World Tree Techniques

   These four techniques include two player-character research projects – one workable as originally proposed, the other requiring revision – and two existing, but relatively rare and limited techniques.

 

 

Binding with TelepathyThis technique has not yet been developed.

   The original research idea was “Similar to Binding with Reasoning, except that the spell reads its owner’s mind and goes off when C. wants and how C. wants. The ability for spells to read their caster’s mind is demonstrated in the spell Absence of Blade so it should be possible to bind spells to do it. I would assume a similar cost to Binding with Reasoning of 3 Cley and a limit of Mentador + Wits. This would, however, have the drawback of not being able to go off if you were unconscious or dead”.

   This includes two basic effects – going off when it’s wanted and how it’s wanted. The first is possible, the second is not possible by this means. A bound spell is in stasis until released and generally has no mind of its own to read your mind with even after it’s released. The binding, whether with reasoning or not, is not actually casting the spell and has no control over its parameters. A variant which behaves in this way would need to be sentient and then have telepathic abilities added on top of that. When cast, it would have to take an action to read your mind before it would know what to do. Such a spell would be a tangled, and vastly more complicated, mess. +30 complexity (10 for Sentience, 10 for combining effects, 10 for the telepathic effect, requires Ke, Me, and Sp if the spell does not use these already).

   Since a Mindful variant on a spell which takes its casting directions according to the user’s desires is only +5 complexity and Sp (a spell which continues to act mindfully after casting is +10 complexity), it’s a lot easier to go this route.

   A binding with reasoning does have a limited sentience of its own and automatically has a magical link with its owner, so adding the mental link is more or less reasonable. Spells Bound with Telepathy can still go off if their owner is unconscious however, provided that its instructions cover this situation. Since a bound spell has basic senses, it can be instructed to observe and report back, but it isn’t very perceptive or bright. Bindings with Telepathy are more dependent on their owners then ordinary bound spells however. A normal binding remains in effect indefinitely (optionally unless separated from it’s owner by more then (P) miles). Bindings with telepathy must remain within (P) Miles (P x 1000 Ft if the limited range option for standard bindings is used) ) to remain bound.

   Binding with Telepathy costs 5 cley, and has three complexity limits: (Will + Spellbinding + Noun + Verb) > Complexity +10. Wits + Spiridor > Complexity (for the reasoning) and (Wits + Mentador -5) for the Telepathy.

   The technique has a probable research cost of about 600 experience points or is available as a 10-point advantage (as an unteachable magical talent) or as a 20-point advantage (as a skill developed during a character’s prior history). Would-be inventors should have Magic Theory, Spellbinding, and Finesse of 20+, Wits 3+, Will 2+, and lots of time. As a pure research project it can be expected to take a dedicated researcher about 40 years or a dedicated team of experts about 20 years.

 

Binding with Time

   This technique has been proposed, but will not work.

   The original research idea was “As Spellbinding (with whatever) except that the spell is bound frozen in time and thus does not take up a bound spell slot. The spell will unfreeze when a particular condition occurs and take up an open slot on whoever is holding it. This will allow storing of bound spells for later use. Cost is probably more then other special binding techniques, 5 cley or so, and limited by Tempador + Wits”.

   This will not work as described. It’s not the spell that takes up the “bound spell slot”. The spell is already essentially frozen, which is why the conditions on it must be preset: it cannot receive or respond to inputs while in stasis. Stasis is, however, an artificial condition which must be actively maintained by an outside force – in the case of bound spells, that’s the binding itself. The binding is what takes up the bound spell slot – and putting it into stasis will both release the bound spell and will require some other outside force to maintain the stasis on the binding. Putting both the binding and the bound spell into stasis bypasses the release problem, but still requires an active outside effect to maintain the stasis. Secondarily, a character must voluntarily accept a bound spell link, it’s not automatic.

   It might be possible to develop a binding technique which can “hold” multiple other bindings but, since this would require some method of wrapping a nonphysical binding around a selection of physical objects, it’s probably impractical.

   A spell or ritual could be designed to hold a group of objects – including those with bound spells attached – in stasis. The simplest method in a spell would be to create a timeless dimensional pocket to store things in. One allowing selective withdrawals would be somewhat more complex, but would be best for a “Bag of Spells” or similar item.

   A spell or ritual could also be designed to directly hold spells in stasis for later use; this is subject to the same general restrictions as bound spells are; the information for the spell is provided at the time of casting, not when they’re released. The Wizards Word ritual is a version of this.

   The easiest way to hold extra bound spells – or Cley for that matter – is to have someone else do it. Bound spells can be held by slaves or employees, or by Familiers – spell-created or natural magical animals with a notable level of Cley Base, at least minimal sentience, and (hopefully) a reasonable degree of loyalty.

   There are several varieties of small pets which can act as Familiers. Most will have 3-12 life points, no real attacks, a defense of 20-25 (being small and fast), Magic Resistance of 10-15, and Cley Base of 1d4+2. Stronger ones have 6-15 life and a Cley Base of 2d4+2. It’s best to raise your own.

 

Advanced Pattern Magic: Flicker Casting (Magic Skill, May not be used unskilled. No roll)

   Derived from Hammer and Feather Casting, this is the art of cramming a few extra cley into a grafted pattern spell, instead of the usual one cley, and getting it to go off more then once on purpose – rather then as a Hammer Casting botch. The advantage of doing this on purpose is that each casting can be directed at a separate target. The disadvantage is, of course, that employing this skill costs a good many cley – which is why more skillful mages usually just learn a version of the spell in question that will affect more targets. The spell goes off at normal power, despite the fact that truly skillful flicker casters can get the spell to go off a few more times then they “actually” spent the cley for.

If complexity is <= to…         You can use up to;            To cast the spell;

5x Flicker Casting                    1 or 2 Cley                          Once or Twice

3x Flicker Casting                    2 or 3 Cley                      Three or four times

Flicker Casting                       2, 3, or 4 Cley               Three, five, or seven times

Flicker Casting/2                      Ten Cley                          2x Cley Used times

   Botches with Flicker Cast spells commonly take the form of mistargeting or, the spell going off only once despite the extra cley or – occasionally – of Hammer Casting the spell instead.

   Flicker Casting caused something of a local stir when it was invented, but was soon relegated to the appendixes in the back of textbooks when it was mentioned at all; Feather Casting is better for saving cley, Hammer Casting is better for assaulting individual targets – and improving more general magical skills and learning higher complexity spells is more useful overall or in a fight. It’s sometimes useful to minor spellcasters who need to cast several identical low-complexity spells in a hurry – perhaps to cast a “Fire Flower” on three muggers at once – but most low-skill mages aren’t going to bother learning a skill they’ll hardly ever use. “Professional” adventurers may find it useful occasionally – presuming that they’ve ever heard of it and can find someone who knows the technique to show them how.

 

 

Talismonger (Craft Skill, May not be used unskilled. Usually used with Faith)

   The art of exploiting the innate magic of the various plants, animals, and liquids, and other materials, of the World Tree. In general, this involves the use of cultivated, domesticated, or easily-discovered materials, rather then the more potent – and far more expensive – wild varieties described in the herbal (Pgs 278-279. Working with full-potency “wild” materials provides a +15 skill bonus – and raises the expense enormously). Talismans may be “expendable” (Good for only one use) or permanent (Good for enough uses not to worry about), and are either mobile (Small and light enough to wear or easily carry about) or immobile (Very bulky, very heavy, or both. Go and get a cart. Immobile talismans are twice as effective though). Talismans normally add to a an effective skill rating, although magic-related talismans can be constructed that add directly to the power of pattern or spontaneous spells using a particular verb or noun. They can be used to enhance the skills required to bind spells, but cannot – as of yet – be used to enhance their power directly.

   The exact list of skills which can be enhanced by talismans – and the forms those talismans will take – is up to the GM, but generally includes Magic Resistance (Vrs a specific noun or verb only), Meditation, Spellbinding, the Nouns and Verbs, Life Base (Usually expendable talismans/”drugs” only), and most of the Athletics, Social, and Craft skills.

Skill Enhancing Talismans

   Skill Thresholds To Create Vrs Effective Skill Enhancement:

         Skill To Make     15+      20+      25+      30+      35+      45+      60+

Talisman Type;

Permanent                  —        +1        +2         +2        +3         +4        +5

Expendable                 +1        +2        +3         +4        +5         +7      +10

 

Power Enhancing Talismans

                                        Skill Thresholds To Create Vrs Power Boost :

                                               15+      20+      25+      30+      35+      45+      60+

Talisman Type;  

Permanent                            —       +d4       +d6      +d8     +d10    +d12    +d20

Expendable                         +d4     +d6      +2d4    +2d6    +2d8   +2d12 +2d20

 

   In either case, creating multiple uses of an expendable talisman – usually about a dozen – adds +5 to the skill threshold. Permanent talismans must be created one at a time. In all cases, talismans max, rather then add – although it is possible to enhance both magical skills and the power of the effect produced. Unfortunately, talismans – being a disruption to the required ritual – may not be used in Ritual Magic. Spellweaving already uses many elements of talismongering; expendable talismans may not be used with spellweaving and the effects of permanent power-enhancing talismans are halved. The suggested Enchantment rules (Posted previously) already cover the use of ingredients, although Talismongering could be used in place of magic theory to help determine what those might be. If those rules are not in use, talismans can be used to increase both the enchanters effective skill and the performing enchantment total (Treat this as enhancing the power of the effect).

   Overusing talismans is dangerous; like Axacanthus pollen (Pg 278), talismans can easily become a crutch which will eventually weaken the user’s natural abilities. As a rule, routinely using two or three specific talismans is pretty safe, as is using the occasional expendable talisman in an emergency – but going beyond that is risky.

   Adventurers commonly employ a few talismans, but tend to find hauling piles of them about far more awkward then it’s worth – not to mention the risk of weakening their natural abilities, the perils inherent in relying on something which can get taken away, and the extra action it often takes to use them (Permanent talismans can often be found in easy-to-use forms, such as wristbands or rings, but expendable items usually require at least one action to get out and use).

   Talismongering is moderately common, reasonably useful, and totally unexciting. Permanent immobile talismans – inlaid magical circles, “totem poles”, and similar items – are commonly used in city waterworks, by farmers who want a little more water pumped per cley, by healers in their offices, and so on. Permanent portable talismans are common tools for magical students, professional mages, and protectors. Expendable talismans are rarer; they’re generally more expensive then the modest benefits they provide are worth – except in special situations.

   The talismongering skill is quite generic, and is intended to fulfill a couple of roles – most notably sparing the GM from having to come up with endless details on the herbs, tools, and creatures of the Tree. To pull a few random volumes from the “Herbal” section of my personal library, we have “Indian Herbalogy Of North America” (382 pages and, thanks to the loss of a great deal of oral tradition, hardly complete. Primarily medicinal), “Using Wayside Plants” (255 pages, mostly concerned with culinary and practical applications – cleaning, preserving food, dyes, etc. Limits itself to very common plants in the eastern US), “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs” (318 pages, mostly concerned with European folk and ceremonial magic, and “Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Herbs” (545 pages. Mostly concerned with practical matters of growing, decoratin with, and cooking with, herbs). I personally don’t feel up to coming up with even that much information – much less the results of 4260 years of World Tree scholarship. Thus, when someone wants to know “Isn’t there anything like Axacanthus pollen that can help with (whatever)” you can just have him make a Talismongering roll to see what the character can come up with. It also allows for minor magical tools and ingredients, answers questions about “Can I get any bonus on this if I get some better tools?”, and gives serious mages yet another thing to spend their experience points on.

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