Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mystical Tyranny as Esoteric Skill

Those who practice the philosophy of Mystical Tyranny gain unprecedented knowledge of and access to Dark Communion. While Dark Communion is listed as an “optional trait,” it is definitely the reason one studies Mystical Tyranny. It also grants (even requires!) Hidden Lore Communion, and offers the unique trait of Dark Investiture which grants even greater facility with Dark Communion. It does not offer any “signature miracles” or special facility with any path (including, despite its name, the Mystical Tyrant), because the cult-like practices of the actual Cult of the Mystic Tyrant are but a relic of this philosophies past. It treats with all of Dark Communion and does so with unparalleled skill.

The philosophy demands that all practitioners come to understand what drives them, through meditation, and to focus on it. The style helps practitioners remove disadvantages that might “weaken” them with undue regard for their fellow man, and helps guide them towards their ultimate, self-focused drives. In addition to gaining “selfish” disadvantages, the GM might allow characters to “improve” their selfish disadvantages by taking them at lower and lower control ratings.

Finally, the philosophy focuses intently on the nature of truth and power. Those who master themselves become intimately familiar with what drives people, and they can use this against others, and to protect themselves. Many practitioners of Mystical Tyranny become Indomitable or gain additional Will, or learn to disregard any influence, social or supernatural, that relies on the flawed foundation of language. In turn, Mystical Tyrants become excellent manipulators of others, and are especially good at non-verbal manipulation, controlling others through fashion, architecture, art and even just their stance or where they choose to place their gaze.

Put together, masters of Mystical Tyranny cut imposing and confident figures who know what they want and never hesitate to seize it. They understand the flawed underpinnings of other philosophies and tear them apart, cutting straight to the personal motivations of their subject. And, of course, they command the dark power of Communion, which both fuels their power and allows them to call down amazing and terrifying miracles upon their foes. Those who truly master the teachings of the Mystic Tyrant learn that reality itself is flexible to their will and they learn to impose their vision of the world, both moral and physical, to create new universal laws that grant them amazing and unnatural powers. Those who follow them and swear oaths to them can also gain access to these powers.

Mystical Tyranny 5 points

Required Skills: Hidden Lore (Communion), Meditation, Philosophy (Mystical Tyranny), Psychology

Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength

Secret Traits: Dark Investiture; Futility of Language, Transcendent Master

Techniques: Aesthetic Appreciation (Philosophy), Comparative Philosophy (Any Philosophy), Inner Journey (Meditation), Philosophical Argument (Any Philosophy), Symbolic Communion Lore (Philosophy)

Perks: Aesthetics of Power, Cloaked, Controllable Disadvantage (Any Mental), Dark Contract, Looks Good in Uniform, High Heeled Heroine, Influence Schtick (Any), Inner Mastery, Passionate Psi, Secret Knowledge (Mental Strength), Secret Power (Any Transcendent Power); Secret Trait (Dark Investiture, Futility of Language), Signature Symbolism, Special Exercise (Will may exceed 20).

Optional Secondary Characteristics: Will

Optional Advantages: Charisma, Dark Communion, Fashion Sense, High Pain Threshold, Indomitable, Intuitive Statesman, Occultist, Rapier Wit, Transcendent Master, Voice.

Optional Disadvantages: Callous, Bad Temper, Bully, Greed, Intolerance (Any), Jealousy, Obsession (Any), Overconfidence, Lecherousness, Selfish, Secret (Member of the Cult of the Mystic Tyrant), Stubbornness, Vow (Loyalty to a master).

Removable Disadvantages: Charitable, Cowardice, Clueless, Delusions (any superstition), Easy to Read, Guilt Complex, Gullibility, Honesty, Oblivious, Pacifism (Any), Selflessness, Sense of Duty (Any), Shyness, Truthfulness

Optional Skills: Acting, Archaeology, Architecture, Body Language, Connoisseur (Fashion, Relics), Expert Skill (Conspiracy Theory), Detect Lies, Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Law (Any), Leadership, Hidden Lore (Places of Power), History (Any), Intimidation, Intelligence Analysis, Occultism, Politics, Propaganda, Savoir-Faire (Any), Sex Appeal, Streetwise, Strategy, Teaching

New Perks

Aesthetics of Power: Prerequisite: Aesthetic Appreciation 16+, Fashion Sense; Increase the bonus granted by Fashion Sense to +2 in circumstances where the character wishes to portray personal power and gravitas.

Dark Contract: The character may draw upon Dark Communion for additional psychic energy only using the Dark Communion Contract rules. This perk is unnecessary for characters with Dark Communion.

Inner Mastery: Characters may substitute Meditation for Will for Psionic Extra-Effort rolls.

Passionate Psi: Whenever the character fails to resist a mental disadvantage with a self-control value (voluntarily or otherwise), the character gains +1 to his psionic rolls for every -5 points the disadvantage is worth. This works best when using the Ham Clause.

Signature Symbolism: The character has a unique symbol associated with his path, as he slowly diverges from it and creates a new path. A character may have no more levels of Signature Symbolism than his Legendary Reputation, and upon achieving 4 signature symbols, the GM might consider creating a new, unique path for the character, with new milestones and new powers. The various schisms have their own symbolism as each Tyrant walked his own version of the path of the Mystic Tyrant.

New Techniques

Inner Journey (Hard)

Prerequisite: Meditation.

Default: Meditation; May not exceed Meditation+4.

During an intense bout of meditation, the character may turn his eye inward and undergo an “inner journey.” He perceives his own mind and may wrestle, metaphorically, with his inner demons. This acts as a complimentary roll for a Psychology roll to understand one’s own mind, and allows one to perform psychological therapy upon oneself. Multiple, extended uses of Inner Journey can be used to justify spending points to remove a controllable or self-imposed disadvantage, or to acquire a new one.

New Advantages

Dark Investiture 10/level

The character gains a bonus to all Dark Communion reaction rolls equal to his Dark Investiture level; this is cumulative with any Path Reputation he might have. A character may not take more than 4 levels of Dark Investiture without GM permission.

Statistics: Power Investiture (Dark)

Futility of Language 7/10/20 points

The character has learned that words have no meaning except what we assign to them. At level 1, the character applies +3 to Will Rolls to resist any influence roll that involves using the spoken or written word to influence the character, or any form of supernatural influence (such as Enthrallment or Suggestion) that requires the character to understand the words that the influencer says; at level 2, this effect increases to +8, and at level 3, the character is fully immune to such effects. This advantage provides no protection against unspoken influences (such as influence rolls made with an Influence Schtick).

Statistics: Resistant (Influence; cosmic, includes supernatural influence +50%; Aspect, linguistic influence only -20%) [20].

Transcendent Master 15 points

The character has achieved sufficient mastery of his own psionic potential that he can manifest his vision and will upon the world in such a way that the very laws of physics change for him and those who follow him. This allows the character to access transcendent powers or create their own. Such a character is the culmination of the Mystical Tyranny philosophy, having achieved total self-mastery, and will likely gain a following within the Cult. If the GM allows characters who follow the philosophy of Mystical Tyranny to gain Illuminated, then Illuminated replaces Transcendent Master, and characters with Illuminated my access or create their own Transcendent Powers.

This trait may be PC inappropriate, depending on campaign considerations; it also requires considerable insights into the true nature of Communion. Players should ask the GM before taking it, and the GM is free to apply any prerequisites he sees fit. Suggested prerequisites include Philosophy (Mystical Tyranny) 20+, Dark Communion 15+ and Dark Investiture 4, and typically characters only gain this after experiencing some profound insight.

Statistics: Unusual Background (May create own transcendent powers)

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