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Why is immortality such a big deal?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by arthexis View Post
    These immortality topics keep coming back from the dead!
    Well, they *are* immortality threads...


    • #32
      That is not dead which can eternal lie,
      And with strange aeons even death may die



      • #33
        The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead.

        [a man puts a body on the cart]

        Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.

        The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.

        The Dead Collector: What?

        Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your ninepence.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.

        The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not.

        The Dead Collector: He isn't.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better.

        Large Man with Dead Body: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.

        The Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I don't want to go on the cart.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, don't be such a baby.

        The Dead Collector: I can't take him.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel fine.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, do me a favor.

        The Dead Collector: I can't.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.

        The Dead Collector: I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Well, when's your next round?

        The Dead Collector: Thursday.

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I think I'll go for a walk.

        Large Man with Dead Body: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?

        The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I feel happy. I feel happy.

        [the Dead Collector glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the Body with his a whack of his club]

        Large Man with Dead Body: Ah, thank you very much.

        The Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.

        Large Man with Dead Body: Right.

        (all credit to Monty Python, of course)
        Last edited by Midgardener; 08-08-2016, 12:37 PM.


        • #34
          Originally posted by HardcoreHannes View Post
          There is a very simple reason why immortality or even invicibility spells cannot be lasting: "NOT beeing something" cannot be a lasting condition. Mages do age. Not aging is an unnatural state, you cannot achieve. It's the same with stuff like, not having cancer. You can heal the symptoms over and over again and probably recreate something like a chemo therapy and wipe all cancer cells from the body, but you cannot create a lasting, natural effect, that prevents rebuilding of cancer cells. I do agree though, that there is no reason for you to age faster after a non aging spell is dispelled on you. If you could freeze a body for 20 years, there is no logical reason for why it should age faster after the 20 years. So even if your spell get's dispelled after 2 years e.g. it was probably still worth it.

          I would also tune a bit down on the natural regeneration front. While there is a lot of research going on, there is no evidence that there will be any kind of gen therapy in the near future that will provide the human body with the means to constantly regenerate to e.g. the state at age 20. Even if this might be possbile, it might have significant complications, for example not beeing able to get any new memories and therefore learning anything. This is not so much a problem for a low brain function animal mainly acting on instincts, but for a human or a mage, this would have significant problems.
          I'm not sure you're using the right definition of "Lasting" here. A "Lasting" magical effect is not a condition that can never change. Lasting simply means that a change wrought through magic will last past its duration, on its own. Healing spells like Knit are Lasting, but that does not mean you become immune to taking damage. A spell that pulls heat from one room into another will have a Lasting effect, because the heat will not magically return to the original room when the Duration ends. If you open a door between the rooms though, the fact that the effect was Lasting will not keep the heat trapped in the second room, and unable to go into the first.

          Similarly, you are not trying to cast a spell to "not age". You simply cast a spell that heals your body back to the state it was, say, last year, once a year, and that effect should then be Lasting. Not because you can no longer age after that, but because you will not magically age a year at the end of the duration.

          Perhaps you're confusing it with a spell with Indefinite duration?
          Last edited by Unahim; 08-08-2016, 01:15 PM.

          - CtL 2E: Seeming Benefits for every Contract


          • #35
            Immortality gets a lot of attention because it's, y'know, a major feature of mythology and the human imagination.

            The Great Awakening Immortality Wars have actually inspired some of my own work. In my remake of Mage (which is heavily based on Ascension and Genius), I was considering making immortality (which is pretty easy to achieve) a Wisdom transgression, but I think now I'll specify that immortality is a-ok with everyone and even the wisest and most careful Mages are fine with it, because spite.

            Why is it so easy to achieve in MtT? Same reason why reverse acting is cheap in Changeling and immortality is a two dot merit in Ascension (one of many things I love about that beautiful, wonderful game): it's not something likely to come up from a gameplay perspective, so letting a player do it doesn't risk unbalancing the game. Immortality is primarily a narrative and roleplaying concern, so that's how it's treated. As for the "elder problem", mages are so volatile and capricious that even if most of them didn't blow themselves up there would be no risk of them stagnating.


            • #36
              Originally posted by Geckopirateship View Post
              Why is it so easy to achieve in MtT?
              The question I raised in the OP is why it is made so hard to achieve when, logically, it *should* be easy, magic being what it is. Life spells are artificially restricted from doing it from the third dot onwards, and the fluff mentioning immortality marks it as left handed and abominable.

              - CtL 2E: Seeming Benefits for every Contract


              • #37
                Remember that while game is apolitical, sometimes you can see sparks of humanism and anarchism in the writing; try to look at it from that context. It might make certain decisions form a pattern that makes more sense to you, and thus, changing them will be easier.
                Anyway, I don't have a problem with Immortality being Hard And Potentially Monstrous, because it's Chronicles of Darkness and Modern Horror.


                • #38
                  To answer the OP's answer: well, when you get down to it, you never die if you are immortal, which is what everybody wants out of immortality... but you also live forever. At some point, does life become boring? When you have an indefinite number of lifetimes, does there come a point where you have literally done everything? If a 30-something person has trouble remembering details from their childhood, what about a 1,000-something person trying to recall details from their first century of life? You have to live with the consequences of your actions, and watch them play out, for centuries. And the ways you obtain immortality permanently separate you from humanity. You renounce it, declare yourself apart from and above humanity. Particularly in Mage, characters who seek that course of action are not thinking or acting in a way that speaks to Understanding or Enlightenment.

                  Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew


                  • #39
                    In the Chronicles of Darkness, especially in Mage, one of the themes of the setting (even if you disagree with it) is that death is a natural and important part of life and that subverting that natural cycle is an act of hubris. Living longer--by doing things like eating healthy and using medicine--is OK because you're still not bypassing an eventual death, but using magic to make yourself deathless is Bad (or at least morally fraught). The metaphysics support this theme.

                    Originally posted by Prometheus View Post
                    Notice the Potency as a primary factor. The spell is Lasting, otherwise it would be duration as primary. It's like that with every other spell in the book.
                    Unfortunately, not true. Deny the Reaper is not Lasting, and neither is Quicken Ghost, Psychic Domination, Control Gravity, Transform Life, etc, etc. There is no hard or fast rule about which spells have Lasting effects except that if it doesn't seem logical for the state to revert once the spell is over, it is a Lasting effect.


                    • #40
                      Well, as an example, the Quicken Ghost spell has Heal Corpus as a possible potency effect - that is Lasting. Psychic Domination creates commands that are temporary by definition. Control Gravity was errata'd to duration, and Transform Life has the caveeat that you can transfer the effects with +2 Reach to the descendants, if the spell is made indefinite. That is Lasting, otherwise this would have to be a practice of Dynamics. Also, an Unmaking spell has more power than a disciple lever practice.

                      The primary factor is always what Dave defined as the first thing you consider when you think of the spell's effects. With the Deny the Reaper spell, if the spell was not Lasting, I would first think of duration, not potency. When you get the Lasting effect, duration has no meaning, hence the potency as a primary factor. The same with other spells.

                      But thanks to all of the lower level spells you can use to physically (indirectly) modify the biology of an organism with Lasting results, it doesn't matter anyway. This spell is the sledgehammer I mentioned earlier. It's just that in this case, it actually works.
                      Last edited by Prometheus; 08-08-2016, 04:46 PM.


                      • #41
                        I really wish that templating for "is spell lasting, yes no" would be clearer in this edition. It's very debatable.


                        • #42
                          One of the major barriers to immortality in Awakening is going to be gone in Transgression too, since there's no more Supernal and the Spheres are only rough classifications of what a magic can use their magic on or with.


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by WHW View Post
                            I really wish that templating for "is spell lasting, yes no" would be clearer in this edition. It's very debatable.
                            You know, now that I'm thinking about it, it may be for the best. As a storyteller, it allows you to slightly modify the rules to fit your setting and chronicle.


                            • #44
                              Eh, I prefer clarity. I can adjust slightly and home rule anyway; I currently can't hand over the spell list to players and say "just follow the write up + remember these house rules". Instead of having 100 spells where I might homerule 3, I practically need to homerule all 100.
                              *100 is a fake number here, I don't know how many spells do we have.


                              • #45
                                Is there a *good* way to be immortal in CofD? Because whether it's Vampirism, becoming a spirit, being a Sin Eater, Promethean etc all ways of becoming immortal in the setting come with serious drawbacks. Some may not be deal breakers for the right person but mortality is the default and you *have* to give something up to buy power in COFD. There is no free lunch. It's a fundamentally dystopian setting at the cosmic level which is why it's biased against transhumanism. Must transhuman assumptions assume apotheosis without costs that might be objectionable or at least inconvenient to a subset of people.