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Mysterium Initiation- form Exemplum to Arche

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  • Mysterium Initiation- form Exemplum to Arche

    'm currently running a Mage chronicle and as its my groups first time playing Awakening i'm having them rp through the acquisition of the various parts of the mage template so far they have all of their initial arcana dots, their praxes and merits that represent innate traits like mana sensitivity and destiny. I've now began introducing my players and their characters to the Orders. They've met the Arrows, Guardians and Libertines so far, two of them have joined the Arrows and one has joined the Libertines.

    The next session i will be introducing the Mysterium, two of my players are 95% sure that they want their characters to join the order with the last of them torn between the Mysterium and the Ladder. Bearing in mind that half of my players are probably going to end up with these guys I wanna nail their introduction and subsequent initiation process. With that in mind I could do with a hand getting my head around the pacing between all of the elements involved in being initiated into the Order.

    so these are the elements I've gathered that form the initiation into the mysterium
    • expresses desire to join the order
    • initiate taught order basics (knowladge is power/has a price/must be preserved)
    • initiate experiences the Mysteriorum Exemplum
    • theonom/senior mystagogue performs divination to see what is required for first degree of initiation into the atlantean mystery
    • initiate taught deeper meaning behind the orders philosophy
    • initiate discovers mystery and adds it to the caucus' lore as part of the atheneum
    • gains dot of occult
    • gains high speech merit
    • learns rote specialities
    • learns three rotes
    • initiate experiences The Mysteriorum Arche
    • gains first dot of order status
    • theonom/senior mystagogue performs divination to see what is required for second degree of initiation into the atlantean mystery
    so questions...

    how much pomp/time in between a aspirant saying "I want in" and them undergoing the Mysteriorum Exemplum? would they do it then and there? make them wait? if so how long?

    After the Exemplum is done the Divination is performed and shared with the initiate hope fully helping to guide them to enlightenment and the welcoming arms of the order in the form of the Arche. At what point then does the order begin investing in the initiate in the form of teaching them (the occult dot, high speech, specialties and routes) immediately after the Exemplum but before the mage has uncovered the requisite mystery? once the mage has found the mystery but before the initiate has presented it to his superiors? only after they have added to the mysterium's lore?

    on a side note where do you thing the four protocols and lessons of guanxi should fit?

    also could do with clarification on the timing between acquiring status dots/dots in egregor and undergoing the atlantean initiations. the order book makes it clear that to increase status within the order you must advance further in the Atlantean Mystery, which is represented by in part in game by the Egregor merit (which is really just mystery initiation 2.0), but Egregor has the prerequisite of Order Status (but no longer status commensurate to the level of Egregore???) so my thinking is you must experience the Atlantean Initiation to get the next order status dot, but you can only by Egregore afterwards which is you then internalising the truths and secrets revealed in the Initiation (and gaining funky new abilities). after you've bought said dot of egregore you can pursue the mysteries which will indicate your readiness for the next initiation?

    should having the right level of Egregore be a prerequisite for increasing status mechanically or can you go through the atlantean Initiations never really "getting it" but improving in status anyway


    ​sorry for this being really disjointed

    *edited to attempt to improve clarity, suspect failure
    Last edited by WelshBoi; 03-08-2017, 11:41 PM.

  • #2
    Read maybe on our previous takes on Mysterium ( and others Orders ) initiation process, I think I lay it out nicely. As to how much time it take? It depends on how much time as ST you want to take out of characters lives. On latest chronicle in Boston, I decided to aim for one month of Orders initiation - so, basically, each week my PCs would gain one advantage of full template - like High Speech one week, extra Occult dot the other, etc.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-09-2017, 01:52 PM.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by WelshBoi View Post
      'm currently running a Mage chronicle and as its my groups first time playing Awakening i'm having them rp through the acquisition of the various parts of the mage template so far they have all of their initial arcana dots, their praxes and merits that represent innate traits like mana sensitivity and destiny. I've now began introducing my players and their characters to the Orders. They've met the Arrows, Guardians and Libertines so far, two of them have joined the Arrows and one has joined the Libertines.

      The next session i will be introducing the Mysterium, two of my players are 95% sure that they want their characters to join the order with the last of them torn between the Mysterium and the Ladder. Bearing in mind that half of my players are probably going to end up with these guys I wanna nail their introduction and subsequent initiation process. With that in mind I could do with a hand getting my head around the pacing between all of the elements involved in being initiated into the Order.

      so these are the elements I've gathered that form the initiation into the mysterium
      • expresses desire to join the order
      • initiate taught order basics (knowladge is power/has a price/must be preserved)
      • initiate experiences the Mysteriorum Exemplum
      • theonom/senior mystagogue performs divination to see what is required for first degree of initiation into the atlantean mystery
      • initiate taught deeper meaning behind the orders philosophy
      • initiate discovers mystery and adds it to the caucus' lore as part of the atheneum
      • gains dot of occult
      • gains high speech merit
      • learns rote specialities
      • learns three rotes
      • initiate experiences The Mysteriorum Arche
      • gains first dot of order status
      • theonom/senior mystagogue performs divination to see what is required for second degree of initiation into the atlantean mystery
      so questions...

      how much pomp/time in between a aspirant saying "I want in" and them undergoing the Mysteriorum Exemplum? would they do it then and there? make them wait? if so how long?

      After the Exemplum is done the Divination is performed and shared with the initiate hope fully helping to guide them to enlightenment and the welcoming arms of the order in the form of the Arche. At what point then does the order begin investing in the initiate in the form of teaching them (the occult dot, high speech, specialties and routes) immediately after the Exemplum but before the mage has uncovered the requisite mystery? once the mage has found the mystery but before the initiate has presented it to his superiors? only after they have added to the mysterium's lore?

      on a side note where do you thing the four protocols and lessons of guanxi should fit?

      also could do with clarification on the timing between acquiring status dots/dots in egregor and undergoing the atlantean initiations. the order book makes it clear that to increase status within the order you must advance further in the Atlantean Mystery, which is represented by in part in game by the Egregor merit (which is really just mystery initiation 2.0), but Egregor has the prerequisite of Order Status (but no longer status commensurate to the level of Egregore???) so my thinking is you must experience the Atlantean Initiation to get the next order status dot, but you can only by Egregore afterwards which is you then internalising the truths and secrets revealed in the Initiation (and gaining funky new abilities). after you've bought said dot of egregore you can pursue the mysteries which will indicate your readiness for the next initiation?

      should having the right level of Egregore be a prerequisite for increasing status mechanically or can you go through the atlantean Initiations never really "getting it" but improving in status anyway


      ​sorry for this being really disjointed

      *edited to attempt to improve clarity, suspect failure
      Ok, so first off, you're first dot of Mysterium status comes after the Exemplum, not after Arche. That (as in, after Arche) would be when you get your first dot in the Egregore merit. In addition, you don't need to complete the mystery for the Arche in order to gain the benefits of joining the Mysterium; that comes from the Exemplum (i.e. dot of occult, High Speech, Rote specialties, and rotes all are gained after Exemplum, not after solving mystery for Arche). Granted, if you want, you can run your local caucus differently, but by the rules of the 2nd edition core rulebook joining the Order gives you those benefits, and gaining those benefits comes before advancing in the Egregore merit (since you have to actually have joined before proceeding through the Atlantean Mystery).

      As to time in between asking and joining, I'd say it depends. If the leaders of the local caucus are cautious (like most Mystagogues), then they might try to do a background check first. If not then they might do it immediately.

      The protocols and lessons of guanxi seem like they would come from whoever is teaching them after they have joined the order. If you are having the group play through their awakenings, then technically they only get 2 dots in one ruling arcanum, one dot in another, and no dots in a third arcanum. If you do it this way then the order has plenty to teach (and the time to do so) your mages before they have their full "normal" template.

      By my interpretation, understanding the Atlantean Mystery IS understanding and advancing in the Egregore. As in, they two are inextricably linked. Status is something completely separate (insofar that it is actually possible to increase in status without increasing in knowledge of the Atlantean Mystery). This interpretation is taken from the change in rules for the 2nd edition. The first edition book is great, excellent even, but you have to account for 2nd edition rules. And by the rules you can, in fact, proceed with status without the Egregore (and vice versa). That being said, I personally like the idea of them being decently closely linked (because it just makes sense, you know?), so how you run that one would really be up to you. As to timing for the merit dots and actually experiencing the Atlantean Mysteries, my mystagogue has an aspiration to learn more about the order, as well as a long term aspiration of becoming a Hirophant (4th level Atlantean Mystery initiate; or, in other words, 4th dot Egregore merit holder). This allows him to gain multiple beats when pursuing those ambitions, thus making it easier to purchase the merit. I'm also strategically saving experience. So...yeah.

      In the end, I think that, per the rules, you should probably allow for a player that wishes to proceed in only one or the other (between status and Egregore), but do your best to encourage players to raise both simultaneously. If there's no other reason other than this, here's why: one of the benefits of the Egregore merit (2nd dot, if I'm not mistaken) is the allowance for Status: Mysterium to transfer from caucus to caucus. Thus, acquiring that portion doesn't do you much good if you haven't gained status in your home caucus. But if you've helped out and become famous in your own caucus but haven't proceeded in the Atlantean Mysteries, then you haven't joined the hive mind (or at least not far enough) for other people to know who you are. It seems to me that such a situation could realistically happen, even if it isn't highly likely. After all, experiencing the second mystery does place you head and shoulders above the majority of Mystagogues. The book says that most Mystagogues are Neokoros, not Daduchos.

      But hey, I like that you are delving into my favorite order! I'd love to hear about their experiences. Or, even better, it'd be awesome if you had the time to transcribe the sessions like DaveB did.

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      • #4
        Nothing to add but I'd be interested in hearing how you went about introducing them to the orders so far. How did you have them approach? Did you have any of your players read the orders over in the book before introducing them?

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        • #5
          According to the Mysterium sourcebook, if a mage has more status than his Atlantean mystery merit, it just means that the mage went through the proper Initiation, but has yet to truly internalize the lessons experienced at said initiation stage.

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