Oriental monks and the Divine

I was wondering how one could model the mystical tradition of oriental (as in Tibetan etc.), monks, or more precisely the "folk/pulp" stereotype of said monks (martial artists who meditate levitating cross-legged a few centimeters off the ground, going for weeks without food, drink or shelter) using Realms of Power: The Divine. After all, they do believe in a single, infinite, trascendent principle and their precepts are fairly well aligned with those of major monoteistic religions. I think one such character, who decided to follow the setting sun to the sea in a quest to find the reincarnation of his master, would make a weird, but not entirely inappropriate companion for our saga.

I think Meditation and Trascendence makes for a perfect Method + Power combination: levitation, translocation, immunity to starvation and exposure to elements, immunity to physical damage etc. I was wondering how to complete the tradition, ideally with a third ability stemming from a major virtue and a fourth ability stemming from a minor virtue. Perhaps Understanding? Purity? A lesser version of Blessing that works on the monk only and perhaps only to reduce aging? Premonitions? Some form of Cursing (though that would require Purity) that can only be executed by appropriate unarmed techniques, e.g. the monk punches the mountain just at the right spot, with just the right force, and the mountain crumbles to dust (ok, that might be a little excessive, but you get the point)?

Any ideas, comments, criticisms?

I think it would be a good exercise if not exactly European in flavor (did the poor guy get lost?).

Seriously, though, I think you could model it with those powers, but IIRC the book does pretty clearly state that the Divine comes not from the strength of belief in a "trancendent principle" but in a concious Power with a personality.

I would actually recommend, rather than changing the canonical definition/contruction of the Divine, to simply transport the abilities over to a magical (i.e. fundamental forces) foundation. Make it a Hedge Magic tradition and part of the initiation process changes the Gift into the Gentle Gift. Which would be a very interesting story hook by itself!

No more than Marco Polo did! As I wrote, he just had a vision of his master reincarnating in a land far towards the setting sun, where men have hair like straw, eyes like the sky, and are paler than the dead. So he set off to find him.

On the other hand, Plato's unmoving mover does not have much of a personality, (and the book, IIRC, does state that you could have True Faith in that) and is close enough to the ineffable principle whose realization is the basis of Zen - or at least the little I know of it. I mean, what are the beliefs of the monk in play? There's this ineffable "truth" that is the basis of the world. The monk strives to understand it by practicing it - being chaste, serene, fair, generous, brave etc. This sounds very much like the Divine to me!

I think Transendence works very well, but would use both Purity and Meditation with it; Meditation allows things like surviving without food, while Purity things like making the monk resistant to damage. It also allows the monk to age gracefully, with no crisis.

I would also allow Transcendence + Purity to provide a Magic Resistance, perhaps following the Blessing guidelines. I wouldn't allow an entire new effect - Blessing - just for that, and I don't think aging resistance or the other effects of Blessing are really appropriate. I'd also probably shift some Purity/Meditation guidelines in Transcendence while I'm at it - like not allowing Meditation to make you immune to physical damage.

I would allow Cursing + Purity to simulate the martial arts, with most effects at Touch range. I might allow their casting with greater ease, though, not requiring a Fatigue or Wound level to make his moves; perhaps

Shaolin Martial Arts; Minor Supernatural Virtue
When using the Purity Method with the Cursing Power at Touch range, you need only expand a Fatigue or Wound level if you fail to create the effect. However, as a member of the Shaulin Order, you are Duty Bound to respect the Order's oath. Gain the Duty Bound flaw, at no benefit. Severe violations of the Oath will lead to your downfall, as other members of the Order are sure to seek out and destroy those who same their teachings so.

The thing is, this still doesn't allow the monk to do the wuxia things he should be able to (at least at high level). I suggest inventing a new Supernatural Ability, allowing its practitioner to do all sorts of supernatural athletic feats - like jumping, running, and so on. The natural ability just doesn't strike me as being able to do these kind of things. Alternatively, let this be an effect of Purity with another Power.

I'd also pile on an Affinity with and Potent Brawl, and you're set.

Hardly. But i dont think that matters. Aligning them to the divine should work.

Good idea.


Supernatural Mobility... Already have that Virtue as a house rule. :wink:
It basically provides "cinematic"(aka "wire-fu") moves, because anything below that, really just needs good enough Ability scores(check out some high end Parkour people if you think otherwise)

I think that's been corrected in the errata. Resistance to damage is now meditation.

Hmm, I had not considered this, Good catch.

Note that Meditation already provides resistance to effects that directly target you, More limited, yes, but if combined with resistance to damage it's close.

It's just that the "ancient master" rumored to be 120 years old seemed something I'd want to model.

Very cool!

Trascendence+Meditation allows you to effectively fly and "teleport". I would say that at a slightly lower level it should allow one to trascend weight only partially, and e.g. perform great leaps or balance on the tip of a reed.

That is a must :slight_smile:

Not according to the scribbles on my book. In it, Meditation and Purity are still somewhat mixed on that.

Ah, but Meditation takes a lot of time to cast. So I'm not sure if that's reasonable. Still, perhaps with a Sun duration or something...