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Orpheus Shades

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  • Orpheus Shades

    First, a bit of errata: the Orpheus Shades' Arcanoi mistakenly refer to Fascination (Favored for Wisps, Prohibited for Poltergeists) instead of Intimation. As well, the Prohibited Arcanoi for the Marrows is listed as Sandman, not Phantasm.

    Second: there are seven Shades listed. Notably absent are the Orphan Grinders. Anyone want to take a crack at converting them to Wr20?

    Third, there are two Arcanoi that aren't associated with any of the seven Shades presented: Mnemosynus and Usury. I'm thinking of working up one or two new Shades that cover them. Any suggestions?

    Fourth, I'm thinking of using a variation on the Shades of Gray option: Projectors who become Wraiths keep their Shades, and Hues also have Shades; as well, there might be a way for a Wraith to acquire a Shade, perhaps by joining a Crucible — though I'd also require they have one dot in Embody and two in Lifeweb to do this, the same as Projectors. And I'm thinking that Wraiths with Shades (but not Hues) are like the Spirit Lament from Orpheus, in that they have Stains and Spectre-like doppelgangers instead of an integral Shadow with Thorns — a bit like the secret of the Ferrymen revealed in Ends of Empire.

    Last edited by Dataweaver; 01-13-2022, 06:37 PM.

  • #2
    ...aside from "too late to be submitting errata now"?


    • #3
      Yeah, aside from that. For what it's worth, I've got a decent PDF editor and have fixed the errors in my copy; but I thought I'd point it out so that others with similar resources can likewise patch things up.

      On the other topics: I'm pretty sure that the Orphan Grinders were left out because of Wr20's assumption that Wraiths don't have Orpheus-style Shades; and Orpheus' projectors can never be Orphan Grinders (because you need to become a Spectre first). With the Shades of Gray option in play, Orphan Grinders potentially become a thing again. Which is why I was curious how they'd be written up in Wr20.

      As for the Arcanoi that aren't associated with any of the existing Shades, my first thought would be to introduce two new Shades: one that favors Moliate and Usury, and one that favors Mnemosynus and either Phantasm or Intimation. I'm thinking of pairing them up in that the first one has Mnemosynus as its Prohibited Arcanos, and the second one has Usury as its Prohibited Arcanos. I still need to come up with a reasonable cluster of Natures for each.
      Last edited by Dataweaver; 07-06-2019, 06:44 PM.


      • #4
        Returning to this, I think I found a few more Shade errata. When comparing the Pathos, Willpower, and Angst modifiers to the starting Vitality, Spite, and Willpower in Orpheus, Wr20 got the Pathos and Willpower modifiers for the Banshees and the Wisps backwards. It also gave the Marrow more Pathos and less Willpower than its Endgame counterpart; though I think this was deliberate, as otherwise the Marrow would have the same Pathos/Willpower/Angst modifiers as the Phantasm.

        For the record, the Orphan-Grinders would have Pathos +1, Willpower +3, and Angst +2.

        A further thought on the unassociated Arcanoi: instead of two new Shades, I'm wondering if I might be better off just adding Usury to the Marrow's bag of tricks, and Mnemosynus to the Phantasm's. They seem like better fits than Pandemonium and Embody; though I wouldn't remove those. If anything, I'd be more inclined to add another Favored Arcanos to each of the other five.


        • #5
          Given the origins of Orphan Grinders, I'd be inclined to look at Dark Arcanoi for their favoured options. Though I'm not sure about creating new Shades just for unassociated Arcanoi, after all the Guilds exist for the reason.
          I do remember there was a fan Shade I saw online a few years ago, it had the same Nature grouping as Orphan Grinders. It posited that since Orphan Grinders are artificial, this is 'natural' equivalent. Supposedly it is still rare due the Nature's predisposition towards Spectrehood. I think they called it "Wraiths", which...doesn't make it easy to find.

          Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


          • #6
            Let's see: the Orphan-Grinder Horrors include one that lets you sense spectres and hide from them, one that lets them summon and ride spectral mounts (Hellions), and one that lets them possess ghosts. Are there any Dark Arcanoi like that? I might use Collogue as the closest Wraith counterpart to Oblivion's Husk, possibly adding a few powers to it to represent a wraith's ability to hide from spectres; and I might replace Vector with Contaminate. My first idea for replacing Hellion would be a reflavored Argos.

            I'd rather not add new Shades of I can help it; and I think I can avoid doing so. Giving every Shade three favored Arcanoi instead of two wouldn't be a problem in my book, if I can figure out good choices for the Banshees, Haunters, Poltergeists, Skinriders, and Wisps; but if I can't, that's not a big deal.

            Given the stronger connection to the living world that Orpheus agents have, I'm also thinking about maybe making the Risen Arcanoi (Fascinate and Serendipity) available to them. This would also make them available as possible Favor Arcanoi. I could, for example, see adding Fascinate to the Wisps and Serendipity to the Banshees, or vice versa. And conversely, I could easily see the Risen acquiring Shades in the same way as for wraiths (i.e., join a Crucible). Frankly, Risen and Orpheus a better fit than Risen and Wraith.


            • #7
              No Dark Arcanoi in Wr20 as far as I can tell, resemble the Orphan Grinder Horrors. Likewise there didn't appear to be any among the normal Arcanoi either. Though there was a shadecraft...but all Orphan Grinders should undergone the Redemption rules in the Book of Oblivion.

              Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


              • #8
                Could you submit an expanded and corrected version of the Appendix to the Storyteller's Vault? I'd be interested in something like that as I really like the Orpheus concept. Or do copyright issues prevent such an approach?


                • #9
                  I could probably post errata and expansions for the Appendix; but I suspect that posting an edited copy of the Appendix, even with expansions, would be a violation of fair use.


                  • #10
                    Orphan Grinders are a tricky one metaphysically. While Spectre redemption was possible in Wraith, it was amazingly rare. Indeed the Martyr Knights, who were actively working on it, could count the number of temporary successes on one hand (no moliation required). So Orphan Grinders are a metaphysical change for Orpheus, the question is which kind.

                    With Orpheus, some of the metaphysics changes are driven by game needs and themes while others are due to actual metaphysics changes within the world itself. Uplifting drones and (relatively) easily dropping Spite are examples of the former, while easy manifestation is probably the latter.

                    I'm not sure which way it goes for Orphan Grinders. It could be tied into the (relative) ease of overcoming Spite, or it could be that Grandmother's more alien effects on the Hive Mind give some Spectres more to fight against. If it's the former, I would default to Wraith's take on redemption and assume Orphan Grinders to be so rare as to be nonexistent. If it is the latter then they could start showing up, but only if the conditions became right.

                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink