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Are the Exarchs the Mage equivalent of the Antedeluvians?

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  • Are the Exarchs the Mage equivalent of the Antedeluvians?

    Thematically, are the Exarchs filling a similar niche that the Antedeluvians filled in Vampire the Masquerade? Impossibly powerful entities that subtly control the world and indirectly manage legions of minions. You cannot really beat them since they are too powerful, but you can only put up a bit of resistance and try to spoil their plans a little. I guess that the Seers of the Throne would be a bit like the Black Hand in that they willingly serve them as their faithful lackeys in the hope that they will be rewarded in whatever world the Exarchs plan to create. The Pentacle is a bit like the Sabbat, they get angry and can try to oppose the Exarchs, but ultimately the effort will be futile since the Exarchs are too powerful.

  • #2
    when you put it like that, but, the major difference is so huge that it makes them worlds apart.

    The Exarchs are *here*, they're awake and lucid and they already won. The antideluvians are asleep right? There is still time?

    But the Exarchs have won and the higher of "tier" you play in the more real they get. Their existence is less mythical than even the Oracles. The Exarchs are such a more Orwellian threat than the Antideluvians. The Antideluvians touch on primal horrors and capture the feeling of more lovecraftian tones, so if you wanted to go with that I'd recommend looking into the *Annunaki*

    But the Exarchs are gods of control and oppression. I enjoy the parallels you've drawn, and you can certainly use them that way, but I think it is important to keep the Exarchs symbolic of oppression, and their minions jailers. If you need a predator though, one of the Exarchs, The Raptor, cooouuuld be functionally used like an antideluvian if you so pleased. I don't think many would agree with me but, if it turns out fun them great!

    Oh, but, I doooon't think the Pentacle can be compared to the Sabbat. Stereotypes of the Free Council maaaybe, but theres no parallel to the Sabbat in my opinion.

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    • #3
      Depends on how you go about it. The Exarchs are the abstract concept of tyranny, manifested in all aspects of the existence. One can only define something by having something to compare it to, in this case freedom. So those symbols can only exist if a paired symbol representing everything they are not exists at the same time (cold only makes sense because we understand hot, front and back, cowards and braves, etc). Mages are the ones who saw the outside of the cage and came back with the power to do something with that knowledge.

      If there was not something more out there, no one would Awaken, because that Fate could not happen, since they willed it so. Or anyone who did would die instantly, or explode, or be retconned from history. There wouldn't even exist archmasters, who come dangerously close to the Supernal palaces of the Iron Seals, there would be no Diamond orders or even a need for the Seers, there would not even exist clues of a timeline that never was. So in my mind, their control is not absolute. No archmage could have even ascended after they did, and we know the Corpus Author, founder of the Mysterium, has. Merlin, from the Arthurian mythos, has achieved this as well. Sariras can be found in the Fallen World, proof of their success (sometimes of some Seers as well).

      Ultimately its up to the storyteller. Personally I like players to be able to earn a positive impact on the world, but they need to rise up to the challenge, asking the questions of what they should change, how to go about it, the consequences, the sacrifices needed and how the journey shapes them. Or you can have a world where the Exarchs are destined to win regardless and you can use that to create pathos for the cabal. You have enough freedom to tackle it many ways, so I would say use whatever depiction feels best for your group.
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 12-08-2018, 03:10 PM.


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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
        Depends on how you go about it. The Exarchs are the abstract concept of tyranny, manifested in all aspects of the existence. One can only define something by having something to compare it to, in this case freedom. So those symbols can only exist if a paired symbol representing everything they are not exists at the same time (cold only makes sense because we understand hot, front and back, cowards and brave, etc). do Mages are the ones who saw the outside of the cage and came back with the power to do something with that knowledge.

        If there was not something more out there, no one would Awaken, because that Fate could not happen, since they willed it so. Or anyone who did would die instantly, or explode, or be retconned from history. There wouldn't even exist archmasters, who come dangerously close to the Supernal palaces of the Iron Seals, there would be no Diamond orders or even a need for the Seers, there would not even exist clues of a timeline that never was. So in my mind, their control is not absolute. No archmage could have even ascended after they did, and we know the Corpus Author, founder of the Mysterium, has.Merlin, from the Arthurian mythos, has achieved this as well. Sariras can be found in the Fallen World, proof of their success (sometimes of some Seers as well).

        Ultimately its up to the storyteller. Personally I like players to be able to earn a positive impact on the world, but they need to rise up to the challenge, asking the questions of what they should change, how to go about it, the consequences, the sacrifices needed and how the journey shapes them. Or you can have a world where the Exarchs are destined to win regardless and you can use that to create pathos for the cabal. You have enough freedom to tackle it many ways, so I would say use whatever depiction feels best for your group.
        I cant explain why but I needed to see that today

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        • #5
          Exarchs can even be said to be losing depending on how you look at it. Like they gave themselves a major advantage, and can still be perceived as slowly losing ground. They don't exist to lock the setting into a status quo.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
            Exarchs can even be said to be losing depending on how you look at it. Like they gave themselves a major advantage, and can still be perceived as slowly losing ground. They don't exist to lock the setting into a status quo.
            They don't? Or... do you mean thats their goal put they won't win?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
              They don't? Or... do you mean thats their goal put they won't win?
              On the meta-level their purpose isn't to subject the setting to maintaining a status quo. Inside the setting, yeah, the Exarchs do try to maintain the status quo. Whether or not they're succeeding at that task is a matter of perspective, do you think the world is getting better or shittier?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

                On the meta-level their purpose isn't to subject the setting to maintaining a status quo. Inside the setting, yeah, the Exarchs do try to maintain the status quo. Whether or not they're succeeding at that task is a matter of perspective, do you think the world is getting better or shittier?
                Well I got out of a bad friendship where my ST was using them as an excuse to bully me so my money is on shittier... ...
                The idea that the game is even ALLOWED to have happy moments (even minor ones) is new to me.

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                • #9
                  Imperial Mysteries is primarily focused on Archmages; but it also illustrates what Ascended Beings (like the Exarchs, but not exclusively so) are capable of — and what their limits are. It also shows how a mage might go about becoming an Archmage, and how an Archmage might go about becoming an Ascended Being, on par with an Exarch. The point being that the Exarchs have rivals, some of whom (most notably the Oracles) strive against the Exarchs.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
                    Impossibly powerful entities that subtly control the world and indirectly manage legions of minions. You cannot really beat them since they are too powerful, but you can only put up a bit of resistance and try to spoil their plans a little.
                    You've missed that that's an in-universe perspective. They're partly an expression of the paranoia inherent to the structure of the setting. Even blatant stuff like Ravana rising is actually pretty vague in what it implies. It drives much of Clan Ravnos into frenzy which would perhaps imply it's the Ravnos Antediluvian, but... is it? Why did it turn into godzilla? Why did killing previous Antes not result in the same? We don't actually know. And further, very few in-universe characters are in a position to find out.

                    Also, you're missing that a big part of Masquerade is the ultimate futility of the Jyhad. There's a definite implication that Antes probably don't have a plan and those that do are often kinda confused. Like Saulot is a contradictory mess, Cappadocius seems at best confused about what it's trying to do. Then there's the potential rising of Set in Jyhad Diary, where he wakes up and then gets slowly sidelined by his Hierophants who aren't terribly keen on fighting total war with the other clans, and eventually just gives up and goes back to sleep.

                    The closest to a coherent plan is probably Ventrue whose plan is implied to be, sleep till all the other Antes are dead.


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                    • #11
                      In Imperial Mysteries there is a blurb saying that even the most revolutionary Archmage will admit that the Exarchs have won and trying to get them off their thrones will be nigh impossible. Elsewhere in the same book it says that the Exarchs are probably the most powerful entities in the world of darkness, though even their control is imperfect since awakenings still happen and the Pentacle is still around. One section even suggests that the God Machine is actually a construct of the Exarchs (Yikes!).

                      How would we model this? Assuming an Exarch came to earth, and Reign of Exarchs did suggest this happened with one of them, can we just assume it has 5 in all Arcana as well as 10 Gnosis. In on of the Night Horrors books there was a construct of the Exarchs which would have this power if properly put together. I cannot even imagine what such an entity could do if they were walking around the Earth, and this would be without even going into the powers suggested in Imperial Mysteries.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
                        In Imperial Mysteries there is a blurb saying that even the most revolutionary Archmage will admit that the Exarchs have won and trying to get them off their thrones will be nigh impossible. Elsewhere in the same book it says that the Exarchs are probably the most powerful entities in the world of darkness, though even their control is imperfect since awakenings still happen and the Pentacle is still around. One section even suggests that the God Machine is actually a construct of the Exarchs (Yikes!).

                        How would we model this? Assuming an Exarch came to earth, and Reign of Exarchs did suggest this happened with one of them, can we just assume it has 5 in all Arcana as well as 10 Gnosis. In on of the Night Horrors books there was a construct of the Exarchs which would have this power if properly put together. I cannot even imagine what such an entity could do if they were walking around the Earth, and this would be without even going into the powers suggested in Imperial Mysteries.
                        Assuming an Exarch came to Earth I wouldn't even bother stating it, it's not something regular PCs should fight directly. But if I did, it would have Gnosis 10, and more than 5 dots in every Arcana. Hell, I'd give it at least 8 dots in every Arcana, and the 9th and 10th dot in its specific Arcana, and allow it to cast 6+ dot spells without requiring quintessence. So the General would just have unlimited access to Forces Transfiguration, for example.


                        Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology; Priests of the Watchful Eternity - a 2e Silver Ladder Moros Legacy (Life/Death) of Mages that enhance Mortals to fight strange entities

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

                          Assuming an Exarch came to Earth I wouldn't even bother stating it, it's not something regular PCs should fight directly. But if I did, it would have Gnosis 10, and more than 5 dots in every Arcana. Hell, I'd give it at least 8 dots in every Arcana, and the 9th and 10th dot in its specific Arcana, and allow it to cast 6+ dot spells without requiring quintessence. So the General would just have unlimited access to Forces Transfiguration, for example.
                          What could that do? Assuming you gave this to a PC and let him mess up the Pentacle, how much mayhem could they cause?

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                          • #14
                            That's the rough equivalent of giving an actual army to a PC and letting him mess up a chess game. The rules of chess don't really enter into what happens next.


                            Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by maryshelly View Post

                              What could that do? Assuming you gave this to a PC and let him mess up the Pentacle, how much mayhem could they cause?
                              Ooh, boy. They could end the world, if they so chose, and no non-archmaster or rank 6+ entity could even contest the action, let alone succeed in such a context. They would be able to simply wiill changes to existence within the purview of the specific Arcanum they had a 10 dots without having to cast a spell. They could cast spells that would grow and modify themselves. They'd be evil, unstoppable gods.

                              Any Ascended being would wreak havoc, the only reason they don't is because other Ascended beings stop them.


                              Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology; Priests of the Watchful Eternity - a 2e Silver Ladder Moros Legacy (Life/Death) of Mages that enhance Mortals to fight strange entities

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