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The magic of telling people why they’re wrong.
Nicknames: killjoys, pedants, cynics, naysayers.
A lot of folks in the occult underground claim that reality is subjective. Contramancers know better than that. “Truth” is not a complicated or subjective thing to a contramancer. Reality is not determined by your interpretation - reality simply is what it is, independent of whether you believe in it or not. When you’re right, you’re right, and when you’re wrong, a contromancer won’t shut up until you admit it.
Symbolic tension: Contramancers believe that they have access to real, objective truth, but this truth is meaningless unless it stands in opposition to the beliefs of others. All a killjoy wants is to make people admit that they’re wrong, but if everybody agreed with them, the magick would stop working.
Generate a minor charge: Prove to someone that they are wrong about something which they previously insisted to be true. If they say that they're wrong, but they don't mean it, you don't get a charge.
Generate a significant charge: Same as a minor charge, but the person was so sure in their belief that accepting your argument forces them to make a stress check.
Generate a major charge: Prove something extremely controversial to a community of people who are strongly inclined to disagree with you. For example, prove to the medical community that reflexology can cure cancer, or prove to a whole community of Young Earth Creationists that the universe is 13.7 billion years old.
Taboo: Pedants cannot stand to be wrong. Firstly, and most obviously, a pedant cannot admit to being wrong. Secondly, if a pedant discovers that he has committed himself to a falsehood, then even if he does not verbally acknowledge the mistake, he has violated taboo.
Random magick domain: Intelligence, knowledge, and conflict.
Blast style: A contramancer can only blast someone at the moment that they gain a charge from them. As soon as the target of such a blast realises that they have lost the argument, they suffer an acute stress reaction, with symptoms including numbess, disorientation, and difficulty breathing.
(Some people who think they know a thing or two about adeptry reckon that if an adept’s schtick is argument and rhetoric, that adept probably wouldn’t be able to use magick to kill you. Naturally, killjoys take a very special pride in proving such know-it-alls wrong about this particular point.)
Charging tips: Unless you need to charge up in a hurry, it’s generally best to find people who are actually willing to let you speak. Obviously, you can’t use magick to win the argument if you want your charge, but you can present evidence which has been gathered through magickal means.
Minor formula spells:
Erudition - 1 minor charge
Like the Cliomancy spell “Trivia,” this spell allows you to know one published fact - say, the melting point of aluminium, or Nancy Reagan’s date of birth.
Painful Lesson (minor blast) - 1 minor charge
You can only cast this spell on someone at the moment you gain a charge from them.
Academic Misconduct - 1 minor charge
The next time the target takes a formal test of knowledge or intelligence, they will score whatever you want them to score.
Brute Fact - 3 minor charges
The truth may be awful, but sometimes, you just have to accept it and move on. Whenever you are forced to roll a stress check, you may attempt to cast this spell first. If the spell succeeds, you automatically pass the stress check and gain a hardened notch. If the spell fails, you must roll the stress check normally.
Straw Man - 4 minor charges
This spell fills one person with confidence that they can defeat you in any contest. In combat, this lasts for three rounds. Outside of combat, it lasts for five minutes.
Significant formula spells:
Agreement-In-Idleness - 1 significant charge
The target of this spell is the "follower." The first person within earshot who utters an opinion that the follower agrees with is the "leader." The spell has the following effects:
-- Every time the leader states their opinion on a topic, the follower must make a Soul roll. If the roll succeeds, the follower can make up their own mind about that particular issue. If the roll fails, they agree with the leader.
-- If the follower says anything that the leader disagrees with, the follower must make a rank-3 self check.
-- If the follower wishes to physically attack the leader, the follower must first make a rank-6 self check.
-- If the leader tells the follower to think for themselves, or if either party physically harms the other, the spell ends immediately.
Excelsior - 1 sig charge
Permanently increase your own mind score by 2 points, but not beyond 99.
The Agony of Comprehension (significant blast) - 1 sig charge
You can only cast this spell on someone at the moment you gain a charge from them. It cannot be cast at long range.
Wishful thinking - 2 sig charges
This spell targets one person you can currently see. The next time that person tries to use magic on you, the magic fails, but they will believe that it worked. When this happens, you know what the magic was supposed to do.
Make A Fool of You - 4 sig charges
Permanently decrease the target’s mind score by 10 points. All mind skills are capped at the new score.
Major effects: Gain perfect knowledge of one very specific topic. Give someone a delusion that they’ll never be rid of. Completely eradicate one piece of spurious folk wisdom, like “you only use 10% of your brain,” or “masturbation causes blindness.” Cause large numbers of ordinary people to rebel against an institutionalised falsehood (e.g. sales of homeopathic remedies plummet, or a celebrity gossip magazine receives hundreds of letters asking them to stop publishing horoscopes).
What you hear: A lone naysayer named Kelly Davis has declared war on the entire Mak Attax conspiracy. She’s developed a formula spell that she calls “No True Scotsman,” which has got the local Attaxers disobeying their crew leaders, dissing each others' magickal beliefs, and generally dicking around.
Very nice write up on the Contramancer. The only caveat I have is with the "Make a Fool of You" significant spell. A permanent decrease by 10 to someone's mind score sounds more like a major charge and should cost the Cynic something extra of his own stats. Just my opinion of course, just sounds a little OP with no side effects. Again, well done.
Hmmmm... Looking at it, you're probably right, the spell does need something. How about this instead: