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 Spheres & What They Do!

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yanamari

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PostSubject: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:09 am

Life Spheres

Specialties: Cloning, Creation, Disease, Evolution, Healing, Improvement, Shapeshifting, Wounding

Those material things that move, grow and change come under the purview of the Sphere of Life. While other Patterns remain stagnant, or are self-contained flows of Quintessential energy, life Patterns are different. They connect to the Tellurian, drawing Quintessence as they live and grow and returning it to the flow with their own contributions and excretions. Only in death does this process cease, the Pattern stultifying to base matter. It is this connection to the cosmos that makes life unique, and it is from this everchanging flow that life adapts and draws its infinite complexity.

The power over life is a great one, the power to create and influence all creatures. Mages who study Life learn to heal and alter animals and later themselves and others. As the mage's knowledge grows, he learns to affect more complex Patterns. Eventually, the mage can change shapes, restore youth and health, heal injury. Conversely, he can strike down foes, rend apart the living and spread disease in his wake.
Among the Traditions, study of life is a respected discipline. Life mages are the healers, the nurturers and the defenders who bring health and the joy of living with them. Even potent necromancers and the undead cannot stand against the ever-renewing power of life. With the strength drawn of life, the mage can be whole and effectively immortal.

Life magic holds sway over any creature or cell that still moves with the ebb and tide of living breath. Even cells in plucked fruits or severed parts may still be governed by life while there is yet the spark within them. Once the subject finally dies — its Quintessence still and its connection to the universe inert — it returns to Matter.
Masters of Life are without blemish or imperfection, carefully healing away the foibles and flaws of their own bodies. Strong and radiant, they seem to glow with the unending bounty of generous life. The appearance of such a mage reflects her desires and moods, and she eats or drinks, breathes, ages or changes according to her will.
Note that when a mage alters or heals a Pattern, she does so to the limit of her capabilities. If a mage pulls off a Life Effect, she cannot recast the same Effect for more successes until the Pattern has undergone some natural change (that is, a change of scene). Thus, the mage can transform herself and then change differently or change back, but if she heals an injury or causes a wound in a given scene, she cannot use that power on the same subject again — she's done all that she can to the Pattern at that time.

If a mage affects a Pattern and changes it away from its true nature — that is, increasing or decreasing Attributes or adding new characteristics that are not natural to the creature — then the subject suffers the phenomenon of Pattern leakage (or bleeding). Over time (once per day, sometimes more often) the creature suffers injury as its Life Pattern fights the changes, generally taking one health level of lethal damage for each gross change. A mage skilled in Prime can use Quintessence to offset this injury, but when he runs out of Quintessence (or if the victim is not a mage), the problem will set in again. The only way to overcome this Pattern bleeding is to alter the Pattern permanently or to remove the changes.

• Sense Life
The most basic principles of Life magic involve the study of living Patterns and their motions. The mage starts by learning to feel the flow of life energy. From that point, the mage can sense injury or sickness, and he can feel the potency of vibrant health. Given experience, the mage can easily learn to sense nearby living creatures, to determine their nature, health, sex and age, and to sense any tears or imperfections in her own Pattern.

With the other Pattern Spheres, Life senses allow a mage to tell not only if there are people nearby, but what they wear or carry and whether the forces and objects around them cause injury. Entropy with Life tells- whether they will suffer from disease or mischance and what form it will t ake. Time and Correspondence magic lets the mage sense the living Patterns of far-away individuals or people in the past or future. With Prime, the mage can actually see the stream of Quintessence that bonds all living things to the cosmos.

• • Alter Simple Patterns Heal Self
A mage's manipulation of living Patterns begins with the most rudimentary ones, and with the ones most familiar to her. The budding Life mage learns to affect sessile Patterns and ones that make up very simple creatures. She also learns to recognize her own innate Pattern's form, to help it in the process of restoring itself.

A novice of Life magic can heal herself, restoring her Pattern to its original form and closing wounds or removing alterations. She cannot actually transform herself into new forms or change her Pattern from its original base nature yet, but she can at least defend herself if others do so. She can determine if her Pattern has been affected in some way, sensing disease or imbalance long before any symptoms manifest.

With control over simple Life Patterns, the mage can also influence rudimentary life forms like bacteria and plants. Any plant, invertebrate, algae or fungus is within her purview, and the mage can harm or change them as she desires, perhaps shaping them to grow in certain ways or striking offending creatures dead. The mage can't totally transform them yet. Such Patterns must retain their original nature, but they can be coaxed into moving, growing and changing in certain ways.

In conjunction with other Pattern Spheres, the mage can imbue herself or a living being with resistance to certain objects or forces, or she can cause such other Patterns to influence the growth and development of simple creatures. She can set up Effects to heal herself upon the receipt of injury (with Time magic) or use Correspondence to sense and alter life anywhere in the world.

• • • Alter Self Transform Simple Patterns
By the time the mage reaches a significant understanding of Life, she unlocks the keys to transformation: the means to turn a life Pattern away from its original nature and into something different. She can change her own Pattern in startling ways, and she can exert mastery over simple living things. To more complex creatures, she can exert change, causing the entity to grow or change as she desires.

By working with her own Pattern, the mage can take on new qualities or change old ones, perhaps giving herself unusual features. She can grow claws or suspend briefly her need to breathe. She must remain fundamentally human, but she can stretch the limits of her own capabilities and surpass her normal limits of mortal flesh.
With total mastery of simple Patterns, the mage can transform them into new shapes, turning a crawfish into a cedar tree (albeit a very, very small one) or reweaving a simple bacterium into a deadly killer. Her understanding is sufficient to create and destroy such Patterns utterly, and to cause them to grow, change or die as she sees fit.
By using simple Pattern-transformation in conjunction with other Spheres, the mage can create simple living things out of nothingness, or turn nonliving matter or forces into living creatures, although such creations have no minds of their own unless the mage uses the Mind Sphere. She can also alter creatures across a distance or push or pull such beings into other places, even the spirit worlds, with the proper Spheres. She can cause a change that will not affect a creature for some time, such as causing an apple tree to suddenly blossom in the middle of winter some years later, or she can render plants and simple animals safe from disease and injury.

• • • • Alter Complex Patterns Transform Self
The Patterns of all living things are accessible to the Adept of Life. The mage can not only rewrite her own Pattern as she desires, but she can shift and change the Patterns of nearly any other creature, including sentient beings. She can heal with a touch, gift someone with great strength, cause wounds or make a being manifest robust youth and vitality.

With self-transformation, the mage can reshape her Pattern in any form that she desires. She can take on new characteristics, become an entirely different creature of the same rough size and mass and even bolster her natural capabilities beyond human levels. However, such gross manipulations often lead to difficulties. It may take some time to get used to a new animal form, and the form itself may not have the capacity to store the mage's human knowledge and intellect. Animal forms often come with instincts as well, and the mage risks losing her identity over time. The Pattern itself usually has a tendency to grow back into its natural shape, too, so a mage who alters her own Pattern too radically may suffer injury as her Pattern fights against the confining magic.

By altering complex Patterns, a mage can heal people or animals and perform small manipulations to them. She cannot yet create duplicates of them or totally change their true nature, but she can guarantee health or instill weakness or injury.

In conjunction with other Pattern magic, the Adept of Life can assume various supernatural properties: becoming a fire-breathing dragon or eating metal, for instance. She can make wounds that will not heal or set transformations that will revert at a set time, or even stretch out to heal or harm people that she cannot see.

• • • • • Transform Complex Patterns Perfect Metamorphosis
All living things become as putty under the sculpting hands of a Master of Life. Her command of life is flawless, bringing her into perfect harmony with the flow of life energy. She can change all life at her whims, and she can heal or harm as needed and desired.

The mage can rework a creature into any form as long as the mass and size remain similar, thus turning a man into a tree or raising up a small dog into a human child. Such transformations are difficult, of course, but spectacular. The mage could reduce a group of enemies into large, flopping fish, for instance. She can also smooth out Pattern defects and deformities completely, and she can mutate the Pattern into any sort of natural or unnatural change.
With her total control of her personal Pattern, the mage can immunize herself from the rigors of age, disease, hunger or injury. She can regenerate nearly any damage, although direct Pattern damage may take time and effort. Better still, she can surpass many of the usual limits of Pattern transformation. She no longer needs to worry about the problems of losing her identity to animal instinct, for example. She can even cause her own Life Pattern to grow or shrink as needed, allowing her to change her size.

Most phenomenally, a Master of Life can combine her powers with other Spheres to create complex living creatures from Quintessence or from other Patterns. She can make clones of existing beings, make mythic monsters or let her creative whims take her as far as her resources allow. She can gift such creations with their own minds and spirits by use of the appropriate Spheres, or leave them empty, perhaps as homes for a disembodied spirit. She can even create a new body and move her consciousness into it, or reincarnate into a successive body that will be born in the future. With access to Prime and Correspondence, the mage can open her awareness to the entire vast glory of life and touch any living thing.

Life Effects
• Life Scan — A simple attachment to a computer can search for the bio-fields of nearby living creatures, allowing a Virtual Adept to determine the locations and conditions of such targets. Although such scans require additional work (and Correspondence) to reach over a great distance, they can be helpful in targeting friends or enemies, since the Virtual Adept can recognize individual Patterns that have been detected and logged previously. Most Virtual Adepts also include special filter programs to cut out undesired life-forms from the scan, like microscopic organisms or simple vermin (aside from Technocrats).

Many other Traditions can perform a similar Effect with an appropriate scrying tool. A Verbena might use a mirror that shows images of nearby creatures, while a Euthanatos sniffs for the distinctive scents of various creatures.
Prayer of Healing Revelation — The Celestial Chorus studies Life magic to detect illness and injury. These Disciples learn to identify flaws that indicate various diseases, injuries, poisons and parasitic infestations in a life form's Pattern. The mystic must usually make a Perception roll when scanning the Pattern. The more successes scored on the Effect, the more specific the information she receives. One success might reveal poison, two might reveal that the poison is affecting the respiratory process, and three successes might determine the poison to be arsenic.

• • Alter Simple Creature — By grasping a Life Pattern and molding it metaphysically, the mage learns to heal or change it as desired. Euthanatos use a version of this called "Little Good Death" to learn how to tear simple Patterns, bringing death to plants or small creatures as a stepping-stone to greater skill. Verbena use this skill to mold their trees and pets into pleasing and healthy forms, and to cure disease or injury in such. Healing or injuring a creature uses the damage chart on p. 163. Causing a change to the Pattern relies on the Storyteller's judgement of the power of the feat and severity of the change.

• • Heal Self — Each Tradition has a time-tested means for self-healing; mages get into too many scrapes not to! Verbena renew themselves with a draught of pure water or a charm of good fortune. Hermetic mages restore the form of the physical body by words that mold flesh. The Akashic Brotherhood uses "Ho Tien Chi," or the "Breath of the Day After Birth," to bring in healing energies and vitality, as taught through Do. Celestial Choristers lay on hands while Technocrats use simple slap-on medical patches, amp drugs and regenerative devices. The Effect is simple: The caster simply heals damage as specified on the Damage and Duration table (p. 163).

• • • Better Body — Mages who rely heavily on Life Effects use this power to alter themselves. A mage can take on various forms to her advantage: Claws, gills, increased Physical Attributes or Appearance, body armor and more. The only limits are imagination and what the mage believes that he can do within his paradigm. Successes scored indicate the limits of the change: One success would be good for an extra dot on one Attribute, for instance. Additional successes can maintain the Effect or generate larger changes.

If a mage changes a Pattern beyond normal limits — increasing Attributes to legendary levels (six or more), adding totally inhuman features, fortifying to soak against aggravated wounds, etc. — the subject gains permanent Paradox as long as the changes remain. Usually Paradox is a problem only for mages, but other victims can suffer as well, especially when Paradox erupts near them. Such gross changes always cause Pattern bleeding as well.
Simply altering a Pattern within its normal range of forms — swapping two Physical Attributes, for instance, or changing eye color — is a much simpler and less danger-prone use of this Effect.

• • • Rip the Man-Body — With this Effect, a Euthanatos can rend the Patterns of complex life forms. As the mage lacks detailed knowledge of such complex Patterns, she cannot unravel the Patterns quickly. Damage is inflicted using the table on p. 163. This damage often manifests as lesions and internal hemorrhaging.
• • • • Mutate Form — The mage can alter the form of any living creature, changing its appearance and function much tike the Better Body Effect. Disguises and beneficial alterations are popular among Tradition mages in varying degrees — Verbena sometimes give their pets unusual capabilities, Euthanatos might change the appearance of their confederates and Hermetics would just deform people with whom they became irate.

The mage can also transform himself, taking on animal form, changing shape and generally screwing with the basic nature of his Pattern. In this case, the mage can actually turn his Life Pattern's true nature into that of another creature; he can become a true cat, for instance, and thus avoid the problem of Pattern bleeding due to internal conflict. On the downside, the mage fundamentally is whatever form he assumes. He must spend a point of Willpower each day to retain knowledge of his former self, his intellect and human instincts; he may also need time to adapt to his new form (as adjudicated by the Storyteller — two experience points is a good measure). Certain Mind magic can help the mage to get around some of these problems, which is fortunate, because if the mage runs out of Willpower in his animal form, he completely loses his identity and believes himself to be a normal animal of that sort.

The successes rolled determine the scale of change possible with this Effect. As with any gross physiological change, there is a risk of Pattern bleeding if the true nature of the Pattern isn't altered.

• • • • Physiological Emotion Control — Many Virtual Adepts view human beings as biological computers. By inducing certain reactions within the physical body, the Adepts can "reprogram" a person's behavior. Emotions like anger or fear can be induced by causing the body to release adrenaline, while endorphin stimulation can bring on intense pleasure. Even depression has biological causes. This "tyranny" of the physical body over the mind is one of the reasons that the Virtual Adepts wish to attain a virtual reality state, where that body is left behind and the mind is no longer a slave to the body's desires.

Any Adept of Life can induce emotions in a subject by causing the person's body to release or stifle the correct hormones. More successes on the Effect roll make the emotion more severe.

• • • • • Animal Form — Although the mythical (?) Circe's transformation of men into pigs is perhaps one of the better-known examples of this power, Verbena and Hermetics still have a history of changing offenders into various sorts of animals. The subject must retain a similar general size, although the mage can induce the Pattern metamorphosis to cause the victim to shrink into a mouse or grow into an oak tree with enough work. The subject's consciousness remains, but it will eventually fade into the hew form, as with Mutate Form.

Animals can also be changed into humans with this power — although they retain their animal instincts, they may slowly become more human. Whether an "uplifted" animal could Awaken is unknown.


• • • • • Perfect Metamorphosis — Overcoming the problems of imperfect Pattern-transformation, the mage can create a Pattern that carries the physical nature of a beast yet holds as well his own persona and mind. The mage can take on the shape of any creature that he desires, of any size. She can shift or revert, cure her own Pattern of undesired changes and maintain a perfect state of health in any living form as she desires.


Last edited by yanamari on Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:10 am

Spirit

Specialties: Gauntlet Manipulation, Naturalism, Necromancy, Possession, Spirit Dealings, Umbral Travel

Defining the ephemera between Quintessential and material, Spirit marks the creation of such stuff as reflects the world beyond simple human perception. Spirit is a homogenous whole, a sort of conceptual energy given a special form that can mirror or mimic the more mundane Patterns of elements. However, Spirit is much more. It is also the results of emotion, hope and thought — the intangible end product of the Mind's musing and shaping. The mage skilled in Spirit can touch the wall that separates potential from material and reach through to see entire realms formed of maybes, might-haves and never-weres.

Both spirit entities and spiritual landscapes form of a spiritual energy that hovers somewhere between Prime and physical Pattern. Ephemera or plasm, this intangible substance makes up the otherworlds, the far Deep Umbra, the Shard Realms and the myriad other places where mages explore magic in its purest states. Such spirits are responsive to impulses and materials, and so the entities of spirit often reflect human drives, belief systems, even gods or concepts — or is it the other way around? Regardless, most people remain blind to the spirit plane, while mages can reach out to interact with the half-felt dreams of the world itself.

The Umbra — the spirit reaches — is separated from the physical world by an invisible and intangible Gauntlet, a mystic barrier that keeps the dead or the spirits of nature from crossing into and affecting the living world. Other worlds are sometimes isolated from the Umbra by their own Gauntlets, and other times coexist with Spirit. Powerful mages can pierce this Gauntlet to reach different areas of die Umbra, but such a task is not without hazards. Journeying to the lands of the dead or to the far reaches of other dimensions is possible, but it is difficult in the extreme. Worse still, the Gauntlet itself, once merely a barrier through which mages had to exert their magic to cross, is now actually metaphysically dangerous. To traverse the spirit world risks injury, insanity and worse.
There are countless strange creatures and entities in the spirit worlds, many of which follow bizarre rules that bear no resemblance to the laws of Earth. A mage who would traffic in Spirit would do well to learn such rules, to discover the byways of the Umbra and to traffic in the currency of spirits — chiminage, or the bonds of mutual service. Near the Earth, the Mirror Umbra reflects physical reality as colored by Resonance. Deeper in the spirit worlds are the Dream Realms, Epiphamies, Astral space, Horizon Realms (other worlds in their own dimensions) and eventually the Deep Umbra — the great void beyond the stars. It's no wonder that many Spirit mages choose to stay on Earth and simply summon or converse with the spirits that happen to be there! In the Umbra, one can find any Heaven or Hell of mankind's creation... and perhaps be trapped there.

Technological students of Spirit magic instead study Dimensional Science, the ways to reach alternate worlds that coexist with this one. Though their means are different, their ends are the same. To such Technocrats, spirits are alien entities or otherdimensional manifestations.
Masters of Spirit have an otherworldly sense, a tendency to murmur to the air, focus on things that aren't there and hold to unusual taboos. They often indulge in unusual behaviors and sometimes talk to spiritual allies or enemies that nobody else can see. Technocratic Masters of Dimensional Science often carry specialized trappings to see (and defend against) the spirit world's intrusions. They range from distant psychic sensitives to powerfully rational mathematicians and physicists.

• Spirit Senses
Initiates in the ways of Spirit can sense the Mirror Umbra, the reflection of the material world into spirit energy. The initiate can see anima and ghosts, hear natural spirits and sense places where the Gauntlet between worlds thins or thickens. The mage can determine when an object has a powerful spirit component, like a mystic fetish. The mage's Resonance palls her most closely to objects, spirits and places of similar Resonance, but the mage can open to any spirit perception with effort.

Combined with other Spheres, the mage can sense objects that have connections to the spirit world or that have been somehow translocated there. The mage can also either combine her vision of animas with an awareness of emotions and auras, or detect the places most favorable for converse with specific types of spirits or where spirits might gather for energy.

• • Touch Spirit
For a brief moment, the mage can reach out to touch the spirit world. The mage can manipulate spiritual objects and interact with spirit entities, even pushing them around, conversing with or attacking them. The mage can affect t he spirit world while remaining physical, extending his natural reach, voice and form across into the next realm.
By casting his control over the Gauntlet directly, the mage can also manipulate the strength of the wall between worlds. This difficult task can make it easier for a spirit to manifest, or the mage could protect an area from ghosts and possessions. Powerful spirit wards can keep out travelers who walk the spirit realms. Adequate preparation can also make it easier for the mage to reach into the spirit realms, if only for a time.

Combined with the Pattern Spheres, the mage can make items that can affect the spirit worlds, or give another creature a brief sense of spirit or ability to touch the mirror realms. The mage could also cause an area of the spirit world to suffer chaotic storms of spirit energy or use Correspondence to extend his sight to the many and varied Realms of Spirit.

• • • Pierce Gauntlet
Although it's dangerous to do so, a skilled mage can pierce the Gauntlet between worlds, stepping into the spirit world or back out to the material. The process of stepping sideways, as it's called, often relies on powerful rituals, and it works best at places of natural power. Even then, survival is not guaranteed – the Gauntlet is a dangerous barrier to mages.

A mage can translate himself across the Gauntlet, becoming pure ephemera (spirit matter). Bringing possessions takes more work and increases the difficulty of the trip. In either case, the mage risks injury. Mages with strong Avatars are especially susceptible to the storm winds that ride the barrier between worlds.

While in the spirit worlds, the mage obeys the laws of those places and interacts with them normally. The mage can deal directly with spirits, but he can also exert his magic directly against them. Once in the spirit world, the mage can travel to other spirit destinations, often by taking pathways known to Traditional lore. The mage might forge out into various near Realms or other worlds, but he cannot pass the Horizon — yet.

As the mage can alter the spirit world directly, he can also stir a spirit to wakefulness or lure it into slumber. Most objects and places have associated spirits, but the powerful Gauntlet and lack of connection to the mortal world causes those spirits to sleep, uninterested ingoings-on around them. The mage can stir those that hover on the edge of wakefulness, or briefly cause some to return to sleep. Most spirits are too weak, too far deteriorated and too unconscious to be so roused, but many places or items that hover on the edge of importance or that have strong Resonance have lightly sleeping spirits that can be roused. Similarly, powerful objects or fetishes have spirits that the mage can put to sleep temporarily, perhaps to avoid their wrath or to reach something that they guard.

With the Pattern Spheres, the mage can create ephemeral representations of material objects or forces, essentially duplicating the Pattern Spheres in the spirit worlds. With Mind magic, the mage can determine Resonance and roles of various spirits encountered, while Correspondence can ease the rigors of travel in the spirit realms. Prime magic lets the mage determine the boundaries between places of power and feel the flow of natural wellsprings of spirit energy.

• • • • Rend and Repair Gauntlet Bind Spirits
While lesser mages are limited to slipping themselves through the Gauntlet, a powerful mage can tear the Gauntlet asunder and create a gate between the spirit and material worlds. Spirits and other people can travel through this gate, but they risk the perils inherent in such a journey. The mage can also reinforce the Gauntlet against such breaches and repair or close tears that he or others create.

The mage's command over spiritual matter allows him to place powerful bindings and summonings over spirits. The difficulty of such a feat varies with the spirit in question; extremely potent spirits are still beyond the mage's powers. Still, many minor spirits can be useful allies, and can perform a variety of feats. The mage can even bind the spirit to an object to create a fetish, or form a sort of symbiotic link with a spirit. Doing so is similar to possession, but the mage remains somewhat able to direct his actions and call on the spirit's powers. Dealing with the spirit world in a cavalier manner can gamer a mage many enemies, of course, so Adepts must be judicious in their use of power.
A mage with this level of power can bring other people or objects into the Umbra or out of it easily. With other magic, themage can empower free-standing gates or doorways that leave one section of the material world to enter a different area in the spirit world. The mage can also create time differentials between spirit and material, or he can take control of a spirit directly and influence its actions and role.

• • • • • Forge Ephemera Outward Journeys
The most advanced understanding of Spirit allows the mage to shape ephemera as he desires. The mage can alter, destroy or create spirit material, force it to obey his whims or gift it with new powers. He can sense and affect the spirits of living beings and the dead alike, and journey to the farthest reaches of the spirit worlds, defended by his own mastery.

A simple spell enables the Master to heal spirits and restore their Power, which is a potent way to garner spirit allies. The mage can also reshape spirits as he desires, although particularly powerful spirits can take a long time to change, and most spirits will object to such treatment.

Shaping spirit energy into desired forms lets the mage create new Realms, though such undertakings are massive and require a great deal of Quintessence. The mage can create places in the Umbra where he can shape the spirit world to his liking and even build new Horizon Realms, but most Mast ers consider this feat extraordinarily difficult.
Because the Master can sense and interact with the living soul, the mage can now actually see the Avatar of a living being. The Avatars of Sleepers are little more than dim motes of magical energy, but mages often have powerful and active Avatars — and they may take interest in those who watch them! Most horrifyingly, the Spirit Master can perform the Gilgul rite, the vulgar magic that tears the victim's very Avatar asunder and removes forever his magical power. This last spirit ritual is one of the most guarded and feared powers, used only in extremis and as a punishment for the most hideous of crimes in magical society.

Guarded by complete control over the spirit world, the Master can forage at last past the Horizon and beyond to the Deep Umbra. He can explore the Far Realms and go where he pleases, such as other worlds, the many creations of human imagination and the dimensions far removed from his own.

Spirit Effects
• Detect Possession — A Chorister uses exorcism rites while a Verbena tests the subject's blood, but whatever the ritual, it's a simple way to determine whether another spirit rides within a material shell. The mage simply uses his spirit perceptions to sense the offending spirit's presence in a person (or object, in the case of a fetish). The mage may not be able to do anything about it, but it's useful to tell if someone's actions are her own. Of course, determining the exact nature of the spirit may require the use of the Cosmology Knowledge or Mind magic.

• Spirit Sight — It's usually a simple matter to shift one's sight into the spirit world. The mage can see what exists on the other side of the Gauntlet, although he may not be able to affect it directly. Thus, a mage might notice that an area has a very nasty or vibrant spirit reflection, indicative of some sort of problem or boon. The landscape of the nearby spirit world usually reflects the physical world of that area, but often with significant changes based on powerful events and items in the place. The mage can also see spirits as they go about their business, and some might even take notice in return.

With enough successes, the mage can translate multiple senses into the spirit world, allowing him to hear or feel spirits as well as seeing them. Usually, the mage can only sense one area at a time (spirit or material), unless he splits his senses and concentration with additional Life and Mind magic. The difficulty generally depends on the thickness of the Gauntlet.

• • Call Spirit — A sort of "Hey!" shouted randomly into the Umbra, this Effect lets the mage translate his voice into spiritual terms on the other side of the Gauntlet. The successes scored determine how pervasive and compelling the mage's call is. Powerful spirits rarely show up to such a call — they have better things to do, and they are usually too far out in the spirit world, anyway — but lesser spirits often flock to such. Spirits seem to love messing around with the material world. The mage really exert any control unless he has more powerful spirit magic, but he can attract attention.

If the mage uses Spirit Sight, he can call for specific spirits or even hold a conversation with something (or someone) on the Other Side.

• • The Spirit's Caress — A mage can reach across the Gauntlet briefly to touch a spirit on the other side. The mage could strike a spirit or just interact with it while remaining otherwise physical. This Effect is a perfect means of conflict if the spirit has no way to manifest in the material world to return the insult. Of course, the Effect just allows the mage to affect the spirit; it doesn't guarantee the results of any of his physical actions (the mage might pierce the Gauntlet and reach across, only to miss the spirit with a punch).

Combined with the Prime Effect Bond of Blood, the mage can share Quintessence with the spirit, or ask it to give up Power in exchange (treat them as interchangeable resources). This tactic doesn't work as well with ghosts although some wraiths have their own means of granting power to a mage, as the ancestor-spirits of the Wu Lung can attest. Note that Quintessence drawn from a spirit takes on the spirit's nature as its Resonance, so it's best to deal with a spirit that does the sorts of things that the mage wants to do!

• • • Awaken the Inanimate — By talking and crooning over a physical object, a Dreamspeaker or Akashic Brother may Awaken its spirit and rouse it into awareness. A Verbena might spread blood in a pattern over the object while a Hermetic mage would sprinkle it with dark dust and carve a seal onto its surface.
Objects, once their spirits are awake and aware, can be particularly useful. Their personalities tend to be very protective of those who have treated them well and ill-disposed toward those who have treated them badly. The object could not really do much on its own, but it might cause small coincidences that work for or against the mage.

For example, if a Euthanatos were to rouse the spirit of his gun, it might misfire in the hands of an enemy. Likewise, an aware Chantry house might take a very dim view of burglars, especially if they broke in — doors might slam, lights could go out (or on), and the alarm system the burglars disarmed might short out and go off anyway.
Rousing an object typically requires plenty of ritual successes — five or so for a gun, 20 or more for a house. This is slow, but often coincidental unless the mage wants an especially vulgar manifestation. The older and more psychically -charged the object is, the more powerful its spirit and the harder it will be to rouse. The newer and less important the item, the less powerful and less intelligent its spirit and the easier it is to rouse. A new knife from the knife shop, never used, would have less personality and intelligence than a cockroach, but could be made aware with a minimal amount of magic. Over years or decades, the objects would start to absorb some of its owner's personality. The knife an old shaman forged in boyhood would have a strong and active spirit (thought it might not be a fetish per se). As always, an object with strong Resonance similar to the mage's is more likely to awaken to his call.

An object with an awakened spirit exists in multiple worlds at once. A person can use an awakened knife in the physical world to injure spirits in the Near Umbra, or he may cut the silver cords that connect astral travelers to their bodies.

In the modern age, many objects resist awakening completely. The dullness of mundanity infects them and prevents them from taking on their own personalities. Even if a mage manages to awaken an object, there's no guarantee that it will be helpful, or that it will know anything of value.

• • • Stepping Sideways — Mages can push through the Gauntlet and into the Near Umbra. Once in the Umbra, the mage walks and interacts with the place just like always, but as a being of ephemera instead of as a material entity. The mage is always noticeable to those who know what to look for. Living beings stand out in the Umbra, especially if they visit the deadlands.

Traveling through the Gauntlet is usually done as an extended ritual — the mage makes a real or symbolic journey and eventually passes into the spirit world. The difficulty of such a journey varies with the thickness of the Gauntlet. Should the mage botch, he may well become stuck. In such a case, only another mage able to reach into the Gauntlet can pull him out or push him through.

Crossing the Gauntlet is a very dangerous journey. The storm winds of the Reckoning lash the very Avatars of those mages who dare to cross into the Mirror Worlds. When a mage crosses into the Umbra, roll the mage's permanent Paradox + Arete (difficulty 6). Each success indicates one level of aggravated damage as the storm winds flay the mage's enlightened spirit! In some particularly nasty cases, mages have even had their Avatars flayed apart by the storm winds, getting haplessly dumped back in the material world with less power and sometimes horribly Gilguled. Such punishments rely on the Storyteller's cruelty.

• • • • Affix Gauntlet — By hardening the Gauntlet in an area, the mage can cause any number of effects. He can trap a spirit into a place or object, create a ward that ejects a spirit from a space, or tightly control an environment and protect it against spirit entry. Successes scored on such an Effect generally raise the Gauntlet, but they could have other consequences.

By warding an area, the mage can prevent spirits from entering or leaving a space. Successes generate an area and a duration for such a ward. This ward exists in both the material and physical world — any construct of ephemera cannot pass through unless it can defeat the potency of the ward.

An interlocking pattern of Spirit energy can trap a spirit in place, or force it out of an area. The mage's player must score more successes than the victim in a contested roll — typically the mage's Effect versus the subject's ability to travel in spirit form (be it through Spirit magic, a spirit's powers or whatever). If the mage succeeds, he can banish a spirit from a place or person (with exorcism) or lock it in place so that it can't escape. Such powers are a staple Chorus and Order of Hermes' means for dealing with demons and other evil spirit manifestations.
Trapping a spirit in an object creates a fetish. A willing sp irit can empower an object deliberately; an unwilling spirit must have its will broken by the mage's Effect. If the mage succeeds, the Effect creates a temporary fetish. With a willing spirit the fetish lasts as long as the deal allows; for an unwilling spirit, the mage must use successes to generate a duration for the spirit trap.

Lastly, the mage can place a spirit in possession of a body temporarily. Most often this is done by wrapping shards of the Gauntlet around the mage, holding the spirit in place so that the mage can tap its power, but the mage could also cause a spirit to possess an unwilling victim. In the former case, the mage must best the spirit's will (if it resists), but can then draw on the spirit's special Charms and powers; in the latter case, the mage must overcome the victim's will, and then can inject the spirit into the victim for the determined duration.

• • • • Breach the Gauntlet — Like the earlier power of Stepping Sideways, this capability lets the mage cross into the spirit world — but he does so by tearing open a hole in the Gauntlet (or, perhaps, bringing spirit and material worlds completely together again). For the duration of the Effect, any being that's not specifically warded can travel the gate, entering or leaving the spirit world.

A breach of the Gauntlet is generally quite vulgar, but it can be the only way to get allies or Sleepers without Spirit skill into the Umbra. Some spirits also crave entry into the material world, but they do not have the power to cross over on t heir own.

Naturally, this Effect is very difficult; the difficulty varies with the strength of the Gauntlet, and the successes required are usually high (five or more plus duration and area affected). Note that passengers through the gate do take storm damage from the Umbra just as per the Stepping Sideways rote! (Sleepers, ironically, therefore enter the Umbra with the least risk.)

• • • • • Break the Dreamshell — The Dreamshell is the Dreamspeaker term for the Horizon. To enter the Deep Umbra, a mystic must break through this Dreamshell, just as she must break through the Gauntlet when stepping sideways.

Ten successes or more are required to pierce the Earth Mother's Dreamshell. Other Realms might have weaker or stronger Horizons. If the mage uses an Anchorhead (a special Domain set amid the Dreamshell), the passage becomes easier and requires only five successes.

Fortunately, the Dreamshell is not overrun with flaying spirit energies, and crossing it does not carry the same inherent dangers as Stepping Sideways.

• • • • • Deep Umbra Travel — Surviving the utterly barren spiritual environment of the Deep Umbra requires a membrane of spirit magic. This spiritual essence creates a sort of.bubble around the mage, protecting him from the ravages of the Deep Umbra. The traveler must reach and enter another Near Umbra before the duration rolled for the field elapses, or he will die a cold death in the void.

Deep Umbral travel is a dangerous affair. Most distances are great but highly subjective. Mages often experience hallucinations or visions in the Deep Umbra, and they can encounter strange entities that make their homes there. Such creatures are rarely friendly to humanity.

A few bold mages actually build giant ships that travel the various dimensions, not only skirting space but piercing into the primordial Void itself. The Void Engineers are foremost among such, of course, but Sons of Ether also build great and fanciful Etherjammers to carry them to distant places. In the Deep Umbra, they look for other worlds, spirit realms beyond any known place, and clues to the formation of the Tellurian.


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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:12 am

Prime


Specialties: Artifice, Channeling, Creation, Destruction, Perceptions, Resonant Effects

Above and beyond the Pattern Spheres sits the Sphere of Prime, the study of raw creation and the energy that fuels the Tellurian. Prime is the study of Quintessence, literally the "Fifth Essence." To every Tradition this is a sacred or valued power, for with Prime the mage can tap into and manipulate the keystones of cosmic forms. Quintessence is also known as ether or Odyllic Force, the underlying nature of the fabric of reality, the First Essence or Prime.

Through Prime magic, the mage directs the flow of universal energies to create, destroy and reshape as she sees fit. While the other Spheres influence the actual stuff of creation, Prime controls the power from which they all spring.
According to the united theories of the Traditions and Technocracy alike, Prime energy fuels everything. It is everywhere, flowing through living Patterns, swirling in Forces and coalescing into Matter only to be released again. The cycle of Prime energy never ends. This cycle is the cycle of magic itself. From Prime energy, a mage can create the base materials of the Pattern Spheres, or he can reduce such objects to the sublime constructs of Spirit and Mind. He can convert Quintessence into magical force and draw out the natural power inherent in places or object. He can cast enchantments of permanent power over things, nullify the workings of other mages and use the power of Prime to combat the rebounding force of Paradox itself at the greatest levels of mastery. Such mastery does not come lightly, but it is the foundation of the most powerful and permanent workings in any Tradition and any Sphere.
Masters of Prime energy carry in themselves a reflection of that power. Although even mortals can feel the eeriness of mages, Prime Masters surpass that level of energy. They almost glow with radiance, be it divine or profane. The magical power at the hands of a Prime Master lends the mage a definite palpable aura of other worldliness.

• Etheric Senses Effuse Personal Quintessence
An Initiate of Prime studies learns to sense and see Quintessential energy, be it stored in Tass, welling up from a Node, traveling across a powerful line, swirling through a natural Pattern or shining during a Juncture of power. His Prime senses allow him to detect the use of magic, to determine when a coincidence was the result of a magical Effect and to see the flow of magic energy as it is shaped and cast forth. Although such perceptions are not necessarily sufficient to determine the exact Effect, they do alert the mage to the bending of the Tapestry.

Just as each Tradition has its own view of Prime, each mage has a different sort of Prime sense. Some mages recognize Prime as a brilliant white or blackness, a color that surpasses natural vibrancy. Others hear it as a sort of music or melody. A few ascribe to Prime a different sense entirely, a sort of comprehension that cannot be translated into the natural senses. Regardless of whether it is a pure, crystal matrix or a swirling darkness of the original Void, it represents power.

By sensing the strongest currents of Odyllic Force, a mage may align himself so that they flow into his own Pattern, charging his Avatar. Without the first rank of Prime, the mage cannot store free Quintessence within his own Pattern beyond the amount he receives from his Avatar. Mages without Prime magic cannot gain Quintessence ratings above their Avatar rating. The mage can't necessarily use this power to gain additional Quintessence from meditation, but if someone tries to empower the mage with additional Quintessence, the mage must have at least this rudimentary understanding of Prime to be able to hold the excess energy.

In conjunction with the other Spheres, the mage can see Prime energy in various Patterns or recognize specific sorts of Resonance and their strength. The mage can also determine if an area has a strong Prime wellspring (like a Node) or when a Juncture that creates Prime energy might occur.

• • Weave Odyllic Force
Fuel Pattern
Enchant Patterns
Summon Prime Weapon
Activate Quintessential Matter & Forces
By reaching out and touching Prime energy metaphysically, the mage can create tiny diversions in the energy that fuels the Tapestry. She can twist the power of Quintessence, storing it in an object or turning it to use in specific cases. She can also use this power to cast other magic into stronger forms.

The patterns of physical matter and forces may be enchanted, creating magic swords that may damage spirits or etherically charged lasers to burn vampires. Moreover, Odyllic Force itself may be spun into a blow that hammers at Patterns, allowing a mage to launch bolts of pure Quintessential energy or to form a glowing weapon of mystic power.

Base matter and energy that are already infused with Quintessence, the inert but magical forms of Tass, may also be activated, structuring its essence so as to compose potions or temporary Charms.

In conjunction with various Spheres, the mage can create materials, forces or creations from the ether. The mage can also spin dreams, nightmares and quasi-real phantasms with Mind magic, or generate new constructs of Spirit energy.
Whenever a mage creates a Pattern "from nothing," she uses this power of Prime to divert a small amount of the Tapestry's-energy into that new Pattern. Thus, all Effects that create Matter, Forces or Life out of nothingness rely on the mage also using Prime 2.

• • • Channel Quintessence
Sublimate Quintessential Matter & Forces
Activate Quintessential Life
Enchant Life
Normally, a mage cannot pull Quintessence directly from the Tellurian itself. Although the flow is immense and consign, it is also tied intimately to the shape of the Tapestry. However, in some special places (Nodes) and times (Junctures), excess Quintessence bubbles up through the Tapestry, there to taken by a mage with command of Prime. Even though the mage cannot steal the Quintessence directly from a Pattern, he can take advantage of the rare opportunities where Quintessence arises unconnected to any Pattern.

As the Ahl-i-Batin explain, Quintessence is either free or fixed and it's like water in a desert land — just as common and just as precious. Nodes are like wells and oases, with mage Chantries the caravansaries that are built around them. Periapts are gourds to hold the water, while Junctures are the rare rainy days. There is enough water in the air and sand to let a palm tree grow, if you give it time, just as there is enough free Quintessence around you to spin into the Patterns of the elements or life. The remaining Quintessence, like water, is fixed, giving life to palm trees and camels and women and men, and you can no more drink that Quintessence than you can drink the air or the sand. Yet a mage is a fortunate man, for he has a righteous djinn in the form of his Avatar, pouring cool sweet water when he asks and carrying it as a slave would hold a precious gourd as they travel from oasis to oasis, asking hospitality. But only an unrighteous man or a desperate one would slay his camel for the water it holds.

This poetic analogy holds true. At this level of understanding, a mage skilled in Prime gains the ability to pour water from gourd to gourd or drink blood from his camel. That is to say, free Quintessence may be transferred from Periapt to Periapt, or from a Periapt to a mage's Avatar or back. The mage can pull Quintessence out of inert Tass for personal use, as well.

At this level, inert Tass may be sublimated and forged into permanent Artifacts and Talismans, as the mage forged it into Charms at the previous level, and living Tass may now be activated so as to become a living Charm. Chimerical and ephemeric Tass, such as the substance of dreams and the ectoplasm of ghosts, follows the same rule as physical matter — sentient chimera and living ephemera are treated the same as living beings, while inert dreamstuff and ectoplasm follows the rule of Tass created of base matter and energy.

As he enchanted swords and flames before, the mage of this level now gains the ability to enchant living beings, such that hands and claws can now inflict damage directly upon Patterns. In conjunction with other Spheres, the mage can create items of power or fuel them with energy. The mage can not only create items from nothing, he can steal away a small measure of Quintessence from Patterns as they decay. Such energy returns quickly to the flow, and it is more directed than harnessed, but it can offer a small measure of additional power to the mage's workings.

• • • • Expel Base Energy from Matter & Forces
Sublimate Quintessential Life
Permanently Enchant Matter & Forces
Suffuse Matter & Forces
Create Soulgem
Tap Wellspring
As Disciples of Prime learned to divert and ripple the flow of ether through the Patterns of existence, Adepts discover how to return the Quintessence to the Tellurian, at least from settled and unconnected Patterns (Matter and Forces). Doing so has the direct and deadly effect of erasing them from mental, physical and spiritual existence. This energy returns immediately to the Tapestry as the object vanishes forever, but with proper use of other Prime magic, the mage can sometimes divert a small measure of the released power into his other Effects.

Adepts also learn how to sublimate the Quintessential patterns of living Tass so as to create Artifacts and Talismans, as well as those nonliving wonders meant to be grafted to living creatures, such as cybernetic arms or jeweled slippers that never come off until the wearer is dead. The mage also learns how to take the nonliving Patterns of existence which are not suffused with free Quintessence and infuse them with Quintessential energy from his Avatar, creating Tass, or sublimating that Tass into a Periapt resonating with the power of his own Avatar. Such a Periapt is called a Soulgem.

At places with strong Resonance, the Adepts of Prime also possess the wondrous ability to reach deep into the earth and tap a wellspring of free Quintessence. This act is the metaphysical equivalent of opening a fire hydrant on a hot day — it will soon be shut off, but is very refreshing while it lasts. Doing so may also recharge the Quintessence of Periapts in a controlled Effect.

In conjunction with other Spheres, the mage can enchant objects with selective qualities, enhance magical powers and place them into items permanently or disperse all manner of Patterns back into the Ether.

• • • • • Expel Base Energy from Life
Alter Quintessental Flow
Nullify Paradox
Permanently Enchant Life
Suffuse Life
Create Soulflower
Create Node
Fountains of Paradise
Masters of Prime can blast living beings out of existence — body, mind and spirit — shutting off the flow of Quintessence to their Patterns like cutting off light to an image on a screen. The Celestial Chorus calls this act "erasing a name from the Book of Life." Fortunately, doing so does not affect the Book of History or the Book of Destiny (although Masters of Time and Entropy can do both these deeds).

More kindly, Masters of Prime may also increase the flow Of Prime through ? being, refreshing the Quintessence of Avatars instantly. Masters of the Chorus in particular learn how to atone for their sins against reality, channeling Quintessence to nullify Paradox as part of "Penance." Pope Honorius, also a Master of Time, used this Effect to create the fabled "Perpetual Indulgences of Pope Honorius," which forgave not only one's present sins but a measure of one's future sins as well. Dreamspeakers are known to charge special crystals with Prime energy designed specifically to attract and nullify Paradox, while Hermetic mages form elaborate wards and counter-sigils to reinforce their spells with Prime energy.

Masters also know how to enchant any living being or spirit permanently, able to grant them blessings as do the fae and the spirits of the Umbra. Living things may also be suffused with Quintessence to create living Tass, and the Master may also suffuse a living thing with the Quintessence of his own Avatar to create a Soulflower, a living Periapt (though it needn't be an actual flower).

The Masters may now also reach into the earth and tap a wellspring of free Quintessence anywhere, not just at spots with strong Resonance, creating pure uncolored magic in an Effect the Ahl-i-Batin call "The Fountains of Paradise." Even more wondrous, where Resonance is strong, Masters of Prime can harness the power of the ley lines and dragon paths to create a new Node, or consecrate a certain cycle of the seasons as a Juncture, though these are mighty rituals that are not lightly attempted.

It is theorized that the Oracles of Prime may create a Node or a Juncture wherever they please.

Prime Effects
• Consecration — A mage may allow the ether to suffuse his aura, so that his unique pattern of psychic Resonance bleeds over and into an object and forges an etheric bond between the two. This phenomenon occurs naturally, and Sleepers even make it happen subconsciously, but the magic of Prime can perform quickly what is usually an extended process. Such consecrated objects are useful in that, as they are considered part of a person's Pattern, they will thus transform, translate or otherwise change along with the subject to whom they belong. There is also some risk to this Effect, for such intimately connected items can be a great danger if they fall into the hands of an enemy. Likewise, a person or a place may be aurally marked in this manner, the subject linked to the place or person, and the person or place linked to them in turn.

Naturally, such sympathetic magic causes an object to carry some of the mage's Resonance Traits, and it may seem to have a "personality" of its own, reflecting the owner. An object so suffused typically counts more closely as a connection to the mage on the Correspondence Ranges chart.

With Prime 2, it's possible to form such a bond with a living creature. Although this bond doesn't help the mage to sense the creature's thoughts or moods without Mind magic, it is used in the formation of familiar bonds (for familiars with living forms) and sometimes as a sort of "lifeline" to valued friends or loved ones. The mage can always use his Prime senses to track back the link, as long as it exists.

• Heart's Blood — An initiate of Prime can easily sense the flow of Quintessence through his own body — his life energy. This energy flows from the Tellurian, through the Life Pattern and back out to rejoin the cosmos. Each point corresponds to a health level, the last three on beyond Incapacitated and their loss resulting in death.

In desperate times, mages skilled in Prime — typically the Celestial Chorus and the Verbena — can push themselves beyond their limits and "give 'til it hurts," taking the additional health levels as points of Quintessence above and beyond what is stored in their Avatars. Such damage may only be healed by time and bed rest, not magic, so most mages will usually only risk the Bruised health level. Mages of the Chorus, however, have burned themselves out in acts of martyrdom to perform one last holy miracle, while Verbena with low Avatar ratings often use their Bruised health level as a power reservoir, considering the sacrifice of heart's blood more holy than the spiritual energy used by most mages.

Watch the Weaving — This Effect is not so much a spell as an additional degree of sensitivity. When any magical Effect is attempted within the vicinity of a disciple of Prime, he may roll Perception + Awareness to detect the weaving of the etheric threads. Once the mage has noticed the subtle tint of magic — or if the mage is just naturally suspicious — he can use this Effect to actually see or sense the magical weavings. Most mages perceive these weavings as patterns of light and color in the air, although perceptions vary according to the nature of the mage, the Tradition of the spellworker and the Effect in question. However he perceives magic, the mage may watch the weaving and attempt to identify the patterns and thereby discern the magic's intent, as well possible affiliations of the caster.

Mages of the Order of Hermes use a standardized system of mathematics, colors and seals as notation to record the forms of unknown magic. They may then take these notes to Masters of the Order who then decode the basic form and intent of a particular weaving. The mage may then allow the patterns of familiar rotes — or unknown spells that bear the seal of a friend or ally — to pass by unopposed, as the mage knows they are of friendly intent.
This forewarning also allows the mage to attempt countermagic if he understands all the Spheres involved. Other mages, who do not have etheric senses, can recognize only magic that involves them directly in some way or of which they will feel the immediate effect. For example, if a Nephandus attempts to conjure a demon, most mages cannot attempt to counter this spell (even with knowledge of Spirit ) since the spell is not affecting them directly. However, a priest of the Celestial Chorus could use Prime to sense the stirrings in the ether at the Nephandus' words — and possibly even recognize the demon's sigil as it appeared in the air. Assuming the mage also understands the Sphere of Spirit, he could counter the magic invocation the moment it began.
Continuous magic, particularly wards and curses, may also be detected by use of this Effect, although it often requires some knowledge of the appropriate Spheres involved in order to comprehend their nature fully.

• • Body of Light — At this level of Prime, the mage may use his control over the ether to weave what is known as a Body of Light. A Body of Light is a purely etheric construct that typically takes the form of a person's idealized self, but it may take any form the mage devises. There is no mental or emotional content to such a creation. It is merely a useful empty shell typically used to house the astral form of a mage using Mind to travel. Without one, the psyche is essentially naked for its journeys through the Astral.

The Body of Light, however, is more than just a work of vanity. The form serves as armor, as well as a physical form for travel within the Middle and Lower Realms of the Umbra. Astral travelers who wish to perform shapeshifting or other feats in places where they do not have a spiritual body — like Dream Realms — must use a body of light. Also, without such a body, an astral traveler is invisible to those in the physical world, even to those who can sense spirits or magic (Spirit 1, Prime 1). While those sensitive to mental emanations (Mind I) will be able to sense the mage's presence, he will not be able to communicate without further use of Mind magic.

The Body of Light is also commonly used in conjunctional Effects with the Pattern Spheres to allow a mage to materialize his idealized form as an illusion of light, as living flesh or even as a golem of living stone, while his true body and spirit lie protected elsewhere.

The technique of Grafting the Body of Light is also used to create things of ether which are then transmuted to physical substance via the Pattern magic. It may also translate things of the base elements into pure ether which may then be used as adjuncts to a Body of Light.

• • Enchant Weapon — A mage now leams to reweave the underlying Quintessence so as to clarify and intensify existing forms, enchanting objects and creatures. Weapons treated in this manner — while doing no more damage than their mundane counterpart s — strike directly to the Patterns of their targets, inflicting aggravated wounds.
The etheric form may also be made different from the physical, so that a dirty denim jacket may have the underlying structure of a Kevlar vest, or a broken talismanic dagger may still have a whole blade with regards to magical structure. Such structures are still what they appear to physical reality — the denim jacket would not stop bullets, nor could the nonexistent dagger cut butter — but to etheric, spiritual and astral reality, they are quite real. The jacket could stop spirit darts while the dagger could stab wraiths, or even perform whatever magical or ritual functions it did before.

Note that a mage cannot yet imbue Life with static seething Prime energy at this level, so he cannot cause his own Pattern to tear into other Patterns — but a clever mage could easily wear enchanted gloves for combat. Enchanting a Pattern in this fashion typically requires energizing it with a point of Quintessence (the enchantment lasts for the duration scored, but is almost never permanent without a greater supply of Quintessence).

• • Holy Stroke — Even initiates of Prime can defend themselves by using pure, charged Prime energy. When a material object is not handy for brief enchantments, or when the mage simply needs to get the job done with a demonstration of pure, nonconjunctional power, this Effect is appropriate. The mage fires coruscating energy at the opponent, or creates an ephemeral, glowing weapon of Prime energy. Such a construct requires Quintessential fuel (typically one point per use), but it inflicts aggravated damage using the mage's Prime skills. Depending on the attack, the mage might fire it off as a bolt, or simply slash with a glowing sword of holy energy. Such attacks are particularly effective against supernatural opponents. On the downside, the mage must score enough successes to not only inflict damage, but to maintain the Effect and to affect the targets desired (striking an opponent with a blast of Prime counts as one target; creating a Prime hand weapon only counts as one target regardless of how many people it's used to strike, which is why swords of light are more common than holy bolts in massive battles).

• • • Bond of Blood — Transferring Quintessence between Patterns is a staple of potent magicians. The mage can take Quintessence from Tass or from a Node. If offered freely, the mage can even accept Quintessence from another individual, or gift a person with his own Quintessence. The mage can store energy in a P eriapt or store it in another object. With a powerful enough Effect, the mage can even strike out against another mage and drain away that magician's extra Quintessence, although energy stored in the Avatar is inviolate.

This Effect gets its name from the Verbena, who use blood as a conduit for Quintessence. The Verbena in question smears an object with her blood or shares blood with a person in order to share her Quintessence. Hermetic mages use a similar rite by passing around a golden chalice and drinking from the cup or anointing a subject with it.
Although other supernatural creatures often carry their own power, taking Quintessence from them is a chancy matter at best. Most have a form of power that does not translate well into universal energy, and it is often bound up in their own inherent natures (that is, their Avatars). In the rare case where a mage is offered that power in some sort of conduit — vampire blood, for instance, or a shifter ritual that allows the trade of spirit energy — he can harvest Quintessence from the source. However it is usually inefficient and loaded with Resonance.

As a variant, a mage can sometimes channel a small trickle of Quintessence from a Pattern that's destroyed. An object that's burned normally releases its Quintessence back to the Tapestry, but the mage can coax some of that Quintessence into taking a slightly longer route and tunneling through another Effect. Such an Effect must be used conjunctionally with whatever magic it's powering, but allows the mage to draw a single point of Quintessence from the process of breaking or sacrificing things, like pouring out an offering of wine or burning several sticks of valuable incense.

• • • Enchant Life — Because of their ever-flowing and changing Quintessential currents, Life Patterns are more difficult to affect with Prime power than simple Matter or Forces. With this feat, the mage energizes the Life Pattern and gives it greater solidity, anchoring it in reality. This Effect makes the creature seem more "real," and it oft en provides a sudden flush of energy or emotion.

Furthermore, the living being can inflict aggravated (Pattern) damage with its own natural weapons. Akashic Brothers thus affected can score incredible damage with their bare hands, or shapeshifting Verbena can use claws to incredibly dangerous effect. As always, such an enchantment typically requires the expenditure of a rare and valuable point of Quintessence.

• • • Lambs to the Slaughter — Sacrifice is a highly controversial magical procedure, painted black in the-eyes of most of society — and no few mages — by images of Nephandi gaily slaughtering virgins, goats, children, passersby and whatever comes to hand.

Sacrifice, however, is used, approved and even praised by all Traditions in one form or another. The most common — and most holy — form is self-sacrifice, as done with Heart's Blood. Heart's Blood may be combined with a living bond (see Consecration) to sacrifice one's own life energy to power another's magic. The magic comes from a willing sacrifice, and this sacrifice lends the magic additional power, the psychic Resonance of the primal energy in harmony with the magical working. Thus, a woman who gives of her own life energy to save the man she loves will have the power of that Quintessence affected by the Resonance other love (and the total sacrifice of her life may not even be necessary, depending on the magic).

In many other magic spells, the mage sacrifices some sort of material object: breaking an item, burning it, burying it or otherwise destroying an object of value. In the case of Tass, this act releases its excess Prime energy; to a mage with Prime magic, it allows the mage the opportunity to channel away a small measure of Quintessence as the item is destroyed (typically one point). Such Quintessence returns quickly to the flow, as soon as the object is broken, and so it must be used immediately.

The trouble with most Nephandic rituals — and the reason most Nephandi gain no additional power from their sacrifices — is that the victims are unwilling. Every point of Quintessence pulled out of the blood of an unwilling victim generates an equal and opposite measure of psychic Resonance absolutely opposed to the murderer and everything he or she stands for. This Resonance cancels out any benefit there might be from blood on the altar (apart from pleasing one's Dark Masters).

However, a willing sacrifice — such as a Celestial Chorus priest who martyrs herself to save her flock, a Verbena acolyte willingly burnt in the Wicker Man to end a famine or a Nephandic groupie who really and truly believes that the best thing she can do with her life is spill it on the ground for the greater glory of the Dark Masters — gives a great deal of power to a ritual. This sort of devotion can't be mentally compelled or blackmailed, but it can be carefully taught. There are certain Nephandi who raise children as "innocent lambs," treating them well and telling them: "The Dark Masters are your friends. The Dark Masters are better than Barney. There's nothing more wonderful than to be sacrificed to the Dark Masters — but we won't do that yet. We'll save it for a special occasion. All praise the Dark Masters".

Verbena, Hermetics, Euthanatos and particularly traditional members of the Chorus engage in similar practices, but with domestic animals — particularly lambs, goats, chickens and calves. They raise them with a great deal of special care and special treatment, then use them as the centerpiece (and main course) of seasonal rituals and feasts. As vampires know, the amount of life energy in such a creature is not as great as it is in a human, but there are also less mural qualms about killing a chicken or lamb.

Many people find the concept sacrifice of distasteful, but it is included here both as a story element and as an important part of both ancient and modern magical and religious belief. However, a Storyteller is free to disallow sacrifice as a source of magical power if it is a story element she does not want to deal with, if it's inappropriate to particular magical ceremony or if the proper rites and rituals have not been observed by the player's character. A Verbena might gain between two and five points of Quintessence from an appropriately raised and humanely slaughtered lamb as part of a May Day feast. Then again, the lamb may not be that innocent or willing, and any possible bonus might be spoiled by negative Resonance. It is a matter of Storyteller opinion and judgment whether any particular sacrifice holds power beyond the beliefs of'the person performing the ritual.

• • • • Create Talismans and Artifacts — Although it's technically possible to create some forms of minor magical items with lesser Prime power, most potent objects require at least an Adept's knowledge of Prime. The mage essentially concentrates Prime energy and reweaves it into the desired Effects (using other Spheres known, or guided by special grimoires and mentors), imbuing the object with a magical Pattern in addition to its own natural qualities. The item gains certain powers, perhaps even taking on elements of the mage's Resonance and personality.
A mage can also use this power to create a Soulgem, a special Periapt that concentrates Quintessence with her own Resonance. Such an item is tied intimately to the mage's Avatar, and it can be used by only the mage herself.
• • • • Flames of Purification — Mages of the Celestial Chorus are not destructive by nature. Still, they have been known to wield the power of Prime to cleanse reality of abominations. By fanning her focus over a chosen object, a Chorister can invoke this Effect and cause the object to burst into mystical flames. This fire sheds no heat, yet it devours quickly the target.

The mage releases the object's Quintessence back into the ephemera of the Tapestry. The item suffers aggravated damage, and its Pattern evaporates into nothingness if it's destroyed completely. Only inanimate objects or forces can be dispersed with this power. With the Bond of Blood variant, the mage can even channel a tiny amount of this Quintessential destruction into a separate Effect.

• • • • Wellspring —When a mage finds a place of strong Resonance that matches her own power, she can reaffirm her place in the Tapestry and draw strength from the matching emotions. The mage simply "opens up" to the power carried by those emotions, and refreshes her Quintessence naturally. It's like a sudden shot of energy that comes straight into the mage's innermost drives.

What constitutes acceptably strong and appropriate Resonance is, of course, up to the Storyteller. A mage generally needs to use an Effect of this sort at a place where the Resonance is powerful enough that it's felt even by normal people. Even if the location isn't a Node, the mage can draw a small amount of Quintessence from it (generally one point for every three successes scored on the Effect, up to a limit of the mage's Avatar rating). Once the mage has filled up her reservoir of Resonance (drawn out Quintessence equal to her Resonance Trait rating), she's "used up" the metaphysical power in the place, and she will have to come back later for more.
• • • • • Fount of Paradise — The famed Akashic fount allows the mage to reseat his Pattern with respect to the Tellurian, refreshing his Quintessence anywhere and any time. Akashic Brothers also use this Effect through meditation, while Choristers pray for holy inspiration. The mage simply uses this Effect and each success translates into a point of Quintessence restored to his Avatar.

• • • • • Paradox Ward — Although only Archmages of Prime would know for sure, mages surmise that the nature of Paradox runs counter to the smoothing effects of Prime. This Effect draws upon that theory, negating the worst results of Paradox with a charge of Quintessence. The mage invests some symbol of his workings with Quintessence, showing that he puts utmost effort and care into his magic. Then, instead of rebounding or twisting in unusual and unexpected ways, the magic takes form exactly as desired, powered by the Quintessence. Each point of Quintessence channeled with such a rote (up to the successes scored) nullifies one point of Paradox. With a little duration, the mage can set this Effect up in advance right before casting a more powerful Effect, or he can add this extra care and power to another Effect conjunctionally as he weaves it.

• • • • • Master's Enchantment — This catch-all describes the greatest enchantments known to Masters of Prime — the enchantment of a living being, place or time with the power of Prime. Enchanting a living creature enables the mage to create a Relic, a magical being or blessing on a person. Enchanting an area, often by bending ley lines or channeling natural energies, creates a Node. By consecrating a specific time with adherence to rituals and patterns, the mage can create Junctures where regular surges of Quintessence spring forth.

Naturally, such-superlative enchantments represent the pinnacle of the Master's craft. Few mages even attempt such vulgar feats any more, and the number of mages who could complete such a task — or even know that it's possible — dwindles every day.

A mage who creates a Node or Juncture essentially makes a temporary ripple in the Tapestry, where a specific space (with correspondence) or time (with Time magic) surges with Prime energy. The mage must meet the full requirements of the area and the duration, and such a task qualifies at least as an outlandish feat (requiring 10 or more successes in addition to the duration and are?). Creating a new Node permanently is a job for an entire circle of Masters, and it can backfire and blow all of the mages into oblivion. As rare as they are, Nodes are easier to find than create.


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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:13 am

Entropy

Specialties: Chaos, Dissolution, Fate, Fortune, Order


.Luck, fate, chance and chaos are the prime components of the study of Entropy. From this Sphere comes the study of order and randomness, and thus, the study of totally random creation and destruction. All things dissolve eventually into haphazard components, and similarly events form from disjointed, unconnected patterns. Whether in thermodynamic theory or metaphysical metaphor, Entropy describes the simple fact that all things break down, but that new states come from disorder.

For mages interested in coincidence and chance, Entropy affords great possibilities. Mages can sense the flow of probability itself. Determinism and chaos are equal partners, to the student. The mage can spot chance on the move, recognizing points where probability quirks in odd directions. With enough mastery, the mage can even influence probability to cause changes and accidents to happen according to her desires. The mage may not be able to specify the exact outcome, but she can at least cause fair or foul fortune to fall as she wishes.

In practical physical terms, Entropy also relates an understanding of the breakdown, of systems. Although the mage can't affect Patterns directly until he achieves a great mastery of the Sphere, the final steps on the Entropic path allow the mage to literally tear apart Creation by encouraging the natural — or unnatural — spread of chaos. Matter crumbles. Forces fate. Creatures die. This is the lesson of Entropy: Everything falls apart.
Mages who study Entropy often choose the path of either order or chaos. Students of order look into patterns, into the ways that events flow from one to the next and into the means by which new things build on the old. Students of chaos study the dissolution of patterns, the destruction of matter and the random elements that infect happenstance and probability. Either sort of mage has an intuitive understanding of the forces that build and destroy.

By itself, Entropy cannot be used to attack Life Patterns directly until the fourth level (that is, only an Adept or better can in flict damage directly with the Entropy Sphere). However, indirect Entropy — bad luck, collapsing buildings and just rotten strings of happenstance — can inflict damage normally. Unsurprisingly, Entropic masters often have a great deal of Entropy Resonance. Such individuals have a nigh-tangible aura that gives an impression of being in exactly the right place and important — or of being completely out of place. Such mages seem to show up in just the right places at the right (or wrong) times. Sensitives and mages with high Awareness note that Entropy mages have a son of dark, primordial air that belies a swirling, entropic core.

• Sense Fate and Fortune
The rudimentary ability to sense entropy allows a mage to discern the current of destiny. The mage can look into the waves of probability, see places where chance has been altered or nudged, notice nexuses of unlikely events and sense the weaknesses of objects. The mage can determine if something has a particularly lucky characteristic and see if something is on the verge of breaking. Though these senses are far from perfect, they do make the mage a mean gambler and a give him insight into a little bit of luck.

Combined with various Pattern Spheres, the mage can look for weaknesses in a Pattern or see where it will fracture naturally. The mage can also determine if a particular object or creature is lucky. Correspondence with Entropy lets the mage find a place where an unusual event may happen, and Time could let the mage isolate exactly when a manifestation of destiny will appear.

• • Control Probability
After determining the threads of the Tapestry and how they pull on one another, the mage can tug subtly at Fate's loom. Although this ability doesn't necessarily change Patterns directly, it does let the mage alter probability just enough to influence the direction in which the Tapestry unfolds. The Disciple can grab the gross threads of probability where they collect and alter them to suit his whims. Though fine manipulation is still out of reach, the mage can exert a level of control that allows him to determine the outcome of simple events.

By spotting random occurrences, the mage can distinguish predetermined or set patterns from totally chaotic ones. In any pattern where chance and chaos plays a part, the mage can make minor alterations, forcing the randomness to play out as he wishes. Thus, the mage can pull out a good poker hand from a shuffled deck of cards, influence a dice roll subtly or pull out the gone odd sock in the sock drawer. The more complex or the more patterned the event, the harder it is to affect, so the mage is best off dealing with fairly simple and subtle changes. The mage doesn't fay a hand on the Patterns around him directly. Instead, he influences the chance of specific things happening.

In conjunction with Pattern Spheres, the mage can sometimes determine how multiple objects, creatures or forces will interact with one another, and which ones will meet. With ephemeral Spheres, the mage can sense patterns in seemingly random fluctuations of the Gauntlet, notice who's likely to come up with a particular idea first or influence an event to happen at a specific time.

• • • Affect Predictable Patterns
The more predictable a Pattern, the more easily a mage can determine how it functions — and how it breaks. Finally able to touch other Patterns with Entropic control directly, the mage can cause chaos in static Patterns, or arrest the onset of decay. Of course, the natural course of things always wins out in the end. It's impossible to dodge Fate and erase chance completely. However, the mage can exercise a great deal of control over random events, forcing them to delay, making them happen much sooner than they would and causing a Pattern to undergo its natural end sooner or later than usual.

At this level of skill, the mage can affect only set, predictable Patterns such as Matter and Forces. Life Patterns, with their constant ebb and flow, are too difficult for the mage to hamper directly.

Since the mage can alter set Patterns, he can cause machines and systems to break down or prevent such damage. He can cause a device to fail, to suffer a quirky malfunction or to continue working long after it should've given out. Such blessings and curses do eventually wear off (and the entropy often "catches up" in the end), but they can be a boon in the interim.
With Pattern Spheres, the mage can not only affect a Pattern with Entropy directly, but he can control how it will react with other Patterns. Thus, the mage could make a computer that won't break down for years or get overloaded by an electrical surge.

• • • • Affect Life
Living Patterns grow, change and adapt. Because of their constant motion, such Patterns are unpredictable, and they ?re difficult to read or affect with Entropy. However, the Adept of Entropy has reached a level where he can finally sort out such massively complex developments and make a good guess at influencing the growth, and change of life. The Adept learns how things grow, mature, change, adapt and die, how they decay, how they feed into the cycle of life and death. By changing the natural course of multiple points in the life cycle, the Adept can guide it subtly in new directions, whereas simpler changes would merely be corrected.

A mage can use Entropy magic of this level to influence Life Patterns and their successive lineages, bestowing long life, good luck and health, or a quick demise and a blighted family line. Although the Life Pattern is not directly touched, the events around it all quietly bent to force it into directions and circumstances of the mage's choice.
With the Pattern Spheres, the mage can exert direct effects on living beings, causing them to decay or to recover from injury or illness rapidly. Good fortune may result in the healing of diseases, while a curse could cause the subject to suffer complications.

• • • • • Affect Thought
Just as more physical Patterns are subject to change, so too are the vagaries of thought, space and time itself The Master of Entropy learns to impact the very changes of universal concepts.

At this level the mage can influence the interaction of many other Spheres of magic. Though the mage might not have extensive knowledge of the other Spheres, she can let random chance take its course to bring elements together or apart as desired, to tear down old concepts or structures and replace them.

Over time, ideas change, new beliefs take hold; places fall away from public use or grow in prominence; even rime itself goes through long patches of unassuming emptiness followed by periods of extreme change. The Master can see and affect all of these events. Ideas can be changed, evolved, brought to prominence or discarded. Large strings of coincidence can be moved into a single nexus in time or pushed away to leave a period of absolute normalcy. The mage can cause a place nearby to change in importance and nature to people, taking on certain qualities.

This intellectual entropy creates a true "meme," an idea so strong and pervasive that it creates change through its very existence. By spreading that idea, the Master can make others change their views and alter their perception of reality. The Master does not grossly recast Patterns into new forms. Rather, he opens the floodgates of possibility and, like a gardener, guides and prunes events to grow into a desirable direction.
Naturally, such sublime control of Entropy can be combined with the many Spheres for a multitude of Effects. The mage might always be in the right place at the right time. He can not only change someone's mind, but he can wipe away any previous thoughts, consigning them to the oblivion of Lethe. He can hasten the evolution of living things or the maturity of ideas, or delay them to a later time.

Entropy Effects
• Locate Disorder and Weakness — By using Entropy senses, the mage can locate areas of chaos, disorder and decay. A simple sensory Effect determines roughly where an object may break, where an occurrence may happen randomly or how a sequence of events may fall out. With more successes, the mage gets more detailed and accurat e information.

By concentrating on an organizational structure, the mage can find the most disorganized and chaotic point. Doing so can be useful in determining areas that may be difficult to understand, or places where a few more little changes may go unnoticed. Focusing on a Pattern, the mage can sense the weakest areas and make a devastating attack in those places. Applying the magical senses lets the mage use his Entropy magic to augment his damage roll (see "Magic Enhancing Abilities," p. 121).

• Ring of Truth — For those who believe in such things, destiny has a way of coming to the fore. Prophets speak the words of destiny, and events come to pass; people make simple statements that turn out to hold profound truths. Attention to destiny (or just to the patterns that indicate when someone is most likely to lie or to be right about something) can tell a mage whether someone's words hold accuracy.

The Ring of Truth relies on some tie to destiny to determine veracity. Although this powerful Effect can help a mage determine if someone is lying or if the individual's words are somehow important, it has limits. The mage can only analyze something that has meaning to her — a question that has no relevance to the mage or the subject cannot be analyzed. That is, the mage cannot simply query a random person on the street, or even a cabal-mate, about sundry details of the Technocracy and expect an objective assessment of truth if the questions are without connection or context to the subject. Furthermore, the Effect is not infallible, and it often leaves the mage with cryptic hunches or incomplete answers. Fate is fickle. "Reply hazy. Try again later".

• • Beginner's Luck — There is a statistical possibility that any random attempt to do anything will actually succeed. You can get a hole-in¬one the first time you pick up a golf club or hit the bull's eye at a rifle range on the first try. The trouble is doing it the second time, as the chance gets exceedingly improbable. One lucky shot is in the realm of possibility, but five holes-in-one from a rank amateur is beyond belief.
Most mages agree that skill and practice will beat blind luck any day. When faced with any feat that she has never attempted before (or at least succeeded in), however, a mystic may use the Effect to call on the force of beginner's luck and do the impossible.

For each success with this Effect, the Storyteller may add one success to any non-magical Skill roll that a mage's player has two dice or less to attempt, in addition to any successes that the mage makes on her own. The "automatic successes" from this Effect last until they are used in some spectacular success, at which point the magic expends itself.

Each future attempt to use this same magic for the same feat adds one to the difficulty, reflecting diminishing returns. Mages who wish to continue to make spectacular successes should learn additional levels of the Skill in question. No one stays a beginner for long.

• • Games of Luck — By controlling localized probability, the mage can influence the outcome of nearly any game of chance. He can tell which horse will come in, who'll get the winning poker hand and how the dice will fall. As with all Effects of this sort, the mage's successes get increasingly improbable as they continue. At low levels of success, the mage might influence the events but not completely get the desired result. At high levels, the mage can exert a fine (but not exact or total) control over the outcome of such random games. Although it may seem that a mage could make large quantities of cash this way, chance has a way of catching up. Besides, the bookies probably won't let your Virtual Adept run the numbers on his laptop while he's playing poker!

• • • Like Clockwork — Patterns that rely on precision can be improved and shielded with this simple Effect. By insulating a Pattern against the forces of Entropy, a device can be not only protected from decay and rust, but made to run perfectly for years, never failing and never allowing errors to creep in. Obviously, time catches up with all things so this Effect can't be made permanent. However, it can stretch the life and accuracy of all sorts of machines if it's maintained regularly (especially clocks, computers and other such precision devices). The Technocracy uses this Effect extensively, simply through regular maintenance of its machinery. Tradition mages might work small charms and blessings into a device to give it similar benefits. This Effect's successes establish a duration and size for the subject, keeping it shielded from running down naturally. The successes also defend against Entropy attacks levied against the object in question: An Entropy attack deducts from this Effect's protective successes first before hampering the object's functionality.

• • • Slay Machine — Just as Entropy can protect a delicate Pattern from failure or decay, so too can chaos induce just such occurrences. By accelerating the process of inaccuracy and failure, the student of Entropy can render a modern technological device a heap of rubble — or at least cause it to fail badly enough that its compounded errors make it worthless.

The number of successes scored on the Effect determines how much chaos the mage manages to inject into a given system. For complex machines, the mage can cause gears to br eak, belts to snap, axles to bend and rods to slip. Electronic components suffer surges or failures. Computers and calculators get random errors and crashes along with computational problems. Simple material Patterns disperse in an accelerated rate of decay: Water evaporates, steel rusts, wood rots and copper corrodes. Use the table on page 162 for guidelines on how badly the target is damaged. A couple of successes would be sufficient to interrupt a personal computer, but 10 or more successes would be necessary to crumble a large engine to broken pieces.

• • • • Blight of Aging — Infusing a Life Pattern with excess Entropy can have all manner of negative effects, primarily by accelerating the process of decrepitude. The caster doesn't necessarily specify any sort of particular physical problem. Rather, the mage simply curses the creature, afflicting the being with a rapid aging and disease. Though Life Patterns are normally self-correcting, the right combination of Entropic factors can drive a Pattern haywire, eventually causing it to fall apart and destroy itself. Rapid aging, cancer, system failure and multiple infections can all result.

A significantly strong curse can reduce the creature to a decaying corpse in a matter of days. More subtle curses may cause the victim to suffer a relapse of an old wound, the of a nasty disease or a slow slide into a coma. The mage doesn't choose the result. Instead, she simply levies the curse and watches as the individual suffers the results (like in Steven King's Thinner). Medical attention might slow the onset of such a curse, but normal science can do nothing to prevent the deterioration. Victims wither and die slowly, or they just suffer some sort of debilitating disfigurement, and only an enlightened magician or scientist can find a way to battle the curse (with sufficient command of countermagic).

Life-destroying curses are a common (if powerful) staple of most magical styles, but they are usually relegated to the status of dire and dangerous magic. Dabbling in such magic is a quick path to Jhor.
• • • • Midwife's Blessing — Remember all those stories about fairy godmothers and blessed children? Such blessings are possible with the right command of Entropy. The mage's blessing doesn't ensure specific qualities, but it does help to ensure that the child will grow with health and strength. The usual Verbena form of the Effect is a laying of hands on the belly of the mother-to-be, with the blessing, "Grow tall, straight of limb and well favored." Hermetic mages have been known to enchant for specific qualities in their children, instilling specific forms of vis (Quintessence) with Resonance designed to protect against negative qualities. Progenitors are more straightforward, deliberately engineering" genetic qualities to remove negative traits and disease susceptibility.
Obviously, ensuring that a child is completely bereft of mischance is too difficult to perform, but a well-cast ritual can at least prevent birth defects or fatal diseases. Protecting a child all through childhood would require an extremely strong ritual (as noted on the Damage and Duration table). The mage also can't specify any specific gifts for the child; all she can do is ensure that harm or misfortune just won't come the child's way.

• • • • • Binding Oath — The most powerful Fate magicians can call destiny itself to witness the oaths and pacts that they oversee. The skein of Fate takes chart of the subject and marks him. Such an oath brings the weight of fortune to bear on any who break it. Even without any additional compulsions or bindings, the oath has power due to the simple weight of destiny hanging over the subject.

A Binding Oath doesn't necessarily lay actual prohibitions on the subject. The individual retains his free will. However, should he choose to break the oath willingly, he reaps the full weight of consequence. Fate's tapestry bends to ensure that disaster befalls the oathbreaker, and he's clearly marked to any who can sense the weight of destiny.

Laying a binding oath is a difficult task, since it must be made to last long enough to have any meaning — typical oaths last for a cycle of the moon, a year and a day, even an age or an eternity. Placing a prohibition on an unwilling subject is even more difficult, especially if the victim is already marked for a great destiny. Thus, such oaths are usually saved for situations of the greatest weight and consequence, like ceremonial initiation into the mysteries of a Tradition or the foundation of a new Chantry.

• • • • • Mutate Ephemera — The vagaries of chance can take effect even on time, space and thought, and Masters of Entropy can pull on these threads as well. Most often, this Effect is used, in conjunction with constructs of thought and mind. Without even using the Mind Sphere, the Master can cause someone's mind to wander with a glance, lead her down a new chain of thought with a few well-placed words or change her mind about something with a simple warning. The Master of Entropy can also reweave destiny to take note of someone or to ensure that a particular place or time will be a conjunction of great import. As with oth?? manifestations of Entropy, the magician is not guaranteed of the final outcome, but he can make certain that something comes to pass, for good or for ill as he determines.

A simple bending of ephemeral chance can cause someone to change his mind about a whim or thought, or it might lead him to a new conclusion. Actually shifting someone's weight of destiny or placing a powerful curse or blessing, making a cryptic prophetic pronouncement or designating an area as a center of unusual happenstance is much more difficult. Placing a bond of fate over an area or for a large span of time requires that the mage address the difficulty of that distance or duration.


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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:14 am

Mind

Specialties: Astral Travel, Communication, Illusions, Mind-Shielding, Self-Empowerment

The enlightened will shapes reality, so it should come as no surprise that the power of the Mind is, indeed, an esoteric ?et highly studied tool of mages. Such study leads to the investigation of thought, the existence of perfect forms, the idea of intelligence and inquiry divorced from mere physical form. The mage who studies Mind delves into all of these subjects and dives to the very root of cognition, the formation of ideas and the power of unfettered will.

By opening the mind and transcending the limits of the body, the mage surpasses any paltry human limitations. His thoughts are pure, and his sensation of comprehension is perfect. The Mind magician can use thought to communicate, control and wipe away the inaccuracies and errors of human misjudgment for the peaceful serenity of total concentration. All thought is open to the mage: from the refined sensibilities of human philosophy to the feral instincts of animals. Any thinking process can be comprehended and manipulated with sufficient skill.

Although Mind magic is not a particularly flashy art, it is a respected one. Unlocking the mysteries of the Mind requires great discipline and study. Furthermore, its subtle uses are many. Mind arts can perform any number of tasks invisibly, since such arts rarely manifest physically. The Mind mage can sense the intent of others, alter their emotions and control their thoughts. He can set his consciousness free to roam invisibly and explore such esoterica as the foundations of linguistic understanding or conceptualization as well.

Mind Masters usually have a concentrated, placid air about them — as if they are in a constant state of meditation. From time to time, they let slip small hints like reading peoples' reactions, guessing the answers to questions intuitively, even forming intricately constructed chains of logic on a moment's notice. Physically, they are rarely imposing. However, their clear communicative skills and depth of intellect are readily apparent.

Unlike the orderly Pattern Spheres, Mind magic tends to be a bit more "fuzzy" in its capabilities. An initiate can often perform tasks similar to what a more experience mage could do, but not as well or with as much precision or variety. However, Mind constructs do seem to take on specific "thought objects." In some cases, a Mind magician can influence a particular concept just like a Pattern Sphere might be used to manipulate a material object. Because Mind attacks do not cause direct physical harm, all damage inflicted with Mind magic is bashing damage.

• Read Surface Thoughts Empower Self
Although Mind magic is not really an elemental Sphere, mental constructs do seem to fall into ephemeral categories. A trained mage becomes sensitive to moods and thoughts around herself, and she learns to recognize the base impulses of other minds while taking control of her own.

With a simple look, a mage can get a gut feeling or empathic hunch, determining someone's emotional state or telling whether a particular object has a powerful emotional Resonance attached to it. The mage can't read specifics, like whether an emotion is strongly directed at someone in particular or the intricacies of a plan in someone's mind. However, she can tell if someone is giving off positive or negative emotions and determine if an object, place or piece of Tass has "good vibes" or "bad vibes." She can even read basic, strong emotional contexts attached to such objects, so that she can pick put a knife used for a murder from a group of otherwise identical knives.

Since the Initiate also learns to control and order her own thoughts, she can perform a number of prodigious, but usually coincidental, mental feats. With preparation, she can make a rudimentary defense against mental intrusion. She can also render her aura obscured and unable to be sensed. Furthermore, her discipline allows her to use any number of simple Effects to improve her computational skills, memory and concentration.

• • Read Surface Thoughts Mental Impulse
As a mage moves beyond the organization of her own thoughts, she learns to reach out to other minds. The mage can read not only surface thoughts, but she can sense memories associated with objects and scan for specific emotions. Her own thoughts are ordered and disciplined enough to defend against most outside intrusion and to mislead those who attempt to plumb her mind.

Surface thoughts flit across the consciousness of people in garbled, half-formed images that can be easily picked up by the mage. Indeed, different people have different thinking processes and "flavors" of thought that the mage can understand. The mage cannot yet invade a mind and tear out its secrets, but much can be learned just from the casual thoughts of others.

The mage can also associate thoughts with specific items, determining particular forms of Resonance that a material or place might have and drawing out strong memories attached to it. At this level of skill, such impressions are still vague, but the mage can often sense general events and ideas with a strong content of emotions.

If the mage forges a communication with another open mind, she can send emotional impressions. Subjects may get a sudden sense of the mage's emotions, or she may leave the source unspecified, leaving the subject wondering whence a certain impulse came. Subconscious suggestions can lead a subject to perform actions without even knowing or questioning why, although the mage's projections are limited in their strength and strong-willed minds may shake these suggestions off.

With her strong mental control, the mage can not only shield her mind from intrusion, but she can build false fronts, disguises and surface ruses. Mental intruders may not recognize the mage's true skills and powers, or may find her mind completely empty. She can even alter the appearance of her aura, so that onlookers note a different emotional state than would normally be visible. Her discipline allows her to sense most attackers who enter her mind without great skill, and she retains a level of control over her mental processes at nearly all times, even when sleeping or splitting her concentration.

• • • Mental Link Dreamwalk
The mage's powerful mind cuts through interference and irrelevance to form a strong link to other thoughts. She can indulge in telepathic communication, experience someone else's senses, control her own dreams and pierce the veil of understanding to read the true meaning behind a concept, symbol or idea.

It's a simple matter for a skilled mage to set up direct mental communication. She can read ideas directly from the subject's mind, without even the need for language, and send her own thoughts thus. Such communication can make for a silent and perfect exchange of ideas, or it can be used to project illusions, false thoughts and psychic assaults. The mage can also read through the subconscious impulses of the victim, gaining insight to the subject's drives and experiences. Memory is laid bare to the mage's scrutiny, colored as the subject saw it.

Language is, at its heart, just a symbolic way of communicating concepts. At this level, the mage can cut through the symbol to the root concept. Doing so allows the mage to understand nearly any written, spoken or symbolic language that has some human basis. The mage can make her words understood to those who hear her and understand nearly any language. She can translate writings with ease and understand symbols automatically without any cultural context. Things that are outside of the mage's conceptual experience or that are magically defended might still remain mysterious, though.

Regulation of mental power even in the mage's subconscious mind allows the mage to control her thoughts during sleep and dreams, to contact other dream minds and to enter mysterious Dream Realms. She can influence the dreamscapes there, but the strangeness or spirits that reside in some dreams can affect her as well. The mage could enter dreams telepathically while she remains awake, although splitting her consciousness thus is usually more trouble than it's worth. More usefully, the mage's control over her dreams means that unless her psyche is somehow trapped, she can always fall asleep or awaken as desired, immediately.

• • • • Control Conscious Mind Astral Projection
By the time a mage is an Adept of Mind, her thoughts are so potent that not only can she project them, she can override the processes of other thoughts. She can send her consciousness out to experience distant places or to control minds directly.

At this level of power, the mage can invade a victim's mind and lay it bare, dragging out secrets, taking direct control of the victim's thoughts or even thrashing the victim's psyche into a catatonic state. She can alter memories, erase experiences, implant suggestions or even make the victim perform any number of unpleasant and potentially harmful tasks. Unless the victim also uses Mind magic or some sort of mental defense, his only resistance is Willpower — and any mind can be eroded, given time.

A mage who wishes to extend her powers can also defend others with her mental strength. She can shield people from mental invasion just like she shields her own mind, or she may conceal or alter the auras of others for a time.
From the subconscious Realms, the mage can also extend her perceptions to Realms of pure thought. The mage passes beyond dreams and into the Astral Umbra. There she can flit for a brief period in a plane composed of pure thought, perhaps in search of lost ideas or new concepts. Such travel is dangerous, and the Adept cannot divorce mind and body completely, so the duration of such trips is perforce limited.

• • • • • Control Subconscious
Unether
Forge Psyche
The penultimate Mind magic has manifold powers. The mage essentially learns to divorce conscious thought from any other constraints. Base emotions and impulses can be separated from intellect, and intellect from body. The mage can create or destroy thought at will.

With control over the subconscious, a mage can rewrite a subject's personality and beliefs totally. The victim is irrevocably changed as the mage inserts whatever base-level motives he desires. Such a victim can be turned into an automaton, or given a totally new Nature, in addition to altering memories or controlling actions. The mage can also rework a subject's psyche, improving or destroying mental capabilities as desired.

Extended work allows the mage to divorce her mind from her body completely. She can move her thoughts to rake possession of another shell or simply roam the realms of astral space as disembodied thought. Although she must return to the body eventually — during life, the body, mind and soul must remain united — she can make extended forays into the realms of pure imagination. With luck, she may even be able to move her consciousness into other spirit realms, able to travel freely as a disembodied mind, free of the restrictions of physical form.

Since the Master of Mind can separate thought from form, it's possible to actually create consciousness with this knowledge. Although anyone can think of something new, the Master makes a truly unique mind — a thinking entity (process ?) formed whole without a body or shell. The parameters and personality of this immaterial mind are totally defined by the Master's whims.

In combination with the Pattern Spheres, sublime Mastery over Mind lets the mage create true, new, real consciousness and place it in a body, creature or machine. Mages can make computers that think, animals with human intelligence or even completely new people.

Mind Effects
• Mind Empowerment — The mage's mental discipline, even at this rudimentary level, lets her accomplish prodigious feats easily. She can focus on multiple tasks at once, improve her thinking capabilities and focus her concentration. The mage can reach out to feel others' emotions, defend herself (rudimentarily) from such intrusion or enhance her mental capabilities.

The mind-shielding of an Initiate is crude but effective: The mage's successes on the Effect counter direct Mind assaults. Very subtle or skilled assailants may be able to bypass this protection, and the mage's mental defenses at this level of skill are obvious to anyone who cares to probe the magician's psyche. This Effect can at least keep out some unwanted guests though.

Empowering mental processes allows the mage to function like a calculator or computer. He can work through information rapidly and with little or no error, and he can collate facts and logical data. The successes scored either cut down the time necessary to process information accurately, or allow the mage to multi-task and concentrate on multiple avenues of thought at once. Although the mage still moves, responds and acts at his normal rate, he can engage in battle while simultaneously thinking about several problems and deciding what sort of tie to wear for formal dinner later that evening. The mage can even improve her Mental Attributes temporarily and artificially, although surpassing hum an limitations or supercharging her mind for too long can risk Pattern bleeding (see pp. 131-132).

With emotional sensitivity, the mage can "see" auras as multicolored halos that reflect the emotions of a person or object, or even feel some 1ev?1 of the subject's emotion. Strong emotions practically scream out at the mage, and they may even be traumatic if the mage does not defend herself with mental shielding. A knowledgeable mage can also detect some types of supernatural activity or creatures by watching an aura. She can even tell as a subject goes through mood shifts. Watching reactions to others lets the mage tell friend from foe, and the mage can also determine when a subject is lying, with careful study and a handful of successes on the die roll. The mage can also determine when an area has strong emotions associated with it, or sense the presence of Resonance in a given form of Tass or at a Node.

• No-Mind — A simple examination for nearby mental Patterns allows the mage to detect other thinking beings in the area, and to determine their positions, individual genders and types. The mage senses the closest minds first in a pattern that radiates outward, but he can screen out known types deliberately. The Akashic Brotherhood performs this Effect through the "No-Mind" technique, emptying their own thoughts to clear away their minds and make them more sensitive to others, but the other Traditions have similar mind-sensing Effects as well.

• • Empathic Projection — Emotions carry great weight. By focusing her emotions and casting her attention to a subject, the mage can send a sudden impulse or feeling. The target can be made to experience the mage's own feelings, or the mage can strike an emotion into the subject. The successes scored indicate the intensity of feeling. With two or three successes, the subject just has a slight sudden urge or quaint moment of queasiness, while five or six successes would cause a sudden blast of emotion to scream into the forefront of the target's mind.
Obviously, a sudden influx of emotion can startle a person or cause her to act strangely for a moment (or longer, if the mage places a duration on the Effect). The target may suddenly laugh inexplicably, drop something or flee the area in panic. Stronger-willed targets are harder to affect. The target can spend a point of Willpower to resist the urges, as with any sudden impulse. If the subject has reason to suspect the mage's intrusion, a Willpower roll can be used to resist, so an extended ritual may be required to affect a wary subject. In some cases, a sudden blast of pure, heart-stopping emotion can paralyze or shock a subject (inflicting standard bashing damage).

The mage cannot send actual pictures or words through this method, but a sudden feeling of danger or need can often be a useful missive when in trouble. Of course, other Mind magicians in the area may well sense the panicked empathic projection.

• • Psychic Impression — The mage leaves a Mind imprint on a given place or object, thus imbuing it with a particular emotion. Most often, this impression is some Resonance Trait of the mage, but the mage may imbue the target with a strong emotional Resonance under circumstances of great stress. The object carries the Resonance for as long as the Effect lasts. If the object is used in conjunction with an Effect, its Resonance may assist or hinder the Effect (see p. 162). Thus, the mage can cause an item to feel his own hate, elation, curiosity, joy or rage. A bullet used in hare would carry greater mystical weight, as would a bandage infused with compassion or a bottle of wine infused with camaraderie.

When a mage places Resonance in an area, that place gains a certain "emotional weight." A house could be made to seem creepy, a nightclub might have a dance floor that brings out anger or lust, a church could be peaceful. Such an Effect can be felt by anyone who enters the area, though generally only those with Awareness will recognize it as supernatural. Normal people will just find the place relaxing, agitating or whatever.
• • • Probe Thoughts — It is nearly impossible to keep secrets from a skilled and determined disciple of Mind magic. The mage can simply bore into the target's mind, rooting around at will for surface impressions, or dig into memories, sensory information or even the subconscious. The target may suddenly experience strange thoughts and emotions as the mage brings them to the fore, or the mage can expend additional effort to slip in quietly and dig through the target's mind unnoticed.

With a successful probe, the mage can dig into memory (as the subject remembers it), experience any or all of the target's senses (perhaps in conjunction with her own senses, by using a multitasking Effect) or determine the victim's subconscious drives and desires. A quick surface scan may go unnoticed, but deeper probes often alert the subject that something's amiss. The successes scored indicate how deeply the mage can probe. Two or three successes give fleeting impressions of surface thoughts, while five or more open up buried memories and painful secrets. If the mage wants to sneak around unnoticed, his player must score additional successes exceeding the subject's Wits. A suspicious subject can resist the initial intrusion with Willpower, as always, and a Mind mage can often build a mental shield or even a layer of fake thoughts to block the intruder. In the latter case, the intruder must best the target's Mind Effect in order to break down the mind shield or notice and bypass the fake layer of thought.

• • • Telepathy — Direct mind-to-mind communication is possible with this power of Mind magic. The mage can send words, pictures or concepts directly to the subject, and he can read the surface thoughts of the target in return. With enough successes, the mage can connect to remote subjects, unfamiliar ones or multiple subjects (with additional successes needed for each). Thus, the mage can easily link minds with a member of her cabal or try to set up a telepathic network between multiple people, at the cost of a great deal of effort.
Since the mage setting up a telepathic link works on the basis of pure concepts, she can communicate through images or ideas instead of simple words. Language is no barrier to the trained mage. By contrast, those without Mind experience still tend to think in terms of language, and the mag? may have to cut through the babble of words to get at the underlying concepts.

By sending images or sensory information, a telepath can also cause the subject to experience hallucinations. The complexity of the illusion determines the required successes, and a wary target may try to resist with a Willpower roll. With few successes, the illusion may seem unconvincing, incomplete or phantasmal. Illusions created with high levels of success — usually five or more — are indist inguishable from any real sensory input. Even if the target knows that something's an illusion, his body may well react reflexively when his senses warn him! Better still, the mage can simply send a knife of disturbing psychic Resonance straight into the victim's brain, inflicting bashing damage.

Untrained subjects, especially those with low Willpower, have a tendency to generate a distracting amount of psychic volume. The mage might well decide to lend a little organization to the target (by extending a mind shield) just to keep less skilled members of the link from distracting the group. Keeping a mental link up is certainly a distraction of some level, and the mage may suffer additional penalties to dice pools above and beyond the penalties for maintainin g an Effect if there's a substantial amount of psychic "chatter."

• • • • Manipulate Memory — Altering memories is delicate work that requires incredible finesse. An Adept of Mind can not only probe and delve into the subject's memory, but he can alter such memories, implant false history, wipe areas blank, give the subject special knowledge or even leave the victim a tabula rasa. Such work is not to be taken lightly; the mage must invade the subject as per Possession, and then accumulate successes to alter memories. Unless the mage also takes some precautions like immobilizing the victim or performing this Effect in the subject's sleep, the target is likely to notice the sudden gaps and changes in memory. Although the subject can't remember what's changed, the process is a terrifying one to someone who's not expecting it. Thus, it behooves the mage to work with the utmost subtlety, unless he plans to simply rip apart the victim's memory and leave it at that. Acting this way is a good way to pick up nasty Entropic Resonance like Destructive and Obliviating.

When the mage alters memory, he can make the memories as realistic or artificial as he likes. The subject might be left with only vague recollections, cartoon-like images that can't possibly be real or crystal-clear images of a life he never lived. A subject wiped of all memory does not necessarily lose his Talents, Skills and Advantages, but he certainly doesn't know what he can and can't do. Subjects who have special knowledge implanted can call on rudimentary Knowledges, although until they've become accustomed to their new database of information (by spending experience), they will be able to access only the basic Knowledge (one dot). Still, memory-alteration is a great way to de-empower enemies without killing them, or to implant important knowledge into someone's head quickly.

• • • • Possession — One of the more fearsome Effects possible for Adepts of Mind, Possession allows a mage to exert direct control over the subject's thoughts. If the mage succeeds in Besting the subject's Willpower, he can control the target's actions directly, either taking over the subject completely or just influencing specific, desired parts of the mind.

When the mage takes total possession of a target, the victim's thoughts become overlaid with the mage's. The mage needs only think the appropriate actions, and the victim performs them naturally, often oblivious to the invading mage. The mage can direct the subject's body easily (to the subject's normal limits, of course) and dig through memories or surface thoughts as with Probe Thoughts. The subject will even remember all of his thoughts as his own; his entire mind is subsumed by the mage's power.

Should the mage decide to exert control over a simple part of the target, she can command the subject's motive processes jerkily, seize emotional responses, direct the target's thoughts or perform any combination of such. Unless the mage seizes the target's thoughts, the victim will be aware that someone is controlling him.
Establishing partial control, of course, is much easier than totally suppressing a victim's personality. Simply making a subject jerk an arm or start crying uncontrollably would only require two or three successes. Actually overpowering someone's mind requires the caster to at least best the target's Willpower rating. Even if the mage only exerts partial control, the target is likely to remember the incident unless the mage also uses additional magic to control or erase the target's memories.

• • • • Astral Projection — The Astral Realms are reaches of pure thought. Because of their ephemeral nature, it's often difficult to navigate or survive in them. Adepts of Mind can make short jaunts into astral space; Masters can separate the mind from the body to make extended journeys. In such realms, the mage experiences pure thought constructs, meets beings of thought and passes with incredible speed through the highest reaches of the spirit world. Successes scored on such an Effect determine how long the mage can remain outside of his body, and how deeply he can penetrate into the Astral Umbra.

Unlike Spirit magic, which allows the mage to enter the spirit world physically, Astral Projection releases the mage's consciousness as a free-floating thought. The mage can be detected with Mind senses, but he is otherwise invisible and intangible. Since the mage has no body, he must rely on magical senses to detect or influence his surroundings. He can still use other Mind Effects, of course, and he could take control of a subject thus if necessary. Without recourse to ritual and magical foci, the mage may have difficulty with successive magic, but at least such magic is coincidental in the Umbra.

If the mage draws his consciousness down to Earth (or just never heads for the Astral Umbra), he can zip about the material world as a formless and massless entity traveling at the speed of thought. The expenditure of a point of Willpower enables the mage to manifest for a single turn as a ghostly, hazy and idealized image, but he cannot interact with the world physically without using magic.

Astral entities can interact with other astral beings and similar thought-constructs only. Since the physical body means nothing, the mage uses Wits instead of Dexterity, Manipulation instead of Strength and Intelligence instead of Stamina. Ghosts, spirits and other astral forms can do combat with the mage. Such attacks injure the psyche of the mage and sap his will, draining Willpower points instead of health levels. If a combatant runs out of Willpower, he is disrupted. A spirit or mummy would simply dissipate into the Umbra, while a mage finds that his silver cord, the tether between body and mind, snaps.

A mage lost in the Umbra, fades away into the Epiphamies (realms of pure thought). A Master can avoid this fate for a time, but his will erodes slowly, and the individual vanishes into the mists of the Umbra, never to be seen again. Mages have reported meeting once-human astral beings that seemed quite capable of surviving as pure minds, but such an existence is beyond the capabilities of even a Master, The only recourse for a mage lost in the Astral Umbra is to reconnect to a physical body using Possession — be it his own, or someone else's.

Note that a mage who projects his awareness astrally has no sense of his physical body unless he uses other Effects (like Correspondence) to maintain a sensory link to his body. Thus, the mage is well-advised to keep his physical form hidden and protected.

• • • • • Create Mind — The penultimate mastery of Mind allows the mage to create an entirely new consciousness. The mage can determine the personality, intellect and foibles of the consciousness. If left unattended, such minds tend to drift into the Astral Umbra, where they float away, dissipate or go insane. With a proper housing (like a newly created body, a computer or a section of Umbral space), the mind can stay and perhaps even achieve a level of independent sentience. Unless built as little more than instinct, such minds do tend to grow beyond the initial parameters of the creator.

Virtual Adepts use this Effect to create machine intelligences, computers that can think and take on human roles. Such machines can be dangerous — many become unstable or resent their servitor roles — but they are also the most effect ive forms of computers available.

Of course, if a created mind is not also given a soul (with Spirit magic), then it has no existence beyond its own memory. Should such a persona "die," it will never reincarnate and it is gone forever. If a mage uses sufficient magic to create a new mind, body and soul, then perhaps it would be possible to create true life... but the Master capable of such a feat has not walked Earth for decades, if not centuries.


Last edited by yanamari on Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:21 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:18 am

Correspondence

• Immediate Spatial Perceptions
Basic understanding of Correspondence allows a mage to develop precise and intuitive judgments of distance or area. A simple Effect enhances the mage's awareness of space to determine exact directions and distances. The mage can cast spells to "feel out" the contours of sp ace around her, using mystical senses to determine the placement of other Patterns even beyond the normal senses. With the proper Effects, a mage can also detect warps in space or the presence of gates, sinks, wormholes and other instabilities or tears in the very fabric of perceived distance.

Combined with various Pattern Spheres, the mage can determine exact sizes and distances to creatures, objects or forces. With more ephemeral Spheres, the mage could develop a rough idea of the locations of nearby thinking beings, the area of power in a Node or the direction and distance to a peculiarity or strange coincidence.


• • Sense Space Touch Space
With scrying magic and projection, the mage can cast out her senses to various places beyond her physical form. The mage could touch and feel something physically at a distance or use magic to see a vista at a far-away location. The mage chooses one target and performs an appropriate Effect to scry there. Sensing a distant area forges a sort of connection between the mage and the location — a warp of Correspondence as the mage brings her Pattern in contact with the place — that can be detected with simple Correspondence awareness. This connection also extends the mage's perceptions to allow him to use his magic at such places. Conversely, the mage can make wards that bar scrying, or defend the Patterns that she perceives from conjuration or transportation, by strengthening the hold of space and hedging out such distant perceptions.

Combining Correspondence sensing and touching with Pattern Spheres lets the mage affect small Patterns at a distance. The mage could reach out and touch a stone from a far distance, then use Matter with Correspondence to pull it into his hand, conjuring it from across a field. Similarly, the mage could deposit an animal some distance away with a touch and a conjunctional use of Correspondence and Life. As with all uses of Pattern Spheres with Correspondence, the mage is limited to his lesser understanding in the possible Effects. In conjunction with other Spheres, long-range Correspondence allows the mage to seek someone out in order to establish mental contact or read thoughts, project probability manipulation at a far distance, search for powerful sources of Quintessence to manipulate or even look into distant spirit worlds.


• • • Pierce Space
Seal Gate
Co-locality Perception
Tearing the very fabric of space itself, the mage can open a brief gateway to other places and step through. While the mage could only cast her senses out to distant locations previously, she can now actually travel via teleportation. The mage needs only sense the destination — or even haphazardly cast out to a random place, although doing so is extremely dangerous, then perform an appropriate Effect to change her Pattern's location. Drawing together connections in various Patterns— or severing them — is also possible, and it causes the Patterns affected to build a stronger or weaker bond that can be exploited later through Correspondence.

By strengthening the bonds of space instead of warping them, a mage can seal gateways and block the passage of Correspondence Effects. The mage can actually bar an area from passage, be it mundane or through Correspondence. Such an Effect prevents transportation in an area, and it can be cast over Patterns other than the mage herself.

Finally, moderate comprehension of Correspondence allows a mage to split his perceptions over several locations at once. Although the mage can open a door to only a single place, or manipulat e individual Patterns without major effort, she can use her scrying to view multiple places simultaneously. The mage could experience the show in any form appropriate to her paradigm. She might see a set of ghostly superimposed images around her as she spies on multiple locations, or perhaps she has a series of small simultaneous images for different places.

With Pattern Spheres, the mage can use Correspondence to teleport Patterns or move objects from a distance. The mage reaches out and bypasses space to touch the object from range. Searching through multiple locations at once lets the mage perform very acute investigations, especially when using other Spheres to look for specific results.


• • • • Rend Space Co-locate Self
Adepts of Correspondence can not only tear through the Tapestry to create warps or rents in space, they can force such distortions to remain instead of just sliding their own Patterns along brief slips of distance. The mage can create a free-standing wormhole or gate that transports anyone to another place, or he can bend space to remove something from the bounds of the normal Tapestry entirely. Space isn't necessarily mutable at this level, but various points can be connected or Patterns can be placed in new locations or even outside the concept of "space" altogether. Combined with specific wards, the gates through space can be made selective so that only certain types of Patterns may pass through.

By causing her own Pattern to manifest in several perceived spaces, the mage can appear to exist in multiple places at once. Judicious use of other Spheres can let the mage think separately in these places (with Mind magic) or even act differently in each (with Life magic).

Pattern magic used by an Adept of Correspondence can not only t eleport or move objects, but establish gates that bar or warp certain Patterns. A particular Pattern can even be thrust into its own bubble of non-space, closeted away from the universe. In such a bubble the mage can scry safely or put away an object where it can't be found or manipulated.


• • • • • Mutate Localities Co-location
Mastery of Correspondence allows a mage not only to pull spaces together or hold them apart, but to bend, twist and flex space itself like taffy. The mage can stretch distances, alter volumes and spin around die very concepts of arcs or angles. A three-foot-long rod might be made to span an apparent 10 feet, or a gun could be folded so that its bullet comes out the apparently curving barrel heading toward the shooter, since the bullet travels along curved space and thus follows a straight line through a curved barrel.

Just as an Adept of Correspondence can stack her perceptions or presence to see and interact with multiple locations, the Master can pull entire chunks of space together so that they can interact freely. Instead of gates through which things pass to travel, the whole areas become superimposed on one another. Objects and creatures can exist in two places simultaneously, because the places are now a single location. Items could be made to overlap without damage; in effect, more than one thing can occupy a single space at one time.

Correspondence Masters can use other Spheres to cause Patterns to interact bizarrely in overlapped space, to allow themselves to appear in multiple places with independent bodies and thoughts, to cause an object's spatial warping to also reflect in its physical characteristics or to shield areas from intrusion.


Correspondence Effects
• Sense Connection — Powerful uses of Correspondence pull places together or wrap space around like taffy. The proper rituals allow the mage to sense such distortions. This Effect is handy in determining if there's a gate nearby, whether someone is scrying or whether an object is being manipulated remotely. The mage can also determine if a Pattern has a specific connection to another Pattern. Obviously, this knowledge is extremely useful in sympathetic magic, or in determining what would be a good item to use or place to work a specific Effect. Note that a mage can't necessarily tell what something is connected to. The Effect merely indicates the presence or absence of an unusual Correspondence.

Landscape of the Mind — One of the most basic Correspondence exercises, this Effect opens the mage's awareness to her surroundings without recourse to normal senses. With concentration and ritual, the mage can "feel" or perceive a great area of space, although extreme areas are both difficult to encompass magically (requiring many successes) and difficult to process mentally (generally requiring the aid of Mind magic for anything beyond a city block in area).


•Whereami? — Absolute sense of space gives the mage a perfect determination of her relative location. Combined with Spirit, the mage can even intuit location within spirit worlds, and thus find her place almost anywhere in the Tellurian. Mind magic lets the mage determine the validity of her senses and establish whether she's hallucinating or dreaming. Naturally, wards can alter or block such perceptions, and Paradox or Quiet might confuse the issue. In most cases, this Effect simply Jets the mage get a rough idea of where she is relative to some axis other normal, familiar world, so that she can get home or find her way. This Effect gets its name from the Virtual Adepts, who tend to use computer-aided maps and positioning to determine location.

• • Apportation — Although the rudiments of Correspondence are insufficient to actually teleport safely over long distances, a mage can affect some small Patterns. A quick Effect causes an object or creature to transport to or from the mage. The mage must also use the appropriate Pattern Sphere, typically Life or Matter. Apportation can't affect any Pattern more complex than the mage's Correspondence knowledge. That is, even a Master of Life or Matter can transport only very simple Patterns with this limited understanding of Correspondence (plants and very simple animals for Life, basic homogenous substances for Matter).


• • Correspondence Sensing — The ancient arts of scrying take many forms. The mage might use a tiny camera, a reflecting bowl, a magic mirror or any number of means. The end results are the same: the mage draws a connection between her senses and the desired location. The mage can use her normal senses there, and thus she can watch events unfold, listen in on a conversation or perform similar feats. With Time or Spirit magic, the mage can even look into other worlds or ages, although such Effects are substantially more difficult and prone to interference or unusual results.

Correspondence Sensing can follow the traces picked up with a more basic Sense Connection, allowing the mage not only to determine if something's a gate or if someone's scrying on an area, but to trace back to the location at the other end. This Effect lets the mage determine where a gate goes before passing through, or find out where a spy is lurking and look back. Spirit magic is also required if such a connection crosses the Gauntlet or into certain protected Realms.

Once the mage knows how to sense an area, she can defend against such senses, performing countermagic against other spies by using her Correspondence knowledge — her own knowledge of scrying techniques — to block the perceptions of the spy.


• • Ward — Just as a mage can sense distant locations, the mage can also defend against such perceptions. A ward prevents sensory intrusion from most varieties of supernatural perception. The mage simply creates a bar against the connections of space that would form with Correspondence Sensing. Such an Effect pits its successes against the successes of any scrying attempt, so a well-built ward can keep out even determined spies while a hasty one just makes scrying a little blurry. The ward's successes subtract from any scrying attempt's successes, but the spy's work of battering down the ward is noticeable unless the spy is also careful enough to rebuild the ward while worming through it.

With the proper conjunctional Spheres, a ward can be set with specific conditions or blockades. A ward with the right Mind magic might let through certain viewers or certain people in a particular state of mind, or who know the right password. Time magic can key a ward so that it's penetrable to viewers in a specific range of time. Matter or Life magic allows wards to be woven directly over such Patterns, and it makes scrying on the objects themselves difficult.

Once the mage can actually pierce or strengthen space (Correspondence 3), a ward can be built as a ban, an actual barrier to passage. The ban might appear as a force field or a set of glowing runes, or it might have no visible manifestation. The Spheres used in the creation of the ban determine what it keeps out. A Matter ban could be keyed to resist intrusion by bullets, iron or radioactive material; a Fo rces ban might block certain energies; a Life ban can keep out specific creatures or types of creatures; a Spirit ban naturally protects against demons and spirit entities. The ban strengthens space against the creature, combined with the power of the appropriate Pattern Sphere, to hedge it out, though anything not keyed to the ban passes through normally. Thus, a ban against spirits would still let a spirit's spells and thrown weapons through, so be careful! Bans must usually be cast over an area, and unless the mage spends a lot of time adding to the duration and conjunctional Effects, they aren't likely to last for too long.


• • • Chain — "As above, so below." Like objects often bear similar Resonance, and changing one can change the other. With Correspondence magic, a mage can strengthen or weaken the ties between objects or places. Such a chain makes for a powerful tool in building magical links, or a good way to defend against Correspondence senses and attacks. A simple Chain Effect lets the mage change the attachment between two Patterns as expressed on the Correspondence Ranges chart on p. 163.


• • • The Seven-League Stride — Legend has it that the Order of Hermes made magical boots that would take the wearer exactly seven leagues with each stride. Though such boots are an artifact of the past, this Effect mirrors their capabilities. A competent mage can step from place to place nearly instantaneously. Depending on the exact sort of magic used, the mage might seem to blur past in an instant, or just vanish and reappear somewhere else. Regardless, the mage effectively teleports to any place he desires, although near and better known locations are easier to reach, of course.

Just as a mage can teleport himself through judicious use of Correspondence, objects or creatures can be moved with the right Effect. Simple Apportation can affect only simple Patterns, but as the mage's Correspondence knowledge improves, she can affect similarly more complex Patterns. Simple living things or composite objects can be moved with variations on the Seven-League Stride. Adepts and Masters of Correspondence can even use their greater rituals to bring along other people or to transport large or unusual substances.
Combined with Correspondence Sensing, the mage can travel to just about any place that can be scried — which is a good thing if the mage doesn't want to land in a hostile environment by accident. With Sense Connection, the mage could detect a scrying adversary, trace that connection and then teleport to the spy.


• • • Filter All-Space — Spreading senses across the Tellurian, a mage can search for specific objects or creatures as she extends her senses. The early Correspondence power of Correspondence Sensing may allow for scrying of specific areas or Patterns, but this more advanced technique lets the mage look in many places at once! The mage senses everything going on in all the places scried, which may call for the judicious use of Mind magic.
A mage who isn't looking for anything in particular could simply split perception across multiple locations and draw in a welter of sensory input. Conversely, a proper filter, especially with the right Pattern knowledge, lets a mage sift through many places to find an exact and particular target. The mage can then eliminate scenes from the multiplied vista until homed in on the right spot.


• • • • Bubble of Reality — By removing a Pattern from interaction with "space," a Correspondence Adept can cause an object to exist in its own sort of pocket dimension. Actually, the subject exists beyond the bounds of space, but the distinction doesn't matter much. What's important is that normal space and reality can't interact with the target. However, the mage can still make Correspondence connections between normal space and the "bubbled" subject, so that it's possible to see back out to the world or to scry on the object even as it's cocooned away. Normally, the object exists in its own non-space and the mage establishes a link at need. If the mage wants to keep a link going, cause the bubble's apparent linkage to move or encompass a large area, he must generate a sufficiently large Effect.


• • • • Hermes Portal — Free-standing gates or doorways to other places are staples of magical travel. The Order of Hermes claims to have pioneered a specific version that creates a permanent Gate through the Tapestry and then includes a ban (see Ward) to prevent the passage of any thing but sentient, willing creatures. Such a Gate makes for quick and accessible transit between any two places desired, and the mage can make it usable by others easily.
Usually, a properly banned Gate seems like a darkened window; Correspondence Sensing allows the mage to trace and view the other end, or the Gate might not ban light and therefore would appear to be a panorama of the destination. Without a ban, anything on the other side of the Gate can pass through freely, which can cause all sorts of complications — the Wu Lung reportedly use an Effect called tsuiho that blasts an enemy with the fires of Heaven (Gated in from the sun). Either sort of Gate is a vulgar Effect, although a banned Gate is usually worth the additional work due to its greater safety. Of course, putting the bans on the Gate requires knowledge of the appropriate Spheres (usually Life, Mind and Matter).

Portals can also open into multiple and varied locations. Such a portal might be keyed to a specific thought or password (with Mind), to a sequence of places (passing through them with Time), or to different places according to the subject (with Matter or Life). A particularly defensive portal could cause anyone without the right password to be deposited in one place while all of their material possessions wind up somewhere else. Such portals are staples of travel between heavily guarded Nodes and Chantries, as the magical defenses let mages discriminate easily between who can use such portals and where they'll go.


• • • • Polyappearance — Instead of disappearing from one place and reappearing in another, an Adept of Correspondence can choose to simply stack himself in multiple places simultaneously. The mage seems to inhabit all of the spaces at once. Onlookers in the various places see the mage react to the surroundings of all the locations. Thus, the mage could react to things that aren't there in one place but are present in another. The mage takes in the sensations of every place at once.

Just because the mage exists in multiple places doesn't mean that he can cause those multiple objects to interact, though. The mage might grab or use something in one place, but it won't have any effect on the other places that the mage exists, unless additional Correspondence magic teleports or co-locates the subject. The mage also suffers the consequences of everything in all the locations. If a mage is in an open area and a small room at the same time, the walls of the small room block the mage's sight entirely (since there's still really only one mage, just experiencing multiple spaces). Getting attacked by multiple people is a bad idea....

On the other hand, polyappearance can be advantageous. Akashic Brothers multiply their positions to strike from multiple angles at once, while Hermetic mages hold conferences with multiple groups simultaneously.
If the mage actually wants to process information from multiple locatio ns, a Mind Effect is invaluable. With Life and Prime, the mage can also make additional bodies, and then use Mind to split her attentions between them, though only one body at a time can actually do magic (in effect, the mage's attention focuses only on one actual body at a time).


• • • • • Co-location — With this bizarre magic, a mage may stack multiple locations and allow them to interact freely. No damage occurs to objects that superimpose themselves on one another during co-location, yet they are solid to one another. Once separated, they will not superimpose again. Stacking entire areas (instead of just objects) is possible, but highly vulgar, difficult and usually only done by desperate or crazed mages.


• • • • • Spatial Mutations — With true Mastery of Correspondence, the mage can alter distance and direction as desired. Though the mage can't really "create space" per se, she can easily cause a perceived distance to change without affecting the relative outside world. She can bend space around to make strange shapes that don't hinder objects or creatures inside. To those on the inside, the space seems normal while the outside appears distorted. She can cause things to appear shrunken, grown or distorted, though such magic does not actually affect the subjects directly — it just makes them appear different relative to the rest of the world.

Since the mage can change distances or directions, she can cause an object to become very small relative to herself, but it would still have the same mass and strength. She could make something larger but it would not become any more resilient. In effect, the material properties of various Patterns don't change, just their appearance in three-space.
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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:19 am

Forces

Specialties: Motion, Primal Elements (Fire, Lightning, Radiance, Cold, etc.), Physics, Technology, Weather

In the physical universe, science postulates the existence of two disparate states: matter and energy. Hermetic theory purports different levels of energetic states, from fire to frost. Primal religions cast natural and elemental forces into powerful, sometimes divine, roles. Through Forces, the universe manifests impersonal energies. Those energies follow rules, though, and the mage with command of Forces can command the elements, be it through quantum mechanics, electronic devices, mystical dances or chants to the patrons of primal archetypes.
Natural forces manifest through energetic Patterns, constructs of Quintessence in motion. Every force has its own unique properties, but they all share the common root of Prime swirling through a Pattern. By manipulating that Pattern, the mage can turn forces into other forces, negate various forces, increase or decrease their power or even create and banish energy from nothingness. Every magical style has a different means of addressing these forces. Science considers certain forces to be the absence of others, while mystical Traditions usually consider negative and positive forces — heat and cold, light and dark, motion and stillness — to be opposite but independent entities. Regardless, the understanding of Forces lets the mage manipulate all of them equally.

For the mage who indulges in flashy displays and destructive power, Forces presents mastery of the most vibrant magical power. Thunder waits in the hand of the mage of Forces, and flame dances at his command. Naturally, such pyrotechnic displays are often vulgar, but the world is surrounded by forces constantly, and the mage can manipulate them as easily as he can create his own. Apprentices and Disciples can see attacks coming with Forces and defend themselves against all manner of strikes, while Masters can summon up legendary storms, hails of fire and walls of darkness. The unleashed power of agitated Quintessence lets Force Patterns unleash themselves in forms more blatantly destructive than any other Sphere. By itself, study of Forces is not a particularly broad area of influence – Combined with the other Elemental Spheres, Forces allow the mage to master the entirety of the material world. With the ephemeral Spheres, the mage can influence the very concepts of Forces, their release and transmission and their spiritual energies. This Sphere is not subtle, and its effects can be both long-ranging and devastating.

Mages who study Forces tend to carry with them an aura of sheer energetic power: a barely felt wave of heat, an electrical flash to the eyes, the clinging of passing shadows. Like Forces Effects themselves, such manifestations are often more noticeable than the results of other Spheres. The precise sort of manifestation often depends upon the wizard's specialty. A magician who toys with kinetic motion may almost look like he hovers off the ground whilst a mage of darkness is constantly enshrouded in shade. Since they are both noticeable and Paradox-prone, other mages respect and fear such wizards. Forces are blatant and destructive, but most mages are not known for using Forces subtly or to many and varied Effects.

• Perceive Forces
A mage must first understand what he wishes to control, and the apprentice of Forces learns to sense different Force Patterns, read their intensity and learn of the distinctions between different variants of Forces. The mage can sense positive and negative Forces, watch them interact, see where they emanate and where they go. He can determine the intensity of a light source as easily as he can determine the presence of radio waves or radiation.
Combined with other Elemental (Pattern) Spheres, Forces senses let the mage see how other Patterns interact with or create Forces. With ephemeral Spheres, the mage can see the Quintessence that flows to form forces, examine the spiritual archetypes of Forces, determine the origin of various forces and figure out where they're going.

• • Control Minor Forces
Energy can always be diverted, and the Disciple who understands Forces can influence its direction and intensity. The mage can affect various Patterns easily, altering their direction, changing their qualities and controlling their dispersio n. The mage cannot yet create forces from nothingness or change forces into different states, but he can manipulate how the forces interact with the rest of the world.

By diverting a force, the mage can cause kinetic energy to change direction, thus changing an object's course. He can make fires dance according to specific images and spread to (or avoid) certain areas. He can lengthen shadows or bend light so that images reach different destinations. He can even reroute the passage of electricity or cause radiation to avoid him. The mage can thus render himself or someone else invisible, cause sound to manifest somewhere other than its origin, and otherwise protect an area from interaction with forces.

A mage can affect only individual Patterns offered at this level, and only on a scale that he can encompass himself. Thus, the mage could render a single individual invisible, but he couldn't cause an entire building to vanish. He could make a flame flicker with a particular image, but he couldn't control the course of a forest fire. Simply directing a force away is much easier than actually taking total control of the force and directing it with precision, but as long as the mage can reasonably influence the minor force, he can take total control of its direction and focus with enough effort.

Combining control of minor forces with other Pattern Spheres, the mage can give a certain item properties that repel or attract forces, make an object or pathway more susceptible to forces or shield part of an individual from interaction with a specific force. With the ephemeral Spheres, the mage can freeze a force in place while allowing it to continue to expend its energy, cause a force to affect a location far distant from its actual position or redirect spiritual energies.

• • • Transmute Minor Forces
Finally able to grasp and twist the Patterns of forces, a skilled mage can convert forces into other types, shift their intensity radically or even create force from nothing (and banish it to oblivion as well). Although he is still able to affect only individual small Patterns of force, the mage can cause the elements to dance at his whim. He can impart motion into an object, make a fire that burns cold or cause shadows to explode into bursts of light. Mages can use this power to fly, hurl lightning, pulse out electronics and perform similarly dramatic feats. The mage cannot create force from nothing without the use of Quintessence, but he can turn minor forces to his own advantage.

In conjunction with Pattern magic, the mage can convert a force into an object or even a creature, or disperse a material into raw energy. He can easily weave telekinetic controls around a creature or object, and he can cause his attacks to pass through objects or creatures harmlessly on their way to the target. Similarly, with the ephemeral Spheres he can transmute a pure idea into a construct of force, lay waste to a distant location or set up a special attack that waits until an appropriate time or event comes to pass.

• • • • Control Major Forces
The Adept of Forces can spread his knowledge to encompass entire groups of force and Patterns that exceed his own scale. With enough effort, he can redirect massive energies, bring disaster crashing down across a great area or shield entire groups of people from outside elements. Anything that is possible with control over minor forces is possible on a large scale now, with the mage able to focus great energy into a single point or disperse massive powers across a wide area. The Adept still cannot transm ute large scale forces except a little bit at a time, but he can at least divert major forces to gain time necessary to affect them later. Such massive Effects are usually vulgar, but sometimes there's no choice and you just have to rely on the big guns.

In combination with the other Spheres, Adept understanding of Forces lets the mage do many of the things that he could do with lesser forces on a much broader scale. He can insulate a whole building or area of forest from fire and electricity, divert light into a series of rooms, banish all sound from a huge cavern or render a Chantry invisible to normal sight. He can defend against the storms of power that sweep through the spirit world and redirect massive forces to other places and times.

• • • • • Trans mute Major Forces
The Master of Forces is not to be trifled with. Through exertion and will, he can create power on an incredible scale, creating Effects that include storms of fire, massive charges of electricity, shadows that blot out entire city blocks and typhoons even in the midst of a calm day. The mage can disperse such forces as well, dousing a forest fire or bathing an entire area in light at night by transmuting darkness to illumination, Although conjuring or banishing forces from nothingness still requires Quintessence, the mage can easily turn any existing force to his own ends with his knowledge of forces alone. Incredibly Paradoxical, such Master strokes can unleash force on a tremendous scale, capable of laying waste to entire cities. Mystical sorcerers command the hand of nature, ride the winds and rip light and darkness alike from the moment of inspiration. Technocrats bring forces to heel with containment fields, magnetic bottles and the power of the atom.

When a Master of forces combines his power with other Effects, the carnage is unlimited. A Master can create an Effect in a distant place or one that hangs and explodes outward at a later time. He can create the forces from nothingness with Prime energy and set up strokes that befall only specific victims or unfortunates. These mages are the terror of their enemies, for their mighty forces can destroy whole cabals. Few Masters of Forces survive to an old age.

Forces Effects
• Darksight — In the absence of visible light, the mage can shift his perceptions up or down the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. This allows him to view infrared or ultraviolet light, radio waves, X-rays, etc. He won't be able to discern colors, but he may read other interesting perceptions from the various spectra — X-rays would allow him to see an object's underlying structure, and he could see in the dark using infrared.
Virtual Adepts and Sons of Ether tend to use special visual lenses, filter programs or goggles for this Effect, and they look through scientific spectra. Mystical magicians use this power to see by heat or sound, often mimicking natural creatures that can do the same.

• Quantify Energy — By invoking this Effect, a mage can sense the type and amount of energy at work around her. She can easily translate her perceptions into accurate measurement units such as volts, amps and teslas. Note that this quantification includes kinetic energy, which allows a mage to determine an object's speed in relation to her if she knows the object's mass.

Just because a mage can sense and quantify energy doesn't necessarily let her make sense of it. A mage could note the presence of radio waves, but he might not be able to translate and hear them immediately.

• • Electrical Chaos — Virtual Adepts in need of a quick diversion often sabotage Technocratic equipment with a sudden electrical pulse. Akashic Brothers and Hermetic mages sometimes concentrate electricity around themselves or their weapons and use it to shock the enemy. Either way, the mage simply diverts the flow of electricity, causing it to concentrate in one area or discharge in another. Such an Effect is a damaging attack, striking against a .living opponent or a device susceptible to electrical damage.

• • Energy Shield — By bulwarking against certain forces, it's possible to not only defend against many attacks, but also to create a variety of interesting exceptions to "natural law." Bending away light makes a mage invisible, but it also means that she can't see. She must rely on other senses or use Correspondence to sense other locations. Pushing away sound renders the mage completely silent; the mage could also concentrate sound into an area, drawing in sound from around her and keeping it from being heard elsewhere. It's a simple matter to protect against electrical or fire attacks, too. Altering the direction of incoming kinetic energy allows the mage to stop or deflect bullets. By deflecting gravity, the mage can make himself essentially weightless, able to float or levitate, even controlling direction by allowing forces from certain directions to interact with her. Such a shield could also be helpful in repelling radiation or other esoteric sorts of rays.

Note that most mages only maintain a shield against one or two types offerees at a time. It's nearly impossible to make a shield that hedges out all incoming forces.

• • • Friction Curse — Turning a subject's motion into heat energy, the mage not only renders the subject unable to move, but causes the victim to heat up until he bursts into flame! This Effect essentially turns the subject's movement into damage, so faster objects are more susceptible. A modified version can cause the subject's own breathing action to create cold, freezing the subject in place and encasing him in a block of ice. Partial successes negate some motion and impart some heat; multiple successes can transform motion into damage. Better still, since the target can't move, he is hard-pressed to dodge the ensuing eruption of fire or cold.

• • • Telekinesis — At low levels of skill, a mage can perform rudimentary telekinesis by altering the directions of motive forces on an object. With the ability to transmute forces, though, the mage can easily turn body heat, a shout, even ambient light into a push that controls or moves an object. (With Prime magic the mage could create telekinetic force from nothing.) It's easier to manipulate smaller objects, of course, and fine control is quite difficult. The mage must also have a constant source of force. If no outside force influences the subject, there's nothing to transform into kinetic control. On the other hand, since people generate all manner of forces, it's usually a simple matter to hinder an enemy's movements.

Some mages focus telekinesis by using dolls or representations of the subject, while others just use transformative runes or phrases to direct the motion. In many cases, mages find it easier to telekinetically manipulate the subject if they can act out the motion, but that action isn't always necessary.

• • • • Embracing the Earth Mother — The Earth Mother sleeps only fitfully, and the Dreamspeakers can cause Her to stir in Her slumber with their drums and calls. The weight of Gaia's attention draws around the target, focusing gravity about him. Virtual Adepts and Sons of Ether perform similar feats technologically, by concentrating and redirecting gravitons. Euthanatos sometimes freeze their targets in place with the "weight of terror."
Successes scored on such a result focus the force of gravity around the target, making the victim seem to weigh more. A good guideline is that each success beyond the initial casting requirements increases gravity around the subject by one g (Earth gravity), so with four extra successes a subject would feel five g's (normal gravity plus four). Thus, a 75 kilo man would feel as if he were a whopping 375 kilograms! (That's about a 165 pound man to an 825 pound man, for all you English weight system users.) The character can probably stand in g forces up to his strength rating. Beyond that, he's reduced to hugging the ground, and if the forces exceed twice his Strength rating, he starts taking damage from his own body weight — excess levels of gravity score damage on the damage chart normally.
Hermetic mages are known to concentrate surrounding forces like fires and electricity into their opponents as well, diverting massive power to strike their enemies.

• • • • Storm Watch — By redirecting wind forces and heat patterns, the mage can bring rapid change to the weather. Verbena and Dreamspeakers in particular perform such rituals with dances, sympathetic magic or paeans. The mage can banish wind, bring up or disperse clouds and cause the surroundings to become hotter or colder.
With two successes, die mage could perhaps stir up a light breeze or cool off a hot day, while with 10 successes, the mage could generate a heat wave or bring in rapidly moving clouds over a small area.

• • • • • Inferno — By sucking all the light and sound out of an area and transforming it into heat, the mage can cause a small area (like a person or building) to suddenly burst into all-consuming flames. If the mage spends several turns gathering the Effect, the subject may notice an odd darkening and silence, almost as if doom itself hovers over him. Once released, the Effect raises the subject's temperature rapidly, causing it to explode or melt. Naturally, this Effect is vulgar as all hell, but it still scores damage normally. Plus, it's aggravated to boot.
• • • • • Tempest in a Teapot — The stormwives of the Verbena use this magic to harness the pull of the moon and the flow of the tides and brew a tempest, using a small copper kettle inscribed with runes and a length of cord as their foci. Multiple witches may act in concert, dancing around a larger cauldron. The Verbena of England claim that the storm that wrecked the Spanish Armada was their doing. Existing storms may be called and controlled with Forces 4, but with this level, the witch weaves the tempest out of the energy of the moon herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:20 am

Matter

Specialties: Complex Patterns, Conjuration, Shaping, Transmutations

All non-living Patterns that coalesce into form fall into the Sphere of Matter. Along with Forces and Life, this Sphere complet es the cycle of Pattern Spheres that influence things of the material world. Given the incredible utility and variety of objects all across the Tellurian, this Sphere is highly versatile and useful, and it's often underestimated due to its perceived "base" nature.

Matter Patterns are objects whose flow of Prime has coalesced into a simple, static form. The Quintessence in Forces is still active and energetic, and Life Patterns flow with the universe in a process of give-and-take. Matter, by contrast, is inert. However, manipulating Matter is usually a much simpler affair than manipulating other Patterns.
Magicians who study Matter can create objects (with base elements or Prime energy), transform them and change their properties. Matter can also be made to behave in unusual fashions, flouting scientific law and even, in some cases, the bounds of common sense. At the very advanced levels of study, Masters can blur the lines between matter and energy, creating Matter Patterns that throw off Forces (radiation) or bear a resemblance to Life.
Masters of Matter gift everything they own with vibrancy and solidity. Their clothing and possessions are often exceptional, with special qualities and great durability. Indeed, many take pleasure in bringing artistic forms or changes to materials that they own. Anything can be shaped or created with Mastery of Matter, but true art expresses more than base material.

• Matter Perceptions
The most basic understanding of Matter gives a mage a clear insight into the nature of material objects. By scrutinizing a Pattern, the mage can tell not only how massive something is and what it's made of, but whether it's a composite, whether it's damaged in any way, how it might interact with other objects and what could be hidden inside.

Combining Matter and Entropy lets the magician sense weak points and identify the best means by which to break them, Forces tells what energy to bring to bear against objects. With Life magic, the mage can determine the presence and composition of inert matter in living Patterns, like piercings and implants. The use of more ephemeral Spheres lends itself to scrying at range or determining whether a given object is actually a form of Tass.

• • Basic Transmutation
The mage may transmute one substance into another, without changing its shape, temperature or basic state (solid, liquid, gas). The object simply takes on a new composition, at the mage's whim. Complex creations are mare difficult or in some cases impossible; usually, mages are limited to creating or t ransmuting homogenous substances — a block of wood into a brick of stone, for instance, but not into an alloy of gold and osmium. Naturally, the sorts of possible transmutations depend heavily on paradigm. A Hermetic mage might turn lead into gold alchemically, a Chorister could duplicate the miracle of turning water into wine but a Technocrat is more likely to convert simple elements like hydrogen to helium.

Only simple and inert forms of Matter can be transformed at this level. The mage cannot make radioactive elements. Doing so requires Mastery, as such Patterns shed their essence in the form of Forces. Matter Patterns also tend to have a rigid shape, and this shape cannot be changed with this base understanding. Of course, if the mage turns a rock into butter, he can sculpt or melt it easily. Rare materials are also hard to create. Metaphysically, such matter is a precious substance, not easily found or made, which reflects in the difficulty of magical duplication.
Basic transmutation combines with other Pattern Spheres to let the mage create solid matter from forces or even from living beings. (Of course, anyone can turn a Life Pattern into a Matter Pattern — just kill it). The mage can also conjure a basic object out of Prime energy. With the right understanding of Forces, the mage can impart enough energy to change an item's state while transforming it. He can use Correspondence to pull or push items around and even to reach into them and remove parts. The mage can give a spirit a physical representation or create an object according to a mental image with Quintessence.

• • • Alter Form
Although Matter Patterns are resilient, they are not inviolable, and a mage with enough experience can reshape matter as he desires. This level of skill lets the mage sculpt the object mystically, changing its form or even compressing or expanding certain elements of its material properties. The mage can increase the object's density or disperse it into gas, or he can just make it take on a different silhouette. Broken mat erials can be rejoined and matter made whole once more, or the mage can pull things apart, separate them into components or make mixtures of matter.

With the Pattern Spheres, the mage can easily draw energy out of a Matter Pattern or make it mesh with a living creature. More ephemeral Spheres let the object change in response to thought or even cause it shift randomly into a useful (or harmful) shape.

• • • • Complex Transformation
By tearing out the detailed elements of combined Matter Patterns, an Adept of Matter can rebuild complex Patterns that rely on rare and complex material or on multiple independent pieces with different bases. Assuming that he has the appropriate mundane knowledge, the mage can easily make objects with moving parts or do the opposite in order to turn valuable equipment into useless lumps. Whereas a less experienced mage is limited to making simple items or Patterns of a homogenous sort, an Adept can create alloys, combinations of multiple types of matter and other fine details. Both the level of detail and the complexity of the final object determine the difficulty of the Effect.
With Forces or Life magic, the mage can transform creatures or energies directly into complex objects. He can turn a canary into a golden clockwork songbird or a lightning bolt into a silver stylization. Life magic lets the mage blend living and unliving matter, making silk, fresh food and the like. Prime energy can be used to conjure complex matter from nothing — more than one Euthanatos has pulled a gun seemingly out of nowhere.

• • • • • Alter Properties
The highest Matter Arts allow a mage to rebuild individual segments of a Matter Pattern at will. Instead of making base matter or objects of combined materials, the Master can devise entirely new Matter, setting its physical properties as desired. He can transmute normal Matter so that it has a different boiling point, specific gravity or transparency. He can also create an object with a mass, density and viscosity determined at whim independent of any sort of normal physical laws. The Patterns of Matter can be made to interact with other Matter in unique ways, so the Patterns may be explosive, acidic or even immaterial to one another.

With Mastery of Matter, the mage is not limited to the so-called "laws" of the material world. His creations can have whatever strengths and physical characteristics he desires. Matter Patterns can even be made that transform spontaneously, changing state or characteristics or throwing off Forces (radiation).

With the other Sp heres, a Master of Matter can build invincible armor out of Prime energy, make devices that heal or harm living creatures outside of all normal expectations and develop complex, rare and lethal substances.

Matter Effects
• Analyze Substance— Any number of simple enchantments can be used to determine material properties. The mage could pick out gold from iron pyrite and tell exactly what a chair's made of and how much weight it can hold. Mages do so in many and varied ways. Sons of Ether and Virtual Adepts use their favorite tricorder-style sensing devices, Hermetics often compare to known samples and look for disparities, Ecstatics just "go with the flow" and pick whatever feels right.

• Fragments of Dream — Dreamspeakers view all manner of fragments of the Earth Mother's dreams. By tapping such dreams, they can expand their perception of Matter. The mage extends her senses beyond physical reality into Pattern. She no longer sees matter in the same way: instead of a brick wall, for instance, she sees its Pattern in her mind's eye.

This Effect allows the mage to perceive tilings that would be unseen in physical reality. She could sense the contents of a room beyond a wall, or detect objects or structures that might otherwise be hidden, such as a false bottom of a suitcase. Really dense or complex Patterns may be more difficult to penetrate.

• • Melt and Reform — The mage turns an otherwise inviolable object into a similar but much more accommodating item. The mage could grab a stone wall and briefly render the stone into clay, easily shaping it with his hands until the Effect ends, or he could turn a statue to butter and let it melt before changing it back. This Effect makes an excellent way to get out of traps, although it may take some work to be explained as coincidental.

• • Straw into Gold — Just like Rumpelstiltskin, the mage can weave base matter into a valuable substance. It remains a homogenous material, but it takes on qualities desired by the mage. Vulgar willworkers may literally turn tears into diamonds and straw into gold. More subtle magicians could improve the quality of an existing object, or "accidentally discover" that an object is more valuable than it first appeared. In this fashion, a mage can turn cheap beer into a decent stout, make generic brands seem of higher quality and cause an ordinary item to actually be made of something valuable.

• • • Destroy Structures — The mage uses her knowledge of Matter Patterns to break down structures by shredding their Patterns. The Effect resembles Sculpture, but the mage simply breaks down a Pattern as quickly as possible. The mage can destroy nearly any simple object. He can tear up concrete, steel and cloth with equal ease. However, advanced compounds might be too difficult for the mage to unravel (and require a higher level of skill). Note that the material is not reduced to nothingness; it is simply scattered and torn apart.

The mage can also turn an object into some other sort of inert substance and go from there. Doing so can be useful if a mage is dealing with matter that won't be destroyed just by dispersing it, like poison gas or acid.

• • • Sculpture — By changing the shape of a chunk of Matter, the mage can easily sculpt a substance without bothering to transform it like Melt and Reform. The mage just grabs the Pattern mystically — whether by pantomiming the sculpture, chanting its name of power or whatever — and yanks it around into the desired shape. The object responds and takes on the appropriate form.

Sculpture may require multiple successes for very large or complex objects.

• • • • Alloy — By grabbing two Patterns and compressing them together, the mage makes an alloy out of solid objects. He can shove a chunk of wood into the middle of a piece of plastic or blend two types of metal into a composite. Such an alloy still retains the properties of its individual components, but it might have its own characteristics if it's mixed finely enough. That is, a chunk of wood stuck in a wall of plastic would still bum, but if the wood were diffused throughout the plastic, the wall might have a pleasing wooden texture while remaining fire retardant (although it could well give off poisonous smoke when it did catch fire).

• • • • Transformers — Complex and radical changes in composition let a mage with the appropriate knowledge alter the function of various devices. A mage could turn his wrist-watch into a dart-firing weapon or cause his stereo system to also house a telephone. There's almost no limit to what can be done, although the mage must have the knowledge necessary to build and use the device. Such devices are just reorganizations of existing Matter, so they must still conform to the general laws of the consensus. That is, the mage could cause his wristwatch to also have a dart-firing mechanism (since someone could conceivably build such a device normally), but it wouldn't be able to also serve as a teleporter.

• • • • • Alter Weight — By manipulating the properties of an object's elemental mass, a mage can change it into a unique element that has a weight dissociated from its size. A tiny object can be given the mass of a car, or a car could be made light enough to be picked up (great gas mileage, hell in strong winds). Objects that are heavy for their size — superdense materials — tend to be stronger and more durable than the balsa-like constructions of hyperlight material. The level of success scored indicates how much the object can be tweaked in terms of density. With a couple of successes, the mage might succeed in changing its mass by 25%, while 10 successes could alter it by a factor of several times.

• • • • • Matter Association — A Master of Matter can change how certain Matter Patterns interact with other Patterns. If he decides to make a Pattern unable to interact with others of a specific type, he may well get a material that's insubstantial to certain substances. Bullets could fire through body armor and a coroner's tools could pass through dead flesh. The Master can also make the matter take on the properties of some other sort of matter or entirely new properties, so a piece of matter could be made superconductive, incredibly strong and somewhat ductile, despite originally being a crumpled-up ball of duct tape. Such massive transformations are, of course, generally vulgar and reserved for occasions where the mage needs a permanent special object. The successes scored determine how much the mage can alter the nature of the object. With a few successes, he might tweak the weight and interactive properties a bit, while many successes would allow the mage to reverse fundamental properties, make an inert substance radioactive or vice-versa. He could also swap around characteristics from multiple types of matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Spheres & What They Do!   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:23 am

Time

Specialties: Alternate Timelines, Divination, Temporal Manipulation, Travel

Time, as the philosophers say, is the magic that all men know. The relentless tick of the clock leads down a road to an uncertain future, immutable, undeniable, equally profound to all humanity. Although time may vary with the observer — long moments of passion and profundity, stark seconds of terror or loss, relativity and the spin of quantum mechanics — it's an undeniable part of existence.

For mages who delve into the mystical study of Time, of course, matters aren't so cut and dried. Science and magic both agree that the flow of time varies with the observer, that time itself is hardly the constant that it initially seems. Indeed, some students of esoterica question whether time's linear flow is not simply another artifact of consensus, a happenstance result of random creation that's no more constant than a changeable wind. Even those who accept Time's forward march (more or less) still discover that the eddies, currents and branching paths of time are far more manifold and mutable than most people would ever guess.

Mages studying Time magic agree that the world is full of unexpected whorls and vortices of temporal disturbance. Time contracts around some places and dilates at others, though the regimentation of scientific time means that such phenomena are not as common as they once were. In unusual circumstances, time may loop back on itself, make jumps and rifts to past or future, or diverge in multiple streams. A trained mage can sense all such variations, although these phenomena are hardly predictable or safe.

Time mages often start with a basic sensitivity to the flow of time and move to comprehend their own subjective sense of it. From there, the mage learns to manipulate her personal perceptions of time, and later to extend that manipulation to others. Truly skilled mages can even warp, halt or accelerate time and step into past or future.
Obviously, a strong understanding of metaphysical ? ime is useful in conjunctional Effects, much like Correspondence. While control of space grants a greater range and sensitivity to Effects, Time magic allows the mage to "hang" Effects until some future time, dilate their duration or change their rates of manifestation.
Curiously, once a mage manipulates time in a subjective fashion, it's progressively harder to rework the manipulation. If a mage stretches out a particular few seconds, for instance, she may gain time to perform responsive actions at her convenience, but further time-manipulating magic must contend with the fact that she's already warped her perception of that time. Thus, once a mage has twisted a particular bit of time, she must overcome the momentum other own Effects to change it further. More importantly, once the mage is working with distorted time, her magical energies are already tied up in the feat. (Therefore, the mage can't take six actions in one turn and use all of them for magic.)

Masters of Time most often carry a strong sense of deja vu with them. People around the mage find time itself "fuzzed put," as if the past, present and future blend to a single point. The mage may well manifest sudden, unconscious shifts in time, causing a flower to bloom or a book to gather dust.

• Time Sense
As might be expected, a mage's first initiation into the mysteries of Time is an awareness of time's flow. The mage learns to discern subjective time, to keep an accurate track of her own temporal position, to notice anomalies and alterations in time and to track Effects through their temporal "wake," the disturbance that all things leave in the flow of time.

Most Time magic leaves some sort of disturbance that's noticeable to a mage who knows what to look for. Although an Initiate can't really do anything about it, the mage can at least tell when Time magic are at work, and may well get the heck out of there! Natural phenomena sometimes cause odd Time distortions, too, and these are apparent to a trained mage. Actually messing around with time instabilities is a dangerous process, and more than one mage has been catapulted into far-distant times, alternate histories or bizarre temporal loops. The Initiate can easily feel such dangers and keep away spot, and he may even be able to determine how the phenomenon in question works.

Although it's impractical to always have a concrete sense of Time, an Initiate can often tell when someone's scrying on her through time, and she can develop a powerfully accurate count of time's passage.
Combined with the other Spheres, the basics of Time magic let the mage determine whether a particular Pattern has been affected unnaturally by Time and how it has been changed as a result. Furthermore, they give the mage better accuracy in using pre-existing time distortions in conjunction with other magic.

• • Time Sight
Although both past and future are hypothetically nothing but possibilities, it's possible to scry through time itself to look at the probabilities that tie most closely to the direction of the magician's own timeline. The mage can cast her perceptions into past or future and gather information from other times. The process is not always accurate; the future is mutable and some say that the past, too, changes as people's memories and beliefs of it change. The clo ser the mage looks to her current present time, the more accurate the vision. Distant times and places may be inaccurate, fuzzy arid difficult to comprehend. Some places and times are even protected against such scrying by powerful wards or by natural phenomena that bend the course of time itself.

Simple pre- and retro-cognitive Effects just allow the mage to look into the past or future at her current location. The mage can watch time as if viewing it directly, pausing to skip to different points or glossing over some areas to speed on to others. She can extend her Time senses to such vistas and tell whether there are other temporal distortions at the times that she watches.

Mages can build walls of warding with this power, creating a great deal of "temporal static" to blow out Time senses in the same way that Correspondence can be used to repel distant scrying.

In conjunction with other Spheres, Time senses let the mage examine Patterns of the past and future, determine the course of fate and even read the thoughts of people in different eras.

• • • Time Manipulation
By extending personalized perceptions over an area of time, the mage can alter the apparent flow of time at a site. Theories vary over whether this is a true manipulation of the time-stream or just an extension of subjective time properties, but the fact is that such manipulations can create some very unusual — and powerful — Effects.
By dilating or contracting time, the mage can alter the rate at which things happen in comparison to the "normal world." A flow of water could be made to trickle like molasses, a bullet could be slowed to visible speeds or a running man could seem to whiz by with incredible velocity. The subjective time of the target isn't changed: the running man feels himself moving as if at normal speed, while the world around him seems to be moving very slowly; the bullet appears to onlookers to move slowly, but it hits with as much force as ever. Most mages agree that such Effects simply wrap the subject in a bit of slow or fast time, although a few hardcases insist that it's a matter of altering relative universal time-flows or something equally esoteric. In general, the specifics don't matter, since the end results are quite fantastic.

A mage wrapped in dilated or contracted time can easily cocoon himself in a protective layer that insulates himself from the outside world, effectively freezing himself in time, or accelerate to the point of performing numerous physical tasks in a few seconds. Different mages all have different ways of approaching this undertaking, of course, but it's still a potent power.

With a bit of finesse, a mage can rewind or loop time as well. Doing so is very difficult, however, and it tends to draw down a lot of Paradox. Once time is bent in this fashion, it gets exponentially more difficult to warp it further, and such distortions are easily noticed by other Time magicians (and sometimes by astute sleepers!) as well as causing all sorts of interference that makes time sensitivity in the area go haywire. In short, the mage might be able to rewind a few seconds of time and reconstruct an event differently, but Paradox and destiny tend to conspire to make such undertakings profoundly difficult. Such redirections often result in unforeseen problems later.

• • • • Time Determinism
Instead of stretching or compressing time, the Adept of Time magic can literally stop time in its tracks or drop something into a loop that only releases at a specified time. Magic can be made to wait in place, as can other Patterns, the mage can cast suspension over a target so that it is literally unaffected by the passage of time or build specially keyed Effects that hold off until certain events come to pass. The mage can even freeze a target outside the time-stream, leaving it trapped and unaffected by the outside world while it experiences nothing more than the blink of an eye.

Such powerful magic are often vulgar, but they can generate very potent Effects in conjunction with other Spheres. A mage who is temporarily "paused" in time can't be affected by anything else in the normal time-stream, while a dangerous subject or out-of-control experiment can be easily frozen until resources can be assembled to deal with it. Indeed, by joining control over time with a dash of Correspondence, a victim can be trapped completely outside the space-time continuum — warded into a pocket that dissipates only with the cessation of the magic or the intervention of powerful outside forces. Many creatures and entities too powerful for mages to confront directly are said to be trapped in such a fashion.

A time-halting Effect combined with a Pattern Sphere can generate a keyed pause: something that doesn't happen until a specific person, creature or item comes into the right position. With Entropy, a bit of Time magic can create an Effect that does not happen until a certain crux of destiny or improbability comes to pass. A princess can be put to sleep until her predestined true love arrives or a dying subject can be placed into cryogenic suspension while doctors search for a cure for his condition. Entire family lines or places of power can have magical Effects granted that wait until they're signaled for activation, though use and the rigors of Paradox slowly erode such Effects until they're gone.


• • • • • Time Travel Time Immunity
The pages of history are open to the true Master, who can not only immunize places and people from the ravages of history, but who can thrust objects and even individuals through time and connect points through the time-stream. The mage's reach is limited only by her perceptions and by the constraints of her own magic and its concomitant Paradox.

By immunizing herself to the effects of time, the mage can essentially evade the passage of time in the rest of the world. To her, the world is a frozen plateau, one in which she may move about freely without ever interacting with her surroundings. The mage would wander about and perhaps pull other objects or people into her pocket of immunity just long enough to use them, then continue on her way. To the outsider, such events would seem to happen instantaneously and without any apparent impetus as the mage accomplishes several things between seconds.

With an anchor point to the present, the mage can send herself or other people or things into the near future or past temporarily. Without an anchor, the mage can send someone into other parts of time permanently. Either type of travel is fraught with peril. The future is uncertain, and the mage risks becoming lost in the mists of possibility, while the past is protected by the weight of peoples' memory and their belief in its set forms. Paradox lashes out against mages who push too hard against the walls of time, and it has a nasty habit of undoing the mage's works or shunting her into an alternate timeline — or even outside the bounds of reality altogether.

Naturally, Masters of Time tread with great caution. Things wait in the time-stream, perhaps more incomprehensible than even the spirits that guard the distant reaches of the universe. Mages who meddle too much with Time have a disturbing tendency to disappear, sometimes replaced by beings that masquerade in their place, other times arriving with full knowledge of a horrific fate that awaits them in some unavoidable time. Travelers can be pulled out of the time-stream by other Master-level Time magic in eras where they did not plan to go. And there are barriers in Time itself, places where even mages can't see or dive, where nobody knows what happens to the magician foolish enough to beat his fists against the universe's laws.

In conjunction with other Effects, a Master of Time can fire a spell off into the past or future, although its results may not be immediately apparent or may well catapult the mage into an alternate time. The mage could even send another person or object into a different time and pull it back to his present anchor point later. The mage can also use his Time magic to immunize other Patterns, causing them to exist independent of the clock that ticks for the rest of the world.

Time Effects
• Perfect Time — Although Mind magic can provide an accurate internal count and chronometer, only Time magic can sense and correct for distortions in subjective time. From Virtual Adept self-adjusting computer clocks to Akashic internalizations and Verbena biorhythms, the mage learns techniques to feel the flow of time with incredible accuracy and to automatically adjust for jumps and skips in the time stream. If the mage is flattened with unusual Time Effects from adversaries or strange Umbral spaces, she at least has a chance to adjust and adapt. Better still, the mage can keep absolute track other own Effects and timing, easily judging subjective time as necessary to put a precise duration or spin on any action.

• Time Sense — Powerful events recur in the supernatural world, unseen to normal mortals but visible to mages. Such events range from tiny slips of deja vu to the phenomenal shifting and phasing castles, caverns and complexes that seem to exist outside of time and appear on regular cycles — or with no Pattern at all. Keeping up a running sensitivity to such phenomena is trying, but a mage who suspects the presence of something unusual can feel the ripples caused by such disturbances. These disturbances include the sorts of wakes left by other Time magic, as from time travelers and distortions of the time continuum. Potent spirits sometimes hold courts and there are gates that open only on certain cycles... the mage can sense any and all such phenomena with a modicum of concentration. Indeed, the mage may well presage such events before they occur, or feel the rippling residue left by such happenings.

• • Divinations — Scrying-bowls, speaking mirrors, uncontrolled cryptic pronouncements or songs, and visionary trances are staples of magical divination, and they are keys to understanding the past and future. Although both ends of the spectrum are clouded by possibility, Time magic can at least draw back the curtain for a moment to snatch glimpses of what might become or might have been. The vision seen or described may be hazy or indeterminate; the further from the present, the more clouded the vision.

Successes rolled on such an Effect are split up to determine both the duration to which the mage can look into past or future, and the accuracy of the divination. Such visions are almost never totally accurate, but they can sometimes paint a useful picture. Beware the mage who sees visions of disaster, though... that way lies insanity.

• • Time Wards — Any sort of mucking about with time "muddies the waters," so to speak, and although a novice mage can't perform fine manipulations with time, she can at least lay about with random Time Effects to make the surrounding time-stream disturbed and impenetrable to Time perceptions. Other mages trying to look into the past or future get only a blur of possible visions and confused images, and Time Effects tend to run into the rippling temporal currents and get dispersed into the rapids. With enough force and work, the mage can completely block off an area from time sight and render it totally opaque to temporal scrying.

Unless the mage uses other Spheres in conjunction, an Effect of this sort just blocks out a small area of time in her own location. The exact duration warded is determined by the duration chart, although the mage can determine how far the ward extends to past and future by splitting up the duration. Successes rolled are also used to generate the ward's strength; a persistent or powerful mage can break through Time static with enough will. In other respects, these wards are similar to the more familiar wards built with Correspondence (p. 123).

• • • Distort Time — By generating a field of slow or fast time, the mage causes localized distortions that let people or objects move and react to the world at different rates than normal. A bubble of fast time would contain a person who could move two or three times faster than normal, for instance, while slow time could enfold a hurled weapon and cause it to seem to float through the air in a leisurely fashion. The subject still experiences an undistorted sense of subjective time, so the fast man would feel as if he's moving at normal speed while the world around him is slow, and the hurled weapon would retain its deadly momentum but could be easily grabbed by the handle.

Every two successes scored causes the bubble to accelerate or decelerate time by one factor. Thus, two successes would allow a mage to double her physical speed, taking two actions in a single turn.

• • • Time Warp — By pulling time back into a loop, the mage causes a small area to suffer a local "rewind" of time. The mage herself remains immunized against this Effect due to her command of Time magic (otherwise he wouldn't know that he'd done anything and the looping would be almost pointless). From there, the mage can change her actions and responses to a given situation, already knowing how it would turn out otherwise. By combining Life and Mind with the Effect, the mage can actually rewind herself physically and undo the effects of physical trauma, while still retaining her memory of the events that never happened.

In game terms, the mage causes one or more turns to rewind and get redone in her area. Successes spent on the area determine how large a location is affect ed — the mage might just unwind damage done to herself, or might rewind a whole area to undo a massive catastrophe. Additional successes spent on individuals can insulate them from the Effect just like the caster, so that they remember what's about to happen again and can act appropriately. Anyone who's not insulated just redoes whatever they were doing before, although they might change in response to someone else's differing actions. That is, a ?an in Black firing his gun still fires it (and scores the same result as before) unless, say, one of the rewound mages decides to body-check the MiB instead of diving for cover. Rewinding time is not only exceedingly difficult, it's very vulgar. If the mage rewinds time over a specific thread (say, one particular turn), then any attempt to affect that spot of time again must overcome the successes scored on the initial rewind — time is already so bent out of shape that further manipulations must be even more powerful. Time scrying and the like also fight a similar barrier. Time's distortions make it hard to read the area — which, incidentally, means that although the mage knows what may happen when she rewinds time, she still can't predict how her changed actions will change the replaced timeline. Rewound time tends to stack up Paradox due to the inherent trickiness of the feat. Every turn of rewound time causes Paradox for the Effect, so rewinding three turns would cause triple the normal Paradox for the spell!

Naturally, this spell is so difficult and specific that very few mages use it at all. Some paradigms just don't accommodate the idea of "rewinding time" while others facilitate it, but all mages agree that such stunts are left to young hotheads who haven't yet learned the dangers of such vulgar magic. (Your Storyteller will probably hate it if you overuse this Effect, too, which is another sure way to get lots of problems.)

• • • • Contingent Effect — By placing a hold on a magical Effect, the mage turns it into a contingency: a spell that doesn't go off until some specified condition comes to pass. Doing so requires the use of other Spheres. If the spell only functions when a specific individual arrives in the area, for instance, then Life magic is necessary to discriminate the subject's Pattern. The mage can either make the magic hold off until a certain amount of time elapses (anything within the Damage and Duration table, based on successes rolled) or set further conditions with other Spheres. The mage also has the choice of simply letting the Effect dissipate once it reaches its time limit without any activating conditions.

Hanging an Effect on a Pattern does place a certain amount of magical "weight" there, and such an Effect is noticeable to most magical senses. Doing so does, therefore, count as a maintained Effect (p. 121), although the mage doesn't actually need to concentrate on it.

Note that, if the mage casts a contingent Time Effect, she won't know if the subsequent Effect hung with it is successful until the contingency goes off, unless she also takes the time to use other magic to examine the Effect itself!

• • • • Programmed Event— The mage stops time in a localized field and sets a time when it shall resume. Say she lifts a cup from a table and drops it. By freezing time around the cup for one scene, she causes the cup to hang in midair until the scene ends. At that time, the cup falls and breaks. When events in physical reality are frozen for extended periods, Paradox forces usually erode the magic and free the events from stopped time prematurely. Also, if someone were to grab the cup, static reality would reassert itself and the magical field would disperse.
It's possible to generate stasis over a fairly large area, but it's both difficult and dangerous. Anything more than a yard or two of area causes a significant temporal disturbance, noticeable by mages nearby (say, in the same city). The Backlash from such a tremendous casting can be painful as well. The larger the area, the more quickly outside time erodes the stasis, so such fields fend to collapse rapidly.

• • • • • Sidestep Time — Instead of halting time in a small area, the mage simply steps laterally to the current of time, effectively removing herself from the evolution of the world. While in this state, the mage can move about freely, insulated by a tiny field of time-adjustment but otherwise moving so rapidly that the world is standing still by comparison. The mage can interact with things that she can touch — she still generates enough force to move along the ground, and she can pick up items and move them — but anything that's not included in her field is stuck with the rest of the world. Thus, the mage can pluck a knife out of the air and shove it into an opponent, but the enemy won't bleed or suffer injury (from the mage's viewpoint, anyway) until the Effect ends. Taking other people along for the ride is possible, but it requires the mage to extend her Effect to include them. Note that, while in a sidestepped state, the mage's magical powers are tied up in maintaining the field, so it's impossible to do additional magic with the mage's intervention while outside time. Thus, "mundane" devices still function, but anything that would require the mage to actually call upon her Arete is impossible.

• • • • • Time Travel — Physics aside, the mage simply vanishes from one point in the time-stream and reappears sometime else. Although scientists would argue that a mage doing so would wind up in the void of space (the Earth having moved far from its position in the time jumped), the mage's Pattern obeys metaphysical laws, so the mage reappears in the same place from which she left. The successes scored indicate how far the mage can travel through time, and how many people she can bring along, if desired.

Traveling through time generates a significant temporal disturbance, and many time travelers find that there are already groups of other mages waiting to find out what's going on when they arrive.

If the mage leaves an "anchor point" in her present, she can pull back on that thread and return to the time that she left.
Otherwise, the trip is one-way. Likewise, the mage can try to send a subject into the future, but he may discover that the individual has taken steps in that later future to find the mage and deal him!

Trips to the future tend to be fairly easy, but unpredictable. The mage simply scries an appropriate time, or even jumps blind, and reappears in some future point. Past travel is much, much more difficult and dangerous, primarily because the weight of memory causes reality to assert itself against the mage directly. Past travelers tend to vanish into the time-stream, destroyed by Paradox or other forces, and never seem to make significant changes to the timeline (not that anyone would remember, though). Some mages maintain that a sort of "time police" group prevents other mages from traveling too far through time, or from manipulating the time stream overtly.
It's rumored that Archmages have a more effective form of time travel, even permitting them to alter the past in a limited fashion, but who would know?
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