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Mantling Ephmeral entities

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  • #16
    Death/Mind might allow a living mage to carry and harness a Memory (or draw one out of a ghost) that provides some Skills. Something analogous might work to pull appropriate Skills out of spirits or goetia.

    Death alone might be enough to create an ectoplasmic "shroud" that could be worn and would reflect the appearance of a cooperative or Fettered ghost. As a reach for that, you might allow the mage to extrude ectoplasmic props that the ghost would reasonably have as part of its panoply - the badge of a cop, for instance.

    Goetia don't have a (semi)material substance like ectoplasm, but Mind alone could change how people perceive the mage.


    I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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    • #17
      I created a legacy not so long ago, focused around consuming spirits and taking their abilities. Perhaps you can substitute Spirit with Mind / Death and create something more towards your concept of binding and using multiple ghosts/goetia into yourself...

      It still needs some refinement though

      Pneumatofagoi ("Πνευματοφάγοι", pronounced "pnevmatofági", Greek for "Spirit-Eaters")
      Ruling Arcana: Spirit
      Optional: Death
      Path: Moros
      Order: Free Counsil (former Nameless)
      Yantra: acts dedicated to satisfaction or intimidation of spirits (+1), ephemera (+1), target spirit's bane (+2)
      Oblations: Perform a favor for a spirit, eat a spirit, allow spirit to possess you willingly, spent some time into the Shadow

      Initiation: Somehow feast from a spirit. Either consume ephemera, a materialized part or find a way to process essense.

      Legacy History & Principle:
      Members of the Legacy proudly claim that it was created near the end of the Golden Age of Athens (circa 410 BC) by awakened Sophists (Teachers and Sages) that rejected Platotic (even maybe Atlantean) cosmology and retoric. Both Sleeper and Awakened lore suggests that Sophists were heavily critisised by prominent figures, like Plato and Aristophanis, as glorified hairsplitting wordsmiths with malevolent intentions.

      While plato-inspired mages leaned towards following a path through the inner self -suggesting astral travels, goetia and finally ascension-, the pneumatofagoi believed that they should remain fettered in the fallen world, understanding and becoming one with the world around them. They considered "The Silver Ladder of Ascension" either a fool's Utopia or a very difficult task at hand. Supernal magic had its limits and was easily corrupted by the mortal world. No, they needed something else...

      Past Alexander's Time, while the proto-Diamond maped the basis of Astral realms, Pneumatofagoi were experimenting across the Gauntlet. They were fascinated by the harmony of the spirit ecosystem and by their paradox-free powers. Driven by their lust to free themselves from the limits of their mortal magick, they shaped their very souls into spirits through the most efficient (and natural to their eyes) way; by becoming part of the ecosystem, devouring spirits.

      Pneumatofagoi that trap two or three spirits into themselves are decent company. But there are always people that want to test their limits. Present Members of the legacy are still treated with suspicion since part of the Legacy is hiding its own nature. Some extremists go as far to say that the legacy openly suggests accepting the lie (namely the Shadow) and leave the supernal to the Exarchs, making it a thorn into the newly prestigious image of the Free Council as Enemies of the Lie. Some Consilii have declared it Left-Handed or Weapon of the Enemy, but no Convocation has condemned it thus far.

      As an old Hierarch of Athens puts it "You want Spirits to start talking? If you don't have a werewolf clan around, a Pneumatofagos is your next buddy on the list"

      Attainments:
      Sapor Corporis (1st, Know Spirit, instant +1R, sympathetic +1R +1Mana, no optional):
      As an instant action and by spending one Mana, you can eat a part of spiritual residue (be it leaked essense, ephemera, materialised part, etc) and one piece of knowledge per Spirit dots you possess about the specific spirit as per Know Spirit. Name, Rank, list of Manifestations, List of Numina, list of Influences and their strength, Ban, Bane.
      Pneumatopagida (2nd, Opener of the Way, Advance Duration +1R, optional Death Soul Jar):
      Literaly meaning "Spirit-trap", by spending one scene and taking an action relevant to the Resonant Condition, you can modify it into an Open one for one scene per Spirit dots. For example this may be done by killing something for a murder Resonant Condition or kiss someone for love/lust Resonant one. Remember that the subject might be virtualy anything, a place, a person, an item, etc. Optional (Death 2): By adding banning concepts (circle of salt, runes, etc) into the action, the subject of the Open Condition becomes a trap. The Open Subject functions as a "Soul Jar" but for spirits. The spirit can't leave the subject, possess others outside its boundary (if any), or directly target the subject of its imprisonment (but influencing others is fair game).
      Signa Invisibilia (3rd, Supress Aura, passive): You can become spiritually invisible. You can hide any spirit or spirit-related effect on yourself from an other spirit or the Spirit Arcanum including your Spirit Rank and notoriety in the spirit world. Supernatural powers to detect your spirit-stuff or to identify you as Spirit-Eater trigger a Clash of Wills. By spending one mana you can also hide targets other than yourself for one scene.
      Haunted Body (4th, Craft Fetish): Usually applied on a defeated spirit, instead of allowing it to hybernate back into the shadow, you force it inside your body as per Craft Fetish, gaining one influence dot or Numina per Spirit dot for up to one week.You can prolong the duration by eating large pieces of spirit corpus with your first attainment for 1 day per corpus consumed. You can have multiple hybernating spirits stitched into yourself but you can only have dots and numina in your "active" arsenal as your Spirit dots. You can shuffle between them by spending one action and one Mana or Essence as you change your spirit-stuff. While in this state the action becomes visible despite the invisibility granted by the 3rd Attainment. Also, remember that Spirits from Fetish can wake and break free without other powers banning them.
      Spirit-Whole (5th, No Existing Spell): By spending one Mana you can substitute all your physical attributes with a fettered spirit's Attributes (Power for Strength, Finesse for Dexterity, Resistance for Stamina), size and you can use all its powers with the spirit's stats. Doing so wakes the spirit that manifests superimposed in your body, creating something that resembles a Ridden, a spirit-human hybrid. You must roll a clash of wills each turn to remain in control. Failure means the spirit can treat you as possessed for this scene. Optional (Death): Alternatively, You can devour one of the spirits you fettered into yourself -killing it instantly- gaining powers from that spirit as with previous attainment but fettered with Indefinite Duration. These powers are excluded from the previous attainment restrictions. You can have up 5 Indefinite fettered Powers in your arsenal (in addition to the previous attainment). By activating the Devour-Attainment again. you permanently remove (painfully ripping spirit-parts apart from you) granted powers for new ones respecting this attainments limit.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Lareath View Post
        The key difference is that it's not what the player asked for. Among other things, the player was very interested in roleplaying the way that his personality would change as he swapped out his skillset.
        Here's the problem: Nothing stops him from doing that without having to have an effect on the ghost as well and there is zero reason to involve the Invisible Entities mechanics for this just because the descriptive justification for altering the character's competencies references one of them.

        There was a Legacy in 1e that drew upon the power of fallen heroes — its Attainments notably had nothing to do with ghosts as statted NPCs, because that is an entirely unnecessary layer of complication to the simple process of "evoke this entity to more easily mimic its strengths."

        Any execution of this that doesn't involve overt supernatural powers from the possessing entity can be managed by Fettering an appropriate ghost to yourself to allow it to use its Influences to boost your own actions. Any execution that does involve overt supernatural powers is either completely normal cooperation between the mage and the entity or a function of outright compulsion in either direction.

        It's still entirely unclear what your earlier questions about Rank have to do with any of this.


        Resident Sanguinary Analyst
        Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
          Here's the problem: Nothing stops him from doing that without having to have an effect on the ghost as well and there is zero reason to involve the Invisible Entities mechanics for this just because the descriptive justification for altering the character's competencies references one of them.
          The problem is that you are ignoring that I. Do. Not. Care. That. He. Could. Do. It. Another. Way.

          The player wants to do something. The character's magic is capable of doing it. That's all the reason I as the GM need to want to figure out how to represent it mechanically.

          I've already decided that the framework I made for ghosts will work well enough for goetia. I'll just set the skill buff limitations to mirror Enhance/Gain Skill and pick out what skills are appropriate for a given goetia to be useful for on a case-by-case basis.

          All I'm left figuring out is what the benefits are for mantling a higher Ranked entity. And what the limitations are for mantling a low Rank entity.

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          • #20
            The thing is, we're trying to point out that you don't need to go to the headache of making up new rules when you could be using the existing rules to do literally the exact same thing and to the exact same effect (I.e. giving the player what they want). Like, there are perfectly good rules for doing what you want to do, but you've gone and created a Rube Goldberg machine to do it instead. Which is fine, your game, but I don't know why you're giving yourself the extra work.

            Also, if you're going to be so insistent on doing it your own way without considering the advice of the people attempting to help streamline the process...why are you even asking?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Lareath View Post
              The problem is that you are ignoring that I. Do. Not. Care. That. He. Could. Do. It. Another. Way.
              I'm ignoring that you're insistent on committing to an aspect of this idea that, by all presented evidence, is completely orthogonal to what the player wants to do. As you've told it, the important part is "take on the entity's traits," not "be partially possessed by entities in the mechanical sense of possession." If you fucked up the conveyance and he actually wants to do it with the complete reverse of those emphases, you need to make that clear, because I can't avoid ignoring something that isn't remotely clear.

              The player wants to do something. The character's magic is capable of doing it. That's all the reason I as the GM need to want to figure out how to represent it mechanically.
              This has been, quite literally, the thing I've been pointing out to you: the way to represent this mechanically vis-a-vis the apparent core intention of "borrow the abilities of a ghost without giving up your autonomy" is to cast the appropriate spell for altering your own abilities using Yantras that connect to that ghost, or provide it a positive or negative incentive to use its Influences for your benefit. The character's magic is capable of doing it and means of doing it have already been published in the core game mechanics. There is precious little figuring-out that needs to be done.

              I've already decided that the framework I made for ghosts will work well enough for goetia. I'll just set the skill buff limitations to mirror Enhance/Gain Skill and pick out what skills are appropriate for a given goetia to be useful for on a case-by-case basis.
              Again: If you are self-evidently fine with contextually limiting the effects of a Skill-tweaking spell for this purpose, there is approximately zero meaningful difference between this and contextually limiting the effects of an existing Skill-tweaking spell framed ritually as "I'm borrowing this entity's skills."

              All I'm left figuring out is what the benefits are for mantling a higher Ranked entity. And what the limitations are for mantling a low Rank entity.
              You still haven't explained what you think Rank has to do with any of this. The relevant mechanics are pure numbers that scale arithmetically — what problems are you actually encountering in this aspect?


              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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              • #22
                How can it be clearer when it's directly stated in the OP and any attempts to skip that part is met with rejection? It's great when people suggests alternatives even if they don't fit the bill. It's less great (and hella frustrating) when people suggests solutions that doesn't fit and then insists that they do fit and that it's the poster's fault for not clearly conveying clearly conveyed criteria.

                I do agree that Rank shouldn't factor into anything other than Withstand.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lareath View Post
                  All I'm left figuring out is what the benefits are for mantling a higher Ranked entity. And what the limitations are for mantling a low Rank entity.
                  If you want Rank to play an important part, you can gain the Rank's relevant stat (power, Finesse, resistance) as a extra bonus on your roll. The greater the entity's Rank, the greater its Stat and so the benefit. For goetic entities you can also steal their Influences. For example

                  Rank 1 Ghost of random scientist - Power 2, Finesse 2, Stamina 2
                  Rank 3 Ghost of Napoleon Bonaparte - Power 10, Finesse 10, Stamina 5
                  Rank 4 Goetia of the Incredible Hulk - Power 15, Finesse 5, Stamina 15 - Influence (Invulnerability) 3, (Strength) 1

                  Also remember that number of Numina and banes & bans are also dependent on the entity's Rank. So, greater Rank means also greater flexibility

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                  • #24
                    So...the Claim Manifestation. I could see that as a route toward having a ghostly disguise. You do lose the Influences and Numina, but I’m pretty sure you get Dread Powers? I’m kind of rusty on Claiming since it isn’t in the Mage core.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                      How can it be clearer when it's directly stated in the OP and any attempts to skip that part is met with rejection?
                      It's directly stated in the OP in a way that doesn't engage with any of the mechanics that involve it and a substantial portion of those rejections are nonspecific and appear to be based in outright refusal to understand what "you can skip that part mechanically beyond using the framework to offer bonuses to the spellcasting roll in this system where giving bonuses to the spellcasting roll is half the incentive for flavorful description of spellcasting" means.

                      It's great when people suggests alternatives even if they don't fit the bill. It's less great (and hella frustrating) when people suggests solutions that doesn't fit and then insists that they do fit and that it's the poster's fault for not clearly conveying clearly conveyed criteria.
                      The clearly conveyed criteria so far are a mechanical effect that has been adhered to, a narrative effect that has been respected, and a side-effect that is being given disproportionate emphasis as though effectively constructing a microtemplate wholesale was a sensible application of Awakening's spellcasting mechanics despite this being a gameline where the spell construction works mostly on singular effects. In Changeling terms, spells are closer to Goblin Contracts than Court Contracts — the baseline effects are straightforward to describe mechanically and generally lacking in package-deal side benefits.

                      "The character maintains control of his actions but his personality will change slightly while using another entity's skills" is a thing that can be modeled with the Urged Condition from a ghost with a suitable Influence because that is part of the function of that particular Manifestation (and "partially possessed" is one of the basic ways to describe its use on a living subject) but otherwise requires nothing that a large number of mages don't already do whenever they're conducting magical business apart from their mortal lives.

                      "The player says they want a cheeseburger so I'm driving them to Pizza Hut because cheese was mentioned" indicates either a failure to listen or a failure to convey what necessary criteria is leading them to focus on a seemingly peripheral aspect of the desired mechanical effect. "Ghosts are involved in this booster spell" is still the case if you use Yantras connected to the ghost you're boosting with, and if you want to bind up the ghost in helping boost you then that is a different effect.

                      If your goal is to give your character access to the actual Numina of the "possessing" entity, you're better off taking mechanical cues from something like Craft Fetish, which has rules for how much a given casting will let you borrow and how it interacts with the Essence economy, because redesigning a spell for magical objects to work for people and adding Reach effects for borrowing other qualities is substantially less of a stretch than "what if I make a custom Manifestation that's halfway to being a Sin-Eater template feature?"
                      Last edited by Satchel; 11-19-2018, 01:41 PM.


                      Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                      Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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