citrakayah: (Default)
It'll be on an invisionfree forum, geared towards members of the various online communities I'm part of.

A basic outline of how the game would work is below. Thoughts?

Differences from Core Rules:
* Here's how reality works, even for mages: There is an objective reality, with objective rules. Rules are not imposed by an evil organization, gravity has always and will always exist. What mages can do is instinctively find loopholes in reality, therefore getting around the laws of reality. Paradox happens when a mage tries going too far with one of these loopholes. The Weaver wishes to restrict or eliminate use of loopholes, the Wyld wishes to keep them open or expand their use. When lots of people are around, their disbelief in something can close the loophole temporarily in that location, or tighten it, causing a mage to get hit with Paradox.
* The Technocracy is less 'evil Men in Black' and more 'keep the mages from reversing gravity in Times Square'. Paradox only hits mages during their acts--a mage who reverses gravity in Times Square may be hit by Paradox, but gravity was still reversed in Times Square, and everybody remembers gravity being reversed. The point of the Technocracy, as a whole, is not to eliminate mages entirely but to act as a check on them (and to extend their scientific knowledge). Many of them, though, are overzealous, and the Technocratic leaders don't particularly mind them so long as it doesn't get really blatant.
* What the Technocracy does is, indeed, science. As mages find loopholes in the laws of reality, Technocrats instinctively know what those laws are, and how to get a given result (say, FTL communication) working entirely inside the laws of reality. Anyone, not just Technocrats or mages, can do what a Technocrat does; it's just incredibly difficult for them unless they follow a set of instructions--but only mages can do what mages do.
* Thylacines are, for some reason, exceptionally difficult to clone. In large part this is because whenever a Technocrat or Mage or Fera figures out how, a tonload of Banes go and try to kill them, but there are also innate metaphysical problems. The population of thylacines was so low that every single one was Kinfolk, and that left genetic abnormalities that can screw up the cloning process.

Setting: Boston.

Campaign Themes:
* identity, and struggling to maintain it when forces are going to be constantly pushing you to assimilate
* friendships and alliances between PCs that are frowned upon by their respective organizations
* trying to remain sane during what appears to be the end of the world

Places of Interest:
* Back Bay Fens- are larger and more wild than they are in the real world; Garou headquarters; home of the Sept of the Verdant Islands; has Caern of Gnosis
* New England Aquarium- used extensively by the Glass Walkers and Children of Gaia
* Museum of Science
* M. I. T.- Technocratic headquarters of Boston
* Natural History Museum- Progenitors have an underground lab space beneath it
* that place with all the artists and such
* Boston Public Library- often used as neutral ground

Character Creation:
* I'm allowing pretty much any species present in 2012. Hunters, Fera, mages, kinfolk, geniuses (yes, from Genius: the Transgression; it's compatible enough to work for a play-by-post), etc. You can also play a Technocrat. Technocrats have, instead of Spheres, Fields (biology, chemistry, etc.) and, instead of Arete, Intuition. I'm also allowing the fan-created content Simo (weredolphins), Uncia (were-snow leopards), and Ocelotl (were-ocelots). You cannot play a mummy.
* Things would probably work out better if the initial player characters knew each other in some context, preferably a moderately amicable one. That doesn't mean friends, though. This can also be 'friend of a friend', all the player characters don't have to know each and every single one of the other ones.
* Keep the themes in mind with character creation.
* I'm going to let people spend 15 dots in Attributes and 30 in Abilities. Categories are irrelevant.

Technocrats, Mages, and Consensual Reality:

I tossed the traditional vision of consensual reality out the window. Why? Frankly, I think it's a stupid idea, given the setting. Keep in mind that ether was, for a time, part of the Consensus and thus part of reality. Given the implications of [i]that[/i], that would mean that things like geocentricism, or creationism, used to be correct until enough people stopped believing in them. The problem, though, is convincing people of the validity of such things. People were convinced in the existence of evolution or geocentricism based on the evidence--and the number of people who believe in evolution is still low, comparatively. Nor could someone like Darwin have been a mage. The moment he believed his proof into existence he'd get smacked by Paradox. I'm sure the sourcebooks for M:tA have some rational for this, but I really don't care to buy half a dozen sourcebooks just so I can find their explanation for retroactive rewriting of reality.

Instead, I use loophole reality.

In this model, mages enjoy a rather secure metaphysical position. No matter how many people actively believe they don't exist, they will. The Weaver could get rid of them, but all but the thickest webs have holes. It also, to some degree, lessens their rivalry with the Technocracy. Neither is currently an existential threat to the other.

Technocrats, though, change the most radically. They are distinct from mages and defined by ability rather than membership. In this model, many famous scientists had Technocratic ability but not Technocratic membership. But far more people with Technocratic ability are laymen or DiY hobbyists whose creations can be found in the likes of Wired and Popular Science.

The unique ability of Technocrats is Intuition. At low levels of Intuition, it could easily be mistaken for basic cleverness--a Technocrat with low levels of Intuition might instinctively figure out a math problem despite not knowing the formula, for example. At higher levels, though, a Technocrat with dots in Materials and Physics could figure out how to bring an entire bridge crashing down by shooting it with a single rocket, a Technocrat with dots in Biology could figure out how to perform medical procedures with no training, and a Technocrat with dots in Chemistry could assemble explosives out of unfamiliar compounds simply by thinking for a few moments about their chemical make-up. All that is required is that it is possible to reach the desired result with known facts.

More importantly, Technocrats do this quickly. They don't have to jot down things on paper, or work something out--intellectual tasks that would normally take weeks, months, or years a Technocrat can complete in a matter of minutes or less. This isn't good for combat, of course. But a member of the Technocracy will have access to highly advanced technology or the ability to figure out how to build it themselves.

Fields are the Technocratic equivalent of Spheres--they are Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Astronomy, Psychology, Chemistry, Materials, Sociology, and Geology. A Technocrat can add one plus the relevant Field rating to any check concerning that knowledge in that Field, if they have any dots in it. For fields that would be in the domain of two Fields (paleontology is Biology/Geology, ecology is Biology/Sociology, engineering is Physics/Materials) use the lower of the two rankings or one, whichever is greater. For specific purposes this restriction may not apply--figuring out what a dinosaur ate, or if it was warm-blooded, is solely Biology, while determining relative age using the geological column is Geology.


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November 2016

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