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Temptations


89157Z
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A thought struck me. There aren't enough emotional states. I like the emotions system. I like the ephemeral yet valuable (and occasionally frightening) nature of them. Digging into the emotions to ward off bad ones and draw forth good ones is an exercise I find thought-provoking.

 

Then I thought of something else. There aren't enough consequences for Mastery and Gates. Obviously, we can all think of the big consequences that are being ignored, but I can think of some smaller ones as well. The idea of shortcutting, doing things that your skills permit but which you really shouldn't do, is something that I think can be aptly represented by emotions. Many of the pitfalls of 'bad' skills aren't in big things but in the accretion of shortcuts. It's similar to the way technical debt can doom software projects.

 

I suffer a pro-Gates bias and an anti-Mastery bias. These suggestions reflect those biases.

 

These effects aren't for beginners. Since they reflect the capabilities and temptations of serious study, they shouldn't kick in until fairly high skill levels. Also, characters with the Secrets and Silence background should be immune to the Gates emotions. Regardless of their stats, they adapted to such things years ago, and their sanity is no longer endangered (much).

 

 

Without further ado...

 

TEMPTATION OF MASTERY

You know Mastery. Maybe you don't let yourself use it for ethical reasons, or maybe you embrace it, but either way the temptation is present. If you don't clamp down on it, you're going to snap and make someone jump out a window one of these days.

 

This state increases your Mastery and Mastery Methods, but it damages your Charm, reduces your Stress Maximum, and wrecks your Temperance. Averting these feelings requires understandings of History, Planning, and Malice. If your sense of Ethics didn't keep you from studying Mastery, it won't protect you here. Learn to talk to darkness in its own terms or be your own greatest foe.

 

TEMPTATION OF GATES

There are a hundred little paths that nobody else sees, but you do. There are a thousand little voices that nobody else hears, but you do. Sometimes you walk on paths that aren't there. Sometimes you talk to things that aren't there. Sometimes you don't notice. Sometimes others do. Gates is an unstable magic. It's dangerous to even know these things exist.

 

Playfulness increases in this state, but being out of sync with reality costs you Insight and raises your Stress Minimum by a point. It also increases your Chance of Discovery. If you aren't willing to abandon your studies, Stress, Dispassion, and Espionage can all provide paths back to normality... or at least to a pretense thereof.

 

 

For those who meet the escape condition for Temptation of Mastery and who aren't Ethical, there's a Joy of Mastery emotion that reflects their embrace of the darkness. For those who meet the Espionage exit for Temptation of Gates and who have sufficient Creativity, there'd be a Joy of Gates emotion...

 

JOY OF MASTERY

Ethics are for people who can't make others obey their every whim!

 

Your study of Mastery is impeded only by a refusal to endanger your long-term plans. This unparalleled uninhibition gives you a small boost to ALL Mastery subskills at no cost at all. Ethics, or even just too much Religion, could ruin your fun. So could too much friendship.

 

Ugh, friendship. There's a magic you don't need.

 

JOY OF GATES

Espionage is the art of being five places at once while having ironclad alibis for all of them. Wonderfully enough, this can also describe Gates. Your skill at both makes you untrackable, reducing your Chance of Discovery. It also increases your Playfulness and Practical Jokes skill.

 

Just beware of Dispassion and Reason, lest they spoil your fun by reminding you of the risks you're taking.

 

 

These suggestions are all numberless because I don't know the correct numbers to use. I don't know what would be balanced. In addition to the requirements implied by the descriptions themselves, the Joy of Mastery emotion should probably require a certain degree of Insight, while the Temptation of Gates emotion should probably require Luck and Curiosity before it activates. For those who are less lucky or less curious...

 

SHADOWED

Your study of Gates is making you aware of things watching you, studying you, following you. Normal locations that you thought you understood have begun to sprout strange geometries. Your dreams have become incomprehensible or worse. Gates is an unstable magic. It's dangerous to even know these things exist.

 

Your Stress Minimum increases by a monstrous 3 points, and your Chance of Discovery goes through the roof as worried teachers try to 'help'. You gain an immediate skill step in Dispassion... and it's very tempting to discourage yourself from studying Gates entirely. This is only a phase though, right? Surely it will go away as your skills improve. Magic shouldn't rule wizards. Wizards should rule magic. Right?

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Maybe you could add in (high) Composure or Courage as a exit for Shadowed?

 

.....You say you are pro-Gates, but the Gates penalties look too severe compared to the Mastery penalties if you ask me. ;)

 

Courage would fit for Shadowed. Not really so much Composure. I'm pro-Gates in that I see Gates as having ethical and powerful uses, whereas I see Mastery as being pretty much ruinous. The applications of Gates are worldshaking; the applications of Mastery are worldrending.

 

That said, Gates is the school known for destroying its users, whereas Mastery is known for corrupting its users instead. That's why the Gates effects are more frightening. Mechanically, the Mastery effects are subtler.

 

There's also a theme to the Gates emotions. The safe, sane way to handle Gates magic is Dispassionately, as I imagine it. It's unstable magic. It's not safe to play with it, it's not safe to get emotionally invested, and it's not safe to let anything you encounter through it get under your skin. It has beautiful potential... but it's not a toy. Nobody cares if you use Negation to toy with gravity. That's widely understood, and if you mess something up, the Academy can help. Teleporting all over, on the other hand, could get you or others killed.

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*blushes* ups! Well, either way, the ideas are great! so mad props to you 89one5sevenZ

 

Thanks.

 

I have greatly enjoyed my randomly generated username on this forum, and been disappointed at the rarity with which I am mistaken for an AI. I was once tempted to change my username, but it would only have been to another random string.

 

 

 

Maybe some of the Gate related emotions should be different if you have the secret background or not. Because with the background your steps along Gates is guided in oposit to self teached without.

 

There are two gates backgrounds. Secrets and Silence and The Secret Heritage. I called out Secrets and Silence as probably preventing the development of any of these things. I'm not sure about The Secret Heritage. Would Schohanwick pay attention to these things? It's mostly at Academagia where it would lead you to act out. After all, Schohanwick is supposed to be a dimensionally-weird place. What about Eunycia?

 

It'd be pretty cool if visiting Eunycia under the effect of one of these emotions would trigger a scene where she notices and gives you helpful advice - or scolding, if you're on the Joy one.

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I have greatly enjoyed my randomly generated username on this forum, and been disappointed at the rarity with which I am mistaken for an AI. I was once tempted to change my username, but it would only have been to another random string.

 

I think it is your English and good grammar that ruins it for you. ;)

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Oh, thinking of this thread again...

I think the "true" pillars of magic are Incantation, Glamour, Revision, Enchantment, Incantation, and Gates. Deriving from this are countless specialties and hybrids, each of which are powerful in their own right, but none of which are components of what might be termed the unified theory of magic. If I'm right, then the proscription of Gates is a hideous blow to magical theory, since it would scramble most attempts at identifying unifying principles.

 

This isn't to denigrate hybrids and specialties. I would rate Astrology as flatly more powerful than Glamour, even though I classify it as a hybridization incorporating Glamour and Incantation. (The corresponding Astrology-Incantation comparison is not meaningful, due to widely divergent use-cases.)

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