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 |
Because truth is just as mallable as reality...
It started with a small lie, a little fib you told to make life easier for you to cope with. Perhaps it was to get out of being punished for something you did, or perhaps it was so you could get laid, or get high, or get out of something you didn't want to do. It was the easy way out, and you took the pill: cheap, trashy plasticque packaging and all.
Then it got a little bigger, the lies. Just one small notch higher than the earlier, one more small notch as you raised the stakes even more as the trouble you got into became larger and larger and larger, so large that you could almost suffocate from it. So you lied even more, to get out of the sticky situations your earlier lies made for you. And you became good at it: the police didn't have any dirt on you, and neither did anyone else. Sure, once in a while someone may see through the intricate web of lies that you have build all around you, like a cocoon, but another one took care of that: just another patch in the otherwise impregenable shield.
The central paradox of Mentioromancy is how lies are both truths made false or falsehoods made true. Liars know that there is no truth in the world, but must manipulate that very substance that they know is false.
Generate a Minor Charge: Tell a convincing lie that makes something which would otherwise not even have a chance of happening happen, such as making a jealous wife attack her husband or make a stock broker lose some money.
Generate a Significant Charge: Tell a convincing lie that changes the world somewhat drastically in some manner, such as making a jealous wife kill her husband or make a stock broker lose all his money.
Generate a Major Charge: Tell a lie so outrageous that it pulls the wool over the eyes of the entire world. The lie must be specially constructed for this purpose, so an accidental rumour that causes the stock market to crash would not make it quality for a major charge.
Taboo: You must never, ever, tell the truth. Not even half-truths are allowed, nor are clever rewordings or anything even akin to the truth. Every lie must be piled ontop of another lie ontop of another lie... In addition, your lies must never be revealed to be a lie. What good is a lie if nobody believes in it?
Random Magick Domain: Your power is to make objectivity itself become subjective; by either altering the perception of the viewer or the object in question itself (is there a difference? change enough perceptions, and the object itself changes). A conman powerful enough has the very fabric of reality itself in his paws.
Starting Charges: Newly created liars have 2 minor charges.
Charging Tips: Truth and reality are bound as one, each chained to the other by something called 'objectivity'. Shatter that chain, and both are left to flounder aimlessly. A conman on the prowl could easily rack up anything from 5 to 15 minor charges in one day, in addition to a couple of significant ones, but could just as easily lose it all if he meets someone significantly more wise to the ways of deception. Choose your grifts carefully.
Way Out (2 minor charges)
Lies are exceptionally useful for escaping sticky situations that you would rather not get into. When casting this spell, the liar instantly knows the easiest way to get out of any physical situation: he can feel the direction to take out of a maze, the way to avoid killer sentry bots, whatever. However, remember that easiest doesn't necessarily mean "completely safe": it's just the lesser of the two evils.
Now You Don't (1 minor charge)
Also called 'the Fub' by some, this spell rectifies a mistake that the conman made earlier. When cast in reaction to a Soul or Mind roll that involves interaction with other people, he can reroll that roll by fast-talking his way out of it. This spell can be used for any skill that the GM decides is plausible to be used for, but magickal ones can never be targetted by this spell.
Sweeten (5 minor charges)
Every businessman is familar with the workings of this spell, if not the exact schematics: the liar only has magick to back him up on this. In essence, the caster can make an idea so appealing to a person that he must make a Mind roll at -10% or agree to it, albeit not without bargaining. For every additional charge put into this spell, the penalty to the roll can be increased by 10%, up to -30% at a cost of 7 charges. However, before the spell is cast, the caster must still make his Charm/Lie skill checks as per normal to see if the person even buys into the idea with some small molecule of interest in the first place.
Slippery Mind (3 minor charges)
When cast, this spell instantly protects the liar from all spells and magickal effects for the next 3 turns. However, the liar is also unable to use any of his innate magickal powers during these 3 rounds.
Gift of the Gab (2 minor charges)
A bit of a misnomer, this spell grants the caster a +10% shift to any diplomatic skill for any one action, not just speech-based ones. The skill could be Charm or Lie or even Distracting Physique: as long as it is being used in a diplomatic situation.
Silken Shield (2 minor charges)
The lies that the liar has told in his entire life congeals into a sticky protective cocoon around him that most liars refer to as the Cobweb: anyone with the gift of Sight sees this as a thick, cloying web-like substance that sticks to his every movement and word. When this spell is cast, the Cobweb literally takes form, shimmering and distorting the air around him even to those who do not have the Sight. The Silken Shield protects the caster from one single attack, be it a gunshot or a axe swinging at him. For every additional charge that he also dumps into the spell, he can also be protected from one additional attack, up to a maximum of 3 per casting. However, the amount of charges put into the spell must be chosen during the casting. The shield also lasts for a number of time equal to the charges put into it, so a shield that takes 3 attacks to be hewn down (4 charges) would last for 4 rounds, maximum. In addition, for every attack that the caster wants to deflect, he must speak a lie- however blatant or stupid- when the attack is incoming, so he must be necessarily aware of the attack.
In The Thick (2 significant charges)
This spell manifests the Cobweb once again, only this time less thickly around the caster: instead, all targets around the caster gets caught up in the tendrils of mallable truth extending from the conman. The caster points to every single target he wants to target and says a lie (every 5 targets require one turn to point at and speak, and all the lies spoken during one casting must be unique), before casting the spell which then slows them down and forces a -10% shift to all physical actions.
False Assurance (2 significant charges)
Whenever faced with what appears to be the blatant truth, the liar can instead pull at some threads of reality and make the direct opposite happen instead.
For example: Jim and his nemesis is having a showdown. Both of them have fired all rounds from their guns, and now point two empty revolvers at each other. His nemesis says, ingratingly, "You're all out." Jim smiles and casts the spell, saying, "No, I'm not", before he calmly shoots his nemesis in the head.
I Believe (1 significant charge)
The liar says a lie out loud and spends the charge, before making an additional Lying check. If the check fails, he loses the charge and nothing happens: however, if it succeeds, all those around him who hear and believe the lie are caught in the grip of the illusion. Illusions created by this spell last for a day and an hour, or until proved to be false beyond a shadow of doubt (i.e. trying to cut a concrete pillar into half with a conjured lightsaber, and obviously failing miserably).
For example: Jim stands before a sword stuck in concrete, has a crowd around him watching, and he casts "I Believe". He then proclaims that he is the reincarnation of King Arthur, and to prove his point he will proceed to draw a sword out from the stone. He rolls under his Lying skill and, to the amazement of the people around him, he draws it out. However, all those who were not caught by the lie still sees the sword in the stone, and watches Jim in bemusement as he waves an empty fist around.
Although powerful, the illusion has its limitations: all damage dealt by this spell isn't real, and fades away when the spell ends. However, if the person takes enough damage to actually die, he must make a Mind check at -20% shift or really die. Illusions also cannot interact truly with objects, although more subtle illusions could pretend to actually cleave through objects or otherwise mimic such interaction.
Scapegoat (1 significant charge)
There are always things that you would rather not remember, faces that you would prefer never have seen, things that you would have been happy to go without. This spell takes care of one hardened or failed notch from the target and instead throws it onto another person if he fails his Mind check (as per sanity checks). If the victim succeeds, however, the original target of the spell immediately takes another failed notch in that same meter as he relaxes in anticipation of the loosened madness, but is instead faced with the same onslaught of emotions.
They Believe (5 significant charges)
The so-called big brother of "I Believe", They Believe is essentially the same spell, except this time the only thing you're fooling is reality. The mechanics for the spell are the same: spend the charge, make the Lying roll, and viola, instant illusion. However, this illusion is real, in the sense that it deals physical damage, can interact truly with the enviroment and somesuch. The illusion, again, lasts for a day and an hour, or until destroyed. Since it cannot be disproved to be real (it is real), the only way to destroy the illusion is to either slay it (assume illusions have an amount of hit points equal to the caster's Mentioromancy skill) or to slay the caster, both of which instantly kills the illusion, leaving behind only the carnage and damage.
What can you not do when you can fool the world? Go wild.
thanthos | profile | May 28, 03 | 7:11 am
Mm, while it's fairly well done as far as I can see, it's remarkebly similar to one the two schools of Cryptomancy.
My biggest concern is that the taboo is perhaps the harshest I've ever seen. Maybe it makes sense though.... but just think, if you could NEVER tell the truth. At all.
C.P. | profile | Jun 02, 03 | 5:43 pm
Hence the players would have to either get a little imaginative, or start losing power by the half dozen. ;) It isn't exactly difficult to get charges, so I thought that I'll make it easy to lose them.
thanthos | profile | Jun 03, 03 | 7:47 am