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  • Non-English player: some questions

    Hello everyone! I'm not English-speaker, and while I consider myself the great fan of CoD, sometimes I don't understand some important parts of the book. Mummy is such a case. I have read all game materials except Rio (but including Dark Eras Companion). I sincerely consider Mummy one of the most intriguing gamelinges of CoD. But ironically, I don't understand some of the very basic aspect of the game. I'm pretty sure these are not the flaws of the setting - just themes I didn't grasp on my own.
    If you will help me understand them, it would make my life brighter!
    And because English is not my native lanquage, please forgive me for inevitable mistakes.
    • First of all, why do Arisen do what they do - for example, consider Mesen-Nebu building financial empires and sponsor gold-mining projects (as in Mutapa Empire) or leaders of Sesha-Hebsu coordinating fellow Arisen. Other inhabitants of CoD do something like this to earn food, money, protection for relatives and other benefits that would be making their life happier in many decades to come. Mummies, for me, have too short lives to care about money and political standing.
    Oh, they could care about social, financial and just physical goodness of their cults. But in any given Descent the cultist are distant and almost unknown to them - they aren't loved ones or families to protect. So when the cult awakens the mummy and asks to do something, it seems to me (I suppose, mistakenly) the first reaction of mummy would be to say "Not interested" in Ancient Iremite. Then mummy simply lays down and sleeps again. She just isn't personally motivated to do anything for them - or is she?
    • In particular, why do they care about relic hunting? They don't really need them themselves, and while they can transport relics to Judges, the Judges themselves are the unknown shady figures to the Arisen. They aren't here, on Earth (unlike, for example, the vampire sires, whom neonates can meet and ask directly about motives of their work). They live in Duat, where mummy cannot get themselves. So *psychologically* Judges must be the no-existing figures to mummy: they are just some half-legendary ghost dudes. Even if mummy have feared and respected Judges in her human life, in the start of every Descent she has too little Memory to remember why Judges are so important. (Again, I think there may be a mistake on my part - please help me to find it).
    Some of Arisen - many, in fact - even consider Judges the tyrants. And if they submit to Judges, the reward for their service is several extra weeks of life - the life they (seemingly) don't need. I will say more: if Arisen misbehave, the punishment coming from these (supposedly) great terrible gods is the lowering of Sekhem, which is unpleasant, but not really crucial experience. It's not Final Death that awaits misbehaving neonate, nor it is torturous Durance that all changeling are afraid of.
    So, plainly stated: why are they *interested* in working for some unknown, not so fearsome power?
    • As a sidenote, I don't see why mummies keep to their ancient guilds. They mattered in Irem, because they gave money to protagonists' families - and relics to Empire. Also guilds gave would-be-Arisen the social standing they could use to promote their mortal needs. Nowadays mummy cannot create new relics using guild knowledge, nor she can receive something just because of the fact that she was favorite artisan of Shan'iatu. The guilds look like the phenomenon of a long dead culture, and many Arisen (of Memory 3) even don't quite remember this culture themselves.
    Again and again: I know that this point of view is flawed somewhere, I just can't understrand where exactly.
    P.S.: As a separate question, can I ask you to give the pronouciation of several terms, namely: Irem, Shan'iatu, Sheut, Maa-Kep, Mesen-Nebu, Sesha-Hebsu, Su-Menent, Tef-Aabhi, Akhem-Urtu and Shuankhsen. I know these are quasi-egyptian words, but it would be interesting to know how they are pronounced by English-speaking players.

    Hope it's not too much. And, of course, thank you!

  • #2
    I'm far from an expert in Mummy, so I might be misguided as well in few parts, but I'll give a shot.

    Originally posted by Horus View Post
    • First of all, why do Arisen do what they do - for example, consider Mesen-Nebu building financial empires and sponsor gold-mining projects (as in Mutapa Empire) or leaders of Sesha-Hebsu coordinating fellow Arisen. Other inhabitants of CoD do something like this to earn food, money, protection for relatives and other benefits that would be making their life happier in many decades to come. Mummies, for me, have too short lives to care about money and political standing.
    Oh, they could care about social, financial and just physical goodness of their cults. But in any given Descent the cultist are distant and almost unknown to them - they aren't loved ones or families to protect. So when the cult awakens the mummy and asks to do something, it seems to me (I suppose, mistakenly) the first reaction of mummy would be to say "Not interested" in Ancient Iremite. Then mummy simply lays down and sleeps again. She just isn't personally motivated to do anything for them - or is she?
    All what you describe are Guild activities, and for the Arisen the Guilds are more than membership. It is a badge of their pride and glory as scions of the Nameless Empire, and the few things left in this heretic world that connect them to it.

    • In particular, why do they care about relic hunting? They don't really need them themselves, and while they can transport relics to Judges, the Judges themselves are the unknown shady figures to the Arisen. They aren't here, on Earth (unlike, for example, the vampire sires, whom neonates can meet and ask directly about motives of their work). They live in Duat, where mummy cannot get themselves. So *psychologically* Judges must be the no-existing figures to mummy: they are just some half-legendary ghost dudes. Even if mummy have feared and respected Judges in her human life, in the start of every Descent she has too little Memory to remember why Judges are so important. (Again, I think there may be a mistake on my part - please help me to find it).
    Some of Arisen - many, in fact - even consider Judges the tyrants. And if they submit to Judges, the reward for their service is several extra weeks of life - the life they (seemingly) don't need. I will say more: if Arisen misbehave, the punishment coming from these (supposedly) great terrible gods is the lowering of Sekhem, which is unpleasant, but not really crucial experience. It's not Final Death that awaits misbehaving neonate, nor it is torturous Durance that all changeling are afraid of.
    So, plainly stated: why are they *interested* in working for some unknown, not so fearsome power?
    Ask anyone who has a religion. Is their god some half-legendary figure that don't matter to them because we can't see them? We fervently believe in gods we can't prove they exist. Mummies know for sure the Judges are real. That alone gives them a huge reason to worship them even more. And even though Mummies' memories have decayed, they all too clearly remember the Judges. After all, their Decrees are what they proclaimed in front of the Judges as proof of their right to exist. You can't really forget things like that. It also helps that, like Guild membership, Judge worship is one of the few things tying the Arisen to the Nameless Empire.

    Sekhem is more crucial than you perceive it as, and so is that extra length of life. The Arisen are not robots, no matter how deep their devotion and/or brainwashing goes. They have wants and needs as individuals, and they desire life.

    • As a sidenote, I don't see why mummies keep to their ancient guilds. They mattered in Irem, because they gave money to protagonists' families - and relics to Empire. Also guilds gave would-be-Arisen the social standing they could use to promote their mortal needs. Nowadays mummy cannot create new relics using guild knowledge, nor she can receive something just because of the fact that she was favorite artisan of Shan'iatu. The guilds look like the phenomenon of a long dead culture, and many Arisen (of Memory 3) even don't quite remember this culture themselves.
    Again and again: I know that this point of view is flawed somewhere, I just can't understrand where exactly.
    Answered above, regards to how Guild membership is one of the last things remaining in their tattered identities.

    P.S.: As a separate question, can I ask you to give the pronouciation of several terms, namely: Irem, Shan'iatu, Sheut, Maa-Kep, Mesen-Nebu, Sesha-Hebsu, Su-Menent, Tef-Aabhi, Akhem-Urtu and Shuankhsen. I know these are quasi-egyptian words, but it would be interesting to know how they are pronounced by English-speaking players.
    Sorry, because I'm not a native speaker either, in both English and Egyptian (or Iremite)


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      Warm thanks! Good point about decree and religion.

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      • #4
        I would also ask about "Sekhem" pronunciation, if nobody minds.

        Comment


        • #5
          In Semitic languages, "kh" is used similar to the rolling growl at the end of "Bach", or "Loch Ness" so I've been pronouncing it llike that. Doesn't work for Shuankhsen though, too many consonants in a row...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Horus View Post
            Hello everyone! I'm not English-speaker, and while I consider myself the great fan of CoD, sometimes I don't understand some important parts of the book. Mummy is such a case. I have read all game materials except Rio (but including Dark Eras Companion). I sincerely consider Mummy one of the most intriguing gamelinges of CoD. But ironically, I don't understand some of the very basic aspect of the game. I'm pretty sure these are not the flaws of the setting - just themes I didn't grasp on my own.
            If you will help me understand them, it would make my life brighter!
            And because English is not my native lanquage, please forgive me for inevitable mistakes.
            • First of all, why do Arisen do what they do - for example, consider Mesen-Nebu building financial empires and sponsor gold-mining projects (as in Mutapa Empire) or leaders of Sesha-Hebsu coordinating fellow Arisen. Other inhabitants of CoD do something like this to earn food, money, protection for relatives and other benefits that would be making their life happier in many decades to come. Mummies, for me, have too short lives to care about money and political standing.
            Oh, they could care about social, financial and just physical goodness of their cults. But in any given Descent the cultist are distant and almost unknown to them - they aren't loved ones or families to protect. So when the cult awakens the mummy and asks to do something, it seems to me (I suppose, mistakenly) the first reaction of mummy would be to say "Not interested" in Ancient Iremite. Then mummy simply lays down and sleeps again. She just isn't personally motivated to do anything for them - or is she?
            • In particular, why do they care about relic hunting? They don't really need them themselves, and while they can transport relics to Judges, the Judges themselves are the unknown shady figures to the Arisen. They aren't here, on Earth (unlike, for example, the vampire sires, whom neonates can meet and ask directly about motives of their work). They live in Duat, where mummy cannot get themselves. So *psychologically* Judges must be the no-existing figures to mummy: they are just some half-legendary ghost dudes. Even if mummy have feared and respected Judges in her human life, in the start of every Descent she has too little Memory to remember why Judges are so important. (Again, I think there may be a mistake on my part - please help me to find it).
            Some of Arisen - many, in fact - even consider Judges the tyrants. And if they submit to Judges, the reward for their service is several extra weeks of life - the life they (seemingly) don't need. I will say more: if Arisen misbehave, the punishment coming from these (supposedly) great terrible gods is the lowering of Sekhem, which is unpleasant, but not really crucial experience. It's not Final Death that awaits misbehaving neonate, nor it is torturous Durance that all changeling are afraid of.
            So, plainly stated: why are they *interested* in working for some unknown, not so fearsome power?
            • As a sidenote, I don't see why mummies keep to their ancient guilds. They mattered in Irem, because they gave money to protagonists' families - and relics to Empire. Also guilds gave would-be-Arisen the social standing they could use to promote their mortal needs. Nowadays mummy cannot create new relics using guild knowledge, nor she can receive something just because of the fact that she was favorite artisan of Shan'iatu. The guilds look like the phenomenon of a long dead culture, and many Arisen (of Memory 3) even don't quite remember this culture themselves.
            Again and again: I know that this point of view is flawed somewhere, I just can't understrand where exactly.
            P.S.: As a separate question, can I ask you to give the pronouciation of several terms, namely: Irem, Shan'iatu, Sheut, Maa-Kep, Mesen-Nebu, Sesha-Hebsu, Su-Menent, Tef-Aabhi, Akhem-Urtu and Shuankhsen. I know these are quasi-egyptian words, but it would be interesting to know how they are pronounced by English-speaking players.

            Hope it's not too much. And, of course, thank you!
            Most of this comes down to the fact that the Rite of Return programmed Mummies to hunt relics and obey. The spell itself doesn't quite FORCE mummies to do these things, but the feeling of ''this is what I must do'' is given to them by the magic that animates them. The Guilds are questionable-- mummies believe that their Guilds are programmed into them as well, but evidence exists to make some believe the Guilds exist out of old habits and a need to cling to what is familiar. I hope I didn't use any metaphors or terms you don't know. If you need further help with a phrase, just ask!

            Ps. I pronounce Sekhem as Gwen suggested, with that Semitic sound like Hanukkah or Loch. It sounded exotic and fun, and I imagined Imhotep from the movies saying it and it seemed fitting.

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            • #7
              I warmly thank you, Cleverest of Things!
              ​There is also a question: why don't mummies command their cult to summon them every few years? Why do they arise only once in generation or sometimes ages?

              ​P.S.: Any help with pronunciation of other terms?

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              • #8
                There's a few reasons. The first is that you need an anchored relic, which isn't something that every Mummy has, which means their Cult has to sacrifice other Vessels in order to raise their master. So that becomes a resource issue. Among those Mummies who do have a rechargeable source of coming backness, some have religious beliefs that cause them to believe their proper place is in Duat (practically the entire Sheut decree is meant to be along these lines). Similarly, the Cults may believe that they shouldn't wake the Arisen too often. The fact that being in the presence of an Arisen is actively unpleasant, even for mortals, may mean they aren't too keen on waking their masters up too often if there's any wiggle room on the subject at all. Other Mummies are worried about preserving their Memory, since you lose a dot every time you begin a new Descent and the lowest stable rating only recalls the Descent immediately preceding it. If you make your Cult wake you every three years and run into an enemy from sixty years back then, even if you have recordings telling you about them, you're going to be at a bit of a disadvantage context-wise if they can actually remember you off the top of their head and you can't remember them. And finally, some Mummies actually do get their Cults to summon them every few years. One of the players in my chronicle tried to be active almost as often as they were in Duat, and I doubt their character would be considered alone in that.

                I'm Australian. You probably don't want to know how I pronounce things. You certainly shouldn't try to mimic me.

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                • #9
                  That is an awesome, detailed answer. I really thank you.
                  ​Yeah, I knew one Australian for a long time) Very interesting pronunciation! By the way, it would be interesting how you, as Australian, pronounce these terms too - without joking, it has some linguistic value. Maybe it will be interesting to other people here. But, of course, it's up to you.
                  ​Thanks again for info-rich answer!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In terms of pronunciation, you may just want to go with what feels right. There aren't any pronunciations in the lexicon of the core (which is pretty atypical for CofD books that use a lot of setting specific words), so we native English speakers are kind of in the same boat as you are, barring those of us who know a lot of Egyptian mythology. There are a lot of ways I could pronounce Tef-Aabhi, and I wouldn't want to pin any as the "correct" one.



                    Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

                    VtR: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2ndTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
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                    • #11
                      Really heartfelt thanks, Yossarian!

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                      • #12
                        Two more options to help with pronunciation (wells, two options to access the same resource). The Great Course has an online series on Egyptian Hieroglyphs. The focus of the course is on writing Ancient Egyptian, as we don't actually know how the language was pronounced (much like modern Arabic, vowels were generally not written down), but it does give you something of an idea as to what the language sounded like. It is available on their main website for $60 when it is on sale (every other month, don't buy it if it's not on sale) and on their streaming site. The streaming site works out to being $15-20 USD per month and is well worth the money if you are a history or science buff.


                        He/His Pronouns | Currently writing: Tome of the Pentacle (OPP), Better Feared: Nosferatu (STV)

                        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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                        • #13
                          Second Chances, I sincerely thank you!

                          As a side question: can anybody write just a few (one-two) examples of Arisen motivations that you used in your games? I honestly don't reqest more than a few words, just want to understand your view on motivations. Just what your mummies want to do at least in the beginning of game stoires? Hope I don't ask too much!

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                          • #14
                            Like, why the were called back, or what the characters overall goals are?
                            The former is largely because of something the cult needs (unless it's a Sothic Turn); the later is really up to the player.

                            The game I'm running right now, one mummy was raised to protect his cult from someone who is clearly aware of them and murdering them one by one, but his personal goals are to re-discover his memory and figure out how he ended up in London.
                            The other mummy was raised to find a Relic more than a few times; currently, in the 1970s, she was raised because part of her cult was kidnapped.

                            Good things Cults need their Mummies for are
                            1. There's a relic nearby!
                            2. The relic you told us to watch out for is nearby!
                            3. We are in trouble
                            4. You told us the stars were right at this time and to raise you
                            5. These other walking gods convinced us to because they said they needed you

                            A lot of arisings have to do with relics, but number 3 is a great catch-all for any manner of antagonist, issue or story whereas number 4 is a great way to set up a mummy-only mystery; "I told my cult to raise me at this year on this day for some auspicious event but what was it and what did I want to do."
                            Last edited by Ben Quo; 07-19-2017, 04:02 AM.


                            My Promethean Homebrew.

                            Yes, I made it the same way as a Promethean. No, the authorities haven't found me yet.

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                            • #15
                              Big and warm thank you, Ben Quo! Yes, I asked about the personal motivations of mummies. I know their setting and mechanics very well, I just (as I sad in the big first post) don't quite understand why they want to do what they do and not simply lay back in sarcofagus (literally in a few minutes after arising) to sleep again because of lack of any real ties with the world. Thank you for your players' examples! I appreciate your help.

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