Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates

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1 month 3 weeks ago #65973 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates

FlynnDanger wrote: Thanks for the clarification, null0trooper.

So just to be sure:
1. Infernal magic can only be used by Infernal beings. Its just the way demons, devils, etc express magic.


I meant that it's only being called "infernal magic" because it was used by someone/something connected with the Pit. Essence drawn from an infernal source may taint the spell created with it, and might make it easier to be defeated with empyrean energies, but beyond that, not much has been said.

FlynnDanger wrote: *True Mythos magic can only be used by beings from the Mythos. Trying to learn Mythos magic is only for the truly deranged/insane because only they can make some sort of sense out of it. Even then, they aren't using True Mythos magic, just what their mortal minds can kind of grasp.


A sane person can make use of Mythos magic: inscribe an Elder sign, or something like that. One might question how long it took them to regain their sanity after having whatever encounter led to them knowing about such things.

More serious exposure to Mythos anything, without protections, tends to drive a human insane. That insanity does not have to be giggling, babbling, severe paranoid schizophrenia. Also, a person's mental illness could just as easily make mythos sorcery impossible for them use: I doubt that an extremely concrete thinker would have an easy time of any of it.

Basically, it is not an either/or proposition, but a very slippery slope.

FlynnDanger wrote: 2. Fae magic, like Infernal or Mythos, can only truly be used by a Fae creature, something that is NOT human and NOT Sidhe, but a classification of spirit/entity.


Fae in folklore can interbreed with humans, so they are not that far removed from their neighbors. Their abilities and spell are "fae magic" only in the sense that the essence came from someone fae or someone taught by the fae, and some of the countermeasures that supposedly work against fae may be useful, but that's about it so far.

There may be magics that are only useful to a faerie, but they are few, and unlikely to show up in the Witch Queen's next how-to book. However, if there's a Llewellyn Worldwide publisher in the Whateley Universe, they might publish a Faerie Magick series.

FlynnDanger wrote: 3. Invocation: Caster "summons" an entity to themselves, sometimes literally by way of possession.


I did not say anything about spirit possession. In the examples I gave, the caster is in mind to mind communication with the other, if not soul to soul, but that does not mean that that other is drawn to the caster's location - although it could be.

FlynnDanger wrote: *Conjuration: Caster creates the entity, object, etc. as part of the spell.


Possibly. The entity may pre-exist the spell as a knot of essence. There have been numerous named conjurations, but explanations have been rare.

FlynnDanger wrote: *Evocation: Caster summons something that is, if not sentient, pretty dang close.


Or they may be imprinting an identity on a nearby knot of magic. Lesser entities might have only as much intellect and awareness as a puppy. Besides, how useful would a Turing test be if the human is of average intelligence, and the Other has super-human intellect?

FlynnDanger wrote: 4. I guess I confused interest for aptitude. Mages will pursue the areas of magic that they like or feel will help them reach their goals. Like any person, just because you have an easier time understanding something, doesn't mean you have to make that your career. And if you're interested in something, naturally your going to be better at it because it isn't a chore to learn. So you don't mind putting in the work.


It's not unreasonable that a student would consider it stupid for words to waste time on learning a banned field like necromancy. Since it is a banned field and not taught at Whateley, there's no reason for a student to even find out they have an aptitude for necromancy.

The main selling points for necromancy, blood magic, and mythos sorcery is that large effects are deceptively easy to obtain for a low down-payment on a deferred cost. Once someone does step over the line, it becomes ever easier to justify the next time. Each time they "get away" with it, it becomes easier to think that that payment can be pushed back further with just a little more knowledge and power.

FlynnDanger wrote: 5. Yeah, I'll admit that I don't know alot about Wicca. I hope I didn't offend anyone with this question. If so, I apologize for my ignorance.
But you're right, probably best to leave out specific religious practices as forms of magic and just leave that to a character decision thing. Like "X's character is a WIZ-3, but also happens to practice Wicca" which will influence the way they cast spells, but not the in-game effect. More of a roleplay thing.


Shadowrun used Traditions as a way to add "flavor" and a way to define the types of spirits that could be summoned for certain services. There was also a distinction as to whether those spirits possessed an object or person, or manifested into local reality, but I doubt it matters that often.

FlynnDanger wrote: 6. Charms are enchantments with more limited effects or uses. Like how a Dream Catcher will stop malevolent entities from entering your dreams, but won't really stop a fireball from roasting you. Or like how an arrow enchanted with a Light spell on it can't be used and then later used again without re-enchantment. The activation of the Light spell used up the Essence stored in the arrow.


They do tend to be single-use items, although the single "use" may last a long time.

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #65977 by FlynnDanger
FlynnDanger replied the topic: Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates

I did not say anything about spirit possession. In the examples I gave, the caster is in mind to mind communication with the other, if not soul to soul, but that does not mean that that other is drawn to the caster's location - although it could be.


Sorry, guess I was putting words in your mouth.

I was thinking of the times in fiction that an Oracle would basically become a mouthpiece for a god, spirit, etc. I'm not sure if possession was the correct term for something like that. But, I don't think I remember a canon instance of this happening in Whateley Academy, besides an Avatar letting their spirit take the reigns for moment. However, that really isn't magic so I shouldn't use that as a basis.

In any case, thank you for putting up with my questions.
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1 month 3 weeks ago #65978 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates

FlynnDanger wrote: In any case, thank you for putting up with my questions.


No problem! Like I think I've said, my WhatIF stories revolve around a magician with a questionable ancestry, so the topic of how Whateley magic works interests me.

Plus, I'm assuming that where I've misinterpreted it, one of the Canon crew can step in with a correction.

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #66000 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken replied the topic: Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates
1. Previous answers here are pretty accurate. The important thing to remember about the difference between Infernal and GOO/mythos is that Infernal and Angelic sources are 'part' of the multi-dimensional existence... for most measures of understanding, you can view these beings and their magick/Essence the same as you might Elementals, except replace the 'natural' compass (earth, air, fire, water, wood, metal, ... as well as all the overlapping and interwoven 'sub-Elements' like storm, mud, fog, magma, and so on) with a morality/law axis. They are embodiments of a specific sort of Good and Evil, and their realm's Essence reflects that. Their spell crafting naturally does as well... and working those spells requires working with the appropriate sort of Essence and dealing with ANY 'tainted' Essence has an impact on the mortal body if you use enough of it and aren't careful to keep it separate from your own pure Essence (in your Well).

Mythos beings, though, are not part of this universe. They are outsiders. Their understanding of reality doesn't include spacetime in the same nature that ours does. Even trying to comprehend the languages and knowledge of those IN the universe who worship and serve them (or think they do, because you know ... who can really grasp the requirements of the old ones?) is enough to challenge the sanity of the weak willed.

So... what you should take out of this? ANY tainted Essence can corrupt a mortal if used too much or without care. Every Elemental or dimensional variant taints the Essence within its influence... for example: excessive manipulation or influence by Fire Essence can make a Mage reckless, brash, and aggressive. They will seek to consume things. Being influenced by Necromantic Essence will cause a Mage to think without emotion or morals, to take the long view and have a reduced concern about the sanctity of life. This is why the process of ritual and the natural accumulation of Essence in the Well (the process of which purifies / aligns the Essence to the mage) is such an important ability, and why such a 'simple' ability is rated as its own (quite powerful) mutant trait.


2. Sidhe magick is unique in the sense that Sidhe are actually physically 'made' of Essence. While most mortals have the ability to draw Essence out of their life force or add to it for the benefit of regeneration and recovery... the Sidhe are 'literally' Essence as flesh. This gives them vastly greater capacity to interface with sources of Essence, something that they enhance by creating environments in which there are vast available sources of Essence and Essence flows available for use (World Trees and the Ley Lines). Sidhe mages, thus, have far more ability to use naturally existing Essence from their surroundings for their purposes instead of having to cast from their own private sources of Essence. Of course, this comes at a cost... they cannot survive without the presence of Essence. They are also far more easily affected by 'tainted' Essence because they don't have the same degree of isolation and purification that human mages do. They ARE their Essence... and if that's surrounded by tainted stuff... they can't really get away from it.

Most of the rest of what makes Sidhe magick different in the WU is simply 'time'. The Sidhe pre-Sundering were an extremely long lived, dynamic people. They took both magick and science to degrees humanity has yet to match. Or even approach.

3. Conjuration creates something from nothing. Evocation brings something into this place that was elsewhere. Invocation brings something and embodies it in some way.

Conjuration is 'making'. Like Manifesting, it taps into the between places and brings forth ectoplasm and uses power to give it shape. A knife, a meal. With enough power, a conjuration can be real. Most conjurations are more illusion than reality, though. The knife might take a couple hits and then return to mist. The meal might taste alright but have no sustenance.

An Evocation is how you would bring fire... or a fire elemental... to come into our world from elsewhere for the purpose of lighting your way... or your bonfire. Some of the things that can seem to be done with Evocation and Conjuration 'overlap'... the difference being whether that item was 'made' in your will or whether it was 'brought' to you by your will. Also, some overlap might be seen with Summoning... but Summoning involves calling specific entities, usually working with existing or implied contracts... an evocation is abstract and very temporary.

An Invocation would be how you ask the Lord of Flames to protect you from a fire elemental on a battlefield, filling your veins with his nature and allowing you to melee with the elemental.
4. Just look at the stories with Hades in them. Former God of the Underworld and he's basically suicidal from dealing with the vocal dead.

There really are a number of ways you can go with this. The main issues would involve two things: the character's ability to keep from over-exposing to Death Essence. And where the mage got their spells. The down side of the 'nature' of Necromancy is that the bulk of the work down in the field has been done by those who don't mind dabbling in the Infernal or even Mythos.

But really? You COULD have a Necromancy inclined mage that was an amazingly effective complement to a healing facility. Take the critically wounded, shunt their spirit into a comfortable holding container so they aren't traumatized by all the physical damage... lock the body in a sort of stasis of undeath so it doesn't need to be kept living while it is repaired. That would allow healers to completely open up, repair, clean, and carefully exit out of the body without any worry about blood loss, pressure, and so on. Then, once things are repaired, release the stasis, make sure everything is regenerating well and then re-insert the spirit. You could even allow for visits with the spirit while they are injured by family members.

Or you could play it as a tragic fall into madness and evil villainy.

Remember, its the characters that make things interesting stories... not the powers.
5. Wicca has no speciality. Wicca is a religion, not a type of magick. The work... or the craft... or any of the dozen different ways a Wiccan follower or priestess/priest might refer to the magick side of things isn't very specialized. Charms and potions (simples) ... and use of the Sight... are fairly common among singletons and solitaries. Invocations of spirits and pagan deities are done in ritual with groups and covens. The full scope of the Wiccan spell caster though, really depends on the 'era' you are talking about. There aren't many 'pure' casters in contemporary witchcraft... too much BS published out there that mixes Kabbalic high magick (Jewish esoteric traditions), Hindu traditions of kundalini and chakras, and so on with purely fiction filler to sell books.


6. You can consider physical 'charms' as seen in the Universe in the same way you do devises, gadgets, or pieces of technology of any sort. They are an object created and used for a specific purpose. Yes, in this particular case, the item was made and powered by Essence... but in practice, its origin only really matters if someone is trying to destroy/counter it. You can say "an EMP can break this electronic device but not this charm" but you can also say "a magical suppression field can break this charm but not this iPad". How complex you want to make this depends, mostly, on the needs of the story.

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #66014 by FlynnDanger
FlynnDanger replied the topic: Whateley Academy Tabletop RPG - Character Templates
Thank you for the additional clarification, Kristin Darken.

This has really helped put some things in perspective. While Magic is one of the most versatile powersets, the fact that the kind of essence you use can affect you that much makes playing a Mage dangerous. Not to mention what happens during a miscast.

I'll need to think on how that could be implemented.

At the moment, I'm working on getting some of the basics hammered out for the system.

I've got a basic chart for Exemplar progression (mostly so I can have the strength conversions handy for later down the road) and now I'm going to focus on the Dice System and Challenge Ratings/DCs.

I'm toying with the idea of a D6 system like CrazyMinh has talked about before.

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