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GryffonDurime
2011-04-15, 02:57 PM
So, a while back, I worked on my own Sorcery fix, and for various reasons, I never really completed it or released it for public attention.

I kind of want to change that.

Before I post up the system, though, a preface: I was trying to create a broader design space for Sorcery to occupy mechanically. This meant creating new mechanics that Sorcerous and Metasorcerous abilities could interact with to create a meaningful difference between a dabbler and a master sorcerer. To that end, put out of your mind everything about how Sorcery works currently--this is a complete overhaul.

It is, also, strange. It is perhaps entirely unwieldy. I am curious to see feedback on it. I present it without further ado.

Sorcery in Action
Sorcery runs on a principle deeper than the casual magnificence of Exalted Charms. Spells are simultaneously simpler and yet infinitely more unwieldy. They can only be shaped from a refined energy known as Quanta (q), and even the strongest sorcerers would struggle to muster their energies in the heat of battle.

To do so, they must undertake an Incant action. Incant actions are Simple, Speed 6, DV -3 actions which demand a great deal of the sorcererís concentration. They may be flurried normally, but only a single Incant action may be part of a flurry. The work of purifying motes into Quanta is a difficult and Obvious one, often wracking an area with phantasmal light and ghostly miracles left in the wake of expenditures of Essence. At the end of an Incant action, the sorcerer makes a (Willpower + Occult) roll, and may purchase and bank a number of Quanta equal to the successes, at a rate of 2m to 1q.

Quanta are fleeting, and difficult to control in great quantities. A sorcerer may only bank a certain number of Quanta at a time equal to their Quanta Pool, which is based on their initiation. Emerald Circle Sorcerers may bank up to 10q, Celestial Circle Sorcerers may bank up to 20q, and Adamant Circle Sorcerers may bank up to 30q. Dedicated sorcerers may take Charms to expand this capacity. Quanta Pools deplete at the end of the scene unless preserved by some other effect.

To cast a spell, a sorcerer need only fix its shape in their mind, expend a point of temporary Willpower, and release Quanta equal to the spellís cost as a single Cast action (Speed 5, DV -1). There is no limit to the number of Spells a sorcerer may release at once by flurrying, although relevant rolls do take the usual multiple action penalties. Spells may even be entwined to produce amalgamated effects called Spell Combos. Because Spells operate on an alien paradigm, they do not prohibit the use of Charms, but rather add a 1m surcharge to Charms used during Incant or Cast actions. The only major prohibition is that Charms may not add supplemental effects or dice to Spells--Sorcery can be enhanced only through Arcana.

Almost every spell resonates with one or more Arcana, clauses and caveats that a sorcerer may invoke to help shape their Spells to suit their needs. These Arcana are mostly standardized: Speed will always increase the Speed of a given Spell, while Force will either create greater physical or metaphysical strength. A sorcerer may freely pick and choose from a spellís possible Arcana when casting, but they may not spend more than their (Essence) in Quanta on any one Arcana for a Spell.

Spells do not share the same Types as Charms: they may be either Enchantments (physical or metaphysical transformations), Invocations (the use of temporary forces and powers), or Summonings (the conjuration and binding of foreign powers). Enchantments are always valid targets for countermagic, while Invocations and Summonings may not be unmade once their Duration elapses--a Spell that brought a demon into Creation has fulfilled its goal once the demon is here, and countermagic has no power to gainsay this.

Spells may be amalgamated in Spell Combos if they share the same Type (though Summoning Spells may never be comboed), have the same target, and the target can be reached by the lowest range among the component Spells. A Spell Combo uses the same Cast action and Willpower costs of a normal Spell, but has the shortest Duration among any of the component Spells, and counts as a single work for the purposes of defenses and countermagic. Spell Combos are constructed instantly as needed, and require neither preparation nor special purchase.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that some sorcerers have learned to draw on their rage and anger. Sorcerers with access to an Overdrive pool may reflexively spend four offensive motes to instantly bank a single Quanta.



Sidebar: List of Arcana
As a special exception to the usual stacking rules, Arcana stack quadratically--two doublings become a quadrupling, etc.


MASTERY - Adds successes to a roll
FORCE - Adds damage/Strength/Essence/raw power
RANGE - Affects a spellís range or spatial dimensions
AREA - Enhances a spellís enchanted area
MATERIAL - Grants/emulates the effect of the Magical Materials
DURANCE - Enhances a spellís duration or resistance to dispeling
AEGIS - Enhances soak granted by a spell
SPEED - Increases the speed with which a spell moves
CHOSEN - Arcana marked with the Chosen clause can only be used by Exalted or Primordial sorcerers, and may have certain special effects based on Exaltation.



Sidebar: How Obvious is Sorcery?
Very Obvious. Someone with an active and stocked Quanta pool is going to glow with bright plume of colorless flame in addition to any active Anima flare they may be experiencing. Additionally, spending Quanta always results in a powerfully Obvious show of magic. Spending 10 or less Quanta at once creates a dazzling display visible for about a hundred yards. Spending 11 to 20 Quanta at once creates a show equal to a totemic anima, flaring for everyone to see for miles. 21 to 30 Quanta at once creates a display that can be seen for hundreds of miles. 31+ Quanta at once, the work of true master sorcerers, creates displays that can be seen for entire Directions, and a work of Primordial or Solar magnificence that spends more than 40 Quanta at once can be felt throughout Creation, and sometimes even across the chasm between worlds.



Sidebar: Yozi Initiations
...in general, work as written. Yozi may still twist a spellís imagery, and still have limits on Spells that they simply cannot cast--Cecelyne cannot conjure plantlife or water. Instead of their usual benefits, however, Yozi Sorcery tends to resonate with a given Quanta or Spell Type.


Malfeasí Initiation resonates with the Force Arcana. The sorcerer may freely count as having spent (Essence) Quanta on the Force Arcana.
Cecelyneís Initiation resonates with Summonings. The sorcerer may spend up to her (Essence + 2) Quanta on one select Arcana for Summoning Spells.
She Who Lives in Her Nameís Initiation resonates with Mastery. The sorcerer may freely count as having spent (Essence) Quanta on the Mastery Arcana.
Adorjanís Initiation resonates with Speed. The sorcerer may freely count as having spent (Essence) Quanta on the Speed Arcana.
The Ebon Dragon resonates with Enchantments that weaken or debilitate others. Such curses may be cast without their usual Willpower surcharge by spending one extra Quanta per circle of the Spell. This does not effect Spell Combos.




Sidebar: What About Necromancy?
Screw Necromancy. Well, I suppose you shouldnít, youíll catch something truly horrible, but still, the principle remains. Perhaps Necromancy is just a tainted form of Sorcery. Perhaps it is its own beast. Storytellers should feel free to adapt Necromancy to the Quanta paradigm, but pools granted by Necromancy should overlap with Sorcery, rather than stacking. Perhaps Sorcery is powered by its own cthonic ur-mote, the Atrocity (a). Admittedly, thatís a lot of book-keeping.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-15, 02:58 PM
SPELLS OF THE EMERALD CIRCLE
DEMON OF THE FIRST CIRCLE
Emerald Circle Summoning
Cost: 5q; Range: N/A; Duration: Instant
Target: Conjured demon

During a four hour ceremony which begins at sundown and climaxes just past midnight, the sorcerer, forces open a crack between the worlds and pulls out one of the least servants of Hell. By default, the sorcerer may name a species of First Circle Demon with an Essence equal to or less than his own. Alternatively, the sorcerer may speak his need to Hell, describing a task for which Malfeas will send a servant of its own choice that fits the Essence criteria of the Spell. The demon appears, sullen and unbound.

CHOSEN: This caveat empowers the Spell with the might of the Yozi Surrender Oaths. The sorcerer makes, at the instant of summoning, a contested roll of (Willpower + Essence) against the demon. If the Exalt wins the roll, they bind the demon into faithful service to themselves for a year, or to a task until it is completed. This Arcana costs 3q for Terrestrial Exalts, 2q for Celestials, and 1q for Solars.
MASTERY: For every 1q spent, the sorcerer may add an automatic success to the Chosen Arcana roll.
FORCE: For every 2q spent, the sorcerer may summon a First Circle Demon with an Essence one higher than normal. Very few First Circle Demons have Essence above 5.


SUMMON ELEMENTAL
Emerald Circle Summoning
Cost: 4q; Range: N/A; Duration: Instant
Target: Conjured elemental

The sorcerer undertakes ritual behavior that slants the elemental bias of his immediate surroundings. At the climax of the four-hour ceremony, she names a species of elemental or specific elemental with an Essence equal to or lower than her own. Alternatively, she may speak her need to the cosmos and allows Creation (or perhaps Gaia. Or perhaps the Dragons. Who knows?) to send her an appropriate servant. The elemental appears, unbound but not necessarily hostile.

CHOSEN: Exalted Sorcerers may call upon the Creation-Ruling Mandate to bind an elemental into service. The two make a contested (Willpower + Essence) roll, and if the Exalt wins, the elemental is bound to serve the sorcerer for a month or can be set to a task for a year. This Arcana costs 1q for all Exalts.
MASTERY: For each 1q spent, the sorcerer may add one success to the binding roll.
FORCE: For each 2q spent, the sorcerer may consider her Essence one higher for the purpose of summoning elementals.


FLIGHT OF THE BRILLIANT RAPTOR
Emerald Circle Invocation
Cost: 3q; Range: One mile; Duration: Instant
Target: One creature or stucture

The sorcerer conjures a raptor of incandescent flame, which streaks across the sky at unparalleled speed. This is an undodgable attack using (Perception + Occult + Essence). On impact, the Brilliant Raptor deals 14 dice of Lethal damage to its target and then explodes outward into a bonfire of crimson flame, (Essence x 5) yards in diameter, lingering as an environmental hazard for (Occult) actions, as per a bonfire.

MASTERY: For every 1q spent, add one success to the attack roll.
FORCE: For every 1q spent, increase the Raptorís original damage by 1 and the damage of the resulting bonfire by 1.
RANGE: For every 2q spent, double the Raptorís range.
AREA: For every 1q spent, the range of the environmental hazard doubles.


WOOD DRAGONíS CLAW
Emerald Circle Enchantment
Cost: 5q; Range: N/A; Duration: One week
Target: Caster

The sorcerer clenches her hand like the talons of Sextis Jylis, and so it must be true--one of her arms is sorcerous transmuted into a living weapon, visibly thrumming with Wood Essence. Her three-clawed hand becomes a mighty Martial Arts weapon (Speed 5, Accuracy +3, Damage +4L, Defense +3, Rate 2, N). Once per action, the sorcerer may reflexively allocate and reallocate an additional +2 bonus to the claw, emphasizing Accuracy, Damage, Defense, or Rate according to her needs. The sorcerer takes -2 penalty to any rolls to use tools with her newly-clawed hand except those designed for draconic forms; this penalty also applies to attempts to disguise the claw.

FORCE: For every 1q spent, the weaponís damage increases by 1L.
MATERIAL: For an additional 5q, the caster may apply the Magical Material bonus of Jade to her Wood Dragonís Claw. This protects the arm from Crippling effects that would be incapable of breaking the Magical Materials.
DURANCE: For an additional 4q, the spell remains in effect indefinitely until dispelled, and hostile attempts to dispel it take a -2 penalty.


EMERALD COUNTERMAGIC
Emerald Circle Invocation
Cost: 2q; Range: N/A; Duration: Instant or (Essence) actions
Target: One subject or Caster

Invoking the Mudra of Magics Undone, the caster faces a choice. She may either select a single Emerald Circle Spell that she can see at work within (Perception x 5) yards, or she may cloak herself in ablative Essence. With the targeted version, the sorcerer violently attempts to unmake the spell, rolling (Current Willpower + Occult + Essence) against a difficulty equal to Spellís (casterís Essence + 1). In the second case, the sorcerer protects themselves against Terrestrial Circle Spells for (Essence) actions.

MASTERY: For every 1q spent, the sorcerer adds one success to the dispel roll.
DURANCE: For every 3q spent, the sorcerer doubles the duration of the protective effect.
RANGE: For every 2q spent, double this Spell's range for its targeted effect.


CONJURING THE AZURE CHARIOT
Emerald Circle Summoning
Cost: 8q; Range: N/A; Duration: Until sunset
Target: Conjured chariot

The sorcerer knots her Essence with the Five-Mists Mudra, conjuring a bright blue chariot lashed to a team of phantom steeds. The chariot has space enough for (Essence) passengers in addition to the sorcerer or a comparable amount of cargo. Once loaded, the horses can pull the chariot through the sky, flying at a rate of (Essence x 30) miles per hour. The chariot can only fly during the day, and the horses will instinctively ground themselves as sunset approaches.

SPEED: For every 3q spent, double the chariotís speed.
CHOSEN: For 5q, the Chariot may fly by the light of a Celestial anima, obviating the need to land as nightfall approaches so long as at least one Celestial anima flares aboard. This extends its Duration to Indefinite.
AREA: For every 1q spent, the Chariot may carry another passanger or 200lbs of cargo.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-15, 03:00 PM
SPELLS OF THE SAPPHIRE CIRCLE
HIDDEN JUDGES OF THE SECRET FLAME
Sapphire Circle Summoning
Cost: 12q; Range: N/A; Duration: Instant
Target: Conjured judge

With nothing more than a few words that form the Unconquered Sunís Promise to Creation, the caster conjures forth one of the Hidden Judges of the Secret Flame, Yu-Shanís incorruptable investigator-executioners. The caster must nominally make a (Willpower + Essence) roll against the Judge, but those who have never broken Heavenís laws may neither botch nor fail such a roll. The Judge will serve the caster in one of two ways: he may either act as an advisor and vizier for a week, providing guidance in righteousness, or he may be told to investigate a crime or potential crime against Heavenís laws.

DURANCE: For an additional 5q, the caster may extend the Judgeís contract of service, retaining his services for a lunar month.
MATERIAL: For an additional 5q, the caster may gird the Judge in Essence aspected to his own nature, providing the Judgeís weapons and armor with the Magical Material bonus resonant with the sorcerer.
MASTERY: The unrighteous or unwary may spend 2q per success to add successes to the binding roll.
FORCE: For an additional 6q, a Hidden Judge may be raised high by the authority of an Elder Celestial. For the duration of the spell, the Judge gains an additional dot of Essence and all the benefits that come along with this for a spirit.


GODFORGED CHAMPION OF WAR
Sapphire Circle Enchantment
Cost: 10q; Range: N/A; Duration: One hour
Target: Caster

Creates a common or scout warstrider around the caster. For an additional 3q, this is a noble warstrider; for a further 3q, this is instead a royal or colossus. Any warstrider conjured comes into being with an appropriately sized artifact weapon or pair of weapons worth Artifact 2.

DURANCE: For every 1q spent, double the duration.
FORCE: For every 1q spent, increase the warstriderís Strength by 1.
MATERIAL: For an additional 3q, the warstrider and its conjured weapon gains the Magical Material bonus that resonates with the sorcerer.
AEGIS: For every 2q spent, the warstriderís Bashing and Lethal soak increase by 2, and its Hardness increases by 1.


SAPPHIRE COUNTERMAGIC
Sapphire Circle Invocation
Cost: 6q; Range: Special; Duration: Instant or (Essence) actions
Target: One subject or Caster

As per Emerald Countermagic, save that it may target and destroy Emerald Circle Spells without any roll. Against Celestial Circle magic, the caster must roll against a difficulty equal to Spellís (casterís Essence + 2). The protective clause protects against Spells of both the Emerald and Sapphire Circle.

AREA: By spending 4q, an adept sorcerer may assail any or all sorcerous effects within a radius of (Occult) yards from the original victim of the targeted clause. All such spells are wracked as if by Emerald Countermagic, requiring a roll. Sapphire Circle Spells cannot be destroyed in this way.
MASTERY: For every 1q spent, the sorcerer adds one success to the dispel roll.
DURANCE: For every 3q spent, the sorcerer doubles the duration of the protective effect.
RANGE: For every 2q spent, double this Spell's range for its targeted effect.


TRAVEL WITHOUT DISTANCE
Sapphire Circle Invocation
Cost: 12q; Range: (Occult x 10) miles; Duration: Instant
Target: Caster (and willing group)

The caster spends the next three ticks disappearing as a Miscellaneous (DV -3) action, during which time her evenescing form may still be targeted by attacks. At the end of this action, she disappears completely in a soft scattering of Essence, coalescing at any point within the Spellís range, where the sorcerer must take another Speed 3, Miscellaneous (DV -3) action to finally integrate her position into the fabric of Creation before acting normally again.

RANGE: For 2q, the Range of the spell doubles.
GROUP: For 5q, the spell may transport a willing group with a Magnitude no greater than the sorcererís (Essence-1). This Arcana requires Miscellaneous actions measured in long ticks.
AREA: For every 2q, the spellís Group Arcana may count the casterís Essence as one higher for the purposes of calculating the Magnitude of groups to be transported.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-15, 03:01 PM
SPELLS OF THE ADAMANT CIRCLE
FOUNTAIN OF FATHOMLESS DEPTHS
Solar Circle Enchantment
Cost: 22q; Range: One mile; Duration: One century
Target: Area

Words burble from the casterís mouth, words that birth a deep wellspring of mutative energies. A small pond erupts within the Spellís range, and anyone who drinks of it is subjected to a Shaping effect that reorders their form. The caster selects (Willpower) points worth of mutations when casting the spell. These mutations develop over the course of a number of days equal to their value, but a more desperate target may bathe in the waters, emerging fully transformed at the cost of accepting a level of Aggravated damage. Either way, the target must take the waters at least once every Lunar month or risk forcibly reverting to their natural shape in a grueling process that deals a single level of unsoakable Aggravated damage and sends mortal targets into a painful catatonia for (6 - their Stamina) hours.

MATERIAL: One of the stranger applications of this Arcana, the sorcerer may imbue the waters with the Essence of one of the magical materials. For 5q, anyone who drinks of the water becomes made entirely out of the chosen material, gaining its bonuses to all their natural attacks and armor.
DURANCE: For every 2q spent, targets may go an additional month between drinks.
FORCE: For every 1q spent, the caster may grant an additional point of mutations.


WINGS OF THE ARCHON
Solar Circle Enchantment
Cost: 20q; Range: N/A; Duration: One day
Target: Caster

The casterís anima flares to full totemic level and then shifts, taking the shape of a glorious raptor. For the duration of the spell, the caster may fly at an impressive 30 yards per tick. More usefully, the caster may bring any willing creature into her anima, carrying them with her in flight. Anyone affected in that manner may freely move about the contraints of the casterís anima, but may not leave it without risking a terrible plummet towards the ground. At any time during the Spellís duration, the sorcerer may spend an additional 15q to transport herself and her ďguestsĒ to the far borders of the Underworld, Yu-Shan, or Malfeas itself. Such transport feels instantaneous, but actually requires a full dayís time and usually terminates the Spell unless itís Durance has been increased. If the Seal of Eight Divinities is opened, the caster may also travel to Autocthonia.

RANGE: For an additional 6q when crossing realms of existence, the sorcerer may roll (Willpower) against a difficulty of 5. On a success, she is able to designate the general area in which she appears--a city or named region would do, but she is not capable of anything more precise.
DURANCE: For an additional 4q, the Duration of this Spell is doubled.


WINDS OF CONFUSION
Solar Circle Invocation
Cost: 24q; Range: 1 Mile; Duration: One scene
Target: N/A

Raising her arms to the sky, the sorcerer summons a whirling tempest of prismatic winds. This spell creates a maelstrom of psychadelic energy (Essence) miles long, one mile wide, and (Occult x 100) yards high. This storm may be conjured into existence anywhere within one mile of the sorcerer. Those caught within the winds suffer the effects of this curse, and roll their (Current Willpower) vs a difficulty of the casterís Essence every five ticks. Those who fail this roll lose a point of temporary Willpower and a dot of Intelligence as a Shaping effect. Even those immune to Shaping have reason to fear this spell, because it twists the flows of respiration, tainting them with madness--only a three-die stunt may be used to recover a point of Willpower inside the storm. The sorceress is immune to her own storms, but suffers the same restriction in stunting.

RANGE: For every 1q spent, double the range at which the wind may be invoked.
AREA: For every 3q spent, double the area of the conjured wind.
DURANCE: For 5q, this spellís duration becomes one day.


SOLAR SANCTUARY
Solar Circle Enchantment
Cost: 30q; Range: 1 mile; Duration: Indefinite
Target: Area

The sorcerer ritually bounds a chosen area of up to (Essence x 1000) yards in diameter, placing four orichalcum statues of herself at each of the major boundaries to represent the four Outer Poles of Creation in miniature. The sorcerer then takes her position at the center of the area and shapes her Essence into an anchor for the spell, her anima rising up like Meru itself and the Pole of Earth. This ritual requires a full dayís effort, and crystallizes in a wash of gilded power. The sorcerer may reflexively shift her senses to anywhere within the sanctuary, and she gains an instant awareness of any danger that immediately threatens her sanctum.

While within the sanctuary, the sorcerer may take a miscellaneous action to teleport to any other point within the area. She may also use Wyldshaping Technique or similar powers within the boundaries of her sanctuary to reshape the land, raise buildings, or create wealth. Spells, Charms, and mundane efforts undertaken by the sorcerer to raise a manse on a demense within the confines of her sanctuary reduce the time required by (Essence) after all other speed effects are applied. If two sanctuaries created by the sorcerer would share a border, they instead merge into a single sanctuary--and a single spell for the purposes of countermagic.

AREA: For every 3q spent, the caster may double the area of a potential sanctuary.
MASTERY: For every 2q spent, the caster may name a single category no broader than a specialty. Any rolls undertaken within the Sanctuary that fit that category gain a single bonus success.
AEGIS: For every 2q spent, the caster may increase the Soak of all structures within by 2B/2L and their hardness by 1.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-16, 04:51 PM
Added another pair of Solar Circle Spells, including the oft-problematic Solar Sanctuary. Also, I present...


THE SORCERERíS PANOPLY

SORCEROUS FOCI
Artifact 2 - Attunement: 6
Foci are artifacts that take on a myriad of forms, most commonly either a sceptre or a piece of ornate jewelry. They typically have a socket for a single hearthstone. Foci at the 2-dot level resonate with a single Arcana, and allow the attuned sorcerer to cast spells as if they had always spent an additional 2q on the chosen Arcana.

For example, a sorcerer wielding a Focus attuned to Durance (2q) while casting Godforged Champion of War could count as having purchased its Durance clause twice, but these ďfreeĒ purchases still count against the (Essence) limit of how many times any given Arcana can be used in a spell. A 3-dot Focus would instead resonate with three Arcana (Attunement: 10). Focuses at the 4 and 5 dot level do not generally resonate with more than 3 Arcana; instead, they bear other unique or fabulous powers.

Sample Foci:
METAFOCAL GAUNTLET
Artifact 3 - Attunement: 10
Resonance 2q: Mastery, Force, Range

SUNHEART SCEPTER
Artifact 4 - Attunemnet: 10
Resonance 2q: Force, Area, Group
For the cost of a single level of Lethal damage, the sorcerer may sanctify his Invocations, which become Holy, dealing Aggravated damage to Creatures of Darkness.

THE HEART-CRYSTAL OF BRIGHT SHATTERED ICE
Artifact 5 - Attunement 12
Resonance 2q: Mastery, Range, Durance
This tiny silver crystal is affixes to the brow, magnifying the light of the user's caste mark. In addition to its normal resonances, the owner may maintain up to 10q in her Quanta Pool between scenes--though doing so is still terribly Obvious.

THE SWORD OF ICE
Artifact N/A - Attunement 10
By far the most famous of all Sorcerous Foci, the Sword of Ice was the standard from which all lesser designs were derived. It bears the statistics of a normal daiklave, but may be wielded with Occult rather than Melee. Additionally, itís keening edge may cut the threads of sorcery; if the sword hits the subject of any ongoing Spell, the wielder may make a reflexive (Wits + Occult + Essence) roll against the Spellís (Circle x 2). On success, the spell is not only undone, but recycled--the wielder gains Quanta equal to the Spellís (Circle x 2). The caster may spend 4m to reflexively and perfectly parry any Spell that they are aware of that attempts to target themselves or someone theyíre protecting with a Defend Other action, even Spells that would normally be unblockable.

The most miraculous of the Swordís powers, however, is the limitless sorcerous power that it commands. A catalyst for magic, the wielder need no longer roll (Willpower + Occult); instead, she may freely purchase up to (Willpower + Occult + Essence) Quanta at the end of a successful Incant action automatically, spending only one mote per Quanta to do so. All Arcana reduce their cost by 1q to a minimum of 1q; this does lower their actual cost so an Essence 5 wielder could use an Arcana that costs 6q.

SurlySeraph
2011-04-16, 08:08 PM
Let's see...

What's the point of using Quanta instead of Motes? Why not just have you bank motes in a Sorcery pool of a limited size with Incant actions, kinda like an Overdrive pool, instead of having to keep track of another resource?

What's the point of having the Incant action? It's basically taking some time to get roughly 8 quanta, and you'll need to do it again if you need more quanta later. What does needing to take quanta-time at the start of the fight and maybe a quanta-break later if you've been casting a lot of spells do to make using sorcery more fun and interesting? Does rolling to see how many you can bank make things more fun and interesting? I can see the appeal of having a power-up action, I'm just not sure making it mandatory is the most fun way to do things.
Letting you reflexively add Quanta from an Overdrive pool at double the normal cost of adding Quanta is kinda interesting and adds a bit of strategy.

How will the No Moon anima and other current effects that reduce the mote cost of spells interact with this - same thing, just with half as many Quanta as motes?

Can you put multiple instances of the same spell in a Spell Combo?

Giving Infernals big advantages at Sorcery without giving Solars and Abyssals comparably nice things doesn't entirely sit well with me. I haven't read MoEP: Infernals, so it's possible that the Yozi Initiations there are just as strong as those here and I'm complaining about something the official rules also do, but the idea doesn't sit well with me.

All the spells looked fine to me, though I'm not clear on what the Range of Solar Sanctuary actually does.

The various Foci look fine.

Having Quanta instead of a special mote pool is my biggest objection; I just don't see the point to that.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-16, 09:42 PM
Let's see...

What's the point of using Quanta instead of Motes? Why not just have you bank motes in a Sorcery pool of a limited size with Incant actions, kinda like an Overdrive pool, instead of having to keep track of another resource?

Banking "Sorcerous" motes is effectively the same thing as having Quanta. The nomenclature eliminates the potential awkwardness of having to spend "Sorceorous motes" (compared to "normal" motes) by instead just giving them a new name. I'm not particularly married to Qunata as a term--it was originally an even more generic "Sorcery Points," followed by "ur-motes." Functionally, it also sidestepped having to rule on any potential interactions between other mote-generating effects.


What's the point of having the Incant action? It's basically taking some time to get roughly 8 quanta, and you'll need to do it again if you need more quanta later. What does needing to take quanta-time at the start of the fight and maybe a quanta-break later if you've been casting a lot of spells do to make using sorcery more fun and interesting? Does rolling to see how many you can bank make things more fun and interesting? I can see the appeal of having a power-up action, I'm just not sure making it mandatory is the most fun way to do things.

The Incant action is there because Sorcery still needs to be something that feels difficult in combat. It's too much a part of the genre and the fluff as its always been presented--I like the idea that Sorcery is a big deal, and that when the sorcerer gets to chanting up a storm and doing his fancy mudras, it paints a big target on his head. Also, note that Incant actions can be part of a flurry, so the sorcerer is no longer taken out of combat entirely--he can swing his daiklave as he sings the First Paen of the Storm Mother, so it's a much less arduous power-up than past incarnations.


Letting you reflexively add Quanta from an Overdrive pool at double the normal cost of adding Quanta is kinda interesting and adds a bit of strategy.

I had originally intended to create Metasorcerous Charms that allow you to generate Quanta in strange and varied ways, basically cribbing from Overdrive's plan. The more I thought on that, though, the more I realized that it would quickly become too unwieldy to have to remember what was generating Overdrive motes and what was generating Quanta. So instead, I just decided to let Overdrive motes--already kind of a "power from emotion"--interact more easily with the Quanta paradigm. Felt very in-genre.


How will the No Moon anima and other current effects that reduce the mote cost of spells interact with this - same thing, just with half as many Quanta as motes?

Honestly, the No-Moon anima makes no sense. Their anima predates the time when Sorcery was given to the Exalted host. I'd rather see them have something a bit more interesting than just a flat Quanta discount--perhaps they've got some ways of mucking around with Arcana like the Infernals, or perhaps they've got modified Incant actions and generate low amounts of Quanta easily. It's still open on that front.


Can you put multiple instances of the same spell in a Spell Combo?

I'm inclined to say yes, if you want. Firing off three Brilliant Raptors at once can be a great strategy, if you're not facing down another Sorcerer who might be able to Counterspell you.


Giving Infernals big advantages at Sorcery without giving Solars and Abyssals comparably nice things doesn't entirely sit well with me. I haven't read MoEP: Infernals, so it's possible that the Yozi Initiations there are just as strong as those here and I'm complaining about something the official rules also do, but the idea doesn't sit well with me.

Infernal Initiations grant sizable bonuses with certain types of spells, yes. They also ban the sorcerer from ever using some types of Sorcery. Cecelyne, for example, can never create water or manipulate wood. The change to the mechanical benefit for these Initiations adapts them, more or less, to this new system--but you're still banned from casting spells that the old version would have prohibited.


All the spells looked fine to me, though I'm not clear on what the Range of Solar Sanctuary actually does.

It makes me look tired and inattentive. Changed. :smallwink:


The various Foci look fine.

Danke, they were probably my favorite part thus far.

Tael
2011-04-17, 09:52 AM
I have always felt that solars should get some kind of unique bonus in sorcery in addition to Solar Circle spells, as they're supposed to be the best sorcerers, but they don't get any benefits until Essence 5.

Also, would you be fine if I converted some Terrestrial Circle spells to your system? What guidelines have you used so far?

EDIT: Deleted my post that was splitting your stuff.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-17, 10:53 AM
I have always felt that solars should get some kind of unique bonus in sorcery in addition to Solar Circle spells, as they're supposed to be the best sorcerers, but they don't get any benefits until Essence 5.

Funny you should mention that, because...

New Solar Charms:

Sorcererís Limitless Mastery
Cost: --; Mins: Occult 3, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Emerald Circle Sorcery

What is limitation to a Solar? There is no obstacle they cannot overcome, no boundary they can not transgress. This Charm expands the sorcererís Quanta Pool by 2, and may be repurchased a number of times equal to (Essence). As a side benefit, the sorcerer adds one bonus success to her roll after an Incant action, allowing her to purchase Quanta more easily.

A similar Charm exists for Lunars (Intelligence 3, Essence 3) and Sidereals (Occult 3, Essence 3). A similar Charm exists for Terrestrials as well, but it is capped by the lower of either Essence or Breeding.


Omnipotent Madness Empowerment
Cost: --(+1Ahl, +1 Limit); Mins: Occult 6, Essence 6; Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Adamant Circle Sorcery, Sorcerer's Limitless Mastery x 3

The problem with power is the way it fosters addiction: that which is enough today is never enough tomorrow. This Charm kindles a dark, covetous flame at the heart of the Solarís Exaltation. The Solar may bank Quanta in excess of his poolís normal limitation, but during every action in which his pool exceeds its normal limits, he gains a point of Limit and must accept a single level of Aggravated damage or the surplus energies will drain away instantly. If the Solar enters Limit Break because of this, he is subject only to the damaging effects of this Charm for the duration of his Limit Break. During any action in which the Solar gained Limit, he may add his current Limit to his effective Essence for determining how much he can spend on any given Arcana; treat his Limit as 10 if he is currently in Limit Break.

New Terrestrial Charm:

Drinking the Dragonís Breath
Cost: --(1Lhl); Mins: Occult 4; Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Shaping
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, Sorcererís Limitless Mastery, Fivefold Resonance Sense

The Dragon Blooded may breathe deepest when they stand within a redoubt of elemental power. The wisest Terrestrial sorcerers know this and, indeed, depend upon it. Whenever the sorcerer completes an Incant action within the bounds of a demense or manse to which she is attuned, she may accept a single point of Lethal damage to infuse herself with the raw geomantic might that surrounds her. This adds a number of automatic successes equal to (1 + demense or manse rating) to the (Willpower + Occult) roll, allowing her to purchase more Quanta.



Also, would you be fine if I converted some Terrestrial Circle spells to your system? What guidelines have you used so far?

Feel free to! Generally, I try to keep Terrestrial Circle Spells around 3-6q in terms of base cost (6m-12m), because your basic Terrestrial Sorcerer isn't going to be hard pressed to hit his 10q ceiling, and I want to leave them room to toss an Arcana or two on. I try to give each spell at least three Arcana, and the biggest issue there is remembering that you can only spend (Essence) on any one Arcana, so things are priced around that core principle.


EDIT: Deleted my post that was splitting your stuff.

Appreciated.

senrath
2011-04-17, 11:45 AM
First, that's not exactly a "unique" benefit if Lunars and Siddies also get it. If you meant the E6 charm, he did ask for a benefit that kicked in before E5, not after.

And second, Omnipotent Madness Empowerment seems kinda weak for an E6 charm. I dunno, maybe I'm just not seeing its use.

Tavar
2011-04-17, 01:26 PM
It does let you bypass the normal restrictions on quanta, which could be very useful. Solar spells seem to almost cost the Quanta cap, but with this you can get around that to some degree.

Still, I agree that it's doesn't seem terribly useful, and as the situation stands I think solars could get a couple more unique effects.

senrath
2011-04-17, 01:35 PM
Well, yes, but unless you really need to throw down a couple of Solar Circle spells in a single action I don't see it being worth the cost.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-17, 01:50 PM
First, that's not exactly a "unique" benefit if Lunars and Siddies also get it. If you meant the E6 charm, he did ask for a benefit that kicked in before E5, not after.

The door is not the house; it's just the door. Might be part of the house, but one shouldn't mistake a beginning for an entirety.

In less cryptic news, it is the first in a series of metasorcerous capabilities. Solars get cool things to do, I assure you. But let's be reasonable here--are Sidereals better at Celestial Martial Arts than Solars are? Sure, they have some nice effects that create an effective synergy, but Martial Arts--and Sorcery--are examples of universal tool sets. If you can access them, they work for you just like they work for Dave, and Lauren, and Slagathor the Red. Where does this idea change? At the highest echelons of power. Sidereal Martial Arts--and their attendant sutras--change that whole ballpark. The same will happen with Solar Circle Sorcery.


And second, Omnipotent Madness Empowerment seems kinda weak for an E6 charm. I dunno, maybe I'm just not seeing its use.

*Checks* Oh.

That's because there's a clause missing from it that got missed in the transfer from my development document. Check it again in just a second.

senrath
2011-04-17, 02:02 PM
Ah, yes, that's a lot better for an E6 charm.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-17, 02:07 PM
Submitted for your approval, two original spells!

SWALLOWING THE FURNACEíS HEART
Terrestrial Circle Enchantment
Cost: 7q; Range: N/A; Duration: One day
Target: Caster

The sorcerer conjures a bauble of molten-hot lead from the depths of the Omphalos and consumes it, accepting a single level of Aggravated damage in the process. Her skin reddens and takes on a slightly metallic luster, and her hair becomes a tuft of flames. Physical contact with her subjects targets--and objects other than her metaphysical possessions--to an environmental hazard (Damage 2L, Trauma [Essence/2]). More dramatically, she gains the ability to conjure flames with nothing more than a gesture; such attacks are targeted with either Thrown or Occult, whichever is most favorable.

Conjured Flames
Speed 5, Accuracy +2, Damage 9L, Rate 2, Range 10; F

DURANCE: For every 2q spent on this Arcana, the Spellís duration doubles.
FORCE: An exception to the usual rules, this Arcana may be activated at any time while this Spell is in effect and the sorcerer makes an attack with her conjured flames. For each 1q spent, the sorcerer may add 3L to her attackís Damage and 3 yards to her Range.
MATERIAL: For an additional 3q, the sorcerer swallows not lead, but a sliver of her resonant magical material. Add the relevant magical material bonuses to her conjured flames.



PRISMATIC ENCHANTRESS SKIN
Solar Circle Enchantment
Cost: 23q; Range: N/A; Duration: One day
Target: Caster

The caster hardens her heart into a bright gem that shines with the light of her Exaltation, and her skin becomes translucent adamant. Her ornamental heart is simultaneously strong and fragile: the caster adds (Willpower/2) to the number of scenes required to create or degrade Intimacies, and effects that would change the context of her intimacies cost one less point of Willpower to resist, to a minimum of one. Conversely, actions that are contrary to her Intimacies cost the sorcereress a single point of Willpower.

Whenever struck by a foe who can see the sorcerer, the caster may reflexively spend 1q to subject the foe to a Counterattack wherein her skin glows in strange, whorling patterns that enchant the soul and ensnare the mind. Each Counterattack is a reflexive (Charisma + Occult) roll made against the targetís MDVs, and is Unnatural Mental Influence that costs a single point of Willpower to resist. The sorcerer may choose to levy a single order as a Compulsion effect, or an Illusion effect that convinces the target that the sorcerer is an ally. Her fragility is, insidiously, part of this enchantment--for the purposes of her Counterattacks, treat any wound penalties as bonuses to the sorceressí Appearance instead.

DURANCE: For every 1q spent, the caster doubles the Spellís duration.
MASTERY: For every 2q spent, the caster applies a single bonus success to Counterattacks made through this Spell.
MATERIAL: For 5q, the caster applies the benefits of Adamant to her natural soak, and resonates naturally and fully with Adamant in addition to her normal Magical Materials.

SurlySeraph
2011-04-17, 06:19 PM
My objections have been addressed, and I'm quite happy with your answers. And with the other new material.

On Omnipotent Madness Empowerment: "If the Solar enters Limit Break because of this, he is subject only to the damaging effects of this Charm for the duration of his Limit Break" is awkwardly phrased - do you mean his entire Limit Break period counts as a single action for the purposes of the damage? (Please say yes, because I really enjoy high-Essence Solar abilities that encourage you to be a deranged god-king).

senrath
2011-04-17, 06:21 PM
I think that means he gains no further limit, instead only taking the ahl each action.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-17, 07:14 PM
I think that means he gains no further limit, instead only taking the ahl each action.

This. I'll clarify it in short order.

SurlySeraph
2011-04-17, 07:23 PM
Aw, okay. Still looks good.

IcarusWings
2011-04-18, 07:24 AM
I really like this fix. I haven't got much to say on it balance-wise, just came to chip in my compliments. Would you mind if I use this in any future games I run?

GryffonDurime
2011-04-18, 09:30 AM
I really like this fix. I haven't got much to say on it balance-wise, just came to chip in my compliments. Would you mind if I use this in any future games I run?

I'd be glad for the chance to test it out, actually.

That being said, I'm aiming to start porting over some of the less popular Sorcery this week, namely spells that have always seemed more niche--especially in the Celestial Circle. Any requests?

senrath
2011-04-18, 11:04 AM
I'm a fan of God-Forged Champion of War, myself.

GryffonDurime
2011-04-20, 12:36 PM
Presented for your approval, two new spells of the Celestial Circle intended specifically for Lunar use.


COVENANT OF THE ANIMAL AVATARS
Celestial Circle Enchantment
Cost: 16q; Range: N/A; Duration: Twenty years
Target: Totem

The Animal Avatars are the godly masters of each species, the first and grandest of their kind. Each is a spirit more deva than god, their hearts thrumming with the low drumbeat of Gaia's own Essence. By carving a totem in the honor of one of the Animal Avatars and sanctifying it through a week-long festival of supplication, a sorcerer may secure their benediction for a community no larger than (caster's Essence) in Magnitude.

So long as the totem stands unmolested by countermagic or deliberate sabotage, the chosen community incorporates veneration of the Animal Avatar and its sacred species into their Policy. In exchange, the Animal Avatar spiritually adopts his wayward children into the tribe and sends its blessings. Animals of the chosen species flock to the community, enough to constitute a unit of (caster's Essence + 1) Magnitude in times of war. This gathering takes (Essence) weeks, or months if the animals are being called from a foreign Direction. Mortals in the community may spend a week in contemplation to call one of their beastly brothers as a Familiar; this is a Training effect costing 3xp per dot of Familiar granted.

While this Spell remains in effect, the chosen animals will serve the community faithfully, hunting and gathering in times of peace and fighting in times of war. The beasts will not accept a human commander, but they do rally under the enchantments of the totem and the direction of their distant Avatar, allowing them to function as a unit with Drill 5.

Curiously, a tribe protected by this magic will eventually start to develop idiosyncracies from their totemic protectors--those protected by the Raven Avatar will often develop an Intimacy to shiny things, while a community under the watchful eye of the Lion Avatar may seek to adjust its Policy so women conduct the hunting.

If the community breaks their pact--either through willful harm to their beastly brothers or by their own desecration of the otherwise indestructable totem--the spell ends as if broken by countermagic, and the beasts are free to take whatever simple revenge they desire. A sorcerer who knows this Spell may renew its magic before it lapses, reseting the spell's Duration.

AEGIS: For every 2q spent by the caster, the summoned animals become unnaturally hearty and their assistance in either the hunt or agriculture adds a bonus die to all Survival rolls.
CHOSEN: For 5q, a caster who resonates fully and naturally with Moonsilver may strengthen this Spell through Gaia-by-Luna's proxy. The totem gains a silvery sheen and may be carved in the likeness of any number of Animal Avatars; this allows for many species to be called in whatever proportion the caster chooses, so long as they total no more than the usual Magnitude. All such animals cohabitate peacefully and productively, and more curiously they adapt like their protean patron--polar bears summoned to the South become inured to the heat, and squids called to the East become amphibians, though still somewhat awkward on land. This protects them from any natural problems that would arise from their new environment.
SKILL: For every 2q spent by the caster, the summoned animals gain an extra dot of Intelligence and a dot of a chosen Virtue. Animals that reach Intelligence 3 are capable of understanding speech but remain speechless themselves.



CONJURING THE VARICOLORED SERPENT CORRIDOR
Celestial Circle Summoning
Cost: 15q; Range: N/A; Duration: One journey
Target: Conjured behemoth

The Varicolored Serpent was once a behemoth spawned by Oramus, the Dragon Beyond the World. In the Time of Glory, he roamed the face of Creation, and even the Shinma quivered at his passing for he was an infinite creature confined within a finite realm. Mortals who looked upon the mind-bending geometry of his endlessly recursive scales felt a numb madness descend over their minds. He was ultimately conquered by a Lunar Waxing-Moon and knotted around himself before being imprisoned in some dank corner of Elsewhere.

What was bound can be summoned, though, and through this Spell a sorcerer may invite the Varicolored Serpent back into Creation--not as a creature, but as a passageway. The serpent's cyclopean head erupts from the ground in a spray of soil, and it waits to be fed an arcane link to the sorcerer's desired destination, most commonly a bit of earth, water, or flora. Satisfied by this offering, the serpent opens its mouth and lets the sorcerer--and any number of followers willing enough to dare the gaping maw of a giant, prismatic snake--enter. Inside, the group finds an interminable corridor, well furnished but somehow strange. Countless bedrooms line the hallway, stocked with water--but not food.

Traveling through the Varicolored Serpent Corridor takes the same time that it would take to walk from the journey's starting point to its chosen destination, albeit in a straight line over even terrain, with palatial accommodations every night. Moreover, anyone within the corridor is considered to be Outside of Fate and cannot be detected through astrology. The corridor touches Creation in only two points: its start and its end; no force my detect the journey that goes on between those two points. At the end of the journey, the corridor ends abruptly and deposits the pilgrims back in Creation, within one day's march of their chosen destination, though the details are left to the Serpent's whimsy. Such destinations are never immediately or naturally dangerous.

The Serpent does not resent those who grow so accustomed to its white, featureless walls that they decide to stay--indeed, he relishes them as his fine repast. For every straight month spent inside the corridor, those travelling its length take a single level of Lethal damage that cannot be healed until they leave. Those who die in this manner sublimate into Essence, nourishing the Serpent with their unwary sacrifice.

The Solars of the First Age were capable of adjusting the Realm Defense Grid to prevent the Serpent from appearing in certain areas--most notably the Blessed Island. Whether by fluke or design, that protection came online again when the Scarlet Empress took the Imperial Manse, and remains in effect today. Lunars are the most common users of this spell, and while they cannot invade the Isle with it, they do use it to bypass the Isle entirely as they jaunt from South to North or East to West.

AEGIS: For every 4q spent, the caster may gird the corridor in ablative Essence, doubling the duration between levels of Lethal damage. Many elder Lunars burnt themselves nearly to death hiding in the Varicolored Serpent Corridor immediately following the Usurpation.
SPEED: For every 3q spent, the Serpent may be commanded to knot itself, shortening the distance that must be traveled by (Occult x 5) miles.