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  • Help with Custom Legacy - The Nizari

    Hello

    So, I'm trying to make a new legacy but some of the rules I can't get my head around when trying to make new attaiments not to mention how do we get access to them, do I need to meet the gnosis requirement to unlock them or just the arcana, both? as you can see I'm kind of new to the Mage game, took it to learn to play, anyway

    The Legacy is based on the actual Nizari Ismailis, long story short, they are the Assassins of old, the real deal according to wikipedia (It's the internet, it can't lie to me ) Link here

    So far with the help from people here this is what came out.

    Also credit where credit is due, kudos and thanks to KaiserAfini for coming up with the attaiments.
    Legacy: The Nizari







    Origins Parentage
    • Path: Mastigos
    • Order: Guardian of the Veil
    • Concept: Assassins
    • Appearance: The Nizari are encouraged to not make many waves, in their mundane lives they could be just about anybody, they many faces and backgrounds, quite a few of those are actually fabricated, they make heavy use of their masques to have several background ready for what a job would require.

      They only recruit from members of the order, those that show a great level of dedicaion and self sacrifice draw their attention and the very exigences from the order cull those that wouldn't be a good fit.
    • Background: The Nizari Fidai are what the old order of assassins was called, dated back to the 11th century days they were born in what is now the ruined Alamut fortress on the South Caspian province of Gilan near the Rudbar region in Iran, lead by a mystierious "Old man of the mountain" they were a political and religious faction of Shia Islam, or so history would have you believe, in reality they were a sect of Guardians that during their time used the political and religious turmoil of the era to further their secret agenda.

      Much of the legacy's past was lost with the destruction of their forstresses and the burning of the library of Alamut, when they were invaded by the Mongol Empire during the invasion of Khwarism or so they would have you believe in reality they orchestated their own fall to cover the legacy in another layer of secrecy and so they could spread their numbers further accross the world, somethings are commonly known about the order though, it's founder was a Guardian Epoch of the Mastgos Path, Hassan-i Sabbah responsible for the widespread nature on the middle east, though only a limited group of Nizari were actually awakened members of the legacy. He saw and suffered under the regime of the Seers of the Throne that manipulated events to steal the reign of the Caliph orchestating a coup and putting one of their own in the throne, captured for a time he took the opportnity to meditate and plan in his prison waiting and bidding his time untilt the moment was right to act, he was changed by the experience and in his very soul he rejected the Hubris of the Seers, change as he was he founded his movement taking over the fortress of Alamut and spreading from there. He used an army of sleepers to combat the influence of the Seers of the Throne using asymmetrical and psychological warfare and surgical strikes particulary their assassinations of key individuals.


      And for the better part of three centuries they were a force to be reckon with, having succefully assassinated key figures across their early history, two known Caliphs, many viziers, sultans and crusader leaders.

      Nowadays the legacy no longer subscribes to a particular set of beliefs religious or otherwise, you can see traces of them among the history of the world, the cold war was basically their playground, in more modern settings they can be easily found as part of black ops teams in any miliatry or as hitmen among the criminal underworld, some venerate the Santa Muerte in the mexicans cartels, so work in any of the soup letter intelligence agencies across the world, their background may vary, though their purpose and MO remain the same.
    Doctrine

    Prerequisites: Gnosis 2, Death 2, Status 2 Guardian of the Veil and at least one mastered Masque.
    • Thesis: It is the nature of the Diamond Wheel to advance, refining all souls while flattening the trail for the arrival the Hieromagus, who shall redeem all sins and reclaim the Imperium Mysteriorum for mankind. The Exarchs would chain its movements so this does not come to pass.

      But there is one Truth they forget: All things contain shatterpoints, precise locations that can be stricken to utterly destroy them. So too does destiny, for a simple phrase or speech can change the course of history or an army can be rendered ineffective by the death of few key figures. For the chosen few, even the fetters of the Tyrants can become evident. See the chains of the lie, become the blade that will sever its weakest link and allow the Diamond Wheel to turn unhindered.
    • Organization: The unifying doctrine of the Nizari is their dedication to their cause, what is their cause changes from Caucus from Caucus, but some things remain constant, they are never the ones leading, they can hold authority over others, but never are they the leader or heriarchs on the concilium, they are followers, very dedicated followers, but just followers in the end, if such would take such lofty ambision for himself it better be on a temporary manner and setting the stage for a proper leader to replace him one way or another or he would see himself eventually culled from the ranks of the Legacy. No, the Nizari themselves don't rule, they are the power behind the throne others are the sword and shield of the Pentacle orders, the Nizari are happy to be their silent blade in the night.

      There is a reason for this though, a Nizari for the most part try to avoid the trappings of hubris and one of the easier ones to fall comes from sitting in positions of power so they limit themselves this way, there is also the belief that they are just paving their mythical messiah, the Heriomage who they will submit under for judegement of their dedication to its cause, the unfaithful would be cast aside while the steadfast and loyal will be recieved with open arms, finally having sanction from above actually empowers them in their missions allowing them to carry out their assassinations wihtout risking their wisdom in the act.

      They work within the order, they are Guardians of the Veil first and they follow the orders traditions and practices, they make it to the rank os Susceptors most of the time where they settle down, there are occassional grand masters in the legacy but their focus is on recruitment and management of the order members in the local caucus under the vigilant eye of the Epoch, they aren't really numerous as they not many have the temperament to dedicate themselves to the levels that the Nizari do.
    • Initiation: The Nizari ritual of initiation is rather straightfoward but by not mean easy, quite the contrary, in fact the prospective Nizari is tested against an impossible task, this test the initiate in their resourcefulness and dedication, he's pretty much set out to fail in a controled scenario, most commonly he is set up against a disguised member of the legacy willing to play the part of a mark, though to prevent misshaps he is not told to kill his target, just to capture it alive wich normaly adds another layer of difficulty to the task as he's told to do it discreetly and without being caught on the act. The mark is prepared for this and stacks the deck against the prospective new member, occasionaly with his mentor help in a way that is made sure to mess up his plan, how he reacts and adapts under this circumstances makes or breaks the prospective Nizari, though if he actually succeeds against all odds he's quickly inducted into the Legacy.
    Magic

    Ruling Arcana
    Death

    Optional Arcana
    Space

    Yantras
    Detailed files about a Mark (+1), Having been Sanctioned to act by a superior (+2), Tool or weapons of assassination (+1), Using stimulants to keep focused (+1, +2 if a negative condition is caused), While in the presence of their mark and undetected (+1)

    Oblations
    Studying a target's life, a long session of planning a hit, Shadowing a target, Infiltrating a target's social group, meditatiing on why the target needs to die, announcing the intent to kill the target while explaining why he is going to die.



    Attainments

    First Attainment: Deadly Sanction/Detached Presence
    Prerequisite: Death 1
    • Spend a scene building a writ of sanctioned assassination for the target, requiring a representational yantra and some data on them. This grants the assassin and any that have signed their names on the writ the Sanctioned condition, useable only for actions to kill the target. If the writ is destroyed, the Condition goes away.

    Sanctioned: The character enjoys a +2 to all mundane actions involving eliminating the target. It can also be resolved to upgrade a mundane action to an Exceptional Success. Lasts as long as the Attainment does, which means master Nizari having up to a year to kill the target , ones with Death 2 having an entire day, Death 3 having a week.

    Optional Arcana: Space 1
    • The mission of the Sanctioned demands the utmost focus and dedication with little time for distarctions. After a scene of meditating on the mission, your divine mandate wards you from interference. This applies an inverse variation of Isolation upon yourself or an ally, giving the penalty to any Unsanctioned who try to interact with the beneficiary. You can also apply normal Isolation on a target. Any Sanctioned can interact with them normally, but its a two way street.

    Second Attainment: Deadly Silence/Reaching Hands
    Prerequisite: Death 2
    • When Death comes only silence an still are left in it's wake, the Nizari embody this, for after their passing their victims are forever silent . This attainment renders a target (the Nizari, the victim, the murder weapon, etc) completely silent. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.

    Optional Arcana: Space 2
    • There is no place safe from the reaching hands of the Nizari, they will carry out their mission. All of your Legacy Attainments can now be used with Sympathetic Range.

    Third Attainment: Death's Touch/Hidden Armory

    Prerequisite: Death 3
    • There is no impentrable fortress, all have a breaching point and a vulnerable wall, with his attainment the Nizari can even turn it into a tomb for his target, it also good for disposal of evidence, like a targets corpse and murder weapons. As the Decay spell with [Death] potency and Reach assigned to instant use and Structural damage.

    Optional Arcana: Space 3
    • Physics tells us that no two objects can occupy the same space, but such things cannot get in the way of an assassin's divine mission. After a scene of preparing to go out on the field, they can link objects together, allowing one to exist at a time while the other is in a "pocket dimension". Swapping between them is a reflexive action. So a pen can be used to smuggle a gun in, a ring can become a knife or a trusted friend can unknowingly be a time bomb. Up to [Space] pairs of objects can be linked at a time.

    Fourth Attainment: Mantle of Darkness/Garrote of the Heart
    Prerequisite: Death 4
    • Just as silence if the voice of the Nizari, darkness is his home, this attainment combines Deepen Shadows and Without a Trace that allows up to 5 Sanctioned see normally within the shadows, and to be affected by Without a Trace for the Duration. Any Unsanctioned who use supernatural effects to try see within provoke a Clash of Wills, earning [Death] automatic successes for the assassin. Reach are spent on Instant Use, Advanced Scale and Advanced Duration.

    Optional Arcana: Space 4
    • At this level, the Nizari can turn the most steadfast of friends into a vicious enemy, manipulating those ties to his advantage, after all, who better to strike at the heart than those closes to it. This attainemt twists the nature of sympathetic links, but not the strength. So a person's link to their spouse could go from "love" to "violent repulsion". Had you borrowed the "love" link, you could alter it to "trusted confidant". Or even alter the link one has to a pet from "loyal friend" to "pathological fear". Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.

    Fifth Attainment: Weight of Souls/Umbral Paths

    Prerequisite: Death 5
    • The Nizari dedication carries them on even in the face of death, with this attaiment he spends 1 mana while creating the writ, this creates a stronger connection between the Nizari and his target, if the Nizari mage dies before killing his target his soul doens't depart inmediatly but lingers back to the writ after a time as a Rank 2 ghost in twilight with maximun stats for this level, numina determinated when this attainment is obtained, Influences: Killing, mana instead of essence and finally the ability to jump between sympathetic connections by spending 1 point of mana.
      The writ becomes the Nizari ghosts anchor to this world if it is destroyed the Nizari souls departs (He can also be destroyed like a normal ghost like this), but if the target dies before the writ expires or is destroyed the writ is consumed and Nizari revives where it is.The writ gains a peculiarity however, it starts to whisper in ghostly voices everything that the Nizari sees. (Reach is used for Advanced Duration)

    Optional Arcana: Space 5
    • The master Nizari is a slippery inividual by his his own skills alone, with this attainment however he's the boogyman to his targets, striking one second and cleanly slipping away the next. As the Teleportation spell with Reach assigned to instant use.
    Last edited by Aeveth; 03-17-2019, 11:41 AM.

  • #2
    It requires both Gnosis and Arcana. If your character is creating it themselves, it requires Gnosis 3 and Legacy Arcanum 2. If its an already established Legacy setting wise, it requires Gnosis 2 and Arcanum 2.

    Your character will require the same main/optional Arcanum rating as the Attainment number (plus the needed Gnosis, which varies based on the Attainment), 1 dot for 1st, 4 for 4th and so on.

    To help flesh out the Legacy, you need to come up with their habits. Why did they choose to specialize like this ? How do they pass these teachings down? How are they initiated ? How does this connect to their mage lives ?

    How does an elder Nizari act ? What tools does he use ? Those can help inspire yantras and oblations.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 01-16-2019, 06:47 AM.


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


    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

    Comment


    • #3
      The more I try to come up with some of those things the more I trouble I have to make the legacy a thing, I mean, if I take what the actual Nizari were, you could put them side by side with the Guardians of the Veil and end up with the something way too similar, hell you could say that Hasan-i-Sabah was one of the most renowed Guardians in his fortress in Alamut, an Epoch renowed both by mage society and the mundane one...or one hell of a scary Seer of the Throne. As much as I try to make the Legacy unique I just can't find how to divert it from what the Guardians do, Psychological and Asymetrical Warfare plus spy work and assassinations are some of the thing that the Guardians do already, not the whole thing but quite a lot, the most I could come with is an ancient Caucus not a legacy.

      Or am I reading the order wrong?

      Maybe if I explain where do the idea comes from you guys might be able to point me in the right direction, I just to bounce ideas with the community I guess.

      Anyway, the Legacy comes in response to a setting, picture this, the seers won, you lost the city to them, hell, there won even on the magic department, they somehow manage to put a spell on the city that targets everybody that is not a Seer, if you ever over reach with magic you get hit by paradox twice as hard as your normally would, add to that your magic is also crippled, you can't go above certain potency cap, you can try and the spell might still hit but its not as potent.

      The concilium is a mere shadow of what it once was, the law and pretty much the need of the concilium is secrecy, you cant afford to be discovered, prime material for a cold war were you are the underdog, the hidden militia, etc.

      I kind of know what I want I just can't grasp it, I have trouble building it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Is there a problem with a legacy that manages to perfectly embody the ideals of an Order? Maybe instead of fighting it, embrace it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Its not a bad thing to be resonant with the Order, it can be a lens to examine its diferent facets. For example, the Bearers of the Eternal Voice examine the Guardians as the masters of cleaning up breaches of the Veil. At their best, they can help cover up a big blunder or throw Sleepers off the cabal's trail. At their worst they are poker faced liars that can censor even your memories, driving paranoia up for everybody.

          The Subtle Ones represent them as an invisible hand, shadow manipulators. They have a great number of agencies, who in turn operate other agencies. Boxes stacked one in another. They shut down or reactivate them as needed, but they never touch anything directly. They only influence. Suggest. Insinuate.

          The Eleventh Question are the Guardians that know that being able to quickly investigate a situation can be vital to prevent catastrophic damage to the Veil, even if it means becoming instruments of revelation rather than occlusion.

          What facet of the Guardians do the Nizari represent? How are they different in approach and motivation from, for example, the Thread Cutters ?


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


          The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

          Comment


          • #6
            Thread Cutters, to me at least, are more dedicated to the prophetic aspect, if they kill it's because they see that the targets life thread should be cut because of their beliefs and that the fate of their target is a bad one or something like that.

            The Nizari might be similar, but rather than do so because they read a person fate, they do so as part of a mission, The Nizari would be men and women fully dedicated to the cause, I'm trying to make them particulary good Susceptors, they are like independant agents of the GoV, the ones you send to infiltrate a enemy stronghold, take out a target, then walk out without people noticing anything wrong until it's too late, basically these are the Hitmens of the GoV.

            They can be extremists and fanatical killers fully believing they are doing what they do for a great cause, it makes them dedicated at best, uhinged and callous at worst.
            Last edited by Aeveth; 02-05-2019, 08:43 PM.

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            • #7
              Just to confirm, is Prime necessarily set as the main Arcanum ? Are you working on it pre-campaign or do you already have a Mastigos investing in Prime ? Because the first idea that appeared my head for an assassin Legacy is to have Death. Shadows, cold, entropy, silence, it allows you to cloak your Nimbus, kill spells, fake death, reverse wounds with Unmaking, control the consequences of the kill or just rot the evidence away.

              The second idea was to make Space the optional Arcanum and use the Obtenebrate Discipline from Vampire: The Masquerade to inspire the Attainments, but giving them a remote casting component.
              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 02-05-2019, 08:38 PM.


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


              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

              Comment


              • #8
                I already have a Mastigos invested with Prime, yes, as for the Obtenebrate Discipline I don't know anything about that, never played the old World of Darkness, much less vampire other than the PC games.

                I'm open to hear ideas on what you had in mind though, and as for why I went with Prime I mostly saw it as a tool for the mage, it does the cloaking from spells too, might be used to get around another mage magic regardless of Arcana and can blur the trails of his own magic, I was going to supplement it with Mind instead of Space, but I'm open to suggestions as I said before.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is what I have so far. Its a first draft, so its very rough:

                  Death 1: Spend a scene building a writ of sanctioned assassination for the target, requiring a representational yantra and some data on them. This grants the assassin a variation of the Informed condition, useable only for actions to kill the target. If the writ is destroyed, the Condition goes away.

                  Observation: To avoid repetition, I will use the term Sanctioned, which means any Legacy members. Furthermore, anyone who signed the writ specific to the target (cabal mates, enemies, etc) is considered Sanctioned only for that target, but if the writ is destroyed, they are no longer Sanctioned.

                  Space 1: After a scene of meditating on the mission, your divine mandate wards you from interference. This applies an inverse variation of Isolation upon yourself or an ally, giving the penalty to any Unsanctioned who try to interact with the beneficiary.

                  You can also apply normal Isolation on a target. Any Sanctioned can interact with them normally, but its a two way street.

                  Death 2: Renders a target (the Nizari, the victim, the murder weapon, etc) completely silent. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.

                  Space 2: All your Attainments can now be used with Sympathetic Range. This opens up a lot of shenanigans, especially with the higher Attainments.

                  Death 3: Decay with [Death] potency and Reach assigned to instant use and Structural damage. So lets say you use UV paint to mark key points of a building the target will be in with High Speech runes, or ectoplasm or any other clever method. Now you can collapse it while being very far away. Its also practical for dissolving the corpse to leave no evidence.

                  Space 3: Physics tells us that no two objects can occupy the same space, but such things cannot get in the way of an assassin's divine mission. After a scene of preparing to go out on the field, they can link objects together, allowing one to exist at a time while the other is in a "pocket dimension". Swapping between them is a reflexive action. So a pen can be used to smuggle a gun in, a ring can become a knife or a trusted friend can unknowingly be a time bomb. Up to [Space] pairs of objects can be linked at a time.

                  Death 4: A variation of Deepen Shadows that lets anyone Sanctioned see normally. Any Unsanctioned who use supernatural effects to try see within provoke a Clash of Wills, earning [Death] automatic successes for the assassin. Reach is assigned to instant use, advanced scale, advanced duration and causing the Blind tilt.

                  Space 4: Twists the nature of sympathetic links, but not the strength. So a person's link to their spouse could go from "love" to "violent repulsion". Had you borrowed the "love" link, you could alter it to "trusted confidant". Or even alter the link one has to a pet from "loyal friend" to "pathological fear". Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration.

                  Death 5: Spend a mana to kill all Unsanctioned supernatural effects in the area (not sure what could be used for the Withstand rating). Reach is used on instant use and mana is spent on activating Everywhere.

                  Space 5: Teleportation with Reach assigned to instant use. Its an entry route, escape option, an excellent way to have battlefield mobility, end pursuits instantly and a way to kill your target by teleporting them into the sun, all packed into one.


                  I tried to come up with Attainments that could be useful to the Nizari without removing the challenge of the assassination. At least not until the last ones, because by the time they reach the peak, they need to feel like masters of their art. It might also be a good idea to collapse all the ritual duration ones so they can be all executed using one scene, just to keep the game flow.
                  Last edited by KaiserAfini; 02-06-2019, 10:44 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
                    That thing about the first death attaiment, the Sacntioned condition, it's a really good idea, it never crossed my mind to add something like that. If we run with that we could use something like a contract for a yantra that is made when then Sanctioned are given a target to kill, for the full bonus a condition like Obsession could work.
                    Last edited by Aeveth; 02-10-2019, 01:23 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Its based on the Morag Tong of Morrowind, they embody the honor bound assassin well. The writ is a lens for them to perceive the easiest mundane path to entropy, the honorable assassins getting a boon from the universe, so to speak.

                      Mechanically, its a way to avoid lone wolf appoaches while also providing an interesting weakness.

                      The attainments are less based on being discrete and more on being terrifying. Mages who know the Nizari are good at hiding can still dimension them as a quantifiable threat.

                      But these attainments mean no crowd hinders them, people unconsciously move out of the way. You cannot run from them, bodyguards cannot even touch them. They can darken the stage in the middle of a live speech and teleport the target into the sun. Every place the target steps into could be a deathtrap, every ally could betray them. They can kill with a rocket launcher without anyone hearing or stab them without giving a chance to hear their approach, they can teleport en masse in the shroud of darkness and silently massacre an entire HQ, betraying no clues as to what they are doing.

                      Worst still, temporal senses will just see darkness, how can the target even be sure they are fighting humans ? If the Nizari pre-casts Suppress Nimbus and Forge No Chains, there is zero evidence left. When the deed is done, they can reflexively hide their gear or dispose of it with a touch.

                      I visualized something like the Terra vs Teen Titans shadow battle or Tosen's Bankai. A mage that is terrified makes bad decisions, their Imagos are less precise.

                      Remember the silence and darkness attainments use no spell control and can last up to a year. The Nizari can use them to put an entire city under a siege of darkness, without inconveniencing their allies. What can the Seers, the Left-Handed and Banishers do when there is nowhere to run ?
                      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 02-10-2019, 02:01 PM.


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


                      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Informed Condition is good only once, using it resolves it. I'd suggest going with a version of Connected instead which is automatically ended when the contract is complete.

                        The Death 2 attainment I don't think can work, Death doesn't have silence as part of its purview, and even if it did that level of power is either Unraveling or Unmaking.

                        The fifth attainment could be modeled on Supernal Dispellation. For the Space part you can't teleport a target into the sun without having done the prerequisite prep work
                        .

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                        • #13
                          I wasn't sure about silence. Shadows are a manifestation of the Death Arcanum, so manifesting them makes a lot of sense.

                          But cold is the death of Forces, which can be manifested independently (even if combining some Forces in would make it need less Death). So I imagined extinguishing sound could be doable, but wasn't sure what practice to use.

                          But yeah, the assassins would require doing some setup or otherwise the attainments would be too insane.


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


                          The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No such things astoo insane really.

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                            • #15
                              The silence of Death is not appropiate?

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