North Pacific Free Caucus
WOD Setting Modifications
I am making a few modifications/clarifications to the way that the World of Darkness works, and I want these to be clear up front. Note, that these are not rules changes, those are covered in House Rules, these are setting/fluff changes.
The story of Atlantis, as presented in the core Mage book, is not regarded as the literal truth by all, or even most, mages. Many mages look at it the way modern scholars look at ancient legends: a fictional account that has some non-literal basis in fact. Many Modern mages see the Atlantis story as a parable, a warning about hubris and an exhortation to ascension. They may believe that various parts of the legend are closer to or farther from actual fact, but they don’t see it as literally true. This view is particularly common among the Free Council, where it is virtually ubiquitous.
So what do mages believe? That varies quite dramatically from mage to mage. Virtually all mages agree that the Exarchs exist, but the nature of these beings is a source of endless debate among mages. There is no question that there were great mages in the past, and those mages have left amazing wonders to be discovered in the modern era, but the nature and time period of those mages is hotly debated. One of mages favorite hobbies is getting together and arguing about how the world really works.
And what are the facts? Well:
- There’s virtually undeniable evidence that there is some force or forces in the supernal realms backing the interests of the Seers of the Throne. The nature of this force is much less clear.
- There’s strong evidence that there was some kind of Ur-civilization with a superior understanding of magic that predates all known human civilizations.
- There’s evidence that the abyss was not always present, and certainly not at its current strength.
- There’s some evidence to suggest that the supernal realms were once much more accessible
- There are hints that there are forces within the supernal realms that actively work against the interests of the Seers of the Throne, and for the interests of the Pentacle.
Abyssal Entities, Demons, and Evils Spirits
There are three similar, but notably different, kinds of nasty spirit like bad guys in Mage. On a rules level these things function pretty similarly (they all use the spirit rules, with access to some special powers), but when, where, and why they appear are distinctly different. I’m not completely sure whether this is a change from the Rules as Written, or simply a clarification, but this is how I’m running it, and I just wanted to be clear up front.
Abyssal Entities are alien monstrosities summoned from the abyss by the paradoxes of careless magic use. They are literally incomprehensible to the human mind. Think Lovecraftian horrors from another dimension. They want nothing more than to destroy our entire reality. They’re very bad, and they’re here because of Mages. They’re your fault.
Demons live in Hell and are summoned to the world primarily by incredibly stupid or gullible sleepwalkers. Their interest lies in corrupting human souls, turning as many people to sin as often as possible. Demons include Mages in the class of people, and will happily try and drag them down to the depths. Demons are liars, and cheats: their only goal is corruption, and they do not care what methods they use to achieve it.
Demons in my game don’t follow the rules in WOD: Infernals. That’s a cool book, but I’m going a different direction.
Very few spirits can be thought of as “nice.” At best, most can viewed as simply wild animals. However some have clearly gone man eater. Some spirits are bad. They attack people, prey on the weak and the helpless, and generally do things that can only be considered evil. These spirits will often ally with Demons, but ultimately these spirits are of the world, where true Demons originate from Hell.
Mortals who live on the fringes of society: criminals, the homeless, conspiracy theorists, the mentally ill, know that something is up. They know that there are things that go bump in the night, and that those things are very real and very dangerous. They do not know what the things that frighten them are, nor what their capabilities or organizations might be, however most of the fringe folks have a theory, or several.
These fringe mortals also know that people who go looking to prove those theories, or to find answers to dangerous questions, tend to disappear, permanently. The result of this is that people who fall into this category, and people who interact with them on a regular basis tend to either be very superstitious, or extremely contemptuous of superstition.