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  • A great dilemma

    I need your help people because I got stuck between a metaphysical rock and a hard place... In a time traveling chronicle I'm currently leading, an archmaster is trying to rewrite history as we, and the players, know it... they managed to form a plan to defeat the Big Bad™ during the earliest era in Dark Eras and history was saved... or so I thought. One of my more devious players formulated a plan and I'm not sure if I should let it happen or not. Its a damn good plan, with a lot of dangers, and probably it could work, but I'm not sure about consequences of it, so I'm asking for advice.
    In the chronicle, the player in question achieved archmastery and stopped the Big Bad™ before the Sundering... before returning to present, he and the rest of the players found a remnant of Time Before. And then they came up with a plan to go there/then/way back when in Time Before through the anomaly. The arch mage has archmastery of both Time and Space Arcanum and wants to go in. To scry into the past of the shard of Time Before and enter it...
    I think it's going to end bad, but the idea of going back sounds so damn good. What I'm asking is, is it possible mechanics-wise and if it is, where/when will they arrive and how to present/describe to them the Time Before? Any advice or information I should look for in one of the books? I got caught completely by surprise and I don't want to outright say no to them...
    So... any advice or help is welcomed...

  • #2
    The general agreement is that if it involves archmastery, it’s possible. If not now, then sooner or later. At this point, that one player is working on a completely different game - where others are playing wizards and witches, they’re playing demigods and archangels.

    As to presenting the Time Before... it hugely depends on what you and your table hold canon. It’s the ultimate “Here be dragons” territory for the Awakened. I personally favor giving it an Exalted feel (or at least, the stereotypes regarding Exalted). Whatever you end up doing, though, it’ll be nice to include something that flat-out contradicts standard mages’ understanding of the universe.


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      The time before doesn't exists any more, so that would be a huge paradox.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post
        I need your help people because I got stuck between a metaphysical rock and a hard place... In a time traveling chronicle I'm currently leading, an archmaster is trying to rewrite history as we, and the players, know it... they managed to form a plan to defeat the Big Bad™ during the earliest era in Dark Eras and history was saved... or so I thought. One of my more devious players formulated a plan and I'm not sure if I should let it happen or not. Its a damn good plan, with a lot of dangers, and probably it could work, but I'm not sure about consequences of it, so I'm asking for advice.
        In the chronicle, the player in question achieved archmastery and stopped the Big Bad™ before the Sundering... before returning to present, he and the rest of the players found a remnant of Time Before. And then they came up with a plan to go there/then/way back when in Time Before through the anomaly. The arch mage has archmastery of both Time and Space Arcanum and wants to go in. To scry into the past of the shard of Time Before and enter it...
        I think it's going to end bad, but the idea of going back sounds so damn good. What I'm asking is, is it possible mechanics-wise and if it is, where/when will they arrive and how to present/describe to them the Time Before? Any advice or information I should look for in one of the books? I got caught completely by surprise and I don't want to outright say no to them...
        So... any advice or help is welcomed...
        Well, the Time Before is that way due to the Exarchs (probably), so beyond even Archmasters to undo.

        But since you want to anyways, treat it as a larger Pocket Dimension. Making the whole thing a Hallow or Verge might be appropriate too.


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

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        • #5
          As far as I understand it, The Time Before is capital g Gone.
          It's not just harder to get to, requiring Archmastery, it's flat up "not a thing" any more, and the Shards of that time found in pre-history are basically just pictures.

          A devoted Archmage could try and climb in one of those pictures, but he'd merely find himself possibly stuck in a shattered chunk of time, an evaporating fragment of a thing that no longer Is.

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          • #6
            Echoing what others said and clarifying/ building upon what I said: Make that *shard* of the Time Before (which won’t be the entirety of the Time Before) you enter a singularity in the uinverse.


            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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            • #7
              If you have read Demon: the Descent there’s a good example of what the others are talking (A shard of time, though not the Time Before) about in the Seattle setting, and that’s how I’d run it to.

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              • #8
                The reason behind them believing it (the Time Before) exists intact are the Exarchs. If they hail from that time/place, and that time/place is now gone and never was, shouldn't also Exarchs be gone since the world/universe they were born in is no more. In an example, if I'm from an island, was born there etc. and go back in time and edit reality so that island never was, how can I exist then. The paradox that is Exarchs. So them existing means that somewhere out there is a gateway to the Time Before that is somehow locked away from being accessed. I find logic in their thinking and I kinda like the idea.

                But if it's impossible, then a shard of a Time Before will do. It would be a bitter ending. Them ending up locked in a pocket realm of lies and half truths that is perhaps a pale shadow of what it once was. But how to portray it. The glory of what it once was. Walking never leads you only through space, but even several seconds later or earlier, so you can see yourself. Effect sometimes comes before the cause. Constantly evolving and adapting life forms. Scintillating flames and electricity dancing in the skies among the moon(s) and nebulae.
                Or am I wrong, and I'm explaining the Abyss?

                As I said, not sure how to portray it to the players.

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                • #9
                  You’re forgetting how time/reality edits work in Mage. To the world it’s always been that way, in your subjective opinion you went back and changed it.

                  Besides, the Exarchs didn’t destroy the universe, they altered it.
                  Last edited by Mrmdubois; 02-12-2018, 07:56 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                    You’re forgetting how time/reality edits work in Mage. To the world it’s always been that way, in your subjective opinion you went back and changed it.

                    Besides, the Exarchs didn’t destroy the universe, they altered it.


                    Where do Exarchs come from? If Awakened City never was? They were always there in our reality? They had to originate somewhere.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post



                      Where do Exarchs come from? If Awakened City never was? They were always there in our reality? They had to originate somewhere.
                      The Exarchs now have always existed. Maybe that wasn't always the case? But within the timelines of the Phenominal World, their existance is Truth, regardless of source. This is pretty much what Ascension means.

                      The Time Before is now just of bunch of magic ruins. Artifacts from prior timelines? Magically created make-believe? They don't exist now, so you can really tell. There isn't even consistancy, so you don't even know which is "true" (if, in fact, any are).

                      But since you bring up the Abyss... since it is "what is not", there may be remnants of the Time Before in it as well. Good luck with the Anunnaki!


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

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                      • #12
                        Or, more simply, let them face a certain entity that will probably devour or erase them from existence them should they attempt to do something like that. Like a Cerberus, but on a realm scale.
                        Harsh lesson in not to mess with things that are far beyond their comprehension, just in case you want to actually save the timeline you are currently in.

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                        • #13
                          Oh, I think Dave Brookshaw said somewhere that Supernal Magic in the Time Before wasn't like Mages use now (the Supernal not having been cut off by the Abyss and there being no Watchtowers), but was closer to how Archmasters use magic. For whatever that means.


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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rosencroft View Post



                            Where do Exarchs come from? If Awakened City never was? They were always there in our reality? They had to originate somewhere.
                            Ever heard of a “retcon,” where the writers change canon history/setting in a comic, and make it so that the in-universe setting of the comic has always been that way, without the characters knowing what changed (save for maybe 4th-wall breaking ones like Deadpool)?

                            That’s how changes made directly in the Supernal (which include Awakenings, attaining archmastery, and Ascensions) work, in contrast with normal Awakened magic. Hell, even with normal Time magic, you can explicitly prevent yourself from being born and return to a present where nobody knows you. Archmages and Ascended beings (eg. Exarchs) do that to the entire world when they move the Supernal, not just one subject’s timeline. That’s the level of power we’re dealing with here.


                            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                            • #15
                              Plus the way that Time magic works in Awakenening there's no Grandfather Paradox, you could go back in time, kill your parents as babies and still exist, destroying your home town seems pretty trivial in comparison.


                              I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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