3.9 THE MECHANICS OF SORCERY
At first thought, it might seem
sorcery would be a mechanical nightmare for the
storyteller and players to employee.
Quite the contrary is true.
The mechanics of sorcery are, in fact, very
one roll is needed to determine the success or failure
of a ritual.
Since every ritual is literally a struggle between the will of the sorcerer and the strength of the celestial entity being bound, a contested roll between the two is all that is really needed. The sorcerer uses his presence for the roll (in addition to whatever bonuses he gets for having sorcery as either an interest or a specialty), whereas the celestial uses the score for his highest aspect. If the sorcerer wins the roll he has successfully bound the creature, otherwise the creature fails to manifest. If the sorcerer dramatically fails the roll (snake eyes), the being manifests and has the option of instantly destroying the sorcerer (there is a price to be paid for meddling with celestial things).
Of course the preparation and the
accuracy of the ritual itself will also affect the
component of the ceremony is designated in one of three
ways: essential, productive, or unnecessary.
Essential components are those
things that must be done to have any chance of success.
If any of these are forgotten, the ritual will
fail no matter what the practitioner rolled.
These components do not affect the roll made
between sorcerer and celestial.
Productive components do have an
effect on the contested roll, though.
Before the ceremony is performed, the storyteller
decides how many productive components are necessary for
number usually varies between four and eight (depending
on how difficult a storyteller wants sorcery to be).
For every component under this number the
sorcerer fails to incorporate, his die roll is lessened
by one. On
the other hand, for every productive component over the
equilibrium, the sorcerer's roll is increased by one.
Unnecessary components have no
bearing on the outcome of the ceremony.
They will neither help nor hinder the
practitioner, but are usually added for one of two
These elements are incorporated for the sake of
2). The practitioner is not aware that they play
no real useful purpose.
When a sorcerer learns a new
ceremony, the storyteller should decided which
components are essential, which are productive, and
which are unnecessary.
It should be noted that the list created by the
storyteller need not be limited to what the sorcerer has
in writing. There
may be elements to the ritual that have not been written
in the text the sorcerer possesses.
The creation of talismans is a
slightly more complex endeavor, requiring one additional
sorcerer begins the ritual on the appointed time and
must remain in the summoning circle until the start of
the next cycle (42 hours later), when the celestial's
appointed hour once again returns. This is a test of will and endurance, for the sorcerer must
remain vigilant during this time.
The constant state of prayer and meditation is
hard on the body. For
this reason a fortitude roll is required.
Failure of this roll (with the normal target of
20) means the sorcerer will be overcome by fatigue
during the coarse of the ceremony.
As a result the ceremony will be a failure, and
the Talisman will possess no special powers.
If successful, the strength of the talisman is determined by the amount the sorcerer won the ritual roll by. If he exceeded the celestial's roll by fewer than five, the talisman contains a week rendition of the chosen power. If the number is less than ten, the effects are of a moderate nature, and a roll that exceeds the opponents by ten or more possess the full version of the celestial's ability.