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  • Seers & society

    Wanted to called topic 'Seers & politics', but quickly understood that it would limit it only to Hegemony Ministry. I opened it more, as I wanted to his as much Ministries as I can. So going to topic...

    I do not know if you heard, but in last week we in Poland started mass protests against antidemocratic reforms our ruling party wanted to force, breaking Constitution. I started to partake active citizen life opposing this government and going for the protests myself, calling friends for the same.

    Why I write it in the Mage topic? Well, last week I really felt like real world forms of government and power wanted to get me. Like I'm MtAw Storyteller now been... 12 years? But I really felt it, like... this thing... wanting to grasp me and crash me, by using our mind changed politicians of ruling party.

    Or that our local Catholic Church was not saying anything, omitting Constitution conflict, leaving Poles without any moral support. ( But supporting antiabortion bill few months before. )

    I know that in real life it was decision of many individuals in government and Church - but I could swear that I felt there was some 'intelligence' behind this society oppression. I think that I 'saw' how Awakened, Seers especially, see Exarchs - after all those years of reading about it in RPG books.

    So topic questions - How Seers can sustain oppression in Western world countries? What Seers do to 'feed' Exarchs, on day to day basis? How their methods evolve with society? How to interweave it in the stories?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 07-25-2017, 02:49 AM.


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  • #2
    Isn't the answer to those questions basically what the Seers splat book is for?

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    • #3
      Just gonna say, I sympathize with what it feels like when you see the World of Darkness peeking through in the real one.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        So topic questions - How Seers can sustain oppression in Western world countries?
        Fortunately for them a lot of it is part of ingrained systems. And not even things that could simply be overcome. The Ministry of Mammon furthers capitalism, placing a price on medical procedures and cost of living, using this as a lash against humanity. The Praetorian Ministry promotes violence and aggression, every time there's accusations of police brutality or a country's military force being used against its own citizens they take a drink, because there's another bunch of people who then see it as a fact of life and not something you stand up to. And it's not limited to 'the authority' violence. Each time a violent gang brings in someone who wouldn't normally kill, that's a win. Whenever there's a news report that makes someone buy a gun and be ready to use it, that's a win. There was some news lately about the NSA scanning facial features on passengers of flights leaving the country, with their response being if you don't want your face scanned and kept, don't leave the country. Everyone who takes that advice, everyone who shrugs it off as another cost of the world they live in, that's another win for the Panopticon. And yes, you could do something. You could get active, find others who feel the same way, maybe get someone elected, work your way up from local to a national level. But you have the Unity working against you. It's easier to go with the flow, to just hit Like on Facebook to show your support than actually do anything. And if you're going to be in the government, to be elected beyond the borders of your town and city, you're going to have to make compromises. When you're in the big room and that vote comes up to close up that rule you could say no, but by then you're surrounded by people like yourself, and those humble beginnings are so far away. Besides, one vote won't make a difference, better not to rock the boat now, stick with the majority and make a stand some other time.

        What Seers do to 'feed' Exarchs, on day to day basis? How their methods evolve with society? How to interweave it in the stories?


        Mystery Commands are the big one, and obviously should be tailored to your story, with each duty done being part of something much larger that even the Seers might not see, a butterfly flaps its wings stuff. Make sure Mr Seaver gets his business loan. Seaver opens up his business, the local big box store doesn't want competition, lowers their prices, hires more people. One of those people is a coyote, the truck he uses to transport goods he has a stash to hide immigrants he brings into the country. Sheriff Cornelius uses the increased immigrant population as part of his platform to run for mayor. He wins. A decade later he's running for governor and dies of a heart attack, found with coke all over his face and worse things in his blood, whereupon all his backroom dealings and illicit after dark activities come to light. The stress it puts on the family causes his son Jonas to Awaken. Now there's a new Seer and all you did was say 'Mr. Seaver is a very good friend of mine,' and issue a veiled threat or promise.

        There's also some standard mage stuff, 'find this artifact,' 'kill that supernatural or Awakened,' and so forth. It's possible just reinforcing the hierarchy is good. For what it's worth, I don't think the Exarchs 'need' to be fed. I'll grant they might be spirit-like, as we don't know their origins, but it could just be that, as entities of tyranny, they are simply made to be tyrants. And tyrants tend to remake the rules to work in their favor. A lot of organizations like it in fiction, Cobra's probably my favorite. In real life many have found ways to maneuver things for their own benefit and to the detriment of the common person, unfortunately. The relatively recent and believed to be fake Turkish coup, too, for instance. It was a move to solidify power and eliminate perceived opposition. It had the added benefit of getting many people to be proud of their ruler, who survived the 'attempt,' further solidifying his power.
        Last edited by nofather; 07-24-2017, 11:39 PM.

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        • #5
          I tend to keep the Seers to creating their own private empires rather than directly trying to oppress people. That's just the side-effect of Seers trying to improve their position.

          I personally don't like Seers doing stuff with the sole aim to oppress people. I dunno, it just feels way too vague and difficult to measure, and it can also feel kinda self-indulgent to take complex real life issues and boil them down to the platonic ideal of tyranny.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            I tend to keep the Seers to creating their own private empires rather than directly trying to oppress people. That's just the side-effect of Seers trying to improve their position.

            I personally don't like Seers doing stuff with the sole aim to oppress people. I dunno, it just feels way too vague and difficult to measure, and it can also feel kinda self-indulgent to take complex real life issues and boil them down to the platonic ideal of tyranny.
            Living in country on the ( possible ) brink of one party dictatorship, I can tell you it's more real than most people think it can be in 'democratic countries'.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

              Living in country on the ( possible ) brink of one party dictatorship, I can tell you it's more real than most people think it can be in 'democratic countries'.
              General Aladeen: Why are you guys so anti-dictators? Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests.

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              • #8
                In the US?

                At the risk of being inflamatory, I associate the NRA with the General, the fudnamental religious with Hedgemony, certain political idealology with the Hedgemony. Normally, I associate the Eye with the Illuminati, but lets be fair - america has lots of goverment officials spying on people through lots of means. And, of course, we have Mammon through the banks and giant corporations.

                The themes behind big ministiries have a very firm founding in real life.

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                • #9
                  Don't forget that the Seers will be on both sides of every issue, using them to divide the populous and pitting them against each other. Divide and conquer, or at least suppress any improvement or growth. You'll notice there is no ministry of debate and compromise.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                    Don't forget that the Seers will be on both sides of every issue, using them to divide the populous and pitting them against each other. Divide and conquer, or at least suppress any improvement or growth. You'll notice there is no ministry of debate and compromise.
                    Isn't that exactly why the Seers squabble with each other like importunate children?

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                    • #11
                      Yeah. One guesses if the Exarchs didn't like the whole backstabbing nature of their Seers, they would do something about it, rather than encourage it. Maybe it's something they couldn't control but given what we see from other things in mage it might at the least be considered acceptable behavior.
                      Last edited by nofather; 07-25-2017, 05:40 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                        Don't forget that the Seers will be on both sides of every issue, using them to divide the populous and pitting them against each other. Divide and conquer, or at least suppress any improvement or growth. You'll notice there is no ministry of debate and compromise.
                        Depends on the issue. Lots of them are inherently divisive. For example, if a hypothetical Seer works to maintain slavery, they don't need a Abolitionist Seer to help divide people, slavery is a inherently divisive practice.

                        Plenty of calls for debate and compromise have been made about people and institutions that in retrospect shouldn't have been compromised with.


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                        • #13
                          No, they need an abolitionist Seer to ensure things go the worst way possible.
                          Individual Seers are in it for self enrichment, but the Order as a whole is there to make sure nothings changes for the better.
                          ​Think of them as the Order for Status-Quo, making sure humanity doesn't rise up to challenge the powers that be, using whatever means possible. This means they use not only repressive religions but also inflammatory media and rabble rousers. To put simply they wanted slavery in America, if it was going to end, to end in a bloody war and they wanted the aftermath to be as messy and hateful as possible.
                          Individual Seers on the other hand, just wanted to get the biggest piece of the pie they could. Morality need not apply.

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                          • #14
                            To be fair at that point you don't need a Seer. The Seer on one side can use a Profane Urim or magic, or a proximi or sleepwalker or even sleeper servant for the other side. Or one Seer can remotely manipulate both sides without becoming personally invested in either.

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                            • #15
                              Exactly, the individual Seer doesn't care about the cause, he cares about how he will profit from it.
                              He's the reporter who cares about ratings, not accuracy.
                              ​He's the politician who supports whatever group will get him elected.
                              ​He's the rich man who doesn't care one way or the other about an endangered minority group, caring only for the chance to seize their land or foreclose on their housing for a big land deal.
                              ​Seer conspiracies aren't really necessary, all you need is a bunch of self serving and immoral people who practice a scratch my back and I'll scratch yours philosophy.

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