Here is the link
to all of Ancient History's notes on the advanced magic book. Even if an actual High Magic is still done, they'll have to do it completely different than he did now that he's gone, and that won't be for a long time (if ever).
These are the specific things that I think would catch our eyes the most (some credit goes to otakusensei on the main forums for polishing many of the metamagics
Advanced Initiate Groups
Details: How initiate groups work. Basically, initiate groups ease magical advancement by guiding the initiate along a set path of gradual revelation, using the group's mythology and rituals to guide the initiate through the metaplanes. By understanding the group's mythos and lore, the initiate essentially already has the keys to overcome their challenges in a structured manner; i.e. their way is already paved for them by the magicians that started the group. The most advanced magicians in the group are the ones researching and experimenting with how to take the next step.
- Politics (multiple memberships, multiple initiations)
- Avatars (spirit-intermediaries of groups) and group-specific astral quests
- Benefits of Leadership (or "Why We Start Initiate Groups")
-- Sharing Resources
-- Cooperate and Graduate
Will obviously have to be fleshed out by us, but since our very group is a magical group...
- Prerequisite: Geomancy
-- Can "lock" a site, preventing it from increasing, lowering, or altering the aspect of its background count.
-- Blocking requires Ritual Spellcasting; time is proportional to rating and requires unrestricted access to the site. This can be speeded up with Rush the Job if the character has Forcing (see above).
-- Can also "unlock" sites, which is the same test and duration.
-- Cannot "lock" or "unlock" mana lines unless the character also has Feng Shui; this takes longer and will not lock individual power sites on the mana line (i.e. those with a rating higher than the mana line's)
- Cycling [I would love to have this one, even if I have to get Anchoring first]
-- Prerequisites: Quickening, Anchoring
-- A Karma Pool method. The user can spend X Karma, where X is up to his Magic + Initiate grade, which gives him a pool that he can spend instead of Karma for anchored and quickened spells. The trick is that he gets those points back in his pool when the spell goes off (anchoring) or when the effect ends(quickened spells)
-- In the interest of making this not completely negate sustaining foci, the magician might only get the points back in his/her pool when the spell ends - i.e. when the anchored spell goes off, or the quickened/anchored spell is dispelled.
-- Needs to be checked to make sustaining foci still viable
[I personally like otakusensei's method of having the Cycling karma only usable for one quickened or anchored spell at a time]
- Diversion [Seems very appropriate for Mandala]
- Prerequisite: Reflecting
-- The magician can reflect any spell they successfully counterspell, even if they are not the intended target. The new target of the spell must be in LOS. If this is a ritual sorcery spell, the caster does not necessarily know that the spell has been diverted.
-- If there are no other valid targets, the spell can be diverted to target the magician themselves. The magician cannot then re-divert or re-counterspell the diverted spell.
- Feng Shui
-- Prerequisite: Geomancy
-- By extended and repeated use of Ritual Spellcasting over time, can actually increase the
power level of a site, create or extend a manaline between two power points which share the
-- Each level of power requires further investment in time and participants, we're talking
months (rating 2) to years (rating 3) to decades (rating 4) or centuries (rating 5)
-- Increasing the potency of a power site on a manaline is easier, but creating a mana line is no easy task.
-- Postmodern magic is all about reducing magical traditions to their basic, doing away with ancient trappings and ceremonies and getting things done with the force of their will alone. Essentially, the character can cut the time required for a ritual sorcery spell dramatically - they can Rush the Job on ritual magic. They can do this repeatedly to reduce the casting time from hours down to mere minutes, but with greater chances of failure.
-- Caveats/drawbacks: Every interval reduction increases the chance of failure. All Drain from Forcing is automatically physical.
-- So normally, Rushing the job would reduce the time required by half (1 hour per Force to 30 minutes per Force) and the caster(s) would glitch on 1 and 2. If the character forced it further, it could be reduced to 15 minutes per Force and glitches would occur on 1, 2, and 3; and so on.
-- Like with Forcing, but with enchanting; the magician forgoes the painstaking ceremonies of imbuing the power and form of the enchantment, instead working to complete the task as quickly as possible. Can use the Rush the Job rule, as above, and repeatedly.
-- Caveats/drawbacks: Every interval reduction increases the chance of failure. All Drain from Forcing is automatically physical.
-- So normally, Rushing the job would reduce the time required by half (1 hour for a fetish to 30 minutes) and the caster(s) would glitch on 1 and 2. If the character forced it further, it could be reduced to 15 minutes per fetish and glitches would occur on 1, 2, and 3; and so on.
- Life Magic
-- This is a severely restricted version of the Sacrificing metamagic; it follows the general rules for the Sacrificing metamagic but the targets can only be the caster themselves. It does not count as the prerequisite for the Invoking Blood Spirits, Cannibalize, or Power Bleed metamagics.
-- Limited version of Sacrificing that may be learned by self-initiation.
- Limited Astral Projection
-- Prerequisite: Astral Perception
[Nice for the mystic adepts who have no way to e.g. go on metaplanar quests with everyone else. Gaki ghouls already set some precedence in canon for non-magicians capable of projection.]
-- Make an Assensing Test against an object; if successful gain its True Name and can subtract your Initiate Grade from its Object Resistance
[I like what otakusensei did with this: Magic + Assensing + Initiate Grade Extended Test (Target's Object Resistance2, 1 Complex Action), the glimpse of the True Name lasts Initiate Grade Combat Turns. All of this is up for discussion among all of us, of course.]
- Passage [seems like something Ryl might have, if you think Celedyr would be willing to teach his drakes something so similar to his secret method of traveling through solid earth]
-- Can press through astral barriers, including mana barrier spells, wards, astral constructs, and the living earth
-- Adds Initiate Grade to such tests, improves speed by (Initiate grade) meters/round (?)
-- Prerequisite: Astral Projection
- Retrogression *coughcoughsabscoughcough*
- Prequisite: Psychometry
-- Magician can scan for impressions of a person or place's past, going back years, decades, centuries, even millenia. Only strong emotional or magical impressions stand out, but can be used to recover an astral signature on the object that has faded.
-- Naturally faded. Cleansed/erased astral signatures remain undetectable.
- Prerequisite: Masking, Extended Masking
-- Can mask a number of individuals equal to (Magic + Initiate grade) within LOS (including up to Magic + Initiate grade foci per individual).
-- Piercing the mask on one individual in the group allows the assensing magician to see the true auras of the entire group.
Of particular application to Alyena:
3) Advanced Astral combat
- Blindfighting and the Astral
-- All the questions we never really wanted to ask
- Size modifiers (ref. Arsenal) - Astral forms are idealized, but approximate to the character's physical body, or in the case of spirits roughly metahuman in size (no modifiers). Cases of extreme ego can cause astral forms to be significantly larger than the physical body (negative quality), whereas awareness and denial of self can cause a relative reduction in the size of the astral form.
- Astral combat vs. foci
-- Based mostly on the Disrupt Focus spell
- astral martial arts
--- Modern European tradition, focuses on the use of weapon foci against manifest spirits, astral forms, and mana barriers
--- Derived from multiple religious traditions, focuses on combating spirits and Attacks of Will
-- Lin kon ji
--- Tibetan meditative art adapted for astral combat; increases astral reach, defense
--- Specialization of unarmed techniques for delivering touch spells, adept abilities like Nerve Strike and Disruptive strike
-- Parascientific Boxing
--- "Psychic" discipline; increases DV of astral attacks, Attacks of Will
-- Testa di Fantasma
--- Derivation of an Eritrean head-butting combat art, known for its "dirty tricks"
-- The character is never treated as "Defender Unaware of Attack" on the Astral
- Aura Rend
-- When using a weapon focus or unarmed attack that deals physical damage in astral combat, can severely damage the target's perception of self; the attacker may choose to temporarily lower the target's Charisma (and derived attributes) by 1. Lost Charisma returns after 1 minute.
- Ego Negation
-- By taking a simple action, a spirit or astrally projecting character can reduce their astral form to a small target.
-- Dice penalties to sustain spells or adept powers are reduced by 1.
-- So a -1 penalty to sustain one spell, -3 penalty to sustain two, etc.
-- If you successfully parry an astral attack, you can instead choose for the attacker to be subject to a held touch-based adept power such as Nerve Strike or Disruptive Strike. The net hits are equal to the attribute points the attacker loses.
Applicable for all summoners and Mandala:
5) Advanced Conjuring
- Advanced Banishing
-- By performing a ritual banishing, can keep a disrupted spirit that has retreated to the metaplanes to refresh itself/heal/etc. from returning for one period (28 days); a successful ritual banishing adds 4 to the threshold of the astral quest to retrieve the spirit
-- Extended Banishing + Magic (Force, 1 day) test, need (Force) binding materials, foci apply.
- Permanent Banishing for Free Spirits using True Name
-- Ramifications for PC Free Spirits
-- All natural copies of spirit formula dissapear, leaving only recorded copies
-- /Can/ be undone only if someone is stupid enough to go retrieve the free spirit from the metaplanes, which is much harder, and impossible without a copy of their spirit formula
- Rebinding/summoning the same spirit
-- The magician has a specific spirit (or group of related spirits) which act like a contact (Force rating, Loyalty rating) that s/he summons repeatedly and develops a working relationship with. The upshot is that the spirit will remember previous encounters, can take more complicated orders, and can be substantially more loyal if treated well. The downside is 1) it can get more powerful from repeated summoning, making it harder to summon/bind and 2) it remembers past summonings and can become /disloyal/ if you do things that really piss it off.
-- Costs are equivalent to those for a contact. Spirit can be of a different type than the magician can normally summon.
Applicable to all, especially if people start getting targeted by big ritual casters or the IE PC's get caught in a chal'han:
6) Advanced Sorcery
- Reverse Ritual Magic
-- If you're targeted by ritual magic, you can use the link to track the sending or send your own ritual spell back down the link to disrupt it. Since there is no indication of how long the ritual is, your own casting is probably going to be fast and furious
-- Alternately: you can use a bonded focus or a properly prepared link object to set up a reverse ritual in advance - i.e. instead of taking a chunk out of a building to blow it up, you mail them a lock of your hair, then cast a ritual fireball that'll destroy the link object and damage the surroundings.
--- Could be munchy
The most applicable Adept powers for us:
New Adept Powers:
- Alchemist's Gift
-- Prerequisites: Improved Sense (Smell, Taste)
-- The character can tell if a given substance is a magical compound, refined or radical reagent, or Awakened drug with only the slightest smell or taste - insufficient to trigger the magical compound, but concentrated Awakened drugs or toxic reagents may affect the target. A Magic + Intuition Test successfully identifies the substance if the character has come across it before. +2 postive modifier to Assaying Tests.
- Enhanced Melanin Control
- Prerequisite: Melanin Control
-- The adept can alter their hair/skin color within the limits of metahumanity's natural variety of colors - from the pale green of hobgoblins to the blue of Night Ones to the cethereal of certain elves. In addition to a greater palette to draw from, the adept can limit the alteration to certain parts of their body in order to mimic birth marks or conditions like virago. (Requires Disguise Skill for successful deception)
- Improved Mystical Healing
-- Prerequisite: Empathic Healing
-- Adept can use empathic healing to speed up the natural healing process in others. Each level of this power adds 1 die to the character's pool for Mystical Healing tests /and/ raises the cap on net hits on the test by 1.
- Improved Senses
-- Clarification on the Adept power, in addition to new options
--- Depth sense (how high above/below the surface you are), perfect depth vision (equivalent to range finder)
--- Perfect time
--- Body Awareness (immediately aware of the extant of injuries, even when pain is blocked)
--- Aura awareness (immediately aware if an astral form passes through their aura)
- Mind Trap
-- Causes psychic backlash (Willpower/round) for attempted telepathic contact (mind probe, etc.) and mental manipulations
-- Can be used reflexively
-- Requires concentration (2 dice negative modifier) to maintain
--- Dream Trap
--- Prerequisite: Mind Trap
---- Power is on constantly, even when asleep, with no modifier to maintain
---- Can be turned off selectively
- Mystic Weapon
- Prerequisite: Killing Hands (?)
-- Any melee weapon the adept wields is counted as a magic weapon for purposes of overcoming Immunity to Normal Weapons
- Prerequisite: Combat Sense
-- The character can choose to focus all their precognitive awareness on a single opponent; while so focused they do not receive their normal Combat Sense bonuses. For that opponent and that opponent only, they bonus is doubled; for everyone else a negative modifier equivalent to the bonus applies.
-- The individual the target is focused on can be changed with a free action.
- [Sense] Communication
- Prerequisite: Improved Sense (Hearing, Smell, or Thermographic Vision)
-- The adept can subtly communicate with someone else with extraordinary senses; this communication is often somewhat limited but difficult or impossible to detect without augmentation or magical assistance.
-- High/Low-Frequency Communication [Improved Sense (Hearing)] - the adept can communication at frequencies outside the normal range of metahuman hearing
-- Scent Communication [Improved Sense (Smell)] - the adept can release specific pheromone scent combinations, indistinguishable from regular body odor to the average nose; these scents are limited in range and meaning (generally, the scents can clearly mark property, health, and emotion), though canny adepts can develop scent-based codes. Pheromones can be used to mark individuals, places, and objects, but requires 'painting' the target with a bodily product (sweat, saliva, urine, feces, etc.)
-- Thermographic Communication [Improved Sense (Thermographic Vision)] - the adept can control the bloodflow in their face, to change the pattern of heat seen by others with thermographic vision. This can be developed as a code, or used to increase difficulties when others with thermographic vision attempt to judge the character's intentions.
- Shadowed Aura (leveled; limit 4?)
-- The character's aura dims and melds with the shadows cast by material objects on the astral. Every level adds 1 to the threshold to perceive the adept's aura on the Astral. This stacks with the results of a successful Stealth test.
- Unerring Step [maybe?]
-- Prerequisite: Traceless Walk, Wall Running
-- The adept can hover indefinitely, slightly above any surface. This allows them to walk, run, crawl, or sprint over any surface, even dangerous, volatile, and non-solid surfaces, and in any direction. The character could, for example, sprint up a waterfall against the force of gravity, or across the top of an open container of molten iron without sinking.
-- Does not protect them from environmental dangers, i.e. the heat of the lava
-- Penalties apply based on how turbulent the surface is.
-- On a glitch, they trip and fall
For obvious reasons:
Advanced Astral Quests
- Inner Quest [OH HEY, this seems eerily familiar... I guess great minds think alike]
-- Adepts only; astral projection not required.
-- The character takes the equivalent of an astral quest, except instead of looking for information outside themselves attempts to plumb the depths of their own being, searching for inspiration.
-- Can be used to discover knowledge of metamagic techniques, adept powers, spell and foci formulae, and intiatory ordeals.
-- Unique use: Can be used as a form of introspection, to retrieve forgotten (but not destroyed) memories and sensory impressions in exact detail; to become aware of internal physical status (and damage, as well as cancer or poison)
-- Unique use: An inner quest can unlock certain exceptional abilities of the adept's body; they gain the potential to buy the Adrenaline Surge, Ambidextrous, Analytical Mind, Double Jointed, Exceptional Attribute, Hawkeye, Lightning Reflexes, Perceptive, Perfect Time, Photographic Memory, Quick Healer, Resistance to Pathogens/Poisons, Speed Reading, Tough as Nails, Toughness, and Will to Live. The character pays a number of Karma equal to (2 x BP cost of the quality). Each subsequent inner quest increases in difficulty. The character may not buy a quality they already have, unless it is available in levels, and then may only buy it up to the maximum number of levels.
--- The availability of this quality would help ease the need to "front load" qualities at chargen, and allow older characters to pick up qualities they might have "missed." Also provides "minor powers" for low-level adepts and games, giving players an alternative to expand their characters without seeking higher and higher levels of initiation.
- Metaplanar Lodge [best for Mandala, but useful for everyone]
-- Characters can engage in an astral quest to create a metaplanar magical lodge on a fractal metaplane, a secret place of power and safety in the metaplanes where they can create copies of their magical formulae, metamagical theses, and non-magical writings and creative works. After the initial astral quest to create the metaplanar lodge, the character can visit it any time in the future by undertaking another astral quest. A character can dictate or use automatic writing to transfer the information in the lodge back to the physical plane.
-- Characters can create multiple metaplanar lodges, but must spend some time in them each month or they collapse
-- The initial difficulty of the quest represents how well it is hidden; characters who are aware of the metaplanar lodge's existence must meet this rating to find and travel to it. Characters who receive instruction from another on how to get there get +4 dice positive modifier.
-- Some intitiatory groups have "group" lodges where they maintain their most secret writings, and is where they meet in the astral to engage in their deepest instruction.
-- Can protect a metaplanar lodge by stationing a spirit there
As far as gear goes, I will purposely leave out chakraware unless sabs or anyone else who's seen this stuff before know of a way to make them not OP.
- Orichalcum bone gilding
-- Bone lacing upgrade; hideously expensive, moderately invasive
-- Weaves a very fine enchanted orichalcum chain into pre-etched grooves in the character's bone lacing
-- Unarmed attacks count as magical weapons for purpose of overcoming Immunity to Normal Weapons
- FAB Netgun
-- Does /not/ trap astral forms. Rather, the forced passage of an astral form (the target) through a weak astral barrier (the FAB net) is designed to disrupt the astral form and send it back to its meat body (it also kills all the FAB in the net). So on a successful attack, the victim is treated as having run into an astral barrier; even if the target doesn't pass out, it still kills the FAB.
- FAB Torc [more for you than us, Seth]
-- Not properly a restraint, the FAB torc is basically an insulin pump that circulates a FAB colony in the character's blood stream. While this colony is active, any attempts to astrally perceive or project are the mental equivalent of trying to teleport into a rock wall (or, mechanically speaking, hitting an astral barrier at full speed). This is usually sufficient to knock the character out.
-- As FAB is essentially a minor infection, it doesn't last long - without the torc continuing to supply fresh FAB, your average immune system would burn through it in about an hour.
- MageAid Software Package
- Suite of unrated programs no mage should be without
-- FetishTracker - keeps track of your fetishes and where they are using tags
-- Dictaphone/virtual stylus - automatic writing/talk-to-text for Catalog spells and Metaplanar lodges
-- Mapsoft editor - ease recording data gained from Spatial Sense spells
-- Wardshaper - finds the best basic geometric shape to ward the room, maps out possibilities in terms of area and visible surfaces
-- VirtualTarot - Never be without a divination tool
-- SmartSpell plugin for use with smartlink; used for targeting Indirect Combat spells, calculating area of effect
Dream post is being worked on. Tomorrow's my day off, so I'd like to write up something nice. This seems like a good opportunity with the Horror and the torture chamber and whatnot.