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Sphinxes (2E)

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  • Sphinxes (2E)

    What makes humanity special? Is it the capacity to Awaken? Such a view is arrogant in the extreme, say the Sphinxes, for to look at the Sleepers as inferior is to ignore one’s own humanity. No, to the mages who choose to follow this Legacy, the true magic of humanity is language. More to the point, it is the capacity for symbolic recognition, to see a gesture or a marking, hear a collection of sounds, and from that understand.


    Stewards of the Great Riddle

    Human beings are optimized, either by the design of a greater being or the rigors of evolution, toward speech and language, both anatomically and neurologically. But all of the biophysical adaptations of the human body toward speech mean nothing without the ability to understand symbols. Upon this phenomenon (some would say “miracle”), the Legacy of the Sphinx is based.

    Walking the path of the Sphinx is an exercise in abstraction, for the Legacy teaches understanding without processing, learning truth without realizing fact. A Sphinx sees meaning everywhere — in the number of cracks in a sidewalk, in the seemingly random sounds from a baby’s babbling, in the texture of a brick wall. Intrinsic in this ability to find meaning anywhere is the knowledge that this meaning comes from somewhere.

    Sphinxes who cleave to the Atlantean model of mystical understanding posit that this meaning might come from ancient masters sending information forward in time, in a very subtle way. Others believe that this truth comes directly from the Supernal Realms instead.


    Origins

    Parentage: Mastigos, Mysterium, or Guardians of the Veil

    Background: Prospective Sphinxes are often linguists, or at least interested in language and symbolism. Some are computer programmers working with code; others are teachers or speech pathologists attempting to help others communicate. Some don’t come from a background relating to communication at all, but feel that the universe has a greater meaning that needs to be deciphered.

    Appearance:: Sphinxes might come from any walk of life. The Legacy is not culturally based, and so doesn’t dictate a lifestyle or a given mode of dress. Most Sphinxes are contemplative and observant, and many are easily distracted, staring for long minutes at patterns of texture or light as they try to interpret them. Pathfinders also tend to be good listeners and remain open to communication with others. Thus, Pathfinders go out of their way to appear non-threatening and available.


    Doctrine

    Prerequisites: Gnosis 2, Fate 2, Investigation 2, one of the following Skills at 2 dots or higher (Academics, Occult, Empathy, Expression)

    Initiation: An initiate must impress her tutor with her ability to decipher codes, riddles, and puzzles.

    Organization: Sphinxes of the Guardians and Mysterium have a worldwide system of coded messages spread throughout a variety of media. Small radio stations, public access television shows, magazine articles, books and, of course, Internet sites, all serve as bulletin boards for the Legacy. The messages are all heavily coded and require time and effort to encode or decode, but the wealth of knowledge that a Sphinx of the order can draw upon is great. Outside those Orders, Pathfinders have little in the way of formal contact, though when they encounter each other the meeting is usually friendly.

    Theory: The name “Sphinx" comes from the mythological creature that Oedipus confronted near Thebes. He solved the riddle of the Sphinx, and she leaped to her death in horror that her secret was revealed. Whether the name “Sphinx” was one that members of this Legacy originally applied to themselves or not, they do not see themselves as jealous keepers of secrets. Indeed, they tend to view themselves as searchers trying to solve a riddle. That riddle is difficult to express, because it is so vast in scope, but the basic idea is this: If meaning can be found in anything, at any level of understanding or consciousness, then what is the ultimate meaning? Where does the truth come from, and to what purpose?


    Magic

    Ruling Arcanum: Fate

    Yantras:

    Oblations: Solving a puzzle (crossword, Sudoku , even certain video games). Translating a written work, transcribing a speech (be it a story, monologue, or even political address). Facilitating communication (by acting as a mediator or translator, for instance)


    Attainments

    1st Attainment: Hidden Meaning
    Prerequisites: Initiation
    The Sphinx’s first Attainment allows her to find and decipher wisdom in the mundane. Anything that has a pattern can be used for this purpose, be it cracks in the ceiling or the calls of a flock of birds. The Mage merely needs to study the pattern for a few seconds to gain the information contained therein. This Attainment simulates the "Interconnections" spell as an Instant Action, and can target anything in sensory range.

    Optional: Mind 1
    A Pathfinder may also take an Instant Action to scrutinize the thoughts and emotions of the people around him. This Attainment mimics the "Mental Scan" spell, with Reach assigned to let him read through the surface thoughts of her subject and catch words or phrases before he says them.


    2nd Attainment: Hidden Fate
    Prerequisites:
    Fate 2, Investigation 3
    Knowing the truth of the world by interpreting its many hidden messages is only the first step toward the superlative understanding that the Sphinx hopes one day to reach. And as she further hones this talent of the Legacy, she becomes sensitive enough to the currents of Fate to see hints of its plans for the people around her. This Attainment mimics the "Foreshadow" spell, and the Sphinx may target anyone in sensory range as an Instant Action.

    Optional: Mind 2
    By studying a person’s movements, the subtle messages conveyed by facial expression, body language and breathing and even how others react to him, the Sphinx gains an advantage in dealing with him. This effect is similar to the First Impressions spell, with Reach assigned to make it an Instant Action with Advanced Duration.


    3rd Attainment: Truth Without Knowledge
    Prerequisites: Fate 3, In addition to the Investigation 3 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Sphinx 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.
    The Pathfinder learns to take advantage of the clues that surround her as to the fundamental nature of reality. To the untrained eye, she looks lucky or simply confident. But to a mage, every action she takes is fraught with significance. This Attainment duplicates the "Exceptional Luck" spell as an Instant action, and can be made reflexive by spending a point of Mana.

    Optional: Mind 3
    By listening to patterns of sound in speech (or watching patterns of letters in written discourse), the Mage can understand anything she hears or reads. This Attainment duplicates the "Universal Language" spell as an Instant Action, with Reach assigned to give it Advanced Duration.


    4th Attainment: Off the Path
    Prerequisites: Fate 4, Investigation 4, and the other Skill requirements of the previous Attainment, Unbound Fate Attainment
    The Sphinx learns to “walk between” the paths of meaning in the world, disappearing from the cycles of destiny. As far as the world and its many layers of hidden messages are concerned, she does not exist while this Attainment is active. She must spend a scene in silent meditation, perceiving the threads of fate and stepping between them. Once this is done, for the next 24 hours, any Clash of Wills triggered by Unbound Fate gain the 8-again quality, unless the Sphinx fails such a roll sooner.

    Optional: Mind 4
    Reading a person’s intentions isn’t difficult for the Pathfinder. And at this stage, a tic of the eye or a shift of the hand betrays everything about a target — his hopes, his fears and even his memories. This Attainment is similar to the "Read the Depths" spell, with Reach assigned to make it Instant and target anyone in sensory range.


    5th Attainment: Riddle of Life
    Prerequisites: Fate 5. In addition to the Investigation 4 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Pathfinder 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.
    At the height of her power, a Sphinx has gained enough insight into the subtle patterns of the world to truly impose his influence on them. With this Attainment, she uses the "Chaos Mastery" spell as an Instant Action with Advanced Duration.

    Optional: Mind 5
    The greatest Pathfinders can use their mastery of Mind to cleanse any and all distractions from their thoughts. This Attainment simulates the "Clear Thoughts" spell as an Instant Action. Furthermore, Potency is its Primary Factor, and the Sphinx may choose to make the effects of a given instance Lasting.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-28-2017, 04:22 PM.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    Another Legacy conversion from me. This one's still a work-in-progress, and it uses my Legacy Reach House Rule in addition to one additional deviation from the Legacy mechanics. For more detailed fluff on the Sphinx (which I will add in an abridged and revised form at a later date), go to p. 91 of Legacies: The Ancient.

    Originally posted by Phersus View Post
    Could i persuade you to give the Sphinxes a try? I'm having some creative blockage with them
    I hope what I thought up so far is good enough for you


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

    Comment


    • #3
      It is indeed!! Thank you very, very much!! looking forward to see your final touch!


      Userhat Aegpts Vlrs. Coren "Ojos de Fuego". Mithrael. Menehet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Phersus View Post
        It is indeed!! Thank you very, very much!! looking forward to see your final touch!
        Added the fifth Attainment, though I'm still in need of some critique on it.

        Also, I had an alternative idea for the second Attainment, using a spell from the Creative Thaumaturgy thread made by espritdecalmar. And now that I gave it another look, I'm starting to think it makes more sense as a Ruling rather than an Unveiling spell, since it's coaxing Fate to give visible hints on a specified Destiny.

        2nd Attainment: Hidden Fate
        Prerequisites:
        Fate 2, Investigation 3
        Knowing the truth of the world by interpreting its many hidden messages is only the first step toward the superlative understanding that the Sphinx hopes one day to reach. And as she further hones this talent of the Legacy, she becomes sensitive enough to the currents of Fate to see hints of its plans for the people around her. This Attainment mimics the "Foreshadow" spell, and the Sphinx may target anyone in sensory range as an Instant Action.


        New Spell

        Foreshadow (Fate ●●)
        Practice: Ruling
        Primary Factor: Potency
        Suggested Rote Skills: Academics, Expression, Subterfuge
        When a mage casts this spell, he chooses a destiny (or Destiny) of which he is aware. The spell causes the strings of fate to manifest one symbol per dot of Potency of that destiny between the time of casting and when the fated event occurs. For instance, if a Sleeper is destined to get into a car crash, the spell might cause her to see a commercial about auto insurance, or she might drive by the site of a car crash the day before. The effects of this spell are normally minor and subtle, but they can be useful for getting someone to believe in the power of fate and symbolism. Alternatively, the mage might wish to cause foreshadowing to manifest for particularly obscure destinies in order to analyze a mystery from a different point of view.

        +1 Reach: The mage chooses how the foreshadowing manifests.


        "My Homebrew Hub"
        Age of Azar
        The Kingdom of Yamatai

        Comment


        • #5
          I like it, though it does basically ignore (or at least radically shift the emphasis away from) the idea that Sphinxes are trying to find messages that appear in the world... Actually I kinda think making the messages a more broad concept is an improvement.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            I like it, though it does basically ignore (or at least radically shift the emphasis away from) the idea that Sphinxes are trying to find messages that appear in the world... Actually I kinda think making the messages a more broad concept is an improvement.
            Glad you do And by improvement, you're referring to how Sphinxes may pursue messages of differing nature?


            "My Homebrew Hub"
            Age of Azar
            The Kingdom of Yamatai

            Comment


            • #7
              More the idea that messages appear because the Sphinx gathers in so much information that they start seeing messages and patterns that may not really be from anyone; rather than the Sphinxes learning their abilities to coprehend messages they find in the world. It feels a bit more coherent.


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