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[Ex3] In which we brainstorm Sorcerous Initiations

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  • [Ex3] In which we brainstorm Sorcerous Initiations

    The Five Station Path

    Ask most members of the Dynasty to think of a sorceror, and they will conjour an image of a woman, robed in azure and emerald, bearing charms of beaten bronze and staves of lightning struck oak.
    They will regale you with tales of graduates from the Heptagram; their odd ways of moving and speaking, their curious rituals, and the queer sacrafices they have made in their pursuit of their art.

    The Five Station Path is one of the few remaining means of studying to become initiated into the arts of Sorcery. Preserved through the fall of the First Age by the Sidereals, it now serves as the foundation of formal sorcerous study in the Realm.

    Initiation into the Five Station Path is characterized by a metaphorical journey through five stations; Humility, Study, Experience, Fear and Sacrifice. The first four Stations may be approached in any order, but the station Sacrifice always comes at the end.

    Shaping Rituals

    Sorcerors of the Five Stations understand the value of preparation; by dint of careful study, they can ready their mind and body to call forth a specific spell at a moment's notice. They may spend five hours studying a specific spell to prepare it. If they do, for the next week, they gain three sorcerous motes which may only be used to cast the prepared spell. Once spent, these motes are lost until another study session re-prepares the spell, unless the prepared spell is one of the sorceror's controll spells, in which case the motes return at the end of the scene.

    The ultimate lesson of the Five Stations is the question- what will you sacrifice for your sorcery. Once per scene, you may offer up some significant sacrifice; this may be literal, such as destroying some valued object, or more figurative, such as swearing to take or avoid some action or vice. If the Storyteller approves of the sacrifice, the sorceror immediately gains (Essence) sorcerous motes. Should they fail to uphold their self-imposed geas, then Creation will bend against them; treat this as having broken an Eclipse caste oath. Stories are replete of sorcerors tricked into violating their oaths and being struck down therefrom.

    Some sorcerors are known for their curious habit of hop-skip walking, taking care to move in diagonals or curves, or to advance with an almost dancer-like gait on the balls of their feet. They are practicing Pacing the Stars; by moving in well understood patterns, they learn to coax Creation to their whim more easily. When using a Shape Sorcery action in combat, if you Pace the Stars, reduce your Defense by 1 for the turn, and add +1 die to their pool. If they are shaping their prepared spell, instead add one automatic success. Students of the Heptagram learn this ritual as 'Walking the Dragon Lines', but the effect is the same.

    Merits

    Ritual Tools (** or ****): Sorcerors of the Five Stations frequently make use of ritual tools and implements- most frequently staves, khakkhara, or prayer strips. A sorceror who makes use of their ritual tools while taking Shape Sorcery actions adds +1 die to their pool. Additionally, some sorcerors can make use of artifact tools, allowing them to draw forth powerful Evocations from them.

    Sorcerous Society (* to *****): The Five Station Path is unusual in that it is so formalized; most students of it learn in classes with fellow students. Almost inevitably, secret societies form within these classes, bonds which are only strengthend once the sorcerors return to the wider world, where their eccentric habits often leave them socially snubbed. This merit indincates membership in such a society; at one dot, the society is relatively small- it may be as little as yourself and one fellow you keep in contact with via letters or infallible messangers. More dots indincates societies of greater numbers and deeper resources. Membership is not free, however; while your society may be able to help you with your studies, Projects and other workings, your fellow society members are likely to call upon you as well.


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  • #2
    Ar Tonelico-inspired song magic needs to be a thing.

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    • #3
      For my Exorcist concept, I was thinking a sorcerous path that has you recite a prayer that invokes the authoriy of Unconquered Sun, giving you sorcerous motes for the scene. You also get bonuses to spells that attack CoDs, or bind and/or cadt outghost, spirits and demons. Just not sure of the mechanics yet

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      • #4
        I really want to develop a blood magic initiation. Ritually spilling someone else's blood releasing power, and more power if the sacrifice actually dies.


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        • #5
          I've been thinking of one that borrows the basic idea behind the example shaping ritual in the book where you prepare sorcerous motes ahead of time through study, only in this case you acquire them by completing a basic project and rolling Intelligence + Crafts; it only works for Crafts involving the use of fire in their creation. It would be called Seared by Sacred Fire, and it came from when the student of a group of metallurgist-monks in the Far North burned his upper body in their holy forge terribly during instruction. He saw enlightenment in the fire and felt it in the pain.

          Also it's an excuse to steal The Burning Name from the Ifrit Lord initiation without having to kneel to something else.


          Revlid wrote:
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Aiden View Post
            Also it's an excuse to steal The Burning Name from the Ifrit Lord initiation without having to kneel to something else.
            Eh. Given the heights of power a Solar can reach, I'd be disappointed if you couldn't, at some point, fluff it as the Ifrit Lord swearing allegiance to you instead of the other way 'round. Though it would still require you to be some kind of shining hero. Ifrits still seem to have their "Champions of Justice (as they see it)"-theme going on.


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            • #7
              Ridden by the Damned

              The Sorcerer's soul was subsumed and ridden by Nephwracks and shades to a degree that left it cracked and open for the energies of the underworld to pour in, transforming cracks into necrotic teeth that can channel the energies of Sorcery/Necromancy (not sure yet if Necromancy is going to be separate from Sorcery or just a different initiation + fluff).

              Shaping Rituals:

              - Whenever the character acts as a conduit for an underworldly creature, either through possession or acting as a medium, make a reflexive contested willpower roll between the creature and the sorcerer. If the sorcerer wins, they gain sorcerous motes equal to the successes on the roll and the creature loses that many motes (if no motes are available, the difference is lost). These motes last until the end of the story and can never exceed the character's permanent willpower rating.

              - At night or in a Shadowland, the Sorcerer's Po soul awakens and grows vicious and hungry, imposing a hunger that can only be satiated by blood and flesh, represented as a Major Intimacy : Flesh (hunger). Whenever the character consumes living flesh or bathes in fresh blood, they roll Stamina + Occult gaining a number of sorcerous motes equal to the successes, up to the amount of lethal or aggravated health levels that the gore represents, which last until the end of the scene. Each such success drains the life-force from the meet and blood, turning an appropriate amount of it to ash, rot or thin tar.


              Merits:
              Voracious Soul (** or ****) : While being possessed, the character can call upon the motes of the possessing entity as though they were Sorcerous Motes, and can override the being's control to take Shape Sorcery actions to cast the character's Control Spell. The 4-dot version permits the casting of any spell in this way.

              (comments and suggestions are welcome)
              Last edited by Fata-Ku; 10-25-2015, 01:38 PM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aiden View Post
                Also it's an excuse to steal The Burning Name from the Ifrit Lord initiation without having to kneel to something else.
                Showing respect to a teacher shouldn't be something a Solar is above.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post

                  Showing respect to a teacher shouldn't be something a Solar is above.
                  Alternatively, you could rename that initiation path "Punked an Ifrit Lord and Rolled Him for the Secrets of Sorcery," if your character is the kind who would swindle the secrets of sorcery from a mighty spirit.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HK-87 View Post
                    Ar Tonelico-inspired song magic needs to be a thing.
                    Thinking on this: is there anything in Linguistics dealing with constructed languages? Because if we're talking song magic inspired by Ar Tonelico then we can't possibly leave out some benefit based on speaking Hymnos or some other "invented" language. So maybe one of the perks of the initiation is that you receive a "language of the soul" drawn from your magic and impossible for other people to learn without being taught directly by you. So yay for you and your associates, but too bad for anyone trying to listen in on your conversations.

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                    • #11
                      Past Life

                      The Solar's sorcerous might trickles from the ancestral memories of her Exalted soul.

                      Shaping Rituals:

                      - Whenever the Solar's anima reaches a new level for the first time during a scene, the Solar gains (Essence) sorcerous motes. These motes last until the end of the scene.
                      - When the Solar begins casting a spell, she gains a number of sorcerous motes equal to the rating of any Artifact she holds which was wielded by her past incarnation. The Solar may gain this benefit once per scene per artifact.
                      - When the Solar directly basks in the light of the sunrise, she rolls her full Appearance + Occult Excellency. Every success grants her one sorcerous mote, which lasts until sunset. Double 9s if the Solar is standing in a standard Solar-aspect manses or demesne, or double 8s if she is standing in a greater in a greater manse or demesne.

                      Merits:
                      This pact does not grant any particular merits. Instead, the Solar may Purchase Innate Merits that are somehow related to her past life.



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                      • #12
                        I wrote this for an artifact I worked on (but never playtested)

                        Battlefury Meditation
                        Shu’s pages describe a trance which charges the mind by stilling the body. This ritual is a simple action which allows the sorcerer to exchange two initiative per sorcererous mote. This ritual can be used once per scene, but can be reset by raising initiative past 20.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HK-87 View Post
                          Ar Tonelico-inspired song magic needs to be a thing.
                          Ask and ye shall receive. That said, this is my first home-brew ever, so let me know what you think, everyone.

                          The Song of Creation
                          Among members of the Irai on the coast of the Sea of Dreams, it is widely held that Creation is a work wrought from song, and Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style is one proof of this. A sorcerer who is initiated into the Song of Creation knows the truth of this statement, for her soul sings in harmony with the greatest of all music. Emotion, song, and bonds intertwine tightly with one another for these sorcerer-singers, and the emotional ties they forge with those around them strengthens their ability to shape and research spells.

                          Initiation into the Song is a different journey for each sorcerer. Sometimes, a sorcerer-singer hears the sound of Creation simply by listening to everything that exists around her. Other times, something in Creation strikes the sorcerer as so beautiful that it must be expressed via song. Most frequently, however, a person hears the song of another soul first, reaching and hoping for something – this is the beginning of the discovery of the Song of Creation.

                          Shaping Rituals
                          All souls sing in harmony with the ever unfolding ultimate hymn that is Creation, and sorcerers who initiate into the Song of Creation know this better than most. To them, the emotion-sounds of others have the power to uplift and empower them, while disharmonious feelings might disrupt their concentration. When another character with whom a sorcerer shares a mutual positive Minor or better Intimacy (whether to one another or to someone else) within two range bands is actively working towards the benefit of or in the defense of that Intimacy, her shape sorcery actions count as having one extra success. If, however, there is another character for whom the sorcerer has a Minor or better negative intimacy within two range bands and there exists no character who fulfills the requirements above, the sorcerer takes a -1 penalty to her shape sorcery actions. (I’m also thinking about maybe doing some more complicated stuff with the intimacies, but I don’t have the time to expand on it now).

                          Time spent with another in joy strengthens the soul, as all sorcerer-singers know. When a sorcerer-singer spends a scene with someone who shares a mutual positive intimacy with her, whether this takes the shape of an afternoon alone with a lover, a long discussion with an old friend, or visiting her parents and sharing old stories, she receives (Intimacy Level) sorcerous motes until week is out. Once spent, these motes do not reoccur until another scene is spent with a positive intimacy, unless they are used to cast her control spell, in which case they resurge after the scene ends.

                          Merits
                          Music is Feeling (***) – A sorcerer with this merit may use (Perception + Performance) to read intentions once per scene. She also gains an additional +1 to attempts to inspire emotions that are in line with any of her positive intimacies.

                          Hymns are Power (***) – With two dots in this merit, a sorcerer may substitute her Performance for her Occult when using shape sorcery actions.
                          Last edited by *End; 11-06-2015, 10:40 PM. Reason: Grammar errors. Oopsies.


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                          • #14
                            Riven Beyond Flesh

                            Those who dwell too close to the yasal fields of the deep south must take great care. The faintest yellow tinge to water or crystal sparkle to food is the only warning that it is tainted with fragments of gods and demons trapped in crystals worn to dust. For the vigilant it comes to little, a yellowing of the skin or eyes and perhaps a propensity to hear voices in the wyld-born wind. For the desperate or unlucky it is a sentence of slow and terrible death. Those who inhale and imbibe too much slowly go mad as countless speakers utter half formed words in their minds and their bodies are torn apart by half formed amalgamations of spirits that can no longer be made whole.

                            For some though... for some it is the path to something so much more. Perhaps they assimilated it more slowly, perhaps the mix of sundered spirits was balanced in some auspicious way. For these lucky few, the yasal fragments accumulate and align in a majestic harmony that opens their eyes to the secrets of creation and their souls to its living essence. These yellow sorcerers occupy a place neither man nor ghost in the legends of the desert, appearing like ghosts from among the most downtrodden to upset the social order or ruling as sultans of spirit-courts full of wonder and power.

                            Shaping Rituals:
                            - Once per scene the character may draw a single sorcerous mote from every spirit they have summoned or bound as a familiar. After having been used in this way spirits are more pliant but less efficacious, becoming unable to use their native charms.

                            - The bodies of failed yellow sorcerers, or the corpses of their peers, can be a source of much power. Each such corpse stores a number of sorcerous motes equal to the health levels it possessed in life. Drawing these motes forth causes the bodies of the dead to slowly crumble back to the yasal dust that once marked them and any damage to the body also reduces the number of sorcerous motes it contains. A yellow sorcerer wishing to make use of such a resource rolls their Charisma + Occult and draws one sorcerous mote per ten on their roll, inflicting an appropriate amount of damage. Rumor has it that the oldest yellow sorcerers maintain crypts full of such bodies, carefully preserved against time, for use in their most taxing rituals. Finding such a hidden vault would be the gate to tremendous riches and sure to bring down terrible wrath if the owner ever discovers such a theft.

                            Merits: (No idea of what dot level)
                            - Golden Ichor: Having incorporated yasal into their whole body, the blood of a yellow sorcerer becomes a vessel for spirits. They may treat their own body as a yasal crystal that cannot be lost or stolen. However, if more than half of their health levels are filled with lethal damage any spirit they have bound in themselves is automatically freed and they may not bind a new spirit until at least half their health levels do not contain lethal damage.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by *End View Post
                              Ask and ye shall receive. That said, this is my first home-brew ever, so let me know what you think, everyone.
                              This is an excellent beginning. Maybe for a third ritual the constructed language thing I mentioned could only be learned by characters who share a positive intimacy with the sorcerer?

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