Thread: foci in MtA
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: foci in MtA

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I think that starting with a coherent vision of how the character views magic should generate ideas for foci.

High formal Mind: a phrenologist's model head, a representation of Maslow's hierarchy, a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Numerical/probabilistic Mind: anything involving electronic neural networks, a set of NPC reaction dice.
The general principle seems sound, though most of the examples (other than the model head!) are anachronistic in 1905. I think perhaps I need to look for more information on House Fortunae. Though checking the White Wolf Wiki, I see that they are actually founded in 1910, five years after the current campaign date, so perhaps any proto-Fortunae are still sticking closer to the original Hermetic paradigm at this point.

So what is the OoH model of the human mind? Are they going off of the four humors with their elemental associations? That would seem to put Life and Mind close together, as those associations also govern physical health. I suppose you might look for herbs and stones and other things that have associations with earth, water, air, or fire?

Alternatively, a bridge toward a numerically based view might be Pythagoreanism, and especially its association of mathematics with music, linked to the old concept of harmony as a state of mind. Maybe the adoption of equal temperament was an early Technocratic triumph, one that shifted all harmonies away from the "true" ratios of 3:2, 4:3, 5:3, 5:4, and so on to irrational numbers, and in the process did away with making one tone central to having all twelve tones be equally central. In that case, music with authentic premodern tunings might be a focus for some Hermetics. Early Fortunae might use medieval and Renaissance music as a way to focus the mind.f

Looking at the White Wolf Wiki, I see a mention of the idea that Fortunae and the Syndicate oppose each other in that Fortunae emphasizes the spiritual nature of money. Within the metaphysics I've been working with, the Technocratic paradigm is that society determines reality; so the value of money would come from the subjective consensus of society, whether that consensus was on gold or Bank of England notes. But Hermetics in general might favor the idea that value is an intrinsic, objective property, making them inclined to belief in specie being the only true money.

In GURPS Thaumatology, the colleges that go with mind seem to be Communication and Empathy, Mind Control, and to a degree Illusion and Creation. That's the decans of Methiax, Maoth, and Ruax. But I'm not seeing much help in the lists of places and materials for those; they seem to have a bit too much of a modern or even postmodern feel.
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