It’s another layover week, which after last week’s vote means it’s Obrimos time!
The Obrimos are unusual in our Path refreshes; they’re the least-changed Path with the most-changed Arcana. We’ve used the opportunity of our two-fold Path schemes to promote non-religious Obrimos as valid characters, but despite or possibly because I’m a great big atheist I was very keen to maintain the Path of Might as the place for personal revelatory religious experiences, the feeling of communion with the godhead, and the theurgist magical style. Greek gives us our second title: Thaumaturgist, (“wonder-worker”,) reclaimed from vampires in the New World of Darkness (and, as some of you have noted, from Sleepwalkers with minor magical powers, who got called it in Second Sight. That’s okay, though – our Moros aren’t Promethean 2E’s new antagonists or one of the mummy Guilds, despite all being called “alchemists”.
So other than textual support for Obrimos who approach their magic with a scientist’s eye or a hermetic’s mechanistic view of angels rather than all being priests, the main change here is in the Arcana.
Forces is the Arcanum most altered by our design decision to remove “speedbumps” from the system – in first edition, some practices require higher dots than they should depending on which Force is being affected. We toyed with requiring extra Reach instead for a few days, but after some consideration decided to throw caution to the wind and peg all spells to the dot level of their Practice. That means that you can do things like Shield against gravity with two dots, to protect yourself from falling damage, when you couldn’t before.
Prime, on the other hand, was one of the two Arcana we were least pleased with as a standalone powerset (the other being Space) – to our minds, it didn’t do enough by itself. We’ve tweaked Prime’s purview: it’s now the Arcanum of magic, yantras, nimbus, mana, revelation, and truth. It doesn’t create phantasms any more, but instead creates Truths out of solidified mana. These are called Platonic Forms (when inanimate) and Eidolons (when animate) – the name “Tulpa” now soley refers to the Nimbus-emanations of the Mad. Prime’s revelations are a blunt instrument compared to Mind, especially on the unprepared – Prime spells will allow you to tear the veil off people’s eyes temporarily, but they won’t enjoy the experience.
Here’s three spells, one from Forces and two from Prime.
Zoom In (Forces 2)
Primary Spell Factor: Potency
Rote Skills: Investigation, Science
The mage focuses light entering her subject’s senses, greatly magnifying vision. Without an Unveiling spell like “Nightvision” (p.XX), the spell can only affect visible wavelengths. For example, a mage using this spell on herself could look closely at a bird circling high above, or zoom in to great detail to examine a layer of dust on an object, but she couldn’t see things that would only appear under a blacklight.
If a character magnifies vision to focus on small-scale occurrences, the Storyteller may call for Intelligence + Science rolls to make sense of what she’s seeing. In the basic spell, every level of Potency doubles the distance the mage can see clearly before suffering penalties, although atmospheric conditions can still cloud her view, and adds to her Wits for purposes of rolls to notice small details.
+1 Reach: The subject can see clearly for a mile per level of Potency
+1 Reach: The subject can clearly discern dust-sized particles
Exceptional Success: The subject no longer suffers dice penalties to vision-based rolls from environmental affects, or can see microscopic particles, even the molecular bonds within substances.
Words of Truth (Prime 2)
Primary Spell Factor: Scale (Targets)
Rote Skills: Expression, Intimidation. Persuasion
The mage speaks with tongues of fire, and the world listens. So long as the words the mage speaks are objectively true and the mage herself believes them whole-heartedly, all subjects of this spell can hear and understand her clearly, regardless of distance, noise, or language barriers. Moreover, all subjects know, on a soul-deep level, that what the mage says is true. This doesn’t necessarily compel them to act on that information, but ignoring or refuting this Supernal truth may be grounds for a Breaking Point. In a Social Maneuvering action, this spell may remove one door or improve reaction level by one step per level of Potency.
+1 Reach: The mage’s words don’t merely ring with truth, but call to action. If a subject goes along with what the mage said, they gain the Inspired Condition. If they ignore it, they gain the Guilty Condition.
(DAVE’S NOTE: And here’s one you might have inferred existed from previous Spoilers)
Apocalypse (Prime 4)
Primary Factor: Duration
Rote Skills: Occult, Persuasion, Socialize
Cost: One Mana per extra Arcanum (optional)
The subject of this spell has the scales of the Lie removed from their eyes. Anyone subject to the spell, mage, Sleeper, or other supernatural being, gains Mage Sight attuned to the Aether in the manner of an Obrimos. Along with this gift comes temporary immunity to Quiescence and an instinctive knowledge of how to use Mage Sight. It does not, however, prepare the subject for how to interpret the visions received under Mage Sight, and the uninitiated are likely to suffer Breaking Points from the trauma of the Sight.
Add any other Arcanum *: As with her own Attainments, the mage may add her other Arcana into the Mage Sight granted by the spell, which costs one Mana per Arcanum.
Obrimos Pages Preview
Once again, the Obrimos splat-page writeup is by the redoubtable Malcolm Sheppard. It’s a first draft, as-yet unedited for typos.
Next week we’ll branch back out a bit into the world mages inhabit. Vote Mysterious World for a look at all the strange places mages poke their Obsessed noses into, from Hallows to Chantries, the Shadow to the Underworld. Vote LA for a look at one of our specific settings: Los Angeles.