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EricW

Could a Thanatari steal Dragon Magic from captured Dragonewts?

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

If you read the process of Consume Mind, it is a ritual that allows the rapid learning of magic and knolwedge skills (as well as spells).  As Dragon mysticism is effectively a magical skill, and is learned via experience, why is there a problem?  It would just be like the rapid experience of a series of Nysalor Riddles until you fail one improvement check. I would call it Sudden Illumination.  Of course this would be devastating to the dragonewt's rebirth, and would probably nuke them back to a crested dragonewt.  This would be even more effective if the Thanatari were already illuminated.  I would need to hear some pretty cogent reasons why this shouldn't be the case.

As you stated in a thread relating to 'dragonewt wierdness', to gain any such understanding would at minimum require the splitting of tongue and brain.

The trauma of this being imposed instantly would certainly cause mental damage, if not death.

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5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

As you stated in a thread relating to 'dragonewt wierdness', to gain any such understanding would at minimum require the splitting of tongue and brain.

The trauma of this being imposed instantly would certainly cause mental damage, if not death.

Consume mind is traumatic, there is a substantial risk of failure in the write ups I’ve read. But there is also a chance of success.

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3 hours ago, EricW said:

Consume mind is traumatic, there is a substantial risk of failure in the write ups I’ve read. But there is also a chance of success.

Perfectly true, but that is not what is being talked about with the bifurcation of the brain.  That would be considerably worse, particularly if inflicted in an instant, let alone the trauma of the pain from the physical mutilation.

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20 hours ago, Darius West said:

If you read the process of Consume Mind, it is a ritual that allows the rapid learning of magic and knolwedge skills (as well as spells).  As Dragon mysticism is effectively a magical skill, and is learned via experience, why is there a problem? 

Illumination is less a simple experience, and more a profound transformation of the self. It is notoriously difficult to communicate. I do not think Consume Mind will do it. 

And on rereading the description of the Create Head ritual, the spells are not created directly by the spirit within the head, but are cast by the heads owner (ie via Mind Link). So I think I will change my position to agree with Jeff - simply creating a dragonnewt head ghost does not give the Thanatari that power either, the Thanatari simply does not have the right kind of soul. 

A Thanatari might be able to compel the trapped dragonnewt soul to perform Dragon magic?  But that would be a case by case, and basically a campaign specific call. 

 

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6 hours ago, davecake said:

Illumination is less a simple experience, and more a profound transformation of the self. It is notoriously difficult to communicate. I do not think Consume Mind will do it. 

And on rereading the description of the Create Head ritual, the spells are not created directly by the spirit within the head, but are cast by the heads owner (ie via Mind Link). So I think I will change my position to agree with Jeff - simply creating a dragonnewt head ghost does not give the Thanatari that power either, the Thanatari simply does not have the right kind of soul.  

Can Thanatari be illuminated?  Yes they can. So as illumination is also something gained by experience, and so is dragon magic, then any person can potentially learn how to do it.  Saying that somehow Thanatari don't have the right kind of soul is just outright moral prejudice without any foundation in reality.  Magic doesn't care about morality, it is just a force.  Mysticism doesn't care about morality, it is just an insight.  Now Gods and spirits care about morality, and may delimit people's access to their powers if they are bad, but that is the exception, and Illumination doesn't require deities.  As to Draconic mystics, well, I daresay that the Thanatari will get more out of it if they have the split brain operation so my consume mind worked to the full effect (disguised as a Yelmalion or a Trickster of course), but they should gain some benefits without such. When playing a Thanatari if I captured a dragonewt, I would be all over getting that split brain operation. As to Dragonewt head ghosts, well, It is a bit hard to transform your body when you only have a severed head, but firebreath and similar "head only" transformations would still work.  

Edited by Darius West

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Saying that somehow Thanatari don't have the right kind of soul is just outright moral prejudice without any foundation in reality. 

I’m not saying they necessarily haven’t - just that Draconic Illumination is not simply knowledge, but a deeper transformation. A Thanatari with draconic consciousness could cast dragon magic, they just probably have to acquire it through mystic practice like everyone else.

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

I’m not saying they necessarily haven’t - just that Draconic Illumination is not simply knowledge, but a deeper transformation. A Thanatari with draconic consciousness could cast dragon magic, they just probably have to acquire it through mystic practice like everyone else.

On a tangent - could said Thanatari steal dragon magic earned as a reward for a bachelorhood of faithful service to a newtling?

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On 2/12/2019 at 3:24 AM, davecake said:

I don't think every group that takes heads as trophies are Thanatari, or Chaotic. 

The Storm Tribe definitely took heads as trophies. That is why Tien was beheaded - Storm Bull's Son took his head as a trophy.

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I imagine the existence of Thanatar makes head-taking a little more suspect as an activity, but only in the same way as Ragnaglar makes goat-herding a little dubious. Some people are likely to do it anyway.

("We are doing it the right way.")

Edited by Akhôrahil
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On 2/13/2019 at 11:33 PM, davecake said:

I’m not saying they necessarily haven’t - just that Draconic Illumination is not simply knowledge, but a deeper transformation. A Thanatari with draconic consciousness could cast dragon magic, they just probably have to acquire it through mystic practice like everyone else.

Yes, but Consume Mind actually promotes a rapid uptake of that mystical experience.  You make experience checks to the limit of the available skill and everything, and if you fail one, you stop, and gain no more skill. There is no implicit reason why a dragonewt couldn't pass through the crested and beaked stage etc and go on to become a full dragon without needing a rebirth after it is first laid and hatched, based on it having a natural affinity for the process.  Remember that most dragonewts alive today are basically the remedial class.  If Consume Mind can grant you spells, then there is no reason why it can't grant you mystic insight.  For example, if a character had experienced and answered 15 Nysalor riddles before being mentally consumed,  the Thanatari would be subjected to those riddles too.

Edited by Darius West
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13 hours ago, Darius West said:

Yes, but Consume Mind actually promotes a rapid uptake of that mystical experience. 

Provided that the mind is the seat of that mystical experience, which may not be the case.

 

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Provided that the mind is the seat of that mystical experience, which may not be the case.

And that is the whole point of this thread, I believe.

Is Dragonewt Magic something that can be learned and cast as a spell, being mind-based, or is it effectively an ability that is gained by the Dragonewt?

 

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Couldn't this line of argument be levied against lots of powers that demonstrably can be stolen? A Yelmite wouldn't argue that the divine magic is just a particular skillset - he would argue that it's only something you can use because you maintain the correct purity and so on. An Orlanthi wouldn't think has the skill to summon the thunder - it's a result of his personal relationship with and emulation of his god. A mystic wouldn't think the magical powers are mere learned tricks, but the results of mystical awareness or something.  They would certainly say their powers include more than just a purely intellectual part.

Either such notions are mistaken, or the method of theft inherently includes ways to bypass any such seeming restrictions.

(In some ways, it's a bit odd how RQ treats divine powers as mere commodities, not just here but also with Issaries Spell Trading.)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I think from the weaker versions of the rune spell (ingest scroll and devour book) that the consumed mind should* be treated as a source of information rather than a source of magic.  Thus the Atyari would know what the consumed mind knew.

*In other words, I know the spell description says otherwise, it's just that I think it makes better sense if it were done this way.

As for the original question of a dragonewt head, I think the dragonewt has become polluted and any known dragon magic becomes one-use as any connection with the Cosmic Dragon is burnt off. 

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1 minute ago, metcalph said:

As for the original question of a dragonewt head, I think the dragonewt has become polluted and any known dragon magic becomes one-use as any connection with the Cosmic Dragon is burnt off. 

While this makes sense, wouldn't that apply to other magics as well? Everyone would think pollution has happened!

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Just now, Akhôrahil said:

While this makes sense, wouldn't that apply to other magics as well? Everyone would think pollution has happened!

It depends on what the nature of the major head is like in RQG.  The cult wasn't updated thoroughly for Shadows on the Borderland (insufficient time) so the only real reference is the Cults of Terror writeup - which has issues.  I could see a ghost being compelled to cast its rune magic but I have reservations about any magic being re-usable under the Thanatari's control.  

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

It depends on what the nature of the major head is like in RQG.  The cult wasn't updated thoroughly for Shadows on the Borderland (insufficient time) so the only real reference is the Cults of Terror writeup - which has issues.  I could see a ghost being compelled to cast its rune magic but I have reservations about any magic being re-usable under the Thanatari's control.  

In RQG the Rune Points used to fuel the magic would only be regainable by a) Worship of the appropriate God; b) Votive items kept in Sacred places. The first source of replenishment wouldn't be very easy to achieve, I suspect. The second source would depend on the items being maintained and retaining their connection to the congregant. I can see that being more likely to persist, especially if the fate of the person was unknown to the custodian of the Votive item.

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

As for the original question of a dragonewt head, I think the dragonewt has become polluted and any known dragon magic becomes one-use as any connection with the Cosmic Dragon is burnt off. 

Doesn't that sort of apply to any victims of a Create Head spell?

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Provided that the mind is the seat of that mystical experience, which may not be the case.

The mind is by definition "that which experiences".  You can't have a mystical experience without a mind, because you can't have an experience without a mind.

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5 hours ago, womble said:

In RQG the Rune Points used to fuel the magic

Which is probably the best way of defining whether magic can be stolen by Thanatari. If it can be cast using Rune Points then it can be cast from a Thanatari Head, but uses Thanatari Rune Pool rather than the original.

Dragon Magic does not use a Rune Pool, therefore cannot be used.

Edited by soltakss

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8 hours ago, womble said:

In RQG the Rune Points used to fuel the magic would only be regainable by a) Worship of the appropriate God; b) Votive items kept in Sacred places. The first source of replenishment wouldn't be very easy to achieve, I suspect. The second source would depend on the items being maintained and retaining their connection to the congregant. I can see that being more likely to persist, especially if the fate of the person was unknown to the custodian of the Votive item.

If and only if the Thanatari couldn't use his own rune points to power the rune spells of his head.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Dragon Magic does not use a Rune Pool, therefore cannot be used.

Dragon Magic does not seem to use a rune pool because Dragonewts are NPCs.  A rune pool can however explain their behaviour in using Dragon Magic and would be useful for human casters of Dragon Magic.  So the objection isn't as strong as you assume.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Doesn't that sort of apply to any victims of a Create Head spell?

Reread the description of the major head (Cults of Terror p68).

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

The mind is by definition "that which experiences".  You can't have a mystical experience without a mind, because you can't have an experience without a mind.

I don't remember exactly how Greg put it, but he differentiated between that that can be known rationally and logically, which was the province of the mind, and that which cannot, which was part of the mystic "experience". I agree that the term "experience" for the mystic whatever is not completely correct as per the dictionary definition, but I don't know the jargon used by mystics to (fail to) communicate their mystical moments or journeys.

Let me put it this way: the Kingdom of Logic and its inhabitants were unable to cope with the concept of the mystic east, and they had mastery over the Mind.

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17 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Dragon Magic does not seem to use a rune pool because Dragonewts are NPCs.  A rune pool can however explain their behaviour in using Dragon Magic and would be useful for human casters of Dragon Magic.  So the objection isn't as strong as you assume.

Well according to all the sources I've read, at least, dragon magic for Dragonewts is innate and not granted by some higher power. Humans in organizations like the Path of Immanent Mastery may cast their dragon magic with Rune points since the path evolved out of Hsunchen dragon worship iirc, but true dragon magic seems to be more along the lines of personal abilities, not learned/god-given spells. The real cost of dragon magic is probably emotional, with overuse of it causing the Dragonewt to lose mastery over the emotional pairs they had to master in the previous stage and thus devolve (humans don't have to worry about devolution so the consequences of overuse were probably much less concerning to the EWF and other second age dragon mystics).

In any case, I would personally say a Thanatari who tries to bind a Dragonewt head would suddenly undergo a traumatic awakening of their dragon mind/dream, a process which may well kill them unless they somehow prepared for it. If they survive then they can use the dragonewt's magic until the rest of the nest comes to hunt them down, tear their limbs off, and throw them to the dragons. Taking the head seems like it would be as serious a crime as egg breaking.

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