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  • That's the Exalted explanation. There's no real evidence for it in the WoD but it's as good a story seed as any.

    You could also say that the Malfeans were dead things from a previous universe and they somehow still defy Oblivion....
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  • Mostly what you need in the guildbooks are the little pieces of lore that they slowly handed out. Things like what happened to Charon's shadow. That kind of thing should be in the core now that it is known. I would expect info on the Ferrymen and the Doomslayers to be in the core for the same reason.
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Brainstorming Boring Things
    Let's see...

    1) There's paperwork for every onsite injury. That includes repetitive motion injuries, slip and falls, and strangely enough, jamming your finger putting your luggage in the overhead compartments on a commercial airplane. Yes, some places will call that last one an onsite injury. I've seen it.

    2) Some agent wants permission to measure the curl of the linoleum in the hallways.

    3) The electronic standard promotion/transfer form will only accept a 7 digit employee id code. Employee codes are 9 digits. So every assignment has to be filed along with...
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    Last edited by Ramnesis; 04-17-2017, 08:14 AM.

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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    Of course it's flawed and you're supposed to take it with a grain of salt. That's a far cry from saying it's "worth less than the paper it's written on." It may be be sugarcoated but it's also the best view we have into what they think about themselves. The book is supposed to be useful, after all.

    That's the problem with your rhetorical method, not that you are taking the worst case scenario but that you are only allowing for the worst case evidence.


    As for issues with actual capitalism, I think if we take it much further it would be sidetracking...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    That kind of rhetoric only works if we are willing to see the positions knocked down. When you set up barriers like discounting what the Syndicate has to say about itself it hamstrings the entire method.



    Oh there's competition in every social dynamic. Competition for rank, for status, for influence, etc. Capitalism is open about it, but even the most structured and planned society has people playing politics to get ahead (in whatever form getting ahead takes). So I'd argue it's not that capitalism is more vulnerable to the bottom dropping out, it's that it is more obvious...
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  • Thanks! Glad you liked it....
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  • That depends on which TOJ ending you are going with. You don't have to stick to one, though. You can layer the major events your characters change so that in stopping one major enemy they advance the causes of another. The Time of Judgement, then, could be less a specific chain of events and more an almost unavoidable end date. The real question then is what is pushing that deadline and how.

    Going back to time travel in general:

    If you are going the alternate timeline route, you should probably answer what happens to the original timeline. Do its inhabitants get a...
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  • I've got lots and lots of thoughts about time travel in Mage. Too many actually. There are a lot of ways of running time travel and how you handle it depends on what kind of story you are looking for. A Swiftly Tilting Planet is a much different story than, say, The Men Who Shot Mohamed. So there are a number of questions you need to answer, such as are the character going back to the real past? Can they change things? And is there only one past?


    Off hand here are a couple of story ideas:

    The characters can only travel back into the bodies of the people who...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    That doesn't change that how the Syndicate is portrayed completely changes their moral status. So choosing a single negative lens to look at them through isn't as useful as, say, looking at the positive depictions of the Syndicate and seeing how they could be twisted. The latter also avoids the two least interesting options, the squeaky clean Syndicate and the wreched hive of scum and villainy Syndicate.



    But the question is not if scruples, ethics, and morals are part of the mix to create value. The question is if they are an important part of the Syndicate. And this...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    Since it's a question of how they are depicted... not really? There aren't many factions in Mage that can't be depicted as evil if you set your mind to it. Also, how evil they are depends a great deal on unstated assumptions, like what goals you ascribe to the organization, or personal opinions on capitalism and business.

    For instance:



    I don't see real world businesses constantly teetering on the edge of evil. Which is not to say some don't fall over the edge, but plenty more don't even come close. It is a wide range of behaviors and cultures rather than...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    Which, as always, assumes that working people do death is the most effective and efficient way to get potential out of them. An employee who dies in 5 years will almost certainly not give you as much Quintessence as an employee who dies in 60. Especially if you are investing time and energy in improving their productivity. Employees who die take every bit of that investment with them.

    Sure the output of seven and a half billion people worked to death is pretty impressive, but its nothing compared to the output of seven and a half billion people with the proper training, planning,...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    Most faction plans only make sense from an in Paradigm perspective, Mage is remarkably Kuhnian that way. There are all sorts of things that only make sense because believers just wouldn't think to act a different way, or ask the dangerous questions, etc. The Syndicate has all sorts of checks and balances that aren't obvious to outsiders that keep things from getting out of hand. They also have failings that aren't obvious to their members.

    And I have to say, from my perspective, the Syndicate is actually remarkably easy to depict as a well-meaning and often positive force. They...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Mage: The Ascension - Rhapsody
    Have you looked into what was going on with Project MKUltra in that time period?...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Noob Questions
    The Materialize charm isn't universal, though, so plenty of spirits would be trapped if they were unlucky enough to get to the Low Umbra in the first place. They can probably be soul forged though....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Mage: The Ascension - Rhapsody
    A VA in a 60s setting sounds fascinating. Instead of classic Matrix hackers they look more like computer pioneers, mathematicians, and futurists. Also, given your setting you have a unique opportunity. The VAs only joined the Traditions in 1961, they aren't fully trusted yet. In fact, their probationary period actually ends sometime in 1966, so it might not have happened yet at the start of the game. The VA character might actually have been part of the split and still know people in the Technocracy....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    They also tend to confuse the model for the people. Economic systems may be human systems, but economics are not human. The Syndicate is unabashedly human-centric in theory, but it often loses sight of the faces that make up humanity.
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    I think you just expressed the NWO party line. Especially the 'flaws in human nature' part. Did a manila envelope make it's way under your door last night? ...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Big Dice
    I can't dig up anything on how much they've sold for before, but it seems excessive. Of course there might be a thriving trade in rare dice I was unaware of.

    Edit: Looking at Noble Knight, what cWoD dice they do have tend to run in the $100-125 range. Wraith dice would be rarer than Vampire dice, so make of that what you will.
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    Last edited by Ramnesis; 03-29-2017, 09:16 AM.

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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Is the Syndicate evil?
    I see this as a good description of a way a Syndicate agent might get sidelined and trapped by his own paradigm. One of the pitfalls, say, and not the standard state of affairs. In general, though, they are not interested in humans because of money, they are interested in money because of humans. The Syndicate is all about leveraging potential and there is no greater potential in their eyes than humanity. Profit is only one representation of that potential, often not even the best one.

    As far as the Syndicate is concerned, all of the greatest cultural and technological works have...
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Ramnesis
Ramnesis
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Last Activity: Yesterday, 10:01 AM
Joined: 11-05-2013
Location: New York
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