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[Homebrew] Abyssal Arcanum

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  • #31
    That's a perfectly valid Scelesti view, though it does clash with the idea that the Abyss has always existed.

    The Abyss has never been about -just- madness and chaos though. Heck, those are usually just byproducts.


    • #32
      2E is out now. I'm wondering how this will be updated...

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


      • #33
        Right, so I've updated the original post to a 2E format, but I've put the original here for anyone who still wants to see it.

        The following came out of a bit of fridge logic as to how one could easily and simply represent Abyss-using mages. The simplest way I could think of was to make Abyssal magic function mechanically like regular Mage Arcana. Obviously, this is intended more for mages directly manipulating the Abyss than just making deals. Conjunctional spells with the actual Arcana would, of course, be warped perversions of the original Arcanum's effect. So, if you need an antagonist with a keen, intuitive control over the forces of the Abyss, I suggest you use this.

        The Abyss is a realm of madness and impossibility, where that which may not ever be resides, shadows without shape. The Abyss is a collection of Supernal Symbols with no antecedent in reality, shapes without shadows. The Abyss is the Lie, shapelessness without shadow and shadow given shape. The Awakened know and fear the Abyss, as it is the bane of their existence. However, some have found that there is power to be gained from this anathema. Deals with Acamoth, deadly Abyssal items, and yet darker secrets have been yielded from the World of Lies, and those who choose to can dig yet deeper.

        Some are born into this power, molded by it. Such Magi are called Nightmare People, and they are spoken of only in whispers, even by the mightiest mages, as their command of the Abyss is so intuitive that if it weren't for the Abyss's fundamental impossibility, one might describe it as "natural".

        Merit: Nightmare Person (•••)
        You are a Nightmare Person, one of those who Awoke to a much more sinister force than the Oracles' Watchtowers. Your Awakening was horrifying and traumatic, taking you intothe depths of the Abyss to sign your name on a bizarre tower that defies all description. While you are less talented with true Supernal magic, you have nearly unlimited potential for manipulating the forces of the Abyss. You no longer have a Path, and instead you walk the Path of the Abyss. Prime becomes your Inferior Arcanum, and you have only one Ruling Arcanum: the Abyss. Your Paradox Dice Pool is determined as if your Gnosis was one lower, and your spells cast with the Abyss Arcanum no longer automatically invite Paradox. When you do invite Paradox, it is more likely to work in your favor. Your nature as a Nightmare Person doesn't reveal itself to Mage Sight, except as extremely subtle fluctations in your Nimbus, but a Prime or Abyssal Unveiling spell specifically designed to do so can reveal the truth.
        Drawbacks: You are subtly unnerving to those sensitive to the Supernal world. Any rolls to persuade or interact with the Awakened, Sleepwalkers (excluding those with non-Mage templates), and Proximi lose the 10-again quality.

        The Arcanum of the Abyss:
        The Abyss itself is not as different from the rest of Mage reality as may would tell you. It is, like the Supernal Realms, a world made up of symbols representing the perfect truth of a concept. Unlike the Supernal Truths, however, the Truths of the Abyss are not true in the Fallen World. That doesn't make them unusable, however; in fact, the False Truths of the Abyssal Realm are some of the most potent secrets a Mage could wield. In the presence of Abyssal powers, fires cease to warm, math doesn't add up, and words lose meaning. The dangers of Abyssal spells are great, as all such spells have Paradox risk, regardless of whther they are covert or vulgar, but they The Abyssal Arcanum is an Inferior Arcanum for all Paths.

        Abyssal Mage Sight: Nightmare People, owing to their unique Path, havean unusual form of Mage Sight. It can be disorienting at first, as the symbols that Nightmare People see are apparently random and disjointed, but eventually they learn to see connections between them. In truth, those connections are utterly false, and imagined in the minds of the Nightmare People alone. Despite this, they work. The world of magic shows up like a photo negative run through Google's Deep Dream, with the morbid dial set to 11, but a Nightmare Person can make sense of it just as any other Mage can make sense of their own visions.

        Example Effects
        • 1-dot Practices (•)
          • Knowing: Discerning Abyssal presences, reading Abyssal Symbols
          • Compelling: Shape Abyssal matter, awaken an Abyssal creature, turn existing Paradox against a specific person
          • Unveiling: Gaining sensory perception of Abyssal phenomena, sense connections to the Abyss

        Warp Paradox (Abyss •, optional Prime •)
        The caster weaves the forces of the Abyss, causing Paradox to flare up or die down as they choose. This spell must be readied to be released in response to a spell cast by another Mage or Proximus. This spell can either reduce or increase Paradox.
        Raising Paradox: In this mode, covert spells are rendered Vulgar, and spells that invite Paradox add 1 success to their total if the Paradox roll succeeds.
        Reducing Paradox: In this mode, subtract 1 die from the target's Paradox dice pool. If this would reduce it to a chance die, then the Paradox chance is totally negated.
        This spell is Vulgar, and the target of this spell can feel the corrupt aura of it on them regardless of whether they successfully resist it, unless this spell is cast with conjunctional Prime to cover the Abyssal signature.
        Practice: Compelling
        Action: Instant (readied)
        Duration: Transitory
        Aspect: Vulgar or Covert
        Dice Pool: Gnosis + Abyss vs. Wisdom
        1 Mana
        Left-Handed Rote: Evil Eye
        Dice Pool: Presence + Subterfuge + Abyss
        Nightmare People are infamous in legend for inflicting Paradox on even the most mundane spells, turning a mage's own spells against them.
        • 2-dot Practices (••)
          • Ruling: Worsening or mitigating Paradox, applying dice tricks to Paradox rolls, Activating an Abyssal item
          • Veiling: Hide Abyssal sympathies, disguise one Arcanum as another
          • Shielding: Protecting against the effects of Paradox, protecting against attacks by making them "untrue"

        Liar's Shield (Abyss ••)
        The user of this spell makes attacks against them inexplicably fail. Sure shots miss, telling blows barely make contact, and incredible blasts seem to bend around them. This spell is arguably the most frustrating of shielding spells, because in the end, it boils down to a magely form of children on the playground simply shouting "nuh-uh!" at each other. The attacks simply become less true.
        The user gains an armor value of X/0, where X is their dots in the Abyssal Arcanum. You can expend 1 mana while casting thisto have it last 1 day instead of 1 scene. Successes are used to resist dispelling of this spell, as well as resisting damaging spells that don't deal aggravated damage. This spell doesn't apply to grapples, but it still protects against damage sufferedwhenoverpowered during a grapple.
        Practice: Shielding
        Action: Instant
        Duration: Prolonged
        Aspect: Covert
        Dice Pool: Gnosis + Abyss
        Cost: 1 Mana (optional)
        Left-Handed Rote: Blessing of the Acamoth
        Dice Pool:
        Intelligence + Occult + Abyss
        As the name implies, this Rote is sometimes taught to promising Scelesti by Acamoth. By invoking the name of the Acamoth that taugh the rote, the Scelestus seeks protection from harm, all the while strengthening the influence of their Hellish teacher.
        • 3-dot Practices (•••)
          • Weaving: Transfer properties from one item to anoth in impossible ways (e.g. freezing fire), control lesser Abyssal creatures, summon creatures from the Abyss
          • Fraying: Harm or destroy abyssal creatures
          • Perfecting: Increase the powers of an Abyssal being, reinforcing Abyssal resonance

        Tongues (Abyss •••, Mind •••)
        Language behaves strangely near the Mage. It's not that it breaks down, per se, but it ceases to follow normal rules. All those within sensory rangeof the Mage casting this spell losethe ability to understand normal speech, which just sounds like random babble. However, any who just randomly babble while focusing what they mean to say will be understood perfectly byany creature normally capable of understanding language, ignoringnormal linguistic barriers. This spell is often used when Scelesti areworkingin concert to confuse and disable groups of enemies.
        Practice: Weaving
        Action: Instant and Contested; Each target resists separately.
        Duration: Prolonged
        Aspect: Vulgar
        Dice Pool: Gnosis + Abyss or Mind
        Cost: 1 Mana
        Left-Handed Rote: Curse of Babel
        Dice Pool:
        Manipulation + Empathy + Abyss or Mind
        Often used by Scelesti who claim that mainstream Orders are consumed by Hubris, this Rote is used to take them down a peg, destroying their ability to communicate and organize. The most terrifying part is that the gibberish spoken under this curse are eerily similar to High Speech.
        • 4-dot Practices (••••)
          • Patterning: Changing an Abyssal effect into a different one, creating an Abyssal illusion, severely worsen Paradox
          • Unravelling: Harm abyssal creatures, remove a Paradox effect, grant temporary Sleepwalker status

        Crush Quiescence (Abyss ••••, Prime ••)
        While most uses of the Abyssal Arcanum are terrifying to behold, this spell goes a long way to explaining its appeal. A Sleeper affected with this spell has the shard of Abyss within them crushed into dormancy for a brief time, temporarily granting Sleepwalker status. The target doesn't impose a Paradox risk, and doesn't cause Dissonance. Mages argue whether this is a suppression of the Abyss, or its total domination of the subject, but this spell can be invaluable for assaying very dire Paradox. You can spend 1 Mana per target to make it last a full day instead of 1 Scene.
        Practice: Unraveling
        Action: Extended (Target = Targets' Integrity)
        Duration: Prolonged
        Aspect: Covert
        Dice Pool: Gnosis + (Abyss + Prime)/2
        Cost: Optional 1 Mana/target
        Left-Handed Rote: Initiation Rite
        Dice Pool:
        Manipulation + Occult + Abyss
        Abyssal Mages often use this to "initiate" Sleeper members of their subordinate cults, introducing them to magic Paradox-free magic. Those that Awaken are often horrified to learn how perilous Supernal magic really is, but by then it's too late.
        • 5-dot Practices (•••••)
          • Making: Creating Abyssal creatures from nothing, creating short-lived Abyssal items, creating an Abyssal verge, imposing Sleeper status on a Sleepwalker
          • Unmaking: Destroying an Abyssal creature entirely, Temporary immunity to Paradox, creating a Sleepwalker.

        Innumeracy (Abyss •••••)
        This spell causes utter madness, as mathematics break down entirely. Rolls succeed on odd prime numbers. 10-again becomes 3-again, 9-again becomes 3-and-7-again, and 8-again becomes odd-primes-again. Circles are comprised of 90 degrees, meaning that anything capable of turning 45 degrees can make a complete U-turn. Health boxes are affected backward, with the rightmost boxes filling first (existing boxes aren't moved over, and wound penalties don't apply unless they were already in effect, or new wounds are afflicted in the leftmost boxes). Finally, any attempt to move in a straight line, perform simple arithmetic, or activate a spell that has sympathetic range requires a Wits + Science + Abyss roll. Those affected by the Madness condition receive 3-and-7-again on this roll. Effects that change Target Numbers (such as some powers possessed by Mummies) require a a success vs.the caster in a Clash of Wills to function.
        Practice: Making
        Action: Extended (Target = User's Wisdom + Composure)
        Duration: Prolonged
        Aspect: Vulgar
        Dice Pool: Gnosis + Abyss
        Cost: 3 Mana
        Left-Handed Rote: The King's Call
        Dice Pool:
        Resolve + Occult + Abyss
        This Rote, known only to the mightiest Scelesti, is regarded as proof of thesuperiority of Abyssal magic by some, and proof that the Scelesti should be wiped out by others. According to rumour, this bizarre rite is performed annually by particularly mad Scelesti in an attempt to coax themost powerful Abyssals into the Fallen World, especially one known as the King of Paupers, who once ruled over primitive peoples as a tyrranical god-king before being banished back home.
        • Imperial Practices (6+ dots)
          • ​Dynamics: Corrupting Supernal magic, Influencing Awakenings toward the Abyss, creating spontaneous Paradox in response to specific conditions.
          • Entities: Creating Abyssal Hallows, altering the fundamental un-nature of Abyssal beings, Grant Abyssal powers
          • Excision: Remove a Sleeper's Abyssal Shard, Sever a target's connections to the Supernal, Immortality through making Death False, Destroying spells of any Arcanum (conjunctional with the intended Arcanum), Removing Paradox for non-Imperial spells
          • Dominion: Create a portal to the Abyss, Forcibly change a normal Mage into a Nightmare Person, Bind Abyssals as Ananke, Create Abyssal Intrusions (e.g. the Nemesis Continuum)
          • Transfiguration: Y͎̙͛ͮ̃̓͊̎̓O̤̯̦̤̥͂ͅU̘̎͊̚͜ ̣̏̍͂S͇̠͈͎̠͛͋̿͒Ẹ̘̲͖ͮ́͛̀r̨͉͇̙͓͊̔I̮̩̺̗̤͗́̚0ͫͣͪ0̻̖̥͚͘ ͎͖S̱̠̺͍͖̻̥ͫͯ̏̒̈́ͩ̐L̷̳̽ͥ̾ͫ̐̚Y͈͛̊̄͒͊ d̊͜O̖̺͒̋́̿̏̚n̥̫̏͟'̺̙͖̪͇͆t͇̠̻ ͔̦̠̪͎̍ͅW̪͚͕͖̳͍͂a̛̖͚NͨT̍͊ͫ̾͂҉̰͕̠̺ ̘̙͉ͮ͒͜t͈̟͓̃ͮ̀̈́O͔̞̣̪̽ͯ̚ ̫͔͇̦͚̎̂̽ͫ̂ͤ̍k̘̳̭̹̫͈̪̇̓͌̈̈͂N̘ͦ͑ͧͣO͋̿ͭͥ̀w̠ͬ̆ͤ.̙̘̠̥͊̕ ̦̭̳ ̡̝͔͒

        Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.


        • #34
          Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
          Initiate of Abyss (•)

          Weave Bedlam: Influence Paradox in progress
          Reveal The Abyss: Expose Abyssal Magic
          Paradox Unleashed: Paradox becomes difficult to contain
          Wrong Place, Wrong Time: An unexpected Sleeper walks in
          See Lies: Perceive falsehoods

          Apprentice of Abyss (••)

          Abyssal Brand: Inflict an Abyssal Condition without need for Paradox
          Paradox Flare: Apply 9-again to a Paradox Roll
          Quiescence Abaited: Protect sleepers from Quiescence-related Breaking Points
          Veil of Lies: Hide Abyssal signatures
          Liar's Tongue: Lie perfectly

          Disciple of Abyss (•••)

          Intensify Paradox: Increase Paradox Reach
          Essential Corruption: Warp the effects of magical items
          Wretch: Weaken the body, inflict damage
          False Aura: Falsify an object's symbolism under Mage Sight
          Hume's Vengeance: Cut away parts of an object to generate Tass

          Adept of Abyss (••••)

          Truthful Lies: Make deceitful words come true
          Abyssal Investment: Imbue power and knowledge at the cost of Corruption
          False Sight: Grant a False Mage Sight that you can control
          Poison the Well: Inflict Corruption on those who draw from a Hallow
          Spell Rend: Inflict Paradox Reach on an active spell

          Master of Abyss (•••••)

          False Awakening: Grant a Sleepwalker a phony Awakening that causes a Breaking Point upon wearing off.
          Hell on Earth: Permanently taint a Hallow with the Abyss
          Innumeracy: Mathematics break down entirely
          Inversion: Reverse the effects of a spell
          Weave Chaos: Create an impossible object
          Do you happen to have a write-up of these spells, This is kinda cool and I like to see the spell write-ups.


          • #35
            Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post

            Do you happen to have a write-up of these spells, This is kinda cool and I like to see the spell write-ups.
            I could probably write them up at some point later. Not today, but maybe tomorrow.

            Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.


            • #36
              Sounds good, Not sure if i could do it.


              • #37
                Yeah, Scelesti Lords definitely get access to this after bargaining with the Old Man. Good stuff!

                There was a signature here. It's gone now.