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Homebrew some Lower Depths!

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  • Homebrew some Lower Depths!

    So...each Lower Depth is as far away from the Supernal World as anything can be, and each such Lower Depth lacks a fundamental aspect of being. Duat lacks Sekhem and souls. The Inferno lacks Virtue. The nameless realm of the Strix lacks Vitae.

    So...why not make up a few of our own? Feel free to create a few Lower Depths and post them here, for all to see! (I, myself, will do so tomorrow, as an offline friend is coming over and I won’t have the opportunity to do so today.)

  • #2
    I think this may have been done before? I'm pretty sure I posted a few concepts previously. I'll see if I can find it.
    Last edited by Vent0; 11-07-2017, 08:06 PM.


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • #3
      Not 100% homebrew because these are just non-canonical takes on canon places :

      The "True Material World" from Summoners could be seen as one lacking the Life Arcanum so everything is purely material here (this Lower Depth only feed on Life when living things go there and the planes kind of do that too if they are malevolent)

      The world of the Men in Black from the same book could also be a Lower Depth, this time lacking at least the magical part of Prime, maybe the MIB are so alien and obviously fake because they are are not humans or lacking wider aspects of the Arcanum of Truth. (Obviously they destroy magic when they are in the Fallen World by lobomotizing mages until they can't use magic)

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      • #4
        I personally always found the Inferno as a really lame Lower Depths. The things that were shown in the Summoners book seemed far more inhuman/alien then the sort of thing that the Inferno usually held. Demons are just too... human? Eh. I mean, an evil spirit is also known as... you know? Any regular spirit of a vice? No need to make a special brand of it. But that's just my opinion, and I'd like to contribute positively, as well as negatively. So:

        I did have some random ideas, though. For instance, one of the silly, not going to do it but it interests me, Mage-Origin-of-Supernatural-Creature things I did once was that Vampires were first created (or each time each Clan was created) by a Lower Depths creature from a realm where dead flesh was all that existed. It took life and replaced it with a hunger for life, and an ability to spread like an infection, a parasite. As a being it was a nullity, pale and grey and sickly and bloated, not even shaped like a person. Just a fat, bloated tick of an impossible monster in a place without Life, but also without Matter. Everything was dead flesh that had never lived and never would live.

        Another idea for a creature I had was a being from a realm without Fate, in which all things worked according to schema, according to inexorable laws for which there was no room for minds either, honestly. The Seers used it to rip away the Fate from people. Both enemies to get rid of dangerous Destinies... but also their own agents. An agent without fate lacks this vital spark. They cannot imagine another world, they have trouble regaining willpower and making motivations, etc, etc. But they cannot be seen using the Fate Arcana. They are a nullity in the tapestry of Fate, though not in Mind/other Arcana. So such Seer Agents are often Sleepwalkers, given tools and loaded down with magic and then sent as assassins that can ambush and surprise enemy Acanthus, or more than them if you have the right defensive magic shoved into them.

        It also inspired a Seer Legacy that involved stealing the Fates from people (both Destiny Merits, and that special fatedness that courses through all lives in the CoD) and then burning it up as fuel for spells/Destiny merits for yourself, etc, etc. So a sort of Reaper of Fate kinda thing, all inspired by study of this horrific, Fate-Devouring being.

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        • #5
          Sounds like the Chthonic beings of the Underworld. Typically, it seems like Lower Depths only lack a certain part of an arcana’s purview rather than the whole thing.

          For instance rather than missing Life, a Lower Depth might be missing healing. Existence is a horrible cannibalization of patchwork parts just to stay alive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
            Sounds like the Chthonic beings of the Underworld. Typically, it seems like Lower Depths only lack a certain part of an arcana’s purview rather than the whole thing.

            For instance rather than missing Life, a Lower Depth might be missing healing. Existence is a horrible cannibalization of patchwork parts just to stay alive.

            Maybe so, and that could be an interesting take on things, but I do think that there's benefit in the Fate-lacking idea. For one, in making it it helped me consider things from a different perspective. I don't believe in Fate, IRL. I don't think there are destinies/etc, etc. But in imagining a world where people have Fates, and that's a fundamental part of existence, it more clearly allowed me to imagine a human without fate in such a system (without going, 'Oh, you mean like RL humans?' or whatnot).

            Which led me to the conclusion/headcanon that just like having a life (Life), having a mind (Mind), and having a soul (Death), having a place in the tapestry of fate (Fate) was a necessary part of being human (and thus worthy of Imperium, etc, etc, Silver Ladder 4 Lyfe!). Thus having it taken away would have similar effects as being killed, having your mind destroyed, or losing your soul.

            All that said, a Lower Depth without Healing does sound appropriately grotesque and cool. So go for it!

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            • #7
              It appears you’ve failed to grasp my meaning.

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              • #8
                I took inspiration from Magic The Gathering for this idea. Specifically, the Shards of Alara, a world that was split into five pieces, each one missing two types of magic that are otherwise omnipresent in the multiverse.
                For the Fate-less place, I took my favorite plane, Esper. It's a realm where nothing is mutable, and order rules. Life is sickly here, so they infuse their bodies with a magical metal to enhance their frail forms in a world without true vitality. The big catch for my interpretation, is that it's a Lower Depth with 2 things missing. The first is naturally an aspect of Life, which is biodiversity and organic evolution. The 2nd, is artificially induced by its ruler, an immortal Sphinx named Sharuum; she steals the Fate from souls in order to give her ultimate free will, and all others are subjugated to her to survive.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                  It appears you’ve failed to grasp my meaning.

                  Which is? I mean, I personally didn't really notice a 'typical' when it came to Lower Depths beings. The lacking something, yes? But the idea that it should 'typically' only be one part of an Arcana isn't something I've actually noticed in anything I've read about Lower Depths beings?

                  So no, I didn't fail to grasp your meaning. I just, you know, didn't agree with you? Basically, I haven't noticed the pattern you seem to have noticed, and won't be restricting myself to it, while at the same time the idea you had wasn't bad and it's fine if your headcanon is that it has to be one aspect of one arcana missing.Just don't expect everyone to agree.
                  Last edited by The_Laurent; 11-08-2017, 03:47 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The_Laurent View Post
                    Which is? I mean, I personally didn't really notice a 'typical' when it came to Lower Depths beings. The lacking something, yes? But the idea that it should 'typically' only be one part of an Arcana isn't something I've actually noticed in anything I've read about Lower Depths beings?

                    So no, I didn't fail to grasp your meaning. I just, you know, didn't agree with you? Basically, I haven't noticed the pattern you seem to have noticed, and won't be restricting myself to it, while at the same time the idea you had wasn't bad and it's fine if your headcanon is that it has to be one aspect of one arcana missing.Just don't expect everyone to agree.
                    This is a better response to what I was saying.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The_Laurent View Post
                      I personally always found the Inferno as a really lame Lower Depths. The things that were shown in the Summoners book seemed far more inhuman/alien then the sort of thing that the Inferno usually held. Demons are just too... human? Eh. I mean, an evil spirit is also known as... you know? Any regular spirit of a vice? No need to make a special brand of it. But that's just my opinion, and I'd like to contribute positively, as well as negatively. So:
                      So... Yeah. This is the result of Mage not having a line Developer at the time, and so two different versions of the Lower Depths both being mentioned in multiple books. There's the Inferno/Imperial Mysteries version, where it's pretty much just the Inferno, and there's the Summoners/Left Hand Path version, where it's strange alien worlds so far off comprehension and surviveability you can't go there.

                      Along with "The Supernal World is what you see in Mage Sight", fixing that by declaring one a subset of the other was my first day's work as Developer.


                      Dave Brookshaw

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The_Laurent View Post
                        I personally always found the Inferno as a really lame Lower Depths. The things that were shown in the Summoners book seemed far more inhuman/alien then the sort of thing that the Inferno usually held. Demons are just too... human? Eh. I mean, an evil spirit is also known as... you know? Any regular spirit of a vice? No need to make a special brand of it. But that's just my opinion, and I'd like to contribute positively, as well as negatively.
                        The Shadow and spirits in general seem to have lessened in importance over time. Originally a place of gods and demons those have been corralled to other areas. It hasn't helped that there's incredibly few examples of high ranked spirits and how or what they do.

                        But yes. There are evil spirits, and spirits of sin and vice. Currently, these and other spirits can become corrupted by the Inferno (they might be called Wounded, depending on what second edition does with Wounds and Inferno). At a glance, they're the same as spirits, but instead of just eating Resonant Essence, they work to corrupt things (mostly people) towards their Influence.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nofather View Post
                          but instead of just eating Resonant Essence, they work to corrupt things (mostly people) towards their Influence.
                          I mean... most spirits do that too in order to create more resonant essence to feed from.


                          My Mage 2e Homebrew

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Flinty View Post
                            I mean... most spirits do that too in order to create more resonant essence to feed from.
                            They don't really have a way to. Urging is one thing, but at that point you're just making it yourself. It's sort of like a contaminating feedback effect that supernaturally poisons the area or person or act. It was also, I guess the term would be, more efficient. It seemed to go directly to advancing their Rank more than feeding their Essence.

                            But like you noted there's not much of a difference and (I imagine) the entire reasoning behind it seems to be just so you can have 'evil spirits from Hell,' and not 'what do you mean they're just spirits?' which I recall was a complaint about what the Crone might have been in Vampire the Requiem. Originally first edition seemed to have the Maeljin and their Maeltinet as straight up demons, judging by things like Lore of the Forsaken.
                            Last edited by nofather; 11-10-2017, 03:44 AM.

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                            • #15
                              To expand on what Flinty said, one of the classic examples of spirit ecology (written as an example) is of One Girl's Happiness. To make a long story short, it was formed as a mote when a girl was accepted into college. It used its powers to encourage her to take actions that made her happy, which led to it eventually being a spirit of the happiness that drugs and partying can bring, as the girl got into drinking to get that 'high' of happiness that the Spirit fed on, leading her entire life to be destroyed, until it reached the part where it possessed and took control of her.

                              It was just a spirit doing what spirits do, acting in a manner alien to human interests and desires, one that sometimes can be 'benevolent' but is never inherently so in a human way, and I find that far more compelling than if you had an "Evil Demon-Spirit of Addiction/Gluttony/etc" that ruined her life because Teh Evulz.

                              I mean, it would be interesting from a Hunter-level perspective if you had someone in the wrong. Like, they see this girl's life ruined by a spirit and they're religious and don't really know what spirits really are, so they make up this elaborate, "Demon from hell, corrupting the innocent" narrative, only to find that, no, that's not it at all. Etc, etc.

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