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  • The most annoying of all possible worlds

    My gaming group is experimenting with a weird and amusing concept: the masquerade gets broken, the public knows that vampires and werewolves and demons walk among them ... and none of this changes the Sleeping Curse. Psychopomps and vampire blood sorcery, yeah those make sense but a mage claiming to have supernatural powers is a ridiculous liar. Even if they claim to be a vampire blood sorcerer.

  • #2
    I'd imagine the Curse would adapt but still work mechanically. In the Sundered World chapter from Dark Eras, the Vinca know willworkers can perform magic, and yet are still subject to the Sleeping Curse as normal.

    So a mage could be seen as a liar pretending to be a *real* witch, maybe you can also wind up in situations where the magician tries to unveil "the Truth" but the sleepers misremember the event to be something very different--instead of the mage owning their power, they think they saw the nimbus as "some kind of demon" who did it all on behalf of the magician, servicing the Lie that humans are powerless to the supernatural, and any human claiming to have real magic is simply someone elses pawn or borrowing another being's power, or they're just *not human* like the vampires!

    I'm not sure this is annoying so much as intriguing. Your group could consider possibilities like, does the breaking of the veil and masquerade cause more sleepwalkers to exist? Does this *decrease* the number of people Awakening, like the Guardians and Mysterium feared? Or have they been proven wrong by all this? How would the Silver Ladder feel that humanity's birthright to magic is now challenged by the common people, who all point to the Lie that only *monsters* can do real magic? Or perhaps the Lie metamorphs into a very sinister direction--denying only that Mages get their power from the Supernal. What if instead Sleepers come to understand, accept, and dread the Abyss, but have disbelief in the Supernal? Basically, what if they remember *all* Mages to be like Scelesti and treat them accordingly? Maybe this even makes Scelesti the only Mages who can operate near the public, as anyone nihilistic enough to serve a Scelesti cult doesn't care their master's magic is a thing of madness, because they see all Mages this way... at least the Scelesti is *honest* that their power comes from "Hell" or however they choose to describe the Abyss to the uninitiated.

    Would the Guardians of the Veil even exist anymore? Or would they be the most powerful Order as Mages scramble to rescue the Supernal Mysteries from rabble-rousing rival monsters, or even a Hunter cell? Mages could even be on the run, as warehouses and vaults are raided and destroyed with dissonance and paradox acting as the witch-hunters shields, could Mages fight back?

    What if the Seers win instead, using their powers to strengthen non-Supernal forces that move to fill the power-vacuum created by the world's discovery of multiple supernatural conspiracies? Seers cannot operate in the open with their magic, but if they pass their magic off as someone else's, then no one needs to see the secret-master's magic, as all they see are the monsters, so things like Outward and Inward Eye might pass for "natural" on a coterie of vampires that find cooperation with the Seers to be to their mutual benefit.

    I don't see this annoying at all. However the Masquerade collapsed, its sure to shake-up the world order. It feels like it has the same excitement as say a Contagion Chronicle thingy--Is the world going to be the same tomorrow as it is today after these changes? What about a week from now, a month from now? Is it the will of the Exarchs, or are they losing? Is that good or bad? How are godlike beings reacting in general? So many intriguing possibilities~

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    • #3
      There are also those that could focus on spreading the right misinformation:

      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...cy-technocrats

      After all, if mages are seen as charlatans, then all you need to do is convince most Sleepers that you are using tricks which are consistent with your Order tools and methods. It won't make them more likely to Awaken, but would allow them to trigger Disbelief less often.


      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
      The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lareath View Post
        My gaming group is experimenting with a weird and amusing concept: the masquerade gets broken, the public knows that vampires and werewolves and demons walk among them ... and none of this changes the Sleeping Curse. Psychopomps and vampire blood sorcery, yeah those make sense but a mage claiming to have supernatural powers is a ridiculous liar. Even if they claim to be a vampire blood sorcerer.
        Well, yeah.

        The supernatural existing have no bearing on the way the Lie corresponds with the bit of Abyss in humanity. The truths of the Supernal that a person grasp to become to a mage requires a self-actualization of internalizing those truths and the relationship a person has with magic, something that is internal and wholly their own, and resonant with the larger reality beyond themselves.

        It's a world where they can become one of the Sons of Phobos and commit terrible blood magic, take up Shadow Occultism and bring the powers of their spirit patrons to bear, desperately grasp the Divine Fire and use it change themselves and the world, subject themselves to changelings and goblins and take up mantles of power, tear their minds into steel through any number of Compacts and Conspiracies strange endowments, take up the fine art of cuisine and necromantic power as a Eater of the Dead, call upon the ancient symbologies and symmetries hidden in Sekhem as a sorcerer, commit to the wastes of Aether and emerge with the divinations of the God-Machine, get molded by the teeth of a Beast into a Herald, or even subject themselves to Divergence, but if they never connect to, and own and personalize the wider truths offered by the Supernal, then that thar Sleeping Curse is always going to be there to spank their bottom until they call the Abyss Mommy.

        Awakening is a personal matter. No one can hand it to you, nothing can really cause it to come down on you, the truth must be journeyed, not simply known.

        The world could turn upside down and the monsters burst out of the closet, and none of that would let you own Yourself.


        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Feminine pronouns, please.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
          There are also those that could focus on spreading the right misinformation:

          http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...cy-technocrats

          After all, if mages are seen as charlatans, then all you need to do is convince most Sleepers that you are using tricks which are consistent with your Order tools and methods. It won't make them more likely to Awaken, but would allow them to trigger Disbelief less often.
          It is not Disbelief anymore. Disbelief comes from Mage: the ascension and was kept into Mage: the awakening 1st edition. Mage: the awakening 2nd edition overhauled some things. You can hide your magic but I am not sure disguising it as something else works anymore.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            Well, yeah.

            The supernatural existing have no bearing on the way the Lie corresponds with the bit of Abyss in humanity. The truths of the Supernal that a person grasp to become to a mage requires a self-actualization of internalizing those truths and the relationship a person has with magic, something that is internal and wholly their own, and resonant with the larger reality beyond themselves.

            It's a world where they can become one of the Sons of Phobos and commit terrible blood magic, take up Shadow Occultism and bring the powers of their spirit patrons to bear, desperately grasp the Divine Fire and use it change themselves and the world, subject themselves to changelings and goblins and take up mantles of power, tear their minds into steel through any number of Compacts and Conspiracies strange endowments, take up the fine art of cuisine and necromantic power as a Eater of the Dead, call upon the ancient symbologies and symmetries hidden in Sekhem as a sorcerer, commit to the wastes of Aether and emerge with the divinations of the God-Machine, get molded by the teeth of a Beast into a Herald, or even subject themselves to Divergence, but if they never connect to, and own and personalize the wider truths offered by the Supernal, then that thar Sleeping Curse is always going to be there to spank their bottom until they call the Abyss Mommy.

            Awakening is a personal matter. No one can hand it to you, nothing can really cause it to come down on you, the truth must be journeyed, not simply known.

            The world could turn upside down and the monsters burst out of the closet, and none of that would let you own Yourself.
            That is not entirely true. It is clarified in the corebook of Mage: the awakening second edition that having an innate magic of any sort gets rid of the Sleeping curse. Apparently it is implied that those initiated into the supernatural to the point of normalizing it are also immune. Being stigmatic or ghouled or otherwise having your soul corrupted or damaged renders the subject ineligible for awakening. Apparently preexisting supernatural abilities get refunded. It gets stranger as explicitly inhuman wolf-blooded stops being wolf-blooded and becomes human through awakening. It is super strange.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Excess View Post
              It gets stranger as explicitly inhuman wolf-blooded stops being wolf-blooded and becomes human through awakening.
              Technically wolf-blooded are still human. It's the werewolves that aren't. But yes, it's pretty easy to be a Sleepwalker. Mage's core says or theorizes that this is due to an inherent flaw in the curse of the Lie.

              I'd say this definitely fits the idea of an annoying world, but it's really just doubling down on existing things. While werewolves have Lunacy, nothing actually keeps a vampire or demon from using their magic as 'loudly' as possible, while they face repercussions for the choice to do so, admitting to members of the world that they are supernatural is a core part of their being, whether it's making a ghoul via blood and willpower, or offering rewards in exchange for a soul.

              I think it would cause an intensification of some of the more extremist takes among mage society. The Silver Ladder are pretty dismissive of other gameline supernaturals, and while the Exarchs seem content to use supernaturals as much as mages as catspaws, the Seers as depicted in first edition seem to hold supernaturals in a similar level of distaste. It's not hard to imagine them focusing more against these, especially if they were doing things that could cut swathes of people out of the pool for potential Awakening (a win for the Exarchs, arguably). But things would be mostly the same, at least in the mage setting. A broken masquerade would probably have world-shaking implications. Just about every system is built on mundane systems of physics and technology and understanding. Just picking one inherent ability from the first gameline, people would now know that, hey, you can stop aging by drinking the blood of a vampire. Live for potentially thousands of years if you keep it up. That alone would change everything, not even factoring in truth-detecting abilities, mind control, supernatural abilities that are functionally biological or chemical warfare, entire other worlds you can walk to. The neighborhood I grew up in had a cemetery across the street, it would have an Avernian Gate there and likely a geist. Oh the trouble people would get up to.
              Last edited by nofather; 07-11-2020, 11:37 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Excess View Post

                That is not entirely true. It is clarified in the corebook of Mage: the awakening second edition that having an innate magic of any sort gets rid of the Sleeping curse. Apparently it is implied that those initiated into the supernatural to the point of normalizing it are also immune. Being stigmatic or ghouled or otherwise having your soul corrupted or damaged renders the subject ineligible for awakening. Apparently preexisting supernatural abilities get refunded. It gets stranger as explicitly inhuman wolf-blooded stops being wolf-blooded and becomes human through awakening. It is super strange.
                Granted, that does make them Sleepwalkers. Point to you.


                Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Feminine pronouns, please.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nofather View Post

                  Technically wolf-blooded are still human. It's the werewolves that aren't.
                  Going through werewolf: the forsaken second edition the humanity of wolf-blooded are at most 3/4. That is inhuman enough for me. Also, somewhere in Beast: the primordial wolf-blooded are acknowledged as monsters. You don't have to take my word for it because now I can't find that last part.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Excess View Post
                    Going through werewolf: the forsaken second edition the humanity of wolf-blooded are at most 3/4. That is inhuman enough for me. Also, somewhere in Beast: the primordial wolf-blooded are acknowledged as monsters. You don't have to take my word for it because now I can't find that last part.
                    Mediums and psychics (aka humans with Supernatural Merits) are also Kin, so that doesn't say much. I'd say that basically everyone that are Sleepwalkers through innate abilities (rather than the vanilla Sleepwalker Merit) are Kin to beasts, and Sleepwalkers can generally Awaken just as well as Sleepers (though there are in-setting theories about it being rarer due to having part of the Truth revealed to you rather than allowing you to become enlightened through own means).

                    Disbelief is not a thing, no, but Quiescence still triggers upon recognising Supernal/Abyssal magic. If you disguise your spell as something non-magical, you're absolutely golden. But it has to look like it could be possible without magic. One example from my group is an NPC who used Forces to move a boat without turning on the engine, but were far away enough from the Sleepers present that they wouldn't notice the lack of sound. Since the Sleepers never recognised the impossibility of the moving boat, it never triggered the Sleeping Curse.

                    And, as mentioned, you can absolutely tell Sleepers you're a mage. If they come from a background that accepts magic, such as in the Sundered World, they can absolutely believe you. You just can't demonstrate it directly. You can, however, prove it indirectly by showing the consequences of magic that has already run its course. You can share information from Knowing/Unveiling spells that you otherwise couldn't possibly know, or reveal the effects of lasting spells inside a locked room you couldn't possibly enter. Note that most people in CofD are still going to disbelieve (lowercase d) that it's magic, but this time it's because everyone has a tendency to try to forget the supernatural no matter the source. OP's setting hack would alleviate this quite a bit, though.
                    Last edited by Tessie; 07-12-2020, 07:08 AM.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
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                    • #11
                      Scarlet Witch I really Like your interpretation of the Sleeping Curse. I never really thought about in that much detail before.


                      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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                      • #12
                        Sleepers already know Mages exist and can perform magic. Sleepers can even be initiated into the Orders.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                          Sleepers already know Mages exist and can perform magic. Sleepers can even be initiated into the Orders.
                          Uhh. Is this sarcastic? Sleepers are largely unaware of the existence of Mages as far as I'm aware. Those that join cults are very much in the minority (and just because you're part of a cult, does NOT mean that cult flat claims they do magic. They take many forms and not merely the stereotypical cult kind).

                          That, and well, Sleepers witnessing magic undergo a breaking point followed by a mix of amnesia and denial

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                            Uhh. Is this sarcastic? Sleepers are largely unaware of the existence of Mages as far as I'm aware. Those that join cults are very much in the minority (and just because you're part of a cult, does NOT mean that cult flat claims they do magic. They take many forms and not merely the stereotypical cult kind).

                            That, and well, Sleepers witnessing magic undergo a breaking point followed by a mix of amnesia and denial
                            Literally half of the Diamond Orders have had major parts of their organizational structure made up of Sleepers since First Edition. One of the things 2e adjusted to help dampen the awkward question of mage population density was to more explicitly state that mages make up a minority of the Orders' headcount.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                              Literally half of the Diamond Orders have had major parts of their organizational structure made up of Sleepers since First Edition. One of the things 2e adjusted to help dampen the awkward question of mage population density was to more explicitly state that mages make up a minority of the Orders' headcount.
                              So these Sleepers are aware they work with magical people? Even then, they certainly arent the majority of humanity, correct?

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