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  • Custom legacy advice

    I'm creating a Death primary/Mind secondary legacy where ghosts hang out in the Oneiros of the mage. I want them to be bumped up to rank 2 and essentially live out their existence pleasantly in a comfy space in said Oneiros. If they leave the Oneiros, they revert back to whatever rank they were. The mage can let them leave whenever or remove them if they become a problem. I want this to be the third attainment.

    Is this too much for a third attainment? Is this broken in a way that I'm not seeing?

    P.S. I was inspired by Dave's PoN and a fellow forum person's legacy based on jailing spirits in the Oneiros. I forgot your name and the name of the legacy, but the idea stuck with me.

  • #2
    I guess there's a question of what that actually does to a mage. Like, an Oneiros isn't just a hard drive you can download data to, you're putting a bunch of ghosts inside your soul. Also, there's the issue of what the other attainments are and how they relate to the ghosts.

    As it is, I'd be tempted to just go with it, it's a really evocative idea.
    Last edited by Michael; 05-12-2019, 07:24 PM. Reason: terrible writing


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    • #3
      So, I don’t see the point of this. Most of what you want to do with ghosts can probably be done without ripping a ghost out of an environment better suited for their maintenance and simply using Death to make their existence better.

      That said I think something you could do is have the legacy find an Avernian Gate and use Death and Mind to attune it to your Oneiros and send the ghosts in. It doesn’t make sense for the ghost to gain a Rank though.

      Now, here’s a problem, you do not have ghost Essence in your Oneiros, so they’re going to starve or you’ll have to come up with a way to get reliable Essence in there.

      Additionally, this will have an effect on you and your mental state. Like, if a ghost buddies up to your Vice you’re probably going to start acting on that Vice a lot more just as one possible thing that could happen.

      If they have the Numen that allows them to jump between Anchors they may be able to leave your Oneiros at will. There may be other things they can do.

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      • #4
        Importing brain soviets into the infinite realm that contains everything you are, what could possibly go wrong ? Jokes aside, I really like the idea, the Parliament of the Needle is awesome.

        I would say first figure out why these mages want to do that, what is their philosophy (the Theory section of the writeup) ? Then your yantras and oblations. Once you have a strong grasp of the core theme, everything should flow from there. If you already have it, please tell us and we can help brainstorm them.

        For the achievement, Mind 3 connects an Avenian Gate to the Vestibule of your Oneiros. If you perform a rite using an anchor of the ghost at the Gate, it sucks the ghost in, effectively transforming your Oneiros into a Soul Jar.

        With Death 3, by spending a mana during the ritual, any ghost bound gets the same effect as Quicken Ghost with a Reach the 2 reach option, but the effect ceases if the ghost leaves your Oneiros.

        The big question is what constitutes the "Soul Jar being opened" and where the bound ghosts get essence from. In addition, because the effect has an expiration date, its worth considering many will not be happy once the seal is released.

        Lastly, you would need to have both Mind 3 and Death 3 at the same time for any one if these Attainments to even be viable.
        Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-12-2019, 08:44 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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        • #5
          The idea is for a legacy that exists in The Sundered World. I want the ghosts to be able to live permanently in the Oneiros, so I'd be exercising the rule that states you can break rules when it comes to legacies. Maybe have the Oneiros act sort of like an anchor? I dunno.

          As for the motivation/philosophy, there's no written language in this time period. It's about preserving the great minds and personalities of the time. In my imagination, I see an isolated but comfy space in the Oneiros where these ghosts live in a community with each other continuing to live out their respected lives. The mage becomes like a mobile fortress and sanctuary. I don't want the ghosts staying because of duress. They aren't prisoners.

          I've worked out the potential attainments.

          First (Death 1) Speak with the Dead
          Opt. (Mind 1) Perfect Recall

          These are pretty obvious. Speaking with the Dead is a necessary component and helping the ghosts remember their lives in perfect detail seems like a great fit.

          Second (Mind 2) Dreamspeaker always in the astral thing. Maybe spend a mana to leave the Oneiros?
          This is a little weird in that it's not a Death related attainment. Still, it's a necessary piece and probably necessitates casting One Mind, Two Thoughts a lot.

          Third (Death 3, Mind 3) The Oneiros home for the dead thing.
          This is the one I was worried about. I didn't want it to somehow provide a ton of power that I wasn't seeing.

          Fourth (Death 4) Allow a ghost in the Oneiros use of the Mage's body.
          Opt. (Mind 4) Gain a skill one of the Oneiros ghosts has.

          I imagine the possession effect having a translucent ectoplasmic-like overlay of the ghost onto the mage's body or face. The mage would be aware and able stop the ride reflexively. The gaining a skill attainment is obvious and thematic.

          Fifth (Death 5) Create a permanent ghost from a dead body that lives in the Oneiros. If it leaves, it goes poof.
          Opt. (Mind 5) Steal a body of a willing person. They become a ghost in the Oneiros.

          What if the person you want to preserve dies without leaving a ghost?! No problem. What if you are dying of old age? Don't worry, we can get you a new body to roam around it. I like the idea that the person has to be willing and that their ghost gets a place in the Oneiros to hang out. I also think it would be neat for a member of this legacy to be carrying around ghosts from The Sundered World in modern times that remember all these crazy events and strange happenings. Obviously the mage would too, but I still think it's neat to be carrying around a time capsule in your Oneiros from a period that's so different.

          I see the mage hanging out with their Oneiros ghost buddies while moving about the world. In a way, the mage is kind of like Brandon Sanderson's Legion in that they're aided by all these various minds, but it's a bit of a different theme. These were once living people. The mage could also keep the ghost's of loved ones in the Oneiros to spend time with them.

          This is obviously in the idea phase. Nothing is fully fleshed out.

          Thanks for your thoughts. I was afraid this was somehow super powerful without me seeing how. I'm not looking for a min/maxer legacy, just something that fits a specific theme.

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          • #6
            I don't really think it's overpowered, I just think that there are a lot of things to take into consideration which maybe shouldn't be glossed over just by saying, "ATTAINMENT!"

            So, if it's to preserve those who have passed on there are a few things that stick out to me. One, a person that has had a major impact has likely also developed a goetia of themselves that lives in the Temenos, why aren't you trying to draw that in? I mean sure, it's an exaggerated copy, but ghosts are also imperfect copies, they aren't the person themselves, but instead what that person left behind. That said, this legacy seems likely to be pretty much at peace with that idea anyway, or maybe it doesn't recognize the difference.

            Two, there's still the problem that the Oneiros is not the ideal place for a ghost to be as it has no way of drawing in Essence. This can be solved in at least a couple of ways, for instance if you transfer an Anchor into your Oneiros, and/or the ghost gets remembered. There might be some other ways I'm forgetting. It probably won't be scavenging Essence from other ghostly stuff that's washed in via Avernian Gates though, and obviously won't be able to reside in a Dominion which while not great for ghosts at least holds their Essence expenditure for existing above water. The 2nd or 3rd attainment might be able to ameliorate this, allowing ghosts to get access to the ghostly stuff they'd normally get access to via being in an Underworld shanty town. There might still be a fight over Essence resources though. An attainment should probably be devoted to meeting this particular need in any case.

            Something else that comes to mind is what are the Legacy's views on ghosts moving on? This isn't really a mechanical consideration, but in a way it's supposedly ideal for a ghost to resolve all it's problems and enter whatever happens after. Is the legacy in support of that, or do they try to keep ghosts around in spite of that because holy shit they have a lot of accumulated experience and knowledge that might be useful if they've been around a while?

            A slightly different tack you could take is to aim to focus on "People who seem important" and inculcate them in a Mystery Cult These kinds of people would leave behind goetia or ghosts who are amenable to being put inside someone else's Oneiros. The Mystery Cult Initiation Merit could give them a reason to stick around and be a Mage's buddy. Birds of a feather flock together and all that. Still, a Mystery Cult requires maintenance above and beyond just a Mage activating their attainments.

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            • #7
              Following up with the Mystery Cult idea, I think the closest thing to what you want is based on 40k's Spirit Stones :

              https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Spirit_Stone

              The Legacy would specialize in crafting Mind and Death ephemera into "wraithbone", which can hold souls and ghosts for posterity. Each Attainment would give one more property to the material, including connecting it to others psychically, allowing the mage and denizens to constantly interact.

              At low levels this means carrying them like crystals or holocrons, which compel the ghost to answer. At higher levels, you could build an entire crystalline matrix of ghosts and souls, which would take root in a realm all its own in the Temenos. But that might involve some Supernal Summoning Attainments to make it even possible.

              The upside is having an incredible knowledge base and a safe environment for ghosts. The downside is that its not mobile, so Legacy members would need to be closely knit to take care of one another's networks and monitor consultations by non-Legacy members. But that is what you have your Mystery Cult for.

              Its not exactly keeping them in your Oneiros, but I think it follows the spirit of the ghost community idea, is safer to the mage and easier to logistically conceive. I have not a clue on how to implement the Gates of Chronos. The upside is that the souls of cult members could sustain the Temenos realm without needing soul stones from Legacy mages, so it has more redundancies than the Parliament.
              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-13-2019, 03:56 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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              • #8
                I think the idea of ghost holocrons is neat, but I don't think the idea quite fits what I have in mind. I do have a mystery cult that uses special pots as way to preserve ghosts, but that's not really fleshed out either.

                I do agree that the details need to be worked out. I've been thinking about the essence problem, and the idea of having the Oneiros ghost town act as a temp anchor that goes away after they leave is the most appealing to me. Maybe aspects of the Oneiros change to accommodate the arrival of a new ghost--that would be neat.

                As for ghosts needing to move on, the legacy doesn't consider or take that into account. While they are remnants of things gone, ghosts are also thinking beings that identify themselves as the individual they once were or came from. Minds are a tricky thing in Mage, so I think it's hard to say how much or how little the ghost is or isn't the person. But that aside, these ghosts have feelings, desires, needs, and what have you, so for me, it's important that the legacy seeks to bring them comfort even if it's not the proper end goal.

                To be clear, I'm not super familiar with them needing to move on, but right not it seems unimportant. I do need to read more on ghosts, and in doing so, I might change my opinion. I want to get the nitty-gritty right

                The idea of a Temenos village is appealing, so I'll also be looking in on that too, though I'm not sure it's what I'm looking for.

                Just wanted to say thank you all for the feedback and suggestions.

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                • #9
                  Happy to help. So while you research ghosts, here are some key questions this Legacy probably needs to answer:

                  1- Ghosts are attuned to very specific resonances of Death ephemera (their anchors) that they need to survive, how will a mental ephemera realm sustain them ?

                  2- Ghosts must remain close to their anchor at all times. How do you go around that limitation ?

                  3- Some ghosts are too far gone from existing too long or have been driven crazy by the Underworld, how does the Legacy treat them ?

                  4- Some ghosts might be adamant about tying up loose end, not all of them necessarily in a positive way. How does the Legacy see them ?

                  5- What is the sales pitch for the ghost community ? Remember that you are asking them to move away from the people, places and/or things they cared about in life to become residents in a town full of others that also met tragic ends.

                  6- Why the Oneiros ? The Parliament had a few reasons to use a Temenos realm. First one was to protect the privacy of the member's souls. Second one was so no one would be out of a home if a member died. Third is that giving ghost mages access to your soul is extremely dangerous. Fourth one was so the collection wouldn't be lost when a member died. Last one was to give all members access to the full breath of knowledge.

                  7- What are the risks and possible consequences of having ghosts roaming in their Oneiros ? Altering memories, encouraging or weaknening virtues and vices are some possible risks. What contingencies are in place to address them ?

                  8- How do you move the ghosts to the Oneiros ?

                  9- How do you identify ghosts that have unique knowledge ? Especially lost knowledge (for example, the ghost of a Silk Road age blacksmith that knows how to forge Damascus steel). How do you tap into it in a manner more beneficial than the boosts granted by Mind magic ? I imagine the answer is making them manifest, give them a body (posses a zombie) or temporarily bind them to a ghost variation of a fetish (what would that be called ? A memento? ).

                  10- How do they feel about inventors finishing their work ? Would they help them possess a living being to do it ?

                  11- Would they be willing to make an equivalent of a spirit stone for people who want to carry on their work after death or fear being killed/dying before they can complete it ? In other words, how does this Legacy feel about offering a place to the real souls of those who willingly petitioned to join the ghost town ?

                  That is all that comes to mind at the moment. Writing things down helps organize my ideas, hopefully this will be similarly useful for fleshing out your vision.
                  Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-14-2019, 11:39 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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                  • #10
                    People remembering ghosts helps keep them fed and happy.
                    Oneiros connects to the user's memories.

                    I don't see a problem with ghosts recovering essence. Heck, depending how you rule it, they could be downright flush.

                    This could be a way of transforming one's soul into an alternative to the Underworld for ghostly advancement. Loan a ghost a link to the collective unconsciousness to feed it and help it grow into a more human creature than a geist. In the shorter term, you could provide a safe harbor against the wear of time and neglect for ghosts. That could even be by loaning some of your life to the residents, though that might be worth some deeper consideration.Could be that the clarity is handed in in doses of actions.

                    As to why such a group came to be, I could see this as a Mind focused Moros legacy from a group that is (was?) trying to fix the dead no longer having a path to Stygia for proper final processing. If the benefits to members lead to them and the ghosts getting distracted from the "proper" bigger picture, that's some temptation drama to play with.


                    As swank as the Dreamspeaker attainment was, I really don't see the need, here. Mages can go astral. There really isn't any special need to make the crypt realm where they reside easy to go visit, is there? As long as you have means of tapping the guests, what they get up to in the meantime could simply be a pain to go monitor. A seance to call up a familiar who resides within could be an interesting attainment. Two Thoughts, One Mind works great as an attainment with a quirk where a seance or graveyard assist in that meditation. (Either could waive the mana cost, for one thing.)


                    Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                    • #11
                      Here is a crazy idea: What if it becomes akin to a Beast's Lair ? Inside it ghosts are anchored to specific Chambers made to resonate with them. Minor and major lair traits are gained as the mage advances and any guests invited by the mage are immune to them. Up to [Mind] chambers can be added.

                      In resonant areas, the mage can call the chamber into being as a special manifestation (probably as one of the last Attainments). Another could call the ghost from their Oneiros as a Manifest Familiar. This allows them to be called in any place of the Underworld, Fallen or other Realms Invisible that lets them perfect their art.

                      I imagine you need a supernal summon to connect the mage's necropolis to the Legacy's Temenos realm, linking them to a greater necropolis and ensuring these ghosts remain provided for even after the mage's death.But I am at a loss of what would make for a good Ordeal and some practical utility to incentivize calling on them, but I am still working on it. Does that sound closer to what you are aiming for ?
                      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-17-2019, 11:38 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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thenate View Post
                        People remembering ghosts helps keep them fed and happy.
                        Oneiros connects to the user's memories.

                        I don't see a problem with ghosts recovering essence. Heck, depending how you rule it, they could be downright flush.
                        Without involving the Absent, a ghost needs to be remembered as who they were by a living person. An Oneiros is filled with memories, but not necessarily the right ones and I doubt stored memories (in contrast to experienced memories, thinking about them consciously) would do much even if the ghost is in the right Oneiros. Only if the ghost can stimulate already present memories of who they were when they were alive to make the owner of the Oneiros remember them would they have a source of Essence. I would personally rule, though, that any memory scene involving them as a living person would count as an Anchor for the ghost.

                        Similarly, connecting a ghost to the Temenos doesn't do much for it Essence-wise unless, possibly, the ghost was famous when alive (in which case they already have a steady source of Essence).


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                        • #13
                          Wasn't suggesting that just any random astral place would be beneficial to ghosts, merely that the connection between phenomina is solid. An effect to tweak and optimize this would be Weaving at worst for Mind and Death together.

                          (Remembering the ghost as they were is also remembering the person as they were when they still participated in the Temenos, so Mind/Time could arguably apply.)
                          Last edited by thenate; 05-17-2019, 06:04 PM.


                          Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                          • #14
                            Okay, so my understanding may be off, but essentially the goal is to create a mystical mind palace that can have actual occupants, so as to preserve the knowledge and memories of a group during a period prior to the written word?

                            If so, I would use Mind as the primary. The reason being is that the Oneiros crafting is needed before you could consider putting in any ghosts. The Oneiros shaping would allow for memory/knowledge to be recorded regardless of the need for a ghost, but the ghosts can’t be tethered without the shaping of the Oneiros. Think of it this way: you can’t put anyone in a house if the house isn’t built, but you can still have a good idea of what the people living in said house were like by how it is decorated and maintained. Moving Death to the Secondary Arcana means that the ghosts augment the knowledge stored, bit are not essential for it, meaning you don’t need to be a Master of the Legacy (I.e. able to make ghosts) to avoid losing information.

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                            • #15
                              Okay, so here is a first draft for Attainments. They were created with these considerations in mind:

                              1- This Legacy is peaceful, it does not force ghosts into service
                              2- Giving them tranquility and protection is key
                              3- Its important their knowledge is not lost, or better yet, is given a chance to grow

                              Here is what I have so far:

                              Mind 1
                              Mental Scan with instant use and sensory range, which only works on ghosts. This is how you figure out which ones have special knowledge.

                              Death 1
                              Speak with dead, with ritual cast time and advanced duration. If the mage spends a willpower point, it allows speaking with Rank 2+ ghosts.

                              Mind 2
                              Perfect recall with instant use and sensory range. This way the ghost can recall details of their life, profession, creations, etc.

                              Death 2
                              Suppress aura with advanced duration, ritual casting time and [Death] automatic successes if it provokes a Clash of Wills. The mage is there to bring tranquility to the departed, not draw more supernatural chaos to them.

                              Mind 3
                              The mage's Oneiros creates a pocket realm that can house ghosts, called a Necropolis. By going to an area with emotional significance to a ghost and having them ritually recreate their unique knowledge, a chamber forms in the Necropolis reflecting the location, capable of acting as an anchor for them. The Necropolis is composed of these chambers, all interconnected and can host up to [Mind] chambers. The ritual can be used to override an old chamber with a new one.

                              Death 3
                              This opens an Avernian Gate or Synesi, opening an entrance to any chamber of the Necropolis of the mage's choice. Reach is assigned to instant use.

                              Mind 4
                              The Necropolis gains [Mind] Minor or Major Traits, similar to a Beast's Lair. Any being who was given authorized entry by the mage is immune to them. That way the ghosts have an extra layer of protection from any who mean them harm.

                              Death 4
                              Similar to a Beast's Lair manifestation, except the ghost enters Manifestation as well and you can choose whether to impose Necropolis Traits or not. This way they can work their craft back in the real world or manifest in places conducive to their growth, under safer conditions. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration, it costs a mana and only works in areas resonant with the chosen chamber of the Necropolis.

                              Mind 5
                              By performing a scene long ritual on a living target, the mage is able to create a goetia with an exact copy of their mind. Reach is assigned to advanced duration, the goetia is able to gain Essence like a ghost while remaining within the Necropolis and it the Attainment's duration does not go down while within it or its manifestation. This way you can create a backup if the person finds themselves in a particularly deadly situation.

                              Death 5
                              Preserving the host of the Necropolis and any person with unique knowledge is paramount. This acts as Empty Presence, requiring a scene long ritual, with Reach assigned to advanced duration.

                              If I may pitch a suggestion for a name, how about the Elysian Conservatory ? It references the peaceful fields of greek mythology's underworld. Conservatory can allude to how they create a greenhouse mimicking the fields (the Necropolis) and it can also mean a place for studying fine arts (the knowledge preserved).
                              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-23-2019, 05:51 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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