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Chapter Five: Miracles

First Drafts

Some Goals

This is the most self-explanatory Chapter, really. There should be a short overview of the particularities of Infernal Charms, the Charms themselves, and, I would imagine, one or two Martial Arts styles. We should also figure out how to handle Sorcery or a Sorcery-equivalent.


Don't put anything in the first big header. Suggest and hash out topics here, and put first drafts under the First Drafts header, which will get moved to the "actual actual text" (under the first big header) when consensus maintains that it's ready to do so. --MUrielw

Here's some links to places where we can start thinkin'. - Kukla

Representing the the fallen world as it is now, without the Truth to set it free. The Penitent are creatures of chains and bindings. They can cloak themsleves in the chains of ignorance to walk among humanity. They are also capable of freeing themsleves or others from those chains and setting them free to see the Truth.

Representing the struggle of the Yozi to free themselves from the blasphemies inflicted upon them. They are not seekers after truth, since they already know it. They are those who crusade against lies. There purpose is to scour away the sin and bindings of the world so that the Yozi may enter it once more.

Representing the inevitable victory of the Yozi. They are the Yozi's freed and the world returned to proper order. They spread the truth of the inevitable victory and pave the way to prepare for this day.

Representing the rightful, just, and necessary punishment of the world at the hands of the Yozi, the period of necessary correction that must be done. They are the strong hand of the Yozi, and inflict harm where it is necessary.

Representing both the world as it was and shall be again, before the treachery of the Gods and after the punishment of humanity and the rest of the world. They are the harmony of all things made manifest and are tasked with commanding the Demons of Malfeas and (in time) the whole of Creation as instrument of the Yozi's will.

This list is great if the Infernals here are specifically the 50 corrupted solar shards, they're not so great if these Infernals can come from any other sort of Exalt type. Just a thought. nikink

I believe this is for the Fifty. DS

This is for the Fifty, yes. Caste names are a question worth pondering (though on the Traits chapter page, I suppose.)

Die schticks are a good thing to discuss. I imagine one die scthick, going on that and the Brother Justin/Vlad Tepes (or even the White Witch, with her Turkish Delight) is for doing bad things to your enemies requiring that they fail some sort of Virtue roll. F'rex, maybe there's a Larceny charm that lets you offer some (conjured up by the charm) "stolen" jewels to someone, and if they fail a Temperance roll and accept it, they get some sort of poetic curse, like hands bleeding for a week or all their worldly goods mysteriously vanished. Or a "Kitty Genovese" charm that summons a thug to "beat" you (you disguised as a helpless person, if you don't look look like that already) up in the street, and any passers-by who fail a Valour roll to intervene suffers some sort of punishment.

Anybody remember that Jack Chick strip where Shining Path guerillas stormed into a church and demanded that everybody renounce Christ or die? And when only two people stood by their beliefs and the rest renounced, the guerillas shot the cowards and left to live only those who stood by their convictions? That's something Infernals should do.

(EDIT: Ah, here it is.)

Or going by the "fixing a broken world" idea, maybe rerolling. This might even be made strategically interesting by saying that you have to invest the essence for however many rerolls before you make the roll itself, and if, say, you roll all sucesses, you still have to reroll the number of dice that you paid for. MUrielw

I like the re-rolling (useful and fun), but the Virtue Trap schtick shouldn't be an excellency - well, I guess it obviously shouldn't, but I'm going to assert it anyhow. Kukla

Rather then re-rolls, why not have that REPLACE rolls? You don't roll at all - you do as well as your willing to invest? Something like "You receive (ability) Successes per mote" instead of a roll. We could switch out "Dice adder caps" with 'essence spending caps. - Dasmen who vanishes in a blaze of light
Very interesting. Seems a bit Solar-y, and I feel like there might be some gamist problems with risk and such, but I'll let people with better system-fu hash the specifics of that one out. --MUrielw
Oh, I agree that the Virtue Trap shouldn't be an excellency, just an archetype to have a bunch of Charms emulate. Sorry if I created the impression otherwise. --MUrielw

Two things:
1) Remember how transcendently WEIRD the Yozis are. They are just angry, and they aren't just philosphically divine malities or whatever. They are STRANGE. Worse could be done than to crib heavily from the Sidereals in places- Limited, unusual tools, which require the Infernal to prod the situation into being useful.

2) While I like the Virtue Trap as an abstraction, it seems more like a group of four Charms (maybe under Larceny or Stealth or Integrity) than a real schtick. As for the effect- go with a little subtle. The person who fails the test looses the Infernal's Virtue in dice from pools relating to that Virtue for X period of time (or, for extra mean, until the Infernal de-committs the motes). Failed to show Valour? Suddenly, you're cursed- you can't fight, like, at all. Failed to show conviction? Your integrity fails you. (It'd be best to have some strong associations of Virtues and Abilities). DS

1) is a very good point. I certainly want the Temptation and Testing and Punishment type stuff in there, but you're damn right - these guys are WEIRD. The Charms in WillowsInfernal are really excellent in this regard. If a way can be found to reconcile the Weirdness and Punishment thematics, then we're golden.
I think the Virtue Trap is good for more than four Charms - for Temperance, say, there's offering stolen goods (Larceny), bribing (Bureaucracy), and seducing (Socialize) - but they certainly can't fill up every slot, and probably not every ability.
And relationship between abilities and virtues! Already proposed! All that has to be done is the, uh, actually doing it. ;) --MUrielw

I think you should go the other way than Sidereals.

Let's think about the general tactics of each Exalt type.

Solars overcome challenges by being so perfect and excellent that resistance to them crumbles away like dust.

Lunars overcome challenges by adapting themselves to the situation.

Dragonblood overcome challenges by getting their friends to help them.

Abyssals overcome challenges by killing things.

Sidereals overcome challenges by tampering with the "success condition" of the challenge until its one they can overcome.

Fair Folk overcome challenges by declaring they already did in a way so convincing you have no choice but to take their word for it.

Infernals should overcome challenges by changing the challenge, by turning it back on their enemies. An Infernal is a servant of the Yozis. The Yozi remake reality by their veyr presence. In a very real sense the Yozi are larger than reality, more true than reality. An Infernal doens't encounter a challenge, he encounters a LIE. He doesn't lower himself to deal with the lie, he elevates the world to the point where his transcendant truth shines true, obliterating the challenge because it was never real in the first place.

Infernals are beings of transcendant truth and their truth trumps what lesser beings call reality. They don't manipulate reality like Sidereals or alter it like Raksha, they IMPOSE it.

That being said I can see Infernal Charms have broadly useful effects that cover a wide variety of situations but almost always produce the same results. An Infernal Performance tree is all about worshiping the Yozi and making people slaves to their will. But it can't really do anything else. It won't because being a slave to the will of the Yozi is the transcendent truth of reality and engaging in anything less would be sinful and against their will, thus beyodn the scope of the Charms.

I would also think that Infernals might have less combat prowess than Solars and Abyssals. Both thematically and by design. The Yozi know that no matter how well they make their slaves, they could rise up again. It happened before, after all. So Infernals don't get easy access to persistent or perfect defenses and combat effects. Those they do get access to are... strange. The persistent parry, for instance, might be buried in the Survival tree and involve the environment spinning and snapping around the character to protect him from the unbelievers, since it is only right and true that the land rise up to the needs of the Yozi (and their trusted servants). Epsilon

Ehh, the only exalts that are truly limited are the Sidreals, and the Infernals are twisted Solars - that heritage should be as frimly stamped on them as it is on the Abyssmals. That said, your first point is a good one. They should have broad, weird, charms, and just as the yozi have been twisted untill their back is their frount, and they countain themselves as their own jailors, the Infernal charm-set should likewise be twisted so that their magics serve in a corkscrew manner - twisted an innobvius. Sevival charms, as you suggested, might bring a perfect of servus to the land about, while melee charms might allow one the heal (by cutting away what is broken) instead of attacking. - Dasmen Who vanishs into a occulted existance before questions could be asked.
I agree with the first main point as well - and I think this is a good reconciliation of the Weirdness and Testing thematics! --MUrielw

How about something like this:

Archery allow one to inflect thing, like love or hate upon a person, or strenth or weakness upon a thing, it's control charms that force new traits upon things - external transformation of both a physical and spiritual sort.

Martial Arts is Martial Arts, it's univeral.

Melee controls charms that strip things away, wither curage, pride, or ill(or good)-heath, it's sort of the oposite of Archery.

Brawl lets you force a place for yourself. It could let you servive underwater (by forcing the envorment to assempt you) to force your way into a court (making the kingdom assept you). Ox-body would go here, as it allows you force force the issue of your own existace.

Throw lets you trasfer thing, and conect things. You could rip away a kings station and give it to a begger, or force two people to become rivels.

Endurence... I don't know.

Performace is Performace. It's the one honest thing the Yozi have left.

Presence would be where testing forces lie. You could use it to test someones curage by calling up nightmares. It should also have purely punishing effects, as your mere presence convays echoes of pain and malice.

A lot of the marshal charms go under Resistance. You don't attack by ATTACKING. You attack by being so soild that the world breaks upon you.

Survival could let you comand the world. Where brawl force a place for you, Survival creates a place for the world. You could command the world to defend you, or to change in ways as to become more useful for you. Charms that help you create tools and artifacts go here.

Craft... I don't know.

Investigation let's you create senorioes more real then the world around them, and implant them like a turmor into the flesh of creation, growing into Truth at the first opertiunity.

Lore lets you... do something...

Medicine lets you 'infect' people with ideas, or places with a new character - socal charms of a suble maniupitive sort.

Occult lets you shift thing about through understanding. You could find a geometry in which no wall could stand, or a path of one step betweeen any two points, or hide between moments. Things that other exalt would do through feats of stregth, or steath, but weird.

Athletics lets you escape the world... I'm not sure why you would want to yet...

Awareness is wispers, no longer a background.

Dodge lets you dodge concquences. You murdered the king but go unpunished. You are struck, but unharmed.

Larceny lets you (tempererly) con the world. You could reverse gravity... for everyone around you. you could turn gold into lead. This isn't so you can achive improble stunts like walk up a wall (that Occult)

Sealth... I don't know

Bureaucracy lets you draw upon the power of order and place. Sorcery goes here.

Linguistics.., I don't know

Ride... I don't know

Sail I don't know

Socialize... can't think of anything -DasmenWho had to finnish this in a hurry because he's going now.

Being me I still want to leave room for poetic justice type stuff, and I also think that the things you can accomplish with the Charms should not differ too radically from the function of the ability itself - Dodging consequences, yes; Beaurocracy'ing sorcery, no - but a lot of this is golden. Certainly post these to the individual charm pages when you get the chance.
Also, Endurance and Brawl have been replaced by Integrity (there's an ability we can have fun with) and War. Just sayin'. ;) --MUrielw
Acully, I'm suggesting that one of the major characteristics of Infernal magic is that it's radically divergent from the ability it's based on - the Yozi are twisted so much that to align the exalted shards to their own nature they had to be likwise twisted. In a Gamest sense, the Infernals are at the Solar level, but I see their charms as being much broader in effect. They pay for this in two ways
1. A complete disconnect between the ability you pay for to get a magic, and that magic. and two
2. A lack of external truly perfects (though they should have truely perfect defences).
In return for these defects they have "I can't beleave it's not sorcery" charms (Big and dramatic) and a strick of "The only rules that matter are MY rules, so there." It seems like a fair trade, and thematicly approprate. -DasmenWho has returned from his meditations with a highter EssenceBoXPInfernals/I>
No, no, no, no, no. The Yozis are weird. They do not accomplish weirdness by disconnecting Charms from the Ability on which they are based. Twisting abilities to do weird things is good, jumbling abilities up is not. There's no purpose to it. See my reasons below. The Infernals' thematics should be accomplished by measured weirdness, an eye towards their goals and morality, and subtle encouragement to the player to "act like an Infernal" as the Sidereal and Abyssal charms do so well for their respective splats. --MUrielw

Stuff to consider: Which of these castes fills which of the old caste roles? Does the Inquisitor perform the same martial role as a Dawn, or is it the Crusader whose charms are most suited to violence and doing harm? Because ultimately it's the charms that will be defining the role; If we can define which caste fulfills which 'role', or rather what each caste's role is, it will help us to determine what the flavor of each ability's charms should be.
For example, the Concordant have Bureaucracy, which is currently defined to be the Sorcery ability - thusly, by default, they take on the traditional role of the Twilight. Likewise, the Ascendant currently have Resistance, the abilty with the big combat charms - so they've become the Dawn. Their other ability charms should support this.
At any rate, we should be consistent with supporting the ability of the Infernals to fulfill their roles. --Kukla

This would be my reason (one of them, anyway) for not jumbling up what the Charms do. The Warrior Caste should still kill things. The Scholar Caste should still do smart and sorcerous things. Charms can get weird but they should not branch off to an area more properly covered by a different Ability than the one which they are under. You shouldn't bust out Sapphire Countermagic with Bureaucracy or pursuade a village to lay down their lives for you with Sail. I have no problem with weird and metaphorical extensions of Abilities, nor with coming up with an uberweirdandcool effect and figuring out where it should fit. That's all encouraged. The limit should be: would this be less metaphorical under another Ability?
Craft should create stuff, Investigation should find stuff out, Lore should help you know stuff, Integrity should stop stuff from messing with your mind. The exact values for "stuff" that are realized there and how such is accomplished can and should be utterly goofy (as well as a lot of other things - each splat should have a definite idea of what its thematics are, as we've been discussing) but Caste's niches should still be protected. That's why Epsilon made those Castes to be what they are in the first place. --MUrielw
Why? The Dawns are the most focused of castes - and what their focused on is killing things (the Yozi, primariliy). But what the Yozi want is to reorgonize and change everything (change everything back, perhaps, but change everything) - hence the Dawns would become those who reorgonize the world. I'm not saying that Investigation shouldn't find stuff - but it should find stuff because it knows it's there, because it put it there. - Dasmen
Okay, I think I understand your perspective a lot better now. What you're saying - and it's something I hadn't put enough thought to - is that the Charmset for each Caste's Abilities should reflect that Caste's role as appointed by the Yozis. So as the Melee, MA, Thrown, Archery, and War Charms should reflect the Inquisitors' role with resepct to the "purgatory" period, setting the world back into its proper order. The Yozis shouldn't have to operate by the rules of their lessers, look, they're in a different order already.
I had been thinking from a much more gamist perspective of niche protection. The Inquisitor should be the default tank, the Penitent the default sneak, because otherwise you're giving players a nonsensical set of abilities into which to pour dots and get experience discounts. And from a diegetic viewpoint, the Yozis are working with pre-specialized Solar shards to twist, not new shards of their own.
The clearly correct path to me now appears - and not because it's a compromise, but because it's the right way - to be that the Charmset for each Ability should be an extension of that Ability in odd and metaphorical ways, but also with a slant towards the goals of that caste. So the Inquisitors' Caste Abilities should be concerned with combat, though they can branch out more at higher tiers, but they should have a focus on the goals of expurgation which the Demon Princes intend the Inquisitors to represent - causing pain, removing corrupt parts, &c. So instead of summoning a sword like a Solar would a low-level Melee Charm could allow the Exalt to pick up a peice of scenery and purify it into a weapon of exceptional quality - an iron bar melts away until only a sword of totally pure and exceptionally sharp steel remains. And at higher levels the Melee Charms would focus more and more on the idea of stripping things away as you noted, going to strike away willpower or memories or all sorts of metaphorical things. --MUrielw
I can work with that ;~>. Dasmen <I>Who Avoidence Pranaa away.BoXPInfernals/I>
Rock. Ours has been a most productive argument. --MUrielw