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  • On Non-Iremite Mummies

    So, this thread is to discuss Non-Iremite Mummies; arguments for and against, how-to's on re-skinning the Mummy template for non-Egypt-ish cultures, how these could be represented by the 'amnesiac' mummies mentioned in the books, and any other topics our noodley little brains can come up with.

    So, to get the ball rolling, let's start with the aforementioned arguments on why or why not Mummies from beyond Irem should be a thing. My two cents: what if you're planning a game and, for whatever reason, you want to include a Mummy as a major player, or even just as a story event, and you don't want to muck about with explaining away Egypt-ish iconography and decor in, let's say, the middle of the Guatemalan rain forest? Sure, simply changing the description of the scene may be sufficient, replace the Egypt-ish themes with Mesoamerican-ish ones, but it's been my experience that keeping all of the little details straight and part of a cohesive whole can make all the difference.

    That's my argument 'for' (or one of them, anyway). Anyone have an 'against'?

  • #2
    Cults can change iconography. With the Arisen's poor memories, their flexible Sahu, and, if needed, the Twice-Arisen, you can already have all that.

    Mummies (as in the Arisen, Deceived, and Shuankhsen) came from the Rite of Return. What makes these other beings "mummies" such that they share the name with the previous ones?


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

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    • #3
      I honestly have no problems with non-Iremite Mummies, but this game here is the wrong place for them. You should just build them as a Horror of some variety. The reason most players are against all Mummies falling under the one Mummy template is because the word "Mummy" in English is just used to refer to a preserved corpse. It can happen naturally, or as a consequence of a variety of different burial practices across the world. Each one of those practices is different enough that pretending they're all the same is enormously dismissive of the cultures in question, we only consider them even remotely equivalent because of that one linguistic quirk of English.

      So by all means, let's have rules for the animate corpses from different cultures. But not in this game. This game is about Egyptian Mummies specifically. If you want something else, that's fine, but not here.
      Last edited by Azahul; 04-28-2016, 06:02 PM. Reason: Proper placement of apostrophes is important.

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      • #4
        I don't object to there being non-Iremite mummies. Just like I don't object to there being non-GM demons — in fact, last I checked, there were no less than five distinct things in the ChroD that are called “demons”.

        In a similar way, non-Iremite mummies ought to be distinct from the Arisen, with enough differences that it doesn't make sense to use the same template even as a starting point. Sekhem, Memory, Pillars, Decrees, Affinities, and Utterances should all be specific to Irem's slaves; other mummies should be as different from them as the Purified from Immortals are.


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        • #5
          These are all excellent points, but why reinvent the wheel? It's like the guidelines for converting mages to psychics or mad scientists in the Mage Chronicler's Guide; change some names, one or two rules tweaks, and Presto! You have the ever-dying functionaries of the Celestial Mandarins of P'en Lai!

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          • #6
            For a game table hack, that works great. But there's a reason that's in the Chronicler's Guide - it's a setting hack, not something thematically consistent with the gameline as presented. I'd much rather see Taoist Mummies with their own system that emphasizes their themes rather than things like the Pillars.


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            • #7
              It'd still be about reclaiming memories, about maintaining one's self, leap-frogging between eras punctuated by periods of senescence...the dynamics would be essentially the same, just based off a different proto-culture. How would the themes be any different?

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              • #8
                Irem had godlike beings with a fundamental understanding of the nature of Sekhem and a direct line to the gods, and they still had to sacrifice an entire civilization to make the Rite work. I really don't see later mortals pulling it off a second time.


                Just call me Lex.

                Female pronouns for me, please.

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                • #9
                  Who says it was a second time? Expansive as Irem was, and as unlikely as the timing would have been, it's possible that multiple proto-civs could have performed Rites of Return simultaneously, with each civ having its own patrons. Probable? Not in the least. But possible, especially in the ChroD, where unlikely (and horrifying) events occur all the time? Definitely.

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                  • #10
                    Can I just clarify what we're actually arguing here? Is it your right to make a fan-made setting hack for the game that just renames Mummy's stuff, or is it whether there should be canon non-Iremite Mummies in future expansions using the same basic mechanics?

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                    • #11
                      Right now I think we're arguing the overall desirability of either.

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                      • #12
                        I suppose a question: When we say non-Iremite mummies, do we mean non-Curse Mummies? Because if we want to run the hell away from what Curse's mummies are for those ideas, sure. But Curse's mummies are really tightly knit to the story of the Nameless Empire and it's mythology, and I think that's a really significant part of the strength of it, that this history, this story, goes down even into the mechanics.

                        Also, I dislike how some people try to push non-Iremite to avoid playing ethnicities/cultures they have no reason to have a problem with, but that's a very minor group.


                        Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
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                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                        • #13
                          Also, this.


                          Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
                          Work Blog Coming Soon
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                          • #14
                            Damnit, had a massive post but it got eaten. Let's see about the cliff-notes:

                            -There's no problem if you just want to rename some stuff and claim your Mummy is from a different culture. Chronicles of Darkness are a toolkit, you can do anything you want with it.

                            -That said, I really need to question why you think Mummy: The Curse is the best template for a non-Egyptian Mummified creature. Because I genuinely think the only reason to think that is because you're conflating such very different things together is because in English they're both called "Mummies".

                            -Horrors in 2ED, or maybe Abmortals or something in 1ED, would be a better baseline. Far fewer culturally specific rules and template concepts that need to be reworked from the ground up, far less flavour that needs to be thoroughly excised to make it work.

                            On the subject of canon non-Iremite Arisen (as in Sekhem, low Memory, rise from death to serve eldritch masters for a short time based on the call of a relic and then back to sleep), that's even worse. All of the above applies, plus you've got the fact that it just doesn't fit into the lore. Look at all the very specific acts, from the murder of a god to the performance of a very particular ritual rooted in Egyptian forms of mummification that took place to create the Arisen. So many of the events of Irem were tied into the personalities of the Shan'iatu. The idea that the same thing could be replicated in China at about the same time is just preposterous. Particularly since the timing of the ritual itself is also rooted in the Egyptian concept of the Sothic cycle.

                            Seriously though, I think if you want to proceed with creating Mummies from different cultures, you need to sit down and examine why you think the Arisen template makes a better jumping off point than, say, Vampires, Purified, Abmortals, or maybe even Promethean or Geist. Of all the creatures in the Chronicles of Darkness line, they have to be the one keyed most tightly to a specific culture, and consequently I think that makes them the furthest of all the types of undead or immortal beings in the line from "Mummies" from other cultures.

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                            • #15
                              All that said, botched attempts at the Rite from other cultures (or just lone crazed weirdos, though those are probably more likely to create a Promethean than anything else) resulting in horrifying Lifeless that provoke a severe uncanny valley effect in the Arisen is a fantastic source of plot hooks. Something eerily like you, but running off of stolen Sekhem or missing several of the souls Pillars and just gushing Sybaris into the osychosohere around them? Yes please.


                              Just call me Lex.

                              Female pronouns for me, please.

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