Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: The Flow
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
The Flow
Concept: By attuning one's self to the Flow, one can see the small eddies in the Current and travel more easily along their Path, using the disciplines of different Shades.
Combat: Guardian
Detection: Air
Health: Water
Illusion: Fire
Manipulation: Beasts
Drain: Willpower + Intuition
The Flow is an instinctual (read as Intuitional) feeling that helps to guide its user through obstacles and towards goals. The Current is, essentially, life itself and the world one walks through. It can be taken to mean the entire universe, in essence. The Path is the life one lives; Awakened or not. Most beings travel in a clumsy, unsubtle way along their Path, which disrupts other Paths and is generally difficult to follow, and are thus called Riders because they have no control over the way in which their Path is traversed. A student (I'm thinking of naming them Divers or something) of the Flow, however, can traverse on his own Path past and through other's more easily and swiftly. Note that traveling along your Path swiftly does not mean that a low life expectancy, just a fuller one. In fact, it means having a longer life and seeing more things. "Speed" is determined by the number of objects of beauty you see (human faces, emotions, nature, etc.) and the number of revelations you experience.
Divers use magic in a slightly different way than other Awakened do. They follow various "Shades" of discipline, similar to different elements that other Traditions follow, and different spell categories fall under the different Shades. The discipline of Red uses Illusion spells, often to portray themselves in an intimidating or frightful manner to discourage Riders from crossing their path. Blue focuses on Healing spells, specifically those that Increase Reflexes, allowing them to move through the Current in slow-motion with fluid movements. Green focuses on Detection spells, giving the Diver insight into the Current and how best to transverse their Path. Yellow focuses on Manipulation spells, affecting the Diver's environment to create a better Current for their Path. Black, however, is a forbidden Shade. It is the Shade of a Rider, reckless, unsubtle. It focuses on Combat spells, something that most Divers consider to be destructive to the Current and other Paths. However, some aggresive followers of the Flow will study this Shade utilize it to "better" their Path.
Spirits are believed to be members of the "Lesser Swimmers", and Divers converge Paths with them to gain their assistance. While the term "Lesser" may seem negative, it is actually suggesting that they are not part of this Current, and do not require the same labor that the denizens of this Current have to undergo. Therefore, they have "Lesser" demands, and a kind and courteous Diver is more likely to be succesful when asking them to go through this Current's trials with him.
The Flow is an alien tradition to many metahumans, but after its founder and author released a dissertation and dissection of it to the web, many Chaos magicians have begun to study and implent it.

[I'd like to clarify a bit on spirits; the idea is that they are like the fish, krill, and plankton of the sea (the sea being like the metaplane of the Lesser Swimmers, which is their Current) and they have been called to our Current (the land being like our world). In this way, the whale shifter might consider himself to be akin to a Free Spirit, because he hails from the sea, which is akin to the Lesser Swimmer's Current. Comprende? It's sort of a metaphor. The sea is to the land as the Lesser Swimmer's Current is to ours.]

Common terminology:
The Flow: Magic or mana.
The Current: Humanity's plane, the world, where humanity's Paths travel.
The Path: A person's life and destiny, something that we are all traveling along.
Divers: Awakened who follow the Flow tradition.
Riders: Mundanes and Awakened who do not follow the Flow tradition. Those that are inconsiderate of other people (and their Paths) are called Reckless Riders, and some call them Cowboys. The terms are admonishing and derogatory, respectively. Those who are considerate of other people (and their Paths) are called Subtle Riders, and some call them Wranglers. Both terms are complimentary. Awakened who do not follow the Flow tradition are called Sleeping Divers or Sleepers, and the connotations for this term are neutral; the tone of the phrase, however, is usually obvious. Even a casual observer will know the difference between a Diver's reference to a Sleeper who follows, say, a Toxic tradition and one who is a Zen Buddhist.
Shades: Paradigms of thought within the Flow tradition. Each corresponds with a spell category.
The Terrain: Fate, circumstance. A Diver does not curse the Terrain, just as they do not curse their Path; these things are already determined.

Mentor Spirits:
Whale is the king of the Current. His rule is a benevolent one and his followers are many. He is not without rivals; most notably, Shark. He emphasizes the importance of following the disciplines of the (hyper-intelligent) Shade of Blue. When observed, his followers seem to travel in a fluid motion through a crowd, anticipating shifts in density and speed well before they happen. They claim to be able to move in such a way that their actions and those of the crowd surrounding them seem to slow down to a manageable crawl.
Advantages: +2 dice for Health spells, +2 dice for Water spirits.
Disadvantages: -1 die for Illusion spells, -1 die for Fire spirits.

Shark is the spear of the Current. His visage is so grim that even those most stalwart falter under his gaze. Only Whale is unaffected by his talents. He emphasizes the importance of following the disciplines of the Shade of Red. When observed, his followers seem to take the most straightforward route through a crowd; even Trolls take avoid crossing their path. They claim to be able to cast their countenance in such a way that they gain Shark's ability to intimidate.
Advantages: +2 dice for Illusion spells, +2 dice for Fire spirits.
Disadvantages: - 1 die for Health spells, -1 die for Water spirits.

Dolphin is the watcher of the Current. Her eyes see deep into the eddies of Paths, and deep into the eddies of souls. She needs only to see your face to know how you will travel your Path. She emphasizes the importance of following the disciplines of the Shade of Green. When observed, her followers seem to move around erratically through a crowd, but somehow break through the quickest of all other students of the Flow. They claim to be able to judge the intentions of each and every person in a crowd and act accordingly.
Advantages: +2 dice for Detection spells, +2 dice for Air spirits.
Disadvantages: -1 die for Manipulation spells, -1 die for Beast spirits.

Jellyfish is the manipulator of the Current. Her many fingers control the subtleties of Paths. She manipulates the Terrain (fate) for her own incomprehensible purpose. She emphasizes the importance of following the disciplines of the Shade of Yellow. When observed, her followers use their environment to their advantage, redirecting traffic flow to increase their traveling speed. They claim to be able to be able to control where other Paths lead by making subtle changes to the Current. Students of the Flow should note that, while this practice comes close to the taboo of disrupting another's Path, the subtlety used makes this skill almost admirable to followers of other Shades.
Advantages: +2 dice for Manipulation spells, +2 dice for Beast spirits.
Disadvantages: -1 die for Detection spells, -1 die for Air spirits.

Leviathan is the darkness of the Current. Its home is in the Underdark of the Current, the shadowed depths where no Path travels. It has no Path; it goes where it wills and has no respect for any other's Path. Sometimes he will abandon his lurkings to ravage the Paths of the Current, because it can. It emphasizes the disciplines of the Shade of Black, if you can even call them disciplines. When observed, its followers force their way through a crowd with a viciousness not rivaled by even the most lawless of Riders. They spit on the Flow, the Current, and their Path.
Advantages: +2 dice for Combat spells, +2 dice for Guardian spirits.
Disadvantages: Leviathan Divers are single-minded and confident to a fault, as well as sore losers. A Leviathan Diver must make a Willpower+Charisma (3) test to follow advice or orders that are not their own, or to accept a defeat gracefully.
(Is this stolen from the Dragon's disadvantages? Yup.)

<br />

Lately I've been obsessed with this idea of the Flow. It's this metaphysical thing I made up. It's sort of like the paradigm in which I travel through crowds. I went to a crowded high school in Chicago (wish I could effectively use that background knowledge as a setting in Shadowrun), and I...learned things. About how to make your way through a torrent of people marching in your direction. About how different people react differently to different walking tactics. About when it's appropriate to go left or to go right when you are approaching someone. I feel like I've gained this semi-conscious ability to read people superficially in such a way that I know how to walk past them. And, on a subconscious level, I think I am reading them subficially (What's the word? I want to use subcutaneously for the lolz. I also don't want to say spiritual, because that's not what I'm getting an understanding of. It's almost like I can read their face to establish their emotions, subconscious or not, and react to those.). I have come to call this back-of-the-brain activity the Flow. One who is attuned with the Flow can get through a crowd in a much shorter time than others. One who is disconnected from the Flow simply acts in a way that fits their life's paradigm (an arrogant jock would muscle his way through, a meek bookworm might try to skirt around the edges, etc.). But I also think that this idea has shades, at least in red and blue. Red meaning you know how to cast yourself in an angry or serious demeanor and use that to make people subconsciously avoid you, making a path, and blue meaning you are more evasive, looking for ways to sidle and juke your way through your Path. I think there might also be a green, too, where you look for holes in a crowd and jump through them. I know right now I sound like some kind of bloggin' loser basement dweller, and I'll admit that this is a fantasy of sorts, that my hippocampus and other whatnots are not engorged in the same way a bird's is for migration and flock insticts, but I still think it sounds cool. I don't actively meditate on how to better attune myself to the Flow or anything crazy like that, I just realize myself using fluid movements to go along my (P)path. I have also come up with a little theory that, in the long run, humanity is inversely proportionate to walking speed (in the same way it is to wealth, as suggested in Neuromancer). When you walk more slowly, you see more faces, encounter more people, events, emotions, and natural beauty, and become more in tune with yourself and others. That's why that snappy business man in a hurry is so out of touch with reality (that or his wealth). Seems like "stopping to smell the roses" and "taking the scenic route" are good ideas.

By the way, my suggestion for getting past a crowd -- stick to the walls.
lol i kinda like it, go with the flow
QUOTE (Pollux710 @ Nov 18 2010, 09:42 PM) *
go with the flow

Man I didn't even think of that phrase, that works really well with this concept. I'm gonna have to use that one.
That is a very nicely done bit of writting.

One of the things I'm having trouble with is the description of spirits. It was easy to correspond Shades to various spell categories, and a little less easy to assign spirit types to those categories. For example, I sort of flopped on the spirit types for Manipulation and Combat spells. I'm thinking about changing Manipulation's spirit type to Task spirits, and I want to use a toxic spirit type for Combat. And yet, even Zen Buddhist tradition has a spirit for Combat spells...
The Shade of Yellow is all about changing your environment to your advantage. But in the ocean, there's not really that much you can change, which is why the Terrain is such a failed name. So I can't think of how best to do this, but Task spirits seems like a good start.
Another problem is Black. If you're so selfish, why are you summoning a spirit to help you that rivals your power and assists you? Shouldn't you be able to do it yourself, mister high-and-mighty?
The concept is internally consistent, it adds flavour to the game system, and looks like fun to play. Good work!

(Geez: Does it look to you as much as it does to me that I've marked a few papers in my time?)
Heh, don't worry, professor, it's not that bad.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012