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An alternative cosmology for Mage based upon the works of Clive Barker. Suitable for a dark version of the Cult of Ecstasy.
magetheascension  rpg  cultofecstacy 
2 days ago by josephaleo
The Ninjas of Mage and Hand Signs
The Go Kamisori Gama were never given much attention beyond a small write-up in Dragons of the East (though M20 at least gives them a passing mention), but the society of modern "ninjas" still offered some very interesting ideas and themes. One of the most interesting ideas, for me, was the use of the Kuji-in mantras and mudras, a form of active meditation using hand positions. The write-up seems to confuse the term "kuji-in" with "kuji-kiri", a related practice of using hand signs in certain Japanese religious practices and martial arts (primarily ninjutsu), but that error actually works here, due to the book describing the former (in-universe) as much more akin to the latter practice. Regardless of whether or not one refers to it as Kuji-in or Kuji-kiri, there are nine "mudras" or hand postions. The number is highly symbolic in taoist philosophy, and for Mage itself, nine works as a reference point for something very significant: the Spheres.

Dragons of The East describes, in vague detail, the use of these hand positions as a primary (and possibly only) Focus for many in the Go Kamisori Gama, lending huge significance to their use by the group in terms of Awakened utility and identity. The mystical overtones of the number nine are likely not lost on the group, and the uses of the nine hand positions are described as having effects that could span the breadth of the abilities granted by the nine Spheres. I point out the numerical match between the signs for a reason here; as Foci, these signs could conceivably be used in sequence to produce varied effects in the form of Rotes.

Why should I attach the concept firmly to the Spheres as well as their Paradigm, though? I don't necessarily need to, but it fits the canon fluff and I'll tell you why: the only write-up for this group mentions the number of Kuji-ji (or Kuji-kiri, if you want to be a bit more accurate about the real world practices) that the group uses: exactly eighty one. That's a lot more than nine, but more importantly, it's also nine multiplied BY nine, which makes it seem like there was some intentional allusion to "multiplying" the hand positions in some fashion. That brings the concept of two related sets of nine to mind, and the only two sets of nine we have at hand are the hand positions and the Spheres. Could it be that the 81 "kuji-ji" are Rotes used by the Go Kamisori Gama that employ a sequence or combination of nine hand positions, corresponding with the Spheres and effects they're meant to bring forth? Dragons of The East stays silent on the subject, mostly due to lack of space for more fluff.

With all that said, I'd like to propose putting an actual system or proscribed method for using these hand positions in place, possibly consisting of nine-symbol sequences or something similar* that works with the canon of 81 "kuji-ji" of the organization and the nine hand positions of the genuine practice, with an eye towards making a meaningful use of each symbol's associated Sphere/Theme. The issue with that is, firstly, I'm having some trouble matching a Sphere to each position, as they can be interpreted a bit loosely in their essential meaning. I've just begun to look into this, so anyone more familiar with a related practice, such as Shugendo, would be a welcome help. The point of this is to, with as much respect to culture as possible (by WoD standards, at least), give the modern faux-Shinobi some fluff that feels like crunch and vice versa. An under-written splat that interests me always seems to be asking for some homemade expansion, at least to me. Hopefully I'm not the only one that finds this group so fascinating.



*I realize that the mention of ninjas using hand positions to evoke magical effects seems reminiscent of certain anime and manga, especially properties like Naruto. This might seem silly to you, and could be used in silly ways if so desired (Sexy Jutsu!), but it fits the Go Kamisori Gama and their "ninjas as portrayed in fiction" Paradigm. They aren't the ninja of myth or the shadowed past. Why? Because those ninjas never existed. They were a construct of the Japanese popular imagination, and simply got more popular from there. The Go Kamisori Gama write-up in Dragons of The East even spends precious page space explaining and emphasizing this. They aren't the Koga or Iga clans, fighting old feuds with shuriken and poison darts because of tradition. They're modern Mages who found the ninja mythology and made it theirs, Paradigm and all. They're not just some ninjas; they're THE Ninjas, because they called dibs on the mythology and figured out how to make it work. They're mercenary at heart, mystical as well as pragmatic, and utilize whatever power or tool is necessary to get the job, however dirty, done. And really, isn't that what a ninja is and does at the end of the day?
magetheascension  rpg 
3 days ago by josephaleo
Áereth - Map of the Known Realms
Welcome to the Known Realms of Áereth, a world of adventure, arcane secrets, and untold riches, where a sharp sword and a shirt of mail are a warrior’s only defense against wicked mages, monstrous hordes, and fierce dragons of yore.
Aereth  RPG  DnD  Fantasy  Maps 
3 days ago by fozbaca
The Spheres according to the Cult of Ecstasy
A description of how a Cult mage sees the different spheres.
magetheascension  rpg  cultofecstacy 
3 days ago by josephaleo
PBM / PBEM List Index: startrek
List of Star Trek themed PBEM from pbm.com
rpg  pbem  startrek 
3 days ago by folquet
PBEM Players | The PBEM Community
This website is dedicated PBEM (Play By EMail) Role Playing games. You can learn more about PBEM role playing games as well as look for PBEM games to join!
rpg  pbem  forum 
3 days ago by folquet
Discuss everything related to managing your forum/RPG
rpg  forum 
3 days ago by folquet
Growing up my house was always the most popular place to play D&D games.
dnd  rpg  tabletop  from twitter_favs
3 days ago by zricks

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