Re: Mysticism

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 19:22:39 +0100 (BST)

Hi Nils. (Hi all.) Much enjoying this discussion. Useful, and unusal clarity.

> > > 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?

Well, clan champions, it says... It still seems very low to have them start kicking in at W1. Compare with theistic secrets, for example: theism is supposed to be 'quicker and easier', too. (Turn to the Dark Side, young apprentice...)

> My unwritten assumption was that the non-sleeping mystic
> instead spends most of the day meditating.

That 'feels' better. While they're meditating, they get gonzo bonuses to their Refute (or whatever), thereby being able to manage a greater difficulty than otherwise.

> Refute need for clothes/shelter: w
> Refute sleep: w2
> Refute aging: w3
> The exact levels are open for debate of course.

I'd up 'em. We're talking temporary refutation, though, right? I presume that for example, you start off refuting sleep for a week, say, etc, etc. Eventually, if you're NiangMao, you end up refuting the need to eat for 1000 years, etc. So that ought to be factored in, too... (If I'm making sense.)

> > 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.

Not sure I really see the distinction. Doesn't the latter imply the former, at least in practice? Mechanic-wise, if we had fixed resistances, and just different 'applicabilities' depending on what philosophy/counter you were using, that'd be fine. (Though I think some of these 'sit-mods' would be very high, in cases.)

> 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?

Oops, yes. I should read properly before I type! But, GMTA! (FSD.)
> 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.

Indeed. Desire of all sorts is a biggie. Material cravings, emotional attachment, yadda-yadda. Better to do it school by school, than in the round, or by an orthodox/manifest split. When I'm feeling inspired, I'll have a go for NiangMaoism. Maybe Darudism, if I get a real rush of blood to the head. The more 'manifest' schools will tend to be very different in terms of what you should be 'refuting' (or equivalent).

> > > > 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.

But I think this is true of many 'manifest' schools too. Just different in the details. For example, look at Nenduren: Stillness is very much this sort of effect, but my head explodes when I try and work out whether it's 'manifest' or not. So I'm happier just to say they do do something like this, and worry as little as possible about the whys and wherefores.

I agree not all manifest traditions would do such things. Plus almost certainly they tend to do it less well than the more orthodox: because they're straying into spiritual error/sacrificing their own personal progress for the sakes of others and the cosmos/ suffering chronic skill dilution/other reason.

> 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.

I agree with the thought, just quibbling with the exact domain.

> > 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...

Well, true. But if one considers RW comparisons like Theravada/ Mahayana, then I think what I'm saying is broadly true. (Y)GMV...

> > > > > Different schools
> > > > > teach different effects. This is where the eagle talons and
> > > > > the lightning bolt ridem fit in.

> > Cool effects for what tradition(s)?
> The Eagle Claw Monks and [insert good name] martial arts school?

Eagle Claws Monks? *stage rubbernecking* What Eagle Claw Monks?

> > > 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...

Perhaps. This is one 'good' thing about the Strike mechanic in HW: the more advanced the mystic, the more powerful the strike, the bigger the 'backlash' if it fails.

> 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.

Right. I shall ponder this intent (wish rules always had an attached intent this clear), and see what springs to mind.

> > > 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:

OK. It had better be worth it, though! ;-)

> 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?

Makes an intuitive sort of sense.

Slán leat,

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