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  • wyrdhamster
    started a topic [2E Fan] Uncrowned Kings

    [2E Fan] Uncrowned Kings

    Note: Based on the original Legacy write-up from Mage 1E corebook.

    Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has dreamed of creating wealth from worthless matter. Such a dream can be made real, mankind found, but only through hard work and a bit of luck. A lump of stone or wood can, through carving, grinding or knapping, be made into an object that is useful, beautiful or both. Patience and toil can be applied to a patch of dirt to cause crops to spring up or livestock to increase and grow strong. Those willing to sacrifice their time and effort in this way often seem to feel that basing their lifestyle on such activity yields not only material wealth but also endows the soul with extended qualities of utility and beauty.

    Not everyone was willing to put forth such effort, though, so some devised shortcuts to wealth, claiming credit for the work of others or even claiming the product of that work for themselves. They divorced the notion of “wealth” from the material benefits of work, reducing riches to a system of artificial value placed upon rare metals or gems (and later to printed scraps of paper and then to glowing numbers on a monitor screen). The actual work of enriching life was denigrated as a lowly occupation and the soulcraft it engendered dismissed as fantasy by those unwilling to engage in it.

    Getting something for nothing only leaves one wanting more. Empty wealth, like food without nutrients, can be addictive, expanding the vacuum it was intended to fulfill. Into such a vacuous society there inevitably resurfaced distorted legends that told of how the mages of old learned the secret of tuning lead into gold, dirt into money, shit into Shinola. With the legends came charlatans, those who claimed to know the trick of getting something for nothing, who were sought out by kings with vacuous coffers, who fleeced their patrons by wrapping their lead ingots in polished brass foil and slipped out of the palace by night with their own empty wealth jingling in their purses. So the legends fell into disrepute (but without ever disappearing entirely) while the quest for empty wealth continued.

    The truth behind those legends would shock the royal addicts who heard them. Indeed, the mages of Time Before had learned the “trick” of transmuting one substance into another, but it was only an incidental side effect of their real work. Their labors were not ultimately directed toward the external material world, but inward. Like land, wood or stone, the human soul can be cultivated and shaped, they found, transformed into something both greater and finer than what it might otherwise be. The “lead” that they operated upon was themselves, and the “gold” that they created was themselves.

    This is not to say that their “alchemy” was a purely contemplative practice, a type of meditation cloaked in a physical metaphor. The image of the secluded chamber with its kiln and clutter of alembic, retort and crucible is factually accurate. Experimentation in the material plane was as much a part of their practice as spiritual discipline. Engaging in a physical craft with an appropriate mindset of self-observation can synchronize changes in both the inner and outer worlds. This Legacy teaches that true understanding is best reached by mirroring the inner process with the outer.

    Just as matter can be shaped by heat and cold, by hammer’s blow and chisel’s cut, so too can the soul be shaped by pleasure and pain, by feeling and thought. Emotional baggage or faulty modes of thought can be trimmed away and desirable qualities such as honesty and compassion may be added to the alloy mixture in the crucible of the soul.

    Imperfection can be burned off, boiled out or frozen and chipped away. The soul’s purest essence may be distilled out of the woes and trauma that weigh it down, leaving it free to become that which is rarer and more precious than gold — the fulfilling life of the complete person.

    Inheritors of this Legacy are known as the “Uncrowned Kings,” a term that most outsiders take to refer to the age of the charlatans, when the rulers of the world could be led by their vacuous desires and anyone who knew those desires could easily become a true “power behind the throne.” But a more esoteric meaning is hidden in the name. Having perfected the technique of crafting their own souls, the Uncrowned could truly claim to be “self-made men,” masters of their own souls. Their “royalty” is based, not upon primogeniture or the hoarding of hollow wealth, but upon the noble qualities that they have cultivated within themselves. They do not rule over nations, but over themselves to a degree that “common” folk can scarcely imagine. The qualifier “Uncrowned” is equally significant on an esoteric level, beyond the fact that they do not openly display their unique nobility. The adornment of precious metals and gems is at once a metaphoric image connoting inner nobility and personal power, a reference to the physical transmutations that this Legacy practices. The title is also an oblique suggestion of the halo found in religious iconography denoting a brilliance or radiance of consciousness so bright that it shines directly through the skull (normally visible to those with aura perception but sometimes accessible to Sleepers in a religious context). But these Kings are emphatically Uncrowned, eschewing not only the lauds of their peers, but also the empty wealth that they are capable of creating – they much more share those with those that need it.

    Centuries ago, Silver Ladder saw in their philosophy of endless work and transmutation echoes of their Elemental Precepts, cultivating Kings Legacy in their ranks. Members of it where entering courts of royalty under Cryptopoly, having sway over noble and crowns, working for them and sharing with pieces of Alchemy they uncovered. Uncrowned Kings then become often “powers behind the throne”, even more embedding them in the Silver Ladder culture.

    It changed with Sleepers chemistry, psychology and science. When more and more esoteric ways of previous alchemist become divorced from reality that masses uncovered, how reactions works and that royalty is more interested in shiny gems than perfecting themselves – large portion of Legacy rebelled. They strayed from noble and courts, returning to lower spheres of society. They were not afraid to, metaphorically, make their hand dirty. Named themselves Coal-Burners and joined Nameless in XIX century global conflict. And so Legacy dived itself – those of Kings that stayed with elite become known as Rosicrucians or Royality in Awakened circles, cultivating they’re Royal Art in embraces of Silver Ladder. Coal-Burners became part of new founded Free Council. Both factions think about the rest as their brothers and sisters who have lost their way and at every opportunity trying to convince to their reasons old siblings.

    Origins

    Parentage: Moros, Free Council or Silver Ladder

    Background: Mistakenly thought to be the province of royalty and the moneyed classes, the Uncrowned Kings are actually far more likely to extend their tutorship to aspirants from the low classes, laborers and craftsmen. Still, Silver Ladder part of Legacy is often found working for elite. There are also few noble families cultivating Royal Art of their forefathers.

    Appearance: While Uncrowned Kings may occasionally exhibit a regal demeanor or noble bearing that reflects their inner nature, their outward appearance usually belies such appearance with evidence of the physical toil that occupies their time. Fingers calloused from manual labor, shoulders stooped from heavy lifting and a complexion begrimed with soot and baked to a leathery texture are the most common marks of this Legacy.

    Doctrine

    Prerequisites: Mind 2, Crafts 2 and one of the following additional Skills at 2 dots or higher: Academics, Empathy, Occult, or Science.

    Initiation: The prospective Uncrowned must spend one week on meditating on his mind and “imperfect” state, working in the same time on one of Oblations of group.

    Organization: Aside from the teacher-student relationship, there is no real hierarchy among the Uncrowned other than a kind of general meritocracy, based on self-fulfillment rather than a shared notion of perfection. While this Legacy can be just as reclusive and secretive as any other class of mages, individual inheritors tend to engage in a large volume of correspondence to com- pare experimental notes in a way that mimics (or, more accurately, is mimicked by) the peer reviews of Sleeper scientific circles.

    Theory: Work ennobles man. Literally, by crafts and alchemical studies, one can perfects his mind and soul, becoming true Royalty of not Fallen World - but Supernal kind. All Uncrowned look for the time when they complete their Great Work and then become living Philosophers Stones.

    Magic

    Ruling Arcanum: Mind

    Yantras: Create physical item connected to spell (+2); alchemical operation representing spell (+2); verbally explaining an alchemical phenomenon to a trusted associate (+1); (Any other ideas you may have? )

    Oblations: Engaging in physical labor; meaningful work (other than the calling he practices for his attainments, described below); leading others in a coordinated teamwork effort; practicing a craft or studying alchemy (again, other than his attainment’s calling)

    Attainments

    First: Nigredo
    Prerequisites: Initiation
    At Nigredo, you must first decompose your gross matter and prepare each individually. Uncrowned develops an uncanny ability to split his mind in to two process, letting to lead him normal life and other contemplating his Great Work, in the same time. The Attainment emulates “One Mind, Two Thoughs” (p. 159) in that the mage could use it for whole one scene for cost of one Mana.

    Optional: Matter 1
    Uncrowned also may understand the composition of each item, just by seeing on it. The Attainment emulates “Discern Composition” (p.154) with automatic success equal to mages Matter dots.

    Second: Albedo
    Prerequisites: Mind 2, Crafts 3
    At Albedo, gross matter is washed away from impurities. The Uncrowned is clearing his mind from outside influence of Goetia or Mind magic. This duplicates the effects of the “Mental Shield” spell (p. 160) that scores successes equal to the King’s Mind dots and has assigned Reach to instant use and shielding Mind Arcanum.

    Optional: Matter 2
    Shape is one of impurities of Fallen World state from Supernal form. By manipulating in his hands, Uncrowned may cause liquid or solid matter to change it’s shape. The mage must touch these substance. This duplicates the effects of the “Shaping” spell (p.156) and applies to both liquids and solid matter.

    Third: Citrinitas
    Prerequisites: Mind 3. In addition to the Crafts 3 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Uncrowned must increase the other Skill she used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 3, or must attain two dots in a second skill from the list of possible requirements.

    At Citrinitas, silver is transmuted in to gold, and gross matter in to perfected form – both directly perfecting what it is. By concentrating on of Legacies Oblations practices, member can hone his mind. It works as “Augment Mind” (p.161) with Potency equal to mage Mind dots and Reach assigned to instant use and rise three Attributes in total.

    Optional: Matter 3
    By perfecting the state gross matter is in his hands, Uncrowned Kind can remade it one step closer to it’s true state. When worked in his hands, matter can change state, from solid to liquid or even to gas and back. It works as “State Change” (p.157), with Potency equal to mage’s Matter dots and Reach assigned to instant use and direct change from solid to gas and vice versa.

    Fourth: Rubedo
    Prerequisites: Mind 4, Crafts 4 and the other Skill requirements of the previous Attainment.

    At Rubedo, transformation is complete and imperfect “lead” become enlightened “gold”. The Uncrowned is perfecting himself to become epitome of Supernal. The Attainment emulates “Gain Skill” (p.163) with Potency equal to mage’s Mind dots and Reach assigned to instant use and four Skills in total. With expenditure of Mana, one of new Skills can be risen past normal maximum.

    Optional: Matter 4
    As even lead can become gold, every substance in mage hands can become any other. It works as Transubstantiation (p.158), with Duration equal to mage’s Matter dots and Reach assigned to instant use and possibility of transmuting multiple substances. By paying 1 Mana, Uncrowned King can make change with Advanced Duration.

    Fifth: Magnum Opus
    Prerequisites: Mind 5. In addition to the Crafts 4 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Uncrowned must increase the other Skill she used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 4, or must attain three dots in a second Skill from the list of possible requirements, or two dots in a third Skill from the list.

    Sleepers believe that Rubedo is end and final of Great Work. They are wrong. When Uncrowned achieve Supernal perfection of his mind, he is beside his human flaws, perfected to the end. Attainment emulates “Amorality” (p.164), with Duration equal to Mind dots of mage and Reach assigned to instant use and Advanced Duration. By paying 1 Mana, Uncrowned King can use Advanced Duration on this change. He can also end it any time he wants it.

    Optional: Matter 5
    The secret of Magnum Opus is that anything can be changed in to anything – more, that things just can be made out of thin air. It works as “Ex Nihilo” (p.158) with mage’s Matter dots as Potency and Reach assigned to instant use and creating complex mechanism. Uncrowned still need to understand principles behind machine so roll on Crafts or Science may be needed.


    So what do you think about it? Thoughts? Comments?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-08-2016, 02:14 PM.

  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Tambov View Post
    Specify Amorality removes Vice.
    I wanted to leave it as it is - Vice can be very useful from time to time, Virtue is much less.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tambov
    replied
    Specify Amorality removes Vice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    For Yantra, working at their calling is an obvious one, as is the examination of their own works as the original attainments required.

    Leave a comment:


  • WHW
    replied
    You definitely can bend rules with Attainments, 11th Question does that all over the place. For example, their first Attainments breaks the rule that you need to spend time preparing for dice bonus in exchange for making it a dice bonus to a specific type of action (investigating). If you make 1 Mind 2 Thoughts attainment work only on specific kind of actions, it's definitely in spirit for Legacies to do that.
    Automatic Activation:In most cases, a Legacy Attainment can
    be activated with an instant action and does not require dice rolls.
    Like a spell, the Attainment automatically acquires primary spell
    factor ranks (in Potency or Duration) equal to the mage’s dots in
    the Attainment’s highest prerequisite Arcanum.
    Though it mentions later that they apply 1 Reach to make it instant, you are right. I need to reversee engineer (AGAIN! I really should write down notes) 11th Question attainments to see stuff behind them.

    As for refund - notice that refund isn't a main part of what I suggested. Main part is moving your real limits far beyond human limits - character with Mind 4 and Gnosis 3 is effectively Gnosis 7 for Skill and Attribute Limits. Which means that you can have "natural", non-magical Skill of 7 (!). This gives you bigger Rote yantras, and so on. It also works better than these attainments at their job, because these attainments have pretty low bonus - they work much more better as spells, so honestly? You are better casting them as spells rather than as attainments. And moving your human limit means that you can get them bigger without actually using Reach to move past your limit. Refund is just icing on the cake, making sure that each Dot above 5 is 1/4 of another Arcana.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    My suggestion isn't just a refund attainment though, it's refund plus. If it was just a refund I'd hate it as much as you do. To be fair, I might have a different suggestion later, that's just what sprang to mind first.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by WHW View Post
    Extra Sucesses on Discern Composition is useless until you get to Matter 5, where it becomes auto exceptional success and your King starts staring at things intently until they get infinite beats. . Let it automatically pierce Matter dots of deception when Discerning Composition (like Eleventh Question thing does).
    So they will get to know "true" composition, piercing any magical changes to substance?

    Originally posted by WHW View Post
    Give an exception to the first dot that allows them to work PHYSICAL action and MENTAL action at once, as long as they relate to their work. Again, successes are useless. Attainments don't require a roll to activate!
    I wasn't sure if we can bend rules as such with Attianments now. Also, what even more weird, "One Mind, Two Thoughts" does not have this "one Physical, one Mental" variant in corebook - which is odd, to say a least...

    Originally posted by WHW View Post
    Extra Succeses on Mind Shield are...you know the drill. Just give them a Mental Shield that can be activated reflexively for the scene, with Advanced Duration equal to Mind dots for purposes of Clash of Wills.

    Attainments are Instant by default.
    Can we? Because I'm not use if each Attainment need to use one of Arcanum Dots Reaches on Instant use or not.

    Originally posted by WHW View Post
    Won't comment on Gain Skill and Boost Attribute because I consider them to be bannable spells in every game :P.
    They were part of 1E - and work perfectly with Uncrowned Kings premise. They only problem I have with that Attributes should be on higher Attainment of two, but it works with Rules as Written.

    Originally posted by WHW View Post
    Magnum Opus has redundant ability to spend 1 Mana to make Advanded Duration Advanced Duration
    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    Advanced Duration Advanced Duration could come out to Indefinite if you wanted.
    It was bad wording thing. I tried here just so Magnum Opus simply works on Advanced Duration - we are here at 5 Mind dots, it will from start work as Indefinite. I think that some kind of Oblations-like action for changing Amorality is okay here.

    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    If you want a unique perk that fits for 3rd-4th Attainment, let them add Mind dots to Gnosis for purpose of checking their Skill and Attribute limits. Honestly? I would replace Gain Skill with "Add your Mind to Gnosis when calculating your Skill limit; each time you purchase a Skill above normal human limits, gain Arcane Beat.", and boost mental trait "Add your Mind to Gnosis when calculating your Trait limit; each time you purchase a Mental attribute above normal human limits, gain Arcane Beat."
    I hate refund "powers" - they do not do anything really in terms of story. But I think it's good alternatives if you hate gaining traits for characters so keep it up for private version of Legacy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Advanced Duration Advanced Duration could come out to Indefinite if you wanted.

    Leave a comment:


  • WHW
    replied
    Extra Sucesses on Discern Composition is useless until you get to Matter 5, where it becomes auto exceptional success and your King starts staring at things intently until they get infinite beats. . Let it automatically pierce Matter dots of deception when Discerning Composition (like Eleventh Question thing does).

    Give an exception to the first dot that allows them to work PHYSICAL action and MENTAL action at once, as long as they relate to their work. Again, successes are useless. Attainments don't require a roll to activate!

    Extra Succeses on Mind Shield are...you know the drill. Just give them a Mental Shield that can be activated reflexively for the scene, with Advanced Duration equal to Mind dots for purposes of Clash of Wills.

    Attainments are Instant by default.

    Won't comment on Gain Skill and Boost Attribute because I consider them to be bannable spells in every game :P.

    Magnum Opus has redundant ability to spend 1 Mana to make Advanded Duration Advanced Duration

    If you want a unique perk that fits for 3rd-4th Attainment, let them add Mind dots to Gnosis for purpose of checking their Skill and Attribute limits. Honestly? I would replace Gain Skill with "Add your Mind to Gnosis when calculating your Skill limit; each time you purchase a Skill above normal human limits, gain Arcane Beat.", and boost mental trait "Add your Mind to Gnosis when calculating your Trait limit; each time you purchase a Mental attribute above normal human limits, gain Arcane Beat."
    Last edited by WHW; 05-07-2016, 03:16 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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