Fantasy Wargaming cover to cover (XX)

Passive magic
This is chiefly divination (gathering information), and for this type of magic, Intelligence is actually as important as Faith. The overall mana costs are lower too, so beginning mages will probably do more divination than sorcery. Two main kinds of divination are possible. The first kind relies on the system of correspondences more than personal power, and involves sophisticated techniques like astrology and tarot cards. Only High Sorcerers and Cabalists use this kind. This kind uses very little mana but takes a lot of time. The other kind concentrates the mage’s power into some focus to see into the Ethereal plane. The focus might be a crystal ball, a pool of ink, the entrails of an sacrificed creature, etc. Wizards, Witches, and Peasant mages use this kind. This kind of divination uses more mana but is also much faster. Standing in between these two is the Runic (dark ages) sorcerer, who uses divinatory “runic rods” as a focus, but these are also designed to take advantage of correspondences. These runic rods also help in active magic, unlike the other diniatory devices.
In fact, it is also possible to gather information in at least two more ways — dreams/visions and certain religious ceremonies, but those use different mechanics.

Divination uses a modified version of the BMC(1) calculations, where the difficulty/complexity of the question, and the Intelligence of the mage, factor in. This allows the question to be asked, but does not determine the answer. The nature of the question determines how it will be answered. The text encourages questions about future events to be interpreted as regular informational questions, when possible (One example presented is “Will so-and-so give me V.D.?” which should be interpreted as a “detect disease” type of question. No, really; that’s the example.) If the question can’t be re-interpreted, the GM is advised to roll, with 1-60 = yes, 61-100 = no! The GM is reminded the “stars” always have an out should this be wrong, since the future is never certain.
Other questions are answered according to their complexity as described on a chart (the two kinds of divination have different DDs and mana costs for different questions), and zodiacal controllers/diminshers affect this too.

In additon, characters with a Faith of 12+ may have prophetic dreams/visions, and characters with high Intelligence may interpret these dreams and visions. The chances of having a dream can be increased by taking preparations (using the normal methods of mana accumulation) and then spending mana. Interpretations may yield anything from a major secret of the adventure or an NPC to a wild lie, depending on how well the interpreter rolls. It is also mentioned that dreams cost 1-3 mana or 1-2 Endurance points, but there is no explanation as to how to choose. I suspect the Endurance cost is taken if there is not mana available, and one might extrapolate that other mana costs might be payable in Endurance in an emergency.

Next up: the mage “classes” in more detail. Yes, you’d think they’d be described in character creation but that’s how FW rolls. You need to read the whole book to play.

Published in: on August 15, 2010 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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