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The Paths to Lichdom

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  • Dusksage
    replied
    Originally posted by Arduras View Post

    I mentioned something like this, a life spell and the group told me "eventually you're soul would give out, unlike a vampires' it's not eternal" So I'd probably need Death 5 and Life 5 to both "kill" the death of my soul / reverse the "entropy" on it as well as Life to keep my body in working order, not just "rewound" every so often,
    Either that or have a fresh Soul handy when you regenerate. But then you're trading being a Litch for being a Reaper. And honestly Reapers get waaaay more scorn in local politics (and usually for good reason too.)

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  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Originally posted by Arduras View Post
    I mentioned something like this, a life spell and the group told me "eventually you're soul would give out, unlike a vampires' it's not eternal" So I'd probably need Death 5 and Life 5 to both "kill" the death of my soul / reverse the "entropy" on it as well as Life to keep my body in working order, not just "rewound" every so often,
    I don't think there's anything specifically in Mage that would back up the idea that a soul eventually gives out.

    Regardless, a Dr. Who like regeneration wouldn't be a Lasting effect so you'd have to keep the spell up and running.

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  • Arduras
    replied
    Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
    Have an idea to put forward:

    Modifying an old idea, one could hypothetically skirt Litchdom by basically creating a spell that let's them essentially be a Time Lord. When their body is on the verge of failing they regenerate completely on a cellular level. The major problems would of course be having the spell prepared before hand, and if any of their previous memories would survive having their brain molecularly revivified, and aaaallll the opportunities for Paradox. But should it work it would be a handy way to skirt the Litchdom label. It would even fit more the Moros paradigm in that it would still be a form of death, a form of transformation into a new state. Just with a fresh slate, pre-existing Supernal connections, and a whole lot of journals to re-read every century or so.
    I mentioned something like this, a life spell and the group told me "eventually you're soul would give out, unlike a vampires' it's not eternal" So I'd probably need Death 5 and Life 5 to both "kill" the death of my soul / reverse the "entropy" on it as well as Life to keep my body in working order, not just "rewound" every so often,

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  • Dusksage
    replied
    Have an idea to put forward:

    Modifying an old idea, one could hypothetically skirt Litchdom by basically creating a spell that let's them essentially be a Time Lord. When their body is on the verge of failing they regenerate completely on a cellular level. The major problems would of course be having the spell prepared before hand, and if any of their previous memories would survive having their brain molecularly revivified, and aaaallll the opportunities for Paradox. But should it work it would be a handy way to skirt the Litchdom label. It would even fit more the Moros paradigm in that it would still be a form of death, a form of transformation into a new state. Just with a fresh slate, pre-existing Supernal connections, and a whole lot of journals to re-read every century or so.

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    There is a somewhat relevant McGuffin I'm intent on introducing to my own game, with the idea that it will partially solve the problem of death by staving things off a tad. (This is a dark-ages setting chronicle that wants to cover quite a bit of time.)

    Cauldron of Annwn
    A large bronze cauldron, its rim decorated by pearls, cast or engraved with scenes of life and death, joy and punishment. It is, in fact, large enough for a grown man to sit in.
    The cauldron may be used in two ways: first, by speaking the correct word into it, which echoes within the cauldron until a feast appears. And second, the cauldron may quickly cook the meat of a brave man (or other gendered person--the cauldron is not specific even if the legends are)--only the means of demonstrating bravery is to step into the cauldron and the meat is literally the man's flesh. Cooking in this case requires no fire: nine breathes upon the rim is enough to warm things nicely.

    What do you do with the cooked meat of a brave man? Well it boils down to about the size of a hearty meal that stays delightfully warm until consumed, so feed it to a woman--who then will spontaneously conceive a child: reincarnating the brave person, more or less.

    Oh, there are differences, sure. They won't look exactly the same, being the offspring of the woman, and the Cauldron has been known to cause other... abnormalities. Most of the time its subjects don't remember what transpired after experiencing their sacrificial murder, flensing and cooking, but a few may awake in cold sweats, ranting of a sepia-tinged world of mist, locked chambers, and punishment. No one returns to their new life completely the same. There are no stories of what happens if someone other than a woman consumes the Cauldron's meat, or if additional ingredients are mixed in, but it's not hard to imagine something going... wrong.

    Mechanically the Cauldron of Annwn does what it says on the tin. It reincarnates you, but at a cost: the experience reduces the subject's power stat by one, and their Willpower by one. It also constitutes an automatic Breaking Point failure for the subject and a Breaking Point check at appropriate penalties for participant "cooks"--even if they are fully aware of the Cauldron's intended effect. The subject retains their fully-formed spirit and soul (with deformations of course), and may during the process of gestation and birth end up with appropriate Conditions, such as Amnesia. It is feasible to spur the process along, or adjust the physical outcomes by adding in mystical ingredients, but the results are not deterministic. If a person is tricked into the cauldron or otherwise coerced it will not cook them, and they die normally (albeit horribly) even if otherwise properly prepared.

    ---

    A mage utilizing such device--magic with consequences--could live a very long time, at the cost of rebuilding themselves each time.

    --Khanwulf

    PS Edit: If this looks like an easy tool for player abuse? That's the point. The horrifying thing about the Cauldron is not that it demands human sacrifice and cannibalism, or squeezes the victim's spiritual essences through a sieve into an involuntary conception. No. The horrifying thing about the Cauldron is that once you even know it exists it won't leave you alone. It will always be a temptation to a player (and thus, a PC) to take the easy way out: get a newish face, a fresh start, a new lease on life. It's easy. It's right there. You just need a little help spinning the wheel and making a new you!

    No. The Cauldron is a gnawing temptation. It sits across from you at every meal you attempt to eat with your maimed hand. It perches on your back as you limp. It looms in the background as you pluck a grey hair in the mirror. The Cauldron simply is--a mote in God's eye. And that's enough: it wounds the strong and destroys the weak. And the more it's used the more... precious... it will seem. Mechanics are unnecessary for this....
    Last edited by Khanwulf; 04-26-2018, 11:00 AM. Reason: Expedient Explanatory Exposition Edit

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Dresden View Post
    What would various groups in Pentacle society think about an individual who became a Lich from the other direction, starting as a type of immortal first and then somehow gaining a connection to the Supernal? Like maybe a Warden whose territory became a Supernal Verge or a Purified granted the capacity for Awakened magic by an Archmage as a reward for a past service?
    It'd be so rare as to be entirely dependant on the individuals.

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  • Dresden
    replied
    What would various groups in Pentacle society think about an individual who became a Lich from the other direction, starting as a type of immortal first and then somehow gaining a connection to the Supernal? Like maybe a Warden whose territory became a Supernal Verge or a Purified granted the capacity for Awakened magic by an Archmage as a reward for a past service?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Originally posted by GreenKitty View Post
    I have a preference for avoiding an objective good vs. evil narrative
    While the Seers are seen in a bad light, it's also true that the Guardians of the Veil willingly take on morally ambiguous tasks for the "good." In Mage, it's not that one side is actually good or evil, it's that all of them do really awful things for what they think is right. The Supernal is morally ambiguous, there are platonic ideals of good and evil and both reside in the Supernal. The Exarchs existing doesn't push a moral narrative.

    Let's take Dave's own words for describing the Seers, “the Seers are bastards in bastard coating,” that doesn't mean they're wrong. If by chance they're right, then they might also be morally right.
    Last edited by Mrmdubois; 04-25-2018, 04:23 PM.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Most magic being tantalizingly fleeting does seem to be what Mage 2E has in mind.

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  • GreenKitty
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
    Not believing in the Exarchs is like not believing in America if you're European - their influence is everywhere, they meddle in your government, the world is set up to their advantage and if you have oil you'll end up with a missile in your house one way or another.

    The Exarchs have a palpable, measurable effect on the Supernal World when they're focusing on something. The Seers self-interestedly do their bidding. A mage has to be an *idiot* to deny they exist, and most mages aren't idiots.

    The controversy is whether a mage believes the Seer doctrine that the Exarchs were once human mages who Ascended or not, and whether the Iron Seals represent individuals or are Shadow Name-like mantles different Exarchs put on to interact with the Fallen. Arguing about whether the Psychopomp is actually a consortium of ascended atlantean archmages does not put its ability to send an Ochema and fuck you up in doubt.
    Alright then. I had the impression most of what the Exarchs did was through the Seers and so most of what is known about them is according to what the Seers say. So we do know there is a force out there influencing things here and there heavily, often in opposition to the Pentacle, but what they are and what their real motives are could be the wiggle-room here. (If you asked me I'd say they were agents of the God Machine). I have a preference for avoiding an objective good vs. evil narrative (but factions in-world can certainly see it that way), but I will take into account this. It could be an interesting point of conflict.


    Originally posted by HardcoreHannes View Post
    Just be aware that nobody succeeded so far, not even archmages, so it shouldn't be easy. If you actually allow the character to succeed, this would change Mage society heavily if it ever goes public.
    I think that's the point.

    Anyway, thanks for the other input, like about artifacts, and time. I think in the other threads a lot of ideal have been thrown around already.

    But you can pull all kinds of arcane stunts and crazy-ass magic, but then again could it crumble easily against paradox and dissonance?

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  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Originally posted by aceDiamond View Post
    Getting back to the idea of the thread, what about using Time to keep your body in a sort of stasis on the edge of life and death, if that's what you're looking for. I remember checking out something where Kindred in both Masq and Req having some sort of mystical force that pushed their bodies back to how they were when they were embraced. Maybe pull off something like that? Just try and make sure that nobody ends up messing with the spell, though.
    That’s what Veil of Moments does.

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  • branford
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
    Not believing in the Exarchs is like not believing in America if you're European - their influence is everywhere, they meddle in your government, the world is set up to their advantage and if you have oil you'll end up with a missile in your house one way or another.
    But what would you do without American television and movies!

    Mammon thanks you for your support!

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  • aceDiamond
    replied
    Getting back to the idea of the thread, what about using Time to keep your body in a sort of stasis on the edge of life and death, if that's what you're looking for. I remember checking out something where Kindred in both Masq and Req having some sort of mystical force that pushed their bodies back to how they were when they were embraced. Maybe pull off something like that? Just try and make sure that nobody ends up messing with the spell, though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave Brookshaw
    replied
    Not believing in the Exarchs is like not believing in America if you're European - their influence is everywhere, they meddle in your government, the world is set up to their advantage and if you have oil you'll end up with a missile in your house one way or another.

    The Exarchs have a palpable, measurable effect on the Supernal World when they're focusing on something. The Seers self-interestedly do their bidding. A mage has to be an *idiot* to deny they exist, and most mages aren't idiots.

    The controversy is whether a mage believes the Seer doctrine that the Exarchs were once human mages who Ascended or not, and whether the Iron Seals represent individuals or are Shadow Name-like mantles different Exarchs put on to interact with the Fallen. Arguing about whether the Psychopomp is actually a consortium of ascended atlantean archmages does not put its ability to send an Ochema and fuck you up in doubt.

    Leave a comment:


  • HardcoreHannes
    replied
    Originally posted by GreenKitty View Post
    Well, yeah it’s a headcanon, as in the old definition of headcanon: which was something you did to fill in any gaps, mysteries, holes, wiggle-room, questions left in canon. But that's for another thread
    A mage interested in immortality is going to have hell from several sides of mage society, they are not going to be open about such a thing, but might try to nudge a few conversations or search among "radicals" to find like-minded mages. A moros would have an even harder time relating with other moros due to most of them being inured to death, but might be able to relate to an acanthus better (like the idea you mentioned about reigning in one's own fate surrounding death as a motive for immortality). But the tension is part of the drama that makes it fun.
    I think it is kind of counterproductive to demonstrate again and again, why immortality in the fallen world is kind of bad for Mages. This has been done many times, is described in the book and should be taken as given. There is no known way for Mages to achieve this whithout sacrificing heavily on your own humanity.

    That beeing said, I think it is absolutely fine to play such a character, but you as a player should be aware that the character is destined to fail. If you want to play that megalomaniac character, who thinks he will be the one who achieves this: why not. I think this can make up for interessting stories. While immortality itselfs is kind of boring to play, the chase for it might be pretty interessting. Might also be a story of failure after failure, each time the character thinks he found the solution and reality smacks his face again. At some point the character might realizes that he wasted an important part of his life for nothing or if the ST wants to change some of the canon might even allow him to find a solution. Might even be a tragic story of a character achieving lichdom without realizing it and losing his humanity over time beeing painfully aware of his own failure. So there is a lot of potential in this kind of story I think.
    Just be aware that nobody succeeded so far, not even archmages, so it shouldn't be easy. If you actually allow the character to succeed, this would change Mage society heavily if it ever goes public.

    Last edited by HardcoreHannes; 04-23-2018, 03:09 AM.

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