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  • Techne Examples

    Forumites!

    I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around 2nd Edition Techne. I grok what it is in theory -- encoding Sleeper beliefs into your magic style in a way that both acts as a Yantra and draws power from people who also share that belief -- but when I tried to play it in-game, I struggled to make it work.

    I know I'm the kind of person who often learns best through examples, so can you share ways Techne was used in your games? Mages who used Techne, inventive player uses of Techne, etc.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I think it would help if you were more specific about what kind of problems you encountered during play, but to begin with I'll offer a slight correction on the theory: Techne isn't really about belief. Like all yantras, Techne is a kind of mnemonic device based on an understanding of some kernels of Supernal Truth buried deep into a Sleeper practice, be it in art, culture or science. By engaging in that practice, you can use that Supernal Truth as part of your Imago and thus make spell casting easier.

    For example, the book uses Computer Networking as an example. The ability to share data and in turn images, sounds and ideas instantly all around the world pushes against the Lie of Separation and Distance. We are more connected than we ever thought we could be. This is a natural fit for all kinds of Sympathetic Magic. But you could also use that symbolism in spells that deal with big decentralized systems where a small change can have cascading effects, like Green Light/Red Light, Geomancy, Serendipity, Web of Life and Tune In, just from the top of my head.

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    • #3
      Sure!

      Thanks for the correction to my understanding of the theory. Let's go ahead and use Computer Networking as an example of what I have trouble wrapping my head around.

      The rules says that the character treats the focus as an "order tool". Does that mean the Mage must literally be engaging with their Techne focus (in this case, by interacting with an actual computer network) to gain the focus? Or is it, per your example, any spells that fits into the theme of "computer networking"? Because if it's the second, that actually resolves a lot of my questions and makes it much more interesting to me as a practice.

      One of the things I had trouble wrapping my head around was actually the example "computer networking" as an order tool. It seemed oddly redundant, as Technology already is an order tool, thus making any technology-related Techne examples less interesting/potent than ones which had a different focus.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by underwoodfive View Post
        Sure!

        Thanks for the correction to my understanding of the theory. Let's go ahead and use Computer Networking as an example of what I have trouble wrapping my head around.

        The rules says that the character treats the focus as an "order tool". Does that mean the Mage must literally be engaging with their Techne focus (in this case, by interacting with an actual computer network) to gain the focus? Or is it, per your example, any spells that fits into the theme of "computer networking"? Because if it's the second, that actually resolves a lot of my questions and makes it much more interesting to me as a practice.
        The same way a Diamond Mage must wave around or point at something with a wand, or drink from a cup or whatever, a Libertine must engage in it's Techne focus to us it in spell casting.

        Originally posted by underwoodfive View Post
        One of the things I had trouble wrapping my head around was actually the example "computer networking" as an order tool. It seemed oddly redundant, as Technology already is an order tool, thus making any technology-related Techne examples less interesting/potent than ones which had a different focus.
        Technology is not as of itself an Order tool. I'll admit the wording on Order tools for the Free Council is a bit vague and confusing, speaking of any complex mechanism or system. I always interpreted it as meaning complex machines like the ones you'd find on a workshop or factory, power tools, or cars and motor vehicles, that kind of stuff. But I had forgotten the systems part and it does throw me off a bit. Anyways, the way I see it Techne should be a specific thing, a specific craft, profession, belief system with specific customs and rituals, or field of cultural or scientific study. Maybe where Computer Networking as a field ends and any complex system begins is kind of fuzzy and not particularly ilustrative example, but I believe you can find the differences if you care enough to look deeply into it. But I hope my explanation cleared it a bit.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
          Technology is not as of itself an Order tool. I'll admit the wording on Order tools for the Free Council is a bit vague and confusing, speaking of any complex mechanism or system. I always interpreted it as meaning complex machines like the ones you'd find on a workshop or factory, power tools, or cars and motor vehicles, that kind of stuff. But I had forgotten the systems part and it does throw me off a bit. Anyways, the way I see it Techne should be a specific thing, a specific craft, profession, belief system with specific customs and rituals, or field of cultural or scientific study. Maybe where Computer Networking as a field ends and any complex system begins is kind of fuzzy and not particularly ilustrative example, but I believe you can find the differences if you care enough to look deeply into it. But I hope my explanation cleared it a bit.
          I think this is the part where I get a little confused and my experience playing a Free Council Mage got a little fuzzy (I had the Techne merit and literally never used it once), because the overlap between the existing Order Tool and what is covered by Techne can seem rather large if you're talking about anything technology related.

          If we're talking Techne in terms of a belief structure (Techne: Wicca or Techne: Shinto) or Sleeper culture (Techne: The Force or Techne: Stage Magic), then I can wrap my head around it. It makes sense, and there's a lot of interesting stuff to do that that takes the Free Council beyond just being "Techno-mages". Also as a side note, I REALLY want to play someone with Techne: Stage Magic now.

          It's the complex machines and systems part that's kind of confusing -- going back to Techne: Computer Networks, does that mean if I use a computer network in a spell, does that mean I can use the network as an order tool twice? That could actually make a kind of sense to me. The Free Council are heavily invested in their differing symbols and human culture, and it seems very them to kind of go all-in on something.

          Anyway, thanks for your explanation! It actually helped me conceptualize it a bit better. I suppose my confusion is more of the fact that there's kind of a weird overlap between the existing Order tool and the extra order tool Techne grants you. It seems like it could just grant you the same Order tool twice.

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          • #6
            Let's see which Techné come off the top of my head...

            Tattoos (Carve some runes into someone, add a Basilisk too if you wish), Gambling (Game the odds or lack-there-off), Confidence Tricks (exploit the bias of your fellow human), Bureaucracy (Wheeling and dealing with arbitrary constrains made into laws, or lack-there-of) and my personal favorite: Boardgames.

            It can also be Dance, Poetry, Songs... and attached specializations. Picture a Libertine who's magical tool isn't the guitar he plays when casting, but the notes that come out of it. Or the mage that rhymes like a rap in High-Speech.
            Last edited by Malus; 07-31-2019, 01:30 PM.

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            • #7
              Honestly, I would ignore the systems part because I can't think of a single example that wouldn't be better as a Techne focus.

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              • #8
                Some further notions:

                Psychotherapy: To use it, you would need to actually discuss things and possibly even prescribe medications to a subject, but then you could apply the symbolism to the obvious things, like adjusting memory, but also to thins like providing a person the opportunity to test themselves and improve with Fate, Help them break old connections and build new, healthier ones with Space. Life could remove a physical addiction. Death (particularly with Mind assistance) could cause a major and sudden change, possibly ending both mental and physical self destructive traits. If the patient/subject is a Sleeper and a willing participant in the process, they would provide the extra order tool option. Other mages could assist in group or with multiple sessions as different specialists, theoretically, though that would be a bit of a stretch.

                Masonry, Free or otherwise: Masons design and build and calculate the effects of sizes and things on the results. The Matter and Prime connections are mostly obvious, so I'll point out opportunities to embed a Fate into a structure or onto its owners or inhabitants. Space could define ways things intersect. You want a hidden floor in a building? Cast this while building it and use runes for good measure. Now, that would be even slower to implement, so it might be the sort of thing you'd want to run in parts. but I'd grant some leeway on timing things for major works involving loads of people coordinating.

                Boxing is the sweet science. Any martial art could qualify. This symbolism would need to qualify, so a boxer isn't going to be running up wall, but he could be shattering bone through armor or bulking up to superhuman levels. Aikidoka or Judoka with Forces would be downright frustrating to deal with. The utility of the AA's schtick would still surpass in active combat, but Assemblies would show up as extremely deadly. (Would Praetorians be able to negate that? I can see a case for both yes and no... Hmm)



                Basically, if the science (et cetera) has any real meaning, it's also got Supernal symbolism attached, even if buried under the Lie. Libertines are adept at wading in and finding it and making that useful.

                I understand it to mean that Libertines have to actually use the art symbolically in some way appropriate to how they apply it to the spell, but not that they have to directly involve the practice in any 1:1 manner. I prefer to limit it that way, but I don't think it's intended to be interpreted that way.

                That is: Searching online about a topic before casting a spell to grant knowledge of that specific topic is my preference. Performing psychotherapy on the subject of the spell as opposed to performing psycho therapy on someone and then casting on whoever you want.


                Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                • #9
                  Techne is pretty broad, its all about doubling down on a specialized field and seeing your spells through its lens. Here are some examples that come to mind:

                  1- Algorithms: Writing down math equations on walls or using computer programs you wrote, such as simulating the effect of the spell or using a predictive algorithm to aid a divination.

                  2- Acting: wearing a costume, pretending to be the target, quoting an appropriate cliche or famous scene, etc

                  3- Gastronomy: Creating flavors, smells or assembling a dish that invokes the feel of the spell

                  4- Investigation: Examining a crime scene for clues, logging case data, interviewing suspects, etc.

                  5- Special effects: Editing the spell's effect into a photo or video of the target, faking the spell's effect through mundane means (like placing solid CO2 in a bucket of water for a weather spell that summons mist), etc.


                  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
                    Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
                    Techne isn't really about belief. Like all yantras, Techne is a kind of mnemonic device based on an understanding of some kernels of Supernal Truth buried deep into a Sleeper practice, be it in art, culture or science.
                    What you're describing is how the Diamond works. The entire point of Techne is that the FC believe that Humanity generates supernal symbolism on it's own. That's why they use entire practices, not simply taking bits and pieces of different belief systems.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael View Post

                      What you're describing is how the Diamond works. The entire point of Techne is that the FC believe that Humanity generates supernal symbolism on it's own. That's why they use entire practices, not simply taking bits and pieces of different belief systems.
                      Well yes, but actually no.

                      The Free Council believes humanity creates new Supernal Truths, yes, but they don't deny the Lie. Just because Humanity believes something doesn't mean it hasn't been distorted and that it doesn't take Awakened understanding to discern the Truth at the center of the practice (i.e. Computer Networks don't really connect us, we are already connected, the networks just push against the Lie that we aren't). What the Free Council believes is that Humanity came up with the Steam Engine on it's own, and that now there is a Platonic Ideal of the Steam Engine in the Supernal World that wasn't there before. To a Diamond Mage, the Steam Engine was always in the Supernal and it just took time for it to filter down through the Abyss.

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                      • #12
                        What do you disagree with?


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                        • #13
                          I didn't describe the Diamond position.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
                            I didn't describe the Diamond position.
                            You basically described both in your first post since you described all Tool Yantras whose symbolism has been imbued through Sleeper culture regardless of what they are and by whom they're used.

                            When you use any Tool Yantras you're invoking the symbolism inherent in those Tools. When you use Path or Order Tools you're invoking symbolism that aligns or resonates with you on a more personal level (as evidenced by other Paths or Orders not being able to use them).
                            Techné is unique in that it aligns a mage specifically with a Sleeper practice. It can be something that mages also practice, but it's the fact that it's a Sleeper practice that makes it a possible Techné focus.

                            When a mage invokes a regular Tool Yantra that is created by Sleepers and imbued with symbolism by Sleepers, they do evoke the spark of Truth through Sleepers but the Sleepers are almost incidental to the whole thing. The Supernal is present in everything (including Sleeper culture) so everything (including Sleeper culture) can be a tool for a mage, provided the symbolism is strong enough or they learn how to utilise that symbolism. Humanity, like everything else in the Fallen, reflects the Supernal, and those reflections can be used in order to bring forth the Supernal.
                            When a mage invokes a Techné Yantra, the whole point is that they evoke the Truth from Sleepers because they believe Sleepers create their own Truth. Not only does Techné draw the Supernal from a practice that is specifically created by Sleepers, it can also draw from Sleepers directly as long as they're participating in that practice. Humanity is magic and the Supernal is a reflection of that; Techné is the art of drawing from the magic that is already present in order to bring forth the Supernal.


                            Bloodline: The Stygians
                            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post

                              1- Algorithms: Writing down math equations on walls or using computer programs you wrote, such as simulating the effect of the spell or using a predictive algorithm to aid a divination.

                              5- Special effects: Editing the spell's effect into a photo or video of the target, faking the spell's effect through mundane means (like placing solid CO2 in a bucket of water for a weather spell that summons mist), etc.
                              Wouldn't these two cover literally every conceivable spell effect?

                              Also what stops me from using a broad science based methodology, like Techne: Scientific Method or Techne: Rationality?? Given that:

                              In order to use a Yantra, a willworker has to recognize a specific symbolism in the tool
                              Using a broad methodology would give the best benefits, or am I mistaken?
                              Last edited by lbeaumanior; 09-06-2019, 04:48 PM.

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