View Single Post
Old 01-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
CousinX's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Shangri-La
Default Re: [Thaumatology] Real world magical traditions

Icelander, let me ask this ... are you more concerned about game balance between the traditions, or authenticity to real-world beliefs? There are a lot things that will look very different if occult traditions need all to be equally supernaturally effective in terms of what kinds of bonuses they can claim, and you might end up having to artificially inject or withhold certain bonuses from certain traditions.

One possibility is to give different traditions different kinds of benefits, besides spell-casting. Voudon practitioners might have "alternate forms" corresponding to the lwa that they can invoke, with appropriate trait boosts and supernatural abilities.

Another question, does magic work along a set of constant metaphysics, or does it work differently for each tradition -- is it based on a sort of "occult science," that works the same for all casters, or on the particular beliefs of a particular caster? If it operates according to a set of constant, underlying laws, then all of the modifiers are applicable to any magic -- it's just a question of who knows about them.

One thought that occurred to me is that it seems like you're mostly trying to overcome the brutal penalties that you've set. I think if you reduced those, it would be less of an issue to come up with a lot of special modifiers.

A few more random thoughts...

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
It would not hurt to have one for Catholic mysticism, probably influenced by the Hermetic one, but with individual saints instead of decans.
The split between "Hermetic Magic" and "Christian Magic" is arguably not very old. Post-Golden Dawn Hermeticism is quite distinct from Christianity, and Thelema even moreso, but up until the Church lost the power to burn heretics, most Hermetic magic was practiced as Christian magic. Agrippa, Dee, and even the Rosicrucians were all nominally Christian mages.

Catholic mysticism is something quite different, more akin to Divine Powers than to Thaumatology. I wouldn't call it a formal magical tradition, but a collection of mystically-inclined individuals.

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
First, does anyone have links to online resources on the Sephiroth and what kind of places, materials, colors, metals, stones, plants, creatures, scents, body parts and tools might be associated with each sephirah? Also, if anyone has actually featured Kabbalah in their campaigns, does anyone have insights of their own about this?
The only such resources I know of are Hermetic/Thelemic ... Crowley's Liber 777 is the definitive Post-Golden Dawn reference. Orthodox Kabbalists have no such correspondences -- that whole idea originated with Christian mystics who wanted to syncretize Kabbalism into their own framework.

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Third, what bonuses are appropriate for Kabbalah and Zoroastrian magic? Sympathy bonuses would obviously fit Kabbalah, but do they fit Zoroastrian magic? What about Contagion? True Names?
True Names are certainly appropriate to Kabbalism ... in fact, that might be a good (if drastically oversimplified) big-picture understanding of Kabbalah: "Knowing the True Names of Things."

I can't think of any examples of Contagion in purely Kabbalistic magic, but then Contagion is about casting spells on someone/something, and Kabbalistic magic tends to be internal -- seeking unity with God, rather than hexing your enemies or calling up a spirit.

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
*That is to say, what gives bonuses on castings that are regulated by each of them. I've already figured out which rituals fit under each.
Would you mind posting them? I haven't gone through and assigned Paths/Books/Rituals to traditions yet, but I will need to do so soon for an upcoming campaign, so I'd be interested to see what you've done.

Last edited by CousinX; 01-31-2011 at 09:03 PM.
CousinX is offline   Reply With Quote