THE UNDERGROUND | adepts | avatars | rituals | artifacts | dukes | cabals | rumors | unexplained | unnatural | misc | scenarios | mods | fiction | THE OVERGROUND | news | forum | submit! | search | links | downloads | ua-ml | NEWEST SUBMISSIONS | Thin Black Line | Dance of the Red Spiral Part 2: Collateral Damage | Shrekomancy | Ablutomancy |
You get by, with a little help for your friends.
It's like this: You, yourself, have no value. You're a waste of air and skin, not fit to live in this world. Unless you can find some way to justify yourself.
Making the world a better place is out of the question, though -- you're not up to it. You know you'll never bring about world peace or cure cancer. If you spend your life trying to do something like that, you're just as worthless as before.
So you're starting small: you're going to be there for your friends. Granted, some of your friends are just as worthless as you are. Not all of them, though. Some of them are honest-to-goodness good people -- people who deserve a better life. Your job is to give that to them. You give them cash when they need it, make them laugh, let them cry on your shoulder. And then you can rest easy, because you've earned your stay on this planet.
The central paradox of Filomancy is its selfishness. The adept's sacrifice is nothing of the kind: he is using his friends as tools. In fact, it is vital to him that they never have a truly good life, because then they won't need him anymore -- which means no more charges.
Filomancy Blast Style: Filomancers have no blast. It's against their nature.
Filomancers can have any number of friends, just like anyone else. However, they must designate between one and four of them "true friends" -- these are the people he devotes himself to. Henceforth, the term "friend" indicates one of these true friends.
Generate a Minor Charge: Help your friend in a way that inconveniences you. The help can be asked for or not, but you must solve a problem your friend has, and suffer some negative consequence. You don't get a charge if the problem could have easily been solved by the friend alone.
Examples: if the adept's friend is out of town, the adept could gain one minor charge by walking her dog until she gets back. He could gain another charge by watering her plants, and so on. Every charge-earning task must present a separate difficulty to the adept. Walking the dog takes time; that's good enough. If the adept waters his friend's plants while checking her phone messages, he is not doubly inconvenienced and gains only one charge.
Generate a Significant Charge: Help your friend in a way only you can.
Examples: Listen to a secret that your friend cannot contain, but cannot tell to anybody else. Convince your friend's crush, your brother, to go out with her. Cheer your friend up by reminding her of the good times you've had together.
Generate a Major Charge: Save your friend's life. You can't gain a charge by placing her in danger, even accidentally.
Taboo: A filomancer must never abandon a friend in need, nor fail to come when called by his friend, even if they are not in need. Also, whenever the adept changes his list of true friends, for any reason, he loses all his charges.
Random Magick Domain: Trust and dependence. Humans are easier to magick than objects, which are easier than animals.
Starting Charges: Newly created Filomancers have 2 minor charges.
Charging Tips: In choosing their friends, Filomancers must perform a balancing act. An overly needy friend might make the adept break taboo, but a self-sufficient one will be a poor source of charges. Furthermore, having only one friend is risky -- she might abandon you, or become too content -- but multiple friends might call on the adept simultaneously, and they might be far apart from each other. Most Filomancers have one very dependent friend, or a number of stronger ones.
With all this variation, it's tough to pin down a charging frequency. On average, a Filomancer gains a minor charge once every three days and a significant charge once every two weeks.
Filomancy Minor Formula Spells
You Deserve It
Cost: 2 minor charges
Effect: Give someone an object. As long as it doesn't present an intrinsic, immediate threat (a ticking time bomb, say), they will accept it. They won't realize what exactly they're holding until they get home, or sleep and awake.
You're My Man
Cost: 3 minor charges.
Effect: For the next 8 hours, any domesticated animal that sees you will treat you as an owner. If their real owner shows up, the animal will be visibly heartbroken, but will return to them.
You're a Real Pal
Cost: 4 minor charges
Effect: For the next half hour, the target of You're a Real Pal gains the skill "Make Friends" at 20%. If she already has a similar skill, she gets +15% to it instead.
You Inspire Me
Cost: 4 minor charges
Effect: After casting the spell, the adept must ask one of his true friends for a favor. After (and if) they do so, the caster steals five of their points from an appropriate stat, for the next 24 hours. If the friend lifted something heavy, Body would be good; Mind is appropriate if they helped with the adept's taxes.
Filomancy Significant Formula Spells
You're A Better Man Than I
Cost: 1 significant charge
Effect: The caster selects a (non-magickal) skill he possesses, and a target. For the duration of the spell, the target has that skill at 1% higher than the caster. The spell lasts the casting roll in minutes.
You Need Me
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: This spell can be cast on anyone in the same room as the adept, or within 15 yards outdoors. If the target leaves the room (or the outdoor vicinity), she suffers a -30% shift to her Soul, and an anxiety attack. If the caster moves, the target must move with him. The target is aware of her situation. The spell and the Soul shift, end after one hour.
You Mean a Lot to Me
Cost: 3 significant charges (see below)
Effect: With this spell, a Filomancer can keep his charges in his friends for safekeeping. The caster must look into the eyes of his true friend, take their hand, and say, "You mean a lot to me". At this point he spends two significant charges and invests as many more as he likes into the friend. Any kind of charge can be invested. The friend is completely unaware that anything unnatural has happened. While the charges are in storage, they cannot be lost through the caster's break of taboo (though if the friend is herself an adept, the charges will be lost if she breaks taboo). Furthermore, they will remain in the friend's body until 24 hours after her death.
The charges cannot be retrieved until two months have passed. To do so, the caster must look into his target's eyes again, take their hand and say "Thanks. For everything." He then spends one significant charge and regains the stored charges.
You Can Trust Me
Cost: 3 significant charges
Effect: A piece of text gives up one of its secrets. A book might disclose its author, or the meaning of one of its symbols. A computer interface could tell you a password. The caster hears the secret as a whisper in his ear; background noise can make it difficult to discern. The length of the secret in words cannot exceed the tens die of the casting roll.
Filomancy Major Effects
Create a piece of advice which, whenever you speak it, just seems to make sense. Make any one person who can see you need you like oxygen, literally. Know all the real friendships in a given community.
mooshified | profile | Aug 26, 05 | 5:33 pm
Very well thought out. I can see a whole bunch of these guys slipping through the infrastructure of society, even more subtle than the Cliomancers. Nice!
Major Charges are far too easy for PCs (who tend to get into potentially lethal situations fairly frequently) to gain. Other than that, great school.
Anon | profile | Oct 11, 07 | 6:15 pm
While you can make it harder to get a major charge by making the friends you pick as npc only it is still a bit too easy to get.
Yes, that's a good point. How about this:
mooshified | profile | Dec 14, 07 | 1:01 pm