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> Theurgic mentor spirits, Additional mentor spirits from my campaign
The_Vanguard
post Feb 17 2009, 03:44 PM
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This is kind of an addendum to this thread: Hermetic mages with mentor spirits?, Just seems odd to me.

I've just made christian theurgic mentor spirits for my campaign because my players had a little disagreement with a "modern inquisitor" kind of guy and I thought I'd share them with you. Comments and critique welcome.

Archangel Michael
Advantages: +2 for Combat spells, +2 to Banishing tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to ignore a challenge or insult to himself or his faith

Archangel Gabriel
Advantages: +2 to Detection spells, +2 to Manipulation spells
Disadvantages: Suffers -4 to all magic tests after having told a lie (until rectified)

Archangel Raphael
Advantages: +2 to Health spells, +2 to Binding tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to abandon a friend

Archangel Uriel
Advantages: +2 to Detection spells, +2 to Counterspelling tests
Disadvantages: -1 to all tests as long as the magician refuses to act against a percieved wrong

The Angelic Choir
Advantages: +2 to Guidance spirits, +2 to Arcana tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to act against the command of a superior
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Heath Robinson
post Feb 17 2009, 04:18 PM
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Can't you just refluff existing mentors? It seems a better way than creating entirely new tradition specific mentors. The Saints and Angels have been attributed many different traits so it's not like you cannot focus on one small aspect to the exception of others and still call it the same thing.

Furthermore, there's a lot of SR fluff about Mentors being real beings that have attributable goals. The idea that theurgy has their own set of unique mentors leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of that.
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pbangarth
post Feb 17 2009, 04:26 PM
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Why does this bother you, HR? Every Mentor in the books is drawn from some archetype associated with one or more mythological system. Why should Theurgy not have a few linked to its own worldview?
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raggedhalo
post Feb 17 2009, 04:49 PM
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I agree with Heath. Many other traditions have got their own twists on Mentor Spirits listed on pg.183-184 of Street Magic -- why should theurgy be so special that they get extra rules as well as changed fluff?

Just adapt the descriptions of existing ones.
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The_Vanguard
post Feb 17 2009, 05:01 PM
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QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Feb 17 2009, 05:49 PM) *
I agree with Heath. Many other traditions have got their own twists on Mentor Spirits listed on pg.183-184 of Street Magic -- why should theurgy be so special that they get extra rules as well as changed fluff?

Just adapt the descriptions of existing ones.



Bear, Oak and Moon Maiden, among others, are pretty tradition-specific. However, I actually tried to convert existing Mentor Spirits at first but couldn't match them close enough to my personal vision for comfort, so I decided to create new ones. One could go the other way around, of course, and just file the theurgic serial numbers off - i.e. changing my "Archangel Michael" to "The Stalwart Defender" or something.

I don't know how it's possible to change the fluff without posting any fluff, though.

QUOTE (Heath Robinson)
Furthermore, there's a lot of SR fluff about Mentors being real beings that have attributable goals. The idea that theurgy has their own set of unique mentors leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of that.


There is no official ruling on this and just as much fluff that says that this is all just in the magician's head. Even if you want it to be differently in your campaign you could still declare the theurges as Magical Oddities and make an exception for them.
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GreyBrother
post Feb 17 2009, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Feb 17 2009, 05:49 PM) *
I agree with Heath. Many other traditions have got their own twists on Mentor Spirits listed on pg.183-184 of Street Magic -- why should theurgy be so special that they get extra rules as well as changed fluff.


Why not? It's surely not about being "special" or anything, but maybe there is something about using the Dragonslayer that seems "unfitting" in The_Vanguards eyes.
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ornot
post Feb 17 2009, 06:08 PM
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My biggest concern about writing new mentor spirits is that a given player will want to tailor their own mentor spirits. I already have concerns about players tailoring their own tradition, leading to imbalances.

Of course, as a GM one can simply forbid it, but that can lead to friction between the GM and the player, which is uncomfortable, and the more you flat out forbid stuff the badder the taste left behind.
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Heath Robinson
post Feb 17 2009, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (The_Vanguard @ Feb 17 2009, 05:01 PM) *
Bear, Oak and Moon Maiden, among others, are pretty tradition-specific. However, I actually tried to convert existing Mentor Spirits at first but couldn't match them close enough to my personal vision for comfort, so I decided to create new ones. One could go the other way around, of course, and just file the theurgic serial numbers off - i.e. changing my "Archangel Michael" to "The Stalwart Defender" or something.

I don't know how it's possible to change the fluff without posting any fluff, though.

It may be me, but I don't instantly think "Native American Shamanism" when I hear of Bears or Oaks. They have identifiable general traits that speak to people of all worldviews. The Moon Maiden archetype is described as representative of the night sky, which is significantly harder to imagine animate by itself.

I don't see them as tradition specific. Bears, Oak, and the Moon/Night exist as imagery in all kinds of cultures. They're general symbols. If you had begun with the serial numbers filed off and then attributed them to various figures in Christianity then I would have significantly less aversion to this. The concepts behind the various Saints and Angels are not universally known and using their names in place of understandable archetype names is obfuscating their meaning for the purposes of refluffing.

For a start, I'm not a Christian. I don't know who the hell Saint Michael is. Frankly, I'm not going to care right up until the point where I decide to play a Theurgist.
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The_Vanguard
post Feb 17 2009, 09:12 PM
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Actually, I originally only wanted to discuss the rules for my Mentor Spirits. That's why I didn't bother to post the fluff for it. But now I've thought about it and yes, I have to agree that it's better (design-wise) to start them off as universal archetypes and then add on the option to use them in theurgy.

Thanks for the excellent input, everybody - especially Heath Robinson.

Ok, how's this for a change?

The Stalwart Defender (may be used as Archangel Michael)
Everything flows, nothing is eternal – but love does not want to let go. The Stalwart Defender is the antithesis of change, sworn to protect his chosen Status Quo from any influences. Deep in his heart he knows that the now is superior to anything that could come after, and so he dedicates himself fully to this cause. This captain is really going down with his ship when all fails. However, on the other hand followers of the Stalwart Defender have no trouble to disregard any criticism, no matter how constructive and sound.
Advantages: +2 to Combat spells, +2 to Banishing tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to ignore a challenge or insult to himself or his faith

The Messenger (may be used as Archangel Gabriel)
The Messenger is someone who builds a bridge between individuals, allowing their thoughts and emotions to cross the gap between them. This is an art, a science and a dangerous endeavor all rolled into one. The Messenger is constantly faced with the danger that he could be responsible for vital elements becoming lost in translation, or that one party might not like the message and hold him responsible for it. Someone who wants to dedicate himself to the Messenger therefore needs the unshakeable believe that the truth will always prevail.
Advantages: +2 to Detection spells, +2 to Manipulation spells
Disadvantages: Suffers -4 to all magic tests after having told a lie (until rectified)

The Companion (may be used as Archangel Raphael)
The first rule of society is that no man is an island, but only few are willing to pay the price for this. Instead, they resort to manipulation, oppression and exploitation. The Companion is the antithesis to this. He stands for mutual commitment and honest dedication according to the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This means a lot of self-sacrifice and hardships, of course, so those who follow this path are frequently in danger of losing themselves or tempted to exploit the trust others put in them.
Advantages: +2 to Health spells, +2 to Binding tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to abandon a friend

The Arbiter (may be used as Archangel Uriel)
Judge, jury and executioner all in one, the arbiter is a paragon of order and justice. His duty might seem simple, but his responsibility weighs great. If he fails just once, people will hate him just as much as the criminal he failed to apprehend, or regard him as a monster when he condemns an innocent. However, a real Arbiter has sworn to right any wrongs he encounters and will not stop even when he has to act against himself. He is willing to sacrifice his present for a better future for all.
Advantages: +2 to Detection spells, +2 to Counterspelling tests
Disadvantages: -1 to all tests as long as the magician refuses to act against a percieved wrong

The Sage (may be used as Angelic Choir)
Closely related to the archetype known as Owl, the Sage is also a bearer or wisdom but nowhere near as enigmatic. Instead, the Sage is an active promoter of knowledge that constantly seeks to enlighten those around him. However, this goes hand-in-hand with understanding and accepting his own place in life and adhering to the natural order of things. Followers of Sage typically try to lead by example and do not challenge existing hierarchies, hoping instead that their words and actions might make erring superiors think twice.
Advantages: +2 to Guidance spirits, +2 to Arcana tests
Disadvantages: Willpower+Charisma (3) test in order to act against the command of a superior
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pbangarth
post Feb 17 2009, 09:43 PM
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These look like an interesting set of Mentor Spirits. it is pretty clear to me, still, that they are a connected group of entities, and that it appears you have a particular kind of team in mind for play in your campaign, as might a GM who is running a DocWagon or a police campaign. This of course is just fine.

The descriptions are good and allow for useful roleplaying hooks. As with the originals in SR4 and SM, there are different levels of advantage in the Advantages and different levels of disadvantage in the Disadvantages. It would be hard to completely balance -any- 5 different Mentor Spirits.
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hazemyth
post Feb 18 2009, 01:39 AM
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On the fluff side, might patron saints be more appropriate than angels?
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TheOOB
post Feb 18 2009, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (hazemyth @ Feb 17 2009, 08:39 PM) *
On the fluff side, might patron saints be more appropriate than angels?


That would depend on the exact type of theurgy you are performing, there is no one set way to perform christian magic, especially since many christian sects take a dim view of magical practices.

If you get a book about golden dawn rituals, you will see that they channel the elements(and their associated archangels) directally, and many of them find themselves attuned to one particular element(and it's associated archangel) and claim to perform that sort of magic better.
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The_Vanguard
post Feb 18 2009, 12:38 PM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Feb 17 2009, 10:43 PM) *
These look like an interesting set of Mentor Spirits. it is pretty clear to me, still, that they are a connected group of entities, and that it appears you have a particular kind of team in mind for play in your campaign, as might a GM who is running a DocWagon or a police campaign. This of course is just fine.


Thanks (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Well, I did this just for a single antagonist NPC (who has Gabriel as Mentor) but it evolved from there. If one of my players now goes "Hey, this guy was so cool, I want to play a renegade from his order as my next character" I'm well prepared.
While I like it that you feel that there is still cohesion between these archtypes, I think that I have made them universally enough that you can drop them into other backgrounds, too. Some examples:

Stalwart Defender: Heimdall (Norse), Cerberus (Greek)
Messenger: Hermes (Greek), The Minute Man (USA)
Companion: Patroclos (Greek), Comrade Lei Feng (Maoist)
Arbiter: The Anunna (Sumerian), Zhurong (Chinese)
Sage: The Oracle of Delphi (Greek), Buddha (Buddhism)

QUOTE (hazemyth)
On the fluff side, might patron saints be more appropriate than angels?


What TheOOB said (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) . Additionally, I think that most saints can be done with the existing Mentor Sprits quite well, so I didn't feel the need for new rules here. My suggestions:

St. Mary: Great Mother (you can argue about the spirit bonus though. Maybe change to spirits of man), St. Peter: Oak, St. Martin: Wise Warrior, St. George: Dragonslayer, St. Christopher: Mountain, any holy martyr: Phoenix.
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TaiChara
post Feb 19 2009, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (hazemyth @ Feb 18 2009, 02:39 AM) *
On the fluff side, might patron saints be more appropriate than angels?


All of the above, though angels, are saints.
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