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Old 11-16-2019, 02:04 AM   #1
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Roma RPM

I am running a modern urban fantasy game that uses RPM essentially. I’m attempting to design a cinematic Roma tradition of magic yet I’m having trouble coming up with Roma inspired foci and tool trappings for their magic. I’m hoping someone might have some experience in this culture.

Would it essentially be witchcraft like with herbs, dolls, blood, crystals, incantations, ect? What would be their main foci ?

Advice on this tradition like tools, disadvantages, advantages, quirks?
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:56 AM   #2
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Roma RPM

A lot of Romani 'magic' are just the tricks that they have developed over the centuries to make a living when they were denied legitimate methods of employment. True Romani magical traditions have little to do with the showmanship (for example, their divination systems are much different than the Tarot Cards used by modern pagans). Like any traditional magic system though, the Romani were highly practical, borrowing effective magical practices from outsider and abandoning ineffective magical practices when needed.

Practitioners of true Romani magic are also notoriously tight-lipped about their traditions, as it is one of the few things that outsiders have not been able to steal from them over the centuries. That being said, many tribes lost their magical traditions during the Holocaust, and some of the practitioners taught non-Romani their tribal magic in order to preserve their traditions. Some of the people they survived and preserved the traditions within their families when they could not find any survivors of the tribe of their teacher to teach them the magical traditions that were lost, which are the majority of our sources on Romani traditional magical.

For the purpose of RPM, there were some commonalities between tribes that fit RPM quite closely. First, they often used evocation by calling of spiritual entities (usually ancestral or nature spirits) to assist them, reflecting a Ritual Magic rather than Thaumotology core skill. Second, they often used charms and potions to contain magic, which could be seen as normal conditional magic (charms) and alchemical conditional magic (potions). Third, they often manipulated the energy of the Earth to fuel their magic, which could be seen as a form of energy accumulation.

Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 11-16-2019 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #3
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Roma RPM

Than you very much I guess I was also looking for the more cinematic version. What trappings would be used? Would their spells appear to witchcraft just different?

Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 11-16-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roma RPM

The main thing we know about Roma magic is that it isn't like Western Occult traditions. The Roma have traditionally used other people's superstitions to shield themselves, but most of what they actually do we don't know.

It should be remembered that there are peoples out there that are remarkably free of superstitions. Just because a group of people is poor, lacks conventional education, and are seen as "primitive" by others, doesn't mean they practice witchcraft.

The best bet is to remember the Roma originated in India. They were tribes of wandering smiths. Look at Indian Tribal magic and extrapolate from there.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:33 PM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Roma RPM

From what we know though, they abandoned the Vedic traditions and made their own (for example, they do not truck with Hindu cosmology, deities, and mythology). Their practices probably resemble traditional European witchcraft (use what works, tools are inexpensive, easily available, and easily disguised, never practice in front of outsiders, etc.). For example, divination would use dice, dominoes, and playing cards instead of Tarot cards and mirrors or pans of water over crystal balls (Tarot cards and crystal balls are for gullible outsiders).

One of the unique features of Romani magic seems to be the fusion of diviner, healer, and midwife. Healers would use divination for diagnosis and for determining treatment, and midwives would use divination for clues about the progress of the pregnancy. While a lot of it was just practical knowledge, the use of magic probably acted as a powerful placebo for the practitioners and the patients (though it would be particularly effective in settings with real magic).

Strangely enough, Stephen King may have gotten it right in Thinner with the curse. It was nothing extravagant, just a simple pronouncement, that doomed the killer of his daughter. Such a ritual could easily fit within RPM as a conditional ritual, with the pronouncement being the conditional trigger.

Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 11-16-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:32 PM   #6
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Roma RPM

That makes sense I’m just trying to fit it in urban fantasy world where there is Real magic and spell casting. The imagery of the anicient Romanian ***** curing worlds with potions, summoning ghosts or banishing them, clairvoyance, esp, Minor Tk, curses, charms, enchantments, having secret occult knowledge, and maybe even more powerful “Ancient lost magic” like summoning shadowy tentacles of of darkness or bewitching others. This is what I’m trying to flesh out with trappings and perks that make them a tradition and not just a sorcerer speaking Romany.

Last edited by Andrew Hackard; 11-16-2019 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:38 PM   #7
whswhs
 
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Note that "Romanian" and "Romany" are two distinct ethnicities. Romanians speak a language descended from Latin; Romany speak a language descended from Sanskrit. I don't think the cultures have much in common.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roma RPM

One curious thing, which isn't related to magic but general lifestyle, is that when a Roma takes a noble title, it is not related to any direct authority among themselves (which usually goes to the patriarch and elders). It is a way to have an ambassador to the local authority.

For more information see:

https://www.amazon.com/Romani-Gypsie...s%2C215&sr=8-1
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #9
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FYI: I edited this thread to remove a word increasingly considered to be offensive. Please be aware of the effects of the language you choose.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Roma RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Romanians speak a language descended from Latin; Romany speak a language descended from Sanskrit. I don't think the cultures have much in common.
They don't. Romanies have a long history as an oppressed minority in Romania.
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