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> Christian Totems, Could angels be used as such?
DrJest
post Nov 24 2004, 04:38 PM
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I had an idea for Doc Funk's DIMR campaign, and it led me into this line of thinking. In the various forms of Christian theology, the archangels and angels are assosciated with particular concepts and ideals. Switching back to real life for a moment, I and some others I am aware of practice a form of Christian magic in which we appeal for assistance not to Gods but to the archangels.

Switching back to SR, this strikes me as a valid concept for totemic magic. I know I'm way behind the SOTA, so to speak, so this may have been done, but the sort of thing I am looking at would be:

Michael
Michael is God's Soldier, the warrior who expelled the rebellious Lucifer from Heaven. He is direct and to the point, and does not concern himself with matters of celestial politics. Michael loves the fight, and tends to be hotheaded.

Favoured environments
Anywhere battle is joined.

Advantages
+2 dice for casting Combat spells; +2 dice for conjuring Spirits of Man.

Disadvantages
Although not subject to berserk, followers of Michael are reluctant to leave even a losing battle. A Michaeline must make a Willpower (6) test to leave a fight; the TN is modified down by wound penalties, not increased - Michael is wise enough to know that a dead soldier helps nobody.
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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 04:43 PM
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I don't see the Domain being balanced.
I would see it more as
"Where honorable battle is joined"
No help in an ambush, but if you challenge a gang leader in the hopes of bringing peace to a city block, he's by your side.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 24 2004, 04:45 PM
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Christian magic is handled, at least somewhat, in the Knights Templar chapter of Threats 2. They're basically hermetics who see their elementals as angels (to really dumb it down). They even talk about Michaelline knights in there.
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DrJest
post Nov 24 2004, 04:46 PM
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Nikoli: Fair point, domain was the thing giving me the most trouble in that.

Doc: I know that Christian magic has been mentioned before, but has Christian totem magic been specifically described? I'd hate to waste my time on something that has been done, since it would undoubtedly have been done better :)
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 24 2004, 04:48 PM
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Nope, it's all be done as hermetic.

~J
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DrJest
post Nov 24 2004, 04:50 PM
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OKay then.

So, addressing the original point, do you feel that SR-style totemic magic fits into the Christian magical situation? (I'm too biased, since that's what I practice myself)
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Backgammon
post Nov 24 2004, 04:50 PM
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I like it. I also see Xtian magic as more hermetic, but you could have totemic followers. Might be a but of a heresy, though.

For disadvantages, I would not lower the TN with wound penalties. Keep it at 6, regardless. Xtians are real big on self-sacrifice.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 24 2004, 05:05 PM
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Totemic Christian magic would be more appropriate for religious zealots. Southern Baptists, Snake Handlers, "Fire and Brimstone" Preachers, and so on and so forth. It's very doubtful if any Angelican, Orthodox, or Catholic types would be shamanic in nature, doubly so if they were trained by the church. They would follow a very strict and regimental hermetic tradition.

A hermetic mage, possibly even aspected towards or specialized in Elemental Fire (for game effects), with the Combat Monster flaw would be most appropriate for your concept.
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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 05:30 PM
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I dunno, prayer to various saints and angels, that sounds like Totemic moreso than Hermetic to me
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 24 2004, 05:33 PM
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What's prayer have to do with anything? That's just an Incantation geas. Religion does not equal Shamanic magic.
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Backgammon
post Nov 24 2004, 05:35 PM
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If I remember my xtian teachings, you pray to saints to implore jesus (or God, I forget) for you, since no one listens to you, puny mortal. They act as a PR layer between you and God, since you can't talk to god yourself.

But going the extra step and "idolizing" a saint, asking for HIS help specifically is like saying you don't need God? I dunno, a Xtian would probably know more about this stuff. Smells like heresy to me.
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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 05:39 PM
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Well, not to get off on a tangent but the very idea that you need an intermediary between you and God/Jesus is heretical. They call it the New Covenant for a reason. But that's beside the point.

And while Shamanisnm in SR is not a religion, it's not like you are asking the Saint to do it for you, it's still the same methodology. You ask the Saint, the Saint asks God, God delivers, provided you are not found naughty in his sight and your enemies snuff it.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 24 2004, 05:41 PM
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Black Magicians call upon dark powers as part of their rituals and spellcasting, too... but they're still Hermetic.
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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 05:45 PM
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Fair enough. I just think there is room for either in the Church.
Like Gnosticism and Catholicism... oh wait, that doesn't work either...
bugger
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Catsnightmare
post Nov 24 2004, 06:14 PM
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Look at the Idols of MitS. There are some descriptions in the Paths of Magic section of MitS (pages 20-somthing IIRC) that tell of shamanic christian magicians who follow the the various Idols in the form of the Patron Saints.
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lspahn72
post Nov 24 2004, 06:50 PM
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Really though, there is ALOT of difference in Christian figures between differnt types of Faith....Being raise catholic (no comments or flames please), you could have lot of totems assocaited with Saints, Angles, Holy Mother, and the Trinity. With other areas of christianity you may want to have different hands of faces of god because, and this is just my expereince, they tend to be only Jesus oriented and not really inclinded to go with old test stuff... Such as: the Healing Hand, Love, the creator....

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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 06:53 PM
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I can only see one reason why the Designers of the game went with Hermetic as opposed to Totemic in the game mechanics:
Totemic borders on religion, even in vague notions.
Most folks (think lowest common denominator here) don't like how "their" God would have been depicted. The Hermitic tradition nicely remove the religion aspect and leave it as 'fluff' instead of mechanic
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Garland
post Nov 24 2004, 07:04 PM
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I kind of looked at the Idol totems as being decent fits for various saints or aspects of God. In the early christian church, the reverence of saints made it easier for converting pagans to get into the religion.

Like Funk says, religion doesn't have to equal shamanism. But it can.
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littlesean
post Nov 24 2004, 07:05 PM
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Would your religious beliefs affect how your Magic manifested? What if you are a recent convert and the whole mythology of your chosen religous path was still vague, how much control would you have over what you became?

For example, if you are born and raised Catholic, and accept it wholeheartedly, would you manifest your power as a religous flavored hermetic? What if you don't? What if the your power is available to you through emthods that The Church frowns upon?

However, what if you were sort of apathetic about religion most of your life, but when you were 16, Mormon missionaries knoecked on your door and you became one. Would you then express your magic along those lines?

(On an aside, if you are familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, how do you think they would express?)

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Garland
post Nov 24 2004, 07:14 PM
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Depends. If you want to use that theory, then if one is a scriptural scholar or really into the philosophy and theology of the Church, then hermetic would be a fine fit.

On the other hand, if it was the cosmology of saints and angels that was what appealed the person Awakening to magic, or maybe they felt a special kinship with one saint, or angel or whatever, then an idol shaman might be more appropriate. Mexican Catholics often accord special emphasis on the Virgin Mary, so one might become a Dove shaman, or Great Mother shaman or something.
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Nikoli
post Nov 24 2004, 07:16 PM
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Well said Garland
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Garland
post Nov 24 2004, 07:19 PM
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Guess that Catholic education was good for something, then.

Also had a weird thought about an Erzulie houngan who was obsessed with Mary Magdalen. Didn't work as well since Erzulie is a specific entity, rather than a totemic concept.
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JaronK
post Nov 24 2004, 07:55 PM
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I'd say combine the rules for hermetics and shamen. Christian mages, I'd say, would be studying books for their magic, but it would be Christian books... old bibles, works by ancient priests, that sort of thing. So in that way, they'd be like hermetics. And they might use lots of conjuring materials... holy water, crosses, and the like. But I could certainly see them getting totem modifiers like a shaman, based on which saint their branch of Christianity followed most closely.

JaronK
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Guest_Crimsondude 2.0_*
post Nov 24 2004, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (Garland)
Guess that Catholic education was good for something, then.

Also had a weird thought about an Erzulie houngan who was obsessed with Mary Magdalen. Didn't work as well since Erzulie is a specific entity, rather than a totemic concept.

Why? Given the remarkable amount of Catholicism infused into the bastard religions created by mixing Catholic, native, and African slave beliefs it seems perfectly reasonable to me.
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audun
post Nov 24 2004, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Nope, it's all be done as hermetic.

That isn't totally correct. I believe there are some references in MiTS that Christian Idols is possibility. Trad witches (SOTA2064) are often Christian, and SOTA 2064 also mentions shamanistic Christians. There are no direct rules for them though.
As for playing shamanistic Christians I belive it would be more probable that they follow Saints than Archangels, maybe as one of the Idols in MiTS. Many saints are little more than pagan gods adapted by Christianity (I hope I can say that without insulting anyone. It's a folkloristic approach).
New Age-like "spiritual" approaches to shamanistic Christian magic would also most likely be something one would see in the Sixth World.

Synner is probably one to elaborate on this, if reads this thread.
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