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Making the Mastigos more palatable?

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  • Livius Magos
    started a topic Making the Mastigos more palatable?

    Making the Mastigos more palatable?

    The Mastigos has my favorite Arcana combination, and some of their character concepts and Legacies are my favorite in the game. The problem is that there’s a lot of things about the Path that I hate and these things are central to the Mastigos.


    Their Supernal realm and Path throws everything I despise about the occult into a single splat. Their Awakening sounds so traumatic if we were doing “realism in games” they’d have far more Banishers than anyone else. The description of their Mage Sight in 2E core is literally just depression if not existential despair. In several books it almost seems like I’m being railroaded to play as either a cartoonishly evil sociopath or cartoonishly self-absorbed hedonist. Even the two example Mastigos from the 2E corebook is a sociopathic heretic and a woman who embraces her apparent mental illness.


    I’ve tried to come up with Watchtower hacks to make their symbols more palatable, but I’m not able to decide what their “theme” should be. Originally the hacked Supernal realm was basically Fantastica from The Neverending Story and their “theme” would be imagination and creativity. But then I realized that’s too similar to the Acanthus.


    Now I’m leaning more towards making them like esoteric Buddhists and instead of demons their realm will have Asura. (Maybe Asura. I haven’t done enough research on Buddhism yet.) Rather than Seeing things through the lens of failure and enslavement, they would See the world as “interconnectedness and intimacy.” They see everyone as spiritually connected to the point that Pentacle Mastigos are reluctant to harm or allow others to come to harm, and also are reluctant to interfere in another’s free will. (Mastigos Seers and Left-Handed are some of the cruelest and most conniving because of this intimacy.)

  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Gonna go out on a limb here and guess that this is a case of Konrad not knowing how to use the Quote function, rather than that they're repeating one of OP's assertions verbatim and then asking other people why that's a position they themselves hold.

    Still a valid question to ask, but we seem well past the point where an answer beyond the paragraph the line is from would be forthcoming unless Livius is keeping pace with the discussion.
    That seems rather obvious in hindsight now that you point it out, but I suppose that's how hindsight works.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    This is going to be a bad decision, but:

    Explain what you despise.
    Gonna go out on a limb here and guess that this is a case of Konrad not knowing how to use the Quote function, rather than that they're repeating one of OP's assertions verbatim and then asking other people why that's a position they themselves hold.

    Still a valid question to ask, but we seem well past the point where an answer beyond the paragraph the line is from would be forthcoming unless Livius is keeping pace with the discussion.
    Last edited by Satchel; 01-31-2020, 12:58 AM.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    I like the Mastigos. They’re dark without being evil like the Scelesti. And I love their symbol (the Iron Gauntlet in the velvet glove).

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
    Their Supernal realm and Path throws everything I despise about the occult into a single splat.

    Why is that?
    This is going to be a bad decision, but:

    Explain what you despise.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    One of the roles of Paths are to help enable specific cultural archetypes into the game. So the reason is simple: your tastes don't value those archetypes positively.

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  • Konradleijon
    replied
    Their Supernal realm and Path throws everything I despise about the occult into a single splat.

    Why is that?

    Leave a comment:


  • Falcon777
    replied
    One thing to keep in mind, Livius Magos , is that Mage the Awakening is set within a dark world and is intentionally dark. The game is intentionally a horror game. By that very nature there's going to be things about the line that either seem unrealistic or extreme. You would be correct to point out that they don't just seem that way, they ARE that way. But, of course, that's because it's a horror game: it's intentional.

    Now, that having been said, I think that a lot of what has already been said by everyone else on this thread helps to point out the virtues of the Mastigos path. Having the ability to see your own faults is the first step to addressing them. Having the ability to correctly see other's darkness gives you the opportunity to challenge those people to rise above their faults. Having access to Mind and Space (and especially as the Mastigos see those arcana) provides the tools you need to rise above your faults and give a helping hand to others.

    Finally I would remind you that mages are still individuals capable of choosing how they react to situations, regardless of how their path bends them. Part of the point of Signs of Sorcery is to point out how a mage might embrace the symbolism of their path. That means by antithesis that any mage can reject/ignore the symbolism of their path. There's no need to alter the entire path itself. Rather, I would challenge you to make a Mastigos character that intentionally rises above the faults and problems of his path to be a better and wiser person, both towards himself and towards others. I think that you might have a better appreciation for the path if you do. If not then, well, there's still four other paths to choose from, several other gamelines in the Chronicles of Darkness to choose from, and a whole world of entertainment to choose over Mage.

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  • Lord Jub-Jub
    replied
    The way I read it, Mastigos often varies between the extremes of hedonism and asceticism. The experience in pandemonium is one that reveals your faults, your weaknesses and faced with them you have a choice. You can accept them or fight them and either one is a valid answer.

    They see the worst in people because the fallen world is a pretty shitty place that brings out the worst in people, but their magic can see virtuous aspects and noble goals too if one has them. Their experience can propel them to a path of insight and self reflection as they try to reign in their demons just as much as it can lead them to indulging.

    I can kind of see the meeting of these two extremes from the Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan scene in Rebels

    “Look what has become of you? A rat in the desert.”

    “Look what I’ve risen above.”

    Paraphrasing

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  • Scarlet Witch
    replied
    Tell that to my Mastigos paragon. I literally made a Mastigos Guardian of the Veil who is best seen as a paragon. His virtue is even honesty! Its *quite* tragic. But he chooses to see the best in people, even though he knows people aren't that great. He's careful, he wants to protect the Veil, but he'll help you if you ask him sincerely and he rewards honesty and believes in friendship.

    His boss also wants to kill him but, heh, he doesn't know that yet :3


    Don't let the lore intimidate you, you can stay on theme and branch out and get creative, with clean thyrsus and faithless/uninspired obrimos and unconfident acanthus and party animal moros. Their experiences shape who they are, and their Awakening is only a portion of the picture.

    Originally posted by Prometheus View Post
    P.S.: If you want a Mastigos inspiration, think of Persona games. Hell, Persona 5 has so much Mastigos symbolism it's not even funny. You can play your character in a similar manner.
    omigosh speaking of which *I named the persona 4 protag after my aforementioned Mastigos paragon! Noice
    Last edited by Scarlet Witch; 01-11-2020, 04:42 PM.

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  • Prometheus
    replied
    Interestingly, Hedge has thematic elements of both Acanthus and Mastigos Paths, and the two Arcana most relevant in it are Fate and Mind. Hedge is also the Astral barrier and is closely connected to Dreams, both of which are closely connected to the Astral Realms, which are primarily the playground of Mastigoi. Dave even said that Hedge appears more Pandemonic in nature than Arcadian...

    P.S.: If you want a Mastigos inspiration, think of Persona games. Hell, Persona 5 has so much Mastigos symbolism it's not even funny. You can play your character in a similar manner.
    Last edited by Prometheus; 01-02-2020, 02:51 PM.

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  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    A Mastigos is someone who understands that the only true distance between anything is how symbolically important they are to each other. The enemy you hate with all your being is as close to you as a family member, the intensity of your emotions binds you to them. But its possible they don't even know you exist, so they are far away from you. Sounds contradictory? It isn't, distance is asymmetrical, the Lie made you believe otherwise.

    Your emotions determine where your path will lead, your mind determines what you can do with it. These are the chains that bind us, or the connections that save us when we lose our footing and fall into the abyss.

    Mastering your creativity, your knowledge and your emotions is the difference between being in control of your destiny or being bound in a promethean gaol.

    So now you know the chains, but what can you do with them ? No mind is a shelter from you. What makes this person virtuous? What makes them weak ? What traumas and dreams do they have ? It would have taken you a lifetime of interaction with this person to know that, now it takes mere moments. You can name these things, call them forth, alter and define them, explore the secrets of the mind with unprecedented clarity.

    At the same time, no barrier can hold you, no path can confuse you, no one can take your privacy away from you. Knowing all this, how will you react ? With compassion and patience, respecting that everyone has their failings while inspiring them to higher ideals ? With contempt and cynicism, manipulating their chains, using them like puppets so you can claim your satisfaction? Or perhaps as a keeper of trials, binding others to them until they learn to shed the right chains ? To answer these questions is what defines the type of Mastigos they become.

    Lastly, I think this quote shows how the way the Acanthus and Mastigos approach the Supernatural converge:

    Watch your thoughts, they become your words; Watch your words, they become your actions; Watch your actions, they become your habits; Watch your habits, they become your character;
    Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
    - Lao Tzu
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 01-01-2020, 01:33 PM.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Heavy Arms and they both mean secrets. The Tarot deck has both Major and Minor Arcana cards.

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  • BlueBiscuit
    replied
    Read the intro fiction to the Guardians of the Veil order book, I think it's the best Mastigos Awakening (or Awakening at all) yet written for the game line as far as I'm concerned.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Arcanum is singular, Arcana is plural. It remembering what a Latin second declension neuter noun is doesn't really help, a simpler way to remember is that in the tarot the major arcana is a plural term for the unsuited cards.

    Leave a comment:

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