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  • Lower Depths

    Heeeeeey could anyone gimme more in depth info about the lower depths...what they are...mechanics for the things living in there and so on! Do we know if there are any upcoming books about the lower depths or any st vault projects covering the subject?

  • #2
    Sure! The entire gameline of Mummy: The Curse, WoD: Inferno, and the Strix from Vampire: The Requiem.

    (But seriously, though, Summoners and Left Hand Path for Mage 1e both go into details, and they will maybe possibly hopefully get looked at in Fallen Worlds. Mechanics for the things from them were the only thing actually written for 2e's corebook that legitimately got cut for space, so they've never been published.)


    Dave Brookshaw

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
      (But seriously, though, Summoners and Left Hand Path for Mage 1e both go into details, and they will maybe possibly hopefully get looked at in Fallen Worlds. Mechanics for the things from them were the only thing actually written for 2e's corebook that legitimately got cut for space, so they've never been published.)
      Any chance they may show up as a STV material? I mean, I would be very interested in seeing something liken that.


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      • #4
        sure i get that duat, the place strix come from and similar are lower depths...but like based on the veeeeeery basic premise i got from the lower depths concept. The lower depths seems like a sort of opposite to the supernal realms? and I would assume that mages would have a special thing going with those as a result of that. In second edition that is...i rarely touch first ed personally as i am only familiar with second edition.
        Last edited by Caedus; 03-12-2020, 05:28 AM. Reason: forgot something

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Caedus View Post
          sure i get that duat, the place strix come from and similar are lower depths...but like based on the veeeeeery basic premise i got from the lower depths concept. The lower depths seems like a sort of opposite to the supernal realms? and I would assume that mages would have a special thing going with those as a result of that.
          As far as there is such thing as „opposite of the supernal”, that is more of the abyss. As in one is the symbolic truth underlying the phenomenal reality, and the other is cancerous anti-symbols that cause reality to start breaking down from their presence. The Abyss does have specific thing going on. They are called scelestus/scelesti, for more about them I recommend Left-Hand path for 1e and (I think) Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed for 2e.

          The lower depths are part of said phenomenal reality, only they lack something that the Fallen worlds have, and they try to fill in that lack in some way. The are opposite of the supernal only in that, when mages try to draw a diagram the Worlds/realms, they put the Fallen World between them and the supernal. It is better understood that they are “farther from” rather than opposite to the supernal. (It is not entirely accurate, see” underlying the phenomenal reality”, but better approximation)

          As far as generic fallen world mechanics are concerned, I don’t think any have been published. My recommendation is to figure out what the specific depth lacks, and how it/its residents try to steal it from the world, chose an aesthetic,(not necessarily in this order) and you have a base. Then homebrew/copy some mechanics to represent it(Yeah, I know, this is the hard part.) and you are good to go.

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          • #6
            My own gut homebrew for Lower Depths is that each of this Realms lack one ( or more ) Arcanum - and they 'siphon' those Arcanum spells and phenomena when used on them. For example, Strix are stealing life force, so the Life magic is 'siphoned' on them and their kind. Inferno is about Corruption ( as Sins ) and by this, anathema to Prime Arcanum. Duat mummies are called Deathless, so they siphone Death Arcanum.


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            • #7
              The canon explanation isn't that they lack an Arcanum specifically (though they could theoretically lack everything that an Arcanum governs), but they at least lack or hunger for something that is missing. Strix World/Dis seems to lack Vitae, which can be assumed to a lack of "life force". Duat lacks/hungers for Sekhem, which seems to be another variation of "life force". The Deathless moniker does come from the fact they can't properly die, but as far as I can tell there's no actual hunger for death.
              Inferno is a bit of a weird one because they seemingly draw power from vices but vices are also very much pervasive in the Inferno. The best explanation I've seen is that they lack virtue, and making others act out vices is how they consume people's virtue.

              Also note that the general rules for Lower Depths (as written in Mage 2e core) doesn't necessarily apply wholesale to any individual Lower Depth. If Strix World truly lacks Vitae/life then anyone who enters should lose all their Vitae/life, but VtR 2e makes no mention of that and kinda implies ghouls can return which they couldn't if they lost their lives. Similarly, whenever the Deathless leaves Duat they do so with their Sekhem partially or fully refilled. Strix also have no problems manifesting in the material world. They can persist indefinitely (unlike vampires, Strix don't even need Vitae to keep being active) and even reproduce so that there are individual Strix that may never have been to their home realm. (Though it would be explained if they, like the Deathless, aren't the original inhabitants of their respective Lower Depths realms.)


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              • #8
                So if running on my simpler - but probably false - idea marking would be this:
                • Strix Realm - Life Arcanum
                • Duat of Deathless - Life Arcanum
                • Inferno - Prime or Mind Arcanum ( Mind is much closer to Virtue as Anchor, but Prime as concept, i.e. Truth )
                I maybe wrongly described it, but I meant that not the Realms are siphoning those things - rather that beings from there are hungry for those. They will look for those phenomena ( or mages having them ) to sate their hunger in Fallen World. There were in 1E, for example, serpentine Vis visitors ( do not remember from what book ) that were hungry for Life also.
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-12-2020, 07:52 AM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  The canon explanation isn't that they lack an Arcanum specifically (though they could theoretically lack everything that an Arcanum governs), but they at least lack or hunger for something that is missing. Strix World/Dis seems to lack Vitae, which can be assumed to a lack of "life force". Duat lacks/hungers for Sekhem, which seems to be another variation of "life force". The Deathless moniker does come from the fact they can't properly die, but as far as I can tell there's no actual hunger for death.
                  Inferno is a bit of a weird one because they seemingly draw power from vices but vices are also very much pervasive in the Inferno. The best explanation I've seen is that they lack virtue, and making others act out vices is how they consume people's virtue.

                  Also note that the general rules for Lower Depths (as written in Mage 2e core) doesn't necessarily apply wholesale to any individual Lower Depth. If Strix World truly lacks Vitae/life then anyone who enters should lose all their Vitae/life, but VtR 2e makes no mention of that and kinda implies ghouls can return which they couldn't if they lost their lives. Similarly, whenever the Deathless leaves Duat they do so with their Sekhem partially or fully refilled. Strix also have no problems manifesting in the material world. They can persist indefinitely (unlike vampires, Strix don't even need Vitae to keep being active) and even reproduce so that there are individual Strix that may never have been to their home realm. (Though it would be explained if they, like the Deathless, aren't the original inhabitants of their respective Lower Depths realms.)
                  That's not why Iremite mummies are called the Deathless.

                  Some of the other cool stuff aside about Lower Depths, particularly what I saw in 1e, I think I like the notion hinted at in 2e more that Duat is NOT a Lower Depth.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post
                    I think I like the notion hinted at in 2e more that Duat is NOT a Lower Depth.
                    …Sorry, what?


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                    • #11
                      Does Nameless and Accursed contain any new info on the Lower Depths?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
                        Does Nameless and Accursed contain any new info on the Lower Depths?
                        It has very little on it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
                          Does Nameless and Accursed contain any new info on the Lower Depths?
                          The thing which created the Tremere is heavily hinted to be something from the Lower Depths, one of the example Rapt is Obsessed with them and constantly tried to open a portal into them, and we have a number of potential story hooks related to the Depths and whatever calls them home.

                          I must say that a connection between the Depths and the Tremere may have some... interesting implications. I mean, beside the fact that would probably put them at odds with the Scelesti on a very principle level (and then we have the usual "choose your evil" kind of thing), if the Tremere have their souls Hollowed by a Depth, it means that their Depth feeds upon souls- and which Depth already cover that niche?

                          Duat.

                          Yep.

                          Oh, and if that is not bad enough for you- take into account that if we follow some of Chris Allen's writings about the Eater of Names, who was stated to hunt the souls of mages during Pangaea, it is very easy to wonder about a possible connection between her and another great eater of the world- Ammut.

                          Yep.


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                          • #14
                            Nameless and Accursed does have some good info on the Abyss and what makes it different from the Lower Depths, too.

                            Each of the Annunaki god-worlds that comprise it either have all the Arcana, but they fit together in impossible ways, or they embody a form of existence that not only lacks a specific Arcana, but never needed it. The Ipsophage, for instance, embodies a form of sympathetic principle where the relationship is that one half cannot exist while the other does; the result is that gulmoth spawned from it are reality parasites, because that's how reality works in its take on the world. However, the Ipsophage's spawn are different from a Lower Depth being that wants sympathetic connections, because rather than just eat them, they turn sympathetic ties in general parasitic, so that society itself becomes a war between hungry group identities; the Depth demon would render people isolated, the Ipsophage explicitly turns people into hive minds of codependent personality cults. Which is, of course, what may make it appealing to a certain kind of narcissist or would-be reformer who feels people need to link less of their own personal relations; my headcanon is that Kelbis, a desire-eating gulmoth worshiped by the example Scelestus Tanris (a scam artist self-help guru) is a child of the Ipsophage, because it takes away personal angst by eating hopes and ambitions; hence, it builds a form of identity based around loss of personality traits.
                            Last edited by Leliel; 03-14-2020, 09:18 AM.


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                            • #15
                              I'd also say that the Annulities, while explained as a Supernal phenomenon pertaining to the Inferior Arcana and thus not technically either Abyssal or Lower Depths, could be referenced when describing a Lower Depth that's missing everything under a given Arcanum's purview. If you want to model Dis as anathema to life, there are worse starting points than to say that all of Dis behaves like a Life Annulity.


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