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Court Bargain with an Archmage

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  • Court Bargain with an Archmage

    I read in Oak, Ash, and Thorn that one could make a bargain with an Archmage. I started pondering what kind of court contracts one could imagine coming from a bargain with a supernal entity or an archmage.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Caedus View Post
    I read in Oak, Ash, and Thorn that one could make a bargain with an Archmage. I started pondering what kind of court contracts one could imagine coming from a bargain with a supernal entity or an archmage.
    As a default i would take the Archmage s Praxes and Rotes and then convert them in equivalent Contracts.
    For the spell factors fix them as if the mages uses them for a legacy, and substitute mana costs with Glamour, adding willpower cost when a spell would cause Paradox if seen.
    You could even add Arcana Attainment that doesn t work by modifying a spell.
    Level 1-3 spells could be Common, level 4-5 Royal

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    • #3
      You could do worse than looking at the rules for Masking the False Fae in DE2. The ability to make Goblin-esque Contracts with supernal entities, along with its system of debt, could make for an interesting court deal.

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      • #4
        My intuition tells me that the powers up for negotiation are the ones making them gods. If I am right that would mean only the Imperal Arcana are up for sale even if it duplicates common Practices. I could be wrong.

        Things to consider though: what about the Fate Arcanum? The Wyrd deals in luck, Fate can manufacture that. The Atonement spell can break curses. I think that an Unmaking spell of Space and Fate can break Oaths. I think Contracts based on the Arcana would be like Legacy Attainments, albeit without the limits of actual Legacies. Such a Court can perhaps steal the niche of mages to an extent, possessing their distinct advantages yet not afraid of Paradox or the Sleeping Curse. Maybe mages can bribe the changelings into revealing magic to their Sleeping families.

        So many possibilities. How could you parse all that?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Excess View Post
          My intuition tells me that the powers up for negotiation are the ones making them gods. If I am right that would mean only the Imperal Arcana are up for sale even if it duplicates common Practices. I could be wrong.
          While the Imperial Practices are set aside from the common Practices, they are ultimately an extension of the common Practices.


          Originally posted by Excess View Post
          I think Contracts based on the Arcana would be like Legacy Attainments, albeit without the limits of actual Legacies.
          All Contracts should still take the form of Contracts and be appropriately useful for changelings, albeit with a distinctly magey flavour. Luckily Contracts are pretty open in how you can design them, but you'd still have such things as a Glamour cost and a Loophole for avoiding that cost, and they would be contested or resisted rather than dealing with things like Withstand and Potency.


          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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
            All Contracts should still take the form of Contracts and be appropriately useful for changelings, albeit with a distinctly magey flavour. Luckily Contracts are pretty open in how you can design them, but you'd still have such things as a Glamour cost and a Loophole for avoiding that cost, and they would be contested or resisted rather than dealing with things like Withstand and Potency.
            I miscommunicated. I meant it would sidestep the usual hassel of spellcasting like Legacy Attainments.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Caedus View Post
              I read in Oak, Ash, and Thorn that one could make a bargain with an Archmage. I started pondering what kind of court contracts one could imagine coming from a bargain with a supernal entity or an archmage.
              I can't see an archmage innately providing much. They're just innately better mages at start. It's not until they use imperial spells to make themselves super charged that they really becoming on another level.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                I can't see an archmage innately providing much. They're just innately better mages at start. It's not until they use imperial spells to make themselves super charged that they really becoming on another level.
                I instinctively felt suspicious at that, then ask myself why. Sure they are immediately cosmos-walking immortals, then the real reason occurred to me: the line between spell and caster significantly blurs for them. They don't so much cast spells on themselves, as they extrude themselves through spells.

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                • #9
                  In that case, a changeling could be forgiven for not being able to tell them apart from the Gentry.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                    I can't see an archmage innately providing much. They're just innately better mages at start. It's not until they use imperial spells to make themselves super charged that they really becoming on another level.
                    Not true, right off the bat an archmage essentially becomes an Astral realm.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                      Not true, right off the bat an archmage essentially becomes an Astral realm.
                      Mechanically, that's not something that extends beyond themselves. An archmage is a way better mage but he doesn't become something more until he starts altering his fundamental pattern at 8.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                        Mechanically, that's not something that extends beyond themselves. An archmage is a way better mage but he doesn't become something more until he starts altering his fundamental pattern at 8.
                        But his soul differ very much from a normal mage ones.
                        Apart from his astral realm (whichis an extension of his soul) the archmage is also unaging

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                        • #13
                          "[..] the Wyrd takes care of the details."

                          An archmage doesn't have to be able to do shit as long as they just have enough metaphysical weight to act as an anchor that the Wyrd can use to create the Mantle. While we might argue about how powerful archmages actually are before they start gaining access to additional Imperial Practices, the fact is that they're transformed on such a fundamental level that their souls have become direct conduits to the Supernal, and all of their magic, even lesser Practices, outright overrule the powers of all playable splats.

                          Edit: Don't forget that basically everything a changeling is capable of doing is in one way or another derived from the Wyrd. It's the Wyrd that powers everything from Contracts, Mantles, Pledges, Entitlements, etc. Even the most powerful changeling has merely found powerful ways of making the Wyrd act for them. This is why changelings can make deals with other beings to gain benefits that neither is capable of generating by their own power. Those deals are made with the Wyrd as notary, executor, and arbiter.
                          Last edited by Tessie; 03-03-2021, 11:12 AM.


                          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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                          • #14
                            Gonna chime in and state the obvious:

                            The Wyrd takes care of producing boons changelings can use. The Wyrd is not where Summer Courtiers' Summer-like qualities and abilities come from — those come from Summer. The Court of the Leafless Tree has power relating to the good old Lex Talionis because their founder cut a Bargain with Retaliation, not just because the Wyrd supports that Bargain. A court's Bargain is sworn to a powerful supernatural being at the bare minimum, and more likely a godlike being or a force of nature, and that patronage is what gives the Bargain enforceability against the Fae and their servants and informs the things it outfits its Court with.

                            The basic state of becoming an archmaster does not convey any unique benefits that would be usable to a changeling — the Golden Road is an Astral space that breaks the normal operating parameters for Astral travel; the ability to see through bits of their soul and subsouls, have a baseline sympathetic connection to everything, and empower their spells with Arcane Experience doesn't do the Lost any good; and apart from the one Arcanum they've broken the limiter on, their abilities are no different than a Master with the same expertise. Six dots in an Arcanum allows for more durable spells, but it's with the Practices of Entities and Excision that an individual Seeker starts being able to really differentiate themselves beyond mere mission-statement, with Dominions being the point where mortal frailty outside the Road starts to be less of a concern. Even then, the transformation of an archmaster into an obvious basis for themed supernatural powers in such a fashion is something that takes multiple stories for relatively little benefit to the character whose society discourages them from advertising their status.

                            What is likely to give form to a Bargain with a Seeker before then, though, is personal stuff. Their Legacy Attainments and oblations, the Obsessions and Mysteries they're pursuing, their favored Yantras, the Noumenon they're building toward, and the Quintessences they've orchestrated and internalized all lend thematic weight to what they give and get out of putting their name behind a court of changelings. An unlucky or imprudent alliance might well see the Lost roped into acting as experimental subjects or a private army, which is obviously not going to sit well — not for nothing has the Pentacle enshrined "these guys are banned from holding office" as common law in what passes for Awakened government.

                            Bargaining with an Ascended archmage or other fully Supernal being might be a different story, but a Seeker on the Golden Road is working toward an end that there's a cold war to potentially prevent them from achieving, which necessarily entangles any Court founded in the Ascension War to some degree; it's important to remember that the Bargain is a two-way street, not just a way to give a changeling a Mantle and Contracts.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                            • #15
                              Of course! Why didn't I think of it earlier? What do these gods get from the deal? I assumed they got some Essence or whatever supernatural fuel they use when changelings use their Contracts. I assumed that the rituals of the Courts just reinforced their symbolism. It didn't occur to me to really question why the seasons or other pantheons made those Bargains. I don't even know if my assumptions are right, nor did I consider any ulterior motives.

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