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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
    The Exarchs are using a smaller proxy-force against the Pentacle from a hard-to-access dimension. They are also using the Seers against the sleeper-population to maintain the Lie. My guess is that a large part of what the Pentacle is trying to achieve involves trips through dangerous parts of the Umbra - military invasions, perhaps.
    The Umbra isn't a thing in Chronicles, the nearest equivalents don't connect cleanly to the dwellings of the Exarchs, and the Supernal is not a "dimension" that can be accessed by mortal beings. What the Pentacle is trying to achieve is a handful of different things that aren't going to be achieved through military action on account of their being societal goals.

    The Silver Ladder is trying to build magical society and tilt mortal society into a shape conducive to allowing more people to Awaken. The Guardians of the Veil are looking for their messiah and doing dirty jobs so other mages can become Wiser while they steer the unworthy away from Awakening. The Mysterium worship magic as a living being and try to safeguard its hidden body from corruption and destruction. The Arrow fight on behalf of others in the name of enlightened struggle. The Free Council as a collective are built around the magic of human culture and their formative rejection of the Tyrants.

    All of these groups are loosely allied against the celestial force that defines the world as the object of its designs, ruled over by the whims of the powerful and the fears of the mundane populace that knows of and willfully ignores the monsters in their midst. The Exarchs have commanded their Seers — the prison snitches to the reality-prison they are the wardens of — to seize the Watchtowers that allow humanity to break out of the illusions the Lie has mired their experience in.

    Fighting that is more than a matter of raising an army of spirits to attack and dethrone God — it's a game of conspiracy being played with forces that take a hammer to the human soul to directly witness, which means subtlety is called for. The Supernal obliterates everyone in it who isn't part of a god or the guest of one with its unfiltered experience, sometimes retroactively; as the mythic descriptive underpinnings of reality, it can make your soul explode like a deep-sea fish pulled into the open air.
    Last edited by Satchel; 08-19-2021, 06:34 PM.

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  • HorizonParty2021
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Well the Pentacle also has more of a chance considering the fact that they basically outnumber the Seers two-to-one.
    In some YouTube content about Ascension, a storyteller was talking about how you have to keep the players under so much pressure that they have great difficulty accruing Resources, Contacts, Influence or Nodes they didn't buy with background points. While I do thrust them into a story, I take different approach.

    The storyteller has way superior knowledge of the terrain and can apply this knowledge to how they run a single experienced, but not too powerful, Mage-adversary. One determined rival can seriously mess with a Cabal, even as they get more of the aforementioned goodies.

    By default, Ascension doesn't push the storyteller to maximize the resourcefulness of the adversary, because the Technocracy has to be so huge that it can respond to any Magick event that threatens the Consensus anywhere it happens, at any time, in a world of nearly eight billion sleepers with camera-phones.

    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    It should be understood that the dynamics of the Seers and Pentacle are not quite the Technocracy and Traditions, where the opposition has extreme control over the world and a lot more resources and the players need to keep their heads down. In a few ways, it can be the Seers who need to be discrete to not expose themselves to hostile Pentacle mages. And they're not necessarily always hostile; the Seers might have a commandment to destroy the Pentacle and several Orders have precepts opposed to the Seers with varying levels of severity, but a lot of the time outright fighting is going to be a result of competing interests, which might not come up as often as one might think. In several respects, Seers are looking to control things that Pentacle mages aren't very concerned with.
    The Exarchs are using a smaller proxy-force against the Pentacle from a hard-to-access dimension. They are also using the Seers against the sleeper-population to maintain the Lie. My guess is that a large part of what the Pentacle is trying to achieve involves trips through dangerous parts of the Umbra - military invasions, perhaps.

    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    As far as Pylons go, while there is internecine competition, there is also still a hierarchy that can be enforced from the top down. When commands are issued from the tetrarchs (Seers who have authority over members of a Ministry over large geographic areas), and possibly even from the Ministers or originating from the Exarchs themselves, all Pylons below know that it's in their interests to obey, and that can make them a lot more coordinated than the relatively lassaiz-faire Pentacle. You struggle against your peers to rise up, keep those beneath you pressed down and watch the ranks above for signs of weakness, but when orders come in they're obeyed without question (through a combination of the rewards it will entail, the expectation that such orders maintain the power base of the Order, and it being a bad idea to give superiors an excuse to punish you).
    A paranoid psychopath's dream.

    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    In the Seers book, there's an example character who has been living without using magic for years, building up a rapport with the family he's neighbours with in preparation for being given the order to kidnap one of the children. Not knowing what the intended outcome of this is, he can't rule out that the whole thing has been for the purpose of just testing how well he'll adhere to instructions. The pressure that Seers are under is expressed in how he's still tempted to cast just one spell to examine his target's future and see if there's anything significant there.
    That says a lot. A Technomancer would more likely use Magick to frame the family for something, a long-unattended roach infestation, let's say, and then use a social agency to legally remove the kid. This guy is forced to forgo Magick and prepare to commit a mundane criminal kidnapping. It enforces the Exarchs' total contempt for humanity on the minion who... has to Lie and pretend to care about his sleeper neighbors. Not being able to use Magick, it would be natural for him to relate to them. Any empathy or connection to the rest of humanity is being crushed out of him by this pitiless interdimensional bureaucracy.









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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Oh yeah, what Isator Levi said above definitely holds.

    For a WoD background, you could say the Seers are kinda similar to vampiric sects and Clans from Masquerade, especially the more religiously bent ones. Yes, you all follow orders from The Man, but sometimes you eat each other.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post

    I like that Pilons are untrustworthy backstabbers amongst each other. It makes sense for an evil organization and gives The Pentacle more of a chance.
    Well the Pentacle also has more of a chance considering the fact that they basically outnumber the Seers two-to-one.

    It should be understood that the dynamics of the Seers and Pentacle are not quite the Technocracy and Traditions, where the opposition has extreme control over the world and a lot more resources and the players need to keep their heads down. In a few ways, it can be the Seers who need to be discrete to not expose themselves to hostile Pentacle mages. And they're not necessarily always hostile; the Seers might have a commandment to destroy the Pentacle and several Orders have precepts opposed to the Seers with varying levels of severity, but a lot of the time outright fighting is going to be a result of competing interests, which might not come up as often as one might think. In several respects, Seers are looking to control things that Pentacle mages aren't very concerned with.

    As far as Pylons go, while there is internecine competition, there is also still a hierarchy that can be enforced from the top down. When commands are issued from the tetrarchs (Seers who have authority over members of a Ministry over large geographic areas), and possibly even from the Ministers or originating from the Exarchs themselves, all Pylons below know that it's in their interests to obey, and that can make them a lot more coordinated than the relatively lassaiz-faire Pentacle. You struggle against your peers to rise up, keep those beneath you pressed down and watch the ranks above for signs of weakness, but when orders come in they're obeyed without question (through a combination of the rewards it will entail, the expectation that such orders maintain the power base of the Order, and it being a bad idea to give superiors an excuse to punish you).

    In the Seers book, there's an example character who has been living without using magic for years, building up a rapport with the family he's neighbours with in preparation for being given the order to kidnap one of the children. Not knowing what the intended outcome of this is, he can't rule out that the whole thing has been for the purpose of just testing how well he'll adhere to instructions. The pressure that Seers are under is expressed in how he's still tempted to cast just one spell to examine his target's future and see if there's anything significant there.

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  • HorizonParty2021
    replied
    Thank you.

    So, The Hegemon Ministry would be more interested in government propaganda.

    When Awakening first came out, I was playing Ascension. I was always hearing about Atlantis from my then-girlfriend. I asked the other storyteller in my group about Awakening. He mentioned two things. First Atlantis, so, I thought, hmm, maybe not. Second was how Paradox erases Sleepers memories of Vulgar Magick, to which I said, "We should incorporate that into Ascension so the Technocracy doesn't have to have goons everywhere.". We agreed, continued playing that way and I totally forgot about Awakening.

    I like that Pilons are untrustworthy backstabbers amongst each other. It makes sense for an evil organization and gives The Pentacle more of a chance. So, I will see if I can come up with a character from each faction. An investigative journalist from the Free Council or Mysterium versus a government propagandist from The Hegemon Ministry.

    I'm on episode 2 of this live-play series of Awakening by Occultists Anonymous: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...6YlyOU1aQTO2au

    For Atlantis!

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Just keep in mind that while the Ministries have… preferred forms, so to speak, the Exarchs are both transcendent and immanent. When a parent whips their child to ‘straighten them,’ in that moment they are the General. (Speaking of the General; the Praetorians are probably more like warmongers and arms dealers).


    EDIT: Hey you know what I found a list of each Order/Ministry’s creed — here’s the Ministries’;

    Seers of the Throne (as a whole): Magic is payment.
    Paternoster: Faith is an unbreakable chain.
    Praetorians: The weak fear the strong.
    Hegemon: The State is the soul.
    Panopticon: Vision is power.
    Geryon: Faceless powers rule unopposed.
    Horologians: Routine is the opiate of the masses.
    Last edited by 21C Hermit; 08-19-2021, 03:28 AM.

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  • HorizonParty2021
    replied
    See if I can think of an institution or front appropriate to each...

    Paternoster serving the Father (Exarch of Prime and tyranny by faith)
    - A corrupt megachurch.

    the Praetorians serving the General (Exarch of Forces and tyranny by violence)
    - I would say the Pentagon, but that might have another role I'm not aware of. Steroid traffickers (currently using this in Ascension).

    the Hegemonic Ministry serving the Unity (Exarch of Mind and tyranny by conformity)
    - The woke mob on Twitter. Big Tech.

    the Panopticon serving the Eye (Exarch of Space and tyranny by surveillance).
    - Clearview AI
    https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/company-b...each-1.4829200

    Others:

    the Geryon, servants of the Nemesis (Exarch of Spirit and tyranny by conspiracy)
    - Goldman Sacks (also scarcity)

    the Horologians serving the Prophet (Exarch of Time and tyranny by routine)
    - Any shoe company who use sweatshops in poor counties.

    Mammon and the Pantechnicon at each others throats for who gets to serve the Chancellor (Exarch of Matter and tyranny by scarcity)
    - A payday lending firm that charges 800% interest, ridiculous but true.

    Some Interaction: The Megachurch is where people go to for relief from the woke mob and Big Tech censorship. It's in a poor town where a lot of people owe unpayable debts. The payday lender uses the megachurch's tax exempt status to make donations. In return, the preacher targets politicians trying to reform the lending industry.

    Thanks for the info.



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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    The Seers as a whole serve the Exarchs. A Ministry serves one Exarch. So the Ministries are to the Pyramid, what Conventions are to the Technocracy… but where the Technocrats are assumed to be working together despite the rivalry, intra-Seer and inter-Ministry relations are much more cutthroat.

    Currently, the four greater Ministries rule as the major powers of the Seers; the Paternoster serving the Father (Exarch of Prime and tyranny by faith), the Praetorians serving the General (Exarch of Forces and tyranny by violence), the Hegemonic Ministry serving the Unity (Exarch of Mind and tyranny by conformity), and the Panopticon serving the Eye (Exarch of Space and tyranny by surveillance). Those four Exarchs are honored as the Archigenitors.

    … The operative word here being “currently.” The ‘canon’ of which four Exarchs are Archigenitors and which four Ministries are the greater Ministries is being revisioned and corrected in-universe. Some time ago, the Geryon, servants of the Nemesis (Exarch of Spirit and tyranny by conspiracy), were a greater Ministry iirc.

    The lesser Ministries are; the aforementioned Geryon, the Horologians serving the Prophet (Exarch of Time and tyranny by routine), and both the Mammon and the Pantechnicon at each others throats for who gets to serve the Chancellor (Exarch of Matter and tyranny by scarcity). I don’t remember if we had names for lesser Ministries serving the Psychopomp (Exarch of Death), the Raptor (Exarch of Life), and the Ruin (Exarch of Fate).

    Iirc, the Methodologies are not sub-Ministries, but rather cross-Ministry organizations working for… honestly, I don’t remember much about them, and I don’t have the books with me at the moment.

    As for me, I don’t think I have a favorite yet. Each of them are lovable evil bastards.
    Last edited by 21C Hermit; 08-19-2021, 02:03 AM.

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