Numina is an umbrella term for the supernatural powers possessed by mortals in the World of Darkness. At current, three main groups of numina have been outlined and includes Path Magic, Psychic Phenomena, and True Faith. It is not the only way that mortals can wield unnatural abilities, although when paranormal investigators (even of the Awakened variety) encounter a ghoul using Disciplines taught by their master, or a Kinfolk wielding a Gift, they will almost certainly be classified under one of these, regardless of the true origin of their powers. The fourth route to power is as open to mortals as it is supernaturals, and has been since the Garden of Eden: Infernalism.

Path Magic

Path Magic (often simply referred to as ‘sorcery’), is known to Awakened mages as linear magic or more dismissively as hedge magic or hedge wizardry. Awakened mages and hedge magicians appear to achieve similar results by performing nearly identical actions: Both a Hermetic mage and a Hermetic hedge magician may activate the pentacle of Mars to call down fire on their enemies. But while the mage channels Forces through the power of Will, thereby risking Paradox, the hedge magician accesses Hellfire through long instruction, rigid formulae and discipline. This dichotomy prevents the Awakened from ever learning hedge magic and causes hedge magicians who Awaken to lose their Paths. Once a character Awakens, the linear Paths are barred to them. Their attempts to change the world are filtered through their Avatar, manifesting as Sphere-based magick, rendering hedge magic impossible for them.

Core Rules Overview
Mechanically, this system of magic is used by all mortal non-Awakened mages in the World of Darkness, even though all of the practices and powers described below have been given many different names and descriptions in-universe.

  1. When a person begins studying hedge magic, they choose a casting Attribute and an Affinity Path that makes sense for their Affiliation (as judged by your Director).
  2. Upon learning a Path, the magician must assign it to a practice, a number of which are described below. A practice is how your sorcerer conceptualizes and seeks to interact with the world through her magic.
    • HR NOTE: Although it is technically possible for a hedge wizard to combine multiple practices, doing so on a MUSH appears to lead to abuse or confusion more than enhancing the narrative. As such, you should expect to have a single, solid practice absent some extraordinary circumstance.
  3. Assign an Ability the Path is based on, as makes sense according to your Affiliation and practice (as judged by your Director). This Ability, in addition to being part of the dice pool to use the Path, also acts as a cap on the Path rating. A character who uses Occult for the Path of Hellfire cannot have Hellfire 5 with only Occult 3.
    • HR NOTE: Different Paths MUST have different Abilities assigned to them. However, all Paths will utilize the same casting Attribute and practice as your Affinity Path.
  4. Path magic effects are divided into spells and rituals. Spells are relatively quick pieces of magic and can be put together spontaneously when necessary. Spells only take one turn per level of the Path being cast. Rituals, on the other hand, are larger workings, taking 10 minutes per level of the ritual to cast.
    • In both cases, the magician spends a point of Willpower, then rolls their casting Attribute + Path Ability rating at a difficulty of the Path level + 4. This is referred to as a Path roll.
    • If enough successes are rolled (see Aspects below), the spell succeeds as planned. If not, it fails. Changing a spell to a weaker version after casting due to lack of successes is impossible.
    • On a botch, the caster suffers some catastrophic effect. Though hedge magicians aren’t subject to Paradox directly, their attempts to manipulate reality can still go horribly wrong. Possible outcomes of botches are described in each individual Path listing.
  5. Most Paths have several components associated with them called Aspects. These are variables like the number of targets, the duration, or the amount of damage done by a given spell.
    • The strength and complexity of your spells and rituals is determined by how many ranks of your Path’s allowed Aspects you call upon. See below for a listing of all possible Aspects that Paths might come with.
Paths: CGEN & XP
  1. Start with mortal chargen as normal.
  2. If you are creating a hedge wizard in chargen, then you can choose three dots worth of Numina (Paths).
    • At chargen only, each level of Path rating allows you to select one ritual of an equivalent or lesser rating. You can’t take a ritual of a specific level without having at least one each at lower level.
    • You can buy additional Paths in chargen for 7 freebies per dot, and additional rituals for 3 freebies each.
  3. With considerable time and effort invested, you can can buy a new Path for 7 XP. You can raise existing Paths for (new rating x 7) XP. You can acquire new rituals for an XP cost equivalent to the rating of the ritual.
    • HR NOTE: Your hedge wizard can only possess as many different Paths as the rating of their casting Attribute.
Practice means “to make” or “to do.” And so, a mage – guided by her beliefs – does her magick through a practice. As the name suggests, a practice is also practical, turning abstract ideas into useful activities.

  1. When your character makes things happen, she employs a practice that serves her needs and beliefs. One sorcerer might sacrifice a dove and petition her gods for signs of what is to come, whereas another absorbs herself in reams of financial forecasting data. Both are trying – on some level – to predict the future.
    • In game terms, every hedge wizard (and Awakened mage) has a practice; in story terms, that practice comes from that character’s culture, beliefs, and circumstances.
  2. Some practices draw more attention than others. That said, characters shouldn’t choose their practices based on in-game benefits or convenience. In the World of Darkness, as in real life, people often choose to believe inconvenient things and follow inconvenient practices.
    • Sure, that High Ritual magician knows he’s an anachronism in the postmodern world, relying on cumbersome rituals and theatrical instruments. It’d be quicker and easier for him to simply use a computer like everybody else. For him, though, his practice is a matter of pride. He’s not like everybody else, so his beliefs, practices, and instruments set him apart, defining him as extraordinary even when they seem somewhat inconvenient.
    • That conviction is itself a source of great power – belief is a powerful component of achieving greater mastery. The cynicism of the modern world has done far more to stifle magic than any Inquisition.
  3. Below, you’ll find a range of common practices within the world of both Awakened magic and hedge wizardry. Each entry is taken from Mage 20th Edition and as such, is largely written from the Awakened point of view with only minor editing. They’re also exceedingly generalized, encompassing dozens – sometimes hundreds – of loosely related disciplines, different in many specifics though linked by several common elements and intentions.

AlchemyAnimalismArt of Desire / HypereconomicsBardismChaos MagicCraftworkCrazy WisdomCyberneticsDominionElementalismFaithGutter MagicGod-BondingHigh Ritual MagicHypertechInvigorationMaleficiaMartial ArtsMedicine WorkMediumshipPsionicsReality HackingShamanismVoudounWeird ScienceWitchcraftYoga

From turning base materials into decaying messes and then moving them upward toward eventual perfection, the ancient art of alchemy has provided the basis for modern chemistry. Wrapped in elaborate codes, symbols, and metaphors that still remain open to interpretation, this Art depends upon the idea of transformation from lower to higher states of being. The common perception of the Art rests upon its old claim of turning lead into gold; in reality, though, that claim is both metaphor and a way of scamming money to fund alchemical pursuits. Sure, a skilled alchemist might indeed use Matter magick to change lead into gold; on a deeper level, however, the lead is the alchemist and the gold represents self-perfection. 

Although its common name comes from an Arabic practice, alchemy has several different forms: the Taoist Arts of sublime energies, the medieval European “lead into gold” vocation, the Islamic refinement-of-self through the keys left by Allah in the hands of wise men, the roots of those Arts in Classical Greece and Egypt, the early forms of modern chemistry, the complex pharmacopeia of South American mystics, the postmodern psychotropic experiments of transhumanist philosopher chemists, and probably a few more forms as well. A 21st-century alchemist might study several of these disciplines, formulating new variations on ancient principles. Alchemy, after all, focuses on learning-based perfection. The practitioner’s mind and body transform themselves through practicing the Art. 

Aside from its chemical applications (poisons, psychoactives, explosives, and so forth), alchemy isn’t really a fighter’s Art. Its techniques demand patience, time, and a dedicated workspace. As a result, Ascension War alchemists tend to craft Wonders and compounds that come in handy when things get tense. And because it’s not really difficult to turn lead into gold if you know what you’re doing, such mages tend to be quite rich… with all the resources that wealth implies. 

In all its forms, alchemy demands discipline. An alchemist studies principles, experiments with materials, deciphers codes, puzzles over symbols, works in his lab, creates useful goodies, and constantly challenges and refines himself. For him, the practical applications of alchemy – drugs, acids, and other chemical compounds; quick wits; foreign languages; and other techniques of transformation – take a back seat to the self-perfection at the core of this venerable Art.

Associated Abilities: Art, Crafts, Cryptography, Enigmas, Esoterica, Medicine, Science (chemistry)
There’s something magical about our animal kin. The glow of eyes in the dark. The uncanny grace of a cat or stag. The rough power of bears and elephants. Flight, fangs, venom, speed – despite our many human gifts, animals possess abilities that naked humans can’t hope to match without technology, magick, or both. And so, from our earliest origins, human mystics and inventors have cultivated arts that allow us to access such birthrights and use them as our own. 

Technically, the term animalism refers to a philosophical paradigm that says that human beings are just highly advanced animals. (See the paradigm We are Meant to be Wild.) As a catch-all term for an array of related metaphysical practices, animalism connects the essence of the human animal self with the essential selves of non-human animals. Among the earliest forms of magick, this practice includes several different, though related, forms:

* Requesting Aid: A common element of primal magick, this form of animalism calls upon animal spirits and /or totems in order to get aid from the animal in question.

* Invoking the Beast-Self: Invoking the Beast-Self: Recognizing the animal heritage within humanity, this approach taps into a human being’s submerged animal nature and then brings it to the surface. Tarzan is arguably the poster boy for this technique, which calls forth “the beast within” and sets it loose – a dangerous but potentially rewarding technique.

* Invoking the Essence: Sort of a cross between the previous approaches, this form of animalism invokes the essence of a certain sort of animal through spirit-magicks that embody that essence in the person of the mage. African animal-spirit medicine employs this approach, as do shamanic traditions from across the globe.

* Taking the Essence: Some folks just take whatever they want. Not bothering to make deals with animals and spirits, they simply kill a beast and then pull its power out through enchanted remains. A traditional tactic among the “skinwalkers” of Southwest Native American lore, certain forms of European shapechangers, and mystics of other hunting /warrior cultures.

* Radical Mutation: A technological spin on animalism employs scientific theories and instruments (regression therapy, genetic mutation, extensive surgery, hybrid clones, shapechanging serums, brain-switching, grafted implants, cybernetic enhancements, and other tools of science run amuck) in order to “bring out the beast” in human beings or change non-human animals into humanoid forms. Trope-wise, this is the 'Island of Doctor Moreau' approach - a favorite of rogue Progenitors everywhere.

Associated Abilities: Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, Crafts, Stealth, Survival

(For an entirely too and too silly treatment of Animalism, refer to Book of Secrets, pg. 197-199) 
Known in the Renaissance as Ars Cupiditae, the Art of Desire focuses upon achieving your desires through finding out what other people desire and then using that knowledge to enact your Will. Like alchemy (and most other forms of magick, art, and science), this discipline involves plenty of self-perfection: athletic exercise, meditation, mental gymnastics, self-reflection, etiquette, and other social graces. Fashionable clothes, subtle yet influential cosmetics, poise and grace, martial arts, seduction, intimidation, and the trappings of wealth and refinement provide essential tools for this practice. Although it’s most readily associated with the Syndicate and its original form as the High Guild, the Art of Desire has adherents throughout the mortal and Awakened worlds. 

Essentially, Ars Cupiditae converts desire to reality. What you want, you make happen. A devotee nurtures her desires and the desires of other people, then uses them to advance her agenda for Reality as a whole. An Art of value, this practice draws connections between people and places, reads emotions and influences thoughts, manipulates the physical and mental states of both the mage and her subjects, and directs probability and material toward a greater goal. As a result, this Art favors the Spheres of Correspondence, Entropy, Life, Matter, Mind, and Prime, using them as parts of a useful, interlocking whole. 

An eminently cultured practice, Ars Cupiditae draws upon a mixture of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern social and philosophical technologies. A practitioner of Desire rarely comes across as a mage at all – she’s more Nikita than Hermione. Although certain Ecstatics and Hermetic wizards favor this approach, and modern Ngoma and Taftani use it to command urban commerce and culture, a devotee of this Art employs social influence, economic wizardry, and sheer personal excellence in order to get what she wants. Such mages rarely use violence themselves, leaving the dirty work to paid enforcers. If and when a practitioner needs to get her hands messy, though, her athletic prowess and advanced technology prove that she’s no corner-office pushover. 

A related practice, hypereconomics, refines the Art of Desire into social and global control. By exploring and exploiting desires and values within a given group, a hypereconomist can sense the Primal Energies of want and need within that group and then turn them to her advantage. An arcane practice understood mostly by Syndicate reps and the occasional Virtual Adept, hypereconomics provides an excellent vehicle for Entropy, Mind, and Prime Effects, channeled through social and mathematical activities so subtle that few people even recognize that their lives are being altered. Almost always coincidental (gross violations of Consensus Reality are considered cheap), hypereconomics remains a closely guarded secret in the 21st-century reality wars. 

Associated Abilities: Academics, Athletics, Diplomacy, Etiquette, Expression, Finance, Forecasting, Intrigue, Leadership, Media, Politics, Seduction, Subterfuge
A bard in the metaphysical sense understands that performance and charisma are part of the process. An audience, after all, is most receptive when you’ve engaged their attention, and artists (magickal and otherwise) to tend be fascinating by default. To a sincere practitioner of sonic magick, though, the key to one’s practice involves connection – connection to the audience, to the material, between intention and execution, flesh and instrument, will and effect, passion and performance. A true bard channels his intentions through vibrations that include sound and yet transcend mere sound. Such a bard understands how to weave poetry, music, passion, the audience’s attention, and the pool of energy that courses through all things. He does not use an instrument; he becomes the instrument, and so his music is an inextricable part of who he is. 

Traditional bards tend to be historians, lorekeepers, storytellers, satirists, agents of news, and founts of inspiration. In the days before literacy, mass media, and recording technology, bards (in all their many names) were the primary sources of art and information. Most performed music, but others told tales, acted out plays, and otherwise engaged their audiences with performances that tapped into something deeper than mere craft. And so, even in our age of pervasive media, a metaphysical bard stands out from the Masses because he works toward a greater, deeper purpose than simple entertainment. He can be a healer, a killer, a lover, and a destroyer, shaping his Arts with mortal skill and metaphysical intent. 

While a traditional bard slings acoustic instruments and his own voice, a twenty-first-century one could employ electrified instruments, recording technology, massive audiences, and other tools that were impossible to imagine a century ago. He must, of course, be very good at what he does; traditionally, bardic training included intensive memory-training, people-skills, political intrigue, and a wary eye for the tenor of an audience. Beyond such skills, however, he also needs to understand the principles of musical technique and their connection to metaphysical forces… 

Associated Abilities: In game terms, the Abilities of Artistry, Expression, and Esoterica (with specialties in musical instruments, singing, and musical metaphysics, at the very least), supplemented with an array of social skills and a keen sense of opportunities to move Creation forward with a song Empathy, Enigmas, Seduction and Technology (for modern instruments) could also be appropriate. 
RESTRICTED: This practice is often appropriate for Awakened mages, yet there are few if any hedge wizards capable of putting such a personal stamp on the effects they work.

It’s not what you think it is. Although the term “chaos magick” tends to be associated with demons and evil, occultists understand chaos magick as a postmodern and often improvisational Art. Like other mystic practices, it emphasizes knowledge, reflection, and other forms of self-improvement. This revolutionary inversion of traditional mystic disciplines, however, depends upon personal intuition and interpretation; individual freedom; a deliberately iconoclastic approach; and an often subversive use of pop-culture symbols, social behaviors, and improvised designs. 

Chaos magic spits in the face of established dogma. Often regarded by outsiders as a Left-Hand Path, it’s a sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll sort of practice, raising and directing personal energy (that is, Quintessence) through extreme experiences. Obviously, this sort of thing appeals to Cultists of Ecstasy, whose more formal practices – Tantra, vision questing, ordeals, and crazy wisdom (see below) – have been integrated into the chaos magick potpourri. Even that diverse culture, however, is too confining for many chaos practitioners, whose embrace of the Chaosphere – the whirling fractal of absolute existence – resists confinement in any form. 

Playful yet serious, each chaos-magick practice draws from the individual practitioner’s experiences and desires. Some folks use toys and Tarot cards, whereas others draw sigils, craft graphic novels, run raves, stage flash mobs, and concoct elaborate pranks on society at large. Each mage, then, is a vortex of potential whose Will spins energy into being. And if this sounds too abstract to be useful, then you’re thinking about it too hard.

Associated Abilities: Artistry, Awareness, Computer, Esoterica, Expression, Meditation, Style, Streetwise, Technology  
There are reasons that Hephaestus is a metalsmith, Jesus is a carpenter, and Ogun is said to be the iron “who always eats first.” It’s no accident that Freemasons remain one of the most respected yet feared societies around – a society responsible, in ways, for the foundation of the United States. Many myths peg humanity’s origins to deities who fashioned us out of clay and then breathed life into their creations. That’s because craftwork– the Art of making miracles out of raw materials – is among the first metaphysical practices. 

Craftwork’s mystique has been largely diminished in the industrial world… so much so that it’s often farmed out to sweatshop labor or performed by machines. Even so, there’s still something a little awe-inspiring about that Geek Squad specialist who can effortlessly fix your errant computer, the tattooed malcontent repairing your car, or that friend who forges swords or crafts costumes for the SCA. The heart of craftwork comes from an apparently supernatural expertise with materials and tools – the ability to take bits of rock or skin or tree and then make lovely, useful objects from them. 

Many mystics bridle at the thought of crediting craftsmanship as a magical practice. After all, the Technocracy began as a bunch of disgruntled Craftmasons who shaped the machines that ended the High Mythic Age, so why should such people be considered mages? And yet, that prejudice ignores the legendary ties between craftwork and the mystic Arts: the legacies of Solomon’s temple and the masons who built it, of the temples whose sacred geometries invited gods to dwell within them, the shapers of iron, gold, and stone who brought humanity out of caves and into cities of their own design. Even the Industrial Era has a sense of magick – the sleek glare of glass towers, the hellish factory glamour, the enchanting pixel dance that comes from computers, TVs, and the Internet… all of which demand craftwork in their creation, maintenance, and eventual dismantling into recycled components. That Art might be taken for granted these days, but it’s still magickal to those who understand it.
As a practice, craftsmanship combines the physical and mental skills involved in various crafts (carpentry, metalsmithing, glasswork, plastics, leatherworking, and so forth), then combines them with Pattern Arts in order to make those materials better than they’d been before. Matter presents the obvious Sphere for such disciplines, but Forces (to command fire, air, electricity, gravity, and the like), Prime (to energize and strengthen those creations), and often Life (to work living or organic tissue) and Entropy (to spot, add, or banish flaws) are more-or-less essential too. Old-school crafters employ Spirit to Awaken or placate the spirits within the materials – an important process in ancient craftwork, which depended upon the goodwill of gods and spirits in order to succeed. And although the rituals of creation demand time, materials, and expertise, the results – from glass vessels to armored tanks – can last for centuries… or even, as with the pyramids, millennia. 

A typical crafter-mage seems rough around the edges compared to her more academic peers. Often physically strong and personally abrupt, she can be perceived as boorish and dull. That’s a common but mistaken view. In her chosen craft, this mage is every bit as sharp and knowledgeable as her book-bound contemporaries… most of whom would be lost without her expertise. And although common prejudices view such mages as members of the Technocracy (not without some truth), a crafter is just as likely to be a stonesmith Verbena, an ironworking Ngoma, an artisan Hermetic, or a VA computer tech. Though often forgotten in the catalogs of magic, craftwork is as old as humanity yet as fresh as the laptop at your fingertips.

Associated Abilities: Academics, Artistry, Computers, Crafts, Energy Weapons, Esoterica (sacred geometry, quantum mathematics, etc), Hypertech, Science, Technology 
RESTRICTED: This practice is found among some Awakened Mages, though is rare and somewhat thematically inappropriate for hedge wizards and technosorcerers.

A mage who gets a little bit out of her head when performing magick might use what’s often called the crazy wisdom practice: deliberately irrational activities that supposedly grant wisdom by shattering established concepts of what is and is not possible and real. 

Another sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll approach to magick, crazy wisdom often involves psychoactive entheogens, trance-inducing music, vision quests, risky ordeals, sexual excess, gender inversions, social misrule, mass ecstatic rituals, and solitary isolation in which the practitioner turns her own personal reality inside out and then ponders what that means. Although it’s technically undisciplined by the standards of more rigid forms of magick, such behavior provides a potent tool for enlightenment… assuming it doesn’t kill you first! 

Although its obvious adherents come from the Cult of Ecstasy, crazy wisdom has a long and respected history as part of shamanism, voodoo, witchcraft, and even certain High Ritual practices. The Order of Hermes has its own variation – the Antinomian Praxis – in which a mage smashes taboos, violates her own standards, and breaks through constraints to find what lies beyond them. Drawing strength from its obvious contradictions, crazy wisdom is dangerous, disruptive, often scary, and potentially lethal. That’s kind of the point, though danger isn’t always involved. Mystic contraries and genderqueers, who deliberately invert social expectations about identity and gender, practice a form of crazy wisdom on a social scale, fucking with people’s preconceptions in order to show greater possibilities. 

This is the Trickster’s Path, breaking on through like Jim Morrison in a mosh pit with Patti Smith, Br’er Rabbit, the Cat in the Hat, and several buckets of paint. 
When organic machines get wedded to mechanical machines, the synergy called cybernetics raises the human animal to a whole new level. On a broader plane, cybernetics reaches beyond mere flesh and machine to embrace the technologies of communication, language, electrical impulses, complex systems, and thought itself. Drawn from a Greek phrase meaning “to steer or govern,” cybernetic practices employ complex interactive systems – computers, electronics, prosthetics, mathematical formulae, linguistics, philosophy, even social dynamics – to extend the practitioner’s control… first over his own reality, and then over the reality of other systems and entities. 

Essentially, the cybernetic practice views Creation as a vast machine whose systems can be understood and manipulated with sufficient dedication. For many adherents – like the members of Iteration X – that dedication includes merging their bodies with mechanical components. Other practitioners, though, use cybernetics as a theoretical construct – a model through which calculations, psychology, symbols, and external devices and machines (as opposed to implanted ones) can bend probability (through Entropy), change minds (the Mind Sphere), transform materials (Life and Matter), channel energies (Forces and Prime), and redefine temporal physics… or, in plain English, reroute Time. 

Despite the dated overuse of “cyber” as an adjective, cybernetics remains a bleeding-edge discipline. Rooted in Chinese, Greek, and Arab technologies, this discipline blossomed during the Industrial Revolution and hasn’t stopped blooming yet. In the 21st century, whole nations are composed of cyborgs – smart-phone-using, video-watching, TV-nurtured, socially networked machine-people whose relationships and realities are defined by the 24/7 interface of our Information Era. 

Although the science-fiction landscape of depersonalized drones looks nothing like the world as we know it now, every element of life in our new millennium depends upon a complex interplay of cybernetic forces that very few people truly understand… and that even fewer – aside from certain technomancers – can control.
Social domination might just be the oldest form of magick. At its most basic levels, this practice directs animal instincts and human interactions toward the will (and Will) of the dominant party. Although other practices – notably Ars Cupiditae, shamanism, and High Ritual Magick – draw upon these techniques of domination, a raw assertion of command is the foundation of capital-A Authority… most notably among the New World Order. 

Rarely considered “magick” in the usual sense, the dominion practice employs inner discipline, social control, a cultivated understanding of behavior and governance, significant words and symbols, the trappings of power and authority, and a host of verbal and physical tricks that keep the practitioner on top of a given situation. At its lowest form, it’s the art of the abuser, con-man, and pick-up artist. Its techniques come into play through office and sexual politics and often form part of any strong parent’s arsenal. On a metaphysical level, dominion taps into the primal need for leadership and parenting, then directs that need with a conscious eye toward overwhelming control. Through that control, in turn, you command Reality because you believe you do, and you make other folks believe you do as well. 

A serious practitioner of dominion (that is, a mage) goes beyond crude intimidation, studying the deeper applications of social domination and self-perfection. Like a devotee of desire, he learns how to maximize his personal strengths and minimize his social flaws while taking full advantage of another party’s weaknesses and appealing to their need to be protected and led. Like Ars Cupiditae concentrates upon desire, the discipline of dominion concentrates upon command. The techniques can seem rather arcane, especially when they’re combined with religious and/ or philosophical beliefs; it’s through technology, however, that dominion finds its greatest influence. Queen Victoria was a master of this Art… and though she used technological instruments to get her point across, she exerted such a charismatic mystique that we still use her name to define the age she ruled. 

Skilled dominion practitioners employ eye contact, body language, vocal tactics, peer pressure, social appeal, and resonant symbols (uniforms, weapons, parental behavior, religious iconography) in order to cow their herd. From there, these alphas enact their Will in both a mundane and Awakened sense. Lots of mages use social techniques, but a dominion master takes them to a metaphysical extent, wresting control of Reality itself through mass domination – an Art of Kings that has shaped past history and continues to do so today.
RESTRICTED: Elementalism was once extremely common thousands of years ago. In modern times, it is vanishingly rare. It's also all too easy for mages relying on this practice to shade further into comic book tropes than the urban setting of Liberation's Los Angeles permits. It is included here for completeness reasons.

More of an intuitive bond with material Reality than a practiced discipline of human craft, this connection to the raw stuff of Nature allows a practitioner to channel primal Entropy, Forces, Matter, and Life through the talented Will of a mage. Thus channeled, the elements can be shaped, guided, conjured, transmuted, weaponized, and apparently “destroyed” on a material, if not an energetic, level. Although it requires training and a close study of nature, this mystic vocation is less about theory and more about “practice” in the most active sense of that word. 

This affinity, though, is less about relationships with spirits and gods than it is about the interplay between natural forces, human and animal consciousness, and the brute realities of flesh and bone. That said, it often involves a bond between the spirit of the mage and the spirit of the element in question, as described in the sidebar A Bit of Spirit? in How Do You DO That? p. 16. (The same book also has a section dedicated to element-based magickal Effects – see pps. 26-41.) Perhaps epitomized by the common image of Druidry – which, in fact, has several aspects and interpretations – an elemental practice is less spiritual than practical, with an eye toward immediate results like food, shelter, defense, and survival, in addition to the more sublime elements of spiritual observance and respect. 

Although certain elementalists can bond with more than one element, a mage can spend lifetimes connecting to the deeper subtleties within a single element, and rarely go beyond the one that best suits their personality. In temperament, behavior, and often appearance, an elementalist personifies the element she favors. Mages with an affinity for fire will be hotheaded, flush in complexion, and often warm or outright hot to the touch; water-affiliated mages, in contrast, are cooler, mysterious, and often “deep.” A rough-hewn woodworker and a rugged earthworker would favor the solidity of their elements, while a flighty air-mage flits from task to task, occasionally rousing a storm-like temper.

As the name suggests, elementalism favors a primeval approach to those Arts. Long before wizards used complex diagrams and long-winded chants to bend the spirits to their Will, initiates to the wild Arts used simple tools – blood, sex, bodily remains, effigies and paintings, hand-made weapons, bits of plant and stone, seeds and ashes, and the most primitive sorts of technology – to reshape their environments. In time, these practices inspired the more complicated Arts.

Associated Abilities: Artistry, Athletics, Awareness, Crafts (involving the element in question), Empathy, Meditation, Survival
Through faith, all things are possible. This saying underscores the essence of what might be the most common mystic practice in the world: devotion to a higher source. Drawn from the Latin word fides – “loyalty, trust, belief” – faith provides the foundation for many other practices, yet it stands as a practice in its own right. For although witches, shamans, Voudoun practitioners, and even scientists might be faithful to their higher power, faith itself provides comfort and power for those who believe. 

Often regarded as the core of overtly religious sects like the Celestial Chorus and Ahl-i-Batin, faith can inspire and energize any mage. Even the demonic Nephandi maintain faith in their horrific Absolute or the Infernal entities they adore. Faith, you see, provides the believer with stability and purpose. And although magick is often seen as an egotistical practice, faith ideally removes the ego in favor of that greater Source. The faithful mage says “THY Will be done,” then acts as an instrument for that Divine Will. 

For a mage of faith, the actions she takes and the Arts she pursues all represent the ideals of her higher power. In most cases, those ideals come through a religion – a binding that unites Divinity with the people of the faith. Not all faithful people, though, are religious; strictly speaking, religion is a social institution, whereas faith is a personal connection. Even science – often seen these days as an enemy of faith – can be a devotional practice. The foundations of modern science, historically, were laid by men and women of faith who used their discoveries to delve into, and then to reveal, the glories of their God. 

A faithful magus follows the tenets of her creed, maintains contact with her source through prayer, and acts – as often as possible – as an emissary of her creed’s ideals. “Keeping the faith” means pursuing virtues that supposedly please the higher power, and although the particulars depend upon the specific creed (a Franciscan Catholic, a Shi’a devotee, and an Odinist spá-kona all have very different ideas about virtue!), the mage’s adherence to that creed is essential. “Faith” does, after all, mean loyalty.  
The most practical magick practice is the one that uses whatever you’ve got to work with. Sure, wizards and cyborgs and Enlightened tycoons can afford all the best ritual gear around. What happens, though, when you’re more or less broke? Homeless, maybe? Living in a squat or stuck on the street or getting by as part of the working poor? Well then, you use gutter magick, the craft of making do. 

Composed of odds and ends with symbolic connotations, gutter magick features coins, cards, toys, scraps, bottles, cans, nails, junk, graffiti, and things crafted out of the cast-offs of consumer society. Dead TVs, old magazines, cardboard boxes, gnawed chicken bones, sacrificed rats and alley cats, old clothes repurposed and restyled with feral urban flair… such instruments direct the Will of the truly destitute. On the next rung up the socioeconomic ladder, lower-class mages use cheap tricks, cheesy clothes, New Age books, action figures, and other tokens of postmodern mall-magic. When invested with Awakened intentions, these otherwise useless trinkets provide focus for orphans, Hollowers, and other mystics with more ambition than resources. 

As with many other mystic practices, art forms a potent force in gutter magick. Hip-hop culture, Gothic rock, the various flavors of heavy metal, the blues, neotribal, techno-industrial, and even country/western music styles provide soundtracks for the mystic side of the urban scene. Inside the clubs, dancing and drugs create hypnotic atmospheres in which it often seems like anything could happen. A paranormal survival tactic, gutter magick skulks in the shadows of the alley between respectability and forbidden Arts. Gutter magick proves that you don’t need high wizardry and ancient tomes in order to get attention (if not necessarily respect) from the spirit world. In its darker elements, such magick employs guns, blades, cheap sex and cheaper booze, crimes and punishments, madness and desperation. Though not exactly new in form, it’s a common practice in the new millennium.
RESTRICTED: God-Bonding was once extremely common in ancient times. In modern times, it is vanishingly rare. It's also a bit too easy for mages relying on this practice to shade further into certain Sci-Fi tropes than is considered desirable here on Liberation. An excerpt included here since it might show up on a rare NPC (such as a Marauder or a mage with True Faith, neither of which will be approved for a PC).

Some folks embrace Divinity not as an abstract to be worshipped but as a force within themselves. Tapping into a greater sense of power, these mystics use a god-bond to enact their patron’s Will on Earth. Such people might be priests or saints, devotees of a higher calling… or they might view themselves as children of their gods, avatars of unearthly powers, “cousins” to those greater beings, or perhaps deities in human form. Whatever bond they claim, however, these mystics seem tied to something far beyond humanity. Holy people share a god-bond; so do crazy ones. 

Marauders, in fact, seem to favor this “practice” of magick over most other ones. Essentially, the god-bonded mage employs a Wild Talent (Mage 20, p. 527-528) or some very basic Arts, and then views his actions as extensions of his relationship to the divinity in question.
To achieve excellence, one must have perfection. To work one’s Will, one must have the discipline to master that Will and then direct it with utmost confidence. In an outsider’s perspective, the rigorous devotees of High Ritual Magick (all capitalized) are a pretentious pack of OCD pricks. For those devotees, however, the truth is plain: you must be strong, courageous, disciplined, and wise to unlock Creation’s power. High Ritual Magick demands those qualities. 

In High Ritual Magick, everything has significance: the alignment of planets, the tone of words, the calculations necessary to discover the correct number of times to repeat certain phrases, the formalities of address, and the measure or angle of materials aligned just so for maximum effect. That precision has a dual purpose: in one regard, the relationship of those many elements is crucial for success. In the other regard, the precision tests and challenges the magician, forcing him to overcome his flaws and become the superior person whom such intricacies demand. This practice is both an Art and a Science whose expertise has withstood the tests of time. You cannot be weak or sloppy or stupid, goes the reasoning, if you wish to work your Will upon Creation. Only the smartest, the bravest, the most refined people are capable of True High Magick, and so the rituals and their elaborate preparations discourage everyone who lacks the excellence to succeed. 

(This mindset also explains the condescending attitude for which High Ritual Magicians are so infamous. Although they don’t all feel this way, many such wizards believe that other practitioners have not earned the right to work True Magick. Lesser mages, to them, are like drunken kids speeding down dark mountain roads with Daddy’s car, an expired learner’s permit, and the wizard strapped in the back seat, unable to avoid the coming crash.) 

Though often associated with medieval Europe, High Ritual Magick has many forms, all of them refined by civilized urban cultures. China’s ritual magick boasts Confucian complexity, and rites from Egypt and Mesopotamia provide the centerpiece for the Western occult traditions of Greece, Rome, Persia, Israel, and Arabia. Nubia’s ritual Arts remain a closely guarded secret, held by the Ngoma as a timeless inheritance. Tibet, India, and Japan all have sublime ritual practices, whereas North American occultism blends Old World sophistication with New World eclecticism. The rites of South and Central America have largely been lost, thanks to Spanish conquerors… and yet, in secret corners of Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru, sects preserve those Aztec, Maya, and Incan practices. 

In all forms, High Ritual Magick demands preparation, discipline, and the finest materials a magician can acquire. Such practices connect the mage with greater powers – gods, angels, demons, elementals, and the faceless forces of the universe – and those powers demand respect. The wizard, too, must earn respect; such powers do not answer to fools. In practical terms, High Ritual Magick is slow and precise. The wizard might call upon the results of his prior work in the heat of the moment, but those results – enchanted wands, crafted staves, precious amulets, mystic scrolls, imprisoned demons, angelic favors, priceless statues, carved jade pendants, Otherworldly gates, fine robes, imposing tomes – must be prepared well in advance. 

Despite all those trappings, an accomplished Ritual Magus understands that it is his Will that commands those elements. He does not hope or beg – he commands. Spirits can be bargained with, dragons might be conjured, God Himself might slip the mage a favor, but in the end all of those parties respect the High Magus because, ultimately, he has shaped himself into the true instrument of Will.
A catch-all term for the hundreds of methods used to unite advanced technology with visionary ideas, hypertech represents a dynamic approach to science. Despite the rumblings of disgruntled old-school mystics, this approach has transformed the world we live in. Computers, obviously, reflect the most obvious aspects of this Art and Science, but the brute force of metallurgy, the explosive powers of internal combustion, the harnessed lightning of electronic technologies, and the heady physics behind it all drive hypertech and humanity to new and exciting frontiers. “Oh, THAT’S not magick,” sniff the critics… but actually, it is. It’s not Hermetic wizardry, after all, that gave us cars, phones, computers, and electronic power… all those things, and more, began as hypertech. 

The hypertech practice reflects the genius of the human condition – that restless striving to perfect and understand. In earlier forms (like those employed by the Order of Reason), such “godless” Arts were reflections of deep reverence. Men and women of God sought the keys to His Creations, seeing divine glory in every twig or flower. The technologies of China, Greece, and Persia reflected mystic aspirations too. It’s no accident that so many scientific names come from old gods and Classical mythologies, and although modern science emphasizes proof over faith, there’s still plenty of room for wonder in this world. 

At the core of this practice – in its many applications, from cloning and biotech to astrophysics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, theoretical physics, and far more – hypertech is about potential… finding it, recognizing it, expanding upon it to create something even better than what we had before. A scientist understands that she doesn’t have all the answers and so constantly seeks them out. She’ll spend endless hours in the lab or reading journals – not so that she can turn humanity into drones, but so that she can bring something better into being. Despite its apparent sterility, hypertech retains a visionary optimism. 

Although the scientist might believe in some Creator, she’s not shackled to blind faith. Instead, she employs rigorous tests, complicated data, consistent verification, and an Art founded not on chance or outside whims but upon tested principles and concrete achievements. She’s the Progenitor, the Adept, the technomancer whose tools reflect the precision of her Arts. Unlike her deluded counterparts who practice their weird science, this visionary employs solid protocols for dependable results. In a way, she’s the High Ritual Magus of our age, making wonders with vigorous Science.
RESTRICTED: Awakened Mages (especially those who lean into Grant Morrison-esque themes in certain chronicles) can make this practice work. However, it isn't thematically suitable for hedge wizards or technosorcerers on Liberation.

The human mind and body (and perhaps spirit as well, if you believe in that sort of thing… which most, but not all, mages do) are capable of feats far beyond what we believe we can do. Through vigorous training, however – perhaps helped along by an accident, procedure, or chemical that somehow manages to not kill us in the process – we can unlock that capability, essentially becoming superhuman when we do so. Ancient techniques supposedly allow us to do such things by accessing our forgotten potential; the Akashic Art of Do claims to be one such method, and obscure forms of yoga, Tantra, Taoism, and related disciplines make the same assertion. It is science, though, that provides the most commonly imagined forms of invigoration: a metaphysical practice that unlocks the vast capacity of the human being. 

Mages who pursue this practice endure intense regimens of physical and mental exercises that drive them beyond average human capacity, often supplementing such disciplines with strange diets, herbal concoctions, surgical modifications, gene therapy, alien technology, baths in odd chemicals or cosmic rays, and other things that test Nietzsche’s dictum about things that make you stronger. Meditation, too, is essential to such techniques, unblocking the mental barriers to ultimate capability. Invigoration means “to fill with life and energy,” and so practitioners of this approach channel astounding energies into legendary lives. 

As a practice, invigoration is rarely considered to be “magic.” Nevertheless, it allows a practitioner to accomplish miraculous feats. Strength, endurance, healing, telepathy, mastery of other living things, adaptation to environments and situations that would kill a lesser human… whether or not such things are “magical” depends on who you ask.
Certain magicks are deliberately cruel. Cast with malicious intentions, they’re intended to cause harm and distress. Medieval law called such Arts maleficia – “evil-doing” – and that’s appropriate. For though most conceptions of witchcraft are mistaken, there are people who use bad magick for bad ends. 

When folks think of black magic, they’re referring to this deliberately obscene practice… although any form of magick can be hurtful, maleficia is intentionally crafted toward malignant aims. Curses; possessions; damnations; invocations to malevolent powers; infernal pacts, inhuman abilities; violations of body, mind, and spirit… such is the realm of maleficia. Other forms of corruption, too, can be invoked through this form of magick: wealth spells, sexual enchantments, techniques of social dominance, and all manner of metaphysical abuses can be conjured with help from sinister powers. These practices have no set form but range from the petty desecrations of teenage devilheads to the arcane ceremonies of ancient Infernal cults. 

Although the Nephandi seem to be the obvious offenders in this regard, anyone with a sufficiently bent motivation can employ a form of maleficia. The evangelist who calls upon his congregation to pray for the death of some hated figure is invoking maleficia; the forbidden Hermetic rites for summoning demons employ it too. The Black Masses present pretty obvious examples; as are the 'Amatory Masses' said to be performed by renegade Catholic Priests on the streets of pre-Revolution Paris to compel unwanted affections for the benefits of their decadent patrons. Just as any mystic practice can inflict harm, so too can any mystic practice become twisted into maleficia. 

As a practice, maleficia features deliberate cruelty and perversion. Sex, for example, is a sacrament in certain traditions, but malefic practices use sex in its most tortured and nonconsensual forms. Sacrifices become as brutal and horrific as possible; prayers are spoken backwards; sacred symbols and objects are deliberately defiled through acts of defiant malevolence. Technology might play a part as well, as an instrument of torture, a method of access, or a channel for disruptive acts and energies. Music concerts, computer hacking, media broadcasts, machines… all could be employed as instruments of black magic. 

For obvious reasons, maleficia tends to leave nasty Resonance behind. That combination of sick deeds and ugly intentions poisons everything it touches. Rooms, tools, and people feel tainted after a malefic rite; even Sleepers can sense that something’s not right about such things. The mage can clean up every physical trace of the crime, but a metaphysical essence lingers… often attracting corrupt entities that pick up where the malefactor left off… 
The human machine is a miracle whose vast potential is hampered by undisciplined habits and acquired behaviors. Martial arts expand upon that potential, unlocking the deeper physical and metaphysical abilities of body, mind, and spirit. Although such arts, at the basic levels, simply help a person strike or move more effectively in a fight, the higher reaches of martial-arts discipline go far beyond physical combat, into the realm of mental focus and spiritual refinement. 

Although the obvious example of self-perfection through martial arts is kung fu (roughly translated as “hard work” or “auspicious effort art”), most martial arts have esoteric elements. Renaissance fencing features philosophy, psychology, and mathematics as well as physical skill; Greek pankration emphasizes being “all powerful” in all respects; capoeira relies upon the essence of freedom as well as on the acrobatic maneuvers for which it’s famous. Advanced martial arts, therefore, nurture the spirit, hone the mind, and turn the body into a focus for the powers of each. 

At their most metaphysical levels, advanced martial arts attune a practitioner into the Quintessential life force, channel it through refined motions, and grant incredible – some would say inhuman – powers through the focus of an art. The Akashic practice Do is probably the most obvious example of this practice on a metaphysical level, but any martial art – even dirty fighting – can become a magickal practice with the proper mindset and devotion. 

Essentially, the artist manifests her will through clarity, energy, and activity. In game terms, she uses that art as a mystic focus. Beyond their mystic elements, martial arts are also technologies: refinements of knowledge that can be studied, repeated, and employed with practical effect. Thus, Technocrats and other technomancers can employ martial arts as a focus too. 

Regarding all that mystic nonsense as metaphors and mental techniques, a technomancer can divorce her martial arts training from mysticism and still retain its metaphysical potency. With such powers, she can direct Forces, alter Life, rearrange Matter, perceive Entropy, channel Prime, enhance Time, and – perhaps most of all – refine her Mind to sublime capacity. Although she couldn’t fly through the air or skip along tree branches by manipulating chi (“That’s just mythology!”), she can still rework conventional physics and biology through her understanding of the fighting arts.
Next to parenting, healing might be the highest human vocation. Many mages – mystics and technomancers alike – view their Enlightenment as an obligation to heal. To heal the planet, heal the people, heal the spirits, heal the Earth… perhaps all of them at once, if that’s at all possible. And so one of the oldest and most sacred Paths an Awakened person can pursue involves the practice of medicine work. 

Simply put, a medicine-person directs his skills and energies toward a healing practice. He might be the Progenitor physician, the Verbena root-witch, the Bata’a houngan, the Templar medic… it’s not the group that matters, or even the medical practice, when it comes to the abilities of a skillful mage. A shaman with Life 3 can fix a broken leg as well as a Progenitor with the same level of Spheres. For the purposes of magickal practice, the term medicine work refers to the intent to heal and the choice of techniques that enhance healing, not to the specific method a mage uses when healing injuries or disease. 

Human medicine is an ever-evolving technology. Things we take for granted as medical facts were unknown half a century ago, whereas certain proven truths of conventional Western medicine ignore equally proven truths of alternative, non-industrialized medicines. A well-rounded healer in today’s world would probably understand Western technological medicine; Tibetan So Rig techniques; faith-based spiritual methods; Indian Ayurveda (“the science of life”); Japanese reiki and Swedish massage; the vast synergy of modern Chinese medicine; the Persian, Greek, and Arab roots of conventional medicine; current holistic theories; experimental machine technology, and other techniques besides. Few healers, of course, have the time or access to study such a broad range of disciplines – many of which clash with one another on a philosophical level. Instead, the healer picks a specific approach and then directs his attentions… and intentions… toward the path that works best for him. 

Thanks to magick (especially the Life, Entropy, Mind, and Prime Spheres), any form of medicine can work for an Awakened healer who employs that medicine as a focus, so long as that mage BELIEVES in that form of medicine. An Iroquois member of the Society of Faces would feel as lost in a Progenitor biotech facility as a Progenitor would feel when hefting a medicine mask. Both techniques work in the hands of a mage who understands and trusts those techniques, but few healers trust both of those techniques with equal faith. And so, when choosing medicine work as a magickal practice, the player needs to define what sort of medicine his character employs. (We encourage players to research actual medical practices from different cultures.) 

It’s worth mentioning that traditional Native American and African mages often abhor the idea of using magic. In many cultures, “magick” is either trickery or the influence of malignant spirits. Medicine is a more accurate and respectful term for what such people do than magick is… hence, the phrase medicine man. Many “shamans” actually consider themselves to be medicine men or women, using their Arts to nurture and restore the world, not to make it dance to their whims. 
For certain people, “magic” means the ability to focus outside spirit-powers. It’s less a matter of Will than it is the distinctly mixed blessing of being an “open channel” for Otherworldly forces. Several mystic practices – most obviously the Spiritualism of the late 1800s and early 1900s; “voodoo”; and the popular, though potentially insulting, “gypsy fortune-teller” approach – focus upon opening one’s self to the Spirit World and then employing its powers for your gain. In such practices, the “mage” is actually a medium, acting as a passage between flesh and spirit. And although such people can be quite accomplished, a medium credits the spirits, not himself, for the power he commands. 

As a practice, it concentrates on attaining a trance-state and then directing spiritual energies through physical bodies and conscious intentions. Certain mediums simply open themselves to the spirits and then surrender to the experience; others choose who they’ll interact with, how they’ll interact, and what they’ll get out of the bargain personally. Awakened mages, generally, fall into that second category, while un-Awakened “spirit-horses” let themselves be driven by the spirits within. (For examples of such dealings from a rules point of view, see the entries for Necromancy, Summoning, Bargaining, Binding, and Warding, and Uncanny Influence in the sourcebook How Do You DO That?) 

Although mediumship tends to be spiritually oriented by default, certain “alternative” approaches to science consider this to be an advanced form of mental and /or alien technology instead. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s brand of Theosophy is often considered an esoteric technology, and many New Age “channelers” claim to be telepathically communicating with alien intelligences, not “spirits” as such. Of course, the lines between such things tend to blur into nonexistence in Mage’s world. Still, certain mediums vehemently resist the idea that they practice “magic” in any form, even as the things they do fit that definition far more than they resemble conventional scientific applications. 

Those spirits don’t have to be human spirits either; many shape-changing practices involve channeling the essence of an animal, like the owl-witch who transforms through her affinity with the Owl totem. Mediumship has a postmodernist element too: the channeling of “departed souls,” “past lives,” “alien intelligences,” “Ascended Masters,” and even “demons,” all of whom offer advice, power, and inspiration of a potentially dubious nature. 

The problem with mediumship is that you don’t really know who and what you’re dealing with. A smart medium studies cosmology and his preferred class of patron, but there’s still a chance that someone else is using him as a pawn for their own agenda. The Atlantean scribe who speaks through a medium might actually be a trickster or infernal entity; “Dear Aunt Sophie” could be a different ghost entirely, and that wise philosopher from the Crab Nebula is more likely to be an Otherworldly prankster… possibly even another mage. Even so, the Art of channeling aliens and angels has dedicated practitioners all over the world, many of whom demonstrate obvious powers beyond scientific paradigms. 

Associated Abilites: Awareness, Cosmology, Empathy, Enigmas, Esoterica (channeling), Expression, Intimidation, Investigation, Meditation, Occult (theosophy).
Restricted: Psionics as a practice is possible for some Awakened mages and technocrats (although, the latter is rare and considered on the edge of becoming unmutual in the Technocracy), it is not appropriate for mortal hedge wizards or technosorcerers. Such practices is for them, entirely covered by the separate Numina category of 'Psychic Phenomena'.

Every element of “reality” as we understand it comes through the psyche – that “sense of self” composed of consciousness, through which we process and influence our existence. And so, it stands to reason (which, again, suggests that it is true because we think it should be true) that the psyche is the ultimate wellspring of reality, at least as far as we humans understand what’s “real.” By extension, then, the ultimate form of magick should be that which flows from, and is focused through, the practice of psychic disciplines – a practice commonly known as psionics (or 'psychotronics' as some insist is the correct nomenclature). 

Both ancient lore and horizon-edge science posit that consciousness (human or otherwise) is either the most potent force in Reality as we know it, or may even be the entirety of Reality as we know it. Thus, psionic disciplines cultivate that consciousness and expand its awareness of, and effects upon, a practitioner’s reality. Essentially, the practitioner – who may not consider themselves to be any sort of “mage” at all – applies consciousness as the ultimate tool. Depending upon that practitioner’s paradigm, their psychic talents could range from subtle psi-power manifestations (telepathy, pre- and postcognition, psychic influence and perception, astral projection, telekinesis, 
mind-based illusions, and so forth) to staggering displays of apparently impossible power (elemental psycho-manifestations, mass levitation, psi-mutation, psychic healing or annihilation, manipulation of time and space, and other miraculous feats). 

Theoretically, the limits of psychic power are set only by what the practitioner believes they can do. And if “reality” is indeed an illusion or projection that consciousness can control, such belief could potentially move mountains and fold supposedly solid objects into dazzling puzzles of nothingness. 

As a practice, psionics combines rigorous mental and often physical discipline with a handful of external tools that help the practitioner focus that person’s concentration. Mantras, songs, dances, chants, prayers, and movement-based forms (gestures, head-clasping, mudra hand-postures, dervish-style spinning, martial-arts katas, t’ai chi and yoga postures, and the like) are traditional tools for mental discipline, along with geometric designs either complex (yantras, sigils, Hermetic seals, etc.) or simple. Drugs, both legal and otherwise, open Huxley’s “doors of perception,” and symbol-laden props like Tarot cards, dice, and even toys help the practitioner overcome mental blocks and nagging distractions. Meditation, though, is the key to all psyche-based operations. Only by spending long periods cultivating internal focus and disassociation can a devotee of the psychic Arts transcend delusions and expand into a greater sense of consciousness. 
RESTRICTED: This practice makes sense for Awakened mages yet is thematically inappropriate for hedge wizards and technosorcerers.

Imaginative people can do imaginative things with supposedly static structures. Hacking them apart to reconfigure those structures, these people use various tools – technology, philosophy, art, politics, and, occasionally, magick – to remake what was into what can be. With the correct gear and the right ideas, you don’t even need to be a mage in order to hack the dominant paradigm… just ask Osama bin Laden’s ghost. When you are a mage, however, you can employ those tools to remake Reality on a grand scale. 

Typically associated with the Virtual Adepts (and, to a lesser extent, the Cult of Ecstasy), the reality-hacking practice can be used by any mage with the proper mindset and expertise. The core idea – reality is flexible – seems familiar enough these days. As a practice, reality hacking uses an array of technologies to rework the systems that govern our world: its commerce, politics, media, memes, connections, faiths, physics, and so forth. By concentrating on specific systems and ideas, the mage can start remixing expectations into some new and interesting shape. 

Sound like anarchy? Sometimes it is. Many of this practice’s oldest adherents and principles, however, come from the Order of Reason and Technocratic Order. After all, it was early Technocrats who hacked the human concepts of the universe, God, governments, and other technologies. Technocrats shaped fencing (a sword-fighting hack), the physical sciences (an elemental hack), exploration (a geographic hack), mass media (a consciousness hack), and the space program (a planetary hack). It’s no accident that the Virtual Adepts and Society of Ether began as Technocratic Conventions. And despite their unruly applications of technology, they’re just keeping that old hacker ethic alive. 

The postmodern reality hacker tends to employ information technologies – not simply computers, but also memes, media, and other forms of mass intellectual access. As demonstrated by 9/11, she doesn’t have to be a computer nerd – simply a visionary who notes the weakness of a structure and the method that exploits it. The transhumanist idea of reality as information – epitomized by the Data and Primal Utility Spheres (see pp. 524-527) – provides leverage for a reality hacker mage. Channeling her ideas and energies through computer code, social media, videos, slogans, pranks, guerilla theatre, movies and videos, graphic novels, music, fashions, Internet memes, and the clever manipulation of vibrant symbols (masks, puppets, iconography, remixed media, and so forth), that mage can re-contextualize reality as the Masses understand it, then take advantage of those new perceptions. It’s not as quick or 
gratifying as a thunderbolt, but it tends to be a hell of a lot more powerful… and more coincidental, too. 

Like cybernetics, dominion, and the Art of Desire (all related practices), reality hacking aims more toward influence than raw force. The reality hacker strives to modify the system to her advantage, rather than blast it apart. Even so, certain tools – like terrorism and atrocity – can be incredibly violent in both implementation and results. Even then, however, that violence serves as an extension and instrument of the hack; the power of terrorism, for example, comes more from the atmosphere of dread and fury than from the casualties themselves. Sphere-wise, reality hacking favors Correspondence (for drawing and exploiting connections), Entropy (for spotting flaws and arranging probabilities), Forces (directing or destroying electrical systems), Mind (influencing ideas and the folks who have them), Life (rewiring the human animal), Prime (drawing, raising, and directing energy), and Time (re-contextualizing the perceptions of time), and uses instruments that express and subvert those principles in the modern world. 
We occupy a living world whose essence is greater and more intelligent than we recognize. Whereas common people stumble through material illusions, a shaman transcends both humanity and illusion. Moving through a world of layers and traps, he exists outside the everyday realm. And yet, through his guidance, the Sleeping People slumber more comfortably and the Awakened Ones remain more aware. 

Perhaps the most abused word in magic, shamanism technically refers to a specific type of Siberian spirit-worker. Over time, however, it’s come to define anyone who employs old-culture traditions to walk between the sublime world and its often ridiculous material counterpart. Dying – sometimes literally – to the life he led before he felt Called by the spirits, the shaman is reborn in a half-outcast state… mad by the standards of his previous society, yet aware of (if not always clear about) the true nature of Reality. 

Because the shaman traditionally lives between the worlds of flesh and spirit, human and animal, matter and essence, sanity and dementia, conventionality and chaos, he embodies a living crossroads in which those qualities intersect. In many cases, he suffers from physical and/or psychological ailments, a wounded healer whose infirmities render him more sympathetic to other wounded souls. A shaman often depends upon other people and spiritual allies whose aid and guidance help him survive his strange existence. In return, he grants his allies healing, insight, action in realms they might not be able to reach unaided, and a powerful intercessor with parties they may not address alone. A soul guide, a prophet, a medicine bringer and spirit warrior, our shaman walks a sacred… if often unpleasant… Path. 

Thanks to noble-savage nonsense, shamanism has a trippy popular image that’s deeply at odds with the earthy and often bizarre nature of the shaman himself. In reality, shamanism is a gritty, anti-orthodox vocation, filled with deliberate contradictions and slippery concepts of sanity. A shaman often inverts ideas of propriety; cross-dressing, speaking in riddles, or acting in deliberately crude or obnoxious ways in order to shake up or demolish preconceptions. These tools – as well as the usual masks, dances, and trappings one expects from a shaman – form the instruments of shamanic Arts. Folks who expect the dewy-eyed dreamer of New Age romanticism are in for a shock when they meet true shamans… and that shock, too, is part of the shaman’s toolkit. 

Although shamanism favors a naturalistic viewpoint, technoshamanic practices exist in the current era. Connecting with urbanized spirits (city-souls, electronic entities, machine-spirits, and so on) – frequently through computers, fast-food offerings, consumerism cast-offs, and other postmodernist talismans – the technoshaman blends ancient awareness with current technology, acting as a vessel to distill the essence of eternity into the power of today. 
If “shamanism” is the most abused word in magick, then Voudoun might be the most abused practice. Drawn from a fusion of Central African faiths, Native American practices, European iconography, and the humid atrocity of American slave culture, the collection of “voodoo” creeds – Macumba, Obeah, Candomblé, Voudoun, Santería, Delta and Lower Appalachian Hoodoo, the various flavors of Urban-American Voodoo, and their many offshoots – continues to command uncanny fascination in the modern world. Distorted by a combination of secrecy, poverty, racism, psychological warfare, cultural marginalization, and certain unnerving elements that actually do exist within those practices, the popular image of Voudoun magick reflects its distinctly American character. 

Essentially, a Voudoun mage’s practice revolves around finding and revering allies in a treacherous world. Arriving in chains for lives of forced labor after a hellish passage in seaborne underworlds, the Africans who were transported to the Americas had little to draw upon except faith, courage, and rage. Ripped away from their families, many of them lacked even a common language. From the bits and pieces of their new lives, these people crafted creeds that reflected the hopes and horrors of that world, peopled with new families to replace the ones they had lost. In that world, the worst thing that could happen was slavery beyond death… so the curses and creatures of Voudoun lore focused on imprisonment, servitude, crossings, hunger, defiance, and escape. Old gods, new spirits, and tales of elevated mortals attained the identities of Loa: the god-spirit kin of Voudoun practitioners. That synergistic survivor creed remains a vital methodology into the modern nights, where there can be found any manner of unjust force (supernatural or otherwise) that might seek to enslave or chain a mage in some fashion or another. 

Characterized by prayers, offerings, shrines, designs, blessings and maledictions, physical prowess, psychic awareness, bright colors, and sudden violence, Voudoun practices reflect their eclectic origins. Whereas elaborate Arts like High Ritual Magick favor wealth and perfection, Voudoun remains eminently practical. Sure, certain devotees are rich, especially these days; the practice itself, however, employs whatever resources a person has to work with. Faith and trust outweigh arcane rituals and ostentatious displays. Loyalty means more than titles or gold. Rewards and punishments come swiftly… often with quirks of sardonic humor attached… and newcomers get tested with fierce irony and ominous threats. In many regards, the intentionally eerie nature of Voudoun presents a giant KEEP OUT sign to outsiders… most especially white ones. For obvious reasons, a practitioner wears many masks and keeps many secrets. 

Beyond those masks and secrets, our Voudoun practitioner nurtures passionate connection. Priestesses become “Mama,” and priests become “Papa.” Far from being distant, sublime godheads, his Loa patrons are powerful yet accessible cousins whose touch is a prayer or offering away. Anyone who needs a favor can come asking for it… and although the price of that favor might not be as pleasant or easy as he might have wished, it does tend to be granted in one form or another…

Despite its shared roots with faith, shamanism and witchcraft, Voudoun has a distinct culture whose methods and doctrines don’t always play well with others. The Loa and related spirits certainly manifest through their human devotees, but those relationships are more familial than the ones often shared (and endured) between shamans and their spirit allies. That element of family is an essential, and typically neglected, element of the Voudoun mage’s Arts. Given that the practice originated with family-oriented people who were severed from everything and everyone they’d known before, it’s not surprising that blood – figurative and otherwise – holds such a vital place in Voudoun lore and practice.
Folks who think that “science is boring” know nothing about science. Underneath the lab coats and brain-cracking equations run currents of curious wonder. And though cold-eyed Technocrats favor a controlled approach to the Scientific Arts, certain visionaries refuse to be so confined. Would you call them mad? Perhaps… but their dedication keeps the hope of Science alive! 

Unlike most other technomagickal Arts, weird science isn’t based upon repeatable results. Oh, sure, the mad scientist wants to be able to craft armies of robotic servitors or fleets of dirigible warships… and he may well be able to create them too, once a favorable prototype has emerged from his laboratory. However, that Inspired Scientist (don’t call him a “mage” – that’s ridiculous!) is more engaged by the spirit of inquiry and potential than by the devotion to repeatable craftsmanship. As a consequence, his creations often feature glaring flaws and Paradoxes that will be smoothed out, of course, in later iterations… if he ever gets around to making them, that is. 

Weird science, by definition, defies the bounds of possibility. Its crazy ideas fuel crazy creativity. Theories that no rational scientist would entertain guide the creation of devices and creatures whose very existence violates the Consensus: jetpacks, death rays, quirky robots, outlandish vehicles, Atlantean sonic technologies, spacecraft, mechanical appendages, psychic enhancement gear, lab-grown allies, devastating war machines, and whatever other strange gadgetry a mad scientist can imagine. And yet, this isn’t some sort of “magic” – heavens, no! Every piece of odd technology depends upon theories so unconventional yet sublime that they MUST be true, if only for the sake of an imaginative universe. 

As with other tech-based practices, weird science requires serious work in the lab before working results appear. An Enlightened Scientist might spend months or years honing his creation before revealing it to the world. Yet once that innovation has been achieved, he can often replicate it quickly, often with the help of skilled (if dispirited) minions. Weird science also allows the Scientist to alter tech with sudden bursts of inspiration, MacGyvering rickety inventions that last just long enough to accomplish a single task. And so – because he’s no sort of wizard, you imbecile! – the mad scientist needs tools and materials close at hand in order to work his wonders. True Science is indeed miraculous, but it’s not some kind of magic. No, not at all… 
Witch. One of the more venomous words in the English language, the label “witch” can send a person to a hideous death. Even now, when the Burning Times seem more like myth than history, the popular imagination equates witches with warty evil hags cackling over poisonous, foul-smelling brews. Why would anyone, then, want to use something as quaintly horrific as “witchcraft”? Because those who understand it know that it works… not only as a magickal practice but also as a form of reverence for the natural world. 

The equally loaded term “witchcraft” covers a lot of ground, from the diabolical maledictions of medieval legend to the reclamationist neopaganism of the modern era. As a Mage practice, however, the term refers to a nature-oriented, practical craft, as opposed to the scholastic abstractions of High Ritual Magick, alchemy, and so on. Traditional witchcraft is a folk-oriented low magick practiced by common people who need discernible results: healing, fertility, divination, luck or misfortune, prosperity, clarity, physical prowess, and intercessions between the people and their gods that are far more intimate than what can be found at the local temple. The disputed origin of the term witch is “wisdom,” although other possibilities include words meaning “twist,” “knot,” or “knowledge.” And so, witches throughout time have been said to know things… often things that proper people could not or should not know.

Today’s witchcraft features a postmodernist brew of traditional European wise-craft; 19th-century literary occultism and 20th-century mystic fusions; pre-Christian elements from Greek, Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Slavic, Roman, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian cultures (with prodigious cultural appropriations from Native American, African, Romani, and occasionally Asian cultures); repurposed Christian and Jewish practices (especially Catholicism and the Kabbalah); postmodernist philosophy, and New Age takes on quantum physics; mass-media iconography; and tons of pure invention wrapped up in a bright bow of fantasy media, political activism, and technological polyculture. This high-eclectic synergy often incorporates computers, the Internet, pop psychology, chaos theory, and other elements that would be entirely unrecognizable to old-school wise-crafters. Nevertheless, it speaks to people on an elemental level… and yes, as a mystic practice, it’s as effective as any other tool on a mage’s workbench. 

In all its forms, witchcraft has an outlaw mystique – due both to constant persecution and a defiantly sinister stance. Today’s witch might practice holistic medicine and nonviolent politics, but she still exists outside of mainstream respectability… often with a Fuck You attitude. Whatever style of witchcraft she prefers, that Art/Craft incorporates potent symbols – Old Gods, nature spirits, blades, circles, wands, robes, very dark or bright colors, occult iconography, seasons, shadows, chalices, ashes, the four Classical elements, and so on – that reach into the subconscious territory beyond a mainstream comfort zone. 

Our 21st-century American or Western European witch might favor dark clothes, body art, and a swaggering subculture image, or cloak her Arts in a middle-class façade that conceals her elemental devotions. She could follow a strict Witch’s Rule or proclaim herself a mystic anarchist. Tonight's Awakened, self-identifying 'witch' is more likely to revere Nature and diversity than other mystics, while perceiving what she does as channeling her Will through harmony with light and shadow, death and life. Though epitomized by the Verbena Tradition, she isn’t necessarily Pagan and doesn’t always wear her Art on her sleeve, so to speak. 

Regardless of her tools or devotions, though, modern witchcraft retains a core of practicality, focused on everyday utility and addressing the most fundamental of human needs, insecurities and emotions. As such, a witch is far more likely to identify and integrate herself with her local community (whether they fully accept her or not), rather than seclude herself in the ivory tower of a High Ritual magician. A witch is always interested far more in the people around her than in dusty tomes or research labs.
Beneath the popular exercise trend rests a potent metaphysical practice. Named from a Sanskrit word that means union, balance, joining, and (by extension) yoke, yoga employs mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines to refine a higher state of being. Through advanced levels of yoga, a practitioner unlocks the greatest human abilities, eventually transcending his human limits and achieving enlightenment… first temporary, and then perpetual. Dedication to yoga strips away the illusions of physical existence. In communion with Absolute Reality, the True Self – the center of consciousness (Atman or Purusha) – comes to comprehend the Unity of All. 

Although its historical origins may be disputed, yoga derives from a collection of practices rooted in the Indus-Sarasvati cultures of ancient India. Collected into the Vedas – books of knowledge – these practices and observations refined several forms of ritual, meditation, vocalization, and physical exercise, all dedicated to mending the fractured state of human existence. In the Classical Yoga period, those practices mingled with the Upanishads: scriptures of dynamic unity. By 1900, Western occult traditions had begun to incorporate yogic disciplines into their own practices. (The Council of Nine, of course, understood such practices long ago.) Through mastery of those disciplines, an experienced yogi or yogini(male or female practitioner) can see the essential state of Reality… and can work with it as well. Yoga, therefore, isn’t simply a state of meditation but also a practice of conscious activity. The practitioner doesn’t just contemplate her navel; with deep awareness and conscious devotion, she commits herself to action.

Details about yoga could fill their own book. In a practical sense, though, a yoga practitioner pursues intense physical, mental, and spiritual study; combines learned wisdom with personal epiphanies; supersedes old limitations; and transforms herself into an instrument of transcendence. Through such refinement, she can attain superhuman abilities, project her consciousness outside of her body, and reveal the illusions of material reality as tricks of the mind… and, by extension, master earthly forces like gravity, time, matter, and the elements – in game terms, all of the Nine Spheres. 

(A related tradition of practices that often incorporate yogic disciplines is known collectively as Tantra: “weaving,” “loom,” “activity,” or “essence.” Although many devotees of one still practice the other, however, yoga and Tantra are not the same things. Both share a heritage, a dedication to transcendence of physical and mental limitations, and a view of the Whole beyond the illusions of separation. Generally, though, yoga unifies apparently separate elements into a conscious, transcendent whole, whereas Tantra accesses transcendent energies through sublimating physical reality. For obvious reasons, various mages incorporate elements of both traditions into their practices.) 

Often described as “the science of body, breath, mind, soul, and universe,” yoga can be considered a metaphysical technology. If nothing else, the physical and mental disciplines involved in yoga have proven benefits to the human organism. Thus, technomancers and even Technocrats can pursue a yoga practice, although its more esoteric levels defy pure materialism. By the early 21st century, the Technocracy has accepted the useful elements of yoga and incorporated certain aspects of yoga into its training programs. And so, although you won’t see Black Suits defying gravity and throwing bolts of pure Kundalini energy because of their mastery of yoga, the techniques of breathing, strength, and flexibility influence the new-millennium Technocrat’s pursuit of Life, Mind, and Prime Procedures. For traditional mystics (like Chakravanti and Sahajiya), such use of yogic discipline is anathema; for the devotees of Westernized yoga, however, that acceptance provides the punch line for a wondrous joke at the Technocracy’s expense. 

Despite the utility of books, scriptures, designs, and various medical and sometimes psychoactive concoctions, yoga is a largely self-contained practice. The physical body becomes a vessel for the transcendent Self. A devotee tends toward extraordinary good health and vitality, incisive perceptions, and a big-picture perspective on things. She might be capable of apparently impossible physical feats of endurance and flexibility, and she can – at advanced levels – sidestep little things like physics. The foundation of her practice, however, involves correct breathing, centered consciousness, and reaching past apparent limitations. As the guru Bikram advised his students: This is going to hurt. Don’t be afraid.
Not all Paths can modify the same Aspects. The entry for each Path will let you know which Aspects it utilizes.

  1. When the hedge magician casts a spell or ritual, they must choose what level of each Aspect they want to include, with the default being zero — and therefore, no effect — in each.
  2. Hedge wizards can increase a given Aspect as high as the Path level, and the highest Aspect determines the level of the spell.
  3. When the spell is cast, it requires one success for each rank in each Aspect, plus a single success for the spell as a whole.

AreaDamage/HealingDistanceDurationNumber of TargetsMetaphysical WeightPassengersRangeSympathetic ConnectionTravel SpeedWeight

*      A single target

**     Three feet or so

***    A few square yards

****   Ten square feet (they can be arranged in any reasonable shape)

*****  Twenty square feet
For each level of this Aspect, up to two dice of lethal damage can be healed or caused. An additional two successes spent on this Aspect converts the damage healed or caused to aggravated. 
These ranges are guidelines for populated regions. For less populated ones in a hedge master's home environment, and with an appropriate affiliation and practice (such as an indigenous 'rain dancer') the numbers may be doubled or even tripled at the Storyteller's discretion.

*      Only a few feet

**     Up to around 20 feet

***    Up to 100 feet

****   Up to half a mile (they can be arranged in any reasonable shape)

*****  Up to five miles
*      A few minutes

**     One scene

***    A day or two

****   A couple weeks

*****  Several months
*      A single target

**     Two targets

***    Up to 10 targets

****   Up to 50 targets (they can be arranged in any reasonable shape)

*****  Potentially hundreds of targets
*      Simple creatures such as small, unintelligent animals and minor    Gafflings

**     larger creatures such as bears or wolves, more powerful Gafflings, ghosts that have begun to learn to navigate their existence but have no experience

***    Humans and truly intelligent beings, like most Jagglings, ghosts who can navigate the underworld effectively, servitor demons and elementals

****   Enhanced humans like ghouls, kinfolk, and other sorcerers, as well as greater Jagglings, Umbrood Preceptors, and infernal tempters

*****  Powerful beings such as the truly supernatural (vampires, werewolves, Awakened mages, fae, etc.), Incarnae and the very barons of hell
*      Yourself, but no clothing or equipment

**     Yourself, your clothing, and a small amount of stuff

***    Yourself and one extra person or equivalent weight in stuff

****   Two passengers

*****  Three passengers
*      Touch only (requires a successful Brawl attack if the target is unwilling)

**     Less than 10 feet

***    Less than 25 feet

****   About 50 feet

*****  Within 150 feet
*      Direct physical contact

**     True Name

***    Body part, including blood, nail clippings, etc

****   Treasured keepsake or an item they personally created

*****  Any possession
*      About three times faster than on foot

**     Roughly as fast as your driving speed while commuting to work

***    Roughly as fast as a Formula One race car going around the track

****   Roughly as fast as a fighter jet; miles are covered in seconds

*****  Near instantaneous travel
*      Less than an ounce

**     A few pounds

***    Up to 100 pounds

****   Up to 1000 pounds

*****  Large objects such as cars, boulders or the occasional elephant can be moved
Though a hedge magician may cast spells more quickly, for many, rituals make up the bulk of their practice.

In exchange for taking longer to enact (10 minutes per the highest Path level called upon instead of one turn), rituals can be significantly more powerful than spells of the same level. This additional power can take one of three forms:

  1. First, a ritual can empower the magician to attain a level of aptitude they cannot normally access, permitting them to cast a spell as though they had one additional rank of their Path. This might manifest through a new expression of power or by increasing Aspects beyond their usual threshold.
  2. The second form of ritual expands the scope of the intended effect. Using a ritual grants the magician their Path Ability rating in additional successes with which to purchase Aspects for the spell, provided they achieve a success when performing the ritual.
  3. Finally, rituals can bring more power to bear than spells by going beyond what the base spells of the Path can achieve. These rituals express the ultimate form of the Path by stretching the limitations of the Path. This allows the hedge wizard to create specialized and powerful effects within the Path’s purview.

Each Path comes with a list of sample rituals. It is possible, with time and effort, to come up with your own ICly – or your Director might make new rituals available as well.

The systems above describe the basics of using hedge magic. For many sorcerers, things get a bit more complicated. They often look for faster ways to cast their spells, to build more successes upon a ritual, or even to protect themselves from enemy magics.

CountermagicHanging SpellsStoring SpellsWitnessesQuintessenceFast CastingExtended RollsTeamworkGreater RitualsCreating New RitualsReminder: House Rules
Sometimes the most important thing for a hedge magician isn’t to cast their own spell, but to stop or unmake someone else’s. For that, there’s countermagic. 

Countermagic comes in two varieties: instant countermagic and unweaving. 

Instant Countermagic: When they find themselves the target of some sort of magic, the magician may roll the dice pool of their Affinity Path at difficulty 8 to subtract successes from the caster’s roll. If they reduce the incoming magic to zero successes, then the magic is canceled. The hedge wizard’s arcane foundation need not have anything in common with the caster at all; defending oneself from unwanted magic is as instinctual as ducking a baseball thrown at your head. And like dodging a baseball, this countermagic requires an Instant Action.
Unweaving: Unweaving applies when a magician finds an existing spell they want to remove from something or someone. Here, they need to have the same Path as the original caster for spells created through hedge magic or else a Path relevant to the sort of magic being unwoven. After choosing a relevant Path, roll the hedge wizard’s dice pool for the appropriate Path at difficulty 8. The hedge magician needs more successes than the original caster to unweave the spell. Unweaving can be done as an extended action.

By default, a hedge magician can use either sort of countermagic against other hedge magicians and against Awakened magick, but nothing else. For other sources of magic, they must have a relevant Esoterica/RD Data Knowledge specialization. Some examples include vampiric magic (Thaumaturgy, Necromancy, etc.), spirit Gifts and Charms (including those given to shapeshifters), Fae Cantrips, the powers of the dead, and psychic phenomena, among others.
With how slow hedge magic can be, many magicians prefer to prepare their magic in advance. Powerful hedge magicians may use a ritual to imbue a spell into an item (see 'Storing Spells' below), and Alchemists and Enchanters can both prepare objects for later use, but every hedge mage can attempt to hang a spell. Hanging a spell consists of the hedge magician doing everything they need to in order to cast the spell, but then stopping right before its completion. They then internalize the unfinished spell, holding it within awaiting rapid release at some point in the future.

* Hanging a spell requires the hedge magician to spend a point of Willpower and at least one point of Quintessence or dram of suitable Tass. 

* They then the spell’s dice pool and note down details such as Aspects and their number of successes. 

* Later, they can release the spell with only a single turn’s effort, making these prepared spells much more useful in a tight situation. 

* The downside is that these spells take up a lot of mental space. For every two spells the hedge magician hangs, they add +1 difficulty to all Mental and Social rolls.
Every hedge wizard who is capable and powerful enough to reach the fifth rank in one of their Paths, may acquire the following ritual:

Store Spell (*****)
   With this ritual, the magician may store a single spell (not ritual) in an object for later use. This spell doesn't count against the limits in Hanging Spells (as given above). However, each object can only store a single spell at a time. If Store Spell is cast on an object before a previous spell is released from the object, the old spell is lost. This ritual must be separately for each path.
   Not all objects are equally suitable for all spells. It must be appropriate for your practice and for the scale of the effect you wish to store within it - as determined in collaboration with your storyteller.
Hedge magic is easiest to accomplish far from prying eyes. Obvious spells and rituals generally fail when performed in public, preventing, for example, a hedge magician with the Path of Conjuration from throwing a city bus at someone in the middle of a crowded intersection. 

It’s possible to overcome this effect, but the larger the number of witnesses to a spell, the more challenging it is to manifest the magic. For the purposes of this chart, witnesses include anyone considered a Sleeper (essentially normal humans). 

Number of Witnesses     Successes Removed
1                       1
2-5                     2
6-10                    3
20-100                  4
100+                    5
Like the Awakened, hedge magicians can use Quintessence to make their magic easier. However, they are less efficient than those with an Awakened Avatar (which allows mages to 'absorb' Quintessence). 

* To reduce the difficulty of a spell or ritual by 1 requires a hedge magician spend two points of Quintessence. 

* Even this is impossible for many magicians, as they require the Path of Quintessence Manipulation to use Quintessence at all. Otherwise, it needs to be in the form of Tass (which is usually found near Nodes).

MAGE LORE: Quintessence is the 'Fifth Essence' that fuels the latticework of all Creation, gathering along the knots and wells of reality that are often referred to as holy places or Nodes. Sometimes - usually in the vicinity of a Node - manifests in material forms called Tass. Think of Tass as ice formed from watery Quintessence: what flows as one becomes solid in the other. If Tass were an apple, then Quintessence would be the apple's unseen, yet very real nourishing and nutritional properties. Tass can take a multitude of forms – water, roses, blood, food – that can be held, carried, and broken down into the raw Quintessence energy that sustains an Awakened Mage's Avatar and enhances their Arts.

Quintessence is liminal. That means it exists at the threshold of what people call reality. It’s like a flow of spirit-water, except that even that description can’t capture what it truly is. You’ll hear many different definitions or descriptions of Quintessence because every human definition falls short. It exists in the realm of poetry and metaphor, a shiny spark of liquid God. Outside the physical elements of the periodic table, this energy is essentially the world’s life force. It’s one of those things people can feel but not quite measure unless their measurement methods reach outside materialistic science. It’s as real as gasoline, but its properties transcend understanding. Quintessence is literally as real as you believe it is, and each person experiences it differently.
Sometimes, one turn per level of the spell being cast is just too slow. A magician may need to use Conveyance urgently to escape a charging werewolf, or Hellfire to fight off a vampire. 

* When time is of the essence, the magician may attempt to fast cast. 

* Fast casting increases the difficulty by one for each turn being shaved off the casting time for the spell. 

* For example: A Conveyance 3 spell to escape a dangerous situation has a +2 difficulty penalty to cast in a single turn, whereas using Hellfire 5 to incinerate a vampire has a +4 difficulty, making it nigh impossible.
If instead of trying to hurry, the hedge magician takes their time to get things right, spells can be cast as extended actions. 

Spell extended actions are handled quite simply:

1. Declare the spell effect that you're trying to pull off and roll as normal. This will depend on your chosen Path, your level in that Path, your casting Attribute and your Path Ability. The number of successes that you need will be decided by which Aspects you enhance it with. (This is all described in the Core Rules section).

2. As normal, it will require as many turns to prepare as the highest level of the Path that you're calling upon.

3. If your rolled successes are less than the successes required, your spell would ordinarily fail. However, when taking an extended action, you can roll again and add your successes - after the required number of turns have already passed. This makes it much less likely that you'll fail, but at the cost of requiring more time.

4. Hence, extended actions allow a hedge wizard to be a little more ambitious with their spells, and worry less about reaching the required success threshold, provided they're willing to take the extra time (one extra turn per extra roll).

5. A hedge wizard can only roll as additional times when casting a spell with an extended action, as they have ranks in that Path.

To recap extended general actions from Mage 20th Edition, page 389:

* When your character embarks upon a long and complex process, you employ an extended action: a series of dice rolls that reflects a time-consuming activity. Research, repair, memorization, performance, rituals – these tasks, and others like them, involve extended actions. 

* At the beginning of the task, the Storyteller picks a certain number of successes that you need to reach before the task is completed. If you need 15 successes to repair an engine, for instance, then you roll until you get 15 successes. Each roll of the dice represents a passage of time – 10 minutes, an hour, six hours, whatever seems appropriate. Quick tasks would use shorter intervals – say, 10 minutes or so – whereas complicated ones would use longer intervals, like an hour or more.

* How many rolls do you get? That depends on the circumstances. Under relaxed circumstances, you could take however long you need (or at least until you botch), with each roll reflecting one hour, six hours, a day, or some other fitting interval. Because adventures typically involve a race against time, however, you’ll usually have a set number of rolls with which to succeed or fail.

* The longer you spend on an activity, the more chance you have of screwing it up. A failed roll simply means that you make no progress that time around. A botch, however, means that the entire effort fails – probably in spectacular fashion.

* It’s often a good idea, then, to spend Willpower during an extended roll in which the stakes are fairly high. That way, you reflect the character’s intense concentration and give yourself a higher chance of success. 

For spells and rituals of great scope, the number of successes needed can be prohibitive. One hedge magician, even with an extended action, may not be able to manage it. This is especially true at higher difficulties. Many hedge magicians solve this problem by working together, creating more impressive spells and rituals than they could accomplish alone.

This sort of teamwork divides the hedge magicians into three groups: 

1. The first consists of the leader, who must have the appropriate Path at a high enough rank to be able to attempt the spell on their own. 

2. The second group consists of the assistants who have the Path — possibly at a lower level — and either share the leader’s practice for it or their Path Ability. 

3. The third and final group are hedge magicians who follow instructions but cannot contribute their own magic to the group.

* Each hedge magician other than the leader and the first assistant increases the casting time by one turn for a spell and 10 minutes for a ritual. 

* The assistants in the second group, who can apply their mystical knowledge and skills, each make a Path roll. For each successful roll, the difficulty of the spell or ritual decreases by one, and for each botch it increases by two. Anyone involved can spend Willpower to help each assistant gain successes on their roll.

* Once the spell or ritual is complete, the leader makes their Path roll, with the difficulty modified by their assistants. If the roll succeeds, the spell or ritual goes off as expected. However, on a botch, everyone involved in the casting suffers the consequences.
In addition to the usual methods of teamwork, clever and determined hedge magicians can use and develop Greater Rituals. 

* Greater Rituals are the only way for multiple Paths to be combined to achieve a single effect, and always require multiple magicians to work in concert. 

* Each magician must contribute the appropriate level of one Path, and each Path requires a distinct magician to cast it. 

* Additionally, all of the normal teamwork requirements for working together (see above) must be satisfied by the group: There must be a leader, and all members must share a practice or the Ability they roll with them.

* Once preparations are complete, the magicians must spend the required 10 minutes/level of a ritual along with 10 minutes for each caster beyond the first. Each of the magicians must roll their dice pool at the appropriate difficulty number for the level of the Path they are contributing. 

* If all the casters succeed, the Greater Ritual goes off, and the combined effect occurs.
(NOTE: The creation of a new Path is the quest of a lifetime, requiring decades to complete. As such, it isn't appropriate for Liberation's narrative.)

Hedge magic may be a static discipline, but it doesn’t stay the same. Paths fall out of favor and are lost, while clever hedge wizards develop new approaches over time. Most new Paths disappear relatively quickly, not spreading beyond the creator or their immediate circle. But some end up lodging themselves into the Tapestry, spreading beyond their creators as other practitioners independently work out their own methods for realizing identical outcomes. 

* Rituals are much simpler. They don’t truly open new ground, being new configurations of powers hedge wizards already have. They also spread over time, as one magician teaches another, and just as commonly disappear when they stop being useful enough to transmit.

* The magician needs their Path rating to be higher than the rating of the ritual they are creating. A magician with Oneiromancy 4 could make a rank 3 ritual. Creating rank 5 rituals requires mystical acumen usually relegated to myth and legend. 

* Hunting down a lost ritual is usually easier than creating a new one, as is finding someone to teach a particularly obscure ritual.

* Once their Path rating is high enough to create the ritual, the magician needs to spend a month per level doing research and experimentation before they can attempt it. They then perform a single roll of their Path’s casting Attribute + Ability dice pool at difficulty 9.

* On a botch, the ritual backfires (see individual Path write-ups for details) and the magician must start the process over from the beginning. A failure means they can try again the next month, as does rolling only one or two successes. 

* However, if the magician manages to achieve three successes on their roll, the ritual is created and can be used and taught normally from there on out.
  • All of your Paths must utilize the same ‘practice’.
  • All of your Paths must have different Abilities associated with them.
  • You cannot have a greater number of Paths than your casting Attribute’s rating.
Hedge Wizard Backgrounds
In addition to the General Backgrounds given here, hedge wizards and technosorcerers have access to a selection of the same Backgrounds that Awakened mages do. Those backgrounds that have been marked with a $ symbol costs double.
ArtifactBlessing $Chantry / ConstructCultDemesne $Dream / HypercramEnhancement $Node $Past LivesRequisitionsTotem $

Artifacts are items that are inherently supernatural with a power of their own. This Trait allows you to begin play with an artifact, whether it was a family heirloom, a gift from a Mentor, or a discovery that someone has not taken from you.

Each dot in this Background indicates an increasingly powerful Artifact.

This Background is currently restricted.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 307), except that it costs double for sorcerers.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 308). Check with your Director before investing in this.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 310).

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 310-311), except sorcerers pay double for it and their Affinity Path must be Oneiromancy.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 312).

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 312-313), except technosorcerers (like everyone else) pay double for it and it is extremely unlikely to be approved outside of the Technocracy Affiliation.

This Background functions as you would expect from Mage 20th Core (pg 319). However, it is not allowed for hedge wizards or technosorcerers to start with access to a personal node out of chargen. It might be possible to find (or take) one during the course of play, though.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 320).

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 321). It is only available to technosorcerers affiliated with the Technocracy who are in good standing with the Order.

This Background works as it is described in Mage 20th Core (pg 326-328). However, it costs double and is only available to hedge wizards whose Affinity Path is that of Ephemera and who adhere to the practice of Mediumship, Shamanism or Voudoun.

Hedge Wizard Merits & Flaws
Not all hedge wizards are alike. Some were born either more or less fortunate than others, have had access to more desirable training or suffered some drawback. In addition to having access to all General Merits & Flaws, the following are specific to hedge wizard & technosorcerer characters:

Flow of Ki: (3 pt Merit)Focus of Thought: (3 pt Merit)Force of Spirit: (3 pt Merit)Isolated Upbringing (2 pt Flaw)Path Inept (5 pt Flaw)Path Natural (6 pt Merit)Ritual Sleeper (5 pt Flaw)Style Sleeper (2 pt Merit)

You understand the natural flow of energy through the human body, taught through a form of martial arts. This energy is represented as Quintessence but may be called a variety of things: chi, ki, and others, depending on your martial arts style.

  • Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Physical Attribute.
  • You can make a Stamina + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
    • This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one.
    • You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.

You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them.

You can retain information, sharpen your senses and speed your thoughts, allowing you to connect the dots between disparate clues while following complex mental formulae.

  • Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Mental Attribute.
  • You can make an Intelligence + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
    • This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one.
    • You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.

You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them.

The light of your soul is evident to those around you. You may physically glow, appear divinely beautiful, or perhaps your voice resonates with the music of the spheres.

  • Prerequisite: Your casting Attribute must be a Social Attribute.
  • You can make an Appearance + Meditation roll vs 8 once per chapter, to represent engaging in the ritual study and discipline of your chosen practice.
    • This difficulty cannot be further modified except by one factor: If you have access to a Node, the difficulty is reduced by one.
    • You may spend a point of Willpower on the roll for at least one automatic success.

You can take as many actions with your Affinity Path that chapter as successes rolled, without needing to spend Willpower for them.

You were raised within a reclusive environment and have had little contact with the “mundane” world. This could mean you were the home-schooled child of a traveling Arcanum scholar or grew up in an Akashic monastery.

You have a limited understanding of how the “normal” world works. Whenever you are outside the boundaries of your childhood Affiliation, you have a -1 die penalty to all social rolls.

You have a difficult time picking up new Paths. This could be due to a curse, lack of training, a mental block or simply approaching it with an excessively cautious (or inflexible) philosophy.

You pay (new rating x 8) for raising all Paths besides your Affinity Path. You pay one more experience point for all non-Affinity Path rituals as well.

You are naturally gifted to one Path of power. This could be tied to your mundane skills that translate easily to magic, a heritage that calls to certain power, or you have made a deal with otherworldly beings to open yourself to greater power.

The difficulty for casting spells or carrying out rituals (i.e., your ‘Path roll) related to your Affinity Path is always one difficulty less than it would be ordinarily.

Magic doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger.

You are unable to manifest any instant magical effects (i.e., spells) and are thus limited to performing rituals. If the rules of your Affinity Path already require magic through only ritual, you may not take this Flaw. You’re also considered a Sleeper if you witness any non-ritual magical effect.

SPECIAL RULE: Taking this Flaw increases your character’s allowed Merit dots from the usual supernatural PC limit of 10, to a new limit of 15. In addition, it does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.

Your character knows that magic is real – they practice magic themselves, after all. You view the methods of any other magician (Awakened or otherwise) as deeply implausible.

Anytime you see magic that fits your Affiliation and practice (e.g., an Akashic student of Martial Arts), things proceed as they should. However, when you are witness to magic outside of that style (e.g., Weird Science), you are treated as a Sleeper.

This is not a Flaw because it more often disrupts the magic of your opponents and not your own. It is an excellent companion to the Isolated Upbringing Flaw, however.

Hedge Wizard Concepts & Affiliations
The reality-bending, magick-wielding protagonists of Mage share similar origins, goals, and methods with these kinds of characters. In fact, an outside observer would be hard pressed to spot the difference between an Awakened mage and an hedge wizard, or between an Enlightened agent and a technosorcerer in utilizing their abilities. To the uninitiated, their tools and results are virtually indistinguishable; however, each of these character types manifest their power in vastly different ways.

  • Hedge wizards follow many different ‘paths’, and as such, refer to themselves and their mystical practices by an array of names, many of whom see little if any relation with each other. It is only Awakened mages and certain rare specialists keenly aware of the differences between dynamic and linear magic, who tend to refer to all such phenomena as ‘mere hedge wizardry’. The overwhelming majority other individuals in the World of Darkness view their ‘Paths & Rituals’ as either ‘sorcery’, ‘magic’ or ‘devilry’ without the condescending qualifiers.
    1. Path Magic vs Magick: Unlike mages, who alter reality on a fundamental level with their arts, hedge wizards work within the confines of reality, crafting magical effects that operate on established, calculable, and predictable principles. Most hedge magic is less flashy and bombastic than true magick, but that doesn’t mean it is weak or easily dismissed. In fact, a proficient and knowledgeable hedge wizard can achieve staggering effects with their workings, given sufficient time and resources.
    2. Path Magic vs Others: Most ‘Night-Folk’ (a generalized term across various mystic traditions that refer to supernatural races) lack understanding of hedge wizards, seeing no difference between a hedge wizard and a mage. From their perspective, both are chanting mortals who summon ghosts, throw fireballs, or lay curses. Most Night-Folk don’t know and wouldn’t care about the metaphysics behind the effect. In their estimation a mage is a mage.
      • While Affiliations such as the Arcanum have access to extensive lore and libraries, their knowledge of the powers and capabilities of most supernatural creatures is dangerously incomplete. Contradictory, confusing, or flat-out inaccurate lore regarding Night-Folk has led many hedge wizards to their untimely demise, as they mistakenly assumed they had the upper hand based on faulty research and poor preparation. Even the most erudite scholar lacks basic understanding of the social divisions, deep history, petty squabbles, or true capabilities of most Night-Folk.
      • Most paranormal hunters and investigators (especially those connected to Project Twilight) view hedge wizards as well-meaning rustics who have a weird way with the world. Hedge Magic Numina Paths tend to be quite subtle, lacking overt manifestations, and the effects can often be explained away as coincidences or freak occurrences by determined nonbelievers.
        • Other paranormal hunters take sorcery dangerously seriously. The Society of Leopold has no problem believing itself the righteous hammer of witches while still regarding the modern miracles performed by its most holy and zealous leaders with awe and reverence.
    3. Affiliations: Most hedge wizards trace their ultimate metaphysical affiliation to one of the Awakened Traditions or Disparate Crafts. Often whether they realize it or not. They might know nothing of the current state of the so-called ‘Ascension War’, yet they’re likely studying or basing their life on the philosophies of a past Awakened teacher. They might just as easily be formal members, fully invested in the struggle with the Technocracy while considering themselves acolytes or initiates striving for Awakening, or specialists and guides. The most capable and trustworthy of them are given the honorific of consor.
      • The Arcanum itself knows only of the existence of a medieval Order of Hermes, but believes that this institution died out centuries ago after magic began to disappear from the world. The Arcanum works to regather the lore of this “lost” Order, combining it with their knowledge of sorcery.
        • Some Awakened mages even go so far to claim that the Arcanum itself is merely a front for the Order of Hermes, but the Hermetics know that this is not true. It is true however that many of them take an honest (if carefully concealed) interest in the Arcanum’s affairs.
      • Many hedge wizards shun secret societies altogether (or more likely, never realize they exist in the first place) and prefer solitary practice. Occasionally, such solitary practitioners will band together into covens or cliques with a handful of like-minded individuals for mutual benefit and protection, but such arrangements rarely rise to the complexity or dogmatic nature of a secret society.
        • NOTE: The ‘solitary hedge wizard’ is currently not an encouraged concept, since such characters tend to not work out well in the long-term (or stay solitary for very long).
  • Recommended Numina: Alchemy, Divination, Fascination, Fortune, Healing, Mortal Necromancy, Shapeshifting, Summoning, Weather Control.
  • Technosorcerers have been around longer than many realize. The sciences we know of in the modern world are descendants of alchemy, sacred geometry, and other forms of refined knowledge with repeatable results. Even atheistic rationalism comes out of inquiries made possible by knowledge once thought to come from the gods. Indeed, most characters who fall under this label for mechanical purposes would vehemently reject the notion that any ‘sorcery’ is involved at all.
    1. According to the dominant paradigm in the industrialized world, the universe is innately rational and understandable. Every question has an answer, and technology provides the tools by which we can understand them. Magick is simply science that hasn’t yet been accepted by the average person and may always be too advanced for most folks to understand. This is the default Technocratic world view, and is ultimately what they’re speaking of when they refer to ‘Enlightened Science‘.
      • The Technocracy maintains a special place for members of the Masses who can utilize rudimentary Enlightened Science, despite the lack of an inner Genius. Though no mutual operative would ever accuse an extraordinary citizen of using hedge magic — or any kind of magic for that matter — the use of advanced scientific techniques is encouraged and freely taught among the Union’s lowest ranks. Today, the Union refers to the most competent among them as ‘extraordinary citizens‘.
      • Intriguingly, most Etherites, Virtual Adepts, Children of Knowledge and certain Hermetics who once regarded themselves pillars of the Order of Reason before falling out of Consensus, still espouse this paradigm as well. They simply have deep (often fatal) disagreements with the modern Union as to where the scientific method ends and superstition begins. Today, they are often referred to as technomancers.
    2. Unlike hedge wizards, who often are found in solitary practice (refer to countless such tropes as embodied by medicine men, shamans or gnostic teachers), technosorcerers are more reliant on having a (possibly pseudo-scientific) body of literature to fall back on and often very expensive equipment. This requires labs, collaborators and patrons.
      • NOTE: Independently wealthy technosorcerers who have somehow managed to avoid recruitment leans more into comic book tropes than is desired here or towards becoming someone’s pet item crafter on a MUSH, and as such, is heavily discouraged.
  • Recommended Numina: When it comes to technosorcerers, the greatest emphasis is on convincingly describing the mechanics of your chosen Numina Path or Rituals through a technological or scientific lens.

A few of these Paths have multiple popular versions that are actively pursued and taught in the World of Darkness are today. Where the differences are thematically or mechanically significant, they have both been included for reference sake.

Alchemy is a form of Hedge Magic whose main function (at least to the Arcanum) is to purify the soul. All other effects that alchemy is known for are merely stepping stones to that ultimate goal — after all, one must master transmutation to master purification. Enough Arcanists perform and strive to master this that they’ve formed the College of the Great Art.

Other groups put their own spin on it: Practitioners of Witchcraft call the Path Herbalism/Brewing and focus on natural ingredients and effects related to them, while Hypertech engineers and tinkerers utilizing Weird Science call it Advanced Chemistry, and completely eschew the metaphysical implications the Alchemy practice places on the Path.

DescriptionSystemSample RecipesHerbalism/Brewing

The study of transformation and purification, Alchemy is an ancient art and science. Practitioners draw from disparate practices, both magical and scientific, to understand the hidden properties of matter and the soul. The most traditional goal of alchemy is not the more famous transformation of base matter into more “noble” counterparts — such as lead into gold — but rather the perfection of the alchemist.

As a Path, Alchemy creates one-use magic items and transformations. Many of the things it produces are meant to be ingested, though few are made with taste or even the health and wellness of the consumer in mind. Alchemy also produces coatings that may be applied to the skin or objects, and reagents that catalyze transmutations of base elements into other matter.

Though often studied as a means of perfecting the soul, this pursuit is very much bound up with actual Alchemical practice.

In all cases, the Path of Alchemy is expensive. For most versions of the Path, it requires a well-equipped laboratory and strange ingredients. The most powerful applications require increasingly exotic components and extremely specialized Tass. Though the Herbalism variant tends to be cheaper in terms of money, it requires more time and effort, with plants and fungi collected under strict conditions.

Many applications of this Path have passed into legend. Few alchemists are known to have actually completed the so-called “Great Work,” the creation of a Philosopher’s Stone, or any other product conducive to immortality, but most masters of the Path make an attempt.

This Path has no spells. It does everything through rituals called recipes.

Modifiers: Once the magician successfully follows a recipe three times, the difficulty is reduced by one.

Time: Alchemy takes longer to obtain results than most Paths. Recipes require one day per level to prepare, but this can be shortened if the Path Ability exceeds the recipe level. Each dot of the Ability higher than the ritual level reduces the total time spent by one day. If this would reduce preparation time below one day, instead assume several hours of work.

Duration: Effects last for a single scene unless otherwise noted.

Effects: Alchemy doesn’t have Aspects; instead, each dot increases the practitioner’s power and control. Except for the most potent recipes, they only require a single success to make. Additional successes are split between providing additional doses and keeping those doses potent for one day per success spent.

• Distillations at this level do not appear magical in any way. These recipes are simply more advanced versions of extant chemicals and concoctions, producing more potent painkillers, poisons, glues, solvents, etc., and increasing the Toxin Rating of the chemical by one (as per Mage 20 p. 442). Higher Path levels can further alter the Toxin Rating, increasing or decreasing the rating by one per dot.

•• Now the substances created let the imbiber exceed their usual physical limits. Any one Attribute can be increased by one dot, up to a maximum of five, for the scene. Special preparations can expand one’s mystical awareness, mostly through induced dreams or hallucinations. These visions are left to the Storyteller’s discretion and should remain cryptic and uncertain. Visions attained at this level lack the power of a system benefit and are included as a narrative device.

••• Not only can the alchemist now enhance their targets beyond the normal capabilities of humans, but they can also grant low-level psychic abilities (see Chapter Two) for an hour at a time. These psychic abilities begin at a single dot, but every additional two successes provides an additional dot, to a maximum of the alchemist’s Path rating.

•••• Alchemists can bring about truly potent improvements to living beings. They can increase a single Attribute or Ability by two or two Attributes or Abilities each by one, and the normal human limit of five no longer applies.

••••• The alchemist can now craft recipes that repro- duce up to three dots worth of supernatural powers. Each dot reproduced this way mimics a single effect — chosen when the recipe is crafted — even if the replicated power offers multiple effects. These are some of the hardest potions to produce and require exotic components, such as pieces of the supernatural being in question.

Price of Failure: Working with volatile compounds is dangerous in and of itself. Even mere failure results in broken equipment and ruined reagents, requiring expensive replacements. In the best-case scenario with an actual botch, the alchemical product explodes, potentially damaging the magician (as well as their neighbors). More commonly, though, the botched recipe appears to come together perfectly, but produces undesirable, and possibly harmful, effects. Even an unexpected but benign effect can be catastrophic at the wrong time.

• A powder that enhances alcohol. The drinker must roll Stamina (difficulty 8) or spend a point of Willpower or else fall asleep immediately. They must try again (at a difficulty of one less than the prior roll) each turn until they fail, or the difficulty drops below 3. Those affected sleep for (10 – Stamina) hours. Vampires are resistant, rolling at –2 difficulty and rolling Stamina + Fortitude. Even if they fail, they sleep for only ten minutes, minus one for each dot of Stamina or Fortitude they possess. Werewolves in their natural form, however, are more susceptible (difficulty +1).
• A cure for the common cold or flu, at least for 24 hours. It can also halve the recovery time for the illness.
• A drug that lets the user ignore wound penalties up to the Injured level until wounded again.
• A tonic that instantly sobers the drinker up, no matter how drunk they are.
• A mirror that is nigh impossible to chip or break.
•• An enhanced form of LSD that lets the taker either see a vision of the future or discover connections between disparate elements within the story. These relationships always appear in symbolic form, making the visions difficult to interpret.
•• A potion that doubles the running speed of anyone who takes it. At the end of the scene, the user rolls Stamina (difficulty 6) or feels out of breath for the next hour, suffering a +2 difficulty on all physical rolls.
•• An energy drink that lets the user go an entire week sleeping one hour per night.
••• An extremely strong, light, and easy to work with metal alloy. It can retain an edge forever; melee weapons made from it do an extra die of damage and have –1 difficulty to hit. Armor made with it soaks an extra die of bashing and lethal damage.
••• A dust that reveals invisible objects or creatures and disrupts illusions.
•••• A metabolic accelerator that raises Strength and Stamina by one each. Anyone who takes it will be hungry during the time to fuel the change. This may increase Attributes above 5.
•••• A regimen of drugs or potions that slows aging. For each year of life on this regimen, the user only ages one month. If they ever go off of it, however, their age catches up at a rate of one month per day until they die or resume the regimen.
•••• A salve that can be applied to the eyes to allow the user to see through the Shroud for one night.
•••• A bullet that bursts into flames on impact. It does an additional two dice of fire damage and ignites anything it hits.
•••• A powder that, when inhaled by mouth, gives an extra dot of Manipulation and Expression.
••••• A pungent chemical that drives back werewolves (and most humans, simply due to the smell). When worn, any sort of shapeshifter cannot approach within ten feet of the user. Of course, this only protects against melee combat, they can still throw things, as some alchemists learn when they start taunting. Similar recipes exist for other Night-Folk.
••••• A potion that mimics the physical prowess of a vampire. The user gains an extra action, an automatic success on Strength rolls, and an extra soak die for the scene. They also have quite a temper and thirst for blood. Resisting provocation or the opportunity to feed on an open wound requires a Willpower roll (difficulty 8).
••••• More directly, an elixir can be made using at least five points of vampire blood to simulate three dots of Potence for three hours. It leaves the user desperately hungry and suffering from bloodlust as above.
••••• A powder that allows the consumer to heal bashing and lethal damage at a rate of one level every other turn for the duration of a story. This requires some werewolf fur and causes the user to sweat heavily and smell like an animal in a cage, giving +1 difficulty to all social rolls.

The herbalist, or natural healer, has long occupied a place in folklore and in the culture of pre- or non-technological societies. In later history, the snake-oil salesman exploited for their own ends the trust many people once placed in non-traditional healers. Many herbalists — and many herbal con-artists — merely relied on recipes handed down through generations or conjured whole from their imagination to produce potions, ointments, tinctures, possets, and other herbal concoctions. These mixtures or brews sometimes worked, when the herbs and other ingredients contained viable substances. Otherwise, they were just so much “snake oil.”

The Way of hedge magic known as “herbalism” or “brewing” enables the practitioner to imbue natural ingredients with real power so that their natural healing (or poisoning) abilities achieve greater results. At the highest level of knowledge, these substances produce effects that border on the miraculous. The Garou treasure and protect these Kinfolk, valuing them for their ability to effect cures when normal means fail.

Kinfolk who study this herbal magic Numen must first have at least one dot in one of the following Knowledges: Herbalism, Medicine, or Science (botany). Naturally, the more dots in the appropriate Knowledge, the greater the probability of success. Using this Path requires time and effort, as the practitioner must find and gather, or grow, the proper herbs, flowers, roots, or mosses. In addition, preparing potions or other herbal concoctions takes time involved in boiling, steeping, crushing, or otherwise transforming the ingredients into the required mixture.

The strength and effectiveness of the mixture depends on the herbalist’s successes (Intelligence + Herbalism). One success produces something that marginally works but may look foul and taste bitter, or worse. With four or more successes, the concoction not only succeeds but does so with twice as much effectiveness — and tastes delicious, to boot!

Of course, herbalism also allows for the concoction of poisons. Those who ingest such poisons or mixtures with harmful effects may attempt a Stamina roll against the herbalist’s successes to resist or survive the effects.

Players and Storyteller should devise their own rituals for making the herbal mixtures depending on the herbalist character’s cultural background or the needs of the chronicle.

Roll: Intelligence + Herbalism

Cost: none

• The poultices or brews made at this level can cure minor aches or rashes, induce or prevent sleep, preserve foods longer than their normal freshness, relieve symptoms of non-chronic illnesses, and produce other effects that would not fall under the category of “magic.”

•• At this level, the herbalist’s products quickly cure minor illnesses or pains, avert or enable pregnancy (100% certainty), alter a person’s mood, attract or deter insects or animals, cure intoxication, and produce other effects that seem miraculous, but not necessarily supernatural.

••• The substances made at this level can put people to sleep with just a pinch, cure moderate pains and illnesses, cut healing time in half for open wounds and broken bones (more for Garou), put partakers in light trances or elevate the libido, and cause other effects that may raise eyebrows due to their speed and effectiveness.

•••• This level of mastery enables the herbalist’s concoctions to clear up an infection in minutes, cure life-threatening illnesses, neutralize poisons, temporarily increase someone’s physical traits (one or two dots to Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina for one scene), and other equivalent effects. Cultural expectations and Storyteller judgment play a part in the effects, which are neither sudden, flashy, nor permanent.

••••• At this level, the herbalist produces truly spectacular potions, brews, balms, and the like. Love potions, sleeping concoctions, healing balms, deadly poisons, oils of flying, and other seemingly impossible mixtures enable the user to alter her reality for at least a little while, or, in the case of poisons and healing medicines, permanently. The truth of the matter should remain open to discussion and have a plausible explanation behind it. Extreme effects, such as changing forms, should not occur instantly, but should take effect subtly or over time.

The Way of Conjuration enables the hedge mage to move objects about from one place to another. They can bring weapons to hand, and, at the highest level, teleport a human or human-sized object without physically touching the target. 

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Conjuration is the quintessential Path of stage magicians: pulling rabbits from hats and cards from an audience member’s pocket are common examples of its most basic applications. Sorcerers who wish to make a living from their studies often learn Conjuration. Because of this inextricable association with stage magic, Sleepers tend to rationalize Conjuration as simply expert sleight-of-hand.

The path of Conjuration is the ability to move or summon an object or being. While a novice might only perform parlor tricks like coin spinning, an advanced Conjuration sorcerer can hang a spell on their companion before entering a dangerous situation, letting them pull their friend from the (perhaps literal) jaws of death if need be.

Nearly as important as what Conjuration is is what Conjuration is not. Conjuration is very similar to the path of Conveyance mechanically, to the point that there’s often confusion between the two paths — especially among Awakened Mages who can achieve results common to both Paths with the Correspondence Sphere. Conjuration can’t move the sorcerer wielding it, whereas Conveyance can. A sorcerer also may not use this path to “summon” elemental attacks — that’s the domain of Hellfire.
Conjuration can summon a bucket of sand but cannot create a sandstorm.

Modifiers: For any application that can be played off as — or described similarly enough to — stage magic, keep one success that would’ve otherwise been removed by witnesses. Even rational consensus is primed by pop culture to believe conjuring an elephant from nowhere is possible with clever visual trickery. Note that actions causing obvious physical harm can’t be explained in this manner.

Using Conjuration on an object in the grasp of some- one actively resisting incurs a +1 difficulty. Attempting Conjuration to move a resisting target incurs a +2 difficulty. Apply a –1 difficulty for an object well-known to the sorcerer (see also Object Permanence below).

Aspects: Conjuration uses the Aspects of Distance, Number of Targets, and Weight. Conjuration notably doesn’t use Speed. The summoned target appears instantaneously on the successful completion of a spell or ritual. The sorcerer may also choose to buy the following effects with additional successes:

1 success to be able to use Conjuration to clumsily attack without touching the weapon (–1 die penalty to attack).
2 successes to attack as above but without penalty, or to give fine motor control to any object conjured, such as using a set of lock picks from a distance.
1 success for each additional round the sorcerer wishes to maintain the effect. The Sorcerer can’t drastically change the effect, such as throwing a puppet to strike someone after making the puppet dance, without rolling Conjuration again.

Price of Failure: While simple failure means no item is transported, a Conjuration botch runs the gamut from highly inconvenient to gruesome. A sorcerer might send an object to the wrong place, such as sending an item further out of reach or conjuring a prepared weapon directly to their own hand. Sometimes the sorcerer summons the wrong object entirely. Alternatively, a sorcerer might only conjure part of the intended item, and one only needs to imagine the horror of botching the Conjuration of a living being.

Object Permanence (••)
Hedge magicians naturally have an easier time summoning targets they have a strong connection to, such as a beloved pet or the ritual knife their mentor gifted them. With Object Permanence, the hedge magician forces a supernatural connection to objects for future summoning. This treats the target as “well-known to the sorcerer,” even if the sorcerer found it in a dumpster an hour ago. The sorcerer meditates within 10 feet of the target and spends a point of Willpower. Every success represents a day the target maintains the supernatural connection to the sorcerer. A hedge magician may have a maximum number of targets bound this way at once as they have dots in Conjuration.

Always Armed (•••)
The sorcerer doesn’t have to appear armed to have a weapon at the ready. Due to the nature of this ritual, it’s nearly always hung before the sorcerer enters a potentially dangerous situation. If they need to access the weapon, the sorcerer completes the ritual by reaching into their trenchcoat or a convenient shadow to summon it. Traditionally, sorcerers used this ritual to conjure swords, but in modern times it’s most common for a sorcerer to summon a shotgun or rifle. The summoned weapon can’t be larger than a shotgun or long sword.

Shitstorm (•••)
The hedge magician surrounds themselves and their companions within 25 feet of them with a swirling shell of small inanimate objects. This adds +1 difficulty to hit anyone covered by the effect with a ranged attack for every 2 activation successes. Additionally, anyone attempting close combat against those affected by the ritual must soak [activation successes] in damage. This is usually bashing, unless the sorcerer was in a room filled with broken glass, small knives, or other sharp objects, in which case the damage is lethal. The sorcerer doesn’t have to target any enemy in particular for this to occur. Anyone, friend or foe, who gets too close to the flying debris is hit and must soak the damage.

Extraction (••••)
Another ritual commonly hung “just in case”, Extraction allows the sorcerer to take fallen or overwhelmed companions out of battle and to safety. The sorcerer first moves out of range of combat, typically behind cover, and pulls their companions out of a shadow. There isn’t a difficulty increase or success penalty if the companions aren’t resisting and aren’t immediately being targeted — the chaos of combat can hide this ritual’s use. Once the sorcerer and their companions are out of range, they aren’t counted as being in combat unless a combatant finds them and attacks. This powerful ritual can work on up to 10 companions, who the sorcerer must define when initially performing the ritual.

With enough understanding of this Path, the sorcerer need not bother with a vehicle at all, merely willing herself to be where she wants to be without actually crossing the intervening distance. Technosorcerers may refer to this as teleportation, using some kind of booth, apparatus or even phone lines, while a more classical sorcerer may summon up a friendly spirit to do the work for him.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Whether dreaming of teleportation or flying broomsticks, people have always wanted to travel quickly from place to place. No matter how quickly they can manage it, it’s never fast enough, and many turn to magic and strange sciences to get where they’re going that much sooner. To hedge magicians, these feats may not be routine, but few of them worry about being booked to a middle seat on an airline.

Until they reach the pinnacles of Path mastery, a hedge magician using the Path of Conveyance requires some sort of vehicle, which is prepared for a single journey by the magician. Mystics tend to favor seven-league boots, flying carpets and brooms, and stranger things like chariots drawn by divine cats, while the more scientific magicians use jet packs, transforming cars, and the like.

Powerful wielders of this Path, however, can cover distance without crossing the intervening space. Teleportation need not be instantaneous, but it tends not to need a vehicle; usually a ritual or device at the point of origin will suffice to send the magician wherever they want to go.

Modifiers: +2 difficulty for each unwilling target, –1 difficulty for well-known locations.

Aspects: In addition to the Aspects of Distance, Travel Speed, and Passengers, the following each increase the number of successes needed:

1 success to travel to a location the magician has never been to.
2 successes to teleport, even if not instantaneous This is required to attempt to use Conveyance offensively.
• Each barrier crossed costs one success. Barriers must be possible to bypass. This Path can’t penetrate hermetically sealed chambers.

Price of Failure: Mishaps with the Path of Conveyance can be extremely dangerous. Failures are innocuous enough, as simply nothing happens. Botches, however, tend to be specific to the method of transportation used and tend to impact the conjurer (pun intended) part way through the trip. Flying broomsticks fall out of the sky, seven-league boots leave you stranded leagues from your destination, and entire bodies of science-fiction discuss what happens when teleportation goes badly.

Sprint (•)
Sometimes, a magician needs to travel a short distance quickly. Though preparations vary, mostly by practice and Ability, this Ritual always concludes by lacing up a pair of blue sneakers. Once they are on, the magician can run faster than any mundane human, so long as no one sees them do so. Each success on the ritual doubles the running speed and grants one minute of running. At the end, the ritual leaves the magician exhausted, and they must rest for five minutes.

Teleport Ward (••)
Hedge magicians studying the Path of Conveyance quickly learn to defend themselves from it. By marking out a room or building in an appropriate way — a chalk circle, sigils on the walls, or anti-teleportation field projectors, etc. — they can make it harder for other hedge magicians to use the Path to enter the area. After the ritual is set, each success must be overcome by a caster trying to enter the bounded area. This protection degrades at a rate of one success per month, but a single success on another ritual roll restores it.

Get Me the Heck Outta Here! (•••)
One of the most useful tools a magician can have in their pocket is an escape route for when things go badly. This ritual instantly brings the magician back to a pre-prepared home location within 50 miles of them. It requires at least four successes to cast, though additional successes 20 miles apiece to the ritual’s range. An addi- tional roll when casting the ritual allows the magician to return to a secondary location if their dedicated home is too far away. This ritual is almost always cast as a hanging ritual.

Information Superhighway (••••)
For technology-based magicians, there’s an unusual means of transportation often overlooked by mystics. It’s harder to access than others but can sometimes reach places Conveyance normally can’t. This ritual allows the caster to travel from any electrical outlet to any other, by converting the magician into electricity. The range is limited to 5 miles per success. This travel takes one minute per 5 miles. However, the archetypical sealed room Conveyance can’t access is usually not sealed off from electricity: If an outlet exists, then the magician can get to it.

Teleportal (•••••)
Masters of the Path of Conveyance can do more than simply transport themselves and others from place to place. They can create stable gateways between two locations. First, the magician must prepare both sites for the portal to be created. This takes three days of preparation at each site using trappings and materials appropriate to the caster’s Path Ability. Once the appropriate preparations are complete, the magician makes an extended roll, with one roll per hour. It requires at least one success per 10 miles between the portals. Each extra success adds five uses of the portal or a condition at one or both ends, such as a restriction on who can use it or making the portal one way. Creating this portal costs one permanent Willpower point, which is not refunded if the portal dissipates. Teleportal is a complex ritual, best accomplished with assistants.

Hedge Magicians who practice this Numina Path have a unique method of communing with whatever metaphysical force they revere to glean insights into the future. Such methods are not always easy or quick, but they can be effective if the Hedge Magician interprets the signs correctly.

DescriptionSystemTools & Methods of Divination

Reading tea leaves, casting rune stones or bones, studying the night sky — all these are examples of traditional practices of Divination, variations of which span a multitude of cultures. As long as there’s been the concept of a future, there’ve been people wanting to know what it held for them. Some of the newest, though more difficult, practices involve using advanced computer programming based on extraordinary sciences and hypermath.

A hedge magician performing acts of Divination attempts to predict the future. However, the future’s an ever-changing and muddied mess. A sorcerer may use Divination to find clues to the most likely outcomes, but the wise seer knows the value of accurately interpreting the imprecise and dream-like symbolism to judge likely probability changes.

Rarely is anything about the future set in stone. Mortals die, but the where, when, and how are determined by infinite variables: choices of action and inaction alike. The mere decision to scry the future and tell anyone about it could drastically change outcomes.

Because of the constantly shifting nature of the future, a sorcerer can’t develop or take any rituals for Divination. Divination rarely qualifies as vulgar magic, and many hedge magicians skilled in this art find it profitable to perform in the open. However, some practices such as Haruspicy (predicting the future by studying the entrails of a sacrifice) run the risk of legal consequences if discovered. Most Diviners choose one practice, but it’s not unheard of for sorcerers to have a few practices they use depending on the situation or client, especially if a favored practice is illegal or subject to being thwarted by the weather, such as with astrology.

All uses of Divination are treated as spells, although with a casting time of ten minutes per Path Level called upon, rather than one turn.

Modifiers: +1 difficulty if using Extraordinary Science, but this Practice gives more precise probabilities. –1 difficulty when under the influence of mind-altering substances. Visions and signs may come easier and more vibrant in altered states but remain up to interpretation.

Aspects: Divination uses the following unique Aspects:

Time Period
• one day
•• one week
••• one month
•••• one year
••••• 10 years

• Visions and signs are incredibly vague and difficult to interpret with any certainty
•• Typically accurate but deeply buried in symbolism
••• Accurate but vague and open to misinterpretation
•••• The truth’s there under layers of symbolism, but not terribly difficult to interpret
••••• Accurate and often easy to understand, though still subject to human error

• A simple question that could be answered yes or no if you were talking to a person rather than stars or entrails
•• A specific question that can be answered with a short and simple explanation. For example, “Which road ahead is safest?” but not “What’s our enemy’s plan?”
••• The question could be researched and answered with public source knowledge if only you had the hours to put in.
•••• The question may be detailed and require hidden information, but the information could be uncovered given enough time and know-how.
••••• A very detailed query that would normally require lost, destroyed, or deliberately hidden information to answer.

Price of Failure: In the best-case scenario, the sorcerer simply receives no visions or intuition due to failure. A botch, however, can give patently false or dangerously misleading readings. The hedge magician may divine that there’s no security at the location their coven is planning on breaking into, when the place uses enough security to rival Fort Knox. Alternatively, the sorcerer might correctly divine that a door’s lock is broken but fail to understand that the owner knows this and placed armed guards to watch it. The Storyteller should vary approaches to Divination botches lest they become predictable in and out of character.

The tools used to focus Divination are many, but they all work equally well and according to the same principles, opening a conduit of sorts for the Magician to peer through and see the essence of destiny itself. A Magician might use cards, carved fetishes, coins, tea leaves at the bottom of a cup, or the entrails of a recently slain animal. She might peer into a crystal ball, a mirror, or a pool of water. She might pray with a saint, walk in the woods, or simply watch for omens. Whichever option the player chooses for the character says something about the cultural origin of her Divination ability, as well.

There are countless methods within the Path of Divination, and every Diviner puts something of themself into their practice. A cartomancer might have a favorite tarot deck or spread, and a bibliomancer might swear their divination is only accurate when they use works by the Brontë sisters. Players are encouraged to research divination methods and find one or more practices that best suit their character and chronicle.

AbacomancyDivination using dust, sand, or ashes of the dead dropped on a surface
AstrologyStudying the interactions and positions of celestial bodies to predict the future
BibliomancyPrediction by opening books, often religious texts, to random pages
CartomancyUsing a deck of cards to predict the future — often, but not always, tarot or other specialized decks
CastingThrowing carved rune stones, bones, or sticks and reading the patterns made
FelidomancyObservation of cat behavior to predict the future
HaruspicyReading the entrails and livers of sacrificed animals
OneiromancyInterpretation of dreams
OrinthomancyObservation of bird behavior for predictions. Also known as Augury.
PalmistryDivining another’s future by reading the lines on their palm
Probability AnalysisUsing extraordinary science and chaos math to predict probability of future events
ScryingReading the future in pools of water, crystal balls, mirrors, clouds, etc.
VideomancyReading the future through moving images

Instead of binding and commanding spirits, the Path of Ephemera better allows the magician to understand and negotiate with them.

DescriptionSystemSample RitualsSpirit Chasing (Kinfolk)Via Geniorum (Theurgy)

Some magicians — those focusing on the Path of Summoning — command spirits. Those who follow the Path of Ephemera seek a relationship of greater familiarity with them. To magicians who use the Path of Ephemera, their relationship to spirits is more like family and friends than master and servant. When they call for a spirit, it’s an invitation, not a subpoena.

The core of the Path of Ephemera is a kind of ritualized, respectful negotiation. This process, called chiminage by Garou and Dreamspeakers, is a give-and-take. Each spirit wants something different, related to their nature. The spirit’s request depends on the power of the spirit and the size of the task involved.

Asking an Incarna to undertake a difficult and long-term task requires a lot from the magician, perhaps something only possible with a difficult quest of their own. Asking a Gaffling to do something simple that ties directly into their nature (e.g., asking a fire spirit to light a candle) would, conversely, require almost nothing of the magician, perhaps only the opportunity to do it.

This process, naturally, has a steep learning curve. Most magicians find themselves on the worse end of a deal or two before they get a sense of it.

This Path almost always focuses on the Middle Umbra and, more rarely, on the Low Umbra. Rumors of versions that work with the High Umbra are persistent but remain nothing more than hearsay.

All uses of this Path past the first level (sensing and getting the attention of nearby spirits) are cast as rituals requiring specific circumstances, targets and desires, rather than as spells.

Modifiers: –2 to +2 difficulty depending on the spirit’s opinion of the magician.

Aspects: Metaphysical Weight and the unique Aspect of Spiritual Reach.

Spiritual Reach
• The magician can sense spirits and get their attention but can do little else.
•• The magician is restricted to calling upon a general type of spirit
••• Now specific spirits can be called through tailor-made rituals, and almost always show up unless the magician has offended them in some way.
•••• Spirits begin to approach the magician un-prompted. The magician can see into the Penumbra, which increases the numbers and types of spirit they can interact with. The magician can also fight back against spirits if they need to, though most try to avoid it.
••••• The magician can now go to the spirits instead of needing them to come to the physical world. Though physical travel into the Umbra is still impossible, the magician can astrally project there, using Wits for Dexterity, Manipulation for Strength, Intelligence as Stamina, and Willpower as Health Levels. They are connected to their body by a silver thread, and if they run out of Willpower, it snaps, severing their connection and leaving them stranded.

Price of Failure: Dealings with spirits can be dangerous, especially at the early stages when all a magician can do is get the attention of whatever is nearby. Even at the higher levels, the most dangerous thing possible on a botch is to call the wrong spirit, with banes being particularly common.

All uses of this Path past the first level (sensing and getting the attention of nearby spirits) are cast as rituals requiring specific circumstances, targets and desires, rather than as spells.

This Way enables a hedge mage to create a bond between herself and a chosen type of plant or animal. Those who practice this Way believe, not unlike the Garou, that every living thing possesses a soul or animating spirit.

A spirit chaser uses her bond to watch and learn from her chosen animal or plant. Unlike the process of learning Gifts, no bargain exists between animal/plant teacher and student. The practitioner starts by contacting the spirit and simply watching it. Next, she asks questions of the spirit and tries to mimic its natural abilities. After this, the spirit chaser devises a private ritual in which she pleads with the spirit, requesting it to appear. When this happens (and it can take a very long time), the spirit chaser explains that she would like to learn its ways. For example, a spirit chaser choosing a bear spirit would ask to learn the ways of bears. The spirit might require some kind of proof of sincerity or a quest undertaken to prove the spirit chaser’s worth, but if it agrees, it allows the spirit chaser to learn the basics of living like the chosen creature.

As learning progresses, the hedge mage learns to focus her senses to see as her animal does. She might even learn special activities, such as a bear’s ability to hibernate or a lion’s ability to use claws. This Way is unique to every practitioner. Note that this Numen does not provide the ability to see, hear, touch, or summon spirits. It does provide a degree of intuitive communication with a chosen spirit type, such that queries might be answered by a gentle breeze, the snap of a twig, or even the brief appearance of the spirit’s type of animal or plant, and the spirit chaser intuitively understands the meaning of such responses. Others would easily interpret it as being all in the spirit chaser’s imagination, but she knows better. At higher levels of awareness, it’s even possible that a spirit might like the spirit chaser enough to materialize before her now and then, or use other Charms that signal its direct presence.

Roll: Manipulation + Occult

Willpower cost: 1 point

• The mystic learns to “eat” the food of the chosen spirit. The proper food needs to be available (water and sun for plants; pasturage for herbivores such as cows or deer; grubs, honey, berries, etc. for bears; raw meat for wolves or other predators). She receives full nutrition from this food as if she were her chosen animal. Rituals might involve cud chewing, squirreling food away to eat later, burying food, and so forth.

•• The spirit chaser can match his own sensory levels to his animal. For example, a lynx might allow the spirit chaser to see in the dark or sniff out predators or prey. Scenting humans, sniffing out a trail, finding food, or “reading” the air are some of the rituals that might accompany this level.

••• Animals and plants know how to survive and what to do when they need healing. Plants “heal” by means of photosynthetic energy, while some animals lick their wounds, or fall into a healing sleep. The vibrational rate of a feline’s purr seems to have some healing properties as well. Each year, for some part of the winter, some creatures hibernate; temperatures are cold and food is scarce, so hibernation is a type of self-induced coma to insure survival. At this level, a spirit chaser may fall into a healing sleep which heals one Health Level for each success rolled on Spirit Chasing. With three successes, the spirit chaser could heal three levels after 12 hours of sleep. Rituals include hiding, healing, cleansing & purging venomous or poisonous wounds, and childbirth.

•••• At this level, the spirit chaser received the inner wisdom of the chosen animal or plant spirit. Based on the level of success on a roll to use this level of power, the Storyteller decides how much and what sort of information provided to the spirit chaser. An oak spirit might give the spirit chaser insight into an event that happened when the oak was a sapling. A wolf spirit might give the caster knowledge of something affecting the survival of wolves in a particular part of the world. The Storyteller can make use of this power to give story hooks to the characters. Rituals might include seeking visions, detecting lies or making intuitive leaps.

••••• The most committed and dedicated spirit chasers may attain this advanced level of mastery. Here, the spirit chaser receives the ability to practice some aspect unique to its bonded animal or plant spirit. She might, if bonded to a deer, be able to run especially quickly or leap high fences. A practitioner bonded to a bear might call on great strength; one bonded to a lion might grow claws for battle. Certain plants might give the caster skin that could be poisonous to the touch. At least three successes are necessary to invoke this ability, which is the closest a Kinfolk may come to experiencing the Garou’s shapechanging ability. Possible rituals may involve shielding, through growing a thick coat of hair or tree bark; offensive powers, such as growing sharp, strong fingernails; scaling a vertical surface as a spider might; and other abilities.

Via Geniorum is one of the Ways that is most distrusted by Theurgy’s critics; Theurgists who practice this Via deal with the realm of spirits and the demonic. They argue that all creatures are ultimately under the call of heaven, including spirits and demons. These Theurgists believe that there is an entire spectrum of Spirits who allied neither with Heaven nor Hell, yet can be commanded by the power of Heaven. This Way grants the practitioner power over non-human spiritual entities (demons, elementals, etc.).

Knowledge of a spirit’s true name grants one power over it. A true name is not the title that the spirit commonly goes by, but a more complex, primal invocation. The world warps and flutters when true names are spoken. They are jealously guarded secrets, requiring extended research rolls, Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 9), and a good occult library to decipher. Every success grants a “syllable” of the name. The simplest of spirits might have a single syllable true name, but more powerful demons will have many more (up to the discretion of the Storyteller). A Theurgist may try and trick a spirit into divulging its true name. True name syllables are often a form of currency amongst spirits and occultists, who tend to hoard them.

Roll: Varies (see below)

Modifiers: -2 difficulty if the Theurgist knows the spirit’s true name

Cost: 1 Willpower

Duration: Varies (see below)

• Ritual of Revelation: The Theurgist does not peer into the spirit world so much as command nearby supernal beings to reveal themselves. On a successful Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 8), the Theurgist can see all spirits in the immediate area (including those possessing physical bodies).

•• Ritual of Protection: On a successful Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 7), the Theurgist may draw protective sigils into handheld objects or in a small circle around her. Extended ritual rolls can make larger circles or more completely protected locations, with 10 successes being enough to protect a small house. Spirits cannot harass or enter a person or location, thus protected, without succeeding in a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). Protection lasts for one month or until the sigil is disturbed (a carved sigil is much harder to disrupt than one drawn in chalk).

••• Ritual of Dismissal: The Theurgist can send a spirit back to its native realm. This via requires a Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 9). The number of success needed, in an extended ritual, vary widely based on the power of the spirit (and left to the Storyteller’s judgment).

•••• Ritual of Summoning: The Theurgist can now summon spirit entities. This via requires a Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 9). The number of success needed, in an extended ritual, vary widely based on the power of the spirit (and left to the Storyteller’s judgment). A summoned spirit must remain in the Theurgist’s presence for a scene or until it has answered three questions (it cannot be made to reveal its true name in this manner). Further interaction relies on Social rolls, sacrifices, or other powers. A botched roll summons an enraged spirit who likely attacks the unlucky Theurgist.

••••• Ritual of Binding: The Theurgist can now force a spirit into servitude. This via requires a Manipulation + Occult roll (Difficulty 9). The number of success needed, in an extended ritual, vary widely based on the power of the spirit (and left to the Storyteller’s judgment). A bound spirit may be asked to do a specific action (“Attack that vampire!”) or an ongoing action (“Watch over me.”) lasting until the next sunrise or sunset.

RESTRICTED: This Path is currently highly discouraged.

DescriptionSystemSample CreationsSample Rituals

The Path of Enchantment rewards patience and forethought more than any other Path. There are no spells in this Path, only rituals, including the long and difficult rituals creating magical objects called Artifacts. Each of these Artifacts must be carefully crafted by the Enchanter. The first step is to create the mundane base item. Usually these are hand-crafted by the Enchanter, pushing their mundane skills to their limits to make just the right vessel for their magic.

Sometimes, however, the right vessel can be found in the form of a rare or ancient object. Once the vessel has been made or found, the Enchanter can get to the process of infusing the object with magical energy to be used later. The first stage is usually accomplished through Crafts rolls (or, for technosorcerers, Technology or Hypertech rolls), while the latter is a Path roll.

The Artifacts created through Enchantment differ in several key ways from the recipes of Alchemy. Artifacts are usually persistent, or at least can be used many times. Some may be permanent, or nearly so, while others can be used a fixed number of times before their magic dissipates. Additionally, they tend to be weaker than the Wonders created by mages, and more focused. An Artifact can only have a single power, a restriction Wonders don’t have.

Enchanters tend to spend a lot of time and effort on their workshops. Whatever sort of crafting they do to make their Artifacts defines them. They often see themselves as blacksmiths, jewelers, electronics engineers, or woodworkers first, and the magic they can do comes later. This leads Enchanters to pursue high levels of the Resources Background, as well as others representing a safe and secure space to do their work and the ability to acquire high quality and often exotic raw materials.

Modifiers: Creating a Talisman without spending a permanent dot of Willpower to empower it (which may be purchased back right away) is done at +3 difficulty.

Time: Crafting time for the object, plus (one week per level of the enchantment) multiplied by (the level of the enchantment minus one) with a minimum time of one week.

Effects: Enchantment doesn’t have Aspects, instead it has the following Effects:

• The Enchanter can create minor items that are rarely noticeably magical to those who aren’t already aware of their powers. This can add one (or, for restricted circumstances, two) dice to an Attribute or Ability roll or decrease the difficulty by 1 for an attack or skill. Other small boons are also possible.

•• More powerful versions of already possible Artifacts offer two additional dice or a –2 difficulty on a task. Some of the objects created at this level can change reality in a subtle way, being more magical than previously possible.

••• Obviously magical items are now possible, though they’ll still seem merely “very weird” to the magically unaware. These include items that offer two additional dice on up to three different Attribute or Ability rolls, and those that confer supernatural perceptions to the user by replicating supernatural powers of no greater than a single dot.

•••• Objects of truly superhuman power. These can raise Attributes above 5, duplicate powers (up to the second dot) of other supernatural beings, and otherwise warp reality in significant ways.

••••• Extremely powerful items often bordering on the mythic. Minor miracles are possible, and often these powers are quite blatant. Items created at this level can reproduce up to three dots worth of supernatural powers. Each dot reproduced this way mimics a single effect — chosen when the item is crafted — even if the replicated power offers multiple effects.

Price of Failure: Failure usually means the magician has wasted days or weeks of their time, possibly ruining the item they were trying to enchant, but nothing worse. Botches tend to be more varied. They can result in explosions that destroy the workshop. Worse, though, they can result in objects that seem to work, but have some sort of unanticipated side effect. These cursed items tend to be hard to destroy or get rid of, often lingering long after the Enchanter is gone and even finding their way into Sleeper hands.

• Army surplus jacket granting two dots of Arcane when worn.
• A custom handgun subtracting one from the difficulty of all aimed shots.
• A stuffed animal guaranteeing restful sleep to anyone sleeping in the same bed as it.
• A silver chain bearing a hawk’s eye medallion with a chrysoprase in that can, once per day, add 2 dice to a long-distance sight-based Perception roll.
• A silver toe-ring that, when worn on otherwise bare feet, protects from projectiles, adding 2 dice to all attempts to dodge them.
• A colored candle that, when burned, grants two dots of a Background for the purposes of a one-time favor.
• An oak frame that preserves anything placed in it for as long as it remains intact. It can only hold flat things, like documents and photo- graphs, and must be sealed with almond oil and sprinkled with pure water.
•• A pocket flask that attracts bullets when carried in a breast pocket. It can only take one impact, but it provides three dice of lethal soak before being destroyed. This enchantment is very popular among soldiers heading onto a battlefield and may have originated during World War II.
•• Enhanced bullets dealing 2 additional dice of damage on hits. Each success on the Enchantment roll creates one bullet.
•• A silver dancer’s anklet adding to dice to rolls involving dance when worn and visible.
•• An iron nail that, when driven into someone’s footprint, causes them to painfully stub their toe.
•• A small golden charm alerting the wearer when a single person it is attuned to is in danger. It must be reset each time by sprinkling it with wine. The charm works once per success on the Enchantment roll.
•• A rowan ring which counteracts fae magic used on the wearer. This cancels one instance of fae magic per success on the Enchantment roll.
••• Running shoes doubling the speed of the wearer when trying to outrun pursuit.
••• An amulet warding against sorcery. Three times a day it subtracts dice equal to the successes on the Enchantment roll from spells targeting the wearer. It must be kept in a special jewelry box carved from a single crystal when not worn, or it loses one success permanently per night until it stops working.
••• A sword for ghost-slaying. It has a core of liquid mercury and does aggravated damage to the Risen and lethal damage to wraiths. It must be blessed by a priest every fortnight or the magic ends.
••• A salve that heals three non-aggravated health levels in minutes. It must be applied under the light of the moon by someone who loves the wounded. Each success on the Enchantment roll creates one application.
••• A bull torque made of pure obsidian. When smeared with blood it grants three dots of Strength to the wearer for one scene per success on the Enchantment roll.
••• A handkerchief which can clean any mundane spill or stain. It requires the user to hum while
mopping with it and works once per success on the Enchantment roll.
•••• Heartseeker, a stiletto which unerringly aims for the heart when wielded in rage. It deals Strength + 5 dice of lethal damage. It must be bathed in the blood of each kill it makes or else it loses its potency.
•••• The skull of a dead wizard allowing the user to contact them for assistance. The user “donates” a pint of blood to the skull and can ask one question per success on the Enchantment roll. These questions need not be yes/no, and follow-ups (as determined by the Storyteller) do not count as additional questions. It may only be used during the new moon and requires a Willpower roll at difficulty equal to 4 plus the number of times the skull has been used. The skull crumbles to dust after the last question if the Willpower roll fails. Recently, rumors have begun to surface suggesting the skull of Porthos Fitz-Empress was recovered and enchanted in this way, though everyone has heard it from a friend of a friend.
•••• A silver torc granting superhuman Strength. The wearer has Strength 5 when using it, and once per day for each success on the Enchantment roll, may gain 3 automatic successes on a task involving Strength. When not worn, it must be kept exposed to the moon whenever the moon is visible.
•••• A silvered mail tunic that automatically con- verts up to 4 dice of lethal damage per turn to bashing. Upon each use, a few links fall out, and eventually it falls apart (after one use per success on the Enchantment roll). If any attempt at cleaning or repair is made, the magic is lost.
•••• A book that will, once per success on the Enchantment roll, translate anything written in it into the reader’s native language. To activate it, the page must be sprinkled with paper ash. When set down, the writing reverts to the original language.
••••• A money pouch that never quite empties. So long as at least one quarter (or other medium denomination coin for other currencies) remains in it, up to four times a day it will contain about five dollars (or equivalent) in quarters. If ever used a fifth time in one day, the magic is lost forever.
••••• An amulet of protection from physical harm. When worn, it grants five dice of soak against all damage, including aggravated. However, each use subtracts one year from the user’s life, visible on their organs, but not on the outside.
••••• An amulet hiding the user from magical detection. When worn, it adds 4 successes to the total required to find the wearer with any sort of supernatural power. Each use requires the wearer to solve a new riddle, puzzle, or enigma, activating it for one week per success on the Enchantment roll.
••••• A cloak that hides the movements of the user. It allows them to move silently and undetected
even across squeaky floors. Legends say it was developed to defeat the Nightingale floors of Nijo Castle. The wearer is perfectly silent until they speak aloud. When created, one silver thread per success on the Enchantment roll is woven into the cloak, and each use breaks one of those threads. When the last one breaks, the magic is lost forever.
••••• A piano anyone can play like a master once they give a prayer to the nine Muses (by name).
••••• An animated servant, such as a homunculus or robot. It has 10 dots of Attributes and 7 dots of Abilities, with human senses and Health levels (though no wound penalties). It doesn’t need to eat or sleep, though most robots require some sort of recharging.

Eldritch Mark (•)
By inscribing a symbol or mark onto an object or the forehead of a person, the magicians marks them as theirs. The mark is invisible to the naked eye, but obvious to anyone with magically enhanced perceptions of any sort. The mark informs anyone looking at it of the name of the magician who created the mark. This ritual takes five minutes to cast and has no Willpower cost. The mark lasts until the next new moon.

Enhance Craftsmanship (••)
Sometimes, instead of a magic item, what a magician needs is an otherwise normal but perfectly crafted object. This ritual creates unbreakable blades, sweaters that don’t unravel, and similar objects whose only enhancement is in the extreme quality of their crafting. These objects cannot be enchanted further, however. Enhanced items are not magical, but an Enchanter or Alchemist can roll Perception + Occult (difficulty 6) to recognize that they were created in this manner. This ritual must be cast during the creation of the object, or takes 15-20 minutes after the fact, and costs only a temporary Willpower point.

Call it bewitching, speak of love philters and glamours, speak of presence and awe. In the end, what you are talking about is a sorcerer’s ability to to compel a subject to Listen to what she says, to force an attraction that would not otherwise be there. A master of this Path can instill loyalty, lust, confidence, faith and love in those she comes in contact with.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Stories of the enthralling sorcerer or the beguiling magician are found in folktales across the world. Devious enchanters bring the innocent under their sway, and deals struck for power entrap the hearts and minds of those so foolish as to sign away their souls to such bargains. The kernel of truth to this old trope is solid as diamond. Unscrupulous magicians bending the minds of others to their will have practiced this Path as long as anyone has wished another would just act or think in an agreeable manner.

The methods vary, but the result is the same: Break the subject’s will and enthrall them. A sorcerer employ- ing a mystical practice may apply makeup that makes their eyes sparkle with entrancing radiance. They may spritz themselves with an alluring fragrance, drawing the attention of anyone within wafting distance. Others may simply hone their confidence into a razor’s edge, impossible to resist. Extraordinary Citizens carry tested and approved harmonic resonators that emit a subsonic frequency that rebalances neurotransmitters to facilitate compliance.

Those with mind-altering powers already can resist with powers of their own if they are the specific target of a power. This goes both ways, as a student of this Path may recognize other uses of mind-altering effects and prepare themselves to resist or overcome them.

Modifiers: +1 difficulty for being disliked by the target, +2 difficulty for being hated by the target

Aspects: In addition to the Aspects of Number of Targets, Range, and Sympathetic Connection, Fascination uses the unique Allure and Willbending Aspects:

• Add 1 die to social die pools
•• Add 2 dice to social die pools
••• Add 3 dice to social die pools
•••• Add 4 dice to social die pools
••••• Add 5 dice to social die pools

Intriguing: You draw attention even in a crowd, and individuals find you interesting in one-on-one conversation. You may make mild suggestions that align with the target’s personality and situation such as getting another drunk if they are at a bar.

•• Alluring: Almost everyone at the gathering knows you were there, and individuals will try to find a way to see you again. You may make strong suggestions that align with the target’s personality and situation, such as heading home with the hedge wizard after a fun night.

••• Beguiling: Everyone assumes that you had a hand in setting up the party, and individuals around you will vie for your attention. You may make suggestions that don’t necessarily align with the target’s personality and situation, such as suggesting they break up with their long-term partner to give the caster of the spell a one-off chance.

•••• Entrancing: Invitations or not, the party is held for you by everyone’s estimation. Individuals no longer just want your attention, they crave your approval, possibly making fools of themselves in the process. You may make strong suggestions that don’t align with the target’s personality or interests, such as suggesting that the target fight another to defend the magician’s honor.

••••• Enthralling: If you started throwing things, this place would become a full-scale riot; those present find themselves hard-pressed to resist your requests, doing almost anything you might request. Hell, they may even kill for you or put their life on the line for you if you ask the right way. You may make strong suggestions that wildly defy the target’s character and circumstances, such as suggesting that the spell’s victim burns down a bar for daring to announce last call.

Price of Failure: The consequences of failure when manipulating hearts and minds tend to be based on the context of the situation. A simple failure at a party may go largely unnoticed after a moment of minor embarrassment, such as a spilled drink during an attempt at a grand flourish or stepping on others’ toes while making tracks across the dance floor. A botch, however, inevitably leads to humiliation, or worse. This can be represented by reversing any bonus into a penalty for the duration. The target of enchantment becomes a sworn enemy instead of a paramour or may lose the ability to feel emotions at all. The subject of the latter effect becomes numb to all forms of empathy and sympathy and requires great lengths or the passage of time to return to normal. The converse may see the victim become unhinged, transforming into a violently jealous abuser that will harm anyone they perceive as encroaching upon their claim.

Belle/Beau of the Ball (•••)
With knowledge of an upcoming social event and proper preparation, a sorcerer can make themselves quite the sensation. With an invitation in hand, whether intended for them or not, the magician infuses their presence into the upcoming gathering. For the duration of the specified party, they receive VIP treatment from all attendees and hired staff. The organizers give their blessing and offer a hearty “have a great night” without second-guessing their guest list.

Love Potion Number 9 (••••)
Regardless of its classic and iconic nature, usage of the “love potion” has fallen out of fashion for obvious reasons. As Western societies have become more insistent on the importance of consent, sorcerers have had less call to take the time and resources required to perform this ritual. Those that are still willing to make the potent mixture of love and loyalty do so with hesitancy and charge a premium price. A lock of hair, a dram of blood, or a sentimental personal effect is required to create the right connection to the heart in question.

When performed for an individual other than the sorcerer themselves, some part of the client is usually required as well. The ritual takes the form of the traditional potion in some practices; in others it is a sort of ritualized binding with a knotted cord. In all cases, the victim is tied to the anchor point of the sorcerer or their client. Once performed, the victim finds themselves uneasy and sick to their stomach. The lingering nausea vanishes when the anchor is near, or when they are performing a task that they know would please the anchor.

Fortuna, both Buona and Mala, flows from the hands of the sorcerer who studies this path. By his will, probabilities alter, events realign themselves, and his target’s future is changed.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Fate is fickle, even before accounting for the manipulations of magicians. The Path of Fortune allows them to wield luck like a weapon, cutting down their enemies with curses or fortifying their allies with blessings. While methods and explanations may vary, from the Evil Eye, to the Hand of God, to probability manipulation, the Path of Fortune never makes the truly impossible happen, only the exceedingly unlikely. It’s also one of the least precise Paths: While the hedge magician sets Fortune in motion and controls the magnitude and general range of potential outcomes, the effects of this Path often surprise them or disappear into the noise of daily life.

The curse is one of the most ancient and potent forms of Hedge Magic. It can take many forms, from the “evil eye” of the Mediterranean and the Middle East to the “jinx” of hoodoo to the “hex” of Eastern European folklore. Curses have been known to cause grave misfortune in a variety of forms: accidents, illnesses, and even death. At the core of any curse is maleficent intent directed toward an enemy. The Hedge Magician focuses her will, her directed hatred, toward her target and releases that intent in the form of harmful energy. The curse quickly afflicts its victim’s life and slowly fades as the hateful energy dissipates.

Night-Folk are harder to curse with this Path than Sleepers are. They make a Willpower roll against 4 + the magician’s Path rating, and effects without an Aspect at 5 require only a single success to negate. Those extremely powerful curses can be ignored with only two successes, though the difficulty will be 9, making it quite challenging. To resist, the victim must be aware of the magician’s curse and actively attempt to resist it. Discovering an unannounced curse can be difficult, but is possible through supernatural perceptions, such as aura reading. Mages with Prime or Entropy might notice it, and magicians with the Path of

Fortune can usually recognize the work of one of their own. The Arcane/Cloaking Background provides an additional layer of protection against curses. Targeting anyone with that Background without their explicit permission subtracts a success from the roll for each dot of Arcane they have.

Modifiers: –1 difficulty with a weak sympathetic connection (object owned by the target), –2 difficulty for a strong sympathetic connection (prized possession of target, piece of the target such as hair or nail clippings)

Aspects: Fortune uses the Duration Aspect, but treats all durations as one higher, with Duration 5 consisting of spells lasting for several years. Additionally, it uses the Number of Targets Aspect, but all targets must be related (members of a family, the population of a small town, etc.). The Fortune Path also uses an unique Aspect called Severity, as follows:

• A minor blessing or curse, generally something simple, such as a Freudian slip or managing to just barely catch a bus the target needs.

•• A lasting but non-permanent inconvenience, injury, or small benefit. Sprains, non-life-threatening illness, and broken objects are standard bad luck, whereas good luck might be as simple as avoiding the flu for a season, a minor combat advantage, or the resolution of a minor obstacle.

••• A major setback or bonus. Temporary but grave illnesses and serious social faux pas are the most common curses, while finding helpful bureau- crats, success with gambling or relationships, or an additional die to combat pools are the most common blessings.

•••• Now the blessings and curses can have serious and permanent effects. Debilitating injuries, bankruptcy, a social tragedy that leaves the target a pariah, winning the lottery, surviving almost certain death, or just a chance encounter that changes the target’s social standing are all possible.

••••• Curses at this level almost always result in a painful and unusual death. Targets get decapitated, suffer incurable wasting illnesses, experience horrific car accidents, and more. Blessings are similarly dramatic, such as being rescued from state execution by a call from the governor. Other last-minute saves from certain death are possible, but also victories far rarer than one in a million: An enemy in combat may trip and break their neck, the beneficiary might find a lost tome in a used bookstore bargain bin, or they could win political office with no name recognition.

Price of Failure: Some failed Fortune spells are undetectable. The target is either lucky or unlucky naturally, resulting in the appearance of a success. Botches are a more serious matter. A twisted blessing or curse still results. Blessings first appear beneficial but every time it helps the target there are horrible consequences. Curses likewise appear to be harmful but turn out to benefit the target of the magician’s ire. This is especially dangerous for a magician who attempts to use the Path of Fortune on themself. Instead of twisted blessings, the full force of a more powerful curse, often the most powerful the magician can cause, targets them. Worst of all, the magician cannot unweave the spell they botched on themself, though they can on others.

Death Curse (•)
One of the most extreme rituals a magician can perform, the Death Curse always results in their death, and usually the destruction of their enemies. The magician spends all of their permanent Willpower, gaining a pool of successes equal to their value for the final spell. This ritual allows them to increase the level of Aspects to 2 higher than their Path rating, allowing relatively powerful magicians to sacrifice themselves for legendary curses (or, more rarely, blessings).

Curses that resound for generations with fates worse than death for entire towns aren’t unheard of for the most powerful of magicians who find themselves willing to make the sacrifice. They make their Path roll at a difficulty determined by the Aspects as usual, but with that additional pool of automatic successes. Upon completing the ritual, the magician collapses, having spent their life in the casting; they’re often dead before they even hit the floor.

Step on a Crack (••)
A common rhyme among children says, “If you step on a crack, you break your mother’s back.” It’s just a childish version of an ancient belief that touching cracks brings misfortune. This belief is made manifest in this ritual. Unlike most curses, the magician must inform their target of the curse for it to take effect, and the curse doesn’t automatically occur. Instead, the victim can at- tempt to evade the curse by not touching cracks. This, of course, inevitably proves to be impossible, triggering a curse bringing some non-life-threatening but potentially permanent harm to the victim or to their loved ones. If they can Unweave this curse before stepping on a crack, it is done at –2 difficulty. However, once the curse is triggered, any attempt to rid the victim of it is at +2 difficulty instead, as their actions were the direct cause of their misfortune, unfair as that may be.

Bashert (•••)
Though this ritual existed in ancient times in one form or another, it has been popularized in its current form by Anne Richard and Judith Marquette. Fate may be fickle, but some matches are almost impossible to keep apart. With even a single success, the target of this ritual is nearly guaranteed to meet a perfect match, someone with the potential to be their True Love (as per the Merit on Book of Secrets p. 59), within the next year. Each additional success divides the time: two successes brings them together within six months, three decreases the wait to four months, and so on.

Freudian Slip (••••)
Speaking your thoughts at the wrong time can be social suicide. It can end friendships, destroy careers, and create lifelong hatreds with other consequences down the line. Magicians who study the Path of Fortune have refined this this ritual to take advantage of this knowledge. Freudian Slip curses its victim to say the worst possible thing they actually believe at their next important social event or encounter. This can include political speeches, job interviews, dates, family events, and more. Whatever the context, the next time they are trying to conceal their true feelings in a situation where revealing them would cause significant and lasting harm, they must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) to avoid simply blurting them out. If they avoid significant social events for a year and a day, the curse dies off, leaving them safe.

Generational Wealth (•••••)
There are only so many ways to become wealthy enough to last for generations. Other than simple luck, all of them require a substantial sacrifice. For most, this sacrifice is borne by others, through exploitative labor practices or criminal enterprise. In fact, due to the fickle nature of luck, exploitation has always been the easier and more reliable path to wealth. This ritual allows luck to be tamed and guaranteed. It still requires a sacrifice; after all, nothing comes for free. But rather than sacrificing others, taking advantage of their desperation, the parent who seeks security for their family voluntarily sacrifices themself.

Though the sacrifice must be willing, few magicians are willing to perform this ritual. Those who are willing must perform the sacrifice in some way appropriate to their practice. The beneficiaries of the sacrifice find themselves suddenly extremely lucky, able to win enough money gambling so they, their children, and their children’s children, will never have to work another day in their lives. Even if they somehow manage to throw away this vast wealth, the next generation will be just as lucky and regain it. The blessing lasts for seven generations, after which the descendants are on their own.

The modern Path of Healing is a fusion of magic and ancient curative techniques. Hedge Magicians who have mastered this Numina Path can break a fever in moments or heal traumatic wounds to the body through spiritual means. The Medicine Knowledge is required for this Path to be effective, along with cultural elements, such as meditation, prayer, singing, massage, or other techniques.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Wherever humanity thrives, there’s a need for healing. Since the dawn of civilization, healers sprung up out of empathy and community need. Long before science knew what germ theory was, healers learned how to serve their people from tradition, communing with spirits, trial and error, and a host of other ways. Now, even when science can prevent and cure horrifying dis- eases, many remain without access to such techniques. In medical deserts and communities who have historically been wronged by the medical establishment, there’s still need. People still desperately seek healers. They may not fully believe in magic or miracles, but between the choice of assured agony and a sliver of hope, many take the chance.

Hedge magic can achieve miraculous results. A master healer can cure cancers and speed up the healing of grievous injury beyond what should be possible, but they don’t advertise this. Even when so many are ignored and failed by the medical establishment, it’s illegal to practice medicine without a license. Beyond that, fame can be a heavy burden to carry. Many eager and empathetic hedge magicians begin learning the path of Healing, but few master it — they often burn out early from the cold and thankless world, switching to other Arts if they continue practicing magic at all.

Though not always required by their Practice, many hedge magician Healers do learn some form of medicine. Those who don’t rely on extraordinary science often learn forms of healing not based on modern medicine. At the very least, in instances they do learn the basics of modern medical science, their approach to treatment can be wildly different in philosophy and technique.

A healer might heal mild to moderate congenital illnesses or deformities, but more extreme examples such as regenerating limbs or raising the recently dead are the realm of legend.

Modifiers: Fast casting may only be used to stabilize lethal or aggravated damage or reduce wound penalties. All other uses must use regular spells, extended roll spells, or rituals.
1 additional success to fix a badly healed wound
+1 difficulty to heal an uncooperative patient

Aspects: This path uses the Damage/Healing Aspect. Bashing damage can be healed with one success per damage level. Additionally, each success can reduce a toxin, disease, or wound penalty (caused by pain rather than a missing limb, for example) by one level. See Mage 20 p. 406 for information on wound penalties and p. 442 for the toxin and disease chart.

Price of Failure: A failure simply means the magic didn’t work; the damage was beyond the sorcerer’s ability to heal. A botch can turn horrific quickly. A Healer might make the person more susceptible to the toxin they’re trying to fight off, increasing the effective Toxin Rating. They might outright cause damage or heal something incorrectly, such as fusing eyelids shut or setting a bone crooked, so that it needs to be re-broken later. The healer might also infect themself with the disease they were trying to heal.

Healing Slumber (•)
The healer treats a willing (or unconscious) patient and sends them into a deep, energizing sleep. On success, the patient remains asleep for 9 hours; when they awake, all bashing damage is healed, and the patient regains a point of Willpower. For every success above one, sub- tract one hour from the required sleep time. The healer cannot treat lethal or aggravated wounds in this way.

Jolt (••)
The sorcerer spends a point of Willpower and magically awakens a person who is sleeping, unconscious, or comatose. This normally requires one success but requires the toxin’s rating in successes to wake someone who is drugged, and four successes to wake the comatose. Reversing a magickal effect requires successes equal to the original effect +1 to reverse it. This power doesn’t heal the underlying illness, injury, or poisoning, and the patient falls unconscious again at the end of the scene if the healer doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. This can be used to help identify the patient and gather information about who or what put them in that state.

Mike’s Cure-All (•••)
While similar rituals were performed for centuries, or longer, this version was first recorded in Chicago during Prohibition and was based on Victorian era Cure-Alls. The healer can force a patient’s body to purge all drugs and toxins through any, and sometimes all, possible exits. This includes vomiting, sweat, tears, diarrhea, etc. The process is incredibly unpleasant but can save a poisoning victim or someone who’s overdosed. The sorcerer must get at least as many successes as the Toxin Rating for the most potent toxin in the patient’s system. No damage is healed, but the patient suffers no further ill effects. This can purge magical potions as well.

Humor Alignment (••••)
This is an old ritual for curing chronic and congenital conditions. It dates back to the Middle Ages when Humorism was in vogue. The healer bleeds the patient with leeches, a ritual knife, or another tool suited to their practice, which deals one level of lethal damage. The healer spends a point of Willpower and must roll at least 5 successes. The healer may perform this ritual as an extended action. The patient rests for three days, after which the lethal damage and the condition are healed. This rest needn’t be solely sleep. The patient may move minimally to perform basic bodily functions but otherwise should be laying down. If the patient is too active during the three days, the ritual fails automatically. The ritual will also fail if the patient suffers significant mental or emotional stress, such as trying to work from bed or having a heated argument.

A student of the Path of Hellfire learns to summon and control powerful elemental attacks; blasts of lightning, bolts of fire or mystic energy, clouds of poison gas or other deadly effects. 

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Thought by many to be at least tainted by darkness, if not outright of evil origins, the Path of Hellfire taps into the deepest, most primal, and destructive of forces. Legends ascribe the beginnings of this power to the infernal realms, pacts with malevolent elemental spirits, and bargains with beings better left alone.

The Path of Hellfire remains one of the most popular Paths of hedge magic, despite the bad reputation associated with it. For most people, the allure of throwing elemental power around and destroying your enemies outweighs the belief it may somehow be tainted by evil, if not outright infernal. Despite these sentiments, many hedge magicians specialize in the pyrotechnics this Path makes available to them, being one of the more dramatic Paths of hedge magic.

Even beginning students of Hellfire are often accorded respect, and not a small amount of fear, by their fellows. They learn early that they can summon lightning and fire, cause earthquakes, and drown their enemies should they so choose, even if they don’t personally know how. Apprentices are also given one essential warning: They are not immune to their own powers. This vulnerability is not limited to botched attempts at magic (see the Price of Failure below). Practitioners must be careful not to be within the areas they target, and fire, once unleashed, can be difficult to control.

Aspects: Damage, Range, Area, and the following Special Effects can be added:

• Decay: Instead of damaging living targets, the spell breaks down anything they are wearing or carrying. For each point of damage it would inflict, it can turn three pounds of material to junk.

Dust Storm: The spell summons a storm of dust, scouring the area (which must have at least three dots) and, in addition to damage, causing blindness in the area for one turn per health level inflicted.

Sleet: A stream of ice and freezing water causes brief blindness and leaves the ground slippery. This cannot be made aggravated.

Smoke: The caster emits a cloud of poisonous smoke that envelops the area (which must be at least three dots in the Area Aspect). Everyone within the cloud takes one level of damage per turn unless protected. A normal gas mask pro- vides two turns of protection before becoming useless. Beings that do not need to breathe are immune to this damage. Vision, even if enhanced, is completely obscured while in the cloud.

•• Earthquake: the spell causes the ground to split open and engulf, then crush, the target. They can roll Strength at difficulty 6 to try to dig free. They need as many successes as health levels of damage they suffered. This cannot be made aggravated.

•• Lightning: Instead of fire, the spell fires a bolt of electricity. Anyone in contact with the target through a conductive material takes the same damage as the target.

•• Tanglewood: Plants flail and attack the target, throwing thorns, splinters, and other bits of wood at it. With extreme luck (at least three successes beyond the spell’s requirement) this can stake a vampire, but a magician who counts on it will likely be badly disappointed. If the target is standing in dense undergrowth, they are captured by the plants. A creature restrained in this fashion cannot move until they accumulate as many successes on a Strength roll (difficulty 7) as damage dealt by the spell. This cannot be made aggravated.

•••• Drowning Tide: This requires an Olympic sized swimming pool or larger body of water. The target is pulled underwater by a sudden wave or undertow, causing them to start drowning (see M20 page 440-441). Escape from the water requires an extended Strength roll, difficulty 8, with at least two successes necessary, often more. This only does drowning damage.

The Special Effects above must be purchased with Freebie or Experience Points at a cost of the dot rating + 1.

Price of Failure: When you play with fire sometimes you get burned. Botching when using the Path of Hellfire typically results in the spell rebounding on the caster. They take whatever damage they were attempting to inflict on their target.

Fire’s Weal (••)
Fire is one of the most dangerous hazards in the World of Darkness; even natural flames can easily cause permanent damage to powerful supernatural beings. With this ritual, the magician can give protection against fire of all sorts. With two successes, the ritual allows the target to soak fire damage, even supernatural flame, as though it were bashing, regardless of what damage it causes. Successes in excess of two reduce the difficulty on soak rolls against fire (to a maximum modifier of –3), so four total successes result in soaking fire damage at –2 difficulty.

Hellblade (••)
A flashy ritual, Hellblade attunes a weapon, traditionally a sword, to the Path of Hellfire. Once attuned, the magician can spend one Willpower to engulf the weapon in flame. The flame causes the weapon to inflict two additional dice of damage and converts its damage to aggravated. This lasts for a scene, though the ritual ends if the weapon leaves the caster’s hand. This ritual requires a minimum of two successes.

Purification of the Inferno (•••)
After an unfortunate encounter with a vampire, Charles Moran developed this ritual to protect himself in the future. Unfortunately, this ritual does not discriminate friend from foe, making it an extremely risky ritual to cast when the magician might be in close quarters with others, such as in an elevator. Purification of the Inferno acts as a defensive failsafe. The first person to touch the magician after the ritual immediately bursts into flames, suffering four dice of aggravated damage. The flames then become entirely mundane, dealing three lethal damage per turn, which can be soaked at difficulty 8 until they are put out. The ritual requires three successes on casting.

Smoldering Ruin (•••••)
The most common target of the Hellfire Path is an individual enemy. It’s directly offensive magic, and magicians know it and use it as such. Sometimes, tar- geting individuals and even groups is too small scale. Sometimes a magician really wants to just cut loose, and hedge magic doesn’t offer very many outlets to do so. Masters of Hellfire, however, developed this ritual in order to do just that: cut loose and cause damage to their enemies all at once. Smoldering Ruin requires a full three hours to cast, and in all its forms a Stamina roll (difficulty 6) must be made just to complete the exhausting ritual.

Once completed, the magician spends 3 points of Willpower and must achieve at least 5 successes. Despite the difficulty, success is worth the effort: The ritual lights a building on fire, burning it to the ground. No mundane efforts can extinguish this fire, fueled by the caster’s desire for destruction, though supernatural means are capable of doing so. It can even burn buildings made out of normally fire-resistant and fireproof materials. Notably, the caster must perform the ritual while inside the building, and then hope they can escape before becoming trapped inside.

The stereotype of powerful sorcerers tends to include magical items, throwing fireballs, and enthralling people, but a lesser, yet still very accurate one, is the idea of the powerful Illusionist, creating images of things that aren’t truly there, distracting more powerful foes and dissuading would be persecutors.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

One of the most fundamental magics is the power to deceive others into believing what the magician wants. The Path of Illusion confounds the senses, making its targets perceive things that aren’t there or altering their perception of what is there. Most people trust their senses. “Seeing is believing,” but when an illusionist is nearby, this old adage can kill you.

The Path of Illusion is much less direct in most of its applications than some of the other Paths. Illusionists tend to be clever manipulators, at the least in order to choose just the right false vision for whatever task must be completed. This often requires strange patterns of thought and lateral thinking, leading illusionists to become eccentric over time.

When targeted with the Path of Illusion, avoiding the deception is always a possibility. A Perception + Alertness roll at difficulty (4 + Realism Aspect) for spells, and difficulty (4 + Rank) for rituals reveals the slight imperfections in the illusion. This requires one success for each sense covered by the illusion, though in cases where an essential sense, as determined by the Storyteller, is left out, the number of successes required may decrease. Anyone who makes this roll can tell that what they are perceiving isn’t real, though they perceive both it and the truth. If they alert others to this fact, they can reroll once.

Modifiers: –1 to –3 difficulty if using a base similar to the goal (making a table appear differently is easier than making a table appear from nothing)

Aspects: Duration, Number of Targets, and the following:

• Affects one sense
•• Affects two senses
••• Affects three senses
•••• Affects four senses
••••• Full sensory range

• Completely immobile and fixed; if visual, flat
•• Changes with perspective so the viewer moving doesn’t disrupt it immediately
••• Illusions can have moving parts, but only large ones
•••• Smaller motions and variations are possible, but there are still subtle tells
••••• Fully immersive, this level completely fools all targeted senses

Price of Failure: Naive magicians think botching an illusion must be no big deal. The spell did nothing real, so nothing real should happen when it goes awry. On the contrary, the caster’s perceptions are altered. Worse, most of the alterations are subtle and easily missed. For larger spells, though, there will eventually be a substantial change, likely when most dangerous for the caster to be caught unaware.

Cruel Whispers (••)
Illusionists must often be masters of psychological warfare. They can’t create anything truly real, so they play on the fears and anxieties of their targets to control them. One of the key rituals for this is Cruel Whispers. A purely auditory illusion, Cruel Whispers follows its target around for twenty-four hours. Though the magician may never know what the whispers are saying, the victim hears voices, just barely audible, pointing out every flaw, every insecurity, and ever misstep they make during the day. This distracts them, giving them+1 difficulty on all rolls for the day, and whenever they botch they must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) or else suffer the effects of the Chronic Depression Flaw for one week.

Hard-Light Constructs (•••)
A popular ritual among technosorcerers, Hard-Light Constructs are illusions everyone involved knows are fake. This creates scenery, furniture, etc., that looks and feels real, though putting your weight onto it wouldn’t be the best idea. It’s often used to simulate visuals where every single detail isn’t needed, but which have moving parts. It creates the illusion for all onlookers, rather than a fixed set of targets.

Instant Feast (••••)
Illusory food is deceptively hard to create. Taste, smell, image, and texture all need to be just right to fool someone into thinking they’re eating a real meal. The target rolls Perception + Alertness (difficulty 7). On failure, they believe they are eating real food for the duration of the meal, whatever food the magician can imagine. However, they’re still hungry. This provides no sustenance (unless the illusion is covering up some other food), though if six or more successes are rolled on the casting, hunger cues are suppressed for a number of hours equal to the target’s Stamina, before they feel hungry again. This can’t alleviate the effects of starvation.

Oubliette (•••••)
One of the most terrifying rituals of the Path of Illusion, Oubliette has broken some of the strongest people in the world. The magician must be within a few feet of their target for the entirety of a three-hour ritual, which requires at least 5 successes. If they can accomplish this, then the ritual removes all five senses from the victim. They are trapped in a world without any sensation until either the magician releases them or they accumulate 5 successes on Perception rolls at difficulty 9, making one every hour. The victim must start over on a botch. Often, the victims of this ritual are being punished for heinous crimes, and have it cast on them before they are thrown into a hole and forgotten, left to starve without even knowing they are starving.

This Numina seems to create actual precipitation, yet actually has another, far more important effect: The powers release Tempest energy into the mortal plane, creating a calming effect upon the Restless Dead and causing them to “sleep” or freeze in place for the duration of the storm.

DescriptionSystemSample RitualsWhistle (Ghost Hunters)

Discovered by accident, the Path of Maelstroms was originally an attempt to rediscover Weather Control. Traditionally referred to as “Whistle” (as in, “whistling up a storm”), the magicians using it sought to conjure intense gales of wind and rain in the world of the living. It took until the 19th century to discover that these tempests were stolen from the Shadowlands.

Maelstrom pulls the energy to create its storms from two sources. The first is the caster’s force of will. Spells and rituals of this Path cost one Willpower point per level rather than the usual flat one point for most Paths. The other source of power is the Shadowlands itself, pulling its energy out and rendering ghosts in the area calm or forcibly driving the dead from the area depending on the size of the storm.

The most common instrument for this Path is, by far, music. Most users say that from the moment they learned it, they could hear music in their head, and some believe it grows louder when the storms they can draw from are stronger. For these people, their Alertness is capped at 3, due to the distraction of the music. Others, however, don’t experience this effect and suffer no penalty.

Aspects: Area, Duration, and the unique Aspect of Intensity

• Drawing a breeze and fog from the underworld into the world of the living pacifies the local Shadowlands. Ghosts in the area are calmed. They’ll defend themselves, but otherwise they won’t attack anyone in the area for the duration without succeeding on a Willpower roll (difficulty 6).

•• A rainstorm is summoned, and it drains so much energy from the underworld that ghosts are frozen in place unless they make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7). They’re made just corporeal enough that the magician can physically move them. Usually, they remove the ghosts from an area where they are unwelcome.

••• Calling a full-scale thunderstorm does even more to quiet the Shadowlands. This drains the power of Oblivion from the area. Ghosts are sedated as in the first rank, but those under control of their Shadows are restored to reason. Results vary with Spectres, but legends exist of hedge magicians with this Path pulling a Spectre away from Oblivion.

•••• Powerful storms in the world of the living, with gale-force winds, hail, and plenty of property damage can truly sap the power of Oblivion in the Shadowlands. Spectres and other deeply malicious ghosts who fail a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) disappear within the barrage of wind and hail. No hedge magician knows for sure what happens to these spirits, but they are never seen in the location where the power was evoked for a year and a day.

••••• A massive storm draining all energy from the corresponding region of the Shadowlands. Both the area and its reflection in the Shadowlands becomes utterly uninhabitable for ghosts. The Restless Dead must flee the area, or else suffer five dice of damage per round until they do so.

Price of Failure: The magician’s control over these storms is tenuous at best. On a failure, the Willpower is still expended but nothing happens. Botches, how- ever, result in storms that go out of control, both in the world of the living and the Shadowlands. When a hedge magician loses control of the energies of this Path, they call forth a piece of the Tempest. This causes normal ghosts to become disoriented and have difficulty moving around. Spectres, on the other hand, thrive in this environment. These most malicious of spirits ride the Tempest directly up to the Shadowlands and have an easier time manifesting in the area for the duration the spell would have had.

Rest in Peace (••)
By summoning a thunderstorm from the underworld, the magician can place nearby ghosts into a state of Slumber. Slumber is similar in many ways to sleep for the living. It is restorative for the ghost’s ephemeral form and restful for their minds and personalities. While in Slumber, the ghost loses awareness of their surroundings, instead experiencing vivid dreams. Usually those dreams are lively and colorful, focused on the ghost’s passions, but with a darkness overlaying them due to the Shadow.

The Slumber created by this ritual brings better, more peaceful dreams. The Shadow’s influence over them is diminished to nothing, and even Spectres find themselves having positive dreams for the first time since they fell to their Shadows. A single success always puts a willing target into Slumber, but unwilling targets (like most Spectres) roll Willpower (difficulty 6) and must achieve more successes than the ritual in order to stay awake.

Calm Above, Hell Below (•••)
Spells for the Path of Maelstroms generally bring Tempest energy from the Underworld into the physical world. This creates the storms above and calms the be- low. This Ritual reverses that. It can only be performed during a storm, and when complete, any normal storm in the area dies down. Extreme weather events are largely unaffected and can be used to perform this ritual several times, even decreasing the difficulty by one. However, it is rarely a good idea to sit outside in a hurricane for several hours.

The storm’s energy enrages the ghosts in the area. On a single success, they must make Willpower rolls (difficulty 6), or they begin lashing out, attacking each other and even the living if they have the power to do so. If the caster achieves five or more successes, this additionally creates a Maelstrom, causing most ghosts to attempt to flee the area, before being attacked by the Spectres such disturbances inevitably attract.

Shelter for the Dead (•••••)
A powerful but only situationally useful ritual, Shelter for the Dead can only be performed with the largest storms from the Underworld: The Great Maelstroms. No one knows how or when it was developed, but it was first used to protect the ghosts of Constantinople during the Great Maelstrom caused by the Black Death. The ritual is passed down by those few who know it to their students, hoping that it will never be necessary but knowing how valuable it can be if the worst happens.

At the cost of risking an extreme storm battering the lands of the living, Shelter for the Dead creates a region, no more than the size of a modern city block, where the Maelstrom cannot enter. Rather, if the pieces of the Great Maelstrom do enter, they immediately are transformed into brutal storms, with extreme wind, hailstones the size of fists, and other strange things, regardless of the usual weather in the area. The ritual requires ten successes, almost always necessitating a group, and lasts for one day, plus one for each additional success beyond the minimal ten.

The Whistle Numina are older Numina that have their roots in folklore and hedge magic, tricks that supposedly originated with kitchen witches residing in the birch forests of Russia, or with Jewish midwives according to other accounts. These wise folks would “whistle up” a storm, mostly to just water their gardens or give cleansing energy to the world around them.

The ability to Whistle has some strange effects on the person that possesses this power. All Whistlers constantly hear music in their heads and love to hum along or sing to themselves. Because of this they can never have an Alertness score above 3 dots. There are stories of other people or creatures that supposedly have had this “blessing” of music placed upon them, but no record has ever been found to prove it.

To actively use these Numina one must be able to whistle. They cannot be used in a place where your character cannot whistle. This includes under water and any situation in which your character cannot push air out of their lungs. Also, this ability is draining for the caster; they must spend a number of Willpower points equal to the level of the power being used. So, a level 3 storm would cost 3 Willpower.

Roll: Wits + Performance (difficulty 7).

Modifiers: N/A

Cost: 1 Willpower per level.

Duration: One scene or hour.

• Concentration: A stiff breeze will bring in fog or mist that causes all ghosts to become docile within a 20-foot radius around the caster. These ghosts will still defend themselves if any offensive action is taken against them, but they will not actively attack the user of the Numina or any other living being within that area as they are suppressed by the spiritual barometric pressure.

•• Consolidation: The storm grows to a steady rain. Ghosts continue to be frozen in place but now can be physically moved by mortal hands. This cannot be used in any way to hurt the spirits, but one may guide the ghosts out and away from a location, as though pushing curtains.

••• Conspectus: The storm becomes a thunderstorm. This expands the area of effect around the caster to a 40-foot radius, and the storm can “cleanse” ghosts that are violent. This storm suppresses the negative “Shadow” of a ghost, causing it to immediately stop any combat with the caster and helping bring it back to reason. The ghost may still be angry, but will not lash out till the end of the scene or one hour.

•••• Compression: The storm becomes a gale with hail and high winds. This storm is devastating to the Restless Dead. Any ghost that is of purely malicious intent and completely consumed by their Shadow will be erased by the hail that rains down upon them. Casters do not know what hap- pens to these Spectres, but according to legend they will not be able to return to the location upon which this storm is invoked for a year and a day.

••••• Compendium: A storm of monumental proportions, this power causes the purge of all residual Shadowlands energy within 100 feet of the caster. All Restless Dead must leave that space or be ripped apart by the spiritual winds. Lighter shades will just be blown outside the 100-foot radius by this power, but heavier ones will be annihilated. This storm is violent and can cause collateral damage in the real world

Mortal Necromancy
Necromancy is in fact a Path of Hedge Magic that exists out there in the dark recesses of the world, albeit a dangerous one. There is a long history, in both the World of Darkness and the mundane facade that covers that world, of mortals denying the natural order of things and using this art to their benefit. But anything gained through the desolate magic of necromancy comes with a nefarious price.

DescriptionSystemSample RitualsPallio DolorumVia Necromantiae (Theurgy)

Some things should stay buried. Chief among them: the dead. But those who follow the Path of Mortal Necromancy see things a bit differently. Like Hellfire, Mortal Necromancy has a reputation for being foul, practiced only by the worst of the worst. Unlike Hellfire, this reputation is rather deserved. Even the simplest of Mortal Necromancy spells involve forcibly bending the dead to the magician’s will, and the most powerful of them can manipulate the powers of the Shadowlands to affect the living as well.

Though methods vary wildly with practice, Mortal Necromancy always requires that the magician’s first instruments include the preserved piece of the corpse of someone they cared for, almost always a family member. This creates the link between the magician and the under- world, allowing them to become a conduit for the energies of death itself. While for mystical magicians, crafting such an instrument often feels natural, technomagicians tend to find themselves with unique, grisly objects, like key- boards with keys made of bone or computer chips with brain neurons embedded in the circuitry.

Using this Path is difficult. Not in the sense of technique — it is no more complex to use than any other Path. Rather, it takes an emotional toll on the magician. The living are not meant to channel the energies of death so directly. They feel the grief of their ancestors, back for centuries, perhaps millennia. This overwhelming despair at the loss of countless generations leads to complications, particularly for magicians who are low on Willpower. Finally, those energies cause harm to the user, and each spell or ritual causes the caster to take one level of bashing damage per level of the power being invoked, unless otherwise mentioned in the description.

Aspects: Duration along with the unique Aspect of Ghost Binding:

Ghost Binding
• The caster can see, hear, and speak to ghosts in their vicinity, whichever side of the Shroud they are on.

•• The magician can now terrify the restless dead. Filling themself with the necrotic energy of the Shadowlands, the dead can see them as alive but infused with the power of death. This results in a –2 difficulty on all Intimidation and Subterfuge rolls against the dead.

••• The caster forces a ghost to take on a corporeal form, whether they could do so on their own or not. For the duration, the ghost is for all intents and purposes a living person again, including the usual seven Health levels. If killed, however, they don’t simply return to being a ghost. Instead, the experience transforms the ghost into a Spectre, a ghost consumed by and subservient to the powers of Oblivion. And this Spectre has a grudge against the caster.

•••• Any ghost can be summoned to the caster at this level. All the magician needs is the ghost’s True Name and to win a contested Willpower roll. If the necromancer is successful, the ghost must then immediately arrive. Keep in mind that most dead people do not become ghosts, and most ghosts do not appreciate being summoned.

••••• Masters of Mortal Necromancy can compel obedience from the dead. In addition to the Path roll, they must win a contested Willpower roll. If they do so, they can demand the ghost perform one simple task or answer one simple question to the best of their ability. For tasks, the Duration Aspect covers how long the ghost must attempt to accomplish it.

Price of Failure: Failure for most Paths simply results in nothing happening. For Mortal Necromancy, the despair of generations overwhelms them, resulting in a derangement, usually severe depression, for an hour. If they have less than three temporary Willpower points, then the derangement instead lasts a week. Botches are truly dangerous, with not only the derangements lasting longer (a full month) and the near certainty of very angry ghosts, but the magician runs the risk of being pulled out of his body, leaving it apparently comatose while their mind spends the month “living” as one of the restless dead.

Deathsight (•)
Normally, a necromancer can only see the ghosts around them. They can’t see the environment the ghosts call home. This ritual changes that. With it, a magician not only sees the Restless Dead, but can actually peer into the Shadowlands. This effect lasts for one minute per success on the ritual. While under the influence of this ritual, the necromancer cannot perceive the normal world; only the Shadowlands are visible to them.

Wrapped in a Shroud (•••)
The Shroud separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. It can be difficult to cross this barrier, a fact which protects the living and the dead both from each other. Usually, either a necromancer must reach across from the land of the living to the world of the dead, or a ghost must have crossed to accomplish something among the living, in order for them to interact. For one minute per success on this ritual, the necromancer manages to actually stand between worlds, able to interact directly with both without further magic. Both human beings and ghosts can interact freely with the magician, for better or for worse.

Forced Medium (••••)
Some people are naturally easier for ghosts to possess. These mediums may view this as a gift or a curse, but it marks them apart. These are the people who deal with the spirit worlds, and who ghosts will come to in order to either ask them to solve a problem or else take over their body to compel them do so. This ritual gives the target the merit Medium for a week, along with a –2 difficulty on attempts by ghosts to possess them.

Steal Life (•••••)
One of the darkest arts of Mortal Necromancy, masters of the Path can steal the life energy from another living person. The caster first fills themself with death energy but doesn’t shape it directly into a spell. Instead, before it can absorb their own life force, they push it into their victim. This transfer takes with it the most recent five health levels of damage the caster currently suffers from. The caster heals those injuries. Most versions of this ritual involve carving sigils into the victim (or piercing them with electrical wires, or any number of other techniques) causing additional harm. Needless to say, very few survive this process, and those who do often hunt the necromancer until the end of their days.

There isn’t enough drink or drugs in the world to numb the overwhelming anguish one feels when they are awakened to this Path of magic. The Pallio Dolorum, a binding force that imbues the user with the arcane knowledge of necrotic magic, is crushing, connecting a mortal to the grief of all their ancestors before them. For many weaker humans, this manifests in eventual suicide or violent madness. To be able to focus the mind while in direct contact with the pure energy of death takes incredible willpower and grace. One must wear and brandish their negative emotions like armor and weapons without becoming completely consumed by their fury.

Whenever a mortal necromancer fails their roll to activate one of these Numina, they take on a derangement for one hour. If a necromancer fails an activation roll while their temporary Willpower is less than 3, the derangement lasts for one week of in-game time.

When using this Path, the practitioner must physically engrave or write staves of necromantic power onto the surface of whatever object they are trying to imbue.

Roll: Stamina + Occult (difficulty 7, 6 if written in human blood).

Modifiers: The character must be in possession of their magical tool, otherwise they cannot perform this path of hedge magic.

Cost: One level of bashing damage per level of the power unless otherwise stated.

Duration: One scene or hour.

• Fear Stave: When written on an object and thrown at the feet of a ghost, the ghost will cower in fear as it recognizes the void inside of you. You have a –2 difficulty for any Intimidation or Subterfuge rolls against the ghost in question.

•• Prayer Stave: When written on the magician’s body, the caster can see, hear, and speak to any ghost in their vicinity.

••• Corpus Stave: You make a ghost within your sight take on a physical, corporeal form. It will have all the abilities it would have as a living, breathing human. This also means that you can indeed kill the ghost. Doing so will immediately create a violent, raging Spectre obsessed with the destruction of your character, and give any characters the Spectre holds responsible the Haunted Flaw.

•••• Crossroads Stave: After carving, spray painting, or otherwise inscribing the stave into the ground and succeeding on a contested Willpower roll, you can summon any ghost whose true name you possess. This does not mean that the ghost will be happy with their sudden passage. It also bears saying that not every dead person is a ghost, either.

••••• Knitting Stave: A true dark art, this stave when carved into the flesh of another living being heals the caster of five levels of damage. It does not cost the caster anything. The other living creature, besides taking one level of lethal damage from having the stave flayed into them, immediately takes upon themself the five most recent levels of damage currently suffered by the caster. This brutal act gives the caster a black wake in their aura for a month after using this ritual.

The Via Necromantiae is Theurgy designed to contact or banish the dead. This Via resembles in parts those of the Via Geniorum, but it is, nonetheless, distinct.

Roll: Varies (see below)

Modifiers: -1 difficulty if Theurgist has an object important to the ghost in life

Cost: 1 Willpower

Duration: Varies (see below)

• Ritual of Wakening: The Theurgist may command a recently deceased cadaver to awaken. On a successful Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 7), the corpse will sit up and answer the Theurgist’s questions, to the best of its ability, for one minute per success. Every twenty-four hours the cadaver has been dead adds one to the difficulty. A cadaver more than three days dead cannot be wakened.

•• Ritual of Warding: Theurgists may protect an area from ghostly intrusion. With a successful Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 7), the Theurgist may block ghosts from entering a room-sized area. Each success indicates one week of successful warding.

••• Ritual of Communication: Theurgists may contact the dead by making a Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 10). That difficulty drops, cumulatively, if any of the following criteria are met: Theurgist possesses an object important to the ghost in life (-1), a person important to the ghost is present (-1), the ritual is conducted in the ghost’s former home (-1), the ritual is conducted in a place where the veil between the Underworld and the world of the living is thin (-2). Maintaining contact with the dead is difficult. Each success rolled allows the Theurgist one minute of communication. The time period can be doubled for another point of Willpower.

•••• Ritual of Expulsion: Theurgists may expel a haunting ghost. This requires a Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty of the ghost’s Willpower + 3, maximum of 9); this is a sustained roll, requiring a number of successes equal to twice the ghost’s Willpower. Simply initiating the banishing costs 1 Willpower, but no more Willpower is required for the remainder of the struggle.

••••• Ritual of Vivification: The Theurgist can now urge a cadaver to rise. This via requires a Manipulation + Occult roll (difficulty 8). Every success animates the corpse for one week, and that time can be doubled for another point of Willpower. Animated cadavers will not have much in the way of personality or intelligence, but can follow simple directions.

With the crushing flood of technology permeating almost every inch of our way of life, it was only a matter of time until younger ghost hunters found a way to blend magic and machine. Noticing the effects of ghostly energy upon technology, some bright Hedge Magicians hypothesized that the current could flow back into the spirit world. By using mobile technology and wireless internet, paranormal investigators have found multiple ways to interact with the ghostly realm with but a click.

DescriptionSystemSample RitualsBlack Hat (Ghost Hunters)

One of the newest Paths, only discovered by ghost hunters in the late 1990s, the Path of Necronics was first studied by “Black Hat” hackers attempting to combine their understanding of electronics with the world of the dead. They use various techniques to manipulate their own bioelectricity, or life energy, to affect the world of the dead in some way. Because living energy is antithetical to the Shadowlands, this tends to result in impeding ghosts’ efforts to manage their hauntings.

As a new Path, there’s a lot not yet understood about Necronics. Almost all current practitioners use electronic devices — usually computers, phones, and tablets — to cast Necronics spells. Though analogues in traditional cultures exist, those Paths may or may not be the same as Necronics, using lower-tech and more traditional methods. Ghost hunters investigating Necronics tend to be fascinated by these practices. They think studying them will provide new techniques they can apply to handle hauntings.

In addition to the consequences of botching noted below, Necronics holds one other great danger for the magician. Because users are manipulating their bioelectricity so strongly, touching them while they are working is dangerous. Even the lightest touch by another living thing throws off the magician’s focus and control of bioelecticity, causing a feedback loop to form. This feedback causes them to take a level of aggravated damage and fail the spell or ritual. The magician needs immediate medical attention to stabilize them and is left weakened (–1 die to all actions) for one week per level of the spell or ritual disrupted.

Aspects: Area, Duration, and the unique Aspect of Impedance:

• The magician floods the local underworld with electrical energy, shutting down all active ghostly powers. Ghosts may ignore this, continuing as they were, if they succeed on a Willpower roll (difficulty 8).

•• At this level, instead of merely stopping a haunting, the magician can increase the Shroud rating. This costs one success per rank increased, with the first rank included in the base cost of the spell (so in addition to the regular requirements, 2 successes are needed to increase the Shroud from 6 to 9).

••• Places can be defended from haunting by the simple technique of tricking the ghost into haunting somewhere else. At this rank, the magician can create a trap, a fake realm the ghost can haunt instead of the real location. A ghost can realize they’ve been tricked with a Wits + Enigmas roll (difficulty 8) and can escape with another one.

•••• At this level, the magician may directly use their bioelectricity as an attack against a ghost. When using this rank of Necronics, the Area and Duration Aspects are replaced by Damage and Range.

••••• Masters of this Path are capable of devastating a region of the Shadowlands and its inhabitants. They call it “creating a zero,” and they “format” the space to a default pattern. When successful, there’s nothing left. For the duration of the spell, the region becomes uninhabitable to ghosts, causing the Restless Dead to lose Corpus at a rate of 3 per turn until they can escape the area. If they fail to escape before running out of Corpus levels, they disappear. Magicians generally believe these ghosts have been destroyed completely, rather than the usual consequences of running out of Corpus. As no Necronics expert has ever seen one that survived being “zeroed out,” this seems to be the best guess.

Price of Failure: Because the Necronics magician uses their own bioelectricity to interact with the dead, botches are particularly risky. They aren’t just extending mystical senses, but rather a very real and physical part of themself. On a botch, the intended effect doesn’t happen. Instead, all ghosts in the area gain Pathos and Angst equal to the level of the spell or ritual being performed. They also become acutely aware of the magician trying to control or banish them and can affect the magician directly with their powers as though they were a ghost, rather than having to work through the Shroud or specific powers allowing them to touch the living.

Shroud Bubble (•••)
Sometimes, when all else fails, the best thing a magician can do when faced with a troublesome haunting is to hide and wait it out. The problem being that ghosts have a nasty tendency to walk through walls and most other protective barriers. They also tend to be relentless, often obsessed when their minds are turned to a task. Desperate magicians being haunted by perseverant ghosts invented the concept of the Shroud Bubble to protect themselves, especially when waiting for backup to arrive to handle the ghost more directly.

The ritual requires three successes but increases the Shroud to 10 near the magician. In fact, the Shroud rating increases in a sphere just large enough to contain them. The effect remains stationary, so the magician can’t leave the area without increasing their risk from ghosts and lasts for 8 hours.

Shut It Down (•••)
Hauntings can vary in scale. For ones confined to a room or two, it’s fairly simple to shut down the powers the ghosts are using to interact with the physical world. More often, though, there’s a whole building or larger area being haunted, and if the ghost is denied one room, they’ll just go to another. With Shut It Down, a much larger area than usual can be quieted, such that ghostly powers are impossible to use. The magician must mark the corners of the building or area, which can be as large as a full city block of empty land or a single building. The ritual requires at least 3 successes, and ghosts inside can only use their powers if they succeed on a Willpower roll at difficulty 8.

Doxxing (••••)
By reading the currents generated by a ghost and its movements, the magician can glean information from it. Each piece of information comes with a cost and must be declared and paid for before the casting. Any resources spent in this way are not refunded if the ritual fails. No information is gained if the ritual fails to achieve the number of successes required for the information being sought out:

• Identifying a Passion — One success each. This identifies both the Passion and the emotion it is tied to.
• Nature, Demeanor, and Shadow Archetype — One success and one point of Willpower each.
• Identifying a Fetter — Much more difficult, this requires two successes and a point of Willpower.
• The True Name of the ghost — This requires five successes and two points of Willpower.

Overwrite (•••••)
The ultimate expression of the Path of Necronics, the practitioner concludes that all ghosts are electromagnetic signals trapped in the matrix of a formerly living person’s personality. This explains why they’re so malleable, for good or ill. With this ritual, the magician can rewrite the nature of the ghost on a fundamental level. To do so, they must know the ghost’s True Name and possess one of the ghost’s Fetters. The ritual takes twelve hours and requires two Stamina rolls (at difficulty 6) to complete. For this entire time, the ghost must be held within the same room as the caster, roughly a 10-foot by 10-foot space.

Upon completion of the ritual, significant changes can be made to the ghost, but each has a cost. They last for one lunar cycle by default but become permanent if the costs are doubled. Some of the possible changes are:

1 success and 1 Willpower point per level to change Passions, and an extra Willpower to change to a different emotion.
2 successes and 1 Health Level — not damage, the Health Level itself disappears for the duration — to add or remove a point of Angst.
5 successes and 5 Willpower to overwrite the ghost entirely with another specific personality.

These Hedge Magicians use their own bodies’ electrical impulses as a sort of server that connects into the very fabric of reality. When using this ability the magician cannot be so much as touched without creating dire consequences. It takes incredible concentration and focus for the magician to both code and be a directional conduit for the magic at hand. If a magician’s concentration is ever broken by the physical touch of another living being while this magic is being used, they take one level of aggravated damage as their entire nervous system overloads and shuts down. This can be life-threatening to a mortal, and only immediate medical attention, such as an AED, or some magical healing ability can bring the caster back from the brink.

To use this path a character must have some sort of information-technology tool, such as a phone, tablet, or computer.

Roll: Manipulation + Computer (difficulty 5, unless otherwise noted).

Modifiers: N/A

Cost: 1 Willpower per hack.

Duration: One scene or hour.

• DDoS: By perpetrating a denial of service attack, the hacker overloads a haunting. They cause all magical effects and ghostly apparitions to cease by overloading the space with their own chemical signatures, electronic nerve pulses, and general life energy.

•• Dox: The hacker can now dox the ghost in question, learning how it died, why it stayed around, and its true name.

••• Firewall: The hacker can now generate and maintain a firewall, effectively blocking all haunting activity within a space and locking off physical reality from all ghostly interference.

•••• Phish: The hacker can now defend a location against any ghost that tries to attack it by generating a phishing space within the Shadowlands. This fake hauntable realm will trick spirits into thinking that they are still haunting a space in the Skinlands, while instead trapped away from the humans they may have been harming.

••••• Zero Day: The hacker can now create a zero, hack- ing into the very dust of the Shadowlands. This Hedge Magic creates a malicious code that inverts a reflection of the Shadowlands into our reality, nullifying its energy. Any ghost trapped within the 150-foot radius of effect when this code is activated is immediately “deleted” — that doesn’t necessarily mean the ghost completely disappears, but no hacker has ever seen a ghost come back from this eradication. After an hour, the realities separate, leaving no trace of their conjunction in either realm. This code is a Manipulation + Computer roll with a difficulty of 7 to activate.

Nearly everyone dreams. The oneiromancer walks among those dreams. Like the dream weavers of horror movie fame, she can craft images so realistic that it is hard to tell the difference between them and reality. Still, they are “only” dreams. Or are they?

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

The Realm of Dreams is a fluid place that responds to the mood and imagination of the dreamer. Some people, particularly those with a talent for lucid dreaming, can take control of their own dreams, rendering normal bad dreams controllable, good dreams fun experiences, and other dreams possible sources of insight into themselves. Without magic, though, the greater Realm of Dreams is still locked away, with each dreamer confined to their own psyche.

Magicians who learn the Path of Oneiromancy learn to walk into the dreams of others. Once there, they try to take control, and can glean information or alter dreams to the benefit or harm of the dreamer. At the peak of their power, oneiromancers can even bring several people together in a shared dream. According to legend, some can even make dreams real or become capable of physically entering dreams.

Aspects: The Path of Oneiromancy uses Sympathetic Connection and the unique Aspect of Dreamwalking:

• Basic Oneiromancy allows the magician to touch the dreams of others, seeing flashes of imagery that could be interpreted to get insights into their target’s nature and history.

•• The oneiromancer can now enter the dreams of others, not merely see them. They become a part of the dream, forced to take on a role appropriate to the dream itself. Once in the dream, changes can be made. The magnitude of the changes determines the difficulty of an additional Oneiromancy roll, with creating small items being difficulty 6 but violating the theme of the dream being difficulty 8, perhaps with a Threshold.

••• Dreamwalkers can now watch dreams from the outside, seeing them clearly but not being pulled into them. They can now truly transform the dreams they encounter. With this rank, they can create terrors mimicking the Nightmares Flaw or soothe a dream to the point of helping the dreamer regain an additional point of temporary Willpower.

•••• Dream Sendings become available to the caster at this level. They can craft specific and detailed dream sequences for their target that repeat once per success. If they repeat more than once or twice per night, the target can become suspicious that their dreams are being manipulated.

••••• Masters of Oneiromancy can create shared dreams, bringing one person into the dream for each success on the casting roll. The environment begins as a mixture of their subconscious influences, but the oneiromancer can manipulate it further using lower levels of the Path.

Price of Failure: Botching on Oneiromancy tends to be psychologically harmful. Many oneiromancers get tossed into a Nightmare Realm, which torments them in a way similar to the Paradox Realms (Mage 20 p. 102-103) feared by mages. At best, they lose control of any dream they’re interacting with. Of course, even if they succeed, interacting with the dreams of someone with the Nightmares Flaw can be its own sort of hell.

Symbol Interpretation (•)
In their rush to control the dreams of others, many oneiromancers forget even the meaning of the name of their Path. Though none forget that oneiros means dream, they think “mancy” simply refers to magic, rather than being derived from manteia, or divination. A growing movement among oneiromancers across Fellowships— spearheaded by Prof. Jeremiah Marquette, who specializes in using dreams to access blocked or forgotten memories — is reviving lost information by gathering aspects of the Path forgotten by many practitioners. He’s popularized a new ritual allowing an oneiromancer to find the answer to any one yes/no question the dreamer has ever known the answer to by reading the symbols of their dreams.

The magician must have something of the target’s in their possession. They then must succeed at a Path roll and spend the night observing their target’s dreams with a specific yes or no question in mind. At the end, they must make an Intelligence + Enigmas or Intelligence + Esoterica (Dream Interpretation) roll. If they succeed, they find the answer to their question in the target’s dreams.

Bedtime Story (••)
The most dangerous moment for an oneiromancer is that first step into a dream. The narrative of the dream is in effect, and they are forcibly adapted to it, sometimes losing themselves to it. Enterprising oneiromancers developed a ritual to take control of the dream as it forms, mitigating the risk that they’ll lose control. This ritual must be completed as the subject goes to sleep and requires the oneiromancer be in the room with them. However, a single success allows the oneiromancer to direct the forming dream, broadly guiding its narrative and themes.

Invade Demesne (•••)
Normally, the space created by the Demesne background is inviolate. Only powerful mages capable of finding them through astral travel can reach them. oneiromancers, however, have tricks few others can reproduce. This ritual lets the oneiromancer enter the Demesne of their target. Once there, they can try to seize control, though this requires a Path roll at difficulty 9, opposed by the Demesne’s owner rolling Wits+ Demesne (difficulty 6). This is highly risky, and only the most well-prepared oneiromancers should try it.

Dream Scream (••••)
While powerful oneiromancers can simply send dreams to people as spells, with this ritual, they can send a message to several people at once through their dreams. The magician chooses a message consisting of a single sentence, fixes it in their mind, and performs the ritual. At completion, they can send the message to one person per success within a 10-mile radius.

Quintessence Manipulation
Nearly every sorcerer recognizes the flow of some sort of power: mana, sekhem, chi, or some other representation of magical potential. Most magicians learn to feel or describe the energies that course through them during the casting of spells. Some, however, learn to direct these power sources in order to reshape the fundamental mystic energy about them.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Nearly all sorcerers can agree on one fact: There is a flow of power that fuels their works. The name of that power has taken on a multitude of faces and philosophies: mana, qi, gnosis, shakti, sekhem, and many others. Every magician can describe the flow of energy as they work their will on reality. Coursing through them like charge through a powerline, it can be felt, and for some it can be directly harnessed. Through Practices like those of geomancy and feng shui, hedge wizards can sense and redirect the unrefined energy of the universe.

Very few sorcerers consider this to be a Path of its own. Most look to Quintessence Manipulation as a standard exercise and refinement of their already defined craft. Each magician’s personal style already informs them how to achieve manipulations to perform all their other spells. Wands direct the energy, drawn patterns on boxes create traps to hold it, while knives cut and disrupt as they perform all their other works. Yet, those who focus on mastering this fundamental skill on its own find their work is never without a source to draw on, and their mystical surroundings are rarely a mystery.

Modifiers: –1 to –3 difficulty based on distractions in the surrounding area, with –1 representing a loud sound system playing in the same room and –3 representing Time Square at midnight on New Years.

Aspects: Area and Duration as well as the unique Aspect of Flow:

• Sense Surroundings: Sensing the energies of the area becomes a routine task. With a moment of meditation or invocation, a sorcerer determines if an area or item is charged with power (whether Quintessence, vampire blood, Gnosis, or another mystic source). With three successes, the sorcerer identifies the Resonance of said energy.

•• Focused Awareness: The ability to sense the ebb and flow of energy transcends local surroundings and the inanimate and crosses into the realm of individuals. Now the sorcerer can perceive another individual using subtle magics and allow them to see obstructed meridians or occluded energy flows. This reveals curses left on individuals or blocked Quintessence flow through the body imposed by malicious disruptions. The ability to gauge magical potential in a subject also becomes available. While especially useful in identifying potential threats, the amount of information gleaned in this way lacks detailed nuance to fully define if the subject is a supernatural creature or a normal human with a certain aptitude.

••• Disrupt: No longer held to observing, now the skilled sorcerer can begin to affect the Quintessence around them. Still unable to bend and gracefully manipulate the energy, the practitioner of this path is at least versed enough to cause disruptions to the flow around them. With their invocation or focus, the sorcerer can quell the flow in the local area, causing a Quintessence source to become dormant for a time. Disruption also can mean diverting. A flow of Quintessence may be turned aside and sent along a new path in much the same way. Alternatively, with some effort a practitioner can trap a mote of Quintessence in a simple object for a limited amount of time.

•••• Control: Mere brute force gives way to nuanced control of the flow of Quintessence within themselves, the world around them, and within the pattern of others. The flows of energy through themselves are now flowing rivers with metered channels and locks allowing the practitioner to harness the Quintessence in a place of power. Each success on an effort of this type allows the sorcerer to channel one point of Quintessence per success, up to the limit of that area’s power. Quintessence drawn this way dissipates unless used within the next turn.

An enemy’s flow of energy is now a viable target for disruption at this level of understanding. Stripping the energy from another’s pool destroys one Quintessence for every success rolled. More alien energies of other supernatural creatures are still accessible, but doing so is more taxing. The energy of other supernatural creatures is disrupted by one point for every two successes.

The flow of energy through an individual’s pattern is essential to their health. A sorcerer with this knowledge can cause great harm or provide great help, albeit over an extended period through something akin to a curse or boon. Altering the flow of another’s life energy can promote or deteriorate their health but takes a great deal of time to become evident. They become ill more often, finding it difficult to fight off a mere cold, and take longer to recover from simple injury. If left unchecked they will inevitably fall victim to an environmental carcinogen or a malady that runs in their family history.

On the other hand, benefitting the flow of Quintessence in an individual will see the recipient barely ever falling ill for more than a day, bouncing back from any injury as though it were a mere inconvenience and living to a ripe old age. Through this function the hedge wizard can grant physical Merits or inflict physical Flaws, by spending 2 successes per point of the Merit or Flaw.

••••• Rule: Masters of Quintessence Manipulation have attained a level of understanding that puts the flow of energy at their beck and call, impressing even the Awakened. Now, stored Quintessence can be directly infused into countermagic, adding dice to countermagic pools. Sensing Quintessence being directed, the sorcerer can interrupt the flow of energy, preventing another sorcerer from using Quintessence of their own. Each success blocks a point of Quintessence or Tass from empowering an effect.

Quintessence Infusion (••)
The ability to store and redirect Quintessence is useful on a near daily basis for the sorcerer on the go. Thinking in advance, a sorcerer prepares themselves for situations where they may begin to run dry of available quintessence by infusing drinks or snacks with their own reserves for later use. Classically, this was a potion of great power. In modern nights, the savvy sorcerer may decide the espresso in a can or a protein bar may be just as handy, serving as the perfect inconspicuous consumable. The one drawback to this task is the fueling and the resource of the ritual. For every Quintessence stored, another Quintessence must be channeled to infuse the receptacle.

Shape Quintessence (•••)
Following elaborate diagrams or practices that align with their style, the sorcerer can manipulate the flow of Quintessence within an area. A gambling hall could be made luckier for the house, or a particularly well-respected ER could suffer higher mortality rates despite the best efforts of the staff simply by manipulating the ley lines beneath the surface. The energies will eventually return to their original pattern, as the ritual holds it in an elastic state for only so long. With proper maintenance and continued observation, a location could be made to take on the new aspects permanently.

Practitioners have found the application of the Path of Shadows far more malleable than other Paths. Shadows are omnipresent, and even in the brightest days stand out and provide contrast. The availability of shadows and the potential of adjusting the depth of shades grants greater possibilities than less versatile Paths.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Power over darkness is a cliché that some sorcerers have no problem clinging to out of ironic giddiness or genuine belief. One wouldn’t be remiss in guessing the Path of Shadows as the source of the concept that dark forces empower the mystic arts, given how often hucksters make the claim. Regardless of its reputation, the Path does carry a foreboding and intimidating air, as it shapes and shifts the substance of instinctual fear — shadows and darkness.

The art of deceit can be an asset to the hedge wizard. Building on the idea that shadows conceal the truth, shadow magicians who have become one with the darkness through which they frequently travel can obscure themselves and others from those looking to give the investigators grief. By accepting the darkness as nothing more than an absence of light, practitioners of this Path can project or bend shadows.

One may think that the Path manipulates the quality of of ambient light, focusing it away from darker areas to make shadows appear deeper and more menacing. This is patently false. Whether it’s a magical implement or a dark matter enhancement field of the more technologically minded, this Path manipulates the very stuff of shadows. The actual nature of this substance is the source of much debate in the magical communities, with a range of theories just as diverse as those concerning the mechanism of Awakening. What practitioners do agree on is that shadowstuff can be used to great effect in a variety of useful ways.

The severity and persistence of the controlled shadows is gauged by one’s Shadowgrip. When a target attempts to resist the Path of Shadows, they make a Willpower test with a difficulty determined by the selected Aspect. Any success ends the effect on the following turn or after one minute.

Aspects: Area, Distance, Duration, and Number of Targets, as well as the unique Aspect of Shadowgrip described below:

• Deepening: Bringing shadows deeper into our vision can create a distracting and intimidating atmosphere. Within an area the overall lighting itself may not change per se, but the shadows deepen, and even sounds become slightly smothered at the edges. These shadows can also be cast upon others to confer the Path’s benefits, such as a bonus to Stealth tests in shadowy conditions.

•• Shaping: Taking further mastery of the dark material that comprises shadow, the sorcerer now crafts pattern and intent behind their shadow weaving. Upon a successful casting, the sorcerer adds two dice to any pools involving Intimidation or Stealth as well as any Subterfuge test to hide their identity. Conversely, the shadows can surround an individual and cast doubt and confusion upon the victim’s senses.

At this level of mastery, they are strong enough to cause the target to hesitate or reconsider their actions due to the unidentifiable unease. This causes the target a –1 penalty to rolls made to dodge or that rely on quick reaction time. A Willpower test at difficulty 6 allows the victim to shake the shadows from their eyes and focus on their task at hand.

••• Entrenching: Not content with merely strengthening shadows, the sorcerer now animates the shadowstuff itself, letting it shift and roil about them. Should they take their deepening skills further, light now withers in the target location, and color will desaturate before the shadows. Affecting another is now far more effective.

Shadows shift and distort in their eyes, and unsettling whispers can be heard when the victim gets too close to a pool of gathered shade. Being harried in such a way causes a –1 difficulty on all tests. The effect can be broken with a Willpower test at difficulty 7.

Finally, the caster can cause shadows to flutter or shake creating visual diversions and increasing the difficulty of all ranged attacks made against the beneficiary by one.

•••• Commanding: The shadow’s “willingness” to act has become outright eagerness. The torment the shadowstuff visits upon the sorcerer’s foes is maddening and now causes a +2 difficulty on all tests made by the target. Any attempt to shake free calls for a Willpower test at difficulty 8 and may send some enemies into a frenzy or rage if they fail.

Wreathing a target in benevolent shadows gives a +4 on all Intimidation and Stealth dice pools and any Subterfuge dice pool that is used to mask one’s identity.

••••• Ruling: Shadows know who their master is and immediately act with abandon at the sorcerer’s call. Enemies may be reduced to a gibbering heap on the floor from the horrific maleficent shades. Opponents must succeed at a difficulty 9 Willpower test or be reduced to uselessness, crumpling to the ground. This test can be repeated on each of the target’s turns, but the target may only act normally on a turn in which they gain a success. If the target leaves the affected area, they regain the ability to act normally.

The darkness that engulfs those who wish to remain unseen is nigh impenetrable from without and within, save for the sorcerer themselves, decreasing the difficulty of Stealth tests by one. This darkness carries a weight so palpable, it may damage recording equipment engulfed by its influence.

Lifting Shadows (•)
Shadows and shades hide secrets for those who wish to hide them, but the learned sorcerer may reveal those secrets to those they trust. Smearing ink into a pair of contacts or funneling smoke into tight swimming goggles, the sorcerer brings the sight of the recipient into the realm of shadows. For the next eight hours, night may be as bright as day. Once blessed, the sorcerer or their ally may treat all darkness as daylight when making Alertness tests based on sight.

Grip of Shades (•••)
Within every crevasse hides a little shadow. Within every shadow hides an ally to a sorcerer of the Path of Shadowcasting. It is access to these allies that gives the sorcerer leverage in ways that many would never anticipate. By hardening the shadowstuff within the shadows on their person, the sorcerer may afford themselves a modicum of protection against impacts and benefits from an advantage in hand-to-hand combat. For 24 hours after bathing in coal-infused oils, the sorcerer has rating 2 armor when soaking bashing or lethal damage and adds two to all Brawl and Martial Arts dice pools that involve grappling.

While the World of Darkness is indeed home to some shapeshifting monsters, a few sorcerers learn to alter their bodies through magical practice rather than inborn heritage. This Path is very elemental, often calling upon instinctive knowledge, and many sorcerers have lost their personalities to the beast-side conjured up.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Even among primal magics, the ability to change into an animal stands out as exceptional. Many monsters haunting the night have the power of transformation, including those who are true shapeshifters. Hedge magicians who study the Path of Shapeshifting mimic a certain amount of their power, transforming first pieces of themselves and later their entire body in dramatic ways.

Most think of this Path as turning oneself or others into animals. When shapeshifting magicians choose subtlety, they can be remarkable spies. They can make cosmetic changes to look like a different person, and then supplement their disguise with sharpened senses. They can transform into something more dangerous if their cover is blown.

The biggest risk of this Path is that the human mind is not equipped to change shapes. Every transformation incurs risk, but it’s greatest when making a full shift to an animal form. Then, even without a botch, the magician needs to roll Willpower (difficulty 6) to retain their own mind, rather than losing themself to their animal nature.

Duration: Scene

Aspects: None of the standard Aspects apply to Shapeshifting. Instead, it uses:

• Cosmetic changes only, such as eye color or growing hair.

•• Small but noticeable changes, such as growing claws or scales.

••• The magician can change a single body part to that of some other creature.

•••• Half-Shift: the magician can either change half of their body to an animal’s or take a form halfway between human and animal.

••••• Full Shifting: The magician can change completely into an animal.

••• The magician can only affect themselves.

•••• The magician may transform another target.

••••• The magician may affect two subjects at once.

••• Only a single animal feature.

•••• The magician can take on two unrelated shifts, such as the head of one animal and the body of another.

••••• Three unrelated shifts are possible.

Price of Failure: When a shapeshifter botches, the best-case scenario consists of an unexpected and unpleasant transformation. They can also lose themselves to their other form, functionally going feral. In a worst- case scenario, they can experience a rampage similar to the Stress Atavism Flaw.

Face Theft (•)
The key ritual for Shapeshifting-based spycraft, Face Theft allows the magician to take on the precise form of another human being. They must have some piece of the person, such as strands of hair or nail clippings. The ritual requires one success for a person broadly similar to the caster, and an additional success each if the form differs in race, sex, or by more than 20 years of age.

Fix the True Form (••••)
Shapeshifters often find themselves in conflict with one another. They also run into stranger things with multiple forms. Fix the True Form was developed by one who claimed descent from werewolves. It forces anyone targeted by it to take on their “true” form if they fail at a Willpower roll (difficulty 8). For magicians, they simply revert to their natural form, as do most other shapeshifters. Ironically, despite being created in part to force werewolves into their human or wolf forms, this ritual forces Garou and Fera to take on their mixed forms instead, often with terrible consequences for an overconfident hedge magician.

Megafauna Transformation (•••••)
The Path of Shapeshifting allows the caster to assume animal forms, including partial transformations. But in the end, the caster can normally only fully transform into a normal animal. This ritual allows them to become a gigantic version of whatever animal they want to transform into. In most cases, this is a full throwback to an extinct version of the animal, such as the megatherium (giant sloth) of the Americas. This requires at least five successes.

A modern Numen that was recently rediscovered by city-dwelling paranormal investigators, Starlight was aptly named after the stars one sees in the Shadowland skies when using this power.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

There are Paths that go back centuries and then there are some that only arise from the unique environments of the modern night. Urban sprawls gave sorcerers a unique worldview and provided a compass for the lands beyond the Shroud. Peering into the lands of the dead is not a new concept to the magical community, but those who walk the concrete valley started to see a pattern in the stars of the Shadowland skies that matched the lights of their cities. Through study and the broadening of their understanding, the Path known as Starlight was born. Much to the dismay and jealousy of the inhabitants of the Shadowlands, only those gifted in Starlight seem able to see the stars that they use.

Like navigators of the golden age of sail, Starlight practitioners understand the unique sky of the Shadowlands and chart courses to safely travel through the realm of the dead. Simply knowing where they are going is only the start of the power these navigators have. Their minds produce a sort of protection and preservation shield for any mortals traveling with them. This becomes a necessity for travel since the shadowlands have no air and the very ground is anathema to the living. This is no physical shield against all harm, though, and any violent wraith that means them harm can easily indulge that urge. Should the duration of the spell expire, those traveling will be exposed to the lethal environment of the Shadowlands.

It is knowledge of the guiding lights of the Shadowland skies that also allow navigators to open doorways into the Shadowlands directly, completely bypassing the Shroud in the process. Any door can lead to the Shadowlands; it just takes a lot of preparation, and the journey begins. Moving quickly towards the destination is advised, considering few navigators have been able to complete a journey that took longer than one day.

Supposedly, when asked, wraiths say they cannot see these same stars that shine brightly for those who possess this power. Some say it was created by some sort of pact with an ancient, fearsome leader of the Shadowlands. Others say it was made by the love of two mortals that burned so brightly that when they died by each other’s side, it shattered into a million pieces, soaring into the sky as a physical memorial of their love.

Those with the Starlight numina have a bit of a cursed existence though. They struggle with anxiety that stems from their ability. The crushing weight of the night sky weighs heavy on their spirit. They also, in some sort of cruel irony, are wracked with the 2-point Flaw Phobia (of the player’s choosing) and may never benefit from more than two dots of Courage.

Modifiers: Decrease difficulty by –1 if carrying a personal item of the recently deceased

Aspects: The Aspects of Duration, Passengers, and the unique Aspect of Wending:

• Key: The threshold is the first obstacle a navigator must master. With focus and will, any doorway can serve as a threshold into the Shadowlands. The door only remains open for the navigator and will allow them and their passengers to pass. Traveling companions benefit from the same life preserving effect as the caster so long as they remain within sight of their navigator.

Anyone attempting to reopen the doorway once closed will find the mundane corresponding threshold. This door collapses after it has been reopened and closed again by the navigator during their return from the Shadowlands, or willfully collapsed by the navigator to close the way behind them.

A different doorway in the Shadowlands can be used to re-enter the Skinlands, but another activation of Starlight must be performed to create the new threshold. There is a drawback to this technique; The destination in the Skinlands is difficult to know without more capabilities as a navigator.

•• Sky: The Shadowlands are more familiar to a navigator of this level. Confidence swells in their chest, and the realm of the dead seems far less frightening. While traveling in the Shadowlands, the navigator benefits from –1 difficulty on all Awareness, Leadership, Survival, and Occult rolls concerning this environment, as well as Willpower rolls to overcome fear and intimidation.

••• Constellation: The navigator has found a point in the Shadowlands that is akin to their own personal North Star. No matter where they are in the Shadowlands, so long as they can see this star, the navigator has a general understanding of where they may exit into the Skinlands when opening a new threshold.

•••• Fury: The familiarity with the Shadowlands is now palpable to any traveling companions the navigator has brought along. Traveling companions of the navigator benefit from a –1 difficulty to Willpower rolls made to overcome fear and intimidation, as well as Awareness and Survival rolls made within the Shadowlands.

••••• Compass: The navigator’s guiding light within the Shadowlands is visible to them even with their eyes closed. No matter how deep they travel or how turned around they may get, the navigator will always be able to find their way to a door back to the Skinlands. Furthermore, they know exactly where their exit from the Shadowlands will lead.

None, yet.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous among legendary sorceries is the ability to call forth, bind and control various natural or supernatural entities. Summoning, Binding and Warding are perhaps the most dangerous of spells. This Path allows you to accomplish all three. Tread carefully though, as attempts to bind creatures almost inevitably make them hostile.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

Sorcerers in both fiction and legend are well-known for their ability to summon and control others, both living and ephemeral. With these powers, the magician can summon animals, spirits, ghosts, demons, and other strange beings. They can also defend against these beings, bind them, and compel them to obey the magician. Though overlap exists with the Path of Ephemera, this Path focuses on methods of compulsion, rather than cooperation, with the beings being called and dealt with.

All Summoning, Binding, and Warding magics are rituals, and rituals exist for reaching individual beings or classes of beings. There are separate rituals to sum- mon, bind, and ward each target. This has led many magicians to their doom. Though summoning a being may intrigue it, attempting to bind them tends to incur hostility, and magicians who either don’t know or fail at casting the warding ritual often find themselves in a great deal of trouble.

In addition to the complications of each specific being or type of being the hedge magician intends to work with, there are several versions of this Path which are learned completely separately. Variants exist for summoning material creatures (like animals and people), angels and demons, ghosts, spirits of nature, and other sentient beings. There are even reports of variants focused on inanimate objects and virtual creations, allowing some technosorcerers to ‘ward’ their computers against viruses or the likes.

Every use of this Path, (e.g., summoning, binding or warding a certain class of entity) is essentially a ritual, and is purchased separately as such.

Aspects: The three distinct parts of this Path have separate Aspects, which are typically utilized in the following order:

Warding has Duration and the unique Aspect of Strength, each level of which subtracts one die from all actions the summoned being takes against the magician. For three successes, Warding Strength allows the creation of a Warding Circle, which the being cannot cross without a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) where they achieve more successes than the magician.

Summoning has Duration as an Aspect. Additionally, it has Number of Targets (i.e., summoned beings or swarms) and Metaphysical Weight for the summoned being. The summoned being is compelled to appear before the magician but must still transport themself there. Only the most powerful beings can truly travel instantaneously.

Binding similarly has the aspects of Duration and Metaphysical Weight, as well as the unique Aspect of Binding Intensity. A being may spend a point of Willpower to resist a binding, but the binding can be recast. Some beings, especially those with Metaphysical Weight 5, are powerful enough to require binding rituals with large thresholds in addition to the usual requirements — sometimes as high as 20 or more successes.

Binding Intensity
• The creature cannot directly act against the magician.

•• Any single question must be answered truthfully.

••• All questions for the duration must be answered truthfully, and the being may be compelled to perform one service, though they may interpret the command liberally so long as they literally satisfy it.

•••• A single task is performed as directed, following the orders closely.

••••• The magician may transfer limited control of the binding to another person. The being performs one task for them and answers any questions the summoner asks of it.

Price of Failure: The Path of Summoning, Binding, and Warding has no need for special failure or botch costs. Instead, the consequences of failures and botches are visited upon the magician by the being summoned. The biggest source of these problems is that, on a botch, the magician often ends up under the mistaken impression they they have succeeded.

Every use of this Path, (e.g., summoning, binding or warding a certain class of entity) is essentially a ritual, and is purchased separately as such.

Weather Control
Weather magic can be terribly powerful but is also usually very slow to take effect. Changes in the weather are usually measured in hours or days; you can speed these processes up, but you cannot summon tidal waves out of nothing or storms from dear skies. When given time to work, however, this Path can command forces that are truly awesome and terrifying to behold, if not without cost.

DescriptionSystemSample Rituals

In societies that relied heavily on agriculture or seafaring, those who could control the weather were prized, often being the difference between life and death in their communities. Famines have been prevented or ended, and the most powerful sorcerers have been known to dispel or divert natural disasters.

Weather Control allows sorcerers to do what it says on the package — they can control the weather. While they can’t directly make enormous weather shifts such as El Niños, what they can affect creates ripples through larger areas. No weather pattern happens in a vacuum, and this remains true for magical tampering with the weather. Many weather workers have some dots in Science, to account for being able to discern upcoming weather patterns. Many weather workers also learn at least a small amount of Divination for this purpose, frequently scrying in pools of water and clouds as their practices for such.

Most cultures consider weather-working to be a woman’s art, drawing on the ties between her fertility and the bounty of the land and the elements, but this is far from universal; in some African tribes, weather magic was men’s magic, for example. Technosorcerers make no such distinctions, of course, but then, their mastery of this Path is thought by most to be limited at best. (Whether this is true is a question of some debate.)

Though rarely consulted in the modern era, weather workers still practice in secret. The power they command is dramatic and potentially life-altering. Like healers, weather workers would be constantly pestered to perform miracles if their abilities were commonly known. At the same time, they would have to contend with those claiming out of fear and jealousy that the weather workers gained their powers through evil means.

All uses of this Path are treated as rituals taking both great time and effort. As such, weather workers rarely function alone. The amount of effort required to produce adequate effects often necessitates teamwork. Some form covens around the goal of group weather control.

Modifiers: The large number of successes required to produce effects lends itself to extended rolls and teamwork.

1 or more additional successes required to stop a severe thunderstorm or worse once it’s started. Calm weather is easier to stir up than nasty weather is to allay.
+1 difficulty to cause any effect indoors.

Aspects: Weather Control uses the Aspects Distance (treat the measurement on the chart as the radius of effect), Duration, and the unique Aspect of Weather Intensity:

Weather Intensity
• Small changes only. This includes warm or cold breezes, slight but noticeable changes in temperature, and causing fire to momentarily flicker and flare.

•• The weather worker can cause minor affects that do not cause direct damage. The sorcerer might call up a dense fog that imposes perception penalties (see Mage 20 p. 435), clear a cloudy sky, or create winds in the direction they desire.

••• A sorcerer may form and dispel simple rain- storms. Strong winds can impose a penalty on ranged attacks by blowing the projectile off course and causing difficulties aiming. The weather worker may also change the temperature up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit in either direction. Depending on the starting temperature, this may impose or remove penalties from heat illness or hypothermia. Flash floods can also be deadly.

•••• A weather worker’s storm strength increases. They can now command gale-force winds, lightning, hail, and other damaging weather effects. They may now target individuals to take the brunt of the storm, and damaging effects do 4 + successes damage. Lightning causes lethal damage while bashing damage results from hail. Other effects may also cause damage, within reason. Weather effects can cause moderate penalties to those caught in the storms.

••••• The sorcerer can cause extreme effects. Thunderstorms are well within the weather worker’s grasp. Destructive tornadoes and other powerful meteorological activity can tear through a city. The sorcerer may cause 6 + successes bashing or lethal every 15 minutes to those in the storm’s path. Anyone caught in the storm also suffers maximum environmental penalties.

Price of Failure: Even intentional weather control effects often have unintended consequences on the environment both near and far. Weather pattern disruptions are no small matter. A botch, however, unleashes terrible effects depending on the nature of the changes sought. Lightning might directly strike the sorcerer or their allies. An arid climate might be hit with a monsoon the ground can’t accommodate, leading to widespread flooding. The local climate and possibly the surrounding area suffers dramatic, perhaps long-lived, changes. This can cause a crisis for the local fauna, plant life, and people who had no time to prepare and may not know how to cope with the new climate. Death, even if not immediate, is unfortunately a common risk when sorcerers play with the weather.

All uses of this Path are treated as rituals taking both great time and effort. As such, weather workers rarely function alone. The amount of effort required to produce adequate effects often necessitates teamwork. Some form covens around the goal of group weather control.

The rituals themselves often have specific cultural relevance, such as the Native American ‘rain dance’ and countless other such examples.

Psychic Phenomena

Certain rare and gifted individuals are born with strange, innate abilities, though many only realize it later in life. Hedge magic may be something a magician does, but psychic phenomena are a part of who the psychic is. Investigators have suggested dozens of explanations for where psychic abilities come from, with evidence as varied as the theories themselves. No one theory accounts for everything, leaving the truth behind these phenomena a mystery. In the end, whether a psychic gained their powers through alien manipulation, is the next step in human evolution, a bizarre mutation, or a divine gift is unknown and possibly not even important. What matters is that psychics exist and have real powers.

Psychic Themes
Though many imagine comic book superpowers when they envision psychics, the nature of psychic phenomena in the World if Darkness is far from this:

  1. Most psychics have only the most basic control over their powers. They fail often and find them difficult to develop. Sometimes, their powers even activate when they don’t intend them to!
    • Psychics need a clear image in their heads of what they want to accomplish. Then they push hard with their will to make it so. Sometimes, it’s trivially simple, other times virtually impossible, and few can tell which it will be before they begin.
    • It requires a great deal of training and discipline for a psychic to become consistent with their abilities. Sadly, few ever benefit from such opportunities.
  2. In the World of Darkness, aside from being unreliable, psychic powers are limited in scope. Though psychic phenomena have tones of barely constrained and poorly understood power capable of consuming their wielder, they act on a personal level.
    • No one uses psychoportation to travel the Solar System or pyrokinesis to level a city. Instead, they hone their gifts to keep their powers under control and to use them effectively, if at all. Even then, they are unlikely to change the world, but they can at least make a difference in their own lives.
  3. Though not impossible, very few psychics have access to multiple phenomena. Those who do tend to develop closely related powers, like Cyberpathy and Cyberkinesis. Psychics tend to specialize because starting a new Phenomenon has no roadmap for learning through solitary study or with a teacher.
    • While some circumstances can trigger new phenomena in a psychic, these are rare, significant events for the psychic in question. Going your whole life with the ability to move objects with your mind can be gotten used to. But then suddenly being able to hear the thoughts of the people around you? That’s traumatic.
  4. Despite the cautions given above, players who are familiar with Psychic Numina from previous editions of the game will find that the 20th Edition versions of the powers given here are a little bit more useful and/or dangerous, even if it takes a great deal of effort (and Willpower) to reach the true heights of what the various Phenomena are capable of.
Psychic Core Rules + CGEN & XP
In many ways, psychic phenomena are simpler than hedge magic.

  1. Phenomena have no practice or Aspects to worry about, no rituals, and by default, no teamwork. Each Phenomenon stands on its own, with unique mechanics separating it from all others.
  2. Psychic Phenomena depends greatly on one trait: Willpower. When the power comes directly from your mind, the strength of your will is the only thing that matters for making it happen.
    • Your Willpower determines both the strength and the number of Psychic Phenomena that your PC has access to (see below).
  3. Every time a psychic tries to activate a Phenomenon, they first spend a Willpower point and then roll their Willpower rating against a difficulty equal to the Phenomenon level they are using + 3.
    • Unless otherwise noted, a single success suffices. Botches can be extremely painful and, in addition to the Phenomenon-specific consequences, tend to leave the psychic with a headache for days.
  4. Willpower controls psychic advancement. All Phenomena are capped at half of Willpower, rounded up.
    • It also means only the strongest, most willful people can reach the fifth rank of any given Phenomenon, making such psychics incredibly rare.
    • Despite the emphasis on Willpower, it is possible with time, discipline and access to instruction, for trained psychics to accomplish with finesse what they might not have been capable with raw, mental might alone (see Psychic Merits & Flaws, below).
  5. If you are creating a psychic in chargen:
  6. With considerable time and effort invested, you can can buy a new Phenomena for 7 XP. You can raise existing Phenomena for (new rating x 7) XP.
    • Your psychic can only possess as many different Psychic Phenomena as their Willpower rating, divided by 4 and rounded up.
    • IC NOTE: Learning a new Phenomenon puts the psychic into a small minority among the already small population of psychics. A new Phenomenon should change the psychic in some way. It transforms how they see the world as new pieces of it open to them, and they realize they can do things they couldn’t before.
Psychic Merits & Flaws
Not all psychics are alike. Some were born either more or less fortunate than others, have had access to more desirable training or suffered some drawback. In addition to having access to all General Merits & Flaws, the following are specific to psychic characters:

Control Group (3, 5 or 8 pt Merit)Detached (4 pt Merit)Dream Invader (3 pt Merit)Empathic Healer (3-4 pt Merit)Psychic Awareness (3 pt Merit)Psi Focus (3, 4 or 5 pt Flaw)Psychic Feedback (1 or 3 pt Flaw)Twin Link (4 or 6 pt Merit)Wild Talent (4 pt Merit to 4 pt Flaw)

You are one of the few and ‘fortunate’ psychics who have received secret, lengthy and systematic psionic training from an institution specializing in the research and instruction of Psychic Phenomena, such as the Arcanum, the U.S Government’s classified Project Twilight, the Technocracy or even Pentex’s Project Odyssey.

All of the organizations which offer real instruction in the honing of Psychic Phenomena have very different cultures and methodologies, best explored in sections focusing on the group in question. However, increased discipline and control of ones psychic abilities ultimately leads to the same recognized plateaus (absent death, insanity or washout).

All levels of this Merit allow you to learn the Secondary Knowledge of Esoterica with the Psionics specialization. All further benefits are cumulative.

As a 3-pt Merit, your character is still considered a student, trainee, recruit (willing or otherwise) or apprentice of some kind. Your budding grasp of how to control your ‘gift’ gives you a significant edge over those who rely on raw talent alone:

You can now attempt to activate your Psychic Phenomena without spending Willpower, by rolling your Esoterica: Psionics (minus the Phenomenon level you’re trying to access) vs the usual difficulty (typically the Phenomenon level you’re trying to use + 3).

As a 5-pt Merit, your character is considered a fully trained psychic adept, capable of pushing themselves to their limit – and a little beyond:

You may attempt to use one of your Psychic Phenomena at one level higher than you possess (to a maximum of the fifth level), at the cost of suffering one level of unsoakable lethal damage, usually in the form of a nose bleed. Your Willpower dice pool cannot exceed your Esoterica: Psionics rating when pushing yourself like this without suffering a second level of unsoakable lethal damage.

Alternatively, you can choose to suffer a level of lethal damage instead of spending Willpower when activating your Psychic Phenomena.

As an 8-pt Merit, your character is a master of the mental arts. You have seen and endured more in the honing of your psychic potential than most would believe. As a result, you have considerable experience in both protecting your mind and going on the offensive:

The Mind Shields Phenomenon no longer counts against your allowed Psychic Phenomena limit, allowing you to raise it freely (or learn a new Phenomenon if you already had Mind Shields). In addition, you can now take two Psionic actions per turn – although you are still restricted to spending only one Willpower point per turn.

Restriction: It isn’t possible to acquire or increase the Control Group Merit without specifically belonging to one of the following Affiliations: Arcanum, Pentex (Project Odyssey), U.S Government (Project Twilight) or the Technocracy.

The power of your mind is beyond the anchor of your body. Whether through extreme disassociation, Zen meditation or some other discipline, you can shut out the pangs and suffering of your physical existence.

You do not suffer wound penalties on uses of your psychic powers until you are Incapacitated.

When you are Incapacitated, you may spend a Willpower point to attempt to manifest a psychic power at half the normal die pool (rounded down). You can only try this once per scene, after which you fall unconscious.

Certain psychics, such as those gifted with Astral Projection, Telepathy, Psychic Vampirism or Psychic Shadow find themselves with an unsettling knack for intruding upon the dreams of others.

Prerequisite: The psychic must have either Astral Projection, Telepathy, Psychic Vampire or Psychic Shadow at three dots or higher.

Spend a Willpower and roll your Willpower vs a difficulty determined by the victim’s Willpower + 2. If successful, the psychic enters the victim’s dreams and interacts with the subconscious. He cannot plant or steal memories, but can participate in the dream as an “actor,” remembering what he sees.

Victims usually do not remember (or assign any special meaning) to this dream experience. However, characters with Awareness can roll Perception + Enigmas vs 8 to remember something ‘off’ about their dream. It requires an exceptional success to be absolutely certain that what transpired was unnatural, unless they have some dream-related power themselves.

This ability works on humans, including Mortal+ and Awakened Mages. It does not work on constructs, companions, vampires, shifters or other stranger races.

This power is one of the most intimate of the Psi gifts. To use it, the empath joins his mind and body with that of a mentally ill or suffering person in order to soothe their anguish.

Prerequisite: The psychic must have at least one rank of the Psychic Healing Phenomena.

The 3-point version of this Merit allows the empath to soothe the spirit. You can alleviate grief and depression in your subject by infusing them with your Vitality. This costs 1 Willpower point and the Empath suffers one level of Bashing damage, which will not heal until they get a good night’s sleep. In contrast, the soothed target will regain all their Willpower, provided they immediately fall into a deep slumber, resulting in an at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

The 4-point version of this Merit requires the empath to have mental discipline, courage, and control of her own emotions. The empath prepares herself to absorb the worst forms of mental illness, including Harano, falling into the same state of psychosis as she has just healed in her patient. This costs all of a Psychic’s Willpower points, whereupon they will fall into a deep slumber for a duration equivalent to the severity of the mental illness.

During this time, the psychic fights the equivalent of a mental battle in their own mind (the details of which are decided by the Storyteller). Hopefully, they’ll awake famished and worn before too long. However, a few never wake up – especially when attempting to heal Harano.

You can sense the presence of recent psychic energies within a nearby area.

Roll Perception + Occult vs difficulty 8. How much information you glean and how detailed it is depends on your successes.

A single success might merely confirm that a psychic talent was at work recently, while three or more might allow you to pick up the lingering sensation of a talented psychic who had been here, her strength, mood, and plans at the moment she had passed by. The base radius for this talent is about a 10-foot radius, but you can increase that radius by 10 more feet for every success you allocate to it.

Your psychic power requires something beyond your own mental powers to manifest, whether you need your lucky feather, to ask pretty please, or just pantomime the action you need to happen.

For a 3-point Flaw, you have to gesture or speak an incantation for your Psychic Phenomena to work.

For a 4-point Flaw, you require an additional physical focus to work such as crystals, drugs, tarot cards, candles or a specific partner.

For a 5-point Flaw, you require an extra turn of concentration, in addition to one of the above affectations (such as an especially elaborate series of gestures or needing to meditate on your chakra crystal, etc).

SPECIAL RULE: Taking this Flaw increases your character’s allowed Merit dots from the usual supernatural PC limit of 10, to a new limit of 13-15. In addition, it does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.

Your psychic powers are a great gift, but they take their toll on you.

As a 1-point Flaw, you experience headaches or disorientation. Roll Stamina + Meditation (difficulty 7). On a failure, the difficulty of all actions increase by two for for one round while the pain overtakes you.

As a 3-point Flaw, you experience more acute pain from the use of Phenomena. Roll Intelligence (difficulty 9) each time you use a power. Failure results in taking a level of bashing damage. A botch is treated as lethal.

SPECIAL RULE: This Flaw does not count against your 7 Flaw points limit for purposes of receiving extra freebie points in chargen.

Your psychic character shares a permanent psychic connection to another psychic, who must also purchase this Merit.

This Merit duplicates the benefit of the Level Two Synergy effect. The linked psychics additionally gain +2 to their Empathy score to determine the other party’s feelings.

As a 6-pt Merit, the bonded characters can purchase the Synergy Psychic Phenomena at (new rating * 3 XP) per dot, and may take it all the way to Level Five regardless of their respective Willpower. Their Synergy only works on their bonded partner.

In order to benefit from the 6-pt version of this Merit, both bonded characters must raise Synergy to the same level.

While many psychics never receive proper training to develop their gifts, you lack even basic control of your powers. However, without the self-imposed limitations that comes with control over your talents, comes the potential for greater power.

Use the following list to determine the costs and effects of this Merit (or Flaw) which cannot exceed 4 points:

  • +1 for every extra die you have when calling upon your Psychic Phenomena.
  • -1 You must make an additional Willpower roll (Difficulty 7) to use your power.
  • -2 You can only consciously use the power defensively (e.g., your precognitive powers warn you of an attack using Danger Sense, or your telekinesis can stop an oncoming car).
  • -3 You have no conscious control of the power, but it works more often to your benefit than not. (e.g., your clairvoyance manifests in useful prophetic dreams)
  • -4 Your powers activate randomly (a minimum of once per session) and often when you least expect or desire it. (e.g., telekinetically flipping books around a library while attempting to do research).

Restriction: This Flaw or Merit is incompatible with the Control Group Merit.

Psychic Concepts & Affiliations
The powers of the mind are inborn abilities that the psychic struggles to control and understand. Often unwanted, dangerous, and disturbing, psychic phenomena grant their user access to incredible power stemming from within. To an Awakened observer, this is simply another way to work magic, but to the psychic, these powers are extensions of the self which can be simultaneously empowering and horrifying.

  • Psychics are people with the ability to perceive forces hidden from mundane senses through extrasensory perception, who may then use their minds to manipulate these supernatural elements. Some people are just born with unusual gifts or raw talent that leads to the discovery of these paranormal abilities, such as telepathy, telekinesis, and clairvoyance. Reported instances of true Psychic Phenomena were once quite rare, but the last few years have been marked by a remarkable spike in psychic activity. Many of these new Psychics seem completely unaware that they possess unusual abilities. As such, the origin of psychic abilities has yet to be properly scientifically explored. Currently, little concrete information exists regarding how or why these powers develop.
    1. Classified Research Projects: A number of scientists and researchers associated with the U.S Government’s black booked Project Twilight studying Psychic Numina have proposed the Numen Theorem, which suggests that humanity is naturally evolving psychic abilities as a biological defense against predatory supernatural creatures. Psychics are merely the first step in this new evolution of the human species. Other researchers have claimed to find links between a subject’s physical disabilities and their psychic potential.
      • Nature vs Nurture: Several of Project Twilight’s leading parapsychologists (including the 90 year old Cornelius Makepeace, who was a founding director of Project Twilight and remains a venerable consultant to this day) believe all humans possess the potential to access Psychic Numina with the proper training in much the same way that all humans possess an IQ score. Some are simply more gifted than others.
      • Know Your Role: The U.S Government sees psychics as test subjects, weapons and agents rather than as leaders or partners. Even when deployed in a field team, the psychic is virtually never in charge, answering to a special handler instead. What they lose in autonomy however, Project Twilight psychics gains back in protection, support and the chance to develop and hone their psychic talents 24/7. Indeed, they often have little choice in the matter.
      • Corporate Competition: Not all psychic research programs are funded and overseen by the U.S Government (however covertly). The global, sprawling pharmaceutical empire known as Magadon has been discreetly investing hundreds of millions of dollars in such ventures since the 1960s. Magadon has mastered the art of tacit cooperation, bribery, blackmail and playing the alphabet soup of federal agencies off against each other. They are the only known supplier of Psiphrenol, a synthetic drug proven to greatly increase psychic potential for a short duration. Magadon’s stranglehold on the supply of Psiphrenol is a source of immense frustration to Project Twilight’s directors, placing them in a position of unwanted modus vivendi with an oversized company that they secretly doubt is entirely loyal to the American government.
    2. Esoteric Academia: The study of psychic phenomena is closely associated with the Modern Spiritualism movement which acquired widespread popularity and credibility during the Victorian Era in the U.S and U.K. This was the heyday of freemasonry psychic readings, seances and charlatan mediums, fueled by numerous (albeit unverifiable) anecdotes of extraordinary abilities and psychic powers. Renowned psychics were taken seriously by the police who employed them to help solve baffling mysteries prior to the development of forensic sciences.
      • Secret Societies: Many secret ‘fraternities’, ‘orders’, ‘clubs’ or ‘brotherhoods’ arose during this era with the avowed purpose of either separating fact from fraud or serving as modern mystery cults with promises of teaching secret knowledge and techniques to its would-be initiates. These groups were given to vicious infighting and scandals, yet several of the former did their job rather too well; exposing hoaxes and charlatans so frequently as to shake the public’s trust in any psychic phenomena whatsoever.
        • The Arcanum (founded in 1885) is the only secret society from this era that managed to expand and remain roughly faithful to its original purpose down to the modern day. Investigating Psychic Phenomena was among its original aims and it still counts among its ranks some of the foremost authorities on psychic matters. Sadly, despite their intense interest in the subject, the Arcanum has only very rarely counted powerful psychics among its members, except in a kind of vaguely condescending, quasi-honorary fashion.
          • Those Who Can’t Do, Teach: Psychics rarely possess the restless curiosity, academic credentials, intellectual ego and dangerous obsession with the supernatural that is required to both make it through (and have the patience for) the Arcanum’s tortured mentorship process. Instead, psychics will usually learn all they can from a (usually all too willing) Arcanum scholar, while allowing themselves to be a subject of experimentation and inquiry in return for as long as they can stand it. They almost inevitably go their separate ways before too long, but there have been some exceptions.
      • Decline: The mainstream credibility of Psychic Phenomena as an academic field of study waned significantly amidst the destruction of two World Wars and a Great Depression. The coup de grace was the horror and wonder of the Manhattan Project. Parapsychology – except for a brief resurgence owing to the interest in mind-altering substances during the 60s & 70s – retreated into the fringe space of discredited cranks. There it is has largely remained where the general public is concerned.
    3. The Ascension War: The Technocracy selectively recruits psychics through a variety of means. Using Mind Adjustments, operatives evaluate anyone reaching out to — or discovered by — such facilities for psychic potential. Those who display great potential are earmarked for priority recruitment. Parapsychology studies and facilities are often useful fronts for Technocratic activity, although not nearly as many there used to be.
      • Beyond these well-funded, yet relatively fringe programs, the Technocracy has advanced its understanding of Psychic Phenomena surprisingly little since its heyday in the early 20th century when it briefly attained a widespread credibility among ‘men of science’. The vehement public backlash against repeatedly failed academic experiments meant that by the 1960s-70s, ‘psionic research’ was nearly the sole preserve of the Progenitors, some of whom were dangerously close to being declared unmutual (when they weren’t experimenting with reptilian slave labor or uplifting dolphins).
        • An especially dirty secret is that many of the research initiatives and programs that the Technocracy abandoned in the 1950s, would eventually form the basis of the U.S Government’s Project Twilight.
      • Although psionic studies remained heavily discouraged until as recently as the 1990s (See Guide to the Technocracy, Revised), they have been making a slow, yet steady comeback among a younger generation of Union researchers. Unfortunately, many older Technocrats remain prejudiced against psionic research, seeing it as a gateway towards more pseudo-scientific pursuits.
    4. Loners: While psychics can and do join secret societies, they are more likely to become a subject of interest or study than an actual member. Those societies that focus on psychic power are often academic in nature, seeking to quantify and explore the capabilities and limitations of psionic power. Some psychics revel in the attention of scholars and scientists, while others shy away from becoming the subject of academia to avoid feeling like a lab rat. As a result, many psychics are lone practitioners.
    5. Others: The Night-Folk often view psychics as something different from mages. Scholarship and popular culture present psychic powers as phenomena separate from magic and have done so since the Victorian Age. Most Night-Folk accept this point of view. Some Night-Folk seek psychics to join their ranks, either as pawns or as targets for elevation into their own ranks.

These phenomena represent the most commonly occurring psychic powers in the World of Darkness.

Animal Control
Some people are naturally good with animals, and some psychics supernaturally so. This ability allows a psychic to exert their will to communicate with and control animals.

A psychic may speak to and command an animal through a method of their choosing. Even the lowest expression of this Phenomenon allows a psychic to put an animal at ease by bridging the communication gap, rendering it more inclined to respond positively to the psychic. Examples include silently locking eye contact, imitating noises animals make, dressage gestures, the psychic’s native language, or a stream of gibberish. The method matters much less than the psychic’s intent and force of will. Even at its highest levels, this phenomenon does not affect insects or any creature, such as jellyfish, which lacks a brain.

• Commune: A psychic may communicate with one animal the psychic can perceive through mundane senses (sight, hearing, etc). They may issue simple commands but cannot command an animal to attack. The psychic can, however, command an animal to stand down from an intended attack. Issuing a command an animal was inclined to do anyway requires no additional roll, but to command an animal to do something against its nature requires a roll of Charisma + Animal Ken with a difficulty of 9 minus the psychic’s dots of Animal Psychics.

•• Mass Communication: As with Commune, but the Psychic may now communicate with multiple animals of the same species at once. Commands to animals may be more complex so long as the psychic can adequately describe it; however, animals won’t typically attack for the psychic unless already inclined to do so. This level may alternatively target a single animal for expanded command capability.

••• Mind Link: A psychic may link minds with a single animal for instant two-way communica­tion and the ability to sense what the animal senses. The psychic must initially sense the animal as per Commune, but the animal may travel outside of the psychic’s perception range without breaking the link. This power ends when the psychic severs the link. The link can prove dangerous — any damage the linked animal takes results in psychic backlash, which causes an equal amount of soakable bashing damage to the psychic. If the animal dies while the link is active, the psychic must not only roll to soak the damage, but also roll current Willpower at difficulty 8. A failure renders the psychic stunned for 1 round. Botches can leave the psychic overwhelmed by the trauma of death for a scene and have lasting consequences, such as heightened startle responses, until the psychic regains one Willpower.

•••• Domination: A psychic may order any single animal to do anything within the animal’s natural capa­bilities. The animal fights and dies for the psychic on demand without question. The psychic must adequately describe a command for the animal to understand what the psychic wants. Complex commands may still confuse an animal, though the animal does its best to interpret and carry out any command the psychic gives it. Once the psychic successfully activates this power, the animal follows the psychic’s orders until either the psychic severs the connection, or the animal dies. Psychics using this power must also establish a Mind Link if they wish to continue issuing commands to the animal at range. This does not require additional rolls or Willpower expenditure, but it does open the psychic up to suffering damage when the animal is injured or killed as detailed above.

••••• Swarm: With mastery over this Phenomenon, a psychic may now use any lower ability on all animals the psychic can sense through mundane senses at once. The psychic’s control is no longer limited to one species at a time. Using Mind Link in this way can quickly become dangerous, as every linked animal presents a risk of backlash damage if injured. The distrac­tion of maintaining multiple mental links is overwhelming, inflicting a -3 dice penalty to all Attribute-based rolls until the Mind Link ends unless the psychic spends a point of Willpower when making the roll to temporarily push past the distraction.

Anti-Psychic is the rarest psychic phenomenon. That said, it is very subtle. Many Anti-Psychics go through life unaware of their ability. It often takes an attack by, or other serious misunderstanding with, another psychic before the Anti-Psychic learns of their gift.

Anti-Psychic Phenomena scramble the abilities of other psychics with mental static. Those with a scientific paradigm theorize Anti-Psychic emanations use a similar basis for function as Telepathy. Instead of projecting a signal the recipient’s brain can decode as a message, image, or impression, the theory is the Anti-Psychic projects a signal that interferes with the brainwaves re­sponsible for psychic phenomena. Due to the nature of this Phenomenon, it’s impossible for an Anti-Psychic to develop any other psychic phenomena.

An Anti-Psychic disrupts all other psychic phenomena within their range of effect and enjoys a limited effect on those using the Mind Sphere. At higher levels, the Anti-Psychic may even disrupt vampiric Disciplines and Garou gifts. This Phenomenon remains perpetually active, even while the Anti Psychic sleeps, unless the psychic spends a point of Willpower to completely suppress the phenomenon for a turn or direct it to a single individu­al. If using Anti-Psychic against Mind Sphere effects or Night-Folk, the psychic does not automatically succeed but reflexively rolls activation at difficulty 7 or the mage’s Arete, whichever is higher. On a success, the effects of the Anti-Psychic’s ranks in the ability applies. For more information on countering Night-Folk powers, see Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition page 546.

The rarity of this Phenomenon represents a mixed blessing. While many would not anticipate the ability, lending an element of surprise, the novelty can make the Anti-Psychic a tempting specimen for scientifically inclined supernatural entities. Whispered rumors imply that the Technocratic Union uses Anti-Psychics from their Extraordinary Citizens to bolster raids on known or suspected psychics.

Prerequisite: For some reason, Anti-Psychics tend to be socially maladjusted and awkward individuals. An Anti-Psychic’s Charisma can never be greater than one. Social Flaws are also very common.

5-yard radius. Add +1 difficulty to psychic phenomenon activation within the radius and +1 difficulty to Mind Sphere rolls.

•• 10-yard radius. Add +2 difficulty to psychic phenomenon activation within the radius and +1 difficulty to Mind Sphere rolls.

••• 20-yard radius. Add +3 difficulty to psychic phenomenon activation within the radius and +2 difficulty to Mind Sphere rolls. Add +1 dif­ficulty for use of any mental-based Night Folk powers.

At this level, an Anti-Psychic may also choose to spend a Willpower point and roll Willpower vs 6. All supernatural powers within a 5-yard radius suffer a +1 difficulty for as many rounds as successes scored.

•••• 30-yard radius. Add +4 difficulty to psychic phenomenon activation within the radius and +2 difficulty to Mind Sphere rolls. Add +2 dif­ficulty for use of any mental-based Night Folk powers.

The Anti-Psychic may spend a Willpower point and roll Willpower vs 7. All supernatural powers within a 10-yard radius suffer a +2 difficulty for as many rounds as successes scored.

••••• 50-yard radius. Add +5 difficulty to psychic phenomenon activation within the radius and +3 difficulty to Mind Sphere rolls. Add +3 dif­ficulty for use of any mental-based Night Folk powers.

The Anti-Psychic may spend a Willpower point and roll Willpower vs 8. All supernatural powers within a 20-yard radius suffer a +3 difficulty for as many rounds as successes scored.

Astral Projection
Astral Projection allows the psychic to split their spir­it, mind, or consciousness — or a combination of those depending on belief — from their body.

The astral form is intangible and can cover vast distances in a short time, as it’s not beholden to normal laws of physics. Astral travelers can peer into and even visit the Astral Umbra’s realms of ideas (see Mage 20 p. 94). The psychic using Astral Projection cannot affect the physical world through normal means, though they may do so through other psychic phenomena at +2 difficulty. Botching Astral Projection activation causes a disorienting psychic backlash, preventing the psychic from leaving their body for 24 hours.

A psychic’s body remains vulnerable while they are using astral projection, and the psychic cannot sense what’s happening to it. It’s a common fear among psychics with this ability that someone might move or harm their bodies while they’re away. Many tend to limit their use of drugs and alcohol, because memory lapses can trigger the same fear.

Psychics can interact with astral spirits — denizens of the Astral Umbra and other astral traveling individuals. Astral Projection does not confer the ability to see and interact with ghosts. For combat while astral traveling, substitute Wits for Dexterity, Intelligence for Strength, and Perception for Stamina. Astral travelers usually ap­pear as slightly idealized versions of themselves, including manifestations of gender or stylistic expression, freed from physical or societal limitations on such expressions. Alternatively, those with exceedingly poor self-image sometimes appear with exaggerated perceived flaws. Despite potential differences from physical appearance, astral travelers are typically able to recognize each other should they meet again in the physical realm.

Most psychics are only able to access the Astral Penumbra, but the most powerful have claimed to be able to travel further. Traveling into Otherworlds is risky business, and more than a handful of psychics have gone exploring, never to find their bodies again. Some believe leaving the body uninhabited for too long risks letting something else in.

• Peek: The psychic may spend up to one minute per point of Stamina astral projecting and travel up to one mile away from their body. A psychic can only use sight at this level — their other senses do not function while projecting. A character may also travel into the Astral Penumbra for this amount of time.

•• Errand: The psychic gains the ability to hear while astral traveling. They may travel up to 100 miles away from their body with a limit of 10 minutes per point of Stamina.

••• Journey: The psychic can travel up to 1000 miles away from their body and may remain in astral form for 30 minutes per point of Stamina. A psychic may choose to manifest as a blurry, ghost-like image of their astral form for one turn by spending a point of Willpower but may not speak. They do not show up on recordings.

•••• Failsafe: Upon being stunned or knocked out, the psychic may roll Astral Projection activation as a reflexive action. The psychic may use this power to seek help for their prone body, or simply as a way to remain useful while otherwise out of commission. The psychic may manifest as Journey, and while manifested, the psychic can communicate at whisper volume. The psychic’s voice and translucent form do not show up on recordings. The psychic may travel anywhere on Earth and remain projected for up to an hour per dot of Stamina they possess, though they may spend a point of Willpower every hour they wish to continue traveling beyond this limit. They may use all senses as normal. Though the psychic may return to their body at any time before their normal limit is up, returning will not wake them unless the cause of unconsciousness has resolved.

••••• Odyssey: The psychic’s astral travel abilities are legendary. The psychic can travel anywhere on or in Earth, extending to at least the edge of the atmosphere. Attempting to go further requires a Willpower roll at difficulty 9. So long as the psy­chic’s body lives, including aid with life support technology, the psychic may travel indefinitely. If manifested, the psychic may speak in normal volumes and may choose to either appear in an indistinct, translucent form or deceptively opaque and may stay manifested for up to an hour per point of Willpower spent. The psychic may choose to show up on recordings.

Most psychic phenomena involve the perception or control of things outside the psychic’s body, but Biocontrol allows the psychic to exert will over their body itself.

A psychic can ignore pain, enhance senses, and even divert circulation or regulate hormonal levels at will. While others can afford themselves minor degrees of control with biofeedback and meditation, psychics with Biocontrol can force their bodies to survive what appear to be hopeless situations. The mother who lifted a car off her child, the man who never seems drunk no matter how many drinks he downs, and the lone survivor of a tragedy are all examples of this phenomenon. The more miraculous the expression, however, the more likely the psychic inadvertently draws the wrong attention.

Beyond potential unwanted attention, Biocontrol isn’t without risk. Botches can cause biological processes to go haywire at exactly the wrong time, proportional to the effect the psychic was trying to achieve. A psychic needing to reduce their oxygen requirement to survive drowning might increase their metabolism and expedite their demise, but a psychic seeking social advantage with pheromones might embarrass themself by causing excessive sweating.

Mindfulness: The psychic concentrates on al­tering their biological processes in minor ways. They can stop small wounds from bleeding, raise or lower their core body temperature by up to two degrees, hold their breath for an ex­tended time, ignore pain from minor wounds, including wound penalties of up to half their Biocontrol rating (rounded up), and consciously regulate their blood pressure and pulse within normal range. The effect ends if the psychic’s concentration breaks.

•• Healing Factor: The psychic forces their body to accelerate the metabolic processes responsible for healing and fighting infections far beyond the normal rate. The psychic must spend time resting and meditating, ideally while receiving medical care — the psychic’s still mortal, after all. For every activation success, the psychic reduces the time to heal the highest health level by one level, to a minimum of one hour for bashing damage and one day for lethal or aggravated damage. After the first level of damage heals, the psychic may roll activation again to repeat the process. If using Healing Factor, psychics can ignore the permanent impairment risk (see Mage 20 p. 408) so long as they have sufficient nutrition and rest.

••• Surge: The psychic floods their system with hor­mones at will. Psychics choose Physical, Social, or Mental and split their activation successes between attributes from the chosen category to raise dots (to a maximum of 5 in any attribute) for one scene. This can represent an adrenaline surge allowing for “hysterical strength” in an emergency, a surge of dopamine to improve mental function, or modulation of serotonin and pheromones to make themselves calmer or subconsciously attractive in social situations. Deliberately causing hormone spikes strains the body: When the effect wears off, the psychic must roll Stamina at difficulty 5 to soak activation successes as bashing damage.

•••• Toggle Nerves: A psychic with this level of control enhances or reduces sensitivity in their nerves for up to one scene per activation suc­cess. The most common usage is temporarily deadening pain.

A psychic may ignore wound penalties caused by pain by up to activation success number of health levels — it doesn’t allow the psychic to ignore penalties due to non­functional or missing body parts.

A psychic may instead choose to deaden senses to ignore other noxious stimuli, such as powerful scents, sudden lighting changes, or temperature extremes.

The psychic may ignore up to activation successes in distraction penalties and may split the successes across multiple penalty types. Alternatively, a psychic may increase nerve sensitivity, lowering the difficulty of perception-based rolls by activa­tion successes and may split the successes across senses. However, increasing nerve sensitivity comes at a risk. Every success spent toward low­ering perception difficulty with a sense adds to the difficulty of resisting distractions using that sense while the power is active. If the psychic increases touch sensitivity and sustains damage, they suffer additional wound penalties equal to their activation senses devoted to touch.

••••• Biological Mastery: The psychic achieves com­plete control over their body. They can stop and restart their heart at will, regulate digestion, temporarily suspend the need for oxygen, and put themselves in hibernation to force more extreme feats of healing — including re-growing parts.

They can accelerate or suspend regener­ation at a cellular level and may nullify toxins with an activation roll. Each activation success reduces the Toxin Rating of the substance by one. If the remaining Toxin Rating is lower than the psychic’s Stamina, the psychic may direct the toxin to a specific part of their body to run its course, suffering an Impediment (as the flaw, see M20 Book of Secrets p. 39) for the duration of the toxin’s effect. If the Toxin Rating is higher than the psychic’s Stamina after using Biological Mastery, the psychic suffers the toxin normally at the lowered Toxin Rating.

A psychic may spend a turn concentrating and roll activation to soak lethal and aggravated damage with Stamina for a scene.

A medium stands before a group and calls forth a dead relative with some letter of the alphabet for a name. Some attendee says they know someone dead with that name. The medium lets them know that they crossed over peacefully, and the spirit wants the best for them. They forgive the living for some vague sin that the attendee acknowledges, and nothing further is asked. Solace has been achieved and the medium gets paid. The reality show does great, and popularity grows. That’s all crap.

In the psychic community, there are those that channel the dead. It’s rarely for the purpose of making someone feel better though. The dead are a wealth of untapped experience that would make even the most learned master blush with envy. That knowledge is at the beck and call of the channeler, and when used correctly they are never without the right skill for the task at hand.

Channelers come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Some of them are into the classic ‘eyes roll back and speak in another tongue’ Victorian-era trope. There are a few that drink home-brewed concoctions they’ve made for themselves that “open them up to the other side.” Modern channelers with a technological bent use spirit boxes and EVP devices to get their knowledge. In the end, the psychic is opening themselves up to a wraith in the Shadowlands that has the knowledge they need. The better they are, the stronger the connection to the skills and talents of the dead.

It’s a dangerous game to play, to be sure. Opening that door can lead to some nasty pieces of work sauntering into the psychic’s psyche if they aren’t careful. When things go wrong, full blown possession awaits the unfortunate channeler. But the flip side is being able to bring in the knowledge of a surgical genius in a medical emergency, an acrobat when crossing a precarious ledge, or a stone-cold killer when self-defense is required. Channelers are the first to say the risk is worth the reward.

When Channeling, the psychic can only bring forth one spirit at a time. The psyche of the channeler could easily be overwhelmed if more than one wraith is given access to their being. Should the psychic summon another spirit while currently hosting another from a previous channeling, the first is released and replaced by the second.

By necessity, the channeler has some insight into the Shadowlands, the realm of the ghosts. As they grow more powerful in their practice, the channeler can peer across the Shroud for a number of minutes equal to suc­cesses rolled. This is a separate use of their channeling talent and costs the same as channeling a spirit for their capabilities. The difficulty of this power roll is affected by the strength of the Shroud in their area and has no restriction on frequency of use, so long as the psychic has the Willpower points to spend.

The channeler can tap into the other side and draw forth a ghost’s Abilities, though they may only access a single Ability per use of this power. Successes on the activation roll become bonus dice for rolls utilizing the desired Talent, Skill, or Knowledge for the remainder of the scene. When gazing across the Shroud, the psychic can gather a vague idea of the wraiths present.

•• The psychic can now access two Abilities simul­taneously, splitting successes between desired traits. The channeler also can now make out more of the Shadowlands when peering across the Shroud. The channeler can discern details of the landscape and identify specific ghosts that are present.

••• Further growth now allows a third Ability to be channeled, subject to the limitations above. The channeler can now verbally communicate with ghosts beyond the Shroud.

•••• The psychic can now access any Talent, Skill or Knowledge, maintaining multiple channeled traits as long as they gain sufficient successes on the activation roll to cover the desired trait levels. Communication is no longer hindered by a short window of accessibility, and gazing across the Shroud lasts a whole scene.

••••• With a psyche girded by many trials and tribu­lations, the psychic is fortified enough to now channel two separate personalities at once. Note that each wraith channeled still requires its own cost and power roll. Should the Ability channeled be the same on each use, the bonus dice from both uses are added to dice pools using the Talent, Skill, or Knowledge.

At the pinnacle of their skill, with one spirit chan­neled, the medium may open themselves to a wraith and gain all the Abilities of the visiting spirit. Successes rolled during the channeling roll are now available to any Talent, Skill, or Knowledge that wraith may have possessed in life. The extra costs of channeling with such lowered defenses can be high, however. The spirit may request a favor, a task to be completed, or even the right to freely control the channeler’s body for a period of time.

A clairvoyant has the ability to cast his senses away, allowing him to perceive people, places or things at great distances. Though technically Clairvoyance refers specifically to remote sight, some psychics can also cast forth their hearing or other senses as well.

Clairvoyance refers to the capability to see beyond one’s immediate surroundings and out to great distances. In many cases, the projected sense can be any of the five senses, and the actual input received is rarely something so simple as a one-to-one analogue of the distant location. In most cases, the senses are bombarded with interpretive sensations that all add up to a single unified idea of the location, person, or object being perceived.

The more information a clairsentient has about their target, the clearer the image they receive. Reams of reports sit in government testing facilities with project names like Stargate, Grillflame, and Sunstreak that tell of scouted psychics giving impressions and corollary sensations to target observations. Items they were very familiar with were held in far off locations, mountain bases, desert outposts, and even submarines. The psychics would relay things such as getting a chill, seeing a noon-day sun, or feeling as though they were floating in a swimming pool. While a good start, the practiced clairvoyant can achieve far more accuracy and clarity. The most powerful clairvoyants can see a location hundreds of miles away with crystal clarity, and rumors whisper of powerhouses with global reach.

Some confusion does exist between what constitutes Clairvoyance and what is Astral Projection. There are those that insist they are the same phenomenon when mastery is achieved in either. The discerning psychic sees this conflation as laughable. The most well-informed physic scholars might offer this clarification: “Clairvoyance obviously takes advantage of the inherent connection between points in space, while the inner self leaves the body and is sent traveling via Astral Projection.”

This connection and familiarity with the subject of their viewing has a direct effect on their chances of success as well. Finding more familiar targets requires only one or two successes, while being a stranger to the subject will increase the number of successes needed to locate it. Once a connection is made, the clairsentient can observe the location or the area surrounding a person or object to whatever degree of clarity they achieved. A psychic attempt­ing to refocus their second sight needs to make another roll (with the difficulty adjusted one lower for familiarity, if the new subject was viewed from their first focus).

Experiencing remote locations is new to the psychic, and most observations are interpretive. This impression can be a physical sensation of cold steel for a knife, the smell of gunpowder for firearms, or a vision of a doghouse for guard dogs. In some cases, an actual image of the subject can be achieved, but this will be hazy at best.

The one exception is hearing. Sounds come across the mental bridge garbled and unintelligible, if they can be heard at all. More successes grant more literal symbolic sensations, with five successes affording actual visual perception of the target, cloudy as it may be. Senses have a limited range for novices and reach to approximately one mile around the psychic. Retraining their focus requires another Willpower roll and another expenditure of Willpower to solidify their new remote subject.

•• Remote sight becomes more reliably achievable, albeit still shrouded in mild distortion or haze. Sound comes across far more frequently, with a chance of being clear enough to be under­standable. Three successes on the Willpower test affords a near clear image of the subject with distorted sounds, while five successes grant crystal clarity and intelligible sounds that could convey the general subject and mood of conversations near the subject. The psychic can now push their senses further — out to ten miles away from their current location. The difficulty of the roll increases by one past 5 miles and by two at 8 miles.

••• Clarity is no longer an issue, and remote sensing brings sight and sound across the expanse without distortion. The clairvoyant unlocks a new avenue of clarified perception in the sense of touch. “Touching” a distant subject psychically returns muffled sensations, as though their hands were encased in heavy mittens. With clarity no longer a concern, successes now define the distance a clairsentient can reach, with each success repre­senting ten miles of range. At this point, a new Willpower roll is still required to refocus but no longer costs more effort to perform.

•••• Sight, sound, and touch are all within the pur­view of the remote viewer. The clairvoyant also begins perceiving smells and tastes, with strong odors and flavors being detected when they are in abundance. Range now increases ten-fold, with each success equating to 100 miles of range.

••••• The clairsentient master can remotely view a location as though they are standing in the room. All five senses are received with exact definition, with no secret escaping their perception. Range increases ten-fold once more, with each success extending their reach by 1,000 miles. Finally, so long as the psychic is refocusing on an element that they can see within their current clairvoyant view, no new roll is required, as they forge new correspondences to subjects on the fly.

Cyberkinesis is one of the most recently discovered Psychic Phenomena — the first instance documented less than a century ago — and represents the ability to control electronic machinery by thought.

Experts in psychic phenom­ena theorize that Cyberkinesis is an information age variant of telekinesis. The psychic generates small electromagnetic fields that control and alter the firmware and software of electronics, ranging from fire alarms to super computers.

Though the cyberkinetic may psychically control the machine, they can’t psychically read its contents with­out Cyberpathy. All powers above dot one require the cyberkinetic to have either access to the device’s display or to be able to access the device via Cyberpathy.

• Switch: The cyberkinetic may turn electronics off and on without touching them. +2 difficulty to activation if the electronic requires a physical relay rather than an electronic one. The psychic must be able to sense the electronic device to use this power. This is an exception to the usual requirement to access the device’s display and applies to devices without displays such as light fixtures.

•• Remote: The psychic may control electronics with their mind without having to use an input device such as a keyboard. This does not give any login or override credentials, but if the psychic knows credentials, they may enter them. Any action more difficult than operating an office computer raises the activation difficulty. This power removes the need for haptic input devices if the psychic uses Augmented Reality.

Difficulty Example
+1Controlling a small office’s server network or a home security system, using a 3-D printer with pre-loaded designs
+2Psychically driving an electric car at highway speeds
+3Using specialized equipment such as a 3-D printer with no pre-loaded designs
+4Directing a computer-controlled factory
+5Operating a space shuttle single-handedly

••• Glitch: The psychic directs their electromagnetic fields to scramble electronic processes by causing tiny internal shorts and power surges. They can cause computers to lock up or blue screen and recording equipment to pick up only static. The effect requires active concentration. Most electron­ics return to normal after the effect ends, but some older tech simply crashes. A psychic using AR may use this as an attack on Icons and other Digital Web objects, dealing bashing damage. Use activation to attack, and substitute dots in Cyberkinesis for the weapon modifier in the damage roll. If the psychic inflicts 3 or more damage in one attack, the target is stunned for a round.

•••• Spoof: The psychic tricks operating systems into letting them in without valid credentials. If the system would be able to perform the task, the psychic can force the system to do it. The psychic may plant fake documents, install malware, give themself admin privileges, or erase data.

••••• Overclock: The psychic overrides safety limiters in electronics to force them to exceed their nor­mal capabilities. A computer processes faster or runs more intensive software than it should be able to, an electric car accelerates faster, or an office laser pointer becomes a weapon. Every activation success adds an automatic success to the psychic’s next use of the machine, but the exertion damages the machine. Rolls to operate the machine after this power is used suffer a dice penalty equal to the activation successes until the device is repaired. Acquiring 8 or more successes when activating this power completely fries the machine after the Overclock effect ends.

While a cyberkinetic possesses the ability to control electronic equipment, the cyberpath can read the data stored on the computer.

Even as experts believe Cyberkinesis is an information age variant of telekinesis, they similarly believe Cyberpathy functions on the same premise as telepathy — the Cyberpath decodes electromagnetic patterns in a comput­er’s hard drives to access information, just as a telepath decodes electrical impulses in the brain.

A Cyberpath must keep the computer in question in sight, except for Remote Access, where they must instead keep the entry point computer in sight. This ability may also target storage devices and media such as flash drives, disks, and external or unconnected hard drives. Typically, Cyberpathy takes 10 to 15 minutes, but each activation success reduces the time required by one minute. Until the psychic possesses dot 5, heavily encrypted systems increase the activation difficulty. Cyberpathy proves most versatile when combined with Cyberkinesis but can also aid mundane hacking attempts.

Map Structure: The Cyberpath can examine the directory of computers and storage devices. The Cyberpath can find the location and properties of all files stored but cannot access the files using this power. This can be useful for Cyberpath hackers looking for specific data. The psychic can use this level to identify a device by its Augmented Reality Object ID if it is web-capable.

•• Read-only Mode: As Map Structure, but the Cyberpath may also read files. Plain text and graphics files are simple to view, and the Cyberpath may divine the functions of execut­able files and applications. The Cyberpath is unable to decrypt encrypted files at this stage. The psychic may view the device’s associated ARO if it is Level 1 or below and may divine the ARO’s properties if it’s a higher level.

••• Download: The psychic can use their brain as storage media, copying and pasting files found using Cyberpathy. The Cyberpath may access stored text, graphics, and videos at any time from their mind, but cannot run applications. The psychic may store a maximum number of files equal to the total of their mental attributes (Example: Coleen has Perception 4, Intelligence 3, and Wits 3. She may store 10 files in her mind). Larger files and applications may use more than one storage slot, while a zipped folder may con­tain multiple small files in one slot, at the cost of the psychic being unable to read any of the files while stored in this manner.

The Cyberpath may later write any files they saved this way to any media they can access with Cyberpathy, with the option to either copy the file to the media or transfer it from their mind. If the device has a connected display device, the psychic can combine Download with Cyberpathy to write and display a file to others in the same turn. Deleting files from the psychic’s mind is a free action, but the psychic may only delete one file at a time. Larger files that took more than one storage slot take a number of rounds equal to the number of slots the file occupies to finish deletion, but the psychic may perform other actions as normal during deletion. The character may download an ARO from a device to upload later to spoof the device’s identity.

•••• Remote Access: The Cyberpath may connect to any computer or device, such as external hard drives, on the same network as their local device. This power only allows the psychic to treat the remote device as if it were in front of them, and any other powers must be activated separately. The psychic may access multiple devices on the same network at a cost of 1 Willpower per device. If the device is capable of internet access, the psychic may use this ability to access the internet, including the Digital Web. The psychic may use advanced AR devices as their point of access with this power.

••••• Enigma: The Cyberpath becomes a living de­cryption algorithm, able to crack even heavily encrypted systems and files with ease. The psy­chic may activate this power to ignore difficulty increases for lower Cyberpathy powers and mundane access on secure and encrypted sys­tems or files previously stored using Download. The psychic may alternatively use activation successes to increase Cyberpathy and hacking difficulty for others on a file or device, at +1 difficulty per activation success if the psychic possesses dots in Computers or Cyberkinesis.

Ectoplasmic Generation
There exist collections of séance photos from the height of the occult entertainment phase of society that display roiling masses of translucent, weightless mucus hovering about the heads of session leaders. Most write these off as simple imperfections in the film and move on to appreciate the relics of photography in their hands. True psychics know otherwise.

Ectoplasm is the neutral spirit stuff of the ghost. A substance born from spiritual energy and activity, ectoplasm exists as liminal evidence of something beyond the physical. An entertaining parlor trick for the initiated, this plasm is far more useful than the layman may readily assume.

Through concentration and sheer force of will, a psychic gathers up ambient ghostly energies from around them and brings it into physical being inside their gut. This creates the unsettling sight of this coalesced spirit stuff flowing from the mouth and nose of the practitioner. Manifesting as slick, translucent, and cold gel, ectoplasm flows weightlessly when not given direction. Responding to the will of the generator, the pliable spirit matter can take many ghastly forms to disgust or impede the unwary, while dissolving into nothing mere minutes after con­centration is broken. Much to the dismay of witnesses, ectoplasm leaves no physical or spiritual evidence at all once sublimated.

Possibly ectoplasm’s most useful property is that no matter how wispy, slimy, or goopy the ectoplasm may seem to the average person, it will be as hard and immoveable as pure lead to the spiritual. Ghosts, wraiths, spirits and astrally projected souls all find ectoplasm very solid and nigh impassable. This has a myriad of uses ranging from creating a barrier around a room by smearing the walls to coating one’s hands in the stuff to allow the psychic to touch the immaterial Shadowlands, whether with be­nevolence or violence. This Phenomenon does not allow the psychic to see into the Shadowlands unfortunately. It merely allows them ability to create a substance of both spirit and matter.

When one first starts exploring their capabili­ties as a generator, it starts with rather juvenile seeming practices. Novice generators don’t find the act of creating ectoplasm difficult. The real difficulty lies in creating a substantial volume and force. This leads to the fledgling generator being unable to force the semi-liquid plasm from their orifices without assistance. Reaching into their mouth, nose, and ears to draw forth the substance by hand or by relying on peristalsis, the generator must work to bring it forth. Every success on the activation test generates a softball sized volume of the sticky substance. It only lasts a number of turns equal to the generator’s Willpower, but it can be applied as quickly as it is generated.

Covering an object with a thin layer of ectoplasm takes no extra steps beyond generating it. The plasm sticks to all surfaces and does not wipe away easily. It will cling and string to anything touching it and only sublimates into nothingness when the duration expires.

Another novel approach users find early is the “smoking man” technique. When coaxed correctly, ectoplasm can also come forth as a mist like vapor. Lingering licks and tendrils of thick smoke seep from the mouth, nose, and tear ducts of the generator. Lasting for a number of turns equal to the psychic’s Willpower, this should be taken into account when dealing with social interactions. Using the technique can add a bonus die for situations such as a stage magician’s routine or intimidating an unsuspecting tough but incurs a −1 penalty to Abilities such as Expression or Leadership due to the disconcerting sight of this ectoplasmic cloud.

•• Once Ectoplasmic generators hit their stride, the degree of advance in control is astounding. With each success on the activation roll, a psy­chic generates a quart’s worth of the slimy fluid. With such an increased volume, assistance is not required to force the plasm out, as it simply pours from the nasal and esophageal orifices of the psychic. There is no discomfort in this, and more than a few generators take a sick glee in others’ revulsion to their practice. All plasm phenomena now last a number of minutes equal to the generator’s Willpower.

A mist generated now gains a measure of re­sponsiveness to the creators will. The psychic can now push the mist outward into a cloud that moves and shifts at the generator’s mental command. The speed of the cloud is not im­pressive at 10 feet per round, but it can be used to obscure prying eyes, imposing a +2 difficulty to Perception tests. This mist cloud has a radius of 1 foot per Willpower of the psychic.

••• Plasm fluid generation is a child’s trick to the seasoned generator. Each success on the activa­tion roll now summons forth a gallon of liquid in a steady flow. The force of the stream is not enough to cause an individual to lose a step, but it is enough for the generator to strike the corner of the ceiling in a standard room.

Ectoplasmic mists gain a degree of solidity. No lon­ger just smoky wisps, the mist is now solid enough to feel like cotton candy to the living. This is in concert with increased volume of 5 feet of radius per dot of Willpower. Attempting to force past the thick semi-solid mist requires a Strength + Athletics roll (difficulty 6). Thick enough now that the mist is all but opaque, it also provides visual cover and increases the difficulty of seeing and attacking through it by +3, similar to a heavy smoke grenade.

•••• Fluid and mist are useful, but access to solid mass and crafted forms expand possibilities for creativity tenfold. The volume does not increase, but now the channeler’s output can result in solid matter the consistency of heavy lard. With greater structural stability, the ectoplasm can hold definite shapes that are only hindered by the generator’s creativity. These creations have a number of points equal to the Willpower of the psychic to be distributed between Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina.

The creation has 3 health levels and suffers no wound penalties. While not capable of complex movements, the solid ephemeral creations can move through space at 30 feet per turn. The creations are psychically tethered to their creator and cannot leave their physical perception and retain movement. Finally, all plasmic creations are no longer hindered by a time limit and last as long as the generator concentrates.

••••• Full torso-ed, free floating, vaporous apparitions are at the pinnacle of the generator’s craft. Still puppets of the creator, shaped creations may now fully animate as appropriate to their com­plex forms. While unable to fool someone into thinking it’s the genuine article, the shapes can now roughly mimic people and creatures, even emitting groans as pockets of air escape within the gooey form. The forms are still limited by the volume generated on the roll, with an adult-sized being of ectoplasm taking three successes to fill out.

The creations follow the same rules for Attribute distribution as detailed above but have 6 health levels and suffer no wound penalties. Ectoplasmic puppets can be possessed and controlled easily by ghosts in the area. The psychic spends 1 Willpower to hand the reins to a nearby, willing ghost. The ghost then has total control of the ectoplasmic construct, using it as though it were their own body. Once the psychic hands the body over in this fashion, it lasts for a number of rounds equal to the psy­chic’s Willpower score, after which the puppet’s ectoplasm dissipates. Other manifestations the psychic creates are not affected and remain extant as long as the psychic concentrates.

Mind Shields
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

There are people and things out there in the world that assault the mind directly, but some psychics are gifted with the ability to prepare against this potential threat. Building walls against mental attacks, ensuring thoughts are too chaotic to control, or just inherent mental fortitude are all possible sources for this defense.

As the name implies, Mind Shields only affect pow­ers that affect the psychic’s mind. Powers that originate from the mind of another but affect the world around the shielded psychic are unaffected. A psychokinetic has no harder a time lifting and holding a psychic with Mind Shields in place than they would a normal person.

Mind Shields, being a Psychic Phenomenon, have an easier time dealing with Psychic Phenomena than other forms of mental assault. A vampire who wields Dominate taps into the mind in a different manner than a psychic with Psychic Hypnosis. Unfortunately, Mind Shields are only half as effective against mental attacks from non-psychic sources.

When confronted by a mental assault or invasion, the psychic’s Mind Shields provide a dice pool to counter the effect. The target rolls these dice (difficulty 6) and subtracts their successes from those of the attacker. A defender that rolls more than the attacker disrupts the assault completely, and the attack fails. For powers that normally call for a defense roll, Mind Shields dice are added directly to the defense roll instead.

Defenses are thin, but present. The Psychic receives 2 dice to counter mental attack phe­nomena and 1 dice for mental attacks from other sources. At this point, Shields are always active and cannot discern friendly and hostile effects. The psychic can lower their Mind Shields to allow access to a friendly psychic, but this leaves them open to any other mental ability used before they are raised once again.

•• Layers of mental chaos or thicker walls of the mind are built. The psychic receives 4 dice to counter mental attack phenomena and 2 dice for mental attacks from other sources.

••• The psychic’s mind is a confusing mess or a sturdy bunker to any invader. The psychic receives 6 dice to counter mental attack phenomena and 3 dice for mental attacks from other sources. The ability to modulate one’s Mind Shields becomes clear at this level. Whenever presented with a mental ability that attempts to interact with the shielded psychic’s mind, the target may decide whether to let this pass their shields or not. Note that this doesn’t identify every ability used, merely that an attempt is underway to access the psychic’s mind. It is up to the deductive reasoning of the target to work out who stands before their mental gates.

•••• A mental bulwark or a confounding mire of scat­tered thought greets intruders. The psychic receives 8 dice to counter mental attack phenomena and 4 dice for mental attacks from other sources.

••••• The psychic’s mental fortress stands impenetrable or infinite maze unnavigable. The Psychic receives 10 dice to counter mental attack phenomena and 5 dice for mental attacks from other sources.

The psychic experiences clues about the future.

The future isn’t fixed and may change depending on the choices people make. The more decisions required for an outcome, the lower the prediction accuracy. No seer has proven 100 percent accurate, except for the mythical Cassandra.

Precognition allows a psychic to judge outcome probabilities with above-human accuracy. Scientifically minded psychics rationalize precognition as conscious manifestations of subconscious perception analysis. Mystical-leaning psychics understand precognition as a sort of sixth sense with no scientific explanation.

While a psychic may activate precognition, a Storyteller may call for activation for story purposes, in which case no Willpower is expended for that activation.

• Intuition: The seer gains a knack for guessing correctly. For purely random events (lottery, dice rolls), the predictions can be rather accurate. The psychic can intuitively know the shortest route to a given destination and enjoys a higher likelihood for beneficial chance meetings. The psychic experiences no visions, they just “have a feeling” and guess very well. Even with five or more successes, predictions are unlikely to be entirely accurate.

•• Insight: The psychic experiences dreamlike vi­sions during sleep and waking hours alike. Like dreams, they are rarely literal. Instead, the visions are steeped in metaphor. An enemy might appear as a fierce dragon or figures in clandestine robes, where a beloved mentor might appear as a long-dead parent. The imagery depends on the seer’s paradigm, and while more successes offer detailed visions, they are always subject to interpretation.

••• Danger Sense: The seer’s connection to the future becomes an early-warning system. The psychic perceives this as anything from a piercing temple headache, to cramps, to a creeping sense of dread. No matter the manifestation, it’s always the same for the seer. This power is always “on,” though may be subverted with certain Sphere effects or the Anti- Psychic Phenomenon. When something unnoticed targets the psychic, the Storyteller rolls Danger Sense activation before rolling ambush. This power does not cost the psychic Willpower to activate.

BotchThe seer unwittingly puts themself in worse danger and loses their roll to spot the ambush.
FailureThe psychic gets no intuition about the situation.
1The seer senses they’re in danger but gets no specifics. They get 1 bonus die to spot an ambush.
2The seer senses they’re in danger and receives simple instruction on how to avoid it such as “duck,” or “run.” The psychic gets 2 bonus dice to spot the ambush and dodges nor­mally if the attacker remains hidden.
3The seer knows they’re in danger, how to avoid it, and the direction of the danger. The attacker doesn’t roll am­bush and the attack resolves normally.
4The seer knows the details of the attack and gets a turn of warning. The psychic gains a turn to prepare before the danger happens.
5The seer gets a turn of warning and a vision of those responsible. The psychic will be able to identify the person by sight and/or with psychic intuition should the psychic see or be in the pres­ence of the person later. The psychic imprint also functions on recordings and creations, such as paintings or letters, made by the attacker.

•••• Clarity: The seer enjoys a near-perfect view of the immediate future. For every activation success, players and Storyteller announce their general future plans for one turn. If the psychic interferes with time — such as moving behind cover to foil an attack, the future changes, and the psychic must reactivate this power for updates.

••••• Roads of Time: A psychic sees more than only the most likely outcomes and their relative prob­abilities. As Insight, but the psychic sees time as diverging roads branching off at decisions. The seer identifies otherwise innocuous-seeming decision points before the choices are made. This also allows a psychic to see which future events are difficult to change and which events are most malleable.

SuccessesTime Range
112 hours
224 hours / 1 day
31 week
41 month
51 year
6+1 additional year for every success above 5

Providing information about the far future can be difficult for the Storyteller. The Storyteller may instead grant one reroll for every precognition success for the story. This represents the psychic’s ability to juggle relative future probabilities. A psychic may use as many of these rerolls on a single action as they wish.

Psychic Healing
Many cultures have legends of people blessed with the power to heal through little more than a touch. Some of these were likely psychic healers.

By channeling their will and energy, a psychic may perform miracles. Many with this gift choose to be discrete about it — fame and pressure to perform miracles can be daunting, and the enemies a psychic healer can make within the medical establishment are detrimental. Practicing medicine with­out a license, even in areas with little healthcare access, remains illegal.

Though not required, many with this gift have a great deal of medical knowledge, often acquired informally. Nearly all psychic healers have high empathy, which some suspect the gift stems from. Botches when performing medicine of any kind are devastating, but a psychic healer might transfer the injury or illness to themself. Other possibilities include healing a wound grotesquely or misdirecting healing energies, causing autoimmune or cancerous responses.

• Diagnosis: The healer instantly diagnoses dis­ease or injury through sight or skin contact. The diagnosis terminology depends on the psychic’s medical knowledge — one with little knowledge might describe lupus as “the body fighting itself.” A psychic may use Diagnosis successes in a complimentary roll (see Mage 20 p. 389) for Medicine rolls. If using teamwork, the psychic may contribute successes to the medical professional’s roll up to the psychic’s Medicine rating.

•• Restorative Slumber: With a touch, the healer focuses their patient’s body’s energies on heal­ing. Treat successful activation as skilled medical treatment for bashing and lethal damage and as magickal stabilization for aggravated damage. The touch must last at least one minute, after which the patient falls into a deep sleep. At 3+ successes, the patient also regains one point of Willpower.

••• Urgent Care: The psychic’s healing ability now facilitates the rapid resolution of mild injuries and poisons. A psychic touches the patient and may heal up to their activation successes in bashing damage at a rate of one per turn. Every two successes can reduce the Toxin Rating of a poison, drug, or illness by one, up to 3 levels of reduction.

•••• Intensive Care: The healer may now heal the gravely wounded. The psychic heals up to 1 lethal per activation success and can reduce the Toxin Rating of poisons, drugs, and illnesses by one level per success. Each level healed takes 10 minutes, during which time the psychic must maintain physical contact with the patient. The process is clearly supernatural to any witnesses, as wounds miraculously stitch themselves shut and harmful substances sweat out of the target’s skin.

••••• Psychic Surgery: The psychic may now heal grievous wounds, cancers, and infections. The psychic heals up to 1 aggravated damage per success. Each level healed takes 10 minutes as the psychic closes their eyes and gestures as if reaching into flesh. Healers may also use this ability to harm, by reaching into a victim and physically removing healthy tissue — a horrific and bloody process. Outside of combat the psychic can use this power to inflict aggravated damage on a restrained target. Like healing, this application of the power takes 10 minutes per health level. Each success on the activation roll causes one health level of unsoakable aggravated damage.

This use of psychic healing is sadistic and considered torture, but in combat, there’s not enough time to use this power to its fullest extent. Psychic Surgery can only be used in com­bat to cause pain — it inflicts wound penalties as if the psychic had wounded the target but causes no damage. The victim may spend points of Willpower equal to the psychic’s activation successes to “heal” the damage.

Psychic Hypnosis
Many hypnotists promise results. Some even produce them. Psychics with hypnotic powers dwarf the abilities of the best carnival hucksters

While modern hypnosis is a form of therapy anyone could learn, some psychics have a natural gift for it with effects far beyond the trained variety. With the increase in popularity and recent research on hypnotherapy, psychic hypnotists can practice their gifts in the open without much fear of attracting the wrong attention. Psychic hypnosis is neither as fast as vampiric dis­ciplines nor as versatile as the Mind Sphere. Even so, a particularly gifted hypnotist can achieve many similar effects.

• Trance State: The hypnotist puts a willing target in a calming trance state, though they cannot issue commands. In this state, the target can remember events and details more clearly and gains a difficulty reduction to any rolls involving memory recall equal to activation successes, to a minimum difficulty of 2. The target also regains one point of Willpower for every activation success, though they cannot benefit from this function again until they’ve rested normally. It takes five turns to place the target in the trance and the trance breaks if anyone disturbs the target. The hypnotist may also put themself in a trance.

•• Suggestion: The hypnotist commands a target to perform actions after placing them in a trance. The psychic may give one command per success, and the command can neither obviously result in the target’s death nor go against the target’s Nature. The psychic may force the target to ignore pain responses and forget commands given in the trance as additional commands if the psychic spends successes to do so. Only the psychic decides when the target comes out of the trance. The target ignores incompatible commands instead of breaking the trance.

••• Implanted Suggestion: A psychic implants suggestions that will activate outside of the trance. For each success, the psychic may im­plant a command or condition to activate an implanted command. This condition may be a time or sensory trigger. One of the commands may be to automatically enter a trance under a specified circumstance. As Suggestion, the attempt automatically fails if it would obviously result in the target’s death or conflicts with the target’s Nature. Commands aren’t recurring unless the hypnotist spends an extra success to add a recurring condition.

•••• Fast Trance: The psychic instantly puts willing subjects in a trance and may spend a point of Willpower to put an unwilling subject in a trance, though an unwilling subject may roll Willpower (difficulty 7) to resist, with each success negating one of the psychic’s activation successes. The number of net activation successes is the number of turns the target remains in the trance. The psychic may roll to activate additional powers starting on their next turn.

••••• Sleeper Agent: The psychic performs advanced levels of brainwashing and conditioning, the kind governments clamor for. The psychic implants commands for the target to do any­thing, even to the point of death, and the target consciously remembers nothing said during the trance. This power takes 10 minutes to put the subject in a trance, which cannot be shortened with Fast Trance. The target must clearly hear the psychic’s voice. Additional sounds and distractions make the use of this power impossible, so psychics with this ability often designate special rooms for the purpose. The psychic spends one point of Willpower to use this power on an unwilling subject. Each activation success allows one command to be implanted, and each command or condition takes one hour to implant.

Psychic Invisbility
The psychic tricks others’ minds to simply overlook the psychic, as if projecting the command “don’t notice me.”

Psychic Invisibility is not true invisibility. This Phenomenon is like Psychic Hypnosis on a larger scale but with limited scope. The psychic shows up on recordings as normal, but those watching a live feed don’t notice the psychic. Their attention diverts to other details in the recording instead. This ability doesn’t prevent tripping electronic or mechanical alarms that require no human input to trigger, such as motion alarms.

Animals can’t be fooled with this Phenomenon unless the psychic also possesses Animal Psychics — their minds are too different from humans and humanoid creatures. If a psychic blocks a door or item someone expects to see, the affected individual won’t notice the door or item either. If a being with enhanced perception searches for the psychic or other supernaturally hidden things generally, they may attempt a contested roll to de­termine whether the being pierces the psychic’s illusion, pitting their appropriate dice pools against the psychic’s activation successes.

Activation successes determine the strength of the Phenomenon’s effect. One success leaves the psychic noticed but difficult to focus on and unable to be identi­fied. This also adds a +1 difficulty to attack rolls targeting the psychic while active. Three or more successes keeps the psychic completely concealed unless successfully contested. Mind Shields and some Mind Sphere effects can protect against this Phenomenon.

• Wallflower: So long as the psychic remains completely still and silent, they stay unnoticed. However, the psychic needn’t hold their breath — only heavy or loud breathing breaks the effect.

•• Slink: The psychic moves while invisible but can’t interact meaningfully with the world. The power breaks if the psychic does anything to draw attention to themself or interacts with the world, such as writing on a chalkboard or opening a door. A psychic may make a Wits + Stealth roll at difficulty 7 or higher to avoid accidentally breaking their power in unfavorable conditions like twig-covered forest floors or a room with a motion alarm.

••• Invisibility: The psychic may now perform any action while invisible, even if those actions would normally draw attention to the psychic. Beings with mundane senses may make a Perception + Awareness roll at difficulty 9 to see the psychic if the psychic attacks them or they are specifically searching for the psychic. The being searching must exceed the psychic’s activation successes. The psychic cannot vanish while someone directly observes them.

•••• Selective Invisibility: The psychic controls who they project the “don’t notice me” command to. For every activation success, the psychic may declare one person exempt from the effect. Anyone declared exempt perceives and interacts with the psychic normally, but everyone else is treated as if the psychic activated Invisibility. Note that others can still perceive anyone in­teracting with the psychic, and this may draw negative attention.

••••• I Was Never Here: At the highest expression of this Phenomenon, a psychic vanishes in front of witnesses and erases their presence from witness minds. The psychic rolls activation opposed to the witness with the highest Perception + Awareness pool. The witness rolls at difficulty 8. At one net success, the psychic vanishes from view, confusing and unnerving any witnesses. At three or more net successes, the witnesses also forget the psychic’s presence for one past turn per success. It’s possible that witnesses could forget ever seeing the psychic, if the observation was short.

Psychic Shadow
We live in a world of light and shadow. The psychic that understands this and learns to manipulate one side of that coin is taking advantage of an ever-present resource.

Whether it is under an overhang, behind a stack of boxes, or simply within the cracks and crevices of one’s face, the psychic manipulating shadows can put them to use to conceal and confound.

Superstitious theories abound concerning what the psychic wielding Shadows is actually doing. The simple fact is they are manipulating light — and sound to a limited degree — to dampen the world around them. It may seem like the Shadow psychic is wielding darkness, but it all boils down to simple science. Darkness grows darker and sound becomes muffled as the psychic’s sheer will smothers active waveforms in the environment. The spooky atmosphere and reputation are just bonus.

As much as shadows can hide, proper utilization of this Phenomenon can provide significant distractions. Light and sound are intercepted before they can reach the target’s senses, giving the victim the feeling that their head is wrapped in an invisible blanket. As the psychic’s power rises, this is more and more harrowing as the brain can interpret this loss of sense as impending suffocation. While cruel by the reckoning of some, it can be an espe­cially useful tool when getting someone off your back.

Scattering the edges of cast shadows and dis­rupting sound is only sufficient to increase the effectiveness of concealment and demor­alization. Shadows become slightly longer, reach somewhat further, while sounds are all unnervingly stifled. All Intimidation and Stealth rolls have their difficulty adjusted by −1. Targets distracted by darkening shadows and muffled sounds suffer a +1 difficulty to all rolls reliant on sight and hearing.

•• The shadows now grow and bend to the will of the psychic. Sounds now baffle and distort, having the quality of being played through a blown speaker. The psychic embodies the idiom of “to darken a doorstep,” as rooms lose light when they arrive. Intimidation and Stealth rolls are made at −2 difficulty.

••• Not only do shadows grow darker, but now the psychic’s efforts causes light sources to lose their power. Sound travels through a room in erratic warbles, and the words that are intelligible have a perceptible delay with the speaker. Attempts to see the concealed psychic suffer a +3 difficulty. The harrowed begin to feel a swelling anxiety and must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) to avoid panic, suffering a -1 penalty to all actions that don’t involve leaving the scene if they fail.

•••• Spreading their gift of dark refuge, the psychic can now cloak a small gathering of three or four people, possibly even a small coupe or sedan. Victims of shadowy harassment must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) to avoid panicking and immediately leaving the scene to escape the darkness. Intimidation and Stealth have a −4 diffi­culty in conditions that are ripe for exploitation.

An already dark warehouse, a shadowy forest in the night, or a poorly lit parking garage all beg to have their deep shadows emboldened by the psychic. This amount of shadow manipulation has an inverse effect in brighter setting, like mid­day in an open car park or standing on a school sports field with all the lights on. The darkness around the psychic draws more attention in the brightness of noon than it diverts.

••••• In settings where darkness already lives, the psychic is master. Standing in a location where conditions favor shadows gives the psychic the chance to smother all light around them out to 50 feet. The darkness is near impenetrable for those without mystic sight, as even high-pow­ered handheld lights are swallowed by the inky black. All within are completely shrouded and invisible to the outside and others within, save the psychic. The darkness is their own after all.

Psychic Vampirism
Most psychic talents are tools. They can be used for the benefit of others or to harm, depending on the moral character of the psychic. Psychic vampirism is the exception to the rule.

Everyone knows that one person you can’t be around long without feeling emotionally and spiritually drained. A psychic vampire could be anything from a DMV work­er, a droning professor, the one too-eager coworker who won’t shut up at a meeting that could’ve been an email, or something far more sinister. For a psychic vampire, the energy and emotions they drain from their unwitting victims gives a euphoric high unlike any drug in addition to other beneficial effects. Like many drugs, the feeling can become addictive.

It’s unclear whether the power develops in those prone to using others as resources, or the effects of the power once it develops greatly changes people. In either case, this Psychic Phenomenon can bring out the worst in people. Of note to those who study the supernatural, psychic vampires often have or develop many of the same psychological idiosyncrasies Kindred are prone to.

This Numina has a particularly black reputation among many shamanist or animist cultures (including that of supernatural races like shapeshifters or changelings), where it is known as Soulstealing. This could place you in danger, if it were to become known.

Prerequisite: Your Psychic must have the ‘Dream Invader’ Merit to go beyond the first level of this Phenomena.

• Tap Energy: The vampire feeds on others’ strong emotions, both positive and negative. The vam­pire senses what the emotions are as they feed and may use this power to gauge an individual’s emotions over time. It only requires one suc­cess to taste the nuanced palate of a person’s emotions and give the vampire a pleasant high. At three successes, the vampire regains one lost Willpower, and regains an additional Willpower per success beyond the third. The vampire must be within 10 yards of the victim and be able to sense them. The victim is unnerved, and their emotions are muted — but not absent — until the end of the scene.

•• Invigorate: The psychic drains a victim’s vital energies to empower themself. Every success drains one temporary Willpower from the victim and adds it to the vampire’s pool, up to a maximum of 10 total. Every Willpower over the vampire’s normal maximum gives a euphor­ic high and fades at one point per hour. The range is 15 yards, and the vampire must sense the victim to target them with this power.

••• Leech Vitality: This extremely dangerous power allows a vampire to use another’s life force to heal themself and experience an indescribable high. The psychic must touch the victim for one turn per health level of damage healed, up to activation successes. Bashing heals first, then lethal, and then aggravated downgrades to lethal. Every excess success that doesn’t result in healing restores 2 Willpower points to the psychic, as Invigorate. Every success used deals one lethal damage to the victim. If contact is interrupted before finishing, the psychic does not heal and must make another attempt.

•••• Essence Feast: The psychic isn’t limited to one victim at a time. The psychic rolls activation to determine the maximum number of simultaneous targets, gaining one additional target per success. All targets must be within 40 yards of the vampire, but the vampire doesn’t have to be able to sense all of them. On success, the psychic may activate any lower power on the same turn, using the normal costs and activation roll associated with the lower power. The psychic is stunned for the next turn — the influx of multiple flavor profiles at once is as overwhelming as it is euphoric for the psychic. A botch can cause a “bad trip” as if the psychic ingested hallucinogens and leave them stunned for the remainder of the scene.

••••• Distant Drain: The vampire’s mastery over tapping vital energies allows them to re-tap a previous vic­tim over a distance. The vampire must have used either Telepathy or another Psychic Vampirism power on the victim previously. The activation successes specify a maximum range at which the vampire may use a lower power on the victim.

BotchMay not use Psychic Vampirism on this target for one month
FailureNothing happens
1500 yards
21 mile
32 miles
45 miles
510 miles
6++10 miles for every success above 5

Every once in a while, there is a YouTube video, a TV special, a variety show, or a book published about some enlightened master who has expanded their minds to the point where they can bend a spoon or shift a book 6 inches across a table. Every person that watches or reads about these feats sit in awe and wonder of the possibility of moving objects with the sheer force of their mind.

Psychokinesis, or telekinesis to some, is beautiful in its simplicity. There are no subtle tricks or illusory veils. There is only the simple movement of matter through space through sheer force of will. As the psychokinetic grows in strength, they hone their accuracy and increase the maximum weight they can set in motion. The inex­perienced only moves small objects, and very clumsily at that. On the other hand, a master psychokinetic can lift massive loads and move them at startling speeds, while also being capable of feats of fine motor skill that most have trouble performing with their own hands.

Psychokinesis grants the psychic a Strength and Dexterity score for their actions once activated. This only requires one activation per instance of the Phenomenon and remains active as long as the psychokinetic maintains concentration or until the end of the scene.

Using psycho­kinesis requires the psychic be able to see their intended target with their own eyes. Each success on the activation roll allows for one separate target to be manipulated, but the total weight of all targets cannot exceed the lifting capacity of the psychic. Any time the psychic takes damage, they must make a new Willpower roll to maintain concentration. If they roll fewer successes than the number of targets they are currently manipulating, they must select targets to release until the number of targets matches the new success total. If more successes are rolled, the number of manipulated targets remains unchanged.

A psychokinetic with the power to lift a person may do so unimpeded. The target is allowed a Strength + Athletics test to grab hold of a sturdy anchor point if one is nearby to hold on to. If a secure grip point is not available, the target is helpless to stop the power of the psychokinetic barring supernatural advantages of their own.

Once a target is being manipulated, actions taken with the target use the Strength or Dexterity of the psychic’s Psychokinesis and the appropriate Ability required for the action. For example, a gun being manipulated would call for a psychokinetic Dexterity + Firearms test to fire. “Throwing” a manipulated object requires that the item be released while propelling it with an appropriate Strength + Athletics test. The disconnect and lack of contact with a manipulated target causes all actions taken via psycho­kinetic manipulation to suffer a +1 difficulty. Attempting to perform a psychokinetic action with more than one manipulated item in the same turn requires the psychic to split their dice pool as normal for taking multiple actions.

• With a mental Strength and Dexterity of 0, the psychic can only lift a maximum of 5 pounds. Objects take a sluggish and clumsy path through space when moved and have a maximum speed of 5+ Wits yards per round.

•• The psychic’s mental Strength and Dexterity rise to 1, and objects have a movement of 7+ Wits yards per round.

••• Growing power and understanding lead to a breakthrough, allowing the psychokinetic to tackle human-sized objects (or threats) with a mental Strength and Dexterity of 3. Manipulated targets move at 9+ Wits yards per round.

Further unlocking their understanding of kinetic force as a tool of the mind bears fresh fruit. The psychic can now make one ranged attack with their action through sheer force. The psychokinetic force hits like a punch from a distance using the psychic’s mental Strength and their Brawl as a dice pool to attack, with base damage equal to their mental Strength.

This attack represents concentrated use of the Phenomenon and cannot be used while performing any other psychokinetic action. This application is also instant and requires the full cost of activating the Phenomenon every time.

•••• The psychic’s mental Strength and Dexterity are now 4, and they can move manipulated objects at 11+ Wits yards per round.

Yet another new application becomes available to the psychokinetic. The psychic has internalized their psychokinetic force and now may levitate themselves regardless of weight at a rate equivalent to their walking speed. This usage of the Phenomenon takes greater concentration than most and therefore cannot be used while lifting other targets.

••••• A psychokinetic master has a mental Strength and Dexterity of 5 and can move manipulated targets at a rate of 15+ Wits yards per round.

Both refined actions of the phenomenon receive upgrades at this level. Levitation is now second nature and can be performed while lifting other targets, and Psychokinetic assaults may now cause bashing or lethal damage.

By touching objects, the psychic can read the emotional resonances left behind and see visions associated with the object.

Psychometry is one of the more emotionally taxing Phenomena to the psychics gifted — or cursed — with it. It’s not always clear which objects have strong resonances: an office coffee mug could have only fleeting impressions. However, it could be a cherished gift from a child or even the mug a worker had in her hand when she learned of a loved one’s death.

It takes mere seconds to read the resonances, even if the vision seems to last much longer from the psychic’s perspective. The number of activation success dictates the level of detail the psychic receives. Many successes give clear and vivid impressions, which are prone to making the psychic feel the emotions and pain for a time, where fewer successes only give fleeting impressions. On a botch, the psychic becomes lost in the visions, temporarily merging in personality with one of the individuals from the event and possibly acting it out. When a psychic with Psychometry touches an object with immense emotional resonance, the Storyteller may call for a reflexive Psychometry roll.

• Impression: The psychic can get dreamlike im­pressions of recent events involving the object or more distant events with strong associated emotions. The psychic at this stage mostly gets emotional readings and vague, figurative imag­ery. At 3+ successes, the psychic may also see an accurate image of the person most closely associated with the object.

•• Reveal Scar: The psychic gets impressions of the event with the strongest emotional resonance associated with the object. They get dreamlike and imprecise images of the event. With 3+ successes, they also determine the owner’s ap­proximate age, personality cues, connection to the object, and what the owner felt at the time.

••• Replay: The psychic clearly experiences the event and may gather general impressions of what happened to the object’s owner the day of the incident. Alternatively, the psychic may replay the object’s last 24 hours, even if nothing emotionally significant happened.

•••• Tether: The psychic may use the object as a psy­chic tether to the object’s owner. Activating this level gives the psychic insight into the owner’s current location to track them. In addition to clearly seeing the event with the strongest emo­tional resonance associated with the object, they also read emotional impressions and visions of the other people at the event and their feelings.

••••• Catalog: The psychic may use Tether on any event the object was associated with, not only the ones with the strongest emotional impact.

Psychoportation, also sometimes called teleportation, is a powerful psychic ability to suddenly be elsewhere.

This is one of the more powerful and rare psychic phenomena. Indeed, the occasional narrow-minded Correspondence Sphere Mage has been put in their place by watching a simple psychic psychoport out of danger’s way without earning Reality’s ire.

No one knows for sure how psychoportation works, but some theories include dissipating into the air and reforming in another spot, a variation of astral travel, or personal wormholes. What’s known is a psychic can’t carry more than about 100lb of extra cargo without suffering severe strain, causing the psychic at minimum 6 levels of bashing damage that can be soaked normally. This increases by 1 level of bashing damage for each additional 25 lbs. the psychic attempts to move. Failing to soak the damage results in a disastrous fate for the cargo, such as psychoporting the contents to the wrong location, into a solid object, or the nearest body of water. On rare occasions the cargo seemingly ceases to exist.

To travel to a place via psychoportation, the psychic must see the intended destination with mundane senses or psychic abilities — their own or someone else’s.

A psychoportation botch typically means the psychic misjudged the jump and landed inside a solid object — or worse, a person. This causes 8 dice of aggravated damage to the psychic and the unsuspecting object. Occasionally, a botch might transport a psychic to a hazardous or unfa­miliar location, or the psychic might leave or inadvertently bring something they weren’t supposed to.

• Short Hop: Range up to 12 + Intelligence yards in a turn.

•• Simple Jump: Range up to 20 + (3 x Intelligence) yards.

••• Long Jump: Range up to 40 + (6 x Intelligence) yards. The psychic may spend a turn of concen­tration and roll activation at +1 difficulty to double this range.

•••• Leap: Range up to 80 + (12 x Intelligence) yards. The psychic may double, as per Long Jump.

••••• Leap of Faith: The psychic no longer needs to sense a stable location to psychoport to it. The psychic may spend a scene studying the location and successfully roll Perception + Alertness at difficulty 8 to commit it to memory.

Unsettling rumors from the halls of mental asylums, discredited study groups or even death row speaks of “Firestarters,” indi­viduals able to psychically start and sometimes control flame.

Many parapsychologists suspect Pyrokinesis is a variant of Psychokinesis, where the psychic causes mol­ecules to vibrate at high speeds, generating combustion rather than moving entire objects cohesively.

Pyrokinesis is one of the more dangerous Psychic Phenomena to the psychics themselves; most psychics have no more defense against the flames they create than any other human. Botches can be spectacularly disastrous, and several pyrokinetics have gone out in a literal blaze of glory.

Pyrokinesis is an incredibly powerful ability – yet it seems only accessible to the truly broken or deranged.

(NOTE: Your character must have a mental illness represented by a Flaw, such as Addiction or Deranged, to take this Phenomena. It can only be taken at character creation.)

• Spark: The pyrokinetic can generate small sparks, usually from their fingertips. These sparks are typically only able to light highly flammable substances on fire, such as paper or gasoline, but with 3 or more successes, the psychic’s sparks can light materials on fire as a match could. The sparks can light anything within the pyrokinetic’s reach, though they don’t have to touch the target. Even with many successes, the sparks aren’t hot enough to directly light a person on fire, though the effect of a flame appearing can startle some­one. After activation, treat the sparks as a thrown attack with a weapon dealing no damage. This can be dodged normally. If the attack succeeds, the target rolls Willpower at difficulty 6 to avoid being stunned for one turn. On a botch, the target panics. The target may instead spend one Willpower point to suppress a startle response.

•• Combustion: The psychic concentrates on an object within 10 yards, causing it to burst into flame. The psychic can reliably light flammable materials like gasoline, dry wood, charcoal, and vampires on fire. At 3 or more successes, the psychic can light anything combustible, such as people, on fire. The initial fire is as big as a torch and behaves and spreads normally. If the psychic targets a person or person’s clothing, the target may attempt to dodge as normal, treating activation successes as the targeting roll.

••• Sun’s Fury: The psychic can now turn small balls of air into plasma and flame, which readily lights nearly anything it touches on fire. This power causes bonfire-sized fires up to 10 yards away dealing two aggravated damage per turn from the intense heat. Targets may attempt to dodge as normal, treating activation successes as the targeting roll. If hit, the target must spend a Willpower point or roll Willpower at difficulty 6 to be able to avoid panic. If they remain calm, the target may immediately use their action to roll Dexterity + Athletics at difficulty 5, extin­guishing themselves on a success.

•••• Pyrotechnics: The pyrokinetic gains control over flames, including those produced by lower levels of Pyrokinesis. The psychic can grow, shrink, direct, and shape flames within their line of sight at will. With one success, the psychic may control a torch-sized portion of flames. With three successes, the psychic wrestles control of a bonfire. At five or more successes, the psychic may command even an inferno. Targeting indi­viduals with flame is a Wits + Athletics attack at difficulty 7, with +1 difficulty to avoid harming nearby bystanders in the process. This attack can be dodged. A psychic may extinguish a flame at will. A bonfire or smaller flame is extinguished instantly, but any larger flame takes an entire turn of concentration to extinguish.

••••• Inferno: The pyrokinetic now commands larger and faster-growing flames, which may appear anywhere in the psychic’s line of sight. The flames consume anything inside them with 3 aggravated damage per turn, though targets on the outer edges may dodge as Sun’s Fury. At one success, the starting flame is a small fire, but at three suc­cesses the flames fill a large room, to a maximum of Willpower times 3 square yards. If the psychic maintains concentration, the flames are resistant to being extinguished by mundane means, taking rounds equal to the successes gained on the activa­tion roll to extinguish through smothering, water, or flame retardant chemicals. If the psychic breaks concentration, such as by sustaining damage or being knocked out, the flames lose all supernatural properties and may be extinguished normally.

Synergy allows psychics to work together to build effects more powerful than either psychic could create on their own.

A subtle ability, synergistic psychics often don’t know they have any psychic talent until after meeting other psychics — it’s unusual but not unheard of for them to develop other Psychic Phenomena. This phenomenon is considered rare, but the power’s subtle nature may conceal the true number of synergists in the world.

Psychics must be touching to form a synergistic link. The synergist may link a number of psychics equal to twice the dots they have in Synergy. Every success above one adds automatic successes that can be spent on actions the linked psychics take using Phenomena. Botches can cause backlashes for all involved, with the best-case scenario being a headache or nosebleed, where the worst case can cause the psychic phenomena of those in the link to activate uncontrollably.

• Like Knows Like: The synergist can sense other psychics. This automatically succeeds if the psy­chic touches another, but the synergist can roll activation to scan for psychics in line of sight. With 3 or more successes, the synergist can sense the relative power of the other psychics

•• Share Will: The synergist forms a weak psychic link to enhance the power of the participants. Each psychic can either spend a point of Willpower for an automatic success on another’s effect or allow the psychic to “borrow” the Willpower and temporarily add the point to their pool, up to a maximum of 10. If the Willpower isn’t spent, it can be traded multiple times between the psychics in the link. Any sensory Phenomena (Telepathy, Precognition, etc.) allow all the psychics in the link to share the results.

••• Share Powers: The synergist forms a stronger link, allowing all psychics to use their powers as a group. Each psychic may donate up to two powers, points of Willpower, or one of each. Only one activation roll is necessary for group powers.

•••• Power Gestalt: As Share Powers, but now psy­chics in the link may combine ability effects to form one shared power. For example, the group could combine Animal Psychics and Psychic Invisibility to be able to sneak past guard dogs unnoticed.

••••• Power Network: The synergist may link other psychics and remove the need for the psychics to touch, or even be in the same place. A psychic with this level of Synergy first links everyone as with lower abilities, spending 10 minutes on combined focus and meditation to cement the ties. Once the link forms, the networked psychics remain linked and able to use any of the lower abilities for a number of hours equal to activation successes. This link does not fade with distance, but if a psychic in the link takes their Stamina or more in damage from a single source, all psychics in the network must make a Willpower roll at difficulty 7 or be ejected from the network. If the psychic who formed the network is ejected, knocked unconscious, or killed, the network automatically collapses.

It is said that there are two kinds of people in the world: people who wish they could read minds and liars. That statement, in and of itself, is a lie. That is because there are people in the world that can actually read minds and they’re known as telepaths. Once they sense the mind of a target, these psychics can plumb their thoughts for opinions, desires, fantasies, and emotions.

As skill and power improve, the telepath can learn to broadcast their thoughts into others. Communication in this manner can be unsettling at best to the unprepared and potentially outright scarring. Compassionate telepaths take time to inform those they intend to telepathically communicate with of what is coming, to avoid possible screaming and incoherent confusion caused by unan­nounced mental invasion.

Those who have mastered their talent go one step further and make those broadcasts seem like original thoughts, implanting ideas into the minds of their targets. This is not any kind of mental control or hypnosis as one might think. At its core, this ability is more akin to ventriloquism — a form of ventriloquism essentially akin to psychic gaslighting, and a very dangerous and immoral act, but ventriloquism nonetheless.

The telepath mimics the inner dialogue of the target and makes suggestions as though the thought came from the subject’s own mind. The uses of this talent range from the relatively benign thought of “I could use a snack” to projections far more sinister. Reading the target’s thoughts, then mimicking and repeating their darkest impulses to exigence, is but one troubling example of the potential for telepathic abuse.

All telepaths begin by sensing the surface thoughts and emotions of a subject. Emotions include current mood, immediate desire, and mental wellbeing. Surface thoughts are songs stuck in their head, active recollection of things like a grocery list or a keycode as it’s punched in, or what they think that smell was that they just sniffed.

•• Inner thoughts open to the telepath. With ev­ery success on the activation roll, the telepath may ask a single question about the target’s subsurface ruminations. These responses are one sentence in length and as straightforward as possible. Inner thoughts include political leanings, favorite books or movies, or recent memories.
The beginnings of telepathic communication open at this level as well. For every success on the activation roll, the telepath can send or receive one sentence of mental communication. These communications happen at the speed of thought, and as such do not take up any time within a round or require any dice pool splitting for multiple actions.

••• Deeper thoughts are laid bare to the telepath. As with previous levels, every success on the activation roll allows for a single question that is answered by the target These responses can be more detailed when the subject of the question is not a closely guarded secret. Deeper thoughts include memories from the last 5 years, passwords to social media accounts and bank cards, and the names of everyone from their immediate to extended family.

Telepathic communication comes much easier at this stage. For every success on the activation roll, the telepath can send and receive several sentences (two or three) worth of communica­tion. Again, these communications happen at the speed of thought and follow the same rules as above.

•••• Subconscious thoughts and the deepest recesses of the mind are within reach of the telepath. Every success on the activation roll allows for a single question that is answered by the Storyteller. Nothing within the mind is off limits at this point. Memories back to their childhood, forgotten codes to facilities they used to work at, and even thoughts they have that they deny to themselves about their loved ones are all fair game.

Conversations over telepathic connections are no longer held to sentences. Full conversations between two people happen in the blink of an eye. The more impressive improvement is that telepathic links can be widened to a net. Each success on the activation roll allows another mind to be added to the conversation. When multiple minds are added to the psychic’s link, the excess telepathic bandwidth slows down as the psychic’s mind is acting as a routing hub. Conversations like this happen in real time, as though everyone involved were speaking to each other around a table.

••••• Insidious as it may be, the telepath can now implant subversive thoughts into the minds of their targets. These thoughts can be of anything, but any train of thought that wasn’t already present in the mind of the target requires a Manipulation + Subterfuge roll (difficulty 7) to implant thoughts that complement the target’s personality and desires. Implanted thoughts that run contrary to the target’s personality and desires suffer a +2 difficulty to the roll. Should these thoughts take root, the target will begin to act on them at the nearest opportune time, convinced the thoughts are their own.