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  • Dataweaver
    started a topic Failed Refinements

    Failed Refinements

    In Dark Eras Companion (which I heartily recommend to any Promethean fan), we're introduced to Pneuma, a variant of the Aurum Refinement that's described as a failed Refinement (because it takes the Created's attention off of earning Mortality and encourages them to get stuck on that Refinement instead of learning from it and then moving on to something else).

    The purpose of this topic is to explore other possible “failed Refinements”: either variants of existing Refinements or cut from whole cloth, that look promising on the surface but contain subtle flaws that make them pitfalls for the Pilgrimage.

  • Korogra
    replied
    Tantalium(Tantalum), the Refinement Of Mind, and protection through Transfiguration, a failed offshoot of Argentum that came to be when a number of mystics saw the sheer number of monsters that prey on humanity and twists it into things that spits in the eye of everything Prometheans wish to achieve, The founders of Tantalium decided that it wasn’t enough to just achieve the New Dawn. No, they wished to refine Gold( humanity) into something even more pure, to better resist the darkness that fed upon it. This led to many disastrous dealings with mortal Alchemists, and legend tells that many Firestorms were born from the experiments, scoring large swaths of the earth. Pompeii was said to be one such casualty of their Hubris- though this is highly unlikely due to the relative youth of the Refinement.

    Nickname: Shepards, The Misguided.

    Transmutations: Mesmerism, Metamorphosis
    Last edited by Korogra; 11-18-2018, 09:25 PM.

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  • Adrasalieth
    replied
    Oh shoot it's true XD

    Perhaps rather than a reflective surface, the best analogue for Dialectic is something corrosive, something that reacts really hard with something and either dissolves it or makes it blow up. I hesitate between Ammonia and Alkali.

    EDIT: Perhaps Alkali would be more fitting than Cineres for the Refinement of Ashes, since it is an originally alchemical term for salt extracted from vegetal ashes. So I'd say

    Ammonia, Refinement of Azane and Dialectic. Practitioners = Sophists or Edgelords (disparaging).
    Cineres, Refinements of Ashes and Grief. Practioners = Alkalines or Hearses (disparaging)
    Last edited by Adrasalieth; 07-20-2018, 02:07 PM.

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  • Master Aquatosic
    replied
    Um, you might want to think of a different name for the Refinement of Mirrors and Dialetic. Speculum also is the name of a gynecological tool

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  • Pierrew
    replied
    Hey heres everything that still needs to be done
    1. Ammanoia, Needs Transmutation
    2. Platinum Followers(V For Vendetta Refinment)Needs Name
    3. Stibium, Needs Transmutation
    4. Staying too long in a Role is a failure state on the Pilgrimmage. But humans stay in roles for long periods all the time. And their philosophies praise it, even - "finding your place in the world" and all that. So a failed Refinement might revolve around finding a niche and endlessly trying to perfect it in the hopes that mortality will follow when they get it right. Forgetting that humans are starting from a very different place. Needs Transmutation,Element and Name
    5. A grisly failure state that Prometheans with Spare Parts might have is a quest for just the right parts. Keep changing your body up until you hit the sweet combination, and mortality will come.Needs Transmutation,Element and Name
    6. A Promethean might believe that mortality cannot be taken or found, only given. A human - or small group of them - must love the Promethean enough to, in a sense, share their soul with them. A variant on this idea might be that any strong relationship will do, even deadly hatred.Needs Transmutation,Element and Name
    7. A failed analogue of Phosphor might overexaggerate its fightly nature, pursuing experience after experience without staying still to learn anything from it - do everything that humans do, and you'll become human in the end.Needs Transmutation,Element and Name
    8. Or a Promethean might believe the key is the life of person from whose body they were made - immerse yourself in that light and it will give you mortality - indeed, perhaps some believe they really are that person reborn. Prometheans made from multiple people might have a variant where they live each life in turn. (Like the Spare Parts idea, this won't work for all Lineages, but not all failed Refinements need be available to all Prometheans).Needs Transmutation,Element and Name
    9. Ashes(Cineres)Needs Transmutation
    10. Adamas, Refinement of Diamond and Fanaticism: Needs Transmutation





    Last edited by Pierrew; 10-01-2018, 04:11 AM. Reason: Made it Look Better

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrasalieth View Post

    Oooh, that gives me an idea...

    Adamas, Refinement of Diamond and Fanaticism: Practitioners of this Refinement have a clear, albeit radical view of the World of Darkness, fueled by both the occult interest of Argentum and the flaw-correction take of Cobalus, but in essence a corruption of both their teachings. In their minds, it is simple: all major splats of the World of Darkness (all supernatural beings that were human at some point, that is) are Promethean Lineages. Just like Extempore, they are severed from the Azothic Memory by the strangeness of their Divine Fire. The members of this Refinement, the Fascists, are quick to explain every characteristic of other splats : Werewolf Rage is Torment, Mage Paradox is just a particularly tricky kind of Firestorm, Strix are immaterial Pandorans, etc.

    But most of all, as they don't follow the Pilgrimage, all of these creatures are Centimani, and should be treated as such. At least, that's what the Fascists infer.

    Fascists want to putsch the whole World of Darkness, no less. By power and guile, they intend to force every supernatural creature to comply to take the Pilgrimage as their sole moral code and guideline, and to work towards becoming human. It's the only way.
    Well, can they really be Fascists when they don’t carry the fervor of the masses with them? (I guess the Divine Fire provides enough fever, but still )

    Great idea regardless. Reminds me of the “everything’s from the Supernal” thought exercise back in Mage 1E. (Which unfortunately went a bit beyond a thought exercise for some, but I digress)

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  • Adrasalieth
    replied
    A follower of Argentum doesn't concentrate only on who a supernatural was before the event that changed them.
    Oooh, that gives me an idea...

    Adamas, Refinement of Diamond and Fanaticism: Practitioners of this Refinement have a clear, albeit radical view of the World of Darkness, fueled by both the occult interest of Argentum and the flaw-correction take of Cobalus, but in essence a corruption of both their teachings. In their minds, it is simple: all major splats of the World of Darkness (all supernatural beings that were human at some point, that is) are Promethean Lineages. Just like Extempore, they are severed from the Azothic Memory by the strangeness of their Divine Fire. The members of this Refinement, the Fascists, are quick to explain every characteristic of other splats : Werewolf Rage is Torment, Mage Paradox is just a particularly tricky kind of Firestorm, Strix are immaterial Pandorans, etc.

    But most of all, as they don't follow the Pilgrimage, all of these creatures are Centimani, and should be treated as such. At least, that's what the Fascists infer.

    Fascists want to putsch the whole World of Darkness, no less. By might, guile and propaganda, they intend to force every supernatural creature to accept the Pilgrimage as their sole moral code and guideline, and to work towards becoming human. It's the only way.
    Last edited by Adrasalieth; 09-05-2018, 03:07 PM.

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    I see that as pure Argentum: that Refinement is fundamentally about learning about humanity by learning about its supernatural offshoots. Studying ghosts to learn about the humanity they came from is very much an Argentum thing.
    Because learning about ghosts isn't the point, only who the ghosts were when they were alive. A follower of Argentum doesn't concentrate only on who a supernatural was before the event that changed them.

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  • Adrasalieth
    replied
    And it struck me you could make a failed Refinement off of this, an Aurum/Argentum mix, perhaps. Ghosts are not just dead humans or the echoes and reflections of them - they are born from the most extreme obsessions and intense of catastrophes, showcasing what humanity finds so central to itself as to lend expression after death. What better place could there be to learn about mortality than the testimony of the dead? It fails, because ghosts' obsessions do not a complete life or psyche make, but it seems like a trap Prometheans could easily fall into once they know ghosts exist.
    That could be really interesting. I can only imagine the popularity of this Refinements amongst Ulgan (who are already close to the immaterial) and Osirans (who litteraly believe themselves the Lords over all Dead).

    To distinguish it from the regular Argentum analysis, we could make it some kind of Capgras Delusion deal: rather than trying to build a personality for himself, Prometheans following this Refinement would start to believe themselves to be the ghost (or the undead form) of the human that was used to create her. Cue the Galateid trying to learn about the life of the TV star ze was in zir former life, and trying to deal with unfinished business of said person to "resolve zir Anchors". Cue the Osiran, trying to remain in the Underworld for too long after having been sent to one of the Rivers, and triggering the Old Laws because of that.

    As for the name, I could easily see this refinement as this of Ashes (Cineres).

    Leave a comment:


  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I see that as pure Argentum: that Refinement is fundamentally about learning about humanity by learning about its supernatural offshoots. Studying ghosts to learn about the humanity they came from is very much an Argentum thing.

    So how would this failed Refinement differ from that?

    Leave a comment:


  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Over on a Geist thread, regarding why other supernaturals might join a krewe of Bound, marin said this:
    Originally posted by marin View Post
    Promethean: You see the opportunity to learn how death shapes human lives, both before and after. You see the opportunity to learn about humanity from those who have already passed through it.
    And it struck me you could make a failed Refinement off of this, an Aurum/Argentum mix, perhaps. Ghosts are not just dead humans or the echoes and reflections of them - they are born from the most extreme obsessions and intense of catastrophes, showcasing what humanity finds so central to itself as to lend expression after death. What better place could there be to learn about mortality than the testimony of the dead? It fails, because ghosts' obsessions do not a complete life or psyche make, but it seems like a trap Prometheans could easily fall into once they know ghosts exist.

    Leave a comment:


  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    edit: and based on your choice of Transmutations for them, I see you're thinking in the same direction. Salt under this thinking would be a failure offshoot of Plumbum, the way Pneuma is off of Aurum.
    Pretty much yeah. It seems like tying to make a "complex extension" of one of the basic Refinements would be a relatively common source of failure.

    My post prior to yours suggested a Promethean with Spare Parts swapping out bits of their body in the hopes of getting just the right combination to facilitate mortality, which could be considered a failed Ferrum.

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  • glamourweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
    If I remember correctly, salt was considered the most inert form of matter. That could be the "refinement" that essentially gives up on the Pilgrimmage and tries to make the best of being a Promethean, without hope for anything more.

    That's basically getting stuck in Plumbum.

    edit: and based on your choice of Transmutations for them, I see you're thinking in the same direction. Salt under this thinking would be a failure offshoot of Plumbum, the way Pneuma is off of Aurum.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 02-13-2018, 02:48 AM.

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  • SunlessNick
    replied
    Staying too long in a Role is a failure state on the Pilgrimmage. But humans stay in roles for long periods all the time. And their philosophies praise it, even - "finding your place in the world" and all that. So a failed Refinement might revolve around finding a niche and endlessly trying to perfect it in the hopes that mortality will follow when they get it right. Forgetting that humans are starting from a very different place.

    A grisly failure state that Prometheans with Spare Parts might have is a quest for just the right parts. Keep changing your body up until you hit the sweet combination, and mortality will come.

    A Promethean might believe that mortality cannot be taken or found, only given. A human - or small group of them - must love the Promethean enough to, in a sense, share their soul with them. A variant on this idea might be that any strong relationship will do, even deadly hatred.

    A failed analogue of Phosphor might overexaggerate its fightly nature, pursuing experience after experience without staying still to learn anything from it - do everything that humans do, and you'll become human in the end.

    Or a Promethean might believe the key is the life of person from whose body they were made - immerse yourself in that light and it will give you mortality - indeed, perhaps some believe they really are that person reborn. Prometheans made from multiple people might have a variant where they live each life in turn. (Like the Spare Parts idea, this won't work for all Lineages, but not all failed Refinements need be available to all Prometheans).

    Leave a comment:


  • Mad_Maudlin
    replied
    What about Stibium, the Refinement of Kohl and Words? The guiding principle of this Refinement would be understanding humanity through narrative -- books, plays, movies, whatever medium you want. Its obvious failure mode would be a Promethean (Poet? Librarian? Critic?) who dives so deep into fiction they become isolated from actual humanity. Which could just be socially isolated (Netflix binging taken to an extreme) or divorced from reality (It works in the movies, it should work in real life!).

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