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Paths Through the Ages (& other questions about long-lived Mages)

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  • Paths Through the Ages (& other questions about long-lived Mages)

    **********************************************
    This thread isn't a general 'Immortality in Mage' thread, so please take those tired debates on the ethics of immortality and acceptability in Mage society elsewhere.
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    My group is going to be starting an Immortals campaign soon, with arcs taking place in several different Dark Eras, starting in The Sundered World.

    My character is going to be an exceptionally long-lived Mage, and given the differences of how Paths are represented through the ages, I have a couple questions about the practicalities of it all - these aren't things that have actual answers in the setting as far as I know, so I'm mostly interested in getting everyone's individual take on a few things:

    1) Path Tools - The tools that align with each Path change fairly substantially from the Sundered World to the modern nights. Would a mage that happened to live through all of that change need to update tools accordingly? Or would their original tools retain some magical significance, 'grandfathered in' at the base of each Watchtower?

    2) Nimbus - Path effects Nimbus, so it stands to reason that as the Paths grow/change/mature, the way that symbolism might be reflected within them could also change. What might this look like? What effects might it have on the long-term nimbus specifically? Is it more interesting if it doesn't change at all, revealing the Mage as a relic of a bygone time?

    3) Omphalos Stones - Does the Sundering break them, or do they retain their potency through the ages, even if all of them end up lost, or worse? What makes a more interesting story in your opinion?

    4) What other massive, Mage-specific changes might have an impact on the character throughout the Eras? The gradual classification of the Abyss as something actively malicious comes to mind, as well as (obviously) the formation of the Orders.

    5) Also - what ideas do you have for some appropriately broadly-scoped Obsessions for the long-lived Mage?
    Last edited by lnodiv; 01-20-2019, 11:31 PM.

  • #2
    1. Personally I would grandfather them in unless you are specifically looking for a plot hook (though doing so could be plot hook in and of itself if done right).

    2. To me the changing nimbus is more interesting. For it to not change tells me that the person is stagnant in his growth, and that itself is, at least to me, boring.

    3. Sorry, but aren't the Omphalos Stones just markings of the barrier between the temenos and the Anima Mundi?
    Edit: Hrmm...Honestly, I would go with some work, some don't, some have power that is fading, and some have power that is fluctuating. That way you can make a Mystery out of it.

    4. Those are good. I would also include the gradual dissolution of certain mysteries. From my perspective the Mysterium would be the order most likely to be willing to accept this character's existence, especially since he would have experienced things that they never could.

    5. At some point you'll have to give a fairly strong (or perhaps even several fairly strong) reason(s) as to why the character doesn't decide to pursue the Imperial Mysteries. It's human nature to get bored with what we already know. A mage that lives as long as that would eventually become a 10th degree master just simply by experiencing new things. Well, so long as he gets out. After all, most mages don't die of old age anyways.

    I know that those aren't necessarily answers that you might be looking for, but if you're willing to share why the character hasn't decided to pursue the Imperial Mysteries I may be able to come up with something. Granted I'd need to know more about the person to begin with.
    Last edited by Falcon777; 01-21-2019, 12:01 AM.

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    • #3
      1, Grandfathered in. There isn't in fact, in my mind, any reason that a Mage from the modern world couldn't tap into the tools used by their predecessors, they just don't need to because the tools they have now are also perfectly functional.

      2. The Nimbus might change, but a Nimbus generally changes as a Mage grows in Gnosis. So either the Mage can cling to the old ways and his Nimbus may not change much, or it could change radically over the centuries.

      3. Sundered Worlds fiction seems to imply that the Omphalos Stones can still be found and used, but other than that it's difficult to say.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
        2) Nimbus - Path effects Nimbus, so it stands to reason that as the Paths grow/change/mature, the way that symbolism might be reflected within them could also change. What might this look like? What effects might it have on the long-term nimbus specifically? Is it more interesting if it doesn't change at all, revealing the Mage as a relic of a bygone time?
        ...
        5) Also - what ideas do you have for some appropriately broadly-scoped Obsessions for the long-lived Mage?
        Going from what Falcon777 said, these might depend on how these mages grow. I mean, obsessions are a game mechanic, but they're also the impetus behind mages becoming more powerful; and most only need one lifetime (if that) to become pretty seriously powerful. Is the idea to rocket up to Gnosis 10 masters relatively quickly then just sit at the the threshold? Or is it that they're much much slower to grow? Or something else?

        4) What other massive, Mage-specific changes might have an impact on the character throughout the Eras? The gradual classification of the Abyss as something actively malicious comes to mind, as well as (obviously) the formation of the Orders.
        The Tremere come to mind. If most mages live normal lifespans, then the Tremere might be the only recurring figures which could be interesting.


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        • #5
          1 I would say that the change in the Path tools mirrors the change of the Paths itselfs throught the ages, so a mage should "update" the tools.

          Also, do you intend to let them reach the state of Archmagedom for an easy immortality?
          Because point 5 would change radically for an archmage searching the ascension

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
            4. Those are good. I would also include the gradual dissolution of certain mysteries.
            I like this a lot - the most obvious examples would be the ruins of the Time Before and the areas of Broken Time - Sundered World goes into the effects of hundreds to thousands of years of Dissonance on these areas, but it's usually considered to happen on a timescale most won't directly observe. Having that opportunity will be neat.

            Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
            5. At some point you'll have to give a fairly strong (or perhaps even several fairly strong) reason(s) as to why the character doesn't decide to pursue the Imperial Mysteries.
            It's certainly possible (maybe even likely) that she will. I'm just not sure when, or what the direct catalyst will be, and there's obviously no guarantee of success, so I wanted to start by covering the baseline conceptual ground of a 'normal' mage through the ages.

            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            The Tremere come to mind. If most mages live normal lifespans, then the Tremere might be the only recurring figures which could be interesting.
            This should definitely be very interesting to explore, especially since their methods of longevity are going to differ very greatly from my own character (she is a lich by modern standards, but definitely not a reaper). That said, the campaign is going to include more than just mages - vampires are likely, and I expect occasional interactions from other Immortals, such as the Purified.

            Originally posted by Neos01 View Post
            Also, do you intend to let them reach the state of Archmagedom for an easy immortality?
            I'm a player this time around, and not the ST - that said, our group is much more collaborative than some, so part of our job as players is to come to the table with story hooks prepared, and help contribute answers to some of these broad questions that have no right or wrong answer. Pursuing the Imperial Mysteries is likely to be an option, but this particular character's path to Immortality is going to be a bit less extreme - she's going to use the type of Life magic that Liches normally have to worry about having dispelled to prolong her life, but build it into a Legacy so that it can't actually be dispelled, and then renew the effects yearly.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
              Pursuing the Imperial Mysteries is likely to be an option, but this particular character's path to Immortality is going to be a bit less extreme - she's going to use the type of Life magic that Liches normally have to worry about having dispelled to prolong her life, but build it into a Legacy so that it can't actually be dispelled, and then renew the effects yearly.
              You were asking about obsessions, the threshold could be a pretty good one. I mean, it's suggested that arch/ascended masters can block it; meaning if you do something bad enough to annoy one, you literally could spend eternity searching and never find it. Plus there are lots of potential ways to follow it giving you a fair amount of variety.

              Admittedly that depends a lot on the tone you want.


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