Exalted – Minor Graces Part I: Grace Magic

The Mirror Grace, sometimes known as the Mask, is concerned with Chaos channeled through Order and their impression upon each other – the basis of both Geomancy and the Echo Keyword. For the purposes of Grace Magic, artifacts of the Mirror are simple; they mostly replicate artifacts of Creation, albeit without magical material bonuses and at an artifact rating one higher than the “genuine” version. On the other hand, such artifacts have an attunement cost – for Raksha – of only one mote. Others must pay the normal cost plus one mote. The modifier may be waived if the crafter is emulating an artifact which normally only costs one mote to attune or if he or she is making armor…

The Way Grace is best known for it’s (ridiculously useful) Chancels, but Way Graces can also be forged into Boosters for Behemoths – providing an additional (Rating +1) x3 points worth of mutations, an essence pool to power it’s mutations with of (Rating x 10) motes, and (Rating) internal waypoints where the “rider” can use his “mounts” senses and use any of his charms that normally affect himself, a steed, or a ship (since the distinction is kind of blurred) on his mounts behalf. Sadly, if the mount is slain or wrecked, the rider (and any passengers) will suffer the ill-effects of the crash and will have to abandon the Behemoth to make their own way. It may be possible to turn them into other kinds of transport artifacts as well, but that’s only at the option of the game master. There really isn’t any need for it.

If you want you can also use these rules instead, but the overall effect is basically the same.

The Means Grace is associated with increasing your influence, capitalizing on and building up your resources, and making other tasks easier to accomplish. Such are the themes of Grace Magic forged from Means Graces. The Treasures of the Means Grace are known as Bindings.

  • A Seal (*) allows the user to enforce pacts with the Creation-Born, making their promises and oaths just as binding to them as they are to the Raksha – as if they were sanctified by an Eclipse Caste. A Grand Seal (****) allows the user to make oaths for creatures of essence 8 and below utterly unbreakable – at least by the one swearing to them. Actions which would violate the pact simply cannot be taken, no matter what a player may say. Higher-essence entities are still subject to botches for breaking such an pact however. Legendary N/A Eternal Seals can bind entities of essence 12 and below to unbreakable pacts.
  • An Oathstone (**) allows bets and contracts sworn on it to transfer intangible qualities, such as lifespan, youth, or health levels. For good or ill, a character can only participate in three such contracts at any one time. Terrestrial Circle Countermagic can suppress such a contract for a few hours, the Celestial Circle can break such a contract – and Solar Circle Countermagic may shatter the stone itself and all the contracts it binds if it targets it directly. More powerful Oathstones do exist; each additional dot allows them to hold one additional oath per character and increases the level of countermagic they can withstand by one. Legendary N/A Oathstones can hold seven such contracts and makes them quite unbreakable.
  • Messenger Staves (**) invoke oaths and bindings that predate creation to provide “diplomatic immunity” similar to the effects of the Eclipse Anima. A (****) version extends the effect to the various Exalted while a (*****) version affects the Devas of Primordials, the Nephwracks of the Neverborn, and the Third Circle Souls of the Yozis. A N/A version affects the Yozis, Neverborn, and Primordials themselves – not that this usually matters. Individual Raksha are far beneath their notice.
  • Ushabti (**to ****) allow the user to expend gossamer to temporarily increase the magnitude of a unit under his or her command on a one-to-one basis – although the magnitude cannot be more than doubled by this means. At ** the user may increase units of laborers and servants, at *** mortal troops may be thus multiplied, and at **** units of lesser supernatural entities, such as minor elementals, manse servitors, and similar creatures, may be multiplied, Regardless of the type or level of the boost, it persists for only one scene (or one day for long-term projects, sieges, and similar situations) – although it may be extended for additional scenes/days for one gossamer per scene/day.
  • Economic Indicators (* to *****) may grant up to (User’s Compassion) individuals a (Level) bonus to Resources – or can be used to target entire Clans, Cities, or Nations at -1/-2/-3 levels of effect. If used offensively, to reduce a targets resources, the number of targets is limited by the user’s Valor. An Economic Indicator cannot, however, be both negative and positive at the same time.
  • Tomes (* to *****) allow their user’s to contact various spirits and contract for their services – with the power of the Tome transforming the Gossamer supplied by the user into some suitable payment. * allows the user to contact minor, local, spirits, ** extends to lesser elementals, *** to demons of the first circle and local gods, **** to greater elementals and the lesser celestial gods, ***** to second circle demons (or a magnitude two group of first circle demons) and equivalent gods. Such a tome generally reaches a spirit that’s willing to make a deal – normally at a cost of 3 Gossamer per level of the Tome required, but if the request suits the purposes of the spirit it calls upon it may be willing to work cheap. Legendary N/A Tomes can reach Devas, Incarnae and other transcendent spirits, although what kind of payment a N/A spirit might ask is something that only the game master can say.
  • Franchises (* to *****) are wholly intangible in Creation but, like other abstract concepts, are entirely tangible in the Wyld, where they take the form of books full of strange instructions, often with no apparent point. A Franchise provides it’s owner with a bonus pool of (2 x Rating) motes of essence each day which may be drawn on reflexively and allows him or her to…
    • Franchise *: Reflexively regain one point of temporary willpower each day.
    • Franchise **: And add +* to a maximum of ***** to any one of Cult, Followers, Henchmen, Retinue, Resources, or similar background. If such a background is somehow lowered, it may be rebuilt to its original level at no cost and with no effort at one dot per week.
    • Franchise ***: And a second point of temporary willpower each day.
    • Franchise ****: And add +* to a maximum of ***** to all Cult, Followers, Henchmen, Retinue, or similar backgrounds in which the user already has at least one dot. This stacks with the bonus dot from Franchise **.
    • Franchise *****: And a third and fourth point of temporary willpower each day.
  • Owning a Franchise does have a small downside however; the user must select one thing per level of the Franchise with which his or her name will become closely associated – whether that’s Colonel Slanders Secret Recipe For Fried Fowl, a self-help program, or the Scarelett Empresses’s own Pancakes.

The Treasures of the Thorn Grace are known as Narratives. They’re actually a close relative of basic Fantasies – but unlike a Fantasy they don’t throw a veil of shaping over underlying chaos. Instead they constrain the possibilities of the future exactly as Creation or the near presence of an Ishvara does – but even more narrowly. Narratives are thus at their strongest in areas that are protected by Shaping defenses, such as the great forces which keep Creation from simply being wished away.

Narratives affect a radius of (User’s Essence x 100) feet and penalize actions that don’t fit into their structure by their rating. They require two motes per dot to attune, but may be attuned by a Lorekeeper.

So how do you define the limits of a Narrative? They’re built exactly the way a Primordial First Excellency is – except that if they’re describing the user as a Master Thief, than any actions that would spot, catch, or restrain the user would obviously be restricted.

Narratives also have secondary effects:

  • *: User gains a “-1″ on relevant target numbers (succeeding on a “6″).
  • **: And may roll (Rating) dice once per session in search of a wild, helpful, coincidence (as per the Destiny background).
  • ***: And the user gains +1d on the rating of stunts that work with the narrative.
  • ****: And one of the penalty dice is subtracted from the rating of each opposing stunt, if any.
  • *****: And may roll (Rating) dice three times per session in search of a wild, helpful, coincidence of some sort.
  • N/A: And two penalty dice are subtracted form the rating of each opposing stunt.

There are Lesser Narratives – commonly known as Subplots. These include:

  • Stereotypes (*): The bearer may give up to (Staff) targets stereotypical labels, which make them easily recognizable as such by everyone who sees them and will tend to get them treated as if they fit the label, no matter how little sense that makes. If you label the elegant socialite an “Uncouth Barbarian” his social talents will work as well as ever – but people will still complain about his primitive dress, need to bathe, and how out-of-place he or she is. This can be helpful if you need a disguise, a pain if you don’t want an inappropriate social label.
  • Typecasts (**): The bearer may give up to (Ring) targets stereotypical roles, regardless of whether or not such a role makes the slightest sense for them. Typecasts can cause a botch once per day and a simple failure once per day if a target fights them, but do provide a pool of (Ring) bonus dice which may be drawn on each day in support of the typecasting. Obviously enough, Typecasts can be helpful or annoying depending on whether or not they suit the target.
  • Directives (***): These can give up to (Cup) targets secondary entanglements; causing trouble at home, attracting a proposal of marriage (or a stalker), bringing the target to the attention of a major organization, or otherwise closing off the lines of possibility that DON’T lead to secondary plots raising their heads. Once again, this can be good or bad, although sometimes it’s hard to tell; being hailed as the savior of the city may be very good indeed – until they expect you to do it again.
  • Scripts (****): The bearer may give up to (Sword) targets the equivalent of Destiny-5, oriented towards whatever goal the user specifies – which can be either a blessing or a curse depending on just what that effect is.

And no – these effects have no keywords, and no defenses save (possibly) an Essence roll-off (essentially just an effort to use your raw reality-bending presence to push towards a future that you’d prefer). This grace operates by blocking off possible outcomes – tampering with the possibilities of the future. Trying to defend yourself against that is trying to defend yourself against causality; it calls for a new Time of Cascading Years so that you can have your own personal future, independent of everyone else’s.

2 Responses

  1. […] Grace Magic for the Minor Graces: Replicants (Mirror Grace), Behemoth Boosters (Way Grace), Seals, Oathstones, Messenger Staves, Ushabti, Economic Indicators, Tomes, and Franchises (Means Grace), and Narratives and Subplots, Stereotypes, Typecasts, Directives, and Scripts (Thorn Grace). […]

  2. […] Grace Magic for the Minor Graces: Replicants (Mirror Grace), Behemoth Boosters (Way Grace), Seals, Oathstones, Messenger Staves, Ushabti, Economic Indicators, Tomes, and Franchises (Means Grace), and Narratives and Subplots, Stereotypes, Typecasts, Directives, and Scripts (Thorn Grace). […]

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