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  • Warlocks of Arcadia, 2e-style

    The purpose of this hack is to update the “Warlocks of Arcadia” Path variant from Mage Chronicler's Guide to work with the added effort that Mage 2e has put into investing more meaning into the Paths than just what your Arcanum biases are.

    An Awakening is what happens when a part of your soul connects to a Watchtower, forming a Path between them. As such, your Path is determined by which Watchtower connects to which part of your soul; so a “Warlock of Arcadia” is on a Path that is anchored to his spirit (what the Arisen would call his Ba). Every mage also has a Shame, chosen either from his Watchtower Realm or his Soul, which represents the Abyssal blockade that paradoxically disrupts his Path. The Warlock of Arcadia can choose one of four Warlock Shames or one of four Arcadian Shames; more details later.

    Mage Sight is flavored primarily by your Watchtower, while your Oneiros and Astral Path take on characteristics suitable to your soul affinity; so our Warlock of Arcadia will find Mastigos-like trappings in his Oneiros and on his Astral Path, while seeing Arcadian symbology with his Mage Sight. Likewise, the mage's Shame influences the form that Abyssal incursions take, and each Shame defines a Wisdom Breaking Point unique to that Shame.

    The soul-anchor determines the mage's Subtle Ruling Arcanum (in this case, Mind), while the Watchtower determines his Gross Ruling Arcanum (e.g., Time) and the Shame determines the Inferior Arcanum (which is Subtle if the Shame comes from the Soul, or Gross if the Shame comes from the Watchtower).

    All that needs to be done now is to determine how to select the Favored Attribute and to develop the Shames.


    Favored Attributes
    Traditionally, every Path has favored a Resistance Attribute, either Resolve or Composure: the Acanthus, Moros, and Thyrsus have favored Composure while the Mastigos and Obrimos have favored Resolve. However, MtC (from which the five-fold soul concept was shamelessly stolen) aligns each kind of soul to a different Attribute: Heart (Ab, Thyrsus) → Presence; Spirit (Ba, Mastigos) → Wits; Essence (Ka, Obrimos) → Resolve; Name (Ren, Acanthus) → Manipulation; Shadow (Sheut, Moros) → Composure. It's tempting to try to somehow incorporate this notion into the revised Warlocks of Arcadia model; but I'm not quite sure how.

    One possibility is to give the player a choice between a Resistance Attribute (which is always either Resolve or Composure) or a non-Resistance Attribute (e.g., Presence, Wits, or Manipulation). For the three Soul aspects for which MtC specifies non-Resistance Attributes, all the work is already done: Acanthus favors Manipulation or Composure, Mastigos favors Wits or Resolve, and Thyrsus favors Presence or Composure. That leaves Moros favoring ___ or Composure, and Obrimos favoring ___ or Resolve. My gut instinct would be to associate Intelligence with the Moros and Presence with the Obrimos, giving us the following:

    Witch Manipulation or Composure
    Warlock Wits or Resolve
    Alchemist Intelligence or Composure
    Theurge Presence or Resolve
    Shaman Presence or Composure

    Shames
    Every Watchtower and Soul has four Shames, for a total of fourty Shames (or ten, if the Shames are reused; but I think it would be more interesting if, say, a Forced-oriented Arcadian Shame felt different from a Forces-oriented Pandemonium Shame). The following are the Shames available to the Warlock of Arcadia:

    Arcadian Shames (Ruling Time)
    • ___ (Inferior Forces)
    • ___ (Inferior Life)
    • ___ (Inferior Matter)
    • ___ (Inferior Space)

    Warlock Shames (Ruling Mind)
    • ___ (Inferior Death)
    • ___ (Inferior Fate)
    • ___ (Inferior Prime)
    • ___ (Inferior Spirit)

    I'm particularly interested in help in fleshing out the Shames, since investing a Shame with meaning beyond your choice of Inferior Arcanum has the potential to transform it from “a forced negative that is likely to be strategically chosen to minimize its impact” to “a roleplaying choice that the player is encouraged to bring into the game whenever it's reasonable to do so”.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 04-14-2016, 07:58 PM.



  • #2
    I have an Arcadian Shame for forces. I'll post more as I think of them.


    *Indirect (Needs a better name): Inferior Forces. Also called "The Subtle shame", mages of this shame find even casting forces magic to be counter-intuitive and bizarre, like an epic tale being interrupted by a sudden hurricane, howling wind drowning out the words of the wise old man, killing the monster with a lightning stroke before he's introduced, and sidelining the destined hero while an army storms the villain's castle. Forces seems ham-fisted, out of place, even inappropriate. It's too...well, forceful, for the subtle, indirect conception of these mages have of magic. One Witch of Arcadia described it thus.

    "Imagine doing magic is being at a fancy party, with tuxedos and everything. Now imagine there's a guy whose pissed you off, and you want to get back at him. Time magic? That's polite insults, the right tone of voice, that sort of thing. Fate magic would be spreading nasty rumors about the guy. Life magic is flirting with him, and being so sexy he can't think straight, and then embarassing him.

    Forces Magic? That's flipping the table over, socking the guy in the face, then fistfighting him."
    Last edited by Azunth; 04-14-2016, 11:14 PM.

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    • #3
      A Pandemonic Shame of Forces

      Forces exist in a strange place to these guests of the Demons. Half the time, they seem to exist too briefly for them to gain sympathy, and exist somewhere besides that false space where distance is a matter of numbers. What is the sympathy of fire? A lightning bolt? A gust of wind? The other half of the time, forces doesn't seem to exist as a discrete arcanum. The air is warm, a cat in motion, but here the forces seem wound tight among the other arcanum, being a part of something else, not something it it's own right. Either Wound inseparably into the world, or flashing by so quick as to barely touch it, Forces, quite literally, seems to have no place. Unable to wrap their head around force as energy that flows and not a thing with sympathies and stillness, Forces is the shame of these mages.

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      • #4
        Good starts. I see you're tackling this from the angle of “Why would someone on this Path* have truble with Arcanum X?” I'm a little worried that that may leave the focus too much on Arcanum X (in these cases, Forces); but let's see how things play out.

        The next step would be to define the Shame's unique Breaking Point. Though this is phrased as a negative, remember that Breaking Points give you opportunities to earn Beats, either directly (through Botches) or indirectly (through resolving the Conditions that come with a Breaking Point). Think in terms of what sorts of plot complications the Shame is likely to bring about, and how they might make the story more interesting.



        * where “Path” stands for choice of Watchtower or Soul aspect, depending on the Arcanum in question.


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        • #5
          I have a question. ...is this all an end around to eliminate the fact that Acanthus can't do Forces unless they take a legacy or the fact even if they are good at Forces (which is dead simple for them in 2e until the third dot) especially given it's just isn't that hard to raise any arcanum or gnosis because of the flat cost vs. the exponential in 1e and OWoD or that they don't use it directly like it should be used? Regardless of your hack they should still view everything through Arcadia and never control, dominate, order said arcanum like an Obrimos would. They'd still go with the flow or I among most people I know aren't buying it.

          See the fact is there are very few actual personality types in real life. Usually things like this boil down to 4-5 distinct choices not 360. Ask anyone in customer service or law enforcement doing anything involving detective work or profiling.
          Last edited by Kumiko; 04-15-2016, 12:37 AM.

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          • #6
            This isn't Circle of Degrees; I'm not aiming for 360 Paths that blur together, differentiated only by their Arcanum biases. Rather, you have five Watchtowers with associated Realms (which are not tightly coupled to the mage's personality), five Soul aspects (which are roughly akin to personality types), and four Shames (which are not unlike Demon's Catalysts, Werewolf's Aspects from Signs of the Moon, or Promethean 2e's Roles) that further refine the nature of the terminus (i.e., Watchtower or Soul) with which they're associated.

            And frankly, if you think that Forces should be hard-wired as Arcadia's one and only Inferior Arcanum for all who have Awakened to its Watchtower, then you're not getting into the spirit of “Warlords of Arcadia”. One of Arcadia's Shames should indeed result in Forces being Inferior, and that one should look very similar to the standard Acanthus Path's explanation for why the Acanthus have trouble with Forces — though as I said above, I'm hoping to make the Arcadian Shame of Forces (whatever it ends up getting called) more than just that. But the idea here is that the player should have choices as to the mage's Shame.
            Last edited by Dataweaver; 04-15-2016, 01:40 AM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
              Rather, you have five Watchtowers with associated Realms (which are not tightly coupled to the mage's personality)
              I always thought that the personality correlations were based on the implications of having that Path's ruling arcana available all the time. Mastigoi see how duplicitous people are, and don't trust anyone. Acanthus are walking around with a bunch of safety nets, and can seem reckless even if they aren't.

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              • #8
                I'm also thinking that the Shames ought to be a bit like the Approaches in Changeling 2e. The Abyss stands between the Supernal and the Fallen (in this case, between the Watchtower and the Soul) and prevents Awakenings. In order to achieve an Awakening, either the Watchtower or the Soul needs to strike a compromise with the Abyss in order to let the Path through; that's what the Shame is.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                  This isn't Circle of Degrees; I'm not aiming for 360 Paths that blur together, differentiated only by their Arcanum biases. Rather, you have five Watchtowers with associated Realms (which are not tightly coupled to the mage's personality), five Soul aspects (which are roughly akin to personality types), and four Shames (which are not unlike Demon's Catalysts, Werewolf's Aspects from Signs of the Moon, or Promethean 2e's Roles) that further refine the nature of the terminus (i.e., Watchtower or Soul) with which they're associated.

                  And frankly, if you think that Forces should be hard-wired as Arcadia's one and only Inferior Arcanum for all who have Awakened to its Watchtower, then you're not getting into the spirit of “Warlords of Arcadia”. One of Arcadia's Shames should indeed result in Forces being Inferior, and that one should look very similar to the standard Acanthus Path's explanation for why the Acanthus have trouble with Forces — though as I said above, I'm hoping to make the Arcadian Shame of Forces (whatever it ends up getting called) more than just that. But the idea here is that the player should have choices as to the mage's Shame.
                  No, not hardwired. I can accept that they could be very good with it just like an Obrimos with Death but it has to be through their preferred lens.

                  Ancathus with Forces? Seriously nasty but never precise like a typical Obrimos. Obrimos with Death? May God help you if they're at 4-5 dots. The very definition of a seriously nasty Necromancer. See why the limits yet?

                  The concepts you propose without serious hard limits that can't be spelled out means big trouble and easy opportunity for me as a player to wreck your game with no consequences. Trust me given I'm not not a powergamer but I am not stupid and don't buy into crippling my character for some story or extra beats.
                  Last edited by Kumiko; 04-15-2016, 02:01 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Strill View Post
                    I always thought that the personality correlations were based on the implications of having that Path's ruling arcana available all the time. Mastigoi see how duplicitous people are, and don't trust anyone. Acanthus are walking around with a bunch of safety nets, and can seem reckless even if they aren't.
                    In the normal setup, I think that's something of a chicken-and-egg debate: do Warlocks have trust issues because they see how duplicitous people are, or did they Awaken as Warlocks because of their desire to see through peoples' deceit? I could see arguments for either or both. In this setup, the answer is a bit clearer: you're a Warlock because the part of your soul that resonates most with Mind is the part that reached out for Supernal Truth.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      In the normal setup, I think that's something of a chicken-and-egg debate: do Warlocks have trust issues because they see how duplicitous people are, or did they Awaken as Warlocks because of their desire to see through peoples' deceit? I could see arguments for either or both. In this setup, the answer is a bit clearer: you're a Warlock because the part of your soul that resonates most with Mind is the part that reached out for Supernal Truth.
                      Convienent. Totally untrue but very convenient. A man must know his limitations. Just like game designer's, game hacker types and MtAw 2e Mages.

                      I like the spirit of your idea but think it's deeply flawed and creates more problems for an issue that never needed a solution in the first place.

                      You do know any Mage can master any common arcanum with a teacher after having 4 dots on their own?

                      So sad they need help to do so with a single arcanum. Here's an idea..talk with your ST and find a way acceptable to both of you to join a published legacy or your own or one that the ST already made and deemed legal in her game...nah, that's less work and makes sense right?
                      Last edited by Kumiko; 04-15-2016, 02:25 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        No, not hardwired. I can accept that they could be very good with it just like an Obrimos with Death but it has to be through their preferred lens.
                        In Warlocks of Arcadia, the Shame is part of the preferred lens. Saying that the Inferior Arcanum must always be Forces if the mage's Realm is Arcadia is hard-wiring things — which is fine for the regular Paths, but misses the point of Warlocks of Arcadia.

                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        Ancathus with Forces? Seriously nasty but never precise like a typical Obrimos. Obrimos with Death? May God help you if they're at 4-5 dots. The very definition of a seriously nasty Necromancer. See why the limits yet?
                        Not really, no. An Acanthus with Forces really isn't any more dangerous than, say, a Mastigos or Thyrsus with Forces. Having Forces be Inferior isn't there because of game balance reasons — that is, the Acanthus as written don't have Forces limited because Forces are especially nasty when combined with Fate or Time. They have it as the Inferior Arcanum for conceptual reasons only — reasons which apply to the regular Paths but not necessarily to the Warlocks of Arcadia Paths.

                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        The concepts you propose without serious hard limits that can't be spelled out means big trouble and easy opportunity for me as a player to wreck your game with no consequences. Trust me given I'm not not a powergamer but I am not stupid and don't buy into crippling my character for some story or extra beats.
                        In this setup, choosing a Shame isn't optional; every mage has one.

                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        I like the spirit of your idea but think it's deeply flawed and creates more problems for an issue that never needed a solution in the first place.
                        This isn't a “Mage is broken; let's fix it” thread.

                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        You do know any Mage can master any common arcanum with a teacher after having 4 dots on their own?
                        I sure do; but I don't see the relevance.

                        Originally posted by Kumiko View Post
                        So sad they need help to do so with a single arcanum. Here's an idea..talk with your ST and find a way acceptable to both of you you to join a published legacy or your own or one that the ST already made and deemed legal in her game...nah, that's less work and makes sense right?
                        That's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about. This isn't about doing away with the Inferior Arcanum; it's about letting the player choose his Inferior Arcanum, but doing so in a way that the choice is a meaningful one that encourages him to think about it in terms of fleshing out his character and enriching the story, not in terms of powergaming his character by choosing a weakness that he'll steer clear of.

                        And please ditch the sarcasm and ridicule. I don't like being threadcrapped on.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                          Mage Sight is flavored primarily by your Watchtower, while your Oneiros and Astral Path take on characteristics suitable to your soul affinity; so our Warlock of Arcadia will find Mastigos-like trappings in his Oneiros and on his Astral Path, while seeing Arcadian symbology with his Mage Sight. Likewise, the mage's Shame influences the form that Abyssal incursions take, and each Shame defines a Wisdom Breaking Point unique to that Shame.
                          Hm. I actually feel like the special Act of Hubris ought to be attached to your Watchtower, not your Shame. Your Shame is, in a sense, the brake on your path to power: it prevents you from going too fast, and is thus conducive to Wisdom. (Actually, if your Shame is connected to a Breaking Point that would move you up, I'd like that. Or your roll can be bonused by relevance to your Shame.)

                          I'm going to hold off on helping with names until I've gotten a sense of how all the Arcana have changed in 2e.


                          I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
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                          • #14
                            Intriguing. I'll think about it; there's something to the notion of your Shame being tied to an “act of humility” that helps keep your hubris in check. That said, I'm wary of “positive Breaking Points” when the game is otherwise geared toward Wisdom increase coming from appropriate Experiences; it might work, if the trigger is sufficiently difficult to achieve that the act of humility doesn't render moot the other methods of gaining Wisdom.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kumiko View Post

                              Convienent. Totally untrue but very convenient. A man must know his limitations. Just like game designer's, game hacker types and MtAw 2e Mages.

                              I like the spirit of your idea but think it's deeply flawed and creates more problems for an issue that never needed a solution in the first place.

                              You do know any Mage can master any common arcanum with a teacher after having 4 dots on their own?

                              So sad they need help to do so with a single arcanum. Here's an idea..talk with your ST and find a way acceptable to both of you to join a published legacy or your own or one that the ST already made and deemed legal in her game...nah, that's less work and makes sense right?
                              Because I think this thread is intriguing and would rather not see it collapse on page one, please cut the thread capping.

                              If you don't like the concept of a thread, don't post in it.

                              -Pendragon


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