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[Homebrew] Abyssal Arcanum

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  • [Homebrew] Abyssal Arcanum

    ABYSS
    Purview: Paradox, madness, incoherence, corruption, the Abyss, falsehood, contradiction

    The Abyss is a realm of madness and impossibility, where that which may not ever be resides, shadows without shape. The Abyss is a collection of Supernal Symbols with no antecedent in reality, shapes without shadows. The Abyss is the Lie, shapelessness without shadow and shadow given shape. The Awakened know and fear the Abyss, as it is the bane of their existence. However, some have found that there is power to be gained from this anathema. Deals with Acamoth, deadly Abyssal items, and yet darker secrets have been yielded from the World of Lies, and those who choose to can dig yet deeper.

    The truest form of the Abyss's expression is the Arcanum of the Abyss. While few Mages will even acknowledge its existence, this Arcanum is ultimately the same as the others: A set of symbols to be manipulated to affect the Fallen. The difference being that the symbols of the Abyss are ones that directly conflict with those of the Supernal. This is constraining and liberating at the same time, freeing mages from Earthly logic and Supernal restrictions, but binds the mage to chaos and madness.

    Corruption
    The Abyssal Arcanum leaves a mark on its subjects, one that tinges it with Paradox, sometimes without them even knowing. Many Abyssal spells inflict Corruption. Effectively, when a Mage suffers Corruption, all spells they cast have at least one Paradox die. This doesn't increase the Paradox dice pool, but it does guarantee that there will be one for as long as the effect remains. More advanced Corruption may even increase the size of the Paradox pool or apply dice tricks to it.

    False Spells
    Not strictly an effect of Abyssal magic, so much as a property of Abyssal magic, is that it is difficult to detect. Even when it wouldn't make sense, Abyssal Spells register as Prime to all but Focused Mage Sight, although Prime or Abyssal Unveiling spells specifically designed to suss it out will work like normal. Overtly unnatural and illogical things can still tip knowledgeable people to what's going on, but they won't register to Peripheral or Active Mage Sight as Abyssal.

    Attainments

    Slippery Magic (••): Your soul has been warped by the Abyss, and your magic is difficult to pin down as a result. Attempts to Counterspell your magic subtract your Abyss rating from their Dice Pool.
    Abyssal Armor (••): Your body doesn't behave like flesh and bone should, and only magical attack can fully injure you. You downgrade a number of Lethal damage equal to your Abyss dots from purely mundane attacks.
    Summon Abyssal (•••): Your ties to they Abyss have grown deep enough that you can weave its direct presence into the Fallen. Instead of summoning Supernal entities, you can summon Abyssal ones similarly to the "Targeted Summoning" Attainment. Abyssal Entities function as Supernal entities except that the primary Arcanum is always Abyss. You can, instead, choose to invite an Abyssal Intrusion, which can be a good way to bring something extremely dangerous into the world, but this is literally insanely dangerous.
    Abyssal Shard (••••): The Mages believe that the Awakening scours the Abyssal Shard from their souls completely, but this is, ironically, a lie. Abyssal Adepts can prove this by reawakening that dormant fragment of the Abyss in the Awakened soul. Getting an Exceptional Success on a spell targeted at a Sleepwalker, Proximus or Mage makes that target affect Paradox and suffer Quiescence like a Sleeper, even to their own spells, until the end of the Scene.


    Initiate of Abyss (•)

    Weave Bedlam: Influence Paradox in progress
    Reveal The Abyss: Expose Abyssal Magic
    Paradox Unleashed: Paradox becomes difficult to contain
    Wrong Place, Wrong Time: An unexpected Sleeper walks in
    See Lies: Perceive falsehoods

    Apprentice of Abyss (••)

    Abyssal Brand: Inflict an Abyssal Condition without need for Paradox
    Paradox Flare: Apply 9-again to a Paradox Roll
    Quiescence Abaited: Protect sleepers from Quiescence-related Breaking Points
    Veil of Lies: Hide Abyssal signatures
    Liar's Tongue: Lie perfectly

    Disciple of Abyss (•••)

    Intensify Paradox: Increase Paradox Reach
    Essential Corruption: Warp the effects of magical items
    Wretch: Weaken the body, inflict damage
    False Aura: Falsify an object's symbolism under Mage Sight
    Hume's Vengeance: Cut away parts of an object to generate Tass

    Adept of Abyss (••••)

    Truthful Lies: Make deceitful words come true
    Abyssal Investment: Imbue power and knowledge at the cost of Corruption
    False Sight: Grant a False Mage Sight that you can control
    Poison the Well: Inflict Corruption on those who draw from a Hallow
    Spell Rend: Inflict Paradox Reach on an active spell

    Master of Abyss (•••••)

    False Awakening: Grant a Sleepwalker a phony Awakening that causes a Breaking Point upon wearing off.
    Hell on Earth: Permanently taint a Hallow with the Abyss
    Innumeracy: Mathematics break down entirely
    Inversion: Reverse the effects of a spell
    Weave Chaos: Create an impossible object

    Last edited by malonkey1; 10-17-2016, 12:22 AM.


    Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

  • #2
    I like it, it seems a lot like an AntiPrime Arcana... which makes sense since the Abyss is the False to Prime's Truth.


    proin's Legacy hub

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    • #3
      You post reminds me of the Nephandi from Mage: The Ascension and their use of Qlippothic Spheres, twisted reflections of the normal spheres.

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      • #4
        I once thought of doing this in-chronicle, but eventually gave up as the ST decided to take a break.


        Historian ~ www.cronistasdastrevasbr.com

        I currently ST a... MtAW 2e campaign called "Axis Mundi - Si Vis Pacem"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
          The Abyss is a realm of madness and impossibility, where that which may not ever be resides, shadows without shape. The Abyss is a collection of Supernal Symbols with no antecedent in reality, shapes without shadows. The Abyss is the Lie, shapelessness without shadow and shadow given shape.
          "Then you see what CANNOT be, shadows move where light should be!"
          Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
          freezing fire
          "I touch the fire, and it freezes me; I look into it, and it's black! Why can't I feel? My skin should crack and peel! I want the fire back!"
          Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
          Some are born into this power, molded by it.
          Thank you, Bane.

          Seriously though, great stuff!
          Last edited by Mangle77; 07-26-2015, 01:22 AM.


          "A free society is one in which it is safe to be unpopular."
          I find Nick Spencer and Richard Spencer to be equally repulsive.

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          • #6
            I shudder to think what an Aswadim (Scelestus Archmage) could do with 9 dots in the Abyssal Arcanum. I shudder in the best way.

            I also shudder when I imagine what might be the Quintessence used for that particular Imperial Practice of Transfiguration.
            Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 07-26-2015, 01:29 AM.


            "My citation is a fucked up, drug-fueled, soul-discombobulating nightmare-journey. Here's a screenshot + timestamp."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GottaGoFeast View Post
              I shudder to think what an Aswadim (Scelestus Archmage) could do with 9 dots in the Abyssal Arcanum. I shudder in the best way.

              I also shudder when I imagine what might be the Quintessence used for that particular Imperial Practice of Transfiguration.
              At that level, I think the term "God of the Warp" becomes applicable.


              Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GottaGoFeast View Post
                I shudder to think what an Aswadim (Scelestus Archmage) could do with 9 dots in the Abyssal Arcanum. I shudder in the best way.

                I also shudder when I imagine what might be the Quintessence used for that particular Imperial Practice of Transfiguration.
                Whatever you imagine probably isn't offensive enough to reality to work.


                proin's Legacy hub

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                • #9
                  Didn't the 1e chronicle about the Queen of the Throne touch on the Abyss Arcanum? I recall something about Sins(marks of the abyss on a soul) featuring heavily in that book.

                  I'm mulling over a abyssal cabal generating Sin on sleepers to latter align them as living sacraments for abyssal verges through said souls. I wish I was at home right now so I would know if this even makes sense regarding the Queen chronicle.

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                  • #10
                    I like the idea that the Elder Diadem gives Scelesti access to this instead of the system presented in Left Hand Path. It really makes sense when you think about how both the Gate and the Old Man represent the Abyss alongside the beings representing the normal Arcana. It's also a lot smoother in implementation than the system in LHP.


                    Call me Count .

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                    • #11
                      I added some sample effects for the Imperial Practices. It's not pretty.


                      Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
                        I added some sample effects for the Imperial Practices. It's not pretty.
                        ...


                        Me and my big, fat, stupid mouth.


                        EDIT: I liked those Imperial Practices, by the way. Just in case someone thought I was depreciating the above post for no reason.
                        Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 07-27-2015, 07:16 PM.


                        "My citation is a fucked up, drug-fueled, soul-discombobulating nightmare-journey. Here's a screenshot + timestamp."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GottaGoFeast View Post
                          ...


                          Me and my big, fat, stupid mouth.


                          EDIT: I liked those Imperial Practices, by the way. Just in case someone thought I was depreciating the above post for no reason.
                          That's how I took it. That video is the intended reaction to Abyssal spells. Speaking of which, I've added a sample one for each dot level just to show how freaky some of them can be. The 5-dot one is my favorite.


                          Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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                          • #14
                            On a related topic: I wrote a somewhat involved take on running Qlippothic Arcana in Awakening a few years back. (Prior to Imperial Mysteries) If that sounds interesting, I could pop it up here.

                            e.g.
                            Dark Revelations (Prime) reveal active tainted effects of any arcana. Each other only reveals effects from its purview. Mind altering Life effects show up to both arcana, for example, since they fall into both categories, but would not show up under Matter at all.

                            Death - Theme is the idea that death is not an end. Manipulating shades into semblance of life, for example, is far easier with the qlippothic form of death. Knowing effects, however, are a level higher. Masking effects are a level lower.

                            Spells to manipulate forgetfulness are easy with this arcana, especially if combined with mind. Ghosts can be granted willpower based off of successes with a spell that costs a single willpower. If the Ghost's willpower achieves Finesse, the ghost begins to seem more human again. (due to the abyssal essence providing the missing traits.)

                            Soul tearing and pattern damaging effects are easier by a level. Soul repair is impossible, but soul replacement is. The magus can create psuedo-soul stuff. (see Abyssal Nativity in Intruders) The magus can create two half souls from one soul, though he cannot create a pseudo soul ex-nihilo.

                            Qlippothic death, it bears noting, can bind ghosts from passing on or pull them into the Abyss in various ways. Some of the operations open to Stygia are closed. Even when overlapping, the metaphysical operations tend to be very different. Binding and enhancing a ghost with this is actually a measure of adding abyssal essence, and manipulating the result with the mage's affinity to the Abyss. Of course, the fact that the ghost may be more abyssal spirit than ghost is actually extremely subtle. (Supernal Death magic can affect abyssally tainted ghosts with a penalty of -1 die. Spirit 3+ can affect them with a penalty of -3. Conjunctional magic between Death 1+ and Spirit 3+ has no penalty. Arguably, this makes them "Geists," against which, it bears noting, quippthotic Death magic has a lessened penalty.)

                            Examples include: Changing or creating a ghost's fetters is accomplished by literally breaking their nature and inserting a new truth.
                            Last edited by thenate; 04-07-2016, 09:13 PM.


                            Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                            • #15
                              This seems a bit jumbled. Like, I have no idea what you mean by a thing being easier by a level. Do you mean you move Practices around to different dot levels? Also Life and Mind effects don't show up to Matter at all anyways, or did you mean something else?

                              Basically, I'm too confused to be intrigued yet.

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