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  • Ministries and Paths

    I've recently been wondering: How do the Seer ministries and the paths actually fit together? Are all members of Panopticon basically just Mastigos? I can understand that from the mystical point of view - the Eye would focus on people with an affinity to Space magic. However, the human side of the ministry might have use for people with other specialties as well, and they might not want to reject people who awoke to another supernal realm, e.g. someone with strong ties to Prime to craft artifacts, ...

    Furthermore, here's a scenario:
    John is a stock trader, and right in the middle of some major deal he awakens in Acardia to its Watchtower, making him a freshly reborn Acanthus. Unfortunately for him, among his trading partners are Seers of the Throne, more specifically members of the ministry of Mammon. It all happened so fast, that they could not prevent his Awakening or steer it their way.

    Now, what happens? It's highly unlikely they will just let him walk away to be found by some pentacle mage and join their ranks. They will try to recruit him to their winning side. But since he's an Acanthus and that doesn't fit to their Exarch (the Chancellor, whose purview is Matter), would they hand him over to the ministries of the Prophet or the Ruin? Or would the Seers actually like to have John in their ranks to become a specialist in Fate and Time magick? Or could John become a faithfulll follower of the Chancellor despite having no clue of the Matter arcanum?

    For pentacle mages, their path does not restrict their choice of order or even point to a specific order. But for the Seers, this is vastly different with the ministries being tied to a certain Exarch, who is tied to a certain Arcanum. This isn't a big deal if the Seers actually awaken in the Earchs realm and swear allegiance, because then the path just fits - but it matters a lot when considering recruiting freshly awakened Mages or taking in Pentacle traitors. For example, would an Obrimos pentacle mage be able to apply for the ministries of the Father and the General, but not for the Eye or Unity?

  • #2
    I don't think having the Exarch's Arcanum as one of your Ruling Arcana is necessary; though having it as your Inferior Arcanum would be problematic, so an Acanthus serving the General or a Thyrsus serving the Unity (or a Mastigos serving the Chancellor, a Moros serving the Nemesis, or an Obrimos serving the Psychopomp) might have some trouble.

    That said, all it would take would be an optional Legacy that covers the right Arcanum, and there’s no problem. Any Legacy will do, as Legacies are more about the soul-crafting than the organization; but Seers of the Throne provides five that are especially suitable to the Seers. That said, only one of those is suitable for addressing a Path’s Inferior Arcanum: joining the Masters of Destruction would let an Obrimos fit right in with the Psychopomp. So: is anyone interested in designing Seer Legacies that feature Forces, Matter, Spirit, or Mind?

    More generally though, I tend to view the Great Ministries as being on par with (and in many ways, parallel to) the Diamond Orders: the Hegemony is a dark reflection of the Silver Ladder; the Praetorian is the Adamantine Arrow gone wrong; the Panopticon is the extra-shady counterpart to the Guardians of the Veil; and the Paternoster is an echo of the Mysterium. Looking at it that way, their Arcanum associations aren’t that important.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-27-2019, 12:42 AM.


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    • #3
      Yeah, the Seers aren't going to be that predictable.

      It's important to remember that there isn't necessarily a forced pairing between Exarch and Ministry: the Tetrarch(s) at the top of the Pyramid might be likely to have a primary Path that matches their Exarch, but... they're also archmasters and would have plenty of diverse Arcana already. But at the same time, the Exarch, those Tetrarchs and their minions, all understand the utility of having many Mage resources below them: they're not going to deny someone membership if they want into the structure on the basis of being unusual: indeed, Seers are more likely to forcibly persuade diverse Path-walkers into their pylons and pyramids just to have a varied hand to work with.

      Chances are a member of a Ministry will have at least a few dots into the relevant Arcana, but the Ministry is about the philosophy the Mage chooses to espouse, or at least conform to, whereas the Path is simply how the Mage had their eyes opened.


      I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
      An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
      Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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      • #4
        No, an Acanthus can totally be a Mammon Seer. their Minister is a Mastigos, the last person you’d expect to be the Chancellor’s priest


        Dave Brookshaw

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
          No, an Acanthus can totally be a Mammon Seer. their Minister is a Mastigos, the last person you’d expect to be the Chancellor’s priest
          That makes a surprising amount of sense actually. Who better to lead and manipulate people than one who understands them best? After all, Matter may conceptually rule wealth now, but it's those who understand the psychology of business practices who actually generate profit.


          Revlid wrote:
          Yes, hollowing out your humanity to become an utterly utilitarian asura is the exact suggestion I would expect from you, Aiden.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Aiden View Post
            That makes a surprising amount of sense actually. Who better to lead and manipulate people than one who understands them best? After all, Matter may conceptually rule wealth now, but it's those who understand the psychology of business practices who actually generate profit.
            Well, assuming he's talking about the Minister in Reign of the Exarchs, Mammon were a Mind Ministry at the time.


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            • #7
              Dataweaver and Errol cover it, I think. The Seals each rule an Arcanum, but they still need others to serve it, and as long as the arcanum isnt your Inferior you can still become an Adept and be terrifyingly powerful, gain four dots of benefit from your Crown level if Prelacy, and overall serve your master in your own way. Mastery should be fairly rare imo anyways.

              And, while the Exarch may rule an arcanum, that isnt the only thing they are. You can rule over something with other tools. The Exarchs and Ministries are as much symbols of philosophies or philosophies themselves as they are gods and cults. The Exarch and Ministry you serve have goals, beyond just "control Matter." The chancellor is about wealth; it resonates with matter, but Space, Spirit, Life, and Death can well help find and control money easily enough.

              And, even if a sphere is Inferior, you have others who can teach you to serve their god better. Probably for a price... but then, magic is Payment...

              The Acanthus Mammon, for instance, may not innately know how to rearrange material objects. But he is very good at making killer predictions on the market to manipulate its flow, and blessing and cursing subsidiaries to bolster the Pylon's wealth. He can't make gold, but he can serve towards the goals of mammon well enough.

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