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ST Advice: Fate from the perspective of the Moirae

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  • ST Advice: Fate from the perspective of the Moirae

    Disclaimer: Don't read this if you're in my Mage the Awakening 2e game, The King in Yellow. You guys don't need to see how the sausage is made, because the process is not pretty.



    So I did something I regret in my game, a little, and I was hoping people could help me figure out if I should find a way to walk it back.

    One of my players summoned a moirae (fate supernal entity) who appeared as him from 3 days in the future. (there was a huge plot thing happening 3 days in the future, and the cabal was headed toward it, and I was trying to improvise something interesting and it was all that came to mind because I knew it was the topic he was inquiring about).

    He would ask a question, and it (as an essentially identical version of him) would also ask the question, and then it would answer and so would he. So basically talking to himself and answering his own questions at the same time, and they were talking simultaneously somehow. It only knew things he did in 3 days. It was weird, but it worked in the scene. He and his cabal were thoroughly creeped out.

    Anyway, during the conversation, the price the moirae asked for the information he requested was that he perform a very specific action. In three days, some woman would ask for his hand (left hand), and he was to give to her. This also worked, he agreed.

    Now the players had all kinds of theories about what it would be. Was he going to lose a hand? Was he going to have to get married? Was he going to be led/dragged somewhere by hand? Truth is, I had no idea. It was the final scene of the session, and I had no expectations that they would be summoning anything during their preparations for the roadtrip to plot city, so I was obviously not prepared and had to improvised. Note, this is my first time running mage. So far, however, all this worked.

    However, during this conversation the moirae suggested that it's kind doesn't look at fate the way mortals do. Things happen because when they are prophesied, the moirae work to make them happen. From their perspective, when they make a prediction - it comes true because they *make* it true by pulling strings (or, strength of will? I don't know), and have a vested interest in doing so. The implication being that predicting something successfully reinforces the power/legend of the moirae to the world, thus making them more powerful. Thus, a given moirae couldn't predict a future that it didn't have the power to create (or if they did, and couldn't, they would essentially become weaker - though I think I implied that that it’s sort of outside their nature to predict something that they couldn’t make happen).

    That’s the part that didn’t work, I feel. Basically I accidentally hinted at some sort of fate/string pulling currency in the world of the moirae and I deeply regret that because I'm not sure I like that view of fate, or more importantly, don’t like how it’s going to influence future interactions with moirae. (We have two acanthoi and fate features heavily).

    So, what’s the best way to deal with this if I wanted to change it. Do I let it be? Do I make that view specific to that moirae in particular? Does this look anything like the way you guys imagine fate from the perspective of fate entities? Just curious. Thanks.
    Last edited by Amravanti; 08-17-2018, 07:03 PM.

  • #2
    Can you argue it was Abyssal? Or that their future exploiting of this "law" was itself a prophesized event (and thus the Moirae told them whatever it needed to tell them to get them to do what was needed)? Or, can you do a Supernal Retcon, and actually alter what was True before?


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

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    • #3
      Make that perspective and interaction unique to that type of Moirae and its kin. The Supernal contains everything, including stuff that is self-contradictory.
      I did a similar thing in my game, where a Moirae suggested that it and its kin were responsible for the movement of artifacts across the world.

      So in your case, you could basically just say that this clique of Moirae to which the summoned entity belonged, were focused on maintaining the integrity of prophecy and Fate. This doesn't mean all of them are, just that this one, and various others are.

      Did you decide their conjunctive Arcanum? It sounds a bit like a Moirae which is Time conjunctive. An entity that focuses on a future Fated goal, and smoothing out the progression of Time towards it.

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      • #4
        Not sure it could be abyssal, but the other suggestions are interesting. It being specific that Moirae and it's kin is absolutely where I'm leaning currently. I believe it was conjunctive with time, actually - so that totally makes sense.

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        • #5
          It’s also entirely possible that the Moirae was lying, or having trouble translating what it actually does into words and concepts that humans could understand.

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          • #6
            Your characters bargained for answers, but they never said they needed to be obtained immediately. Since this particular Moirae manifested as the summoning character, it was limited to express things within the boundries of the character's current understanding of Fate, which was nowhere near sufficient. So it did the next best thing, it set them on the path to the answer.

            Its a manifestation of Arcadia, of course it knew this was going to happen, and acted upon it. The woman that asks for the left hand will both lead to events that provide the answer and extract the price. Its a package deal, you see, one cannot happen without the other. Since the denizens of Arcadia are not too keen on having mages exploit their knowledge, the summoner will either prove it was for a good cause or pay a pound of flesh. But this might not be evident until after its over.


            New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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            • #7
              You can't hide from Fate, outrun it or cheat it. You can misunderstand it and sometimes even manipulate it however.
              The idea that Fate is pulling strings to make what is meant to happen, happen, is an old idea and in my opinion if you make it something that can be avoided you lessen its importance and thus undermine the power of the Arcanthus.
              I don't know what you told your players will happen on the third day but if possible I would twist it instead of rewriting it whole cloth, let their failure to understand be the cause.
              For example; Fate says that John Doe will die on the bridge over the river, suicide. Now the dawn may find John falling to his doom, or perhaps the rising sun fills him with new resolve and he walks away determined to leave his old flawed self on that bridge and become a new and better man.
              Let the Arcanthus know that while limited there is the possibility to play a guiding role in Fate, perhaps it wasn't the sun but a friendly ear and timely advice that led John to leave his old life behind, as opposed to hopping the rail.
              As for the woman taking his hand, make this an example of Fate pulling strings. Also make it about her, with the player's character being drawn in to play a part in her Fate.
              Last edited by 2ptTakrill; 08-18-2018, 03:02 PM.

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              • #8
                To add to what 2ptTakrill said, Left-handed is a synonym for unsavory magical practices. The woman from the deal may want the character to do something shady for her, or may instead want to teach him something unacceptable.


                Find my Homebrew Fangs of Mara 2ed update Here

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                • #9
                  I kind of like the idea that maybe the Moirae was telling the truth but this is just the way it's always been. And humanity has been in a constant war with Fate (Destiny) in order to control it's own. And for some reason, human beings, all living things in Creation, have the ability to do just that. And it irks the Moirae and that's why destiny is a constant thorn in the side of people. Awakened mages come along and plant themselves like trees and tell Fate, "No! You move!" and it works.

                  By doing as this Moirae asks, you are giving it more power. Power over you. By believing in what it is says, you are giving it more power. Power over you. It's an age old struggle. Poems have been written about it. Books, movies (The Adjustment Bureau).

                  This is really cool. I hope you guys are having fun.

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                  • #10
                    What makes you think the players are going to remember this? I dunno about you, but these kinds of complex explanation are not that easy to understand first time.

                    Also if the players object to some discrepancy, just say you explained it badly; and then tell them how you actually want it to be.

                    As an aside, it's actually kinda neat.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Troy View Post
                      I kind of like the idea that maybe the Moirae was telling the truth but this is just the way it's always been. And humanity has been in a constant war with Fate (Destiny) in order to control it's own. And for some reason, human beings, all living things in Creation, have the ability to do just that. And it irks the Moirae and that's why destiny is a constant thorn in the side of people. Awakened mages come along and plant themselves like trees and tell Fate, "No! You move!" and it works.

                      By doing as this Moirae asks, you are giving it more power. Power over you. By believing in what it is says, you are giving it more power. Power over you. It's an age old struggle. Poems have been written about it. Books, movies (The Adjustment Bureau).

                      This is really cool. I hope you guys are having fun.

                      Just looked up that movie, there are so many fascinating plot hooks it lends itself to. Now I want to write a well meaning but Left-Handed Mastigos Silver Ladder Time Legacy to act as the Adjustment Bureau. It also makes me wonder what the Ministry of The Prophet would be like and how the lines between these opposing powers can blur.


                      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


                      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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                      • #12
                        Suppose each Moirae represents a particular attempt to manipulate time and/or fate. They're born with the initiation of the attempt, perish if it fails, and exist eternally in Arcadia if it succeeds. The Moirae "works" to make the attempt come true insofar as it personifies the attempt. They have a vested interest in seeing the attempt succeed because they want to exist, but success is up to the mage(s) who initiated the attempt.

                        That matches what you wrote (from a certain point of view) while leaving the onus on the players to bear out the prediction. I think it adds a bit of drama -- sort of like "every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings," with the added converse of "every time you thwart a Moirae's prediction you contribute to the death of a supernal being."

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                        • #13
                          Wait... A Supernal entity that actively seeks to influence and control the Fallen World for its own empowerment and benefit?

                          Did your players summon an Exarch?

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                          • #14
                            Could be. There's thousands of lesser Exarchs below the Iron Seals.


                            Bloodline: The Stygians
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