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Copyright Miniature Wicker Zombu

A Sign of the times

Humans have always been beholden to signs, the flock of birds rising from a nearby wood would be a foreshadowing of impending death, or an eclipse would tell of the impending doom for the kingdom, or it would the god's signal that it had been a while since the last virgin sacrifice.

But how did we get from there to traffic lights?

Logomancy is all about the changed nature of signs in modern times, from signs that tell you what will happen to signs that tell you what you should do.
It's some weird thing about humanity, we seemed to need the signs so we knew what it is we had to do and what was about to happen, and as we began to give nature the finger, we had to produce our own signs to make up for the loss.
It's part of the essential PoMoMa of the streets, and it's what Omen and Owomen tap into.

Generate a minor Charge: personally create a 'sign' that affects the way a viewer behaves or makes them perform an action because of reading the sign. Note: a 'sign' can only produce one minor charge before it becomes inert and no longer produces charges for the Adept.

Generate a Significant charge: Alter a pre-existing sign so that following its instructions would seriously affects a person's life, you get the charge when a person is affected by the changed sign not when you originally change the sign.

Generate a Major Charge: Do an action that a sign tells you not to do and that results in you getting severely injured or maimed.

Taboo: You must never, ever, wear any sort of visible designer label or logo. Those shoes? Avoid trainers in future. Those Golden Arches on your work clothes? Purleeze. Logomancy is about using signs for your own interests, being a billboard for other people's crap messes with that, and if you're lucky you'll simply lose your charges.
You also can't knowingly obey a sign that tells you to do something, including the push/pull signs on doors (the trick is not seeing the signs in the first place, or being able to work around them with a big foot or an open window), to show you're in control of signs by not letting signs have control over you.

Paradox: You utilise the power inherent in signs by stepping outside their control.

Random Magick Domain: Control of reality through signs and also (limited) control of people's actions.

Blast style: none.

Charging tips: A quick and dirty method of getting minors is to spray swastikas on the sides of synagogues, the sign will usually get washed off/painted over quickly (which you want, why else would you put a swastika on a synagogue?). Out of order signs on toilet doors are also a good way to rack up charges
Sig charges are easy to get, all you need to do is move all the fire escape signs in a building around then set fire to the place.

Minor Formula Spells:

Cost: 2 minor Charges
Makes the target act as though they have just failed a stress check (but without a failed notch). They don't know exactly what they're reacting to of course, so they generally just react to the most agitating thing nearby.

Walk/Don't walk
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
Causes a person to either stop doing something, or makes them do a single, very simple action (that doesn't do them direct harm or threaten their life)

Badge of Honour
Cost: 3 Minor charges
Make a blank badge of some kind, it can simply be a blank business card pinned to your shirt or an empty name sticker, and cast the spell at the 'badge'. People will now react to the badge as though it is a legit ID card that allows a person to be where they are or need to go (bouncers think it's a VIP pass, security guards will assume it's a security pass). Lasts until the badge is removed.

Just Doing my Job
Cost: 4 Minor charges
A variant of Badge of Honour that allows the adept to pretend to be a policemen or various other authority figures by writing the job title on the badge, people will also see you in the appropriate uniform even if your not wearing one. Again, lasts until badge is removed.

Traffic Cone
Cost: 2 minor charges
After the magic roll, the Adept makes a notice roll of some kind, if it succeeds they get a hunch roll as they notice some innocently symbolic thing around them is in fact a poignant omen of coming disaster.

A Good Sign
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
Will cause the next traffic light to turn green as you near it, the next one-way street will be going the way you are going (even if it wasn't 5 minutes earlier), only lasts for one manipulation of reality.

Cost: 4 Minor charges
After the magic roll, the Adept makes a notice roll of some kind, if it succeeds they will find a small clue as to where they need to be or who you need to see to achieve their most immediate goal.

Good Omen
Cost: 3 minor charges
Traffic lights become friendly to your comings and goings, turning green for you and red for your foes, Pull doors become Push doors when you're in a hurry to get through them, and switch back once you've gone through etc… sort of an opposite of Bad Signs (Though it lasts for the tens of the magic roll in minutes this time).

Significant Formula Spells:

Slow Children
Cost: 3 significant charges
Causes a sign to enforce it's meaning on the surrounding environment, including the caster. A stop sign will cause time to freeze, a left turn sign would make people and things suddenly turn left. The exact effect depends on the sign in question, but the duration of the spell is usually the magic roll in minutes. Signs aren't very big on punctuation and grammar though, so a sign that said SLOW CHILDREN or THIS DOOR IS ALARMED would have rather… interesting effects (they say there is a door somewhere that is still screaming).

Cost: 4 Significant Charges
Allows a sign to answer one simple question asked of it. The answer will appear on the sign in the same style of lettering that was on the sign before. But the sign will sometimes answer with a simple "Don't Know" or for the bigger questions, "I'm scared".

Bad Signs
Cost: 1 Significant Charges
Causes any signs the target encounters during his day to change in a negative way, traffic lights turn red just as he drives up to them, speed limits will appear to be higher than they really are etc… Lasts for the tens of the magic roll in days.

White lines
Cost: 5 Significant charges
Paint a single, unbroken white line around what ever you want protected, Make the magic roll and spend the charges. This will make the line suddenly have repetitive gaps like those white lines in the middle of the road. If you now spend a minor charge the line will turn solid again, and almost nothing will be able to cross over it, including people (who will have to pass a rank-5 self check to walk or travel past the lines) and minor magic. Will block most scrying attempts. Blasts stopped with this spell will cause the Adept to lose a minor charge per blast stopped.

Visitor's Badge
Cost: 2 significant charges
Like the minor spell Badge of honour, and requires the same sort of badge, but will open locked doors of all kinds and allow you through some magical wards (GM's discretion as to what sort of magic it will counteract). Appears to be exactly what it really is to human observers, but electronic surveillance (CCTV cameras and the like) will see a legit badge, like Badge of Honour.

Major effects:
Make a person severely maim themselves, Make a whole community do a single action when ever they see a particular image (Hate! Hate! Hate!).

Miniature Wicker Zombu | profile | Feb 01, 05 | 9:21 pm

Visitor Comments

And before anyone says anything, I would rule as GM that the adept can't use logomancy to create fake money of some kind, as money has a whole different type of symbolic mojo working for it.

Miniature Wicker Zombu | profile | Feb 01, 05 | 9:23 pm

I think particularly the minor formula spells are to powerful. Three quick swastikas on a synagoguem, a piece of paper and a safety pin and you can go straight into a nuclear launch silo? The Majuor charging method is... Man, you charge off not breaking taboo, no, it has to go!

Mattias | profile | Feb 03, 05 | 5:32 am

I see what you're saying with some of the spells now I look at it again... maybe make visitor's badge or badge of honour only work once before having to be recast to work.

Major charge is all wrong, makes the whole cost/effect ratio for an adept faced with a bottle of drain cleaner go completly off.
Maybe make someone do something that they know will kill them with a sign.

The existing one makes a good rumour for a starting logomancer to hear.

Oh, and a starting logomancer has 2 minor charges.

Miniature Wicker Zombu | profile | Feb 03, 05 | 6:54 pm

The major-charge requirement does seem completely off -- after all, you can cop a major charge just by disobeying any number of traffic signs. (Running red lights, anyone?)

Also, the significant works seem a bit underpowered and costly for the requirements of gaining significant charges, which seem mostly to be pretty violent. (What constitutes "seriously affecting a person's life?" Does it have to be severe injury, or will just stranding them in the country on faulty detours work?) I would be inclined to either beef up the significant works or lessen the significant-charge requirements.

Also, given all the violent implications of so much of this school, why is there no blast?

Anti-Vehicular | profile | Feb 05, 05 | 3:59 pm

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