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BobChuck

fun with Death

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The Death arcana has always bugged me. Out of all the Arcana, Death seems... incomplete.

It does what Spirit does, but only on Ghosts which aren't nearly as useful as Spirits.

It does what Prime does, except it can only destroy.

It does what Forces does, except it only works on Shadow.

It does what Matter does, except it only work in Twilight.

Virtually all of its effects are available or can be reproduced in other arcana at the same dot level. All the other Arcana have things that only they can do, and have other things that they do *better* than the others. Death seems somewhat lacking.

So, what have you done with Death to make it more fun?

The only idea I've got is to let Death do what Life does, but only for dead things. By the book, you need Death 2 and Life 3 to heal a Vampire or Zombie. To me, it'd be more fun to just make it Death 3. With Death 4, you could heal a Vampire's burns, or add to his strength before vigor, which is all kinds of fun.

Any other ideas?

Edited by BobChuck

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Donor

I don't see what needs to be done, you have forgotten that Death can also:

Control Shadows and make them tangible and substantial (something Forces CANNOT do)

Drain the energy and stamina from someone (something Life can't do)

Allow you to enter the Twilight (something Spirit can't do)

Steal souls (something nothing else can do)

Create Zombies and Revenants (something nothing else can do)

Decay flesh (something Life can't do)

I think your looking to broadly and need to harden your focus a bit and look at the purviews of Death.. there is in actuality very little overlap.

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Donor

Weak? WEAK?

According to your own observations, Death is DAMN GOOD. It deals with both the physical and the intangible, which is a lot to say, but let's get to business.

Virtually all of its effects are available or can be reproduced in other arcana at the same dot level. All the other Arcana have things that only they can do, and have other things that they do *better* than the others. Death seems somewhat lacking.

By the same Token, it has many effects that are found on other Arcana at different levels. In fact, a single Death level steps on many other toes, which makes it quite a versatile Arcanum.

Seriously, I'd rather have an Arcanum as versatile as Death rather than having to buy all those other dots at other Arcana.

ALSO: ZOMBIES. I rest my case.

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Donor

First, linkies. Canon Spell List and Player-Created Spells.

One of the things you forgot to mention was Derangements... Spirit, Mind and Death affect them in different ways.

Death is one of the most versatile Arcana, as you've noted, but only in particular ways. You can easily flip around your statements to show where the other Arcana are lacking...

Spirit does what Death does, but only with Spirits and Shadow, rather than Ghosts and Twilight.

Forces does what Death does, but can not affect shadows directly, grant them Durability or Strength or move them into lit areas.

Matter does what Death does, but can not affect Ephemera or transition objects to or from Ephemera.

As for Prime, Death only has one spell that duplicates an effect, that of the fourth dot "Supernal Dispellation".

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Donor

I'm not convinced. Every person I've met that was actively playing a Moros either focused on Matter or regretted not focusing on Matter. Yes, Matter is really good, but that can't be all of the problem.

Death just doesn't seem interesting to me. All the other arcana inspire different creative ideas, but Death just seems like an unwanted stepchild, there to fill in holes left by the other arcana, most of which don't really need to be filled.

What am I missing? What makes Death 'fun'?

Yeah, you can lower another person's stamina, but you have to touch them or be a Master to pull it off.

Revenants have potential, I'll admit that. Zombies, on the other hand, seem utterly useless to me. Sleepers unravel them, Mages dispel, destroy, or distract them, and it's virtually impossible to raise any significant number of them.

Spirit can't step into Twilight? are you sure? Even if the spell isn't explicitly listed, shouldn't Spirit be able to?

Forces can't make Shadows stronger and move around. Matter can't, either. But both can reproduce the effect, at the same dot-level, with more flexibility. Matter 3 can pretty much exactly duplicate the Sculpt Shadows spell through a different material, and Forces can grab someone or stop something.

The worst part? Sculpt Shadows is just about the best 3-dot spell Death has, but these other arcana have lots of other things they can do at this point.

What am I missing here? It seems like the only use of Death is to give 5 dots to a big bad villain and have the Mages try and fight him.

Edited by BobChuck

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Donor

All things reach an eventual Death.

ALL THINGS.

That's where the Death Arcanum lives. Endings. And in games, people, animals, things die. Death works with those.

Death also deals with things that are not death, but only how they relate to death... Usually sensing how close they are to Death and how can this end be brought... And bringing it, of course.

Zombies are tactical, man. They're terrifying mockeries that remind us of the eventual end of all things. Imagine that your best friend dies. Or your girlfriend. Or your brother. Or imagine they don't die, or at least you don't know. Imagine seeing them turned into zombies, waiting for you, hidden in what you used to think a safe house. Now imagine you're on the other side of the fence: This petty Mage has pissed you off, stole an artifact, a lover, or maybe something greater than that. You want him to suffer. You want him to feel Death in Life.

They also make great cannon fodder to divert supernatural dangers away from the rest of your Cabal. Are they worth the mana? Hell yeah. They're sturdy, and they can buy you enough time to cast other spells.

Death is not a Fun Arcanum. It's a hardworking man's Arcanum. It's a hands-on Arcanum. It's method, scientific, and calculating. And that's why I like it.

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Donor

I don't know mechanics and scope of this Arcana too well, I haven't given Death much perusal. But my initial inclination is to side with BobChuck on this.

Death seems to me like an excuse by devised by the developers to round out the number of Arcana to a multiple of 5 and/or because they felt it necessary to have some opposite to Life. Neither of which strike me as particularly important reasons for it's inclusion.

I guess I just don't really see Death as it's own conceptual thing the same way most of the other Arcana strike me.

Just my opinion of course. I'm sure plenty here find Death fits with the rest of the Arcana perfectly.

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Donor

Hm. So you want to know what a Death-focused Mage can pull off? Well, Death is mostly "indirect", witch matches it's status as a "Subtle" Arcana. If you prepare correctly, it's great. If you don't, it's not as much use.

Looking at the Death spell page, I think some of the spells got shifted around between levels... the distribution doesn't seem right.

Initiate

"Instill Mortality": Used on objects made with "Imbue Item", allows "disposable" magical armaments. Depending on the other Arcana held by the caster, these are some of the most powerful bargaining chips in the supernatural community, as well as providing incredible utility to Sleepwalkers.

"Soul Marks": The only spell that can give some indication of Morality, since Derangements are common consequences of lowered ratings.

Apprentice

"Corpse Mask": Invaluable to maintaining the Veil and deflecting mortal authority attention.

"Touch of the Grave": Attack entities in Twilight (Spirit or Ghost) or pull objects from (or push into) Twilight temporarily.

Disciple

"Ghost Gate": Allow entry to and from Twilight. The portal can remain open for a full scene, and can be cast as an Instant action at the Adept level. Since Twilight often offers less obstruction than the mortal realm, but occupies the same space, it makes entry into restricted areas ridiculously simple. "Sculpt Ephemera" can be used to reshape walls and objects, and "Touch of the Grave" can snatch objects from the real world, or allow attacks on entities in physical reality.

"Quicken Corpse": An extended casting can create a ridiculously strong servant... and if Target factors are used, an army can be created with a single casting. With "Self Repairing Zombie", the casting can be relinquished, and so long as the zombies are fed occasionally, the army may remain active indefinitely.

"Summon Shadows": Makes spells requiring Touch ridiculously easy, since the shadows can Grapple the target for you, and may have a Strength far in excess of the subject.

"Transfer Anchor": Most ghosts have useless Anchors, but between this, "Control Ghost", "Arm Ghost" and "Lighten Anchor", you can get a tireless, powerful, invisible, intangible guardian that is unquestionably loyal.

Adept

Instant Ghost Gate, or Indefinite Ghost Gate. Both incredibly useful.

"Enervation": Excellent for restraining a target physically for a period of time, and with "Summon Shadows" the touch requirement is easy to fulfill. If used to reduce a target's Stamina to zero, can lead to instant death.

"Revenant", "Haunting": Create powerful servitors, but until Mastery, not Indefinite.

"Suppress Other's Life": Instantly incapacitate an opponent at a touch with a single contested roll.

Mastery

Cast "Suppress Other's Life" at sensory range, and add Target factors. O.o;

"Quell the Spark": Duplicate "Supernal Dispellation".

"Twilight Shift": Move into and out of Twilight at will, allowing all sorts of intrusion and escape, as well as partial invulnerability.

"Quicken Ghost": Massively increase a ghost's traits... which can make their Numia into incredibly formidable weapons.

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Donor

Thank you ROM! This is exactly why I posted this topic - so I could get all sorts of of unique and creative applications for the arcana - things to inspire me. I especially like the ones at the Disciple and Master levels - I'm seeing unique stuff with the same general level of nastiness/utility as other arcana.

at the risk of sounding needy - what else you got?

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Donor

Well...

If you were to cast "Ghostly Object" on a weapon and translate it to ephemera, you could then cast "Sculpt Ephemera" on it to give it a Lasting Enhancement to damage and Durability. With "Touch of the Grave", you can pull it out of Twilight again at need in it's strengthened form, or give it to a ghost to use and "Arm Ghost" them with the "Touch of the Grave" spell so that they can attack physical targets with it from Twilight.

"Ghost Gate" has no defined appearance, so an Indefinite one can be an invisible trapdoor. If one were to use Fate conjunctively to exclude "All My Allies and Nonphysical Entities" from the spell, you could leave it on the door to your Sanctum, with an oubliette of Sculpted ephemeral steel on the other side. Anyone passing though who isn't excluded would end up stuck on the other side, and without Death or Space magic themselves, would be trapped.

Ghosts are seriously one of the strongest resources of a Death mage, so seeking them out at every opportunity is almost a requirement. "Arm Ghost" works well with any standard attack spell, but the best uses are the sneakiest. Some that I'd choose include "Portal" (with the ghost using it under the feet of opponents, and setting the exit 400' straight up), "Healing Heart" (to heal you if wounded significantly), "Verminous Metamorphosis" (to transform opponent's weapons to poisonous insects) and "Transfer Anchor" (to latch their Anchor onto a target temporarily and follow them in Twilight).

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Ok I know I'm probably the odd one out, but does anyone find it strange that a creator of Mage (and in extension the 10 Arcana) feels something incomplete about one of the Arcana and people are trying to convince him otherwise? I mean I never saw this coming.

Oh and a possible theory on why people do not like the Death Arcana. A) People don't like death in general so its not surprising that people wouldn't pick that Arcana that much and B) its Wisdom rolls is a bitch. I mean pretty much every other Arcana at its highest levels doesn't have an automatic 5-1 Wisdom roll on pretty much everything it does. Life can shapeshift and heal (not an auto Wisdom roll under general circumstances), Forces can stop a flash flood and fly (not an auto Wisdom roll under general circumstances), Spirit can be used to talk to and make deals with the spirits (not an auto Wisdom roll under general circumstances), Matter can create anything out of nothing (not an auto Wisdom roll under general circumstances), Fate...Fate can make a person get +30 successes in a single roll (did it. It was awesome and not an auto Wisdom roll under general circumstances)...you create a zombie auto Wisdom 5 sin and screwing with a soul is probably an automatic loss of Wisdom.

So seeing most of us don't play the crazed mage not much you can do with that Arcana.

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Donor
So seeing most of us don't play the crazed mage not much you can do with that Arcana.

You do realize that there's a myriad of other, less-risky things you can do with Death that don't involve Wisdom loss, right? I'm talking practical things, the awesome kind.

For the record, Ghosts are damn good spies.

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Donor
Death is not a Fun Arcanum. It's a hardworking man's Arcanum. It's a hands-on Arcanum. It's method, scientific, and calculating. And that's why I like it.
Well said, this coming from a person that prefers the Obrimos path and has Death as a "unfavored" arcanum. Death just like any other Arcanum is nasty if you have the correct mindset, I said CORRECT MINDSET. :evilgrin:

By the way Ghosts ARE far easier to control than Spirits and have the advantage of having an ultimately HUMAN mindset.

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Donor

Death remains my favorite arcanum, and not only for the fluff that come with.

Yes, it could be Wisdom taxing. Yes, it step on other arcana purview (but nearly all arcana do that). But it's also one of the most versatile. And contrary to many other Arcana, it's not bland. Its purviews are not generic, it requires some preparation, it has immediate consequences. All its applications are creepy by themselves, all have immediate psychological effects on the target and all can't just be seen as just a coincidence.

I see your issue, however. Death does not work with down the earth phenomena. It work within a mood. What tie Corpse, Shadows, Soul and Ghost? Nothing. But you can hardly separate them. And I personally had Frost, Hunger and Void as purview (personal choices, not to be debated here, it would be too long to explain). Seems logical to me.

It's more an Arcanum that you feel rather than you think.

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Donor
Ok I know I'm probably the odd one out, but does anyone find it strange that a creator of Mage (and in extension the 10 Arcana) feels something incomplete about one of the Arcana and people are trying to convince him otherwise?

Well, Entropy in MtAsc effectively got split into Death and Fate... I think the question is more over the "scientific magic vs magical science" question.

In MtAsc, Entropy described the scientific (and Hermetic) notion that the universe is ruled by chaos, from which is came and will return. Magic dealt with modifying, reducing or increasing that chaos. Too much chaos can quickly result in death, too little in crystallized stasis.

In MtAw, Death describes the end of every beginning, and it's transitory states. It is the end of Life, of Energy, of Matter and of Spirit. Fate describes the destiny of everything, from the viewpoint that nothing is truly random, much like the "magical thinking" of psychology.

I'm not really sure how to formulate this, it's just an idea that I've been rolling over for awhile.

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Donor

wait... there's a creator of Mage that doesn't like Death?

Well said, this coming from a person that prefers the Obrimos path and has Death as a "unfavored" arcanum. Death just like any other Arcanum is nasty if you have the correct mindset, I said CORRECT MINDSET. evilgrin.gif

Kumi raises a good point here. I'm full-on Obrimos, and Death doesn't fit with that mindset very well. It's not opposite, that would be easy to understand. The difference is much more subtle than that, and I guess that's part of my problem. If I'm already good with Forces and Prime, and and I'm studying Mind and Matter, how much does Death really offer?

Edited by BobChuck

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Donor

Well, it would depend on the character himself if he considered it "useful", but that's a value statement, so isn't really a reflection on the system itself. There are many cases where Death is the simplest or only solution to a problem.

None of those Arcana can speak to or manipulate ghosts.

None of those Arcana can strengthen, or manipulate physical shadows.

None of those Arcana can inflict or manipulate Derangements.

None of those Arcana can move into or manipulate Twilight or ephemera.

None of those Arcana can create zombies or revenants.

None of those Arcana can take or give lifespan.

None of those Arcana can allow a journey to the Underworld, or summoning of it's denizens.

None of those Arcana can severs souls.

Additionally, without Death you can not affect Vampires with Life spells.

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Error

Kumiko raises a good point here. I'm full-on Obrimos, and Death doesn't fit with that mindset very well. It's not opposite, that would be easy to understand. The difference is much more subtle than that, and I guess that's part of my problem. If I'm already good with Forces and Prime, and and I'm studying Mind and Matter, how much does Death really offer?

I tend to prefer Fate, Time, Space, Forces, Prime, Mind, Life, and Spirit myself. Less planning for what I need to do, though planning doesn't hurt (especially if you have Fate, Time, and Space), and more +20 successes on average (and just imagine those +20 successes going towards a rote spell and fully mastered Adamant Hand. Can you say ouch?) with anything I want to do with my character, blow my way through any obstacle that I can't best through regular mundane methods (Obrimos with mid to high dots in Forces and 20 successes for some Forces rotes...ouch), or run away using Space and Time when all else fails.

Yes, power junkie. Let my ST be thankful that I hate using vulgar spells otherwise he might be in trouble. :icon6:

Edited by Kingneo

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Kumi raises a good point here. I'm full-on Obrimos, and Death doesn't fit with that mindset very well. It's not opposite, that would be easy to understand. The difference is much more subtle than that, and I guess that's part of my problem. If I'm already good with Forces and Prime, and and I'm studying Mind and Matter, how much does Death really offer?
It's kinda my point, your mindset has be a certain way. Don't get me wrong I can play a Necromancer with the best of them but my natural inclination is the mindset required to play an Obrimos.

Besides I think it is very elegant that the Death Arcanum is "unfavored" by the Obrimos, Death is an alien concept to somebody that has seen the Wheels of Creation themselves and tend to either focus on Mind or Life in the effort of being "mighty" in some sense just like their moniker suggests. Spirit is a natural because of the religious overtones of the Path and Matter along with Spirit is obvious for the Alchemist tradition of the Hermetic Tradition, The Kabbalistic elements of the Path, the tradition of Forging and so on existing in the Path.

Combined with the natural facility of Forces/Prime makes you literally a Force of more than Nature and to be reckoned with indeed. Truly high level Obrimos probably have good levels of Space/Time and 2 maybe 3 dots in Fate to tailor all those Force effects into ultimate tactical nuke no collateral damage effects.

Rotes overall are goalpost movers, rotes with triggers and a bit of tailoring are unreal. Alchemy makes the mundane deadly and is more trustworthy than deals made with Spirits and more flexible. Top end results are better when using Spirits but riskier.

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wait... there's a creator of Mage that doesn't like Death?

I think someone may have mistook you for one..

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Nice thing about Death, but maybe not as nice as its other applications is it has the abilities, like Matter, to destroy objects. This could include an opponents weapon in combat, and is covert to boot, unless cast on a sleepers weapon probably. Also being able to kill your own aura, and adopt a new one gives some interesting applications, considering your new aura can become distinctly different from your old one, effectively giving you a new magical ID. This allows for some complex plans, and if used with proper planning could allow you to get away with some questionable things.

Death 3: Destroy Object (pg 139 core)

Death 4: Slay Own Aura (pg 144 core)(I reason death 4 because it looks like the 5th dot was a typo)

With Death 5 you can dispel any magic without requiring Prime!

Looking at these things, I see Death as the Swiss Army Knife of Arcana, able to do a lot of useful things, without requiring other Arcana. This allows the Death Master a HUGE degree of versatility, as has been stated by previous posters.

Just thought I would contribute my observations, I am still pretty to new to Awakening :icon6:

Edited by Soulbender32

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Hey guys!!!

Frist, please i apologize for resurrecting such an old topic, but i found it rather than creating the same topic.

I finally started storytelling awakening and i share the same options as Bob.

For example,

death 2 can interact and touch with twilight beings, but NOT attack and he CAN be attacked.

On death 3 you can destroy ehpemera but NOT destroy ephemeral beings.

On death4 you can inflict lethal damage on other, but you have to touch, spend 1 mana and it's vulgar.

On death3 you can sculpt shadows but cannot use to damage other beings.

On the other hand with mind3 you can unleash a mental attack that gives bashing damage, no mana cost and it's covert. oh it's sensorial too.

With mind 4 you can inflict lethal damage on other, no mana costs, covert, and sensorial....

FUCK!!! I just can't belive that, nwod is a game that is supposed to bring the balance owod doesn't have.

Of course death can do much cool stuff, but:

They're almost always vulgar, spend mana and are destroy your wisdom.

I really doesn't understand why on death2 you can even fuck a ghost but not give damage to it and on Death 3 you can destroy ephemera but not ephemeral beings. I cannot understand why you cannot have a death3 route that you can perform a decay attack that gives bashing damage at sensory range by decaying one brain's cell or even the entire body. It would be covert as mind and should not require to expend 1 mana point.

I don't understand why mind4 has a so powerfull combat rote and death has none.

There are simply too many disadvantages to death for you to consider the good stuff.

Of course you can rip other's soul, but there's way tooooooooooooooo much effort in acomplishing it. I'm not arguing that it's should be easy, but, should it be SO hard?

As i'm not only complain about it i should provide a solution tough.

The one i used in my story was to adapt other rules for other arcana's rotes to death. Like, with spirit 3 you can give bashing dmg, so you can with death3.

If you can DESTROY ephemera with death3 so you can dmg ephemeral beings with death3, since you can touch and make sex if you want with death2.

I am still learing the ways of creative tamaturgy and about the practices so i cannot say that death would improve if using this way.

Do you have any other ideas?

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Donor

death 2 can interact and touch with twilight beings, but NOT attack and he CAN be attacked.

On death 3 you can destroy ehpemera but NOT destroy ephemeral beings.

On death4 you can inflict lethal damage on other, but you have to touch, spend 1 mana and it's vulgar.

On death3 you can sculpt shadows but cannot use to damage other beings.

With Death 2 "Touch of the Grave", you effectively become dual-state; both Ephemeral and physical. This means that YOU, although not anything you WEAR or TOUCH, are able to affect Ephemeral entities. This mean you can attack them, but only with Brawl attacks.

With Death 3, you can cast the same spell on other targets, including a weapon or bullets, making ghosts and spirits easy pickings. A creative thaumaturgy spell to do Bashing damage to ghosts would not be unreasonable.

With Death 4, you can inflict Lethal damage on touch, yes... but you can also instantly knock someone out with "Suppress Other's Life". Which would you choose, in a pitched battle?

With Death 3, you can "Summon Shadows", which can be made into an Extended casting easily to give it an enormous strength and duration. Do you think even a Werewolf in full tilt can overcome a Grapple check against a Strength of 20?

FUCK!!! I just can't belive that, nwod is a game that is supposed to bring the balance owod doesn't have.

Mind has it's downsides, however. If a Necromancer and a Mentalist fight it out, the win is likely going to go to the guy who has an army of zombies without minds to attack.

They're almost always vulgar, spend mana and are destroy your wisdom.

Vulgar, yes. Spend mana, not more than any other Arcana. Destroy your wisdom, only occasionally, and not really any more than any other Arcana experiences when they flex their full muscle. Remember, the full list of Wisdom sins apply to all magic use, and anything that is a crime at one level is one level worse when done with magic. Steal a car? Wisdom 5 sin. Use Fate to steal a car? Wisdom 4 sin. Shoot a Seer in the head? Wisdom 3 sin. Use Forces to blast him to death? Wisdom 2 sin.

I really doesn't understand why on death2 you can even fuck a ghost but not give damage to it

This is a mis-reading of the spell. You can attack a ghost, but only your body is affected by the spell, not weapons you hold. So, Brawl attacks only.

and on Death 3 you can destroy ephemera but not ephemeral beings. I cannot understand why you cannot have a death3 route that you can perform a decay attack that gives bashing damage at sensory range by decaying one brain's cell or even the entire body. It would be covert as mind and should not require to expend 1 mana point.

The canonical spell lists are only examples; creative thaumaturgy is the main portion of magic in Mage. If your Storyteller works with you on an effect, by all means, add it to your game. There's even a big list of Spells that people have made up already over at the Mage wiki.

I don't understand why mind4 has a so powerfull combat rote and death has none.

Combat isn't always about damage. "Twilight Shift" makes you invulnerable except mages who can use Death 2, Spirit 2 or Prime 3, and each requires a particular spell to affect you. Cast "Touch of the Grave" on others (using Death 3, natch) then touch them while they are unable to see you and cast "Suppress Other's Life", instantly dropping them. Of course, why take the direct route when you can prepare and have an army of ghosts attached to you in Twilight, then cast "Touch of the Grave" on someone and let them curb-stomp them into oblivion in one round?

The one i used in my story was to adapt other rules for other arcana's rotes to death. Like, with spirit 3 you can give bashing dmg, so you can with death3.

If you can DESTROY ephemera with death3 so you can dmg ephemeral beings with death3, since you can touch and make sex if you want with death2.

I am still learing the ways of creative tamaturgy and about the practices so i cannot say that death would improve if using this way.

Take a look at the Mage wiki's list of spells people have created for ideas, as well as the Canon Spell Index. They give you a decent starting point. :)

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<!--quoteo(post=415548:date=Apr 8 2008, 04:23 PM:name=Kingneo)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Kingneo @ Apr 8 2008, 04:23 PM) </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Ok I know I'm probably the odd one out, but does anyone find it strange that a creator of Mage (and in extension the 10 Arcana) feels something incomplete about one of the Arcana and people are trying to convince him otherwise?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Well, Entropy in MtAsc effectively got split into Death and Fate... I think the question is more over the "scientific magic vs magical science" question.

In MtAsc, Entropy described the scientific (and Hermetic) notion that the universe is ruled by chaos, from which is came and will return. Magic dealt with modifying, reducing or increasing that chaos. Too much chaos can quickly result in death, too little in crystallized stasis.

In MtAw, Death describes the end of every beginning, and it's transitory states. It is the end of Life, of Energy, of Matter and of Spirit. Fate describes the destiny of everything, from the viewpoint that nothing is truly random, much like the "magical thinking" of psychology.

I'm not really sure how to formulate this, it's just an idea that I've been rolling over for awhile.

That's pretty much it, that it was formed because of the need to split up Entropy. Here's the thing though, Entropy was never that balanced to begin with in Ascension because it allowed you to do two things at once.

I could rot something, curse someone and make fate work in my favor while screwing around with zombies or ghosts. To me I always had a bit of a problem the way it tried to tie to divergent concepts into one.

Fate and Death are related by their philosophically rooted in differences. Death cults are certainly fatalistic in nature, but their obsessed with the end of things, the antithesis of life/creation. Fatalists on the other hand believe in destiny, which while it will eventually end, that is not the primary fixation.

I understand the idea that scientifically they are interrelated through physics as entropy, but anyone read Sandman?

Death & Destiny sit in different seats at the table and fill different roles in creation. The same can be said about Death & Time from Pierce Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality. Fate represents what people are as they exist, while Death is what happens at the end of the story. All in all I love the idea of separating the two because too many cultures have strong distinctions between the concepts.

A classic Greek mythological example for instance are the Fates (Moirae) vs. God of the Underworld (Hades).

In Chinese Taoism the I Ching focuses around a form of Astrology while Death is slated with different characteristics.

Mage, as a I understand it is built on mythology and culture. The ideas of ancient Gods and so on color the world of both games of Mage, particularly Awakening which is predicated more on Western Occultism than anything else. So it makes perfect sense to ditch the scientific Entropy Sphere in favor of splitting it into the more culturally/mythologically relevant spheres.

Even if I were to play Mage the Ascension I would still like the idea of Fate & Death Spheres rather than using Entropy again, as Entropy works better as a description of Resonance than a part of the natural universe.

Plus here's the kicker, you can play a character that focuses on Death or Fate in itself if you want, instead of having to have aspects of both. I know some people my prefer the old Entropy sphere (it certainly works for a Technocracy game) but I think it was the right way to go.

Speaking of occult symbolism that brings the number to 5 x 2 which works in the Occult world of MtAw.

Dualism (2) and the Five aspects of the Watchtowers/Greek Elements and so on.

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I found Death much more interesting, after I had read Geist and Underworld source book. Opening Portals into the Underworld and doing stuff there is pretty cool.

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