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Anarion
2012-10-28, 07:49 PM
Having a rule is like having decided in advance what to do. When the occasion for action arises one does not have to reconsider the matter for one's mind is already made up.

-Joseph Raz


The Heart of the Dragon

A Mage: The Awakening Chronicle

IC thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=266018)

Starring
Thanqol as Vulcan (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14131964&postcount=21)
The Druid Droid as Mara (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14143847&postcount=85)
SiuiS as Flouresce (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14144631&postcount=109)


Welcome to Hong Kong. A world center of business. A city with one of the densest populations on the entire planet. 7 million people rub shoulders with each other every day, on trains, on the streets, in the huge skyscrapers that define life in the city. The city is located in the tropics. Air conditioning keeps the skyscrapers cool, but with the mass of people, it’s fighting a losing battle. In summer, walking outside is to be soaking wet immediately because the humidity is so great.

But there’s more to the city than just the heat. The sense of stagnation is everywhere. Every morning, 7 million people get up, they go to work, and they grind away, for hours and hours, until they collapse to sleep so they can do it again. The world center of business! One of the highest per capita incomes in the entire world! A beacon of beauty and architecture! Hah. Look at anyone in the street, and you’ll see the truth: it’s a sweetshop writ large, people pressed together like cattle, building up because it’s the only direction left to build. The use of that per capita income is to feed it back into the system, shopping at high-end labels for overpriced goods. The spirits love it, and only feed the greed and suffering more.

And that’s the way that some people like it. The ultra-rich, the plutocrats. The guys that have the corner offices at the top of the skyscrapers, and the owners of the hotels and casinos over in Macau, where the masses go to waste away the tiny bit of disposable income left to them, to give them the illusion of hope. Because, after all, giving them hope first makes their despair so much sweeter.

It’s funny though. Something has changed recently. A chip in the monumental edifice that the city has become. A stirring that has made the managers in their offices sit up and take notice, at least for a few seconds before most of them just adjusted their ties and went back to crunching numbers. It might have been new construction, or maybe a critical mass in population and imports that did it, but the leylines in the city have shifted. They’re still a tangled mess weaving in between the skyscrapers like they were before, but some of them have reconnected with a broader network, and new resonance began flowing into the city. It didn’t exactly have the flavor of hope, that would be asking too much, but it did have the flavor of release, of change and fresh plans.

This chip in the city’s oppression was all it took. For in a city this size, there are enough mages, paying enough attention to start looking for details. And some of them even had friends they could call. The last two months have seen an influx of mages to the city, primarily coming from mainland China, but a few people had kept their old British connections and some came in from there as well. The cabals went from small, quiet groups in hiding to active forces, with the numbers to make something happen. Some of them started poking around, looking for places with strong resonance. The Adamantine Arrow and the Silver Ladder started making land deals, looking for the intersection points of the leylines. In the case of the arrow they plan to protect and harness them. In the case of the Silver Ladder, they have somewhat grander plans to reshape the whole city. Other mages around the city simply packed in to the spaces meant for smaller cabals and started experimenting, probing the existing order for signs of weakness. Tension was building and it felt like something was going to happen.

Then, just a few days ago, the Free Council pulled the damn fool move of taking out a train on the way to work to get at a Seer. Or at least, most everyone else in the city is claiming that it’s the Free Council and that's why they did it. Nobody has had the chance to ask them directly, as they’ve been underground (possibly literally) since that day. According to the secondhand version that’s making its way around the city, the story goes that a major Seer was boarding the train to head to work. Who it was varies by the teller, but everyone seems to agree that he had a high-ranking position with a Hong Kong bank. He gets in, looks at his watch, and immediately runs back out, like maybe he forgot something. About 10 seconds later, the doors close, and about a minute after that, the whole train and a huge section of track go up in a fireball. This whole event has several consequences. First of all, the Free Council missed, and they know that they just killed a huge group of innocent people for no reason; second of all, everyone knows that an act that blatant must be met with a certain amount of reprisal, and the Seers are still the single greatest power in Hong Kong.

And that’s where we start.

Mood: Stagnation and urban decay
Hong Kong is absolutely packed with people, all crammed into not enough living space and filled with buildings over 50 stories and it’s really wet and hot most of the year. The city isn’t chaotic, it’s oppressive. You can’t walk 3 blocks before it’s an effort of will just to put one foot in front of the other. The “chip” has improved things somewhat, at least to the level of being tolerable, but the essential character of the city has not changed…yet.

Themes: Freedom vs. control, wealth vs. poverty.
These themes are related. Most of the city consists of people just barely managing to scrape by, working for far less than they’re worth and receiving no benefits or anything that does more than feed and clothe them. The direction of the city is controlled by a very small number of movers and shakers. The biggest businessmen, the government leaders, and the casino owners have been the ones calling the shots. After all, lurking in the background is the Chinese government itself, with the whispered threat that even the city’s illusion of freedom can only exist as long as it’s making exorbitant amounts of money.

However, people still live here. They love, they think, they create. And with 7 million of them, at least a few find ways to express themselves and take a road of their own choosing. Finding those narrow ways is the great challenge in the place.

City rules:
Space premium: The city is extremely crowded and people are used to the “one-bump rule” meaning that it’s not rude for someone to slam into you while walking as long as they don’t do it more than once. Real estate, whether purchased via sanctum or resource dots, costs one extra dot than normal.

Easily influenced: The masses here are especially gullible and uncaring. Efforts to convince them of things are extremely easy, especially with creative efforts or performances. Spell effects are less likely to be improbable in general, and efforts by the PCs to cover up improbable effects with any kind of social roll (especially expression) receive a +2 bonus.

Major Organizations
Mammon controls the city's business

Mammon controls most of the city. Their guys aren’t so much the CEO as the CFO in most companies, but they have people everywhere at the top. They are the chief beneficiaries of the status quo and their people are strategically placed to make sure that any company or government agency that tries to shake things up gets quickly bought out or ruined. Any attempt to shake things up in a lasting way has to go through Mammon. They’re also especially numerous in the city, and tend to give their individual members a lot of freedom, so beyond a general agenda, it’s difficult to know what individual Mammon Seers are doing at any given time.

The government is controlled by the Unity

The local government is primarily under the charge of the Unity. The current head of the Unity in the city was sent from the mainland and his agenda is to make Hong Kong “more Chinese.” He’s pretty much universally despised by both the Pentacle and the other Seers. A word of advice: Don’t do anything that requires you to get a government permit. It makes the arcane rituals to build the Silver Ladder look easy.

The Abyss is held pretty well in check

The Scelesti exist, but they’re a tiny underground movement. The big advantage of the Seers running the show is that they have, up to now, kept a tight ship. No paradoxes, nobody does anything stupid that might be hard to control and could cost a lot of money to clean up.

The Pentacle was practically a non-entity until two months ago

Until 2 months ago, the Pentacle was tiny. There were representatives of all the orders, but they tended to keep to themselves, staking out small enclaves around the city and manipulating things quietly, avoiding any direct confrontations while they researched and experimented. Consiliums were divided by city district, one for Kowloon, one for downtown Hong Kong, and one for Macau. It is suspected, without confirmation, that the affirmation of the status quo may be related to the Guardians of the Veil actively supporting the same agenda as Mammon.

In the past two months, the Pentacle has expanded greatly. They've also become sharply divided.

Most of the orders have increased their numbers by about 50% thanks to outside assistance (about 2/3 mainland China, 1/6 British, 1/6 assorted other), and the result has been frequent meetings of the Consiliums trying to agree on some plan of action. To nobody’s surprise, no such agreement has materialized. The larger, more active groups have put a lot of focus and loyalty on individual orders, which have tightened their focus considerably. It’s known that going to the Hong Kong University campus around noon generally presents a way to contact each of the local Consiliums, if necessary. If you want something done, however, getting in cozy with the orders is the way to go.

Significant Influences
Fate:Zero
Skyscraper Graveyard (I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty sure I'm ripping off Thanqol heavily, whether consciously or not)
Magic: The Gathering Return to Ravnica (especially Izzet)
The Dark Knight Rises

Music
Slow Cheetah (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7g11ViJnU0)-Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sewer Metro Underground VIP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bTsSinz2T0&feature=youtu.be)-Flutter Rex
Calling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0569Wt-cZ0)-The World Ends With You
Vinyl's Last Stand (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1czPTOWtdQ)-Mandopony
Angel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbe3CQamF8k)-Masive Attack

Seers
Mahler's Symphony #6, 2nd movement, also known as the "The Tragic" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN5Ir-784KE)-Seer theme.
Audience with the Devil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr4dYNWz03I)-Hilltop Hoods
Handlebars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUX0y4EptA)-Flobots


NPC Cabals
The Boxers (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14154033&postcount=154)
The Musketeers (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14183800&postcount=198)
The Council of Shu-Han (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14251055&postcount=267)
10,000 Corridors (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14287574&postcount=279)
The Soul's Freedom (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14336351&postcount=339)
Truth (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14352054&postcount=340)
Hong Kong University Consilium (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14420428&postcount=386)

Seers of the Throne
Mammon Hong Kong (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14203685&postcount=254)
Macau Seers (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14420269&postcount=385)


Character thoughts

Thanqol is going to be playing a Seer of the Throne, which means he's going to know an insider's perspective of the events outlined above, which are only presented from the most general viewpoint that everybody knows. The orders are also being tight with information, so I depending on everyone else's characters, there's a discussion to be had about how much each of you knows about events in the city and from what perspective that knowledge came.

I think it's also worth considering whether your characters are part of the small number that were in the city for the long term, or part of the new arrivals.

We also need to have a discussion about why you three are working together when this chronicle starts. It's pretty much guaranteed to be unusual.

Game Rules

Characters will be created using the system detailed below. Because you're all starting out with some experience, rather than as new mages, you all have 35 XP in addition to the amounts detailed in the spoilers.

XP-Based Character Generation for World of Darkness

The XP values here are derived from the equivalent value of the highest XP allotment of dots at character generation. Unused XP from each category is saved and may later be spent in conjunction with XP earned during the game to increase the relevant category (or may be totalled and spent freely, at Storyteller discretion). Unlike in standard character creation, the cost of the fifth dot is not increased.


Begin with one dot in each Attribute (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

70 XP for primary Attributes.
(•••• 45 + ••• 25)
55 XP for secondary Attributes.
(•••• 45 + •• 10)
45 XP for tertiary Attributes.
(•••• 45)

Begin with no dots in any Skills:

78 XP for primary Skills.
(•••• 30 + •••• 30 + ••• 18)
48 XP for secondary Skills.
(•••• 30 + ••• 18)
30 XP for tertiary Skills.
(•••• 30)

9 XP for 3 Skill Specialities.
(Flat cost of 3*3)

Begin with one dot in an appropriate Supernatural Ability (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

42 XP for Merits and increasing Supernatural Ability (Wyrd, Psyche, Gnosis, Azoth, Blood Potency or Primal Urge).
(Supernatural Ability ••• 40 + Merit • 2)

Templates and XP

Changeling
3 XP for a Skill Speciality in Athletics, Brawl or Stealth.
(Flat cost of 3)
2 XP for one dot in the Mantle appropriate to the character's Court.
(Mantle • 2)
48 XP on Contracts, at least 8 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Contracts.
(Affinity •• 12 + Non-Affinity ••• 36)

Geist
36 XP on any Manifestations.
(Manifestation ••• 36)
20 XP on two Keys, one of which must correspond to the Keys available to your Threshold.
(Flat cost of 10*2)

Mage
25 XP to increase Favoured Resistance Attribute.
(Attribute •••••)
72 XP divided among three or four Arcana, two of which must be Ruling Arcana, with no single Arcanum higher than three dots.
(Ruling • 6 + Ruling •• 18 + Inferior ••• 48)
12 XP for Rotes, none of which may be higher than their associated Arcanum.
(Flat cost of 2*6)

Promethean
22 XP on Transmutations, at least 5 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Transmutations.
(Affinity Transmutation • 5 + Non-Affinity Transmutation •• 17)

Vampire
25 XP to increase Favoured Attribute.
(Attribute •••••)
30 XP, at least 10 XP of which must be spent on Clan Disciplines.
(Clan Discipline ••• 30)

Werewolf
36 XP divided among Renown, with at least one dot in each of your Primary Renown types.
(Primary Renown ••• 36, such as when Auspice and Tribe share Primary Renown)
51 XP divided among Gifts, with at least one gift from a list associated with Auspice, one gift from a list associated with Tribe, and no gift worth more dots than highest Primary Renown.
(Auspice ••• 15 + Tribe ••• 15 + Other ••• 21)
I'm also going to be trying the modified paradox system we switched over to in Skyscraper Graveyard.

Thanqol, would you be so kind as to repost for us the new paradox rules (I think your Skyscraper Graveyard OP still has the old paradox rules)?

Other stuff

-No buying gnosis with merit XP. You can buy gnosis for its regular xp cost during character creation.
- No fighting styles. They make the game break in unpredictable ways.
- Willpower does not regain through rest. The only way to regain willpower is through indulging your virtue or your vice in a way that harms your interests. WoD is in many ways a game about screwing yourself over.
- Soaking a Paradox with health levels deals Lethal and not Bashing damage.
- Losing wisdom due to degeneration during the course of play grants 5XP, identical to dropping wisdom at character creation. Ideally, there should be no incentive to start out crazy, aside from the natural player incentive to start out crazy. This XP is not shared with the group and will only be for that character.
- Make sure you keep note of what ongoing active spells you have. I'll give you first impressions based on what perception spells you have active, including the area's primary resonance. It's always possible to look deeper as a Mage, though, though this requires a specific roll or a full ritual.
- Feel free to constantly ask questions. Information is power and asking is free.
- Supernatural entities may apply their Defence against bullets while within the bounds of a demesne.

Posting and character rules
• Please try to post at least once per day. Even if your character has nothing to say at the moment, an OOC post saying, “I’m here, I’m reading, keep going” is extremely helpful.
• If you miss a day, we’ll try to slow down so you can catch up, but some events may happen without your character’s input.
• If you can’t be located after 3 days a week (lengthened based on past experience), your character will continue to accompany the party and fade into the background. To the extent the character can meaningfully assist the party, the players can ask for skills from that character and roll the dice for him/her. Control will immediately revert to you upon your return.
• If you know of any long absences in the future, please let us all know. I’ll do my best to make sure the character can conveniently be on vacation and can prepare several plans in advance for how to assist the party in his/her absence.
• There’s no maximum post limit. If I’m not online you can do all the secret planning you want or continue IC conversations on any topic.
• If the group splits up, I’ll do multiple threads. God, what was I thinking?! It will be one thread, possibly with marked spoilers if it's getting unwieldy. I may also do individual player info in split threads.


Expected start date is not until December. There is much still to be done, and I need to finish Book of Spirits at least, as resonance and leylines are playing a key role here.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-28, 08:17 PM
Aww, yes! Time to get Mara written up and thrown out for consideration.

SiuiS
2012-10-28, 08:40 PM
Beautiful. Very generic until I read influences. The last one galvanized.

I have yet to really look into Hong Kong. My last foreign game ended up with me studying maps of Japan and going over cheap but plentiful dissertations on cultural perspective. I think I will forego that level of intimacy this time. I will look into it though, so I can affix my ideas to a concrete conception.

Character generation is actually a breath of fresh air. I've been pondering and feel somewhat constrained by the base set up, unless; will we be starting experienced, or at base 0? Whichever. I have several ideas, two of which can be found here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259500); Guerrera and Flouresce.
Guerrera is ultimately unimaginative, though. Doesn't feel right for this game, but that may change once interpersonal connections begin to surface. She is the one I can think of as having the least reason to be here, save as an envoy from a UK consillium.
Flouresce would be a native, or a near-native. He would be one of the people who doesn't really care so much for the politics. His concept is strong in Spirit, though, and he would be an experiment; Flouresce would play aggressively, with me taking a lot of leeway for granted when using immediate spirit presence. Dictating that a nearby spirit is called, asserting that such a spirit is nearby. Setting up some of the background noise, as it were. Taking a mile when an inch is perceived. It is understandable that this is not something anyone wants to put up with right now.

My third concept is the one who is most alive in my head. An acanthus with a strong Prime bent, whimsical, and high presence. An indiscriminate and irreverent flirt. Somewhere between my own more gregarious nature, Amun and Jack, and Starry. The idea came to a head when I thought through a scene;


"Looks like we're gonna have to get through this with naught but our wits, firm moral structure, and a plot that could crack a walnut!"

"...plot?"

"It's a pony joke. I meant my ass. I mean, have you seen that thing?" *slap* "I mean damn! How could you not? You should check it out if you've missed it. Or well, don't like, check me out, that's kinda creepy but if you happen to have your eye caught through the day like, by accident, I wouldn't blame you."

And that's what has had me giggling for the last week or so. An irreverent charmer.

What do you, O Taoiseacht, think? And cabal-mates? Your opinions matter, too. Just this once. :smallwink:

Anarion
2012-10-28, 08:56 PM
What do you, O Taoiseacht, think? And cabal-mates? Your opinions matter, too. Just this once. :smallwink:

I think you're going to be without an Obrimos. :smallwink:

Of the two detailed ones you listed, Guerrera is most similar to Thanqol's character and will give you guys two Moros. But they might get along well, so there's that. Flouresce would have a good reason to be in Hong Kong. From his perspective, the city is an ultimate fixer-upper, and the kind of life and beliefs he has are pretty much directly at odds with the city's resonance.

The Acanthus is more vague and I'm not sure what you'd be planning to do with him/her.

Thanqol
2012-10-28, 09:02 PM
Hello, I'm Thanqol, and sometimes I'm a jerk.


Anarion, updated Paradox houserule is in Skyscraper Graveyard 2. Also, starting XPs, if any?


So, Vulcan. Vulcan is a bit difficult to describe. A mixture of Rarity and Discord, flavoured by a deep undercurrent of cynicism. Another influence I'm struggling to articulate. Materialist and artist both. Changed a lot in my mind recently, revised sheet and backstory soon coming.

Essentially, for this gig to work, she has to be working for you guys for some reason. I can't take party leadership because otherwise this will be a Seer game. I need ideas for how this happened; maybe she's paying a debt, maybe she's being blackmailed, or held prisoner, or offered something she can't get anywhere else or something. I'm not sure, this depends on your characters.

Anarion
2012-10-28, 09:09 PM
Anarion, updated Paradox houserule is in Skyscraper Graveyard 2. Also, starting XPs, if any?


Hmm. I kinda like the 35 starting xp so you guys actually have some power. But we're also going to attempt the modified character creation rules. So I need to go look up the number you quoted when we discussed that and add 35. I'll go find the paradox rules too.



So, Vulcan. Vulcan is a bit difficult to describe. A mixture of Rarity and Discord, flavoured by a deep undercurrent of cynicism. Another influence I'm struggling to articulate. Materialist and artist both. Changed a lot in my mind recently, revised sheet and backstory soon coming.

Essentially, for this gig to work, she has to be working for you guys for some reason. I can't take party leadership because otherwise this will be a Seer game. I need ideas for how this happened; maybe she's paying a debt, maybe she's being blackmailed, or held prisoner, or offered something she can't get anywhere else or something. I'm not sure, this depends on your characters.

cool.

SiuiS
2012-10-28, 09:56 PM
One of the definin features of the Acanthus is Destiny 4+. Sometimes life doesn't have a plan. Sometimes there is no big change of direction, no galvanizing moment. And sometimes they I unseen because you probably woul have been there anyway.

They are more than the other two, driven. If I've ever seen a media version of this character (who is a rehash and has been with me for twenty years now) it would be the Doctor. No real rhyme or reason on the surface. Magic is happening. Big magic, the high grade Supernal stuff, and so that's where I'll be. It's where destiny pulls me, for good or ill. Have you heard the phrase "leading a charmed life"? That's where I'd be going. Utterly self motivated in the sense thy the characterization can play off itself if need be.

I feel like a hippy trying to explain a high. It is made worse by there being no point, no structure and no actual information in that post. XD

This one, hereafter Taoseaicht/Chief, would have a prime, then fate, then time leaning. 4 dots destiny, striking looks (:smalltongue:) and I was goin to ask about the possibility of the seer merit, Luxury, under a different guise. And depending on how many points required, either imbue an item myself or start with it. Very little expressible narrative, but the one I most want to play. I may save them for. Bigger cabal though.

Flouresce would have a broader focus, a familiar, and a nice chunk of XP towards promoting that familiar - he would be a combat power. Huge spirit bias, detached, businesslike and brusque. The dark side of Areta-who-was-to-be. I have somewhat of a disconnect as I don't do dance all that well, but I can pretend its the same as other, ecstatic activities.

Guerrera is bland. She is an angry feminist religious zealot ("Bland, you say? Is she hot?" "Dude, one narrator at a time!") who I honestly cannot find a reason to not conflate the Orishas and Exarchs for, except the Exarchs are Gildas. When designed she was a purposeful step away from my usual arcana, but so is Chief, and Chief is more engaging.



I'm gonna need to see this Mara, before I can go much further.

Anarion
2012-10-28, 10:00 PM
SiuiS, I have no clue at this point. Other than putting a big negative on the luxury merit. That's a Seer perk. You want it, you join the Seers. Vulcan can totally hook you up.


And now, I found the XP rules, but still not the detailed thing about how we're handling paradox. Are you sure you don't have it, somewhere Thanqol? I'm not just talking about soaking the dice, but also all that stuff about how it builds up during a scene with all the mages.

XP-Based Character Generation for World of Darkness
(Add 35 as you're all starting out with some experience already.)

The XP values here are derived from the equivalent value of the highest XP allotment of dots at character generation. Unused XP from each category is saved and may later be spent in conjunction with XP earned during the game to increase the relevant category (or may be totalled and spent freely, at Storyteller discretion). Unlike in standard character creation, the cost of the fifth dot is not increased.


Begin with one dot in each Attribute (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

70 XP for primary Attributes.
(•••• 45 + ••• 25)
55 XP for secondary Attributes.
(•••• 45 + •• 10)
45 XP for tertiary Attributes.
(•••• 45)

Begin with no dots in any Skills:

78 XP for primary Skills.
(•••• 30 + •••• 30 + ••• 18)
48 XP for secondary Skills.
(•••• 30 + ••• 18)
30 XP for tertiary Skills.
(•••• 30)

9 XP for 3 Skill Specialities.
(Flat cost of 3*3)

Begin with one dot in an appropriate Supernatural Ability (this is in addition to the XP listed below):

42 XP for Merits and increasing Supernatural Ability (Wyrd, Psyche, Gnosis, Azoth, Blood Potency or Primal Urge).
(Supernatural Ability ••• 40 + Merit • 2)

Templates and XP

Changeling
3 XP for a Skill Speciality in Athletics, Brawl or Stealth.
(Flat cost of 3)
2 XP for one dot in the Mantle appropriate to the character's Court.
(Mantle • 2)
48 XP on Contracts, at least 8 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Contracts.
(Affinity •• 12 + Non-Affinity ••• 36)

Geist
36 XP on any Manifestations.
(Manifestation ••• 36)
20 XP on two Keys, one of which must correspond to the Keys available to your Threshold.
(Flat cost of 10*2)

Mage
25 XP to increase Favoured Resistance Attribute.
(Attribute •••••)
72 XP divided among three or four Arcana, two of which must be Ruling Arcana, with no single Arcanum higher than three dots.
(Ruling • 6 + Ruling •• 18 + Inferior ••• 48)
12 XP for Rotes, none of which may be higher than their associated Arcanum.
(Flat cost of 2*6)

Promethean
22 XP on Transmutations, at least 5 XP of which must be spent on Affinity Transmutations.
(Affinity Transmutation • 5 + Non-Affinity Transmutation •• 17)

Vampire
25 XP to increase Favoured Attribute.
(Attribute •••••)
30 XP, at least 10 XP of which must be spent on Clan Disciplines.
(Clan Discipline ••• 30)

Werewolf
36 XP divided among Renown, with at least one dot in each of your Primary Renown types.
(Primary Renown ••• 36, such as when Auspice and Tribe share Primary Renown)
51 XP divided among Gifts, with at least one gift from a list associated with Auspice, one gift from a list associated with Tribe, and no gift worth more dots than highest Primary Renown.
(Auspice ••• 15 + Tribe ••• 15 + Other ••• 21)

the_druid_droid
2012-10-28, 10:01 PM
Ok, so instead of the massive infodump I was considering, I think I'll try and introduce this character idea in stages.

First up, the big influences on the character idea were mostly centered around mining the Path Tarot symbolism for interesting themes, as well as some background reading on Chinese philosophy and the Tao. There's also my desire to mix up some of my usual RPG character conceits.

Spoilered for being more of an info dump than I expected...
The result of all this is Samantha Chu (Shadow name Mara), a Mastigos. She's Chinese-American via her father's side, still fairly young but Awakened for a few years now. Her life before Awakening was something of a mix between rough and idyllic - her family was solidly upper middle class and rising, but her father was away more often than not on business, and her mother was bad with kids, despite good intentions. In short, being home wasn't so much being part of a family for her as it was sharing a house with two other people who happened to be 20-some years older. It didn't help that she was an only child.

On the other hand, there were two people that made her life tolerable. One was her grandmother on her father's side (who had immigrated to join her son in the US) who used to love giving her little gifts and telling her stories from China. The other was her best friend at school, Sara. The girls had bonded early, and both got pushed toward the outside of the social circle during the turmoil of the middle grades which only deepened their connection to each other.

The thing that complicated her youth however was her diagnosis at 14 with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis took a while because her first few rounds of mood swings were dismissed as the growing pains all young girls go through, but it was eventually a school nurse who realized that things might be more serious and referred her to treatment. Her family was initially reluctant, but as her shift between high and low started to interfere more and more with life they finally recognized the need for outside help.

Therapy and medication helped, but Sam continued to struggle with her condition throughout high school (which didn't exactly help her social situation) and even delayed heading to college for a while as she worked to sort her life out, with notably mixed feeling on her parents' part.

However, when Sara left for college herself, things got tougher. Sam had more episodes, sometimes didn't take her medicine. A particularly bad week of fights and recriminations seems to have triggered a nasty manic episode/mixed state that caused her parents to hospitalize Samantha for her own safety. It was there, in the psych ward, that Sam was forced to confront the Hell inside her own mind and the only choices became to see through the Lie or be crushed by it. She chose the latter and Awakened, and finally found something that could help her in a way no Sleeper was able to.

That said, Sam didn't instantly "cure" herself with magic. Instead, she's been analyzing herself, and her own mind magically, using her abilities to help keep things from spiraling out of control like they used to. Eventually, she was picked up by the Arrow and got some proper magical training, and even set her sights on going back to school. Until things got a little out of hand in Hong Kong.

Where that part of the story is going, I'll go into next post, but suffice it to say I'm being pretty evil to Samantha in all this.

Anarion
2012-10-28, 10:16 PM
but suffice it to say I'm being pretty evil to Samantha in all this.

Sounds appropriate for a Mastigos.


In other news, after scouring our Skyscraper Graveyard thread for a while, I've simply grabbed the line in the OP about soaking paradox as lethal, rather than bashing. However, I explicitly recall an idea about changing how we count paradox in a scene as the sum of all vulgar spells cast, rather than per character, and I can't find that one.

SiuiS
2012-10-28, 10:19 PM
Ignoring spoilers for the nonce.

Paradox increases normally per character per scene. I believe every additional vulgar spell increases your paradox pool by 1, sleeper witnesses by 2, etc.
From what I read him discussing on RPG.net, it's per area per scene. If Mage A casts a vulgar spell, that's one die. Mage B casts a vulgar spell, and his pool is 2 dice, because of Mage A's +1. Is that what you meant?

And rather than actual luxury, I was going for being well-off. Taken care of, and able to liquidiize assets, but unlike resources doing so actually drops the merit by a dot. I could achieve the same but better with resources, it was just a thematic. I'd like to have a hand in business ventures and gambling. The life of a whale is such that you get the best suite and free drinks, but you've only got enough liquid cash for half a big Mac.

And now Tia cruelly read things!
Oh phone, y u so Iron Hoof?

Anarion
2012-10-28, 10:23 PM
I'd like to have a hand in business ventures and gambling.

That's, like, explicitly the thing that Mammon is doing in this game that you couldn't possibly be involved with if you aren't a Seer or a mortal servant. Business ventures and gambling is their entire scheme.


Thanks for the info on paradoxes. Maybe that was the whole thing? It sounds close.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-28, 10:29 PM
Post the second, or where DD goes a bit more into the theory of the character. Before jumping back in to more concrete details without rhyme or reason.

[/totallynotanacanthus]

Anyway, the big ideas I'm shooting for as background themes are:

Unity, Duality and Multiplicity and their relation to the Tao. Basically as I was reading, there was this idea of a progression Tao -> One -> Two -> Three -> Ten Thousand -> Tao. Combined with my desire to play a Mastigos, the two arising from one thing is what led me to the idea that Sam might be suffering from bipolar disorder, where she has two separate poles, or facets to her personality. Her mental state also gives a thematic transition into her Awakening. Part of her new life as a Mage is seeking to understand the big facets of herself that were previously split into those "poles" and kind of internally categorizing them.

Control Here the idea is lifted from the Tarot. The Devil's imagery is about control, being a slave or being a master of your desires and yourself. Sam is now trying to gain control through magic and knowledge, and may extend that idea even as far as Goetia or direct Astral shaping. On a more emotional level for her, it's about finally being able to take charge and pull back from the edge of a manic or depressive episode, instead of feeling like a victim with something wrong in her head. Now, with her Awakened understanding, she can say no to unwanted mental states.

SiuiS
2012-10-28, 10:35 PM
That's, like, explicitly the thing that Mammon is doing in this game that you couldn't possibly be involved with if you aren't a Seer or a mortal servant. Business ventures and gambling is their entire scheme.

I did notice that. Despite my inherent desire to img like a jackdaw over my shinies, having everything bought out don under me by a global conspiracy of jerks because I threw around a small amount of weight upon arrival would cement my desire for sticking around.

...

That's going into the potential backstory, nice and tidy.

EDIT: a clash of conceits, Chief would e a foreigner abroad. There has to be a business somewhere in the world that isn't Mammon, was the thought (before I saw Mammon as a thing here even!)



Thanks for the info on paradoxes. Maybe that was the whole thing? It sounds close.

You're welcome. It's surreal, in that I swear Thanqol has never mentioned this anywhere on this forum. There's the point where you suggested pattern scouring, it was pointed out that such was lethal, and took forever to heal, and that is tied closely in my mind with the paradox thing becaus I recall soaking being resistant lethal damage as a house rule from Armory: reloaded. I suppose my inability to properly use my quote powers stems from my three month gangbang all over the concept of a steady sleep schedule. Ask Tiki Snakes? I believe he was directly involved.

Thanqol, do you have any personality traits for Vulcan, other than Seer and Forges Thaumium eventually? I'm getting concepts going but there's an open lack of feed. I need more concepts for which to forge mental wiring so I can complete the circuit.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-28, 10:54 PM
Post the third, wherein DD goes into the details he promised he would in the previous post, but didn't.

After her Awakening, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were there, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor, Satori, under the guise of having a new therapist.

At the same time, her connection to her grandmother remained pretty strong, calling and writing letters at least once a week, in addition to sort of keeping an eye on her with Scrying. Now, a little while ago, her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and he took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

Unfortunately, the Free Council attack happened to be on the train her father and grandmother were riding that day. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great, but the feeling kept nagging her and she finally scryed. That was how she found out that both of them were killed in the attack. The official word came a few days later.

Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's so set on vengeance that she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Free Council, including the Seers. Sort of an "enemy of my enemy" situation.

This is both the reason for her appearance, and why she'd be open to working with Vulcan, although specifics obviously still need hashing out and some things may change.

Anarion
2012-10-28, 11:20 PM
Post the third, wherein DD goes into the details he promised he would in the previous post, but didn't.

After her Awakening, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were there, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor, Satori, under the guise of having a new therapist.

At the same time, her connection to her grandmother remained pretty strong, calling and writing letters at least once a week, in addition to sort of keeping an eye on her with Scrying. Now, a little while ago, her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and he took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

Unfortunately, the Free Council attack happened to be on the train her father and grandmother were riding that day. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great, but the feeling kept nagging her and she finally scryed. That was how she found out that both of them were killed in the attack. The official word came a few days later.

Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's so set on vengeance that she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Free Council, including the Seers. Sort of an "enemy of my enemy" situation.

This is both the reason for her appearance, and why she'd be open to working with Vulcan, although specifics obviously still need hashing out and some things may change.



Alright, cool. Agonizing, but cool. I'll introduce NPC cabals in the coming days, but here's what the Arrow think is going on.
The Arrow think that something in Hong Kong has been activated. It's long been thought that the British took the city for a reason, and that the area was built on an area of natural power. Now, the theorists suspect that the Hong Kong location once played host to one or more mages of great power, and may even have been constructed initially as their laboratory of sorts. The Arrow's intent is to acquire as many critical locations as possible and hold them. They think whatever is going to happen will happen on its own, and their plan is to prevent outside interference from anyone, then take advantage of whatever ritual has been tripped to overthrow the existing order of Seers and help perfect the city by placing it in Pentacle hands. They are, in effect, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

SiuiS
2012-10-28, 11:37 PM
Do you have any idea as to which arcanum Mara would focus on? I know it's a silly question but it gives me a sense of spectrum and scale.

Mara is animated by vengeance. Vulcan by... Wow Thanqol, that is inarticulable. Do us a favor luv? Have your next character easier to understand than an irishman's surname in writing? XD

I will discount Guerrera for now, as the only unique feature she brims to the table is skill with a machete, and I find cabals of all women slightly unrealistic. She's a chance to play low wisdom without idiot ball, though. Hm.

Flouresce doesn't seem motivated though. Not by anything of value externally. I think he might be an apostate, or perhaps free councilor posing as an apostate. The problem with a stoic character is the stoicism. I can't get behind his eyes, not yet. A tandem persona; why would a neon-sign dragon come to this city? Perhaps the relationship of master and familiar is two-way.

Our untitled Acanthus would show up out of the blue like it was the most natural thing, and be peeved you forgot to set a place for them. Mysterium, but less Librarian an more Indiana Jones. Crystal Skull? That wasn't a movie idea, that was my last assignment. Why else do you think it didn't mesh with the trilogy? Has the easiest in for Vulcan - my fate and yours are entertained. You will work for me. Don't bother fighting. Just come along. Oh, and what's your name and what do you do? A Moros? Wonderful! I was afraid I would be lucky to get a sleepwalker.


The answer of course is to make all the characters and see which one looks like fun :3

Anarion
2012-10-28, 11:42 PM
Vulcan is easy to understand. She's a nihilist in the actual sense of that word. As in, she does not believe that life has objectively identifiable meaning. She's a Seer because why not? She gets a nice place and freedom to do what she wants and might as well enjoy yourself because nothing else matters, so let's just go straight to the pleasure centers of the brain.

Put her someplace else, doing something else, and she's not a Seer anymore, unless the other stuff sucks more than being a Seer.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-28, 11:48 PM
Alright, cool. Agonizing, but cool. I'll introduce NPC cabals in the coming days, but here's what the Arrow think is going on.

Mara is, in general, not a very happy pony. On the flipside, her original incarnation was angsty but without much to really be unhappy with. This way, she has motivation. Also a possibly-even chance of becoming a burn-the-world-Sclestus.


Do you have any idea as to which arcanum Mara would focus on? I know it's a silly question but it gives me a sense of spectrum and scale.

Mind. Absolutely. Strictly speaking, my advancement path for her is staying pretty narrow in Mind and Space for several dots. She just doesn't have a lot of interest in some of the other Arcana. One of her features is being slightly solipsistic.

Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.

Thanqol
2012-10-28, 11:52 PM
Mind. Absolutely. Strictly speaking, my advancement path for her is staying pretty narrow in Mind and Space for several dots. She just doesn't have a lot of interest in some of the other Arcana. One of her features is being slightly solipsistic.

Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.

I'm also specci'ng Matter/Mind (Uncrowned King Legacy down the line) and am also taking Telepathy as a Rote. In my mind and personal ruling it absolutely allows reading of surface thoughts; equivalent to opening a phone line to someone's brain and just not saying anything into your end, letting them mutter to themselves.

Sheet soonish, should answer most questions once it's up.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 12:00 AM
CHARACTER SHEET

Sumi Mukuro

AKA Vulcan
AKA The Silver Collared Administrator
Female Seer of the Throne Moros
“Logic is the beginning, not the end, of Wisdom.”
Theme (http://youtu.be/tF0E2RGxA8o): Power Slipping

Tracks:
MANA 7/10
WILLPOWER 3/5
HEALTH 7/7

STATBLOCK



ATTRIBUTES
Intelligence 5
Wits 1
Resolve 1

Strength 3
Dexterity 2
Stamina 2

Presence 2
Manipulation 3
Composure 4

MENTAL
Academics 2
Computer
Crafts 4 (Art +1)
Investigation 4 (Intellectual Rivals +1)
Occult 1
Politics 1
Medicine 1
Science

PHYSICAL
Athletics
Brawl
Drive 2
Firearms
Larceny 2
Stealth
Survival 1
Weaponry 2

SOCIAL
Animal Ken
Empathy 3 (Motives +1)
Expression 1
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 1
Socialize 1
Streetwise
Subterfuge 3


MERITS
Artifact 3
Resources 4
Sleepwalker Retainer 1
Striking Looks 2
Status: Mysterium1
High Speech 1

Secret 2
- Luxury 2
- Seer Status 2



ARCANA
Matter 3
Mind 3
Death 1
Time 1

Crown of Scarcity 1

1) The Fruits of the Earth
Wealth leads to status in the eyes of the Chancellor. A Prelate may use her dots in the Resources merit as though they were dots in Status against any Sleeper or Seer of the Throne. The Luxury Merit has no affect on this power - the wealth it provides is not truly the Seers' own.


GNOSIS 1
MANA 7/10

WISDOM: 7
VIRTUE: Charity
VICE: Envy
FLAW: Lame

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 5/5
Defense 1
Health 7/7
Speed 7

ROTES
Sorceror’s Forge (Alter Integrity) Intelligence+Crafts+Matter 13
Illuminating The Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Intelligence+Academics+Mind 11
Mask of Conformity (Imposter) Intelligence+Subterfuge+Mind 11
Strike True (Perfect Timing) Intelligence+Composure+Time 10

MAMMON ROTE SPECIALITIES
+1 Academics, Crafts, Persuasion

Artifact: Dreambreaker
Mace: Damage 3B Size 4 Durability 6(+2) Structure 10
Pool 8B

Ballistic Shield:
Defense +2
-3 Penalty on firearms attacks.

Bulletproof Clothing 1/2

Defense: 3
Matter Shield: 3
Armour 4/5


Effect: Winds of Chance (Fate 1)
Mana 10/10(+3/day)

XP: 44
UNSPENT XP: 9
ARCANE XP: 4
UNSPENT ARCANE: 4
SOCIAL XP: 3
UNSPENT SOCIAL: 3

DESCRIPTION


Links (http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/7844/vulcan50pright.jpg)


Tall. Elegant. Smart. Vulcan wears a black vest over a white long-sleeved shirt, blue tie, and a generic-looking ID badge with her face on it. Her hair is long, sleek and black, and she wears black-framed rectangular glasses. Around her neck is a silver collar, a family heirloom from the era of Shogunate Japan. Vulcan's right leg is crippled and she makes heavy use of an arcane staff as a walking stick.

The staff, Dreambreaker is a long, dark construction of lead, cold iron, and Atlantean glyphs in silver. Near the top of the staff, it seems to turn into a dark wood, twisting around a large emerald. It is said to be made by a Moros who's only daughter was taken by the Fae, and in his vengeance he forged a weapon of cold iron that he might assault Arcadia and take her back. When he struck the heart of her Keeper with the staff, some of the Fae's essence infused and warped the staff and infused it with some strange power over chance - perhaps the Fae itself is even still alive within the staff, in a way, and enjoys using the last fragments of it's power when called upon. It especially likes cursing people and is very creative with it's very limited power.

To speak to, Vulcan is relentlessly cynical, bleakly sarcastic and darkly nihilistic. She lacks any sort of optimism, spiritualism, or higher ethics, being a total materialist who thinks of everything in terms of transactions. A curious facet of this is that she's aware of the concrete damage that murder can deal to a human soul and deliberately avoids unethical acts because they're simply 'not worth' the spiritual damage. Her materialism also prevents her from being paralysed with indecision or despair - things have value, even if there aren't any 'higher values'. She's a Seer because she personally achieves the best possible results by being a Seer.

Every so often, Vulcan gets inspired - and her inspiration is a dark and menacing thing. It's a dark and ineffable humour, a sense of power and control that rises from deep in her soul, a plan executed to devastating effectiveness, authority and confrontation. This inspiration is perhaps the one part of her that is utterly at odds with the Throne for it seeks power far above it's station.

She also has curiously democratic sympathies with regards to art, having no patience for the Throne's practise of keeping the best pieces of artwork to themselves. Art and value exists to be appreciated, and it doesn't have value unless it creates an effect. Vulcan is inclined to share art and wealth because keeping it hoarded makes it worth it. What's worth more - a private masterpiece or the Mona Lisa?



MAGICAL TOOLS

Cup: Water/Life/Feminine: Black Credit Card
Mirror: Reflections/Senses: Gas Mask
Pentacles and Coins: The World/Cycles of Power: Noir Films
Wands and Staves: Masculine, Directed Power: Walking Staff
Sword: Command and Control: Selling Out

PERCEPTIONS:

Mind: Inner Monologue
People talk to themselves, narrating their surroundings, saying things internally they'd never whisper out loud.

Matter: Blueprints
Items have patterns, even potential items have patterns. Vulcan sees these patterns as blueprints, laid out as if in the labs of an early modern factory-lab; blue paper with white writing.

Death: Warfare
Death is bloody, industrial conflict. Gunshot wounds and mortar shells, barbed wire and artillery. All Death is filtered through the lens of the battles of WWII.

Time: Coloured Dust
Under Time Sight, the world is made of sand sculptures of beautiful, multicoloured sand. Stirring it up sends drifting clouds of multicoloured dust into the air. The colour of the sand is laden with meaning, as is it's relative stability. The more temporal stability something has the more solid it becomes, like clay or even rock.

NIMBUS
Greyscale: When Vulcan works magic, colour drains from the world around her. Covert magic takes the edge off the world. Vulgar magic is akin to covering the local area in a black-and-white film filter, complete with crackling edges and flickering frames.




HISTORY

TWO GENIUSES

“Sumi Mukuro is very clever, but she does not apply herself” – this was the refrain of report cards that followed Vulcan all the way through her educational career. ‘Very clever’ was an understatement, though – Vulcan was a bona fide genius. She sailed through all of her courses without applying herself at all, instead relying on her natural genius – and getting better marks than all of her less-gifted fellow students. With academics so easy to her she devoted the majority of her actual effort and time into art, design and physical construction.

Mukuro’s father was a career politician and rather distant from his family; a man to be respected rather than loved. Her mother had never been able to keep up with two genius children, and did her best to discipline them even though they could run rings around her.

It was believed by some of her teachers that her slothful attitude came from her twin brother, who was a genuine layabout. But while Sumi Makoto was actually lazy, Mukuro was arrogant and considered study beneath her abilities. Makoto and Mukuro were equally intelligent and always very close. Makoto found language very interesting, and started to develop as an author, and Mukuro was a specialist in the visual arts. With these factors in place it was only natural that they decide to work together on a manga – and when they released it, it was a huge hit. Skydam North was a tragic story about a man who overthrew a democratic government and established a fascist dictatorship so he could mobilise an invasion of the Spirit world to rescue his kidnapped lover. The profits from the manga meant the duo would never have to work, so they instead decided to travel the world to look for more inspiration.

Europe was their first destination, and Germany in particular had inspired Skydam North, so a visit there was a priority. One night, after fighting off a strange fever, Mukuro went for a walk in the fields to clear her head. She ignored the warning signs, having never accepted limitations on herself before, and jumped the fence. She then stepped on a land mine.

AWAKENING

She was greeted in the underworld by the very apologetic German battlefield engineer named Egon who had laid that land mine back in the second world war. He patched her up – not that her ghostly form was bleeding very much, despite the loss of both legs – and decided it’d go a bit of the way towards making up for the whole thing if he showed her around. Egon carried Mukuro on his back on a tour of the trenches, explaining to her how the allies had pushed them back to this spot and that they were losing the war. Their division had been ordered to take Hill 468, a fortified artillery position. Egon was dimly aware that he was a ghost and that the first charge had failed, but the men here were bound to keep charging up that hill until they finally seized it. Their duty demanded no less.

Mukuro was horrified to see hundreds of men trapped in this eternal, hellish cycle by their ‘duty’. She was horrified at the falling shells, the maiming and screaming, the bayonets and gunfire, the stink and gangrene, the starvation and mud. Their ‘duty’ had lead them to sacrifice everything they possessed, and then sacrifice themselves. There was no artistry here, no creation – just two enormous machines grinding against each other, crushing gears lubricated with the blood of millions.

But when the next charge came, she demanded to go with them. A revelation had come to her – it wasn’t just the ideal that these people were dying over, they were also dying over that very real, very concrete spit of land. That muddy patch of dirt represented their duty. It had no worth, but their priorities had been so skewed by lies that they valued it more than themselves. She had to give it to them.

So a helmet was placed on her head and a pistol in her hands, and as the charge began she crawled behind the men, dragging herself by her hands. As the shells fall and men died all around her she crawled onwards. Over barbed wire and into the enemy trenches she crawled onwards. She shot a man with her pistol and kept crawling, soaked in mud and blood. She crawled all the way to the summit of the hill with only her hands, finally arriving below the flag pole. She scrawled her name onto it in blood and hoisted it high, one wretched tug at a time. Over that muddy, desolate battlefield, the flag flew, and for a moment there was quiet.

THE THRONE

Mukuro came to in hospital, alongside her brother. She’d lost both her legs. Makoto was distraught, but Mukuro was quietly fascinated by the strange new layer of vision that was overlying everything she saw. For the next few months from her hospital bed she practised her new magic, warping, bending, breaking and repairing the few objects she had access to. She gradually found some mobility in a wheelchair, but not nearly as much as she remembered.

Then a gentleman in a very nice suit walked in and told her that he represented the secret society of wizards that ran the world, he would very much like her to join his secret society, and he was prepared to offer her healing for her ruined legs. He didn't fix them entirely - the damage was too severe - but she could walk again, and for that, she was grateful.

At every stage since, service to the Throne has just made sense. There wasn’t anything wrong with serving a higher power, because all service was transactional. She just had to remain aware that she should never die over a spit of land, so to speak – anything she did had to benefit her more than it harmed her, otherwise she’d just be a pawn in someone else’s game. As long as she understood her own value she couldn’t be enslaved.

Her natural genius quickly rose her to the position of Administrator within Mammon’s hierarchy, where she oversaw the flow of arcane lore and immersed herself deeply within it. Knowledge became an utmost priority to her – the more knowledge she had the less she could be manipulated, and she was quickly becoming aware of just how many ways there were to be manipulated. In the great game of Awakening she was determined to better herself every step of the way – if that meant the Throne, then it meant the Throne. If it meant betraying the Throne that was fine too.

WAKING DREAMS

Mukuro continued to live with her brother in a shared apartment in a rich district of Hong Kong, where they collaborated on future manga projects. She kept her day job as a Seer separate, and relaxed by working on repairing junked cars in a small private garage she ran by herself. She still respected her brother and his intelligence as one of the few equals to hers, but increasingly wrote him off as being unable to understand what really mattered in the world.

But then, one day as she worked in her garage, reconfiguring and combining mechanical items for practise, someone asked her how she’d done that. She turned around in shock – if a Sleeper had been observing her cast magic she’d been risking a serious paradox. But in the eyes of the dirty street kid she saw no hint, not even a whisper of the Abyss. She wasn’t a Mage, but she sure as hell wasn’t a Sleeper.

That completely threw Mukuro’s philosophical position regarding Sleepers. She’d been told that the Abyss was a product of their own flawed souls and no magic could heal someone’s soul from it’s self-inflicted wounds. But here was an ordinary human untouched by the Abyss at all! The existence of Sleepwalkers lead to a whole deluge of complex thoughts – what if magic didn’t have to be secret? What if people could be made into Sleepwalkers? What if she didn’t have to rely on a select few Mages as conversation partners? She didn’t at any point buy into the idea of giving everyone magic – that was absurd, akin to giving everyone assault rifles – but everyone being able to appreciate magic? In particular she wanted to be able to inspire her brother to become a Sleepwalker so she could have meaningful conversations with him again.

She took on the street kid, a fifteen year old girl named Xi Maji, as a full time employee and apprentice in her garage. She started teaching her how her magic worked and how it worked along with ordinary craftsmanship. Maji was happy for the work, to get out of her orphanage and to be apprenticed to a ‘real life wizard’ and the two quickly formed a close bond.


GEAR



Bulletproof Clothing: Cost 3 (Armoury Reloaded p142)
Rating 1/2 Strength 0 Defence 0

Vulcan's suit is actually a very fine kevlar weave, capable of blunting the impact of direct bullet fire. If she pops her collar she can draw a concealed hood over her face to disguise her identity and protect her head.

Automotive Tools: Cost 4 (WoD 140)

Vulcan's machine shop has some quite complex and elaborate manufacturing tools that wouldn't be out of place in a much larger garage. She regards them as hobby tools and enjoys programming and upgrading them, even more than she likes building things with them.

Pepper Spray: Cost 0 (WoD 140)

A Matter Mage can turn pepper spray into a lot of devastating things. She keeps three cans - one in a concealed cavity in her leg, one in her briefcase, one on her belt designed to look like a lighter.

First Aid Kit: Cost 2 (WoD 140)

Vulcan keeps a compact first aid kit in her briefcase, with a slightly wider range of restricted drugs than is standard issue.

Miranetam: Cost 2 (Armoury Reloaded p143)

A performance and memory enhancing drug, Miranetam is mostly harmless and not physiologically addictive, though it is a controlled substance. One tablet gives +1 to all mental skills and +3 to perception for four hours. However, if more than four tablets are taken in one 24 hour period, or they're used habitually throughout the week, the user develops the Paranoia Flaw until the drug flushes from their system (12 hours). Vulcan tends to take a tablet whenever she encounters a problem that she finds genuinely interesting.

Biohazard Suit: Cost 4 (Armoury p170)

A full hazmat suit with gas mask, Vulcan's training taught her that no one - NO ONE - screws around with someone wearing radiation gear. It's for dire emergencies only, of course, or for when dealing with unknown magical crap in her lab. She keeps a few cheaper NBC suits in case she needs to protect anyone else. These are all locked up in a very secure cabinet - she could answer questions about why she has biohazard suits in her house to the local police but she'd really rather not.

She also has a few private security company uniforms just in case she needs them, as well as a lot of outfits and getups for a variety of disguises and functions.

Security System, Intermediate: Cost 3 (Armoury p181)

The silent alarm that covers her house and to her garage doesn't go out to the police - it goes out to a private security company operated by the Seers of the Throne who are both far quicker to respond, far more brutal, and far less likely to have to answer questions about their behaviour than the police.

Vulcan is also a computer expert and aware of the existence of Forces magic, so she worked in conjunction with a rookie Seer Obrimos to develop a subroutine to surprise anyone who thinks they can use Transmission to breach the place. When one alarm is turned off then five more alarms power up and go out simultaneously and in different directions. A clever and powerful Obrimos could still catch all the signals but it wouldn't be nearly as trivial as a normal alarm.

Off Road SUV: Cost 3 (Armoury p138)
Durability: 6
Size: 15
Structure: 21
Acceleration: 13(19mph/turn)
Safe: 106 (72mph)
Max: 163 (96mph)
Handling: 0
Occupants: 1+4

Police Package (Armoury p153)
Acceleration Upgrade (Armoury p153)
Security Package (Armoury p153)
- Flat-run tires
- Durability 4/Structure 7 windows
- Durability 6 Structure 9 doors
- Durability 8 Structure 10 gas tank

Yes, Vulcan is one of those people who drives an off-road SUV on the streets of Hong Kong. The good news is that she rarely uses it, preferring to walk or use public transport. What she uses a car for isn't transport - it's as a mobile siege platform. She's modified the car so that it's one spell away from being able to crush through traffic like a monster truck. It's also stocked with various supplies and backups, magical and mundane, for when she has to make field trips - or on the off chance she ever needs to break from the city and run for the hills.

The car's spirit is more like a tank than a passenger vehicle, having originally been a brutal SWAT armoured van. A persistent rumour amongst the Throne is that she used it to run over a full grown werewolf. Silver inlaid bullbar.

OPINIONS

The Boxers

"Their philosophy was obsolete the last time they all got massacred."

Vulcan is not at all impressed by spiritualism. The most powerful force in the world is human desire. Through the lens of capitalism, watch as desire obliterates rainforests, bulldozes shrines, paves over relics, destroys traditions. Denying your own desire rids yourself of your most powerful force, your most human element, and turns you into some kind of monster or machine. To a degree, she thinks that espousing any philosophy different from self-interested nihilistic materialism is contributing directly to the greater suffering of humanity.

She would rather not deal with them at all. Not only do they not understand, they have deliberately removed themselves so far from understanding that they have become unpredictable. It would be wrong to say that she's afraid of them - more irritated that they don't set themselves up to be easily controlled.

The Musketeers

"Did you know there was a movie called Barbie and the Three Musketeers? It made the Throne ten million dollars. If you keep it up we might be able to get a sequel."

Small minded dolts, ignorant of real power, and amongst the most foolish of the Pentacle - but thing is, Vulcan respects that. They're stupid in a way she understands, and are smart in a way she appreciates. They're clearly playing at being heroes, and they should - if they're Awakened it's their own right to do whatever they want with magic. And if what they choose to do is swing around in masks and capes, kill innocent civilians and turn the Pentacle against itself then they couldn't help the Throne more than if they were card carrying Seers.

They're children playing at heroics, and that's okay. They exist entirely within the acceptable rebel category; they don't even challenge the systems that are designed to control people like them. If the entire Pentacle was as foolish then Vulcan would feel a lot safer.

The Composer

"Why did we promote a Banisher to be our head dude, again?"

Vulcan has been consistently and vocally of the position that the Composer is a Banisher who has somehow been allowed to infiltrate the Throne and the Ministry's best interests are not being served by his unambitious goals. Destruction of all unauthorised knowledge and concentration of power in the hands of the Throne is idiotic because it means that anyone who wants wealth will have to attack the Throne directly. Concentration of wealth just goes to make you a tempting target, and if you poison every watering hole in a desert then every thirsty tribesman is going to line up to take a shot at you.

The Composer, in Vulcan's opinion, doesn't understand the teachings of his own Ministry, politics or the philosophy of Scarcity. She's tossed around the idea of making a move against him, but ultimately decided she doesn't have the power or need the hassle to hold a title like Librarian - yet.

Meng

"He's smart enough to realise everyone is stupid, but too dumb to keep that information to himself."

Vulcan quite likes Meng. They do excellent work together and they have precisely the same sarcastic attitude. She sees a kind of irreverent faithlessness in him which she appreciates and would quite like to work with him in the future.

The Council of Shu-Han

"Surely a true scholar earns exaltation by his deeds and knowledge, not by the mere pursuit of them? Success must be a precondition for reverence, otherwise we must honour frauds and failures for their flawed attempts - oh, it's midnight? Same time again next week?"

Vulcan is very concerned about the Council. On one hand, they're some of the few people in this city who have priorities that aren't completely delusional or outright dull. On the other hand, she can't see a meaningful distinction between them and the Throne. Two hierarchical, authoritarian cults gathering magical knowledge - one just happens to be better funded and with more room for advancement than the other. While Vulcan would be very drawn to the Mysterium as an Order if their philosophies were laid out before her, the Council constantly entangles the Order's positions with their own individual priorities to create something that Vulcan regards as vaguely sad and delusional.

However, Vulcan has ties of guanxi to the Council and regularly attends the Mysterium's meetings and discussions. They're her social circle, and even though she thinks they're wrong they're the people she talks to. A network of favours, shared knowledge, and common ideals has built a certain level of respect between them. Vulcan's even quietly tipped the Council off once or twice when the Composer was planning to destroy certain valuable arcane lore.

10,000 Corridors

"Even they don't know why they're here."

Empty wastes of time, upholding irrelevant ideals that paralyse them with indecision. Vulcan considers them gutless slaves to their own senseless set of values and worshippers of an abhorrent philosophy. The contradiction of their existence is that merely by being here they lower the tone of the debate, which undermines their goal of producing a harmonious Awakened society.

The Soul's Freedom

"On the upside, they realised that their plan was stupid. On the downside, that means they were smart enough to realise their plan was stupid and now I don't know what they're doing."

Vulcan respects that the Soul's Freedom had it in them to realise that they were wrong. That's a rare talent, and it takes guts. Most people she knows would have stayed just where they are, squatting in power and making up hypocritical bullcrap to justify it.

She's really worried about what they're up to now. They strike her as a group of people with a plan important enough to rigorously conceal. Vulcan suspects research into Left-Handed topics purely on a hunch.

Truth

"The Praetorian Ministry would like to send you this cease-and-desist order to stop violating their copyright."

On one hand, Vulcan respects the purity of their thought. "Destroy the followers of the Lie". Simple and to the point.

On the other hand, "The Lie" is not a faction and the reality is that they're a group of psychopaths who are out to kill people who they don't like.

Macau Seers

"They're huge hypocrites and they're not ashamed of it. I like them."

The advantage of being a materialist, in Vulcan's opinion, is that it gives you freedom - the freedom to be a pure shrine maiden and a bloody casino don, or a young girl and an old hag - so long as that's what you want to do. Since you don't believe in the ideology of anything behind what you do then there's no restrictions on what you can do!

Vulcan considers the Macau Seers her closest philosophical peers, even more so than the confused and deluded members of Mammon who make up most of the Ministry's mainland presence. These are her kind of people.

The Consilium

"Wow. It takes a certain kind of person to attain total cosmic power and decide to use that power to act as a civil servant."

Vulcan is surprised at how unambitious the Pentacle's government is. It explains a lot, and there was a certain amount of gene pool culling down the past half century, but these guys seem totally okay with the status quo - begging the question of why aren't they Seers? She guesses that it's okay for the world to have a bunch of rather dull folk in positions of power making sure that the trains all run on time, and certainly prefers this setup to more interesting systems of Pentacle management. She privately considers them "Reverse Sleepwalkers" - people who Awakened as Mages but still think like Sleepers.


Vulcan loves Guan Yin. She gets it. Her double identity is an incredibly powerful key to personal freedom. In hypocrisy, in old-young, ugly-beautiful, spiritual-material, she can claim the best of every world and discard every rule and restriction that does not apply to her. She is the maiden and the crone, desire and terror. Vulcan has a deep respect for her.

Vulcan hates Shau Yan. She has randomly determined this girl to be the ur-example of idiocy amongst the Awakened and a clear Reverse Sleepwalker. After all, she, as a Mage Awakened to the Supernal Reality of the Cosmos and given supreme power over it's base clay refuses to read any book which is not approved by a group of Sleepers?

Good luck with that, lady. I'm sure that the Chinese Communist Party Censorship Board will light you up a goddamn road-map to the Supernal Realms if you just believe in them hard enough.

Vulcan owes Meng. Meng made the non-sarcastic statement that he was a servant of the region's Teratarch, Wei Miao She. Little did he know that this little fact quite possibly saved Vulcan's life, because she was in the midst of planning to rob Wei Miao She at the time. The scheme was dropped like an ugly baby the moment she realized the unassuming lawyer was probably the most powerful person in the city.

Vulcan doesn't really hold with matters of honour like rewarding people for unintentional information-giving like that. Still, she feels really, really shaken at how close she was to blundering into the crosshairs of someone she has really good reason to be terrified of and wants to rationalize that away by paying Meng back somehow.

Liu Bei owes Vulcan. The Composer's purges of illicit information run deeply counter to Vulcan's sense of aesthetics, so she's slipped them valuable information on his plans and movements in the past. She's avoided giving them anything that would let them attack him directly - too risky - but some very valuable knowledge has been preserved from Vulcan's cryptic hints.


The Composer has something Vulcan wants - his position. Vulcan is of the theory that his mind has slipped and he's become a Banisher, or - worse - he's just an awful strategic thinker. When the election is rigged in your favour you don't campaign on the anti-corruption ticket!

Vulcan would quite like to be in charge. She lacks anything resembling the infrastructure to pull that off yet, but that's what she's aiming for.

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 12:03 AM
Actual nihilists are depressing. There is very little teneble platform from
Which to negotiate with them. I hope that proves untrue, here.


One of your features is being slightly solipsistic.

Fixed her for you


Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

Good question.


Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.

As a general principle, if Arcana 1 pets you singe people with heat, you could tone it down and generate warmth. The arcanum descriptors show the upper hard cap; there is some fuzziness were you can go above, but that is max capacity. You never have to operate at Max capacity.

...


...


...


Idea. Unrelated. Magical traditions allows for leeway as to what is and is not covert, and disbelief and such. Could magical traditions (Santeria) be used to get around disbelief affecting zombies?

Anarion
2012-10-29, 12:04 AM
Mara is, in general, not a very happy pony.

Well, now I want to hug her.



Also, Anarion - some mechanics questions:

First, are we playing by the variant where we can total up unused character gen XP and spend the lump sum anywhere, or is it reserved to increase only the originally intended set of stats?

Second, please have a look at Telepathy (Mind 3) in the core. To your reading, would that be the spell to go to for actually reading people's thoughts, in addition to communicating with them? Additionally, provided Mara didn't "speak" mentally, would Disbelief not be an issue with targeting sleepers? I ask because the wording seems to suggest a variety of possible interpretations and I'm considering taking it as a rote.

For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.

With telepathy, I read it liberally. So, I think that for sure you can read surface thoughts, it says as much in the spell (and with mind 4 you can go deeper). Disbelief is caused by "contacting" a sleeper, which to me means you have to open communication on your end. If you use the spell and stay totally silent and just listen to their thoughts, I don't think it triggers disbelief.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 12:12 AM
For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.

My preference is actually having to keep it within it's category, especially when we have some starting XP we can spend to round out any lacks.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 12:14 AM
For the XP, do you have a preference? My reading is that you have to spend that XP within its category and leftovers are simply spent part of the way towards another dot. But if you guys think it wouldn't be heinously overpowering to pool the leftover XP, we can try it that way. If somepony manages to pull out a gnosis 5 character at character gen though, you don't get to pool the XP.

Yeah, I think the first option is probably the better. Depending on loadout, a pool could give you a lot of extra XP to roll around in, and we're adding 35 general on top. I'm fine with leaving it as partway to another dot.


With telepathy, I read it liberally. So, I think that for sure you can read surface thoughts, it says as much in the spell (and with mind 4 you can go deeper). Disbelief is caused by "contacting" a sleeper, which to me means you have to open communication on your end. If you use the spell and stay totally silent and just listen to their thoughts, I don't think it triggers disbelief.

Ok, I wanted to be sure there, but that's pretty much how I read it too. Good we're all on the same page.

My character sheet should be up soonish, as soon as I can figure out a couple details (read: it may technically be tomorrow because it's late here and I'm fiddling).

Anarion
2012-10-29, 12:22 AM
CHARACTER SHEET

Sumi Mukuro

AKA Vulcan
AKA The Silver Collared Overseer
Female Seer of the Throne Moros
“Logic is the beginning, not the end, of Wisdom.”
Theme (http://youtu.be/tF0E2RGxA8o): Power Slipping

Tracks:
MANA 7/10
WILLPOWER 5/5
HEALTH 7/7

STATBLOCK



ATTRIBUTES
Intelligence 5
Wits 1
Resolve 1

Strength 3
Dexterity 2
Stamina 2

Presence 2
Manipulation 3
Composure 4

MENTAL
Academics 2
Computer 4
Crafts 4 (Art +1)
Investigation
Occult
Politics 2 (Wolves from Sheep +1)
Medicine
Science

PHYSICAL
Athletics 1
Brawl 2
Drive 2
Firearms
Larceny 1
Stealth 1
Survival 1
Weaponry

SOCIAL
Animal Ken
Empathy 3 (Motives +1)
Expression
Intimidation 2
Persuasion
Socialize 1
Streetwise
Subterfuge 3


MERITS
Enhanced Item 3
Resources 3
Sleepwalker Retainer 1
Sanctum 1
Library 2
Striking Looks 2

Secret 2
- Luxury 2
- Seer Status 2



ARCANA
Matter 3
Mind 3
Death 1


GNOSIS 1
MANA 7/10

WISDOM: 7
VIRTUE: Charity
VICE: Envy
FLAW: Disabled

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 5/5
Defense 1
Health 7/7
Speed 10

ROTES
Sorceror’s Forge (Alter Integrity) Intelligence+Crafts+Matter 14
Sword of the Slayer (Alter Accuracy) Composure+Crafts+Matter 13
Know The Wolf By His Stance (Aura Perception) Wits+Empathy+Mind 7
Illuminating The Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Intelligence+Computer+Mind 14
Mask of Conformity (Imposter) Intelligence+Subterfuge+Mind 11
Psychic Communion (Telepathy) Wits+Empathy+Mind 7

Enhanced Item: Prosthetic Legs
Damage 4B(+1) Size 2 Durability 8(+2) Structure 5
Pool 9B

XP: 35
UNSPENT XP: 0
ARCANE XP:
UNSPENT ARCANE:

DESCRIPTION


Tall. Elegant. Smart. Vulcan wears a black vest over a white long-sleeved shirt, blue tie, and a generic-looking ID badge with her face on it. Her hair is long, sleek and black, and she wears black-framed rectangular glasses. Around her neck is a high-tech silver collar that integrates with her spine, and two long black cables curve out from it to connect to her mechanical prosthetic legs. Despite the seeming vulnerability of the exposed wires they are harder than reinforced steel. The legs themselves are smooth, white, extremely high tech masterpieces, the kind of advance money can't buy. Under her pants and high stockings they're invisible, unless you're looking with Mage Sight or listening for the faint mechanical whirring that accompanies each step.

To speak to, Vulcan is relentlessly cynical, bleakly sarcastic and darkly nihilistic. She lacks any sort of optimism, spiritualism, or higher ethics, being a total materialist who thinks of everything in terms of transactions. A curious facet of this is that she's aware of the concrete damage that murder can deal to a human soul and deliberately avoids unethical acts because they're simply 'not worth' the spiritual damage. Her materialism also prevents her from being paralysed with indecision or despair - things have value, even if there aren't any 'higher values'. She's a Seer because she personally achieves the best possible results by being a Seer.

Every so often, Vulcan gets inspired - and her inspiration is a dark and menacing thing. It's a dark and ineffable humour, a sense of power and control that rises from deep in her soul, a plan executed to devastating effectiveness, authority and confrontation. This inspiration is perhaps the one part of her that is utterly at odds with the Throne for it seeks power far above it's station.

She also has curiously democratic sympathies with regards to art, having no patience for the Throne's practise of keeping the best pieces of artwork to themselves. Art and value exists to be appreciated, and it doesn't have value unless it creates an effect. Vulcan is inclined to share art and wealth because keeping it hoarded makes it worth it. What's worth more - a private masterpiece or the Mona Lisa?



Magical Tools:
Cup: Water/Life/Feminine: Black Credit Card
Mirrors: Reflections/Senses: Network Collar
Pentacles and Coins: The World/Cycles of Power: Power Phrase “Equal Exchange”
Wands and Staves: Masculine, Directed Power: Prosthetic Legs
The Sword, Command and Control: Selling Out

Perceptions:
Mind: Inner Monologue
People talk to themselves, narrating their surroundings,

Matter: Wireframes
Items have patterns, even potential items have patterns. It's just a matter of constructing the outline mentally and filling it in.

Death: Warfare
Death is bloody, industrial conflict. Gunshot wounds and mortar shells, barbed wire and artillery. All Death is filtered through the lens of the battles of WWII.

NIMBUS
Ultramodern. When Vulcan wields magic, everything seems to be made a little bit further in the future, of a style that reflects the current fashion trends. Right now things tend to be chromed, white, with big icons and tailored graphics - right on the bleeding edge.
Vulgar magic causes objects to outright reconfigure into higher tech versions of themselves, with floating holograms and wireframe diagrams.




HISTORY

TBA

Thanqol, how are you calculating some of those rotes? I only get 12 on sorcerer's forge: 5 int+4 crafts+3 matter=12. Is the 14 you listed including a cast with high speech?



Idea. Unrelated. Magical traditions allows for leeway as to what is and is not covert, and disbelief and such. Could magical traditions (Santeria) be used to get around disbelief affecting zombies?

Um, not really. People will think you're doing Santeria as opposed to Mage magic, but they'll still think it's magic. If you could dress up a zombie to seem like a drugged out regular human, then you could get it past disbelief.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 12:26 AM
Thanqol, how are you calculating some of those rotes? I only get 12 on sorcerer's forge: 5 int+4 crafts+3 matter=12. Is the 14 you listed including a cast with high speech?

Whoops, an artifact from when I set Crafts at 5. It does include a +1 from the Mammon Rote Specialities (Crafts, Computer, Persuasion - fitting with their role as Evil Free Council)

Anarion
2012-10-29, 12:30 AM
Whoops, an artifact from when I set Crafts at 5. It does include a +1 from the Mammon Rote Specialities (Crafts, Computer, Persuasion - fitting with their role as Evil Free Council)

Illuminating the inner temple should be 13 as well, since you also have computers at 4. Looks good otherwise. I look forward to matter sight, describing a wire-frame over everything is going to be an interesting task.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 12:34 AM
One more clarification - the OP says that sites removed from the masses carry a 1 dot penalty. Does this apply to any Sanctum/Hallow, or just to ones that are supposed to be less in the thick of the city?

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 12:35 AM
Um, not really. People will think you're doing Santeria as opposed to Mage magic, but they'll still think it's magic. If you could dress up a zombie to seem like a drugged out regular human, then you could get it past disbelief.

Yeah, just got my laptop back online. It's only no +2 for witnessing vulgar magic on paradox rolls. Poo.

And a familiar is capped at being a lesser jaggling/rank 1 spirit. Double poo!


Man. Everyone else is making character sheets and here I am sitting around with an open notebook like a sucker. Ah well. Closing time. Cath y'all in about an hour, hour and a half.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 12:58 AM
One more clarification - the OP says that sites removed from the masses carry a 1 dot penalty. Does this apply to any Sanctum/Hallow, or just to ones that are supposed to be less in the thick of the city?

It's intentionally discretionary. A penthouse apartment in a highrise might cost extra, even if it's in the heart of downtown. On the other hand, a house that you're sharing with three families won't cost extra, even if it's on the outskirts of the city proper. It's about whether you have privacy and quiet or not.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 01:01 AM
Character sheet is mostly there, but I'm stumped on my last specialty. I'm torn between Empathy, Persuasion, Socialize and Subterfuge but I'm not sure what a specialty for any of those might be. I can't seem to put words to a specific thing in those categories that would qualify. Any thoughts?

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 01:01 AM
It's intentionally discretionary. A penthouse apartment in a highrise might cost extra, even if it's in the heart of downtown. On the other hand, a house that you're sharing with three families won't cost extra, even if it's on the outskirts of the city proper. It's about whether you have privacy and quiet or not.

What value, then, is having a Sanctum that doesn't give you privacy? The entire point of taking the Sanctum merit in the first place is so that you have a room where you can perform magic without Sleepers randomly blundering in. If a non-surcharged Sanctum doesn't give you more protection than a standard apartment purchased with Resources why have one in the first place?

EDIT: On the topic, I'm not in favour of having a big group sanctum in this game.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 01:11 AM
Character sheet is mostly there, but I'm stumped on my last specialty. I'm torn between Empathy, Persuasion, Socialize and Subterfuge but I'm not sure what a specialty for any of those might be. I can't seem to put words to a specific thing in those categories that would qualify. Any thoughts?

empathy specialties could be for particular emotions. Say empathy (deceit) might let you pick up when someone is lying better, or empathy (anger) might let you realize when someone is mad and trying to hide it.

Persuasion could be on a particular topic, or a style of argument. Persuasion (logic) or persuasion (emotional appeals) for example.

Socialize would be a particular context. E.g. socialize (grand galloping gala)

Subterfuge could be a style or a particular type of deceit. E.g. subterfuge (lying) or subterfuge (3-man confidence cons).


What value, then, is having a Sanctum that doesn't give you privacy? The entire point of taking the Sanctum merit in the first place is so that you have a room where you can perform magic without Sleepers randomly blundering in. If a non-surcharged Sanctum doesn't give you more protection than a standard apartment purchased with Resources why have one in the first place?

EDIT: On the topic, I'm not in favour of having a big group sanctum in this game.

Resources get an extra charge too. If you'd like, a sanctum might be treated as hot-bunking, so if you pay the cheaper price, you get privacy but only during certain times of the day when the people you're sharing with are out. I wanted to make it a little less cut and dry than just "space costs an extra dot of sanctum/resources"

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 01:13 AM
Resources get an extra charge too. If you'd like, a sanctum might be treated as hot-bunking, so if you pay the cheaper price, you get privacy but only during certain times of the day when the people you're sharing with are out. I wanted to make it a little less cut and dry than just "space costs an extra dot of sanctum/resources"

I still don't understand what the purpose of the Sanctum merit is if it doesn't guarantee you a space free from Sleepers in which to practise magic.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 01:20 AM
Incidentally, major Arcanum for Vulcan are Matter, Mind, Prime, Death in that order. Hopefully we won't triple up on anything. :smallwink:

Anarion
2012-10-29, 01:25 AM
I still don't understand what the purpose of the Sanctum merit is if it doesn't guarantee you a space free from Sleepers in which to practise magic.

You can get privacy, it just costs an extra dot for the space. If you want to think of it as just a rule that sanctum costs extra, that's fine.

I would point out that in the description in the book it gives the example of "a warehouse might have sufficient space, but it might not be secure against unwanted visitors." So a sanctum in a crowded area could be a private space that's near a lot of foot traffic, so has a high chance of a drunk or a curious person wandering in. It could, as I mentioned, be a hot bunk apartment where you get it private but only at certain times. It might be a private space that draws attention, say because making it private stands out in a crowded area that otherwise has people everywhere.

Or you could pay an extra dot and just get a normal one.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 01:30 AM
You can get privacy, it just costs an extra dot for the space. If you want to think of it as just a rule that sanctum costs extra, that's fine.

Sanctum = pay XP to get a place with privacy.
Without the privacy bit you are literally pouring XP down the drain.


I would point out that in the description in the book it gives the example of "a warehouse might have sufficient space, but it might not be secure against unwanted visitors."

Aspect of Sanctum Security, and probably referring to dedicated burglars than random passer by


So a sanctum in a crowded area could be a private space that's near a lot of foot traffic, so has a high chance of a drunk or a curious person wandering in. It could, as I mentioned, be a hot bunk apartment where you get it private but only at certain times. It might be a private space that draws attention, say because making it private stands out in a crowded area that otherwise has people everywhere.

Or you could pay an extra dot and just get a normal one.

I'm fine to accept Sanctum costs extra; in that situation, I just won't get one. I'll just store my libraries in the apartment I paid for with Resources.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 01:42 AM
You could also share a sanctum with another cabal if you wanted, and that would be regular price. Then you'd have privacy from sleepers, you'd just have to put up with that Obrimos who snores.

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 02:54 AM
empathy specialties could be for particular emotions. Say empathy (deceit) might let you pick up when someone is lying better, or empathy (anger) might let you realize when someone is mad and trying to hide it.

Technicality: picking up lying is based specifically on subterfuge, not empathy.



I'm fine to accept Sanctum costs extra; in that situation, I just won't get one. I'll just store my libraries in the apartment I paid for with Resources.

technicality: Library is specifically an Awakened merit attached to a Hallow.

Note that both of these may be misunderstandings on my part.
Anyway; Mara, odds are after some thinking that Flouresce may also be an Arrow. Regardless, if you're willing to put points out we can combine sanctum and give Vulcan a place to lodge her books. I value privacy. Similar for the unnamed acanthus.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 10:15 AM
Incidentally, major Arcanum for Vulcan are Matter, Mind, Prime, Death in that order. Hopefully we won't triple up on anything. :smallwink:

Mara is currently Mind 4, Space 2, Fate 1


Anyway; Mara, odds are after some thinking that Flouresce may also be an Arrow. Regardless, if you're willing to put points out we can combine sanctum and give Vulcan a place to lodge her books. I value privacy. Similar for the unnamed acanthus.

I think Vulcan will be having her own Sanctum from what Thanqol's said, which makes sense. Right now, I'm imagining the Sanctum dots Mara's spent as representing her pass to a sort of group Arrow safehouse. If you want in as part of that, I'm cool with us pooling dots.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 12:15 PM
I should mention that, since Vulcan is a Seer with the hidden luxury merit, the Seers certainly have no problem obtaining private places to hang out, in Hong Kong or anywhere else for that matter.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 08:17 PM
Hmm, Mind 4 has skewed my Rote selection a little. I'm currently reshuffling a 3-dot one, and wondering what sort of situations Multi-Tasking might prove useful for, i.e. if it would come up enough to benefit as a rote. Impostor and Psychic Assault are also on the table, though the first one is a bit more thematic.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 08:23 PM
Hmm, Mind 4 has skewed my Rote selection a little. I'm currently reshuffling a 3-dot one, and wondering what sort of situations Multi-Tasking might prove useful for, i.e. if it would come up enough to benefit as a rote. Impostor and Psychic Assault are also on the table, though the first one is a bit more thematic.

I don't see a huge advantage on that particular spell line as a rote. Since it's a ruling arcana for you it doesn't cost mana anyway, and it has a prolonged duration so you can cast it when you need it. Unless you're planning to apply advanced spell factors, it's effectively the same no matter how many successes you get on it.

Having said that, I definitely think multi-tasking is a useful spell, especially the 3-dot version, which potentially lets you make multiple simultaneous checks in a turn and cheat the action economy a little bit (although only for mental tasks).

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 08:35 PM
Had to do the base math three times to make sure I understood the scale at first. Wow. Some interesting insights come to the fore, during this. my usual characters are designe to survive early and advance quickly - despite this not being necessary. The more optimal layout is to have greater array of weaknesses because they are cheaper to fill in, but it conflicts wih my "try to always roll at least four dice" instinct.

Anarion, I am combining the attribute experience with the favored resistance attribute experience. Otherwise I wind up with ten extra in one side, five extra on the other, and two attributes that could both be increased if I had a full fifteen experience.

I also want to know if I can have a sanctum in a nightclub. Sanctum, hallow and resources all in one go, with the caveat that I don't actually now I. hong Kong had nightclubs. At all. It could theoretically also be combined with Mara's sanctum dot, seeing as the arrow moving in would just be a change of management. They'd commandeer the commas structure since inch a scenario basically prompts martial law, right?

Legacies. Legacy requires the appropriate path, or the appropriate order, or you could "invent" it yourself at gnosis 4. Is this correct? In that if a non Obrimos non Mysterium Mage wants to be a Thrice Great, they can through independent generation. Could I then teach this legacy without losing status amongst the Ladder? Or would they insist I somehow stole it and hate me forever, hey-do-a-Dougherty?

What is this new resonance? It's flavor? And the ley lines aren't, like, sacrosanct right? Prime 3 allows for the movement of ley lines to the mage's whims. If I were to create a hallow by commandeering the Dragon's Veins, would that be a Starry Stop Having Antiplot Ideas, or would it be a plot device?

Finally, Spirit 4, life one (or two), need an idea for a third arcanum. Probably life 2 now that I think about it, since whenever I can I'll e free running, climbin buildings, jumping roofs, and setting the eventual bone breaks. Prime is good, but I have focused on prime for the last six characters... Although getting it as a third ruling arcana would be pretty slick.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 08:42 PM
I also want to know if I can have a sanctum in a nightclub. Sanctum, hallow and resources all in one go, with the caveat that I don't actually now I. hong Kong had nightclubs. At all. It could theoretically also be combined with Mara's sanctum dot, seeing as the arrow moving in would just be a change of management. They'd commandeer the commas structure since inch a scenario basically prompts martial law, right?


Curiously enough, I've been looking into this. Hong Kong does indeed have a lively night life, as you might expect from such a large city. The reason I've been looking into this is that Mara's teenage rebellion took the form of sneaking out to go clubbing with Sara pretty frequently, but I hadn't got around to that being relevant to mention yet. Sharing Sanctum dots there would actually make her really happy, and we could fluff it as some sort of Arrow-owned place, if Fluoresce does indeed wind up in the Arrow.

EDIT: And yeah Starry, I feel you on the whole character gen thing. I also tend to try to shore up weaknesses early, and doing it this way really drove home the XP tradeoff for different flat dot allocations. In some ways, I prefer this approach, because it gives the same maximums, but can also allow for more lower-level dots which is good because I tend to feel a little dot-starved in ordinary WoD char gen, trying to fit my concepts.

Anarion
2012-10-29, 09:30 PM
Anarion, I am combining the attribute experience with the favored resistance attribute experience. Otherwise I wind up with ten extra in one side, five extra on the other, and two attributes that could both be increased if I had a full fifteen experience.


Sounds okay to me, though you are still putting the favored resistance attribute experience into increasing that attribute by 1 dot first, yes?



I also want to know if I can have a sanctum in a nightclub. Sanctum, hallow and resources all in one go, with the caveat that I don't actually now I. hong Kong had nightclubs. At all. It could theoretically also be combined with Mara's sanctum dot, seeing as the arrow moving in would just be a change of management. They'd commandeer the commas structure since inch a scenario basically prompts martial law, right?

Yep, Hong Kong has a night life and you can certainly have a sanctum there.


Legacies. Legacy requires the appropriate path, or the appropriate order, or you could "invent" it yourself at gnosis 4. Is this correct? In that if a non Obrimos non Mysterium Mage wants to be a Thrice Great, they can through independent generation. Could I then teach this legacy without losing status amongst the Ladder? Or would they insist I somehow stole it and hate me forever, hey-do-a-Dougherty?


Eh, I think order requirements on legacies are kinda stupid. Path makes more sense to me, but even then I mostly care about the arcana requirements and not so much about the rest. If you find the perfect legacy that matches all your actual magic but you're not a Mysterium Obrimos or whatever, bring it up and we'll make it work.


What is this new resonance? It's flavor? And the ley lines aren't, like, sacrosanct right? Prime 3 allows for the movement of ley lines to the mage's whims. If I were to create a hallow by commandeering the Dragon's Veins, would that be a Starry Stop Having Antiplot Ideas, or would it be a plot device?


Copied from the OP

It didn’t exactly have the flavor of hope, that would be asking too much, but it did have the flavor of release, of change and fresh plans.

I'm not going to say more because I'm still not done with Book of Spirits (primarily on account of not reading any more of it in the past few days).

Prime 3 to mess with leylines isn't going to break the plot. It will likely earn you the ire of people that don't want them messed with (like the Arrow). High prime magic in general is going to make you one of the 10 or so people best equipped to figure out what's going on with them. Also, of course, leylines are interconnected, so messing with them is going to affect resonance flows and energy pretty broadly, so you could easily unleash, like, a freedom spirit and an oppression spirit and have them duking it out near where you were planning to do your magical experiments.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 09:39 PM
Eh, I think order requirements on legacies are kinda stupid. Path makes more sense to me, but even then I mostly care about the arcana requirements and not so much about the rest. If you find the perfect legacy that matches all your actual magic but you're not a Mysterium Obrimos or whatever, bring it up and we'll make it work.

/word. I take the Order thing as trends rather than limitations. If you want a Legacy mentor then you can start looking in the listed order, and possibly have to concede something to those dudes to get it.


Anarion, on Sanctum:

Is it viable to have a two room garage+office on the bottom floor of some building somewhere with Sanctum 1 and fortify it with Matter magic? After all, if a Matter mage casts Plasticity and thumbs over the door lock whenever she goes through it then there's no way to open that door without a battering ram or another Matter Mage.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 09:46 PM
Oh, have some reasons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_%28demon%29) for (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_%28goddess%29) Mara's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_%28folklore%29) name (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzanna)

Anarion
2012-10-29, 09:57 PM
Is it viable to have a two room garage+office on the bottom floor of some building somewhere with Sanctum 1 and fortify it with Matter magic? After all, if a Matter mage casts Plasticity and thumbs over the door lock whenever she goes through it then there's no way to open that door without a battering ram or another Matter Mage.

That's almost bigger than what you get for sanctum 1 under the regular rules. That would cost you sanctum 2 in Hong Kong for sure.

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 11:10 PM
EDIT: I keep forgetting. The Dark Secret flaw. Could I have been an ex-free councilor? I know the status merit shows status in two orders with the implication o mixed loyalty, and possibly being a double agent. I am looking at having Flouresce being a free councilor, possibly involved in the train incident (ignoring for now that it may not have been a free council thing at all), who was getting cozy with the arrow. Things go down, bad, and suddenly everyone else was underground and there's no way in from up here, metaphorically, so you go native.


Sounds okay to me, though you are still putting the favored resistance attribute experience into increasing that attribute by 1 dot first, yes?

Well, abstractly an purely based on math it doesn't matter. There is no difference between putting my extra point in composure, and putting it in presence instead and just buying up composure. But yes, I very literally have composure listed as 25 (+20), leaving me with ten points left over in social attributes, and five points also in social attributes. I figured 15 points to boost another dot was still within the spirit of the set up.



Yep, Hong Kong has a night life and you can certainly have a sanctum there.


Hong Kong is like new York, in that there is a city, a "province", and a culture. Separating what makes logical sense from what I know and from what I don't know but surmise. I knew there would at least be a red light district. Every other idea though seems to grind against the setting, so I thought I'd ask~



Eh, I think order requirements on legacies are kinda stupid. Path makes more sense to me, but even then I mostly care about the arcana requirements and not so much about the rest. If you find the perfect legacy that matches all your actual magic but you're not a Mysterium Obrimos or whatever, bring it up and we'll make it work.

Okay. One of them basically fits to a t (lowercase because it's subtly off).



Copied from the OP


You also said that the resonant change would be something that Flouresce would feel was bad and wanted to fix, so I was confused.


I'm not going to say more because I'm still not done with Book of Spirits (primarily on account of not reading any more of it in the past few days).

Prime 3 to mess with leylines isn't going to break the plot. It will likely earn you the ire of people that don't want them messed with (like the Arrow). High prime magic in general is going to make you one of the 10 or so people best equipped to figure out what's going on with them. Also, of course, leylines are interconnected, so messing with them is going to affect resonance flows and energy pretty broadly, so you could easily unleash, like, a freedom spirit and an oppression spirit and have them duking it out near where you were planning to do your magical experiments.

That would be boss~!

I actually have been thinking abou ley lines a lot, which makes them being important subtly dissapointing - there are now consequences for screwing around XD
I could probably find and redistribute some small veins, create a nexus. Resonant freedom and release, as the sole power source for an underground club? God yes.


That's almost bigger than what you get for sanctum 1 under the regular rules. That would cost you sanctum 2 in Hong Kong for sure.

could he instead use Luxury for the space and move his sanctum-sanctorum there? All he wants out of a sanctum is security, which seers require. Luxury for space, and he can spend all his sanctum dots on security or so. I know Changeling has base size if you put 0 dots in it, provided you have any dots in the merit at all; sanctum 1 (size 0, security 1) would be no bigger than his alloyed apartment, but also no smaller. Essentially, he woul only need to buy more space of he wanted more space.

Other seers would have access to said space to a degree though, I think.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 11:15 PM
could he instead use Luxury for the space and move his sanctum-sanctorum there? All he wants out of a sanctum is security, which seers require. Luxury for space, and he can spend all his sanctum dots on security or so. I know Changeling has base size if you put 0 dots in it, provided you have any dots in the merit at all; sanctum 1 (size 0, security 1) would be no bigger than his alloyed apartment, but also no smaller. Essentially, he woul only need to buy more space of he wanted more space.

Other seers would have access to said space to a degree though, I think.

I took the Secret merit, which gives me Secret*2 worth of free merit dots which are 'locked behind' the Secret. These merits are my Seer Status and my Luxury. On the upside, free merits. On the down side, using those runs the risk of extreme Narrative Consequences - if I throw around my reputation as a Seer then the Pentacle, who I'm ostensibly working with, will probably catch on.


That's almost bigger than what you get for sanctum 1 under the regular rules. That would cost you sanctum 2 in Hong Kong for sure.

In which case I'll just scrap that XP in favour of Resources 4 and use that instead to get the same thing. Shuffled around some other dots as well.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 11:24 PM
Oh, one other thing:

With Augment the Mind, Vulcan is going to be walking around with Intelligence 8 almost all of the time. Do you approve the Reversal Point system from Imperial Mysteries (p19) to handle Thanqol's inability to play a character three times as smart as he is? (You approved it for Gathering of Mists, just checking again for here).

A refresh of the system:


Optional System: Reversal Points If you like, you might give hyper-competent characters
possess “reversal points” to represent superior insight and
preparation. Each reversal point allows a player to retroactively
declare a basic (1 point – bodyguards were shadowing
you in case of attack), moderate (2 points – your countersniper
shoots the sniper), complex (3 points – “My spy
network knew about this weeks ago”) preparation to deal
with an event that has just been revealed in play, such as a
betrayal or unexpected encounter.
Your character possesses one reversal point for each dot
in an Attribute or Skill above 5, and may only spend points
when the situation would apply both to the linked Trait and
the declared preparation. You may also spend points to nullify
other characters’ reversal points on a 1 for 1 basis.
Your character recovers all reversal points at the start of
each game chapter.

SiuiS
2012-10-29, 11:32 PM
I took the Secret merit, which gives me Secret*2 worth of free merit dots which are 'locked behind' the Secret. These merits are my Seer Status and my Luxury. On the upside, free merits. On the down side, using those runs the risk of extreme Narrative Consequences - if I throw around my reputation as a Seer then the Pentacle, who I'm ostensibly working with, will probably catch on.



In which case I'll just scrap that XP in favour of Resources 4 and use that instead to get the same thing. Shuffled around some other dots as well.

Forgive me for what is most likely a misunderstanding, but don't be dense. Sanctum size is if you require space separate from your allocated Resources space; you do not have to put any dots in sanctum size at all. Instead of resources 4, leave it at 3, get a dot of sanctum to unlock library and hallow if you want them. Sanctum merits do require sanctum the merit, after all.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-29, 11:34 PM
Oh, one other thing:

With Augment the Mind, Vulcan is going to be walking around with Intelligence 8 almost all of the time. Do you approve the Reversal Point system from Imperial Mysteries (p19) to handle Thanqol's inability to play a character three times as smart as he is? (You approved it for Gathering of Mists, just checking again for here).


This is actually a good point. Mara's taking that rote too, although she may focus more on social attributes, in particular Manipulation.

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 11:35 PM
Forgive me for what is most likely a misunderstanding, but don't be dense. Sanctum size is if you require space separate from your allocated Resources space; you do not have to put any dots in sanctum size at all. Instead of resources 4, leave it at 3, get a dot of sanctum to unlock library and hallow if you want them. Sanctum merits do require sanctum the merit, after all.

Why is it necessary to pay XP for a special room to put your books in?

Thanqol
2012-10-29, 11:57 PM
I found some Mammon Prelacies and writeups on the Internet from DaveB, Mage author; take a look (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?428135-Mage-The-Awakening-The-Soul-Cage-part-two/page70). Approval for Crown of Scarcity in particular?

Backed up with a theory of the Exarchs (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?662163-M-tAw-Theory-on-the-Exarchs-and-What-They-Symbolize).

Anarion
2012-10-30, 12:23 AM
Edit: Anyone notice that the forum is being really slow tonight?


EDIT: I keep forgetting. The Dark Secret flaw. Could I have been an ex-free councilor? I know the status merit shows status in two orders with the implication o mixed loyalty, and possibly being a double agent. I am looking at having Flouresce being a free councilor, possibly involved in the train incident (ignoring for now that it may not have been a free council thing at all), who was getting cozy with the arrow. Things go down, bad, and suddenly everyone else was underground and there's no way in from up here, metaphorically, so you go native.


Do you mean the embarrassing secret flaw? Dark secret is in Exalted. If you take it as an embarrassing secret though, it means that some people will blame you personally for the bombing if they find out.



Every other idea though seems to grind against the setting, so I thought I'd ask~

Not really, part of oppression is having a controlled outlet to keep people satiated. Opiate of the masses and all that (though this is hardly religion).



You also said that the resonant change would be something that Flouresce would feel was bad and wanted to fix, so I was confused.

I said he wouldn't like the old resonance, which is grinding oppression mostly. And the old resonance is still dominant in the city. The new stuff coming in via the leylines is, as I called it, a "chip." It's like a tiny shift in a huge monumental edifice, but of course that's enough to draw plenty of notice from the people paying attention.




Oh, one other thing:

With Augment the Mind, Vulcan is going to be walking around with Intelligence 8 almost all of the time. Do you approve the Reversal Point system from Imperial Mysteries (p19) to handle Thanqol's inability to play a character three times as smart as he is? (You approved it for Gathering of Mists, just checking again for here).

A refresh of the system:

Yeah I approved that before and it still makes perfect sense to me.


Why is it necessary to pay XP for a special room to put your books in?

It's not and the fact that this discussion has led to this question makes me think that I've made a mistake in trying to make this sanctum thing a subjective issue.

So, I'm just going to change it. Real estate is expensive and Hong Kong is crowded, therefore all real estate, whether bought via sanctum or resources, costs an extra dot. That's the only rule, period, end of discussion. If you spend that extra dot, you get a private sanctum that works just like every other sanctum.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 12:28 AM
It's not and the fact that this discussion has led to this question makes me think that I've made a mistake in trying to make this sanctum thing a subjective issue.

So, I'm just going to change it. Real estate is expensive and Hong Kong is crowded, therefore all real estate, whether bought via sanctum or resources, costs an extra dot. That's the only rule, period, end of discussion. If you spend that extra dot, you get a private sanctum that works just like every other sanctum.

Cool cool, I'm happier with a clear ruling like that.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 12:31 AM
This is actually a good point. Mara's taking that rote too, although she may focus more on social attributes, in particular Manipulation.

Damn. And here I can't even survive getting hit by a train. Oh well.


Why is it necessary to pay XP for a special room to put your books in?

We both know there are a million ways to spin either side. But I'll try a rational explanation other than "the rule presumably is balanced".

A library is not books. A library is a series of information segments useful to awakened. I don't know about your library, but mine is going to be a couple knowledge spirits anchored to some old books. The spirits have the information. I use. Yours? Probably encrypted notes, highlighted bits of text. Regardless, having Awakened-Eyes-Only knowledge lying there, obviously important, where ye maid, your room mate, the super intendant, your boss at mundane work, a friend, a fling, a casual burglar, or an uninvited Mage intruder can walk in and abscond with it is stupid. Your collated notes on knowledge and magic need to be nominally kept secret, because neither your ministry nor any orde is willing to risk otherwise. A sanctum is just that, a secure space. Your Luxury sweet, your electronic-alarm mansion, these are not secure in the same sense.

Especially when you notice one dot in sanctum is your Mage level security.


I honestly think this is just because we are all operating on different but similar levels of abstraction. If we all agreed on terminology and boundaries with the meta construct we would probably all agree.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 12:33 AM
We both know there are a million ways to spin either side. But I'll try a rational explanation other than "the rule presumably is balanced".

A library is not books. A library is a series of information segments useful to awakened. I don't know about your library, but mine is going to be a couple knowledge spirits anchored to some old books. The spirits have the information. I use. Yours? Probably encrypted notes, highlighted bits of text. Regardless, having Awakened-Eyes-Only knowledge lying there, obviously important, where ye maid, your room mate, the super intendant, your boss at mundane work, a friend, a fling, a casual burglar, or an uninvited Mage intruder can walk in and abscond with it is stupid. Your collated notes on knowledge and magic need to be nominally kept secret, because neither your ministry nor any orde is willing to risk otherwise. A sanctum is just that, a secure space. Your Luxury sweet, your electronic-alarm mansion, these are not secure in the same sense.

Especially when you notice one dot in sanctum is your Mage level security.


I honestly think this is just because we are all operating on different but similar levels of abstraction. If we all agreed on terminology and boundaries with the meta construct we would probably all agree.

What if I have Resources 4 and invest in a good set of locks, a security system, and use Matter to cover the rest?

Or if I have a Sanctum with zero dots in Security?

Or if my library is completely digital?

EDIT: While examining the topic, I saw an interesting suggestion that Size is made free, up to a player character's Resources dots, putting the focus on Security as purchased with XP. Not necessarily suggesting it for this game, just an interesting line of thought.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 12:42 AM
Edit: Anyone notice that the forum is being really slow tonight?

... I thought it was my phone >_<



Do you mean the embarrassing secret flaw? Dark secret is in Exalted. If you take it as an embarrassing secret though, it means that some people will blame you personally for the bombing if they find out.

Yes, that one. Where I only get XP if I go out of my way to cover it up.



I said he wouldn't like the old resonance, which is grinding oppression mostly. And the old resonance is still dominant in the city. The new stuff coming in via the leylines is, as I called it, a "chip." It's like a tiny shift in a huge monumental edifice, but of course that's enough to draw plenty of notice from the people paying attention.

Ah, That crystallizes it all. Okay, sorry. I am not in my right mind, as I may be coming down with something. I would like to think that I can understand plain English when I'm not pushing myself.



Yeah I approved that before and it still makes perfect sense to me.


Now to figure out how it works with manipulation maybe.



It's not and the fact that this discussion has led to this question makes me think that I've made a mistake in trying to make this sanctum thing a subjective issue.

I'm going to take that as your Official Ruling; however


http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee468/WizardPony/4B9EDD15-9846-413A-8DF0-786B4710BAA2-5644-000005FC7DC53DBA.jpg

I honestly wondered at the requirement myself, until I came to understand library as a body o collected knowledge of Supernal matters.



So, I'm just going to change it. Real estate is expensive and Hong Kong is crowded, therefore all real estate, whether bought via sanctum or resources, costs an extra dot. That's the only rule, period, end of discussion. If you spend that extra dot, you get a private sanctum that works just like every other sanctum.


Cool cool, I'm happier with a clear ruling like that.

I will be honest and say this is pretty much what I thought the rule already was. Except the extra dot could go to thematic purchases, such as security (which ensures privacy), or size (for paying extra for good real estate). Which is arbitrarily silly of me because that is exactly the same as costing one extra dot, just with a story attached.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 01:03 AM
What if I have Resources 4 and invest in a good set of locks, a security system, and use Matter to cover the rest?

Or if I have a Sanctum with zero dots in Security?

Or if my library is completely digital?

Lock picks, power surge, any rank 1 Mage.

Zero dots in security means you have a magical sanctum anyone else can walk in on – separate from your house.

Hackers, any rank 1 Mage.

You will notice my conceit is that sanctum size is strictly for space which is not your living space. Resources five, sanctum one, you own a skyscraper, and your sanctum is a broom closet somewhere else. Sanctum security is omnipresent magical malaise with no description save flavor; looks can be bypassed, sanctum security reduces the dice pool to bypass those locks.

As I said, we can spin both sides a million ways. I mostly agree with your position, I am probably being reflexively pedantic. I am all for honing the rules to fit play, but until the ST does so (and Anarion has, on occasion) I must go by the books. This entire argument wasn't to defend my position, it wa to display that contentions exists so that a decision could be made in light of that.



EDIT: While examining the topic, I saw an interesting suggestion that Size is made free, up to a player character's Resources dots, putting the focus on Security as purchased with XP. Not necessarily suggesting it for this game, just an interesting line of thought.

This is what I have been suggesting, yes.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 01:09 AM
The library merit was the book authors going "oh, we can't have them be traveling encyclopedia salesmen" and deciding that it was associated with a sanctum, just like a hallow. This does not actually mean that you must buy the sanctum merit in order to own books. That would just be absurd.

Library does provide a certain shortcut and a certain guarantee of knowledge. So where a big house with a purchased set of books on Greek religion all bought via resources might have a few holes or be missing some rare volumes, presumably a sanctum with a library on Greek religion is considered to have what you're looking for when it comes time to do magical research.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 01:15 AM
More Mammon stuff from DaveB and others. Anarion, in case you missed it can you give me a yes/no on those Prelacies of Scarcity from the last page?

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv193/etherwind_album/Mage%20-%20the%20Awakening/Seers%20of%20the%20Throne/mammonsample4.jpg


I've actually designed a Mammonite servitor creature myself, to go along with the Scarcity prelacy I put on the forum a while back. Just as Mymidons are designed to provoke hostilities (the rotes in their dynasty) while also being soldiers dying for a cause they don't believe in, the Mammon creatures encourage people to think of other humans as objects - they're literally dehumanising - and are slaves to be bartered among the Ministry.

The philosophy of Mammon in my notes is based in notions of a hierarchy of purpose and tribute - the worthier you are, the less you *produce* and the more you *take*. Mammon explicitly doesn't glorify mages who add new things to the world - they're about Scarcity, after all. Only the Minister survives entierely on tribute, though, and even he is a slave to the Chancellor, for whom the work of the entire Ministry is tribute.

Big conflict with Vulcan's creative drive there.


Studies have actually shown that when you tell people that something is limited to them, they actively want it more. You can charge only slightly less for a product and say that the reduction is a limited time offer, and people will go for it more frequently because the word "limit" makes them want it more. You can offer a run-of-the-mill toy or appliance with the caveat "only while stocks last", and people will rush to have it.

Heck, place a toddler in front of two toys, and they'll more often go for the one that has been cordoned off.

Significant observation shows that a statistically relevent number of times, people will be more strongly attracted to things that they think they might not wind up getting.

Scarcity makes people want things they otherwise wouldn't.


They're the guys who call themselves "wealth creators" without irony.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 04:36 AM
Man. I am so stuck between life and Prime for rank 2. Life will keep me alive while doing stupid things, prime is necessary for Spirit work.

Also, would tagging/graffiti be craft, or expression?

Anarion
2012-10-30, 07:03 AM
More Mammon stuff from DaveB and others. Anarion, in case you missed it can you give me a yes/no on those Prelacies of Scarcity from the last page?


Those are fine. I don't see the sword of scarcity coming up a ton since we don't handle magical tools in quite the same way as core (although reducing paradox is interesting), but the crown looks fine to me.




Also, would tagging/graffiti be craft, or expression?

I'd say crafts, it's not a live performance.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 07:18 AM
Ooh, a snag. Familiar trait says "Storyteller designs the familiar". Do you have your heart set on that, can I do it, or would you prefer a gestalt, where I put something together and you take it under advisement? I plan on spending experience to improve it. Can't get him above squire, but he can be the best damn squire ever.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 07:44 AM
Those are fine. I don't see the sword of scarcity coming up a ton since we don't handle magical tools in quite the same way as core (although reducing paradox is interesting), but the crown looks fine to me.

Excellent, taking Crown of Scarcity 1, at the expense of some rotes, and I'm probably not taking it any further.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 10:25 AM
And I also pulled a Tessen >_<

Let's see...

Flouresce
Korean Male Thyrsus of the Adamantine Arrow
Shaman of the Concrete Jungle
_________________________

STATBLOCK



ATTRIBUTES

Intelligence 2
Wits 2
Resolve 3

Strength 2
Dexterity 3
Stamina 2

Presence 3
Manipulation 3
Composure 4

MENTAL
Academics
Computer
Crafts 1
Investigation 3
Occult 2
Politics
Medicine
Science

PHYSICAL
Athletics 3
Brawl 2
Drive
Firearms 1
Larceny 1
Stealth 3
Survival
Weaponry

SOCIAL (3 XP)
Animal Ken
Empathy 2
Expression 4
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 3
Socialize 1
Streetwise 2
Subterfuge 1

MERITS (6 XP)
Familiar 3
Multilingual (Chinese, English) 1
Resources 2
Sanctum 2
Staff 2
Trained Observer 3
Athletics Dodge 1
Status (Adamantine Arrow) 1


ARCANA
Spirit 4
Life 2
Prime 1

GNOSIS 2
MANA 7/10

WISDOM 7
VIRTUE: Prudence
VICE: Sloth
FLAW: Embarassing Secret (free councilor guerrilla)

Spirit 4/Gnosis 2 is actually just out of reach. Raising gnosis costs 16 XP, and then I remembered that 35 is ten more than 25 and all was right with the numbers.

Merits may be off, I'd swear I was counting them as 3/dot for a minute there... Familiar and trained observer are both non-tiered merits, as is staff I believe (6, 6 and 4 respectively). Trained observer at 3 dots allows me to make perception checks rote, and may also mitigate up to -3 in penalties to said checks.

Resources, sanctum, staff and hallow all work together. I figured rather than have a nightclub, I could be the, or rather a, owner. Resources 2 and sanctum 2 provide space, and energy. I would assume that there is more income than the two dots, but it's tied up in business, strictly as a flavored explanation of how so much space is available. Staff is just that, hired help who are loyal. At two dots they get two broad duties, which would be service and security (service wing predominantly bar tending), an since they're loyal to myself and the Arrow, those who pull security probably think/know we are a front for something, though I doubt they would guess a cabal of wizards. Not quite sanctum level security, but good for mundane stuff, yes?

Except I don't know if it's needed. The combination of the four merits creates a cohesive narrative in my mind, and it's become circular. Without that narrative, the merits could be different. Without the merits, the narrative doesn't exist. If I don't get staff I will probably fold that into security... Which I may do anyway as I temporarily forgot how the merit worked. Heh.

Hallow is a pet project sort of, in that hallows can also generate essence, and create loci. Which means if I play my cards right, my familiar will also be full up on essence a lot. The bad news is there isn't enough XP left after gnosis and arcana boosting to really increase his power.

Oh! And library. I'll make sure my totals are right in the... Uh, later today time, an add in a dot or two of Library. If I miscounted, missed something, or need to explain it let me know. I should be off, as I forgot my tendency to stay awake to finish Rp paperwork... And take longer because I'm awake.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 10:31 AM
Yes, that one. Where I only get XP if I go out of my way to cover it up.

Just a warning here - if Mara's supposed to know about this, pretty much the only way she'll not be hostile is if you're willing to undergo a ritual-length brain scan until she's satisfied you aren't to blame.

If Fluoresce actually is in part responsible, I don't really know what to do, other than try and keep it from her. She really wants to see these guys pay.


Ooh, a snag. Familiar trait says "Storyteller designs the familiar". Do you have your heart set on that, can I do it, or would you prefer a gestalt, where I put something together and you take it under advisement? I plan on spending experience to improve it. Can't get him above squire, but he can be the best damn squire ever.

Oh yeah, this is the game where I get to see SiuiS playing a Spirit mage. I am so looking forward to this.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 11:23 AM
I'm a little confused, as I don't actually see hallow on SiuiS' sheet anywhere.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 05:39 PM
I'm a little confused, as I don't actually see hallow on SiuiS' sheet anywhere.

I don't have any skill specialties yet, either. :smalltongue:
If everything works out fine, then I have 6 merit XP and 8 remaining XP. That is sufficient for at least one dot in each, plus depending on how the merits interact I may move around sanctum dots. But yes, it was getting on towards 08:30 and I needed sleep.

Do you think staff is necessary?

Anarion
2012-10-30, 06:06 PM
Do you think staff is necessary?

SiuiS, I don't even know what book that merit is from. It's only listed as Gh on the White Wolf Wiki. So, no, it's probably not necessary.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 06:37 PM
SiuiS, I don't even know what book that merit is from. It's only listed as Gh on the White Wolf Wiki. So, no, it's probably not necessary.

I admit now to a little bit of concern, here, as even having met you in the flesh, I can't really read you well. Are you exasperated? Is that an eye roll? Is it strictly a purely academic statement with no emotion whatsoever? Good traits for a storyteller, but I'm not used to it.

Staff is from Ghouls, a vampire sourcebook but which has no prerequisites. I will post the details when I get back home, for posterity. It is similar to luxury in that it's a flavor merit, but I'd it does come up mechanically somehow, then you'll need it.


Just a warning here - if Mara's supposed to know about this, pretty much the only way she'll not be hostile is if you're willing to undergo a ritual-length brain scan until she's satisfied you aren't to blame.

If Fluoresce actually is in part responsible, I don't really know what to do, other than try and keep it from her. She really wants to see these guys pay.

It would be a secret, yes. And we still don't know if the free council actually blew up a train. I know that murdering civilians would be low on his list of acceptable things, if only because it's messy, and obvious. So he would have directly enabled the train being blown up, but it feels like one of those things where he helped a friend throw rocks and break a window, and the friend lobbed a Molotov when he wasn't looking.



Oh yeah, this is the game where I get to see SiuiS playing a Spirit mage. I am so looking forward to this.

Careful, this is experimental for me too. I expect about a Thor of the things I do eventually to be veto'd, if only to test the limits of my cage.

Or I did before Spirit 4 became a thing.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 06:48 PM
I admit now to a little bit of concern, here, as even having met you in the flesh, I can't really read you well. Are you exasperated? Is that an eye roll? Is it strictly a purely academic statement with no emotion whatsoever? Good traits for a storyteller, but I'm not used to it.


I'm not exasperated, but I was being somewhat critical there. I knew that you had used a merit that I didn't recognize, but by the name I assumed that it worked in a fairly straightforward manner and wasn't going to bug you about it. I am concerned, however, that you feel free to not only draw on supplements for a different WoD line that I have not read, but also that you feel free to do so when you yourself are not certain of how they work.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 07:02 PM
I'm not exasperated, but I was being somewhat critical there. I knew that you had used a merit that I didn't recognize, but by the name I assumed that it worked in a fairly straightforward manner and wasn't going to bug you about it. I am concerned, however, that you feel free to not only draw on supplements for a different WoD line that I have not read, but also that you feel free to do so when you yourself are not certain of how they work.

Oh, my apologies. I know what the merit does. You work similar to Thanqol however, in that some things don't need spelling out. Buying employees via a merit when resources and "I own a business" could be sufficient to cover it. An analogue is Thanqol's dislike of fighting styles as a concept- why have a merit when you could just take a specialty?

Listing the merit, explaining it's functions, and asking about it was An implicit question about its validity. I am used to such actions as saying "I am going to do [thing]" and pausing a moment to see if said thing receives objection. This is one of those traits I am trying to stop doing though, so it is good that I caught it. More in about 20-30 when I get home.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 07:14 PM
It would be a secret, yes. And we still don't know if the free council actually blew up a train. I know that murdering civilians would be low on his list of acceptable things, if only because it's messy, and obvious. So he would have directly enabled the train being blown up, but it feels like one of those things where he helped a friend throw rocks and break a window, and the friend lobbed a Molotov when he wasn't looking.


I'm just going to tell you now that there are two different Free Council Cabals in this game, and they're both in hiding after the incident. I haven't decided which one Flouresce would be a part of, I'll probably type them both up and let you pick before I tell you which, if any, was responsible for the train.



Listing the merit, explaining it's functions, and asking about it was An implicit question about its validity.

The problem here is that you're drawing from sources outside core and not telling me. If you had asked a question about the allies merit based on your concept, I could have answered it. But with Staff, at least until you come back and post the text, I'm completely reliant on your description to answer your question about whether it's necessary or not. At that point, you should know better than I do whether it's necessary.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 08:03 PM
Small, last tweak: Given the hate-on one of our party members has for the FC, Vulcan's going to be passing as Mysterium, and I'm changing that last dot of Library to a dot of Mysterium Status. I don't foresee any more tweaks to the character sheet other than adding backstory.

Are there any questions or other things I've missed?

Anarion
2012-10-30, 08:23 PM
Small, last tweak: Given the hate-on one of our party members has for the FC, Vulcan's going to be passing as Mysterium, and I'm changing that last dot of Library to a dot of Mysterium Status. I don't foresee any more tweaks to the character sheet other than adding backstory.

Are there any questions or other things I've missed?

That's fine. No other questions at the moment, though when I get more up I'm going to do the same thing you did in Skyscraper Graveyard and ask for relationships with the NPC cabals.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 08:25 PM
That's fine. No other questions at the moment, though when I get more up I'm going to do the same thing you did in Skyscraper Graveyard and ask for relationships with the NPC cabals.

Look forwards to it; I can't tell you how much easier that innovation made my job as ST in that game.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 08:50 PM
Small, last tweak: Given the hate-on one of our party members has for the FC, Vulcan's going to be passing as Mysterium, and I'm changing that last dot of Library to a dot of Mysterium Status. I don't foresee any more tweaks to the character sheet other than adding backstory.


Whoops :smallredface:

It seemed like the best way to get her there. Although at the moment, I'm still working out what her reaction to the Council will be. Presumably she isn't going to immediately purge anyone with fire, but I gotta sort through it...

EDIT: mfw her theme song has a line about purging people with fire. Win some, lose some...

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 09:38 PM
The_Druid_Droid, did you ever post a sheet for Mara? I remember dots but I can't find her.



Essentially, for this gig to work, she has to be working for you guys for some reason. I can't take party leadership because otherwise this will be a Seer game. I need ideas for how this happened; maybe she's paying a debt, maybe she's being blackmailed, or held prisoner, or offered something she can't get anywhere else or something. I'm not sure, this depends on your characters.

We never did figure this out.
Perhaps out open and preliminary work on the new resonant signature would be of interest to her creative urges, when contrasted with Mammon's rules on scarcity. Having been around for a while, Flouresce would doubtless be on a Seer socket somewhere as doing mapping and cartographic surveys of ley-lines and and spirit presence. He would be a natural choice for this, especially with the recent change. I cannot think of a pitch I could offer that doesn't seem intrigued yet though.


CHARACTER SHEET

Sumi Mukuro

AKA Vulcan
AKA The Silver Collared Administrator
Female Seer of the Throne Moros
“Logic is the beginning, not the end, of Wisdom.”
Theme (http://youtu.be/tF0E2RGxA8o): Power Slipping

Tracks:
MANA 7/10
WILLPOWER 5/5
HEALTH 7/7

STATBLOCK



ATTRIBUTES
Intelligence 5
Wits 1
Resolve 1

Strength 3
Dexterity 2
Stamina 2

Presence 2
Manipulation 3
Composure 4

MENTAL*
Academics 1
Computer 4
Crafts *4 (Art +1)*
Investigation
Occult 1
Politics 2 (Wolves from Sheep +1)
Medicine 1*
Science*

PHYSICAL*
Athletics 1
Brawl 2
Drive 2
Firearms*
Larceny 1
Stealth 1
Survival 1
Weaponry*

SOCIAL*
Animal Ken*
Empathy 3 (Motives +1)
Expression 1
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 1
Socialize 1*
Streetwise
Subterfuge 3


MERITS*
Enhanced Item 3
Resources 4
Sleepwalker Retainer 1
Striking Looks 2
Status: Mysterium1
High Speech 1

Secret 2
- Luxury 2
- Seer Status 2



ARCANA
Matter 3
Mind 3
Death 1

Crown of Scarcity 1

GNOSIS 1
MANA 7/10

WISDOM: 7
VIRTUE: Charity
VICE: Envy
FLAW: Disabled

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 5/5
Defense 1
Health 7/7
Speed 10

ROTES
Sorceror’s Forge (Alter Integrity) Intelligence+Crafts+Matter 13
Illuminating The Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Intelligence+Computer+Mind 13
Mask of Conformity (Imposter) Intelligence+Subterfuge+Mind 11
Psychic Communion (Telepathy) Wits+Empathy+Mind 7

MAMMON ROTE SPECIALITIES
+1 Crafts, Computer, Persuasion

Enhanced Item: Prosthetic Legs
Damage 4B(+1) Size 2 Durability 8(+2) Structure 5
Pool 9B

XP: 35
UNSPENT XP: 0
ARCANE XP:*
UNSPENT ARCANE:

Interesting. A lot of overlap in the non-mental skills. I approve, actually. The mental differences show how we approach using out physical and social skills.

I see a bit of derision. Youve got fancy robot legs, sure, but can you dance? Can you run along a roofs leap building to building, climb the rebar and stand atop the man-made mountain? Sure, you're brilliant, You can make a lot happen, but can you do anything? There's rivalry, respect. You're a good liar. That's annoying but I respect skill. And there's jealousy, I mean, intelligence 5? Damn.

Still, matter is a useful skill. I may hire you just for that. Customized shoes with piton-blades, detachable, portable heel-wheels (well, ball bearings really), and some semiconcealable arm blades I can design but not fabricate.

How known amongst the consoling are you? That could be the very mundane reason we got together, and the resonant shift could have sealed the deal into a cabal.


One more clarification - the OP says that sites removed from the masses carry a 1 dot penalty. Does this apply to any Sanctum/Hallow, or just to ones that are supposed to be less in the thick of the city?

As I read it, you only need to pay that dot once, unless you want several separate sites. So you don't need an extra dot in sanctum and hallow, since they are both the same physical presence.


Detour to Costco. Trying to rush Braz home so I can get that merit up XD

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 09:51 PM
We never did figure this out.
Perhaps out open and preliminary work on the new resonant signature would be of interest to her creative urges, when contrasted with Mammon's rules on scarcity. Having been around for a while, Flouresce would doubtless be on a Seer socket somewhere as doing mapping and cartographic surveys of ley-lines and and spirit presence. He would be a natural choice for this, especially with the recent change. I cannot think of a pitch I could offer that doesn't seem intrigued yet though.

I really think that she has to be in some way subordinate or working for you rather than with you. I'm serious when I say if she's got unrestrained full party member rights then you'll be playing a Seer game.

You guys have to have something on her. I'm happy to adapt to whatever this is.


How known amongst the consoling are you? That could be the very mundane reason we got together, and the resonant shift could have sealed the deal into a cabal.

It can't be a mundane reason either. If Vulcan is left to her own devices she'll follow, essentially, a pro-Seer agenda. There has to be a mechanism in place to make her swallow her own priorities and do Pentacle stuff, otherwise there isn't a stable grouping.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 10:03 PM
CHARACTER SHEET

Samantha Chu

AKA Mara
Female Adamantine Arrow Mastigos
"A leash can pull both ways."
Theme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBcXe2B97TQ): Seven Devils

Tracks:
MANA 7/10
WILLPOWER 1/5
HEALTH 7/7

TRACKING
CURRENT SPELLS
Mind Shield (3 Potency)


STATS



ATTRIBUTES

MENTAL
Intelligence 4
Wits 3
Resolve 3

PHYSICAL
Strength 2
Dexterity 3
Stamina 2

SOCIAL
Presence 1
Manipulation 4
Composure 2

SKILLS

MENTAL
Academics 2 (Psychology +1)
Computer 1
Crafts
Investigation 4
Medicine
Occult 1
Politics
Science

PHYSICAL
Athletics 1
Brawl
Drive
Firearms
Larceny 1 (Breaking and Entering +1)
Stealth 1
Survival
Weaponry

SOCIAL
Animal Ken
Empathy 3
Expression 2
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 3
Socialize 2 (Clubs +1)
Streetwise
Subterfuge 1


MERITS
Status (Arrow) 2
Striking Looks 2
Language (Chinese) 1
Sanctum 2
Hallow 3
Resources 2
Imbued Item (Prime Sight Glasses) 2

ARCANA
Mind 4
Space 3
Fate 1

GNOSIS 2
MANA 7/10

WISDOM: 7
VIRTUE: Release
VICE: Control

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 5/5
Defense 3
Health 7/7
Speed 9

ROTES
Trailing the Long Stride (Spatial Awareness) Intelligence+Occult+Space 7
Remote Viewing (Scrying) Intelligence+Investigation+Space 10
Scales of Thought (Third Eye) Wits+Empathy+Mind 10
Sculpt the Heart (Emotional Urging) Manipulation+Empathy+Mind 11
Illuminating the Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Resolve+Academics(AA)+Mind 10
Psyche's Dart (Psychic Assault) Resolve+Intimidation(AA)+Mind-Resolve(Target) 9
Drawing Aside the Inmost Veil (Read the Depths) Manipulation+Empathy+Mind 11
Flight of Birds (Sybil's Sight) Wits+Occult+Fate 5

ARROW ROTE SPECIALITIES
+1 Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine

XP: 20.1
UNSPENT XP: 0.1
ARCANE XP: 0
UNSPENT ARCANE: 0
SOCIAL XP: 0

GMC INFO

Aspirations
1.) Punish the people who killed her family (long term)
2.) Begin proving her worth to the Arrow (short-intermediate term)
3.) Keep herself together under stress (short term)

Obsessions
1.) Explore Astral space
2.) Start re-constructing her own mind
3.) Open (for now)

Breaking Point Questions
1.) What is the worst thing your character has ever done?
Mara was away from home when her father and grandmother left for China, so she never properly got to say goodbye to them.

2.) What is the worst thing your character can imagine himself
doing?
Running away from Hong Kong for some reason before her job there is finished.

3.) What is the worst thing your character can imagine someone
else doing?
Killing innocent people casually.

4.) What scares you about magic?
That she wouldn't be able to keep herself together without it.

5.) What would you do to achieve your goals?
Mara would be willing to completely psychically dominate someone.

DESCRIPTION


Mara is a very pretty, slender girl, with distinctly Chinese-American features. She typically wears her hair in a pixie cut, and in a good mood can seem fae-touched, though she isn't an Acanthus. Her wardrobe is that of an older teenage girl, and she hasn't quite blossomed to the level of "young professional" yet.

In general, although the intensity of her mood swings has been significantly lowered, she can still turn sullen and quiet if something triggers her, and her mental states can wax and wane long-term as well. When she's happy, or intensely focused, her personality is bright and may even cross into teasing or flirting.

Mara has a pronounced tendency to view her own mind as a research/fix-it project and has difficulty understanding others' desires for mental privacy after half a lifetime of institutional prodding of her psyche. She does however have a blanket ban on directly reading the thoughts of those close to her, largely because of bad experiences in the past, where she discovered that sometimes it's easier not to know what people really want to say to you.


MAGICAL TOOLS

Cup (Creative Power): Telling Stories
Sword (Directed Power): Chain (Currently her bracelet)
Staff (Authority/General Power): Circle
Mirror (Reflections/Echoes): Chinese Hexagrams
Coin (Cycles of Power): Numbers 1-3

PERCEPTIONS:

Mind Empathic Bond
Mara experiences a person's mood herself, although less strongly than the subject, and she may begin thinking thoughts which mirror the current mental state of the person under scrutiny.

Space Bond and Chain
Sympathetic connections are bonds - silver, gold, or iron chains perhaps, the material mirroring some aspect of the spatial resonance, but always connected to the idea of restraint and being tied together.

Fate Casting the Runes
Mara sees the fates and destinies of people through traditional Chinese divinatory and luck symbolism. The hexagrams from the I Ching are very often present.

Prime Spirits of Magic
Since she can only perceive this Arcanum through the glasses she's been gifted, she sees it through the lens of Satori, who enchanted them originally. Spells and other magical effects take on a life of their own and she sees them as swirling, swimming creatures from Chinese folklore, almost as if spells could have Spirits.

NIMBUS
Demon Gate. When Mara casts magic, the air around her shimmers, as if through heat haze or some sort of optical distortion that bends the light around her. When she uses Vulgar magic, the haze blossoms into swirling, multi-colored flame and she is crowned with a halo bearing the pattern of a summoning circle.



HISTORY


PRE-AWAKENING

Samantha Chu (Shadow name Mara), Awakened as a Mastigos. She's Chinese-American via her father's side, still fairly young but Awakened for a few years now. Her life before Awakening was something of a mix between rough and idyllic - her family was solidly upper middle class and rising, but her father was away more often than not on business, and her mother was bad with kids, despite good intentions. In short, being home wasn't so much being part of a family for her as it was sharing a house with two other people who happened to be 20-some years older. It didn't help that she was an only child.

On the other hand, there were two people that made her life tolerable. One was her grandmother on her father's side (who had immigrated to join her son in the US) who used to love giving her little gifts and telling her stories from China. The other was her best friend at school, Sara. The girls had bonded early, and both got pushed toward the outside of the social circle during the turmoil of the middle grades which only deepened their connection to each other.

During their teenage rebellion phase, Sam and Sara would sneak out and go clubbing in the next town over, at first with fake IDs, and then later as full-grown adults (in the State's eyes, at least). In the process, Sam learned some interesting things about lying, sneaking into places she wasn't wanted, and selling entirely made-up stories to bouncers without blinking an eye. The skills came back to pay dividends when she joined up with the Arrow.

The thing that complicated her youth however was her diagnosis at 14 with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis took a while because her first few rounds of mood swings were dismissed as the growing pains all young girls go through, but it was eventually a school nurse who realized that things might be more serious and referred her to treatment. Her family was initially reluctant, but as her shift between high and low started to interfere more and more with life they finally recognized the need for outside help.

Therapy and medication helped, but Sam continued to struggle with her condition throughout high school (which didn't exactly help her social situation) and even delayed heading to college for a while as she worked to sort her life out, with notably mixed feeling on her parents' part.

However, when Sara left for college herself, things got tougher. Sam had more episodes, sometimes didn't take her medicine. A particularly bad week of fights and recriminations seems to have triggered a nasty manic episode/mixed state that caused her parents to hospitalize Samantha for her own safety.

AWAKENING

When Sam was hospitalized, she was evaluated as being a risk to herself and others, and was placed in a carefully-monitored room. Restraints, no sharp objects, the whole nine yards. Even with medication, this attack was like nothing she’d experienced before.

Agitation transitioned into hallucination, and those in turn gave way to a Mystery Play. The faces of the attendants and other patients glimpsed through the tiny window began to take on an awful, demonic cast, and her restraints grew heavier and rougher. While she hung, confused and alone in Hell, a knock came that shook the door in its frame. Her attendants, flabby and yet impossibly strong, had arrived and fastened iron chains around her, which they used to drag her out into the hall and down maze-like corridors of the transformed hospital.

As the Play went on, her treatment got worse, until her demon guardians were pulling her in opposite directions at every turn and intersection, and the chains tightened around her. At last, Sam realized she had to do something, or she would die there, cut to pieces by her bonds. She seemed powerless, but an idea dawned on her - that a chain binds two together, but who is the servant and who the master is an issue of perception. To wield power, you first have to claim it.

With that realization she found herself free, holding the chains which now bound her tormenters. She ordered them to take her back, to lead her out, and as they walked the hospital slowly began to lose its nightmare aspect. Finally, Sam found herself standing at the front desk, and before things went black again, she triumphantly signed herself out in the huge black ledger-book.

POST-AWAKENING

When she came to, Sam was still in the hospital, but she discovered that her manic state had passed. Even better, she could feel a new control over her mental equilibrium, and began using it instinctively to balance out her moods, even as she worked to understand her mind and what had happened. Not long afterward, her future mentor, Satori, found her, posing as a family member to investigate the Awakening for the Arrow. Under her guidance, Sam began to learn magic, and her continued mental improvement was eventually enough for the doctors to sign off on her release.

After her discharge, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were still a part of her life, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor under the guise of having a new therapist.

Even so, her connection to her grandmother remained strong, and she made sure to call and write letters at least once a week, in addition to keeping an eye on her with Scrying. All that changed however, when her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

His trip coincided with the Free Council attack on the train. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great for her family to really be in danger, but worries kept nagging her until she finally scryed. That was how Sam found out that both her father and grandmother were killed in the attack. The official word from Hong Kong reached her a few days later.

Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Council, including the Seers.


EQUIPMENT AND POSSESSIONS

Wardrobe - Cost 2 (No specific book)
Although her day-to-day apparel is fairly casual, Mara believes in dressing for success when going out the club or important meetings. As a result, she’s spent a fair amount on nice clothes and accessories, focusing on quality over quantity.

Lock Picks - Cost 2 (Variant on picks in WoD p. 140)
Mara keeps picks and a few other useful tools, including a drill and pry bar, around for the specific purpose of gaining access to buildings and installations. She’d rather talk someone into letting her in, but sometimes complications arise and you have to do things the hard way.

Pepper Spray - Cost none (WoD p. 140)
Mara first got into the habit of keeping a can around during her old clubbing days, for people who couldn’t take a hint. Satori later made the very good point that it’s hard to resist mental influence when your face feels like it’s on fire. These days, she keeps a couple cans around, and always takes one along with her when she goes out into the city, either in a pocket or in her purse if she’s dressed up.

POLITICS AND CONNECTIONS

Mara likes Ana Lisa She senses a kindred spirit in the girl, and enjoys swapping stories with her, although her frequent hospitalizations kept her from accumulating quite as impressive a store. Of course, a good story doesn’t have to be true, so Mara sometimes embellishes the truth. She is irritated at times by Ana’s stubbornness, and she’s not entirely sure what her motives are, but she of all people can respect having multiple agendas in Hong Kong.

Mara hates Quixote Considering that the Musketeers went to ground after the train incident, Mara considers them likely to have been involved in some way, if not actually conducting the operation. Although she’s never met Quixote in person, all the descriptions she’s heard make him sound like a clown, and the thought of an idiot like that having been the one to kill her father and grandmother makes her blood boil.

Mara owes John Doe When she first came to Hong Kong, Mara’s intentions toward the Free Council were a great deal less moderate than her current stance. John Doe was the one who sat her down and finally convinced her of the wisdom of patience, pointing out that she would need some measure of rapport with the Consilium to be able to act in Hong Kong, and they wouldn’t support a wholesale purge. Although politics didn’t suit her feelings at the time, the slower approach has arguably kept her from getting evicted or worse so far, and she’s not too proud to admit what she owes the man for his advice.

Mara is owed by Annie Lee Mara has been allowing the Silver Ladder increased access to the ley lines she’s been entrusted, provided they promise not to alter them radically without prior approval. She’s been particularly attentive to Annie Lee and her researches into Awakening her children and has allowed her quite a bit of research leeway when it has involved resources she has access to. Mara is perhaps a little jealous that her own mother never seemed to take such an interest in her development, and is making a point to curry favor with the woman as proof of what might have been.

Justin Cheng has something Mara wants Specifically, she believes that as a Guardian, and the representative of a Guardian cabal, he must have access to a great deal of information about the magical landscape of Hong Kong. Mara wants to use his contacts to narrow down her search for the Free Council bombers, and wouldn’t mind having them as allies in actually delivering punishment.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 10:04 PM
I really think that she has to be in some way subordinate or working for you rather than with you. I'm serious when I say if she's got unrestrained full party member rights then you'll be playing a Seer game.

You guys have to have something on her. I'm happy to adapt to whatever this is.



It can't be a mundane reason either. If Vulcan is left to her own devices she'll follow, essentially, a pro-Seer agenda. There has to be a mechanism in place to make her swallow her own priorities and do Pentacle stuff, otherwise there isn't a stable grouping.

Nihilism is a complicating factor because for anything I can think of you wouldn't care. Give me one of your soul stones, maybe?

But I'm not talkin about just mundane work. It was a seer's game, until ye shift, when it became about her soul. The Exarchs not only are predatory ***** for whom the only life is one of paranoia and always looking over your shoulder, but they actively are working to quash Vulcan's own dreams. It's a transaction of intangibles. All signs point to the possible shift being enough to break the seer stranglehold while still keeping her quality of life. No rebukes for creating art. No coming home to find a cryptic had been unleashed in the gallery she was exhibiting, devouring the works. No threats against the creation of thaumium because creation is for lesser creatures. In a zero sum game the minor inconveniences of Ultimate Temporal Power are negligible. This is no longer a zero-sum game (Flouresce says), and I am asking if the subtle pressures of Seer dickery to each other would still be worth the benefits if those same benefits can be acquired for much less.

How valuable is your freedom from oppression? Probably a lot higher now that the product has changed. Freedom from oppression no longer comes with nasty side effects. It has a new formula, one with less migraines and rectal bleeding, and the commercial doesn't have that tacky generic woman on a bike that cuts to old people swimming.

Otherwise, DD, I am all ears. Help?

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 10:07 PM
As for Mara, the most direct thing to make Vulcan work with her would be some discovery or secret that she's found out. Of course, since Vulcan has Mind 3, it's not clear that she would have found this out via thought-examination in the street... Well, it's something to think on, anyway.

Also, my character sheet is finally up! Woo~

Actually, question Anarion: did I make this up, or is it true in the core that a dot in Order status automatically confers High Speech along with it. I would swear I read that, but now I'm doubting myself. I'll go have a look as well, actually...

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 10:14 PM
Nihilism is a complicating factor because for anything I can think of you wouldn't care. Give me one of your soul stones, maybe?

Something like that would work. She's a materialist. She cares about material things. She'd also care about the ramifications of breaking a magically sealed oath, etc. In theory, if it has a dollar value she cares about it.


But I'm not talkin about just mundane work. It was a seer's game, until ye shift, when it became about her soul. The Exarchs not only are predatory ***** for whom the only life is one of paranoia and always looking over your shoulder, but they actively are working to quash Vulcan's own dreams.

Not... not really. Vulcan and the Exarchs don't really talk to each other. She doesn't bother them and they don't bother her.


It's a transaction of intangibles. All signs point to the possible shift being enough to break the seer stranglehold while still keeping her quality of life. No rebukes for creating art. No coming home to find a cryptic had been unleashed in the gallery she was exhibiting, devouring the works. No threats against the creation of thaumium because creation is for lesser creatures. In a zero sum game the minor inconveniences of Ultimate Temporal Power are negligible. This is no longer a zero-sum game (Flouresce says), and I am asking if the subtle pressures of Seer dickery to each other would still be worth the benefits if those same benefits can be acquired for much less.

Uhhh, none of those things sound remotely like the Ministry of Mammon. The point of having a Ministry of Mammon is being able to do whatever you want so long as no one else can do what they want. Supremacy through scarcity.


How valuable is your freedom from oppression?

To Vulcan? Not very. Materialist. If people screw with her quality of life she'll get angry but not before.

She doesn't actually value vague intangibles like (fingerquotes) "freedom" at all.


As for Mara, the most direct thing to make Vulcan work with her would be some discovery or secret that she's found out. Of course, since Vulcan has Mind 3, it's not clear that she would have found this out via thought-examination in the street... Well, it's something to think on, anyway.

Would also work. "Random telepathic scanning" is a lame ass way to do it, though, because there's no guarantee the next random Mind mage couldn't do the same.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 10:15 PM
DD, errata changed Languages. You pay 1 dot, an fluency is based on expression.

And yes, it's like the free Mantle dot for having a court. If you're associated with an order, high speech is free.

Thanqol, I'm talking about a 'concrete intangible'. It's got as much value as a projection of profit if a business plan is followed. If this change happens, these benefits Will come by. It's subjective value, but it's not immaterial (pardon the pun).

You've already answered, just wanted to get on the same page. I suspect a spirit shaman is not the best for material goods at the matter level.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 10:16 PM
DD, errata changed Languages. You pay 1 dot, an fluency is based on expression.

And yes, it's like the free Mantle dot for having a court. If you're associated with an order, high speech is free.

Oh, handy. Except now I gotta dot-shuffle. Hrm.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 10:42 PM
Here we are. For your perusal and approval, Anarion.


Staff (• to •••••)
Prerequisite: Resources (varies)
Your character has official command over a staff of
employees. These people are mundane mortals, but
they’re also professionally trained and capable of taking
on a host of roles. An aristocratic household, for example,
might employ a number of maids, valets and
cooks, while a social predator might have publicists, investigators
and lawyers on the payroll.
The number of dots in this Merit reflects the relative
size and complexity of the force at your character’s disposal.
You can assign a category to each dot, reflecting
the separate tasks that can be delegated at any given
time. For example, if your ghoul has Staff •••, you could
assign the dots to chauffeurs, gardeners and security
guards. Your character could then assign tasks involving
driving guests, landscaping and guard detail to her own
employees without requiring special effort beyond a
simple dispensation of orders.
The number of dots your character can have in this
Merit is limited by the number of people your household
can afford to employ. You may not have more dots
in Staff than you have in Resources. It’s also possible
to have the ghoul’s regnant be the one whose Resources
dots support the service staff. In such a situation, the
Kindred is the true master of the house, but the ghoul
character is his butler or housekeeper in an Edwardian
manor-house-style division of labor. And while the
ghoul might be the one giving the orders and maintaining
the staff’s affairs, the master’s wishes are the
rule of the night.

And from the World of Darkness core supplement, Dogs of War (of all places)


Physical Merit: Athletics Dodge (•)
Prerequisites: Dexterity •• and Athletics •
Effect: Whenever your character performs a dodge (see
“Dodge”, the World of Darkness Rulebook, page 156) you
can add his Athletics Skill dots to his Defense instead of
doubling his Defense. He essentially draws on his knowledge
of how his body moves to parry and evade attacks rather
than rely on his raw ability alone.
Athletics Dodge applies against incoming Brawl- and
Weaponry-based attacks, against thrown-weapon attacks,
and against fi rearms attacks made within close-combat
range. Your character can move up to his Speed and perform
an Athletics Dodge maneuver in a turn.
A character can possess this Merit and also the Brawling
Dodge and Weaponry Dodge Merits, but only one can
be used per turn.


Mental Merit: Trained Observer
(• or •••)
Prerequisites: Wits ••• or Composure •••
Effect: A Trained Observer can spot the smallest anomaly.
No detail escapes his notice. With the one-dot version, the TO
ignores penalties of up to -3 on Perception rolls. The three dot
version gives Perception rolls the Rote Action quality (see “Rote
Actions”, the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 134).


Trained observer seems to be a either or; three dots is more useful in normal circumstances, single dot is more useful under stressful situations, although honestly once the dice pool hits around 7-8 it becomes a different deal - Rolling three dice due to penalty mitigation, versus rolling 4 dice twice.

Athletics Dodge is going to be because dancing and fighting are bothgoing to draw from the same roots; some capoeira training, stacatto movements during rave/ecstaticdub step style dancing mixed with acrobatics. I suspect that when defending himself, Flouresce will resemble a morea aware, dancing version of Vash the Stampede (-8 to hit me is nothing to sneeze at!)

Anarion
2012-10-30, 10:42 PM
It can't be a mundane reason either. If Vulcan is left to her own devices she'll follow, essentially, a pro-Seer agenda. There has to be a mechanism in place to make her swallow her own priorities and do Pentacle stuff, otherwise there isn't a stable grouping.

I'm just gonna let you guys talk this one out. Let me know if you want NPC forces to be involved in getting Vulcan into the party in any way.


CHARACTER SHEET

Samantha Chu

AKA Mara
Female Adamantine Arrow Mastigos
"A leash can pull both ways."
Theme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBcXe2B97TQ): Seven Devils

Tracks:
MANA 7/10
WILLPOWER 5/5
HEALTH 7/7

STATS



ATTRIBUTES

MENTAL
Intelligence 4
Wits 3
Resolve 3

PHYSICAL
Strength 2
Dexterity 3
Stamina 2

SOCIAL
Presence 1
Manipulation 4
Composure 2

SKILLS

MENTAL
Academics 2 (Psychology +1)
Computer 1
Crafts
Investigation 4
Medicine 1
Occult 1
Politics
Science

PHYSICAL (6 XP)
Athletics
Brawl
Drive 1
Firearms 2
Larceny 2 (Breaking and Entering +1)
Stealth 1
Survival
Weaponry

SOCIAL (3 XP)
Animal Ken
Empathy 3
Expression 2
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 3
Socialize 2 (Clubs +1)
Streetwise
Subterfuge 3


MERITS (4 XP)
Status (Arrow) 2
Allies (Arrow) 1
Striking Looks 2
Language (Chinese) 1
Sanctum 2
Hallow 3
Resources 1
Imbued Item (Prime Sight Glasses) 2

ARCANA
Mind 4
Space 2
Fate 1

GNOSIS 1
MANA 7/10

WISDOM: 7
VIRTUE: Fortitude
VICE: Envy

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 5/5
Defense 3
Health 7/7
Speed 9

ROTES
Drawing Aside the Inmost Veil (Read the Depths) Manipulation+Empathy+Mind 12
Remote Viewing (Scrying) Intelligence+Investigation+Space 10
Psyche's Dart (Psychic Assault) Resolve+Intimidation+Mind-Resolve(Target) 9
Illuminating the Inner Temple (Augment the Mind) Resolve+Academics+Mind 9

ARROW ROTE SPECIALITIES
+1 Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine

XP: 35
UNSPENT XP: 0
ARCANE XP:
UNSPENT ARCANE:

DESCRIPTION


Mara is a very pretty, slender girl, with distinctly Chinese-American features. She typically wears her hair in a pixie cut, and in a good mood can seem fae-touched, though she isn't an Acanthus. Her wardrobe is that of an older teenage girl, and she hasn't quite blossomed to the level of "young professional" yet.

In general, although the intensity of her mood swings has been significantly lowered, she can still turn sullen and quiet if something triggers her, and her mental states can wax and wane long-term as well. When she's happy, or intensely focused, her personality is bright and may even cross into teasing or flirting.

Mara has a pronounced tendency to view her own mind as a research/fix-it project and has difficulty understanding others' desires for mental privacy after half a lifetime of institutional prodding of her psyche. She does however have a blanket ban on directly reading the thoughts of those close to her, largely because of bad experiences in the past, where she discovered that sometimes it's easier not to know what people really want to say to you.


MAGICAL TOOLS

Cup (Creative Power): Telling Stories
Sword (Directed Power): Chain (Currently her bracelet)
Staff (Authority/General Power): Circle
Mirror (Reflections/Echoes): Chinese Hexagrams
Coin (Cycles of Power): Numbers 1-3

PERCEPTIONS:

Mind Empathic Bond
Mara experiences a person's mood herself, although less strongly than the subject, and she may begin thinking thoughts which mirror the current mental state of the person under scrutiny.

Space Bond and Chain
Sympathetic connections are bonds - silver, gold, or iron chains perhaps, the material mirroring some aspect of the spatial resonance, but always connected to the idea of restraint and being tied together.

Fate Casting the Runes
Mara sees the fates and destinies of people through traditional Chinese divinatory and luck symbolism. The hexagrams from the I Ching are very often present.

Prime Spirits of Magic
Since she can only perceive this Arcanum through the glasses she's been gifted, she sees it through the lens of Satori, who enchanted them originally. Spells and other magical effects take on a life of their own and she sees them as swirling, swimming creatures from Chinese folklore, almost as if spells could have Spirits.

NIMBUS
Demon Gate. When Mara casts magic, the air around her shimmers, as if through heat haze or some sort of optical distortion that bends the light around her. When she uses Vulgar magic, the haze blossoms into swirling, multi-colored flame and she is crowned with a halo bearing the pattern of a summoning circle.



HISTORY


Samantha Chu (Shadow name Mara), Awakened as a Mastigos. She's Chinese-American via her father's side, still fairly young but Awakened for a few years now. Her life before Awakening was something of a mix between rough and idyllic - her family was solidly upper middle class and rising, but her father was away more often than not on business, and her mother was bad with kids, despite good intentions. In short, being home wasn't so much being part of a family for her as it was sharing a house with two other people who happened to be 20-some years older. It didn't help that she was an only child.

On the other hand, there were two people that made her life tolerable. One was her grandmother on her father's side (who had immigrated to join her son in the US) who used to love giving her little gifts and telling her stories from China. The other was her best friend at school, Sara. The girls had bonded early, and both got pushed toward the outside of the social circle during the turmoil of the middle grades which only deepened their connection to each other.

During their teenage rebellion phase, Sam and Sara would sneak out and go clubbing in the next town over, at first with fake IDs, and then later as full-grown adults (in the State's eyes, at least). In the process, Sam learned some interesting things about lying, sneaking into places she wasn't wanted, and selling entirely made-up stories to bouncers without blinking an eye. The skills came back to pay dividends when she joined up with the Arrow.

The thing that complicated her youth however was her diagnosis at 14 with bipolar disorder. The diagnosis took a while because her first few rounds of mood swings were dismissed as the growing pains all young girls go through, but it was eventually a school nurse who realized that things might be more serious and referred her to treatment. Her family was initially reluctant, but as her shift between high and low started to interfere more and more with life they finally recognized the need for outside help.

Therapy and medication helped, but Sam continued to struggle with her condition throughout high school (which didn't exactly help her social situation) and even delayed heading to college for a while as she worked to sort her life out, with notably mixed feeling on her parents' part.

However, when Sara left for college herself, things got tougher. Sam had more episodes, sometimes didn't take her medicine. A particularly bad week of fights and recriminations seems to have triggered a nasty manic episode/mixed state that caused her parents to hospitalize Samantha for her own safety. It was there, in the psych ward, that Sam was forced to confront the Hell inside her own mind and the only choices became to see through the Lie or be crushed by it. She chose the latter and Awakened, and finally found something that could help her in a way no Sleeper was able to.

That said, Sam didn't instantly "cure" herself with magic. Instead, she's been analyzing herself, and her own mind magically, using her abilities to help keep things from spiraling out of control like they used to. Eventually, she was picked up by the Arrow and got some proper magical training, and even set her sights on going back to school. Until things got a little out of hand in Hong Kong.

You see, after her Awakening, Sam drastically reduced contact with her parents. They were there, but she finally enrolled in college and was spending a lot of time with her mentor, Satori, under the guise of having a new therapist.

At the same time, her connection to her grandmother remained pretty strong, calling and writing letters at least once a week, in addition to sort of keeping an eye on her with Scrying. Now, a little while ago, her father had occasion to travel to Hong Kong on business and he took his mother along, as a chance to let her see her home country again after so many years away.

Unfortunately, the Free Council attack happened to be on the train her father and grandmother were riding that day. When the news hit the international airwaves, she first thought that the coincidence was too great, but the feeling kept nagging her and she finally scryed. That was how she found out that both of them were killed in the attack. The official word came a few days later.

Now, Sam's pulled strings to be the Arrow's representative in Hong Kong. They had a connection to the city through Satori and a few others from Sam's neighborhood, and nominally she's there to help the other Arrows defend the new ley line patterns. Privately, she's there for blood. She wants to know who's responsible and make them pay for taking away one of the two people she truly cared for. Currently she's so set on vengeance that she's willing to work with anyone who's opposing the Free Council, including the Seers. Sort of an "enemy of my enemy" situation.


Looks solid to me. This


Mind Empathic Bond
Mara experiences a person's mood herself, although less strongly than the subject, and she may begin thinking thoughts which mirror the current mental state of the person under scrutiny.
might be some trouble for you if you keep mind sight up all the time, as walking through Hong Kong is going to be really depressing.
Kinda like this scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwd6CwnFtGk&t=7m6s), actually.



Actually, question Anarion: did I make this up, or is it true in the core that a dot in Order status automatically confers High Speech along with it. I would swear I read that, but now I'm doubting myself. I'll go have a look as well, actually...

I don't think it even requires the order status dot. According to the character creation rules on pg 66 you get the high speech merit as long as you're part of an order, i.e. not an apostate. So even if you have zero status and are totally new, if you're associated with the order, I think you get the merit.



She doesn't actually value vague intangibles like (fingerquotes) "freedom" at all.


Mammon has a list of numbers for that. "Freedom" is quite expensive, since they define it by the number of security cameras that they have to overwrite footage from so that you can do what you want and not get caught.


Edit: Well huh, okay, I do kind of think that Staff is not necessary. At least, not for nightclub employees. If these guys serve as your personal security that will do whatever you tell them, then you'll need Staff, but if you own a club and are paying the regular bartender and whoever out of your resources, I don't see the need for a separate Staff merit. Staff seems like it's for personal services, people that do what you want when you want it,

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 10:51 PM
Mammon has a list of numbers for that. "Freedom" is quite expensive, since they define it by the number of security cameras that they have to overwrite footage from so that you can do what you want and not get caught.

Paying someone to cover for your criminal actions is a service with a cost. It's not "freedom".

Similarly, pay enough money and the law can be changed. That's not "freedom" is either.

Vulcan is accordingly not clear on the value or purpose of "freedom". Any appeal to such a wishy-washy intangible gets a roll of the eyes.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 10:53 PM
This might be some trouble for you if you keep mind sight up all the time, as walking through Hong Kong is going to be really depressing.
Kinda like this scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwd6CwnFtGk&t=7m6s), actually.

I think dealing with that will be a combination of the fact that she may not have Mage sight up all the time, and my assumption that she can sort of screen out emotional background noise to focus on a specific target, like a microphone with a spatially narrow range.


I don't think it even requires the order status dot. According to the character creation rules on pg 66 you get the high speech merit as long as you're part of an order, i.e. not an apostate. So even if you have zero status and are totally new, if you're associated with the order, I think you get the merit.

Huh.

SiuiS
2012-10-30, 11:10 PM
Paying someone to cover for your criminal actions is a service with a cost. It's not "freedom".

Similarly, pay enough money and the law can be changed. That's not "freedom" is either.

Vulcan is accordingly not clear on the value or purpose of "freedom". Any appeal to such a wishy-washy intangible gets a roll of the eyes.

Temperature doesn't exist as she knows it either. Hot and cold are irrelevant, but she woul still use the term. Red is just the human approximation of light in the, what, 630-750 nanometer spectrum? It's not actually a thin that exists. Dogs see it as green.

"Freedom" is a thing with a definition. How you define it is irrelevant. Freedom is being in a situation where you are not constrained. If you are constrained, you are not free. If you are not constrained but that freedom was purchased b
Via upkeep an overhead costs, it's still freedom. Freedom isn't free, they say.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 11:11 PM
Paying someone to cover for your criminal actions is a service with a cost. It's not "freedom".

Similarly, pay enough money and the law can be changed. That's not "freedom" is either.

Vulcan is accordingly not clear on the value or purpose of "freedom". Any appeal to such a wishy-washy intangible gets a roll of the eyes.

I won't go too deep here in case you end up bringing this up IC. But I think a more experienced Seer would point out that whenever people ask for more "freedom" they usually just want money and privacy. And that's what Mammon charges them for.


I think dealing with that will be a combination of the fact that she may not have Mage sight up all the time, and my assumption that she can sort of screen out emotional background noise to focus on a specific target, like a microphone with a spatially narrow range.


Yep that will certainly work.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 11:26 PM
Temperature doesn't exist as she knows it either. Hot and cold are irrelevant, but she woul still use the term. Red is just the human approximation of light in the, what, 630-750 nanometer spectrum? It's not actually a thin that exists. Dogs see it as green.

"Freedom" is a thing with a definition. How you define it is irrelevant. Freedom is being in a situation where you are not constrained. If you are constrained, you are not free. If you are not constrained but that freedom was purchased b
Via upkeep an overhead costs, it's still freedom. Freedom isn't free, they say.

Then we get into metaphysics - like, I can't raise the dead from their screaming graves, where's my so-called freedom now? Isn't that the Pentacle's entire thing? I can't visit the Supernal so therefore I am not free; I am instead trapped in the Lie?

From Vulcan's perspective, freedom is meaningless, emphemeral and arbitrary, ranging from 'I wish I could browse porn at work' to 'I want to be able to end the cosmos' - whatever it is, it boils down to an "I want to be able to do X". Therefore, she sees the idea of "freedom" as meaningless and a far more honest approach would be to just straight-up say what you want.


Anyway, all beside the point. Someone get something up on Vulcan already.

Anarion
2012-10-30, 11:38 PM
T
Anyway, all beside the point. Someone get something up on Vulcan already.

Um, how about the PCs were part of a raid of her lorehouse and got the girl instead of the books? Vulcan's response is to shrug and say "I'll help you out if you make my life less uncomfortable than the lives of most prisoners."

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 11:44 PM
Um, how about the PCs were part of a raid of her lorehouse and got the girl instead of the books? Vulcan's response is to shrug and say "I'll help you out if you make my life less uncomfortable than the lives of most prisoners."

Could work. I'm actually sort of seeing a thing where she is technically a prisoner but keeps getting called along on missions because she's too useful to leave sitting around in a cell. White Collar style parole. I like it.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-30, 11:49 PM
Could work. I'm actually sort of seeing a thing where she is technically a prisoner but keeps getting called along on missions because she's too useful to leave sitting around in a cell. White Collar style parole. I like it.

I'm liking this idea.

Better than anything I had rolling around in my head.

Thanqol
2012-10-30, 11:56 PM
Let's finish the White Collar metaphor;

1. She's technically a captive of the Adamantine Arrow as a whole, so the Arrow knows her secret.
2. The Arrow keeps this secret from the other Orders because useful asset.
3. Mara is the 'handler', with instructions to keep Vulcan under close watch.
4. Anklet is a Fate oath. It's possible for a Fate mage to break an Oath, but then Mara will know it's been broken - so it is possible for Vulcan to go rogue but you'll have warning it's happening, and Vulcan will have to talk to a Fate mage willing to do her a service.
5. The game should start with Vulcan being taken out on her first mission. This whole dynamic is cool and tense enough that it shouldn't be routine on game start; it should definitely be a case of Mara constantly wondering how far she can trust the Seer and Vulcan gradually building up credibility.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 12:05 AM
Let's finish the White Collar metaphor;

1. She's technically a captive of the Adamantine Arrow as a whole, so the Arrow knows her secret.
2. The Arrow keeps this secret from the other Orders because useful asset.
3. Mara is the 'handler', with instructions to keep Vulcan under close watch.
4. Anklet is a Fate oath. It's possible for a Fate mage to break an Oath, but then Mara will know it's been broken - so it is possible for Vulcan to go rogue but you'll have warning it's happening, and Vulcan will have to talk to a Fate mage willing to do her a service.
5. The game should start with Vulcan being taken out on her first mission. This whole dynamic is cool and tense enough that it shouldn't be routine on game start; it should definitely be a case of Mara constantly wondering how far she can trust the Seer and Vulcan gradually building up credibility.

I think we may have struck gold, dynamic-wise. Good thinking, Anarion!

One tweak that this suggests however is for Mara to take Fate sight as a rote, so she can keep an eye on the "anklet" without either constantly maintaining Fate or hemorrhaging Mana. To that end, would it be acceptable to spend 2 XP worth of Merit XP to buy the Fate rote? I don't have anything else free at the moment, and the first dot of the flat cost is the same as a single-dot Merit.

If not, it's cool and I'll just pick that one up after the first round of XP.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 12:06 AM
Anarion, thoughts on merits?


Then we get into metaphysics - like, I can't raise the dead from their screaming graves, where's my so-called freedom now? Isn't that the Pentacle's entire thing? I can't visit the Supernal so therefore I am not free; I am instead trapped in the Lie?

From Vulcan's perspective, freedom is meaningless, emphemeral and arbitrary, ranging from 'I wish I could browse porn at work' to 'I want to be able to end the cosmos' - whatever it is, it boils down to an "I want to be able to do X". Therefore, she sees the idea of "freedom" as meaningless and a far more honest approach would be to just straight-up say what you want.

I can't disagree, but we come to slightly different conclusions from the same data. A feature, I believe. You have to admit though "I don't want to fear being oppressed by angry superior officers" and "I wish to be a god" cannot equate whatsoever. There's a difference of scale so large it's not even relevant. That this is still a point for Vulcan is nice. We will probably argue about it. I already plan to deride you for it.



Anyway, all beside the point. Someone get something up on Vulcan already.

Soul stone! I want a demense.


Could work. I'm actually sort of seeing a thing where she is technically a prisoner but keeps getting called along on missions because she's too useful to leave sitting around in a cell. White Collar style parole. I like it.


Let's finish the White Collar metaphor;

1. She's technically a captive of the Adamantine Arrow as a whole, so the Arrow knows her secret.
2. The Arrow keeps this secret from the other Orders because useful asset.
3. Mara is the 'handler', with instructions to keep Vulcan under close watch.
4. Anklet is a Fate oath. It's possible for a Fate mage to break an Oath, but then Mara will know it's been broken - so it is possible for Vulcan to go rogue but you'll have warning it's happening, and Vulcan will have to talk to a Fate mage willing to do her a service.
5. The game should start with Vulcan being taken out on her first mission. This whole dynamic is cool and tense enough that it shouldn't be routine on game start; it should definitely be a case of Mara constantly wondering how far she can trust the Seer and Vulcan gradually building up credibility.

damn. I'm sold, but I'd still like a soul stone if I could.

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 12:14 AM
I think we may have struck gold, dynamic-wise. Good thinking, Anarion!

One tweak that this suggests however is for Mara to take Fate sight as a rote, so she can keep an eye on the "anklet" without either constantly maintaining Fate or hemorrhaging Mana. To that end, would it be acceptable to spend 2 XP worth of Merit XP to buy the Fate rote? I don't have anything else free at the moment, and the first dot of the flat cost is the same as a single-dot Merit.

If not, it's cool and I'll just pick that one up after the first round of XP.

If you've made an Oath, then if she breaks it you get automatically informed.


I can't disagree, but we come to slightly different conclusions from the same data. A feature, I believe. You have to admit though "I don't want to fear being oppressed by angry superior officers" and "I wish to be a god" cannot equate whatsoever. There's a difference of scale so large it's not even relevant. That this is still a point for Vulcan is nice. We will probably argue about it. I already plan to deride you for it.

Of course they can't equate, that's why freedom is a stupid word.


Soul stone! I want a demense.

damn. I'm sold, but I'd still like a soul stone if I could.

Get your own!

Anarion
2012-10-31, 12:16 AM
I think we may have struck gold, dynamic-wise. Good thinking, Anarion!


*tips hat*



One tweak that this suggests however is for Mara to take Fate sight as a rote, so she can keep an eye on the "anklet" without either constantly maintaining Fate or hemorrhaging Mana. To that end, would it be acceptable to spend 2 XP worth of Merit XP to buy the Fate rote? I don't have anything else free at the moment, and the first dot of the flat cost is the same as a single-dot Merit.

If not, it's cool and I'll just pick that one up after the first round of XP.

I'm going to say yes, but you have to buy some merit when you get XP next. Sort of an XP loan, if you will.


Anarion, thoughts on merits?


Edit: Okay, well, like I said, I don't think you need the Staff merit for what you want. Don't buy Staff unless you want people who are your personal servants/retainers/chauffeurs etc. If they're working the nightclub, you can pay them with resources.

Your dodge merit and perception merit seem fine to me.



Soul stone! I want a demense.


damn. I'm sold, but I'd still like a soul stone if I could.

Well, you could extract a soul stone out of Vulcan if you wanted, assuming you negotiated the proper price. Or you could just make your own, if you wanted. Demenses are pretty cool, and somehow despite my discouragement you've still ended up with a pretty sweet sanctum+hallow+library combo.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 12:20 AM
If you've made an Oath, then if she breaks it you get automatically informed.


I'm going to say yes, but you have to buy some merit when you get XP next. Sort of an XP loan, if you will.

Hmm, well if we do this per Thanqol's suggestion, I suppose it isn't necessary. Might buy it anyway, since having the out-of-Path sights not cost Mana can be handy. Plus it's only 2 XP.


Well, you could extract a soul stone out of Vulcan if you wanted, assuming you negotiated the proper price. Or you could just make your own, if you wanted. Demenses are pretty cool, and somehow despite my discouragement you've still ended up with a pretty sweet sanctum+hallow+library combo.

Is this still going to be in a nightclub? Because I was pretty excited for that. Even when active, it's like, the perfect place for Mara to hang out. Helps that Mind is like, a super-covert Arcanum...

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 12:37 AM
EDIT: Puissant Skill (Covert) Choose single Physical Skill. For each success on the spellcasting roll, that skill is considered a rote Ability allowing reroll of any failures resulting in non-magical use of the skill. Can grant by touch with Life 3. TM 195

Is this really life 2? I found my first rote >_>



Of course they can't equate, that's why freedom is a stupid word.


You are frustratingly in character. Me gusta.



Get your own!

I'm trying!

We own you, right?



I'll edit them into the post in just a moment. I'm going to glance over all the character sheets again and link them in the OP.


Cool. Hold off on Flouresce for a bit though, I'd like to have a post of nothing but the character sheet.

It uh, will have Changeling info at the bottom from copy/paste stuff though.



Well, you could extract a soul stone out of Vulcan if you wanted, assuming you negotiated the proper price. Or you could just make your own, if you wanted. Demenses are pretty cool, and somehow despite my discouragement you've still ended up with a pretty sweet sanctum+hallow+library combo.

I may just. Although if I can pump it, a verge will actually suffice.



Is this still going to be in a nightclub? Because I was pretty excited for that. Even when active, it's like, the perfect place for Mara to hang out. Helps that Mind is like, a super-covert Arcanum...

pffff like that was ever not an option.

I'm seeing the base being a large square concrete structure lit by a deep neon blue in the corners, Tron style. Dance floor, stage to the back, bar off to the side, one of the back corners by the roof a bunch of prefab block rooms met by stairs of clinkety metal covered with reams of colored fabric wherein the managers operate. "Hallow" and "Library" and such would be in a separate room since we have the resources for it. Plus you're a matter mage; your dot of hallow could be having formed some concrete, sealed rooms closer to the Ley-source, allowing us to tap more firmly into the Supernal waters.

And damn. Was considering rotes in prime, but now I gotta redouble my efforts. Oh, and! A thing.

List of canon rotes (http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=Official_Spell_List).

Anarion
2012-10-31, 12:38 AM
Siuis, edits on the merits above. Short answer is you're fine, but I don't think you need Staff.




Is this still going to be in a nightclub? Because I was pretty excited for that. Even when active, it's like, the perfect place for Mara to hang out. Helps that Mind is like, a super-covert Arcanum...

If you do the nightclub, do you guys want to be on the mainland, or on Macau? Both work. Macaus is more like Los Vegas, mainland is more like downtown New York.

In both cases, expect most of the club guests to be pretty desperate. Default resonance is a combo of fear, desperation, and escape. If you want to actually encourage joy, inspiration, and creativity, you'll have to go out of your way to do it.

Edit:


Cool. Hold off on Flouresce for a bit though, I'd like to have a post of nothing but the character sheet.


Already linked, I'll change it when you put up a new post.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 12:38 AM
Flouresce
Kim Chung-Hee, Korean Male Thyrsus of the Adamantine Arrow
Shaman of the Concrete Jungle
_________________________

MUSIC

Rouse the sleeper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWyB447vNjg&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
A study in Life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o43qnkKCNms&feature=youtube_gdata_player) -NSFWish
Running the roofs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dI06NEtI3I&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
Pulse of the people (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_w33OVPdw&feature=youtube_gdata_player)
Through the concrete barrows (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHjpOzsQ9YI&feature=youtube_gdata_player)


STATBLOCK



ATTRIBUTES

Intelligence 2
Wits 2
Resolve 3

Strength 2
Dexterity 3
Stamina 2

Presence 3
Manipulation 3
Composure 4

MENTAL
Academics
Computer
Crafts 1 (tagging)
Investigation 3
Occult 2
Politics
Medicine
Science

PHYSICAL
Athletics 3
Brawl 2 (capoeira)
Drive
Firearms 1
Larceny 1
Stealth 3
Survival
Weaponry

SOCIAL (3 XP)
Animal Ken
Empathy 2
Expression 4 (dancing)
Intimidation 1
Persuasion 3
Socialize 1
Streetwise 2
Subterfuge 1

MERITS
Familiar 3
Potent Familiar 2
Multilingual (Chinese, English) 1
Resources 2
Sanctum 2
Hallow 2
Trained Observer 3
Athletics Dodge 1
Status: Adamantine Arrow 1
Status: Free Council 1
Library (spirits) 1



ARCANA
Spirit 4
Life 2
Prime 1

GNOSIS 2
MANA 7/11

WISDOM 7
VIRTUE: Prudence
VICE: Sloth
FLAW: Embarassing Secret (free councilor guerilla)

DERIVED TRAITS
Willpower 7/7
Defense 2
Health 8/8
Initiative 7
Speed 10

ROTES
Spirit Gold: Sacramental chain p. 253. move 1 essence/success between targets. Resolve+Occult+Spirit - resistance (9 dice)

Dragon's Insight: Supernal Vision, p. 221. Prime Mage sight, detect auras, resonance with unparalleled capacity.
Wits+Investigation+Prime (7 dice)

Know Thy Enemy: Gauge Essence, summoners p. 210. Contested, learn quality of essence of a creature.
Wits+Empathy+Prime (6 dice)



XP: 35
UNSPENT XP: 2 / 10 (mental) / 15 (familiar)
ARCANE XP: 0
UNSPENT ARCANE: 0

FAMILIAR

Night's-Neon-Rhythm
Neon trance dragon spirit

ATTRIBUTES
Power: 2
Finesse: 3
Resistance: 3

TRAITS
Willpower: 6/6
Essence: 10/10
Initiative[/b:] 6
[b]Defense: 3
Speed: 15
Size: 5
Corpus: 8
Influence Cultural Expression 2

FAMILIAR
Night's-Neon-Rhythm is Mage's familiar, and as such can exist in Twilight indefinitely without concern for essence bleed.

NNR and it's Mage have an empathic connection. It's Mage can see, hear and touch NNR and vice versa despite being in Twilight. NNR's Mage is considered to have an intimate sympathetic connection to it, and can use NNR's senses for scrying rather than a scrying window. NNR and it's Mage can swap mana for essence (see essence rules below).

BAN
Night's-Neon-Rhythm cannot harm a dancer or musician while they are in the respective act.
NNR must pay for performances with Essence when specifically called on to play audience if the performance is sufficient, and must perform if called on to do so and offered suitable payment (power ban)

NUMINA
Power Ban, Blast, Emotional Aura (R)

Manifestation - as a Twilight spirit, Night's-Neon-Rhythm can manifest in the physical realm with a successful Power+Finesse roll, modified by the local Gauntlet strength. Failure on this roll drains one point of Willpower, and NNR must have at least one point of Willpower remaining to make the attempt. NNR can manifest invisibly if it chooses.

Blast - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can unleash a roar, spewing fine shattered glass, burning neon gasses and the overloud thumping of electronic dance music up to thirty yards. This deals lethal damage with a dice pool of Power+Finesse, and can be increased by two dice for every point of essence spent.

Emotional Aura (Revelry) - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can emanate an aura of Revelry in a five yard radius by spending a point of essence. For the remainder of the scene, anyone who comes within the area must roll Resolve+Composure+Power Stat or suffer -2 to all dice pools due to distraction. Due to the particular nature of Night's-Neon-Rhythm itself, these penalties do not apply to dancing, singing, or performing appropriate music.

Revelry is not always positive. Getting into the mood at a funeral would involve keening and empassioned eulogies. Revelry at a protest would involve catchy chants, rhythmic stomping and a building energy.

Influence - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can expend essence to influence the world around it. When influencing emotions or thoughts, the roll is contested; the target uses the higher of its resolve or composure, and it's Power Stat if any.

Use of influence requires a roll of Power+Finesse. NNR can strengthen and enhance its sphere of influence for ten minutes per success by expending one essence, or it can manipulate and make minor changes to its sphere of influence for one minute per success by expending two essence.

Essence Rules - Night's-Neon-Rhythm, as a spirit, holds essence. His maximum capacity is 10, and there is no general limit on the amount of essence which can be spent in a turn1.

NNR can spend a point of essence to use its influence in the mortal (and possibly spirit) world.

NNR can spend its essence to increase its attributes on a one-for-one basis for one scene. Each attribute has a maximum limit of three bonus points (His rank +2). Only one point of essence can be spent in this way per round.

NNR must use one point of essence to remain "alive" each day at sunrise. This is a relic of ryōng being celestial spirits more closely related to the sun choir. Most spirits pay this fee at moonrise.

NNR recovers one point of essence per day from proximity to that which it reflects. Additionally, once per day NNR may attempt to pull essence from an appropriate source of resonance with a Power+Finesse roll. This is modified (negatively) by the Gauntlet or (positively) by a locus.

NNR may steal essence from other spirits with a contested roll of Power+Finesse v. finesse+Resistance. Whoever wins the contest drains essence from the loser equal to the number of successes on the roll.

As a familiar, NNR and Flouresce may trade mana and essence freely on a point for point basis. NNR has no limit on the amount of mana he can give, but Flouresce is most likely still limited by his gnosis and mana-per-turn expenditure cap.






1: This may not be true, but seems supported by the general rules. A sweep of all three relevant books will be conducted soon to verify the veracity of this rule.

DESCRIPTION


Chung-Hee is a tall, thin and well-fleshed young man indiscriminately somewhere in his twenties. He favors outer wear that hides his form and comes in neutral tones, greens and browns and greys, with a stray red or blue. He usually sports cargo pants, comfortable and well-worn sneakers (of which he has several pairs), and has various clothing knick-knacks available, such as beanie, sunglasses, gloves, and handkerchiefs. Under his baggy, urban-camouflage exterior, he wears his pants cinched just below the natural waist, and a skin tight underarmor shirt, often sleeveless. There is a twist of leather thonged around both his arms between deltoid and bicep, the left one spangled with depending fangs, claws and some stones.

Chung-Hee's face is smooth and almost blandly handsome, with high cheekbones and a pointed jaw, both of which look much less flattering in 3/4 profile. His hair alternates between buzzed short, and gelled into a field of spikes. His expressions are subtle, never fully taking his face, and as such he has a dearth of wrinkles and creases one would expect from a fifteen year old.

In almost every guise or outfit, he carries a music player attached to a set of high-quality headphones slung around his neck, and a small satchel in which he keeps his notebook and other items.

HISTORY


MUNDANE GEAR

gerry-rigged surveying equipment - plumb lines, levels, a sextant-like device, a sighting scope, an some
Notes on measurements, all carried in an Altoids can. Flouresce uses these for marking down data on spots he can see but not really reach. Height, distance, etc. it also helps to figure out which spots are climb able and which are certain death.

Sound System - power cord, adapter, wireless speakers. Because dance-offs happen.

climbing gear - harness, ropes, carabiners, and a grapple hook, all reinforced. Partially for climbing, partially because clever use of pullies can accomplish a lot.

"Survival" kit - another Altoids tin, with some bills, bandages, aspirin, LED keychain lights, and a utility tool;


http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee468/WizardPony/408AF28E-35D1-459C-9DD5-1A7C12544E65-745-00000102526720CE.jpg


Tagging kit - cans of spray paint, rubber gloves, gas mask.
usually brought to an appropriate site after the fact, due to gas masks being kinda weird to carry in public. Occasionally brought on excursions for the rare moment when leaving a sign is vitally important right now.

Jewelry - Spirits love jewelry. So do a lot of people, actually. Ranging from gold and silver rings, to tacky new age crystal conglomerations. Some bought intentionally, others pilfered from the club lost and found, the amount and quality cycles over time.


magical tools

Headphones/music player (Mirror) - magic is life, and music is primal, the heartbeat of the soul. Intensely personal, intensely intimate, it's a shared connection among all the world.

Spray can (Cup) - magic is bringing something from nothing. Creation is charged with this truth.

Bunny hug (coin) - magic is tradition, and tradition is the cycle of history. What was once vogue will be again, and staying at the forefront is being tied to the ebb and flow of the world. And hoodies are in again, this last couple years.

Poi (sword) - magic is the dynamic flow. The cord joins heaven and earth as the sphere orbits the dancer. The poi joins a dancer's internal form with external form, each move being reintegrated into the internal, re-expressed.

Dancing (staff) - magic is impressing yourself upon the world. There is a rhythm and flow to reality, and to be one with the Dragon's movement is to be the dragon.

Nimbus: Potency. The world seen through Flouresce's nimbus is high-octane, on an adrenaline kick, like night-life Vegas. Colors are brighter, shadows starker, and you'd swear each building, animal and thing had some personality to it.

When reflecting Prudence, it is the pulse of of the world, the sanguine quiescence of a patient predator. You'll walk under the panther's tree, eventually. Until then...
The beat of the heart is a rhythm you'll dance to later. The sunlight's perfect for a task, and you'll keep at it while you're in the groove.

When reflecting Sloth, it is dispassionate. The spirit courts have seen the rise and fall of men. The tides of changing regimes. The mountain was here before the village, the buildings before this generation, or the last. We will be here when you are gone. You are trivial, and we will get to you in good time.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 12:51 AM
Ahaha, we all succumbed to the green-eyed demon.

Anarion
2012-10-31, 12:54 AM
Ahaha, we all succumbed to the green-eyed demon.

Huh?

Flouresce's vice is sloth, not envy.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 12:57 AM
Huh?

Flouresce's vice is sloth, not envy.

>.>

That totally said Envy the last time I looked.

I'm not crazy!

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 01:27 AM
Supplementary thought:

Vulcan has to be at fault for whatever made the Arrow come after her, and her sentence has to be an act of justice. I say this because if she's minding her own business and the Arrow kicks down her door, steals all her stuff and forces her into magical slavery then they're the bad guys.

So instead (to follow the White Collar metaphor) she stole something very valuable from them, some artifact(s), and handed them on to Mammon. Mara was the Arrow who successfully tracked her down, and the Arrow very deliberately put her on trial rather than killing her out of hand and offered her the choice of mage prison or community service.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 01:38 AM
Supplementary thought:

Vulcan has to be at fault for whatever made the Arrow come after her, and her sentence has to be an act of justice. I say this because if she's minding her own business and the Arrow kicks down her door, steals all her stuff and forces her into magical slavery then they're the bad guys.

So instead (to follow the White Collar metaphor) she stole something very valuable from them, some artifact(s), and handed them on to Mammon. Mara was the Arrow who successfully tracked her down, and the Arrow very deliberately put her on trial rather than killing her out of hand and offered her the choice of mage prison or community service.

Mmm, maybe not stole. Destroyed. Possibly through innaction or sheer ignorance, but an asset lost is a debt deeper, beacuse Vulcan could otherwise replace the object adnd ignore costs for damages.

Vulcan Destroyed several resources. A spirit court, a small hallow, possibly a banisher contact, and some finances athat were a bitch for the arrw to get into place. Flouresce would gladly have killed her upon capture... Except Vulcan did so in relation to investigating the train bombing, and Mara is the officer in charge. She stauys Flouresce's hand, and brokers a deal...

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 01:43 AM
Mmm, maybe not stole. Destroyed. Possibly through innaction or sheer ignorance, but an asset lost is a debt deeper, beacuse Vulcan could otherwise replace the object adnd ignore costs for damages.

Vulcan Destroyed several resources. A spirit court, a small hallow, possibly a banisher contact, and some finances athat were a bitch for the arrw to get into place. Flouresce would gladly have killed her upon capture... Except Vulcan did so in relation to investigating the train bombing, and Mara is the officer in charge. She stauys Flouresce's hand, and brokers a deal...

No, stole. Because if it's in the hands of Mammon she can't get it back, and if it's an artifact with significance to the Arrow then she can't replace it. She doesn't have enough money to possibly replace it.

Also stole because this way there's the possibility that she kept the thing for herself, which could prove eventful way down the road.

Nothing interesting can be done with a pile of ash.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 02:10 AM
No, stole. Because if it's in the hands of Mammon she can't get it back, and if it's an artifact with significance to the Arrow then she can't replace it. She doesn't have enough money to possibly replace it.

Also stole because this way there's the possibility that she kept the thing for herself, which could prove eventful way down the road.

Nothing interesting can be done with a pile of ash.

Vulcan has bough empathy to know that other people value stuff which is not stuff. Enmity bough through destruction tends to supercede enmity bought through theft. From the ashes arise many things, and that Vulcan doesn't understand that could very well be the point.

I'm not sold though, so let's keep debating.

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 02:20 AM
Vulcan has bough empathy to know that other people value stuff which is not stuff. Enmity bough through destruction tends to supercede enmity bought through theft. From the ashes arise many things, and that Vulcan doesn't understand that could very well be the point.

I'm not sold though, so let's keep debating.

What? Vulcan is a materialist. She wouldn't destroy something permanently for the sole purpose of making a powerful order of wizards angry at her. What does she gain out of that? She's a supergenius and socially competent, she understands what she's doing perfectly.

What's your point?

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 02:32 AM
What? Vulcan is a materialist. She wouldn't destroy something permanently for the sole purpose of making a powerful order of wizards angry at her. What does she gain out of that? She's a supergenius and socially competent, she understands what she's doing perfectly.

What's your point?

That the events I suggested could be collateral damage far enough outside her scope of caring for her to have caused them, and then get caught by people she cannot outgun, but doesn't necessarily agree with on the severity of the punishment, thus making her imprisonment a viable solution for all parties.

This engages the party. Stealing from the arrow really only engages Mara, Which has been a consistent design choice I am altering because Mara+Vulcan, and also the guy without striking looks may be fun, but Anarion didn't sign up to run two games.

Unless DD is okay ordering around a lazy, rebellious and resentful underling. I would be okay with that but I am finding consistently that my usual level I interparty strife makes others uncomfortable, so I am avoiding it this time.


I think we are talking apples and oranges. You're basing this on Vulcan needing to feel justly punished, yes?

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 02:43 AM
That the events I suggested could be collateral damage far enough outside her scope of caring for her to have caused them, and then get caught by people she cannot outgun, but doesn't necessarily agree with on the severity of the punishment, thus making her imprisonment a viable solution for all parties.

This engages the party. Stealing from the arrow really only engages Mara, Which has been a consistent design choice I am altering because Mara+Vulcan, and also the guy without striking looks may be fun, but Anarion didn't sign up to run two games.

Unless DD is okay ordering around a lazy, rebellious and resentful underling. I would be okay with that but I am finding consistently that my usual level I interparty strife makes others uncomfortable, so I am avoiding it this time.


I think we are talking apples and oranges. You're basing this on Vulcan needing to feel justly punished, yes?

Just because my dynamic with Mara does not directly include you does not mean it's a bad dynamic and needs to be replaced. My link with your character can be entirely unrelated, and it is in fact preferable if it's not a two-verses-one situation.

If you're considering playing a lazy, rebellious and resentful underling then that's a problem. I'm not considering playing that or anything remotely like that. I'm considering playing a tame supervillain.

Urgh, look, I've been feeling extremely catty recently and I cannot understand what you're complaining about or proposing. Please say it in clear words without metaphor, abstraction or assumed knowledge.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 03:22 AM
Urgh, look, I've been feeling extremely catty recently and I cannot understand what you're complaining about or proposing. Please say it in clear words without metaphor, abstraction or assumed knowledge.

uh, dang.


Just because my dynamic with Mara does not directly include you does not mean it's a bad dynamic and needs to be replaced. My link with your character can be entirely unrelated, and it is in fact preferable if it's not a two-verses-one situation.

If you're considering playing a lazy, rebellious and resentful underling then that's a problem. I'm not considering playing that or anything remotely like that. I'm considering playing a tame supervillain.

I am not saying your dynamic needs to be replaced. However, the logic that you are a materialist and will react in certain fashions goes both ways - Flouresce is not a materialist. He will act in certain (differing) ways. If the cause is not a thing he cares about he will be ambivalent. Ambivalent Flouresce will do his own thing. This results in either Anarion running two separate, but overlapping games, or in Mara giving orders (or another top arrow, either/or). Flouresce's reaction to this (ambivalence) is just as noteworthy as Vulcan's projected ambivalnce towards the destruction of ephemerals. It is no less worthy a motive, which is where any cattiness on my part is seeping through. I come across as terse when both supporting a point and having to justify it.

If the thing stolen was a material item that was taken, then on the surface it would either be useful to him, and he would hold that against Vulcan, possibly dropping her in unfriendly shadow out of Darwinian trial by fire, or it's something he got that he didn't care about. The only compromise is that the event is important to Flouresce while the item is sufficiently important to Vulcan. You would have to have undone his work, which means somewhere between the free council and the Adamantine arrow, Flouresce put in footwork and elbow grease. This provides internal focus.

We also cannot have a two-in-one situation wherein the only non-mind Mage is trying to keep a secret from the other two. This just now occurred to me as a Bad Idea on my part :smallredface:

I thought of this a while ago, but I have a pathological dislike of edits. I do not enjoy posting something while another develops a counter argument that my post would have fixed. So I was waiting for more input before saying anything. I have no problem with playing a subtly put-out underling. I have no problem spelunking during most of my screen time. I can see how others would have a problem with it however, and am explaining the situation so no one gets blindsided by what seemed an obvious motivation in hindsight.

The note that both Mara and Vulcan have striking looks was a joke, by the way. You only do that for female characters, so Flouresce is safe :smallwink:

Anarion
2012-10-31, 03:49 AM
A few things

1. Do not concern yourself with how this relationship will affect my ability to run the game. I'll run the game however it ends up needing to be run, you come up with a team relationship that explains how the three of you will be working in a team.

2. SiuiS, why is Flouresce working with Mara? I think you're focusing too much on the relationship with Vulcan, where you three can be working together without requiring that initial relationship at all. Perhaps Mara merely came with a pet dog Mage?

3. If you're really stuck, I'll do what Thanqol did in Skyscraper Graveyard and just say that you all have an immediate realization that you share a sympathetic connection when you first meet. I'm hesitant to do so because I don't know that I'm thrusting you guys quite as much in the center of destiny as we seem to be in Skyscraper Graveyard. You're more of a group of well-positioned opportunists in this campaign.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 04:47 AM
Mara is an "out of towner", and needs somewhere to go. She is also higher ranking than Flouresce, who has a sanctum she would enjoy and a workspace she benefits from, as well as potentially being friends along the same lines that make them both interested in such a scene. Getting the two together and not antagonistic is cake. Any friendliness which arises is a bonus.

Vulcan is a native, which is why the focus - Flouresce would likely already know about this Silver Collared Overseer, and would have Opinions. Getting them together is, again, easy. Except the emergent properties of Vulcan's described desired set up are bad, from a perceived narrative sense. These are not choices I am making, they are the natural result of the equation. I am trying to cut them off at the pass without having to back out and make a different character, so small tweaks at the base, the variables themselves, will work better and more organically. I do believe that Vulcan having stolen a device which is the fruit of long labor on Flouresce's part would fulfill all requirements.

Also, given some thought I would like to nix that particular Embarrasing Secret. It wouldn't be fun in play, and would likely be needlessly stressful as we all try to figure out how to not obviously open it up. Normally flaws that do the character are great, but that goes too far. I would like to remain as an (ex)member of the Free Council however. I also would like to know which order I would take rote specialties from? I do not think they will come up much regardless, though. If I can think of something less likely to ruin the show, I will bring it up for consideration.

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 06:43 AM
I am not saying your dynamic needs to be replaced. However, the logic that you are a materialist and will react in certain fashions goes both ways - Flouresce is not a materialist. He will act in certain (differing) ways. If the cause is not a thing he cares about he will be ambivalent. Ambivalent Flouresce will do his own thing. This results in either Anarion running two separate, but overlapping games, or in Mara giving orders (or another top arrow, either/or). Flouresce's reaction to this (ambivalence) is just as noteworthy as Vulcan's projected ambivalnce towards the destruction of ephemerals. It is no less worthy a motive, which is where any cattiness on my part is seeping through. I come across as terse when both supporting a point and having to justify it.

If the thing stolen was a material item that was taken, then on the surface it would either be useful to him, and he would hold that against Vulcan, possibly dropping her in unfriendly shadow out of Darwinian trial by fire, or it's something he got that he didn't care about. The only compromise is that the event is important to Flouresce while the item is sufficiently important to Vulcan. You would have to have undone his work, which means somewhere between the free council and the Adamantine arrow, Flouresce put in footwork and elbow grease. This provides internal focus.

Seems acceptable. For the sake of future clarity, you can volunteer that as "I think it'd aid the dynamic if the whatever item Vulcan stole was something that Flouresce was personally invested in, either as the one who made it or who put a lot into it's recovery. This adds an additional layer of drama if Vulcan still secretly possesses the whatever item."


We also cannot have a two-in-one situation wherein the only non-mind Mage is trying to keep a secret from the other two. This just now occurred to me as a Bad Idea on my part :smallredface:

Heh, not a winning strategy.


2. SiuiS, why is Flouresce working with Mara? I think you're focusing too much on the relationship with Vulcan, where you three can be working together without requiring that initial relationship at all. Perhaps Mara merely came with a pet dog Mage?

Word


3. If you're really stuck, I'll do what Thanqol did in Skyscraper Graveyard and just say that you all have an immediate realization that you share a sympathetic connection when you first meet. I'm hesitant to do so because I don't know that I'm thrusting you guys quite as much in the center of destiny as we seem to be in Skyscraper Graveyard. You're more of a group of well-positioned opportunists in this campaign.

That was not a mere convenience saver on my end; it's an important plot point. I also think a divided loyalties story is weakened by a magical friendship link.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 08:49 AM
Seems acceptable. For the sake of future clarity, you can volunteer that as "I think it'd aid the dynamic if the whatever item Vulcan stole was something that Flouresce was personally invested in, either as the one who made it or who put a lot into it's recovery. This adds an additional layer of drama if Vulcan still secretly possesses the whatever item."


I unfortunately had not encapsulated it in my own mind as such. And I do not think I have artfully conveyed how unutterably wrong editing things seems to me. Adding a new detail, or gods forbid, removing one? I like permanency in my written media. I felt better taking the blow to my pride and waiting for you to post gain before offering this solution, than editing it in and risking not only the confusion of mistimed communication but also violation of some strange ethical taboo. I suspect it's a hold over from my obsessive compulsive days.



Heh, not a winning strategy.


It was a beautiful plan, actually, until I realized I could have a legacy faster than I could defend myself.

Oops.



That was not a mere convenience saver on my end; it's an important plot point. I also think a divided loyalties story is weakened by a magical friendship link.

Oh, interesting. I look forward to the culmination then.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 10:38 AM
The note that both Mara and Vulcan have striking looks was a joke, by the way. You only do that for female characters, so Flouresce is safe :smallwink:

Just once I wanted to be a pretty pony princess too :smallwink:


Mara is an "out of towner", and needs somewhere to go. She is also higher ranking than Flouresce, who has a sanctum she would enjoy and a workspace she benefits from, as well as potentially being friends along the same lines that make them both interested in such a scene. Getting the two together and not antagonistic is cake. Any friendliness which arises is a bonus.

Just a note about the rank - I envision the second dot coming as a sort of promotion shortly before she left for Hong Kong. It's part of the package she was campaigning to get from the Arrow, but it's not something she's used to yet. As a result, she's unlikely to outright order anyone to do anything not connected with her own personal issues or major goals the Order sets her; she's still too much in the mindset that she's an initiate herself.

Actually, Mara's relationship with the Arrow back home is probably on a probationary note right now. There are almost certainly mages on both sides of the Pacific that are wondering why more familiar faces, like Satori, didn't get the post. Tracking down Vulcan may be the first feather in her cap that convinces the Order to give her some more breathing space, although they're still going to be keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't embarrass them or start any international incidents.

Game-wise, it would definitely be reasonable for the US Arrow to contact her occasionally for a check-up, or to give her explicit orders, at least until they're convinced she'll be competent as a free agent.


Heh, not a winning strategy.

I was going to say something along the lines of "secrets and lies", and then I had a thought of Pinkie with the Mind Arcanum and I had to sit down for a second.


That was not a mere convenience saver on my end; it's an important plot point. I also think a divided loyalties story is weakened by a magical friendship link.

I too am intrigued by what this will turn into.

Anarion
2012-10-31, 12:25 PM
I also would like to know which order I would take rote specialties from? I do not think they will come up much regardless, though. If I can think of something less likely to ruin the show, I will bring it up for consideration.

Probably the Arrow, since that's who you're actually associated with. Do you still want to represent the association with the Free Council mechanically in any way, or is this just going to be part of the backstory now?



That was not a mere convenience saver on my end; it's an important plot point. I also think a divided loyalties story is weakened by a magical friendship link.

Yeah, I figured that was something special, although it's interesting to get confirmation there.


Just once I wanted to be a pretty pony princess too :smallwink:


This is really the only reason to run an RPG.



Actually, Mara's relationship with the Arrow back home is probably on a probationary note right now. There are almost certainly mages on both sides of the Pacific that are wondering why more familiar faces, like Satori, didn't get the post. Tracking down Vulcan may be the first feather in her cap that convinces the Order to give her some more breathing space, although they're still going to be keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't embarrass them or start any international incidents.

Game-wise, it would definitely be reasonable for the US Arrow to contact her occasionally for a check-up, or to give her explicit orders, at least until they're convinced she'll be competent as a free agent.

Who would you expect to call Mara? Would it be Satori, or someone higher up from the US Arrow?

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 06:30 PM
Probably the Arrow, since that's who you're actually associated with. Do you still want to represent the association with the Free Council mechanically in any way, or is this just going to be part of the backstory now?


I plan to take status amongst the Free Council, but the arrow works. There would be a handful of any pentacle order, yes? So up until now it's entirely possible that Flouresce was like, a full 1/20th of the Free Council, which had like two open cabals and a few shadow agents?

-

I have... Uh, had a question on rotes. With Spirit, seeing spirit's in twilight, and looking through the gauntlet to the shadow are two separate effects. Combining them would be Spirit 3, since the requirement is one higher than the highest level effect, right? Less important now though as I realize I can do this on the fly without needing a rote for it.

DD, between Mara and Flouresce we have six resources dots and 3-4 sanctum dots. How should we allocate them? I suggest resources goes to size, since we have a large space that is often full of sleepers, and sanctum goes to security to keep the sleepers out of the really important parts (the smaller sized chambers in the back). Anarion, how would this work, exactly? Is this fine?

Anarion
2012-10-31, 06:36 PM
I plan to take status amongst the Free Council, but the arrow works. There would be a handful of any pentacle order, yes? So up until now it's entirely possible that Flouresce was like, a full 1/20th of the Free Council, which had like two open cabals and a few shadow agents?


1/20th? Woah, there are way fewer mages than that. The city is going to be crowded with ~8 free council members not including you. There's a little bit over 50 mages for the entire city, with the influx of new people.



I have... Uh, had a question on rotes. With Spirit, seeing spirit's in twilight, and looking through the gauntlet to the shadow are two separate effects. Combining them would be Spirit 3, since the requirement is one higher than the highest level effect, right? Less important now though as I realize I can do this on the fly without needing a rote for it.

DD, between Mara and Flouresce we have six resources dots and 3-4 sanctum dots. How should we allocate them? I suggest resources goes to size, since we have a large space that is often full of sleepers, and sanctum goes to security to keep the sleepers out of the really important parts (the smaller sized chambers in the back). Anarion, how would this work, exactly? Is this fine?

I'm going to withhold answering the rote question as I don't have the book handy at the moment. That's probably how it works, just want to double check.

For the sanctum. Eh, I'm not sure. I'd like to hear what Thanqol and DD think. My inclination is that you need to use only your sanctum dots for your sanctum, and resource dots are buying something else. You can't have 4 dots of sanctum security and zero size then buy up the space with resources.

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 08:21 PM
I unfortunately had not encapsulated it in my own mind as such. And I do not think I have artfully conveyed how unutterably wrong editing things seems to me. Adding a new detail, or gods forbid, removing one? I like permanency in my written media. I felt better taking the blow to my pride and waiting for you to post gain before offering this solution, than editing it in and risking not only the confusion of mistimed communication but also violation of some strange ethical taboo. I suspect it's a hold over from my obsessive compulsive days.

SiuiS, one of my greatest values is clear communication. I endeavour to be precise with my words to the exclusion of all other drives and priorities. As such, it's increasingly irritating me whenever your posts cross the line into incoherence. Your typos aren't just wrong letters, they're entirely wrong words which entirely change the context of what you're saying, you drift through nonsense rambling when you need to make a clear, concise point, and you argue based on priorities I can not and do not understand and because of this your arguments seem arbitrary and deliberately hostile.

I've found myself in recent times skimming, disregarding or not understanding a lot of your posts, which is a real problem when we're locked in a small room together like this. I would very much appreciate it if you put some more effort in to communicating properly. If editing is such a huge mental hangup for you do what I do and hit 'preview post' instead, and then take a long calm look through what you've written and ask yourself 'would a someone who didn't speak English as his first language be able to follow this?'


For the sanctum. Eh, I'm not sure. I'd like to hear what Thanqol and DD think. My inclination is that you need to use only your sanctum dots for your sanctum, and resource dots are buying something else. You can't have 4 dots of sanctum security and zero size then buy up the space with resources.

I agree with this. I think a Sanctum can be embedded in a larger structure - the Batcave is a Sanctum while Wayne Manor is Resources - but they're not interchangeable. Sanctums are off the books.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 08:34 PM
Who would you expect to call Mara? Would it be Satori, or someone higher up from the US Arrow?

Hmm, first I should probably say that it isn't really likely to be the entire US. I was sort of interchanging the terms just to get nationalities right (which may be what you mean here as well). I'd imagine she'd only really have contact with the branch of the Arrow that was local to where she was from although I've conveniently left that vague as "somewhere in city/suburban USA".

At any rate, it would probably make the most sense to have Satori be the face of the Arrow for her, although the orders coming down to her may reflect the fact that although this is her mentor speaking to her, it's the Order's administration as a whole that's tracking her progress.


DD, between Mara and Flouresce we have six resources dots and 3-4 sanctum dots. How should we allocate them? I suggest resources goes to size, since we have a large space that is often full of sleepers, and sanctum goes to security to keep the sleepers out of the really important parts (the smaller sized chambers in the back). Anarion, how would this work, exactly? Is this fine?

Hmm, I kind of favor the embedding idea. Resources we could dedicate to the club itself, which is more or less mundane, and then the Sanctum dots could be for the spatially close by, but un-talked-about "back room" or what have you. Kind of like a gangland owned joint, but we're the good guys.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 09:34 PM
SiuiS, one of my greatest values is clear communication.

Okay. I recognize this is a problem, and I have been doing things to correct it on the back end. I've slipped again over the last month, but the effort is there.

Part of the trouble is that being, for lack of a better word, painfully deliberate, causes my posts to be antagonistic. It's a feedback loop from my mental tone of voice. It feels unpleasantly masculine, and I prefer not to go into full-on Asserting Myself mode.



I agree with this. I think a Sanctum can be embedded in a larger structure - the Batcave is a Sanctum while Wayne Manor is Resources - but they're not interchangeable. Sanctums are off the books.

A Size 0, security 1 sanctum is by-the-books possible, actually. Which means a 1 dot sanctum is now a 0 dot sanctum, an is the size of a large bathroom. 2 dots now has the size of a 1 dot sanctum, which is a one-bedroom apartment, etc.

I was erroneously operating under the original ruling, however, wherein the extra dot was required for privacy. So we would have only 1 dot worth of Secure Sanctum, and the rest of the area would be unsecured, open to the public, and only part of the sanctum for being close to the hallow.



Hmm, I kind of favor the embedding idea. Resources we could dedicate to the club itself, which is more or less mundane, and then the Sanctum dots could be for the spatially close by, but un-talked-about "back room" or what have you. Kind of like a gangland owned joint, but we're the good guys.

this was the feel I was going for, yes. How secure versus how large do we want it? Since we have to pay an extra dot I think that means we are rolling with a functional 3-dot merit.

Thanqol
2012-10-31, 10:43 PM
Vulcan now has backstory!

TWO GENIUSES

“Sumi Mukuro is very clever, but she does not apply herself” – this was the refrain of report cards that followed Vulcan all the way through her educational career. ‘Very clever’ was an understatement, though – Vulcan was a bona fide genius. She sailed through all of her courses without applying herself at all, instead relying on her natural genius – and getting better marks than almost all of her less-gifted fellow students. With academics so easy to her she devoted the majority of her actual effort and time into art, design and physical construction.

Mukuro’s father was a career politician and rather distant from his family; a man to be respected rather than loved. Her mother had never been able to keep up with two genius children, and did her best to discipline them even though they could run rings around her.

It was believed by some of her teachers that her slothful attitude came from her twin brother, who was a genuine layabout. But while Sumi Makoto was actually lazy, Mukuro was arrogant and considered study beneath her abilities. Makoto and Mukuro were equally intelligent and always very close. Makoto found language very interesting, and started to develop as an author, and Mukuro was a specialist in the visual arts. With these factors in place it was only natural that they decide to work together on a manga – and when they released it, it was a huge hit. Skydam North was a tragic story about a man who overthrew a democratic government and established a fascist dictatorship so he could mobilise an invasion of the Spirit world to rescue his kidnapped lover. The profits from the manga meant the duo would never have to work, so they instead decided to travel the world to look for more inspiration.

Europe was their first destination, and Germany in particular had inspired Skydam North, so a visit there was a priority. One night, after fighting off a strange fever, Mukuro went for a walk in the fields to clear her head. She ignored the warning signs, having never accepted limitations on herself before, and jumped the fence. She then stepped on a land mine.

AWAKENING

She was greeted in the underworld by the very apologetic German battlefield engineer named Egon who had laid that land mine back in the second world war. He patched her up – not that her ghostly form was bleeding very much, despite the loss of both legs – and decided it’d go a bit of the way towards making up for the whole thing if he showed her around. Egon carried Mukuro on his back on a tour of the trenches, explaining to her how the allies had pushed them back to this spot and that they were losing the war. Their division had been ordered to take Hill 468, a fortified artillery position. Egon was dimly aware that he was a ghost and that the first charge had failed, but the men here were bound to keep charging up that hill until they finally seized it. Their duty demanded no less.

Mukuro was horrified to see hundreds of men trapped in this eternal, hellish cycle by their ‘duty’. She was horrified at the falling shells, the maiming and screaming, the bayonets and gunfire, the stink and gangrene, the starvation and mud. Their ‘duty’ had lead them to sacrifice everything they possessed, and then sacrifice themselves. There was no artistry here, no creation – just two enormous machines grinding against each other, crushing gears lubricated with the blood of millions.

But when the next charge came, she demanded to go with them. A revelation had come to her – it wasn’t just the ideal that these people were dying over, they were also dying over that very real, very concrete spit of land. That muddy patch of dirt represented their duty. It had no worth, but their priorities had been so skewed by lies that they valued it more than themselves. She had to give it to them.

So a helmet was placed on her head and a pistol in her hands, and as the charge began she crawled behind the men, dragging herself by her hands. As the shells fall and men died all around her she crawled onwards. Over barbed wire and into the enemy trenches she crawled onwards. She shot a man with her pistol and kept crawling, soaked in mud and blood. She crawled all the way to the summit of the hill with only her hands, finally arriving below the flag pole. She scrawled her name onto it in blood and hoisted it high, one wretched tug at a time. Over that muddy, desolate battlefield, the flag flew, and for a moment there was quiet.

THE THRONE

Mukuro came to in hospital, alongside her brother. She’d lost both her legs. Makoto was distraught, but Mukuro was quietly fascinated by the strange new layer of vision that was overlying everything she saw. For the next few months from her hospital bed she practised her new magic, warping, bending, breaking and repairing the few objects she had access to. She gradually found some mobility in a wheelchair, but not nearly as much as she remembered.

Then a gentleman in a very nice suit walked in and told her that he represented the secret society of wizards that ran the world, he would very much like her to join his secret society, and he was prepared to offer her a set of prosthetic legs thirty years in advance of anything modern technology could provide. She would have had to be stupid to turn him down.

The official story was that she was trying a new prototype prosthesis, but it was generally downplayed as being many years off full completion – even though Vulcan had almost all her old mobility back. She was directed by the gentleman to Hong Kong where she’d receive further training.

At every stage since, service to the Throne has just made sense. There wasn’t anything wrong with serving a higher power, because all service was transactional. She just had to remain aware that she should never die over a spit of land, so to speak – anything she did had to benefit her more than it harmed her, otherwise she’d just be a pawn in someone else’s game. As long as she understood her own value she couldn’t be enslaved.

Her natural genius quickly rose her to the position of Administrator within Mammon’s hierarchy, where she oversaw the flow of arcane lore and immersed herself deeply within it. Knowledge became an utmost priority to her – the more knowledge she had the less she could be manipulated, and she was quickly becoming aware of just how many ways there were to be manipulated. In the great game of Awakening she was determined to better herself every step of the way – if that meant the Throne, then it meant the Throne. If it meant betraying the Throne that was fine too.

WAKING DREAMS

Mukuro continued to live with her brother in a shared apartment in a rich district of Hong Kong, where they collaborated on future manga projects. She kept her day job as a Seer separate, and relaxed by working on repairing junked cars in a small private garage she ran by herself. She still respected her brother and his intelligence as one of the few equals to hers, but increasingly wrote him off as being unable to understand what really mattered in the world.

But then, one day as she worked in her garage, reconfiguring and combining mechanical items for practise, someone asked her how she’d done that. She turned around in shock – if a Sleeper had been observing her cast magic she’d been risking a serious paradox. But in the eyes of the dirty street kid she saw no hint, not even a whisper of the Abyss. She wasn’t a Mage, but she sure as hell wasn’t a Sleeper.

That completely threw Mukuro’s philosophical position regarding Sleepers. She’d been told that the Abyss was a product of their own flawed souls and no magic could heal someone’s soul from it’s self-inflicted wounds. But here was an ordinary human untouched by the Abyss at all! The existence of Sleepwalkers lead to a whole deluge of complex thoughts – what if magic didn’t have to be secret? What if people could be made into Sleepwalkers? What if she didn’t have to rely on a select few Mages as conversation partners? She didn’t at any point buy into the idea of giving everyone magic – that was absurd, akin to giving everyone assault rifles – but everyone being able to appreciate magic? In particular she wanted to be able to inspire her brother to become a Sleepwalker so she could have meaningful conversations with him again.

She took on the street kid, a fifteen year old girl named Xi Maji, as a full time employee and apprentice in her garage. She started teaching her how her magic worked and how it worked along with ordinary craftsmanship. Maji was happy for the work, to get out of her orphanage and to be apprenticed to a ‘real life wizard’ and the two quickly formed a close bond.

the_druid_droid
2012-10-31, 10:47 PM
this was the feel I was going for, yes. How secure versus how large do we want it? Since we have to pay an extra dot I think that means we are rolling with a functional 3-dot merit.

Hmm, is this counting Hallow separately? If so, I favor Size 2 and Security 1 (effectively) mainly because two people potentially sharing it could get cramped at only Size 1, and by Space 3, Mara will have Ban to add a security measure on top of anything else we have.

SiuiS
2012-10-31, 11:16 PM
Hmm, is this counting Hallow separately? If so, I favor Size 2 and Security 1 (effectively) mainly because two people potentially sharing it could get cramped at only Size 1, and by Space 3, Mara will have Ban to add a security measure on top of anything else we have.

I am pretty sure in Mage a hollow is measured strictly in it's mana output. Yeah, quick check says we have a maximum rank hollow (You remember Thanqol's chagrin at your mana factory, don't you? :smallwink:) whic is five mana per day. What do we want it's resonant quality to be? It's either going to be the dominant feel of the club, or needs to be sequestered far from said club (I would personally prefer it was near the club). A size two sanctum is, even after the Hong Kong Real Estate penalty, the size of a family house. Two bedrooms, a bath, dining and kitchen, and lving room. That is pretty sweet, but all we lose by dropping a dot is one big room and one small room. I think we would need to know both what form the hollow takes, and what we want to do with the Sanctum as a secure space. We can fit like, six people safely in a single room through the magic of bunkbeds, if we need emergency housing, and we both have enough resources for an apartment or house elsewhere. The sanctum looks to be almost entirely for storage, planning, experimentation and emergency healing, rather than living spaces.

Anarion
2012-10-31, 11:59 PM
Answering that question about rotes from earlier. RAW, you can't make rotes at all unless you're master of the arcana. I think that's silly, so I'm throwing that out. However, making a rote still costs a dot of willpower and requires you to cast the spell at least 10 times, so you have to be able to improvise the spell to be able to make the rote.

In the example SiuiS gave, it was two effects from the same arcana. That's not a conjunctional spell, but it is creative thaumaturgy and I would agree with him at valuing those two effects as one dot higher than either effect alone.


As regards sanctum, I'd prefer that you put at least one dot into size, even if it's then reduced to size 0. I'm also finalizing the ruling that resources are separate.

So what we're looking at is a nightclub (either in Macau or Hong Kong downtown, you get to pick) owned by resources. Within the nightclub, likely on top of it, is a strong hallow. Also within the nightclub, and near the hallow, is a sealed private section of some size and with some level of security measures.

Vulcan now has backstory!

TWO GENIUSES

“Sumi Mukuro is very clever, but she does not apply herself” – this was the refrain of report cards that followed Vulcan all the way through her educational career. ‘Very clever’ was an understatement, though – Vulcan was a bona fide genius. She sailed through all of her courses without applying herself at all, instead relying on her natural genius – and getting better marks than almost all of her less-gifted fellow students. With academics so easy to her she devoted the majority of her actual effort and time into art, design and physical construction.

Mukuro’s father was a career politician and rather distant from his family; a man to be respected rather than loved. Her mother had never been able to keep up with two genius children, and did her best to discipline them even though they could run rings around her.

It was believed by some of her teachers that her slothful attitude came from her twin brother, who was a genuine layabout. But while Sumi Makoto was actually lazy, Mukuro was arrogant and considered study beneath her abilities. Makoto and Mukuro were equally intelligent and always very close. Makoto found language very interesting, and started to develop as an author, and Mukuro was a specialist in the visual arts. With these factors in place it was only natural that they decide to work together on a manga – and when they released it, it was a huge hit. Skydam North was a tragic story about a man who overthrew a democratic government and established a fascist dictatorship so he could mobilise an invasion of the Spirit world to rescue his kidnapped lover. The profits from the manga meant the duo would never have to work, so they instead decided to travel the world to look for more inspiration.

Europe was their first destination, and Germany in particular had inspired Skydam North, so a visit there was a priority. One night, after fighting off a strange fever, Mukuro went for a walk in the fields to clear her head. She ignored the warning signs, having never accepted limitations on herself before, and jumped the fence. She then stepped on a land mine.

AWAKENING

She was greeted in the underworld by the very apologetic German battlefield engineer named Egon who had laid that land mine back in the second world war. He patched her up – not that her ghostly form was bleeding very much, despite the loss of both legs – and decided it’d go a bit of the way towards making up for the whole thing if he showed her around. Egon carried Mukuro on his back on a tour of the trenches, explaining to her how the allies had pushed them back to this spot and that they were losing the war. Their division had been ordered to take Hill 468, a fortified artillery position. Egon was dimly aware that he was a ghost and that the first charge had failed, but the men here were bound to keep charging up that hill until they finally seized it. Their duty demanded no less.

Mukuro was horrified to see hundreds of men trapped in this eternal, hellish cycle by their ‘duty’. She was horrified at the falling shells, the maiming and screaming, the bayonets and gunfire, the stink and gangrene, the starvation and mud. Their ‘duty’ had lead them to sacrifice everything they possessed, and then sacrifice themselves. There was no artistry here, no creation – just two enormous machines grinding against each other, crushing gears lubricated with the blood of millions.

But when the next charge came, she demanded to go with them. A revelation had come to her – it wasn’t just the ideal that these people were dying over, they were also dying over that very real, very concrete spit of land. That muddy patch of dirt represented their duty. It had no worth, but their priorities had been so skewed by lies that they valued it more than themselves. She had to give it to them.

So a helmet was placed on her head and a pistol in her hands, and as the charge began she crawled behind the men, dragging herself by her hands. As the shells fall and men died all around her she crawled onwards. Over barbed wire and into the enemy trenches she crawled onwards. She shot a man with her pistol and kept crawling, soaked in mud and blood. She crawled all the way to the summit of the hill with only her hands, finally arriving below the flag pole. She scrawled her name onto it in blood and hoisted it high, one wretched tug at a time. Over that muddy, desolate battlefield, the flag flew, and for a moment there was quiet.

THE THRONE

Mukuro came to in hospital, alongside her brother. She’d lost both her legs. Makoto was distraught, but Mukuro was quietly fascinated by the strange new layer of vision that was overlying everything she saw. For the next few months from her hospital bed she practised her new magic, warping, bending, breaking and repairing the few objects she had access to. She gradually found some mobility in a wheelchair, but not nearly as much as she remembered.

Then a gentleman in a very nice suit walked in and told her that he represented the secret society of wizards that ran the world, he would very much like her to join his secret society, and he was prepared to offer her a set of prosthetic legs thirty years in advance of anything modern technology could provide. She would have had to be stupid to turn him down.

The official story was that she was trying a new prototype prosthesis, but it was generally downplayed as being many years off full completion – even though Vulcan had almost all her old mobility back. She was directed by the gentleman to Hong Kong where she’d receive further training.

At every stage since, service to the Throne has just made sense. There wasn’t anything wrong with serving a higher power, because all service was transactional. She just had to remain aware that she should never die over a spit of land, so to speak – anything she did had to benefit her more than it harmed her, otherwise she’d just be a pawn in someone else’s game. As long as she understood her own value she couldn’t be enslaved.

Her natural genius quickly rose her to the position of Administrator within Mammon’s hierarchy, where she oversaw the flow of arcane lore and immersed herself deeply within it. Knowledge became an utmost priority to her – the more knowledge she had the less she could be manipulated, and she was quickly becoming aware of just how many ways there were to be manipulated. In the great game of Awakening she was determined to better herself every step of the way – if that meant the Throne, then it meant the Throne. If it meant betraying the Throne that was fine too.

WAKING DREAMS

Mukuro continued to live with her brother in a shared apartment in a rich district of Hong Kong, where they collaborated on future manga projects. She kept her day job as a Seer separate, and relaxed by working on repairing junked cars in a small private garage she ran by herself. She still respected her brother and his intelligence as one of the few equals to hers, but increasingly wrote him off as being unable to understand what really mattered in the world.

But then, one day as she worked in her garage, reconfiguring and combining mechanical items for practise, someone asked her how she’d done that. She turned around in shock – if a Sleeper had been observing her cast magic she’d been risking a serious paradox. But in the eyes of the dirty street kid she saw no hint, not even a whisper of the Abyss. She wasn’t a Mage, but she sure as hell wasn’t a Sleeper.

That completely threw Mukuro’s philosophical position regarding Sleepers. She’d been told that the Abyss was a product of their own flawed souls and no magic could heal someone’s soul from it’s self-inflicted wounds. But here was an ordinary human untouched by the Abyss at all! The existence of Sleepwalkers lead to a whole deluge of complex thoughts – what if magic didn’t have to be secret? What if people could be made into Sleepwalkers? What if she didn’t have to rely on a select few Mages as conversation partners? She didn’t at any point buy into the idea of giving everyone magic – that was absurd, akin to giving everyone assault rifles – but everyone being able to appreciate magic? In particular she wanted to be able to inspire her brother to become a Sleepwalker so she could have meaningful conversations with him again.

She took on the street kid, a fifteen year old girl named Xi Maji, as a full time employee and apprentice in her garage. She started teaching her how her magic worked and how it worked along with ordinary craftsmanship. Maji was happy for the work, to get out of her orphanage and to be apprenticed to a ‘real life wizard’ and the two quickly formed a close bond.


Awesome.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 12:03 AM
Answering that question about rotes from earlier. RAW, you can't make rotes at all unless you're master of the arcana. I think that's silly, so I'm throwing that out. However, making a rote still costs a dot of willpower and requires you to cast the spell at least 10 times, so you have to be able to improvise the spell to be able to make the rote.

In the example SiuiS gave, it was two effects from the same arcana. That's not a conjunctional spell, but it is creative thaumaturgy and I would agree with him at valuing those two effects as one dot higher than either effect alone.


I'm generally for this - but I also want to underline that creating a rote involves decoding mystical signals hidden in the world - such as the Starbucks logo as part of a Telepathy rote or whatever. Creation of a rote should be an awesome research project with field trips, not studying in a basement.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 12:06 AM
I'm generally for this - but I also want to underline that creating a rote involves decoding mystical signals hidden in the world - such as the Starbucks logo as part of a Telepathy rote or whatever. Creation of a rote should be an awesome research project with field trips, not studying in a basement.

Ooh, I like that. Perhaps the 10 casts need to be done at places/times/with objects of significance to the rote you're trying to cast?

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 12:14 AM
I am pretty sure in Mage a hollow is measured strictly in it's mana output. Yeah, quick check says we have a maximum rank hollow (You remember Thanqol's chagrin at your mana factory, don't you? :smallwink:) whic is five mana per day.

E'rry day I'm oblatin'?

No... not enough syllables. Hrm.


What do we want it's resonant quality to be? It's either going to be the dominant feel of the club, or needs to be sequestered far from said club (I would personally prefer it was near the club).

Yeah, I would prefer it to be near the club myself. My immediate instinct as far as resonance goes is something along the lines of anticipation or expectation, of a positive flavor.


A size two sanctum is, even after the Hong Kong Real Estate penalty, the size of a family house. Two bedrooms, a bath, dining and kitchen, and lving room. That is pretty sweet, but all we lose by dropping a dot is one big room and one small room. I think we would need to know both what form the hollow takes, and what we want to do with the Sanctum as a secure space. We can fit like, six people safely in a single room through the magic of bunkbeds, if we need emergency housing, and we both have enough resources for an apartment or house elsewhere. The sanctum looks to be almost entirely for storage, planning, experimentation and emergency healing, rather than living spaces.

Ok, well there is a non-zero chance that Mara may wind up as a Clavicularius, i.e. demon summoner, so that's something to consider, I suppose. Beyond that use, and the obvious general magical experiments/oblations, the only other thing is that I would like for Mara to get involved with some Astral exploration.

I'll need Anarion's input on this though, because I can't seem to figure out how the initial bit goes - there are lots of Mind spell relating to Astral transit, but I want to say that I'm under the impression that you need a demense? Unless enough dots in Mind negates that...

Anyway, the to-do list for Mara is: general magery/oblations/Astral travel and possibly demons. So whatever security and size seem appropriate to that.


So what we're looking at is a nightclub (either in Macau or Hong Kong downtown, you get to pick) owned by resources. Within the nightclub, likely on top of it, is a strong hallow. Also within the nightclub, and near the hallow, is a sealed private section of some size and with some level of security measures.

I think you said Macau was more of a Vegas feel? I don't really have a strong preference here, as Mara will be happy anywhere there's a club vibe. If Fluoresce has strong preferences I'm happy to go along, or we can just choose arbitrarily.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 12:19 AM
Answering that question about rotes from earlier. RAW, you can't make rotes at all unless you're master of the arcana. I think that's silly, so I'm throwing that out. However, making a rote still costs a dot of willpower and requires you to cast the spell at least 10 times, so you have to be able to improvise the spell to be able to make the rote.

In the example SiuiS gave, it was two effects from the same arcana. That's not a conjunctional spell, but it is creative thaumaturgy and I would agree with him at valuing those two effects as one dot higher than either effect alone.

Okay. Where did you find that? I couldn't locate anything on it.

I also should point out after looking that a combined spell seemingly requires Gnosis 3. Which I also think is silly, but whatevs.



As regards sanctum, I'd prefer that you put at least one dot into size, even if it's then reduced to size 0. I'm also finalizing the ruling that resources are separate.

So what we're looking at is a nightclub (either in Macau or Hong Kong downtown, you get to pick) owned by resources. Within the nightclub, likely on top of it, is a strong hallow. Also within the nightclub, and near the hallow, is a sealed private section of some size and with some level of security measures.

Hm. I would prefer the sanctum be underground, but I think being on the roof would indeed be better. Thoughts, Mara?


I'm generally for this - but I also want to underline that creating a rote involves decoding mystical signals hidden in the world - such as the Starbucks logo as part of a Telepathy rote or whatever. Creation of a rote should be an awesome research project with field trips, not studying in a basement.

Well, I was thinking not of making a rote so much as starting with a non-book rote. If the distinction has any meaning to you.

-

Anarion, I hate to ask you to possibly read ahead, but what do you think of the Power Ban numina, in chapter four of book of spirits? It allows a sprit to accept a secondary ban in order to receive two numina - essentially +1 numen for +1 ban.

Night's-Neon-Rhythm is an abstract spirit of cultural significance expressed through modern youth culture; Traditional korean values as seen through the lens of people who find release and expression through music and dance. He is a Ryong dragon writ in neon, pink-red lines and deep electric blue in the form of a dragon, a spirit of ecstatic expression. His ban is being unable to harm a person singing or dancing, and his breath is the shattering of a thousand thousand neon tubes, spraying hot glass and incandescant, burning gas upon his target. He also will develop the ability to urge people to dance, free in the moment. This may actualy be his prime Numen though I'd like him to have some combat prowess out the gate.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 12:21 AM
I'll need Anarion's input on this though, because I can't seem to figure out how the initial bit goes - there are lots of Mind spell relating to Astral transit, but I want to say that I'm under the impression that you need a demense? Unless enough dots in Mind negates that...

Anyway, the to-do list for Mara is: general magery/oblations/Astral travel and possibly demons. So whatever security and size seem appropriate to that.


Astral realms is on my to-read list. I'm running this game sort of like a new teacher. I'm about a chapter ahead of all the students. This is made more difficult by the fact that Thanqol is the Hermione Granger of Mage rules.



I think you said Macau was more of a Vegas feel? I don't really have a strong preference here, as Mara will be happy anywhere there's a club vibe. If Fluoresce has strong preferences I'm happy to go along, or we can just choose arbitrarily.

Yeah, Macau is basically Asian Vegas, Hong Kong is more like downtown New York.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 12:23 AM
E'rry day I'm oblatin'?

No... not enough syllables. Hrm.

Depends on how you do oblatin'. O-Bley-tin works.



Yeah, I would prefer it to be near the club myself. My immediate instinct as far as resonance goes is something along the lines of anticipation or expectation, of a positive flavor.


I would suggest ectstatic release, although I am hestitant, because I've used Primal and Ectstatic a lot recently.



Ok, well there is a non-zero chance that Mara may wind up as a Clavicularius, i.e. demon summoner, so that's something to consider, I suppose. Beyond that use, and the obvious general magical experiments/oblations, the only other thing is that I would like for Mara to get involved with some Astral exploration.

I'll need Anarion's input on this though, because I can't seem to figure out how the initial bit goes - there are lots of Mind spell relating to Astral transit, but I want to say that I'm under the impression that you need a demense? Unless enough dots in Mind negates that...

Anyway, the to-do list for Mara is: general magery/oblations/Astral travel and possibly demons. So whatever security and size seem appropriate to that.

Size 2 works for me. I think a rank 5 hallow also allows astral travel, so you're good there though.


I think you said Macau was more of a Vegas feel? I don't really have a strong preference here, as Mara will be happy anywhere there's a club vibe. If Fluoresce has strong preferences I'm happy to go along, or we can just choose arbitrarily.

No idea yet, gimme a bit to fully sober up. All hallows oblations and all.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 12:34 AM
Hm. I would prefer the sanctum be underground, but I think being on the roof would indeed be better. Thoughts, Mara?

I actually kind of like the idea of it being underground. Little trickles of Mana leaking down into the Earth.


Night's-Neon-Rhythm is an abstract spirit of cultural significance expressed through modern youth culture; Traditional korean values as seen through the lens of people who find release and expression through music and dance. He is a Ryong dragon writ in neon, pink-red lines and deep electric blue in the form of a dragon, a spirit of ecstatic expression. His ban is being unable to harm a person singing or dancing, and his breath is the shattering of a thousand thousand neon tubes, spraying hot glass and incandescant, burning gas upon his target. He also will develop the ability to urge people to dance, free in the moment. This may actualy be his prime Numen though I'd like him to have some combat prowess out the gate.

Ooh, I'm liking this familiar...


Astral realms is on my to-read list. I'm running this game sort of like a new teacher. I'm about a chapter ahead of all the students. This is made more difficult by the fact that Thanqol is the Hermione Granger of Mage rules.

Hee!


Yeah, Macau is basically Asian Vegas, Hong Kong is more like downtown New York.

Hm. Actually the phrase Asian Vegas by itself kind of makes me want to be there...


I would suggest ectstatic release, although I am hestitant, because I've used Primal and Ectstatic a lot recently.

I could also see this working.


Size 2 works for me. I think a rank 5 hallow also allows astral travel, so you're good there though.

Oh, come to think of it, that may be so. I may actually have this Astral thing down multiple ways.

And then the Cabal has dream-walking sleepovers.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 04:24 AM
I'm going to mark down important pieces of Vulcan's gear because she is a Matter Mage and this is important:

Network Collar:

Vulcan's collar is an extremely expensive piece of computer hardware and the direct interface between her spine and her prosthetic legs. It also has vast un-used hardware and storage space, and due to it's direct line to her brain Vulcan tends to use it as the focus for the majority of her Mind spells; her 'second brain'. It deliberately doesn't have wireless capabilities as a security measure - wouldn't want someone to turn off her legs or hack her thoughts - but if cabled into an internet port or a wireless enabled computer Vulcan can convert binary information into distinct mental images. The collar is also a wireless phone and accepts voice commands in lieu of buttons.

Sharing the enhancement bonus from her enchanted prosthetics, the collar is also virtually indestructible (durability 6)

Vulcan's actual piece of computer tech is a very expensive tablet, primarily used for on-the-fly graphical design and sketching, but also with many of the abilities of other tablets. This is kept inside her briefcase as it's also a fair bit heavier than an Apple product due to it's enhanced functions.

Bulletproof Clothing: Cost 3 (Armoury Reloaded p142)
Rating 1/2 Strength 0 Defence 0

Vulcan's suit is actually a very fine kevlar weave, capable of blunting the impact of direct bullet fire. If she pops her collar she can draw a concealed hood over her face to disguise her identity and protect her head.

Automotive Tools: Cost 4 (WoD 140)

Vulcan's machine shop has some quite complex and elaborate manufacturing tools that wouldn't be out of place in a much larger garage. She regards them as hobby tools and enjoys programming and upgrading them, even more than she likes building things with them.

Pepper Spray: Cost 0 (WoD 140)

A Matter Mage can turn pepper spray into a lot of devastating things. She keeps three cans - one in a concealed cavity in her leg, one in her briefcase, one on her belt designed to look like a lighter.

First Aid Kit: Cost 2 (WoD 140)

Vulcan keeps a compact first aid kit in her briefcase, with a slightly wider range of restricted drugs than is standard issue.

Miranetam: Cost 2 (Armoury Reloaded p143)

A performance and memory enhancing drug, Miranetam is mostly harmless and not physiologically addictive, though it is a controlled substance. One tablet gives +1 to all mental skills and +3 to perception for four hours. However, if more than four tablets are taken in one 24 hour period, or they're used habitually throughout the week, the user develops the Paranoia Flaw until the drug flushes from their system (12 hours). Vulcan tends to take a tablet whenever she encounters a problem that she finds genuinely interesting.

Biohazard Suit: Cost 4 (Armoury p170)

A full hazmat suit with gas mask, Vulcan's training taught her that no one - NO ONE - screws around with someone wearing radiation gear. It's for dire emergencies only, of course, or for when dealing with unknown magical crap in her lab. She keeps a few cheaper NBC suits in case she needs to protect anyone else. These are all locked up in a very secure cabinet - she could answer questions about why she has biohazard suits in her house to the local police but she'd really rather not.

She also has a few private security company uniforms just in case she needs them.

Security System, Intermediate: Cost 3 (Armoury p181)

The silent alarm that covers her house and to her garage doesn't go out to the police - it goes out to a private security company operated by the Seers of the Throne who are both far quicker to respond, far more brutal, and far less likely to have to answer questions about their behaviour than the police.

Vulcan is also a computer expert and aware of the existence of Forces magic, so she worked in conjunction with a rookie Seer Obrimos to develop a subroutine to surprise anyone who thinks they can use Transmission to breach the place. When one alarm is turned off then five more alarms power up and go out simultaneously and in different directions. A clever and powerful Obrimos could still catch all the signals but it wouldn't be nearly as trivial as a normal alarm.

Off Road SUV: Cost 3 (Armoury p138)
Durability: 3
Size: 15
Structure: 18
Acceleration: 12(17mph/turn)
Safe: 96 (65mph)
Max: 154 (105mph)
Handling: 0
Occupants: 1+4

Yes, Vulcan is one of those people who drives an off-road SUV on the streets of Hong Kong. The good news is that she rarely uses it, preferring to walk or use public transport. What she uses a car for isn't transport - it's as a mobile siege platform. She's modified the car so that it's one spell away from being able to crush through traffic like a monster truck. It's also stocked with various supplies and backups, magical and mundane, for when she has to make field trips - or on the off chance she ever needs to break from the city and run for the hills.

The car's spirit is more like a tank than a passenger vehicle. A persistent rumour amongst the Throne is that she used it to run over a full grown werewolf.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 04:57 AM
. A persistent rumour amongst the Throne is that she used it to run over a full grown werewolf.

Is it bad that my first thought was to how to be sure to inflict sufficient lethal damage to keep a werewolf down? I'd suggest a high undercarriage and some innocuous hooks. Instead of a ram and run, you drag the regenerating bastard along for a sandpaper scrub.


Honest question, that I've hinted at before. How far will being in a cabal go to get me imbued items without experience cost? Though ideally it would be a project as much as just Item Get!. Ah, and I never asked; what rank of matter would it be to have a can of never ending, color-you-want-at-the-time spray paint? A quick scan of the matter arcana only shows me I'm not comfortable enough with the practices to be sure.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 05:00 AM
Is it bad that my first thought was to how to be sure to inflict sufficient lethal damage to keep a werewolf down? I'd suggest a high undercarriage and some innocuous hooks. Instead of a ram and run, you drag the regenerating bastard along for a sandpaper scrub.


Honest question, that I've hinted at before. How far will being in a cabal go to get me imbued items without experience cost? Though ideally it would be a project as much as just Item Get!. Ah, and I never asked; what rank of matter would it be to have a can of never ending, color-you-want-at-the-time spray paint? A quick scan of the matter arcana only shows me I'm not comfortable enough with the practices to be sure.

"Never ending" involves creating matter from nothing, that's 5. Changing water to spray paint is 2, but it is Vulgar. Changing spray paint colour is 2 and covert. Spray paint is cheap, I'll give you the money to buy some rather than expending a portion of my arcane will on making such a triviality permanent.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 06:08 AM
I really don't know if I like the colour design or not but here's a provisional Vulcanpony.

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/1650/day535.jpg

Anarion
2012-11-01, 10:27 AM
I'm going to mark down important pieces of Vulcan's gear because she is a Matter Mage and this is important:

Network Collar:

Vulcan's collar is an extremely expensive piece of computer hardware and the direct interface between her spine and her prosthetic legs. It also has vast un-used hardware and storage space, and due to it's direct line to her brain Vulcan tends to use it as the focus for the majority of her Mind spells; her 'second brain'. It deliberately doesn't have wireless capabilities as a security measure - wouldn't want someone to turn off her legs or hack her thoughts - but if cabled into an internet port or a wireless enabled computer Vulcan can convert binary information into distinct mental images. The collar is also a wireless phone and accepts voice commands in lieu of buttons.

Sharing the enhancement bonus from her enchanted prosthetics, the collar is also virtually indestructible (durability 6)

Vulcan's actual piece of computer tech is a very expensive tablet, primarily used for on-the-fly graphical design and sketching, but also with many of the abilities of other tablets. This is kept inside her briefcase as it's also a fair bit heavier than an Apple product due to it's enhanced functions.

Bulletproof Clothing: Cost 3 (Armoury Reloaded p142)
Rating 1/2 Strength 0 Defence 0

Vulcan's suit is actually a very fine kevlar weave, capable of blunting the impact of direct bullet fire. If she pops her collar she can draw a concealed hood over her face to disguise her identity and protect her head.

Automotive Tools: Cost 4 (WoD 140)

Vulcan's machine shop has some quite complex and elaborate manufacturing tools that wouldn't be out of place in a much larger garage. She regards them as hobby tools and enjoys programming and upgrading them, even more than she likes building things with them.

Pepper Spray: Cost 0 (WoD 140)

A Matter Mage can turn pepper spray into a lot of devastating things. She keeps three cans - one in a concealed cavity in her leg, one in her briefcase, one on her belt designed to look like a lighter.

First Aid Kit: Cost 2 (WoD 140)

Vulcan keeps a compact first aid kit in her briefcase, with a slightly wider range of restricted drugs than is standard issue.

Miranetam: Cost 2 (Armoury Reloaded p143)

A performance and memory enhancing drug, Miranetam is mostly harmless and not physiologically addictive, though it is a controlled substance. One tablet gives +1 to all mental skills and +3 to perception for four hours. However, if more than four tablets are taken in one 24 hour period, or they're used habitually throughout the week, the user develops the Paranoia Flaw until the drug flushes from their system (12 hours). Vulcan tends to take a tablet whenever she encounters a problem that she finds genuinely interesting.

Biohazard Suit: Cost 4 (Armoury p170)

A full hazmat suit with gas mask, Vulcan's training taught her that no one - NO ONE - screws around with someone wearing radiation gear. It's for dire emergencies only, of course, or for when dealing with unknown magical crap in her lab. She keeps a few cheaper NBC suits in case she needs to protect anyone else. These are all locked up in a very secure cabinet - she could answer questions about why she has biohazard suits in her house to the local police but she'd really rather not.

She also has a few private security company uniforms just in case she needs them.

Security System, Intermediate: Cost 3 (Armoury p181)

The silent alarm that covers her house and to her garage doesn't go out to the police - it goes out to a private security company operated by the Seers of the Throne who are both far quicker to respond, far more brutal, and far less likely to have to answer questions about their behaviour than the police.

Vulcan is also a computer expert and aware of the existence of Forces magic, so she worked in conjunction with a rookie Seer Obrimos to develop a subroutine to surprise anyone who thinks they can use Transmission to breach the place. When one alarm is turned off then five more alarms power up and go out simultaneously and in different directions. A clever and powerful Obrimos could still catch all the signals but it wouldn't be nearly as trivial as a normal alarm.

Off Road SUV: Cost 3 (Armoury p138)
Durability: 3
Size: 15
Structure: 18
Acceleration: 12(17mph/turn)
Safe: 96 (65mph)
Max: 154 (105mph)
Handling: 0
Occupants: 1+4

Yes, Vulcan is one of those people who drives an off-road SUV on the streets of Hong Kong. The good news is that she rarely uses it, preferring to walk or use public transport. What she uses a car for isn't transport - it's as a mobile siege platform. She's modified the car so that it's one spell away from being able to crush through traffic like a monster truck. It's also stocked with various supplies and backups, magical and mundane, for when she has to make field trips - or on the off chance she ever needs to break from the city and run for the hills.

The car's spirit is more like a tank than a passenger vehicle. A persistent rumour amongst the Throne is that she used it to run over a full grown werewolf.

This is like a clinic in how to make badass mages.



Honest question, that I've hinted at before. How far will being in a cabal go to get me imbued items without experience cost? Though ideally it would be a project as much as just Item Get!. Ah, and I never asked; what rank of matter would it be to have a can of never ending, color-you-want-at-the-time spray paint? A quick scan of the matter arcana only shows me I'm not comfortable enough with the practices to be sure.

If you have the prime magic to do it, you can do whatever your magic lets you do. If you don't, you'll need to trade or buy whatever you want, and that is usually with XP, though I suppose you could license out your hallow for some lesser trinkets if you wanted.

I agree with Thanqol's evaluation of the spray paint. Just buy some cans. I'm not even sure why you'd want to imbue them, since making it yourself takes up one of your active spell slots, which are limited to gnosis+3. You could just cast the covert color-change at the time of spraying.


I really don't know if I like the colour design or not but here's a provisional Vulcanpony.

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/1650/day535.jpg

Hmm, I think she's good, but I also see what you mean about the colors being not quite right. The eyes are really well-done though, lots of personality there.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 10:45 AM
I really don't know if I like the colour design or not but here's a provisional Vulcanpony.

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/1650/day535.jpg

Good, good... *steeples actuators*

Re: color, I rather like the firey hair, so if you revise the color scheme my vote would be focusing on the body.


I agree with Thanqol's evaluation of the spray paint. Just buy some cans. I'm not even sure why you'd want to imbue them, since making it yourself takes up one of your active spell slots, which are limited to gnosis+3. You could just cast the covert color-change at the time of spraying.

"You want how many cans of black again?"

Anarion
2012-11-01, 12:25 PM
"You want how many cans of black again?"

"My Seer friend owns a car shop, we need your industrial size. Just ship a couple crates over. She'll cover the bill, don't worry about it."

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 04:02 PM
If you have the prime magic to do it, you can do whatever your magic lets you do. If you don't, you'll need to trade or buy whatever you want, and that is usually with XP, though I suppose you could license out your hallow for some lesser trinkets if you wanted.

As expected. Okay.


I agree with Thanqol's evaluation of the spray paint. Just buy some cans. I'm not even sure why you'd want to imbue them, since making it yourself takes up one of your active spell slots, which are limited to gnosis+3. You could just cast the covert color-change at the time of spraying.

A permanent one wouldn't take up any of my limit. Mostly I was asking though because the effect would definitely be easier to acquire than matter 5. It is a look at granularity. Matter 5 makes paint for pictures. Matter 3 makes whole pictures. A 1-dot fetish achieves this end so long as I can catch the appropriate spirit. If I want to make, not start with, said fetish, I'm back up to 4 dots (Spirit this time).

It would be a ritual tool, as well. The creation of the image would be the casting of the spell. Carrying a spectrum of paint on a bandolier while trying not to get caught for graffiti is silly. But this is the future, ne? The same size spraycan could be rigged with an internal mechanism that generates aerosol pressure, and an adjustable base allows for the movement of internal mechanisms, bringing condensed capsules of pigment into place, along with an empty, clear one for cleaning the works in between colors.

Thoughts? Available in the timeframe, and requisition requirements?



Hmm, I think she's good, but I also see what you mean about the colors being not quite right. The eyes are really well-done though, lots of personality there.

My contention is, this is a beautiful color scheme. It just doesn't feel like Vulcan's. It fits the name, the theme, but less so the person. But I don't know what she would look like really. I see a burgundy or mulberry coat, darker mane rather than lighter. A Celestia-esque collar with cables down her back would be neat too. Still, gorgeous pony.

Well, no. That's not correct. The color scheme does fit, but it's off. Vulcan's colors and feel are chocolate and charcoal and wine, but I don't know which colors are ascendant.


"My Seer friend owns a car shop, we need your industrial size. Just ship a couple crates over. She'll cover the bill, don't worry about it."

that might actually work, all things considered. aside from the eventual visit by scary men with something to prove.

Tangent: in previous statement, I assumed 1/20th given that the free council had two cabals, and my default cabal number is 4. So 8 mages in cabals, about as many without, puts us just over 15, and I prefer to overshoot. Eight members of the Pentacle total was my first thought, but that barely leaves enough room for each order to have a cabal. Which is totally not a requirement, I just didn't think that line through.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 04:12 PM
A permanent one wouldn't take up any of my limit. Mostly I was asking though because the effect would definitely be easier to acquire than matter 5. It is a look at granularity. Matter 5 makes paint for pictures. Matter 3 makes whole pictures. A 1-dot fetish achieves this end so long as I can catch the appropriate spirit. If I want to make, not start with, said fetish, I'm back up to 4 dots (Spirit this time).

It would be a ritual tool, as well. The creation of the image would be the casting of the spell. Carrying a spectrum of paint on a bandolier while trying not to get caught for graffiti is silly. But this is the future, ne? The same size spraycan could be rigged with an internal mechanism that generates aerosol pressure, and an adjustable base allows for the movement of internal mechanisms, bringing condensed capsules of pigment into place, along with an empty, clear one for cleaning the works in between colors.

Thoughts? Available in the timeframe, and requisition requirements?


Forgive me SiuiS, but I do not understand what you are asking for.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 04:19 PM
My contention is, this is a beautiful color scheme. It just doesn't feel like Vulcan's. It fits the name, the theme, but less so the person. But I don't know what she would look like really. I see a burgundy or mulberry coat, darker mane rather than lighter. A Celestia-esque collar with cables down her back would be neat too. Still, gorgeous pony.

Well, no. That's not correct. The color scheme does fit, but it's off. Vulcan's colors and feel are chocolate and charcoal and wine, but I don't know which colors are ascendant.

Hmm, now I'm curious - what are the colors for Flouresce and Mara?


Forgive me SiuiS, but I do not understand what you are asking for.

I think he's asking if it would be possible to get a multicolored spray cartridge via mundane methods. Something like an equivalent of those novelty multi-cartridge pens?

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 04:30 PM
Forgive me SiuiS, but I do not understand what you are asking for.

My apologies, that was terribly oblique even for me.
Would the the level of the setting allow for a spray can with a color-shifting mechanism within range of my resources? If not strictly through mundane channels, could having the schematics and not the expertise allow me to acquire one, either through legitimate fabrication avenues or contact with a Moros engineer? Nonmagically, the device is conceptually sound, relying on advanced clockwork and modern modularity.

Finally, failing these, would you be averse to getting a 1-dot fetish which is a spraycan that allows any color, and regenerates its pair reserve over time? Neither option is required, and are strictly vanity acquisitions.


Hmm, now I'm curious - what are the colors for Flouresce and Mara?

Mara I do not know. I have to retread her things. Vulcan happened to be fresh in my mind. Flouresce is concrete grey, red-brown of rebar and roofing tile, and a reflected neon blue like the sidewalk beneath a Vegas marquis after it rains.

... Or is this where I'd use marquee? I don't remember enough HTML anymore to be certain.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 04:45 PM
I'm going to start adding in NPC cabals. No guarantees of what gets put up in any particular order. I'm also probably going to split Mammon, as I'm looking at over 10 Seers in that ministry (including Vulcan) and that's too big for one post.

The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist

a.k.a. The Boxers

Adamantine Arrow

The Boxers are an old order that traces their roots back to the turn of the 20th century. The mortal version of their history is that the original organization mounted a foolish rebellion against the British, pitting human fists against British machine guns in a hopeless and predictable fashion that left most of the organization dead.

What is less well-known is that the original organization consisted of a small group of people who truly could block bullets with their bare hands, at least within their demesnes. The large-scale rebellion did occur, but the members of the organization are oddly quiet when the topic comes up. Researchers of the Mysterium have conjectured that the mass deaths were either caused by a splinter group, or were sacrificed as part of some sort of magical experiment.

Today, the organization espouses a philosophy of holistic enlightenment. Only by honing the body, mind, and soul together can a person reach the supernal. In addition to their active members, they usually have 2-4 new disciples in training at any given time.

John and Jane Doe Male Adamantine Arrow Moros and Female Adamantine Arrow Obrimos, respectively

The Boxers are led by a pair of what are, essentially, warrior monks. They selected their shadow names intentionally to reflect the names used in law and medicine when it is impossible to identify a person because they believe that their own identities are irrelevant when seeking enlightenment. It is rumored, however, that the two are a rare example of brother and sister awakening in the same family.

The two have dedicated themselves to protecting and preserving magic wherever they find it, in order to avoid recklessness and destruction. John is a quiet, introspective person, taken to long bouts of meditation and a practitioner of Tai Chi. Jane, in contrast is perky, upbeat, and intensely passionate. She practices a style of Hung Gar that emphasizes strong, focused power.

The two both appear unusually plain, almost to the point of being the quintessential example of a healthy adult chinese male and female. John has his hair in a close buzz-cut and Jane has it loose just below her neck and they both tend to wear casual clothing such as jeans or workout sweats. Their personality contrast is easily their most memorable characteristic and generally causes them to be viewed in light of each other, rather than as individuals.

Moose Male Adamantine Arrow Thyrsus

Moose is the English translation of this man's shadow name, which would more properly be written using the Chinese characters for "great deer." A man of few words, Moose is the epitome of the bruiser archetype, towering over most people at nearly seven feet in height and with muscles that would put any body builder to shame. For a Chinese man, he's also especially hairy almost shaggy when he exposes his arms and legs. Despite his caveman-like appearance, he's known for also having a mechanical streak, however, and is responsible for the maintenance of Arrow equipment and vehicles in Hong Kong.

Ann Marie Female Adamantine Arrow ??

A recent arrival from London, Ann is the spitting image of a proper British lady somewhat getting on in years. She prefers formal dress, almost always with white gloves for a garden party and her hair and makeup are done up impeccably, her silver hair usually in a neat bun behind her head. She previously served in Hong Kong as an adjutant for the British Navy, before she returned to London when control of the city changed hands. She continues to have expectations that everyone around her will accomplish their tasks 5 minutes early with a proper "yes Ma'am" upon receiving orders.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 04:48 PM
My apologies, that was terribly oblique even for me.
Would the the level of the setting allow for a spray can with a color-shifting mechanism within range of my resources? If not strictly through mundane channels, could having the schematics and not the expertise allow me to acquire one, either through legitimate fabrication avenues or contact with a Moros engineer? Nonmagically, the device is conceptually sound, relying on advanced clockwork and modern modularity.

Finally, failing these, would you be averse to getting a 1-dot fetish which is a spraycan that allows any color, and regenerates its pair reserve over time? Neither option is required, and are strictly vanity acquisitions.



Well, it's certainly non-standard, but something like that could already be built, and I'm sure that Vulcan would have no trouble engineering a mundane spray can that works that way. It might not hold that much paint if you want a whole bunch of different colors, though.

I'm less clear on why this would be a fetish, but it doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 06:14 PM
Well, it's certainly non-standard, but something like that could already be built, and I'm sure that Vulcan would have no trouble engineering a mundane spray can that works that way. It might not hold that much paint if you want a whole bunch of different colors, though.

I'm less clear on why this would be a fetish, but it doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

The difference would be in whether it is supernatural or mundane, and also that while I could conceptualize this as a mechanical device, I am not 100% certain it could be made in the modern day, IRL, for a sufficiently low price as to be worth it. Whereas the fetish could be made in the 60s by dropping a couple rainbow stones into a pepsie can an gluing an aerosol sprayer to the top, and then binding an art spirit into it. So if the answer to this being a reasonable mechanical device was 'no', I could go on a side quest to make one.

Mechanism
The device looks like a regular can of spray paint, though a little narrower, and the bottom inch has a metal ring around it which is roughly faceted like a large nut. This ring can be slid up and down the inch-tall area.dirwctly under the spray nozzle, on that chrome area from which the neck rises, is a clear plastic window. This window displays two numbers, 0-6, one on top of the other. It displays which pigment slot is engaged, if any.

Have you seen Jurassic Park in recent years? The Barbasol shaving foam can with the cryogenic storage is partial inspiration. The bottom of the spray can, I pulled down after unlocking it, reveals what looks like an old style centrifuge, the kin that's just a spinning metal tree that holds test tubes. It has room for six tubes of the proper pigment, and a cleaning solution (in a slightly larger vial) is loaded into the trunk of the tree, through the center. when the grip ring near the base is rotated it moves the vials around, and can load up to two of them into position for use.

The grip ring has four settings, and seven 'clicks'. Setting 1 is locked, unusable. Setting two is the primary pigment, and clicks through each of the six colors. Setting 3 is the secondary pigment, and if set to the same 'click' as the primary pigment, it leaves it unmodified (because that selection is already physically locked into the primary intake area, and there is no pigment in that slot to take). setting both clicks to 0 results in no pigment being used, and instead opens the cleaning cartridge to clear the nozzle and valves. Setting 4 is a combination lock, albeit a simple one, which disengages all mechanisms inside through a simple decoupling, allowing the rack to be pulled out and unloaded, reloaded and cleaned.

The actual pigment, if not commercially available, is relatively simple to make. Relatively, because chemical mixing isn't exactly the cheapest lay-project. Because ye device itself provides propulsion, however, each vial is full of liquid paint with little else, getting a surprising amount of life from each color - approximately three quarters of a normal can of spray paint per vial.

I will also draw up designs for an omnitool inspired spring assisted forearm mounted blade system, partially to see if DD believes it would hold up. Although the best weapon for Flouresce would be similar to the Custom Character weapon for the kicking style; spurs and a sharp grill over the front of the toes.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 06:25 PM
My contention is, this is a beautiful color scheme. It just doesn't feel like Vulcan's. It fits the name, the theme, but less so the person. But I don't know what she would look like really. I see a burgundy or mulberry coat, darker mane rather than lighter. A Celestia-esque collar with cables down her back would be neat too. Still, gorgeous pony.

Well, no. That's not correct. The color scheme does fit, but it's off. Vulcan's colors and feel are chocolate and charcoal and wine, but I don't know which colors are ascendant.

Thank you, this actually helped a lot.


John and Jane Doe Male Adamantine Arrow Moros and Female Adamantine Arrow Obrimos, respectively

From a discussion in a mage tabletop:

"So what happens if you delete your own identity with Prime?"
"What do you mean?"
"Like, try to hide from your enemies by deleting your connection to your name. Does your name cease to exist? Can you even burn it off the Watchtower? What happens?"
"Actually, I think what happens if you delete your connection to your name is that your name doesn't cease to exist - it just ceases to be your name. It becomes public property, so to speak."
"Ah - that must be what happened to John Doe."

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 06:31 PM
Thank you, this actually helped a lot.


Glad to be of assistance.



From a discussion in a mage tabletop:

"So what happens if you delete your own identity with Prime?"
"What do you mean?"
"Like, try to hide from your enemies by deleting your connection to your name. Does your name cease to exist? Can you even burn it off the Watchtower? What happens?"
"Actually, I think what happens if you delete your connection to your name is that your name doesn't cease to exist - it just ceases to be your name. It becomes public property, so to speak."
"Ah - that must be what happened to John Doe."

Interesting.

Why prime? Would this not be the purview of space or fate?

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 06:35 PM
Interesting.

Why prime? Would this not be the purview of space or fate?

My ST is personally adamant that Prime is the Arcana that governs names.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 07:21 PM
I will also draw up designs for an omnitool inspired spring assisted forearm mounted blade system, partially to see if DD believes it would hold up. Although the best weapon for Flouresce would be similar to the Custom Character weapon for the kicking style; spurs and a sharp grill over the front of the toes.

I will have to confess to not being that much of a mechanical engineer - my research is of a decidedly theoretical bent. Still, I can probably offer some perspective on the division between "In a slightly futuristic tabletop where actual wizards are running around? Yes." and "Good luck finding a Forces/Matter double Master who won't overcharge you."

As far as the blade goes, it's a bit of a mixed bag from a realistic perspective. Spring-loaded opening would work, but the problem with these sorts of things is always of the "you'll shoot your eye out" variety - or in this case, slash your wrists to ribbons if you don't get the clearance right. That said, the combat application runs into a couple of difficulties too - the main one being that torque and velocity are very different from a more traditional blade, and to actually hurt someone with a slashing motion, you'd need to be hurling your whole forearm around, most likely (depending to an extent on blade shape). Essentially, you have a more limited array of moves at your disposal.

Oh, and also there is the issue of mechanical wear. Eventually after enough sudden stops during the release, whatever you use to catch the blade and stop it will give out and your arm-sword will fly across the room >.>

Though with Vulcan around, fixing it is basically a non-issue.

On the other hand, from a game perspective, arm-mounted blades fall squarely within my own personal rule of cool (probably too much Reboot and FMA), so I would be willing to handwave a good chunk of the actual physics provided you invested in Weaponry dots. At the end of the day though, it's Anarion's call what the thing would be like in play, since it's pseudo-tech, but I'll cast my vote for you having one.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 07:30 PM
Though with Vulcan around, fixing it is basically a non-issue.

Vulcan would actually find the idea of your Assassin's Creed Murder Knife so childish and distasteful she'd refuse to fix it (cheaply)

Anarion
2012-11-01, 07:41 PM
On the other hand, from a game perspective, arm-mounted blades fall squarely within my own personal rule of cool (probably too much Reboot and FMA), so I would be willing to handwave a good chunk of the actual physics provided you invested in Weaponry dots. At the end of the day though, it's Anarion's call what the thing would be like in play, since it's pseudo-tech, but I'll cast my vote for you having one.


Vulcan would actually find the idea of your Assassin's Creed Murder Knife so childish and distasteful she'd refuse to fix it (cheaply)

I have to say that my view of the setting falls closer to Vulcan's end of things. D&D and many videogames just straight up say "this looks cool, stat it!" and call it a day. I think Mage falls closer to the real world end of the spectrum. Sure, someone could magic up a neato wrist blade, but in a world where the boogeyman isn't some random monsters, but hubris itself, indulging in "wasteful" magic just so you can have a flashy weapon that's worse than carrying around a knife on your belt is...excessive.


Edit: More stuff

SiuiS, I think the spray can falls in much the same field as the arm knife. You can do it, and you can do it with a spirit or a matter mage or whatever you want, but it's going to cost more than it's probably worth because I don't see anyone else in the setting seeing the point of mass-producing such a thing.

Thanqol, why does your ST think that Prime is the names arcana? It doesn't feel wrong to me, but given the way sympathetic connections otherwise work, I would have put it as space, myself. Regardless of the arcana, I agree that John Doe got a little experiment-happy. You should ask John and Jane what they think IC, might be an interesting conversation about the meaning of identity.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 09:37 PM
I will have to confess to not being that much of a mechanical engineer - my research is of a decidedly theoretical bent. Still, I can probably offer some perspective on the division between "In a slightly futuristic tabletop where actual wizards are running around? Yes." and "Good luck finding a Forces/Matter double Master who won't overcharge you."

Nah, it's at the point where I could make it myself with a workshop and a death wish.


As far as the blade goes, it's a bit of a mixed bag from a realistic perspective. Spring-loaded opening would work, but the problem with these sorts of things is always of the "you'll shoot your eye out" variety - or in this case, slash your wrists to ribbons if you don't get the clearance right. That said, the combat application runs into a couple of difficulties too - the main one being that torque and velocity are very different from a more traditional blade, and to actually hurt someone with a slashing motion, you'd need to be hurling your whole forearm around, most likely (depending to an extent on blade shape). Essentially, you have a more limited array of moves at your disposal.

*points to capoeira brawl specialty and dancing athletics specialty*
It would mechanically be no different from a set of bladed knuckles, allowing brawl to inflict lethal damage. The benefits are both ease of concealment and mechanically assisted Quick Draw1 without needing an extra free hand. It leaves the hand open, provides almost fell range of motion, an can be used as an impromptu climbing tool.


Oh, and also there is the issue of mechanical wear. Eventually after enough sudden stops during the release, whatever you use to catch the blade and stop it will give out and your arm-sword will fly across the room >.>[/qute]

Yeah. One of my habits is to mess with hinged things, and it takes roughly 2,000 open/close cycles to wear out and unscre your standard butterfly knife.

[QUOTE=Anarion;14154963]I have to say that my view of the setting falls closer to Vulcan's end of things. D&D and many videogames just straight up say "this looks cool, stat it!" and call it a day. I think Mage falls closer to the real world end of the spectrum. Sure, someone could magic up a neato wrist blade, but in a world where the boogeyman isn't some random monsters, but hubris itself, indulging in "wasteful" magic just so you can have a flashy weapon that's worse than carrying around a knife on your belt is...excessive.

A little bit. It started as a player interest, involving hands free climbing tools an a particular aesthetic. I really am just more interested in seein how little matter magic would be involved in its creation. A sort of experiment in efficiency. Blade geometry, anchoring, casing mechanism, pulley assisted slide openers... Oh, hm. That could potentially be much easier, though less cool. I'll file a slide opener away for my next project.



SiuiS, I think the spray can falls in much the same field as the arm knife. You can do it, and you can do it with a spirit or a matter mage or whatever you want, but it's going to cost more than it's probably worth because I don't see anyone else in the setting seeing the point of mass-producing such a thing.

That's cool. It's as useful as a familiar bicycle. Personal, enjoyable, most people
Wonder why you don't get resources 1 and a bicycle instead.


Thanqol, why does your ST think that Prime is the names arcana? It doesn't feel wrong to me, but given the way sympathetic connections otherwise work, I would have put it as space, myself. Regardless of the arcana, I agree that John Doe got a little experiment-happy. You should ask John and Jane what they think IC, might be an interesting conversation about the meaning of identity.

Same boat, here. I am interested in the in-character justifications.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 10:12 PM
SiuiS, you only put a single point in crafts for Flouresce. Why not relax a little on having every single social skill and actually stat him so he can build all this stuff you want, instead of being at the whims of matter mages?

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 10:35 PM
SiuiS, you only put a single point in crafts for Flouresce. Why not relax a little on having every single social skill and actually stat him so he can build all this stuff you want, instead of being at the whims of matter mages?

The crafts for was strictly for spray painting, really. Matter mages being able to fabricate stuff is a bonus. I actually edited in the details to my lat post, but the browser crashed before I coul submit it. So I am in the strange place of being intellectually satisfied, and viscerally stymied. Do I will leave this as a character point. I'll talk to the two of them until they buckle or convince me to learn it myself.


My inspiration.



http://cdn.walyou.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/03/Mass-Effect-Omni-Tool-Prop-by-Chris-Myles-Image-1-e1332273306682.jpg


Oh right, actually. On specialties. I plan on surveying and taking notes on ley line flow and it's affects in spirit courts. And I am stumped as to a suitable specialty to represent that, and am not sure if it would be better in occult or investigate. Occult is generally a more useful skill, but it feels a lot more like reading between the lines of society than falling back on any known rules of supernatural phenomena.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 10:40 PM
The crafts for was strictly for spray painting, really. Matter mages being able to fabricate stuff is a bonus. I actually edited in the details to my lat post, but the browser crashed before I coul submit it. So I am in the strange place of being intellectually satisfied, and viscerally stymied. Do I will leave this as a character point. I'll talk to the two of them until they buckle or convince me to learn it myself.

Hold on, the last couple posts have read like people think Mara has Matter. She definitely doesn't; only Vulcan has any dots in that so far as I know. Mara is currently heavily Mastigos, with Mind 4, Space 2 and then also Fate 1 because she can be lazy and likes the idea of an Arcanum that basically lets you make opportunity come to you.


Oh right, actually. On specialties. I plan on surveying and taking notes on ley line flow and it's affects in spirit courts. And I am stumped as to a suitable specialty to represent that, and am not sure if it would be better in occult or investigate. Occult is generally a more useful skill, but it feels a lot more like reading between the lines of society than falling back on any known rules of supernatural phenomena.

To my way of thinking, this reads more as an Occult thing, provided you understand those dots to mean something more along the lines of "knowledge about Mage-y stuff that is esoteric, even for some mages" versus the general Occult/New Age section at the book shop.

I would probably stat it as Occult (Ley Lines +1) or possibly Occult (Twilight +1) depending on which of the two sides you want to emphasize.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 10:42 PM
The crafts for was strictly for spray painting, really. Matter mages being able to fabricate stuff is a bonus. I actually edited in the details to my lat post, but the browser crashed before I coul submit it. So I am in the strange place of being intellectually satisfied, and viscerally stymied. Do I will leave this as a character point. I'll talk to the two of them until they buckle or convince me to learn it myself.


My inspiration.



http://cdn.walyou.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/03/Mass-Effect-Omni-Tool-Prop-by-Chris-Myles-Image-1-e1332273306682.jpg


Oh right, actually. On specialties. I plan on surveying and taking notes on ley line flow and it's affects in spirit courts. And I am stumped as to a suitable specialty to represent that, and am not sure if it would be better in occult or investigate. Occult is generally a more useful skill, but it feels a lot more like reading between the lines of society than falling back on any known rules of supernatural phenomena.

The Mass Effect arm tool is really complex actually. That game fluffs it as nanorobots building the tool you want when you want it out of some kind of reserve of microfabricator matter that it has. You'd need magic for that, and since it creates stuff basically out of nothing, one of those is probably matter 5. A finite list of prepared tools could be done with matter 3, though you'd need enough space to store them unless you got a conjunctional spell to store things in containers that are larger on the inside than the outside (conjunctional space 3 perhaps?).

For ley lines, you could take an occult (ley lines) specialty, or perhaps Occult (resonance). You could take an investigation specialty for something like Investigation (mystical power sources) which would let you find them, but not tell you much about them.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 10:43 PM
Fate 1 because she can be lazy and likes the idea of an Arcanum that basically lets you make opportunity come to you.


Woah woah. I know everyone makes this mistake, but if you're looking for the arcanum that lets you not have to actually think about what you're doing or plan ahead, you want time, not fate.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-01, 10:55 PM
Woah woah. I know everyone makes this mistake, but if you're looking for the arcanum that lets you not have to actually think about what you're doing or plan ahead, you want time, not fate.

Mmm, to be more specific, I'm thinking more specifically of the effects of spells like Winds of Chance, Exceptional Luck, and Shifting the Odds. That's the sort of thing that would appeal to Mara. Also, it's not exactly not planning ahead, but more making the best out of a given situation - shifting the odds, really; the spell name says it best.

Anarion
2012-11-01, 10:59 PM
Okay, long as you're clear. Fate lets you make unlikely things happen or mess around with the destinies of stuff. Time will let you know whether the coin is going to come up heads or tails before you flip it though. And time is the arcana that tells you as you're walking along whether things will go well if you take that left turn up ahead.

SiuiS
2012-11-01, 11:28 PM
Hold on, the last couple posts have read like people think Mara has Matter. She definitely doesn't; only Vulcan has any dots in that so far as I know. Mara is currently heavily Mastigos, with Mind 4, Space 2 and then also Fate 1 because she can be lazy and likes the idea of an Arcanum that basically lets you make opportunity come to you.


Aye, I caught that. I almost mentioned you an remembered you're the warlock, she's the necromancer. I mixed those up days ago while talking to myself, and it stuck because I said it out loud.



To my way of thinking, this reads more as an Occult thing, provided you understand those dots to mean something more along the lines of "knowledge about Mage-y stuff that is esoteric, even for some mages" versus the general Occult/New Age section at the book shop.

I would probably stat it as Occult (Ley Lines +1) or possibly Occult (Twilight +1) depending on which of the two sides you want to emphasize.

Interesting. That's true, but what I'm looking for is being able to find and categorize stuff the next generation of mages can take for granted as occult.

It's moot though, as I don't have the XP for the extra specialties and didn't list tagging. In the future though, I am going to get a slew of these specialties, and invest in the Shared Specialty merit with ST approval (which allows you to share a specialty across two skills so long as it makes sense, such as medicine and athletics, or in my case, investigate and occult; finding an understanding).


The Mass Effect arm tool is really complex actually. That game fluffs it as nanorobots building the tool you want when you want it out of some kind of reserve of microfabricator matter that it has. You'd need magic for that, and since it creates stuff basically out of nothing, one of those is probably matter 5. A finite list of prepared tools could be done with matter 3, though you'd need enough space to store them unless you got a conjunctional spell to store things in containers that are larger on the inside than the outside (conjunctional space 3 perhaps?).

Yes, a real omnitool would most likely be an artifact. It is simply the physical inspiration, and also the only diagram I still had the link for in my clipboard after the crash. The object I speak of is superficially similar, in that there is a blade on a ring which folds out, but it also looks a lot more like a beatle strapped to my forearm.


For ley lines, you could take an occult (ley lines) specialty, or perhaps Occult (resonance). You could take an investigation specialty for something like Investigation (mystical power sources) which would let you find them, but not tell you much about them.

Hm. Noted.


Woah woah. I know everyone makes this mistake, but if you're looking for the arcanum that lets you not have to actually think about what you're doing or plan ahead, you want time, not fate.

sorta kinda. It's in the presentation; fate is the arcanum of finding a hundred dollar bill stuck to your show when you go out grumbling about money. Time would tell you when you'd get money, and could be used for more micromanagement. Fate is just "it is my fate to get cash" and let reality do the work.

Thanqol
2012-11-01, 11:30 PM
I have to say that my view of the setting falls closer to Vulcan's end of things. D&D and many videogames just straight up say "this looks cool, stat it!" and call it a day. I think Mage falls closer to the real world end of the spectrum. Sure, someone could magic up a neato wrist blade, but in a world where the boogeyman isn't some random monsters, but hubris itself, indulging in "wasteful" magic just so you can have a flashy weapon that's worse than carrying around a knife on your belt is...excessive.

Yeah, Vulcan would give you a kitchen knife and some duct tape. Or, better, a gun. If you're going to kill someone, goes her line of thought, you don't screw around.


Thanqol, why does your ST think that Prime is the names arcana? It doesn't feel wrong to me, but given the way sympathetic connections otherwise work, I would have put it as space, myself. Regardless of the arcana, I agree that John Doe got a little experiment-happy. You should ask John and Jane what they think IC, might be an interesting conversation about the meaning of identity.

From his descriptions, it would seem like the Patterns of things - their full sum of characteristics - is embodied in their name, which is embodied in a Supernal symbol. He also lets Mages with Prime 1 tell if a given name is the person's real name or not.

Space, as an aspect of the Fallen World, navigates using Names but doesn't require them - like a lighthouse.


Hold on, the last couple posts have read like people think Mara has Matter. She definitely doesn't; only Vulcan has any dots in that so far as I know.

Matter is also Inferior for Mastigos.


THOUGHT: Moros and Soul Marks

I think few things can change your view of the world as much as having perpetual access to the spell "Soul Marks". This death 1 perception spell lets you examine how healthy someone's soul is, noting fractures from derangements, murders, and acts of hubris. A large contributing factor to Vulcan's cynicism is examination of just how sickeningly unhealthy some people's souls are.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-02, 12:00 AM
THOUGHT: Moros and Soul Marks

I think few things can change your view of the world as much as having perpetual access to the spell "Soul Marks". This death 1 perception spell lets you examine how healthy someone's soul is, noting fractures from derangements, murders, and acts of hubris. A large contributing factor to Vulcan's cynicism is examination of just how sickeningly unhealthy some people's souls are.

I really need to remember to make use of this with Turing during new encounters. I keep forgetting about the spell though.

SiuiS
2012-11-02, 12:18 AM
Yeah, Vulcan would give you a kitchen knife and some duct tape. Or, better, a gun. If you're going to kill someone, goes her line of thought, you don't screw around.


Would earn a mix of respect and exasperation. Neither knife taped to arm, nor handgun, are a martial arts tool. Well, for his art specifically.



From his descriptions, it would seem like the Patterns of things - their full sum of characteristics - is embodied in their name, which is embodied in a Supernal symbol. He also lets Mages with Prime 1 tell if a given name is the person's real name or not.

Sounds like a specialized bit of training, like how only guardians of the veil have access to the rote that let you use space to see around corners. "Only" guardians.



THOUGHT: Moros and Soul Marks

I think few things can change your view of the world as much as having perpetual access to the spell "Soul Marks". This death 1 perception spell lets you examine how healthy someone's soul is, noting fractures from derangements, murders, and acts of hubris. A large contributing factor to Vulcan's cynicism is examination of just how sickeningly unhealthy some people's souls are.

I need to get hit with that at some point. Flouresce is currently under the assumption that morality is like alignment, you pick it and stick to it. He has a very WoD Spirit morality to him. Being shown that he could basically develop jaundice of the soul, as a direct consequence of not following rules he has no reason not to have learned, would have a powerful if subtle effect.

SiuiS
2012-11-02, 11:40 PM
Updated character sheet. Flouresce is now missing Rotes and history, and I believe that's about it.

So now we need to brainstorm on what a Korean in Hong Kong would call a dance club he started with a magical international gang.

Anarion
2012-11-03, 01:36 AM
Updated character sheet. Flouresce is now missing Rotes and history, and I believe that's about it.

So now we need to brainstorm on what a Korean in Hong Kong would call a dance club he started with a magical international gang.

I can't guarantee that you won't be shot if you use the word "Gangnam."

Anarion
2012-11-03, 03:18 AM
I've added some music to the OP. I'm not quite sure if I hit the tone I was looking for on all of them, but my own selection is quite limited. I'd be interested in any recommendations.

SiuiS
2012-11-03, 03:24 AM
I can't guarantee that you won't be shot if you use the word "Gangnam."

I've been avoiding it all thread~

... Since this is the slight future, would Gangnam be a retro bar?

Thanqol
2012-11-03, 04:22 AM
I've added some music to the OP. I'm not quite sure if I hit the tone I was looking for on all of them, but my own selection is quite limited. I'd be interested in any recommendations.

Slow Cheetah is perfect.

Hydra Pulse I'm a little curious about. There's no bigger notacleverpony fan than me, but I always thought that was one of her weakest tracks. I'm not seeing the connection to the game, and I think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h15mYcJc6zw)version of the hydra theme is far superior.

Calling is complicated to me; it appeals to the part of me that loves bad Japanese music, and I like the Wake Up refrain; always works for Mage stuff. I really don't like the "Calling" chorus though, that's grating.

Scratch is okay. I think a better high class electronic mix is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRd7dQnqd4), a better glassy eyed club trance song is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbe3CQamF8k), and a better Scratch song is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1czPTOWtdQ).

I'm really not sure how I feel about classical as a thing for the Seers; I'm indoctrinated by the industrial feel that Nine Inch Nails gives to Mammon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_1T0YibRVg), Paternoster (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqu_1MQE1BA), Praetorian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQcMQ4LYiNQ), and Panoptic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erkT5zlDAuc)respectively. The classical symphony doesn't give any hint of that abasement that characterises the Throne to me. The Throne is about the lowest, most contemptible impulses in the human soul. They're not about tragedy. They're not about grand passions. They're just kind of crap. Mediocre. Maybe I just don't have an ear for classical but this just doesn't sound anything like how I think the Throne would sound.

You want to know what I think the Throne would sound like?

I think this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzlNFcT2aOE)

The most painfully mediocre talentless crap they can possibly pump into the air waves. Music that just makes you kind of worse for having heard it, and casually degrades the most important human stories through it's insufferable treatment of them. Music without higher meaning or passion, just a completely soulless cash in.


I've been avoiding it all thread~

... Since this is the slight future, would Gangnam be a retro bar?

I think it's dead like the one hit wonder it is.

SiuiS
2012-11-03, 05:46 AM
You want to know what I think the Throne would sound like?

I think this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzlNFcT2aOE)

The most painfully mediocre talentless crap they can possibly pump into the air waves. Music that just makes you kind of worse for having heard it, and casually degrades the most important human stories through it's insufferable treatment of them. Music without higher meaning or passion, just a completely soulless cash in.

I'm in the unfortunate position I only being able to get this and Scratch to work. Damn it Thanqol. I am going to hear that in my nightmares.

I agree somewhat on Scratch. It feels too superficially crystalline, but I'll go through them all again when I have a computing style device.



I think it's dead like the one hit wonder it is.

Like disco? Sounds like a yes to me, then. Gangnam style is like an aural B-movie; you don't like it for its quality, but for its... What, ham? je ne sais quoi.


Although I am tempted to name the club Slow Cheetah, now.

Thanqol
2012-11-03, 07:26 AM
Additional music stuff:

Seers:
Money (for the love of money) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ujXf7jZo50)
Money (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkhX5W7JoWI)
Audience with the Devil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr4dYNWz03I) - why did I never consider this for the Throne before?
Handlebars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUX0y4EptA)

Pentacle:
The Quiet Place (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAAXK3Mzm2k) - very Mastigos
99 Red Balloons (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4) - An act of meaningless Pentacle optimism spooks the Seers beyond all reason.
Wormhole Wizards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbXKljtHrPc)
Zebra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO2b3cggqs0)

Anarion
2012-11-03, 02:06 PM
Slow Cheetah is perfect.


Yay!



Hydra Pulse I'm a little curious about. There's no bigger notacleverpony fan than me, but I always thought that was one of her weakest tracks. I'm not seeing the connection to the game, and I think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h15mYcJc6zw)version of the hydra theme is far superior.

I was going for something to represent Hong Kong there. Hydra pulse is one of her weakest tracks, but it has a sort of menacing dullness to it that felt right to me. The one you linked, by comparison, is too active for what I was going for. It feels like ponies are running and stuff is happening, and that's what I don't want.



Calling is complicated to me; it appeals to the part of me that loves bad Japanese music, and I like the Wake Up refrain; always works for Mage stuff. I really don't like the "Calling" chorus though, that's grating.

I agree with this. Interestingly, the YouTube version chorus is a changed melody from the original game, which I have and which is better. I'm apparently one of the few owners of it though, as all the iTunes and YouTube versions were changed and the original is basically a relic. Also, it's kinda the most hilarious cell phone ring tone ever.

There are several other TWEWY tracks that I considered as well, and could add if you're interested. Like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGvVOun_7kU), this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnt-SEg9J9Y), or this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LK01R-sCNg)



Scratch is okay. I think a better high class electronic mix is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRd7dQnqd4), a better glassy eyed club trance song is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbe3CQamF8k), and a better Scratch song is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1czPTOWtdQ).

Oh yeah, the second and third ones are both more what I'm looking for there. I'll switch those into the OP. Thanks.


I'm really not sure how I feel about classical as a thing for the Seers; I'm indoctrinated by the industrial feel that Nine Inch Nails gives to Mammon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_1T0YibRVg), Paternoster (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqu_1MQE1BA), Praetorian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQcMQ4LYiNQ), and Panoptic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erkT5zlDAuc)respectively. The classical symphony doesn't give any hint of that abasement that characterises the Throne to me. The Throne is about the lowest, most contemptible impulses in the human soul. They're not about tragedy. They're not about grand passions. They're just kind of crap. Mediocre. Maybe I just don't have an ear for classical but this just doesn't sound anything like how I think the Throne would sound.

You want to know what I think the Throne would sound like?

I think this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzlNFcT2aOE)

The most painfully mediocre talentless crap they can possibly pump into the air waves. Music that just makes you kind of worse for having heard it, and casually degrades the most important human stories through it's insufferable treatment of them. Music without higher meaning or passion, just a completely soulless cash in.


I feel like that's the kind of stuff people who aren't part of the Throne would select to represent the Throne. The Seers might also be responsible for making a lot of it since it keeps the mortals in their places and preserves status quo.

I imagine though, that as a Seer, there's a certain self-delusion to the position. One might be a total materialist, but with that much money and power comes a certain pretend culture. I think if you asked a Seer, they might pick a piece of good classical music, but if you actually looked into it, you'd find that they never bothered to listen to it all the way through and just had listened to some excerpts.

I picked the Mahler 6th 2nd movement in particular because it's very tonally neutral, the kind of thing that can be played in little snippets on the radio and make you seem cultured. The full piece is in a minor key but doesn't have a particular tragic or sad feel to it (despite being from "The Tragic) but it's "off" enough that it doesn't feel upbeat or happy either. At least for me, I feel a bit on edge after listening to it, and that's what I was going for with the Throne.



I think it's dead like the one hit wonder it is.

Yes.


Additional music stuff:

Seers:
Money (for the love of money) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ujXf7jZo50)
Money (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkhX5W7JoWI)
Audience with the Devil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr4dYNWz03I) - why did I never consider this for the Throne before?
Handlebars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUX0y4EptA)

Pentacle:
The Quiet Place (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAAXK3Mzm2k) - very Mastigos
99 Red Balloons (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4) - An act of meaningless Pentacle optimism spooks the Seers beyond all reason.
Wormhole Wizards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbXKljtHrPc)
Zebra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO2b3cggqs0)

Listening through these now as well. I'll add stuff to the OP as I go through them.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-03, 02:27 PM
Additional music stuff:

Seers:
Money (for the love of money) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ujXf7jZo50)
Money (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkhX5W7JoWI)
Audience with the Devil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr4dYNWz03I) - why did I never consider this for the Throne before?
Handlebars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUX0y4EptA)

Pentacle:
The Quiet Place (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAAXK3Mzm2k) - very Mastigos
99 Red Balloons (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4) - An act of meaningless Pentacle optimism spooks the Seers beyond all reason.
Wormhole Wizards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbXKljtHrPc)
Zebra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO2b3cggqs0)

For me, the NIN track for Panopticon was pitch-perfect. Terrifying, unsettling, but intriguing. Handlebars is also fantastic - I kind of imagine every Seer walking around with that playing somewhere in their head, if subconsciously.

Interestingly, I've heard the first part of the song before, but not the end, so when I started on it, I had the hardest time figuring out why this would be a Seers song. Then I actually finished the song.

Now for my take on Pentacle music (Heavily Free Council)
Modern Man (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q63jJ_e4nw)
God Bless Our Dead Marines (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD2cPL5rDM8)
Teddy Roosevelt's Guns (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS5QcxBzc7o)
Ring Them Bells (Freedom Has Come and Gone) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsFRojfMdzI)

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra is basically FC in band form. Also I apologize all the songs are a bajillion years long.

SiuiS
2012-11-03, 03:14 PM
My inability to navigate YouTube is leaving me feeling rather uncultured.

Anarion
2012-11-03, 03:39 PM
I know I asked for this, but damn, too much music to get through. Although Thanqol, those second two Seer songs, man that is just scary how perfect those are for the Seers. I'm leaving the classical in too because I still think it's a part of them, but I'm adding a couple of your suggestions.

SiuiS
2012-11-04, 12:08 AM
Alright. This has become more of a hurdle than I expected...

The rules for Familiars allow advancement, and were updated in Grimoire of Grimoires. Prior, if the ST allowed a familiar to gain numen, it was suggested that you find the dot cost of a similar spell, and then either multiple by three I believe. Currently, the rules are


Familiars may be improved with Experience points (subject to the normal limitations and trait caps of rank 1 spirits, unless otherwise noted). Trait Experience Point Cost: Attribute New dots x8 (fetch) or x5 (embodied familiar; capped at 5), Skill New dots x3(embodied familiars only; capped at 5), Skill specialty 3 (embodied familiars only), Numen 25 (up to 4 Numina for fetches or 5 for embodied familiars). (Note that changes to a spirit’s Attributes may alter other characteristics, such as Health or Speed, and adjust those traits accordingly.

Except that leaves some holes. Specifically, influence.
- A familiar "must be a rank 1 spirit". This doesn't prevent advancement in retrospect, but I read it initially as cannot advance past rank 1.
- a spirit's maximum influence is equal to its rank - a rank one spirit has one dot of influence. Or possibly one dot of influence in several categories, depending.
- at least one example familiar has higher than that; a copper dove with emeral eyes, a healing spirit, with influence (healing) 3.
- a starting familiar has two dots of influence and says (choose one). I assume this is "(influence) 2" and not "(influence A) 1, (influence B) 1".

Increasing influence (and possibly rank) has been a goal for a spell, now. Half of my glut of merits is because I apparently couldn't, but seeing an example of it done elsewhere is grating. Would I be able to eventually pax XP to increase these otherwise untouchable traits? Or if not, are these hard or soft limits, such that using Spirit 5 to bolster my familia is either impossible or breaks the familiar bond?

Thanqol
2012-11-04, 12:57 AM
I was going for something to represent Hong Kong there. Hydra pulse is one of her weakest tracks, but it has a sort of menacing dullness to it that felt right to me. The one you linked, by comparison, is too active for what I was going for. It feels like ponies are running and stuff is happening, and that's what I don't want.

Menacing dullness... I'll have a think and get back to you.


I agree with this. Interestingly, the YouTube version chorus is a changed melody from the original game, which I have and which is better. I'm apparently one of the few owners of it though, as all the iTunes and YouTube versions were changed and the original is basically a relic. Also, it's kinda the most hilarious cell phone ring tone ever.

There are several other TWEWY tracks that I considered as well, and could add if you're interested. Like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGvVOun_7kU), this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnt-SEg9J9Y), or this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LK01R-sCNg)

Will listen soon.


I feel like that's the kind of stuff people who aren't part of the Throne would select to represent the Throne. The Seers might also be responsible for making a lot of it since it keeps the mortals in their places and preserves status quo.

Yeah. I suppose that's better characterised as a reinforcement of the Lie than an anthem for the Throne.


I imagine though, that as a Seer, there's a certain self-delusion to the position. One might be a total materialist, but with that much money and power comes a certain pretend culture. I think if you asked a Seer, they might pick a piece of good classical music, but if you actually looked into it, you'd find that they never bothered to listen to it all the way through and just had listened to some excerpts.

Or they keep all the good music unreleased in the backrooms of studios and private collections. Scarcity is value.


I picked the Mahler 6th 2nd movement in particular because it's very tonally neutral, the kind of thing that can be played in little snippets on the radio and make you seem cultured. The full piece is in a minor key but doesn't have a particular tragic or sad feel to it (despite being from "The Tragic) but it's "off" enough that it doesn't feel upbeat or happy either. At least for me, I feel a bit on edge after listening to it, and that's what I was going for with the Throne.

Hmm, I don't see it myself, but if that's what you're going for.


For me, the NIN track for Panopticon was pitch-perfect. Terrifying, unsettling, but intriguing. Handlebars is also fantastic - I kind of imagine every Seer walking around with that playing somewhere in their head, if subconsciously.


I know I asked for this, but damn, too much music to get through. Although Thanqol, those second two Seer songs, man that is just scary how perfect those are for the Seers. I'm leaving the classical in too because I still think it's a part of them, but I'm adding a couple of your suggestions.

Yeah, the first time I heard Handlebars without listening to it I thought it was just kind of crap. When I listened to it properly, halfway through the song I just got chills.

SiuiS
2012-11-04, 09:16 PM
FAMILIAR

Night's-Neon-Rhythm
Neon trance dragon spirit

ATTRIBUTES
Power: 2
Finesse: 3
Resistance: 3

TRAITS
Willpower: 5/6
Essence: 10/10
Initiative[/b:] 6
[b]Defense: 3
Speed: 15
Size: 5
Corpus: 8
Influence Cultural Expression 2

FAMILIAR
Night's-Neon-Rhythm is a Mage's familiar, and as such can exist in Twilight indefinitely without concern for essence bleed.

NNR and it's Mage have an empathic connection. It's Mage can see, hear and touch NNR and vice versa despite being in Twilight. NNR's Mage is considered to have an intimate sympathetic connection to it, and can use NNR's senses for scrying rather than a scrying window. NNR and it's Mage can swap mana for essence (see essence rules below).

BAN
Night's-Neon-Rhythm cannot harm a dancer or musician while they are in the respective act.
NNR must pay for performances with Essence when specifically called on to watch, I'd the performance is sufficient. Night's-Neon-Rhythm must perform if called on to do so and offered suitable payment. (power ban)

NUMINA
Power Ban, Blast, Emotional Aura (R)

Manifestation - as a Twilight spirit, Night's-Neon-Rhythm can manifest in the physical realm with a successful Power+Finesse roll, modified by the local Gauntlet strength. Failure on this roll drains one point of Willpower, and NNR must have at least one point of Willpower remaining to make the attempt. NNR*can manifest invisibly if it chooses.

Blast - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can unleash a roar, spewing fine shattered glass, burning neon gasses and the overloud thumping of electronic dance music up to thirty yards. This deals lethal damage with a dice pool of Power+Finesse, and can be increased by two dice for every point of essence spent.

Emotional Aura (Revelry) - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can emanate an aura of Revelry in a five yard radius by spending a point of essence. For the remainder of the scene, anyone who comes within the area must roll Resolve+Composure+Power Stat or suffer -2 to all dice pools due to distraction. Due to the particular nature of*Night's-Neon-Rhythm itself, these penalties do not apply to dancing, singing, or performing appropriate music.

Revelry is not always positive. Getting into the mood at a funeral would involve keening and empassioned eulogies. Revelry at a protest would involve catchy chants, rhythmic stomping and a building energy.

Influence - Night's-Neon-Rhythm can expend essence to influence the world around it. When influencing emotions or thoughts, the roll is contested; the target uses the higher of its resolve or composure, and it's Power Stat if any.

Use of influence requires a roll of Power+Finesse. NNR can strengthen and enhance its sphere of influence for ten minutes per success by expending one essence, or it can manipulate and make minor changes to its sphere of influence for one minute per success by expending two essence.

Essence Rules - Night's-Neon-Rhythm, as a spirit, holds essence. His maximum capacity is 10, and there is no general limit on the amount of essence which can be spent in a turn1.

NNR can spend a point of essence to use its influence in the mortal (an possibly spirit) world.

NNR can spend its essence to increase its attributes on a one-for-one basis for one scene. Each attribute has a maximum limit of three bonus points (His rank +2). Only one point of essence can be spent in this way per round.

NNR must use one point of essence to remain "alive" each day at sunrise. This is a relic of ryōng being celestial spirits more closely related to the sun choir. Most spirits pay this fee at moonrise.

NNR recovers one point of essence per day from proximity to that which it reflects. Additionally, once per day NNR may attempt to pull essence from an appropriate source of resonance with a Power+Finesse roll. This is modified (negatively) by the Gauntlet or (positively) by a locus.

NNR may steal essence from other spirits with a contested roll of Power+Finesse v. finesse+Resistance. Whoever wins the contest drains essence from the loser equal to the number of successes on the roll.

As a familiar, NNR and Flouresce may trade mana and essence freely on a point for point basis. NNR has no limit on the amount of mana he can give, but Flouresce is most likely still limited by his gnosis and mana-per-turn expenditure cap.






1: This may not be true, but seems supported by the general rules. A sweep of all three relevant books will be conducted soon to verify the veracity of this rule.


Night's-Neon-Rhythm began it existence as an abstract, cultural spirit, a dragon. One of many, one of the facets of the greater Korean understanding of ryōng, and fed new off superstition than belief. It was a symbol of a nation, but one that was battling for the hearts and minds of its adherents. Over almost a century, it rose to prominence and then was struck a series of blows, most of them from Americans. It finally latched on to survival by debasement, spreading its cultural heritage and sense of patriotism through tourism. You've seen NNR before; the dragon printed on the back of bomber jackets, bought by the bushel by America tourists and servicemen, taken home for their ladies. It was a meager existence but it worked, though NNR spent its time worried about weakening, fighting off other icons, other dragons, river spirits scarves to a trickle, cloud spirits work down to dust, and regal spirits looking for revitalization.

Weaken a spirit enough and it loses tank. Where once it was one of the powers driving the conflict that woul become the vietnam war, now it was simply that dragon on jackets, a postcard, fading. Fighting a pack of Kyocera musical toy dogs, and a faded, threadbare version of itself - a bootleg spirit with aspirations - what would become Night's-Neon-Rhythm fled into an ally where several children were having a dance off. Their boom box was an honest to god Sony, thankfully, and in desperation the ryōng reached for their essence. Dancing like this was a kind of culture, wasn't it?

It was new, and weak, but it was better than nothing. NNR urged the dance to frenetic levels, stoking the physical high of the adolescents, and in their aura fought down his rivals. Seeking newer, similar power, it found pockets of dances, music, contests. Clubs. DJs. Dance-offs. More and more the essence changed it, it's influence. Now a spirit not of culture but of expression, Night's-Neon-Rhythm found itsel in that same alley, with that same boy. Only now, his dance-off held a sharper edge, as the human bobbed and twisted to avoid some fists, a bat, a knife. Again, The ryōng used its power to bolster the boy, making him faster, crisper, more coordinated. Eventually the boy won, or at least didn't die. An on a whim a week later, returned with spraycans to leave an imperial Korean dragon haphazardly scrawled on the wall.

These emblems popped up all over town, and the spirit fed on them, onconography to its greatness. And eventually, the boy returned, Nd saw with eyes few humans had, spoke the tongue no human could naturally speak. His voice was the voice of the dragon, encoded in the beat-box hiss and thump and electric sounds of his age. And the dragon spirit's voice, too, was the musical accompanyment worked into a roar.

They left the alley way together under a familiar bond.

Thanqol
2012-11-04, 11:05 PM
Last word on music for now, here's my idea (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR2i5tckjWc)for a track that has a kind of industrial, 'menacing dullness' like you said.


Also, finished watching Death Note. Day-amn. Not quite my favourite anime ever but not for lack of trying. Great inspiration for a lot of Mage stuff too.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-04, 11:25 PM
Also, finished watching Death Note. Day-amn. Not quite my favourite anime ever but not for lack of trying. Great inspiration for a lot of Mage stuff too.

I really need to get around to seeing this one. That and Fate/Zero too... Hrm.

Also, I'm thinking about swapping Mara's 4th dot in Intelligence with Wits, as further reflection indicates she's more about the sort of things the finesse stat represents - thinking and acting in the moment, more dynamically than planning, per se.

Anarion
2012-11-06, 04:29 PM
I just found the greatest quote for Mammon. Isn't it great how good reality is at making it seem like the Seers actually exist?

The basis on which good repute in any highly organized industrial community ultimately rests is pecuniary strength; and the means of showing pecuniary strength, and so of gaining or retaining a good name, are leisure and a conspicuous consumption of goods.

Thorstein Veblen


Druid, if you're thinking about moving around the int dot, here's my thought for you. One of the big differences I see between int and wits has to do with how rushed you are. I don't know that my interpretation is supported by the rules as much as it is by how I see the meaning of the words intelligence and wits. But in general, if you're planning in advance or asking for studied information, I'm probably going to ask for an int check. If you're making decisions on the spot or taking account of your surroundings, you'll want wits.

Thoughts on Death Note
First off, I'm unusual in being a fan of Near. Everyone I ever talk to thinks that Near and Mello are boring and way less cool than Light and L. But I really like Near because he pushes the envelope of utter genius who is dysfunctional in all aspects of life except his genius. I found the moment when Near said that he didn't know how to take a plane by himself really intriguing, and I think there's a really interesting character there, even though he got less development than Light or L due to his late introduction.

Second, I think Death Note provides a really good reason to adopt the reversal points system for RPG characters with superhuman stats. One of my frustrations with the anime is that they got very close to really depicting a battle between geniuses, but then there are several small things that I find incredibly stupid. Light's very first mistake in particular is a huge problem for me. That's the one where he kills the guy on public television and reveals that he's in Japan. He already had the thought that he should be careful, so why kill that guy? Why even respond to a challenge like that? It's stupid and it bugs me. It's also weird later on that Light didn't give clearer instructions to his proxy Kira guy (that he gave the death note to), who's name escapes me. That guy ruined the whole scheme by anticipating Light's plans, and if Light had simply been more clear that he was planning everything and the guy needed to follow orders exactly and do nothing else to reveal himself, Light would have probably won.

I also think getting into the police investigation at all was stupid, and that Light's brain wipe plan that ended up killing L had way too many variables and was not a genius plan, but rather a lucky guess.


Having said all that, I think Death Note is a great anime. It's an interesting example of how Mage combat could look, since knowing someone's name is death and everything is conducted via the shadows and the media. It also shows the reach of a truly dedicated investigation and a lot of ways to influence people, although I find Light's ultimate plan to always be ambiguous, since his paranoia would ever prevent him from finally succeeding.

SiuiS
2012-11-06, 05:07 PM
Fine, I'll actually give deathnote a look. Geeze.

:smallbiggrin:

the_druid_droid
2012-11-06, 07:38 PM
I just found the greatest quote for Mammon. Isn't it great how good reality is at making it seem like the Seers actually exist?

I have been thinking this for the past week. It's unnerving.


Druid, if you're thinking about moving around the int dot, here's my thought for you. One of the big differences I see between int and wits has to do with how rushed you are. I don't know that my interpretation is supported by the rules as much as it is by how I see the meaning of the words intelligence and wits. But in general, if you're planning in advance or asking for studied information, I'm probably going to ask for an int check. If you're making decisions on the spot or taking account of your surroundings, you'll want wits.

I think that approach makes sense, and I that's part of why I'm considering it. I'm not sure I'm completely sold, but Mara does like to handle things as they happen, rather than making really elaborate plans beforehand.

At the same time, I don't know if this is true in all arenas, or just the social one where she has such ability to cruise on her Mind magic.

Anarion
2012-11-06, 08:26 PM
I think that approach makes sense, and I that's part of why I'm considering it. I'm not sure I'm completely sold, but Mara does like to handle things as they happen, rather than making really elaborate plans beforehand.

At the same time, I don't know if this is true in all arenas, or just the social one where she has such ability to cruise on her Mind magic.

When in doubt, pick the stat that applies to more rotes.

Thanqol
2012-11-06, 09:11 PM
I just found the greatest quote for Mammon. Isn't it great how good reality is at making it seem like the Seers actually exist?

I read an interesting article about how Mage is actually not about hubris, but about privilege.

I.e. that once you gain the power to change the world, rather than actually changing it you instantly form secret societies with secret handshakes and start fighting other secret societies all the time.


Druid, if you're thinking about moving around the int dot, here's my thought for you. One of the big differences I see between int and wits has to do with how rushed you are. I don't know that my interpretation is supported by the rules as much as it is by how I see the meaning of the words intelligence and wits. But in general, if you're planning in advance or asking for studied information, I'm probably going to ask for an int check. If you're making decisions on the spot or taking account of your surroundings, you'll want wits.

I've been exploring this with Stephanie. She's actually really smart - just in a really dumb way.


Thoughts on Death Note
First off, I'm unusual in being a fan of Near. Everyone I ever talk to thinks that Near and Mello are boring and way less cool than Light and L. But I really like Near because he pushes the envelope of utter genius who is dysfunctional in all aspects of life except his genius. I found the moment when Near said that he didn't know how to take a plane by himself really intriguing, and I think there's a really interesting character there, even though he got less development than Light or L due to his late introduction.

Second, I think Death Note provides a really good reason to adopt the reversal points system for RPG characters with superhuman stats. One of my frustrations with the anime is that they got very close to really depicting a battle between geniuses, but then there are several small things that I find incredibly stupid. Light's very first mistake in particular is a huge problem for me. That's the one where he kills the guy on public television and reveals that he's in Japan. He already had the thought that he should be careful, so why kill that guy? Why even respond to a challenge like that? It's stupid and it bugs me. It's also weird later on that Light didn't give clearer instructions to his proxy Kira guy (that he gave the death note to), who's name escapes me. That guy ruined the whole scheme by anticipating Light's plans, and if Light had simply been more clear that he was planning everything and the guy needed to follow orders exactly and do nothing else to reveal himself, Light would have probably won.

I also think getting into the police investigation at all was stupid, and that Light's brain wipe plan that ended up killing L had way too many variables and was not a genius plan, but rather a lucky guess.


Having said all that, I think Death Note is a great anime. It's an interesting example of how Mage combat could look, since knowing someone's name is death and everything is conducted via the shadows and the media. It also shows the reach of a truly dedicated investigation and a lot of ways to influence people, although I find Light's ultimate plan to always be ambiguous, since his paranoia would ever prevent him from finally succeeding.


Death Note:


but then there are several small things that I find incredibly stupid. Light's very first mistake in particular is a huge problem for me. That's the one where he kills the guy on public television and reveals that he's in Japan. He already had the thought that he should be careful, so why kill that guy? Why even respond to a challenge like that? It's stupid and it bugs me.

I thought about all this stuff and decided that there's no actual other way the story could have gone. Light's defining characteristic is hubris. Hubris is what made his literal first response to gaining the death note I SHALL BECOME GOD. Hubris is what drives all his actions. Remember, he wants to not be caught but he wants even more to be seen as a God. Therefore he couldn't take that crap on national TV. He made an impulsive, proud act to affirm Kira's divinity. Every step L gets towards him uses that hubris.

If I got the Death Note it would be impossible to catch me because I'd be completely arbitrary in my killings. My plan involves getting as many dictators and writing "I will go on national TV, confess all my crimes, and then kill myself". I'd focus on enacting political change and destroying corruption than slaughtering petty criminals. This would mean I'd only kill every few months after I'd had time to do the research and there'd be no direct link between me and my victims.

That would be a totally boring story though.


It's also weird later on that Light didn't give clearer instructions to his proxy Kira guy (that he gave the death note to), who's name escapes me. That guy ruined the whole scheme by anticipating Light's plans, and if Light had simply been more clear that he was planning everything and the guy needed to follow orders exactly and do nothing else to reveal himself, Light would have probably won.

That was the entire point! He didn't choose a guy who obeyed orders, he chose a guy who thought like him. And he did give him a direct order not to do anything. X-Kira was exactly what Light chose him to be and his failure was absolutely inevitable.

I did feel far more ambivalent about Nier trying to turn that into a friendship speech though.


I also think getting into the police investigation at all was stupid, and that Light's brain wipe plan that ended up killing L had way too many variables and was not a genius plan, but rather a lucky guess.

I think getting into the police investigation was an inescapable trap. How could Light Yagami, son of the investigation's head detective, possibly turn it down? He was stuck there.

However killing the FBI tail was a short sighted blunder, and everything kind of snowballed from there. He underestimated his opposition - he underestimated L a lot. Hubris.

SiuiS
2012-11-06, 11:07 PM
I read an interesting article about how Mage is actually not about hubris, but about privilege.

I.e. that once you gain the power to change the world, rather than actually changing it you instantly form secret societies with secret handshakes and start fighting other secret societies all the time.


You're going to hav to lead me friend. I'm afraid I'm working with a loaded version of privilege, makes it hardyk understand this.

-

On wits, I'm mostly with Anarion. I also feel that Wits is the most Sloth-like of the two, because it's waiting and applying mid-go, where Inteligence would be coming up with relevant facts, and then a decision based off them.

Mm. That doesn't make as much sense as I'd hoped. Have you ever raced your own synapses? Where the act of writing slowly drove a thought out of your head, overwrote it with the impulses of finding the rift keys, the right words, grammar and structure? I have. Dang jt.

Wits is a Doctor Who stat. Not to say he's not intelligent, but the off the cuff leveraging and Gerry rigging of things, definitely wits. Intelligence comes up too, but those are the times he remembers some pivotal fact, calls himself stupid r thick, and then follows the obvious path that's only obvious if you know that fact. Polymers ing the hydrocarbons requires Int to realize it coul be pulled off. Solving a problem by superglue feels like wits though. Power and finesse, do you have RAM to spare, or do you make good use of a small body of knowledge?



I've been exploring this with Stephanie. She's actually really smart - just in a really dumb way.


Perhaps the smartest thing one can do is step back and let others patch up your blind spots.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-07, 12:54 AM
Mm. That doesn't make as much sense as I'd hoped. Have you ever raced your own synapses? Where the act of writing slowly drove a thought out of your head, overwrote it with the impulses of finding the rift keys, the right words, grammar and structure? I have. Dang jt.

Yeah, I've been there. Damndest thing.


Wits is a Doctor Who stat. Not to say he's not intelligent, but the off the cuff leveraging and Gerry rigging of things, definitely wits. Intelligence comes up too, but those are the times he remembers some pivotal fact, calls himself stupid r thick, and then follows the obvious path that's only obvious if you know that fact. Polymers ing the hydrocarbons requires Int to realize it coul be pulled off. Solving a problem by superglue feels like wits though. Power and finesse, do you have RAM to spare, or do you make good use of a small body of knowledge?

Yeah, I'm at the point where I'm just trying to let it roll around in my head. May try to interrogate Mara more directly with character-thoughts and see how she turns out to resolve it once and for all. Also, I still need to come up with some ideas for the thread you linked. Gonna hop on that soon.

Anarion
2012-11-07, 02:29 AM
The Musketeers

Free Council Cabal #1

The Musketeers are a recently formed cabal, some combination of locals and foreigners that formed up upon the arrival of new mages two months ago because their personalities just matched up perfectly. They espouse the ethos of "all for one and one for all" and depending on who you ask, they're either gallant or insanely reckless. They have staged several public displays of magic, usually pretending to be some kind of act or play to inspire sleepers without risking a paradox. Despite it's frequent public appearances, the cabal's advantage thus far is it's mastery of disguise. When they move actively, they do so with their faces hidden, and nobody knows what they actually look like.

They have not been seen by anyone since the attack on the train.

The Man in Black Male Free Council Thyrsus

The leader of the cabal, this man is a swashbuckler extraordinaire. Any public incident of him performing magic has involved him dressed all in black, with a black cape and bandana and this is also how he appears when contacting Pentacle members from other cabals. At various meetings he has sported European and South American accents, and skin varying in shade between milky white and a deep tan. He is quick to laugh, and even quicker with a sharp retort.

Quixote Male? Free Council Thyrsus

Quixote makes the Man in Black look positively tame. Like his compatriot, he tends to appear publicly in costume, but his usually consists of brightly colored stripes or polka dots, a rather distinctive spear, and at least one or two pieces of metal armor and a pointed helm. How in the world he disguises all of this is not known, but it is reported that his face has never been the same twice. Unlike The Man in Black, Quixote has been reported as appearing of all races, and sometimes as either sex.

Although both Quixote and the Man in Black alter their physical appearance frequently, it's generally true that Quixote appears both taller and heavier than his compatriot, and quite often a fair bit fatter as well. This does not seem to affect his physical dexterity.

Juniper Female Mysterium Mastigos

Juniper is the quiet one. She eschews the capes and bright colors of the others, but has also assiduously avoided revealing her face through use of long coats and headscarves or masks of various sorts. Her favorite color is deep burgundy, and her standard disguise is a deep burgundy coat with a hood that enshrouds her face in shadow. Her masks at various public locations have included several Japanese Oni masks as well as those used by various Pacific Islanders, although nobody is sure where she keeps her collection. She has never been heard to speak in the presence of non-cabal members and her role in the cabal is not well-known.

She's small and slight of build, barely topping 5 feet tall and likely weighing less than 100 lbs.

Dartanion ?? ?? ??

There are rumors that the musketeers have a fourth member. However, he or she has not been seen in public.

Thanqol
2012-11-07, 05:18 AM
Vulcan's Opinions On:

The Boxers

"Their philosophy was obsolete the last time they all got massacred."

Vulcan is not at all impressed by spiritualism. The most powerful force in the world is human desire. Through the lens of capitalism, watch as desire obliterates rainforests, bulldozes shrines, paves over relics, destroys traditions. Denying your own desire rids yourself of your most powerful force, your most human element, and turns you into some kind of monster or machine. To a degree, she thinks that espousing any philosophy different from self-interested nihilistic materialism is contributing directly to the greater suffering of humanity.

She would rather not deal with them at all. Not only do they not understand, they have deliberately removed themselves so far from understanding that they have become unpredictable. It would be wrong to say that she's afraid of them - more irritated that they don't set themselves up to be easily controlled.

The Musketeers

"Did you know there was a movie called Barbie and the Three Musketeers? It made the Throne ten million dollars. If you keep it up we might be able to get a sequel."

Small minded dolts, ignorant of real power, and amongst the most foolish of the Pentacle - but thing is, Vulcan respects that. They're stupid in a way she understands, and are smart in a way she appreciates. They're clearly playing at being heroes, and they should - if they're Awakened it's their own right to do whatever they want with magic. And if what they choose to do is swing around in masks and capes, kill innocent civilians and turn the Pentacle against itself then they couldn't help the Throne more than if they were card carrying Seers.

They're children playing at heroics, and that's okay. They exist entirely within the acceptable rebel category; they don't even challenge the systems that are designed to control people like them. If the entire Pentacle was as foolish then Vulcan would feel a lot safer.

SiuiS
2012-11-07, 02:25 PM
Vulcan is not at all impressed by spiritualism. The most powerful force in the world is human desire.

The irony in this is palpable XD

Thanqol
2012-11-07, 08:55 PM
The irony in this is palpable XD

She thinks that following the step of "mastering your desires" is the process of brainwashing yourself into wanting something incomprehensible rather than wanting what you actually want. She thinks doing that makes you worse at being a person.

SiuiS
2012-11-07, 09:16 PM
She thinks that following the step of "mastering your desires" is the process of brainwashing yourself into wanting something incomprehensible rather than wanting what you actually want. She thinks doing that makes you worse at being a person.

We agree. What makes Flouresce smile, turn away an put on his mask to go paint and chuckle is that her abjuration of the spiritual misses some obvious stuff. She still believes in morality because it's right there – you look at a soul and you know it's health. Morality is exercise and diet of the soul. Ergo morality exists, has a purpose.

But so does spirituality. Flouresce could walk into a corporate office with a buffed up charity spirit, awaken the corporation, destroy it, and leave charity as it's guardian. Barring outside intervention that business will change dramatically in the next six months. Having faith in a principle creates that principle as a force, which can reward you for adhering to it.

Thanqol
2012-11-07, 09:33 PM
We agree. What makes Flouresce smile, turn away an put on his mask to go paint and chuckle is that her abjuration of the spiritual misses some obvious stuff. She still believes in morality because it's right there – you look at a soul and you know it's health. Morality is exercise and diet of the soul. Ergo morality exists, has a purpose.

Horrible misinterpretation there: Vulcan doesn't believe in doing good things. She understands that doing bad things harms your soul. If you do a good thing it's because you wanted to do it.


But so does spirituality. Flouresce could walk into a corporate office with a buffed up charity spirit, awaken the corporation, destroy it, and leave charity as it's guardian. Barring outside intervention that business will change dramatically in the next six months. Having faith in a principle creates that principle as a force, which can reward you for adhering to it.

"Yes, that's nice, you can use Spirit magic to inflict your insanity on the world. I can do the same with Mind magic. The difference as I see it is that by installing a charity spirit in charge of a corporation you're essentially going to murder either the corporation or the spirit - which is a means and not an end."

SiuiS
2012-11-08, 12:23 AM
Horrible misinterpretation there: Vulcan doesn't believe in doing good things. She understands that doing bad things harms your soul. If you do a good thing it's because you wanted to do it.


Ahead of the curve. 99% of basic morality is not being a dink.



"Yes, that's nice, you can use Spirit magic to inflict your insanity on the world. I can do the same with Mind magic. The difference as I see it is that by installing a charity spirit in charge of a corporation you're essentially going to murder either the corporation or the spirit - which is a means and not an end."

1) spirits aren't quite people. Murder doesn't apply.
2) I don't need to do anything. This stuff happens on its own. Spirituality is a force. Jude because you don't see it does not make it untrue.

Anarion
2012-11-08, 12:58 AM
1) spirits aren't quite people. Murder doesn't apply.


Maybe? I'm not sure that you can just go around willy-nilly murdering spirits with no personal consequences for that. It messes a lot of stuff up.



2) I don't need to do anything. This stuff happens on its own. Spirituality is a force. Jude because you don't see it does not make it untrue.

Sure, but it's a force just like any other magic. You can use spirit magic to mess with a corporation. Vulcan can use mind magic to mess with a corporation. Sometimes spirits do things on their own that mess stuff up. Sometimes people make stupid mental errors on their own that mess stuff up. Same thing.

SiuiS
2012-11-08, 01:10 AM
Maybe? I'm not sure that you can just go around willy-nilly murdering spirits with no personal consequences for that. It messes a lot of stuff up.

Yes. Elaboration beyond minimum required Is out of character though.




Sure, but it's a force just like any other magic. You can use spirit magic to mess with a corporation. Vulcan can use mind magic to mess with a corporation. Sometimes spirits do things on their own that mess stuff up. Sometimes people make stupid mental errors on their own that mess stuff up. Same thing.

Red herring.

Statements: spirituality is bunk.
Capitalism wins.

Rebuttal: spirituality is concrete as cash.
Capitalism can literally be taken behind shed and beaten.

Thanqol
2012-11-08, 06:05 AM
Red herring.

Statements: spirituality is bunk.
Capitalism wins.

Rebuttal: spirituality is concrete as cash.
Capitalism can literally be taken behind shed and beaten.

Nonsense. Spiritualism does not equal dealing with spirits. Spirits, in their natural state, reflect what human beings do. The majority of human beings are greedy and selfish; ergo the majority of spirits are greedy and selfish.

While it's true that some nutter with Spirit magic can fundamentally alter the nature of those spirits, that has no bearing on the practise of spirituality. It's possible to be a complete commercialist douchebag and a Master of the Spirit Arcana.

It's also possible to brainwash yourself into not being greedy and selfish through meditation, self-denial and other invasive self-hypnotic techniques. Vulcan considers this an aberration and a deeply disturbing one because it's denying the fundamental forces that make you human (greed and selfishnesss).

the_druid_droid
2012-11-08, 11:48 AM
Hmm, I think Mara's response to the discussion is firstly some confusion. To her, materialists are the people who only believe in (little-m) matter and (little-f) forces and the laws of physics governing them. Someone who has objective evidence of the existence of things like souls and ghosts (let alone Magic) calling themselves a materialist is something she doesn't quite grok.

At the same time, she's not 100% opposed to the idea of selfishness, since everyone has to find their own way (her take on The Supernal is the Self). And her own motives in Hong Kong are admittedly self-interested. Still, she would disagree with the idea that you should cling to those desires above all else - after all, if you don't try out something you don't have a "natural" desire for you might not discover that you like it better than some of the other things you do currently want.

Also, arguably, many desires are the result not of an individual's will, but their circumstances and prior history, which in an Awakened context is not necessarily all something that should be cleaved to. In that sense she would probably respect Vulcan more if there was evidence that she was at least exploring these things to try to arrive at a more truly individual set of motivations.

Which now that I've said it strikes me as very Mastigos.

Also, I would answer this in dialogue, but I don't know if I've captured her voice in my head yet. I know about her, but am not quite looking through her eyes.

Anarion
2012-11-08, 12:49 PM
Question for everyone. I'm planning to do a few Mammon profiles next, and I'd like to know how you'd like them presented. Since Vulcan is part of the organization, I could talk about its members in as much or more detail than the various Pentacle cabals. Or, I could give you reports more in the style of what we got on Cyprus, where the info is filtered through some Pentacle organization that is reporting on intel they've gathered. If you'd prefer some other format entirely, I could do that as well.

SiuiS
2012-11-08, 03:49 PM
Nonsense. Spiritualism does not equal dealing with spirits. Spirits, in their natural state, reflect what human beings do. The majority of human beings are greedy and selfish; ergo the majority of spirits are greedy and selfish.

While it's true that some nutter with Spirit magic can fundamentally alter the nature of those spirits, that has no bearing on the practise of spirituality. It's possible to be a complete commercialist douchebag and a Master of the Spirit Arcana.

It's also possible to brainwash yourself into not being greedy and selfish through meditation, self-denial and other invasive self-hypnotic techniques. Vulcan considers this an aberration and a deeply disturbing one because it's denying the fundamental forces that make you human (greed and selfishnesss).

"Waste of argument. Spirituality is not denial of greed and selfishness. Spirituality is belief in impact of spirits, like economics is belief in impact of money.

"Selfless attitude comes from spirituality in same way selfless attitude comes from belief in the soul. You say 'don't do bad things, they hurt you, but no need to do good things'? Spirituality the same, except doing good things does have benefits. For entire city.

"Commercialist douche can master spirit arcanum. Aboriginal can master mind arcanum. So? Remove influence and watch again. Commercial douche breeds constant stream of bad things which hunt him and control him. If he was less souche, he would breed less. If he was good, he would breed constant stream of good things that fight off bad things. People recognize this; good begets good. You may think it unfortunate that "Good" and "Evil" are words used, but they are most accurate."

"Oh, also, you need to learn concept of middle road. Not believe in spiritual pursuits so forsake all acts which do not directly harm you? Shortsighted."


Hmm, I think Mara's response to the discussion is firstly some confusion. To her, materialists are the people who only believe in (little-m) matter and (little-f) forces and the laws of physics governing them. Someone who has objective evidence of the existence of things like souls and ghosts (let alone Magic) calling themselves a materialist is something she doesn't quite grok.

I think the issue is the use of words which have VASTLY different meanings in different contexts. One of the downsides of morality. Vulcan doesn't believe in Good, so she does nothing good because they're similar. It's like not using deodorant, you don't like it when it's hot, and eat is measured in degrees, an degree is a deodorant, therefore you don't like degree. I'm sure it's not that plain on Vulcan's end, but it seems that way at first brush.

On the upside, though, Vulcan as a person is completely believable. No matter how much it doesn't make logical sense, it smacks of honest human motivation. I think that whether we like her as a person or not is irrelevant.


At the same time, she's not 100% opposed to the idea of selfishness, since everyone has to find their own way (her take on The Supernal is the Self). And her own motives in Hong Kong are admittedly self-interested.

I am having a lot of trouble getting myself into the slothful mindset. I want to dump all relevant information immediately, and it is so hard not to! But yeah, there's a middle road in there, between "some selfishness is good" and "murder-rape-pillage ALL the things! Heil Mammon!", and it's interesting to watch the process of someone who believes that middle road is made up whole clothe by humans who couldn't get anything ad enforce a culture of selflessness out of selfishness.


Also, arguably, many desires are the result not of an individual's will, but their circumstances and prior history, which in an Awakened context is not necessarily all something that should be cleaved to.

*nods* "Spirits."



Also, I would answer this in dialogue, but I don't know if I've captured her voice in my head yet. I know about her, but am not quite looking through her eyes.

What's her ethnicity? I keep seeing her as an Indian-African mix. Coupled with messing up the Moros/Mastigos bit, means I know nothin of Mara at all >_<


Question for everyone. I'm planning to do a few Mammon profiles next, and I'd like to know how you'd like them presented. Since Vulcan is part of the organization, I could talk about its members in as much or more detail than the various Pentacle cabals. Or, I could give you reports more in the style of what we got on Cyprus, where the info is filtered through some Pentacle organization that is reporting on intel they've gathered. If you'd prefer some other format entirely, I could do that as well.

Dossier style with notes of specifics
For Thanqol In a spoiler. While on the one hoof this isn't the kind of thing that needs to be a secret, the presentation sets the mood.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-08, 08:34 PM
On the upside, though, Vulcan as a person is completely believable. No matter how much it doesn't make logical sense, it smacks of honest human motivation. I think that whether we like her as a person or not is irrelevant.

Oh yeah, definitely agreed. Just trying to field the character's thoughts on things. Can't let the two of you have all the philosophy-discussion fun.


What's her ethnicity? I keep seeing her as an Indian-African mix. Coupled with messing up the Moros/Mastigos bit, means I know nothin of Mara at all >_<

Chinese American, actually, although I can kinda see where you're coming from.


Dossier style with notes of specifics
For Thanqol In a spoiler. While on the one hoof this isn't the kind of thing that needs to be a secret, the presentation sets the mood.

I would agree with this. Or at least a sort of compromise between the two - maybe dossiers on some and then a few that Vulcan might know better and/or have passed on info for, we could know a bit more in-depth.

SiuiS
2012-11-08, 08:57 PM
Oh yeah, definitely agreed. Just trying to field the character's thoughts on things. Can't let the two of you have all the philosophy-discussion fun.

I get the feeling it's become in character philosophy to avoid an out of character argument XD



Chinese American, actually, although I can kinda see where you're coming from.


That's right. I should remember that. Problem is every time I think of Mara, I see Guerrera. We need ART! ASAP.

DD, describe Mara, her mannerisms and her hobbies, please.

Thanqol
2012-11-08, 09:16 PM
Hmm, I think Mara's response to the discussion is firstly some confusion. To her, materialists are the people who only believe in (little-m) matter and (little-f) forces and the laws of physics governing them. Someone who has objective evidence of the existence of things like souls and ghosts (let alone Magic) calling themselves a materialist is something she doesn't quite grok.

Materialist in terms of not believing anything that cannot be directly owned, measured, controlled or experienced. So "Justice" does not appear on her list of priorities, nor any other wishy-washy concepts like "faith", "loyalty", or "right and wrong". If something is bad it's bad because it harms her physical, material interests, not because of any appeal to some higher concept.

Put it this way: Killing people is bad because you might get caught.


At the same time, she's not 100% opposed to the idea of selfishness, since everyone has to find their own way (her take on The Supernal is the Self). And her own motives in Hong Kong are admittedly self-interested. Still, she would disagree with the idea that you should cling to those desires above all else - after all, if you don't try out something you don't have a "natural" desire for you might not discover that you like it better than some of the other things you do currently want.

Also, arguably, many desires are the result not of an individual's will, but their circumstances and prior history, which in an Awakened context is not necessarily all something that should be cleaved to. In that sense she would probably respect Vulcan more if there was evidence that she was at least exploring these things to try to arrive at a more truly individual set of motivations.

Which now that I've said it strikes me as very Mastigos.

Also, I would answer this in dialogue, but I don't know if I've captured her voice in my head yet. I know about her, but am not quite looking through her eyes.

Vulcan has nothing against trying new things and broadening her horizons. Her motivations are just all based off measurable realities (if I do X, I will get Y) rather than abstract moral positions (doing X is wrong). Since she values knowledge as a key tool for avoiding being manipulated she constantly expands the number of potential transactions she's aware of.


Question for everyone. I'm planning to do a few Mammon profiles next, and I'd like to know how you'd like them presented. Since Vulcan is part of the organization, I could talk about its members in as much or more detail than the various Pentacle cabals. Or, I could give you reports more in the style of what we got on Cyprus, where the info is filtered through some Pentacle organization that is reporting on intel they've gathered. If you'd prefer some other format entirely, I could do that as well.

No preference.


"Waste of argument. Spirituality is not denial of greed and selfishness. Spirituality is belief in impact of spirits, like economics is belief in impact of money.

"Oh, you're talking about Sleeper spirituality. Sleeper spirituality is the meaningless and misguided belief in something that, through a distorted echo chamber, might one day sound like the Shadow. Sleeper economics is much the same. Both are meaningless in and of themselves.

"Awakened spirituality is either a meaningless acceptance of reality, to go off your definition, or some kind of removal from the world of reality to focus on some barely perceptible higher realm to the exclusion of all other priorities."


"Selfless attitude comes from spirituality in same way selfless attitude comes from belief in the soul. You say 'don't do bad things, they hurt you, but no need to do good things'? Spirituality the same, except doing good things does have benefits. For entire city.

"What's a 'benefit'?"


"Commercialist douche can master spirit arcanum. Aboriginal can master mind arcanum. So? Remove influence and watch again. Commercial douche breeds constant stream of bad things which hunt him and control him. If he was less souche, he would breed less. If he was good, he would breed constant stream of good things that fight off bad things. People recognize this; good begets good. You may think it unfortunate that "Good" and "Evil" are words used, but they are most accurate."

"What's a 'good'?"


"Oh, also, you need to learn concept of middle road. Not believe in spiritual pursuits so forsake all acts which do not directly harm you? Shortsighted."

"Twaddle based off spurious and invalid moral assumptions."


I think the issue is the use of words which have VASTLY different meanings in different contexts. One of the downsides of morality. Vulcan doesn't believe in Good, so she does nothing good because they're similar. It's like not using deodorant, you don't like it when it's hot, and eat is measured in degrees, an degree is a deodorant, therefore you don't like degree. I'm sure it's not that plain on Vulcan's end, but it seems that way at first brush.

You're, again, direly wrong about Vulcan's personality. She doesn't believe in good but she still does good things. Her virtue is Charity.

Her motivation for doing these good things isn't "IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!", though. It's "I get a happy buzz from sharing these awesome things, and I like being able to have conversations with equals."

This is why she's so interested in learning how to make people into Sleepwalkers. Not out of any ideological purity but out of quite selfish desire to have friends and equals.


On the upside, though, Vulcan as a person is completely believable. No matter how much it doesn't make logical sense, it smacks of honest human motivation. I think that whether we like her as a person or not is irrelevant.

/Throne


I am having a lot of trouble getting myself into the slothful mindset. I want to dump all relevant information immediately, and it is so hard not to! But yeah, there's a middle road in there, between "some selfishness is good" and "murder-rape-pillage ALL the things! Heil Mammon!", and it's interesting to watch the process of someone who believes that middle road is made up whole clothe by humans who couldn't get anything ad enforce a culture of selflessness out of selfishness.

Still strawmanning Vulcan.

SiuiS
2012-11-08, 10:59 PM
Materialist in terms of not believing anything that cannot be directly owned, measured, controlled or experienced. So "Justice" does not appear on her list of priorities, nor any other wishy-washy concepts like "faith", "loyalty", or "right and wrong". If something is bad it's bad because it harms her physical, material interests, not because of any appeal to some higher concept.

Put it this way: Killing people is bad because you might get caught.


Aside from Justice being a thing I've met – long story short, Twelve Fangs should have paid me no matter what she says and flick that guy – I don't disagree.



Vulcan has nothing against trying new things and broadening her horizons. Her motivations are just all based off measurable realities (if I do X, I will get Y) rather than abstract moral positions (doing X is wrong). Since she values knowledge as a key tool for avoiding being manipulated she constantly expands the number of potential transactions she's aware of.


((This is where we enter the intelligence discrepancy, where the longer the conversation is, the closer to 1 the chances I Flouresce being proven wrong and/or being converted is))



"Oh, you're talking about Sleeper spirituality. Sleeper spirituality is the meaningless and misguided belief in something that, through a distorted echo chamber, might one day sound like the Shadow. Sleeper economics is much the same. Both are meaningless in and of themselves.

"Awakened spirituality is either a meaningless acceptance of reality, to go off your definition, or some kind of removal from the world of reality to focus on some barely perceptible higher realm to the exclusion of all other priorities."


*shrug-nod*



"What's a 'benefit'?"


"Subjective."



"What's a 'good'?"


*shrug* "You brought it up first. I shouldn't have to explain your words to you. An obvious social trap."



"Twaddle based off spurious and invalid moral assumptions."


"Such as?"



You're, again, direly wrong about Vulcan's personality. She doesn't believe in good but she still does good things. Her virtue is Charity.

Her motivation for doing these good things isn't "IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!", though. It's "I get a happy buzz from sharing these awesome things, and I like being able to have conversations with equals."

This is why she's so interested in learning how to make people into Sleepwalkers. Not out of any ideological purity but out of quite selfish desire to have friends and equals.

I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Consider that poor wording on my end rather than an argument.

I also notice that what looked good earlier now reeks of terrible spelling. And I may have been on a laptop so I can't blame my phone. I need to be more diligent.



Still strawmanning Vulcan.

Er, no. You assume that 'Materialist' has the same preconceptions for me as for you. Coupled with an in-character reticence to explain her position because she seems to see it as a given, and that's how you've presented her. That statement was an exaggeration, but there being no spectrum, so you may as well do whatever is sort of what she's been saying. Along with morality being made up, pointless, and presumably from a transaction-oriented mindset this feeds into Master/Slave morality structures, wherein the 'slave' demonizes the 'master' and their ways with assertions of morality to make themselves feel superior.

Those are several thoughts but I can't separate them for you and have tem be coherent. Look up slave/master morality or whatever is called (I always get the name wrong, for some reason) and see if you get what I meant.

Thanqol
2012-11-08, 11:23 PM
Aside from Justice being a thing I've met – long story short, Twelve Fangs should have paid me no matter what she says and flick that guy – I don't disagree.

"That spirit wasn't 'Justice'. It was a deluded supernatural creature that reflected the localised idea of 'justice'."


"Such as?"

"Every part of that statement was incorrect on some level."


Er, no. You assume that 'Materialist' has the same preconceptions for me as for you. Coupled with an in-character reticence to explain her position because she seems to see it as a given, and that's how you've presented her. That statement was an exaggeration, but there being no spectrum, so you may as well do whatever is sort of what she's been saying. Along with morality being made up, pointless, and presumably from a transaction-oriented mindset this feeds into Master/Slave morality structures, wherein the 'slave' demonizes the 'master' and their ways with assertions of morality to make themselves feel superior.

Those are several thoughts but I can't separate them for you and have tem be coherent. Look up slave/master morality or whatever is called (I always get the name wrong, for some reason) and see if you get what I meant.

There is no objective morality. There's only people doing stuff that they want to. When people do things they do not want to do it's because they've been brainwashed into accepting other people's priorities in place of their own.

SiuiS
2012-11-09, 02:20 AM
"That spirit wasn't 'Justice'. It was a deluded supernatural creature that reflected the localised idea of 'justice'."


"Possibly. As a minor god however, I think you would be the one mistaken in this case."



"Every part of that statement was incorrect on some level."


"ad hominim. You could say I'm wrong and leave it there. I will continue to bother you if so. Or you could give me the tools to correct my view.

"again, such as?"



There is no objective morality. There's only people doing stuff that they want to. When people do things they do not want to do it's because they've been brainwashed into accepting other people's priorities in place of their own.

Is this where she is coming from, a response to what I said?
Consider how such a statement seems from the viewpoint of someone who can find a virtue, watch it, and see tangible results from its use or disuse. Our point thus far is that while ignoring your priorities is indeed a 'bad' thing, it is entirely possible to help yourself without tearing the other guy down. That Vulcan ignores this and lumps helpin other people, in all cases, in with hurting yourself, is way we have true to point out is untrue, an extrapolation with no backing.

Anarion
2012-11-09, 03:07 AM
"ad hominim. You could say I'm wrong and leave it there. I will continue to bother you if so. Or you could give me the tools to correct my view.

"again, such as?"


If one were required to correct every wrong thing ever said, it would hardly be possible to get anything done.

SiuiS
2012-11-09, 04:20 AM
If one were required to correct every wrong thing ever said, it would hardly be possible to get anything done.

Every wrong thing said would be hyperbole at best. I am part of Vulcan's immediate environment. Bothering her would be a state of the environ, not an active action on my part.

There is also nothing wrong with asking for a less touchy, coy response to "explain what I said wrong". If one goes through the trouble of pointing out the spec in their neighbor's eye, they have already taken steps towards that as a problem.

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 04:48 AM
"Possibly. As a minor god however, I think you would be the one mistaken in this case."

http://s13.postimage.org/48jbjtf1h/I_KINDA_DOUBT_THAT.gif

"'Minor God'? I believe the correct term is 'Powerful monster'. Don't bring your unsubstantiated theology into this."


"ad hominim. You could say I'm wrong and leave it there. I will continue to bother you if so. Or you could give me the tools to correct my view.

"again, such as?"

"That I do not know what a 'middle road' is, that the 'middle road' has any kind of inherent benefit associated with it, that I don't 'believe in' spiritual pursuits, the implication that I 'forsake' all acts which do not directly 'harm me', and the statement that I'm shortsighted. That is what's wrong with that statement. I can't provide a detailed response to it because there's so much wrong that it overlaps and entangles into an intractable web of idiocy. The typos hardly help your case either."


Is this where she is coming from, a response to what I said?
Consider how such a statement seems from the viewpoint of someone who can find a virtue, watch it, and see tangible results from its use or disuse. Our point thus far is that while ignoring your priorities is indeed a 'bad' thing, it is entirely possible to help yourself without tearing the other guy down. That Vulcan ignores this and lumps helpin other people, in all cases, in with hurting yourself, is way we have true to point out is untrue, an extrapolation with no backing.

"Urgh, your continued misinterpretation of my point has progressed beyond the point of childishly naive to merely childish. When did I say that it's impossible to help yourself without tearing the other guy down, when did I say that helping people hurts yourself? Maybe you should read a book or something."

the_druid_droid
2012-11-09, 11:47 AM
"Urgh, your continued misinterpretation of my point has progressed beyond the point of childishly naive to merely childish. When did I say that it's impossible to help yourself without tearing the other guy down, when did I say that helping people hurts yourself? Maybe you should read a book or something."

"I think you were talking about desires there, right? That changing them meant by definition changing them to match someone else's, not your own? But isn't that the thing: what happens when different people's desires conflict? What decides the result, and if the answer is money or power, how do you deal with the fact that it may not be fair?"

"I know you don't believe in Justice, or whatever, but you do believe in equal exchange, which can be the same thing as fairness, to me. In fact, with magic it's possible to measure lots of factors in that sort of exchange that used to be fuzzy and subjective - happiness, for example."

EDIT: Finally started watching Fate/Zero for reals the other day
I have to say, I'm definitely getting interested. Even apart from the story, the visuals range from pretty to gorgeous, and there's definitely a feeling of polish to the art that I appreciate.

What's really keeping me watching right now though (I'm at around S1:E4) is the characters and the setup to the Holy Grail War.

We've got Kiritsugu (sp?) who's nominally in this to make the world a better place, and his Servant is pretty much the ideal of knightly purity and honor, but his past is anything but snow white - he's called a Mage killer, has engaged in tactics most of the other competitors consider reprehensible, has married a homunculus (possibly) and is willing to put her out as a decoy on the battlefield, even while he appears to have an affair going with his handler/contact/partner. Taken together, he can kind of seem like a jerk, but his affection for his daughter looks honest enough and his motives (as far as we currently know) are surprisingly noble. It's hard to hate him, although I don't necessarily agree with all he's done.

We've also got bug-guy (sorry, names are still settling in, half of these are still roles in my head) who got hit pretty hard with the martyr stick. He's sacrificed his body, and possibly his mind to rescue Sakura from a similar fate (admittedly pushing quite a few buttons here), but it's not clear that he's been 100% successful, since she does seem to be having some PTSD. On the whole though, I really like him so far - he (maybe wrongly, maybe rightly) blames himself for what happened to the girl and took steps to amend his actions, even though he's aware that it may not be a happy ending whatever he does. While he could turn out to be a douche later on, right now I actually kind of admire his decisions, and I sort of want to make a Mage based on this guy... Some of that is also my interest in swarm as weapon, too.

The British kid gets on my nerves a little, but he's interesting to me for the same reason the serial killer is - both of them got into the War by means that don't seem right, and certainly aren't nice. The kid basically stole someone else's place because he wanted power, and the other one apparently brought his Servant into the world by the sheer force of his own horribleness. There's something about the idea that participation depends not so much on merit or goodness as cunning and circumstance that feels very nWoD-y.

Then there's also the priest and his secret ally. The whole political side of that alliance promises to make for some interesting developments, and the characters themselves look like they've got similarly complex histories to the others, but they haven't had as much spotlight yet, so I'm more or less waiting to see what happens. Similarly for the others that round out the combatants - don't know much yet, but I'm pretty sure they'll have their own little quirks.

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 04:42 PM
"I think you were talking about desires there, right? That changing them meant by definition changing them to match someone else's, not your own? But isn't that the thing: what happens when different people's desires conflict? What decides the result, and if the answer is money or power, how do you deal with the fact that it may not be fair?"

"I know you don't believe in Justice, or whatever, but you do believe in equal exchange, which can be the same thing as fairness, to me. In fact, with magic it's possible to measure lots of factors in that sort of exchange that used to be fuzzy and subjective - happiness, for example."

"When people's desires conflict, then it is up to those people to work it out. If a smart or charismatic person is able to negotiate a deal in their favour then hooray. 'Fairness' never comes into it, nor should it because 'fairness' is a meaningless word born of envy.

"Equal exchange is something to be sought, not something to be given. The scales are always tilted. And if you want to bring happiness into the equation, how do you deal with the utility monsters?"

SiuiS
2012-11-09, 04:45 PM
http://s13.postimage.org/48jbjtf1h/I_KINDA_DOUBT_THAT.gif

"'Minor God'? I believe the correct term is 'Powerful monster'. Don't bring your unsubstantiated theology into this."

"Neither theology, nor unsubstantiated. You don't like the implications that come with the term "minor god" but that's your baggage, and I agree - your baggage is unsubstantiated.

"Nigh unkillable. Immortal. Often omniscient, omnipresent and unless contested by an equal, omni-potent within their associated domain. Supernatural being with incredible Influence over a thing, and the embodiment of that thing. God. As deserving of the title as the Exarchs. Moreso, for some incarnae and some Exarchs. Speaking of those, I thought you would understand that god and supernatural monster were not exclusive of each other?"



"That I do not know what a 'middle road' is, that the 'middle road' has any kind of inherent benefit associated with it, that I don't 'believe in' spiritual pursuits, the implication that I 'forsake' all acts which do not directly 'harm me', and the statement that I'm shortsighted. That is what's wrong with that statement. I can't provide a detailed response to it because there's so much wrong that it overlaps and entangles into an intractable web of idiocy. The typos hardly help your case either."

"The middle road is as I have defined it for this discussion. It is a matter of cost:benefit. For the cost, the benefits are superior. A gain for both people is more than a gain for any one. You have so far said you don't believe this is true, why challenge that statement now?

"If you listen to what you just said about acts which harm you, you will notice it is backwards."

"And finally, you make your arguments from a position of immediacy, discounting the history of the conversation. You also bring a set of assumptions to a debate, unable to back them up and unwilling to consider the other viewpoint enough to actually combat it. You sit in a self-supposed rhetorical fortress and aren't willing to leave it long enough to see the cracks in the outside. That is short sighted."



"Urgh, your continued misinterpretation of my point has progressed beyond the point of childishly naive to merely childish. When did I say that it's impossible to help yourself without tearing the other guy down, when did I say that helping people hurts yourself? Maybe you should read a book or something."

"Do I really have to get a tape recorder or something?
Intercourse is what you say, how you say it. It is also what the other hears, and how they can interpret base on the frame you've provided. I am not trying to misinterpret your point. I am telling you how you sound. If you don't like it, try sounding different. I may be bad at it but I am also trying, if for no reason than we are stuck together long enough that I can only benefit from it."



"When people's desires conflict, then it is up to those people to work it out. If a smart or charismatic person is able to negotiate a deal in their favour then hooray. 'Fairness' never comes into it, nor should it because 'fairness' is a meaningless word born of envy.

"Equal exchange is something to be sought, not something to be given. The scales are always tilted. And if you want to bring happiness into the equation, how do you deal with the utility monsters?"

"I see. Arrow visiting from Israel told me once, fair often wasn't. Justice is what is right, fair was what was 'equal'. It was an interesting idea. In this case, justice would be something we could agree on – a name for when someone gets what they earned. Blind Justice enforced the rules of agreement, no outside twists. What are your thoughts on sticking to agreed terms of engagement? Of implicit terms?

"And what is utility monster?"

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 06:43 PM
"Neither theology, nor unsubstantiated. You don't like the implications that come with the term "minor god" but that's your baggage, and I agree - your baggage is unsubstantiated.

"Nigh unkillable. Immortal. Often omniscient, omnipresent and unless contested by an equal, omni-potent within their associated domain. Supernatural being with incredible Influence over a thing, and the embodiment of that thing. God. As deserving of the title as the Exarchs. Moreso, for some incarnae and some Exarchs. Speaking of those, I thought you would understand that god and supernatural monster were not exclusive of each other?"

"They're not 'Gods'. They're Spirits. The Exarchs aren't 'Gods' either. They're Exarchs. See, the entire foundation of my point is that you shouldn't bring loaded and meaningless terms like "God", "Justice" or "Fairness" into discussions like this. Be specific and be material."


"The middle road is as I have defined it for this discussion. It is a matter of cost:benefit. For the cost, the benefits are superior. A gain for both people is more than a gain for any one. You have so far said you don't believe this is true, why challenge that statement now?

"What do you mean 'a gain'? Do you mean a gain in money? Because that is patently false. Do you mean a gain in 'happiness'? Far too vague and situational to be a useful generalisation."


"If you listen to what you just said about acts which harm you, you will notice it is backwards."

"And finally, you make your arguments from a position of immediacy, discounting the history of the conversation. You also bring a set of assumptions to a debate, unable to back them up and unwilling to consider the other viewpoint enough to actually combat it. You sit in a self-supposed rhetorical fortress and aren't willing to leave it long enough to see the cracks in the outside. That is short sighted."

"And you make an incoherent and rambling point to the table and claim that anyone who discounts it as fallacious is unwilling to consider other viewpoints. If there are contradictions in my argument you should be able to identify them and attack them. You are not doing so in any effective way."


"Do I really have to get a tape recorder or something?
Intercourse is what you say, how you say it. It is also what the other hears, and how they can interpret base on the frame you've provided. I am not trying to misinterpret your point. I am telling you how you sound. If you don't like it, try sounding different. I may be bad at it but I am also trying, if for no reason than we are stuck together long enough that I can only benefit from it."

"The difference between us is that I don't have to convince others that my ideas are right in order to win. My ideas are right so they win regardless of if you believe in them or not."


"I see. Arrow visiting from Israel told me once, fair often wasn't. Justice is what is right, fair was what was 'equal'. It was an interesting idea. In this case, justice would be something we could agree on – a name for when someone gets what they earned. Blind Justice enforced the rules of agreement, no outside twists. What are your thoughts on sticking to agreed terms of engagement? Of implicit terms?

"There is a completely rational economic argument for creating a system where contracts are enforced. This enables the continued operation of the 21st century economy, which brings vast material benefits to those who opt into it.

"This neither requires, mandates, nor creates an abstract term like justice, blind or not. The material benefits of the system justify the system."


"And what is utility monster?"

"A utility monster is a person who is capable of much greater happiness than other people. Imagine a person who becomes enormously happy, perhaps a thousand times happier, if given the same amount of money as a different person. If our objective is to maximise happiness, or utility, we should give this 'utility monster' a much greater share of the wealth because it will have a much greater total happiness effect than if we distributed it equally."

Anarion
2012-11-09, 07:33 PM
"A utility monster is a person who is capable of much greater happiness than other people. Imagine a person who becomes enormously happy, perhaps a thousand times happier, if given the same amount of money as a different person. If our objective is to maximise happiness, or utility, we should give this 'utility monster' a much greater share of the wealth because it will have a much greater total happiness effect than if we distributed it equally."

You're being so nice. The bigger problem is when the utility monster gains more utility from, say, murdering another human being than the remainder of humanity loses from the murder.

Edit: Also, quit describing the head of Mammon before I get to him. :smallwink:

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 07:34 PM
You're being so nice. The bigger problem is when the utility monster gains more utility from, say, murdering another human being than the remainder of humanity loses from the murder.

"My original point was going to be tied into utility monsters benefiting from dictatorial political control, but that seemed a little too on the nose for a simple definition."

SiuiS
2012-11-09, 07:44 PM
"They're not 'Gods'. They're Spirits. The Exarchs aren't 'Gods' either. They're Exarchs. See, the entire foundation of my point is that you shouldn't bring loaded and meaningless terms like "God", "Justice" or "Fairness" into discussions like this. Be specific and be material."


"'god' is not any more loaded a term than nurse, senator, male, Australian, mammal. How is an incarnae, which fits all definition of god, not a god? How is spirit supposed to be a distinction from god? They are not mutually exclusive."



"What do you mean 'a gain'? Do you mean a gain in money? Because that is patently false. Do you mean a gain in 'happiness'? Far too vague and situational to be a useful generalisation."

"When discussing variables and such, focusing on whether X represents .7 or 1.3 is meaningless. The language is abstract because the system can apply to many situations. If I said gain was only monetary, it would preclude a non monetary discussion of the system. By giving in to your baseless demands for specificity I would seem to be wrong, when I am not. This may work on most people, but I have a clear idea of my point, whether it is coming across or no."



"And you make an incoherent and rambling point to the table and claim that anyone who discounts it as fallacious is unwilling to consider other viewpoints. If there are contradictions in my argument you should be able to identify them and attack them. You are not doing so in any effective way."

"I am working at several levels of abstraction. Your specialization is potent but not omniblade-potent. I am mostly pointing out that your supposed obvious points from the get go are not correct. What looks like rambling is an eye for the past."



"The difference between us is that I don't have to convince others that my ideas are right in order to win. My ideas are right so they win regardless of if you believe in them or not."

"if this were so, would it not be clear? What you are passing off as materialism is a failing at the most basic application of soft skills."



"There is a completely rational economic argument for creating a system where contracts are enforced. This enables the continued operation of the 21st century economy, which brings vast material benefits to those who opt into it.

"This neither requires, mandates, nor creates an abstract term like justice, blind or not. The material benefits of the system justify the system."

"Blind Justice is the minor god we spoke of prior. The existence of a creature does not allow obviating an argument because you find it worth sneering at.

"There is also the point that an abstract concept exists to apply an easy appellation to a concept. That you will say justice does not exist and then go on todeacribe the definition of a just system is funny, but makes you look bad. A system where contracts are enforced could be called a just system. Would you deride it merely because of a label? The disdain you invest in the concept is not part of the concept. That is baggage you brim with you. It's a bias akin to racism. I would expect better of someone who tours logic."



"A utility monster is a person who is capable of much greater happiness than other people. Imagine a person who becomes enormously happy, perhaps a thousand times happier, if given the same amount of money as a different person. If our objective is to maximise happiness, or utility, we should give this 'utility monster' a much greater share of the wealth because it will have a much greater total happiness effect than if we distributed it equally."

"Interesting. There are some obvious answers but they require better articulation. I'll get back to you.

"I will say that every situation should be judged by its individual merit. Arguing this is not arguing against me at all. If happiness is what we need, yes. Do that. Give utility monster all money. If you need something else, then it becomes stupi idea. This is what you said was Straw Man-ing I believe, since basis is make everyone happy, and you are somehow coming to the conclusion that everyone being happy is equal to one person being happy enough for everyone."

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 08:01 PM
"'god' is not any more loaded a term than nurse, senator, male, Australian, mammal. How is an incarnae, which fits all definition of god, not a god? How is spirit supposed to be a distinction from god? They are not mutually exclusive."

"It does not fit all the definitions of 'god' because 'god' has different meanings in many different cultures. In the case of these creatures, omnipotence is laughable, omnipresence is debatable, omniscience is limited and impossible to prove, and all definition points use the western Judeo-Christian definitions of divinity, which also mandate compassion as a required trait for the Lord, among other things. If you use the Japanese 'kami' as your model you get a very different set of criteria for what constitutes a 'god', and using that framework then the title 'god' is meaningless and unrepresentative as individual trees and rocks can possess 'gods'.

You're culturally confused, essentially."


"When discussing variables and such, focusing on whether X represents .7 or 1.3 is meaningless. The language is abstract because the system can apply to many situations. If I said gain was only monetary, it would preclude a non monetary discussion of the system. By giving in to your baseless demands for specificity I would seem to be wrong, when I am not. This may work on most people, but I have a clear idea of my point, whether it is coming across or no."

"If it is not specific, then it is meaningless. This is, consistently, the foundation of my point."


"I am working at several levels of abstraction. Your specialization is potent but not omniblade-potent. I am mostly pointing out that your supposed obvious points from the get go are not correct. What looks like rambling is an eye for the past."

"You can argue abstractions until you starve to death in a ditch. The world operates using real, material, specific interests and transactions."


"if this were so, would it not be clear? What you are passing off as materialism is a failing at the most basic application of soft skills."

"It is not go clear? Go buy some lunch. Observe the transactions that take place. Realise that you exist entirely within my paradigm, regardless of the circular verbal arguments you use to convince yourself that you do not."


"Blind Justice is the minor god we spoke of prior. The existence of a creature does not allow obviating an argument because you find it worth sneering at.

"In Astral Space, Narnia is a place you can visit. The existence of such a land does not allow you to obviate the righteous divinity of Aslan."


"There is also the point that an abstract concept exists to apply an easy appellation to a concept. That you will say justice does not exist and then go on todeacribe the definition of a just system is funny, but makes you look bad. A system where contracts are enforced could be called a just system. Would you deride it merely because of a label? The disdain you invest in the concept is not part of the concept. That is baggage you brim with you. It's a bias akin to racism. I would expect better of someone who tours logic."

"The point is, again, that 'justice' has no worth. We should not use it as a word because it leads to ass backwards thinking. Correlating a set of values with positive results does not justify those values as moral absolutes."


"I will say that every situation should be judged by its individual merit.

"Yes, exactly."


Arguing this is not arguing against me at all.

"I know. This wasn't a point you made. It's a point you butted into, demanded an explanation of, and then took my simple definition as an argumentative position, and posited a counter response to. Good job."


If happiness is what we need, yes. Do that. Give utility monster all money. If you need something else, then it becomes stupi idea. This is what you said was Straw Man-ing I believe, since basis is make everyone happy, and you are somehow coming to the conclusion that everyone being happy is equal to one person being happy enough for everyone."

"If we're using magic to add happiness to our calculations when determining how resources should be distributed, then we must account for people who would be miserable regardless of their financial status otherwise the accounting for happiness is meaningless."

the_druid_droid
2012-11-09, 09:15 PM
"If we're using magic to add happiness to our calculations when determining how resources should be distributed, then we must account for people who would be miserable regardless of their financial status otherwise the accounting for happiness is meaningless."

"Don't get me wrong, I may be actually crazy, but I'm not a utilitarian. I just, eh, hard to explain. I've spent so much time either locked up in my own head or dragged around by moods that I don't trust my own desires. At least, not without some picking at them first. Something bigger than me at least gives me a fixed point to aim for."

"But whatever, I don't really have a dog in this fight. My job right now is to make sure you play nice with the Pentacle, you can believe whatever you want if you believe it on our side. I've got more important things to discuss with the Council, once I find them..."

Thanqol
2012-11-09, 09:20 PM
"Don't get me wrong, I may be actually crazy, but I'm not a utilitarian. I just, eh, hard to explain. I've spent so much time either locked up in my own head or dragged around by moods that I don't trust my own desires. At least, not without some picking at them first. Something bigger than me at least gives me a fixed point to aim for."

"That puts you in the same category as most Sleepers. That's why we provide a plethora of bigger-picture goals for them to aim for - fame, fortune, a white picket fence house in the suburbs, a nice car, and so on. People are so satisfied with the choices we provide that a vanishingly tiny percentage of them feel any inclination to burn down reality."


"But whatever, I don't really have a dog in this fight. My job right now is to make sure you play nice with the Pentacle, you can believe whatever you want if you believe it on our side. I've got more important things to discuss with the Council, once I find them..."

"You remind me of my boss."

the_druid_droid
2012-11-09, 09:32 PM
"That puts you in the same category as most Sleepers. That's why we provide a plethora of bigger-picture goals for them to aim for - fame, fortune, a white picket fence house in the suburbs, a nice car, and so on. People are so satisfied with the choices we provide that a vanishingly tiny percentage of them feel any inclination to burn down reality."

"Yeah, but I have magic."

"More seriously, reality can go hang, and so can fame and fortune and all that. What I want is to understand and be in control of myself. Maybe after that I'll worry about burning things down, or maybe by then I won't need to. I don't think the Throne can tell me who I really am any more than anyone else, so I'll just have to look for those answers myself."


"You remind me of my boss."

"I get the feeling that isn't a compliment. Right now though, I technically am your boss, or at least, your jailor. So I'll settle for it being accurate."

SiuiS
2012-11-09, 09:43 PM
((Omniblade-potent? What the flicking hay, phone? That doesn't make a darn lick of sense. I have no idea how that could even have happened unless omni... Yep. Leads into omniblade. Welp. Time to clear the cache.))


"[...] all definition points use the western Judeo-Christian definitions of divinity, which also mandate compassion as a required trait for the Lord, among other things."

"No they don't. I referenced several dictionaries and a definitively non-Enochian and non-oriental system. The listed traits also apply to the Yoruba religions, some native American standards, and various syncretic systems. That "God" and "kami" fall under the broader Aegis of god proves my point rather than invalidates it. If "God" wasn't a god then that would have been brought up before now by more discerning minds than ours.

"God as a word has meaning. Definition. For you, it also has feeling, connotation. But I'm not talking about how you feel. Isn't basing an objective statement on such a subjective point of view as how you fe— oh hoho. Very well done. There is grain here, but I cannot do it justice."


If you use the Japanese 'kami' as your model you get a very different set of criteria for what constitutes a 'god', and using that framework then the title 'god' is meaningless and unrepresentative as individual trees and rocks can possess 'gods'.

You're culturally confused, essentially."

"I have avoided discussion of divinity because you possess the philosophical acumen of a scalpel and the discernment of a freight truck. Discussing the philosophy behind concepts of divinity with you would be boring.

"God-ness, for lack of term, is a thing which can be ascended to. It is a measure of magnitude. The kami of pebble is a kami. The kami of a mountain is a kami. The kami of all mountains is a kami. The first is merely a spirit. The second is a powerful spirit. The third is a powerful spirit which is also a god."

"I am interested in something. We both accuse the other of being stuck on western theologisms. What 'tells' did you see that made you think I was working from that frame?"



"If it is not specific, then it is meaningless. This is, consistently, the foundation of my point."

"You are throwing the baby out with bath water. You need a finer grain than painfully specific or bust. Algebra is not that specific. It is also not meaningless."



"You can argue abstractions until you starve to death in a ditch. The world operates using real, material, specific interests and transactions."

"It is not go clear? Go buy some lunch. Observe the transactions that take place. Realise that you exist entirely within my paradigm, regardless of the circular verbal arguments you use to convince yourself that you do not."


"Aha. You have misunderstood. I have never said otherwise. I have said that some things you think are abstract are actually concrete. Magic can quantify happiness. Magic can also quantify virtue. You too, exist within my paradigm. Where I acknowledge yours, you deny mine. This puts you more in danger of... Blunder, of making a mistake. Do you see?"



"In Astral Space, Narnia is a place you can visit. The existence of such a land does not allow you to obviate the righteous divinity of Aslan."


"This does not apply to what I said. I said one thing, you say the reverse as if it proves anything. Was this intentional?"



"The point is, again, that 'justice' has no worth. We should not use it as a word because it leads to ass backwards thinking. Correlating a set of values with positive results does not justify those values as moral absolutes."


"I see. You have a problem with what you believe will be the result four or five degrees, generations, down the road. So you cut it off here, to prevent future misunderstanding. I see this as cutting it off too soon. If you could see the clockwork which causes positive results from adhering to a set of values, if you could isolate variables, quantify, record and come to understand this, you would not be so fast to say it is untrue.

"Good things do not happen to good people because they are moral. People who are "moral" are aided by universal mechanism which has a vested interest in cultivating that morality. It is a transaction system, but one you will never see if you don't believe it is there."



"I know. This wasn't a point you made. It's a point you butted into, demanded an explanation of, and then took my simple definition as an argumentative position, and posited a counter response to. Good job."

"Utility monster example was not the first time you have made this intimation, else I would not have answered it. You would be a terrible manager."


"If we're using magic to add happiness to our calculations when determining how resources should be distributed, then we must account for people who would be miserable regardless of their financial status otherwise the accounting for happiness is meaningless."

"Yes. Have you ever taken military aptitude tests? Common problem is five cogs. Two are superfluous. Three are not. When looking at something like this, some factors are superfluous. People are not just equations, or we would use computers for this instead of bickering governments. Man who is always miserable is not some issue with compiling, where we must sink as much into him as possible in vain attempt to make him happy until system reports inability to complete equation. A man not capable of happiness is an extra cog, not part of the mechanism."

"Different direction, might solve things. What is your view on potential?"


"That puts you in the same category as most Sleepers. That's why we provide a plethora of bigger-picture goals for them to aim for - fame, fortune, a white picket fence house in the suburbs, a nice car, and so on. People are so satisfied with the choices we provide that a vanishingly tiny percentage of them feel any inclination to burn down reality."

"Dangerous game. How many pentacle learn this, get too extreme, destroy themselves by defining themselves using throne?

"How do you fit into this? You talk like you are above the system but this whole intercourse sounds like you do not believe there is such thing as above the system."

*checks watch*

"Either of you want something from the kitchen?"

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 12:01 AM
"Yeah, but I have magic."

"And I am quite troubled by that fact, let me assure you."


"More seriously, reality can go hang, and so can fame and fortune and all that. What I want is to understand and be in control of myself. Maybe after that I'll worry about burning things down, or maybe by then I won't need to. I don't think the Throne can tell me who I really am any more than anyone else, so I'll just have to look for those answers myself."

"See, it's this kind of self-denial and systematic brainwashing of yourself that leads to decisions like "Reality can go hang". Do you have any idea how many people live in reality?"


"No they don't. I referenced several dictionaries and a definitively non-Enochian and non-oriental system. The listed traits also apply to the Yoruba religions, some native American standards, and various syncretic systems. That "God" and "kami" fall under the broader Aegis of god proves my point rather than invalidates it. If "God" wasn't a god then that would have been brought up before now by more discerning minds than ours.

"God as a word has meaning. Definition. For you, it also has feeling, connotation. But I'm not talking about how you feel. Isn't basing an objective statement on such a subjective point of view as how you fe— oh hoho. Very well done. There is grain here, but I cannot do it justice."

"Natch."


"I have avoided discussion of divinity because you possess the philosophical acumen of a scalpel and the discernment of a freight truck. Discussing the philosophy behind concepts of divinity with you would be boring.

"God-ness, for lack of term, is a thing which can be ascended to. It is a measure of magnitude. The kami of pebble is a kami. The kami of a mountain is a kami. The kami of all mountains is a kami. The first is merely a spirit. The second is a powerful spirit. The third is a powerful spirit which is also a god."

"Third doesn't follow. If the Supernal is Truth, then isn't any fallen-world "God" just a part of the Lie? As Mages, what business do we have worshipping any part of the Lie? Shouldn't we of all people know better?"


"I am interested in something. We both accuse the other of being stuck on western theologisms. What 'tells' did you see that made you think I was working from that frame?"

"The laundry list of traits that served as part of your definition earlier seemed like a package of traits that come with increasing one's Divine Rank rather than any traits unique to divinity. In fact by that list -


"Nigh unkillable. Immortal. Often omniscient, omnipresent and unless contested by an equal, omni-potent within their associated domain. Supernatural being with incredible Influence over a thing, and the embodiment of that thing. God.

" - any Master of Life/Death and Space fits your criteria for being a 'God'."


"You are throwing the baby out with bath water. You need a finer grain than painfully specific or bust. Algebra is not that specific. It is also not meaningless."

"If you try to perceive reality through mechanistic, mathematic moral structures then you will be forever the slave of those who authored those structures."


"Aha. You have misunderstood. I have never said otherwise. I have said that some things you think are abstract are actually concrete. Magic can quantify happiness.

"I don't actually believe it can, in an objective sense."


Magic can also quantify virtue.

"No, it can not. Are you still using Spirits as your example of this? The Spirit doesn't quantify any 'virtue'. It reflects localised perceptions of the value in question. In fact, if I made up my own virtue, I'll call it Quockaphageus, which is like Justice but only for Hispanics, and promoted that, then there'd be spirits of Quockaphageus all over the place before long. It would tell me a lot about the people who believed in Quockaphageus, but not a lot about the truth or value inherent in Quockaphageus."


You too, exist within my paradigm. Where I acknowledge yours, you deny mine. This puts you more in danger of... Blunder, of making a mistake. Do you see?"

"My paradigm rejects objective virtue and morality and yours seems to embrace it. Acknowledging your beliefs as valid would weaken the core of mine."


"This does not apply to what I said. I said one thing, you say the reverse as if it proves anything. Was this intentional?"

"My point is that Spirits don't ascend from on high, fully formed, carrying Supernal Truth in their arms. They're constructs of humanity, just like Narnia."


"I see. You have a problem with what you believe will be the result four or five degrees, generations, down the road. So you cut it off here, to prevent future misunderstanding. I see this as cutting it off too soon. If you could see the clockwork which causes positive results from adhering to a set of values, if you could isolate variables, quantify, record and come to understand this, you would not be so fast to say it is untrue.

"Good things do not happen to good people because they are moral. People who are "moral" are aided by universal mechanism which has a vested interest in cultivating that morality. It is a transaction system, but one you will never see if you don't believe it is there."

"Exactly. Except that 'universal mechanism' was set in place for a reason by powerful forces back in our past and if you let it dictate the tone and tempo of your life and make important decisions using it as a framework you are enslaved to that framework. It's a trap. Buying into it is the process of submerging your own desires and making you less of a human being and more of a manipulated agent."


"Yes. Have you ever taken military aptitude tests? Common problem is five cogs. Two are superfluous. Three are not. When looking at something like this, some factors are superfluous. People are not just equations, or we would use computers for this instead of bickering governments. Man who is always miserable is not some issue with compiling, where we must sink as much into him as possible in vain attempt to make him happy until system reports inability to complete equation. A man not capable of happiness is an extra cog, not part of the mechanism."

"Different direction, might solve things. What is your view on potential?"

"Potential to do what?"


"Dangerous game. How many pentacle learn this, get too extreme, destroy themselves by defining themselves using throne?

"Wut?"


"How do you fit into this? You talk like you are above the system but this whole intercourse sounds like you do not believe there is such thing as above the system."

[Break! Philosophical weak point! There have been a few but you've glided right past them. If I answered that here, Vulcan would have to have Character Development, and that's deliberately being left for in play.

Vulcan's philosophy has a fair few holes and contradictions, deliberately placed. A necessity for growth. Unlikely to drastically revise her views, but likely to force her to follow them to their conclusion.

Incidentally this has taught me that there is no possibility of Vulcan going Free Council ever, but she'd make a natural fit for the Mysterium.]

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 12:45 AM
"Third doesn't follow. If the Supernal is Truth, then isn't any fallen-world "God" just a part of the Lie? As Mages, what business do we have worshipping any part of the Lie? Shouldn't we of all people know better?"


"I never said worship. A shamanistic relationship to the spirits is akin to a seer's relation with an exarch in theory.

"The Lie is also a strange point. Is the current world, separated from
The Supernal by the abyss, the lie? That we as sleepers were unaware that there was more? Or is everything which is not the Supernal the lie?"



"The laundry list of traits that served as part of your definition earlier seemed like a package of traits that come with increasing one's Divine Rank rather than any traits unique to divinity. In fact by that list -


"Divine rank? Is that from Starcraft?"



" - any Master of Life/Death and Space fits your criteria for being a 'God'."


"That is the functional pentacle understanding of how the Exarchs, self-made gods, and their worshippers the Seers of the throne, operate."



"If you try to perceive reality through mechanistic, mathematic moral structures then you will be forever the slave of those who authored those structures."


"No no. Math is language. This is all so we can have a common language for ideas."



"I don't actually believe it can, in an objective sense."


"Oh."



"No, it can not. Are you still using Spirits as your example of this? The Spirit doesn't quantify any 'virtue'. It reflects localised perceptions of the value in question. In fact, if I made up my own virtue, I'll call it Quockaphageus, which is like Justice but only for Hispanics, and promoted that, then there'd be spirits of Quockaphageus all over the place before long. It would tell me a lot about the people who believed in Quockaphageus, but not a lot about the truth or value inherent in Quockaphageus."

"If a moral is not objective to the universe but still exists, then it's perception would be the truth of it. Your cracker-esophagus would be stupid, and silly, but no less cracker-esophagus."



"My point is that Spirits don't ascend from on high, fully formed, carrying Supernal Truth in their arms. They're constructs of humanity, just like Narnia."


"Ah. There you wrong."



"Exactly. Except that 'universal mechanism' was set in place for a reason by powerful forces back in our past and if you let it dictate the tone and tempo of your life and make important decisions using it as a framework you are enslaved to that framework. It's a trap. Buying into it is the process of submerging your own desires and making you less of a human being and more of a manipulated agent."

"Doubt it. Arcanum of spirit predates Tower of Babel. Spirit is part of the Primal Wilds. Just as Supernal as anything else from the realms."



"Potential to do what?"


"As a concept. Potential energy in physics is similar to potential energy in cellular metabolism. There is also potential energy in social situations. I think you don't care or haven't considered. That's why we differ."



"Wut?"


"What you said sounds reasonable. It is dangerously seductive. One could think it was the only truth. Pentacle sometimes get zealous in their dislike of the throne. If the throne says 'jumping off a bridge is stupid', I have to wonder how many pentacle tried to fly.

"Difference is Mara's answer is good, better than you let on. Reliance on your system is by degrees. It seems any attempt to lessen dependence upsets you."



[Break! Philosophical weak point! There have been a few but you've glided right past them. If I answered that here, Vulcan would have to have Character Development, and that's deliberately being left for in play.

Vulcan's philosophy has a fair few holes and contradictions, deliberately placed. A necessity for growth. Unlikely to drastically revise her views, but likely to force her to follow them to their conclusion.

Incidentally this has taught me that there is no possibility of Vulcan going Free Council ever, but she'd make a natural fit for the Mysterium.]

A'ight. I figured this would be the background conversation that gives us enough insight to work together.

I've found Flouresce to be subtly, passive-aggressively womanizing. It's interesting. I also recognized two things, that his tendency is to answer a question without elaboration – painfully hard for me, personally – and that it plays perfectly into your supposed genius.

I think he's going to like Mara initially because Mara could be like Vulcan but is instead a rational, sensible human being. XD

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 01:01 AM
"I never said worship. A shamanistic relationship to the spirits is akin to a seer's relation with an exarch in theory.

"I suspect a profound misunderstanding of the Exarchs. Unless you aspire to be a Spirit?

"Also, why acknowledge a creature as a god if you're not going to worship it? Part of what makes a god a god is responding to prayers and supplication, otherwise, again, powerful monster,"


"The Lie is also a strange point. Is the current world, separated from
The Supernal by the abyss, the lie? That we as sleepers were unaware that there was more? Or is everything which is not the Supernal the lie?"

"It's your people who continually insist that anything not Supernal is Lie."


"That is the functional pentacle understanding of how the Exarchs, self-made gods, and their worshippers the Seers of the throne, operate."

"I know a guy, in person, who is a second degree master of both of those things. He fits your criteria for deification. Would you like to worship him?

"If not, do not call him a god."


"No no. Math is language. This is all so we can have a common language for ideas."

"Math is fine for engineering. Math is not fine for constructing moral frameworks."


"If a moral is not objective to the universe but still exists, then it's perception would be the truth of it. Your cracker-esophagus would be stupid, and silly, but no less cracker-esophagus."

"Exactly, and that is what I am saying of "Justice" and any other concepts of it's ilk. It is stupid and silly and a lot of people have a perception of it which equals the truth of it."


"Ah. There you wrong."

"Doubt it. Arcanum of spirit predates Tower of Babel. Spirit is part of the Primal Wilds. Just as Supernal as anything else from the realms."

"Oh, you're playing the Atlantis card? This should be good. You know, I heard that none of the Arcanum predated the Ladder, and magic was one indivisible force. What do you say about that?"


"As a concept. Potential energy in physics is similar to potential energy in cellular metabolism. There is also potential energy in social situations. I think you don't care or haven't considered. That's why we differ."

"Potential to do what?

"You can't have a position on 'potential energy', or 'potential murderer', or 'potential cherry'. Potential what?"

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 01:27 AM
"I suspect a profound misunderstanding of the Exarchs. Unless you aspire to be a Spirit?

"Also, why acknowledge a creature as a god if you're not going to worship it? Part of what makes a god a god is responding to prayers and supplication, otherwise, again, powerful monster,"

"I can try to find the original Vulcan, and eventually succeed. He would be Vulcan, child of titans. I would not feel the new to worship him, but that would not make him any less an Olympian god. It woul make him a victim of the same cycle Jupiter started with the titanomachy."



"It's your people who continually insist that anything not Supernal is Lie."


"You have no take?"



"I know a guy, in person, who is a second degree master of both of those things. He fits your criteria for deification. Would you like to worship him?

"If not, do not call him a god."


"I won't. Until he ascends to godhood."



"Math is fine for engineering. Math is not fine for constructing moral frameworks."

"I am talking to someone who coyly refuses to acknowledge some words have meaning. Should I not speak their language then? Attempting intercourse already means I have interest in succeeding.

"Or is talking to you further an example of a sunk cost fallacy?"



"Oh, you're playing the Atlantis card? This should be good. You know, I heard that none of the Arcanum predated the Ladder, and magic was one indivisible force. What do you say about that?"


"White light, rainbow.
Does Atlantis predate the Primal Wilds?"



"Potential to do what?

"You can't have a position on 'potential energy', or 'potential murderer', or 'potential cherry'. Potential what?"

"I thought as much."

the_druid_droid
2012-11-10, 01:44 AM
"Utility monster example was not the first time you have made this intimation, else I would not have answered it. You would be a terrible manager."

"I still can't imagine this as anything else than something with a copy of On Liberty in four or five tentacles, and sharp, pointy teeth."


*checks watch*

"Either of you want something from the kitchen?"

"Sure, Flor. Whatcha got?"

[Yeah, she's probably going to have a nickname for Fluoresce. I'll at least give you a shot at helping choose a final spelling, though.]


"And I am quite troubled by that fact, let me assure you."

"Good. Bad for business if you get too comfortable."


"See, it's this kind of self-denial and systematic brainwashing of yourself that leads to decisions like "Reality can go hang". Do you have any idea how many people live in reality?"

"Not off the top of my head. But I don't see how burning it down is any better for any of them. Besides, I intend to pick it back up eventually. Just let me deal with my own little branch of reality first. Then I can work on everybody else's problems."


"No no. Math is language. This is all so we can have a common language for ideas."

"Or as I like to call it, Mind 3"


A'ight. I figured this would be the background conversation that gives us enough insight to work together.

I've found Flouresce to be subtly, passive-aggressively womanizing. It's interesting. I also recognized two things, that his tendency is to answer a question without elaboration – painfully hard for me, personally – and that it plays perfectly into your supposed genius.

I think he's going to like Mara initially because Mara could be like Vulcan but is instead a rational, sensible human being. XD

Hmm, learning a bit about Mara. Her laziness comes through in the fact that she probably could debate Vulcan a bit more formally - she has the Int dots and the Mind magic to do it, but paired with her low-grade selfishness (which she tries to manifest as a more positive "live and let live") means that she'd rather hang back and offer commentary, rather than go toe-to-toe.

EDIT: Also, it's tempting to revise her vice to Pride, but I'm still fairly certain that her arrogance is an outgrowth of Envy. She can't go back and have a more satisfying childhood, but magic does let her get her own back in other ways, which exacerbates her pride. She wants what she can't ever really have, but she'll take comfort in using what she does have. The trick is not sliding into hubris...

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 02:24 AM
"I can try to find the original Vulcan, and eventually succeed. He would be Vulcan, child of titans. I would not feel the new to worship him, but that would not make him any less an Olympian god. It woul make him a victim of the same cycle Jupiter started with the titanomachy."

"Is there such a guy? There's probably a Spirit and an Astral entity that claim to be him, but as we've already discussed that's not indicative of anything."

[Thanqol has Opinions on what happens when an actual God gets loose in the Fallen World. These Opinions include features like 'Japan Sized Demesne'.]


"You have no take?"

"Theories, untested until I am able to experiment."


"I won't. Until he ascends to godhood."

"Then why not worship the Exarchs while you're at it?"


"I am talking to someone who coyly refuses to acknowledge some words have meaning. Should I not speak their language then? Attempting intercourse already means I have interest in succeeding.

"Or is talking to you further an example of a sunk cost fallacy?"

"Speak the language, certainly. When dealing with a deluded fool then you should by all means play along to their insanity. My objection is against letting yourself being ruled by it."


"White light, rainbow.
Does Atlantis predate the Primal Wilds?"

"Apparently the two worlds were one back then. And also that timeline may or may not exist. My point is that Atlantis is barely coherent as a thing, let alone being able to make definitive statements about what was or was not a thing back then."

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 03:17 AM
"I still can't imagine this as anything else than something with a copy of On Liberty in four or five tentacles, and sharp, pointy teeth."

*smirk* "It may be, of this debate keeps up."



"Sure, Flor. Whatcha got?"

[Yeah, she's probably going to have a nickname for Fluoresce. I'll at least give you a shot at helping choose a final spelling, though.]


Reminds me. Flouresce was a stand in name I've grown semi–attached to. Chung-Hee is a Korean name speaking of the generative property of light. Hence Flouresce, the act of being fluorescent. His themes are concrete and neon, and Neon sounded dumb. Any suggestions?

If sticking with Flouresce, probably Flow. Sounds like a tacky DJ name, the kind of handle someone who posts videos of themselves dancing on YouTube would use. There's a bit of self referential mocking to the name.



"Good. Bad for business if you get too comfortable."


... And this is why you got that promotion.



"Or as I like to call it, Mind 3"


Shut up! We can't all have easy to deal with inferior arcana!
... And then I remember Vulcan is the Moros, inferior spirit, and recognize that "face into brick wall" feeling for what it is.

The aftermath of ramming my face into a brick wall.



Hmm, learning a bit about Mara. Her laziness comes through in the fact that she probably could debate Vulcan a bit more formally - she has the Int dots and the Mind magic to do it, but paired with her low-grade selfishness (which she tries to manifest as a more positive "live and let live") means that she'd rather hang back and offer commentary, rather than go toe-to-toe.

EDIT: Also, it's tempting to revise her vice to Pride, but I'm still fairly certain that her arrogance is an outgrowth of Envy. She can't go back and have a more satisfying childhood, but magic does let her get her own back in other ways, which exacerbates her pride. She wants what she can't ever really have, but she'll take comfort in using what she does have. The trick is not sliding into hubris...

Envy does seem to fit. Subtle But workable.


"Is there such a guy? There's probably a Spirit and an Astral entity that claim to be him, but as we've already discussed that's not indicative of anything."

"Depends on your priority. If a smith spirit in the bronze age became renowned as the smith god Vulcan, and became a smith god, the smith god, then as far as factual history goes he is Vulcan. Chicken and egg sort of."


[Thanqol has Opinions on what happens when an actual God gets loose in the Fallen World. These Opinions include features like 'Japan Sized Demesne'.]

It's taken me three games and building a familiar to figure it out, but spirits are scary. First, there is that 1-10 scale on rank. Ignore that. It's a lie. Spirits come in 5 ranks; regular guy, supernatural guy, boss monster, end boss monster, god. Those are the five ranks of spirit that you'll actually deal with. Ranks 6-10 technically exist, but are in the realm of ST fiat purely. A rank 5 spirit could have influence sufficient to do what Loki did, and extend a demense across an island nation. He could also do more. The next step up is insanely strong. Potent enough that it is a magnitude greater than a minor god.

Dial it back. Dial it in. Rank 1 spirit, barely sentient mote. If you piss it off, it's got the capacity for a 6 dice attack pool. That's equivalent to being smashed in the face by a fit amateur league boxer. And these are constantly coming out of your brain.



"Theories, untested until I am able to experiment."


*nod*



"Then why not worship the Exarchs while you're at it?"


"You already know the answer."



"Apparently the two worlds were one back then. And also that timeline may or may not exist. My point is that Atlantis is barely coherent as a thing, let alone being able to make definitive statements about what was or was not a thing back then."

"White light, rainbows."

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 03:26 AM
Shut up! We can't all have easy to deal with inferior arcana!
... And then I remember Vulcan is the Moros, inferior spirit, and recognize that "face into brick wall" feeling for what it is.

The aftermath of ramming my face into a brick wall.

And finally the penny drops.

You get this exact same type of debate if you talk to Jayden about Death. "It's stupid and wrong even if it's right".


"Depends on your priority. If a smith spirit in the bronze age became renowned as the smith god Vulcan, and became a smith god, the smith god, then as far as factual history goes he is Vulcan. Chicken and egg sort of."

"So does the term 'god' then refer to any regular Spirit who's name is known by enough people? What if Vulcan never progressed beyond the rank of a minor smith Spirit even as the legend grew?"


It's taken me three games and building a familiar to figure it out, but spirits are scary. First, there is that 1-10 scale on rank. Ignore that. It's a lie. Spirits come in 5 ranks; regular guy, supernatural guy, boss monster, end boss monster, god. Those are the five ranks of spirit that you'll actually deal with. Ranks 6-10 technically exist, but are in the realm of ST fiat purely. A rank 5 spirit could have influence sufficient to do what Loki did, and extend a demense across an island nation. He could also do more. The next step up is insanely strong. Potent enough that it is a magnitude greater than a minor god.

I still consider them different categories, between 'Supernal entity' and 'Shadow Spirit'. Summoners backs me up on this.

Admittedly, both use the Spirit mechanics but all WoD monsters, including Crypids and ghosts do.


"You already know the answer."

"Actually, on this one as it relates to you, I don't. Hubris?"

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 04:31 AM
And finally the penny drops.

You get this exact same type of debate if you talk to Jayden about Death. "It's stupid and wrong even if it's right".


I still kept thinking Mara was the one with Spirit inferior. Remarkable.



"So does the term 'god' then refer to any regular Spirit who's name is known by enough people? What if Vulcan never progressed beyond the rank of a minor smith Spirit even as the legend grew?"


"What if a bank account had more money in it despite not having more money in it?

"A god can spring forth as a god. What differentiates god and Titan?"



I still consider them different categories, between 'Supernal entity' and 'Shadow Spirit'. Summoners backs me up on this.

Admittedly, both use the Spirit mechanics but all WoD monsters, including Crypids and ghosts do.

Cryptids do to? I thought they were built standard. Huh.

That's a good question actually. Orisha would be straight spirit. The Aesir would be spirits, and the Vanir probably Supernal. If Vulcan gets information on Supernal summoning, she would be able to shut Flouresce up. His argument is that even if there was no Spirit arcana, there is still Supernal magic which affects spirits. Given that spirit arcana does not work on (non Spirit) Supernal spirits, we can safely assume there is something in the primal wild that spirit does affect.

There are also spirits with absolutely no human involvement in their life cycle. A mountain remembers itself as animals and plants thrive there.

More terrifying, and something we have danced around, there are spirits which predate existence as we know it. Like, of concepts that are beyond, or in opposition to, physics, thermodynamics, matter, energy, etc. they are terrifying, conceptually and literally. Like that doctor Who episode of creatures affecte by words before science took root. Except not so nice as that. Informing the Throne of Idigam strikes me as a Bad IdeaTM.



"Actually, on this one as it relates to you, I don't. Hubris?"

"I do not worship something because it is a god. Some do."

*****

"Sifu, It is my estimation we cannot let the prisoner near any awakened if possible. She is too clever. The dull will be taken away. The smart will be snared through pride. She could slowly turn many of those few we have."

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 05:12 AM
I still kept thinking Mara was the one with Spirit inferior. Remarkable.

Matter.


"What if a bank account had more money in it despite not having more money in it?

"A god can spring forth as a god. What differentiates god and Titan?"

"Do I look like an ancient greek historian?"


Cryptids do to? I thought they were built standard. Huh.

That's a good question actually. Orisha would be straight spirit. The Aesir would be spirits, and the Vanir probably Supernal. If Vulcan gets information on Supernal summoning, she would be able to shut Flouresce up. His argument is that even if there was no Spirit arcana, there is still Supernal magic which affects spirits. Given that spirit arcana does not work on (non Spirit) Supernal spirits, we can safely assume there is something in the primal wild that spirit does affect.

According to Summoners, About half the creatures in the Primal Wild respond to Spirit, in the same way that half the creatures in the Aether respond to Forces.


There are also spirits with absolutely no human involvement in their life cycle. A mountain remembers itself as animals and plants thrive there.

More terrifying, and something we have danced around, there are spirits which predate existence as we know it. Like, of concepts that are beyond, or in opposition to, physics, thermodynamics, matter, energy, etc. they are terrifying, conceptually and literally. Like that doctor Who episode of creatures affecte by words before science took root. Except not so nice as that. Informing the Throne of Idigam strikes me as a Bad IdeaTM.

One of the Exarchs' commandments is to beat those guys up.

And then enslave them for the good of humanity.


"I do not worship something because it is a god. Some do."

"What are your criteria for worship, then?"


"Sifu, It is my estimation we cannot let the prisoner near any awakened if possible. She is too clever. The dull will be taken away. The smart will be snared through pride. She could slowly turn many of those few we have."

Honestly? This is the number one reason why Vulcan's boss let her out. He figures that she's such a gloomy bitch that if he lets her take a sabbatical with the Pentacle she'll be such a downer that she might convert some of them when she inevitably comes crawling back.

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 05:34 AM
"Do I look like an ancient greek historian?"


The Korean looks at the honey-skinned ginger and raises his eyebrows.



According to Summoners, About half the creatures in the Primal Wild respond to Spirit, in the same way that half the creatures in the Aether respond to Forces.


I can honestly see how those are similar cases for different reasons, but from a mechanics standpoint it doesn't matter.

Honestly, I didn't really look to hard at Summoners aside from the Supernal spirit familiar, because of Anarion's prior rebuke. Interestingly, a Supernal familiar would be less useful in this instance than current. SiuiS with a Goetic demon is still on my Los of things that would be a hoot to play though.



One of the Exarchs' commandments is to beat those guys up.


Broken clock is right twice a day.



And then enslave them for the good of humanity.


Or once, at least. XD



"What are your criteria for worship, then?"


"I couldn't tell you."

Anarion
2012-11-10, 05:37 AM
"Do I look like an ancient greek historian?"


Yes, yes you do.



Honestly? This is the number one reason why Vulcan's boss let her out. He figures that she's such a gloomy bitch that if he lets her take a sabbatical with the Pentacle she'll be such a downer that she might convert some of them when she inevitably comes crawling back.

Although I'm mostly keeping hands-off the debate here, I must interject. This implies a level of care from Vulcan's boss which does not exist. He presently doesn't need her for anything, nor is she really neglecting anything important. Therefore she is not important and he can hardly be bothered to spare a thought for her, must less waste mental effort justifying why what she's doing is okay.

Thanqol
2012-11-10, 05:58 AM
Yes, yes you do.

Although I'm mostly keeping hands-off the debate here, I must interject. This implies a level of care from Vulcan's boss which does not exist. He presently doesn't need her for anything, nor is she really neglecting anything important. Therefore she is not important and he can hardly be bothered to spare a thought for her, must less waste mental effort justifying why what she's doing is okay.

Well, irrelevance is way cheaper than an invisibility cloak and just as effective.

the_druid_droid
2012-11-10, 03:27 PM
*smirk* "It may be, of this debate keeps up."

"If it does, let me know. Not sure I want one of those things hanging around."

*glances over shoulder*


If sticking with Flouresce, probably Flow. Sounds like a tacky DJ name, the kind of handle someone who posts videos of themselves dancing on YouTube would use. There's a bit of self referential mocking to the name.

I actually like this. I think Mara would use it for the same reasons.


Dial it back. Dial it in. Rank 1 spirit, barely sentient mote. If you piss it off, it's got the capacity for a 6 dice attack pool. That's equivalent to being smashed in the face by a fit amateur league boxer. And these are constantly coming out of your brain.

Not sure if this would unsettle Mara or be the most obvious thing in the world to her. On the one hand, there was a really long period of time where she couldn't even control the thoughts coming from her brain. On the other, her Awakening involved being literally dragged around an endless institutional maze by the demons inside her head, so she's somewhat familiar with the idea that there's weird, powerful, and nasty crap most humans don't even have an idea about lurking everywhere - including the places you'd like to keep private.


Shut up! We can't all have easy to deal with inferior arcana!
... And then I remember Vulcan is the Moros, inferior spirit, and recognize that "face into brick wall" feeling for what it is.

The aftermath of ramming my face into a brick wall.


And finally the penny drops.

You get this exact same type of debate if you talk to Jayden about Death. "It's stupid and wrong even if it's right".

I realize suddenly that we have a closed loop of Inferior Arcana, since every person has one that corresponds to one of the Ruling Arcana of another member. Actually, even more so, since all of ours correspond to the Arcanum that's been chosen as the dominant one by the others... It's interesting, but really not all that unlikely I suppose if you have a mix of several paths in a cabal. A built-in source of conflict and potential hubris, I wonder?


"Sifu, It is my estimation we cannot let the prisoner near any awakened if possible. She is too clever. The dull will be taken away. The smart will be snared through pride. She could slowly turn many of those few we have."

"I suppose we're stuck with her then. On the upside, she is pretty good at what she does. Wonder if she can dance, too?"


Well, irrelevance is way cheaper than an invisibility cloak and just as effective.

Isn't that the logic behind that one Mind spell? You aren't actually invisible, but nobody thinks anything special about you, no matter what you do?

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 04:13 PM
Not sure if this would unsettle Mara or be the most obvious thing in the world to her. On the one hand, there was a really long period of time where she couldn't even control the thoughts coming from her brain. On the other, her Awakening involved being literally dragged around an endless institutional maze by the demons inside her head, so she's somewhat familiar with the idea that there's weird, powerful, and nasty crap most humans don't even have an idea about lurking everywhere - including the places you'd like to keep private.

Conversely, nightmare mindscapes would scare the piss out of us.

Astral realms are potentially very very creepy bad wrong.



I realize suddenly that we have a closed loop of Inferior Arcana, since every person has one that corresponds to one of the Ruling Arcana of another member. Actually, even more so, since all of ours correspond to the Arcanum that's been chosen as the dominant one by the others... It's interesting, but really not all that unlikely I suppose if you have a mix of several paths in a cabal. A built-in source of conflict and potential hubris, I wonder?


I sort of noticed this, but it kept slipping by due to mentally thinking of someone else whenever I tried to think of Mara. Very interesting potential dynamic.

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 08:14 PM
Questions.

Could a sorcerer create a Grimoire while expending XP so that he ends up with no loss?

Can creating a Grimoire be done as a group ritual, so that one Mage scribes the Grimoire and a different Mage provides the rote?

Does a Grimoire have to be a single item, or could it be a set with a greater message? For example, the Dragon Ball manga, from Goku meeting Bulma all the way up to Goku beating Majin Buu and giving up so he can have peace, all have artwork on the spine. When set together in sequence, the entire manga set makes a mural.
Could that mural have a rote within it? Multiple rotes?

Flouresce would have gone with the free council because his artwork has encoded Supernal symbols within it. His willingness to climb a skyscraper and jump to an otherwise unwatchable canopy for a canvas is why the Arrow appeals to him.

Anarion
2012-11-10, 10:14 PM
Questions.

Could a sorcerer create a Grimoire while expending XP so that he ends up with no loss?


I don't understand the form of this question. If you're expending XP there is a loss. Can you explain what you mean by no loss?


Can creating a Grimoire be done as a group ritual, so that one Mage scribes the Grimoire and a different Mage provides the rote?

I would say no. Group rituals require overlapping arcana, and grimoires require specific rotes. So you'd need the group leader to have the rote to make it work, but at that point the group ritual becomes useless. If someone else has a relevant rote, they need to teach it to you.



Does a Grimoire have to be a single item, or could it be a set with a greater message? For example, the Dragon Ball manga, from Goku meeting Bulma all the way up to Goku beating Majin Buu and giving up so he can have peace, all have artwork on the spine. When set together in sequence, the entire manga set makes a mural.
Could that mural have a rote within it? Multiple rotes?


I have no problem with non-standard format grimoires. There might be an issue with encoding a grimoire on top of an existing grimoire, of the magical interference sort of problem, but if you want the "thing" that is a grimoire to be a combined set of manga covers, that's fine.

SiuiS
2012-11-10, 11:08 PM
I don't understand the form of this question. If you're expending XP there is a loss. Can you explain what you mean by no loss?


There was a net in there that was lost. Tangentially, spending a dollar for a dollar's worth of goods is a conversion, not a loss, yes?

What I meant, was instead of creating a grimoire, losing a rote, expending two experience and an unspecified training time to relearn that rote, and leave... Could I streamline the process so I lose 2 xp instead of temporarily losing the rote?

It compiles the same, but has a different feel and allows for different extrapolations.


I would say no. Group rituals require overlapping arcana, and grimoires require specific rotes. So you'd need the group leader to have the rote to make it work, but at that point the group ritual becomes useless. If someone else has a relevant rote, they need to teach it to you.

Okay.

Relevant to this, I am user the impression that accepted practice is for a cabal with mixed levels of arcana to cooperate. Mage 1 has matter 1, spirit 3, Mage 2 is the reverse (matter 3 and spirit 1). These two could work together and cast a conjunctive spell requiring matter 3 and space 3, teamwork allowing them to surpass their personal limitations.

I do not think the book allows this though. I'm not sure if it's a rule, a house rule or a seemingly common misunderstanding.

Similarly, conjunctive spells require a minimum of Gnosis 3, but this is occasionally handwaved because it leads to everyone buying up Gnosis as fast as possible just because. What is your personal take?



I have no problem with non-standard format grimoires. There might be an issue with encoding a grimoire on top of an existing grimoire, of the magical interference sort of problem, but if you want the "thing" that is a grimoire to be a combined set of manga covers, that's fine.

I have a grand and probably unattainable vision of city wide murals depicting mythological and urban-legendary events, offering rotes to the world.

-

On Macau vs. Hong Kong, I am actually leaning towards Hong Kong as the location for the club. It would be a sort of border guard, an incursion of party-in-the-back getting all up in business-in-the-front's grill. I am also interested to fix Macau had its own currency. I trust Hong Kong is not some entirely commercial area, full of nothing but fabrication and sales facilities?

Anarion
2012-11-10, 11:50 PM
With the rotes, I'd prefer that you lose the rote. It makes grimoires a time investment, as opposed to something that an individual could mass produce at one time (due to the vaguaries of the XP system, you're likely to get 5-8 xp at one time, so you could immediatley crank off 2-4 grimoires, which I don't really like).

Regarding rituals and conjunctive spells, I don't really know. I haven't actually seen either in action yet nor have I DMed a game of Mage before. So, I'd be tempted to just go RAW there, but if you have a persuasive argument for why RAW sucks, or if Thanqol has some experience he'd like to share about why RAW sucks, I'm open to changing it.