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  • Some newbie Mummy questions

    Hi there!

    I've recently purchased Mummy and I'm currently reading the core rulebook. I have some questions - could you guys help me out?

    1. A general question: if mummies have problems with remembering their past lives, why don't they just write diaries? Wouldn't that help with the whole problem of not remembering previous Descents?

    2. The book keeps repeating the mummies'dilemma: that they can achieve various goals by being active and using powers, but being active means they are losing Sekhem. But, when looking at the actual mechanics behind the powers of the mummies, I can't see any direct relationship between them and Sekhem. Using Utterances and the like doesn't actually lead to Sekhem drops. So, why can't the mummies be active? I don't get it.

    3. What's up with the mummies that wake up because of the Sothic Turn? The rules say that they can linger at Sekhem 1 indefinitely. Soooo... why aren't there legions of low-Sekhem mummies running around? It seems to me that once a mummy wakes up at the Sothic Turn, there's no need for it to become inert ever again...

    4. Speaking of Sothic Turns, I don't get them. It is said the STs lead to mass mummy resurrections - but, at the same time, it says that each mummy has its own ST cycle, calculated from the date of its death. So, is it assumed that all of the mummies were created around the same time?

    5. Am I mistaken, or do the Guilds give no specific special abilities to the members? Much is said in the rulebook about each of the Guilds having its own brand of magic, but... there are no Guild-specific Utterances or anything like that. Just a single bonus Affinity...

    6. A more general question: if Irem was located in (more or less) Egypt, then how come there are mummy tombs all around the world?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
    1. A general question: if mummies have problems with remembering their past lives, why don't they just write diaries? Wouldn't that help with the whole problem of not remembering previous Descents?
    Same reason as 1e elder vampires: even though there's nothing stopping you from writing down your memoirs, there's also nothing stopping those records from being lost or damaged or tampered with.

    2. The book keeps repeating the mummies'dilemma: that they can achieve various goals by being active and using powers, but being active means they are losing Sekhem. But, when looking at the actual mechanics behind the powers of the mummies, I can't see any direct relationship between them and Sekhem. Using Utterances and the like doesn't actually lead to Sekhem drops. So, why can't the mummies be active? I don't get it.
    You lose Sekhem over time while you're active and you lose Sekhem on healing and resurrecting in the course of the job.

    3. What's up with the mummies that wake up because of the Sothic Turn? The rules say that they can linger at Sekhem 1 indefinitely. Soooo... why aren't there legions of low-Sekhem mummies running around? It seems to me that once a mummy wakes up at the Sothic Turn, there's no need for it to become inert ever again...
    Running around at Sekhem 1 forever means you are one death or blasphemy away from falling to dust again.

    4. Speaking of Sothic Turns, I don't get them. It is said the STs lead to mass mummy resurrections - but, at the same time, it says that each mummy has its own ST cycle, calculated from the date of its death. So, is it assumed that all of the mummies were created around the same time?
    It's assumed that the Arisen were all made within about a hundred years of the "base" Sothic turn.

    5. Am I mistaken, or do the Guilds give no specific special abilities to the members? Much is said in the rulebook about each of the Guilds having its own brand of magic, but... there are no Guild-specific Utterances or anything like that. Just a single bonus Affinity...
    Guildhalls of the Deathless provides a lot more widgets to play with, but the ability to use a particular type of relic without a drawback is not to be understated.

    6. A more general question: if Irem was located in (more or less) Egypt, then how come there are mummy tombs all around the world?
    Diaspora. Even if there wasn't a massive internal conflict around the first Sothic turn that codified Arisen society, people move around and take their stuff with them, and that includes cultists and their mummies.


    Resident Sanguinary Analyst
    Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      1. A general question: if mummies have problems with remembering their past lives, why don't they just write diaries? Wouldn't that help with the whole problem of not remembering previous Descents?
      I got no answer for this one. I believe Guildhalls of the Deathless has passages on a practice that is nearly that? It would, of course, have to apply to later Descents, after you've already identified the problem (and re-identified it in subsequent Descents) and know to try it, and would be subject to problems like making sure your diary doesn't go anywhere between cycles.

      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      2. The book keeps repeating the mummies'dilemma: that they can achieve various goals by being active and using powers, but being active means they are losing Sekhem. But, when looking at the actual mechanics behind the powers of the mummies, I can't see any direct relationship between them and Sekhem. Using Utterances and the like doesn't actually lead to Sekhem drops. So, why can't the mummies be active? I don't get it.
      I'm not sure what impression you're getting at. Mummies can be as active as they can manage. Their Sekhem falls, and as it falls, they lose access to their greater powers. If they manage their Descent carefully, they can linger in the world of humanity for a couple years per cycle, until their next Sothic awakening. Sekhem doesn't fall because of their power. For the most part, it simply falls.

      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      3. What's up with the mummies that wake up because of the Sothic Turn? The rules say that they can linger at Sekhem 1 indefinitely. Soooo... why aren't there legions of low-Sekhem mummies running around? It seems to me that once a mummy wakes up at the Sothic Turn, there's no need for it to become inert ever again...
      First, because there aren't legions of mummies in general; they're in the Promethean Club in terms of being the rarest among the supernatural populations of the Chronicles of Darkness. Second, because eventually they make an enemy who manages to kill them. Getting dropped out of your cycle by being killed eats a dot of Sekhem to bounce back from, and losing your last dot of Sekhem ends your cycle. And third: nothing. A careful, circumspect mummy can indeed hang on for a long time during a Sothic Descent.

      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      4. Speaking of Sothic Turns, I don't get them. It is said the STs lead to mass mummy resurrections - but, at the same time, it says that each mummy has its own ST cycle, calculated from the date of its death. So, is it assumed that all of the mummies were created around the same time?
      Around the same time, give or take a few years, I think maybe a decade at most? It was a dramatic labor.

      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      5. Am I mistaken, or do the Guilds give no specific special abilities to the members? Much is said in the rulebook about each of the Guilds having its own brand of magic, but... there are no Guild-specific Utterances or anything like that. Just a single bonus Affinity...
      The irony of the Guilds is that the magic expertise that defined them in life is mostly denied them as Deathless: it pertained to the crafting of relics, which (most) mummies cannot do. Members of a given Guild can generally access the power of their Guild's favored relics while escaping the worst effects of the relic's curse, though.

      Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
      6. A more general question: if Irem was located in (more or less) Egypt, then how come there are mummy tombs all around the world?
      The Nameless Empire spread its boundaries past later kingdoms of Egypt, and when mummies began to rise after its fall, they began a widespread, haphazard diaspora. A long enough Descent, especially a Sothic cycle, has a good chance of ending far away from where it began.

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      • #4
        Okay, thanks for answers!

        One another question: relics. It's another thing that feels a bit weird to me. As you guys said, being a member of a Guild grants the ability to safely use one type of relic. But... the mummies aren't actually supposed to own relics, right? If they find a relic, they should "send it to Duat" ASAP - which means, if I understand correctly, that the relic gets destroyed. So... the ability to use some kind of relics is actually almost useless, right?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
          Okay, thanks for answers!

          One another question: relics. It's another thing that feels a bit weird to me. As you guys said, being a member of a Guild grants the ability to safely use one type of relic. But... the mummies aren't actually supposed to own relics, right? If they find a relic, they should "send it to Duat" ASAP - which means, if I understand correctly, that the relic gets destroyed. So... the ability to use some kind of relics is actually almost useless, right?
          That Relic is only sent back to Duat with you at the end of your Descent, which gives you a good long while to run around using it. I believe it also mentions that the Arisen are permitted to hold onto one useful Relic in order to aid them in their sacred task.


          Just call me Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.

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          • #6
            Also, just in general, there are a lot of things expected of mummies that are not necessarily in the mummy's best interests, and a little wiggle room in what is socially acceptable to your peers. Note also the list of triggers for sudden Descent rolls: the things the Rite of Return thinks you are "not supposed to do" include increasing Memory. There's a tension built into the game here.

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            • #7
              I see. So, you don't have to destroy the relics in any way - you are allowed to keep them until the end of one particular Descent? That makes them much more useful...

              Okay, I have a less specific question, one about GMing this game: have you guys tried running any historical chronicles? Considering the nature of the mummies' existence, the game practically begs for stories set in multiple time periods. I'd love to do this, but I have this problem: how to deal with the necessary character sheet changes? I mean, the default skill set isn't fully appropriate even for stories set only a few decades ago (the Computers skill would have to go, for once). And if you try to run Mummy in the Middle Ages, then you'd need a whole new skill list...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                I see. So, you don't have to destroy the relics in any way - you are allowed to keep them until the end of one particular Descent? That makes them much more useful...

                Okay, I have a less specific question, one about GMing this game: have you guys tried running any historical chronicles? Considering the nature of the mummies' existence, the game practically begs for stories set in multiple time periods. I'd love to do this, but I have this problem: how to deal with the necessary character sheet changes? I mean, the default skill set isn't fully appropriate even for stories set only a few decades ago (the Computers skill would have to go, for once). And if you try to run Mummy in the Middle Ages, then you'd need a whole new skill list...
                Flashback and flash forward, without a worry to the changes to the character sheet. It saves on book-keeping and has the mummies doubt both time and Memory, which are always great.

                Sothis Ascends touches on this and provides some historical settings.


                Just call me Lex.

                Female pronouns for me, please.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                  That Relic is only sent back to Duat with you at the end of your Descent, which gives you a good long while to run around using it. I believe it also mentions that the Arisen are permitted to hold onto one useful Relic in order to aid them in their sacred task.
                  You can actually hang on to quite a few by syncing them with your Lifeweb. It's been a while, but my memory is that the list of relics you can keep is:

                  -Any one relic from your Guild.
                  -Any one relic made by the Shan'iatu.
                  -Any number of relics made by your own hand.

                  The latter two categories are understandably rare, mind you.

                  You can also keep more relics by storing them outside of your tomb so they don't go to Duat when your Descent ends, but doing so is admittedly a wee bit blasphemous.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                    1. A general question: if mummies have problems with remembering their past lives, why don't they just write diaries? Wouldn't that help with the whole problem of not remembering previous Descents?
                    Guildhalls of the Deathless introduces Talismans, personalized relics which contain a history of events in your character's life (IIRC). It doesn't provide Memory (per se) because there's no emotional, personal revelation; it's more like reading an encyclopedia article about your life that you still can't remember anyway. Still, most Mummies probably only wake up every few decades anyway and you're only around for a few months at best, so what are you even going to record? Plus you can't wake up too often or your Memory will keep going down, too.

                    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                    2. The book keeps repeating the mummies'dilemma: that they can achieve various goals by being active and using powers, but being active means they are losing Sekhem. But, when looking at the actual mechanics behind the powers of the mummies, I can't see any direct relationship between them and Sekhem. Using Utterances and the like doesn't actually lead to Sekhem drops. So, why can't the mummies be active? I don't get it.
                    Being awake means they lose Sekhem, but I think 'active' here means like running around doing things - which they better do a lot of since they don't have a lot of time. I'm not totally sure what you're asking.

                    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                    3. What's up with the mummies that wake up because of the Sothic Turn? The rules say that they can linger at Sekhem 1 indefinitely. Soooo... why aren't there legions of low-Sekhem mummies running around? It seems to me that once a mummy wakes up at the Sothic Turn, there's no need for it to become inert ever again...
                    At some point in the 1400 years between Turns most Mummies die, from triggering a Descent roll, to being eaten by an enemy, or by a bomb exploding in their face.

                    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                    5. Am I mistaken, or do the Guilds give no specific special abilities to the members? Much is said in the rulebook about each of the Guilds having its own brand of magic, but... there are no Guild-specific Utterances or anything like that. Just a single bonus Affinity...
                    Aside from being able to negate the Curse of certain relics, all Mummies begin play with a Guild Affinity.

                    Originally posted by Varsovian View Post
                    But... the mummies aren't actually supposed to own relics, right? If they find a relic, they should "send it to Duat" ASAP - which means, if I understand correctly, that the relic gets destroyed. So... the ability to use some kind of relics is actually almost useless, right?
                    Actually, I think Deathless are only 'allowed' two relics: one for their tomb's Lifeweb and one for them to use practically. I could be wrong and maybe Azahul has the better of it.

                    Still, it is possible for Judges to return relics back to the world, and in my campaign that little trick has caused the PC 4000 years of aggravation

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by reseru View Post
                      Actually, I think Deathless are only 'allowed' two relics: one for their tomb's Lifeweb and one for them to use practically. I could be wrong and maybe Azahul has the better of it.
                      Allowed two (Lifeweb and one to use, the latter of which must be from Irem/made by the Shan'iatu), plus any number of other relics made by the Mummy's own hands/or that had a strong emotional connection to them in life. It's on page 80 of the corebook in the "Lifeweb" sidebar.

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                      • #12
                        Ah, well that does change things a lot for my perception of the setting

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by reseru View Post
                          Ah, well that does change things a lot for my perception of the setting
                          Just curious, but how so?


                          CofD booklists:
                          Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire

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