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NWOD Abyss versus OWOD Wyld and Exalted Wyld?

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  • NWOD Abyss versus OWOD Wyld and Exalted Wyld?

    All of these places seem to follow similar rules. Anything is possible, and Truth is subjective, and anything can happen and exist. Multiple things can potentially be true and false at the same time. Was this intentional when NWOD was written, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

  • #2
    The Chronicles of Darkness Abyss is not a "Truth is subjective, and anything can happen and exist" place. It's not really a place, and it's made up of anti-Truths, not "subjective Truth" (Truth is objective in CoD)

    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology


    • #3
      The Abyss is the set of impossible things. Not everything that can exist, not everything that doesn't exist, but specifically everything that can't exist. Things that are meaningful and possible are drowned and destroyed by exposure to the Abyss. The Abyss creates, like the primordial chaos of the Wyld envisioned by Werewolf, but the things which the Abyss creates are never things that belong in this world. They are by definition all incompatible, and contact with our world which can and does exist causes the rules of existence and possibility to break down. When a spell carries the influence of the Abyss into the world, what results is called a Paradox for this reason.

      You can enter the Wyld as envisioned by Exalted, meanwhile. It's dangerous, because it's filled with things that can kill you or change you. But just the act of entering the Wyld alone won't kill you.
      You can't enter the Abyss. To do so is to be annihilated. What comes out of the Abyss thereafter is not what went in.

      Truth isn't subjective in the Abyss. Truth is irrelevant in the Abyss.
      Last edited by Stupid Loserman; 10-11-2020, 12:17 AM.


      • #4
        Technically anything is possible, you can enter the Abyss, its just that the mere proposal of such an expedition would be considered suicidal.

        The Abyss is all things that can't be. While inside you will not be sure if time is linear, narrative or flows in a path that looks like Jeremy Beriamy written in cursive English. Depending on where you are, it could be all or none of those at the same time.

        You can't be sure there will be air, gravity or reliable causality. Maybe you are breathing a sympathetic connection to the soul of a living planet composed of amalgamated zombies. Try to see across the Gauntlet and you may witness the active battlefield of a war that never existed.

        Consider this, the Abyss is the horror that makes mages break out in a cold sweat, what can make reality warpers afraid on a primal level. Even the Secret Order of the Gate, who have the favor of the Exarch of the Abyss, dare not step any closer than the Realm of Liminality.

        The only way to enter would probably require extensive research to locate semi-reliable points of ingress and egress. Plus a cabal of extremely prepared and powerful masters, warded against everything they could imagine, encased in a hyper defended reality bubble. In realistic terms, only an archmage stands a high chance of returning to tell the tale.

        I find this post transmits the idea well:
        Last edited by KaiserAfini; 10-11-2020, 10:31 AM.

        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)


        • #5
          The CoD Abyss and the Wyld from WoD and Exalted are kind of opposites I think. Everything that is or could be (the Wyld) versus everything that is not and could never be (the Abyss). Being and nothingness (I think that’s the title of a philosophy book).

          “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).


          • #6
            The Abyss is probably lifted straight from Thelema.


            • #7
              The rules may seem similar (mostly because they're very open-ended) but each feels very different thematically.

              I find the Exalted Wyld is what happens when the personal, quasi-parasitic horror of CtL's True Fae is cranked up to become world-devouring horror. They're not coming for you; they're coming for the very framework of existence. The Exalted Wyld is a proactive pressure on reality and the fuzzy, shifting borders of it are yet another indication of the fragile state of Creation.

              I feel like the Abyss, on the other hand, is about reflecting our worst choices back at us. The mages know how dangerous it is but they overreach and bargain anyway. Notice also how the Abyss is almost inherently invited. Where the Wyld and the True Fae invade on their own, the Abyss waits reactively for the mage who thinks "it's just this once" or "I can handle it". Abyssal encounters become more meaningful when you realize that virtually every one of them is the remnant of a mage's mistake.

              I'm not especially versed in the WoD Wyld but it seems like it exists in a symbiotic role as a necessary part of the world's balance. This couldn't be further from the themes of the Abyss or the Exalted Wyld. Both of these exist entirely outside the normal operation of material reality. This very out-of-context nature is much of what makes them fruitful sources of solutions and especially problems. If you're looking for a land of chaotic creation without order or death that fits neatly in Awakening's cosmology, you might want to think about a Lower Depths realm.