Exalted – The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice; Primordial Astrology

A horoscope calculated for January 1, 2000 at ...

With the restoration of the Mask, the Sidereals are once more properly visible to the Pattern Spiders – and thus once more fully a part of the great tapestry of creation, no longer protected (or victimized) by Arcane Fate. As a side benefit, with the Sidereals direct connection to the Loom and authority unobscured, a great many of the checks that the Pattern Spiders used to track and confirm Sidereal Astrology are no longer necessary – and the art has returned to it’s original power.

The Colleges:

A Sidereal may have ranks in in up to (Essence+2) colleges and may “spend” ranks to use a college’s Resplendencies (“endurance” equals ranks, paradox dice drain one rank per success). “Spent” Ranks are restored at the beginning of each month (or possibly by way of offerings and prayers to the Pattern Spiders). Characters with at least one innate rank in a college who routinely display at least three of its trappings gain one extra effective rank in that college. All colleges gain two additional Resplendencies:

Masque of Destiny, one Endurance, one Paradox Die per week. The user may gain a mundane identity (complete with acquaintances, paperwork, and so on) appropriate to the college and may manage all of that identities routine demands competently. The user gets +3 dice on rolls made to convince others of the validity of this identity. Those interacting with the user suffer a -3 internal penalty or -2 Defense Value (as appropriate) to disbelieve the identity. These effects fail against anyone else who is attuned to the same college.

Hand of Destiny, one Endurance per Bonus Die. The user may expend ranks in a College buying extra dice on an Astrology Success Check. A character needs to have at least one current rank in a college to produce astrological effects based on it, but need not buy extra dice with this resplendency to do so.

While Resplendencies still generally do not work against targets who are Outside of Fate or in areas where the Loom of Fate holds no sway, they are generally* NOT “Shaping Effects”; they function by manipulating how the strands of the Loom interact, and are entirely in accordance with the Laws of Creation. To a large extent, a college rank represents special attention from the Pattern Spiders of a particular constellation. While they may or may not be worth their experience point cost, it’s worth noting that the Pattern Spiders are perfectly capable of paying more attention to those they favor – potentially awarding college ranks beyond the user’s purchased ranks if the user pleases them, fixes causality problems smoothly, or simply offers up a lot of prayers and sacrifices. They are also capable of deciding to ignore the user – stripping away bonus ranks, or even reducing the user’s effective ranks below their base level for the duration of a story.

*Effects which target creatures that are Outside of Fate, such as the Arrows of Reason, ARE Shaping Effects, since they’re forcing Creation’s laws to apply to outsiders who have their own realities.

But what about Pattern Bite? How can I LIVE without an occasional bout of supernatural poison?

Well, OK; Optionally you CAN overspend ranks from your colleges. Each rank you don’t have, but spend anyway, gives you one point of Paradox. Otherwise this works normally.

With this revision Colleges are now considerably more useful; users don’t need to spend days creating a Resplendent Destiny – which counts against the number of astrological effects you can have on yourself at any one time – to power their effects.

Weaving Destinies:

Since the Pattern Spiders are now sure who everyone is, an astrologer can no longer simply spam destinies (unless the War Protocols are in effect – but Autochthon and the Maidens shut them down at the end of the Primordial War). Each astrologer is thus limited to a maximum of (Essence) destinies at any one time and no single individual may be affected by more than three destinies at a time. No prayer roll is necessary (or helpful); now that the Pattern Spiders can see who you are, a Sidereal Exaltations inherent link with the Loom of Fate suffices. Each active destiny an astrologer sustains will set a new essence-star – faint or brighter according to the user’s essence – burning in the heavens, allowing any other astrologer who can perceive the essence-stars of the Loom to attempt to read that influence.

An Active Astrology check requires three hours of effort. If a Sidereal is operating the Loom directly, he or she can use (Dexterity + Craft Fate). Those operating remotely may use either (Charisma + Performance) to persuade the Pattern Spiders to do most of the work or (Intelligence + Occult) to figure it out for themselves. Specialities, Excellencies, Will, and Channeled Virtues apply normally, but Stunting is ineffective; warping fate while trying impose structure on it does not work well. An astrologer may also obtain bonus dice by investing three days/seven days/months in planning and casting horoscopes for +1/+2/+3 dice or by getting the support of several/many/great numbers of relevant Gods and Exalts for +1/+2/+3 dice.

Success are spent buying the effect and the area/number of targets to be affected – although both are limited by the astrologers permanent essence. Effects cost a number of successes equal to the essence level at which they become available, the area to be affected costs one point less than that. Astrological effects continue as long as they are maintained. Unfortunately, the great Tapestry of Creation has an incredibly intricate web of connections – making it wise to reserve some successes to add a few details and guidelines as to how the desired effect comes about. In addition, directly affecting minor essence users costs +1 success, affecting major ones (Gods, Exalts, Etc) costs +2. Creatures which are resistant to Fate (Raksha) or bound to other loom-equivalents (the Calender of Setesh, Autochthon, Etc) cost +3 successes. Those which are entirely outside of fate cannot be directly affected at all.

It can take some time for a destiny to take full effect; if you wish to rush that, it’s best to include a few extra successes for that purpose. Attempting to directly and negatively affect an essence-user requires an essence-roll off, with the target winning ties. Most importantly, the effect of the Destiny the user creates must be related to the college used.

Ess Area Effects
1 Individual  Background-1, Destiny-2, Annoyances, Expedite Likely Events,
Access Basic Public Information, cause minor annoyances and
delays. Spread Rumors, Obtain a Spot for a Meeting, meet an
ordinary person, identify trends, obtain general supplies, arrange trivial coincidences, arrange an apprenticeship.
2 Household  Background-2, Destiny-3, access/replace minor records, cause
notable inconveniences, inspire minor actions, set up trivial
threats, induce minor attitude shifts, obtain a spot for a regular
meeting, meet with a specialist, obtain specialist supplies, arrange minor coincidences, get help with a minor project, start a fire, turn loose a human, encourage a marriage, get minor legal problems quietly dropped, suppress minor news, have the authorities keep an eye on something, get warnings of upcoming events.Alternatively, modify rolls in a given “specialty” related to the
college used by +/-1 to the tn or +/-2 dice, alter a virtue by +/-1 when used for rolls within the specialty, or roll to regain will as if awakening once per day when you succeed in something related to the specialty. Such modifiers do not stack.
3 Hamlet Destiny-4, access/replace major records, inspire or expedite
notable actions, cause serious delays, set up minor threats, arrange a secure spot for a regular meeting, meet with an expert, trace someone’s connections or finances, obtain rare supplies, arrange minor events, orchestrate good or bad reviews, arrange notable coincidences, schedule a “must-attend” event, get help with a notable project, arrange for fog, arrange for children for a couple, manipulate organizational procedures, turn loose trivial magical creatures, arrange for a competent bodyguard for someone.
4 Village Background-3, Destiny-5, stall an activity entirely, set up notable threats, induce major attitudes, meet with a grand master, awakened thaumaturge, or similar, start a small heresy or investigation, acquire questionable materials, plant a body, get widely quoted, arrange really unlikely coincidences, have relatives drop by, arrange a serious storm, turn loose minor magical creatures, get someone kidnapped, make major legal problems vanish, suppress major news, frame someone for a serious crime, get reasonably detailed warnings of upcoming events.
5 Town Inspire major actions and protests, set up serious threats, access ancient lore, get an organization founded, arrange promotions of demotions, acquire illegal items, arrange for the target to be restrained or released, instigate a research project, arrange extremely unlikely events, get help with a major project, demolish something, get someone deported, hide who controls something, spread misinformation so that many believe it, bind souls into the loom.Alternatively, modify rolls in a given “specialty” related to
the college used by +/-2 to the tn or +/-4 dice, alter a virtue by +/-2 when used for rolls within the specialty, or roll to regain will as if awakening twice per day when you succeed in something related to the specialty. Such modifiers do not stack.
6 City Background-4, arrange a mortal’s death, induce deep beliefs, set up major threats, cause someone to receive special orders, get covert operations performed, arrange fabulously unlikely events, start serious investigations, make someone a top public enemy, get detailed prophecies of mundane events, access very secure facilities.
7 Province Cause major disruptions and fights, gain access to arcanely
secured locations, obtain or destroy very famous mundane things, obtain grossly illegal items, arrange incredibly unlikely events, gain blackmail material on pretty much anyone, get help with a grandiose project, arbitrarily manipulate legal proceedings, make complex falsehoods into stuff that “everyone knows”, set up major threats.
8 Country Background-5, induce fanaticism, acquire grossly illegal items,
arrange astoundingly unlikely coincidences, have major gods drop by to visit, arrange laws or precedents for your personal benefit, add or delete notable things from creation, arrange major natural disasters, increase or decrease the level of chaos in regions of Rakshastan.
9 Continent Cause grandiose disruptions or conflicts, obtain utterly forbidden items, arrange unbelievable coincidences (he was hit by a falling star!), bind things into Creation, erase all memory and traces of an event, set up grandiose threats (unbind the Kukla, etc).Alternatively, modify rolls in a given “specialty” related to the college used by +/-3 to the TN OR +/-6 dice, alter a virtue by +/-3 when used for rolls within the specialty, or roll to regain will as if awakening three times per day when you succeed in something related to the specialty  Such modifiers do not stack.
10 Global Background-N/A, arrange strings of unbelievable coincidences,
arrange to move things in and out of creation, destine someone to gain great supernatural power (could become a god, dragon,
greater manse guardian, or even an Exalt if they’re suitable).

Backgrounds may be either added or neutralized, sometimes with greater or lesser ease – although they cannot exceed rank five even with modifiers until the astrologer is at Essence 10 and they cannot be reduced or enhanced. Eligible backgrounds include Allies, Artifact (if providing Raksha artifacts use Raksha totals; those are easy), Backing, Command (-1 level of effect to provide, +1 to suppress), Connections, Cult (+1 level of effect to provide, -1 level of effect to suppress), Destiny (exceptionally easy, has it’s own entry on the chart above), Familiar (+2 levels to provide unless upgraded versions are used, cannot be suppressed), Followers, Henchmen, Manse (-2 levels to provide unless only granting access, cannot be suppressed), Library, Mentor (-2 levels of effect when providing Exalted or Celestial Mentors, only mortal mentors can be suppressed), Resources (-1 level of effect to provide, +1 level of effect to suppress), Spies, and Patron (-1 level of effect when providing Exalted or Celestial Patrons, only mortal patrons may be suppressed). Ineligible backgrounds include Abyssal Command, Acquaintances, Arsenal (this may be suppressed, but arranging artifacts is hard enough), Breeding, Celestial Manse, Charms, Class, Esoteric Knowledge, Face, Familiar (Demonic or Autochthonian), Family, Eidolon, Esoteric Knowledge, Hearts Blood, Infamy, Infernal Manse, Influence (this may be suppressed), Inheritance, Liege, Past Life, Salary, Savant, Sifu (this may be suppressed), Solar Bond (although an existing bond can be temporarily strengthened), Taboo, Tattoo Artifact, Underworld Manse (eligible if working with the Calender of Setesh), Unwoven Coadjutor, and Whispers.

If a non-sidereal happens to have some Pattern Spider Allies, then he or she can take ranks in the relevant college or colleges, and use “Sidereal” astrology within those limits – although their rolls are at difficulty three instead of difficulty 1.

Optionally, an astrologer may opt to give up a permanent point of essence to make his or her current astrological destinies equally permanent – although their effect and scale is reduced to a maximum of (Original Essence/2). If you’re a high-essence Sidereal, and you really wish to bless the household of your most direct descendants forever or some such, go right ahead. This sort of thing usually only happens when someone is getting ready to die, but so what?

What about Censure you say? Well, Censure comes up when your fiddling around with Fate really upsets other Sidereals or the Celestial Bureaucracies. It’s wise to check on who you may be upsetting before working any large-scale effects or meddling with important people.

2 Responses

  1. […] Primordial Astrology: How Astrology operates after the Healing of the Mask (and why it’s much simpler these days). […]

  2. […] Primordial Astrology: How Astrology operates after the Healing of the Mask (and why it’s much simpler and handier these days). […]

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