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How does quiescence work in a society that believes in magic?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dragonchild View Post
    So what I gather from this is that mage sight is inherent to humanity and sleepers just aren't able to process the symbols they see due to the shard of the abyss within them? Or maybe just because of The Lie. Otherwise seeing magic in a way perfectly compatible to their worldview wouldn't affect them so traumatically.
    The default state of humanity prior to the Sleeping Curse is Sleepwalker. (Remember the developer saying that, but can’t recall where) So technically, Mage Sight is still unique to mages, and non-Awakened would still be unable to process Supernal symbols. It just doesn’t fry their minds when they see it.


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    • #17
      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

      No, Mage Sight isn’t inherent to humanity, it’s inherent to Mages.
      If you go by the idea that being Awakened is the natural state of humanity but is blocked by the abyssal shard, you could argue that it was meant to be this way before The Fall.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by GreenKitty View Post
        If you go by the idea that being Awakened is the natural state of humanity but is blocked by the abyssal shard, you could argue that it was meant to be this way before The Fall.
        Yeah, being Awakened isn’t the natural state of humanity, being a Sleepwalker is.

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        • #19
          That's the leading theory of the Diamond and Seers, at any rate. Which can't actually be proven. As far as history is concerned, the world has always been Fallen (as seen in Sundered World). Quiescence, as I understand it, reacts specifically to Supernal magic alone... which now that I think about it may have been the basis for the idea that the Exarchs are not just another set of Supernal symbols but a group of ancient Ascended mages; that there's a higher, guiding intelligence actively behind whatever prevents mages from practicing their magic openly?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Knowbody View Post
            That's the leading theory of the Diamond and Seers, at any rate.
            It's actually the word from Dave. Although, I don't think it ever officially makes it into a book in such blunt terms. It can be taken as heavily implied though since regular people suffer Breaking Points from exposure to the supernatural (And the Supernal in particular), but Sleepwalkers don't when paired with the fact that Mages -are- monsters in the view of the authors because that's the way the CoD splat books are written to be taken.

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            • #21
              And said word is here:
              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
              The other thing is that in the current edition whether or not you forget depends on your willpower, with Willpower 9 or 10 Sleepers being able to remember magic.

              That's going away. They all forget.

              And yes, everyone in Second Sight or with one of the supernatural Merits in God Machine is meant to be a Sleepwalker. Being a Sleepwalker is the "natural" state of humanity, pre-Fall; not under the Curse, but not Awakened.

              It's also strictly speaking worse to be a Sleepwalker than a Sleeper. Because those Hunters who are Sleepwalkers? Mages can cast permenant spells on them without fear of Paradox. Do it to a Sleeper and eventually they'll unravel the spell. Being a Sleepwalker who isn't under the protection of mage society is like wearing an "kick me" sign.

              Which is why, if "is a Sleepwalker with no powers" is a Merit, it's going to be a very cheap one.


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              • #22
                If being a Sleepwalker is the natural state, I certainly got the wrong impression from the 2e book, which I got the impression that since the world is a "Lie", and the Awakened are those who see how the world really works and past the Lie, and the Lie was put up after The Fall, then being Awakened was the natural state. Of course there is the idea that the Exarchs made it so because they can screw reality.
                Last edited by GreenKitty; 01-26-2018, 10:53 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by GreenKitty View Post
                  If being a Sleepwalker is the natural state, I certainly got the wrong impression from the 2e book, which I got the impression that since the world is a "Lie", and the Awakened are those who see how the world really works and past the Lie, and the Lie was put up after The Fall, then being Awakened was the natural state. Of course there is the idea that the Exarchs made it so because they can screw reality.
                  Something you should realize is that the Awakened realize in a transcendental experience that the world is a Lie, and then the experience is over, and they're back in the Lie. And, the Lie is in some ways -really- fucking subtle, and Mages manage to tangle themselves back up in it again on those subtler levels even though they think they're looking out for it. Awakening is not an escape from the Lie. Ascension arguably is, but considering the reality edits and how that probably screws up the Supernal everytime it happens, who knows.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by GreenKitty View Post
                    If being a Sleepwalker is the natural state, I certainly got the wrong impression from the 2e book, which I got the impression that since the world is a "Lie", and the Awakened are those who see how the world really works and past the Lie, and the Lie was put up after The Fall, then being Awakened was the natural state. Of course there is the idea that the Exarchs made it so because they can screw reality.
                    Hmm, here’s how I understand it: first, let’s say that the Truth (of the Supernal) is fire, as that’s a common analogy.

                    Sleepwalkers are those who see an open fire, and while they recognize its dangers, they realize it can be also of help.

                    Sleepers see the fire and are cowed like wild animals, seeing it only as something to be feared, running away from first sight.

                    The Awakened are those enthralled by the fire. Some create torches to carry around the fire, lighting up the dark and banishing the cold. Some set things on fire to see how the tongues of flame dance, other people’s fears be damned. Some plunge their hands into the fire, their own pain be damned.

                    The Ascended are fire.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

                      No, Mage Sight isn’t inherent to humanity, it’s inherent to Mages.
                      Yeah, what I said was very poorly worded, and I later realized that.

                      What I probably should have said was that if sleepers can look at a spell being cast in a way that perfectly melds with their worldview but still experience dissonance, then it seems like everyone must perceive the supernal to some degree. Otherwise it would be odd for just witnessing it to cause them, and the spell so much trouble.

                      I wound up conflating any limited perception of the supernal at all with Mage sight, which in retrospect is probably like confusing a human sense of smell with a dog's.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Dragonchild View Post

                        Yeah, what I said was very poorly worded, and I later realized that.

                        What I probably should have said was that if sleepers can look at a spell being cast in a way that perfectly melds with their worldview but still experience dissonance, then it seems like everyone must perceive the supernal to some degree. Otherwise it would be odd for just witnessing it to cause them, and the spell so much trouble.

                        I wound up conflating any limited perception of the supernal at all with Mage sight, which in retrospect is probably like confusing a human sense of smell with a dog's.
                        Well, furthermore there are plenty of spells that simply aren't "visible" to normal human senses. You manipulate something in twilight or the Shadow, yeah, good luck with perceiving that without magic. So technically you can actually use magic in front of sleepers. However, if they are in any way capable of perceiving your spell work (and I don't mean the use of yantras), then they're going to have to deal with dissonance and you're going to have to deal with paradox.

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                        • #27
                          Yeah, the Lie isn't (just) the Sleeping Curse; the Lie is the systems that exist to distract, mislead, and prevent humanity from grasping its divine heritage. It's the systems of control the Exarchs placed in the world to keep you downtrodden, but which also make you step on the necks of others.

                          When hunger grips at empty bellies that could be full, and draws minds that should be free to base concerns, that is the Lie.

                          When the Sleeping masses seek connection to the Truth and flock to hear spiritual teachers, sham occultists, and half-truthed materialists for succor, that is the Lie.

                          When people must struggle for daily survival, clawing at one another in an unceasing competition that turns society into a pyramid, blazing with Exarchial sympathies, that is the Lie.

                          The Awakened are no more free of it than most; the Duel Arcane itself is a paean to the General by its very nature.

                          The Sleeping Curse, in 1e, manifested differently in cultures with a strong belief in magic; they might remember the magic, but reshape it to fit an evil narrative. I.E. Devout Christians might recall it as the work of devils. In 2e, that is no longer the case, but you're free to tweak it that way if you think it best for your games. RAW, though, everyone forgets.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
                            Yeah, the Lie isn't (just) the Sleeping Curse; the Lie is the systems that exist to distract, mislead, and prevent humanity from grasping its divine heritage. It's the systems of control the Exarchs placed in the world to keep you downtrodden, but which also make you step on the necks of others.

                            When hunger grips at empty bellies that could be full, and draws minds that should be free to base concerns, that is the Lie.

                            When the Sleeping masses seek connection to the Truth and flock to hear spiritual teachers, sham occultists, and half-truthed materialists for succor, that is the Lie.

                            When people must struggle for daily survival, clawing at one another in an unceasing competition that turns society into a pyramid, blazing with Exarchial sympathies, that is the Lie.

                            The Awakened are no more free of it than most; the Duel Arcane itself is a paean to the General by its very nature.

                            The Sleeping Curse, in 1e, manifested differently in cultures with a strong belief in magic; they might remember the magic, but reshape it to fit an evil narrative. I.E. Devout Christians might recall it as the work of devils. In 2e, that is no longer the case, but you're free to tweak it that way if you think it best for your games. RAW, though, everyone forgets.
                            In my games I would have it work more like this, that much of the beliefs people have are part of the Lie to distractbfrom Truth. And the Lie is an active suppressor that say, causes Youtube videos of actual summoning to paradox into disaster.

                            Yet it contradicts the idea that such beliefs do contain "The Truth", and I could see your explanation being presented by Diamond Order dogmatists and then a Libertine pops up and says that these aspects of the Lie contain functioning "Truth" and then an ideological brawl occurs.

                            When something like this is presented in very asbstract terms, it can be interpreted in a lot of ways, leaving the ST freedom to change them. Yet, in-character ot would seem like everything is couched in so much symbolism and since mages think everything is symbols, maybe everyone ends up deriving a multitude of "Truths" from them, even "alternative truth" .

                            So anyway what else I am getting here is that before The Fall, humans could have the freedom to Awaken if they wished to and there was no Paradox to stop mages from instantly zapping anyone in front of them or using space arcanum to kidnap children.

                            However it would suggest that back in "Atlantis"(or the age of) even "Sleepwalkers" would be born into a "Lie" that is the world because they cannot see the Supernal infrastructure of the world. So therefore at least this aspect of "Lie" is always present since the beginning; furthermore due to not wanting to cross splats, it would be impossible for a vampire to Awaken and therefore all other supernaturals are doomed to never Awaken"l due to some taint or imbalance in the soul?
                            Last edited by GreenKitty; 01-27-2018, 07:09 AM.

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                            • #29
                              I gotta dispute the claims that its not affected by belief. It most certainly, canonically is.

                              "The Curse strikes a Sleeper when she sees obvious
                              magic, either during the spell’s casting or
                              encountering its effects later. So what’s obvious?
                              The spell must be clearly, openly supernatural in
                              effect, and the Sleeper must be both conscious
                              and cognizant of the magic’s impossibility."

                              In other words, while ancient mages did struggle with Quiescence, different cultures and perspectives are going to have somewhat different viewpoints on what is possible and impossible and what is supernatural and not supernatural. Technology, for example, radically redefines the nature of possible and impossible. Culture and belief systems DO play a huge part, and modern people aren't always more skeptical of magic.

                              The impossibility of zombies and robots, for example, is fairly variable.

                              "Conscious and cognizant of the magic's impossibility" is another essential part. If you send obvious zombies walking down the street, that's probably going to be something that is clearly, openly supernatural that people will be conscious and cognizant of it being impossible. If these people are in the middle of a (non-magic related) zombie apocalypse, they blatantly know zombies are possible and they sure as hell aren't going to know which zombies are possible and which are impossible, which are made by an improbable disease and which is made by magic. If the zombies are relatively lifelike, they may never be recognized as supernatural to begin with; it may very well be a riot of stinking, drugged, mentally ill persons. If the sleepers don't know they were made by magic, even if someone fully well knows they're zombies, its not altogether clear how impossible that is that something could cause zombie like phenomena. And even if its a hunter who fully well knows that a mage is responsible somehow, unless he saw a dead body rise, its just as possible that these are diseased people who can be cured, laboring under a curse. Meanwhile, an empty, walking skeleton is almost always going to draw the Curse, even if non-mage created skeletons have been wandering around; they're clearly supernatural, and you can just plainly see it. An angry decapitated head rolling after you, biting your toes or otherwise truly surreal looking zombies almost certainly draws the Curse too.

                              A robot (golem) walking down the street? If it looks human enough to not draw suspicion, no Curse. If it is boxy enough to possibly have a human in there somewhere, that remains a possibility; no Curse. If the Statue of Liberty comes to life like Talos, sure, but even if someone is familiar with the limits of humanoid robots, and a viewer gasps with astonishment to see such an agile, realistic, and lively robot dancing for his amusement, and it strains belief far beyond what he thinks is possible; its still probably not not *clearly and openly* supernatural. Meanwhile, ancient people are much more likely to go "Oh yeah... that's magic, alright." The robot IS impossible; its apparent workings are just for show, it has no power source and the technology for it doesn't exist yet. The ancient doesn't know WHY its impossible; just that it is. Bam, Curse.

                              And its even more complicated than that!

                              To a modern person, the vast gulf between a dragon and an alligator seems obvious -- but then again, plenty of people believe in aliens and cryptids. To the people who wrote medieval bestiaries, the line between real and unreal is much more blurry. To an ancient who already lives with an honest to goodness (non mage related) dragon, a mage's spell-born dragon may just be a normal animal; he is neither conscious nor cognizant of the dragon's impossibility. The dragon IS supernatural, but its supernatural nature is not necessarily clear, nor is the ancient one cognizant of that impossibility.

                              What about an elephant?

                              Its the opposite of the robot scenario. To that same ignorant ancient, a mage's spell-born elephant may very well BE something he thinks is completely impossible, but an elephant is, itself, not impossible. Nobody knows its not possible, but an elephant conjured by magic roaming about where sleepers who don't know that elephants exist is probably not going to trigger the Curse unless its genesis was clearly supernatural.

                              So what's pretty interesting about this is -- if a sleeper believes in and is 100% used to magic, and he knows you're using magic or miracles, Curse. The Lie is much more finetuned than owod Consensus; the sort of stuff that is considered "objectively impossible" by the Lie ultimately centers around humans awakening to the ability of drawing down transcendental powers. That's why folk awakened who pose as, or are, folk magicians and willworkers hit people with the Curse, and why impersonal weird things are much more mutable. The Curse isn't about necessarily believing in an ordered world of logical physics (the ancients often didn't); the Curse is about keeping sleepers from becoming mages.

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                              • #30
                                This thread seems to have wandered off course, and I'll happily admit I haven't read the whole thing.

                                OP, to answer your question - it still works normally. Reference Dark Eras (Neolithic) where we have an entire society that's well aware that magic is real, it's a cornerstone of their culture and they struggle with and against it every day.

                                Quiescence still works normally.

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