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For those poor souls who wish they could be adepts.
(Inspired by belkal's Auxilomancy)
Nicknames: Toadies, handbags, apostles, satellites.
The Aeon Of Horus has begun. All around the world, people are doing the impossible. We mere mortals refer to these people as “adepts,” while poking fun at the surreal insight that drives them. But the fact is, they’re better than us. They reshape the world through sheer force of will. Compared to everybody else, they are as gods.
You are not one of these special people. But you recognise the significance of what they can do. The magic they bring into the world may often be shocking, painful, or ugly, but who cares? It’s magic, for God’s sake! And whatever it takes, you’re going to help them bring this magick into the world.
The central conflict of the toady’s magic is that the reason he helps others is his own desperate need. He loves and reveres magic, and is obsessed with bringing it into the world, to the point where he has actually become an adept himself. But even despite the wonders he can work, he is just a cold, dim satellite, shining only in their reflected glory. Whatever he does to try and help the “real” adepts, they will never need him as desperately as he needs them.
Generate a minor charge: Be instrumental in the generation of a significant charge.
Generate a significant charge: Be instrumental in the generation of a major charge. (These things are pretty rare, but at least there are a lot of options.)
Generate a major charge: Nobody’s ever done this, although one apostle in Germany claims that he’s “teaching” someone to be an adept. Most apostles think that’s bullshit. In their eyes, adepts are gods who walk upon the earth - and how could a mere mortal ever become a living, walking god?
Taboo: For those who are obsessed with the creation of magick, it is a sin to destroy magick, or to allow magick to be destroyed. Killing an adept is your ultimate taboo. If you cause an adept to break their taboo and lose all their charges, then so do you. Note that this applies to any adept, even the one who’s trying to cave your skull in with a baseball bat.
(Frivolous “wasting” of magick is fine, so long as the magick is actually being used up, rather than destroyed. Jesus Christ turned water into wine just because they ran out of booze at a party, but it was still a miracle.)
Random magick domain: Adepts and magick, self-esteem, codependency.
Charging tips: It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.
In many cases, all you need to do is foot the bill. Even significant dipsomancers can’t afford booze sometimes, and you can charge up a plutomancer, a bookworm, a clockworker, or an annihilomancer, simply by giving them certain objects. An amoromancer, Eastern cryptomancer, irascimancer or personamancer might concievably benefit from a wingman, while iconomancers, Western cryptos, and cliomancers can benefit from some sort of research assistant.
Entropomancers are, obviously, risky: they have to risk life and limb in order to generate enough magic for you to feel it, and if you’re the one pushing them to take these huge risks, you’re the one to blame when they either back down or get killed. Pornomancy is probably out, unless you happen to look like someone from a Naked Goddess tape... but then, if you’re also friends with a fleshworker, a career in ritualistic porn might be within your grasp. A narco-alchemist probably won’t let you near their lab, but if you can provide them with hard-to-get raw materials, you might get something out of it.
Minor formula spells
Seek and Ye Shall Find (1 minor charge)
This spell imitates the second channel of the Mystic Hermaphrodite. For the next hour, any time someone gains a magickal charge nearby, the apostle will know about it. The maximum range of this sensation is a number of miles equal to the 10s digit of their auxiliomancy skill.
If they concentrate on this sensation, the apostle may roll their Auxiliomancy skill. With a successful roll, the apostle can tell what degree of charge was generated (minor, significant, major), and gains a vague sense of its general direction. A matched success gives a sense for the “flavour” of the charge – the rough savour of a dipso sucking the worm out of a tequila bottle, or the relentless grinding of a clockworker's latest creation.
Don't Kick The Dog (X minor charges)
For the next X days, adepts will be filled with pity for the apostle. In order to take any action which they suspect would hurt or upset the apostle, they must make a Self check at rank X.
Herald of Things to Come (X minor charges)
For the next hour, everybody within sight of the apostle is protected from any Unnatural stress checks up to rank X. They do not roll, and take no hardened or failed notches. Experiences can still be frightening or stressful, but not because they’re “impossible.”
Lesser Correspondence (2 minor charges)
This is why we call them “handbags” - they’re mostly just an accessory, but you can store some useful things in there. Works like the Ritual of Lesser Correspondence (version 1.0), only without the need for any sort of charm, fetish, or ritual action. Simply touch or speak to the intended recipient, and they gain a single minor charge. If the target is an adept, this does not violate their taboo (although it might be very unnerving).
Call Upon A Higher Power (3 minor charges)
Targets a single adept you have charged with. They immediately know that you want to get in touch with them, and will have a vague idea of how to find you. They feel no supernatural compulsion to do so, though. ("Don’t Kick The Dog" might help, though.)
Kind Acts of Randomness (5 minor charges)
The apostle gains supernatural insight into how to help an adept they’ve never met before. This insight may take the form of a spectacular vision, dripping with occult symbolism, or it may simply be a gut feeling, like “I should leave this bottle of gin on the bus,” but either way, the apostle gains no knowedge of how or why this course of action will be “helpful,” nor who will benefit from it. (Combined judiciously with “Seek And Ye Shall Find,” this might help the apostle to identify a new friend. Maybe.)
Significant formula spells
Reflected Glory (1 significant charge)
Convince one person that you are an adept of a particular school. The adept school you imitate must be one for which you have helped to generate a major charge. The target will not test your magickal power, and will find ways to rationalise why you didn't use your magic when it seemed like you should have. The effect lasts until the next time you use your Auxiliomancy skill.
Revelation of the Divine (1 significant charge)
Choose one target adept. You learn that adept's charging scheme and taboo, their driving passions, and exactly what flavour of crazy they are (how many hardened/failed notches, and what caused them). If they know any other adepts of the same school, you know who those people are and how to get in touch with them.
Greater Correspondence (2 significant charges)
Touch or speak to the intended recipient, and they gain one significant charge. If they are an adept, this does not violate their taboo. (Apostles have used this spell to give a minor adept a taste of what “real power” feels like, encouraging them to push themselves further.)
WHAT YOU HEAR:
This is nice. If I ever find myself in need of some kind of lickspittle character for an adept NPC, I'll go for this first.
I think this is better than the original. The toady's abilities are now so rigidly chained to a second-fiddle role that the "optimized for party play" problem I identified with the prior version is no longer an issue.
Wellbutrin | profile | Jul 25, 12 | 12:35 pm