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Order, a truly post-modern answer to entropomancy
[Note: The basic concept here is that while order and chaos are basic components of magick, magick is also postmodern. Chaos is embodied by the entropomancer, but ordomancy is ahead in it's development, the order it speaks of is societal, national, and entirely a human construct.]
[Note: This concept is meant to be used with a house rule I refer to as "charge poisoning" that is meant to encourage variable charge gaining behaviors. That is, if someone is only gaining charges in a single unchanging way, it starts to effect their personality. A dipsomancer with Nixon's Watergate coffee mug might become increasingly paranoid after only using that mug for a month. This is purly an RP thing I use on a case by case basis, in large part to prevent people "cheesing" the charge system. I think this school still works without charge poisoning, but I like the rule so I felt it was worth mentioning.]
Order surrounds us and controls us. People stop at a red light when no one is around. Cops become different people when they put on their uniform. Did you ever see 48 hours? Eddie Murphy controls a whole bar with just a badge. Y'see, its the badge that is important, not the gun. People obey authority simply because it is there. The flag of Brazil says Order and Progress! Think about it, order is the priority.
Since you where a kid you have known that the control authority figures have over our lives is artificial. Maybe when you where a kid and a cop stopped your dad for speeding, you saw the great man (your template for god) bow before a badge and some flashing light. Maybe as an adolesent you learned it was better to bow to the principal then buck the system... but it was so great to buck that system. Only you know, but somewhere along the way you learned that breaking the control gave you power over it.
The central paradox of ordomancy is that by breaking order down you creat order anew. You gain power and authority, but only as you make it weaker.... which means you are just as controlled as everyone else, a slave to order.
Ordomancy blast style
Ordomancy lacks a true blast. The spell Respect my Authoritah! substitutes that effect. This is school is about control, authority, and rules. Not violence.
Getting caught. More precisely getting controlled. More precisely, letting authority gain control over you. Having a cop stop you and ask for your ID is fine, but getting put in the back of a squad car is definately not. Going to court (for your trial, not just visiting) is a violation. Going to jail puts you into a constant state of taboo violation and is agony (bad for the helplessness meter). Being kept prisoner by a non-authority has no taboo effect.
The other side of the coin is simply obeying the law. You can't stop for a red light, pay for subway fair, or get a building permit. The exception to this is that you can obey the law in commision of a crime. You can stop for a red light in a stolen car, you can pay for the subway with a hot revolver in your pocket, and you can get a building permit with a bag of heroin in your house. This does not work with actual arrest.
Break a simple rule. The best guidance for this in a US based game is to commit a misdemeanor. Each misdeamenor can only be committed for a charge once per week.
Break a serious rule, with the possibility of serious consequences. A felony is a perfect example for this, but a high school kid risking expulsion would gain a significant charge (there is so much more authority in a minors life). With the exception of capital crimes and those which carry a life sentance, each crime also works once per week.
Commit a crime that could destroy the source of order, the state. This means high treason. This is not just selling guns to insurgents. This is selling fissionable materials rogue nations. This is murdering your nation's leader. This is blowing up the Hoover Dam. Each act of treason works only once.
Cost: 1 minor charge
Effect: Cause an individual to react for a moment as if the caster had shown a symbol of authority, usually a police badge. Great for a quick flash of an I.D.
Perks of the Job
Cost: 1 minor charge
Effect: Gain the little perks a law officer would get as a result of their role from one source. This is usually used to get free coffee and donuts. It would work on a prostitute, but why do that when you can pay to get a charge?
Things Fall Apart
Cost: 2/3/4 minor charges
Effect: Cause a controlling machine to fail. There is some leeway here, but basically it can effect traffic lights, metal detectors, turnstyles, e-ticket machines, etcetera. For 3 charges, this spell does work on password protection, but tends to corrupt files and web pages as computers are poorly regulated (its the tubes y'see, they get clogged). For 2/3 charges it is a simple failure, defined by the GM (stop light turns off, stuck on red, stuck all on, etcetera). For 3/4 the caster can decide.
Cost: 3 minor charges
Effect: Police show up. Usually a squad car. Not necessarily alerted or responding to something, they just show up.
Cost: 4 charges
Effect: The caster learns what a quick police search would show based on the information they have. Clearly if you have name and social this is quite a bit more than if you had just seen someone's face in a crowd once.
Respect my Authoritah!
Cost: 1 significant charge
Effect: Give a command. Each word beyond the first costs another significant charge. Not following the command requires a rank-9 check (whichever the GM decides is most important, mostly helplessness, but self and violence can also be appropriate. This command must be understood and cannot cause suicide (sorry, autodefenestrate is unlikely to work) but "Surrender!" is likely to cause a foe to toss their weapon aside and hit the ground.
I am the State
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: Learn the information that an FBI (or other law enforcement, NOT intelligence agency, Interpol is fine) has regarding an individual or case.
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: Causes a questioned subject to reverse their loyalty 180 degrees with respect to one question, just for a moment. This usually means blurting out an answer, followed by a self or unnatural check.
We are the Mods
Cost: 5 significant charges
Effect: Incite a crowd to violence. Quadrophenia/soccer hooligan style violence. A thousand person crowd must already be present, and you do not actually control the violence, but this effect starts with a thousand people getting violent and spreads or recedes naturally from there. The caster has no control over how the violence manifests. Significant use of this spell is a great way to attract Sleeper attention.
Cost: 1 major charge
Effect: Rewrite an accepted manifestation of authority. In a US campagin, this could add or remove something from the Bill of Rights and have it be accepted.
magafish | profile | Nov 19, 07 | 1:39 am
I have commented (perhaps too much) over at RPGnet at this address:
I'm ok with it, but I'd alter the limitations on the Minors to "From One Source" rather than "One Type". So, different hookers (or different streetcorner or brothel or pimp's stable, however you want to define Source), five-finger-discount for a different candy bar from a different gas-station, etc. Sometimes people get the feeling like they have to make sigs really really hard, but many schools can get at least a few relatively easy a week and a good number can get them almost on the demand (i.e. Dipso with a fancy glass). I might change the charge requirement for "The Badge", but otherwise, it'd be hard to truly abuse (more than other magic) minor charges particularly since they do carry a real risk outside of inconvenience or feeling sad. You steal enough candy-bars, run enough red lights (that in itself is a real ball-buster), start enough fights, particularly if all in one night, you're going to get some real heat on you. And sure, you get tabooed once or twice, no big deal, but for three you go to jail, you go crazy.
Also, you can introduce some uncertainty for the player in that only laws that are enforced or enforceable garner charges.
I dig it!
A police officer could definitely use this school. If you doubt that for a second, watch Bad Lieutainant... now tell me how often this guy is going to get tabooed :D
magafish | profile | Feb 04, 08 | 8:49 pm