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  • Horus
    started a topic Non-English player: some questions

    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!

  • Horus
    replied
    Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll, thanks for detailed answer! It seems linguistically right.

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  • Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
    replied
    So, the word "Irem" is first found in the Qur'an, 89:8, Surat al-Fajr, The Dawn. It is إِرَمَ, which in IPA would be "?ɪram", beginning with a small glottal stop, so I would go with that.

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  • Horus
    replied
    Seems it's a really cursed question since nobody answer it) Anyway, great thanks to all who helped me!

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  • Horus
    replied
    Oh, excuse my mistake! My native language is Russian.
    I asked about pronunciation. Like: is Irem [aɪrem] or [ɪrem] or is Aabhi (in "Tef-Aabhi") [ɑːbhi] or [aabhi] (with two "a" sounds)? I know these are mostly Egyptian words, but how English-speakers pronunce them?
    Big thanks for your wish to help, Ben Quo.
    Last edited by Horus; 07-22-2017, 05:39 AM.

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  • Ben Quo
    replied
    You just spelled them all right >_>
    Do you mean pronunciation or do you mean like, definition?
    I know English is your second language (obviously) so may I ask what your native language is?

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  • Horus
    replied
    Exellent! Thank you for detailed answer, Ben Quo!
    If it's not too much, can you help me with spelling of words Irem, Shan'iatu, Sheut, Maa-Kep, Mesen-Nebu, Sesha-Hebsu, Su-Menent, Tef-Aabhi, Akhem-Urtu and Shuankhsen? If it's too much, just thank you again!

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  • Ben Quo
    replied
    I mean - what are an immortal god-king's goals going to look like?
    He also wants to strengthen his Cult's connections with the Guilds of London, find out where the rest of the meret is maybe sit down for some much-needed reading.
    She wants to hunt down and personally eviscerate the Shuankhsen that has been hounding her forever, and I think have a girl's night out with one of the NPCs.

    Their personal goals are going to be whatever the player wants. Mummies don't just lie back in their tombs because it would take a long time to die again, and they have an undeniable urge to go out and do whatever stuff the Cult raised them for. They're going to be invested in that in a major way from the gate.

    In Mummy, the players don't really define their backstory; the Storyteller does and keeps it secret so the players can be intrigued by it and go figure it out. It's another inbuilt mystery and hopefully that draws them along.
    The guy PC did some terrible stuff in the 50 years proceeding his arising in the 1950s and he's heavily invested now in figuring out what - especially because he had his Cult raise him repeatedly over a three-ish year period to burn out his Memory.

    Also keep in mind, by the way, that if a Mummy did just lay back down and burn out their Sekhem on purpose to go back to sleep, it's a Memory 1 (I think) Infraction and their cult can just raise them again.
    They'll just go down to Memory 0, at which case they're a robot that just exists to fulfill the First Purpose. Bad news. Worth keeping yourself active. Gotta have a hobby.
    Last edited by Ben Quo; 07-19-2017, 10:24 PM.

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  • Horus
    replied
    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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  • Ben Quo
    replied
    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.

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  • Horus
    replied
    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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  • Second Chances
    replied
    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.

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  • Horus
    replied
    Really heartfelt thanks, Yossarian!

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  • Yossarian
    replied
    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.

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  • Horus
    replied
    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!

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