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 simple.   Only 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 outcome.   Each 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 equilibrium.  This 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 reason.  1). These elements are incorporated for the sake of tradition alone.   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 roll.   The 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.

 

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