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Otherworldly Mage Faction who are not Marauders or Nephandi

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  • #16
    While I love C:tD more, C:tL has the strongest central metaphor and the scarier fae. In many ways M:t Ascension and C:tL have by far the most flexible core ideas of any White Wolf/Onyx Path games.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post

      The faction's intentions toward Earth may not be favorable to the population of humans that currently live on it. They arrive in too small numbers to be openly aggressive and have material things, knowledge or both to trade. Unlike Threat Null, where you look at them and say, "Oh shit.", the newcomers can present themselves in a way that leaves people guessing whether their arrival is for weal or woe.
      Honestly that only really applies to half of Threat Null. The Agents and Residents, aka the Null version of the NWO and Syndicate, appear as normal people as they are more subtle in their actions than Transhumanity and the Autopolitans. In fact in the VE CB, they straight mention how the VE lost an entire Voidship due to an Agent infiltrating it. And the whole deal with the Residents is that they strike 'helpful' deals with others that get the hapless dupe deeper and deeper into a web of favors and debts.

      So yeah, you could use the Agents and Residents as the face of Threat Null, with the players being completely oblivious to the idea they're interacting with one of the worst threats out there.


      Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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      • #18
        I sense a real "Atlantean" vibe here...

        "Otherworldly" could indeed be something out of some weirdness from the Umbra (or several), but as Bluecho noted, going stricly by the rules, they would need some regular doses of quint to keep from becoming spirits. But there are ways to deal with that, circumvent it or ignore it completely by introducing some new elements, which I would like to discuss here (I'll begin with the origins, and we may discuss motivations moving foward)

        1 - Not "Outwordly"; they came from INSIDE.
        In this idea they dont come from somewhere "out there", but instead they have always been here, just not exactly where we are.

        A-) Atlanteans
        Deep down bellow the oceans, the most ancient civilization humanity has ever produced still lingers; their ways go for more than 10.000 years old. Magic and technology are distinctions that simply dont make sense to them. Atlantis is a "Utopian Dystopia". A place of wonder beyond imagination.


        B-) Inner Earth
        Bellow the Earths surface, lingers an ancient mystic civilization that has lived for an entire Era completely oblivious to what was happening above. "Above our endless halls there is nothing; all that is exists solely within the confines of the world-walls". At long last thou, some of their ranks made a shocking discovering of a world beyond the end of the world, and found out about those "surfice dwellers" living in a world without borders; this heresy were fiercely fought in an era in the past, but at long last, it seems to be true.

        C-) Not "Where", but "When"
        The ritual was supposed to save mankind from "X" threat. Instead, it transported an entire cabal of mages over the halls of time, and now they see themselves in this strange new world. WHEN are they from? Prehistorical cavemen mages? Or...
        C-) 1: those guys do NOT come from the past, but rather they come from THE FUTURE. Perhaps 1 MILLION of years from the future... Which may be far more interesting than say the century 25, because to them, the 21th century is like prehistoric history, they have no idea what our present world is. And what's worse, whatever event brought them here, it erased their memories about it. All they know is that they had a mission of the outmost importance, but they just cant remember what it was that they were supposed to do...

        2 - They came from above

        A-) The Great Bazar
        Ok, this one was a strange idea I was concocting... Those guys come from the Umbra, yes. Their leader is known simply as "The Merchant". This guy trades... Everything. A single Mage from ages past, that basically built an Umbral Empire around himself. Some say that he may even be the first prehistorical human being to have ever traded something, which was the cause of his awakening.

        Ever since, he has accumulated so much that his umbral world became an entire peculiar place in the Umbra. Inside "The Great Bazar", every possible kind of beings can be found. Spirits of all kinds, demons, angels, shapeshifters, corrupted spirits, powerful vampires, mages, you name it. They all go in there to make deals.
        I've made a through list of personalities that are members of this mercantile empire - like for example, "Socrates" being "The Librarian", the guy responsible for organizing all the secret tomes traded in the realm, "Cesar" being "The General", basically the enforcer of laws, "Confucious" being "The Judge", "Eva" being a more... Special character, know as the "Innovator" and the head of researches and no, (probably) not the biblical (or VtM) "Eva", instead being a wild spread rumor that she were the first woman who invented (or discovered) agriculture, and several others.
        All the residents of the realm are people of note for some reason, but mostly from a far distant past, probably prehistorical past, even thou they have names such as "Cesar" or "Socrates", but those names were taken, and those (probably) are NOT the historical figures.

        They all came from Earth at some point, but have been completely disconnected from it for ages (aside from umbrals living or visiting).

        Oh, and the Quint? It is traded away with all kinds of beings that visit it. Most of the "elites" of "umbral courts" have embassies inside the realm, and this place is a place of gathering, trade and diplomacy; in here, gaian spirits and wyrm spirits can talk diplomacy (violence is forbidden).

        After being so long disconnected from "Terra" however, the "terrans" simply lost contact with it a long time ago, to the point where the material world and the Bazar dont even know about each other's existance.
        But now they are back for some reason... And business is booming.

        B-) A different kind of Earth
        This guys are from Earth... But there are some discrepancies to what they claim Earth to be, and what Earth is.
        And the reason is that, while they certanly come from Earth... It is not OUR Earth!
        At some point in the past, a point of divergence was created for some reason that... Created an alternate dimensional Earth! (Including it's own alternate Umbra). Maybe this was due to some smart-pant ass traditional archmage that thought it to be a good idea to travel back in time to destroy the Technocracy before they could even be born...
        Be it as it may, this group of mages suffered some awful backlash that brought them here.

        C-) They came from the space!
        Yes, there is intelligent life outside of our world. The thing is thou, those "aliens" are... Humans. This is... Weird. And they were as shocked to find humans living in another planet as we would be (if we knew about them living among us).
        They have many theories about how is this possible - convergent evolution is one, but far less likely.
        The one idea that they cant get out of their heads thou, is that there must have been a kind of "Precursor" race that seeded human life on at least 2 different worlds, and maybe in more. And now, they want to find the Precursors...


        Now, a twist towards all of the above:

        Non-Human (or even INHUMAN) Mages

        In this, all of the above options could still be mages - with spheres, and Arete and all the jazz, but they are NOT humans. So:

        1-
        A-) Atlanteans: after ages living underwater and using they super awesome high-tech-magi, the Atlanteans modified themselves beyond humanity. They may look like fish-like humanoids, or be almost human with a few distinct features.

        B-) Underground people: here it is possible to have a very interesting twist: instead of being a civilization of humans living underground, it would be cool if those were "reptilians", a species of humanoids descendants from the dinossaurs. There's even a precedent in the WoD, with the Mokolé shapeshifters claiming to having know the guys. In this game, while they were extinct on the surface, they built an entire civilization bellow it.

        C-) Time Travellers
        Instead of being humans lost in time, these guys could be... Something else.
        Perhaps the reptiles mages from some hundreds of millions ago figured out that mass extinction was coming... And performed a ritual to skip in time to save their race. But now the world is infested by those disgusting mammals...
        C-) 1 - time travellers from the future could come from such a far away future, like 1 million or more years from now, that they just simply dont look human anymore. Those guys have become an entire new species, vastly different from us, their ancestors.

        2 -
        A-) Ages living in a Umbral real and constantly negotiating with umbrals and wielding countless of magical powers, energies and materials, have changed these guys into something no longer fully human.

        B-) An alternate Earth could have an alternate species with intelligence (and magic) other than humans.

        C-) Extraterrestrial aliens.
        This guys are just simply the "Greys", little "gray men" who wield vastly alien techno-magic powers.



        Well, these have been my two cents. If anything else crosses my mind, I'll add some

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        • #19
          One other suggestion:

          The lost sheep - the world of Yrth
          Throughout the ages, there has been countless amounts of Mages who lost themselves in the Umbra - brave explorers who never went back home.

          For those who ever heard about the fantasy setting or "Yrth" for Gurps, this is somewhat similar. It is also something like the Narnia chronicles. Maybe it's a world were some special eggregious paradox realm sends mages into, or maybe it's where Mages that lose themselves in the Umbra end up going to or even both.

          Or perhaps, this grouped was brought togheter by some mysterious entity, lost Mages who were saved (or "saved") by a mysterious entity or group of entities, and now they worship it (or worship them)

          Or it could just be an organic movement, that has risen from 2 lost mages finding each other, and then those 2 found a third one, and togheter they started a movement to try to rescue travellers who losf their way, and they now dedicate themselves to it.

          At any case, those guys have finally found the way back home... But now they are a brotherhood of comrades molded by the fires of necessity.

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          • #20
            I just thought about 2 new origin stories for "The Others":

            A-) The Children of Paradox
            How is it that this guys are even exist? Where do they come from? Nobody can answer that. And the reason is that they only came to be after one of the weirder backlashes ever. Mages with no previous memories and no previous history who have never been born.

            The "X" group were performing the "Alpha Ritual/Procedure" when something went terribly wrong... That fact however were not witnessed by none of the involved, nor by anybody else, except by those who were born by the backlash and by Reality itself.
            To all the involved in the initial event, the Ritual/Procedure were in fact an outstanding success, even surpassing all expectations.

            Somewhere around the Globe however, a group of Mages came into being out of nowhere.

            They have no history, except the clear and defined knowledge of how they came to be.

            Motivations Ideas

            - They may seek "vengeance" against the ones responsible for their "creation"; in this case, it's not an endless crusade, but rather a quick vendetta
            - Instead, they may be on a crusade against all forms of Backlash; this may take 2 forms:
            1* They see Consensus as anatema, and seek to utterly destroy it. They behave and believe in a similar way as the Taftani do; but they do not seek to join Traditions or Disparate Alliance, seeing those are just another face of the same evil that rather than obliterating Consensus, seek to replace it with another. This guys would be a sort of "Traditions Dark Reflection"
            2* They see Consensus as the ultimate truth and the final weapon against backlash. Thus, ALL vulgar magic is basically criminal. In this, these guys fully embrace the Technocratic Paradigm, but with such a fanatic zealotry that even the Union would consider them to be too extremists. In here, instead of fighting an open war, they are infiltrators.

            - A place under the Sun:
            In here, the "Children" seek their purpose in the universe and answers to the events that caused them. They may actively try to cause Backlashes in order to study them and perhaps, even trying to replicate the event that created them, if possible.
            In this possibility, they may try to cause backlashes by themselves in the most spetacularly public ways possible (which would be fairly dangerous to everybody but also to themselves), or they may seek to add gasoline to the Ascension War, pitting Traditions and Technocracy against each other in the most destructive ways possible, just so they can gather unvaluable data on backlashes.
            *For this last option, there's an interesting twist: those guys are a bit Marauder-ish, and as a result of their highly unusual "creation", they actively worship Paradox, seeing it as a divine and necessary force of change rather than a destructive punishment.

            No matter what the options, they seek to recruit more mages to their cause... Who are completely oblivious to the true nature of their mentors. Thus, the "Children of the Backlash" or the "Children of the Paradox" would have the conspiracy of the higher-ups with this strange secret of their true creation, and the "converts" who are ignorant about it, but got indoctrinated into their weird and twisted paradigm.

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            • #21
              And finally, for my last idea:

              - The experiments
              Artificial humans created in a lab/sanctum. After a terrible accident, those constructs become self-aware - and Awaken. And now, they've escaped into the world.

              An interesting twist would be to have those not being humans, but rather fully artificial constructs, like Golems or Androids (or "Xenomorphic Biohazards" or whatever else), who have a human soul and an Awakened Avatar despite that. They now must use their Magic to disguise themselves and hide amongst the crowds.

              Motivations Ideas

              - Their creators are still out there, and they are after this guys. They see those constructs as either valuable property which they want to recover and study their peculiar condition, or they see them as dangerous abominations marked for termination.
              Whatever the case, this is a fight for survival, and the best defense mighty be the offense.

              - The Ubermensch
              This constructs see themselves as being above humans. Just as the Homo erectus and Homo habilis got extincted by the H. sapiens, it is time for the "Homo superiori" to assume it's rightful place as inheritors of the world.
              Their first task towards that end is to be able to replicate the conditions that created them.
              After that, the evolution must run its course: the new species displaces the old one...
              Meanwhile, they'll infiltrate their lesser hominidae cousins and use the H. sapiens to achieve their goals.



              ■ This option of "Awakened/Enlightned Constructs" is a particularly good option for a game of Mage with strong Horror elements, just as the above "Children of the Backlash/Paradox" option above.
              Last edited by Kakost; 11-13-2022, 01:02 PM.

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              • #22
                In a game I’m running every Saturday, I had a faction of very sinister Dreamspeakers living in the Deep Umbra, doing their best to sever all Earthly ties while remaining mages with Avatars. Called the Minotaur Priesthood, this savage sect of Greek mages worship aurochs-spirits of prehistory, their religion carried down thousands of years.

                Though not Nephandi or infernalists, they have racked up an impressive amount of Jhor down the line, with their barbaric Rites of bloodletting, sacrifice and cannibalism.

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                • #23
                  In the 1st edition, there was a mention of the Fringe Walkers. They were said to be balanced between sanity and Marauder Madness. They were never mentioned again.

                  Picture a group of sane Mages with certain Marauder traits. They have some resistance to paradox, maybe not equal to a Marauder's. They are aware that their Avatars are feeding them a distorted version of reality. Their views on anything are... distinctive.

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                  • #24
                    , many really good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

                    Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post
                    In a game I’m running every Saturday, I had a faction of very sinister Dreamspeakers living in the Deep Umbra, doing their best to sever all Earthly ties while remaining mages with Avatars. Called the Minotaur Priesthood, this savage sect of Greek mages worship aurochs-spirits of prehistory, their religion carried down thousands of years.

                    Though not Nephandi or infernalists, they have racked up an impressive amount of Jhor down the line, with their barbaric Rites of bloodletting, sacrifice and cannibalism.
                    Out of curiosity, where do they get the sleepers or other humans used in their rituals?

                    Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                    In the 1st edition, there was a mention of the Fringe Walkers. They were said to be balanced between sanity and Marauder Madness. They were never mentioned again.

                    Picture a group of sane Mages with certain Marauder traits. They have some resistance to paradox, maybe not equal to a Marauder's. They are aware that their Avatars are feeding them a distorted version of reality. Their views on anything are... distinctive.
                    Couldn't find Fringe Walkers in White Wolf Wiki. My Chronicle has some intense themes. I have a less serious chapter in my back pocket, in case I have to cut the tension, involving a group of Organized Marauders known as the Order of the Purple Donkey. They are a small cult in a low-tech agrarian town in the Near Umbra.


                    Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                    • #25
                      To answer your question, they grabbed a whole bunch of people, suffered through the enormous Paradox, and sallied forth. They use the blood sacrifices to stave off disconnection, but, their supply is running VERY low.

                      Then an Incarna literally named Minotaur showed up, strange artificial werewolves in tow.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post





                        Couldn't find Fringe Walkers in White Wolf Wiki.
                        As I said, they were mentioned once in the first book. They got one short sentence.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Astromancer View Post

                          As I said, they were mentioned once in the first book. They got one short sentence.
                          Probably an idea that died out before being implemented. Mages that are almost immune to Paradox, causes others to suffer backlashes on their behalf and are not completely insane would be a bit broke for the setting

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                          • #28
                            Yeah, a sort of half-Marauder that is resistant to Paradox but isn't completely bonkers eventually got subsumed into "low Quiet" Marauders. Still divorced from reality, but in subtle ways. They're almost operating on the same level as other Mages, but not quite. Post-Avatar Storm, these probably made up the bulk of Marauders still operating on the material plane, as the really dramatic cases were ejected from Reality.


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