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  • just some idea : Axios: watchtower of adamantine scale (a symbol of trading)

    inferior arcanum : life is no gift, its a bargain , you can live but you will die, you can feel joy but you will also suffer , it is just a tool, what you can do with wile living is more important , than live in itself.
    Last edited by DeadGuy; 03-23-2018, 11:46 AM.


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    • Taking some inspiration from the naming of the Mæstros Realm, I'm thinking of calling the Axios Realm “the Divine Commonwealth”.

      In other news, Storyteller's Vault is about to open a section for Chronicles of Darkness, including Mage: the Awakening, and I'm thinking of publishing this as soon as I can finish it. Does anyone who has contributed text object to me doing so? If I go through with this, I'm certainly going to do my best to give credit where credit is due; but spreading any income I make off of it to contributors isn't going to be feasible.


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      • some new ideas :
        KLEOS: Rulig Arcana Time and Mind - learning is just the recall of things you knew in the Future.

        inferior Arcanum Space - all minds are connected even across time itself ( the forseeing and correct prediction of the future , the repeat of history) as such Distance has no meaning.


        Maestros: Rulig Arcana Forces and Spirit - The forces of the universe have a Soul ! Theire Language are Fire and Lightning and they are imbued with a literal Spark of Life that is burning to bright and to hot , to be contained in a fleshy Shell.

        inferior Arcanum Prime - The supernal for all its glory is empty without the souls that are reflected in it .


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        • TO DO LIST
          Now that Signs of Sorcery is out (early release at this time), I can look at what else needs to be done with the Paths.

          First, each Path needs a “Vision of Truth” entry describing the Supernal World of that Path: how the Ruling Arcana are viewed, and how the other Arcana for into its worldview. This needs to be followed by one Environmental Tilt for each Ruling Arcanum for use with the Aedes systems.

          After that, I need to devise a series of Boons for each Path's Supernal Entities, one per Arcanum. See Signs of Sorcery pp.39–43 for examples.

          Next, there are charts for Classical Tools and Ars Novum Tools for each Path (pp.47–48); those will need counterpart tables for these Paths.

          I've already started work on how Perfected Materials should apply to the various new Paths. But that needs to be completed. This should be done in conjunction with the Path Tools, since one of the entries there is materials.

          I also need to decide Annulities for each Path, as their Inferior Arcana by design do not overlap with the official five Paths.

          I think that's it. Am I missing anything?


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          • I'm thinking that for the Kleos, their Mage “Sight” might actually be predominantly auditory, or at least have a large auditory component: in particular, their Aedes likely take the form of Rhythms (Time) and Rhymes (Mind). Their Supernal World is filled with songs, with the seven Common Arcana being described in terms of different kinds of music and Space being described as the sound of silence. I'll need to work on the particulars, of course.

            With this in mind, I'm rethinking the name of their Supernal World: instead of the Akashic Record, maybe something to the effect of a Symphony of some sort? But I want to retain the “record of the past” aspect that the Akashic Record brought to the table.
            Last edited by Dataweaver; 06-21-2019, 01:30 AM.


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            • Update: due to a recent reveal that an upcoming Mage supplement will be addressing the other five Annulities (Nameless & Accursed, presumably related to the Abyssal ziggurats), I'm putting that part of the project on hold. I'll revisit it if it turns out that the official Annulments for Fate, Life, Prime, Space, and Time turn out to be unsuitable for these Paths; but until then, I'm going to leave them be.

              But that does open up another issue: if it turns out that the ziggurats corresponding to the Watchtowers have different Inferior Arcana, then which Inferior Arcana should the ziggurats corresponding to these Paths have? The rules are that they must come from the set of Death, Forces, Matter, Mind, and Spirit, and each Arcanum must be paired with exactly one ziggurat. What I'm thinking right now is this:

              Aretos ziggurat: Inferior Death
              Axios ziggurat: Inferior Forces
              Kleos ziggurat: Inferior Spirit
              Mæstros ziggurat: Inferior Matter
              Sophros ziggurat: Inferior Mind
              Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-16-2020, 02:54 AM.


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              • There is also of Mage Sight; how do the new Paths 'see' their ruling Arcana and how do these phenomena show the other Arcana?


                Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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                • I had a discussion about paths yesterday that got me thinking about Axios. The result is this rambling post.

                  Equivalent exchange as a concept… I don't think it fits. Traders are trying to make a profit, I'd drop equivalent exchange as instead double down on no reward without risk. I'd see the ideal Axios as creating trades where everyone is better off afterwords. If one town has lots of meat but no salt to preserve it for the winter and another town has lots of salt but no meat to preserve, then both towns will be very glad to see a trader sail in to exchange between salt and meat. And if the trader makes the biggest profit, well he's the one who risked his life on a long voyage full of storms and sea monsters.

                  This could tie into the oMage Syndicate stuff too. An engineer comes up with a new idea and wants to start a company. The Axios invests $50 million. If it all goes wrong the engineer still took home his monthly pay check and can go back to his old job no worse than before (arguably better; he now has a much more impressive CV). If it all goes well; the Axios took the risk so he gets the reward.

                  One interesting thing is how this interacts with gambling. On the one hand it's the purest example of risk and reward. On the other hand gambling is a zero sum game, someone has to loose for you to win. I could see the breakdown as:

                  Old Diamond curmudgeons: Gambling is a sin, a symbol of risking to take not risking to create.

                  Young libertines: Gambling can be a net positive, providing that the looser has more fun playing the game than what they lost. They'd make symbolic bets of $1 or wagers over fun forfeits like the looser having to mow the lawn in their wife's dress.

                  Seers: Own a casino.

                  Speaking of morality I don't see a stark dividing line between the Pentacle and the Seers, but a whole spectrum of grey were the worst of the pentacles overlap with the best of the seers.

                  The Pentacle might define it's ideal as growing the pie and taking your slice but it's rare to find situations where everyone wins. If you make a risky investment in a better gadget and it works; you win, your customers win, but your competitors lose. And there's a whole lot of moral philosophy in flux about that.

                  Some say if the rival CEO looses everything that's fine he's “in the game” and knows the stakes. But the ordinary family men working 9-5 jobs weren't and need social safety nets. Others say the very idea that you can live a safe 9-5 job without risk is part of The Lie, let them hit zero and hustle their way back up. Give them opportunities not handouts. If they Awaken that's amazing, if they learn that's good, if they starve, that's the risks of life.

                  Another flux point is about the ability to take risks. It's easy to risk $50 million on a start up company if you have billions in the bank, or you're just an advisor risking your reputation, not your food supply. I'd see Axios as being very self aware about exactly what they're risking and what they're not – they understand how their business is subsidised by police forces, road networks, etc. They know there's no such thing as a truly self made man – but they still think they've got more merit than someone who doesn't risk $5 out of his only $50 to try and make something of himself. Politically they'd push for things that make it easier to climb out of poverty at the cost of making poverty worse.

                  For example it's common to advocate for cutting workers safety laws. Firstly because that makes it cheaper to employ workers and the Axios would say the workers can get that extra money, their jobs are riskier they earned it. Secondly because that means you could build a new workshop without hiring an HR department so it's easier for a working class guy to start a small business. Labour unions might disagree with this assessment.

                  And of course because these are privileged mages sleepers get excluded from the conversation. And that's the Pentacle.

                  The clearest dividing line between the Pentacles and the Seers is ultimately that the Pentacle believe that the game must remain open to players. The Seers are happy to lock the gates behind them. Funding a politician so he'll grant you a legal monopoly is anathema to the Pentacle. But to the Seers it's just a risk with a potential payout. (what if you back the wrong candidate and your rival gets the monopoly).

                  The Seers also say their ideal is getting as much as possible even if it shrinks the pie. Illegal dumping has a risk (arrest, fines) and a reward so do it. The Pentacle argue over where your obligation to avoid shrinking the pie lies but they believe there is a line somewhere and so they usually avoid corporate raiding, wealth extracting colonialism, and other such stuff. Usually.

                  The Life Arcanum. I'm not sure “life is just a tool” works, it sounds almost like the Mammon Ministry’s philosophy. You're not a person, just a commodity.

                  I propose that Life is inferior because they believe that there are some things that are intrinsically yours and cannot be brought or sold. You cannot sell your strength and suddenly someone's muscles are stronger. You cannot sell your body and someone else now controls two bodies.

                  Many Axios stretch this philosophical point to make a foundation for human rights in general. They say you cannot sell your right to make risks and profit from them or suffer the consequences. They avoid thinking too much about the 16th to 19th century Axios who were saying things like: Slaves fought in a war, they took the risk in the hope of reaping the rewards and now suffer the consequences of being captured in battle. Back then you were considered a proper and good Trader if you made sure you sold slaves to owners who treated them better than the owners you brought them from.

                  (Because in a game about privilege and power corrupts mages don't get to keep their hands clean; though I'm sure there were Mage abolitionists too. There's got to be a great game in playing Sinbad style intrepid merchant fighting back as greed corrupts his profession; and trying to hold onto the spirit of the good old days when people only traded silks and spices and people still found mysterious islands and mythical creatures on their voyages.)

                  The Free Council rightfully refuse to let the Diamond live this one down. The Seers still think those Traders had a point.


                  The Fate Arcanum. I agree that Fate isn't about manipulating probabilities; it's about a person's intentions and promises. But you know that players will see highly useful spells that manipulate luck, and they're hardly going to ignore them.

                  So how to justify it? Maybe make probabilities an extension of a mythic persona which itself is a metaphor for corporate brand images or a trader's reputation.

                  If Sinbad the Sailor has a reputation for being scrupulously honest and never cheating anyone in a trade then he can use that as the basis of probability magic. He earned that reputation, and fate recognises that. Trade partners are likely to be aware of it and trusting.

                  Speaking of mysterious islands. I propose that Space Mage sight manifests as Terra Incognita. Mysterious islands emerge from the depths as they sail. Cities of brass appear over the dunes as the caravan crosses the desert. Or they see a little shop that wasn't there yesterday down an alleyway.

                  Terra Incognita reveals connections between places. The Roman senate stands above rows of Egyptian homes showing Rome's conquest over Egypt. A wise Mage can learn hidden but subtle connections, possibilities for mutual benefit that are undeserved by the market, and even find occult truths and paths to emanation realms.

                  Fate manifests as threads. A promise made is a simple thread of cord around the arm with the full legal text upon it. Broken contracts hang from an oath breaker like rags. A person who has earned merit wears robes with patterns as intricate as a Persian carpet. Look closely and you can see the bargains upheld, the trades made, and the risks that paid off. The wise Axios knows that nobody can rise without working with their fellow man.
                  Last edited by The Kings Raven; 01-15-2020, 08:51 AM.


                  “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                  My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                  Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                  Comment


                  • Yeah; Equivalent Exchange is something that even Fullmetal Alchemist ultimately rejected: by the end of the story, the Elric brothers had hit upon “a new principle” that involved investing and the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

                    Though maybe that's another part of what distinguishes the Seers from the other Axios: the Seers do tend to think in terms of zero-sum games, whereas the Pentacles have more of a “growing the pie” philosophy. That would be why the Seers are so willing to lock the doors behind them.

                    On the subject of Risk and Reward: definitely double down on that. As well, both Risk and Reward should be relative to the subject's assets: there's a line in the Bible about a poor woman who gives Jesus one coin, and those around him mock her for it; but Jesus praises her, because that one coin is literally everything she owns: in Axios terms, she has just Risked everything and gone all in. So her Reward should likewise be everything.

                    Overall, I like what you've come up with. When I have some time, I'll see about rewriting the Axios entry accordingly.

                    Also remember that the Axios are Advocates as well as Traders. The advocacy side of it ties into Risk by way of whether or not a risk deserves to succeed: whether or not the Risk has Merit, if you will. That ties into the “luck manipulation” stuff, as the Advocate argues his case with whatever it is that judges Merit (probably the Exarchs, in the case of the Seers): if his argument is successful, the Risk pays off.

                    Finally: I'm still looking for an alternative to Stars as the Supernal Entities of the Axios.
                    Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-16-2020, 02:36 AM.


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                    • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Though maybe that's another part of what distinguishes the Seers from the other Axios: the Seers do tend to think in terms of zero-sum games, whereas the Pentacles have more of a “growing the pie” philosophy. That would be why the Seers are so willing to lock the doors behind them.

                      On the subject of Risk and Reward: definitely double down on that. As well, both Risk and Reward should be relative to the subject's assets: there's a line in the Bible about a poor woman who gives Jesus one coin, and those around him mock her for it; but Jesus praises her, because that one coin is literally everything she owns: in Axios terms, she has just Risked everything and gone all in. So her Reward should likewise be everything.
                      This all makes sense to me.

                      Speaking of risk. Another musing is that that rewards should be the risk pre adjustment by merit. If that poor woman puts her only coin on red in roulette the risk is lower than if she put it on 12; so the payout is lower. But if she put it in the stock market after carefully studying the company she picks; the risk is measured according to some hypothetical average stock picker. That difference is basically your merit and it's how Traders beat the odds.

                      The same goes for ocean voyages. Provisioning, hiring the right captain, etc is how the meritorious Trader makes profits.

                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      That ties into the “luck manipulation” stuff, as the Advocate argues his case with whatever it is that judges Merit (probably the Exarchs, in the case of the Seers): if his argument is successful, the Risk pays off.
                      Yeah that makes sense. You're not creating luck ex-nihilo. You're pointing to records of oaths upheld, reputations/brands built, (or the opposite) and arguing that something has already been earned. Honest Sinbad took great risks to uphold his word, those above must surely recognise that he's due for the next installment of his reward.

                      I admit I'm not 100% on the idea of there being some kind of gods of spirits judging if risks deserve to pay out. It feels like it goes against the theme of personal merit. But I recognise that luck manipulation is obligatory by the mechanics of Mage, and I can't think of a better explenation.

                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      Finally: I'm still looking for an alternative to Stars as the Supernal Entities of the Axios.
                      Ah, the astrologers. I did like them, but I like the traders too.

                      The obvious choice is faeries, they're taken though. Then there's djinn from the Sinbad-Arabia link. They're taken too. And demons are another kind of wheeler and dealer. They're also taken.

                      This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. But maybe Boatmen (Space) and Gatekeeprs (Fate). I'm drawing heavily from Pirates of the Carribian's Davy Jones, as well as general Sinbad / intrepid sailor merchant.

                      The Axios Supernal appears as a vast ocean (The Seven Seas?), desert, the arctic, or some other seemingly empty environment that humans cannot survive in. It's defining feature is that it has literally infinite potential. There's always another mysterious island to visit, another strange kingdom of mermaids or something open to guests.

                      The Boatmen claim to be spirits of long dead Traders, or maybe their brand image living on in the supernal. In short you can take it with you. They sail on luxurious ships with their riches, everything from the Syracusia to modern luxury super yachts. Or their enormous camel trains contain enough servants to set up a palace at every oasis. They've visited so many strange places, learned from them, been changed by them, that they're no longer entirely human. And the oaths and contracts Axios see with fate vision have become part of their body. But basically; they're the Traders dream. Forever voyaging to new and exciting locals while exulting in the luxuries they've rightfully earned. (I'm now thinking of the scene from Moana when she meets the ancestors and gets the Nod Of Respect)

                      Gatekeepers are figures like Anubus. But also people like CEO's secretaries who you have to impress to get a meeting with the big guy, or the Grand Vizier of Bhogavati who tells the sultan not to trust this strange outsider; or the Lighthouse keeper who helps you sail in but obviously can't do it for you because he's in the lighthouse not your ship. When you sail the ocean to some new island or city there's always a Gatekeeper in one form or another.

                      Boatmen represent physical distances, the knowledge of how places are interconnected (especially via trade) and merit. Gatekeepers test that merit and represents the risks and the payout... or lack of a payout.

                      Hmmm... Boatmen might be a bit different from other Supernal in that they seem like they're giving you exactly what you want for free - sacred hospitality via expensive gifts - and the test comes later. "You need a magic sword, I don't have one on me but this might do it! Here's a treasure map kiddo. Happy hunting!" Naturally the map leads to a dangerous ruin, nothing without risk.
                      Last edited by The Kings Raven; 01-21-2020, 08:50 AM.


                      “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                      My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                      Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
                        I admit I'm not 100% on the idea of there being some kind of gods of spirits judging if risks deserve to pay out. It feels like it goes against the theme of personal merit. But I recognise that luck manipulation is obligatory by the mechanics of Mage, and I can't think of a better explenation.
                        I'm not necessarily saying that there are “gods of judgment” (though the Axios Entities of Fate might come close; more on that once I've had a chance to digest your Supernal Entities suggestions); but there might be — and Seers in particular would be inclined to believe that there are, and that the Exarchs are the judges of merit.

                        The alternative is that the “judgment of merit” is an impersonal force, sort of like the notion of karma. If there's a consciousness behind it, no one knows for sure what it is. There are theories; but nothing conclusive.


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                        • I do prefer an impersonal force like karma; though I agree that Seers would say it's the Exarchs. But it's more intuiative to me that you can bargain with gods of some sort than karma... still I do prefer something like karma.
                          Random concepts for Trader legacies (no current plans to write these up)

                          A Silver Ladder and Guardians aligned group of financial auditors and forensic accountants. The 11th Question for white collar crime. Their attainments are investigative but they can lay down their verdict in the form of long term fate curse; forever branding you with your crimes. They look like Bob from accounting, CFOs think of them like they're Judge Dredd.

                          A group Free Council swashbuckling pirates and gold-hearted rogues, with a few unethical arms dealers thrown in. Their magic specialises in subterfuge and smuggling; that is, they're better at sweet talking or bribing customs officials (and flirting in taverns) than sailing under cover of darkness but they do both. Their creed is to fight the Seers' symbolic tyranny by allowing people under restrictive regimes unfettered access to the free market. Their heyday was during the cold war but they're still around.

                          An extremely influential group of alchemists whose paxis revolves around the economic concept of utility. They can turn anything into Availability points of Tass, and they can create anything out of Tass for 1 mana per availability. Their attainments take into account local market conditions – they're basically walking talking metaphors for economics 101 and are large enough that members come from all Orders. Their praxis is practically the Axios default for Matter.

                          A controversial Arrow/Seer-Mammon group who favour Life. They defy the usual ideology around LIfe by saying you can buy and sell Life. A coal miner sells his health for money in a round about way, and buying medicine not buying health? They're from the Advocates half and very involved in the whole “what is the meaning of life in our commercialised age?” Seers are plastic surgeons and lifestyle brand marketeers, reducing identity to a commodity by selling merits and attributes for money. Arrows are personal trainers, gap year organisers, etc. They don't buy or sell, but give you a chance to earn it. And when they think you have they advocate on your behalf to make sure you get what you're owed. Arrows and Seers are both convinced they're the real legacy and their counterpart are betrayers.

                          A free council, silver ladder, and Seer group who exist because the Syndicate's ability to use corporations as nodes is awesome and must be adapted. The Ladder tend to be financial advisor, CFOs, corporate accountants, and the libertines tend to be entrepreneurs. The Seers are full on corporate raiders who liquidate companies for personal profit.

                          An Arrow & Mysterium group that specialises in trading with non-Mage supernaturals and exploring emanation realms. Very much pure Sinbad type intrepid merchants. They might also specialise in summoning boatmen who can offer passage to weird places.

                          A group of “defenders of the free market” who're good at politics, but also logistics. When mages actually go to war they're moving troops, money and supplies around in large quantities. The sample character is blatantly based on Margaret Thatcher. Sliver Ladder and Seers.
                          Last edited by The Kings Raven; 01-21-2020, 08:52 AM.


                          “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                          My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                          Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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                          • Most of this post is going to be somewhat rambling; I'm still thinking things through here.

                            Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
                            I do prefer an impersonal force like karma; though I agree that Seers would say it's the Exarchs. But it's more intuiative to me that you can bargain with gods of some sort than karma... still I do prefer something like karma.
                            That's why I referenced the Advocate aspect of the Path for that part: it's not about bargaining; it's about making a case. Granted, it's still easier to envision this as making a case before a judge of some sort; but from the karmic angle, there's another way to consider it:

                            Merit isn't a singular value that resides in an act alone; it reverberates through the web of Sympathetic connections that ties everything together. A skilled Advocate can try to account for this; but there's always the possibility that there's some connection that was not, or even could not, be properly accounted for in the Advocate's estimation of Merit. That's why it often feels like there's an element of luck involved: because you can never be 100% certain how the web of connections will respond to a given act. A master of Fate can tweak the way the act gets presented to the web of connections to alter how the web reacts to it.

                            Frankly, Space is a misleading name in terms of how the Axios see that Arcanum: just like other mages tend to see Fate primarily in terms of luck manipulation but the Axios see it in terms of intentions and promises, other mages see Space in terms of distance and direction while the Axios see it primarily in terms of occult bonds of Sympathy. And just like their understanding of Fate doesn't prevent them from using it to manipulate luck, their understanding of Space doesn't prevent them from using it to teleport. But to them, those are side effects of the true nature of Fate and Space.

                            The Axios is more likely to use spells such as Correspondence, Isolation, Borrow Threads, Veil Sympathy, Perfect Sympathy, Web-Weaver, Cut Threads, Create Sympathy, or Forge No Chains than the usual choices (Ground-Eater, Locate Object, Break Boundary, Scrying, Co-Location, Warp, Alter Direction, Teleportation, Pocket Dimension, etc.).


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                            • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                              That's why I referenced the Advocate aspect of the Path for that part: it's not about bargaining; it's about making a case.
                              Fair, barganing was the wrong word.

                              Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                              other mages see Space in terms of distance and direction while the Axios see it primarily in terms of occult bonds of Sympathy.
                              I thought occult bonds of sympathy the default for all Mages?

                              But yes. It's all about knowing how things are interconnected. Who needs what from where. Trade routes, and how it all fits together. Mage Sight revealing King Solomon's Mines in the cliffs above Spanish ports is really revealing how Spanish ports have sympathetic bonds to the gold mines in South America.

                              I see, for example, Scrying as a key Trader rote. What better way to plan a voyage than to take a peak at the markets and see what's oversupplied and what's in demand? But they'd do it by looking at the local markets, meditating on how all the markets are interconnected, and drawing insight.


                              “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                              My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                              Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                              Comment


                              • Obviously, sympathetic bonds aren't some new innovation that the Axios devised. But let's be honest: when the typical Mage player thinks of Space, he tends to think of Scrying and Teleportation first, along with other spells that are ultimately about altering or transcending distance; and of Sympathetic bonds primarily as a way to facilitate that.

                                The Axios puts the emphasis the other way around. Yes, Scrying is useful; and the Axios won't deny that. But to the Axios, the real value of a Sympathetic connection isn't that it transcends distance; it's that it contains meaning. It's the fact that if you sever the Sympathetic link between a couple, their relationship grows chilly; and if you forge a link between a woman and a gun, it will start appearing in her dreams and she'll eventually cross paths with it. Read someone's Sympathetic bonds, and you get a sense about what she cares about. That's what I mean about Space being something of a misnomer for how the Axios see it: the thing that interests the Axios the most about Sympathy is stuff that matters even when the subject of the Space magic is in the same room as you — stuff that has nothing to do with shortening distances or twisting paths or the like.


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