member, 120 posts
Thu 23 Nov 2017
at 08:13
MtAs thoughts about Technocratic Spheres

I've been playing and running MtA since the mid 90s, while as a scientists I found MtA approach to science and scientists mildly annoying and amusing it did not change the fact that the Technocracy made for a great opposition and raised many great stories.

I've been thinking of running M20 with a more Technocratic bend and been thinking about Spheres and their meaning.
The major clash I feel is that Scientific approach deals with observation, study and understanding of the Universe, there is a learning curve between generation. MtA Spheres are on the other-hands statics i.e what I know/capable as a Master of Life (rank 5) is the same if I play in 1900, 1960 or 2015. The Spheres are defined and set.

Such approach is very fitting for mystical approaches which are looking backwards, please allow me to explain. A mystical approach define a set point in time (usually when the originator of the philosophy was alive) where the peak of understanding was achieved. This mean that the max bar was set and all followers can do is try to reach that level knowledge and reach their full potential. A follower of Buddha had the same spiritual peak regardless if he was alive in 1900, 1960 or 2015.

Science work forward, we admit our ignorance and expect that in the future we will know more (because we observe, question and learn), take any field of knowledge, compare our understanding in 1900, 1960 and 2015 and you will see giants leaps in understanding and application.

The whole scientific experience is to learn by observation and experimentation (which turn kinda moot if Reality is based on your will it but this is another discussion). I am not sure how it would be best express this in  game. One way I thought to do so was by defining a sliding scale, what was once a Life 5 effect turns into Life 2 effect as Biology and Medicine advance (or maybe even turn into a skill and require no magick at all).

I'd be happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the matter.

This message was last updated by the user at 08:29, Thu 23 Nov 2017.

 forum moderator, 1882 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Thu 23 Nov 2017
at 14:35
MtAs thoughts about Technocratic Spheres
Hmmm... I would say that the spheres should remain set as they are, because it isn't about advancing knowledge and understanding of how things work in the way science does, but more about what an individual wielder of the powers is capable of learning and doing. So it's maybe more analogous to being an athlete than a scientist. Human beings haven't gotten any faster at running, regardless of whether they ran in 1900, 1960, etc. (I imagine advances in nutrition and fitness would've helped a bit but...). And some people are naturally faster than others depending on genetics. So it is with individual mages and how far up the levels they can get.

From a Technocracy perspective, they might have lots more knowledge amassed on how to do things and teach things, but an individual student is still going to have to go to the library to read all that, they won't be able to do read it all, and they're going to pick stuff they're personally interested in. I think it might be more analogous to paths to enlightenment. There are methods of meditation and etc. that are thousands of years old, but each individual student still has to do the whole path themselves, and humanity as a whole hasn't managed to become overall more enlightened just because the knowledge is available.