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The Agathos Kai Sophos, a Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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  • The Agathos Kai Sophos, a Acanthus Legacy of strategists

    In short: A Legacy of enlightened strategists. The Attainments and yantras reward planning and coming up with tactics. They can use Hung Spells like the Awakening Gambit, but have other Attainments that make them force multipliers for the cabal. The better you plan, the more devastating they become. Do you want to roleplay a Chessmaster like Xanathos or Grand Admiral Thrawn ? Then this is the Legacy for you.

    Greetings everyone, what was originally a reimagining of the Awakening Gambit has since branched off into its own Legacy of strategists. Here is what I have so far, I will also add some design notes for those interested. Feedback is very welcome.


    Agathos Kai Sophos

    Origins


    “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

    You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

    - Marcus Aurelius


    Nicknames: Sophos, sages, stoics, strategists, philosopher kings, aurelians, elenchus (student to mentor)
    Parentage: Acanthus, Adamantine Arrow
    Background: A relatively young legacy born from Arrows looking to the great strategists of the past for guidance in creating the tactics of the future. In the Meditations of the philosopher king Marcus Aurelius, they found a standing reproach against weakness, self indulgence, the willingness to give in to what they want, to their inclinations to make excuses for things that were entirely up to them. It revealed a warrior who had achieved greatness by acting with Wisdom and virtue both on the battlefield and bearing the crown. In sculpting their souls around these principles, they seek to grow beyond vice and Hubris, allowing enlightened reason to guide their actions.
    Appearances: Sages come from all walks of life, thus their clothes vary greatly with each role. They can be found being teachers, coaches, politicians, engineers, software developers, doctors, sportsmen, chefs or whatever they wish to be.

    Common to all are a drive to excel, plan meticulously and motivate others, but without losing sight of common sense.

    Due to their passion for tactics, Sophos are normally found playing strategy games in their everyday lives. From board games to e-sports and timeless classics like Chess and Go, their interests are far ranging.


    Doctrine

    “Be flexible without weakness;
    Be strong without arrogance;
    Be kind without vulnerability:
    Be trusting without naivete;
    Have invincible courage ”

    - Admiral Yi Sun-Shin


    Prerequisites: Mind 2, Virtuous, Academics 2, two dots in one of the following Skills; Socialize, Empathy, Subterfuge, Investigation, Politics

    Initiation: The aspirant studies Sophos philosophy and strategy under an elenchus. To advance to the next step they need to prove themselves a capable strategist, as well as their commitment to self improvement and acting Wisely. This is normally done by the mentor sending them on missions meant to test their ability to solve increasingly more complex moral dilemmas without committing Acts of Hubris.

    When the elenchus feels the pupil is ready, they ritually prepare a place of Astral power (Hallow, Demesne, Synese, etc) with stoic symbols, such as transforming it into a reproduction of the Stoa Poikile, adding paintings and vases depicting the stoic virtues or bookshelves containing the works of Plato, Socrates, Zeno of Citium, etc. Common to all of these are a pyre at the center of the room surrounded by broken chains (representing Prometheus, forethought, intelligence in the service of the common good, unbroken by the chains of tyranny) and an image of Metis (the mother of wisdom and deep thought).

    Once the pyre is lit, the elenchus starts to question the aspirant to clarify, articulate, explore and comprehend their approach to magic. Common topics include discussing the origin of their Shadow Name, their reasons to join the Legacy, their mistakes, lessons learned and goals. The dialogue acts as a meditative trance into their Oneiros, the room gradually shifting as images related to the discussion become ever more vivid.

    At this point the elenchus can no longer be found, the aspirant's goetia will take over the test. They will confront the mage with their failings, fears and apprehensions. The only path forward is for the mage to become masters of themselves. Giving into complacency, hubris or apathy ends the ceremony in failure, which they may attempt again at a later date.

    Should the aspirant pass the trial, then their Daimon will come to them, explaining the purpose of the test and letting them sit on the throne of a philosopher king, at which point they wake up with the ceremony completed.

    In addition, completing the initiation also waives the prerequisite for purchasing Eidetic Memory, as the mind itself opens this path in the pursuit of Aretê.

    (For inspiration, watch the Shadow Raiders episode called The Ascension, Jade's trial is a perfect example. I recommend watching the whole series anyway, the story is timeless. Another good example is the Tomb of Ludo Kressh in Kotor 2).

    Organization: Strategists can be found anywhere the Arrow needs to pull off a complex operation, coordinating the efforts of the Ungula Draconis for maximum efficiency. Legacy members also have a proclivity to research new strategies for the Order, debating new tactics, testing them and drilling Talons in them.

    Theory: The ultimate warrior is one able to consiliate the roles of strategist and sage to become a philosopher king, drawing out greatness from all those who stand with them.

    Power leaves no contribution without a virtuous heart to wield it. Thus the ultimate warrior is a sage, perpetually seeking to cultivate the self. Their path is one built by laying virtue upon virtue. While they understand that humans are able to live alone, they acknowledge they are strongest together and endeavor to enrich their community.

    This is achieved by seeking the path of Aretê, excellence of self born of a drive to surpass themselves every day. Magic is the crucible that tempers them on this endless journey.

    However, those lacking Wisdom will always leave loose ends to tangle themselves and all those who surround them.

    Wisdom is achieved through strategy. By reading a situation deeply and accounting for all factors, a warrior is able to reach an efficient and ethical solution every time. So it is that an enlightened strategist is one who has declared war on Hubris.

    Seek to refine the self with each experience, master the arts of the philosopher king and secure ever greater victories for the Awakened.

    Magic

    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle

    Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win"

    - Sun Tzu


    Ruling Arcanum: Mind
    Yantras: Strategy or debate room (+1, +2 if it was prepared by the mage themselves), breaking down a spell's use with propositional logic (+2), spellcasting to aid planning (+2, +3 if planning with a group), playing one's part in a plan (+2, +3 if its of one's own making), first time using a tactic on a target (+2, +3 if it was developed by the mage themselves), quoting a famous strategist or philosopher (+2), philosophical or strategic document (+2, +3 if its a published and innovative document authored by the mage themselves), spell will be used in accordance with one's Virtue (+2, +3 if it will let them fulfill it)
    Oblations: Participating in a Socratic dialogue, analyzing strategies or foes, studying
    or debating philosophy/strategy, developing a new philosophy/strategy or tactic, teaching others, training mindfulness, leading a strategy meeting, fulfilling one's Virtue.


    Attainments

    First: Syllogistic Diairesis
    Prerequisites: Initiation
    The Sophos knows that a strategist may be called to serve all sorts of different social roles. In order to attain Aretê, he must be quick to grasp the nuances of his duties. This Attainment allows the Sage to look at anything than can considered a plan in the broadest sense (a wedding plan, a script, a ransom letter, a conspiracy board, a case file, etc) and instantly use propositional logic to break down its purpose and all components required for it to succeed. When used against a plan that is being supernaturally obfuscated (a diary with writing that flees, an astral record with mental static, etc) the Stoic scores [Mind] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills. This can also be used by the Sophos to deconstruct any plan he remembers. Reach is assigned to instant use.

    Optional: Time 1
    The mastery of Hormê, the proactive drive, requires not only having the will to act but also choosing the best moment to take action. By taking a moment to strategize, the Sophos can make the most of his next move. This replicates the spell Perfect Timing, granting a bonus of [Time] dice to the next instant mundane action. Reach is assigned to instant use.

    Second: Mólis Oikeiôsis
    Prerequisites: Mind 2, Patient, Academics 3
    When faced with the conflict inherent to the cosmos, an enlightened strategist must act with deliberation. Through Oikeiôsis, the familiarization with the thought and goals of others, the Sophos is able to incorporate their actions into his strategies. Thus he is able to plan the most Appropriate Acts for a situation, for Oikeiôsis is the beginning of justice. The Sophos replicates Mental Scan, with Reach assigned to instant use, sensory range and reading surface thoughts. If a question being asked is about a plan, tactic, strategy or is used in service of one, this Attainment bypasses the target's Withstand rating. In case the target's mind is supernaturally shielded, the Sophos gains [Mind] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills. Any plans uncovered can then be deconstructed by the first attainment.

    However, the rampant pursuit of self gratification runs counter to this principle. Should the Sophos obtain the Vice-Ridden merit, this Attainment becomes unavailable until they remove the additional Vice.


    Optional: Time 2
    A plan is ultimately a complex propositional logic theorem, the more premises one has available, the more solid the proof that can be constructed. The Sophos replicates the Divination spell, with Reach assigned to instant use and sensory range. It can answer more than yes or no questions, but this Attainment can only be used to ask questions related to a plan, tactic or strategy. In case the target is supernaturally shielded against scrying, the Sophos gains [Time] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills.

    Third: Chalarí Apatheia
    Prerequisites: Mind 3, Eidetic Memory, two dots in a second Skill among the optional prerequisite Skills
    To master a battlefield, a Sage must be able to rein in his passions, to keep focused on the grand strategy even as they tackle complex problems, to act with Apatheia. This functions as a broader version of One Mind, Two Thoughts which permits any two Mental Actions to happen simultaneously, whether they are Extended or Instant. Reach is assigned to instant use, advanced duration and being able to do any two Mental Actions at once.

    Optional: Time 3
    The Sage infuses his strategies with the virtue of Sophrosyne, planning with temperance, moderation and self control. Whenever they are appended to a plan, they are able to Hang a number of spells equal to the equipment bonus of the plan. Conditional duration can be applied to this effect at no cost (although applying them to the spells themselves costs mana as normal). These spells do not take up spell control until the Hung Spell is released and it costs no mana to hang spells. The Attainment and any spells remaining Hung end immediately after the plan definitively succeeds or fails. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.

    Fourth: Askêsis Andreía
    Prerequisites: Mind 4, Good Time Management, Academics 4
    The Sophos learns to extend the Aretê of his soul to his Plans. By spending a scene perfecting a plan (brainstorming session, stand-up meeting, war council, etc), the Sage is able to grant it both 8-again and rote quality, each with a pool for affecting [Mind] mundane rolls. Any participants in the plan can use one of these actions when doing their part. Reach is assigned to advanced duration and granting rote quality.

    Optional: Time 4
    Sometimes the only way to seize victory is through bold strategies. By spending a point of mana while they are appended to a plan, the Sophos is able to Hang a number of Rewrite Histories equal to the plan's equipment bonus. It can be used on operatives, enemies, equipment, anything so long as the use contributes to the plan. Temporal Sympathy and conditional duration can be used for them individually (a condition can be set for both the Hung spell and one for the Rewrite History). The attainment and any spells remaining Hung end immediately after the plan definitively succeeds or fails. Reach is assigned to advanced duration (for both Rewrite History and Hung Spell ) and a total of one point of mana is used to pay for Temporal Sympathy, conditional duration and Time in a Bottle (truncated to one mana due to Legacy rules).

    Fifth: Sophia Katorthōmata
    Prerequisites: Mind 5, Common Sense, two dots in a third Skill among the optional prerequisite Skills
    The Sophos embodies the Truths of enlightened strategy and is able to issue them forth from their soul. By spending a point of mana, he may create goetic embodiments of Wisdom, called Metisides. Reach is assigned to advanced duration and mana is used to activate Time in a Bottle.
    Metisides are rank 2 goetia created as per the rules of Psychic Genesis. They are created to be perfectly in tune with the Sage's soul, automatically having a Familiar bond that can resist even a rise in Rank. Anyone other than the Sophos who attempts to control the Metisides or affect the Familiar bond triggers a Clash of Wills where the Sophos scores [Mind] automatic successes.

    However, the Truth of these beings is entirely incompatible with the most heinous acts of hubris, possessing the Ban "cannot commit any Fallen Wisdom Sin unless directly ordered to by the Sophos who created them". In addition, should the Sophos (or the Metisides acting under his orders) perform any Act of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom, then this attainment ends at the conclusion of the current turn and all Metistides vanish. While the philosopher king can use certain methods to escape soul damage (such as Masques), these Fallen Wisdom Sins contradict his soul's nature on a fundamental level and cannot prevent the attainment from deactivating.

    The foundation of the stoic Truths lie in the state of the soul itself, in Wisdom and self-control. While Enlightenment is a noble goal, pursuing it is not required, but a grasp of everyday Wisdom is. Should the Sophos ever degenerate into Fallen Wisdom, he loses the use of this attainment. Returning to Understanding Wisdom restores its use.

    Additional attainment feature:
    A strategists is ultimately a warrior, one willing to sacrifice everything to champion his causes. By spending a point of mana, the Sage is able to manifest a specialized type of Metisides, called an Enchiridion. It that has an exact copy of his mind, is rank 1 and has no influences. But it does have one Numina: the ability to remove the soul of the Sophos and store it within itself. Should the Sophos die before this attainment expires, the Enchiridion holding his soul becomes an independent (Lasting) Rank 5 goetia with the Ban "cannot perform any Act of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom".

    The Enchiridion goetia has maximum traits and Numina for his rank, but instead of normal Influences, it has the Arcana of the Sophos, at the same level as they did, fueling them with Essence instead of mana (like a Daimon, but can use them outside the Astral as they were created using an independent soul). 5 of its Numina are the Sophos' Attainments, except it cannot create Enchirideons (but it can create Metisides). Its Bane depends on the Sophos who created them, sometimes it reflects a personal failing, other times it reflects the way they died or breaking an oath the mage found vital, but there is a lot of variety, every case is different.

    This attainment can only be used by the Sophos' own free will and is subject to the same duration and conditions than the Mind one. Therefore, performing a Fallen Wisdom Sin will leave the soul floating wherever it was. The Sophos can still come back and reclaim his soul before the attainment ends, but as this is a technique normally used as a last resort, it is exceedingly rare.


    Optional: Time 5
    A master strategist knows that no plan survives contact with the enemy, to succeed one must improvise as well. The Sage elevates this art further through the mastery of Ataraxia, the tranquility of mind needed to act in a Wise and responsible manner. By spending a point of mana, the Sophos is able to imprint this tranquility onto the fabric of Time, creating time to plan, prepare, heal, resupply and come back to turn the tide. The Sage replicates the Temporal Pocket spell, with Reach assigned to advanced duration and mana being spent to activate Time in a Bottle.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-06-2019, 03:22 PM.


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


    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

  • #2
    Téchni Tis Stratigikís, the Art of Strategy

    So what is a plan ?

    Originally posted by Chronicles of Darkness
    Plans: Characters can “build” a plan to orchestrate a complex encounter with a specific goal involving multiple people, like a heist, a raid, or a rescue. If successful, this piece of “equipment” grants its bonus to everyone involved, but winks out of existence as soon as the plan definitively succeeds or fails. The Storyteller shouldn’t force the players to come up with every little detail of the plan —abstraction is what the dice are for — though if the players are gung ho about the particulars, that’s fine too.
    So what counts as a plan ? Something as simple as "I cast spell A on here, spell B on here, and you cast spell C on here" is not well structured enough, some examples of what does:


    Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
    Lets say you're going to make a plan to defend a building. Determine where the high-risk vulnerabilities are. Determine how you can funnel intruders into kill boxes. Determine how to safely fall back to rendezvous points. Then you can apply the plan to perception checks at the vulnerabilities, or subterfuge checks for leading the attackers around, or athletics checks when running down a hallway. The plan might include traps or establish reactions to specific actions. You can then apply the plan equipment bonus as a penalty to the attackers' attempts to avoid or detect that intent. For instance, you might mess with Space to subtly pull most of the sympathy into a single room, and then you'd roll, I dunno, Manipulation + Space + plan - Composure to decide whether or not the attackers actually decide to Portal into the trap. The plan would involve studying the layout of the building, likely including actually walking around and checking where everything is and what's in various rooms, so you can apply the bonus to things like, "Oh no, I need a fire extinguisher. (roll) But I happen to know there's one literally around the next corner."
    Walking around casting spells is fine if you're doing some interior decoration or trying to create a temporary Safe Place, but it's not a plan for an actual defense. The wording in the rules is "orchestrating a complex encounter".
    Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
    A plan is equipment. It grants bonus dice to relevant rolls just like any other equipment. The same way a Smartphone adds its equipment bonus to any rolls where having a smartphone would be helpful, a plan adds its equipment bonus to any rolls where having a plan would be helpful. The only difference is, a plan stops existing once it stops being relevant.
    So your players come up with a plan, like "Sean will distract the guard, then Dave and Samantha will sneak into the office. Dave, you try to hack into the computer to get the secret plans, while Samantha keeps watch. Samantha, if anyone interrupts you two, take them down as quickly and quietly as you can but try not to kill anyone. I'll be waiting at the base, monitoring the security cameras and keep in contact with all of you through our headsets. As soon as you've got the plans, give me the signal and I'll blow the c4 charges" (or whatever). Then any rolls the PCs make that would benefit from them having that plan gain the plan's equipment bonus as extra dice. For example, Dave might benefit from the peace of mind that comes from knowing Samantha has his back, so he can just focus on his job, making hacking easier. But knowing what everyone else is doing doesn't really make it any easier for Sean to distract the guard.
    Once they complete the plan, or things go so awry that the plan isn't of any use anymore, the plan stops existing and therefore can't grant an equipment bonus to any future rolls.

    Wits + Composure is normally rolled to create one. Nothing says it needs to be an extended action, but it could be for more complex operations. Dice penalties can be taken to add to the equipment bonus of the plan, at a ratio of 1 to 1. Additional dice bonuses and penalties can be applied depending on circumstances, some examples include:

    Bonuses:

    + Information (divinations, knowing an enemy's plan or profile, reports from spies or information brokers, etc)
    + Picking the best moment to execute the plan (the play goes up in a week with no major launches, the heist happening when the guard patrols are more sparse, etc).
    + Preparation (kevlar jackets for an combat mission, procuring false documents, looking up the blueprints of a building to infiltrate, preparing an escape vehicle, etc)
    + Modifying or using the environment to your favor, which could require an extended action (boarding windows, preparing traps, etc)
    + Rehearsal (training for the mission, reviewing a presentation, taking courses related to a mission, etc)

    Penalties:

    - Walking into a suspected trap with no information on its nature
    - Purposely using faulty equipment

    On a success, the plan is created with no further complications. On a Failure, the plan has either the Fragile tag (you can only benefit from its Equipment Bonus a number of times equal to its Equipment Bonus), or the Volatile tag (any failures on rolls that benefit from the plan's Equipment Bonus count as dramatic failures, and also reduce the plan's Equipment Bonus by 2). On a dramatic failure, the attempt to create a plan fails, and some additional negative consequence occurs. On an exceptional success, the plan's Equipment Bonus increases by 1.

    Do plans affect spellcasting rolls ? No, they do not. Plans provide equipment bonuses for mundane actions, yantras provide the equipment bonuses for spellcasting ones. So unless the character has a Legacy that utilizes them as a yantra, they grant no aid for magic. However, magic can be used to generate the conditions to grant dice bonuses to a plan, such as quickly reinforcing all doors and windows with Matter, manipulate the enemy's teleportation entry points by pulling all the building's sympathy into a trap room with Space or causing foes to enter a zone of radio silence with Forces.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 02-02-2019, 09:58 PM.


    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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    • #3
      What were you thinking design wise ?

      For the first Mind attainment, plans were considered as a type of mental equipment, so it was treated as a Mind themed variation of Craftsman's Eye. A great strategist should be able to quickly deconstruct even the most complex plans at a glance. For Time, being able to get a bonus for thinking things through seemed very versatile and thematically appropriate.

      The second Mind attainment is Mental Scan. In this case I wanted it to maintain its relevance against targets with great mental fortitude. So when using it for the Legacy's specialty it gets a nice bonus. I also added a thematically appropriate drawback to compensate for the extra Reach. For Time we have Divination, which goes over one Reach to allow for more specific answers. Narrowing the scope of what it can be used on seemed like a fair tradeoff.

      The third Mind attainment covers the ability of the Chessmaster to multitask. So you could be holding a perfectly pleasant conversation in a bar while tailing a target with Psychic Projection. The Time one is directly influenced by the Awakening Gambit, with a greater focus on planning. The better the plans you make, the more powerful this becomes. The free spell control is there to compensate for not being able to use Hung Spells as freely as the Kingmakers, but allowing far more flexibility if you have a great plan.The voided mana cost for hanging spells and applying conditional duration comes from the 1ed version of the Kingmaker's Attainments, its there so the quickly growing mana cost does not stop you from using it often.

      The fourth attainment adapts the Crucible spell to the Mind arcana, since a plan is considered equipment, adding rote property to it seems viable. Because a master of Mind can cast this instantly and not even use a spell slot (by relinquishing unsafely and recovering Willpower with, for example, Clear Thoughts), the mana cost was waived in order to incentivize the use of the attainment. Using Mind dots instead of the plan rating was done to limit the utter insanity that could create. For the Time attainment, Rewrite History allows you to make all sorts of adjustments to the plan, both in the preparation and execution phases.

      So far these have all been some really cool attainments from Mrmdubois' reimagining of the Awakening Gambit. For the last one I wanted to focus on this Legacy being a force multiplier for the cabal. Being able to create goetia seemed to fit this ethos perfectly. Goetia are just as flexible as spirits, sure they lack Manifestations, but they are completely loyal to the mage, which is a really nice tradeoff. Thankfully ephemeral entities are easy to stat, so it won't become a bookkeeping nightmare. Now the strategist can provide the perfect support team for every mission, even creating personalized ones for each cabal member. The goetia will be loyal to the cabal first, but to the Sophos foremost. However, now this creates three new problems. The first one is Essence bleed. The second one is creating a way to coordinate them. The third is that having an army of Rank 1 ephemeral beings doesn't sound awesome enough for the final attainment. Therefore I made them Rank 2 and provided them with a Familiar link.

      Now we are 1 Reach over the limit and with an ability with a lot of potential for abuse. Thankfully the theme of the legacy provides a solution. Stoicism calls for a sage to act with wisdom and self control. Therefore we hold the use of this attainment to a higher standard of Wisdom, one that cannot be cheated. Looking at Wisdom Sins, most the of the murderhobo ones are of the Falling level. So we set that as the bar, providing a nice challenge without closing off too many possible approaches. Using Pattering to create a symbiotic Manifestation with your cabal member and give them Dread Powers ? Sure. Having your army possess an entire building of enemies ? Nope. Blasting the werewolf that attacked you into fine powder ? Sure. Plus they can be used as reliable spies, mana batteries, remote casting windows and much more. If you keep them around long enough or promote their ideas, maybe the GM could reward it with a Rank up, which is all good since they have a 1 year expiration date anyway. The Wiser the mage acts, the easier acting Wise becomes.

      There is one intentional loophole built in. The Metisides can commit the Acts of Hubris by themselves, sparing the Sophos a Wisdom check. The reason they are dispelled at the end of the turn is a nod to how Machiavelli said cruelties should be executed all in one fell swoop, allowing the people to quickly forget. These are both thematically consistent with the idea of katorthōmata.

      The secondary function of the achievement is a nod to Socrates, whose teachings had a heavy influence on Stoicism. It could also make for a fun plot hook.

      The final Time attainment reinforces the idea of the Chessmaster being a virtuoso of Xanathos Speed Chess. No matter what happens, they are quickly able to adapt and pivot their plans. Either you take out the master planner in one turn or he will be healed, rested and have a plan ready to systematically defeat you. Both attainments are made to complement each other. The Mind one allows you to create the multiple people needed to execute a plan anywhere, each one with whatever skills you require. The Time one creates the opportunity to plan and prepare.

      The theme of this Legacy was inspired by the Awakening Gambit, but upon further examination I found that I wasn't so fond of the risky game they play to Awaken the worthy. Rather it was fascinating how close it is to the archetypes of the Chessmaster, the Strategist and the Magnificent Bastard. To me, a more interesting interpretation of the role of an Awakened strategist is that, being Arrows, they believe that Wisdom is a consequence of being a good planner. If you can read the situation deeply, account for all factors and then plot a path to victory that is safe, efficient and leaves no loose ends to tangle yourself or others. In theory, if a mage can make a great plan, perfectly adapting even in the midst of chaos, they can achieve a safe and ethical solution every time. However, that seemed in direct opposition of the Gambit for which they are named.

      So instead of the Gambit aspect, I chose to make a separate Legacy focusing on enlightened strategists that cultivate Wisdom. Marcus Aurelius and the philosophy of Stoicism seemed to fit this theme perfectly. Because the first four attainments could be seen as components of great leadership, I considered switching the parent Order to the Silver Ladder. But after looking at the story of the Ladder, it seemed unlikely. Originally they were proto-Stoics, but their strong denouncement of Wisdom made them incompatible. I imagine this Legacy would ruffle the feathers of the more philosophically minded Ladders, by making a claim to the title of Sages, a role the Théarchs have identified themselves with for a long time. They would be especially indignant about the fact this involves sculpting one's Gnosis to fit the "prison" of Wisdom. If any additional Order were to adopt this Legacy, I imagine the Free Council would be the most likely.

      The attainment themselves were made to consolidate each of the Phalanxes of the Adamant Way to a Stoic virtue. Propositional Logic acts as the fifth virtue, since it was one of the greatest contributions of these philosophers:

      First Attainment: Propositional Logic -> Service is Mastery
      Second Attainment: Dikaiosyne (Justice) -> Existence is War
      Third Attainment: Sophrosyne (No direct translation, the closest one is Temperance) -> The Supernal is the Self
      Fourth Attainment: Andreia (Courage) -> Adaptability is Strength
      Fifth Attainment: Sofia (Wisdom) -> Enlightenment is Honor

      For yantras, I wanted to add ones that rewarded planning. The strategy room one and foe analysis oblation were directly inspired by Grand Admiral Thrawn. Motivating the character to fulfill their Virtue also seemed in line with the enlightened strategist angle, while also acting as a carrot to get them into trouble. I wanted to add a portable tool as a yantra, so the documents provided a thematic incentive, as well as rewarding them for contributing their own innovations (which is risky, since even a small self published batch could end up in an opponent's hands). Making tactics into one was a way to creatively stimulate the strategist's approach.

      For sources of inspiration for the strategy side, I suggest the book Star Wars:Thrawn, the Grand Admiral is one excellent tactician and the book is filled with memorable quotes (the Background section is based on one of them). The classic Thrawn trilogy of books (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command) is fantastic as well. Shadow Raiders is another terrific source, great for large scale conflicts and with a plot possessing timeless brilliance. Lastly, I highly recommend the first two seasons of Gargoyles, David Xanathos is one of the best written Chessmaster characters I have ever seen.

      And that's it, hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Thanks in advance for the feedback.
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-21-2019, 09:28 AM.


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


      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

      Comment


      • #4
        Ever since posting the original version of this Legacy, certain parts felt like they needed work. Since then I have been revising it. Hopefully these can lead to more compelling roleplaying. As always, feedback is very welcome.

        Here are the current changes:

        • Fleshed out the Initiation section, making it easier to understand and more flexible. Also added a second source of inspiration.

        • Provided quotes from famous strategists to aid in reinforcing the theme.

        • Added two new yantras. First one is spellcasting to aid planning, so a Sophos can now more effectively buff the cabal to help them come up with a heist. Second one is quoting famous strategists or philosophers, which helps keep their ideas on top of mind.

        • Altered Attainment requirements so that they also contain a mundane merit that mirrors it.

        • Clarified the mechanics of the Attainments in general.

        • Edited the third Time Attainment to have a closer feel to the 1st edition Awakening Gambit inspiration.

        • Changed the restriction on the second Mind Attainment to be more resonant with the theme of Oikeiôsis.

        • Redefined the shutdown condition of the fifth Mind Attainment to allow for Machiavellian tactics, further reinforcing its theme of katorthōmata.
        Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-22-2019, 07:43 PM.


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


        The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

        Comment


        • #5
          I like the concept of strategists more focused on actual strategy than on forcing Awakenings.

          Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
          Prerequisites: Mind 2, Virtuous, Academics 2, two dots in one of the following Skills; Socialize, Empathy, Subterfuge, Investigation, Politics
          Why Virtuous? Your Virtue has little to nothing to do with your Wisdom and has zero to do with your ability to strategize. Maybe if you could identify a specific Virtue that they should have you could make that a requirement? Even then I feel like it's just not particularly relevant or thematic.

          In addition, completing the initiation also waives the prerequisite for purchasing Eidetic Memory, as the mind itself opens this path in the pursuit of Aretê.
          Eidetic Memory has no prerequisite, this is superfluous.

          Theory: The ultimate warrior is one able to consiliate the roles of strategist and sage to become a philosopher king, drawing out greatness from all those who stand with them.
          *consolidate

          Ruling Arcanum: Mind
          Yantras: Strategy or debate room (+1, +2 if it was prepared by the mage themselves), breaking down a spell's use with propositional logic (+2), spellcasting to aid planning (+2, +3 if planning with a group), playing one's part in a plan (+2, +3 if its of one's own making), first time using a tactic on a target (+2, +3 if it was developed by the mage themselves), quoting a famous strategist or philosopher (+2), philosophical or strategic document (+2, +3 if its a published and innovative document authored by the mage themselves), spell will be used in accordance with one's Virtue (+2, +3 if it will let them fulfill it)
          "Spellcasting to aid planning" just feels off, personally I don't think spellcasting should be a yantra for further spellcasting. "Making a plan" is probably good.

          The bonuses are also very high. A yantra bonus should be +1 unless it imposes a detrimental condition or is particularly difficult to use. The ones that boost if it was done by the Mage shouldn't boost, they should just be +1, or even not count unless the Mage did it themself (and then still give +1).

          Fulfilling your Virtue already grants a major benefit, and, again, I don't feel like "virtue" is particularly well tied to the tone of the Legacy anyway.

          Oblations: Participating in a Socratic dialogue, analyzing strategies or foes, studying
          or debating philosophy/strategy, developing a new philosophy/strategy or tactic, teaching others, training mindfulness, leading a strategy meeting, fulfilling one's Virtue.
          Again, I don't think it's appropriate to overload what you get from your virtue and I don't feel virtue is particularly grounded in the Legacy beyond your mechanical requirement of needing the Virtuous Merit.

          Attainments

          First: Syllogistic Diairesis
          Prerequisites: Initiation
          The Sophos knows that a strategist may be called to serve all sorts of different social roles. In order to attain Aretê, he must be quick to grasp the nuances of his duties. This Attainment allows the Sage to look at anything than can considered a plan in the broadest sense (a wedding plan, a script, a ransom letter, a conspiracy board, a case file, etc) and instantly use propositional logic to break down its purpose and all components required for it to succeed. When used against a plan that is being supernaturally obfuscated (a diary with writing that flees, an astral record with mental static, etc) the Stoic scores [Mind] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills. This can also be used by the Sophos to deconstruct any plan he remembers. Reach is assigned to instant use.
          Two things, this Merit doesn't actually do anything mechanically, and Attainments don't get automatic successes on Clash of Wills rolls; Clash of Wills is rolled normally (Gnosis + Arcana + duration bonus + advanced potency bonus).

          For a mechanical benefit I'd say that it reduces the item bonus of a plan used against the Sophos (and anyone he shared the information with) by [Mind] dots. So if it's a +4 plan and the Sophos has 2 dots in Mind, those using the plan only get a +2 bonus when using the plan against the Sophos or in direct opposition to Sophos' desires (any resisted or contested roll the legacy member is involved in).


          Optional: Time 1
          The mastery of Hormê, the proactive drive, requires not only having the will to act but also choosing the best moment to take action. By taking a moment to strategize, the Sophos can make the most of his next move. This replicates the spell Perfect Timing, granting a bonus of [Time] dice to the next instant mundane action. Reach is assigned to instant use.
          The primary factor of Perfect Timing is Duration, it would grant a bonus of 1 + Time/2 (rounded down).

          Second: Mólis Oikeiôsis
          Prerequisites: Mind 2, Patient, Academics 3
          When faced with the conflict inherent to the cosmos, an enlightened strategist must act with deliberation. Through Oikeiôsis, the familiarization with the thought and goals of others, the Sophos is able to incorporate their actions into his strategies. Thus he is able to plan the most Appropriate Acts for a situation, for Oikeiôsis is the beginning of justice. The Sophos replicates Mental Scan, with Reach assigned to instant use, sensory range and reading surface thoughts. If a question being asked is about a plan, tactic, strategy or is used in service of one, this Attainment bypasses the target's Withstand rating.
          That's three reach (instant, sensory, reading surface thoughts), you only have two. I also don't think bypassing Withstand is appropriate, Withstand limits the number of questions asked, making one question about a plan should not allow you to ask more questions.

          Honestly, I don't think this particular spell is a good fit for an Attainment, anyway because:


          In case the target's mind is supernaturally shielded, the Sophos gains [Mind] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills.
          That's not how Clash of Wills works (no automatic successes on it), and so this spell gains nothing by being an Attainment: it's instant so not something that can be dispelled; it's Withstood and so needs higher Potency; and it's never obvious magic, so doesn't need to be shielded from quiescence.

          I'd move the third attainment's One Mind, Two Thoughts here and ditch instant casting (OMTT doesn't need it, advanced duration on a duration primary spell gives you a full day at Mind 2 and it just goes up from there).

          However, the rampant pursuit of self gratification runs counter to this principle. Should the Sophos obtain the Vice-Ridden merit, this Attainment becomes unavailable until they remove the additional Vice.
          You never need to take a merit, this is superfluous.

          Optional: Time 2
          A plan is ultimately a complex propositional logic theorem, the more premises one has available, the more solid the proof that can be constructed. The Sophos replicates the Divination spell, with Reach assigned to instant use and sensory range. It can answer more than yes or no questions, but this Attainment can only be used to ask questions related to a plan, tactic or strategy. In case the target is supernaturally shielded against scrying, the Sophos gains [Time] automatic successes in the ensuing Clash of Wills.
          Not how CoW works.

          Technically reach is being assigned to Instant, Sensory, and asking more specific questions, but by limiting it to plans and tactics only I think that extra reach is fair.

          Third: Chalarí Apatheia
          Prerequisites: Mind 3, Eidetic Memory, two dots in a second Skill among the optional prerequisite Skills
          To master a battlefield, a Sage must be able to rein in his passions, to keep focused on the grand strategy even as they tackle complex problems, to act with Apatheia. This functions as a broader version of One Mind, Two Thoughts which permits any two Mental Actions to happen simultaneously, whether they are Extended or Instant. Reach is assigned to instant use, advanced duration and being able to do any two Mental Actions at once.
          Not sure what Eidetic Memory has to do with this attainment, seems like an odd requirement. As explained above, there's no point in giving this instant casting, I'd drop it to the second Attainment. Instead I'd do something like:

          "To master a battlefield, a Sage must be flexible and adaptable, able to alter extant plans to face the new realities on the ground. If a plan would fail, the Sage may instead spend her next instant action to alter it to the new circumstances so long as she is the leader of the group executing the plan. This is a Weaving effect that changes the parameters of an existing (now failed) plan such that its bonus continues to apply rather than going away. Reach is assigned to instant casting and it lasts for [Mind] duration; the Sage can continue to invoke this Attainment as the duration expires to maintain the effect."

          This rewards you for having a plan (strategy!) and allows you to keep that bonus when it would normally go away, a fairly powerful and flavorful effect, I think, especially when another Mage can't counter it and it ties into the optional (by letting you hang {heh} on to your spells longer) and your fourth attainment grants so much for following a plan.

          Optional: Time 3
          The Sage infuses his strategies with the virtue of Sophrosyne, planning with temperance, moderation and self control. Whenever they are appended to a plan, they are able to Hang a number of spells equal to the equipment bonus of the plan. Conditional duration can be applied to this effect at no cost (although applying them to the spells themselves costs mana as normal). These spells do not take up spell control until the Hung Spell is released and it costs no mana to hang spells. The Attainment and any spells remaining Hung end immediately after the plan definitively succeeds or fails. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.
          This is a good attainment, but it feels like it's stepping on the toes of the Awakening Gambit (it's their signature schtick). Other than that it's fine.

          Fourth: Askêsis Andreía
          Prerequisites: Mind 4, Good Time Management, Academics 4
          The Sophos learns to extend the Aretê of his soul to his Plans. By spending a scene perfecting a plan (brainstorming session, stand-up meeting, war council, etc), the Sage is able to grant it both 8-again and rote quality, each with a pool for affecting [Mind] mundane rolls. Any participants in the plan can use one of these actions when doing their part. Reach is assigned to advanced duration and granting rote quality.
          Granting rote quality always costs a mana. Technically the Reach should be advanced duration and granting 8-again (9-again doesn't require reach, 8-again does).

          I dunno about combining rote action quality and 8-again into a single attainment, but it's also relatively limited in scope so it's probably fair.

          Also note, that by making it affect Mind rolls you're setting primary factor to potency, meaning the effect itself will last a week (two steps up on the Advanced Duration chart, ignoring archmastery).

          Optional: Time 4
          Sometimes the only way to seize victory is through bold strategies. By spending a point of mana while they are appended to a plan, the Sophos is able to Hang a number of Rewrite Histories equal to the plan's equipment bonus. It can be used on operatives, enemies, equipment, anything so long as the use contributes to the plan. Temporal Sympathy and conditional duration can be used for them individually (a condition can be set for both the Hung spell and one for the Rewrite History). The attainment and any spells remaining Hung end immediately after the plan definitively succeeds or fails. Reach is assigned to advanced duration (for both Rewrite History and Hung Spell ) and a total of one point of mana is used to pay for Temporal Sympathy, conditional duration and Time in a Bottle (truncated to one mana due to Legacy rules).
          Hanging this doesn't actually work, because spell factors are set when the spell is Hung, not released, meaning you can't change a particular subject because you don't know what the subject needs to have changed until you encounter them.

          I think Present as Past with reach assigned to Instant casting and Advanced Scale (Area) and limited to carrying out a specific plan (justifying the extra reach) works much better.

          Fifth: Sophia Katorthōmata
          Prerequisites: Mind 5, Common Sense, two dots in a third Skill among the optional prerequisite Skills
          The Sophos embodies the Truths of enlightened strategy and is able to issue them forth from their soul. By spending a point of mana, he may create goetic embodiments of Wisdom, called Metisides. Reach is assigned to advanced duration and mana is used to activate Time in a Bottle.
          Reach is actually being used to make the effect Indefinite, Time in a Bottle is making it Advanced Duration. Indefinite also requires one more step on the chart, but meh, it's a capstone attainment.


          Metisides are rank 2 goetia created as per the rules of Psychic Genesis. They are created to be perfectly in tune with the Sage's soul, automatically having a Familiar bond that can resist even a rise in Rank. Anyone other than the Sophos who attempts to control the Metisides or affect the Familiar bond triggers a Clash of Wills where the Sophos scores [Mind] automatic successes.
          You need one more Reach to make them rank 2, you could drop the Indefinite duration (a year is plenty long for an Attainment that can just be reactivated) to do so.

          However, the Truth of these beings is entirely incompatible with the most heinous acts of hubris, possessing the Ban "cannot commit any Fallen Wisdom Sin unless directly ordered to by the Sophos who created them". In addition, should the Sophos (or the Metisides acting under his orders) perform any Act of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom, then this attainment ends at the conclusion of the current turn and all Metistides vanish. While the philosopher king can use certain methods to escape soul damage (such as Masques), these Fallen Wisdom Sins contradict his soul's nature on a fundamental level and cannot prevent the attainment from deactivating.
          Goetia don't have Wisdom and can't commit acts of Hubris. Using a Legacy Attainment never counts as an Act of Hubris. I don't think this caveat means anything


          Additional attainment feature:
          A strategists is ultimately a warrior, one willing to sacrifice everything to champion his causes. By spending a point of mana, the Sage is able to manifest a specialized type of Metisides, called an Enchiridion. It that has an exact copy of his mind, is rank 1 and has no influences. But it does have one Numina: the ability to remove the soul of the Sophos and store it within itself. Should the Sophos die before this attainment expires, the Enchiridion holding his soul becomes an independent (Lasting) Rank 5 goetia with the Ban "cannot perform any Act of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom".

          The Enchiridion goetia has maximum traits and Numina for his rank, but instead of normal Influences, it has the Arcana of the Sophos, at the same level as they did, fueling them with Essence instead of mana (like a Daimon, but can use them outside the Astral as they were created using an independent soul). 5 of its Numina are the Sophos' Attainments, except it cannot create Enchirideons (but it can create Metisides). Its Bane depends on the Sophos who created them, sometimes it reflects a personal failing, other times it reflects the way they died or breaking an oath the mage found vital, but there is a lot of variety, every case is different.

          This attainment can only be used by the Sophos' own free will and is subject to the same duration and conditions than the Mind one. Therefore, performing a Fallen Wisdom Sin will leave the soul floating wherever it was. The Sophos can still come back and reclaim his soul before the attainment ends, but as this is a technique normally used as a last resort, it is exceedingly rare.
          This is kind of cool. Reminds me of the Legacy where they become ghost-mages.

          Optional: Time 5
          A master strategist knows that no plan survives contact with the enemy, to succeed one must improvise as well. The Sage elevates this art further through the mastery of Ataraxia, the tranquility of mind needed to act in a Wise and responsible manner. By spending a point of mana, the Sophos is able to imprint this tranquility onto the fabric of Time, creating time to plan, prepare, heal, resupply and come back to turn the tide. The Sage replicates the Temporal Pocket spell, with Reach assigned to advanced duration and mana being spent to activate Time in a Bottle.
          I'd use the reach for Instant Casting, Time in a Bottle already gives Advanced Duration.


          Final thoughts: I like the Legacy, but think it could use some tweaks. The Virtue thing I think is off-key, virtue doesn't really play into Wisdom or even being moral or upright, you can have virtues that aren't "good."

          I think what you're actually going for is something more akin to a Ban or an Obligation (or a D&D Paladin's oath), a tenet that cannot be violated without consequence.
          Last edited by proindrakenzol; 06-23-2019, 10:45 AM.


          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

          Comment


          • #6
            proindrakenzol As the guy who did the Awakening Gambit update that some of this is based on I'm going to clear up a few things. First off, I agree about the Virtuous, Eidetic Memory and and the high Yantra bonuses being unnecessary or out of sync with legacy guidelines.

            The first Mind attainment isn't supposed to do anything mechanically, it's a narrative effect. It signifies that the Mage is especially good at understanding plans and how to counter them. Essentially it's an excuse for the player to look at any amount of information they have in front of them and ask the ST, "So what's going on here?" if that information is geared toward a purpose. It also allows the player to receive information from the ST to act on by highlighting the weak parts of any given plan. The CoW is new from what I did, but it makes sense to me, not being that different from what a member of the 11Q can do with their first Matter attainment.

            The Time part of the first attainment is a direct lift from the 11Q, but changes the requirement for its activation from first arriving on the scene to acting in a way that counters a plan that the Mage has analyzed.

            The Mind 2 attainment has 3 Reach because it's limited in its application which is straight out of the core. It can only be used to scan the thoughts of others for hints of plans that can then be analyzed with the first attainment. The CoW thing is new, don't know how I feel about it, but technically there is still a precedent set for it by the 11Q, and I agree that you don't really need a special clause for bypassing Withstand, though my argument for that would be that the reason is Mental Scan is Potency primary, so as the Mage grows in power they'll be punching through Withstand anyway.

            As for the rest of your analysis, yup.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
              proindrakenzol As the guy who did the Awakening Gambit update that some of this is based on I'm going to clear up a few things. First off, I agree about the Virtuous, Eidetic Memory and and the high Yantra bonuses being unnecessary or out of sync with legacy guidelines.

              The first Mind attainment isn't supposed to do anything mechanically, it's a narrative effect. It signifies that the Mage is especially good at understanding plans and how to counter them. Essentially it's an excuse for the player to look at any amount of information they have in front of them and ask the ST, "So what's going on here?" if that information is geared toward a purpose. It also allows the player to receive information from the ST to act on by highlighting the weak parts of any given plan.
              I still think a minor mechanical effect (reducing the effectiveness of an analyzed plan against the Mage using the attainment) is appropriate in addition to the narrative effect.

              The CoW is new from what I did, but it makes sense to me, not being that different from what a member of the 11Q can do with their first Matter attainment.
              The first Matter attainment for the 11Q doesn't say anything about Clash of Wills, also, this post from Dave Brookshaw.

              The Time part of the first attainment is a direct lift from the 11Q, but changes the requirement for its activation from first arriving on the scene to acting in a way that counters a plan that the Mage has analyzed.
              The 11Q version is much more narrow than this one, justifying the implied extra reach to shift primary factor from Duration to Potency.

              The Mind 2 attainment has 3 Reach because it's limited in its application which is straight out of the core. It can only be used to scan the thoughts of others for hints of plans that can then be analyzed with the first attainment. The CoW thing is new, don't know how I feel about it, but technically there is still a precedent set for it by the 11Q, and I agree that you don't really need a special clause for bypassing Withstand, though my argument for that would be that the reason is Mental Scan is Potency primary, so as the Mage grows in power they'll be punching through Withstand anyway.
              It's not that limited in its application, most people plan things and operate on plans; like, sure, you can't use it on someone who's wandering around aimlessly, but how often are you going to want to? And while it does increase potency, it's also almost useless with only two dots (affecting only those with Composure 1 and getting only a single question) and doesn't scale quickly enough to be worth using. There's also no other real benefit from it being an attainment besides being uncounterable, the base spell is not obvious magic so it can be used on Sleepers with impunity and it's not a long term buff so it doesn't get a spell control break.

              I just feel like you're more likely to just cast the spell than use the Attainment so that you can get a reasonable number of questions out of it.
              Last edited by proindrakenzol; 06-23-2019, 03:28 PM.


              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

              Comment


              • #8
                proindrakenzol That is a lot a great feedback, thank you. I need to ponder a bit about it. But I wanted to take the chance to explain my train of thought when designing them:

                Virtuous: The reason its a prerequisite is inspired by Stoicism. The objective of the Agathos is to become enlightened strategists. They believe that Wisdom and strategy go hand in hand, if they have tactics ready for small problems or strategies for big ones, then in theory they should be able to handle anything. So because they model themselves after Marcus Aurelius, they think "we need to tie Wisdom and Virtue, naturally". But they failed to consider that a criminal can have loyalty as his Virtue, or a honorable mage can refuse to break a promise to reveal a Scelestus, etc. Because they are incentivized to fulfill their Virtue, I thought it could be a nice way to highlight the clash between the Legacy's intentions and putting them in practice.

                Eidetic Memory: I might be wrong, but aren't Eidetic Memory and Ambidextrous two merits that are limited to character generation? Maybe in first edition, I need to double check.

                Yantras: "Spellcasting to aid planning" is probably not the best worded one, "making a plan" sounds a lot clearer. The idea was that if the mage is casting a spell to show or share data relevant to making a plan or to aid in the rolls for crafting one, they get a bonus. With an incentive to group planning.

                First time using a tactic is limited to one shot, so I thought it could be a nice complication. The other bonus is an incentive to create new ones rather than rotate current ones.

                Doing one's part within a plan requires you to create one and then only applies to your part. So if it derails beyond salvaging you lose it entirely. Still, I need to reconsider if its enough of a drawback.

                For the document I imagined choosing the right one for the occasion could be a nice complication. The quoting one should probably be a +1.

                Overloading Virtue Thematically I want to go with a balance between the principles of Stoicism and practical strategy. So while on one hand the plan yantras are meant to incentivize the Sun Tzu approach with a bit of Machiavelli, the Virtue side is meant to incentivize acting more in line with Meditations. Ideally they seek to reach a point of balance, like Marcus Aurelius or Yi Sun-shin. But balance is hellishly difficult to achieve in practice. While Virtue gives a nice bonus, mechanics wise it can also be seen as a calculated risk. By giving it a bigger draw than usual, hopefully it can bring that contrast more into light.

                Clash of Wills: Need to fix it, will have it done by the next update.

                Time in a Bottle: I'm confused, I thought it gave instant casting time, rather than advanced duration. I think you may have been thinking of Matter 2's Permanence.

                1st Attainment: Think of it as a Mind variation of Craftsman's Eye. A plan is a type of mental equipment (most give +0 unless you take the time to "craft" a more elaborate one). Because the components of a plan act as a form of communicating it, this reads and deconstructs them. So if you find the board with a web of intrigue, you can instantly figure out what the conspiracy theorists is up to, or a hidden facet to a business plan, the things a play relies upon or still needs, or figuring out what the serial killer intends to do from the letter they sent. Of course, this doesn't threaten an Indy Ploy in any way. But if someone has a plan, the Sophos can understand it quicker than anyone else.

                First optional one: Perfect Timing is such a weird edge case. It needs 2 turns of duration for you to reap its benefits, but you also need to invest in changing its primary factor and then extending its duration to get the best benefit. And even then its only for mundane instant actions. By normal Legacy rules its fairly underwhelming. But I remembered that the 11Q have one with [Time] bonus for investigations. So the original intent was for it to only work for actions in a counter strategy. But when thinking up of practical scenarios, I couldn't think of a case where an instant counter plan would apply. Its a case where I went with the intended feel because I couldn't figure out an interesting restriction.

                Second Attainment: In this case I wanted to go for the feel of someone like Thrawn being able to uncannily guide a conversation. So building on the Stoicism theme, the restriction on another merit (one more practical than Virtuous) would build on the theme of Oikeiôsis and use that as a justification for the extra Reach. In a similar sense that Occultation is opposed by Fame, Oikeiôsis is opposed by diminishing one's circle of affinity away from the community and closer to the self, so Vice Ridden seemed closest to that idea.

                The Withstand bypass by adding a complication is a cool feature I really liked from the 2ed Legacies update thread, but I need to figure out a better one.

                Third Attainment: Eidetic memory is seen as a way to save information with more detail and easier recall than normal. So being able to work on more threads becomes easier to a well organized mind. But I didn't make this connection in the writeup, so I can see how its unintuitive. So using it a Sophos can chat with a contact while astral projecting, or create a new plan while reacting to an emergency without losing efficiency, etc.

                Third optional one: The Kingmakers are my favorite official Legacy and my main inspiration for this one, but I like the strategist angle (Thrawn, Xanathos, etc) more than the risky game. This is more restrictive than their version (you need a plan to even use it), but potentially more useful. So hopefully this lets the Sophos fill a slightly different niche. I just like the Attainment too much not to include a different take on it.

                Fourth Attainment: Building up on the idea of a plan as Mind as a mental equipment, this time Crucible from Matter was repurposed. Then a Reach was applied for Rote action. However, with Mind 5 they can do this in a turn for the same cost, relinquish it, recover Willpower with Perfecting and obtain the same results in 2 turns. So in orderer for this not to be abandoned out of convenience, I waived the mana cost and gave [Mind] uses, which seemed not too crazy because of how restrictive this version is compared to the original spell.

                Optional Fourth Attainment: This is much more difficult to fix, I want to avoid using another Kingmaker Attainment if possible. The intent was to pay a mana, and within that duration, you can prepare [Time] rewrites. So lets say duration is a month, if you activated it at March 21st at 13:00h and used one next year at April 21st at 12:59:30h, then it will only get 30 seconds before starting. But you cast the rewrite on the spot. This would allow them to setup a big heist in gradual side quests, which could lead the cabal into a crowning moment of awesome when they pull off a crazy ambitious scheme. How to translate that into mechanics is the question. Whereas a Kingmaker is able to predict future events and even using it to ad lib a solution (which is vital considering their gambits could be lethal for the Sleeper), the Sophos stress test it first (via the second Time Attainment) and then prepare contingencies to trigger as needed. Different methodologies do deal with the unknown.

                Final Attainment: This one follows the Stoic idea of katorthōmata, which is that sometimes a sage needs to take an otherwise terrible action to serve the greater good. But this requires a person to be as wise as a sage to even know when and what is needed, its something only someone who reached their idea of enlightenment can pull off. So the idea is that the goetia can't take any action that would be considered of fallen wisdom sin if they were a mage (no roll happens, if its something that would cause one, it counts). Unless they get direct orders, in which case all of them vanish at the end of the turn. You lose your spies, mana batteries, support troops, all gone. The same happens if the mage does an Act of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom

                But Machiavelli did mention in his political philosophy that cruelty should be done in one fell swoop so people quickly forget its bitter taste. And even then, it should be done very rarely. So I wanted to leave that loophole open.

                So mixing that limitation with the Wisdom required sounded like decent enough challenge to justify the extra Reach slong with working with its theme.

                Sorry for the wall of text, but that was some pretty thought provoking feedback and I think writing this down is helpful for brainstorming future updates.
                Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-23-2019, 06:21 PM.


                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                  proindrakenzol As the guy who did the Awakening Gambit update that some of this is based on I'm going to clear up a few things. First off, I agree about the Virtuous, Eidetic Memory and and the high Yantra bonuses being unnecessary or out of sync with legacy guidelines.

                  The first Mind attainment isn't supposed to do anything mechanically, it's a narrative effect. It signifies that the Mage is especially good at understanding plans and how to counter them. Essentially it's an excuse for the player to look at any amount of information they have in front of them and ask the ST, "So what's going on here?" if that information is geared toward a purpose. It also allows the player to receive information from the ST to act on by highlighting the weak parts of any given plan. The CoW is new from what I did, but it makes sense to me, not being that different from what a member of the 11Q can do with their first Matter attainment.

                  The Time part of the first attainment is a direct lift from the 11Q, but changes the requirement for its activation from first arriving on the scene to acting in a way that counters a plan that the Mage has analyzed.

                  The Mind 2 attainment has 3 Reach because it's limited in its application which is straight out of the core. It can only be used to scan the thoughts of others for hints of plans that can then be analyzed with the first attainment. The CoW thing is new, don't know how I feel about it, but technically there is still a precedent set for it by the 11Q, and I agree that you don't really need a special clause for bypassing Withstand, though my argument for that would be that the reason is Mental Scan is Potency primary, so as the Mage grows in power they'll be punching through Withstand anyway.

                  As for the rest of your analysis, yup.
                  The big question was how to keep them from being left behind against just casting the spell with yantras. I really liked how the unofficial 2ed Legacy update threads did it with CoW advantages or even allowing a Withstands bypass if you do something thematically appropriate, so I tried to implement that.

                  But yeah, I went overboard with yantras.

                  I also wanted to reinforce the Stoicism angle along with the strategist one, but I think its not quite there yet.
                  Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-23-2019, 05:50 PM.


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


                  The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    @KaiserAfni, it's great stuff to be giving feedback on.


                    re: Virtuous: I sort of wish CofD had changed the names of Virtue and Vice to something else (like, Ideal and Indulgence or something), because they don't always align to what might institutionally be considered a virtue or vice. I would recommend looking to Signs of Sorcery's Obligations for inspiration. When joining the Legacy they all swear an oath of conduct, if they violate that oath they lose access to their attainments until they can rededicate themselves to their pursuits. Thus the Oath can become a source of potential drama: there might be situations where upholding their Oath would be an Act of Hubris or even lead morally questionable or reprehensible situations where they might need to violate it.

                    Maybe:

                    Oath Bound (Persistent)
                    You have partaken of the holy sacraments, bathed yourself in the sacred stream, or been anointed in blessed oils; whatever the nature of the dedication, you are now bound by your own soul to follow certain tenets in support of your Legacy. Violating these tenets ends this condition and prevents the use of your Legacy attainments until you dedicate yourself anew, restoring this condition.
                    Beat: whenever you must take an action to uphold your oath that goes against your other principles gain a beat.
                    Resolution: violate your oath.

                    re: Eidetic Memory: nope, no prereqs.

                    re: Yantras: I recommend reviewing the Yantras section of the core book, again, for a feel on what appropriate dice bonuses look like.

                    re: Time in a Bottle: you are correct, it is for instant casting. This leaves your fifth attainment one reach short, the created goetia should be Rank 1.

                    re: First Attainment: I understand what you're going for, I still feel like applying the Sophos' Mind dots as a penalty to any plan so studied when it is used against her is appropriate for the attainment since (1) it can't reduce the plan bonus below 0 and (2) it only affects those using the plan directly against the Sophos. It's a minor boost on top of something largely thematic.

                    For the first optional I guess it doesn't really matter since you lose one action to boost your next, which isn't that strong and doesn't always apply.

                    re: Second Attainment: I still think it's not a good effect, and the Second optional allows you to rather effectively do the same thing, since you're receiving answers about what they will do in the future and you can easily tailor the questions to reveal almost the exact same information.

                    re: Third Attainment: it's not a bad req, I use it for my Mentats legacy, it's just not grounded in the flavor. I still think you should bump One Mind, Two Thoughts to the second attainment since OMTT doesn't need to be instant-cast.

                    re: Third optional: it is a good attainment, I don't think the "needing a plan" is restrictive, but it doesn't really matter, especially if you flavor this Legacy as an offshoot or rival of the Gambit.

                    re: Fourth attainment: Mind uses for the rote action is in line with Crucible, but it is not at all restrictive compared to Crucible, it is - in fact - far less restrictive (not that cross arcana balance should be a factor) in how it is used since far more people benefit from using a plan than a single object and the 8-again applies to all rolls until the plan fails or the attainment duration expires; yes, it loses on the boost to availability, but that's pretty irrelevant for the intended use of this attainment. Also, the need for mana to grant the rote action quality is explicit and without exception, I wouldn't muck with it.

                    re: Fourth optional: there are several problems with this attainment as written.
                    1) It doesn't work. A hung Rewrite is just not something that is beneficial unless you know exactly what you're rewriting beforehand.
                    2) It's unnecessary. You can just cast Rewrite into the third optional attainment if you do know exactly what you're rewriting beforehand.
                    3) It's confusing. It took me several rereads to untangle what you were trying to say.
                    While I like Present as Past, any spell that fits with the idea of planning would work better; even just being able to cast Rewrite History with Time in a Bottle, sensory range, and advanced duration, but only usable a number of times equal to the plan rating (to justify the extra reach) would be better.

                    re: Fifth Attainment: you're one reach short of having the goetia be rank 2, and there's no limitations to justify the extra reach (it's actually got benefits on top that arguably should require additional reach on their own); and, no, the duration ending if a fairly easy to avoid trigger occurs is not a significant drawback or limitation. If you go with the oath idea I'd tie the ban to that, sidestepping any Hubris vis a vis Attainments issues.


                    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

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                    • #11
                      I have been pondering the oath idea. The key phrase that describes the design of this Legacy is "stoic strategists of the Arrow". Since they are Arrows, incorporating an oath can help strengthen their signature upon it.

                      Because they are stoics, virtue is a key principle of their philosophy, as expressed in key ideas such as agathos, aretê, askêsis, eudaimonia, sophos, etc. So what can be done to reinforce the theme ? Stoicism cites 4 key virtues, those can be used to inform the design of the oath.

                      So lets derive the oaths by the Hellenistic meaning of the stoic virtues. For this I will use Definitions, which was penned based on Plato's works:

                      Askesis/ Courage & Discipline: "The state of the soul which is unmoved by fear; military confidence; knowledge of the facts of warfare; self-restraint in the soul about what is fearful and terrible; boldness in obedience to wisdom; being intrepid in the face of death; the state which stands on guard over correct thinking in dangerous situations; force which counterbalances danger; force of fortitude in respect of virtue; calm in the soul about what correct thinking takes to be frightening or encouraging things; the preservation of fearless beliefs about the terrors and experiences of warfare; the state which cleaves to the law."
                      Oath: Never fear to act, but let forethought and strategy temper your choices.

                      Dikaiosyne/"Justice": "The unanimity of the soul with itself, and the good discipline of the parts of the soul with respect to each other and concerning each other; the state that distributes to each person according to what is deserved; the state on account of which its possessor chooses what appears to him to be just; the state underlying a law-abiding way of life; social equality; the state of obedience to the laws.
                      Oath: Seek the path of righteousness, act with goodwill, treat others with fairness, kindness and benevolence, but temper it with wisdom.

                      Sophrosyne/Temperance & Moderation: "Moderation of the soul concerning the desires and pleasures that normally occur in it; harmony and good discipline in the soul in respect of normal pleasures and pains; concord of the soul in respect of ruling and being ruled; normal personal independence; good discipline in the soul; rational agreement within the soul about what is admirable and contemptible; the state by which its possessor chooses and is cautious about what he should."
                      Oath: Be mindful of your actions that you may attain soundness of thought. Cultivate temperance, moderation, prudence, decorum and self-control.

                      Sophia / Wisdom
                      Oath: You control your magic, it does not control you. Wield it with precision and regard to the consequences, do not fall from the path of everyday Wisdom (don't commit Acts of Hubris of Fallen Wisdom or degenerate to that level). Do the most amount of good while causing the least amount of harm.

                      That is the first draft of the oath. Looking at it from the trope point of view, its meant to incentivize Good is Not Soft, the Chessmaster, the Strategist and Magnificent Bastard (Thrawn and Xanathos are very polite and well spoken, but they manipulate the plot masterfully).

                      Its meant to give pretty clear guidelines without steamrolling mages into Honor Before Reason. It also posseses sanity checks in case no clean solution exists, at least not an obvious one. Deus Ex: The Missing link has such a decision near its end. In it, you need to choose between venting lethal gas into the cell of the hostages or into your only whistleblower, unless you have the presence of mind to seek out the supply of the gas yourself. So even if a mage doesn't figure it out, its doesn't necessarily lead to an oath violation.

                      The oath tenets were inspired by the D&D 5e paladin's Oath of Devotion. However, paladin is not part of the core theme, so the redemption process needs to reflect that. When its broken, the daimon can speak to the mage telepathically, or appear as a hallucination, pull him into a dream or they can meditate into it from anywhere. The daimon acts as a guide, teaching the mage how they might improve with a practical lesson (like Kreia in Kotor 2) or with a dream journey (such as in Pathologic 2). When its satisfied, the redemption is complete.

                      Because of this, if the mage failed an Act of Hubris and becomes Rampant or Megalomaniacal, the daimon can catch that and put them back on track. In essence, redemption is accomplished by its own spin of eudaimonia.

                      Those are my current thoughts on it, still working on the mechanics. Sorry if I take a while to respond, I am trying to think of changes that reinforce the core ideas and I also want to explain my train of though for them.
                      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-27-2019, 12:30 AM.


                      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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