Forgotten Suns: Science
From DivNull RPG
With much effort, your circle discovers a cache of First Age knowledge, rediscovering secrets lost for centuries or more. It's a standard trope in Exalted, but what does it really mean? What can the characters do with this knowledge that they could not do before? By the book, there really is no mechanical difference; to be able to create First Age technology, for example, only a handful of abilities are needed (Occult, Lore and certain types of Craft). So why did you really need the First Age knowledge at all? Canonically, this is handled as a matter of plot. That is, maybe the knowledge cache contains plans for specific artifacts so now the Storyteller will let you make that artifact, where he wouldn't before. Or, maybe it has details on how to build or operate a factory cathedral you couldn't handle before. The Storyteller is put into the position of making (and tracking) arbitrary choices about what is possible and what is not, hopefully having explained those choices to his players prior to their becoming important to the game.
The system detailed here aims to replace those arbitrary plot choices with an abstract mechanical system for representing the types of "lost knowledge" that are important to Exalted, and how well any given character knows them. Along the way, it also tries to unify the various Craft systems in Exalted into something a bit more coherent, as well as "stretch out" the power curve for high level campaigns. It is intended for very long term campaigns, where of "First Age discovery" is part of the plot and is intended to slowly unfold over many session.
The system can be summarized as follows:
- Instead of many different versions of Craft, there is only one Craft ability, but using this ability requires specialties.
- Exactly seven specific specialties are available to Craft.
- Sciences, traits rated from zero to five dots, represent specific fields of "lost" knowledge. Unlike abilities or attributes, dots in sciences do not provide dice or other active effects. Instead, sciences act as a passive limitation on certain tasks. That is, some tasks are simply not possible unless you have a certain number of dots in a related science, but become possible once you do. Actually doing them still uses the standard ability/attribute system.
- Most sciences have steeper requirements than abilities, usually requiring the character to know one or more abilities at a certain level.
- Sciences always require instruction of some kind, either from a tutor, book or other source. This requirement is often the limiting factor in learning sciences, particularly those dealing with First Age technology. So, the importance of finding a cache of First Age knowledge using this system is often that it provides instruction for various science ratings. In particular, a First Age tome might gain the property "provides instruction in <some science> at <some rating>".
- Learning sciences may cost xp. At low levels, sciences cost only slightly more than than abilities, but become much more costly as they progress. The first dot in a science costs 2xp (assuming all the requirements are met). Additional levels cost a number of xp equal to the xp paid for the previous two levels, plus one. (Note that it is this xp cost that widens out the power curve. If this is something you are not trying to do in your campaign, you could simply drop xp costs from sciences altogether. Since the main limitation is access to instruction, eliminating xp doesn't change the gist of the system much.)
- Training time is campaign specific, and can be tuned by a Storyteller in order to control his game's pacing. At minimum, for a real over-the-top "high science" game, this should be 20 times the xp cost, in hours, assuming the required instruction. Training times for more standard campaigns might be five times longer, and "realistic" campaigns might be ten or more times longer. So, the progression goes like this:
|Training time (hours)|
These rules can be used in both First and Second Edition games; however, they will largely make reference to concepts from Second Edition books, particularly Wonders of the Lost Age and Oadenol's Codex, as the rules in these books are mostly edition agnostic.
Although you can use the Craft ability as written with this Science system, it was designed assuming two specific changes to Craft. First, there is just a single Craft ability; it is no longer required to purchase different "versions" of Craft. Instead, the standard crafts (air, earth, etc.) become specialties of the Craft ability. (It is also assumed to be possible to buy specialties without any dots in the Craft ability itself, though this makes using charms impossible, as it is the raw Craft score that is used to qualify for charm minimums.) Secondly, you are required to use a specialty when making Craft tests. If you lack a specialty in a required area of craftsmanship, you cannot use the Craft ability in that area. The idea here is that while Sciences expand the detail (and expense) of very high level magical crafting, mundane crafting gets much cheaper.
When these rules list ability requirements, any applicable specialties should be included in the total. For example, something requiring Craft (Fire) 4 could be done by someone with two dots in Craft and a +2 Fire specialty. The following are the allowed specialties for craft:
- Air: Making small, decorative or high-precision items, also drawing, drafting, musical composition and embroidery.
- Earth: Creating buildings and large objects with stone or earth, also stone sculpture.
- Fire: Forging and casting large metal objects and creating objects using fire, also pottery and bronze sculpture.
- Water: Boiling and cooking plants, chemicals and animal materials, also painting.
- Wood: Carving, weaving and manipulating natural materials, also tailoring and sculpting from wax or clay.
- Fate: Manipulating of the tapestry of destiny.
- Shaping: Turning dreams into reality, also dream alteration and manipulating abstract concepts into reality.
When rules in the book call for specific Craft tests, the test is instead converted to one using a specialty based on the type of work done, and possibly bound by a Science. For example, there is no "Magitech" specialty in the list above, so when the book calls for a Craft (Magitech) test, it is translated based on the type of work done. A canonical Craft (Magitech) test for altering a manse becomes a Craft test requiring both an Earth specialty and an appropriate rating of the Architectonics science. A full listing of these mappings is problematic, as various Craft abilities have been used without much pattern over the various editions and books, some even appearing (unexplained) once, never to be seen again. Mapping the more common "special" uses of craft in Second Edition is done like so:
- Craft (Dream): Never explained, some spirits have this ability, presumably representing their ability to use dream altering charms. The new Shaping specialty is used for tests of this kind.
- Craft (Fate): Uses the new Fate specialty. While it would be possible to make some kind of Fate based science, the mechanics surrounding Fate already have their own, complex, expensive subsystem, so don't need more complication.
- Craft (First Age Devices): basic craft and magitech science
- Craft (Genesis): basic craft and genesis science
- Craft (Glamour): Uses the new Shaping specialty.
- Craft (Jadecrafting): basic craft and supernalis science
- Craft (Magitech): basic craft and architectonic and magitech sciences
- Craft (Moliation): basic craft and moliation science
- Craft (Necrosurgery): basic craft and necrosurgery science
- Craft (Pandemonium): basic craft and pandemonium science
- Craft (Quintessence): basic craft and supernalis science
- Craft (Soulforging): basic craft and soulforging science
- Craft (Vitriol): basic craft and vitriolum science
Anyone who can channel essence can attune to a manse. Usually, those with skill can also figure out how to alter or repair a manse. With sufficient Craft, Lore and Occult skill, it is even possible to design a manse that will cap a demesne (core.246, ex2e.133). Without knowledge of the science of architectonics, however, the resulting manse does little else. Its designer will have no control over what kind of hearthstone is produced, and cannot give the structure any special abilities at all.
Architectonics allows a character to design manses using the point-based powers found in Oadenol's Codex. It also allows for the repair of such powers within manses, though 1- and 2-point powers can be repaired without it. Repairs and alteration of higher point powers is possible for those without the science, but the result is always substandard in some way (e.g. requires continual maintenance, leaks essence, etc.).
Knowledge of manse construction and powers has been mostly remembered from the First Age. Given the large crews needed to build most manses, secrets of the lower levels of architectonics have been widely leaked and disseminated. Most large cities will have instructors, books and even manse-construction firms if you know where to look. Information on the higher levels of architectonics, however, are fairly closely guarded secrets. Clearly the Scarlet Empire possesses a full complement of this lore and, most likely, Lookshy does as well. First Age tombs and certain spirits may be among other sources.
|None||Attune to a manse with an Intelligence + Lore (1) test|
|Total of 12 dots in Craft (Earth), Occult and Lore||Design of Manse ●-●●● with 0-point powers, general repair or alteration of same|
|Total of 15 dots in Craft (Earth), Occult and Lore||Design of Manse ●●●● with 0-point powers, general repair or alteration of same|
|Total of 20 dots in Craft (Earth), Occult and Lore||Design of Manse ●●●●● with 0-point powers, general repair or alteration of same|
|Lore 1, Occult 1, Craft (Earth) 2||Repair of 1-point powers|
|Lore 2, Occult 2, Craft (Earth) 3, Geomancy 1||Repair of 2-point powers|
|●||Lore 3, Occult 3, Craft (Earth) 4, Geomancy 2
instruction from fairly common books, instructors
|Add 1-point powers into manse designs, repair of up to 3-point powers|
|●●||Lore 4, Occult 4, Craft (Earth) 5, Geomancy 3
instruction from known but rare books, instructors
|Add 2-point powers into manse designs, repair of up to 4-point powers|
|●●●||Lore 5, Occult 5, Craft (Earth) 6, Geomancy 3
instruction from ???
|Add 3-point powers into manse designs, repair of up to 5-point powers|
|●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 6, Craft (Earth) 7, Geomancy 3
instruction from ???
|Add 4-point powers into manse designs|
|●●●●●||Lore 7, Occult 7, Craft (Earth) 8, Geomancy 3
instruction from ???
|Add 5-point powers into manse designs|
As charms increase in power, it becomes more difficult for exalts to learn them without help. Exalts without tutors or other knowledge of a charm are, essentially, forced to "invent" the charms they learn. This is no problem with charms up to Essence 5. Beyond this, however, it requires detailed knowledge of charm magic, represented by the charmcraft science. Charmcraft can be used both to learn existing charms and to invent new ones. (Absent teachers, both actions are essentially identical.)
There are two exceptions to how charmcraft operates. The first is martial arts. Martial arts charms are more universal and, therefore, not as in tune with a character's essence as her "native" charms would be. Consequently, Martial Arts charms add one to their effective essence level to determine which level of charmcraft is needed to learn them without a trainer.
The second exception is sidereal exalts. Sidereal magic is such that sidereals cannot invent entirely new charms, so they cannot use charmcraft to do so, though they can still use it to learn existing charms. On the other hand, sidereals are much more in tune with martial arts than other exalts, so treat charms for the Martial Arts ability as "standard" charms on the table below.
Unlike most sciences, charmcraft itself is most often learned through trial and error, so may be self-taught at twice the training time. Charmcraft is never needed for charms that are taught to the exalt by a teacher or some other source, no matter what their Essence minimum is. As you can gather from the following table, charmcraft should only be relevant to high Essence campaigns.
|Ability to use charms||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 5 or less.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 4 or less.
|●||Lore 1, Essence 6||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 6.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 5.
|●●||Lore 3, Essence 7||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 7.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 6.
|●●●||Lore 4, Occult 1, Essence 8||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 8.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 7.
|●●●●||Lore 5, Occult 3, Essence 9||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 9.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 8.
|●●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 5, Essence 10||Creation of standard charms requiring Essence 10.|
Creation of Martial Arts charms requiring Essence 9.
First Age master craftsman worked with more than just the five magical materials, they created and altered life itself. Armed with the science of genesis, they cross-bred otherwise un-breedable species into strange new ones, mutated existing creates beyond recognition, even created whole creatures from nothing. Rules for creating life appear in Wonders of the Lost Age. Use of the genesis science, however, replaces the Craft (Genesis) ability described in those rules. Instead, anything requiring a certain level of Craft (Genesis) instead requires dots in the genesis science. Actual rolls using this ability instead use some ability more appropriate to what is being done, usually either a Craft (Wood), Craft (Water) or Medicine roll.
|●||Lore 4, Occult 3, Medicine 3, Craft (Wood) 1, Vivomancy 2||Creation of Artifact ● organisms|
|●●||Lore 5, Occult 4, Medicine 4, Craft (Wood) 2, Vivomancy 3||Creation of Artifact ●● organisms|
|●●●||Lore 5, Occult 5, Medicine 5, Craft (Wood) 3, Vivomancy 3||Creation of Artifact ●●● organisms|
|●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 6, Medicine 6, Craft (Wood) 4, Vivomancy 3||Creation of Artifact ●●●● organisms|
|●●●●●||Lore 7, Occult 7, Medicine 7, Craft (Wood) 5, Vivomancy 3||Creation of Artifact ●●●●● organisms|
Malfean artificing makes use of vitriol and demons so extensively that creating any infernal or hellforged wonders requires mastery of a wide body of knowledge, represented by the helltech science. This is similar in many ways to Magitech and Genesis, using many of the same rules [exin.170]. The applications of helltech are extremely wide, so nearly all Craft specialties (and even Medicine) might be put to use when making tests, depending on the item being created. The rating of this science, however, places an upper bound on the rating of item that can be created. In addition to knowledge, using this science also requires a certain forcefulness of personality to harness and direct the demons involved.
|●||Lore 4, Occult 3, Presence 1, Craft (Water) 1, Vitriolum 1||Creation of Artifact ● or Sapience ● helltech|
|●●||Lore 5, Occult 4, Presence 2, Craft (Water) 2, Vitriolum 2||Creation of Artifact ●● or Sapience ●● helltech|
|●●●||Lore 5, Occult 5, Presence 3, Craft (Water) 3, Vitriolum 3||Creation of Artifact ●●● or Sapience ●●● helltech|
|●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 6, Presence 4, Craft (Water) 4, Vitriolum 3||Creation of Artifact ●●●● or Sapience ●●●● helltech|
|●●●●●||Lore 7, Occult 7, Presence 5, Craft (Water) 5, Vitriolum 3||Creation of Artifact ●●●●● or Sapience ●●●●● helltech|
Repair and, especially, construction of the magical artifacts of the First Age requires mastery not only of a wide body of skills, but also specific knowledge of magical technology, represented by the science of magictech. Rules for repairing artifacts appear in Wonders of the Lost Age, while rules for designing them appear in Oadenol's Codex. Use of the magitech science, however, replaces the Craft (Magitech) ability described in those rules. Instead, anything requiring a certain level of Craft (Magitech) instead requires dots in the magitech science. Actual rolls using this ability instead use a Craft roll under an appropriate standard element (usually Fire).
In addition to the Lore and Occult need to learn the science, actually using it also typically requires ability in at least two crafts. A primary craft (usually Fire) must be one more than an artifact being repaired or two more than an artifact being designed. A secondary craft (usually Air) must be the same rating as the artifact being repaired or designed. Some artifacts require different primary and secondary abilities. For example, a magical wooden ship might use Craft (Wood) and Craft (Water). Some artifacts might also require more than two Craft skills.
Magitech is not needed to build or repair the simple artifacts that can be constructed in the Second Age. A bent daiklaive, for example, can be repaired by anyone with enough Craft, Lore and Occult skill. Generally speaking, artifacts with listed Repair ratings (even one with Repair: 0) need Magitech, while those without a Repair rating do not.
Very little magitech knowledge is available, even for a price. The Scarlet Empire and Lookshy have access to at least Magitech ●●●, but much of information known in the First Age has been lost. What has been recovered tends to be information about very specific items, rather than more general knowledge. Worse, much recovered lore makes use of techniques or materials that are no longer available.
|None||Force attunement to an artifact of the wrong material with a Wits + Lore (3) test|
|Craft x||Create a mundane work worth up to Resources x|
|Lore 3, Occult 3, Craft (Fire) 3, Craft (Air) 1||Repair or design simple Artifact ●-●●●|
|Lore 6, Occult 6, Craft (Fire) 6, Craft (Air) 3, Magitech 1||Repair or design simple Artifact ●●●●|
|Lore 7, Occult 7, Craft (Fire) 7, Craft (Air) 4, Magitech 2||Repair or design simple Artifact ●●●●●|
|Lore 3, Craft (Fire) 2, Craft (Air) 1||Repair ●|
|●||Lore 4, Occult 3, Craft (Fire) 3, Craft (Air) 1||Design of complex Artifact ●, Repair ●●|
|●●||Lore 5, Occult 4, Craft (Fire) 4, Craft (Air) 2, Perfection 1||Design of complex Artifact ●●, Repair ●●●|
|●●●||Lore 5, Occult 5, Craft (Fire) 5, Craft (Air) 3, Perfection 1||Design of complex Artifact ●●●, Repair ●●●●|
|●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 6, Craft (Fire) 6, Craft (Air) 4, Perfection 2||Design of complex Artifact ●●●●, Repair ●●●●●|
|●●●●●||Lore 7, Occult 7, Craft (Fire) 7, Craft (Air) 5, Perfection 2||Design of complex Artifact ●●●●●, Repair ●●●●●●|
Anyone able to use necromancy can learn spells from existing formulae. Inventing new spells, however, is a different story, requiring a great deal of knowledge, patience and practice. This is represented by the necromantia science, without which the creation of new spells is not possible. This science can also be used to learn "existing" spells (e.g. those in the book) without the associated formula.
Unlike most sciences, necromantia can be self-taught through experimentation, though this is time consuming (taking five times the usual training time) and extremely risky. This increases the Essence requirement by a dot and requires access to a wide library of existing spells of the same circle (at least eight).
|●||Lore 3, Essence 3, Shadowlands circle necromancy||Design of shadowlands circle spells|
|●●||Lore 4, Essence 4, Labyrinth circle necromancy||Design of labyrinth circle spells|
|●●●||Lore 5, Essence 5, Void circle necromancy||Design of void circle spells|
Not all who traffic with the dead limit themselves to the mere summoning and raising of corpses. Some get more…creative, combining parts from dead of all kinds into monsters. This is only possible for those who know the science of necrosugery, the art of assembling and animating dead flesh and harnessing necrotic energy.
Rules for necrosurgery were introduced in Abyssals and expanded in the Book of Bone and Ebony. Those rules, however, made use of a special Craft skill which is not used here. Dots in the science of necrosurgery act as an upper limit on the size class (bone.97) or artifact rating of creations made with it. Anywhere rules call for Craft (Necrosurgery), use Craft (Water), Craft (Wood), or Medicine ability, as appropriate.
Information on necrosurgery is hard to come by, even in the underworld. Deathlords are masters, and often teach it to favored servants but, even then, plans for specific creations are often tightly guarded, lest they fall into the hands of other deathlords.
|●||Lore 4, Occult 3, Medicine 3, Craft (Water) 1, Shadowlands circle necromancy||Creation of Size 1 or Artifact ● entities|
|●●||Lore 5, Occult 4, Medicine 4, Craft (Water) 2||Creation of Size 2 or Artifact ●● entities|
|●●●||Lore 5, Occult 5, Medicine 5, Craft (Water) 3, Labyrinth circle necromancy||Creation of Size 3 or Artifact ●●● entities|
|●●●●||Lore 6, Occult 6, Medicine 6, Craft (Water) 4||Creation of Size 3 or Artifact ●●●● entities|
|●●●●●||Lore 7, Occult 7, Medicine 7, Craft (Water) 5, Void circle necromancy||Creation of Size 4 or Artifact ●●●●● entities|
This science represents the dedicated knowledge of metallurgy, heat and other minutia that are need to forge exceptional mundane weapons, armor and other items. This science can be learned for other crafts as well, but is usually learned with Craft (Fire).
The science of perfection can be mastered by mortal craftsmen, so can be found in most large cities. Some teachers may be reluctant to part with their secrets, however, or require a long apprenticeship. Perfection can also be mastered with long hours of experimentation instead of a trainer, taking ten times the usual training time.
|●||Lore 2, Craft (Fire) 4||Creation of exceptional items (ex2e.365)|
|●●||Lore 3, Craft (Fire) 6||Creation of perfect items (ex2e.366)|
Wonders of the Lost Age mentions the "lost art" of creating self-sustaining and self-maintaining devices. Though this knowledge might exist somewhere, it is largely lost. If found, it would represent a science, dots of which would represent a limit on the level of device that could be made permanent.
Anyone able to use sorcery can learn spells from existing formulae. Inventing new spells, however, is a different story, requiring a great deal of knowledge, patience and practice. This is represented by the spellcraft science, without which the creation of new spells is not possible. This science can also be used to learn "existing" spells (e.g. those in the book) without the associated formula.
Unlike most sciences, spellcraft can be self-taught through experimentation, though this is time consuming (taking five times the usual training time) and extremely risky. This increases the Essence requirement by a dot and requires access to a wide library of existing spells of the same circle (at least eight).
|●||Lore 3, Essence 3, Terrestrial circle sorcery||Design of terrestrial circle spells|
|●●||Lore 4, Essence 4, Celestial circle sorcery||Design of celestial circle spells|
|●●●||Lore 5, Essence 5, Solar circle sorcery||Design of solar circle spells|
While mortal alchemists dabble with trivial effects (see Thaumaturgy, below), more powerful creations can be made using true magic. Like sorcery, magical alchemy requires use of specific charms for each level. Higher levels of magical alchemy have been theorized, but never mastered.
|●||Occult 5, Essence 2, Alchemy 2,
instructions found in Alkahest, Comprehensive Deliquescence Cauldron
instructions found in Alkahest, Comprehensive Deliquescence Cauldron
|Creation of Artifact ● consumables|
|●●||Occult 5, Essence 3, Alchemy 3,
instructions found in Berith, Transformative Touch Crucible
|Creation of Artifact ●● consumables|
|●●●||Occult 5, Essence 4, Alchemy 3,
instructions found in Wyr'palja's Notebook, Prayer Subverting Tears
|Creation of Artifact ●●● consumables|
Certain materials in Exalted prove difficult to create or use, but have an importance greater than mundane materials. The material sciences represent the additional knowledge needed to create or work these crucial materials.
Certain ghost charms allow the raw manipulation of the ghostly corpus, but such magic requires intricate knowledge to wield effectively. Knowledge of this science allows the use of charms with the Moliation keyword [rol2.115]. Such charms make tests using a Craft specialty appropriate to the kind of adjustments being made, usually Wood, but occasionally Air or even Shaping.
|●||Occult 1||May use Essence 1 moliation charms|
|●●||Occult 2, Lore 1||May use Essence 2 moliation charms|
|●●●||Occult 3, Lore 1||May use Essence 3 moliation charms|
|●●●●||Occult 4, Lore 2||May use any moliation charms|
While some ghosts can use Craft make the details of illusions look convincing, the actual knowledge of how to produce the illusions in the first place requires mastery of pandemonium. Dots in this science allow the use to charms with the Pandemonium keyword [rol2.116]. Such charms make tests using a Craft specialty related to the illusion being created: living creatures use Wood, buildings use Earth, jewelry would use Air, and so on. Illusions of the very fantastical or images out of nightmares would use Shaping.
|●||Occult 1||May use Essence 1 pandemonium charms|
|●●||Occult 2, Performance 1||May use Essence 2 pandemonium charms|
|●●●||Occult 3, Performance 1||May use Essence 3 pandemonium charms|
|●●●●||Occult 4, Performance 2||May use any pandemonium charms|
The methods of creating soulsteel are closely regulated in the Underworld [rol2.116]. Access to this knowledge is represented by dots in the soulforging science. Actually doing the forging typically uses Craft (Fire). Gaining access to a teacher in this science is definitely the most difficult part of learning it. (Some storytellers may which to use this science as a model for sciences based on the other materials, but this is entirely optional.)
|●||Occult 2, Lore 2, Craft (Fire) 3||May use Craft (Fire) to forge soulsteel|
|●●||Occult 4, Lore 4, Craft (Fire) 5||May use Craft (Fire) to forge more esoteric versions of soulsteel, such as Oblivion's Panoply [exab.218]|
Certain materials are "divine" in the sense that they are often used by the gods. Materials like quintessence can be fashioned into nearly anything with an appropriate Craft specialty, but the knowledge of how to actually harness the quintessence itself while doing so requires additional knowledge, represented by the science of supernalis. Training for the first dot of this science is fairly simple to acquire, particularly in the Underworld, where many ghosts know it. Even some mortals, particularly on the Blessed Isle make use of it. Knowledge of the higher ranks of this science, however, is typically found only in Yu-Shan.
|●||Occult 2, Lore 2||May work jade with basic Craft skills|
|●●||Occult 3, Lore 3, Craft (Water) 2||May work quintessence with basic Craft skills|
|●●●||Occult 4, Lore 4, Craft (Shaping) 2||May work ambrosia with basic Craft skills|
Nearly all helltech makes use of vitriol in some way or another. Being extremely versatile, every type of basic crafting can make use of vitriol, but actually harnessing the material to be able to use it for crafting requires the specialized knowledge of the science of vitriolum. A character's rating in this science acts as an upper limit on the rank of rituals involving solutions of vitriol [exin.175]. Vitriol-related alchemy uses Craft (Water).
|Occult 1||May use known rank 0 rituals|
|●||Occult 1, Craft (Water) 1, Alchemy 1||May use known rank 1 rituals|
|●●||Occult 3, Craft (Water) 2, Alchemy 2||May use known rank 2 rituals|
|●●●||Occult 5, Craft (Water) 3, Alchemy 3||May use known rank 3 rituals|
Exalts do not have a monopoly on magic. Even mortals can use magic if they know the right techniques and rituals. Mortal magic is less effective than charms or sorcery, requiring slow, specific rituals to make it work. There are ten basic sciences that comprise mortal magic, known collectively as thaumaturgy, and each must be learned separately.
In First Edition, this system replaces the rules for Arts and Sciences in the Player's Guide. In Second Edition, it replaces the rules for occult arts. Note that while standard Second Edition occult arts provided both extra dice and the ability to perform various procedures, under these rules, sciences only provide the latter. Under these rules, it is possible to learn normal specialties based on sciences. For example, a character might learn an Occult specialty in Enchantment. The combination of dots in science and specialties would be mechanically equivalent to standard Second Edition art, though the former would be slightly cheaper. Sciences in these rules are also cheaper than sciences from First Edition.
All of these sciences require the use of specific recipes for particular effects, the complexity is measured in ranks from zero to three. In some sciences, these are called "rituals", in others "formula" or "procedures". Whatever the name, the result is the same: a thaumaturge must know both the ritual itself as well as the science. Most rituals have additional ability or other requirements to function.
Rules for thaumaturgy are covered in Oadenol's Codex, though the use of science here replaces the "degree" system used in those rules. A rating in the appropriate science is needed to use rituals of the corresponding rank. Some rank zero rituals exist, which can be practiced by anyone with a single dot in Occult. All of the thaumaturgical sciences have the same basic requirements. Some sciences may require additional traits as well.
|Occult 1||May use known rank 0 rituals|
|●||Occult 1||May use known rank 1 rituals|
|●●||Occult 3||May use known rank 2 rituals|
|●●●||Occult 5||May use known rank 3 rituals|
Thaumaturgical texts and teachers are fairly common, though mortal savants can be protective of secrets they think only they know. Unless otherwise noted, assume that training for any thaumaturgical science can be found in most major cities.
Alchemy combines a number of disciplines, such as pharmacy, metallurgy, even cooking, to mix and transform different ingredients. Most alchemical formulas result in some type of material, usually a liquid, that provides useful effects when consumed. Other formulas focus only on transforming material from one type into another. Most mortal alchemy doesn't work very well on exalts. Alchemists use the procedures listed in the Art of Alchemy section in Oadenol's Codex.
Instruction in the all levels of alchemy is fairly easy to come by, with teachers and books available in most cities. In particular, the books Salt, Aether, and Gold provide a complete course.
|●||Lore 2, Craft (Water) 1|
|●●||Lore 4, Craft (Water) 2|
|●●●||Lore 4, Craft (Water) 3|
While nowhere near the fate-altering ability of sidereal astrology, the astrological sciences allow mortals and exalts alike to read the stars for various information. Typically, an astrologer needs instruments to read the stars and a collection of books of stellar lore. Astrologers use the procedures listed in the Art of Astrology section in Oadenol's Codex.
Exalts most often use sorcery to summon and bind demons, but even mortals can do so with the right rituals, albeit with greater danger. Rituals also exist for more than just summoning demons, but also guarding against them, banishment and so on. Even true sorcerers often use such rituals as safeguards when summoning demons.
Instruction in the basics of demonology can be found from instructors and books in some major cities, but many places consider such knowledge evil or, at least, criminal. Even knowing the basic science, demonic rituals are often closely guarded by those who know them. Rituals used in demonology are found on in the Art of Demon Summoning section of Oadenol's Codex.
Exalts most often use sorcery to summon and bind elementals, but even mortals can do so with the right rituals, albeit with less ability. Rituals also exist for other elemental-based effects, such as guarding against them, banishment and so on. Even true sorcerers often use such rituals as safeguards when summoning elementals.
Instruction in the basics of demonology can be found from instructors and books in most major cities, but some places consider such practices sacrilegious, criminal or just distasteful. Within cultures that embrace it, rituals are usually easy to come by, but some might be guarded secrets of clergy or savants. Rituals used in elementalism are found on in the Art of Elemental Summoning section of Oadenol's Codex.
Enchantment allows mortals to create items with very minor magical effects, such as warding talismans. Few exalts practice enchantment, as Magictech is more effective.
Training in enchantment can be found nearly anywhere, from urban savants to tribal shaman. Rituals are usually simple to find, but some may be guarded for religious or financial reasons. Rituals for enchantment can be found in the Art of Enchantment section of Oadenol's Codex. In addition to the requirements listed in these rituals, Craft skill appropriate to the type of enchantment must be equal or exceed the rank of the ritual.
Power flows through the land, and the nature of material and shape on large scales can conduct that power. Geomancy allows both mortals and exalts alike to see and harness that flow through ritual.
Training in geomancy can be found nearly anywhere, from urban savants to tribal shaman. Rituals are usually simple to find, but some may be guarded for academic or financial reasons. Geomantic rituals are listed in the Art of Geomancy section of Oadenol's Codex.
Prayer allows mortals to request help from the gods, but such prayers in a ritual context are often much more effective. Some are actually prayers against certain gods, offering a degree of protection against them.
Access to training in orisonurgy varies greatly by region. In some cultures, it is practiced nearly universally to some degree. In others, access to ritual prayer may be completely controlled by the clergy. Access to rituals tends to match the local trend in ritual prayer, but rituals will almost always be provincial, often to specific local gods. Major rituals are almost always controlled by clergy of some kind. Rituals used in orisonurgy include those in the both the Art of Spirit Beckoning and the Art of Weather Working sections of Oadenol's Codex.
Most cultures have rituals surrounding treatment of the dead and the afterlife. These include protection against ghosts, as well as perceiving, communicating with and summoning them, even animating the dead.
While most places frown on rituals to raise or summon the dead, nearly all of them condone and practice rituals protecting from ghosts. As such, training in thanaturgy is very easy to come by, but some of the more odious rituals are not. Rituals used in thanaturgy include those in Art of the Dead section of Oadenol's Codex.
Societies in Creation use magical rituals to improve crop yields, breeding results, and managing livestock. Such rituals dealing with living things like plants and animals form the science of vivomancy.
Unlike most thaumaturgy, you are more likely to find training for vivomancy in rural areas. Rituals used in vivomancy include those in Art of Husbandry section of Oadenol's Codex.
While the sciences of demonology, elementalism and thanaturgy all have rituals that protect against entities in their field of influence, the science of warding focusses on protection of all kinds (including against the same types of creatures). It is rare, but possible, for one person to know both warding and one of these other sciences.
Warding is almost universally accepted in Creation, so training is easy to find nearly anywhere. Rituals used in warding include those in the Art of Warding and Exorcism section of Oadenol's Codex.