Mage: Chantry/Construct Creation

What is a Chantry or Construct

A Chantry or Construct is a base of operations for mages and their allies. This could be a single cabal or amalgam, several cabals or amalgams operating under the same roof, or a massive power base like Doissetep. A character with the Chantry/Construct Background belongs to such a base, and this comes with certain benefits  and responsibilities.

Joining

  • Traditions -Tradition mages may choose between joining one of the NPC chantries or starting their own.
    • NPC Chantry – Joining an NPC chantry offers an existing structure, culture and mission, NPC back up if you get in trouble, political support, and potentially access to the chantry’s resources. The downside is that there are NPCs and Tradition politics that one must contend with. Players form cabals within these chantires, and may pool resources together as a group.
    • PC Chantry – Going out on your own offers total freedom. Your PCs set the agenda, not the NPCs, you can customize your mission, goals, and decide the fate of your chantry on your own. The downside is that new chantries take time to build up, and are a little more vulnerable to attacks by other mages. Many think that price for freedom is worth it.
  • Disparate
    • NPC – Individual Crafts have bases of power exclusive to them where they pursue their own agendas. Players are welcome to join these once they are defined. Most Disparate mages in LA remain under the same roof that they were trained.
    • PCs – Some members of the Alliance are attempting to form mixed cabals in a similar fashion to the Traditions, but these are early experiments. PCs are welcome to try to unite the very different Crafts into a single unit.
  • Technocracy
    • All Technocracy members are part of the One Wilshire Construct working in amalgams under the Administrator.

General Creation

Chantires/Constructs have the following features, but these may also apply to cabals or amalgams within NPC chantries.

  • Name – Mistridge. Doissetep. House Helekar: Chantry of the Forbidden Lands. Crystal Palace. Ceoris. Construct of Yenosia. It all begins with a name. What is the name of your chantry, cabal, or amalgam?
  • Archetype
    • A chantry’s purpose or mission is represented by its Archetype which is the role it plays in Awakend society. Chantries may serve many purpsoes, but their primary mission is their Archetype. Only one mechanical benefit may be gained.
      • University
        • The chantry or construct is devoted to educating the Awakened whether they are apprentices or those seeking Asension.
        • Benefit: This Archetype offers a -2 to Difficulties to either Expression rolls related to instruction, and Research related to mystic inquiry. Some Universities specialize in a given subject such as Biology, Cosmology, or Technology. If that is the case then they have a -2 to difficulties when offering instruction and research in those Abilities instead. Studying at the University counts as training for the purposes of spending XP to raise Abilities.
      • Workshop
        • Worshops are chantries or constructs that make stuff. These could range from an Etherite auto repair bay, a Virtual Adept techshop, or a Verditius laboratory.
        • The Worshop may choose a Technology or Hypertech speciality. The chantry has a -2 difficulty inventing, analzying, or tinkering with Technology or Hypertech related to theat specialty.
      • War
        • The chantry is at the vanguard of the Ascension War, and are well defended. War chantries often burn hot and go out with a bang, but the smart ones become some of the Awakened’s most legendary forstresses.
        • Benefit: The characters have bonus dice equal to their Chantry rating to be used once per scene in defense of the chantry.
      • Preservation or Ancestral

        • The chantry is devoted to the preservation of a particular culture, Awakened or not. These can come in the form of temples preserving a particuilar religion or simpy the home chantry or construct of a given Tradition, Craft, or Convention.
        • Benefit: This Archetype offers a -2 to Difficulties of Etiquette and Politics rolls made within the chantry.
      • Mystical or Ideological

        • Traditions and Crafts  are often devoted to a particular school of mysticism, and create chantries to explore those systems. More technocratic mages might create a chantry to explore a certain idea or complex technological system such as digital currency, world governments, or obscure branches of Science.
        • The mages choose an Esoterica or Occult specialty. A Mystic Archetype grants its  -2 difficulty on Esoterica or Occult rolls related to that specialty when working within the chantry. Technocrats may substitute a Science or Politics speciality or some other appropriate Ability.
      • Exploration
        • Exploration chantries are seeking unknown areas of the Earth or the Otherworlds.
        • Benefit: The chantry chooses an exploration specialty (example: arctic, Hollow Earth, urban). This Archetype offers a -2 to Difficulties related to Cosmology and Survival related to that specialty.
      • Survival
        • Some mages come together out of necessity. They are focused on just staying a live. These are usually represented by safer houses, bolt holes, or out of the way places where mages come together for common aid.
        • This Archetype grants a -2 Difficulty on Stealth (for the purposes of hiding or escaping only) and either Survival rolls within a five mile radius (rural) or Streetwise rolls within a 5 block radius (urban). For MUSH purposes this is the grid room the chantry’s or construct’s entrance is.
  • Purpose – Chantries aren’t just collections of mages. Why they form differs between factions, however.
    • Traditions – University, war, preservation, research, mystical or religious, exploration, or even survival are are all reasons Traditions form chantries. Tradition chantries tended to be made up of a single Tradition, but the New Horizon Council has taken steps to encourage mixed cabals or chantries in order to strengthen Council ties.
    • Disparate –  This loose confederacy is largely is made up of single-Craft cabals adhering to their own internal structures. They operate where they can keep watch over their protectorates, and advance their particular agendas as they always have. The Storm and the recent pogroms have shown the Crafts that that it helps to have friends in the dark night, however. The Batini once held the Seat of Correspondence, and the Hollow Ones lived in the shadow of the Council  for decades so the idea of mixed chantries is not unknown to the Alliance. Under their leadership, the Alliance has been experimenting with structures similar to that of the Traditions, but the nascent Alliance struggles without a strong, central leadership, governing laws, and a central purpose. Ancestral chantries remain the norm, however.
    • Technocracy – Unlike the Traditions or Crafts, the Technocracy provisions constructs based on an elaborate global strategy. Operatives are assigned to a construct, and the Supervisors and Managers assign operatives to amalgams as needed. Still, amalgams form a kind of family for Technocrats, and they often have their own labs, headquarters or chapterhouses that they operate out of. Conventional (single Convention amalgams), Cross-Convention (mixed), and Shockawave amalgams built for war are common, but research, exploration, university, or other specialized missions how grown since the Pogrom ended. Of the three factions, the Technocratic amalgams are the most focused and specialized.
  • Structure – How is the chantry governed? How does the cabal or amalgam make choices and decide on goals or strategies? Communism? Democracy? A strict hierarchy? A council of deacons?
    • Traditions – Single Tradition  chantries adhere to their own internal structures, but mixed chantries or cabals can adopt any kind of governance they please. Of the three factions, the Traditions have the most variety of structures.
    • Disparate – Made up mostly of single-Craft cabals, the Disparates follow their Craft’s internal structures. Mixed chantries have governing structures that mirror the Traditions, sometimes better, sometimes not.
    • Technocracy – The Technocracy operates under a strict hierarchy from the Shadow Parliament down to the low level janitors. Everyone has a place and an assigned role, and they know it. Technocrats follow a rigid chain of command, and those that disobey that command structure are subject to discipline.
  • Duties & Rights – Membership has its privileges, but that comes with a price. All members of a chantry or construct have duties they must perform. What kind of duty does your chantry, construct, cabal or amalgam perform for their group?
    • Ambassadorships to other chantries or constructs (known as heralds among the Traditions).
    • Collection of Quintessence or other magickal goods for use in rites or labs, investigation, policing, or spying in or outside the chantry, maintaining the pool of servants, animals, or other guardians.
    • Protection or security duties, or even the training of new recruits or staff.
    • The chantry or construct may assign other duties as needed as well.
    • It’s not all work, however. Membership has its rewards:
      • Access – In exchange for services, mages are granted access to libraries, labs, or research materials.
      • Arbitration – The Union has a single justice system all operatives are subject to, but the Traditions and Crafts might vary from chantry to chantry. As a member of the chantry of construct the mage may be able to call upon charters, covenants, by-laws or other rights granted to members to help them get out of a tight spot.
      • Authority – Chantry or construct leadership has the right to command other members of the chantry depending on the chantry structure.
      • Resources – The chantry or construct may allocate other resources such as monies, Tass, perks, tutelage, or favors because of merit, favoritism, quid pro quo, or service.
      • Voting Rights – Depending on the structure, they may run for office or be allowed to vote on the direction or actions the chantry or construct takes.
  • Reputation – Chantry’s or cabal/amalgams’s can’t have status, but they can have reputations which functions similarly. These are based on the average number of pool points in a given chantry, and as those increase, so does the chantry’s reputation. Being from a famous cabal or amalgam does provide the mages with a degree of cache. There’s not mechanical system for this, but it will be taken into consideration when interacting with Awakened society. Reputation is visible to everyone in your faction. It is how your faction views your chantry. Keep in mind that Reputation isn’t always positive. High profile organizations that mess up do so under the watchful eyes of Awakened society. This will be assigned by the Mage Director.
    • The reputation is represented in a short narrative about the chantry.
      • For example, The Red Lodge has a reputation as rule-breakers who get results, or the Alameda Amalgam are the go-to team for black-ops wetwork. If you need something done that leaves no trace you assign the task to Alameda.
          1. Underground – Few have heard of you
          2. Known – A well known in your city
          3. Established – Well known regionally
          4. Famous – Well known nationally
          5. Legendary – Well known globally
  • General information -This is the narrative about your chantry’s history, goals, founding, or any other internal information known only to its members. Think of it as a log of its founding and deeds that can be updated from time to time.
  • Aspects – This is the form or forms, usually a building or structure, that the chantry or construct takes. Smaller chantries might be restricted to a single building while more powerful chantries might have a string of bureaus, safe houses, or temples to look after their interests. Old or powerful chantries might even have a Horizon Realm, though these are often more trouble than their worth.
  • Cabals – Chantries or constructs often have more than one cabal or amalgam operating out of them. These are the lists of these sub-groups. Mages just starting out often only have a single group operating out of them.
  • Servants, Acolytes and Guardians – Who supports the chantry? Who makes dinner, keeps the house warm, cleans up the garden, and takes out the trash? To Technocrats there are unEnlightened Citizens, but to Traditions they have the less common Custos or Grogs. Crafts often draw from their rich cultrual ties, but have no formal name for such allies. Small chantries or amalgams might not have any, but larger ones can have many. Often times, folks who spend a lot of time around mages tend to be touched by magick as well which is often times what brought them into the service of the organization to begin with.
  • Nodes – The life-blood of any mage organization is its source for Quintessence. Many chantries these days have to beg or borrow, or share a Node with other chantries. More powerful ones might control several Nodes. What the Nodes are, how powerful they are, and where they are located goes here. Older chantries are often built on a Node, but newer ones struggle to find such convenient wellsprings What is the Node’s story? How was it taken? Is there a Shallowing or other weird effects around the Node? What Tass does it produce? What is the Node’s Resonance?
  • Defenses – Constructs and  chantries are sanctuaries where mages can rest and practice their magick. They develop many kinds of defenses. Why defenses are in place?
  • Backgrounds – What Backgrounds does the chantry possess (see below)?
  • Merits & Flaws – Chantries can also have Merits and Flaws (as appropriate). Not all Flaws and Merits will work with every group, and require approval from the Mage Director.
    • Merits are purchased with Flaws, Chantry pool points, or may be purchased with XP with Director permission.
    • Merits & Flaws are held collectively, and any members will be drawn into them as well. That means that there has to be a narrative rason for that. A Curse, for example, might be cast on the organization itself. New members who join also become Cursed until they leave. Likewise, they may also gain Oracular Ability either through a secret method known only to the chantry, through initiation, or some other means of transmission. Sometimes its as simple as it being cultural (these folks really like to talk about technology) or sometimes the there are supernatural reasons for it.
    • Merits are limited to 7 points, and only one Aptitude Merit may be chosen (you can’t have Mechanical Aptitude and Computer Aptitude for example).
    • Merits
      • Artistically Gifted, Bardic Gift, Cloak of Seasons, Computer Aptitude, Cyclic Magick, Green Thumb,Guardian Angel, Hands of Daedalus, Hideaway / Safehouse, Inner Knight, Judge’s Wisdom, Local Hero, Loyalty, Lucky, Mark of Favor, Master of Red Tape, Mechanical Aptitude, Natural Channel, Natural Linguist, Noted Messenger, Oracular Ability, Prestige, Prestigious Mentor, Property, Research Grant, Rising Star, Scientific Mystic/ Techgnosi, Secret Code Language, Socially Networked, Spirit Mentor, Subculture Insider, Ties, Umbral Affinity
    • Flaws
      • Anachronism, Apprentice, Bard’s Tongue, Bigot, Bizarre Hunger, Blood Magick, Bound, Branded, Catspaw, Crucial Component, Cultural Other, Cursed, Dark Fate, Dark Secret, Debts, Deranged, Devil’s Mark, Diabolical Mentor, Discredited, Dogmatic, Double Agent, Driving Goal, Echoes, Echo Chamber, Enemy, Expendable, Failure, Family Issues, Fifth Degree, Gremlin, Hatred, Haunted, Hero Worship, Hit List, Icy, Immortal Enemy, Inappropriate, Infamy, Insane/Infamous Mentor, Jinx/Infernal Contraption, Lifesaver, Locked Vidare, Mr. Red Tape, Narc, Notoriety, Oathbreaker, Obsession , Overconfident, Overextended, Paranormal Prohibition or Imperative, Permanent Paradox Flaw, Primal Marks, Prone to Quiet, Rival House, Rivalry, Rogue, Sect Enmity, Special Responsibility, Sphere Inept, Strangeness, Sympathizer, Taint of Corruption, Uncanny, Vanilia, Vulnerability, Ward, Whimsy, Witch-Hunted
  • Chantry background
    • M20 lists the following Backgrounds as being able to be shared within a single group: Allies, Backup, Influence, Laboratory, Library, Mentor, Node, Patron, Resources, Requisitions, Spies, and Wonder.
    • In addition, the following can also be shared: Contacts, Cult, Demesne, Retainers, Secret Weapons
    • Each point of the Chantry/Construct Background offers the following:
      • One shared Background point
      • One point to spend towards Merits
        • Restrictions
          • Some Backgrounds may not be appropriate for the type of organization so Mage Director has the final say. Also, some Backgrounds are more difficult to share than others (such as Cult).
          • Pooled Backgrounds are available to everyone, even non-contributing members, but chantry leadership reserves the right to restrict or allocate Backgrounds as they see fit.
          • There is no limit to the number of Background points a chantry can have, but Backgrounds must:
            1. Make sense for the theme and purpose of the chantry. For example, a University chantry attempting to purchase para-military Backup doesn’t make much sense.
            2. Must supportable by the Chantry’s community. A chantry with where no one has Resources can’t support an army of paid staff.
            3. Mage Director has the right to refuse any Chantry Background spends.
          • Members may share their personal Backgrounds or other Resources, but be warned- Backgrounds shared can be abused, exploited, leveraged, or otherwise used against those who shared them.
          • Chantries/Constructs with multiple cabals/amalgams may choose to share their Chantry points with the entire Chantry or restrict them to just their amalgam/cabal. For example, a Syndicate-only amalgam at One Wilshire might have Node 4, but choose to keep to themselves. A large chantry with many cabals might choose to share a small staff of Retainers amongst themselves.
  • Realm
    • The chantry has managed to find one of the rare surviving Realms in the Otherworlds, or even more rare, has managed to create one. Realms were once symbols of prestige and power held by the the most potent chantries, but nowadays they are viewed as fascinating curiosities or even suspicion. After all, moving too far away from Earth is what got the mages of previous generations in so much hot water. For most chantry’s Horizon Realms are more trouble than they are worth, but for those who make it work find they are invaluable resources in the pursuit of Ascension.
      • Realms cannot be purchased with XP. They must be found or created.
      • Realms are rated 1-10, but players can expect to max out at 5.
      • X – No Realm to speak of.
      • 1 – A pocket Realm; one or two rooms, a small forest glade, or a large ritual circle.
      • 2 – A small Realm; a house, a small island, or a large library or lab.
      • 3 – A large Realm; an estate with a manor, a series of islands, a large science or temple complex.
      • 4 – A huge Realm; a Realm the size of a county; a massive palace, a castle with deep forests, a venerable jungle, or vast network of laboratories and cubicals, or a castle, surrounding forest and village.
      • 5 – A legendary Realm; a Realm the size of a small state or a tiny moon, a monumental building, or a canyon or mountain.
    • Mechanically speaking, a Realm functions the same as Sanctum/Laboratory, but differ in the following ways:
      • Realms require a great deal of Quintessence to keep them from collapsing which can put a strain on a chantry or construct without ample mystic resources.
        • Every point of Realm requires 3 points of the Node background to support it, and Realms above 3 require  6 points per point of Realm above 3.
        • The free Quintessence represented by those dots in Node is diverted to supporting the Realm’s integrity rather than other endeavors making for a significant sacrifice.
      • The Realm is a private space used only by the chantry or construct. Traditions and Crafts can either own their own Realms or share it with a larger chantry. Technocratic Horizon Constructs are almost always owned and controlled by the Union with the players granted access unless the players are both wealthy and influential enough within the Union to possess one of their own.
      • Realms provide only what the mages bring into them or create within them making them very expensive and time consuming to outfit. Keep in mind this includes staff. There was a time when the Traditions and the Technocracy had ample resources to staff and furnish Realms or Colonies, but those times have past.
      • Ritual/Lab difficulties function the same as Sanctum.
      • Arcane/Cloaking – The Arcane/Cloaking effects of a Realm is doubled due to it being a tiny, obscure bubble tucked into Earth’s Horizon or Etherspace. The cloaking also applies to the mystic tethers that tie it to a Node, but this benefit does not apply to the Node itself. Anyone discovering the Node may trace the tether to the Realm with a normal  Spirit 1, Prime 1, Correspondence 2 Effect without penalty so long as they have the Abilities to support knowing what to look for.
      • Dispositions of Effects is the same as Sanctum, but this only applies to magick that remains contained within the Realm. Magick that reaches outside the Realm follows the standard rules, but with one catch. On Earth, a backlash only impacts the mage, but in a Realm a Backlash can damage the integrity of the Realm as well. A mage incurring a Backlash of the right severity may rupture the Pericarp allowing creatures of the Void or the mage’s enemies to find them, cause Quintessence leaks, or worse, cause the Realm to collapse and leave them stranded in Etherspace. Indeed, Realms may provide a false sense of immunity from Paradox.
      • Gauntlet – There is no Gauntlet to speak of within Realms. Instead they have what is called a Pericarp. Percarps are made from the raw stuff of the Horizon making them extremely tough to penetrate. Its rating is usually set to 10, and stepping side-ways through it drops one into the glistening winds of Etherspace. (Remember! Technocrats can’t breath in Etherspace!) If one is lucky enough to actually locate a Realm within Earth’s Horizon (or elsewhere) then penetrating the Pericarp with Spirit or Dimensional Science requires the following:
        • Difficulty = Pericarp rating (default 10)
          • This Difficulty can be lowered using Sphere Effects.
          • Successes Needed = 10 + the Realm rating.
        • Cosmology of 3+
        • Realms often have a host of guardians so even if one gets inside one must then deal with those as well! Good luck!
      • Portals – Realms are connected to Earth via Portals. Usually the Portals are fixed at the time of creation, but players may create others using Correspondence 4/Spirit 4 with the difficulty and successes as listed above. Players should consider the form these Portals as they would a Wonder. Portals to other Realms should be legendary!
      • Form – Realms are pockets of alternative realities created by mages, usually for specific purpose. Some were escapes, some were designed to replicate a lost golden age, some were created during the Mythic Age itself while others looked into a future that never was. Whatever the case may be, Realms are generally weird, and reflect the weirdness of their creators. Please use your imagination!
      • Resonance – Realms eventually take on the Resonance of their owners, and this can subtly shape the Realm’s features.  There is no mechanic for this, but Realms can change over time as the story dictates.