Re: Mysticism

From: Nils Weinander <nils_w_at_...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 16:03:14 +0200


(Where mystics gain immunities in my rules)
> >
> > Hmm w3 is Hero level, isn't it?
> 'Hero' is such a slippery term... Orlanthi tribal champions
> and the like are W3. Never sleeping seems an odd thing for every
> W2 mystic in the world to have...

According to the table in the HW rule book, 10w3+ is the Ethilrist & Gunda level, tribal champions are 10w2? My unwritten assumption was that the non-sleeping mystic instead spends most of the day meditating.


David Cake:
> How about we get the HW rules to buy us a little flexibility
> here - rather than setting arbitrary breakpoints at which abilities
> can be gained, lets set difficulties for Refuting various things.
> Ie Refute need for clothes is against a difficulty 14w1 (or
> against d+20), refute need for sleep, or food, or drink is D+40, etc.
> This means we know how to use it when a mystic uses their 'no need
> for sleep' ability against the Chalana Arroys sleep spell etc.

That's of course a much better rule. So, if you keep the levels I set:

Refute need for clothes/shelter:	w
Refute sleep:				w2
Refute aging:				w3

The exact levels are open for debate of course.

> > But you don't have to go around naked just because you
> > _can_. It's more about reduced vulnerability to the
> > material world.
> The material world has innumerable aspects to it; it seems to me
> to be logical for different schools to have different 'focus'
> on which parts to ignore. The above seems to me to be the sort of
> thing the conventional harsh ascetic type would 'go for'. Martial
> artists are more likely to 'acquire' reduced vulnerability to the
> points of the material world that are pointy, and tend to be
> inserted into people, etc.

I think you gain the ability to refute any manifestation of the material world without such differentiation, but different schools emphasize the importance of different parts. If you want a difference which is more palpable at the game level, different schools could have different modifiers on refuting different aspects. Is that what you are after?

So for a list of material aspects, we have so far clothes/shelter, sleep, aging, injury. Additional ones I can think of are sex drive & fear.

> > > > For each w the orthodox mystic has in the mystic philosophy,
> > > > all opponents receive a -1 handicap in all contests against
> > > > the mystic.
> > >
> > > That seems a little modest, esp. at high levels.
> >
> > I thought so too. I was pondering a geometric scale:
> > w1 = -1
> > w2 = -3
> > w3 = -6
> > w4 = -10
> > etc.
> Much better. (Though that was quadratic, btw, rather than geometric:
> excuse my inner maths pedant.)

My math is more than a little rusty...

> > > Also, I'm
> > > doubious about the idea that it applies only to 'orthodox'
> > > guys, with all the demarcation disputes and semantic quibbles
> > > that implies...
> >
> > I wanted to give the orthodox guys something unique and useful...
> Utility? I fear you mire yourself in the material, glasshoppah. ;-)
> Seriously, though, any concession to something useful, other
> than surity of achieving Liberation, is ipso facto evidence
> of 'manifestness'.

Not very well put by me... Not useful as in useful for personal gain, rather as in game mechanically discernable. Orthodox mystics, by focusing on refuting the world should be increasingly less "there", increasingly more detached and hard to influence in any way. My thought was that an automatic handicap to opponents is a way to show this non-active advantage. It is in no way manifest as the mystic doesn't do anything to make it happen. It's an expression of his detachment.

> In any case, I'm certain that the line is both blurry and wobbly.
> The cosmic justification of 'manifest action' is, after all,
> that which is necessary to achieve one's own (or another's)
> liberation.

I suspect that we won't solve the "orthodox/manifest difference or not" issue here and now, and the mechanic may not be that necessary anyway, since orthodox mystics are unlikely player heroes...

> > > > Different schools
> > > > teach different effects. This is where the eagle talons and
> > > > the lightning bolt ridem fit in.
> > >
> > > I'd rather use the 'whitespace is your friend' approch to that
> > > particular rulebook statement, I have to admit. :-/
> >
> > I think these are cool effects, so I'd like to see a way to
> > implement them.
> Cool effects for what tradition(s)?

The Eagle Claw Monks and [insert good name] martial arts school?

> > My thinking was that the more advanced you are in the
> > mystic philosophy, the greater the fall is.
> I don't see that it has that affect though, does it? Rather it just
> seems to make it a totally flat chance, other than due to the
> vagarities of the scale.

True, so the difficulty should actually increase as you advance then...

> > The lesson is that I'm too lazy to do the statistics... Change
> > that so that Complete defeat means -1 to the ability and so
> > that Marginal victory means success.
> That means the chance of success is now 50% or less (depending on
> how big a malus you've self-inflicted), but the chance of loss of
> points is miniscule.

Well, whatever fits the statistic in the end. The intention is not to screw over mystic characters, but to inflict a burden which takes time if nothing else to resolve. I want the risk of loss rather small, but the purification necessary and time-consuming.

> > Another idea is that this "fall from grace" can be treated
> > as a Flaw, and bought down with HPs
> That would work, though it sounds _very_ expensive, at first
> wink...

Yes indeed, a better idea is that you can avoid entanglement by spending a Hero Point when the magic effect is used. This is smilar to Keith's idea:

> The idea then, is that during a contest the mystic ability* is tested against
> something** before an exchange, success giving the character a Bump Up, as if
> he had spent a Hero Point. The character would also gain a 'Negative Hero
> Point' , being in debt,entangled in the world of temptation.

But I think a magic effect is more fun than just a bump.

> But : This is a deep point of Mysticism : that it must be the opposite of the
> Manifest, and in game terms as well. The Mystic should ideally be someone who
> sees past the Illusion of other characters' (or other entities') 'hero-stuff',
> and who can increasingly interact (until he finally understands the Ultimate)
> with those that have Manifest super-powers AS IF those powers were
> (as they are) illusory, non-existent, and unreal.
> So, a Mystic should probably generate Negative Action Points versus
> Entanglements in the Manifest.

Hmm, perhaps this could be a return of my auto-handicap idea, i.e. negative edge rather than negative AP. To make that mechanic a bit more palatable, what about letting the mystic inflict a handicap on opponents, using the same table you use for getting edges for yourself?

Nils Weinander
The world is a beautiful place and it's worth fighting for

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