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[Mage ST] Need a crash course in Mummy

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
    As for the Descent itself, a few questions:
    First, what happens when a Mummy wakes up? Eldritch flares? A corpse slowly regenerating itself? I need some help with the visuals.
    Second, how does having high/low Memory work, exactly? I'm having some trouble grokking that part.
    Third, I've read somewhere another way to bring a Mummy back from the dead is good old human sacrifice. Is it a possession type thing, where the Mummy's Sekhem takes over the new host, or does the old body reappear?
    Waking: A big flare of Sekhem. It seems the kind of thing mages with Life, Death or Mind might notice, but not be able to identify. A newly awakened mummy spends a few scenes with next to no memory of their life and identity - but they know their capabilities, and the category of reason someone's awakened them (for crossover, the best categories are someone messed with their stuff or their cult did it via a ritual). To begin with, they look like a walking mummified corpse - after the first time their Sekhem drops, which is quite quickly, they form a mystical body around said corpse, which looks and feels real - this happens fairly rapidly, and is done by the second time Sekhem drops.

    Memory: From waking until the body is reformed, they start remembering their lives in fits and starts - previous times they've woken up in mummy form tend to come more easily than memories of their mortal lives - but recent times they've woken up are not necessarily more likely than earlier ones. How much they remember is actually their Interity-type stat, and starts at three, so you can extrapolate from there.

    Human Sacrifice: Mummies can extract some of their organs (the same ones Egyptians put in canopic jars), and store them for a rainy day. If the mummy's body is destroyed, they can be woken up via one of their organs - the body will reform around it, and then awaken. If everything is destroyed, a mummy's cult can put their soul into a human, who then becomes the mummy in every mechanical/metaphysical way that matters (though their appearance will remain that of the donor body). It's pretty rare to need this.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
      If everything is destroyed, a mummy's cult can put their soul into a human, who then becomes the mummy in every mechanical/metaphysical way that matters (though their appearance will remain that of the donor body). It's pretty rare to need this.
      Not to mention risky. A Twice-Born mummy risks their soul being claimed by the Devourer which would mean they become the hungrier, eviler, more soulless version of a mummy. Even if the ritual works, there is no guarantee that the mummy arises sane on the other side of it.


      Black Lives Matter

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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
        Waking: A big flare of Sekhem. It seems the kind of thing mages with Life, Death or Mind might notice, but not be able to identify.
        Perfect.

        A newly awakened mummy spends a few scenes with next to no memory of their life and identity - but they know their capabilities, and the category of reason someone's awakened them (for crossover, the best categories are someone messed with their stuff or their cult did it via a ritual). To begin with, they look like a walking mummified corpse - after the first time their Sekhem drops, which is quite quickly, they form a mystical body around said corpse, which looks and feels real - this happens fairly rapidly, and is done by the second time Sekhem drops.

        Memory: From waking until the body is reformed, they start remembering their lives in fits and starts - previous times they've woken up in mummy form tend to come more easily than memories of their mortal lives - but recent times they've woken up are not necessarily more likely than earlier ones. How much they remember is actually their Interity-type stat, and starts at three, so you can extrapolate from there.
        So, for a few hours after their awakening, they're little more than zombies, correct? Okay, I can work with that.

        Human Sacrifice: Mummies can extract some of their organs (the same ones Egyptians put in canopic jars), and store them for a rainy day. If the mummy's body is destroyed, they can be woken up via one of their organs - the body will reform around it, and then awaken. If everything is destroyed, a mummy's cult can put their soul into a human, who then becomes the mummy in every mechanical/metaphysical way that matters (though their appearance will remain that of the donor body). It's pretty rare to need this.
        The ultimate last resort, then, not an actual failsafe. Okay.
        Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
        Not to mention risky. A Twice-Born mummy risks their soul being claimed by the Devourer which would mean they become the hungrier, eviler, more soulless version of a mummy. Even if the ritual works, there is no guarantee that the mummy arises sane on the other side of it.
        Devourer - that name keeps popping up, who/what is it?

        In the theme of names that keep popping up, what is Sybaris? I was under the impression it was some sort of Disquiet (from Promethean) equivalent, but then I noticed a mention to Enticing Sybaris, which gummed up my works.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
          Perfect.

          So, for a few hours after their awakening, they're little more than zombies, correct? Okay, I can work with that.
          Not quite. They look like zombies, but they are driven by PURPOSE (and they would put it in bold and all caps). They don't know who they are until Sekhem starts to drop, but they know why they are awake and will fuck up anyone who gets in their way

          Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
          The ultimate last resort, then, not an actual failsafe. Okay.
          Devourer - that name keeps popping up, who/what is it?
          Ammut the Devourer, the primordial goddess of Chaos who predates even Irem's gods. May have screwed over the Mummies and their masters in the past. This may be helpful.

          Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
          In the theme of names that keep popping up, what is Sybaris? I was under the impression it was some sort of Disquiet (from Promethean) equivalent, but then I noticed a mention to Enticing Sybaris, which gummed up my works.
          You aren't that far off with the Disquiet analogy, but Sybaris creates a larger range of emotions. Basically, all of them make mortals into putty in the mummy's hands. Some are terrifying and send mortals running in fear. Others draw them in and grow the mummy's cult.
          Last edited by Second Chances; 03-21-2018, 04:04 PM.


          Black Lives Matter

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

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
            So, for a few hours after their awakening, they're little more than zombies, correct? Okay, I can work with that.
            Not quite. They're as intelligent as they ever were, they just remember nothing of their lives.

            Devourer - that name keeps popping up, who/what is it?
            Ammut, a huge hungry demon/realm/thing based on (though in universe of course it's the other way round) the Egyptian mythical entity who eats the hearts of sinners. A bit like if Oblivion from Wraith was personified. A portion of the world was sacrificed to her, including the souls of those who failed to become proper mummies. It's unlikely to matter to mages unless they go deep into the Mummy mythos.

            In the theme of names that keep popping up, what is Sybaris? I was under the impression it was some sort of Disquiet (from Promethean) equivalent, but then I noticed a mention to Enticing Sybaris, which gummed up my works.
            You're right, but it can spark a wider range of emotions, including devotion and fascination, though awed fear is the most common - mummies can parley the affected into being cultists, albeit not very efficient ones. This may matter to mages - they're probably not going to be affected themselves, but some of their own minions might fall victim to it, even if the mummy herself doesn't mean for it to happen.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post

              Human Sacrifice: Mummies can extract some of their organs (the same ones Egyptians put in canopic jars), and store them for a rainy day. If the mummy's body is destroyed, they can be woken up via one of their organs - the body will reform around it, and then awaken. If everything is destroyed, a mummy's cult can put their soul into a human, who then becomes the mummy in every mechanical/metaphysical way that matters (though their appearance will remain that of the donor body). It's pretty rare to need this.
              An Arisen with a Sadikh enables their Cult to Lift the Black Caul and raise the Arisen through human sacrifice without doing the Twice Arisen. Just kill a human and it's equivalent to draining a relic or vestige for the purpose of the summoning ritual.

              A Sadikh, incidentally, is the Mummy equivalent to a Ghoul. A human given immortality and undeath and an incredible amount of resilience, plus some decree-based powers, but in return they end up bound to the Arisen's life-death cycle and have their memories mucked with to give them the impression that their older cycles are actually inherited memories/remembered stories from the past, not actual lived experience. You probably don't need to bother having a Sadikh actually show up in the story though if what you want is a murder to get the ball rolling.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
                That was what encouraged me from changing the timeline and saying the Mummy will be awakened by its Cult - they'll consider the PCs' presence as a possible threat, and that false alarm will make the Mummy too weak to handle the return of the Dethroned Queen by itself.

                As for the Descent itself, a few questions:
                First, what happens when a Mummy wakes up? Eldritch flares? A corpse slowly regenerating itself? I need some help with the visuals.
                Beyond the mystical sensation of a veritable flood of Sekhem (and let's be clear, 10 "points" of Sekhem suddenly filling a corpse is an insane quantity. Relics capable of reshaping the entire planet cap out at Sekhem 5) pouring into the world, there isn't really a visual component until the corpse starts moving. The descriptions we have of newly awakened Arisen are that their movements are bizarrely fluid, with no direct relation to anatomy. This withered, near-skeletal corpse sits up and its limbs move into the positions the Arisen's mind wills them to be in, so bystanders perceive their initial movements as this impossible flow.

                Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
                Second, how does having high/low Memory work, exactly? I'm having some trouble grokking that part.
                In a nutshell, think of Memory as how much of their previous Descents the Arisen remembers. When they first wake, they are always at Memory 0 for a scene or two, or a couple of hours, whichever way you want to handwave it. Memory 0 means that they know the Purpose they were raised for, but that's it. They aren't idiots, but they have no distractions from their Purpose, no reason or will to deviate. It's why cults are often reluctant to raise an Arisen, and part of why Arisen are so terrifying. They fall back on violence so often because they're full to the brim with power that demands to be used and lack any reason to not just go for the most directly expedient and violent method to remove potential obstacles. A pedestrian standing in their way is going to get run over because the Arisen doesn't remember that the long term consequences for that action may be more inconvenient than stopping and waiting for the pedestrian to pass, and it certainly can't recall any connection to the pedestrian personally or any common humanity that may stay its hand.

                After a few hours, the Arisen regains its sense of self and can usually remember most of its descent immediately prior to the current one. Over the course of a descent it will usually raise its Memory a couple of points, enabling it to recall more and more of its 6,000 year history and undercover everything from secrets about itself and its own motivations to important information about the city where it lives and the other immortals it has to deal with.

                Interestingly, Memory actually interacts a bit with your first question. As has already been mentioned, after a few hours the Arisen reconstitutes a body made out of Sekhem to cover its withered bones. This body, called the sahu is based on the Arisen's own recollection of what it ought to look like, so it should look roughly like the Arisen did in life. Small details may change later in the Descent, and there's a tendency for the body to age and look more rundown and tired at the bottom end of the descent.

                Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
                As an unrelated question, how many Affinities/Utterances does a Mummy get, out of chargen? Want to make sure it's not overwhelming, but needs to feel powerful.
                Three Affinities, and one or two Utterances depending on the character build. You can comfortably assume two Utterances as the norm though.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
                  Oookay, that's a lot faster than I anticipated.
                  It's worth remembering that the variability of the rate of Descent is owed to the need to fail a Sekhem roll to retain your current rating; while the odds of success still gradually increase over time, by Sekhem 3 a mummy is not only rolling less often but has a better grip on what they've held onto.


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                  Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                  • #24
                    Thanks for all your answers, everyone.

                    One final question - where can I get some inspiration for the Mummy's tomb? Because outside a literal tomb, I'm stumped.

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                    • #25
                      Mummies Alive!

                      ...

                      What?!?

                      ...

                      I'm serious!

                      Okay, jokes aside, Mummies Alive! could be a good source of inspiration. Four hallowed walking corpses take up residence in what is effectively a knock off of the Vegas Strip. While, yes, they do build their tomb inside a fake Sphinx, you could easily translate that into any prominent monument.

                      Big Ben? Easy. Lincoln Memorial? Only if you can beat off the other mummies first. Statue of Liberty? Why not? The Smithsonian? Maybe a bit cliche, but damn you will have a lot of information at you finger tips. The Pentagon? They'll never suspect it. Google's corporate headquarters? Digital is the way to go.

                      The point is, pick somewhere big and prominent, then build a classic tomb inside of that. The tomb itself doesn't have to be big, but you can still go big with the structure containing it.


                      Black Lives Matter

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

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                        Mummies Alive!

                        ...

                        What?!?

                        ...

                        I'm serious!
                        I guess I'm on the wrong continent to understand that reference.

                        That said, I'm not looking for locations, I'm looking for visuals - I kinda want to go outside the "classic tomb" box. Is there a reason for that specific theme?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Justin Sane View Post
                          I guess I'm on the wrong continent to understand that reference.

                          That said, I'm not looking for locations, I'm looking for visuals - I kinda want to go outside the "classic tomb" box. Is there a reason for that specific theme?
                          Well, Tradition (capital T). Mummies can't remember too much, so some consistency probably helps. That said, since one of the Cult types is Enterprise, Mummies obviously can get with the times. Nothing is stopping you from having an office building as their Tomb, with the sacred geometry built in by a cultist-architect, and any mystical symbols cleverly concealed behind corporate imagery and decor. The "on-site data warehouse" stores something other than servers.

                          Brings a different meaning to "I'm going to reboot the Master Controller".
                          Last edited by Vent0; 03-23-2018, 02:34 PM.


                          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                          • #28
                            Dana's building from Ghostbusters comes to mind, if we assume Zuul is a Mummy.


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