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[Open Dev]Signs of Sorcery-Introduction and Advanced Mage Sight

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  • WHW
    replied
    Every Mage is just a small, larval Exarch :P. And yeah, I also got the vibe of "many of the Mysteries are just quirks of the world that happened on their own, instead of being puffed into existence by Supernal [magic]", instead of "many mysteries come outside of this gameline".
    Like, Ghosts and Souls, they are non-Supernal Mysteries. Or self-immolation. Or dogs suiciding from a certain bridge. First one would be Death Mystery, second one...Forces or Life or Spirit or etc, third one Mind or Spirit or Fate or...and so on.

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  • MCN
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    everyone needs to believe in something
    Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
    Are they? They're symbols of exerting power to enact control. We only call that tyranny when it's universal and/or cruel/excessive by whatever metric we consider appropriate. The rest of the time we call it government, law, order...

    The Exarchs are right bastards because they're largely indiscriminate, but there's a reason that the Seers of the Throne and the Silver Ladder outright used to be the same school of thought.

    I can think of a dozen reasons to call on the Exarchs, even while plotting their downfall, and the hypocrisy of that is one of the reasons the setting is so delightful.
    Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
    Whatever makes you sleep at night I guess.
    Except that atamajakkiis right. The Exarchs pretty much are symbols. They're expressions of control and tyranny. And, frankly speaking, its not hard to fall into the trap of invoking their power without conciously meaning to. What do I mean by that?

    What are the symbols necessary to cast a spell to mind control someone? Or dominate a rebellous spirit? Mages cast magic through the use of symbols and Yantra. Its not hard to imagine that a mage could end up using some of the tyranical symbols for what they feel are good reasons without realizing that they're using the symbols of the Exarchs. Sure, invariably, we're going to have such spells end up being Wisdom breaking points, but every Order has their Wisdom blind spots in their philosophies, and CofD games expect for one to drop in one's Integrity equivalents. Ignorance is not an excuse in this case.

    And we know for an absolute fact that we can use the symbols of Tyranny in spell casting. The Seers are renowned for it, in fact.
    Last edited by MCN; 03-22-2016, 07:44 AM.

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  • Ephsy
    replied
    Isn't the very notion of an abyss of unreality separating the ultimate reality from Earth enough to justify your need for everything being light casted down from there thru the corrupting lenses of an abyssal layer?

    It's your easy way out of your philosophical conundrum.

    Of course, there's no way to prove it. But it'll let you sleep at night.

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  • Solar
    replied
    I guess I am just uninterested in supernatural phenomena which are not manipulate-able and understandable through the Supernal just like non-supernatural phenomena is. Everything in the Fallen is the reflection of the Supernal, that's how the cosmology works and I like that it works in that way. The Abyss is then the anti-truth, the anathema to a Mage's power, it takes the role of The Enemy. It's The Exception, and is relevant in being The Exception

    I'm fine with coming across weird Supernatural shit a Mage didn't do, but I don't think there's much merit at all in this silly idea that arrogant mages need to be slapped down by powers explicitly outside their purview. The "problem" of Mage supremacy is entirely invented, IMO, and crossovers with other game lines doesn't interest me. If there is something vampire like in a Mage game I run, it's not out of Requiem, and it doesn't have any special snowflake protection or separation from the Arcanum. For a start, I'd have to buy and read Requiem!

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  • Kumiko
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    A small and rambling collage of things to consideration:

    Vampire's Gangrel clanbook includes a passage that describes Hurricane Katrina as "[N]ot an eye as you might think but instead, a mouth. A terrible hungry mouth, a vacuuming vortex[, s]piritual and terrible[.]"

    In the Fallen World Fiction Anthology story "Crimson Lips," Early describes Awakened magic as "[A] fire inside of [a mage, s]omething that we kindle with new knowledge. […] It's about finding things out, and using that knowledge to make ourselves stronger[.]" (I also vaguely remember a theory that the Awakening is the universe trying to understand itself, but that could just be somebody cribbing from Babylon 5 and/or Cosmos.)

    Promethean's alchemical lore equates the act of dismembering a body to be reassembled into one of the Created with the process of digestio.

    The word we use for finding an answer to a problem shares a Latin root with solvent and dissolve.

    I've mentioned once or twice how one of the reasons that springs to mind that crossover bleedthrough doesn't happen very often is that the systems of metaphysics a lot of gamelines deal with are at least partially sentient and averse to incorporation by each other; consider in this context that the post-Fall Supernal is described as largely subjugated and/or subdued and that the most evident examples of the above hostile cosmologies in Mage are greater Abyssal entities.

    To know something is to have consumed it, and to consume something is to make it part of oneself.
    Or to realize that there are histories, timelines, civilizations (Atlantis itself) that never were but fully exist and are completely true.

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  • Kumiko
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

    Well, the Supernal is a realm of symbols and forms, and the Exarchs are just some especially unpleasant symbols...
    Whatever makes you sleep at night I guess.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
    It'd be nice to have the Word of God on that one. As it stands, I feel a bit uncertain on it still.
    A small and rambling collage of things to consideration:

    Vampire's Gangrel clanbook includes a passage that describes Hurricane Katrina as "[N]ot an eye as you might think but instead, a mouth. A terrible hungry mouth, a vacuuming vortex[, s]piritual and terrible[.]"

    In the Fallen World Fiction Anthology story "Crimson Lips," Early describes Awakened magic as "[A] fire inside of [a mage, s]omething that we kindle with new knowledge. […] It's about finding things out, and using that knowledge to make ourselves stronger[.]" (I also vaguely remember a theory that the Awakening is the universe trying to understand itself, but that could just be somebody cribbing from Babylon 5 and/or Cosmos.)

    Promethean's alchemical lore equates the act of dismembering a body to be reassembled into one of the Created with the process of digestio.

    The word we use for finding an answer to a problem shares a Latin root with solvent and dissolve.

    I've mentioned once or twice how one of the reasons that springs to mind that crossover bleedthrough doesn't happen very often is that the systems of metaphysics a lot of gamelines deal with are at least partially sentient and averse to incorporation by each other; consider in this context that the post-Fall Supernal is described as largely subjugated and/or subdued and that the most evident examples of the above hostile cosmologies in Mage are greater Abyssal entities.

    To know something is to have consumed it, and to consume something is to make it part of oneself.

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  • Axelgear
    replied
    Originally posted by MorkaisChosen View Post
    Nothing I've seen gave me the impression that the book was doing anything other than what you want it to do. May be a difference of interpretation; I was definitely getting a "most mysteries aren't Supernal magic" vibe without feeling like Mages weren't looking to understand them in Supernal terms.

    Hell, that's reinforced by the fact that any of these can be Obsessions and grant Arcane XP - you can increase your understanding of the Supernal by unravelling any mystery, whether it's based in direct manipulation and manifestation of Supernal symbols or is as Supernal as a rock or a tree.

    (And then we add Legacies and the like, many of which can be viewed as driving into the easily-overlooked mysteries of what it means to be a rock.)
    It'd be nice to have the Word of God on that one. As it stands, I feel a bit uncertain on it still.

    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
    Well, the Supernal is a realm of symbols and forms, and the Exarchs are just some especially unpleasant symbols...
    Are they? They're symbols of exerting power to enact control. We only call that tyranny when it's universal and/or cruel/excessive by whatever metric we consider appropriate. The rest of the time we call it government, law, order...

    The Exarchs are right bastards because they're largely indiscriminate, but there's a reason that the Seers of the Throne and the Silver Ladder outright used to be the same school of thought.

    I can think of a dozen reasons to call on the Exarchs, even while plotting their downfall, and the hypocrisy of that is one of the reasons the setting is so delightful.

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  • Enokh
    replied
    Alright, look, about this "Everything in Mage should be about the Supernal because everything comes from the Supernal" bit.

    Let's assume the Big Bang is how our universe started (mostly because I don't want to get into that argument). That means everything, ultimately, came from the Big Bang. But someone getting a Masters in Psychology wouldn't exactly say that their degree will be about the Big Bang.

    The same argument can more or less be made with extremely high-level math.

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

    Well, the Supernal is a realm of symbols and forms, and the Exarchs are just some especially unpleasant symbols...
    everyone needs to believe in something

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  • nofather
    replied
    Plus it's not as if they were always enemies. The first Seers were factions in what would eventually be the Diamond.

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  • atamajakki
    replied
    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
    ah the pentacle,how i lovd those hypocrites
    Well, the Supernal is a realm of symbols and forms, and the Exarchs are just some especially unpleasant symbols...

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  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
    I think that throwaway mention of "Pentacle mages drawing upon the Exarchs" did more for me than the entire rest of that preview. Woof.
    ah the pentacle,how i lovd those hypocrites

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  • MorkaisChosen
    replied
    Nothing I've seen gave me the impression that the book was doing anything other than what you want it to do. May be a difference of interpretation; I was definitely getting a "most mysteries aren't Supernal magic" vibe without feeling like Mages weren't looking to understand them in Supernal terms.

    Hell, that's reinforced by the fact that any of these can be Obsessions and grant Arcane XP - you can increase your understanding of the Supernal by unravelling any mystery, whether it's based in direct manipulation and manifestation of Supernal symbols or is as Supernal as a rock or a tree.

    (And then we add Legacies and the like, many of which can be viewed as driving into the easily-overlooked mysteries of what it means to be a rock.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Axelgear
    replied
    I wanna raise my own disquiet to this, too.

    I like Mage as a game about Truth. I like the idea that there is always some grand, cosmic answer all Mages are chasing; some final intuition always beyond the horizon, within which lies some absolute peace and happiness they all desperately crave. Union with God, Nirvana, Moksha, the restoration of the Adam Kadmon, solving the final equation in a grand Theory of Everything...

    Whatever it is, I like Mages chasing that Truth; emotional, moral, philosophical, aesthetic, scientific, whatever. As long as they are chasing A Truth, I am happy.

    That Truth, to me, is what the Supernal Realms exemplify: A grand, unifying understanding, hidden behind a world of Lies, an Abyss of ignorance, and a veil of symbolism.

    This love for the idea of Mages seeking a Grand Unified Theory isn't without its flaws. It is a major cause of the ever-frustrating Mage Supremacy arguments (wonderfully smacked down by, I think, Satchel by comparing them to particle physicists), but I consider those a necessary price of the setting. If the Supernal is not the source of all reality it is not, and cannot be, the Truth.

    I welcome the emphasis on "Not all Mysteries are Supernal", in the same way I welcome the reminder that not all science is particle physics. The Supernal may underpin the Tapestry, but vampires and spirits and werewolves draw their power naturally from the occult laws of the Fallen World; they draw on the Supernal in the same way a rock does to be hard or a tree does to grow, but no more. In a way, Mages are almost cut off from a layer of complexity others have infinitely greater acuity sensing, understanding, and wielding. They must start to understand such things from first principles. To continue the analogy, just because you know the rough structure of the atoms that make an elephant up, and the energy and types of bonds they form, doesn't mean you understand their migration habits, yet alone anything else.

    However, if one completely divests the Supernal from its role of underpinning the world, you make the Supernal little more than a battery with which to charge a Mage's spells. It ceases to be a font of knowledge beyond anything it manipulates. It is merely another oddity, however grand. Mages may as well seek truth in Changeling Arcadia, as they will most certainly no longer find it in their own.

    So that's my take. In summary, disabuse players and characters alike that they're omniscient and know best, yet alone know all, but it'd be preferable to do so without undermining one of the setting's best elements: The search for Truth.

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