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Low Sorcery
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Defining)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-08 05:40 PM
The Art of Enchantment
Lesson 1: Caveat Emptor

In the common magical world, amulets and charms and maigcal swords are as common as snowflakes in a blizzard, but economics and world power balance dictates that this level cannot be maintained. There must be some way to justify the ignoble Sword +1 and the Amulet of Protection +1. The lesser art of enchantment fills this purpose, providing a large number of low power magical items that suffer from enough of a drawback to prevent thme from becoming unbalancing.

How does lesser enchantment work?
It is common knowledge that the creation of greater magical items requires the casting of spells into a prepared object, or possibly inviting a powerful god or demon to do so in the magic user's place. Lesser enchantment works in much the same method.

The first method of charm creation is the preperation of the vessel. Great attention must be paid to the materials of the item to be enchanted, perhaps moreso that the materials of a greater item. In a greater item, the power is in the magic, with the item being the conduit of said power. Charms, conversely, are items that magic merely enhances. Once the item is suitably purified and sacntified depending on the faith of the low sorcerer, the process of enchantment begins.

For most items this involves the carving of many intricate runes or the etchings of symbols of power. This creates a sympathetic beond between the new charm and the forces emulated by script. Material components are very important in this. A lesser flaming sword requires a ruby in the hilt, while a charm of water-breathing such as a necklace would require very fine mother-of-pearl or polished sea coral. For the most part this means that charm weapons and tools, emplements and the like very much look the part of the magic item. No plain wooden cup can be used as a recipticle for a healing spell. Such a charmed cup of healing would be most certainly ivory, inlaid with gold and silver.

Some master craftsmen, when particularly inspired can create such items without the prerequisite being a sorcerer. But, if the above scrolls have been read, the blacksmith and the apothecary are both forms of low sorcerers, and why should there be a terrible difference between a brawny beater of iron and a religiously inspired goldsmith? It can easily be extrapolated that the predominant established religion will be a major producer of charms, claiming the power is from divine inspiration. (Who's going to argue with them over the point?)

The second method of charm creation is the fast, easy, and dangerous way. Magic is an innate part of spirits, gods, demons, and the dead. An accomplished low sorcerer could summon such a creature (Again, see above for details) to do a fast and dirty blessing of their suitably prepared item. These such charms, or fetishes are going to be limited use items, possessing charges, or a limited duration on their power. After that, the power is depleted and fades. Of course, the item has to be resonate with the power of the creature summoned. A spirit of fertility and love isnt going to bless a six-flanged mace anymore than a billowing fire elemental is going to create a necklace of water-breathing. Demons, it should be noted, are not picky at all when it comes to items. The chance to unleash their powers into the living world is all the chance they need. As the expression goes a Demon will bless a lump of dirt for nothing, but you still pay too much.

Examples

The Blessed Sword - A typical sword of the time and location, but it has been prepared and blessed by a holy man (not all low sorcerers are going to take kindly to being called low sorcerers, mind you). The Holy man performs a baptism for the blade, names it honor of a holy spirit or saint and instructs the engraving of holy scriptures and symbols into the blade creating an effective Sword +1.

The Local wise woman takes a cup carved of pure river stone and adorns it with hand polished jewels and cuts runes in the stone. After performing a midnight blessing, the cup will bestow the next drinker with double potency!

A foolish Faustian summons a blading demon to enchant his rapier before a duel so that he isnt skewered by his more skilled adversary. The demon is happy to oblige him. The next day he wins the duel but accidentily is the next victim, stabbing himself through the gut when he tries to sheath his blade. Go to Comment
Low Sorcery
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Defining)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-17 03:55 PM
I am quite aware of the runes, and the concepts that they embody. I have even dabbled in casting runes of the FUTHARK alphabet. The main reason i havent brought runes into this scroll is that at the current time I havent found a way to divorce the runes from their Viking and Norse creators. Low Sorcery is intended to be very common magic, and the nature of blood-letting and sacrifice associated with the runes would make them less than appealing to the average low sorcerer. Thank you for the suggestion though AP! Go to Comment
Low Sorcery
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Defining)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-05-24 01:31 PM
Update Fixed up the table of contents to link this rather large post, and added the three physician realms of healing. Going to add some more stuff to this sub in the future. Go to Comment
Low Sorcery
Systems  (Societal/ Cultural)   (Defining)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-06-03 09:51 PM
The Art of Healing
Vivisectionism

Also called the burning touch, and the art of the knife, vivisectionism is a gruesome form of medicine compared the delicate mixtures of alchemy and the divine touch of magics. This art deals with the nitty-gritty mechanics of the living body. Books like the Vocran Palimpsest detail the pathways of blood vessels and nerve endings. The school of vivisectionism is often reviled by local clergy as the brutal and frank examination and dissection of dead bodies is commonplace. Those students that excel with the dead examinations often go on to perform vivisections, cutting open living animals to study their still functioning organs and blood vessels, a practice that gives the sect it's name.

While most of these come from criminals, or are purchased from a mortuary guild, the clergy is often at odds with the school over terms of desecrating the dead, and edging in on their Cure and Heal income. This is countered by the fact that a vivisectionist trained physician can staunch bleeding, set limbs and other almost mechanical repairs on a body at a fraction of the cost of a Clergy donation required for a divine spell.

For more details see The Vocran Palimpsest Go to Comment
Saint Vedast's Zephyrous Icon
Items  (Other)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 02:59 PM
Good work, I like the religious zealotry having both positive and negative repercussions. I can also see a minro shrine being made for poor Brother Hural. Maybe in a few decades he himself will become a saint... Go to Comment
Character Secrets
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 02:55 PM
I frequently play Vampire the Masquerade with my wife, and one of the things that has developed through playing the game for several (8 years, actualy) is that there are certain things that remain secrets among the undead. While it is not the sort of secrets listed above, secrets are a major part of the vampire game and I thought I might share some of the more important.

1. It is considered a faux pas of the first order to enquire of a vampire her generation, steps removed from the first vampire. In the game, the closer a vampirer is to the first vampire, the stronger their abilities are. This would be like asking a woman on the street what her bra size, and weight is.

2. Asking a vampire to name her clan. While a few of the bloodlines have inherited flaws (All Nosferatu are hideous, all Gangrel get animal furry, etc) the majority do not have a glowing sign on their heads. A few vampires do state their clan, but often as a sign of prestige and power. Knowing a vampire's clan establishes that vampires basic vampiric powers (which vary from clan to clan) as well as their blood born flaw. Being secretive and xenophobic, vampires dont like their weaknesses or powers to be known.

3. Asking about specific vampiric powers, IE asking a local vampire if he has the power to read minds (auspex) carries the same class as asking a proper lady if she does it doggy-style. Go to Comment
Calcobrina
Locations  (Regional)   (Desert)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 08:04 AM
Eventually. Calcobrina is a major region of my home campaign, and it was created back in 01 and has been growing steadily until the end of 04 when the Aterrizar campaign was put to rest in favor of a street racing LA by Night vampire game. Go to Comment
Calcobrina
Locations  (Regional)   (Desert)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-08 05:15 PM
The main source of inspiration for Calcobrina was the Mirage expansion of Magic the Gathering, which in turn was very likely influenced by Arabian Nights (not the prior Arabic based expansion of the same name.) Go to Comment
Vychan the Flamespewer
NPCs  (Major)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 08:02 AM
Well, it took nearly four years for the sequel to The Oversized Baby plot, which means that working at this George Lucas Star Warsian pace means that the sequel to Vychan should be released in January 2010. The only thing is that it started as a plot, continued as an NPC, so the next submission has to be something different. Go to Comment
Vychan the Flamespewer
NPCs  (Major)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 10:54 AM
THe one concept that hasn't been mentioned was that he took the hoarde from Xeatoxx, unlikely but possible. I would expect that Vychan accumulated his mountain of gold by a hearty mix of Manfred's suggestions, investing in human endeavors, raiding the bandits and carvans that don't pay some sort of a protection fee, and following human leads to find lost hoardes.

As for dealing with other dragons, Vychan is no weakling. For his age he is both exceptionally large and dangerous. While he does have a large degree of respect for humans, one cannot forget that he is a large and dangerous creature. Go to Comment
Vychan the Flamespewer
NPCs  (Major)   (Knowledge/Lore)
Scrasamax's comment on 2012-11-26 11:25 PM
We're almost 3 years late on the next leg Go to Comment
Love's Poisoned Chalice
Plots  (Event)   (Single-Storyline)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 02:35 PM
The names make the post a little hard to follow, but that is a minor detail, names can always be changed to protect the innocent. The plot seems solid enough, and with the best friend murderering the would-be groom out of love, this makes th eplot less than predictable. All in all the work is nice, I look forward to what else you might concoct for us. Go to Comment
Demonic Hysteria
Plots  (Crisis)   (Mini-Campaign)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 05:52 PM
Hell bent...heh heh Go to Comment
Theory of Elements
Systems  (Mystical)   (General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 11:41 AM
An interesting idea and superb presentation. I look forward to what this thread generates! Go to Comment
Trollshaw Staff
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 10:14 AM
Updated: released 2-6-06 from Works Hidden Go to Comment
Trollshaw Staff
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 12:56 PM
The only way I could describe the effect of the staff around humans is that the wielder will be percieved to be nasty, brutish, and boorish. This is a basic reation, not one governed by appearance, or manners, they just radiate an aura that seems 'trollish' to the average person. In game terms it would manifest as a moderate to strong penalty to social interation, or would do something like reduce their charisma trait by 50% Go to Comment
Trollshaw Staff
Items  (Melee Weapons)   (Magical)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-07 10:49 AM
well, the basic inspiration for this item came from the racial items of DnD, such as the Belt of Dwarvenkind, and the Boots, and cloak of elvenkind. What kind of racial item would a troll have? A big stick, of course. Go to Comment
Crystal Goblet of Maddening Storms
Items  (Other)   (Cursed)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 09:35 AM
Good detail, and I especially liked the ongoing weather commentary throughout the history section of the item. Go to Comment
The S'krae
Lifeforms  (Intelligent Species)   (Water)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-06 05:56 PM
I would like to know more about how the amphibean S'krae smelt and forge metal. I would think that the heat and dryness associated with metal working would be anathema to them. Go to Comment
The Society of Nightmares
Society/ Organizations  (Criminal/Espionage)   (Regional)
Scrasamax's comment on 2006-02-05 08:55 AM
While I am all about political malefesence, there is one thing that really nags at me about the SoN and it is that there is no organization that utilizes their unique services. Are they adjutant to the Crown, kind of like a mystically inclined Gestapo, or are they freelancers? Also, I think it might help if there were some hints on how to use them, and maybe some plot hooks. Go to Comment
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