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Lex Magica, Orders, Consilia and not behaving like Seers

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  • #31
    The common Precepts are also literally summarized in the 2e corebook's section on the Lex Magica on page 69, if you just need the basics laid out.


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    • #32
      I'd also say there's an interesting nuance to mage society in which there are personal rights that, being held as Gold, have the highest level of being sacrosanct. Sanctum and Sigil lists out Great Rights that the individual/cabal can adhere to, and among those is Nemesis; the right to declare that another mage is your enemy and you are entitled to pursue that feud with them. I'd say that a Consilium might have laws that can regulate the expression of the Right of Nemesis to an extent (and I think that you can only declare it on a mage who has established that Nemesis is a Right they recognise; the book presented the idea that Great Rights are both privileges and obligations, so you can opt out of recognising some in a way that means you can't be bound to them but can't invoke them either), but nothing can override the essential access to them.

      If there is not recourse to get the Council to punish a mage who is conducting themself in a manner offensive to you, you can formally declare the desire to visit vengeance upon them. Even if that's only limited to a Duel Arcane, winning that sort of thing can greatly inhibit the opponent.


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Cauthon View Post
        If you're that horny all the time,
        I am... somewhat frustrated that in 2022 it's still necessary to bring up the point that people are not generally rapists because of an unsatisfied sex drive.

        Likewise, willing partners can be specifically not what they want.

        There are circumstances where a rapist can get a person to agree to go home with them on the premise of having consensual sex, and then raping that person.

        As far as mages go, the Condition that gives them an Obsession of using their magic to dominate other people seems like the kind of thing that flows very directly into being a serial rapist. I think the Condition can be seen as emerging from a point that Acts of Hubris represent the capacity for mages to very actively condition themselves into viewing other people as things and creating a sense of profound spiritual gratification out of emphasizing that.

        A mage could very easily use their magic to exploit and abuse people (or even just one favoured victim) because it basically makes them feel like God. Actual abusive people tend to be like that, and they're not even touching the font of infinity while they're doing it.


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        • #34
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          As far as mages go, the Condition that gives them an Obsession of using their magic to dominate other people seems like the kind of thing that flows very directly into being a serial rapist. I think the Condition can be seen as emerging from a point that Acts of Hubris represent the capacity for mages to very actively condition themselves into viewing other people as things and creating a sense of profound spiritual gratification out of emphasizing that.

          A mage could very easily use their magic to exploit and abuse people (or even just one favoured victim) because it basically makes them feel like God. Actual abusive people tend to be like that, and they're not even touching the font of infinity while they're doing it.
          This, for sure.

          As far as mage society being able to /stop/ that kind of behavior, it comes down to:
          - reducing the amount of satisfaction the offender can derive from acting this way - through education on its harmful effects, punishing offenses, or finding a way to prevent them in the first place
          - teaching other ways to feel powerful that don’t rely on abuse
          - addressing the root causes for this motivation (like insecurity)

          And I’ll agree with the premise of the OP that the desire to exploit and abuse others to feel powerful would reinforce the symbols of tyranny (it’s at least one of the ways of doing so), and that the Pentacle should be motivated to deal with this - but I might favor a more idealistic setting than the default.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            I am... somewhat frustrated that in 2022 it's still necessary to bring up the point that people are not generally rapists because of an unsatisfied sex drive.

            Likewise, willing partners can be specifically not what they want.

            There are circumstances where a rapist can get a person to agree to go home with them on the premise of having consensual sex, and then raping that person.
            Fair enough, I phrased it poorly. The intended point was less "rapists are horny" and more "Invisible Entities are socially-safer targets on whom to exercise those desires". The existence of an entire class of entities that the majority of your peers won't bat an eye at you bullying and dominating -unequivocally not something I condone, for the record- means that a Mage who still goes after humans is just dumb, on top of being abhorrent. Hell, those entities are more powerful than humans, that should be more of a draw for the "feel like a god" bit.


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            • #36
              Originally posted by Seraph Kitty View Post

              And I’ll agree with the premise of the OP that the desire to exploit and abuse others to feel powerful would reinforce the symbols of tyranny (it’s at least one of the ways of doing so), and that the Pentacle should be motivated to deal with this - but I might favor a more idealistic setting than the default.
              I feel like the wrestling might not be for anything that sort of specific, and more of a practical wrestling with the "Mages are Monsters and also our Protagonists." argument.


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              • #37
                Originally posted by Cauthon View Post
                "Invisible Entities are socially-safer targets on whom to exercise those desires". The existence of an entire class of entities that the majority of your peers won't bat an eye at you bullying and dominating -unequivocally not something I condone, for the record- means that a Mage who still goes after humans is just dumb, on top of being abhorrent.
                See, this gets into a question of how much the decent treatment of other human beings is something that mages express in principle, and yet prove fairly unmotivated at enforcing in practice.

                Is there something about mages that would make them notably better at curtailing such mistreatment than real people tend to be?

                If it's a choice between a victim who has supernatural powers and can even communicate to your fellows on something like equal terms, and people who are powerless and ignorant, which one is the dumber choice of abuse victim?

                Even that is predicated on a notion that abuse arises from some kind of calculated metric of who is objectively the most viable victim. If that was the case, people would never abuse something that is capable of talking about it. If abuse is about power, then you can feel really powerful if you do it to somebody who, by a lot of measurements, ought to make doing so difficult and dangerous, and then get away with it anyway.

                Look at how many soldiers and police officers get subjected to it. Doing it to a person who might shoot you, why that's just dumb when there are so many squirrels in the world.


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                • #38
                  Isator Levi quick clarification before I go formulate a proper response, what exactly are we arguing about? We both seem to be of the opinion that the example Mage that OP presented is not a good person, I just also think they're stupid for how they execute their impulses.


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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Cauthon View Post
                    Isator Levi quick clarification before I go formulate a proper response, what exactly are we arguing about? We both seem to be of the opinion that the example Mage that OP presented is not a good person, I just also think they're stupid for how they execute their impulses.
                    Basically, you're approaching the Left-handed mage from the angle of "I want something and I am getting it in an objectional way" where Levi is tackling "I am doing this thing as self-satisfying expression of my power, what I get from it is secondary to that."

                    Moving from the loaded issue of rape to just sort of pain, there's a difference in "I like to see things in pain, so I can torture this cat instead of a person" with "I like showcasing how no one can stop me by hitting people with my nails and thumbtacks spells, and it's more satsifying to watch a person realize they can't stop me than it is with a cat."

                    Levi, on record, is right when he makes the point that abusers often aren't acting out of a want related to the act, but that the act is their expression of power and control over a person and the scenario-and even if that somehow weren't the case, it's much more on theme for Mage to tackle the topic from the latter rather than the former.
                    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 11-17-2022, 05:57 PM.


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                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                      Levi, on record, is right when he makes the point that abusers often aren't acting out of a want related to the act, but that the act is their expression of power and control over a person and the scenario-and even if that somehow weren't the case, it's much more on theme for Mage to tackle the topic from the latter rather than the former.
                      Fair enough. I've had to sit through enough annual SHARP classes to understand intellectually that that mentality exist, but I really don't grok it.


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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Cauthon View Post

                        Fair enough. I've had to sit through enough annual SHARP classes to understand intellectually that that mentality exist, but I really don't grok it.
                        Small favor, that. Tis better not to grok it, I reckon, so long as it can still be accounted for.


                        Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                        Feminine pronouns, please.

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                        • #42
                          This is only tangential to the topic of this thread, but you know those Dedicated Vows from Tome of the Watchers? What if they also came with Persistent Arcane Conditions that make it impossible for you to cast certain types of harmful spells (but maybe you can force the issue by spending 1 Willpower Point when spellcasting, which does not give +3 dice and also breaks the Dedicated Vow), and in exchange you gain bonus dice for handling thematically related Acts of Hubris? It seems to me that such Dedicated Vows + Persistent Arcane Conditions would be common (but far from universal) within the Pentacle, and borderline non-existent among the Seers Of The Throne.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                            This is only tangential to the topic of this thread, but you know those Dedicated Vows from Tome of the Watchers? What if they also came with Persistent Arcane Conditions that make it impossible for you to cast certain types of harmful spells (but maybe you can force the issue by spending 1 Willpower Point when spellcasting, which does not give +3 dice and also breaks the Dedicated Vow), and in exchange you gain bonus dice for handling thematically related Acts of Hubris? It seems to me that such Dedicated Vows + Persistent Arcane Conditions would be common (but far from universal) within the Pentacle, and borderline non-existent among the Seers Of The Throne.
                            Dedications have been updated in 2e under the name "Obligations" (probably to avoid confusion with the process of making a Dedicated Tool Yantra) back in Signs of Sorcery. Breaking a vow with magic acts as a special type of Yantra. They have no mechanical relation to Acts of Hubris.


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