History Top of Page
The Chosen are the result of a religious movement begun in 1990 among the
churches of Christ, a rationalistic but quasi-fundamentalist organization
based primarily in the South. Their immediate ancestry, known as the Restoration
Movement, combined early Enlightenment thought with a sort of revivalism
and the desire to unite Christians under the "original" beliefs and organization
of the church. The Movement failed and splintered, and the churches deriving
from it have proved of little use to the Awakened until recently, save
as a convenient social faction for the NWO to make use of.
In 1990, an unknown individual calling himself "Maccabeus" appeared on the Internet and instigated a movement that came to be known as the Maccabean Revolt. Maccabeus' ideas led both to conflict with the major denominations and to a wide-open empirical acceptance as real of any phenomena his followers encountered. Speculated to be anything from a Nephandus spreading religious intolerance to a rogue Virtual Adept to a Malkavian, Maccabeus disappeared less than a year after a small group of his followers Awakened in various encounters with mages trying to contain, manipulate, or just plain understand the movement. Since that time, the Chosen have grown at a precipitous rate and have expanded the movement (which has gone underground, dropping the "Revolt" designation) to the related Christian Churches and Disciples Renewal faction of the Disciples of Christ, as well as attempting to make inroads into other fundamentalist churches. Although the growth rate of the Chosen has some mages worried, they are secretly well aware that even their current numbers cannot be sustained by their current Sleeper backing and are searching for new recruits wherever they can find them.
Philosophy Top of Page
Initially reality was created and set in motion by God (occasionally referred
to in Deistic fashion as the Creator, the Great Architect, and the like);
creation is inherently a positive action, a manifestation of divine love
and desire for companionship. However, many of the beings created within
that universe turned against their maker and damaged the Creation Order.
In response, God set about a program to restore reality to its original
organized state, but this work was itself damaged by destructive rebels.
Only now, in what may well be the last days if Creation is not repaired,
is the program finally on track again.
Organization, responsibility, and restoration are key concepts in Chosen thought. Not to be confused with static geometric order, organization is a state in which Creation runs smoothly, allowing change and growth but not destruction. (The Chosen kill as rarely as possible, and only those who are believed to be irrevocably committed to inflicting further damage.) Although this is a kind of stasis, the Chosen are adamantly opposed to the mere spread of geometric regularity that serves no greater purpose. Organization comes only from the creative thought of sentient beings--it never arises spontaneously from within the system, though it may seem to if it is hidden inside. Each sentient being is responsible for his or her own actions, tying him or her to the results of those actions; when these actions are destructive, that sin taints the individual's soul and sometimes body, mind, or spirit. Although hierarchical groupings may result in ties of responsibility to higher in the hierarchy, each person has the responsibility to act on his or her own beliefs rather than be determined by others; therefore the Chosen oppose all hierarchy save the ultimate rule of God. The Chosen have carried the concept of restoration, originally the idea of returning the church to a presumed original state, to an extreme--all things are to be restored to the original Creation Order, a state in which death and destruction will cease to exist and reality will grow outward forever. This requires that each person set himself or herself free from the constraints of the history that carries people away from their original free state. Country, race, ethnicity, social class--all these and more are set aside as one becomes simply a Chosen individual.
Style Top of Page
The Chosen practice a semi-eclectic form of technomancy that tends to incorporate
organized systems from outside technology proper, such as acupuncture and
martial arts, and is based more on careful observation and ethical principles
than on reason as such. (These ethical "principles of responsibility" virtually
amount to a kind of sympathetic magick.) They refer to their art simply
as "technology", sometimes "new" or "advanced technology", and see it more
as the inevitable extension of mundane technology than something truly
separate. Occasionally the Chosen also invoke divine aid for very limited
sorts of assistance.
Foci Top of Page
The "tools" of the Chosen are many and diverse. Most, though not all, are technological in a broad sense. They make use of many mechanical devices that are too numerous to easily classify here, save to note that most rely either on creating unusual circumstances to jostle a system into a new state (similar to chaos theory) or on imitating (the Chosen would say creating) life with machines. Typically, these devices are cobbled together from spare parts, though they may not always look like it. Take note that although the foci of many Chosen become reduced as they increase in Arete, no Chosen has yet been able to give up a focus completely (though none have yet broken Arete 5).
the Chosen, spirit, thought, and language are virtually the same thing,
or at least each resides within the next just as the mind resides in the
body. This is contrary to modern semantic theory; the Chosen don't particularly
care. Originally, nearly all Mind effects were brought about via computers,
which were used to translate between the individual languages (brain patterns)
of each person's thoughts. An increasing number of low-level Mind effects,
however, can simply be spoken into being, though the language resembles
no common human language. (Hermetics may be interested in looking for similarities
to Enochian.) Spirit effects may follow, although it should be noted that
the Chosen believe it is immoral to summon spirits or call upon them for
power. Nonetheless, the Chosen still make use of two very significant innovations:
datacubes, which are essentially a three-dimensional version of a silicon
chip and are the basis of the few trinaries created by the Chosen, and
Quintronic circuitry, or paracircuitry, which relies on Quintessence instead
of electricity and is used for Prime effects involving channeling Free
Quintessence and Spirit effects involving spirits (or, in the rare case,
realm construction) rather than travel.
Electromagnetic Flux Generators--This is a long name for tiny devices that are little more than a battery-powered motor and a rotating magnet with a variable axis. The Chosen use them in large numbers and precise geometrical arrays to alter space-time; this obviously is useful for Correspondence and Time effects but is also used in Spirit travel, destructive, protective, or destiny-oriented Entropy effects, and Prime effects involving the manipulation of Patterns (what, among other factions, is said to alter Raw Quintessence, an idea the Chosen do not believe in at all!). The Chosen regard space as virtually a kind of Pattern in itself and also as a sort of primordial manifestation of divine grace. Most of these effects also require secondary foci; Correspondence, Time, and Spirit travel, and Entropy effects involving taint utilize the concept of the Principles of Responsibility (like sympathetic magick), while destructive, protective, or creative Entropy and Prime effects and the manipulation of destiny with Entropy require prayer or occasionally religious rituals of other kinds.
Chemicals--Most manipulation of living organisms is done by chemical means. Sometimes these are complex biochemical, but the majority of effects are actually produced by relatively simple biochemicals or even shifting ion balances. At the heart of Chosen Life practice is the idea that the body is most susceptible to change and growth in its original embryonic state; therefore, chemicals that inflict tiny amounts of damage on the tissues are used to induce a magnified version of the healing condition, which involves either tissue regression or the migration of stem (embryonic) cells to replace the damaged ones. The quasi-embryonic tissue can then be chemically induced to take on different as if it were that of a growing embryo. (Similarly, some effects that alter the mind are designed to shock thought structures into taking on a "young", malleable state.) One other common method is the use of reverse transcriptase and Dana Hatter's creation, reverse translatase, to invert the normal sequence that produces protein from RNA and RNA from DNA, thus inserting new genetic information into cells.
Martial Arts--A relatively few Chosen, mostly those trained as "Peace Commandos" by Nathan Ormel, make use of martial arts as a focus for Force effects. These Chosen would dearly love to learn Do, but the Akashic Brotherhood is naturally leery of teaching it to them.
Observation--Many sensory effects, especially Pattern magicks, can be carried out by the simple act of carefully examining the details of the surface. All the Creation Order's systems affect all the other systems, and the subsystems of a system affect it the most. In some cases, more sophisticated methods like scanning devices are required.
Precision--Besides the use of simple exactitude in various devices affecting Patterns and the mind, this is the most common method of utilizing low-level Entropy luck effects involving oneself and one's allies.
Prayer and Religious
the occasional use of prayer, preaching, and even song as language to affect
the thoughts of others, certain religious techniques are common to the
Chosen, who regard them as something mostly separate from technology proper.
Prayer is used as a method of invoking divine aid (which may manifest as
angelic help or just good luck), breaking the boundaries of fate, and for
any technique involving creation (even the creation of minds or spirits,
which doesn't require Prime), preservation, or direct destruction with
Prime or Entropy. Communion or "the Lord's Supper" is sometimes a means
of affirming the bond between all the Chosen, regardless of time or place,
though this is controversial at best (Correspondence/Time, perhaps Spirit).
Most important is baptism, always performed by immersion, seen as a death/rebirth
ritual that severs the Chosen's ties with his or her past, thus cleansing
away sin. Besides the obvious breaking of Correspondence or Time links
and the removal of taint or fate, this may sometimes permit a view into
the Spirit realms. However, the most obvious location is the Low Umbra,
which most Chosen do not truly believe in yet and no Chosen have fully
come to terms with. (Ghost, WarpMeister's daughter, claims to have carried
out something like the agama journey via her baptism, with the help of
Arthur Davis and his student Jin Li. Few believe her.) Baptism is emphatically
a one-time event (if it is valid, and a successful Effect is virtual proof
of validity), but intense prayer or meditation might be used to "recall"
the event for Effects not done at the time. (Rumors among low-level Tradition
mages that, in a paradigm dominated by the Chosen, baptism might reverse
the effects even of the Caul have been soundly quashed before ever reaching
the Infinity. Not only is such a situation unlikely, none of the Traditions
are willing to let it happen merely for the small chance of redeeming a
few repentant Nephandi.)
Spheres Top of Page
The first Spheres to spread widely among the Chosen were Entropy (in terms
of precision, cleansing taint, and preserving the Creation Order) and Mind
(in terms of intelligence, resolve, and clear perception). However, the
Chosen have finally been able to translate their rather mystical viewpoint
of being severed from history into a working knowledge of Time, which is
now spreading rapidly. Which, if any, of the three Spheres will eventually
dominate remains uncertain.
Organization Top of Page
The Chosen are extremely loosely organized on the non-hierarchial networking
model of the churches of Christ. Various organizations not subject to any
formal authority spring up, and sometimes vanish. Although the Six (the
first five Chosen, Linda Hsien, Dana Hatter, Nathan Ormel, Arthur Davis,
and Lance Carroll, and the converted Virtual Adept WarpMeister) command
considerable respect, they have no formal power. There are few if any real
distinctions between Blind (Sleeper), Perceptive (mage), and theoretically
other supernaturals; such policy-making as is done occurs on online discussion
boards open to any Chosen and in the various publications in which ideas
and individuals compete for influence.
Stereotypes Top of Page
The Chosen are somewhat
approving of the Sons of Ether, Virtual Adepts, Order of Hermes, and Akashic
Brotherhood--the former three for their rational sense and the AB for their
discipline--although the radically non-Christian background of the average
member of all four makes them a bit suspect. The Cult of Ecstasy is disdained
as immature pleasure-seeking, little better than Marauders, while the Euthanatos
are usually seen as no better than Nephandi; the Chosen are adamantly anti-death,
and the unwise sometimes mock the Euthanatos by talking about "yanking
the Wheel backwards", though rarely to their faces. The worst of the Chosen's
attitudes, however, are directed toward the Celestial Chorus, who are seen
en masse if not as individuals as the Apostates who first knocked the church,
God's means of restoration, off-track and turned it into a power-seeking
hierarchy. This means that Dreamspeakers and Verbena ironically occupy
a kind of special status; though they are not looked well upon, the Chosen
sympathize with them as fellow sufferers under the Apostasy. As for the
Technocracy, they are usually considered a good idea that derailed itself
when it abandoned religion as supposedly irrational and have now become
a worse menace than they were intended to fight. (The Chosen have only
recently heard of the Reorganization; they surmised something like it from
the history of religion and science, formerly allied and now opposed.)
Supernatural Relations Top of Page
The Chosen, frustrated by the denigration of most supernaturals as "damned"
by the "Apostate churches", have openly declared that psychics, vampires,
shapeshifters, and fae are all welcome among them. In practice, vampires
and shapeshifters tend to look upon them with suspicion, though the latter
have worked with them on exceedingly rare occasions; peculiarly, the fae
seem to appear wherever the Chosen are, usually unintentionally though
some are interested in the offer of acceptance, only to be injured by the
Banality many though not all Chosen possess. Still more ironically, the
Chosen still have not come to terms with the existence of wraiths despite
the Sixth Maelstrom, as their religious beliefs insist that the dead go
to the Outer Darkness (the Deep Umbra) or Paradise to await Judgement Day.
Formerly, the most common belief was that wraiths are deceptive spirits
of some other kind; now, the three main competing opinions are that wraiths
are the souls of the damned, some of whom are released as demons; that
wraiths are the result of a "backup" of the system due to the massive numbers
of damned souls produced by the Apostasy; and that the Low Umbra is a special
manifestation of grace giving those who died while the Apostasy was dominant
another chance at salvation by preserving them until the true church could
be restored. Very little has been done on the matter; though quite a few
wraiths are interested in the Chosen's free offers of salvation to just
about every other supernatural group, they can get no hearing.
Techniques (Rotes) Top of Page
Control (Mind 1, often with Entropy 1 and/or Life 1; sometimes just Entropy 2 and/or Life 2)
As much a life philosophy as a technique, Control (short for self-control)
practically _defines_ the Chosen (though not all of the Perceptive are
capable of it as a magickal feat yet). It is an assertion of the
organizing force of the human will over the disorganizing force of entropy.
Control focuses the mind, laying aside transient emotions and drives of
the flesh, thereby permitting the Perceptive to stand in the face of adversity
and making them capable of feats beyond the capacities of the Blind.
There are two different ideals competing for dominance over the practice, or, at least, two extremes: the "Hatterites" (for lack of a better name) are openly emotional but choose for themselves the emotion that will best help them master the situation, while the "Hsienites" eschew emotion outright in favor of detachment. In either case, the initial use of the effect is coincidental, but repeated use quickly becomes vulgar, especially for "Hsienites"; most people believe that willpower comes from the force of natural emotions, and see the cold iron determination of a person using this technique as unlikely.
The simple Mind version of the technique produces a Willpower point for each success; the number can exceed Permanent Willpower, but not the maximum of ten. This Willpower can be used to resist mental or emotional domination, magickal, magical, or otherwise, and to suppress reactions to emotional or physical pain. However, Willpower cannot be regained naturally while the technique is in effect, and the technique will remain vulgar after use until at least one point has been regained naturally. The addition of a Life component permits control of normally autonomic functions as with the 1st Edition rote "Serene Temple", while Entropy allows the successes to be spent on reducing the difficulty of tasks (-1 per success) by increasing precision of action. Banality also increases: the "Hatterite" version adds one dot per success, while the "Hsienite" version raises it to 10 outright.
Claim As My Body (Forces/Life/Matter 1, Mind 2/Spirit 3)
A more highly developed version of the idea of Control, this practice permits
the Perceptive to take outside objects up into her "body"--that is, to
put them under the permanent control of her will. Each involves the
insertion of a portion of the mage's thoughts and will into the item to
be claimed; for a program or a living organism, this takes only simple
mental contact, while for machines it may require the integration of a
trinary microcube (a stack of interconnected chips basic to the Chosen's
recently developed variation on the trinary) for the thoughts to reside
in. On the rare occasions when Dana Hatter creates a body with a
human-equivalent brain, she uses this technique to prevent a new soul from
entering it, as the Chosen believe this will happen automatically to any
unclaimed human-equivalent. Both versions of the technique can be
fairly easily covered by coincidence.
The Mind version requires only a point of temporary Willpower. It provides conscious control over the normal functions of the item while it is in the mage's presence, and makes it "Very Familiar" for the purposes of Correspondence techniques. The item's spirit is also much easier to awaken (minimal successes needed; difficulty -2). Complex organisms, if they contain a mind of their own (and they usually do), can be affected only as by the Subliminal Influence effect unless a higher level of Mind is used. The Spirit version awakens the item's spirit outright and requires a permanent Willpower point, which represents a link to the mage's own soul just as her body is linked. The item will act as appropriate to the mage's personality even when the mage is not present and will respond instantly to the mage's will when she is. (The Correspondence benefit is also applicable, of course.) Those Dreamspeakers aware of this version of the technique detest it as they do no other kind of spirit awakening, regarding it as a theft of the item's own individuality.
If so, the Perceptive who use it may get what they deserve in time to come. Use of this technique strongly increases one's chances of returning as a wraith; the Spirit version makes it practically certain. (Such wraiths find Inhabit and/or Puppetry remarkably easy to learn.) The item claimed as part of the body becomes a fetter which is difficult to lose and even more difficult to resolve. The exception is when the technique is used to claim a computer (linked to the Web and/or trinary) or an organism at least as complex as a higher mammal (around dog-level). In such cases, the Mind technique gives a 25% chance and the Spirit version a 75% chance of remaining alive but in the other body, Avatar and magick intact. This may, of course, present problems of its own. Prior to death, the Willpower may be reclaimed at any time so long as the mage is present, terminating the link.
Providential Assistance (Entropy 2/Spirit 2)
In times past, the Chosen or their spiritual ancestors have often been
denounced as deists who do not believe in divine intervention. This
is not true; however, the intervention they expect is rarely evident unless
one watches very closely. By prayer, they are capable of attracting
aid from above--assuming they remain in favor with God.
The Entropy version of this technique is a fairly standard Entropy 2 effect, tipping probability in the Chosen's favor. This is nearly always coincidental, but Restorationist ideas about divine intervention do not recognize the domino effect, and it may be invoked repeatedly in vulgar form.
The Spirit version is very nearly the only "Call Spirit" effect ever used by the Chosen, and unlike nearly every other such effect it requires that the Perceptive _not_ be looking at the Umbra. If successful, a minor angel swoops down to aid the Chosen from behind the Gauntlet. Oddly, the Gauntlet may thicken for physical beings during this event so that the angel can better remain hidden from prying eyes. Annoyed mages have sometimes suggested that this is because the spirit is not an angel at all...but the rare instances when it's been spotted indicate otherwise. _The prayer is directed to God_, not to any particular angel.
Soul-Reading (Entropy 1 Spirit 1)
This technique is used among the Chosen to determine, very literally, the status of an individual's soul. (Remember the distinction made by the Chosen regarding what the soul _is_--it is not considered the same as an Avatar, whatever the "real truth" may be in the WoD.) An EFG array is set up around the individual, who is then questioned about his or her activities; fluctuations in the field register the subject's truthfulness and indicate what else should be asked, thus producing information on what he or she is guilty of. This guilt is _always_ from something a person has done in his or her current life--neither original sin nor reincarnation has any part in Chosen teachings, and the Chosen deny that taint acquired by other means (say, by the Embrace) has anything to do with the true destiny of the soul (and therefore the results may be different from those acquired by, say, a Euthanatos using "See the Soul's Burn"). Likewise, guilt is detected according to what the Chosen believe is sinful, which is not always the same as other mages or society at large might think. Children younger than nine, unless currently possessed, _always_ register as clean, as do many children up to fourteen and anyone who has just been baptized. Otherwise, interpret the results roughly in terms of an individual's Humanity and Virtues (if Vampire systems are not in use, estimate).
Tactical Analysis (Correspondence/Entropy 1, often with Life/Mind 1)
By examining the arrangement of enemy forces, Peace Commando squads detect weaknesses and the best way of carrying off an attack (or defense). This relatively simple technique decreases the difficulty of creating battle strategies (-1 for any strategic rolls). Such techniques are important to the relatively new Commandos, who often have not yet had much time to train. However, the technique has been spreading to applications such as debates and political maneuvering as well. In most cases, unless the squad is totally inept, this is coincidental.
Ablative Armor (Forces 2/4)
A favorite of the Peace Commandos, this armor is composed of "paraplastics", an advanced plastic-like substance with a molecular structure that absorbs energy, though that structure collapses in the process. Fortunately, it can be restored with some effort. Basically, this is just an energy shield that counters damage successes from both mundane and magickal energy.
Distortion Generator (Forces 3 Prime 2)
A ray-gun! No, seriously, folks. This is another favorite of the Peace Commandos; most applications, of course, are vulgar. Distortion generators proper are used for a number of energy-generating applications (the "distortion" refers to the spatial dysconfiguration from which the energy is created), but are most commonly used as weapons by trigger-happy Commandos, who often seem to regard themselves as wielding divine judgement. Commando guns are nearly always personally designed for ease of use. They appear to have many "bells and whistles", but in fact these are displaceable elements that shift into position to produce many different kinds of energy as the Commando shifts his fingers on the handgrip. Many of the other Chosen are unhappy with the Commandos' mere existence, but the alternative is to leave themselves vulnerable to physical attacks.
False Face (Forces 3 Prime 2; Forces 1 Prime 3; Prime 2)
The history of this technique, used mostly among the Peace Commandos, is peculiar in that the more advanced versions are the ones using lower Spheres. Initially the work of Nathan P. Ormel, the earliest version created a holographic illusion to disguise his features. However, before long the Technocracy and Traditions both caught on to the tactics of the supposed Marauders and began routinely scanning anyone using Ormel's MO. One of his students then came up with the second version, which wove a net of Fuel particles in a pattern like that of the illusion but left the face unobscured. Scanning individuals then wrongly assumed that the visible face was an illusion and their attempts to dispel it had simply failed. An even more subtle version soon appeared that could be used by many more of the Commandos, and others as well--it simply created a smear of Fuel that looked like a failed attempt to erase the magickal signature of the illusion. Currently under discussion is the idea of "False Face 4.0" among those who are already known to make use of this technique--no magick at all, leaving the impression that the illusion has been perfectly disguised. Life and Mind versions also exist.
Correlation (Mind 3 Entropy 2)
Being the newest group on the scene is inconvenient. It means that the Chosen rarely have the information they need on other supernatural factions. Practically in self-defense, they have developed this technique for rapidly gathering and sorting information via computer. Correlation takes time and is not for use in reducing immediate difficulty; rather, it produces a single experience point for every five successes that can go to any Knowledge. The player must state ahead of time what the experience is meant for. This rote still requires a considerable amount of information; it can only be used as a means of squeezing further experience out of a completed story or a long term of study (at least a month of doing little besides studying for each roll)--not as a freestanding "know-it-all" rote. Storytellers are encouraged to increase difficulties and study times as the knowledge sought becomes more obscure. The effect is almost always coincidental (though the Ventrue will certainly wonder how you gained their secrets).
Cultural Adaptation (Mind 2/3)
Missionary activity is extremely important to the Chosen; besides the all-important
goal of saving souls, their Sleeper population is small compared to many
factions. Either it must increase...or the Perceptive must decrease,
having already taken up most of the easily-Awakenable members. Toward
this end, among others, the Chosen have developed a technique for examining
and mimicking the behaviors of other cultures, then adjusting the presentation
of their message. Information on the other culture is taken from
published works, observed behavior, and scans of culture-members' minds,
then assembled into an overall pattern of behavior and rewritten onto the
The Mind 2 version simply increases the Charisma or Manipulation levels of the mage for purposes of interacting with members of the culture in question. The Mind 3 version reduces the difficulty of all social rolls by one for each success, to a minimum of 4, by allowing the mage to present his ideas in terms of local culture and philosophy. This effect is generally coincidental.
Assimilation (Mind 3/4)
To some degree a stronger version of Cultural Adaptation, Assimilation allows for the absorption of Abilities from the minds of others. Knowledges can be absorbed with Mind 3; Skills and Talents require Mind 4 to take (and Talents may require Mind 5 or conjunctional Life magicks to fully absorb, at ST option). The technique does not rob the donor of his ability, though doing so is possible, of course. However, the taking of abilities does not provide the experience with which they were purchased; half normal experience must be spent to integrate them. Otherwise, the mage will suffer from a variant form of Pattern Leakage, losing Permanent Willpower instead of health levels. This technique can be made coincidental, but disguising the means of taking the ability is essential--absorbing knowledge via computer is a long way off.
Datacube (Mind 3 Prime 2)
Since few of the Chosen have the ability to use the Assimilation technique, some of those who do have developed an aid to gaining information. The ability is imprinted on a microcube by means of specialized Mind and Prime techniques so that it can then be read and absorbed by anyone with Mind 1 for Knowledges and Mind 2 for Skills or Talents. In essence, it becomes a detached bit of mental information that counts as a part of the mind of whoever uses it to enhance themselves. The effect requires both three successes for each level and a point of Quintessence, and only two successive levels can be stored on one cube, or three levels of different Abilities. (Two Abilities or a second level.)
Electron Dreams (Forces 1/2/3 Mind 3)
The Chosen view the Web not as an "alternate space" but as an expression
of the way in which computers model and extend human thought--as a dream
or hallucination caught up in Forces instead of Life. Thus their
means of accessing it is somewhat different than the traditional methods
used by the Virtual Adepts and most other mages. Oddly, the effects
of this method are _very_ similar to the rumored access method that supposedly
brings one into the "true web" behind the user interface...it does, however,
have its limitations, not the least of which is the higher Sphere levels
required. Some speculate that the Chosen might have been the origin
of rumors about that method, but it seems unlikely.
With only Forces 1, the Perceptive enters the Web as a phantom, invisible and intangible except to those looking specifically for such beings. However, he also cannot affect anything on the Web without higher Spheres, except for the minds of other travelers. The effect is very similar to entering the dreams of a human being (and the same mages often do that). The "thought" of the computer language is translated into human thought, and inserted into the e-dreamer's mind as such. With Forces 2, the Perceptive is able to make his presence more visible by altering data and images as described in DW 2.0. Forces 3 projects an icon based on the mage's self-image and allows more normal interaction. It should be noted that the e-dreamer is particularly vulnerable to mental attacks carried on the Web, and can be infected with viruses.
Doppel (Mind 4)
Although only one Chosen, Arthur Davis, currently has the ability to perform this technique, he does so often both for himself and others. A precursor to true AI, this is the creation of duplicates of the surface personality of an individual, usually on a computer linked to the Web. These single-archetyped programs are known as "doppels" (doubles) or as "partials" (from the novel _Eon_). According to Chosen ethical teachings doppels are roughly the moral equivalent of a person's limb--destroying one is not considered murder, but it _is_ a highly immoral act approximately the same as maiming someone. Because the technique is rarely apparent outside the Web (doppels speaking to Sleepers are assumed to be the individuals they represent), it is coincidental...but quite difficult. (At least 7 successes are required to make a bare sketch of the person in question.) As might be expected, a doppel is "Very Familiar" to both its original and its creator, but it cannot use magick directly--only as a conduit for its original via Correspondence.
Virtual Reality (Mind 3 Prime 2)
What you perceive to be real, _is_ real. This bizarre technique developed
by the Chosen produces illusions that are, for all practical purposes,
as real as any true Pattern. An illusory gun shoots illusory bullets
that create the illusion of wounds that lead to an illusory death...if
the illusion is so perfect it can't be distinguished from reality, then
perhaps it _is_ reality. Virtual Realities are programmed directly
into the High Umbra in such a way as to present themselves in the physical
world. This technique, according to some, is probably the most dynamic
magick practiced by any of the Chosen.
This is not...exactly...a substitute for Pattern magicks. The object is still illusory from the point of static reality, and Unbelief often erodes them very quickly at any hint that something is wrong. Yes, you can create a bridge across the Grand Canyon, but if static reality insists that your body is an illusion and the real you is lying dead at the bottom (which it certainly will), then you're in for some nasty Paradox. Paradox flaws often take on strange tones, like transforming the mage into a normal illusion. On the plus side, if a Virtual Reality persists very long before Unbelief gets it, it has a tendency to become real in the Dreaming as well.
Tabula Rasa (Mind 2 Prime 2)
Many of the Chosen, especially those leaning toward "Hsienite" views, find Resonance on their Fuel distasteful, or at least inconvenient. Therefore this technique was designed to delete Resonance. At first the Chosen used it on what nodes they possessed, attracting the attention of a group of young Glass Walker Garou, who thought that the effect might permit their sept to use its Caern just like a Caern of the Wyld. At first the attempt appeared successful, though other Garou complained about the "Weaver Caern"'s bland Gnosis. Then it was discovered that a node purged of Resonance gradually lost its connection to the Umbra and failed. The Resonance was restored to all the nodes in time to prevent their collapse, but the tenuous relations with the Garou did collapse and are nowhere near their prior peak. Using the technique on Free Quintessence, however, is safe, and the Chosen continue to do so. A search is still underway for a means to produce large amounts of Resonance-free Fuel; some have suggested using a version of "Claim As My Body" on an otherwise-purged node, but so far no one who can be trusted with that kind of authority has been found. This technique does not remove non-emotional types of Resonance, such as corruption or an attunement to types of Pattern, though similar techniques exist for such purposes.
Dana Hatter's Anti-Cultist Kiss (Life 4; also Life 3 Mind 2)
The Chosen have on occasion contended with Cultists over issues of drug use. Only peripherally aware of Ecstatic philosophy, Dana Hatter developed this rote as a means of halting their magick in its tracks. If at least five successes are obtained, the rote purges all traces of drugs from the body (gently, but withdrawal has been known to hit anyway) and shuts down the sex drive, leaving many Cultists unable to use their foci. Dana made extensive use of chemical foci, and initially painted the compounds on her lips...later, she incorporated them more directly into her body. Her reasoning was, of course, that few Cultists would refuse a kiss; on more than one occasion she was proven wrong, but other times she was successful.
Damping Field (Prime 3, sometimes Mind or Spirit 1)
An extension of anti-magick, this technique was developed as a protective area effect by Linda Hsien. According to Chosen theories of Prime, the particles making up Fuel are small enough that they are usually below the "lower" boundary defined by the Lattice and are therefore "virtual". Like more Technocratic virtual particles, they mediate interactions between objects--in this case, magickal effects. By making the Lattice slightly more undefined in a small area, the particles can be prevented from entering and having an effect on defined reality within the Lattice. The result is an increased difficulty in performing magickal feats, with all the usual limitations of anti-magick save that an area is affected rather than an individual. Later innovations have included the means to alter the profile of the damping field to exclude only the use of magicks in a certain paradigm (Spirit) or by a certain individual (Mind).
Chastening Rod (Prime 3)
Another of Linda Hsien's "metamagick" techniques, this rather bizarre idea
uses the same basic principles to _extract_ virtual Quintessence particles
from a magickal effect and make them real. By doing so, the effect
is not only negated, but Fuel is taken from it and stored, usually in a
rod formed from Quintronic circuitry. The extractor is now usually
shaped as a hook on the end of the rod, making it resemble a shepherd's
staff such as those used in ancient Israel.
For each success, a success is canceled on the opponent's roll; more than that, however, an amount of Quintessence is absorbed equal to the number of successes removed divided by (six minus the maximum Sphere level of the effect), rounded down. Thus a passive Prime scan, if any Quintessence at all was absorbed, would produce only one point of Quintessence for five successes. An attempt to drop a Forces 5 Ball of Abysmal Flame on the Chosen, if absorbed, would produce a point of Quintessence for each success...though any successes not absorbed might well leave the Chosen extra crispy regardless. Obviously, Archmagus-level magick will overload the rod. The Quintessence absorbed is _very_ heavily Resonant, as might be expected, and that from Nephandus or Marauder effects is obviously disposed of immediately.
Retaliatory Strike (Prime 3)
The rod is more than a passive absorption mechanism. While hardly
a permanent Talisman, it is capable of utilizing the absorbed Quintessence
to duplicate the effect that it was taken from...only once, of course,
or as many times as the effect was absorbed. If any of the Quintessence
has been used for another purpose, the effect will simply fail. The
effect nearly always manifests in Vulgar form, the coincidences negated
by the circumstances of the recasting; in other words, Paradox is very
dangerous when an effect is used this way. (This rote was partly
inspired by, though of necessity does not follow the rules from:
Murphy worked on Mage 2nd edition, so he should know what he's talking
Three Craft Secrets Top of Page
Recently, Dana Hatter was peremptorily summoned to Horizon to discuss relations with the Traditions; the Chosen have become too strong too fast to be left alone, yet not strong enough to defend themselves if a major attack occurred. Very soon, the Hermetics, Sons of Ether, and Chorus are about to offer membership to all the Chosen (and the Virtual Adepts to a few). However, the Chosen have no intention of being subsumed into any Tradition and have therefore formed a contingency plan; they will pretend to have a falling out, and the supposed factions will separately join the Hermetics, Etherites, and Virtual Adepts. The bad feeling will pass quickly, but it will seem that the damage has been done. In fact, the Chosen intend to maintain open lines of communication and thereby influence not one but three Traditions from within. Whether they can successfully pull this ambitious plan off remains to be seen....
Another secret that will inevitably be revealed to the Traditions is that the Chosen have an extensive base of metamagickal Prime effects. Most notably, the Chosen have devised a means of working cooperative effects using Mind and Prime that allows mages to work together even if they don't have all the Spheres needed for an effect at any level as if they each had at least one dot of all the Spheres, and mages within one dot of having sufficient levels of a Sphere to work together as if they had all the needed requirements. Though the technique is dangerously Paradox-prone, it has the potential to revolutionize cooperative magick if it can be refined. House Bonisagus will probably be foaming at the mouth to see it....
One final secret that may come out in the course of play is the Chosen's
Renaissance Project--a doomsday plan that is essentially the ultimate time
capsule. Almost certainly too ambitious for the Chosen to successfully
carry out alone (indeed, it may be too much even for the Traditions), the
plan is to seed the Deep Umbra with "microcosm spheres" like the one from
which the Chosen grew their Horizon Realm. Should the Earth be destroyed
by a Nephandic attack or other means, the spheres will remain and, on encountering
favorable conditions, grow into new Deep Umbral Realms. The most deeply
guarded secret is that the spheres are to contain not only information
about Earth and the means to create a realm, but also the necessary information
to recreate the minds of individuals and thus restore them to life--and
the Chosen themselves are of course the prime candidates.... (Granted,
they also hope to gather enough information from whatever remains of Earth
to recreate other people, but who knows whether that will be possible.
Take note that this is not a "heaven substitute", but a means of forestalling
the Judgement even past the end of Earth itself, so as to save as many
souls as possible. Many Chosen believe that the Judgement will not occur
until the Chosen have been utterly destroyed or are victorious.
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