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 The Metaphysical Trinity & Resonance

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PostSubject: The Metaphysical Trinity & Resonance   Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:41 pm

The Trinity
The Metaphysic Trinity is the conceptualization of the cycle of forces in the Tellurian. The Trinity consists of the creative and generative force of Dynamism, the preserving force of Stasis, and the destructive and purifying force of Entropy. The exact relationship between the metaphysical concepts of the Trinity and the Celestines known as the Triat isn't quite clear: the Metaphysical Trinity may be forces generating from the Triat, or the Triat may be embodiments of the fundamental forces of the Trinity. (Naturally, Garou and other servants of Gaia and/or the Triat universally believe the Triat to be the source of these forces.)

Mages whose Avatars favor all three aspects of the Metaphysic Trinity equally (or who favor none at all) tend to have Questing Essences.

As a mage creates magical Effects, she invests them with her own wills, desires and drives. Naturally, the results reflect such strong emotions as the mage imprints her own vision of reality over the cosmos. Each mage has a few Resonance Traits, a set of adjectives that describe the sorts of Resonance that the mage normally builds. A mage normally starts with one dot in one Resonance Trait: a Dynamic Trait, an Entropic Trait or a Static Trait. Through further actions, the mage may develop additional Traits of the different sorts or garner additional dots.

During character creation, you need to select the Resonance characteristics for each Trait. Your character’s Dynamic Resonance might be Energetic, Violent or Fiery; Entropic Resonance could be Destructive, Languorous or Seething; Static Resonance might manifest as Accurate, Geometric or Smothering. These Traits describe how your character’s magic tends to change according to her emotions. Every magical Effect that the mage does is affected in some way by Resonance; the more dots the mage has in a Trait, the stronger its manifestation.

Dynamic Resonance reflects the pure creative force of the universe, the drive to make new and different things, action without thought to consequences and continuous motion and evolution. Such Resonance Traits are fast, moving and mutating, though the Trait itself tends to stay the same for any given mage.

Entropic Resonance reflects the mage’s tie to primordial energy, the bubbling morass that melts Creation back down into fluid emptiness and makes room for new birth. Entropic Traits show decay, destruction and death, though not always in a wholly negative way. Jhor is a special kind of Entropic Resonance, garnered from too much interaction with death energy.

Static Resonance shows up in patterns, constants and the solidification of Creation into permanent or semi-permanent forms and repeatable ideas. Such Traits are often intellectual, heavily patterned or highly organized.

Each dot in a Resonance Trait indicates a certain level of Resonance that appears in the mage’s magic. With high levels of Resonance, the mage is likely to have every Effect twisted in a noticeable ay to reflect his personal Resonance. A mage with low levels of Resonance might show only subtle changes, and he might not manifest any noticeable Resonance in very small effects.
Resonance is traceable to those who know what to look for. A mage can often determine if a particular Resonance fits a certain mage’s style. With a Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty of 10 minus the Resonance score), a mage can determine the type of Resonance present in an Effect if it’s not otherwise immediately noticeable. (“Aha! My old nemesis Dr. Lugan always used Vindictive magic, and this Effect fits his style perfectly.”)
A mage who builds an Effect that works with her Resonance often finds it easier to work such magic. A mage with the Fiery Dynamic Resonance has an easier time with fire magic, a mage with the Static Resonance of Perspicacious is better with insightful Mind magic and so on. This effect translated as a reduction in difficulty (by one) to Effects that play on the mage’s specific Resonance, as long as the player describes a specific way to make the spell use his Resonance Trait. It’s not enough just to say “I have Static Resonance for Thinking so I get a bonus on all Mind Effects.” The player must make some part of the Effect reflect the appropriate Resonance deliberately.
A mage’s Resonance usually changes only when she’s heavily influenced by strong magical powers. This change can occur during a Seeking, after botching an Effect in a spectacular fashion or when visiting a strange Horizon Realm.

When a mage works his Effects, his Resonance causes the Effect to reflect his intent and emotion. The personal, unique nature of each mage causes each form of Resonance to be special, though. Mages who are experienced in sensing Prime threads – or who just have good supernatural instincts – can often tell a mage’s specific form of Resonance. They can even recognize who built an Effect or tell a little about the individual. Conversely, mages may try to dampen their own Resonance to make their Effects more subtle.

Resonance tends to flavor Effects in proportion to the Effects’ own intensity – a large, flashy vulgar Effect will have more Resonance than a subtle, coincidental Effect. This Resonance manifests in the Effect itself, causing it to look or feel strange according to the mage’s Resonance Traits. It may also cause the Effect to generate a subtly eerie feeling that causes mages to take note, animals to become uneasy and humans to get a creepy feeling. …

When a mage creates an Effect, the mage’s Resonance characteristics often show how the mage’s emotions get involved in her magic. It’s not as if the Resonance actually changes the Effect; rather, the Resonance is an indicator of how the mage’s Effects always manifest. The Resonance is a natural way to describe the mage’s particular style of magic. An angry, violent mage tends to create very fiery and dynamic Effects, while a particular and studious mage will do magic that’s systematic and precise.

The simplest way to let Resonance affect magic is just to take the mage’s highest Resonance Trait and find some way to influence the Effect accordingly. That sort of emotion comes through in all of the mage’s Effects. The more powerful the Resonance, the more it impacts the Effects and causes them to take strange properties – weird lights or sounds, strange ways of manifesting, bizarre hallucinations, spectacular appearance or any other number of odd changes. A mage with a single dot of Dynamic Resonance, for instance, may have Effects that are a little whimsical or that sometimes do chaotic and unpredictable things, while five dots of Dynamic Resonance would add whirling, spinning alterations, bizarre manifestations and strange, completely unplanned changes to the magical results. …

Of course, Resonance needs not affect a mage’s Effects all the time. It can be quite cumbersome to come up with an alteration for every magical Effect that every mage does! Instead, it may be easier to come up with a few “signature signs” for each mage. Look at the Resonance Traits that the mage has, and come up with a couple of key ways in which the mage might color her magic. For instance, if your mage has the Entropic Resonance Trait of Dissonant, you might decide that a harsh musical chord often accompanies the mage’s vulgar Effects. …

Of course, Resonance doesn’t just affect the mage’s magical powers. A potent mage has an almost tangible aura, a mystical something that sets him apart from mortals. His power radiated from his incredible enlightenment, his mastery of the Spheres and the changes that his will causes to the world around him. Naturally, normal humans aren’t exactly comfortable with this weirdness.

Most newly Awakened mages have a sense of the world being a little more strange and different than they ever believed. Their own alienation reflects in a disconnection from the world that mortals know and feel instinctively as the “normal” world.

Since a mage’s Resonance manifests in his actions, voice, mannerisms and magic, people can sometimes tell that the mage is more than human. In normal social situations, the mage may suffer a penalty in reactions with humans – one point of difficulty for each dot in the highest Resonance Trait. This penalty can be overcome with appropriate Mind magic, or if the mage’s Resonance wouldn’t necessarily discomfit the human in question (at the Storyteller’s discretion). Acolytes and free-thinkers often deal with “weird” people as a matter of course.

Detecting a mage’s Resonance isn’t really a subject for dice rolls, though you might use a Perception + Awareness roll to determine if someone has Resonance. In general, Resonance is a descriptive effect for mages. Including subtle hints at the mage’s Resonance is a good way to add some description to the character and an indication of the mage’s strangeness or areas of magical study.

Sample Resonance Traits

Your character’s Resonance Traits can be just about any descriptive adjectives that describe some appropriate characteristic. Don’t just be limited to these – make up your own!

Dynamic traits describe things in motion, change, new ideas and action. Try traits like Quick, Flashy, Unique, Creative, Spinning, Whirling, Frantic, Frenzied, Intriguing, Liberating or Novel.

Entropic Resonance covers destruction, death, decay, renewal and primordial energy. Use things like Seething, bubbling, Destructive, Corrupting, Withering, Disintegrating, Chaotic, Subtle, Primal or Ravaging.
Static Resonance ties into principles of definition and construction. Good ones include Single-Minded, Focused, Intense, Patterned, Tiered, Enfolding, Encompassing, Defined, Programmed or Illuminating.
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