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How to handle Dark-Fantasy-Magic in Chronicles of Darkness?

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  • How to handle Dark-Fantasy-Magic in Chronicles of Darkness?

    Hi Folks,

    I would like to use the Chronicles of Darkness System for some sessions set in my homebrew Dark-Fantasy-World. I want to include ritualistic magic like demon-summoning or necromancy, and maybe magical schools that bring forth these practices. Shamanism might also be an important aspect of my setting. The point is: I don't want to limit my players and therefore give them many options to create their sorcerers, summoners, priests, and shamans. My world in general is loosely inspired by Karl-Edward Wagner's Kane.

    I know there are many ways to portrait magic in CofD. It would be great to get a glimpse of your preferred approaches on this topic. How would you handle this kind of Magic in your campaigns? Which Merits would you choose and why? All your ideas on this are very much appreciated.

  • #2
    Easiest way would be the use the rules for interacting with ephemerals in the core book. Has all you need for magicians researching and performing dark rites to conjure and bind demonic beings, spirits from beyond, and necromancy.


    Genius templates: Super Science Mini-Template for Demon: the Descent

    Oracle the Endbringers: Time-Manipulator Fan-Splat

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    • #3
      Elaborating on the above, to make it a practical magic system:

      Magician
      1. Researches the entity they want to summon
      2. Research their Ban and Bane
      3. Construct a Binding from their Bane
      4. Set up conditions to make it Resonant, then Open inside the Binding.
      5. Once the entity is trapped, engage in Social Manuvering to pursuade it toward an action. Bribery is recommended for Soft Leverage.
      6. Once persuaded, the entity can use its power right then, be released to perform a task, or Fetter them to something to perform a task later (you may want to Fudge which Manifestations your being has, depending on need here).
      7. Hope everything goes according to plan and/or deal with the consequences.


      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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      • #4
        Other materials that may be of use:

        Human Occultists in the Werewolf subforum (2E)
        • Thuamaturges in Second Sight (1E)
        • Witches in Hunter: the Vigil, Witch Finders (1E)
        • Cultist Ritual Magic from the Things That Should Not Be section of Second Sight (1E)
        • Ritual Sorcerer in Dark Eras Companion: Fall of Isireion (2E)
        • Relic making from Reliquary (1E) (This is more "make a magic item", rather than direct magic, but it may work. You could also abstract out the item and make any "relics" a part of a being)

        You could also adapt any of the "power" sets from the Game-lines to serve as mortal magic.
        • Theban and Cruac Blood Magic from vampire (for Cruac, replace Vitae costs with Lethal damage from blood-letting).
        • Werewolf Rites (just open up Pack Rites to anyone bonded to a Totem, and make the Tells and Merits that grant access to Pack Rites instead offer access to Wolf Rites).
        • Mage Rotes (I tried something like Rote Sorcery to offer access to the awesome power of Mage spells with restrictions).
        • Transmutations - Alchemists (Promethean: the Created 2E already has rules for Antagonist Alchemists - you just need to assign XP costs).
        • Contracts - Hedge Sorcerers (Contract users - originally developed under the earlier preview rules, but it can be adapted to the current 2E with a few changes)
        • Ceremonies - Necromancers (Geist 2E is already going to support rules for mortal users of Ceremonies)
        • Embeds - Offspring (2E Demon-blooded have access to Embeds already)
        • Nightmares - Primordial Witches (Post pending - Basically they use Beast Nightmares)
        • Influences and Numina - Minor Template Mages
        Last edited by Vent0; 10-30-2018, 08:41 AM.


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          • Ritual Sorcerer in Dark Eras Companion: Fall of Isireion (2E)
          I'm a big fan of these mechanics, particularly if you disregard the recommended "strength" of the rituals in the original text (although those limitations are somewhat inconsistent with several of the example rites listed anyway). I even ran a short Ritual Sorcerer campaign at one point with the Fall of Isireion rules, which I really enjoyed.

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          • #6
            Thank you all for your ideas and insight. Demon summoning is definetly effective, and the list of source material is very helpful.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Starken View Post
              Thank you all for your ideas and insight. Demon summoning is definetly effective, and the list of source material is very helpful.
              If Demon summoning is your thing, I recommmend you WoD: Inferno. It handles everything: researching the demon, preparing the ritual, bargaining with the entity, several powers based on Christian vices, and the toll to pay, etc..







              Last edited by Raistlin; 11-04-2018, 07:21 PM.

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              • #8
                It's First Edition; but yeah.

                Also, I have a hack for Alchemists (see my sig).

                And Hunter's Endowments are a great source for mortal magic. Benedictions give you modern-day clerical magic; Castigations are all about dealing with demons; the Les Mysteres Conspiracy has an Endowment centered around letting yourself be empowered by spirits; and so on.
                Last edited by Dataweaver; 11-08-2018, 05:44 PM.


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