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  • A Dreamspeaker victory would be very strange because the Dreamspeakers aren't really a unified Tradition. Even according to Mage History they were pretty much a catch all for anyone who looked vaguely shamanistic. The idea that they would ever have come together as a group in a way that could take over the world is a stretch (not because they are incapable, but because without an outside threat there isn't much reason for many of them to even like each other). The idea that if they did they could agree on how to run it beggars belief. At best you'd see a sort of taking over the world and deliberately...
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  • The Verbena are most connected to the ritual and calendar based magic of (usually polytheistic) agrarian societies. They are the ones who stand apart from or on the edges of regular society and do the hard things it takes to keep that society alive. They keep track of the great alignments to determine the best time to plant or the destiny of children. They treat with, defeat, or appease capricious gods to bring in the harvest or drive away disease. They serve out justice, bloody or otherwise, seen or otherwise, to keep that society in balance.

    A society crafted by the Verbena...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Insubstantiality Limits
    I don't think I've ever seen an analysis of this, so I'd default to whatever is good for the story you are trying to tell. Think about how much you want Spectres to interfere with the living, how prevalent you want them to be in the Shadowlands, and if you think Wraiths should be able to evade a pack of Shades by diving into traffic. Decide accordingly.
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  • Depends on who is doing the seeing, doesn't it? The recipients may not see the mercy, but then that is part of the problem with them. The tyrants certainly see that they are delivering mercy.

    Note: I am very much not trying to argue that the tyrants are doing a good thing.

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    As for other ways that a group can fall... The Traditions vs Technocracy battle is very much a freedom vs security dynamic, but other struggles such as individualism vs communalism, fate vs free will, and humanism vs relativism are also possible. The Celestial Chorus...
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  • This one is tricky. The Celestial Chorus is very specifically the monotheistic group that embraces differences. You're already on the right track by not limiting them to Christianity, but I think the hunting people down without mercy misses the mark. Assuming that an ascendant Celestial Chorus would go tyrannical, they they would likely hunt people down out of mercy. Apostasy would be seen not as rebellion but as unfortunate defect. Those that could not hear the One would be lovingly collected and altered so that they could share in the experience of that great voice. It would be very much...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    You are right, because there are several things the Hermetics can talk shop about:

    1) The material components, which your mage will share little of.
    2) The mental components, which your mage may or may not have in common with them. These are things like mental images, shapes, equations, and names.
    3) The theoretical components, which your mage will probably share at least a little of. These are the theoretical underpinnings of the previous two; the reasons why they work.
    4) The metaphysical beliefs, which your character will largely share with them. Why the universe...
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  • You got me thinking about more in depth interactions between individual members, here is what I have for a SoE/Verbena mix:

    "A fascinating lot. I have an archaeologist friend among them; she shared with me her translations of an ancient babylonian calendar. She was planning on communing with one of "the old gods" at the next conjunction. Initially she was furious when I asked to tag along to study the process. 'The only way you are joining is as a blood sacrifice.'

    "Of course we worked it out in the end. I removed all the LEDs and buzzers from...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Classic Hermetic High Ritual works in large part because of the secret knowledge you know. You aren't just meditating, you are meditating on certain specialized forms and symbols, you aren't just gesturing, you are making specifically meaningful gestures. Compare that to martial arts where the meditation might simply be to focus your thoughts and the gestures are to cause specific changes in the flow of energy through your body. The former depends more on esoteric knowledge (academics/lore/theology) the latter depends on your concentration and bodily understanding....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Probably a few differences in the skills that you use to aid the magic roll if you use that rule. I'd expect classic hermetic high ritual to focus around academics, lore, or perhaps a bit of theology. If there is more of a psionic/bioenergy focus, you might instead consider meditation, lore, or possibly medicine to be more prominent....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Not from M20, no. As Aleph points out it isn't spelled out directly. Instead, there are indications in earlier books that other factions can have the same problem. Also of the two potential divides between mystic and technomancer, the Intrinsic/Extrinsic explanation fits considerably better with Mage's subjective approach than magic vs science. So while I wouldn't say that this is explicit in the book, it is the natural extension of things which are.

    That said, if you have reason to use the magic vs science explanation then go for it.




    Definitely....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Be careful with this one. The standard rules for Vulgarity still apply. A device that subtly alters the probabilities of bullet trajectories is probably coincidental whether it is powered by demons (Hermetic), Quantum Probability (Technocracy), or energy that the inventor literally named "Etheric Bullshit" (particularly zany Etherites). Instead, I think this section is referencing those times when scientific looking explanations offer good cover to make things coincidental. A ritual circle does nothing to make directing lightning look like it is possible, a doodad with a radar dish...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    If there was ever a Tradition for someone who would say, "They laughed! Can you believe it? They laughed at me! Well I'll show them! I'll show them all!!! Mwa ha ha ha!" it would be the Etherites

    Edit: It is very telling that both Aleph and I reached for the "They laughed at me!" trope to describe the SoE.

    In all seriousness, there is a difference between the beliefs that make someone a Technomancer and what beliefs a Tradition will accept. Someone could have a completely unscientific approach to their magic (say, "there is an angel for every...
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    Last edited by Ramnesis; 03-14-2019, 11:16 AM.

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  • This is the way I would go with it too. They aren't going to have the same dreams for humanity, but their dreams are closer to each other than they are to the purged Technocracy. It would actually be a lot like the state the Early Traditions were in, just without any kind of formal agreement.

    The Etherites and VAs broke away for reasons of independence and freedom of thought. That made them reasonable fit for the Traditions and also put them in a position where they needed allies to survive. The entire Technocracy breaking in two over differences in philosophy doesn't put quite...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Minor but very important distinction here. The Black Suit is not a technomancer. The Black Suit is a Technocrat. There is a significant different between the two. Technocrats have a serious issue getting away from using science, to the point that they can't even surpass foci. Technomancers can do stuff like breathe Ether and try to refine raw sunlight from oranges. Technocrats, even Void Engineers explicitly cannot do these things.

    The only thing we really know about Technomancers is that they have a hard, but not impossible, time surpassing their instruments. I would argue...
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  • Not wrong. It depends on how you want to approach the game. For instance, one of the theories of how the Consensus have power is that the sleeping Avatars of humanity are themselves forming reality. In that case, the Vulgarity could be based in the Avatar being destroyed or on an inherent rejection of all Avatars to one of their own being destroyed.



    For the record I am a strong proponent of not relying on the Earthly Foundations (or of just considering them part of reality that has a lot of inertia, which amounts to the same thing). In that spirit, I think you...
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  • The short answer is, yes, they are still Vulgar in your Sanctum. Something that is always Vulgar is Vulgar despite local reality zones so is unaffected by your Sanctum.

    The longer answer is that when you dig into the always Vulgar spells there is usually a specific reason they have that status. Something about them is specifically rejected by some aspect of reality. For instance, in the case of Time Travel the Mage is creating a temporal paradox, which is not specifically the same thing as Paradox but it does violate expectations in a broadly similar way*. In some way the Paradox...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Is the issue that you have a hard time envisioning a psuedo science that says a man can perform these feats with the right training or motions? Or is the issue that the book implies things that go that far are somehow not enough like Science?

    If it is the latter, I'm going to say ignore the book on this one, because there have been a lot of strange theories over the years that seem magical to us now but at the time were treated as real subjects of scientific inquiry (or at least as inquiry into the natural sciences). In Galileo's time it was believed that a drum made of lamb skin...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    Oh yes, turning yourself into a dog is definitely vulgar in most places, regardless of the explanation. I'd still let Etherites do it if they had a reason in their paradigm. It probably shouldn't be the same explanation as an Akashic would use, but there's no reason a Technomancer couldn't have a martial arts style that let them transform or do wire work like effects....
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    There are clear cases in the books of mages being able to 'cast' without realizing they are casting. Technocrats can sometimes cause physical effects (like stairs collapsing) by 'observing' relevant details (those stairs look structurally compromised), and 'predicting' the results (I think they are going to collapse right about... now). Chakravanti sometimes reap the benefits of being in alignment with the wheel without ever intending something to happen. To put it in systems terms, the Player is clearly describing an effect, naming the Spheres, and making an Arete roll, but the Character is...
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  • Ramnesis
    replied to Choosing Tradition
    It's a different meaning of the word 'internal.' Yes, both mages are using an effect that is at least partially within their bodies. Only one of them thinks that she is a necessary component of the spell.

    Let's use a different effect for the moment. Lets say both a Hermetic and an Etherite decide to knock down a wall with force. Let's also say the Hermetic uses a staff inscribed with runes and the Etherite uses some kind of ray gun. In both cases the spell is physically external to the mage, originating in an object and projecting towards another object. The Hermetic, though,...
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Ramnesis
Ramnesis
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