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"Every Card Can Be Inverted"- Dual Names of the Paths Theories

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  • "Every Card Can Be Inverted"- Dual Names of the Paths Theories

    So, as I assume that everyone know, in the FWC each of the Paths is going to get two "nicknames", which are going to work as Archetypes for the Paths. While the chances to guess the right name is kinda hopeless, I think that one of the writers have given us an hint to how the different names are going to be connected- Every Card Can Be Inverted. That is, while the two Archetypes walk in the same Path, each is going to do so in a different style, while achieving to the same goal.

    For example, the Acanthus. The two names for them are going to be "Enchanters" and "Witches". The common thing in both Archetypes is, IMO, that both are about attraction- people are lured and dazzled by them, losing control over themselves and becoming tools in their hands. The difference is that Enchanters do it by beauty- by the charm and beauty of their magic they draw people toward them, something like Morgan La Fey. Witches, however, do it by dread- no one likes them, yet the fear from them also makes people to come to them, seeking for their help in desperate times or being drawn to the aura of fear that is around them, like the Witch of Endor. Two sides, the same coin.

    The same could be said about the Moros. From one side, you have the Necromancers. From the other, Alchemists. The common thing around them is that both of them search to understand the mysteries of souls and death, and that both search after immortality. Their style, however, is radically different. Alchemists are agents of creation- they change, they transmute and they transform one thing to another, learning about the nature of the human soul in order to achieve perfection. Necromancers, however, are scavengers- they don't seek to turn things into better, and instead preserve what they can and force things to cling to their past until they could preserve themselves as a mockery of who they are. Alchemists work for a brighter future, Necromancers cling to a beloved past, but in the end, the goal is the same.

    I think that this is the idea around the other Archetypes are built, but in order to make a successful guess it would need a deep understand of both the Paths and their Archetypes. For example, what is a Warlock? Where does the Path of the Mastigos leads to? Suffering and punishment seems to be the major themes of the Path, and the Warlock represent them by forcing his inner darkness to his own gain. Perhaps their opposite side would be about punishing others, like an Inquisitor? And what about Shamans? They are, by their essence, moderators between spirit and man, and they do so by allowing themselves to be one with their instincts, so they'll be more spirit-like. Maybe their inverted form is someone who do the same thing by allowing spiritis to understand humans? And what about Theurges? They are magicians who call down the the help of the divine beings. While the clear antithesis would be rebelling against them, it is actually the imagery of their Abyssal reflection- so it is a big no no. So maybe instead of the commanding presence of the Theurges, there would be the more humble servants of the gods? Still doesn't sound right, considering that both walk the Path of Mighty.. so maybe both Archetypes focus of raw power and the nature of reality, with the Theurges calling down the powers of higher beings while the other Path see the divinity everywhere, like a Mystic?

    What are your thoughts?


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    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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  • #2
    I don't really see it. I don't think 'Necromancer' has a stable enough meaning. Your description originates in 20th century pulp fiction (I'd guess), but there's the older and broader meaning of simply someone who summons ghosts.


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    • #3
      Originally, "Necromancers" were people who summoned the ghosts of the dead in order to tell for the future, with the biblical Witch of Endor being an example for such people. The Witch of Endor is also being given as en example for an Acanthus in the FWC, so it may mean something.

      In short, a Necromancer is someone who "mutilate the dead for personal gain"- and that was the way they were described at school, not D&D. By their essence, they are people who cling for the past, and the affinity of the Moros for Matter along with Death makes them "feel", IMO, more like the pulp fiction version than the biblical and mythological one. Plus, Rose once said that WoD is less "all stories are true" and more "all pulp fiction are true", so I don't see a problem with Necromancers fulfilling the Archetype of what most modern people think about when they hear the word "Necromancer"


      Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

      "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

      I now blog in here

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      • #4
        Originally, "Necromancers" were people who summoned the ghosts of the dead in order to tell for the future, with the biblical Witch of Endor being an example for such people. The Witch of Endor is also being given as en example for an Acanthus in the FWC, so it may mean something.
        Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that.

        In short, a Necromancer is someone who "mutilate the dead for personal gain"- and that was the way they were described at school, not D&D.
        You clearly went to a more interesting school than I did; but that description doesn't make any sense. I mean, you can mutilate a corpse all you want and no one is going to call you a necromancer.

        By their essence, they are people who cling for the past, and the affinity of the Moros for Matter along with Death makes them "feel", IMO, more like the pulp fiction version than the biblical and mythological one.
        I don't think that's correct of either the fictional archetype or the Moros. The point of the Moros path is precisely about not clinging to the past. Also, the modern archetype has a big thing about immortality which the majority of Moros seem to feel is taboo.

        Plus, Rose once said that WoD is less "all stories are true" and more "all pulp fiction are true", so I don't see a problem with Necromancers fulfilling the Archetype of what most modern people think about when they hear the word "Necromancer"
        That's a fair point, I mean as far as I can tell 'lich' comes from D&D but the Tremere still get called that. However, I think your definition of necromancer is itself not quite right even of the modern version of the necromancer. Plenty of them (I'd guess most actually) aren't clinging to the past, they're just horrible people lusting after more and more power. Necromancers are evil wizards, not tragic nostalgic wizards.

        This all being said; I think you actually have a good idea here. I mean, the entire mage setting is about the importance and significance of symbols and it would be very fitting that the common nicknames have this kind of connection. However so far I think your claims are a bit too contrived to make me think they're an intentional part of the writing.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          I mean as far as I can tell 'lich' comes from D&D but the Tremere still get called that.
          It's Old English for "Corpse."



          Dave Brookshaw

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          • #6
            I just looked up the etymology for 'sorceror' because I was about to suggest it for Obrimos or Mastigos, but then I discovered that it has roots in Latin sors for 'fate' or 'lots'.


            Currently playing at Fabula Rasa in the Cold Equations venue; planning an Obrimos for Fallen London.
            I can also be found at http://darkersolstice.tumblr.com

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            • #7
              It's Old English for "Corpse."
              That's awesome.


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              • #8
                lichyard is also another word for cemetery for the same reason.


                I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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                • #9
                  I suspect that whatever the alternative for Warlocks is, it will be something that emphasizes the "improvement through adversity" themes of Mastigos, to contrast with Warlock, which seems to focus on their amorality and willingness to challenge convention. Maybe "Ascetic" or "Monk", or some other name which is evocative of individuals who gain power or enlightenment by discipline and self-denial, which also helps give them some diversity beyond infernal, blood sacrifice-y aesthetics.

                  If "Prophet" wasn't already the name for an Exarch, I'd guess that was the new name for Obrimos, although that's still evocative of calling on the power of the Divine, which Theurge seems to cover. Maybe the new name emphasizes that Obrimos, like other mages, search for answers, instead of just having all of them already, and that they humbly revere Truth as much as embody it-something like "Pilgrims" or "Mystics", although the latter is problematic because older books tend to use it to describe mages generally.

                  "Shaman" seems to emphasize the symbiotic, harmonizing nature of Thyrsus, but not really the Dionysian, drunk on vitality side. I can't remember if "Maenad" is already used in the setting or not, but it would cover that well, although it might be too obscure to serve as a heuristic for the average player who's trying to use the nicknames to remember what the Paths are about. They could call them "Ecstatics"-I think I've heard that term somewhere before

                  "Druid", while represented in the D&D tradition as being a very Thyrsus power-set, also seems to be more in the wheel-house of Acanthus symbolism in M:tAw materials published thus far, probably because of the (perhaps more historical) association with universal laws, omens, and seasonal rituals.
                  Last edited by GhostTurtle; 07-20-2014, 07:43 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Seers of the Throne is great for this, even when you don't use Seers at all. In contrast to bits of Abyssal lore, which warp Supernal themes into opposites and nonsense, they present each individual Arcanum and Path with relatively "sane" corruptions into unWise ideals.

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                    • #11
                      The terms I conjectured (and that Dave discredited) were “conjurer” for Space-oriented Mastigos, “wizard” for Forces-oriented Obrimos, and “druid” for Life-oriented Thyrsus.


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                      • #12
                        The Mastigos term is a less than well known one derived from contemporary occultists. You should be ready for it to kind of come it at right angles to what you might expect. In any event, each Path has one dominant name that's getting moved to a more prominent place. We want the Paths to suggest some classic sorcerous concepts instead of completely wallowing in its own references. That's why we have Witch in there.

                        I suppose I can also mention there are *two* cards per Path now--well, with one exception.


                        Writer, Game Designer, Pro since 99.

                        Thoughts at mobunited.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Malcolm View Post
                          I suppose I can also mention there are *two* cards per Path now--well, with one exception.
                          Are the secondary ones from Keys to the Supernal Tarot mostly being retained?


                          Resident Lore-Hound
                          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                            Are the secondary ones from Keys to the Supernal Tarot mostly being retained?

                            I'm going with a different scheme because the purpose of doing this is a bit different.


                            Writer, Game Designer, Pro since 99.

                            Thoughts at mobunited.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Malcolm View Post
                              The Mastigos term is a less than well known one derived from contemporary occultists. You should be ready for it to kind of come it at right angles to what you might expect. In any event, each Path has one dominant name that's getting moved to a more prominent place. We want the Paths to suggest some classic sorcerous concepts instead of completely wallowing in its own references. That's why we have Witch in there.

                              I suppose I can also mention there are *two* cards per Path now--well, with one exception.
                              By any chance, can you reveal whether Warlock will by the primary archetype for the Mastigos?


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