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Essence Affinity

Copyright Rafael N Etges 2000

 

Like Divine Status, essence users can also have a rating of how strong is their connection to essence and magic sources in the world. Essence Affinity is a ranking system that allows the player and gamemaster to relate the character's understanding of the true nature of essence magic. When a spell caster from essence first discovers his powers and starts studying it, he is granted with level 5 of essence affinity (EA). Whenever the character advances in his personal studies and gains an intimate relationship with essence he can increase his condition and raise towards the next level of affinity. This can be made in various ways, like researching new spells, studying ancient books with powerful knowledge, trying – and succeeding in exploring different planes – both by observation and personal travel (elemental planes, spirit worlds or different dimensions, depending on what the GM has to offer) and knowing its inhabitants (entities, elementals, magical spirits or demons). Also visiting and analyzing earthnodes and ley lines can be helpful, as these are strong manifestations of raw essence power in the world.

Each level of EA is harder to achieve than the past (like Divine Status), and only after many years of hard work and commitment with the esoteric lifestyle of the true essence user can one advance to Master level (EA 8), higher levels would – and should take a lifetime. The keyword of EA is commitment, commitment of the character views of life and the universe, commitment to view the world with the eyes of a mystic, not a materialist. The less one believes in magic, the lower essence affinity level. If the spell user only believes on the rational-mechanical process of spell casting, mana accumulation (power points) and the desired effects but nothing more, he is getting away from the real nature of essence. While another who sees the universe as a mutating whirlwind of mysterious energies that affect everyone's life is a candidate to advance to the next level of EA. The GM must pay close attention to how the character is role-played, and what efforts are made by him to understand how everything is related to essence in any way before even considering his advancement. Just casting spells is not enough, the character must endure and study hard (reading, meditating, looking for better and better masters and sources of knowledge) in a day by day basis, without regard to exaustion or any mundane interests. This is no easier than the life of a restless monk in a perpetual search of a religious truth, only the focus of the quest is different.

The worst thing that can happen to a spell user is to stop believing in magic, even in his own capabilities of manipulating it. This can happen in many ways, but the most common is for the individual to be satisfied with just the most basic aspects of magic - like his own spells and skills. This leads him to believe that the effect produced by the spell is the result of the words and gestures he repeats everytime he casts that same spell, which is only partially true. But without his emotional involvement (commitment, again), something important is missing.

To learn a new spell, the mage (to say any spell caster of essence) must understand complex philosophical ideas and be able to master unnatural energies with his soul, willpower or aura, depending on the concept of magic the GM uses. If the spell effect was produced by gestures and strange words alone it would be much easier, quickier and common to be a mage, so, there is something else inherent to the caster that, without it, would render any spell useless. This something is what lacks in a person with a low EA.

As with Divine Status, characters should be allowed to start with higher or lower EA levels spending background points when they are created :

EA 3 [Major Flaw] – 35 points;

EA 4 [Minor Flaw] – 20 points;

EA 6 [Major Merit] – 30 points;

EA 7 [Greater Merit] – 45 points.

 

ESSENCE AFFINITY CHART

Level 10 [Lord of Essence] – Character knows the answers to cosmical questions and universal mysteries. He passes as much time in this world as in others, and knows personally other dimensions and planes, as well as the entities that live there. At least one artifact has been made in the past, and many other magical items. He can change the course of history with his powers, but what's the meaning in such a small thing? Human desires are bellow him, and he cannot be considered fully human or mortal anymore, and will not age normally. Ancient spirits comunicate with him to exchange advice, and its hard for normal people to understand him. Lower creatures may revere him as a god.

Bonuses: Any character with this level receives a special bonus of +25 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, gains +30 to power perception checks and Spell Mastery attempts, and receives a special bonus of +8 to his Empathy. He gains back PP at three times normal rate.

Level 6 [Student] – Character has show real interest in the magical world. He tries to understand and study it whenever he can, ignoring all exhaustion and disconfort.

Bonuses: Any character with this level gains +5 to power perception checks and Spell Mastery attempts, and receives a special bonus of +1 to his Empathy.

Level 5 [Normal] – Starting status, and status of most of magic students. When character first discovers Essence power, he will start here.

 

Level 4 [Dissident] – Character is somewhat disconnected from essence, and is forgetting the existance of magic. For now, he receives no penalties, but he is getting away from the magical bonds of the world, and may lose more if he doesn't turn back.

Level 9 [Enlightened] – Character has mastered all the knowledge available by normal means, and has visited more than one elemental plane as an explorer in search for more to learn. Also, the making of magical items is not a mystery any more, and his abilities have turned him into a legend in lands far away. Physical barriers and obstacles mean almost nothing.

Bonuses: Any character with this level receives a special bonus of +15 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, gains +20 to power perception checks and Spell Mastery attempts, and receives a special bonus of +5 to his Empathy. He gains back PP at two times normal rate.

Level 3 [Sceptic] – Character is losing interest in the mystical aspects of the world, he considers his spells and magical abilities as a mechanical process, without nothing more than repetitive words and gestures to get a desired effect. Mystical aspects of life are almost always ignored, and elementals and unicorns are as normal as cats and dogs.

Penalties: All characters in this level have a penalty of –10 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, power perception and spell mastery. They cannot cast spells higher than their level or level 15, and gains back PP at frac34; normal rate.

Level 8 [Master] – Character knows intimately the nature of Essence, and its manifestations in this world, such as earth nodes and ley lines. The elemental planes start to call his attentions, and contacts with elemental spirits are common to him. The material plane/world now is meaningless to him, just as its inhabitants. This knowledge would take many years to be mastered, and demands patience and perseverance above normal human standards. Minor magical items have already been made by him (scrolls, potion or wands).

Bonuses: Any character with this level receives a special bonus of +10 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, gains +15 to power perception checks and Spell Mastery attempts, and receives a special bonus of +3 to his Empathy. He gains back PP at one and a half times normal rate.

Level 2 [Shortsighted] – Character is lost in mundane interests and materialistic views of the universe. For him magic has nothing to do with philosophy, which is a useless field, anyway. There is not much he believes besides his own spells and a few other effects, the rest is just charlatanism or old stories. Other planes are totally ignored.

Penalties: All characters in this level have a penalty of –20 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, power perception and spell mastery. They cannot cast spells higher than half their level, and gains back PP at frac12; normal rate.

Level 1 [Fallen] – Character has made his mind up of the falsehood of magic. His spells were something else he cannot explain, and somehow he lost them – maybe they were never there. There is a small chance that he can change his mind and be convinced of the real nature of things but most of the time he will not want to be convinced.

Penalties: All characters in this level have a penalty of –30 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, power perception and spell mastery. They cannot cast any spells, unless they are used to detect and realize back the meaning of magic itself and re-discover it. He gains back PP at frac14; normal rate.

Level 7 [Adept] – Character has started to understand the real fabric of reality, and how to manipulate it. Social interests (unless with other initiates) start to lose meaning to him, as the mundane world seems more and more dull and without importance. His knowledge is known among other mages.

Bonuses: Any character with this level receives a special bonus of +5 to all Spell Casting Static Maneuvers, gains +10 to power perception checks and Spell Mastery attempts, and receives a special bonus of +2 to his Empathy. He gains back PP at one and a quarter times normal rate.

Level 0 [Unbeliever] – This character has totally lost the meaning of magic and essence, and views the universe as a material world devoid of anything that they cannot see. Deities, spirits or magic are nothing more than lies. He is entirely disconnected from any form of essence, and receives no more spells or PP, and is despised by other members of his former beliefs. The modern man.

  Editor's Note

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