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The Cosmology of the New World of Darkness

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  • The Cosmology of the New World of Darkness

    The cosmology of the nWod has always been a bit confusing to me. I decided to sit down tonight and try and create a visual map since I tend to learn better this way. Going around the web looking at other posts and whatnot, this is what I have so far. It would be great to get feedback and/or constructive criticism to keep this moving forward. A lot of my gaming friends would be giddy if they found something like this.


  • #2
    You've mislabeled the Shadow as Twilight, the Astral should by rights connect to/run through the Abyss at some point, the Emanations listed appear to be drawn ex nihilo and placed out of order with their relative position between the Supernal and the Abyss, the Underworld isn't a Lower Depth itself, and I'd recommend switching the layering between the Hedge and the arrow that I assume denotes its line of passage to indicate that it runs through the Abyss rather than being after it on a separate line of progression (fae cosmological elements' notorious fuzziness notwithstanding).

    Resident Sanguinary Analyst
    Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e


    • #3
      Circle labeled Twilight should be Shadow, I'd put either a black & white or color inverted globe between the Material and the Guantlet to represent Twilight.


      • #4
        Ah, Mage cosmology. A topic dear to my heart. You've managed to lure this lurker out of the shadows.

        Last summer I couldn't stop thinking about the nWoD cosmology, and I knew it wouldn't go away until I wrote it down on paper. I feel it's pretty complete. My main game lines are Mage, Changeling, and Hunter. I haven't read Demon or Mummy yet so I might be missing a few things. The Dream Lands and Dark World are from Princess the Hopeful. Everything else on there is from the books.

        Looking at the map I should have flipped the positions of the Shadow and the Underworld, and the dividing line for the Underworld should be labeled as the Avernian Gates. I'll have to fix that and rescan the sheet. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

        If I'm missing anything feel free to point it out and I'll add it to the sheet if there's room.

        The Map:


        • #5
          Alright, here is attempt 2:


          • #6
            Looks better. This is the one I always liked:


            • #7
              I like that one, but making it so artsy also made it harder to read (I'm very much a function over looks person). There are strange things like Arcadia existing on the map three times. If he was still keeping it up maybe he could incorporate some of the other game lines as well. Still, the dude churned out a very attractive diagram.


              • #8
                Out of curiosity, why does everyone feel the need to label twilight? It is a state of being within the material realm rather than being its own independent realm. "Twilight" is just WoD slang for saying "out of phase".


                • #9
                  Yeah, they do not label solid, liquid or gaseous so labeling what amounts to another state of matter is weird. That said is a very, very common misconception the fact that Twilight is treated as another plane.

                  I'm So Meta Even This Acronym


                  • #10
                    I made mine semi-transparent just to indicate a veil you had to pierce between realms.


                    • #11
                      This was my attempt a while back. Didn't know about Duat at the time but it would have been in the lower depths.

                      Though to be honest if I were to make another chart it would be a circle with the Supernal (Empyrean?) at the center and would progress like this:
                      (Empyrean?) -> Supernal -> Emanations -> Abyss -> Astral: (Anima Mundi/Dreamtime, Temenos, Oneiros) -> Phenomenal/Fallen: (Material, Shadow, Underworld, Hedge, (Emanations?)) -> Lower Depths: (Inferno, Duat, Strix, (Unknown?))
                      Each -> representing a step out from the center.
                      Last edited by cmwatford; 02-22-2015, 01:19 AM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CthulusButtCheeks View Post
                        Don't be sad if you can't make it work 100%. The designers made the NWoD impossible to map on purpose.
                        Originally posted by Malcolm
                        In truth, we made some pretty deliberate decisions intended to make the various places defy mapping schemes. As I worked on Inferno, Astral Realms (Dreamtime), Dancers in the Dusk (The Skein section, among others) and Imperial Mysteries, you can blame me for designing these places to knowingly break comprehensive models.
                        Originally posted by DaveB
                        Is it wrong that the Cosmological WTFerry was the impetus behind me inventing those things? I remember sitting at lunch at my day-job at the time and thinking "I know what'll upset people's maps!"

                        My custom legacy (2e)- The Disciples of Rathma - Life/Death focused Moros/Thyrsus Legacy, comments appreciated


                        • #13
                          To be honest, I've always been a bit leery of putting the Supernal realms as actual physical realms, but then I imagine them as a conceptual space rather a cosmological space.


                          • #14
                            Aside from other quirks of my head-canon's cosmology, I envision the Empyrean to be sort of the cosmic bubble that wraps around everything else. Like, if all the different otherworlds were gumballs in a jar then the Empyrean is a blanket that's wraps the jar. It's not a glue or thread, so to speak, but more like skin on a human being: muscles hold bones and organs together, but it's skin that makes sure it's not spilling all over


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by That Other Guy View Post
                              To be honest, I've always been a bit leery of putting the Supernal realms as actual physical realms, but then I imagine them as a conceptual space rather a cosmological space.

                              In first edition, it was up in the air, but in second edition our decision to make the Supernal World what you see when using Mage Sight, and the Supernal Realms the unseen Supernal without the shape of the world to give it structure, has made it much clearer. The Supernal isn't a physical place, it is a conceptual space, and this has a few other knock-on effects; first ed Geist and Changeling flirted (changeling much more so) that Stygia and Mage Arcadia were in the Underworld and Changeling Arcadia.

                              They're not. As of second edition, the "Arcadia Question" is answered with a great big No. The things that abduct people through the Hedge are not Supernal Fae, any more than the fuel Demons use is the Supernal World of the Obrimos. We considered the ramifications carefully, and decided that a long-teased crossover issue was an acceptable loss for the setting change we wanted.

                              Dave Brookshaw