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1001 Interesting Paradox Backlashes

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  • #61
    132) The Sterile World Of Science [Quiet]: Living beneath the Technocratic Union's absolute control can be...stressful. Breaking out of the rank of a Komrad can be a hellish ordeal for some Iterators, while the NWO is a hotbed of duplicity and doublethink, where every action is judged. For those Technocrats who feel themselves constantly monitored and tested by their shadowy superiors, they may find themselves fallen into a Quiet reflecting this paranoia. At low levels, the Enlightened Scientist believes themselves subject to tests of professionalism, character, and scientific rigor, regardless of whether such examinations are occurring. Every situation is a test, and everyone the Technocrat encounters a confederate playing their part. Some sufferers will be paralyzed by indecision, not knowing what their superiors expect of them in complicated situations. Others may attempt to circumvent obvious choices, thinking on a meta level that may not exist. While this can lead to them thwarting efforts to manipulate them towards the ends their actual superiors want, many times it backfires on the Technocrat, bumbling missions and endangering Union resources.

    Assuming the Technocrat isn't sent to Room 101 for their erratic behavior - some Enlightened Scientists are just good enough or lucky enough to keep their mounting delusions hidden - greater levels of Quiet turn the world around them into a sterile, clinical environment. Even at low levels, their world will slowly become like a lab, with white walls, muted colors, the scent of chemicals in the air, and people appearing wearing lab coats. If this bleeds into Reality, the Union usually notices very quickly, and takes steps to remedy it. Usually. The Technocracy is a place of Science, after all, which could make it difficult to catch members who spend all of their time in Constructs that would match their delusions anyway.

    Still other times, the Technocrat may become so overwhelmed by their fear, they fall into a Mindscape. This more than anything is the Sterile World, a closed complex of rooms devoid of humanity or distinguishing characteristics. The Enlightened Scientist has been trapped in a life-size maze, and they are the rat. Ordered to run tests by inhuman voices over intercoms, through mind-numbing test chambers, and for little concrete reward. And they themselves are obsessed with completing this exams, hoping that if they do their work correctly, their masters will let them go.

    Only when the Technocrat realizes the futility of their predicament, and break out of the testing chambers, are they able to escape their Quiet. To realize that they can think for themselves, and aren't beholden to their hidden masters. Unsurprisingly, many who wander back from the Sterile World defect from the Union entirely, if for no other reason than because that toxic environment sickens them.


    • #62
      Ohhh, I absolutely love "The Sterile World Of Science". That is an excellent Quiet right there.

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      • #63
        133) Vortibraas the Tank [Spirit]: Imagine a tortoise; four stubby legs holding up a shell with a pronounced hump and a flat belly. Imagine further that the legs are pale, and the shell jet black. Imagine that the shell is covered by a ring of eyes, with the rectangular pupils of a goat. Imagine that the head and tail were replaced by pale, writhing tentacles a half meter long apiece, with holes at the end that spit a yellow acid. Imagine that on its belly, instead of another shell, there was an enormous, toothy maw, fed by the grasping tentacles.

        Imagine it is the size of a Voltswagon beetle. Now try comprehending what you see, when you are a German peasant during the Medieval to Renaissance eras. That is Vortibraas the Tank, a creature most often likened to a demon from hell. Heavily armored; aim for the eyes (+2 difficulty to hit, for a called shot to a smaller target). Warning, though, as it has a surplus of them, and may continue to attack even when completely blind.

        134) Itchy Key Finger [Flaw]: A common habit among users of the Digital Web. When walking around Reality 1.0 after an extended dive, they may find themselves reflexively attempting to activate controls that are no longer present. While this can happen even without Paradox (how many times have users reached for the Undo command when they make a mistake writing with a pen and paper?), this Flaw takes the effect to a new level. However the Mage inputs commands when using the Digital Web (controller, mouse and keyboard, voice activation, etc.), they find themselves trying to use them outside that environment. This often happens when the Mage is under pressure, and their muscle memory is relied upon. Quite dangerous, when an assailant in the "real world" comes swinging at the Mage, and they default to twitching their fingers, as if that will somehow make them dodge with their meat body.


        • #64
          135) Twisted Power Within [Quiet]: Often it is asked why Mages need Instruments, when their power comes from themselves. The truth is, of course, that even if a Mage understand intellectually that their Magick is a result of Will, they aren't automatically Enlightened enough to cast spells through that Will alone. It's one thing to know the One Inch Punch is possible, and to be able to pull it off oneself. Sometimes, however, Mages will get ahead of themselves, and become deluded into thinking they've broken through. In this case, Life users may find themselves thinking their bodies have become all the Instrument they need to change reality. Progenitors, Etherites, Verbana, and others are prone to this sort of Quiet, but any Mage can fall into it if their can imagine a visceral quality to their Art. The results are grotesque and dangerous.

          This Quiet is not a free pass to work without Instruments. Rather, the Mage's delusions turn their body into Instruments, usually by bending or warping it towards some form more agreeable to the task at hand. At first, they merely hallucinate alterations to their form that can be used as Instruments for further effects. As the Quiet deepens, these alterations become very visible on the outside, the Mage's body twisting and contorting to facilitate their magick. Life unconsciously morphs their bodies according to their need, leading them to believe they've transcended any need for craft. Marauders born of this Quiet long ago ceased to be human. Some Mages, knowledgeable of the Undead, theorize that the founder of vampiric Clan Tzimisce may be or been created by one of these Marauders.


          • #65
            136) The Painted World [Quiet]: When a Mage's Art takes the form of literal Art - creating through a visual medium - they could find themselves becoming absorbed into that preoccupation to an unhealthy degree. Art imitates Life, and Life imitates Art. With this Quiet, the line between the two blurs, like smudged paint. At the beginning, they mistake paintings and other images as windows to real places and figures. Conversely, they see actual windows as still images. Faces in the distance become indistinct, and objects of similar colors will bleed into each other. The Mage will be compelled to assume poses at every opportunity, as if in a portrait, and will see others as assuming such poses themselves.

            As the Quiet worsens, the world will appear more and more as if rendered entirely in paint. Snatches at first, like distant landscapes seeming to be mat paintings to the Mage, before growing to encompass the Mage's entire vision. The style of painting it's rendered in usually depends on the Artist's preferred style, though the act of using magical senses may alter that perception to reflect either the Sphere being used, or the imprint of Resonance permeating the area. Places of great warmth (temperature wise) may reflect Picasso's Rose period, places of sadness his Blue period, and places of confusion his Cubist period. Where Stasis reigns supreme, the vision might reflect a photorealistic or Pointilist style, while places of natural significance (and low Gauntlet) could show up Impressionist. A view of Forces could cause the paint or ink to blur and flow on the "canvas" along paths of energy. Zones in the High Umbra, governed as they are by abstract concepts, may be minimalist. The whorls and eddies of human emotions and aura naturally complement Expressionism. And where Resonance of any kind is strong, the colors are deep, whether the bright hues of hope and life, or deep shadows in eerie and morose surroundings.

            The world becomes a sight to behold for the Mage teetering towards the edge of Marauderdom, but at all times sound seems to fall steadily away. By the time the Quiet reaches the point where it starts manifesting physically, voices are distant and quiet things. Only the occasional cough or footfall on hard flooring can make it through, as if the suffering Mage were walking through an endless art gallery.
            Last edited by Bluecho; 01-01-2017, 10:17 PM.


            • #66
              137) Procession of Fireflies [Flaw]: The humble firefly, or lightning bug, is notable for its flashy displays. When a Mage manipulates darkness, sound, illusions, or apathy to walk unseen through the world of men, he may find himself attracting the attention of this otherwise insignificant creature. Swarms of fireflies follow the Mage and cling to his body, resting on his clothes and nesting in his hair. All the while, they put on their little light shows, which add up in large numbers. Even if the Mage in question can disguise his own movements, he cannot hide his glowing entourage, which work to attract attention. Witnesses may not know what's going on, but they will notice the phenomenon.

              138) Dead Men Tell Tales [Flaw]: Proving the old adage wrong, this Flaw plagues murderous Awakened with spiteful tenacity. When a Mage takes a life with the aid of magic, the weight of this sin can linger in the body of their victim. The next time someone (other than the murderer) comes across the corpse, it speaks loudly and clearly to anyone who will listen, naming their killer. Sometimes it's just the killer's name that is spoken, but other times the cadaver will articulate, in great detail, how, when, where, and why the crime was committed. While witnesses are under no obligation to believe the corpse's testimony (it will answer no questions and fall silent after its speech), this sort of supernatural activity will raise definite questions. Mages who have been burned by this Paradox backlash - and survived the resulting inquiry - make a habit of disposing of their victims as permanently as possible. Still, the magic may linger for months, years, or decades in a lost body, waiting to be discovered.


              • #67
                139) Tallow Golems [Spirit]: Learned, literate Mages value their libraries, sometimes to a greater extent than their own lives. Paradox thrives on hitting naughty Mages where it hurts most, making their book collections a target. Primarily resulting from abuse of Forces, Life, or Mind magicks, the Tallow Golem - or Candle Man - is a squat, diminutive humanoid made from wax, with a burning wick atop its head. Naked and with a yellowed, waxy complexion, the Tallow Golem may appear individually or in groups of up to five. Common Tallow Golem rarely top a meter in height, with most reaching a man's knees (not including the flame). For their small stature, Tallow Golems rarely pose physical threats. Rather, it is their threat to a Mage's tomes that make them dreaded. Typical manifestations see them sneak into a Mage's library and make off with one or two texts. (For fairness's sake, a Storyteller ought not have them show up when the owner is absent). If caught in the act, the Candle Man or Men may attempt to flee with their prize, or even threaten to set it (and the rest of the books in the collection) on fire with their heads.

                Not terribly bright creatures, many scholars of Paradox wonder what motivates the Tallow Golems to their thievery, aside from Paradox's spite. Where they take the books is questionable, though a common tale tells of them returning to their master. In some manifestations, the gang of Tallow Golems will be directed by a tall, thin figure, dressed in cream-white robes. Its head and hands betray it as also being made of wax, with a "hat" jutting from its head that is lit by a flame, causing rivulets of wax to cascade over its featureless face. This "Tallow Lord" brandishes a candilabra in one hand and a slender wooden rod in the other, as if wielding a wand. It directs the movements of its minions with the rod, and with muffled whispers that sound like burning, crackling paper. He wields Charms of his own, of fire and mold and dripping wax, and has a habit of sealing men's mouths with the stuff if annoyed.

                One Mage from the Enlightenment period claims to have followed the Tallow Lord or his Golems into a Paradox Realm, which consists of an enormous library, stocked with texts pilfered from every age and place. Where countless Candle Men scurry about, carrying out assorted tasks, and where the Tallow Lord sits in study. The veracity of this claim is disputed, but every generation seems to see an Awakened scholar or two seeking the Realm out. Others take a sort of solace in the legend. Perhaps their misplaced or stolen books aren't lost forever, but in the collection of a being that truly appreciates them. Cold comfort, but it beats the crushing understanding of knowledge forever lost.


                • #68
                  140) Interface Malfunction (Paradox Flaw ; Correspondence) This Flaw affects Mages who manipulate their Correspondence foci too much - like turning the mirror around all the time. It can also happen due to mistreatment of Correspondence foci - like Virtual Adept dropping his laptop while running a Correspondence: Data program; or spilling Coca-Cola over it.
                  It causes the Mage to perceive pictures and writing in all mediums as being upside down. Books, advertisement posters, notes, TV screens, graffiti...All of those have to be turned upside down for the Mage to be able to perceive them as she would normally. Luckily for Virtual Adepts, CTRL + ALT + down arrow key works as a solution to viewing computer screens correctly for themselves. (Some consider this a perk of representing the Sphere of Correspondence on the Traditions Council.) If the Mage writes text by hand or paints art, she will perceive her work as upside down as soon as she completes each motion. (This could make writing and painting very hard; writing is made easier if each word is written in one continuous motion.) This Flaw can interfere with Magickal workings significantly if a Mage has foci that are affected.
                  Reading a book in public upside down might only rise eyebrows most of the time - but it can also cause the police to frisk the Mage, cause " obviously seem tweaked out on drugs.". This Flaw is relatively easily to get rid off - if the Mage learns to read upside down text or to paint art despite this Flaw, it will resolve.
                  Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-19-2016, 04:11 AM.


                  • #69
                    141) Shadow With A Mind Of Its Own [Flaw]: When a Mage manipulates darkness, they channel elemental darkness itself. Whatever their opinion of darkness - whether they think it an absence of light or an opposing force in its own right - such action may attract spirits of Dark, or else rouse the spirit of their own shadow. With this Flaw, the Mage's shadow acts on its own, capering and gesticulating independent of its owner. Of more pressing concern even than its unusual movement is how it behaves in such a way as to betray the Mage's hidden desires. It flashes obscene gestures at those for whom the Mage feels hidden resentment, gropes the shadows of those the Mage lusts for, and may assault the shadows of the Mage's outright enemies. At more severe backlashes, this activity transfers from the shadows of others to their owners, who feel each strike, each inappropriate touch, each strangling attempt. The feeling is fleeting (usually), but given that the Mage must be in close proximity to the other person, it can lead to compromising situations.

                    142) Shadow That Binds [Flaw/Burn]: Another backlash against darkness magic, this Flaw causes the Mage's shadow to be sensitive to being trod upon. If someone stands on the Mage's shadow, the Mage is paralyzed. If, further, someone or something should strike their shadow, the Mage takes Bashing damage (or, at severe backlashes, Lethal damage). The shadow becomes a liability to the Mage.


                    • #70
                      143) The Hellblazer -Flaw- : When a mage Fiddles with Fate, Destiny or the idea of Power. this kind of paradox will mark him and his personal aura. His loved ones will become easier targets for his opponents. Dodge roll for his friends and family will be higher and people around the mage will slowly start dying. Any efford to break the curse will only increase its power.

                      Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                      ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                      Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                      Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom


                      • #71
                        Cartoon Chaos [Spirit]: Every form of media be it tv internet comic book or anything else becomes an open doorway into a pocket dimension which the characters of the cartoon can walk out freely and interact with those around them. The mage under this effect can see the cartoon as doorway and event talk back and forth with those on the other side. Only at higher levels of paradox do the spirits(cartoon characters) can come out and interact with the mage. This effect ends once the mage leaves the area. Anyone under this effect will quickly avoid department stores and movie theaters at all cost. Nothing is more troublesome than Tom & Jerry coming out of your tv while you're having dinner with friends.

                        Like the Sun I am relentless even in death...


                        • #72
                          145) All the World's a Set [Flaw]: Humans have spent an inordinate amount of time and effort creating objects whose sole purpose is to look like reasonable facsimiles of real objects. Some of these become so lifelike that they pass all casual observation. Mages also have a habit of using magick to create or modify their surroundings, either to make them True, or to fool others. When a Mage weaves illusions, transmutes matter into other matter, or changes the appearance of themselves or others, they may find the world becoming less real in response. As if they walk through an endless series of film sets or model homes, objects they attempt to interact with become artificial and inoperative at their touch. Every bowl is filled with fake fruit, every computer or microwave is an empty facade, every closed door either can't open or opens to a brick wall, every bookshelf filled with with solid blocks that appear like rows of books, and even solid-looking stone is actually made from painted styrofoam. Objects usually revert to their true nature when the Paradox wears off, and others can use the items just fine. Until then, though, they might as well be props to the Mage.

                          146) Externalized Internal Monologue [Flaw]: One of the more potentially dangerous forms of Paradox, an abuser of the Mind Sphere may find their mental shields failing so hard, even Sleepers can hear their thoughts. Every surface-level thought the Mage has pours out in a stream of consciousness, audible or in some other way revealed to passers by. The severity of the Flaw determines how noticeable this effect is, from a whisper or tiny visible emoticon, to a pronounced declaration that can be heard from rooms away or an enormous thought bubble hovering over their head. While any Mage may attempt to mitigate the disaster by keeping their thoughts obscure (Wits + Subterfuge to avoid thinking in intelligible sentences), failure to do so means their immediate plans are revealed in real time, as are their true feelings. Technocrats tend to exhibit a subtler variant on this Flaw, vocalizing their every thought, and finding themselves unable to avoid doing so. Regardless, a Mage under cover or attempting deception/subterfuge is in great danger, as their intent is as readable as an open book.


                          • #73
                            147) The Snowmen Players [Flaw]: Most often afflicts Mages who try to manipulate (cold) weather, users of Craftwork, or simply those who have committed a grave crime in the middle of winter. Everywhere the Mage goes, snowmen stand outside. Whether they are existing frost effigies or sprang up on their own, they stand and bear witness. Still and silent as the grave, the snowmen are posed in positions that attract attention. If the Mage committed a crime - especially one they tried to hide beneath layers of snow - the snowmen are positioned to match that scene, at the moment it was performed. One snowman poised with an icicle raised above a victim, or pulling a cardboard wallet from the back of an unknowing rube. These scenes are frightening in their detail, the snowmen representing the Mage as close an effigy of them as could be. If the crime could not be represented in still life, the snowmen stand in accusation. Whenever the Mage exits their home or turns a street corner, the snowmen are there, pointing exactly where they'll be. These figures are rarely a direct threat (usually), but they are a potent psychological weapon for Paradox. Especially if the Mage doesn't realize it is Paradox doing it, and wonders if someone knows what they did. Depending on the nature of the scenes depicted, bystanders and neighbors may have their suspicions.

                            148) Little Matchstick Girl [Spirit]: Following after the old tale, this little girl dresses in the tattered clothes of a Victorian era lowerclass child. Those clothes are covered by a thick layer of frost, as is her skin. She stalks those Mages who lack charity, or refuse to use their magick for the betterment of the human race when an opportunity presents itself. Winter claimed the girl long ago, but her will to bring flame did die. When the weather outside is frightful, she calls out to the Mage for help. If the Mage answers the call for basic human decency, she thanks them for coming to help and leaves. If the weight of the Mage's selfishness is too great, however, she will draw the Mage farther and farther into the blizzard, which grows thick and bitter cold. If the Mage persists in seeking the girl, she may yet give reprieve to them for their persistence. If they turn back despite the child in need, they find the path difficult to follow, putting them in great risk of freezing to death. And if the Mage refuses to answer the call at all, for the desire to keep warm, the Little Matchstick Girl is more than happy to oblige. She has her matches, after all, and homes get exceedingly warm when they are on fire.


                            • #74
                              149) Goo Goo G'joob (Mind/Spirit). The Psychodelic soul of the mage manifest itself through a series of Hallucigenics sequences, Exagerating traits in a more cartoonish style. flying metaphors. The only way the mage can communicate is through singing and dancing.

                              Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                              ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                              Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                              Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom


                              • #75
                                150) Succubus [Spirit] The use of Magick might attract unusual suitors. A Succubus tempts the Mage during any rest - including a snooze in a long bus drive or during university lecture. Initially, the spirit manifests as seductive whispers combined with constantly changing but always strangely attractive scent. Few Mages can resist giving in, if only a couple of times... With each evening the Mage gives in, the spirit's appetite grows; after a week of relation with a Succubus the Mage will at best get two hours of sleep (But it is good and well earned sleep!) out of ten hours spent in bed. The sensations will also expand to include touch and taste.
                                The Succubus leaves if the Mage manages to resist her temptations for ten to twenty nights in a row - but if Mage gains Paradox again, the very same spirit will arrive again, if possible.

                                Some Mages have given in to a Succubus entirely, providing the spirit with the means to become their Familiar; though in this case it would be more appropriate to say that the Mages became the Succubus' Familiar. When materialized as part of a Familiar bond, the Succubi are varied in their talents - some might teach the Mage to play the piano, while others will reveal to him some of the secrets of the universe(s).

                                (Some Mages might call a carnal spirit who visits those interested in men an "Incubus"...But these are Succubi simply taking a different form and mannerisms.)