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Cognitohazzard terrorist / scp’s in Mtaw 2nd edition

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  • Cognitohazzard terrorist / scp’s in Mtaw 2nd edition

    Hi all,

    I’m thinking about a character for a new mage game that will start soon. The concept would be inspired by the series of stories “welcome to the antimemetic devision" and so will be a cognitohazzard / infohazzard theorist/terrorist.

    For those who haven’t read the book/stories; I highly recommend doing so. Afterwards please join in!

    For those familiar with the books or with SCP’s in general the following questions:

    I’m looking for some input on how to model the following:

    - summoning existing SCP’s, I have a feeling imps and wraiths fit the bill. Maybe spirits of information, not sure those exist.
    - creating artificial scp’s; I was thinking items/rooms imbued with mine/space/fate curses
    - would there be a way of making spells “contagious”? What about imbuements that travel? I was thinking of a curse or spell that switches to a new item every time it’s traded against a new item or something like that. Or memes and such that stick in peoples heads and spread through humming.

    Any ideas for a chat gen cognitohazzard specialist? The imbue trick needs prime 4 so is out. What arcana and merits would you focus on?

    What would you grow towards (apart from prime 4).
    Any legacies (1st or 2nd) that fit this theme?
    Sofar I like the reality makers for it or eyes of ain soph maybe.

    I’m looking forward to hearing/seeing and forgetting your thoughts on this
    Last edited by Reficulris; 11-07-2021, 02:48 PM.

  • #2
    I'm personally of the thought that any generalized rule on how to summon/make SCPs is against what they mean to begin with. Each one is, by definition, a unique anomaly.

    Memetic hazards are tricky, as by definition they're actually innate to the human brain and just activated by the trigger, no matter how anomalous the effects itself is, frequently added with a compulsion to spread the trigger.

    Those are interesting as Mysteries to uncover and Supernal or Abyssal phenomena. Instead of using magic to create the effect, you find out about the effect and how to deduce the trigger without being affected. In this case, the best way to simulate Foundation training on anti-memetics is with Mind.

    You can make a Cognitohazard out of anything, but the "fixing" effect would probably be Forces, as the classic non-memetic Cognitohazard affects only one sense and isn't necessarily limited to humans, or even living beings, so the effect travels through the chosen medium/perception.

    Finally, I would fix Infohazards to either a Mind or Fate effect.


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    #AutismPride
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    • #3
      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
      I'm personally of the thought that any generalized rule on how to summon/make SCPs is against what they mean to begin with. Each one is, by definition, a unique anomaly.
      Thank you for your feedback! Yes, I agree that summoning SCP's goes against their definition.

      Memetic hazards are tricky, as by definition they're actually innate to the human brain and just activated by the trigger, no matter how anomalous the effects itself is, frequently added with a compulsion to spread the trigger.
      Are they inate to the human brain or can they be a replication within information itself? There's Memetic hazards that affect information about them in files for instance which would to me imply they are not limited to human cognition only.

      Those are interesting as Mysteries to uncover and Supernal or Abyssal phenomena. Instead of using magic to create the effect, you find out about the effect and how to deduce the trigger without being affected. In this case, the best way to simulate Foundation training on anti-memetics is with Mind.
      Yes this might be a good theme to explore for my character.

      You can make a Cognitohazard out of anything, but the "fixing" effect would probably be Forces, as the classic non-memetic Cognitohazard affects only one sense and isn't necessarily limited to humans, or even living beings, so the effect travels through the chosen medium/perception.
      Ah, oh wait here you actually spell out what I meant above, yes so forces sounds like the right arcana.

      Finally, I would fix Infohazards to either a Mind or Fate effect.
      Cool, I could see an infohazzard being spaces or time related as well with effects like "lying maps" making it impossible to leave a infomaze or time effects to create infinite loops. Not traditional infohazzard territory but somewhat related.

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      • #4
        The thing here is the distinction between the effect and its "trigger", and an anomaly may pertain to more than one of those categories.

        A meme exists primarily on the human brain, while the trigger is mundane, or at least mundane-ish. It doesn't have to be an actual mundane thought, but its effect as meme isn't tied to the trigger.

        Now, do articles that have memetic effects on them change because of that? Or your perception on them changes? An entire text triggered by a meme doesn't actually exists in the medium, but in the head of the reader (of course, in the wiki it actually exists in the medium).

        Memes, Cognito and Infohazards may have a variety of effects that are determined by other Arcana. The ones I suggested would be the "delivery" system, the way the effect targets it victims. A stone that traps the people that see it by making them incapable of following maps or routes uses Space or Mind for its effect. But uses Forces to deliver the effect through its image, so just seeing it may be dangerous regardless of distance, while touching it is safe, a "typical" Cognitohazard.

        Infohazards, likewise, may do anything with other Arcana. But you need one Arcanum that binds this effect to the information itself. Mind is the first one I can think of, although Fate may also work. The "purest" Infohazard, though, would involve somehow accessing the Supernal Symbol of that information and targeting the Symbol itself with the effect, so you have it made anomalous in its most conceptual form.

        Summoning an SCP can definitely be a thing, just not with a fixed rule on doing so. Different SCPs are different things and follow different rules. But for Memetic and Infohazards, accessing their Supernal Symbols (or their Abyssal ones) seems like an interesting take on it.


        #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
        #AutismPride
        She/her pronouns

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Reficulris View Post

          I’m looking for some input on how to model the following:

          - summoning existing SCP’s, I have a feeling imps and wraiths fit the bill. Maybe spirits of information, not sure those exist.
          - creating artificial scp’s; I was thinking items/rooms imbued with mine/space/fate curses
          So, the Mage Second Edition corebook has a sidebar titled "Weird Stuff: An Incomplete List" that compiles a whole bunch of things that had been dotted around in the First Edition books that didn't fall under the familiar broad labels of Supernal, Abyssal, spirit, Astral, or ghost. Things like the SCPs would be dotted all over the Chronicles of Darkness setting, all strange and unique in their own right, and the premise of Mage: the Awakening has it that the Awakened will encounter and pursue these things as Mysteries all the time. Like, such things are probably more easily run into than actual manifestations of the Supernal.

          If the intended nature of any given creature is immaterial, then the ephemeral beings rules can be used to model it without it strictly needing to be from the Shadow. If it's a more physical kind of creature, the Horrors rules found in the Chronicles corebook can be used to build it, with guidelines on how to assign its traits and a list of Dread Powers it might possess.

          Similarly with objects, there are things with power other than those that explicitly contain Supernal magic. Some of them are the items used in the other game lines (the fetishes of Werewolf, the Relic of Mummy, the Gadgets of Demon, etc.), some of them aren't directly tied to such systems and settings. I believe that it was the First Edition supplement to the base setting titled Reliquaries that a lot of information and examples of them. These are also the sorts of things mages might acquire and study and compile in their storehouses.

          Originally posted by Reficulris
          would there be a way of making spells “contagious”? What about imbuements that travel? I was thinking of a curse or spell that switches to a new item every time it’s traded against a new item or something like that. Or memes and such that stick in peoples heads and spread through humming.
          Doing that kind of thing deliberately would be the sort of thing that results from the Imperial Practice of Dynamics, so not to be cast by anybody other than archmasters.

          However, the First Edition supplement Night Horrors: The Unbidden is focused on the topic of how sometimes magic cast with improper understanding or intent or left too long on its own can end up mutating in bizarre directions, taking on properties outside of the usual capabilities of spells. Something like what you're describing sounds like it would fit right in with the examples from that book (presuming such a thing isn't in there already).

          On top of that, while not a matter of spells, I would say something like that could come out of Paradox Anomalies. The mages called Scelesti can deliberately trigger such things, and even exert a bit of control over how they manifest.

          Originally posted by Reficulris
          Any ideas for a chat gen cognitohazzard specialist? The imbue trick needs prime 4 so is out. What arcana and merits would you focus on?
          You know, as far as character generation goes, I think making encountering such a thing and bending it to one's will an Aspiration is a good place to start. Like, Aspirations aren't just things the character personally wants, they're also signals to the Storyteller about what the player wants to be provided for the character to pursue or encounter, and you'll even get Beat rewards for doing so.

          Because I do feel as though something as unusual as this is better served being encountered and tamed within the sessions, rather than trying to model some obscure Merit on the idea of already having it in hand.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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          • #6
            When it comes to Legacies, the following come to mind:

            Logophages. Mages devoted to keeping knowledge away from the unworthy, even to the point of erasing it entirely. Their unique approach consists of destroying their own memories, be it to ensure some secrets are kept forever, or as sacrament. In the default setting they're considered ideological Banishers, but in a world where knowledge is that dangerous, they may earn greater respect. They're originally from Legacies: the Ancient. They've had a 2nd Edition update and an NPC writeup in Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed.

            Fangs of Mara. Mages who study fear and insanity to develop weapons against the Abyss. Their Legacy initiations consist of astrally projecting into dreams of Acamoth. It's a trial meant to shape their Gnosis, but also a way of stealing forbidden knowledge (Be aware that definition of "Acamoth" changed between editions). Widely seen as Scelesti - it's up to you if you depict them as a necessary evil, or sadists with delusions of grandeur. Either way, they're the ones to actively face info-hazards, and walk away functional. So far, they only appeared in Legacies: the Sublime, but I brainstormed some ideas about them before.

            Originally posted by Teatime View Post
            Fangs of Mara and the Astral

            Fangs have all the means and reasons to maintain a stronghold in their Temenotic realm. Considering their need for secrecy and how easily each individual's experiences can be lost, Fangs regularly network and review their results. Unfortunately, either due to their actions, or their usual thoughts, the area was frequently a target of Acamoth interest. Fangs have made lemonade out of lemons and took the opportunity to study the Enemy on their conditions. The realm had to be erased a few times to prevent corruption, and each time "non-vital" knowledge was lost. It's one of the reasons Fangs often squirrel away records in the Material Realm. Now, with proper Security in place, most Acamoth are either unaware of the place or are captured and quarantined. The more worrying are the ones that deliberately stay away. Even those that don't intend a confrontation can sell their knowledge to someone who does.

            In the depths of the Astral, off the road between Temenos and Anima Mundi there is a realm containing the rawest of human nightmares. It has always been of interest to Fangs of Mara, but between their numbers and the challenges of studying the place they still feel woefully ignorant. Even then they count among their number the foremost experts on the region. Their research allowed them to discover an important phenomenon - intense experiences, especially those caused by the supernatural, leave a temporary Imprint in the realm. Patrolling the realm allows to discover sites of recent supernatural activity, including places where Sleepers were damaged by Dissonance. Fangs can use this phenomenon to search for Scelesti and Intruders, but those who do usually become quite informed about other Things that bump in the night. Some Fangs use the information to earn goodwill with the local Orders - a way of keeping oneself useful. However, there exists a factor that discourages careless entry. Aside from the usual dangers of the Astral, Fangs occasionally become targets of scrutiny by a powerful presence. What happens next varies. Travelers have found themselves taken to an important Imprint - possibly of their own making, confronted with their fears and desires, trapped with a monstrous Goetia, or even back in the Material Realm, far off from where they meditated. Of those who survive the ordeal, most reports have one thing in common - a sense of deranged love Fangs feel directed towards them. It's an unnerving experience and as far as Fangs know, there are no records of other Mages going through it.


            ~

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            • #7
              I have an NPC Mastigos Censor of the Mysterium who specializes in fighting Memetic hazards including Acamoth. His name is Stoker and he and his boyfriend Wilde are good and nice boys.

              But anyway the Censors are practically intended to deal with this stuff because their whole thing is preventing dangerous secrets from running around. I'm just leaving a comment to steal ideas as they show up.

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