3 thoughts on “Episode 33b: 2063b: Tir Elves get Shelved, Rock Me AI Deus….

  1. Opti,
    I liked your bit on the difference between Hermeticists and Shamans. As a quasi traditionalist mage I’ll add my take is the two groups’ world view is what really sets them apart. Shamans tend to believe the world is a living entity and take the various spirits, gods, totems, etc at face value. Hermeticists tend to believe all those are mental constructs. Powerful mental constructs often created by very powerful entities and with a great deal of autonomy – but constructs nonetheless. To some pure Hermeticists the world is just a thing and metahumanity is the measure of the universe. The worst of them don’t even allow for an omnipotent God or even individual metahumans. Needless to say these drekkers make for some pretty cold fish when they aren’t plain toxic.

    In the end most Hermeticists see spirits as servants or potential servants, acquiesing to submit to them only if the spirit proves truly overpowering. The Shaman’s take is that spirits are chummers, mentors, occasional servants, bosses, enemies, banks, and rental agencies. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. On the one hand, Hermeticists don’t have to put up with Coyote’s drek or get ridden by Baron Saturday to run his errands (I’m told the hangovers are epic). On the other hand having to man handle every spirit to get it to do something and micromanage their efforts can get pretty old. The Sixth World being what it is, the groups cheerfully mix and match and anyone intending to be pure at one world view misses out.

    Finally: “Enjoy your freedom! Something horrible is coming!” = LOL. Something squamous I’ll bet.

      1. Not really. Hermeticists have used spirits to mentor them before. It’s just traditionally a coercive transaction – heck the real old school mages used to summon spirits into astral cages, draw swords at them and make all sorts of nasty threats until the spirit did their bidding. And some hermeticists were a little quick sometimes to kowtow to a powerful spirit that could bully them back. You know all about the so called Adversary and how that magical relationship tends to work out. Having a totem that aligns with a mage’s world view and life path is a lot easier to deal with. Mages get the advice and sometimes a little mojo but don’t have to deal with it in a way that arouses animosity. Neither has to suck up to the other. Though discerning between a totem’s eccentric requests (and humoring them sometimes) vs. actual imperatives like “duck!” in key moments go a long way to making the relationship a lasting and happy one. Not all totem using hermeticists get that though.

        To me fireballs always seemed unnatural for a shaman to use. But any shadowrunning shaman who doesn’t see the use of having a firebomb up his or her sleeve is a gonk.

        Let’s face it, most of what we really know about magic is from the 6th World. Most of the dogma about magic is from ages when it barely worked or was an outright con game. It’s only gonna get weirder from here, omae.

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