Digital Raven (digitalraven) wrote,
Digital Raven

Liberty and Control and Anarchy oh my

Or kinda, at least. I have something boiling around in my head that's not quite a forum post yet, so I may as well explode it here. Thinking about Mage, and thinking Judgment again. Damn you, eyebeams. Damn you for writing such a fine thing.

Mage has four broad factions. In the early editions of the game, three of the four kinda-sorta exemplified the extremes of the games' own metaphysic trinity of Stasis, Dynamism and Order. The fourth, the general PC faction, were assumed to be somewhere in the middle. Needless to say, this carries on polluting the ideas of players long-tied to the game. Which is a shame, because it's bullshit.

The Nephandi can be counted out entirely. Their avatar shards come from an alternate reality, the qlippoth to our own sephiroth. They don't embody entropy (save in some lame 1st ed crossover ridiculousness that equates entropy with Werewolf's Wyrm), they are Other. With avatars that are not in tune with this reality, they have their core of meaning stripped away, leaving only shells. Qlippoth. Without that meaning (driving humanity towards the end-point of the entelechy and Ascension) they do whatever the fuck they like, which usually amounts to personal gain at the expense of humanity. A significant amount turned to Creatures from the Outer Dark™ in their search for menaing. This didn't work.

Marauders = Dynamism is slightly more plausible. Slightly. But they're only dynamic on the outside. Inside they are locked into an insanity every bit as static as any other perception. They're a right bugger to classify, as well. On the one hand, given the nature of Ascension, they could well be the (failed) Ascended, who went before humanity was ready. Except logically the Ascended would no longer be part of a consensual reality. The only thing that separates a Marauder from a nutcase Mage is the former has a paradigm that denies objects of the consensus[0]. Fucking Marauders.

Technos = Order. With their constant advancement? I think not. Besides, younger ones are just as prone to be pro-freedom as younger Trads, and older Trads are just as much pro-control as older Techs. So that falls down totally.

In place of the triangle with points (Neph, Maraud, Tech) where Trad is equidistant from all, ignore the Nephandi and make it a progressive line. On the one side you have control. Most techies, some older Trads who ain't dead yet. This is your nation-state oligarchy. Mid-point you have reasoned freedom. Anarchy as enlightened self-governance, concern for others out of self-interest if nothing else. Trads in general and younger technos. This is the mid-point. At the far end of the line are the Marauders, what herdthinkers conceive of as anarchy — zero governance including zero self-governance. Life lived by impulse.

Or maybe not. I dunno yet.

[0]: Some smartarse is going to claim that all mages do that by default. But any three mages in a thunderstorm all get wet, they just know that the rain falls for different reasons. The Marauder is the only one to burn from the fire-rains falling from the sky in his world.

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