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  • Scriptorian
    started a topic The Emergent [Signs of Sorcery Legacy]

    The Emergent [Signs of Sorcery Legacy]

    Signs of Sorcery mentions a handful of Legacies that obtain their powers through a connection with an Emanation Realm, giving just enough information to make me want to use them, but with no actual mechanics . So when one of my player's needed a techo-magic Legacy, I decided to give the Emergent a write-up. And since we definitely haven't had enough legacy homebrew around here lately (), I figured I'd post it now that it's been lightly play-tested.

    Emergent
    Tied to the Singularity, the Realm of Progress, the Emergent use magic to interface with and exert control over technology. They seek that bright point on the horizon, a future where man has become one with his technological tools and expanded his mind towards infinity. (See Signs of Sorcery page 111.)

    Origins
    Parentage: The spontaneous nature of the Emergent Initiation means that Emergent can come from any Path or Order, although the Free Council is far and away the best represented. Mastigos and Obrimos members are most common, but Acanthus represent a solid minority. Moros or Thyrsus are very rare (or they’ve listed inaccurate information on their profile).
    Background: All Emergent have come from some kind of technological background, with many being self-taught “computer wizes”. They also tend to exist outside the mainstream, being unsatisfied with the status quo and always pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable, or even possible.
    Appearance: Between their computer skills and their magic, some Emergent feel they have surpassed the need for face-to-face interaction, and comport themselves accordingly. Others are just very conscious of what personal information they allow to show through their online presence, so identifying them in-person may be nearly impossible. It is universal, however, that an Emergent is almost constantly “plugged in”, whether through their technology or their Attainments.

    Doctrine
    Prerequisites: Academics or Science 1, Computers 2, Forces 1
    Initiation: No two initiations are quite the same, but they all follow the same basic pattern (or, dare we say, protocol?).
    It starts with the prospective Emergent detecting hints of an mysterious signal at the periphery of his Mage Sight. Eventually he is able to examine it, only to discover that the contents of the transmission are impossible or nonsensical. It’s encoded using a mix of incompatible protocols, and what little he is able to decode is in multiple languages, including High Speech. What’s more, the timestamp is for tomorrow.

    Attempting to find the signal’s destination is futile; it flows constantly towards some inscrutable point on the horizon. Tracing its origin reveals something quite interesting, however. It is coming from the Mage’s own mind.
    A journey into the astral realm reveals the signal winding its way through the Mage’s Oneiros. He is able to decode more the signal at this point: a phrase in High Speech meaning “discovery” or “innovation”. Following the signal, he eventually encounters a challenge of some kind, which tests his dedication to this principle. Upon succeeding, he finds himself entering the Tenemos, where the signal has gotten even clearer. What’s more, the timestamp continues to change further and further into the future. After tracking the signal, and overcoming several more trials relating to ideas such as “progress”, “synergy”, and finally “transcendence”, he arrives at an Iris to the Singularity.
    The gateway is closed, however, and the Emergent-to-be must overcome one final challenge: hacking his way past occult digital security to create himself a user profile with the requisite permissions to open the Iris. As he succeeds, the portal opens, granting the Emergent a brief vision of the entire course of human history and advancement, from past to present and beyond, spiraling forward into an infinite eternity of Progress.
    Typically, the new Emergent then receives an mundane email, offering congratulations and inviting him to join the Legacy’s online chat room.
    Organization: Aside from those members who have taken it upon themselves to act as moderators, there is very little internal organization. Occasionally groups will form to journey into the Singularity, and many remain in communication through the various online venues maintained and secured by members.
    Theory: The Singularity itself is the Emmanation Realm of Progress, and contains the whole of human history. The Emergent, however, are mostly just interested in what lies at the end of all that progress: the ascension of mankind through perfect blending of mind, technology, and magic.
    The origins of the signal drawing potential members to the Legacy are still hotly debated. Theories range from it being an outward manifestation of the prospective member’s inward drive towards innovation, to it being sent by an Archmage from the future! The only way to find out for sure is to plumb the farthest depths of the Singularity, and no one’s managed that yet (or if they have, they haven’t posted about it).

    Magic

    Ruling Arcanum: Forces
    Yantras: Succeeding on a Computers roll to write a script relevant to the spell (+2); running an app previously written for the spell (+1); producing a relevant meme (+1).
    Several Acanthus Emergent have also developed a variant of the Basilisk Yantra (see Signs of Sorcery page 53) that utilizes Forces 2 in addition to the Fate requirement, and allows the spell to be encoded into digital information, which then affects any computer that reads the spell into its active memory.
    Oblations: Researching or experimenting with new technological advances; exploring the Singularity

    Attainments

    First: Backwards Compatibility
    Prerequisites: Initiation
    The human brain is far more complex and marvelous than any computer. However, it doesn’t come with native WiFi support, a shortcoming that this Attainment remediates. By spending a scene in meditation, the Emergent can open himself up to all free-floating data transmissions, as the Forces 1 spell “Tune In”, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration.
    Additionally, the Emergent acts as a Key to any Iris leading to the Singularity, which are mostly found in technologically advanced areas of the Tenemos.
    Optional: Mind 1
    The antiquated storage protocols of the human brain are an unnecessary hindrance to progress. With this attainment, which emulates the Mind 1 spell “Perfect Recall”, the Emergent can perfectly recall a number of memories equal to their Mind rating as an Instant action.

    Second: Firmware Updates
    Prerequisites: Academics or Science 2, Forces 2
    Not content to remain a passive consumer of information, the Emergent learns to reach out and modify data transmissions using their mind alone. This Attainment emulates the Forces 2 spell “Transmission”, with Reach assigned to Instant Use.
    Optional: Mind 2
    One shortcoming of human wetware compared to traditional processors is its lack of multithreading capability. This Attainment helps to shorten that gap, emulating the Mind 1 spell “One Mind, Two Thoughts”, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration and to allow two Mental instant tasks simultaneously.

    Third: Remote Access
    Prerequisites: Computers 3, Forces 3
    No longer is the Emergent limited by such paltry things as a user-interface. He can command any electronic device to perform any action within its normal capabilities. Potential uses include powering up a device, running applications, manipulating a display, etc. This Attainment emulates the Forces 1 spell “Control Electricity”, with Reach assigned to Instant Use, Sensory Range, and to activate the Attainment on a subject the Emergent can view remotely. In combination with the first attainment, this attainment becomes usable on any computer the Emergent has an active internet connection to!
    Optional: Mind 3
    Humankind has accumulated vast stores of knowledge, with the potential to make anyone an expert on anything, if you’re willing to put up with the brain’s egregiously slow processing speed. By using the Singularity as a metaphysical backdoor, the Emergent is able to download knowledge and information directly into his mind. This emulates the Mind 3 spell “Enhance Skill”, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    Fourth: The Mind is Software
    Prerequisites: Computers 4, Forces 4, Mind 4
    While hardware is always becoming more efficient and sophisticated, the human body isn’t set to receive such updates any time soon. So the Emergent learns to simply discard their body as needed. This functions similarly to the Mind 4 spell “Psychic Projection”, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration, except instead of existing in a Twilight state, his mind inhabits a “body” of digitized soul-information. He cannot interact physically with his surroundings, and is effectively invisible, even to beings in Twilight. However, devices (and supernatural effects like “Tune In”) that are sensitive to wireless transmissions may detect his presence. While in this form, he gains a variant of the Possession Manifestation, which he can activate, at no cost, on any electronic device. While Possessing a device with wireless capabilities, the Emergent can transmit himself over the signal, effectively teleporting to any other internet-capable device!
    Optional: Mind 4
    A technological singularity is essentially the result of a computer smart enough to make itself even smarter. This Attainment is a step in that direction. It emulates the Mind 3 spell “Augment Mind”, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration, and to divide the increased dot ratings between two Mental or Social Attributes.

    Fifth: The Next Big Thing
    Prerequisites: Academics or Science 3, Computers 5, Forces 5
    The Emergent’s soul is now a window to the Singularity, able to draw forth it’s wondrous advances into the Fallen world before their time. This Attainment works as the Prime 3 spell “Platonic Form”, with reach assigned to Advanced Duration, and to allow complex devices. The Emergent must spend 1 Mana to activate this attainment. However, summoned technologies are not actually composed of Mana, and any Mana capacity allocated is automatically filled with “virtual” Mana, which can only serve to power the device’s use as a weapon or tool.
    Optional: Mind 5
    Human minds are actually networked together at a deep subconscious level. Tapping into those connections takes “social engineering” to a whole new level. This Attainment emulates the Mind 5 spell Social Networking, with Reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    This is just one possible interpretation of the Legacy. In particular, I went for a Computers-heavy approach to be a better fit for the player character. However, I could easily see a variant that focuses more on "hardware". Also, the Singularity is technically aligned with the Time arcana (there's a few details on the Realm itself in the 1e Archmage book), so there's a lot that could be done with the underlying concept. Also, Emanation Realms are just cool.
    Last edited by Scriptorian; 05-27-2021, 11:39 PM.

  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Scriptorian View Post

    Oh dear, so it is.

    I know I'd read your write up previously, but any idea stealing was entirely accidental and unconscious. I think most of the similarities can be chalked up to there only being so many spells that make sense for a technologically-focused Forces/Mind Legacy, particularly in the early levels (using Forces/Mind was for the benefit of the player character I originally did the write up for). The Fourth Attainments are weirdly similar, I grant you, but I was basing mine off of the line in Signs of Sorcery where the Emergent apparently "travel through the Singularity as digitized soul-information, to command electronic devices around the world."

    But at least the fluff is different (I say, having borrowed the name and concept from Signs of Sorcery ).

    So, uh, no hard feelings?
    I just thought it was funny, I didn't mean to sound accusatory.

    And, yes, the flavor is not only different, it's almost diametrically opposed: the Mentats would fundamentally not trust the Singularity. They wouldn't have problems with the Emergent, beyond cautioning them against placing so much trust in the Emanation realm, though.

    The Emergent feel very much like a Mastigos Legacy, to me, too, furthering the distinction from the Mentats.

    I like the Forces portion of Remote Access, I think it's a bit more clever than what I came up with for the 2nd Alternate, it might be worth swapping the 2nd and 3rd Alternate Attainments on the Mentats and ditching the encryption on Transmission.

    I also like the Forces portion of The Next Big Thing, it reminds me of the Omni-tool in Mass Effect.

    Leave a comment:


  • TempleBuilder
    replied
    Originally posted by Scriptorian View Post

    *quickly looks up the Transhuman Engineers*.

    Well, I have no idea what the canonical difference in philosophy between the Emergent and the Transhuman Engineers are supposed to be (again, we only get one short paragraph on the Emergent in Signs of Sorcery). Mechanically, the Transhumanists seem to be more hardware focused, with things like cybernetics and Imbued Items, whereas the Emergent (I'm guessing) have a Mind bent, with mention of memes and dreaming impossible technologies.

    It is also quite possible that the one time I'd previously glanced through the Transhuman Engineers write up subconsciously influenced my interpretation of the Emergent. But the fact that the Emergent are connected to a realm whose actual name is "The Singularity" is not actually my fault .

    My head-canon, for my version of Emergent at least, is that Emergent are (metaphorically) the hip youngsters, with their smartphones and memes and naive imaginations, as contrasted with the Transhumanists (slightly) more respectable engineers and (mad) scientists. The Transhumanist wants to experiment upon and improve humanity, the Emergent just wants to show everyone this awesome new smartphone from the future.
    That is actually really funny. To phrase what you said slightly differently as I understand it, one is focused on the path leading into the Singularity (Transhuman Engineers), while the other is focused on what lies after (The Emergent). That actually is a really neat dichotomy for the two legacies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scriptorian
    replied
    Originally posted by TempleBuilder View Post
    Ok, I like the legacy. The attainments and yantras and oblations are all great. I especially like Forces twilight. I have one minor concern. What is the difference and the relationship between The Emergent and the Transhuman Engineers? Both draw on Singularity symbolism. Is the difference just the drawing on the Emanation realm? Could both Legacies both draw on the Singularity but from Different angles?
    *quickly looks up the Transhuman Engineers*.

    Well, I have no idea what the canonical difference in philosophy between the Emergent and the Transhuman Engineers is supposed to be (again, we only get one short paragraph on the Emergent in Signs of Sorcery). Mechanically, the Transhumanists seem to be more hardware focused, with things like cybernetics and Imbued Items, whereas the Emergent (I'm guessing) have a Mind bent, with mention of memes and dreaming impossible technologies.

    It is also quite possible that the one time I'd previously glanced through the Transhuman Engineers write up subconsciously influenced my interpretation of the Emergent. But the fact that the Emergent are connected to a realm whose actual name is "The Singularity" is not actually my fault .

    My head-canon, for my version of Emergent at least, is that Emergent are (metaphorically) the hip youngsters, with their smartphones and memes and naive imaginations, as contrasted with the Transhumanists (slightly) more respectable engineers and (mad) scientists. The Transhumanist wants to experiment upon and improve humanity, the Emergent just wants to show everyone this awesome new smartphone from the future.
    Last edited by Scriptorian; 05-28-2021, 12:43 AM.

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  • TempleBuilder
    replied
    Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post


    There is no relation, the terms merely overlap. The Transhuman Engineers chase the singularity in the sense of achieving the point humanity and technology become one, reaching a post human state. The Emergent, similar to the Lords of Mars or the Walkers in Mysts, channel the power of an Emanation realm that they have internalized into their own Gnosis. The specifics of this Emanation can be found in page 54 of Imperial Mysteries. In summary, its an Arcadian Emanation of Time embodying the theme of Utopia. Multiple iterations exist within the infinite realm, from the KIngdom of Praester John to a space faring society, all falling a little bit short of perfection.
    Oh, I see. Guess I need to read Imperial Mysteries. I guess Emanation Legacies don’t need to share the same Arcanum as their Emanation Realm?

    Leave a comment:


  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    Originally posted by TempleBuilder View Post
    Ok, I like the legacy. The attainments and yantras and oblations are all great. I especially like Forces twilight. I have one minor concern. What is the difference and the relationship between The Emergent and the Transhuman Engineers? Both draw on Singularity symbolism. Is the difference just the drawing on the Emanation realm? Could both Legacies both draw on the Singularity but from Different angles?

    There is no relation, the terms merely overlap. The Transhuman Engineers chase the singularity in the sense of achieving the point humanity and technology become one, reaching a post human state. The Emergent, similar to the Lords of Mars or the Walkers in Mysts, channel the power of an Emanation realm that they have internalized into their own Gnosis. The specifics of this Emanation can be found in page 54 of Imperial Mysteries. In summary, its an Arcadian Emanation of Time embodying the theme of Utopia. Multiple iterations exist within the infinite realm, from the Kingdom of Praester John to a space faring society, all falling a little bit short of perfection.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 05-28-2021, 12:23 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scriptorian
    replied
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post
    This looks a lot like my Mentats Legacy I wrote up years ago, like, almost exactly.
    Oh dear, so it is.

    I know I'd read your write up previously, but any idea stealing was entirely accidental and unconscious. I think most of the similarities can be chalked up to there only being so many spells that make sense for a technologically-focused Forces/Mind Legacy, particularly in the early levels (using Forces/Mind was for the benefit of the player character I originally did the write up for). The Fourth Attainments are weirdly similar, I grant you, but I was basing mine off of the line in Signs of Sorcery where the Emergent apparently "travel through the Singularity as digitized soul-information, to command electronic devices around the world."

    But at least the fluff is different (I say, having borrowed the name and concept from Signs of Sorcery ).

    So, uh, no hard feelings?
    Last edited by Scriptorian; 05-28-2021, 12:47 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • TempleBuilder
    replied
    Ok, I like the legacy. The attainments and yantras and oblations are all great. I especially like Forces twilight. I have one minor concern. What is the difference and the relationship between The Emergent and the Transhuman Engineers? Both draw on Singularity symbolism. Is the difference just the drawing on the Emanation realm? Could both Legacies both draw on the Singularity but from Different angles? Edit: I hope I’m not being rude by asking this?
    Last edited by TempleBuilder; 05-28-2021, 12:11 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Yay, the Virtual Adepts.

    Leave a comment:


  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    Yep, the resemblance to the Mentats is uncanny.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    This looks a lot like my Mentats Legacy I wrote up years ago, like, almost exactly.

    Leave a comment:

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