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Challenging Supernal "Truth"

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Mages don't claim intimate understanding unless they've literally been doing the sort of work that justifies such a claim — the thrust of their intrusion is generally that they're addicts, and the fix they're chasing is seeing what happens if they poke the weird supernatural bullshit that may or may not be somebody else's pet project as part of an ongoing pursuit of personal power.
    That's how they get the knowledge to lay the claim they have a deeper understanding to expand their power.

    Also, again, the whole "the world is a Lie" thing is a distinct aspect of Awakened cultural positioning from "our magic taps into a deeply-buried and rarefied stratum of existence in which the things that define reality interact with our world."
    I think the descriptions of some of the Prime spells suggest something more spiritual and esoteric, such as Stealing Fire and Apocalypse which "remove the scales of the lie from sleepers". I do think that is a valid interpretation of material once all the spirituality/Atlantis(even as a metaphor) talk is removed.

    Outside of the context of Paradox and bad-idea spellcasting, the concept behind the Supernal has little to suggest it's an invasive force. Mages who are out to "extinguish" the Fallen world are generally regarded as self-destructive lunatics, not typical specimens of Awakened thought.

    "Everything in reality means something, and what it means can be broken down for power" indicates that the Supernal is a plague on reality in the same way that the existence of the atomic bomb indicates that the weak nuclear force is a plague on reality — you're suggesting that words being things is a legitimate curse.
    Okay maybe not so much extinguishing the Fallen, but extinguishing "The Lie" or "The Abyss".

    Again this is just a re-interpretation of canon material to twist it to ask certain questions about one's knowledge and perspective of the cosmos. This can be used in more of a "mad scientist that plays with radiation" narrative, in which the knowledge isn't invalidated-just that the methods of attaining it are reckless. I just liked how to tie in the idea of mages as antagonists and the sherpa metaphor as a way of asking players in character "do you really know what you're doing? do you really know what your magic is doing? do you really know where your power actually comes from?"

    Maybe words being things is a legitimate curse. Like someone who bestows a true name onto someone, and then those who learn that true name have power over that individual.

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    • #47
      Mages as arrogant, intrusive, colonialist outsiders meddling in the affairs of other splats who know better because it's their indigenous sphere of concern is a perfectly valid narrative. For another splat to characterize their worldview as an infection, again, perfectly valid.

      That's basically what their monstrosity is.


      I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
      An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
      Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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      • #48
        I don't understand why people are so much more interested in constructing frameworks that prove the metaphysical premise of Mage "wrong" than in doing the same to anybody else. I don't remember any threads about how changelings are actually steadily mutating the world into an extension of Faerie by signing onto their Contracts through the Wyrd, or how the Shadow Realm isn't actually the sundered remnant of an ancient time when men could travel into the lands of the spirits, or how the Duat is an interpretation of a hallucinatory death experience by mad immortals who have forgotten they actually all did this to themselves and recast the voices of their own inner ids and principles as Judges of Life and Death.

        The Mage books aren't lying to you when they describe the experience of Supernal truth and its role in existence. That doesn't intrinsically morally justify mages, or mean every influence of supernal truth is positive (the Exarchs are right there, and the Bound were bound for a reason), or make supernal sorcery better or more legitimate than other supernatural workings. But the premise is that Plato's forms influence the shadows on the cave wall, like how the premise of Werewolf is that each thing of flesh has its reflection in spirit.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
          I don't remember any threads about how changelings are actually steadily mutating the world into an extension of Faerie by signing onto their Contracts through the Wyrd, or how the Shadow Realm isn't actually the sundered remnant of an ancient time when men could travel into the lands of the spirits, or how the Duat is an interpretation of a hallucinatory death experience by mad immortals who have forgotten they actually all did this to themselves and recast the voices of their own inner ids and principles as Judges of Life and Death.
          Can you start them, though? These are actually kinda cool.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post

            Can you start them, though? These are actually kinda cool.
            Ain't nothin' stopping you. I'd be somewhat interested in what modifications, not just setting-wise, would be appropriate to make Mummy run that.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
              I don't understand why people are so much more interested in constructing frameworks that prove the metaphysical premise of Mage "wrong" than in doing the same to anybody else. I don't remember any threads about how changelings are actually steadily mutating the world into an extension of Faerie by signing onto their Contracts through the Wyrd, or how the Shadow Realm isn't actually the sundered remnant of an ancient time when men could travel into the lands of the spirits, or how the Duat is an interpretation of a hallucinatory death experience by mad immortals who have forgotten they actually all did this to themselves and recast the voices of their own inner ids and principles as Judges of Life and Death.

              The Mage books aren't lying to you when they describe the experience of Supernal truth and its role in existence. That doesn't intrinsically morally justify mages, or mean every influence of supernal truth is positive (the Exarchs are right there, and the Bound were bound for a reason), or make supernal sorcery better or more legitimate than other supernatural workings. But the premise is that Plato's forms influence the shadows on the cave wall, like how the premise of Werewolf is that each thing of flesh has its reflection in spirit.

              See the first post. Also it's a thematic way of highlighting the themes of hubris, mages-as-monsters, and injecting more horror into a cosmology that if true says "these people are gifted with the understructure of reality-all of it" which could put them seemingly above other splats, and yes even in those other splats it's good to put up some horrid ambiguity to set a specific mood if that's your thing. This is all just "what ifs", and it's a setting variant that is discussed in the Chronicler's Guide, and also the "what really is the Supernal?" question is asked again in another book(Dark Eras Companion) that presents a group of mages with an entirely different interpretation of magic being colonized by European invaders, among them other mages.

              Personally I see the books as presenting the cosmos in the perspective of mainstream Awakened society, which would be biased due to the way such organizations are generally in WoD/CoD, and of course the heavy anthropocentrism and the heavy use of connotations of magic being "holy"('consecrated', 'hallows' etc) despite magic actually having no moral bent. Also ties heavily with how the Mad and archmasters have things in common.
              Last edited by GreenKitty; 04-18-2018, 11:12 PM.

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              • #52
                Werewolf's forum has a lot of 'they're hosts' theories and, before Sundered World and a bit after (not everyone has Dark Eras), 'Pangaea was a myth, so what really happened?' That's before getting into the Pure/Forsaken divide. Questioning the given truths of a game isn't exactly new to this thread. Changeling posited that perhaps the True Fae were fallen angels, people keep attempting to attach Prometheus' Principle to the anti-God-Machine, or mage's Aether, and so forth.

                GreenKitty As a werewolf fan who has seen these kinds of threads, introducing your idea with 'You're wrong and your characters are actually negatively affecting everything' isn't exactly going to get an exceptional success on a social roll. If you really like the idea, feel free to flesh it out in an appropriate thread that lets people know you're theorycrafting or homebrewing, but as it is all we have is the books, and while they do portray things from a perspective originating from the gameline the book belongs to, that's so players and storytellers have a better grasp on what the game should be like, rather than an empirical 'This is the what all characters across all books know and believe.'

                All that said, rather than looking at things like the Supernal is a disease, and noting as Satchel has said the Supernal is the symbols that define things, or things are defined by, a simple way to go would be to look at the Supernal as a form of order and structure. 'This means this.' With mages acting as the eyes and ears through which things are determined to be right, or not, and simultaneously gaining benefits from that relationship.
                Last edited by nofather; 04-18-2018, 11:27 PM.

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                • #53
                  Even if the mainstream perspective changes, the Supernal remains as the descriptive structure of Reality. No matter how hardly mages end up believing the Supernal is bad and/or wrong, it’ll still be there doing its job of defining reality. Remember, we’re not talking about Consensual reality here.

                  EDIT: On the other hand, said description of reality being harmful to reality when in great amount of exposure implies interesting things about the world, specifically how Truth and Reality interact. I just sum it up with the old statement, “truth hurts.”
                  Last edited by 21C Hermit; 04-19-2018, 12:06 AM.


                  MtAw Homebrew:
                  Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                  New 2E Legacies, expanded

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