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  • Astral Realms (Homebrew?)

    Anyone have homebrew rules for astral mechanics? I'm looking for a brief version of this stuff. I've been looking over the book and the concept is intriguing but I find the explanations hard to digest.

    I know the nature of the content is esoteric, but this is just absurd to me. It sounds super wishy-washy and all over the place.

    I may end up creating my own shorthand and treating it as a loopy version the general game world with approximately 3 stages.

    When I was reading the book it was like "pre-meditation, meditation, threshold, oneiros, etc." and I'm like, this is far more involved than I care to be. I just want to explore some themes with the PC, like skip the meditation and just dive into the meat and potatoes.

    Because the reading in this book makes my eyes roll into the back of my head (I can read the corebooks fine) I was left wondering what types of things a person can do with astral journeys. What are some immediately relevant applications? Can you jump into a person's dreams and implant or retrieve ideas like Inception?

  • #2
    You can access a person's dreams from inside their Oneiros, sure. Or you could just cast the Mind spell that already does that.

    The Astral is useful for exploring yourself, others, humanity, the world and history by essentially plumbing the depths of humanity's collective unconscious. This can lead to useful information, Artifacts, potent magic, etc. There's pretty much nothing a Mage can run into that an Astral dive can't be relevant to. As for the time investment, Time or Mind spells can speed that along. Stages are there to act as markers for the various stages, finding your focus to go inside, deciding which realm on your path you want to go to, to mark the bounds between self and other, or humanity and the world, etc. That stuff isn't just crossed over lightly.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
      You can access a person's dreams from inside their Oneiros, sure. Or you could just cast the Mind spell that already does that.

      The Astral is useful for exploring yourself, others, humanity, the world and history by essentially plumbing the depths of humanity's collective unconscious. This can lead to useful information, Artifacts, potent magic, etc. There's pretty much nothing a Mage can run into that an Astral dive can't be relevant to. As for the time investment, Time or Mind spells can speed that along. Stages are there to act as markers for the various stages, finding your focus to go inside, deciding which realm on your path you want to go to, to mark the bounds between self and other, or humanity and the world, etc. That stuff isn't just crossed over lightly.
      So application wise, the astral can be used to streamline large swathes of data into short whimsical play? I can see the benefits of using it to give someone the gist of a long, drawn out series of events without burdening them with a ton of info.

      Does this mean that, rather than traditional investigations, a mage could result to astral realms for any potential mystery?

      I guess part of the problem for me is wanting a visual map (to relate each stage to the next) of how the realms are situated with relation to each other.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kryptonitekrusher View Post
        I guess part of the problem for me is wanting a visual map (to relate each stage to the next) of how the realms are situated with relation to each other.


        Okay, that's a little snarky.

        They're inside each other. The deeper you go, the wider it is. Think of a mountaintop village with a temple at the center. Inside the temple is a statue to their god. That statue is the dreams. It's populated by detail. The temple threshold is... the threshold. It's populated by the priests. The Oneiros is the village. It's got a bunch of villagers, like the village elder and the village idiot. And it represents a single human being. And then you have the entire mountain, which is all of humanity. And then you have the entire world, which is the Anima Mundi.

        The spatial nonsensicality is intentional, because it's a fairly standard mystic tradition: you dive deep inside yourself and suddenly you're experiencing everything everywhere and oh my god you're connected to everyone and everything. Man. Subverting the spatial metaphor is, in a sense, the entire point. As the Mastigos say, Distance is a Lie. In a very direct sense, this is why.


        I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
        An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
        Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
          Okay, that's a little snarky.

          They're inside each other. The deeper you go, the wider it is. Think of a mountaintop village with a temple at the center. Inside the temple is a statue to their god. That statue is the dreams. It's populated by detail. The temple threshold is... the threshold. It's populated by the priests. The Oneiros is the village. It's got a bunch of villagers, like the village elder and the village idiot. And it represents a single human being. And then you have the entire mountain, which is all of humanity. And then you have the entire world, which is the Anima Mundi.

          The spatial nonsensicality is intentional, because it's a fairly standard mystic tradition: you dive deep inside yourself and suddenly you're experiencing everything everywhere and oh my god you're connected to everyone and everything. Man. Subverting the spatial metaphor is, in a sense, the entire point. As the Mastigos say, Distance is a Lie. In a very direct sense, this is why.
          I'm aware it is intentional.

          It doesn't make it any less confusing for me, personally. In a game about magic and otherworldly beings, the other stuff makes immediate sense.

          Then I get to this stuff and it reads like the ramblings of a schizophrenic goat. Everywhere is nowhere and nowhere is everywhere. Direction is whatever you want it to be.

          It sounds like taking a trip to imagination land, especially since the nature of the astral realms is so aloof.

          Are the astral realms Supernal in nature? How does tapping into your own Oneiros permit you access to the Tenemos? What is the tangible connection between you and humanity? Is it limited to just humanity? Do vampires and werewolves also partake in the astral? Is it a reflection of what your mind/body/soul know to be personally true? Or is it an intrinsic truth that exists separate from you? Like, if you just started existing without preconceived notions would you still have access to all the same info that anyone else would in the Tenemos and Anima Mundi?

          Anyway, my whole reason for asking is to cast a lure and see if anyone has encountered the same problem as me and been able to reduce astral realms to a more digestible level. Especially, if they employ any quick fix rules or planning aids--things to keep them grounded while they create an experience for players.
          Last edited by kryptonitekrusher; 02-16-2017, 02:26 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kryptonitekrusher View Post
            It sounds like taking a trip to imagination land
            It is.

            Are the astral realms Supernal in nature?
            No more than any other part of the world.

            How does tapping into your own Oneiros permit you access to the Tenemos?
            It's built on it or inside it or at the individual end of it or however you wish to contextualize "individual persons are part of the collective subset of 'people'" into a spatial experience.

            What is the tangible connection between you and humanity?
            You're all running what are ultimately similar bits of universal narratives distinguished primarily by local color and other things that physical geography has historically imposed.

            Is it limited to just humanity?
            And mages and Beasts, yeah.

            Do vampires and werewolves also partake in the astral?
            Not at the level of the Temenos or the Oneiros. Altered souls bound up in assorted curses and primordial consciousnesses and alternate dimensions don't maintain natural access to the framework that contextualizes human consciousness as distinct from the leftovers they get from their upbringing; it's entirely possible that the wider supernatural world's tendency toward anachronism is owed in part to having to get lucky or actively reinvent the wheel to adapt their magical ecology to new models of society and technology.


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              1) You're all running what are ultimately similar bits of universal narratives distinguished primarily by local color and other things that physical geography has historically imposed.

              2) Not at the level of the Temenos or the Oneiros. Altered souls bound up in assorted curses and primordial consciousnesses and alternate dimensions don't maintain natural access to the framework that contextualizes human consciousness as distinct from the leftovers they get from their upbringing; it's entirely possible that the wider supernatural world's tendency toward anachronism is owed in part to having to get lucky or actively reinvent the wheel to adapt their magical ecology to new models of society and technology.

              1) See, this makes a lot more sense to me if it means what I think it means. Basically, Oneiros/Tenemos/and Anima Mundi are the same thing on different scales. Their "substance" is all exactly the same, but the names given to them contextualize the scale the ideas will relate to (Individual, Collective, World). I guess they also contextualize the likely ecology and nuances.

              So Oneiros can be vastly different because they vary person to person (each person has their own memories and secrets). Then Tenemos (Anima Mundi even more so) will vary less due to relying on much grander shifts in thought.

              Thanks a lot for that quick statement! It helps me understand this very nuanced subject.


              2) Are you saying that because other supernaturals don't have access to this network, they are largely left in the dark to its information and uses?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kryptonitekrusher View Post
                So Oneiros can be vastly different because they vary person to person (each person has their own memories and secrets). Then Tenemos (Anima Mundi even more so) will vary less due to relying on much grander shifts in thought.
                The archetype-beings of the Temenos are almost never singular entities, thanks to the fact that the collective human unconscious is subdivided into domains by theme and mood and audience. The archetype of the Teenage Rebel as it manifests in the Astral inheritors of 1950s American Suburbia is going to be a different figure than the same figure as found in assorted subdomains drawn from the literary impact of Les Misérables.

                2) Are you saying that because other supernaturals don't have access to this network, they are largely left in the dark to its information and uses?
                I'm speculating that while not having a soul that retains its connection to humanity as a whole prevents the various jealous gods that govern a give monster-type's powers from bleeding occult trade secrets back into the substrata of human cognizance, it also seems to force members of those species to familiarize themselves with new developments through the lens of their personal experience and connections in a fashion that means their magic doesn't have shortcuts ready-made for dealing with those concepts.

                Most monsters aren't direct participants in the Temenos of human experience. Most monsters aren't famous and run on magic that doesn't want them to be. Most monsters, in short, are individual in a way that pretty much just resonates with the collective unconscious through the stories about them.


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

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                • #9
                  Here's an Astral Journey from my first Mage Chronicle: http://mage-doomcrew.obsidianportal....ne-session-two

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Johnny Awesome View Post
                    Here's an Astral Journey from my first Mage Chronicle: http://mage-doomcrew.obsidianportal....ne-session-two

                    Oh snap! Thanks, stranger. I'm reading through now. (How was this session played, btw? [PBP, chat, video-chat, transcribed from live play?] I ask because I really like how it is presented so far.)

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                    • #11
                      It was played over Skype and I transcribed the audio to text.

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