Art-Based Magic

   Really good art has a magic of it’s own. In magical worlds this is just a bit more literal than is commonly believed. Painting, sculpting, dance, gardening, flower arranging, and many other forms of art are all perfectly valid ways to produce art-based magical effects.

   Artistic magic allows the user to cast a very limited set of spells using (Void + a relevant skill), producing effects of up to (Chosen Skill Level/2, rounded down). Unfortunately, a mystical artist cannot acquire more than one spell per skill level, all of them must be expressions of his or her art, all of them must be purchased as Innate Spells, and – unless the artist is also a Spellcaster – must be powered with Chi Points (many artists buy extra Chi Points dedicated to powering them) or purchased with the self-powered option.

   Performance artists require only one action per spell level to create their effects, but artists working in solid media must actually produce a piece of art designed to create a particular effect – although they can use it in a single round thereafter.

   In general, other people, and even other magical artists, cannot use such an item to produce magical effects. While exceptions have been reported, they’re the exception (very very lucky rolls) rather than the rule. Using another character’s art requires 1) a Chi Point, 2) a successful casting check using raw Void, 3) three rounds, 4) a situation of great stress and/or dramatic appropriateness.

   Typical artistic magic draws on the Guuzou Kami spell list, as well as the list of art-specific spells below. Many of the manipulative artistic magic spells are, however, so subtle as to be practically undetectable.

  • Level One Art Spells: Influence (conveys a subtle message to a selected group), Atmosphere (grants nearby target an extra die on a user-specified die roll), Diversion (inflicts a one die penalty on any three user-chosen die rolls of a nearby target), Attraction I (draws in passers-by, who will give the work serious consideration), Lesser Suggestion (your art can make a thought occur to the audience), Done with Style (you produce your art with great style and beauty), Patronage (if there is anyone in the area who might sponsor your arts, you will encounter them under favorable circumstances).
  • Level Two Art Spells: Encouragement (grants a selected target +1S1 on any roll, stacks to a maximum of +5S5), Attraction II (draws small animals and birds which will behave as if tame), Provocation (your art can bring out a strong emotion in a target), Impersonation (you can convincingly simulate someone else’s style, gaining +4 free steps towards any relevant impersonation, forgery, tribute, or mockery), Lesser Warding (you may provide an individual with 5 points worth of Gifts or a group with 2 points worth each, although they must be the same for each), Confusion (you can unsettle a target, inducing hesitation and uncertainty), and Dread Realization (you may negate all of a targets free steps for a single die roll).
  • Level Three Art Spells: Mirage (your art can generate a convincing illusion related to its form), Spell Disruption (your art can counter spells), Attraction III (draws large animals, which will behave as if tame), Divert Fate (your target must reroll a check; you select which result is used), Wind Dance (you may perform your art on an unsuitable medium, whether that means painting in the air or dancing on a bamboo leaf), Mesmerize (your art becomes the center of attention for a time), Inspire (you may grant your target a free step on any three die rolls of your selection).
  • Level Four Art Spells: Mass Provocation (you can bring out strong emotions in large groups), Attraction IV (you may draw specified groups of people to your art), Distant Echos (you may transmit a message over great distances to a selected group, all of whom will spontaneously see something that “reminds them” of your intent), Compulsion (you may inflict an overwhelming command on a target), Reflections (you may use your art to increase or decrease a targets effective reputation or social status), Embodiment (you may summon forth at least a limited version of the reality which your art represents, although it is unwise to overreach yourself. A variant form in which you merge with what you have called forth exists), Haunt (the ideas which you have put into your art will haunt your target, disrupting his or her slumber, meditation, and studies).
  • Level Five Art Spells: Transporting Depictment (your art can serve as a portal to the places that it portrays; such “locations” are not necessarily real), Mists of Reality (you may use your art to evade a situation, or it’s consequences, entirely), Attraction V (your art may call forth spirits), Greater Warding (you may grant a sizable group 5 points worth of Gifts each, although they must be the same for each), Transformation (a targets reality changes to match what you depict), Mesmerize Crowd (you may hold the attention of a small horde), Hypnosis (your art can implant hypnotic, and post-hypnotic commands in those who view it).

   If men can truly touch the deep forces of creation and emulate the gods, it may be in the creative inspiration of Artistic Magic that they come closest to realizing that power.

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