fundamentally destructive activity (the theft and consumption of souls for the Tremere; murder for the Slasher).

      That said, I was a little surprised that the book made it that black and white. My inclination would have been to say that the first tier of Slashers (Rippers, if I recall correctly) still have (severely warped) souls; and that if there are Slashers who don't have souls, they'd be among the second-stage Slashers.
      Space constraints being what they are, I think they trusted that people who knew more about it would likely houserule it so. Some blanket statements wear their obvious caveats on their sleeves.


      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
      Feminine pronouns, please.

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      • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
        It also puts assertions such as the one from the Dark Ages line that the Awakened manipulate Sekhem indirectly whole the Arisen deals with it directly in a different light.
        The Shan'iatu. The bit in Dark Eras is talking about the Shan'iatu.

        Sekhem is raw existence-stuff that differentiates into the Pillars and dissipates back into its unrefined state when it's released from form through destruction. The Arcana no more allow a mage to manipulate it than they allow a Traveler to create a soul wholesale — they can mess with Pillars because Pillars are concrete enough phenomena to be described, hence "Pillars are the world," but manipulating Sekhem directly would require something like the Tremere's focal project to manage.


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        • Originally posted by Dark Archon View Post
          Aha, got it, thanks. Yeah, that doesn't bother me a lot, and it was explicitly stated in Second Edition what not all weirdness has a source in Supernal. Does it mean that some Fallen (crossover) things are cosmological blanks for the Awakened; that there is no Supernal Symbols describing them as part of Tapesty? Or it just means that Supernal Symbols can't describe them fully in context of Supernal? Or neither?
          It means that the relationship between a given thing and the Supernal doesn’t necessarily go any deeper than “There’s a symbol for it somewhere I guess.”

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          • Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post

            It means that the relationship between a given thing and the Supernal doesn’t necessarily go any deeper than “There’s a symbol for it somewhere I guess.”
            As above, so below, right? So, whatever exists / is phenomenal, presumably has symbolical description in the Supernal somewhere. But Duat is a Lower Depth, as Mage calls it, meaning mummies are backed by powers that lack description. I can only assume. Although mummies still exist in the Phenomenal as is, no?

            Thinking on it further, it seems very fitting that the magic of mummies has such resistances to the magic of mages.
            Last edited by Rathford; 07-06-2021, 11:55 PM.

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            • Originally posted by Rathford View Post

              As above, so below, right? So, whatever exists / is phenomenal, presumably has symbolical description in the Supernal somewhere. But Duat is a Lower Depth, as Mage calls it, meaning mummies are backed by powers that lack description. I can only assume. Although mummies still exist in the Phenomenal as is, no?

              Thinking on it further, it seems very fitting that the magic of mummies has such resistances to the magic of mages.
              Lower Depths don't lack description-that's the Abyss. Lower Depths lack a certain aspect of reality. In the case of Duat, it's Sekhem/Pillars.
              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 07-07-2021, 08:36 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
              Feminine pronouns, please.

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              • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                That said, the view of the bulk of Mage's Orders is that the Supernal symbols and the Phenomenal World exist in a symbiosis, with a sort of chicken-and-egg relationship: altering either affects the other, and trying to set up one as superior to the other is a mistake. Supernal symbols provide the handles that mages use to manipulate the Fallen World, so if course mages tend to put a lot of importance on them. But the Supernal is of central importance to mages; is not of central importance overall.
                Well, I mean, kudos for devs for telling this outloud. But this isn't exactly a new take, which I expected from quote in my previous messages. Imperial Mysteries already cemented the importance of Phenomenal World for even the greatest archmages and Ascended Beings - you can't meaningfully "fix" the universe in desired state with Imperial Rites without preparing it first. So things stay more or less the same, the only change is status quo is clarified and re-stated again. I can live with that.

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                • I might be a bit late to the party (as in, my only exposure to mage supremacy being people who complain about it) but wouldn't the repetition of the fact that everything in the Fallen being reflected in the Supernal be the foundation for the claim that the Supernal governs everything? If anything in this booklet kills mage supremacy, it's probably the fact that mages themselves still can't directly mess with stuff like templates, and that none of the splats are exclusively tied to any of the Arcana.


                  I like how they clarified the current state of aura powers, explained souls, and described different fuel traits in terms of the Arcana. Some of the explanations and descriptions aren't my preferred takes, but the only thing that actually bugs me is vampires having "human souls" with no explanation of how that's even remotely possible considering how the soul leaves upon death and the Embrace takes place after death. Often this takes place at the same event, but it can also be multiple days between the two. I much preferred the spoilered Nameless & Accursed version (which is more detailed than the published Nameless & Accursed version) where Kindred (as well as Uratha) had something that served the same purpose and was close enough to human/Awakened souls, but still distinctly different.
                  The retcon that mages can't sever a Horror from a Beast also bugs me a bit, but only because it's a retcon and I definitely recognise that this is preferable.


                  Bloodline: The Stygians
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                  • I feel I may have accidentally derailed the thread. Sorry.

                    In regards to vampires, I took the statement about having human souls to mean that there is little to no intrinsic difference between their souls and human souls. At least from a casual observer, since that can easily altered as needed in a game.


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                    • Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                      Some of the explanations and descriptions aren't my preferred takes, but the only thing that actually bugs me is vampires having "human souls" with no explanation of how that's even remotely possible considering how the soul leaves upon death and the Embrace takes place after death. Often this takes place at the same event, but it can also be multiple days between the two.
                      Just because a vampire has a human soul doesn’t mean it’s the same soul they had in life, and the possibility that it was created by the Embrace is one that should keep more than one other splat up at night.

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                      • There’s a popular observation/interpretation that a vampire’s Beast is basically an embodied Strix (or vice-versa; Strix being disembodied Beasts).

                        With the Strix, there was another one of those ‘possible truths’ thing, with regards to the unique status of humans in the spirit world; the possibility that the Strix are (corrupt?) spirits of humans. (I think it was one of Rose Bailey’s writings?)

                        And now vampires are revealed to have something like a human soul. Hmm…


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                        • My understanding from the reading the vampiric soul was not so much they have a human soul so much as a human equivalent soul, regarded not the same as, say, an Awakened soul or other things regarded in the same "class".

                          Again, with brevity of space in mind, it pays to give the benefit of the doubt that the material in the Contagion PG isn't there to destroy all mysteries or nuance associated with the various gamelines, so much as to provide the semblance of place in the larger picture of the Chronicles world as matters for the purposes of crossover necessarily interacting with said larger picture.
                          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 07-07-2021, 09:02 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
                          Feminine pronouns, please.

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                          • Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                            My understanding from the reading the vampiric soul was not so much they have a human soul so much as a human equivalent soul, regarded not the same as, say, an Awakened soul or other things regarded in the same "class".

                            Again, with brevity of space in mind, it pays to give the benefit of the doubt that the material in the Contagion PG isn't there to destroy all mysteries or nuance associated with the various gamelines, so much as to provide the semblance of place in the larger picture of the Chronicles world as matters for the purposes of crossover necessarily interacting with said larger picture.
                            Considering that vampires doesn t have an Oneiros and an access to Temenos, their souls are probably similar to human ones, but not equals

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                            • Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              Lower Depths don't lack description-that's the Abyss. Lower Depths lack a certain aspect of reality. In the case of Duat, it's Sekhem/Pillars.

                              It lacks descriptive time. It is timeless. That metaphorical light of the Supernal does not reach it.

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                              • Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                                There’s a popular observation/interpretation that a vampire’s Beast is basically an embodied Strix (or vice-versa; Strix being disembodied Beasts).
                                It's a popular take, but it's based on the fact that Strix, consumate liars as they are, has claimed that's the case to vampires. In the 2e core book, a vampire's beast is written with the assumption that it's merely a representation of all the dark and predatory urges a vampire gains upon the Embrace (hunger for blood, need for dominance, fear of Banes, etc), and not an actual entity. While horrible and monstrous, these urges are deeply animalistic, in contrast to the vice-ridden and sadistic nature of the Strix. Also note that Strix are incapable of Frenzy while Frenzy is the primary outlet for the beast.

                                Originally posted by Neos01 View Post
                                Considering that vampires doesn t have an Oneiros and an access to Temenos, their souls are probably similar to human ones, but not equals
                                The state of the oneiros isn't that clear. It was stated by a dev who at the time also stated outright that they didn't have souls (and then changed his mind on the matter twice before N&A came out). But they certainly don't connect to the Temenos, as that's exclusively for humans, mages and 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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