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Grimoire of Cursory Dissection [A Thread for Personal Musings]

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  • Grimoire of Cursory Dissection [A Thread for Personal Musings]

    Making a dump thread for some of my general observations and gleanings over time, kind of like I've done before but with a marginally broader focus.

    The Mind Arcanum makes up the fulcrum of a curious symmetry among the Subtle Arcana: while it shares the quality of "purviews contain a category of ephemeral beings" with Death and Spirit, it's also the most straightforwardly-explained Arcanum of the three to have canonical spells dealing with Obsessions — the other two being Fate and Prime. (Whether this suggests anything about Moros and Thyrsus compared to the other three Paths is unclear.)

    The Mind Arcanum also provides the closest thing to a straight numerical dice bonus for spellcasting from magic through Enhance/Gain Skill (Fate boons specifically list the option of spending extra Reach to apply their effects to spellcasting rolls in the subheading for dice tricks like 9-Again and rote action), and even that only works on rotes up to the cap. The only real means of using magic to enhance magic with extra dice is the general indirect method of "use the Arcanum to contrive a Yantra for a spell."

    The Spirit Arcanum's influence over Essence is significant because neither of the other two ephemeral-being-related Arcana really need Essence for the most basic effects those Arcana are used for — being able to Manifest a ghost or goetia in a typical fashion for that type of entity is enough to keep it both fed and safe from Essence bleed, and if they've been summoned from their home realms recently then they have an inherent buffer on their fuel consumption even before accounting for the possibility of Fetter-based cost breaks.

    Resonance is weird. Despite being the notional support for two different kinds of ephemeral being, goetia have no natural need to use it and spirits engage in Essence-predation far more readily than farming the stuff alone — ley lines provide a hard skeleton of Resonance in smaller portions of the world, and isolated patches give birth to spirits and affect the aura and appearance of places and times, but beyond the fundamental level it's easy to forget about if you aren't actively concerned with it.

    Further thoughts will be posted as they come up; as the volume of text increases, a more organized method of sorting will likely be applied.

    Discussion welcome.


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

  • #2
    I've never really been able to grok Resonance so if you keep talking about that I'm all ears.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
      I've never really been able to grok Resonance so if you keep talking about that I'm all ears.
      Werewolf, of course, has bits and pieces of it scattered throughout — the first page of the Ithaeur auspice writeup, the "Shapes and Shadows" section of the "Fangs at Your Throat" territory primer, and the eponymous section on Resonance in the overview of the Shadow (all found in Chapter Two of 2e except for the auspice writeup, which is in Chapter One) all include little tidbits and solid examples. The short version, though, is that Resonance defines a class of phenomenon that is appropriate to a person, place, or thing — it's found in concrete forms you can point to and look at rather than being a simple abstract quality divorced from context. Sensory cues exist within or attached to the area that directly or indirectly evoke a phenomenon.

      It's important to remember that while Resonance facilitates spiritual activity it is not solely caused by spiritual activity — to use the book's example, the spirit of the "haunted" alley doesn't need to actually exercise its Influences for the Resonance that characterizes its lair to make people think of cold and pain, because that Resonance is a palpable substance to mystical senses, and it births spirits that strive to preserve and recreate it. Ley lines are important, then, because they generate Resonance largely independent of other activity and this Resonance serves to seed the hidden reflection of the world with more overt manifestations of its nature.

      Or, to put it more prosaically, Resonance is a less particular and abstracted form of sympathy — it's concrete impersonal connections between things based on like-attracts-like rather than the Space Arcanum's web of personal ties. I've remarked elsewhere about how Resonance essentially works backwards compared to Anchor and Infrastructure in that its commonality means the beings which make use of it are typically more important to the story than the Condition itself; the things that a typical spirit or goetia is Resonant with are far more easily replaced than the ephemeral being itself, whereas destroying a ghost's Anchor or an angel's supporting Infrastructure is an action with farther-reaching consequences than "the entity needs to find a new host," but Resonance is so prevalent and impersonal that you can theoretically see a single person Claimed by a small group of notionally-distinct spirits under the right circumstances just by virtue of being in a state that evokes multiple related concepts.

      Geist has something like this in 1e with how Haunts work; cenotes are all places that can house Avernian Gates, and we know that in 2e that means cenotes all have some concentration of Death-Resonance — and Haunt Fluidity is enhanced by making the location's atmosphere adhere more closely to the mythic archetypes of passages to the Underworld, i.e. decorating the Haunt to fine-tune the area's Death-Resonance. As with the Ithaeur writeup's capsule summary of the phenomenon in relation to fetishes, the important thing about resonance is what fits best in terms of the living symbolism of a subject.

      That make sense?


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

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      • #4
        I think I might have better luck with concrete examples. It makes sense with the spirits in a haunted alley wanting to continue to recreate the resonance that allows them to exist and propagate, but how does that Resonance come into existence in the first place, how can it be changed and what are the consequences?

        From what I see here, fine tuning Resonance establishes ties to the Invisible Realms via a reverse-Sympathy that allows those Invisible Realms to be more easily accessed? Subsequently, it means that ephemeral entities in alignment with that more finely tuned Resonance are more likely to appear?

        Here's another question, a ley line of Trust Resonance runs through an area, presumably it leaks out into the area surrounding it as it passes through, but are those areas capable of maintaining a Resonance that's different from that carried by the ley line? Like a stream running through the desert, the banks might be vibrant with life where the water goes, but it doesn't stop the desert from being a desert, right? What's that look like?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
          I think I might have better luck with concrete examples. It makes sense with the spirits in a haunted alley wanting to continue to recreate the resonance that allows them to exist and propagate, but how does that Resonance come into existence in the first place, how can it be changed and what are the consequences?
          Resonance automatically is created. If people keep getting stabbed in an alley, it'll become resonant with pain (probably also theft and fear). You could change it by making it no longer associated with pain by stopping future pain from occurring in the alley for long enough that it ceases to be a place of pain.


          Genius templates (for Demon: the Descent)

          Rakshasa: the Kingdom (Featuring the Extinction Chronicle) [WIP]

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          • #6
            It works like this AFAIK:

            Something happens in the physical world - this draws in spirits Resonating with that something - the spirits use their Influences to reinforce the area of that something - that something happens more in the physical world - cyclical continuation


            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
              I think I might have better luck with concrete examples. It makes sense with the spirits in a haunted alley wanting to continue to recreate the resonance that allows them to exist and propagate, but how does that Resonance come into existence in the first place, how can it be changed and what are the consequences?
              In the case of the example, it's because three men froze to death in that alley and so the place is Cold and Painful until something happens to make it a different sort of place. If you were to set up space heaters, warm blankets, and a nice pot of stew a couple nights a week for a while, you might drown out the Resonance of Cold and Pain with competing Resonance of Warmth and Relief. After that point, the new crowd sets up shop until they can't keep their grift going in that location, like if the weekly comfort-camping setup dies down and people just start treating the alleyway as a regular alleyway instead of anything special.

              From what I see here, fine tuning Resonance establishes ties to the Invisible Realms via a reverse-Sympathy that allows those Invisible Realms to be more easily accessed?
              Kinda; that's certainly what the progression to Open and then to Gateway represents, but…

              Look at how navigating the Temenos works: you get from one thematic realm to another by seeking out manifestations of the common ground between your location and your destination; the simplest example is getting to the realm of Death by steering towards corpses and cemeteries and memorial services — Resonance contrives similar open bridges in the material world and the Shadow to shunt Essence around, and spirits take advantage of them where they can.

              Subsequently, it means that ephemeral entities in alignment with that more finely tuned Resonance are more likely to appear?
              More ingrained sources of Resonance are harder to get rid of and likely support spirits with a higher place in the local hierarchy, but the strength of a given source of Essence isn't quite as directly relevant to ephemeral beings as it is to their geography.

              Here's another question, a ley line of Trust Resonance runs through an area, presumably it leaks out into the area surrounding it as it passes through, but are those areas capable of maintaining a Resonance that's different from that carried by the ley line?
              Yup. The line's Resonance will always have an influence on its surroundings, though, and the only ways of getting rid of that underlying motif involve messing with the line itself; even if a brood of fear and deceit spirits sets up shop in the line's vicinity and somehow manages to push through to take over, they're going to be dealing with a pretty steady wellspring of trust birthing spirits that they may not be able to eat without gradually becoming more aligned with Trust.

              Like a stream running through the desert, the banks might be vibrant with life where the water goes, but it doesn't stop the desert from being a desert, right? What's that look like?
              The surrounding environment and beings who spend time in the vicinity of the line begin to present themselves in a manner that better evokes and embodies trust, which has the advantages described above but doesn't circumvent the logistical problems of neighboring territories likely having their own entrenched courts of spirits taking swipes at the border and preventing outward expansion from the line until the geopolitics shift dramatically in someone's favor.


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

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              • #8
                Considering Mind magic, I'm curious about something. First edition had a spell that enhanced willpower such that you received 5 dice from spending a willpower point instead of 3 dice. Would you still go that route with a similar weaving spell in 2nd edition, or would you give the 3 dice a dice trick, like 9 again, 8 again, or rote quality?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                  Considering Mind magic, I'm curious about something. First edition had a spell that enhanced willpower such that you received 5 dice from spending a willpower point instead of 3 dice. Would you still go that route with a similar weaving spell in 2nd edition, or would you give the 3 dice a dice trick, like 9 again, 8 again, or rote quality?

                  Why not both?

                  Satchel I think the 1E of mage went pretty in depth into resonance. It was something that every mage could perceive and investigate.


                  [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Moinen View Post



                    Why not both?

                    Satchel I think the 1E of mage went pretty in depth into resonance. It was something that every mage could perceive and investigate.
                    Um...probably because it'd be too strong? I don't know. But it's certainly worth thinking about.

                    Edit: HAHAHAHA! I just realized that that would allow mind mages to be like those ridiculous people from shounen: WILLPOWER HOOOOOO! lol.
                    Last edited by Falcon777; 03-20-2017, 08:46 AM.

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                    • #11
                      There is nothing in the rules that would oppose it. So if I ever played a mastigos those would be his rotes: Power of Mind - add potency to dice gained in WP expenditure. extra reach to exceed 5. Intense - WP dice tricks. Surge - heal willpower.


                      [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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                      • #12
                        Power Of Mind (Mind 3)
                        Practice: Perfecting
                        Primary Factor: Duration
                        Stories of women lifting a car to save her baby are not a myth. Unblocking hidden potential of human body and mind can help a mage in dire times, but it comes with a cost. Every point of potency adds one to the total amount of bonus generated by willpower expenditure which in total cannot exceed 5. Every time WP bonus is applied the target suffers Strain which means taking damage equal potency of this spell.
                        +1 Reach: By spending a point of Mana, the mage may raise total amount of bonus above 5
                        +1 Reach: The target suffers a weaker version of Strain. Subtract 2 from potency when applying damage.
                        +2 Reach: As above but subtract 4 instead of 2.

                        Surge (Mind 3)

                        Practice: Perfecting
                        Primary Factor: Potency
                        This spell simulates the effect of long lasting and rejuvenating relax. Restore number of Willpower Points equal to potency. Spell doesn't work if the target is in stressful situation e.g combat, chase.
                        +1 Reach: Can be applied in a stressful situation.
                        +1 Reach: Target is pumped and ready. In the next turn he can benefit from WP expenditure for the action of his choosing without actually spending it.





                        [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                          Considering Mind magic, I'm curious about something. First edition had a spell that enhanced willpower such that you received 5 dice from spending a willpower point instead of 3 dice. Would you still go that route with a similar weaving spell in 2nd edition, or would you give the 3 dice a dice trick, like 9 again, 8 again, or rote quality?
                          I'd probably make that a Perfecting spell taking cues from Fate boons — get [Potency] bonuses split between dice tricks (Reach for 8-Again), extra dice (add Mana to bring the boost above +5), and beneficial Conditions (no Beats without an exceptional success).


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

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                          • #14
                            Very interesting! Very interesting indeed! Perfecting of Mind is now easily one of my favorite practices.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                              Very interesting! Very interesting indeed! Perfecting of Mind is now easily one of my favorite practices.

                              Also remember to boost number of WP you can hold.
                              Last edited by Moinen; 03-20-2017, 06:03 PM.


                              [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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