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1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

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  • #31
    71. A meaningful silence [Paradox Flaw] The Mage does not hear her own voice. This can be very hurtful to Mages relying on song, recitation, and social impressions. One does not have to use words or sound as a focus to be afflicted. It most often befalls those botching the Mind Sphere, but can also happen while using Entropy or Prime. Strangely it does not strike those that use words or sound to channel other Spheres than those three.*
    Technocracy has this Flaw filed as a mental affliction - and some NWOs and Void Engineers know how to treat it effectively.
    (*When using Foundation & Pillars in place of Spheres, look at equivalence of Effects to determine whether this Flaw is appropriate.)

    72. No way in, no way out [Paradox Flaw / Quiet ] The Mage finds the entrance to their dwelling or Sanctum non-existent. They must break in order to enter - whether going through the windows, using Magick, making holes in the walls, going through the roof, or digging underneath. The newly created entrances disappear a few minutes after being used, and a new one has to be made to exit. (But most of a created tunnel will remain and can be re-used etc.) Any occupants at the Mage's residence are trapped in and likewise have to break out using non-standard means. (Though sometimes they seem unaffected, frustrating the Mage further.)
    Bringing in others sometimes helps in entering normally - and sometimes it only results in the companions having to live a day or two while suffering from this situation at their places.

    This afflicts Mage who mishandle Correspondence wards - especially those that somehow manage to include themselves, their Avatar, or their companions in the categories that are to be kept out.
    Mages who decidedly tell their Avatars to leave them alone while they are at their place might end up being hit by this Flaw; some have gone all the way through and undergone a Seeking just to be able to come back to their bed through the front door.

    73. A magus' guilt [Quiet] This state afflicts Mages who first deceive and/or mock spirits, and then fail to bind, trap or destroy them, allowing them to escape. The Mage first feels a general sense of inferiority about his own capabilities, which quickly turns into guilt. This causes restlessness, paranoia, aversion to humans, phobia of spirits ("Will they ever forgive me..?"), general stress, and nervousness in regards to using the Spheres involved in the event(s) that triggered the Quiet. Many seek to somehow atone, yet are paralyzed by their guilt and uncertainty of their place in the wider worldly order.

    For this Quiet to start, Spirit has to be combined with at least one of the following: Time, Entropy or Prime. (These Spheres are often used by Mages to stack the deck against Spirits.)
    Void Engineers can suffer from this following actions against spirits. It is one of the reasons why VEs have in-house members who can take care of psychological problems. The NWO could find the reluctance in carrying out duties highly suspicious.
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 11-29-2016, 02:19 PM.


    • #32
      74) Curse of Aging [Flaw]: A common backlash for Verbana, Hermetics, and Hollow Ones, this Flaw reacts most strongly to abuses of Time and Entropy magic. The Mage's body is afflicted with a mark physical decrepitude. Wrinkles, graying or whitening hair, arthritis, raspy voice, or assorted aches and pains. The more severe the backlash, the more of these flaws the Mage is likely to accumulate, and the more existing flaws worsen. As a product of Paradox, this Flaw does fade with time, the Mage reverting to their true youthfulness (such that remains). However, more punitive backlashes may make these flaws last a long time. Many an overreaching magus or witch has prematurely made a codger or crone of themselves, with the state sometimes lasting so long that they become old anyway by the time the Paradox fades. Truly catastrophic backlashes can even age the Mage to death (assume that it is a Burn in this case, factoring in the relevant damage).

      75) The Bitter Rose [Flaw or Burn]: Life Mages who work heavily with growing things may, if unlucky, become soil for growth themselves. In the less harsh form, roses bloom from the Mage's body in a benign manner. Weak backlashes may only cause a single blossom to grow, possibly in a spot that can be covered (according to Storyteller fiat). Larger ones will cause many roses to bloom, all over the body (one for each Paradox point in the backlash). A harsher form of the Bitter Rose causes the body to become painful host to the rose, with thorny vines and roots digging throughout the body (assume this is a Burn of Lethal damage). This invading vegetation is, again, quite painful, and very difficult to root out without more magic. If either form of blossom is cut (or dug) from the body, it can be placed in a vase, pot, or garden, where it will grow as normal. Those who perish from this Paradox and left to rot on or in the ground may find great rose bushes sprouting from their resting place. Even Mages who had all the blossoms removed from their skin can find their grave flowering itself. Paradox's bizarre form of remembrance? Or simple poetic irony?


      • #33
        76) The True Revenants [Spirit?]: No relation to hereditary Ghoul families, True Revenants born of Paradox are individuals returned as undead, who seek vengeance. Mages have often debated whether these beings are the same as creatures known as Risen. The consensus seems to be that the latter are those who perished and became ghosts, and then returned to their bodies under their own power. The former are born entirely from the forces of Paradox. Whatever the case, this sort arises when a Mage slays a person (often with the aid of Magick), so that the individual can seek revenge on their killer. The reanimation can occur shortly after death (leading some Mages to never turn their back on a body), or some time later.

        What sets True Revenants apart from all but the most lucid Risen is the being's intelligence. They are not mindless zombies, but in possession of full mental faculties, memories, and cunning. They are also motivated to the extreme by thoughts of revenge, and most will take the course they think is most conducive to obtaining it. If this means the Revenant attacks the Mage immediately and directly, they will do so. Most, however, will take at least a little time to form a plan. Wily Revenants have been known to stage elaborate and protracted schemes, to maneuver their quarry into the most optimal position to be struck down. Particularly vindictive Revenants have been known to strike at the Mage's loved ones, resources, or reputation, either to soften the target up before the kill or as the method of revenge itself. Whether the Mage has been slain or ruined in some way satisfactory to the Revenant, their body ceases animation, though sometimes only after returned to their grave. Aside from the Revenant's wits and skills, they usually have no other inherent powers or supernatural abilities.

        Exceptions do exist, however. Enter a mysterious group called the Broken Hearted, which Mages have had occasion to tangle with in more recent times. An apparently persistent confederation of Revenants, the Broken Hearted claim to have pledged themselves to a collective pact. The origins and particulars of this pact are unknown, but one of its clauses is that of a kind of brotherhood in vengeance. All Revenants sworn to the Pact of Broken Hearts agree to work with each other, and aid one another in punishing their chosen targets. Moreover, the pact seems to come with a number of supernatural benefits, the first of which being to sustain individual Revenants beyond the death of their respective targets, allowing them to further the group's goals beyond their normal "lifespan". Further, their bodies are enhanced and twisted. While all True Revenants have a glint in their eyes that appears in the presence of their target, the Broken Hearted's eyes glow bright red at all times. Other common modifications include sharpened teeth, claws, enhanced physicality, animal features, and a generally "spooky" mien. They come equipped with Charms replicating powers (if any) they held in life, or new and frightening powers if they were fully mortal. All come with a darker tinge.

        The Broken Hearted wear whatever clothes they can get their hands on, but all wear the symbol of the Broken Hearted on their bodies. This, of course, being a great red heart, broken down the middle. Some observers have theorized from the symbol and the name that these Revenants were born from betrayal. How specifically they grow in membership is a mystery beyond this clue. Do the fallen souls of such betrayed persons get the offer to join after they've become Revenants, or is the choice to swear the pact given before resurrection even happens? Does Paradox alone fuel the pact, or does some higher (or lower) power have a hand in their creation? Will the Broken Hearted all cease to exist when all their collective vendettas have been satisfied? Do they even desire this? All of these are very good questions, and Mages (especially ones prone to murdering their problems away) are eager to find answers.


        • #34
          77) Body Swap [Flaw]: Common fair for wacky sitcoms, this Flaw manifests by forcefully switching the spirit of the Mage with someone else's. Botched Possessions often have this effect, but it can manifest with most high level applications of the Mind Sphere. Flagrant disregard for the sanctity of another's mind is said to invite equivalent punishment. The Mage being made to walk a mile in their victim's shoes, as it were. Perhaps for obvious reasons, this Flaw rarely if ever occurs if a Possession is attempted by a Mage who no longer has a body (as this would only serve the Mage's ends, giving them the body while the original occupant is cast into the harsh Astral void).

          While the Mage retains the use of their Spheres and may use processes and objects to facilitate their magick, the act of being bodily displaced can deprive the Mage of advantages native to their body. Instruments that are tattoos or other body mods obviously do not transfer, nor do Wonders or Advantage Merits (claws, wings, Enhancements, etc.) that are integrated with the Mage's physical form. If the integrated Wonder is a Talisman or technological (Device) Enhancement, though, it can leave the body's new occupant in control of said powers, provided they can figure out how to activate them.

          78) Future You Is Pissed [Spirit?]: Abusers of the Time Sphere may, during powerful backlashes, be visited by time traveling versions of their future selves. Are these spiritual constructs crafted by Paradox? Or did their future incarnation (or one possible future incarnation) really come back, with Paradox merely facilitating their travel more easily? Is it a little of both, with Paradox sifting through hypothetical futures and crafting a Paradox Spirit from that? Mage society can never be sure, as the phenomenon is rare, though especially notable when it occurs.

          Regardless of the nature of this temporal visitor, there is one commonality between them: Future Mage is not happy with their past self. They make this displeasure known through a number of methods, be it berating the Mage, trying to sabotage their life, revealing the Mage's secrets to their loved ones, or just attacking their Past Self. The capabilities of the Future Version depend in theory on whether the visitor is really their future self, or just a Paradox construct playing that role. In the latter case, the Spirit will employ spirit Charms, while in the former the Future Mage will draw upon full Sphere magick. In either case, the visitor will have access to powers far greater than their Past Self. The visitors also rarely seem bothered by the prospect of time paradoxes; either they figure their actions will simply create a different timeline, or Paradox itself shields them from repercussions. Given that these Future Dopplegangers often look to be from a Bad Future (scars, missing limbs, mental/emotional damage, etc.), the former seems not only a possibility, but the exact thing they are counting on.

          A rarer variant of this backlash occurs among Mages who have followed darker paths, most especially those who entered the Cauls and became Barrabi. In this case, it's not their Future Self, but their Past Self that arrives. These younger, more innocent versions seem to either know what they've been up to in the intervening time, or quickly find out. Regardless, the Past Self is naturally disturbed and outraged at all the reprehensible things their Future Self has done, and will attempt to stop them at all costs. While the passage of time finds such figures generally less magically adept than the ones they come to fight, they act with a vigor born of moral outrage. Perhaps they know they are merely copies born of Paradox, or perhaps they simply do not care. Regardless, these figures have a habit of attacking with everything they have, with no thought spared to Paradox, witnesses, or even their own lives. It is for this reason that many a Mage who incurred this backlash don't realize how little their experience advantage truly matters. Not against a Mage willing to bet anything in the name of justice.


          • #35
            79) Can't be too careful, or can we...?[Quiet | Entropy] This Quiet tends to strike Mages after they (ab)use Entropy to bring misfortune on others; those that live in urban settings are afflicted more often. It manifests itself as an extreme inability to take any, even strictly theoretical risk. They don't cross the street unless the road is utterly devoid of cars, or they have all stopped at a red light. They don't eat any food they didn't prepare themselves, they only drink boiled water, they don't drive a car (easy to suffer an accident compared to buses!) and they don't talk to any strangers unless it is absolutely necessary.

            While many Mages take such precautions and have valid reasons for doing so, what characterizes this Quiet is the ridiculous extent of being 'careful', and that the Mage is actually unable to get over the precautions, even if the situation demands. (Unless they spend a Willpower point, and even then, the guilt will bother them for days.) Thus, even when attending an important dinner at their own Chantry, they will make a fine vampire impression - while arguing that the Tremeres might have sabotaged the food supply. They will make up ridiculous excuses why they can't travel in a car with their cabal; or honestly tell them of the road accident risk they are needlessly subjecting themselves to. They will antagonize people as they refuse gifts which might be cursed, poisoned...or might have been replaced with a bomb, sitting inside the wrapped box. As the Quiet progresses, they will find new depths of potential danger - it's not only that a car can be sabotaged...the bus drivers can't be trusted, and the 'solution' is to use a bicycle. His cabal is trustworthy, perhaps...but how can it be known they haven't caught any infectious NWO subliminal programming from watching TV?

            While sometimes things can be confirmed as being safe through mundane and Magickal means, doing so only feeds the Quiet. There are Mages who have developed appropriate effects and rotes, and live with this Quiet stabilized - so they eat with a specialized Life/Matter sight and use Time on particularly troubling street crossings. (This can sometimes lead to development of innovative uses of Magick.)

            The Quiet sometimes starts off with a sudden 'realization' that the Mage has been targeted by their enemies and rivals with deadly curses and conspirations.
            One sure way to exit it is if the Mage realizes that his precautions put him in more danger - directly, indirectly or simply by wasting time - than they supposedly solve. Another person can present this case to the Mage. Technocracy's Statisticians are experts in doing so, and this Quiet never has afflicted a member of this Methodology.
            One odd benefit of this Quiet is that it is hard to predict the actions of the maddened Mage. Successful divination might even be discarded because of how ridiculous they seem - a Master of the arts cycling through the city, for example.
            Technocracy knows of this Quiet and, if they identify it, can take it into account when making predictions & projections on how the sufferer will behave.
            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-11-2018, 12:57 PM.


            • #36
              80) Suspicious Attention [Paradox Flaw | Spirit, Entropy, Forces, Mind ; Demonology as a foci] This flaw afflicts those that call upon demonic spirits or use Mind. Forces and/or Entropy strictly for purpose of punishment and sadism.
              Amphibians, birds and cats will flock to the character. They will circle and linger around him, but will not touch the Mage and will scurry away from items he intends to pick up or use. Each animal attracted remains near the Mage for precisely 38 hours, during which mysterious forces sustain the animal's hunger and thirst.

              Infernal Nephandi - and only them, not infernalists - will leave Mages with this flaw alone if simply asked for it; and will inform them of plotting against them by other Nephandi. If moving against the cabal of the afflicted Mage, they will give him one warning to abandon the cabal before closing in. Some have argued that they do so merely to sow distrust among other Mages; while others ruminate that perhaps this Flaw is genuinely seen by them as sign of a blessing from below. These considerations will be lost if the afflicted gets rid of this Flaw.
              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-11-2018, 12:56 PM.


              • #37
                81) Hellish Court [Paradox Realm | Entropy, Mind ; while mentioning Soul Commerce] Every so often, a demonologist, infernalist or a Nephandus is found - or suspected to be found - among the Mages. Considering the extreme disfavor that those linked to infernal and forces from beyond suffer in Mage groups, it is not uncommon for curses and punishments be levied upon them in absentia. However, one must be careful - if a mental manipulation or a curse contains an element in the vein of "And let you be drawn towards kneeling, heartless, in front of a Hellish Lord." or "Let your fate be losing your soul in the pits below.", then the Mage(s) casting such a spell have effectively become agent(s) in leading others towards Soul Commerce. Demonologists and infernalists also occasionally use Magick to manipulate others into losing their soul, and they too can suffer consequences of doing so.

                If the Mage incurs enough Paradox to suffer a severe backlash while casting such a spell, they are occasionally dragged to a hell. While one would think that normally a Mage's innate power or wards would prevent this, in this case a Hell Lord or a hellish majordomus uses the energies of Paradox, combined with fine print, to bypass the usual defenses. Correspondence Magick is neutralized in regards to the Mage for twenty hours after the abduction.

                Once they are brought in, they are informed that they have made themselves morally bankrupt, and - according to the demon's keen insight - they surely wish to work wholesale for them. Those Mages that try to use their Magick will almost always be subdued swiftly and bound in neutralizing shackles, while the judge notes that not only they have sinned, but they wish to escape consequences in a typical Magey manner - through brute force. The Mage is usually left to fester in a dungeon or a torture chamber for ten hours or so, to give them a chance to perhaps ponder why they are in hell. After this, a Soul Commerce Court begins. The accusation is that the Mage secretly wishes to sell their soul - and luckily the Hellish Court is adequately equipped to prove the case.
                After all, if somebody deserves to lose their soul according to the Mage, then shouldn't it be checked it the Mage deserves to keep his own?

                For each Willpower and Avatar dot, the Mage is confronted by some situation in which they are tested it they will uphold their values. Because cursing others towards Soul Commerce is an eternal sin, the tests are harsh, of course. Turning back, making unclear decision, fooling around - all result in failure of a test, with no warnings or second chances. A test can be passed even if the intended conundrum is left unsolved - however to do so, the Mage has to demonstrate virtue twice over.
                A Mage's memory and mind are manipulated as they are tossed into the situations to see just what they are made of. After each test the Mage shifts back to the Court, and are subjected to further questioning and verbal grilling over. The Mage's behavior in the Court can determine the coming tests. Some possibilities:

                -The Mage promises his lover to be with them during the night, but misses the last bus towards the meeting place. Their paramour doesn't have a phone, the weather is freezing cold, no drivers are willing to take them, and the Technocracy has just renewed the pogrom - will the Mage walk towards their lover's place just to keep the promise? Or at least try to catch a willing driver, which might take hours?

                -The Mage often talks about how proud they are of their country of origins and it's traditions. They glance at a newspaper and see that an art gallery presenting works of artists from their country has burned down. Does the Mage investigate if anyone was responsible, or donate any money or other items towards the restoration?

                -An Acolyte wishes to be capable of doing True Magick. Does the Mage give real effort in trying to Awaken them? Remember that even a smidge of contempt or pessimism in conversation might ruin the youngling's chances...

                -The Mage is skilled in the Sphere of Life. He reads on the internet about widespread abuse of cats, dogs and hedgehogs, right in his city. Does he do anything to help the animals?

                -The Mage is a Master of Entropy - but confronted by the plight of homeless or the exploited, will he actually protect and help the victims with his Magick? Or only seek to 'address' the wrong by punishing the guilty?

                -One of Mage's cabal disappeared over two months ago, and there's some proof they have joined the Nephandi. Does the Mage destroy a Correspondence-capable personal item of their Cabal member?

                -The Cult of Ecstasy has invited the Mage to a party, but at the same time his cat has lost herself in a forest. How long will the Mage keep looking for the cat, if at all?
                The cat is a spirit, and can be adopted as a Familiar if the Mage finds it. This can only be done as a function of time spent, as the cat is literally somewhere where the Mage isn't until ten hours pass - after which she miraculously finds the Mage.

                -A Technocrat is faced with proof of extreme corruption - linked to organized crime and old money families - in the city's town hall. Removing those responsible does not aid the Union's goals - but will the Mage do it for the Masses?

                -Somebody else insults the Mage's on a point of pride. Is the Mage willing to listen to the person's criticism?

                The locations of these tests are transformed areas of a hell, and the actors are disguised demons and spirits. Their true nature can still be glimpsed if one pays attention. Magick can be attempted during the tests, but Paradox applies as per the transformed locations and disguised witnesses.
                A Hermetic scholar has theorized that a Mage can make useful contacts during the tests - by for example giving a stranger a cigarette, or a whole pack of them. The problem is reaching the persons and places after wringing oneself out of the Court, but Spheres of Correspondence and Spirit could perhaps be used, channeled with the symbolism of whatever the Mage did during the test, or perhaps using items they took from hell.

                Technocrats who use Inspired Science to manipulate others into losing their souls can end up in the Hellish Court, as well. However, because some Technocrats are unaware what exactly soul commerce entails – many not even believing in a 'soul' - a member of the Union has an out: if they successfully argue prior or current ignorance, they can be let go in return for owing the judge a boon.

                Groups of Mages are tested in scenarios that are somewhat linked, and can help each other - but doing so might risk further portions of their soul.

                The tests for the Avatar tend to be linked to Spheres of Magick or the Avatar's Essence. Tests for Willpower tend to be linked to personal relations, past events, ambitions and virtues & vices. For every test failed, the Mage loses a portion of their soul, and are congratulated on honesty by the presiding demon.

                If the Mage loses their entire soul or their Avatar, they are given a chance for leniency - after all, it's not all their fault, is it? If a Mage can somewhat convincingly blame at least three of their Acolytes for the tests failed - after all, they should have instilled in him the values that he lacked! - they are let go with their Avatar, and the Acolytes are pulled in their place, to toil in hell in one manner or another. The demonic judge will happily help the Mage find and make up reasons for why the Acolytes should be put in his place, while keeping - mostly - a straight face throughout the macabre.

                Groups of Mages that are judged can also blame each other for the ill-fated spell. If solid proof or fine reasoning can be presented that one Mage's guilt make's another blameless, the guilty Mage loses half of their soul (rounding up) unless they also cooperate with the prosecution – doing so makes them lose only a quarter of their soul. In such a case, the first Mage also loses a quarter of their soul.
                In such situations, the judge helps nobody to make arguments – and might call a Nephandus as an expert witness on blame and guilt, to adjudicate the case.

                An alternative way to save the Mage is if an Acolyte who took part in the ill-fated spell demands participation in the Court. Lighting a candle and a short invocation is enough; and if there is a lack of appropriate items, shouting at the walls and smashing plates for several minutes will do. Because undertaking willing risk for another is rated highly in the fine prints of hell, an Acolyte must only put his soul forward and agree to a test of skill – a game of chess, a devilish workout session or perhaps writing an essay on a provided poem. An Acolyte who refuses is sent back – with the memory of the Mage they knew burned away from their minds. An Acolyte who successfully passes the test saves both the Mage and their Avatar, and himself. In the case of multiple Mages, multiple tests of skill have to be completed, but it can all be done by just one Acolyte. If an Acolyte fails a test of skill, their soul is seized and they are called as a witness to the resuming court; however, any Mages the Acolyte freed prior to failling are freed and sent back to the location of the spell.

                Another dubious way out is to mention the Nephandi in any way to the judge. The judge will consider that this needs to be investigated in the name of truth, and a Nephandus will be called as a witness. The Nephandus - often a Prelatus – will usually argue with the judge, trying to prove that the Mage's amorality is indeed their work (while conjuring evidence literally from thin air), and the Mage's rightful fate is not serving the infernal, but joining the Nephandi. A Mage suffering a dark epiphany can jump at this chance, nominating the Nephandus as his defense.

                The Mage can be freed by an outside party – through guile, brute force or perhaps by cutting a deal...

                Mages who pass all the tests will never again be called to the Court - or at the very least, they won't be dragged in as a defendant... - even if they continue to cast Magick that draws others towards Soul Commerce.
                They are also given their choice of an Infernal Investment (Of value equal up to the amount of Mage's Willpower and Avatar ratings.), with no strings attached - after all, they deserve due payment for possibly damning another's soul with their Magick. While virtually every Mage would refuse such an honor after being in the Hellish Court, the Investment - barring hellish resonance - is actually given fairly with no loopholes. Whether the Hell Lords do so to tempt such a pure soul, or out of genuine respect, is a matter over which demonologists debate for long nights. Most agree that for greater demons, the two reasons might as well be one and the same.
                Last edited by Muad'Dib; 02-11-2018, 12:57 PM.


                • #38
                  I tend to prefer paradoxes that are fairly coincidental. After all, should a universal force that punishes outlandish magick really use outlandish magick to make its point? I've broken it down by sphere and tradition. These are all flaws, of varying value.

                  82. Leaving Las Vegas (Correspondence) The mage is completely unable to leave a particular locale. No matter what they do, they are stuck there. For one point backlashes, this may be a whole metro area; for 5 point backlashes, it could be a single apartment. All the obstacles are coincidental, of course, like jammed doors, stalled cars, cancelled flights and bouts of agoraphobia. Note that for larger areas, the mage may not be aware they are trapped until they try to leave.

                  83. Lucky Charm (Entropy) The NPCs around the mage become the beneficiary of streaks of amazing luck. Anyone who engages the mage in an opposed contest is granted a -1 difficulty on every roll, and cannot botch.

                  84. Do you smell smoke? (Forces) Anytime a mage uses an electrical device, they must make an Wits + Technology roll, difficulty 6. If they fail a small electrical fire is started.

                  85. Worshiping the Porcelain God (Life) This one's pretty straight forward. The mage gets sick. Head cold, stomach bug, the flu, whatever it is they feel crummy. Increase the difficulty of all rolls related to physical attributes by the level of the flaw.

                  86. This Is An Attempt To Collect A Debt (Matter) Like turning lead into gold? Like conjuring stylish clothes? Like living the high life on your magic? Okay. Someday, though, the bills will come due. The stuff you have conjured out of thin air suddenly gets charged to your accounts from various merchants. It is, of course, all a massive paperwork snafu or maybe identity theft, but in the meantime, your Resources are reduced by the level of this flaw. Credit cards will get rejected, checks will bounce, and loan officers will just laugh and show you out of their office.

                  87. Lying In Bed Just Like Brian Wilson Did (Mind) Sometimes you just know you've done wrong. Who are you to think you're so special? You're nothing. You're no one. Everyone hates you, even God. If you just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling at least you won't hurt anyone else, like you know you always do. (The character enters a severe depression and must spend a point of willpower to make any roll, even reflexive actions.)

                  88. Now where did I put...? (Prime) Objects seem to fade into obscurity when you're around. Not your objects, mind you, but other peoples'. Cabbies lose their car keys. Bank tellers lose their pens. Waitresses lose your order. Anytime an NPC needs an object or second person to render assistance to you in some way, they must spend a point of willpower to find it or spend twice as long to perform the action as they normally would. Some may not bother, and in any case the delay may have catastrophic results, as firefighters lose their hoses and emergency room doctors lose your chart.

                  89. Logical, Responsible, Practical, Clinical, Intellectual, Cynical (Spirit) Add the level of the flaw to the local gauntlet, as reality seizes up and prevents the sensation of spirit to pervade an area. On the one hand, this makes Spirit magick much more difficult, but it also has unusual effect on bystanders. Mundane observers feel like their spiritual beliefs, flights of fancies, dreams and nightmares are nothing but childish diversions. They begin to question their faith and acquire the derangement Panzaism while in the mage's presence, explaining away anything unusual as pure fantasy. For the duration of this flaw, any magick which is even slightly non-coincidental will be considered entirely vulgar i the presence of mundanes.

                  90. The Long, Long, Long, Long Dream (Time) Time works differently in dreams. A few moments of REM sleep can seem like an hour of activity in dreamland. For mages suffering from this flaw, dreams subjectively last for years or decades, every night, and while the dreams tend to be a highly realistic and normal life, it's not the mage's life. The mage may even experience a complete lifetime of some mundane person, aging from toddlerhood, to adoolescence, to parenthood, to retirement, to senescence. This is odd, to say the least, because when they awaken, they have not lived their own life for possibly decades. The mage must make an Intelligence roll, difficulty of 5 + the level of the flaw, to remember any small detail one might forget after decades away from their life, such as computer passwords, the names of acquaintances, directions around town, and phone numbers. On the upside, the storyteller may grant some major bonuses to the mage's Dreaming score...

                  91. He Told the Hotdog Vendor Make Me One With Everything (Akashics) Okay, so, in theory, an Akashic would like to merge the akashic record and the human mind, break down the world illusion, yada, yada, yada. That's all fine and good, until everyone else gets it, too. While this flaw is in effect, a number of minor npcs per day equal to the level of the flaw will have a moment of absolute clarity in which they receive some flash of insight into Truth. Sounds good, right? Except the info they get is some secret the Akashic himself would like to keep. Could be as minor as that he genuinely believes that the Spice Girls were better than the Beatles, but it could a deep, dark secret he carefully guards.

                  92. Losing My Religion (Celestial Choir) Something they experience makes the mage question everything they believe, everything they know and the whole direction of their life. In short, they suffer a crisis of faith. No small thing for a chorister. The tradition has structures, of course, to help them get through this, but in the meantime they count as a sleeper for purposes of determining whether there is a witness present for Celestial Chorus magick.

                  93. Truly, Madly, Deeply (Ecstatics) The Ecstatic falls completely and totally in love with someone they absolutely must not, can not, will not, ever be with. Maybe the object of their ardor is married, or violently abusive, a Nephandi or just doesn't like the mage. In any case, the mage's nature changes to Fanatic, with a focus of forcing their beloved to change their mind and love them in return.

                  94. Ridden (Dreamspeaker) The mage suffers from lapses of memory, some long and some short. Their behavior during these lapses ranges from unremarkable to truly bizarre. One common activity is seemingly random wandering, often over long distances. The obvious interpretation of this is that he is being possessed by a spirit and being used as a tool, but this is not the case. He has simply suffered a mental breakdown and gained the Fugue State derangement.

                  95. Greatly Exaggerated (Euthanatos) An odd rumor starts making the rounds, both by word of mouth and in the media. Someone, somewhere has decided that the Euthanatos is dead, and the entire society seems to believe it. His obituary appears in the paper, a death certificate is issued, his parents grieve, his bank accounts are frozen, his landlord lists his apartment for rent and a funeral is planned. This misunderstanding can be cleared up with personal appearances and significant evidence, but may haunt the mage's paper trail for a long time.

                  96. Playing Solitaire at Work (Hermetics) The mage develops a new obsession, usually a trivial mental pursuit, such as solving the Rubik's Cube, playing solitaire on the computer or doing crosswords. She must spend a point of willpower to do anything else for one scene.

                  97. Infestation (Verbena) So, in theory, all life is valuable and good. Every part of life has its place. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but when suddenly your garden is filled with poison ivy or your house is overrun with roaches, it can be... trying to say the least. Whatever the infestation, it is like the mythical hydra. For every one of the infestor force to be destroyed or uprooted, two takes its place, and seems strangely resistant to all magick. Particularly aggressive attempts at extermination may leave the Verbena's home absolutely overrun, with rats crawling out of every cabinet.

                  98. Gremlin Central (Etherite) For each level of the flaw, one mundane tool or device in the mage's possession breaks down each day. These can all be fixed, as usual, but this can become very time consuming, expensive and frustrating.

                  99. Wikiwander (Virtual Adepts) The VA becomes a serious internet addict. This isn't cool hacker hijinx, more like pointless wandering. Looking up Happy Days lunchboxes on ebay, hitting random page on wikipedia and god forbid the mage finds TV tropes. This eats up so much time and creates so many sleepless allnighters the mage stops regaining willpower from daily rest.

                  100. Tripping the Light Fantastic (Any technocrat) The technocrat comes to the sudden realization that the goddess is alive and magick is afoot. For the duration of the flaw, they add a focus from one of the traditions with which they have had contact to their usual methodologies. So, they may have to recite a sacred prayer, touch a hermetic seal or smoke a joint (in addition to their usual foci) to activate their magick. This effects one sphere per level of the flaw. If the NWO finds out, they better hope that prayer works!


                  • #39
                    101) On A Wavelength Far From Home [Flaw]: With the advent of extensive cable and satellites, this Flaw doesn't get a lot of play these days. But back in the early days of the Virtual Adepts as a Tradition, it wasn't too uncommon for them to use radio and broadcast equipment in their magic. Computers were cumbersome in those days, and had little connections to the world beyond a University technical department or telecom company office. So before the Internet, Radio and television waves were often the only way to effect efficient Correspondence magick. Of course, that also means that when Paradox comes calling, this medium could shape how a backlash hit. With this Flaw, the Mage may find themselves spontaneously transforming into a radio or television signal, and bouncing around the countryside from device to device, from signal tower to signal tower. This often happens when they use signals to teleport, only to botch and end up going where they never meant to.

                    Traveling on the airwaves is a disconcerting experience, as the Mage is inundated with audio and video all mashed together, the different wavelengths interfering with each other. Veterans of this time liken it to being strapped to a chair, unable to move or speak, while some idiot channel surfs in front of their eyes and blares stations in their ears. Powerful versions of this backlash can lead Mages in a cycle of teleporting to a random broadcast station or device, then teleport again after a certain amount of time has passed. One unlucky Adept - Billy H. Byway, of Vermont - experienced a terrible backlash in the eighties, when he was visiting California. He spent the last few decades bouncing around Mexico and the American Southwest, sometimes because of this Flaw and some through his own telecommunications magic. Since his form finally settled not too long ago, he's had difficulty adapting to the state of the world today, and decided to settle in a radio station sanctum just along the Arizona/Mexico border.


                    • #40
                      Now, for some realms...

                      102. Doomsday Clock (Time) The mage (and several of his friends and loved ones) are transported to a world exactly like our own, except that she is wearing a watch which, in large, red digital numbers is flashing a countdown time. On the face of the watch it reads, "time until doomsday". In the pocket of one of her companions is a letter which explains that there is a mundane task which must be achieved, such as picking a lock, solving a crossword, driving across town or whatever. When the task is completed, the countdown will stop, and all those participating will be released. If the task is not completed in time, this pocket world, and everyone it, will be destroyed. Oh, and magic doesn't work here.

                      103. Pictionary Hell (Mind) The mage finds himself in a small, pleasant art studio. There is a drafting table, art supplies and a painting on the wall. The mage realizes that the painting changes every few minutes and depicts their closest friend in the normal world. It shows the friend is looking at a similar canvas on their end. Hanging on the wall above the drafting table is a post-it note explaining whatever misdeed landed the mage here that must be made right (a victim compensated, a curse undone, an object found, whatever). The catch? Only the friend in the real world can perform the task, and the mage can only communicate with them through cartoon drawings which will appear on the friend's canvas. Any words which are written on either side blur and smudge into illegibility, and all communication must be through drawings. The real world friend can only see what the trapped mage draws, not the realm itself. When the misdeed is undone, the mage is free to go.

                      104. Night School (Prime) The mage and his friends find themselves as new students in a high school that educates various kinds of monsters, including vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, demons, mages and so forth. The star footballer is a Get of Fenris, the drama club is full of Toreador, and the geeks are mostly Sons of Ether. Unfortunately, the PCs are all hapless underclassmen who have not yet become a monster type, or "Mundies", as the crueler kids call them. They must navigate the social minefields, study hard and become popular enough to get accepted by one of the monster cliques. They then must make it to graduation, which is easier said than done, since students tend not to drop out so much as get eaten.

                      105. Magey Knows Best? (Matter) The mage appears in a cluttered suburban sitting room. At first glance all the objects seem normal, but on closer inspection everything in the room is... wrong. The sofa's slipcover is on inside out. The fireplace log is pointing outward, toward the room. The thermostat is set to 50 degrees. The wall clock has no batteries, which are in a desk drawer. The throw rug is flipped over. And so forth. The mage finds a note saying that he will have thirteen chances to arrange the room perfectly, and that he should press a red button on the wall when he thinks he is done. No matter how much he rearranges the room (and the thirteen limit is a bluff, this can go on forever), each time he presses the red button there is a loud buzzer noise and the room returns to how he found it. If, however, he simply accepts the room as he found it, of course, he hears a studio audience cheering, confetti rains down, and he is returned to the normal world.


                      • #41
                        106) Ignorance is Bliss [Paradox Flaw | Drugs as a foci, combined with Life use] This Flaw effects Cultists of Ecstasy most often, but Children of Knowledge, Progenitors, and other Technocrats can also suffer from it. The Mage becomes ignorant to the harmful effects of drugs - because he can always get away from the consequences using the Sphere of Life. Even when confronted with his Acolytes or friends suffering long-term health damage or loading up an overdose-likely amount, the Mage will only see someone who, like him, is riding right on the edge. And even if something bad happens, it's just a matter of taking a longer rest - it's not like drugs can kill you, right?

                        The Mage is also ignorant to issues of addictions and drugs warping one's lifestyle and choices - after all, if no harm is permanent, then even a downwards spiral is simply something to explored and learned from. And besides...the high is just too good to be bad, isn't it? Because of the self-deception, the Mage can be quite convincing in brushing aside the dangers of drug abuse, and his influence is especially dangerous to those who are already having drug-related problems.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-30-2016, 10:33 AM.


                        • #42
                          107) Hookah Dependence [Flaw]: Hits Ecstasy Cultists, Euthanatoi, Ahi-i-Batin, and Taftani most often, though any frequent Hookah smoker is subject to this Flaw. It becomes uncomfortable and debilitating for the Mage to be away from their Hookah. The greater the severity of the backlash, the more the character's actions are hindered by absence of the object of their affection (+1 at minor levels, with increasing phantom wound penalties as it worsens). At the more severe end of the spectrum, the character starts taking Bashing damage for each hour not spent in the Hookah's presence. Mages are permitted to carry or otherwise move the Hookah with them, though this can cause difficulties if the character must move through public areas, or if the Hookah is particularly large. If the Storyteller is truly cruel, the Mage could become fixated on a Hookah they do not own, such as those set up in a public Hookah bar (who naturally have closing hours, and react poorly to people making off with their fixtures). Actually having to constantly be smoking the Hookah is optional and also up to the storyteller.

                          108) Attack of the Flying Dapper Hats [Spirit]: Fashion-focused Mages simply can't catch a break, can they? Mind - and the control thereof - seems to offend these spirits in particular, causing the Mage to be assaulted by flying hats. The bigger the backlash, the more hats come in. On their own, they are mostly harmless. They are hats, after all, albeit upwardly mobile ones. No, their true menace stems from their ability to take control of any creature whose head they land on. If the Mage is on their own, with few people around, they become the most pressing target. The Hats attempt to sneak around and land on the Mage, after which a contest of Wills (and Willpower) ensues for control. Should the Mage win, the Hat can be removed easily, at which point it will retreat. If the Hat wins, it will proceed to walk the Mage into suicidal danger. The Mage may make as many attempts to reassert control as possible, but the Hat may also retry its takeover as long as it has Essence to spend.

                          If other people (or animals) are around, the Hat will prefer to dominate one of them (aside from night folk, other targets are likely to have less Willpower than a starting level Mage). These individuals will proceed to attack the Mage, in whatever way they have on hand. Use the appropriate stats for a representative of the organism being used in the attack, but substitute the Hat's mental Traits and Willpower, especially in the event of the Mage using Mind powers against them. The Hat will abandon the creature if it becomes too wounded or immobilized to be of much good, after which the Hat will seek new targets or the Mage. Knocking or pulling the Hat off will also sever control, though the Hat will work to block such efforts to the exclusion of anything else (after all, it doesn't care about the safety of its pawn). Persons so controlled remember nothing of their time in thrall, only the moments immediately before and after wearing the Hat.

                          Flying Dapper Hats are hats - dur-hay - and are thus vulnerable to tearing, cutting, or burning. They will also disappear if they lose all their Essence, but will remain (those lose animation) if a certain amount of time passes without being destroyed or driven off. Some Mages have taken such otherworldly headwear as trophies, but others are too wary to take any chances, and apply fire anyway.


                          • #43
                            109) Liar, Liar (Flaw): This tends to hit along the lines of the Mind sphere. The victim is now not only incapable of lying, but is now brutally honest to a fault. Any attempts to lie causes the victim to shake and struggle as if they just can't push the words out of their mouth. She can hold her mouth shut and leave the area until the situation has calmed down, but has to start all over when a similar situation arises.

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                            • #44
                              110) Properly vampiric [Paradox Flaw ; vampiric use of Prime, Life, Mind] This Flaw afflicts Mages who rely on True Magick-granted vampirism - be it psychic or physical. Fangs replace two of the Mage's teeth - they are visible even if the mouth is closed, protruding over the lips. They can't be used to drain blood, unless they are developed into a foci for vampirism.
                              The frequency, attitude and circumstances of using vampiric True Magick all factor in the likelihood of getting this Flaw. Someone draining others in battle or to heal somebody, is less likely to develop this Flaw than someone who uses vampirism for torture, or for pleasure, or for 'science!'. To their shock, Technocrats and Technomancers who engage in science-derived vampirism can develop this Flaw all the same.

                              Well-informed Mages with this Flaw seek to rid of it as soon as possible, or go into hiding; as they will be targeted by the Kindred as a Masquarade breech. Though there has been an instance when an agreement with the Camarilla was reached, and the afflicted Mage was spun in the media as a pro-Masquarade story - "Yet another vampire-like condition explaining the legends!".

                              Edit: Made simple.
                              Last edited by Muad'Dib; 09-24-2017, 03:45 AM.


                              • #45
                                111) The Lost Highway [Realm]: No relation to the David Lynch film, this Realm is a seemingly endless road, winding through perpetual night. There is nothing on either side of the highway, not even land. As if the road was suspended in a black void, with only a series of street lamps to light the way (on some segments of the highway, not even that). Naturally, road-obsessed Mages often find themselves slipping unexpectedly into the place, either while driving their vehicles or on foot. It really doesn't matter either way, as how long the Mage must travel on the Lost Highway before reaching an Exit back to normality is indeterminate. Sometimes an exit is merely a few miles away, and sometimes the Mage can seemingly travel for days without respite. In the eternal night, judging the passage of time is difficult; time pieces and clocks go haywire on the Lost Highway.

                                This realm has existed for as long as there were paved roads. As recently as the 1950s, though, a new phenomenon has begun to manifest on the otherwise dull road. Sometimes, a Mage trapped in the linear limbo on foot (whether they came on foot or their previous ride broke down) will hear the sound of a roaring engine in the distance. Then, they'll see the lights; two sickly yellow beams that draw closer and closer. The overhead street lamps - if any - wink out one by one as the headlights draw closer. Then, once the Mage is left in almost utter darkness, the phantom ride will slow (or screech) to a stop, right in front of them. It's a bright red convertible sports car, that shines in the glint of distant lamps.

                                Inside the car appears to be a handsome man, with warm brown skin, and long flowing hair. Sometimes the man's hair is light, and his face clean shaven. Sometimes it is jet black, matching their well trimmed beard and mustache. Whatever the case, he wears a fine silk shirt in blood red, and he smiles behind the stitched leather steering wheel. He never gives his name, but he offers the Mage a ride. It doesn't matter if the Mage is alone or with a number of his companions, the man always has enough room to seat them all. But statistically, the driver appears most often to solitary individuals. This is likely on purpose, as if the Mage agrees to the ride, the driver will use the time spent on the road to tempt them.

                                Some scholars assume the Driver on the Lost Highway is a demon or other sort of unsavory umbrood. Or else he's a Nephandus or Infernalist (or both). The man's exact nature is questionable, especially in light of the fact that the driver has seemed to ride that highway for going on sixty years now, without change. What is known is that he is a tempter. Alluring to the extreme, he will offer a number of casual temptations - sex, wealth, knowledge, etc. The passengers are under no obligation to agree to anything - the driver takes refusal as casually as he offers - but will have to endure a series of such temptations over the course of the ride. And as many Mages who have met the man point out, the driver's offers are quite enticing. Many were seduced by the man, regardless of gender or orientation, simply because of his animal magnetism.

                                Oddly, the driver never puts a price on his offers, only requesting "a favor for a favor" or "future consideration". Regardless, by accepting the ride in the first place, the Mage apparently owes the driver at least a little. If the Mage refused help entirely, they are left to find their own way to an exit, and never see the driver again. If they took a ride - and anything more - from him, though, they are sure to see the driver again. He has a habit of appearing in the material world as well, driving up in his customary vehicle, to make additional offers, and to remind the Mage of the favor he rendered them, back in the Lost Highway.

                                Those who claim to have met and done business with the driver have often disappeared under mysterious circumstance, or else met quite horrible fates. What the Driver's ultimate goals are, though, is the biggest mystery of all.
                                Last edited by Bluecho; 11-01-2016, 04:59 AM.