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> Mentalists, Another new magic tradition
Serbitar
post Nov 13 2006, 02:00 PM
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I came up with this some time ago. Maybe somebody likes the concept. I invented them because I wanted to have a possession tradition with a scientific view of the world.

Concept: Mentalists are very similar to to hermetic mages concerning their rational approach to the astral world. But where hermetic mages try to study the aspects of magic in the material world, mentalists focus their science on the human psyche and intelligent minds in general.
Mentalists see the mind as the fifth element. This view is also accepted by many hermetic mages, though with a slightly different weighting, as mentalists claim that the mind is superordinated to the other four elements. Mentalists specialize in this single aspect of the magic world to a point where they disregard the physical world and the correlated spirits as inferior.
The mentalists share the hermetic mages scientific view of the world, though their research is mostly related to the study of intelligent beings, psychology, sociology and other arts, but also includes mind related natural sciences like neurology.

(After writing the tradition I found them very much like psychohistory from Isaac Asimov)

Attribute: Logic
Tradition: Possession

Combat: Guardian (Combat, resistance of the mind, willpower)
Detection: Task (detection as a task, technical challenge, scientific aspect of insight through experiment)
Healing: Fire (Mens sano in Corpore sana, Soul, Fire as the physical representation of the mind)
Illusion: Guidance (Guidance from others as illusion, principle of skepticism)
Manipulation: Man (human mind as changeable and alterable substance)

Mentalists almost never have mentors.
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PlatonicPimp
post Nov 13 2006, 03:34 PM
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I don't know. I'm not feeling it's anima. I kinda get the gist of what you are trying to do here, but it hasn't seemed to come together yet.

For example, you mention is their description that "the mind is superordinated to the other four elements." Yet of those four elements, only fire is represented in the spirit choices.

I'd go with a more Fruedian explanation of spirits for this tradition. Instead of spirits being summoned from somewhere else, they are repressed aspects of the psyche. when you allow a spirit possession of your body, you are actually releasing your superego, or Id, or whatever. You can do this for to others, releasing their subconcious mind's aspects for them. Of course, this tradition wouldn't allow possession of inanimate objects, which is probably some sort of geas.

Combat: Guardian (your Id, released from the bounds of your superego to take out your antisocial urges on others.)
Detection: Man (Your Superego, the strictures, rules and mores of your society given manifestation. The superego is formed from your perceptions of others. Your superego is also what taps into the akashic record)
Healing: Guidance (Your own past lives, brought to the surface. Since past lives are often the source of trauma in this life, facing them is ultimately a healing experience.)
Illusion: Task (Your ego, free of the restrictions of the superego and the base urges of the Id. Since the ego is really formed from the interactionn of the superego and Id, it's very existance, the existance of the self, is ultimately an illusion.)
Manipulation: Air (Traditionally the element of the mind, it also makes for a good poiltergiest or other simple "force spirit." This is your mental abilities removed from the control of any aspect of your personality. )


That's just the bullshit psychology that I can pull out of my ass, a little research would go a long way on this one. But with the name Mentalist, bullshit psychology is just what the doctor ordered.
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Serbitar
post Nov 13 2006, 03:51 PM
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The fire elemental does not represent the element fire, but the soul. The "bodily part of the mind".
They four elements are completely left out in this tradition, as the mentalists just totally neglect this aspect of the world. Thus, the spirits are different representations or aspects of an intelligent mind, which can work or be worked on.

A mentalist can not deny the fact that spirits are summoned from somewhere, as this can be kind of "scientifically proven" in the SR world, and they also act as individuals in astral space.
I think that a "real" scientific oriented tradition should not be able to disregard things that are obviously true in the SR4 universe.
The MAD scientist profession, as presented in this forum, would never fare for a real scientific tradition, as it denies obvious truth. In this case, that magic can be worked without "magic machines" (Though I really like the concept very much).
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PlatonicPimp
post Nov 13 2006, 04:27 PM
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Well then, I feel you need a different name for the tradition, because Mentalist suggests mind powers, psychology, and the like, whereas your description is more the "scientific mage." It simply doesn't have the feel in the execution that the name evokes, which is a big problem for magical traditions. The concept for a new magic tradition needs to be strong and immediately identifiable, or else it washes out and seems like just a new set of rules. The best magic traditions are so engrossing in description that you forget to read the rules section at first.

I'd say that the mentalist I'm suggesting doesn't disregard that some spirits come from somewhere else, just that his spirits don't.

Keep at it, I'm sure you can get the fluff worked out. Just remember that the fluff of the new tradition is really more important than the rules, it needs to be strong and clear in intent.
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ChicagosFinest
post Nov 13 2006, 05:20 PM
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Try the name Scientologist :D that might work out for you better
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PlatonicPimp
post Nov 13 2006, 10:37 PM
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A scientoligist's tradition wouldn't use logic, that's for damn sure.
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