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  • 2E Logophages

    Hey all,

    Currently putting together the pieces for a legacy-heavy game and wondering if anyone has put together a 2E version of the Logophage legacy. 2E now lists them as Moros and Prime-focused, rather than Mastigos/Mind; that’s fine as things go but given that their focus is on secrets I thought Death made more sense.

    Any thoughts? Would appreciate ideas!

  • #2
    Nameless & Accursed also states they are Mastigos with Prime as Ruling and Mind optional, which is different from what the core book mentions. So perhaps there are different offshoots? Is there any version you prefer ?


    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)

    Comment


    • #3
      I’ll run them as Mastigos most likely - Death or Prime as ruling would work, with Mind as the optional/conjunctional. I’m happy to build different elements myself; but I’m keen on other people’s ideas because I’m rusty and building a few different ideas simultaneously.

      Comment


      • #4
        I treat famous legacies as more like legacy categories, where a lot of mages who claim membership have their own self-tweaked variant that reflects their personal needs/views but adheres to the same tenets and values.

        A cookie-cutter pattern for legacy attainments that colors within the lines of the rules while being useful is:
        1. Knowing, or Compelling that will not be Withstood
        2. Ruling that will not be Withstood
        3. Duration-primary Shielding or Veiling with Advanced Duration (undispellable! long-lasting! CoW bonus!)
        Low-rank attainments that get Withstood are pretty useless because they have low Potency.

        And then (like Nameless and Accursed) I don't worry much about the 4th or 5th attainment because characters rarely have them.

        The meat of a legacy is actually its outlook/philosophy, oblations, and yantras. Unless an attainment capitalizes on the benefits of Free from the Lie, immunity to counter/dispel, legacy Wisdom, or mana break, it's usually better to just cast a spell. Unless of course the ST allows a "strange attainment" that does something a spell can't do (or follows a set of restrictions to accomplish a niche purpose more easily than a spell would). So the attainments often turn out not to matter much in practice.

        EDIT: This is to say, I recommend coming up with some weird thing for the legacy attainments rather than following the rules for converting spells into legacy attainments as detailed in the core book. The two attainments for logophages provided in N&A are great examples.

        EDIT2: An example of "it's usually better to just cast a spell" is actually the 2nd logophage legacy from N&A. The practical effect is that the character exchanges one mana for one dot of willpower that has the advantage of exceeding the normal maximum and the disadvantage of being lost at the end of the scene. But in most circumstances that mage probably could have just cast any old praxis, gotten an Exceptional Success, and gotten a willpower point to keep plus another bonus without spending any mana. And in a really tight situation I don't think anyone is spending a turn to accrue a single point of willpower anyway. That attainment is niche to the point of being impractical and really just there for flavor.
        Last edited by galivet; 12-06-2020, 01:46 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by galivet View Post
          I treat famous legacies as more like legacy categories, where a lot of mages who claim membership have their own self-tweaked variant that reflects their personal needs/views but adheres to the same tenets and values.

          A cookie-cutter pattern for legacy attainments that colors within the lines of the rules while being useful is:
          1. Knowing, or Compelling that will not be Withstood
          2. Ruling that will not be Withstood
          3. Duration-primary Shielding or Veiling with Advanced Duration (undispellable! long-lasting! CoW bonus!)
          Low-rank attainments that get Withstood are pretty useless because they have low Potency.

          And then (like Nameless and Accursed) I don't worry much about the 4th or 5th attainment because characters rarely have them.

          The meat of a legacy is actually its outlook/philosophy, oblations, and yantras. Unless an attainment capitalizes on the benefits of Free from the Lie, immunity to counter/dispel, legacy Wisdom, or mana break, it's usually better to just cast a spell. Unless of course the ST allows a "strange attainment" that does something a spell can't do (or follows a set of restrictions to accomplish a niche purpose more easily than a spell would). So the attainments often turn out not to matter much in practice.

          EDIT: This is to say, I recommend coming up with some weird thing for the legacy attainments rather than following the rules for converting spells into legacy attainments as detailed in the core book. The two attainments for logophages provided in N&A are great examples.

          EDIT2: An example of "it's usually better to just cast a spell" is actually the 2nd logophage legacy from N&A. The practical effect is that the character exchanges one mana for one dot of willpower that has the advantage of exceeding the normal maximum and the disadvantage of being lost at the end of the scene. But in most circumstances that mage probably could have just cast any old praxis, gotten an Exceptional Success, and gotten a willpower point to keep plus another bonus without spending any mana. And in a really tight situation I don't think anyone is spending a turn to accrue a single point of willpower anyway. That attainment is niche to the point of being impractical and really just there for flavor.
          This exactly. Although I do enjoy the last two Attainments as an exercise in creativity and just being able to pull big effects Free From the Lie and spell control (a.k.a create plot hooks once Sleepers, hunters, other mages and many more notice)

          I enjoy a homebrew rule that waves the Gnosis requirement in favor of experiencing a significant revelation, normally by chasing a major Obsession or challenge related to the Legacy. It gives them a lot more room to showcase their niche specialties.

          Phenomenon like Abyssal Verges or the Ansho in Tokyo, where magic unravels more easily, is also great for them. Because it all stems from the mage's soul, it means a diviner can predict the future in a Paradox Realm, a charismatic orator can negotiate with the Paradox beings and time travelers won't need to fear dispellation.


          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)

          Comment


          • #6
            For the second attainment of the Logophages as presented in N&A, I think the Mana for Willpower exchange is Reflexive since it can be done any time during the duration of the Memory Hole effect. It's still niche, but it is better than if an action were required.

            If you're doing a Legacy focused game, I might suggest a house rule I use: remove the Gnosis requirements for learning the traditional Attainments of a Legacy. This has two effects: it emphasizes the use of Legacy powers more, as the stronger ones are more readily available; and it really drives home why Mages don't just go out and create their own Legacies all the time tailored to their specific needs, it really delays their access to power significantly.

            For the Logophage legacy... I might take a stab at fleshing it out more, later, but I'm not familiar with its 1e incarnation.


            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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
              For the second attainment of the Logophages as presented in N&A, I think the Mana for Willpower exchange is Reflexive since it can be done any time during the duration of the Memory Hole effect. It's still niche, but it is better than if an action were required.

              If you're doing a Legacy focused game, I might suggest a house rule I use: remove the Gnosis requirements for learning the traditional Attainments of a Legacy. This has two effects: it emphasizes the use of Legacy powers more, as the stronger ones are more readily available; and it really drives home why Mages don't just go out and create their own Legacies all the time tailored to their specific needs, it really delays their access to power significantly.

              For the Logophage legacy... I might take a stab at fleshing it out more, later, but I'm not familiar with its 1e incarnation.
              They can be found in pages 131-140 of Legacies:The Ancient. They are mages that know certain knowledge is dangerous, that it can infect and corrode minds just by being known, like Dark Angel Aphasia or the Nemesis Continumm. Wyrd even had a cool homebrew on them containing The Yellow Sign from Lovecraft, with the blessing and forgotten consent of the Consilium.

              The big problem is that its easy for them to start judging who can learn something or not. So to other mages, they control or destroy Mysteries, increasing pancryptia. This is what makes them Left-Handed.

              They are fascinating because you can see the good intentions and need that created them, how they deviated from Pentacle doctrine and how very much like the Guardians this problem is.


              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)

              Comment


              • #8
                Most legacies are built around a central idea that could be represented as a single power. I wish legacies just had a single attainment that starts out useful and gets progressively better. Five attainments is just overcomplication leading to filler abilities that build up to the actual thing the legacy is known for, and it ends up very rare for any character to have the signature power of a legacy.

                Like Bearers of the Eternal Voice: Look, their power is that they can make people believe what they say. Anything not directly related to that is filler. They just need one attainment, like automatic successes on Persuasion rolls, not four different attainments gap-filling on tangents and a final attainment almost no one ever achieves that equates to The Voice.

                Similarly, logophages just need one ability: destroy a magical secret and get a power boost. Shooting from the hip, something like:

                Prime: Consume a Mystery with Opacity less than or equal to Prime dots. The logophage must first have Revealed all the deep information of the Mystery. No one may ever use the Revelation action on a consumed Mystery; its secrets have been consumed.

                Mind: Get a power boost related to the Opacity of a Mystery consumed:
                1. Willpower point
                2. Mana point
                3. Boon equivalent
                4. Boon equivalent that can affect spellcasting rolls
                5. Arcane experience
                Tweak the power boost rewards to taste. Let destroying secrets that aren't Mysteries be an Oblation or a Sacrament yantra. Boom, done. We don't need 5 different powers and only Masters being able to do the thing that makes logophages famous.
                Last edited by galivet; 12-06-2020, 04:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Really appreciate all the thoughts.

                  I’d somehow missed Nameless and Accursed so I’ve picked it up. The range of legacies is great.

                  Beyond that, I’m experimenting with a few options fo see what works. The 1E Universal Language attainment still pretty much works fine, but I don’t think there’s any direct way to model the old 3rd attainment properly (because Lasting Mind Wipe needs too much reach).

                  That led me to think about the Echo Walkers their Attainments vs their Legacy focus. The Echo Walkers’ defining characteristic is their use of souls as lenses to see the Ones Before, but they don’t have it as an Attainment because Echo Walkers want to craft their souls towards BEING LIKE the Ones Before, not into searching for them.

                  Logophages see themselves as Secret Keepers, so their Attainments can be focused on concealment and subterfuge (like Mind and Prime Veiling/Shielding). Spells like Supernal Veiling, Cloak Nimbus, Alter Mental Pattern and Mental Shield are all a decent fit and situationally useful, but often not worth keeping up because of spell control. As Attainments, though, they’re pretty good; mostly Duration Primary and resolved via Clash of Wills (except for AMP).

                  I also thought about later Attainments adding options to Security of the Lost, eg combining it with a Yantra effect to allow them to activate As Above, So Below (reflexively?) rather than gaining Willpower if they use the destruction of the knowledge as a Yantra. Maybe requires that the secret knowledge consumed be related to the Supernal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lasting memory wipe can be modeled by granting them a Mind variation of either the Drain Numen or Devouring the Slain. In this specific case, memories are eaten, generating some kind of mental resource. But by mixing Prime in, you could actually use a specialized variation of Scribe Grimmoire to take the Mysteries as a low level Attainment (which is eerily similar to what the Timori do with rotes). That way the Logophage can examine it, making provisions for them to rediscover it if there is ever any need or for only those truly worthy to find the secret.

                    Then you can mix that with the mental and supernal defenses you mentioned and the memory devouring one. Not quite sure what the last two could be now though.


                    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)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Modelled on Devouring the Slain or Drain in what sense? Both of those allow resource consumption but memory isn’t really a resource; also it seems like it would be Withstood which is another issue because unlike a spell you can’t bump it to beat high Withstand ratings.

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                      • #12
                        I was thinking it would be cool if one of their Attainments embodied their name literally, so thinking about it like a Mind version of Devouring The Slain seemed like a good place to start. What the "wound" would mean still needs to be fleshed out. In this case it would fray and shatter the knowledge, the consume the mental fragments, represented as something like an Arcane Beat for something unique and valuable, or a Willpower point (a temporary point or a recharge) for a mundane one.

                        Then building on what galivet said, you could design extra hoops to bypass Withstand. An extra level of challenge or risk that would allow it to remain viable at high levels.


                        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)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          An idea for the third Attainment:


                          Third Attainment:
                          Dangerous Knowledge
                          Prereqs: (as appropriate)

                          Secret Keepers know that merely hiding knowledge is prone to failure, Mages are good at finding things. Instead, the Secret Keepers makes uncovering a Mystery more dangerous by way of this Attainment, After successfully using Focused Mage Sight's Revelation on a Mystery the Logophage can spend a point of Mana to permanently subtract their Prime dots from the number of safe rolls Mages can make while Scrutinizing that Mystery.

                          Mind: 3

                          If the Secret Keeper is also a Disciple of Mind, then anyone failing a roll while examining the Mystery using Focused Mage sight loses Willpower equal to the Logophage's Mind dots.
                          Last edited by proindrakenzol; 01-03-2021, 04:13 AM.


                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is a rough sketch of an alternative take, with Moros as the parent path and the Mysterium as a secondary parent Order. Mind is Ruling and Death is optional.

                            Mind 1
                            The first step to keeping a secret is to be able to retain it and recall it when the worthy need it. Sometimes the only safe storage is within one's memory itself. This replicates Perfect Recall with Reach assigned to instant use.

                            Death 1
                            Not all knowledge deserves to be destroyed or hidden. Those who do so wantonly risk increasing pancryptia and damaging the Fallen World. But to one who understands the lore of knowledge and entropy well, discovering which ones are dangerous is easy to do indeed. This is an Knowing of Death and Mind, which can tell the Secret Keeper if a given piece of information will be dangerous, as well as some clues to how. Reach is assigned to instant use.

                            Mind 2
                            The Awakened are insatiably curious. Often a casual mind read is all that stand between them and learning a catastrophic secret. More wanton ones who know of the Secret Keeper's mission might seek to exploit them for their own gain. This stops them in their tracks. After a scene of practicing memetic defense exercises, they replicate Mind Shield with Reach assigned to advanced duration. In case of a Clash of Wills, they gain [Mind] automatic successes.

                            Death 2
                            The Logophage knows their work is vital, so they learn to keep their very mission itself a secret. By spending a point of mana and begin to sing a canticle in High Speech, they make the world ignore them. They leave no traces or forensic evidence, people who interact with them don't even acknowledge their presence and rationalize away their actions.

                            However, should they ever stop the melody, the Attainment ends. When the melody that was subconsciously buzzing through their minds fades, any affected targets will feel the area has grown unnaturally quiet.

                            This is custom spell using elements of Incognito Presence, Without a Trace, mixed with a Compelling of Mind and Death. Note that their Nimbus is not muted, which could be another way to create suspense. Its based on the false hydra's ability. Reach is assigned to instant use and advanced duration, with the restriction making up for the extra Reach.

                            Mind 3
                            Sometimes the right knowledge, in the right hands and at the wrong time can be as dangerous as forbidden lore. This allows the Logophages to rectify that by editing or compartmentalizing the information away. This replicates Memory Hole with Reach assigned to instant use and advanced duration. The mage can set one Key to unlocking it and many do, just in case they have a dire need for something they don't even know they know.

                            Should they have revealed a valuable secret to the subject recently, they can bypass their Withstand rating a single time per secret disclosed.

                            Death 3
                            Not all knowledge needs to be safely stored. Some secrets are vile, corrupting all those who know them. Such knowledge must be purged for the good of Awakened society, never to cause harm again. Logophages at this level can do so much more easily.

                            This tears at the mind of the subject, destroying a memory and consuming the fragmented knowledge left behind. Should the knowledge be something that was deemed dangerous by the first Attainment, it by bypasses the subject's Withstand rate.

                            Should this be an arcane secret they never knew/forgot about, the Secret Keeper gains an Arcane beat.

                            Should it be a mundane memory, they gain a temporary Willpower that fades at the end of the scene.

                            This is a custom, Potency primary spell with Reach assigned to instant use

                            Mind 4
                            Psychic Domination with Reach assigned to instant use, sensory range, advanced duration and complex tasks. However, it can only be used on tasks that hide or destroy knowledge. Should the user directly reveal their intentions to the subject, they may bypass their Withstand.

                            Death 4
                            Some traces of secrets died with their creators, others are too dangerous to pursue without knowledge of the defenses surrounding them. But this will not stand in the way of a Secret Keeper's mission.

                            After a scene of marking a soul stone with secrets, this replicates the Death variation of Goetic Evocation mixed with elements of Psychic Reprogramming. It places the Logophage as the ghost's Anchor and programs them to serve the mage. Reach is assigned to advanced duration.

                            Mind 5
                            Some secrets are harder to unearth than others, but nonetheless vital. In those times when leads are scarce or specialists are needed, procuring temporary support allows one to accomplish a task without leaving lingering evidence. After spending a scene constructing a false identity, the Logophage is able to replicate Social Networking with reach assigned to advanced duration.

                            Death 5
                            The ultimate sanction of the Logophages is to Unmake a subject entirely and any traces of them from the world. It can target either a memory or a subject the mage can touch. It may bypass the Withstand of any Abyssal beings, both those of Rank higher than 5 are immune.

                            This is an Making of Death and Unmaking of Mind, with elements of Empty Presence. Reach is assigned to instant use.
                            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 12-09-2020, 01:14 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)

                            Comment

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