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On a prior run, one of my (well, my friend's) PC's found an ancient book in an unknown language. Priding himself as a linguist, he has begun trying to decipher this book.

He is a mage and the book is chock full of "lost" metamagical techniques. This much he has beeen able to fgure out, though he hasn't unlocked any of the secrets yet.
Basically, I wanted to ask the community here if they had any good ideas for new (unpublished), creative metamagics to have this guy discover. Please include a basic summary and how it would be implemented in the rules.

Also, I'm trying to figure out a way to make him start going crazy little by little. I was thinking, each time he learned a technique he would either gain a mental flaw, or lose an intelligence point. Any ideas? I'd be glad to hear them.
Maybe have some a different free spirit show up each time he completes decyphering one and threaten him with various things if he dares learn one of them.
Herald of Verjigorm
Make the TN to understand how to do the ritual be less than half the TN to know what it does. Include titles that are based on ambiguous phrases put through translation software three or more times to be certain that no implied accuracy remains. Then, make a chart of things that he might learn to do and roll on it.

As a simple chart:
1: cause wild magic (as the rules in MitS)
2: conjure great form watcher spirits... just like watcher spirits but bigger
3: conjure free spirits of the intended type instead of "normal" spirits
4: 2nd edition style anchoring (as seen in books older than MitS)
5: randomly seeing into other times/realities (will lead to insanity, especially as it becomes more common)
6: transpose one magic point to adept powers (not of the PC's choosing)
7: sudden drastic change of magical nature (can still use current research materials, but with a +2 penalty)
8: trade bodies (including physical stats, artificial mental stat changes, and essense) with the nearest creature of similar physiology
9: ritual of thorns (see that bone anomaly SURGE effect)
10: turn nearest animal of lizard or higher complexity into something vaguely reminiscent of a drake
11: gain an unexpected critter power

or, if you really hate him
12: create a temporal vortex that dumps him onto a small island in the mid 1520's where he will have either grown old and died, or tried to escape and died. The book lost in the warp ends up exactly where it was found before his aquiring of it.
Jason Farlander
Here are a slew of tecniques I came up with some time ago. The majority of them have not been really playtested (I haven run a game recently involving initiates of grade 3 or more), but from a theoretical standpoint I think they're balanced by the difficulty in acquiring them. Out of all of them, I think I like blending the best.

Contingency Metamagic

Prerequisites: Anchoring, Quickening

This technique allows an initiate to emulate reusable anchoring foci using only his or her body. The total force of the anchoring foci being emulated must be equal to or less than the initiate's grade, and costs 3 times the total force of all emulated foci in karma to "create". Anything that directly involves the initiate's body (being wounded, physical contact with something, a spoken word) can be used as a trigger, otherwise an appropriate detection spell is required. Contingent spells must either target the initiate or have an area of effect centered on the initiate. If the initiate fails a linking test, that particular emulated anchoring focus is disrupted. Subtract the force of that focus from the total possible force allowed to the initiate. The initiate must alter his or her astral signature before he or she can recover those lost force points.

Empowering metamagic

Prerequisite: Centering

Empowering metamagic allows an initiate to increase the actual power of his or her spells through centering. Every two successes on a centering test (TN = original force of the spell) increases the effective force of a spell by one. The spell is treated in all respects as if it were cast at the raised force (including difficulty to resist/dispel, drain TN, and ability to affect objects) with one important difference: if the original force at which the spell was cast is less than or equal to the initiate's Magic attribute, Empowering will not cause the drain of the spell to become physical.

Note that adepts can learn this ability - rather than increasing the force of a spell, it increases the power of attacks made in astral combat by 1 per 2 successes.

Reinforcing metamagic

Prerequisites: Centering and one (or more) of Shielding, Reflecting, or Absorbing

Reinforcing metamagic allows an initiate to improve their use of shielding, reflecting, or absorbing through centering. Every two successes on a centering test provides one extra die for use in one of these forms of magical defense. Enhancing can only be applied once per allocation of the defensive ability.

Piercing metamagic

Prerequisite: Reinforcing

Piercing metamagic allows an initiate to apply his knowledge of the interaction between centering and magical defense to bypass the magical defenses of other mages. The initiate rolls a centering test with a base TN 4, modified by +1 for every grade higher the target is than the caster. If the target is of a lower grade (or uninitiated) the TN is 3. Every success eliminates one allocated die from spell defense, reflecting, or absorbing pools, while every two successes eliminate one allocated die from shielding pools. This can be applied simultaneously to a number of targets equal to the initiate's grade, though the TN for the tests is always based on the most difficult target to affect. In the event that the target(s) have multiple magical defenses active, allocated dice are removed from pools in the following order: spell defense, absorbing, reflecting, shielding.

Adepts can learn a variant of this technique, but, like Empowering, it functions somewhat differently. Rather than bypassing spell defenses, Adepts use Piercing to bypass magical armor and/or the Immunity to Normal Weapons power. Every success removes 1 point of magical armor, while every 2 successes remove 1 essence worth of armor granted by Immunity to Normal Weapons. In the event that both are possessed by the target, successes are applied first to magical armor and then to armor granted by the Immunity. Adepts need not know reinforcing in order to learn this technique (since, well, they can't learn reinforcing), but they must know empowering.

Awareness Metamagic

Prerequisite: Divining

The initiate with this technique is aware of any spells being cast at him or her, a moment before the spell takes effect. If the caster of the spell has the masking technique, the initiate must make a perception test against a TN of the caster's initiate grade +4 (-1 for every 3 full points of a spell's force). This allows the initiate to allocate spell defense (or shielding/reflecting/absorbing) dice in response to a spell being cast before the spell takes effect. The initiate can extend the use of this abiity to one a number of other people equal to his or her grade, but doing so requires concentration. Treat this ability as a sustained spell when applied to anyone except the initiate possessing the technique (+2 target numbers while in use).

Erasing Metamagic
Prerequisites: Cleansing, Masking

Characters with this ability have a more developed ability to erase the effects of magical activity on the astral plane. Erasing has the same effect on temporary background count as does cleansing, but can also be used to eliminate astral traces and signiatures that are not associated with any background count. The latter use is automatic and does not require a test.

Prerequisites: Cleansing, Masking

Blending metamagic allows a character to seem to become one with the surrounding mana. Astral detection of a character with blending is not automatic, even if the character is in the open. To see such a character, an observer must make a Perception test with a target number equal to 4 + initiate grade. A single success allows the viewer to notice the blended character. Assensing the character requires a separate assensing test, again with the target number increased by the character’s initiate grade. The character can blend foci whose total force does not exceed half his or her magic rating. If the total number of active foci exceeds this amount, that character can not use blending.

Group Masking
Prerequisites: Masking, Shielding

The character can apply his masking ability to a number of creatures or objects equal to his initiate grade. This allows the character to independently mask foci, making them much easier to conceal from astral observation. Alternatively, creatures and spirits without masking can be masked via use of this power. This power includes both passive and active uses of masking; active masking requires a separate masking test for each masked object or creature.

Prerequisites: Blending, Group Masking

This technique grants an ability similar to that possessed by nature spirits and some paranormal animals. The character with this ability can apply it to a number of creatures or equal to his or her initiate grade. Every creature so affected gains the benefits blending metamagic. Furthermore, target numbers to physically detect affected creatures are increased by the concealing initiate’s grade.

Masked Invoking

Prerequisites: Masking, Invoking

Any Great Form spirit conjured by a mage with Masked Invoking appears to astral scrutiny to be a normal spirit of its type. This disguise can be pierced in the same way as can normal masking, as if the perciever were trying to assense the conjurer. The conjurer can also actively mask the conjured spirit.

Spirit Possession

Prerequisites: Possession, Invoking

Spirit possession allows an initiate to use the possession ability on creatures that lack a physical form, or on the astral form of astrally projecting characters.

Remote possession

Prerequisite: Spirit Possession

Remote possession allows an initiate to conjure and control spirits with the possession power. The conjured spirit loses all other innate abilities, and possessing a creature uses up all of the spirit's services. The spirit can possess a creature for a number of hours equal to its force.
Kanada Ten
Also, I'm trying to figure out a way to make him start going crazy little by little. I was thinking, each time he learned a technique he would either gain a mental flaw, or lose an intelligence point. Any ideas? I'd be glad to hear them.

Require that he bond the book like a focus in order to learn the metamagic locked within. Sleeping in the book, an Imp awakens to his bonding. Have each bonding cost be related to the power of the metamagic, each bonding making the Imp stronger - though it acts like his ally if discovered.

Infusion (requires Invoking) Using a ritual similar to Invoking, a summoner can bond Watcher spirits with a physical form in the same manner as giving an ally a host body.

Attunment (Spell) This metamagic works like Attunment on a specific spell. The karma cost is based on the Force.

Deflection Similar to Reflecting, this metamagic allow the user to redirect a spell at a new target within his or her LOS.

Innate Spell (Requires Attunment (Spell)). Once one attunes a spell he or she can learn to make the spell innate, and thus suffer no drain. By spending karma equal to the desired force, a magician can cast the attuned spell a number of time equal to his or her magic rating (though the casting force is reduced by one after each casting).
This stuff is great =) Keep 'em rolling, I appreciate this a lot.

As far as the going crazy thing, there have been some good ideas so far. I would also like to figure out a way to simulate the craziness like everytime he makes a perception check, there will be a random chance that he sees something totally weird that really isn't there.

The translation idea was great. Just to see how it would work, I did "Take no Drain", and put it through about 6 languages and it came out:

"To around origin to do not bear(carry)"

Herald of Verjigorm
I use that method when trying to overstate a PC (or NPC) whose english skill is less than three but has at least 5 in a different language.
You could make the "glimpses of beyond" more a consequence of using any of the benefits than a result in itself. Just include a few extra details to his astral perception tests that no one else faces. Start off with them pretty rare, but eventually make it so he's seeing the kinds of things without astrally percieving. Then one day, he's spotted asking a lamp shade for directions to the East Pole and will probably end up in a padded room shortly after.

Allows the initiate to use area of effect spells such as mana ball in such a way as to not effect one or more people within the area of the spell. The TN to exclude people is 2 + the number you wish to exclude, and for each success, one person is unaffected. For example, if three hostages are in the middle of a circle of 5 enemy combatants, and you want to fire off a Manaball at the group without hitting the hostages, you'd need three success at a target number of 5 to not hit any of them.

If you want to make it sound cryptic, the babelfish multi language translation turns "Exclude friendly targets from harmful spells" into "The friendly objective is assembled the noxiousness, excludes."

can't check those now (damned websense), but will check them out when I get home, thanks =)
There are a lot of criter/spirit powers that could be made into metamagics (hell, Horse shamans can learn Movement as a metamagic already). Also, check out Ancient History's web page for a listing of "plot device"/NPC metamagics. Even if you won't let the character use it, the info should be valuable.
as much as some might hate this idea, you could have some ED spells in there as well, especially the higher circle ones...maybe also have spell weaving as one of the metamagics...

that way, some of the IEs might get a little perturbed at him discovering all their tricks and come a-lookin' for him...

as for the insanity thing, have him start hearing voices of people he may/may not know, and have them tell him stuff - sometimes the warnings are real, othertimes not...visions can work the same way...have them happen at inopportune times, like when he's trying to concentrate for spellcasting, imposing a +2 target modifier...have him start seeing things that aren't there, like a big bug sitting on someone's shoulder, with mandibles going through the person's ears sucking their brains out - you know, that kind of stuff...
what was the nebis title of the book, again?

Have the book contain the ritual for the Tattoo Charm, complete with instructions for how to banish the ancient evil if the tattoo-bearers can be found.

QUOTE (mfb)
what was the nebis title of the book, again?

Are you asking me what the title of the newbie's book is?

If so, it doesn't have a title, just a mason's symbol with a snake coiled through it on the cover.
Herald of Verjigorm
No, he was asking a detail about Nebis. I don't recall it having a book, and can't immediately find a reference to one either. However, that's no reason not to have "tattoos of power" be recorded in such an odd tome.

Tattoos: each tattooed location provides a +2 to an attribute related to that body part.
Arms (can be done to both for double bonus): strength
Legs (also can be doubled): quickness
Torso: body
Head: intelligence

If this was all included in the book, it would take at least three entries:
1) the actual tattooing
2) empowering all such tattoos (by attempting to conjure Nebis)
3) "unleashing the full might of the tattoos" or some other misleading term, for this last stage actually causes the tattooed sections to unite into the physical form of Nebis
Jason consider those Metamagics well and truly poached!!

Like Empowering, Piercing and Awareness the most. Piercing the most, i like the idea of an Uber Bad guy unraveling some else's metamagic.

Crimson Jack
Ditto. Good stuff, Jason. I'm lifting the lot of them myself. notworthy.gif
i was acutally joking/making an evil suggestion. a search of "nebis" on the forums should, i think, explain all. or a glance at AH's site, under horrors.
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