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(AKA Clamomancers, Mourners, Crybabies)
Tears: the universal language, and you speak it more fluently than anyone else.
They used to call you a crybaby in school, and some still call you that now, albeit behind your back. You didn't care: crying relieved some of the pain and the hurt inside of you, the salty rivers of emotion running down your cheeks in rivulets. It was the only way you knew how to express yourself, to unburden the many sins the world placed unforgivingly on you. Sometimes, your tears bought you a friendly word or a tissue full of sympathy, but those weren't important: what mattered to you was the feeling of togetherness you felt when you bawled your heart out, the crystal-clarity crying gave to you. The world just seemed this much better when you were weeping.
Then you cried more and more, even when you weren't hurt, even when there wasn't any pain left in you to cry out, just because it felt good to be sobbing, the sticky warmth of mucus both clearing and causing the lump in your throat. There was power in crying, you realised: the power to both lift and inflict. That realization hit you out of the blue, and you merely had to extend your will across the blurry veil to do anything you wanted to do. And all those people who laughed at you, all those who hurt you: now they will know. Now they will feel pain.
The central paradox of Lacriomancy is that to lift the pain, you have to amplify the pain you already have inside. The world is your emotional dump, but you are your own worst hurt-collector.
Lacriomancy Blast Style
Crybabies blast people by reopening their old wounds or enlarging current wounds, kind of like a physical manifestation of what they are doing to themselves. This means that they cannot blast people who aren't wounded in one way or another, but those who are already wounded- even if it were just a small papercut on the finger- would be in deep trouble when dealing with a Lacriomancer.
Generate a Minor Charge: Cry for at least 5 minutes. The tears must be triggered by a fresh event that hurt you in some way or another deeply (i.e. triggers one of your Passions or Obssession). Tears that you cry over old wounds do not apply unless the event in particular reopened them. However, each charge can only be gained if they are seperated from any other charge-gains by at least 1 hour.
Generate a Significant Charge: Affect someone with your tears. You must cry for at least 5 minutes, and if more than one person watching you responds to your crying emotionally (i.e. feel sorry for you, feel sad, are reminded of a past event etc.), you gain a significant charge. Each charge can only be gained if they are seperated from any other charge-gains by at least 1 hour.
Generate a Major Charge: Make a mark on the world with a bout of your tears. This can either be a world-shaking event, such as moving entire nations to tears with a discreet tear drop, or a more subtle one, such as moving a General enough so that he doesn't declare war. GM, of course, decides what constitutes a major charge.
Taboo: Not crying for more than 4 hours in a row. Charges also have a time limit to them, if not spent: minor charges can only be held for a day, significant charges for a week, and major charges for an entire year.
Random Magick Domain: Emotional dumping. Lacriomancy works by manipulating the emotions of yourself and others so that they feel what you're feeling, or vice versa.
Starting Charges: Newly-created Lacriomancers have 1 minor charge. Of course, the next charge's just a cry away...
Charging Tips: This is probably one of the easiest schools in which to gain minor charges; a wandering Lacriomancer, given his most probable personality, could rack up anywhere from 6 to 18 minor charges a day, and if he has equally emotional friends, 4 significant charges at the same time.
Bleed Me A River (2 minor charges)
This is the crybaby's minor blast spell. As stated above, it works by enlarging current wounds, or by reopening old wounds; there is a distinct advantage over other blasts, however. If the targetted wound is in a critical position, such as a scar along the inner side of a calf, there is a distinct possibility that old penalities may return, or even increase. Spending 1 additional minor charge allows the crybaby to choose which wound to target, as long as he knows the existence of the wound.
Weep (2 minor charges)
Forces the target to start crying, which blinds him and makes him take a -10% shift to all skills that require concentration or sight. If the skill in question requires both, then the penalty is doubled to -20%. This spell can be cast on inanimate objects even, as long as they have eye-like orifices: the targetted object then would appear to be crying magically-produced tears (a rank-4 Unnatural check to even behold it).
Heartfelt Sorrow (1 minor charge)
Allows you to feel the physical wounds- both old and current- of any single target, in addition to allowing you to gauge how much more punishment he can take before hitting the dirt. This does not tell you how much wound-points each wound caused the target, nor does it tell you how much wound points the target have left, but only gives you a rough gauge ("He can probably take a few more punches", "One more and he's out for the count", "He's almost untouched, save for a small nick on the side of his head") of the injuries the target has. Casting this spell costs the Lacriomancer 1 standard action as usual, but also freezes him up for an additional round due to the illusionary pains that are wrecking his body now, except unless the target is completely unwounded, where as then the charge is still consumed as usual, but the Lacriomancer is not frozen for an additional round.
Deaden/Enliven (2 minor charges)
This rather interesting spell allows the crybaby to either remove 1 failed notch from any gauge AND gain a hardened notch in the same gauge, OR remove 1 hardened notch in any gauge AND gain a failed notch in the same gauge. This spell only works on the Lacriomancer himself.
Crystal Tears (3 minor charges)
By crying so that your tears form a small sizable puddle and then gazing into the puddle while the sobs are still wrecking your body, you can spy on anyone or anything for as long as your sobs last (usually about 1 to 2 minutes). By spending an additional minor charge on this spell, you can also discern the mood of your target if its alive and sentient. If the target is dead and has passed through the Veil, then the puddle ripples and turn up completely blank; however, if the target has not passed through the Veil and is possessing a body, the puddle would then display the current body it has possessed. To cast this spell, you must know the target, and he must have caused you some emotional hurt (not too difficult, with crybabies); reflecting on that experience would then show allow the spell to be cast.
Stiffled Sob (2 minor charges)
The next time the target of this spell cries, or even just drops a single tear, the image of the crybaby who cast this spell would instantly come to mind. The target would know that the Lacriomancer was looking for him too, although how he knows that may be a mystery (rank-1 Unnatural check). By spending an additional minor charge, the Lacriomancer can include a short, unlasting flash of emotion such as hurried urgency, calm platitude or even anger together with that image.
Unwanted Baggage (2 minor charges)
The Lacriomancer makes the next stress check against a prepared gauge as if it were 2 ranks lower than usual. For every additional 1 minor charge spent on this spell, the rank is lowered by an additional 1 rank, to a maximum of 6 minor charges for 6 less ranks. Only 1 gauge can be thus prepared at any one time.
Emotional Wreckage (1 significant charge)
Wrecks your target with excessive negative emotions, causing him to lose his next action unless he succeeds at a rank-10 Self check; if he succeeds, then he is unaffected (and doesn't gain a Hardened notch). However, if he fails the check, he not only loses his next action, but also gains a Failed notch in Self and has to choose an action accordingly (fight, flight or hide).
Stigmata (2 significant charges)
This is the Lacriomancer's significant blast spell, which does NOT require any old wounds to work. Instead, what Stigmata does is suddenly cause the target to bleed from "stigimatised" locations, most commonly the eyes or the wrists, with all the associated penalities from blinding or excessive bleeding. This blast also works on inanimate objects, which then functions like the minor spell Weep, except that it causes them to cry rivulets of blood instead of water. The bleeding continues for 2 more rounds, during which the target takes one die of damage.
Painful Memories (3 significant charge)
This spell is similar to Stiffled Sob in the sense that both of them are activate the next time the target cries. However, for this spell, the emotion which the target cried over would be inexplicably linked to the Lacriomancer, or any other target that the Lacriomancer chooses to attach the spell to. For an additional significant charge, the Lacriomancer can attempt to warp the emotional context of the situation so that it's favorable or negative; the actual emotion would be GM-decided.
For instance, a Lacriomancer spends 4 significant charges and casts Painful Memories on Mary-Ann, attaching his arch-nemesis' face to it and attempts to twist the emotion to a negative one. The next time Mary-Ann cries, which is over the scene of her lover (who happens to be the Lacriomancer's arch-nemesis) proposing to her, the original emotion (love) is twisted into a negative one (rage), and Mary-Ann recalls a time when the lover joked about marying her. She thinks that this whole proposal is another joke, throws the diamond ring at his face and storms out of the resturant, leaving the lover confused and shocked.
Drowned Pool of Emotions (1 significant charge)
This spell allows the Lacriomancer to add or remove 1 failed or hardened notch in any gauge if he successfully makes an additional Mind roll. The Lacriomancer cries and trashes it out with his self through his muffled tears, after which he makes the roll for Magick, burns the charges if they are successful then makes an additional Mind roll to change the gauge. This spell only works on the Lacriomancer himself.
Pavlov's Bell (4 significant charges)
This extremely powerful spell allows the Lacriomancer to forcefully associate an emotional stimilus with an image chosen by the caster for a single target. The next time the target experiences any emotional stimilus (i.e. anything that activates his Passions or Obssession), he is given one single save against his Soul stat; if he fails, he permenantly attaches the chosen image with that stimilus. By spending 2 additional significant charges on this spell, the Lacriomancer can choose which stimilus this spell would activate on (Fear, Noble, Rage or Obssession).
Teardrop In An Ocean (2 significant charges)
This spell throws out a single emotion into a crowd, spreading it contagiously. The Lacriomancer must vaguely specify what type of emotion he wants to throw out, such as rage or sadness, and it affects a maximum number of people according to the roll rounded down (so a 47 would affect 40 people, a 23 20 people and so on). For every additional significant charge the Lacriomancer spends, he can roll an additional 2 dice and add their sum to the number of people affected by the spell; this charge can be spent after the initial casting, but once the Lacriomancer decides to stop spending charges in this manner he can no longer add new people to the list except by another casting of the spell. The Lacriomancer cannot choose the exact targets affected by this spell, and strong-willed people (a Mind or Soul stat higher than 80) get a roll under that stat to resist each casting or charge spent on this spell.
thanthos | profile | Feb 18, 03 | 5:08 am
Oops looks like I made a small boo-boo by forgetting to include some things. Erratta:
thanthos | profile | Feb 18, 03 | 5:23 am
Haven't had time to analyze the mechanics, but I have to say that the "feel" of this school is dead-on. Good job!
Example of what major charges can be used for would be nice.
InfinityWpi | profile | Feb 18, 03 | 6:22 pm
Thanks ParadoxDruid. :)
thanthos | profile | Feb 18, 03 | 7:58 pm
I have a suggestion for a different taboo, that's more similar to other emotion-based magic (like Irascimancy and Amoromancy)