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Old 06-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #11
Archangel Beth
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Filk that evokes a gray (possibly to light gray) sorcerer:
http://www.prometheus-music.com/eli/filk/mounttam.html

In particular...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Fish
We who feel the currents of power
Have no rest in the darkening hour
Of a war that we did not choose.
But if some city must fall to brine,
I swear that city shall not be mine.
I do not intend to lose!
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

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Originally Posted by Ramidel View Post
If you initiate without an Infernal Pact, then Hell has no claim on your soul. Sorcery's a potent tool for dragging strong-willed mortals to their Fate, but no more than that.
That's exactly why I changed the rules for Theurgists/pagan Sorcerers and Interventions. To give Hell that much power over them (especially with friendly angels or Ethereals running interference) makes little sense: in the right mortal hands, "magic" can be wielded to thwart the aims of Hell, so demons shouldn't want to improve the results of an outsider's ritual.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

That's why I make Theurgy a different but related animal to Sorcery being it's divine counterpart.

Sorcery being a Willful pursuit has become a Fallen undertaking (likely dragged in to Hell by the demonic), but Symphonic Attunment is a way to claw your way back.

my next major post will be a bunch of rituals for Focus.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drop Bear View Post
That's why I make Theurgy a different but related animal to Sorcery being it's divine counterpart.

Sorcery being a Willful pursuit has become a Fallen undertaking (likely dragged in to Hell by the demonic), but Symphonic Attunment is a way to claw your way back.

my next major post will be a bunch of rituals for Focus.
I think the intent and idea is that there is no direct divine counterpart to Sorcery - as it is the exertion of human, not diabolical will, and implied to be a conscious extension of what humans already can do to the Symphony. Furthermore it's as much an ethereal pursuit as a diabolical one, in terms of what it concerns and affects, and canon already has Gabriel's pet cabal of sorcerers as well as a tiny number of sorcerer exorcists Laurence employs.

Ultimately, "whatever floats your boat" needs to be said depressingly often in this sort of argument, but I feel you are reducing the number and quality of games that can be run in your setting if you turn every case of Sorcery into an actual alignment flag rather than a mere strong correlation. The rules deliberately don't deny the idea of "I know God's will, I have the power, I must implement it!" being a sorcerer's mindset (though admittedly that sounds more like a Habbalite, unless they've actually tried angel summoning to get orders...)

Still following the thread for mechanics though, I might want to pillage them for actual sorcerers.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Along similar lines, I have been considering approaching sorcery less as another way of manipulating reality directly (which is what we have Songs for) and more as theurgy/goetia -- that is, invoking otherworldly forces to exert your will, rather than exerting some inner power. You don't get to learn any attunements or songs permanently yourself, but you may get to perform them as a conduit of some other being's power. Get on Heaven's good side, and you might get Archangels willing to let their names be invoked every now and then so you can use a limited version of their attunements or secret Songs. Sell your soul to Hell, and you get some Princes willing to give occasional access to their attunements and songs. And, of course, the beings MOST likely to be excited about this deal are the pagan deities, as they don't need to permanently gift an attunement, and can yank support away*at their whim, but they get a cheap way to let worshipers witness their power.

Like sorcery rules as written, though, it still requires a great deal of Will (or Perception, for theurgists..?), but I might waive the Sorcery attunement requirement in exchange for some recognition of increased risk: Anytime you invoke otherworldly powers, there's a chance you might catch some superior being on a bad day, and suffer negative effects in addition to what you asked for. (Ever read that Hellboy comic in which a magician asks for a favor from a demon, not realizing he's lost his protective symbol? Shortly after being safely sealed behind a wall, he's turned into an animal... As another demon had warned him, "His favors come at too high a price.")
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

I have little to add except let us think about how we interpret Symphonic Attunement.

Instead of conceiving it as being a karmic eraser, or writing your sorcerer deeds upon a palimpsest instead of a ledger, perhaps the GM can think of how these 5 pts have continuing in-game relevance. How about?: Being attuned to the screeching, gut-wrenching, noisome damage one does to the symphony through a grotesque force of will, one would be prone to be far more mindful about their uses of sorcery. If you want to go further, Symphonic Attunement gives you a spiritual GPS to choose your sorcery wisely, but you're still free to damn yourself -- basically making the initial 5 pts a "Symphony reader", with a clean slate thing that only kicks in upon death if you were actually mindful of the Symphony. In this way it's more than just palming off 5 CPs to wave away PC responsibility; it's an in-game tether that requires conscientious maintenance (and generates plot hooks! who doesn't like plot hooks! :D).

Does that sound more fun?
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:05 AM   #17
ISNorden
 
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drop Bear View Post
That's why I make Theurgy a different but related animal to Sorcery being it's divine counterpart.

Sorcery being a Willful pursuit has become a Fallen undertaking (likely dragged in to Hell by the demonic), but Symphonic Attunment is a way to claw your way back.

my next major post will be a bunch of rituals for Focus.


Cool deal! Your comments make me wonder, though: in an Ethereal-friendly game, should pagan magic become a third kind of power-wielding (distinct from both Sorcery and Theurgy)? In canon, I can see arguments for AND against this...
  • Typical pagan spirits are not Demon Princes, and most of them have little to do with Hell OR Heaven. They teach humans how to manipulate Ethereal Strands, from their viewpoint; such a different philosophy calls for different terms and rituals.
  • On the other hand, some ethereal pantheons have willingly chosen to side with Hell for various reasons; their "Dark Gray" magicians may not mind working with demons as allies of convenience. "Dark Gray" types would see pagan purists as Hell-bait living in denial, and the independent spirits of the Marches as future puppets of Beleth or Nybbas.

Even if you don't want a three-sided War like mine, fantasy fiction has some good examples of magically talented people who are determined to stay neutral; I could easily see a "Light Gray" type based on Saul, a character from Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

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Originally Posted by ISNorden View Post

Even if you don't want a three-sided War like mine, fantasy fiction has some good examples of magically talented people who are determined to stay neutral; I could easily see a "Light Gray" type based on Saul, a character from Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series.
Except that Saul is continually frustrated by the fact that he can't find a neutral power source to call upon ... on top of which, both his friend Matthew and Saul's guardian angel know whose side the "Witch Doctor" is on when the chips are down.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:38 AM   #19
tHEhERETIC
 
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Sorry to take so long answering all these threads, but work has kept me busy and I don't yet have internet at home. In fact, I'm supposed to be doing that right now, but here I am. One Essence each for Fleurity and Vapula.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISNorden View Post
That's exactly why I changed the rules for Theurgists/pagan Sorcerers and Interventions. To give Hell that much power over them (especially with friendly angels or Ethereals running interference) makes little sense: in the right mortal hands, "magic" can be wielded to thwart the aims of Hell, so demons shouldn't want to improve the results of an outsider's ritual.
It can be used for good, but IMHO it's still "My world, my rules." In my game the non-damned are so rare that younger, greener Malakim will kill one on sight, or at most get a friendly Sword-Seraph to make sure before whacking the poor unfortunate. Hell (forgive the pun), most angels will kill them or at least hound them out of town on the slightest excuse.

I also feel/play that a sorcerer who is not Hellsworn is still going to be very high maintenance for those friendly angels or Ethereals. The philosophy behind it is so selfish...so I can see wanting to build a Divine counterpart. Outside of priestly exorcists, though, I don't see how it would work. Kudos to your superior imagination then.

In a darker, lower contrast game the angels might decide that keeping a sorcerer on the straight-and-narrow isn't cost effective, and whack him as a precaution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegonthesane View Post
Ultimately, "whatever floats your boat" needs to be said depressingly often in this sort of argument, but I feel you are reducing the number and quality of games that can be run in your setting if you turn every case of Sorcery into an actual alignment flag rather than a mere strong correlation.
An extremely strong correlation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegonthesane View Post
I frankly feel it deeply damages the themes and intent of In Nomine if you have any way of selecting an afterlife destination other than "achieve Destiny" or "meet Fate". That being said before my group got the supplements clarifying that Hellsworn are damned because physics, we just kind of assumed Hellsworn were damned because "knowingly and willingly offering yourself to Hell in full knowledge of its agenda" was enough to make you count as Fated.
...
If that's doing it with Infernal Pact, fair enough, but being able to put the "your soul goes to Hell" wording into the fine print of Symphonic Awakening explicitly does not work, and should not work. In Nomine's entire "prove humans are/n't worthy of saving" conflict fails if there is any, any way to get into Hell where the blame does not rest squarely on the damned soul's shoulders. No matter how obscure.
That's where my real life gets in the way. Looking at the RL analog to an Oathtaking (and I suspect I'm not the only one here with this experience), I can very easily see an infernal oath slipped into the fine print. Let's say that during your ritual you're supposed to chant certain things, including promises to honor and serve a long litany of names. Now you've been told numerous times during your training that you don't ever promise something to a being you don't know, and you don't ever recite words you don't understand. Big Bozo no-no, yet here you are...in the middle of the ceremony, bonfire blazing, all your brother superiors around you with their ceremonial weapons, and you get handed a text that includes 20 names, only fifteen of which you remember reading about. Are you going to admit, in that place, that you didn't do your homework? Probably not. You're going to read the names, make the promises under peer pressure, and trust your (damned, all of them) brothers not to slip a Mickey into that list.

See how easy that was? The initiate is not an innocent--he knows not to say those words, but he folds under very considerable pressure. The blame falls squarely on his shoulders for trusting those idiots and putting himself in that position.

YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Along similar lines, I have been considering approaching sorcery less as another way of manipulating reality directly (which is what we have Songs for) and more as theurgy/goetia -- that is, invoking otherworldly forces to exert your will, rather than exerting some inner power. ...Like sorcery rules as written, though, it still requires a great deal of Will (or Perception, for theurgists..?), but I might waive the Sorcery attunement requirement in exchange for some recognition of increased risk: Anytime you invoke otherworldly powers, there's a chance you might catch some superior being on a bad day, and suffer negative effects in addition to what you asked for. (Ever read that Hellboy comic in which a magician asks for a favor from a demon, not realizing he's lost his protective symbol? Shortly after being safely sealed behind a wall, he's turned into an animal... As another demon had warned him, "His favors come at too high a price.")
Curiously enough, when I wrote my B.A. Philosophy paper, this is exactly where I drew the line between magic and prayer. One demands the universe do what you tell it, the other asks a greater being to bend the rules on your behalf. And yeah, very risky. I would treat it basically as a Rite in game mechanics, except you're calling something other than an AA/DP.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #20
Drop Bear
 
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Default Re: Theurgy & Thaumaturgy (new Sorcery rules)

Ok! Ritual time

Temporary Ward
(Terrenus Tutela) (Focus/2)

This ritual functions like the Ward Ritual but can be done much quicker (one round) but also has a much diminished duration (Focus X CD Rounds):

Time: 1 Round
Essence: The Check Digit




Spirit Ward
(Spiritus Tutela) (Focus/3)

Where Tutela (Ward) bars the "Form" of a Celestial or Ethereal Being, Spirit Ward protects against preternatural forces (alterations to the Symphony) like those caused by Songs, Sorcery, Resonance or Attunements, though not always a totally secure protection it dose abate all effects it dose not prevent completely, reduce the Check Digit of the effect by that of the Spirit Ward those effects without Check Digits are completely prevented. Spirit Wards protect a area (10ft) as normal Wards. Angles may circumvent this Spirit Ward as they would Tutela where Demons, Ethereals and Sorcerers may brake down the barrier with brute force as they would a Ward

Time: 15 minutes
Essence: The Check Digit




Temporary Spirit Ward
(Terrenus Spirtus Tutela) (Focus/4)

Like Temporary Ward this ritual is a much shorter duration version of the Spirit Ward Ritual, it functions as dose Spirit Ward but only for Focus by Check Digit rounds.

Time: 1 Round
Essence: The Check Digit




More to come.
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