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2E Bene Ashmedai legacy port, looking for feedback

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  • 2E Bene Ashmedai legacy port, looking for feedback

    I would appreciate your feedback on this legacy 2E port, in particular whether I have the mechanics for the legacy attainments correct according to the rules.

    This is inspired by the write-up of the Bene Ashmedia legacy from the old The Silver Ladder book. I really liked the write-up of the legacy founder's legend, but I didn't care for the implementation. I tried to create an implementation of the legacy that corresponds to the events and themes of the legend of its founding. If nothing else the attainments here can serve as novel attainments with ST approval.

    Themes of the legend:
    • Social interactions and partnerships with spirits
    • Self-mastery through self-indulgence
    Key events of the legend:
    • Making contact with a spirit
    • Winning a social maneuver against a spirit to convert it into an ally
    • Enduring the delights and torments that a spirit can bring to bear
    • Providing a warning that results in another's escape
    • Enduring a disgrace to further a personal goal
    • Becoming a "prince among demons"
    Bene Ashmedai

    Parentage: Mastigos and Silver Ladder

    Nickname: Diabolists

    Ruling Arcanum: Spirit

    Common Backgrounds: The brave and curious, diplomats, negotiators, those who struggle with vice

    Appearance: As a mage shapes her soul according to the legacy's ways, she evolves ever more into a physical manifestation of her personal Vice. Elder Bene Ashmedai appear as avatars of the pantheon of sin.

    Indoctrination Tasks: Making pacts with initially-hostile spirits that result in beneficial outcomes

    Yantras:
    • Locations aligned with the mage's Vice (e.g. a bordello for a licentious mage)
    • Tools representing the mage's Vice (e.g. a baggie of heroine for an addictive or glutinous mage; a detailed bust of a vain mage). Acts as a sacrament if the mage consumes the tool somehow during casting.
    • Casting a spell that leads to the satisfaction of the mage's Vice
    Oblations:
    • Demonological research
    • Successfully persuading an opponent
    • Conversing with spirits or goetia
    • Acting as a mentor, teacher, or advisor
    • Experiencing an extreme of delight or torment
    • Satisfying the mage's vice in excess of what is necessary to regain Willpower
    • Providing a warning that results in another's escape
    • Enduring a disgrace to further a personal goal
    Attainments

    First: Curious Encounters

    Prerequisite:
    Initiation, Occult 2+, and one or more of the following skills at 2+: Empathy, Larceny, Persuasion, Stealth, Subterfuge. These last five skills are referred to as the Relevant Skill List (RSL) in other attainment's prerequisites.

    Driven by a desire to understand the world of spirits around her, the Diabolist develops an intuitive knack for detecting the denizens of the Shadow and the soul.

    This attainment functions as per the Spirit spell Exorcist's Eye with the reach spent to make it instant cast.

    With Mind 1+, it also functions for goetia.

    Relevant Arcanum (Spirit or Mind) Duration
    1 1 turn
    2 2 turns
    3 3 turns
    4 5 turns
    5 10 turns

    Second: Parley with Demons

    Prerequisite:
    Spirit 2, Occult 3

    Like the Sabean of legend, the Diabolist learns to sooth, charm, and befriend the demons she encounters.

    The mechanical functioning of this attainment is similar to the Mind spell Emotional Urging, except with spirits as the subjects. It is instant cast. The mage must begin a social encounter with the subject spirit within duration turns of casting. If the Mage's Spirit rating is greater than the rank of the spirit, she opens one Door in a social maneuver involving the spirit.

    With Mind 2+, it also functions for goetia.

    Relevant Arcanum (Spirit or Mind) Duration
    2 1 turn
    3 2 turns
    4 3 turns
    5 3 turns

    Third: Enduring Torments and Delights

    Prerequisite:
    Spirit 3, one additional RSL skill at 2+ beyond previous attainment prerequisites

    The Diabolist's frequent trafficking with demons has hardened her defenses against their wiles.

    This attainment functions as per the Spirit spell Ephemeral Shield with the reach spent for advanced duration and protection from physical harm. It requires a scene of preparation to activate.

    With Mind 3+ it also defends against goetia.
    Relevant Arcanum (Spirit or Mind) Duration Clash of Wills Bonus
    3 One week +2
    4 One month +3
    5 One year +4

    Fourth: Prince Among Demons

    Prerequisite:
    Spirit 4, Occult 4, "Honorary Rank" Spirit attainment

    Lesser demons kneel before the Diabolist as their superior.

    This attainment functions as per the Spirit spell Command Spirit with reach applied for instant casting and advanced duration. The duration is one week. The mage automatically scores successes equal to dots in Spirit, withstood by the spirit's rank (making it impossible to command rank 5+ spirits). The may issue one command to the subject spirit per success not withstood. Commands that oppose a spirit's self-interest result in a Clash of Wills where the mage gets a +2 bonus due to advanced duration.

    With Mind 4+ the mage may also command goetia.


    Fifth: Mastery through Indulgence

    Prerequisite:
    Spirit 5, a second skill from the RSL 4 or two other skills from the RSL at 3 or three other skills from the RSL at 2.

    The mage can form powerful and long-lasting pacts with demons -- possibly including those drawn from the darkest regions of her own soul.

    This attainment functions as per the Spirit spell Familiar with the reach applied for advanced duration. It lasts for one year due to advanced duration. It requires a scene of preparation to activate.

    Mind 5 makes an alternative effect available:

    The mage has learned to achieve super-human levels of self-mastery through indulging in her darkest desires.

    The Mind 5 effect functions similarly to the the Augment Mind spell. The mage spends at least one scene devoted to indulging her vice. Then, she may increase her Resolve and/or Composure by a total of 5 dots. Being derived from those characteristics, Willpower and Initiative increase as a result. By expending one mana during activation, the mage may exceed her gnosis-defined trait maximums. The effect lasts for one week.

    --

    Thanks for reading; I appreciate any feedback or rule corrections.
    Last edited by galivet; 03-15-2017, 08:13 AM.

  • #2
    Not sure about the Attainments affecting Pandemonic Demons, since Supernal entities are usually a big deal for everybody involved, and Demons in particular are noted for their harshness and severity to their summoners.

    Speaking of which, is there nothing about the Legacy tag-teaming with their personal Goetia reflecting their Vices?

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, the Supernal Being stuff certainly runs into some complications. For instance there isn't a presence of them to be detected normally unless you mess up with FMS really bad or you summon one in which case you're likely to know they're there already. Then there's the control attainments, they run up against the universal Ban of the Trial, Supernal beings can't do anything for you until you complete it, after you complete they're typically happy to help if it's not too risky.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback. Thanks for reading all that!

        Regarding the Pandemonic demons: I'd like to have something about them in the legacy since the tagline of the legacy literally is "I am a prince amongst demons and a servant to men." My hope was that in limiting the attainments to affecting low-rank Pandemonic demons it would come out kosher, but I may need to lose those or at least add some additional restrictions. For example, perhaps the attainments only function on Pandemonic demons summoned by other mages.

        I don't like the vision of the Bene Ashmedai as "Clavicularius but with Instagram accounts". I based my implementation on the founding legend of the legacy, which literally mentions nothing about summoning personal goetia, manifesting mage's vices, or really anything about goetia at all. Asmodai was maybe a Pandemonic demon, and maybe a spirit, but certainly he was not a goetia of either Solomon or the Sabean. The reasons that I covered goetia in the legacy attainments are 1) to have a callback to a ruling arcanum of the parent path, and 2) because both goetia and spirits are demon-ish in flavor and fit with the "socialize with demons" theme of the legacy. The closest I get to a mage tag-teaming with a goetia representing her Vice is the optional fifth attainment.
        Last edited by galivet; 03-15-2017, 07:43 AM. Reason: Clarity

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        • #5
          The Claviclarius are specifically about dealing with their inner demons I.e. Vices, and it's not about socializing with them as much as removing their ability to be affected by them.

          Been Asmedai want to control them, but also embrace th power they can bring.
          Last edited by Mrmdubois; 03-15-2017, 07:57 AM.

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          • #6
            The word "demon" is a regrettably overloaded term in Mage. Frankly, every Mastigos is a "prince among demons" with respect to the goetia of her own Oneiros even without pursuing a dedicated legacy. But I'll concede that the idea of the legacy attainments affecting Pandemonic demons is sufficiently mechanically controversial that the legacy is better off without it. Thanks for the feedback; I'll edit the write-up.

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