Magic Vs Mysteries

Magic in the System

  1. Do players get this type of magic?
  2. Do we replace Mysteries with Mythos or Magic?
    1. If we don't, do we add new stunts?
    2. If we don't, do we attach consequences for failures?
  3. How magical do we go?

[ Public ] Bill says, "Pulp: Maybe 'Occult'?"
[ Public ] Max says, "Mainly that your goal isn't to return to the status quo, it also can include some positive changes."
[ Public ] Bill says, "Mythos just has some specific associations that might overly narrow the idea of what it represents."
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "True. Perhaps the Big Boss types get Mythos."
[ Public ] Max was fine with Mysteries since the is also Investigation.
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "Ie: Summon monsters by spilling blood, chopping off a hand to cast a bolt of lightning, etc."
[ Public ] Selerik ponders his artifact.
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "Anyways, it was two problems I'm looking at: One of terminology and one of power."
[ Public ] Bill says, "Head of Vecna! :)"
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "I want the big demonic power - hahaha - in the hands of big evil bosses."
[ Public ] Bill says, "And as for stunts, I assume you mean the Simple Magic and other extra stunts, not the book stunts?"
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "And I want to make the term less confusing for newbies."
[ Public ] Bill says, "I think Occult serves well in that respect?"
[ Public ] Pulp Fiction says, "Yep, it does."

New Stunt
Mythos Magic: Use Occult in place of any skill, suffer a consequence if you fail.

  1. Mysteries Skill is renamed to Occult Skill.
  2. New Stunt Mythos Magic is added to the Occult list. It allows players to use Occult in place of other skills at the risk of a Consequence on failure. This is not flashy.
  3. Evil Big Bosses are the only types that are allowed to cast flashy magic, but at great expense and sacrifice.

Magic in the World

Thematically speaking, Magic is a dirty secret in the world. If you asked the average person on the street if they believed in magic, they'd look at you like you were crazy. Magic is explained away as technology run amok, as hallucination or as hoax. Respected universities rarely teach anything about magic, and when they do the courses are not open to the public, but by invitation only.

Magic is the domain of the cult, the secret society and the criminally insane. It's effects are limited, but can be powerful none the less. There are three basic levels of magical effect:

  • Heroic Magic (PC's). This level of magic is very small, limited by the ability of the PC. It is never flashy, it's never over the top unless at a dramatic, climactic moment.
  • Villainous Magic (NPCs). This level of magic can be as subtle or as flashy as the story demands, but is not PC repeatable.
  • Background Magic (Thematic effects). This level of magic is background to the universe. Such as the influence exerted by the German Reich, the Great Wall of Elemental Air by the Chinese Empire or the subtle effects of reducing the weight of British Aero-Dreadnoughts. These are often explained away by science, but at their core are infact arcane mysteries that are effected and maintained by the efforts of state-sponsered secret societies.

Bill's Counterargument:
Theosophy and spiritualist movements were very common through the early part of the 20th century. Additionally, the working class and rural folk of many countries had a strong, basic, grab-bag series of beliefs in magic and the supernatural.
To that end, I'd suggest that working folk and rural folk will either believe folks are charlatans, or believe almost anything a suitably mysterious person tells them they can do (whether or not they actually CAN do anything). This is dangerous, of course, because they'll start believing all sorts of OTHER things are attributable to the 'mystic.'
You will have a intellectuals who reject the supernatural as 'primitive superstition.' You will have a lot of intellectuals and upper class folks who jump on various spiritualist/'eastern' repackaged ideas, coming up with wild and varied theories. Seances, spiritual photography, and so on. Again, while they may believe in unusual powers of the mind, they will lack any ability to distinguish truly supernatural events from nonsense.
Generally, people throughout world history believe in several supernatural things:
Luck magic. From sickness curses, hexes, love charms, curatives, or protection, everything from the evil eye to some Hermetic magic falls under this category. Words, fetishes, mystic potions are vehicles for luck.
Spirits. Ghosts, demons, faerie, and so on. Usually invisible or hidden, with weird, random phenomena. There are usually spells/prayers/substances that influence or ward against such things.
Fortunetelling. Astrology, tarot, I Ching, Feng Shui, numerology, and so on attempt to pick up on the cosmic influences and destinies of our lives.
Which is not to say everyone will jump on strange events as supernatural. But faced with a series of very strange events, even the most down-to-earth 'practical' man may cross himself and pray.

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